Quick hits

He’s big, he’s fast, he’s got a great shot.

And with the net empty and his team down a goal with an offensive-zone faceoff, Andrei Kostitsyn was on the bench.

He’d been there for the last eight minutes of the third period, replaced by Maxim Lapierre on a line with Tomas Plekanec.

With the Canadiens playing at altitude and desperately plumbing reserves of stamina, heart and guts, Jacques Martin decided to go with six forwards. 

AK46 was not one of them.

Several Canadiens played their hearts out against Colorado.

Lapierre had a couple hits and six shots on goal.

The resurgent Scott Gomez and Mike Cammalleri had five shots each.

Mathieu Darche valiantly crowded Craig Anderson’s crease, and the much-travelled veteran was one of the Top Six Martin delegated in that heroic effort to tie the game.

Roman Hamrlik was a rock on the back end against all those speedy Colorado kids.

You can’t hang the L on Kostitsyn alone.

P.K. Subban is an exciting hockey player – for all the wrong reasons in his own end.

Alexandre Picard had no sooner scored than he was burned by Kevin Porter, who beat Carey Price with what looked like a stoppable backhand.

Travis Moen gets a ton of chances from his centres and can’t puck the puck in the ocean.

The dread late goal bit the Canadiens in the ass … again.

But on a working-class hockey team that wins when everyone brings his lunchpail to the rink, AK46 plays like a bourgeois dilettante who shows up late, leaves early and takes long sushi lunches.

Again, he’s not the only reason the Canadiens lost.

But watching someone with that much talent play like he doesn’t care …

It’s frustrating.

Here’s an analogy that will resonate with long-time Expos fans:

Andrei Kostitsyn reminds me of Ellis Valentine.

And that’s not a compliment.

•  •  •

The power play produced two goals and some great late-game pressure.

But man, do they miss Andrei Markov.

If the Canadiens lose that first O-zone faceoff of the PP, you’re talking 20, 30, maybe 40 wasted seconds while they retrieve the puck and try to gain the zone and set up.

It’s usually a shoot-in, and the recovery rate is not high.

Tough to run a smooth offence without a QB.

•  •  •

Martin juggled his defence pairings in the third period.

Hal Gill was paired with P.K., Josh Gorges with Picard.

I thought the vets steadied the young guys, but we’ll see what the coach does in Dallas.

•  •  •

Brian Gionta had only one SoG, which had to be a season low for him.

One of the captain’s shots was blocked, and another four missed the net.

I liked that line, though.

Another strong effort by Max-Pac, including a team-high four hits.

•  •  • 

Carey Price was not great on the Porter goal.

But his 25 saves included some highlight reel stops.

The kid hasn’t played a bad game yet.

And playing behind a D that isn’t the league’s best, Price gives the Canadiens a chance to win every night.

 

38 Comments

  1. Thenumber11 says:

    Agreed, they were surprisingly good. The worst thing about the feed? In game, not between whistles or breaks, they would cut to the guy between the benches for 2-3 seconds. They did this at least 6 times in the game, when the puck was behind a net, or being brought up ice. It was brutal a couple times, they cut away to show the commentators ugly mug and by the time they switch back Carey is handling the puck with an Av all over him, or the puck is already past the redline. Who does that? Who cuts to a shot of anything but the game, while the game is being played? 

     

    But yes, the commentary was unbiased and generally quite good.

  2. 24 Cups says:

    Sorry, but I have to disagree.  Bouwmeester is one of the most overrated guys in the league.  He let Florida down big time and hasn’t helped Calgary.  It was a really dumb move by Sutter to give this guy a career contract. 

  3. 24 Cups says:

    Chuck – Who the hell designed that card?  Samsonov?

  4. punkster says:

    This is not a condemnation of your comments, just to point out though that the top point getters in the league are vets. Number 2 is a 20 year old (Stamkos) in his 3rd year and 13 is a 19 year old (Duchene) in his 2nd year. Apart from that not many young guys until you get way down the list. And we certainly don’t have a Stamkos or Duchene in the lineup.

    ***Subbang!!!***

  5. RetroMikey says:

    Got mine early last week as well.  Not the best of Xmas cards produced by the Habs.

    Have to throw it in my filing cabinet with the other 50 or so I have collected over the past years of collecting Habs memorabilia.

    As for the game?  No comment, was not able to watch it.

    But anyone surprised we lost to start the road trip? 

    Not me.

     

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  6. KamiDave says:

    Was watching this on nhl.com, had the Avalanche feed, was surprised at how unbiased the commentary was. 

  7. Chuck says:

    Cool! This came in the mail yesterday:

    2010 Montreal Canadians Christmas Card

  8. Richrebellion says:

    Great article, I’m a huge kostitsyn fan and I just don’t get what people have against him, any other player has a bad shift and it goes unnoticed as it should. Kostitsyn makes a small mistake and everyone blames him for the L, makes no sense to me. Any one else here see when he hustled back on a 2 on 1 and they didnt even get a shot off? Prob not RDS or boone too busy waiting for him to make a mistake.  

  9. Richrebellion says:

    Ok first i’d like to address all the scott gomez haters, for weeks me plus a few others had stood up for him and his abilities. For weeks i have been asking for Martin to place a talented winger on his other side and yet it took him 30 games to finally realize it? I like Martin’s system but his player management is horrible, it was blatantly obvious he needed another winger and even playing Pouliot on his wing would of helped. And what has he done since Pacioretty has been called up? Oh just 5 points in 3 games and have easily been the habs best line the past 3 games. 

    Now he finally gets gomez going and decides wait Eller has been playing too well with Pouliot lets seperate them… I don’t see the logic if anyone else can let me know. Eller looked solid again tonight but Darche and Lapierre have little to no offensive skill and it showed. 

    As for Ak46 I can look to Martin again, he came into the season flying on a line with pleks and cammy and instead of doing the reasonable thing and keeping them together, he decides lets take him off that line. Once again don’t get the logic, he was playing well and all that gomez needed was 2 offensive wingers. Instead lets change up all the lines except for placing Pouliot on gomez wing. 

    Now i know he doesn’t like young players who are extremely talented and who don’t always work as hard as guys like darche and halpern who have fought their way into this league. But lets face it Darche has no business being on the ice in the final minutes when you’re down by a goal. I like his effort and his net presence but on the last pp the guy missed 2 open nets that some of the younger more talented players would have scored on. 

    The NHL is a young man’s league, just look at the abundance of young talent that leads the league in scoring, yet our young and most talented players are relegated to the 4th line with no pp time and no opportunity to  show what they have. You wanna blame someone for tonight blame Martin, because just on the other side of the ice a young team showed us how youth is the way to win in this league. And Martin the dinosaur is too busy giving Darche pp time with 3 mins left and the final shift in the game. Wake up Martin and get with the times! 

  10. Topham says:

    If you’re going to bash him. At least abide by the rules:

    Basshing Kostitsyn: A Quick Guide

     

    Topham
    Lions in Winter: http://www.lionsinwinter.ca

  11. Timo says:

    More ridiculous than Gomez’s? But I agree… Habs don’t have a room for a number #1 dman unless there is some serious salary dump. 

  12. Hockey Socks says:

    Since we’re talking trades: I want Robyn Regehr or Tomas Kaberle.

  13. Timo says:

    “the resurgent Scott Gomez”… I love this. Was he in a funk or something?

  14. Rad says:

     

    Jay Bouwmeester is an amazing skater and top tier defenceman. He would shore up the back end in Montreal for years to come. But it would cost a lot more than just Kostitsyn to pry him loose.

     

  15. PureGuava says:

    P.K. is frustrating to watch. He is going to be a great player some day, it’s just a little tough to stomache the development process on some nights. He’s got to find a way to get his shots to the net!

  16. PureGuava says:

    Bowmeister has choked in Calgary. I say we hold on to our assets until Richards & Shea Webber are dangled.

    “Of course I’m crazy, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.” – Robert Anton Wilson

  17. rocketsglare says:

    So disapointing after all that hustle and hard work in the 3rd period and to be unable to score a goal. Stupid

    mistakes cost this team 2 important points. Carey was solid as usual but did not receive enough help by the

    usually reliable D. The problem continues to be the lack of scoring on this team. Scoring an avg. of less than

    3 goals per game and expect your D and goaltender to only give up less than 2 goals per game is just brutal.

    There simply is no margin for error by this team, especially on D. The Habs were fortunate to score 2 PP goals

    but had none at even strength. This inconsistency is what is maddening and frustrating about this team.

    The Habs have to find ways to increase their scoring from top to bottom because if they don’t, they will suffer

     more losses like last night were a one goal deficit becomes insurmountable. That would truly be disapointing.

    Go Habs Go!

     

  18. Habnofear says:

    Ak and Picard to Calgary for Boemister(spelling?) and one of their young tough guys….

  19. Bill says:

    The Habs record since Markov went down is what, roughly .500? When he’s in the line-up, in recent years, the Habs do much better than that. So there, as the mechanic says, is your trouble.

    Problem: there aren’t a ton of #1 d-men out there on the open market. There’s Kaberle … apparently for a ridiculous price, and who already once turned down a trade to the Habs. And that’s about it!

    So … when is the earliest Markov can be cleared to play?

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  20. Rad says:

    You certainly are entitled to your opinion, but when you say he “hasn’t helped Calgary”, I have to wonder if you’ve ever watched any Calgary games, or read any Calgary press? From everything I have seen and heard, he has been their best Dman this year. Bouwmeester leads his team in minutes played while being matched up every night against the opposition’s best line. He is an iron man who hasn’t missed a game in years. He is the best skating big man in the game, and never ever gets beat on the outside, like our Hab defencemen do routinely. He is better than any of our current D-men, and it’s not even close. Bouwmeester is an elite defenceman, and there isn’t a team in the National Hockey League that wouldn’t take him in a heart beat if he was available, which I don’t think he is. 

  21. matrags says:

    defence is rearing its ugly head , we are slow and what speed we have is prone to high risk rookie mistakes. We will have to find a replacement for Markov with offensive upside and some veatern experience. Adam Foot and Obryne should have been called for Interference on paz and crosschecking on Darche respectivily in the last three minutes .

  22. Habnofear says:

    The O’Bryne trade looks not so good….Habs need a big ,tough , stay at home  Dman who can clear the net that’s cheap and young,uhhhhhh?

  23. PureGuava says:

    O’byrne was punished heavily in the Eastern Conference for his physical game because he was a young player. He would have had six game-crushing penalties called on him if he played that kind of game for us. I always liked him, but he got called for everything!….I think his success in Colarado has much to do with the fact that he’s been allowed to play his game, with no consequences.

     

    “Of course I’m crazy, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.” – Robert Anton Wilson

  24. rogieshan says:

    Love the Kostitsyn – Ellis Valentine analogy. If only Andrei could net us a Jeff Reardon in return…

  25. SeriousFan09 says:

    Habs need to acquire a new defencemen it seems (and no, O’Byrne here wouldn’t solve our problems), they are not getting what they need from the back end at this point and you have to think about how Spacek + Hamrlik are going to look around game 70 on this season.

    Package AK? I try and root for this guy and after a great October… the talent is there, but I don’t think he either cares, or has the ability to keep up in this NHL, doesn’t seem to make decisions quickly enough too many times during a game. Only guy who has missed open-net opportunities more than him is Gomez likely and Andrei is supposed to be a finisher. Stretching into a two-month slump, again.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  26. HardHabits says:

    He lacks chemistry with the rest of the team IMO. I also think he’d do well, probably better, elsewhere, like LA for example. He’s an RFA next year so the Habs can still get something good in return for him. He has to be replaced if moved though. Tough decision.

  27. Da Hema says:

    I agree the Habs need a top four defenceman, ideally one who can function as a mentor to and stabiliser for Subban. The Habs really have to play Subban–how else will he learn?–because I really don’t think he can go back to the AHL. I don’t believe he will develop any further down there. Kostitsyn definitely needs to be moved to a new town, but I am not sure what we could fetch for him. His days as being regarded as a “potential star” are long gone, so we would be trading a “problem player”–never a good trading position to be in.

    I do not want to overreact to the loss tonight. A break here and there, and we could have won this game. That said, the difference between good and middling teams is the former do not (a) allow momentum-killing late period goals, (b) take ill-advised penalties when they are pressing in the opponent’s zone, and (c) concede dispiriting, amateurish goals by their goalies. Those problems are not likely to be fixed by one trade.

    ————————

    An important announcement from the Government of Canada:

    Health Canada is reminding Canadians that consumption of the Toronto Maple Leafs has led to vomiting, fever, bloody diarrhea, dementia, and penile dysfunction.

  28. Rad says:

    You’re right about Kostitsyn. He doesn’t seem to react fast enough when he has an opportunity to score, and playing with Plekanec he gets plenty of chances. He lacks that killer scoring instinct, the drive to excel. It’s between the ears stuff with him….lights are on, but nobody’s home. Hab fans have been waiting for him to break out for a long time, but it looks like he is not going to do so in Montreal. Perhaps a change of scenery will help him, like it has helped numerous other players. What do you think about Kostitsyn to Toronto for Kaberle? Or to Minnesota for Brent Burns? The Wild are rumored to be exploring the trade market for offense.

  29. Richrebellion says:

    Do you realize what happened after october?? Maybe they moved him to a line with scott gomez and travis moen, a line which no1 not gionta or cammy did anything on! The problem was Moen ( I like the guy as a 3rd liner not on an offensive line) and that is clear now that Pacioretty is there and they have become the best line. First off the cammy goal tonight was all his fight along the board in which he got the puck out to cammy and thats what no heart i guess? The game is between the ears and when you lose all your confidence playing with travis moen it doesn’t come back in a day. Especially when your coach constantly moves you from line to line, to me its simple if you want ak to do well place him with pleks and cammy and try leaving them together for maybe 5 games. After those 5 games go by with no benching or dropping him to the 4th line I’m sure you’ll see the ak from october. Until that can happen its unlikely benching him in the 3rd period and putting Darche on the pp instead of him will really help his confidence. But then again what does Martin know about trying to help out a young players confidence, he thinks Darche is the best player in the NHL! 

  30. forumghost says:

    Penner for Ak, mid-level prospect, 3rd round pick and the kitchen sink?

    Hockey Morning (sunday!) in Korea

  31. ooder says:

    holy moly..

    now this is dedication:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WedvOdw-eG8&feature=player_embedded#!

    ——————

    88 is the new 23

  32. avatar_58 says:

    WOW

    That is a man’s man. Amazing

  33. SeriousFan09 says:

    Send AK to LA for a D and trade for Langenbrunner perhaps? Just spitballing.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  34. RetroMikey says:

    LAngenbrunner is too old and on his last legs in the NHL.

    If you are going to trade AK, get something in return along the same age as we did for the Latendresse-Pouliot trade.

    A player who will play ofr us for more than several seasons not a season and call it a career then.

     

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  35. 24 Cups says:

    I agree with HH and RM.  If AK46 goes, it has to be for another reclamation project.

  36. keepthefaith says:

    Dont get this Langebrunner love in. When was the last time he was relevant?

    We need a top 2 D man, not a forward.

  37. Harani says:

    Didn’t watch the game but it’s always disappointing. When the Habs are down in the third, they always play amazing but the problem is they never tie the game. Lots of pressure and nothing to show for it. And that’s the story of most of our losses. 

    And btw, I think more than getting another forward, I think the Habs’ more pressing need would be on defense. Seriously, we can’t hope to aspire as the season moves along. Hammr and Spacek are doing a tremendous job but eventually, they wear down as the season progresses. 

    Games like this will happen but I think this group of guys have the character necessary to overcome these losses. On to Dallas, Carey’s favorite city in the world, hoping for a good game on Tuesday. 

    “It must be love!”

  38. BeachHabFan says:

    i was waffling on whether gauthier should acquire a top 6 fwd or a veteran d-man with that extra cap space – watching pk and picard out there today, the d obviously needs some stability. lots of weak exits and confusion. 


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