About last night …


This is why you have pro scouts.

The Penguins studied video of the Canadiens killing 32 of the 33 penalties they took against the most dangerous power-play in the league.

“Hey,” a coach may have popped up and said, “let’s try moving the puck quickly on our PP. Short passes, break down their box.

“No rushed plays or shots. We’ll be patient, get traffic in front and set up some point shots.”

In seven games, Washington scored once with the man advantage.

The Canadiens got four in 34 minutes.

And that was the ballgame.

The Pittsburgh coaches also noted the number of shots the Canadiens blocked against Washington – 41 in the deciding game.

Again, the Penguins got good puck movement and worked for open shots.

Result: Eight Canadiens blocked 15. And 14 Penguins blocked 22.

They saw what happened to Washington. And the Stanley Cup champions wdere ready.


The Canadiens had a 34-21 shot advantage and outscored the Penguins at even strength until Bill Guerin’s empty-netter.

That’s something to build on.
But if Andrei Markov’s series ended after 11 minutes – he left Mellon Arena on crutches – it’s going to be very, very toughThe Canadiens’ record, after Markov was injured in the season opener, was 14-20-3.

With him in the lineup, they are 25-13-7.

He is the key man on the power play and great 5-on-5.

There’s a chance Jaro Spacek will be ready for Sunday. Let’s hope so, because the D was smacked around by the Penguins and had a tough night.

Josh Gorges and Hal Gill, superb against Washington, looked tired and beaten down.

Jaro Halak was beaten on four of the first 14 shots he faced. yanked for Carey Price 5:18 into the third period, Jaro had allowed five goals on 20 shots – a save percentage of 75.

But you can’t pin the loss on goaltending.

Indiscipline gave the Penguins all those PP opportunities. And while the Canadiens beat Marc-André Fleury three times and exerted some pressure, Jacques Martin has a problem with his forward lines.

And that problem is Andrei Kostitsyn.

On RDS, Joel Bouchard showed a replay of the goal that broke the Canadiens.

Mike Cammalleri had scored to make it 3-2. The Canadiens were making some noise late in the second period.

A few shifts later, AK46 is going off on a change. He has the puck in the neuutral zone and, Bouchard said, the play is to get the puck deep in the Pittsburgh zone.

Instead, Kostitsyn bangs a soft ricochet off the boards. The Pittsburgh Dman is on it just inside the blueline, and the league’s best transition team is off to the races.

The Penguins gain the zone, four Canadiens overplay one side of the ice, Pascal Dupuis finds Craig Adams and Bingo!

A backbreaker!

It is becoming increasingly difficult, approaching impossible, to make a case for AK46’s bright potential.

He has more brain cramps on one shift than Crosby has in a season. And having this dog as a teammate is an insult to the dedication of Brian Gionta.

In the first game of the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, a first-round draft choice with size, speed and a wicked wrister ended the game playing with Glen Metropolit and Tom Pyatt.

The only player Jacques Martin likes less than Andrei Kostitsyn is Sergei Kostitsyn.

Package them both, Pierre, and trade them to Minsk.

•  •  •

The PK sucked, but P.K. was excellent.

Pressed into a regular shifft and 19:40 of ice time, the Canadiens brightest young prospect scored a goal, showed he belonged and, late in the game, skated hard to make a nice play on Sidney Crosby.

The kid is going to be a very good player for a very long time.

•  •  •

Props to the lads for not quitting.

Playing soo soon after an emotional seventh game against a well-rested powerhouse team, losing Markov early, getting killed on the PP, surrendering that killer goal to Adams …

The Canadiens kept being smacked down. But they picked themselves up every time.

Sunday will be very tough.

Probably no Markov. Third game in 4½ days. Jaro tired and maybe a bit psyched out.

But the logo on the jersey stands for CHaracter.

The Canadiens can play with Pittsburgh at even-strength.

This isn’t over.

•  •  •

Don’t you just love HNIC?

Don Cherry talks about Jaroslav “Havlak”.

Then the two ass-wipes on the iDesk quote some Web cretin calling Jaro “Red-Light Halak”.

With the exception of Elliotte Friedman, the whole CBC crew makes me puke.



  1. habs-hampton says:

    Sure, it’s easy to blame AK46, but when things aren’t going well for Metro, Gill ,etc. at least the effort is there. It’s hard to watch a guy floating, when everyone else is busting their butts. Sure, the team didn’t play well, but at least they were trying!

  2. G-Man says:

    Agree. Bad luck about Markov. The Habs D is a good group when all our best are playing. Gill- Gorges have been a great shut down tandem. Markov-OB have been excellent at both ends of the ice. Spacek-Subban will make for a great pairing.

    What to do with MAB, now that Markov is probably gone for the season?

  3. G-Man says:

    PK has been very good. Best player? No. But he’s damned close and he’s young!

  4. G-Man says:

    Darche will play. AK might not. Trust JM to make the right choice. So far, he isn’t as awful as most here think.

  5. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …interesting You recalled that Mike …tonight was the second-time I used the Godot analogy since I have been a member …the first was during the prolonged tedious anticipation of the Sundin-signing (…which I did NOT want to happen), and then in the following thread You just referred to, You used the ‘Waiting For Godot’ theme

    …coincidence ? …purposeful or subliminal plagiarism ? …I was not sure at the time

    …but over this period of time I noticed it has happened 3 or 4 subsequent times on a line or riff I had used …You would copy word for word or use the premise of mine or another commentor’s analogy or observation

    …whether subliminal or purposeful plagiarism, or purely coincidental …I don’t personally resent or care what You use to put together what must be reasonably intelligent, on Your part, yet ‘entertaining’ pieces to satisfy the hungry Hab Fan jackels (including Myself) that anticipate Your summarizations of the ‘obvious’ observations We the Jackels have already expressed in Our blurbs, …plus Your own personal original thought

    …You are the wordsmith …the word-tailor (…or, in Your case, the word-seamtress ?) …whom brings the varied-materials together to make a readable result

    …either which way You do it Mike, obviously I enjoy it (…or I wouldn’t be here) …EXCEPT You Know When !


    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY


  6. andrewberkshire says:

    It’s probably unfair of me to even blame him tonight. It was the PK and the fatigue in Halak that did us in. Losing Markov certainly didn’t help either.

  7. Da Hema says:

    Andrew: if it is any consolation, I will be giddy when MAB is no longer with this team too! My chest hurts and I struggle to breathe when he is on the power play!


    “There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge….”

    –Hunter S. Thompson

  8. andrewberkshire says:

    Kostitsyn won a ton of battles and cleared the zone in game 7 just the other night. But you’re right, it’s a useless conversation. I just think the vitriol is misplaced as we have one player who’s a -1 in the playoffs with 3 goals and 3 assists in 8 games, and another who’s -9 with 1 goal and 3 assists. -9 while his ice time is extremely limited. 

  9. andrewberkshire says:

    I have a feeling we’ll see Darche in for AK46 tomorrow, and it’ll be a massive mistake.

  10. Da Hema says:

    We just are not seeing the same things Andrew. It is difficult to understand how one can conclude Kostitsyn was one the team’s best forwards when he has 1 point in his previous five games. I also have not seen these puck battles you claim Kostitsyn won.

    There probably is not much point having some kind of discussion about our different views on Kostitsyn. It reminds me of the endless debates over Kovalev when he played for the Canadiens. I just could not see why posters thought so much of him. I was the happiest fan in all of Habdom when he left Montreal, and I will be too when both Kostitsyns are gone.


    “There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge….”

    –Hunter S. Thompson

  11. andrewberkshire says:

    Kostitsyn’s off games are so overemphasized on this site it’s insane. If Kostitsyn doesn’t score in a game, 80% of the posters on this site think he had a crap game, even if he won puck battles (which he does very often), laid good hits (which he also does more often than anyone not named Moen or Lapierre) and played sound hockey. If there are any forwards who should be getting torn apart on this site, it’s Pouliot and Metropolit, who’ve contributed absolutely nothing since game 1 against Washington. Metropolit, bless him for fighting to come back so early, is completely useless out there, especially on the PP.

    The tendency to blame Kostitsyn has everything to do with where he’s from and nothing to do with how he plays. Look at the comments here, how many people have insinuated drug use or intoxication of some kind. It’s appalling the hate that goes on here because of one blown play, after AK46 was one of our best forwards overall in the last series.

  12. Da Hema says:

    It is good to have some contrary perspectives Andrew, but Kostitsyn represents a problem for this team. Gionta did not play well tonight, but I can count on one hand how many bad games I have watched him play all season long–including the playoffs. Kostitsyn has played one decent game (and his hat trick was not all that impressive anyways; Cammalleri and Plekanec were setting the table for him). Kostitsyn is not an island–his generally indifferent play impacts his linemates, so he is dragging down others with him. I think any reasonably attentive spectator can see he is unwilling to play positional hockey, and worse his checks are intended to miss his targets–just like what his brother Sergei does. Certainly my comments below were purposefully harsh about Kostitsyn, and perhaps I should have qualified my statements by noting I do not singularly blame Kostitsyn for the loss. That said, I will be very glad when he is shipped elsewhere.


    “There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge….”

    –Hunter S. Thompson

  13. SeriousFan09 says:

    Easy to pick on some people I guess. Metropolit’s a good guy for spending all that time in all those leagues and battling to get to the NHL but really, he’s not fit for NHL action right now and it’s painfully obvious. AK’s just a victim of being a 2003 draft selection and not speaking very good English, oh and an unfortunate face.

    I suspect without Boucher getting the job in Montreal, we’ll never see the most out of the Kostitsyns, Pouliot or others. JM can’t teach young players and Carbo wasn’t exactly swift with that either. Only skaters to improve this season in the youth area were Gorges/OB, not one forward jumped ahead in ability this year. Haven’t had a coach who could get the best out of young players in a long time it seems.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  14. andrewberkshire says:

    Exactly. AK46 did nothing tonight that several other players hadn’t done more times. Metropolit for example was a disaster, especially on the PP. How many times did he clear the zone for the Penguins by passing to no one? He’s just lucky we weren’t dinged for a couple shorties because Halak certainly wasn’t going to be stopping any breakaways tonight.

  15. J. Ambrose says:

    “All I know is that the hours are long, under these conditions, and constrain us to beguile them with proceedings which may at first seem reasonable, until they become a habit. You may say it is to prevent our reason from foundering. But has it not long been straying in the night without end of the abyssal depths?”

  16. SeriousFan09 says:

    Yea, don’t quite see why AK has to wear the goat horns when a PP went from 97% efficiency to 0% in the blink of an eye. PK wasn’t up to task and that’s how game 1 went out.

    No one thinks it deflates the team when a PP for the Pens becomes a guaranteed goal off of generally bad penalties? Game was lost on special teams, not an AK giveaway.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  17. andrewberkshire says:

    Unbelievably ridiculous that on a night when our PK goes 0/4 that 90% of the knowledgeable posters on this site, including Boone, are blaming a guy who was less than 50% responsible for the only even strength goal against on the night. Not a word about the Penguins cashing on ALL 5 of their first 5 scoring chances in the game, not a word about everyone on the penalty losing every battle for loose pucks and playing soft against a Penguins PP that is nowhere near the potency of the Capitals. Not a word about lame attempts at shot blocks that only screened Halak or deflected pucks past him. Not a word about the compete inability by the defense to move Penguins players from the front of the net on the PK.

    Instead let’s all blame the Belorussian who’s face makes him look stupid. How many other players failed to get the puck deep tonight? I saw it all night. Unfortunately Kostitsyn failed to get the puck deep while MAB was on the ice, and of course RDS would never dare to point out that he was COMPLETELY out of position! Not only was he out of position, he got in Subban’s way so neither could make a play on the puck OR cover Adams who was streaking in. All the hate on this site is sorely misplaced tonight.

  18. itpf says:

    Only problem with that is that it seems mediocracy, laziness and seniority (Don cherry, bob cole) go hand in hand with tax dollars. 

  19. Dintrox says:

    Boone we need to make adjustments to our pk. If Spacek can play like he did in the first series and Subban can take the heat, well you never Know. MAB just can’t be relied upon for many minutes on even strength D or on the PK.

    I’m no MD but i bet Markov has ligament damage and will be out for the remainder. We lost Markie but their PK may be without Staal. so maybe we are evensie. Pick ourselves up and prepare for the next battle and let’s get the split. 

    Even my Leaf fan friends are pulling for this underdog Hab crew and believe me that is something…

    December 4, 2009 – Elmer Lach’s jersey took its rightful place with the Rocket’s in the rafters.

  20. RetroMikey says:

    Everybody knows on this site  how I feel about little Sergei from the getgo several seasons ago…..now  I’m starting to have the same vibes  about his brother Andrei.



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

  21. Born in a Bad Year says:

    Halak should have been pulled early in the second period.  He looked very shaky on a couple of stops and lost a couple of rebounds that he never tracked down.  Everybody watching this game except JM could see that Halak was out of sorts and was going to let in a bunch.  You pull him early before the breakdown, during a regular stoppage of play, not on a goal.  In the press conference afterward you mention his “bug” and everyone saves face.

    As far as the brothers, put them both on the fourth line centered by Metro, and adjust their playing time based on the result, if they take a shift off on the ice, give them another shift off on the bench.  They will produce or it won’t matter, the shortened bench won’t really hurt.  If they rise to the occasion, they get shifts on the powerplay.  There is way too much talent in that pair to leave rotting.

    IF Spacek returns, send MAB to the pressbox, it is a really nice view from up there.  PK does everything we needed MAB for, and with style…

  22. HardHabits says:

    Not much to bring to the table. Not only are the Kostitsyns not leaders, they are not even followers.

  23. habz says:

    This isn’t over…..although i had a feeling before the game that the penguins will take game 1, and i switched to CBC , just to see what freakin cherry goin to say about our team, and hearing him calling halak Havlat? and Mclean didnt even bother to correct him , makes me really vomit. another man that mclean interviewed after 2nd period, forgot who he was and  i dont give a crap, callsl Halak Havlat too! what the hell? no respect whatsoever!!

  24. SPATS says:

    We need a break… Start Price on Sunday, Metro, MAB, Maxwell on the 4th line, Moen, Lappy and Darche the 3rd line. Pouliot, Moore, Cammy line # 2, Pyatt, Gomer and Gionta line # 1. Rest our Olympians, Pleks, Markov and Halak and let’s get em at home and make this a best of 3 starting next Saturday nite. If Markov’s done (he’ll be back by tues) put O’Byrne with Hammer(3rd) PK with Spatch (2)- Spatch back on the left side where he belongs & leave Gill with Gorges. Tell em to take it easy and let Carey shine. (or not) NBC and Bettman will be  happy with their US network ass kissing, and we can take a break, let em think they’ve got us where they want us and then come back and strangle em at the bell.

    Kostitsyn sisters go home, don’t bring them to the hotel, we can roll without em. They’re poison, and we need to get that poison out of our system (bababooey!)

  25. rut1212 says:

    Can I divert my tax dollars to TSN instead?

  26. shakey says:

    wouldn’t darche be better in the line up than ak? he was terrible.

    we won’t get anything for either of the ks, but please free up a roster spot. max pac?

    and please shoot glen healy. i miss miller and mcguire!



  27. ProHabs says:

    Thats right. And how can anyone really say that the team developed AK wrong. If I remember correctly, they had him play 2 or 3 years in the AHL before calling him up to the big team. What more did AK need. 5 more years of developing in the AHL.

  28. ProHabs says:

    AK and SK should have been the first 2 names on Gainey’s housecleaning list last year. I am surprised they both survived the overhaul. They will both be part of this summers garbage throwout. I just hope they get some good players back for them. They both have potential but I hate watching both of them play. THey accomplish very little on the ice.

  29. Da Hema says:

    I am glad persons of some influence (e.g., Boone) are publicly calling out Kostitsyn. I think he and his brother should both be sent home now. Enough is enough. We can debate all we want about their development, and whether or not the Canadiens did enough to prepare them for the NHL, but this is the playoffs and we cannot have players performing like Kostitsyn did tonight. Some posters have remarked that Andrie is pouting for his brother, but if that is true then it is even further evidence of his lack of professionalism. It seems to me other brothers around the NHL can play effectively despite being on separate teams (e.g., the Stalls). Indeed, they have even hit each other! If the Habs want to have a chance against Pittsburgh, then send these two idiots home.


    “There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge….”

    –Hunter S. Thompson

  30. Curtis O Habs says:

    AK46 looked like he was into the vodka before the game. Misses more onetimers than a pee wee houseleaguer.  With Markov out, time for Subban to shine.

  31. wall2bay says:

    This may sound a little too optimistic but I think PK can somewhat absorb the loss of Markov. The key would be is to have Spacek back!

    The kid can really play! He’s either been one of or the best player for the Habs in every game he’s played in.

    In PK I trust!

  32. OneTimer says:

    5 games into his career? Ahead of Gionta, Gorges, Gill, Markov, Cammy and Gomez? I’m a big PK fan (I think by now we all are) but surely you jest

  33. Mike Boone says:

    Benny is a project. Rehabbing from lost years in Minnesota. I think he’s going to be a terrific player.

  34. Mike Boone says:

    Used it two summers ago on HIO, with a PhotoShopped Gainey and Carbo as Vladimir and Estragon, waiting for Mats Sundin

  35. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …You, My Man is obviously smarter than You look

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY


  36. ooder says:

    i know your probably just jk around but if there was one thing kovy was good for.. it was the playoffs


    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

  37. GHG33 says:

    I for one am very impressed by the heart and effort this team has. Taking on the defending champs just 2 days after sending one team packing. I didn’t give them much of a shot at winning this first of seven games, but they still had a shot at winning it until the 4th pens goal.

    The whole team did seem a little less energetic, and the speed just didn’t seem to be there tonight.

    Can’t blame Halak for this one, I think he was a little tired and less focused tonight. I would still start him next game though, he’s earned it.

    P.K was impressive, future looks bright for this kid, great energy and skating abilities.

    The hit on Markov was legal. Don Cherry (although rare) is right on this one. Markov should have absorbed the hit along the boards, or dodged it. Hopefully Specek is ready to go next game.

    I fully expect a much closer battle on Sunday and the Habs might just pull a W out of the bag! 🙂

    Drive For 25 Is Alive!

  38. habsman-itoba says:

    Maybe we could make a trade with Minnisota.  I’ve heard about this kid called Latendress…

  39. OneTimer says:

    AK46 called out by the Booner. Youch!


    What do we get
    for AK + SK + ? in the off-season boys? The elusive power forward? One
    can dream…

  40. OneTimer says:

    Godot never shows up, at least AK had that hat trick in Game 2…Too bad we lost it though…

  41. StevieRay says:

    What is wrong with AK.. the dude gets a hat trick…then disappears…

  42. Gus says:

    Interesting game.  I was never as nervous in this game as vs the Caps – it seemed the 5-5 play was much more even (though when we were down in the 1st, Pitt could have just backedoff).  If Markov was not down, for what now looks to be a long time, I’d say that we would have a chance here.  Now, we’ll need to see great 2-way play off of PK, Spacek and yes, Hammer.  Of course the tending will have to be better than good as well…  Here’s to Sunday.

  43. Mr. Biter says:

    So did the Versus announcers which includes an ex. hab, but as i posted earlier the HIO website would be down for days with the CP, JM and BG haters venting their rage.

  44. sprague cleghorn says:

    Beckett and Bugs (quoting Groucho), back to back.  Now we’re talking. 

  45. habsman-itoba says:

    I’ve got faith in JM to make adjustments to make us much more competative as the series matures.  If he makes them on time or not is another matter entirely.  It worked against Washington.  Although *hitsburg is an entirely different team and will require an entirely different approach, the habs will kick their stinky arses!

  46. wild flower says:

    My thinking was: Price is good, let him be part of the team. If he wins great, we have got at least a split in Pit – let try for two. If he loses, back to hero Halak whose had some extra time to bask in his glory. I thought tonight was quite predictable, but I think we still have a very good shot.

  47. sprague cleghorn says:

    Wow, a Waiting for Godot reference on HIO.  Nice.

  48. wild flower says:

    I thought likewise, so did my wife. We had no say in the mater.

  49. HotHabs says:

    i had thought the same.  Give Jaro a rest and let Carey get in a game or two.  I don’t know if it would’ve made any difference tonight with #31 in net, but my guess is Price will start on Sunday.  Hopefully he can pull a Jaro and make this series interesting.

  50. smiler2729 says:

    Benny’ll work out as a Hab, mostly because he wants to. The K-tits pair have no desire to do anything but impress themselves… and their mom back in ol’ Belarus.

  51. HotHabs says:

    Ditto, Mike.

    Without Markov and so little rest for the team between series and games, and playing a good Pittsburg crew, the end is casting its ugly shadow over the CH.

  52. smiler2729 says:

    I think both these goalies are inter-changeable with the more consistent Jaro Halak having the better luck over Carey “Steve Rogers” Price.

  53. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …not only TIRED …but a short-turn-around time to establish Penguin/Crosby-specific system adjustments to counter Pittsburgh’s game …which is very distinct from the Capitals

    …since the re-build last-summer …I looked at the talents of Gomez, Gionta, Camm, and the others as ‘givens’ …I felt I ‘knew’ WHAT to expect from Them

    …except Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn

    …based on everyOne of Our Players minus the Ks, I felt We will have a plucky, skilled Team that will unfortunately not have enough to either barely make the Playoffs, or get beyond the first-round of the Playoffs

    …it was my long-held opinion that IF both of the Kostitsyns can live-up to Their obvious potentials, that would be The Tipping Point of depth of talent We required to match or near-match ‘elite -teams’ in this League

    …waiting for The Ks to finally ‘bloom’ is like waitin’ for Godot …soo much potential, but apparently also, soo much ‘cabbage’ between Their ears

    …Who knows, MAYBE …next game They will be 2 of the 3 Stars …BUT the string is running-out on these 2 BeloRussians

    …IF I was JM, I would consider benching Andrei for at least a game to wake-Him-up, replaced by either Sergei or another of Our Young Black Aces

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY


  54. monsieurx says:

    Yah, I love Benny I really do he shapes up to what he can be, instead of playing in the shadow of what he once was. My friend was actually in Turks and caicos at the same time as lappy and benny during the olympic break, apparently while lappy was enjoying the sun, pouliot was always working out, playing sports and keeping active. Good to know he has a good work ethic even during vacation, he didnt have to work out or keep in shape lol.

  55. monsieurx says:

    I was thinking that, but being a Goalie myself, the bench is still the bench there are no two ways about it, JM did the rigth thing in the end, he had to start Halak. Halak needs to start the next game to. He should of taken him out earlier though.

  56. monsieurx says:

    double post

  57. smiler2729 says:

    Pouliot played with some urgency in his game, seems a bit tentative though, but yeah, way more mojo than that AK46 pillow on skates.

  58. smiler2729 says:

    “Of course, you realize this means war.”

    -Bugs Bunny

  59. havok says:

    I was called crazy earlier to ask if Price should start game one (letting Jaro know he is still their guy)…wonder what if…

  60. monsieurx says:

    Boone, what did  you think of Pouliot tonight ? Personally i actually see him developping as opposed to AK. Also I think SK has more potential, but he can’t play for JM, Jm made an example of him for the good the team early and often. They don’t play on the same line like the Sedins would we really get that much more in a package? I say keep SK

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