Audio: Happy voices from the dressing room

The Gazette’s Pat Hickey found a pretty upbeat group of players in the Canadiens dressing room after practice today, 15 hours after the Habs had beaten the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 in a shootout at the Air Canada Centre.

Captain Saku Koivu on the game in Toronto. Clip runs 1:37.

Linemate Christopher Higgins, on playing with Guillaume Latendresse, and what very dedicated relatives he expects to make the trip from Long Island to Newark, N.J., on Friday night when the Canadiens play the Devils in their new barn. The "crazy old man," by the way, is Hickey. Clip runs 2:56.

Linemate Guillaume Latendresse, critiquing his first night on the first line. Clip runs 1:40.

Alex Kovalev, on standing 15th in all-star voting even though he’s just a write-in candidate, and the Canadiens’ need to score more frequently on 5-on-5. Clip runs 6:36.

Goalie Carey Price: first on fellow goalie Cristobal Huet – clip runs 43 seconds – and then on being run in the crease by Toronto’s Jason Blake, resulting in Tuesday’s tying goal with 18 seconds left in regulation time. Clip runs 1:29.

Kyle Chipchura on the search for consistency. Clip runs 1:56.



  1. showey47 says:

    if higgins and ryder had buried a reasonable amount of their quality scoring chances, our 5 on 5 problems would not be much of an issue. Higgy could easily have close to 20 by now with all the good chances he has missed and ryder could have 12 to 15.

  2. TradeRyder says:

    I know many don’t believe in the plus/minus as a useful measure… but I am one that does. Regardless it is interesting that we’re near the top of our division and we have only FIVE plus players on the team. In order:
    Hamrlik 7
    Chipchura 3
    Kostitsyn 2
    Begin 2
    Brisebois 1

    Hamrlik is especially interesting since he’s been playing with different partners and logging more ice time. You have to believe in that! Chips and Kostitsyn… in my book right up with there under “rookies that make a difference”. Where would we be without these guys! And imagine if the team can sort out it’s consistency issues… you have to think that visions of playoff victory must be dancing in Carbo’s head some nights. (I’m on a Christmas theme today for some reason.)

    A bucket with a hole in it doesn’t hold water. We need changes on the first line!

  3. TradeRyder says:

    Great to hear the team sounding relaxed and assured – you’d think someone’d spiked their water. Players like Chipchura, Price, make you feel good about where the team is going.

    Even Kovalev sounds like he’s been in the Christmas cheer early! Scary!

    Go habs Go!

  4. Sulemaan says:

    What impresses me about Price is when he was asked about being run-over by Blake, he said why bother questioning the refs? They aren’t going to change their mind (they never do) and you could also get slapped with another penalty if you yap too long at them. He kept his focus and won the game. That is exactly the kind of calm we need in the back of the net. I also like the camaraderie in the lockeroom. We stole 2 points from Toronto but earlier this season, Atlanta stole 2 points from us so it all comes out in the wash.

  5. Da Hema says:

    Carey Price is such a prudent young man. I was impressed when he said his role is to support Cristobal. Carey no doubt will be a leader of this team for many years to come. If Price continues to play the way he is, it will be an absolute crime if he is not selected the rookie of the year.
    “Play every game as if it is your last one.”
    –Guy Lafleur

    “Those were little monumental mistakes.”
    –Jean Perron

  6. MAB the HAB says:

    Thanks so much for the clips, Dave!
    One comment: Can Carey Price be any more mellow? Is it hard to get him to crack up à la Higgins in his clip?

  7. Dave Stubbs says:

    Thank Pat Hickey for the clips; he rounded up the voices, I just uploaded them. And yes, Carey Price is so laid back, he’s horizontal.

    Dave Stubbs

    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette


  8. RetroMikey says:

    When you have happy faces in the dressing room, you know that the team has chemistry and you can hear the song by Sister Sledge “We are Family” ringing in my ears.
    Yes, the team has flaws but I honestly feel we will be getting better and better as the season carries us in the new year. What bothers me is that Mikhail Grabovski has to play more and we must concentrate more on 5 on 5 scoring or else we’ll get burned. We stole 2 points from Toronto last night and I feel we can play much more better than what we’ve seen so far. I like what I see in how our team is heading in the future. My Xmas present for the Habs? A winter of not catching the flu and all players being healthy from injuries.

    “We will win the Cup only with Carey Price in the nets”

  9. Chorske says:

    Higgins is hilarious: “crazy old man”.

  10. 24 Cups says:

    What a contrast to this time last year when Samsonov started to gripe, grouch, and grumble just like the Grinch.

  11. Plek-Andrew says:

    Guys I think Chris Higgins is high in this clip lol

  12. Blitzen says:

    I’ve decided to be on the glass-half-full side of the fence from now on. There are some issues with our offense but we are still 4th in the conference and not far from Ottawa. Bottom line is that they are finding ways to win and that’s the name of the game.

    Go Habs GO!

  13. Bouleau noir says:

    Our 5-on-5 last year was indeed a dysfonctional entity and did indeed burried any chances for our team to get ahead.

    This year is a different story,… our 5-on-5 is still as low a scoring entity but it is no longuer keeping us down in the standing.

    How so ?

    Two reasons :

    1) Our 5-on-5 this year is more disciplined and is no longuer giving our opponents the numerous PP opportunities that they were given them all of last season.

    2) Our 5-on-5 style of play is generating a much higher number of PP opportunities for our efficient PP machine this year than they it was the case last season.

    The difference this year is not our PP efficiency but it is the number of time we get to use it in a game.

    Thanks to our “improved” 5-on-5 we now have one of the best Penalty Minutes Differential in the league (3th best).

    Our game at evenstrenght remains very low scoring yet it is no longuer dysfonctional with our winning strategies and this is the reason as to why our team is doing better today than last season at year end.

    Our stats today wouldn’t have been possible withought it.

    CH is 6th highest overall in mumber of goals average per game.
    CH is 6th with best overall goal differential.
    CH is 3th overall in penalty minutes differential.
    CH is 6th overall in the standing.

  14. TradeRyder says:

    Interesting analysis!

    So while our 5-on-5 isn’t better on the score sheet, it IS actually better, faster, and more disciplined, drawing more penalties and making it a functional contributor VIA it’s creation of Power Plays.

    I’m convinced! Which is why we NEED a marquee goal-scorer to push us into solid contention… benefiting us TWO ways: more 5-on-5 goals and even more opposing penalties.


  15. Bouleau noir says:

    You are right, the addition of a single marquee goal-scorer would bring more than just increased breathing room to our team…. this sole addition would bring our team to the next step….. taking and extra step is all this team needs to do some real damage.

    Gainey knew it and our occasion to get one of the better one from the Free Agency market was lost when Briere refused his invitation to join our Club.

    But getting a marquee offensive player the like of Briere from… TRADE…. THIS year… is absolutelly impossible…… no team would ever want to dispense themselves from their best players….. and beleive me we are not in a position of trade for that kind of quality player.

    I think the CH has to endure the tought ride alone,…. but the CH will have the trading material required to bid for a rental quality type player when the deadline comes if it want to.

  16. TradeRyder says:

    I agree we don’t have a ton to trade away (no team does) unless someone on our team WANTS to leave… such as Koivu.

  17. Bouleau noir says:

    A dramatique improvement would be at hand if we could snatch a marquee scorer via the UFA market and introduce him into our present roster,…. but if we had to substract any of our best players in order to get one than the team’s improvement factor would be minor at best.

    Had we not lost Beauchemin and Hainsey throught waiver and Perezogin and Emelin to the Russian league our trading status would be different than what it is today,… as I see it now our next improvement will come throught the aguisition of a rental player at the deadline and throught the UFA market next summer.

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