Audio: Slim pickings from morning skate

AUDIO: Jacques Martin | Peter Laviolette | Michael Cammalleri | Hal Gill

Sergei Kostitsyn skates away from head coach Jacques Martin after a brief on-ice meeting this morning. A picture says a thousand words.
Pierre Obendrauf, Gazette

Precious little to report from today’s morning skates, leading us to give thanks to the Boston Bruins; had the Habs met the Bruins in the Eastern final, today would have been another day off before Game 2.

The news from the Wachovia Center: Jacques Martin says he’ll announce any lineup changes after tonight’s warmup. And that would be a first, right?

But don’t look for Ryan O’Byrne in the lineup, since he was skating long and hard after the main group had left the rink. Sergei Kostitsyn? A tête-à-tête with Martin, but he didn’t look happy skating away.

For the Flyers, Jeff Carter didn’t skate with his team, but Ian Laperrière did. No immediate word on the availability of either, head coach Peter Laviolette reminding one and all that it’s GM Paul Holmgren who talks about injuries.


  1. boris420 says:

    If the habs weren’t in the playoffs the season would have been much shorter. And hockey is a fun sport played on ice…oh and your an idiot.

  2. boris420 says:

    Blaming our insuccess on one guy like Obyrne is idiotic.

  3. BJ says:

    I disagree. Bertrand Raymond has been a great writer for close to 40 years. I know him personally and he has great contacts and does not pull any punches in his evaluations. If you dislike the French Canadian media switch over to English and see how you like McGuire & CO. 

  4. boris420 says:

    That wouldnt be an insane statement but I think the fact that he stayed later than the other players doing some power skating shows he’s perfectly healthy.

  5. SeriousFan09 says:

    Eagleson is out of the Hall, he was forced out when Orr and others threatened to resign from the Hall of Fame if they didn’t yank him out of it, Eagleson resigned to avoid the publicity of it. Players get ticked when you dip into the PA pension fund and basically rob Orr of every cent he earned playing hockey.

    What ticks me off is Don Cherry will have a giant exhibit there, bigger than some legends of the game when they do put him in there (it will come I’m sure of it) while he espouses one of the most xenophobic opinions about the game ever and going on for years and years that visors are a stupid idea when face protection saves player’s eyesight all around the world.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  6. dh says:

    Right before he got boarded in the last series.

  7. HabFanSince72 says:

    I should have said the O’Byrne obsession is the new Halak-Price obsession.

  8. dh says:

    That would be my guess.  JM is planning on having our guys play smart and let the Flyers screw themselves with penalties.  He’s banking on winning with a strong goalie and special teams.  Wait, where did I hear that before?

    Who knows?  Maybe it will work.  Like you say, having MAB on the PP forces someone to watch him even if his shot is off lately.   I never thought much of JM but look where we are. 

    But why not play MAB on the 4th line and put ROB in at D?

  9. Malreg says:

    So JM gets bashed for NOT playing SK, and now he’s getting bashed for MAYBE playing him.  Nice.

  10. BoomBoom says:

    Wish I had $10 everytime Bertrand Raymond said that MAB saved the Habs’ season this year…I’d be able to stop contributing to my RRSP.

    I don’t understand how Bertrand Raymond is in the Hockey Hall of Fame…the guy’s writing is pathetic, his analysis is awful and he looks and acts like a comlpete d-chebag who’s full of himself. He must be in the Ahole section along with Alan Eagleson and Ron Hextall. A

    Also hate Gaston Therrien and Martin Lemay…two morons who like to hear themselves talk but have nothing intelligent to say.

  11. dionysi says:

    I could not  agree more

  12. Bash says:



    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  13. SeriousFan09 says:

    Lang going down with the tendon injury was the end of hopes of a Kostitsyn-based 2nd line, team couldn’t replace the giant centre that had defined the two brothers enjoying a brief Sedin-like experience for a time, while Lang tied up the opposition. Andrei can’t find the success long enough to build his confidence or he’s being used out of his role. Sergei, he can’t get over his head issues. An unfortunate turn of circumstance, the leadership and experience of Lang was really getting the two going.

    When I saw Lang go down last year, all I could think was “this season is right ******”.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  14. mike g says:

    I once hoped AK and SK could play together and form a nice 2nd line….

    I took a dump in my office bathrrom on February 17th, 2009, and I saw the hope being flushed down the pipes…..

    The 2 brothers are just bums. Tell me what you want about AK, he’s not a champion. Plays one game, takes 20 off.

    He makes Kovalev look like Mr. Consistent….

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

  15. Tis Himself says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather take a tree into a fight in Philadelphia than a freakin’ garden gnome!

  16. mike g says:

    I’m not sure about the O’B thing, it’s very puzzling….

    Maybe JM wants to keep MAB in the lineup because he knows how important special teams are now. And don’t kid yourself, although MAB hasn’t scored on the PP in a while, the other teams are still forced to watch him 1 on 1 at the point. So it opens up sapce for Cammy and Pleks on the half-wall….

    Anyways, I’d still have MAB play the 4th line, and sit Metro. It’s a physical series and his shoulder for sure ain’t anywhere near 100%. Try it out at least with O’B on d, and MAB on the 4th line….

    Bope, I’ve questionned JM all year, playoffs excluded for one simple reason; were in the Conference Finals. Ask any coach how hard it is to get there….

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

  17. SeriousFan09 says:

    As a long-time supporter of the Kostitsyn brothers, even I’ve lost my patience with Sergei to this point, maybe it really is a behind the scenes conflict with JM, but his not travelling with the team, his early practice exits, he doesn’t seem to be taking this playoff run as seriously as permanent scratches like Maxwell even. Muller is the player’s coach and if for the most part, he didn’t want Sergei travelling with the team during the must-win games because I have a feeling if he thought Sergei was good with the team, he would’ve fought for the kid to be on the plane.

    Sergei’s going out this summer, not liked in the room on a team that has built their success on team-first work, no future here, he’ll go off to Atlanta or someplace like that and languish on a non-playoff team, either learning his lessons when he gets to UFA status and embracing his talent and a work ethic or not, and off to the KHL for him.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  18. mike g says:

    I’ll say this in a non-disrespectfull way….

    Tell your gf to take her clothes off. Have some fun for an hour. Eat a nice supper at 4:30. Around 5:00 walk the dog, or go get together with your friends to watch the game. 6:00, start pounding down the Molson’s, and at 7:00 enjoy the game….

    Now that’s an afternoon…..(man I wish I was at home now, lol.)

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

  19. TripleX says:

    What did O’Byrne do that JM would rather play SK over him?  Good job JM…..demoralize O’Byrne AND Pouliot!



    “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.”

  20. mike g says:

    Guys, what’s with all this fuss about SK?

    Yeah he’s got talent, but we’ve seen him go games without even being involved in the play. We’ve seen him give zero effort at times, and pull all kinds of stunts. We know he doesn’t have the greatest work ethic, and I question with a giant question mark if he would dive to block a shot during this important game tonight…

    Wouldn’t we rather just keep Pouliot in and hope he breaks out. At least it looks like he’s trying, and he dishes out a few hits here and there…And do you think the players would respond if SK gets cracked open-ice tonight? I’m not sure, because according to everyone he’s been pretty much hated by most of the team.

    I don’t know, there’s just something about SK that I don’t like.

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

  21. MTLForever says:

    not having OB is idiotic.

  22. habbytown says:

    if O’byrne isn’t playng, then habs deserve to lose and JM should be fired!

    I can’t stand him anyways. his ears remind me of Mr. Spock. what a jackass!

  23. SeriousFan09 says:

    From Twitter:

    yathehabsrule  No O’Byrne in #Habs lineup? So is Martin
    dressing the Zamboni to keep the #Flyers out of Halak’s way?


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  24. says:

    My girlfriend just had an really smart idea: What if o’byrne is injured? it’s the only thing that makes sense.

    That or he stole another purse.

  25. Caballero says:

    I think you have to put Obyrne in there. The only reason I can think of besides his tendency to get penalties is that he was knocked out last time we played Philly. Maybe JM wants to send the message that we don’t want to go toe to toe in terms of toughness. In any case, the only way we are going to score is to get some circulation in front of the net. Here is where you need that tough player and I am not sure we have that player. We shall see!

  26. ab-hab-nut says:

    Or better yet,,,the guys on Antichambre might be paying JM to play MAB, they are all GAGA over him!!

  27. Geoff F says:

    Anyone else think that maybe they could use O’Byrne to park in front of Leighton’s net A la Dustin Byfuglien?  I realize he probably has cement hands but 6’5″ is bound to be a nuisance to Leighton and Pronger.  I’m sure he can help out Travis Moen in the crash bang department.  even if it’s not full time they could shift him up from time to time to create some Havoc.  i don’t know….i’m just thinking…

  28. Storm Man says:

    The only thing I can think of is MAB is part of JMs family tree.

  29. MarkBark says:

    awesome video indeed

  30. SeriousFan09 says:

    JM has a few faults like most head coaches, but I think his worst has got to be how he treats his young players, mistakes are unforgiveable and result in benching while veterans continously commit errors but get to make up for them later, rookies never get a chance. OB’s had his messed with so much in the last 20 games the team has played it’s gotta suck to be him, watching Hamrlik nearly throw away the entire 4-0 lead for Montreal while he has to sit there and watch it from the press box.

    Can’t just bench a kid over every mistake and expect him to be okay.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  31. Storm Man says:

    It was obvious you were under alot of stress over this matter. Im glad I made you Laugh so you can get on with the rest of your day.

  32. kempie says:

    Why is this so easy for all of us to see but JM won’t budge? WTF? Man OB must have done something reeeeeeeaaaaaallllllly bad that we don’t know about. And all the talk about SK74? Like his 1:30 TOI would be the game-breaker. Man this is tough to watch sometimes.

  33. MarkBark says:

    I couldn’t agree more. On top of that Ryan had the most hits on the team at one point, having played even less games that anyone.

  34. Drive_For_25 says:

    I agree…and when’s the last time you saw him get that one-timer off?? 

  35. adamkennelly says:

    I cannot comprehend JMs line ups – nor can I understand his ice/bench management.  Always seems to have the wrong guys out there at the wrong times – like playing our 5th and 6th D when our 4th line is on – makes no sense.  The Flyers are not blessed with speed – so why on earth sit OB and dress MAB who seriously is the worst D man I have ever seen in a Habs line up – makes Breezer look like Ray Bourque in his prime.  MAB can shoot a 1 timer – THATS it..can’t pass, can’t defend and can’t anticipate puck movement either – evidenced by his constant inability to hold the zone on the PP.  I don’t get it.  If he had 6 PP goals – fine – he has exactly 1 more than ME while playing a lot more..

  36. nunacanadien says:

    Thanks for the good laugh, needed that.

  37. Drive_For_25 says:

    If OB doesn’t play tonight I really think we’re throwing away our great chance to do something this year.  Why does MAB even play??  I thought I knew a little something about hockey and I’ve seen absolutely NOTHING out of him these playoffs that say we should be sitting out good players who could help us just to fit this useless player into the lineup.  Whether it’s Darche or OB sitting, both are 100 times the player that MAB is.

  38. SeriousFan09 says:

    Well it does break up the montony of the Gainey running a puppet regime over the last 3 years to ensure Price played every game angle.

    Thing is you can play MAB and O’Byrne in a game, especially with Pouliot having 3 minutes TOI per game, send him to the box and go with the 7th Defencemen, we used it to good effect against Washington after all.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  39. HardHabits says:

    If Habs lose tonight JM is an idiot. If Habs win tonight JM is an idiot.

  40. Storm Man says:

    How does Gainey have anything to do with what is going on with SK? and you know Gainey does not want SK to win, can you tell me what the winning number are going to be for lotto max on Friday?

  41. greggiemchabfan says:

    Sportsnet guys are saying Sergie K. is in any Benoit Poiliot is out. Anyone else hear that?

  42. nunacanadien says:

    Really, SK should be kept away from the rest of the habs, he is poison now.  I know we all said L’Artiste was poison last year, but what do we know, were we in the dressing room?  No.  But this picture kind of illustrates the reality of pro hockey.  You have management and then you have the hired help.  In this case it looks like the hired help is not wanted.  I know Gainey doesn’t want SK to win, so he’s punishing him by destroying his pro hockey career, not that SK is helping out just a bit too much there too.  We may think the Habs are one team, they sure look that way when Halak is in nets, not so much with Price though, and its when Price is on the ice you see the way the Habs don’t play as a team.  With Halak they gel as a team, and its one player like Halak who can unite the team.  But one player can destroy a team as well, look at what Price did two years ago with his hot/cold record and his hissy fits.  But he is young, so is SK.  How can we expect the Habs to win a cup when the coach is at war with his own team?  Gainey was like that, maybe that is why he chose JM, same aloof style.  This is one team where the team says nothing about how great the coach is, they sure complement Halak, but you know a team is a good team when they also complement the coach.

  43. SeriousFan09 says:

     Why does JM continue to sit a 6’5″ Defencemen who can crash and bang with the Flyers in favour of a 5’9″ ‘Defencemen’ whose only redeeming value is his slapshot and the only time he had the opportunity to rip one off before he was pressured off the puck was the 4-on-3 against WSH?

    Pouliot is going to play 2:30 anyway, DRESS O’BYRNE! Gill is still hurting and MAB is a farce on D against a big, physical Flyers forward group.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  44. longtimehabsfan says:

    A story once reported down here on NY sports radio:

    When Bill Parcells was with the Dallas Cowboys he had a high draft choice and interviewed two candidates, both linebackers.  One was Shawne Merriman, the other DeMarcus Ware.  Parcells thought Merriman was more talented but after meeting with him he thought he was a jerk.  So he drafted Ware.  And now look at Ware. 

  45. longtimehabsfan says:

    Ian, I manage 50 plus people in my office and I
    am responsible for all personnel decisions.  You are right on on this
    issue.  What I like to look for first, above all else, are two essential

    1.  A demonstrated hard work ethic; and

    2.  A
    professional, respectful demeanor.

    If you don’t have that then I
    move on to the next candidate.  I don’t care how talented you are.

  46. Fansincebirth says:

    Correct…total team effort which is what has us playing the FLyers right now.

    “Without the strength of the past, the team may face a choice – to win, or to be French-Canadian?” — Ken Dryden

  47. dionysi says:

    To give you an example, in any industrie that you work in theirs always the employee the boss hates, but this employee has lots of talent but always in the dog house, and on the other side their is the employee who the boss loves but this guy cant get the job done.  who do you play?

  48. dionysi says:

    To give you an example, in any industrie that you work in theirs always the employee the boss hates, but this employee has lots of talent but always in the dog house, and on the other side their is the employee who the boss loves but this guy cant get the job done.  who do you play?

  49. sillywalk says:

    Luongo was not the difference in that matchup. So no, he didn’t win it for Canada, Team Canada won it.

  50. Mr.Hazard says:

    LOLL that pic!!!

    It’s really too bad though… SK has so much potential.

    “We didn’t give up and we are not giving up.” – Jaroslav Halak

  51. notbigbird says:

    Not strategy. Use of personnel. There’s a difference.

  52. mbplekfan says:

    Lose with the future. The experience is valuable.

    OB for MAB, SK for Darche…

  53. ed lopaz says:

    Habs hockey = Smart hockey we work as a team, and we win as a team. we play 5 man defence – not just 2.

    ….because Luongo as we all know is NOT Mr. Clutch.

    wasn’t it Luongo who just won a gold medal game for Canada?

  54. longtimehabsfan says:

    Love it!!

  55. TripleX says:

    One could logically debate Halak or Price from a purely hockey standpoint.  Can you really argue playing MAB on D over O’Byrne?

    MAB has ONE goal in the playoffs and is a MINUS 10…..O”Byrne is a PLUS 1.  If JM is justifying playing MAB for his offensive skills that is a tremendous FAIL and even JM can’t say MAB is better defensively than O’Byrne.

    “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.”

  56. Le Jadester says:

    A picture is worth a 1000 words is right. I couldn’t stop laughin’ after seein that pic.  I’m thinkin’ they could have a summer spin off sit com with these two. Man oh man.

    Oh well, lets see what SK 74 does with this opportunity.  I am hoping that it becomes a win/win for every one, but at the same time……..not at the expense of Poulio, cause I like both these guys and think that they are both gonna be valuble for us in the years to come. Point being, I would rather lose with SK, BP and RO’By then lets say Metro, Darche or Hammer for that matter. I think its better for the future IMO. Oh ya and with that said, why oh why is O’By out. I just don’t get it ? There’s more than meets the eye with JM.

    Habs, OLE !

  57. Rudy says:

    It’s not a debate though, because the ONE guy who says don’t put O’B in, won’t explain his rationale.

  58. Bugs says:

    What Halak-Price debate?

    Superfluously redundant, I remain

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Assistant-Director of St-Habbie’s Hospital for the Blind, Head Physician of Neuroflannelogy Unit, and Occupational Therapist in Habsbros Emergency Ward:

  59. G-Man says:

    JM has brought the team to the 3rd round for the 1st time since ’93 and you find fault with his strategy? D’ooooohhhhhh!

  60. mike g says:

    I was the one who was discussing that, and I said 99% of drafting is luck.

    I did exagerate of course, but I’m not that far off. You braught up good points on how the minors work with these players to almost create false immages and impressions of them. But, it still doesn’t matter nearly as much as the luck factor, let me explain…..

    The Islanders traded Roberto Luongo and a bunch of talent at the draft for the #1 pick of Rick DiPietro. Everyone knows how that turned out, but luck was involved. At the time, Luongo had 19 games played under his belt, hardly a sign of a HOF career. Rick was the #1 goalie in the draft, and scouts said he had it all. So the Islanders took him, believing the scouts and in the kid who ripped up the minors. If not for injuries and a crappy team, would DiPietro be considered better than Luongo? Or would the trade be considered respectable if Rick had decent numbers, because Luongo as we all know is NOT Mr. Clutch. Well, we don’t know, but injuries have killed that possibility.

    The Habs for 15+ years have been drafting “big, strong, skilled players”. Has this worked out? Not really, because like I said before they are forced to pick that. When your turn comes up and you have to choose between a 5 foot 10 kid who scored 120 points in the QMJHL, or a 6 foot 3 kid who scored 89 points in the WHL, you choose the best player in your opinion. Well, the Habs and many teams were not faced with that luxury, they had no choice. They needed the bigger guy, because their lineup already had the Recchi’s, Koivu, Petrov, Turgeon, etc……So, when the smaller guy turns out to be a superstar and the bigger player turns out to be a 3rd liner, the criticism begins. The Red Wings have had zero pressure or needs to fill immediately for 20 years. That clearly explains why they draft amazing players, because they simply draft the best player available and NOT the best player available for what they need now.

    You then factor in injuries (that can occur in the NHL, or the minors), the actual head on the players’ shoulder, and a bunch of variables. The most important one though is injuries to the pro-club. If the Habs wouldn’t have been ravaged by injuries this year, would Tom Pyatt have gotten his chance to be one of our best PK guys and energy player? Nope, he would have stayed in Hamilton. And if he wouldn’t have been a throw-in in the Gomez trade, he’d be burried in NYR’s minor league system forever. Yet, now he might have a good carreer as a 3rd line player on our team for years, and people will say the Rangers weren’t able to develop him properly. Well, maybe he develloped late and found a good niche to play in in MTL….

    It all comes down to drafting good players of course, otherwise there would be no point to it. But, luck does have an immense factor in determining a players career.

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

  61. lenny says:

    i say trade O’byrne and keep price

  62. HabFanSince72 says:

    The O’Byrne debate is the new Halak-Price debate.


  63. dionysi says:

    Its obvious that the problem is with JM. He has issues with these players and he just doesnt want them playing. Obyrne is by far a better stronger defence than MAB but Obyrne with his 6’5 frame will be intimidating the flyers from the press box while they use MAB as a pillon. On the same token Darche will get the best view of the ice without actually touching while someone like SK who could make a difference will be drinking Slush Puppies and  while hime and Obyrne play Thumb wars

  64. dionysi says:

    Its obvious that the problem is with JM. He has issues with these players and he just doesnt want them playing. Obyrne is by far a better stronger defence than MAB but Obyrne with his 6’5 frame will be intimidating the flyers from the press box while they use MAB as a pillon. On the same token Darche will get the best view of the ice without actually touching while someone like SK who could make a difference will be drinking Slush Puppies and  while hime and Obyrne play Thumb wars

  65. Ian Cobb says:

    Thanks Sam!

  66. InGy says:

    May the force be with you tonight and for the rest of the playoffs young Cammalleri

  67. Sportfan says:

    So im not sure if you guys have seen this or not but apparantly we have a jedi lol

  68. CHsam says:

    Very nice post. Good thoughts.

  69. CHsam says:

    JM trusts MAB.

    JM is up on and down with OB.

    JM hates SK.

    JM likes a shorten bench.

    This is the plan to win the series.

  70. Ian Cobb says:

    There was some discustion this morning on the other page about the draft being only luck. So I put down some of my thoughts.

    The Draft Is Not Luck—It Is Pure Skill And Art Form



  71. The Big O says:

    Why is it that we can ALL see that playing O’Byrne and using MAB as a 4th liner is a good thing, but somehow the hab’s coaching staff can’t??  I’ve thought that O’Byrne has played well in the games that he’s suited up for, acquitted himself much better than MAB!  If MAB doesn’t shoot and hit the net, he’s not of much use!

    Where’s Gaston Gingras when you need him to ring on off of Ranford’s head and almost knock him out!!

  72. Norm0770 says:

    I can’t think of any egreious errors by O’Byrne in the games he has played this playoff season.  I also can’t see the positive impact of dressing players to skate 1 or 2 shifts per game.  Dress 7 D-men and use Bergeron on the 4th line and PP.

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