Breezer in, O’Byrne, Laraque out

Guy Carbonneau had a surprise or two up his sleeve today, announcing that heavyweight Georges Laraque won’t be available to battle with Minnesota’s Derek Boogaard tonight. Laraque and Steve Béin will again be healthy scratches.

The only lineup change will be on defence where Patrice Brisebois replaces Ryan O’Byrne. These guys have been playing musical chairs with a position and O’Byrne is the odd man out after being bench for most of the third period of Tuesday’s game against Carolina. 

Roman Hamrlik, who missed practice Wednesday with a left calf injury has the green light to play tonight.

54 Comments

  1. Sakus Evil Twin says:

    For what it’s worth I’m not convinced that OB is completely healthy… whilst watching DJ put him through his paces on Saturday morning he looked like he wanted to puke…

    A Hab is a Hab is a Hab, you see…

  2. Habsrule1 says:

    And it really should baffle me that people bash Carbo after he was voted as one of the top 3 coaches in the league, but somehow it still does.

    “I can’t hear what Jeremy(Roenick) is saying because my Stanley Cup rings are in my ears” – Patrick Roy

    Go Habs Go!!

    Habsrule

  3. sam says:

    how can he prove himself if he plays, like on tuesday, 8 minutes and 27 seconds a week?
    when does Breezer hit his thousandth game?
    (goddammit — still 44 nerve-crushing games to go.)

    way to build confidence in your youngsters and have them play to their fullest.
    god, i remember when Lats was a healthy scratch every other game (… wait, what?).

    i know it shouldn’t surprise me about Carbonneau anymore but this is still baffling to me.

    also–i hope Laraque is nursing something because there’s no reason to scratch him. let him play. he’s not a goon. he knows how to play hockey. he doesn’t take stupid penalties (cough*Bégin*cough*Breezer).

  4. Habsrule1 says:

    agreed. I’m confident his time will come sooner rather than later.

    “I can’t hear what Jeremy(Roenick) is saying because my Stanley Cup rings are in my ears” – Patrick Roy

    Go Habs Go!!

    Habsrule

  5. showey47 says:

    I don’t know if you can find a stronger partner for obyrne to play with on our roster then hamrlik. Other then spliting up the komo/markov duo which i’m not sure i would be doing

  6. Habsrule1 says:

    Honestly, the best post I have read in a long time.

    I agree with every sentence 100%.

    “I can’t hear what Jeremy(Roenick) is saying because my Stanley Cup rings are in my ears” – Patrick Roy

    Go Habs Go!!

    Habsrule

  7. krob1000 says:

    I understand the confidence angle and while it has some merit it seems inconsistent with your views of LAtendresse and Ryder last year. I wouldn’t call it blind faith as much as an acceptance of reality…..Carbo is the head coach and agree/disagree with the decisions of HE AND HIS STAFF…doesn’t matter. OB has a lot of years to get confidence and while I am a strong advocate of a coach trying to instill confidence I see no evidence that Carbo has not done that given that he is the coach who has given OB his chance over the likes of Valentenko, Weber, Carle, Dandenault, Briser for the most part, etc. Carbo has shown confidence and OB lately appears to have lost focus. When a young player loses focus he sits or worse gets sent down…..he isn’t being sent down. Several regulars have already sat and others will by seasons end and such is life in the NHL. OB has to seize theopportunities he has been given….which are plenty…I hope he does….blaming Carbo for this type of thing also means we should praise him everytime anyone scores a goal or blocks a shot too….especially when it is now our star forwards who also block shots. Carbo has made his players accountable…that is his job….whether or not they respond is out of his control. I would be willing to bet that OB would be the first to admit he has to step it up….maybe a little time to reflect is the best thing for him. There is a lot of season left and ultimately the position is there for him to take….otherwise he would be on the farm…..it is also his to lose.

  8. Habsrule1 says:

    I’m a huge Breezer defender, but I do think OB needs more playing time. I hope this is an exception and OB will be playing more often than not. Put him with a strong partner, and let him gain experience and confidence.

    As for Laraque, I thought we got him to play against most or all teams that have a tough guy or massive physical presence.
    I also think the Carbo bashers are off their rockers…Jack Adams nominee is obviously not enough for people who know nothing about hockey and coaching.

    “I can’t hear what Jeremy(Roenick) is saying because my Stanley Cup rings are in my ears” – Patrick Roy

    Go Habs Go!!

    Habsrule

  9. nightmare_49 says:

    Why we fight in the NHL : Dropping the Gloves .. by Adam Burish (6’1″-189 pounds 241 mins in penalties) an excerpt .. Most guys don’t want to fight every night so they won’t take those cheap shots. It’s really like a big playground in middle school. Once you let the bully whose playing pick on one kid, he’s going to run around and keep picking on other kids until somebody stands up to him. Well, at our playground at the United Center, we don’t let bullies play very long. These situations are normally the ones where guys are pretty angry and you won’t get that friendly conversation like you saw in the first part ….. and the rest of the story ….. http://blogs.suntimes.com/blackhawks/2008/10/why_we_fight_in_the_nhl_part_i.html

  10. DMAN says:

    We have 7 Defensemen right now.
    5 of the 7 already have secured their spot.
    2 have not.

    They will rotate in and out until:
    1. Montreal Gets another top 4 Dman
    or
    2.Either O’byrne or Breezer secures their spot by their play!
    End of story!
    ——————-
    Individual records are nice to get, but before the season starts, you want to play to win the Stanley Cup! ~ Guy Lafleur

  11. Chorske says:

    I think he is under strict orders to avoid instigator penalties. It explains why no one will dance with him. Still, wouldn’t mind seeing a little more meanness from him.

    Could be he’s finding himself in the same sitch as Tanguay last year: playing under a system / coach that doesn’t fit his style?

  12. B says:

    He played his first game yesterday (got a goal and an assist). He had been out since training camp with a concussion.

  13. Chorske says:

    Breezer has the better shot.

  14. RetroMikey says:

    Timo,
    Face reality my friend. I’ve said it all along.
    O’Byrne is a work in progress.
    Jumping from Junior B to the AHL and quickly to the NHL is not an easy task.
    I’ve watched Ryan play many times in Hamilton. He has to prove to himself whether he is an NHL calibre player or an AHL player.
    Played great with the Dawgs during their Calder Cup run in 2007 but could he step it up the next level?
    He’s got to use his size more, sometimes when I see him play he seems very nervous on the blue line.
    You’ve got to give Brisebois credit where it’s due. He’s earned a spot if Carbo says so.

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

  15. nightmare_49 says:

    New York Time’s Morning Skate : Is your Headache from a Head Shot .. by Stu Hackel ….. http://slapshot.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/30/the-morning-skate-head-shots-giving-the-nhl-a-headache/#more-1002 ……………………………………………… Spector – Alfie Re-Signs with Sens ….. http://community.foxsports.com/blogs/Spector …………………………………………… The Thrashers Lose Zach Bogosian Indefinitely with Broken Fibula .. BlueLand Blog ….. http://thrashers.portspaces.com/blueland

  16. krob1000 says:

    What would you or someone else whithout “mush for brains” do different? If OB for Briser makes or breaks us than we are in a lot of trouble.

  17. Iceberg84 says:

    I’m surprised at the O’Byrne benching, but not so much the Laraque benching. I remember Carbonneau saying when they signed him that he doesn’t like having players on his roster purely to fight or intimidate. Maybe this is a statement about not wanting to encourage violence in hockey, which is something I think most people can get behind. Granted that won’t stop a goon like Boogaard…however I digress.

  18. Rugger says:

    We are defending East champs and 6-1-1 with “mush for Brains”. Imigine how far we would be up this year with a real coach, maybe 1-3 points more than we have now!

  19. krob1000 says:

    This friendship thing is crap and you guys all know it. Briser is as good as Obyrne right now. What Briser lacks in size relative to OB he more than compensates for with his passing and offensive ability (again comparing the two). OB is young and OB is old…so what…..who will help the team win tonight? That is the only questiont hat Carbo and his staff ask every day….do you think the other coaching staff care that Carbo and Briser were roommates? OB has the chance to grab the bull by he horns and keep Briser in the pressbox…..that can only be done by playing at the top of his game.

  20. habs haven says:

    maybe other teams shyed away from Laraque, is because he’s injured. I mean if the guy is only going to play say 30 games, what’s the point of getting him? Seems like like we’ll continue to be a soft team, especially with”don’t hit me” Breezer. Didn’t Gainey want us to be a tougher team to play against? Playing softies like Breezer instead of heavyweights like O’Byrne, Laraque and Begin is absolutely idiotic! Carbo has mush for brains!

  21. j2c says:

    Don’t know if it is reliable or not, because I can’t really read french….but apparently Boogard is out as well.

    http://blogues.cyberpresse.ca/gagnon/?p=70313687

  22. krob1000 says:

    I dunno bout that…..He went down first and then got rigth back up…I think it is the injury thing…..all the heavyweigths inthe elague agree that he is the champ….a champion amongst peers is a true cahampion. I think he is just hurt and out of shape and until he can be dressed and play at his optimum level he will not be in the lineup. I do think Georges needs to start being less classy and remember what his role is …he is not here for redemption he is here for prevention. He must be the one initiating the physical stuff and should not only be willing to go with willing combatants as there are very few stupid enough to do that. He needs to goa t the Chara’s, Pronger’s, Jovanovski’s, etc….the big guys who are also good players who he can take out of the game and maybe punish too.

  23. habs haven says:

    O’Byrne is a young player. The only way he’s going to get better, is by playing. sitting him on the bench, or scratching him won’t help his development. You learn by playing. right guys? Even if he makes a few mistakes, that’s how he will learn. Playing a washed up defenceman who was supposed to play sparingly, makes no sense. If it weren’t for Carbo’s friendship with the Breezer, O’Byrne would be playing. This really bothers me. There’s just no room in this league for favoritism!

  24. MikeMcLaren says:

    How has Weber been looking on the farm, by the way?

    /\\ike
    GO HABS GO!

  25. MikeMcLaren says:

    [double post, nothing to see here, move along]

    /\\ike
    GO HABS GO!

  26. joe the pro says:

    all the hype is gone about laroque, he came as damaged goods and will be all year. the first fight of the season he was the first to go down. i don’t see other teams scared of us, example ducks and phoneix

  27. B says:

    Correction, I got him mixed up with Mathieu Carle who just came back from the concussion. Weber has played all 8 games for Hamilton this season.

  28. RetroMikey says:

    I totally agree krob1000.
    I shall also say that O’Byrne beleived he made top 6 D even before training camp started. Overconfident kid? Yes.
    Welcome to Carbo’s team, work hard and you’ll be rewarded.
    That is why Brisebois is playing.
    “We will win the Cup only with Carey Price in the nets”

  29. Willy the bum says:

    I think Laraque should play in games against teams sans an enforcer…

    besides, he’s in the hockey league to play hockey in the first place, right?!

    If he likes to fight, he should have been a boxer then…

    ———-
    “We all wore the same costume as Maurice Richard did; the red-white-and-blue costume of the Montréal Canadiens, the best hockey team in the world.” - Roch Carrier

    National Hockey League’s Rules and Regulations – Rule #713; section 1.2:
    If Montreal Canadiens’ Alex Tanguay scores on the opposition goaltender during a penalty shot/shootout, the opposition goaltender is now a player who has been TANGUAY’D.

  30. LTHF says:

    It will be interesting to see how many give aways Brisbois will be responsible for tonight, last game he played it appeared that he thought it was xmas and playing Santa.

  31. Gormdog says:

    I think he’s playing Breezer for the obvious reason that he thinks Breeze will be more effective tonight than OB…

    These conspiracy theories are downright suprising when they are spoken by otherwise knowledgable Habs fans…

  32. krob1000 says:

    I might be getting you mixerd up with someone else but I thought you were one of the anti Lats and Ryder crew…my apologies if I was wrong about that. Ob and Briser are a wash right now as far as I am concerned…..that shouldn’t mean OB gets his spot by default …he too needs to be held accountable. Briser is there for exactly these situations ….I honestly would have predicted ti would be Gorges before OB but they seem to be moving in opposite directions. The season is young and I believe OB will bounce back but right now he needs this wake up call. The Carbo buddy thing is not a factor…….if anything Briser would be playing more on several other clubs and probably making more money. He is doing what is asked of him….I respect that. Thus far I would say BRiser has played one rough game….a very rough one….OB has yet to play one good one IMO. He has the talent and I believe his problems are either injury based or a complete lack of focus. It is his decision making and lack of intensity I would figure that have been questionable….that is the stuff that will drive a coach mad. A guy like Pleks who is plugging and not getting results but is still making smart plays and creating chances while working hard….gets a pass on results. OB will be back and I just wish people wouldn’t get upset every time Brisebois dresses as he has done nothing to deserve the harping he gets. Usually on days like this where he gets lambasted on this site he scores a goal…….here’s to hoping.

  33. Gormdog says:

    Begin is a heavyweight?!?

    I don’t really care how securely he holds down that penaly box bench with all that weight… Playing a Lemaire team that is clicking means NO MISTAKES, which, in turn, means no Begin.

    I don’t think Carbo is changing his entire gameplan/lineup because of a guy named Boogaard..

  34. Gormdog says:

    Hey Timo, see us dukeing it out in the HI/O section of the Gazette?

    Without context (posts like these) I come off looking like a douchebag pouncing on your Carbo hating…

    Timo, this year is not nearly as much about develpoment as it is for making a run at the cup… If Carbo thinks Brisebois will play better than O’Byrne (who is having a tough year), he’s the coach and i bet he knows what’s best for the team. If you have a problem with Brisebois, take it up with Gainey, because i really don’t see who Carbo is supposed to play right now with OB playing Bulldogs hockey…

  35. Habsrule1 says:

    I wish there was an “ignore user” button for your posts. The truth is they are like a car accident…no matter how bad, you just can’t look away!

    “I can’t hear what Jeremy(Roenick) is saying because my Stanley Cup rings are in my ears” – Patrick Roy

    Go Habs Go!!

    Habsrule

  36. von says:

    I truly hope Carbo is not playing Breezer so much just so he can hit personal milestones…

    _________________________________
    “Obviously it would be great, but they don’t really hang conference titles in this rink. They raise Stanley Cup banners.” – Carey Price

  37. Mike from Ktown says:

    I always love the habs fans who jump to conclusions about everything. We all love our team way too much.

    First off, I’m sick and tired hearing about how the only reason Breezer is playing is cause he is pals with Carbo. This is a business and Breezer has played himself into a position to where he can benefit the team right now from night to night. I was a huge hater of Breeze by coming back but he has impressed me. Even though he doesn’t go in the corners he usually doesn’t hurt the team too much any more, and is an asset on the PP.

    Now is he better than OB or part of our future, probably not for long. I am a huge fan of OB and always have been since he has came up. However he has played himself into he roll of being on the bubble this year. His play has been sub par, and I have seen him get burnt on many occasions when he attempts to go for the big hit. I love that when he is in the line up he is paired with Hammer who can teach him how to use his body and learn lots from him. However we don’t know the full story. Could he possibly have the flu, some nagging injury, or is it the case of Carbo flipping back and forth until one of the boys really steps out and shines. There is much more as to who gets dressed than simply watching the games on TV.

    As for BGL, he is still out of shape right now. Sucks that his groin went so early in the year, hopefully he is healed up and working hard to get those legs going again. I’m sure we’ll be seeing great doses of him down the stretch. In addition that whole fourth line rotation is great to have and needs to be kept fresh so they can step in when one of the big boys goes down. I see them being flipped through regularly this year.

  38. Habsrule1 says:

    Nobody is, but I’m glad he’s at the helm, but we’re all entitled to our opinions.

    “I can’t hear what Jeremy(Roenick) is saying because my Stanley Cup rings are in my ears” – Patrick Roy

    Go Habs Go!!

    Habsrule

  39. sam says:

    well, he’s still not beyond reproach.

  40. Chorske says:

    That outlet pass… that occasionally gives us all heart attacks. That’s what we get for having a dman who races cars for fun: a guy who isn’t afraid of taking risks.

    I don’t see this as a bad call at all, though. I just wish something concrete was being done to help O’Byrnes confidence.

  41. krob1000 says:

    I give it about five minutes before this thread turns ugly…….

  42. SlovakHab says:

    :) heh, that’s right man

  43. SlovakHab says:

    I am disappointed with Breezer in and O’B and Laraque out.

  44. HabLion says:

    So, which is the lesser of two evils…Breezer or O’Byrne the way he played against the ‘Canes? Six of one, half dozen of the other I guess.

    Too bad about Laraque. I was looking forward to that heavyweight matchup!

  45. krob1000 says:

    I’m indifferent on the Briser/Ob thing but I am disappointed about Laraques….I too was looking forward to that one. I think he is still hurt and/or Carbo doesn’t think his fitness is up to snuff after the injury.

  46. Oleg Petrov says:

    I agree that BGL probably needs to work on his fitness. For O’B, I would have hoped he would play to help his confidence. I hope he doesn’t become a yo-yo and jerked in and out of the lineup but rather is allowed to learn from his mistakes and not looking over his shoulder.

    Something is wrong there for sure, hopefully it gets straightened out – he could be a good one.

  47. Chorske says:

    Interesting move, sitting Laraque. Probably not such a bad idea against a disciplined, trap-playing team. Save him for the likes of the Flyers.

    The Breezer move is 6 of one, half a dozen of the other, although I do think it’s a bit early to be sitting a kid who has confidence problems- those problems aint going away while he’s sitting in the press box. I’d rather send him down to Hamilton for a reboot. That approach has worked in the past.

  48. Rugger says:

    Breezer has the better outlet pass so as you say against a trap-playing team that would be more of an asset then O’Byrne’s size.

  49. Corio says:

    I am indifferent about Breezer/O’Byrne. O’Byrne hasn’t been playing very well and well Breezer is Breezer..

    “He knows, like, unnecessary facts about putting Sears catalogs on your shin pads.” Sean Avery on Don Cherry

  50. TripleX says:

    WTF? It seems that Carbo needs a yearly bum boy! Last season it was Ryder and this season it is O’Byrne. Granted the guy has not played the best hockey so far, but has Breezer fairly won his playing spot? With O’Byrne there is an upside because of his youth, and Carbo should try to enhance his confidence. With Breezer there can only be a downside, he is terrible and can only get worse. If you bench a young player every time he has a poor game you have a potential to ruin him. Either play him or send him down. Why does Carbo insist on icing a SOFT lineup against western division teams? Can anyone explain this ODD strategy? It did not seem to work against the Ducks.

  51. Corio says:

    Did you watch that game against the ducks? We outshot them 2 to 1. If we played a tad better defensively and if Giguere wasn’t standing on his head all night we would of creamed them..

    But w/e be bitter.

    “He knows, like, unnecessary facts about putting Sears catalogs on your shin pads.” Sean Avery on Don Cherry

  52. DMAN says:

    I said before that I don’t believe Laraque is 100% and Montreal would rather have him in the late season and playoffs as opposed to the early season.

    They are definitely saving him from a long term injury.

    ——————-
    Individual records are nice to get, but before the season starts, you want to play to win the Stanley Cup! ~ Guy Lafleur

  53. petemoss says:

    Also, I could be wrong, but i don’t think Boogaard is playing tonight.
    So why would we need BGL. Save him for when he is needed so he stays 100%.

  54. joe the pro says:

    i never liked breezeby, but he is a veteren and remember he was on of the few who excelled in the playoffs last year. keep him and play him sparingly.


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