Brisebois will miss game vs. Isles

The Gazette’s Pat Hickey reports from Long Island that defenceman Patrice Brisebois will not play against the new York Islanders. He took a puck off the inside of his left foot on Saturday and will have X-rays tonight.

Mark Streit will take his place on the blue line and Tom Kostopoulos will be back in the lineup on the fourth line.



  1. Chris says:

    I’m sorry that you took my reply as belittling and/or demeaning, as that was not my intention. I disagreed with your premise that only wins and losses matter and that the Habs record with and without Brisebois in the lineup is proof that they are better without him, and I hope that came across in my post. Hockey is a team game, and using one-sided statistics to lay blame for losses on one player is extraordinarily biased in my opinion. You may or may not have intended for this to be the interpretation, but many have certainly run with it in the past couple of days.

    I want to point out that I did NOT refer to people who disagree with me as jaded and looking for a whipping boy, and I’m sorry that you interpreted my message that way. I understand that many reasonable people disagree with my view on Brisebois, and have for his entire career. I can even understand some of their concerns. But there ARE people who were revelling in Brisebois being out of the lineup due to injury, who revelled in turning on Brisebois, Samsonov and Thibault. Fans are distressed when players on their team struggle. But some people enjoy it when players on their team struggle so they have something to rail against. It is THESE people that I referred to as jaded and looking for a whipping boy. Most posters here are fans, but we do have our fair share of the other type too.

  2. ebk says:

    It is nice that you have such a high opinion of Brisebois. A few people on this site, whose opinion I value, also do. I think they and you are wrong but that is what sites like this are for.

    I also know their are people on this site whose opinion I value who think Brisebois is at best the 7th or 8th defenceman on the team. If you count Dandenualt, he could even be the 9th. You can spin the team’s record anyway you want, it really doesn’t matter. Before I knew there was such a difference in the teams record, I still thought the team had many other defenseman who were better than Brisebois. Still do.

    To refer to the people who disagree with you as jaded and only looking for a whipping boy is unsettling to me. Reasonable people can disagree, there is no need to use terms that belittle and demean them. At last from my view point.

  3. Chris says:

    I’m going to import this from the more recent thread, as a bit of a rebuttal to the stats you compiled about the Habs record when Brisebois is in and out of the record. You were right that the Habs record is far better without Brisebois in the lineup, but you overlooked some aspects of that statistical record to emphasize Brisebois’ negative effect. Brisebois has played 15 of the 20 home games, where the Habs have struggled mightily, but only 14 of the 25 road games where the Habs have been very good. I’m not sure that the Habs home troubles can be laid at Brisebois’ feet…young teams often struggle at home, where they get away from the system that makes them so successful on the road. Thus a fair analysis of his impact should point out that Brisebois suffers from the fact that he plays more games on home ice where the Habs wilt a bit under the pressure of the home fans.

    Furthermore, you could make a case that Brisebois has faced stiffer opposition: the opponents’ cumulative record is 358-299-71 (49.2% winning rate) in games that Brisebois has played, but only 213-197-46 (46.7% winning rate) in games that he has not played.

    But what really stood out when I looked through the game log was who the Habs lost to in the games that we are using to emphasize Brisebois’ negative impact on the Habs. The losses that Brisebois played in were against Carolina (twice), Ottawa (three), Detroit, Buffalo (three), New Jersey, Toronto and New York Rangers. The only ones that stand out as an aberration is the Buffalo and Carolina losses, but Carolina ALWAYS gives us fits (we were 1-7 versus the Hurricanes previous 2 seasons) and Buffalo is a dangerous team for us because they are also a great skating team, nullifying one of our advantages. Besides, sometimes weird teams just get your number…ask the Sens, who are 0-4 vs. the Capitals this year, 29-8-4 vs. the rest of the league. 🙂

    I suspect that if you look through the jaded eyes of a fan for whom Brisebois is a great whipping boy, then you will find what you are looking for in statistics. If you choose instead to believe that NHL teams win and lose as a team, then I think you can see that you have to take statistical records with a grain of salt. I won’t disagree with people who feel Brisebois’ role is too much on the team…this is probably true. But I will disagree passionately with those that think that the Habs are a better team without him in the line-up. At THIS point in their careers, Brisebois is as good or better than Gorges and/or O’Byrne, from what I have seen. He is a stop-gap solution to our lack of a true 4th defenceman, and has filled that role admirably while giving our crop of young defencemen a chance to mature and ultimately fill that role from next season onwards. The fact that he also fills some fans’ need for a whipping boy, thereby saving Gorges, O’Byrne and other young players from that role, is all the more reason for me to consider him a valuable member of the team. The fact that he does it with as much class and dignity as he does is all the more reason for me to admire him as a person, because it is far more than some of his more jaded critics deserve.

  4. LTHF says:

    Can someone tell what Carbo is trying to do to Ryder. He played 3 shifts prior to forcing the islanders to take a penalty on him at 7:15, he got 2 short shift after that for total of 3:29 for the period. Guess he got penalized for forcing the islanders to take penalty on him!

  5. ebk says:

    Patrice was unfairly singled out in his first tour of duty with the Habs, one he was forced to play #1 minutes when he clearly was not that type of defenceman. He was just the best defenseman on the team. Not his fault the team sucked that bad. He was a good NHL player a few years back.

    Clearly now though, it is a different situation. He is arguably the 7th or 8th best defenseman on this team. The team clearly plays better when he is not in the line up, for whatever reason. His overall game is suspect at best. His giveaways are only a small part of the problem. He is way to soft for an NHL defenseman and his strengths do not come close to covering up his weaknesses.

    The only stat that matters is wins and losses and the team has a much better record when he sits, then when he plays. If that makes me a crow to point that out and to say I think the team is better off when he sits, so be it. If you feel the need to take shots at me or anyone else who does, it is a free country. I’ve never been one to feel the need to insult and belittle people that disagree with me, if some people do, well more power to them.

    Thanks for reading

  6. Higgins21 says:

    The best news I’ve heard all day.

  7. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    The headline of this thread was music to my ears….

    He’s not playing tonight…not a big deal, he has his name on the Stanley CUP and has played more games for the Habs than anyone else….GET OVER IT BREEZE…go sit and were good when you needed to be, now just help with the YOUTH MOVEMENT…if you really love your habs.

    1. Kovalev, about being passed over for the All Star team said, “The Canadiens are my all star team.”
    2. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans.
    3. Your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”.

  8. Blitzen says:

    Which isn’t saying much really.

  9. idle says:

    Cool. I would almost be willing to pay that to do it myself : )

    If only I had the money. Maybe I could start up a collection?

  10. idle says:

    If most players in the NHL were like Brisebois, getting booed every time the touched the puck, they would probably want to go to Paris too. They might want to go to Iran. They might want to go to Seria. They might want to go anywhere they could to get away from Montreal.

    Regardless, I think we are getting closer to the truth now. It’s not so much that Breezer is on the team, it’s just that you guys are seeing a bit too much of him? That’s at least more fair then hoping he gets injured.

  11. Bill H says:

    Yes, some help, both forward and defense, would benefit the team. I’m not sure what is up with Fischer. He does not seem to be a scorer. He has good size at 6’3 and if he fills out a bit, he could bring a good physical presence. But he is still only 19, while McDonaugh is only 18. To compare to another NCAA defenceman, Komisarek, he broke with the Habs after 2 years in NCAA and almost a full year with Hamilton. He was 20 when he was first called up, and it seems like our D was a lot thinner back then.

    Valentenko is another possibility. He is spending the year adjusting to N. American play in Hamilton. Seems he is a bit of a bruiser too. It appears to be a bright future, but I don’t see any of those guys jumping into a top 4 role next year.

    I hope Gorges continues to improve and O’Byrne keeps getting better. If they do, that will help our defense next year more than anyone else in the system.

  12. Maffu says:

    It will be easier with Breezer helping from the box.

  13. Bill H says:

    No, you are not over reacting idle. I think you ask some legitimate questions in an attempt to debunk the myth. I suspect that some posters on this board have sad, miserable lives and they like to boost their ego by putting players and coaches down. They are the ones who over react, not you.

  14. T-roy West says:

    76 comments about someone that won’t be in the lineup because of an injury and the majority are glad. Speak’s volumes Carbo!

  15. MatttheHabsFan says:

    Ideally, I hope O’Bryne can step into the #4 role 5-on-5, Streit can be used as one of 4 D on the PP, and Bouillon seems to partner up fairly well with Hammer on the PK. It’s not an ideal situation, but I think for this year it will have to do. Ideally, maybe we’ll see O’Bryne grow into that 4th D spot next year, or maybe even Fischer/McDonaugh…All that being said, I really hope we won’t be needing Brisebois in the lineup next year at all

  16. MatttheHabsFan says:

    Exactly. Brisebois has enough experience that he should be able to handle being taken out of the lineup and re-inserted when needed. If you include Streit, and when O’Bryne comes back, I wouldn’t even consider him to be our 7th best defenseman. I’m not happy he’s injured, but if Carbo insists on using him as our 4th D, then I’m glad that option is no longer there for him.

  17. Bill H says:

    Thanks Moey. I think the crow metaphor is accurate. Some people just love to hate. I’d like to see O’Byrne and Gorges get some more ice time too. But I don’t see the point in all this bad mouthing of Brisbois. I wish the man well.

  18. 24 Cups says:

    Well said MHF and you brought up what I consider to be a very important point concerning where our team is right now. Brisebois isn’t a 4th defenseman, but neither is Boullion, Gorges, or Streit (who can’t be because he’s playing forward half the time). O’Byrne may become a 4th defenseman but it sure won’t be this year. Until that hole is filled we will keep asking some of our defensemen to do more than they’re able to.

    The Original 24 Cups

  19. CHsam says:

    Kevin Komisarek LOL

  20. coutNY says:

    And that’s a wrap folks…

  21. Bill H says:

    BINGO! Good post.

  22. Bill H says:

    Thanks idle. I agree with what you say. Its like folklore and it just grows and grows. Good luck with the stats.

  23. Sulemaan says:

    When Brisebois was here in his previous tour of duty, he was extremely well paid yet played soft. He didn’t stand up for team mates smaller than him and was a perimeter player. He took off for Paris during the middle of off-season at one point and made way too many mental mistakes hurting the team.

    It’s okay to make a couple but when you are clearing over $3.5M per season fans tend to have less patience with that. And who can blame them?

    Indeed, Brisebois is good at providing an outlet pass and has experience on a Stanley Cup winning team. He did score a power-play goal the other night but he frightens a lot of fans when he plays the point. It may be harsh but when some see him on the ice, the first reaction is ‘I hope we don’t give up a short-handed goal.’ That may be harsh but there is an element of truth there based on past experience.

    In spite of all this, I don’t think Gainey made a mistake signing him. To have a veteran back-up at $700k per year as your 6th or 7th defenseman is fine. No one knew that O’Byrne would end up playing, Georges would become an capable defenceman or that Komisarek would become a monster.

    But I don’t think Brisebois should play before the youth. When O’Byrne gets back from injury, Brisebois should sit and wait in the press box. We use him as insurance. Nothing more. And our expectations should corroborate to that accordingly. To view him as anything beyond a back-up defenceman is overly optimistic and unfair to him and the team.

    1993 was fifteen years ago.

  24. Blitzen says:

    I also hope Smokes has a good game tonight. That would give him two good games on the year. Out of 40 or so. For $2M. Maybe he’s shooting for $1M per good game?

  25. idle says:

    I guess I am kind of singling you out on this one Timo. But please explain this theory to me in a way that it seems less ignorant. You are wishing that people get hurt or have ill fortune so that you can…what?… enjoy watching TV more?… Have a better chance of going to work the next day and bragging about how few mistakes your favorite hockey team made? Feel like you know more then the management of the NHL teams who played those players last season as well as the ones who are playing them now?

    I guess I am over reacting here but I just don’t get it.

    You also have said multiple times now that Brisebois is the coach’s pet or Gaineys friend. What do you have to support that theory?

    As for me, I am a Habs fan, which means that I hope the Habs (all of them) do well. I hope that Smolinsky has a great game. I hope that other players have an even better game. I hope that we get 12 new players tomorrow that are even better then 12 of our current players. But I don’t wish ill or negative things on any of our players.

  26. WindsorHab-10 says:


  27. WindsorHab-10 says:

    IMO Brisebois has been more effective/productive than Smolinski.

  28. Maffu says:

    We will win tonight.

  29. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Does anyone know who hit Brisebois with the puck? I’d like to send him a fruit basket. Just kidding. GO HABS GO!!!!!!

  30. Sulemaan says:

    Maybe you get singled out because of your ugly picture? 😉

    Sorry Timo but I couldn’t resist. You opened up yourself to that one.

  31. Moey says:

    Exactly Chuck, Carbo said at the very beginning of the season that he was brought on board for the forward pass and veteran presence.

    I think all these young folks have a lot more “senior moments” than we do.

  32. MatttheHabsFan says:

    I don’t hate Brisebois. I just don’t like the role he plays when he’s in the lineup. 18 minutes a game is too much for him. I think Carbo has for the most part done a really good job this year, but he misuses Brisebois when he’s in the lineup. Brisebois is no longer a 4th D, and Carbo needs to realize that.

  33. idle says:

    I’m on board with that. I have no problem with cutting some Brisebois minutes in favor of extending minutes to Gorges or O’Byrne. But any player on the team is going to want to play and if the coach taps Breezer and says your going in do you expect him to say “are you sure these minutes wouldn’t benefit Gorges more then me?”

    Lets put the blame where it belongs then.

  34. 24 Cups says:

    There are 55 posts because our 6th/7th defenseman isn’t dressed tonight. There sure are a lot of people who love hating this guy!!!

    The Original 24 Cups

  35. yukonhab says:

    There is a God, and he is a Habs fan. Can’t believe i’m happy about injuries, however the Breeze is a better man out than he is in. Tom the Bomb will be there to play tonight.

    Habs will win!

    Go Habs Go!

  36. CHsam says:

    That’s a long three weeks to wait =p

  37. Hot_Pie says:

    I’m not one to revel in any player’s injuries, but I can’t deny that I’m relieved Breezer isn’t playing tonight.

    I hate the fact that it has to take certain players being injured for Carbo to bench them. We all know which players I’m talking about, and it’s really unfortunate it has to be that way.

  38. Leclerc1965 says:

    That’s hilarious that you were singled out on this one. The look is perfect, either a perplexed fisherman or pissed off gangster. I’m with you on Breezer though Timo, the stat guy should have fun with this one.

  39. MatttheHabsFan says:

    To be honest I think the biggest problem with having Brisebois on the lineup is Carbo’s tendency to use him way too much. At his age, and with his diminishing defensive skills he should not be playing anything even approaching 20 minutes a game, which he consistently does when he’s in the lineup. He’s averaging almost 18 minutes a game so far this year…more then Bouillon, Gorges or O’Byrne. When signed, I was under the impression he was supposed to provide veteran depth as our 7th defenseman. When healthy he’s playing 4th D minutes. Once O’Bryne is back in the lineup I would rather see him making the odd mistake as Hammer’s partner then seeing Brisebois playing 18 minutes a night. Long-term the Canadiens will benefit a lot more from O’Bryne learning from Hamrlik. Imagine a top 4 D of Markov-Komi, Hammer-O’Hammer

  40. Moey says:

    The breezer was on the last Stanley cup winning team in 1993. How did the Habs win that year, by not giving up no matter what. They had heart and perserverance. Breezer has those qualities too or he would never have come back here, he still wants to contribute, Gainey and Carbo are happy enough with him, so why not.

    Crap, you’d think this was the last season the Habs were ever going to play, put breezer in a few games and all hell breaks loose. The younger guys will have their shots, just give it a rest already.

  41. idle says:

    You can compare salaries too if you like

  42. JF says:

    When the injury happened I heard 4-6 weeks, so I guess about three weeks from now.

  43. The Teacher says:

    Why don’t you blame him? If he can’t take it anymore, shouldn’t he be retiring? 😛

  44. krob1000 says:

    That game where he hadhis mitts off more than they were on and he was laying the body was awesome. He grew up that game but I hope he doesn’t take the getting hurt thing to heart because that is how we need him to play. He doesn’t have to fight all the time but he must show that he can and will if the need should arise. He is about as smooth skating as someone his size can be and he looks like a future gem to me. That game should be a confidence booster and it is really too bad that he got hurt during it. I haven’t heard anything about a timeframe but I am looking forward to him coming back too. I don’t see a real difference between Gorges and Brisebois right now as either can do the job. However, O’Byrne brings a new dimension and one that we need to ease the burden on Hammer and Komisarek.

  45. nightmare_49 says:

    You mentioned Begin at center before and Carbo tried that last year and was not at all impressed at Begin’s missed assignments at center as he was all over the place but the right place. Only in desperation i’d say.

  46. Chuck says:

    Rumour has it after his broken thumb heals. 🙂

    “A banner for Vezina must hang from the rafters!”

  47. Chuck says:

    He wasn’t brought to replace Souray’s blast from the point on the powerplay. Nor was he brought in to be a physical presence. However, I have seen him make a bunch of seeing-eye passes on the powerplay and to break out of the zone that Souray couldn’t have made in a million years. For what he was brought in to do, I believe that he’s lived up to those expectations.

    “A banner for Vezina must hang from the rafters!”

  48. ccs says:

    Any word on when O’byrne will be back in the lineup??? He was really starting to impress me before his injury.

  49. Chuck says:

    True… we only had three players that weren’t in the minus that night. Brisebois was one of them.

    “A banner for Vezina must hang from the rafters!”

  50. Chuck says:

    Er… did you not see Markov’s peewee play against the Rangers? I haven’t seen Brisebois blow one (the giveaway and the lack of hustle back) like that all year long!

    “A banner for Vezina must hang from the rafters!”

  51. Moey says:

    krob, he’s not physical at all, but then again he had back surgery a year ago so I don’t blame him.

  52. sam says:

    it also feels great to have Tom back in the lineup.

  53. Blitzen says:

    Does a no movement clause prevent you from being put on waivers? Smokes has got to sit and I concur with those who can’t understand how he gets any minutes on PP. Time to think of the playoffs not about respecting the vets for their past performance even when they don’t seem to care anymore. You suck, you sit.

  54. krob1000 says:

    My water shot out my mouth at the no movement clause bit. Hilarious. I just hope he wants to make sure he something in the tank for the playoffs but he should be careful because on this team there may not be a spot for him come spring. Every now and then when he steps it up he is effective but it so infrequent that it is actually hard to watch. How do the other guys feel when they are expected to hsutle and he pulls that floating stuff. I will concede he does seem to read plays well and still gets in lanes and does other subtle things but they are not enough with so many guys chomping at the bit to get in the lineup.

  55. Blitzen says:

    Now we need Smokes to catch the flu.

  56. Geoff F says:

    I think i figured out what the problem with Smolinski is.

    Maybe he’s is taking his no MOVEMENT CLAUSE literally and needs to be reminded of this. I think Carbo needs to talk to him about it and clear things up.

    Even Higgins thinks his role has changed since he was shuffled around down the lineup. It seems there is a lack of communication/understanding and they need to clear these things up. Wouldn’t you agree?

  57. Moey says:


    Go for it. As soon as I saw the thread, I could hear the crows cawing, I was going to say vultures circling, but if breezer was carrion, they would finally flock off, so vultures doesn’t suit. Crows are just annoying and make a lot of noise.

  58. krob1000 says:

    I do agree he is not as physical as he should be at times but on the flipside other guys have cost us goals and chances by being too physical and leaving their positions to make a hit or in some cases miss the hit. Two sides to every coin folks but if you decide it’s heads Breezer- bashers win and Tails Breezer loses I guess you will all be right all of the time. Sounds like a fun and exciting game but I think I’ll pass.

  59. mjames says:

    Concerned about our fourth line tonight . Not so much Kosto but when you factor the Smolinski variable into the equation we could have problems. I feel sorry for Dandy and Kosto. Maybe Carbo utilizes three lines tonight.

    Since it is doubtful we will see Chips for awhile, a possible solution would be to have Begin (when healthy) centering Kosto and Dandy. That could be a tenacious line with life. Smolinski brings no life as he seems to be going through the motions.


  60. krob1000 says:

    You are right that Smolinski ahs been outplayed by virtually everyone that has filled in for him but he can be effective if he skates but it seems to me he has done too much spectating while on the ice. Unfortunately for Chips he too has been outplayed by both Dandenault and Streit. Kostopolous and/or Begin take priority because of their toughness most nights so Chipper is in a dogfight. It also helps that he and Price are on the farm together. No doubt they will both be Habs for many years and given their friendship it was a smart move sending them down together in my opinion.

  61. idle says:

    Well I know it’s not the only complaint about him, but we have to start somewhere 🙂

  62. krob1000 says:

    That one ticked me off too. He actually played Ryder on the 5 on 3 fbefore it and he made a beautiful cross crease pass to Kovy who missed the yawning cage…for that he lost his shot on the next one to Smolinski??? Smolinski does not pose a threat on the PP instead he appears to be content to complete a pass and not even worry about scoring or advancing the threat. Smolinski has purpose and if he returns to form I still think he can help but the power play is no place for him …..let alone a 5 on 3.

  63. krob1000 says:

    More than any other Canadien defenceman Brisebois’ giveaways are inflated because HE is the one who acquires most of his giveaways by attempting long breakout passes. He played a solid game against the Rangers (one of the few who did) and he still gets this because as IDLE mentioned it has become folklore.

  64. sidhu says:

    I agree he shouldn’t be taking up a youngster’s spot, especially Chipper’s. But, Slowinski (copyright Showey) has a no-movement clause in his contract. We’d have to get him to agree to be shipped elsewhere.

  65. Vancouver Hab Fan says:

    If most of the posters on this site can see that Smolinski doesn’t deserve to be playing, what is Carbo thinking to have him on the power play, yet alone 5 on 3s? Montreal played a terrible game on Saturday against the Rangers (I wish I could have that 25 hours of my life back) but Smolinksi played as bad if not worse then the rest of the team. He was brutal in the defensive zone, showed no energy, he does not have a scoring touch at all this year and he hasn’t been great on face offs, so what was he doing on the PP?

    I hope Smolinksi doesn’t finish the year with the Habs, the sooner they cut him the better, then they can bring Chipper back up. Chipper has outplayed Smolinski, by a wide margin in my opinion, and it is ridiculous that the old spent veteran is taking ice time from the young developing solid player with way more upside.

    Go Habs.

  66. sidhu says:

    I agree it’s not just about the giveaways. Brisebois fails to adequately protect the net – he’s too soft on opposing forwards who are looking for rebounds or who are trying to establish themselves/screen our goalie.

    I noticed that he has skated by the net while opposing forwards are showering Huet with ice shavings or are standing by looking for the loose puck. A defenseman should always be in between his goalie and the opposition when there the goalie is covering (or attempting to cover) the puck. He gives cursory attention to the other forwards at best.

    He is also largely ineffective on the power-play. He was brought in (I think) as a power-play specialist to help compensate for Shelly’s departure, but he has been ordinary on the PP.

  67. krob1000 says:

    You are right and I have almost given up on writing it.

  68. J.T. says:

    Oh, it’s not the *number* of giveaways in Breezer’s case. It’s the *type* of giveaways. Sure, Markov may cough up the puck three times in the neutral zone…but then he gets back and attempts to cover up for his mistakes. Breezer might only give it away once, but it’s right in front of his own net and converts into a goal for the opposition.

  69. idle says:

    The Breezer Challenge:

    I have a Challenge for the good folks of HIO and for Timo too. The next game that Brisebois plays I will record and meticulously scrub through to find every single giveaway in the game. My challenge is that Brisebois will have no more giveaways then 75% of the players on the ice. I will even include playing time if someone with better math skills then myself will know what to do with the numbers.

    That is not to say that giveaways are peoples only problem with him. But it does seem to be the main issue and the one that people pound to death. It’s kind of like folklore now. It just grows and grows.

  70. Habs_008 says:

    Poor Brise-bye, can you imagine if he ever reads these posts about him? He would cry more then T.O did about Homo I mean ROMO. I liked him back in the day, I felt bad for him back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s when the fans boooooooed him everytime he touched the puck. They guy does have feelings you know. We should all be ashamed…….that being said, they guy does suck, he should retire! YOU SUCK BRISER, END IT PLEASE! Leave, and never come back as a player, maybe you can coach…look at the game film and say, “see what i just did, NEVER DO THAT!”

  71. showey47 says:

    Bad news for breezer but good news for anyone else who loves the habs. Now only if carbo had the stones to make slowinski a healthy scratch and give halak a chance to play we would be back in the drivers seat to the playoffs.

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