Canadiens hold team meeting, brief practice

From The Gazette’s Herb Zurkowsky:

The Canadiens held a team meeting for about 45 minutes Friday before taking the
ice for an abbreviated practice in Brossard. So brief, Montreal players were
already stretching by the time most of the media returned from talking to
Toronto players who were practising on the next sheet of ice at the Bell Sports

Although coach Jacques Martin shuffled his lines extensively during
Thursday’s loss at Carolina, he reunited Benoit Pouliot with Scott Gomez and
Brian Gionta in Friday’s workout. As well, Michael Cammalleri was back in his
familiar spot, playing left wing on a line with Tomas Plekanec and Andrei

Other pairings: Tom Pyatt-Maxim Lapierre-Mathieu Darche; Travis
Moen-Dominic Moore-Ben Maxwell.

That would indicate Sergei Kostitsyn will be
a healthy scratch Saturday night, in the regular-season finale against the Maple
Leafs. But Martin, predictably, wasn’t tipping his hand. Nor would he indicated
whether Ryan O’Byrne would dress. O’Byrne was effectively benched during the
second period after being on the ice for two Hurricanes goals.

Kostitsyn and Pouliot also played sparingly over the final two periods.

chose to use them a little less,” Martin said on Friday. “It was a coach’s
decision to shorten the bench. I’ll decide on my lineup (Saturday).”

While unwilling  to discuss much that transpired before his players hit the ice, Martin
said the meeting served its purpose.

“We talked about our situation,” he
said. “We talked about our last game. We addressed the issues that needed to be
addressed. We have an opportunity to play our biggest game of the season in
front of our fans.”

Toronto coach Ron Wilson, who likes to rotate his
goaltenders, purposely changed the rotation about three weeks ago to ensure
Montreal native Jean-Sébastien Giguère, acquired this season in a trade with
Anaheim, would get a rare opportunity to play at the Bell Centre.

appreciate that. It shows a lot of respect for the player,” Giguère said. “It
was nice and unexpected. I was maybe going to go and ask (to play) but didn’t
want to rattle any feathers.”


  1. Hab@holic says:

    Agreed… I think SK is sitting because he was shying away from contact, just my opinion

  2. Hab@holic says:

    I call B.S… I dont think cammys a bad dressing room guy. Hes just been out for a while and hasnt got his groove back. We just play stupid hockey sometimes.

  3. Kooch7800 says:

    Sweet Avatar

  4. SLONCOLD says:

    “How do you explain to your players that Price shutout the Sabres for 58 minutes, but will be sitting on the bench next game? It doesn’t make sense…”

    i think he is using halak as his go to guy/#1 so i mean if your back up plays well, that’s nice but back to the number one after.


    “How do you explain to Pouliot that he has 1 shift in the first 5 minutes of every game to prove himself, if not he’s playing 2 shifts for the remainder of the game on the 4th line? You can’t….”

    well it worked for GUI so…. lol


  5. Anonymous says:

    I agree with you, it’s insane. The players need to fight through it though, that isn’t a skill of hockey, it’s a skill in life to fight through adversity. If those gus played with more passion they would be doing better.

  6. Ayan_SB says:

    If anything Sergei should be playing Saturday because of his feud with Grabovski, a little added intensity would be nice.

  7. RJ says:

    Hey, cut them some slack. None of us look great when we are hung over. They might buy you a drink after the signing.

    “My face is my mask,” Gump Worsley

  8. mike g says:

    It’s not as easy as you think…

    When you consider that Sergei’s been playing out of his mind with about 10 games of legitimate/consistent effort, how can you honestly say he deserves to be benched? It doesn’t make sense…

    How do you explain to your players that Price shutout the Sabres for 58 minutes, but will be sitting on the bench next game? It doesn’t make sense…

    How do you explain to Pouliot that he has 1 shift in the first 5 minutes of every game to prove himself, if not he’s playing 2 shifts for the remainder of the game on the 4th line? You can’t….

    How do you explain this, and a ton of other dumb/illogical decisions? You can’t, and it’s been going on all year. The players can’t show their pride if they aren’t proud of the person in charge of them..

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

  9. Eliisa says:

    Well… if beautiful women will be there count me in. I can’t see those two attracting many women with their bed heads. They always look like they just woke up.

    Does the money go to charity?

  10. RJ says:

    But can you imagine how many beautiful women might be there?? The Party Brothers seem to have quite a following.

    “My face is my mask,” Gump Worsley

  11. Ian Cobb says:

    The two brothers were trained by the floater Kovalev! remember!

  12. Habscore says:

    I’m surprised JM did not decide to sit Cammi in the press box ! Maybe he will tomorrow, hmmm >:|

  13. Anonymous says:

    Even so, they shouldn’t be playing for the coach, they should be playing for themselves and the fans that pay their salary. Pride is lacking and complacency is rampant.Difficulty is no excuse for complacency, Unease
    is no excuse for inaction.

  14. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …My understanding Maxwell is replacing Sergei …which IMO is not an upgrade

    …to Me, o’ Byrne is NEEDED for this game

    …like I said, the RESULT is WHAT matters …if I am wrong ?, …J’ai préparé Dijon-française sera
    disponible et heureusement manger le corbeau devant moi


    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  15. mike g says:

    You know what guys, it seems like the frustration we share towards Dumbo the Elephant, aka JM, is starting to also be apparent with the team…

    I’ve been on very talented teams in my playing career, and on some pretty bad ones. No matter the team I was on, if the players didn’t respect and/or appreciate the coach nothing worked. Watching the players on the ice and on the bench, I’m getting the impression that the Habs have a problem with JM. They don’t respect his game plan, they can’t play more than 2 shifts with the same guys, he constantly blames losses on the players, and he doesn’t motive them at all…

    You can bash me if you want, and tell me I don’t know what it is to play in the NHL. Or that I’m not in the room, and don’t know what goes on in it. But I can tell you this; you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see and understand how the players react to JM.

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

  16. Anonymous says:

    If there are so many french players that play awesome in MTL how come we don’t have any that play awesome for MTL?

  17. Mats Naslund says:

    You’re right. In fact why even dress 4 lines? Just go with Giona, Gomez, Plex and Cammy in a four man rotation for 60 minutes? I can understand wanting to send a message to a player, but is THIS the time?  Put your best guys out there and let them play for cripes sake! Shortening the bench for 35 minutes will normally result in what we saw last night. 

  18. Anonymous says:

    The sad part about is most of the potential lineups that are discussed will never be seen, Martin doesnèt do that type of thing, especially as a coach in MTL. He knows he gets critisized now, he just doesn’t want to make it worse by something not working. Our coach is a coach brimming with confidence :). Also, don’t you hate it when you made some mistakes in training camp and the coach screws you for the rest of the year?

  19. Say Ash says:

    Great. Another Quebecer that’s gonna play the game of his life in front of his Aunt Thérèse.

  20. Dave Stubbs says:

    For what it’s worth, the Kostitsyns and Markov are otherwise booked Sunday, off the golf course. Autographs, anyone?

    Dave Stubbs
    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Columnist/Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette
    • On Twitter:

  21. SLONCOLD says:

    well i didn’t have them making the playoffs this year…. They’re a weak team with good goaltending. 

    Once you have your core established you need to have young players on entry level contracts to play like stars to really advance. Apart from our goaltending and form the looks of it PK, not very much has come from hamilton. All the guys who have come up from hamilton are 3rd liners at best…

    then when we develop some talent we either trade it away or lose it…… uhhh well maybe they’ll wake up come playoffs. still if we do make the playoffs, don’t expect much. i think halak( or pirce) can steal a game or 2 for us but overall i don’t think we’ll be able to win a best of 7 against any of the top 3 teams.

  22. habs001 says:

    we have lapps,moen,sk74,pyatt,moore with pretty pathetic offense stats but most posters feel they can grind and check…so why do we need to use plecks,gomez and gion on pk….shouldnt these 5 forwards be enough to do our pk….

  23. RJ says:

    They discussed the foursomes for golf on Sunday morning.

    “My face is my mask,” Gump Worsley

  24. Bugs says:

    If Giguere didn’t want to “rattle any feathers”, he should’ve at least had the decency to ruffle the cage.

    Ridiculously overhyped, call me

    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:

  25. Malreg says:

    Didn’t we really struggle last time Metro went down too?

  26. likehoy says:

    michel bergeron said cammy’s a bad apple in the dressing room…look at our record without him and with him!

    – We’ve gotta beat the beat, and fist pump our way to victory!

  27. Malreg says:

    The Canadiens have more then enough forwards to can play the PK, SK74 is not huge super power secret weapon.

    Gomez-Gionta, Plekanec-Moen, Moore-Pyatt can more then handle PK duty…

  28. Ian Cobb says:

    SEnd it to me again or you post it from there. It was quite good BRUCE

  29. DMAN says:

    I wish some of you would make up your mind. One minute your are talking about the Habs being just an average to poor team talent wise.  Then you are criticizing the coach for not getting more out of them.  If they are poor in talent then 6th-9th place is not a bad finish for the coach.  However if they are better than their record then that IS on the coach. In my opinion it cannot be both! If it was then they would be the Toronto Maple Leafs!

  30. Say Ash says:

    That’s assuming the aliens are done with them. I hope they were thorough.

  31. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I did consider that perspective Punkster, and it makes sense …yet,on the ‘outside’ looking-in, it is frustrating

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  32. likehoy says:

    although sergei ignores JM (which is fine IMO), he’s been one of our best players since the olympic break on both ends of the ice. Way to stunt a players growth

    – We’ve gotta beat the beat, and fist pump our way to victory!

  33. Ian Cobb says:

    That little bit of muscle is mainly between his ears. But he has improved somewhat over last year. Still trying to grow into his body.!

  34. I_SAY_FIGHT says:

    i dont think the benching of sergei is/was personal:
    he would have killed grabo

  35. wmarcello says:

    I am FAR from an MAB fan, but let’s face it. The team has had big problems scoring. Right now Bergeron is scoring. Also, aside from his first game filling in for Spacek against the Flyers where he put on a brutal defensive display for the ages, he really hasn’t been that bad lately. He is by no means a stellar defenseman, but the last 2 games he has not been any more of a defensive liability than OB.

  36. Habsman1970 says:

    At least this time they didn’t go bowling….



  37. mike g says:

    Why would you repost that? lol

    I wasn’t poking fun at you or anything. I was just trying to tell you that trying to figure out JM will lead you, me, and everyone here nowhere…

    I’m just trying to save you the frustration and stress, because it’s not worth it…

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

  38. Say Ash says:

    Be careful when throwing around challenges, Timo.

  39. likehoy says:

    honestly i would rather have sergei on the ice than tom pyatt any minute of the game, and sometimes i’d have sergei on instead of scott gomez.

    – We’ve gotta beat the beat, and fist pump our way to victory!

  40. punkster says:

    People seem to be overreacting to the assumed undeserved Sergei benching or press boxing. Which one of you were behind the bench last night or any night this season, on the ice during practices or in the room with the coach and team? I ask that because while I too have no specific idea why he is being centred out I can make my own assumptions which seem quite different from some here. How’s this; Sergei has been a mystery, like his brother, from day one. He seems to possess excellent talent, like his brother, at times but also appears to dog it, like his bother, on the ice just as often. He has a history of ignoring his coach’s instruction and was demoted for that very reason. Is it possible he is being centred out for continued insubordination or being a disruptive influence? Is it possible the decision to remove him from the lineup is the entire coaching staff’s decision?


    Of course an alternate theory is that aliens landed in Brossard a few weeks ago, kidnapped the K brothers and pumped them full of sleeping pills. Just as credible a theory as any other around here.

  41. SLONCOLD says:

    hope your boy mike blocks a bunch of shots lol boucher sure won’t :-p

  42. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I’ll hold My tongue until We see the result on Saturday …BUT sitting an immensely improved big physical D-man like Ryan against da Weedz of ALL teams ? …and sitting a multi-purpose highly-skilled PK-asset like Sergei in The Crunch-time Game Of The Year So Far ? …makes Me ask Myself WHY don’t I just avoid readin’ HIO and forget about ‘knowin’ WHAT The Habs are up-to …give My ol’ noggin a rest from the frustration …just turn-on the game when it happens …and like Alfred E. …just stop worryin’ ’bout it

    …I am comin’ to believe the average male that are devout readers of HIO are the same group that hires a hooker to flagellate Their bare butts in kinky sex role-play

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  43. Raster says:

    Stop questionning or wondering what JM does. I’ve recently concluded that it is the biggest waste of energy any man can do to himself. I’d rather try lift the Staue of Liberty by myself. I’d rather try walking on water. I’d rather try finding ancient treasures burried beneath the oceans.

    Figuring out JM is impossible, therefore a waste of time. It should be passed as a Federal law that any person seeking to figure out and/or understand Jacques Martin, be convicted of wasting all of humanity’s precious lifespan.

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

    I think you should listen to a wise man called Simple Jack

    Sing O’Canada when we play the leafs, It will drive Burke and Wilson crazy and leaf fans can’t boo.

  44. mike g says:

    Glad you say that! Way to go…..

    My boy Michel Richard is born and made for these games. I’m wearing my orange Flyers #18 jersey at work today, because they will get er’ done tonight….

    Can’t wait for game time. Richards will be the best player on the ice tonight….

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

  45. Stooof says:

    no doubt.  why he played FIVE minutes last night is beyond me.  the first two goals agaistn were GOMEZ’ line.  he didnt even take a penalty.  he is JMs’ whipping boy and its fing brutal.  our best young prospect is getting the short end of a stcik by a coach who is really starting to piss me off.

  46. Rudy says:

    JM just oozes negativity. I imagine a “team meeting” with him is really a sermon by him.

  47. bwoar says:

    It’s been mentioned elsewhere on the www (by a non-news source) that Pierre Gauthier was part of that team meeting.  Can anyone from the Gazette comment? 

  48. Storm Man says:

    The Toronto media has

  49. CHsam says:

    Just so sh*tty that he got injured. I bet he’s pissed off. I’m not sure how much more MAB i can watch… says a lot about our team when we have to depend on his bag of tricks

  50. light_n_tasty says:

    Your Boy better show up tonight. 

  51. Storm Man says:

    I know, I just like saying the three little men

  52. Habscore says:

    God I wish Metro was playing..!!! He’s little but tough and can actually score!! Tabernouche

  53. mike g says:

    If SK is not playing tommorow night, I urge the hometown crowd to start a JM chant…


    Or at least, someone throw him a can of Red Bull. Maybe he’ll drink it and show minimal energy…

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

  54. BJ says:

    Scratching OB tomorrow is not a good idea. He’s one of very few with a bit of muscle on this team.

  55. avatar_58 says:

    What do you mean? CLEARLY our 3rd and 4th lines are the issue here. Sergei just isn’t putting in the 30-40 goal season we all know he is capable of! Isn’t that why he is paid the big bucks?

  56. Big Ted says:

    I think it’s almost unanimous that Sergei doesn’t deserve to be the one benched. He certainly outplays his brother for one. It’s clear Andrei’s head has not been in the game since he’s come back from injury, so regardless of whether he stays in the line-up, it would best serve the team to move someone else onto the line with Pleks and Cammy. Pyatt? Sergei? Darche? Also not a fan of Maxwell playing tomorrow, the kid is quickly becoming the next Kyle Chipchura, high on promise but without doing much in any of the games he’s played.

  57. Storm Man says:

    Not OB, the three little men, When PM called them that on TSN I had sore ABS after

  58. Say Ash says:

    What were they doing? Planning out foursomes?

  59. avatar_58 says:

    Oh I know what it says. I own a Cammalleri jersey and frankly I wore my Roy because I’m getting tired of this crap. Not one of them is playing like they should. Gionta shows flashes of what he can do, then coughs up the puck and can’t skate. I just can’t watch this crap anymore.

  60. BJ says:

    Ian if you see this message try and post the photo montages I sent you. I think our HIO brothers would enjoy the laugh. The link you had did not give access.

  61. avatar_58 says:

    I want to know which other coach in the NHL would sub MAB in for Obyrne. Just ONE. If I were Obyrne this would insult me to no end. Hamrlik, Spacek, Gill and whoeever else make constant mistakes but OBYRNE is replaced by our worst D-man.



  62. Storm Man says:

    When did Martin have wits this year?

  63. avatar_58 says:

    Crazy idea – since the top lines aren’t doing sweet f-all how about playing the 3rd and 4th more? Roll your lines quicker. It’s hilarious to me that Maxim Lapierre and Sergei have become two of the hardest workers…..what does that say about the top lines?

  64. Storm Man says:

    He picked on the little guys??? he had them on the first line

  65. andrewberkshire says:

    If Martin starts Ben Maxwell over Sergei Kostitsyn, I’m not watching this game. Our coach couldn’t win a battle of wits with George W Bush.

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