Canadiens scratch pre-trip practice

Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau scratched today’s planned Verdun practice, sending his team into off-ice workouts at the Bell Centre before the club leaves this afternoon for Washington and tomorrow’s game vs. the Capitals.

Carbonneau won’t announce his starting goaltender until tomorrow’s morning skate, nor will he say until that time whether Guillaume Latendresse, an injured (or not) scratch the past two games, is ready to go.


  1. Macurd says:

    great camps against other ahl players. so what ?

  2. hhl says:

    you know what else is getting old, the fans constantly complaining for 15 years that the team sucks unless of course they won the cup in 4,and they ‘d still complain.

  3. hhl says:

    yeah this is where i end up when i (reply) to your comment otherwise, most recent is at the top.

  4. Habsrule1 says:


    I think for all our differences, we have one thing in common….loving our Habs. We just show it in different ways!


    Go Habs Go!!


  5. Habsrule1 says:

    You are wrong about the coach, but you’re allowed to think it anyway.

    Go Habs Go!!


  6. Habsrule1 says:

    True….should we blame Carbo for the last 15 years?

    No coach would do much better with this team.

    They are doing exactly how a team with 11 regulars under 25 years old should be doing.

    Go Habs Go!!


    ps: jump off the bandwagon any time. We real fans will stay on!

  7. Odie Clegorn says:

    Forgive my shoddy reporting on the earlier post. Those were not last year’s stats. In fact Anaheim’s leader was 14th overall in the league yet he was an extremely valuable contributor to the team’s success wouldn’t yo agree?

    Last year’s +/- Leaders were:

    1: Thomas Vanek – Buffalo (47)
    2: Daniel Alfredsson – Ottawa (42)
    3: Nik Lidstrom – Detroit (40)
    4: Tom Preissing – Ottawa (40)
    5: Derek Roy – Buffalo (37)
    6: Anton Volchenkov – Ottawa (37)
    7: Pavel Datsyuk – Detroit (36)
    8: Chris Phillips – Ottawa (36)
    9: Marek Malik – NYR (32)
    10:Dany Heatley – Ottawa (31)
    11:Christoph Schubert – Ottawa (30)
    12:Brian Campbell – Buffalo (28)
    13:Chris Kelly – Ottawa (28)
    14: Chris Pronger – Anaheim (27)

  8. nightmare_49 says:

    If your a wanted free agent your signed in the 1st few days and i don’t think Souray was high on many teams list so he probably wasn’t in demand at the trade deadline or the return for him wasn’t worth it and Gainey gambled that he would resign and he probably would of if Edmonton hadn’t been so desperate. If Gainey had traded Rivet and Souray at the trade deadline he would never hear the end of it in this city. He’d be called a quiter and also Markov wasn’t signed then. In your original post you never mentioned Gainey.

  9. gfunkdoc says:

    I think the +/- is telling enough. I think we can all agree that Hamrlik is a far more solid DEFENSEman than Souray. As such, his plus/minus is +7 on a team where there are but a few in the +. Meanwhile Souray was a minus 73 last year and his defensive skills were exploited more than drunk college girls on girls gone wild (see numerous highlight reels ((Iknow none of us ever wanted to think of that Spezza goal ever again, and I’m sorry))).

  10. Odie Clegorn says:

    Here’s why I think the plus/minus is such a bogus statistic in a “team sport”. Who won the Cup last year? Anaheim. Now check out the attached list and show me where their plus/minus leader is. And, after having won the Cup, who gives a fiddler’s fart about that stat? They won as “a team” and their individual names will be forever etched on the cup.

    As far as I’m concerned, the +/- stat was created by and for player agents just after the first expansion wave in order to justify the “value” of their under-skilled clients so that they (the agents) collected their fees for services rendered.

    Monday, April 5, 4:54 AM
    ————————- ———- — —
    Martin St. Louis TAM 82 35
    Marek Malik VAN 78 35
    Zdeno Chara OTT 79 33
    Fredrik Modin TAM 82 31
    Nils Ekman SAN 82 30
    Alex Tanguay COL 69 30
    Adrian Aucoin NYI 81 29
    Brad Lukowich TAM 79 29
    Patrik Elias NJD 82 26
    Kenny Jonsson NYI 79 25
    Kirk Maltby DET 79 24
    Markus Naslund VAN 78 24
    Alyn McCauley SAN 82 23
    Vincent Lecavalier TAM 81 23
    Dan Boyle TAM 78 23
    Trent Hunter NYI 77 23
    Henrik Sedin VAN 76 23
    Jason Arnott DAL 73 23

  11. Habsrule1 says:

    Get off Carbo…it’s getting really old.

    Go Habs Go!!


  12. joe-hab-nuno says:

    what i don’t understand is, how come Lats is here in the bigs when he had a crappy pre-season and D’agostini is ih hte minors when he was the best young players during the pre-season?

  13. Blitzen says:

    RDS reported on it but Lats is now back to saying he understood why he was left off. Huet has also said he understands.

  14. zamboni says:


    If it is any consolation, I 100% agree with you.
    I have voiced my opinion on this, but it appears that either the fans and / or the people who are running the hangout are happy with the format.

    I for one find myself spending much less time here than I used to for this exact same reason, and the little time that I spend, I read only the top few fan posts.
    Kind of sad, but I hate this discontinuity.

    Imagine if I have to read a thread like in the old days,
    – I have to start at the top, to read Dave’s Mike’s or Kevin’s post,
    – then stop the flow, scroll down all the way to figure out the number of pages
    – go to the the first / last page (always get confused there too, basically to the page that has the first post)
    – scroll all the way down again,
    – start reading upwards
    – then when I see indented post, stop reading,
    – scroll back up to find the root and pray that it is not multi-level nested.
    – read downwards (or upwards depending on the nesting)
    – then continue reading all the way to the top
    – scroll back down when I reach the top, so that I can change the page
    and repeat the cycle.

    yeah right,
    Sorry, call me an old fashioned, this kind of hopping up and down is not natural reading for me.

  15. showey47 says:

    no i was not patting myself on the back, i was supporting gainey in signing hamrlik when it was clear that souray did not want to come back to montreal. I was one of the people who wanted to trade souray because we lost a big oppurtunity to cash in on a big prospect and/or high draft picks. Considering after the trade deadline, souray only scored 3 goals and 7 points but was a minus 13, if we had traded him we probably would of made the playoffs.

  16. Smart Dog says:

    Where did you hear this? Was it public?

    Be happy! At least the FUTURE looks bright!
    Plekanec, Higgins, Komi, Chips, Lapierre, O’Byrne, K1 &K2, Price

  17. nightmare_49 says:

    It seems Baby Carbo (Lats) was not to happy being benched for Ryder against the Panthers , this 20 year old has far to much to say. Carbo spoiled him and now he has to put up with him. Maybe a one way trip to Hamilton for his XMAS present would be appropriate. At least he’ll learn the game a bit and not look so lost and give D’Agostini a call up while there at it.

  18. nightmare_49 says:

    Do you see the reply (bottom left) , those disjointed times are replys to that post. their offset from the original post. Don’t worry about the posts below as their All Dave’s Children.

  19. Blitzen says:

    I liked what Souray had to offer and like what Hamrlik has to offer. I do believe that the fact that Hamrlik has mentored young D-men before makes him a better fit right now.

    For those who commented that when a guy scores after doing all the work himself, everyone of his linemates benefits in the +/-, ask yourselves this question: how many times does a guy deek every other player on another team to score vs how many times does an errant pass result in a goal the other way over the course of a season? On the Habs, where we lack an Ovechkin and play BreezeBy, I would say that that ratio is at least 1:10 LOL

    Not saying +/- is all bad but it’s not THAT telling.

  20. BJ says:

    A quick question. I tune in to this blog occassionally and am wondering why the threads are so disjointed. I noticed that the time line is not in a time sequence. It makes following the very interesting comments incoherent at times. Anyone else feel this way? And if so can anything be done about it? I had a chance to see a live game from here in Germany (via last Saturdays Habs 4-1 win over the Leafs. They looked great.

  21. Vecs says:

    to please some kids *in a fantasy hockey league*.

  22. nightmare_49 says:

    There are 12 million stories in the naked city , now i’ve heard it aii. Roper Room Rules. Good glue.

  23. earl says:

    nice job. Couldn’t agree more.

    All things considered I could take Souray or Hamrlik and be equally happy, however Hamrlik has turned in his holster for a reliable game that I trust. In year one of the contracts he has proven to be an adequate contingency plan to 44 Magnum.

  24. HNS says:

    Forget the practice and commence with the flogging…..

  25. earl says:

    It might be indication that they are gathering more data on Huet’s groin.

  26. sidhu says:

    I lived in DC and watched Ovechkin from his first games with the Caps. As you all know, Ovy can make plays all by himself and is a complete player in terms of skill, speed, and strength. Ovy is friends with Markov and seems to get real pumped up playing against us.

    The Caps have improved since we last met them last season – they now have Nylander, Kozlov, and Poti; though Semin (who scored a quiet 40+ last year) has struggled so far. The Caps still rely heavily on Olie Kolzig in net, who happens to be Carey Price’s mentor.

    I wouldn’t be as concerned about this game, but the Caps have been playing much better with their new Coach, Bruce Boudreau (last year he coached the Hershey Bears to the Calder Cup finals, which our Bulldogs of course won).

    The attendance in Washington is extremely poor (e.g., whole sections that are completely empty), so the players receive little energy from the crowd — in Washington, the fans don’t boo, they just don’t show up.

    Overall, the Habs can’t take this game lightly. Before we just had to shut down Ovy, but the Caps aren’t as one-dimensional anymore. A smart, boring road-game will take away the Caps speed and will deflate the already nominal crowd. The Habs should keep it simple on offense too – get pucks to the net with traffic, we know from Markov’s goals yesterday that basic shots from the point with traffic can work. Kolzig has a tendency to get rattled (read: pissed) when he’s crowded, which throws off his game.

    Go Habs Go!

  27. sidhu says:

    He can always waive it, which he allegedly hasn’t been asked to do… yet.

  28. WindsorHab-10 says:

    They have been erratic on effort most of this year. That’s what good coaching is supposed to cure.

  29. WindsorHab-10 says:

    How can you judge leadership at that very young age? Your example of the Rangers is kind of funny because their record over the years has been mediocre at best.

  30. Macurd says:

    why do the canadiens need to tell anyone who’s playing at any time before the game starts ? to please some kids on an internet discussion board ?

  31. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I’m telling you guys that our players are good enough to compete in this league and they are a very good team if coached properly. This team does not want to commit to Guy Carbonneau and his system. A change is needed sooner than later and it doesn’t matter how many coaches have come and gone over the years, Gainey must find the right one.

  32. Girth says:

    Saku has a no trade clause…

  33. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I still think our biggest problem is behind the bench.

  34. Steiner says:

    Here are a few of his numbers:

    GP: 34 G: 24 A:15 P:39 +/-: 4 PIM: 14 PP: 11 GW: 3 and SOG: 195

    Tied for 2nd in Goals. And 12th for points.

    I’d say he’s having the type of year expected of him. Thus far, anyways.

  35. WindsorHab-10 says:

    And that is priceless.

  36. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I’ll take Yuppie over Brisebois.

  37. nightmare_49 says:

    I see your patting yourself on the back about being one of the few backing Hamy over Souray over the summer but if you read the posts during the summer you’ll see that most people had the same view as you but were pissed off that we didn’t trade Souray at the deadline. Also we read more than a hondred times about Shelly’s +/- which was brutal and the only negatives about Hamy was the amount of his contract which nobody bitches about anymore.

  38. CHsam says:

    Anyone know what kind of year Ovechkin is having? I bet he’s going to be dangerous tomorrow night

  39. Sulemaan says:

    I think Souray was stronger that Hamrlik in the areas of goals and assists (based on last year alone) but +/- was poor. I also think he was very strong in terms of standing up for the team and dropping his gloves when necessary. Besides Kostopolous, we don’t have anyone else who does that.

    Where I think Hamrlik beats Souray hands down is in terms of steadying the defence. He did wonders in the development of Dion Phaneuf in Calgary. I can’t help and think he will do the same for Komisarek, O’Byrne and others in the coming years (Fisher, McDonough, Subban, Carle, Valentenko, etc.)

    I remember too many highlight reels where Souray was on the wrong end of a few goals (Spezza, Crosby) in a glaring manner. I agree with Steiner and others that Hamrlik makes me less nervous in defense than Souray ever did.

    I’d have been happy if we had both (take Souray over Brisebois any day of the week and twice on Sunday) but because of the salary cap that is a pipe dream. I also would never pay Souray $5M per season on a 4 year deal even if we had cap space. I mean can you imagine paying him $5M per season in 2 or 3 years?

  40. likehoy says:

    I think it’s unfair to compare souray and hamrlik like that. They bring completely different games to the board. If you’re expecting alex kovalev to do chipchura’s job, how successful do you think he’ll be?

    Souray had a lot of game winning goals and put up a lot of points for us last year. As much as he had his defensive lapses, he won a lot of games for us too. He was a real double-edged sword. He also brought a lot of toughness to the board (fighting toughness)

    Hamrlik makes us harder to be beat, not necessarily going to go out and win games for us. yes it does make sense that being harder to beat gives us a chance to win, but it’s not the same as getting the win.

    IF you had to choose one of the two, I would pick hamrlik because of our considerably poor defensive corps after Markov and Komisarek, and Markov can provide offense, but because Hamrlik and Souray are not the same type of player, they shouldn’t be compared and in the perfect world, we’d have both and they’d round out a fantastic top 4. I would have kept Souray if his defensive partner was better than Rivet, Streit, Bouillon, or Dandeneault, because hamrlik wouldn’t bring what souray brings offensively.

    I think it’s about team balance and depth, if our top 4 was the Ducks top 4, hamrlik would be a 5th dman and we’d complain he does nothing for our team.

  41. earl says:

    plus minus is almost certainly a team stat, that’s why it’s difficult to use it in a meaningful comparison of individuals, and absolutely useless when comparing individuals of different teams.

  42. Rocket Richard says:

    Ok habs fans,

    We are off to capital city in washington for the first of 6 road games.

    The Habs need to find their game and togeatherness on this road trip.

    The capitals in the past have been a Hab killer for the most part. I am not sure of what the overall record between these two teams are, but they can’t be taken lightly.


    Regardless of who is in nets tomorrow, habs need to find their scoring touch.

    I hope Ryder finds the net within the next 6 games. I hope Koivu continues his offensive play. I hope Price continues to impress the Habs brass and their fans despite a minor let down yesterday. I hope Kovy continues scoring, perhaps a goal a game.

    I don’t want to predict any score, but let’s say Habs will squeeze out of washington by a goal. Maybe in OT or shootout.

    DID YOU KNOW? The habs and Capitals played a rare 0-0 game tie once upon a time. I don’t remember the exact date. If someone knows, please let me know. (This was before the OT and shootouts era). I beleive Pete Peeters was in nets for the Caps.

    The Rocket Richard – “you must hate to lose”
    Read and Research Thousands of Articles Here

  43. Smart Dog says:

    What’s weird is your examples all make my point. Across teams plus-minus does talk about what’s going on, but only 5-on-5. But within a team it’s pretty telling… like you say Hamrlik’s plus says he’s good in defensive situations and Perezhogin’s last year said that (in your words) “good things happen when he’s on the ice”. That’s ALL I’m saying – it’s not useless, it can be quite telling. And it can be messed up by a bad system or bad pairing – but so can points.. or GAA.

    Be happy! At least the FUTURE looks bright!
    Plekanec, Higgins, Komi, Chips, Lapierre, O’Byrne, K1 &K2, Price

  44. Smart Dog says:

    I agree it’s ridiculous. And the stat that shows it best is plus-minus… that’s my point. We all know Souray is a pilon — and that comes up loud and clear in his plus-minus….

    Taken one game at a time, plus-minus is pretty useless I agree. But taken over a season it shows a pattern of how you contribute at both ends. That’s all I’m saying. And plus-minus is just as vulnerable to who’s on your line as any other stat. Look at Jagr – change his linemates and he’s ordinary (sorry, I mean his stats are ordinary) ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Be happy! At least the FUTURE looks bright!
    Plekanec, Higgins, Komi, Chips, Lapierre, O’Byrne, K1 &K2, Price

  45. showey47 says:

    hell no, all i’m saying is that plus/minus can be an unfair stat and i gave an example how it can be unfair. If you saw the posts i wrote over the past summer i was one of the very few who said hamrlik would be an ungrade over souray because roman will prevent more goals than sheldon will ever score. I don’t see anywhere in my previous posts where i talk about having souray over hamr, that is just rediculous.

  46. The Teacher says:

    How about this example going the other way,

    Player A tries to ice the puck towards the center of the ice and then proceeds to skate off to the bench to be replaced by Player B. However during these few seconds, Player C who was skating furiously to get the puck, gets a lucky bounce! The defenceman had the puck hit a little rut in the ice just as he was going to retrieve the puck and ended up making a sharp turn with nothing but snow. This in turn gave Player C a breakaway on which he proceeded to score.

    Player B gets a +1 for jumping on the ice. Player A who did the good work gets nothing.

    I however believe plus/minus does offer valuable insights into how much a player values his defensive responsibilities ๐Ÿ˜‰

  47. likehoy says:

    it’s a useless stat for a team like the canadiens. We play (crappy) shut-down hockey at even strength and sit in our own zone and send 1 fore-checker. Then the boys come out to play on the PP with the extra room so they’re obviously going to be littered with minuses. If someone has a huge plus figure (like hamrlik) it’s important cause it shows how important it is for him to be on the ice defensively. But ask yourself how important is it to have our minus players (koivu, kovalev, etc.) on the ice to score goals?? I mean we could play guys like last year’s plus leaders bonk, johnson, perezhogin but do you think they’re going to score goals while they’re out there?? They’re plus players cause they can defend the goals that our scorers get and occasionally chip in.

    The minus stat can also be contributed to bad coaching decisions in match ups. If you have dandenault and bouillon out there as our dmen against their top line, then we’re going to get scored on 9 out of 10 times.

    Also another thing is winning. When your team has a good system and are winning games, then you’re going to have a team full of plus players cause you’re definitely outscoring your opponents. But then when your team sucks (like the habs) they are going to have a bunch of minus players and the one plus player (if he actually plays unlike perezhogin last year) shows that good things happen when he’s on the ice.

    So the only plus/minus figure that matters is the goals for and goals against. The player individual plus/minus doesn’t really tell a lot about the team chemistry and the way the team is coached.

  48. Steiner says:

    As big as a Souray fan as I was, and as much as I loved to see the look on goaltenders faces when we got a power play….
    My heart doesn’t race a million miles an hour when Hamrlik has the puck in the defensive zone.


  49. Smart Dog says:

    Hey Blitzen, Showey,

    So I guess you’re saying you would rather have Souray back with a dozen goals by now and a team leading -15…. or would you rather have Hamrlik and his 2 goals but a team leading plus 7?

    Take your pick! It MUST be Souray! Hamrlik is only better in plus-minus.

    Be happy! At least the FUTURE looks bright!
    Plekanec, Higgins, Komi, Chips, Lapierre, O’Byrne, K1 &K2, Price

  50. Smart Dog says:

    Do you get the feeling he resents his own team?

    Be happy! At least the FUTURE looks bright!
    Plekanec, Higgins, Komi, Chips, Lapierre, O’Byrne, K1 &K2, Price

  51. Smart Dog says:

    If your point is to say that in individual games, stats may not mean anything, you win.

    But if your point is to say that is unique to plus-minus, try a lot harder.

    Everyone has flukes that work for or against them. Think about Ryder.. a lot of people still think he’s suddenly going to break out. What would you call his year so far? Bad luck? Should we judge him just on his points? Is that more fair?

    Be happy! At least the FUTURE looks bright!
    Plekanec, Higgins, Komi, Chips, Lapierre, O’Byrne, K1 &K2, Price

  52. sidhu says:

    Lombardi and Tanguay for Koivu, Ryder, and Halak

    or Ryder for Trent Hunter

    Do it Bob!

  53. TommyB says:

    Well the Rangers have done real well over the years, both with their drafting and their money….haven’t they?

  54. showey47 says:

    here’s a more recent example, our goalie darts out of his crease leaving his net empty and tries to make a long pass to who ever knows and its picked off and shot into an empty net. All 5 guys are a minus. Not a fair stat

  55. Smart Dog says:

    Or Kovalev and Higgins each bounce a puck of Mark Streit standing in front of the net… yet Streit gets two points. Same deal. Nothing is perfect, it’s the law of averages – and every stat is affected by who you play with. Even for goalies, who pretty much play by themselves, playing with a good D your shots come from poorer scoring angles and your save % goes up. The thing I like about plus-minus is that it covers what happens at both ends. You can’t convince me that Ryder can end up heavy in the minus (compared to teammates and both years worse than his own line-mates) and that’s not saying something.

    Be happy! At least the FUTURE looks bright!
    Plekanec, Higgins, Komi, Chips, Lapierre, O’Byrne, K1 &K2, Price

  56. Blitzen says:

    Come on Bob, give us that blockbuster we’re all waiting for:

    Dandy for Randy Robitaille.

  57. Blitzen says:

    I’ll give you an example:

    In the offensive zone, D-Man #1 tries to make a cross-ice pass to D-Man #2 at the blue line but whiffs a little giving the other team’s forward a breakaway on which he scores. Now how is it anybody else’s fault than D-Man #1’s? Yet they all take the hit.

  58. Smart Dog says:

    Hey Odie – thanks for the flashback (1983) article about the rookie Carbonneau. Seems as though he didn’t get along with his coach very well:

    I havenโ€™t talked to him (coach Berry),” said Carbonneau. “Itโ€™s his problem.”

    Maybe that’s it – now that he’s the coach he thinks his players are the enemy. Hey Carbo – not everyone is like you. Some players actually like their coach and want to be a team player!

    Be happy! At least the FUTURE looks bright!
    Plekanec, Higgins, Komi, Chips, Lapierre, O’Byrne, K1 &K2, Price

  59. Smart Dog says:

    Would someone please tell me why plus-minus is so “over-rated”?

    I think it may be the most important statistic in hockey. It rewards those who may not score a ton of goals, but they are good at defending or good at keeping control of the puck. The “knock” against plus-minus is that people play under different situations – but it doesn’t matter. The best measure is whether your team gets ahead while you are on the ice, or falls behind.

    Be happy! At least the FUTURE looks bright!
    Plekanec, Higgins, Komi, Chips, Lapierre, O’Byrne, K1 &K2, Price

  60. Jonnyboy says:

    montreal played well against the leafs, they played a weak/acceptable game that if it wasn’t for a rookie mistake (fully acceptable and due to happen) the game would have been very different.

    interesting to see the no-practice. maybe carbo wants some extra time to work on juggling the lines. carbo: hmm which defense isn’t playing forward yet…hmm.

  61. JA says:

    We expect too much from our Habs, at best they are an average NHL team that will have a hard time making the playoffs.

    Good news, only 2 points behind second place in the eastern conference.

    Bad news, only 8 points ahead of last place in the conference, but it will get much tougher to win.

    Lafleur’s comments about the team and Coivu are dead on, for the Habs to be cup contenders every year we need a player to build the team around, we all love and respect Koivu but we really need to have him as a second or third line center to be competitive against the better teams in the league.

    Carboneau reminds me of Mario Tremblay as a coach, big ego, no experience and no system for the offense. We will see more disgruntled players that will want to be traded.

    Only if Gainey returns as coach for the remainder of the season will the Habs have a chance to make the playoffs.

  62. The Cat says:

    The truth is the habs’ two recent wins were aided by their opponents’ recent schedule. Thats not to say they cant compete; they can go toe to toe against anyone on any given night but this is a young team and young teams are prone to being erratic on effort…Hope Huet starts, if he does he can win the game by himself if need be.

  63. Scotty90 says:

    Sometimes (more often than not) they remind me of a bunch of procrastinators. Wait until the last minute then recognise the urgency of the situation and try and do it all. But you know what?… it doesn’t work that way. Its a team effort and anybody that is not pulling his weight should be challenged in the room by the team. I imagine that it would only take one of those sessions. Any repeat offenders is basically saying he is not interested or that he is just not skilled/good enough to play in the NHL, so time to say bye..bye! The thing that puzzles me about a game like last night… there was a lot of them that didn’t show up for the first 50 minutes? go figure! Its frustrating isn’t it? Speaking of frustrating… I guess Saku was a little frustrated at the end of the game! Anyone hear if there will be a suspension?

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