Carbo grows desperate in search for offence

There are hundreds of different line combinations and Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau used at least 15 of them during Saturday night’s 3-0 loss to the Buffalo Sabres. Panic? Maybe. Desperation? Certainly. The Gazette’s Pat Hickey reports on the eve of the Habs’ game in Toronto against the always tough Maple Leafs.

46 Comments

  1. Cable Guy says:

    An offer sheet may be made to ovechkin but no way washington lets him go.

  2. BigHabsFan says:

    first off, the order of postings – most recent at the top – has got to go.

    id have to agree with Hab Professor and Mike, playing with new line-mates for two shifts in the middle of the game will not light a spark…it creates confusion, a feeling of panic, and gives the impression that the coaches just dont know what to do. we’ve seen this a number of times with carbo, and i cant recall many times that it has worked. lets get back to basics…division of labor for the love of god…latendresse: you hit and go to the net, ryder: get to the slot with your stick on the ice, etc.
    each line and player has a role, which should be clearly defined. its a bonus when the 3rd or 4th line score, but the expectation is that they play tight and grind down the oppositions top guys and the d. mixing scorers with checkers for the purpose of creating a spark is silly. if each line is doing its job and we still arent getting results, then maybe a change is the right move, but until then, lets get back to basics!

    someone made mention of bob gainey giving a nice offer sheet to ovechkin at seasons end…wow that would be a dream come true…i wonder what it would take to get him out

  3. krob1000 says:

    I forgot to mention Smolinski could play wing on the third line and Dandy could stay down as another option. Begin can play center on the other line.

  4. krob1000 says:

    Wow,

    Did someone declare an official state of emergency yet? Have you stocked your safety bunker?

    Relax folks! Our four out of six slump is not all that bad. If that is our idea of a slump then I am o.k.with that and you should be too. Ottawa has lost three in a row….Trade Alfredsson!!!Spezza should be benched. Heatley has only two goals in his last twelve games…..fourth line for sure to teach him how to shoot again……ridiculous.

    If Carbo is considering changing his lines up then I would like to see a Kovalev,Koivu and Ryder combination. As for all of this right shot left shot nonsense…..are you aware that we only have three righthanded forwards. From what I can tell a guy like Ryder gets most of his chances from the left side of the ice anyways. Higgins is the same and I think three of his last four goals have come from his off wing. Kovalev is a left handed shot(plays right wing) who scores over three quarters of his goals from his off wing. It is simple geometry folks …scorers have better angles from their off wings.

    The only real downside to playing an off wing is you can’t really skate down the wing and fire the big slapsot like Bossy, Vaive or Guy. That doesn’t matter anymore because goalies just do not allow goals from out there on that angle anymore or they become career AHLers. There is the issue of receiving outlet passes on the backhand but these guys should be able to receive passes on both hands by now.

    The line guessing and playing pseudo coach is actually quite fun despite its obvious uselessness so I am going to play now.

    Koivu,Kovalev,Ryder (left hand right hand …who cares as these are our three most established players …give them a shot together). I would rather see both Kovy and Ryder playing their off wings on this line. You can’t tell me their wouldn’t be more space for everyone if Kovalev played with Koivu and Ryder. If I recvall correctly they did this before and it worked pretty well although our team wasn’t much at the time.

    Plekanec,Higgins,Kostitsyn (had success last year….I agree with any that Ryder and Higgins might just not pan out but Ryder is still the one who whould be on a first line)

    Chipchura,Latendresse,Dandenault (I think this line might surprise a few people and sciore a few goals while Dandy and Chips play shutdown)

    Smolinski,Kostopolous,Begin (with Grabovski getting time against speedier teams ).

  5. sisu says:

    “Come on now Koivu -1 and Kovalev is -3 you can’t add them together to compair against Ryder.”

    I wasn’t adding two players’ +/-. In 5 on 5 play, which *does not* include 4 on 4, PP minuses or SH plusses, Koivu is -4, Kovalev is -4, Plekanec is -5, Higgins is -5. Ryder is +1. I’m not saying that Ryder has been better, only that the other guys have been just as ‘bad.’

    “His production numbers, a good indicator for offensive effectiveness (Goals/shots) is 5th worst on the team at 4.5%(3g/67shots)”

    2) Shooting % is a terrible indicator for ‘offensive effectiveness’ over a short timespan. He’s a 12% shooter over his career. His 4.5% this year is nothing more than bad luck. So, no, he is not struggling. Giving his icetime to a 3rd/4th line mucker is a terrible idea.

    I’m probably wasting my time here, since “Statistics can be used to fit anyones arguments…”. We should all just rely on who gives 110% night in and night out, who is more clutch in big game situations and who has more grit.

  6. john turner says:

    I feel that the team is still doing well. For all you want to be coachs, management is paid the big money to have a winning team. To say that we missed chances in the Draft. Certainly but who can tell who is a certan winner? Every team does their best. Remember not every player can play with every team or player.We have all seen trades that work and ones that don’t. At the end of the season we will then know how we did.A final note Toronto was laughing at us because the Habs didn’t sign any big name players, they are fighting for their lives right now.

  7. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    Mike, good to bring up that KOVALEV incident…where he faked/lunged wanting to fight the kid who was hitting him…HITTING HIM?!! can you BELIEVE IT!…I was there and saw that too!..then the snot nosed kid backs down.

    Kovalev is a leader among children…

    BLOODY AMAZING whats going on here…..

    and since were on the subject, here is a bright side.
    during WARMUP, kovalev is going through his routine, dazzling display
    of stickhandling, and there he is in the corner, mesmerizing at lightnening
    speed his stick handling a puck back and forth, then the trainer at the bench starts throwing dozens of pucks into the corners for another drill and kovalev without even raising his head starts DEAKING out hundreds of these pucks that are flying at high speed towards him….

    made me proud to have that weapon…

  8. HABIT says:

    Huge game against the laffs tomorrow. Need to get some momentum back or the vultures will start circulating our beloved HABS.The need for some size up front and scoring is starting to rear its ugly head as we get further and further into the season.
    My biggest fear …BOWMAN is named President of the laffs , cleans house and leafs become a better team than us.

  9. Mike says:

    this is what Habs-professor wrote, and then my reply, i want everyone to read this because he makes great points and i strongly agree with him.

    Hey Boone, any chance you can get Carbo to read this site ;)

    Submitted by HAB-PROFESSOR on Mon, 11/26/2007 – 10:36.
    I wasn’t going to comment till after the game with the Toronto Bastards.
    But this article and Carbs methodology has hit a nerve for a Monday morning.

    THE LINES WERE OK…JUGGLING THEM DOES NOT WORK.

    why don’t you look at what the lines are NOT DOING and correct that.
    Isn’t that what intermission is for?

    when you see BEGIN and KOSTOP and LATRON etc…NOT HITTING, thats the problem. When you see BEGIN turn away from the buff player after he passes the puck THATS THE PROBLEM….is BEGIN now ALFREDSON?

    DIDN’T YOU SEE KOVALEV HITTING out there…what does that tell you, what kind of message is KOVALEV sending to the bench…if mr. Elitism is crushing the opposition when he could be cutting turns with his blades and not be critized..what does that tell you BEGINS of the world?

    Not to key in on BEGIN (although he is the leader in this category) but when I say Begin, I am saying the entire 3rd and 4th line.

    EVERY SHIFT THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN HITTING.

    Its one thing when Higgs or Koivu or Pleks or Kostys turn their backs when they could have hit…its WRONG, but expected…BUT FOR THE 3rd and 4th to do it….THATS WHY WE LOST.

    BECAUSE IF THE 3rd and 4th were HITTING, then the 1st and 2nd would be SCORING!…SIMPLE.

    especially against a team with wheels.

    Carb has done an excellent job setting up the lines based on individual styles and strengths and those lines have OBJECTIVES on the ice…and it works, we’ve seen it. WHEN IT DOESN’t WORK its because they are not functioning as they were setup. REMIND them of their roles…DO NOT MIX, thats a recipe for DISASTER.

    The “Begin’s” can and will score goals against the “Isles” type teams

    Get back to your game…your role.

    its the combined rolling of 4 lines that will wear down the opponent over the course of the game/battle that in the end can produce the results.

    Think of the basics in warfare…first BOMB then STRIKE your objectives.
    for BUF, they bring a speed game, no problem, pound them for 2 periods then in the 3rd you can score 2-3 goals because they are worn out and hearing footsteps.

    SIMPLY:
    if a team brings SPEED – you bring your HITTING GAME (ie;buff)
    if a team brings HITTING – you bring your SPEED GAME (ie;Isles)

    obviously it can get more complex and there are variations, but thats the basics…start there.

    There was a time when the HABS would win games only in the third period, after they put in some serious work in the 1st and 2nd….there was a time when we were Kings…

    Submitted by Mike on Mon, 11/26/2007 – 10:56.

    I completely agree with you. I wanted you say the same thing but was too lazy to type it. I was at the game and was almost in tears when I saw begin turn away from finishing the hit. Most people did not notice this, but near the end of the second period when kovalev was behind the habs net one of the buffalo’s players punched him for no reason, kovalev then pretend to start to fight, he did a motion that was like (what? u want to fight) the buffalo player got scared and backed down. This is PATHETIC that KOVALEV had to bring the grit into the habs game. This is why we are not scoring, because our scorers, (kovalev, koivu, Kosti) are hitting rather than going on the attack. The reason why we were playing so well at the beginning of the season is because we were playing as a team, the first two lines did their part and then 3rd and 4th did theirs. Because begin got 2 goals now everyone wants to score?? No. That’s not how a team works and unless everyone goes back to playing their role. Then this team won’t succeed. We need to hit hard and tire out the opponents. THEN we can use our speed, skate around the perimeter, and have a body in front of the net to screen the goalie and then score.

  10. Mike says:

    I completely agree with you. I wanted you say the same thing but was too lazy to type it. I was at the game and was almost in tears when I saw begin turn away from finishing the hit. Most people did not notice this, but near the end of the second period when kovalev was behind the habs net one of the buffalo’s players punched him for no reason, kovalev then pretend to start to fight, he did a motion that was like (what? u want to fight) the buffalo player got scared and backed down. This is PATHETIC that KOVALEV had to bring the grit into the habs game. This is why we are not scoring, because our scorers, (kovalev, koivu, Kosti) are hitting rather than going on the attack. The reason why we were playing so well at the beginning of the season is because we were playing as a team, the first two lines did their part and then 3rd and 4th did theirs. Because begin got 2 goals now everyone wants to score?? No. That’s not how a team works and unless everyone goes back to playing their role. Then this team won’t succeed. We need to hit hard and tire out the opponents. THEN we can use our speed, skate around the perimeter, and have a body in front of the net to screen the goalie and then score.

  11. Scotty90 says:

    I guess we haven’t been panicking without reason. Team 990 reported Guy Lafleur made a comment re. Montreal having 4 fourth lines! Wow… this coming from one of the last superstars that ever played for Montreal. I hope someone with the power to do anything is listening.

  12. Habs_008 says:

    Relax everyone, so we got swept by the sabres, I still think we are a good team, lets see what kind of character we have now that we are in a slump. I think they will come out strong against T.O. and show us some goals, and more important a WIN!

  13. coutNY says:

    Opps but still a right-winger that is doing a hell of a lot better than Ryder… and deserves to stay at right wing.

  14. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    I wasn’t going to comment till after the game with the Toronto Bastards.
    But this article and Carbs methodology has hit a nerve for a Monday morning.

    THE LINES WERE OK…JUGGLING THEM DOES NOT WORK.

    why don’t you look at what the lines are NOT DOING and correct that.
    Isn’t that what intermission is for?

    when you see BEGIN and KOSTOP and LATRON etc…NOT HITTING, thats the problem. When you see BEGIN turn away from the buff player after he passes the puck THATS THE PROBLEM….is BEGIN now ALFREDSON?

    DIDN’T YOU SEE KOVALEV HITTING out there…what does that tell you, what kind of message is KOVALEV sending to the bench…if mr. Elitism is crushing the opposition when he could be cutting turns with his blades and not be critized..what does that tell you BEGINS of the world?

    Not to key in on BEGIN (although he is the leader in this category) but when I say Begin, I am saying the entire 3rd and 4th line.

    EVERY SHIFT THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN HITTING.

    Its one thing when Higgs or Koivu or Pleks or Kostys turn their backs when they could have hit…its WRONG, but expected…BUT FOR THE 3rd and 4th to do it….THATS WHY WE LOST.

    BECAUSE IF THE 3rd and 4th were HITTING, then the 1st and 2nd would be SCORING!…SIMPLE.

    especially against a team with wheels.

    Carb has done an excellent job setting up the lines based on individual styles and strengths and those lines have OBJECTIVES on the ice…and it works, we’ve seen it. WHEN IT DOESN’t WORK its because they are not functioning as they were setup. REMIND them of their roles…DO NOT MIX, thats a recipe for DISASTER.

    The “Begin’s” can and will score goals against the “Isles” type teams

    Get back to your game…your role.

    its the combined rolling of 4 lines that will wear down the opponent over the course of the game/battle that in the end can produce the results.

    Think of the basics in warfare…first BOMB then STRIKE your objectives.
    for BUF, they bring a speed game, no problem, pound them for 2 periods then in the 3rd you can score 2-3 goals because they are worn out and hearing footsteps.

    SIMPLY:
    if a team brings SPEED – you bring your HITTING GAME (ie;buff)
    if a team brings HITTING – you bring your SPEED GAME (ie;Isles)

    obviously it can get more complex and there are variations, but thats the basics…start there.

    There was a time when the HABS would win games only in the third period, after they put in some serious work in the 1st and 2nd….there was a time when we were Kings…

  15. coutNY says:

    Come on now Koivu -1 and Kovalev is -3 you can’t add them together to compair against Ryder… Higgins -3 and Pleks -4 togehter by the same logic, although not playing on the same line, it would be -7… I wouldn’t discount the PP points too much since we have the best in the league which doesn’t fit into the plus minus ratio. Statistics can be used to fit anyones arguements but adding 2 players is a bit misleading to say the least. Hey, Hamrlik and Koivu are a + 6??? LOL

    Ryder is a forward on the top line which means scoring is his top priority. His production numbers, a good indicator for offensive effectiveness (Goals/shots) is 5th worst on the team at 4.5%(3g/67shots) only to out-do 4 defenseman. So yes he is struggling and yes his icetime should be given to someone that is doing better at finishing. Maybe we should give him some icetime on the 3rd and 4th lines against scoring lines to see if his +/- stays positive.

  16. Ed says:

    Dave, I can see the full picture of Dollard St. Laurent, plus the puck on the ice.

  17. Dave Stubbs says:

    Ian, I’ve passed your note along to our tech, who will look into it. On the other hand, half of one Dollard St. Laurent is worth a full modern NHL defenceman, or more.


    Dave Stubbs

    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette

     

  18. The Ian Cobb says:

    Dave —Every day you put up a picture with your article it only shows the first half inch of the top of your picture.

    It is at your end i think because two other get the same problem. Ian

  19. sisu says:

    The game in Buffalo was pretty even and could have gone either way. The shots at even strength were even.

    You could argue that Carbo’s panic lost the game on Saturday. Buffalo was using three balanced lines with Peters playing rarely on the 4th. Against the three threatening lines, Carbo played mostly Koivu, Plekanec and Chipchura’s line instead of Smolinski. Predictably, Roy, Vanek and Kotalik were on against Chipchura/Latendresse/Kostoupolos when they drew the penalty in the 2nd which led to the 1-0 goal on the PP. It was a mistake to have Chipchura’s line out against that much talent at home.

    It was after that goal when Carbo flipped out and put Koivu, Latendresse and Dandenault together. Some people commented that this was Koivu being ‘demoted’ to the 4th line, but that was not the case – this line played 2 of the 4 shifts following the 1-0 goal, and they got beat by Roy and Vanek again for the 2-0 goal.

    Chipchura’s line should have been facing the Sabres 4th. Yes, the Habs are bad at 5-on-5 scoring, but at least they were playing Buffalo (and most other clubs) to a standstill in the two games until Carbo’s tinkering. No magical combination of forwards is going to produce more goals. This team simply lacks talent up front. Playing even hockey at even strength and getting wins from the PP is a perfectly reasonable strategy.

    One more thing – for all Ryder’s ‘struggling,’ he’s a +1 in 5-on-5 situations. Koivu and Kovalev are -4, Plekanec and Higgins are -5. Ryder’s getting his shots, he’s just not getting the goals. Giving him less icetime is a big mistake.

  20. coutNY says:

    As I stated before, there are a lot of reasons simply swaping Kovalev with Higgins in a line juggle senario would be questionable:

    1~ Ryder and Kovalev are both Right wings and shoot Right-handed. Kovalev, although not tallying any points in the last two games is still our top goal scorer and points man (tied with Koivu), so it would not make sense moving a vetran having a great start to an foriegn position. Ryder struggling at playing his nautral position, it would seem a counter-intuitive moving him to left wing. Would this suddenly inspire him to work in front of the net? Doubtful… so who moves to left in this situation?

    2~ If anyone thought Ryder was struggling with Higgins because of his holding the puck style, things would not be a whole lot different playing with a Kovy. Altough, One might argue Kovy is a little more generous creative passer, Ryder has never been much of a 1 timer when it comes to goal scoring. Until Ryder can break the habit of having to repositioning himself into a comfortable wristshot-ready angle, he’ll never work with Kovy or anyone playing that style in my opinion. Ryder all to often, allows the Defense and/or Goalies too much time to position themselves which lately has resulted in a turn-overs, weak opportinies or blocked shots.

    3~ The defensive reliablity of having Kovy/Koivu/Ryder together is scary. With Ryder the only one out of the 3 still on the plus side, and all coming off terrible years in the +/- category, it would be a risky venture to say the least. Should be noted that all three seemed to have improved, but if the scoring does not come how long will it take for them to be back in similar territory.

    4~ Moving away from the Ryder woes, I still think Koivu and Kovalev do not want to be on the same line. Not sure if there is any conflict between the two, but juggling the lines rarely has these guys paired-up together. Both are strong along the boards and quaterbacking the play from that area which seems to me would be an overlap of talent. This is possibly the strongest arguement against it other than, a not wanting to play with one another. They seemed to work well on the powerplay, so it makes sense in some ways. It makes more sense with Higgins at the left than Ryder.

    IF we were to try juggling the top lines, My lines would include, again apologies for the similarities to earlier posts:

    1st:
    Higgins/Koivu/Kovalev
    Similar hold and cycle style of play

    2nd:
    Kosti/Pleks/Ryder
    Similar transition style with speed

    3rd:
    Begin/Chips/Kosto
    hustling forechecking energy line, Defensive shutdown, irritating

    4th:
    Laten/Smoli/Dandy
    Hitting and Forechecking

  21. mar-lin says:

    is this the right time to panic?? Man i’m still mad about losing to Buff in back to back games. It makes this game against the laffs so much more stressful.

    I don’t think we should juggle the lines so much personally. I’d tell the guys that we will live or die with lines we have. I think success and failure as a unit help to build chemistry. Like we’ve all said…line juggling seldom works and these guys are pros. They know when they suck or not, i doubt very much they need to be told.

    This team is very good…a couple of key components towards the trade deadline might be all we need.

    The laffs are the first stepping stone out of this funk, so let’s deal with them accordingly. From there things will only get better…

    cheers

    go habs go

  22. Derek2 says:

    Why do you assume that things can only get better? They could get much worse as they did for long periods the past two years. The core of this team has had 2 – 3 years to demonstrate some consistent offense, and have failed consistently to do so.

  23. Wayne says:

    Well put. That’s the way I see it too. The just need to keep their speed and work ethic and the chances will come. They just look a little flat lately which is normal for any team to go through. They’ll get their chemistry back.
    But,.. i won’t be pleased if they don’t get up for T.O.

  24. gmd says:

    I’d like to see Higgins on the penalty kill. He scored 3 short handed last year and he seems to anticipate where the pass is going and with his speed he can get to loose pucks.

  25. Bouleau noir says:

    The line-ups are fine.

    We have limited scoring ressources, good overall speed and highly potent power play units.

    If our 5-on-5 works hard all night, avoid the penalty box while creating PP opportunities for themselves,… the CH can keep up with the playoff race.

    We are down to work ethic and to an overall hability from our team to move the puck forward and keeping up the offensive pressure,… this will at least provoque fouling and generate PP opportunities for our team….. while keeping the puck away from our own end at the same time.

    The team has already had success doing just that, less lately but that is just a warning that they have to keep at it harder.

  26. krob1000 says:

    We asked for it and we got it (the comments). I think what really throws things of is the reply feature. When the posts are numbered you can simply refer to the number and it kept posts in chronological order. Replies complicate things. If someone wants to reply they could simply refer to the post if they were numbered again.

  27. Steve C. says:

    wow…i didn’t notice that new comments are at the top now…i don’t think i like that. it puts the replies and everything out of whack

  28. Steve C. says:

    usually I am not in favour of line juggling, but I think these ones are pretty good. Carbo has been more patient with his lines than last year and the Canadiens need to start playing some consistent hockey.

  29. Bill H says:

    Webmaster: I agree with the comments about the reverse order of posts. Scrolling top to bottom is best. However, the way it is now, as I scroll bottom to top, I am coming across some posts that are out of chronological order. For example, immediately below my post is mjames posted at 12:14, then below that is krob1000 posted at 12:45, then BigHabsFan at 11:45, then CableGuy at 11:47, then Krob1000 at 11:31. These are not in sequence, whether you are going top to bottom or bottom to top. If it makes any difference, I am using Internet Explorer and Windows XP. btw, keep up the good work Webmaster. You continue to tweek and it continues to improve.

    Krob1000: I like your posts and look forward to them. Your analysis is intelligent.

  30. coutNY says:

    I’ll give you the pure 5-5 stuff but one can argue the statistically the(4-on-4, SHG) do matter and shouldn’t be eliminated to disadvange a players stats. We could bounce stats back and forth all day… I’ll stand firm on his struggling part, bad luck may be a reason, but a positive +/- isn’t an offensive indicator arguement. Not sure you’d find too many in agreement that he is not struggling… The one who seems to agree he is struggling is the coach, which matters the most.

    “#2) Shooting % is a terrible indicator for ‘offensive effectiveness’ over a short timespan. He’s a 12% shooter over his career. His 4.5% this year is nothing more than bad luck. So, no, he is not struggling. Giving his icetime to a 3rd/4th line mucker is a terrible idea.”
    His historical Shooting % is the exact reason why I argue why Ryder is struggling. If he were Begin on a 3rd or 4th line with low career numbers it wouldn’t be an issue.

    I guess we’ll agree to disagree…

  31. krob1000 says:

    Move Ryder to left wing!

  32. krob1000 says:

    I like your question although I think the answer should be fairly simple. We have to stop “adapting” to other teams styles as this is what causes us to play down to weaker opponents levels. Of course minor adjustments have to be made between periods but for the most period it looks like lately we have had a gender identity issue. For the first 12-15 games we played a very similar stayle (dmen helping out offensively, agressive forecheck, alot of players streaking through the middle and not remaining onthe perimeter, hard hitting but not allowing yourself to be taken out of play just to make a hit, keeping opposing forward s and d honest by stretching them with long passes occasionally (from our d)etc. For whatever reason (I think it stems from playing the Senators three times and having our style served to us on a plate)we seem to have deviated.

    We were really playing well when guys knew what their game was and all four lines and the defencemen were on the same page. It seems as of late our defense is a bit tentative to take even the slightest of chances. This forces us into closer games (we were jumping out to leads) and forces us tighten up (although I disagree that we should do that). Not many teams were able to beat us at the style we were playing so why guys would switch it up is beyond me.

    The simple answer was : Other teams should be adapting to us!

  33. mjames says:

    I have read all the posts about line changing, trades, firings, Ryder, Lats, Kovalev, Carbo etc. For the most part they all seem to ignore what I believe is a critical issue. A poster called “The Teacher” raised this issue in an earlier post. In his post he lists various areas that require improvement. Among those he cites “an inability to adapt to the other team’s style.” I agree with this poster. This is a critical area. Line changing or hitting during the game does not address this problem.

    Given the above I wish to pose a question. How does one counter strong forechecking teams like Ottawa, Toronto and Buffalo? I believe hitting is important but is only part of the answer.

    One thing I do believe is that the five players on the ice have to play as a unit. There was too much separation against Buffalo. Our defense held back while our forwards skated in. This set up or allowed a strong counter attack by Buffalo. Also our defense backed right in to our end. This allowed Buffalo to freely skate into our end thus setting up the strong forecheck. I have an opinion on how one counters thus but I would like to hear what the experts have to say.

    Rest assured Toronto will come with a strong forecheck. My concern is that Carbo or the coaches have not shown an ability to adapt to or counter this style. As I said hitting and line changing is not the answer. I would like to hear your thoughts.

    mjames

  34. Moey says:

    LOL Krob1000,

    Wait till tomorrow night when we get clobbered by the leafs, mass hysteria for sure!!!

    I agree with your line proposal, I would like to see Koivu and Kovy together. Put Higgins with Pleks & hopefully Carbo reads these posts…LOL…

  35. yukonhab says:

    Ryder, Koivu, Kovalev
    Tits, Pleks, Higgins

    vs the Leafs

    and Price in net….

  36. Cable Guy says:

    Why not bring someone up from Hamilton like Sergei K to try and inject soem offence. It’s starting to look like last year where we can’t score 5 on 5. We need help now. This line juggling fiasco doesn’t work.

  37. J.T. says:

    I agree line juggling during the game rarely works. But I think it could be beneficial to mix the lines in practice, let them have a couple of workouts together and then start them in a few games before declaring them a failure. We *know* Plekanec, Higgins and Kostitsyn can work brilliantly…we saw it last year. We can’t write it off because they didn’t click on a handful of shifts in the third period of a lost cause on the weekend. Similarly, we know Koivu and Kovalev have worked well together in the playoffs a couple of years ago. Kovalev is rejuvenated this year…maybe he can help spark Koivu. It’s worth a try before running to Hamilton for reinforcements. Kostitsyn Jr.’s number look enticing, but Don Lever has said he’s not ready for the NHL for several reasons…and I’m inclined to believe him.

  38. The Cat says:

    I agree with J.T. I think Kovalev might lit up Koivu. Above all else though we need another big defenseman and a big center, but we shouldnt get them at any price. I like Koivu and admire him but hes not a first line center, and this is hockey; if you cant drop the gloves and win a fight, you shouldnt be captain in my opinion.

  39. J.T. says:

    I think the players who elected Yvan Cournoyer captain of the Habs might disagree with you, since he never fought once as captain and lost his five career fights before that. Guy Carbonneau also didn’t fight once as captain. Both of those guys managed pretty well…including winning Cups as captain of the Canadiens. Looking outside the Habs, I think most people would agree Steve Yzerman was one of the best captains in NHL history, even though he had five fights as captain, losing all but one of them…the last one being a draw in a wrestling match with Rob Ramage.

  40. 24 Cups says:

    Sergei K. should not be called up this year regardless of how the Habs do. He needs a year in the minors to get plenty of ice time and adapt to the pro game. How many good kids have been ruined because we rushed them too early. We have to be patient with the best offensive prospect that we have in the system. Speaking of Kostitsyn’s, when is Andrei ever going to start producing? Everyone keeps talking about his potential but he hasn’t done much since being drafted in 03′. In fact that draft year is turning out to be the biggest disaster in Bob Gainey’s reign as GM. We picked 10th and took Andrei K. who is a bust so far. We passed on Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, Zach Parise, and Ryan Getzlaf. To add insult to injury we then selected Cory Urquhart in the second round and passed on Patrice Bergeron. Urquhart is a total bust and will never play in the NHL. I know that hindsight is easy but one of the reasons that the Habs have suffered offensively for years is that they draft so poorly when it comes to forwards. (Chipchura is going to be a valuable Hab but he will never be an offensive dynamo). I also wonder why Grabovski is on the roster. He should either play every game and take a regular shift so we can find out if he is NHL material or send him down to Hamilton and bring up Lapierre who can fill a variety of needs for Carbo. Both players do not have to clear waivers and we save about $150000 grand in cap space to boot. (not that it matters) Lapierre can play center and wing and is an accomplished player in both ends of the rink. I also like his grit and spark. He’s had enough seasoning, bring him up and let him play. No sitting on the bench or the press box. Lastly, I hope that Price gets the start in net against the Leafs if for no other reason than Huet seems snakebitten against them.

  41. 24 Cups says:

    I realize that this doesn’t directly pertain to our site but the heat is really on in Toronto over the Leafs’ lousy record and people are starting to call for the firing of Ferguson and Maurice. It will either lead to the Leafs playing an inspired game against us on Tuesday or continue the downward spiral that also befell Atlanta and Washington earlier in the season (and led to the firing of both coaches). Here’s hoping that it’s the latter.

  42. Cable Guy says:

    How can you say Sergei K isn’t ready for the NHL? He was on a line last year with Patrick Kane and Sam Gagner in London and they are playing extremely well this year.

  43. Bill H says:

    Enough with the talk of bringing up Kostitsyn Jr to spark our offencive production. He is in his first year in the AHL and in 17 games, he has a grand total of 5 goals. If that is how he does in the AHL, what makes people think he can solve our lack of goal scoring in the NHL? Sure, his production in assists is better (14A/19P) but that is not what the Habs need. We need someone who can pot goals, and besides, even at a tad over a point a game, that is the AHL, not the NHL. And his coach says that he plays well one game and then coasts for 2 or 3. That is not what the Habs need either.

    I think we need to get the rookies currently on the roster producing…Grabs and Big Tits, not to mention Latendresse. Kostitsyn Jr. is not the answer.

    Lapierre is another issue. So are line combinations and more seasoning in Hamilton for one or two of the youngters that are struggling.

  44. Cable Guy says:

    Grabs isn’t NHL ready and neither is Latendresse.
    check out the top three scorers here. http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0008142007.html
    whats difference? Sergei ISN’T in the NHL.

  45. Mr.Hazard says:

    Just the fact that we were line-juggling means things are pretty desperate… But I think the Kovy-Pleks-Kostitsyn line has shown what it can do, its a matter of each player’s personal commitment and effort…

    The Toronto game will either be very satisfying or completely devastating, I think… In regards to their team GAA, it’s an opportunity to give our offense a confidence boost.

    Ex nihilo nihil fit

  46. 24 Cups says:

    Hockey history is full of hot juniors with big stats who were rushed to the NHL before their time with disastrous results. I would also suggest that Sergei’s junior stats were slightly inflated from playing on the same line as Kane and Gagner. Kane is a #1 draft pick who is getting tons of ice time in Chicago. He is miles ahead of Sergei K. in terms of talent and development at this point in his career. Gagner really isn’t doing that much in Edmonton (2 goals, -9) except learning how to lose. He’s a great prospect but Edmonton doesn’t have much choice but to play what they have. Kevin Lowe is a desperate man running a desperate organization. I worry that if Sergei was called up to the Habs he would sit on the bench or be sent to the press box after making the inevitable rookie mistakes. He needs to play and he needs to develop. The last thing he needs right now is to come to Montreal with all the pressure of trying to save the franchise. I’m just as excited as you are about his possible impact on the Habs – it’s just the timing that we disagree on.


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.