Carbo’s wacky world of line changes

OK, fans, let’s hear your thoughts on tonight’s lines as pencilled out by Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau:

First line: Higgins-Plekanec-Kovalev
Second line: Kostitsyn-Grabovski-Ryder
Third line: Streit-Koivu-Smolinski
Fourth line: Latendresse-Chipchura-Dandenault


  1. Jonnyboy says:

    Its and interesting combo. 3rd line would be an interesting one to see, Lats seems to have been improving of late.

    I like it though.

  2. TradeRyder says:

    I love your posts Gilles because I never know if you’re being serious!

    I stopped watching games in the late 90’s – too frustrating. Now watching Breeze-bye make the same mistakes, and the team fall apart again. I think I need to go see my therapist again!
    Thanks for the line changes I asked for Carbs! Now, do the defense!

  3. ccs says:

    Three words….JUNK JUNK JUNK. Smolinski Junk #1 Ryder Junk #2 and Huet Junk #3. It could have been a blow out had the 4 or 5 go off the post and in for the Preds. Time to now bring up some bodies from the farm. Glad to see Lats playing some really good hockey and Streit was flying out there….I guess we know how the sens fans felt the other night. Oh well bring on the Red Wings………Go Habs Go.

  4. Gilles Poisson says:

    Please. We can’t afford to lose great fans like you. Be patient. It’s only been fifteen years. Bob knows what he’s doing. Look at all his great picks out there. And all the others tearing up the AHL. Calder Cup last year mon ami. Thank you.

  5. lcpservices says:

    I share you feelings.

    How do you blow a 3-0 lead to Nashville?

    Books, Softwares, Downloads, Information

  6. TradeRyder says:

    Being a Habs fan…




    I give up on this stinking team.

    A bucket with a hole in it doesn’t hold water. We need changes on the first line!

  7. TradeRyder says:

    Smolinski??? Why do they like this guy??

    A bucket with a hole in it doesn’t hold water. We need changes on the first line!

  8. lcpservices says:

    Less than a minute to go in OT, 4-4 tie, if Habs lose this one, it will be a terrible blow.

    Very disappointing game, even if Habs win

    Books, Softwares, Downloads, Information

  9. LTHF says:

    I watched this game throughout and dont beleive what I seen. Smolinski was invisible all night and yet he was out there in the last 3 mins, and again after nashville scored the tying goal— absolutely unbelievable. After taking the penalty he shoud have been benched./ Period

  10. TradeRyder says:

    BTW – as you can see by my sig (below)…. I LOVE the line change.

    And we got some goals. Now what we need is a DEFENSIVE SHUFFLE… Hamrlik to the first line.. Breeze-bye in the press box?

    A bucket with a hole in it doesn’t hold water. We need changes on the first line!

  11. TradeRyder says:

    What HAPPENS to this team in the THIRD PERIOD?????

    Jeeezzzzz… soooo frustrating.


  12. johnnyhab says:

    It does not matter what the submitted lines are. They will not stay the same for the entire game…or for the first period for that matter. it’s a joke

  13. Gilles Poisson says:

    Well, just as I thought, there will be some growing pains for the new lines. Guy and Bob just have to stick to the plan and give the new lines time to gel. I say 26 or 27 games. Can’t keep Begin or Le Bombe out that long though. But now who does Guy take out? Oh la la. It is a problem every coach would love to have. Also the new lines fulfill the promise Bob made to Koivu about getting him some help. He is now standing shoulder to shoulder with Smolinski. Thank you.

  14. zamboni says:

    One question.
    Who would be back-checking on that second line.
    I’m trying to come to grips with Ryder looking like our best prospect.
    I wonder how many seconds that line will survive when we get scored upon.

  15. skoehn says:

    I do not agree with how often carbo juggles lines they players never play long enough to develope good chemisty and be in sync with each other. early in the season there was 2 or 3 games with no changes as they were working great and winning he needs stick more to his lines and leave them

  16. notbigbird says:

    Whatever. The ink will barely have time to dry before they’re changed. Whether this is a good lineup or not, this game musical lines is getting to be absurd.

  17. Geoff F says:

    Who’d be playing defence on line 2? I’d be more inclined to consider the following…

    Higgins, Koivu, Kostitsyn
    Kovalev, Plekanec, Grabovski
    Latendresse, Chipchura, Ryder
    Dandenault, Smolinski, Streit (Kostopoulous)

    First line would get two guys who can pass so Higgins can worry about burying them for a change.
    Second line get’s blazing speed.
    3rd line get’s a big body in front of the net so that Chips can set up Ryder for a shot and let Lats & CHips get rebounds. Finally the last line shuts them down with defence as a priority but plenty of speed on the wings for an odd man rush on a penalty kill..

    What do you folks think?

  18. linp says:

    No. Carbo totally lose it. He is the one who put Higgins in the right wing and skews up the 1st line.
    Put Koivu in the 3rd line with two slow skaters? I would keep Begin and bench
    Smolinski or Ryder. Smolinski is slow. Ryder hits hard without the puck. He has no confident and appear to be timid when he has the puck.
    I am afraid we’ll lose Koivu if we don’t make the play-off.

  19. J.T. says:

    I think it’s brilliant. I swore to God I wasn’t going to watch this game after the incandescent anger I felt during last night’s debacle. But it turns out Carbo’s just tipsy enough to interest me. I actually like the first line…Pleks has been playing well with Kovalev and traditionally played well with Higgins. It gets Higgins back on the left wing also. And I like the idea of Kosty and Grabs playing together…they did well in Hamilton last year. In fact, Grabovski only ever seemed to be productive with Kostitsyn, so maybe the old chemistry will kick in and Ryder will benefit. Koivu with Streit I don’t mind…although I would have sat Smolinski over Kostopoulos.
    The Chipchura line will be fine.

    I’m more concerned with the defence. A hurt Markov and a Breezy Brisebois don’t instill much confidence in me.

  20. Gilles Poisson says:

    Everybody is giving coach the praise for the great lines but don’t forget Gainey is the one who made it all possible. I see Guy is finally breaking up Komisarek and Markov too. Very wise moves. Tres bien Guy. Thank you.

  21. ebk says:

    Let’s bring Valentenko and O’Bryne up and add them into the mix at forward. Maybe O’Bryne is the long sought power forward the Habs have been searching for. It would also improve our 5 on 5 play. Just think how tough it would be to score with 5 defenseman on the ice at one time. I’m sure glad we have Carbo, he is light years ahead of other coaches.

  22. Kevin says:

    With 8 defensemen dressed, we can roll out 2 PK lines with 4 D on each! Maybe Carbo’s on to something?

  23. Alirio says:

    Here we go again…

    Last year’s mistakes look to have been forgotten and Carbo will now waste another two-week slump messing up the lines instead of sealing reinforcements from Hamilton.


    I’ve made a huge mistake…

  24. Kevin says:

    Ok i’m very confused!!! If anything, I thought it would be Higgins/Koivu/Kovalev on the first… But i’m excited to see what happens with these lines! Maybe there will be some magic. Perhabs Grabovski will play well with some legitimate ice time.

  25. Bill says:

    He’s messing with you. I say it’s 50-50 they start that way, and they won’t last a period.

    That said, they’re not the worst looking lines I’ve ever seen. Actually, I think they’re good!

  26. showey47 says:

    switch streit and latendresse and i might not of laughed so hard. but we all know that this won’t last more than 10 minutes. Especially when the fans start booing because we are getting outplayed due to mass confusion

  27. Bill says:

    Though if I were Carbo:

    Higgins – Plecanek – Ryder
    Latendresse – Koivu – Kovalev
    Kostitysn – Grabovski – Dandeneault
    Begin – Chipchura – Smolinski

  28. Higgins21 says:

    Worth a try. Who knows?

  29. Kevin says:

    I like the idea of:

    First line: Ryder-Koivu-Kovalev
    Second line: Kostitsyn-Plekanec-Higgins
    Third line: Latendresse-Grabovski-Smolinski
    Fourth line: Streit-Chipchura-Dandenault

  30. lcpservices says:

    whats Grabovski doing in the 2nd line and Koivu on the 3rd.

    What are you thinking Mr Carbonneau?

  31. Dave Stubbs says:

    Fabio, you should register a username and a valid email address so your posts are added automatically to the site. See the item I’ve added to the site tonight as a reminder.

    Dave Stubbs

    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette


  32. habsguy says:

    cournoyer12…you always make the same comment about why didn’t we draft Kopitar or Stastny, and I always ask the same question back, who would you sooner have, either one of those two, or Price ???

  33. Chorske says:

    Still love the Habs, but I have seriously lost all confidence in this coach. Flipping lines every minute, relegating the captain (who has played his heart out lately) to the third line- THIRD!-, giving the same bullshit “my veterans aren’t working” line that Tremblay used to use, and consistently fielding the wrong guys at crucial times. I can see a team giving up the tying goal in the final seconds happening once, twice. To have had it happen so much before December suggests to me that this is a systemic problem with the Habs approach, and that comes from on high. It comes down to a choice of who’s on the ice, who takes the face-off, and so on. As the home team we had last line change, which of course is redundant when Carbo’s behind the bench. Carbo got the matchups he wanted, and he blew it, plain and simple. I’d like to see some personal accountability, not Tremblayesque references to people letting him down. His system sucks, plain and simple.

    The worst thing is, if they keep this up, I’m worried we’ll end up losing Koivu. We’re still playing like a frgalie expansion team, and he’s made it abundantly clear he wants to play for a contender.

  34. Chorske says:

    “How many times is it going to happen?” asked Christopher Higgins, who opened the scoring with his 10th goal of the season. “Guys don’t know what to do. We have to understand that the game is never over. We were up 3-0 and you feel it’s a pretty comfortable lead, but there’s a whole 20 minutes to go and there are guys over there who can score. There’s not much to say. Look at the game, look at the boxscore. It’s embarrassing.”

    “Guys don’t know what to do”???!! It’s Carbo’s job to make sure they know EXACTLY what’s expected of them.

    Later in the same article Higgins comments that playing with new linemates is difficult, but that that’s no excuse. At least someone is taking personal responsibility here.

  35. showey47 says:

    If you spend your entire life playing hockey and you have no clue what to do in certain situations then you have no business in the nhl. If you can’t get self-motivated for a game each and every night, you have no business in the nhl. If you don’t play to win instead of playing not to lose, you have no business in the nhl.

  36. Rocket Richard says:

    It the nail right on the head.

    No direction
    December 1,2007 – rise and fall of the 2007-08 Montreal Canadiens

  37. Gilles Poisson says:

    Please this is not the place to question Bob and Trevor. I used to question Bob but then certain analysts made me realise I just had my head in my ass. Now I am a follower. I follow blindly and patiently. I don’t ask questions. Ignorant obeisance is even better than Prozac. Bob’s record is not even within the realm of debate. Bob we trust. Bob we trust. Bob we trust. Try it. Also I think when people are praising coach Guy, they should remember that he is also Bob’s man. Thank you.

  38. Chorske says:

    I imagine that these chats with your boss happen regularly?

    People mention their names all the time, yourself included. Thing is, Gainey and Timmins put the team together, but they don’t make decisions about lines, who’s on, who isn’t, who sits, who plays. They influence the long-term success of the team; it’s the coach that makes the small scale decisions that affect the outcome of each game. Players make the smaller scale decisions that affect the outcome of each shift. My point is, we often have the wrong guys on at critical junctures, and that is a coaching problem. We also can’t seem to hold a lead, and that is a player character problem. So I’m pretty much ticked at everyone EXCEPT Gainey and Timmins today.

  39. Rocket Richard says:

    Who is feeding this misimformation?

    Carbo said Koivu was on the 1st line and its mention here that Koivu was on the 3rd line.

    Who’s right?

    Get the facts straight Habs Inside/Out

    December 1,2007 – rise and fall of the 2007-08 Montreal Canadiens

  40. Gilles Poisson says:

    I am right, Maurice, and thank you for asking, when I say it doesn’t matter if you call it the 3rd line or the 1st line, it is one heck of a line. Smolinski has scored over 250 goals and is not afraid to mix it up in the corners and in front of the net. Streit’s offence is being wasted on the bleu line. He already has 2 goals and if coach Guy keeps giving him power play time I think he could score 3 or 4 more. I think this move is just what is needed to help Saku. Thank you.

  41. 10 says:

    If the constant line juggling is annoying to us imagine the players’ reactions. I wondered when someone would mention it and I’m pleased Higgins was honest enough to go their. Although, I do agree that all of that can’t be blamed on Carbo. The players have to step up.

    GO HABS.

  42. Fabio D says:

    Thanks Dave and Done.

    Love the site, great job with it.

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