Game 18: Sabres snap skid against listless Habs

Canadiens goaltender Cristobal Huet makes a save against the Buffalo Sabres.
Greg Stewart, Getty Images

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Sooner or later, the Buffalo Sabres were going to wake up. Unhappily for the Canadiens and their fans, they chose tonight to hear the alarm.

Losers of three straight games, including a 3-2 decision Thursday in Ottawa against the Senators, the Sabres dominated the Habs from start to finish, running up a 3-0 first-period lead before shifting down and pretty well suffocating any hopes of a Montreal comeback to earn a 4-1 victory on home ice.

The Canadiens (10-5-3) were outclassed in every area of the first period, and the Sabres (7-10-1) were happy to jump into their first lead in 495 minutes and 33 seconds, Clarke MacArthur banging a Derek Roy rebound past goalie Cristobal Huet at 7:59. The goal followed a terrific rush by Buffalo defenceman Brian Campbell, which sent the Canadiens into a mad, disorganized scramble in the defensive zone.

Daniel Paille put the Sabres up 2-0 at 12:19, tipping in a point shot by Nolan Pratt.

The onslaught continued with Drew Stafford having the puck ricochet in off his skate at 15:22, Vanek whipping the puck out front as Stafford swept in on Huet.

It was the first time this season the Habs had trailed after the first period.

Michael Ryder – finally – found the net, scoring his third of the season by being in the right place at the right time. Ryder, alternating between coach Guy Carbonneau’s third and first line, took advantage of a gift bad pass by Buffalo captain Toni Lydman to rifle one past Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, unassisted at 2:01 of the second period.

But MacArthur got that one back at 6:45 with the Canadiens, as they did on MacArthur’s first goal of the night, stood around without a lot of interest in clearing Buffalo traffic from in front of Huet.

After being outshot 12-7 in the first period, Montreal took it to Buffalo in the second, with a 19-10 edge for a 26-22 shots lead after 40 minutes, and finally outshot their host 37-28 with an 11-6 advantage in the third.

The Habs flew home immediately after the game and are at the Bell Centre on Saturday vs. the Boston Bruins.

———————————————————————

Images from tonight’s game, captions from top. And beneath the photos, a few pre-game statistics.

Canadiens forward Alex Kovalev is hooked off the puck by Buffalo Sabres defenceman Jaroslav Spacek.
Gary Wiepert, Reuters

Sabres’ Clarke MacArthur celebrates his first-period goal.
Bill Wippert, NHLI via Getty Images

Sabres goalie Ryan Miller foils Canadiens’ Michael Ryder from in close.
Rick Stewart, Getty Images


The Sabres were putting more than the puck into Cristobal Huet’s net: here Buffalo’s Derek Roy makes himself at home in the Habs goalie’s crease.

Bill Wippert, NHLI via Getty Images

Roy in Huet’s net, the play whistled dead.
Greg Stewart, Getty Images

Drew Stafford scores on Huet, the puck glancing in off his skate.
Adam Wiepert, Reuters

Sabres’ Jochen Hecht (left) and Daniel Paille mug Canadiens’ Tom Kostopoulos.
Rick Stewart, Getty Images

Kostopoulos unleashes a shot past Sabres’ Toni Lydman.
Rick Stewart, Getty Images

Habs defenceman Roman Hamrlik climbs out of the Sabres bench, into which he was bodychecked.
Greg Wiepert, Reuters

 

163 Comments

  1. cautiousoptimist says:

    I’m not really worried about the lack of goals from Hamrlik and Kostopoulos – they’re good at their jobs, and that ain’t it. Would’ve thought Smolinski would have some, but he’s been good enough that no one is missing Radek Bonk on the shutdown line.

  2. cautiousoptimist says:

    Brisebois had a couple of giveaways, but Gorges had that awful one too… And anyway, these things happen to the best of them. But I agree with you guys – I don’t see either of them fighting off O’Byrne and Valentenko et al for their jobs next year.

  3. leafs67_andcounting says:

    I agree, when I first heard they signed him I said “WHAT?!!! and had a few extra shots of JD, but Breezer is doing what’s asked of him. I have no complaints on that end. And he’s fairly cheap salary wise.

  4. cautiousoptimist says:

    Thanks Chorske! I’m not betting the farm on them just yet, but man, I like this team. :)

    And in response to, er, Anonymous, maybe I’m not hard enough on Latendresse. But at the same time, he did well when he had ice time last year. And he’s not doing well with low ice time this year. If we’re willing to juggle our lines to the extent that Kostopoulos gets a game with Koivu and Higgins, I don’t think it’s a huge stretch to give Lats one too.

    I’m just trying to be logical here – let’s look at the numbers. I like Kostopoulos – a lot – and he’s good at his job. But the man has four points. Incidentally, so does Gui. Thirteen less penalty minutes, too. And Lats has a higher shooting percentage than Kostitysn, Smolinski, Ryder or Kostopoulos. I like all those guys too. Lats just needs more shots, ie. more ice time to take shots. He only has 23 this year – among forwards, only Begin, Chipchura and Grabovski have less, and they don’t get a lot of ice time either.

    At any rate, I don’t think it’s really all that fair to trash any hockey player to the extent that a small minority of people here do, unless he’s swinging his stick like a baseball bat. Or he’s Todd Bertuzzi.

  5. cautiousoptimist says:

    Oh. Well I guess that explains it then. :)

  6. ajpursell says:

    I think your pint per minute stat might suffer with that. Especially with faulty clock regulations.

  7. ajpursell says:

    Yeah, I saw that stat too and got all depressed. The minute they go down by 1 I know in my heart that’s the game and that they’ve lost it and pray for tying goal so they can at least salvage a point.

    I think more than anything right now, they need a solid come from behind win and not in overtime.

  8. drecha says:

    Nice Cartoon!! I hope you keep posting links to these as you make them!!
    GoHabsGo!!!

  9. Chorske says:

    You’re crabby! ;)

    You’re right about stats. I’m sure you know the old saying about lies, damn lies, and statistics. But they can tell you interesting things about a team is playing. Some of them are probably of little use: I’d rather see ‘scoring chances’ than ‘shots’, for instance, and I’d love to see a stat that counts ‘time with possession’. But stats like faceoff percentage are interesting because they deal with a key aspect of the game, namely, getting control of the puck. Percent PK or PPG are also interesting, for obvious reasons.

    Everyone has their thing. I find stats interesting but I don’t necessarily trust them, and I like to think my posts reflect that. Other people blab endlessly about what lines they’d like to see. Others blab about who to bring up from Hamilton.

    LOL, can you tell I took that comment personally? ;)

  10. Chorske says:

    I agree. And I think Brisebois is doing the job, minus a couple of giveaways. I can only think of two that were truly hair-raising. He’s got 4 points and a +/- of 0. He’s certainly playing better than McCabe, and he comes pretty cheap for a playmaking D who can move the puck and has GENERALLY played responsibly. He’s here for a year, maybe two, and I suspect he may stick around within the Habs organization afterwards.

  11. Chorske says:

    Out of the last five seasons, the Habs have had a negative goal differential four times. Our best season in that respect was 2003-2004, with 208 GF and 192 GA. Our worst was 2002-2003, with 206 GF and 234 GA; we didn’t even get 80 points that year (we finished with 77).

    And for your information, we are on track for 251 GF and 193 GA, and a whopping total of 130 points.

    We usually go through doldrums around the new year, for whetever reason. Flu bugs, bad dressing rooms, slumps, you name it, we seem to get off track from December to February. Here’s hoping it doesn’t happen with this crew! I could do with a 130 point season…

  12. 24 Cups says:

    Good points nightmare_49 (care to explain your title?!). In a perfect world, two years from now our defense will consist of:
    Markov
    Komisarek
    Hamrlik
    Streit
    McDonagh
    O’Bryne
    With a 7th defenseman coming from the afore mentioned list for a low salary cap number. Surely one of those guys will make it in that role.

    No trades or free agent signings needed on defense. We can save that for our two major needs up front – a big centre who can skate and utilize his size and a high scoring winger who answers the call when spring time comes around. Add Price to the mix and in two years you will have a team that can win the Cup.

  13. Chorske says:

    Cautious optimist: first off, great sign-in name. Years of being Habs fan has made most of us cautious optimists, hasn’t it?

    I am also not worried about that stat. I am way more worried about the team’s tendency to be soft on protecting leads. I’ve said it before, it’s like we prefer to be underdogs, playing best when behind, or when challenged by a technically superior team. That is a mental issue that I think needs to be addressed soon by the coaches. We should be killing some of these teams (esp Toronto) and yet we always seem to find a way to keep things nailbitey. All these close games wear you down eventually, doesn’t it?

  14. krob1000 says:

    Markov is a future Norris trophy winner ….. Komisarek is just a future winner. He’ll get little recognition outside of Montreal but his teammates and Hab fans will always know his value.

  15. Habs_008 says:

    I agree the future on D looks good, brise-by is only here for the year to give the younger guys a year to develop. I think Komi is a future Norris trophey winner. It was a great goal by him against the Laffs, it was the most memorable I have ever seen live. I look forward to seeing O’Bryne in future years.

  16. coutNY says:

    Cartoon de jour~

    Titled “Slowing a speedy but of late impotent sabres..”

    http://www.groovle.com/custom/homepage/cb3027464fedb9091aadbe7595a3d1fd/

  17. nightmare_49 says:

    Cup24 – The future looks good on the “D” but their at least 2 years away with the exception of O’Bryne. Brisbois is filling a spot adequately but him, Streit and Gorges play the same type of game so that’s why O’Bryne is the key and would bring more size, grit and a better defensive game than the other group and is much braver. One thing i think we miss with this group, let’s call them the three amigos, is that their game is not reliable for killing penalties and Bouillon is OK at best so the grooming of O’Bryne for that spot is the top priority for the Habs. McDonagh doing fine for a freshman and Valentenko has the tools but needs a lot of coaching to adapt to the North American game as Emelin will need but not to the same extent, that’s if he ever gets here, Carle is good offensively but needs to improve his “D” coming off a knee injury and we don’t want another Breezer and Fischer is struggling a bit but Yannick Weber has stepped up his game and is offensive minded and not to big and their’s P.K. who Ian Cobb follows and updates periodically. The key for the “D” is O’Bryne and if he can make the jump and is ready then all those “D” problems are solved and we would be set for awhile barring injuries.

  18. kevin m says:

    InGy

    I hope this can help you out a bit.

    http://www.nhl.com/nhlhq/cba/archive/cba/article13.html

    And here’s to the Habs kicking some serious butt tonight!

    Go Habs Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. krob1000 says:

    ebk

    Let me first state that you are very correct in your observations about our power play, 5 on 5 and goaltending. Now let’s probe a little deeper into why that is. Montreal is tenth in the league in goals and seventh in the league in goals against (as an aggregate not an average …I am too lazy to search for by goals/game). Our teams biggest assets are our depth (four lines), goaltending, powerplay and two-way play. So far our record and statistics accurately depict a team playing very well to its strengths.

    If 5 on 5 we are even we will likely win the game because of our special teams. This is likely a reason that we don’t take as many chances (calculated risks and timely jumping in by the defense has been and is key) in 5 on 5 situations. Of the teams ahead of us in goals for are the Lightning, Leafs and LA Kings…..all having less than banner seasons. These teams are not defensively responsible in 5 on 5 mode and any goals they score are rendered useless by their inability to defend.

    You are obviously correct in that 5 on 5 play is a wildcard and huge factor that can ultimately be the difference from us playing contender or pretender this year. The Koivu line early on looked very good and Kovy’s line has come on strong as of late. The other two lines are always going to be content playing even hockey. I think our 5 on 5 stats would be a more glaring issue and a different style of play would likely be used if not for management and the coaching staff already evaluating our teams strengths. You look at our asssets and how to maximize this groups output and then look at our results to date and all you can really do is tip your hat to everyone involved with the team to this point.

    If and or when we get consistent and optimum output from the Koivu and Pleks line at the same time……look out because we will instantly become a legitimate threat to anyone….yes that means you Sens. I am very happy with the current team and its philosophies and I have already expressed my singular displeasure with regards to Rydergate. The shots on net stats have declined and I do agree that we are seeing less joining of the rushes from our defense and I would like to see that increase again, but again it has to be calculated and let’s not forget the risk from the defense’s perspective. Gorges was crucified in the media for his glaring mistake and Brisebois and Streit have also played a little more conservatively lately and I don’t think this is a coincidence. Look at Mccabe in Toronto.

    In a game as fast as hockey a split seconds hesitation is enough to cost you and I think guys are erring on the side of caution more often than not and as long as we are scoring more goals than the other team (winning) that is not likely to change too much. I am going to take a brief moment to compliment Daniel Alfreddson here (sorry folks)….I live in the Ottawa television region and see a fair share of their games and he is the master of split second decisions….that guy just outthinks the league. He makes so many subtle decisions throughout a game that are just overlooked but if analyzed closely the frequency of his decisions leading to success is scary. Plekanec is probably our most aware player in my opinion with Koivu losing to him only because I believe Plekanec still has more to learn.

    We have a lot of young guys on this team playing fairly significant roles and 5 on 5 is the situation where smarts and capitalizing on the smallest of mistakes is the best way to gain an advantage. Speed is less important as space is decreased. One on one ability is valuable and I believe what separates top lines from other lines along with smarts. Each of our top lines has two guys on them that excel in one on one battles and all are intelligent. I think Higgins still needs his awareness to match his intensity….when it does he is going to be a force as is our team.

    Ryder and Kostitsyn are always going to play more triggerman type roles and they need to not only find space but find space that has available passing lanes. I have seen both of those guys standing in areas they could swing their sticks around and probably wonder why they don’t have the puck. Simple explanation boys there is no way to get it to you. Hull was a master at creating a seam for himself and he always had great playmakers tog et him the puck. He was the key to his own csuccess though as he was an extremely smart player. He would anticipate and find a seam for a second …that was all he needed. Ryder should watch reels of Brett Hull tape and notice his mastery of the art of deception. He used to turn his back on plays or circle (seemingly to nowhere) and then he would find a seam….goal. Koivu is smart enough to see this and Higgins is getting better.

    Look out Sabres ……. the Montreal Canadiens are coming to town…..nice that strikes fear into opponents again.

  20. InGy says:

    Sabres played a good game last nite, i hope there tired :P
    I think Huet will be in fine form for them anywayz!

    off subject
    anyone know a web site that explains how ‘waivers’ work? like how do they determine the order and so on. Any info would be apreciated.
    Thanks

  21. Bill H says:

    I am glad to see Carbo is leaving the Pleks line intact. Don’t fix what ain’t broke. Ocasionally I see criticism of Pleks…someone earlier in the season called him the best 3rd line centre in the NHL. So untrue.

    So once you leave the Pleks line intact, that limits your options, in terms of the Ryder problem. Promote Latendresse to the Koivu line? At this point, its just not warranted. So I support Carbo’s decision to try TK on that line. He probably won’t stay long, but the intent is to get Ryder back on his game, not turn TK into a 30 goal scorer.

    Let’s hope Higgins and Koivu both pot a goal tonight. Heck, let’s make it a hat trick for the line, with TK getting one too.

    I share the concern with 5-on-5 scoring and agree that while other weaknesses have been addressed by Gainey, 5-on-5 remains a problem to be solved. PP performance and hot goaltending have saved us thus far, not to mention an improved =/- for the team. Hopefully we will find the answer before too long.

  22. nightmare_49 says:

    The beer is tempting but i have a lot to do today but i may fit in the happy hour before the game and i don’t count pints i just watch the time so i don’t miss the opening faceoff.

  23. Scotty90 says:

    Nightmare…… here..here.., have a beer. Totally in agreement with you.

  24. JF says:

    Winning face-offs is the key to more puck-possession, more shots and hopefully more 5-on-5 goals. In the last game I think Koivu was the only centre who won most of his face-offs. Carbonneau has said they’ve been working on this; hopefully it will pay off. Getting a lot of shots could be a key in tonight’s game. The Sabres played an exhausting game last night and, had it not been for late penalties, could have won or at least gotten a point. They’ll have to be tired tonight so, whether it is Miller or Thibault in goal, a lot of shots should translate into goals.

  25. Habs_008 says:

    Last year we were in the same boat, goaltendening was discent, we had trouble 5 on 5, but our powerplay was tops. Eventually the PP will not work, teams we figure out how to stop it. I think we have a better team this year then last, but this 5 on 5 stat scares me. It’s still early, I have faith that the team will get better 5 on 5, if they work at it and stay healthy.

  26. nightmare_49 says:

    Call me crabby but i’m getting fed up of stats, stats and more stats. First of all some stats are bent like the hits. I watched a game two years ago with the Islanders against someone and i was just interested in Trent Hunter who had competed with Ryder for the rookie of the year the year before which neither won. During the 2nd period the announcer mentioned that Hunter’s last hit was his ninth of the game which put him a couple of hits behind the NHL leader in hits and we were well into the season. I had not missed one of his shifts abd i would have to stretch it to give him 2 hits but the Islanders must have been pushing for him to be the leader. there are other stats that are misleading also and their’s no stat for heart, possession and hockey sense etc. Many posters use stats as their only basis and it shows me that stats are their crutch and to analyse the game they got to have it. No stats for puck control or winning the battles in the corners or backchecking so try to express your opinions without your stats and you’ll learn a lot about this great game.

  27. kevin m says:

    This has been the Habs’ Achilles Heel for some time now. In the past they’ve suffered from this among other things.

    The Braintrust, starting with Gainey, have addressed other issues very well; including, consistant & solid goaltending, an elite defensive corps and shut down guys who will play against the other teams offensive stars.

    IMHO the only piece to the puzzle that remains missing is that even strength scoring punch, which may come from within the organization in the near future or will be aquired at the trade deadline for a combination of an established NHLer(s) and prospect(s).

    Whichever way you look at it I believe that this edition of the Habs is on track to take a run at the Cup this year and win it in 2009, on their 100th anniversary.

    GO HABS GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. Scotty90 says:

    I agree there is a lack of scoring 5 on 5, but the chances have been there and its a matter of the puck just not bouncing their way. Still there are things they could do to improve and that involves winning more face-offs, shooting moer and creating traffic in front of the nets. They should try Komisarek to create that traffic like the Sens used to do with Chara. Latendresse has the size but doesn’t do it very often.

  29. 24 Cups says:

    Brisebois is just a stop gap measure until our young guys join the team. At present, none of them are ready to make the jump. I have to admit that some of his plays turn my stomach but he’s always been that way. We could do worse and for a lot more money (McCabe in Toronto, Zhitnik in Atlanta) Hopefully, Patrice is only here for one year. When he leaves it will be a good omen because it will signify that our kids are ready to make the jump. Very soon, guys like McDonagh, Valentenko, Fischer, Carle, Emelin, and O’Byrne will challenge for jobs and totally revamp our defense. All in all, I think Gainey made a good move bringing him back and for a decent cap salary. Brisebois is serving a purpose. As for Gorges, I don’t really see him being a long term Hab. He’s a spare part.

  30. HabFab says:

    Who cares? 5 on 5, PP, a flying pig, as long as it goes in….

  31. nightmare_49 says:

    Chorske – I wasn’t writing about you exactly so don’t get a complex it’s the ones that continuously use questionable useless stats devised by a human ( often bias ) in their posts. I agree faceoff percentage is important but how many times does a center wins the faceoff but the winger loses possession immediately so the center is blamed and their’s a lot of Grey zone in that stat for example. Most stats are a good guide but are not the bible even though , i admit , i use them often to devise a profile of a player over a period of time. Don’t take it personally lol.

  32. ebk says:

    is anyone concerned about the habs lack of scoring 5 on 5. The PP has been awesome, Huet and Price have been fantastic. These two are the main reason why the Canadiens have such a good record. Defensively, 5 on 5 the Canadiens have been one of the better teams in the NHL this season. Price and Huet have had a large impact on this. Offensively so far this season, the Canadiens 5 on 5 have been horrible. They rank second last in the NHL on 5 on 5 scoring. Overall the team is a minus 5 on 5 and needs to improve this quickly. That or the PP needs to keep clicking at the level it is now.

    Roman Hamrlik, Brian Smolinski and Tom Kostopoulous, after 17 games each, are still all looking for their first 5 on 5 goal as a Montreal Canadien. Saku Koivu has only one goal 5 on 5 and that was as the extra attacker on a delayed penalty. Their defense as a group has scored only 2 goals 5 on 5. Kovalev leads the team with 4. After that there are six players tied at two goals. Among them is everybody’s favorite whipping boy, Guilliame Latendresse.

    No need to panic yet. Their record is great, the PP and goalies have had a huge impact on this. This team needs to start scoring 5 on 5 pretty soon or they will be hard pressed to maintain their current lofty perch in the standings

  33. HabsInBlood says:

    I think I figured out why. The game is being shown on NHLN-US, which I guess preempts a Center Ice airing. My service provider here in Denver is Comcast, which doesn’t appear to carry this channel yet. The 2 satellite networks do carry it – bugger.

    Does anyone in the US know the status of NHLN-US and when it might start airing on Comcast? Apparently, Comcast is part owner (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NHL_Network_(United_States)) of NHLN-US and also own versus, so there’s some contractual shi* going on.

  34. Habs_008 says:

    Plecks line is making some real noise around, they just need to keep it going, if we can get our top line going and Ryder going we will have a great year. Please sit Brise-by and put in Gorges. Brise-by can make a great pass from end to end, but he makes so many mistakes on D, and gives the puck away too much. I remember the bad old days when we would BOOOOOOOOOOO everytime he touched the puck, haha.

  35. Bouleau noir says:

    ebk,.. good post.

    You mention the CH as having the second lowest amount of goals scored when playing 5 on 5 in the league,…. interestingly thats exactly where they stood at the end of the season last year.

    The attempt by Gainey to sign Briere was precisely made to improved upon that glaring weakness we had last season.

    So far our team has remained stuck in neutral when 5 on 5 and the rising of Kovalev’s and Pekanek’s play over last season has helped us maintained our stellar PP efficiency of last season….. so despite the loss of Sourey and thanks to them (Plek-Kovy) we are back to square 1.

    We needed a big ”surprise” from someone this year or a few little surprises from a few players in order to change our scoring status of last season,… will Higgins, Kostsitsyn, Lats or Garbs deliver it this year…I somewhat doubt it,… therefore the hochey played thus far is probably what will be played the rest of the season.

    Our scoring when 5 on 5 will remain the same but the total goal against our team will be down when compared with last year….. this mean still a lean diet in term of excitement but better chance at qualifying for the play-offs….. I wish there was a better alternative for our season but I am not shure that there is one.

  36. JasonM says:

    This game is a perfect opportunity for Montreal to get back on track by playing smart and going back to the way to earn a pair of points instead of stealing them.

    GO HABS GO

  37. HabsInBlood says:

    Darn it. Looks like Center Ice will not be showing the game … which is a total bummer for US based Hab fans.

  38. 24 Cups says:

    Enough talk about Ryder! Our real first line these days is the Plekanec line. Not many 3rd round picks make it to the NHL but I just love how this guy has steadily improved. He’s also partly responsible for the rebirth of Kovalev. Plekanec is the perfect example of a player who’s development was not rushed. He apprenticed in Hamilton for a few years and then gained more ice time with the Habs by ‘earning’ it. He’s the role model for what we should be doing with our other young draft picks (the only exception being Carey Price – he’s the franchise, he’s ready, and he’s here now) I love Tomas’ skating, hustle, and creativity with the puck – I just wish he would shoot more. Bring on the speed tonight boys – the Sabres defense in vastly overrated.

  39. MAB the HAB says:

    I completely agree, but would add that to be able to get more shots the first step would be to win more faceoffs. Their faceoff percentage is in the lower third of the league.

    To state the obvious: not winning face offs leads to less puck control both on the offensive and defensive zones, which in turn leads to more shots for the bad guys and less shots for our Habs.

    Faceoffs need to be the current coaching emphasis, IMHO.

  40. Rugger says:

    Not concerned at all since they have yet to be trailing after 1. Don’t know the stats on trailing after 2, but it could’nt have been more than 2-3 games.

  41. J.T. says:

    I’m not a bit worried about that stat…for the simple reason that the Habs are very rarely behind in a game. They’re usually ahead or tied at the ends of the first two periods, so you won’t see me complaining. Just goes to prove stats can be spun to prove anything.

    As for Ryder, I don’t think it’s the epiphany they’re looking for…it’s a solution. Carbonneau has said they’re hoping putting Ryder with different linemates might force him to think differently, rather than stay in his comfortable rut with Higgins and Koivu.

  42. MAB the HAB says:

    The Habs have yet to trail after the 1st period, so the stat is not so much .000% as it is N/A or a “0 out of 0″.
    And I dont think they have trailed many times in the second either, but that would need to be researched to get the actual stat and not the percentage.

  43. Scotty90 says:

    As a couple of you posted yesterday, our shots on net are not what they were in the first dozen games. Habs have to get back that ‘shooting gallery’ mentatlity and just dispense rubber like there is no tomorrow. That’s the only way they’ll get the better of Miller if he’s in nets tonight, and he most likely will.

  44. kevin m says:

    nychabsfan

    I like Chipchura too. I think he’s strong on the puck, sees the ice well & is defensively responsible beyond his years.

    To answer your question, though, Ryder plays RW & so does Kostopoulos. Chipchura is a center.

  45. cautiousoptimist says:

    Is anyone else concerned about that stat?

    Win% when leading after 1: .750
    Win% when leading after 2: .700
    Win% when trailing after 1: .000
    Win% when trailing after 2: .000

    And Kostopoulos will be fine – remember, it’s not about promotions and demotions, first lines and third lines, it’s about putting together three lines that can score and one that can shut the other team down. Koivu and Higgins could use a big body to hit and skate hard and crash the net. And anyway if the line numbers had anything to do with production, our second line would be our first, our first would be our second, and our third and fourth would trade places every other night.

    I don’t know why we’re all hot and bothered about players needing “messages” sent to them. You don’t think Ryder knows that he’s performing below expectations on a good line, and the pressure of a one-year contract? Sending him to the third line isn’t going to produce an epiphany here – the man knows what he has to do.

    As for Lats, he potted 16 in his rookie season – we know he can play. He was actually pretty darn good with Koivu and Ryder when Higgins got hurt last year. It’s a vicious circle: you need ice time to perform well, but you need to perform well to get ice time. He only started to shine on the top line last year, when that cycle was broken and he got some ice time he hadn’t yet earned, but he certainly earned it retroactively. Maybe he deserves a kick at the can again – he can hit and crash the net as much as Kosto can if Carbo tells him to.

  46. J.T. says:

    Well, I think this starts with faceoffs. If they improve their faceoff win percentage, they improve the amount of time they actually have the puck. That has to translate to more shots and chances to score. If they spend time working on that and are successful, I think we’ll see a turnaround in even-strength offensive production accordingly.

  47. Chuck says:

    Just got back from Buffalo, and I swear that after the first period you could see a stain in the crease where Huet left a big steaming pile. Especially in the 1st, the plays looked to be developing so slowly, yet Huet seemed to be moving even slower. He didn’t have a chance on the third goal; that one was just a lucky deflection off of a Sabre skate. Huet was clearly upset after that one, and you could tell that he wasn’t very comfortable. Actually, we were quite surprised that Price didn’t make an appearance to start the second. Then again, with him getting the start tomorrow night, Carbs was probably a little more lenient with Huet that he otherwise would have been.

    The other thing that amazed me was how boring the home town crowd was. Yeah, they cheered for their goals, but that was about it. They didn’t even answer back to our Go Habs Go chants. The lady in front of me even looked like she was ready to nod off. Even leaving the arena, the Hab fans were much more vocal in support of their team. On top of it, the second period was undoubtedly the quietest 19-shot performance by any team that I have ever seen. The Habs showed a lot more spark in the secod half of the third period; it’s a shame that that effort wasn’t ther in the first, especially with Huet off of his game.

    At least we have a chance to turn the tables on them next Friday back in their own building. Payback is going to be a… well, y’know!
    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________________
    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  48. Justin says:

    this game was the worst of the season, by far.

  49. RudeMood19 says:

    Everyone on english canadian tv is anti-habs…healy, millen, neale, cole, cuthbert is more critical etc, like theres no one who consistently sez the habs r good.

    i wouldnt wurry about tonight, we just had a bad game, thats all.. price is in tomorrow, hope he wins his first game at home.

  50. Chuck says:

    At least we’re not the leafs!!!
    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________________
    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  51. Habsfan39 says:

    Hey

    I need to vent… I wasted a couple hundred bucks to take this game in live tonight at HSBC. Very dissapointed. I wanted to leave after the first 15 minutes… then I figured, maybe they can come back… these are my boys, right?

    Well, ever since Ryder tried to deke when he had a clear point blank shot in the first when it was 0-0, It all went down hill. I just didn’t like the effort. The games against the crap teams are the ones we should win. Miller made a few good saves but he was hardly tested, I felt sorry for the boards for being hit with so many point-blank shots fired wide. The only player that consistently hit the net was Markov.

    The buffalo sabres have no fan base. Oh man they are sooo dumb in there. I remember goin to games when the place was half empty.. and it was probably more enjoyable when it was like that. Heck, the team was up 4-1 in the 3rd and the place still cleared out before the game was over! I couldnt beleive it, only the Montreal fans were still stickin around. Also, i had a bunch of retard sabre fans near me who thought it would be funny to scream the name of any ex canadiens player they could think of. No matter who they said they burst into histarics… and it got old reallly fast, and they kept it up all game.

    My shoulders were so tight by the end of this one. Probably the worst hockey experience for myself and ive been to many at HSBC. I just wish my boys could have done something to shut them the hell up.

    Anyways, Im done.

    -Donovan

    Ps. but im still goin to go do it all again next friday!!! GO HABS GO!

  52. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Looking at the bright side, Ryder scored.

  53. Chuck says:

    I’ll be there again next Friday, too. Hopefully they’ll give us something to cheer about next time! And you’re right; for a team that was winning by three goals, their fans sure were lame!
    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________________
    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  54. sholi2000.com says:

    Well we can’t win them all. Let’s hope they take it to the B’s and get Carey a great win Saturday night.

    sholi2000.com
    God Bless Our Infantry

  55. longbow says:

    Ryder of all people.Interesting.Wow,I actually feel more confident with Price in goal.

  56. G-Man says:

    Lack of intensity, no hitting and no finish. Yuck!
    Buffalo took advantage of a team that didn’t look like it wanted to play. Wouldn’t it be great if for one of the few games that Huet didn’t have it that his team scored 4 or 5 times? That 4th goal was absolutely brutal. Not 1 Sabre touched near the net. Disgusting. Here’s hoping they rebound against those Beantowners.
    Gilbert

  57. nychabsfan says:

    This was last year all over again.A previous poster is right,we ar in a slump and are lucky to have 4 points from this road trip.1ST GOAL RYDER DID not take his man,second no chance,third bad luck BUT THE 4TH WAS THE KILLER-4 OF OUR GUYS STANDING AROUND,AND IT WAS PLEKS.The habs keep waiting for the play to come to them,they don’t move their feet,HUET WAS HUNG OUT TO DRY AGAIN,LIKE OTTAWA.
    THE TEAM I SAW KAST NIGHT SCARES ME BECAUSE THIS IDS THE TEAM THAT WILL COST US THE PLAYOFFS.CARBO LOOKED LIKE A DESPARATE IDIOT SWITCHING UP LINES LAST NIGHT-THEY HAD BETTER BE 150 % AGAINST THE BRUINS!THAT TEAM I SAW LAST NIGHT I NEVER WANT TO SEE AGAIN!!

  58. Justin says:

    Huet had very poor rebound control last night, but the whole team played poorly. The whole game I wanted to see Huet cover up but he kept letting out juicy rebounds… Hopefully the Habs will rebound tonight (like you said).

  59. habs118 says:

    was not one of our best games

  60. I am Canadien says:

    I sat thru the whole game! Not too inspiring but give credit to the Sabres in playing a motivated game. They took advantage of a disinterested Montreal gang. That said; IF the habs just played a little more edgy in the 1st were wouldn’t have been down 3 after 1 period.

    I you really think about it; the Habs are actually in a slump. And getting points. So this is good and bad. Imagine when they snap out of it. But they’re playing mediocre teams. This is where Carbs has got to start really coaching. The tweeking of the lines is only part of it. He needs to manage the players off ice in order to get the most of them. This will be a test and BG will be observing.

    I predict an OT game vs the Bruins and a win. Only becasue Price will be in net. 2-1

    $$$

  61. Naila Jinnah says:

    The last three pictures are absolutely stunning! Look at The Bomb getting totally massacred in front of the Buffalo net!

    And the Hamrlik shot? Priceless. Watch for it in a Canadiens Magazine of the future ;)

  62. GTC says:

    Can’t wait to see Nonstopoulos on the top line. Should be funny.
    Go Habs Go!

  63. El Guapo says:

    Eso es una buena foto para ti, él cabe tu carácter. Tengo un pequeño burro estúpido como tu, él haces mucho ruido pero nunca digo cualquier cosa.

  64. ZepFan2 says:

    Let’s hope they don’t take this game too lightly. Every point counts. Especially in your division.

    Go Habs Go!!

  65. Habs_008 says:

    Tommy is going to be great on the first line, he will be better then Ryder. It is always a tough game in Buffalo, there will be a lot of hab fans there. GO HABS GO!

  66. J.T. says:

    There are no excuses for tonight. Habs are rested, Sabres played a tough road game against the Sens last night. Hopefully the second line continues to roll as Carbo figures out Tom the Bomb is NOT a first-line winger. With any luck Ryder will get unstuck on the third line, and things will get back to normal. I expect a strong game from Huet, and considering the messed-up lines, a close score. But, barring a complete lack of interest or some horrible luck, the Habs should come out on top.

  67. Grabs says:

    Agreed, I don’t see the Habs playing two bad games in a row, if the sabres win it’s because they played a great game. As for the first line, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make some noise tonight, they haven’t scored in four games, and Kostopoulos should give them an interesting, though temporary jump start.

  68. Proudones says:

    “Things getting back to normal” is not an option. You should be a little more supportive of the coach’s efforts to make improvements.

  69. linp says:

    That is exactly what I was afraid of. You don’t mix up three lines. Now we don’t have the energy line anymore. The three lines look confused. What a dumb move by Carbo.
    At least they are putting T.K. back to the 4th line and Dandy to the 3rd line. But it is too late for this game.

  70. earl says:

    Obviously a fun period for the Sabres, up 3-0.

    With no creativity on the 5-on-5 and teams quickly realizing that the key to beating Montreal is keeping them off the PP, it’s evolution time for Carbonneau.

    Signature traits of last year are showing themselves, now Carbo earns his money and perhaps his stripes.

  71. earl says:

    just heard where?

    Your beer talking to you?

  72. mar-lin says:

    man this is a hard one to watch…we’re getting beat in all areas of the game tonight. I’m surprised they didn’t start price in the second just to change things up. I guess since he’s playing tomorrow it’s best to keep him fresh. Man the habs playing like this really screws up my mood the next day. Let’s hope for a HUGE 3rd period.

    cheers

    go habs go

  73. mar-lin says:

    should we also enter the name of someone not on the ballot? Any thoughts? Plekanec…

  74. habsrthebest says:

    Everybody go vote for habs players for the all-star game. We have to get them in the game.

  75. habsrthebest says:

    vote for kovalev or higgins as a write in

  76. Higgins21 says:

    Well, it’s great to be a Habs’ fan these days. I’ve got my 12 cold Schooners in the fridge and ready to go. I’ll likely need another twelve for tomorrow night. These Fri-Sat games are hard on the players but great for the fans.

    I see a big night tonight. Habs’ depth will take over. Look for Chipchura to have a goal or two. And the Plekanec line will continue to roll.

    Go Habs Go!

  77. A. Berke says:

    Looking forward to and hoping for a good game with an excellent effort from our Habs and hopefully, a 2 point gain as well.

    If Ovechkin likes Montreal (I do too) it shouldn’t be too difficult to offer a decent package to washington for him. He would fit fine on any of our lines, esp our #1 line.

    In any case, our team as it is, is pretty good. Some problems like winning face-offs, keeping the intensity and effort for full 60 minutes and keeping the discipline at all times need to be addressed and paid attention to. Please Habs do it right!

    Cheers

    Ali B.

  78. JF says:

    Some of these posts about the outcome of the game sound a bit over-confident to me. Both games we played against the Sabres earlier were very close, and last game I thought they outplayed us. An effort like Tuesday’s will not be nearly good enough. Even though the Sabres are struggling right now and sorely miss Briere and Drury, they’re still a very good team, and they will be desperate for a win tonight. We have to be better on face-offs than we’ve been lately, get more shots on goal, get the puck out of our zone quickly and have a really good transition game. I never like to predict the outcome of a game because most of them could go either way. Still, the fatigue factor should be to our advantage, unless the team makes the mistake of taking the Sabres lightly.

  79. nightmare_49 says:

    I’m certainly not underestimating the Sabres even though they lost Briere and Drury and have been sputtering lately on the scoresheet, their ready to breakout. The big problem with them is the lose of Numminen, their Hammer, and Kalinin on the “D” which makes them think more defensively than their used to and that’s not how their old system worked. When they freewheel the “D” can’t cover them like they use to, including Miller,and when they go into a defensive shell they can’t score so they are halfway between systems and are confused but once they find the right way they still have enough talent to go on a roll and make the playoffs.

  80. Chorske says:

    The cost would probably be too high… he is Washington’s franchise guy… but we can dream, can’t we!

  81. Moey says:

    Hoping for a win tonight, when they start having trouble getting it out of their own zone, that’s when it starts to fall apart. That’s what killed them with Ottawa. They usually do pretty well against Buffalo. I’m pretty optimistic about this one.

  82. mar-lin says:

    well in regards to the voting for our allstars i added Komisarek to the list.Imagine him lined up with markov, koivu and huet as the starting allstars!! dare to dream…

    cheers

    go habs go

  83. The Ian Cobb says:

    Just a quick note before turning on TSN. Habs are tied with RED Wings for 2nd place in the league, we have only 4 loses each. Not to shabby for a team who is going to be twice as good very soon!! Now lets go get 2 more points with our slightly new 1st and 3rd lines. Be back in a bit. IAN

  84. DAVE. N says:

    ..I’m still out on the limb concerning Danis…and noted the Avalanche are still playing the “Theodore” card lately…even though the teams’ have similar records;and Florida is pining for a ‘tender….well….just thinking……would Gainey be willing to pull off a 3 way trade for a 2nd line winger….moving Danis and Latendresse/Gorges/Lapierre?
    I still think Huet/Price is the tandem I want this year

  85. The Ian Cobb says:

    A Berke– You are exactly right. Faceoffs, intencity, disapline. You can ad spell ck for me. IAN

  86. 24 Cups says:

    The game starts in five minutes. My wife is out at a teacher staff party (a fate worse than a dentist appointment) I’m opening a bottle of red and sitting back to watch my boys win their 11th game. Go Higgins Go!

  87. I am Canadien says:

    You’ll be alright once the medication wears off!
    $$$

  88. kevrob says:

    Nonstopolous will come out with guns a blazin’ but alas I fear he will not make much of an impact. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the lines changed half way through the game. I hope I am wrong however and Tom the Bomb finds the net…several times. That may light an even bigger fire under Ryder’s butt.

    GO HABS GO

  89. hound521 says:

    Does anyone know who is in net for Buffalo tonight? Miller played last night. Just wondering.

  90. the_prestigitator says:

    my guess is its thibault. miller must be exhausted from playing against the senators. http://www.goaliepost.com (Check it out an hour before the game)

  91. nychabsfan says:

    Would it have been possible to put Chipchura on the 1st line?I think he has great scoring potential.I understand the logic of Kostopouloys though,he can probably free up space for Higgins and Koivu,should be interesting…

  92. leafs67_andcounting says:

    Buffalo played really well against Ottawa last night and still didn’t win. This could work in our favour as they may be both tired and deflated. It’s very important we come out strong and get an early one.

    I’m curious to see how long carbo sticks with his “set” lines.

    I anticipate another solid game from Huet as well.

  93. Habs_008 says:

    Freddy is a Centre, leave him be, I think they are putting Miller in the net again, who is Buffalo’s back-up anyway?

  94. leafs67_andcounting says:

    None other Jocelyne Thibault backs up Miller

  95. J.T. says:

    I’m supportive of the team winning games. What Carbonneau is doing with the lines is an effort to get Ryder going. When Ryder gets going he will be back on the first line, ergo, “back to normal.” And, theoretically, if this shakeup works, “back to normal” means the top two lines will be scoring and the team continuing to win games. If you want to couch that in terms of Carbonneau having made improvements if Ryder gets going and returns to the first line, then, yeah, I’m supportive of the coach’s efforts to make improvements. If it leads to winning games, I’m supportive of Carbo doing the chicken dance on Jiri Tlusty’s webpage.

  96. Chorske says:

    Hahahaha! I’d pay good money to see THAT.

    Poor Lusty Tlusty.

  97. Habs_008 says:

    I love it CountNY, keep up the humour….

  98. linp says:

    Everyone seems to focus on scoring. I think PK is as important. I don’t like breaking up the teaming of Dandenault with Smolinski and Kostopoulos with Begin. Keeping the above pairing in the same line should help the chemistry of the PK. You only move player when a line is not functional. Don’t dream for a miracle from mixing players while destroying the team chemistry.

  99. ebk says:

    krob
    Thanks for the well thought out reply to my post. I appreciate it. From other posters I understand that my hockey knowledge is questionable and my writing skill are suspect, so it’s nice of you not to point that out to me.

    Hard not to appreciate Daniel Alfredsson as a hockey player. Nice to see that you are not so blinded by Hab loyalty and can acknowledge that.

    I think that they are still a few players away from being an elite NHL team. I don’t think they have improved enough from last year to be one. Their record this year and last year are almost identical to this point. Goals For and Goal Against are also almost identical. Everyone likes to blame the flu and injuries for last season collapse but elite teams have the depth to overcome those problems. Last years team didn’t.

    The jury is still out on this team, maybe there is enough depth to handle these problems. I’m hoping I’m wrong and the Habs can make the play-offs and be a Stanley Cup contender, nothing would make me happier.

  100. FastRonnie says:

    Well, after reading the many comments, here is my 2cents worth:

    -Tom the Bomb is NOT first line material, but he will stir things up because he works very hard. As has been said numerous times, Carbo is trying to get all the lines producing – especially his sniper, Ryder, who can’t seem to find the proverbial “side of the barn”. Carbo isn’t punishing anyone. He’s attempting to create a spark with some very wet wood; a tough task for even the most experienced coaches!

    -if this temporary move does nothing over the next couple of games (if it lasts that long), i will not be surprised to see a Bulldog join the ranks soon (re: S. Kostitsyn or d’Agostini) the more intriguing question then becomes, “who goes back on the Hamilton-bound bus?”

    – as for the PP doing so well and the worry that other teams will figure it out… Habs PP is not a one-trick pony anymore (can we say laser shot by Souray). They have more diversity on PP and that is really hard for opposition teams to solve.

    – i love the chemistry that’s developing on the 2nd line and the 2nd efforts from the 3rd and 4th lines. once the #1 line starts firing on all cylinders, 5-on-5 play will improve greatly. I’m not worried about it, but i have to agree with some who’ve noticed the team isn’t firing pucks like it was a couple of weeks back. Make opposing goalies target practice = increased scoring

    -finally, while Huet may have some jinx with Ontario based teams, he’s playing solid. Mtl has a very impressive goaltending tandem in Huet and Price which many teams would envy.

    – the team has to play better in the last 5-10 minutes of any game, but especially when they only hold a one-goal lead. The collapse against the Sens was really sad to watch, and somehow we saw the writing on the wall late in the 2nd.

    Here’s to a good game tonight!

  101. ebk says:

    i think your correct FastRonnie,this team needs Ryder scoring to maintain it’s loft perch in the NHL standings.

    I disagree with you about D’Agostini being the call up from Hamilton.
    He needs to improve defensively to play in the NHL. Sergie Kostitsyn is another matter. He looks to me to be the most NHL ready forward on the team.

    Also I believe the Habs have a roster spot open due to Murray being claimed by Florida, so no one needs to be sent down.

  102. ebk says:

    TSN is just reporting that Anaheim has placed Bryzgalov on waivers. This doesn’t bode well for Gainey being able to move either Huet or Halak at some point. Bryzgalov is a UFA after the season but his salary cap hit is small, only $1.2m.

  103. cautiousoptimist says:

    Wow. That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I’m no GM or anything, but there’s got to be a team willing to take on an above-average goalie for a 3rd or 4th d-man. Or at least a pick….

  104. krob1000 says:

    To me that indicates that there is no trading market for a goalie right now. Teams like LA and Phoenix, etc have no pressing need to acquire a legitimate goalie as they are in rebuilding phases and aren’t going to mortgage their futures to eke in to the playoffs. Interesting though ….he is about as good of a player as you will see put on waivers. Salary dump and probably a courtesy move by Burke to have someone pick up Bryzgalov and allow him to play as he can be a no. 1 goalie or at least a part of a 1a/1b tandem. Anaheim unloading salary……Selanne and Niedermayer siting at home….hmmmmmm. There goes my Koivu Selanne dream for the stretch run.

  105. 24 Cups says:

    krob 1000 states “Selanne and Niedermeyer sitting at home…hmmmmm”. I’ve wondered about this myself since the season started. Is this Brian Burke’s way around the salary cap? Are these two in cohoots with him? Sit at home, stay in shape, then come back in the new year and make a run at another cup in April while keeping the team under the cap. If so, this stinks big time. Does anyone have an accurate read on how the rules of the new labour agreement would apply to a fishy situation like this?

  106. nightmare_49 says:

    24 Cups – IMO that’s about where we will be on “D” in two years but a lot can happen and Streit’s position would be competed for by many but his value as a dependable forward with smarts may open up a spot. I still think Gorges is in the picture for awhile so he can bridge the two year or so gap and Emelin could be there sooner than later but O’Bryne is the one they are counting on. Your right on with the Habs needs and I’m hoping Max Pacioretty (RW) may fill the power forward’s role as he’s looking good at Univ. of Mich.for a freshman. Nightmare is a nickname given to me by one of my drinking buddies years ago who blamed me for all his hangovers, when i caught my 2nd wind the night was never long enough.

  107. joe-hab-nuno says:

    Rds reported that Carbs said there is no number 1 goalie for the habs. Huet and Price will be sharing the duties. Could only mean one thing, trade will be in the future implicating Huet

  108. joe-hab-nuno says:

    I think they want to see what price will be able to do playing more games and if he is up to it.

  109. Strak says:

    Yeah, the Bryzgalov situation and what this says about trade value of goalies is a bit disturbing. The fact that there have been almost NO trades this season is also disturbing. Why would anyone give anything of worth for Halak if they can pick up Bryzgalov and have the Ducks pick up half of the bill. I wonder who will jump on it?

    As for crazy line combos, I have been using Begin on the first and second line in my season of EA SPORTS NHL 98 and he has been putting the puck in the net on a regular basis.

    Maybe Carbo has been doing some experimenting on his X-box at home and is now ready to give it a go for real……

    B

  110. Chorske says:

    I think there are a couple of barriers to big trades. One, it’s too early in the year, although we are only just getting late in the season enough that we may start seeing some movement. Two, I think GMs have gotten quite cautious, and we’re looking at a system where most of the movement is generated once it becomes clear which teams are true playoff contenders and which are have-nots.

    It’ll be VERY interesting to see how much attention Bryzgalov gets- it’ll help us guage what the market would be for a goalie. I think it’s probably too early to move Huet, but with his stock being so high and him being a pretty huge UFA… I’m sad to say that I think he is a good candidate for a big trade. The only problem is that next year’s UFAs include a lot of goalies, many of which are or have recently been #1’s: Hedberg, Thibeault, Kiprusoff, Grahame, Lalime, Theodore, Hasek, Osgood, Aebischer, Conklin, Kolzig. I think Huet compares favorably with any of these guys, but the fact is, the market is kind of glutted.

  111. joe-hab-nuno says:

    Like i posted before, i was hoping they would have signed Huet for about 2 years and slowly giving Price more chances in the future but i guess the future is now.

  112. krob1000 says:

    Nice Strak….lol

    Maybe we should call TSN and consult Maggie the Monkey.

  113. Habs_008 says:

    Maybe we can trade Huet to the Laffs for there #1 pick in the 09 Draft, hopefully the leafs will finish last next year and we can then pick up Tavares. Lets do it before JFJ gets canned!!!

  114. Rio says:

    As long as we pick up 2 points tonight
    we need 30+shots,
    contunue the pp,keep the pk going
    and huets excellence again.

    Take adv. of the sabers tiredness cuz they lost(morally and points wise) last night to the sens.

    So happy the leafs lost!

  115. InGy says:

    thanks kevin m

    i was looking for how they determine the list for what team can claim, or how they determine the order for teams to claim players on waivers

  116. JasonM says:

    With all due respect but that a horrible idea and it would be nice if people would think before posting such things. The LAST thing you want to do is trade a great goalie like Huet to a DIVISION rival that the Habs face 8 times a year. If you are trading Huet, you’ll trade him to the Western conference so that you don’t have him robbing games against the Habs.

    Regards,

  117. joe-hab-nuno says:

    I don’t know who it was, but did you see that leaf chicken out of the fight, i maple laughed so hard when i saw the highlight

  118. Habs_008 says:

    I know Jason, it was a joke, I would never Trade a player like Huet to the laffs. thats stupid, but there will be teams looking to get Tavares, so I wont be surprised if next season teams that are near the bottom will look to get worst in order to get him. Tampa should pick up Brazgalov, they need a goalie.

  119. joe-hab-nuno says:

    I see eiter Tampa or pitsburg picking up Brazgalov

  120. JasonM says:

    I hope they don’t pick him up, I like seeing Tampa being the bottom feeders of the league. :)

    Truth be told, Washington will most likely get Tavares. They are going nowhere, fast. Ovechkin was at the end of his patience last year playing for them, I can only imagine his frustration now.

  121. Habs_008 says:

    I hope Pitts doesnt get him either, maybe a west conf team will pick up Braz, as for Tavares if Buffalo continues there decline, who knows they have the same amount of points as Wasington does. A lot can happen in 2 seasons though.

  122. Scotty90 says:

    Off topic…but, what do you guys and gals think of the possibility of Ovechkin not wanting to sign with Washington and maybe wanting to play in Mtl! He surely wants to be on a team that is going somewhere, he’s got a couple of buddies here in Markov and Kovalev, he likes the women in Montreal (who doesn’t?) and Montreal is the most exciting place to play hockey! He appears to me the kind of guy who wants to have fun and to be successful….. Montreal has all of those ingredients!

  123. nigel-ski says:

    Though I agree with many of you here who think Krusty will make room and be only a temporary solution, and with others about the five on five and such, you haven’t left me a whole hell of a lot to comment on, so I’m a tad bitter. I have not read every post, but some have jumped out at me…
    fastronnie–not much doubt about who should get sent down, and IMO, who he should be replaced with. Here’s a hint–both players’ last names begin with an ‘L’ and end with an ‘E’, and they are both french…

    Like I already said, I didn’t read every post, but I think one problem with the team right now is the most glaring: our brutal faceoff % this year. Some games, like our last, we were winning less than 40% of the draws, something that eventually will cost us in a big way. Considering that Gainey, Carbo and Muller were all good in the dot, and Pleks and Koivu had some success last year, what could the problem be?

    Other than that, I’m really happy overall with how the team is doing compared to last year. I think Ryder will be OK given time. A lot of players slump here and there, and worst-case-scenario if it continues and we keep him–smaller contract next season. Hope we win both games this weekend–I’ll be watchin’…

    Habs rule, Leafs drool…

  124. nigel-ski says:

    oops, thought I closed my tags. sorry…

    Habs rule, Leafs drool…

  125. ebk says:

    Scotty
    Ovechkin is on record as stating that we would love to play in Montreal. He supposedly stated that to Markov, according to Pierre McGuire. Let’s hope McGuire isn’t pulling that out of his ass and there is some truth to it.

  126. Habs_008 says:

    Do the habs have the Cap space? and are we willing to give up the Farm for him? He will be RFA, so it will have to give up a lot of our future for him. I dont know if its worth it, it took years for us to get to where we are now (draft wise) He would be great on a line with Kovy though, wouldnt he?

  127. krob1000 says:

    scotty90

    I guarantee you will not find a poster who wouldn’t want Oveckin in Montreal. I will also say that it will not happen any time before he is 25 years old if ever. I think foreign players and especially those of the old Soviet Union is a pretty good place to look for free agent as Montreal is still the most appealing place to play to most of them (or so I have convinced myself).

    I am hoping that if we build within and contend over the next few years and reestablish the tradition that the organization is built upon…..who knows maybe Crosby (grew up a Habs fan) or Ovechkin (loves attention and does have freinds in Montreal) at age 25 just might look at us seriously. Trying to lure a French Canadian….any French Canadian right now will be very difficult. I very much doubt Crosby will ever give us a chance as his allegiance to Lemieux has got to be strong after all Mario has tried to do for him.

  128. drive for 25 says:

    im sory if this is a little random but its been bothering me for a long time.

    what is the name of the game where your on a cyberboard and you are a car and you leave a trail behind you and the way you win is by making the other person drive into your trail?

    if it helps you its the game in family guy when peter is playing and he sais: hey what are you doing here and the other guy sais im the red guy.

  129. Habs_008 says:

    i think its Tron, haha.

  130. Scotty90 says:

    Krob…tks for bringing me back to reality. And you are right, when the CH resumes its rightful place as the team to play hockey for, we should have bigger names ready and willing to wear the bleu-Blanc-Rouge.

  131. krob1000 says:

    Anyone else looking forward to hearing what ol’ Pierre Mcguire has to say tonight…….the more I hear him the more I like him….annoying at times (many a time)but the best commentator in hockey. CBC could use him……the downside……Glenn Healy will also be doing the game with Chris Cuthbert. Cuthbert you never notice….kind of like a good referee….Healy in my opinion is the dumbest announcer in all of sport (that includes Terry Bradshaw,Greg Millen and Jack Armstrong of the Raptors). He is very fortchcoming and honest but I am afraid it just reveals his stupidity.

    I am looking for Markov to be Mcguire’s Monster of the Game. Wow…I can’t believe I actually care who Pierre frigging Mcguire picks as his monster of the game.

  132. JasonM says:

    Actually Scotty, Ovechkin has stated several times that he’s got a lot of love for this city. I was hoping in a few years when he hits UFA he’ll want to play here, preferably during the peak of his career (27-28).

  133. kevrob says:

    I just realized that Centre Ice isn’t showing the game tonight!!! I can’t believe it!! I guess I am going to have to scrounge around for a sopcast channel. Does anyone know of a channel that is always showing the habs games? Any help would be greatly appreciated as I have been looking forward to this game.

  134. JasonM says:

    I don’t know what the big deal with Pierre and all these haters is all about. I feel that he does a FANTASTIC job and he’s a great human being and I truly enjoy listening to him. True, he is guilty being a bit little too… enthusiatic at times but you cannot bear a grudge against a man who has so much passion in his work. In fact, I’d love to have him write for habsI&O imo. :)

    The fact of the matter is, the words that come out of his mouth is neither optimistic or pessimistic like many reporters tend to have but very realistic and frank. Many people don’t seem to like that. Sucks to be them though.

    GO PIERRE GO!

  135. krob1000 says:

    Niedermayer is skating and expected to join Anaheim before Christmas….Selanne’s wife is Preggers and he likely won’t be returning any time soon. Bryzgalov on waivers….I knew something was up.
    http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=343416

  136. krob1000 says:

    Haters??? I was complimenting Mcguire. I was “hating” Healy and Millen.

  137. FastRonnie says:

    Ovechkin would be great on any line. But, after observing Gainey’s patience and unparalleled insight regarding team/player development and trades, I think the remotely possible acquisition of Ovech is more of a dream than anything. We know what he brings to the game (speed, scoring, amazing moves, and grit), but we can only imagine the intensity and exciting play he would bring to hockey’s greatest franchise and how much the fans would relish it. But, hey, it doesn’t hurt to dream because some do come true…

  138. Scotty90 says:

    Krob…. whats ‘preggers’?

  139. FastRonnie says:

    i think he means pregnant…

  140. krob1000 says:

    Sorry …..

    My wife and her friends always saying Preggers….I liked it and ran with it.

  141. nightmare_49 says:

    Scotty90 – You haven’t finished that beer yet, it must be warm as ….a baby’s butt. teaser lol.

  142. Mrhab24 says:

    TSN has it tonight, I just checked their web site.

  143. Habs_008 says:

    Hobie Hansen, you were right about Price, he is the real deal, I was there at the ACC, Grey Sec 322. Although it looked more like a home game, so many hab fans, the crowd went wild whem Komi scored the winner, and there was singing and chanting of OLEY OLEY OLEY OLEY!!!! what a great time it was. I live in the GTA and some leaf fans think they are gonna do something this year, all there gonna do is lower there Golf Handicap this year!

  144. Scotty90 says:

    Yeah…. and my arm is getting a little sore holding it up. will crack open a couple tonight for sure. I’ll be taping the game and watching it later tonight. My son has a 7pm game, and that to me takes priority. Just have to make sure not to listen to the radio on the way back home.

  145. Grabs says:

    You’re right on the money, he’s in his third (And probably last) year at Dartmouth and doing very well 5-4-9 in 5gp.

    http://habsprospects.hockeyhq.net/

  146. habfan53 says:

    It is a reverse order on how the team finished last year

  147. krob1000 says:

    I don’t imagine there is any rule against this….they do after all lose the benefit of having those two guys not in their lineup and their aging bodies could use the break. I think this is the Roger Clemens effect ….he has done this a couple times now and I am afraid he has probably laid the foundation for a new “loophole”(if you can call it that). It sort of makes sense in the same way the entire rent a player system does. It also makes sense for aging warriors and family men who don’t want to spend the next few years treating their 40 year old bodies like they did when they were 25.

    I am sure they are enjoying the time at home with their families but you are right it does stink. Probably because we don’t have anyone in this situation nor should we want to. Burke is a sly fox and he knows that at this stage of these guys illustrious careers that comfort, flexibility and familiarity will probably win out over dollars and I fully expect that one if not both of these guys will be back for the stretch run. I can’t imagine these guys uprooting their families when they don’t have to to make a few more bucks…when they are set financially for the next …oh…12 generations

  148. ebk says:

    Chorske
    other than Kiprusoff, Huet has more value than the goalies you have listed. Hasek is getting up in years and therefore I would rate Huet’s value higher than his.

    The rest you list, to paraphrase a line from a movie , have been weighed, measured and found wanting as a #1 in the NHL. I don’t think any team will
    look at any of these as an answer to their #1 goalie spot.

  149. Chorske says:

    Couldn’t agree more. Which brings me back to my sad conviction that he’ll be moving within the year.

  150. Mike T says:

    gonna be one hell of a game, Huet will play well following Carey’s last outting…lets hope we go two for two in these back to back games because toronto will be 8 points back with 2 games on hand…..as they will be mercied by the sens tomorrow night.

  151. Moey says:

    Love your logo Mike T, that’s another season start I’m anxious for. Rumor has it Tony lives!!

    Back to hockey, laffs got spanked last night and hopefully the sens will beat them senseless!!

    GO HABS GO!!!!!

  152. sholi2000.com says:

    Buffalo will come out hard tonight, the Canadiens better be ready!
    Go Huet Go……….

    sholi2000.com (world’s first Carey Price site)
    God Bless Our Infantry

  153. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    If we play like we did against the Bay st suits we will not win…Buf is vastly superior to those laffs.

    The mindset of the #1 line (kovy’s for those who haven’t been paying attention) is confidence, Russian superiority stemming all the way back to the cold war. Believe me its there genetically.

    In fact a coach would be foolish not to consider genetic chemistry as one of the most important factors in assembling the lines.

    The ULTIMATE LINE consists of mental superiority coupled with the 3 S’s
    SPEED
    STICKHANDLING
    SNIPER

    those factors juxtaposed against our #1:
    SPEED – Plek, Kost
    STICKHANDLING – Kovy, Kost
    SNIPER – Kovy, Plek, Kost

    thats why there is success.

    try it on KOiVU’s line….the SNIPER slot is empty now
    and KOSTOP doesn’t fit any category (at the high level)

    What happens is the line gets demoted to a 2nd tier
    functionality…SSG
    SPEED, STICKHANDLING, GRIT

    The Kostop experiment will be interesting.

  154. krob1000 says:

    Genetic Chemistry???? Cold War-confidence???

    Scary dude!!! Very scary!!! Statements like this remind me of history class.

  155. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    in a nutshell its called GELLING…or to GEL
    and you can see it in the Russian line.

    Montreal has always shown the greatest respect for
    the Russian system of Hockey as we considered only them
    as our equals on the ice.

    That is why (when it became possible) there is always
    a place for a Russian Combo on the Habs…and I think
    we could be witnessing the start of a great one.

    Even Carbos own words “theres some chemistry there…”

    I’m just distilling.

  156. krob1000 says:

    I think he meant mental chemistry…not genetic.
    The gelling thing yeah, but you caught me off guard with all that other stuff.

  157. Scotty90 says:

    I was thinking for a minute that Hab-Professor was some sort of mad scientist

  158. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    It was a big mistake juggling the lines,
    oil and water don’t mix…recall what i said about Chemistry.

    Huet should have been pulled immediately, 3 soft goals.

    We beat the sabres in the first two games because we hit them hard and buried our chances and our goaltending was solid…simple.

    tonight – NO HITTING, MISSED CHANCES and HUET WAS TERRIBLE…along with his “stand around” teammates.

    and RYDER…thought he got out of the slump with that great quick release Ryder patented goal…then a few minutes later he gets 2 more chances and doesn’t go for the quick release…WHATS THE MATTER WITH HIS BRAIN?

    Not to worry, big rebound tomorrow back home.

  159. DAVE. N says:

    Huet should have been pulled after the 1st period…he didn’t have it obviously…then.the 1st line should have been re-united…I HATE to be a MMQB, but hell….the last 3 games lines WON face offs,points..what was he thinking?

  160. DAVE. N says:

    When this team doesn’t commit to hitting, it loses..Komi didn’t play his game tonite….and as well as Kosti has done,he played ou of position all night

  161. mar-lin says:

    dude i feel the same way, i’ve never really enjoyed that guy. Even though we got beat pretty bad tonight i’m not about to rip my own players cause they lost a game. This is a long season i expect we’ll win more than we lose. Hopefuly that will lead to a playoff berth down the road. I do agree with maguire…if ryder can’t find his touch we’ll have to do something before the deadline. We need extra scoring stat!!

    As for Healy, when he learns how to better handle himself. Maybe then i’ll actually give a hoot about what he has to say.

    cheers

    go habs go

  162. I am Canadien says:

    Yes I agree. Heals is an moron and I wish he’d got hit by a stray puck straight in the head. The concussion may increase his IQ.

    It is very difficult watching Habs games with most of the commentators (hi CBC) pulling for the Leafs even when they are not playing.

    Yes our time is coming. I still remain steady on the fact that Bg is building this team for next year as it is their 100th plus the allstar game in town. BG wants to be able to (modestly) brag during next years Allstar festivities.

    Habs
    $$$


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