Game 19: Habs offence explodes against Bruins


Bruins’ Andrew Alberts (41) and Dennis Wideman slam Habs captain Saku Koivu during first period last night at Bell Centre.
John Kenney, The Gazette

Updated by Kevin Mio

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The Canadiens and Bruins traded goals early in the game last night until the Habs scored three straight late in the second and early in the third period to take a 6-3 lead midway through the third before finally winning 7-4. Montreal pelted Tim Thomas with more than 50 shots and got goals from seven different players including Saku Koivu, Alex Kovalev – his 100th career power-play goal – and Andrei Kostitsyn.

The game turned chippy in the third period with several fights and a heated exchange between the coaches at the benches. Zdeno Chara was ejected for the game after elbowing Kovalev in the third period and instigating a fight with Guillaume Latendresse, who tried to come to Kovalev’s defence.

Rookie Carey Price was in the Montreal nets, but didn’t have his best performance, allowing four goals on 36 shots. Thomas allowed seven goals on 52 shots.

Montreal also got goals from Latendresse, Tom Kostopoulos, Roman Hamrlik and Mike Komisarek.

 

A selection of pre-game facts and figures, culled from the Canadiens media notes:

 

113 Comments

  1. earl says:

    There is nothing but disappointment facing fans if/when Gainey deals with the Huet issue. Wailing will ensue after the trade deadline as it did for Souray, when Gainey made the conscious decision to head into a playoff race with his best roster and eschew the temptation of uncertain draft picks.

    I can’t think of a best case scenario here, but I think Huet’s value to this team is extremely undervalued and his value to other teams extremely overvalued. Makes for a mismatch between reality and fan expectation.

    One scenario never spoken about is trading Carey Price, growing in legend as possibly the best 2005 entry player not named Crosby, and what he would get you in a deal that bolsters the offense. People would rather wade into less controversial issues like religion or abortion before touching that one.

    I say that to consider all options you must consider that option as well.

  2. habitual says:

    Yeats, the problem with riding Price when he is hot is that it cools of Huet. That effectively takes Huet off the radar screen. We need to trade Huet because (1) Price is the real deal and can handle being the starter (2) Huet will not resign to be Price’s backup (3)therefore it therefore makes no sense to hold onto Huet for any longer than we have to. We have Halak and Danis, both capable of being at least our back up goalie.

  3. The Teacher says:

    Tonight’s game should show us a lot about the makeup of the Habs this year. If they come out like they did last night and a lot of nights last year, then I think a roster shakeup MIGHT be coming. The Canadiens DO have a spot open on the 23 man roster since Garth Murray was lost to waivers. I don’t think anyone was called up at that time was there?

    I think O’Byrne is destined to stay in Hamilton for the majority of the year, possibly being called up at/around the trading deadline. We have an excess of defencemen as it is.

    I am a bit confused about Lappy, At first I thought he might have gotten a big head and they sent him down to teach him a lesson. Granted, he is a 3rd or 4th liner, and we seem to have enough at those spots right now so it could be just a matter of waiting for an injury.

    I am confident the Canadiens will come out hard tonight. Maybe it’s foolish hope, but I have faith that they are building from last year.

    Go Habs Go

  4. Yeats says:

    They’re certainly not pretty to watch, but those Espo/Tim Kerr type goals often are the margin between winning and losing. We could use a fraction of the leafs’ size up front.

  5. HabsInsideOut says:

    JF: With threaded commenting, in which you can reply to comments at any spot in the thread, the numbering system would become quite complicated — this comment might be number 43.1, for example, and a reply to my reply would become 43.1.1, etc. More importantly, numbering comments works only until spam or inappropriate comments are deleted, at which point the numbering changes, making all references to previous comments (by number) inaccurate.

    We’ve implemented a feature that identifies NEW comments and we’re looking at other ways to make commenting easier and more intuitive.

    Can you provide some more info about the other issue you mentioned, with the comment being blocked by the form? Please tell us which browser and version you’re using, as well as Mac/PC… the more details, the better.

  6. JF says:

    Dave Stubbs

    I would really like to see the comments numbered. It makes it easier to refer to them and also to scroll down to where you left off reading two hours ago. Also, why is the space for writing a comment right in the middle instead of at the end? As it is, it blots out the comment it is on top of. At the moment, only the end of the comment by “habsfan reduxit” is readable. I don’t mind having pictures and such, but what was wrong with the format of comments on the old site?

  7. showey47 says:

    I wonder what would of happened if kovy had scored on the good chance he had right after ryders goal, but miller did make an awesome pad save. It very well could of at least salvaged a point for us. I also agree with price getting the start against the sens if he wins tonight, we can’t afford to give away points anymore so if price is gonna be the hot hand and if the team plays well in front of him well then we should stick with price, except for the case of back to back games.

    Yes we do have too many perimeter players, players who won’t crash to score ugly goals.

  8. Sulemaan says:

    I’m going to the game tonight and I just can’t wait. Look forward to it.

  9. Da Hema says:

    Hi Earl…long time no dialogue!

    I agree that if the Habs can get another scorer, then go get him. The question is from where? The Habs’s organizational strength is in net, but how many teams will part with a top forward for Huet or Halak? Huet is an unrestricted free agent, so Gainey’s bargaining strength is greatly diminished, and Halak is still unproven. Moreover, most teams in the NHL have at least one good goalie.

    What I see here is that the Habs might be able to get an upcoming UFA, but I do not know who is in this position right now. So the Habs might need to sacrifice a draft pick or picks to secure an UFA–assuming there is a consistent scoring forward in this position–but then risk losing him next summer.

    You are quite right that Gainey will need to pull a rabbit out of his hat on this one.
    _________________________________________________________
    “All hockey players are bilingual. They know English and profanity.”
    –Gordie Howe

    “You wouldn’t have won if we’d beaten you.”
    –Yogi Berra

  10. Mr.Hazard says:

    Exactly.

    Ex nihilo nihil fit

  11. Chorske says:

    Agreed, it just reinforces my notion that Carbo was trying to punish Ryder, rather than help him.

  12. Naila Jinnah says:

    I definitely like the “new” comments thing. It makes it much easier to keep track on the live blog.

    Now if only everyone would learn to use the “reply” button.

  13. earl says:

    Perhaps you’re right, but I agree with Mcguire on this one. Montreal needs a scorer to get on the map as a team that’s consistently tough to play against.

    Montreal works too hard for their goals and that’s a problem. Right now the key to beating them is staying out of the penalty box because quite frankly there isn’t a team in the league that fears going head to head with the Habs in a largely 5-on-5 game.

    Scoring doesn’t grow on trees, this is Gainey’s largest test as a GM. But if they don’t generate more they’re destined for the same fate as 06/07.

  14. jamesb33 says:

    Hope Price will lead again tonight with his character and patience; not that Huet doesn’t…it’s just different.

    When is Koivu going to get some G’s???

    JB

  15. Yeats says:

    Well, even after last night’s failure to show up we are still fourth in the Eastern Conference and tied for fifth in the League. Heck, as bad as we were last night, had Huet not given up that last one, we might have turned it around. After Ryder scored, it seemed that the team regained some zip in it’s stride only to see it eavporate when the Sabres regained the three-goal lead.

    I am in JT’s camp that if Price wins tonight, he gets the start against the Sens. With the exception possibly of back-to-back games, I am not a fan of rotating goaltenders. Goalies tend to get in a groove and the constant swapping fails to take advantage of that. If Marty Brodeur wanted to play all 82 games, I think the Devils would let him. Also, with the swapping, you are never quite sure which kicker will show up, i.e. All-Star Huet, or Mr. Softy. The “play until you suck” rule is a good one. Everyone knows the consequences in advance, the goalies, the fans and the press. No controversy here, you suck, you sit. And, as coach, your job at the end of the day is to win hockey games, not nursemaid the egos of professional athletes. Carbo gets religion on Abby one game sooner last year and we’re in the playoffs.

    As far as the offense is concerned, I just keep scratching my head. All of us who have every played the game at any level know that scoring is fun. Our guys had to have hands at some time in their careers, or they would never have made it to the show. The one thing that I did notice last night was that we spent too much time on the perimeter in the offensive zone. If it’s not going in for you on a regular basis, keep it simple. Shoot and crash the net. I do think we could use some size up front. The leafs can’t keep the puck out of their own net, but crap can they score. Could you image if they had our D and goalies? That’s right #12 would be on the way.

    Well, I’m a healthy scratch this evening. It’s “Culture Night,” dinner and jazz at Lincoln Center. If the boys don’t show up tonight, at least I have a Sens/leafs game that could partially salvage my hockey evening.

  16. Da Hema says:

    Last night Pierre Macguire noted the Habs need another scorer. So do 29 other teams Pierre. The Habs once again slept for the first 15 minutes against Buffalo, but this time the goalies could not hold the fort. They were outworked and out-hustled, not “out-talented.” Putting Koivu and Kovalev together makes the most sense form a personnel perspective, but it would certainly seem there are some other reasons why these two do not play on the same line.

    The Habs take too many shots from the face-off circles and boards. In this day and age, goalies are not going to let in goals from where the Habs typically shoot. Other teams that score more goals go to the net hard. I really cannot understand why the Habs do not go to the net, especially in the “new NHL.” Defencemen cannot even breathe on forwards now, so any pussy can park in front of the net without any fear. I am mystified when I see Koivu, Higgins, and Ryder cycling the puck around the boards. Ryder must be the least adept player at this style of play. Go to the net!

    _________________________________________________________
    “All hockey players are bilingual. They know English and profanity.”
    –Gordie Howe

    “You wouldn’t have won if we’d beaten you.”
    –Yogi Berra

  17. Chuck says:

    I’d almost put the faceoff problem ahead of the first line scoring woes as what needs to be immedately addressed. Quality shots and posession aren’t forthcoming in the offensive zone when you consistently lose faceoffs; cure the faceoff problem, and all of a sudden you end up with quality posession time and you get to set the tone and pace of the game, which in turn allows you to set up higher-quality shots and scoring chances.

    Exemplified by last night’s game, it’s awfully tough to come from behind when you’re constantly giving the puck away with lousy faceoffs. Only when they started to win a few in the latter half of the third period did they really start to show any offensive threat and consistent puck posession in the Buffalo zone.
    .
    .
    .

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

  18. Proudones says:

    That’s the most rational comment I have read in here since last night’s game.
    Ryder finally got a goal because the pressure was off him. The last thing the coach should have done is move him back to the first line right away.

  19. Hoegarden says:

    Brisebois out , Gorges in for tonight’s game. Carbo also mentions that he’ll be doing more line juggling. We may see Kovalev and Koivu together. Pleks had a terrible game winning on 17% of his faceoffs.
    Strum and Savard are on a tear lately…keep them in check or else.

  20. earl says:

    How do you wish people to respond to this?

    Do you want Gainey to turn water into wine? An experienced goaltender was just placed on waivers because he was deemed untradeable.

    Yet, Gainey’s lack of an outgoing trade of a less valuable commodity would be thumb twiddling.

    Reality is not meeting fan expectation here.

  21. Habsfan39 says:

    Halak’s value has dropped quite a bit as he has had a rough start to the AHL season, making him tougher to move. Halak also denied that he was threatening to bolt to the Russian leagues. His status I guess is a bit up in the air.

    -Donovan

  22. Habsfan39 says:

    Also, you cant pin Price’s success on luck, and not Huet’s, if that is your stance.

    -Donovan

  23. Habsfan39 says:

    What Im saying is we need a scorer, I said it is too early to make a move, but it would be ideal to trade huet for a scorer because we have price as the franchise goalie of the future.

    No, I am not blind. Carey Price is HANDS DOWN the better puckhandler.

    I agree that Huet has stole a couple games but that’s beside the point. I do see him as being over-valued right now. Thats my opinion. He is not the only reason they have the points they have.

    -Donovan

  24. Hoegarden says:

    Just checked Kostopoulos stats in the NHL;

    His best year….. 9 goals in 60 games or 24 goals in 3 years.

    2003-04 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 60 9 13 22 67 — — — — —
    2004-05 Manchester Monarchs AHL 64 25 46 71 99 6 0 7 7 10
    2005-06 Los Angeles Kings NHL 76 8 14 22 100 — — — — —
    2006-07 Los Angeles Kings NHL 76 7 15 22 73 — — — — —
    NHL Totals 231 25 45 70 249

    We need battleships with powerful guns on the first line, not Coast Guards vessels….

  25. Hoegarden says:

    Re last night; Sabres finally got some breaks, scored the first goal in some 15 games or so, and our Habs did not show up, probably expecting an easy win.
    One useless stat (Molson Cup) comes to mind. When one of our terrific duo in the nets is not selected in the 3 stars, we lose. This says a lot if you think about it; how strong are we really without these two ? The PKK line was definitely not firing on all cylinders and the Koivu line is also sputtering of late; not much to show in the last 4 games, Higgins has yet to pot one on the road. Another issue is the faceoffs. We lost in that department badly last night and had to chase the puck all night except for a few brief moments in the second.
    Hopefully this morning when the boys watch the review of the game, it will show that we simply cannot afford to pull a Sens’s “take it easy tonight” and expect to win. They stunk on Friday and still managed to beat those same Sabres.
    We’ll see tonight if they can bounce bounce back. With 6 games in 9 days with opponents in their division, may we say that this will be the real first big test of the year.

  26. showey47 says:

    Having t.k. on the first line just makes the line easier to defend against because now they have one less skilled player to worry about watching. It’ almost like playing short handed which may explain the -5 in the first period. I wonder what saku and higgy are thinking about when they are expected to produce points with t.k. as a winger.

  27. showey47 says:

    exactly, carbo’s line mixing is terrible. Carbo’s mixing of the top line messes up the other lines and hence the choas we saw in the first period last night. I was hoping we saw the end of that kind of bush league coaching last season when we saw the likes of streit and johnson playing with koivu. Leave the lines the way they are, ryder is the only one who will get himself out of his slump. The guy has scored 85 goals over the past 3 seasons on the top line, chemistry like that just doesn’t vanish forever. It will come back

  28. gmd says:

    I think Carbo should have kept Ryder on the third line after he scored and not put him back on the first. Ryder finally had success on the third line so keep him there for awhile.

  29. Chorske says:

    Ooh, Bryzgalov picked up by Phoenix.

    Interesting quote from the CBC:
    “Anaheim general manager Brian Burke tried to trade Bryzgalov but said he couldn’t find a suitable deal.”

    They had trouble trading a guy who had one of the most memorable shutout streaks in recent playoff history. We’ve been talking in other threads about a glut of goalies that are soon to be available as UFAs, and how that hurts our trade options. I guess we were right…

  30. Chorske says:

    well, the rap on the habs heading into the season was that they hadn’t really addressed many of the shortcomings that led to last year’s collapse. I still think it’s best to build from within, but one can’t help but wonder what Gainey makes of the current slow-down.

  31. earl says:

    The Habs have shown inferiority in the last 3 games. they have only scored more than 2 goals in 1 of their past 6 games.

    They need to show something new to prove that this isn’t the 2006/07 season all over.

    A shortage of scoring is obviously the main concern now, and methinks we’ll see some intense juggling and jiggling until something clicks. Until then, cross fingers.

    There is a premium paid on scoring these days and many of the struggling teams are in need of it. However Bob has to consider the fact that he may be seeing the problems of last year resurfacing, and start working the phone lines accordingly.

  32. linp says:

    Before last night’s game, our team has an identity. Two skill lines to score goal, one checking line to defend and one energy line to turn the flow of the game + good goalie. Each player knows his role. We were successful. Yesterday was a mess in the first period. As I say before, don’t dream for miracle by mixing players. A steady lineup will give us a better chance.

  33. ClaytonM says:

    So it’s your position that Huet can handle the puck better than Price?

  34. Chorske says:

    Kovalev: 1994 Rangers. Stanley Cup.

    EDIT: haha, this comment was in response to a troll. That comment was deleted, which made my reply a major non-sequitur.

    I’ll leave it in, to remind us that we have the seeds of greatness among us. Or something.

  35. Habsfan39 says:

    I agree to an extent. I think kovalev and ryder should stay put where they are now, and not have kovalev on the top line. When the 1st and 2nd line are actually working, the habs are a very tough team to beat because the 3rd and 4th are pretty good defensively minded. I agree that the lines need to be set though. They have a good record, why change things just for ryder? who knows… things arent going bad, the other lines have been getting things done. You dont see koivu and higgins scoring either, so why bump ryder around.

    Also, i too feel more comfortable with price in net, he just has the ability to slow the game down, control his rebounds, and play the puck… better than huet can.

    I wouldnt be heartbroken if they shipped out huet for somebody who has been known to put the puck in the net once in a while. Mainly tampa and pitts need a goalie so maybe there is something there… still to early to make a move but its frustrating to watch all these guys shoot wide all the time.

    -Donovan

  36. nychabsfan says:

    Habsfan39-are you blind?I am very excited by Price as well but he is nooooo puckhandler,so many poss. disasters have been avoided by good luck,yjay is an area of his game that needs serious work,he will get it down but he is not as good as Huet in that area,Also,Huet has been outstanding so typical of a Montreal fan to be blind about that,he is the only reason that have the points they have.If you doubt that read Higgins comments after last nights game.Stop looking for a quick fix.The best solution would be they hold consistent and p/u a UFA goal scorer near the playoffs like they did w/ Kovalev years ago instead of giving away their top player…

  37. ClaytonM says:

    Tonight will show us what the Habs are made of. Will they bounce back and outskate the bruins, hustle, etc, or will they come out flat just like last night? They looked like they played their 3rd game in 3 nights Friday. The only player who looked like his normal self was Komisarek. I wish I’d known how bad they were going to play, I’d have chosen vodka over Heineken. In short, a game best forgotten.

    nightmare, I have to disagree with you on Chipchura. He’s been playing well, but has too little ice time and too little talent on his wings. I’d like to see him on Koivu’s wing and have Begin center the 4th line. Chipchura has the one thing you need to play with Koivu – Hockey Smarts! Ryder plays by instinct, and it’s been failing him so far.

    I have to believe they’ll play their butts off tonight for the home crowd. They have enough pride and leadership in the room.

  38. earl says:

    Experimentation will continue on Koivu’s line until something happens. Chipchura might be part of that shakeup, more suitable to the net driving style that Carbo might have been hoping to get out of Kostopoulos.

    However Carbonneau has to give these things more than 1 or 2 shifts to develop. He’s impatient, noticeably so when things aren’t going well.

    I would expect the same “desperation” tonight in the Habs that the Sabres brought to the rink last night. Habs are in a slump and the longer it goes the more effort it requires to get out of it.

  39. GTC says:

    Spot on. Especially the part about Carbonneau needing patience. I think he should give Nonstopoulos at least 25-30 games on the first line to see what he can do. All in all a pretty good effort from Les Boys last night and the shots on goal proves it. Ryder bashers will be quiet today. His shot was spot on. Higgins has a good chance of beating his career high 40 point season. What a player. He’ll be captain someday. Toughness and character like when he ran to the bench while Koivu writhed on the ice. Thats captain material. Cup is on its way. Just need to be patient. Ferland Milroy DAgostini Lapierre there is a dynasty brewing here. Stay the course Bob. We’ll probably lose again tonight though. I’ve learned that it takes a lot of sucking to get to the top. Patience patience patience.

  40. habs33 says:

    25-30 games on the first line? Almost a third of the season to see what he can do? No, I don’t think so. Sure he deserves a spot, perhaps once in a while to shake things up, but not for an extended stretch.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am all for Kostopoulous. I think he’s a great leader, agitator and maybe even part-time hero, but I don’t think he’s first line material.

    I agree, habfan reduxit. I think it is time for Carbo to find his mix and stick with it. As I said above, of course he’s going to have to tinker from time to time, but daily/nightly changes to the line up is only going to create confusion for the players and a weakening of their confidence. Give them a chance to stick together and prove themselves to each other.

    There is a reason we’re 2nd in the East! We’re winning and we’re finding ways to do it from all four lines. No, we don’t have a powerhouse line (yet) like Alfreddson, Spezza and Heatley, but we are (were) winning and that’s all that mattered. Maybe Carbo should leave well enough alone and stop tinkering.

  41. earl says:

    I have to disagree with part of this. Montreal were outplayed in too many facets of the game last night to consider shot totals as the game barometer. Montreal were clearly schooled on speed and hard work last night.

    Hopefully they use what they learned againt the B’s tonight.

  42. J.T. says:

    I think they should try Ryder on the first line to see if he can help get it going.

  43. nightmare_49 says:

    Clayton M – I don’t think you will see Begin or for that matter Lapierre play center for Carbo unless he’s really desperate. Carbo expects his centers to be disciplined and not running around and Begin gets carried away at times. Chips is being groomed to be their 3rd line center and in Carbo’s system it is a jump from 4th so i don’t think you’ll see Chips on Saku’s line or any “wing” in the future cuz he has enough to learn as center which he’s doing a fine job of. It’s just a hunch i have to add a spark and speed and nothing against Chips and Grab’s basically is our 5th center now and i think Lapiere is back at center for the Dawgs but he’ll have to be more disciplined in his assignments to get into Carbo’s good books at that position which we are not that strong at in the minors. One thing Carbo knows is how to be a good defensive center.

  44. ClaytonM says:

    I wasn’t fooling myself, I know Chips won’t see any 1st line ice time this year, just a random thought/pipe dream, really. Begin has played C before, though, and with the 10 minutes max he plays, and the way he plays all out, I doubt he’d be a problem. In fact, the 3rd and 4th lines have done very well this year.

  45. Grabs says:

    Given that he scored last night, you’ll likely see Ryder back on the top line, not that it will necessarily help since the rest of the line isn’t producing either.

    Has anybody thought of putting Smolinski up there? He’s a versatile forward that can score, and IMO chipchura could take over the 3rd line center job and prosper.

  46. Grabs says:

    Just because he hasn’t scored 20 in a while doesn’t mean he isn’t an option, Kostopoulos has never even scored 10 and they tried him.

    Check your info before you post, Smolinski scored 21 in 2002-3 and followed that with seasons of 19, 17, and 18 goals, not very far off 20 right?

    BTW, my nick has nothing to do with Grabovski.

  47. showey47 says:

    well smokes did score 18 last year and 17 the year before and i think 18 or 19 again before the lockout. he has been pretty much a 20 goal scorer his entire career

  48. showey47 says:

    I really hope guy isn’t dumb enought to put t.k. on the first line again tonight. It was already figured out that t.k. wasn’t even third line material about a month ago, why would carbo even think he can help the first line.

  49. mar-lin says:

    i agree t.k. doesn’t have enough of the right skills to be up there. Ryder’s the guy and if he doesn’t work out then we shop him at the trade deadline. I still think he can turn it around, besides it really doesn’t look like anyone wants to trade right now.

    Too many changes only confuses everyone, i know the coach is just trying to make something happen. Sometimes faith and patience are the best tools.

    cheers

    go habs go

  50. Grabs says:

    Guy has tried so many different combos, so I just can’t understand why he doesn’t try reuniting the Pleks-Kost-Higgins line and then trying Koivu with Kovalev again.

  51. CrashTheNetCrashTheNet says:

    Steve Begin is the MAN!

  52. linp says:

    Chara aimed at Kovalev’s head. That is dangerous. I hope NHL will review this.
    Our face-off is still weak. I also observed that the other team likes to crash our net. We may need a big defense man.

    I hope Carbo keeps this line-up for a while.

  53. Strak says:

    How come THIS game couldn’t have been on TSN last night? From the looks of it, it was much more entertaining game than that brutal performance last night. With all the stupid Toronto hysteria at the CBC, I was forced to watch the Lafs and Ottawa on TV. No RDS in Vancouver, makes me a sad boy.

  54. cautiousoptimist says:

    HO-LEE-CRAP

    Now that was a hockey game. Man I hope we pla ythe Bruins in the playoffs. And have a look at the list of penalties here.Kudos to Kostopoulos for having a go at Round 2, even if he didn’t do much better than he did in Round 1.

    By the way, I know that Anonymous fellow won’t agree with me, but kudos to Lats too for going toe to toe with Chara after he nearly took Kovalev’s head off. Wasn’t the league supposed to be giving out automatic suspensions now for hits to the head? And I didn’t think Julien would stoop so low as to send a goon after Kostitsyn…

  55. Da Hema says:

    A good win tonight. The score easily could have been 10 or 11 to 4. It is easy to overlook all those missed opportunities that should have resulted in goals.

    A note to Clod Julien. If you want to know why you were fired from Montreal and New Jersey, perhaps the answer lies in you letting your players take really cheap, stupid penalties that ensured you would lose. Does it make much sense, Clod, to allow (or even to have encouraged) Chara–your best player–to take such penalties? I always thought you were a lying dolt, Clod, and tonight’s match just confirmed that impression.

    _________________________________________________________
    “All hockey players are bilingual. They know English and profanity.”
    –Gordie Howe

    “The harder I practice, the luckier I get.”
    –Gary Player

  56. Kevin says:

    Has anyone noticed that at this point (with one more game played), the Habs as a team have scored 4 more goals than Ottawa???

  57. Kevin says:

    I think the play gets automatically reviewed because of the match penalty to Chara…

  58. Kevin says:

    Don’t know the record, but this is the first time the Habs cracked 50 since 1996.

  59. cautiousoptimist says:

    Seriously – sending Stuart after Kostitsyn? Come on….

  60. nightmare_49 says:

    Ryder had 12 shots in the 6 games before tonight and had 13 shots tonight, i think he got the message coach Carbo.

  61. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    NOW THATS THE HABS I KNOW (or want to know)!!!

    You have to look long and hard to find errors in this one folks, when you put in 7 goals and match them hit for hit, fight for fight, have an edge on speed and anticipation, go where the pucks going, it was GELLING big time…heres a few observations that may be forgotten in all the hysteria around a high scoring win:

    1. Gorges coughed up the puck brutally….again.

    2. We don’t have a Heavy fighter, Kostop is a lightwieght.
    do you think we need one now?…RUNS AT KOVY AND KOIVU and NO PAYBACK….YOU WILL NEVER WIN A CUP WITHOUT PROTECTION.
    and don’t tell me Latron stuck up for Kovy, it was CHARAH that went to attack Latron because latron gave a little bump to some bruin against the boards, so CHARAH goes and gives a few slaps to Latron after he tried to DECAPITATE KOVALEV …PATHETIC

    3. HIGGINS is the real slump that needs demotion…two on nothing with koivu and you lose the puck, no shot no pass, then another time missing the net…well, at least Higgs is smart enough to know he’s NOT CAPITALIZING when its gift wrapped.

    4. PRICE….please kid,, WAKE UP!…you can be calm during interviews, but on the ice you HAVE TO BE ON FIRE, like LIGHTENING, ROCKET FAST…that SLOTHFUL ATTITUDE shows up in the goals that go against you.

    Don’t get me wrong, these 4 points are mere footnotes in an excellent game by the ALL THE boys.

    Ryder is officially back by the way….

    and Kostisyn….kid is WICKED!

    oh ya…nice to see the coaches on fire…Muller.. was easy to read his lips!

  62. Habifax says:

    Great Game by Ryder. 13 shots that must be a record of some sort. Only a matter of time before they go in. I agree they need a cop on the bench. After
    Kost got attacked Kostopo was a fly on Staurt. And Chara should have been dealt with too. They need to get a heavyweight for when they need him like tonight. Bruins showed no class and Chara gave away any chance they had for a comeback with stupidity. But it helped us so great. Julien won’t last long with those tactics. Yes good to see Capt Kirk intense as it was justified.

    So so game for Price but anyone talking about trading him needs a brain checkup. Huet is a free agent so he is on his way out sooner or later. I can’t see Huet getting the big bucks he needs with his age and all. So I would say he is toast in Montreal. Price is the man of the near future and if Halak can hold on he will be backing him up.

    I can’t see how the bruins have as good a record as they have. I’m not impressed by them too much.

    Love the new site guys was to go.

    Have a great night All!

  63. nightmare_49 says:

    The Hamilton Bulldogs won 3 to 2 over Binghamton as Matt D’agostini had a goal and an assist and was 1st star and Matt Carle had a goal and an assist and was 2nd star and Yann Danis stopped 28 of 30 for the win. Ryan O’Bryne missed his 1st game as a pro cuz of an injury.

  64. Chuck says:

    I think that Price would have liked another shot at the first one; although it looked like it could have been screened a little. Nothing he could have done about the other three; the Chara goal was a perfectly placed lazer; same deal with the one-timer off of the face-off from the slot; just no time to react. The last one was a perfect deflection from a Bruin that was left all alone in the crease. All-in-all, I thought that Price had a pretty decent game… certainly MUCH better than the performance that Huet turned in during the first period of the Buffalo game, where he was beat by stuff going in slow motion.
    .
    .
    .

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

  65. Habifax says:

    hey nightmare anyone in Hamilton who can play the cop role for the habs?

    Thanks

  66. JF says:

    What a bounce-back from last night’s listless effort. Great effort from everyone, great intensity, but only a so-so game for Price. With Bryzgalov being claimed on waivers, it makes me think that now would be a good time to re-sign Huet for at least two years with a view to having him and Price playing about an equal number of games. I don’t think Price is ready to be the number 1 goaltender and perhaps won’t be for quite a while. He makes great saves, but many of the shots that get by him seem quite stoppable. On the other hand, if the Ducks couldn’t trade Bryzgalov, Huet’s trade value wouldn’t be high, and if we don’t sign him, he’ll walk at the end of the season. I’d love to keep him around; he and Price make a great tandem. Two such good goaltenders constitute an asset that the Habs should hang onto.

  67. Scott in Montreal says:

    Higgins should spend his next “therapy day” with an undertaker – needs to work on his burying.

  68. RudeMood19 says:

    Give Price a break, the goals Boston scored were good.

    We gotta beat Ottawa now

  69. Robert L says:

    It wasn’t the prettiest win ever, but the Habs showed they can bounce back with a spirited effort.

    Montreal can’t play this way on Monday or they’ll get their asses slapped around. With Ottawa losing to Toronto tonight, they will be primed for an explosive night.

    I’ve watched alot of games over the years between the Bruins and Habs and Boston always makes the mistake of thinking they can push teams around and win. It has never worked for them against Montreal, yet they continue to err in the same thinking.

    I have a poll to vote for the dumbest Habs opponants of all time, between the Flyers and Bruins. I ought to throw the Leafs in for balance and good measure!

  70. Robert L says:

    I should’ve add a link instead of a drink!

    Hey, I’d rather have a free bottle in front of me than a pre – frontal lobotomy!

    http://wwwrealitycheckeyesontheprize.blogspot.com/2007/11/habs-dismantle-dumb-bruins.html

  71. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I thought we could’ve scored 15 tonight. I hope they can play with the same intensity Monday vs the Sens. Average game for Price (he’s allowed). Not too impressed with Boston’s impersonation of the Broad Street Bullies. Makes you wonder if we should shop for a policeman to protect our skilled players. Glad to see our team take it to the Bruins and stand up to them and their so called toughness. Should be interesting in the next 5 games we play them.

  72. saku11 says:

    Kostitsyn played his best game so far, he was explosive out there. His goal was sick, he’s got a Kovalev-type release. Higgins is definitely snakebit but he’s creating a lot of chances for himself. I felt bad for him when the puck rolled off his stick on the 2 on 0. You could see his frustration. He might not have found the scoresheet but he was definitely a strong offensive presence, him and koivu cycled the puck well. Ryder played a solid game too. The Pleks-Kovy-Tits line definitely have some great chemistry.

    3 of the 4 goals against Price are goals against anybody in the league. People shouldn’t forget that Chara has the hardest shot in the league, not Souray. Murray’s shot off the faceoff was perfectly placed and Sturm had all the time in the world in front of the net.

    A lot of positives in this game, looking forward to beating Ottawa.

  73. Dr. John the Evening Tripper says:

    Here I am from Winnipeg. Habs will be a playoff force this year. Speed, depth, goalkeeping. Good coaching staff. Smart GM. Committed owner. Great game tonight against Bruins. When they play their game they are very hard to beat. Bob may pull off a trade to bring a top scorer to conmpliment Kovalev and Koivu. Watch this team go !!

  74. nightmare_49 says:

    No, and no heavyweights in the whole farm system and there were many available at waiver time. Just like last year when we were caught with no depth at “D”, but we got a lot of small little critters on the farm. Management must like our star players being run and won’t wake up till one of them is injuried seriously, asleep at the wheel, me son.

  75. G-Man says:

    Now, that was a good old-fashioned barn burner! This game had everything, from crushing hits to laser like goals to a few wrestling matches I wouldn’t call fights. They were more like “I tug sweater, you tug sweater.”
    Reminded me a little of Slap Shot. Wasn’t that Kirk Muller yelling, “Your wife’s a dyke!” at the Bruins bench?
    Can’t wait for # 19 ceremony. It’s going to bring back memories of when the Habs had it all; speed, scoring and tough as nails.

    Gilbert

  76. G-Man says:

    For Habs-Professor-
    Price is way cool and a team guy. Somebody who is calm and collected even when players are trying to run him. I like him this way. Remember the excitable Hextall who couldn’t win the big game?

    Gilbert

  77. Habifax says:

    Yes but the problem with resigning Huet is that he will want a long term for big bucks. So I don’t see Bob G giving him 3 or 4 years @ 4 or 5 million with
    Price on the roster. This is why I think Bob wanted Price at the beginning of the year he is looking to the future and knows that Price is ideal. A number one goalie at a low salary. More money left to sign free agents.

  78. habs33 says:

    We have one! His name is Mike Komisarek!

  79. earl says:

    Ok anonymous dude we’ll tone it down.

    Having said that the Bruins are the 7th best team in the East points pct wise – so the team just annihilated a team that’s top half in the conference.

    cause for celebration indeed.

  80. mar-lin says:

    actualy i like that too, if he has to switch then make it between the first 2 lines.Although line 2 has been pretty good and only had minor hickups so far. At least since kostitsyn’s been there…

  81. Chuck says:

    Are you high?! :)
    .
    .
    .

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

  82. ClaytonM says:

    What colour is the sky in your world?

  83. nychabsfan says:

    I do like koivu and kovy together,what do we do about the facoff disaster we are dealing with?Also a HUGE problem with our forwards is that they are perimeter players,what happenned to getting in front of the net,being a grinder,making things happen?

  84. habs33 says:

    Unfortunately I couldn’t take in much the game last night, although it was televised (Another comment later on, perhaps), however I know we were easily out hustled, out played and down right beaten in all aspects except shots last night. I do agree that we were schooled and most of the commentary today about shake ups and changes shouldn’t reflect our play last night. That was just uncharacteristic of the Canadiens last night.

  85. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Excellent post and I agree with everything you said. We’ll see which team shows up and what the lines will be. The name of our game is skating/speed and when we’re on, we’re tough to beat. Please show up and GO HABS GO!!!

  86. nightmare_49 says:

    No panic but i few changes have to be made to keep the boys in the stands from becoming stale. Gorges replaces Streit on “D” – Streit replaces Latendresse on (LW) – Grabovski replaces Chips at center. Streit has been fighting it since the Ottawa game where he started hearing the pitter patter that wasn’t there, footsteps and flinching etc. ( Streit – Smolinski – Ryder )and Gorges needs the ice time. Grabs replaces Chips to give the team a spark and if a center does go down to injury during the year Grabs is the replacement ( Murray’s gone cuz of Gainey’s nickel hugging ). Begin – Grabs – Dandy . Don’t worry about faceoffs with Grabs cuz Chips has been brutal the last 4 games. Streit won’t hurt as forward with his smarts and that line could be interesting with Smol and Ryder and Streit is aware defensively. Lats just loses possession way to often and the opponents have noticed it. If you want the puck go see Lats. These moves will have to be made sometime during the year due to injuries etc. and it’s as good a time as any and please Carbo have patience with your lines for at least 2 periods, it’s not game seven of the playoffs. I think now we will know if Carbo has learnt anything from last year or not. The coach panics so will the players. Play discipline hockey against the Bruins – Go Habs Go.

  87. OldGrover says:

    I can’t imagine dropping Chips from the lineup – he hasn’t been cutting it on face-offs, but NOBODY has. Everywhere else, though, he’s been a horse – solid, aggressive, defensive minded. He’s a rookie – but he hasn’t been playing like one.

  88. CH1909-2009 says:

    Removing Chipper from the lineup would be boneheaded for so many reasons. Good thing Carbo is a hockey mind and wouldn’t consider it for 1 second.

    GO HABS GO

  89. Michael N. says:

    Once again the refs are ruining a good game

  90. A. Berke says:

    I second the idea of numbering the comments too.

    The team, unfortunately appears to be going in the wrong direction of the bad play habits of last year.

    In the last 2 1/2 games, not enough forechecking, hitting, winning the face-offs and controlling the puck and last but not least, not going to the net instead staying on the perimeters, hence not much of a goal production and 2 losses in 3 tries (and that one, we really didn’t deserve to win either).

    Our goalies are good but neither of them can save the team’s hide game-in game-out. Last night was obviously Huet’s bad hair day. The same could happen to Price as well.

    As to post re: trading Halak:

    When Bryzgalov(s) of the league are left to waivers because they can’t be traded away, how and why we should expect Halak to be picked by another team?

    Right now not only Halak’s but Huet’s as well, trading values are low. Every team has one or more highly paid goalie on their roster and will not be interested getting another high paid goalie. They would be more interested to make good use of what they have on hand.

    Same goes for Ryder as well, who IMO,is still not worth the salary he’s pulling with his play (yes he did score yesterday, from a gift pass from the sabres). BTW, the number of goals he scored in the past have absolutely no bearing on this year, they don’t win a single point for us now.

    The trading will happen more likely when a team or two will have to deal with long term injuries or increase their chances during the playoffs.

    As to tonight’s game, I sincerely hope that the Habs will bounce back and find their winning ways with hard work, intensity and discipline. If not, get ready for more deja vue all over again.

    Cheers,

    Ali B.

  91. linp says:

    I recommend the web master reviews and removes posts that are uncalled for.
    I also notice spies from the Laffs making disturbing posts.

  92. TheCharles says:

    Higgins is the man because he’s tough and has a good work ethic. Komisarek too. He’ll be netting them in bunches soon enough.

  93. A. Berke says:

    Habsfan49:

    I disagree with you showing only our division for comparison. Right now, as of this morning, Habs are tied for the 4th highest point (in the East) with the Rangers but, the following teams in the conference can easily threaten Habs’ current standing:

    Isles GP:16 – Pts: 20 (if they win both games in hand, they’ll be ahead of us)

    Bruins GP:17 – Pts:20 (if they win tonight they’ll be only 1 pt behind)

    Tampa GP:19 – Pts:21

    if only these teams catch up and pass us we’ll in the 8th and last position to make the playoffs. There also are the Pens, Devils and yes the laffs and Sabres out there looking in.

    IMO, instead of boasting with what we have done so far (only slightly more than 20% of the season gone by), we should be trying to control our destiny by remedying our deficiencies which are plenty right now. Otherwise Hellooo last year :-(

    I hope we get out of this funk quickly and be where we ought to be at the end of the season. This task is mostly on the players shoulders (more than Carbo’s, after all he can not dress to play anymore).

    Hoping for 2 points tonight.

    Cheers,

    Ali B.

  94. earl says:

    Points percentage is what counts. Habs are at a .658 clip, second only to Ottawa in the east.

    Precisely where they were one year ago I do believe.

  95. TradeRyder says:

    Kostitsyn is the bomb. Every time he’s on the ice he makes things happen. That’s why they went after him.

    Chara is a goon. Funny to see him in the penalty box squeezed between the other players like a clown in a tiny car.

    ____________________________________________________
    Hope makes a good breakfast, but a bad supper! Trade Ryder!

  96. ccs says:

    As much as I love the HABS I think that mabey they have over achieved a little up to this point in the season. Before the season everyone outside of Habsland were ready to write us off. Mabey the teams we played thought we would be an easy 2 points as well. Now that we have played pretty good other teams are playing harder against us. We live and die by the power play. If teams take a low amount of penalties against us they have a good chance to beat us. We need to start scoring some 5 on 5 goals for Gods sake. Please Please Please crash the net and get some ugly goals. I remember the good old days when a team had a 3 goal lead all hell would break loose on the ice. Show some passion, show some pride. If I were a member of the greatest team in all pro sports I would spill blood on a nightly basis. Destroy the bruins or die trying….Go Habs Go.

  97. Hoegarden says:

    Since the Bergeron incident, Beantown management and coaches have been whining about head-hunting in the NHL. Now that their designated goon has shown his true colors, this should put a stop to that.
    Boston is paying 7 Million a year for this clown and he’s their captain to top it all. Since his move to Boston he is a wonderful MINUS 21 in 95 games….. what a leader.

  98. Sulemaan says:

    linp, I completely agree with you. If you don’t have the guts to sign-up to an account then you shouldn’t be allowed to post annonymously.

    I was lucky to attend the game last night and here are my observations:

    (1) Steve Begin was at his best. Everytime he went to the penalty box, he took Chara with him. When the Bruins play Chara 30 minutes a game and Begin takes him off for 6 minutes in penalties, he’s doing his job.

    (2) I can’t believe how talented Kovalev is. You hear about it but when you see his stick-handling in person you are in awe of his talent. When he wants to play he is at his best. He was at his best tonight.

    (3) The refereeing was atrocious, particularly in the 2nd period. Alexei Kovalev got sticked in the face and then retaliates and he gets the penalty. In the 3rd period another platant penalty was missed and Carbo lost it and slammed the boards. That was just before the Bruins scored their 4th goal. I don’t know what game the refs were watching but they missed a great one last night. Last time I checked it was supposed to be 5 on 5. Not 5 on 9.

    (4) I really like Kyle Chipchura. Defensively he’s solid and he’s great on the penalty kill. I think him and Spartan (Kostopolous) make a solid combination together.

    (5) Josh Gorges seemed shaky. He nearly coughed up the puck like he did against Florida. Last night he was the weak link on defence but he’s young so I guess he just needs more time.

    (6) Kostitsyn has such breathtaking speed, it’s unreal. I really like the Plekanec, Kovalev and Kostitsyn line. I thought it was shameful that Stuart went after him and Kostitsyn didn’t even drop his gloves yet both him and Stuart got 5 minute fighting majors. Carbo and Muller then got into it with Julien.

    (7) I like how Kostopolous got a goal and also got into a fight standing up for his teamates. I do agree with others that we need a good tough player on the team. I think calling up O’Bryne might be a good idea as he adds size and toughness to the blueline.

    (8) Ryder may not have scored but he had a great assist on Kovalev’s goal and had at least a dozen shots on net. I liked how when he got robbed by Thomas at one one point, Koivu immediately went over and spoke to him telling him to keep his chin up.

    (9) The speed that Higgins has when he cuts to the inside is great. If he keeps doing that the goals will come.

    (10) The Price is right. Carey Price has no chance on most of the goals except the first one. He is indeed so calm and covers so much net it’s scary.

  99. TradeRyder says:

    Chara is the highest paid goon in the league.

    Too bad for Julien last night… he was in a tough spot, defending his goons to his former team and a superior coaching staff.

    ____________________________________________________
    Hope makes a good breakfast, but a bad supper! Trade Ryder!

  100. mar-lin says:

    dude i’d have a hard time putting any stock into that rumour. Besides the fact that he’s not the same player he used to be. We’d be better off picking up jason allison…

    cheers

    go habs go

  101. TradeRyder says:

    Hey Sulemann,

    good observations!

    1. re Kostitsyn. That boy can fly! He gets better every game. CRAZY STUPID that the refs sent him out when he refused to fight. What the heck? Five minutes for NOT FIGHTING. What kind of goon league is this?
    2. Kovalev is turning it on more often. Great to see.
    3. Totally right about Georges. He seems not ready. Great player but too nervous. If I have one knock on Carbo it’s that he seems to be too ready to support someone who may need a demotion instead of a pat on the back.
    4. Chipchura rocks. Great puck control, great poise, great passing.
    5. Ryder…. I HATE to say it, but Ryder had a GOOD GAME! Made great passes, had several shots, worked his tail off. Way to go Ryder!

    ____________________________________________________
    Hope makes a good breakfast, but a bad supper! Trade Ryder!

  102. Sulemaan says:

    Thanks Dave. So does this mean you are going to change your screen name to “KeepRyder”? Guess he has to put in a few in the net (like 30) before that happens! :-)

  103. nightmare_49 says:

    I agree with everything but if your going to demote Gorges over that one error you must know that he will be picked up cuz he has to pass waivers.

  104. nychabsfan says:

    Rich B-Agreed that Huet does give up weak goals from time to time but you are completely wrong about Buffalo:
    1st g-rebound that was unavoidable and Ryder should have taken his man.
    -2nd-deflection that most would not have stopped
    -3rd-creashed at the net and off the forwards skate
    4th-4-count’em-4 habs standing around,including pleks and kovy

    The answer is simple:When Huet is in net the team psychologically eases up as they feel he will save them.When price is in goal they are more protective as he is a rookie.So many of the habs problems are with mental letdowns like the inability to play 60 minutes,goals given up in the waining moments of a game,overthinging by Ryder(who seems out of this and played his best game of the season last night)higgins slump..
    The best possible thing to come out of kast nights game was to see Muller and Carbo pissed off,this kind of passion will unite them as a team more..Huet will only go now if a major blockbuster happens,look for the deadline-that is why Price is playing so much to try and get him ready.The one thing about this kid-he is a pressure player,a la roy,he is a superstar in the making.My big prediction:3-5 years from now Patrick Roy will be coaching this team….

  105. coutNY says:

    coutNY’s Funny de jour
    http://www.groovle.com/custom/homepage/46e386cfe86a772f89645bf506048b11/

    …the Future has good things instore for us!

  106. Shiloh says:

    Can someone tell me why Kostitsyn sat out about 5 games this year while Latendresse played all but one? Just asking…….

  107. TradeRyder says:

    Sulemann,

    I’ll change it to KeepRyder when he plays like he did last night for a month. Looked like a different player out there. Must have had his wheaties!

    ____________________________________________________
    Hope makes a good breakfast, but a bad supper! Trade Ryder!

  108. RudeMood19 says:

    Derek Boogard and 2 first round draft picks in 2007 and 2008 for Ryder. LOL

    That’ll add toughness.

  109. TradeRyder says:

    Just to be clear, I think Ryder has a lot to offer.

    BUT it’s my view that we have enough young talent to fill his spot without the question marks about skating speed, or defensive skills. He’s a FIRST LINE guy – on a team that flies. He’s holding up the machine.

    If we trade Ryder, we need to bundle him with others (goalie, defense), and get a sniper. Either a 30+ goal guy on the way up, or a 40+ goal guy who’s not about to be a has-been.

    ____________________________________________________
    Hope makes a good breakfast, but a bad supper! Trade Ryder!

  110. A. Berke says:

    First and foremost: Last night’s game was the Habs I want to see in every game. Everybody contributed and it was a real team effort and a real pleasure to watch. My Thanks go to the Team and Coaching Staff.

    Now, let’s have more of the same tomorrow and in the future.

    Re Ryder:

    I did post more than once re his “slump”. I fully agree with TradeRyder. Ryder’s play style and his abilities are no longer a match with the Habs’ first line. That’s the major reason of his “slump”. I wouldn’t call that a slump but rather a “mismatch”. Admittedly, he had his best game of the season last night but there still were some missed scoring opportunities (that shouldn’t take away from the fact that he played well).

    IMO, he will be better fit in another team and prosper. But considering the amount of young talent coming up from the ranks, trading him would be in his best interests as well as the Habs.

    I also believe that was the primary reason that both sides agreed to a one year contract in the first place.

    Second:
    Let’s not get into a pissing match to argue which one of the two, between Huet and Price is better. The question is not for now but should be asked for the future.

    And in that context, the answer is definitely Price (unless he tanks a la Theodore). Simply put, Huet will be an UFA and he’s already thirty something, which means that he has more likely ONE good multi-year contract opportunity left to him.

    Giving the fact that Price is being groomed for the future, there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell that Huet will get a juicy multi-year contract from Gainey (it doesn’t make any financial or otherwise sense). And a year contract offer will be unfair to Huet. He deserves to get a nice contract to benefit before he hangs them up.

    Like I always said, nhl is a business and there is very little room for emotional moves.

    Wishing for a repeat performance from our beloved Habs tomorrow!

    cheers,

    Ali B.

  111. Habifax says:

    Yeah NESN was funny. How they went on about Chara knocking out Lats and how Lats was in LA LA land etc…. hahahha
    you would think they would have said how stupid it was that Chara blew any chance of a comeback with 9 minutes in penalties. But I still think we need a cop for the Bruins and the Flyers only.

  112. earl says:

    Ah the rookie honeymoon.
    It is quite understandable that Price can let in a shot, all goalies do, but poor Huet is expected to stop every deflected shot and double deflected shot coming his way. Ok. Pfft. Huet is better than ok. He remains the team MVP.

    Of course it is uncertain what his future is with the club but without his heroics the Habs are in tough.

  113. toxicskovy_27 says:

    dump Laten didn’t score just wasting such a great chance. no wonder he’s going down..
    GO HABS GO!!!


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