Game 20: Canadiens fall on Larry’s grand night

Larry Robinson ducks beneath the banner that soon would be heading up to the Bell Centre roof. With him are Canadiens alternate captains Alex Kovalev (far left), Christopher Higgins and captain Saku Koivu.
Dave Sandford, Getty Images

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The Canadiens watched a magical pre-game ceremony to retire the No. 19 of Hall of Famer Larry Robinson, but they couldn’t create any magic of their own.

Montreal dropped a 4-2 decision to the Ottawa Senators, who had lost five of their last seven games at the Bell Centre but have beaten the Habs three straight this season.

The Senators, outshot 38-29, were still smarting from the 3-0 spanking they took in Toronto on Saturday, and put four past Cristobal Huet. The Habs were down 2-0 and 4-1 and clawed one goal back, off the stick of Christopher Higgins in the third period, but that’s where it ended. Guillaume Latendresse had Montreal’s first goal.

The Habs are on Long Island Wednesday to play the Islanders, then have a home-and-home vs. Buffalo on the road Friday and at the Bell Centre Saturday.



  1. Bouleau noir says:

    Getting Jokinen as an UFA would have been perfect…. getting him throught a trade is an entirelly different matter.

    We wouldn’t be ahead if we had to give back an equivalant player to get him…. like Markov for instance (same multi year contract making similard money).
    They might look for a package return instead,… but even then would you give a Komisarek- Plek package or a Kots-Higgins package which are basically what they would be asking……. The CH doesn’t have enought depth yet to take full advantage of trading in return for a top player…. getting a rental player at the deadline against picks or prospects or both,.. would be more like, it seems to me.

  2. Bill says:

    Well, it would be nice, but Garrioch has a long track record of posting trade ‘rumors’ that go nowhere. We can dream, though.

  3. A. Berke says:

    That’s the idea. This is Robinson’s night to shine in the rafters and elsewhere and we should join him and honour him.


    Ali B.

  4. Athenian says:

    Thanks to all the posters with links to youtube…great stuff.

  5. Scotty90 says:

    Sens aren’t super human. They lost to the leafs. they alsmost lost to us two saturdays ago. Canadiens know they can take them and the Sens know the Canadiens can take them. They’ll be playing nervous so we need to keep constant pressure on them. Make them take stupid penalties to correct mistakes, because the Habs PP will make them pay dearly. We need to shoot, shoot and shoot again. Ryder lets see you match your shots on net fromthe last game. I’m hoping Emery will be in nets tonight…he’s not in the best frame of mind right now.

    Savard: 2 thumbs down after reading the article on why Robinson left Montreal. He should be ashamed of himself. I’d have a good mind to boo him if he shows his face tonight.

  6. Sulemaan says:

    Thanks for the info Robert L. It was a while ago that I read Robinson’s book.

    Serge Savard may have been a good general manager (2 stanley cups in 12 years) but it appears his behaviour in negotiations with established hall of fame stars (Lafleur, Robinson) leaves something to be desired. Check out Lafleur’s autobiography to read how he was treated by Savard when he was general manager.

    Where is the truth? Who knows but it is Robinson’s retirement night so if he wants Lou Lamouriello to speak for him or even Don Cherry for that matter, who are we to question that decision? Some of the guys @ RDS were questioning Robinson’s decision the other night.

    I’d prefer if it was a former Montreal Canadian as well but #19 gave 110% every game for over 15 years. He can choose whoever he pleases.

    Let’s hope the boys show up against the Senators. I’m very much looking forward to the game tonight.

  7. 24 Cups says:

    All I can think of since Saturday night is why we didn’t sign Ian Laperriere as a free agent when we had the chance. Colorado got him instead for a very reasonable salary. He’s a warrior, kills penalities, plays centre and wing, and is a consummate team player. I’d trade for him in a heartbeat (not that we would get him). Born and raised in Montreal to boot.

  8. krob1000 says:

    What a game on Saturday!!!!
    What a goon show on Saturday!!!!

    Nice to see Kostitsyn come out of his shell and play like he did in training camp. He was the best player on the ice along with Ryder on Saturday.

    As for the Chara incident and him running around like Shrek …what a side show. I actually like Chara (or did) and was completely shocked to see him being such an idiot. In Ottawa he dropped the gloves when coming to the aid of a teammate or when repeatedly challenged but he rarely lost his cool as he did several times on Saturday. His “hit” does deserve some reprimand and he can refer to the early season memo regarding headshots if he wonders what all of the fuss is about. It was a clear intent to injure, blatant headshot, mulit-step run and completely inexcusable. I understand Chara is a monster and what is shoulder height ot him is ears to anyone else. He has to be aware of that and adjust accordingly. I am usually a defender of the hitters as I often think things are blown out of proportion but I do believe this was suspension worthy. A very minimal suspension(2 games) would suffice. I don’t believe he will be suspended though (other than the match oenalty he received).

    Larry Robinson…………………winner. Not much else needs to be said as Larry played , coached and lived classy….a true Montreal Canadien. I wish somehow Bob Gainey could get Larry involved with the Canadiens again because you can never have enough successful alumni kicking around the rink to instill pride and tradition (not to mention he is a hockey genius).

    This next paragraph is entirely imaginary and I am fully aware that it won’t likely happen but….
    I don’t like to be rumour starter or anything but I thought this article was rather interesting as it appears there is a major issue with Jokinen in Florida. Jokinen is a big center with offensive flair…..a poor mans Lecavelier with leadership qualities and a solid two way game. He is also Finnish and has played several times with Saku on the world stage. I am not going to speculate any further as their is no implication that Montreal has any interest but I find it hard to fathom that every team in the league wouldn’t have some interest if Jokinen was in fact available. Who knows if you land Jokinen and have Koivu does Selanne maybe lean a little further our way with an opportunity to take a run with his countrymen.

    This game will be a good measuring stick and I hope the ceremony(no offense to the Big Bird) doesn’t run too long and have any ill effects on the game. This is the first time we have ahad the Mighty Sens in our house and I am hoping that we can show them our A game for an entire game. The Senators are “struggling” (by their standards after losing to Washington last week and being shut out by the Leafs). They intend to leave the big line broken up as Fisher is supposed to play with Alfie and Heatley. Personally I think this is great for us. Fisher is a plugger and a great all around player but he is not Spezza feeding Heatley. I like that. Heatley is slumping (one goal in last ten games) and Spezza’s injury and their line separation is the obvious reason as to why. They are looking for balanced scoring (which I thought they had) but Paddock is playing some sort of strange game with them. Whatever… long as they don’t get reunited against us I am happy.

    Huet needs to come up big tonight and we absolutely need to excercise discipline and avoid the penalty box. I wondered after the second meeting this year though if it is this fear of taking penalties against the Sens that has led to our somewhat tentative play against them thus far. We need to remain agressive and not alter our approach and avoid dumb penaties. We can live with penalties while guys are working but lazy hooks, slashes or holding penalties will kill us against these guys.

    Go Habs Go!!

  9. drecha says:

    Now I told you that you were going to eat your words, but I did not expect it to be this soon!!! The only thing that could have made Saturday nights performance even better would have been a goal from Ryder. He really deserved one the way he was getting them to the net.

    I am really looking forward to see the #19 being raised tonight! Big Bird was my man growing up and I can’t wait to see what kind of video montage they put together for him tonight, I am certainly going to tape that ceremony!


  10. CH1909-2009 says:

    According to RDS although Kostopoulos is suspended one game for instigating wth Stuart at the end of the Bruins game, Higgins WILL PLAY and the first two lines remain intact. Grabovski’s in on the fourth at center between Begin and Dandenault while Chipchura centers Smolisky and Latendresse as the third line. Gorgeous George out Brisebois in.


  11. habitual says:

    Actually, team mate Berke, I did read the post after I made my comment, and I was surprised and disappointed at that piece of history. Ok, so no Savard. But as another poster has noted, we are honoring him as a Hab, in our building. Big Bird could have picked a dozen other Habs team mates – Gainey for instance – as opposed to someone in another organization.

    But, I’ll get over it and enjoy the ceremony for and with Larry.

  12. WindsorHab-10 says:

    No excuses tonight, I don’t care how great Ottawa is. We gave them 2 wins so far because we quit playing. A statement game and the team must deliver. I hope Price gets the nod. Let’s make it a memorable evening for Larry & all the fans. GO HABS GO!!!!!!!!!!

  13. fuhgawz says:

    I expect Huet to rebound in a big way this game (he is playing right??). It was nice to see the offensive flair this team can put together when everything is firing on all cylinders…….how about Kovalev completely changed player this season ….. I love how he can make the other players around him better……if that line keeps clicking like it is and Ryder (yes Ryder who I have slammed and slandered on more then one occasion on here) keeps blasting the puck like last game we arguably have two of the best lines in the NHL. Good to see him return to form I hope he keeps it up …….. and yes I am eating my words about him from before …..that is until he disappoints me again lol.

    Congratulations to Larry …. Well deserved

    Go Habs Go ……..

  14. A. Berke says:

    To Habitual & CH 1909-2009

    Re: your questioning why Robinson chose Lamoriello instead of a Hab (i.e. Savard)

    I suggest you read the two posting that Robert L posted, then you’ll understand why Robinson was so disappointed by the crass behaviour of Savard (then the GM).

    Unfortunately, in the past, Habs managements have acted like that on more than one occasion. On the other hand I’m sure that Lou treated him the way he deserved to be treated as one of hockeys best d-man.

    Savard doesn’t deserve Robinson’s respect (nor mine for that matter).

    Ali B.

  15. Robert L says:

    Here’s more on Larry, and the why’s and how’s about him leaving the Habs in 1989 – from his book “Robinson For The Defense”

  16. 24 Cups says:

    Retiring a jersey number can bring out a variety of emotional memories and viewpoints. Regardless of how you feel about Larry Robinson’s stays in New Jersey and L.A. you have to remember just how great he was in Montreal – 6 Stanley Cups, over 1100 total points (regular season and playoffs) for a defenseman, and as part of the greatest backline triumvirate the game has ever known. First there was Doug Harvey, and then there was Larry Robinson. No Montreal defenseman has ever come close since his retirement. Here’s a toast to The Big Bird.

  17. Bill says:

    This is even better. Man, could he skate!

  18. Bill says:

    Why not watch it one more time?

    It just never gets old. I love the old-school broadcasting work … and English Canada is supposed to listen to Bob Cole these days? Pah.

  19. The Teacher says:

    Is there anyone out there who pines for the day when the Habs can dominate the NHL again just like the Patriots are doing in the NFL at this moment?

  20. the_larry says:

    Its gonna be an emotional night tomorrow, watching the great Larry Robinson’s number get retired. I still think the most emotional moment in Canadiens history (for my short lifespan at least) was definitly the Rocket’s huge ovation in ’96 at the old Forum. But a close second was Boom Boom’s jersey retirement night last year…1 day or so after his passing. That was extremely emotional, and a night I’ll not soon forget.

  21. CH1909-2009 says:

    Yeah the LouLou Lemon thing is really wierd. He’s a classless jerk, plus we’re not honoring Robinson the NJ coach, we’re honoring Robinson the Habs great. D-U-M dumb.


  22. Erik says:

    Lets have a good HABS win GO HABS!!!!

  23. CH1909-2009 says:

    Look Out! Sens will be hungry and angry. If we can win this at home it’ll be a huge test: I think they can do it, if they play ugly and smart and patient.


  24. habitual says:

    Hey Habs fans, what gives? 12 posts and almost no one saying anything about Big Bird’s big night?

    Robinson was the best defenceman of the decade – and made the all time Habs team (as voted by the fans, if I recall correctly). One aspect perhaps forgotten about his game was how tough he was, and how his presence kept the Flyers thuggery at bay during the Stanley Cup of 75-76. That was the first of 4 consecutive cups and the last time hachet man Clark, Schultz and the other sad lot were an issue.

    But, what is Robinson thinking, getting Lou Lamourello to introduce him during the ceremony.

  25. A. Berke says:

    Robert L:

    That’s an excellent article. Thanks for posting it.


    Ali B.

  26. The Teacher says:

    Thanks Bill!!! all the other video’s I’ve seen of this brawl shows it from MUCH further out…good to see Robinson connecting with some major shots on Schultz…. Larry “Big Bird” Robinson has waited FAR too long for this day to come.

    I can only assume the Habs planned it this way so that we could retire some sweaters in the new building, recreating long-lost magic that will allow the ghostly spirits of past players from the Forum’s rafters transferred finally to our new home with the long awaited sweater of a true Canadiens.

    And with regards to the memory of the Standing Ovation accorded the Rocket in 1996, it was definitely one of the most spine-tingling moments I have ever witnessed. The pure adulation and respect accorded that night is EXACTLY what it means to be a Habs fan. It seemed everytime the Rocket put his hands up to tell us to quiet down, the roars just got louder and louder……

    an Icon he truly was….

  27. linp says:

    Look. I won’t mind having some Laffs fans visiting us and discuss their team strength against ours. A civilized discussion is helpful for both teams.

    Meaningless Anonymous posts just show how low class Laffs fans are.

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