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.

  28. Nate says:

    I think Ryder will have a breakout week. He had something like 13 shots Saturday night. Let him play and trade him at the deadline. He’s gonna score 30 goals again this year. Mark my words.

  29. CH1909-2009 says:

    I think you’re definitely on to something based on his effort level recently. It’ll come for Rydes: it always does…


  30. Dave Stubbs says:

    Anonymous posts are being reviewed. My hope is that very soon, posting comments to Inside/Out will not be possible without registration. The few people we lose will be offset by the quality of conversation.

    More news to come on this soon.

    Dave Stubbs

    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette


  31. TradeRyder says:

    I agree Hema. The anononymous posts will be more and more abused over time. The only way to prevent abuse is by threat of banning. The only way to ban is to only let members speak.

    Should be a good game tomorrow night! Sens have trouble in our building. Hope the hits are hard and the team takes it to Ottawa before they know what hit ’em. Go habs!

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

  32. A. Berke says:

    Thank you Dave re Anonymous posts.

    I hope that the team will bring back to the game tomorrow the same work ethic and intensity of the last bruins game.

    I also believe that the sens will try to extract a revenge from us after losing to the laffs, that appears to be their style lately. However, the sens are 2 and 2 in their last 4 games.

    They won (stole the game) against us because of our sloppy play in the last period and their other win was, not a clear-cut one, against buffalo (I did not see that one). So, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to say that they’re struggling a bit lately.

    Time to pounce on them is now! and another game like last night will do it.

    Ali B.

  33. kevin m says:

    I can’t help feeling that when the SENS get embarassed they try to exact revenge on their next opponent. The Habs are meeting them for the second time following an Ottawa pasting.

    Here’s to hoping the Good Guys can suck it up “big time” & hand the Sens their second consecutive defeat for the first time this year.

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

  34. TradeRyder says:

    Montreal is playing well and hard. They can take the Sens if they believe they can and don’t get spooked. Montreal also has a lot of young dynamic players that are getting better, if Montreal can rattle them like they did the Bruins, the battle could be a good one.

    I’d love it if a “Sens killer” would rise out of the Montreal ranks. But first we have to get close. My guess, if we ever have one, it’ll either be a goalie, or one of the young guns.

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

  35. Da Hema says:

    That anonymous person is really creepy. Dave Stubbs: can we not end these anonymous posts? If someone has something to say, they should at least have to register with a real email. At least that is my view.

    I know it is likely the wrong topic for this forum, but congratulations to the Riders for a classic effort against the BC Lions! The Riders played like champions today, and they sure put some hits on the Lions. That hit by Reggie Hunt on Clermont was outstanding!! When a helmet goes flying, you know you popped the guy.

    “Play every game as if it is your last one.”
    –Guy Lafleur
    “All hockey players are bilingual. They know English and profanity.”
    –Gordie Howe

  36. fuhgawz says:

    did not think hunt was getting up after that —- great game tho —–

  37. Robert L says:

    Dave, could you e-mail me that Gazette address for the Red Fisher book – thank – you!

    I’ve posted a little thing on Robinson, and what I remember best about him. I’ll also be adding something later this evening, from his book “Robinson For The Defense” that has to do with why he left for Los Angeles and why he has waited so long to have his sweater rightfully honoured.

    I’ll post the link once I have that done. For now:

  38. Grabs says:

    Great news Dave, make those damn suits listen to you!

  39. Da Hema says:

    Great news! Thanks for the update on registration Dave.
    “Play every game as if it is your last one.”
    –Guy Lafleur
    “All hockey players are bilingual. They know English and profanity.”
    –Gordie Howe

  40. ILoveCats says:

    Spot on Dave. Long time coming.

  41. Sulemaan says:

    Thanks Dave. I appreciate that.

  42. cautiousoptimist says:

    Hear hear!

  43. The Ian Cobb says:

    Robert– You look pretty cool sitting there!! and thank you for your teck support.

  44. 24 Cups says:

    I don’t put much credence in these rankings – they are based solely on what a team has been doing for the past weeks or even games. The Hockey News runs their own version as well. Realistically, there is no way we are the second best team in the NHL just as Calgary isn’t the 4th worst team in the league. BUT it is nice to bask in the limelight and thumb our noses up at those who said we stood no chance at the beginning of the year.

    “There’s something happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear…..’ Buffalo Springfield

    P>S> For you younger types on the site that is the name of a rock group, not a minor league hockey team:-)

  45. hockey7272 says:

    Hopefully the habs come out strong and dont give the game to them in the third like last time!!

  46. RetroMikey says:

    Robert, I have always enjoyed reading your blog, some very interesting articles of Habs players past and present. Respect!

    “We will win the Cup only with Carey Price in the nets”

  47. jody1974 says:

    Now Now

    Price is still 2 years away along with the rest of our team.

  48. The Ian Cobb says:

    Your right Mike but just like the post under this says, we are 2 or 3 years more seasoning away yet for a lot of players, some still learning on the farm!

  49. RH says:

    I want to also extend congrats to the green Riders for laying a beat down on the evil B.C. Lions. If only my Argos could have made it to the show and crushed the spirits of those kindly prairie folk.
    Unless the Bears are playing, I usually don’t waste time watching the No Fun League,(which is apparently a waste of the 200$ I spend on Sunday Ticket every year), but I have to say that those New England Patriots are showing incredibly poor sportsmanship running up the scores on there opponents. Karma is coming boys. Don’t act surprised when it finally shows up. I’m also surprised that Jack Todd wouldn’t lambaste the said Patriots for there lack of respect of there opponents.

    Now that’s over with, the Sens’ are going to be in a NASTY mood tonight. After getting embarassed by the leafs, they’ll definitely be looking to pull a ‘Patriots’ on the Habs tonight. The Habs desperately need the Koivu line to start producing on a regular basis. I would suggest that Carbonneau break that line up but, what line combo’s would he make up instead? Kostopoulos on the first line isn’t something I would do on a regular basis. Also, that doesn’t say much for the depth of this team. I hate to say it because I really do think Michael Ryder has been working hard to be a better two way player and be more defensively liable but, he isn’t scoring goals so, something has to be done whether a benching or, a trade.
    That leads me to my other comment. I read posts here from people who want to put Lats’ on the first two lines because he plays better. Well, the way I see it, if he’s that good, why wouldn’t he be able to produce on the third line? If he can’t take a leadership role on the third or fourth line, he doesn’t deserve to be on the first two lines. Lats’ is a long way from being the type of player the hype surrounding him makes him out to be. And what’s with him falling down so much lately?

  50. nightmare_49 says:

    Have a great night Larry as you truly deserve it, better late than never,and you supplied us with many many a great moment while playing here to many to describe and the odd Breezer type moment to prove you were human but one thing was consistent and that was you were the Ultimate Team Player.

  51. Habsfan39 says:

    Does anybody know how i can watch this game on the internet? Sopcast or is it on RDS online or something?

    I have a lecture tonight and cant be in front of the TV


  52. slamtherimtim says:

    i hope ryder gets hot just so we can trade him ,he hasent scored much yet and it dooooesnt seem to be hurting us much , along with huet and the tenderness we could get something really good back

  53. The Teacher says:

    Hahaha Habsfan39,

    maybe you should be listening to the lecture 😛

    Seriously speaking, Scroll up a bit, I’m sure I’ve seen the answer to your question above somewhere.

  54. KerryPrice says:

    Larry i hope we can give you a win on this specail night, your a class act. I hate getting the Sens after they lose to the Leafs.Or anyone. Tonights gonna be a good tilt. Were gonna miss Kostopolis `s toughness. Hopefully Higgi isn`t forcing the issue on his weak ankle. We can`t afford losing him long term. Huet Vs Gerber. I`ll take Huet, Go Habs Go!!!

  55. Lee Hayes says:

    I enjoyed Larry’s brief pairing with Rod Langway, at one point they had matching afro’s, they kind of reminded me of big bird, back in the day of no helmets and bad perms!
    I’m very happy for Larry, he day has finally come.
    I expect quite the emotional response for all involved, including all of us at home watching on TV.

    On to the sen’s…well we have to come out with the rare 60 min, fully committed to the game plan, overachieving home game effort. Or suffer the consequences of falling victim to an ottawa team that is out for blood. Doesn’t matter who it is in front of them, they just want to reset the tone if you will. Our Beloved Habs are in tough tonight, however we have been dominant in the Bell Center against ottawa of late(5 of the last 7), a win would reflect a gathering maturity in amongst our younger players, and team as a whole!
    Here’s hoping we get a win for Larry!

    RobertL, any stats on wins vs loses on retirement nights?

    Go Habs Go

  56. mrstewart61 says:

    Anybody else notice that Chipchura is tied with Hamrlik for the best plus-minus on the team? And that’s playing on the 4th line!

  57. linp says:

    Larry, this is your night. Thanks for giving us a lot of entertaining and memorable moments. Those were the days when we expected our team to win every game. All those exciting play-off wins. Thank you again!

  58. Chorske says:

    Merci, Larry. Merci.

  59. earl says:

    Aside from obviously important goals from players like Lafleur and Lambert, I think the most vivid plays I can recall from memory are Larry Robinson plays.

    The end to end rushes, the slapshot, ragdolling Milbury and Schultz and that crushing hit on Dornhoefer. Like it was yesterday.

    There’s no shortage of superlatives for this once in a generation, nay, once in a lifetime player.

    One thing I do find tough to come to terms with is the fact that Larry is employed by a rival hockey club. There’s something wrong about that.

  60. HabDawg says:

    LETS GO BOYS!!!!!

  61. linp says:

    Here are my observations:

    1. We are giving up a lot of goals when a opposing team forward controls the puck behind our net and makes a short pass to someone in front of the net to tip it in. How come we do not try the same play? Our guys just skate in and shoot the puck from far out. In my new NHL, it is easier to tip in from close range especially with someone creating traffic in front of the net.

    2. Someone should tell Komisarek to stay in the box during PK when our two forwards are not defending in the box. A few times he went to the sideboard to check and leave someone wide open in front of the net.

    3. Higgins needs more shooting practices. He needs a course from Kovalev.

    4. The Sens passes better. Their lines have more chemistry. Alfredsson’s one timer is very effective.

  62. Rich B says:

    Looks like all that practice worked for Higgins. Huet may need some goaltending pratice though. I know he didn’t have much help tonight, but he isn’t giving the team any reason to have faith in him. Please start Price in the next game. 5-1-1. Does that record not speak for itself? He makes the necessary saves.

  63. earl says:

    Thank goodness the Bruins and Sabres are in this division, because Montreal just don’t match up to handle the Sens and Leafs very well.

    Sens just have too much scoring, and Montreal struggles to score more than 2 goals most nights.

    You watching Bob?

  64. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    The best hit of the night was KOVALEV NAILING ALFREDSON in the last couple of minutes…Alfredson was one on one with Kovy, then Kovy just plowed over him like a freight train….the rest is history,

    other than that, WHERE WAS THE HITTING?

    Sens are weakest when you crash their zone with hits, then use our speed to pickup the lose puck and setup a one-timer and then rush to the rebound. Gerber is too elite to be beaten easily.

    Higgins performed a miracle with that goal…other than that he is the weak link in that line…RYDER is superior at stick handling, hitting and shooting, JUST FACE IT.
    Demote Higgins to the 3rd line…he stickhandles WAY TOO MUCH and then loses the puck.

    As for LATRENDRES…GREAT GAME. excellent puck shielding and strength, elite shot when he can release and he is in our top 3 as far as hitting…His goal tonight was all brutal strength…one of the few who showed heart.

    BOTTOM LINE…no hitting and the sens will eat your lunch if they are allowed to play their game.

    Whatever players I didn’t mention…its because theres no need to mention….

  65. TheRealSaskHab says:

    Good start to the season but some worrisome cracks are appearing.

    Hammer has gone from perfect to so-so. Streit has gone from slick to fighting the puck. Beezer will always be Beezer.

    We missed TK tonight. We’re a better team with him in the line-up. Kinda embarassing to sit through a suspension for starting a fight and then get beat up.

  66. joe-hab-nuno says:

    Just want to start off by congradulating Larry on this night, class act.To bad we didn’t win this one for him.

    Secondly, this has to be one of the worst if not the worst defensive game the habs had, could of easily beenn 7-2 Sens. They got to get rid of those impossible angle shots, when you see a guy driving to the net direct the puck to the net rather than shoot from that impossible angle.

    As much as i like Higgins(habs-professor you got to be kidding on that Ryder stick handler then Higgins) he’s pulling a Ryder by shooting everytime he has the puck, many times he could have that pass he shoots. It’s not the same Higgins from last year, looks like he’s trying to hard for those 40 goals this season..

    As much as i hate Lantendresse, he almost had a really good game if it wasn’t for tripping on his own skates, I still sent him down.

    I haven’t been really impressed with Grabs, send him down too. He’s too small and gets knocked off really easily.We should try out Kots jr and D’agos instead of these 2.

  67. joe-hab-nuno says:

    Streit looked better as a forward, he looks to nervous as a defencemen, terrible+/-. That second goal was caused by Breze unable to get the puck out of the zone in the first place rather then Grabs not covering the open man

  68. earl says:

    Higgins is the top goal scorer on that line. Demoting him would be pointless.

    I can’t see a way for Montreal to beat Ottawa at any game at the moment. They came close last time out but ran out of gas after 35 minutes.

    This time they failed to launch. Ottawa is so much better in their own end and have the finish to crush you the very moment you think you’re smelling success.

    Right now Sens have to be faves for the Cup.

    My concern is more with the inability to stay with teams like the Leafs.

  69. JF says:

    I wouldn’t say that was a brutal game but a lot of those impossible-angle shots were wasted. They need to get more traffic in front of the net or work from behind the net. Not a good game for Huet, though I don’t think any of the goals he allowed were bad ones; he just didn’t make the great saves when they were needed. But I was glad to see Higgins score. And Latendresse had a really good game, perhaps his best.

    I agree about Grabovski. He needs to spend some time in Hamilton learning how to play tough. Not all small players get knocked off the puck easily; it’s a matter of learning how not to.

    The second line looked good even though they didn’t score.

    I didn’t expect them to beat Ottawa so I don’t have the same angry, frustrated feeling I have when they lose to Toronto. However, I’m concerned about Wednesday’s game against the Islanders. Ted Nolan has that team working extremely hard every night, and they are finding ways to win most of the time. I’m afraid our guys might take them too lightly, in which case they’ll be unpleasantly surprised.

  70. saku11 says:

    Huet has not looked strong in his last two games. Defensively we were not solid tonight but IMO if Price wins his next start, he should get the next game as well. Kovalev’s hit on Alfredson was the highlight of the night. I do have to agree that Higgins should consider the pass a little more, although it was good to see him get one late. I hope to see Price vs the Isles.

  71. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Congratulations Larry on well deserved night, you’ll always be a favorite among Habs fans. As for the game, why can’t we put together back to back good performances? Streit, like mentioned before does not feel comfortable on defense. Solution: Put him back as a forward. Stop playing musical chairs with the goalies. It seems obvious to most of us that the team plays better, smarter and harder with Price in net because they have confidence in him. I’m not blaming Huet for the loss because the team overall sucked especially defensively. Time to ride one goalie and make him #1. That would be Carey Price.

  72. says:

    Ba…….so we lost to the best team in the league. Out of 30 teams we are 4th best, we can afford to lose a few to the Sens.

    Stay positive people. The Sens scored, and we didn’t, we’ll bounce back.
    God Bless Our Infantry

  73. Sulemaan says:

    I count my blessings for being able to attend the game tonight. Here are my $0.02 (Canadian of course because of the currency exchange!)

    (1) The Robinson ceremony was extremely classy. We really set the mark for the league in terms of retiring players. Unlike the Leafs where they ‘honour’ them (whatever that means) as opposed to retiring them.

    (2) The fans were very classy in giving Robinson a standing ovation and cheering for him until he had to wave for everyone to sit down. Best fans in the NHL by far.

    (3) The Habs came out gunning in the first period and were outshooting the Sens by 8-3 margin. It was the only period of the game where we had sustained pressure on Ottawa. Huet let in 2 goals and the momentum disappeared.

    (4) Our defencemen were trying to pinch in but the forwards were not providing defensive zone coverage. That is how the Sens scored on of their goals. There was another 4 on 2 because none of the forwards skated back and an Ottawa defencemen joined the rush.

    (5) I like Grabovski as he has good wheels but beyond that he gets knocked of the puck easily, tends to avoid the corners and is lousy on face-offs. I think he would be better served on the top 2 lines or we send him to Hamilton for a bit.

    (6) Ryder is still snake-bit but he was getting hammered all over the ice. He never stopped working at all.

    (7) I think we missed Kostopolous tonight more than we care to admit. He adds a good dimension to the team.

    (8) In my opinion, Huet needs to pick it up or Price may start more games down the road. I can’t stand it when he goes behind the net. Disaster waiting to happen.

    (9) Even though we lost tonight, we beat the Bruins 7-4 so it was a pretty good weekend. Now if we could just get Robinson to come back and coach the defencemen we would be set.

    CH stands for CHaracter and CHampion

  74. G-Man says:

    The thing about the Sens that’s really annoying is that it’s Chris Neil leading the way with 2 points last night. And Eaves scoring the 1st one. We stop Alfredson ans Spezza, but not Neil and Eaves? Attrocious!


  75. Frank14 says:

    Until the Habs start hitting Spezza, Heatley & Alfredsson
    they’ll never beat them. Period.


  76. coutNY says:

    G-Man Not sure you watched the game last night but Alf pretty much dominated early on and set up the 1st goal… I wouldn’t say we stopped him. Maybe Spezza was quiet is about all.

  77. saku11 says:

    Spezza had a 3 point night so I wouldnt really qualify it as quiet. Heatley had 3 as well so I wouldn’t say our defense shut them down.

  78. REB says:

    I admire the Habs for the tradition of retiring famous players jerseys, but I absolutely HATE that they do it on game night, because they ALWAYS lose the game. The players sit on the bench, looking like a bunch of identical statues, and lose the mental edge they had been working on. The same thing happened with the 1000-game ceremony for Kovi, Smoks and Hammer!

    Might I suggest to Habs management – hold a live press conference, advertised and scheduled in advance, in a very public place (the steps of City Hall, the sidewalk in front of the Bell Center…). The press will attend, many people will attend (might even block the street!), and the players will get the ceremony, accolades and honour that they have earned.

    Just stop screwing around with the players pre-game mental preparations.

  79. earl says:

    Do you want me to list the couple of dozen games he has single handedly won?

    Huet is the best goaltender on the team and one of the most solid in the league.

    Problems with the Habs does not include goaltending at the current time. In fact in 30 years I’ve been watching goaltending has rarely ever been a problem.

  80. Scotty90 says:

    Huet was poor last night. I think he has difficulty reading plays. On the third goal I think, the puck was about5 or 6 feet to the left of his crease and for the life of me can’t comprehend why he just didn’t poke it to the corner. Within seconds it was in the net! I just don’t understand. Streit wasn’t that great either last night. Good effort from the 4 lines. I think I would have preferred seeing Lapierre out there than Grabs.

  81. krob1000 says:


    The Senators have been dominant for years….we are just not as good as them….yet. That is not to say we can’t be but we need a full roster effort where as they can coast along on Alfie, Spezza and Heatley. I thought the first period was fantastic and the 2-0 score was not a reflection of that period. We had chances but when they got a chacnce it was a beauty and they capitalize. On another day we come out of that period being up 2-0.

    People are asking guys to shoot the puck and then criticizing them when they do. Yes there were several shots from different angles….so what….if a rebound is surrendered from an off angle shot the goalie will be out of position. I thought Gerber and the Sens just did an efficent job and didn’t allow rebounds or rebounds to be retrieved by us.

    Someone else mentioned the down low coverage in our end and short passes in front of our net and our inability it seems to defend these. The first Spezza pass to Niel was just bum luck as it was not a nice saucer pass….in fact if our defenseman hadn’t touched it the puck would have been eight inches in the air and a goal would not have resulted…..tough break. We do have difficulty as was pointed out by the commentators on Sportsnet covering the Senators in our own end in trying to contain them. They would play on the perimeter….bring us to a halt on defence and then someone would dive into open space for an instant and they would find them. They also used pseudo pick plays and resembled a basketball team trying to play for one quality shot… worked. Even on our power plays the Sens did not defend like this instead they forced us to try and play inside so as to insure that they were never flat footed and at the same time it forced quicker decisions by us.

    Huet did not play poorly yet at the same time he did not play outstanding. None of the goals were really soft and he would have had to make fantastic saves to stop them…he didn’t.

    I thought Kovalev could have tied the game in the third with his missed semi-breakaway and when he was hit from behind into the net (should have been a penalty). We outshot them and we outhit them…..I would even go as far to say we outworked them……they outthought us and outscored us.

    I do see a major fault right now that has been recently exposed with our guys (in my opinio anyway) and that is the ease with which we allow our confidence to be deflated early on. You could see the frustration and confidence disappearing after being down 2-0 despite playing pretty well. I thought the same thing happened in the Buffalo game. Guys have to stay up and realize the game is long and hard work eventually pays off. As bad as the second period (last half) and early third period were Kovalev almost tied the darn game. Positivity and confidence are one in the same and very contagious… are frustration and negativity.

    It is a long season and we are a young team so reading to much into our performances against the Senators is not the best idea to instill confidence. They are the class of the league and responsible for three of our losses….keep your chins up fellas…you’ve done us proud.

  82. coutNY says:

    Well, guess wrong on all accounts… didn’t check the stats but seems they all killed us. Thanks saku11.

    This was a much different game than the last game were we dominated most of the game and still came up short. Last night, We just came up short on just about every angle. Are they that much better or did we fail to rise to occaission? Seems like Larry was an Old Senator the way he inspired the Ottawa team.

  83. joel says:

    totally agree !!! i watched the game and my observation is that the forwards totally forgot their defensive duties,, this is still a TEAM game the forwards have to come back and handle their assignments. Huet played a good game (nothing special)

  84. belair57 says:

    Robinson. Classy individual all around. Congratulations.
    Hats off to Alfredson for saying that the Senators have to be a part of the ceremony to honour a great individual.

    When a team comes out gunning and has a 8-3 advantage in shots as did the Habs, Huet could have been better.
    He has lost his last 3 starts and has allowed 5 first period goals in the last two games. For a team like Montreal which have problems scoring on most nights (excluding power-plays) that is not good enough.

    I still believe Montreal has to trade for a bonified goal scorer. I know, easier said than done. But they are couple of bodies away from being a contending team.

    Future look very promising. Faith in the Habs and Bob Gainey.

  85. coutNY says:

    Markov leads the Pack among D-Men in All Star balleting:

  86. Rich B says:

    I don’t think anybody holds Huet responsible for the loss. But he has had back to back games where he is clearly out of it. As was stated in “About last night…” Huet gives up rebounds that Price does not. He was laughable in the Buffalo game. Price is 5-1-1. You can make up thousands of reasons as to why his record is so great, but that won’t change my mind. The only thing that will change my mind is watching him play the team out of games, which I have yet to see. This team is going to win games on the shoulders of their goaltending. The “goal scorer/savior” that everyone wants doesn’t want to sign here and his GM doesn’t want to trade him. Montreal will win or lose a lot of games by one goal. It is important that there are not 2 or 3 goals against in the first period before MTL has put in the same number. Huet cannot simply be given the number one spot if he can’t be the necessary EXCELLENT goaltender. If Price is playing better, for the sake of the fans and organization, he should be allowed to play. I don’t see how we are throwing him to the wolves, and ruining “his development” when he looks calm and collected on the ice, not flopping around like a fish, and has yet to be shelled. If/when that happens, then the team can go from there. Huet, like every goalie and NHL player, must earn his spot. He must earn it with continually good play. He must, yes, save the team. That is what they need from him.

  87. HNS says:

    Huet was left out to dry, plain and simple. Defence is a team effort and less than half the team showed up in that department. Not taking anything away from Ottawa, but if Toronto can beat them, well, you can figure it out.

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