Game 22: Phantom trip lifts Sabres over Habs

Canadiens’ Steve Bégin is in hot pursuit of the puck.
Dave Sandford, Getty Images

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Thomas Vanek scored with 8:33 left to play tonight, taking advantage of a highly dubious penalty called on Montreal defenceman Mike Komisarek 76 seconds earlier, to give the Buffalo Sabres a 4-2 victory over the visiting Canadiens.

Daniel Paille scored an empty-net goal with 14 seconds to play to add the insurance goal.

Vanek backhanded a rebound past Canadiens goalie Carey Price with Komisarek serving a tripping penalty, the Montreal rearguard having dived to clear a puck, Sabres’ Derek Roy sailing over his stick to draw the minor.

The call left Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau practically beside himself in anger, and Komisarek delivered a few words to referee Dan Marouelli as he skated back to the Habs bench. Carbonneau mockingly applauded the referees as he returned to the dressing room after the game.

Shots on goal were even at 32-32.

The Canadiens didn’t help themselves by having to fight from behind for most of the evening.

Tomas Plekanec had brought the Habs back from a 2-0 deficit with the tying goal at 4:56 of the third, doing a nifty bit of shot-blocking to start the effort.

A shot by Sabres’ Jaroslav Spacek rattled off Plekanec’s shin, was scooped up by Andrei Kostitsyn in Montreal ice, and Kostitsyn sent Plekanec away on a fast-skating semi-break, where he stickhandled his way to a close-in short-side wrist shot past Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller, Spacek giving desperate chase.

The Sabres were first on the scoreboard at 8:56 of the first period, Roy scoring his eighth of the season on a perfect deflection of a shot from the faceoff circle by Maxim Afinogenov. Canadiens’ Tom Kostopoulos was serving a slashing penalty at the time when the puck glanced past Price.

Soon afterward, the Habs earned a four-minute power-play of their own when Buffalo’s Henrik Tallinder cut Canadiens’ Alex Kovalev with a high stick across the bridge of his nose. The Habs got a couple of shots, but failed to mount any serious pressure on Miller.

With just less than two minutes to play in the first, Paille split Canadiens defencemen Roman Hamrlik and Patrice Brisebois to break in alone on Price, but was confidently turned back by the rookie Habs netminder.

Montreal outshot Buffalo 11-9 in the first period.

The Canadiens had a scare in the early moments of the game when defenceman Andrei Markov was tripped up and slid awkwardly into the boards of his own end, seeming to crush his left shoulder. Markov, having a terrific, potentially All-Star season, lay on the ice for a couple of minutes and was tended to by Canadiens head athletic trainer Graham Rynbend before getting to his feet and leaving the rink without help.

The Sabres made it 2-0 at 7:39 of the second. Tim Connolly scored his second of the year, banging a rare rebound off Price, a point shot by Brian Campbell caroming off the goalie’s left pad.

But the Canadiens got that one right back on the power play, Christopher Higgins netting his ninth of the year and third in as many games, whipping a wrist shot off his back foot past Miller. Higgins had done some fine work to first set up a point shot by Mark Streit.

Miller might have had a point when he complained that Canadiens captain Saku Koivu, who also earned an assist, had interfered with him, crashing through the crease a few seconds earlier.

The Sabres held a 13-10 edge in shots in the second period.

The Canadiens and Sabres both chartered out of Buffalo for Montreal just after the game. The two teams meet again Saturday at the Bell Centre, before the Canadiens head down to Toronto for Tuesday’s game vs. the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.

 

Statistical quick hits, pre-game:

- How the Canadiens and Sabres match up this season and through the years;
- Montreal’s penalty-killing unit is partly responsible for the team’s success on the road, with the Canadiens surrendering only seven goals in 50 power-play opportunities for their opponents this season, ranking it seventh in the NHL;
– Rosters and statistics.

150 Comments

  1. Yeats says:

    That is a fair point. Playing defense for some reason, maybe psychological, is much more tiring than playing offense. You can even see it in an average pickup game with overage players such as myself. If you get the puck in the other team’s end and start moving it around, it just kills the shift for the opposition. Having said that, you want your efforts to be rewarded with a goal. In the case of the Habs, that doesn’t happen as often as it should. At some point, once you’ve taken some of the jump out of the opposition, you need to either shoot or get someone in the dangerous space I mapped out above. Otherwise, all you have done is conduct a passing clinic.

  2. krob1000 says:

    I understand the frustration as this sometimes bothers me too. My own hockey team does this as well and it frustrated me but then a couple of the guys who recently graduated from the OHL ranks told me that they were always taught to run it as long as they could. It made sense as they explained it……They said that the defenders always tire first and that defending it is as tiring as defending shorthanded. They also said by keeping the puck in the opposing teams end obviously you can”t be scored on but you may in fact be able to change a couple players (d-men) while the other team tires. Normally they are too tired and often they take dumb penalties on top of the chances that do result. They also said that when you pass back to the point out of a successful cycle the other team will normally be too tired to take advantage of an errant pass and they usually have to stay collapsed almost like on a powerplay. When it was put to me like that I couldn’t really argue too much so now I play the cycle game too (the bonus is our league only allows body contact and actually hitting is banned as we all work now) and although I have yet to score out of one one of our lines has at least two that I can remember.

  3. Yeats says:

    Welcome to the show! You’re spot on on the whole cycling issue. That perimeter stuff drives me nuts. Assuming the other team’s goaltender is good on his angles and has decent reflexes, you aren’t going to do squat. As a defending player, I’d let you spend the whole night passing it back and forth waiting for the perfect shot. To be successful on an ongoing basis, you have to move into dangerous space in the other team’s zone, i.e. the area between the faceoff dots and in from the hash marks. They were the result of absolutely woeful defensive zone coverage, but three of the Sens four goals were potted from within that area. That’s why the leafs score as much as they do. For every pretty goal they score, they get two god-ugly ones.

  4. ClaytonM says:

    No, Dionne tipped the puck. I just thought it showed no class pointing to yourself to get the credit.

  5. The Ian Cobb says:

    KROB1000–That is just about right!

  6. habfan53 says:

    I used to run groups to Montreal to catch the HABS play what I did was book the hotel that the visiting team used. We always ran into players be it in the lobby or elevators.
    Good Luck and have a great holiday.

  7. Wayne says:

    Hi folks, first “official post”. Great people = Great Blogs

    “Sick of the Buffalo Sabres yet?”

    I’d have to say, not really. Not as much as seeing Ottawa freewheel against us (and everyone else) but, i see your point. As long as we still have the Sabres # we should continue to pound on them because at one point in the season, they just might wake up and explode with “point-age” as we know them to be fully capable of.

    General concerns and hopes:

    I get frustrated by watching the tactic of cycling by all lines in the offensive zone for too long before shooting or initiating chances. Often, the puck is sent back up to a D-man for a point shot. I’d like to see a player break the cycle once in a while and capitalize on the open slot between the hash marks or get in a position to bang in the rebound.

    Cheers!

  8. mar-lin says:

    i agree with you as far as staying the course with the personel we have. Besides EVERY player has a season of lower productivity than his average. Maybe this is that year for both ryder and higgins, if we see the same thing again next year that’s different. I don’t think it’s wise to give up on a player because of one bad season.In this case we are only talking about 1/4 of a season. When the trade deadline comes around then MAYBE we make a move, that’s how i see it.

    cheers

    go habs go!

  9. mar-lin says:

    thanks man, i was looking through previous threads without much luck. Hopefully this voting plan will work and we can have 4 habs in the lineup! I can’t even remember when that happened last. I’m sure you guys have already spread the word but i’ll go out and reinforce it. Maybe get the rds bloggers involved…if they aren’t already. Anyway thanks again!

    cheers

    go habs go!

  10. Habs_008 says:

    I like the the top 2 lines the way they are, I would like to see a 3rd line of Kosto, Chipura, and Lates and the forth can be Dandideau, Begin and Smolinzki. Maybe it was like that last game, not sure i didnt see last game. Ryder has been playing well of late, as long as we are winning more then losing, i dont see it as a big problem yet. Lets score more 5 on 5, the PP might die down, if it does we are screwed.

  11. Yeats says:

    As of this morning, we’re the third best team in the entire League. Way ahead of where most of the pundits thought we’d be. We have the luxury of waiting with the present squad. There really isn’t a pressing need to do anything at this point in time. We trade Ryder and it’s just going to be a replay of John LeClair. Personally, I don’t what to get “Houled” again. Sure, he hasn’t found the back of the net as much as we’d all like. But, he hasn’t been a liability defensively either and to be fair he’s been busting his ass out there. Those that criticize Higgins in response have a valid point as well. His production per chance is certainly no better than Ryder’s and I’d be willing to bet it’s lower. Also, the one he got at the Island the other night, sheer momentum carried the puck over the line. Not a fantastic finish. I am convinced that they should be on different lines, but I leave that to other posters who enjoy coming up with line combinations.

  12. Chuck says:

    Thay can bury the knife… thy’re just not very adept at turning it around and carving up vital organs once it’s in there.
    .
    .
    .

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

  13. TradeRyder says:

    Hey Newf!

    I’m not dissing Ryder! He’s a good player! I’m just bugged that we don’t have a REAL first line… and one thing’s for sure, it’s no Koivu. As someone posted above, maybe Higgins isn’t a first line guy either.

    I’m saying this: we have a much stronger team, but the ONE AREA Mtl needs to fix is it’s first line. Maybe it’s not Ryder… and he’s definitely picked up his game, and chemistry is complex.

    Dave M

    PS: If he DOES pick it up and go for another 30, I might or might not praise him, but I’ll definitely eat my words. Um, as long as his plus-minus doesn’t blow up like a balloon.

    ____________________________________________________
    Comes to Play EVERY Game: Koivu, Huet, Higgins, Kostits, Chips…?

  14. krob1000 says:

    I was actually referring to the post about Montreal being a Buffalo/Ottawa hybrid but with more depth.

  15. krob1000 says:

    Pretty darn accurate.

  16. krob1000 says:

    I know we have had this debate on here before and I don’t really wish to reignite it but I thought for any new posters I better throw that out there.

  17. linp says:

    I still don’t understand why we didn’t try more often those tip in from close range. I am watching the same game. I am sure that there are more goals scored by a pass and a one-timer or just tip in as compared to a snap shot and go for the rebound. Our first line didn’t like to have someone parking in front of the net. Just so frustrating!

    Typical example: Latendresse receives the pass in front of the net. Instead of tip in or one-time it, he stops the puck and then shoots. That one second delay gives the goalie time to react. Another example, Plekanec receives the pass from Kovy, skates in. Instead of passing to Latendresse, he shoots from a bad angle.

    Using Ryder to set up the play in the PP is a joke. All he did is passing the puck back to the defense man. He is just wasting time. We should look at how they score on us. They park in front of the net and have someone dump the puck towards their own player.

  18. krob1000 says:

    Comes to play every game Kostitsyn??? Every game in November yes but every game??? I don’t like to get into a situation where I have to talk negatively about anyone wearing red white and blue but you seem to force me too. Higgins would not be a “first line” player on most teams in the NHL either. Maybe Higgins belongs on a differt line with a different style then as Ryder is the only one who has had PROVEN success with Koivu. Most of Higgins sucess last year came with Plekanec and Kostitsyn. I think Higgins is a lgeitimate 40-40 threat as per his personal goal. I also think that he needs to increase his awareness or he may be a 40 and 15 guy. Ryder is not a crash the net guy and he is playing very well. The puck just isn’t going in.

    Last year Kovalev was the snakebitten one who had a career worst shooting percentage……I am glad we didn’t trade him although everyone called for it. The chances are there , the effort is there, the hits are there, the plus/minus (although I hate that stat) is there and even if he doesn’t score it can’t be denied that just having him on the ice opens up space for Higgins and Koivu. When Ryder has the puck teams immediately close to prevent him from shooting, unlike Higgins (who will improve in this area) Ryder does have good vision and has set up both Koivu and Higgins countless times. I think I can honestly count one one hand (not counting my thumb either) the number of times I have seen Higgins make a nice pass. Higgins’ strength is stickhandling, puck retrieval and his quick release. Once he combines it with awareness he will be incredible.

  19. Revolution No. 9 says:

    You’re totally entitled to your opinion, but you must realise that you’re going to get that comment with in every thread you post. Someone new is bound to say something each time.

    Just sayin’

  20. Habs_008 says:

    Thats awesome that you get to go to LA, I live in T.O and I went to the last Habs vs Laffs game, 4-3 habs btw! I’m also going to Gainey night in Feb, can’t wait for that. Never been to LA and the only hab/former hab I have met was Demars, who you all know coached the habs to the 93 championship. He is a very nice guy. Have fun in LA, Go HABS GO!

  21. HabFab says:

    You should try doing an arena tour on game day.
    Here in Montreal, if you take a tour of the Bell Center on a gameday, you are more than likely to run into a Hab or two.
    Can’t speak for what it’s like in LA, but my educated guess is that would be somewhat similar.

  22. Klondike Habs Fan says:

    Hi Dave,
    About the comment to reverse the order and have the most recent come up first. That would be good. Or at least bring back the post numbering. That way I can go know where I left off and get back to it later.

    Klondike

  23. T-roy West says:

    TradeRyder

    You could add Carolina as a team similar in play to Montreal.

  24. Klondike Habs Fan says:

    Hey All,

    (I posted this on Boone’s Blog too, hope you guys dont mind)

    I am a constant vistor to this site, and sometime I do write, but today I have a question and could use a few tips:
    I live in the Yukon and dont get to man many games. I think it is crazy that the HAbs dont play VAn, Cal and Edm this year out west.

    SO… I AM TAKING THE WHOLE FAMILY TO SEE THE LA KINGS PLAY THE HABS IN MARCH!!! (Don’t mean to shout, but I can’t help it) I am so excited. My wife and two young daughters will all be in our jerseys and we will be going crazy!!! We all watch every game “a RDS”.

    SO how can I make this extra worth it for the family? DOes anyone know where to sit to get a chance at gettign an autograph? Or dare I even hope to maybe meet one of ‘Les Glorieux”???

    Any help, advice or good tips would really appreciated. My family is very pumped about this and we are not sparing expense, (as we are travelling to LA from Yukon). It would blow us away to get to meet any of the HAbs, even for a few seconds. Boone, are you at these games?

    Anyway, hope to get a few tips, and folks look for 4 crazy Yukoners in the stands in LA, in March. YEah Haww!!!

    Love this site, check it several times a day, 365 a year.

    Klondike

    GO HABS GO

  25. krob1000 says:

    I think the achievable yet realistic goal should be three points but I would be o.k. with a split. you never know what Sabres team you will get as they did the same thing to the Senators as they did to us the other night. They can score in bunches when they are confident but they can also be thrown completely off track if you get to them early. I hope Price is ready for some fast paced action from the onset as Buffalo will come out with guns blazing. Vanek and Roy seem to be back on track so shutting them down will be another important key.

  26. TradeRyder says:

    It’s amazing the team has the resiliency it seems to have… the way they’ve dropped late games, and never really come back from a deficit.

    Either this bodes well.. that they are prepared for set-backs, or it will catch up with them. Hard call to make. Hopefully they DO develop a killer instinct and prove to themselves (and other teams) that they can topple an Ottawa, or hold a lead against anyone.

    Like they say: “You get the courage AFTER you do the brave thing.” Or in this case – the confidence.

    ____________________________________________________
    Comes to Play EVERY Game: Koivu, Huet, Higgins, Kostits, Chips…?

  27. krob1000 says:

    I agree that sometimes when it is a long article this is an issue as well. They are trying very hard and have done a great job in providing us with the best fan site out there but I do agree that a title and a link back to the article would save time and make things a lot easier. I still think the recent posts thing is a biger priority but you do raise a good point IMO.

  28. Scotty90 says:

    The two games against the Sabres are very important, not only to get an extra 4 points but I think, more importantly, its of great psychological importance.

  29. krob1000 says:

    We are all (anyone who was posted about this topic anyway) voting Kovy in as a write in……trying to get someone else in will just dilute the totals so vote for Koivu, Crosby, Markov, Huet, Kovalev and either Bouwmeester, Boyle or Timmonen (spread them out so we don’t help one too much). If you tap your k key twice in the write in box it will bring you right to Kovalev. You don’t need to fill out the draw ballot every time as you can use your back tab before filling it out and get back to the voting page. Using these methods you can usually vote about every 45 seconds or so when you are bored.

  30. mar-lin says:

    although i would love for the habs to win both games, i think hoping for a split is more realistic. I think these games will be very entertaining. I have based all my plans for the next 2 days around them (sorry mom but the home cooked meal will have to wait). I’m not looking forward to the laffs game…win or lose i’m always frustrated.

    In regards to the all-star voting do you guys think we should organize ourselves and vote in ANOTHER hab? Maybe sneak in pleky, kovy or komy…we could do a better version of rory-gate from last year.

    cheers

    go habs go!

  31. T-roy West says:

    Roadrunner

    Welcome aboard! I would love to see a sweep and with two good goaltenders anything can happen. Can’t wait to see us ranked #1 by tsn next week!

  32. TradeRyder says:

    Good point. If we lose a playoff position by a point this year, I’m going to be thinking of the TWO games we gave up to the Sens in the 3rd period!

    Montreal seems to have it all – except for the ability to bury the knife.

    ____________________________________________________
    Comes to Play EVERY Game: Koivu, Huet, Higgins, Kostits, Chips…?

  33. roadrunner says:

    These are the games that matter most come spring time. No time like the present…kick that dog while they’re down.

  34. Fab K says:

    Another one for the suggestion box:

    Wouldn’t it be better not to have the header (article and stats) come up on pages 2 and on? It becomes a little redundant, and you have to scroll a lot to get to the first post of the page. It could take a lot of time to load the page for people still on Dial-Up.

    In other words, the article and the stats be on page 1, then the posts. Once we reach to the max number of posts on the first page, go to page 2 and start with the posts. Maybe just the title on each page could appear on the following pages.

    What do you think?

  35. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Since early November it’s been win one, lose one. I hope we can put a good effort in Buffalo and come out with at least one point. Looking forward to a good performance from Price. GO HABS GO!!!!!!!!!

  36. TradeRyder says:

    Oy! Ryder’s a good player. I just think he belongs on a team that plays a different style.

    I’m frustrated by him taking a spot on the first line when he doesn’t have the play-making skills, speed, or finesse of our top 7 or 8 forwards. He’d be good on the Bruins, or another crash-the-net type of team.

    IMHO! That’s what it’s about!

    ____________________________________________________
    Comes to Play EVERY Game: Koivu, Huet, Higgins, Kostits, Chips…?

  37. The Ian Cobb says:

    I can’t take you posts to seriously with a handle like that!

  38. TradeRyder says:

    These three teams are so similar in style: Mtl, Ott, Buffalo.

    Montreal is like a cross between the Sabres and the Sens.

    Similar to the Sabres in skill and speed, and similar to the Sens in overall strength but without the big first line.

    Arguably, Montreal has more depth than both… and maybe better coaching!

    ____________________________________________________
    Comes to Play EVERY Game: Koivu, Huet, Higgins, Kostits, Chips…?

  39. TommyB says:

    Your defense of Ryder, though admirable, has become quite similar to a Quebecer defending any francophone on the team. Can you tell me the difference? The argument is getting old.

  40. mar-lin says:

    pat burns was great! I often enjoy watching the classic games just so i can see some of these old coaches at work. I really enjoyed watching Jaques Demers,Michel bergeron and…shoot what was his name! Barry Melrose!!! is that it? With his buissness in the front and party in the back hair cut.AAAAHHHHH good times!

    cheers

    go habs go

  41. mar-lin says:

    i don’t know…i think it’s a mistake personally. If these are our first line players then we should let them work it out. As long as it doesn’t hurt the team…which so far it hasn’t.

    cheers

    tup gun!!

    go habs go

  42. Yeats says:

    I really do like Pat Burns!

  43. Yeats says:

    For example, they’re playing the Kings/leafs ’93 semi as I type.

  44. Yeats says:

    They’ve been playing the ’93 rounds as part of their Classic Series shows. I have seen the series against the Nords as part of that. I just don’t have a guide for programming on NHL Net. I have bee catching them by accident. And, you’re right about Dionne. That was the Breezer’s goal!

  45. ClaytonM says:

    Have they been showing their entire 93 Cup run on that channel? I’d like to catch their comeback win against the no-dekes. I can still remember thinking what a douche Dionne was when he was pointing at himself for deflecting that goal :)

  46. Yeats says:

    Yea, you can’t do the “lifty” over the glass anymore without getting a penalty. And, you can’t just ice it either, because the same five skaters have to remain on the ice.

  47. Moey says:

    Makes sense, there is a lot of strategy to the game that I don’t know about, or don’t notice, but being on here is helping quite a bit. I just scream “get it out of there” when they’re trapped in their own zone.

  48. Yeats says:

    During the second period, your bench is closer to the opposition’s defensive end. If the offense can keep in in your end during the second for a long period of time, you’re pretty much screwed because you can’t change on the fly. Unless, one of your guys is so beat he just says the hell with it and goes to the bench anyway.

  49. Moey says:

    What is the long change in the second? I don’t know what that is. (I’m being serious).

  50. Yeats says:

    I think your friend and I have very similar views of the game. I hated dumping it in. It only made sense to me if you did at full speed on a defenseman whose skating skills were suspect and you could “turn” him as he went from backwards to forwards. Given the skating ability of most defensemen in the NHL today though, you’re just giving up possession a lot of the time.

  51. Yeats says:

    Watching Habs/Kings ’93 series on NHL Net. I like watching hockey games that took place before I had grey hair!

  52. Yeats says:

    An interesting thought: If the purpose of cycling is to wear down the opposition players in their own end, then you really want to do it to the max in the second period when they have the long change. What do you guys think?

  53. Yeats says:

    Ian Cobb’s “Teats” is still the hands down winner as far as I’m concerned.

  54. habfan53 says:

    I hope Carbo has these guys properly prepared. Buffalo is one of the teams that always gives us a hard time. We are 95-93 alltime against them.

  55. Moey says:

    I remember that Krob1000, I really had to bite my tongue, or rather glue my fingers together!!!

  56. krob1000 says:

    One time someone mistyped (or so they said) my handle knob1000….I couldn’t help laughing though. Yeafs….had me laughing too once you pointed it out Moey!

  57. Moey says:

    Wayne,

    YeaTs has had a few variations of his name posted on this site, but I think you win it for being the most derogatory, “Yeafs” is dangerously close to “Leafs”. (All in good fun….welcome to the site)!!!

  58. KamiDave says:

    Totally agree on that as I was thinking the exact same thing.

  59. krob1000 says:

    I just read that Kerry Fraser is actually the real whistle blower in the Balco scandal…. http://www.utterbaloney.com

  60. Morency says:

    I have to agree that Ryder is playing better of late. The puck is going to start going in for him and we are going to need those goals down the stretch. If you break this line up then that means that Ryder or Higgins goes down to the third line. I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing.

  61. nightmare_49 says:

    I know where you coming from and maybe it’s a work in progress if they open it up a bit. My friend is the same way with chipping it in or dumping it in as he was a great stickhandler in his day and can’t adapt to that style. I’m not sayin your a bad cycler, by the way, just pointing out an observation that drives my buddy crazy as he’s also very offensive minded and always wanted to make the perfect play and that and bad knees cost him a trip to the show as years ago if you had a serious knee or shoulder injury the scouts wrote you off.

  62. Wayne says:

    Precisely what i meant, Yeafs.
    A little video homework can reveal patterns where a designate player on a line, has this opportunity. I hear what krob1000 has said and it surely makes sense. But if a “payoff play” presents itself and isn’t taken, the effort’s in vain.

    I see it often – all three forwards cycling trailed by their covers while 2 (defending) opposition forwards cover the attacking “D” hovering up at the blueline. More often than not, there’ a gaping hole in the slot and the goalie is clearly alone. If the attacking forward shakes his coverage just as he starts back up over the crease by the boards, the trailing man (or D-man) can dart into the open for a shot fed by the front of the train. Habs have all the speed to do it, too.

    I know, it’s harder than it sounds but these are scoring chances missed.

  63. Yeats says:

    I do see the point that you and krob1000 have made. I would just like to see the “payoff play” at the end of the cycle a little more often. You wonder if linemates should make an agreement to do it for at most 25 seconds then the weak side forward goes hard to the net as the puck carrier blasts it.

  64. krob1000 says:

    Probably 25 years of transparent contact cement use on his hair. It really was unbelievable how it never moved. I suspect he used the same starch Don Cherry uses in his collars (I think it was purchased from some Balco or Baldo company). Yes, It was Balco…I remember now. They call it “the clear” and while it may do wonders for the hair there are rumours that it can have adverse effects if taken for a long period of time. Some symptoms include temporary blindness, dizziness or sense of confusion and loss of balance (thus explaining the need for the helmet).

  65. Yeats says:

    I miss the “do.” Not a hair out of place, ever!

  66. nightmare_49 says:

    brian – Cycling wears down the opposition and frustrates them and with the Habs the Pleks line is great offensively and aware defensively but have trouble in our own end when the opposition cycles and that is their achillies same with Lats-Smol-Dandy when they were together more so than the other lines. It’s not exciting but you know what they say that if you can control the rubber you control the game.

  67. Geoff F says:

    Yeats…it doesn’t look like it.

    He was also one of the last three NHL officials covered by the grandfather clause that allowed him to go without a helmet, thus allowing his signature bouffant hairstyle. However, with the ratification of the new NHL Officials Association collective bargaining agreement on March 21, 2006, all officials, including Fraser, are now required to wear a helmet.[3]

  68. Yeats says:

    Any truth to the rumor that the reason Kerry has donned a lid is because he is actually going bald?

  69. Geoff F says:

    Hey did anyone see the article about Lecavalier was almost a Leaf? Now that would have been horrible. This was under the Quinn era and man that would have been unbearable. I’m just glad it didn’t pan out. However maybe knowing that it almost happened gives us hope that something like that might still happen….yeah i know i’m dreaming. It’s not the first time but man I salivate just thinking about it.

    http://www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20071123/CPSPORTS01/71123072/1006/CPSPORTS01

  70. krob1000 says:

    Penalties are very important today it seems to me that penalties should be allowed to be called by linesmen as well. They want to reduce highsticking penalties yet so often I see high sticks (accidental but still need to be called) go uncalled (yet on replays you can clearly see they weren’t unnoticed but the linesman can only call the more severe ones I believe). I would much prefer two referees disagreeing , holding a ten second conference and getting the call right instead of two referees each assuming the other will make the call and letting things go some nights and not others. People make mistakes but two heads (or four) should be better than one.

    As for Kerry Fraser…….Well, I don’t want to be banned from my favourtie site so we’ll leave that alone.

  71. Yeats says:

    It’s a much more exciting brand of hockey to watch. The only thing I do wonder about is if the teams have really adjusted fully to the fact that the two-line pass is now legal. I would have expected teams with speed, such as the Habs, to execute far more stretch passes and there to be far more breakaways. On the officiating, I wonder if employing two refers has unintentionally introduced inherent inconsistency? I could be wrong but in our first game against the leafs, Kerry Fraser didn’t call much of anything, while his younger partner made all the bogus calls on the Habs. I’d rather have just one bad referee than two who see the same game through totaly different eyes.

  72. krob1000 says:

    Post lockout hockey……I hear various televison personalities and what not referring to how the scoring numbers haven’t really increased. From where I stand (more like sit…on a couch) I think the post lockout hockey is much better and I am quite a fan of the “new NHL”. Things were too bogged down but now the problem is consistency amongst officials. It has got to be just as hard on them (changing the rules) but the variation from game to game is ridiculous right now.

  73. Bouleau noir says:

    I cant see any of these two teems sitting back in order to calm things down while hoping to get away with a win.

    Defense will have to support Offense and Offense will have to support Defense,.. both teams have finesse and speed….. the team that shows the best instinc and cohesion will have more chances,… post lock-out hochey at its best tonight.

  74. Dave Stubbs says:

    Still here, Mr. Higgins…


    Dave Stubbs

    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette

     

  75. Higgins21 says:

    Haven’t had the chance to read posts. In my humble opinion, although the Habs could have started better they came b ack well. Poor officiating (need I say more referees) gave the Sabres the winner and the (need i say more linesmen) wouldn’t allow the Habs to tie.

    Four blind mice! Four blind mice!

    May Stephen Walkom and all his clones have cornea tranplants.

    Go Habs Go!

  76. Prof Piton Palchak says:

    thanks Dave.

    That would be better but I think the best would be to split the gameday coverage into “pre” and “post” segments and let comments be posted to each separately AND have options to read them from first to last or vice versa.

    “Y’en aura pas de facile!”
    -Claude “Piton” Ruel

  77. linp says:

    That call in the third period resulted in a goal. We have no control how the ref. calls. But we have control over how we can play better. I like to analysis the game to see how we can improve. The way they scored the two PP goal on us reminded me of a lot of goals scored on us lately. They were scored from close range. We have to figure out how to defend this. Our PP can adopt the same play. Instead, our PP is still operating the same way when Souray was here. “pass the puck to the defense man to shoot and go for the rebound”. Can we at least change it up from time to time.

  78. Higgins21 says:

    Hey, I just realized that the “Newfie” is a Toronto Maple Leaf fan. No Montreal Canadien fan would have so little class.

  79. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I don’t blame the referees for losing this one. Our failure to execute did. I thought Price played a solid game and hopefully we can even things up on Saturday.

  80. Steve C. says:

    as a former travel-team hockey player growing up, we were taught a lot to forget the referees and just play our game, but a call like Komisarek can’t help but frustrate the crap out of me.

    sure the Canadiens should have killed it off, but at the same time, that was a crappy call…and not the type of call that refs could have been blinded by or badly seen (like when Gaustad two-handed Plekanec in the thigh off a faceoff). it was clear right in their faces. Yvon Pedneault of RDS is right, the league should clarify that rule. it shouldn’t be a “ref’s discretion” or whatever. when you sprawl to block a shot and a player flies over you, you will never get a penalty because you played the puck. same should be with this rule. control of the puck was taken away before the attacker fell. dumb dumb dumb.

  81. Steve C. says:

    to you and linp,

    i totally agree. except that neither team dominated the entire game. the 1st period belonged to Buffalo, the second to Montreal, and the third was great back and forth hockey until the Komi penalty…

    i understand where you are coming from with your comments about them having to execute, but Buffalo is trying to do the same thing. if Buffalo was playing badly the whole game then yeah, i would totally agree with that…but tonight…ehhh Montreal wasn’t that bad out there in my opinion. if both teams would have been playing like maniacs for 60 minutes, i honestly believe the winner would have gotten the lucky bounce in the end.

  82. T-roy West says:

    Does anyone think Zack Stortini would be a good fit for montreal as per my above post!

  83. Steve C. says:

    Yes! I wouldn’t know how to elaborate, but if Edmonton wanted to give him to me, sure! and besides, he probably knows a few of the players well from the Calder Cup run last spring.

  84. Chorske says:

    Sorry to say this but… who? Never heard of this guy.

  85. Chorske says:

    OK, just looked him up. No goals, no assists, minus 2. The Oilers, fielding a relatively crap team, cut him from the team at the end of preseason play, only to recall him, and he has 42 PIM in 12 games. That’s about 4 min/game in the sin bin.

    And you want to saddle the Habs with this guy. In case you hadn’t noticed: our PK isn’t that great. AND he plays right wing. Explain to me who you would cut to make room for him. Even if one accepts the premise that the Habs need a bruiser- which I don’t- I am pretty sure we can do better than this guy.

  86. ClaytonM says:

    He’s also just as guilty as the french media hacks who root for Quebec players like Latendresse & briere for no other reason except where they were born. In this case it’s Ryder because he’s from Bonavista. Just your everyday run of the mill hockey fan who thinks his is the only opinion that matters and that he knows more than Gainey, Carbo, Bowman, Pollock and Irvin.

    My guess is he also posts on TSN under the alias CANADIENS-DAWG.

    Author: CANADIENS-DAWG
    70
    To all of you IDIOTS who keep on wanting to trade Ryder. I hope he gets traded to a team in our division. And I hope he burns us every game…….. Higgins only has 4 mor points than Ryder.

  87. ClaytonM says:

    I saw him go mental on a Marlie once but can’t find it on YouTube. He gave the guy an elbow drop for chrissakes :)

    But no, I doubt he’s in our plans. He gets his butt kicked at the NHL level too often.

  88. T-roy West says:

    Chorske

    Yeah I know what your saying it’s just that people were throwing out names of people that could be a enforcer “if” Montreal was looking for one. If we were looking for one then I think he would be a good fit because he knows the guy’s,he can score (47= 9g+6a for 15pts and wasn’t a minus for the Bulldogs) and he is a freakin monster. He would not be a liability on the 3rd or 4th line and his very presence would make people think twice. He can be told to calm down and only fight when it is needed. Besides he is only 22 and
    if we can have Tom k. then we can have him. Beside’s how much offensive do you get from Laraque and Fedoruk. This is all based on if Montreal needed a enforcer.

  89. Chorske says:

    I guess ClaytonM’s point above is that the guy might be a big dude in the AHL but it’s a whole new ball game in the NHL. I keep having flashback to that Ivanans guy they brought up- Chara pretty much killed his career here with one punch. He got 8 points and was -12 for LA and now this year has had to have a titanium plate put in his face. And yet he has all the ingredients you’d want to see in a tough: 6’3″ and 270 pounds.

    I think what we’re missing is a pest. Claude Lemieux. I want a f*ing Claude Lemieux playing gritty, being a smartass, drawing penalties, mixing it up, driving the other guys crazy. I see flashes of it in Begin, and more rarely in Latendresse.

  90. A. Berke says:

    Let’s face it folks, the team did not play a good game (except the second line and Price were good and worked harder). Not being able to capitalize on PP by dumping the puck and going after it or making endless passes to the point men to shoot, in other words not coming up with hardly any creative plays was one major reason for the loss.

    Especially on the PK, we let them plant themselves in front of the goal and shoot at will, pick up rebounds from very close range shots and deflections that resulted in 3 goals. We were outplayed especially in the first, and the sabres won most of the face-offs and fights for the puck on the boards and in neutral zone.

    So, if you add all these up, the picture becomes very bleak and ineffective. Having a slightly better second period is not the salvation for a win.

    Lately the team is getting in the rut of losing a game after each win and IMHO all these points that we are giving to the teams of the same division/conference will come to bite us in the back. Just like last year, come April, only a handful of points may separate the fourth and the ninth team again.

    Yes the league like Pednault (RDS) said, needs to clarify that situation about Komi’s penalty. That call was completely bogus and a minute after the third goal, gaustadt’s chop on Pleks’ legs was a clear penalty that wasn’t called. The refs blew both calls, but hey, what else is new about the refs being the 7th men of the other team? In order to make the play-offs, the team needs to pick the intensity and hard work in each and every game and NOT every other one, and only then, missed or wrong calls by the refs won’t matter.

    Let’s not blame Price either, he was very good and those three goals would have been goals with Luongo or Brodeur too (not to mention Huet as well).

    Hoping to a two point game on home ice.

    Ali B.

  91. A. Berke says:

    How about recalling Lapierre from the Bulldogs and giving him a chance or two?

    He can be a real good and annoying pest – and he’ll be our pest ;-)

    Ali B.

  92. T-roy West says:

    Chorske

    Very valid points!

  93. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    I WAS THERE

    and subjected to the idiocracy of the Buffalo fan base.
    (although one admitted that we had better puck control/possesion)

    Yes PHANTOM CALL…but I’m going to lean towards our ‘D’ as being at fault. BRISBOIS was toyed with, he couldn’t out muscle a child for the puck, he needs to learn to use some leverage, crouch down lower and spring into the player, just look at KOMI how his knees are bent almost 90 degrees, and then his upperbody strength finishes you off…Bris has no upper body strength and doesn’t crouch down low like KOMI….SIMPLE…he is like a wet noodle.

    Although I must say his passing and vision are EXCELLENT.

    REMEMBER….NOTHING IN LIFE IS LINEAR.

    why then expect your players to perform LINEARLY!
    some are peaking while others are wanning, last night we had a few too many on the wanning side and that was the difference.
    (along with far too many shots into Millers gut)

    Also, the best hitter of the night was KOVALEV…what does that tell you.

    Buffalo did play well defensively, they quickly closed on us giving us little time for finesse, which is our strength. You see a team like Buff can do that because they have the speed…the only way to counter that is too hit them so we can regain our finesse game…everytime Koivu or Kovalev had the puck they were quickly encircled by almost 4 BUFF players…you can imagine their lanes of vision were gone…all their passing lane tied up.

    Anyway I’d rather not fall into infinitum on why we lost.

    Remember that just because we played GREAT on long island, that same formulae against BUFF doesn’t guarantee success.

    A Coach delivering a GAME PLAN ACCORDING TO THE OPPOSITION.
    A Coach delivering a GAME PLAN ACCORDING TO THE OPPOSITION.
    A Coach delivering a GAME PLAN ACCORDING TO THE OPPOSITION.

    (repeating 3 times usually works)

    We will win tonight.

  94. Da Hema says:

    Ali:

    You hit every nail on the head. The Habs are back to playing like a .500 team, and the inconsistent efforts will catch up to the team by mid-season. Of course the officiating was absurd, but the Habs will never score more than one or two goals a game shooting from where they do. There are three basic problems: (1) the forwards take too many shots from the perimeter, (2) when someone finally does go to the net, it seems no other forward is ever there to bang in rebounds, and (3) the forwards and defencemen try too many pretty passes that end up becoming non-shots. The signs are not good at all. Just like last year, half the team is wallowing during five-on-five play. Streit, for example, will finish this season with a Sourayesque plus-minus the way he is playing now. And where is Saku lately? It is frustrating that only once every three or four games do we see the team play to its potential.
    _________________________________________________________
    “Play every game as if it is your last one.”
    –Guy Lafleur
    “All hockey players are bilingual. They know English and profanity.”
    –Gordie Howe

  95. G-Man says:

    Like I posted all summer- Koivu is not a #1 center. It doesn’t matter how hard he plays if the line is a minus and he doesn’t produce. It’s time to admit, Kostitsyn, Plekanec and Kovalev are the offensive threat on this team and the #1 line. However,it’s time to shake things up before complete mediocrity sets in.
    Chipchura with Higgins and Ryder? A big center who takes care of the D while the other 2 attack the net? Hmmm.
    BTW- Butman’s refs continue to shine.(NOT)

    Gilbert

  96. CHcoach says:

    Dan Marouelli, a ref since 1982, 15 years of NHL officiating, come on Dan, get yourself a PVR for Christmas and learn in slow motion….Bettman do something with these refs, send them to an intensive re-training program for the so called new NHL or have someone upstairs wireless communicating to them…..Looking for New REfs…Comments are appreciated.

  97. RH says:

    Are we still talking about enforcers? Heh, how about that porn actor look-a-like that plays for Anaheim? Anyone know who I’m talking about? You know, he’s got the ‘stache and the long hair and sorta looks like a skinny, tough-guy version of Ron Jeremy?

    I fell asleep during last nights game and, everytime I woke up I thought the game was over because there was a commercial on. Sounds like I missed a crappy game anyway.

    The Habs are, more or less, on the same pace as they were last year in terms of wins, losses and goals scored, which is a good thing considering this team was picked for next to last by the experts. Da Hema is right in that this is still, pretty much the same team from last year. The only difference is that Kovalev is actually playing for his money. The coaching staff HAS to break up that Koivu line. I wasn’t very confident about that line at the beginning of the season and I still don’t believe that they contribute with any great consistency. Move that Pleks line to the number one slot and mix-and-match the rest of the lines and STICK with them.

    The problem with Mark Streit and Dandenault is that they may be able to play both forward and defense adequately but, they’re not exactly solid players at them, much like that old saying, ‘a jack of all trades is the master of nothing’, or something like that. I don’t like playing GM but, if I were Gainey, I would be looking to unload both those players in favour of a solid derenseman and a better fourth line player. I think Dandenault has the benefit of playing an easier position that’s why he looks so good out there.

  98. smiler2729 says:

    Hello all from a new guy!

    I’m a 43 yr old beer league goalie ex-Montrealer living in Ontario, the only chance I get to see the Habs play is in Buffalo (affordable) or Toronto (great when we win/unbearable when we lose)…

    I was at the 4-1 Buffalo game last FRiday and there was actually nothing to cheer about, no great saves, no great chances even the Ryder goal was boring BUT last night was great entertainment and the Komisarek trip (!?) totally ruined it. Again a referee making the game all about him.

    Anyways, pretty sure we weren’t going to sweep the Home&Home so tonight is going to be an even more intense game with hopefully a much better ending.

    Pete

  99. Habsman93 says:

    Bulldogs Blank Marlies Nov. 23/07

    Scoring Summary:
    1st Period:
    (no scoring)

    2nd Period:
    (no scoring)

    3rd Period:
    1. HAM – Mathieu Carle-2 (Sergei Kostitsyn, Maxim Lapierre) – 2:39
    2. HAM – Greg Stewart-2 (Maxim Lapierre, Jonathan Ferland) – 12:48
    3. HAM – Sergei Kostitsyn-5 (unassisted) – 19:38 (en)

    Scoring:
    Hamilton: 0-0-3–3
    Toronto: 0-0-0–0

    Shots:
    Hamilton: 7-9-12–28
    Toronto: 10-7-8–25

    Goaltending:
    Hamilton: Jaroslav Halak (25 shots, 25 saves)
    Toronto: Scott Clemmensen (27 shots, 25 saves)

    Power Play:
    Hamilton: 0-for-1
    Toronto: 0-for-1

    Attendance: 6,591

    Three Stars:
    1. HAM – Maxim Lapierre (0g, 2a, 2pts, +2, 2 shots)
    2. HAM – Jaroslav Halak (25 shots, 25 saves)
    3. HAM – Mathieu Carle (1g, 0a, 1pt, +2, 1 shot)

    Flamboro Downs Workhorse of the Game: Greg Stewart (1g, 0a, 1pt, +1,1 shot

  100. TradeRyder says:

    Let’s see:
    1. Koivu and Higgins a MINUS 2 on the night.
    2. Lots of passes to no-one.
    3. The D not clearing Buffalo player
    4. Being out-skated by the Sabres AGAIN

    The 1997 HABS ARE BACK!!

    Seriously… we need a new first line. A bucket with a hole in it won’t hold water very long. Something’s gotta change.

    ____________________________________________________
    Comes to Play EVERY Game: Koivu, Huet, Higgins, Kostits, Chips…?

  101. TradeRyder says:

    I agree RH… especially about Streit who looks shaky on almost every Power Play.

    Carbo seems to have found the meaning of faith. Now he needs to adjust back a little…

    ____________________________________________________
    Comes to Play EVERY Game: Koivu, Huet, Higgins, Kostits, Chips…?

  102. nychabsfan says:

    I’m curious to know what it will take for this team to understand the concept of taling the man in front,the 2nd goal last night,rebound nobody covering the guy,same for the 3rd,there were 3 habs jerseys around Vanek?It really seems like they don’t review the games and their mistakes.It took practiically the entire month of November for Ryder to understand to SHOOT THE PUCK!!!!DESPITE ALL OF CARBOS AND EVERYONE ELSES PLEADING,they are a hard headed bunch here…..

  103. nychabsfan says:

    Another thing-this perometer play in the offensive zone,a joke,no body in front of the net ,try being gritty and stop being concerned about making tyhe highlight reel-

  104. linp says:

    Let’s see. Streit is making 600K. They are asking him to do too much. I think he is over-worked. Dandenault is fast and is skating and checking everywhere. I think he plays better as a forward than as a defense man. Our problem is still allowing the opposite forward to skate in front of the net and pick up the puck.
    Our team has to get back its identity. The forward has to back check and help out the defense to cover the slot. During PK, try not to lose the position and focus more at the area in front of the goal. Use our speed to counter attack. I hope the couching staffs spend time studying the film and assign a proper role to every player.
    Until we are winning consistently, then we can look for an enforcer. May be Kostopoulos should take some boxing lesson. That is his role for now.
    Higgins has a lot of protential. He needs to be more aware of the position of the goalie and practises aiming the upper corner. Right now, he is our hope in the 1st line.

  105. A. Berke says:

    I thought that repeating three times worked for: “open sesame”!!
    ;-)

    Ali B.

  106. A. Berke says:

    welcome to the site

    cheers,

    Ali B.

  107. Wayne says:

    Yup Sluggish and flat for the first half…
    and this board is great too.

    Looking for another “bounce back” tonight from the Habs. Gotta win these divisional match-ups!

  108. nightmare_49 says:

    IMO you may be right about Streit being a little shaky on “D” but he’s a very valuable member of the PP and is a better than average two way winger (either wing) with hockey smarts and comes to play every night which makes him a coach’s dream contrary to coach’s boy. Dandy play has been adequate to good at times and i just hope that his offense improves a bit. I would like another “D”man for the 2nd PK unit as i’m leary about the Cube filling that role and i think O.Bryne could fill that in time. I wouldn’t trade Streit (600K) and i think Dandy may be dangled a bit only for something really interesting and cuz of his salary but is not urgent. The 4th line is doing fine and let them play together and you’ll be surprised. Versatility is something the Habs have so lets not throw it away as it’s hard to come by and makes the job of the coach much easier. Gainey surely knows.

  109. Prof Piton Palchak says:

    Love the site!

    Maybe I’m not navigating it right but I like reading the post-game comments yet find them difficult to access buried way beyond the game wrap-up (after all the comments leading up to the game).

    tonight’s one word review of the game: sluggish

    “Y’en aura pas de facile!”
    -Claude “Piton” Ruel

  110. Dave Stubbs says:

    Thanks for the good words about Inside/Out, and your suggestion. We’re talking to our site developer to see about having comments appear with the newest at the top, in descending order. It might take a few days to work it out, but it’s a good idea that several readers have pitched to us.


    Dave Stubbs

    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette

     

  111. Higgins21 says:

    Are you still there dave?

  112. ClaytonM says:

    Does that comment you spouted before put you off the bandwagon full time then?

    “The Habs from last year are back. Win one loose one. Win one loose one.

    The habs will not put together a winning streak of no more than 2 games for the rest of the year. Mark my words. The 9th place team is back….

    The “Newfie” ‘

    By the way, nice Wayne’s World reference.

  113. ClaytonM says:

    There’s a slight difference you seem to be overlooking. Kovalev got high-sticked and was bleeding. Komisarek touched the puck first then upended his man. One deserved a penalty, one did not.

    I don’t see anyone stating the Habs played a great game. They were obviously not firing on all cylinders both offensively and defensively. On the 4 min. PP the sabres were beating them to LOOSE pucks and the Habs were not making things difficult for Miller. But to say they’ll never win 2 games in a row all season is idiotic. If you get this emotional when your team LOSES maybe you should choose another sports franchise. I hear the sans are recruiting fans.

  114. ClaytonM says:

    To the rest of the people posting on the site….

    YOU ARE WELCOME :)

  115. TradeRyder says:

    This is a REALLY FRUSTRATING game to watch. It’s now the second period.
    1. The Sabres are in control. Montreal looks like they were just thrown together yesterday.
    2. The Sabres are making the most of their chances, Montreal is dumping and chasing, dumping and chasing.
    3. Montreal’s 4 minute power play in the 1st period was TERRIBLE. So little puck control, so much dump and chase (with the Sabres out-hustling us to the puck and clearing it)
    4. You just KNEW the Sabres were going to score that second goal… Montreal is getting tired of running around in their own end.

    I said it earlier in this same comment area… Montreal is strong but they’ve blown some 3rd period leads and NOT ONCE come back from being behind. Unless they get a couple of character wins soon… I fear what will happen to their resolve. I HOPE THIS GAME IS NOT the future. Where is Koivu even??

    Bright spots… Kostoplous… Price… Ryder…. Kostitsyn…

    ____________________________________________________
    Comes to Play EVERY Game: Koivu, Huet, Higgins, Kostits, Chips…?

  116. Mike Boone says:

    Yes, as one of the overseen I want you to know it’s an honour and a privilege.

  117. 24 Cups says:

    Milt Dunnell, renowned sports writer for The Toronto Star, is one month shy of turning 102. He still watches CFL football, NHL hockey, and horse racing. I think I can speak for everyone on this site when I say we all look forward to Dave Stubbs doing the same when he reaches the century mark. Dave’s time and efforts on overseeing HabsInside/Out are greatly appreciated.

  118. Dave Stubbs says:

    Who says I’m not already 102 (but thanks for your kind wishes)? I’ll be happy just to live to see you change your name to 25 Cups.


    Dave Stubbs

    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette

     

  119. TradeRyder says:

    CLARIFICATION: by ‘not once come back from being behind’ I mean from being behind in the intermissions (either 1st or 2nd) this year.

    ____________________________________________________
    Comes to Play EVERY Game: Koivu, Huet, Higgins, Kostits, Chips…?

  120. TommyB says:

    Nice work on the report cards Robert. I can’t find much to disagree with. A pretty fair grading of both the team and individuals thus far this season.

    And……still plenty of room for improvement with some of the lesser used players.

  121. TommyB says:

    First post, but a good one. I like that idea of not letting the swords back into the mix. When you put your foot down on a spider, don’t you give a little twist of the foot when you squash it?

  122. roadrunner says:

    Time to make a statement. HABS weekend sweep would be huge. Don’t let Buffalo back into the mix. Show some killer instict and bury the Sabres. How sweet would that be…. By the way…this is my first post.

  123. smiler2729 says:

    Vents:
    I don’t want to get all over Brisebois but what exactly is he doing here? Again, he’s not really bad but he’s just not good and why can’t we start weaning in Josh Gorges (bad giveaway aside) or O’Byrne? Also, am I the only one tiring of Bouillon? I know he’s full of fire for a little guy but his rambunctiousness gets him in trouble a lot either with an un-needed penalty or being totally out of position.

    I’m continually impressed by Kyle Chipchura, Carey Price and obviously, Tomas Plekanec. Also glad Kovalev’s got a burr in his saddle again but why does the so-called 1st line or 1(a) look so disorganized out there? Is it all Ryder??

    Other than that, I like this team.

  124. Chorske says:

    I’m not a cup half empty kind of guy, but for some reason I tend to remember the bad outfits: the Kings, the canucks, the golden seals, anyone with cooperalls…

    But there is something so classy about the original six uniforms. And I totally agree about Chicago. I also really liked the old hartford whalers jersey.

  125. ClaytonM says:

    How about when the flyers wore pants? Those were hilarious.

  126. cautiousoptimist says:

    Has there been any news on the much-discussed policy of playing our division rivals 32 times a year? I thought I heard somewhere that they were going to review that for 08-09…

  127. habfan53 says:

    Sorry Dave I have to disagree I think the Black Hawks have the better sweaters If I did not wear the CH it would be Chicagos for sure.

  128. Yeats says:

    I agree. The Blackhawks’ jersey was always the most expensive when I was growing up because of the embroidered tomahawks on the shoulders. I prefer the white, although it’s a close call. I’m glad that, like the Habs, the didn’t screw with their classic look. And, now they’re actually worth watching. Two shorties to beat the Flames last night. Not too shabby.

  129. A. Berke says:

    Dave,

    I’ve noticed that the “powers to be” made the change in format, i.e., last post on top. However now we have another problem (actually two):

    First, when one tries to click on the “reply” in order to reply to a specific post, this reply posts below the original one. In other words in time sequence it goes backwards. So in order to follow the posts chronically, one has to read up and down and up again. Kinda confusing.

    One easy remedy may be to remove the “reply” button all together.

    Second: when one posts a reply to a specific or a new post, after clicking the “post comment” button, the whole thing goes to the end of the last page, i.e. to the earliest posting and one has to navigate back to the top of the first page to see one’s own posting.

    Considering these two minor problems, I would like to suggest going back to the original style (with post #) and the last post at the bottom. It would also be easier if the original blog write-up is only on the first page and subsequent pages contain only the postings.

    This is not a critique but suggestions for hopefully finding a more user friendly set-up.

    Otherwise lots of THANKS for the excellent job you and the rest of the group are doing. I’m personally grateful for HIO.

    Cheers,

    Ali B.

  130. Bouleau noir says:

    Althought both teams managed to get the same amount of shots and that only one goal was necessary to separate a winner from a loser,.. BUF did play a better game.

    I dont know how faster their roster are compared with ours but the game last night was played with more efficiency and at a faster pace on the BUF side of things.

    The difference in speed might have been solely the result of a difference in term of effort last night but I suspect instead that Lindy Ruff’s team has matured and reached, once again, a team cohesion linking defenses and offenses in an homogeneously dynamic way that work so well in the newNHL.

    This link between D and O is what makes our team a better one over last season and the departure and replacement of Souray and Rivet have contributed to create a better dynamic relation between our defenses and offenses,… yet last night some of our D were not playing at their best and it impaired the speed, execution and opportunities of our offensive game.

    It will be interesting to see the sequel tonight.

  131. The Ian Cobb says:

    That would sure help me out, also go back to reg. time clock instead of 24 hr clock on each post for us slow people. Thanks. This is the only site for me!!!!

  132. Michael N. says:

    Though I enjoyed most of the games this month, I am looking forward to December when Montreal plays against teams other than Buffalo, Toronto, Ottawa and Boston. Looking forward to how we stack up to Tampa Bay and Detroit.

    I enjoy watching Price play in nets more than Huet. He just seems to have more, how can I say….pinache. Not complaining about Huet’s game, he’s doing the job for us big time.

  133. Dave Stubbs says:

    I agree completely about seeing a few new teams, Michael. This has been Groundhog Day: every night, it’s the Sabres. I can’t wait to see the Winged Wheel of the Red Wings on Dec. 4. With all due respect to the CH, that’s one of the greatest uniforms in all of sport, never better than when it was worn by Howe, Lindsay and Sawchuk.


    Dave Stubbs

    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette

     

  134. 24 Cups says:

    I think the key for the Habs tonight is to pressure the Buffalo defense. As a group, they’re not overly impressive and they have difficulty handling a team with a lot of speed. Hopefully, they will take a lot of penalities to compensate. At the beginning of the year I would have thought that Buffalo would have been an automatic lock for a playoff spot – and they probably still are. But instead of being at the front of the pack they will be fighting for one of those last three spots with a host of other teams. It’s imperative that the Habs win the season series against the Sabres to help dictate their own destiny. Back to back victories this weekend will accomplish that goal before we even get to December. Here’s hoping for a few 5 on 5 goals this weekend just like we had against the Islanders. Speaking of goals, Ryder has been playing his heart out and has been getting a ton of shots. His luck has to change soon and there’s no better time than this weekend.

  135. JF says:

    I would love to see back-to-back victories but I don’t think it’ll happen. Our two victories against the Sabres were essentially one-goal games, and I have to think they’ll be more desperate than we are. But I agree that their defense is not the strongest. If we can forecheck hard and get behind them, we’ll create chances. I’ll be more than satisfied if we take 3 out of a possible 4 points.

  136. Sask Habs Fan says:

    Nicely put. Come on #25!!
    _____________________________________________
    Chuck Norris is the reason why Waldo is hiding.

  137. Revolution No. 9 says:

    Is anyone else concerned by those numbers in the stat box?

    Win % when trailing after 1: .000
    Win % when trailing after 2: .000

    I’m curious if anyone can dig up the stat on our win percentage in all games where we have trailed (never mind if it was the end of a period or not). It seems to me that when the Habs are down, they have a really hard time playing catch up.

    While we’re doing great so far, being able to reel in a win from a loss is a good team’s attribute.

  138. TradeRyder says:

    Imagine how well we’d be doing if we could actually COME BACK in the third period instead of giving them away. We’d be….. the OTTawa Senators!

    ____________________________________________________
    Comes to Play EVERY Game: Koivu, Huet, Higgins, Kostits, Chips…?

  139. JF says:

    On the face of it, those figures are concerning, but in fact we have seldom trailed this season. I think the only games in which we were trailing after 1 were the last game against Buffalo and Monday’s game against Ottawa. After 2,(apart from the above games), there was the Atlanta game, which we lost in overtime, and the home-opener against Carolina. I think that’s all. So it’s not as bad as the figures seem to indicate. Nonetheless, it’s true that we have a hard time coming back even from only 1 goal down. We also have trouble protecting a one-goal lead.

  140. Robert L says:

    I’d much rather see the team get ahead and stay there than having to come from behind and win. Last season the Habs led the league in come – from – behind points and it did them little service in the end. Character is not solely built on being able to come from behind – character is grabbibg a lead and never relinquishing it.

    I’ve just posted the Canadiens players report cards for the first quarter season.

    http://wwwrealitycheckeyesontheprize.blogspot.com/2007/11/habs-report-cards-are-in.html

  141. TradeRyder says:

    It will be interesting to see how the Habs retool for this match-up.

    Would LOVE to see a shake-up on the first line. Carbo has to see that Koivu, Higgins, Ryder have obviously hit an impasse. Lots of ideas what’s wrong – Ryder and Higgins playing the same role(?), Ryder not keeping up with the speed? Can’t wait to see! Go Habs!

    ____________________________________________________
    Comes to Play EVERY Game: Koivu, Huet, Higgins, Kostits, Chips…?

  142. TradeRyder says:

    Hey Dave – a question about the site.

    Can you ask the developer to change it so the default is that the most RECENT post comes up first. I find myself spending a lot of time hunting for the end of the conversation… others have said the same. Or did I miss a resolution to this conversation? lol

    ____________________________________________________
    Comes to Play EVERY Game: Koivu, Huet, Higgins, Kostits, Chips…?

  143. Dave Stubbs says:

    Request/comment just sent along to the powers-that-be. I’ll let you know. Thanks for the input.


    Dave Stubbs

    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette

     

  144. Mr.Hazard says:

    True, that would be useful.

    Ex nihilo nihil fit

  145. Habs_008 says:

    Congrats on the first post, It would be great to get 2 wins, but im guessing its gonna be a split, if we can get 3 pts outta the weekend I would be happy. Then beat those Laffs on Tuesday.

  146. krob1000 says:

    You going on a date??? Good Luck!

  147. CHcoach says:

    Professional Hockey requires Professional REfs….
    We need to make more noise as fans on how poor officiating is costing not only the Habs but other teams. A more improved way of officiating has to be implemented, whether an additional ref in the stands/booth with a closed circuit monitor and with communication at ice level with one of the refs. Not that we played the Leafs tonite, but is it just me, that everytime we do play the Leafs the refs are always giving them the advantage with the habs taking more penalties and the Leafs getting away with more stuff that should be called. or is it just Carboneau, that is getting under the refs skin by his comments and most notably his facial and now his clapping expressions.

    Any comments or suggestions.

  148. T-roy West says:

    Everbody was talking about how we need a enforcer, even better, one that can put the puck in the net once in awhile. Gainey call Kevin Lowe and see if you can pluck Zack Stortini from them. He’s a 6’4″ and 220lbs right wing who will tangle with the best of them and can be productive. Also he played with the bulldogs and was a big part of their success and players on Montreal have played with him. In my option this guy would fit in perfectly! I would love some feed back on this!!

  149. Nicolas St-Henri says:

    I don’t know the “Newfie”, why don’t you tell us how the game would have finished without the penalty to Komisarek?

    It seems obvious the officiating had a atrong impact on the game. I’m not necessarily disagreeing with your analysis that the Habs defense was weak clearing the front of the net, I just don’t think it’s a factor that excludes bad officiating.

  150. ClaytonM says:

    “Submitted by EAST_COAST_HABS_FAN on Fri, 11/23/2007 – 11:50.
    We should trade you people to another site. Your coments about Ryder are shameful. When he gets on track for another 30 goals don’t dare to praise him then….

    You’re a joke.

    Oh, and Ryder had another average game tonight.

    p.s. it’s lose, not loose.


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