Game 26: Canadiens Bonked, fall in shootout

Former Canadien Radek Bonk (helmeted, facing camera) celebrates his game-tying goal.
Phillip MacCallum, Getty Images

UPDATED at 9:15 am by Kevin Mio 

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Nothing is easy for the Canadiens. Like, a 3-0 lead.

Up by three on the Nashville Predators tonight with 7:34 left in regulation time, the Canadiens imploded, watching their visitors roar back and tie the game at 4-4 with 46.8 seconds to play on a goal by former Hab centreman Radek Bonk. According to Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau, his key players aren’t getting the job done far too often, The Gazette’s Pat Hickey writes.

A spirited overtime, featuring a brilliant glove save by Nashville goalie Dan Ellis on Alex Kovalev, and J.P. Dumont ringing one off Cristobal Huet’s post on the rush back up ice, failed to decide matters.

So it went to a shootout. Bonk, again, and Martin Erat scored for the Predators, only captain Saku Koivu for the Canadiens, giving Nashville an improbable, crowd-deflating 5-4 victory. And they were deserving winners, having outshot the Habs 44-26.

The Canadiens employed an unusual set of lines formulated by head coach Guy Carbonneau, who tersely disputed their "ranking" in his post-game press conference. Listen to that here.

Montreal got on the scoreboard at 9:02 of the first period, Christopher Higgins banging home the rebound of first-linemate Alex Kovalev for his 10th goal of the season.

Tomas Plekanec made it 2-0 at 13:39 on just their sixth shot, backhanding home a harmless-looking shot from close range for his eighth of the year. That was all Predators coach Barry Trotz needed to see, giving starting goalie Chris Mason the hook and sending in Ellis, who arrived with a 5-0-0 record and a .932 save percentage.

Ellis, who signed with Nashville as a free agent last summer, played 31 games with the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs in 2004-05, as property of the Dallas Stars.

Guillaume Latendresse put the Canadiens up by three at 9:30 of the second period, converting a nice pass from Kyle Chipchura on the backhand for his sixth of the season.

The Predators ended Cristobal Huet’s bid for a shutout at 8:40 of the third period, shorthanded, taking advantage of a bizarre bounce of the puck off the end boards. With Huet have strayed behind the goal to play
a shoot-in, the puck caromed crazily out front to Nashville’s Jed Ortmeyer, who slapped it home before Huet could get back into position.

Any momentum that might have given the Predators was quickly doused two minutes later by Latendresse, who rifled in his second of the night on a rebound off a shot by defenceman Roman Hamrlik. Chipchura had done industrious work to get the play started.

But the Predators got that one right back tat 12:26 o make it 4-2 and the comeback was in full flight, David Legwand being left to rap his own rebound past Huet at 12:56. And then Alexander Radulov closed the game to within one with a long wrist shot that eluded Huet at 16:55.

Bonk finally tied it in the final minute on the power play, Bryan Smolinski sent off for tripping at 18:10, sending the game into overtime.

The Canadiens’ life gets no easier. They return to action on home ice Tuesday night against the Detroit Red Wings.

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Pre-game statistics:

197 Comments

  1. The Teacher says:

    Shame on you Windsor..
    \
    huet saved our butts…

    I’m becoming Fed up with a lot of Habs fans..

    Criticizing is fine..criticize the right things..

    lack of a forecheck in 3rd period..

    no physicality offense..defence..anywehre…

    Get rid of Breezer…PLEASE!

  2. lcpservices says:

    Dave,
    Thanks for the insight on Rejean Houle.

    Those were indeed rough times.

    I glad to see that Houle is handling his hockey committments/responsibilities with class and respect.

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  3. Ed says:

    Yes, you are definitely right. I should know better.

  4. TradeRyder says:

    Check out this stat from last nights game:

    Number of Hits: 3

    What the hey? How can they win like that? Isn’t that why they traded away that Bonk guy? Oh – hey, he’s bringing his NINE GOALS to town tonight isn’t he? Why they let this guy and Johnson go – both solid shut-down players and plus-minus leaders playing against the other teams best – I’ll never know.

    ____________________________________________________
    Hits? What are those?

  5. 24 Cups says:

    I knew that somebody would take the bait on the Ribeiro comment! You know what I don’t understand? With the proper effort and attitude he could have been a Hab for years. Still be an offensive dynamo but at least learn some defense and try and play a bit of a two way game. The fans would love him and he would quickly become the darling of the French media. He also would have made the big coin when the time was right. You know they say that the only thing in life that you truly have control over is your attitude – all other things are outside of your personal dominion. Ribeiro never undertood that point and who knows, maybe he never will. Such a waste.

  6. 24 Cups says:

    A win tonight could mean so much in terms of keeping our heads above water. Let’s be honest, our chances against Detroit on Tuesday aren’t good. Fair enough. But a win over Nashville would mean that after the Detroit game(#27)we would be one third of the way through the schedule.
    Our record would be 14-10-3=31 points.

    Not bad considering what all the pundits were saying back in early October. We would also be a few points ahead of the 8th place team regardless of what they do this weekend.
    If that happens, then personally I will see that in a positive light rather than a negative one. I’ve come to grips with the fact that we will have to scratch and claw our way into the playoffs. It’s the reality of who we are at this point in time.

  7. lcpservices says:

    could huet be losing his touch?

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  8. showey47 says:

    We lost hainsey on re-entry waivers which happened when we tried to recall him from hamilton, this was a consequence of having too many players on one-way contracts. Beauchemin was also lost on waivers too columbus but then traded to anaheim. Don’t even get me going on ribiero, he was nothing short of an embarrassment in that playoff series against the bruins 3 years ago, it would of been nice to get more for him but don’t forget he is a ufa next year and is playing for a contract. Once he gets his payday, he will disappear as per usual. I would take pleky over him anytime.

    Did anyone else notice during last seasons playoffs that he got less than 10 mins of playing time per game and only saw regular action on the powerplay?

  9. lcpservices says:

    absolutely no excuse

    habs should of got 2 points on this one
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  10. linp says:

    The 1st period belongs to Huet and the goal post. Our defense is in total disarray but we are leading 2 – 0.

    I am speechless. We gave up two 3 goals lead.

    This game really shows what a bad move replacing Bonk by Smolinski. Smolinski is very slow with his leg. He should be benched instead of Begin.

  11. A. Berke says:

    I guess you should have waited till the end before posting ;-)

    Ali B.

  12. lcpservices says:

    Maybe we should bring them back and ask them to play for the 2007-08 habs team?

    Good thought though
    : – ))))

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  13. Higgins21 says:

    well, they were lucky to be ahead by 3 so I guess we have to be thankful for the point. As usual, Huet lets in the soft ones.

  14. lcpservices says:

    One word to describe this OT loss to Nashville…

    PATHETIC

    And I am not a individual who critizes. How do you lose a game to Nashville with a commanding 3-0 lead after 2 periods and a 4-1 lead with less than 10 minutes of play?

    Someone explain it to me.

    The Habs lost a golden opportunity to close in on Ottawa in the division standings

    I am lost for words at the moment.

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  15. A. Berke says:

    Well, ain’t that pretty?

    Managed to snatch the defeat from the jaws of victory (AGAIN).

    makes one very proud.

    whoever said in the preseason that the Habs will end up 13th, I’m beginning to think they may have been onto something.

    nuff said.

    PS: one consolation: our zamboni driver is better than the laffs’ one

    Ali B.

  16. WindsorHab-10 says:

    To all you Huet fans, he sucks. A 3 goal lead in the 3rd blown. This team is a joke and so is the coach behind the bench. This is absolutely disgusting. Shame on you Habs.

  17. linp says:

    Now it is official. Latendresse has a better shot than Ryder.

  18. gumper says:

    God we stink in our own zone. Could this team be any more passive when trying to retrieve the puck? 44 shots. We deserve no better fate than that which occurred tonight. Huet looked as bad as I’ve ever seen him, and the most complimentary term you could use for Smolinski is passenger. Five shots in the third period!!!! When will this coaching staff find a way to motivate this team to play past the first period?

  19. ccs says:

    I think the results of this weekend will be the same as last….I do not get what they expect from Grabovsky. This kid needs to play more than one out of every 4-5 games. I really feel bad for him because his development is being slowed big time. Smolinski and Breezeby should never have been signed…brutal. Give the jobs to the kids and I think we would be in better shape. If there is no emotion shown during this game something has to happen.

  20. Bouleau noir says:

    This needed to be said and thank you for doing it.

    I was living abroad during Houle’s tenure in Montreal as a GM and didn’t have to endure the repercussion it had on our CH during that time so it has been easy for me to keep liking the man for being the good man that he always was and always is.

    The question that still puzzled me is about the president who made ” Peanut” be his choice for the job.
    Wasn’t Ronal Corey a hochey man with a proper hochey mind ?

  21. CrashTheNetCrashTheNet says:

    Together, these five men won 41 Stanley Cups.

    That my friend is some serious hockey!!

  22. TradeRyder says:

    Now THAT’s a hockey game. Not perfect, but played with passion and a will to win.

    Just curious though – does anyone have the stat handy on how many 3rd period goals the habs let in this year vs. how many they score? BRUTAL when you know your team is going to let one (or more) in and they do….

    Both Huet and Price are almost always strong in the first, okay in the second, and sometimes porous in the third. Maybe they should sub the 2nd one in like they do pitchers in baseball….

    ____________________________________________________
    Go Habs Go!

  23. showey47 says:

    i was in no way attacking reggie as a human being i was only saying exactly was you said in your last paragragh “reggie was not cut out to be GM”. Especially in a no cap area and with ownership who would not spend money in order to keep what qualtiy players he had. At least jfj had mlse to help him out. Bue he did in all fairness have the final say in who was drafted and could of picked someone better to coach the team.

  24. habitual says:

    I don’t disagree that the lineup needs to be shuffled, but I hate it when Begin is not in the line up, and I can’t see why he has been singled out – again. Note too how he never whines, he says he’ll come back harder.

    We all know Ryder has been invisible, but we aren’t getting scoring from … almost everyone. Ok, bring Grabowski on for his speed, but why not bring up Sergie Kostitsyn as well?

  25. A. Berke says:

    Let’s not count the chicks (points) before they hatch eh!

    ;-)

    Ali B.

  26. Ed says:

    Fearless prediction – Latendresse will get the winning goal.

  27. 24 Cups says:

    Eventually, there may be some player movement with the team in terms of players going up or down to Hamilton, through a trade, or waivers. Moving players via waivers really seems to be a problem for Gainey (with the exception of Murray). He has lost three players in three years who all could be helping us right now. And we received nothing in return.
    1. Beauchemin – main cog in Cup win for Anaheim
    2. Hainsey – 15 points this year in Columbus
    3. Ribeiro – 23 points this year in Dallas (I realize that he was traded for Noneumma but it was basically a waiver type move (and switch of cap space) to make room for Pleks as the #2 centre. I also realize Ribeiro is a self centred head case but still….)
    It’s not a stretch to say that all these guys could be on the Habs right now and at no cost.
    By the way, Recchi has scored 4 goals since LAST Feb 22 and he plays with Crosby and Malkin. Please, no more talk of Recchi coming to Montreal, let the kids play instead.

  28. 24 Cups says:

    I know I’m repeating myself here but Bonk was a disappointment in Montreal and only really played well during the last half of 2006-07. He never scored that much and never put his size to use on a consistent basis. To sign him for two years (like Nashville did) would have delayed the development of young centers like Chipchura and/or Lapierre. Johnson is a decent guy who is an honest journeyman hockey player. This year he is basically hanging on in St Louis. He may soon be out of the NHL.

  29. Dave Stubbs says:

    I’ve heard all the knocks on Réjean Houle, and I’ll say this:

    Reggie was put in an impossible position by Canadiens president Ronald Corey when Serge Savard was sacked as GM of the team, put in charge without a day’s experience as a front-office executive. Mario Tremblay as head coach did nothing to help him.

    Réjean Houle is one of the most decent human beings I’ve ever met in hockey. I wish everyone could see the way he attends to the legends of the team, the alumni for whom he cares, books appointments, ushers from here to there.

    Reggie was not cut out to be GM. He was a company man through and through who took the job because he was asked to do so. Today he’s an invaluable part of the Canadiens organization, a man who respects the traditions and history of his employer and who goes well above and beyond what’s asked of him.


    Dave Stubbs

    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette

     

  30. otter649 says:

    Just a note for team leaders stats – It shows Saku with 1 OT goal as we all
    know and won’t forget it is Mike Komisarek with that great Brian McCabe
    pass in OT back in Toronto a few weeks ago…….

  31. showey47 says:

    houle would know all about 4 liners, thats all he ever drafted when he was g.m., come to think of it most of the players he drafted or traded for were not even good enough to play in the nhl.

  32. TradeRyder says:

    I wonder what kind of impact those comments have on the players?

    I always wonder about the psychology of these guys. It seems like an exception (rather than the rule) when someone actually gives their all, all of the time.

    You’d think if you were making millions of dollars to play the sport you love, you would work your tail off and do EVERYTHING you can do succeed. It seems like only a small percentage of players bring that passion to every game, every shift, every practice. And while there are some on the Habs like that… it sure is something we don’t seem to have enough of. The will and drive, and need to win – and to prove the nay-sayers wrong.

    ____________________________________________________
    Is Guy Right About You Guys?

  33. Bouleau noir says:

    The Formula we had last year failed, Bonk and Jonhson were at the end of their contracts and Gainey had higher ambition on the first of July like the hiring of Briere and Rafalski,… had it worked out our depth lines would have been run on the cheap with more of our youngs in the line-up and less veterans.

    Anyway, our 5-on-5 core of last year, of which B and J were an important part, had less speed and forwardness attitude that we have this year,… as a consequence of our team altered profile this season we are drawing more penaltys and creating much more PP opportunities for ourselves ( 27 worst last year),…. and we have average a hight goal per game percentage as a consequence (6th best in the league).

    Athought nothing can be less certain than our futur this season I was glad that they turned the page on those players (specially Jonhson) anyway.

  34. TradeRyder says:

    The ARE playing like it’s their last game. Or like it should be.
    ____________________________________________________
    THREE HITS IN ONE GAME – WOW!

  35. Chuck says:

    Considering their tremendous success (on the ice, in the case of Mr. Houle), it might be worth taking their comments with more than a grain of salt. I’m pretty sure that they know their hockey.
    .
    .
    .

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

  36. Chuck says:

    C’mon…. could you honestly tell me that after last season you knew that Bonk would have nine goals already? Of course not. To bring up that stat in defense of him leaving the team is pointless.
    .
    .
    .

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

  37. TradeRyder says:

    I couldn’t believe it when we lost Hainsey. Beauchmin too, could be helping us… right again. Ribiero was a gamble… but you have to start to question the judgment that lost these players. Is it the GM or the coaching that doesn’t know how to make attitude adjustments? Cause we could use some attitude adjusting now – obviously the talent is there… but something’s wrong.

    And you’re right about Recchi. Put a stick in him, he’s done.

    ____________________________________________________
    Go Habs Go!

  38. Dave Stubbs says:

    Guy Lafleur is paid to be a Canadiens ambassador. He makes appearances on behalf of the club, the number of them determined between the club and Lafleur. Other ambassadors are Jean Béliveau, Henri Richard, Yvan Cournoyer and Réjean Houle, who also is head of the team’s alumni association. Together, these five men won 41 Stanley Cups.


    Dave Stubbs

    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette

     

  39. habsfan1991 says:

    in todays red line . Mr. Fisher said “the canadiens knew what they were getting when they hired him”. this quote is about the comments that Guy Lafleur said about the canadins haveng 4 fourth lines. Can someone please tell me when or if the canadiens hired Lafleur.

  40. homerbowen says:

    OK they’re back to playing like pussies again. Guy is fairly accurate in that they all play like 4th line players. Pathetic effort and Carbo better get them motivated or start sending players down. As Guy once said “play like it’s your last game”. They are paid a big buck and should be giving 100% for every second they are on the ice.

    Remember the laffs are not too far behind and they want to string everyone up so get the point boys you are capable of much better.

    In any event it’s time for a trade to shake things up because from what I’ve seen so far there are too many teams better than us.

  41. Ibleedbleublancetrouge. says:

    Yann Danis can play D. with hmmm… Grabovski, yess… that could work.

  42. Ibleedbleublancetrouge. says:

    Hindsight is 20-20. Buffalo lost both of they’re co-captains and you’d think that would have put a damper on their attitudes. But they’re all flying out there game in and game out. It took some adjustment, but right now they’re in the thick of it like everyone else. It’s an attitude thing and that comes first and foremost from the Coach and secondly from the captain. I’m not sure if Carbo has the ability to push his players to take their game to the next level without putting skates on and playing himself. As captain, he showed his Leadership by the passion and grit he brought on the ice. As a coach, you have to deliver all the same emotions through communication. Maybe that’s just not his quality. He’s a do it kind of guy.

  43. linp says:

    I agree that we need more size and more goal scorer. Where can we get those? For us to have a chance in the next few games, the most imminent adjustment is to put back Higgins/Koivu combination to where it was and put someone in the RIGHT WING. We can’t afford to screw that up.

    If Markov is injured, we may have to bite the bullet and let him recover fully. Right now, he can’t move people in front of the net, he has no physical play, and his passes are off. We should play the “TRAP” and go for counter attack. Defend the area in front of the net. That’s what NJ did in the 1st period. We looked good controlling the puck but can’t score any goal.

  44. moser17 says:

    I’ve got a great idea for tonight’s First Line, Carbo-mix-‘em-up-style, guaranteed to generate some offence:

    Huet centering Halak and Price.

  45. lcpservices says:

    I totally agree, you don’t change goalies during shootout or OT.

    after nashville scored their 2nd or 3rd goal, Price should of came in.

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  46. Robert L says:

    You’re right Da Hema, those concerns were apparent one month ago, but to me they seemed to be getting corrected slowly. As it turns out, only the PK improved slightly, with the 5 on 5 play having maybe one good game in 4.

    I don’t question the teachings of the men behind the bench, I question the willingness of the players to commit to it wholeheartedly. Why is it that a Chipchura can learn responsible play so quickly, and players like Koivu and Ryder, just to name two, continue to err in turning the puck by making the same mistakes, game in and game out?

    As I mentioned in my post, this is a team sport and success is dependant on all players performing as a unit. The systems the team employs to counter the opposition will work when strictly followed. Again, weak links in the chain disrupt systems.

    Coaches can only preach the benefits, but it is the players who execute it.

  47. Robert L says:

    I believe that they communicate those same methods and philosophies, but not everybody is on board. From there, things such as faith in each other, breaks down.

  48. Robert L says:

    There’s an old saying, “When you’re going through hell – keep going!”

    Carbonneau will be a better coach once he is on the other side of this.

    Unfortunately, Carbo has to coach the team he has, and not try to coach a team he wishes he had. These boys don’t have enough skill or flair to make firewagon hockey work for them, as it allows other teams with more skill to beat them at that game.

    They need to learn the defensive side much more intricately, as it will then allow them create more of their own opportunities when the opposition is compromised.

    I think that Nashville, New Jersey, and Buffalo have all just taught us this in succession.

  49. Robert L says:

    Thanks Ali, there’s lots to think about in there!

    I think the team has promising ingredients, but is still a work in progress.

  50. Robert L says:

    No game and no lead is ever safe with Montreal until they learn how to protect it properly. One thing I have noticed is how when teams have played Montreal a second and third time, they have made adjustments to beat them. I think that is very telling.

    Many things are deceiving within the games itself. I thought the Habs played their soundest game against Florida, yet still lost. Anoutcome such as that makes certain pllayers doubt the systems employed, when it really shouldn’t have.

    That game is where I feel the team started to rip at the seams.

  51. Drive_4_25 says:

    I’ll be the first to admit that smolinski didn’t have his finest outing yesterday! But forget his salary! (because that the managements mistake!) He however has done exactly what was asked of him when he came in here! Do NOT forget that players like smolinski need a nucleous around them in order to thrive he’s a responsable smart hockey player, but not necessairly the guy that’s going to make others around him better, like Koivu, but the kind of player that can be made better even excellent by the players around HIM!

    I personally do not feel let down by him at all!!!

    NOW.. The team as a whole is a TOTALLY DIFFERENT STORY!

    Boy, am I ever getting tired of being in love with such a loser team year in and year out!!

    **sigh** GO HAB…… WHATEVER!

  52. Robert L says:

    You’re right Gumper, and the over reacting makes every so defensive about things.

  53. Derek2 says:

    Forget inticacies of defense until they master the basics. The whole team could start by learning to pass and clear the D and Neutral zone efficiently. They take too long to get rid of the puck. It’s usually ahead, behind, or if we’re lucky in one of our guy’s skates. To be fair – nice passing combo last night for Latendresse’s second goal. But on the whole, their poor passing kills any speed advantage we have, and creates way too many turnovers. Individually we have some speedy guys, but the team creates little or no forward momentum because of horrible passing. That’s just one basic they need to work on. But where do we begin?

  54. Derek2 says:

    First meltdown of three goals. But this the third or fourth time this year where we have given up a goal in the final minute or two of the game that lost it for us or sent it into overtime. Percentage wise that’s 12% – 16% lost opportunity.

    I agree – Gainey has made some good trades given the overall circumstances and has a very difficult job overall. Your comments give me pause to think. Playing for Montreal these days doesn’t have the cachet it used to. It’s like a good brand – you can get people who want to work for you because of the other benefits, like in this case, possibly having a higher probability of winning the Stanley Cup. We haven’t had that kind of cachet in years, and it is difficult to attract premiere players. We need to think beyond team, and think franchise. This is an average franchise. Good prospects but a consistent inability to convert good juniors into NHL’rs or an inability to take successful players from other teams and have their talent put to good use here. I think the interesting question to ask – and it would take some research… but how many players have we traded away (or lost to Free Agency) over the last 5 years or so have ended up doing a lot better than what they were performing at here? Obviously subjective, but that might tell us whether or not we have more systemic issues. Is Montreal the team where talent goes to die?

  55. Derek2 says:

    Agreed. This is a consistent pattern. We forget the forecheck and offense. It’s really hard for the other team to score whene the puck is in their end.

  56. Derek2 says:

    Wrote a similar comment / question to someone else’s entry above. But what is it systemically or managerially that we do, that either fails to consistently develop talent from junior to the NHL level, or can’t take best advantage of the skills we trade for, or get via Free Agency?

    We’d better figure this out because we could end up sending a great crop of juniors to other teams over the next few years because they didn’t work out here, only to have them ultimately come back to kill us.

    This just isn’t about this year’ s or recent years’ teams, it is about the franchise as a whole for at least the last 10 – 15 years. It may just be coaching, but I think it may even go deeper to some attitude or point of view about how the game should be played. Are we turning players into a mix of offense / defense where neither skill set really blossoms, but everything just reverts to mediocrity. We play both ways but not very good at either end of the rink. I don’t pretend to know the answer, but every year seems to be, as Yogi Bera once said, “deja vue – all over again”.

  57. A. Berke says:

    64 thousand dollar question is: How do you propose Gainey should get rid of these players? (keeping in mind CBA’s in effect).

    Ali B.

  58. CrashTheNetCrashTheNet says:

    I’d REALLY prefer if people didn’t throw the word CANCER around at all. We are talking about a pointless game (of which I am a HUGE fan)and I don’t think anything or person in the game can be compared to CANCER which is something that breaks hearts and steal the lives of mothers, fathers and children. So pick another fucking word if you don’t mind.

  59. Vecs says:

    New coach sounds promising. Better yet, new coach’es’

  60. Vecs says:

    Woooo! one revision; Coach’es’ not coach. Carbo is a moron. Kirk Muller should try his talents as a high school hockey coach first.

  61. Vecs says:

    you must have smoked a lot of crack before writing that post. I hope you’re alright after all that.

  62. Vecs says:

    Huet hadn’t played in a week. He probably forgot what is was like to be in net. Carbo needs to give him a chance to get into game form. We can’t expect perfect games from a goalie that never plays two games in a row.

  63. Gilles Poisson says:

    I agree Smolinski has done everything Bob and coach Guy ask. What do the people want from him? Do you want him to win faceoffs? Check? Hit? Go to the net? Mentor young players? Score goals? Not take key penalties or turn over the puck? Let’s be realistic. Merci.

  64. calvee123 says:

    Well, I want to add to the mix here. I think they should stand pat, don’t trade any rising young stars, get rid of any one old. Let the team play and most likely lose, get better draft position, but keep the core of young players, cause in 2 years this team will know how to win. It takes some losing to get there. All the great teams did that in the past. They have to build on the future, and obvously it is not right now. It pains me to say it, but they just don’t have what it takes to win consistantly in the NHL. They will take a couple of years to do this. They will need to feel that burning pain of losing these ones they should have won, to know what it will take to get them over the top. That is all I can possibly see. They are not getting better every game. There is individuals who are progressing here and there, but not progressing together. It is going to take time to learn how to win.

    I remember the Canadiens of the late 80’s, like in 89, man, if they had a 1 goal lead entering the 3rd period, the game was done. They knew how to win those games, and it took time for that group of players to learn that. Most of that team was drafted in 85 I think. So, I think this team is going to go through the pain of heart breaking loss befor they can know what not to do to avoid such possible defeats when the game should have been in the bag.

  65. JasonM says:

    I think we can both agree that he can start with not taking bonehead penalties in the offensive zone with 2 minutes left to the game with his head holding a 1 goal lead.

  66. San Diego 1 HabsFan says:

    That a good one. I love it. I didn’t think Carbo know what he is doing. How can he break up kovalav’s line? The only line that has been doing anything the last few games.

    With respect to Carbo: “When you don’t know where you are going, the first step always looks like one in the right direction”.

  67. zooziff says:

    Mark Streit and Mathieu Dandenault are basically the same player, so why do we need both? Meanwhile 6’5″ 225 pound Ryan O’Byrne is still in Hamilton – go figure.

  68. JasonM says:

    I don’t believe this loss is due to individual mistakes (well Smolinski’s dumbbell penalty was a big one but the game was sliding out of our hands at that point) but much rather due to tactics coming from the bench to let up on our opponents in the final minutes of the game.

    To clarify, instead of going in with solid forechecking we wait for them at the red line and attempt (miserably mind you) to lock down the central zone. Instead of passing the puck up and trying to muster some offense, there’s panic and people try to chip it up the ice the moment they get their stick on it. We’ve seen this in the past when we lost to Florida, when we lost to Toronto, when we lost repeatedly to Ottawa… halfway into the third, there is little attempt to perform any offense. Heck, even 3rd or 4th liners get PP time when they could have put the hurt into the other team and that’s not only this game.

    So far this has cost the team not 1 or 2 points but now well over half a dozen points and it is ALWAYS the same story and has already enough that I’m able to tune off the game without feeling great anger/frustration and now simply feel quiet bitterness knowing that unless that coaching strategy changes, this will happen again and again and will eventually cost this team a chance to the playoffs.

    Carbo had it easy last year, being a rookie and all but now he’s a lot more accountable for his actions.

  69. Sulemaan says:

    Couple of thoughts:

    (1) Size is definitely an issue with this team but we have big, young players coming up when you look at guys like Valentenko, McDonough, Fisher, O’Byrne, Carle on defense and players such as Pacioretty, Maxwell and Lapierre up front.

    (2) With all the great defensive forwards coaching this team (Carbonneau, Muller, Jarvis) and in management (Gainey), I’m confident that the team will learn to preserve third period leads. No question this was a major meltdown but my question is (because I honestly don’t know) how many times has this kind of thing happened this season where we lost a third period lead of 3 goals?

    (3) People critcize Gainey for his trades but I think he has made some decent ones. The trade of Mathieu Garon for Radek Bonk and Cristobal Huet wasn’t a bad one. Nor was the one where he traded Balej and 2nd round pick for Alexei Kovalev. He also signed Samsonov as a free agent and then dealt him to Chicago with no salary cap impact. Which reminds me of another trade where he sent Theodore to Colorado for Aebisher. We didn’t get a better player but we did dump all that salary on Theodore’s contract.

    I think his big mistakes in terms of trades were dealing Ribiero for nothing (Ninimmaa) and also losing players such as Beauchemin and Hainsey for nothing in the waiver wire. But no one is perfect and he’s a hell of a lot better than Rejean Houle.

  70. Robert L says:

    It’s not often that I would suggest that something I have written and posted is essential reading, but on the occasion of these Habs troubled times, I beleive this piece offers some perspective.

    Much criticism will be aimed at the Habs, some of it rightly deserved, but a majority of it without much more than anger and disappointment as it’s source.

    Two weeks back, we all loved our team, and its prognosis was good and healthy. After this Nashville game everything is bleak and dark.

    A rough couple of weeks have altered many perceptions of the team, and blaming the coach and players will be the order of the day.

    I’ve only needed to read a few comments here to get that sense.

    The answers to the team’s solutions are never simple. My piece may make you think twice about your own thoughts.

    I sincerely hope you gain something from it – it was a tormenting write!

    http://wwwrealitycheckeyesontheprize.blogspot.com/2007/12/carbonneau-at-work-as-canadiens-riddle.html

  71. A. Berke says:

    Robert,

    Excellent article as usual, I agree with your point.

    Cheers,

    Ali B.

  72. joe-hab-nuno says:

    Ribeiro was a desease to the team at that time

  73. joe-hab-nuno says:

    I remember those teams too, but please get rid of some of these garbage players we have now and get the kids in, we are in a rebuilding stage with the right tools in tha ahl. Please get rid of Lats, yes he scored 2 today but let him learn his craft down there. Smolinski=0, breezeby=0, Ryder= worst 30 goal player in history(remember Leeman), Koivu= worst 1st line center in the league, I like huet, but how many times is he going to let those late game goals.Time to trade him and get some of these kids in here. Please stop the false hope i have for my habs.

  74. LTHF says:

    This has to be the most frustrating loss of all this season. I thought for the most part the new line combos played very well except for couple of players—- why play smolinsk and sit Begin— unreal He was invisible until he took that penalty with less than 3 minutes to, what in the heck was he doing out there at that stage of the game, and to add insult to injury was out again after serving the penalty. And for all those people touting Huet as a great goal— I totally disagree, he is the Nhl’s worse puck handling– proved it last night.

  75. G-Man says:

    The moment that puck took that bad hop off the boards, the wheels fell off. Sure, the Habs scored once more, but the mo was all going Nashville’s way. So, who the #1 goalie now?
    Score 1 on Huet, he gets nervous. Score on Price, he remains calm and plays the same way. Considering our offensive woes, it’s time to get some help.
    Seeing Koivu on the #3 line was, as they say, apropos. His season is grinding to a halt with poor passes and no D. Pleks, Higgins and Kovalev looked really good. If Grabovsky could stay on his feet and not fall every time someone touches him, he may be an okay player, but until then Hamilton.
    The 3rd goal from Chipchura to Latendresse was highlight reel stuff.

    Too bad the team collapsed like an imploded building in the 3rd. Like the song says, BIG CHANGE is coming.
    Gilbert

  76. Blitzen says:

    Not sure what you’re saying here. On the one hand you say that no one, aside from Gainey, would be better than Carbo for the job and on the other hand you say that he’s been schooled by Trotz and Ruff. Are you saying to give Carbo a decade to become a good coach? I don’t think he’ll get that long.

    I honestly think this team has the pieces to win but they have to stop trying to protect leads and just keep the pedal floored. I would rather they lose games by playing firewagon hockey than by failing to play defensive hockey.

    Oh and they need to screw Smolstinky’s ass to the press box until he shows a pulse. Veteran sensitivities be damned. If he thinks he still deserves to play after mailing it in repeatedly, then he should be shipped out of town. He’s not the kind of veteran “leader” we need. If someone is going to keep making mistakes, let it be a Hamilton call-up who will at least be learning from his errors. Does anyone, I mean anyone, think that Lapierre would be worse than Smolinski right now?

  77. Da Hema says:

    I appreciated your comments, Robert, but take issue with a number of your claims. Perhaps for some fans “two weeks back” the “prognosis was good and healthy.” However those who were paying close attention were seeing the sure and certain signs of a team on the descent. Five-on-five scoring was non-existent, the penalty killing was atrocious, and the goaltenders were not providing elite goaltending–and all of this started more like a month ago.

    Obviously I have no meaningful answers to the Habs’ problems. But certainly I can raise some questions. For example, how is it that the Habs have two of the best penalty killers ever to play as coaches now, and yet they cannot teach this team how to kill penalties? Or how is it that the Habs have two of the finest defensive forwards ever to play the game–both of whom happened to be rather small–yet they cannot teach this team of small forwards how to be effective and responsible?

    I am not trying to blame the coaches, but something is not right here. I agree that getting rid of the coaches will just set the team back. Yet once again we have to hear Higgins or Kovalev or Koivu explain to the media and fans how “we didn’t have the effort tonight.” I am tired of hearing that old mantra by the players. I guess the only solution to kick-start the ownership and management to get this team going is for fans to stop attending games and watching them on tv. We have turned into the Toronto Maple Leafs–where the only line that matters for the organisaton is the financial bottom line. I never thought I would see this happen.
    _________________________________________________________
    “Play every game as if it is your last one.”
    –Guy Lafleur

    “Those were little monumental mistakes.”
    –Jean Perron

  78. ccs says:

    This is what I would like to see for a line up.

    Line 1 Higgins Plek and Kovy
    Line 2 Kost Koivu Kost Jr
    Line 3 Lats Lappiere Chips
    Line 4 Begin Kostopolus Open

    Goal Price and Halak.

    Get rid of Huet,Smolinski,Breezby,Boullion,Steit and Dandy and of course Ryder. This team needs to trim the fat and fast.

  79. wild flower says:

    On a team made up of players, almost exclusively, on the minus side of the plus/minus rating, I’m not convinced that it makes much sense to bench two of the rare ones who have played more than twenty games and are rated as pluses.

  80. TradeRyder says:

    MATURITY WANTED
    The Habs are like school kids, getting excited about a possible win in the third period. What they need is maturity. Speaking of maturity – TWO players were PLUS TWO last night. Hamrlik and Higgins. On the MINUS two side, Streit (shock! surprise!) and Markov… who I think has lately been thinking he’s a forward.

    HUET NOT THE PROBLEM…FOOLS
    For those fools who want to blame Huet… did you WATCH the game? Read the Gazette summary. Huet was all the held the game together. He was totally screened by his own team on at least one goal, and on another there was a total failure to clear the open man in front of the net.

    ____________________________________________________
    Thanks for the line changes I asked for Carbs! Now, do the defense!

  81. fun police says:

    we don’t need lapierre up. we have six lapierre’s playing for the habs already.

  82. somtawyer says:

    Which is your Premier League team ? I too am a fan , as I lived there for 5 years in my youth….

  83. Blitzen says:

    We need to bring Lapierre up simply to sit other guys who aren’t trying enough and who seem to think they are a lock to play whether they mail it in or not.

    We keep hearing that guys in Hamilton, who won their championship last year, aren’t ready for the NHL. What are guys like Smolstinky and BreezeBy ready for? Retirement?

    We keep hearing that you need to manage veteran sensitivities. What about the sensitivities of the prospects who see unmotivated twits take up spots ahead of them?

  84. saku11 says:

    the sens have lost six in a row now. That’s a pretty big slump. The habs are 4-5-1 in their last ten. I doubt either Bob Gainey or Bryan Murray are going to panic. Smolinksi took an awful penalty at the end of the third which essentially gave Nashville the perfect opportunity to tie it up.

    This team is still capable of winning, they’re just playing below their potential at the moment. On the positive side, Grabovski played a solid game, he used his speed to cause turnovers and set up some nice scoring chances. He did get knocked off the puck a few times but I think on the whole he played a strong game.

    Lats seems to have regained some confidence, he’s still a brutal skater but he’s using his size and reach to his advantage now. He and Chipchura seem to have some chemistry i.e. Chips will get the puck and find Lats in the slot. Ryder will eventually score again, he’s running out of ways to miss the net so eventually one will have to go in. Koivu has been a bit snakebit lately but he generated a lot of chances last night. I don’t blame Huet, he kept us in it for most of the game, although I’m sure he’d like one or two of those back. Hamrlik played his best game in a while. And I guess if there’s one glaring weakness in Huet’s game, it’s in the shootout.

    I hope the habs get some rest and are ready to dominate Detroit. I guess it depends on which habs team shows up. If there’s one change I’d like to see is Smolinski out, Grabs in.

  85. gumper says:

    Okay, so, after a (not so) good night’s sleep, I’m prepared to look at the half full part of the glass. Mainly, we are only four points out of first place in the conference. (Man, look at the standings. Talk about parity.) The Habs are going to be battling all season for a playoff spot. (I hope so anyway.) I agree with those posters who have pointed out that Carbo found some chemistry with his line juggling. (4 even strength goals) I also agree with Dave that we shouldn’t be “running off half-cocked in all directions”. When things go wrong it’s easy to spot mistakes and point fingers at individuals, but it’s not an effective way of solving the problems. Here I agree with Robert L. who seems to be saying that the team (like all slumping teams) is suffering a confidence crisis. The finger pointing only ever serves to deepen the crisis. I really take issue with those who are making “worse team ever” claims and stating we are going to finish dead last. I also take issue with those who say we have to strive to finish last so we can pick first. Some of those same posters were the ones who had us Stanley Cup bound at the start of the year when we were complimenting Gainey for putting together a nice blend of talented youth and verterans who would challenge for the cup in a year or two. Yes, we are short a forward, and probably a defenceman too, but Gainey tried hard to solve those problems this past summer. He fell short, but not for lack of trying. His second option was to bring up the young players, and early on the strategy was working. (Chipchura, Latendresse, Price, Kostitsyn) I’m still convinced we are currently building the core of a future contender. When we get a little closer, over the next two years, Gainey will be able to sign that fee-agent goal-scoring forward we need, because we will truly look like a contender. Meanwhile, I’m really glad we’re not paying Briere $7 million. The player part of this slump is likely to last about one more week, I predict, and then we’ll all be knocking each other over to get a seat on the bandwagon. In the meantime, our coach is in the spotlight. What he does over the next few games will be very interesting. A good coach would find a way to draw the team together, not communicate blame to individuals by constantly juggling lines. A good coach would find a way to motivate his team to consistently play 60 minutes of aggressive hockey. Let’s hope this humiliating game will be a turning point for the team and the coach. Let’s hope Carbo turns out to be the coach that all of us, who admired his intelligence as a player, believe he can be.

  86. gumper says:

    Hamilton lost 6-0 to the Phantoms last night. Doesn’t inspire a lot of faith in the idea that call-ups will solve our problems.

  87. Habs93 says:

    How many times have we lost or been tied in the last couple minutes of a game ? Too many and it’s becoming embarassing. Eliminate that and there’s a couple more in the win column

    If coach Guy continues to play with line combos I hope Chipchura gets a chance to centre two good wingers (If you can find them) Maybe Higgins and Kovalev ????

  88. Blitzen says:

    So they were great prospects last year and they now totally suck? They won’t solve all the problems but are you confident that guys like Smolinski will? If anything bringing Laps up might finally light a fire under Smolinski’s butt so he at least tries to earn his $2M.

  89. Blitzen says:

    Chips will be at least a second line center at some point. Mark my words.

  90. raymondoh says:

    I always thought we should have kept Bonk and last night he showed us why. I was happy for him. He worked hard all last season, a hell of lot harder than the guy who’s supposed to be replacing him’s been working so far this season. I was surprised when the Habs let Bonk go.

  91. anotherhab says:

    Unfortunately our shut down guys for the last ten minutes of the game were in the press box, and the bonehead Smolinski was in the box for part of it!!!

    Who would you rather have Bonk OR Smolinski??? Bonk is 31 and being pais 1.4 million, Smoke is 35 and making 2.0 million. Did Bob slip up on this one?

  92. Blitzen says:

    Bonk may have been Sourayed: thinking he was worth more than he was. Perhaps he was asking for more than $2M per year and ended up getting less than Gainey may have been willing to pay him? Who knows?

  93. 24 Cups says:

    I’ve wondered that myself. I really thought that Streit would take it to the next level this year but that’s not happening. Danenault is signed for next year (as is Begin and Tommy K.) so those guys are not leaving town. None of these players can be sent to Hamilton. Same goes for Georges. There is no use bringing up O’Byrne unless he plays top six defenseman minutes. There is one roster spot open in Montreal so we could bring up one player (two if we send down Grabovski). But that would mean we would sit out three players a game and it would be pointless to sit out the guys you just brought up. It’s a complicated situation.

  94. TradeRyder says:

    Bonk was thought to be soft because he’s not a big hitter. He was totally undervalued. He was a talented shut-down guy who also contributed points.

    That and Johnson’s let-go were big mysteries to me… that was one line that was working. Smolinksi… another mystery.

    ____________________________________________________
    Thanks for the line changes I asked for Carbs! Now, do the defense!

  95. 24 Cups says:

    All of your points are well taken and basically lead to one more question that is at the heart of what the Habs are truly missing. We lack a big center that can be physical and take on the #1 line position and we need a winger with a scoring touch who can be a game breaker. Ideally, these guys would finish in or near the top 25 scoring race each year. None of the names you have listed fit that bill (Pacioretty is a possibility way down the road). It appears that free agents don’t want to come here – we always have to settle for second tier players. So it’s probably going to come down to Gainey trying to swing a deal in the next year or two. Ultimately, that move will define his destiny as GM in Montreal.

  96. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Bonk/Johnson were the main reason we were one of the better teams killing penalties. Look at our pk this year. I’ve always wondered why those 2 were let go. Made no sense to me.

  97. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Smolinski & Brisebois should be placed on waivers. 2 bad signings by Gainey.

  98. WindsorHab-10 says:

    What they need is a new approach, new ideas and yes, this means a new coach.

  99. The Teacher says:

    Agreed, getting fed up with people nitpicking Gainey’s moves. Theo and Ribeiro were the best moves Gainey has made.

    both were cancers.

    does anybody remember Ribs played only on the PP for the majority of the season last year???

    The Stars had to work with him. He definitely wouldn’t have worked here, is all I’m saying.

  100. Blitzen says:

    I agree about Bonk. When the entire team went into a funk last year, he was the only guy trying.

  101. The Teacher says:

    Seems like the Habs when in their defensive zone are scared about icing the puck, and at the same time are scared of not getting the puck out fast enough….Playing like dynamite on their stick.

    Point to note..did anybody notice that DANDENAULT was at fault on the last goal? Had the puck on his stick and flooped a VERY lazy backhand onto the opposing defenceman’s stick. He then proceeded to slam his stick down as if he knew it would come back to haunt him…and it did.

    penalties happen….that kind of clearing attempt shouldn’t.

  102. The Teacher says:

    Seems like the Habs when in their defensive zone are scared about icing the puck, and at the same time are scared of not getting the puck out fast enough….Playing like dynamite on their stick.

    Point to note..did anybody notice that DANDENAULT was at fault on the last goal? Had the puck on his stick and flooped a VERY lazy backhand onto the opposing defenceman’s stick. He then proceeded to slam his stick down as if he knew it would come back to haunt him…and it did.

    penalties happen….that kind of clearing attempt shouldn’t.

    also, look at the Habs PK..playing way too much zone defence. This leads to not 1, but two opposing players to roam free in our zone during the PK. Way too passive. We are being REACTIVE, instead of PROACTIVE.

  103. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Are you sure you’re not the real Guy Lafleur? I love your post and agree with it because I’ve always wondered the same things about the coaching staff. They were great as players but yet they can’t communicate the same methods and philosophies to the team.

  104. zamboni says:

    Nice writeup Robert, just a few comments on some of the points.

    “I want a coach in Montreal that has been through experiences similar to those of Trotz and Ruff.”

    Not sure what exactly you’re saying here, are you suggesting getting rid of Carbo and hiring someone who has the experiences of the two above, in which case who do you have in mind (and available of course).
    Or are you suggesting that we endure with Carbo however painful that might be (and I assure you it will be) until such time when he gains the experiences and rises to the ranks of the above.

    “I’d rather see a different message sent in Montreal. One that says the coach rules – buy into it or else!”

    When you are a Scotty Bowman you can demand that, however when you’re an inexperienced Carbo making mistakes, you’d have to deserve and earn the right to demand such respect, after all it’s got to be the respect rather than the fear that will buy the player into the system.

  105. AdamG says:

    people talk about our shutdown guys as though we have any. this is the 4th time this season we’ve given up the tying goal with the opposition goalie pulled. we can’t protect leads, it’s as simple as that.

    what a furustrating weekend for the CH. i really thought they embarrassed themselves with these 2 performances. i’m not really surprised that we blew 3-0/4-1 leads last night. i haven’t been a Huet fan since the Carolina playoff series. i realized back then that this guy will always play just a bit worse than we need him to. i understand we got dominated last night, but there’s no excuse for giving up 4 third-period goals on home ice. we’ve seen it time and time again from him. he’s solid in the first two periods, clueless in the third.

    goaltending aside, we still stunk last night. and i don’t really know what to say about it. i’ve never seen a team with such fragile confidence. even higgins remarked on how at 4-2 the Habs were losing confidence. this team could post 10 consecutive wins, but as soon as they lose that 1 game, they’d lose all confidence. we’ve seen countless times since the lockout. team will be playing well, but one bump in the road and that’s it. i don’t know where the effort that we saw earlier on has gone, but if it doesn’t return, this could be a loooooong winter.

    and something’s wrong with Markov. no one wants to say it, but i will: he has been lousy this year. yeah, he’s been good offensively, but defensively, he’s been really lousy in that past 10-15 games. -8, worst on the team, says it all. i know he’s hurt, but maybe he should take a week or two off?

  106. linp says:

    Our team can’t close the deal. When we were down to one goal lead in the last minute, everyone (including the players) must have thought that “here goes again”.

    It is obvious that we can’t win the cup this year. I start to think that we should sit Smolinski and Ryder and give the ice time to our younger players. These two make together 5 mil and they are UFA.

    Streit is an UFA too but he is making only 600K. He is a good utility player and can fill in as a forward or defense.

    Hockey is a complicated business. That’s why they make millions. It’s us fans who suffer from these frustrations and disappointments.

    I am also a Premier League soccer fan. A major factor between a top club and a middle of the pack club is the confidence of winning. It is this confidence in the team and the system that allows a player not to panic with the puck, sees the play better and takes one more second to make a good play. Until our team can restore this confidence (a good system from the coach would help), we as fans will have to prepare for more heart breaks.

  107. longtimehabsfan says:

    It’s time to send a message to the players. New coach, trade, call up from the farm, something….

  108. TradeRyder says:

    I can say one thing for this management – they had the sense to dump Souray. Besides that, let’s see… dropped Bonk, kept Ryder…. let go Johnson, brought in Smolinski… hmmm… what’s wrong with this picture.

    …think I’ll catch up on my movie rentals for awhile. See you next season.

    ____________________________________________________
    Thanks for the line changes I asked for Carbs! Now, do the defense!

  109. TradeRyder says:

    I forgot to give credit for Hamrlik. Great acquisition. Now bring in someone he can teach like he did Phaneuf.. and get rid of Breezer. This team’s psyche can’t afford stupid mistakes from vetrans. He’s not the only one – cough-smolinski-cough –

    ____________________________________________________
    Thanks for the line changes I asked for Carbs! Now, do the defense!

  110. Sulemaan says:

    Thanks Steve. I think you are totally right. We are indeed missing a big centreman and scoring winger. Unless Timmins and his scouting staff can find a gem outside of the top 10 picks (because that is where we usually draft) we going to have to aquire them through a trade. Let’s see what happens.

  111. Derek2 says:

    Agree – Bonk was one of our most consistent players last year even when the rest of the team was in free fall. He is a good face off guy as well. Probably why the PK was a lot better last year too. I had originally thought that replacing Bonk with Smolinski was pretty much a wash, but not now. Good for Radek – he’s playing with some guys who don’t quit. But hockey is a business – so who knows how that transaction really played out.

    Seems whenever we get a lead we forget what got us the lead. We always slip into this “kitty bar the door” mentality with everyone collapsing back into the D zone, just waving their sticks in the general direction of the puck, and flopping around in front of the goalie like fish on ice.

    This was truly pathetic. These guys do not know how to play 60 minutes.

  112. moser17 says:

    Frankly, I think management does read all the posts here and on TSN/RDS, every minute of every day. How else can we plausibly explain why they change the lines and goalies all the time?

  113. Derek2 says:

    Yes – I thought Huet played well and kept us in the game for two and half periods. When our goalies are routine subjected to 40+ shots a night, something’s going to give. And it did in the third period. Nashville to their credit never ever quit. The Habs have to learn to play 60 minutes. Nothing less will do in the NHL.

  114. Derek2 says:

    A lot of comments are written when emotions are high. And emotions are pretty high right now after last night’s debacle.

    I think the standings are very deceptive. Looking at this team over the first 25 games or so, they have not looked very good at all, or shown themselves capable of playing 60 minutes of hockey very often. Even the in 4 – 1 win against the Islanders we quit in the last 3 minuutes and allowed a goal to spoil a shut out. Where’s the pride? Our goalies have been incredible and deserve much if not all of the credit for where we are.

    There are lot of teams well within easy striking distance us. I said it at the begining of the year – we will be scrapping for a playoff spot on the last weekend of the season – if we are lucky.

  115. AdamG says:

    well, let’s not forget that they did offer Souray $5.5 million per year. they didn’t really dump him. thankfully, though, he dumped us.

  116. zamboni says:

    You’ve got to be kidding me by suggesting that Ribeiro trade was Gainey’s best move.
    The cancer word gets thrown around so easily these days, last year Kovy was considered the cancer, look at him this year, it’s all about finding the right ways to manage the players, if the management team lacks the skills of player management then they have no business managing the team.
    If Dallas can make a Steve Yzerman of a Ribeiro (I’m not making this up) then it’s our ineptitude that couldn’t.

    Even if we accept the fact that he was a cancer and we couldn’t have turned him into a player (which is accepting that we’re incapable of managing) what we gave away and what we got in return was at a scale of grand larceny.
    Not only we gave away Ribs for nothing, we had to endure the heavy salary of Niinimaa along with his lousy play.

    I love Gainey perhaps more than you realize, however when we start finding excuses for his worst moves, not only we turn ourselves into dumb cheerleaders, we give more reasons to turn a proud and ambitious man into a complacent one.
    Learning from mistakes makes us better, but it has to start with accepting that we made the mistakes.

  117. AdamG says:

    our PK was horrible last year. we were number 1 for two months, but ended well in the middlle of the pack. we’re not gritty enough to be good PKers. we’re far too soft and we ALWAYS let the other team 1) dictate how the game will be played and 2) push us around without ANY response

  118. Robert L says:

    I’m suggesting we endure Carbonneau as he learns and while the players gain experience under him. Starting from scratch every three years under a new coach just sets the team back.

    You are correct to suggest that respect is earned and not demanded. Carbonneau is maybe only halfway there, being a former competitior of great accomplishment. His biggest challenge is cummunicating what he wants from players, and that takes time (and losing also) to get it across. That statement I made essentially means that the organization must stick by its staff in times of trouble such as these.

    Carbonneau is the best qualified person, other than perhaps Bowman, to coach this team. Everyone must endure the growing pains.

  119. Ibleedbleublancetrouge. says:

    wait, we’re missing Samsonov now? No, I refuse to accept that.

  120. Mr.Hazard says:

    What will we do without Samsonov? Who will be there this year to score the game-tying goal in the last minute? Oh yeah! Nobody.

    Ex nihilo nihil fit

  121. Ibleedbleublancetrouge. says:

    Wow, all I have to say is Brisebois has made possibly 2 costly mistakes all season. True, that one last night really deflated the team. But I can hardly blame Brisebois all season. He has shut every critic up in this city, which says enough on it’s own. Now he makes one mistake, and we’re going to blame him for losing the past 6 of 10? I agree that Gorges needs to play more but Bouillon, although shaky of late, has done his job with calm and collection. A defenceman who isn’t being talked about is a good defenceman. He has been quietly doing his job properly.

    Bottom line, we need the offence to start scoring again. We need some lucky bounces, ugly goals, and we need Komisaurous and Hammerlicker do get angry and break some bones up against those boards (not literally, although…)

  122. ebk says:

    Brisebois has made way more than two mistakes this season. He’s soft in his own end and he coughs up the puck regularly when pressed by a good fore-check. His lack of a physical edge is noticeable on most nights. He is playing well in PP situations and when given time moves the puck well but with two other smurfs(Streit and Bouillon) on defense, he is a luxury the team can’t afford. If you are playing Brisebois in your top two defensive pairings, your team is in trouble.

  123. A. Berke says:

    Furthermore Hamrlik’s pass to Brisebois was a very bad one and difficult to control. Brisebois was trying to move forward at that moment and the puck came to his feet and he lost control of it. And yes Parise was too fast for him (but again, Parise, at that speed, would have been too fast for the rest of our D too).

    Picking on Brisebois is very lame. The whole team with few exceptions (Kovvy, Chipper and Lats) sucked big time. BTW, pressing and outshooting the opponent for the first period, especially having 3 PP back to back and not being able to score one lousy goal tells me that the team didn’t do what they were supposed to do, i.e. SCORE.

    And let’s not blame Price either. He was left alone and became a target practice subject for the devils. Huet, or for that matter even Brodeur, could not do any better either if they were in Price’s place.

    Ali B.

  124. TradeRyder says:

    I’m not sure about Carbo’s calm. If ever there was a time to show emotion that was it. How stupid that call was… I totally agree with your defense comments. Brisebois and Bouillion both look shaky, and Streit sometimes too.

    But about the D “not being allowed” to hit. I mean, they seem to be instructed to do nothing. In a good game, Komi at least once separates the man from the puck with a front-on assualt as he enters the zone. Last night was like watching figure skating… no contact at all. So many opportunities.. the Habs were hang dog – just letting Jersey walk past them. Ridicule!

    ____________________________________________________
    Go Habs Go!

  125. ccs says:

    I wonder how the team would perform with a new coach??? We will not make the playoffs with a) This coach or. b) The current line up.

  126. doogie says:

    I didn’t watch the game but assume that they ran outta gas tonight. After all, the schedule makers had them playing in New Jersey, while the Preds were resting comfortably in Mtl.

    Ryder show up tonight? Maybe a game that Begin needed to play?

  127. gumper says:

    Monsieur Poisson:
    Habs 30 pts G.F. 76 G.A. 74
    Preds 28 pts. G.F. 73 G.A. 72

    How are the preds a superior team?

  128. Bouleau noir says:

    I liked the feel of the new line formation and also the added talents found therein via the addition of Streit and Garbovski,… the good point was that we scored 4 goals when we played 5-on-5…..the bad one was that we lacked conviction in our hability to shut this team down….. there is no doubts that the Preds are a good team and never gaved up and tested Huet pretty much all night with a hight 43 shots count 19 of which that came in the 3th period…… which is not normal and there is no word to describe the gaffe brought about by veteran Smolinski with less than two minutes to play…. I hope Smoky was not entirelly guilty and that his stik just happen to be between the guys legs,.. it would be bad enought coming from him if this was the case but if there was a minuscule amount of intention behind his penalty than this guy is crazy and should never get used again when the game is at stake.

  129. vic says:

    they cant hold a lead because they stop the forecheck and lay back in the third.
    You know whats coming.why do they keep doing the same over and over.they keep playing an offensive game.Dont blame the players

  130. vic says:

    should have read have to keep playing offence

  131. lcpservices says:

    Hey Gumper,

    Ok, Stats don’t lie.

    Perhaps Nashville had a fighting chance tonight, but my question to all of you here and to the Montreal canadiens players, coaches, GM, President, owner, media personnel,etc,… is this…

    How do you blow a 3-0 lead after 2 periods and 4-1 lead with 10 minutes to play?

    and you want to make the playoffs?

    I am sorry. For every Canadien player, I am not knocking anyone down, but take a close look at yourselves. THREE GOAL LEAD TO NASHVILLE, 10 MINUTES LEFT FOR 2 POINTS AND A WIN. HOW DO YOU LOSE THIS GAME?

    A Self examanisation time is due for every habs player after this one. Including the coaches

    —————————————-
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  132. carmine007 says:

    Bottom line. We have 30 points and it’s early December.

    Our Canadiens usually start the first half of the season on fire and then the flame burns out.

    what i’m hoping for is the opposite this year.

    We need to make a GREAT trade in order for this to happen.

    Again We have 30 points and yes we can look at all of the negatives but it’s best to try and keep positive.

    The Devils game on Friday we just didnt have the puck bounce our way in the net! Just about 1/3 of the season and we still have a healthy team. I really do think Breezy needs to go. Send up SOMEONE and get the young guns in!

    KEEP THE FAITH FELLOW HABS FANS!!!!

  133. downeast hab says:

    Why is it that when the habs get a lead in the third period that they fall abroad. One would have to think, is it what the coaches have taught them, go into a defensive mode. Because every time this year, except when they last played Boston,that in the last half of the third period they just sit in their own end. It seems even when they get the puck in the neutral zone they tend to fall back in their own end. My thought is this is what happens when you have to many defensive minded coaches, and until something changes, LOOKOUT

  134. doogie says:

    I had to bear the pain and watch them almost lose the game against Toronto on Tuesday night. With a 3-2 lead in the 3rd, you just knew that they were heading to OT. No killer instinct. Can’t one of these “legend” coaches teach these guys to go get another goal, rather than sitting back and playing like a bunch of predictable clowns?

    that’s teaching and coaching, isn’t it?

  135. ColoradoHab says:

    We were outplayed for 3 periods.We came alive in overtime. We lost in the shootout.

    Huet was incredible for 2 periods. The habs should never have been ahead by 3 goals… they should have been behind.
    Maybe Huet ran out of gas. After what he did for 2 periods the team should have played for him in the third.

    The type of players that you need playing with a 3 goal lead in the 3rd were in the press box.

    This team has been unable to hold onto leads in the 3rd period this year. Leafs,Panthers,penguins,sens,leafs,and now predators have come back on us in the third. That’s 25% of the games we’ve played!!!In a few of these we won in overtime but my point is we can’t seem to hold a lead in the 3rd period. There has been also several games we entered the 3rd tied and went on to lose.

    If we didn’t have a good team we wouldn’t be leading in the 3rd period.

    If we had good coaching we wouldn’t be losing it in the 3rd period.

    I’ve lost confidence in Carboneau.

    P.S. Lay off of Markov. He is obviously playing hurt.

  136. JMoney says:

    Can we maybe get a decent coach?? Carbonneau proves time after time that he isn’t capable of coaching in the NHL.

    He had the team playing a system that did not work 5 on 5 last season, so what does he do? He has us playing that same broken system again this season.. I’ve had enough of him, bring in a competent coach!

  137. KerryPrice says:

    They played like they couldn`t even make the 4th line tonight

  138. eyhp says:

    LOL nice accurate title…

  139. KerryPrice says:

    Pathetic, grosss effin performance tonight. if it wasn`t for Huet and Mason letting in two of the weakest goals i ever seen this game wouldn`t have even been close. They don`t stick up for eachother. Brisbois get crosschecked in the face twice no one does anything. Buncha wussies. We miss Sourey more then everyone thinks. at least he`d pick up for his players when push comes to shove. I want Steve Downey . I miss Arron Downey to. God Bob do us a favor and get us a player who`s not scared to death to drop there gloves when push comes to shove. Trade some of them European prima dona`s and get us a good Canadian kid who at least shows some emotion.

  140. lcpservices says:

    Last Season it was around the beginning of January when the Canadiens dressing room was hit with a flu bug and the team started to lose games, eventually falling short of the playoffs.

    Last week, they lost back to back to the sabres and this week they lost to Jersey and Preds.

    The next 4 games that the habs are playing are against the Red Wings, Bruins, Hurricaines and Lighting.

    No easy games here.

    Could this be the beginning of their downfall?

    —————————————-
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  141. NightRyder says:

    Huet might be one of the best in the league for the first 50 minutes of any given game.

    Sadly, he’s one of the worst during the last 10 minutes in any given game.

    Keep voting for him for the all-star team, then hopefully we can get a sack of pucks for him at the deadline.

  142. Gilles Poisson says:

    You got me gumper my friend. If the stats say we are two points better then we are better, regardless of how we were manhandled tonight. Oh you forgot the games played they have played 2 less than us. And they do play in another conference so it’s hard to tell what the numbers mean. But that doesn’t matter we’re better and the numbers show it. Thank you.

  143. Dave Stubbs says:

    I’d disagree that Carbonneau is getting a free pass. It’s the role of the columnists and commentators to take issue with coaching decisions and the effort or performance of players. The beat writers and reporters are there to report the facts.

    And to question any of these things should – the operative word, should – be done with a little thought and not as a knee-jerk reaction. We’re not exercising our responsibility by running off half-cocked in all directions.

    It’s not as simple as questioning anyone’s ability to coach.


    Dave Stubbs

    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette

     

  144. G-Man says:

    How can you in one breath say the Habs have been blowing 3rd period leads all year and in the next breath say the ones to put out there were in the press box? Didn’t they play in those other 3rd period debacles? Oh, yeah, they did. Doh!
    Gilbert

  145. gumper says:

    I don’t know ccs. I don’t think our biggest problem is the lineup. I’d love to see a coaching change, however. Not gonna happen though. It’s not a good idea to hire a friend, because it’s too hard to fire him. I doubt we’ll see a change at the coaching position unless it’s accompanied by a change at the G.M. position.

  146. gumper says:

    Though I’m not really on side with the degree of vitriol from nychabsfan, I do agree with him about our coaching. Carbo seems inflexible, and incapable of making necessary adjustments. His only solution to all problems is to juggle the lines. (Could the fact that most players were playing with unaccustomed linemates tonight have anything to do with allowing 44 shots on goal?) The problem the team has finding the right mindset to play with a lead goes back two years, the length of his tenure as head coach. As I mentioned in an earlier post, our p.k. is mind-numbingly passive. It’s like we are playing five goalies. None of this stuff is about the players. All of it is about the coaching. It seems clear that this team had little or no faith in the coaching staff…because they have no faith in the system they are being asked to employ.

  147. Ibleedbleublancetrouge. says:

    I agree that the officiating was poor, but Lantendresse was not following through on that shot. He fanned on the shot and then tried to lift the players stick by the looks of it. Either way though, I’m not sure which one came first, but had they just blown the whistle, the latter would of never happened. It becomes a 5-4 and God knows what happens then.

  148. A. Berke says:

    So we’re getting the “bad” calls from the refs! WHAT else is new?

    We should have wrapped up the game 2-0 or 3-0 by the end of the first period.

    The team can’t buy a goal, esp on 5-on-5, to save its life and lots of cylinders are misfiring or not firing at all.

    Blaming the refs never wins any games for any team in any professional sport. High intensity, hard and smart work and talent put altogether win games. And lately Habs are not exhibiting any of these qualities.

    I say let’s stop finding lame excuses for the team, it’s high time that the players (and the coaching) wake up and come up with the appropriate effort to win. We can talk this and find more imaginative excuses to death, we ain’t the ones who’ll win games.

    Ali B.

  149. linp says:

    I suspect that Huet can’t play 60 minutes of hockey. He can’t focus in the third period and has given up so many soft-goals. The fact is that we lost.

  150. Gilles Poisson says:

    What would you have them do? Hit back? After the whistle? That’s against the rules mon ami and coach Guy will have none of it. That is not the team toughness that coach Guy recognizes in this team. He and Bob know that this is a team that is willing to be smacked around, punched out, facewashed. Go ahead, try to maim our star players, run our goalies, insult our grandmothers. We can take it. We have team toughness. Show him the hit stats Boone. We’re tough. Stats prove it. Thank you.

  151. Hoegarden says:

    Still a bit early to hit the panic button however some obvious realities are right before our eyes. Bob went and signed two UFA to stabilize and bring in some leadership and experience for our up and coming young guns. Unfortunately these two gentlemen have cost us a few games with costly errors late in the games. Kostopoulos and Smolinsky are simply not delivering the goods and I’m afraid it is too late for them to carry out the tasks asked by their bosses. I would much prefer to see a rookie learning the ropes here instead of watching veterans making those rookie mistakes after several years in the NHL. It is easy for us to ask that a 2 million dollar man sits in the press box but management will have to admit their failure. Having watched this team for more than 45 years I cannot accept that over the hill players can come to Montreal and fill positions that are impeding the progress of our younger players. Many of the players in Hamilton will not return next year and at least two or three of them should be given the opportunity to prove management wrong in their decision to let them waste their time in the AHL.
    O’byrne must be recalled at once. Brisebois is averaging almost 20 minutes per game and when he was signed it was made clear, at least at that time, that he would play less than 10. He’s simply no longer strong enough to handle it. He gets pushed around, loses the puck etc etc.
    Don Lever along with Trevor Timmins and Pierre Gauthier have to get together and come up with at least two forwards that can hold their own here. If Dagostini is earmarked as a sniper then sorry Ryder but you’ve run out of chances.
    Another colossal mistake was not to recall one player from Hamilton when Murray was let go. Imagine the feeling in Hamilton; no one is good enough to replace Murray, even with limited icetime.

  152. PGHABS says:

    Some very good comments. I think the only reason they didn’t immediately recall someone from Hamilton is that Grabovski was already rotting away in the pressbox. There’s a good chance that would’ve happened to Lapierre.

    I’ve always though Smoke and Kostopoulous were bad signings. Smoke is not a big centre and he gives away the puck in the offensive zone like few in the NHL. Every time “his” line gets a decent cycle, as soon as Smoke touches it the play is going the other way.

    I agree, O’Byrne must me recalled. Our defense is tiny and we have an ability to be completely dominated by big forwards. It is really embarrassing. O’Byrne would definately need some developmental time, and their will be some plays when we could hardly watch him, but his size and potential is needed.

    Chipchura was an excellent draft choice.. one my favourite players so far.

    The Habs have to stop sitting in leads. They are to small so they suck at it. Keep skating, only way to win with a small team.

  153. nightmare_49 says:

    After reading your post the Habs have got to be in last place in their conference and it must be a typo that has them where they are listed on NHL.COM.

  154. Chuck says:

    I know of three teams in your vacinity. I’m sure that one will take you.
    .
    .
    .

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

  155. nychabsfan says:

    This is truly the saddest day in the history of this franchise.Pathetic,absolutly mind boggling.This is a group of losers that Iwill not continue to support.Carconneau need s to be FIRED,he is a mess!!!I was so disgusted by this when it was 4-2(I knew thay were going to flatline)I was cheering Nashville,my only disappointment is that they got 1 point,THEY DESERVE NOTHING.And NO I am not a leafs fan,I have supported this team for 38 years and i am done!!!!

  156. JasonM says:

    Want to know why the Habs lost in the 3rd?

    Preds third period shots = 20
    Habs third period shots = 5

    That’s what happens when you no longer forecheck or do any offense. Playing on your heels and waiting to get screwed out of 50 minutes of reasonably good effort.

  157. linp says:

    This game has proved a few facts:
    – When Huet is spent in the 3rd period, he is a different person.
    – Higgins plays better in the left. He still needs to practice shooting.
    – Latendresse has guts and a decent shot. He should replace Smolinski in Koivu’s line.
    – Ryder is brain dead
    – Smolinski is slow and errorprone
    – Markov is injured
    – Grabovski and Gorges deserve more playing time

    Bob is in Hamilton today. Rumor is that he’ll bring some one up. I would have given Markov a rest and bench Smolinski and Ryder. The season is still young.

  158. skoehn says:

    give you heads a shake huet was not to blame stopping 40 of 44 shots and have no defense in the 3rd huet is guy there are five other on the ice that are supposed to be protecting a lead and helping but they were just foating around leaving it ti huet he is not a one man show and putting price in for the shut-out is just stupid at that point it comes down to luck ya by then huet had enough but you are soooo quick to jump on huet well guess what the guys were not scoring at the other end so i’d say its there faults to in order to win you gotta school the last guy let the puck roll off his stick didn’t even shoot that is bad id say if i was huet i would have went for a skate everytime the preds had a scoring chance just to make a point…..

  159. A. Berke says:

    Just out of curiosity: did you see Nashville’s first goal?
    and their two other soft goals?

    Yes team’s overall game especially in the third was deplorable but let’s not absolve Huet either.

    Ali B.

  160. G-Man says:

    When the team scores 4, they should win. Huet blew this one big time.
    Gilbert

  161. zooziff says:

    If Bob Gainey is having difficulty engineering a trade to get rid of Ryder, or acquiring a quality goal scorer, then a player from Hamilton should be promoted. I don’t feel the Habs should sacrifice a strong farm system which has taken a number of years to build for a quick fix either.

    However the team is playing like crap. Yes, the Sens have lost six in a row and it’s easy to say “let’s not panic”. The problem I have is that the team should not be complacent just because of the mediocrity that is today’s NHL. Now is the time when we should be getting a serious push on for points. Especially given our recent history of late season collapses (let alone single game ones).

    Sergei Kostitsyn meanwhile has 19 points in nineteen games for Hamilton. Bring him up and put him with Koivu and Higgins. What about Maxim Lapierre? Ryan O’Byrne? If this club cannot compete for a cup in the next two years the entire front office should be cleaned out top to bottom. Bring in Patrick Roy as head coach. Anyone! I have little confidence in Carbonneau now as his solution to not motivating his players is constant line changes. Gainey called him a dynamic head coach. I call him an amateur – and it shows.

  162. lcpservices says:

    Patrick Roy – Habs head coach?
    Now here is something interesting? Roy played his entire career with pride and passion, could this be something these Canadien players could use.

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  163. G-Man says:

    Carbo isn’t the one on the ice making the bonehead plays. The players deserve all the s**t coming to them. It was their lack of effort the last ten minutes that cost the Habs the game, not the coaching staff. Players making millions should be interested enough to finish the job. And, let’s face it, Huet dug his own grave last night.
    Gilbert

  164. lcpservices says:

    Remember this night,(look at my sig), Less than 10 minutes to play and you have a 4-1 lead, at home, and you lose the game in a shootout.

    Remember this night
    ________________________________________________
    December 1,2007 – rise and fall of the 2007-08 Montreal Canadiens

  165. homerbowen says:

    MEOW! MEOW! Pussies showed up again tonight. Maybe Guy was right about the “4th liners”!!! Be lucky to make the playoffs but if they do gone in the first round. Blow them up again or be like the laffs. Oh, by the way the laffs won again tonight….getting close.

    DISGUSTING…DISGUSTING…DISGUSTING

  166. G-Man says:

    Right on, dude.
    Gilbert

  167. sadave says:

    Don’t post often, and I waited a long time tonight before reading the comments. Nothing I can say will add to the discussion, but I am most pained by what seems a lack of effort. I haven’t quite forgotten Buffalo yet . . .

    I’m 49, play hockey in a beer league in San Antonio — in South Texas, for crying out loud — and we put out more effort and love for the game than I saw tonight. Oh yeah, I pay alot to play down here, too.

    Still love les Canadiens, but it’s hard. Trying to stay positive.

  168. Gilles Poisson says:

    Beer league eh? You guys need a former 30 goal scorer?

  169. jrshabs1 says:

    Deja vu all over again. I’ve already read this book and didn’t like it the first time. Here’s the plot.. Great out of the gate, somehow get blown up, recover, and finnally here’s the quirky part, it becomes a choose your own adventure where you either miss the playoffs or get beat in the first round, it’s your choice.

    The Canadiens need an influx of new talent, ie. make a trade for legit NHLers. We cannot win anything with this team.

    Last thought. Brisebois, he was brought back for what reason? This is why the Canadiens will never win anything.

  170. Rocket Richard says:

    “We cannot win anything with this team.”

    Reminds me of something – FIRE SALE

    With the exception of Price and a half dozen other players, trade or get rid of everyone on the Habs squad and start all over.

    Bring in some experienced NHL players and staff members and build a championship for many years to come.

    I would keep Gainey. He his a winning GM.

    ___________________________________________________
    December 1,2007 – rise and fall of the 2007-08 Montreal Canadiens

  171. lcpservices says:

    Who exactly will want to play here in Quebec fitting that description. Maybe Scotty bowman can come out of retirement.

    ___________________________________________________
    December 1,2007 – rise and fall of the 2007-08 Montreal Canadiens

  172. Naila Jinnah says:

    Carbo’s press conference? The features on this site just keep getting better!! :D

  173. habsguy says:

    Ya lets get rid of Carbo, then we can have another EX hab coach in the NHL that didn’t step right in and produce an INSTANT winner……

  174. Bouleau noir says:

    You want soft goals, our two first goal against them were as soft as a baby’s bum and the goaly was quickly asked to go and change is daiper while at the other end you had Huet stopping enumerable quality scoring chances the whole evening… blaming a single player for our collapse is silly…. althought I wont argu against the obvious fact that Smolinsky gaved them the game to take away on a golden plate.

  175. Teryn says:

    Yayyyy, I’m going to the game, Let’s go Huet.

  176. Sulemaan says:

    Let’s hope the Habs have a better game today. I found this post over @ RDS rather interesting. They are questioning Trevor Timmins and his drafting (or lack thereof) of French players.

    http://www.rds.ca/canadien/chroniques/241429.html

    What a load of crap. If we want to be a successful team, we need to draft the best player regardless of nationality or language. English, French, Russian, Czech, Polish, Indian, Martian, whatever.

    The Canadians overly focussed on drafting only french players in the first round of the draft during the 80s and it hurt the team. Remember wonderful names such as Alain Heroux, Jocelyn Gauvreau, Jose Charbonneau, Eric Charron and others?

    I’m not questioning the importance of French players to the team but if the french media had their way, they wouldn’t have selected Carey Price with 5th overall pick a few years ago but gone with Giblert Brule.

    I suppose my point is that this team is young and is getting better. We just need to be patient. For the first time (in years) I feel that our future looks really good. I’m not happy we lost 4-0 to New Jersey but I think we need perspective before panicking.

    Everyone thought the Canadiens wouldn’t make the playoffs and they are doing pretty well so far this year. We all (including myself) need to remember that it’s a marathon and not a sprint.

  177. Higgins21 says:

    Are you for real?

  178. Gilles Poisson says:

    There was a bit of a defensive lapse at the end but still a pretty good effort against a superior team. Huet made a great stop in the shootout. Coach Guy used his imagination and it paid off with some 5 on 5 goals. Bob must have been bubbling over watching his young guns especially Guillaume. Ryder is really working hard out there, really working hard. Reminds me of John Leclair. Tough break for Smokes but these things happen and the refs were no help – no surprise there! I know it hurts but just be patient. Like Bob. I say bring on the Red Wings. Merci Beaucoup.

  179. gumper says:

    And one more bit of cheery news. Bulldogs blanked 6-0 by the Philadelphia farm team. That leaves them 12 points back of division leading………wait for it……….Toronto Marlies.

  180. Da Hema says:

    Fans can blame the system, the coaching, and the officiating for the team’s poor play over the last month, but the reality is that one-third of the team is working hard (e.g., Chipchura), one-third is not playing with any intensity (e.g., Plekanec), and the remaining one-third of the players are trying to do everything by themselves (e.g., Higgins). The latter two groups of players are who are hurting the team. I am going to write something I never thought I would write: where are Koivu and Markov? These two are the team’s best players, and they look absolutely lost on the ice. Is Koivu no longer interested in playing hockey for this team? I think Carbonneau and Gainey should talk to Koivu and find out whether he wishes to remain. His comments last summer indicated he was less than enthusiastic about the upcoming season. Whatever is to be said, the Habs will not win without those two players leading the team.

    _________________________________________________________
    “Play every game as if it is your last one.”
    –Guy Lafleur

    “Those were little monumental mistakes.”
    –Jean Perron

  181. TradeRyder says:

    Hey Predators – listen up!

    HOW DO YOU BEAT THE HABS? EASY!
    1. Go into intermission a goal up. (guaranteed win!)
    2. Stop the second line (it’s the only one that plays together)
    3. Crowd their goalie (no one protects him anyway)
    4. Skate past their slower defense (they don’t know how to hit, or aren’t allowed)
    5. Keep them away from the front of the net (it’s not hard!)

    ____________________________________________________
    Go Habs Go!

  182. RH says:

    Oh come on now! Point 3 is moot because of point 4 in that they aren’t allowed to touch the opposition forwards without getting called for some stupid penalty. Also, I think our D has been playing well despite the fact that BRISEBOIS is back on the team. He has GOT to go. I think they need a huge upgrade on Bouillon, and Brisebois obviously. Streit, in my opinion, is a good depth guy who shouldn’t be playing every game. I think he’s played up to his potential, and what we see is what we’re going to get. Gorges deserves a chance to play and allow us to see what he can do over the course of a season. Other than that though, you’re pretty much right on with your other points. Like I’ve said before though, this team is overachieving when you compare them to what the prognosticators had them pegged at.

    Quickly, I have to say I’m impressed with the way Carbonneau isn’t lashing out at the refs like he did last season. I thought he handled that debacle last night, with both Chipchura AND Lats getting double minors at the same time, with relative calm. That was an absolute DISGUSTING display of refereeing and that idiot should be repremanded for his poor judgement. Hopefully, Carbonneau is realizing that if he keeps a cool head, his team will follow suit.

  183. gumper says:

    BTW, Dave, I believe it was Koivu, not Kovalev who scored in the shootout.

  184. slamtherimtim says:

    here is the slump that is going to end any hopes at even a playoff spot ,,, BOB should of made a move already and the longer he waits the worse its going to get . the habs may win a game here and there but until bob pulls the trigger its over

  185. Higgins21 says:

    It’s the morning after. What do we face today? A Nashville team that’s been sitting in Montreal since yesterday resting up. But we should be allright. We hardly raised a sweat last night. Maybe Huet can steal us a point or two. Gorges and Grabovski should both be in to try to give a spark. Let’s see… who should we sit out? The only ones who truly deserve to play are Markov, Komisarek, Hamrlik, Kovalev, Chipchura, and Kostopoulos. After that, take your pick. C’mon guys, time to pick it up.

  186. TradeRyder says:

    I didn’t think Komosaurus had a very good game. I can’t think of a single hit (we coulda used a few) and seem to recall him standing next to a coupla goal scorers. Some new blood might give a boost. And as for the post just below that Bob needs to make a trade… well it’s pretty obvious that I agree, though unfortunately Ryder’s stock is about as low as it could be… shoulda dumped him before.

    I’m starting to wonder about the coaching though. And this is the first time I’ve said that. The skills are obviously there… but the Habs seem to forget the fundamentals from game to game. They’re playing less as a unit and not more. Not once have they gone into an intermission down a goal and come out with a win. Unless the team chemistry is bad (and it doesn’t seem to be), hese are coaching issues.

    ____________________________________________________
    Go Habs Go!

  187. TradeRyder says:

    Forty years a Habs fan.

    Jeez this team sucks sometimes. Really, REALLY sucks.

    Please get rid of Brisebois… bring in some defensive players that know how to play defense. Hamrlik is the only one back there that REALLY knows what he’s doing.

    ____________________________________________________
    Thanks for the line changes I asked for Carbs! Now, do the defense!

  188. Da Hema says:

    At least the game was entertaining from a general fans’ perspective. That said, the Habs did not deserve to win tonight. While Begin has hardly been playing very well–and deserved to be benched–I think the time has come to just cut that worthless tit Smolinski. He sure took a nice penalty to put Nashville in the position to win. How could Lapierre not be an improvement over Smolinski? What frustrates me most about Smolinski is that stupid, arrogant smirk on his face when he screws up. To blow a 4-1 lead with 10 minutes to play is indescribably unprofessional. Do the players on this team have no pride or professionalism at all?
    _________________________________________________________
    “Play every game as if it is your last one.”
    –Guy Lafleur

    “Those were little monumental mistakes.”
    –Jean Perron

  189. lcpservices says:

    Very good question raised?

    ” Do the players on this team have no pride or professionalism at all? ”
    —————————————-
    Books, Softwares, Downloads, Information
    http://tinyurl.com/2zul8m

  190. showey47 says:

    How does koivu get called for goalie interference and blake get no call the other night in toronto? Marty did do a good job at selling it nonetheless. This led to the second goal and from there it was over

  191. JF says:

    I agree with you about the officiating. We seem to get most of the bad calls in any game, and all the ones that really hurt. But however bad the officiating was last night and however much worse it could have been, we wouldn’t have done anything but lose badly. We had a great-looking first period, total domination, but what did it really amount to? A lot of perimeter shots, a lot of hustle, a bunch of more-or-less routine saves for Brodeur, one glorious missed opportunity (Higgins) – all topped off by Brisebois’ gaffe. I knew that when we didn’t score on any of those powerplays, we were done.

    Something has happened to this team in the last couple of weeks. A lot of things that we were doing right seem to be going wrong. The defense, which looked so good early on, is struggling, there is less cohesion and some players seem to be trying to do too much by themselves (Higgins). We are also very fragile. Last night, instead of pouring it on harder than ever in the second period, we went limp. This happens too often. Instead of reacting with grit and determination to a bad play or a costly goal against us, we lose confidence and become hesitant. This tendency to collapse is a big part of the team’s problems right now.

  192. Higgins21 says:

    We can rail on and on about the officiating, but the bottom line is that right now we are not playing nearly good enough.

  193. showey47 says:

    true enough but the officiating always seems to be a factor. Case in point the koivu call and the 4min 5 on 3, lats was not a penalty because it was a follow through on the shot so at worse it should of been a 5 on 4. It just seems that these calls always seem to go against us. Just like the other night in toronto, had it been a hab hitting toskala in the dying seconds the goal probably would not of counted.

  194. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    We lost because of a lack of GRIT…and goaltending.

    Finesse will get you the lead but its WORTHLESS if you don’t have GRIT to hold it.

    I suspected this, our GRIT was up in the press box, but you can’t blame Gorges and Breeze, they actually showed some toughness tonight, especially Gorges Vs Thornton.

    That said, we have to put the loss on the head of HUET. 3 of the goals were VERY SOFT, the shot from the point (if you call it a shot…(soft wrist shot)…the one that trickled through his legs..(amateur mistake) and Bonks redemption goal was just bad positioning by HUET.

    On the positive side, I thought the line combos were OK.

  195. The Teacher says:

    on the head of HUET?? MAN..GO CHEER FOR ANOTHER TEAM ALREADY…WE WOULDN’T HAVE EVER HAD THE LEADS IF IT WASN’T FOR HUET…GET REAL!!!!!

    THIS LOSS CAN BE ATTRIBUTED to

    1. Complete absence of a forecheck in the third period.
    2. Brisebois…

    but I do agree…complete lack of grit…where was the sticking up for teammates after brisebois got crosschecked in the face and a hab getting hit hard after the whistle…NADA..AND THEY CALL THIS A TEAM…

    PLEASE…

  196. linp says:

    Carbo should have changed goalie before the shoot-out. It is obvious to every one that Huet is already spent and is not in the right state of mind to play the shoot-out.

  197. The Teacher says:

    Should have pulled him after the 3rd goal to wake the freaking team up..you don’t change a goalie for the shootout..PLAIN AND SIMPLE


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