Game 27: Red Wings drop sagging Canadiens

Legends of the NHL’s Original Six era – Detroit’s Gordie Howe (left) and Canadiens’ Jean Béliveau – take part in tonight’s ceremonial opening faceoff.
Pierre Obendrauf, Gazette

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The result wasn’t entirely unpredictable: the Detroit Red Wings, the best team in the NHL this season, in Montreal to play the slumping, confidence-challenged Canadiens. The 4-1 final score for the visitors might have been a little flattering to the free-falling Habs.

Montreal, now 13-10-4, lost its fifth game in the past six, and third in a row. Detroit, 19-6-2, won its fourth consecutive.

That the Canadiens’ vaunted power play went 0-for-5 was only part of the problem. The Red Wings got off to a first-period lead, had the Canadiens come back with a pretty backhand goal by Christopher Higgins in the second, then scored three straight, two in the second and another in the third to send the Bell Centre’s growingly unfaithful into an unhappy night.

Rookie goalie Carey Price, now pressed into the No. 1 job with Cristobal Huet nursing a groin injury, stopped 30 of 34 Detroit shots, while the Canadiens could muster just 16 on Dominik Hasek at the other end of the rink, not too many of them of decent quality.

The game served to pay tribute to the 81-year rivalry between the Canadiens and Red Wings. There wasn’t much of a rivalry on display once the puck was dropped by legends Jean Béliveau and Fordie Howe.

One of the few signs of life the Canadiens showed was Mathieu Dandenault pouncing on Detroit’s Mikhail Samuelsson in defence of Habs captain Saku Koivu, who was fighting his own battles all night.

The Habs return to practice on Wednesday, then play in Boston on Thursday before returning home for a Saturday game vs. the Carolina Hurricanes.


  1. Rocket Richard says:

    But you need to subscribe.

    I think its 15$ a game or 200$ or so for a season

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

  2. Rocket Richard says:

    Gainey sees the games as we do, but he sees things differently than we do

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

  3. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    don’t forget that we have ZERO when it comes to clearing the front of our net…thats 2 wings goals because we cannot clear the man in front of our net…Komi and Hamr occasionally..thats it.

  4. TradeRyder says:

    Ryder finally gets a goal! Just at the wrong end of the ice!

    If Carbo would get rid of the sh*tty players on this team, it could go somewhere.
    Thanks for the line changes I asked for Carbs! Now, do the defense!

  5. TradeRyder says:

    Thank you Mark Streit for giving up our momentum with that nifty “through the legs pass” to no-one on that break-away. Oh yeah – it wasn’t to no-one… I think it went to Lidstrom.

    STUPID, STUPID, STUPID. What the hell is Streit doing on the team, let alone up front. How many break-aways does he have to blow?

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

  6. gumper says:

    Okay, but isn’t it the coach’s job to teach/motivate the players? If not, what is his job? As to the forecheck, since we have played this passive, lay-back-and-let-them-come-to-us style since Carbo took over, I think he has to at least share the responsibility for its lack of effectiveness. I’d like nothing better than for the Habs to succeed under Carbo’s direction, as he was one of my all-time favourites as a player, but with all the line juggling and mind games, I’m just not convinced he knows how to coach in the bigs. Maybe his ego gets in the way.

  7. gumper says:

    Game over. They scored first.

  8. slamtherimtim says:

    i’m sick and tired of the status quo , something has to happen and happen fast CARBO SUKS and gainey better smarten up before he starts being compared to fergy and the laffs , their only 4 points behind

  9. A. Berke says:

    Gumper wrote:
    “Because they know what he’s selling won’t work”.

    IMO, it is not up to the players to decide what will work and what won’t. That’s coach’s job. Players, especially for the amounts they are paid are obliged to go with the coach’s game plan and play their heart out.

    Like you say, if Habs forecheck is embarassing then it is not Carbo’s task to go and play; it’s up to the players to perform. And don’t tell me that the players (at their supposed level) need to be thought how to forecheck. If they don’t know by now, then they should go and play in the minors.

    For the salaries they are paid they are the ones who should bring more to the ice.

    There should be ONE chief only and not “many chiefs and no indians” (sorry to use an old expression which may not be politically correct but explains my thoughts quite well).

    Carbo may be a good coach or he may be not, but let’s stop bashing him for what the players are not doing and should be doing, it’s called PLAYING.

    Ali B.

  10. TradeRyder says:

    Definition of Futile: Streit carrying the puck into the offensive zone – oop! gone!
    Definition of Apathy: Ryder behind the net. Oops – where did everybody go?
    Definition of Stupid: Begin’s pass to the Red Wings instead of clearing it up the glass. Oops – a goal!
    Definition of Waste of Time: Watching the Red Wings show the Habs how to play.

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

  11. Canus says:

    Hi everyone,
    new user here, however, i have been visiting this site for quite awhile now.
    Anyhoops, I have a question, does anyone know where i can catch the game online? I’m using myp2p, but, the only one that is playing is an american channel. does anyone know of an online “canadian” site?

  12. Gilles Poisson says:

    It’s not fair to always blame the coach Guy for everything. But I understand why people look at all the great skill on the team and wonder why they don’t always win. Thank you.

  13. G-Man says:

    The old “it’s the coach’s fault” routine does not wash. Players being paid to produce- hello, saku & ryder- simply aren’t. It’s not the system. it’s about players that go to the net fearlessly in order to score. Remember Dino Ciccarelli? I never liked him, but did he have a nose for the net. That’s what this group needs, not yet another coach.

  14. 24 Cups says:

    I totally agree with you and could write for hours about this topic. In essence, it’s cowardly acts that are taken out on high end players by guys who don’t belong in the NHL because of their lack of talent. Can’t compete with the best? Then revert to intimidation, blindsiding, and hitting from behind. How bad is it? There’s a good chance Bergeron may not play again this year. How many games would these Flyers (not just picking on them) get if they put Crosby out for the rest of the year with a cheap shot play? Briere should keep his head up when he plays the Bruins.

  15. gumper says:

    The team has stopped playing for Carbo early this year. Why? Because they know what he’s selling won’t work. No one wants to play the passive forechecking game he espouses because it doesn’t win hockey games. The Habs forecheck is embarrassing. Carbo’s response to the fact that his system doesn’t work is to punish players in some kind of bizarre, nonsensical rotating order. Tonight it’s Kostopolous. Who could possibly be less to blame for the teams recent slump than Kostopolous? On Saturday he shuffled the deck, got some offence, but the team ends up allowing 44 shots and several breakaways. Could that have been due to the fact that most of these guys were not used to playing with each other? I just think Carbo is an arrogant man whose arrogance leads him to inflexibililty. However, I firmly believe we’re stuck with him as long as Gainey’s around. I’ll watch the game with interest tonight, for signs that the team wants to be rid of their coach.

  16. Michael N. says:

    What could be better than a snowy day and a hockey game against the Red Wings. Carey Price in nets, this would be a good game to win and bring up that confidence level again. GO HABS GO!!!!!

  17. kevrob says:

    This is so ridiculous. No game on centre ice because they are playing it on versus. What a joke. Does anyone know of a sopcast channel that usually plays the games? thanks, any help is appreciated.

  18. Chuck says:

    Actually, it was Bob Weir who sang I Need A Miracle… but I definitely see where you’re coming from. 🙂

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

  19. Ed says:

    I might have missed it, but I have not seen any discussion on here about the 5 game suspension to Scott Nichol for the dirty hit on Patrice Brisebois. It is good to see that he got the suspension. I still can’t believe that Randy Jones only got 2 games for what he did to Bergeron of Boston. There should be no place in hockey for hits to the head, or hits from behind. Brisebois had a brief comment on Nichol’s suspension.

  20. Gilles Poisson says:

    This is true also he used to sing “Keep your Day Job” and “Sick and Tired” and “I need A Miracle” and “Loser” and “Ship Of Fools” and “Take A Step Back” and “Tomorrow Is Forever”. Thank you.

  21. coutNY says:

    (partial salary)Not in the New NHL unless Pitt tries to pass thru waivers then they call him back through re-entry waivers… so he would be half price and they would pick up the other half.

    He might not make it that far (someone might grab him) or Pitt might not risk the chance that nobody would pick him up on re-entry and just let him hang for a while..

  22. Chuck says:

    As Jerry Garcia of the good ol’ Grateful Dead used to sing, “We will get by, we will survive…”

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

  23. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    If your looking for a time to bring on your “A” game its now, Wings are on the menu, and it could be a good thing…

    Play your best game which includes MAXIMUM HITTING (not turning away), SKATING HARD (not trying to catch up..lead the play), PASSING (with confidence,we have the skill) & SHOOTING (we need to finish), thats all that counts win or lose…but if you bring a lethargic effort then you’ll have to face the music.

  24. Corio says:

    Not a bad idea to pick up Recchi, although he has been slumping hardcore of late like most of our Habs. Not sure how much he would help really but maybe we can get him for partial salary? :p

  25. Gilles Poisson says:

    Yes the Habs are small but you had no business mentioning that. We should wait for them to grow. And also Bob knows that and so he went and got us Tom “Le Bombe”. Thank you.

  26. nightmare_49 says:

    Well it looks like Tommy K.and Grabs will be sitting out tonight according to Francios Gagnon of the La Presse and there will be the Dog House line of Begin/Smols/Ryder. The 4b line.

  27. TradeRyder says:

    Hasek and Price – what a GREAT match-up. TOTAL CONTRAST in styles. Hasek, an acrobatic crazy-man stops pucks with his face… Price the Zen master, deadens pucks with his widening aura.

    More to the point: let’s hope Streit is the trigger man Carbo thinks he can be. Still seems strange that Carbo juggles the lines, we have a great out-burst of 5-on-5 scoring and all he learned from it is that Streit belongs on the first line. I musta missed something in coaching school.

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

  28. Alex Leduc says:

    Higgins Koivu Kovalev (Legitimate 1st line)
    Streit Plekanec Kostytsin (Quick attack line when we have momentum)
    Latendresse Chipchura Ryder (Physical attack line)
    Kosopoulos Begin Dandenault (Defensive line to go against opponent’s 1st line)

    Markov Komisarek
    Hamrlik O’Byrne
    Bouillon Georges/Brisebois

  29. mjames says:

    Which end of the hockey stick did you get hit with.

    to help you out – Gainey assembles the team and Carbo coaches the team. Not sure coach is the right word but you get the idea I hope.

    By your comments I know you do not watch the team. By the way rose colored glasses are never worn beyond Labor Day – Geez you need a make over – where is Opra.


  30. Habs_008 says:

    I think Carbo is a good coach. Its the players that are more accoutable. How do you blow a 3 goal lead in the third? ITS ALL CARBO’S Fault, The players need to play better, thats all.

  31. krob1000 says:

    Is there any confirmation anywhere on who is playing??

  32. john turner says:

    Good Day: It looks like Carbo day today. You people make me laugh, could you do any better? Carbo is trying to put together a good team. It takes time just ask the Devils.So please give the guy a break and quit yuor stupid complaining or I will start to beleive postings are done by mental midgets.

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