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

Lineups | Preview | Game Story | Game Summary | Event Summary | Boxscore | Boone’s Blog

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.

  33. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Which means, time for a new coach.

  34. HNS says:

    First, I blamed Carbo for this mess we’re in. But if you rewind the tape to where the season started, you ask, what has changed? Answer…..NOTHING except that now no one wants to get dirty anymore!!! Their work ethic has diminished. Either they need psyciatric help, or something was said by the wrong person, or both.
    We had a few moments of dominance but overall, it was an old fashioned ass kicking.
    As I mentioned in a previous post, we needed to come out tonite with a strong physical game. Instead they came out lame and shakey. If anything is certain, it’s that when the DeadWings get hit they fold like a cheap suit.
    And one more thing, Price is no Roy, not right now and not for a while. The kid will go back down one day and get better. I’m NOT blaming him, for he has tremendous talent, but this environment will do nothing but damage his confidence. He seems to be letting in a higher amount of weaker goals lately.
    This crap better turn around soon or lights out……

  35. HigginsIsABeast says:

    Was at the game tonight and I noticed many things. I’ll list them.
    -Habs don’t win bad when there are long opening ceremonies (i.e. Robinson 19 night)
    -Some penalty calls (some really obvious, ref right in front of them) missed but that seems to be pretty typical of the 2 ref system.
    -2 icings that should have been waved off, just in the first period. (I dont really think these missed calls made a difference)
    -Datsyuk and Zetterberg are really fantastic players and were both a pleasure to watch in the flesh.
    -Chelios is still plugging strong.
    -Hasek played bigger than Price, who played below average IMO.
    -The best hockey the Habs played against Detroit tonight was in the last 2 minutes of the first period coming off a good PK. Good bodychecks. Making Detroit work in the neutral zone. Using speed.
    -Ryder booed heavily. Ryder isn’t the problem. Ryder has been converting slick passes for the past 2 years. There weren’t any of those tonight for him. He needs to go back with Koivu or at least get more PP time, pot a couple and he’ll come back. I really think he tries hard.
    -Oh and I almost forgot, Koivu really hates Swedes it seems.

  36. zooziff says:

    I would love to see Patrick Roy as Head Coach and GM. If anyone can fix this mess it’s Roy.

  37. habs03 says:

    horrible game all around..Price let in some really weak goals i find, and even worst, our top picks from the last two years couldnt even make the U.S. junior team, Fisher and McDonagh!!!

  38. Rocket Richard says:

    You need to get players like this guy to the left here – the Rocket.

    Players who hate to lose.

    Roy may be a asset, but we need a EXPERIENCED coach

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

  39. Rocket Richard says:

    Why Habs lost tonight.

    16 SHOTS

    If You can’t score you don’t win. And this requires you to shoot the puck at the net more.

    Plain and simple

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

  40. Norm0770 says:

    He only let in half as many as the last time Patrick Roy wore the CH vs Detroit.

  41. Erik says:

    WTF!!!! MCDONAGH AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! and you mean to tell me they picked some 4rth rounder from this past draft AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!


  42. Habs Suck says:

    Price plays a positional game. He has less than average lateral movement, he plays a bit deep in his crease, and his glove hand is less than stellar. His advantage? He covers a lot of net and seems to hold onto rebounds better than average.
    Is he overated? at this point, YES. He is no Roy or Brodeur or Hasek (who looked pretty good for a 40+ yr. old goalie).

  43. saku11 says:

    wow, what a stupid comment.

  44. Erik says:

    Trevor Timmins picks Ryan Mcdonagh and then this happens

  45. Rocket Richard says:

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

  46. Habs Suck says:

    Listening to post-game comment on RDS from Alain Chantelois. He said basically, the Habs lack talent to compete against a great team like the Wings. My sentiments exactly. Very limited talent pool in Mtl. Gainey, we need some pure goal scorers/power forwards and one more hard hitting D-man. Too many lack-lustre players who’ve shined among other lack-lustre peers. But, put a guy like Ryder toe-to-toe with other sniper/pure goal scorers in the league and he looks dull. 2 D-men turned forward = serious problems = coaching issues.

    Somebody better do something soon… not that it will put us in the playoffs, but it might make us look respectable.

  47. HigginsIsABeast says:

    Oh, and wasn’t Esposito still available at the time? Wonder if he’ll ever reach that potential.

  48. Rocket Richard says:

    Stick around, its going to get worse

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

  49. zooziff says:

    Can we hire some of the Red Wings scouts?

  50. the_larry says:

    this team has zero confidence. what happened to the so-called #1 powerplay?? they can barely get the puck past centre ice. its really frustrating watching a game knowing their going to lose miserably. MUST TRADE KOVALEV and before christmas!

  51. linp says:

    This is one of the worst game I ever watch our team play. Initially, we just dump and chase. Our passes are so bad it should not be seen in a NHL game. After we are behind, everyone wants to do it himself. There is no line and no team play. So pathetic!!!!

    This collapse seems to start when Markov got injury. The team seems to lose its QB. Everyone except Kovalev and Hamrlik are playing much worse than before. Our two checking lines are not checking well.

    We need to bring guys up from the AHL to shake things up. It can’t get any worse than that. Ryder doesn’t seem to care anymore. Any player from the AHL will do a better job.

  52. Spider-Man NL says:

    I see Red Light Price was in fine form tonight….can anyone say over rated?

  53. KerryPrice says:

    ya we mighta lost again, but this ones not as hard to swallow as Saturdays fiasco. At least the boys showed some emotion, my props to Dandeneault, Begin and Koivu for showing some heart. I see to wins coming up against Boston and Carolina. Some of you guys should be future G.M`s. To bad we couldn`t trade some of you guys.What would we get back in return??

  54. Naila Jinnah says:


  55. electazz says:

    This whole team better wake up and fast. IF they had one a couple of games during this slump, they would have leapfrogged the Senators and taken over first place!!!!

  56. Rocket Richard says:

    Sorry bud, the habs are sleeping these days. Expect them to slump

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

  57. framptunes says:

    Sucks when you get more assists on the other teams goals than you do on your own, and you even score just as many in your own net as you do on the other team.THE ONLY THING MISSING TONIGHT WAS PATRICK ROY BEING PART OF THE OPENING CEREMONIES!!!!!!!!.


  58. Rocket Richard says:

    OK, Habs fan. Listening to cjad, a thought occurred to me.

    Who is the leader of this Habs team?

    Who is suppose to moltivate them, provide a spark when their down?

    Can anybody answer this question. Do Habs have a leader this year? Is it Saku? Kovelev? Higgins? WHO?

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

  59. HabsChick says:

    This sucks. :(

    I was over in Detroit tonight to watch the game with a co-worker at Ilitch’s Hockey Town Cafe. I had to apologize to the Wings fans around me for my team not showing up. There was so much excitment leading up to the game, especially for Detroit fans that don’t get to see the Habs play very often. And nothing.

    I have to say though, Detroit looks REALLY good. As someone else mentioned, I’m glad we don’t play them 4-8 times a year!

    Props to Koivu, who played hard and for Dandy for coming to his aid late in the 3rd (though he must have known that Koivu could handle Samuelsson ;)).

    So, a little off topic but, how many hits has Komi had in his last few games? I saw one (sorta) tonight and very few lately. Sure, the Wings are fast but I saw little to no forechecking tonight and very few hits behind Price.

  60. mbplekfan says:

    How many half way decent teams would claim Breezer or Streit off of waivers?

    How many half way decent teams are inquiring about Gorges, or Kostopolous?

    How many Stanley Cup contenders want Smolinski for depth?


    Memo to Bob: Release Breezer, call up OByrne. Find someone willing to take Ryder and Gorges for a reasonably tough guy or a warm pizza. Call up Lapierre. Shop Dandy…Shop Boullion…

  61. habs03 says:

    well atleast Max Pacioretty made the U.S. team.. as for McDongh i dunno why he isnt on the team it seems like he’s having a good season at University of Wisconsin he was player of the week this week over there i think..but our 2006 first rounder..David Fisher looks like a bust!

  62. yehaken says:

    This is the middle of the end.

    Bright side: hey, since the swoon is coming early, maybe the late-season push will also come early enough to matter?

  63. Fabio D says:

    Well this sucks. I wonder what the Post Game excuses were for this farce of a 1/4 season slump? Who’s got the flu now? Who’s injured? Who laced his left skate first? What this week’s excuse? Anyone??

    I can’t even watch a whole game anymore. I tune in for the highlights and am pleasantly surprised if they pull off a win.

    Every year same old, Dec hits Montreal sinks. Change all the calendars to Oct in the dressing room, hell everywhere in Montreal. That way everywhere the players go, its Oct and they play like they mean it. Every other month is a disappointment for this team. Might as well do someting drastic and ridiculous to shake off the slump

  64. Rocket Richard says:

    Their is a serious problem in the camp of the Canadiens.

    It will get worst before it gets better.

    Someone needs to stand up and take the leadership role for this team. Out Spokenly.

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

  65. saku11 says:

    We picked Price over Kopitar, Lats was our second round pick. Maybe the Habs should hire you as GM and you can decide which guys to pick 2-4 years after they’re drafted. Kostitsyn hasn’t even played a full season yet, give him a chance.

  66. mrstewart61 says:

    smolinski has a NTC

  67. nightmare_49 says:

    The lafs had 15 shots and they won tonight.??

  68. Chorske says:

    Dave, Mike, Pat, Kevin, a humble request.
    Christ on a bike, can someone at HI/O PLEASE muzzle this troll already? Seriously. He clogs every thread with this boring repetitive Getzlaf nonsense.

  69. Dave Stubbs says:

    Chorske, banning someone for repetition is pretty much censorship, so we use that power to ban very, very judiciously. Those irritated by an individual’s post need merely ignore it and not engage the writer. Our rules are simply stated down the right-hand side of the site, and last night I banned a semi-regular of late for a vicious, profane tirade. It’s zero tolerance, in that regard. Harping on who the Canadiens should have drafted might be boring and nonsensical, but it isn’t against the rules.

    Dave Stubbs

    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette


  70. zooziff says:

    I will look into it!

  71. TradeRyder says:

    That would be me. Thanks. Now Ryder isn’t worth squat. And everyone’s stock has fallen. Sucks to be a Habs fan.

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

  72. Girth says:

    You’re right…

    Nothing wrong with a spirited by healthy debate. Especially when the subject inspires such intense passion. However, without appropriate moderation, it could easily become untenable.

    Yours is a thankless job… so thanks!

  73. Girth says:

    The jury is still out on Esposito… perhaps we’ll get a better look at the world juniors.

  74. Derek2 says:

    A good coach makes the right adjustments as the season progresses. Buffalo for example has had to adjust to the loss of Briere and Drury but they are now looking a lot more like the Sabres of last year. Carbo’s adjustments seem very haphazard and this is probably destroying consistency & confidence. I do also think there just isn’t a lot of talent on this team, at least proven talent. The kids may have natural ability but are learning some very bad habits and getting their confidence bashed. The vets look like they are giving up. Are we going to give him 5 years to prove himself? By that time this crop of youngsters will have hit their first free agency and will be off to the rest of the careers. We are becoming a farm system for the rest of the league.

  75. Chorske says:

    Fair enough- you are correct re censorship. It was late, I was especially irritable, as were many others on the board. From now on, I’ll ignore, or engage with caution.
    Thanks for the reply, and for all the great work on the site.
    Cheers C.

  76. Derek2 says:

    Sorry for the length of the reply – got a little carried away.

    It’s easy to blame Gainey, and I must say that I get so depressed every June when we announce that we’ve drafted another defenseman or defensive minded forward.

    Regarding free agents, players have to want to play here. Monteal has lost a lot of appeal for professional hockey players. Coming here no longer means a good probability of a cup. In fact it is now the opposite. Add the media scrutiny and fans like us who analyze everything, it’s not surprising that we couldn’t sign the power forwards we wanted this year.

    Gainey did well as a GM in Dallas and I do think he does need to find a way to attract a tier 1 forward or two. Whatever it takes.

    The bigger problem is that we seem to not be able to convert draft picks and trades and FA’s to productive NHL’rs. This has been a problem for at least 15 years now. The league and style of play has changed dramatically in the last few years. Fast, hard hitting, aggressive fore-checking and back checking are what wins games these days. We think that all we need is speed. It’s grit, size, determination, a willingness to pay the price in front of the net that win games. All of our coaches were great defensive specialists, but we need some offense, and somebody who can get an offensive system working.

    All our players seem to drift into this middle ground of two-way mediocrity. Any offensive skills get watered down. I don’t think it is anyone thing. Carbo is not ready to be an NHL coach. His responses this year are a lot like last year. He doesn’t appear to have learned very much. But a lot of these guys didn’t play very well for Claude Julien either.

    We won’t be successful tweaking lines. This franchise needs a major re-think about what it takes to be successful in this league.

  77. joel says:

    if the Habs can find some “killer instinct”, they will win tonight!!! they seem to have lost it (if, indeed, they ever had any). once they get scored on in the last half of the game, they try to go to a defensive game and the opposition runs all over them. i feel that they have to keep playing aggressively (killer instinct) because that is what brought them to the danse in the first place. this is the coach’s responsibility

  78. mjames says:

    I was asking myself why free agent goals scorers do not like to play for Montreal. It is the same reason free agent pitchers do not want to play for the Rockies at Coors Field. The thin air plays havoc with a pitcher’s era in Denver. While we do not have thin air at the Bell Center we have something more devastating. We have Carbo. His system (someone please tell me what it is) is death to scorers. Carbo is our Coors field.

    Ask Koivu, Kovy, Higgins, Ryder, Pleks, Kostitsyn, Perezhogin, Grabs and oh yes Mr. Bonk who will surpass this year his two year production with us. I can’t wait to see if Carbo could make over Lecalvilier or Ovechkin. Now those two will be a challenge but I am sure with a few calling outs and benchings Carbo will get their averages down.


  79. krob1000 says:

    I am afraid Carbo has been shell shocked by the media and fans and has now slipped into survival mode. He is reverting to what he knows. That is how to shutdown a teams top scorer. Sorry Mr. Ryder but you are up against the single greatest shutdown guy to ever play the game and you ain’t Wayne Gretzky. My money is on Carbo. God I hate having to type something that sarcastic but if he doesn’t play I will be more than bitter.

  80. 24 Cups says:

    Hey Dave – Does the Posturepedic come with a box spring and will they deliver all the way from Montreal to Stouffville?!

  81. yukonhab says:

    I agree with the ‘killer instict”…I think the team is getting to comfortable with there leads and fail to keep the pedal to the floor. Glad to see Price in the net. He will shine tonight….Come on Higgins!!!!
    GO HABS GO!!!!

  82. Corio says:

    Tonight will either be a completely dominated game by Detroit i.e slaughter or a very good hockey game with Detroit winning it in the end and Price taking over 40 shots with Detroit receiving 20+

    I hope I’m wrong.

  83. Wops says:

    No you’re not wrong, therefore I hope enobody will be pissed if we lose the game…
    Detroit is a hockey machine right now. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean we can’t win, but the chances are not very high.

    CH if for Chris Higgins

  84. the Maritimer says:

    The Montreal Canadiens should be just what the doctor ordered to bring poor Hasek out of his slump.

  85. Habs_008 says:

    Mr. Puck, i think you are right on, the habs will be out shot by 20 or more shots, Price will keep us in the game, but we will not score enough. Hasak seems to play well against us. We never put up enough shots on him.

  86. RetroMikey says:

    We are pushing the panic button way to soon. The regular season is a mere 2 months and if we have to experiment with line shuffling, benchings, coaching decisions, so be it. Every team is going through slumps and I believe we should cool our heads before we rant. Yes, we are entitled to our opinions but let’s not go after Guy Carbonenneau! The guy was brought to our organization as the best possible choice to guide our team now and in the future. I honestly believe some players have to pick it up or either be benched, sent to Hamilton or just plain traded. We will bounce back, we are the Montreal Canadiens!

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

  87. krob1000 says:

    I agree with everything Carbo has done except with regards to Ryder. Maybe he still thinks of goal scorers as the enemy.

  88. krob1000 says:

    Detroit isn’t exactly playing there best hockey right now either.

    Carolina is 4-6 in their last ten games
    Detroit is 5-4-1
    Ottawa is 3-5-2
    Montreal is 4-5-1
    St. Louis is the leagues hottest team at 8-1-1

    How messed up is that to look at????

  89. mjames says:

    Sorry but i need to vent sometimes. I can understand blowing leads maybe once or twice but we do it on a regular. We are messing up on the fundamentals somewhere. Who tells the team to back into its zone as a unit? Who is responsible for this? Or who is responsible for correcting this? You tell me?
    Maybe it can not be corrected? Everyone except the fans ignores this defficiency.


  90. krob1000 says:

    As for everything you said though you are bang on! I am just defending my deviance from this philosophy.

  91. Canus says:

    Gainey, please, oh please fire your head coach between periods, and take over the reigns. i like streit, but, play him on defense. he just had a 3 on 1, and he screws it up. carbs, just has made mistake after mistake all year long, he doesn’t get his crew ready for important games. it’s time for carbo to be let go. this habs team is a good team, a very good team, but, they are down, they need someone behind the bench they can call a coach. i’m sick of this crap

  92. Canus says:

    anyone remember when hasek said “that was the easiest game i have ever played”. it was when he was playing for the sens, and, i think the habs got 12 shots on goal the whole game. lol, he must be standing there, and thinking to himself, i love playing against the habs.
    they have no plan. no attack. look at the wings, they have a plan.

  93. LTHF says:

    Not much offense– any wonder with defensemen playing forward. I have watched many games over the years and I always thought that in most cases teams would put out a checking line against the opponents top line— here we have koivu and higgins(supposedly offensive players) out againt Detroit’s top line. Again I think Guy was right, especially compared to the Wings, the Habs all look like 4th liners. 12 shots on goal over 2 periods, I bet if the Bulldogs were playing the wings they would muster 12 shots.

  94. Canus says:

    who wants to make a bet, that someone gets fired tomorrow.
    last time the wings beat us 11-1, we lost Roy.
    this time, it’s carbs, and/or gainey

  95. TradeRyder says:

    I wish. But it’ll never happen.

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

  96. PGHABS says:

    I don’t know how the Wings do it….good coaching i guess…year after year they lead the NHL in shots for, and they allow the fewest shots against…a recipe for success??? no sh*t.

    They have Lidstrom, an amazing defenseman… Osgood and Hasek? I would hate to see them in a Habs jersey right now.
    Their defense corp has talent(Lidstrom, Rafalski, Kronwal), but is neither big nor strong nor intimidating.

    After their top three forwards (Holmstrom, Datsyuk, Zetterberg)are really good. after that you have Filpula, Hudler, Cleary, Franzen, SAmuellson..lame..

    Has to be coaching, and their dominant players dominate… Thank god the red wings play in the west. If they were in the east like they should, we would lose like this four to eight times annually.

    And yes we suck. we need at least one superstar on forward or defense to dominate in any fashion. we dont have any of those now are in the foreseeable future…yay for the east’s mediocrity so we have a shot at the playoffs and getting eliminated in the first round

  97. TradeRyder says:

    It’s not just coaching AND the best defenseman in the league, AND two of the top 5 point-getters in the league. It’s also work. They dive at pucks, stop them with their feet, they never give up. Watch RYDER – he gives up all the time. So does Brisebois, who had a chance at a goal but watched the puck sail past inches out of his reach. There are guys on the Habs who play hard like that – watch Kostitsyn, Plekanic. Kovalev these days, Koivu seems back in form, Hamrlik. But that’s about it.

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

  98. PGHABS says:

    the leafs are winning 3-0 against Nashville….I wonder if they suck enough to completely fall apart and blow a three goal lead in their home building?

  99. TradeRyder says:

    Face it. We suck.

    And there’s a reason… we have good players, and then we have players who hurt us. GET RID OF THE BAD ONES. Streit. Ryder. Smolinski.


    Great game by Gorges, other rookies. At least showing some energy and fight. And Koivu and Kovalev of course. A shame all these good players are being dragged down.
    Thanks for the line changes I asked for Carbs! Now, do the defense!

  100. gumper says:

    All right all you optimists and Carbonneau supporters, please put a positive spin on this one for me. It was a very good indicator of how far we are from contending.

  101. Rocket Richard says:


    “please put a positive spin on this one for me ”

    Sorry guy, no positives. This team will go for a little downfall before they get back up.

    This habs team isn’t the same as it started the season.

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

  102. Rocket Richard says:

    i guess you knew this Timo?

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

  103. oshawahabsfan says:

    Coming from a fan of Michael Ryder, it’s time for him to sit a few. I believe that Smolinski should join him there as well, he’s not doing anything for us right now. Lapierre -who should have been with us since the beginning of the season- deserves a shot up here again. He could very well be the shot in the arm the team needs, he hauls ass all the time out there and finishes his checks, something we were doing but have seemed to forget about lately. Scoring is an issue still, bring up someone like the Sergei Kostitsyn, stick him with Andrei, see what happens. With all the line experimenting not seeming to work with what we have, try doing it with some younger players who you know are going to play every shift with passion because of the opportunity they’re getting. The young will motivate the vets who are taking shifts off lately, if they feel threatened they will play better, or else they’ll be watching the games – well at least they should be.

  104. saku11 says:

    I agree, I’d like to see what S. Kost can do. If Patrick Kane can light up the NHL at 18 years old and 160 pounds, hopefully his former linemate can put up a fraction of his points. I think Grabs should get a chance to play more also.

    We’re 3-6-1 in our last 10 and the lines are all over the place. I’d like to think that after 27 games, Carbo would have an idea of who should play with who. The Habs are definitely in a slump but I still think they can turn it around, the sooner the better. We’re basically at the point where the bandwagon fans start jumping off the wagon. Hopefully we can blowout the Bruins again and get some confidence back.

  105. Robert L says:

    As bad as the Habs were manhandled tonight, I feared worse. Trouble is they only showed up in spots.

    Watching what Detroit does well, and comparing it to the Habs, I think the Canadiens could use their speed similarly if dedicated enough.

    Confidence, and some faith in each other on the ice are what needs work on the most.

  106. Habs Suck says:

    Unless something changes in a big way, this team will be in the bottom 5 of the Eastern Conference by the end of December. Mark my words…

  107. Sam Atalla says:

    “Mark my wards…” like you’re some sort of president or something. Honestly, do you really think anybody here gives a rats a$$ what you think? The answer is probably no. So, on that note, do yourself and everybody a favor and go post on some leafs forum. They can really use your kind and benevolant support. After you’ve done that, you’re illegible for suicide.

    Have a good day!

  108. Pat8987 says:

    All I have to say is WOW!! I’ve been a Montreal fan for a long time; my second favorite team is Detroit. I have followed Datsyuk and Zetterberg grow into the NHL and they impressed me tonight. They simply do everything well, defense first, and then high skill on offense. Did anyone notice how many times Datsyuk batted the puck out of mid air and then controlled the puck as if it was a daily routine. As for the Canadiens they need some work… As hard as that is to say… we are not a contending team. (Not yet) Detroit on the other hand might just have what it take to win the cup, I feel their missing 1 more top 6 forward. On a Montreal level, time to bench Ryder and Kost.. Belongs in the lineup Striet out or back on D…. I like how Dandy protected out captain… to prove they still care for each other.

  109. Oprah says:

    I know everybody gets crazy during a losing streak, but that’s a bit much.

    Go here to Hockey DB’s list of Red Wings draft choices.

    Look at how great they drafted in the first couple round of 1998 and 1999. They didn’t. It’s not like they were batting 1.000. They got really, really lucky in the mid-rounds. It can happen to anybody.

  110. habsguy says:

    zooziff ….you mean Roy the guy who QUIT on the habs for coach & GM, the rocket would roll over in his grave !!!!

  111. zooziff says:

    If we didn’t have an clueless head coach (Mario Tremblay), Roy may have retired a Hab and the team MAY have won another cup with him in goal.

    Furthermore, Patrick Roy is a Hall of Fame goalie. The team should have fired Tremblay but had to swallow the most bitter pride pill of all time by saying “no player is above the team”. Any logical GM would have thrown out that rule and dumped the coach instead. Not an easy thing when he’s one of your best friends.

    Reminds me of when Chris Chelios was rumored to have participated in some type of inappropriate conduct, and later traded for a washed up Denis Savard. Guess who`s still playing.

    Remember when Guy Lafleur was serving penalties for bums.

    Those are pretty disgusting things too.

  112. habsguy says:

    Kopitar and getzlaf, Kopitar and getzlaf, Kopitar and getzlaf….don’t you get sick of saying the same things day after day after day

  113. KerryPrice says:

    U can add Corey Perry to that list also.

  114. Robert L says:

    That’s an amazing sense of hindsight. Congrats on having such vison. I would imagine you already know more than Timmins and Gainey about who to draft next June right?

    So who should we choose, huh?

  115. saku11 says:

    Carbo is definitely a bit of a douche. He blames everyone but himself when the Habs lose. He’s like “I told them to play a perfect game and not turn the puck over against the #1 team in the league but they didn’t listen.” Of course it has nothing to do with his coaching whatsoever.

  116. G-Man says:

    It’s not the system, nor the management. The bottom line is the players. When I see the demonstration of a defence first system played by committed players, well, I see a team. And that’s what the Red Wings definitely are. Zetterberg and Datsyuk are just as proficient without the puck as with it and guess what? Carbo’s been preaching that since Day 1. Too bad the players wearing the Habs uni these days are deaf and stubborn. If this slump continues, maybe they will finally get rid of those who give up on D (Hi, Saku) and work to win. I’m tired of Captain K with his “Well, we worked hard, but…” speeches. The bodies are still warm; it’s time to move some because there isn’t enough room in the press box for this bunch of underachievers.

  117. Thumper says:

    What a load of crap, from the first face off after Koivus’s first attempt the game was rubbish. Carbo has to go!!! They could not even pass tape to tape, control the puck, all the flippin basics. Hopefully I’ll calm down and become more pragmatic but right now this team needs shaking up, they are embarrassing. But like most Habs fans I’ll keep supporting and hoping, but I cannot see us making the playoffs with this setup, totally rubbish lines, tactics and positional play and for crying out load SHOOT the puck!

  118. The Cat says:

    At the beginning of the year, I figured the habs would be last in the division. And looking at last night’s game, its obvious Montreal needs size, until they get some decent beef, these annual meltdowns -when the powerplay doesn’t save them- are only doomed to repeat themselves. Carbonneau can yell at his goalies all he wants, saying the goalies need to steal a game…Thats the problem right there. Good goalies can give you a chance to win a game but to steal one night in night out? Only Vancouver can ask that of their goalie and he is paid accordingly to do so.

  119. Mr.Hazard says:

    I’m not a fan of violence in hockey, but Dandenault’s pounce on Saumelsson made him my hero of the day. NO ONE TOUCHES SAKU.

    Ex nihilo nihil fit

  120. TradeRyder says:


    I have not been one of those to criticize the coaching because I thought they needed time. But I think it’s not the team that sucks, it’s a few players that are dragging it down…and the coach who is failing to manage them.

    So here for me are the top 5 reasons Carbo should go.
    1. Not knowing who does what – really. Streit on the first line as a shut-down guy! Didn’t Carbo see he’s the MINUS leader on the team??? THIS is your ringer shut-down guy against the best team in the league! A joke! How many games has this team lost because of his faith in the wrong people in the wrong situations.
    2. Confusion. Juggling lines to produce 5-on-5 scoring works – then he goes back to the old line-up. What’s the point of experimenting if you don’t benefit from the results. The team must be scratching their heads. The overall feeling is confusion. Ryder is now a defensive player on the grind line? C’mon.
    3. Grabovski. This team has some forwards who aren’t producing, yet a young dynamic player who needs the ice time sits. There seems to be some strange rules as to who plays and why that defy logic. Certainly though, he’s undervaluing the opportunity to develop young players in favor of playing some slumping veterans.
    4. Lack of a first line. The team needs a REAL first line – 26 games in you can’t be STILL dropping fourth-line guys in there hoping it’ll work out. Foolishness. How many games did we lose by a goal? What team can win without a first line that scores? Until he puts a player with real skill in Ryder’s place (Kostopoulos’ place? Streit’s place?), Koivu’s talent (and effort) is being wasted.
    5. Public blame. No-one benefits from blame. It’s like a drug – use it very sparingly or it’ll kill ya. Someone on this team needs to believe without a doubt that this team can come back from a deficit, beat any team in the league, and snatch victory from defeat and that starts with the coach.

    I’m sure everyone is doing their own math on this. But you have to wonder with a team that DOES have strong core talent how long he’s going to stay. Strong talent? Yes:
    – 2 very good goaltenders (who seem to be losing faith)
    – Markov, Komi, Jorges, and Hamrlik at the back
    – Kovalev and Koivu leading up front
    – A strong group of inspired young forwards in Higgins, Plekanic, Kositsyn, and Chipchura… Lats maybe even, who seems to come to play these days.

    What’s wrong with this team? Some would say it’s just bad luck. It certainly does seem unlucky lately. But luck comes from doing the right things, making the right gambles. The HABS mistakes – the ones that rattle our momentum and shake the team’s confidence – come from the same people, and they’re mostly people Carbo seems (for some reason no-one else can fathom) to believe in.

    Carbo needs to put his faith in the right places, and players. And stop throwing hail mary’s with Ryder, Smolinski, Streit, Brisbois. He needs to see where the holes are and plug them. It’s not our GOOD players that let the team down, it’s the marginal ones. If we can’t get a bona-fide star forward, let’s at least turf the weak role-players who are scuttling close games.

    Carbo needs to realize that a coaches job is so different than a player. A coach needs to reward and inspire talent, execution, strength. I see these qualities but not in the players above. Why are these guys still playing major roles in clutch situations. And Bob – where is the trade that will bring us the solid role-players we need. (And what exactly was wrong with Bonk? I forget.) And yeah, a goal-scorer in the top 30 of the league would be helpful too. Besides that I think we have a great team.

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

  121. 24 Cups says:

    Cournoyer 12 – I too was/am dismayed that the Habs didn’t select Getzlaf in 2003(or Carter, Parise or Brown) over Amdrei K. Not to mention Urquhart over Bergeron, Carle, or Weber. But that was four years ago. Time to forget it and move on. I know I have. Hindsight is easy but basically worthless. I could list tons of examples of teams that missed out on players in the draft. Almost everyone passed on Joe Sakic in the first round. Heck, Quebec took Bryan Fogarty before they eventually took Sakic later in the first round! Years ago, Montreal passed on Mike Bossy, who I believe played for the Montreal Jrs. The Rocket begged management to take him. They took Mark Napier (who was a fabulous junior) instead and the rest is history. And in fairness to Timmins he also made some great late picks in 2003 Lapierre (61), O’Byrne (79) and Halak (271). Other years included Streit (262), Grabovski (150), and S. Kostitsyn (200)
    As for Fischer and McDonaugh, I believe these two guys are 20 and 19 respectively. It’s a little too early to start being judgmental on whether they will make the NHL or not. Same goes for your choice, Angelo Esposito, who hasn’t done much since being rated #1 two years ago. Let the Getzlaf thing go and enjoy making some interesting and insightful comments concerning the here and now.

  122. krob1000 says:

    Yeah it was nice to see that. It reminded me of Souray last year when he did something similar. I’m still happier with Hamrlik though.

  123. habsguy says:

    24 cups… here, well said !!

  124. AdamG says:

    fisher a possible bust? why, because he had a rough first year at minnesota? the dude is barely a year removed from high school! do you have any idea how long it takes for a high school D to turn into an NHL D? gimme a break. criticize the habs for 2003, but let’s hold off on he past year or two. mcdonah and pacioretty are both going the the US’s WJC camp…so are ryan white and PK subban for canada. let’s chill.

    of course, we suck something fierce right now. good grief. Bob, please, we’re patient. we’ve been patient for 15 years. how much longer do we have to keep waiting? we keep injecting youth into our lineup year after year…but the results never change. players, coaches management change, and the result is a team that refuses to work consistently. how does that get fixed?

  125. AdamG says:

    heard someone say lapierre and o’byrne were called up…anyone else hear this?

  126. Corio says:

    There was no surprise about last nights game, Montreal was simply out classed by a team that has more depth and talent then the current Montreal team. There is nothing to be ashamed of Montreal isn’t the only team suffering this kind of disease. Problem is Montreal fans have zero patience for this kind of performance in an organization that has had similar performances in spades over the past 5-10 years of rebuilding.

    Frustrating, absolutely! Is Montreal still in it’s rebuilding phase? It looks like it but herein lies the problem. There is no excuse why the organization is in it’s current state in terms of talent other then poor management. Montreal has been plagued with poor management and has given the job to anyone who dons a Montreal hall of fame label. Just because you were good on the ice doesn’t mean you know how to make the right choices for a hockey organization or team. If we had proper management in place at the time Serge Savard was up there this team would be in a whole different place right now in my opinion. The damage done from that time is still reverberating through the organization..

    Also the inability for Montreal to acquire any power forwards prior to the season kicking off was a huge mistake. Not sure what happened there but that was something everyone can agree Montreal desperately needed.

    Things will get better but some money will need to be thrown around before that will happen..

  127. abhishek says:

    First off: great site! I’ve been reading a lot of the articles and posts. Makes me feel like I’m back in Montreal (I’m yet another Hab fan in Leaves nation)

    I watched last night’s game against the Wings, and it was pretty tough to watch our team play. So much potential but no confidence. There are fans ready to axe Carbo and trade some players to get us kick started again. Personally, I don’t think either of those moves will help a great deal. Here’s what I think the Habs need to start doing:

    1. Stop blasting players in public (seen this a few times and I agree): it may have worked for Therrien, but Carbo should not do this too often. You can easily lose a player’s trust that way.

    2. Don’t fire Carbo: unlike what many have been saying on this site, he shouldn’t be fired. The only thing he needs right now for Bob to come out and publicly back him. That should get his (and not to mention the rest of the coaching staff’s) confidence going again. I really do think he is a good coach, he just needs some guidance from Bob.

    3. Stop juggling the lines (so much): The best teams know how to break out of a slump, and most often has little to do with changing the lines. Players need to gel with their linemates.

    4. Play a little more offensive hockey: A lot of the players on this team would do very well outside of Montreal. And we’ve seen that time and time again when a player is traded. I’ve noticed that with the past few coaches, the focus has always been defense. I think a little change of pace would help since many of these guys are more offensive players. Make use of the talent is what I’m getting at. Just take a look at Ribs out in Dallas, he’s been doing better there then he has here.

    5. Focus on increasing the number of shots + scoring opportunities: One thing the Detroit commentators pointed out about why the Wings win is because they just keep shooting the puck, no matter where they are. In fact, they pointed out that the Wings shoot the puck the most. I think we should steal a page out of their playbook and shoot more often. More shots will increase our scoring opportunities.

  128. 24 Cups says:

    Was mentioned on the Markov thread on this site. Comments are there.

  129. abhishek says:

    One more thing I’d like to point out: Did anyone see Dandenault’s take down at the end of the game when the Wings’ player tried to fight our captain? All I have to say is that it’s about time someone stood up! Mind you, he didn’t need to fly like Superman into the Wings’ player, but he had the right idea. I haven’t seen that in some time!

  130. 24 Cups says:

    Great post. I agree with your assessment 100%. And it’s realistic and positive at the same time. I too live near the Toronto GTA. If I may, I would like to add a 6th point to your list. We have 4 games remaining against the Lousy Leafs. Let’s try and break the jinx and win all four of those games.

  131. Derek2 says:

    The announcers on the Versus channel, which is where I watched this game in LA last night, noted that even on the Habs powerplay the Red Wings had more men at the point of attack (i.e. on the puck)than the Canadiens did. They were shorthanded and were still controlling the play. What was so dispiriting was that the habs didn’t even look like they were trying. If you can’t get up to play the best team in the league, then who will they get up to play?

    Whatever talent has come up from Hamilton is rapidly learning very bad habits and becoming as dysfunctional as the rest of the crew. We need a balanced coaching staff that has some offense oriented coaches, knows the capabilities of each player & when & how to use them, and who can get them back to some fundamentals like passing which is absolutely attrocious. Our forwards may be speedy but team momentum is being snuffed out with incredibly sloppy passing.

    I think that’s the best we can hope for with this team that lacks size and true goal scoring punch. Another couple of weeks of this and the season will be pretty much a write off.

  132. The Cat says:

    Another thing why is Koivu always beyond criticism? So Dandenault jumped to his rescue, is that really something to be proud of? The gloves shouldve been off before dandenault came into the picture. I like koivu, he certainly has his qualities, battled cancer, but is he captain material? A captain should be a game-changer and should drop the gloves when needed, and yes I think Saku missed a great chance to make a statement and turn the tide for this team.

  133. abhishek says:

    Koivu’s not beyond criticism. Everyone in Montreal knows he’s not playing as well as he was at the start of the season. Is there a difference between him and the other players on the team? Absolutely: he does things on and off the ice. (when was the last time a hockey player went and but a petscan for a city that didn’t have one?). There is a lot of respect for this man in Montreal.

    “I like Koivu, he certainly has his qualities, battled cancer, but is he captain material? ”

    You almost sound like one of those bandwagon hab fans. The mere fact that someone else jumped to his defense is a great statement to what he means to this team. And yes, a guy like Dandenault jumping to his defense is something to be proud of.

    As for him being captain material, Saku can turn a game around. I may be off on the team they played, but the very season he came back from his cancer (during the playoffs, no less) his one hit at the backend of his own ice against the Bruins turned the entire series around.

  134. Bill says:

    Koivu is not beyond criticism. Actually, he is criticized frequently and loudly … just not so much by the English Montreal press, who watch him play all year, know the players on the team, and actually know something about the team and what he means to it. Or do you think he’s buying them off?

    I would like to think that if the Captain is getting pushed around, someone will object.

    Why should Saku’s gloves come off? He’s not there to fight. Are you serious? A captain “should drop the gloves when needed”? How many times did Steve Yzerman drop his gloves? Or Jean Beliveau? Listen, just because Don Cherry says something doesn’t make it so.

    It’s laughable to suggest that a fight can “turn the tide” for a hockey team: last I checked, you don’t get points for fights. It didn’t do the Bruins much good when they tried it the last time they were in Montreal, did it? Koivu missed his chance to “turn the tide” when he shot into Hasek’s pads from point blank. Now THERE’S something worth criticizing.

  135. The Cat says:

    Bill, Im just saying he should have made a statement anyway he could, I mean if Yzerman and Beliveau werent putting the puck in the net, making great plays, being solid defensively, then I could see your arguement. And Im 37, been following for years so Im not really a bandwagon fan.

  136. linp says:

    The largest fall-off of our play compared to the season start is the passing accuracy and the two checking lines. I was shock to see our passes were so bad. Our checking lines are not skating hard anymore.

    May be all those line mixing have something to do with passing. There were also many blind passes that were intercepted easily by opponents. If the team can’t hold on to the puck, how can you create scoring chances. Our team also miss Markov’s outlet passes. It makes everybody looks worse. Some just dump the puck out of our zone and others try to pass but miss. Just shows you how critical is Markov to the flow of our game. Defensively, our two checking lines do not have the jumps like before. It allows the opponents easily gain the zone and park players in front of our net. Look how Begin tried to play like Markov and we all know the result.

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