Game 28: Canadiens snap losing streak

Bruin sandwich: Canadiens’ Maxim Lapierre crunches Bruins’ Glen Metropolit between goaltender Carey Price in Boston Thursday night.

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

UPDATED by Kevin Mio, NEW links at 8:50 a.m. on Dec. 7.

It could have been another case of déjà vu for the Canadiens on Thursday night in Boston but, thankfully, the Habs were able to change the finale against the Boston Bruins.

The Canadiens jumped out to a 3-0 lead
after the first period as Christopher Higgins, Kyle Chipchura and Tomas Plekanec beat Bruins rookie netminder Tuuka Rask. Ryan O’Byrne collected his first NHL point on the Chipchura goal, one of his two assists in his NHL debut.

But Boston came storming back in the second period with goals by Phil Kessel and P.J. Axelsson in the span of two and a half minutes. The Bruins peppered Carey Price with 13 shots in the second period, while Montreal could muster only three.

However, the Canadiens rebounded in the third frame and showed some resiliency, outshooting the Bruins 17-7 and getting a much-needed insurance goal by Mathieu Dandenault 13 minutes into the final frame.

Montreal has now won seven straight against the Bruins, going 4-0 this season. The Canadiens have outscored Boston 28-11 during that span.

The win could prove to be a costly one for the Canadiens as they lost two forwards to injury. Bryan Smolinski left with a right knee injury and Steve Begin injured his left arm. Both players will be re-evaluated on Friday.

The Canadiens and Bruins each went 1-for-3 on the power play. The win snapped Montreal’s three-game losing streak.

Michael Ryder was a healthy scratch for the Canadiens on Thursday night, a move intended to send the two-time 30-goal scorer and the rest
of the team a message, The Gazette’s Pat Hickey writes.

The Canadiens return to action on Saturday night when the Carolina Hurricanes visit the Bell Centre.


  1. showey47 says:

    he may be an ass but he plays to win instead of playing afraid to lose. Roy would be an awesome addition to the team and has proven he can coach with a memorial cup victory. Carbo has never been a head coach before last season.

  2. Gilles Poisson says:

    Pas de probleme. Thank you.

  3. ebk says:

    great line,chorske. Reminds me of the best sports quote ever by John Mckay, coach of the 0-14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Coach Mckay what to you think of your team’s execution?
    McKay…. I’m all for it.

  4. ebk says:

    and Carboneau isn’t

  5. coutNY says:

    Couple of things I disagree with on the Ryder/Koivu/Kovalev combination and talent is not the factor:

    Ryders much more speedy than Koivu and Kovalev, whose style is more of a possession game and slow paced cycling. I think he would thrive on a line with Pleks & Kostitsyn because all three have demonstrated their ability to bring a lethal transition game. Higgins has also but his game has altered a bit due to adding muscle in the off-season slowed him in transition, but has allowed him to out-muscle his opponent with puck control and around the net. Ryder does not get front of the net nearly as well.

    Next, being mandated to Left wing handcuffs Ryder because when cycling he will either a)have his back to the wall or b) have the puck exposed, forcing him into the play to see the net causing turnovers. As you admitted yourself “Ryder lacks their stickhandling and hands”, would he be expect to perform better in a foriegn position with adding more absticles to overcome?

    Many piont to prior success on the powerplay as why this combonation will work, as in a previous blog here is why I think they differ:

    PP opens up the Ice for Ryder, not having a man-on-man defender to contend with, also allows for time to get into positon to compensate for being on his off-wing.

    PP allows players the luxury not to worry about their Defensive responsibilities, so they can focus on Offense because of their numeric advantage.

    PP allows Ryder another time advantage to set up his wrist shot, which has been his nemisis this year.

  6. Derek2 says:

    Fore checkers kill us every time and we don’t adapt. Our passing is atrocious and teams with a good fore check have figured that out. They aren’t afraid of getting caught up ice because we cough the puck up on horrible passing.

  7. cautiousoptimist says:

    Only problem is, he’s a bit of an ass. :)

  8. Derek2 says:

    That is a great observation. This automatic flop opens up the top of the net. Not horrendous for Price as he is huge (but still gives up goals high), but Huet is smaller and does leave a sizeable gap. When I saw Halak doing it last year I thought – who is coaching this guy? He is leaving the whole top half of the net open.

    Rollie Melancon is I believe the goaltending coach. I don’t remember him being a stellar goalie but he seems to have found a long term niche here in Montreal.

  9. krob1000 says:

    How about that 16 year old Sergei Lagavulin…. Fire on Ice and well worth the cost.

  10. JF says:

    I like your line combinations and agree with the idea of mixing between the first two lines and the second two, rather than sticking a grinder on one of the top lines and demoting a non-producing scorer to the third or fourth line. The first option could result in good chemistry and chances, the second is unlikely to. I also share your sense of urgency about this game. It’s one the Habs really have no excuse not to win. If we lose or – worst-case scenario – simply don’t show up, I’ll be very worried. And very disgusted. So disgusted I’ll be tempted to sell or give away my tickets for Saturday’s game!

  11. 24 Cups says:

    Hey Krob – If we’re going to play the Santa card could we not go for the brass ring and ask for a game breaking winger and a center who has size, speed, and scoring ability? Also, please ask him to throw in a case of single malt – my stock is depleting rapidly with each heartbreaking Hab defeat.

  12. J.T. says:

    Okay, I’ll bite:

    Smolinski all year
    teeth gnashing, ulcers bleeding.
    Breezer gives up pucks.

  13. Roy-Rules says:

    We should bring in Patrick Roy, he’ll shake up the whole team, plus he knows what it takes to win…he’ll do anything for it. Also he’ll bring so much energy behind the bench it is just crazy, look at the impact he had his first year coaching the Ramparts.

  14. Chorske says:

    The rope bit is definitely the best bit. EVerything you’d ever want to know about being a Habs fan, perfectly encapsulated in that one verse.

  15. Chorske says:

    Oh. My. Gawd.

    Best post ever.

    How about a Canadiens Haiku contest?

    Habs flounder, crush’d by
    enemy shots. Slumping vets
    on pine ponder golf.

  16. 24 Cups says:

    Fantastic! I appreciate the time and effort (as well as the creativity) that went into your poetic post.

  17. krob1000 says:

    Guess I deserved that!!lol

  18. Chorske says:

    Stupidhead! 😉

  19. Chorske says:



  20. Chorske says:

    Some of our players ARE revolting!!

    Gainey has the silence of the druids. I’m not sure whether that’s a good thing or a bad, but one thing’s for sure: the bloom is off the rose wrt Carbo & la foule. Gainey may need to do what he did with Brisebois and publicly support his man. If he doesn’t do it, and soon, what will that say about Carbo’s future here?

  21. Habs_008 says:

    Carbo is a better coach then last year. I dont really think he is the problem like most ppl on here say. Why arent the players held accountable? The Coach can only do so much, its the players that have to show up and play. Have the players shown up? Lets see what these bulldogs can do. Maybe they will show up.

  22. krob1000 says:

    I only disagree with the calling out of players if it is the first time these guys are hearing it. Montreal is not like any other hockey market and our coach is bullied into going into detail over every detail. He is blunt and honest and has not made the dumb comments he was with regularity last year. Given what we have seen so far from Carbo I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt in that regard and assume that anything he has said to the reporters he has said to them. I don’t think he has lost the confidence or control I just think he has likely taken the line juggling thing so far that he can’t even look at it objectively anymore. That is my biggest fear and I am hpoing that an assistant or g.m. may say something soon.

  23. Scotty90 says:

    Slump or not… the damage is done and it will take a while for the players to trust and have respect for the coach. Who in their right would want to play for him… then we wonder why no one wants to play here… its just an added dis-incentive (is this a word?) to play here.

  24. ebk says:

    The one constant with this team is, if Kovalev is on the ice that line is dangerous. Period.

  25. smiler2729 says:

    Ahhh, the perfect tonic for a Habs slump – the Boston Bruins.

  26. krob1000 says:

    Yes that is what you have done and thats why I like what you did far better than anythin the team has actually done but I really would like to see the Kovalev-Koivu-Ryder combo because they are our three most established players (and best). They all also have similar speed and think in east-west way when necessary. They all have great instincts and vision (although Ryder lacks their stickhandling and hands). Ryder and Kovalev are both player who would thrive on their off wings in my opinion and Koivu could dish the puck to either side. Once the puck is on one side any one of that trio has the ability and vision to find the opposite winger (both great shooters) if a shot isn’t available for them.
    I think that they have all improved defensively enough this year to handle the responsibility that would accompany an eggs in one basket approach.

    The resulting second line would be composed of three younger, faster players who already demonstrated chemistry together last year (Pleks-Kostit-Higgins). I might even venture into considering Latendreses with Pleks and Higgy and have Kostitsyn with Chipchura.

    I realize that Kovy-Pleks-Kosti had some great games and have played well together (so did Koivu-Higgy-Ryder at the beginning of the season). At the same time it appears that whenever Kovalev is on the ice with Koivu something good happens. They are far and away our two most intelligent players offensively (no disrespect to Plekanec but he is not Koivu….yet).

    It almost seems too obvious considering all of the mixing and matching we are doing that we should at least give this a try. Why Kostitsyn has been bulletproof with regards to these shake ups is beyond me. Did he earn it by default by being fortunate enought o be on the ice with Kovy and Pleks when they were clicking. If any name doesn’t belong on the top six …it would be Kostitsyn (I think he is great but any outsider looking in would likely feel the same).

    It may not work but it seems to me to have been the most obvious thing to try but for some reason we have tried some very strange combos (some of which even worked and we abandoned).

  27. The Cat says:

    We can devise any type of line combinations to better our 5 on 5 production all week, itll only get better with size up the middle and winning face-offs. Period. We’re smaller and always chasing. And if youre a small team you had better be dictating the play with your speed or else youre ^&%$%^&.

  28. Habs_008 says:

    Maybe we need a JFJ Type guy? haha, just kidding! We are in a slump, every team has them through-out the year. I dont think we need a coaching change, we need our players to play. Score 5 on 5.

  29. Scotty90 says:

    I think Carbonneau has shown his true colors by pointing fingers and placing the blame on the players…. what kind of crap is that? Gainey would never have done that. Maybe the players are quietly revolting and what better way to do it than to get the fans in an uproar and demand change… be it the players or coach. Gainey has his work cut out for him and he may have to make a very difficult decision. Maybe he can make Carbo an assistant GM instead and bring someone with coaching savvy who can rally the troops. Can you folks think of anyone that can be dropped in and turn things around in time?

  30. HNS says:

    Carbo keeps talking about rebuilding confidence. What does that have to do with work effort. Stick to the basics of the game and you’ll be rewarded. I played back some Tivo’d games and it was like someone threw a switch. Players getting into the corners were battling for puck possesion and winning those battles. They were beating other players to the puck while other players, by playing a good positional game, had that player covered. Players finished their checks. This team, with the same players, with the same coaches, were winning big.
    Now their work effort has diminished. No one wants to get dirty and drive to the net. Very perplexing….
    One more thing. The more things change, the more they stay the same. They say that in the NEW NHL, enforcers are not neccesary. Bull S&$# ! This team needs at least one player
    who can go out there and smash someone’s head in. Tequilla may be needed here…GO HABS GO!!!

  31. coutNY says:

    Hey I thought you’d be happy to see I was giving Ryder another chance???

    ” mix and match lines one and two with each other and three and four with each other so as to maintain confidence and integrity with regards to role.” I thought thats what I was doing.

    You wanted the Kovalev Ryder match up I bet…

  32. LTHF says:

    counTNY and gr8tkay totally agree with your comments and/or suggestions. As I stated few days ago, current team dont appear to have any heart and desire to play a full 60 mins.

  33. The Cat says:

    Id be happier to see Halak starting than Price, I think Halak has one thing Huet and Price dont have right now and thats the massive ego that gives the abilitity to steal a game and be ‘The Man’, but it doesnt matter really, with the scheduling and the late loss in NJ, tonights game is ours for the taking.

  34. krob1000 says:

    I don’t like your combinations but I would prefer that sort of shakeup instead of the insertion of depth players on top units and top tier players being “demoted”. By the way, how must the depth guys feel when our most common punishment appears to be playing with them. Lets either try the lines that worked at the onset of the season or mix and match lines one and two with each other and three and four with each other so as to maintain confidence and integrity with regards to role.

  35. coutNY says:

    I think the trouble with our 5-5 stems from a formula that Carbo has derived on what a line make-up should consist of for our scoring lines. Like it or not it seems he wants:

    Player 1: Play maker ~ Koivu, Kovalev
    Player 2: Speed element ~ Kostitsyn, Ryder
    Player 3: two-way player or Physical ~ Pleks, Higgins, Lats

    I say we need to think outside the box and match talent and speed to have some chemistry.

    Try match offensive styles ~

    Possibility 1

    Possibility 2
    #1 ~ Koivu-Pleks-Kovalev
    #2 ~ Higgins-Kostitsyn-Ryder

    I think breaking away from this “mold” of players and move players into situations according to stlye and complementing attributes, instead of, moving Defenseman and historically 3rd and 4th line players into the mix not that are not typically suited to perform in a scoring role.

    Thats my thought anyway… but who am I to say, just another arm chair poster…

  36. krob1000 says:

    Sorry about the grade two level post.

  37. krob1000 says:

    I am not a fan of predictions and don’t want to jinx us but the reality is this game could be ours for the taking. Boston is coming off a demoralizing loss last night (up 3-0 and choked it in OT) and without Thomas. We have had success gainst Boston and they are infamous for giving up waaaay too many shot on goal. we have to strike quick and I think I too may feel slight panic if we can’t come out guns a blazing tonight. I would guess that smart money is shfting to the Habs in betting cirtcles even thought the game is in Boston.

    I certainly hope we do not counterbalance the advantage (B’s back to back,no Thomas,demoralizing loss and bigtime choke alst night) by dressing a wonky lineup with two defenseman playing forward and 5 defensive/grinder forwards as well. Play Ryder and sit an aging grinder to get Lapierre in or one of the hybrid deforwards.

    It is a little early to ask Santa for anything but all I want for Christmas is some stability with the lines.

  38. 24 Cups says:

    Man we would have a lot of egg on our faces if we traded for Beauchemin after we let him go on waivers. As for a first round pick I think it’s imperative that we hold on to it. Not being a doomsdayer, but there’s a realistic chance that we won’t make the playoffs this year. That automatically qualifies us for the lottery. In theory, we could be selecting a top five player. Not enough to get Stamkos but somebody pretty good. I’ve already got him picked out. Kyle Beach from the WHL. He answers a lot of our needs (unfortunately he is a real loose cannon but hey he’ll grow out of it). Plays center, 6’3″, 225 lbs, power forward, scores goals, hits and fights, totally intense. We’ve got to get this guy.

  39. krob1000 says:


  40. habsguy says:

    geez, I know there used to be some adults who posted here. Now it seems like a bunch of name calling children !!

  41. Moey says:

    I hope you guys are either ex-NHL coaches, or have been in the Habs dressing room this week, or have at least talked to the players. You have no idea what’s going on with Carbo and the guys.

    They talk about women and soap operas, stayed tuned tonight for repeat episodes of “the stomach turns”.

  42. Gilles Poisson says:

    I’m not sure what we do. I never see a team with 9 defenseman before. Thank you.

  43. Naila Jinnah says:

    AWESOME!!!! 😀

  44. krob1000 says:

    That’s fine and dandy you feel that way but don’t we dress four lines?

  45. downeast hab says:

    Plain and simple. Go back to the original lines, and take the horse winkers off of Higgins so he can see to pass the puck.

  46. TradeRyder says:

    Nice! I gots da rope!
    Thanks for the line changes I asked for Carbs! Now, do the defense!

  47. TradeRyder says:

    Hey CArbo: There is solid research that shows that winning teams don’t point the finger, unless it is at themselves. Winning teams say “I could do better.” Losing teams say “why didn’t he do better”. Which are you fostering?

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

  48. TradeRyder says:

    I agree. But if you were in education, you know a little about motivation. And as you say – respect. You don’t get respect when you dish off the responsibility of the team. You don’t get motivation when you say “my team is playing lousy – I don’t know why”… or when you call out players to the media over and over. I wish Carbo well too. But studies show you punishment should be used sparingly… praise liberally. Focus on the good Guy, for a change. RESPECT the fact that you have brought your players to this slump, and that you must lead them out of it. RESPECT their earnest struggle, encourage their strengths. Put the stick away for awhile, it’s only hurting.

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

  49. Gilles Poisson says:

    Frank14 it made me very sad to hear you say that about my head. Ce n’est pas ma faute. Coach Guy has tried the 4 line system and it has not work so Bob gave coach Guy more Defenseman. To have success you must dont be afraid to try the new things. And everybody knows Ryder is one of my top players but now the team is very deep and he is in a bit of a slump IMHO so I think he should be put off the bench for just one game. Salut Frank14. Merci beaucoup.

  50. coutNY says:

    Lost interest with the Ted Nolan reference. We had more wins than them last year, losing a playoff berth by a few OTL’s. We have the same amount of wins as they do this year, smoked them in our only meeting this year, and are ahead of them standings.

    Not willing to make the leap that the talent of NYI is any better or worse than ours. They have a respectable team with talented individuals such as Satan, Comrie, Fedotenko, Vasicek, Sutton, Witt, Bergeron, DiPietro and lead by a gritty Guerin. I shed tears of empithy for Nolan and his teams situation. I surely don’t feel he is the epitome of coaching, especailly when Carbo has done just as well or better in his tenure with similar talent.

    Carbo and the team have hit a slump, not ready to concede that the SKY IS FALLING…. Go Habs Go

  51. Habs_008 says:

    The Reason we are in such a rut is that our PP has gone south. Teams have seen the game tape and figured out how to kill pens against us. With no PP Goals the game is over. WE CANT PLAY 5 ON 5! Unless we figure out a way to score 5 on 5 we can kiss the season goodbye.

  52. J.T. says:

    Good Coach Carbonneau looked out
    Before he played the Bruins
    He saw nine D-men full of doubt
    And a first line all in ruins.
    Dimly burned his hopes that night
    For the slump was cruel.
    Another loss would make things tight
    And to the fire add fuel.

    Hither, Kirk, and stand by me,
    If thou know’st it telling,
    Yonder rookie, who is he?
    And who should he be spelling?
    Coach, he stands at six foot five
    and that’s in stocking feet sir
    He could our poor hopes revive
    Skate, hit and the B’s deter

    Bring O’Byrne and Lapierre
    Add them to the roster
    We could use some passion here
    Our playoff hopes to foster
    Guy and Kirky forth they went.
    Forth they went together.
    To snare two points was their intent
    and the storm to weather.

    Coach, the slump is longer now
    And the boos grow louder
    Our D too many goals allow
    with offence soft as powder.
    Mark my footsteps, my good Kirk
    tread thou in them boldly.
    We can solve all ills with work
    or benching guys most coldly.

    In his master’s steps he trod
    the line-up card was written.
    Smolinski on the first, the clod!
    And Michael Ryder sittin’.
    Therefore Habs fans put your hope
    In Max, O’Byrne and Carey
    But keep on hand a coil of rope
    In case the B’s make merry.

  53. Habs64 says:

    Price vs Rask I see!!

  54. Scotty90 says:

    Lapierre will bring new energy which hopefully will rub off on his team-mates. Looking forward to seeing O’Byrne. He can’t be any woese than Brisebois and he will bring a physical presence. I am sure Komi will appreciate a little help in that respect. Also, why can’t we just plant either Komi or O’Byrne in front of the opponents goalie during Habs power plays. Worth a try. Goalie can’t stop a puck if he doesn’t see it coming. Sens used to do that with Chara on occasion and it helped. Different strategies that keep an opponent guessing and having to adjust. Just a thought to help get us out of a rut.

  55. CH1909-2009 says:

    If we could get Beachemain for a pick and a prospect, DO IT. Valentenko and a first rounder.

    Markov Komi
    Beachemin Hammer
    O’Byrne Gorges



  56. Frank14 says:

    To Gilles Poisson :

    Do you really think the Habs are gonna go with 3 lines
    and 4 sets of defencemen. You have suffered to many
    knocks to the head my friend. Go back to the Astrodome
    and I hope people say, “Evis has NOT left the building”

    To teamplayer: No I’m not talking about that antiquated
    rumour: Read CAREFULLY > Calgary – Montreal – Boston but
    nice graphics ! Oh… Ryder will be collecting food with
    his wife at the entrance. Poisson get real. Habs are having
    a hard time with 4 full lines, nevermind 3 ! Please… I
    think you’d have more success with FFWrestling

    Breakout nite for Ryder [ if he plays ]. Higgy and Max
    will light up something. And being an advocate of brawling
    to settle your problems, I hope O’Byrne breaks a few
    bones in Chara’s face UNLESS Zdeno is staying in Mtl
    after the game !!!!


  57. CH1909-2009 says:

    You may be on to something there…


  58. 24 Cups says:

    Carbonneau Quotes:
    On the two call ups from Hamilton. “For sure it’s a message to the other players that the party’s over, it’s time to play hockey”
    After the Detroit game. “We’re trying to rebuild our confidence here, the confidence isn’t there and there’s a a lot of hesitation in our game”

    Before I retired I worked in the education system. We would always tell new first year teachers how important it was to immediately gain the admiration of the students and establish an atmosphere of respect, trust, and discipline. The teachers obviously must be in control but they must also act as roles models. Mutual respect, honesty, consistency, and a sense of fairness were the buildings blocks. The rapport between teacher and student was almost as important as the actual teaching that was going on in the classroom. This point was vital because once a teacher lost control of the class it would be near impossible to gain it back again. Chaos would reign and very little learning would be accomplished.

    I wonder if Carbo is getting close to that point. In fairness, it’s not easy to motivate players who average $2mil a year and can play for 29 other teams. Everyone has their own opinion as to how the game should be played. Everyone seems to have a fragile ego. Yet I look at the Islanders and they have a roster that seems very average in terms of basic talent. But for the last two years Ted Nolan has had these guys playing way over their collective heads and winning games that they have no right to win. It seems that the Habs are close to going the other way. Gainey is loyal and would be very hesitant to let Carbo go. But history is full of teams that tuned out their coach and just played out the string until the inevitable dismissal occurred. Which for us would mean more time adrift in the bottom half of the NHL standings. There are no big trades coming, no free agent signings, the best players (aside from Sergei K.) have been called up from Hamilton. At this point it’s not even about winning games anymore. The Canadiens’ immediate destiny rests with Guy Carbonneau and his ability to deal with his own destiny as coach of the Habs. It’s a heavy burden to carry in a hockey mad city like Montreal. I wish him well.

  59. Gilles Poisson says:

    Sir, that is your opinion. The opinions of coach Guy and of the hockey analyst Mr. Grabs, says he should be on the first line beside Koivu. Thank you.

  60. Blitzen says:

    I’m thinking Smokes has compromising pictures of Carbo, Gainey and Gillett at a lemon party.

  61. Habs_008 says:

    Just win a game plz……the laffs are catching up!

  62. kevin m says:

    Also been hearing that Burke is looking to shop F. Beauchemin in order to make cap room.

    Do we have anything that the Ducks could use to get him back with the organization?

    Don’t you think we gave up on this guy too early?

  63. Gilles Poisson says:

    Coach Guy, if you are watching, here is my lines for tonight.

    Koivu, Higgins, Smolinski
    Kostitson, Plecanek, Kovalev
    Maxim, Guillaume, Tom “Le Bombe”

    Markov Komisarek
    Hamrlik O’Byrne
    Francis Patrice
    Dandy Streit

    I am sorry to Ryder but he is working his butt off out there, really working hard, and I think he needs rest if he wants to grow up and be the next John Leclair. Thank you.

  64. 24 Cups says:

    There’s a bad smell coming out of Anaheim. Brian Burke has beat the system again. Scott Niedermayer took half a year to think about his retirement and now conveniently has decided to come back and play. In the process, he saves his team $2.5 mil in cap space(Check out they now have room to accommodate his lowered salary. Not to mention that he is well rested for another run for the Cup and will still make about $4 mil. Well I’m not buying his line of BS for one second. Maybe if his name was Rob I would because nobody would really care. I have no idea if Selanne is coming back at some point but if he does then Anaheim will in reality have a cap of $58 mil instead of $52 mil. Smooth move.

  65. Mr.Hazard says:


    Ex nihilo nihil fit

  66. mjames says:

    The following observation/comment/rant is for Dave Stubbs and Pat Hickey.

    This will be a tough game tonight. The Canadiens may have a chance since both Carbo and Julien play a defensive trap style game. Therefore there should be little pressure applied by Boston in our end. They will peel off as soon as the Canadiens get or touch the puck. They are not allowed, just as we are, to press the forecheck. Similar to us, Boston does not play a puck possession style. The team that makes the fewest turnovers in center ice should win, assuming the goal tending is okay.

    What is disturbing is that as soon as we play a strong forechecking, puck possession team along the lines of Tampa Bay, Buffalo, New York, Carolina, Atlanta, Ottawa, Toronto and Washington, we will lose. The only teams we seem to play even are the Islanders and Boston and that is because they play the same passive style.

    What bothers me the most is that the coaches do not seem to recognize this. Carbo does not alter his style depending on the team we are playing. He plays same trap regardless of the team. What is his job? This is one of the beefs I have with Carbo. He is one of the reasons why this team will not win. After a strong start I begin to believe that the pundits were correct in their evaluation of this team. I would love for them to win but I just do not think we have the necessary players nor do I think we have a coach who can get the max out of the players even if he had Lecalvier and Ovetchkin on the team.

    I wish the Dave and Pat would comment on the ineffectiveness of this trap style and Carbo’s unwillingness to change. The team’s malaise has nothing to do with line changes. If I see Pat Hickey mention line changes one more time I will scream. Can someone step forward and get to the root of this problem.


  67. saku11 says:

    I doubt it, you can pay to have your genome sequenced right now. It would not only be unethical to screen players based on their DNA, it wouldn’t be accurate. Your genes will only determine your potential. Your environment and upbringing will determine if you reach that potential.

  68. Sbah Reverof says:

    Scotty, one addendum:
    What does Toronto have that Montreal doesn’t?
    A bona fide leader.
    Like him or hate him, Sundin is a capital L Leader. It seems that his will power alone keeps the Leafs afloat.
    Did you read the piece this week about him turning down a trade to Detroit? He said he would retire a Leaf, and added:
    “My goal, my only desire, is that we make the playoffs.” I wish we would hear that kind of determination from our side, even once in a while.

  69. Scotty90 says:

    Shah… I hate Sundin, I despise him and his stupid little grin. His mother wears army boots!……. do you think he would like to play for us? :)

  70. Bouleau noir says:

    The parity among Eastern teams is scary.
    The standing shows only 3 points separating second place from 9th and there are only a gradual and small fall after that point.

    Like any teams we had our problems in this one third of the season,.. maybe the teams for to move ahead will need to be the better problems solver of the lot,… strategys and coaching might play the bigger role at that point on….. so little room for errors.

  71. Sbah Reverof says:

    Maybe he would, but having a Swede and Finn at the top would be as pretty as watching starving wolves fight over a hunk of reindeer.

  72. krob1000 says:

    Yes, Sundin is a leader but also a loser…….23 teammates and 10 million stupid fans seem to enjoy playing follow the leader with him though. As bad as things have gotten in Habland over the years we have always remained tied to successful alumni. Even when we have been losers for almost fifteen years we still feel like winners when we look around and see Gainey, Carbo, Muller, etc. They will never allow a losing attitude to be acceptable even if we lose.

  73. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    Okay Scotty90…they guy with the best action shot on this site!

    I’ve got a couple of minutes to dabble into my Genetic theory!

    You are born with an inherited genetic model which is then shaped by your life experiences to create the person you are at any point in time. As well your experiences will be interpreted and ‘decoded’ depending on your initial inherited genetic model, simular to 2 people seeing something but have a different opinion…like this board.

    but ‘generally’ people with simular background and life experiences will react very simular to a situation…they will THINK ALIKE…and on the ice we see that as GELLING.

    Its very important to group your lines or defensive pairings with this vital fact in mind….good coaches don’t just ‘get lucky’.

    Have you seen the movie Miracle? great film which clearly demonstrates the genetic model. Kurt Russell (as the coach) had them all take a 100 page psych test…why? to insure that they were on the same genetic page….no screwball thinkers, because on the ice they would become a failure point because of the decision making process and their genetically programmed methodology.

    and don’t get me wrong, “genetic gelling” is not limited solely to political borders, but geographic zones usually produce simular character traits in individuals which translates to performance on the ice.

    I don’t want to get heavily into this, because at times I brush it off as all CRAP…and sometimes it is ALL CRAP because there are millions of variables at work, we are always changing, our minds operate in a constant chemical reaction, which from day to day needs to be motivated etc…

    TO PUT IT SIMPLY…yes its funny! my Genetic Crap! but it does play a part in the game.

    I would bet on it that Carb has asked Kovalev who he wants to play with, and same thing for Koivu…and look who they are playing with? Kovalev is playing with the BEST POSSIBLE pairing at this point in time, and they are genetic matches for his style of play. Same with hardworking Koivu, when at his best he is a risk taker with lightening speed, just like Higgins, and if they don’t finish themselves they just deliver it on a plate to a sniper….to bad our sniper hasn’t shown up yet…Carb needs to put him on that line for the rest of the year (dec 31) then decide what to do…

    but thats another topic.

  74. Panther says:

    Well not that we have 2 of our 5 or 6 fourth liners out and no more in the press box, Guy is going to be forced to play people with an offensive upside.
    Let’s hope he sees throughout the exercise that having Dandy,Lapierre and Kosto. is enough.There’s no rule that says an offensive player can’t be taught to back check and play responsible defense while scoring a few goals here and there.
    I have to admitt that taking it to Boston right out of the gate with multiple forecheckers was the way to go especially as they played the night before. I hope Guy thinks he’s stumbled onto something new here.

  75. krob1000 says:

    Defense is teachable and scoring is not. That simple. I agree 100% with you.

  76. 24 Cups says:

    Sundin a capital L leader? I live outside of Toronto so let’s review the facts. Since coming to Toronto from Quebec, Sundin has been with the Lousy Leafs a total of 12 years, 8 of which they missed the playoffs. He has never won any awards or scoring titles outside of making the second all star team twice. (he did win a gold medal for Sweden) After this year he will have made a total salary of $80 million dollars, most of it with the Lousy Leafs. THis is one of the top five totals in NHL history. This guy is on a plane for Sweden before the Zamboni clears the ice after the last Leaf game. He NEVER stays in or visits Toronto outside of the NHL schedule. He’s a nice man who gives an honest effort every year. But he sure ain’t no Yzerman, Messier, or Sakic. He loves playing in Toronto because even though he’s in the limelight (with fans and media) he really doesn’t have to be accountable for the Lousy Leafs failures. That’s just the way it is – in fact these losers celebrated their 40th anniversary of NOT winning a Cup. I call that capital BS leadership. A few days ago someone on this site named all the former big name players who had never won a Cup – get ready to add Sundin to the list.

  77. krob1000 says:

    Scary that I am almost starting to understand what you are trying to say. I think. No it has nothing to do with genetics but if you are implying that pyschology as it pertains to style of play must be cohesive then yes I can understand the term chemistry….genetic chemistry…not quite. Geography may play somewhat of a role in that international hockey is played differently (not because of genetics but because of the size of the rinks and emphasis on puck control and skating). The Sedins don’t have any type of “genetic chemistry” but instead have 20 some years playing along side each other and therefore have “chemistry”(as the hockey term goes). That is about as close as one can make a case for genetic chemistry.

    Psychological tests are given to all players but not to do anything but provide a general indication to management as to whether or not the players have the psychological (not genetic) makeup to perform under the circumstances they will face. This is just a factor.

    You are probably right about those guys having preferences as to whom hey would like to play with but it seems to me Carbo has made it clear that that is not for them to decide. As for the leaving Ryder on the top line for a while and seeing if they can develop some “chemistry” then I am all for it.

  78. Chuck says:

    If Pittsburgh (or anyone else for that matter) doesn’t think that his remaining talent is worth it, then why whould we scoop him up and throw him on the first line? I thought that we were trying to get younger and quicker.

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

  79. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    Good point about the Sendin twins…yes that is the closest you can ever get to my theory on Genetic Chemistry.

    Your making the point that, among other things, “Psychological simularities” ADD to Chemistry …growing up in a simular enviroment, life experiences etc… and I agree, the reason I add Genetic to the mix is that at the core I believe it can be a starting block to find Chemistry….(think of those Powerful Russian teams that wiped us out on their North American Tours)…that was pure cohesive Genetic Chemistry at work.

    I guess the real question, (which you’ve already stated your opinion), is whether “Psychological” differences or simularities is a result of Genetics, which as I stated is a factor of life experiences built upon an inherited block of DNA.

    anyway it goes so deep that you run the risk of not returning!

    Scotty Bowman would look at a group of players and just have “a feeling” about who plays with who…He is a Genius coach….is Carb going down that path?

    I’m just having fun trying to find the answer to why that INTUITION works.

    BECAUSE in reality…even INTUITION has LOGIC behind it.

    its just so far out that most of us ignore the reasoning behind it….maybe its better that way.

  80. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    I thought he went to the farm? now they’re calling him back?

    I’d claim him, he bled for us before. He’s respected and a tough veteran.
    For under a mill? can’t have enough experience on a team.

    Claim him GAINEY

  81. PocketHab says:

    New poster here … I say let Recchi go somewhere else. No need for the Habs to re-visit the past. Gainey has been patiently building and stocking the system with good draft picks, so lets tap that resource. Or, if we’re going to bring someone in via trade, go with youth. While I’m hungry for No. 25, I’d rather look forward to 2010 than back to 1995.

  82. MatttheHabsFan says:

    Recchi was one of my favourite players when he used to play here….but I would have to say it would be a mistake for us to claim him. We are not one aging winger away from becoming legitimate contenders. Lets leave the open roster spots for some younger players to step in.

  83. Sbah Reverof says:

    Yes, I think he has fine leadership qualities. Had he played for Detroit or any real contender he might be talked about in the same way as Yzerman or Sakic (Messier is in a league of his own). He has the misfortune of being 37 and playing for the sad-sack Leafs organisation. But what does he do? Trade himself up to a Stanley Cup contender? No, he stays put and states his sole purpose right now is to make the playoffs.
    As much as I dislike the Leafs, their captain is often the one who leads by example, regardless of the outcome.

  84. LTHF says:

    Anyone know the status on Begin and Smolinski. Not that Im concerned about Smolinski playing status , he should be in the press box whether injured or not

  85. TommyB says:

    That is about the best description of Mats Sundin that I have ever seen in print.

  86. Fabio D says:

    Gotta admit, the prospect of having Recchi back in a Habs jersey is not an unappealing one.

    He did produce and worked wonders with Koivu when he was with the team. He can still skate and pop in a few if the ice time is there.

    He would be a worthwhile pick up. He always had a good work ethic, and showed upto play every game. Never a cry baby whiner. A Recchi-Koivu-Higgins line would look good. All speedy skaters. 2 Set up men for Higgins.

  87. TommyB says:

    I agree with this one. As much as I like Recchi, and there is no denying that it would be a small price to pay for his services, I feel we would be better served to bring in another young prospect from Hamilton (S.Kostitsyn), if we are looking to add another forward to the roster. We are not winning the Cup this year, so use the people we have already begun to invest in. Let one of them develop to his full potential by playing in the NHL for the duration of this season.

    I would not apply this opinion if we were to stumble upon a better acquisition, by way of a forward who can score, and who will be around for a couple of more years. God bless Recchi, but I’d hold out for something better.

  88. saku11 says:

    to prove this, we should have the DNA of all the players on the habs sequenced and then align the sequences to look for similarities and differences. The players whose sequences are most similar will be put on a line together.

  89. Scotty90 says:

    Man, you sound like a smart dude.. i’m glad you’re a Habs fan :) I need a beer!

  90. ebk says:

    you are correct, sir

  91. Erik says:

    PUHHHHHHHHHLEASE HABS can say a big fat NO to Recchi!

  92. Higgins21 says:

    I have an idea. Let’s get Damphousse and Leclair out of retirement and claim Recchi and put them on a line together.

  93. Bill says:

    He doesn’t make nearly that much. He’s only got 1.2 million left to be paid this year, so any team that grabs him is only on the hook for $600,000.

    He’s only under contract for this year, and this year two of our right wingers are defencemen. Habs could definitely use him.

  94. Oprah says:

    Moot issue.

    Recchi will be long gone by the time the Habs’ number comes up.

  95. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    exactly…and soon in the not too distant future it will be done.

    (because there is big money behind these teams…and money is business, and business is about making MORE money than last quarter)

  96. 24 Cups says:

    I’m so tired of all this Recchi banter. He couldn’t score with Crosby or Malkin – both those guys are twice as good as anybody on our team. Soooo, relating back to some of your other posts, if you bring Recchi back that means another player goes down to Hamilton (it can only be Lapierre, Andrei K. or Lats) and there is no hope of Sergei K. being called up. It’s easy to say you want this and that but you also have to look at it from the realistic perspective and what Gainey’s options are. We’re building for a Cup run here, not a trip down memory lane.

  97. The Cat says:

    I cant believe all this praise for Sundin. The man never shows up when it counts. Quebec/Colorado won after they traded him. Enough said.

  98. Yeats says:

    I don’t like the idea of sitting a younger guy, but if he could jump start Koivu, it might be worth the gamble. Hell, you doled out $700K for the Breezer.

  99. Gilles Poisson says:

    Too bad his name will never be added to the cup. Because he has every quality that every guy who has ever been etched on the cup has. And I don’t think his loyalty should be questioned by anyone here because we know sticking around with the Leafs is it’s own punishment. He is a great player and a great guy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, much like a center of ours. Thank you.

  100. showey47 says:

    How about we offer bouillon for recchi. We dump an expensive #6 dman who won’t even be resigned after his contract expires and make room for gorges who makes 1/3 of his salary. If we want him, we are gonna have to trade for him because he won’t make it to us through re-entry waivers. There are too many teams below us who would take him first. I honestly think recchi would me more useful to us than the cube is

  101. Wops says:

    For the record,

    the wild is loosing 5-0 to the WINGS and Lemaire is juggling with his lines…

    Considering they have the same record as the habs, maybe they should fire him…no? Following the logic we apply to the habs? I am right, right?
    CH is for Chris Higgins

  102. Gilles Poisson says:

    Until somebody else shows some balls like Francis did last night, I’m for keeping him in the lineup. I know he has no points, and has problems on D, but I’m sick of teams embarrassing us. I dont want to argue his merits as a player because I will lose but he did me proud last night. Thank you.

  103. showey47 says:

    I agree with you to an extent, this is probably the first guy he has fought whose name isn’t darcy tucker. If he showed that kind of emotion every night i may think differently, but at the same time most teams are not made up of goons like the bruins. I would just personally like to see obyrne stay here and develop or see gorges get a real oppurtunity and at the same time save some cap space.

  104. Gilles Poisson says:

    No man, Francis has been there before, but the important thing with him is he has the embarrassment factor. When you are 5’8 you cant lose. The pressure is on the other guy. And he throws them fast but the impressive thing last night was how he muscled Reich, he swung him around. Cheers to Frankie the Bull.

  105. Gilles Poisson says:

    Its pretty frigging sad that Bouillon should even have to.

  106. habitual says:

    Fabio D Your icon may be too small for most to appreciate but I first saw it with the title “Leaf Blower.” Too funny!

    But as for your ideal about Recchi – whom I named my dear departed dog after when he was with the Habs – his best before date is in the rear view mirror. And we are accelerating up the highway.

  107. habitual says:

    Both are listed as day to day and not on IR, so no one can be brought up without someone being sent down. But gotta say, Begin looked more banged up when he left the ice than day to day …

  108. Yeats says:

    You are absolutely right on this one. I would only pick up Recchi if he were essentially free. Pound for pound, the Cube is one of the toughest guys in the League. And, if a 5’8″ guy is willing to go and can win like he did last night, I wouldn’t deal him. Team toughness, you know. Also, I wonder about a world in which I grab a guy off waivers to motivate the captain of the Montreal Canadiens. I don’t think Big Jean would have required that! All the best!

  109. mjames says:

    Do you actually believe what you are writing or are you just playing with us. I have to assume it is the latter. If we are not going to win as you state why wouldn’t you bring up some players from Hamilton and get them some experience. Yous posts make absolutley no sense.

  110. Mr.Hazard says:

    Ex nihilo nihil fit

  111. Habsfan39 says:

    need something new to readddddd!

    you guys havent met your quota, do you have a quota? you should have a quota

  112. T-roy West says:

    Come on guy’s! I realize some of you don’t think we can win the cup this year but I’m not one of them. I have seen us go toe to toe with some good teams this year and when we play hard for the full sixty minutes we can compete. Now Lapierre and O’bryne are here and if Kostitsyn Jr. is called up and play’s like we think he can then things are looking up. Now imagine we make a trade or two and are able to land Phaneuf or Hejduk or Marleau or whomever and if Huet and Ryder(God love him) and a draft were involved then they could probably land somebody like them. Now imagine that Selanne decided to play for us this year! These are possible scenerio’s, likely no, but possible none the less and we wouldn’t be giving up much. Ryder isn’t doing much this year and Price succeeding makes Huet expendable. Now imagine the lineup:

    Latendresse Koivu Selanne
    A. Kostitsyn Plekanecs Kovalev
    Higgins Chipchura S. Kostitsyn
    Lapierre Begin Dandenault

    Markov Komisarek
    Phaneuf O’bryne
    Hamrlik Carle

    Spares: Bouillion,Streit,Kosto Goalies: Price and Halak

  113. T-roy West says:

    You could change the lineup a dozen different ways and guy’s that is the beauty of it. They are all interchangable. If Carbo notices someone has more jump that game or plays good against a certain team then he can change them up on a whim. If everyone gets used to playing with each other at one point then the transition is easier. If everyone buy’s into it and play’s like a team for 60 minutes then watch out. There might be some people who are going to say what is Higgins doing on the third line. Well Higgins is a team first guy and this gives us three legit scoring lines and a awesome checking line that can also score. What line will the opposing team focus on? On defence we have a puck moving defenceman with a stay at home defenceman. If someone gets hurt someone will take their place. I guess what I am trying to say is anything is possible when you make the play-offs. Edmonton barely made the play-offs two years ago. Have faith!!!! T-roy West! :)

  114. T-roy West says:

    I hope someone replies because that took awhile to write and my fingers are sore,lol.

  115. Gilles Poisson says:

    I agree with you. Monsieur Poisson was drunk again. Thank you.

  116. Gilles Poisson says:

    I think also so was Mr Stubb because again he has not showed up for work at his website. Thank you.

  117. Gilles Poisson says:

    Not sold on Gorges but yeah, if the choice is dressing Bouillon or O’Byrne, take a chair Francis. I admit I have a soft spot for the little feller, but your points are accurate. Too many nights he is a non factor or worse. No way you sit him tonight after what he did last game though.

  118. Will Longlade says:

    If there’s any credence to the new Montreal-Calgary trade rumour that’s circulating, I speculate that it may involve Ryder and Huet.

    Boston will be no pushover tomorrow despite the fact they played tonight. It should be a spirited and entertaining contest.

  119. teamplayer says:

    are you talking about the old rumor tanguay for kovalev… thats been going on for awhile, both sides say there is nothing to it…

    on another note, hopefully habs can get 50 shots this game, i might be excited to watch it in that case

  120. Robert L says:

    Just a note for regular readers of my site, I have posted a very revealing and interesting collage of pieces in my Habs goalie series on Charlie Hodge – for readers over my age of 45 it is definitely a treat in terms of memories.

    Also, check out my take on the Habs recent callups and see if you agree.

  121. Les-Habitants says:

    I’ve been a reader of your blog for a while now, and although I don’t always agree, just thought I’d say it’s definitly one of the better ones out there…by far.

    Your article about O’Byrne and Lapierre hits the mark. Neither O’Byrne or Lapierre are going to be game-breakers or regular 1st stars…6th d-men and 4th line centre aren’t that by nature. What these guys bring, however, is that to work in the NHL you have to play as one of the best players in the world…night in night out. The huge benefit of having good depth at most positions is that if the team is struggling, there are players who could step up and take your spot. Carbo did it himself, in case anyone forgets, when he broke into the league.

    Lapierre and O’Byrne bring that hunger which Higgins talked about at the beginning of the season…that hunger which had us among the top of the eastern conference, that hunger which will hopefully get us winning again.

  122. nightmare_49 says:

    That was a great read on Charlie Hodge a must read. I’m sure Ian Cobb will like it. I had forgot he was a scout and would have loved to meet up with him as those scouts always had many interesting stories to tell. You pretty well hit it on the head about our two call ups as Max is a role player and Ryan a stay at home “D”man with size. Time will tell but they can’t hurt us for they bring what we are lacking , but little offence. The bloody problem is Carbo and his lack of patience.

  123. Dave Stubbs says:

    Superb piece on one of the first Canadien favourites of my youth, Robert. Thanks for the marvelous skate down memory lane. Very, very nicely done.

    Dave Stubbs

    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette


  124. P St. Pierre says:

    I really enjoyed your article on Charlie Hodge. It was insightful, especially because I wasn’t familiar with his play.

  125. Derek2 says:

    Totally remember Charlie Hodge – one of our great goalies. When he stepped in for the injured Gump Worsley and won the Vezina trophy . Four 3 – 4 years he and Worsley were the top tandem in the league. Used to pretend I was him when playing goalie in street hockey. Good to see that he is still active.

  126. P St. Pierre says:

    Montreal-Boston games are usually pretty exciting, and even if it isn’t, the Habs usually pull off a victory. I’m hoping that the new line changes work well and that O’Byrne and Lapierre have some kind of an impact on the game. Both should have lots of jump and energy because it’s their first game of the year.

  127. Les-Habitants says:

    There is no current rumor involving the 2 teams…
    There was one involving Kovalev for Tanguay, as Kovalev had played for Keenan before, but that was shot down by both players and the mangement of both respective clubs.

    Since then, there hasn’t been anything.

    Look for rumors to start springing up about the Ducks, tho, as they need to unload a d-man quickly (and the ones being mentioned are all top 4 d-men IMO)

  128. WindsorHab-10 says:

    It’s time for captain K to show some leadership.

  129. LTHF says:

    Anything out on what the lines will look like tonight against Bos, and who will be sitting from the defense corp

  130. Blitzen says:

    First line will be O’Byrne, Lapierre and Smolinski. Price and Huet will play D and Koivu will put the pads on.

  131. JF says:

    Tim Thomas was injured late in last night’s game and Rask finished it, losing in overtime. Considering that Thomas has been playing extremely well lately, this could be good for the Habs. But I sort of hope we go with Halak rather than Price, who I don’t think was particularly good in either of his last two games and who seems to allow a few soft goals. I imagine the Bruins will play a tight defensive game rather than the type of run-and-gun game we saw three weeks ago, so really solid goal-tending will be very important. Price has shown some good things this season, but apart from his first start against Pittsburgh, I have not seen him be “intraitable”, as RDS puts it.

  132. kevin m says:

    While checking out the scoreboard this morning in today’s Gazette I noticed Tomas Plekanec was at the top of the Bruins line-up for tonight’s game. I quickly turned on the t.v. & scoured the rest of the sports section to see if something had transpired while I was sleeping.

    Thankfully, just an error.

  133. vic says:

    Re Price I hope people take it easy on him as he is a kid and too much pressure could destroy Him.We expect this kid to save the Canadiens when the whole team is not playing up to what they should be doing.Carbo calling out the goal tending was crap.How can you come into a game with a positive attitude when your coach tells the media your not giving good goal tending.

  134. coutNY says:

    FYI… It would probably be Halak in place of Huet, unless you have word the he’s back. LOL

  135. smiler2729 says:

    Oh did I mention, Guy Carbonneau’s not a very good coach? He isn’t now and I think he will be soon. The big BUT is I don’t think he should be learning the ropes at the helm of the Habs, maybe the Bulldogs for a couple of years but not the big club.
    He’s under a microscope and every mistake is pounced upon by the fans and media of the Habs because we are NOT a patient lot (except for Bob Gainey, who’s neverending patience I have to trust).
    We’ll all have to bite the bullet here as this young sometimes very lazy team (coaches and all) goes thru these growing pains… At least we’re not the Toronto Maple Laffs eh.

  136. Derek2 says:

    Totally Agree – He needs to have put in some time being a head coach in the AHL. We are always concerned aboiut bringing up players too quickly, same should go for the coach. The lack of team play, constant line switching seems to be the mark of a guy who isn’t in control, and doesn’t really have a system or a master plan.

  137. krob1000 says:

    I still say someone should give Ziggy Palffy a call.

  138. cautiousoptimist says:

    Why not? According to, his last season was 05-06, when he tallied 42 points in 42 games with Pittsburgh, including 11 goals.

  139. Habs64 says:

    Scratches for Tonight

    Brisebois, Gorges & Ryder.

  140. krob1000 says:

    Is that official???

  141. krob1000 says:

    Now if you wree not a Habs fan and you saw that Ryder was a healthy scratch (UFA), Huet was mysteriously injured yet played the whole game (UFA) and Gorges (one of our surplus d men) were all not playing what would you think is happening??? If Ryder is really not playing then let the rumours begin now because it is inevitable that they will begin sometime tonight.

  142. cautiousoptimist says:

    Where did you get that list?

  143. Scotty90 says:

    if this were happening in any other team i would say there is definitely something coming down. With the Habs…. who the heck knows whats going on!

  144. Habs64 says:

    Lines as per Team990:




  145. cautiousoptimist says:

    Man those lines look good on paper…. Come on Smolinski, prove that I’m wrong about you. I really want to be wrong about you…

  146. Habs_008 says:

    Nothing is happening people, Carbo just wants to get Ryder going. This the only thing left for him to do. He already demoted him from the top two lines. Breezer should be a scratch every game. Gorges has a shot to improve, he is young.

  147. krob1000 says:

    Not quite the only thing left to do…..we could try putting him on a top line and leaving him there and regularly playing him on the first PP unit without the constant threat of demotion. Maybe let him work his way out of his slump intead of prolonging it by asking him to put up top line numbers on a checking line or from the press box. He is not a guy who creates on his own but I cactually thought Grabovski might have been what he needed and the we sent him packing from his new apartment. Maybe that is a last resort though……following standard NHL practice.

  148. Derek2 says:

    We all think Ryder can play better. That may be true. But how much better? Have our expectations sunk so low that we think a 30 goal scorer is great? 30 goals is pretty good, but it is not a first line stat. Yvon Lambert used to score 30 goals a year – not taking anything away from Yvon. He was a damn good hockey player, who stood in front of the net and also collected about 30 assists a year for us. Heck those totals put him in Koivu’s territory. And Yvon played on what was the 3rd line at that time.

    Ryder is kind of a one trick pony. Quick release from the side of the net. Not a great skater, passer or puck handler. Teams have figured out how to defend against him. Move him off his spot. We got all excited for a couple of years but let’s not kid ourselevs. He is at best a second line player for any respectable team. This team just doesn’t have any great talent and the coach is too inexperienced to help them play better than the sum of the parts.

  149. Moey says:

    Why is everyone waiting for Carbo to pull a rabbit out of
    his hat or an Ace from his sleeve. The most sense I’ve heard so far was on the radio this morning. There obviously is a hole in the leadership, what is wrong with Koivu, Kovalev and Markov stepping up to the plate and getting the team on track again. Why all the finger pointing? These are grown men getting paid damn good money, they know how to play hockey and how to win.

    Give Carbo a break.

  150. Habs_008 says:

    Right on, I agree with you. Its up to the players, the leaders of the team.

  151. ebk says:

    you do see the irony in a post were you wonder about all the finger pointing, you point the finger squarely at Koivu,Kovalev and Markov.

  152. Scotty90 says:

    Habs6-4 is really Guy Carbonneau!

  153. 24 Cups says:

    Bruins just picked up goaltender Alex Auld in a minor deal with Boston. Maybe the injuries to Thomas and Fernandez will keep them out of action longer than expected. Rask is a great prospect but his experience in North America is limited and the Bruins played last night and lost a tough one. In theory, these should all be good omens for our game tonight.

  154. Moey says:


    I’ll state the obvious, when things go pear-shaped the finger is always pointed at Carbo. Get it?

  155. ebk says:

    So it is ok to point the finger at the high-priced players who are supposed to lead the team but it is not ok to point the finger at the high-priced coach. Got it.

  156. Moey says:

    LOL, you didn’t get it.

  157. kevin m says:

    Do you think that things could be “squarely, pear-shaped” and fingers should be pointed in every direction?

  158. krob1000 says:

    If there is one thing that Lapierre may bring to the plate tonight it is arrogance….we could use some of that.

  159. habfan53 says:

    Hey People

    I was so discouraged after the last couple of games that I decided to stay away and try to regain some sanity.
    First question is Dandenault in the line up tonight after the best tackle by a Montreal player since LAST YEAR’S Grey Cup. or did he receive a 1 game suspension??

    Don’t take the Bruins lightly dispite our record over them. They want to get a win for Julien tonight.

    I also think it’s time for Gainey AND Carbonneau to sit down with EACH player and do an evaluation of what is expected of them and what they expect.

    I’m truly a fan of Steve Begin but I’m wondering if Lapierre can now fulfill that role of energizer bunny and s**t disturber.

    Pair O’Byrne with Hamerlik and let Ryan grow the way Komisarek grew while making mistakes the last couple of years.

    We wonder why there is no scoring punch THERE ARE 2 DEFENCEMEN on the forward lines DAH!!!!.

    Streit is NO replacement for Ryder he had a career year last year and scored 32 points Ryder had 30 Goals.

    Tonight is a big game for Price after giving up 4 goals in each of his last 2 starts and 3 against Toronto last Tuesday he’ll have to shut down the Bruins.

    And finally with a wealth of defencemen in the system: Streit, Dandenault, Gorges, Carle, Biron, Valentenko, Cote, Brisebois and well the youngsters at the U S Universities package a couple with Halak or Danis (Huet as a LAST resort) and bring in a goal scorer.

  160. 24cups says:

    From what I have seen, the habs are stick handling way to much and giving up the puck in the process. gain the offensive zone, send two into the crease area and shoot the puck. Shoot the puck!! This will improve our 5 on 5 scoring. 16 shots on hasek will not provide us with a win.

  161. joe-hab-nuno says:

    Three weeks ago i mentioned that i liked the habs record but I didn’t think it reflected the team we had. At that time we probably had 3 convincing wins and all the others were 1 goal games. then the landslide began cuz we are fiinally showing our true colors. I also mention that we should have addressed the weaknesses we had. I think if we addressed the weaknesses we had then it would have been a different story today. But people where saying “but we’re winning and that is all that matters”.
    1.If Koivu is our 1st line center, then we’re in big trouble. We have been for years as him being our 1st line center. But when we look at the players we have , we have no choice but to keep him there.
    2. Everyone is saying it, our 5 on 5 really sucks.
    3. Ryder is the worst 30 goal scorer ever. If we are relying on him to save us with is 30 goal seasons then that is troubling.
    4. How many more years are we going to wait to get some guys parked in front of the net. There are guys there but sometimes and very rarely.
    5. Last couple of seasons the coaches we’ve had have been preaching or convincing us that we’re a defensive team. How many defensive teams do you know allow 40+ or better yet 30+ shots against.
    There are other spots that that are a few others we can improve.
    Good teams, even when they have good records are always trying to improve their teams, we just stay the same.

    And finally it’s about time they brought in some guys from ahl in. If these vets can get it done then let the kids show what they have. Atleast they brought up O’byrn. Wanted to see what Kots jr and D’agos could do, but hey i guess i have to wait.

  162. TradeRyder says:

    Hey, I missed a few posts. Is Lecalvier a Hab yet?


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

  163. Bouleau noir says:

    Offensivelly gifted players playing at the top of their game will never willingly come here and shoot themselves in the foot,…. and this will never change… not as long as our organization’s vision remains unchanged and that our monochromatic defensive style of hockey remain our team’s antiquated trademark.

  164. habsernyk says:

    Watching the Habs lately, I have been concerned about their lack of shots on goal. I’m no hockey strategy expert, but I do know that in order to score- and therefore win games- you actually need to shoot the puck at the goalie. So, for the fun of it, I played with some numbers. Take what you want from this, but here it goes:

    -the Habs have played 27 games = 81 periods (I omitted OTs)
    -they have recorded 39 periods of single digit SOG (0-9) which is approx. 50%
    -of those, 27 (approx. 33%) are 7 SOG or less
    -6 SOG and 7 SOG are tied with highest frequency of occurrence (8 times each)
    -twice they have recorded periods with 2 SOG

    To me, this doesn’t bode well for success in the “new” NHL.

    Interestingly, the Habs have had 4 games where all 3 periods they recorded single digit SOG. All of these games were home games (hmmm). Their record is 2-2-0:

    -a 6-1 win vs. BOS Oct 22
    -a 2-0 win vs. BUF Nov 5
    -a 3-0 loss vs. BUF Nov 24
    -the most recent, a 4-1 loss vs. DET

    To add to this, if you consider that good starting goalies in the NHL have save % of .900 or higher, here’s the math:

    -the Habs get less than 9 shots in 1/2 their periods played. Given the stat that goalies save 90% of them (or 8.1 shots per 9), the Habs can only score 0.9 goals in these periods. Statistically, they aren’t shooting enough to score 1 goal in half their periods.

    I post this mostly as an FYI and to see what people think.


    Go Habs!

  165. mysterycog says:

    Enough Complaining C’mon GO HABS GO!!!!!!!!!

  166. linp says:

    WOW! We have discovered something good from Smolinski. He can parked his big body in front of the net during PP. We should try that every time.

  167. T-roy West says:

    How many times have I posted that Chipchura has the scoring touch. Good speed, soft hands and creative moves around the net! That’s my boy!

  168. saku11 says:

    guaranteed that if Bouillon wasn’t a hockey player he’d be a UFC fighter. The guy has that freak strength like GSP.

  169. Ian G Cobb says:

    Ian – if you see this check your e-mail.

    Robert L

  170. Roy-Rules says:

    Even the Leafs top prospects suck!! haha

  171. habsernyk says:

    Sorry to harp on the same subject (see my previous post) but 3 SOG in the 2nd!?

    Also, was Koivu benched? I only saw him twice, and the 2nd time was with 2 min left the period.


    Go Habs!

  172. ccs says:

    Hope this is not another 3 goal lead blown again…….

  173. habsernyk says:

    I agree- Koivu has been MIA. He might as well sit on the bench and save oxygen.


    Go Habs!

  174. T-roy West says:

    What is this team doing? It seemed like Boston was on the powerplay for the whole second period. How can this team play so friggin different within a hour. Are they tired? What has to happen to make them motivated? When they feel any pressure in their own end, all they can do is get out of their end and give the puck to the other team. They don’t seem to know how to pass the puck properly and are just throwing it around the rink to no one. They are afraid to hit people behind their net and as a result the other team gets a free ride around their net. Both goals against Price deflected in of the other team. How about not letting them have their way in our crease. I watched Pleks win a faceoff cleanly and within 5 seconds we gave the puck up. Do we know what to do with the puck when we get it. Do we have a game plan? Are we prepared properly? Are we motivated? Is the coach telling us to play that way in the second period? Are we being coached right? Can anyone answer these question?

  175. saku11 says:

    much better 3rd so far. Look at O’Byrne with two assists in his NHL debut and Higgins with 3 points.

  176. habitual says:

    For those of us that have seen Rick Green, doesn’t Ryan O’Byrne carry himself like Rick Green?

    And don’t you want to see more of him – good skater, good size, good outlet passer!

    Ya baby.

    A win, but decidedly mixed effort. Hope Begin isn’t hurt too badly. Anyone know what the diagnosis is?

  177. Gilles Poisson says:

    The pretty goal of the night was for Mathieu. I always say like Mr. Stubb that he belong on the first line and now you see I am right. The team scores four goal and I wonder why? They looked like a bird with a 186lb weight off the right wing. Little Francis Bouillon beat up their goon and no more goon stuff. Thank you. It had to be done. He try to run Francis into the cheap seats and Francis say Non! If not he does it again and again. Thats why we fight. Someday Maxim will have to do that too but now is not time to complain about that.
    People who know say Price handle a puck very well. And yet he cough the puck up and people say what are they talking about. Mr. Poisson tells you what they are talking about. That kid sees the rink like nobody before. He has made some tape to tape pass to the other bleu line already this year. He makes errors of judgment because he is 20 years old. Live with his mistakes and you see a rare talent emerge.
    O’Byrne throws the hip checks like the Big Bird. Thank you Bob for finally deliver us a big defensemen. I never doubt Bob. Thank you.

  178. Gilles Poisson says:

    Now with Smolinski hurt and also Begin I wonder if Bob calls up Valentenko? Thank you.

  179. El Guapo says:

    Eres un idiota, gracias.

  180. linp says:

    It is obvious O’Byrne and Lapierre deserve to stay in the line-up.
    Now I know what our team needs to play well. Our team has speed. As long as we pass well, keep skating and keep controlling the puck, the scoring chances are going to come. If there is no one to pass to, the player should protect the puck and wait for support. Don’t just dump the puck and give it away. That’s what happen in the second period. Every one just try to dump the puck out. Boston keeps getting puck back and attacks again. The same happened in the past when we try to defend a lead. We drop back and try to dump the puck outside of our zone. Our opponent gets the puck back and continue to attack. Instead, we should continue to play our strength, ie., skate and pass and keep control of the puck. That is much more effective to defend a lead. Our team doesn’t have the size to play the drop back and defensive style. We can’t even clear players in front of our net.

  181. Gilles Poisson says:

    You’re hitting the repeat button again hombre. Thank you.

  182. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I think we should play Boston more often. 8 times simply isn’t enough.

  183. RS says:

    Is Valentenko going to play forward too?

  184. RS says:

    True, but going into tonight’s game, Boston was ahead of the Habs.

  185. mjames says:

    Boston does not forecheck which limited our turnovers and facilitated our win . Don’t get me wrong – I loved the win but we will have trouble with Carolina as it will press us with a strong forecheck and as per Carbo’s instructions we will wait at our blue line. If you don’t believe me watch the game on Saturday.

    I believe the Habs are a much better team than what they show. They are not permitted to play a puck possesion game which suits their skills more. I feel sorry for the players.


  186. Chuck says:

    I always liked Rick Green…

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

  187. Yeats says:

    Usted no sabe la mitad de ella.

  188. Gilles Poisson says:


  189. ebk says:

    The sad thing is, that it took the 5’8″ Bouillon to finally win the Habs first fight of the season.

  190. ebk says:

    good comparison but Green didn’t have any wheels.

  191. Habs Suck says:

    I liked Green too, but O’Byrne reminds me more of Robinson with long strides and solid checks from the hip.

  192. Gilles Poisson says:

    I agree, but god bless him for doing it. It really bugs me to see Chara mugging and grinning too. Maybe Frankie will take him out next time. Even if it is how Svoboda used to do it by letting him run you and giving him a stick in the mouth.

  193. ebk says:

    Svoboda was one tough little motherf…….

  194. Habs Suck says:

    I completely agree with you. It’s not a bad attitude to analyze both the team’s strengths and weaknesses and have a realistic view. The Habs beat a tired Bruins team (3 games in 4 nights) that has a weak forcheck, which usually cripples the Habs and forces many turnovers. Enjoy the 2 points and some of the positives from this effort, but Carolina will be a bigger challenge IMHO.

  195. 24 Cups says:

    There are a dozen teams in the eastern conference that are going to scratch and claw their way to a playoff spot (including Boston). I’m going to sleep tonight feeling great about our win. Lighten up man.

  196. mjames says:

    Very interesting approach. Maybe you can get this in Carbo’s hands. I wonder if they ever approach the game like you did. Those guys look clueless behind the bench. Now we need to ask the experts the best way to get shots on goal. Maybe you do what Chipchura did – Cross the blue and cut to the middle, instead being forced to the corner.


  197. DD says:

    Play it again, Sam.

  198. Bouleau noir says:

    To many offensives restrictions leads to a game that is not worth playing,… or being watched.

    Players loose interest and stop showing up when the nectar in hochey
    has dried out and is systematically replaced by robotic expected plays to be followed in its stead.

    This brand of hockey that stiffle creativity is the reason why we have lost any of the edge we had as a team upon entering the newNHL reality.

    Replacing Julien by Carbonneau was a parallele move (at best) by Gainey and lacked amplitude and vision,… as a consequences,… our profound scoring handicap as a team is now officialy a chronic condition….and our chances of luring in our mess ANY of the top offensive players from the UFA market thus far have been predictably nil,… and our chances in the futur will remain at an absolute zero until the philosophy at the core of our organization is changed.

  199. Robert L says:

    Thanks for the kind words folks, as always.

    The Hodge piece was effortless, as I was simply fortunate enough to find them all 3 and gather them in one place for all to read. There was very little writting or editing by me on that one. There will be more goalie posts to come, hopefully a few more as interesting.

    Les Habitants – If everyone agreed with all I write, that would be damn boring wouldn’t it. One person summed it up well a while back. He said each time he read it, it made him think. That meant something to me!

    Dave, I said it before – receiving a kudos from you always makes me proud. Thank you for the motivation.

  200. linp says:

    Another point. Dandenault is much faster than Smolinski. He fits in with Higgins much better. On the other hand, I like the way Smolinski parked himself in front of the net during PP. He is so big and heavy. I am sure that our first goal has settled down our team until Boston scored the 1st PP goal.

    Until Ryder has cleared up his mind, I would leave Dandenault in Koivu’s line and play Smolinski in the PP.

  201. T-roy West says:

    DTD – your starting to get real friggin annoying! Please go back to were you belong…Oh wait you pissed them off to. Grow up!

  202. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    Finally getting our best lineup out there. (we’ve been talking about this lineup for weeks now…FINALLY!)

    Great improvements with the callups…several new dimensions added to our chemistry, and the opponent is taking notice.

    we just need to work Ryder back in then we can start our run.


  203. Rocket Richard says:

    OK, One small step in the right direction.

    Habs need to build on this win.
    December 1,2007 – rise and fall of the 2007-08 Montreal Canadiens

    Rocket Richards Moltivation for winning games, “You Must Hate To Lose”

  204. MTL LOVE says:

    O’Byrne should be here to stay!!!

  205. Da Hema says:

    Could someone refresh my memory why O’Byrne was not playing at the start of the season? He looked like Doug Harvey compared to the way Patrice Brisebois has been playing….
    “Play every game as if it is your last one.”
    –Guy Lafleur

    “Those were little monumental mistakes.”
    –Jean Perron

  206. Gilles Poisson says:

    The ostensible reason, and it couldn’t be denied, he had a lousy camp. The real reason, Gainey took a good odds gamble on Brisebois. As bad as he’s been at times, he has almost already earned his 700k and I doubt we’ve seen the last of him. But O’Byrnes not going anywhere. And not just because of his game tonight. It’s because half of the defense has been small and weak, the half that they should have known would, and when a guy like Markov has a slump, that became obvious enough that even coach Guy and Bob saw it.

  207. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    he did make one mistake, not covering the man behind him, going towards the puck carrier, minor league mistake, but GREAT THAT HE IS HERE. STRENGTH SIZE AND SPEED ON ‘D’…just what we needed.

  208. Sulemaan says:

    Nice to see O’Byrne get two assists in the game. But I’m not going to get too over excited as much as I’d like to. He’s a young defencemen and he’s going to make mistakes. Just like Komisarek did when he started but he will get better over time. No question our defence just got bigger.

    It’s two bad that Begin got injured, Smolinski less so. (Not that I want to see anyone get hurt but he costs more than Bonk and has done less.)

    I suppose the Habs could recall Grabovski after just sending him down but why not give players such as Locke, Kostitsyn jr and Ferland a shot? They will be hungry and will play their hearts out. I’d include D’Agostini in that group but his +/- is atrocious. I don’t expect any of them to be game-breakers but that kind of enthusiasm must be good for the team.

    I’ve also thought that Ryder is a nice guy and a talented player but he is really snake-bit. You can’t blame Carbonneau because he’s been very patient with him. Brisebois can sit in the box as the 7th defencemen. Don’t know what to say about Georges as when I’ve seen him play, he hasn’t been that impressive.

  209. ebk says:

    the second goal was not his mistake alone, Kostopoulous can’t let that pass get through either. He was right there in position and missed it.

  210. nightmare_49 says:

    The trouble started on the defensive coverage cuz Hamy’s skate got caught in a rut and fell down and was out of the play.

  211. mysterycog says:

    Positive energy Positive results..Man i missed Lapierre..and looks like montreal might have another superstar in the making with O’Byrne..kid kicked some Beantown ass. Great Win.

  212. 24 Cups says:

    Clearing waivers also played a part in O’Byrne (and others) being sent to Hamilton to start the year. It happens all the time with every team. I can live with Brisebois being a 7th defenseman who fills in when someone is hurt. He’s now basically an insurance policy. I can’t see Gainey buying him out after inviting him back for one final tour of duty. He’ll always make that great outlet pass and he’ll always make a giveaway play when you least expect it. That’s never going to change.

  213. 24 Cups says:

    Cournoyer 12 – you read my mind.

  214. cautiousoptimist says:

    Dude. What the hell are you talking about?

  215. T-roy West says:

    DTD – Actually I had to pick my wife up after I posted my comment not that it’s any of your business but I will give you some credit because “it was” west edmonton mall. Obviously the majority of things that come out of your mouth is crap because you don’t make any sense at all. All you do is throw out one liners to insult and rarely say anything good. You obviously missed reading my profile because telling me to go back to leaf sites show’s how dumb you really are. This is a really good site and if you really want people to take you seriously than mybe you could quit the crap – or is that what your here for, to cause shit!

  216. T-roy West says:

    Timo – I agree with you that this is a great site and if you new me then you would know that I don’t make a habit of going around insulting people. Everyone is intitled to there own opinion – that is true but it’s also my right to call someone out when they act like a moron. If you think he is a habs fan then you think that but you might want to check and you might change your mind. Nice thumbnail pictures you both have, very interesting!

  217. habsguy says:

    cournoyer12 …….that explains everything, you should said earlier where you live, I understand now, it isn’t your fault !!!!!

  218. Bouleau noir says:

    Poor Bruins, they and their fans must surely hate the CH, we keep winning against them regardless of time and situations.

    Boston played the evening before so to the CH credit they forced the play from the start, drawing a penalty and scoring on the PP from a well executed piece by Steit-Hamerlik-Higgins.

    Our 4th line centered by Lapierre surely did an excellent job at keeping the puck in the offensive during that first period,.. on the other hand, because of injurys our most skilled players had more ice time than they usually do as Carbo was using only three lines in the third period….. this unusual situation made our team look better than usual,… Carbo should look into reducing the bench more often as people have suggested before.

    Another circumstantial situation was using Dandenault with Koivu and Higgins in the third,… It would be disapointing if this was the last we saw of them at evenstrenght as Dandenault is keen, big and fast, his goal concocted on the fly with Higgins was a great piece and took the game away from the tired Bruins for good.

    Dandenault joked at the beginning of the season that he would thread his way to the first line,… well he certainly was all smile after our win tonight…. and not just for the win, I know that much.

    Another pretty goal on the move was the one from Chip…with Higgins once again…wow you would think Higgins was playing in NY against the Islander.

    O’Byrne on D is like candy for the eyes… am sold on this big right handed
    mobile guy and his nice hip checks….. seems cool with the puck too…quite a combo with Hamerlik on his side.

    Bouillon almost KO Reach with a right hand blow….. “Beef” is small but not when he fight.

  219. Da Hema says:

    I thought O’Byrne played a very composed game. He skated without any awkwardness, he handled the puck well, and made a few nice centre-ice dumps from his own end. I would so much rather watch these younger players play than Brisebois and Smolinski. Brisebois makes some sense as a press-box figure in the event of injuries or fatigue. I seem to recall Carbonneau saying Brisebois would get six to seven minutes a game at most when he signed. I knew we were in trouble when Brisebois was playing 15 minutes a game. Smolinski still makes no sense at all to me. I cannot see what he brings to this team. It is a pleasure to see some meat and bones on the Habs’ defence. Even in the New NHL, teams cannot win with three 190 pound defencemen….
    “How would you like a job where, every time you make a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?”
    –Jacques Plante

  220. G-Man says:

    Isn’t it amazing what a little intensity and toughness can do? O’Byrne looks like he belongs. Now we havw 3 D-men that can punish the opposition. Does the rebound begin or do I still see a need for a trade? TRADE FOR OFFENSE.
    Grit and intensity need skill for the fancy footwork that produces more goals. I heard Koivu has 1 goal in his last 15 games and he’s the #1 center? Unbelievable.

  221. linp says:

    Ryder: You watch the same game as we do right. Can you see that our team plays well when we use our speed, keep skating, make good passes, control the puck in both end of the ice. All you have to do is skate hard, play with your line mate. Your scoring chances will come. Trust your skill. After Kovalev, you are the second best shooter in our team. You can make our team better. Look how Dandenault fits in the 1st line. He skates with his line mate. Get into position. I am sure you can do the same thing and you have a better shot. Don’t try to do it alone. Don’t hesitate. Make it simple. Pass or shoot. Good Luck to you!

  222. saku11 says:

    You think O’Byrne will get a shift at right wing this season? Seriously though, he played a great game, especially considering it was his first. He got caught on the second goal but you can hardly blame him, that Marc Savard is a slick passer. Dandenault played well on the 1st line, it would be cool if he somehow developed into a Holmstrom-like player. Price played great, protected the lead and kept the guys in it in the second and the third period we just dominated.

  223. The Cat says:

    Bouillon did great in his fight, perhaps worried about his playing time now with Obyrne around, but we need some of that.

  224. Edwardo says:

    I still think a slumping Ryder can provide more to that first line than Smolinski.

  225. Blitzen says:

    I think Carbo is the second coming of Scotty Bowman. I don’t know how we ever doubted him. The Habs will win the cup and there’ll be peace and joy in the world. LOL.

    At least until the next loss…

  226. Sulemaan says:

    Love the Jacques Plante quote Da Hema. Pretty accurate assessment of O’Byrne and Brisebois too.

  227. cautiousoptimist says:

    Darn right.

  228. cautiousoptimist says:

    Wow – three points for Higgins on four Montreal goals. This is one guy who has never slacked off for a minute, slump or no slump.

  229. Axeman says:

    Check this out:

    I knew Ryder’s crappy play was no accident! I hope there’s a sniper in our future!!!

  230. Corio says:

    Wow! Not surprised though, Montreal is in desperate need of some more offense so this makes sense since Ryder is asleep this season. Let’s hope we make a good deal if it does in fact happen!

  231. ColoradoHab says:

    Living down here in Colorado I watch the habs on Center Ice. I didn’t get ot see any of the preseason so last night was my first chance to see O’byrne.

    I was thoroughly impressed. Huge and quick but what I was most impressed by was his composure. I think this young man has the potential to be a star defenseman in this league.

    Lapierre is a catalyst, he needs to stay.

    I think it is time for A. Kostitsyn to raise his game to the next level. He has the speed and skill to be a game breaker. That goal scorer we talk about trading for may already be in our lineup. He has been showing flashes of it more often lately and last night as well. He may be on the verge of a breakout.

    Maybe calling up Jr. would elevate big brothers game.

  232. Corio says:

    Ya that goal he almost scored where he skated in skirting the defenseman and cut in, beat Rask but missed the sharp angle release was very nice, would of really been sweet if he bagged that goal!

  233. CH1909-2009 says:

    There may be a silver lining in Smolinski being injured: HE”S OUT OF THE FREAKIN LINEUP


  234. Habs_008 says:

    I wish we played Boston all 82 games……OByrne was awesome, i hope he stays.

  235. coutNY says:

    Bad Karma to wish ill-will on a player, especailly when it’s our own habs, so I wish him the best and speedy recovery.

    With that said, it’s hard to sit struggling vetrans after being newly aquired without looking bad (also with a no Movement clause), so maybe this was devine intervention to give some deserving yuongsters a chance.

  236. Blitzen says:

    Bad Karma be damned…having him in the lineup was already bad karma.

  237. Scotty90 says:

    Habs remind me of Jekyll and Hyde? how can they play so well in the first and come out like a bantam team in the second? they are not just inconsistent from one game to the next, its from one period to the next! is it a question of lack of work and focus or is it laziness or over-confidence when they have a 2-3 goal lead? if they can solve that puzzle and come to play for a full 60, this team would be a force to be reckoned with.

    re. Axeman’s post about Ryder maybe being shopped around (as per TFP), Spector reports that there’s apparently dissatisfaction in the Sharks org. amongst “key players and front office officials” toward team captain Patrick Marleau.

  238. secretdragonfly says:

    As for calling up Kostitsyn the Younger – the guys on RDS mentioned in passing that he was considered for call up earlier this week but that he apparently had “an attitude problem” and that’s why Maxim & Ryan got the call Can anyone shed some light on this?

  239. krob1000 says:

    Who is the sniper on Edmonton or Pittsburgh????Maxime Talbot?? or Raffi Torres?? Geez I hope not……I could live with Marleau or any one of the big names out of Tampa but serously who out of Edmonton or Pittsburgh is worth Ryder that they would give up. You know Hemsky, Cogliano, Gagner or Horcoff isn’t likely going anywhere and after Malkin and Crosby there is noone on Pittsburgh that is anywhere near the calibre of player Ryder is (excluding Gonchar and Whitney).

    I can see the trade to San Jose being the most likely scenario IF there is ANY truth to these rumblings. Tampa would have to be an absolute blockbuster.

  240. krob1000 says:

    Any word on Begin or Smolinski yet??

  241. krob1000 says:

    I think this is the longest silent period I can remember on this site. What is going on? Am I actually on the Phoenix Coyotes fan site?

  242. Scotty90 says:

    Begin out with left shoulder, i’ve seen nothing on how serious, but judging by the way and how hard he went in, i’m sure its not good. Smolinski will be undergoing ultrasound and other tests today for his right knee. Carbo says he might be out for a while.

  243. Scotty90 says:

    I know, i am sitting here at home in front of the laptop drinking my coffee waiting for posts and its creepily quiet (no, i’m not on pogie…I took a couple of days off while my door and windows are being replaced!).

  244. T-roy West says:

    Krob1000 – I was thinking the same thing. Edmonton? Horcoff,Stoll and Gagne are the only players that we could use or want. I’m thinking Colorado might be a good dancing partner considering our trading history and the fact they need goaltending (Huet) and we need scoring (Hejduk). Also I wouldn’t mind having 6’5″ Scott Parker thrown in the package somewhere, there is our enforcer. There is also Wolski,Svatos and Liles that could be up for grabs. I don’t know what players could be coming and going but don’t be surprised if Colorado is invovled either one on one or in a three way. I also think Gainey is very private and when he makes a trade we might not see it coming until it happens, so who know’s!

  245. krob1000 says:

    Thanks Scotty90 I was starting to think I was in the twilight zone here. So who gets the call up this time….do we bring Grabs up first and Sergei Kostitsyn if both are out????

    I wonder if these injuries will have any impact on speeding up any teade that may or may not be in the works. If I had to guess (and I do because noone else is today) I would say both are at least four week injuries.

  246. Scotty90 says:

    I think maybe a few of the posters are no longer on speaking terms judging by the bickering back and forth this morning.

  247. T-roy West says:

    Your picture really does make people thirsty. I wonder what would happen if your picture was Jessica Alba, lol!

  248. Scotty90 says:

    I’d like to see Kosti jr. for a few games. Just a feeling that the brothers will elevate their games a notch or two just because they are together. And as far as Kosti sr. is concerned, it wouldn’t take much more to make an important contributor to the team. I know however that it could bring other problems, i., what happens if Cqarbo sits one of them, will the other pout? they are professionals, so I would take that chance.

  249. Scotty90 says:

    If I were Jessica Alba I would be calling up Feaster and making a deal to get Vinny to Montreal for Brisebois or Smolinski? Thats taking one for the team.

  250. T-roy West says:

    Do you think that there is any way they would part with Vinny except if he was in his last year and wasn’t going to resign? I really think that he could make this team,with the talent that we already have,a cup favorite overnight.

    P.S. Your thumbnail picture always gets me in the festive mood for some reason,lol!

  251. Scotty90 says:

    OH NO! T-ROY… KROB…. are you still there? I feel like i’m in the movie ’48 hours later’ or something like that. its a movie about leafs fans looking all creepy, pissed and frustrated looking for people to vent their anger on :)

  252. arcosenate says:

    Well, I guess O’Byrne has got the Norris in the bag now, here are his projected stats:

    Year to date: 2007-08 1 0 2 2 0 0 0 – 0 0 0 0 0 0
    On Pace: 55 0 110 110 0 0 0 – 0 0 0 0 0 0

    110 Points but he’s just going to be an even player.


  253. Scotty90 says:

    Well… i don’t know! i saw something last week where they had to cut salaries because they wanted to sell and there was just no interest out there. So..who knows. I know Vinny would look a lot better in a Habs jersey than in a Bolts.

  254. krob1000 says:

    Yeah and Horcoff is as hot/cold of a player as there is. I can’t see them moving any of their young stars and as much as I enjoy watching Hemsky he would be very difficult for Habs fans to watch. He is an offensive genius (almost Adam Oates quality passer) but plays a very soft game and I know people would go crazy on him when we were losing. They would love him when we were winning but……

    This may all be BS like the Kovalev to Calgary crap earlier but as we all discussed the ast few days on here the recent moves being made sure have all of the earmarkings of a pending move.

    I don’t think we need a goon like Parker and I think simply adding Lapierre and O’Byrne made us significantly tougher. I wouldn’t want to waste a lineup spot on a goon unless we have three very potent lines.

    Sorry Scotty90 …..I had a client come in. I am not gone there are still people out here.

  255. T-roy West says:

    Scotty90 – Yep still here but I have to go back to work soon. I know, some people are just negative period! Yeah that was Me and DTD getting all heated yesterday. He is the only person that I have spoke to like that. I figure I wasted a hour of my time with him last night. What a waste of time. So what do you think of the Vinny comment and the Colorado and Montreal scenerio?

  256. T-roy West says:

    Sorry Scotty90, I posted before seeing your comment. My bad!

  257. Scotty90 says:

    I remember when they brought Robinson up…. it was for his size and his devastating hits. and as we all know he became a pretty solid hockey player too

  258. krob1000 says:

    I think the movie is actually “28 games later” and is based on every playoff season since 1967.

  259. krob1000 says:

    Quick everyone we are doing a roll call safety check….. If you are there and just don’t feel like typing anything of substance just type in “I” for roll call.

  260. Scotty90 says:

    What Vinny comment?

    Colorado – Mtl…not sure whats going on there but I don’t expect they would be too eager to do any deals with us because of the Theo business. They do have a couple of players that i would be interested in though should they be talking.

  261. Scotty90 says:

    t-roy…. just saw the comment you were talking about..several posts below. I have difficulty keeping up with the posts the way they are.

    Anyway to answer your question, the Avs may be a little gunshy in dealing with Habs becuse of Theo. I wouldn’s be interested in Liles, we already have an abundance of ‘Ds’. Now Svatos, Hedjuk or Smyth I’d like to see wear the CH… but how much do we give up? (Avs throw in Parker)

  262. 24 Cups says:

    I wouldn’t mind Jordan Staal in Pittsburph. They would never do it but they can have Ryder and Huet for Stall right now. Heck, I’ll throw in Grabovski seeing we won’t be needing him anymore. Plus they can have their pick of Georges or Streit. I know that Staal has slumped badly this year but he is going to be a good one. Just what we need – a big center who can score and has heart.


    We’re set at center for a long time.

  263. Scotty90 says:

    I wouldn’t mind someone like Scott Parker in the Habs organization…..for insurance. Looks as though he may have the same barber as Halak :)

  264. LTHF says:

    I have been giving some thought about all the negative comments about the Habs of late ( including myself). But when one takes a close look at the standings, they are not doing too badly, tied for 3 in their conference, just 5 pts out of 1st and 8 pts behind Det for overall lead. I think there’s more parity in the league now than ever before. Just look at the standings in each division.
    Do anyone feel the way I do that there should have been a penalty when Begin got injured, sure looked like a hook to me.

  265. Scotty90 says:

    I agree withe hook..its what brought down Begin. Too bad the Habs had that slump cause we would probably be ahead of the Sens and biting away at the Wings’ butts.

  266. JF says:

    It’s true that the standings are very tight. That means we’re not doing badly, but it also means we can’t afford a prolonged or even a medium-length slump. If that happens and we slip out of contention, we’ll have a really hard job dragging ourselves back in. If we falter, the bunch of teams just behind us could all jump over us.

  267. Grabbed The Cup says:

    As we all suspected, Recchi has been placed on re-entry waivers, wonder who will pick him up…

  268. T-roy West says:

    Probably the Laffs. They have a habit of picking up players past their prime. I like Recchi alot so I hope he doesn’t go there just to stay in the NHL. Mybe Wayne will pick him up!

  269. coutNY says:

    The NHL re-entry waivers system allows teams, in inverse order of the standings, the right to claim a player… Meaning he’ll have to be passed over by 20 teams before the Habs would have the opp??? Thats even if we want to get a struggling vetran!!?!?

  270. T-roy West says:

    Scotty90 – I kind of agree with Krob1000 about having a enforcer take up valuable space but to watch people getting there ass handed to them when they mess with our players would be priceless. Especially considering they are probably going to do away with the intigator rule next season. I think the Theo situation is a little different. Huet is probably going to the all-star game and is at the top of his game were as Theo was having alot of trouble.

    P.S. Can’t wait to see Kostitsyn Jr. in Montreal (he’s feisty).

  271. Pay Julay says:

    Price played a great game last night I thought, he plays very well positionaly and looks great on those re-directions.

    Hopefully the press box wakes Ryder up!!!!

    Higgins keeps on pluggin along, needs to be better in his own zone though

    Oh and Krob …. I

  272. Rocket9 says:

    “We had lost (Bryan) Smolinski and (Steve) Bégin and I was just trying to get three lines to play defence,” Carbonneau said

    This was at 13:15 of the third period.

    Anyone else find this a bit of a concern? I guess it’s a philosophical question, but I’d prefer if they keep playing offensively for the entire game. Whenever they go to this defensive game, they are in danger of losing. They almost let this one slip away.

    I’m not trying to be negative here. I think it’s great that they won. I just wish they would play hard, fast paced, in your face hockey with all kinds of offensive pressure, for the entire game, every game.

  273. 24 Cups says:

    With a label like Rocket9 it’s no wonder you’re not keen on defensive play! I too find it frustrating when Montreal tries to protect a lead early in the third or even in the middle of the third period. I understand that common sense pervails like when we were up by three against Nashville mid way through the third but we have lost so many points in other games trying to cling to one goal leads. I don’t like it because the team subconsciously starts giving up the puck and puck possession is a big enough problem as it is. It also puts extra pressure and stress on our defensemen. We have three very good defensemen and three very, very ordinary defensemen. Why make their job tougher? I also don’t like it because you are providing an opportunity for a momentum shift in the game. Why offer that up? Lastly, we live in an age where refs will call very iffy penalities at any point in the game, even in overtime. Beforehand, refs would use judgment calls late in a game or when the game was really close. That’s gone now. Any time you go into a defensive shell you’re eventually going to take some penalities to try and negate the offensive pressure you’re under.

  274. Scotty90 says:

    Toronto Maple Leafs

    What does Toronto have that Montreal doesn’t?
    …..Black and white photographs of their last Stanley Cup.

    Where do Toronto players get their wives?
    …..Canadian Tire, where else do you get a leaf blower.

    What do the Leafs and The Titanic have in common?
    …..They both look good until they hit the ice.

    Why don’t the Maple Leafs drink tea?
    …..Because the Canadiens have all the cups.

    What’s the difference between the Leafs and a cigarette machine?
    …..The cigarette machine has PLAYER’S.

  275. Derek2 says:

    All good – but love the Titanic joke. Don’t know why – I must be a sicko

  276. Corio says:

    I wouldn’t mind if Montreal picked him up, even if he hasn’t been producing, his grit and experience would be welcomed!

  277. Derek2 says:

    I would agree. Canadiens problems are very systemic and we have had a terrible record over the last 15 years or so of converting prospects to bona-fides. There is a vision that we play this mix of offense & defense and we do neither particularly well. Players want to play where they can find the best expression for their talent i.e. where they fit in, do what they do best(and of course where they make the most money). With Salary cap there is more salary parity in the league, so it seems to me that UFA’s have real issues about playing in Mtl possibly because of our system and game philosophy. Add to that, a media that’s analyzes everything & rabid fans – who needs the pressure?

    Pretty good effort against the Briuins last night – even if only for 2 periods.

  278. Gilles Poisson says:

    Of Georges Laraque

    “It’s a little calmer out there. He’s got that presence,” Penguins star Sidney Crosby said. “…I feel lucky to have a guy like that on my team.”

    But with all our great players, where would coach Guy fit a player like this? Thank you.

  279. krob1000 says:

    How are the Penguins doing this year??

  280. 24 Cups says:

    I’m torn on this one but ultimately I have to agree with Krob. Outside of Neil and maybe a few others, most of these guys are real cementheads who bring nothing to the game. It’s a knee jerk reaction to another team’s cementhead or overall style of play. Philly is guilty of this and ironically so is Lemaire in Minnesota. (Lemaire was a smooth skating centre for the Habs who probably wasn’t in too many fights in his life.) A better route is to have enough players with size and grit that won’t back down but also can play skilled hockey. Some teams have that while others take the goon route. Anyway, these guys don’t take up much cap space and are interchangeable. I do have my eye on one for the Habs if need be (Zach Stortini in Edmonton) and the beauty is that he doesn’t have to clear waivers. But the real question is who do you sit down so an enforcer can play? They’re mostly wingers so which guy on Montreal would you send to the press box. Begin? Dandy? Lapierre? Tommy K? Ryder? Andrei K? Lats? To me, the real answer is for the league to come down really hard on these guys so that ultimately they are phased out of the game. There are lots of ways to do it if you have the resolve.

    Some of these guys are also the league’s headhunters who specialize in blows to the head as well as hitting from behind. That’s the NHL’s biggest issue right now but it appears that Bettman hasn’t got the stones to do something about it. I better stop.

  281. krob1000 says:

    Bang on about the late game penalty stuff.

  282. Rocket9 says:

    Good point about the penalties.

    The other thing about that is that by staying offensively minded, you’re more inclined to cause the other team to take penalties, rather than take them yourself. If the habs kept pressuring in the offensive zone, they’d maybe end up on the PP a couple of times in the last half of the third, giving them a chance to put the final nail in the coffin.

    And yes, as per my label, I prefer offensive hockey. I do think that good defensive systems are required, and actually when I play, I take a checking center role most of the time. I just don’t think it should be a sit on a lead, passive type defense. It’s a cliche, but the best defense is a good offense.

  283. JF says:

    Those are all very good points. Plus we simply aren’t good enough defensively for a defensive shell approach to work. For this team, the best way of defending a one-goal lead would be to continue to play offensively. Keep the puck in the other team’s zone, spend as much time behind their defense as possible, and they can’t score. As soon as they set up in a box in our zone and start passing the puck around like they’re on a powerplay, you pretty well know the tying goal is coming.

  284. saku11 says:

    How about Matt Lombardi, the guy is blazing fast, responsible defensively and has a lot of offensive upside. Look at his performance at the World Championship. I think he was tied with Nash for the team lead.

  285. krob1000 says:

    That was on international sized ice I think though.

  286. Scotty90 says:

    where is Habs Professor? with his genetics experiments, maybe we can take Laraque and give him Kovalev’s hands, Bure’s legs, Yzerman’s heart and Rocket’s passion…… what a player he would be!

  287. ebk says:

    The penguins will have more points than the Habs by the end of the season. I’d be willing to be a fair bit of money on that one. It is not were you are at the beginning of the race, it is were you finish.

  288. krob1000 says:

    I would make room for three Chris Neil’s on my team but Laraque is a goon (still the heavyweight champ until Boogard takes his belt) and nothing more. An enforcer can maybe stashed away in Hamilton and if a game gets nasty yopu could dress him for the rematch with that team but aside from that I have no use for them anymore. Like I mentioned though before if we had three very deep lines (the third being equally good defensivley and offensively( I think you could make a case for it but ultimately I think I would like to see them phased out.

    I prefer the middleweight bouts usually anyway as they are usually more entertaing and busier fights. They are also usually more genuine as far as raw emotion as the middleweigths are usually quite involved in the game. The heavyweights are there for one reason and one reason only and there is no emotion rather an oft predetermined fight card (which I am in favour of as a manner of retribution).

    I would far rather watch the Bouillon’s, Tucker’s, Avery,Begin’s,Shanahan, Roberts, Matthew Barnaby (yes even Barnaby) Chris Neil (although he is more of a light heavyweight or even heavyweight). Those guys fought on emotion and were involved in the game so it made sense but to dress a trained pugilist in hockey equipment teack him how to skate in circles and fight is silly.

  289. T-roy West says:

    Anyone alive out there?

  290. Gilles Poisson says:

    I know i have already guaranteed the LOSE for tonight but now I am also guaranteeing the score for you. 5-1 CAROLINA. Also I predict Price will NOT get a shutout. Also I predict Michael Ryder will score a goal. Haha just kidding about that last one. I hope the game will be on the CBC tonight but I miss the balance observations of hall of famer Harry Neale. Also I’m sick of hearing Yvon and Pierre picking on Ryder because they think he is in a slump. If they read my english friends here they would know he is actually playing very well and we could show them the stats. Also he was happy to sit in the easy chair last game just like I said. He say “There’s nothing to be pissed off about.” Thank you Michael, I agree. I am sorry Mr Stubb for the blue words but it was Michael say that not me. If I have no choice to watch RDS tonight I will turn their mouth off and play the Black Sabbath on my ghetto blaster. But I will listen for the great hockey analyst Grapes and his wise protege PJ Stock. I get mad when people dont agree with Grapes or me because I know they are communistes. Now I have to go icefish with Madame Poisson. Thank you.

  291. linp says:

    Good Morning HABS fans!

    I find two striking differences between Hockey and the other two sports; NFL and Premier League Soccer that I follow closely.

    1. In the other sports, it is the coach who represents the team, win or lose. A coach never openly criticizes his players. A coach helps a player to succeed. I was shock to hear Carbo criticized Markov in front of reporters.

    2. The fans in NFL and soccer defend their teams and players through thick and thin. You seldom hear the fans and the media of a city bash their own players. In hockey, whenever a player shows sign of a slump, both the media and fans jump all over him. This puts the coach in a bad position. May be this is the tradition of hockey. I am not sure it helps your team though.

    Your thought?

  292. Gilles Poisson says:

    Not totally disagreeing but I think Eli Manning would with point 2. Also you should check out Philly when the Eagles are losing. Thank you.

  293. Habsville says:

    It is from the draft that spots should be filled. I would not pick up Recchi off waivers. His career and best days are behind him now. I would rather see Max stay up or try another of our picks from the farm. The trade deadline is not far away. What can we get for Ryder. A right winger making 3 million. Maybe a trade for Martin LaPointe making a little less and he too is UFA at the end of the season.

  294. nightmare_49 says:

    Martin Lapointe : The Hawks would give him away if they could but there are no takers , even with all their injuries to forwards his ice time is decreasing , wonder why.

  295. linp says:

    I follows more Packer, Cowboys, Indy and New England (the successful teams). My point is to have more fans providing positive and constructive suggestions instead of driving our players out of town. The all stars voting results shows that Montreal still has the most fans in the NHL. We can attract more star players to come if they knew that they will have a friendly environment to play and live in.

  296. Gilles Poisson says:

    This is true and is why I am always staying postive. Thank you.

  297. Norm0770 says:

    It is easy to not criticize teams like those because they are elite, and rarely lose. But living in Indianapolis, beleive me Adam Vinitari and Peyton Manning were called out by the local media and fans after their horrible Sunday night game in San Diego.

    And Indy didn’t get success overnight but has built through drafting over the past 10 years, as free agents leave astute picks step in and fill the gap seamlessly. Hopefully we’ll see the same kind of success with the Habs in the next 2-3 years.

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