Game 33: Panthers continue dominance of Habs

Former Canadien Richard Zednik leaps to screen Habs goalie Carey Price during Florida’s 3-2 Bell Centre victory tonight.
André Ringuette, NHLI via Getty Images

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Updated by Kevin Mio

In their last game at home before Christmas, the Canadiens gave their fans a lump of coal as a gift. After two solid games against the Flyers and Maple Leafs, the Habs came out flat against the Florida Panthers in a 3-2 loss tonight. The Canadiens mustered only three shots on Tomas Vokoun in the first period and only nine in the second.

Florida opened the scoring when Jozef Stumpel had a wide open net on a 2-on-1 break 14 minutes into the first period. The Panthers can thank Canadiens goalie Carey Price for the second goal after Price misplayed the puck and gave it right to Brett McLean, who scored possibly one of the easiest goals of his career.

The Panthers grabbed a 3-0 lead early in the third period on Stephen Weiss’s blistering shot on another odd-man rush. Andrei Markov got a pair back for the Canadiens in the
final period, but it was too little, too late for a team that was unable to win the battles along the boards and maintain control of the puck long enough to sustain any pressure in the Panthers zone.

Florida also won in Montreal in October, 2-1 in a shootout.

The Canadiens now embark on a six-game road trip that begins on Thursday in Washington before heading to Atlanta on Saturday and Dallas on Sunday.


  1. mrstewart61 says:

    would the habs have made the playoffs 2 years ago without him?

  2. mrstewart61 says:

    like you?

  3. WindsorHab-10 says:

    What will it take to motivate this team and have them give an honest effort every game? Is this too much to ask for? That’s what they get paid to do and with an effort like tonight’s, they are cheating every hardworking Habs fan out there. Should not be tolerated too much longer.

  4. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I think when our Habs commit to playing 60 minutes, they can play and beat any team out there. That’s the frustrating part about following our team this year. You never know which one is going to show up.

  5. WindsorHab-10 says:

    We’re lucky to have both.

  6. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Blame this loss on the whole team for failing to show up. They probably thought “mission accomplished” when they won 2 games so now they can sit back & relax. Hey fellas, there’s a reason why this game has 60 minutes. Can’t just play 20 and expect to win.

  7. Mattee. says:

    hahahaha! That may be the best post of the night. No, the week. Deep thoughts Idle, deep thoughts. That’s fantastic.

  8. Renegade says:

    Even if there was something strange going on with the lack of calls, which I do agree with, that really doesn’t excuse the fact that they didn’t give a good enough effort to win tonight.

    The blame goes all across the board, its just a matter of determining what needs to be done to eliminate the inconsistency from game to game. Unfortunately, this problem has existed for the past 5 years, and the implementation of a solid solution has yet to be seen.

  9. Renegade says:

    Your arguments repeat themselves, and your comments belong somewhere in the pile of flames that shouldn’t be found anywhere near this site.

    If you don’t have something constructive to say in these forums that is justified and mature, then don’t say anything at all.

  10. T-roy West says:

    Apparently they need to be reminded!

  11. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    I predicted that the HABS that rolled over Philly & Toronto would DESTROY florida. this is what i saw:

    1st goal, KOIVU fails to get the puck hard to the point, KOMI pinches and fails to receive the puck and you have a 2 on 1, nice pass, GOAL…HUET PRICE doesn’t matter. – MISTAKE – KOIVU,KOMI

    2nd goal, PRICE goes to play the puck way out of his net when he DIDN’T have to and plays it right to a panther, open net, GOAL. – MISTAKE – PRICE

    3rd goal, Great shot, could beat any goalie. – MISTAKE – none.

    Habs score 2 Hardworking beautiful goals late in the third.
    final Florida 3 Habs 2

    So PRICES mistake becomes costly.

    BOTTOM line, for most of the game the panthers were beating us to the puck or when we had the puck they were coming at us FAST, we were not doing that to them, thats a big part of our loss. Guys like Dandy,Ryder,Kostop,Striet were not finishing checks when thats there MAIN JOB! Chip and Lapiere played well.

    The top 2 lines found it tough against the fast hard checking of the panthers (i’m sure they beat us in checks). They were getting frustrated by the lack of calls (i’ll get to that) and their shot totals reflect that, 3 shots on goal for a period means there is a problem.

    I won’t talk about the D since they were ok 99% of the time, I did notice that Gorges was falling down alot…but not to blame the D tonight.

    The REFS were BRUTAL – the TORONTO NHL SYNDICATE sent their veterans to the Bell C tonight….HOW THE BLOODY HELL DOES A TEAM GET ONLY 1 POWERPLAY through 55minutes and its a TOO MANY MEN! BLOODY JOKE – FACE IT. ARE THE PANTHERS THAT CLEAN? NEVER – IT WAS A PURE SETUP, A FIX, AN NHL FIX. they were told to keep the habs off the powerplay, wonder why?

    AMAZING (don’t count too many men, thats a mistake, not an infraction)

    sure they gave one near the end…to save face.

    Florida is a dirty team, scared to standup when called, they skated I’ll give them that, and they had the Refs on their side. Habs couldn’t play their game and got caught playing the panthers game. REALLY FRUSTRATING, even at one point KOVALEV was going through the whole panther team twice, just to show how frustrated he was…

    In the end. the boys just got outworked, and they had no help from the Toronto Refs.

    until the problem in my picture is solved…we will not be Champions.
    Delenda Est Torontium….

  12. idle says:

    Totally off topic here but…

    I am listening to the strangest Christmas song on the radio right now. Really making me scratch my head.

    It’s a kids voice singing (maybe about a 12 year old boy)

    “I’m gonna shoot that Santa Clause..BANG! BANG with my loaded water gun…and then I’ll steal that big old bag of toys…and give them to all the kids who have none…”

    First of all, isn’t that what Santa was going to do with those toys anyways?? give them to the kids who have none? And secondly is shooting Santa with a water gun and stealing his bag of toys really appropriate behavior for a 12 year old boy? And even so do you think Santa with his big belly is gonna be phased by a couple squirts from a water gun?

    Well, at least it has taken my mind off that game tonight. That is even more of a head scratcher…

  13. T-roy West says:

    Cournoyer12 – totally agree with you about the booing. I would like to talk to the person who thinks it is counterproductive. If a player is on the ice and he hears the booing and doesn’t try harder than maybe he doesn’t belong on the ice. I want someone who hears the boo’s and workes harder because of it. Do people think the crowd boo’s just for something to do? Our team is the Montreal Canadiens and we expect no less than your best effort!

  14. idle says:

    DTD are you on some drugs tonight? I fail to see where all these people are trashing Price and Praising Huet?? There have been only a couple mentions of it and nothing over the top. It actually is you that is making such a fuss about it. And by continually talking about the “Huet lovers” you are just revealing yourself as an obvious Price Lover. How about as a Habs fan you just like both goalies and wish them both well? Sound reasonable to you?

  15. T-roy West says:

    Hi to you too and yes they will win again….I think! This team baffles me!

  16. anotherhab says:

    All the positive post the past few days have quickly gone to wayside — now were a crappy team — fire Carboneau — were to small — should have played Huet — how can we lose to the the terrible Panthers!!!! What a pile crap postings!!!!!
    Well those Panthers are no more terrible then we are, 16 wins each! Maybe they have been reading all the love and praise over the past few days and it went to their heads!! It’s only one game, not the end of the world — and hey if it’s any consolation the Leafs had a two zip lead over the Canes with 1:25 left in the game and blew it!!!!!!!!

  17. T-roy West says:

    It is very clear that when the habs play teams that forecheck, play the body and battle along the boards they will lose nine times out of ten. Last time I checked that is called playoff hockey and right now I don’t think we would do very well in the playoffs if we had to play that way. By the way, were the hell are the habs passing the puck to. These long 100 mile an hour passes need to stop. Mybe that’s the only way they think they can break out of there zone.

  18. RiverviewCanadien says:

    I disagree, Price should stay up here and maybe someday if he is not traded, will be the future, but I do agree Huet is still number 1 right now, if he says he is ready, let him play, it is his job, not like Price has a great record at home.

  19. RiverviewCanadien says:

    I hate talk of trades, I bet everyone on here was saying the last two games, “Don’t change the lines!” but tonight it is the reverse. They did not play tonight, bottom line…whether the team is mad about something who knows, let it go, its a LOSS! they played and it was not Prices fault they lost…he made a mistake, he’s not the only one that turned the puck or passed it to another player..on the other team

  20. gumper says:

    My son drove all the way to Montreal from St. Catherines to watch this stinker. Habs show up for 10 minutes. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

  21. The Teacher says:

    Tired of the crappy efforts eh?

  22. Renegade says:

    This game suddenly got exciting. Too bad its in the last 23 seconds of a 60 minute game.

  23. earl says:

    Time for a Gainey intervention.

  24. earl says:

    Yah, our 16 win team should be destroying that crappy 15 win team. lol.

    Where can I get some of Florida’s crappiness.

  25. joe-hab-nuno says:

    Anyways guys, forced myself to stay up to listen to the game. 4 min left time in the game, time for me to snooze. If only the players gave half the effort as i did to stay up to listen to the game, we might of won.

    Good night everyone, i’ll read the headlines tommorrow.

  26. Renegade says:

    I think the biggest point to make tonight is that the 3rd and 4th lines have absolutely NO BUSINESS on the ice in the last 5 minutes of a two goal game. It should be the first and second lines, exclusively.

    Plus, when a team is flat out of the gate, it means the coach isn’t providing the necessary energy to the team in his pre-game speech.

    To note, the players aren’t excluded from the poor play and inconsistency we see season after season, but having the right coaches doesn’t hurt.

  27. earl says:

    second in all-star voting, the love for Huet goes beyond this board.

  28. earl says:

    DTD, ease up.

    Unless one of these goaltenders can score 2 goals a game both their loss columns will be fattening up for Christmas.

    Boys are going to get booed off the ice tonight. Not the night to resume that discussion about how classless it is. People who paid money for that game are wishing they had gone to a movie.

  29. Renegade says:

    Thats a pretty low blow. First off, it was a bad coaching decision THAT TIME to play Huet. It was the final, integral game of the season, and he had just come back from a serious injury. Halak was playing well and had carried the Habs to that point, and deserved the start.

    Second, please see my post below as to why Huet is, indisputably, a solid goaltender. I think, as Price just let in another goal and his GAA once again increases, that the fans better realize what they have in Huet.

    Price isn’t ready, he will be great in the future, of that there is no doubt, but as it stands, he should be in the minors honing his skills.

  30. linp says:

    Our players have forgotten how to pass, how to control the puck. No team play at all.

  31. Renegade says:

    Agreed, everyone on the Canadiens is small, aside from a few outliers. I’m certain Gainey will do something about this, and get rid of Carbonneau.

  32. Renegade says:

    Thats a surprising comment, considering he is 4th in the NHL in save percentage and 13th in GAA.

    Price’s stats: 14th in Save Percentage, 26th in GAA.

    The numbers don’t lie.

  33. joe-hab-nuno says:

    where’s the effort. If you lose show the effort. Fed up of not showing up for 2 periods and try on the 3rd. Give us 60 min like the last two games. Even if they manage to win tinight, it’s a disappointing win.

  34. Renegade says:

    I was extremely dissapointed…well, I should correct myself on this one, I was slightly dissapointed when I heard Price was in nets. Mostly because I’ve come to expect Carbonneau to make bad decisions when it comes to coaching.

    With your #1 goaltender back, probably one of the best in the league, being healthy again for two games, you play him. Its as simple as that. Its a matter of respect and showing that the path he has sewn for himself for the past 3 years wasn’t for naught.

    Now we have Price, a young goalie whose inconsistencies have been apparent throughout the entire season, in nets tonight.

    This is just another notch on the list of ill conceived coaching decisions by Carbonneau.

  35. The Teacher says:

    Agreed, that was the most sickening game of the year…more so than that travesty in Buffalo, and that woeful loss after being up 3 goals to Nashville..

  36. Sam Atalla says:

    Great decisions by Carbo to keep Price in nets. I don’t think Huet can handle the pressure by the way. He’s upset because he was sidelined twice in a row since his return, especially tonight. But the truth is Price is hot, and does Huet really expect to be starting right after an injury with Price playing this way? That’s a nono.

    Finally we are playing Gorges and O’Byrne. Two young defencemen that need games to develop. I don’t know why we signed Brisebois…not that I have anything against him. Makes little mistakes that screw us over. I would prefer have a rookie make those mistakes and learn from their mistakes than a veteran making those mistakes and remaining a veteran…that constantly makes mistakes (and slows down our current young players’ development because they are taking up too many games) 😀 lol.

    Do you guys watch Sergei play? Excellent. Great puckhandler, quick on his feet, probably a great shot too, but I think what has impressed me the most is his intelligence without the puck. He’ll give the puck on the boards. Watch where he is when Higgins gets the puck behind the net and on the sides. He’s standing right infront of the net waiting for a pass, tapping his stick for a shot. His first 2 games and alrealdy has a strong presence on the ice. Call me crazy but I don’t think Koivu’s 2 goals and the breakout of our first line to be a coincidence with Sergei K’s arrival.

    A lot of very offensive minded players, majority Russian, are a defensive liability and lack skill without the puck. Sergei has been backchecking, bothering the defencemen infront of the net, and getting open, giving opportunities to his linemates.


  37. Blitzen says:

    Play every shift like it’s your last…

    [sarcasm]Man I hope our enforcer Kostitsyn takes it easy tonight. After the way he just hammered McCabe into the boards, the league must be shaking in its boots.[/sarcasm]

  38. oshawahabsfan says:

    As long as we play 60 minutes and not 56 like last time we played them, we will win. We absolutely dominated them last game it shouldn’t have been close, but Vokoun had to play amazing in net, hopefully we can finish better this time.

  39. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    True, but other than not getting the 2 points against Florida in October, we thoroughly, thoroughly, thoroughly outplayed them and that is success.

    Vokoun had the former-hab-mutant syndrome that seems to haunt us…that was the story.

    until the problem in my picture is solved…we will not be Champions.
    Delenda Est Torontium….

  40. belair57 says:

    I must admit, I have never been a huge fan of Carbo, but I agree with him going with Price tonight. (the hot hand)
    After tonights game they are gone for a season long six game road trip against WSH, ATL, DAL, TB, FLO, and NYR, and all these teams can be beaten on their home ice and they could come back with at least a 4-2 record which will be very impressive.
    SK has impressed me on the first line. When Koivu and Higgins are playing their cycle game he puts himself in a position to receive a pass at any time for the quick snap, which I believe Ryder was not doing. All Carbo has to do IMHO is to at least keep this line together until the end of the road trip to see how they gel. If they continue to play well than we know we have two good solid lines which have chemistry and can put the puck in the net.
    As for Brisbois, I think he will be out of the line-up more often than in. Gorges is playing well and O’Bryn will get better by game playing along side Hamrlik.
    1=Top two lines which have chemistry and can put the puck in the net.
    2=Very good checking line (thnx. Chips)
    3=Energy line (firecrackers)
    4=Very good top four D’s
    5=Off course, two excellent goalies (one being the future)
    I think we can easily make the playoffs and maybe win couple of series. I am not saying we will win the cup but..?.
    Thank-you for reading and GO HABS GO

  41. Ed says:

    I second that amen.

  42. Smart Dog says:

    Hey Joe-Hab, pretty depressing re. Paul Maurice. The guy is too proud to admit he was wrong. What an idiot. I’ve totally lost respect for him, and I bet there are even those on his team who feel the same. These are hockey players, not school children – they know what is a dirty hit and there was no sign of one within 100 miles of McCabe.

    And what is REALLY disturbing is that Timo is actually sounding optimistic. What’s up with that?

    Be happy! At least the FUTURE looks bright!
    Plekanec, Higgins, Komi, Chips, Lapierre, O’Byrne, K1 &K2, Price

  43. leafs67_andcounting says:

    Jokinen always kills us. If we can just keep him in check we’ll be alright. Theyre going to play a boring ho-hum Jacques Martin road game as per usual.

  44. Oleg Petrov says:

    As with every game, I am really looking forward to the game tonight – particularly with to see how the team responds to their recent success, especially against a team that can be frustrating to play. Huet and Lats unhapiness in not playing speaks well to the level of competition on the team, bringing out the best from all players who know they need to work to stay in the lineup.

    Hopefully K2 continues his strong play and can break out a bit tonight in his second game at home.

    To an earlier post, hopefully Breezer recognizes his body is done and he decides to retire as a Hab and Gorges can continue to play.

  45. idle says:

    No one is saying you don’t have a right to your comments or that they don’t matter. But when you post the same negative comments several times through the same thread, don’t expect it not to draw a response. You were the first to be insulting towards posters who felt that Huet would have done a better job in last nights game (of which I was not one of them anyways)and only after posting several negative comments about “the Huet Lovers” and bashing one of our players did you get the response you were probably fishing for anyways.

    Funny thing about public forums, everyone gets so defensive when someone disagrees with them. I thought the whole point of a public forum was for people to share and discuss differing opinions. It would be pretty boring around here if everyone just agreed with everyone all the time. There is nothing wrong with a point and a counter point. I agree, leave the insults out of it but there also must be a way to show it when you think someone has gone off the deep end with their comments 🙂

    I am editing this to satisfy my poor ego and say that the next comment by mrstewart61 “like you?” was not directed at me as it was already there before I posted this 🙂

  46. coutNY says:

    Tonight will be a test because the prior 2 wins were against teams we have had some sucess thihs year, Florida has been a thorn in our side ever since the inception of their franchise. It would be nice to demonstrate the same chemstry as we did in Phili and against the laffs to get this Monkey off our back!

  47. Oleg Petrov says:

    I think you overvalue what a Huet trade would bring to Montreal. Goalie trades typically don’t return much value and you are aiming too high to expect a top six forward.

    Yes, Rivet brought a first rounder and Gorges – but realistically, it was a late first rounder and a spare part defenceman who can’t break into our line up full time.

  48. REB says:

    1 thing I noticed in the game against Toronto; we went away from the ‘1-man forecheck, 4-man wait’ style of play to a ‘2-man forecheck’ style, and we completely dominated. I know it was ‘only the Laffs’, but we need to play the same aggressive style tonight. If we don’t, we open up the door to losing the game.

  49. Sakus Evil Twin says:

    Unfortunately the factor X is that I’ll be there.

    Which means a defensive frustrating game.

    Go Saku.

    oh.. and I got my brick!! Well technically, my son did.

  50. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    Its never been more right, our stars have never been more aligned. For the first time this season we are approaching a game with a system that works and a lineup that has the chemistry…even Ryder said in his interview that he is trying to do something right every shift. THAT SAYS IT ALL, when all the lines are doing their job then it becomes a collective effort, thats teamwork and it will GRIND other teams to mercy. We’ve witnessed it the past 2 games, why should it disappear now?…

    THE MAN has kept the lineup…

    now the LINEUP has to keep the LINEUP.

    until the problem in my picture is solved…we will not be Champions.
    Delenda Est Torontium….

  51. cautiousoptimist says:

    Please don’t undervalue Huet, one of the top six or seven goalies in the league. We got a 1st-rounder AND Gorges, just for Rivet, a solid but way overpaid d-man. We should be happy with nothing less than a very good top-six forward for Huet, UFA or not, particularly if he’s packaged with another player as some suspect he will be.

  52. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    If I remember correctly, this is the team we TOTALLY DOMINATED for 59MIN and 50 seconds and then in the last 10secs they scored to tie the game.

    Their Goalie spun on his head all night…

    I’m uncertain on how they have developed since then, but I am certain of where we stand tonight.


    (on the scoreboard that is)

    until the problem in my picture is solved…we will not be Champions.
    Delenda Est Torontium….

  53. 24 Cups says:

    ISS has just released their list of the top 30 prospects for the 2008 draft. Fourteen of these players are centers. Of those 14, 6 are undersized ans hopefully would not be drafted by the Habs(with the exception of Stamkos of course). Obviously these rankings will change as the year progresses and we eventually get to the Memorial Cup. If we can trade Huet for a first round pick in February then we would get two chances at selecting a large center for future development. I think it’s a realistic objective to set our sights on. It’s the next logical step in the Hab’s long range development program.

    The Original 24 Cups

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