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

  54. 24 Cups says:

    In the past, so many of our posts were about what the Habs NEEDED to start doing if they were going to be successful. Now it’s more a case of what they need to KEEP on doing – which is a totally different story. Keep on winning faceoffs, keep taking the puck to the other team by being more offensive oriented, keep a balance between the powerplay and 5 on 5 play, and keep playing with a consistent effort for a full 60 minutes. We are playing three of the lesser lights this week (Florida, Atlanta, Washington) so the points are there and we need to take advantage. Then we really get an opportunity to test out mettle when we play Dallas on Sunday. Our first challenge will be to solve Vokoun tonight. He’s a streaky goalie who unfortunately is very hot right now. We can’t let his cirque du soleil act stymie our offense. Lots of Habs players are going to have to park themselves in front of the net and make his life miserable.

    The Original 24 Cups

  55. mjames says:

    Agreed – here is hoping Carbo lets the kids go and they skate like they can. Florida is trap style team. As I recall they are not an aggressive forecheckers.


  56. nightmare_49 says:

    Carey Price starting tonight means that he has passed the test the Habs management were waiting for. a)can he comeback from so so starts. b)can he adjust his style after reviewing so so starts. c)how coachable is he. At the summits post game get together i was saying that we should resign my man Huet but now after a lot of thought i have changed my mind and think that the money paid to Cristawall can be used to bolster our line up next year. My reasons are that the injuries Huet has had can re occur and him losing the closure he was famous for in his early days with the Habs. It hurts to type this as i have the upmost respect for Crystabal (very professional and cool) but it’s time to look to the future which is with Carey in nets.

  57. yehaken says:

    How come Jokinnen gets to lead the team with 0 OT goals? I’m tied with him and you don’t mention me there…

  58. Wops says:

    He’s the captain
    CH is for Chris Higgins

  59. B says:

    It must be a typo, Jokinen leads Florida with 2 goals in 3 shoot out attempts.

  60. A. Berke says:

    maybe if you had changed the spelling of your name to: “yehakken”??

    Some Finnish names appear to have double consonants in the beginning of the last syllable.



    Ali B.

  61. coutNY says:

    Seems Huet didn’t take the non-start too well… Pat Hickey reports

  62. Bill H says:

    Too bad for Huet. Good decision by Carbo. Maybe he remembers Huet coming off of an injury and being put in the last game of the season, even though Halak was playing well at the time. It didn’t work out very well that time, as the Canadiens lost to the Leafs and missed the playoffs as a result.

    Huet will get his chance. Now is not the time.

  63. joe-hab-nuno says:

    After 2 straight great efforts by the habs, i am really happy about. Even if they lost one of those games I’d be happy cuz of the way they just played. I remember the Flyer game and asking myself “who are these guys”. I can’t remember the last time i saw plays like that from the Habs. I was at work so everytime i had a chance to look at the tv i always saw them with possesion of the puck and making play that had me at aaaww.

    Hopefully we can put up another great effort tonight. I know it is normally a boring game with the Panters, in which it ends up being a low sroring game. One of the teams i hate watching play against the Habs.

    Happy to see Price start tonight too. Try something different and see if we can own them tonight. And no reason to try and hurry Huet from an injury. I have a feeling he rushed himself up qiucker seeing how Price has been playing. I think he’s thinking about his next contract. If he can’t showcase himself for the rest of the season, how is he going to get that last big contract. I really like him and found him to be a class act with us, but as a professional athlete this is a business decision for his last contract.

    As for people saying the organization owes him, that is complete bs. How many players have you seen bail on the organization when it’s time for that big contract. Happens every year. He will get that contract he is looking for, but i don’t think it will be with the Habs. I don’t think the Habs will give him 3.5 mil or more. They would maybe for 1 year but he’ll be shopping for a 3yr or more deal. He’s proved he can be dominate in some games and really good in others. I’d like to see him hear again but in these circumstanses we have to be realistic and expect him to leave. Hopefully we can trade him for something good and not lose him for anything.

  64. TommyB says:

    “As for people saying the organization owes him, that is complete bs. How many players have you seen bail on the organization when it’s time for that big contract.”

    Amen to that, brother!

    Loyalties only go so far with players, why should it be that much different with management? Sound business decisions are very important in your ‘New NHL’.

    I might add that Huet knew from day one of training camp that Price was here to take his place. He had until his latest injury to catch the attention of other team’s scouts and GMs. I’m sure everyone including Habs management wishes him well…..but they do not owe him.

  65. doug says:

    One of the messed up things about the three point games is that it’s screwed up one’s perception of when you’re over or under .500. Look at all the teams that are above .500 and how few are below. I looked into it and if you assume that 10% of games will go into overtime during the regular season, the “new .500” is actually .525. Translated into an 82 game season, this means that for you to just be “average” – you need to be 4 games over .500 in the new NHL. It really screws with your perception of how your team is doing. . . four or five above .500 used to be good for a playoff spot but now I think it’s likely to be more like 8-10 games above .500. Same goes for points – 82-88 used to be in the ballpark but now it’s more like 92-96 to be at the bottom end.

  66. ColoradoHab says:

    The Panther’s played like it was the 7th game of the Stanley Cup finals. Montreal gets knocked for showing a lack of intensity. It’s very difficult for the Habs to have 7th game desire when playing the Panthers in December.

    Panther’s will get spanked in their next game because they will not bring the same desire. I guess since they never win anything, never are a contender, rarely ever even have a shot at making the playoffs, they need to pick certain games or teams during the season to feel the excitement of playing for something important.

    Montreal is one of those teams that the Panthers pick to experience such a feeling. It is very difficult for Montreal to match that intesity against a cellar-dweller team before the halfway point of the season.

    This is why the Panthers always outplay Montreal.

  67. slamtherimtim says:

    all youlosers thinking this lose will not affect the team your wrong , moral on the team could not get any lower , if i had guys where i work that were not giving it all or showing up every day , we would find a way to get rid of them , why the habs keep thinking things are always going to turn around blows my mind , bob’s doing a terrible job , i seen the draft day documentry and when i heard him on the phone he sounded so depressed , if he wants to leave let him go , if he isn’t going to do the job get rid of him , carbo’s problem is the team knows bob has the last say so they dont care about impressing carbo

    we have to make a trade even if its to lose some dead weight and get nothing back , cause right now some players are hurting us more than they are helping

  68. LTHF says:

    Well I guess if we didnt know before we now know what to expect from this team for the remainder of the season. I was optimistic after the previous 2 games, however, that was dampened after last night’s preformance. They looked like they were playing shorthanded for the whole game, except for the last few minutes, they were just manhandled in every area by the Panthers. Someone made the comment after Saturday’s game the the Leafs were beaten by the Bulldogs, well, I guess the Bulldogs got beaten last night and looked very badly in the process. Wonder if anyone counted the number of turnovers that Kovalev had last night, I know there were many. No doubt Price made a couple of crucial errors on the first 2 goals, however, a good team would have picked it up for him, since he has bailed the team out for a win on a few occasions. Im saddened to say the least since I was looking forward to the game and a all out effort from the whole team like on Saturday— not to be! Now who do the powers that be poi nt the finger and sit out the next game. Will Ryder be the whipping boy again?

  69. belair57 says:

    The team is alright. It is only one game. Players are not the problem.
    We have a very good mixture of young and veteran talent. But this type of a team requires a certain type of coaching. I have said it before and will say it again and again and again.
    I believe we have SIX potential 30+ goal scorers on this team (Sak, Higgy, Kovi, 2 Kost. bros, and Pleks) which is better than having onlt two 40+ goal scorers, but they are so busy thinking defence they are not producing offensively. Guy and Doug were defensive specialists not offensive. What you don’t know, you can’t teach.
    Habs need a coach who knows how and when to use checking and energy lines and also let your scoring lines do what they are good at doing, CREATE OFFENCE.I am sick and tired of seeing the same thing every single game, rolling four lines. IT IS NOT WORKING. Every GOOD coach in any pro sports adjusts to situations during every game. CARB HAS NO CLUE HOW TO ADJUST, and players see this.
    Majority of the people on this site feel that by trading this guy or that guy to bring in a pure goal scorer will help this team. Do you really think that a 40+ goal scorer will be productive in this type of a system?
    I don’t think so.
    Have a great day everybody.

  70. gfunkdoc says:

    “Carbonneau’s being outcoached,” “Gainey’s doing a terrible job.” Can we be more creative? It baffles me that the coach can be blamed because “Vokoun was seeing pucks all game long.” I don’t think Carbo wants to stand in front of the net in his suit and tie, and I guess for that he deserves a little bit of the blame. I haven’t seen a single game this season ’cause I’m in France, but it sounds to me like the players are just being outplayed. Just like last year and the year before that.
    I agree that a trade might be beneficial, but it’s not that simple. All GMs are having trouble doing it. Why was Ilya Bryzgalov (sp??) put on waivers? Since Gainey took over the team has been headed in the right direction.

  71. nightmare_49 says:

    Game 33 thread has 140 posts as of now and about 50% of them are from the two Ropper Rooms boys and girls and their elfs , happy navigating.

  72. ccs says:

    A perfect road game by the panthers. I hope that we play that way over the next 6 games. I think that Guy was outcoached plane and simple. 2 mistakes cost us the game. One thing I would like to see is once down by 2 goals and clearly being out played drop the gloves and lay a beating on someone. Oh yeah we dont have those types of players. And when is Obyrn going to use his size and hit someone???

  73. krob1000 says:

    You will get two different opinions of how to handle a two on one depending on which coach you ask. Some say to take the shooter and force him to a tougher angle while playing the pass (this is what I always thought was the right play). I have seen analysts on television and heard players say during interviews that it made more sense to take the shooter and force the other team to convert the pass. The logic for this was that there was more room for error if you force them to make a decent pass, receive the pass, and convert the shot.

    I am forever confused on this one. If you have the puck carrier forced outside and his angle is limited (or the shooter is not on their off wing) than let them shoot. If the puck carrier is either on an offwing (enhancing his angle) or near the middle of the ice I say take the shooter and force the pass. If anyone knows for certain that one way is more correct please let me know because I always grew up taking away the pass but still wonder if it is isn’t a situational decision and that there is no “right way”.

    I found this link that says take she pass away but I am wondering if anyone else has heard more on this. I am a coach as often as I can be so any input will be appreciated.

  74. ccs says:

    Oh yeah lets hope we don’t get HOME ICE advantage in the playoffs….

  75. REB says:

    Ok, here goes…I know I’m late, but had to sleep off that game.

    1. The 1st goal was a cluster f#@% from the word ‘Go’. Koivu makes a soft pass, Komi pinches to try and save the play (he guessed wrong, as we know), and then Markov played the rush entirely wrong. On a 2-on-1 rush, the defender shuts down the pass, and leaves the shooter to the goalie – I’ve seen Markov do it right, so I know he knows better. As it was, Price had no chance, although I was very impressed with the speed he got crossed the net.

    2. The 2nd goal was a rookie mistake, like O’Byrnes mistake several games earlier. We have to bite our tongues and hope that the player learned something. In Price’s case, that something is bank the puck off the boards. I found it interesting to see the clips of Roy doing almost the exact same thing.

    3. Who the heck were those players in red, and what did they do with the team that dominated Philly and Toronto? I echo most of the people on this site when I say it is very frustrating to watch the Habs…you never know which team is going to show up.

    4. As for the “Should have played Huet” posters…Huet, Price, Hasek, Roy, The Big JC…it wouldn’t have mattered, not with the rest of the team effort.

  76. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I agree and have said before that this team’s ability to turn their games off and on is their way of sending a message to Gainey that they are not happy with the coaching staff.

  77. Bouleau noir says:

    Why did the Panthers look like gods last night ?

    Why has the CH managed scoring but a single goal on them in each of the last seven game they had played against them prior to last night ?

    A hight 45 shots on goal per game was recorded against the Panthers in their last two outings,… on average this season they received a fairly hight 32 shots avg against them per game.

    The game plan as revealed by Carbo prior to the start of the match was to create visual interference with the goaly and the importance of scoring the first goal of the evening,… or from Higgins comment taken after the match,.. ” to sustained offensive pressure “.

    None of that happens in the first two periods as we only managed 3 shots on goal in the first and 9 in the second totalising a meager 3 descent scoring opportunitys.

    The fact of the matter was that our puck possession time in those periods was nil,… we couln’d get out of our zone properly where they spend most of the time and when we did we were easilly contained and stripped of the puck just as easilly.

    My feeling is that we got out-played more than we got out-worked and that we lacked proper tactics-ressources to adapt and confront successfully the situations created by the Panther’s game.

    I guess, if my team had to meet the CH in the playoffs I would study how the Panthers went about their game tonight and have my team emulate it.

    According to Carbo,.. the CH had ” prepared ” themselves the last two days to play against the Panthers,… they didn’t play hard enought.

    Lack of effort ? Lack of hability ? Lack of…… I wouln’d know myself.. except I’d like to know dammit.

  78. gfunkdoc says:

    Six potential 30 goal scoreres? I think that’s a little bit of wishful thinking. Koivu hasn’t scored more than 22, and he’s not on a record-breaking pace this year. It’s still too early to judge what the Kostitsyns will do. Andrei only scored 21 in the AHL, not that that means too much. Plekanec probably won’t this year. Maybe in the future. Higgins and Kovalev probably will, but even Kovalev hasn’t done it since 2001.
    I’d say we have 2 30 goal scorers. There used to be another one, I forget his name. I don’t know what happened to him.

  79. HNS says:

    I guess it’s hard to get up for one of the two florida teams with no buisness being in the NHL. Hope they’re not looking for those 2 points at the end of the season….

  80. Corio says:

    Great post I totally agree with what you said! The team’s effort was absent until the final 5 minutes and only because Markov gave the team something to play for but it was too little too late..

  81. linp says:

    I agree with you. Our team forgot how to pass the puck and sometimes just dumped it out. I don’t know why the team suddenly acted like that. We have no puck control. The 1st line was chasing after the opponents most of the time. Only Kovalev showed some puck control. We can’t win if the players didn’t skate into position to help each other out. The coaches should have directed the players how to break out from the own zone and keep control of the puck.

  82. B says:

    My mistake, you were talking about OT goals, not shoot outs.

  83. mar-lin says:

    If Kostitsyn is our answer on the the first line and it continues to go well for the rest of the season. Do we still need to be active before the deadline? I know it would sting a little to lose our FA’s for nothing but trading away our youth scares me even more. If he’s not the answer then no problem…trade away. I just see a lot of our homegrown talent is finally stepping up. I think it’ll get harder for FA’s to refuse to come here when they see just how close we are to the cup. I’m not trying to over value what we’ve got, i just think the right players and chemistry seem to be comming together. I’m looking forward to breaking this florida curse tonight. I’m actually headed out to pick up another habs item to put on my t.v. Maybe i’ll get a panthers item and do like my buddy…put it in the freezer!!


    go habs go!

  84. coutNY says:

    I think the answer will reveal itself in time on whether we need to go shopping and if so, what we’ll need might be different. Montreal can be streaky and Carbo’s reaction when such a period occurs might reveal a need, not to mention who is available in the market for return.

    Only time will tell…

    Also if we could unload mediocre players to free space, both salary and roster, could be benefial in improving our future standing.

    Right now we have players returning that will force us to make decisions on the current roster. Most notable the Breezer, which in my opinion would be a travesty if he were to bump down one of our current core players. With holiday Trade freeze causing us to go to a 23 man roster on the 19th and Breezer returning, in think he would have to be put on waivers in about 20-25 minutes to clear or be traded before this time to stop anyone from having to go down. I have my fingers crossed…

    UPDATE… Well scratch that Even with Breezer coming back I think the injuries to Begin and Smolinski will allow the current roster to stay intact over the Freeze period, but sometime down the road well have some decision to be made.

  85. mar-lin says:

    I get what your saying, my thought was unloading certain player for draft picks. I think we can all see that hamilton has suffered with all the guys we promoted. So if things are going well with the big club then let’s continue restocking the dogs.

    Do you honestly think Carbo will put breezer on waivers? Don’t get me wrong I see it the same way as you do but something tells me Gorges will get the short end here. We could end up losing him like we did Hainsey…that would truly suck.


    go habs go

    well that’s good news for now but who knows about the old “down the road”

  86. joe-hab-nuno says:

    Paul Maurice still stands by his comments that it was a dirty play against Mcabe. For those whe where hoping that he would cool off after a couple of days and say it was in the heat of the moment remark, it’s not going to happen.

  87. T-roy West says:

    Heard people talking about the Oilers being even more interested in the Habs now that Raffi Torre’s might have to have surgery in a couple of weeks if his injury worsens! But I don’t have the slightest clue who Montreal would want!

  88. kevinhabs says:

    For the last few years, they’ve gone into their christmas road trip on fire and they come out of the trip struggling. Last year, they were 4th, i believe, in the East. On the 4-game road trip, they go 1-3 and from there choke down the stretch. In 05-06, they were top 5 and they went 1-4 on the 5-gm xmas road trip and struggled just to make the playoffs. This year it’s 6 games. If history repeats itself, they’ll likely go 1-5 or 2-4. But if they can possibly get 9-10 points out of 12, i think the season is turned around. The last few years have been ruined by this trip, why not have the complete opposite and have this trip turn around their season. Because right now, the season is slowly going down the toilet. Let’s take a look at these 6 games and the possibility of winning.

    1. Washington Dec 20th- Likely win, Huet in nets he’ll want to prove himself
    2. Atlanta Dec 22nd- If they can shut down Kovalchuk, they can guarantee themselves 1 point
    3. Dallas Dec 23rd- I can’t see them winning this game
    4. Tampa Dec 27th- This is my guaranteed win game. Tampa is slowly becoming the worst team in the East and Montreal doesn’t play in bad as Tampa as they do in places like…..
    5. Florida Dec 28th- No way we’re winning. It’s just like going into New Jersey, you know something bad will happen.

    6. NY Rangers Dec 30th- tough to say how NYR plays us. They’ve been weird to figure out all year. Hopefully we can get a point.

    I say they go 2-2-2 on this road trip which might not be good enough. PROVE ME WRONG BOYS!!!

  89. JF says:

    They should be able to beat Atlanta, who have been playing badly lately and who were beaten 3 out of 4 times by them last season. I think they should also be able to beat the Rangers. They won’t beat Florida, but they might get a point off Dallas. So far, they’ve been very good on the road, with the exception of two games in Buffalo and one in New Jersey. Optimistically, they could go 4-1-1.

  90. T-roy West says:

    I don’t think they do. But I know Dave does and mybe he passes things on, eh Dave?!

  91. T-roy West says:


    I’ve heard all kinds of players mentioned. From Stoll, Jean-Francois Jacques, Ryan O’Marra to Troy Bodie. I’ve also heard mybe a three-way with Huet going one way and Ryder the other. If I was Gainey I don’t think I would trade anyone as long as were still in the thick of things because they might be worth more when people get desperate. I only mentioned Montreal and Edmonton because Edmonton has been scouting habs games lately and with Torre’s going down it gets more interesting.

  92. Wops says:

    Anybody saw the crosscheck by Koivu???

    Apparently he cross-check Stumpel in the face after the siren went off. He got a 10 min game misconduct and a 5 min major for crosschecking…

    Probably be suspend in Washington…
    CH is for Chris Higgins

  93. Renegade says:

    I didn’t see this at all, and I don’t know if he will be suspended in Washington. However, if it is true, it is very unbecoming behavior for a Captain, and there is really no excuse to intentionally go after someone in that manner.

  94. Habs-Fan-In-KY says:

    I saw the crosscheck. To me I saw a 5 minute penalty. Koivu was taken out of the play at the very end and frustration got the best of him. I supposen that since it happened at the end of the game, it earns a suspension. How unfortunate.

    So hypothetically, if Koivu is suspended, who fills in on the top line? What if the Habs tear the Caps a new one on Thursday….could you imagine the trade rumors from that?

  95. Habs-Fan-In-KY says:

    It’s so unusual to say “Phew, glad we’re on the road the next 6 games!”.

    About tonight, starting either goaltender I think would have resulted in a loss. For some strange reason we don’t match up with this teams players and/or system very well. Not just the past few years, but historically speaking. I say rather lose to the Panthers than the Leafs.

    I thik Huet needs a start next game if nothing more than to give Carey a rest.

    Some players that I don’t even remember seeing involved in the play tonight: Komisarek, Chipchura, Andrei Kost., and Streit. I only have the Florida broadcast but honestly don’t remember the broadcasters mentioning their names. Perhaps because the Pantehrs had the puck most of the time.

    I don’t think a lack of effort is to blame in this one. I see the guys trying….perhaps too hard! I hope the guys win 2 in their building this year and level the point totals!

    Ryder really did not play well tonight. He’s really a Jeckyl and Hyde case.

    Did I hear correctly the Koivu got a game misconduct and will be missing the next game?

  96. Wops says:

    Ok so to clear things, it was a cross-check in the back,

    it is not an automatic suspension

    but it is subject to disciplinary review by the league.
    CH is for Chris Higgins

  97. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I think 3 shots on goal in the first is a lack of effort.

  98. nightmare_49 says:

    Saku got a cross checking major and a game misconduct at 20:00 min of the third which the league may review , no suspension so far.

  99. T-roy West says:

    Hindsight is twenty twenty!!!!

  100. G-Man says:

    Last time I looked, Anaheim is mediocre. Isn’t it odd how so many Cup winners stink the next season? BTW, Burke inherited most of his core of young players, he didn’t draft them. He can thank the GM in Ottawa for that.

  101. mysterycog says:

    it will all be ok….it’s just one game… man Habs fans are so ready to throw the team under the bus..sheeesh

  102. nightmare_49 says:

    Now that the after game bitching is over you can look back at one of the best road games played by any team , it was almost flawless. Hats off to the Panthers who would of beat any team in the NHL tonight , even Detroit and Ottawa.

  103. habsguy says:

    ya well, 17 other gm’s didn’t draft getzlaf and 27 other gm’s didn’t draft perry…dude ( and I think I’m speaking for most guys here ) it’s really getting old, you should pick someone new to talk about in 98% of your posts..

  104. skoehn says:

    He is not Dirty he is frustrated with the team the coach the media the fans with himself… he is the only one with enough heart ot there to give a damn and stand up for himself and not get pushed around…

  105. Rocket9 says:

    You’ve seriously got to be kidding. Koivu dirty? Are you insane?

    Koivu takes too many hooking penalties, I’ll give you that, but hooking is not dirty. Koivu plays his heart out most of the time, and when he hits people, he uses his shoulder, (or sometimes his butt) even though he’s not very big.

    I’m sorry, but I had to reply to that post. I can’t believe anyone would say that Koivu is a dirty player. That’s just bunk.

  106. G-Man says:

    So, you need two paragraphs for the same old thing. The Habs did not play patient hockey. See CP’s gargantuan giveaway. Habs did not hit or show intensity and Carbo cannot bench the whole team.
    I find it incredible that Carbo is blamed whether the team wins or loses. Could this be why most experienced NHL coaches offered the job here ask the ff: “Are you out of your mind?”

  107. Leclerc1965 says:

    Any defenceman will fill in nicely in Carbo’s system

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