Game 34: Latendresse, Huet start trip with a win

Links updated at 6:58 am ET

Canadiens’ Guillaume Latendresse (centre) celebrates the second of his goals with teammates.
Molly Riley, Reuters

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Guillaume Latendresse returned to the Canadiens lineup with a vengeance last night, and in so doing got his team’s six-game road trip off to a winning start.

Latendresse, a healthy scratch the past two games, scored his eighth and ninth goals of the season to help lift the Canadiens to a 5-2 victory over the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Centre.

Big marks, too, to goalie Cristobal Huet, who made 35 saves while making his first start in the last seven games. And a tip of the helmet to Canadiens veteran Mathieu Dandenault, who earned an assist in his 800th NHL game.

Latendresse got the Canadiens on the scoresheet first with a power-play goal at 18:15 of the first period, converting a pass from behind Capitals goalie Olaf Kolzig’s net off the stick of captain Saku Koivu.

Tomas Plekanec tallied his 11th at 6:33 of the second, slipping in a crisp, cross-ice pass from Alex Kovalev off the tip of Kolzig’s right pad. The Caps got that one back at 9:10 on the power play, Maxim Lapierre off for holding, with Niklas Backstrom banging one in a close range.

But the Habs went back up by two with Latendresse’s second of the night, Lapierre winning the faceoff to the stick of Dandenault. Dandenault redirected the puck to the deep slot to Latendresse, who drilled it home for his ninth.

The Canadiens weren’t exactly dominating their hosts; Montreal had just 11 shots (six and five) through two periods, compared to the 24 the Capitals shot at Habs goalie Cristobal Huet, returning to action after having sat out seven straight with a groin injury and as backup Tuesday to Carey Price.

Twenty-year-old rookie Sergei Kostitsyn then scored his milestone first NHL goal at 9:34 of the third period on the power play, tipping in a pass from Koivu from the slot. Koivu quickly retrieved the puck for a souvenir.

The Canadiens bench was still buzzing about that when Alexander Semin scored Washington’s second, at 10:08, left absolutely alone in front of Huet to whip in a hard wrist shot.

Mark Streit finished things off at 18:39, banging in the rebound of a Kyle Chipchura shot for his fifth goal of the year.

This was the Canadiens’ first six-game road swing since going 4-1-1 from Feb. 28-March 9, 2006. Montreal will not return home until Jan. 3 against Tampa Bay.


  1. Ian Cobb says:

    Habsrule! Very True and if you were to stand behind the other net looking like your picture, the score would be a perfect 10 to 0 GO HABS RULE!!

  2. hhl says:

    ok genious, and…….who would you hire?

  3. CHsam says:

    I agree. When its 5 on 5 in our zone and looks that bad, it reminds me of that old game where teh gopher pokes his head out of one of five holes and you try to hit it with the hammer.

  4. Renegade says:

    Shame, Huet was one of the main reasons they won.

    Did you get your date with Carey Price yet?

  5. Renegade says:

    On the point of the three fights that happened, the Chara and Laraque fights were just Chara tackling Laraque twice. The Crosby and Ference fight was actually quite interesting.

  6. T-roy West says:

    When are we ever going to match the other teams intensity? Message to Higgins – stop shooting the puck high on the goaltender. On a side note Crosby and Ference went at it and so did Chara and Laraque, twice!

  7. Renegade says:

    On the bright side, they have 2 shots and 2 goals in the second, thus maintaining a perfect shooting percentage throughout the period =)

  8. Renegade says:

    Carbonneau needs a one way ticket out of the organization. A new coach has been needed for over a year and a half now. Time to pull the trigger Gainey.

  9. downeast hab says:

    a period and half and being outshot 18 to 7. WHAT OFFENCE

  10. A. Berke says:

    I’m sorry but I don’t have all the answers, though, I’m tempted to say that, it appears to be:

    “play great and win one then muck up the next one and lose with a miserable showing with no explanation” ????

    Ali B.

  11. A. Berke says:

    everything being relative, I suspect that for players and other folks who are paid lofty seven digit salaries, those salaries may look rather normal and usual (nothing to get excited about). On the other hand, to us mortals who are NOT there in payscale, it would be very hard to comprehend why some of them are not motivated.

    Hey, I would be dancing in the streets for a ONE TIME a year’s worth pay of those players. I’ll even take not the highest but the average league pay.



    Ali B.

  12. Cams Habs says:

    It was reported somewhere the prjected top two look like:

    Kovalev – Koivu – Higgins

    A. Kostitsyn – Plekanec – S. Kostitsyn

    Not sure if this is true, trying to find out, unless someone knows for sure?

  13. mjames says:

    I will ask here – what is the style or system?


  14. mjames says:

    so what is the system Carbo would like to play but can’t? can you help me out here?


  15. LeClair says:

    Please Please everyone needs to relax. Huet starting tonight has nothing to do with Price sucking or anything of that nature. Yes he had a bit of an off game on Tuesday (I was there). It wasn’t so much the three goals he let up but his rebound control was not as good as usual either. But I don’t think there was any question that Huet was starting tonight as they have three games in the next four days. As for Ryder I think he has been playing better of late but he just doesn’t have the foot speed plus he is not much of a grinder so unless someone does the majority of the work for him he won’t be successful. Also his 30 goal seasons were a bit flattering considering about 75 percent of his goals have come on the powerplay.
    And for pleky14 I don’t agree. There are more good players then the ones you mentioned so you need to relax too.

    In closing I know it is frustrating to watch the team go up and down but that is the type of team we are. We are a team that will probably end up anywhere from 6th to 12th in the conference.

  16. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    The boys match up well when playing against 1 line or 1 man teams…so tonight ‘should’ be a win.

    its the fast forechecking teams that seem to shut us down…is Washington that type of team?

    I don’t think Carbs made any errors in the lineup, although I would’ve sat Kostop instead of Ryder, but thats Carbs mentality, he’d rather keep a pk grinder instead of an almost 3 year 30goal scorer in the lineup. Anyway, Latron’s been given a chance (again) to show what he has…as well its a mistake moving kostjr off the 1st line, where can he play other than there or with his bro? …and Huet will carry the ball until he fumbles it at least 2 games (Huet would have to play 2 bad games before he’s yanked), Price needs to sit for a awhile and watch.

    the Saga continues…..

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

  17. showey47 says:

    I don’t know how motivation could be a problem with this team. If you play in the biggest and loudest building in the league while putting on the jersey of one the greatest organizations in the history of team sports, there shouldn’t be much motivation required. Mind you the red,white and blue probably doesn’t have the nastalga(sp) it once had but if you get can’t get up for a game at the bell center then there are some deeper issues.

  18. TradeRyder says:

    You’re probably right… on all counts. Sad but true. Here’s a question for you: is it avoidable? I mean, we can sit here and even with the small amount we’re allowed to know I think we can make some pretty astute guesses as to the overall situation – even though we don’t know the particulars (who, why, conflicts, etc.). You would think that being inside and seeing more clearly, they could identify more readily what needs to be done, who needs to be moved, etc. But you are probably right because it’s going to take time for 4 things to happen, at least 3 of which probably need to happen.
    1. For our young guns to mature enough to see what they are worth – and to take the reigns. That will strengthen the team for sure.
    2. For any undesirables to become expendable enough to trade. (related to #1, and timing)
    3. For them to land the “missing piece” if it’s out there – a big effective centerman or a top goal-scoring winger. (this may be related to #1 too)
    4. For Carbo to mature a little more as a coach, and work out some of his own kinks. Let’s hope!

    So I guess you’re right. Might as well relax and enjoy the game – and hope it’s one where we come to play… lol I’d take a 50-50 chance at seeing a good Canadiens game over having no hockey worth watching cough-tsn-cough-laffs-cough!

    Cheers! (that’s me with a beer)

    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  19. Angry Almond says:

    You see, it certainly depends. Did anyone hit the panic button when Ottawa lost 7 in a row!? Of course…fans these days expect too much. The Habs can compete with the best teams and win and the next night lose to the Kings or the Coyotes.

    The thing is to not jump on the team after EVERY game, win or lose. After the Flyers game and then the Leafs game, we were planning the parade route! Price makes one bad play, and we want to throw him under the bus. I’m sure Ken Dryden or Patrick Roy made similar gaffes during their tenure here, but we never called for their heads publically!

    We’re all too needy for immediate action…Bob Gainey’s a hockey guy…give him time. Last season wasn’t supposed to be a contender, but we contested for a playoff spot until the next to last day of the year (but what we did in that game is a whole other topic!)

    This team can play well…certainly not a favorite to win the cup, but at this point, who is?

  20. A. Berke says:

    You probably have a point with motivation being Carbo’s Achilles heel.

    Along with that, to Carbo’s possible credit, I’m wondering if some of the players who, supposedly are not buying to his style from get go, or the ones who don’t fit the system, have been indifferent to what Carbo is trying to implement?

    An attitude problem from the players may make the situation even worse (I think last year’s Samsonov & Kovi situation was a good example). Since we don’t know what exactly expires behind closed doors, we may have more of the same.

    It’s like having a new manager in a business environment and some of the existing employees may resent or oppose this mgr just because or any other reason. That’s why I think it’ll be a year or two before a clean-up of dissenters and acquiring the right players + bringing up the younger generation and ready the team for prime time.

    In the meantime we (the fans) will probably continue to suffer some more.


    Ali B.

  21. HabFab says:

    Impact player?
    Washington has an impact player (Ovechkin)- they’re dead last in the conference.
    Tampa Bay has a dream of a first line, top scorer in the league- they’re second to last in the conference.
    Pittsburgh has several impact players- they’re 10th in the conference

    This isn’t a single-player game. You want to trade valuable draft picks for 1 guy who might or might not score for us? All this talk of getting the impact player drives me crazy.. 60 minutes of hard hockey is what wins, not 1 guy.

    Besides, you build a team goalie out, which is exactly what’s being done.

  22. TradeRyder says:

    I think there’s something to that Ali, but based on what I’ve observed to date I strongly feel that player motivation is Carbo’s Achilles heal and that we’ll see that no matter who he has on the team… and it will be a problem long into the future.

    And I’m not ‘blaming’ anybody. But I do think it’s fair to talk about who’s responsibility it is to get the team – whatever its make-up – to play together. And wouldn’t that be nice!

    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  23. A. Berke says:

    First I apologize for posting this a second time on this thread but, seeing again ad nauseam blames flying all over against Carbo, players etc., I feel I should make this one a bit more visible by posting again:

    IMO, trying to figure out why the players aren’t buying into the so-called game plan, or why Carbo can’t figure the players out, blah blah, is a waste of time.

    The truth is: as J.T. hit the nail on the head: “the real problem with the Habs is that they’re not a team built for any particular style. They’re not super fast, they don’t have great offence, and they don’t have the size and strength to play a defence-first style.”

    Exactly my opinion, in other words this is a mix-n-match team right now. Some of the players are heritage from previous managements (some may fit this management plans/system, and some may not be exactly what BG wants but has to keep right now), some of them acquired in the hope of fulfilling temporarily a specific need/role (from UFA’s who were willing to come to MTL), some of them are chosen by this management with future in mind and MOST of them are very young players who are in the process of learning what it means to be an nhl player of high caliber.

    Given this mix-n-match quality, it’s difficult to expect (obviously) steady and consistently good results, especially when some of the players do not fit in the system, period.

    So, it’s WRONG to put the blame squarely on Carbo (or Gainey) or even the players. It’s either a total team effort or not. When it’s “not” we get results like in the panthers game. Looks like, it may take another year or two to get the young ones to come up to speed plus acquire the “right” players for the system. Right now Carbo is trying to fit square pegs into round holes.

    In the meantime, if the whole team makes sure to play with the same determination and intensity as they played in the games that they won handily (i.e, 60 minutes), with or without a system, we (the team) will still have a lot more wins. That’s the bottom line.

    Besides, Forehecking, backchecking, winning along the boards, keeping and passing the puck etc. etc., WHY do the players need a system that they “like” to do these basic work anyways?

    The rest is, as my mom used to say, akin to beating water in a pestle.


    Ali B.

  24. A. Berke says:

    IMO, trying to figure out why the players aren’t buying into the so-called game plan, or why Carbo can’t figure the players out, blah blah, is a waste of time.

    The truth is: as J.T. hit the nail on the head: “the real problem with the Habs is that they’re not a team built for any particular style. They’re not super fast, they don’t have great offence, and they don’t have the size and strength to play a defence-first style.”

    Exactly my opinion, in other words this is a mix-n-match team right now. Some of the players are heritage from previous management (some may fit this management plans, and some may not be exactly what BG wants but has to keep right now), some of them acquired to fulfill temporarily a specific need/role (from UFA’s who were willing to come to MTL), some of them are chosen by this management with future in mind and MOST of them are very young players who are in the process of learning what it means to be an nhl player of high caliber.

    Given this mix-n-match quality, it’s difficult to expect (obviously) steady and consistently good results, especially when some of the players do not fit the system, period.

    So, it’s WRONG to put the blame squarely on Carbo (or Gainey) or the players. It’s a total team effort or not. When it’s “not” we get results like in the panthers game. Looks like, it may take another year or two to get the young ones to come up to speed and acquire the “right” players for the system.

    In the meantime, if the whole team makes sure to play as they played in the games that they won handily (i.e, 60 minutes), with or without a system, we (the team) will still have a lot more wins. That’s the bottom line.

    The rest is, as my mom used to say, akin to beating words in a pestle.


    Ali B.

  25. Blitzen says:

    I’ll have some of what you’re having.

  26. TradeRyder says:

    It was a loooonnngggg time before he benched him. Though I think this is just another point that Carbo’s weakness is that he doesn’t know how to finesse these things. Whatever he’s tried to do – he hasn’t gotten goals out of Michael Ryder. And it’s the results that count.

    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  27. Habs fan in SF says:

    i don’t really think it’s anyone in particular. it’s a combo. first, it’s ryder’s fault for not scoring … and he then placed himself in such a rut that now the coach is benching him – which i think is a mistake because you need to play him more in order for him get out of his funk and get his confidence back. benching him will only make him pissed off, and it will lessen his trade value. you think another team is going to give up much for a slumping player who’s being benched? we need ryder. we need him more than what we’ll get in return for him.

  28. TradeRyder says:

    Probably. And to pick up our previous discussion… if someone was most responsible for not letting that happen, who would it be?

    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  29. Habs fan in SF says:

    prediction: we trade ryder for absolutely nothing and he goes on to score 50 goals next season.

  30. TradeRyder says:

    Apparently (TSN) Ryder is sitting to make room for Lats.

    We need size up front to play Washington? I would think speed….
    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  31. 24cups says:

    Amen to that. I am a Canadians fan. Not a fan of any particular player or previous years teams. I wish that the players realized that they are playing for the “canadians” not for themselves.

  32. Angry Almond says:

    FANS? Yup…you all here need to give your heads a shake! We’re Montreal Canadiens fans…the most storied franchise in HISTORY!!! Hey, there were bleak periods in the past, and even when there were only 6 teams in the league!

    Take your current team, anyone of you, and put together a trade that makes sense! I dare you…

    We desperately need 1 or 2 players that whenever they get the puck, the other team takes notice. Unfortunately, there are only a handful of those players in the NHL right now: Ovechkin, Crosby, Kovalchuk and a couple of others. Do you know what we’d have to give up to get one? 4-5 guys or 3-4 plus picks!?!? The Habs are a couple of years from being much stronger by letting their youth make some mistakes NOW in exchange for LATER. One game against Florida shouldn’t be the end of the world, nor should games against a tired Toronto team or a flat Flyers team.

    Judge this team in 4 semesters, after 15 games, 30 games, 55 and then 82. Injuries happen, streaks happen, droughts happen (Michael?)…all good teams ride them out. New Jersey was off to a horrible start as Marty Brodeur played very average…he’s back and they’re doing better. Even future hall of famers have droughts (Brett Favre anyone?).

    In the words of a famous person:


    Chill out…and have a happy holiday season!

  33. Habs_008 says:

    Keep the dream alive buddy!

  34. TradeRyder says:

    Hey SF,

    You’re right there are a lot of dreaming habs fans. One just posted two above this about coming back from the road trip with Ovechkin or Lecalvalier (and I heard it was Ryder, Breezer, and THREE bags of pucks for Crosby!).

    So I agree with you completely except for one thing. I’m not a Carbo-basher… I used to defend him, and actually I like him as a coach. He’s a smart hockey man who has done alot right or the team wouldn’t be winning a lot of games, the Power Play wouldn’t dominate etc.

    But I think he has to take more responsibility for when things go wrong, and especially for these bad games… there is something going wrong on the coaching side. And his calling out Price leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I wonder if he is the guy to lead a young team. He seems to not have a handle on the teams motivation. And with young players especially, this is important. So not bashing him, just raising what I think is a concern. Gainey overall I think has done a very good job – at least average or above for the league. Certainly we have a lot of good young players and prospects now, and the addition of Hamrlik was a good one.

    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  35. RiverviewCanadien says:

    Media is to blame in most cases for how fans will react. They make a player seem to be a phenom before they have even played one NHL game. We have a good team this year, better than last year, playoffs will come, and will get by first round

    Come on HABS fans, keep the faith and the excellent posts

    GO HABS GO!!!

  36. Habsrule1 says:

    I’m convinced.

    This team is full of Hall of Famers, so Carb’s the problem.

    I stand corrected.

    Go Habs Go!!


  37. Odie Clegorn says:

    We are now about to enter the Habs’ equivalent of the twilight zone, the annual Christmas crisis road trip, and here’s how I would define a succesful outcome: we return with either Hossa, Lecavalier or Ovechkin, not necessarily in that order. Or even better, a combo of those three.

    Yes, I know, there’s a trade freeze on right now but that doesn’t mean deals can’t be discussed.

    And what better time of year than now to go searching for three wise men and a star?

    Merry Christmas everybody.

  38. Habs fan in SF says:

    ok, so maybe i jumped the gun a little on this talk thread, but i’m going off of people’s opinions on here in general. i’m from montreal. i grew up there. i know what montreal fans are like. i’m one of them. but we can all agree that montreal fans are fickle. a lot of montreal fans on here dream up these fantasy trades of packaging breezer, ryder, and a bag of pucks for sidney crosby (that was a slight exaggeration – but you get my point). and all of this carbo bashing? and Gainey bashing?? he’s done a good job and he lost his daughter last year. show some respect.

    what this team needs is an overhaul. bring up the kids. trade the vets for prospects and draft picks. going young is the key.

  39. TradeRyder says:

    Hey SF.

    Only one person said “Price sucks” and it’s some guy named Spider Man (i.e. probably some kid). So don’t make such a big deal of it. In fact to say “hab fans are the worst!” based on one kid’s comment in a forum with a lot of good discussion is about the same as yelling out “Price sucks!” in a forum with a lot of good discussion. So in my books, you’re not that far from Spider Man. Goblin? Octapus? lol Anyway… chill!

    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  40. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Another example of how clueless Carbonneau is.

  41. habs fan in san francisco says:

    oh my god. habs fans are the worst! so hot and cold. now you’re saying price sucks??? jesus! and all of these bogus trades you guys dream up? the truth is we are an average team at best. i have some faith in Gainey that he is steering this team in the right direction. you have to have a little patience to ride this out. i think Gainey is smart enough to do his job.

  42. TradeRyder says:

    Hey Habsrule. It must be dark where you are so I am not sure how you know where my head is.

    But Carbo ultimately is responsible for the play of his team. See further down for a whole discussion on this between others and myself. But the bottom line is:

    1. “The buck stops here”. The Coach is the boss, and the boss needs to know how to motivate his workers to work. This team has motivation problems. Carbo needs to figure them out. You can’t just cuss your team out because they are not working together – you need to figure out how to motivate them. Or (by the way) you lose your job! Even in the NEW NHL, it’s that simple.

    2. Players like Koivu that played with passion every game until this year should be a warning that something is wrong on the coaching side. Koivu is not a quitter or lazy. But this year for the first time he sometimes plays like he goes through the motions.

    3. It’s not the coaches job to say “here is the system – do it”. As Belair says down below, communication is key. Great coaches are great communicators – and great judges of character. We all know the game is half mental (or more). So a coach needs to win the mental game. This is where we are soft – our mental game. Where does that come from?

    What are you going to do – keep switching players until you find a set that likes the way Carbo coaches? Bon chance!

    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  43. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Amen to that.

  44. WindsorHab-10 says:

    How many times has this team put in a 60 minute effort? You can count them on one hand and that’s because there’s no system in place or whatever Carbo’s system is, the team isn’t buying it.

  45. ebk says:

    price played in the WHL for most of the last year. Only went to the AHL after the WHL season was over

  46. TradeRyder says:

    Don’t forget Hamrlik. His team leading plus-seven and steady play are really stinking up the rink!

    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  47. TradeRyder says:

    AHA! FYI – I AM the one who makes the kids eat – I am the cook!!! And to take your analogy there: You can’t force feed kids the things they hate – some have gag reflexes even to certain foods… no point in going strongly against nature! So you figure out which things are good for them, and which ones of those they will tolerate, and then you make a structured system they follow. In my case the rule is that you can leave one thing on your plate – but if you leave more than that you get no desert, and nothing to eat for at least 90 minutes after supper. Now if I always served things they hate, they’d just go hungry. But they find the meals good overall, even if they have to sometimes stomach some things they’re not thrilled about and they don’t revolt because they find the overall system reasonable and they know both the consequences and my intentions.

    So to carry it to hockey – you are right, you need to see the players you have and what their strengths are. In our case it seems Carbs has succeeded in more defensive play out of the whole team – that is, ON NIGHTS WHEN THEY SHOW UP. So I wonder if they are not showing up some nights because they ARE revolting.. or gagging even.. .because they are being stifled from playing an offensive game too. Or in other words – the meals are just not at all to their liking – so why play? Or at least – why play with passion. I think something like that is going on. I think Carbo is turning the players off in some way and they are TRYING to do it, but it’s either just not a match for their style (loving what you do is important – even if you’re being paid millions to do it), or he’s p—ing them off in some other way – blame for example is a huge de-motivator. For example, if I BLAMED my kids often for not eating, we’d be in a struggle and thigns would be more difficult. But I don’t. I just let the rules do the talking. You don’t want to eat – don’t. The consequences are right there. In Carb’s case – you don’t want to play with passion don’t! But the problem is the WHOLE team is not playing with passion. If I had 20 kids and none of them ate… the problem would be mine. And there things come full circle. The problem is Carbo’s…. not to FORCE everyone into his mold, but to find a mold that fits and properly teach, and enforce it. Maybe the mold doesn’t fit – or maybe he’s got some maladaptive ways of motivating (this is what I think).

    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  48. belair57 says:

    Can you please explain what that system is?
    Three strikes against Carbo.
    #1 A comment by him that was repeated on several occasions. “I sleep very comfortably at nights wheather we win or loose” DO YOU CARE?
    #2 Never ever call out your players in public, that includes the veterans as much as the youth. Calling out veterans will have an effect on the youth too.
    #3 Comments of yesterday, “I don’t know, create a system that is easy to follow” Key words being, “I don’t know” WHAT ARE YOU BEING PAID FOR AGAIN?
    COMMUNICATION is a big part of everyones life no matter what field you work in. I don’t think Carbo has the ability to communicate with his players. Don’t get me wrong, I loved him as a player, but not all great players can become great coaches or even communicaters.
    If you go back in history, not only in hockey, in every pro sport, greatest coaches ( Lombardi, Bowman to name a few) have all been great communicators which in return will get the best out of your players. Carbo does not have this ability, maybe he will in the future, but before it is to late and we demoralize our youth and tick off our veterans something must be done. I believe that the veterans who are on this team still care about the CH.

  49. mjames says:

    Okay – please tell us what his system is. I do not expect an answer because I do not think you know but do me a favor and have a go.


  50. Blitzen says:

    I may be wrong but didn’t Price start off slowly last year in Hamilton but finished extremely strong?

    Anyway…Go Habs Go!

    I think they’ll destroy the Caps tonight.

  51. mjames says:

    You sure you don’t want to rethink that observation. I am sure there would be a lot of teams lining up to pick over the player’s you excluded. Hummm for instance the two K’s would like good in Ottawa, Washington, etc. Let’s see what do we have on defense that someone might use.

    I would do a deal with you any day. You sound like the guy that bought the Brooklyn bridge.


  52. The Cat says:

    Price does not suck. He is just average right now which is all we can ask of him. People have such unrealistic high expectations of him for this year. If next year he’s still with the same numbers, then you can say he sucks.

  53. Habsrule1 says:

    We don’t want you back on the bandwagon at your convenience.

    It’s called sticking with your team through good & bad.

    Laffs/Sens fan in your previous life?

    Go Habs Go!!


  54. J.T. says:

    Ha! If you were responsible for feeding little kids, you would know there’s not a damn thing you can do to make them eat something they don’t want. You can grate up the vegetables and hide them, but they see the bits of green and revolt. They don’t go for funny faces made from food, or for dips, or threats or bribes. Bottom line…if they don’t like it, they won’t eat it. It’s not the parent’s job to force-feed kids something they hate. It’s the parent’s job to make sure the kids get the nutrition they need in a form they’ll accept. In my experience, that means giving them something they DO like instead of forcing the the thing they don’t.

    To drag the analogy over into the rink, there’s no point in forcing a team to play a style to which it’s not suited because it won’t buy into the plan. If the team is built for speed and offence, and enjoys playing that style, it shouldn’t be asked to play a defensive shell or trap.

    Now, that said, the real problem with the Habs is that they’re not a team built for any particular style. They’re not super fast, they don’t have great offence, and they don’t have the size and strength to play a defence-first style. They’re a team that relies on hard work to win. Getting to the puck first, clearing their zone efficiently and dumping the puck into the opposing zone and beating the other team to it. If they come out flat, and they’re not outworking the other team, their great offence or speed, or tight D isn’t there to save them.

    Carbo is doing what he can to make the hockey equivalent of green vegetables palatable, and he doesn’t always succeed.

  55. krob1000 says:

    Where are you reading that??

  56. Habsrule1 says:

    Wait for it….

    Carbo is crazy for taking Sergei out.

    Last week he was crazy for not giving Ryder a chance.

    Go Habs Go!!


  57. Habsrule1 says:

    Most of you let the players off the hook so easily by CONSTANTLY blaming the coach!

    The coach can only do so much. The players need to step up and TAKE THE BLAME like men.

    I believe Carbo’s system works because we have seen plain as day how they can win when they put in a 60 MINUTE EFFORT.

    Please…get your heads out of your asses.

    Go Habs Go!!


  58. Hoegarden says:

    So, Ryder is back on the first line tonight and likely for the whole trip. Do we read “Last chance” here ???

    Young Sergei will sit this one out but I sure hope he does return to the lineup very soon, as in Saturday.

    I sure hope this musical chair crap won’t last much longer.

  59. Habsrule1 says:

    Good point Pleky….

    Komisarek, Markov, and Huet have been so brutal. Not to mention Chipchura.

    Can we put some thought into our posts people?!?

    Go Habs Go !!


  60. Pleky14 says:

    Pleckance, Koivu, Higgins, Kovelav, and Price are the only players the Habs have that are good!!!!!

  61. Pleky14 says:

    Pleckance, Koivu, Higgins, Kovelav, and Price are the only players the Habs have that are good!!!!!

  62. Pleky14 says:

    Huet is starting and Price doesn’t suck!!! Like your any better!!!!!!!!!!!

  63. Pleky14 says:


  64. Pleky14 says:

    Price doesn’t suck!!!!!!!!!He’s just tired after playing a lot of games!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  65. rogus says:

    I agree. If I told my boss “I don’t know” I’m pretty sure I’d be looking for a new job…

    let’s just hope he sticks with the same lines and tries to build some consistency. Kosti Jr. really impresses me on the 1st line.

  66. P St. Pierre says:

    I like both goalies, but I really question people who are saying that Price sucks. Excuse me, but this guy has played very very well for a 20 year old at the most difficult position on the team. I’ve been quite happy with his performances. He’s going to be great.

  67. TradeRyder says:

    I agree. I ignore the people who blame the goalie – especially a rookie goalie… or anyone who blames any single player.

    But I think saddling the coach with the burden of righting the ship is appropriate. “The buck stops here”… and really, there is something odd going on with the team. The guy who is paid to figure it out and correct it is Carbo. I am not going to harp on any one thing that he’s done – I don’t think that is fair either…. he’s made some good gambles and some bad ones. But I DO think it is right to expect him to figure out how to get the team to come to play every night. And that when he goes to the media and says “I don’t know what’s happening” he should ask his staff, his boss, and his peers and talk it around until he does know. “I don’t know” is not good enough.

    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  68. rogus says:

    By the way you guys complain about Price, you’d think he was Raycroft! Give the kid a break, he misplays the puck ONCE last game and the “fans” want him crucified??? If no one has noticed, Price’s stellar play and puck control had a major part in beating Philly. All goalies make mistakes, Huet is also a master of the late game softy. Remember “the” Leafs game last year? I guess blaming the coach, the goalie, the Capitane are all easy things to do. Would Price get off the hook easier if he was Carey Latendresse??? I think the fate of the team rests on…the team. One player alone will not win games and after years of having a mediocre team, us Habs fans expect out ‘tenders to bail us out. Was Montreal even on the ice in the first period last game? Yeah, blame the goalie?!? LOL

  69. TradeRyder says:


    “It’s puzzling,” Carbonneau said. “The hardest thing for a coach is that you create a system that’s simple and easy to follow. You ask the guys to show up and work hard, not that you’re going to win every game, but you have a chance to win.”

    I like Carbo. But what’s wrong with this is it sounds like a parent complaining “I made a nice meal, but they won’t eat it”. It’s a parent’s job to get kids to eat their vegetables. If the kids aren’t eating the parent needs to figure out a plan to change that.

    Carbo’s job to figure out why his team doesn’t show up to play half the time – and fix it. He admits it’s puzzling – that’s good… you need to acknowledge the problem. But the thought that he really has NO IDEA why the team seems uninterested in playing is disturbing. I think Carbo, like a player, needs time. I think he’s done a lot of good things and may eventually, or even soon, be a very good NHL coach. And I can take the line changes – hell, that’s his job! But what I can’t take that he doesn’t know what is eating his team. Is it the inconsistency on HIS part? Is it the public criticism of the players that in some ways deserve it least (Koivu, Price). Is it the lloooonnnggg patience shown to certain players (Ryder, Lats). If I can speculate… without having any inside knowledge, he should KNOW. The fact that he seems totally befuddled says to me: a) he’s not very insightful and b) he’s not listening to those around him. Because they know. They must. People in the organization know. Why aren’t they telling him – or are they and he’s not able to adapt? Regardless, it’s HIS job to find out – and fix it. And soon. Or he’ll be the one going hungry.

    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  70. Spider-Man NL says:

    I should start calling Price the goalie version of Alexandre Daigle…..God! I sure hope Huet is in goal tonight because Price sucks.

  71. JF says:

    4-1-1 on this road trip would be highly acceptable. It seems they can’t beat Florida, and the game against Dallas is on December 23, on which date they haven’t won a game in about 50 years (or is that a wild exaggeration?) But perhaps they can get a point out of one of those games and win the others. Of course it all depends who shows up, Jekyll or Hyde.

  72. joe-hab-nuno says:

    put 2 forecheckers, or put everyone on the blue line. What’s the use of seeing one guy skate like crazy looking all lonely when it’s so easy to get the puck out of there zone.

  73. Habs_008 says:

    Huet is all class. That’s all I have to say.

  74. mjames says:

    I saw the following quote in Pat Hickey’s column. Could someone please enlighten me? What is our coach saying? Could someone once and for all ask him what his system is? Why can’t the Gazette reporters ask him? This famous system is treated like a national security matter. What is the big secret?

    “It’s puzzling,” Carbonneau said. “The hardest thing for a coach is that you create a system that’s simple and easy to follow. You ask the guys to show up and work hard, not that you’re going to win every game, but you have a chance to win.”

    Something is being lost in the translation between the coach and the players. As per the quote we know it is not the coach’s fault.

    I just hope he plays the younger players tonight and his famous system allows them to skate.


  75. RetroMikey says:

    mjames: There is no system as far as I’m concerned. My way, let’s see play hard, hustle and score! Simple as ABC my friend! Play as a team, and you willb e rewarded which we will. Carbo has a lot to learn still but honestly, who would coach our team?
    I can’t understand everyone talking about a system. Has Mike Babcock brought a system when he got hired to caoch the Wings? No!
    To me, Carey Price is not our starting goaltender, not yet, the kid has alot to learn. Welcome back Cristobal, time for you to prove all of them wrong!

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

  76. RS says:

    According to the preview: “the Capitals have played some of their best hockey of the season recently, going 4-1-1 in their last six. Washington’s most impressive game during that span may have been their most recent, a 4-3 shootout loss on Monday at league-leading Detroit.” Yes, that’s the same Detroit team that easily smoked the Habs a while back. The Habs better take this one seriously.

  77. The Cat says:

    Habs will win it tonight.

  78. Renegade says:

    Gorges is having a great game…in the penalty box.

  79. Renegade says:

    I hope Montreal doesn’t pull another Nashville Predators game

    EDIT: I’m glad Washington is the worst team in the league, because any other team would’ve capitalized on the 8 turnovers in the Canadiens OWN ZONE in a span of 4 minutes.

    A win is a win though, so its good to get it.

    And, on a side note, Montreal is 3-0 this season when Ryder isn’t in the lineup.

  80. T-roy West says:

    Not tonight, lady luck is on our side! Yeah I know the Chara and Laraque were dumb. I tug on you and you tug on me then we fall down. I don’t even think a punch was thrown. The Crosby fight was a sight to see though.

  81. Naila Jinnah says:

    Hope! That’s what I feel for this road trip. At least at this point 😉

  82. Renegade says:

    Its good to see Crosby defending himself and showing that hes not going to take those cheap shots on him anymore. Hes a talented player, and its only expected that opponents will do whatever they can to stop him, but it has to stop somewhere. Good on him.

  83. T-roy West says:

    Just a thought but is Higgins really first line material because I would love to see a Higgins-Chipchura-S.Kostitsyn or Higgins-Chipchura-Lappierre third line. That is of course if a trade was made to get someone for the first line. Anyways I think if Higgins is first line material than Chipchura could be also even though he’s your ultimate third line center.

  84. Renegade says:

    I’ve actually thought about this too, and I agree that Higgins is more fitted to the role of a 3rd line grinder, but the first line has already taken enough punishment this season. For it to remain stable with the same players is, in my mind, the most important thing to allow for their confidence to flourish, thus leading to further productivity.

  85. T-roy West says:

    Yeah I was thinking more towards the future because sooner or later we probably are going to pick up someone for the first line either by trade or free angency. But they would make an awesome third line scoring line, Yee-Haw!!!

  86. T-roy West says:

    Whomever thinks Chipchura is the bomb and should be signed for the next five or six years give me a Yee-Haw!!!

    P.S. Naila and Blitzen let me hear ya!!!

  87. Naila Jinnah says:


  88. Sulemaan says:

    Yee-Haw T-Roy.

    (After Chris Higgins, I think this kid could very well be a future captain of the Montreal Canadiens….)

  89. T-roy West says:

    That a girl. I knew you had it in you!

  90. hhl says:

    i think that chip[chura could be captain as well

  91. Da Hema says:

    A win on the road is a win, but this was yet another mediocre performance. The Habs were outhit, out-shot, and out-skated, and it was the goalie who won the game. Latendresse, however, looked quite good. He is going to be a fine player down the road. The Habs better get their legs going against Atlanta.

    Vinny scored a beautiful one-timer with 22 seconds left in the game to give Tampa Bay a win over the Leaves. That was sweet to watch. I wish Bob could get Lecavalier….
    “Listen…I’m not dumb. I know very well that I’ll never be part of the Ice Capades.”
    –Gilles Lupien, former Hab defenceman and enforcer

  92. linp says:

    Habs win, Laffs lost, Boston lost. Yea!

  93. Vincent is possible says:

    Ok I think its time for a trade. Any good rumors out there?

  94. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    Habs play up to their competition, there was no competition tonight…Habs toyed with them, they didn’t need to step it up, don’t forget these guys have to play 82 games and are on a swing during the Holidays with sat/sun games..they coasted.


    I hope Ryder was watching Latron…thats how its done.

    Great tic-tac-toe by Kovy’s line…magic.

    Huet is back….

    1. until the problem in my picture is solved…we will not be Champions.
    2. Delenda Est Torontium….
    3. your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”

  95. Da Hema says:

    No offence, Hab Prof, but the “Habs play up to their competition?” Are you serious? You make it sound as if the Habs are the Red Wings. I could only have wished the Habs played up to the level of the Florida Panthers last game. The Habs did get the bounces and luck tonight, but it certainly was not because they outworked the Capitals. If the Boys play Atlanta like they played tonight, it will be an ugly game on Saturday.

    Frankly, everyone knows how to beat the Habs. There is no secret here. Put all the pressure on them in the first ten minutes of the game and score, and the Habs will fold like a tent. I just wish the players on the Habs could understand this basic and obvious point….
    “Listen…I’m not dumb. I know very well that I’ll never be part of the Ice Capades.”
    –Gilles Lupien, former Hab defenceman and enforcer

  96. T-roy West says:

    I think you are right. I think Higgins would make a good captain because seriously look how big he is in my picture – everyone would listen,lol!

  97. Sulemaan says:

    Maybe we can get a draft pick for Ryder. Perhaps a 12th round draft pick? :-) because I don’t think they are going to get much else for him. I can’t believe our only 30 goal scorer is now reduced to this. Unreal…

    Huet certainly played well and I’m glad for him. I think healthy competition between him and Carey Price is a very good thing for them and the team.

  98. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    RYDER is the highest scoring Hab since RICHER…so you think twice before you deal that kind of player…all Carb says of Ryder is pertaining to the ‘back of the net’..all else is good. But you don’t pay big $$’s for a 3rd liner.

    They are hoping he breaks out and he will.

    ALL great players have a bad year…this is Ryders, don’t be surprised if Gainey re-signs him for 1 year at half of what he’s getting now.

    They haven’t given up otherwise he’d be sent down (and claimed asap).
    1. until the problem in my picture is solved…we will not be Champions.
    2. Delenda Est Torontium….
    3. your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”

  99. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    only a matter of time? no problem, then you put Price in, let him collect about 3-4 W’s then falter, no problem, then you put Huet in, he goes for 3-4 W’s….etc. etc…

    looks good to me.

    1. until the problem in my picture is solved…we will not be Champions.
    2. Delenda Est Torontium….
    3. your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”

  100. WindsorHab-10 says:

    The name of the game is winning. Everything you mentioned is part of hockey.

  101. WindsorHab-10 says:

    The name of the game is winning. Everything you mentioned is part of hockey.

  102. idle says:

    Which goal was weak? The first one was an unfortunate deflection that wound up right on an enemy stick and the other one..there isn’t a goalie in the NHL that would have stopped that shot. As for the shot that hit the post, and I say this every time, It is not the goalies responsibility to protect outside of the net. Just the inside!

    GO Huet
    GO Price
    GO Habs

  103. Sulemaan says:

    I hope you are right in that he breaks out of his funk Professor. My comment about a trade was meant to be in jest.

    We’re a much better team when he is clicking than if he isn’t…

  104. zooziff says:

    “ALL great players have a bad year…this is Ryders”

    No disrespect, but I disagree. Guy Lafleur was a great player. Michael Ryder is not (at least not yet).

  105. Sulemaan says:

    Not to be a mutual admiration society or anything but I’m with you c12.
    I think Latendresse represents the first true big man with soft hands that we’ve had in years since John LeClair.

    People forget that Lats is young and that power-forwards take time to develop. Guys like Neely took years before they hit their prime.

    Again (sounding like a broken record) I don’t mind if he only pots 20 goals or even 10 goals so long as an honest effort is there like there was tonight or even the Philly game (with no goals) where he was blocking shots.

  106. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Welcome back Huet & Latendresse. I feel bad for Ryder and hope he gets his issues resolved soon.

  107. hhl says:

    i ve heard earlier that overshkin is a restricted free agent this summer. i wonder if mtl would pull an edm move and send an offer sheet his way?he apperently is good friends with markov.hmmmmmm.

  108. habsguy says:

    I hate it when people hear dis our players then have the nerve to say they’ve defended them until they’re blue in the face… I remember HIM saying how we got stuck taking Lats when we could have had Kopitar..I tried to tell HIM that Kopitar went 11th and Lats went 45th, but he knows EVERYTHING about the draft and wouldn’t listen !!!!!

  109. habsguy says:

    just what I need…a stalker !!!!!!

  110. mysterycog says:

    it was ugly but a win is a win Go Habs Go!!!

  111. jrshabs1 says:

    I see the morons are out in force tonight, the Habs won so all haters should shut their mouths. The trend right now is to be out shot and win at the same time. Philly, Leafs, and the Caps. all out shot the Habs but I’ll take the six points, you to? Nobody wants to play here because alot of you people won’t let them because you complain about everything they do and who wants that?

  112. Da Hema says:

    With all due respect, this is an odd post. If you are looking for uncritical allegiance, perhaps I might suggest you create an account at where you will find blind obedience abounding amongst its posters. Habs fans are more discerning, and perfectly capable of thoughtful and critical analysis. If you are satisfied with the way the Habs played tonight, then feel free to say so. I am glad they won, but I am under no illusion that the Habs played well–with the exception of Huet. If a comment like that led you to claim that people don’t want to post on this site, then I suspect such people really need much thicker skins….
    “The crowd doesn’t give a crap as long as you bring the money in.”
    –Guy Lafleur

  113. G-Man says:

    Huet was a wall and the Capitals D leaves a lot to be desired. I’m surprised at this point that Kolzig remains with them. Nice to see the Habs going to the net for their goals, excepting Latendresse’s second. That was simply a quick shot that surprised Kolzig.
    BTW, it must be Carbo’s fault they were out shot tonight (sarcasm).
    Despite being out shot, Ovechkin didn’t do much so that must be Carbo’s fault, too.

  114. Bouleau noir says:

    A classic Habs HOME game,.. outshoted, outplayed and outskated… but Ill take the win like anyone else.

    Above the win I am also glad about the few players getting on the score sheet,… and Sergei’s first goal,… and Lats 2 goals… and Huet’s solid performance.. but here is my point…. Can this team ever win a game without their goaly getting the first couple of stars of the night everyfk…in time ? Well it rarely happens,… not this year,.. the year before or any number of years before that.

    What does that suggest ? it suggest that our team’s game is poor and weak…. and that of the 3 occasions that our team did qualified during the last 8 years it MUST surely have been supported by exceptionnal goaltending performances during those seasons.

    Considering how flat we were in our last home game of the season and the poor displays of our team which lasted 3 weeks prior the two game winning streak of late,… I am
    surprised about how bad they have been outplayed last night by the weakest team in the East,… they were outshot 37 to 21 and except for winning the game….. there is nothing in that game that could reassured me of anything substantially positive about the team…. except ONCE AGAIN that a hot goaly can save asses.

    Some of our players are showing great offensive skills during power plays but our
    team’s play when 5-on-5 is mechanically grounded, restrictive laking amplitude.
    Where is the inspiration, the great plays, the great puck movement that shows collective instinc and know-how…. where is the excitement ? Hardly none for long stretches,.. weither watching it or playing it,.. so they just go to the motion eventually as the newness of the early season fades…. every single year.

    Where as gone the jump, the excitement and the favorable shots on goal differential we had at the begining of the season ?
    We had an identity as a team and this should have been nurtured and be the basis on which to built and growth as a team throughout the season.

    A season should naturally show some sign of progress when no injury take place.
    Here it almost invariably shows signs of decline and it seems almost impossible to keep the players motivated.

    Last season towards the end I had a feeling that our players had lost all confidence in their hability to control the puck and were making a big mess whenever they had possession of it.

    Confidence and hability will grow if the puck possession part of our game is the central theme upon which we are building teams and seasons,… our organization needs to take a look at its philosophy and strategy,… players are loosing interest while NOT PLAYING and the fans are loosing interest while watching them not playing…. it is no wonder that gifted offensive UFA refuse to come NOT PLAY here.

  115. RH says:

    10 points seperates 15th place from 2nd place, in the eastern conference. Yes, the Habs are a mediocre team at best but, as it stands right now, I’m not too sure we’ll be seeing too many teams start to pull away from the pack. If the Habs keep getting superb goaltending, and they start to clamp down and play a defense first game, they could just be in the running for a decent playoff spot, come April.

  116. TradeRyder says:


    1. TWO forecheckers – hooray!!!
    2. Lapierre is JUST what the Habs need more of – he keeps the other teams honest in their own end.
    3. Lats size and hunger makes a difference out there. I wasn’t a fan early in the year, but he’s working harder – not only did he score those two he did some great back-checking.
    4. Wasn’t O’Byrne getting away with some muggings?? I mean, as long as he gets away with it but….
    5. Markov is a great D-man in terms of puck control, play-making, etc…. but he seems to miss his assignments just in front of the net quite often.
    6. Still something wrong with how we let other teams drift into our end without being challenged… maybe that’s why we got outshot over 2-1 in the first 2 periods.
    7. Chipchura is the bomb.
    8. No Breezer – we win. No Ryder – we win.

    Gotta give Carbs credit. Good call inserting Lats and keeping K2 in there too!

    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  117. Da Hema says:

    Many sobering points were raised here. It is disturbing that the Habs were once again outplayed by one of the worst teams in the NHL. I am trying to be realistic about the Habs’s future. On the one hand, it is a testament to the team’s management that in a fairly short period of time they have managed to infuse a core of good young players. Three or four years ago, this team would have been forced to play someone like Ryder who, for whatever reason, is now lost. Now the team has depth, and can bring up good young players. It is also the case that a team with as many youngsters as the Habs have is going to be inconsistent.

    But it is this very point that concerns me. I am not pointing out anything that most of us here are unaware. This team has no real leadership, the kind of player who can elevate everyone. Koivu and Kovalev are good players, but they are both on the twilight of their careers. Price may well end up being the impact player over the next 10-15 years, but other than him I see no one on this team who will be the kind of leader who elevates. Perhaps the Habs will be able to sign Lecavalier when he is an UFA, assuming Tampa Bay doesn’t trade him beforehand–but if the Habs are serious about him, they will need give up a great deal more than some of the fantasy trade rumours that have ended up on this site.

    It is very difficult at this point to assess this team. With Huet and Price healthy, this team may crawl its way into the playoffs. Perhaps that is all we should expect from them this year. I suppose we will see what this team is made of after this current road trip. They sure did not start off well.
    “The crowd doesn’t give a crap as long as you bring the money in.”
    –Guy Lafleur

  118. mjames says:

    You obviously did not watch the game. If the coach instructs his players to stand four across their blue line and then allows the other team to skate unmolested into our zone, then we will be outshot. I saw so many instances of Higgins waving his stick at a Caps player while our other players waited at our blue line. The few times when we forechecked in Caps end they turned over the puck.

    I am glad we won but I hate the style we play. You can tell by the way we play that the players hate it also.

    The book on us is to forecheck us into the ground. Every team will do this to us. Carbo’s trap or at least the way we play it does not match up agaisnt a strong forecheck. Watch Atlanta go after us you will see.

    I expect our team to be outshot every game unless Carbo’s allows the team to be more aggressive in the opponents end. Whenever I see a lone Canadien in the opponent’s end trying to forecheck with the other waiting back then I know it is going to be long night. I only hope the other goalie is weak so we have a chance to win. This will not change until either Carbo changes or Carbo goes.

    I do not play hockey anymore and I have figured it out so you can imagine the book the other teams have on us.


  119. mjames says:

    The reference to moron in your first line aptly describes the person who wrote your post.


  120. mjames says:

    Good points and excellent post.

    Yes I thought O’Byrne got a few free passes – but hey he is on our team. I liked the two man forecheck but not enough as they fell back to four across the blue line a lot. As I said in an earlier post this explains why we are constantly outshot. Is it just me but I find Lapierre’s line employs a two man forecheck or at least a more aggressive forecheck but Koivu’s and Pleks’s line sits back with one forward in and four across the back. Why is that?? I assume Carbo’s famous trap.

    I will give Carbo an A+ for playing Huet and Lats but I give him an F for that god forsaken trap style he insists on playing. The players hate it as you can tell by the way they play it.

    This kid Lats is playing so much better. He is backchecking and his offense is coming along. Let’s hope he keeps on improving.

  121. TradeRyder says:

    I think you’re right – and it’s the reason why early on in the season we blew a couple of teams out of the water with a more aggressive style of play by the Habs. Now we’ve gone deeper into a defensive trap and it takes a weak performance by the other goalie for us to win.

    Strange that Carbo can’t see that there is something wrong when you are playing “defensive hockey” and get outshot most games by a wide margin. I wonder if he thinks defense is the answer to everything… it was after all, his style of play.

    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  122. The Cat says:

    The habs system isnt complicated, if Huet or Price is one of the 3 stars we win, if theyre not we lose. Some habs players should hand over a few paychecks to the goalies. And while Im happy with the win, and I realize young teams can be erratic on effort at times, but this is happening too often and really is unacceptable. The capitals were setting up shop in the Montreal end like they were on the powerplay for god sake… I remember when I was in the army and when we werent motivated, the sergant’d make us run through sewers, I think the habs need a little of that.

  123. TradeRyder says:

    Some sewer duty plus a 21st century strategy and we could win a lot of hockey games.

    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  124. Rocket Richard says:

    Hey Habs Fans,

    I didn’t watch or listen to game last night because of another engagement.

    I understand that the habs were outplayed and should’nt of won, yet they managed to leave washington with a 5-2 win.

    Unfortunate, but to all those games that the Habs lost in the 3rd period, at least this one is a little redemption.

    Its a good start to the road trip. I hope they (Habs) continue their winning ways.

    after I get some time to read some of your comments and the boxscore of last night, including this article on Ovechkin by Jack Todd, I will post another post later on.

    To all of you out their surviving the winter snow storm in Montreal, if you go out, be patience. Traffic is UGLY and slow and you need a good book or a good radio show to keep you occupied.

    The Rocket Richard – “you must hate to lose”
    Read and Research Thousands of Articles Here

  125. joe-hab-nuno says:

    give him an offer ,so will 28 other teams.

  126. JA says:

    I believe the players played the Carboneau system last night, it won the game but it couldn’t have been uglier.

    Does anyone else think that Latendresse’s skating problems may be have something to do with his skates, it looks like they are two sizes too big, his motion is too much side to side, I think his skates prevent him from pushing off his toes and that makes it very hard for him to get started.

  127. Rtnrlfy says:

    Hi, I was at the game last night and a lot of players on both sides were getting away with a lot (one move by Lapierre comes to mind that wasn’t called) – the officials were calling the game very loosely. Huet definitely won that game for us – the amount of time the Caps were able to spend in our end last night was truly frightening. This is the second time I’ve seen the Caps this year, and they’re just not that good offensively (although they’re really improving under Boudreaux); it’s inexcusable.

    Why is it that we start every game so slowly and don’t really get going until the middle of the 1st period (IF we’re lucky)?

    Still, it was a pleasure to get a win (and to be able to smile on the Metro ride home while all the Caps fans were totally glum). Go Habs go!

  128. odber says:

    hey,wth,we won,we scored five goals,we do give up the blueline far too easily,we don,t challenge the opposition as much as we should in our own end,but look at the calls the refs were making,two minutes for breaking wind,refs were,nt very good,i really liked that i saw alot of passion at there,guys were busting for the net and they deserve some credit,hats of to chip,have,nt seen many habs forwards go that strong to the net leaving a tap in for streit,only question is will we see the same effort next game,that,s their challenge.

  129. Leclerc1965 says:

    In a nutshell just shut up

  130. Rocket Richard says:

    Alexander Ovechkin as a Montreal Canadien?

    Further to the article by Jack Todd in Friday’s Gazette, it will be a ultimate dream to have this kid play in Montreal.

    I look at what Ovechkin has accomplished this year with a poor team in Washington,

    35 GP, 24 Goals, 16 Assists, 40 points, 11 PPG, 3 SHG, +1

    All this for a team in the cellar in the Eastern Conference.

    What a catch this will be for Montreal?

    He will bring instant scoring punch to a lineup that is perhaps, for the most part struggling at nights to put pucks in the net.

    He can certianly be that missing link, a spark plug, that the Habs need to get over the top in the division and conference.

    Add to the fact that Ovechkin likes Montreal and his best buddy is D Markov of the Habs and he is a FA at the end of the year, what a perfect fit!!!

    But who do you give up to get him? I would imagine that the Capitals would want a piece of the Habs young players, perhaps high draft picks and so on.

    Or you can take your chances and wait in July to sign him as a free agent if Alex agrees on a contract with montreal.

    But, imagine the difference, dream the dream. Ovechkin playing with Markov, Kovy, Higgins, Koivu,etc,..this players can only improve on their own skills having a talented player like Ovenchin with them.

    Do dreams become reality?

    Time will tell. This is just speculation and don’t none of you go out their and start spreading any rumors.

    The Rocket Richard – “you must hate to lose”
    Read and Research Thousands of Articles Here

  131. Habs_008 says:

    A win is A win. What is there to complain about?

  132. ebk says:

    great thought but there is a fly in the ointment. Ovechkin is a Restricted Free Agent this summer. If the Habs sign him to an offer sheet and the Caps do not match, it would cost them at the very least 4 1st-round draft picks.

    Which bring us to a good question, how many people would trade the Habs next four 1st-round draft picks for Ovechkin?

  133. ColRouléBleu says:

    He does stop them more often than not. Maybe because the expectations are sky high for Markov, people tend to remember more the few times he doesn’t and forget that even elite players are humans ie not perfect at all times.

    I did watch the game and the comment above about the long shift is correct. The 4 of them were out of gas and the goal could have been scored because of any of them, it was kinda inevitable.

  134. ebk says:

    Excellent post once again De Hema.

  135. myhabs says:

    To all , BG and owner should do anything to make this happen and bring Alex the great to Montreal long term. Its what we have been waiting for, for years. Lets remember if we don’t the LEAFS thats right the Leafs could make a serious pitch for him. MLSE has the money and that would be a disaster for the Canadiens and HABS fans around the world.
    Give the CAPS 4 first round picks or players. Keep Price, Markov and some others. Trade Saku, Kovalev, Higgins, Komi and few young guys or some combination to get this done but something has to happen.Please Bob do it.

  136. rogus says:

    Other than Price, none of our 1st rounders have any game breaking qualities. We always seem to finish mid-pack, and don’t trade up for higher draft picks, so we miss the top 5 players every year. Drafting gives you an opportunity to get a future player. If a team (and I’m not saying Montreal will) can sign someone of Ovechkins talent, I would take that in a heartbeat over 4 1st round draft picks. It’s not like players like him come along every year. A top 10 scorer for years to come…

  137. habitual says:

    Careful, Myhabs. It is exciting to think of Ovetchkin in a Habs uniform. But think of what is left if the cost are the players you suggest. Giving too much for Ovetchkin will waste several years of grooming young stars and leave the Habs looking like the Capitals: one superstar, one goalie and a team of nobodies mired in last place.

    Consider also the risk of a big buck contract for one player. What happens if there is a major injury that either ends his career or reduces his capacity (the Lindros syndrome).

    Finally, consider the Tampa Bay model: too much money invested in too few players = long term mediocrity.

    Don’t get me wrong. I love Ovetchkin’s talent, attitude, and what he could bring. But let’s bring a scale to the table and weigh the costs and returns very carefully before gutting a team that is competitive now and will only get better.

  138. A. Berke says:

    the reason may be that according to RDS'(Canadiens Express – I missed the game itself)the same PK players were apparently on the ice for over 1:40+ and tired, out of breath and steam because the game wasn’t stopped during the PK for that long (by a stop by Huet or any other reason) to permit a change.

    So for this occasion, IMO all of them should get a pass.


    Ali B.

  139. saku11 says:

    Washington’s whole franchise is built around Ovechkin so I doubt they’d trade him. As for being a free agent, he’s a restricted free agent which means that the best Gainey can do is send him an offer sheet for the maximum salary. Washington then has the option to match the offer. So the only hope that Montreal has to get Ovechkin would be if Washington is unwilling to pay the max salary. Let’s hope Washington’s owner Ted Leonsis has a tough year financially.

  140. myhabs says:

    I hear you Habitual but if Leonis deems him to expensive he could go.Semin also needs to be resigned by the CAPS. No player is untouchable and they should not be.(gretzky, roy, etc,etc,etc) My fear is him landing in LEAF land and thats so scarey it makes me sick thinking about it. I agree its alot and pro’s and con’s for both sides. We have to be pro-active.

  141. myhabs says:

    rogus, right on. Ovechkins talent comes by once in a blue moon.if he stays in Washington at the end of the day so be it but if we are not pro-active he could go to some where else….like the LEAFS and we would never hear the end of it.

  142. JA says:

    Ovechkin could be the game breaker the Habs have been missing since Lafleur’s days. Players of his quality are not available very often.

    Gainey however is planning long term and is building the team for the future, he selected defencemen and a player with the potential to be a power forward (Paccioreti) in last year’s draft, I believe in 2008 he will draft the best scorers available, and it looks like it will be a good draft year. So Gainey is really looking at 2010 for the Habs to have a team that can compete for the cup.

    I do not believe Gainey will give away his 1’st round draft choices to anyone.

  143. TommyB says:

    I’m not trying to be a smartass here, I just would like to know what the reason would be behind wearing skates 2 sizes too big…by choice, and stuffing socks to fill the space. I’ve played hockey for over 45 years, and still playing now. But I honestly have never heard of, or seen a player do this. The closest I can come to that, is I do know one player who does not tie up his skates. He leaves them totally loose and untied, but not dangling in his blades where it would trip him.

    Just curious.

  144. TommyB says:

    That is the best argument “for” offering a contract to an RFA that I have heard. You are so right, we never finish low enough for a top pick (and I for one would never tank, as has been suggested here by some. I would have too much competitive pride for that).

    So would losing your next four 1st-rounders (players chosen 15th to 25th overall, let’s say) be worth a player like Ovechkin?…In a heartbeat!!!

    We’ve already stocked up on good young talent, and who’s to say you couldn’t trade back up down the road? A player such as Ovechkin is what is missing.

  145. Rocket9 says:

    Well, I’m trying to feel positive about the fact that they won. However, I actually feel pretty lousy. After the game last night, I actually felt a little sick to my stomach.

    There was a stretch of time in the third period from about 6:30 remaining until 1:55 remaining, when the habs did not get a shot on net and didn’t get out of their end more than once with the puck. During that stretch they iced the puck about 6 times (3 times in a row at one point), chipped the puck to center ice only to have it brought back in by the caps, hammered the puck up the boards to have it cut off by the cap’s pointman, tried to carry it out only to have it stripped, tried to pass it out and made a bad pass or a bad receipt of pass, etc. etc. etc.

    I missed the 1st and second periods, but judging by the posts here and by the shot count, I’m assuming they played similarly.

    I know they won, and people on this forum get annoyed if you get all negative when they win, but the fact is, they played terrible hockey. That is not how you play hockey.


  146. myhabs says:

    JA.I wonder if Gainey would change his approach slightly if he knew the Leafs could end up getting Ovechkin or any other team our division. If he went to the LEAFS the shit will hit the fan like never before. Ovechkin is on record that he loves the City.

  147. myhabs says:

    rocket we won because we had better goaltending and we have better scorers, we cannot keep it up but hey …thats sports.

  148. Rocket9 says:

    I wish I could enjoy watching that but I can’t. I just get too frustrated.

  149. skoehn says:

    Thank you Christobal Huet… Great return and Lats also great game… Now keep the christowall up and everyone else step up your game. Don’t allow so many shots,play hard for a full 60mins,and good things will happen… I would really like to see carbo stop so much line juggling and let the lines develope chemisrty it will pay off

  150. krob1000 says:

    Never heard of it either. Paul Coffey squeezed his feet into skates that were two or three sizes too small. He is known to have taken the best care possible of his skates and often speaks out about the lack of care players take with regards to their skates. In my opinion he is still the smoothest skater of all time so if Paul Coffey talks skating….I believe him. That leads me to believe that smaller skates would be the way to go.

  151. krob1000 says:

    I only saw last night from the fifteen minute amrk of the second period on and I really didn’t think we played as poor as everyone on here is suggesting. Yes that stretch during the last seven or so minutes was scary but that is because we always try and protect leads and we always get bombarded when that happens. I didn’t think that we were being outplayed before we went into shell mode (again I didn’t see most of the game). I will repeat what I have seen said on here and remind many of you that we have outplayed several teams and lost…that is the way it goes.

    This Ovechkin rumour stuff is very interesting and I am certain we will inquire about him (as will 20 some odd teams). I hope we can work some magic but people seem to making the assumption the Caps will not match and will choose Semin over him…I hope so but doubt it. They would still be further ahead to match and trade for NHL ready players instead of collecting first rounders for four years. I think the more interesting and realistic target for teams should be Semin. He has all of the earmarkings of being a perennial 40 goal man (this seasons stats are due to injury). He will be far more affordable and if the Caps decide to keep Ovechkin then they might consider trading Semin. He isn’t quite as flashy but his shot is unbelievable, he is big, strong and young. His crurrent contract is 4.7 million for the next two years and is fair market value for now (provided he is healthy).

    I’d take Ovechkin in a heartbeat but in the salary cap world the timing of the deal would have to be right (I believe in our case it couldn’t be more right with our upcoming youth giving us an advantage over the next few years. This would be awesome but Semin would be a pretty darn good target and I think the Caps are going to have to choose one or the other and I find hard to believe they will not keep Ovechkin.

    Ovechkin would help us draw other players but there are about three guys i the league I would rather build my team around so why the Caps wouldn’t do all they could to keep him doesn’t make sense to me.

  152. TradeRyder says:

    I don’t get it. Why couldn’t the Caps keep both? It’s not like they’re spending all their money on goal-tending or defense.
    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  153. TradeRyder says:

    I don’t want to start a hulabalooo here, but I have a question.

    Has anyone else noticed that Markov seems to often be standing next to the guy that scores the goal in front of our net. This happened on the first goal last night – it was his assignment. What I am thinking is that Markov tries to cover too much space – two players at once and leaves himself vulnerable. Has anyone else noticed this?

    It seems to me that Markov is not great because of his defense, but might be described as a “good defenseman with excellent offensive skills – vision, passing, shooting”. Do you agree?

    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  154. 24 Cups says:

    If the Capitals lose Ovechkin then they might as well close out the Washington franchise. The team has tons of cap room (no pun intended) and can afford to sign him even if his contract is near the cap max. He certainly is worth more than Mike Richards or DiPietro on a mega long term deal. Semin is not Ovechkin but he is pretty good and will only get better. Once again, the Capitals have room to re-sign him, especially once Kolzig’s contract is over. Throw in Backstrom and the team has three of the best young forwards in the league and they are all under 24 years of ago.

    Having said that, I would certainly give up 4 first round picks to sign an NHL superstar (who is 22) to a long term deal. My only little reservation is a nagging feeling that there might be a little Jagr (attitude wise) in this guy. His mother/father/brother is his agent and that doesn’t bode well.

    The Original 24 Cups

  155. A. Berke says:

    Are you plagiarizing the Louisiana Tigers?

    (of Geaux Tigers fame)



    Ali B.

  156. krob1000 says:

    They could keep both but they aren’t exactly known to be big spenders or a great hockey market. Yes they could and it could be argued that Ovechkin is the reason they left all of the cap space. I just don’t see enough depth in their lineup and they would be the Tampa Bay Lightning part 2 with too many eggs in too few baskets. Goaltending and defence are what wins championships and you are right they have neither. They would be better served to use one of these guys to help them out in those areas and fo from there. They also have Backstrom as an up and coming scorer so they should focus on bolstering their back end. Assuming they did sign Ovechkin at the max (which he will get from someone)they will have difficulty getting any better as Kolzig just gets older and Brian Pothier, Tom Poti or Mike Green is their best defenseman.

    I know TB won a cup but equally as valuable as the big three was Khabibulin.

  157. A. Berke says:

    I’d rather see Gainey do what he thinks is the best for the team, it’s his job and responsibility and if building a team for say 2010 is his goal, that’s fine by me.

    In the meantime as to where Ovechkin will end up at, is a moot point right now. First no one can say that he’ll end up with the laffs. Even if he does, then the laffs will have to trade away at least half of their team (they don’t have any draft picks left to offer) and while doing that, they’ll turn into another bottom feeder with one great player and not much else.

    Besides rangers etc., have been trying this route for quite a while (laffs too) to no avail (remember Jagr, he was considered the best player two years ago?).

    I wouldn’t lose my sleep over this issue right now, it’s too premature. However, Ovechkin is a very good player and if Gainey can bring him in for a reasonable cost that would be great.


    Ali B.

  158. krob1000 says:

    Yeah those are three pretty good youngsters but like i just mentioned to TradeRyder they are terrible everywhere except for their forwards (even then they only have four of them). They are not mediocre or even slightly bad they are probably in the worst shape int he league from the defense back. They cannot succeed without upgrading in thesse areas and their best asset is the fact they have three potential top line forwards. Now that these guys can be snagged via big offers they would be better served in my mind to trade Semin or Ovechkin and help out their depth and back end or look at a four or five year plan (they won’t be able to afford all three in the long run….see Tampa Bay).

  159. 24 Cups says:

    I haven’t read all of the posts today so this point may already have come up. That’s the issue of a team undercutting another team and signing one of their RFA to an offer sheet. Kevin Lowe did it twice last summer bscause in my eyes he’s a shaky GM and he was desperate to do something at any cost. (witness letting Symth go and signing the ever injured Souray) He certainly did not follow the unwritten code that was undertood among the other 29 GM’s. I doubt that Gainey would ever do that so the chances of an RFA coming to Montreal in the near future are slim. And to trade for one would be insanity – something only a lunatic would do.

    The Original 24 Cups

  160. rogus says:

    Maybe if Bob was Holmgren, we’d sign Lats to a HUGE multi-year deal…so he could afford new skates. LOL

  161. moser17 says:

    He’s always right next to the goal scorer because he always has his finger on the pulse of the play, right in the thick of the action.


  162. krob1000 says:

    I am pretty sure that now has broken the ice and g.m.’s have seen the difficulty in making trades that this is the only way to bolster your team. The deadline, draft and unrestricted free agents are now limiting the movement of players. At the time I thought Lowe’s move was very bold to say the least(I thought it Dirty at the time and stupid) but after nearly three months of no trades it makes a lot more sense to me and perhaps he was just ahead of the curve. Lowe is a g.m. born in the salary cap era and I think that is just going to be the new game. The old etiquette rules and unwritten codes have been somewhat unwritten (not by Lowe but by the CBA).

    I am a little concerend that a man as moral as Gainey may let his integrity stand i the way of a good coup until we fall victim to one first (he may not even then). I wouldn’t doubt he would far prefer to trade but we were somewhat burnt last year in the free agent game and I think the “unwritten” code needs to be “written” plain for all g.m.’s to see………”look after yourself because noone else is going to do it for you”.

    Let’s not forget it was Brian Burke (whom I respect) that complained about this terrible action by Lowe yet it is he who has found the biggest loophole in the so called “retirements” of Niedermayer and Selanne (who is soon to follow I am certain. There are new rules and the quicker g.m.’s realize that the better off their teams are. No other g.m. comes to town to fend off the media for Bob and Carbo so why the hell should they worry about anyone else. I understand these guys all meet regularly and know each other but we are talking about huge organizations with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake. Rules…….The first rule is all is fair in love, war and now hockey.

  163. TradeRyder says:

    That could be true.

    But isn’t he supposed to stop them?

    Maybe I’m wrong…

    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  164. ColRouléBleu says:

    And I forgot to add, that when on PK, it’s simple math that the guys on the defending team have to cover two players at some point during the 2 minutes 😉

  165. JF says:

    I’m with you. After sitting through a few frustrating games earlier in the season, watching the Habs get outshot and outworked, I decided to watch only the games in which they are playing well. I watch for ten minutes, at the end of which time I can tell which version of the Habs has shown up. I end up watching many fewer games but save myself a lot of frustration and anger.

    I think with the great start the team had, many people’s expectations (including mine) were unrealistically high; the bad stretch we went through has forced us to recognize that this is a mediocre team with some promising young players. They’ll play some great games but many will be of the quality of last night’s and Tuesday night’s. We just have to chart the progress of the kids and hope for the future.

  166. HabsProf says:

    One additional point about last night’s game: the goal was scored when the puck, shot from the point, deflected right to Backstrom’s stick after being blocked by a Hab player (I think Komisarek). Those plays are impossible to defend against. Markov was facing in the right direction – towards the crease, between Backstrom and the puck, ready to clear a rebound or to pounce on the other Washington player in front of Huet. A rocket of a shot produced a fast deflection right to Backstrom: Markov had no chance to stop the puck as it went by him and he barely had time to turn around (and Huet no chance to get in position) before the puck was lifted on a nice backhand shot (that kid Backstrom has soft hands) into the net.

    The greatest defenseman in the world couldn’t have stopped that play. Sometimes luck happens. We can’t moan too much – Plekanec blew the shot on his goal, only to get a lucky bank off of Kolzig’s leg. Did you catch his look skyward after the goal, as he thanked his lucky star?

  167. TradeRyder says:

    You’re right Plekanic caught a lucky break – and knew it. But you know what they say – you “gotta be good to be lucky and lucky to be good”. Plekanic is becoming a strong player. I think he wanted Kovalev to pass to him on their 2-on-1.

    About Markov. I wasn’t trying to criticize the guy. He’s a great D. But I have noticed this a couple of times… we can’t be the best at everything. And in general when the Habs are not playing well it seems like they’re standing around not covering anyone well. Those are the bad games….

    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  168. linp says:

    The major reason for that goal, I believe, is that the forward line didn’t check hard enough and when we got the puck, we didn’t play a good system to breakout from our zone. They were attacking in our zone almost 2 minutes long. No wonder the D-men lost concentration. We have to improve a lot of the play in our zone. Practise the position play with or without the puck. Make better passes and team play.

  169. jrshabs1 says:

    If you love it let it go, will it return nobody knows. Moron!!!!!

  170. Yeats says:

    I am on the opposite end of the spectrum as well. I still delude myself that I can play and, though I wear a 9 1/2 shoe, my Bauer Supremes are size 7 1/2. I do of course skate barefoot as well and leave the top two eyelets open at the top of each skate. I never liked tying them all the way up. I still feel that I have greater flexibility with them open.

  171. jrshabs1 says:

    It seems like you know alot about you prob’lly posted about how poorly the Canadiens played and stole a win. I’ll take the 2 points and boast that Im a Canadiens for life.

  172. JA says:

    Gainey certainly knows what is best for the team, I believe he wants the team to peak at 2010 and that icludes giving Carboneau a chance to get the experience he needs.

  173. hhl says:

    yeah ok i can see toronto offering a 5 year 60 mil to him,most teams r to close to the cap.

  174. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Timo, you are the Don Cherry of HABS Inside/Out.

  175. A. Berke says:


    just off the topic, what is Canadian bacon south of the border is called “back bacon” in the great white north (I had the same puzzled look when I had moved to texas many years ago)


    Ali B.

  176. yehaken says:

    I think they used that joke on Rosanne Barr’s talk show, which has the unique distinction of being worse that Rosanne Barr’s sitcom.

  177. sag says:

    Keep on grabbing points, boys! It would have been nice to get two points, but I think those who have lost faith need to check the standings and compare that to the season projections…not bad!

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