Game 36: Ribeiro, Stars outshine Canadiens

Dallas Stars’ Matt Niskanen (left), Mike Ribeiro (centre) and captain Brenden Morrow celebrate Ribeiro’s third-period goal against the Canadiens.
Mike Stone, Reuters

Updated at 10:45 pm with Carbonneau audio

Carbonneau Post-Game Audio (French only)

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

The Canadiens remain 0-for-the-21st-century on Dec. 23 – and more than half of the 20th century, for that matter.

Hoping to break a road skid on this date that goes back to 1945, the Habs came up against a very good, unfailingly effective and highly opportunistic Dallas Stars squad tonight and deservedly lost 4-1.

It was the Canadiens’ second loss in as many nights after having won three straight. Head coach Guy Carbonneau said his team lacked emotion and expressed disappointment in the effort that was furnished. Carbonneau added that a team always wants to head into the Christmas break on a good note, but said, "We were never in the game."

Former Canadien Mike Ribeiro, the enigmatic talent who was run out of town on a rail before the start of last season, had a third-period goal on a Roman Hamrlik giveaway and two first-period assists, helping out on the tallies of Antti Miettinen and captain Brenden Morrow – the latter Carbonneau’s son-in-law.

It was the nightmare scenario feared by Canadiens fans. Not only would their team lose to Dallas, but Ribeiro, the game’s first star, would play a significant role in the result.

Ribeiro has eight goals and seven assists in his last eight games, and with 19 goals is just one short of his career-best set with the Canadiens in 2003-04. And we’re just at the Christmas break.

Stu Barnes added Dallas’ fourth goal at 3:11 of the third period, coming on the Stars’ 19th shot against Canadiens goalie Carey Price.

Canadiens defenceman Andrei Markov, having pinched untouched to Stars goalie Marty Turco’s crease, slammed home a pass from Sergei Kostitsyn at 13:35 of the third for his ninth of the season to finally put Montreal on the scoresheet.

The Habs had 18 shots on Turco; the Stars managed 21 on Price.

Most of the Canadiens returned home after the game to spend Christmas with family, while about a half-dozen headed east to Florida, where the team will reassemble on Thursday for their game that night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

 

Canadiens goalie Carey Price follows the play in the corner against Dallas.
Glenn James, NHLI via Getty Images

196 Comments

  1. idle says:

    Just watch 15 other teams in the league play and see that it is just as discouraging. If you think it’s painful to watch the Habs play then take a stab at a Kings game.

  2. CHsam says:

    Gillett’s probably buying drinks for Steven Gerard on money from Habs profits. Oooouch, too soon?

  3. mjames says:

    Just watch how they play – It is rather discouraging.

    mjames

  4. mjames says:

    You have to scroll down as well discussed that this morning.

    mjames

  5. mjames says:

    Gillet will nmot step in as nothing is broke from his perspective. He has more on his mind with Liverpool as I understand he needs to raise some $150mm for his share of the new Liverpool stadium and new players.

    mjames

  6. AdamG says:

    with muller in charge? actually, it would get much worse.

  7. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Classic Timo. I love it, might as well have some laughs.

  8. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Ovechkin?

  9. WindsorHab-10 says:

    May be time to hand the team over to Muller. Can’t get any worse.

  10. AdamG says:

    but from a business standpoint, you have to remember that gillet owns the Bell Centre, one of the world’s busiest arenas for concerts and sporting events. this is montreal–not columbus or tampa. this city is a cultural mecca. the Bell Centre is such a huge cash cow that the lack of playoff revenue is more of a disappointment to gillet reather than a disaster. it’s the same with the ACC in Toronto, MSG in NYC…

  11. AdamG says:

    okay but say gillet goes to gainey and says this is unacceptable, then what? gainey is all of a sudden going to say “hey, i better improve the team.”? gillet is a business man and he’s probably smart enough to leave the hockey operations to the hockey people.

    but what bugs me about gainey is that for the month of december, it’s been raining $hit on this team–the players, the coaches, the management. where has he been? he’s got to take a few of the bullets. i watch sportscentre–i always see other GMs making themself seen. i’d like to know what gainey thinks.

  12. Canus says:

    Sure, but where does an owner make most money. Not the regular season.
    Their pay day is in the playoffs. Plain and simple. You can keep on
    filling the Bell Centre, no problem, but, what portion of that is profit.
    Not much, specially, as we all know, in Montreal. An owner makes his
    money in the playoffs.

  13. AdamG says:

    it was different with riberio. that phony seizure he had against boston was more than enough…

  14. Canus says:

    I don’t buy either one of your arguments, although, valid to a certain degree. You don’t give Gilett enough credit. He’s actually more in tune
    with what is going on with the Habs than you know.
    Secondly, I do agree that Gainey is “TOO” patient, but, you definitely
    can improve the product with trades. They’re their. But, the other teams
    are perhaps asking for too much, and you know what, eventually, you do
    have to give in. Well, that is of course, if you want to improve our
    overall product.

  15. NEWFOUNDLAND DOG says:

    No matter how much the Habs suck, Gillett is still making money. Bottom line.

  16. Canus says:

    ummm, ok then, i’m curious, who does deserve to wear
    the CH on this current roster? Higgins, yes, Plecanek yes,
    Komisarek yes, but, who else?

  17. AdamG says:

    forget gillet. Bell Centre is full and he’s waaaay too busy with Liverpool to give a crap about how the Habs are doing. the Reds are his new toy, paritcularly given the rumours that Hicks is already looking to unload his share of the team.

    this is on Gainey. we all know he’s patient, but it’s become evident he’s either patient to a fault or simply unable to improve the club.

  18. Sulemaan says:

    Agree to disagree with you here Da Hema. My memory is still pretty good but I think when you start taking ‘senseless team-killing penalties’ and being essentially a selfish player to the detriment of the team that is pretty much my own definition of ‘cancer’.

    Claude Lemieux was traded just as much for his problems in the locker-room as he was for his on-ice transgressions. Because of my previous employment, a couple times I had the fortune of meeting and talking hockey with some members of the management team or close to it. (Sometimes for hours because there was nothing else to do on a long boring flight.) They never spoke about the current team but did talk about previous years gone by but whatever they said was implied to be off the record.

    Please understand that I’m not saying that to show-off but that I’m just relaying thoughts that I consider to be substantiated based on my personal experience/insight.

    Maybe they were pulling my leg. Maybe you are right but I’m inclined to believe them. Perhaps the term ‘cancer’ is not the best choice of words but when you have something that infects the rest of the team and causes in distress (like Lemieux) few other words come to mind.

  19. NightRyder says:

    Who could possibly care how he wears his hair if he produces on the ice?

  20. AdamG says:

    samsonov notwithstanding lol…

    what can we say? partially coaching, partially playing on a better hockey team. ribeiro gets traded and plays with brendan morrow. leclair got traded and played with lindros. we don’t have elite hockey players. we have complementary hockey players.

  21. Canus says:

    At what point, does Gainey step in, and say enough is
    enough, Carbs, you gotta go. I love you and respect you
    as a player, but, you’re just not working out. You can’t
    seem to get our players ready for a game, and can not admit
    to your shortcomings.
    Or, if that does not happen, when does Gillett step in, and
    do something about this horror show. Pathetic, just pathetic.
    Can you imagine, you’re the head of a family, you buy 4 tickets,
    4 hot dogs, drinks etc… for 400-500 bucks. And you get to
    see this product.

  22. NEWFOUNDLAND DOG says:

    If he really cared he would do something. Maybe he don’t.

    The second half maybe will be better for the Habs…..

  23. AdamG says:

    i agree but look at the two goals in the third period. our defensemen literally handed the puck over to a Star in stride. you can’t do that in the NHL. not every team is like us…

  24. NEWFOUNDLAND DOG says:

    Get use to it. Ryder will do the same when he gets traded and plays Montreal.

    Why is it that players who leave Montreal go on to be a way better player? Seriously. Why?

  25. AdamG says:

    what i don’t get is how many time do we have to be embarrassed before Bob Gainey even shows his face? 4-0 to jersey, 5-1 to carolina, the florida debacle, tonight…all in the month of december. i mean come on. someone within the organization has to have some pride…

  26. NightRyder says:

    This is the worst game I’ve seen in a long time. I’m beginning to wonder if Carbo is in over his head. We play not to lose instead of playing to win, and we often play without confidence. When the players are afraid to make a mistake, that’s when they make too many. And then the goalies figure they have to do it themselves, and they struggle technically.

    It may be time for Gainey to put himself behind the bench.

  27. NEWFOUNDLAND DOG says:

    This is a practice for Dallas tonight.

    Lats was in the Dallas crease. He was crosschecked out of there. Actually he was knocked down. That is what the Habs D-Men have to do. Get the player out of there. By any means. Our D-Men just watch them. Maybe they ask them kindly to leave the crease.

    Another goal as I type. Boy oh Boy is Riberio. Make that two more as I type. Riberio is really burning Montreal tonight.

    Price. What is wrong with him tonight?

    How can any Goalie Huet Or Price flourish on at team like this?

  28. AdamG says:

    ribeiro might have learned to play hockey, but you can tell he’s still a punk by his facial expressions and the stupid way he wears his hair. i don’t care how many goals he scores this year, i’m glad he’s gone. he never deserved to wear the CH.

  29. AdamG says:

    i find that the western teams play as 1 unit. one thing i notice about nash, detroit, dallas, even carolina: when they breakout of their zone, there’s a gameplan. everyone is in constant motion, heading to an open patch of ice. the puck carrier is scanning the ice, looking for seams. passes are tape-to-tape and the puck ends up deep in our zone with the opposition in full control. it’s just a well-executed breakout. one of the things that makes it so easy is that the habs apply no pressure to the puck carrier.

    when the habs breakout, (usually when the opposition is changing because God knows any kind of forecheck forces us to cough it up) it’s confusion. passes are too long, too soft, into traffic. there’s no plan. the Habs are a decent transition team but a piss-poor breakout team.

  30. Hoegarden says:

    No life whatsover from any of our lines. Those two early penalties just did us in. Very fragile, very fragile.
    Another game that shows we need a true leader on this team.

  31. AdamG says:

    i feel your pain. funny thing about tremblay is that he was the last coach to have us finish above 7th…we finished 6th in 1996 i belive–with jocely thibault in nets…lol. but i agree. i am getting so fed up with this defensive system. dallas has a pretty mediocre D, but they’ve had the puck all night long!! that’s their defense!!! a defensive system is one thing, but not goign on the offensive when your down by 2 goals is almost like giving up. our record when giving up the 1st goal/trailing after 1/trailing after 2 is ridiculous. we NEVER rev it up when we’re trailing. always waiving the white flag, thinking that other teams will just hand over the lead. might happen against washington or LA, but not against real teams.

  32. LTHF says:

    OH BOy, happy days are here again with the Ryder-less high power offense in action against the Stars. Poor Turco was bombarded with 4 shots in the 2nd period with 3 of those coming on the late period powerplay (5 on 3 for 11 secs).

  33. ebk says:

    hard to believe a guy that can’t get to the play on time has scored 9 goals.
    I’ll take his production, he must be doing something right.

  34. AdamG says:

    just making it too easy on dallas tonight. with no games until thursday, i’d like to see carbo shorten the bench…no lapierre, no kostopolous, no dandenault…use chipchura with latendresse and streit. and send 2 forecheckers in, pressure their D to make a play. i just don’t see the point of playing passively and sitting back while down two goals in the third period. can’t defend your way to overcoming a 2-goal deficit.

    very frustrated tonight.

  35. AdamG says:

    i agree. i’m getting tired of Guy’s passive-box defensive system. i don’t understand why other teams are allowed to “set up” in our zone during 5-on-5 play. you can’t just wait for the other team to make a mistake. you’ve got to create your own chances. sometimes i get the feeling that this system discourages effort and tenacity.

    i find it so depressing that mike ribeiro is embarrassing us tonight.

  36. idle says:

    I can tell you with all certainty that I am NOT as good looking as I am smart :(

    I also am not particularly smart :(

  37. NEWFOUNDLAND DOG says:

    Ribeiro has burned the Habs tonight.

    There was another game this year where an Ex-Hab has burned them as well.

    Come on boys lets GET ER DONE.

  38. AdamG says:

    i am beyond stunned by this game. what a ridiculous performance. we can’t hang on to the puck for 5 friggin seconds without turning it over or mishandling it. how many times does a Hab have to be stripped effortlessly by a Star in order for them to put some effort into the performance?

    did anyone else catch Markov favouring his wrist in the 1st? he’s having a horrible game. i wonder if it’s because of the wrist. gorges and o’byrne have been painful to watch tonight. i know the boys are tired after last night, but this performance has been every bit as embarrassing as the Florida game. you’d like to see more tenacity out of them…show that you want it a little bit at least…

  39. imafogdevil says:

    Thats a good idea! I do have the PVR! D’oh! I hope you are as good looking as you are smart!

  40. NEWFOUNDLAND DOG says:

    It seems that a few posters think that Ryder is Montreal’s biggest problem. It was said that when Ryder sits out Montreal wins. When Ryder plays Montreal looses. Ryder did not play last night and Montreal lost. Ryder is not playing tonight and it does not look good either.

  41. idle says:

    Hey, imafogdevil. If you have the PVR receiver you can pause the game on Bell for a few seconds to match up the video and audio. Works great for me. If you don’t have the PVR receiver maybe Santa can bring you one? If not then keep your eye out for a good boxing day sale?

  42. idle says:

    BTW, I found the opening comments on CJAD to be quite eye opening. Coming into tonights game the Habs were tied for 4’th place in the conference and only 2 teams in the NHL (Ottawa & Detroit)have fewer regulation losses then the Canadiens. It doesn’t tell the whole store of the season so far but it is still not so bad and much less worse then we make it out to seem. Things have been quite negative around here lately (and we have had some poor performances to encourage that) but maybe leading into the Christmas break we should all take a step back and see that things are not too bad after all.

    Cheers

  43. linp says:

    Our game is painful to watch. We don’t have the puck. The passes are so awful. I gave up.
    Carbo’s system is called fight for the lose puck. Everyone is just dump and chase.

  44. imafogdevil says:

    I always watch RDS for the games, but the comments have been so negative lately, I have gone to the Bell dual tuner so I can watch the game and listen listen to CJAD at the same time. I know Murray Wilson, bur who is the other guy.

    The only problem is the radio feed is about 2 seconds faster than the video. Just heard Hurricanes looking at Ryder to take Justin Williams place. Would be good for all involved, esp. Ryder.

  45. jimbo says:

    It is to no ones surprise that the habs were desperate to find the next francophone star that they kept this gui last year.But this guy needs to go to power skating.Supposed to be our big power forward but can’t get to the play in time.Period

  46. NEWFOUNDLAND DOG says:

    Why does Montreal play like this?

    Does management care about this teams play? Maybe they don’t because they are making money. I don’t know.

    Being a Habs fan is like an alcoholic. It is so tempting for an Alcoholic to take a drink. It is so tempting for a Habs fan to be so negative. But we have to remain positive.

    Come on boys you are The Montreal Canadiens.

  47. Da Hema says:

    :-)
    _________________________________________________________
    “The crowd doesn’t give a crap as long as you bring the money in.”
    –Guy Lafleur

  48. imafogdevil says:

    What would be nicer: “Ryder scores three in return from press box to beat (insert team here, maybe Tampa).”

    It is Christmas…….miracles are supposed to happen……don’t they?

  49. imafogdevil says:

    Are you like me, and just so frustrated with how the team presents itself. I mean, I just want them to win, and concentrate on building a winner. But it seems the team thinks when they win they’re invincible, and when they lose they seem to blame whichever player made the biggest mistakes. I just wish Carbonneau would carry himself a little more professionally behind the bench and in front of the microphones. Give sound bites, but leave the “blame game” if you must behind closed doors.

  50. idle says:

    Or even “ex Hab a flop in his return”

  51. Da Hema says:

    It would be nice, just once, to see “Hamrlik scores three goals against former team” or “Kovalev dismantles Penguins” instead of “Former Hab X leads team to victory.” Sigh….
    _________________________________________________________
    “The crowd doesn’t give a crap as long as you bring the money in.”
    –Guy Lafleur

  52. Smart Dog says:

    YOU SAID:
    Ribeiro shamed himself and the team by faking an injury. While someone on the Florida Panthers can do that, this is the Montreal Canadiens, and we will never accept Habs players who do that.

    I believe this is part of the problem. Hockey players are often young men – they need to grow into their abilities and their role. If they Montreal Canadiens keep holding themselves to such a perfect public standard they will keep trading away their maverick starts (cough-Chelios-cough). I wish the organization would concentrate more on winning and less on the public appearance of whatever a Montreal Canadien is supposed to look like because someone else looked like that in the 70’s.

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

  53. Habfan-Leafhater says:

    Hi,
    Does anyone know if there is a way to watch this game on the net, Thanks.

  54. NEWFOUNDLAND DOG says:

    Lets go boys.

    GET ER DONE…….

  55. ebk says:

    you would be better off saying you don’t like him and leave it at that. It is not a beauty contest, it is about production, and he has produced. period.

  56. jimbo says:

    I think the facts would point to the fact that Lats cannot skate,rarely hits but yet gets a free pass with the coaches and the press in Montreal.Why?This kid should be in the AHL.Yet we have a guy in Ryder who sits but is capable of scoring.Ryder scores in bunches and if he ever got his confidence back could help this team.Yet the Media darling will take his minutes.

  57. Da Hema says:

    All this talk about “this or that player is a cancer” is really quite disturbing. How do any of us outside of the players themselves know who is or is not a problem teammate.?I always take these comments with a grain of salt, especially if they come from the team itself. How may times was the great Gary Carter, when he played with the Expos, called a “cancer” when he was one of the nicest players in baseball? Or when the Expos smeared Larry Walker when they would not sign him to the contract he so much deserved? The only player who appears to be an absolute slime is Barry Bonds.

    Posters below who claim Ribeiro and Claude Lemieux were traded because they were “cancers” have no memory. Lemieux was principally traded because he could not stop taking senseless, team-killing penalties, and because his on-ice acting was hurting the team in the eyes of fans and the referees. Ribeiro would never be able to recover from that embarrassing acting in the playoffs against the Bruins. Ribeiro shamed himself and the team by faking an injury. While someone on the Florida Panthers can do that, this is the Montreal Canadiens, and we will never accept Habs players who do that.

    In short, players like Ribeiro and Lemieux were traded because of their on-ice play. If they grow up elsewhere, I have no problem with that at all.
    _________________________________________________________
    “The crowd doesn’t give a crap as long as you bring the money in.”
    –Guy Lafleur

  58. Ed says:

    I can’t understand why so many people are glad that Ribeiro was traded away. It did not make since from a talent point of view, because he is very gifted offensively, & sees the ice very well. In 2003-04, when he was only 23 at the beginning of the season, he led the HABS with 45 assists & 65 points, & was +15.

    http://www.nhl.com/nhlstats/app?formids=PropertySelection%2CPropertySelection_0%2CPropertySelection_1%2CPropertySelection_2%2CPropertySelection_3%2CPropertySelection_4%2CPropertySelection_5%2CSubmit&component=reportBuilder.%24Form&page=Home&service=direct&submitmode=submit&submitname=&PropertySelection=3&PropertySelection_0=0&PropertySelection_1=16&PropertySelection_2=0&PropertySelection_3=0&PropertySelection_4=0&PropertySelection_5=0&Submit=Get+Stats

    This young man was born in Montreal, & is now still only 27 years old. He already has 18 goals & 18 assists, & his 36 points have him tied for 21st in the league. The best Canadien is Kovalev whose 31 points have him tied for 42nd.

    Ribeiro would be a great asset if he were still with the HABS, but that is not to be. I congratulate him on his success, as it comes only with hard work. I hope he keep it going.

  59. Forlando says:

    Please refrain from mentioning Latendresse and that guy that will sit in the pressbox in the same sentence…it’s an insult…Lats has 3 times as many goals as Ryder…that is why he is playing and by the way Lats, Ryder and A. Kost have played the same number of games…so get your facts straight.

  60. AdamG says:

    my favourite part of your post is where you neglect to mention that while $3 million-man ryder has THREE goals, 20-year-old Gui has 9, good for 4th on the team. THAT’S why he doesn’t sit. because he scores goals. no matter what gui does, it will never be enough for some of you.

  61. Sulemaan says:

    SD – The feeling is more than mutual regarding your posts as well. Must be because you are from my hometown of Halifax!

    Not all cancers go on to lead other teams (Ribiero, Lemieux) because you also get guys like Shayne Corson (Damphousse trade from Edmonton) and Jose Theodore (to Colorado but that was more a salary dump than Aebischer) who didn’t accomplish much elsewhere after being traded from Montreal.

    I do think you’ve got a point in this post and others that we are certainly seeming to stiffle offensive creativity compared to that of the glory years of the 70s. Not sure what the solution is but we haven’t had a 100 point+ scorer since Mats Naslund in ’86.

    I agree that we have to focus on a tradition of winning but I wonder if some of these difficult players are worth keeping. They are usually very talented but disrupt team harmony and cause rifts in the locker room.

    I guess I’ve just seen so many times in sports/business where one guy ruins it for everyone over the long run. At the same time, they really gifted and creative players are individuals and are not the type to conform. Tough balance to maintain no question.

  62. nightmare_49 says:

    Also , I don’t think Ribs and Carbo were on the same wave-length so a trade had to be made. You have to remember that Carbo was the assistant under Gainey the year before and i don’t think he was impressed with Ribs know it all attitude , two cocky people often clash.

  63. Smart Dog says:

    Good points about the shoot-outs. And you might be a little bit right about just a bit of favoritism to Lats… but not much if at all. Lats is big – and we need big. And he scored 16 goals last year. And with him patience has obviously paid off. Most games he’s using his size. I think AKost. is great and belongs as a regular on the team, but it took him a dozen games to become consistent.
    ________________________________________________________________
    Be happy! At least the FUTURE looks bright!
    Plekanec, Higgins, Komi, Chips, Lapierre, O’Byrne, K1 &K2, Price

  64. Scott in Montreal says:

    Don’t forget: Ryder is not one of Gainey’s guys. Any GM will show a little more faith, patience and support to their own pick-ups/draftees/acquisitions than the players they inherited from the last GM (unless, perhaps, they are genuine stars and fan favourites). That’s just human nature, and the way it’s done in any business, if you really think about it.

  65. Smart Dog says:

    Sulemaan, I always enjoy your posts.

    And I wonder why all these “cancers” in the Habs dressing room go on to lead other teams? Cancer, as everyone knows, grows in its own path, and is hard to control… Maybe the Habs management expects players to become instant good little Habs and tries to control them too much. I wonder if maybe – just maybe – they are guilty of what we all say Toronto is guilty of – being more concerned about appearances than hockey. Maybe we need to look only to the tradition of winning – and doing anything it takes to win… and care less about how they did it in the past, and more about these young men today, and how they want to do it.

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

  66. Smart Dog says:

    Ryder wasn’t stapled to the bench. More likely he was spoon-fed shots by the assist leader on our team. He may have been unlucky, but he just couldn’t score – and for at least 25 games was given every chance to.

    As for the “pressure” of Montreal… see my post below but I don’t believe in it. And those 24 Stanley Cups came from somewhere… not from Chicago or Detroit. From Montreal. The pressure is both good and bad. It’s not that – it’s something else.

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

  67. Shiloh says:

    But we seem to have all the patience in the world for one Quebecois -Latendresse, who has about one-quarter of Ryder’s talent and one-sixth of Ribeiro’s. How can anyone justify the fact that Andrei Kostitsyn has sat more games than Lats? Ryder must dress and somebody else has to sit. When Begin and Smolinski return, a trade has to be engineered to make room for our players to dress and develop.

    I see that Carbo says that he doesn’t have a lot of time to work on shoot-outs. He should make the time. Lastly – why isn’t Kovalev among our first shooters? I know he’d be a great choice for a later round in the shootout, but maybe if we used him early we could actually win a few of these. Koivu has deked every single shoot-out – I’m guessing goalies around the league have figured that out by now.

  68. Sulemaan says:

    I don’t question that the value we got in return for the Ribiero trade (Ninimmaa) was low but anyone can be a Monday Morning QB with the benefit of hindsight. The fact is that players like Ribiero, Theodore and Dagenais were a clique in the dressing room and didn’t do anything for unity or morale.

    Just like the Claude Lemieux for Sylvain Turgeon trade was bad (he won the Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup in New Jersey afterwards) but the deal had to be made because Lemieux was proving to be a cancer in the Habs dressing room.

    So maybe they just needed to get rid of Ribiero. It could also very well be that trade he needed was the wakeup call required. With the centres we have here (Koivu, Plekanec, Chipchura) I just didn’t see him getting the ice time he now gets with Dallas.

  69. idle says:

    NightRyder, you bring up a great point about patience. Patience is out the window when it comes to this team. The Habs do a great job of developing players to play great for other teams. Hopefully someday we can keep a few for ourselves. Can you imagine if next year it is Plekanec’s turn to have a bad year and less then half way through the season we are all trashing him and trying to ship him out of town?

  70. Ian Cobb says:

    OH I just made a mistake, never made one of them before!!

    I just posted on Mike’s (about last night) instead of DAVE,S story here. Anyway it’s over there if your interested, sorry.

  71. NightRyder says:

    It’s easy to figure out why players can’t develop in Montreal – the ridiculous scrutiny they face. Every single weakness or bad game is debated ad infinitum by a thousand media dolts (and thousands more of us dolts), who are all competing to get something new out there.

    Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are allowed to blossom (and make mistakes) in Chicago. If they were in Montreal, they’d be picked apart at every chance and at some point blasted because they weren’t French enough. Look at Carey Price. He’s obviously going to be a star, but at 20 years old he’s already being lit up here when he has a mediocre game.

    And it’s human nature for a coach, when he constantly hears about a player’s shortcomings (ie. Ribeiro etc.) to focus on them too much, consciously or unconsciously. Over the past decade or so, a lot of our young kids got a bit of the shaft, getting four minutes of ice time when they were called up – then plastered to the bench if they made a mistake. Why? Because it’s the coach who gets roasted if they struggle.

    Because the pressure to perform in Montreal is so intense, it affects the way our lineup is presented. It’s why we pick up dregs like Smolinski etc. instead of giving our youngsters a shot and living with the results.

    While I’ve said all along that Ryder should be traded, you don’t staple a 30-goal scorer to the bench. That’s just stupid. He’ll go to Vancouver etc. and get his 30-35 goals, but because we’ve devalued him so much, we’ll get squat for him. And he’ll excel somewhere where people aren’t going through his garbage to get the jump on the competing news organizations.

    One thing Montreal is not good at – patience. I understand that to a certain point. Growing up with the 70s Habs, anything less than a Cup was a dismal failure to me. I think many of us fans understand that notion of patience now, but many don’t. Just come here after a loss, and the sky is falling. And the ravenous media will always be chirping away looking for controversy.

    And, as strong as guys like Gainey are, I think it’s a factor. And for the players, it has to affect you when you’re bombarded by notions of how much you suck. Ribeiro’s happy in Dallas, not squeezing his stick and not worried his family lineage will be questioned if he fails to backcheck hard every shift.

    However, none of this is going to change. Anyone got any answers?

  72. Michael N. says:

    Found this statistic

    “A road game scheduled on Dec. 23 hasn’t been kind to the Canadiens over the years. The Habs will look to put the brakes on the lengthy drought, dating back to the end of the Second World War. Ever since a 4-1 win over the Bruins in Boston on Dec. 23, 1945, Montreal has been held out of the win column on the infamous date, going 0-9-8 over the last 60-plus years.”

    Not that I believe in curses or bad luck kind of stuff, but that’s an awful long time to be winless on this date

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