Game 38: Canadiens complete Florida sweep

Canadiens’ Michael Ryder celebrates his fourth goal of the season, crowded by Florida goalie Tomas Vokoun and defenceman Ruslan Salei.
Hans Deryk, Reuters

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To paraphrase the legendary Montreal-native poet and singer Leonard Cohen: First we take Florida, then we take Manhattan.

The Canadiens completed a two-night, two-game sweep of the Sunshine State tonight, routing the Florida Panthers 5-1 after having beaten the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2 on Thursday.

Now, it’s on to New York, where the Habs will take on the Rangers Sunday at Madison Square Garden for the final match of their six-game road trip, with the hope of running their post-Christmas winning streak to three.
And a varied scoresheet it was tonight: the Canadiens had goals from Guillaume Latendresse, his 11th; Michael Ryder – yes, that Michael Ryder – with his fourth; and Christopher Higgins, his 16th, all by the time the game was 5:03 old.

Tom Kostopoulos added his third of the season midway through the second on a nifty backhand.

Finally, on their 35th shot of the night, Panthers captain Olli Jokinen found the mark at 10:21 of the final period. before Mark Streit rounded out the scoring on the power play, Montreal’s sole man-advantage goal, at 16:57. It was Streit’s sixth of the year.

The Habs were roundly outshot, 41-21. Through the first two periods they managed just 12 shots on Vokoun and backup Craig Anderson, who were rotated in and out by Florida coach Jacques Martin, while Cristobal Huet blocked all 26 thrown Montreal’s way over the first 40 minutes.

217 Comments

  1. The Teacher says:

    Hey, if the effort is there, you won’t see me criticizing too much.

    I just hate it when they skate around aimlessly with drool hanging from their lower lip.

  2. mrstewart61 says:

    Actually, he lost out to Raycroft in the Calder race.

  3. mrstewart61 says:

    I agree. Can always trade him later and he’d bring more in return with a longer contract.

  4. mrstewart61 says:

    it was mark stuart (easy for me to remember because my name is marc stewart)

  5. krob1000 says:

    I think back to the Bruins game where I believe it was Ference (could be wrong)went at A Kostitsyn. I think that game was a turning point for him and got him to play a little more feisty. He was manhandled and responded by playing his best hockey. Latendresse was being harassed by Chara and the gang as well and has been playing great since. Gorges takes a few lumps from Chris Grattton and responds with his best game.

    Although none of these guys beat anybody up they did get their blood boiling and just by being involved in these skirmishes it makes them feel more like a real member of the team. That is why I am saying these type of things can be good. I think O’Byrne and Lapierre could gain a lot of confdidence by getting beat up (I know it sounds funny but….try and argue the play of the three guys named above after their respective incidents.

  6. krob1000 says:

    I think that was his best game so far and the plays you are talking about are the types of plays we need to succeed. The last couple of weeks I have seen guys making sacrifices again (blocking shots, taking hits to chip pucks, etc.). We need these type of sacrifices to make us competitive on anightly basis.

    I am not a goon hockey lover to any extent but I wonder if what this team needs is for a little melee with some guys who aren’t normally involved. I think we are really close to being a really good team that could surprise in the playoffs. A little more edge (not a goon but team toughness), the return of Ryder and we are looking pretty good. we have a lot of young guys right now who are doing admirable jobs but you can see a hint of caution in them understandably. Once they start to be a little more agressive collectively we are going to be dangerous (see Latendresse and A Kostitsyn).

  7. The Teacher says:

    Gorges played excellent. although I cringe when he allows people to smash him into the boards at times.

  8. Chorske says:

    Oh and I hope Gorges stays in. He made a splendid block on a huge shot late in the game yesterday, got right up and stole possession, breaking up a play. I thought he played an awesome, steady game yesterday.

  9. coutNY says:

    Hey, it was Thrusday, we don’t lose games on Wednesdays or Thursdays… Fridays not looking so good in the recent past anyway.

  10. Chorske says:

    Amen. I’ve said similar things in another thread and I couldn’t agree more.

    The pressure cooker is fine when you’re scoring and winning- there isn’t a crowd anywhere that rivals us. We’re fair weather friends with our team, no doubt about it.

  11. Chorske says:

    I have one Christmas wish. I want Bob to sign Huet to a two or three year contract ASAP. Here’s why.

    We currently have an awesome goaltending tandem that works well together. We have a young future franchise player who has looked soft in recent games, and probably needs some development before he can assume the #1 position (and quit prattling about Patrick Roy- this kid has a long way to go before he assumes that mantle). We have a seasoned guy who can steal games and who can mentor Price. I think Price needs another year or so before he can comfortably assume the #1 role. Might give him a chance to work on some of the weaker aspects of his game.

    Also: there is no market for goalies right now. None. With functional (if uninspiring) guys like Bryzgalov and Denis available on waivers, why would anyone sacrifice a good pick or player for Huet? Especially when they can probably wait and get him for nothing during the summer…

    So please Bob: sign Huet. And while we’re at it, extend young guns like Higgy and Komisarek while you still can.

  12. Rocket Richard says:

    What planet are you from?

    Habs are 4th in the conference and you want Carbo fired and Gainey to shake things up?

    What are the Habs doing wrong.

    Wake Up and poor yourselves a cup of coffee or two, maybe you will learn something here.

    The Rocket Richard – “you must hate to lose”
    Read and Research Thousands of Articles Here
    http://www.articles-plus.net

  13. Rocket Richard says:

    For the Habs:

    A cup called stanley for the habs sometime within the next 3-5 years. ( I don’t think they will win in 2008, unless you believe in some kind of miracle)

    Perhaps Carey Price rookie of the year.

    The Rocket Richard – “you must hate to lose”
    Read and Research Thousands of Articles Here
    http://www.articles-plus.net


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