Game 39: Rangers claw back to win in OT

Captain Alex Kovalev, wearing the C in the flu-bug absence of Saku Koivu, is ridden along the boards by Rangers’ Paul Mara.
Bruce Bennett, Getty Images

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The record book won’t show that the Canadiens played shorthanded for 60 minutes tonight, but in a very real sense that was the case in the Habs’ 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Rangers.

Brendan Shanahan, who irked Canadiens fans last season by choosing to sign with New York instead of Montreal as an unrestricted free agent, took advantage of a Roman Hamrlik giveaway to beat Habs goalie Cristobal Huet with a high, glove-hand breakaway shot at 1:06 of overtime to give the Rangers a come-from-behind win.

The 19-man Canadiens – using 17 skaters, 11 up front – wrapped up their six-game road trip, the longest they’ll have this season, with a mark of 3-1-2 and eight points of a possible 12. And given how the club has fared in recent holiday-season sojourns away from the Bell Centre, you’d better believe they’ll happily take it.

With captain Saku Koivu ailing with the flu, the Canadiens earlier in the day called up forward Corey Locke from the Hamilton Bulldogs. Locke arrived at Madison Square Garden with minutes to spare, eager to make his long-anticipated NHL debut. But he too was scratched when his equipment didn’t arrive, forcing coach Guy Carbonneau to dress just 19 players.

It was a eight-point night for the line of Tomas Plekanec (one goal, two assists) between Andrei Kostitsyn (two goals, one assist) and acting captain Alex Kovalev (two assists).

Shots on goal were 21-21, though the Rangers had just one on Huet in the second period.

Twice the Canadiens fought from behind then finally seized the lead late in the second, before New York’s Chris Drury tied the game 3-3 at 14:09 of the third from a scramble in front of Huet.

The Rangers, stoked by their 6-1 rout of the Maple Leafs in Toronto one night earlier, were first on the board in a highly entertaining first period, Dan Girardi threading one past Huet on a long, harmless-looking wrist shot from just inside the blue line at 10:14.

Canadiens’ Andrei Kostitsyn scored the equalizer at 18:03 on the power play, his eighth of the season, when he took a pass in the deep slot from centreman Plekanec and wound up from roughly last week to fire a bullet wrist shot high to the glove side of New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

But just 17 seconds later, Rangers captain Jaromir Jagr put the home team back in front, taking a pass from the boards from Scott Gomez to whip one past a surprised Huet.

A less compelling second period picked up great steam in its last six minutes. The Canadiens earned the tying goal, Andrei Kostitsyn again drawing the Habs even, again on the power play, and again on a set-up by Plekanec, though this one came right on Lundqvist’s doorstep, banged in from just a few feet at 14:31.

Then, on a delayed Rangers penalty, defenceman Francis Bouillon did some excellent spadework to begin a huge play, feeding Sergei Kostitsyn, who deftly backhanded the puck to his brother, Andrei, who got it in turn to Plekanec for the latter’s goal at 17:07 – his 12th this season, to go with 20 assists.

Drury’s late goal finally sent the match into overtime.

The Canadiens returned home following the game to enjoy a short New Year’s break, and will open a three-game homestand on Thursday vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Alexander Ovechkin’s Washington Capitals provide the opposition on Saturday, and the no-longer-moribund Chicago Blackhawks wrap it up a week from Tuesday, when the Habs will pay a pre-centennial tribute to another of their Original Six rivals.


New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist lunges for the puck, but fails to snare the second-period goal of Canadiens’ Tomas Plekanec.
Ray Stubblebine, Reuters


  1. mrstewart61 says:

    Handzus: 40gp 5g 5a 10p -15 – No thanks!

  2. mrstewart61 says:

    But they are still spelling his brothere’s wrong.

  3. The Teacher says:

    Ok! I don’t know what he was looking at on the first goal. Maybe a hot blond in the stands? You got me.

    Criticism when warranted is fine. Some of these guys just blather to blather.

  4. Bill H says:

    Life is sweet coming off 2 wins in Florida. We are 3rd in points in the east. This far exceeds most preseason predictions. Congratulations to the team. Its great to see some 5-on-5 scoring, especially with 3 lines producing. Amazing that a coach can go from idiot to genius in 2 games for the same reason – shuffling lines to find the right combinations. Huet is hot, and that makes a lot of things possible. We’ve seen some great playmaking and a newfound ability to finish the play. Gorges to Ryder to Higgins to Ryder – does it get any prettier than that? The Latendresse goal was a beaut as well. Has he found his niche on the team with linemates Koivu and K2? I wish Saku would slump more often with a mere 8 points in his last 7 games while fighting off the flu. Kovalev is playing better than he has in years and has turned into a team leader in more than just goals/points. There a lot of things that are very positive about the Canadiens right now.

    However, consider the following.

    1.) Parity in conference: 2 consecutive losses would leave us with 44 points in 40 games. The standings could look something like this.

    GP Pts
    Ottawa 40 54
    New Jersey 40 45
    Carolina 42 45
    Pittsburgh 40 46
    NYR 40 46
    Phil 38 44
    Buffalo 39 44
    NYI 39 44
    Boston 40 44
    Montreal 40 44
    Florida 40 43

    We could be tied for 6th place with other teams holding games in hand, and one loss out of 11th spot.

    2.) We have a young team that is notorious for being inconsistent, blasting out the competition one night and hardly showing up at all the next night. There is reason for optimism, with some newcomers called up from Hamilton and the possibility that we might have some line combinations that will work well and stay together to develop some chemistry and consistency.

    3.) Our 2 game winning streak was accomplished against very weak opponents. Tampa Bay is in the middle of a bad slump and Florida had some disastrous goaltending for a change.

    4.) The Canadiens have managed 0 wins when they are behind either after the first period or the second period. That’s great when we can blow them out of the rink in 5 minutes, but a team that cannot get back in a game after being behind by a goal or two is going to have a tough go of it. We need to develop some character and confidence, not give up after 20 minutes.

    5.) We have at least 7 out of a possible 10 points on the current road trip, and with any luck we will take 2 more tonight. But then we go home again where we have a losing record. This team has not learned how to win at home. We need to figure that out before we can take it to the next level and have a nice, deep run in the playoffs.

    Just a few things to consider. It’s a long season, and we have some time to work out some of the kinks in the system. What’s almost as frustrating as the team’s inconsistency is how the posters on sites like this swing so far and so fast from supporters to those who would fire management and trade away the core of the team’s future to bring a goal scorer to Montreal. I have confidence in Carbo, Jarvis, Muller and Gainey, even if I don’t agree with their every decision. Let’s hope things continue to improve as we work out some of the bugs and gain some valuable experience. Go Habs.

  5. habs-13 says:

    MONTREAL – The Montreal Canadiens announced Sunday that forward Corey Locke has been recalled from the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League. Locke will join the team in New York today and should be available for tonight’s game against the Rangers.

    Locke, 23, leads the Bulldogs in scoring with 23 points in 30 games (8 goals, 15 assists). He posted a +4 and registered 20 penalty minutes.

    What the hell are we going to do with Locke in our lineup? Where does he fit in? I understand that he brings speed to our lineup which as mentioned by Timo is what is needed to play aginst the Blueshirts, but he is another small skilled forward. I don’t mind having smaller guys on the to 2 lines, but there is no room for Locke on our top 2 lines, which leaves him on the 3rd or 4th line. Those are supposed to prevent goals and that is no what Locke does.

  6. JF says:

    Habs have to come out hard tonight and get off to a good start, hopefully score the first goal. If they come out flat or get down a goal, we’ll see what usually happens: their confidence will ooze out, their passes will stop clicking, their defensive zone coverage will become laborious, and it will likely end up being a repeat of the Dallas or Detroit games. The Rangers looked very good last night – big, strong and confident. But their defense is not the fastest, and hopefully they’ll be tired.

  7. The Teacher says:

    Hall of Famer, Hallf of Famer..need i put it in Braille?

  8. The Cat says:

    I agree Timo, Huet has to steal this game tonight. Rangers are clicking on all cylinders now that Avery is back.

  9. The Cat says:

    Im no expert on how to run a team in this salary cap era, but unless Montreal can get a big centre ice man for Huet, then they should sign Huet. If we cant improve on the only area we need help in, we may as well keep what we got.

  10. POPS says:


  11. mar-lin says:

    Bill H,

    -15 but plays stellar defense? I KNOW I KNOW +/- doesn’t tell the whole story…-32!? yikes…i want him. just kidding, he’s not the right fit for us.


    go habs go

  12. mar-lin says:

    A big centre LIKE Handzus just not him, unless of course he’s packaged with Dustin Brown. Now we’re talkin!! If a centre is still what we need when the trade deadline approaches. Then let’s really see what’s out there make sure we explore all possibilities. I just get that same feeling about him like i did with Samsonov…and he costs more! Speaking of cost…Frolov 3mil. and Blake a stunning 6mil. ummmm no thanks. Don’t get me wrong POPS i like what you’re saying just change Handzus’s name with another centre who might have a bigger impact. We need a superstar not a semi-star just my opinion. Don’t even get me started on the stats of these players you speak of.

    I can agree with you on the GM thing though…makes sense, comfort=trust.


    go habs go

  13. Bill H says:

    I agree mar-lin. His size is impressive, but where we are most lacking size is on the first 2 lines. With 5 goals to his credit this year, I don’t think he is a candidate for a top 6 forward.

    Scouting Report
    Assets: Is a load to line up against, at 6-5, 217 pounds. Plays stellar defense and is also a capable playmaker. Has improved his confidence in the offensive zone.
    Flaws Lacks speed. Needs to be more aggressive in the corners. May never reach his full potential on offense.
    Career potential Two-way center.
    Year to date: 2007-08 GP39 G5 A5 P10 =/- -15
    On Pace: G11 A11 P22 =/- -32

  14. POPS says:

    I like the idea of bringing in a big centre and Handzus fits the bill when you consider he is very strong defensively but, if I am trading a proven #1 goaltender like Huet I would want more than Handzus. I think the Habs will wait to make a deal for Huet and ditto for Ryder. LA makes sense as a trading partner because Gainey and Lombardi have worked together in the past. I also believe that Gainey has dealt with Sather (NYR), and Wilson (SJ). GM’s tend to deal amongst each other when they form relationships. If I were the Habs I would look to LA for a package that might include Frolov and Blake. I think above all else on this team we need some winners. Great examples around the league include Fedorov, Foote, Blake, Shanahan, Modano, Lehitinen, Lapointe and Schneider. These types of players bring alot of leadership, character, experience, and respect into the dressing room. This is what we need.

  15. JF says:

    Great post. People are understandably optimistic after the wins in Florida, but it’s good to underline the problems, in particular the team’s inconsistency and our inability to come back when we’re down a goal. I think consistency will come with increased confidence and success. Coming back is also partly a matter of confidence. We have to believe we can win even when we’re down, which is not the case right now. Too often the team gives up. We have to develop a winning attitude, which will also help us when it comes to protecting a one-goal lead or scoring an insurance goal when we’re up by one late in the game. We often settle for an overtime loss, when with a little more grit and character, it could be a regulation win. We are a young team and chemistry is only lately developing on some of the lines, so hopefully these problems can be ironed out fairly quickly.

    I also have confidence in the coaching staff. I think Carbonneau is developing into a very good coach. Even if the Habs don’t make the playoffs, I would hate to see the organization give up on him and start all over with someone else.

  16. Exit716 says:

    Shanahan is a Hall of Fame Phoney.
    I know who wears the pants in his family and it ain’t Brenda(n).

  17. Chuck says:

    Ok then, maybe we should talk about the Rangers’ first goal: a long soft wrist shot that Huet didn’t exactly look his sharpest on. Could be THAT was the difference in the game. If he saves that one, then who knows?

    Also, point well taken on the faceoffs. We have to be better on those.

    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”


    Why shouldn’t an Allstar goalie stop an Allstar player? Should I write it crayon for you.

  19. The Teacher says:

    ok..I read it twice and didn’t get the point you are trying to make…please do make it?

    Hall of Famer vs non-Hall of Famer..I’ll put it that way for you? who should win there?

  20. POPS says:

    Love Plekanec but he always has trouble finishing a play. He had 2 or 3 opportunitites tonight on 3 on 2’s or 2 on 1’s and couldn’t make the right pass or shot. Don’t get me wrong I am not bashing him but I think he could use some more touch. Great worker.

  21. jimbo says:

    At the deadline LA will be so far out of the picture they won’t need or want Huet


    So he has 600 goals.

    According to some people in here Huet is the #1 goalie. Huet is an Allstar.

    If he is an allstar maybe he should have ?????? Well you know…….

  23. Bill H says:

    Crap! 4-3 Rangers. We only get one point tonight. Fire the lot of them! They are all incompetent. 😉

    Kovalev 3 pts
    Pleks 3 pts
    A. Kostitsyn 3 pts
    What a line tonight.

    Well, 8 out of a possible 12 points on this road trip. Not too bad. Now back home. Let’s see if we can improve our home ice record now.

  24. The Teacher says:

    Here comes Timo…………………….

    Perfect Shot on a breakaway from a guy with 600+ NHL goals. Nuff said.

  25. The Teacher says:

    Huet had no chance on that one. We can win a faceoff to save our lives.

  26. paul b says:

    carb.will raise the banner (: (soon) WAY TO GO (Bill)what do they think they cant make mistakes..


    I’m sorry Bill. You are right.

    Please forgive me.

  28. Mr.Hazard says:


    Ex nihilo nihil fit

  29. Mr.Hazard says:

    They finally fixed the Kostitsyn typo on! (formerly Kastitsyn)

    Ex nihilo nihil fit

  30. The Teacher says:

    That’s what I say. They couldn’t even hang on for a period.

  31. The Teacher says:

    Oh I have no doubt you have to run now 😛


  32. Bill H says:

    Unbelievable! We can’t even go 2 periods before the negative comments are flying around.

    Newfoundland Dog: Carbo keeps playing Kovalev on the power play because he is our best power play scorer. He has 9 power play goals this season. That’s 3 better than our next best power play scorer, Chris Higgins. Kovalev is a skilled puckhandler and passer. He takes chances that often pay off with a goal. And of course sometimes he coughs up the puck and we lose possession. So if he is so terrible, who would you put out there in his place? Before you respond, maybe you should check your stats.

    Timo: My god, you are right. What is Carbo thinking, putting the goalie with the best save percentage in the league in 3 consecutive games? He must be out of his mind.

    Newf Dog and Timo: Carbo has the team in 3rd place in the east on points. He has this team exceeding expectations by far. And perhaps the best is yet to come, because he is carefully breaking in the rookies and putting together a strong line up. He’s far from perfect of course. But overall, he can’t be doing too bad, can he?

    Obviously you are both entitled to your opinions, and really that’s what this blog is about, opinions. But can’t you just hang on for more than 2 periods before you start complaining about how the team is doing?

  33. mar-lin says:

    Maybe they just need the extra body in the stands in case of injury. He’d already be there and besides he’d need to practice with the team a little. Again just in case somebody else gets hurt in the next few games, here’s the link.


    go habs go


    Kovalev gives away 8 pucks on recent PP. It is all forgotten when he rings the puck off a NY player to the montreal player to set up the Tying goal. Way to go Kovy.

    Montreal is in the lead. Way to go boys.

    Nice save by Huet in the dieing seconds of the 2nd period.

    Keep it up boys. Maybe They will get thier 3 games in a row and prove the critics wrong.


    Why in the blue hell does Carbo keep playing Kovalev on the powerplay? All Kovalev does on the PP is give away the puck.

    Ryder is playing great tonight. He drew the Penalty he should play on the PP. Ryders line gets 15 seconds as like all of the PP in the last two games. Carbo is Useless.

    As one poster in here once said before he got ran out of here by some not so nice posters. “Montreal will not put a winning streak together anymore than 2 games in a row the rest of this season”. So far he is spot on.

    Oh by the way. Huet can’t play 3 good games in a row. He is a 2 game goalie.

  36. mar-lin says:

    stick in the mud

  37. The Teacher says:

    Yes..that is why I flagged it.

  38. The Teacher says:

    I’ve noticed you post seemingly only when the Habs are losing. Does that mean if they win you’ll disappear?

  39. mar-lin says:

    the last superstar traded hmmm let me see…luongo? Stats and money are the easiest way to see if a certain player has the “potential” to be a better player on another team. It’s not as easy as splitting his salary…pay scale and bonuses play a huge part.Honestly i don’t see Blake replacing any of our current “D”…excluding breezebye ;)I do however like frolov quite a bit, i think the players we have now NEED the playoff experrience. We already have Dandy and Hammer with p-off exp. so the benefit of blake would be small at best.We are at that point where role player aren’t in short supply around here. I’ll gladly wait till next season if it means we’ll try again for that difference maker. I know it’s hard with multiple superstars…no kidding but one successful FA or UFA and we’re a deep p-off team.

    this is some quality sparring!


    go habs go

  40. mar-lin says:

    I agree i was just using him as an example of the type of quality we should be asking for.


  41. mar-lin says:

    i disagree lats has more heart than handzus and i don’t think he’s far off in regards to talent just a different kind that’s all.


    go habs go

  42. Bill H says:

    Wow! Locke joining the team is a real surprise. I agree with your comments…where does he fit in? Well, we will see soon enough. I was hoping to see the same lines that have been looking so good. Why change things now? Who would be in the press box to accommodate Locke?

  43. krob1000 says:

    did they just say Locke didn’t get his equipment and won’t e able to play???

  44. jablonski says:

    I have been very pleased with Huet’s efforts in the last couple of games but even though he has been playing well his stats and Price’s stats are still very similar. At the trade deadline if Bob gets a good offer for Huet then I think he should pull the trigger. Because LA NEEDS a goalie they could send us a Michael Handzus who is a huge center with offensive touch which is what we need especially against the Flyers, Rangers, Leafs and the much bigger western conference.

    Matt J

  45. POPS says:

    mar-lin, don’t get so caught up in stats. Blake costs us 3mil. because 1/2 the season is gone and he is an unrestricted free agent this summer. Frolov has size and youth and it appears he could be available. Blake brings experience and does not have to be a go to guy. He could settle into a 4th D role and special teams guy much like Chelios in Detroit. Did you see Chelios in the playoffs last year? I think a guy like Blake or Foote could do the same in Montreal and they both have the savy and experience we need! Getting a superstar is: A) difficult to do (name the last one traded and what he was traded for) B) not worth giving up the whole system for (ask TB and PITT who have a few superstars and not much else).

  46. The Cat says:

    Trading Huet for Handzus would be a mistake. Remember that big brawl Ottawa had against Philly a couple of years ago, well Fisher kicked Handzus’ ass. And if Im gonna get a big centreman for Huet, he better be big and play big too.

  47. Smart Dog says:

    I’d take Lats over Hanzus. Similar stats. More potential.
    Be happy! At least the FUTURE looks bright!
    Plekanec, Higgins, Komi, Chips, Lapierre, O’Byrne, K1 &K2, Price

  48. Smart Dog says:

    I agree, though on the other hand, if I needed tickets, I would be tempted to post. Maybe HIO could make some kind of bulletin board for things like that?
    Be happy! At least the FUTURE looks bright!
    Plekanec, Higgins, Komi, Chips, Lapierre, O’Byrne, K1 &K2, Price

  49. PGHABS says:

    Handzus sounds like another former Canadien…. Radek Bonk… trading for Handzus would be a mistake

  50. Chorske says:

    Price has been soft his past couple of outings. Huet has made it abundantly clear that he is our #1. Price has made it clear (to me at least) that he needs some more time to grow into the job. I’d love to see Huet extended a couple years.

  51. Chorske says:

    LOL, the Dustin Brown who is signed for about 20 Mil until 2015? Doesnt sound like the kind of guy a team would be willing to ‘throw in’ to a trade.

  52. Hoegarden says:

    I too, although I do not see the Bulldogs play, am in full agreement that Locke deserves a shot. I’ve posted a few times hoping he gets a call up to the bigs. He’s been a terrific player up to now and I’m pleased to hear from someone on the spot that he is doing well.

  53. Vincent is possible says:

    Fight Night!

    Lapierre vs Avery! Who else can see this happening?


  54. Rugger says:

    Could it mean the much anticipated Ryder trade has happened, but not announced yet? Personally i hope not.

  55. Chorske says:

    Dude, call me a stick in the mud, but I really don’t think folks should be selling tickets on this site. Use craigslist or something. I’d hate to see the site become swamped with offers/requests for tickets.

  56. Vecs says:

    Huet’s states aren’t even close to being the same as Price’s. They have a similar amount of wins but Huet has a better GAA and he actually has the best save percentage in the league at .931. That’s pretty damn good. You don’t trade that away unless you’re getting something impressive back. Sure, I agree Bob should pull the trigger but only for an awesome trade. The league is crap right now. Especially the East. We have a real shot of going deep into the playoffs. I don’t think Price will take us there this year. Maybe in a couple more years.

  57. RetroMikey says:

    Great to see Corey Locke finally given the chance to play for the big team! As a season ticket holder for the Bulldogs, this kid has all the necessities to make it in the NHL (another Daniel Briere clone I say). Too bad if we did not have Saku, Corey would be on our roster full time guaranteed! This kid deserves it and not too worry Habs fans, Matt DAgostini still has some work to develop in the organization before he is ready to play in the NHL!

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

  58. Bill H says:

    mar-lin…yes, I agree LOL. A -15 is scarey after a the year the Habs had last year. The LA =/- stats look a lot like Canadiens last year. Right now, LA has 13W 24L 2OT. When you are losing like that as a team, you are going to have a lot of players showing big -numbers.

  59. Bill H says:

    I like a Blake and Frolov trade POPS. He’s having an off year so far, but upside potential is there. And the way Huet is playing, LA might go for a little more stability in net.

    Year to date: 2007-08 GP28 G4 A19 P23 =/- -10
    On Pace: GP71 G10 A48 P58 +/- -25

    2006-07 Los Angeles NHL GP82 G35 A36 P71 +/- -8
    2005-06 Los Angeles NHL GP69 G21 A33 P54 +/- +17
    Scouting Report
    Assets Has excellent size and reach. Is an impact forward at both ends of the ice. Loves to rush with the puck and excels in the corners.
    Flaws Is inconsistent on offense, and needs to do a better job of bringing his ‘A’ game to the rink more often. Passes up too many shots.
    Career potential Top six winger.

  60. Vincent is possible says:

    I remember watching Lapierre taunt Avery last year. I remember Lapierre hitting Avery and Avery getting all “crybaby” and Lapierre saying to him “What’s your name?… Avery? …Never heard of you!” and then skated away. Classic! Man I was in hysterics! Lets hope for some more comedy from Max tonight!



  61. mar-lin says:

    Handzus is really struggling right now and Huet isn’t, i’d rather not trade for him just because he’s big. He’s never really exploded like philly hoped he would or chicago for that matter. He also carries 4mil. salary which spells risky buissness to me. Just don’t think he’s the big guy we’re looking for…

    here’s his stats


    go habs go

  62. kevin m says:

    I don’t think Huet is a 5 million dollar goaltender. He is very good but not of the same ilk as a Brodeur or Luongo. To garner a 5+ mil salary you must possess a consistent save % of .920+ and play 60 to 70 games per season. In short, for a goaltender to get 5+ mil he must be a franchise player.

    Having said that, I do believe that the amount of quality goaltending in the NHL has diminished somewhat; so, maybe the market will have no other choice but to reward mediocrity to attain a bit of stability in nets in the new My NHL.

  63. 24 Cups says:

    Price’s salary is $2.2 mil a year. Huet is going to be looking for $4-5 mil a year long term. Assuming Price develops as everyone expects him to, we will have to open the vault big time at the end of next year or 2010 at the latest (courtesy of Kevin Lowe). You could be looking at Mike RIchards money. I would love for Huet to stay but he(and Ryder) must go by the end of February or Gainey has totally wasted a golden opportunity. It’s the reality of the new NHL. We’re not strong enough to get past Ottawa (and out of the conference)so we have to keep an eye on what’s down the road. We need tangible assets in return for players who will be gone July 1st.

    The Original 24 Cups

  64. The Teacher says:

    As i recall, the limit for a rookie is 875K. now he probably has bonus clauses but don’t think he has reached any yet.

    where the 2.2 million comes from, I have no idea. Do you care to explain?

  65. mar-lin says:

    I thought the same thing Teach…no disrespect 24cups, i’m just interested if the rest is in bonuses or…?

    As far as looking forward i agree, we need to compete against the sens and that’s not easy. Even though we like most of our players it doesn’t mean they’re the right ones for the job. So i do see the point, hopefully they grow into the players we hope they’ll be.

    Also i’m not sure what Huet’s intentions are…I remember when he signed he mentioned that he didn’t plan on playing in the nhl for long. Things change of course and money talks!


    go habs go!

  66. 24 Cups says:

    The 2.2 mil is the cap hit with bonus money included. It’s similar of other high end draft picks like Malkin or Kane who make the 875 grand but in reality make a ton more through bonus money (limit is $2.85 mil a year) which all counts against the cap. Each bonus clause is unique to each player as some are easy to attain (games played) while others are based on performance targets. A team’s final cap total is never finalized until the end of the year but they obviously have to budget on the high end. Right now, the Habs have about 3.5 to 4 mil of cap space. With that in mind, we would have a goalie budget of $7.2 mil for the next two years if Huet resigned at $5 mil a year. If we trade him in February, then we would have a goalie budget of about $3 mil for the next two years (Price @ 2.2 mil and Halak/Danis @ $800 grand)

    The Original 24 Cups

  67. mar-lin says:

    cool…thanks for the insight!

    I’m gonna go waste some more time and check out that link of yours.


    go habs go

  68. 24 Cups says:

    You’re welcome. It certainly gives you an insight into what Gainey and other GM’s are dealing with in terms of budgeting for today as well as the next few years. As an example, The Lousy Leafs are up against the cap big time – now and long term. Any new GM would have his hands tied for awhile or would have to have a major league fire sale to open up cap space. Or if you look at Washington, they have tons of cap space and could easily resign or match any offer for Ovechkin this summer. We will have to spend some decent coin to eventually resign guys like Higgins, Komisarek, and Pleks. We should be able to do so when the time comes. Losing Huet, Smolinski, and Ryder’s salaries (down the road) will help us retain our core youth.

    The Original 24 Cups


    I guess everyone is happy with one point. Alot like Leafs Fans there…….

    It is just as well to loose in OT cause the Habs would not win it in a shoot-out.

    If a Goalie stops 50 shots standing on his head, It is all for nothing if he lets in a soft goal……

    Can’t winn 3 in a row can they. Or should I say, Can Huet win 3 games in a row?

    Good game guys. Good game…….

  70. hhl says:

    then go cheer for the leafs. no skin off my rear.

  71. RudeMood19 says:

    I love Huet, like he’s a good goalie. But guys don’t you think in big time games he never makes the “game-saving” change, I’m sorry, on that shot by Shanahan, at least move. However, Hamrlik makes like his first mistake ever with the worst dump of all time.

    Whatever, we got a point. Now we gotta start Price at home and get our home groove on. We’re still 4th in the East and still a damn-good road team.

  72. TradeRyder says:

    I’m with you. It’s strange how Huet is so amazing, and lets in those soft goals late in the game. Weird. And even MORE weird because his save percentage is league-leading (or was). So imagine if he STOPPED those late shots. WOW!!!
    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  73. Ed says:

    I enjoyed the game. It’s too bad we lost, but we did get a point, & it’s a point we deserved. You can’t win them all, & even if we went on a 10 game win streak, some fans would complain as soon as we lost. That’s hockey & that’s life. Some see the positives, & some just like to complain.

  74. kevrob says:

    I definitely enjoyed that game.

    Pleks, Kovy and Kost were spectacular. Their passing was and is incredible as usual.

    glad we got a point…we should have had two points however. Our crappy face-offs got us in this one though.

  75. POPS says:

    Koivu would have helped in the face-off dept. The odd man rushes we had did not translate into goals, if they did we are talking blowout. Great effort and fantastic game. I believe this team can only get better.

  76. Smart Dog says:

    Observations on NY:

    1. Mixed reviews – we lost in a NY minute! Huet as much as he is a great goalie, is not good in overtime, not good on shoot-outs. He seems spooked. I repeat – still a fantastic goalie… but when we go to overtime, I’d bet on the loss.
    2. Plekanic the Mekanic. What a player he’s becoming. The guy makes his line run like a top. Our best player tonight, and to me, our brightest rising star.
    3. Higgins, Kostitsyn, Kovalev – all stars tonight… our forward lines are starting to be able to control the play. And on D – hats off to Boulon who played like he was 7 feet tall.
    4. Ryder…sigh… He must like the TV show Lost. That’s how he looked. I know the final goal was largely Hamrlik’s mistake – but that Ryder was in on the play and I think fumbled the puck just before is no surprise. Several times he was drifting around the neutral zone, not back-checking, just waiting for his break-away pass. I used to be neutral on Ryder – sometimes he gives it. Tonight he was the one wasted sweater. Sit him. Trade him. Get rid of him. All you newfs, go ahead give me your best shot.
    5. Comeback? What’s a comeback? This is as close as we’ve come to coming back from an intermission deficit. But we haven’t. And we lose more games in the third period than I can count. Is this a confidence issue? Coaching? Maturity (so many young players)? I don’t know… I would guess some combo of the first two. This is probably our biggest issue – inability to protect or reclaim a lead…. I wonder if the team is addressing it.

    Still…all critiques aside – 8 of 12 on the road – way to go Habs!

    Even Timo has to be a little happy.

    Arf! Arf!

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

  77. Ed says:

    Point 4 – You are jealous because you live in Halifax. And, being Smart, you know that the term newfs is considered offensive by most Newfoundlanders. I will not flag you as offensive for now. You might deserve a second chance.

  78. TradeRyder says:

    You’re right on about Ryder, and Plekanic. Plekanic is the complete player. Ryder just cannot keep up with the game. He’s trying but it’s not there.. for whatever reason. I think your assessment is fair.
    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  79. Ed says:

    Happy Holidays to you as well, & Geaux Habs.

  80. Ed says:

    You are a realist cournoyer, but there are some fans on here who are constantly disappointed because they seem to expect to win it all this year. That year or two will also allow our young players to develop & become much better.

  81. Ian G Cobb says:

    Hey smart dog ! Better get back to school with these kids. They are working very hard and are playing in the best league in the world. Youngest team in the league tonight and left N.Y. with a point. Frusting to watch these kids learn there trade. They are learning, and getting better every week. Patients were getting there!

  82. Ian G Cobb says:

    And Ryder has played great with Higgins & Lapierre. This line will stay together!

  83. Smart Dog says:

    You’re right there Ian. It was a good game – a strong game! I thought my review was mostly positive no? And I agree – the kids are more than alright – they’re great… and given time, who knows! We seem to have a real team in the making. Life is good!

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

  84. habitual says:

    But just one, last chance Ed. If I recall correctly, this is not the first time those unprovoked and unacceptable comments have been made by him.

    I thought the game was a treat to watch and agree with Smart Dog, the Kovalev line was great. But I also think the team as a whole played well. Gutsy performance, holding the Rangers to essentially no shots in the second period. Bad bounce in the end, but I also think the team was running out of steam.

    Now, if we can bring the road game home …

  85. TradeRyder says:

    What was unprovoked and unnacceptable? I can’t follow you.
    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  86. Ed says:

    I just read an article where Canada will be playing Alexander Perezhogin’s team in the finals of the Spengler Cup. His name is mentioned toward the end of the article. With the big salaries & the private jet, it’s no wonder he opted to play in his home country. Who can blame him for that.

  87. Smart Dog says:

    Regarding the points below:

    1. Offensive? LOL I don’t think someone understands what an offensive comment is. Disagreeing with someone doesn’t make it offensive. Get real.
    2. Ryder. If Ryder had such a good game, why was he minus-1 with one shot on net with more time than A. Kostitsyn. At best he had an okay game. But if you think he was a star out there you’re seeing things through fog coloured glasses. My frustration is that he comes to play every couple of games and when he loses the puck (often) he doesn’t do much to get it back. Oh yeah – and that thing about not scoring… that’s a little frustrating too.
    3. Overall… the team played well. My review was mostly positive. I AM concerned about not being able to finish games as well as we start ’em… and I’d like to hear thoughts on why that is.

    Great ROAD TRIP and our team is getting stronger! I’m inclined to agree with others below that Huet should be rotated after 2 games. The pressure (or something) seems a little much, though I am a big Huet fan, no question about that, a great goalie.

    Like I say – 8 out of 12 points – life is good!!

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

  88. Ian G Cobb says:

    We have the best tadam goalkepers in the league. Price in two more years will probably be the best goaler we have had since Patrick, Huet will be a great mentor for the kid over the next few years, he won’t be going anywhere.

    Playing them until they loose one is the best way to play them both.

  89. Smart Dog says:

    I hate to disagree with you Ian. And I love Higgins and Lapierre. But no points and two shots for the whole line?? Nothing to be proud of. I thought Higgins played a good game, Lapierre pretty good though not up to his usual standard, and Ryder… well… you know what I think.

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

  90. TradeRyder says:

    As someone said below – tonight Ryder was a waste of a sweater. And not just tonight. And Nfld (I have actually been there) ROCKS!! So do Newfoundlanders! But anyone who says we’re picking on Newfoundlanders because we’re disappointed in Ryder’s season and his play has rocks in his head. That’s all there is to say about that.

    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  91. Exit716 says:

    Carbo needs to go for the throat when they are dominating teams like that in the third period. None of this 1-4 trap crap
    Miss the playoffs? Please.
    We should have won the game against the TSN NHL experts top pick for Stanley Cup champions
    The Rangers are something you put in the glad bag and take to the curb once a week.

  92. Ian G Cobb says:

    Everyone has there say, now it is my turn! I don,t know what you do for a living, but have you ever had a bad year,? Did everyone dump on you as you worked your ass off to get back up. He has not quit on himself yet, why should i quit him? Think about it!
    He will win a cup with us in two years!

  93. hhl says:

    i agree, because he’s from newfoundland, dosen’t mean he should be treated any differently. alot of people assume that if i or someone else says rider should be traded,that we hate newfounlanders or that its a racist thing. i think that those people r just looking for a fight.

  94. kevin m says:

    I would still rather have Ryder @ 2.9 mil Than Drury & Gomez with a combined total of 20 goals and a combined salary of about 15 mil.

  95. Infanteer says:

    I’m not sure that I’ve ever read that Ryder should be kept because he’s from Newfoundland. Indeed, as a Newf myself, I find the notion insulting. When I lived in Mtl, I didn’t think that Theodore should be retained because he was from Montreal; nor did I think that Hackett should be traded because he wasn’t.

    Ryder should be retained because he is consistently a 30 goal scorer; the only consistent 30 goal scorer the Canadians have had in years. He’s having an “off” season. In addition: what would you expect to get for Ryder now? Janne Ninimma?

    Let me guess . . . you were up for trading Kovalev last year, no? And, was that you celebrating when Ribeiro was traded?

    As for Ryder being a “real pussy,” well, that’s when I can look at his Newfie status . . . as well as his NHL strengthened frame . . . and say you wouldn’t stand a chance . . .

  96. G-Man says:

    Realistically, we couldn’t expect the Habs to go injury-free this season. This will be a big test because we all saw what the D was like without O’Byrne in the lineup. Against players like Jagr, Shanahan, Gomez and Drury size does matter.
    Looking forward to tonight’s game. It’s always a pleasure watching the bouncing puck at MSG, especially 3 hours after the circus!


  97. TradeRyder says:

    Tell it like it is Exit! Great post. The team needs to get some KILLER INSTINCT. Bury the damn opposition!!!

    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  98. TradeRyder says:

    Is that fig newton? Or ming nut?

    By the way, it’s “you’re” as in: YOU ARE a fig newton. Why would you call someone a fig newton? Please explain. Do it quick before your account is closed though. Thanks.

    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  99. The Teacher says:

    Which should be pretty soon. he’s spewing venom tonight for no apparent reason.

  100. rogus says:

    Kovalev is a god.

  101. Ian G Cobb says:

    Getting late –Precision? Is that right?

  102. Ian G Cobb says:

    Smart Dog- let me smarten you up a little more ! if that is possible. There is only one puck and Ryders role has changed on this line. Lapiere and Higgins are the trigger men.

  103. fun police says:

    listened to the game on msg radio while driving in the u.s. the announcers must have said three times during the game that they didn’t understand why carbo had the habs go into a defensive shell when they were taking it to the rangers for most of the game. one scout interviewed during the second period said that the habs where carrying the play so much they were like the harlem globetrotters. yet for some reason carbo forced the habs into a 1-2-2 system.

  104. Smart Dog says:

    As you know we can always get smarter Ian!

    I guess I’m confused as to Ryder’s role. And I am honestly starting to have a reaction when he has the puck… like that sinking feeling I had going into overtime knowing that Huet for some strange reason is not as good after the first 60. In my eyes, more than other players he gives up on the play. Maybe I am wrong. But that’s what I see. And if Ryder’s the playmaker… well… is he a playmaker? Is his passing that good? Then why only 2 shots on net by his line?

    Oy! I hate to argue with you Ian because I usually agree with you… but I would put money that we won’t regret losing Ryder. Just a feeling.

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

  105. Doctor Device says:

    Horrible mistake by Hamrlik in OT there but overall you’ve got to like that road trip.

    The lack of support for Huet is frankly bizarre. That goal by Shanahan was a perfectly placed laser beam of a shot. Huet currently leads the league among qualifiers in save percentage. Led the league in 05-06 as well, and didn’t play enough games to qualify among the leaders last year. He’s a fantastic goaltender. Price is not ready to carry the load.

  106. Chuck says:

    Conversley, it could also be said that Huet isn’t ready to carry the load, either. He’s yet to prove that he’s a workhorse in terms of the number of games that he can play, eg. 60+ per season (or even 50+, for that matter). He’s wonderful in terms of overall save percentage, but he leaves a lot to be desired one-on-one. I guess that they key for the defense is to not allow breakaways or for tie games to go to a shootout. :)

    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  107. The Teacher says:

    I don’t think anyone expects Huet to play more than 55 games in a season.

    and there are no shootouts in the playoffs. Very key to remember!

  108. Chuck says:

    True… but we’ve got to get to the playoffs first! Giving up points like we did this game just isn’t going to cut it.

    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  109. Xtrahabsfan says:

    Yo infanteer,Iwas one of the few who was sadend by Riberio departure and even though Kovalev is having a great year,it’s more reason to move him ,his contract is comming up and he is getting older,what do you want to do give him a final 5 years at twenty-five million?,I think NOT.AND AS FOR RYDER ,I HAVE NEVER,NEVER ,NEVER seen him fight soooo my money’s on my 4 year old to take him,lol

  110. The Teacher says:

    I agree. don’t get me wrong.

  111. HigginsIsABeast says:

    That was a tough one to lose tonight. Refs shouldn’t call goals unless their %100 certain its in. A little biased with the Avery celebration. After all, if it does go in then they can always go back on the play.

  112. Doctor Device says:

    Well, he appears to be injury-prone, sure. That doesn’t make him a bad goaltender, it makes him an unlucky goaltender. I’ll grant you he’s looked bad in the last couple of shootouts, but that was not a bad goal by Shanahan. It was an awesome shot.

    Also, if you’re going to hang the blame on one player, which is usually unfair, Hamrlik has to know he’s the last man back in that situation and not give up a 2 on 0.

    About the shootouts, I have no idea how much they practice these things but considering none of our shooters ever score either, the correct answer should be “More”.

  113. The Teacher says:

    Apparently Carbo leaves it up to his players whether they want to practice shootouts or now. They don’t incorporate it into their daily practices.

  114. Chuck says:

    Then I think that Carbo has to take the bull by the horns and include shootout drills in the practices. Bothe the shooters and the goalies could use the practice.

    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  115. Chuck says:

    I don’t. It’s just good friendly hockey banter.

    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  116. Doctor Device says:

    This is unfortunate. When you consider how tight the playoff races usually are, those shootout points are important enough that they should be practiced to death, really.

  117. The Teacher says:

    You don’t need to tell me that.

    Who’s going to tell Carbo though?

  118. Doctor Device says:

    I actually think it’s better the way they did it: if you think it might be in, blow the whistle and find out. What happens if you play on for 3 minutes until the next stop in play and then find out there was a goal? What if the other team scores before there’s another stop?

    Much less of a can of worms the way they did it tonight, and justice prevailed.

  119. filhab1 says:

    Why would the ref call that shot a goal?? Seemed to me like he made the call based on Avery’s reaction. Ryder, slowly seems to be picking up his game. I thought he played better in the Florida games. Habs did lack killer instinct, they couldn’t capitalize on all the Ranger mistakes. New York looked real tired during most of the game. Plekanec and Higgins are going to be awesome if they’re not already.

  120. Chuck says:

    Awesome shot, yes, but Huet hardly looked like he gave it his best effort. He was also quite weak on the first goal. And I’m not blaming just one player. Huet was merely the last link in a weak chain that had us giving up a valuable point tonight. It took all of the skaters, presumably under orders from the coaching staff, to go into that defensive shell in the third. Question: we manhandled the Rangers in the second period, leaving them with zero offense… so then why change the gameplan for the third period and allow the Rangers to gain some momentum?

    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  121. Chuck says:

    Does anyone have his phone number? :)

    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  122. The Teacher says:

    True, and it did stop the pressure from continuing. My problem is how long it took them to figure it out.

  123. The Teacher says:

    Dave? Mike? Kevin?

  124. Chuck says:

    Exactly. Better to be sure now than sorry later.

    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  125. Chuck says:

    Maybe the NHL needs to subscribe to RDS.

    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  126. Girth says:

    Bob has allot of work to do before he starts worrying about Kovi’s contract. In theory, he’s here through 2008-2009.

    Have a look at all the UFA’s and RFA’s next summer.

    As for Ryder… he’s not being paid to fight. He seems to understand that it would not increase his value to be a mediocre fighter. He would be better served by demonstrating a solid work ethic and focusing on fundamentals.

  127. Sulemaan says:

    I think the team played well under the circumstances and did well on this road trip. Really pleased with a lot of things that I saw and I think they deserve credit. Too bad Corey Locke didn’t get to play his first NHL game. Hopefully he will get another shot. Rather see him than Smolinski any day as this kid has paid his dues in the minors just like Plekanec did.

  128. Doctor Device says:

    Well that *was* bizarre. It was very clearly not in, but who knows what they get up to at Mission Control in Toronto.


    To DAVE Of HIO.

    If you delete one of my comments, then delete all of the other “so called inappropriate comments. Not just mine. You seem to miss some bad comments of a select few in here……. Over looked them I think not DAVE.


    his phone # is 1-800 – IDIOT

  131. theflower says:

    I blame tonights loss on Guy Carbonneau! Going into a defensive shell after owning the game for long periods has to be about the dumbest thing a coach can do to his team. It turned the momentum around for the Rangers who really were out of it in my opinion. Carbo has to realise this is not the 80’s or 90’s anymore. Teams are coming back from 2, 3 or even more down in the third period in todays’ NHL. Honestly it was an absolute travesty to watch that. I kept saying to myself, so when is New York going to score, its just a matter of time and sure enough blammo! 100% the fault of coaching what an awful way to lose after playing a strong game!

  132. P St. Pierre says:

    I thought the Canadiens played a very solid game tonight, despite the absence of Saku Koivu. I hope he gets over his flu quickly and that it doesn’t spread to any of the other players.

    The Plekanec line is really something to watch. Those three guys have tons of skill and they know how to read each other. Tomas Plekanec is like a hidden gem that other teams just haven’t found out about yet. He is strong at both ends of the ice and his vision and creativity, combined with his hustle make him a very dangerous forward. He is by far one of my favorite Habs and his play this year has been outstanding.

    Andrei Kostitsyn has a tremendous shot, and his work ethic has steadily improved since the beginning of the season. I can definantly see him becoming a very good winger for the Canadiens for (hopefully) a very long time.

    While Andrei Markov continues to be (in my opinion) the best player on the team, Alex Kovalev has certainly made his presence felt this season. He’s not making waves with Carbonneau, he’s consistently producing goals and points, and he’s been a good team player. His skills are so incredible that you know other guys on the team are looking for him to lead them, and this year he’s done a fantastic job of it. I seriously doubt that Kovy would have been selected to wear the C last year in any games that Koivu missed. The fact that Carbonneau chose him to wear it tonight speaks to the steadying influence he’s been this season.

  133. Bouleau noir says:

    HUMM,.. to much blame and not enought credit given to the Rangers and their goaly.

  134. theflower says:

    Trust me I am not discrediting the Rangers ability to play well and beat us. I did however watch the game, as I have watched every single Habs game this year. We have a habit of going into defensive shell mode if we have a lead and that comes from the coach. Trust me if you watched and heard the MSG announcers continually shaking their heads and wondering why we went into defensive mode so early into the 3rd period, they saw the same thing I saw. They too felt it could only lead to trouble for Montreal and clearly they, as am I were bang on!

  135. theflower says:

    Regarding Ryder CBC reported on the Thursday game that Bob Gainey is convinced Ryder is the real deal and wants Carbo to work with him and help him regain his form. They also suggested that if Carbo did not give Ryder the opportunities that Bob may step in to see that he does. That being said Red Fisher stated that he was 100% certain the Rangers have talked to Montreal regarding the availability of Ryder in a possible trade. I don’t know if we would get much back in return, but the Rangers are one team that have definitely inquired about his services.

  136. Bouleau noir says:

    A great hochey game and one of the best played by our team this year,.. they are signs that this team is growing into a better team as the season proceed while the collecting of 8 points of a possible 12 is a reassuring way to exit year 07.

    I like the fact that we are entering the new year standing 3th in the East in points,.. even thought its only 6 points above the Panthers sitting at 12th,.. but more important is that our 5-on-5 scoring as improved since the arrival of Sergei, Lapierre and O’Byrne and that our scoring average as moved up from 2.6 to 3.5 goals per game since then.

    The latest addition to our roster has given the team the extra scorind depth its lines needed in order to play a more offensivelly commited game than they had thus far,… the two beautifully executed tic-tac-to pieces that lead to the Kots and Pleks goals tonight are testament to the increased offensive know how of our team and I believe that we entering the new year offensivelly wealthier than we have been in quite a while.

  137. TradeRyder says:

    Bouleau Noir, P Saint Pierre – I agree with you both. The team gets stronger and stronger. Some of these young players are fun to watch. The Mekanic has been my favorite all year and he and K1 have a great chemistry… you can count on them to get the puck through traffic to each other while Kovalev is doing a great job getting the puck through as well. More solid at the back too with the young defensemen coming around.

    The Flower has a point too. The team has shown they can score 5,6,7 goals a game. Instead of falling into a shell, they need to keep the pressure on other teams once they get them running. NY got ONE shot in the second period – WOW! For me the main question besides that is do we still have 3 scoring lines. With Koivu in we know we have two. Let’s hope so. Gomez from NY said that the Habs were “one of the hardest teams” they’d had to play against. We have to be quite pleased about that – the team is starting to score more goals, win more games, and gel enough that other teams are not looking forward to us rolling into town. How long have we waited for that!! Ole! Ole!

    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  138. Dave Stubbs says:

    Please check your email for a reply.

    Dave Stubbs

    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette


  139. imafogdevil says:

    Happy New Year to all,

    I believe that we all need to make New Year’s resolutions. Here are some for all of us who read and post to this site.

    1. That we will support the Habs. That includes ALL the players who wear the Bleu, Blanc et Rouge!

    2. That we will refrain from personal attacks on this site. That includes personal attacks on both Players and Posters. Name calling and inappropriate comments are included in this. Everyone has an opinion, but think before you post any comments that might be seen as offensive to a person or group of people. If you aren’t sure if it is offensive or not, it probably is.

    3. That we will cheer for any team who plays the Leafs, and to a lesser extent, the Bruins. And when they play each other, we’ll just ignore it like it never happened.

    Go Habs! Each and every Hab, not just some, ALL!!
    Les Habs sont la!

  140. linp says:

    Just finished reading the posts. There are lots of passionate Habs fans. That’s why I am posting on this site. My personal opinion would be: after each win or loss, it is constructive to point out the area we did well and also the area we need to improve. Some posters said that we should not said anything negative. It would not be very helpful if everyone just says yes.

    The last game has given the team and the fans quite a bit of information to think about. The way the team played in the 2nd period. The chemistry of the 2nd line. The play of the youngsters with no fear of those big name opponents. We have something really excellent to build on.

    Why with the same players the game turned around completely in the 3rd period? The same happened in the previous game after we have built up a big lead in the first 6 minutes and then gave up 40 shots on goal. How can our team improve on this?

    With that I wish all the Habs fans a happy New Year 2008.

  141. G-Man says:

    Huet disappearing when Shanahan was sent in alone cost the Habs 1 point. He needs to practise shootouts because he turns into a sieve every time. That being said, the Habs played very well despite being short-handed. Did you think they would come back after getting down early? I saw a great effort with amazing passing among the 3 on the PKK line. I also saw a talented Rangers team led by Jagr, Gomez and Shanahan, who match up pretty much with the elite of the NHL. Blame the coach if you want to (that’s the easy way out, not making players responsible for their play), but the Habs, coaches and all, have turned a corner that you will witness beginning with the next game. With 3 lines for the other teams to worry about and more room for the shooters, success and adulation will not be far behind.


  142. G-Man says:

    Happy New Year to Mr. Stubbs and Mr. Mio for helping make HIO the best Habs site anywhere. All the best for you and your families for 2008!


  143. The Cat says:

    Happy new year everyone. I dont get the criticism Kovalev is getting from some of you, just cause of a few mistakes. I know hes been tricky in past years but not this year. Without him we’d hardly be competitive. He’s the only one on our team that can do some magic and put fear into the opponent when he has the puck. Ive said it, Ill say it again: Give him more ice and the green light to do as he wishes. He has a goaltender’s mentality, he needs to feel that he’s the go-to guy to be the best he can. He has to be treated the same way Demers used to treat Roy. Demers hardly ever criticized Roy.

  144. habfan53 says:

    Hey Flower. Do you think we went into a defensive shell in the third because we started a man down for 2minutes, or because it was our third game in four nigths or we we’re down a forward who plays a regular shift, kills penalties and is used on the power play.
    Despite being in the shell we had had our chances a couple of odd man rushes and a couple of hit posts.
    The guys played well, The game was entertaining and we are not going to win them all anyway.

  145. krob1000 says:

    What a road trip!!!

    This team seems to have found new life in new legs and we as fans are the beneficiaries of a faster more entertaining brand of hockey (until we lead in the third).
    Last night was a better effort as a whole than either of the Florida or Tampa games and despite the outcome I was as happy after that one as one could be given the outcome.

    Lets start with all of the positives. All 11 forwards played solid games. The trio of Pleks, Kovy and Kostitsyn was incredible. Easily the best single game performance by any line on the Habs this year. It would have been nice if they had buried one of those other chances in the third for an insurance marker but I cannot complain given their play. They moved the puck with ease and they never stopped skating. Kovalev looked 25 years old and really seems energized playing with those two (I have stated that breaking them up may strengthen us but after seeing HIggins and Ryder together I like things the way they are and bow to Carbo’s supreme intelligence).

    Ryder, Higgins and Lapierre is a stroke of genius (I admit I thought it was dumb to keep Higgins and Ryder together at first…I was wrong). Ryder looks rejuvenated and Higgins seems to thrive on the responsibility of being the best player on a line. Lapierre is a perfect fit and his demotion this year really woke him up because from an effort perspective he has been unmatched since his call up. Those people out there saying Ryder looked lost last night really don’t understand hockey (I mean that). He plaed great and aside from the Kovy line he was the best forward. He made several great rushes, nearly separated Lundqvist’s shoulder with a clapper from the blueline, was agressive,actually won several one on one battles and was the BEST backchecker we had. He twice made incredible opportunity saving defensive plays and also stopped a couple others before a play really had developed.

    Chips, Kosty jr. and Chips were not spectacular nor were they noticeably outplayed at any point. Sergei once again demonstrated the benefits of having eyes in the back of his head with a slick drop pass to his brother before Andrei fed Pleks in perhaps the Habs prettiest goal of the season. Lats had his usual (and more frequent as of late) dominant moments along the boards and went hard to the net. They definitely missed Koivu offensively but Chips held his own from a defensive perspective.

    Dandy and Kosto did what they do….they hustled, hit and killed time while the other guys got rested. They kept it really simple and I think had a very strong forechecking game (in their limited ice time).

    The defence also played very well. Hamrlik made two mistakes on the night and got burned on both. Dave Reid did an interesting breakdown of the tying goal and showed how both Hamrlik and Pleks got beat to the net off that draw and that is why the goal was scored. Bouillon, Gorges and Komi all played well. Markov did not have one of his best games but was still solid and Streit did a great job easily transforming back into a defenseman (Carbio is looking smarter every game).

    Huet did not play poorly atall and in fact made some very big saves. The Shanahan shot was perfect and I would go as far to say that 1 out of 30 goalies might stop that shot (and that is overestimating I believe).

    Now for the negatives……faceoffs. We were not good on the draws and it led to our ultimate demise. I am not sure how this can be rectified as we are not going to trade a center. I guess these guys should take a summer hockey school with Yanic Perreault….they know they need to work on it and I believe they do….they just get beat.

    The other negative is the two non calls on Hamrlik and Streit on hits from behind that went uncalled. We got lucky (yes, I know the refs let a lot go) but those are penalties 9 out of ten times (maybe even a major on Streit’s) and they could have been costly.

    I lied. One more negative… who ever is responsible for getting a call up and his equipment to the arena on time. I would figure with the amount of money that these guys are worth that they could get their equipment there. This was a kid who has been buried in the minors for years and this was his shot. Some idiot at an airport (or wherever it was) may have cost this kid his career. If Koivu returns (he probably will) he will probably not get his chance again with us as he is a ways down the depth chart and Grabs happens to be hurting. I hope he does and I was excited for him and I felt like it was my equipment that was lost. I really did feel that bad for the kid.

    Like I said before though….What a road trip!!

  146. Ed says:

    “Submitted by Smart Dog on Sun, 12/30/2007 – 23:13.

    If you believe that plus-minus has meaning – at least at the high end low ends (and I do) the concern about Ryder’s play is that even with more goals he may not be a keeper. Remember Souray… we loved the goals, but chewed our nails off watching him defend. Ryder to me is the same. Thirty goals is alot, but being on the ice for more goals against than any other forward two years in a row is a concern. Especially with our depth, he’s not just a distraction, he’s of questionable value.”

    Well, Smart Dog, even though Ryder has had 2 bad years in a row in the +/-, he was not the worst forward 2 years in a row. In 2005-06, he was tied with Dagenais at -5, & Ribeiro and Sundstrom were at -6. If you are such a “Smart Dog”, you should be able to do a bit of research & stop using untrue figures to justify your agenda.

    In 2003-04, Brisebois was the best player at +17; Ribeiro & Dagenais +15; Jim Dowd +12; Quintal & Ryder +10. What happened to change Ribeiro & Ryder in such a short time? And where have all those players gone? I can’t answer the former question, but I do know the answer to the latter.

    In 2006-07, Ryder was the worst forward at -25. However, don’t forget +/- was a team problem & there was Koivu -21; Latendresse -20; and Kovalev -19. There were only 4 forwards with +’s: Perezhogin, Plekanec, Johnson & Kostitsyn. Two of those are now gone.

    You should give up on constantly criticizing Ryder because it will only be a matter of time before he is gone. It will probably be before the trade deadline. However, when you do criticize, be sure you don’t mislead people with untruths.


  147. Ed says:

    krob, you do the best analyses of anybody on here. I don’t know how you notice all those things. You must be very analytical, or a scout. :) Keep up the good work, & I feel the same way about poor Cory Locke. He might never get that chance again with the Canadiens. Imagine if 2 or 3 players came down with the flu. Someone missed the ball on this one.

  148. habitual says:

    Well said, P St. Pierre. Kovalev’s turn around has been a key factor in the team’s success this year. On the PP, the PK, back checking, throwing hits, leading the team in scoring … And Markov gutting it out after taking a slapshot in the foot!

    And, although I have consistently advocated here trading Ryder, some good work last night from him too.

    Although a short bench and 3 games in 4 nights were no doubt a factor, I just wish we could protect a lead just a bit better. Still, one of the best games I’ve seen in a while.

  149. Bill H says:

    I agree with your negatives krob1000. The faceoffs are a big problem. No doubt aggrevated last night by the absence of Koivu. I would hope the coaching staff are aware and are working on it with the offending centres. I didn’t see the game, as I am stranded in Laffland. But the stats don’t lie. I believe that this may be part of a broader issue that is being debated on these pages and I will comment further in a later post.

    Too bad about Locke’s equipment. Hopefully he’ll get another shot at it. I don’t know that a one game call-up is going to do it though. Just about anyone coming up from Hamilton is going to need an adjustment period to find his game. I don’t want to wish an injury on anyone, but that is what it is going to take for Locke to get the chance he needs. The only other way is if he is part of a trade package.

    krob1000, thanks for your intelligent analysis. I look forward to it as it is always well thought out with balance between positive and negative.

  150. Derek2 says:

    Yes – a very good road trip but we can’t squander opportunities like we had last night. Faceoffs did hurt us. But what really killed us was going into this ridiculous defensive shell with 10 minutes left in the 3rd period – especially against a team with Jagr, Shanahan, Stracha, Drury & Gomez. With the standings so close we needed those 2 points last night and should have had them. Rangers are now only 1 point behind us for fourth. They could have been 4 points behind.

    We have given up probably 10 – 12 points this year on blown leads by playing this stupid fall back behind our blue line and just let the opposition pound away strategy. Why not play the last ten minutes like they played the first 50?

    We only missed the playoffs by a few points last year and the way the teams are bunched up this year again, it may be one or two points that makes the difference again. I would hate to look back on last night at the end of March and think – wish we could have buried the Rangers that game.

  151. Infanteer says:

    Ryder is 6’0, 192 lbs, so I hope your 4 year old is a shark . . .

    As for Kovalev, his raw talent is probably unmatched in the NHL. Beyond that, he is a leader, as made evident with his acting Captain status in last night’s game.

    Maybe a good example for the Kosty bros et al.?

  152. Smart Dog says:

    So your defense of Ryder is that one of those two years he wasn’t the minus leader, he was a whole ONE POINT AWAY FROM BEING the minus leader on the team. LOL Sorry… I obviously am TOTALLY wrong about him then. I deeply apologize for my terrible one point error. Worst and one point from worst, well that’s a lot different.

    You mention that Kovalev and Koivu had bad years one of those years (though not as bad as Ryder). They did – players sometimes have an off year, but Ryder is the only one who’s plus-minus came near leading the team both years… and add to that he’s not putting up good numbers in other areas this year.

    You want to talk specific numbers – in 2006-2007 Ryder was THIRTY-FIVE points off from the PLUS leader:
    Perezhogin +11
    Plekanic +10
    Ryder -24 (team leader!)

    So thanks for helping me make my case.

    Loyalty is good – I respect yours. But at this level I want players with a complete game. This is the third year running that Ryder has not brought that. With the talent we have, I see no need to keep someone that with his negatives. It’s not personal. Not for me anyway. I just have a Souray like reaction to him. Good guy – belongs someplace else. He won’t score 30 again – he only does that if he’s fed a million pucks while standing in front of the net. And he seems to have even lost that trick this year.

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

  153. TradeRyder says:

    When you lose your groove, you lose your groove. It would be great if Ryder could get his back, but his numbers, as you say are not promising. Gainey believes in him still… or so he says… we’ll see if he’s here in April.

    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  154. TradeRyder says:

    Hope you’re right Ian and we keep Huet. Fingers crossed!
    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  155. rogus says:

    IMO Price could probably teach Huet a thing or two also. Competition will only make them better. Overall we are extremely lucky to have such great depth in nets.

  156. Ian G Cobb says:

    I think Price could teach him to handle the puck behind the net as quick as he does. He is one of the best goalers i have seen at 20 to handle and make plays with presion.

  157. Chuck says:

    I’d love it if Bob could figure out a way to keep Price and Huet. I think that they make a great tandem. They really compliment each other, and they seem to have a great camaraderie.

    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  158. Ed says:

    It’s hard to believe that O’Byrne’s thumb was broken in the 1st fight. Either he played in pain, aggravated it in the 2nd fight, or did not feel it because of the adrenalin. It’s too bad because he is finally starting to find his comfort level in the NHL. Here’s hoping he is not out too long because we need him.

    It should be a good test tonight as the Rangers are a good team, with strong goal tending. Maybe we can drive him from the net early. (: The Rangers are only 2 points behind Montreal, have scored 20 fewer goals, but have given up 14 fewer. Also, they have a lot of highly paid, skilled offensive forwards. Huet will have to be good again tonight.

    GO HABS GO !!!!

  159. WindsorHab-10 says:

    According to the Gazette, he broke it during his second fight. He’ll be out a minimum of 6 weeks.

  160. doug says:

    Here’s hoping for another good game for Michael Ryder: I am behind you, Mike!

    And then there’s my other favorite Hab, Cristobal Huet. 6th in the league in GAA and leads the league in save percentage. Can we forget the frigging goaltending “controversy” and let the veteran who’s carried us for the last 2 1/2 seasons except when hurt (or back from injury in the case of the last game of last year), play him for 75-80% of games, and resign him? I doubt he’d resign given the thankless role this year, but man has he been a godsend; one of Gainey’s best trades.

  161. JF says:

    I certainly agree that Huet has been one of Gainey’s best trades. And to think that he was completely overlooked when the trade was made. When the players were introduced at the beginning of that season, his name was omitted. I’d love to see him re-signed, but I don’t think he’d agree unless he were guaranteed a certain number of games, which is unlikely. I think he knows that if he stays, it’ll be essentially as backup to Price, with a diminishing number of starts over the next couple of years.

  162. mar-lin says:

    I’m with you in regards to Ryder…just the thought of him getting back to doing what he does best (lighting the lamp) is getting me pumped up! Ryder comming to life would put us in a very good position for the second half.

    I don’t think Huet would need a lot to resign here honestly. Regardless of how he’s been dumped on this season, he knows he can’t play a full season. So for him this is a perfect situation, as it is for the team as well. We already have the verteran goaltender that other teams are franticaly searching for. He’s a great team guy and i think a positive influence for Price. This keeps the pressure off Price a little while longer and helps in his developement. Price’s salary is not an issue so keeping huet at a higher salary doesn’t hurt us either.

    Anyway, i like the guy and he gives me comfort when i watch them play.


    go habs go!

  163. 24 Cups says:

    Tonight’s game will be a stern test. Lundqvist didn’t play last night and is well rested. Jagr (thanks to Habs-Kat:-) is on a roll with Gomez and Shanahan seems to be over his nagging hamstring injury (another great player that got away from us). The Rangers penalty killing team is one of the best in the league, plus they only took two minors against the Lousy Leafs last night. (Quick aside – My Christmas present this year has been watching Darcy Tucker completely go into the tank where he now wallows on the fourth line. Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus) I don’t think the Habs are worn out from their road trip (there was a Christmas break in between) but it is their third game in four nights. It will be interesting to see what kind of jump they have in the first period as well as staying power later in the game. Russian players love to shine in New York so this will be the perfect time for the three K’s to show their stuff. Huet vs Lundqvist should also be worth the price of admission. Not quite the Canadiens vs the Soviet Red Army but a good test of how we measure up in our conference. I’m pumped.

    The Original 24 Cups

  164. Ed says:

    Thanks, that makes more sense.

  165. RetroMikey says:

    Hoping the team is concentrated and focused tonite after a Saturday night off of limelighting and partying in the Big Apple! As long as we play hard and hustle each shift, we won’t disappoint Habs fans. As for Michael Ryder, one game does not impress me, I see him in the doghouse in the not so distant future back to his old ways. Good luck boys, you’re fully rested, no excuses tonite! Let’s hoping Cristobal Huet plays again. Why not? He’s deserved it, he’s our No.1 goalie for now….although things can change in a flash.

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

  166. Ed says:

    If Michael Ryder could score a goal while standing on his head, it would not impress you.

  167. showey47 says:

    i think the gazette said streit is playing D and chipper goes in on the fourth line. The 2 keys tonight will be to have hamr,markov or komi out against jagr as much as possible and to stay out of the box. Rangers went 5 for 10 on the pp against the laffs last night.

  168. The Teacher says:

    I guess everyone forgot Selanne only had 16 goals? with the Avalanche one year. now they all want to sign him, tell koivu to call him LMAO

    really tired of fairweather habs fans.

  169. rogus says:

    At my measly wage my boss expects me to make mistakes. LOL! But really Ryder is just this years distraction. Read Samsonov, Kovalev (last year – and easily most improved this year), Theodore…who’s next? Two weeks ago everyone was bashing Koivu??? “Fans” Try working with your boss over your shoulder or the people at the water cooler bashing you…or better yet lace em up. Ryder should be encouraged, cuz no one will pay for him as he is.

  170. Smart Dog says:

    Sixteen is a bad year for a sniper… but what about 8 (Ryder’s pace)? And no-one ever said Ryder was a Selanne.

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

  171. Smart Dog says:

    If you believe that plus-minus has meaning – at least at the high end low ends (and I do) the concern about Ryder’s play is that even with more goals he may not be a keeper. Remember Souray… we loved the goals, but chewed our nails off watching him defend. Ryder to me is the same. Thirty goals is alot, but being on the ice for more goals against than any other forward two years in a row is a concern. Especially with our depth, he’s not just a distraction, he’s of questionable value.

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

  172. The Teacher says:

    8 is a bad year for a 30 goal scorer. Using the same logic you just did.

    Does that mean he won’t hit 30 again?

    He had 20 goals in the second half of the year last year.

  173. hhl says:

    im not a big fan of ryder,but i greatly respect what you r saying.and i would rather see him prove me wrong than get traded.theres alot of pressure on him right now.and thats not helping his cause.i think that if he were traded, it would benefit his career.he would prbably have fun playing again.of course if he were to score 20 in 40 games elsewhere, some would blame carbo system or something for the sake of finger pointing.alot has to do with ryder wanting to stay as not convinced that he does
    wanna stay.

  174. Smart Dog says:

    I’ll bet you dollars to dog biscuits he doesn’t hit double digits this year. Just a feeling.

    Fact is he’s paid to score. He’s not. In the extreme.

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

  175. ebk says:

    I’ll take you up on that offer

  176. The Teacher says:

    How about dollars AND dog biscuits. I have a good friend with a dog in T.O. i could ship the biscuits to.

    I think you’re really down on Ryder. He has four. He will definitely get ten. He has worked all year and don’t think he was a waste of space tonight. He was definitely not a liability.

  177. Chuck says:

    Then he had better hope for 20 again in the second half of this year! :)

    On the brighter side, he hasn’t looked as totally out of place in the last few games as he had up until that point. Here’s hoping that he can continue to work his way out of his funk. At least he’s not the defensive liability that he was last season.

    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  178. Chuck says:

    Yikes! Ten just isn’t going to cut it. And it won’t make his agent all that happy, either.

    So… just how big of a genius is Gainey for only signing him for one year? What did he know that the rest of us didn’t?

    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  179. The Teacher says:

    Ten at least. He said double digits.

  180. Chuck says:

    Ten IS a double digit. But what I meant is that if he only ends up scoring ten goals this year, than his season will be considered by most to be an unequivocal failure.

    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  181. The Teacher says:

    Well of course it will be. But I think he has done what the coaches have asked of him regarding his defensive responsibilities. now it is just a matter of time before he finds his offensive touch again. I think it is coming back now, from what I’ve seen in the past little while.

    Last year I hated him because he just sucked defensively. not so this year. I see the effort he put in to improve, so I’m not gonna crap all over him this year.

  182. idle says:

    The problem with these late period goals is TEAM breakdowns. Of course a huge save can make the difference by why is Huet always hung out to dry by a team that can’t seem to clear the puck in the last 2 min of a period. It is too easy to blame the goalie and also a bit of a cop out as you are letting the rest of the team off the hook.

  183. TradeRyder says:

    Interesting thought. You’re probably right. Thanks.
    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  184. rogus says:

    I think we should latch on to our young guys lomg-term before some airhead signs them long term…you would have thought the rangers would have figured out you can’t buy a team by now…remember the 90’s? I’d take higgy, pleks, komi, k1 and k2 any day over those 2. Bob are you reading???

  185. TradeRyder says:

    We wouldn’t get much for Ryder. But we don’t need him. We’re deep in forwards who ARE scoring. And Ryder’s skating is not up to the team standard. Everytime he deeks he gets dumped. As for “consistantly” being a 30-goal scorer… I don’t think two years quite counts. The team has sped up; Ryder has not.

    PS: I agree the “pussy” comment is just stupid. That should be removed from the site if it hasn’t been already.

    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  186. Ian G Cobb says:

    krob1000– Great read, only problem is that by the time i read it all, its nearly next year!! Just having fun with you.

  187. krob1000 says:

    At least I use paragraphs now (not properly I might add)!!lol.

  188. Scotty90 says:

    Habs had a great game last night. There were a couple of mistakes and at least one soft goal, but all in all the guys played an excellent and very entertaining game. I am very optimistic about this team. What a beauty set-up and goal by the two Kostis and Pleks! Kovalev is great this year and I am happy that he was wearing the ‘C’ last night. He is a leader and is helping the young guys along. I am also pleased with the way Ryder is coming along… his line is dangerous and has to be a concern to opponents. Its hard to deal with 3 solid attack lines shift after shift, and a fourth line that can shut you down, bug you, hurt you and also put the puck in the net. Too bad for Locke, I hope he gets to play if Koivu isn’t back for the next game. I also hope that Markov is not out for too long… that could be very bad news, but lets stay positive….Bouillon is back to his old reliable self, so thats very good news.

    In my humble opinion, Habs don’t need a big trade to wake the team up. All of the components are there and they appear to be coming together nicely. Kudos to Carbo for his latest match-ups. At this point, time and patience is all that is needed. By the looks of it we won’t have to wait too much longer. Hang in there Habs Fans….there is light at the end of the tunnel… and no, its not a freight train!

    Happy New Year to all of you

  189. krob1000 says:

    Markov is hurt??? I saw him get hurt and wincing on the bench but then he went back out (I thought he was just going to test his skating and he just played) and kept playing his usual solid game. Is he actually hurt (going to miss time).

    Habby New Year to you too Scotty90 and to all with tricolored blood.

  190. Ed says:

    Below are just 2 of the negative comments made about Ryder’s play last night. The first one was by TradeRyder & the second by Smart Dog. See where TradeRyder says Ryder was a waste of a sweater, & Smart Dog says he was the one wasted sweater. Fortunately, a lot of fans disagree with those two, & even Mike Boone today has some praise for Ryder’s play last night, & any one who follows this sight knows that Mr. Boone has never been a supporter of Ryder. Far from it, right Mr. Boone. At least Mike Boone can be objective in his assessment, unlike TradeRyder & Smart Dog, who dislike the guy so much, it seems to bother them.

    First we have TradeRyder’s quote:

    “Submitted by TradeRyder on Sun, 12/30/2007 – 22:41.

    As someone said below – tonight Ryder was a waste of a sweater. And not just tonight. And Nfld (I have actually been there) ROCKS!! So do Newfoundlanders! But anyone who says we’re picking on Newfoundlanders because we’re disappointed in Ryder’s season and his play has rocks in his head. That’s all there is to say about that.”

    Next we have Smart Dog’s quote:

    “Submitted by Smart Dog on Sun, 12/30/2007 – 22:05.

    Observations on NY:

    1. Mixed reviews – we lost in a NY minute! Huet as much as he is a great goalie, is not good in overtime, not good on shoot-outs. He seems spooked. I repeat – still a fantastic goalie… but when we go to overtime, I’d bet on the loss.
    2. Plekanic the Mekanic. What a player he’s becoming. The guy makes his line run like a top. Our best player tonight, and to me, our brightest rising star.
    3. Higgins, Kostitsyn, Kovalev – all stars tonight… our forward lines are starting to be able to control the play. And on D – hats off to Boulon who played like he was 7 feet tall.
    4. Ryder…sigh… He must like the TV show Lost. That’s how he looked. I know the final goal was largely Hamrlik’s mistake – but that Ryder was in on the play and I think fumbled the puck just before is no surprise. Several times he was drifting around the neutral zone, not back-checking, just waiting for his break-away pass. I used to be neutral on Ryder – sometimes he gives it. Tonight he was the one wasted sweater. Sit him. Trade him. Get rid of him. All you newfs, go ahead give me your best shot.”

    Now here we have Mr. Boone this morning praising Ryder’s 2 way play last night.
    “About last night …
    posted by Mike Boone at 9h00 EST on Dec 31

    Wait’ll next year!

    It used to be the eternal plaintive cry of long-suffering Brooklyn Dodgers fans. But in Montreal, we can say it with a bit more conviction.

    There won’t be a Stanley Cup parade in 2008, but Canadiens are on the come. They’re young, they’re talented and they’re going to get better.

    Exhibit A: Last night’s game. Down a defenceman, lacking their captain, dressing only 17 skaters and facing a hot team and a well-rested goaltender, Canadiens took it to the Rangers for 54 minutes. Had Tomas Plekanec and Alex Kovalev – who were brilliant, along with linemate Andrei Kostitsyn – cashed a third-period 2-on-1, the Canadiens would have won in regulation.

    As it was, they got a very well-deserved point to complete an outstanding 3-0-2 road trip.

    There are many positives:

    • Michael Ryder didn’t score but played his best two-way game of the season.”

    My wish for the New Year is that those 2 posters try to be more objective, but unfortunately, I know this won’t happen.

  191. Smart Dog says:

    I think your wish for the season is that everyone will agree with you. Keep wishing.

    No, I don’t agree that Ryder had a great game. He had an okay game – did some good things and some bad ones.

    My overall feeling about him is that he can’t play a two-way game and score. He only scores when he’s standing in front of the net and fed a thousand pucks. I’m not sure what your quote above by Trade Ryder is even about… Anywya, see my reply below to your point about my ONE point error. When I said he led the team for two years in the minus department, I did not look it up (my error) but was going from memory and in fact I was exactly one point off (one year).

    I have not criticized Ryder that much before. But yes, I think he’s a waste of a sweater. My patience has run out. That’s my opinion and there certainly are facts to suggest I may be right. No-one knows. Unless you have a direct line to God, let’s wait and see.

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

  192. kevin m says:

    The team had a very successful 3-1-2 road trip. Sorry, but I’m still trying to digest that humiliating loss to Dallas.

  193. odber says:

    It was really apparent to me how the team misses the big body presence of o,byrne on the point.He would have made a big difference in our defensive zone coverage.
    We are playoff bound if the team continues with its hustle,Happy New Year.

  194. Scotty90 says:

    Hi Krob, notes and news from my Yahoo Fantasy Hockey Pool: “Dec 31 Markov limped off the ice midway through the final period after blocking a shot with his left leg on Sunday at Madison Square Garden. He did return. Markov logged 25 minutes, 32 seconds of ice time in the game. The defenseman is considered day-to-day.”

    All the best to you and your family. Oh, by the way, Mama Mia was great on Friday…. but it sounds like I also missed a great game :-(

  195. krob1000 says:

    I bet his ankle swelled up like a grapefruit after he took his skate off but I’d be surprised if he missed time if they are saying day to day (that usauly means bruising and swelling).

    Glad you had a good time (knew you would)and yeah you did miss a heck of a game. It was everything I hoped for that day when we were writing about it. Some guys got involved physically (unfortunately O’Byrne got hurt) and Ryder scored. Huet got a taste of back to back action again and every line was effective. It was a lot like last night but with the big cushion we had early we eventually sat back and that is what led to the being outshot.

  196. 24 Cups says:

    ‘We Will Rock You’ is your next night out. A fabulous time. Check the Habs schedule before you buy your tickets!

    The Original 24 Cups

  197. Ian G Cobb says:

    I sure hope in the new year some of you people start to understand the team concept and what it takes to become a championship hockey club. Every day some of you are on someones back for not doing what you think they should or should not.

    I have been around hockey in diferent capacities for over 50 years, i sure don’t know it all, but I do know what it takes to win championships. The first thing is stay the course when you have been there and your critics have never.

    Every winning club has balance, scoring for instence, that people are transfixed about. A winning club has many 15 goal scorers, and a couple of 25 goal scorers. Not 3, 30 goal scorers for example.

    If you check back in our history of cup winners and contenders you will see what i mean.

    Some great players on winning teams never scored more than 10 in a year, and on D some only got 1 or 2 in a year. But they played team hockey not individual stardom hockey.

    The development of this kind of chemistry takes years not months. I’m telling you that for the first time in decades
    we have a G.M. that has been there and will not waiver from the program. Two more years my friends and we will be at the top of this profession.

    Stop riding and talking trade of our players, they are very valuble assets even if you can’t understand there roll on this club. So this new year why not sit back and enjoy the fantastic ride of development to the top. I have not enjoyed this franchise as much as i do now, in very many dismal years of poor management.

    It is not as much fun winning the cup, if you don,t understand how we got there. It won’t be to long now, stay positive and watch each game for suttle improvments and you will be as excited for every game as i am

    ENJOY 2008 IAN

  198. Smart Dog says:

    I agree with you Ian. I see that chemistry happening all through the team.

    It’s not good to tilt at windmills… or to criticize our two very good goalies for losing when they are the ones who save our butts most nights, or players for fanning on shots, or missing a pass.

    But I do reserve the right to speak my mind if there is a player who I think is not working hard or doesn’t fit with where I see the team going. I also reserve the right to be wrong – we all have the right. If I am we will see… my words are out there; I’m happy to be stand by them and will admit if I am wrong. But I’m not wrong yet.

    All the best!

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

  199. Scotty90 says:

    Ian…. true words of wisdom! I am sure the majority of HIO folks agree.

    All the best.

  200. krob1000 says:

    Great points Ian…. I think. I haven’t quite finished yet so I printed the screen and will continue this novel you have written on my lunch hour lol. Welcome to the “let it all out” club.

  201. TommyB says:

    Hi Ian,

    Hope you and Andree’ had a great Christmas, and I wish you both a very Happy New Year. I hope we can meet again some time in 2008.

    I really enjoyed your latest post and agree with you wholeheartedly, especially your line near the end…

    …”It is not as much fun winning the cup, if you don,t understand how we got there”…

    Truer words have never been spoken. I guess it’s not really the fault of the younger posters here, (who only have the last 15 years or less to draw on for their knowledge base of just what once was, what happened in between, and how we are going about restoring a glorious franchise to at least some resemblance of what it was), for their lack of patience. You have a good handle on it, Ian. Keep on sending “the message” throughout 2008.

  202. The Teacher says:

    Thank you Ian,

    I have tried to remain positive in spite of the lack of effort I have seen on some nights. i don’t mind rookies making mistakes, it is just effort from veterans, when it is not there I go crazy.

    We have a young team that is learning together and growing under the tutelage of not one, not 2, but 4 Stanley Cup winners (Carbo, Gainey, Muller, Jarvis). I trust them to bring back the glory of the Habs.

    Gainey is not trying to build a team for one year. He is trying to build a team for many. When you are doing that, it is wise to be patient.

    A happy New Year to you and all.

  203. Sulemaan says:

    Great post Ian. One of the best of 2007 by far in my opinion.

  204. RetroMikey says:

    Sad to see lose a good game and faltering in the third period but we got 1 point. The kid, Corey Locke will get another chance to play for the team, too bad about the missing equipment being lost.

    I would like to see Ryder sit out with Dandeneault for the next game we play at home. Steve Begin will have a tough time cracking the lineup when he comes back!

    Slowly, we are showing results and we will be getting better as the season progresses. We are better off today than we were last year.

    Let’s put Carey Price between the pipes and let our No. 1 goalie Huet have some rest.

    Way to go Boys! 8 out of 12 points! Especially playing on the road. Now let’s snap the jinx and play better at home!

    Happy New Year to everyone!

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

  205. TradeRyder says:

    I think they’ll play better at home.

    GReat road trip – tough for Locke. I hope we see him play a few games. This young team is like having a big bunch of lottery tickets – so many different players are breaking out.

    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  206. Smart Dog says:

    On the positive side, that might have been the rock bottom that we sprang back up from.

    But it’s unfortunate we won’t play them again this year.

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

  207. krob1000 says:

    There is one way we could play them again this year!

  208. Smart Dog says:

    Wouldn’t that be sweet!! I’d love to see Komiserik get a few opportunities to sandwich Ribeiro into the boards.
    Be happy! At least the FUTURE looks bright!
    Plekanec, Higgins, Komi, Chips, Lapierre, O’Byrne, K1 &K2, Price

  209. kevin m says:

    I was happy to hear Gomez After the game last night, being interviewed by Luc Gelinas of RDS, commenting that this was perhaps the best team that they had faced this year!!!!

  210. 24 Cups says:

    Krob also has some great posts on Mike Boone’s blog under the title “About last night…” Rumour has it that Krob is also in line to write the eighth instalment of Harry Potter:-) Hell, I have to clean my glasses halfway through some of his posts!!! All kidding aside, Krob is the Koivu of HabsInside/Out. A job well done.

    The Original 24 Cups

  211. krob1000 says:

    Harry Potter!!!
    If only you knew how many hours my television has sacrificed to that darn Potter. I have regrettably seen every movie except the most recent (this Friday the little man already has it preselected for movie night) several times. We always read to our little guy every night and
    I will say that he now reads Harry Potter books on his own during reading time at school so I guess they aren’t all bad. They sure aren’t Star Wars though.

  212. joe-hab-nuno says:

    We have to stop playing defensive hockey with 1 or 2 goal lead. Do it when we’re up 2 when there are maybe 10 min left in the game Or do it maybe with 1 goal lead with 5 min left(maybe). Frustrating to see these teams tie it uo late in the game late. We also have to win a few games coming from behind, i don’t think we’ve won a game this year when we are down after 2 periods.

  213. joe-hab-nuno says:

    Just want to add,
    Imagine how much higher in the standings we would have been if we didn’t try to shut down oppposition so earlt in the third period and let them float around our zone for most of the period.

  214. 24 Cups says:

    World Junior Update – Canada finished second in their pool and will play Finland on Wednesday. The Russians will play the Czechs.

    The Original 24 Cups

  215. TommyB says:

    You can all take this for what it is worth and draw your own conclusions from it……..

    This constant pro-Ryder/anti-Ryder thing has become very tedious. In the beginning, it was clearly two sides to a question or situation involving a certain player, and it was both topical and interesting at the time. What it has devolved into, seems to be more of a personal argument between a couple of members of each of the two factions.

    I now find myself skipping over many posts by these individuals…whose posts in the past I found interesting and informative. I may be missing some good points on things other than Michael Ryder written by these posters, but I’ll take that loss because it is just not worth sifting through their favorite arguments.

    We’re into the second half of the season. Ryder is still here. Whether he is going anywhere else, who knows. But to both factions of this Ryder thing, do yourselves a favour…..GET OVER IT!

  216. krob1000 says:

    Don’t worry TommyB ….Brisebois is coming back soon lol. I’ll have a new crusade.

  217. Ed says:

    Happy New Year to everyone, & to Dave Stubbs who does so much research & contributes so much to this site & to us. Thanks Dave, & please wish Pat & Kevin a Happy New Year. Unfortunately, I will not be able to access this site for a couple of days, & will have to read Dave’s latest contribution on Howie Morenz later. I am sure it is very interesting. Happy New Year!

  218. Ian G Cobb says:

    Hi Tommy, and the very best to you and family! Now i know the advantage of being an old fart. Just reading some of the younger peoples post,s remindes me how little i knew 30 or 40 years ago. No one could tell me then either.

  219. TommyB says:

    LOL…yeah, and I know you won’t be alone!

  220. Smart Dog says:

    It’s ridiculous that you can’t mention his name without an onslaught.

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

  221. The Teacher says:

    Cause he SUCKS!

  222. Smart Dog says:

    LMAO! (really)

    That’s the most I’ve laughed in a couple of days. Thanks!

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

  223. The Teacher says:

    At least Breezer’s good for SOMETHING, if only to make smart dog’s laugh. 😉

  224. Smart Dog says:

    And you’re wondering why your posts get removed?

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

  225. TradeRyder says:

    Post is gone. Pretty funny.

    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  226. The Teacher says:

    Yeah, he WAS wondering. Dave told him to read his email. Wonder if he did that either?

  227. The Teacher says:

    Hahaha Courny, ahh, made me laugh.

  228. AdamG says:

    i saw corey locke’s name in the game report. what was that about?? didn’t know he was called up.

    Habs played OK last night. didn’t necessarily deserve the win, but a decent effort. it’s unfortunate, but it’s a way of life for a young team. we can never seem to close out the tight ones. huet, as good as he is sometimes, usually isn’t a shut down goalie late in the game. it’s just who he is. we can’t sit back like we did in the third and take only 3 shots.

    anyway, a well-deserved rest until thursday i believe. but it’s time to get things together on home ice. 6 wins through the first half?? yikes. got to be better if we want to be a playoff team.

  229. habs-13 says:

    A little bit of contraversy in that one. I was at La Cage Aux Sports so I wasn’t the only one who noticed these. On that tying goal by Drury, there was contact between Avery and Huet, was there not? In any other game that would have been a penalty. To add to that, I watched a Phoenix game a while back where after video review, they disallowed the goal because there was a little bit of contact between Tomas Holmstrom and Tellqvist. The other thing that bothers me, is something that only seems to happen to the Habs. Was there not interference on Kovalev by one of the Ranger’s defencemen in overtime when he would have had a clear break away? Interference, holding, something should have been called. And to top it all off, within the next minute, Shanahan get HIS break away and scores the winner. For the Habs there seems to be a formula… Missed Penalty = Goal Against. There was a similar situation last year where in overtime against Boston, I think it was Glen Murray who tripped Ryder in the Boston zone and on the rush going the other way, they score the winnner.

    We need consistent reffing.

  230. nightmare_49 says:

    I hope one of the reporters that cover the team start asking questions about not having someone available even though Saku had been sick for days and O’Bey obviously was out. This is simply bush league and whoever is responsible should be fined. We must find out who the amateur was and was it another nickle hugging experiment.

  231. krob1000 says:

    Yes you are right on all accounts, especially the Kovy in overtime interference. On the other hand, Streit is lucky not to have received a penalty (maybe a major) for his hit from behind that led to Kostitsyns first goal. Hamrlik also crushed someone from behind… I guess you win some and lose some. We do normally get the short end of the stick it seems but I don’t think we were wronged last night anywhere but on the scoreboard. I would like to know what the hell they were doing taking so long on the shot that clearly hit the crossbar and the joint. Anytim something goes to Toronto I get nervous….how in the world was that not a 2 second conversation???

  232. Hoegarden says:

    Best wishes to all Hab fans out there for a Peaceful, Happy and especially Healthy 2008.

    Special wishes to our General Mgr, Mr. Bob Gainey. As we all know 2007 has been nothing but a nightmare on the personal level. I often wondered how he could just hang in there and continue to do his job.

    Our Habs are finally looking like what most of us had hoped for. Youth (11 of our Habs are under 25) and a sense of belonging for many. The puzzle may not be complete but this team is definitely coming together fast.

    We’ll be there for the big dance in April….!!!


  233. Bill H says:

    Its great to see Kovalev with the C on his sweater. His superior play is a big part of Canadien’s success this year to date. I read somewhere that a Russian has never been a captain of an NHL team, while there are examples of Swedes, Finns, Czechs and of course Americans on different teams. This was used as a criticism of Russian players and their alleged lack of leadership on NHL teams. Kovalev is proving this theory wrong, even if he does not wear the C permanently. I wonder if he is the first Russian to wear the C on an NHL sweater, temporary or not. Can anyone think of another Russian to wear a C.

    Fantastic overall effort by the team in NYC. I’ll take the point as it was a solid effort. I didn’t see the game, but from comments here, I believe the effort was there for 60 minutes and in many ways we played a stronger game than we did against TB and the Panthers.

    I think the collapse in 3rd period last night is part of the same problem we saw with 40 shots against the Panthers. We are going into a defensive shell when we are ahead instead of playing the aggressive game that got us the lead. The strategy worked against the Panthers. It didn’t work against the Rangers. Is this a question of poor execution by the players, or bad strategy by the coach? The prevailing opinion on this board seems to fluxuate from game to game, according to the success of that particular strategy in the previous game. I suspect it is a little bit of both. It is apparent that the team has a problem holding a lead late in the game. They also have a problem fight back when they are behind after one or two periods. We seem to thrive as a team when we are aggressively forechecking and using our speed. I hope the team can overcome these difficulties soon. I think we are on the right track.

    Imafogdevil and linp re: Negativity I am one of the people who have complained of the negativity in certain posts. I am not in favour of banishing all negativity. But I encourage people to show a little balance in their posts and to cut players and management a little bit of slack instead of quick criticism as soon as something goes wrong. It also seems to me that some posters have an agenda, be it to have Carbo fired, to bench Ryder or have him traded, or to have Huet play over Price, or visa versa. We all have our favourites of course, but I think in these cases, one should consider the team. I cheer for Ryder to break the slump, even though he is the biggest disappointment on the team this year and I think his days are numbered with the club. I cheer for Huet, even though I hope Price soon becomes the best goalie in the league. And I cheer for Price, even though his numbers aren’t yet as good as Huet’s numbers. The bickering and complaining are really tiresome after awhile, especially when it comes from the same posters with the same agenda. Its not just criticism, its over-the-top negativity and scapegoating.

    Well, on that note, I will wish you all a happy new year. Thank you all for your informative posts. I enjoy the exchange of opinions (mostly) and look forward to the journey we share in the new year.

  234. krob1000 says:

    Yashin, Zhamnov,Bure???maybe even Federov.

  235. krob1000 says:

    Read Boones blog “About last night” and JF and I talked about this defensive shell stuff. I am starting to understand ….I hope. We are now at the bottom of the first page so byt he time you read this you may have to use page 1 and 2 but I really think I might be right on this one although I’ll admit the frustration is difficult to bear…..let me know what ya think.

  236. linp says:

    Ian asked us to sit back and watch our team develop. Smart Dog wanted to reserve his right to speak his mind.

    I prefer Smart Dog’s attitude. The more constructive criticism the better, as long as the suggestions are based on facts. Progress can only be made from new ideas. Most of the readers of this site are very knowledgeable. We can judge every post ourself. It would be very boring if everyone just sits back and praises the team all the time.

  237. 24 Cups says:

    Just because you have a C on your sweater doesn’t mean you’re worthy of being a captain. All of the players you just mentioned were never worthy of being captains in my book. They were all very talented players in terms of skill but never displayed heart or leadership qualities. (I realize you weren’t implying that by listing them but these guys really get my blood boiling. They could have been truly great but were too self-centred to do so)

    The Original 24 Cups

  238. Hoegarden says:

    Food for thought as we are about to enter 2008;

    As of today;

    Habs have the worst record in the league when we lead entering the third period…. 6 losses.

    We’re currently 5th in the line in scoring with no top gunner.

    Faceoffs; we suck big time, period. Cannot understand that problem with Jarvis and Carbs experience.
    Drury won 100% of his faceoffs last night. Priority one for sure.

  239. TradeRyder says:

    I agree. I’ve learned a lot from both Ian and Smart Dog… and others of course. What did people used to say – if all we did was praise our team and complain about the refs we’d be like Leafs fans? We live in a passionate city. Vive la difference! If someone has a beef with a certain situation, player, line combination, trend, I think it’s interesting to talk about this – fairly, openly, and with facts.

    Ian’s point – to enjoy watching our team get better and not expect perfection is a good one. These are human beings, they play tired, sick, they are always learning. Players get tough breaks – it’s typically more worthy of this site (and the people on it) to read “that shot seemed to catch Huet off guard when it was tipped” instead of “Huet sucks! he let in a goal!”.

    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  240. TradeRyder says:

    All great points – all interesting. What’s exciting is that those are problems you would think we can solve. Then look out! We really could do some damage if we strengthen our face offs and third period play.

    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  241. krob1000 says:

    We are all critical after losses and yes we all reserve the right to speak our minds. I think what Ian Cobb is saying is to keep in mind that you don’t win a war without losing battles and every game or slump is not a reason to throw players away or trade them. Progress from new ideas….how about the new lines, the Bulldog influence, Hamrlik, the laughable at the time pick of Carey Price. There is no denying we are moving forward (and faster than expected) and I think Ian just wants people to at least understand (you don’t have to agree) what is happening on the larger scale.

    Smart Dog is a pretty smart Dog but sometimes is not objective with regards to certain issues. He has shown some ability as of late to eat his own words here and there but I don’t think Ian or anyone means anything dergoatory towards these sometimes very negative posters. I know I have had days where I look at what I wrote and say damn I must have been ticked. The key is to be able to sit back and watch the team learn from its mistakes. Learn to appreciate the mistakes we make and the corrections and growing that results.

    I understand somewhat what a lot of the older posters on here are saying when they talk like this (having seen things on a larger scale kids grow up, times change, basically the ups and downs of a team aare no different than the ups and downs of life in general. I am 31 years old but have a seven year old stepson who has helped straighten me out. When you see real progress and the results of positivity and the power of understanding and learning from mistakes (growing pains) it gives you an ability to look at things from a few rows back.

    Noone wants people to stop donating their two cents worth of constructive criticism but at the same time we all need to understand the big picture. Gainey is not going to magically grab a microphone one day and lay the Habs future out in a press conference but if you look hard enough most of the answers are right in front of us. The organization is undergoing a facelift before our eyes and many are missing out on the importance of some key events in the growth of our collective child ….”The Montreal Canadiens”. You can choose to react impulsively to minor occurrences…that is your right but just remember you also have the choice to relish the difficult times and reap the benefits of each lesson learned.

    We as younger (I don”t know if 31 fits that anymore but…) fans have an opportunity to witness the rebirthing of something really good here and to fret over small things is our nature. To understand bigger things is an ability that not all have so when someone like Ian Cobb points something like that out it is not meant for any other purse but to help us realize the opportunity that is in front of us. We are just fans but we all know we are not just fans and that is the beauty of being a Habs fan.

    I get so excited everytime a new player gets called up. When I saw O’Byrne get in a fight, Kostitsyn finding his groove, Pleks emerging as a star, Higgins growth, Komisarek, Lapierre learinging a tought lesson, watching Lats grow, Ryder learn to play two ways, Price grow, Huet turn into an all-star, Kovy grow up,etc,etc,etc. It’s awesome….in five or ten years when we are a perrennial contender again it will be a great feeling to look back on the days we spent bickering on this site…….but only if you understand it like Ian said. The choice is yours (this was not directed at anyone in particular but I just think Ian’s message should be reiterated.

  242. krob1000 says:

    This may spark a hell of a debate or maybe noone cares anymore but I wonder if Yashin could have been a leader had he not played in Ottawa under the microscope in the Toronto vs Ottawa early years. He had a bad playoff and then never recovered. Alfreddson was almost the same and although it is a smaller market Ottawa loves their hockey and magnifies little siuations as good as Montreal or Toronto if you consider scale.

    Near the end it was clear he just wanted a paycheck but in his early years I really think Yashin did pour his heart out. He couldn’t deal with adversity and eventually after everyone else decided he didn’t care it appeared to me he just said “why should I care anymore”?. I am not saying it was right I just think that is what happened (similar to Daigle). They lost confidence and I want to be clear I am not absolving them of blame but some people just aren’t cut out to be criticized all of the time and they had enormous responsibilities thrust upon them at young ages and crumbled. Not everyone is Sydney Crosby. If either of those guys had been second or third round draft picks than things may have been different.

    Just my two cents because I liked Yashin in his early years but he just seemed to be whatever he was made out to be… did Dagile. I still admire Daigle for coming back as a defensive player despite the fact he was such a flop and had a prima donna attitude in his younger years. As soon as Daigle started getting praised again he folded again. For him I think success was too much for him and he just became full of himself and then his work ethic disappeared.

  243. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    I’m late to the show here but I did watch the game.

    ALL the boys did great on this road trip…ALL…they are making me proud.

    Last night they had the 2 points in the bag, but 2 errors cost them, 1st PLEK failed to cover his man after the faceoff which resulted in the tieing goal, and 2nd, HAMR made a flimsy pass trying to enter the ranger zone which was intercepted and you have shanahan on a break..Huet not to fault.

    and maybe Huet would have liked another chance with that first goal which was a harmless wrister from the point.

    other than those IT WAS A FANTASTIC TEAM EFFORT.

    KOVY’s (the ‘C’ looked good) line was totally dominating the play as the game summary ‘points’ out…the other lines had a rotation going because of Locke having his equipment mugged on the subway, and they still played with chemistry, thats a good sign. LATRON was using his weight to crush the opponents who were unfamiliar with that kind of treatment (see Gomez’s comments on the habs) and another notable that some specific persons here may have missed: RYDERS NUCLEAR MISSLE SHOT FROM OUTSIDE THE BLUELINE THAT SENT LUINDQUEST TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM AFTER THE GAME FOR A BULLET WOUND TO THE SHOULDER….


    thats right, NOBODY.


    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”

  244. Bouleau noir says:

    I fail to see the relationship between size and face-off excellence,.. Drury and Gomez are pint size players,.. not much different was Perreault, the master of them all.

  245. The Teacher says:

    Bravo, Bravo.

    100% agreement over here.

    I can remember Komi in his first season, it’s been fun to see him develop into what he is today. And he still hasn’t become the force he will be! Isn’t it amazing?

    Being a Habs fan is the greatest pleasure any sports fan can have. I am lucky to have witnessed not one, but two Stanley Cup winners, and One World Cup of Soccer in my life (Italy), and understand in this new world of sports, with 30 teams, you have to build for the long term, continually replenishing your ranks. This is what Gainey and Timmins are doing.

    -I also note that since Carbo has joined, it is the young players that are responding to him, the older players are the ones who seem to have a hard time adjusting. I’d rather have it this way, and get rid of the older players who don’t want to work.

    -Kovalev had a hump but is working like a devil this year.
    -Koivu is working, but something seems a bit off, don’t know if it’s just the illness either.
    – Dandy had to adjust and become a forward with a role
    – Samsonov hit the road
    -Ryder has adjusted his defensive game and is now finding his groove
    Our defense is awesome
    – Our goal-tending is SOLID, no matter who plays
    – Our youth is rising

    All I know is I feel much better heading into 2008 concerning the Habs then I did in 2007.

  246. The Teacher says:

    I’m pretty sure Larionov filled in for Yzerman at some point?

  247. mrstewart61 says:

    I must admit, the ‘C’ looked good on Kovy. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking to say goodbye to Koivu.

  248. 24 Cups says:

    I’ve just been sitting here reflecting on the greatest hockey game that was ever played. Thirty-two years ago tonight Montreal and Central Red Army played to a 3-3 draw. (I was 26 years old and the Habs were just about to win four straight Stanley Cups with The Flower blossoming into his prime. I wore #10 as a badge on honour. I can’t begin to tell you the pride I felt of having them as my beloved team. Excuse me, I digress) We outshot and dominated them by an amazing margin but Tretiak was unbelievable in goal. Alas, Ken Dryden didn’t have his best game as he let in 3 goals on 13 shots. Mind you, when the Soviets took a shot it was always a scoring opportunity. I remember that Shutt and Cournoyer scored for the Habs but I can’t remember the third scorer. Might have been Peter or Frank Mahovlich.

    The one aspect of the ‘exhibition contest’ that burns in my memory was the intensity level of the game – from start to finish. It was played at an incredible tempo for every second for a full sixty minutes. I know that some of you younger people think that I’m probably exaggerating a little, but trust me, it was like no game I have ever witnessed. I’m sure that older guys like Ian, Scotty, and Dave will back me up on this point. I don’t know if it’s out on DVD but every true Habs fan must view this historic event at least once. It was the most perfect hockey game in the history of our sport.

    The Original 24 Cups

  249. Dave Stubbs says:

    I’ve got the New Year’s Eve game on VHS and watch it every couple of seasons. The electricity of the night truly was incredible, but people I know who were there – Red Fisher and Pat Hickey among them – say the hockey itself was less than stellar.

    Neither of those gents will say it was the greatest game ever played, not even close. But then, coming a few years on the heels of the 1972 Summit Series, and being a game between club and not all-star teams, made this a very, very special event that remains a defining hockey moment for a great many fans.

    Dave Stubbs

    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette


  250. TradeRyder says:

    What would it take for you to change your photo. I get the point – and I think the team is starting to stand up like it should. But I’d rather see Smart Dog’s nuclear-accident dog than look at that shot of our captain ducking a punch every day.

    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  251. Hoegarden says:

    Indeed, one of the greatest games ever but cannot forget the end result, a 3-3 tie. At least we did not have shootouts to settle the issue. Tretiak was as hot a goalie as I’ve ever seen.

    Playing one of the 5 straigt cups(1956-1960)VHS tapes I have makes me forget the bad weeks our Habs have at times.

  252. ebk says:

    Three of the best games I ever saw, were the finals of the 1987 Canada Cup. The level of hockey on display has never been matched before or since, in my humble opinion.

  253. Vincent is possible says:

    Happy New Year’s All Hab’s fans!

    I have only been a Habs fan since 86 but I am glad to be able to find this site to finally read fellow Habs views and often asking the same questions I do, be it negative or positive. Will probably be waiting a few more years till my half season of greys come up, until then lovin’ HABS INSIDEOUT

    Looking Forward to Thursday. Will be there chanting.


  254. Scotty90 says:

    Yvon Lambert….. and… there were “no a–holes” at Dorion Suits! :-)

    Remember that one you baby boomers?

  255. idle says:

    maybe he was just ducking down to gather his upper cut?

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