Game 40: Canadiens shock Lightning 6-3

Michael Ryder celebrates Alex Kovalev’s first-period goal. Ryder would score two of his own tonight.
Christinne Muschi, Reuters

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Updated by Kevin Mio, links updated at 7:45 am on Friday.

The Canadiens made a simple New Year’s resolution: Win at
home. And for their first game at the Bell Centre in 2008, the Habs delivered with a 6-3 win over the struggling Tampa Bay Lightning thanks to a three-goal explosion during the third period. With the victory, Montreal improved its record on home ice to 7-7-4.

It was Tamp Bay’s sixth straight loss and another third-period meltdown. 

Andrei Kostisyn scored his 10th goal of the season eight minutes into the third period to give the Canadiens a 4-3 lead after the Habs squandered 2-0, 2-1 and 3-1 leads in the second period. Kyle Chipchura and Michael Ryder, with his second of the game, scored the other third-period goals for the Canadiens.

Alex Kovalev, who was presented the Molson Cup for December before the game, opened the scoring on the power play 14 minutes into the opening frame. Christopher Higgins made it 2-0 three minutes later, also with the man advantage.

Vincent Lecavalier got one back for Tampa Bay 49 seconds into the second period on a long outlet pass that was nearly offside, beating Cristobal Huet, who barely moved, with a shot hrough the legs.

Ryder, who appears to be back on track after struggling to find the back of the net for most of the season, scored his first goal of the game to make it 3-1 midway through the second period on a quick snap shot from the wing that beat Tampa Bay goaltender Karri Ramo. He now has six goals on the season.

But that lead didn’t last long as the Lightning got quick goals from Martin St. Louis and Vaclav Prospal to tie the game 3-3 after two periods.

The Canadiens went 2-for-6 with the man advantage, while Tampa Bay was 1-for-5. Huet stopped 30 of the 33 shots he faced. Ramo made 24 saves on 30 shots.

The Washington Capitals and Alexander Ovechkin are in town on Saturday for a matinee that starts at 12:30 p.m.


Michael Ryder puts his weight into a shaft-bending slap shot tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Dave Sandford, Getty Images


  1. Hoegarden says:

    A surplus you say…. Not sure about that. The Habs last dynasty could be considered to have a surplus, why ?? Try and find any NHL team that won back to back Stanley Cups and/and Calder Cups (76 and 77 NS Voyageurs editions).

  2. J.T. says:

    I’d love to see those intangible “other” reasons than money count in Ovechkin’s decision about where he’d like to play. He’s made for Montreal. He loves attention. He’s a cocky, hot-dog superstar with attitude and the goods to back it up. He’d be adored there, and he’d adore playing before the throngs at the Bell. It’s a dream, but I don’t know if Bob has the ability to make it come true without mortgaging the rest of the team.

  3. nightmare_49 says:

    Ian: I have nothing against you driving a school bus but your time could be of more value to some politician as a spin doctor ,lol.

  4. fuhgawz says:

    Dave —- any idea why i keep getting a virus warning when i log on to this site and this site only? ….. i am on my company computer so there are fire walls everywhere so please people do not think i was surf’n porn lol


    if your not a Canadiens fan how can you say you like hockey?

  5. Smart Dog says:

    You got it Ian. We have a strong future with our own guys.

    And Gainey would get HAMMERED if he traded away some of our promising young forwards and brought in even a star if ever that star slowed down.

    But what do you do when you actually have a surplus like we do? I guess you trade for draft picks… Ryder for a fifth rounder? Huet for a 1st round pick – or Halak for a 2nd?

    I like trading surplus players for picks. Then you either get more good prospects, or when the time is right you bundle some of your surplus picks in a deal to protect more of your players.

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

  6. krob1000 says:

    Join in the fun Ian…..don’t be the kid watching his buddies dancing and having a good time….lol. We know we are just having fun but I have no doubt at all we will make a run at someone very big in the next year or so (the timing is too right not to). We are building but we are missing the superstar (maybe Price). Koivu and Kovy will be on the decline in a couple years when our youth is peaking and there is no doubt that a move will be made if it is available.

    We are relying on development but when you don’t finish at the bottom for a couple of years you don’t get the best talent. I think the new days that you speak of are 180 degrees from the old days. You used to build your team around your stars and fill in holes. Now you have to build a team and try to fill in with a superstar. No matter how you slice it Ian winning teams all have a superstar….we don’t have one (we may in Price or another kid but Gainey made no bones abut trying to land someone last year and he will againt his year).

    I don’t think this thread is one of those disrespectable ones saying trade him because he sucks or trade him because he’s having a terrrible year, etc. We are having a good ol fashioned debate and Pat Hickey and several other people in the know have also speculated the same things regarding Lecavelier,Richards and/or Ovechkin. It makes sense (going after a big time player…maybe not one of those guys but someone). If you fast forward in your head two years from now then the only missing infgredient I can see is a superstar forward.

    The last team that won a cup without a superstar was the 1986 Habs and that was because noone new Roy was a superstar yet.

  7. Hoegarden says:

    It takes a while to sink in Ian.

  8. Bill H says:

    As you yourself have written…it is a big “IF”. I would agree that it is impossible to speculate with any accuracy what will happen, but it is fun just the same to imagine Ovechkin in a Habs jersey. And it does seem like he likes Montreal. And why would anyone want to be stuck in Washington for 10 years? In fact why would anyone want to be stuck on a losing team anywhere? I think most aspire to win the Cup, and let’s face it, big name stars often have the power to determine where they will go because many teams will bid for their services. Well $10 million X 10 is one good reason, I suppose. Let’s hope he sees past the greed as far as the glory of winning in a Habs jersey in a town like Montreal.

  9. Hoegarden says:

    One simple sign I’d have on the board for tonight’s game;

    Montreal Canadiens – ranked 28th in the NHL for HOME GAMES.

  10. Habs_008 says:

    Whichever goalie is in the nets, whether it be Huet, Price or even Halak. I dont see it as a bad move. We have solid Goaltending. I do think Price needs a start soon. Im guessing Carbo will put him in on Saturday against Ovechkin, unless Huet stands on his head tonight then Carbo will have no choice but to put in Huet again.

  11. nightmare_49 says:

    Richard B: If i’m not mistaken his mother is his agent and seems to have a lot of clout and knows his monetary value and aspects.

  12. Ian G Cobb says:

    Are you people still trying to trade around the league ?

    Those days are over ! We are developing and keeping all the assets that we have aquired.

    Sit back this year and be content to watch this franchise grow, mature and entertain us, as we get ready to compete for the top prise by the end of next year!

  13. krob1000 says:

    No doubt about it. They are magical and I don’t understand this at all. Age is a number and I felt the same when Crosby was left off of Team Canada……stupid (sorry Wayne….I can honestly say you weren’t too bright (or jealous) on this one). If nobody knew the age of these kids (Tavares and Stamkos) and independent observers (even monkeys) evaluated the players it would be obvious that those two are two of the best. I kniow if Maggie the Monkey were coaching she would play those guys on more than power plays.

    I can’t really argue with the success we have had and you kind of feel like that coach in the Mighty Ducks movies harping given our success (remember “It’s not worth winning if you can’t win big”). I think they should use these kids while they have them though as both will play in the NHL immediately after being drafted.

  14. Hoegarden says:

    Newfoundland Dog,

    re your comment on Huet for tonight’s game; “BAD MOVE”

    He’s played them 7 times, won 5 of them and his GAA is 2,01 . I’d say “Not so bad”.

  15. ColRouléBleu says:

    He fired Meehan and he represents himself now, or so I read somewhere 😉

    “We want to play against a team, not a building.” ~ Guy Carbonneau

  16. joe-hab-nuno says:

    So did I and always wondered why they didn’t let stick here rather then other players that started the yr here.

  17. drecha says:

    Hey Dave,

    When is the next Puckcast coming out?


  18. J.T. says:

    The trend is to long-term contracts IF the player in question sees himself wearing the same uniform for an entire career. I think Ovechkin has already turned down a preliminary offer of an extension from Washington, and the body language is that he’s not thrilled to be playing in a place where he’s not appreciated outside the ten-thousand core fans who come out for every home game. I can see him sticking in Washington, barring a trade, for the next four years, then gaining his freedom as an UFA and bailing out. He doesn’t need to use clout to get a long-term contract, as he’ll get the max or close to it from Washington for the next few years, then sign wherever he wants for as much money as he wants after that.

  19. joe-hab-nuno says: noticed that he lost a bit on his defensive play. I also noticed that he plays more offensively, or is more aggresive offensively. I wonder if that is what management wants from him seeing that we lost the offense from a defensive player in Souray.

  20. G-Man says:

    The tax situation in Quebec is overplayed. There are ways that the millionaires here don’t pay taxes. You can’t tell me that these smart agents that represent the players don’t know good CPAs that can ensure their tax burden is not that tough to take.
    The rich in Quebec have hardly ever paid their share. If they did, Westmount, Hampstead and TMR would be empty.


  21. krob1000 says:

    I know what you meant but some out there wouldn’t see it that way. Yes, you are definitely right about getting thenmost for your dollars and next year we will be able to clear some dollars of the bucks and I think Ovechkin is one of the few guys in the league who is worth the max ( I think given his talent, age, all around game,drive, marketability he is as deserving of a palyer as there is who isn’t named Crosby).

    Even Lecavelier is a little older as is Zetterberg. Those are the only other two who you could really make a case for being worth the max and I personally would give it to either. Outside of those four I agree that you would be crippling a team….those guys are worth it. The problem in Tamp isn’t one guy it’s three. Washington is building something quietly and they are going to match any offer ot there. The only way Ovechkin goes is if he doesn’t want to play there.

    For a guy to be worth the max he has to make other guys better and to me there is no question that any of the aforementioned players do. Timing is a key element to this and although it appeared Pittsburgh had all of this young talent ready to explode Jordan Staal has disappointed (along with Malone and Armstrong ..although he is soming on lately), Fleury is a below average goalie and they have no veteran leadership and depth. Roberts was a great role player but his best days are long gone and although he may help in ht e playoffs he is not enough.

    None of the other teams we are discussing have any depth so a multi player loss affects them differently than us. We have arguably too much depth and if our prospects are anywhere near what we expect then the pipeline is in fantastic shape and a major signing probably couldn’t be timed much better than at the end of this season. Komisarek is three years older than Ovechkin and is not really a kid anymore.

    For a team ike the Lightning to devote such a huge amount of their salary to three guys with no supporting cast is foolish. The Capitals like you noted could go either way and in fact have a very strong base with Semin, Backstrom and Mike Green. They might be better served to spend their ten million elsewhere or trade one of the others because their problem is depth. I think it would be utterly stupid of them to let Ovechkin go without going the multiplayer route as that is their achilles heel right now…depth.

    I still think they are bettter than people think though and they will be a factor come seasons end.

  22. Bill H says:

    Submitted by J.T. on Thu, 01/03/2008 – 10:00.
    Ovechkin won’t be coming to Montreal as a RFA…that’s true. He likely won’t be going anywhere else, either… Would you trade those four guys PLUS a hundred million bucks for Ovechkin? The price is too much for me, and I love Ovechkin.

    HOWEVER…that all being said, Ovechkin is an UFA in four years, depending on the deal he signs this summer. A careful GM, knowing that fact, could start planning now to have the best conditions in place to attract him then, as the last piece of a very, very good team. At that point, the four first-rounders he DIDN’T give up in an offersheet will be developing in the organization and Ovechkin will only cost him money. I hope Bob’s the GM who’ll have that plan in place and finally bring a star to Montreal.

    You make some excellent points J.T. but I can’t agree with you that Ovechkin will be an UFA in 4 years. The recent trend is to sign to long term contracts i.e. 10 years, as did Richards and Dipietro. Ovechkin likely has the clout to get a long term contract. If that happens, he won’t be an UFA until 2018, if he is even playing then.

  23. Richard B says:

    I liked the Ovetchkin talk. How about the fact that Markov is his good friend. Perhaps $$ is not all that he values. I know in my work $$ is not everything.
    I think that Ovetchkin would like Mtl. becasue it is so focused on hockey.
    Ovetchkin would like Mtl. for the same reason that other players don’t like it. The attention and pressure are likely draws for a player like Ovetchkin.
    Also, he probably don’t understand taxes…lets hope his agent don’t either!!

  24. the Maritimer says:

    It is fun to speculate about acquiring a superstar like Ovechkin or LeCavalier, but as J.T. pointed out the cost is prohibitive. And, acquiring these types of players at the end of their careers is often fraught with disappointment as they no longer put up the numbers they did when much younger or just don’t seem to fit in with their new team. Finishing last to acquire a high draft pick doesn’t seem to be in the cards for Montreal either, as they always seem to finish in the middle of the pack.

    The only solution seems to be trying to trade for a bottom feeder’s pick. Doug Wilson traded his pick to Montreal last year but ended up with an even higher pick courtesy of the Leafs. Let’s hope Bob Gainey can perform a similar trick this June by moving a few assets to get close to Steve Stamkos or Drew Doughty.


    Bad Move………….

  26. Habs_008 says:

    What time to the Jr’s play 2morrow?

  27. RH says:

    Yeah, I think if the Habs can put more money into the defense and forward positions next season, they’ll be all the better for it. I think the goalie situation is taken care of.

  28. Smart Dog says:

    Argghhh… I think that’s a mistake. Mason is less solid IMHO. Let’s hope I am wrong.

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

  29. Habs_008 says:

    I say we keep Halak, we can have Price and Halak next year. Huet will be gone.

  30. Smart Dog says:

    I honestly don’t think Markov outshines our other top D with his defensive play. It’s his offensive play that makes him a star. In fact, just looking at defensive play, I think both Komi and Hamrlik are superior.

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

  31. 24 Cups says:

    Speaking of goalies, in a bit of a surprise move Hartsburg is going with Mason against the USA tomorrow. Personally, I think if he wants to win the game he should ignore the age and experience of his players and have Tavares and Stamkos out on the ice as much as possible.

    The Original 24 Cups

  32. drecha says:

    Huet will be in nets tonight.


  33. RH says:

    I hope Ramo doesn’t have a coming out party tonight.

  34. Habs_008 says:

    Only they dont have a Huet or a Price, so they are in Trouble Goalie wise.

  35. RH says:

    Hey, speaking of Halak, read this morning that he’s apparently burning it up in Hamilton. Wonder if he’ll be trade bait come the deadline?

  36. T-Bone says:

    Who is playing net tonight? price or huet

  37. J.T. says:

    Ramo…then Holmqvist…then Ramo. Hopefully, anyway!

  38. J.T. says:

    He’s their Halak.

  39. J.T. says:

    My use of PLUS wasn’t meant to imply Ovechkin’s salary would be a burden unequalled by keeping the other roster players instead. It was more to underline the potential difficulties implicit in devoting the salary to one player, rather than several, while similtaneously stifling the flow of cheap, high-quality talent into the organization’s developmental pipeline by giving away all those picks. After all, the key to success in the new NHL is getting the highest possible value out of every dollar. That means using young talent, and keeping a steady flow of it coming into your organization. And it means spreading the wealth among several valuable components instead of piling up on just one.

  40. Hoegarden says:

    Selected by the Lightning in the sixth round, 191st overall, at the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, Ramo helped HPK Hameenlinna to the Finnish Championship in 2005-06, his first year with the team. He played in 24 games for HPK, posting a 2.16 GAA and a .929 save percentage. He represented Finland at the 2006 World Junior Championships and played in one game en route to winning a bronze medal.

  41. Habs_008 says:

    Gainey knows how to fix his mistakes, I like all the players we have now, I even like Bris-bye, as long as he is in the press box. Samsonov has lost a lot of confidience, he is not an NHL player anymore, maybe he should pack his bags and go play in the Russian league.

  42. RH says:

    Karri Ramo almost sounds like Tony Romo. Who’s Karri Ramo anyway?

  43. RH says:

    Bouillon is so tough. And, the more I see Gorges play, the more I like his game. I feel confident when he’s out on the ice. Makes me forget that Brisebois is still with this team.

  44. coutNY says:

    Sergei Samsonov has cleared re-entry waivers. – TSN
    In the case someone was worried. Proving once again how far he has fallen from grace… and that we are so lucky to have rid ourselves from sure disaster once again this season.

    I hope we had learned a lesson on this move, the Niinima, Hainsey deals, to never again make hasty decisions in tough situations.

  45. J.T. says:

    First, I have to say, I think Ovechkin’s a great, great player. I would absolutely love to see him in a Habs sweater. But not at the cost of the core of the team. I mean, seriously…Washington has Ovechkin PLUS Semin PLUS a hot rookie in Backstrom PLUS a seasoned, former Vezina winner in Kolzig, yet they still suck.

    Chipchura might never be more than a 15-20 goal scorer, but he will keep guys like Ovechkin from scoring on his team instead.

    Komisarek is out there right now against every top line in the league, and shutting them down regularly. I think on many nights he’s at least as good as his all-star bound partner. He’s doing a more than admirable job as a top-two D now, and I don’t see him slipping into the “easily replaceable” category unless he’s outstripped by some of the Valentenko/McDonagh/Fischer/Subban/Emelin/Carle/Pacquet crop…which, if even possible, isn’t likely for at least a few years.

    I agree Kostitsyn’s a wildcard. Right now he’s a point-a-game guy, but we don’t know whether it’ll last, if he’ll even better it, or if he’ll slump for long periods.

    Price is somewhat of a wildcard as well. The experts…those who really know him and really know goaltending…say he’s a can’t miss franchise goalie.

    Right now, even without waiting for their added potential to emerge, Komisarek, Price and Chipchura form a pretty impressive and effective shutdown unit. And as history has proven many times, a strong defence will better a strong offence nearly every time. I wouldn’t do it. Maybe in two years I would, but not right now.

  46. Hoegarden says:

    according the the Associated Press, Ramo will be tending the net for the Bolts tonight.

  47. Hoegarden says:

    Don’t know if Carbo will be able to keep Komi and Markov playing against Vinnie and St-Louis for most of the game tonight but I’m looking forward to seeing our new duo of Bouillon & Gorges performing. They seem to “get it done”, at least during the last 3 road games and tonight should be a good test for them. Gorges is +3 and a lot more confident.

  48. krob1000 says:

    You can’t say “PLUS” 100 million dollars because that would mean you weren’t paying the other guys. Those guys you mentioned over the long haul will likely cost more than Ovechkin would so in fact it would likely work the otehr way or at the very least cancel each other out. I wouldn’t say these crazy talks of going after a superstar are that off base as we are primed to do so at some point in the next year or two.

    As you mentioned a smart G.M. (see Gainey) would be building an affordable talented team from the back end out. We are solid and affordable for years to come in both positions and I believe Gainey has been planning and making room for a superstar the last couple of years. The problem is none of them want to play in Montreal (except maybe Ovechkin). We may not get a superstar as it seems very diifficult to do anymore but will be inquiring for sure. It is one thing to build a team that will be competitive every year (as we have done) but you need something to push you over the edge (Pronger, Roy, Yzerman, Lemieux, Messier, Gretzky, Brodeur, Selanne & Kariya, etc. ).

    Perhaps Price can be that guy but I know Ovechkin can.


    I got this Habs desk calendar for Christmas. It has NHL trivia on it.

    Is it bugging anyone?

  50. krob1000 says:

    Andrei Kostistyn is actually older than Ovechkin.

  51. krob1000 says:

    I would make that trade you mention…..Komi, Price, Kostitsyn and Chipchura for Ovechkin. We have three goalies (arguably four) one of whom is an all star and another who is an up and comer and is affordable if that is your argument.

    Komisarek is a heart and soul guy but is not a top defenseman and never will be. He will be a very dependable third or fourth guy for his career (my point is they are repaceable). Price (this one hurts but is still a wildcard reagardless of our expectations). Goalies can come out of nowhere and succeed or they can disappear from successs and head off into nowhere at any time. Chipchura is a good guy, smart, responsible, leader but is a career third line center ( a good one but a third line center nonetheless). Kostitsyn is another one who could go either way. As of late he has found his game but it would be hard not to palying with Pleks and Kovy. I think he has the potential to be a top line forward….but Ovechkin is a franchise player.

    With Price and Kostitsyn we talk of potential and could be….with Ovechkin….there is no doubt….you get a mean, strong, fast gamebreaker that is going to be a top five goalscorer every year for the next ten years. I would make that deal if it were a trade in a heartbeat. Ovechkin is not an aging superstar he is a kid too.

    Here is a an interesting fact for you all……Ovechkin is only five months older than Chipchura. Five months….if Chipchura has all of this potential still then how much does Ovechkin have obn top of what he already brings.

    Sorry guys I don’t see that trade to be as dismantling as all of you appear to. You got give to get and if we had Ovechkin and not the guys you mentioned we would be a better team right now and for the next couple of years. In the long run we COULD get the shorter end of the stick if all of those guys reached their potential (which rarely happens).

    I like these fantasy world debates and I know some people find them to be a waste of time but they are fun and there is nothing wrong with dreaming as long as your feet are on the ground while you are awake.

  52. J.T. says:

    Kiprusoff…why do you ask?

  53. Scotty90 says:

    were you playing trivial pursuit over the holidays?

  54. Scotty90 says:

    who’s in nets tonight for TB?

  55. Scotty90 says:

    He was Sens capt in 97 or 98? somewhere around there….

  56. J.T. says:

    Ovechkin won’t be coming to Montreal as a RFA…that’s true. He likely won’t be going anywhere else, either. Without him, Washington is truly hopeless. With him, they’re a building team with a fine cornerstone, and exciting to watch for his sake, even if they still lose.

    They won’t want to accept mere draft picks (that may or may not pan out) for him should he accept an offersheet, so they’ll match any offer he gets. If he’s really unhappy in Washington and demands a trade after he’s re-signed, you can bet Washington will be asking for more than the Habs can afford. Maybe more than any team can afford, as GMs begin to realize there’s more value in a core of strong, cheap players than there is in one single superstar, superpaid player. Look no further than Tampa to see what happens when the cap is spent on a couple of guys with no backup.

    And, since the cost to an offering team would likely be in the range of $100-million over ten years, PLUS four first-round picks, I see an offersheet for Ovechkin being pretty pointless. Unless the offering GM’s intent is to cripple Washinton by forcing it to match the offer, it wouldn’t make sense. The salary would make it difficult to afford the other elements necessary to win a Cup, and the loss of the picks would hinder a team’s efforts to build from within. Only a very young, very cheap team that already has a lot of talent at every position and is on the cusp of being a serious contender would benefit.

    So, I think we’ll see Ovechkin in Washington next year unless a team top-heavy with stars wants to make a trade for him. Maybe Spezza and Heatley for Ovechkin…and don’t laugh, because that’s what it would take. Or, in Montreal’s terms, try Komisarek, Higgins, one of the Kostitsyns and a goalie. At least.

    For those who talk about making an offer for him this summer…think of it this way: Montreal on the hook for ten million a year for the next ten years in Ovy’s salary, no matter how well he does or doesn’t perform, and not knowing what might happen with the salary cap…PLUS four first picks lost. Picks might seem like bargaining chips, but remember they turn into Higgins, Komisarek, Price and Chipchura. Would you trade those four guys PLUS a hundred million bucks for Ovechkin? The price is too much for me, and I love Ovechkin.

    HOWEVER…that all being said, Ovechkin is an UFA in four years, depending on the deal he signs this summer. A careful GM, knowing that fact, could start planning now to have the best conditions in place to attract him then, as the last piece of a very, very good team. At that point, the four first-rounders he DIDN’T give up in an offersheet will be developing in the organization and Ovechkin will only cost him money. I hope Bob’s the GM who’ll have that plan in place and finally bring a star to Montreal.


    On Dec. 6, 2005. Who made 37 saves to become the first ever goaltender in NHL history to record a shutout in a losing effort 1-0 in a Shootout ???


    You are correct.

    And now for the bonus: Name the Team & Year ???

  59. Scotty90 says:

    That would be Yashin!

  60. Shiloh says:

    99% of the time I’d agree with your argument. If Ovechkin becomes available, however, I have to say go after him.


    Who was the first full-time Russian-born captain in NHL history ???

  62. Smart Dog says:

    Good point. But listen – Angelina said she’s gonna call, and she’s gonna call, so back off!

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

  63. nightmare_49 says:

    I’m sure D’Agostini has been waiting and is very happy with your humble endorsement but should be more concerned with his -13 plus/minus which is a little much.

  64. coutNY says:

    Sometimes it takes luck… like Neidimeyer to Anahiem because his brother convinced him to leave NJ to play with him. Granted they had built a good foundation through the draft, but the parrel of the new NHL is that once a team gets to the top its hard to maintain that for any period of time. Teams are willing to pay for potential… some are willing to overpay in the hopes of future results.. ie Edmonton. So in the end the days of the Dynasty have been thrown out the door because the cap limits what teams can keep in terms of quanity of talent.

    Montreal a team that boasts the best attentedance, but has no more advantage than any other teams other than teams with self imposed caps.

    Why not draft like Anahiem, Tampa, Atlanta, Ottawa, or Pittsburgh? Because this Hockeytown will never allow it. talents like Lecavlier, Crosby, Spezza, Heatley, Nash, ect.. were earned by being the lousiest team at an earlier point in their history. Montreal in their last 15 years has not accomplished this feat. With their only top 5 pick during that period they selected a corner-stone player with Price. I am happy with the selection.

    I am with you on developing within because we have some great young talent startng to hit their stride. Will these guys hit superstar status, doubtful, but as we can see with the laffs , trading away the future for aging yester-year stars hasn’t helped their situation and things looks bleek for years to come.

    The pipe dreams of aquiring Ovetchkin are fun, but trading away 4 years of first round draft picks??? I guess it makes more sense than going after an unproven young star giving up two 1st rounders, one 2nd rounder, and a 3rd rounder, as Lowe did for Penner who was a 3rd line player in Anahiem. I imagine a deal that leaves us without Komiserik, Price, Kostitsyn, and Chipchura (past 4 first rounders) then I see a team that starts looking like Washington. A team that has a superstar but not able to find a supporting cast to really appreciate his capabilities.

    It would be nice to have a 100 piont guy on this current team. But with only a hand full in the league, its hard to see any of them walking without their current team going beyond their worth to keep them. Especially in places were this player is their only draw to keep people in their seats.(or at least half the seats in some cases)

    Go Habs Go

  65. nightmare_49 says:

    Habitual : Nice post and a reality check to those constant dreamer posters who must wake up and smell the coffee and maybe move on to the 6/49.

  66. 24 Cups says:

    I totally agree with the point you made concerning trade deadline transactions (third paragraph). The price is too high and the players are usually riding on their past reputations. It’s better to be a seller (Rivet) than a buyer. If Montreal is going to make a trade for a final piece of the puzzle (at some point in time) then it should be for a young player and the deal should be done during the off season. Easier said than done these days. Otherwise, we go with your plan. Sorry, can’t type anymore, my door bell just rang.

    The Original 24 Cups

  67. nightmare_49 says:

    Dawg Update : The Hamilton Bulldogs beat Rockford IceHogs 2-1. The 3 Stars 1) Jaro Halak ( 35 saves ) 2) Matt D’Agostini (1 goal & 1 assist) 3) Mathieu Carle (1 goal the winner)…….Corey Locke – no points (jet lag).

  68. habitual says:

    I’d like to address the practicality of the Habs (or any other team) making a trade for a big name player (Lecavalier, Richards), or signing an RFA (Ovetchkin). These themes have often popped up here, but either way, t’ain’t going to happen.

    I can’t think of a trade in recent years that has turned a team around. Consider Joe Thornton’s trade to SJ, or Heatlie for Hossa. Am I overlooking a block buster trade where it actually propelled a team over the top? I’m thinking not, because of the simple fact that you have to give to get. Imagine what it would take to motivate Tampa to move Lecavalier.

    Last year big names were traded at the deadline. But none of Kariya, Forsberg, Guerin, Ryan Smith, or Tkachuk took their team to the finals, and some teams gave up valuable draft choices for nada. And then, none of these players stayed with the team that traded for them. Brilliant!

    Some of us (probably all of us) love the idea of signing Ovetchkin. With taxes the way they are in Quebec Montreal would have to offer more than Washington would, i.e. overpaying. That would dramatically affect Montreal’s ability to hold onto the core of players they have now, and they would be giving up the first round draft choices that would be required to re-stock the team.

    The price of signing an RFA was purposely designed to be prohibitive to ensure a general parity in the NHL. The league strategy is to have as many teams as competitive as possible to increase the chances of a big money US TV contract. The NHL wants to avoid, as much as possible, lousey teams on display. Part of this strategy is the single point for an OT or shoot out loss, another is the salary cap.

    A lot of this is obvious, so what is my point?

    That teams have to draft wisely, develop their young players, work within the window of RFA, and hope they get a home town discount from veterans who see the hope of winning a Cup. Which is what Bob Gainey is doing.

    We should be happy that there is a sensible plan, and that the plan is working: 4th place in a tight race in a league designed to limit teams being too far ahead of the pack. The Habs are competitive now and the core of rising young players position us very well for the next couple of years. Look how excited we are by the Kostitsyns, Pleckanec, and Price.

    In the new NHL this is as good as it gets. It’s fun to fantasize, as long as we realize that’s what it is. Angelina Jolie is not going to be ringing our door bell, and neither is Ovetchkin.

    If you got this far, thanks for reading.



    If I may. You are very pretty and smart. BUT why is Jagr your favorite player if you are a Die Hard Habs Fan?

  70. The Cat says:

    Tonight’s gonna be tough. I fear four straight games for Huet is going to the well one too many times, plus its the habs’ first game at home after a roadtrip and against a lowly team from another division, that usually aint good news.

  71. Vecs says:

    Come on,, take it easy on Cristobal. There was nothing he could have done. The drury goal was pure luck and the Shanny goal was a beauty.

  72. Robert L says:

    Absolutely guilty of being 100% off topic!

    Something I thought the older fans would enjoy.

    When one thinks of the Canadiens goaltenders of the 1960’s, the names Plante, Worsley, Hodge, and Vachon immediately spring to mind. Little do Canadiens fans realize that the Canadiens goaltending prospect stable was never more full to overflowing than it was in the early 1960’s.

    The farm system begun by Frank Selke, and continued and grown by Sam Pollock, allowed the Habs to build up and turnover assets at an incredible rate. Pollock, with the NHL’s competitive survival in mind, was one of the most persistant backers of a league expansion in which it would eventually double in size. Knowing full well this was about to happen, Pollock slyly stockpiled talent for future bartering when the needs would be called upon.

    By the time the 6 new franchises arrived in 1967, Trader Sam had three hands full of cards to deal, and God knows what up his sleeve!

    In the Canadiens affiliated farm teams of the era, there were no less than a dozen goaltending prospects of which to brag of from 1960 to 1965. Some would see action briefly with Montreal, others with the eventual expansion teams, and some would see their careers extinguish after brief flickers of success unsustainable.

    Pollock made the best of most of their worth, packaging them for draft picks, futures, cash, and whatever it took to further the Canadiens goal of refurbishing and recycling talent annually.

    Some of the names might sound familiar to older Habs fans. They were: George Holmes, Bob Champoux, Fern Rivard, Ernire Wakely, Jean Guy Morrisette, Andre Gagnon, Rocky Farr, Gil Banville, Ted Ouimet, Cliff Rose, Carl Wetzel, and Gerry Desjardins.

    12 Canadiens Goalies In The System From 1960 To 1965

  73. Smart Dog says:

    Agreed. That’s a confidence problem. The team needs to believe they can do it before they can. NY was close but no cigar.

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

  74. Habs-Kat says:

    I still don’t like the fact that not once this season have the Canadiens been able to come back and win after trailing at the 1st intermission.

  75. Smart Dog says:

    A focused Habs team can win this one… great to see Vinny in action. Go Habs!

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

  76. 24 Cups says:

    No need to write paragraphs on this one. Right now, Tampa Bay is a bottom feeder. We should be able to beat them whether it be at home, on the road, or outside in the wind and snow. The only thing that will deprive us of victory would be taking the game too lightly. (Or, maybe Vinny playing the game of his life back home in front of his adoring fans). Huet starting in goal is a good call as he’s had three days off. Sure beats having Karri Ramo in net.

    The Original 24 Cups

  77. showey47 says:

    i agree but we you have to know vinny, marty and richards are gonna be pumped for this one but at least this time they won’t have marc denis to come in and do his best brodeur impression like the last time they played in montreal. With carbo having last change he should be able to easily get his line match-ups, most importantly komi, markov and hamrlik.

  78. HABZ 24 says:

    tampa bay is a one expensive line team as we all know.if the habs pound the big 3 and get a few goals and huey doesnt panic at games end and let in a soft one,its 2 pts for us.

  79. linp says:

    I heard Carbo talked to the media about playing at home vs playing on the road. I think the coaches and the players should focus on why the team played so well in the 2nd period of the Rangers game and the first 6 minutes of the Florida game and couldn’t maintain the momentum the rest of the game. Until they can figure this out, it would be hard for the fans just to sit back and watch.

  80. Smart Dog says:

    Excellent post.

    I get tired of hearing about the difference between home and road games. Figure out how to win – where-ever, whatever, and looking at the positives in strong games is probably a better start than navel-gazing.

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

  81. The Teacher says:







    What do you people think?

    All I have to say is…BUFFALO??? LMAO

  82. showey47 says:

    i can’t believe healy actually said montreal, as for milbury he is officailly the new tie domi on tsn.

  83. 24 Cups says:

    Milbury totally destroys a hockey franchise for ten years by making some of the worst management decisions in the history of the game. AND then he gets a gig on television as a hockey ‘authority’. The inmates are truly running the asylum. I wonder what guys like Healy, Maguire, and Mackenzie think when they have to work with this guy.

    The Original 24 Cups

  84. Habs-Kat says:

    I think either USA or Sweden’s gonna win the gold this year.

  85. krob1000 says:

    Kingston, Ontario …….hands down.

  86. The Teacher says:

    I know, I couldn’t believe Healy said it either!!!

    Funny how nobody says Detroit now that they don’t sell out every game anymore.

  87. DYCSoccer17 says:

    There’s a fair chance that Carbonneau will be going to the All-Star game as an assistant coach.


  88. Habs-Kat says:

    Don’t think so, Sutter’s gonna get a good lock on it – and he deserves it too.

  89. Habs-Kat says:

    Washington will likely play Fred Cassivi against us:
    A) To give Kolzig a break.
    B) To give Cassivi a chance to play in his home Quebec for the first time in his career, and to just give him a chance to play.

    That could either work in our favour and we get to beat on the backup, or like all Quebec goalies who get to play here – he could have THE game of his career and the Habs get stoned.

  90. Smart Dog says:

    Maybe we’ll get to see Hamrlik knock Vinnie on his ass again. That’ll be worth it!

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

  91. Chuck says:

    The Leafs?



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

  92. Habs-Kat says:

    I still think Lidstrom is unparalleled at his position and that makes him the best player in the world.

  93. J.T. says:

    Nah…it makes him a first-team all atar. If you’re going by position, then Brodeur or Ovechkin could be the best player in the world. For my money, in terms of one player having all the tools…physical size and strength, puckhandling ability, shot, vision, hockey sense and game-breaking ability…no one beats Vinny. I mean, the guy is the leading scorer in the league AND he fights too!

  94. mar-lin says:

    It always seems like rookie goaltenders seem to have their best games against us…i’m slightly nervous.

  95. krob1000 says:

    I think they need Milbury to side with Healy and that way they have perfect balance….two idiots and two guys who know hockey.

  96. krob1000 says:

    I just want to see the same team that has played the last couple of games show up and skate……and no shootouts against Tampa please. I like Brad Richards but he scares me when he goes full speed on those shootouts.

  97. joe-hab-nuno says:

    Goalies are thye first to say ” When a player comes at them at full speed it is harder for them to read what they are going to do.

    And as much as i like Huet, he must be one of the worst golies when it comes to shootouts. If it does come to shoot outs they should put in Price. But i don’t think a coach will do that. Imagine yor starting goalie play a heck of a game then you go down to shootouts, you replace him with the backup and he wins the game in shoot outs and gets credited with the win. At least i think he would get credited with the win.

  98. joe-hab-nuno says:

    I hate it when ppl post their predictions, but I’ll post my first one on HIO

    Habs win 4-2
    Skos will score a goal
    Ryder will hit a goal post.
    I’m going out in a limb here “Huet will make 39 saves”

  99. Habs_008 says:

    To put a goalie in a shootout situation after they have been sitting the whole game is a huge risk. They are not in the game, they are cold, and injury prone as well. It really doesnt matter which goalie gets the win anyway. If the starter is not injured then I would leave him in the net for the shootout.

  100. krob1000 says:

    I am all for it…..if shootouts are becoming this important tehn have Price start warming up with five minutes to go. I am a huge Huet supporter but I am quite certain that that guy who went 0 for 2 on Theodore at practice would bury both his chances against Huet. He is not a shootout goalie and I say throw in Price(won’t happen but it should).

  101. joe-hab-nuno says:

    I’ve always wondered why or if any team in the league has tried that. If there is a coach out there that would pull something like that , my bet would be with Keenan.

    But seeing how weak Huet or how nervous he looks in the shootout i would like to see Carbs pull that of.

    I just don’t get it. During a game on a break awy Huet looks unbeatable, but the shooyouts come and he’s a completely different goalie.

  102. Chuck says:

    There’s no reason why Price couldn’t warm up under the stands or in the locker room. Baseball has a bullpen; there’s no reason why the Habs couldn’t have their own version either.

    A smart coach will eventually figure out that the guy making the saves in the shootout is equally as important as the shooters that he chooses.


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

  103. Hoegarden says:

    I love it. I can just picture Gaston Gingras pumping glowing pucks to Price in the coridor.

  104. Chuck says:

    I think that we’re on to something here. Give Carbo a call!


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

  105. the Maritimer says:

    This is a trap game tonight for sure. Wouldn’t surprise me if Tampa stole this one.

  106. Smart Dog says:

    Interesting. In my little very unofficial poll (n=4.5?) most people would NOT trade this bundle for Ovechkin:
    – Higgins
    – Komi
    – Plekanic

    I say that’s a no-brainer. Better a bunch of A grade players than one A+. I’m telling you to listen to Ian! Our future is bright. That we can do as well as we are with so many rookies says a lot about our calibre. And the three guys above – they just getting STARTED being the players they will be. I’m not one for false optimism. I think we have a winner if we hold the fort for a year or two.

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

  107. Naila Jinnah says:

    I always thought we’d go all the way in 2009. Along with the All-Star game, and the Draft… awesome.

  108. Habs_008 says:

    I agree, it would be tough to let those 3 players go for Oveckin. I also like where we are headed. I think when Gainey took over he had a plan to bring the cup home for the 100th anv, but it looks like we are still a year or two away from contention. Slowly this team will make noise, be Patient everyone.

  109. Hoegarden says:

    Smart Dog,
    had to step out for a bit; Your trade suggestion was like saying “would you trade your Jack, Queen and King for an Ace” ? I would have said yes, if you included Washington’s first round picks for the next two years with OV. Then it’s a 3 for 3 trade with the responsibility for Timmins and his scouts to find the other two jewels. Anyways, our Habs are getting very close to finally getting it’s long overdue respect so why mess with it.

    In any case, I would not be surprised if OV would pull a Shanahan on us and opt for the Big Apple and everyting else that comes with. If I were in his shoes I would want out of D.C. when the opportunity comes up .This team is not going anywhere for the next few years. Other than Semin and Green they don’t have much. So, you can all picture him in a Rangers uniform soon.

  110. N.B.habs fan says:

    Good point CHUCK ,we cant just blame the goalies on the shootout we have to score too.We will win tonight 5-2 .

  111. Habs-Kat says:

    Thats what I really believe in. A good team shouldn’t let the fate of the game fall to the shootout so often.

  112. Chuck says:

    As I say, screw the goaltender’s pride, (he’s a professional, he should be able to deal with it) and put in the best guy for the job… and give yourself the best shot at getting that extra point!

    If it was up to me, there would be two things that Huet wouldn’t see for the rest of the year:

    A) The Laffs, and B) Ice time after overtime.


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

  113. Smart Dog says:

    I agree. Imagine how many points we’d have if we A) didn’t give up so many 3rd period leads and B) were strong in the shoot-out! We’d be the talk of the league – it would be those Red Wings, Senators, and Habs.

    I think the mental game shows in that we end up in shoot-outs.. and lose them. I also think that shows how talented we are. And even better – that we seem to be getting a handle on those lapses. We’ll know soon enough.

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

  114. N.B.habs fan says:

    Smart dog I have to agree with you on keeping the young guns.Ian and I remember the young guys called up from Fredericton the last time they won the cup.

  115. REB says:

    Re: Newfoundland Dog wrote “What could we get for Yupee? Maybe some hot Cheerleaders…”

    I live in Raleigh, NC, and I’d much rather have the cheerleaders than Youpi/Yupee (however you want to spell it.

    Here’s what the Canes have…

  116. Habs_008 says:

    e le but!

  117. Smart Dog says:

    That would be beautiful. Seems a little early but even to be a contender and be in a few rounds would be awesome!

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

  118. Habs_008 says:

    The last time i was at a habs game in MTL they had girls too, sorta like cheerleaders, are they not there anymore? I was up by the nose bleeds.

  119. Chuck says:

    You’re proboaly thinking of the Energie Cardio girls. They only come out once during the game… kind of like their equivalent of the 7th inning stretch. And they’re a lot hotter that the Canes’ girls, too!

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

  120. RH says:

    How come no one ever talks about Kovalchuk coming to the Habs. If we’re talking fantasy here, this guy can skate, shoot, score AND can throw a mean body check when he’s pissed off. He’s gotten into a couple of fights too hasn’t he? Sucks that I didn’t pick him in my hockey pool. He’ll be close to 60 goals for sure, barring injury.

  121. krob1000 says:

    I wanted him all summer and everyone talked about how he was troubled and was benched during the playoffs for his lack of defensive play. There were regulars on this site saying he was not worth trading for and he may have actually been available while they were mire in their terrible start ( I don’t know but even television analysts were tossing around the idea). I have always maintained that Kovalchuk is the purest goal scorer in the league. I see him and Ovechkin as almost identical in talent, size, speed, skill, style, you name it.

    He is rumoured to be a little less team oriented than the other guys but who knows what is true and what isn’t. I would break the bank for him too. He is not one of my top four but he is definitely a superstar and gamebreaker. I can’t see him and Carbo meshing though and I wonder how he would hold up to the fame. I know Ovechkin loves it. That being said if he was available….in a slightly sloer heartbeat than the other guys I would do it too.

  122. Scotty90 says:

    I have him in my pool :)

  123. Mike T says:

    hopefully we continue our domination…kari ramo has been playing pretty well for Tampa, but if the lowly leafs could beat him, surely we’re en route to a blowout haha.

    hopefully AKstits Pleks and Kovy continue their domination…i’d like to see them get the majority of the ice time as line #1 like last game. chances are with koivu back, it wont happen.

    go habs

  124. Habs_008 says:

    Yes they were, maybe its bc’s french girls are just hotter to me, being from Southern Ontario I havnet met a lot of them, but the ones i have met were very very HOT!

  125. bidds55 says:

    I would take Ovechkin over Kovalchuk all day long. They are both very exciting talents, and either one would be welcome in montreal, but if we had to give up the same in a trade, or pay the same money, I want Ovechkin.

  126. krob1000 says:

    Me too!!!

  127. G-Man says:

    His attitude is the big difference, and that’s saying a lot!


  128. rogus says:

    Ovechkin also loves the media…

  129. Smart Dog says:

    I guess it’s true – you DO never go back!

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

  130. Chuck says:

    She’s the one on human growth hormone. I’d drug test her.


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

  131. Hoegarden says:

    Tampa and the future….?
    Go to their web site and look at these names;
    Sheldon Keefe, Nikita Alexeev, Alexander Svitov, Adam Henrich, Mike Egener, Andy Rogers, Vladimir Mihalik et Riku Helenius.
    Any of them ring a bell ? They are Tampa Bay’s last 8 first round picks and not one of them is in the NHL. This Svitov guy was picked
    third overall, ahead of Komi and Hemsky in Edmonton. Some bloggers bring up the poor years where the Habs came up with nothing more
    than a name who was soon forgotten. Looks like we’re not alone are we ?
    So, since Vinnie and Richards were selected in 98, no one has made the grade in Tampa via the draft, farm and finally the NHL.
    Vinnie leads the NHL in scoring but his team is dead last. Richards is a whopping -23, with 3 assists in the last 8 games.
    Do I hear 200 millions for this team ??

  132. Bouleau noir says:

    ” There are many ways to make a good cake “.
    Bob Gainey.

    That is true but when you think ” Cup Contender ” and ” NewNHL ” a team MUST have superior scoring hability.

    As I see it, any well balance teams ( with no glaring weakness ) owning a strong scoring profile during the regulard season have true potentiel for the Cup.

    Carolina and Anahein who were the two Cup winners since the advent of the NewNHL have had both a great scoring profile and no apparent weakness elsewhere.

    Both had great scoring depth ( numerous 20+ scorers ) which included a single 40+ scorer for ANA and two for CAR.

    Qualifying teams that shows the better scoring stats at the end of a season will always have the better chances,… its not important for a team to have stars
    or wether they have 1, two or no 40+ goal scorers in their roster……as long as the team has showned great scoring hability during the season (6th or higher in total goal scored) they will be in a good position to fight for the cup.

  133. krob1000 says:

    If you are referring to me I was simply pointing out the fact that draft picks are crap shoots and to lose four for Ovechkin would be a steal. Again this may not be directed at me but if it is I also pointed out in the same blog today how Detroit has only had four first round picks since 1996 and only Kronwall is any good and even he is nothing special. ARen’t they terrible.

    People get all up in arms about losing draft picks and I don’t think thet are aware of how many don’t pan out. Players drafted outside of the top blue chip prospects are a crap shoot …plain and simple. If you can trade for a proven superstar at the cost of a group of lottery tickets …you do it. Even if you lost … wouldn’t lose by much.

  134. krob1000 says:

    Selanne is a superstar and he was closer to 50 than 40 goals. They also had a superstar named Pronger and another named Niedermayer. If we can have two of the three best defenseman in the league and only one 48 goal scorer than I would be happy too.

    Carolina had Eric Staal playing like a superstar at the time he scored 100 points that year and scored 45 goals.

    Bottom line …..Every team that has won the cup has had a superstar as far back as you can go and know who the players are. The closest is the 86 and 93 Habs and the Devils where the teams were led by their superstar goalies (arguably the two best of all time).

  135. Roy-Rules says:

    In 2006, Edmonton was one game away from the cup. They did not have any 48 goal scorer, their superstars were Ryan Smyth and Pronger, and they didn’t have a superstar goalie in Roloson either. Yet they still came close to winning the cup.
    You don’t need a superstar, you need consistent playing with everyone showing up, we have shown instances where we have completely dominated teams, if we play with that consistency, we have a chance of winning the cup.

  136. J.T. says:

    Gainey’s right…but it’s a lot harder to make a good cake without eggs, flour and sugar. You have to have the basics if you’re going to bake. And, sure, you can use ground nuts for the flour, or applesauce for the sugar…but like I said, it’s harder and the cake isn’t as tasty most of the time.

  137. Hoegarden says:

    Not pointed in any way towards anyone. I would say so if I did.
    Anyways, was just trying to see what’s been happening to Tampa in recent times and pass it on for info only. Obviously their scouts did not bring the goods home.
    Speaking of blue chipper, my all time favorite for the Habs is Robin Sadler, picked 9th overall in 75. Two weeks later (or so) he decided that a career as a fireman in Vancouver was his true calling. First rounders can be a real puzzle.

  138. krob1000 says:

    For all I know next year one of our young guns will emerge as the superstar I am talking about and I get the impression people are taking this the wrong way. Please find me one team that has won without a superstar. I love the job Gainey has done and we started out talking about a fantasy world stab at Ovechkin and I still say it would be silly not to go for it given our teams current stage in its growth.

    Draft picks are draft picks …they are not players. Komisarek was our highest draft pick since Petr Svoboda. Are those the two best talents we have developed. Outside the top few prospects nobody really knows what they are getting. If you sign a superstar who is proven for draft picks (and the timing is right in your organizations growth cycle …like Montreal or Chicago… do it).

  139. krob1000 says:

    They had Pronger …..not a superstar???

  140. krob1000 says:

    Just find me a cup winner EVER and I will show you a superstar. Please someone try and find one…..Carolina was close because Staal seems to be having growing pains but the year they won he was unstoppable.

  141. Smart Dog says:

    Of course – but no-one gives away a Superstar for just draft picks. End of story. This draft pick argument is irritating. Who are you arguing with? Everyone agrees. What we said is you wouldn’t trade 3 very strong looking prospects in Higgins, Komisaurus, and the Mekanic. Do you disagree? Would you rather pay 10-11 mil to Ov. than split it among these 3?

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

  142. Smart Dog says:

    On strong teams Superstars just emerge. Not all of them show up with fanfare like Crosby and Ovechkin. On our team it could be Price, K1 or K2, the Mekanic, Higgins – etc. I would be surprised if one or two of those guys doesn’t reach star status in a couple of years. Very surprised.

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

  143. krob1000 says:

    It all started with draft picks and then people made the jump to our prospects. The league gives away your draft picks if you sign a teams RFA as compensation. Oh and BTW I am arguing with anyone who doesn’t see things my way… people should know that buy now LOL.

    As for the ten Million over those three ……not hose three but there are a lot of combinations of our prospects not named Plekanec or Higgins that I would. Besides there has been nothing else going on here all day. I’ll gladly talk about something else if someone else will talk about something else…..well not today as I am leaving shortly….bu anyways it did kill the day. Now we only have a little while to go until a puck is dropped.

  144. fuhgawz says:

    so how about these three guys for Ovechkin
    1) Kovalev (my fav player but age is getting there)
    2) Locke
    3) D’Agostini

  145. Bill H says:

    For those 3 players, Ovechkin would be the deal/steal of the century. #1 is at the end of a career and years of coasting lowers his value. #2 and #3 are both unproven at the NHL level. That’s not offering much to Washington to do the deal. Throw in another player, like one of the Kostitsyns and I think you’d still be short of a deal, but considerably closer.

  146. Smart Dog says:

    That’s a trade I would do in a heartbeat. Kovalev looks like he has some spark and a couple of years left but from a long term vision and given his inconsistent play recently, I would certainly include him in a trade. The other two guys are potential NHL’ers but either might never make it.

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

  147. Smart Dog says:

    My thoughts exactly. I think if you threw in Higgins you might make that work, even then they’d probably toss you some lifetime minor leaguer back and ask for a draft pick or two.
    Be happy! At least the FUTURE looks bright!
    Plekanec, Higgins, Komi, Chips, Lapierre, O’Byrne, K1 &K2, Price

  148. Smart Dog says:

    But your question begs the answer (and I know about begging!). It’s like saying, find me one Championship team with no champions. Obviously for a team to win the Stanely cup some Superstar has to emerge – if there isn’t one to begin with it creates one.

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

  149. Smart Dog says:

    Fair enough. So who WOULD you trade? And don’t say Breezer, Slowinski, and Pokey Reddick.

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

  150. 24 Cups says:

    I agree with what Krob is saying. We can spend all night defining what a superstar is but for me it’s a forward who scores more than 40 goals on a yearly basis and comes to play when the playoff series is on the line. He scores when his team needs it the most. I also feel that the team would need a stud defenseman who can log a lot of minutes and excel at playing both ways. Most importantly, the team needs a goaltender who can play great for four series (over 20 games) and make the kind of saves that steals a game or a series for his team when maybe they didn’t deserve to win it. Markov and Price have the ability to fit the bill. Right now, we have no forward who can do that, whether he be an experienced player or a young hotshot. Gainey’s legacy will be defined by his ability to bring the third piece of the puzzle to Montreal.

    The Original 24 Cups

  151. Chuck says:

    If we’d do it in a heartbeat then chances are that the deal would be too good to be true, and thus have no chance of the other team accepting it, I’m afraid. Too bad Mike Milbury wasn’t their GM…


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

  152. TommyB says:

    True enough that a superstar may be needed, or might have to be created or “born”, so to speak. But…that superstar does not necessarily have to be a 40-50 goal scorer….it could be a goaltender (’93 should ring a bell).

  153. linp says:

    With due respect to Ian and Krob, the stats clearly shows that our current team is missing a “superstar” to provide confidence and to regain the momentum when we are down by a goal or when we are trying to protect a one goal lead. I like our youngsters but we still need some help to play more consistent, a player who can carry the play when the team is in trouble.

  154. Smart Dog says:

    I’m not sure I disagree with you… but you can’t say the stats say that’s why we suck when we suck. That’s your interpretation. Ottawa sucks sometimes – and they have 3 superstars.

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

  155. Smart Dog says:

    Good start to the game! Everyone came to play.

    Dear God,

    Please give Michael Ryder a goal, but ONLY if he back-checks. I am REALLY tired of him losing the puck and then standing watching it drift away while other Habs try to get it back.

    Thank you!

    PS: And keep those newfs off my back please – I’m just saying what I see. Thanks.

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

  156. Smart Dog says:

    Let me be the first to say it: SMART PLAY BY RYDER!!!

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

  157. Joe_Habs says:

    Good First 20 Mins.

  158. Smart Dog says:

    You said it.

    Great play by Chipchura. Does he get power play time? He should. Beautiful pass by Koivu to Higgins… classic Koivu. K1 is playing hard too.

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

  159. The Teacher says:

    Awww, how nice to hear 😛

  160. The Teacher says:

    BTW, he has back-checked all year. Please watch him….Because I have been and that is what impresses me about him this year. fine, he’s not scoring, pick on him for that, but don’t make up things.

    I hated him last year because he didn’t back-check or couldn’t get the puck out of the zone.

    Definitely not this year.

  161. Bill H says:

    Ryder is on fire with 2 pts in 3 games! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) :-)

  162. The Teacher says:

    Hey Smart dog,

    Still taking bets on whether Ryder will hit double digits?

  163. Joe_Habs says:

    Right on time ryder. that should make some people lay off you for a while.

  164. Bill H says:

    Wow! Smart Dog has a direct line to God. Ryder must have been backchecking. Well, after all, what is God but dog spelled backwards. I can say now that Ryder is hot and my tongue is nowhere near my check. 3 pts in 3 games. I’m happy for him (and the Habs…they need him).

  165. Smart Dog says:

    Let’s hope he keeps it up!

    Teach, I guess you said it – I’m so used to Ryder not back-checking that when he doesn’t do it I see it….. early in the first period behind the TB net he lost the puck and watched. Just that one time was enough. Anyway, he played better and God answered my prayer.. what can I say. Dogliness is next to Godliness!

    Okay God, how about a goal for Chipchura. He deserves it!

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

  166. Smart Dog says:

    I hope I’m wrong and he’s back, but yeah, I’d still take the bet that he doesn’t hit 10 – in a Habs uniform at least. 😉

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

  167. LTHF says:

    Some WHY points: why was latendresse out on one pp and ryder on the bench and why was latendresse out instead of Lapierre on the that line on the tying goal (3rd) and another hooking penalty by TK –180 feet away from his goal.

  168. Ed says:

    Cleanliness is next to Godliness.

  169. Bill H says:

    Oh dear, we will never hear the end of this now from Smart Dog. Chipchura scores. But hey, I’m not complaining. Maybe this team is starting to develop a little bit of character after all.

  170. The Teacher says:

    That’s number 6 now smart dog? where do I sign up for the bet?

    Oh come on Smart dog! where do I sign up?

  171. Smart Dog says:

    Be nice to me Teach. I asked God for a goal for Ryder and he got one. Then I asked for one for Chipchura – and he got one. I could have you smited!

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

  172. Ed says:

    Can I sign up for the bet too Smart Dog? Why don’t you post in Mike Boone’s game thread, & where is your compatriot, TradeRyder, tonight?

  173. Ed says:

    You asked God for a goal, and he got one. Who gave him the second goal? Oh, that’s right, it was Higgins.

  174. LTHF says:

    Good game for the Habs, thought the kids played well for the most part. Good game for Ryder, 3 pt night despite that there were only 3 forwards with less ice time. Picked as 3rd star by RDS

  175. G-Man says:

    Barring those 1st period miracles (seeing by this thread that Ryder scored because of prayer and not because of years spent developing a snap shot), Huet looked like he was fighting the puck all night. He was invisible on Lecavalier’s goal and was completely out of position for that 3rd one. Glad the young guns like AK46 turned on the afterburners in the 3rd and put the game out of reach.
    Glad to see Tortarella overplaying his stars past the point of exhaustion night after night. And people think Carbo is stupid?


  176. Smart Dog says:

    At least it worked. Koivu tried over and over…

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

  177. Da Hema says:

    Why boo Lecavalier in the manner the fans did at the Bell Centre? He isn’t Briere….

    Nice to see Ryder get some points. They need him to get going. The Boys showed character tonight.
    “The crowd doesn’t give a crap as long as you bring the money in.”
    –Guy Lafleur

  178. linp says:

    Kovy played like a “superstar” for our team tonight. He has created many PP for us. He skated so well with the puck.

  179. Smart Dog says:

    Huet was fighting the puck all night? Huh? I saw a lot of great glove saves – he robbed someone in close in the 3rd.

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

  180. PGHABS says:

    i agree, tortorella is overplaying his stars…. richards and lecavalier spend half the game on the ice…i didn’t know chris gratton was so bad… if he actually tried to play to create a third line, maybe his team wouldn’t be so bad

  181. HAB-PROFESSOR says:


    It is good for RYDER but GREAT FOR THE HABS…RYDER IS BACK, and RYDER should buy HIGS lunch tomorrow.

    Vintage RYDER lite the lamp going down the left side with a Vintage RYDER SHOT that went THROUGH the glove of Ramos and found the long forgotten by many RYDER wagon jumpers back of the net. Vintage RYDER slid a kovaleusque pass across the crease to…KOVALEV the MIGHTY…and Vintage RYDER FLYING down the wing with HIGS in perfect RYDER postition for the RYDER snipe tape to tape RYDER patented tap in to the amazement of the long forgotten by many RYDER wagon jumpers back of the net again!


    ONLY THOSE…through THICK and THIN who had the forsight and perseverance to see the TALENT in RYDER are now AVENGED.

    Glad for RYDER and the HABS, and glad I got RYDER out of my system…now on to defending and projecting POSITIVE COMMENTS onto the next UNDESERVING HAB that is being unjustly setup for TRADE by the media and fan base.

    NO ROOM FOR NEGATIVES when we play strong and win.

    Nothing in life is linear…not a season, not a game, not even a shift. The Habs may have had a couple of slipups but they stayed focused and moved forward with STRENGTH.

    1. Delenda Est Torontium….
    2. your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”

  182. Ed says:

    Smart Dog says he prayed to God for a goal for Ryder, and he got one. Could someone help me, as I can’t find God’s name on the score sheet. If Smart Dog, who thinks he is all knowing, says God had a hand in one of Ryder’s goals, then it must be so.

  183. PGHABS says:

    i’ll take that bet as well…

  184. habitual says:

    Given that Ryder is a Newfoundlander, maybe your newfound relationship with him means Dogliness is next to Codliness.

  185. T-roy West says:

    I was watching the game tonight and going through possible line combinations and I had to stop around twenty when I realized that most of the players on this team are interchangeable. Very interesting Carbo! At one point Higgins was with Chipchura, then Chipchura was with S. Kostitsyn. Can we please see all three together please, that would make me very happy! The next time I see the lineup for a game, I won’t pay to much attention to it because it will probably change after one period or less. Not that I’m complaining because I can see the plan unfolding.

  186. The Teacher says:

    I definitely don’t wanna see people jumping back on the bandwago, you people know who you are.


    I LOVE IT!

  187. PGHABS says:

    i agree, just a matter of time beofre ryder busted out. i hope he continues his streak… at times in seasons past, ryder would get hot and carry the whole team on his back, and last season he had twenty gols in the second half. but he’s still trade bait.

    and the rocket was an amazing movie

  188. Ed says:

    The caption for the picture above says Ryder celebrates one of his two goals with Kovalev, but he is actually celebrating Kovalev’s first period PP goal.

  189. T-roy West says:

    I don’t think they were booing, it was more like they were oohing, as in ooh awe!!! Sign of respect.

  190. Bill H says:

    If Smart Dog was as smart as he thinks he is, he’d wear the arms on his glasses on top of his ears like everyone else, not below his ears. 😉

  191. Hoegarden says:

    I’ll bet Smart Dog does not take any bets….just kidding.

    What to do when the injured veterans are back ??
    Those lines should definitely stay put for at least 10 games or so.

    Torts should be out of a job soon.

  192. Ed says:

    With Montreal’s problems winning face offs, Koivu was amazing tonight going 14-5 for 74%. He also played 18:22. That means the flu is now gone forever.

  193. Smart Dog says:

    They must have fixed the caption. It’s right now. The beauty of the Internet!
    Be happy! At least the FUTURE looks bright!
    Plekanec, Higgins, Komi, Chips, Lapierre, O’Byrne, K1 &K2, Price

  194. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    RYDER will REPEAT…and you have to credit HIGS equally for the resurgence.

    as for ‘trade bait’…you have to be VERY CAREFUL with trades…BAD CHEMISTRY can destroy a team.

    The only player I would like to see become a HAB is LECAV…and deep down inside he knows it, and is guilty in his heart for not embracing the organization which he worships. But we cannot give up heavy assets for him, he has to become who he really is ( a CANADIEN) and join for less money and not ruin our team financially or by giving up players…he will come as an unrestricted free agent and we will win the CUP.

    The ROCKET is the greatest HOCKEY MOVIE EVER…the politics and the DRIVE of MAURICE is an inspiration. Mr IRVINS coaching was BRILLIANT…he lit a FIRE UNDER A MAN and made him a CHAMPION.

    1. Delenda Est Torontium….
    2. your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”

  195. Smart Dog says:

    Ruff. And ruff.

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

  196. Dave Stubbs says:

    Ed rules. Good catch, Ed. I fixed the caption almost before it made it out into cyberspace. In my frantic rush to upload Carbo audio, I messed that up.

    Dave Stubbs

    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette


  197. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    I don’t think we will see them…they enjoy bashing too much to give it up….

    1. Delenda Est Torontium….
    2. your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”

  198. Smart Dog says:

    You don’t have to worry about me! I bet it’s at least 5 games before he scores again. Ten bucks – any takers?

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

  199. Smart Dog says:

    Got 10 bucks to lose? See below….
    Be happy! At least the FUTURE looks bright!
    Plekanec, Higgins, Komi, Chips, Lapierre, O’Byrne, K1 &K2, Price

  200. Ed says:

    Excellent point. I had not noticed that. What keeps those glasses up on his head? Is it because he really thinks he is smarter than every one else, & his head is swollen as a result? Nah!

  201. CHsam says:

    Its so great to see him being a mentor to the youngs guns. You can tell he’s thoroughly enjoying that position and the young guys look up to him. I love it when he weaves the puck around and starts a fast play. Hats off to l’Artiste!!!

  202. Ed says:

    That’s okay Dave. I knew it would be fixed soon. I don’t know how you keep up with the game, posting, monitoring comments, etc. Keep up the good work. We Hab fans appreciate it.

  203. Dave Stubbs says:

    Hat’s off to Kevin tonight for jumping in feet-first. I was interviewing an NHL legend during tonight’s game – it’s a surprise for next week – but Kev and I tag-teamed at the end.

    Monitoring comments? You mean, you think we read you guys?! Just kidding, you’re all the best part of this site!

    Dave Stubbs

    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette


  204. The Teacher says:

    Ahh Dave, thanks, but I think we can all agree that you, mike, Kevin and Dru are :)


    It’s more like 4-5 points in three games

  206. Ed says:

    Agreed, plus Pat. Now we have to wait to see who the NHL legend is. Dave is always planning ahead.

  207. The Teacher says:

    Oh come on, If I recall Kostops was instrumental in getting the penalty that led to our first PP goal?

  208. TradeRyder says:

    Gimme a break. I can’t beat up on Ryder, now people are defending Kostopoulos! lol

    I musta missed that play. I do like Kostopolous but admit it, more than any other hab, he’s likely to take a bone-headed penalty at the wrong time.

    Let the kids play… let the non-performers watch or walk.

  209. downeast hab says:

    Ha Ha!! If my memory serves me correctly. someone(we know,but wont say} put a post on the other day, saying that if Ryder had two or three points,they would shut up for a while. He must have kept his word, because there are no posts from him tonight. ALAS. Give Ryder the proper icetime,and you WILL see results.

  210. Ed says:

    Sorry. Double post.

  211. Ed says:

    Yes, & Ryder only played 12:46 tonight, & only played 1:13 on the PP. He never even got on the PP after Kovalev’s PP goal in the first.

  212. TradeRyder says:

    Like I said – I’m shuttin’ up! Good game by Ryder. I’ll be happy if he keeps it up. I won’t say more.

    Great game by Chips too… and Higgy played strong all night. Wasn’t even selected a star with 3 points. Shocking.

    The Hammer was solid, K1 driving all night for goals… didn’t see much of K2. Koivu was vintage Koivu – GREAT pass to Higgy.

    Gotta say I like Kostopoulos at the beginning of the year but if there’s a guy who’s gonna take a bone-headed penalty just when you don’t need one it’s him. What can we call him Kerplunkoulos?

    Huet seems to be getting his fighting form back. I know he wasn’t perfect but he made some fantastic saves and seemed to really want it – I loved that Hasak sprawl in the first period! Love it! When your goalie plays like that, the players want to protect him.

    Let the kids play… let the non-performers watch or walk.

  213. mjames says:

    If Ryder continues his recovery combined with the continued offensive development of the two K’s, Higgins, Tenders and Pleks we could have a very solid team.I think the youngsters are gaining valuable experience and certainly not hurting the team. I would like Carbo to continue to play this line-up. His team is stronger with the youngsters.


  214. The Teacher says:

    Thanks dude.

  215. mjames says:

    I do not see what all the fuss is about. He sounds disappointed but that is all. I agree the coach should have shown him some respect and told him and not some player. Until these coaches learn how to treat people they will never get the max out of their teams.


  216. The Teacher says:

    Someone mentioned he didn’t exactly come across as a team player. Tell me Timo, WHAT did he say?

  217. TradeRyder says:

    Thanks. I think.

    And I for one have always been a Huet supporter. It’s a no-brainer – even if he has an off game here and there, the guys numbers just show he’s dynamite. Other teams hate the guy, he’s so technically solid, and when he’s on, so quick. Huet Rocks!! I hope we keep him another year, though I think its time to let Price see some rubber. He looks lonely over there and though Huet won, it seems a break would do him good.

    Let the kids play… let the non-performers watch or walk.

  218. The Teacher says:

    I agree, he’s a good guy, might not like Ryder all that much, but he made his point that he thinks Ryder’s not right for OUR team.


    RYDER was on fire tonight baby. 2 goals and an assist. Set up several other plays as well.

    RYDER is back baby. He’s back. RYDER got his confidence back.

    Other than Huet letting in 2 soft goals it was a good game. Yes, Huet stopped some good shots as well.

    Way to Go RYDER…………

    Way to go HABS………..

    The Habs win. The Laffs loose. Tucker gets his @ss kicked. What a Great night.

  220. TradeRyder says:

    For once we agree!!

    On that last part anyway… and if Ryder is back that would be just fine with me. Say another prayer Smart Dog!

    Let the kids play… let the non-performers watch or walk.

  221. linp says:

    I hope Carbo finally realizes that there is a smarter way of playing the 3rd period.

  222. The Teacher says:

    Ahahaha I didn’t expect anything less. No comment on the soft goal except to say he can be forgiven those seeing as how he keeps us in the game early on many many nights.

  223. TradeRyder says:

    Timo, I agree with you Huet lets in soft goals.

    But the weirdest thing about him is that if he DIDN’T let in any soft goals he’d have a .99 save percentage. Which is why I believe in him. The guy has the potential to dominate the league. That – plus regardless of what you see from the stands his save percentage is league-leading now. Hard to argue with that…. though you’ll try I’m sure!

    Let the kids play… let the non-performers watch or walk.

  224. TradeRyder says:

    Hey Timo. Huet is the best goalie that ever wore the bleu-blanc-rouge! And the Maple Leafs really aren’t bad guys either… don’t you agree?

    Let the kids play… let the non-performers watch or walk.

  225. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I nominate you already for Prime Minister.

  226. Sulemaan says:

    It seems like A. Kostitsyn really has turned it on recently. His goal tonight was sweet. 10th goal of the season isn’t too bad at the halfway mark.

    S. Kostitsyn better get some points on the board like his big brother. Otherwise with all the players returning from injuries right around the corner or he’ll be on a bus back to Hamilton.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s very talented and has a great future but with Smolinski, Begin coming back and the fact Carbo likes to play 8 defensemen (plus O’Byrne) that doesn’t leave much room. The Habs are not going to send Smolinski to Hamilton as he’d have to clear waivers and he has a no-trade clause. Same thing with Begin but he doesn’t have a no-trade clause per se.

  227. HAB-PROFESSOR says:


    and you want to trade THAT WEAPON????????

    ARE YOU CRAZY??…that is our POWER FORWARD!

    1. Delenda Est Torontium….
    2. your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”

  228. Dave Stubbs says:

    Better than the photo at the top of this post, look at the one at the bottom.

    Dave Stubbs

    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette


  229. TradeRyder says:

    Well, um… not to be unkind, but how about we wait til he hits at least 9 or 10 goals on the season before we start calling him a ‘weapon’… or a POWER FORWARD…

    Let the kids play… let the non-performers watch or walk.

  230. Sulemaan says:

    Hey Prof (hand raised),

    I think Ryder is playing well but it might be a bit of a stretch to call him a power forward. I don’t put him in the same category as Cam Neely, John Ferguson, Todd Bertuzzi/Keith Tkachuk/Scott Mellanby of old. 😉

  231. Sulemaan says:

    I agree with you but my concern is the roster limit – i believe it’s 23 players if they are all healthy. And with Brisebois, Smolinski, O’Byrne and Begin back that will make 24 with S. Kostitsyn. Unless of course they get rid of Patrice…

  232. TradeRyder says:

    Can you buy out a contract mid-season (Breezer, Slowinski?)
    Let the kids play… let the non-performers watch or walk.

  233. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    don’t worry about that…now is a time to REJOICE!


    (and Carb said those players are still injured even if they think they are ready, Carb told them, “NO, you are injured for another 2-4 weeks”.
    1. Delenda Est Torontium….
    2. your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”

  234. linp says:

    I fully agree that Breezer and Slowinski should only be spare parts in case someone is injured and we need temporary substitute.

  235. nightmare_49 says:

    Why you people worry so much about sending someone down to the Dawgs is beyond me. Right now i do not see anybody taking Garth Murray’s seat in the stands or the empty seat beside him and by the time the injured players come back many things can happen (injuries, sickness etc.). Take a pill and play it game to game for this month and let things work out as they will and i have trust in Gainey so we won’t have to put up with crazy posts buying out everybody etc. and have you checked out the depth chart on “D” and the only players to fill in are the players this site loves to crap on and Hamilton is bare or not ready. Breezer stays in reserve and don’t forget the trade deadline next month , you’ll probably have a roster cardio at that time and now i’ll leave the sandbox for the kid’s.

  236. 24 Cups says:

    Good one Captain Cournoyer!

    The Original 24 Cups

  237. Sulemaan says:

    I don’t consider it ‘worry’ but simply a question about the future because I’d like to see the team line-up stay as is, injuries aside. That will have to be re-considered when the injured players get back to the lineup.

    May I ask who have I suggested buying out besides Brisebois? How does that constitute ‘everybody’?

    With regards to the depth chart of defence, we right now have 10 players capable of playing defence on the Montreal roster right now. Usually teams carry 8 defensemen at most. If you also include Carle, Cote and Biron in Hamilton that makes another 3. So we have a total 13 players capable of playing defence in the NHL to one degree or another. Still don’t think that’s enough to get rid of Brisebois?

    Hamilton also has enough players so I don’t agree with you where you said it is bare or not ready. Players like D’Agostini, Milroy, Ferland and Locke could still be called up.

    You are right in that there may be some moves prior to the trade deadline. My view is as long as they keep the youth then make the right moves as I have no doubt Bob Gainey will being an astitute GM.

    Lastly, I don’t mind if you disagree with me nightmare_49 but do you think comments about having a roster cardio or kids being in a sandbox are really necessary?

  238. nightmare_49 says:

    Where do i begin: First of all D’Agostini,Milroy,etc. are forwards not “D”men and our fill ins on “D” as of now are Dandy & Breezer and in Hamilton now it’s Carle (who i like) is just not ready defensively and Cote & Biron are to slow for the new NHL so why buyout Breezer. If we come down with multiple “D” injuries he will be needed remember Buffalo two years ago in the finals. Other posters had mentioned buying out Smolinski and Begin not you, but if we make the playoffs experience is very important as Carolina proved. Depth and versatility are key to this teams success so why throw it away. I was not refering to you in the sandbox and i speak my mind as i am pissed off with navigating so many childish posts in the afternoon and i do think it’s necessary as other’s have noted. Sorry if you took it the wrong way.

  239. Sulemaan says:

    Nigthmare – I realize that D’Agostini, Milroy are not forwards but I thought you were saying there is no depth on the farm. Hence their names. To my earlier point, with 10 NHL capable defensemen, I think we have enough on hand. Come next year with players like Fischer, McDonough, Subban, Valentenko and Yemelin we will have even more depth on defense.

    You do raise a good point about Buffalo (and Caroline) so perhaps it’s worth keeping him if he’s simply used as insurance. I just don’t want to see him play at the expense of a Georges or O’Byrne. I appreciate the clarification.

    At the end of the day, my concern is that while I agree with you that we need leadership, we find a balance and not sacrifice our youth or their development. It’s the only way we move forward as a franchise.

    Nothing taken the wrong way. I appreciate good discussion/debate. We’re all fans on the same team. We all want the same thing…#25 and more.

  240. nightmare_49 says:

    Understood and i’m glad we are on the same page and don’t worry about any of our young players being sent down in Febuary as it would be only temperary and a business decision as all the young players are in our future plans. Most NHL teams bring up and send young players down many many times a year but our management is reluctant to do this and i think it has to do with developement and a very stuborn and arrogant coach whose still learning. Phase #2 will start after the deadline in Febuary and Phase #3 if we make the playoffs. We will need all our artillery then. The march for 25.

  241. TradeRyder says:

    Great shot – wow! Even better that you can see the bench in the background eyeing the puck.
    Let the kids play… let the non-performers watch or walk.

  242. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    Its great photography, was it taken by Brodeurs father?

    great action shots and to see the pro’s frozen in mid-action is fantastic for the younger kids, to see the stick bent like that, the power thats going into that shot…I don’t think the wooden sticks could bend to that extent.

    1. Delenda Est Torontium….
    2. your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”

  243. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    actually they are eyening our POWER FORWARD so they too can have that SNIPER SHOT!

    1. Delenda Est Torontium….
    2. your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”

  244. Ed says:

    Thanks Dave. I now have a different background picture on my computer screen. The previous one was the overhead shot of Ryder that you had on HIO earlier in the season. My compliments to the photographer. I think this is a great picture.

  245. TradeRyder says:

    You said it soul-man!

    Let the kids play… let the non-performers watch or walk.

  246. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    I guess you forgot when CHARA backed down from him…check your notes.

    1. Delenda Est Torontium….
    2. your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”

  247. Sulemaan says:

    I don’t recall Chara backing down from Ryder (was that the 7-4 win against Boston) but even if he did back down, that doesn’t make Ryder a power-forward yet…although I’d be more than happy if he did become one.

  248. Ian G Cobb says:

    I missed this game tonight, clicked on here to see how much we won by. Looks like it was never in doubt!

    And Mr. Ryder did not score a hat trick !! trade him !

    Did Brisbois play?

  249. TradeRyder says:

    Did Breezer play?

    Did we win? Figure it from there! 😉

    Let the kids play… let the non-performers watch or walk.

  250. gfunkdoc says:

    I’m as happy as anyone to see Ryder scoring again. The last few games he’s played really well. BUT, I think it’d be wise to keep watching for at least a couple weeks before we start to write up the “Ryder for Hart Trophy” petition. It’s an 82 game season, not 3 or 4.

  251. Erik says:

    Great win Happy to see kovy and kostys woooooooooo

  252. TradeRyder says:

    Hey boys and girls – 19 goals in four games. We keep this up, we could be known as a high scoring team with a solid D and good goal-tending. You know what that would make us? A contender. I don’t want to jump the gun but it would be nice just to see a little Habs hockey this spring… knock wood.

    And for even more viewing pleasure – take a look at Tucker: lol.. a good night all around!

    Let the kids play… let the non-performers watch or walk.


    Your pic puts me in HEAT. WOOOOOFFFFFF


    Your pic puts me in HEAT. WOOOOOFFFFFF

  255. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Your thong must be getting a little tight.

  256. TradeRyder says:

    Only FOUR team (Ottawa, Caroline, Dallas, Detroit) have scored more goals than the Habs. Seriously boys and girls, if this keeps up, we could have a fighting chance at a playoff round or two. Go Habs!!!

    Let the kids play… let the non-performers watch or walk.

  257. habsgod says:


  258. Chuck says:

    Sounds like someone’s been into the wowee sauce! :)

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

  259. P St. Pierre says:

    Nice article on Alex Kovalev and his improved play this season.

  260. gfunkdoc says:

    Reasons not to get too high:

    1. Just beat the worst team in the East.
    2. Still rarely compete with elite teams (see Mtl vs Dallas, Mtl vs Detroit…you can throw in NJ, Carolina, Ottawa, etc.)
    3. Still can rarely play 60 strong minutes (what happened in the second period?!?)
    4. Without the 7 points for OT/SO losses they’d be fighting it out for 8th.
    5. I’m sure there are more.

    Despite all that, the team is definately headed in the right direction. It almost seems like it’s been that way since Gainey took over. Maybe it’s just me.

  261. Bouleau noir says:

    Surprise surprise but the CH of late could now be labelled as to be a very good scoring team.

    We averaged 2.6 goal before Sergei and Lapierre joined our team and move up to 3.8 goals per game since,… if this wasn’t enought our goal production has reached new heights since the time Carbo decided to evenly spread our offensive wealth into 3 lines 4 games ago,… since then, correct me if I am wrong but our team scored an incredible amount of goals…. 20 goals I believe… for a whooping 5 goal average for the last 4 games.

    There is no doubt that the scoring hability of our team has improved in the last three weeks over what it was prior to that point and I believe this single element to be all it was needed for our team to move up a little and start taking some some distance away from the pack.

    Carbo said tonight that he was very satisfied with his 3 offensive lines and that the stability will be a good thing for the players and for the team.

  262. P St. Pierre says:

    That is good to hear. Hopefully he keeps all those lines intact, even if they struggle slightly.

    I really believe that Montreal is starting to employ an offense similiar to Buffalo’s last season. It doesn’t matter which of the top three lines is on the ice, it has the potential to score some goals. Also, the powerplay could be a combination of any other two forwards to go along with Kovalev and Markov and Streit at the points and it seems to do well.

    I don’t mind spreading the scoring out amongst the lines. I think it only adds to the chemistry of a team and it makes for a more dangerous offense. The young players are hungry and the older players are having successful seasons (Kovalev, Koivu, Hamerlik). And although he did not factor into the scoresheet tonight, Guillaume Latendresse continues to use his body to the team’s advantage. He lead the Canadiens with 5 hits this evening. Ryder’s game has also been much improved and it was great to see him score. I hope he continues.

  263. Bouleau noir says:

    I should read some posts before posting, I almost wrote the same thing in the post above this one than what TRADERYDER talked about a few post bellow mine,.. it also made me realised by the way that I was off by one goal conscerning our total of goals scored during our last four game.

  264. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Even a pessimist like you must admit that since the new lines were put together, the team has been playing a lot better. I know that it’s only been a few games and the jury is still out, but give credit where it’s due. Your post is more appropriate on

  265. gfunkdoc says:

    I’m not being pessimistic, only realistic. You didn’t exactly offer a rebuke to any of the points I mentioned. Like I said, I think this team is headed in the right direction, quite the opposite of the Leafs right now. However, some people are saying Montreal is, or is close to being an elite team in the league, and I just don’t think that’s true. The good thing is, there are very few elite teams in the league, so I think they will make the playoffs, but they’re not going to win the stanley cup.
    At the same time, if they take a couple weeks off (and with their track record and youth that’s not exactly out of the question) they could quickly fall to 10th or 11th.
    All I’m saying is we shouldn’t get TOO excited. That’s not pessimistic, just rational.
    P.S. Starting to plan a parade after a couple wins is way more Leaf-fan-like than anything I said. Trust me, I live in Toronto.

  266. linp says:

    Hockey is a game of emotion. It is a team sport. For a long while, the team was carried only by the 2nd line. Now we have 3 offensive lines. The team has been playing with more confidence lately. If Kovy continues to lead our youngsters, the team will get even better. It is time for the team and the fans to enjoy the ride. Leave your “rational” for the laffs.


    Well Boys & Girls. The season is half over. We have 41 games left. We are holding our own right now. If we want to go to the dance we need some good 4-5 game winning streaks. None of this win one lose two. Win two lose one. We need for all of our guys to step it up and bring it.

    In the “New NHL” we will need at least 96 points to make the dance.

    Come on HABS lets GO BOYS……….


    Huet was 80% to blame for that. Two very weak goals. He did not even flinch for the Lacavs goal………..

  269. TradeRyder says:


    And you’re right. And even though it was one of the worst teams in the league, to see us score six goals and 19 in four games makes me a little giddy.

    Let the kids play… let the non-performers watch or walk.

  270. Infanteer says:

    Can someone please fire Helen Keller from her current position as “Director of 3 Stars Selection” at the Bell Center?

    She gave Kovalev the 1st star last night. Kovalev played a fine game, even scored a goal. He was also fun to watch, with his dipsy-doodling puck handling, and vision that even Salvador Dali would admire.

    He did however take silly penalties (one silly as in dumb, one silly because Ms Keller must have also filled in for the refs), and was not, in my modest estimation, the first star.

    Micheal Ryder. 2 goals, and a nice assist (setting up, coincidentally, one Mr. Kovalev). Third star? I think not.

  271. Ed says:

    I see, in Red Fisher’s article in today’s Gazette, that the Gazette’s 3 stars are Michael Ryder, Chris Higgins and Vaclav Prospal.

  272. Infanteer says:

    Oh, and as a p.s. to my last,

    Last night’s Bell Center stars complete were:

    1. Kovalev
    2. Kostitsyn (a)
    3. Ryder

    In other words, our friend Higgins, who tallied 3 pts and showed some incredible teamsmanship in handing Ryder his 2nd goal on a silevr platter, gets nothing.

  273. 24 Cups says:

    Milt Dunnell, legendary sports writer for The Toronto Star, passed away peacefully in his sleep last night at the age of 102. Dave, I realize that this is a Habs site but I think it would be great if you could post something in the future acknowledging this man’s contributions to the world of sports wiriting. Gone, but not forgoten.

    The Original 24 Cups

  274. 24 Cups says:

    There is another way to view point #4. Three of those seven OT/SO losses could easily have been wins. If so, we would then have 50 points and only trail Detroit and Ottawa in the overall standings. It’s a classic case of the glass being half full or empty.

    I think everyone would agree that we’re terrible in shootouts. We have also given up late goals in the third period which puts us in the overtime crapshoot when we really din’t need to be. A lot of those games were earlier in the year. Maybe this revamped version of the Habs will not only win more OT/SO games in the second half but also play better throughout the game so they don’t land up in that spot to begin with. I prefer to view the situation from a positive standpoint with the glass being half full.

    The Original 24 Cups

  275. Joe_Habs says:

    Go Leafs…hahahahaha gotta love it. last night was a great night to be a habs fan. we score 6, they concede 6…fabulous….still a little worried about the fact that we cant seen to get the puck out of our zone…but it will come

  276. 24 Cups says:

    Dear TradeRyder – I admire your ploy to divert our attention from the real issue at hand by posting a provocative photo. Regardless, Michael Ryder has been playing much better lately and capped it all off with a super game last night. Do the right thing and acknowledge Ryder’s accomplishment. Be a man and tip your hat to The Teacher and everyone else on this site:-)

    The Original 24 Cups

    P.S. Please send me a copy of your new photo!!

  277. Richard B says:

    Great post!!!
    Go Ryder
    Go Habs

  278. Richard B says:

    Not to many players will snipe a goal from there like Ryder did last night. Zetterberg and Messier perhaps.

  279. Habs_008 says:

    Did you see the Ranger game? This is not just happening at the begining of the year. We played back the whole thrid period, SHOULD have won that game, we let it slip. We cant do that, we need that killer instinct. Against Tampa, after being up 4-3 we put more in the net, thats what we need to do more often then not. We also need to do something about those give-a-ways in our own zone. GREAT WIN, GO HABS!

  280. HABZ 24 says:

    WOW!! the habs are on fire !! i guess weve broken the dreaded dec.23rd go into the tank curse.solid goaltending,plenty of goals!!,team play,good chemistry,if we can some how keep this up we wont have to be cursing at the tv on the last game of the year hoping we Win to get in.GO HABS GOOOOO !! PS:WELCOME BACK MR. RYDER

  281. zamboni says:

    I agree with you,
    I would have given Ryder the first star, Higgins second and Kovy third.

    However to be fair, when you point out the penalties taken, you shouldn’t include the matching (coincidental) penalties, furthermore you should also mention the number of penalties drawn, specially when few of which we capitalized upon.

    And if you paid close attention to the game, you’d notice that both Higgins and Ryder were on ice for two of the three goals scored against us.

    Three star selection remains subjective.

  282. Girth says:

    I would have even considered Lapierre … for his time on PK… over A. Kostitsyn. Anyhow… I suppose if the folks at the Bell center did a better job, we wouldn’t need to have the guys from the Gazette repeat the exercise.

    On another note… I think it may be Price check time.

  283. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Not planning a parade just yet but I’ve seen positives the last few games. Only time will tell. GO HABS GO!!!!!!!

  284. Doctor Device says:

    Two great periods, one awful period, against the Lightning that’s enough.

    After what I posted following their last game I had to come back and admit that Huet looked paralyzed on that breakaway goal, and his mental block in one-on-one situations has to be a concern at this point. On the other hand, he made some absolutely dazzling saves the rest of the way. Perplexing to see his confidence utterly shot in such a specific aspect of the game but apparently fine otherwise.

    Anyway, hopefully this is the start of one of Ryder’s hot streaks, at last.

  285. Hoegarden says:

    Ryder coming out of his shell…what a bonus. I just ate a piece of crow pie this morning for I had given up on him before Christmas.
    No doubt the Habs are currently on a roll and should Ryder pot one every two or three games then it’s more than welcome. Opposing coaches might have to deal with the resurrection of MR.

    Checking over general news of the Habs and noted that one indispensable player will be a UFA this summer; Mark Streit. Mnagement must/must sign this guy for 3 years before the door opens up for his UFA status.
    Talk about your Jack-of-all-trades here, with numbers to please any coach. Although he gets a fair amount of ice time up front and on the PP, he is ranked 14th in total points amongst blue liners. Not too shabby is it ?

    On the “it bugs me” news, since it’s all positive this morning; We’re still ranked 26th on faceoffs. A mystery to me with two of the best behind the bench. Like Paul Hornung used to say when asked about his success; “practice, practice, practice”….

  286. coutNY says:

    Ten questions in the NEW YEAR:

    10) Does the Higgins/Ryder/Koivu line reform to leave a 3rd line lacking?

    9) Do we try to work a vetran defensemen Breezer into a rejuvenated youthful core?

    8) Whose the odd man out when Begin & Smolinski gain their clean bill of health?

    7) Is the Current chemistry mixture for real or is it a case of energized players beating up on struggling worn down teams?

    6) Is the Ryder drought of “bad luck” final over?

    5) Is Price benefitting from long stays on the bench?
    5b) Will they demote him in favor of a hot Halak?

    4) Will we depart with one of our #1 goalies at trade deadline?

    3) Will a deemed Star forward be available at deadline?

    2) Would we give up young talent to aquire a proven star?

    1) Will the Habs experience a prolonged Jan-Feb slump as we’ve experienced faithfully in the recent past years?

  287. The Teacher says:

    Perhaps you mean shanahan…Messier?

  288. Habs_008 says:

    Stay tuned! Same Bat time, Same Bat Channel!

  289. Bouleau noir says:

    The bizarro world of Neleh Rellek,.. some say she start the day on steak and wine and have toast and jam for dinner,.. others say she always wears a fur hat except in the winter and that she prefers talking over singing when showering,.. it is even said that her real name is Helen Keller and that she is the director of the 3 stars selection at the Bell Center… I doubt about the last part being the truth but thats what I heard.

  290. Hoegarden says:

    10 – no
    9 – no
    8 – Chips, unfortunately (Carbo depends too much on his vets).
    7 – It’s real
    6 – Don’t know, stay tuned.
    5 – yes, seeing the game from the bench, he can spot moves from opponents and put them in the bank.
    5B – No
    4 – No
    3 – Likely but let’s hope we don’t fall for it.
    2 – Never
    1 – It’s all “Inshallah”, you cannot control or predict injuries.

  291. Bill H says:

    I think your post above has some valid points. What happened in the 2nd period against Tampa Bay? The team with the worst road record in the league, and we still almost blew it. I too think we are headed in the right direction though. We have a bright future. But we aren’t there just yet.

  292. Hoegarden says:

    Off topic for now but keep these names in mind;

    Our UFA list for this summer;
    Huet, Smokes, Breezer, Ryder, Streit.
    Who’s a keeper, who’s a goner ??

    our RFA list;
    Halak, A.Kots, Obyrne, Lapierre.
    Need I ask ?

    Next year; UFA
    Komi, Kosto, Koivu, Kovalev, Bouillon, Dandy, Begin.

    Higgins, Chips, Tender, Pleks.

  293. Bill H says:

    Of the UFAs, sign Ryder and Streit. Trade Huet for a first round draft pick. He does not want to play in Montreal without a long term contract and clear #1 status. We can’t give him that. So trade him while we can get something for him. As for Ryder, his trade value is rising rapidly. But the reason for trading him in the first place was his dismal +/- statistic. That has shown dramatic improvement. If he regains his scoring touch and his defensive play does not deteriorate, why trade him? We need scoring on this team. But Bob needs to handle this carefully. I hope he will try to determine Ryder’s intentions before the trade deadline. Let’s see how he plays over the next 6 weeks. Let Smokes and Breezer walk. I don’t think they have any trade value anyway.

    As for RFAs…I’d try to sign them all. Priority to K1 and O’Byrne. If we trade Huet, we need to sign Halak, obviously.

  294. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    Gaineys got work to do….you resign everyone except smoke & breez

    some will need raises but others can be had for HALF (ie;Ryder)

    Koivu & Kovalev give us talented veteran leadership and they’ll take
    a discount to stay here because they don’t like to UPROOT their family
    at this stage of their career.

    Bouil,Dandy,Begin,Kostop,lap,chips and all the rookies can be signed for around 750k to 1.2mil each.

    Time to move Komi into the 3.5mil range

    Playing for the HABS should not be about MONEY…it should be about PRIDE.

    Kovalev wanted to keep the “C” jersey the other night (NY) but the equipment staff took it away from him…this was reported in the press. Thats PRIDE.

    1. Delenda Est Torontium….
    2. your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”

  295. Doctor Device says:

    10) Doubtful. Why mess with what is currently working?
    9) Hell no. Might make sense if there was any prospect of Brisebois not being terrible, but as it stands…
    8) Probably Chipchura, although he doesn’t deserve it. Realistically Begin is in the process of losing his job to Maxim Lapierre.
    7) Probably a bit of both, plus an upsurge in confidence. Young teams are like this.
    6) Hopefully. He’s always been streaky so we can hope that this is the start of a hot streak.
    5) I doubt it. At the beginning of the season Gainey or Carbonneau talked about moving goalies between Hamilton and Montreal as the year went on, so if Price is not going to play they should shift him to the Bulldogs to get some games, at least.
    4) I think the most likely trade bait among our goalies is Halak.
    3) Well, anyone is available for the right price, but the Habs need to add to their defense more than they need another forward.
    2) Wouldn’t fit with Gainey’s M.O. so far, I guess it would depend if he thinks this year’s edition can make a legitimate run, or not.
    1) Who knows? Presumably they won’t get hit with the Flu of Doom this year.

  296. coutNY says:

    Huet? If the right deal came along for a trade, maybe, but the markets cold for goalies (except Tampa) who might think twice about cleanning-house if the team keeps spiraling.

    Smoki ~ will be “gone with the wind” unless he miraculously turns his season around, but with his NTC, he’ll be around to season’s end.

    Breezer ~ may not make through this season let alone FA market; he’ll end up retiring quietly.

    Ryder ~ If he catches fire he will attract attention at trade deadline, but that also means the Habs will probably be in the playoff hunt playing well, so it would be contraversal decision to move him.

    Streit ~ has been a great asset and utility player. He gets resigned reasonably… or a slight possibility we trade in a good deal or if his salary demands aren’t in tune with Gainey’s liking.

    Halak is my only ? from the RFA’s pool because if something doesn’t give with our current Goalie situation we may lose him overseas where the money, playing time, and glory will all be more fruitful for the young talent.

    I’ll worry about next year when the time comes…

  297. 24 Cups says:

    I guess the question is what will the market value be for each of these players and will we be willing to pay it. Once that’s decided then we have to think about whether we want to sign a UFA or RFA. In both cases (UFA/RFA), any deal would be for huge coin over many years which would have serious implications for the salary cap. Going totally off the wall, what would happen if there is no cap in the next labour agreement (or a weakened version of said cap). I believe Kelly and the union have the option of opening up the agreement either this year or next. Would that once again put us back in the middle of the pack in terms of the salary spending grid? Or would we be in the top half dozen or so?

    There sure is a lot to consider and keep in balance. Bob Gainey’s job isn’t as easy as some fans think it is. Personally, I feel he’s doing a pretty good job.

    The Original 24 Cups

  298. Doctor Device says:

    No point keeping Brisebois or Smolinski. Ryder might be relatively cheap given his struggles this year, if they can keep him they should. Streit depends very much on the pricetag – I think he may be in a surprising amount of demand. Worth keeping at a reasonable cost. Huet I think they need for at least one more year to ease Price into the starter’s role, and they should be able to keep him around since he is apparently not on the radar of the rest of the league.

    RFAs: Halak is probably bait at the trade deadline. Doesn’t seem like he’s got a future here now that Price has passed him, not as a starter anyway. Kostitsyn is a no-brainer keep, ditto O’Byrne. Lapierre gets a lot of static, but as much as I hate to make this comparison I think he can be our version of Darcy Tucker. Keep.

    Next year is difficult to figure without knowing how other prospects will develop, but I would imagine Gainey is hoping that Kostopolous, Begin, Dandenault and even Bouillon will be surplus to requirements by that stage. Koivu should retire a Hab, and if Kovalev stays this motivated they want him around to mentor the kids (apparently doing a good job with the Kostitsyns this year) but it might depend on the pricetag.

    Komisarek, Higgins, Chipchura, Plekanec and even Latendresse are all the core of this team going forward. Gotta keep.

  299. krob1000 says:

    Sign Ryder again at half price….not likely. He has three good years and still has time to at least turn this into a twenty goal season. He is in the prime of his career and he will not come at much of a discount. His agent is not stupid and even the most anti Ryder fans acknowledge that on another team he would score 30-40 goals most every year. In my opinion Gainey will (or has) seek a 2-4 year contract with Ryder at approximately (give or take a few hundred thousand eitther way his pay this season or let him go. I will not rule out a trade because we really don’t know what Ryders real feelings are about the whole ordeal this year (he has handled it more than just professionally in public but who knows what he says to his wife? at night).

  300. Doctor Device says:

    The NHLPA can indeed reopen the labour agreement following this season, but why would they? The players are making out like bandits under this current deal.

  301. coutNY says:

    I added #10 because they were a few shifts where Carbo had them playing together…

  302. The Teacher says:

    Ahh, big teams want to spend their money. i’m sure Toronto isn’t too happy with the cap LMAO

  303. Doctor Device says:

    This is probably true, but I’m not sure the owners can reopen the deal. Anyway the rich teams lost the debate during the lockout, so I imagine they would again.

  304. coutNY says:

    If Michael keeps posting up pictures like the one above, we can change his nick name from pine-Ryder to Bow-Ryder…. weak, I know but we are close to making this the largest blog of postings… @ #400..only 155 to go~

  305. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    it seems that most have given up on Breeze and Smokes for resigning,
    but let me say this in their defense…when we make it to the playoffs (as we should)
    and the going gets tough, and a rookie stumbles or gets injured for a few games,
    then you don’t want to put in another rookie to replace him…thats where the value of those
    veterans come in and they become INVALUABLE….sure they had the christmas break off.
    but there time may come….

    I’d carry them along for 500k…i don’t think they’d refuse.

    Another point is GAINEY usually signs these 1 year contracts..I like that, keeps the options open
    and brings out the best play in the player.

    But when he has to go for the multiyear, its for the solid guys, hamr, Markov, Koivu, Kovalev, Komi, Higs
    and add to that PLEK, KOSTY’s Lap and Chip and the 2 goalies…everyone else with a 1yr.

    and to Krob, yes if Ryder ends up with 15goals, he should be re-signed, 1yr for ALMOST HALF with an option that if he returns to 30 goals then its back to 3mil.

    1. Delenda Est Torontium….
    2. your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”

  306. krob1000 says:

    Maybe he should be but it is a supply and demand world and if we don’t want to pay someone else surely will.

  307. 24 Cups says:

    I think it’s basically impossible for Ryder to come back next year. Let’s assume that Higgins, Lats, and Andrei K develop into our left wingers for the next few years. Let’s also assume that Sergei K develops into a half decent right winger behind Kovalev. That makes Ryder our third line right winger. Teams in the salary cap era don’t pay third line wingers $3 mil a year for 3 or 4 years. Especially ones who run hot and cold the way Ryder has this year. We’re sticking with the youth movement and Ryder goes at the trade deadline just like Huet. It has nothing to do with whether we like or dislike these two guys – it’s strictly business.

    The Original 24 Cups

  308. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    and you point out the heart of the problem…players chasing the dollar.
    what happened to players wanting to play for an organization and fitting in at all costs…

    oh ya, thats when we were a DYNASTY.

    thats why that PATHETIC LACAV better stay down in the south and get fat eating cajun chicken,
    we don’t NEED him.

    1. Delenda Est Torontium….
    2. your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”

  309. TradeRyder says:

    No kidding – and Higgins with three points as well and he doens’t get a star? Kovalev must by buying them.

    Let the kids play… let the non-performers watch or walk.

  310. TradeRyder says:

    Keepers: A.Kist, Obyrne, Lapierre. and either Huet (my choice) or Halak.

    They should try to sign Komi long term too.

    Let the kids play… let the non-performers watch or walk.

  311. mrstewart61 says:

    I wasn’t impressed with his first 2 periods, but give him credit for closing the door in the 3rd.

  312. 24 Cups says:

    I sense a name change coming here.

    The Original 24 Cups

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