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.

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