Game 44: Flat Canadiens outclassed by Rangers

Links updated Sunday 6:40 a.m. 

New York Rangers’ Petr Prucha beats Canadiens goalie Cristobal Huet up under the crossbar for the home team’s third of four goals.
Mike Stobe, NHLI via Getty Images

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The Canadiens came into Saturday’s Madison Square Garden game against the New York Rangers having won five of their last seven, impressive 5-2 victors over the Boston Bruins on Thursday to begin a four-game road trip. Their Big Apple hosts, meanwhile, had lost five straight.

All of which goes to show that any National Hockey League team can beat another on any given night. Especially when one forgets to take off its skateguards.

The Canadiens’ league-leading power play went a dismal 1-for-8, getting nothing on two lengthy 5-on-3s, and a fired-up Rangers squad took full advantage of its opportunities to hand a 4-1 loss to a visitor that was outshot 41-19 and showed little interest in putting up a fight.

Montreal’s terribly flat first period set the tone for the game, being outshot 13-6 and going 0-for-2 on the power play, only two of Montreal’s shots coming at even strength.

An Andrei Markov giveaway helped get the Rangers on the scoreboard early. Chris Drury and Marcel Hossa charged back to the Canadiens end to combine on a fine give-and-go passing play and a great Drury deke of Montreal goalie Cristobal Huet converted the rush at 3:17.

The Habs appeared to be in pause 10 minutes later when Rangers captain Jaromir Jagr was allowed to stickhandle unmolested to Huet’s side, four Canadiens impressed enough to stand around and watch. Martin Straka wound up taking a pass and whipped it home to give New York a 2-0 advantage.

Montreal’s woes continued early in the second period, coming up empty on a minute-long 5-on-3 power play, before Petr Prucha put the Rangers up 3-0 on a left-alone-at-the-goalmouth score that hit the white frame high inside the crossbar behind Huet. The play required video review after it was first waved off, but it was a goal beyond a doubt.

The Rangers continued to play with fire, giving the Canadiens another 5-on-3 for 1:41 midway through the second. But that yielded nothing for the Habs, leaving them 0-for-6 on the power play.

On a delayed penalty call to Montreal, the Rangers made it 4-0, Nigel Dawes beating Huet on a very stoppable shot to the short side at 19:38. New York held a 15-8 in shots in the second period; eight of Montreal’s 14 shots had come with the made advantage.

Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau decided to sit Huet for the third period and replaced his veteran with backup Jaroslav Halak, who’d been called up last Tuesday afternoon from the Hamilton Bulldogs in the move sending Carey Price back to the Habs’ AHL affiliate.

Halak stopped all 13 shots fired his way in the final period.

The Canadiens finally solved Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist 7:10 into the third period on the power play, Markov feeding Andrei Kostitsyn from the blueline to the faceoff circle, Kostitsyn then perfectly feeding his brother, Sergei, parked at the edge of the crease, for his third goal of the season.

The Habs were scheduled to have Sunday off – though that might be subject to change given the team’s effort at MSG – before practising on Monday for Tuesday’s game in Long Island vs. the Islanders. The road trip wraps up Thursday in Atlanta before next Saturday’s home date against Pittsburgh.

366 Comments

  1. Chuck says:

    If your ultimate goal is cap room, then you’re better off just letting them walk at the end of the year, a la Souray… which was a GREAT move by Gainey. Sometimes addition by subtraction is the best way to go.
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    ______________________________________________
    “A Vezina banner must hang from the rafters!”

  2. 24 Cups says:

    The other team in the East that we have to get past is New Jersey. They, along with Brodeur, seem to have our number on a consistent basis.

    The Original 24 Cups

  3. Chuck says:

    The laffs problem is that while they’re in a position where the need to sink the ship and lay a keel for a new one, they don’t have the people in place to properly overhaul the team. It’s one thing for the fans to say, “Trade Sundin and everybody for draft picks!”, but if the same regime that couldn’t draft properly and put the team in this situation in the first place is also given the responsibility of rebuilding, chances are they’d screw that up, too.

    It all just makes me all the more glad that Gainey’s our guy. When he was hired, he took stock of not just the team, but the entire organization; figured out what was working and what wasn’t, and developed a long-term growth plan to get everything back on track. That takes a lot of patience, dedication, and attention to detail; something that the laffs braintrust has lacked for a long, long time.

    It must eat them up inside knowing that while Gainey was available they ended up giving the job to someone with absolutely no GM experience. Oh, what could have been…
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    ______________________________________________
    “A Vezina banner must hang from the rafters!”

  4. hhl says:

    changing subjects again.reflecting back on price being sent down to hamilton.i think its a brilliant move by gainey n co.instead of him starting the year in hamilton, he starts in mtl.learns about the city, gets an apartment, a girlfriend n experiences life in the nhl for 5 months.gos back to hamilton with instructions and lots of icetime.now
    he has alot waiting for him in mtl.what happens to huet by end of feb depends on how price will do in ham.i have confidence price will be ready.dont be surprised if huet stay till the end of this year.but price could excell in the playoffs.thanks to huet.

  5. Ian G Cobb says:

    1, 2, 3, year contracts for everyone here, and in Hamilton 2 way contracts for deserving students. They all want to be here and we want them all. Keep spreading the cap around to the players who deserve it and have the others work hard to get a larger slice.

    These players are starting to understand what a loyal first class management team we are now. They know now where this franchise is headed, and they are all going to be a part of it.

    We don’t need any big name super stars taking a huge slice here. We are a good TEAM now, soon to be great. Management and players on the same page and loyal to each other will share in the glory soon.

    Montreal Canadians fans have not been on this ride in a couple of generations, some of them don’t even recognise what is now taking place.

    So hang on to your sticks ! Were in for a ride with the personel we now have.

  6. Chuck says:

    And especially for what you percieve to be your castoffs. You have to give in order to receive. Also, trades are not initiated by the desire to remove players that you deem as surplus; they’re initiated by the desire for a player that you want on your team to fill a certain need. What you then end up sending the other way is then a matter for discussion. If they’ll take your garbage in return, fine… otherwise I wouldn’t bet on it.
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    ______________________________________________
    “A Vezina banner must hang from the rafters!”

  7. Ed says:

    The +/- stats are available on NHL.com right back to 2000-01. Just go to their site and use “Individual Stats Reports”, put in the season you want, put Montreal in for the team, use Summary for the Stats View, and press enter.

    http://www.nhl.com/nhlstats/app

  8. Habster101 says:

    -From what I can see…this team is full of depth right now, I can’t see any trades happening. Why would we want to mess with this chemistry they have going right now?…I can see maybe another tough forward or defenceman but who would you want to trade for?

    -Brisebois would be nice but you couldn’t get a bag of pucks for him…

    -Maybe Smolinski with a late round draft pick?
    other than that, everyone else I would say is locked in…

    and for all of you who think Ryder is going…Keep dreaming, Ryder will never get traded.

    this team is one to two years from winning a cup, maybe both…there will be another dynasty coming, and it may only be a 2 year dynasty in todays modern era, and Montreal has always been the team to lead and set examples for the rest of the NHL…

    -The only team in the east that is in our way is Ottawa…I cant wait to play them so we can see where the team stands…

    But the only problem I see with Ottawa maybe is their depth chart isn’t as deep as ours…when they get injured they will be in trouble…time will tell…

    anyways……tonight they have to beat the Rangers at the MSG, take a good lead and not let them back in it, like they did last time….

  9. hhl says:

    just a thought,say a coach would put 2 centers on a line,3 to five seconds before faceoff,both centers would switch positions.only once in a while. woulden that create enough of a distraction to maybe win a few extra faceoffs?

  10. Ed says:

    Teacher, I see you got no response from RetroMikey. He thinks we can trade those guys for a big, gifted offensive centreman. Those are guys that he is not high on, but still he thinks some team would be willing to trade us a star for them. It’s too bad for us that the GM’s are more knowledgeable (common sense) than some fans are. Dream on RetoMikey. Those guys might be traded, but no way is there a big, gifted offensive centreman coming this way in return. Those kind of star players are not a dime a dozen, and teams don’t just trade them away.

  11. Chuck says:

    True, but I guess as far as the OTPF is concerned, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

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    ______________________________________________
    “A Vezina banner must hang from the rafters!”

  12. Chuck says:

    Do the laffs have a team song? Perhaps that’s what they should have been playing. :)

    As the old joke goes, “What do the laffs and the Titanic have in common? They both look good until they hit the ice.”
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    ______________________________________________
    “A Vezina banner must hang from the rafters!”

  13. hhl says:

    must be true then.after all, we all aknowledge the fact that the t.o media
    (led by your honourable Mr.Don Cherry)is allways right.would they stir the leafs fans wrong? front page of the toronto sun, theres the leafs,then at the outer bottom corner of the page,you will find news on the rest of the world.or you can simply rip the corner out and focus on what really matters most.

  14. TradeRyder says:

    While trades are fun, I’m not sure we don’t have everything on this team right now – or in the pipeline. To me, we should lock down our top guys and top prospects. Period.

    What we do with the players who are either 4th line guys, or not fitting in,
    doesn’t matter much to me. I would trade them for picks and prospects to build the next wave. Depth in real talent is the currency of the new NHL. We need to develop as many good prospects as we can that we can keep or grow to swap for help in a future play-off run.

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

  15. TradeRyder says:

    Yes, and sign Komisaurus, and Higgins to long-term deals. Lock down Plekanic and A. Kostitsyn too for as long as you can.

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

  16. hhl says:

    as well as respectability and a good excuse for all that arrogance displayed by fans and media.though i know a few leafs fans out here in the west,n they aint sayin much.ignorance is bliss.i think leaf pride is starting to slip.they should hire tiger williams as coach.

  17. TradeRyder says:

    Here’s one for you Ian: Hope makes a good breakfast – but a bad supper.

    A question for you Ian. How many years do you think we should give Michael Ryder to either:
    A) Learn to score 30-goals without being a defensive liability OR
    B) Learn to score 20-goals while being a strong defensive player.

    Your loyalty is good in principle, but loyalty can also blind you to the facts.

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

  18. TradeRyder says:

    Interesting. At 24, not strong on goals or plus-minus so it would be hard to give up a spot on one of our top 3 lines for him though. And personally, I think that Plekanic in time will be one of the top stars of this team… so even though we need size, I am not sure trying to find a 2nd line center is the right approach.

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

  19. Yeats says:

    Watching the leafs play, you have to ask yourself if any of them are worth picking up for the “right” price? Do you really want to bring a guy into your room, if your team is performing well, who has so clearly thrown in the towel on his current squad?

  20. nightmare_49 says:

    I like your game plan for the next six months.

  21. TradeRyder says:

    True enough. Team chemistry, player development, both require some experience – and some guesswork. If a player isn’t working here and succeeds elsewhere… that’s just the way it goes.

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

  22. TradeRyder says:

    I agree with you. Ryder, unfortunately, is still well into the minus-side of our winning team. Ho hum.

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

  23. Moey says:

    And to no one’s surprise, laff fans are intellectually inferior to rats.

  24. ccs says:

    I will be really surprised if we dont make a deal at the deadline. We need to package some players that were mentioned for sure if for no other reason than to make room for the young guns comming up. I would like to see another BIG smart tough defenceman come our way. And then concentrate on getting that BIG center in the off season. If we get stronger on D we will do some damage come April. I feel 2 more points tonight. GO HABS GO….

  25. 24 Cups says:

    Yeats – I agree about Maurice. He’s an innovative coach who seems well suited to the new NHL. He has shown a lot of class considering all the heat that there is in Toronto right now. Same goes for Ferguson. Whether it’s Maurice, Carbo, or any other coach, there’s only so much that they can do. Ultimately, it all comes down to the players on the ice.

    The Original 24 Cups

  26. 24 Cups says:

    Good one Ian! I’ve never heard that one before. I feel I’m one of the positive guys on this site but I was just stating what I thught was realistic. Right from September, I thought that it was inevitable that Ryder would go elsewhere at the end of the year. It’s just part of the free agency world we live in these days. Other teams will be in the same position with other players.

    The Original 24 Cups

  27. Yeats says:

    I watch the movies “Titanic” and “A Night to Remember” whenever they are on the tube for the same reason I enjoy watching leafs games: The surprise ending!

  28. Moey says:

    Off topic Chuck but that song is Hollywood myth. The actual song that the band played as the Titanic went down was “Autumn”. I was on a cruise and there was a Titanic expert doing lectures and presentations.

  29. RetroMikey says:

    TradeRyder, I’m no GM but Bob can surely dispose some of these players to a team that is contending or for a playoff spot down the stretch like St. Louis or Chicago or in the rebuilding stage. But if I were Bob, I would look into a centreman in San Jose by the name of Marcel Goc, he has speed to burn and has creative offensive instincts. Not playing much for the Sharks but he would fit in our system perfectly!

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

  30. Habs-Kat says:

    Sometimes third or fourth line players that are thrust into more important roles in Montreal are made to look better than they actually are. Perfect example, Jan Bulis.

  31. Yeats says:

    They are in worse shape than the Habs were when Houle left as GM. It was thought at that time it would take MTL five years to return to respectability. (It actually has taken longer and we can all debate as to whether we are there yet.) I’d say that, even if it is done right, you’re looking at the mid 2010’s. The problem is that the majority shareholder is being rewarded handsomely by the stock market even though the leafs blow. The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Funds could care less about winning a Cup as long as MLSE posts returns exceeding 20%. I think what they fail to recognized is how much additional dough they could generate if they actually had a real contender on the ice.

  32. The Teacher says:

    plus-minus doesn’t mean everything. He gave the puck up and rushed off the ice so he wouldn’t get a minus ;)

  33. TradeRyder says:

    I remember him playing… he tried to do too much. I guess he was learning – like some of our young guys.

    I can’t find plus-minus stats that go back past last year – can you?

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

  34. NEWFOUNDLAND DOG says:

    I was there tonight. Price was awful. The worst I ever seen him play. May God help him. I really feel for him.

  35. Chuck says:

    It was time for the laffs to clean house (including a trade of Sundin) two years ago. Unfortunately for them, management always seems to have a “centre of the universe” mentality where they believe that they’re only that one player away from the taste of silver polish on their lips.
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    ______________________________________________
    “A Vezina banner must hang from the rafters!”

  36. Ian G Cobb says:

    Your both just like nails, you can only drive one way !

  37. Ian G Cobb says:

    It is not goals for that is our problem ! We have plenty !

    Its goals against that we must do better, Ryder is asked to preform a slightly different roll and its taking time. The W is the most important, not the amount of goals one player scores. I’ll take a 20 goal scorer every time if he can defend properly his responsibly on the ice.

  38. The Teacher says:

    Did you ever watch Ribs play?
    he was A DISASTER DEFENSIVELY. I watched him, and hated him on the ice, he always gave up the puck…ALWAYS!

  39. Yeats says:

    Just read Shoalts’ latest article “Clean the House” in The Globe and Mail. It took him a little over half the season to come to this conclusion. He must have been one scary dude in chemistry class.

    Comment of the Week (on his article): “I am a Sens fan, but I am really tired of Toronto not being able to compete. It drains everything out of water cooler discussions.”

  40. TradeRyder says:

    I agree RM. Any guesses on where we might ship a few guys? Who needs some that kind of bulk-up besides Toronto? (Bulk up in 2nd, 3rd, 4th line guys I mean)… could be Tampa. But they don’t have the salary. LA?

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

  41. TradeRyder says:

    No, he’s an offensive disaster. More to the point, Ribeiro I believe had one year where his plus-minus dipped (correct me if I’m wrong, I didn’t look it up) but is currently almost leading his team (2nd at +10). Ryder’s record of the past few years is consistently in the minus-to-deep-minus range.

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

  42. Chuck says:

    Great analogy, Yeats! And strike up the band and have them play “Nearer My God To Thee” while you’re at it!
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    ______________________________________________
    “A Vezina banner must hang from the rafters!”

  43. The Teacher says:

    Uhh yeah, ribeiro WAS a defensive disaster. Which is why I hated him.

    Ryder is no longer a defensive disaster.

  44. The Teacher says:

    Hey mikey,

    Who do you think Ryder, Dandy, Booly and a draft pick could net us?

    I don’t think much, but you seem to think it could work.

  45. RetroMikey says:

    Steve Begin is going to find it very hard to crack the lineup. Send him in the package of 3 I mentioned and you will see that some team will be interested in these guys. Honestly, Michael Ryder will not be coming back next year if we still keep him for this season.

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

  46. TradeRyder says:

    I think you nailed it. That is exactly how it will go down.

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

  47. TradeRyder says:

    I agree those are the choices. But you have to look at the risk, not just the possible gain… and our depth says that losing him just opens up a spot for someone else who may very well score as many goals.

    People keep comparing to Ribiero. The difference is that Riberio was an acknowledged gifted player with attitude problems. He also didn’t go into a deep slump like Ryder has. And he wasn’t said to be a defensive disaster (or whatever harsh term Gainey used) the year before. In short – there are more question marks over Ryder. Whether he goes on to become a hall-of-famer, no one could say, but to me, as a gamble, it’s less likely that we’ll regret letting him go.

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

  48. TradeRyder says:

    Hey Soulman – thanks for the clarification on Dandy’s stare at the bench. It’s great to hear stuff like that. Muller was a great player and seems to be becoming a great coach. As much as we talk about young players and how they need time to make mistakes and develop, we don’t often have that understanding of our coaches. I for one think that our coaching staff is among the best in the league. Not that they don’t make mistakes, but they have a strong philosophy, they are honest, clear hockey men who know what ti takes to win… and if they need some time to add some finesse to their communication, it’s a small price to pay to have these guys on board our team, fighting – just like they did on the ice – for a place in the hockey sunshine in June.

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

  49. 24 Cups says:

    TR – Ryder has to go at the trade deadline – it’s just like Rivet last year. It will be a wise business decision if nothing else. There are a variety of ways he can be replaced next year and you won’t even notice the difference. This team is going in a different direction and Ryder’s not going to be part of it. The only reason he would stay would be if there is absolutely no offers for him that are worth considering. If that happens, then he plays out the year and the playoffs and hopefully makes a contribution. We would then lose him in July for nothing but that’s the way it goes sometimes in the new NHL.

    The Original 24 Cups

  50. PattyBoy31 says:

    Our options are trade him for less than he’s worth and he may or may not bounce back, or re-sign him and he may or may not bounce back. If he bounces back on another team we’ll feel sorry for ourselves (Ribeiro vs Niinima).

    Its kindof interesting to see which of the 4 scenerios will unfold..

  51. 24 Cups says:

    Habsguy – It wouldn’t surprise me if the kid stood on his head but it still smacks of desperation. Toskala is signed for the next two years at 4 mil a year and Raycroft has another year left at 2 mil. I would have left Pogge with the Marlies for the entire year (and not expose him to the negativity) and then buyout Raycroft and go with Toskola/Pogge for 2008-09. In fairness to the goalies, the Lousy Leafs spent about $16 a year on 3 defensemen (long term) and they are not getting the bang for their buck (granted McCabe is hurt). Assuming we sign Komi for around $5 mil a year, that would mean the money is about the same for each team’s top three defensemen. As I’ve stated before, who would you rather have – Kaberle/Kabina/McCabe or Markov/Hamrlik/Komi. Then there’s Raycroft for Rask. Man, that could really come back to haunt the Lousy Leafs. But hey, who cares?!!!

    The Original 24 Cups

  52. TradeRyder says:

    Sorry Ian. I used to think it was a good idea to Trade Ryder. Now it is essential.

    Here’s why: at this point, keeping him has become a huge and dangerous gamble to a team that can’t afford distractions. If another player slumps a little down the stretch or next year, it would be one thing. If Ryder stays – or even comes back next year – and continues slumping, it will be not just a waste of a larger-than-average salary, but also a huge distraction for the team.

    I’m not slagging Ryder – he may go on to score 30 goals again next year for all I know – no-one knows. But whether you agree or disagree with me on his fit with this team, you must be able to see that the Montreal Canadiens cannot risk the possibility of keeping him, and having him score only a handful of goals in the first half of 2008-2009. For a growing team with such depth, that is just getting its momentum, that would be a disaster and a distraction that we don’t want to gamble on.

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

  53. RetroMikey says:

    As I have said all along, I would still like to see a trade for a big gifted offensive centreman we still need to fill the void. Let’s still consider trading Boullion, Dandeneault, Ryder and a draft pick. I am still confused with Dandeneault and Ryder, they are hot one game and cold the next. Mark my word, they will be back to their old ways which will make Guy’s blood boil. Being from Hamilton, these 3 guys can be replaced with young guns who are capable of doing the jobs. February 26 trade deadline is looming and we should consider making a trade and I am sure Bob and Guy are thinking about this as well. I smell a trade happening. By the way, Brisebois will not get you 20 minutes of ice time as he had done with our team in the past but he is going to help us down the stretch along with Smolinski, guaranteed! Good luck tonite boys, play hard and hustle, every shift and ye shall be rewarded!

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

  54. Yeats says:

    I have always respected and liked Paul Maurice as a coach. He is a class act and should never have been let go by Carolina. I don’t think it is so much that he has lost the room as the players have completely lost the ice. Dead animals show more fight than the leafs of late. They may never have had pride in the jersey that guys like Keon, Ellis, Horton and Bower had, but come on. I would expect to see at least one article in The Globe and Mail discussing an unnamed leaf who had lost his “poop” at practice and throttled a teammate by now. At least don your tuxes and go down like men for God’s sake!

  55. Ian G Cobb says:

    Toronto has known for a long time that they are known as the center of the hockey world ! They know this because they are told by all the Toronto media year after year that this is so. The rest of the hockey world knows how crapy, bias, aragant, unprofesional and self centered the Toronto media is.

  56. TradeRyder says:

    This defending Ryder is foolishness. The guy may end up in the hall of fame for all I care (I’d be surprised if he’s still around in five years, but anyway), but RIGHT NOW he’s not worth 10% of what they’re paying him….it’s not like he’s some huge star – there have been questions about some part of his game his entire career.

    And you are wrong – Canadiens.com says Ryder is -3 – this on a team with a winning record that DOES score 5-on-5. There are only six players with a worse plus-minus on the team – he’s 4 points above the worst and he’s a full 11 points behind the best. So you tell me how his year is going?? Good? Is this good???

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

  57. HKisses says:

    Well i somewhat agree with you Ian, i just dont think the way the team is goin ,and the style of play doesn’t rly suit him….thats just me maybe.. But on the other hand i have nothing against Ryder i find him a very skilled player , he just has some poor judgement sometimes with his plays..(eg. passes the puck when he has a good shot and look at the net) but other then that he his one hell of a hard worker …but we’ll see what happens..

  58. Yeats says:

    You can only truely hate a worthy opponent. (You can respect them at the same time, but that apparent inconsistancy is for another discusssion.) Personally, I only have disdain for the leafs. And, their fans are poster people for random drug testing. Not only have they not won a Cup since ’67, but they have also failed to even get to a final. Once the NHL expanded from the Original Six, the leafs have merely become “The Myth in Blue.” The returns generated for shareholders of MLSE rival those of hedge funds, but in a salary cap era money alone not longer talks. You actually have to have competant hockey people minding the store. While I rag on the team with the best of them when things are not going the Habs’ way, my more sober moments make me wish I had Ian Cobb’s patience. The more I see of this team lately, the more I think there could be some well-deserved surprises for us coming down the pike shortly. Our offensively challenged squad has caught fire and the team has required merely adequate goaltending to get points. If our kickers get in a groove come the spring, watch out! Alas, I digress. Yes, Charlotte, the leafs truely suck.

  59. Ian G Cobb says:

    We will resign Ryder with the greatest of pieasure and he will be a hab for a very long time. People have ups and downs in life and if you don’t quit on yourself your team and fans will pick you back up. That is the difference between single person sport and team sport. You go to war together, and you win and loose together. I will always be on my TEAM.

  60. doug says:

    I’ve always hated the Bruins more than the Leafs (and actually look forward to the Bruins becoming relevant in Boston again). . . it’s interesting how things are different North of the Border, all driven by general disdain for the city because of its “national” status and overrepresentation in all walks of life based on it being the financial center (not money making center, that’s out west with oil prices so high!) and high population. The reality is that last year when they knocked us out of the playoffs and then didn’t make it themselves was the most compelling success at the other team’s expense in 30 years. It’s not been so much of a hockey driven rivalry as a side story when neither team was going anywhere.

    Things are different now. Leafs fans will surely hate us with more passion, but that will be borne out of jealousy and imbalance – a return to the team’s respective positionings from the 80’s and early 90’s when we were relevant and they were not. I can enjoy reading about their demise but – in all honesty – they are quickly becoming irrelevant and beneath us. I wished that on the Bruins and now there’s no passion in Boston, where I live. That won’t happen in Toronto, where we will likely be increasingly ahead of them in the standings in years to come if not in our face-to-face games where it becomes there Stanley Cup and our next game. What a disaster they are turning into. . . it’s beneath us to mention them as rivals. Maybe this year they’ll revive, but their days of true relevancy are numbered in Montreal (where we hated each other for lack of a real purpose) and they have been irrelevant in terms of being anything talking about for years in the U.S. because they haven’t contended.

  61. HKisses says:

    Agreed with “Habsguy”, this team is showing lotz of character and my hats off to Gainey and Carbo….Carbo has experience now…..he’s been in a downfall situation and he’s experienced the ups….so i don seee him havign any problems in the future…As logn as the team shows up and Carbo is coaching ,then we will have a hell of alot of games to watch on the edge of our seats…. I rather sign the team as is…maybe let go of Ryder in the off season, i do also think his time with MTL is somewhat done….and maybe find a repalcement of his postion…can’t be that hard in the offseason…anyoen else agree?

  62. Sulemaan says:

    Welcome to the team HKisses.

  63. habsguy says:

    hey 24 cups, hello from Sutton…I was ummm ( having a debate) LOL.. with my leafs fan friends a while back, they said how sad it was that the habs were going to ruin Price by bringing him up too early and that the leaf brains wouldn’t make the same mistake with Pogge…I can’t wait to see them !!!!!!

  64. habsguy says:

    I was excited when they signed Smolinski, and said WHO when they signed Kotso…I don’t think Smolinski has shown much, but I love Kotso….But I do agree that Chipchura could have done the job…Maybe even better !!!….I love the direction this team is headed..A+ to Carbo and Gainey !!!

  65. 24 Cups says:

    I live in a small town that is just outside of Toronto. Let me tell you the heat is on big time in terms of the Lousy Leafs. The tv/print/radio media are all abuzz with speculation. Toskala is out again with a groin injury and Raycroft is basically toast as a goalie right now. Rumour has it that the Leafs might go with Pogge, the kid who won the gold medal for the Canadian juniors. He’s a good prospect but it’s asking a lot to try and win your first game against San Jose in their own rink. Not to mention this will be the Leafs’ third game in four nights. The Leafs aren’t out of the playoff picture by any means (not with 37 games to go) but they’re getting hammered in the games they lose and some people are wondering if coach Maurice has lost the room. If so, then it’s over for sure.

    The Original 24 Cups

  66. habsguy says:

    Ian …maybe all the compulsive complainers are still lying in bed thinking of (new) ways to bash the team.

  67. HKisses says:

    New memeber here….I must say im really enjoyign watching habs games now….They r playign with alot of passion and they want to win….and its been a while since we’ve seen habs palyign with such excitement…i agree with other posts it is a good time to be a Habs fan…As for tonight Habs need to stay focused this is a highly skilled team and if they play like they did against boston and keep away from taking penalties they will be succesfull tonight ….. We r in for a fun game tonight….GO HABS GOO…… SUCKS TO BE A LAFFS FAN …haha i luv it:)

  68. 24 Cups says:

    As far as tonight’s game goes I feel there is a good chance we can take two points. The Rangers are back on their heels and there is a chance that Straka (concussion) and Avery (hand) may not play tonight. Lundqvist is in a slump (2-5-2, 3.81) and he’s a big part of that team. Jagr had a very slow start this year and then caught on fire. I always feel the secret to him is never prod him with a needle – let him go ahead if he wants to be in a funk and skate aimlessly through the game. Let sleeping dogs lie. I’m looking for Sergei K and Lats to bounce back tonight. They were no great shakes on Thursday night.

    The Original 24 Cups

  69. doug says:

    Agreed. It hasn’t been this good since 1993, and that’s just because we won a somewhat fluky cup. This is the team and franchise I’ve been dying to see for 15 years. . . Good things come to those who wait! Cup or no cup, hockey will be fun again for a long time to come. Man did I miss this pride.

  70. Shiloh says:

    If there’s about 40 games left in the season, we know we’ll have another dry spell. So what? We’re moving forward with young talent. We’re miles ahead of teams that need to begin from scratch (Toronto). And we have some exciting young players to watch along with Kovalev playing like a maestro. It’s a great time to be a Habs fan.

  71. Ian G Cobb says:

    There is only 2 areas that need to be addressed more firmly.

    The first has to be the whole teams responsibility, not just goaltenders and that is goals against has to improve big time. Atributing to this poor stat include, faceoffs and we are still taking to many lazey reaching type penelties. That tells me are feet are not moving quick enough in our own end. We are a little to defensive and we have to force the play for them to turn it over. Also iceings have to be controlled better, especialy with our faceoff record.

    We are young and improving each game and the vets see this and it energises them. you can see it in there play.

    IAN

  72. PGHABS says:

    Williams blew his knee(i think it was his knee) and now he’s out for the season….he’ll probably never skate the same

  73. mrstewart61 says:

    I’m wondering if Halak will get the start against the Isles on Tuesday?

  74. The Teacher says:

    Never said good, but not as bad as all you people keep making it out to be..GET OVER IT.

    yopu can take one minus away because he jumped over the boards one time just as we got scored on. you can give him a plus because he jumped onto the bench when we were scoring.

    so that makes him even.

    have a nice day :)

  75. Shiloh says:

    Saw first game in Hamilton. Price was on his knees long before every shot got to him. It was not a pretty sight. He will hopefully lose that habit.

  76. Ian G Cobb says:

    Wow ! this is very nice here this morning. Sitting back with my morning coffee reading all these flower laden comments about how things are comming together. Boy winning a few does wonders for our demeanor, its just like sex ! Be positive and live!

  77. Hoegarden says:

    Bill,
    Carbo’s comments from the La Presse, this morning,

    «La saison est longue. Il nous reste encore bien des matchs à disputer. J’ai dressé plein de scénarios dans ma tête en revenant au vestiaire. Mais bon. On a quand même connu beaucoup de succès lors des derniers matchs et les gars méritent un congé»,

    Rough translation; Long season. Many games to be played. Lots of scenarios in my head, following the game (whatever that means). We’ve had success over recent games and the boys “deserve a break”.

    Anyway, you are correct, even if the wanted to, they would have to head for Central Park for their daily dose of punishment.

    It sounds to me like he’s happy to have put important points in the bank in their last 7 games and they were due for a letdown. It happened last night.

  78. TradeRyder says:

    Speaking of pissing contests. I have better things to do… enjoy the board.

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

  79. Higgins21 says:

    When we 4 had our second 5-on-3, both Breeze-by and Slowinski were on the PP. What’s up with that?

  80. NEWFOUNDLAND DOG says:

    No Sir. I live in Ontario.

  81. Bill H says:

    Good for you JB_15. I bet you work hard on your conditioning and have reason to be proud. And I truly believe that older veterans can bring a lot to a team, both on the ice and in the dressing room. But I suspect that when you get to the NHL and find yourself over 35 and on the downward slope of a 15 year career, it must be hard to find the motivation not only to maintain the high level of physical fitness necessary to compete with the young pups who are trying to take your job, but to give it 100% on the ice at all times. I’m willing to bet that the young guys that are in the Canadiens lineup are in better shape than they guys that you are playing with.

    I don’t get the chance to watch enough games to comment on guys like Brisbois and Smolinski, but judging by the majority of comments on this board, I get the impression that there is reason to question their play. I do wonder if an occasional rotation into the press box would help restore the motivation of either of those two, if that is what is needed.

    A lot of the criticism around some of the role players on the team seems to be related to coaching decisions. Brisbois being a top 4 D instead of #7, or Smokes playing a 5-on-3. And some of the criticism is more based on the actual play i.e. not taking out a man, or turning over the puck.

    There is so much going on in terms of psychology when it comes to finding chemistry and motivating the players over a brutal 9 month schedule. A lot of coaching decisions are made for reasons that we have no clue about. And the vets, I think, play a special role in creating that chemistry and team character. I think sometimes we should cut them a little more slack than what we give them.

    I think both those guys will be with us for however far we go this year. Let’s hope they can find a way to give it everything they’ve got when it counts. Wouldn’t it be great? Smokes wins the face off, back to Brisbois on the point for the winning goal, game 7, overtime, Stanley Cup final. For me, it doesn’t really matter who. I love it when our Habs are scoring goals.

  82. Bill H says:

    Thanks Hoegarden for the Carbo quote. Its probably just as well that they have the time off. But I hope they have a team meeting all the same and talk through what happened last night. There are a few things that need to be corrected for this team to succeed in the playoffs. A little bit of reflection might help the team in finding some answers.

  83. NEWFOUNDLAND DOG says:

    Listen…….. Say what U will.

    People seem not to read what is written but what they want to read……

    I call a spade a spade. I call it as I see it. I’m not here to win a popularity contest nor do I give a Rats @$$ what people think of me.

    I am intitled to my opinion as are you. So don’t judge the rest of Newfoundlanders based on my comments.

    I am not judging the rest of Quebec based on Carbo’s likes & dislikes. There are good and bad in ever Nationality.

  84. NEWFOUNDLAND DOG says:

    Racist or not I call it as I see it.

  85. G-Man says:

    Man, think before you bark! Woof!

    Gilbert

  86. Hoegarden says:

    Any of you heard of read about the mini bombshell S.Quintal dropped last night on RDS following the game ? He is quoted as saying that Saku is the only reason why Gainey shipped Ribeiro to Dallas.
    We kind of knew that bearing in mind that rumours from outside the box are just that, rumours. However, when they come from inside then it’s a bit more interesting. Both Rivest and Souray have gone meaning that Saku no longer carries the weight he once did. I hope this does not disrupt the team for the French Press will turn this comment over/under/sideways/down.
    Sorry for the quote, I’m an old Yardbirds fan…

  87. Smart Dog says:

    I was with you til the last part. I think the scenario of Smolinski winning a clutch face-off and Breezer scoring the winning goal in game 7 is highly unlikely fantasy… the two of them being on the ice last night during a power play caused an uproar, imagine them being in command positions in a clutch final! We do have some stong veterans on the team but those aren’t the guys who are going to take us forward. Let’s not be biased by age in either direction.

    ________________________________________________________________
    Habs Fans! The FUTURE looks bright:
    Plekanec, Higgins, Chipchura, A Kostitsyn, Lapierre, Latendress,
    Price, S Kostitsyn, Komisuarus, O’Byrne

  88. Smart Dog says:

    LOL

    I must have cousins in Newfoundland.

    ________________________________________________________________
    Habs Fans! The FUTURE looks bright:
    Plekanec, Higgins, Chipchura, A Kostitsyn, Lapierre, Latendress,
    Price, S Kostitsyn, Komisuarus, O’Byrne

  89. G-Man says:

    Another “rowf!” day for Carbo the morning after. One let down after the masterful display Thursday is the beginning of a bad habit. Seen it before, too, when we delivered Philly a good butt kicking. This team needs to build on games like those, not coast after them. Still, FIMO. Can’t win every game, right?

    Gilbert

  90. 24 Cups says:

    Hoegarden – The Yardbirds with songs like Shape of Things To Come, Heartful of Soul, For Your Love. Clapton, Beck, Page. Unreal. The British Invasion, I remember it so well.

    THe Original 24 Cups

  91. Vincent is possible says:

    Note to Carbo:

    LET HALAK PLAY TUESDAY. THE ONE PERSON WHO SHOWED UP ON SATURDAY NIGHT.
    HE WAS 100% AND IS HUNGRY. ANY ARGUEMENTS OUT THERE IN HABS’ LAND?

    __________________________________________________________________________
    “WE WANT VINCE! WE WANT VINCE!”

  92. Hoegarden says:

    Personally, I just wish Quintal had kept the lid on it. It does not take much to create havoc in the Montreal Press.

  93. Hoegarden says:

    Our recent 4th line is an interesting one when it comes to salary;

    Smolinski at 2 M with a no-trade clause and 12 big points
    Dandy at 1.75 M with 11 but in fairness he was signed as a D and
    Streit at 600 K with 28 points.

    So, by comparing salaries, we get a 6 to 1 return (600K vs 3.75M) from Streit against the other two and he still has 5 more points on the score-sheet (28 vs 23).
    Is our secret weapon due for a raise and a new contract ? Don’t you love the numbers game ?

  94. Chuck says:

    Not from me. That said, Huet has a habit of bouncing back for poor start, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he plays Tuesday.

    Not that anyone cares, but here are my thought’s concerning Huet and last night’s game. I’m pasting it from Boone’s “About Last Night” thread so I don’t have to type it all again. :)

    Even though they were playing like crap and were down by three, that fourth goal at the end of the second period was a backbreaker. Having a shot like that from the bottom of the faceoff circle beat you between your body and the post? Inexcuseable. If he stops that one, at least there’s a glimmer of hope going into the third period. As it was I was kind of proud of the Habs that they gave the effort that they did in the final period. Maybe it was just a show of support for Halak, but they skated harder, completed some passes, and showed some inginuity with the puck. Heck, they even scored on a great passing play!

    The potential was there for it to have been 3-1 with half of a period to play. Pot another quick one, and we would have been in for one heck of a ride over the final part of the third. Unfortunately, the last 20 seconds of the second put an end to that.

    Don’t get me wrong… I’m not laying all of the blame on Huet. The Markov giveaway and lack of pursuit that led up to the first goal was the kind of play that you’d expect to see from a pee-wee player, and not an NHL All-Star. Five skaters literally standing around and watching Jagr stickhandle in the middle of them, mezmerized? That might be my low-light of the year. The completely blown defensive assignment that led to the Rangers open net third goal? Give me a break. But even given all of that lack of effort, something simple like fundemental positional play by your goaltender right at the end of the period could have allowed the team to use a goal in the third as a launching point for a comeback. Instead it just allowed tham to say, “Hey, at least we didn’t get shutout.”

    Huet has never played in more than 45 games in an NHL season, and he might not do it this season, either. The most important thing that you can get from your #1 goaltender is consistency. And not just in the quality of play, but quantity, too. Brodeur, Luongo, Kiprusoff… they’re bonafide #1’s. San Jose’s goalie has started 50 straight games for them, dating back to last season.

    Let’s end this charade of pretending that Huet is currently able to carry the load of being a number one goale. Detroit has the best goaltending in the league, and they share the duties between two guys; they don’t pretend that either one has the endurance to play for long stretches, and it works just fine for them.

    Honestly, I hope that Huet proves me wrong from here on in, but given his track record not only this season, but over his entire career, I’m not going to hold out any hope of that happening any time soon.

    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________________
    “A banner for Vezina must hang from the rafters!”

  95. The Teacher says:

    Then get off the site. we have no room for close minded people like you.

  96. Chuck says:

    I wouldn’t hold your breath. :)
    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________________
    “A banner for Vezina must hang from the rafters!”

  97. Vincent is possible says:

    Excellent post Chuck.
    I also do not imply that the the entire blame is on Huet.
    But Halak deserves to play for showing he wants to be there last night. There are enough young guys from Hamilton who will put in a little extra effort this tuesday to support their fellow dog. Had this been a 2-0 or even 3-0 loss we wouldnt be having this conversation, but 4-0 at the end of the second last night said two things:

    1. The offense is asleep
    2. The goaltending is lousy (that night).

    I sure hope HUet isnt suddenly getting too comfortable now that Price is gone. Halak has potential, and Gainey could ven play him more in JAN/FEB because of the trade deadline! “Just a thought”
    __________________________________________________________________________
    “WE WANT VINCE! WE WANT VINCE!”

  98. The Teacher says:

    So what qualifies you to comment?

  99. nightmare_49 says:

    Nice read.

  100. nightmare_49 says:

    Great read.

  101. HABZ 24 says:

    asleep at the switch last night for sure.habs werent skating,passes werent cliking.huet stunk.gotta get it back in gear and win all the games this week.like that 4th line combo,most unusual.

  102. Chuck says:

    I’m probably over-reacting, but I want to pull my hair out when I see Huet pull a Bill Buckner and let a goal like that go in. And not just because a pee-wee goalie would have stopped it, but also the timing of it. How freakin’ demoralizing. It just sucks the life out of the team.

    There’s a lot being made about Huet being a goaltender that can make the the big save. Often times I worry more about his ability to concentrate and make the little ones.
    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________________
    “A banner for Vezina must hang from the rafters!”

  103. CHsam says:

    Your last sentence there should be quotable. He comes up big when crap is about to hit the fan, but then lets in these little ones that dribble by him or catch him with his knickers down. I’m thinking back to that Lecavalier break away. Cristobal should have been alert about the incoming danger.

    Anyways, that being said, I’m glad he’s not performing like Raycroft.

    Hoo-eeeehh.

  104. idle says:

    I can’t help but notice you picture of a dog looks more like and ape.

  105. TradeRyder says:

    Another kick in the gut for Toronto fans… On HNC Bowman said he was pretty much ready to go take over the Toronto club when they backed out.

    TSN says:

    “The Hall of Fame coach told Hockey Night In Canada that he was close to taking the job as the team’s president last summer, only to be turned away later. Bowman said Peddie told him later that they had decided to keep things status quo because it was three weeks before training camp.”

    Ouch! LOL It’s sad really… gotta have sympathy.

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

  106. CHsam says:

    Pity I didn’t see the game. But shouldn’t guys like Kovalev and Andrei Kost and Markov be on the ice at that point???

  107. Chuck says:

    What does training camp have to do with anything? Did Peddie feel that Bowman was too far out of shape? :)
    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________________
    “A banner for Vezina must hang from the rafters!”

  108. Smart Dog says:

    LOL.

    ________________________________________________________________
    Habs Fans! The FUTURE looks bright:
    Plekanec, Higgins, Chipchura, A Kostitsyn, Lapierre, Latendress,
    Price, S Kostitsyn, Komisuarus, O’Byrne

  109. Smart Dog says:

    Samsanov was kind of a fiasco… I don’t know his career that well – were there signs?

    Free agent signings are always a gamble. He also picked up Hamrlik – I give him an A+ for that one. And Kostopolous (a B?). Though trading in Bonk and Johnson for the likes of Smolinski… I wondered at the time why we let those guys go. Imagine if we had kept them! And our PK was strong – we’d be kicking some major butt in the standings, the whole team would feel a little more secure. Tough mistake.

    ________________________________________________________________
    Habs Fans! The FUTURE looks bright:
    Plekanec, Higgins, Chipchura, A Kostitsyn, Lapierre, Latendress,
    Price, S Kostitsyn, Komisuarus, O’Byrne

  110. Chuck says:

    If you’re two goals down mid-third period and you get a power play, why would’t you pull out all of the stops and put your big guns out there? If they’re tired from the shift before, call a time out and give them a breather. Then go with 5 forwards: Kovalev, Plekanec, Kostitsyn, Higgins and one of Koivu/Kostitsyn2/Ryder/Latendresse. Put either of the latter two off of the far post to puck up the garbage goals.

    This business of worrying about giving up a shorthanded goal when you’re already down by two is pointless. If you don’t score, you’re out of it anyway so you may as well concentrate on putting the puck in the net. And if it’s inside of 2 minutes to go, pull your goaltender while you’re at it.
    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________________
    “A banner for Vezina must hang from the rafters!”

  111. nightmare_49 says:

    Again nice read.

  112. POPS says:

    82 game season…lets not worry about 1 game!!What I am interested in is the lack of trade speculation around the team.When it is quiet I believe that the wheels are turning.When Gainey brought in Kovalev there were no rumours and it happened in a flash so I hope the same is going on right now.I would love to see a Lecavalier and I would like to know what posters think of this package for Vinny:Plekanec,Ryder,Huet,Boullion, and a 1st RD pick in 2008 for Lecavalier,A.Roy, and M.Denis.

  113. Ice Man says:

    If I were Vinny L. I would not come within 10 miles of Montreal. The way the Fans are. The way the Media are. The high Canadian tax rate. The bad winter weather.

    I would rather play in the Sunshine State. Awsome weather all year. Less taxes. Less pressure from Fans and Media.

    Seriously. Do you really think that he would want to sign in Montreal knowing all of the above issues?

    I can’t find one positive reason as to why he would want to come here.

  114. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    it has to be in his heart… a desire to play for the GREAT Les Canadiens…

    if not then we don’t need him…if he is only concerned about $$$$ then he is not welcome.
    we need players with passion, an element that goes beyond chasing dollars.

    as great as he is, where is Tampa today…bottom.

    Winning a cup is about a great team, not some saviour.
    ———
    1. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans.
    2. Your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”.
    3. Delenda Est Torontium….

  115. PGHABS says:

    I wish the Habs farm team was in Montreal, i think they would get great attendance. It would give us a great chance to view the Habs prospects as well.

  116. Smart Dog says:

    You’d never get it. Plekanic is the gem in that trade. But as good as he is, he’s an unknown yet. They’d want you to throw in Higgy or K1 too… then they might have coffee with you.

    For me, I think we have the team in formation – and a year from now, we’ll be in a stronger position to deal. When these kids age a year they’ll be more proven, and also we’ll know who we absolutely want to keep. Making a big trade now does not make sense IMHO.

    ________________________________________________________________
    Habs Fans! The FUTURE looks bright:
    Plekanec, Higgins, Chipchura, A Kostitsyn, Lapierre, Latendress,
    Price, S Kostitsyn, Komisuarus, O’Byrne

  117. Smart Dog says:

    Nice! lol

    ________________________________________________________________
    Habs Fans! The FUTURE looks bright:
    Plekanec, Higgins, Chipchura, A Kostitsyn, Lapierre, Latendress,
    Price, S Kostitsyn, Komisuarus, O’Byrne

  118. Sulemaan says:

    Very good post. One of your best Chuck.

  119. Sulemaan says:

    I think Quintal is just trying to make a name for him the press. Just like all the other former players that are now talking heads (P.J. Stock, Barnaby). The Habs have been a shitty team for years and Koivu could have asked to be traded a LONG time ago. He plays through cancer and inspires the team to the playoffs to beat a team they had no business beating. He almost loses his eye through injury (which killed our playoff momentum that year). He contributes to the community non-stop through his foundation. And the French press (including Quintal) still crap on him.

    From what I recall, Quintal was a mediocre defenseman who left Montreal as a free-agent to make big bucks with the Rangers and got sent packing. He should keep his mouth shut. From what I recall Theodore, Ribiero and Dagenais formed a clique in the dressing room.

    Even if Koivu has slowed down, I’d take Koivu any day over Ribiero and twice on Sunday. And it isn’t a language thing because Latendresse has said he is one of the best and classiest players he has played with.

  120. The Teacher says:

    HEY, WHERE’S THE SUSPENSION ON SUNDIN??????

  121. Ice Man says:

    I could not stay on the sidelines anymore.

    I heard the interview with Scotty last night on HNIC after the Leafs loss. Which was sweet by the way. Not a total loss last night. Scotty told all. Leafs loss I’d say. Scotty would have made that team very good if he was left alone to do his job and not told what to do by upper management.

  122. NEWFOUNDLAND DOG says:

    Carbo is a BIGOT. He is a very prejudiced person who is intolerant and ignorant.

    If you are not French then you are nothing in Carbo’s eyes…

    There I said it…….. This comment will probally be bashed and deleted. But I don’t give a crap…….

  123. RetroMikey says:

    I was not able to watch the game last night since I was at the game in Hamilton watching our Dogs get smacked by Rochester 7-3 with Carey Price letting in 5 goals and being replaced by Danis. Was I surprised we lost to the Rangers last night? No! Am I going to push the panic button? No!
    Am I starting to criticize Carbonneau on this thread? No! Am I looking forward to the Islanders game with a better performance? Yes! Let’s look forward to the next game people and we’ve got to stop all this negativity! Move forward and not backwards I say!

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

  124. The Teacher says:

    okkkkk, whatever you say dude!

  125. NEWFOUNDLAND DOG says:

    I would expect that comment from you……..

  126. The Teacher says:

    likewise ;)

    you fail to surprise me.

    do you live in Quebec?

  127. Ed says:

    I disagree. When the top PP unit is on, it could be Kovalev, Plekanecs, A. Kostitsyn, Markov, Streit, and Huet. None of them are even from North America. Also, I don’t believe that his son in law, who plays with Dallas, is from Quebec. Carbonneau does not care where you were born. He wants results. The players he has benched this year come from all backgrounds.

  128. habsguy says:

    WOW..I didn’t know Halak is french !!!!!.
    Shouldn’t there be an age limit to post here !!!!

  129. The Teacher says:

    Yup, he’s from Slov-ville apparently ;)

  130. habsguy says:

    BTW, when you make a STUPID comment like that, what would you expect…

  131. The Teacher says:

    I have to agree, it WAS stupid…a little racist of him also….

  132. linp says:

    Here are some random thoughts the day after:
    There was only one team who came to play last night. Why this happened?
    After the team gave up the 1st goal, the team spirit and the team play evaporated. The team reverted back to the bad habit (everyone just dumped the puck out). Do you think the coach should call a time-out and address the situation with the players? If the goalie had an off day, whether it is Price or Huet, wouldn’t you think they should be benched as soon as possible?
    Almost everyone had an off day yesterday. If the veterans were just going through the motion, how do you expect the youngsters to follow?
    Sorry for this post. I am just looking for answers.

  133. TradeRyder says:

    No – this is a good post. (And constructive – let’s go there)..

    I have wondered why Carbo doesn’t sometimes call a time out when this happens. We’ve all seen it several times this year – the team is playing well, maybe even up 2 or 3 goals, and all of a sudden an unexpected one goes in and you can feel what’s going to happen next. If you’re Carbo, and you know your team, why don’t you call a time-out right there and shake them up, get their confidence back? You don’t see this very often, but I think somme NHL coaches (the really good ones) do this.

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

  134. 24 Cups says:

    ND – I think you’re way over the top on this one. I only count 6 French Canadiens on this team (Huet doesn’t count)and none of them are core players. Heck, two years from now there may only be two of them left on the Habs’ roster. If anything, Carbo’s main concern would probably be how to integrate the Russian players onto the team. Take it easy man.

    The Orginal 24 Cups

  135. Hoegarden says:

    Let’s face it, last night was bound to happen and it likely will happen a few more times.
    This Ranger left jab does not put the team on their knees. I’ve said it before, the team has been very lucky so far in not having “major” injuries to deal with. Just look at Colorado and Chicago. Carbo’s decision to give they boys the day off is a good sign that he’s already put that game behind. I do however fear that a curfew might be in order the next time they’re in Manhattan.
    Smolinsky on the 5 on 3; this chap was signed for his defensive skills and apparently his taking faceoffs not his stickhandling and\or playmaking, I don’t get it. It’ll be interesting to see who plays on Tuesday.

  136. habsguy says:

    Ya, I saw Maurice do it before.

  137. Smart Dog says:

    There’s no reason for panic, it’s just one game and the team that put up so many wins the last month is still there. But I think we all have a similar concern, based on the up-and-down play of this team over the year so far.

    What I am wondering is will Carbo figure out how to stop these train-wreck games early on? Once they start, they just seem to keep going… Maybe it’s a matter of putting the winning team back on the ice… you can’t jump to conclusions this quickly, but it sure does have me wondering if it takes a lot of rookie excitement to bring this team alive. And if some of our veterans are just dead weight in the locker room. With more veterans in the line-up I sure didn’t see any signs of leadership last night, except for Higgins maybe with his play which was strong.

    Thoughts?

    ________________________________________________________________
    Habs Fans! The FUTURE looks bright:
    Plekanec, Higgins, Chipchura, A Kostitsyn, Lapierre, Latendress,
    Price, S Kostitsyn, Komisuarus, O’Byrne

  138. habsguy says:

    TradeRyder…where did you get this about Carbo “calling out Price because of where he grew up..I would love to read it……If there is actually anything to it ???

  139. Smart Dog says:

    Playing him 5-on-3 seems just strange. Recently when I checked his face-off percentage was below 50-50. So there’s no reason for it. I think Carbo seems to sometimes play a struggling veteran in a clutch situation to show faith… but this is not one of my favorite things that he does.

    And what’s wrong with a curfew? The team looks like they should have had one.

    ________________________________________________________________
    Habs Fans! The FUTURE looks bright:
    Plekanec, Higgins, Chipchura, A Kostitsyn, Lapierre, Latendress,
    Price, S Kostitsyn, Komisuarus, O’Byrne

  140. The Teacher says:

    My thoughts were that last night was a suck-fest.

    No point dwelling on it, EVERYONE knows that EVERYONE sucked.

    Last I heard, even the best team in NHL history still lost 8 games ;)

    On to Tuesday.

  141. Bill H says:

    He vowed to turn over a new leaf and try to see the positive. Didn’t last long. Only with that post, he went beyond negative, beyond stupid, right into the realm of idiotic. He must live a miserable existence that keeps spouting such a hateful attitude.

  142. The Teacher says:

    Maybe Carbo knows which players usually show up in the playoffs and he’s got the bigger picture in mind? but I agree, Smokes on a 5 on 3 is a bit much.

    might have been trying to send a message to his PP players to step it up?

  143. TradeRyder says:

    LOL. There must be some journalists on here… trying to make something out of nothing. I didn’t say that – just read down below for what I did say. Mostly what I said is that I think Carbo handled Price poorly and that I thought he might have been caught in a pissing contest between Gainey and Carbo.

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

  144. The Teacher says:

    That’s what i thought as well…..

    also find it funny that he seems to have disappeared.

  145. TradeRyder says:

    LOL

    Good point.

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

  146. Bill H says:

    It wasn’t Carbo’s decision to give the boys the day off. I read somewhere here that he couldn’t book the ice time.

  147. RetroMikey says:

    JB_15:

    I can tell you that I’m 42 and still play competitively hockey in a men’s league and still have the mojo out there to teach the young guns (Pepsi Generations I call them) a thing or two in hockey. Although, I’ve lost a step, they respect me and hope to be in my physical condition 20 years down the road). Hurray for all the old goats out there in Chelios, Smolinski, Brisebois, etc…don’t understand what you mean being over the hill is to Smolinski or Brisebois who are much younger than me???

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

  148. The Teacher says:

    I agree….

    btw, when did Breezer ever start climbing up the hill to be over it?

  149. Bill H says:

    Could you be more specific? What did Carbo do that was poor handling of Price? Your accusation is so vague as to be ridiculous. I don’t think you know anything about how Carbo handled Price. Were you there? Sure sounds like it. Pissing match between Gainey and Carbo? Wild and pointless speculation. What are you trying to do, boost your readership with baseless and factless speculation? If you really believed what you say and took the trouble to explain what you mean, it might actually be a meaningful contribution to the discussion here. I suspect you lack the maturity to formulate an opinion and express it with anything that resembles a credible argument. Get a life TR.

  150. Hoegarden says:

    We sometimes assume that leadership will come from the vets on the team and it certainly was not the case last night. Koivu, Smolinsky and Brisebois did not provide any and Kovy had a so-so night. You would expect to have at least one show some. To be honest, I switched to the Sens-Wings game after the second 5 on 3 as you could sense that it was not going to happen.
    So, I agree with you that the rookies are the ones needed to push the veterans to get going. Some of them have to be wondering if they’ll have a job next year, anywhere in the NHL. I don’t think anyone expected such a positive response from the young guns out of Hamilton. They have all brought with them some grit, speed and commitment. Once Gainey and Carbo definitely identify the true leaders on this team, they will be able to dispose of the “dead wood” on the team.

  151. habsguy says:

    Bill………:-)

  152. Hoegarden says:

    American beer gives awful hangovers and let’s face it, who goes to the Big Apple to sit around the Hotel lobby ?

  153. TradeRyder says:

    Whatever

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

  154. Bill H says:

    That’s what I thought. LOL

  155. gumper says:

    I was a bit concerned to hear one of the sports writers on the last podcast say, “It looks like David Fischer is going to be a wash.” I went and checked his stats for this year, and they’re brutal. This was a fairly high first rounder. Anyone know what’s going on with him? Are we really going to have another first rounder not even make it to the pro ranks?

  156. Sulemaan says:

    You’re right Gumper. Fischer isn’t having a great season but defenceman take longer to develop. The Habs allowed Beauchemin and Hainsey to leave via waivers and they both went on the success elsewhere. He was only drafted 2 years ago so I’m hesitant to write him off just yet.

    But even if he doesn’t pan out, I think Timmins and the scouting staff have done a solid job. Drafting isn’t really an exact science so unfortunately not every pick is going to be hit out of the park.

  157. Blitzen says:

    Go Habs GO!

    The positive about rolling four solid lines all the time is that guys will be more rested as the season progresses. And then we have enough quality depth to push those in the line-up to try all the time.

    I think Dandy glaring at Carbo was great. Keep these guys on the edge. You wanna play, well then you play like you mean it. No freeriders.

  158. doug says:

    I worry that he thinks he (Dandenault) can get away with that crap. Yes he’s a veteran, but he’s blind if he doesn’t think there are others who are about to take his job. He’s already moved up to the forward lines from defense – does he need to start wearing pads before he sees that there are only so many spots?

    The bottom line is that Carbonneau has shown great composure for not allowing this to be a scandal. If we lose a couple it will come up again, and we’ll see how Carbonneau really feels. I don’t think this is great at all, it’s just tolerated right now because we’re winning. We shall see. . .

  159. Sulemaan says:

    Hey Blitzen,

    It appears that Dandenault was not staring down Carbonneau after he scored his second goal against Boston to ice the game. He said he was actually looking at Kirk Muller on the bench acknowledging him. Apparently before the game Muller was telling Dandy that he would score two goals and Dandenault didn’t believe him. So there wasn’t anything negative at all. This was reported on RDS and Dandenault said himself it was sad that people were reading into his reaction and there was nothing negative intended by it at all.

    The article is here (albeit in french): http://www.rds.ca/canadien/chroniques/243588.html

    I also did believe that Dandenault was staring down Carbo as well. I figured he was cheezed off for being benched in the previous game.

  160. JF says:

    Just for the record, Dandy said yesterday that his stare was directed at Kirk Muller, who had joked with him about needing to score a couple of goals to stay in the lineup. There was no ill feeling in it.

  161. martin says:

    hey you guys whoe been watching the dogs, how is the tough guy jimmy bonneau(hope thats correct)?Is he still up there, could he help?

  162. showey47 says:

    he has only played 5 games with the dogs this year with one goal, i don’t know if he is up as a healthy scratch or back in cincinnati

  163. Ed says:

    As you say, we will have to depend on someone who watches the dogs. I can’t determine where he is playing now. The stats show that he has played in the AHL & the ECHL, but not much in either place.

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php3?pid%5B%5D=70642

    He is still listed as being on Hamilton’s roster, so he must be with them. He is #44.

    http://www.hamiltonbulldogs.com/index.php?module=page&id=1000

  164. Sulemaan says:

    I have to be honest. I didn’t think Montreal would make the playoffs as I thought Souray departure would hurt the power-play, which was our bread and butter last year. Hamrlik came in and helped solidify the defence and the power-play is still clicking along. Streit was interchangeable with Souray and PP hasn’t missed a beat. The other concern I had was whether the team would show up for Carbo (i.e. Kovalev) and that has been answered as well.

    I completely agree with Ian, that we must continue to build through the draft and keep our young players and prospects. The exception MIGHT be if Gainey makes one other Alex Kovalev type of trade (Balej and 2nd round pick) but I think the team is clicking on all cylinders. With the youth starting to blossom it is providing us depth in case of injuries and also putting pressure on players to perform. Love it.

    With the next round of players in the ranks starting to blossom (McDonough, Pacrioetty, Fischer, Subban, Valetenkto, White, Maxwell) and other ‘senior rookies’ such as Chipchura, D’Agostini, Grabovski, Price – our future looks stronger than ever. Trevor Timmins is a blessing regardless of what RDS says about his track record in drafting french players.

    Right now from a coaching perspective, the only major concern that I can see that need to be addressed are the penalty-kill and continued improvement on face-offs. I’m sure the coaching staff will address those areas.
    I was on the fence concerning Carbonneau at one point this season when went into a swoon but he seems to have learned from last year. All credit to the new line combinations go to him and the coaching staff.

    With respect to the players, I think we do need to get a big centermen and a power-forward type of player who can inject scoring and toughness into the line-up. I’m stating the obvious of course as I’m sure Gainey is looking for such players. I never had any doubts over him since he was hired. Best GM we’ve had in a long time. I think players such as Brisebois and Smolinski are not our future and need to move on but they do provided some leadership and experience to the line-up. If we do make the playoffs, that experience will come in hand. I’ve always liked Michael Ryder (his 3 goal game against Toronto last year was great) but it’s time he moved on as well. Whether it be this season or i the off-season. Gainey will decide what is best.

    Looking back, I think it’s a blessing we didn’t sign players such as Briere, Gomez, Smyth as free-agents because they are all getting old and well into their 30’s. In a few years they will get older, slower and still be on expensive multi-year deals that will hurt our salary cap. We need to keep the money ready to resign players such as Komisarek and others.

    All in all, the future looks very good indeed. (Apologies for the long post mes amis.)

  165. doug says:

    Agree with everything you’ve written. Nice post.

    My only disagreements are minor:

    a. I think we made too much of Ryder’s slump too fast. . . affected his value, etc. and I would still like to see him around.
    b. Not sure about Brisebois as a leader. There’s a distinction between being a veteran and being a leader and I think he’s more of the former.

  166. J.T. says:

    As far as I can see, there are basically two rules for managing a team under the cap: keep your picks and prospects and save your money.

    Cheap young talent needs to fill a third to half the spots on your team. That comes from drafting well and holding on to those guys as they develop.

    The money needs to go to your own guys as they shift from being cheap young talent to established stars. If you run out and spend it wildly on mid-tier free agents, you’ll have nothing left to pay your own guys and you’ll end up with a bunch of high-priced guys with no loyalty to your organization and little motivation to perform. But if you save your money and pay your guys fairly, you end up with people who were drafted into and developed in your organization who have a connection to your city and your fans. You also have a sensible budget and if some irresistable player becomes available who’s really worth the money and the risk, you have a chance of affording him because you’re not bogged down with a slew of high-priced underperformers.

  167. Ian G Cobb says:

    At a boy Sulemaan, Everyone is posting great stuff this morning. Must be something in the air !!

  168. 24 Cups says:

    Well said Sulemaan. I’m certainly not against some tinkering and that may well be another discussion for another day. But I am deadset against signing overpriced free agents (Briere, Gomez, Kariya) and I’m equally against making any rent-a-player deals in late February (Forsberg, Symth, Guerin, Tkachuk). Historically, most of these deals never work out as planned and right now the asking price is way out of line. It’s a very high price to pay to just win a playoff series (if that). Plus, I’m not sure what it does for team chemistry. I think more balanced trades can take place during the summer when teams aren’t holding a gun at your head.

    The Original 24 Cups

  169. calvee123 says:

    Well it sure does look better right now than about a month ago when they lost to Tampa Bay at home. I said then and have seen the same thing said now more and more that they need to stand pat and just bring up their young guys they developed. It is working out as I see it.

    I think they have a good chance at getting a win tonight at MSG. If they play the way they can (and have had a night of rest) it should be good for them.

    It is good to see Huet getting the work and towing the line. He must have needed to get on a roll and play consecutive games to gain any lost confidence back.

    I see the game is going to be broadcast on CBC tonight as I am working all day I am going to try and watch it over the net.

  170. HKisses says:

    Calvee…Pleaseee do tell me where ur gonan watch thiis oover the net….im at work till 7:30 but would like to catch sum previews of the game….so lemme know where we canwatch it:) thanks

  171. G-Man says:

    Chemistry begins on the farm with every coach and player following the same style of play. A season or 2 acclimates the youngsters and they begin to react on the ice within the system by instinct. It’s no wonder that Plekanec and Lapierre are developing into great centers, they’ve had seasons in the Habs system. There is a “Habs Way” to play this game, not only defensively, but offensively as well and as these players gel, the game we will watch will be one of speed, toughness and finesse. This roster is the best-balanced the Habs have had for years. Maybe the ultimate “team” concept will work, without Ryan Bleeping Getzlaf!

    Gilbert

  172. Ian G Cobb says:

    Great post. but please dont,t get that started again!!

  173. doug says:

    We are an emotional bunch! Things get bad and we panic. . . things go well and we exalt. The truth lies somewhere in between. As far as I see it and continue to see it (not to be George W. with respect to not changing my perspective despite new data):

    a. I’ve believed since the start of last year that we were deep in young talent and now I’m more worried about making the right choices to retain than anything else. We are almost impossibly deep – I remember in the early 90’s we had a situation like this and we dumped good young player after good player and eventually it ended up costing us – Craig Conroy, Andrew Cassels, Brent Gilchrist (not as young at the time). . . lots of people who had very solid careers. The above list is not nearly complete. I don’t think we’ll repeat that but I hope we make the right choices and do the right things with who we don’t keep (i.e., what we get in return). It’s perplexing because beyond a superstar I don’t know that we can get more value than the unclear value we’ll be giving up (unclear because they’re so young). People talk about grabbing Vanek – he’s a solid player but at that price? I prefer to stick with our horses but who should we let go? We have five NHL ready players and two NHL ready goalies in Hamilton!
    b. Carbonneau has always been a reputed genius in good times. The single question I’ve had and continue to have is what does he do when he go through a downturn? Last year he had a really tough time and became sour – this year he’s managed to avoid the personal attacks, etc. but he does change lines fairly quickly. We’re getting a great effort now but is it serendipity or ingenuity with respect to the lines? If it’s the latter than I’d hope he’d just stick with them a little longer during the inevitable next rough patch.
    c. Plekanec needs to be signed for four years or so; same for Streit; Komisarek for six. There’s a ton of talent but because of either anticipated relative value for the dollar (Streit, Pleks) or superstar talent/growth (Komi) they need to be shored up NOW.
    d. Cristobal Huet – who I have been really behind and believed that he should have been the starter throughout – is definitely having a cold spell. I’ve favored resigning him but in the light of day I think that there are reasons I’m not an NHL GM.

    My last point relates to the topic of Hickey’s story. I haven’t read yet, but I find it laughable that we’re talking about “finding a fourth line”. Can we let them play a second game together before we declare victory? Many feel-good stories right now, but this one seems premature!

    Apologies for the long-windedness.

  174. Ian G Cobb says:

    Not at all! Good read Doug!

  175. JF says:

    Good post. Your concerns about making the right choices among our prospects and making sure we get good value for the ones we do are very valid. I doubt we’ll get a superstar, and with so many of our players now scoring regularly I wonder whether we need one. A big centre who can win faceoffs and another top-four defenseman would be more useful and wouldn’t cost so much.

    As for Carbonneau, I think he’s showing flashes of how good a coach he is becoming. There are still problems – his tendency to panic and juggle his lines when things start to go badly, and maybe he still needs to improve his communication skills (eg. early in the season, benching Begin without first talking to him). But overall he’s much calmer and more relaxed than last year, and he’s making better decisions. Now if only he would stop telling the team to go into a defensive shell early in the third period when we’re up by a goal!

    I agree about Huet. He wasn’t great against Chicago, and one of the goals against Boston seemed soft, although some argue that both were flukes. And he did make a great save at point-blank range after the Gorges gaffe. If that had gone in, the whole game could have been different. I guess we’ll see after tonight. If he doesn’t play well, Halak will start against the Islanders.

  176. Rugger says:

    Agree with all you say. I think the key when the time comes is to trade people like Ryder (Though I don’t want to see him go) for picks/prospects like we did with Rivet. Trading for “equivelent” player just further clogs the development below. Just keep restocking with the draft as the prospects come up.

  177. Xtrahabsfan says:

    I can accept Kovalev and the rest having a bad game but should not the guys who have sucked all year try a suck it up and bale out the guy’s that have been carrying their sorry butts ? Is it to much to ask Ryder or Smoke or Huet to step it up and be the man?Talk about your useless nipples on a bull!Well ,time to make the changes necessary for the run to the big show,the writings on the wall!

  178. Ed says:

    Dave, what a background you have! You must have been devastated when Victor was killed. I can see why Sarah Ward’s picture sent shivers down your spine. What a coincidence to promote the photos, and then get one taken right where Victor’s ashes were spread. I will have to try and see some of this movie.

  179. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    you know, most here point out a bad pass or a giveaway, and maybe its wrong to always pinpoint HIS errors, but now that i’ve REALLY analyzed his game…”you know what you have when times our tough”…and he is NOT A LEADER…and at his age he should be spilling out LEADERSHIP at minimum to be in the lineup…the youth movement do not look up to him BECAUSE HE IS NOT sending any POSITIVE MESSAGES with his play or his LOOKS. True he is alway WHINING…”why did you have to hit me”…”it was icing did you have to go hard into the boards”…he is NOT A VICIOUS TIGER, that SNAPS…in fact HE NEVER SNAPS …EVER….CUBE SNAPS, HAMMR SNAPES, KOMI is writing a book on DESTRUCTION..MARKOV has snapped but has other classy ways of making a fool out of a forward…and GORGES gives his heart even though he has other short comings…but OBRYN is on the way.

    Everyone is going to say we are picking on BRIEEXZE again….SO WHAT..when looking to why you lost it starts with the coach…then the D…then the GOALIE then the FORWARDS.

    you were brought back…now go gracefully into the press box…good hotdogs there, glass of wine..relax..plan your trip to France..relax…you’ll play 5 or 6 games before end of season…then retire with class.

    ———
    1. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans.
    2. Your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”.
    3. Delenda Est Torontium….

  180. nightmare_49 says:

    Hamilton Dawgs lost to Rochester 7-3. Scorers for the Dawgs – Stewart – Chipchura – D’Agostini. The third star was Chipchura. Carey Price was pulled after 31 mins. giving up 5 goals on 13 shots.

  181. Sulemaan says:

    What a difference from the optimism this morning. I’m certainly disappointed/disgusted how the entire team (except Halak) did not show up tonight. This game was bad. No other way around it.

    However, I do think that this season is not a sprint but a marathon per se. We don’t want to react like Leaf fans and panic all of sudden after one loss considering how many wins were put together before it.

    If we look at the Habs, they are ahead of where everyone expected them to be at this point of the year. Everyone expected them to be like the Leafs. Let’s see how the team reacts and plays on Long Island on Tuesday. I think we’ll get the hometown special from Komisarek and Higgins.

    Before we start panicking let’s see how the team does on Tuesday. I do think that Halak should start in nets so we give Huet a rest. I also think that Kostopolous needs to come back in the lineup. We might even want Begin in there if he’s healthy to add some energy because it was lacking tonight. Smolinski and Brisebois? Meh.

  182. Sulemaan says:

    I don’t think we could get him for a day. But maybe where the writers get him on the Habs I/O puckcast and people email questions in advance. That might not be bad idea…

  183. The Teacher says:

    Give huet a rest? He’ll have three days off.

  184. Sulemaan says:

    I agree. Someone like Larry Robinson, Jacques Lapperiere or even Raymond Bourque or Chris Chelios (when he retires).

  185. martin says:

    sure enough let see what happens. But a little effort? You can’t perform on a nightly basis for the money they get? Well I have to agree with the people that say give young uns there do.You pay for what you get is the old adage but not here. GOOOOOOOOOObYYYYYYYYYe brisebois,gorges,smol,and possibly a few more who only work when they are on the bubble

  186. Sulemaan says:

    Give him four days off then.

  187. Sulemaan says:

    I agree. We should play the young guns instead. Hence my ‘meh’ comment about Brisebois and Smolinski.

  188. Chuck says:

    He apparently had tonight off, too. :)
    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________________
    “A Vezina banner must hang from the rafters!”

  189. martin says:

    This the in between of the an old boys club similiar to gretzkys scrap olympic team where they feel they have to retain their ties to these guys. I don’t blame them but once the writing is on the wall , well it’s time to comeback to reality. Gainey you got the brains, if carbo is not the answer or those old fools waisting our time well pull the trigger. You were in Texas where thats a common experience. nGet rid of the ole boyzs club and lets win

  190. The Teacher says:

    Gonna have to wait at least 6 more years for Chelly.

  191. Chuck says:

    The role player veterans were brought in for a year as a stop-gap solution in case the youngsters weren’t quite ready to step up. Over the last half-dozen or more games, I think that as a group they’ve performed admirably… well enough so that they could continue to enjoy extra ice time to further their development. Might be worth considering.
    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________________
    “A Vezina banner must hang from the rafters!”

  192. nightmare_49 says:

    So we got blown out , that’s hockey but what BUGS me is what Hab’s prof. already pointed out before he started bashing – changing lines after the 1st period. Everybody in the world knows Carbo is going to change his lines if we are behind after the first , it’s a pattern and it’s a given. Sometimes when your not playing good it has to be done , but when your on an unbeaten streak it’s called panic. Now all the coaches in the NHL know that if you get the lead after the first the pattern will set in. PANIC. Could this be the reason why the Habs have never comeback after being behind after the 1st period this year. Secondly , we started this unbeaten streak when Carbo finally separated Saku and Higgins so what does he do but put them back together after the 1st period.

  193. G-Man says:

    Another flat night at MSG. I say FIMO. They’ve been playing very well of late and had a night where everything that could go wrong did. Tuesday will tell the tale of this road trip.

    Gilbert

  194. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    Folks, we cannot succeed on talent alone….your need PASSION.

    sure we have talent, dipsy doodle here and there, but when you comeup against a team that will match you in skating and close your space with HARD HITTING…TALENT WILL GET YOU NOWHERE.

    YOU HAVE TO BE DRIVEN.

    watch the ROCKET..its ALL THERE….DRIVE and PASSION, thats what wins CUPS. Someone has to turn the FIRE ON and its supposed to be the Coach but it can come from other areas of the bench…

    ya i know its just ONE game…but we’ve seen it before.

    Once the ‘ROCKET’ spent all day moving his furniture and then went to play hockey that night…his brother inlaw couldn’t even walk up the stairs at the forum….but the ROCKET scored 5 GOALS….thats PASSION folks, because PASSION will drive you beyond FATIGUE, end of roadtrip, got in late..and any other excuse…
    ———
    1. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans.
    2. Your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”.
    3. Delenda Est Torontium….

  195. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    you hit a good point…we are the ONLY TEAM IN THE LEAGUE who hasn’t come back after trailing in the first period….and we are also the ONLY TEAM IN THE LEAGUE WHO CHANGES-SHUFFLES THE ENTIRE LINEUP after trailing in the first.

    coincidence? NO!
    ———
    1. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans.
    2. Your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”.
    3. Delenda Est Torontium….

  196. Chuck says:

    In the headline, Dave described the Habs as “flat”. I think that Dave was being kind; if anything they were “concave”.
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    ______________________________________________
    “A Vezina banner must hang from the rafters!”

  197. idle says:

    Just curious, why was that particular location chosen?

  198. linp says:

    Those who think that our current roster can win the cup, they better think twice.
    I fully agree with what has been said by a number of posters. The team was playing with the youthfulness until these two veterans return. The demotion of Chip and Price doesn’t help the team spirit. Price had a bad game and was demoted. With the same logic, Huet should be demoted also. Seriously, we still need help if we want to make some noises during the playoff. Also please bring Chip back.

  199. idle says:

    I would be embarrassed if you guys were to ask Gainey some questions. Forget how he would react to the questions about why Brisebois and Smolinski suck, how do you think he will react when he is asked why Huet lets in soft goals and can’t win a game for us??

  200. idle says:

    A nice post Sulemaan

  201. idle says:

    Good point Chuck. It is too simple to look at things only in terms of is so and so a great player or not. People think all you have to do CHOOSE all good players and they will magically be on your team. There is a limit to who you can and can’t get and sometimes players are on the team because there is no better solution at the time. Young players with no one to fall back on is a dangerous game. Unless you want your work to all of a sudden get rid of all its middle management and have all the first year employees run the show?

    …humm, actually that sounds like a great idea if you are not one of those middle management

  202. smiler2729 says:

    Big deal so we lose to the Rangers… My hearts, prayers, thoughts and hockey soul go out to CBC’s Don Wittman. He is a true original and helped shape my whole Canadian hockey lovin’ personna as a HNIC brat by being THE VOICE of the West! All those great Oilers, Flames, Jets and Canucks playoffs in the ’80s and ’90s… staying up late, God truly Bless you Don, GET BETTER, Canada needs you.

  203. idle says:

    You don’t demote a goalie for having a bad game. Clearly they felt he needed more work or to work on some specifics of his game. Perhaps his performance with Hamilton tonight shows that he does need to continue his development in a ‘safer’ environment then in Montreal.

  204. NEWFOUNDLAND DOG says:

    Well ……… Just got back from Hamilton. The Bulldogs got their butts handed to them 7-3.

    Price got pulled after giving up 5 goals on 14 shots. Yes… 5 goals on 14 shots.

    Then Danis came in, gave up a goal on the first shot and another on the 3rd shot. Danis had a total of 8 shots on him.

    Price went to the bench after being pulled and he slammed the gate door. Boy oh Boy he was livid. Never seen him like that before. He is now starting to show his fustrations. He is no longer Mr. Cool.

    I feel that Price has lost his confidence. Even in the two games he won this week he was still weak. Price is in some serious trouble. Some thing went terribly wrong in Montreal behind the scenes I think.

    What a crappy weekend. Price gets his Butt kicked. The habs loose tonight and Friday night I lost big time playing poker at the casino…………. What else is going to top off my weekend ???????/

  205. Chuck says:

    He ain’t the only one… ;)
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    ______________________________________________
    “A Vezina banner must hang from the rafters!”

  206. Chuck says:

    How did the Dogs play in fromt of Price? Was his anger directed at a lack of effort in front of him, or his own play?

    He might have been thinking to himself, “I could have stayed in Montreal and received this lack of support, but at least I’d still be earning an NHL salary!” :)
    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________________
    “A Vezina banner must hang from the rafters!”

  207. Chuck says:

    Laffs up 2-1 in the third.
    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________________
    “A Vezina banner must hang from the rafters!”

  208. keepthefaith says:

    why no ryder on the pp? he is a proven goal scorer in this league. i dont care if he is slumping or not he is going to score more than the well travelled smolinski. a five on three and this defensive specialist is out there? carbo c mon man if you need a right handed shot so bad give kovalev a right handed stick ! i guarantee he will score more on the pp than old smokes ever will with it! are we not trying to showcase ryder anyways to get something in return? The boys need some “cool” behind the bench , guy needs a few more years of watching someone else handle a team.

  209. Chuck says:

    He’s not a stupid kid; he understood that both he and Huet weren’t playing up to standards… but for him it means a ticket to Hamilton. Meanwhile, despite the Habs collecting points, Huet continues to to play shakey and finally gets pulled when the offence doesn’t show up to bail him out. Now Halak is in the position to steal a bit of his thunder by playing well. Though I doubt that Price feels that his positioning on the depth chart is threatened, I bet that the competitor in him wishes that he was in MSG tonight to show what he could do.
    .
    .
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    ______________________________________________
    “A Vezina banner must hang from the rafters!”

  210. NEWFOUNDLAND DOG says:

    It goes to show that Huet can’t handle several games in a row.

    If he needs a rest already, how can you expect the Habs to go anywhere in the playoffs with Huet in net? You need 16 wins in order to win the cup. And that is if they win 16 staight games. With some losses add to that it could be more like 24 games.

    Huet has proven that he can’t play a lot of games in a row or a lot of games in one season period.

    A great goalie should be able to play 20 games in a row. Brodeur played 77 games one year. Now he is a great goalie.

  211. Chuck says:

    A nice shot, too!
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    ______________________________________________
    “A Vezina banner must hang from the rafters!”

  212. Chuck says:

    San Jose’s goalie is starting his FIFTIETH game in a row tonight. Now that’s a #1 goalie!
    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________________
    “A Vezina banner must hang from the rafters!”

  213. Chuck says:

    Yep. San Jose up 3-2 now.
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    ______________________________________________
    “A Vezina banner must hang from the rafters!”

  214. gmd says:

    sweet! laffs blow 2 goal lead and are now down 3-2

  215. jimbo says:

    The 1 that most concerns me is Koivu.He seems dis interested.

  216. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    thats the best news we COULD HAVE HEARD!!!!!!!

    ———
    1. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans.
    2. Your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”.
    3. Delenda Est Torontium….

  217. martin says:

    aaron downey where are you? Someone to stir the pot or least tell it like it is

  218. Habs Suck says:

    I agree that Smolinski should NOT be on the PP, but I don’t think Ryder is the answer either. I’ll concede by saying that Ryder is better than Smolinski on the PP, so it was a bad call by Carbo! Smolinski made some very telegraphed passes and did not pose a threat to the Rangers – someone else could have cashed in where he failed. Smokes is just not PP material! Goes to show that it wasn’t only the players who weren’t prepared for the game…

  219. gmd says:

    Yup,

    Thornton 49 points
    Michalek 25 points
    Rivet 19 points

  220. Chuck says:

    Even better: make them try to skate on pavement.
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    ______________________________________________
    “A banner for Vezina must hang from the rafters!”

  221. NEWFOUNDLAND DOG says:

    A bit of both there Chuck.

  222. NEWFOUNDLAND DOG says:

    I am no expert on this game BUT I feel that Price won’t be up in Montreal anytime soon.

    Unless………Huet and Halak gets hit buy a bus or comes down with the Hong Kong Flu………

  223. Chuck says:

    Cool… thanks for sharing the first-hand knowledge!
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    ______________________________________________
    “A banner for Vezina must hang from the rafters!”

  224. Smart Dog says:

    Montreal looks either like they were out too late last night (they are in New York after all), or they came in over-confident – or both. A few players came to play (Higgins is the only one that leaps out at me) but there’s a lot of poor passing, poor puck control.

    Let’s go easy – our team has played well, everyone has a bad night… but it’s hard not to notice that we have our precious “veterans” back in the line-up…. coincidence?

    ________________________________________________________________
    Habs Fans! The FUTURE looks bright:
    Plekanec, Higgins, Chipchura, A Kostitsyn, Lapierre, Latendress,
    Price, S Kostitsyn, Komisuarus, O’Byrne

  225. Chuck says:

    Well, it’s definitely a gut-check time for him. Hopefully he palys his ass of and is able to earn a trip back up. Alternatively, I hope that Huet plays his ass off and makes it as difficult as possible for Price to return, regardless of how well he plays. Solid goaltending is what the Habs need, regardless of who’s between the pipes.
    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________________
    “A banner for Vezina must hang from the rafters!”

  226. NEWFOUNDLAND DOG says:

    I agree Timo. Price is not the same goalie as first when he came up to Montreal. The first 6 games Price played in Montreal he was very impressive. Then he went down hill. Why? I blame it all on Rollie (yeah, I know blast me again) Rollie taught Price some bad habbits and no one can convince me otherwise. Price did not go down a 1/4 as much as he does now or after the 6th game up in Montreal.

  227. Chuck says:

    But at least he’ll have cool hair for the team photo!
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    ______________________________________________
    “A banner for Vezina must hang from the rafters!”

  228. Cousin Al says:

    I was just thinking about a conversation I had with a couple of friends earlier in the season when Price looked well….sort of good in nets. He was making stops and winning some games but, for some spooky reason, I felt he lacked something that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. At the time, Huet was decent but not great and then he got hurt. I told my friends that it wouldn’t surprise me if, later in the season, the forgotten goalie i.e. Halak would prove to be the best of the 3 and that it would be he who would become the goalie of the future (and present) and not Price. It hasn’t happened yet, but……………… Comments anyone?

  229. Dave Stubbs says:

    Victor won his first international gold medal in New Zealand nine years earlier, and his parents wished to have him returned to the water. I was going to Auckland for the 1990 Commonwealth Games, so the stars were in the right part of the sky for it all to happen.

    Dave Stubbs

    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette

     

  230. TradeRyder says:

    Even I agree with this one. Ryder at least has a shot, and has scored more goals. Slowinski is the worst player on this team. Period.

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

  231. TradeRyder says:

    “no one can convince me otherwise.”

    Duh-uh. That’s true about everything you post.

    You may be right, or Price may be feeling less secure and Rollie may even be telling him NOT to go down so early. I personally think that Carbo is to blame if Price isn’t feeling good. He’s responsible for his players motivation and somehow he’s f–d up Prices.

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

  232. TradeRyder says:

    No coincidence. The team needs the youth. These old guys like Breezer bring a false bravado and a laziness this team needs to get away from.

    I keep getting into arguments with people defending Ryder as if he’s some kid that needs to be patted on the head. But Smolinski stinks this year and no-one defends him. Just put them BOTH in the press box with Breezer and let’s get back to winning.

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

  233. 24 Cups says:

    Good one Chuck!

    The Original 24 Cups

  234. martin says:

    Sure wa can’t win every game but do we have to look so bad when we do lose?When knuckles nilan was around there was a spark a man not afraid to talk his mind or to fellow players to get them going(downey seemed like that). We have our leaders but sometimes you need the plumber for some real work too. we need someone fearless, someone to tell the guys “look if I had your talent,I could do more but at least I try 100%” kudos to kovalev and higgins plus avery few more. Don’t forget people pay to see this stuff so nothing less than effort is money better spent elsewhere. I know huet is pretty good goalie, but The Man, I am not so sure.

  235. ccs says:

    OK the Rangers played good desperate hockey and we sort of played opposite of that…A few things why the hell is Smolinski in the line up and on a 5 on 3 power play? Breezebye weak weak weak no use for him at all. Cant wait till O’byrne heals up. Kostopolos brings way more to the this team than smolinski does and I hope to see him play soon. I dont really want to dump all over Koivu but God he just seems so disinterested out there. Oh well better luck next time…..

  236. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    Rangers came out flying, we didn’t score on our early powerplays and Huet couldn’t make a save. DONE.

    a little more detail?

    Carb screw’d up the lines again…but I knew this would happen with all the oldtimers back in the lineup…
    I mentioned the other day that HE RIPPED OUR GUTS OUT with his INSERTS….

    Can’t stand that NEGATIVE LOOK ON BREEZZE’s FACE.

    the only flash of brilliance was the KOSTY brothers…pure Genetic Chemistry….and the HyBrid Higgs/Koivu/Kovalev but its obvious thats not an option for the long haul…nor should it be.

    Carb has to take some of the blame here.

    REMEMBER WHAT was WORKING:
    kostyjr-koivu-latron
    Kovy-plek-kostysr
    ryder-lapp-higgs
    dandy-CHIP-Streit

    this setup wasn’t used AT ALL…

    DAMN I CAN’T STAND THAT NEGATIVE LOOK ON BREEZES FACE ALL THE TIME….

    ———
    1. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans.
    2. Your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”.
    3. Delenda Est Torontium….

  237. TradeRyder says:

    CCS – your last line says it all
    “Oh well better luck next time…..”

    Not much you can say about this team returning to it’s lazy, lousy, play of November. Except, as you did – Smolinski stinks, but plays on the Power Play. Breezer stinks, but plays with 2 defencemen up front.

    The kids work their butts off. Half the veterans are thinking about thier cars, or their kids, or their next holiday. Sucks. Play the damn kids – who cares WHY someone is having a sucky season… just f—n BENCH THEM.

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

  238. TradeRyder says:

    You mean that sucky “why me?” look. He’s not a winner, he’s a whiner. Hope they get rid of him before his losing attitude infects others.

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

  239. Flower Fan says:

    Hey Dave,

    What’s this I hear about you being in the Victor Davis movie tomorrow?

  240. T-roy West says:

    Breezer shouldn’t even be behind the bench like some people have suggested. Why would a player listen to someone who isn’t that great.

  241. Ed says:

    How can you blame Ryder for this loss? He only played 11:08 tonight, had 5 hits & was not in the minus column as you are always saying he is. Also, Ryder played during every game since the loss to Dallas, which just happens to be the best streak Montreal has had all year, earning 12 points out of 14. He had been benched for 3 consecutive games leading up to the Dallas game.

  242. Dave Stubbs says:

    Well, Chris Owens of X-Files fame plays me. He’s the guy bneath the accurately cheesy mustache who works PR for the national swim team, which I did in an earlier life. I worked eight years with Victor, until his death, and helped scatter his ashes in 1990. Mark Lutz is brilliant as Victor in the movie, on CBC Sunday night at 8 p.m. ET.

    Here’s Chris’s bio:

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0654334/

    And here’s something that sent shivers down my spine recently. Check out this photo sent to us by Inside/Out reader Sarah Ward in New Zealand:

    http://habsinsideout.com/images/2482


    Dave Stubbs

    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette

     

  243. martin says:

    easy carbo goes through bouts of parinoia

  244. habsgod says:

    no kidding!!makes you wonder if cabonneau got dumb over night!!smolinski on a 5-3 pp wake up carbonneau!!!

  245. LTHF says:

    Please can someone tell whats up tonight with the habs. last 5 on 3 those 2 offensice weapons Brisbois and Smolinski on the PP? UNREAL

  246. doug says:

    This comment was very enlightening, J.T. How true it is! I hadn’t thought about this perspective when I mentioned my concerns about having too many “good players” in the post above.

    I completely agree with you re: keeping what you have. Sign the in-system stars (Markov past, Komisarek future), keep some of the above average talent at affordable prices (Streit, Higgins, Pleks, the latter two of which still have star potential), and don’t pay for exogenous talent too easily.

    Thank GOODNESS we don’t have Briere, Smyth, the Rangers signings, Souray, etc. Man did we dodge a bullet when some of the above rejected us – and landed a gem with Hamrlik. Learn from that and don’t repeat it – next time they might accept!

  247. Ian G Cobb says:

    Bang on again JT.

  248. Sulemaan says:

    Very astute comment J.T. Right on the money sir.

  249. doug says:

    I wasn’t at the summit, and this post is admittedly off-thread, but I think that J.T.’s a “ma’am” rather than a “sir”. Not sure, and also completely irrelevant, and yet I’m just throwing it out there for confirmation or correction by those who know :)

  250. Sulemaan says:

    If J.T. is a ‘ma’am’ my apologies for that. Thanks for the heads up Doug.

  251. JF says:

    Great comment. I completely agree.

  252. nightmare_49 says:

    Are you saying that , in the past , we shouldn’t have picked up Kovy , Huet and Hamrlk cuz they have no loyalty and have no motivation to perform for the team and are high priced underperformers cuz they didn’t come from our organization and as for the money their’s enough to go around for everybody as proved by many posters yesterday. I’d rather see the money spent to put us over the top than in Gillett’s bank account.

  253. Sulemaan says:

    Thanks Doug. You make some valid counterpoints as well. For the record, I’m not a big Patrice fan but I don’t want to start off a whole debate on him again.

    I also think you made one important point in your post above, the fans do tend to panic when things go bad. I could be wrong here but it appears that in most cases it’s the ‘rookies’ on the site who do so. Whereas the ‘veterans’ who’ve seen a lot of hockey over the years and know the ups and downs, are a little more rationale about things and don’t believe in trading everyone, firing the entire coaching staff and management team.

    In some respects all the personalities here on Habs I/O are very much like a team.

  254. doug says:

    Wow – thanks for this, Sulemaan. A great relief, and apologies for my slander below, Mr. Dandenault!

  255. sadave says:

    As Habs fan(atic)s, might we be reading too much into Dandenault’s non-reaction?

    When I saw the goal (heard on the net, then watched on the DVR later), my thought was he was simply too classy to whoop it up after such an easy, quick (yet, so sweet!) goal. (Like some players do, though not on ours, eh?!?) Especially, since Thomas would’ve liked that one back.

    And Dandenault IS a classy player and individual. Works hard, plays hard, doesn’t complain, does what he’s asked (and I really like him as a forward, with his speed and never-say-die approach). His speed and forechecking helped with that 5th goal – plus a real beaut-of-a-move to take the puck from the boards, through/off his skate, to his stick. Nice skills!

  256. JF says:

    I agree about Dandenault. Last year I would have been inclined to trade him, but he has impressed me this year. Not just his hard work on the ice, his speed and good hands, but his attitude off the ice. He’s always willing to answer questions, he’s soft-spoken, happy to play whatever role he’s asked and determined to do his best.

  257. nightmare_49 says:

    The rating for Smols and Tommy K. of C- is an insult and i’m sure they will prove you wrong and Tommy K. has already proved you wrong.

  258. nightmare_49 says:

    I agree and disagree with you on this one as developement within is by far the best way to build a strong team especially in the New NHL with the salary cap. When you draft the best way by far is to draft the best player available regardless of their position cuz it is a crap shout at the age of 17. As you do that you end up with an unbalanced mix and sometimes you have to fix it with a trade or free agent signing even if it’s only a temperary bandaid. Drafting is the most important strategy but trades and signings work hand in hand with your draft. If you have a good scouting team it doesn’t mean that every year will be roses cuz it is a gamble.

  259. mjames says:

    I agree the best way is to develop your own. I think the Canadiens with all their money should make sure they have the top scouting department in the league. That money does not count against the cap. I believe that is how the better franchises can distance themselves – strong drafts which require good scouting. These UFA signings are hit and miss and very few live up to their price tag. The Rangers have tried this several times and it never works. I am curious how Riberio works out , now that that he has his contract (he is kind of like a UFA signing).I will give Gainey full marks (A+) for the Hamrlik signing. Maybe a C- minus for the Somolinski and Kosto signings. I believe we could have used a youngster and not really missed a beat instead if these last two RFA signings.

    mjames

  260. Ian G Cobb says:

    Positive post, were having fun now ! I have to scout a St. Mikes Majors and Belleville Bulls OHL game tonight. I would have liked to see us knock Rangers ego styled captain, on his ass.

  261. doug says:

    i’ve always respected and enjoyed you, Ian, but today I want some of that coffee you alluded to in your post below. I think it was laced with some euphoria-inducing drug considerably more powerful than caffeine! It’s great to have your positivity (and astute comments) around this a.m. as I try to motivate myself to go coach my kids’ hockey practice!

  262. Sulemaan says:

    Go to http://www.cbc.ca and click on the banner on the homepage so you can watch online.

  263. habsgod says:

    why is carbonneau so scared to pull huet!!!get halak in the net!!!is he scared because huet is french and the back-lash he’d get from the french media!!my god huet is terrible tonight!!get price up and quickly!!!get us another pp defencemen to help markov!!!!no more brisebois!!!put s.kostitsyn on the point!!

  264. idle says:

    Very typical over reaction

  265. habsgod says:

    pat,dave,or mike if you talk to bob gainey!!in your interviews ask him seriously if he’s had any discussions with don waddell in atlanta about marian hossa!!gainey bring hossa in here!!!and quickly!!!we could use another sniper with kovalev!!!on the pp!!koivu,hossa,latendresse!!!that’s a new line if he could get us hossa!! come on bob!!

  266. nightmare_49 says:

    Price was pulled in Hamilton after letting in 5 goals on 19 shots.

  267. habsgod says:

    carbonneau must have heard me!!way to go guy!!halak is in to start the third period!!start halak against the islanders!!!

  268. skoehn says:

    yes huet didn’t look good tonight but come one 41-19 30 of which peppered huet this lost was not on him and i don’t care what anyone says he couldn’t have won that game even he played the best game of his life… habs did not come to play at all this was a complete team loss not a goalie loss

  269. JF says:

    Fischer had a bad year last season. I’m not sure if he was ill or injured, but something happened to set him back. He’s still “behind” in his development, but as you say, Sulemaan, defensemen take longer than forwards, so I wouldn’t write him off. When he was drafted I believe he, like MacDonagh, had been awarded the top high school hockey honour in the state.

  270. JF says:

    The Rangers got off to a very slow start this season. They absolutely couldn’t score goals, and it seemed there was little chemistry among the lines. They still don’t score much, and it’s largely due to Lundqvist’s stellar play that they’ve done as well as they have. But he hasn’t been playing so well lately, so they’ve slipped. Nonetheless, they’re a big strong team and I have an uneasy feeling about tonight’s game. We played extremely well the last game against them but couldn’t win. What can we do better tonight to win in regulation?

  271. RH says:

    I can’t figure out how a team, that went out and signed two of the top free agents, isn’t battling with Ottawa, for the conference lead. At any rate, the Rangers have lost five in a row, and hopefully, the Habs can make it six. Is Sean Avery hurt? I thought I had read that somewhere.

  272. Rugger says:

    Is it really that uncommon that free agent signings do not live up to expectations?

  273. Ian G Cobb says:

    Rh the reason Rangers are in the dumpster is that they do not have any chemistry within. You can go out and buy top agents for big bucks, but putting a team together is another matter. Draft and develop is the way to the cup.

    I sure hope we do not trade or sign any one, develop and pay as they develop.

    A team like Washington has seald its fate for many years with its latest signing. I hope there fans love the guy, but tis team will never smell the cup.

  274. Vecs says:

    Avery injured his hand and shouldn’t be in the lineup. Too bad, I was looking forward to komisaurus knocking him on his ass.

  275. Mr.Hazard says:

    GO HABS GO!

    Ex nihilo nihil fit

  276. Blitzen says:

    Hadn’t heard that…good to know!

  277. Moey says:

    Thanks Ian,

    I have “a” fan, but that’s fine with me, it’s all about quality, not quantity!!!

  278. Moey says:

    Agreed Ian, they turned a corner at Christmas, the three month trial and error is over and we’re starting to see results, which is exactly the way it should be. These games really count now, another key factor is the boys are starting to come back even when they’re down a goal. They do have to work on keeping a lead, they still have a tendency to sit back, especially during the second period. All in all, things are looking really good for us. I think Carbo is doing a great job, but then I never doubted him.

  279. Ian G Cobb says:

    Nice to be on the same page as you !! Moey

  280. idle says:

    What you are looking for in a goalie can not be found. Huet has not been perfect but when your goalie keeps you in almost every game and has gotten points in each of his last 9 starts previous to this game and you think he sucks then you are simply not going to find a goalie that will make you happy. No matter how good Brodeur, Luongo or anyone you want to name in the future (Price) are they will always lose games and are not going to play great every game.

  281. TradeRyder says:

    We haven’t sucked this bad since…. I know!! – since we had Slowinski and Breeze-bye in the line-up!
    Read my sig line (below)!!

    Experiment over Carbo! Kill the stupid new line.

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

  282. PGHABS says:

    we are not showing up at all, this is pathetic…even petr prucha is getting chances

  283. Chuck says:

    San Jose wins 3-2 after the laffs blow a 2-0 lead in the third… and I’m pretty sure that I saw Sundin shove a linesman after the final horn sounded!
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    ______________________________________________
    “A banner for Vezina must hang from the rafters!”

  284. Chuck says:

    Hahaha… he did shove the linesman, and the HNIC crew were making excuses for him by saying that Mats probably didn’t recognize that it was an official that he shoved. Kind of silly, considering that they wear a completely different uniform.
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    ______________________________________________
    “A banner for Vezina must hang from the rafters!”

  285. nightmare_49 says:

    The linesman should consider himself lucky that Sundin didn’t crosscheck him in the face as he’s allowed to do that by the powers to be , right Komi.

  286. egold98 says:

    LET CAREY PLAY

    HUET WONT WIN US A CUP WITH HIS USUAL 4-GOAL PERFORMANCE…2 BEING SOFTIES…

    THE TEAM SHOULD STRIVE TO BE A STANLEY CUP TEAM…MAKING THE PLAYOFFS SHOULDNT BE GOOD ENOUGH…SO LET THE GUY IN HE CAN DO IT

  287. Sulemaan says:

    You’re right c12. Red Fisher (who has covered the Canadiens for many years) has this take:

    http://www.canada.com/topics/sports/hockey/canadiens/story.
    html?id=0b182adc-b775-4ae1-9e9f-ec8c806e9619&k=69254

  288. Ice Man says:

    5 goals on 13 shots. I was there to see that. I was at a loss for words.

  289. LTHF says:

    With the depth the Habs now have its rather amazing that Smolinski and Brisbois are in the lineup and to have Brisbois on the PP should make “Ripley’s believe it or not”. Pathetic 1st period, hope its not too late to learn cant win on pass performance— where is the Boston effort?

  290. NEWFOUNDLAND DOG says:

    Of course. Sundin can do no wrong. If that was any other player who would have pushed an Official they would call for a suspension… Just PATHETIC…….. CBC makes me sick……

  291. Chuck says:

    Well, they did take ten seconds to show a clip of the Rangers scoring.
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    .

    ______________________________________________
    “A banner for Vezina must hang from the rafters!”

  292. Ed says:

    Knowing how you feel about Ryder, you must think those other players played an awful game.

  293. TradeRyder says:

    Hey Teach,

    On the other board you explained to me that Ryder should be +2 more because he jumped off the ice one time as we scored a goal and in another game on it just as we got scored on. lol I thought I was talking to someone who was having a fair, intelligent discussion about how we measure success in numbers. Every player has the same advantage and disadvantage in plus-minus. It balances out roughly over time – you can’t change it to benefit one guy because you want to.

    And by the way – last night there were a LOT of guys on the ice I would’ve taken off WAY before Ryder who played a decent game.

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

  294. The Teacher says:

    Exactly, so saying that Ryder is DEEP into the plus/minus is a bit careless of you when he is ONLY – 2, and we both know how subjective plus/minus can be.

    attacking him for his defensive play is just wrong as he has worked on that part of his game and improved it immensely.

    attack him for not scoring, fine, but for his defensive play? PLEASE…..

  295. TradeRyder says:

    My ‘feelings’ have nothing to do with it. I don’t hate Ryder – he has some real talent. I just think he won’t ever be a well-rounded player or top goal scorer and that he is not a good fit for this team. A lot of people disagree with me, but some agree with me too. I could be wrong of course – but I place my bets where I believe they should be, and I call the games honestly. Ryder played well last night – he has been better. But the gamble of keeping him is high.

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

  296. TradeRyder says:

    This Price situation is frustrating.

    I worry that Price was treated like a pawn by Carbo, saying to Gainey “see I was right – he doesn’t belong here”. When Carbo called Price out, I thought it was the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen him do. Grow up Carbs – you don’t need to prove you’re the big man. You are the big man – act like it. Support your young players. Regardless of where they come from.

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

  297. Ed says:

    I do agree with you that he should not have called Price out like that, but what do you mean by “regardless of where they come from”.

  298. TradeRyder says:

    Really??? that sucks. Bad night all around for the Habs.

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

  299. habsguy says:

    TR, did I miss something, Carbo actually called Price out because of where he was from…wow, what does that have to do with how you play the game.

  300. TradeRyder says:

    I didn’t say that. I meant he ‘came from’ Gainey. I’m frustrated enough to wonder if it’s a little deeper than that – I just think he’s handled Price really badly.

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

  301. martin says:

    What is up with Huets side to side movement? He seems like he can’t close the gap, leaving wipe open spaces just like the last time they played the rangers.

  302. 24 Cups says:

    kRob had an excellent post a few days ago on the folly of paying too much attention to the concept of plus/minus. It really made you think twice before judging certain players (Habs or otherwise) based solely on that stat. Maybe he could repost it.

    The Original 24 Cups

  303. TradeRyder says:

    You are a) factually wrong b) misquoting me c) missing my point which is at the bottom of this post.

    First of all he’s minus 3! No, big deal but I got TOASTED a few weeks back for saying he led the team in minus for two years when actually 1 year he was just ONE point off being worst. I corrected you yesterday, so you should have had this right. It comes from Canadiens.com

    Second, I said he was DEEP into it other years. And that this year, most of the team is a plus and he’s still minus. To say he has “improved his defensive play immensely”…. yeah, and my kid has improved his colouring immensely. I am not attacking Ryder, I’m attacking your argument which is foolish. Ryder’s not a BAD player… he’s just over-priced and at this point a HUGE gamble to keep, that’s all.

    Let me ask you this: do you disagree that there is a real gamble in keeping him. Maybe we keep him and he scores a goal every second game next year? It’s possible! Great! But you have to see the risk – what if we keep him and he continues to struggle? This is JUST as possible. Then we’ll have two years of a big salary, a veteran who’s not up to the pace of some of our call-ups, and more distraction for a team that is catching fire. To me, we have so much depth, it just doesn’t make sense.

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

  304. TradeRyder says:

    Plus-minus is flawed like every measure is flawed. Play on a line with Gretzky and your point total goes up… fall out of favor with the coach, skate less, and it goes down… yadda yadda.

    The plus-minus (and I believe this was in kRob’s post) is just one measure and just a very rough indicator so is most useful at the extremes and if it’s consistant with other things. My point is that if someone is way in the plus and not scoring, that’s a good indication they’re probably a strong defensive contributor (Komi for example), but if they’re not scoring and well on the minus side relative to the team… that suggest something quite different. It certainly isn’t evidence they are a good contributor to the team unless you have specific reasonable excuse for both their lack of points and their lack of plusses.

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

  305. Ed says:

    Sorry, I don’t, and I would like an answer from TradeRyder.

  306. TradeRyder says:

    It was a double-entendre. Specifically it means that he comes from the farm club and from Gainey. It could also be taken to mean that Carbo has a bit of a bias towards people from his own city let’s say.

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

  307. Ed says:

    Carbonneau was born in Sept-iles, Quebec. Isn’t it okay for him to have a bias towards people from Sept-iles? I looked up the roster, and thank goodness, none of them are from Sept-iles.

  308. The Teacher says:

    LMAO, ahhhh you guys get too funny sometimes :)

  309. TradeRyder says:

    Thanks. Glad to hear it.
    _____________________________________________________________
    Let the kids play… let the non-performers watch or walk.

  310. Ed says:

    You are welcome.

  311. Ian G Cobb says:

    Troy man- Thanks for the roses but in fact i have never seen hamilton play. I get to a lot of OHL games, not as many as when i was scouting steady, just a few now to pretend i know something.

    I am on my way to a game shortly between Missisauga and Belleville Bulls.

  312. showey47 says:

    who do you scout for ian?

  313. The Teacher says:

    Hmm, i don’t think so. Gainey has control of the reigns. Carbo takes orders from Gainey, not the other way around.

    as for the handling of Price, I think you all are making a big deal about not much. He is 20, a rookie, and needs time. judging his career on 18 games is a tad premature. Thanks.

  314. Ian G Cobb says:

    I have not worked for any club for three years. but when they ask me to fill out a scouting report on a certain player for a couple of games i don,t mind. I will bird dog a player for a game or two if a team comes into town, saves travell for them and i just fax in the report.

  315. showey47 says:

    If you don’t mind me asking, what team were you scouting for?

  316. Chuck says:

    I predict that the 4th line gets the game-winning goal tonight!
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    ______________________________________________
    “A Vezina banner must hang from the rafters!”

  317. Ian G Cobb says:

    Good morning Chuck. That sounds fine with me. Team has a ways to go yet, but were having fun now that we are compeating better. I think we are well within the top 10 teams in the league, and getting better every game.

  318. Kythehabsfan says:

    That is an impressive 4th line. We have a lot of balance on our team right now and 3 lines that should be able to points up on the board – plus Smokes/Dandy/Streit. I look forward to the rest of the season with kind of attack – I do feel for Chips and Locke but with Smokes back, Laps and K2 playing like they are there just isn’t room. Begin and Kostos will keep pressure on this lineup to keep it going.


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