Game 52: Super start to Canadiens’ weekend

Canadiens’ Michael Ryder takes exception to Blake Comeau’s hit-from-behind of Habs’ Christopher Higgins. The latter escaped injury on a scary-looking play, and both Ryder and Comeau drew minor penalties for this exchange.
André Ringuette, NHLI via Getty Images

Lineups | Preview | Game Story | Game Summary | Event Summary | Boxscore | Boone

The Canadiens’ Super Bowl weekend is off to a super start, thanks to their reinvigorated life at the Bell Centre.

Goals by Tomas Plekanec, Mark Streit, Alex Kovalev and Mathieu Dandenault lifted the Habs to a 4-1 victory this afternoon over the New York Islanders in the first of the Canadiens’ two weekend home-ice matinées.

Goalie Cristobal Huet, playing his 11th consecutive game, made 29 saves to earn his 19th victory of the season, tying his career-best for wins. He iced it with a daring rush to his blue line in the game’s final minute to foil an Islanders breakaway.

A tepid 6-7-4 at home in mid-December, the Habs are now a strong 5-1-1 at the Bell Centre in 2008. They’ll hope to make that 6-1-1 Sunday afternoon when the New York Rangers pay a 2 p.m. visit.

Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro made a huge difference early in today’s first period, foiling three Canadiens power plays and making a number of fine saves. The teams were even with nine shots each through the first 20 minutes; the Islanders blocked nine more to the Canadiens’ three, giving Montreal an edge in the play.

Forward Christopher Higgins avoided what could have been a serious injury at 16:40, driven head-first into the corner boards by New York’s Blake Comeau. The Islander and Habs’ Michael Ryder, who rallied to the fallen Higgins’s defence, drew minor penalties for the incident.

Montreal killed a frantic, minute-long 5-on-3 disadvantage in the late stages, both Tomas Plekanec and Mike Komisarek in the penalty box.

Plekanec got the Canadiens onto the scoresheet first, with Komisarek still off, 37 seconds into the second period. Alex Kovalev intercepted a blue-line pass by captain Bill Guerin to break out with Plekanec, craftily dropping the puck through his legs to his linemate who closed tighter and whipped a shot past DiPietro for his 17th goal of the season.

Comeau tied it up at 5:01, slipped a shot beneath Huet on a 2-on-1 pass from Miro Satan. Returning Canadiens defenceman Patrice Brisebois had given the puck away just inside the Islanders blue line, leaving Roman Hamrlik the sole defender back.

The Canadiens pulled back in front on the power play, Mark Streit scoring his eighth on a perfect through-the-defender’s-skates pass from Saku Koivu at 7:32. Trent Hunter was off for tripping Brisebois.

Then Kovalev bagged his 23rd on a New York turnover, lacing a shot through the skates of in-reverse Islanders defenceman Andy Sutton and DiPietro at 12:35.

The Islanders outshot Montreal 10-8 in the second period.

Mathieu Dandenault, returning to the lineup after having spent the past four games as a healthy scratch in the press box, finished off the scoring at 17:21 of the third on a pretty, patient pass from Streit.

Montreal outshot the Islanders 32-30.


  1. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Enough with the Brisebois experiment. His giveaway could have cost us the game. Lucky for us we were playing an Islanders team riddled with the flu. I hope both Begin & Kostopoulos are back in tomorrow against the Rangers. We will need their physical presence. Also, would like to see Halak between the pipes and give Huet a well deserved rest. GO HABS GO!!!!!!

  2. 24 Cups says:

    This hitting from behind really bothers me. I know that some players turn the wrong way or leave themselves open but still you think there would be a little more respect and caution displayed. One day somebody is going to suffer a spinal injury instead of a concussion and then everyone will feel remorse and guilt over what happened. Too late then. Ryder took the guy on and sometimes the NHL suspends a player but it still doesn’t seem to change the number of infractions. Higgins was lucky today but what about the next guy?

    The Original 24 Cups

  3. Habster101 says:

    yes our goaltending is impeccable,,,loved seeing Huet dive for the puck and knock out a possible breakaway…

    but man, if it wasn’t for DiPietro, this game would have been 10 – 1

  4. Da Hema says:

    I know this is verboten but let us cheer on the Leaves against the Sens.

    The Boys played another wonderful game. I had no doubt they would win after Plekanec scored that short-handed goal. I can only hope that Brisebois does not play tomorrow. It is difficult to imagine Brisebois making this team next season, so thank God Gainey only inked him to a one-year deal. While I am glad Dandenault scored, the fact is Markov’s pass to Streit caught the Isles flatfooted and anyone would have scored that goal. The Habs are a better team without Brisebois and Dandenault in the lineup. Both are ballast now.

    Koivu played a fine game. That pass to Higgins should have resulted in a goal, but it was so good everyone seemed fooled by it. The CBC curse is lifted. Bring on the Rangers!

    “The worst day of fishing beats the best day of working.”
    –Martin Crane, “Frasier”

  5. N.B.habs fan says:


  6. PGHABS says:

    That was a great win.
    The Habs goaltending depth is the best in the NHL.

  7. 24 Cups says:

    The Habs can only go to the well so many times as far as Brisebois is concerned. These blind outlet/cross ice/up the middle passes will one day cost us big time when it counts the most in a game. We got away with it today because we were playing an inferior team that has difficuty scoring goals. I don’t have a vendetta for the guy, I’m just commenting on what I’m seeing. It will be even more of a dilemma when O’Byrne comes back.

    The Original 24 Cups

  8. rogus says:

    No doubt, and do it quick before someone else realizes his value!

  9. Habster101 says:

    LOL exactly…..Striet is an assett on this team…

  10. Habster101 says:

    This was a beautiful win on CBC Toronto network….the Leaf loving commentators are realising that Montreal is for real, they are blown away…LOL

    comparing them to Detroit….

    this is Great!!!!!

  11. Bill H says:

    I guess the bashers will be disappointed. Koivu picked up an assist. That makes him 5 points in 5 games and a +2. Gee, I wonder when he’s going to break out of his slump. We should trade him for a bag of pucks alright.

  12. Hoegarden says:

    to Bob Gainey,
    please break the no-negociations during the season rule and get Streit signed up for the next 3-4 years.

  13. Habster101 says:

    Wow great game!!!!!

    there is absolutely nothing negative to say about todays game.

    every player except Breez played great…

    even Higgins…if Higgins plays like he did today, he will start scoring again…

    Ryder is a Beast! I will attack at anyone who still thinks he should be traded….he is a powerhouse…

    this has been by far the best game all year….they are playing at the calibre of playoff quality…they stand up for eachother, I loved the way Ryder responded and stook up for Higgins…..Thats what you do….

    Latron was fine out there…

    Gorges is good too, he moves the puck well , hits and will sacrifice getting hit to move the puck….ten times more better than Breez…

    Lets hope that the crappy Laffs can steal a win off the Sens tonight…help them refs, help them…like you do all the time.

  14. Robert L says:

    Ian – I’ll try to whip something up at my blog and help spread the word. It is kind of doubtful that I can make it on that date because of travel team committments near that time of year. Look for something in the next day or two.

  15. Shiloh says:

    I think Latendresse had possession of the puck for about ten seconds during his last shift after it was 4-1. That should make his total for the game – oh, about twelve seconds. He is lost out there.

    But otherwise, Wooooooo-Hoooooooo!! Great to see the lads do it on CBC. The whole country’s gotta sit up and take notice now.

  16. Sulemaan says:

    Ian, you’re killing me buddy. I have to fly to Halifax that weekend. Otherwise I would have been there. Sigh. (Unless I can somehow change my plans…)

  17. MNaslund26 says:

    the breezer hasnt made one pass or one play that hasn’t resulted in a turnover. yet he continues to play….

  18. knucklesnilan says:

    The only thing Bob needs to get at the deadline is a stay at home D-Man who can play about 10-15 minutes per game.
    Brisebois can’t play anymore and I don’t have that much faith in Gorges.
    I have seen the replays 2x and i still haven’t seen where Komisarek got the hooking penalty. The only thing I seen was Comrie spearing him in the groin!!

  19. Ian G Cobb says:

    I confess, he does make it hard on the nerves.

  20. Shiloh says:

    Ian – tell the troops that staying in Toronto is also an option. Go-train to Hamilton is about 15 bucks return and there’s about 8 trains a day.

  21. Ian G Cobb says:

    Chuck–Call me at (613) 968- 9807 pertaining to April 11, Habs summit in Hamilton. Dave Robinson ect.—- Anyone else want some information on tickets and agenda, hotel etc. It is starting to come together for all of us. See you all there.IAN

  22. Shobud says:

    Hey Don’t knock him. He got an assist. Too bad it was a goal on us. I worry everytime he is on the ice

  23. originalsix says:

    Brisebois ugh..disgusting.

  24. Gormdog says:

    He refuses to accept that he doesnt have the skills to be a effective offensive defenseman. Save your fancy moves for the dogsledding.

  25. Shiloh says:

    Brisebois – what a half-hearted useless play! Get him off the ice.

  26. Ian G Cobb says:

    He is playing well today, i’m glad he is in there.!

  27. Ian G Cobb says:

    I’m with you on this one nightmare.!

  28. Ian G Cobb says:

    I am going to go and watch the game . Get back later ._IAN

  29. Ian G Cobb says:

    Alirio– That is what runs the world, FEAR, GREED and KNOWLEDGE. I chose to only only have the ladder.!!

  30. Alirio says:


    Am I the only one who can’t link to Boone’s blog????

    Help me out here!

    I’ve made a huge mistake…

  31. Ian G Cobb says:

    Right on Chuck, go for it and get back to me please.

  32. Alex_V says:

    i see the lineup change as follows:

    put in breezer and dandy to rest the grinders for the real battle tomorrow against the Rangers.

    last time against the rangers we were awful. Not able to gain the offensive zone, virtually no forechecking at all. It was a pitiful effort all around.

    Rest the bash brothers, let Dandy on so as to not alienate him, and put Breezer somewhere where he can’t hurt the team too badly… if we get lucky he’ll have an unfortunate accident before the game.

  33. showey47 says:

    well i think breezer is the only player who hasn’t played right wing on the koivu line yet, lmao. But believe me i feel your pain, i have already got the crown royal out and i will lessen the pain by just drinking it out of the bottle directly from the bag.

  34. showey47 says:

    no offence ian and believe me i have all the respect in the world for you but i can’t sit back and relax when #71 in playing in our end. I haven nothing against him personally but i don’t like the situations carbo uses him in, for example as a penalty killer or matched up against the other teams top lines which happens because carbo pairs him with hamrlik.

  35. Hoegarden says:

    Re comments on afternoon games and Super Bowl week-end. Our record is;
    36 W 16 L and 6 Ties. Need we add to that ?

    Re Higgins; I mentioned that he would snap out of it if playing with Lapierre and SK74, however I truly believe we have our second version of the Kid Line with Latendresse.

    We have two solid lines; The Kovy line is our Production Line this year and I would not touch our Kid Line until it proves to be a failure.

    Ryder obviously has lost the trigger and just cannot locate it, Saku is hard to figure out at times and Higgins is trying too hard.
    Streit wants to stay back on the blue and Dandenault is between a rock and a hard place right now, unsure of his future with the Habs.
    Fortunately, the Habs have been spared major injuries and the chemistry is as good as it’s been in years.
    A trade seems like the only solution but is Bob willing to part with some of the assets the team has ?
    Many questions for us fans this late into the season.

  36. Chuck says:

    And my I also suggest The Honest Lawyer as a post-game meeting point. It’s quite literally a 2-minute walk from Copps Coliseum (it’s on the same block) and is where I ran across Guy Carbonneau after one of the ‘Dogs Calder Cup games last spring.

    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  37. Habster101 says:

    well, I sure hope he breaks out tonight or this weekend,

    he in my opinion is the reason the 1st line isn’t clicking….if he can create more of a contributuin this team may becaom unstoppable…

    fingers are crossed, but I hope he doesn’t P me off today or everyone is going to be hearing it from me…

    go habs go!!!

  38. Chuck says:

    Ian, I have some good friends who work for the Bulldogs, and the info for the hotel that the ‘Dogs partner with; I can check to see if we could get some sort of group rate.

    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  39. Alirio says:


    As someone who doesn’t have cable, and can only watch Habs games when they’re on the CBC, I can’t sit back and relax.

    They’ve done terribly this year on CBC and I am just worried that all I’ll get to see is a Habs team that wasn’t prepared.

    I have faith in the coaches. I have faith in the players. I DON’T have faith in their chances of doing well at home on CBC.

    I sincerely hope that this isn’t the beginning of the end, but I wonder how Breezer (fractured foot-bones and all) will do against a hungry team after being on the shelf for so long… And how will Dandy perform if he’s concerned about his spot on the roster. I fear he might play with too much self-imposed pressure today.

    GO HABS!


    I’ve made a huge mistake…

  40. Ian G Cobb says:

    I’ll call you at the Gazzette once Mike Loncar and I have another talk.–IAN

  41. Bill H says:

    He’s on record for wanting to sign Huet at $4.5M – $5M a year over 4 years.

  42. Ian G Cobb says:

    Phone the Club at the Bell Center or ticket master. I don’t have the # with me here. But if you can’t get any get back to me.

  43. Bill H says:

    Playing the goaltender that gives you the best chance to win the game is a simplistic way of managing 3 goalies between 2 hockey clubs who are at different stages of their careers. Winning today is not the only consideration.

  44. Ian G Cobb says:

    Fabrication only, by the way, who did you say his agent was??

  45. likehoy says:

    well halak could be splitting time in the AHL with mr. price…and we call up danis to warm the bench. Halak is not getting a fair treatment at all.

  46. Ian G Cobb says:

    Each different team that we play requires a different response in personel, when will you people understand that we have the winningest coaching staff in the league and they know all our players INSIDE AND OUT. Right down to who has a hangnail tonight and who might match up better and so on. Try to enjoy the changes and look at them as diversifying plays a key role in the opposition not ever knowing how to play us on a given night. We have the very best professional coaching staff since Jacques Demerse.

    Have a little faith and patience, sit back and enjoy this ride to the top, it is a great trip that we are on.!!!

  47. RiverviewCanadien says:

    Ian, I would love to join you all but being in NB, it’s along way for me. If you guys plan one for a Habs game, I would be very interested. By the way do you know where I can get tickets for Feb 26 vs ATL (my fiancee’s b-day is coming up and we love montreal)?

  48. HNS says:

    I just read here of mention on Jagr becoming a hab……I just puked…..

  49. Dave Stubbs says:

    Ian, this is terrific news. I spoke this week with Dave Robinson, a front-office guy with the Bulldogs, who contacted me to discuss the idea. He has ambitious plans for the event. I told him of the success of the first (annual?) Habs Inside/Out Fan Summit, and he’s tapping into the expertise of our friend Yeats and others from the Montreal organizing committee to see how it was pulled together.

    Who knows who might wander down to Steeltown from Montreal for the ‘Dogs summit? Depends on where the Canadiens might be, as that will be the first weekend of the NHL playoffs, but anything is possible at this point.

    Dave Stubbs

    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette


  50. Ian G Cobb says:

    Hey every body.! Mike,I and others have talked over time about a Hamilton Summit for all of us. We now have a date, April 11, the Toronto farm club the Marlies are in town to take on Price, Chip, and the rest of our young habs.

    Just like the great time we had in Mtl. organized by Jay in PA and many others, we want to have a similar great event for all of us in Hamilton.

    Mike has a contact with the club, and we need to know very soon how many tickets we need. We need someone to check for accomadations close to the rink if possible, and a group price per room for those who wish to stay over.

    And a restaurant or club where we might have a meal together and where we might enjoy a pint after the game together.

    We need to know who and how many, and we need a person that has a little more skill on this computer than I to help organise and communicate with everyone.

    As the hockey club becomes more involved and set up different events for us we will let you know. We will set up a phone line or central E-mail for you as soon as we have someone that knows how to do this. Let me know if you can help out. -IAN

  51. habfan53 says:

    Where did you hear that?? Because I don’t beleive it

  52. 24 Cups says:

    Xtra – I think a better question is would LA or Tampa pay him that kind of money over the long term. Because if the answer is no, then I don’t see anybody else signing him and the price will come down. He also has to compete against Emery, Thoedore, and maybe even Kolzig. If he doesn’t sign in the first few days of July then the Habs could be back in the picture.

    The Original 24 Cups

  53. nightmare_49 says:

    If that report is correct then we’ll know what the majority of the posts will be today , most from Breezer’s fan club. I see nothing wrong with these changes as we got to keep our grinders fresh.

  54. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I’ll be very surprised if Halak is not in the nets for one of those games. He needs to get in and show us what he has in case something happens to Huet. Based on his play last year, I think he’s capable and hopefully will be rewarded with a start, preferably tomorrow against the Rangers.

  55. nightmare_49 says:

    I must be Chuck’s echo.

  56. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Our future rests with Price and may be even Halak. Based on that I would not commit to signing him to any long term deal. He’s been good for us when called upon but I question whether or not he’s in the class of Kiprossof and Brodeur as far as playing every game. So far this season, he’s been good for 3 or so games but then falters. I still think he’ll be dealt by or before the deadline.

  57. nightmare_49 says:

    Price played well last night but has been inconsistent in his play in Hamilton but you have to consider his defence in front of him is very young compared to other AHL teams and prone to errors. He’s coming along fine now. BTW Chipchura didn’t play last night as he has a leg injury which isn’t great news considering his wheels. Hopefully , he can play tonight in Winnipeg. Back to the big team.

  58. Alirio says:

    Streit gets moved to forward again…

    I’ve made a huge mistake…

  59. JF says:

    That doesn’t make sense to me. Brisebois is a defenseman; how does he replace Begin or Kostopoulos?

  60. The Teacher says:

    Hell, no.

  61. Alirio says:

    CKAC reports that Begin and Kostopoulos are out for Dandy and Breezer…

    Season four of LOST premiered on Thursday; the episode was entitled “The Beginning of the End”. I think this line-up change will also be known as the beginning of the end… of the Habs’ spot in the upper-half of playoff seeds…

    What is Carbo thinking???

    I’ve made a huge mistake…

  62. Chuck says:

    Actually, Price has been playing very well in Hamilton. Last night he stopped all 4 shooters in the shootout for a 2-1 win.

    His losses have been due to the fact that the ‘Dogs simply haven’t been able to put the puck in the net, including a stretch where they were shutout for just shy of 200 minutes (that’s 10 periods.)

    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  63. Xtrahabsfan says:

    Huet’s agents going to asking 5-5.5 mil a year,would you the fan pay him that much?

  64. Xtrahabsfan says:

    Would you give Huet 5 mil a year?

  65. nightmare_49 says:

    Little off topic : Last Thursday i listened to the laffs game wrap up after their loss in OT. Color man Jim Ralph was complaining about the non call when the opposition hooked Gill that lead to the winning goal. During his crying Ralph said the same thing happened to Philly last year when they were out of it , that the refs didn’t call penalties to the opposition , who were contenders , cuz Philly was out of the picture for a playoff spot. So Ralph sees the reality that the laffs are out of it but i’m sure management didn’t like his reality.

  66. earl says:

    Goaltender selection isn’t about “raising values” for trades. You go with the goaltender that gives you the best chance to win.

    Best goaltender in the organization is also one of the best in the league – Huet.

    Gainey can make that decision in his sleep.

  67. JF says:

    If Huet plays well today, he could start again tomorrow. On the other hand, Halak was in goal for our only win against the Rangers last season. Whatever happens this weekend, I think it’s likely Halak will start against Toronto on Thursday.

    Price had a rough couple of games when he first went to Hamilton, but I’ve heard he’s doing better lately.

  68. carmine007 says:

    Halak I think will get the nod against the Rangers.

    I dont think Carbo will start Huet 2 games in a row. Halak has got to get some game time in.

    Also From what I’m hearing Price is having a tough time in Hamilton. It’s one of those situations where Gainey gambles a little in thinking of bring Price to the big show.

    Also I see the ex Habs Michael Lieghton is doing an impressive job here in my home town Albany, NY. Still wish Yann Denis would get a chance as well. Huet deserves a 2 year contract. Price needs another season in Hamilton before he’s absolutly ready for the big show.

    Just my thoughts……

    It’s NEVER over til it’s OVER!

  69. likehoy says:

    any possibility for halak to get a start this weekend?? i feel bad for the guy…he goes from starting every game in the AHL…to watch every game in the NHL…

    we’re ruining a young goalie to improve another young goalie, pointe finale. Trade halak, and at this point we’ll only get like a 2nd rounder max for him, but this is a kid’s career we’re ruining. He has enough talent to be a starter in the NHL and we don’t even showcase him to raise his value. His value at the moment is like I said, a second rounder or a depth player at max. This is a sad situation

  70. Xtrahabsfan says:

    Iwould love that to happen,me thinks we could use a shot of Jagr and it would be good for Ryder as well.

  71. Scotty90 says:

    Jagr in a Habs uniform….hmmm! it would make a lot of teams a little nervous down the stretch. I like it!

  72. Scotty90 says:

    I have a feeling this will be a break-out game for Higgins. his home town, family and friends will be watching, and he knows he needs to get the monkey off his back. I really don’t think its lack of effort on his part though. A combination of his timing may be off a little, he’s not particularly at the right place at the right time and just pure and simple bad luck! We’ve all experienced it and Higgy is no exception. Lets keep our fingers crossed because if he gets his touch back, that line will compete with Kovy’s and the race to the cup should be quite a ride. Have faith… I do!

    Enjoy the game folks.

    Ian…. forgot to empty my mug before I posted :)

  73. Xtrahabsfan says:

    I predict a huge week-end for Ryder which so so impresses the Rangers brass that a one for one swap for Jag-er is consummated.Oh yea,Ijust fell off the house I was roofing and landed on my noggin,lol

  74. ebk says:

    Agreed with everything you said up until you mentioned Cassie Campbell. She’s one of the worst announcers I’ve ever heard.

    Agree with you about Hughson, Hrudey and Millen. Hughson is the best play-by-play man in the business,hockey or baseball. Hrudey has lots of interesting things to say. Millen, the best thing you can say is that, if he is doing color, Harry Neale isn’t.

  75. 24 Cups says:

    Xtra – That’s not as crazy as you think, I even threw that idea out to ebk last night as an off the wall trade possibility. Jagr has to hit 84 points by the end of the year for his option year to kick in for 2008-09. That salary would be somewhere around $8.5 mil BUT only $5 mil is paid by his present team and the rest is paid by the Capitals. Same goes for the cap hit. Soooo, we could take Jagr on for the rest of this year and hopefully next year too. Our big cap year hit is the year after, 2009-10. Now, I have no idea what the Rangers would want but it wouldn’t be as high as you might think. Jagr isn’t a Renney type player, plus they wouldn’t mind taking Ryder off our hands to replace him. Throw in a young defenseman and you might just have a deal. (I realize they might want more). I know Jagr is a bit of a head case but so was Kovalev last year. Trust me, Jagr has as much if not more talent than Kovalev. He would certainly kick start Higgins and Koivu. I know everyone thinks this post (and poster!) is crazy but with Jagr we would stand a good chance of getting past Ottawa and Philly in the playoffs.

    The Original 24 Cups

  76. Mr.Hazard says:

    You said it… afternoon games just don’t go down well with us.

    Ex nihilo nihil fit

  77. slamtherimtim says:

    they always lose afternoon games , but with the weather i think they will be flying today ,,

  78. G-Man says:

    Hate the afternoon start. Hope the Habs are awake for it. I think it’s time Higgins loosens the grip on his stick and relaxes with the puck a little more so he stops rushing things. He can be a bull for the Habs if he throws away the nerves and plays with confidence and purpose. He can’t rely on Koivu to do it; he has to make things happen. That’s what the A on his jersey is all about. Take it to ’em, Chris!


  79. JF says:

    In Higgins’ case I’m not talking about one bad game but a whole stretch. He seems unable to finish anything lately, shows little imagination and appears to have lost his confidence. Sometimes sitting out a game can spark a player; look at Dandenault against Boston when he was sat for one game. At any rate, I think Higgins and Koivu need to be split up. Both Sergei Kostitsyn and Latendresse have shown that they can be effective with Koivu.

  80. Moey says:

    I totally agree with you, in a nutshell when Kovy has the puck you just know something good will happen, when Higgin’s has it you know it’s going nowhere. His stick handling leaves a lot to be a desired, I’ve nicknamed him Freddy the fumbler.

  81. nightmare_49 says:

    Higgins doesn’t have to do it all himself , just keep it simple and be good in the corners and crash the net , and please stop all this fancy stickhandling it’s not his bag especially when he has his head down all the time and doesn’t see the obvious play until it’s too late. i seem to be repeating myself.

  82. earl says:

    agreed 100 percent. Sitting Higgins makes absolutely no sense. Higgins is working hard, playing a multitude of roles with a variety of linemates and situations, and doing it well.

    Makes about as much sense as sitting Kovalev or Koivu. none.

  83. Moey says:

    He is playing a multitude of roles, but he’s first and foremost on the first line to score goals and that’s a role he’s not playing. Maybe not sit him, but put him on the fourth as a grinder. Quite simply, he’s not doing the job he was hired to do.

  84. Habster101 says:

    its ok …. I agree with you more than 100% I ve been posting about Higgins play since the begining of the season…

    he has an erratic style that like you said doesn’t get him nowhere, keeps his head down and missies the perfect play…always seems to do to much, that extra deek thats not necessary which causes him to lose the puck and fall on his you know what…

    I think he is the reason Ryder isn’t having good games…

    everyone just blames Ryder because he’s not scoring, but not looking at the reasons….

    I’ve had many heated discussions out here about Higgins,,,

    Glad to see someone else is finally taking notice….the way I see it…

    but one thing can be for certain….if he breaks out of that style and starts contributing and helping his linemates, the line will be revitilized and this team will become unstoppable.

    Im sure Gainey notices who’s not producing….maybe Higgins will be one of those didn’t see it coming trades like he usually performs,…which always has turned out perfect…

  85. Hoegarden says:


    I cannot bring myself to say it out loud and as I try to type it on the keyboard, my fingers freeeeeeze..

    Could someone say it or type it… Go la….. I give up,

  86. Exit716 says:

    Imagine how good we will be when Gainey signs Muller and Carbonneau to fill in the holes..Remember future Leafs GM Glenn Healy saying they would be two of our better players if they laced them up?
    Pretty good results so far for the consensus 13th place Eastern Conference team.
    Up next, the TSN experts Stanley Cup champions in waiting the NY Rangers.
    Bury their butts tomorrow boys

  87. likehoy says:

    guys not looking far ahead…we play sens twice next week…that’s our chance to over take them!! (and the laughs once!)

  88. Robert L says:

    Moey, Cournoyer 12 meant nothing personal by that – he wanted me to be his lawyer yesterday!

    Thanks for the compliment. I’m pleased that you enjoy my site.

  89. Moey says:

    Nobody? I thought so, good, the horse stands alone, let it be noted.

  90. Robert L says:

    Just as when I scroll down here and see your mug shot, I stop to read your comments – always sensible, insightful, and rarely manic. I’m a big fan of balance and seeing the big picture clearly, as you seem to be as well.

    Thanks always for those kindest of words.

    Hope you cann rearrange your schedule to make the Hamilton trip April 11th. Once I know if my daughter’s hockey team is making the Provincial, I’ll know whether I can make the trip a reality for myself.

    Good luck and cheers, my friend.

  91. Sulemaan says:

    Always enjoy your posts RL. Only other Habs blog I read besides I/O.

  92. Moey says:


    It just hasn’t been the same since the new kids on the block arrived. I read your blogs, great stuff, take my advice and don’t waste your time responding to them.

  93. habsgod says:


  94. habsgod says:

    scoresssssssssssssssssss markov!!!!! 1-0

  95. Chuck says:

    Holy crap… the laffs beat the Sens tonight!


    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  96. ebk says:

    beat the NYR sunday and the Habs are playing for the #1 seed on Tuesday

  97. joe-hab-nuno says:

    I never thought i’d be so happy to see the laffs win, outta buds losers

    Go habs go
    Go habs go
    Go habs go
    Go habs go………………everyone now
    Go habs go

  98. Moey says:

    I have to admit I was rooting for the laffs tonight, but in all fairness the Sens aren’t firing on all cylinders. Their captain is injured and we all know what happened to us when Saku was injured in the playoffs two years ago.

    My Epiphany this season was the Senator – Habs game in the early part of the season, it was a brilliant end to end game but we ran out of steam in the last 5 minutes. I knew then that we had the skill and could play with the best of them.

    I’m looking forward to playing them next week, but I would prefer if the team was intact, then it would be a true measure of how far we have come.

  99. Chuck says:

    We’ve still got to play the five more times this season; let’s beat them four times before they’re healthy! :)

    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  100. Mr.Hazard says:

    The Islanders looked very weak. We had soooo many chances, it was actually very frustrating. DiPietro really kept them in it…

    Ex nihilo nihil fit

  101. Chuck says:

    I vote for seven weeks.


    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  102. Robert L says:

    After the win today, I wanted to see how the Habs stacked up against the Senators and Red Wings statistically. I checked out all kinds of goals scored categories, and found some interesting things.

  103. Mr.Hazard says:

    Ok ok. Recchi is on FIRE. Malkin is on FIRE. Samsonov is starting to PISS ME OFF! And Ovechkin was shut down again today. I guess he can sit back for a while, with the 5-goal lead on Kovalchuck.

    Ex nihilo nihil fit

  104. HJ says:

    does anyone know if Alfreddson will play on Tuesday? I hope he doesn’t. we need to bury the sens while they’re down. and Carbo, please give Halak some playing time, because if Huet gets injured, we’ll have a very rusty and not sharp goalie. Practice is not the same as a live game.
    hope at trade deadline, Gainey gets us a scorer, who’s good at faceoffs.
    habs are putting a smile on my face. Kovalev line is really exciting to watch. mskes me think of Lafleur, Shutt and co. agreed?

  105. habsguy says:

    I still couldn’t want the leafs to win…

  106. Chuck says:

    It’s oug game in hand over the Sens; let’s make good use of it!


    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  107. Moey says:

    You guys are ruthless, but I guess when it comes to hockey, the gloves come off.

    Okay, let’s tally up a couple of wins against them at half mast, get into first place and at the next meeting have a worthy opponent. I guarantee it will be great hockey, we play the same type of game.

  108. Chuck says:

    As always, an eye-opening read Robert. The numbers don’t lie; the Habs are for real.


    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  109. RH says:

    Did I miss something here? I mean, are there not STILL two broken bones in Brisebois’ foot? I’m not sure why the Habs would risk playing him. This guy is such a lousy defenseman when he’s HEALTHY, much less with one bum foot.

  110. Chuck says:

    Whose parade HAVEN’T you tried to rain on? Robert put a lot of effort into a tremendously insightful post. If you don’t have anything nice to say, keep it to yourself.

    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  111. Chuck says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with you, Moey!

    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  112. Robert L says:

    “stats are for losers, so I looked up an interesting one just for the hell of it”…that’s a good one!

    I just thought it would be interesting to look into what the Habs were doing goal scoring wise, by period, on the PP, on the road, etc

  113. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I’m beginning to sound like a broken record. This Montreal team is much different than the one that went 0-3 against the Sens earlier this year. I say bring on the Sens (with Heatley & Alfredsson).

  114. Moey says:

    Did anyone else think that that Sens game early in the season was a sign of things to come?

  115. habsgod says:


  116. Robert L says:

    Thanks Chuck.

    I’ll add the Drive For 25 is in full swing!

    Hope you can make the Hamilton Habs Fans Summit that is about to be launched. Keep your eyes posted at my site for an update soon – like real soon!

  117. Sulemaan says:

    I agree with you Moey. It was a nice sign. 4-3 Loss to the Sens.

    Only change since then was that back then we had a fella named Price in the nets.

  118. Robert L says:

    As I said, no need to explain.

    I agree with you on the need to be bigger in ceratin areas, but barring an unforeseen growth spurt, the Habs have killer speed and big balls.

    Kinda like the Red Wings, who are not hulkingly huge either!

  119. Chuck says:

    Speaking of Price, Carey gets the shutout tonight in a 2-0 win over Manitoba. Corey Locke also becomes the Bulldogs all-time leading goal scorer:

    Scoring Summary:

    1st Period:
    (no scoring)

    2nd Period:
    (no scoring)

    3rd Period:
    1. HAM – Duncan Milroy-10 (Daniel Corso, Corey Locke) – 13:59
    2. HAM – Corey Locke-17 (Daniel Corso, Pavel Valentenko) – 19:07 (en)

    Hamilton: 0-0-2–2
    Manitoba: 0-0-0–0

    Hamilton: 10-6-11–27
    Manitoba: 9-11-5–25

    Hamilton: Carey Price (25 shots, 25 saves)
    Manitoba: Drew MacIntyre (26 shots, 25 saves)

    Power Play:
    Hamilton: 0-for-5
    Manitoba: 0-for-4

    Attendance: 7,678

    Three Stars:
    1. HAM – Carey Price (25 shots, 25 saves)
    2. MTB – Drew MacIntyre (26 shots, 25 saves)
    3. HAM – Duncan Milroy (1g, 0a, 1pt, +2, 2 shots)

    Flamboro Downs Workhorse of the Game: Corey Locke (1g, 1a, 2pts, +2, 2 shots)

    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  120. Chuck says:

    The horse is very photogenic. Let that be noted, too!

    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  121. Chuck says:

    I’d better be there… I work in Hamilton!


    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  122. idle says:

    Good news. Seems like taking a step back and catching his breath was a good move for him. This is at least a couple games in a row he has made a big impact and I am sure he will be back in Montreal before too long.

  123. Chuck says:

    And his stats would look even better had the Bulldogs not been shutout over a span of 10 periods in front of him. Looks like Carey has enjoyed the extra attention from Rollie Melanson… and it’s great when the team actually plays some defense in front of him, too!

    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  124. Smart Dog says:

    Missed the game today – was driving through New Brunswick. Arrgghh… don’t they know how to get rid of snow? Strange.

    Was thrilled to see the Habs win again – and Huet have another strong showing. Then read this about the one goal against:

    “Returning Canadiens defenceman Patrice Brisebois had given the puck away just inside the Islanders blue line, leaving Roman Hamrlik the sole defender back.”

    Hello? I know I’ll get crapped on for picking on the guy, but he’s such an easy target because he screws up with such consistency. Can’t Carbo see that? Sad.

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

  125. G-Man says:

    Totally agree with you, Habsgod, but you don’t have to shout! :)


  126. G-Man says:

    Now that must have been a lot of work. Way to go RobertL. Habs are doing well in many categories, but still need improvement. This is a decent team that cannot sit back and say how great they are. When this team plays hard (and Carbo gets no credit for that, right?), they can compete with anybody.
    The Rangers have been the Habs’ “bete noire” so far this season. It’s time to turn that around.


  127. mrstewart61 says:

    We don’t use the rain to wash our snow away, like in Nova Scotia! :) (I’m from Yarmouth, originally)

  128. habsgod says:

    scoressssssssssssssssssss 2-0 kovalev!!!!!!!!!!!!

  129. habsgod says:

    scoresssssssssssssssssssssssss 3-0 s.kostitsyn penalty shot!!!!!!

  130. 24 Cups says:

    Obviously, I would like to see the Habs win both games this weekend but given a choice between the two then it’s today’s game against the Islanders that I want to win. A win today means we are up 11 points on them, whereas a loss would bring them back to within striking distance at 7. We have three games in hand on the Rangers so a loss to them wouldn’t be as significant plus I feel they are going to make the playoffs anyway. But I’ve love to see another team fall out of the playoff picture (in terms of challenging us). Eleven points would be a nice cushion.

    Huet starts today so that certainly enhances our chances. The Islanders are kinda flat right now as they are struggling to score goals. I also wonder if Wade Doobie will start in net. He’s been outplaying Habs-Kat’s pretty boy the past few games. You can check my profile as to who my favourite Hab is but I agree with many posters here who have been critical of his play. In a perfect Habs world, Higgins should be a 35 goal scorer – he’s going to really have to hustle if he wants to hit 30. He takes a ton of shots but maybe he can do more by doing less. There’s a big difference between shots and realistic scoring chances. I’m still a believer, so maybe these games against his home state will help motivate him. He turns 25 this month so it’s time to rise and shine.

    The Original 24 Cups

  131. RetroMikey says:

    This is a big test for us.
    I’d like us to “sweep” the weekend games against the New York teams and be more relaxed with our roster and perhaps a trade would not be required.
    If we lose the 2, there will be an uproar again calling for Carey Price to come back, Carbonneau has to go, etc…we’ll see what happens.
    No excuses for afternoon games, we’ve got to play hard and hustle like we have for the majority of the games! We’ve got a tough February schedule.
    Don’t forget, we have to go back to Florida again to play Tampa Bay and Florida again and you know how well we play in the Sunshine State based on our past performances.
    Good Luck Boys!

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

  132. 24 Cups says:

    CBC is carrying today’s game against the Islanders @ 2pm and they are also carrying the Habs-Rangers game tomorrow with a similar 2pm start. NBC is also showing the Ranger game so it might be interesting to flip over once in a while just to see the difference in delivery styles. Lastly, CBC will be broadcasting the Habs-Lousy Leaf game this Thursday which is a 7:30 start.

    We now take you back to your regularly scheduled programming.

    The Original 24 Cups

  133. Mike says:

    Anyone know the lines today? It prob wont change, I don’t think it should for at least 5 games. But, If get less then 2 points this weekend, i think that carbo will switch it up. Hopefully switch s kost wil higgins.

  134. JF says:

    We usually find afternoon games tough, but according to RDS we have a strong winning record on Superbowl weekend.

    I hope Carbo makes some changes to our former first line, maybe switching Higgins and Sergei Kostitsyn or Higgins and Latendresse, or even bringing in Dandenault. If the game were not in his home town, I’d even say sit Higgins. He’s been lousy lately and needs a wake-up call.

  135. mjames says:

    Higgins is one of the team’s leading scorers and you want to sit him because some felt he had a bad game. If you took time to watch the game you would see that he controlled the boards and had some chances. For that matter you better sit Kovy and Plecks as they did not score either. Oh yes Komi and Hamrlik had horrendous games – they need wake-up calls. Your philosophy would insure a last place finish for our team.


  136. habfan53 says:

    I thought before the All-Star break Carbo had :
    Latendresse- Koivu- and Sergei K together with
    Higgins – Lapierre – and Ryder together and both lines worked well but after a game and a half he switched Koivu and Lapierre and now only the Lapierre line is going well.

    I still think there is to much talent AND history for koivu’s line to not work

  137. carmine007 says:

    I believe that Dandenault will play either today or Sunday.
    Carbo should by now have him were we want him. Pissed off, upset and working hard during practise. Dandy deserve to be back in the line up. Breezy and Ryder can sit this one out.

    Any trade rumours????

    Maybe Ryder and Dandy for a 2nd round pick?? I dont see us getting that Center we need for solid face offs. That might happen during the off season. I wouldnt trade Ryder for some half ass player who will only be on the team for the next 30 games or so. Better to trade him for a draft pick….
    It’s NEVER over til it’s OVER!

  138. Hoegarden says:

    Huet got his 20th win today. So much for the argument from the nay-sayers that he’s never done it in the past.

  139. Chuck says:

    He’s never done it in the past; that was part of the concern. Huet had never played in more than 45 games in an NHL season, and had never registered more than 19 wins in a season. Even the CBC announcers alluded to it this afternoon, and suggested that the Habs are lightening his practice load to conserve his energy for the rest of the season.

    As of now, he’s in unchartered territory as far as his workload goes. He’s really stepped it up and has impressed me with how he’s handled the last month, and in particular since his gaffe in the Atlanta game. Here’s to hoping that he keeps up the good work and stays healthy!

    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  140. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I believe today’s win was his 19th.

  141. nightmare_49 says:

    No giveaways registered for Bryan Smolinski in the last “2” games , that must mean he’s spared from castration for the time being.

  142. Shobud says:

    I have to admit that I was not a big Huet fan, but you can’t take it away from him, he is playing like a all star and if he keeps it up the playoffs are a sure thing I felt bad for him today when they got that goal. He should have had a shutout He did everything he could to stop it I like the way Ryder played after his fight He seemed to be in the game this afternoon. I love the way they are sticking up for each other.. It shows they are playing as a team. The Kovy line is just great and seem to get better each game. What a great time to be a habs fan.

  143. G-Man says:

    Happy half-way through winter, everybody!
    Have to say that every line played well. That pass from Streit to Dandy to finish the Islanders off was team oriented hockey at its best. It is fun to be a Habs fan lately, especially when they score 4 per game. Streit and Plekanec are 2 of the most under rated players in the NHL right now, but not for long. More and more fans are seeing the Habs rise on tv these days and the feeling in the city is becoming electric. 65 points = 35 to go. Ya baby!


  144. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    I know its been mentioned but I have to get it out of my system…



    Great GAME!

    loved the way RYDER stood up for his teammates….that is worth GOLD going post season…
    1. Breeze………thankyou for the ‘effort’…..PLEASE RETIRE NOW.
    1. Thank GOD we have Alex Kovalev… his PRIME
    2. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans
    3. Your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”

  145. Chuck says:

    Do you feel better now?


    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  146. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    that depends on tomorrows lineup….

    and then the SENS…and then the LEAFS…and then the SENS….

    the most important week of the schedule, we have a chance for 1st place and that would be an incredible milestone for the club…in fact I’m not sure when the last time we were in 1st place was?

    there is nothing wrong with moving Striet back to Defense and bringing either Kostop or Begin back if there not injured.

    Smoke has earned a right to stay on…but Breeze has got to sit..he caused a goal…100% his fault…you don’t stickhandle when your the last man and you CAN’T STICKHANDLE!…and then you don’t COAST at ALL on your way SKATE 110% ALL THE WAY BACK until the WHISTLE BLOWS…HE STARTED TO COAST just when he needed to really put his head down and dig deep for that extra passion that sits deep in your stomach!…he doesn’t have it anymore.

    It is a MISTAKE to have him in the lineup at this point…a dreadful mistake.
    1. Breeze………thankyou for the ‘effort’…..PLEASE RETIRE NOW.
    1. Thank GOD we have Alex Kovalev… his PRIME
    2. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans
    3. Your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”

  147. Sulemaan says:

    Great game tonight. I thought the team played well starting with Huet.

    But I really get nervous every time Brisebois is on the ice. Whether we win or lose. Even on the power-play he makes me nervous that the defending team can score short-handed with him on the point.

    I’m not trying to pick on him as he adds depth but only if other regulars are injured. I think the real litmus test is as follows:

    When Ryder fired the puck and it hit Markov and he went down like a ton of bricks today, did we all hold our breath or worry about the potential loss.

    So let’s look at the other defencemen on the team, if the same scenario happened and ask ourselves if our reaction would be one of concern:

    1. Markov – Yes
    2. Komisarek – Yes
    3. Hamrlik – Yes
    4. Bouillon – Yes
    5. O’Byrne – Yes
    6. Streit – Yes (I realize he alternates as a forward)
    7. Gorges – Yes (at least his play of late)
    8. Brisebois – No

    I don’t wish ill-health or injury on anyone but if Brisebois was injured there would pretty much be a shoulder-shrug. Some fans might even cheer.

    I don’t believe that we should play Brisebois and sit heart and soul players like Begin/Kostopolous. When O’Byrne gets back, I hope they don’t send him to Hamilton because he deserves to play on the big team.

    If Patrice needs to sit then so be it. If he doesn’t like it, tough. Last I recall there were no teams interested in him during the pre-season and he knew that he was coming to Montreal as a depth player.

  148. linp says:

    Brisebois and Smolinski defending at the same time in our zone is a FATAL combination. It would become touch hockey!

  149. Da Hema says:

    As soon as O’Byrne returns, our collective angst (disgust?) over Brisebois will likely end. I just cannot see how there would be any justification to play him at that point. It is interesting: those “long outlet passes” that his few supporters evoke as a “strength” of his game are simply his way of compensating for his inability to skate and keep up with anyone else on the ice. Now those “long outlet passes” are an even greater liability. I thought Latendresse and Ryder were poor skaters–and they are–but they look like The Roadrunner compared to Brisebois.

    Dave Stubbs: is there any news on the timing of O’Byrne’s return?
    “The worst day of fishing beats the best day of working.”
    –Martin Crane, “Frasier”

  150. Robert L says:

    Jeez, Sulemaan, now we’ll have 18 Habs using Breezer’s nose for target practice in the pre game tomorrow!

  151. G-Man says:

    This was a “rest” for Begin and Kostopoulos. (The Islanders have no scoring.) I expect them to come out flying and hitting big time today. This is the game that will reintroduce the Habs to the US tv market. (Not that many will watch.) I’d like to see them come out and play a strong 60 and do what Habsgod has been yelling about: win 5-2.


  152. The Teacher says:

    The Los Angeles Daily News reports that, with the Kings likely to do some housecleaning, Mike Cammalleri is one player who could be had via trade.

    I’d definitely want him!

  153. Sulemaan says:

    Don’t disagree Teach but he’s pretty small (5’9″) and we have enough forwards who fit that bill.

    If we were going to deal with LA, I’d go for Dustin Brown instead. Although Dean Lomarbdi would ask for a lot I suspect for either player.

  154. Chuck says:



    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

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