Game 56: Senators clobber outmatched Habs

A member of the Scotiabank Place ice crew gathers up hats tossed on the ice to celebrate Jason Spezza’s three goals. And yes, that’s a Canadiens tuque among the hats she’s picked up.
André Ringuette, NHLI via Getty Images

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Much buzz the past week has been about how close the Canadiens are to the Eastern Conference-leading Ottawa Senators. Make that how close they were. Tonight, the teams were a few acres apart and the Habs now trail Ottawa by five points, with two tough midweek games awaiting them in Florida.

The Senators, with their No. 1 line of Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza reunited after a spell of injuries, were men against the Canadiens boys, rolling to a 6-1 victory at Scotiabank Place.

The Ottawa trio earned 15 points in skating roughshod over the Habs. The Senators have outscored Montreal 30-11 since last losing to them on home ice on Nov. 13, 2006.

"I have nothing to say," head coach Guy Carbonneau said shortly after the game. "There was nothing positive."

About the Senators’ dominant line: "We helped them," he added.

Any chance the Canadiens (29-18-9) had of avoiding a sixth consecutive loss in Ottawa evaporated tonight while the ice was still wet.

Spezza, in his second game back in the Senators lineup after having missed 11 with a shoulder injury, beat Tomas Plekanec on the draw, then moved to the front of the net to deflect Anton Volchenkov’s chip shot from the blue line past Montreal goalie Cristobal Huet at 22 seconds.

The Senators (34-18-4) bagged their second at 1:42 on a play that began just inside their own end, Steve Bégin handicapped by a broken stick. Heatley stormed up the left wing and fired on Huet, the puck tumbling over the falling goalie. Spezza pounced on it before any Canadiens defender could arrive for the easy score.

Huet’s night was over at 4:45, pulled in favour of Carey Price, when Senators captain Alfredsson converted a fine passing play with Spezza and Joe Corvo, the Canadiens scrambling furiously in vain to contain their on-fire hosts. It was Ottawa’s third goal on just four shots.

The good news – and there was some, no matter the lopsided scoreboard – was that the Canadiens actually outplayed the Senators after their early implosion, holding a 12-6 edge in shots and 13-9 advantage in hits after 20 minutes. (Ottawa finally outhit Montreal 34-21.)

Those looking for a silver lining also could point to the four goal posts/crossbars the Habs hit tonight and their outshooting the Senators 34-29.

But Montreal’s normally potent power play didn’t help in its first three opportunities; in the season’s four meetings between the two clubs before tonight’s contest, the Habs had scored six of their 10 goals with a man advantage.

With all these wasted chances to claw back into the game, the Canadiens’ hole grew deeper when Heatley scored on his own rebound at 10:17 of the second period, having easily muscled his way behind the Montreal defence.

Then, on a power-play of their own, Spezza picked up his fifth point of the night, earning his first career hat trick when he batted the puck out of the air past Price on the rebound of a Heatley shot with Patrice Brisebois off for holding.

A breakdown in Senators discipline late in the second gave the Canadiens a 5-on-3 for two minutes, Ottawa’s Mike Fisher and Chris Neil both sent off. Price earned his first NHL assist when he whipped a pass to the Ottawa blue line to Sergei Kostitsyn, who found his brother, Andrei, at Senators goalie Ray Emery’s crease for the tip-in, his 17th goal of the season, at 19:35.

A holding penalty to Ottawa’s Chris Schubert at 19:52 restored the Canadiens’ two-man advantage, which spanned the second and third periods but yielded nothing for Montreal.

Brisebois drew his second minor of the game at 2:11 of the third, and 17 seconds later Alfredsson whipped a shot past Price for his second goal and fifth point of the night. Spezza, naturally, earned an assist for his sixth point.

The Canadiens were outmatched physically, too, Sergei Kostitsyn taking a vicious uppercut from Senators defenceman Wade Redden in a very one-sided fight late in the game.


Senators goalie Ray Emery makes one of his 33 saves, stopping Andrei Kostitsyn.
Philip MacCallum, Getty Images


  1. mrstewart61 says:

    I wasn’t serious. Forgot to mention that in my post. 🙂

  2. Chuck says:

    You are correct.


    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  3. Shiloh says:

    I have heard this term “half-boards” for a good while but I have no %^%# clue what on earth it means. Are the boards half as big there? Are they half way to the blue line?

  4. TradeRyder says:

    The team has been playing so well, Id like to be positive about this game…. but Hamrlik is so important. And instead we have breeze-bye AND Slowinski, which lowers our odds. Then we have our first non-scoring line reunited. I wonder if being snake-bitten is contagious?

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

  5. linp says:

    Up to now, Halak handles the puck very well. Our forwards doesn’t shoot well. Chips got roughed up. There is no enforcer.

  6. Infanteer says:

    Watch out for that breathalyzer if you’re driving today . . .

  7. nightmare_49 says:

    First of all , I’ve watched Hockey Day and it certainly been promoted enough and maybe to excess for monthes and doesn’t need the mention. Next thing you know they’ll be having Reebok Day , Nike Day announced but they won’t announce TSN Doubleheader night will they as a free plug.

  8. Chuck says:

    You also forgot to mention that Striet cost us a goal by coughing up a puck along the half-boards, Komisarek cost us a goal by standing around and watching while Kyle Wellwood potted a rebound, and Markov cost a goal by passing begind Koivu which allowed Darcy Tucker an easy empty-net goal.

    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  9. HotHabs says:

    Not sure I follow you. The PA announcer for the Leafs mentioned Hockey Day? So how is that a bias? I’d be happy to hear Hockey Day mentioned at the Bell Center, not because it’s sponsored/created by the CBC, but because it promotes hockey across the country and brings lots of people together playing the game they love. I wouldn’t think that was such a bad thing. Sorry, I’m a little confused. Besides, maybe there was an agreement to promote the event at the ACC…

    enjoying the high’s of being a Habs fan

  10. Infanteer says:

    My God thanks for the Habs . . . just watched the 1st period of the Leafs and (the “best team in hockey”) Wings.

    I fell asleep three times. I think Harry Neale did as well.

  11. moser17 says:

    “Hartnell’s fighting prowess”? Were you watching the same fight as the one on the posted link? When I click on the link it looks to me an awful lot like Komisarek threw Hartnell around like a bean-bag chair.

  12. HotHabs says:

    I don’t want to bash Breezer, but he did cost us a goal vs. the Leafs. Other than that, he had a decent game and even gave out some good checks like the one on Tucker. But, he makes me nervous every time he carries the puck because he tends to attempt high risk passes and plays. You can only do that for so long before it comes back to haunt you!

    enjoying the high’s of being a Habs fan

  13. sag says:

    Komi will drop them if the time is right. He has been told that he is too valuable on the ice…especially if someone is in the box.

  14. nightmare_49 says:

    Amazing – The laffs PA announcer promoted Hockey Day on the CBC , or should i call it the TBC , before the puck was dropped. This just shows how they work hand in hand on their bias. Not one mention of a Habs player on Hockey Day but plenty of old laffs. Imagine if the laffs had won a cup in the last 4 decades the TBC would be so sufficating we’ll have to have an oxygen tank to watch the BS.

  15. ZepFan2 says:

    “So BRING ON CHRIS NEIL I say!!!”

    No thanks. I like Komi on the ice crunching people like Neil and Avery into the boards.

    You seem to mistake Komi as some spare part goon on the Habs. Better get your FACTS straight!

  16. Chuck says:

    Red doesn’t speak for Mike Komisarek… Mike Komisarek does.

    And are you telling me that you can’t find a quote from an NHL fighter that isn’t proud of what he does? Try these from Chris Neil:

    “I can’t repeat that in the paper. You’ve got to let him know you can’t let him run around like that. I just told him, we play them one more time.”


    “He was afraid I was going to do something to him or something.” (both of these referenced from

    Sounds to me like “For-Fact-Sakes” can’t back up his “facts”.

    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  17. lemess says:

    Did anyone hear Bob Cole call that hit on Wellwood a “jolly jiggler” Man, I’m glad he’s not doing our game tonight

  18. HotHabs says:

    Why the he*l would the Habs want to lose Komi for 5 minutes to Neil??????????

    What a poor exchange!!!!!!!

    Who’s more valuable on the ice for their team: Komi or Neil???? No brainer!

    Komi was too smart for that crap on Tuesday, and I hope he keeps his head on straight again tonight.

    If Neil wants a real fight he should square up vs. Laracque and get the bejeezus pounded out of him.

    enjoying the high’s of being a Habs fan

  19. HKisses says:

    Honestly i don mind it….he played decent last game ….and he even saved a goal on a 2 on 1…..Theirs a limit of bashing you can do to Brisbois, if he plays alright stick with it

  20. yukonhab says:

    What a slow start to the Wings and Leafs…every team rises to the occasion to play the Habs. We better get used to the fact of being the “hunted”…

  21. HotHabs says:

    I have to admit, while I’m no Cole fan, he did a decent job of remaining fairly neutral on Tuesday night. He made all kinds of blunders – what else is new – but I didn’t hear him cheering to hard for his Leafs. It was a nice change from the usually heavy TO bias that spews from his mouth!!!

    We’ll see how he does tonight. Nevertheless, I’ll catch most of the game on RDS and occasionally flip back to CBC.

    enjoying the high’s of being a Habs fan

  22. Scotty90 says:

    Fighter means more than one who drops the gloves to exchange blows with an opponent. A fighter also means someone who works hard and never lets up, goes in the corners and fights off opponents to get control of the puck, and that is what Komi does. I would also call Koivu a fighter, going through what he did and coming back, on more than occasion, and beating the odds. I think you can probably call every Hab player a fighter because they have all defied the odds and as a result Montreal is way up there in the standings and have gaianed the respect of hockey knowledgeable fans, not just Habs fans, all knowledgeable hockey fans…. Where does that leave you factoid?

  23. HotHabs says:

    Absolutely true about the “buddy-buddy” thing. Frankly, I’m getting tired of it. I’ve said before that it might be a good idea for Carbo to find other employment. But, I also mentioned that Gainey’s personal friendships and loyalty has tainted his ability to lead the club on the coaching end of things. It’s tough to say “g’bye” or even “get it together” to your pals after so much history together. So, I don’t think Carbo is going anywhere for that reason alone. I loved Carbo as a player. But, I’ve been skeptically hopeful (if that makes any sense) with him as coach. Anyway, we can cry all we want about it – it won’t change much more than the taste of our beer! So, grin and bear it, eh!

    enjoying the high’s of being a Habs fan

  24. showey47 says:

    i bet you were really happy when you finished a jigsaw puzzle in 6 months when the box said for “2 to 4 years”

  25. HKisses says:

    Had to share this with you guys…..After that loss against Toronto, i had to go have a look at one of my favorite hits from last year and KO punch …..Bouillion is one tough customer thats for sure…. Enjoy!

  26. HKisses says:

    Cristobal Huet will get the start tonight in Ottawa.
    Michael Ryder will return to the lineup after being a healthy scratch the last three games. He will play on a line with Chris Higgins and Saku Koivu. Mathieu Dandenault will be scratched. Roman Hamrlik remains quarantined with a virus and will miss his third straight game.
    The club signed free agent forward Brock Trotter to a three-year contract. He was leading the Denver Pioneers (NCAA) in scoring. He will report to the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL.

  27. yukonhab says:

    Can’t stand Bob F. Cole…just about drove me nuckin’ futs there on Thursday with his Pro T.O> rally. Hope his Leafs get thumped once again in the battle with Detroit.
    Hope Ryder makes the cut today with Higgins and Koivu….can’t hurt to try this old remedy. Should be our best test game of the year.

    I have faith in the HABS…and in Higgins

    GO HABS GO!!

  28. ZepFan2 says:

    “Who has Komisarek dropped the gloves and fought? Does anybody here remember?”


  29. lemess says:

    I agree we need toughness on a regular basis, but I would rather let fourth liners whale on each other than risk losing our first line defenseman.

  30. Chuck says:

    Hi Tom! How are things in Dorval today?

    It sounds like you have interpreted Red Fisher’s view on Komisarek as meaning that Mike wants to go around and drop the gloves all of the time, and have also misstakenly attributed those comments to Komisarek. He might be one of the team’s big tough guys who’s willing to throw his weight around, but he’s hardly on this team to get suckered into 5-minute majors by the likes of Chris Neil.

    You say that Komisarek “talks the talk”. Please point me to a quote by Komisarek where he calls himself a fighter.

    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  31. lemess says:

    Is this some sort of joke? Are you a habs fan?
    Wanna see a fight for eighth…….have Komi break his hand in March.

  32. Bill H says:

    Submitted by HJ on Sat, 02/09/2008 – 12:56.
    “the culprit is Koivu. KOIVU is AWOL this year. think about it. If about 12 wingers have tried to play with Koivu, it’s still not clicking, then 12 people can’t be wrong! It is, without doubt, KOIVU’S FAULT! he should have been traded during the offseason. He’s a small,lazy, unhappy, useless player, who we don’t need. he’s killing our team.”

    Your post is just plain silly. First of all, he is not AWOL. He’s fourth in team scoring. He has 39 pts in 54 games. Its hardly his best year, but if we are to dump players in the trash bin every time they have a less than stellar year, let’s start with K1 and K2, and continue on with Higgins, Ryder and Latendresse. They have all scored fewer points than Koivu. And while you are at it, better dump Markov retroactively as he had a bad year a few years ago. Oh, and then there’s Kovalev. He had a bad year last year…bye bye, according to your logic.

    Secondly, this is a team sport. What the team has failed to accomplish can hardly be blamed on Koivu. Who on the team has scored 40 goals? Who has won us a Cup? Who has gotten us to the finals? Better start trading them all. Better yet, they are all garbage right? Just pass them through waivers and let other teams pick them up for nothing, since that is what they are worth.

    Wow! Your analysis is insightful and penetrating. Please send your resume to George Gillette, along with a copy of your posting history here. You are a shoe-in for the GM job, once he reads your stuff and realizes that Bob Gainey is such an idiot. Way to go. Keep up the good work, and keep those amazing posts coming. LOL

  33. HotHabs says:

    Ya can’t heap all the blame on Koivu. The guy still has skills and plays hard on most nights. Koivu is a 2nd team all-star – always has been despite being hailed a #1 center. Don’t misunderstand me – he’s a good centerman, but I think his days are numbered in Mtl. I just get that sense, even before La Presse published that slap-in-the-face column.

    Consider if the Habs end up with someone like Jokinen or Carter (Jeff) who are both big centers, Koivu will be looking directly into the gun barrel. Either that or be moved to the 3rd line, but I doubt that would happen. Should no trades involving centermen occur, Koivu will stay. If that is the case, then Gainey may opt for a top-rate winger to boost Koivu’s line. It’s quite obvious that the #2 line is not producing, and when it does there’s no consistency. Carbo has tried more combinations than a jewel thief without results.So, something’s gotta change there… But, please don’t throw all the blame onto Koivu!

    enjoying the high’s of being a Habs fan

  34. Chuck says:

    Koivu had a career year last season, and was arguably our best offensive player. Why would Bob have wanted to trade him?


    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  35. HJ says:

    everyone wants to Blame Ryder and Higgins for not scoring, but the culprit is Koivu. KOIVU is AWOL this year. think about it. If about 12 wingers have tried to play with Koivu, it’s still not clicking, then 12 people can’t be wrong! It is, without doubt, KOIVU’S FAULT! he should have been traded during the offseason. He’s a small,lazy, unhappy, useless player, who we don’t need. he’s killing our team.
    get rid of him, package him without Ryder to SH for Marleau, a big, proven center. After all what has Koivu done to help us? Bring us a cup? gotten to the finals? ever scored 40 goals/season? NOTHING! whatever charities he’s worked on in the offseason are fine and good, what how does that help his play on the ice? He has nothing left, he’s unhappy, and wants out, so I say trade him to Anaheim or SJ for a draft pick, or include another player. I can’t stand watching him take penalty after penalty at crucial times in the 3rd period, simply because he’s too lazy to move his feet. Huge mistake by Gainey not to recognize his downfall and deal with this proble, When he’s gone we’ll be a much better team, and I believe Gainey will get us a big center, not a midget again.

  36. showey47 says:

    i know, i probably should not of said it, but i couldn’t resist.

  37. Infanteer says:

    That’s actually pretty funny.

    In poor taste, and unaccurate, but funny.

  38. Naila Jinnah says:

    Thanks dude! 🙂

  39. Chuck says:

    The ‘Dogs looked good last night, beating San Antonio 5-2. Corey Locke had three points, and I though that Chipchura looke pretty good, too. Yann Danis got the win in goal.


    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  40. Chuck says:

    Enjoy the game, Naila! Your presence will undoubtedly bring us good luck… and I expect to be able to hear you and your cohorts cheering us on all the way from the other side of Toronto!

    Go Habs Go!!!

    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  41. Yeats says:

    He did throw two checks that I saw against the leafs the other night that I am still trying to explain. There is apt to be more excitement in our end tonight that a normal heart can take.

  42. showey47 says:

    Maybe your right, i just don’t buy into the whole sacrifice 4 years of first round picks for a possible short term solution if he doesn’t resign or it turns out to be a bust. Its so laff like.

  43. showey47 says:

    breezer only being a minus 6 tonight? We only hope. Guy Lafleur’s entire aresenal of viagra couldn’t keep the breezer from being soft.

  44. Bill H says:

    You’ve certainly put together a list of leftovers to offer Atlanta for a player with 43 goals last year. Emelin and Perezhogin are both in Russia and as far as we know are not considering coming to the NHL. Grabs can’t crack the lineup in Montreal. Ryder is a UFA at season’s end and is in a season long slump. The only player with much value is Halak, and he has not really been tested at the NHL level, apart from a brief but successful stint last year. It has been suggested elsewhere that a Hossa trade will involve signing him before the trade. That makes sense to me. Why would Atlanta let him go for next to nothing when his value goes way up if you let the other team negotiate a contract extention? A Hossa trade has been linked to Higgins, a pick and a prospect. I think that is closer to his true value.

  45. Yeats says:

    I knew there had to be a better game on last night than the Devils/Ducks. I should have surfed the dish last night:

  46. 24 Cups says:

    showey – I’ll pass on Satan – he’s strictly a perimeter player who is in it for the money. Hunter would be great (although is is a lousy skater, we could put him on a line with Chipchura and Lats:-) but I can’t really see the Islanders letting him go. Milbury is now on TV, not in the GM’s suite.

    The Original 24 Cups

  47. Bill H says:

    LOL well maybe there is some truth to the rumour after all.

  48. Blitzen says:


    Eklund just recanted on his Hossa to Habs rumor. LOL

  49. Yeats says:

    I just want the two points. I don’t care if the Breezer ends up minus 6 as long as we win tonight.

  50. Hockey11 says:

    The coach is a very poor commincator and does not have the confidence of his players, Bob can u help?

  51. showey47 says:

    Does anyone know if perezogin has an “out” in his RSL contract that he can return to the NHL at any time before his contract expires?

  52. mrstewart61 says:

    Hossa for Emelin, Perezhogin rights, Grabovsky, Ryder, Halak and a conditional first(signing Hossa)?????

  53. ColoradoHab says:

    Marian Hossa 6’1 210 lbs. Is very shifty, extremely hard to contain in the offensive zone and even harder to knock off the puck. Has great hockey sense and a fine set of hands. His shot is explosive, which he seems to get off from anywhere.

    Last season. 43G 47A 100PT +18
    Previous Season. 39G 53A 92PT +17
    On a non playoff team.

    Total NHL 683games 293G 337A 630Pt +83

    He is only 29. I’ll take him.

  54. mrstewart61 says:

    I’d like to keep Higgins also. Maybe some potential like Emelin…how about including the rights to Perezhogin, he’s playing well in the RSL.

  55. linp says:

    Bulldogs will play Toronto Marlies today at 4pm. It will be on SCORE. I may be able to evaluate our team if I find time to watch it.

  56. Naila Jinnah says:

    I’m super excited to be attending this game in Ottawa – a first – and I do hope that other lines than the Warsaw Pact (Kovy – A.Kosty – Pleky) score. Not that I’d terribly mind if the Habs end up winning 😉

    But it would be nice to see some diversity.

  57. showey47 says:

    I really don’t believe that gainey is gonna part with a guy like higgins for hossa. Bob may be willing to part with his first pick considering it could be somewhere around 25th, but would probably want a second in return with any deal. I would be willing to part with a prospect and maybe a journey man prospect like locke,milroy, ferland etc.

    Maybe we should be looking at second tier players like satan or hunter from the islanders.

  58. 24 Cups says:

    Marc – I’m not sure why Tampa would want to trade him as he only makes $1.5 mil and they wouldn’t save much for the last part of the year. H’e a UFA this summer. I don’t think you would have to give much at all to get him. Last time he was traded it was for a 2nd round pick. He can play the wing as well as centre so that’s a bonus. But I don’t think management is that dissatisfied with Smolinski that they would make a move like this. And hopefully next year Chipchura will get regular centre ice time. Begin, Tom the Bomb, and Dandy are all signed for next year so I can’t see him taking a job in 2008-09.

    The Original 24 Cups

  59. 24 Cups says:

    showey – you are always on the ball man. Great comeback. By the way, are you telling me her real name isn’t Candy Summer:-)?

    The Original 24 Cups

  60. showey47 says:

    How about having that troll not speak at all, his FACTS and comments are about as relevent as a strippers name.

  61. Sam Tutanuak says:

    That would be a step back! Chris plays for the name on the back of his jersey! not the LOGO on the front!. Yes!, he is big and everything like that, but he would be a step backwards for the HABS!

  62. mrstewart61 says:

    Says who? I just mentioned some names, didn’t say I wouldn’t give more. Don’t speak for me, please.

  63. G-Man says:

    Another big game tonight(Okay, okay, all of them are big.). Time for the Habs to get back to playing smart hockey. Simplify things, using speed and heavy hitting (especially against Heatley, Spezza and Alfredsson. Maybe someone else on the team can step up and score a goal or two. The Habs are better than the team we saw Thursday night. They will be if they looked in the mirror.


  64. G-Man says:

    His 19 pts. in 52 games make him a 3rd line center. His size would certainly be welcome up the middle. I’ve always noticed when he’s on the ice. Some grit for the playoff run would be a nice thing. The only minus is that after playing in sunny Tampa he may not want to play in a Canadian city.


  65. mrstewart61 says:

    Gratton’s not worth much off our current roster, but a draft pick could be added to the package. The d-man could be Bouillon, or Gorges perhaps. We have a lot of depth in the system on D. What we lack, on the roster as well as in the system, is size and grit up front.

  66. Gormdog says:

    Habs sign and send semi coveted University player Brock Trotter to Hamilton. Interesting to see how he will play.

    Now that’s a hockey name. Hope this kid turns into a star!

  67. Sulemaan says:

    Maybe I’ll see you at the game Dean.

  68. PGHABS says:

    i’ve been thinking the same thing

  69. PGHABS says:

    what are you trying to say?

  70. PGHABS says:

    he didn’t do as bad as i thought

  71. mrstewart61 says:

    What do you guys think about Chris Gratton? for Locke/Grabovski or a D-man (saves money for TB). Gives us a big centre who is tough (not like Smolinski)and good on faceoffs – 53.9%.

    Age 32, 6’4″, 231 lbs. GP 52 G 9 A 10 PTS 19 -8 PIM 77

    from TSN:
    Has a great combination of size and two-way savvy. Displays decent hands and a mean streak. Is solid on face-offs and sound defensively. Checking line forward.

  72. HJ says:

    It really doesn’t matter how much talent you have, if you don’t use it to your advantage. In other words if you’r flat and don’t play for 60 minutes, you’re going to lose, even with an allstar team!
    Get the picture?

  73. Mr.Hazard says:

    Here it cooomeeees. Here it cooommeees. HERE IT COOMMEEES! HERE COMES THEIR NINETEENTH NERVOUS BREAKDOWN! (finally!)

    Ex nihilo nihil fit

  74. PGHABS says:

    here’s something for the brisebois fans, umm, let me restate that, um here’s brisebois in a fight

  75. Sulemaan says:

    Anyone here thinking about going to see the Bulldogs/Marlies game tomorrow in Toronto?

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