Game 63: Canadiens blanked on Gainey Night

Updated 10:40 pm with audio

Canadiens goalie Carey Price and defenceman Josh Gorges team up to stop Columbus forward Rick Nash.
Christinne Muschi, Reuters

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Canadiens legend Bob Gainey laced up his skates, pulled on a bleu-blanc-rouge jersey and turned a solo lap of Bell Centre ice tonight before a moving ceremony to retire the No. 23 he wore during an illustrious, Hall of Fame career.

Sadly, Gainey left the ice surface a half-hour before his team’s game began against Columbus and he didn’t return.

The ceremony honouring the Canadiens’ current general manager clearly was the night’s highlight, eclipsing the effort of the Habs in a 3-0 loss to the visiting Blue Jackets.

It was Montreal’s second consecutive defeat following a four-game winning streak.

By midway through the third period, disgrunted fans in the cheap(er) seats were hollering that they wanted Marian Hossa, the coveted sniper from Atlanta rumoured ad nauseum to be bound for the Canadiens before Tuesday’s NHL trading deadline. They’ll get him that night, if only because the Thrashers will then be in town to close out Montreal’s four-game homestand.

The Blue Jackets got on the scoreboard at 6:24, with Canadiens’ Tom Kostopoulos and Columbus’ Jared Boll serving fighting majors. Rick Nash, having slipped in behind defenceman Mike Komisarek, converted a sharp cross-ice pass from Mike Peca to beat Habs goalie Carey Price with his 33rd of the season.

Andrew Murray then made it 2-0 at 10:01 on a very stoppable shot, beating Price with an unscreened wrist shot from 20 feet.

The Canadiens enjoyed an 11-6 edge in first-period shots, but Blue Jackets goalie Pascale Leclaire was equal to anything thrown his way.

With a commanding lead in shots, 20-9 through 11:17 of the second period, the Canadiens went on a 5-on-3 for 1:10, but still couldn’t crack Leclaire. But then, they had just one shot through that 70 seconds.

Montreal outshot Columbus 12-8 in the second for a 40-minute 23-14 edge.

Columbus added their third when Manny Malhotra stripped Maxim Lapierre of the puck inside the Montreal blue line and went in to deke Price at 16:42.

At least a few of this city’s linguistically motivated fans wanted a mulligan on their cheers for head coach Guy Carbonneau, who enjoyed a rousing ovation when introduced during the Gainey ceremony.

Carbonneau didn’t dress forward Guillaume Latendresse, the third time he’s been a healthy scratch this season; forward Mathieu Dandenault, his seventh; and defenceman Patrice Brisebois, his 19th and fifth game in a row.


  1. RH says:

    Sadly, I’ve missed the past four games,(vacation don’t ya know). However, Youtube is great isn’t it? Yeah, Komisarek did get a couple of good shots in but, how about Komisarek absolutely PASTING Brian Gionta into the boards, during the dying seconds of the previous ‘Game of the Century’?

  2. nightmare_49 says:

    You always got to have an alternate trade or a plan B or C. Jokinen is my 1st and he’s a big center and we know what he can do but Martin GM is on thin ice and has to make the playoffs or he could be gone and he has seven players on the IR so he wants players that can play right now. Hossa (UFA) the sniper will also attract the same attention and you have to sign him with that crazy agent. There’s going to be a bidding war for both players and the price will be steep as for starters San Jose is rumoured to offer Marlowe and Carle to both teams as well as Tampa for Boyle (Sharks top priority). Your Plan B or C (Richards) may start looking good at less of a price by far.

  3. Blitzen says:

    I put this up:

    Not sure if it’ll have any legs but I thought I’d do it just out of respect for Gainey. Hopefully, the guy gets to read it at some point. Add your thoughts if you wish!
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  4. Habifax says:

    Hail to Bob Gainey. If he was 25 years younger he would be perfect for this team as a player. Pure Class in the tradition of number 4.

    Thanks Bob, it has been a pleasure to watch you and your great team mates do what you did. Tomorrow your sweater takes it’s rightful place for eternity.

  5. TradeRyder says:

    Good reasoned argument. The first I’ve heard that makes me think Richards might not be a train wreck. Glad you still prefer Hossa though… Richards may blossom but he’s surely more of a gamble.

    On Tuesday I will change my name. Any Suggestions?
    – SitSlowinski?
    – 4thRoundorBust?

  6. TradeRyder says:

    Yeah, and you get what you pay for (or sometimes less).

    On Tuesday I will change my name. Any Suggestions?
    – SitSlowinski?
    – 4thRoundorBust?

  7. TradeRyder says:

    How about Komisarek pounding the crap outa Dubinsky.

    On Tuesday I will change my name. Any Suggestions?
    – SitSlowinski?
    – 4thRoundorBust?

  8. RH says:

    Can you come up with a clever pic for ‘4thRoundorBust’? ‘SitSlowinski’ is just too easy.

  9. Shiloh says:

    Trade Latenderness – for anything you can get.

  10. Shiloh says:

    We don’t want Richards – the most overpaid player in the game at 8 million!! I’ll take Tampa’s Zamboni driver and a bag of pucks instead.

  11. Samantha says:

    I don’t think it’s conditioning he needs, more like a good old fashioned ass kicking. He’s an average player at best who never paid his dues. Send him down and keep him there

  12. Shiloh says:

    And the cap will go up next year as well – or have you factored that in?

  13. linp says:

    Looks like someone wants Latendresse to be the Habs captain, LOL!

  14. nightmare_49 says:

    Columbus Dispatch – Ottawa have offered Brian Lee (D) for Federov. The Blue Jackets have offered Rostislav Klesla (D) (a 1st rounder 4th overall) and Derick Brassard (C) (a 1st rounder 6th overall) and a 2nd round pick (2008) for Brad Richards.

  15. RiverviewCanadien says:

    He had a great career with Montreal, I threw his name out there because he is my favorite player, the guy was not tall, weighed 160lbs and managed to play some of the best hockey I have ever seen, and he was the last Canadien to score over a 100 points in one season.

  16. Blitzen says:

    Saw a show called Il va y avoir du sport yesterday where people were arguing whether Bill 101 should force the Habs captain to be able to speak French. Those in favor were Pierre Trudel (the sports writer) and Suzanne Tremblay (former Bloc Québécois MP and someone media keep using despite her obvious mental shortcomings). Those against included François Gagnon and Jean Dion. I must say that Gagnon and Dion did well to keep their tempers despite the stoopid arguments brought forth by the other stiffs.
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  17. TradeRyder says:

    Just goes to prove no matter how you slice it, the Laffs are last. Maybe we should start calling them the Lasts. :)

    On Tuesday I will change my name. Any Suggestions?
    – SitSlowinski?
    – 4thRoundorBust?

  18. Blitzen says:

    Could you get more for a conditional date with Jennifer Hedger or Holly Horton?
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  19. Blitzen says:

    It’ll be funny if the Pens start tanking after Crosby comes back.
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  20. Blitzen says:

    Gotcha…just curious: are you saying you think Lats Sr will end up in Hamilton?
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  21. linp says:

    I like what Boone said: “limit your intake of salt, suger and Glenn Healy”, “Are you Dumber Than Mike Milbury?”

  22. mjames says:

    I agree with you if that is what Hickey meant. He may have meant that fans should not worry because Higgins is not on the list to be traded. The list appearing in Hickey’s article had all our defense prospects. I would be careful. Also regarding these trades I am dead set against rentals. Gainey must have some assurance that Houssa would sign an extension. I really would not want to see Sundin here as he will only run back to TO after the year . In the case of Tanguay he does not want to play here, plus he brings nothing . He is a play maker . We have that in Koivu.


  23. nightmare_49 says:

    How the teams are doing in the year 2008. Plus a few more interesting stats.

  24. JF says:

    Hossa turned down $7 million from Atlanta. He would want a lot more – I heard between $8 and $9 million – to play here because of taxes and everything.

  25. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Throw in Slowinski & Breezeby.

  26. JF says:

    I agree that it’s far too soon to give up on Chris Higgins. But Bob Gainey, while he didn’t say anything direct in his press conference yesterday, did imply that he wouldn’t give up any core players in a trade. He’s looking for someone, but only if that someone can be acquired at a price that he doesn’t find too high. He mentioned our depth in prospects and younger players in Hamilton and elsewhere. I think he realized he gave up too soon on Ribeiro. Besides, can you see him agreeing to pay Hossa between 8 and 9 million, which is what he would demand to play in Montreal? That would be just about twice what the highest-paid player on the team earns now.

  27. G-Man says:

    You got it. Injuries can pile up on a team, especially after a long Calder Cup run like last spring, so insurance is a good thing.


  28. G-Man says:

    Pat Hickey mentioned in his article this morning the following: “Fans shouldn’t fret over losing Christopher Higgins.” He’s got to be kidding, right? Almost everyone agrees he’s not having a great year. He still has 19G + 18A for 37 points and is +3. We all have great expectations for him, but he does look snake bit this season. Trading him away as he reaches his prime would be too high a price to pay for the likes of the Invisible Hossa, the WAY overpaid Brad Richards, and too soft Tanguay. Trading him to Laffland for Sundin would be equally stupid.
    Chris Higgins can be the impact player we’re waiting for so let’s be patient with him.
    It’s going to be great to watch #23 rise up tonight.


  29. Blitzen says:

    So it’s basically the buffer for Hamilton?
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

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