Game 66: Canadiens win to grab East lead

Updated at 10:18 p.m. with post-game audio

Canadiens’ Andrei Kostitsyn scores the game-winning goal on Devils goalie Martin Brodeur, the puck on his wraparound effort tucked just inside the post at left.
Allen McInnis, Gazette

Lineups | Preview | Game Summary | Event Summary | Boxscore | Game Story | Boone | Post-Game Audio: Price 1 | Price 2 | Koivu | Higgins | A. Kostitsyn | Carbonneau

This might be the way it’s going to be the last month of the NHL’s Cardiac Calendar – the Canadiens flirting with first place, playing for top spot one night, battling to stay abreast of the leaders the next.

And who would have believed that, on March 1, the Canadiens would be atop the Eastern Conference?

Andrei Kostitsyn scored his 20th goal of the year on a huge-effort wraparound at 14:17 of the third period to lift the Canadiens to a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils.

The win puts Montreal atop the East with 81 points, one more than both the Devils and the Ottawa Senators, winners this afternoon over the Pittsburgh Penguins. It’s the first time the Canadiens have been in first place after the all-star break since March 1993 – coincidentally, or not, the last time the club won the Stanley Cup, the captain’s C worn that year by current head coach Guy Carbonneau.

The Habs rode a two-game winning streak into the game, having beaten Atlanta last Tuesday at home and the Sabres last night in Buffalo. Both of those victories were backstopped by goalie Carey Price, the team’s undisputed No. 1 in the wake of last Tuesday’s trade of Cristobal Huet to Washington.

And Price was very sharp tonight, making 31 saves. The Canadiens managed 25 on their nemesis, Martin Brodeur, at the other end of the ice.

Mark Streit got the Canadiens on the board with his second goal in as many nights, and his fourth point. Streit notched his 12th of the season on the power play at 6:11 of the second period when he swatted the puck out of the air on a centring pass by Alex Kovalev, deflected first by Saku Koivu.

Price is probably still looking for the one that beat him at 13:37 to tie it up. Devils’ Brian Gionta dug the puck out from where it lay between Price’s trapper and stick, the goalie looking for it the other way, then shovelled it into a yawning net to score his 18th.

Brodeur, a Montreal native, came into tonight’s game with a 9-1-0 record and a 1.99 goals-against average in his last 10 starts against his hometown team. He had won nine in a row vs. the Canadiens before the Jan. 24 loss.

Brodeur was 34-13-0 with five ties, a 1.75 GAA and eight shutouts in 52 starts against Montreal before tonight’s contest.

New Jersey had won nine straight against the Canadiens before Montreal scored three third-period goals in a 4-3 victory at New Jersey on Jan. 24. The Devils had won four in a row at the Bell Centre since a 3-2 loss on March 20, 2004.

The Canadiens now head west for a four-game swing, beginning Monday in San Jose against former Hab Craig Rivet and the Sharks.

442 Comments

  1. Bill H says:

    Kovy just won the Molson Cup standings for Feb. He has the same number of points as the next 3 players combined. He won it in every month except October.

  2. skoehn says:

    Huet shut out the devils can carey price shut them out tonite….. go habs go

  3. habsgod says:

    hey sanj91 are you the same sanj91 on the site htr? (hockey trade rumors)

  4. saku11 says:

    HAHAHAHA!!! I love that clip!! Peddie is definitely a sith lord.

  5. ViveKovalev says:

    I know, Bill H! I was right pumped to see Kovy finally calim all the titles for the lead on the habs. It’s been a long time coming and he deserves it this year.

  6. the real vinnydj says:

    SK needs to start shooting more, only Mike ribeiro is ahead of him for shooting %. This kid is a snipe show in the making.

    YOU GUYS WILL LOVE THIS ONE, I live amongst Laffs nation so I’m surrounded by these losers over here, for some strange reason that I will never understand a couple of my friends are fans of the Laffs and like to chirp me about being a Hab fan (Not too much chirping going on these days)but my buddy approaches me last week and this is the same guy who goes out of his way to text message me when the leafs score against the Habs and he says “Hey man the Habs are pretty good eh?” I just looked at him and said “SHAAAT UP”

    They are like lost puppies, although they sure know how to find their way to 9th in the Eastern conference.

  7. sanj91 says:

    habs win 3-0….price is due for a hype-starting game….he has been better than solid the last few games but i think or hope atleast that he will push to a new level tonite…similar to the way he played against philly…komi will crush parise at least once…gorges and bouillon will shut down any one who comes their way….no points for the kovy line…it will be the koivu and the grabs line’s show….remember u heard it here first…oh and the 3rd goal will be an empty net!!

  8. Bill H says:

    Penalties are going to be key. Our PP is ranked first at 25% while NJD are tied for 20th at 16%. In penalty killing category, we are ranked 24th at 80% while NJD are 11th at 83%.

    Another notable stat:
    NJD have just lost 2 in a row. Statistically, after a loss, they are 14-6-1. Meanwhile, Canadiens are coming off of a great game against the Sabres. After a win, we are 14-14-6.

    And that’s not even looking at the Brodeur jinks.

  9. LizardKing1967 says:

    He became an “unknown soldier” himself. And you thought “I believe” was only for the Habs? :)

    Jim-out.

    I BELIEVE!

  10. HABZ24 says:

    hossa getting hurt is, aaaw toooo bad, lol.wings are hurt and falling.senns are a ship of fools as of late.our habs are on fire scoring min 4 goals a game lately,and getting very valuable wins at the right time of year.they say dont kick em when there down, but the sens are down, put the boots to them 2 pts at a time while we can.the youngsters are playing there hearts out and comming up big.the kozs are great.price is reacting to his new throne like the king he will be.n.j will be a tuff game, hope martys tired from last nite, but losing 4 zip to caps theyll be ready.the habs are too. go habz go !!!!!

  11. Rugger says:

    Thanks, he’s the guy I was thinking of.

  12. Hoegarden says:

    You’re probably thinking of Tim Kerr.

  13. Rugger says:

    I don’t know if he could skate, but Phil Espesito sure made a career out of standing in front of the net, along with a big guy from Philly in the ’80’s whose name escapes me right now.

  14. Hoegarden says:

    Dino was indeed a deadly sniper.
    I take it Morrison is your cup of tea ??

  15. showey47 says:

    I know, i was laughing at tsn for making such a ridiculous comment. Gaineys’ loyalty for the habs is the same as sundins’ for the laffs. After all the work gainey has done(andre savards work also) why the heck would he leave what is gonna be a regular playoff/contender type team. Which george gillett has given bob the vote of confidence to make all the decisions without having to consult ownership. To go to toronto and become the next mlse puppet, check out the press conference with fletcher and peddie. Watch from about the 4 min 30 second mark when you can see peddie’s lips moving telling fletcher what to say, its hilarious

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyKQEKWURtI

  16. Gooner says:

    I believe that this will be a real test for our young team tonight but I have lots of faith in these boys. They will have to come out hard tonight and not let up for a second. The Devils will be mad as hell about being shut out and I am sure that they will want revenge for our last meeting with them.
    As long as our defensive game stays as good as it has been the last few games we should be in for a great win. Oh yeah and are offense has been not too shabby either. Go Habs Go !!!!

  17. tony d says:

    Voltaire??? he played on the Bobby Rousseau line right???
    KIDDING!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Hoegarden says:

    I’ll take a 1 zip win if it comes to it.

  19. Rugger says:

    To me the phrase that best illustrates the change in Kovy is this one that I hear all the time this year but had never heard before:

    “…and Kovalev clears it…”

  20. tony d says:

    good point man…I used to yell at Kovy to get over to his good side…but I think other teams started to swarm him on that side….looks like he solved it by flipping over…so far so good…. I’m sure when that fails , he’ll think of another way to set up…good to have him as QB on the PP

  21. Bill H says:

    Great to see Pleks pot a hattrick last night. He was in a bit of a slump. Let’s hope he keeps right on going tonight.

    Kovy has been amazing. Look at the team leaders summary at the top of this thread. He leads in goals, assists, points, overtime goals, and +/-. I bet he leads in pp goals as well.

    I am concerned that NJD will come out strong tonight, especially Brodeur. I’d like to see single goals from Ryder, Higgins, K2, Koivu and Latendresse. That should be enough. Oh wait, what about Grabs. I hope I’m not being greedy wishing for 6 goals.

  22. LizardKing1967 says:

    You are right about Lats. Maybe he needs just a bit more polishing, but not only was there Luc Robitaille, do you not remember another big time goal scorer who was not fast, but parked himself in front of the net (which I hope Lats is learning slowly): Dino Ciccarelli. Pretty good “slow-poke” if you ask me.

    Jim-out.

    I BELIEVE!

  23. tony d says:

    another thing that pisses me off about TSN…
    their play of the night highlight was Blake scoring the tying goal against Tampa Bay….OMG…give me a break!!!
    the only redeeming thing was that it was sponsored by Cialis (that might explain the recent surge(sorry) in the Leafs play

  24. Shobud says:

    I am impressed with gorges more and more each game.. I think he is going to become a very good D man.. The whole team seems to get better each day..Hope it keeps up

  25. Hoegarden says:

    The bright lights at TSN need to say “something” to entertain Laffs fans. With no playoffs and nothing more to say about Sundin, here comes Bob as the “talk of the town”. Pathetic.

    One thing I wish to mention about our Habs success this year; with all the praise for Kovy’s line, so rightly deserved, the one player who keeps improving game after game has to be Josh Gorges. His quiet and confident play is remarkable after a poor start.

    I will also add the slower progress of Lapierre (he looked good on the wing) playing with Grabs and Lats. His speed is a big factor on the forecheck and yes, Guy “La Terror” Latendresse deserves a nod of approval. These two young men are 20 and I wish the French Press would lay off them. Like many on this blog, I pleaded to have him sent to Hamilton early on and I do feel he still needs some polishing but as someone said last night, Luc Robitaille was as slow as Lats and yet he potted over 600 goals in his career. Slowly but surely he’ll become a Yvon Lambert type in my opinion.

    12 more cm of snow this morning to keep the old fart in shape.

  26. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I hope the Habs can follow last night’s good effort with another one tonight on home ice. The team should be motivated because we’re playing a team whose goalie has owned us and also we have the conference lead on the line. No excuses at all, just go out and execute.

  27. Bill H says:

    Great observation showey. I like this kind of insightful comment. If you are right, it speaks volumes about the success of the pp this year. This sort of adaptation would probably come from the coaching staff. I can’t remember if it is Muller of Jarvis that has responsibility for PP.

  28. Habs93 says:

    Life is grand when you’re a Habs fan..
    Let’s let the season play out first. Job ain’t done yet..Good so far but not done….

  29. sag says:

    A lot of excellent points today….and a lot of reflections on a fun year and what got us here! We still have our youth, coach, and captain despite a lot of fans calling for heads. The many reasons for this newfound success have one common thread….Bob’s patience. If he were as reactionary as all of us (or even worse, Leaf management) we’d be nowhere right now.

    One more thought…the deflection off a Buffalo skate last night that magically hit price would have found its way in on Huet to swing the momentum….why? Murphy doesn’t like some goalies….you gotta be lucky to be good and good to be lucky.

  30. jimbo says:

    Huet is U F A at seasons end.

  31. martin says:

    good for Huet from what I’ve seen he is a class guy.As long as he doesn’t beat us

  32. Dana says:

    I don’t know about Gainey’s contract but why would he leave the Habs for the Leafs?? Just as all the work he’s been doing is paying off and we’re going onto our 100th anniversary?


    “Now, now my good man, this is no time for making enemies.”
    – Voltaire on his deathbed in response to a priest asking that he renounce Satan.

  33. habsguy says:

    I’m kinda thinking maybe Carbo for coach of the year….
    I’m sure glad we didn’t dump him like some posters thought we should have….

  34. dicktracy says:

    love looking at those east standings…..Canadiens on the top….leafs on the bottom….just like the good old days…just as it should be

  35. showey47 says:

    I was wondering why kovy has started playing the left side on the powerplay instead of his office on the right side. Then it donned on me, other teams were starting to pressure kovy on the powerplay and with both pleky and ak46 being left handed shots a cross ice pass from right to left makes for a lousy one timer. But for kovy to switch to the left side he can make the cross ice pass when pressured onto either pleky or ak 46 while they are both left handed shots playing the right side. Its alot better for a one-timer and for shooting angle.

  36. Habs93 says:

    Life is grand when you’re a Habs fan..
    Typical Leafs.. Now that we’re not the center of attention and our playoff hopes took another shot, let’s grab the gheadlines with our search for a permanent GM and while we’re at it detract other teams’ drive to the playoffs. So let’s add Bob Gainey to our list odf candidates unless, of course, Brian Burke wants the job then it’s his.
    A real unclassy organization/ownership that gets itself into continuous turmoil and then expects the rest of the world to save its ass. They’d probably call in the army but ubfortunately a little busy in Afghanistan right now…

  37. the real vinnydj says:

    I didn’t hear about him staying after practice, last I heard he had taken Wed and Thurs off for therapy days. I guess you’re right, it don’t matter if he’s putting up pts like that.

    It’s also nice to see Ryder playing with some confidence, no better way to get a goal scorer going then by putting him in the line up. It’s hard to get your touch back when you’re sitting in the press box.

    All around I must say I’m pleased with the way Carbo has these guys playing, and after all the bashing and rumours about the team having problems in the room last year, he has to be sleeping really well at night.

    I don’t ever want to hear people refer to Kovalev as a Cancer again!!!

  38. Shiloh says:

    We could easily win tonight – and even win most of the games on our west coast swing. That would be awesome. I think the main thing, however, is the effort. If we work hard and win half of the games in the next 8 days then I will be satisfied. As an earlier poster indicated, the big thing is not to fall into an extended losing streak.

  39. smiler2729 says:

    WOW! That idiot mouthpiece Darren Dreger is suggesting on TSN that Bob Gainey may be in the running to take over the Maple Leafs. Now he has all Laff Nation frothing at the mouth like it’s a done deal.
    Is Gainey not signed beyond this summer???

  40. POPS says:

    This team is coming together at the right time and all of the pieces are falling into place.Tonight we take over top spot in the East!Who would have predicted that?So much for all of the NHL experts!

  41. wd40 says:

    the talk about Kovalev being hurt/tired has been circulating off and on for a few weeks now. personally, i can’t say that i noticed it last night. also, consider what Pierre and Yvon were praising Kovalev last night during the game: yesterday morning’s practice after all the other players had left the ice, kovy stayed behind and did drill after drill. seems to me if you’re hurt, or even tired, you don’t stick around. i guess you can decide if that is relevant or not.

    one thing’s for sure, if a 4-point night is not a healthy Kovalev, i can’t wait until he’s healthy and/or rested :)

  42. doug says:

    Here’s a few things I put together before heading out for some hockey this a.m.:

    1. Habs losing streaks this year
    a. 3 games in regulation – once
    b. 3 games (including one OT/SO loss) – twice
    c. 2 games in regulation – twice
    d. 2 games (including one OT/SO loss) – twice

    That’s it. Compare that to two other top teams:

    Ottawa: One 7 game losing streak with 3 OT/SO losses; three 3-game losing streaks (oen of which had an OT/SO loss)
    Detroit: One 3 game loss; One 3 game loss with an OT/SO loss; one six game losing streak (one OT/SO); current four game losing streak (one OT/SO)

    We have bent but we’ve not broken all year. Kudos to Carbo.

  43. wd40 says:

    “…and it won’t take much to get back into it from the first period over there.”

    until we score.

  44. the real vinnydj says:

    As I started watching the game lastnight I really noticed something different about Kovalev. It almost looked like he was tired or hurt. Still had 4 helpers but did anyone else notice this? Or am I just losing it?

  45. frank81 says:

    Sounds like the Devils will come out with guns blazing…

    “You gotta forget about it. I think that’s the beauty of these games, you want to jump back up,” said Martin Brodeur, who stopped 25 shots and held the Devils in the game for two periods. “We’re going to go into a great atmosphere in Montreal and it won’t take much to get back into it from the first period over there.”

  46. moser17 says:

    That’s what Huet does. He’s good, capable of being great. But he has the odd soft game. When that happens, the coach usually plays the other goalie, which gets Huet out of a starter routine, which in turn perpetuates the stigma against Huet that he goes soft too often to be great. Similar things will happen in Washington, probably (tho’ I hope not, for his sake), with Kolzig playing two or three, then Huet, then Kolzig, maybe Johnson in the mix here and there (only very intermittently, I predict). Barring injury, I think Huet could handle a starter load (he’s certainly a clear #1), and I think he should be played after a soft game, even two, to allow him to develop how great he really is. Kolzig is the perfect example of a guy who is a great goalie, and has multiple soft games. BUt since he was the #1 guy for so long in Washington, without a really competent backup, he played multiple games even through a few soft ones, so that he continually developed and played very well. Huet needs a situation where there is no controversy, so he can be great.

    Of course, all of this goes to support my theory that Caps mgmt *knows* that Huet is a controversy player, that he creates sparks for other goalies, and they’re hoping to raise Kolzig’s game considerably, and then by July they trade Huet. Hopefully to a team where he can develop. There are valid objections to my view, but like I said a couple of days ago, call it a hunch.

  47. bigjames says:

    wow, just read the caps website…huet’s win last night is stirring the pot down there big time. they now have the same “who’s the #1 goalie?” issue we did earlier. the arguing and debating is just wild. i am so happy for huet, but honestly, i think it will end up being a distraction for the caps as it was for us earlier in the season.

    but back to OUR team… i think the devils are gonna be pissed off about being shut out last night, and about having to do that horrible post game practice right before the all star break after we, um kicked their butts. so tonight is gonna be no walk in the park. they will play all out for 65 minutes. we cannot let down at all. i am happy and pumped but realistic all the same.

    GO HABS!!

  48. RH says:

    Friday’s three stars, on NHL.com:

    1. Tomas Plekanec
    2. Dan Boyle
    3. Cristobal Huet……in his Habs jersey!

    Gotta go!

  49. RH says:

    Not to overlook tonight’s game but, I hope they can continue there road success when they head out west.

  50. nightmare_49 says:

    Being able to relax a bit and key on our young guys more than usual i have to tip my hat to Don Lever and Ron Wilson for making these players NHL ready also Carbo coached a very good game last night and was glad to see his game plan played to near perfection as they tightened up their game. For a projected 13th placed team 20 wins on the road isn’t too shabby , one behind Detroit.

  51. nightmare_49 says:

    Great post Da Hema and we all know that HNIC has turned into TNIC but for the Hotstove segment to be turned into the Toronto Hotstove is pathetic. Lead by weasel Ron Mclean 80% of the segment was about a team that’s irrelevant (laffs). Hotstove is tradition.

  52. OldGrover says:

    At the very beginning of the game, Cassie Campbell says “Realistically, the Leafs need to go 13-3 down the stretch” and sounded like she knew they couldn’t do it. One, at least, being realistic.

  53. sadave says:

    I loved how Bob Cole kept getting cut off as the broadcast went to commercial . . . happened many times. Either he didn’t know when to stop talking, or the technicians didn’t care he was still talking!

    I’m glad I decided to miss Cherry and the Hot Stove League during the intermissions. Sounds like I couldn’t have stood it!

  54. Da Hema says:

    Watching the CBC broadcast tonight was once again comical. I will not bore everyone with another diatribe against the Leaf nonsense jammed down our collective throats, but I found it amusing that some people in the CBC think the Leaves will still make the playoffs. Even if they do–which will take divine intervention–I do not think the CBC realises the serious problems confronting the Toronto organisation. It was comical listening to the “Hotstove” panelists blab on about Burke going to Toronto. Maclean even said Burke would be going to Toronto. Talk about living in a fantasy world. The MLSE Board will never give the authority to a Toronto general manager to turn the team into a winner. That is why excellent administrators like Gainey, Burke, and Bowman are elsewhere and the Leafs had to hire someone like JFJ (who by the way set that team back five years) and then a retread like Fletcher. I thought Houle was the worst general manager

    I just love seeing the look on Cherry’s and Maclean’s faces each week as their beloved team sinks lower and lower into obscurity and despair. Justice has been served.

    _________________________________________
    “Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that’s real power.”
    –Clint Eastwood

  55. nightmare_49 says:

    The Hamilton Dawgs beat Herahey 3 to 2 as Yann Danis stopped 31 of 33 for the win and the 3rd star. Goals by Corso,Manlow and Biron (1st star)lead the Bulldogs who were absent Valentenko again.

  56. sidhu says:

    Biron has a huge slap shot. He used to play on the Caps’ PP.

  57. coutNY says:

    Dawgs who are absent Halak, Grabby, Jr. Kosti, O’Bryne, Ect… It’s amzing they can keep winning???

  58. wd40 says:

    it must be hard to coach in the environment..constantly getting pillaged. i suppose as a coach of a farm team, you always know it’s coming though. anyway, kudos to them.

  59. MNaslund26 says:

    i gotta good feeling about the jersey game. we are starved for a win against brodeur.
    in our home town. and his.

  60. doug says:

    so many great wins this year we’ve even forgotten that we exorcized that demon the last time we played them when we came back from behind in the third and brent sutter had the team on the bikes afterwards. . .

    i’m now officially a Carbonneauu supporter – felicitations, Guy! I didn’t think you’d make it to next year when the season – how wrong was I?!!

  61. nightmare_49 says:

    Very interesting read.

  62. G-Man says:

    I’m sorry, man. When I saw a pic of Yashin and the article is about Russian stars, I mean, they’ve got to be kidding, right?

    Gilbert

  63. Peter Young says:

    For those asking about the Russian hockey player situation, see these two very recent and highly informative pieces from the New York Times:

    Vladimir Putin and Russia’s Battle With the N.H.L. By Jeff Z. Klein

    http://slapshot.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/03/01/vladimir-putin-and-russias-battle-with-the-nhl/#more-350

    and

    Russia Is Luring Back N.H.L. Stars By MICHAEL SCHWIRTZ

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/29/sports/hockey/29hockey.html

  64. sidhu says:

    I wonder if/how Perezhogin would fit into the lineup if he were around. I thought he was a solid two-way player and part of me thinks he would do well around guys like AK47, SK74, Grabs.

    Hopefully he’ll come back to us.

  65. NightRyder says:

    Price outduels Brodeur

  66. Leo G. says:

    I am just wondering if anyone heard PJ Stock on CBC about a few minutes ago. What an idiot this guy is. I am sure he is a Maple Leafs fan or at least he should be. He has absolutly nothing good to say about the habs. I have to laugh when a guy who played 4 minutes a game is now an expert.

  67. PGHABS says:

    i agree, i thought the same thing. imaginative way to put a negative spin on things i guess

  68. Hoegarden says:

    PJ the expert;

    Stock totaled 5 goals, 26 points and 523 penalty minutes in 235 NHL games

    NOT !!!!!!!!!!!

  69. rbt259 says:

    I agree. Kovalev looked lethargic tonight. He didn’t handle the puck well nor did he take many shots. It seemed like he had the Buffalo game in mind tonight as he tried many ill-advised passes into traffic. Just shoot the puck AK27.

  70. johnnyhab says:

    The kids got hands!!!!way to go Kostitsyn

  71. nightmare_49 says:

    How many minutes did Scotty Bowman / game.

  72. dudefella says:

    Great article there.
    That IS the same guy that reported on the “exclusive” about Hossa being dealt to Montreal because of that glove. Guy’s lucky to have a job right now, haha.

  73. Sulemaan says:

    Bryan That is akin to comparing apples to rotten, squashed, infected, green-looking oranges… :-)

  74. TripleX says:

    WHY? WHY? WHY? Is Smokes playing? My God!

  75. Mickey says:

    I though tender looked good

  76. habber86 says:

    kovalev is not himself tonight…careless ill advised plays.

  77. Sulemaan says:

    Begin is injured so Smolinkski goes in.

  78. RC-51 says:

    im in toronto and i went out 2 yrs ago and bought a FTA Satelite, and now i watch every HABS game on RDS. i’ve missed maybe 10 games over the last two seasons! i remember watching the HABS on regular cable in French many, many years ago!!

  79. OldGrover says:

    I did too – he won quite a few battles and got a few good shots off. A couple of decent scoring chances / rebound generating shots.

  80. usversusthem says:

    …aaaaaaand screw it. We’re doomed. The season is over. (Man do I hope we beat NJ tonight… too bad we didn’t trade Huet to the Penguins, too? I dunno.)

  81. The Teacher says:

    What we do NOT have

    -A shut down line?
    -PK ranked 24th, so don’t quite have that yet.
    -We are missing grit and toughness, which will show in the playoffs.
    -Who is our 4th Defenceman? (OB, Bullion, or Gorges do not qualify for me, YET)

    We are ahead of where we thought we would be Habs Kat, but I am under no illusion in expecting a cup run this year. This year is our year to win a playoff series or two, not to go for the whole shebang, although I won’t complain if they do.

    Sure I’m excited, but I’m not getting too high, because I know everyone else will crash to the bottom without me if we don’t win this year.

    As for heart, that is debatable. I still remember, the buffalo game, the Nashville games of this year, and the many games they simply did not show up.

    Yes, it’s gotten better, but better is not good enough to win a CUP.

    “Are the Habs ready to pay the Price?”

  82. MNaslund26 says:

    well its a classic game against the devils. slow, quiet, and boooooooooring. i hate the way they play the game. they suck the life right out of you and then score when you are dying of boredom. go habs go!

  83. The Teacher says:

    Dave, were you awake by the end of the third?

    “Are the Habs ready to pay the Price?”

  84. Robert L says:

    The best assessment of the Huet trade I’ve seen yet – translated for you.

    The True Value Of Cristobal Huet

    http://wwwrealitycheckeyesontheprize.blogspot.com/2008/03/true-value-of-cristobal-huet.html

  85. Hockey11 says:

    The D epth is suspect, Breezer has shown he s aliability, Streit is a better off playing forward so we have only six D. One injury puts Breezer or Streit back, both of whom will not help in the playoffs.

    What do we do if a top 4 goes down?

  86. Dave Stubbs says:

    Uh… what? Is the first period over?

    Dave Stubbs

    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette

     

  87. Bill H says:

    There seems to be a lot of contradicting information out there about Emelin’s situation. My understanding is that we have his rights until June ’08. After that, if we don’t sign him, he must go back to the entry draft. He is under contract currently to the Ak Bars until April ’09. Exactly why, I am not sure. I have heard that he signed with them because he understood that if he signed with the Habs, then he would spend a year in Hamilton, which he doesn’t want to do. Here is a link to his profile and current scoring record. http://habsprospects.hockeyhq.net/

    One thing I don’t understand is that apparently the Russian pro hockey people have no agreement to honour NHL contracts, and visa versa. So that is how we lost Perezhogin. We hold his rights, but he was able to walk and sign to play in Russia. So if that is the case, why can’t Emelin walk and sign with us, IF that is what he wants to do? If someone can explain that, I am all ears.

    In any case, I gave up hoping to see Emelin in a Habs jersey some time ago. I just haven’t seen anything that would indicate that he wants to be here. From what I understand, life can be pretty good for a talented player over there. So it makes sense to me that if he has it good over there, then why come here to play in Hamilton at least a year, learn a strange language, adjust to a small ice surface, etc etc. I mean that is not necessarily what everyone wants. I hope I am wrong, but I’m not holding my breath on this one.

    Anyway, we are looking pretty good on defense with Gorges and O’Byrne becoming more reliable all the time, and with Valentenko and Carle waiting in the wings. And Fischer and McDonagh ready to take their places on the Bulldogs. So we can afford to lose Brisebois and Dandenault without too much problem and not worry too much about Emelin.

  88. Geoff F says:

    Thanks BIll. I’ve googled everywhere and got bits and pieces but i was hoping to get something more definitive. Not too worried about the defensive situation but more an issue of assets to give up for impact or marquee players if/when necessary!

  89. the_larry says:

    Anyone know where Boone is? Normally he’s got his blog up by now.

  90. Geoff F says:

    Blitzen would you know where it is that this is on record? I didn’t see it listed anywhere when i was googling so if you have some interview or something please let me know.

    Thanks

  91. Mickey says:

    i dunno, i was thinking the same

  92. Mickey says:

    He takes another one! :)

  93. wild flower says:

    They have been making risky cross ice passes for a number of games now. They are also scoring on these plays and usually pass hard enough to limit the risk. He is playing with an injury (which has bee talked about including therapy days). Also, I notice others (Higgins) on the team are using his drive into the O zone top of the circle and then cut to the middle play.

  94. Flake says:

    One more interesting stat: Carolina is in the bottom four for the goals against, and they still lead their devision and are in the third place. I think this devision leader thing has to stop.

  95. Blitzen says:

    He’s on record as saying that it was a mistake for him not to come over to North America. I think his contract allows him to come over next year so we might have one more great prospect.
    _____________________________________________________
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  96. Bill H says:

    LOL Habs-Kat, 95% of the people here on Habs I/O agree with you. But that’s only because we just won 2 in a row. As soon as we lose 2 in a row, the tune will change. Fire Carbo. Sack Gainey. Koivu is an over-the-hill third line centre. Higgins has no finish at the net. Ryder has lost his touch. We are a one line team with no depth. Latendresse doesn’t know how to skate. We need someone who can win a faceoff now and then. We have 2 rookie goaltenders with zero playoff experience going into the playoffs. And on and on it goes.

    You’ve summarized our strengths rather well. But I’m not so sure we have so much depth that we can afford injuries. How well did we do with Hamrlik out of the lineup with the flu? How would we do with Kovalev or Markov out for the season?

    This is still a young team that has some maturing to do. And we will no doubt hit some more bumps in our rise to the top. All the same, I like what you said, and on a good day, I can nod my head in agreement. Now pass me some of that koolaid you are drinking. :-)

  97. Blitzen says:

    Dear lord, they have us 10th in power rankings behind Buffalo. They need to get the blinders off…
    _____________________________________________________
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  98. usversusthem says:

    I know I am. I’d rather be #2 than #4 or #5… so the division lead is most important here. I was super happy about the Lapointe penalty and ensuing goal…

  99. JF says:

    I agree about our depth at all positions, but I think we’d panic if Markov or Kovalev were seriously injured, or Koivu for that matter. Look at the playoff series against Carolina two years ago; we didn’t win a game without Koivu.

    About injuries, they were saying on RDS last night that Kovalev’s ankle has not recovered from the hit in the Florida game a couple of weeks ago and that he might have to miss a few games. From the way he played last night, you wouldn’t know he had a sore ankle.

  100. Mickey says:

    attta be Lapointe! Is everyone else cheering the Pens?

  101. Bill H says:

    Another twist to the Pens trade for Hossa. They sent 2 roster players who were under contract through next year at a low salary. Two young players with lots of potential.

    Now, including Hossa, they have 12 UFAs and 6 RFAs this July. I don’t know their roster really well, but it looks like they have their most important players signed up longer term: Crosby, Malkin, Sykora, Gonchar, Whitney.
    They were smart to lock them in longer term as the cap hit on Crosby, for example, is only 3.7M because the big bucks ($9M) in the later years are offset by the early years. Malkin is 3.8M. Of course that only works as long as they are playing well.

    The most important ones that are FAs this July are Hossa and Fleury. I thought Gainey had it bad with 10 FA this July. But the Pens have 18. I don’t see how they can even make a bid to extend Hossa.

  102. Mickey says:

    Pens and Sens are getting fiesty and I love it!

  103. Habs-Kat says:

    The more I think about, the more I come to the conclusion that the Canadiens might not really need any “extra pieces” to get them over the hump in the playoffs.

    We’ve scored the second most goals in the league.
    Our defense is one of the most underrated in the league, with a Top 4 group as good as any in the league.
    Even without Cristobal Huet, we have a ludicrous amount of wealth in the goaltending department.
    We have a mix of veteran leadership and youth. We have players who have Stanley Cup rings on this team (Kovalev, Dandenault, Brisebois) along with players who have won championships at other levels of the game.
    Team chemistry is one of the best in the league.
    We have scorers, passers, skaters, checkers, power play specialists, penalty killers.
    The Habs have so much depth that even if a player goes down to injury, there’s no need to panic.
    Most importantly, this team has heart and class.

    The Canadiens are a complete team. In past years, there’s always been something noticeably missing, but I’m hard-pressed to find anything thats missing in this year’s team.

  104. Habs-Kat says:

    I’ve been wanting to know about him too. Apparently he’s a “blue-chip, can’t-miss prospect”. Nevermind Top 4, if we could get him over here – Montreal might end up with the Best Top 7 defencemen in the league.

    Markov – Komisarek
    Hamrlik – O’Byrne
    Yemelin – Valentenko
    Bouillon – Gorges
    McDonagh – Streit

    Talk about depth…

  105. dicktracy says:

    3-2 atlanta over the bruins in the 3rd

  106. Rugger says:

    How about 2-2 going to OT?

    Bruins win it 3-2 in shoot out

  107. Ian G Cobb says:

    Hey Chuck! We were singing and chanting too. And we were not even in Buffalo, we were in Belleville. Maybe this young lad should get on a bus or something, or even have a brew. But Hab fans celibate in all the NHL rinks with gusto and class.

  108. Rugger says:

    Just noticed the Sens are about to embark on the same western swing that we are. Guess whoever does better out west will be in the driver’s seat for first in the Northeast. Here’s hoping LA, Phoenix, Ana & SJ split the next couple of games the right way!

  109. HabFab says:

    Another nice stat;

    Hossa, schmossa
    We’re, 2nd in the league in goal for.

  110. joe-hab-nuno says:

    OMG, i can’t beleive they’re playing the Habs game across the nation except for Toronto.

  111. Geoff F says:

    Hey guys, kind of off topic but i was wondering if anyone has any news on Alexei Emelin? I’m wondering what his status is or what options we have to get him over here. If i’m not mistaken this is the last year to be able to get him over here and i was wondering if there is any idea as to whether he plans to come to the NHL at all or not.

    Hopefully somebody has some scoop on this?

  112. wd40 says:

    no sweat… 2nd is still pretty amazing. when’s the last time we were 2nd!!! :)

  113. wd40 says:

    thanks for the link. great story. it’s interesting to see how candid he was about last year:

    “It’s like, you hate everything about your apartment, you want to redo it because every time you go back home, you’re sick of it,” the Montreal Canadiens winger told NHL.com. “So you throw everything outside and buy new furniture. That’s kind of what I did. I threw out the old Alex Kovalev and kind of brought in a different person and play a different game.”
    .
    .
    .
    Carbonneau said it’s not just his young linemates that Kovalev is helping.

    “I think he’s spreading his joy to the whole team,” said Carbonneau. “It’s always fun when you have veteran players that will show the ropes to the kids. They come in and work hard in the gym, work hard on the ice to get better. That’s the reason they’re good, they work hard a lot. It’s fun for (young players) to come up and see those guys, because they don’t have a choice, they have to follow and keep working hard.

    “He comes to the rink, he’s always happy, he always wants to talk. He wants to play every game and he wants to be the best player on the ice every day.”

  114. wd40 says:

    we’re 2nd (207) in that department behind Ottawa (211). and with 7 40-point scorers, no complaints from me. i’ll take balanced scoring any day. just ask Vinny.

  115. the real vinnydj says:

    Don’t know if this was mentioned but a real nice piece on Kovalev. NHL.COM main page.

  116. Canus says:

    ahh, you’re right. my bad!

  117. Shiloh says:

    The game is not on HNC in Thunder Bay – a cool 1000 miles west of Toronto,

    Latendresse hasn’t won a single solitary battle on the boards. He has not hit a soul. He has been beaten to every loose puck. Smolinski is faster than LaSlowesse – send him to Hamilton as soon as possible.

  118. Shiloh says:

    Smolinski is about 10 times the talent that Latendresse is – even at this stage of his career. I think Latendresse would have trouble making the 3rd line in Hamilton.

  119. Sulemaan says:

    You can watch it online on http://www.cbc.ca

  120. martin says:

    Can you believe these cbc idiots. Leafs suck yet they continue to talk about them on the hotstove. Nobody cares about mccabe or any other of their scrap.

  121. Canus says:

    Here’s an interesting stat, the Habs have more goals than any other team in the NHL right now. Check it out: http://tsn.ca/nhl/standings/. And for some reason, we, habs fans keep on complaining we don’t have enough goal scorers. And this one really rattles me, TSN’s power ranking, are they kidding me. It pretty much hasn’t changed all year long
    1. Detroit
    2. Ottawa (are you kidding me?)
    3. NJ Devils

    updated on Feb. 25th. What kind of drugs are these guys on over at Toronto sports network. Ottawa has been on a free falling for the last month and a half, if not more. And yet, they are still there. Yet, Montreal has been gaining and gaining momentum. Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  122. usversusthem says:

    The original article in La Presse was a very well-written, level-headed piece. I pretty much agree with all the points put forward by Brunet.

  123. wd40 says:

    stats lovers! i shared this site yesterday but wanted to repost in case some of you missed it. the work Ken has done on this site is absolutely amazing.

    Eastern Conference:

    http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL/Eastern.html

    enjoy!

  124. wd40 says:

    “Brodeur, a Montreal native, is 9-1-0 with a 1.99 goals-against average in his last 10 starts against his hometown team. He had won nine in a row versus the Canadiens before the Jan. 24 loss. Brodeur is 34-13-0 with five ties, a 1.75 GAA and eight shutouts in 52 starts against Montreal.”

    ouch.

    tonight, i’m thinking it’s Koivu’s (line) turn.

  125. Shiloh says:

    I have RDS at home in Thunder Bay (where I am tonight) on Shaw cable. I also have it on my Rogers cable in my condo in Toronto. Je prefere le match en francais.

  126. Sulemaan says:

    I have Rogers but regular cable so I don’t get RDS. Watching the game online.

  127. RudeMood19 says:

    Shut up.
    _____________________________________________________________
    1. February 19th, 2008, a day which will live in sublimity.

  128. Chuck says:

    Very cool… but now my head reall hurts from trying to digest all of those numbers and possibilities!

    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________
    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  129. mrstewart61 says:

    Since all the hockey writers picked the Habs to miss the playoffs and fininsh as low as 14th, then there had better be a lot of votes for Carbo for the Jack Adams award!

  130. doug says:

    Agree re: Kovalev for MVP. He deserves it. if he has a March like he did in February he may get it. Second to Malkin in scoring for February.

    Regrettably, I have to admit same thing has crossed my mind on my favorite player, Koivu. I love the guy but at his price he’s a hard guy to have on the roster. Having said that, it’s exceedingly hard to judge what’s happening behind the scenes, and your best player obviously need not be your captain. . . so I don’t know what kind of leader he is to the other players. Further, he has dealt with a ton of crap from the media. I wouldn’t put him in Kovalev from last year category, either. Not a distraction but not a clear on-ice leader.

    Rewatching the game now. . . Latendresse (who I am not a fan of) was a beast last night. Give credit where credit’s deserved!

  131. Da Hema says:

    The Habs played the game the only way to beat New Jersey. It is regrettable the Devils have to take all the fun and excitement out of hockey by their “system,” but the Boys did what they had to do.

    The time has come for Carbonneau to get the recognition he deserves as a head coach, and for Alex Kovalev to be considered seriously for MVP. Carbo has coached one of the league’s youngest teams to the top of the conference. Kovalev has been a great leader this year–and Carbo putting him out to kill penalties is a stroke of genius.

    I would like to see Carbo and Gainey talk very clearly to Koivu about his lack of leadership this year. Gainey openly challenged Kovalev to be a leader earlier this year, and I think the time has come for him to do the same with Koivu. As Henri Richard learned, when you wear the “C” on a Habs uniform, the expectations on you are immense–and you better perform. As much as I admire Saku for his past efforts, the Montreal Canadiens are not the Canadian Senate–you do not get rewarded for your experience and past contributions. Saku may find he will have a difficult time making this team next year.
    _________________________________________
    “Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that’s real power.”
    –Clint Eastwood

  132. G-Man says:

    Salient points as usual, Sulemaan. I saw the P.J. Stock commentary. I think the point he was trying to make was that U.F.A.’s do NOT want to play in Montreal and that the team has gone with youth because it had no other option. He is slightly right when you consider we offered more to Briere and Shanahan and they signed elsewhere.
    However, this team can outskate EVERY other team in the NHL. We may miss some grit, yes, but these guys have character and are a helluva lot of fun to watch. (I wonder if Boom-Boom Guillaume is our next heavyweight?)

    Gilbert

  133. doug says:

    your ryder called out instead of lats is exactly right. . . i just don’t think ryder’s been bad this year. he’s not scored and then was, in typical montreal fashion, made a scapegoat. but he’s worked hard, been a class guy, and then has survived when most would fail due to (unfair) lack of confidence from fans and media alike.

    lats, on the other hand, has been one of the worst canadiens dressed virtually every game he’s played. i’m not hating, i just don’t see the upside because he’s too slow in today’s nhl. do i hope he improves? of course. but i don’t understand why he’s avoided being in hamilton when lapierre was there for so long (and benefited), chipchura was sent down for less (which i have no problem with, just making a point), o’byrne was down most of the year, etc., etc. forget getting sent down – he hasn’t been SAT like ryder, begin, kostopoulos, and others who in my opinion have been far better.

    other than that, though, i’m impressed with guy this year. he even smiled at the press conference yesterday! getting over the brooding is important in terms of leadership. . . i loved him as a player and i’m beginning to be converted as a coach.

  134. doug says:

    Agree with almost everything you said. My only point of contention, so to speak, is that I thought Alexei was slightly off his game last night. Played a good game for anyone else. . . not his usual brilliant self for 2007-2008 him.

    Having said that, knowing he can change the game on any single shift is a thing of beauty, and that remained despite the puck being less sticky than usual for him. Man is he talented – habs have to start pushing for him as league mvp; and yes, i’m serious.

    Last point – one of my 5 year old twin boys has a peanut allergy; nice to see a smart, successful guy in the club! ;)

  135. doug says:

    Brilliant post

  136. Leo G. says:

    your right Spartan I think that Lapiere played well for most of the night including Latandresse I think Lapierre could be the kind of pest you need in the playoffs. He is very strong on the boards.

  137. Leo G. says:

    PJ Stock is a dickhead and I doubt we will see him as GM any time soon. HNIC puthim on because they love anyone who slanders the habs. When he played he barely knew which end to hold the stick.

  138. Leo G. says:

    14 goals for the ice time he gets i think is awesome. Now im not saying he should get more icetime but i dont think he is a weekness on this team. I think he might pop in a few goals in the playoffs. Mark my words. The same goes for Koivu he will me a monster come playoff time.

  139. Leo G. says:

    Listen bud i dont care how much hockey experience u have that statement only proves how full of crap u are. I am sure there is another reason u dont like the guy. Please why dont you share that with us.

  140. ClaytonM says:

    I’m a fan of Cherry, but his Coach’s Corner segment is getting pathetic. First he has no mention of either Montreal or Ottawa fighting for 1st in the East, and then after the game he has the nerve to accuse the refs of targeting his laffs for OT penalties that lead to OT losses. I hope he gets his act together in the playoffs, but I doubt it. The fact is if the Habs make a great run at the Cup, he’ll be at a loss for words to explain how we got there because he’s turned a blind eye on our boys for too long.

    And Ron Maclean is no better. He changes the subject ASAP when talk comes around to the Canadiens. If I was a member of the team I’d boycott any interviews with the both of them, even during a Cup celebration.

  141. ClaytonM says:

    True, but you have to make allowances. He needs to get his fill of laffs commentary since he’ll have no material after April 6th.

  142. ClaytonM says:

    I’m confused. The Bruins have to play back to back 5 more times this year, which seems like a lot with only 5 weeks left. They play us twice, Ottawa 3 times, a surging Caps team 3 times, NJ and PHI once, plus 7 games against teams on the bubble for a spot. How is this an easy schedule for Boston???

  143. doug says:

    Dave –

    How did Henri Richard like his birthday greetings? Some touching stuff there. . . and a cute poem to boot.

    Best,

    Doug

  144. ClaytonM says:

    I disagree on the Koivu comment, Sulemaan. He had the fire, but the Devils great D extinguished it, just as they did against Kovalev. That’s partly why the win was huge, the entire team showed up and earned the 2 pts. It’s also why we’ll be dangerous down the stretch. If the Plekanec line gets shut down, there are 2 if not 3 other lines we can throw at them. Now if Grabovski’s line starts seeing some success, what’s the opposition gonna do?

  145. 4227fan says:

    This IS Canada’s team.

  146. martin says:

    did anyone catch that dumbhead cherry at the end of the game with nothing to stay about our habs. What a one minded HOLE he is. Price was square to every shot and should do well for the playoffs.

  147. linp says:

    This team is growing up faster than expected. The youngsters are playing with so much energy. They are getting more confidence. Once they get some playoff experiences, they will be ready.

  148. RS says:

    Tough schedule coming up for the Habs and Sens. The Bruins have what looks like an easier schedule.

  149. doug says:

    funniest thing i saw was during the beginning of the west coast broadcast. phoenix goalie goes up to speak to gretzky’s kid. cherry said something like, “i guess the kid speaks belarussian”. . . and as they’re going to break he goes, “but get a haircut, kid”. . . and is then quickly corrected that this is gretzky’s DAUGHTER, not the long-haired son. it was hilarious – you’d have to have seen it to capture the humor and spontaneity.

  150. Rocket Richard says:

    Don wasn’t even the least excited tonight. No questions that Don Cherry is a Leafs fan.

    – Maurice Richard

  151. habsgod says:

    I JUST WANT TO SAY THE 1ST PLACE MONTREAL CANADIENS ………BOY THAT SOUNDS SO GOOD I WANT TO SAY IT AGAIN THE 1ST PLACE MONTREAL CANADIENS! TO ALL MY FELLOW HABS FANS LET’S GET READY FOR A TRIP TO THE STANLEY CUP FINALS BECAUSE THAT’S OUR DESTINY THIS SEASON………MR.CAREY PRICE WILL DUPLICATE FOR US WHAT DRYDEN AND ROY DID AND THAT’S WIN THE STANLEY CUP IN HIS ROOKIE SEASON!
    DON’T STOP BELIEVEING!!

  152. doug says:

    GOT to hand it to the bruins. they’ve been huge, and there team is far less talented than the habs.

    Could someone finally admit that claude julien is a good coach? yeah he’s ugly, but so is barry trotz. . . i’m convinced they fire him and never called up bruce boudreau in the past just because of some form of ugliness prejudice. what a job he’s done!

  153. RH says:

    Yeah, the Bruins are almost a lesson in frustration. The Habs have absolutely owned this team yet, they just keep plugging away. They were fortunate to play all their tough Western Conference games at the beginning of the season, when nothing mattered. Now, they can concentrate on the ‘Easy East’.

  154. REB2 says:

    Aww Jeez, here we go again!

    SHILOH – give it a rest already…we all know you can’t stand the ground that Latendresse walks on; it’s about the only thing you ever comment on…and if I never read another one of those comments, it’ll be a day too soon!

    Rather than being so negative, why not try emulating some of the other posters here, and start, or add to, some intelligent posts about something/someone else?

  155. wild flower says:

    Ya, but I liked his crack about Gretzky’s kid needing a hair cut.

  156. doug says:

    Sports Illustrated hockey front page: “Les Leaders”

  157. RH says:

    This west coast swing is going to be a true test as to how much resolve the youngsters have.

  158. wild flower says:

    I don’t think they resolved the question regarding the sex of the child.

  159. Shobud says:

    I was yelling no Hossa for a while..I was sure we did not need him.. Now I am even more sure..Everyone is playing as a team and getting better every night..I thought gorges played another great game and so did Lapierre.. lats played well and I am so happy right now .. They may not be able to hold first place, but we have it for a while anyway, and don’t count them out in the playoffs..How I would love to see another cup here

  160. Shobud says:

    My god Do you think he was sick.. To say a hab played good, I am in shock

  161. doug says:

    agree;

    on a totally unrelated note i had to take a double look at your pic. . . first impression was that you were well endowed and proud of it, albeit it also with a concomitant malady in that you’d sprouted a tail. . .

  162. doug says:

    they said “tristan”, which is his daughter, i think. but every time i’ve seen his son i’ve thought that he needed a cut. . . it was pretty good stuff. cherry’s a bit of a nut but he’s entertaining sometimes.

  163. TripleX says:

    God bless the incompetent Laffs management! Can you imagine how we would all suffer if they had even a half decent club? As long as they stink the joint out, the CBC and TSN are forced to give some air time to other teams. If the Laffs ever win the Cup I think I would have to jump off the nearest cliff. We have a 20 year old goalie standing on his head and Cherry goes on about some Laffs rookie called Williams.

  164. Shiloh says:

    Lats played well?????????? He absolutely 100% sucked. He was horrible out there – too slow to receive a pass and lost every single battle on the boards. Has he scored a point in the last dozen games? I mean, four more assists and he’ll have ten (!!!!) for the year.

    I’m sure you have him confused with someone else.

  165. The Teacher says:

    haha Don, you HAVE to let go of it.

    Lats didn’t play the worst game tonight. He played quite well by his normal standards and from what I saw of him, he would have has an assist or a goal if Martin Brodeur did not rob him or Lappy in the third.

    “Are the Habs ready to pay the Price?”

  166. Shiloh says:

    I am not being negative. I have never met the young man and have nothing against him personally. I just think he may be the most untalented player I have ever seen in a Habs jersey – no, make that any jersey. He is at best a 3rd-line player in Hamilton – and maybe not even that. He contributes nothing most games.

  167. wild flower says:

    Because the Habs defence is much improved they don’t have as much difficulty moving the puck out of their own zone, allowing them to use their speed and play more of the game in the other end of the rink. In seasons past we used to complain about their inability to win by more than one goal. I can remember Kovalev floating around the blueline-neutral zone waiting for the puck and eventually watching it end up in our net – no more. With more scoring threats even Brodeur will eventually relent. I would still like to see a better fore-check than we had at times tonight.

  168. usversusthem says:

    Seriously, just shut up. That was not an excuse to continue your negative talk, and yet somehow you turned it into one. It’s like your hatred for Latendresse far surpasses your enjoyment of the Canadiens. Everyone else here seems to be enjoying the team’s success but you. You must have heard the saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say…” Maybe just learn to hold your tongue.

  169. wild flower says:

    I afraid the subtleties of the game seem to escape you. That sucks.

  170. usversusthem says:

    Man Barry Trotz is about one-and-a-half Claude Juliens. I’m convinced he’s as wide as he is tall…

  171. Shiloh says:

    He wasn’t on with Lapierre for the last half of the 3rd. It was Smolinski, Streit and Lappy who hemmed the Devils in their own end near the end of the game. I can’t help reporting what I see – if he does anything out there I’m thrilled.

  172. Shiloh says:

    Seriously, you shut up. I am happy as a clam and on top of the world over the way the Habs are playing. I will be ecstatic when we finally dress a 12th forward who can skate, shoot and check. Do you watch the poor kid out there? It’s embarrassing.

  173. joe-hab-nuno says:

    hip hip hooray for all the hab players except for Latender

  174. Rocket Richard says:

    OFFICIAL STANDINGS COURTESY OF NHL.COM
    ————————————–

    UPDATED

    Some of you guys here just LOVE to see the Canadiens in the #1 spot in the Conference.

    Let’s enjoy.

    1 Montréal Canadiens* 66 36 21 9 81
    2 New Jersey Devils* 66 37 23 6 80
    3 Carolina Hurricanes* 68 34 29 5 73
    4 Ottawa Senators 66 37 23 6 80
    5 Pittsburgh Penguins 66 36 23 7 79
    6 Boston Bruins 64 35 23 6 76
    7 New York Rangers 65 33 24 8 74
    8 Philadelphia Flyers 65 33 25 7 73

    9 Buffalo Sabres 65 31 25 9 71
    10 New York Islanders 66 31 28 7 69
    11 Washington Capitals 66 30 28 8 68
    12 Toronto Maple Leafs 67 29 28 10 68
    13 Atlanta Thrashers 66 29 31 6 64
    14 Florida Panthers 67 28 31 8 64
    15 Tampa Bay Lightning 65 26 32 7 59

  175. showey47 says:

    i think he is talking about your old pic, wasn’t it you wrestling an alligator or something?

  176. Shiloh says:

    Uh, yeah. That Lats is real subtle alright – so subtle that he has picked up a whopping six assists this year. Now that’s the kind of subtlety that a guy like me might just miss.

    I played senior hockey until I was about 30 – so I would guess I’ve played about 500 games since I was 12 – and a few hundred before that. I have been a fan since the 50’s. I don’t need a lecture on the subtleties of the game. You, on the other hand, appear to need better glasses.

  177. usversusthem says:

    You’ve posted more comments solely attacking Latendresse than I have in total tonight, it seems like. You’re a one-note johnny. It’s not funny, it’s not insightful, it’s not constructive. You’re not adding anything to the forums except this constant barrage of Lats hate, which for the most part no one seems to agree with. It’s not like we’re stupid…

    We all know that he’s not the best player on the Habs. We all know he hasn’t put up any points lately. It’s seriously not worth all the sound and fury you seem to make about it, though. For all I know, you’re a robot programmed to hate on the kid, ’cause that’s all I’ve ever seen you post about, apart from admitting (under pressure) that you are happy that the Habs won tonight. At least For-Fact-Sakes is varied in his attacks on our team…

  178. Shiloh says:

    Trotz looks like he has no neck.

  179. usversusthem says:

    I just saw that on Yahoo Sport’s NHL standings page. It was a sight to behold. I had to stop and chuckle for a second… What a wonderful feeling.

  180. doug says:

    it’s great to see. . . but it’s even stranger to think that given the bruins’ schedule – which is really easy – they could be in the running for the conference. that’s unbelievable to me with their injuries.

  181. Rocket Richard says:

    Doug,

    Keep in mind, no matter how easy the Bruins schedule is, they have to continue to win and leap frog over 4-5 teams while at the same time those teams have to lose. It won’t happened.

    The Habs have to just concentrate on their game and not worry what other teams do. Their in the driver’s seat RIGHT NOW.

    – Maurice Richard

  182. Shiloh says:

    I am a huge Habs fan and I love our success. I have posted recently about many things other than (——–). I think we have the most exciting young team in years – good enough to come out of the east. On the other hand, the other eastern teams who make the playoffs will be hard to beat. It should be an exciting rest of the year. I have seen far more comments on Smolinski here which I don’t think he deserved – and far more on Breezer which I think he does deserve. Huet was scorched on this site by many posters.

    I think honesty is best. If this young player is going to help us he has to play more. He may end up being a big thumper who can fight from time to time and pop a few goals as well – that would be awesome because we could really use a guy like that. I just think he’s in need of some more development and I don’t think it can happen with the big club.

    I love the direction this club is going in.

  183. wild flower says:

    Impressive stats – I guess. But be assured you’re not the only one posting to have played hockey (maybe even senior hockey). I have noticed that you are a bit of a one trick pony. Gainey, Carboneau and I have noticed some of Latendresses strengths. Last night fighting, tonight good hand-eye coordination which led to a power play and every night size. A team of Grabovskis would not be at the top the east.

  184. Shiloh says:

    Check out his goals – they mostly came when he played on the first line.

  185. mrstewart61 says:

    I’ll say it again to the other teams in the league:

    “Be afraid, be very afraid.”

    The Habs are just beginning to scratch the surface of their potential.

  186. sidhu says:

    Thanks for the audio. Love the team’s character and confidence. I enjoyed Carbo’s candid statement – “we completely dominated [Buffalo] last night.”

    Glad the Kostitsyn brothers played well in front of their parents.

  187. linp says:

    Tonight is not the time for negative comments. Let’s all enjoy the moment of best #1 in the east. Let’s all repeat…”We are #1… We are #1″

  188. Shiloh says:

    I think that’s the first time I’ve ever heard AK46 speak. He sure has quick hands – that wrap-around was super.

  189. Shiloh says:

    But a team of Kostitsyn’s might – and they did their time in the minors.

  190. Mr.Hazard says:

    2g 1a for Samsonov!

    Ex nihilo nihil fit

  191. Shobud says:

    Well Shiloh You say you p;ayed 500 games since you were twelve.. You better take a look at my profile cause I think I got you beat..And against better players..You may not like lats, but don’t knock him all the time.. You think scoring is the only thing in a game then you have a prob.

  192. WestHab says:

    What a week eh?

    This is the the team we are “stuck” with for the rest of the season? What a joy, fist pace is cool but the way they are playing is even better. The good guys are coming out of their onw zone like a hot babe through a traffic ticket.
    Conrats to Les Boys!

    In Bob we Trust.

  193. Steve C. says:

    we won? niiiiice

  194. PGHABS says:

    I also beg to differ. He recieved several passes, won several puck battles, and… actually he played a good game, not great.

    But how about Lapierre’s last shift, he burnt at least 30 seconds by cycling, his linemates helped of course, but Lapierre did most of the work. An outstanding shift

  195. habsgod says:

    can you say stanley cup? because we are going to the cup this year!

  196. dudefella says:

    Oh man, I saw that… Just embarrassing they keep that guy on the air.

  197. Shiloh says:

    Lapierre was incredible that shift – as was Smolinski. They couldn’t get it away from them.

  198. dudefella says:

    I’m not sure who I like more… Andrei because he has such speed and hands, and he could probably score 30 or 40 goals eventually, or Sergei because he’s just such a complete, tough, and still extremely skilled player.

  199. drive for 25 says:

    huet who?

    ———————————————————-
    Carey Price is not the future. He is the present.

  200. doug says:

    Your top February performers:

    NAME GP G A PTS
    1 Malkin, Pit. 14 9 17 26
    2 Kovalev, Mtl. 14 7 14 21
    3 Vanek, Buf. 15 13 7 20
    4 Roy, Buf. 15 6 12 18
    5 Ribeiro, Dal. 14 4 14 18
    6 Frolov, L.A. 12 7 10 17
    7 Pominville, Buf. 15 7 10 17
    8 Sykora, Pit. 14 5 11 16
    9 Arnott, Nsh. 12 6 9 15
    10 Morrow, Dal. 14 6 9 15
    11 Spezza, Ott. 13 6 9 15
    12 Elias, N.J. 15 3 12 15

  201. Shiloh says:

    When does everybody think Halak will get a game in – west coast swing? Or does Carbo ride Price as long as he keeps winning?

  202. showey47 says:

    if sergei had andrei’s shot he would be absolutly lethal

  203. showey47 says:

    i think its either gonna be next saturday against the kings or sunday against the ducks

  204. doug says:

    yep. . . some seal or something you were sitting on.

  205. The Teacher says:

    I wasn’t talking about that shift. I’m talking about the one where Brodeur robbed them, earlier on in the 3rd.

    “Are the Habs ready to pay the Price?”

  206. The Teacher says:

    Yeah, I’d say against the Kings.

    However, my opinion is that barring back-to-back games, Price starts until we clinch a playoff spot.

    beginning Monday, we have 6 games in 10 days if I’m not mistaken.

    “Are the Habs ready to pay the Price?”

  207. WestHab says:

    Guy will play Halak once, reguardless of the wins or losses. The road is the place to start the backup, just the way Carey started in the fall. Carbo is smart enough to rest Price and to play Halak. Probably against LA.

    In Bob we Trust.

  208. doug says:

    Check out this hilarious blog site (no affiliation to me) that I came across. These guys are riotously funny:

    http://fourhabsfans.blogspot.com/2008/03/if-this-city-is-hockey-world-is.html

  209. WestHab says:

    Thanks for that, it was news to me.

    In Bob we Trust.

  210. Gormdog says:

    Is Carbo still a terrible coach Timo?

  211. OldGrover says:

    You are right – tremendous difference from last year. Last year we just had Markov who could do that. It seems like every pairing can do it now – Markov/Komi, Hammer/O’Byrne, Gorges/Cube – they ALL Can. And the forwards are in the right places to block shots/pick up rebounds/pick up those passes and then wheel up ice at tremendous speed. Just such a tremendous difference in the transition game this year. Single biggest improvement, I think

  212. Sulemaan says:

    My few cents from the peanut gallery:

    (1) Truth be told, I’m allergic to peanuts but I don’t mind being in the gallery as the view up here in first place is pretty sweet.

    (2) Although we’re in first place, we need to continue to play like everyone expects us not to make the playoffs. It’s only 10 points up from 9 place. That is only a three game losing streak folks.

    (3) Carey Price had some shaky moments but in the end he ended up with the win. With some time this guy is going to become even better.

    (4) Ryan O’Byrne is a big tough defenceman. I’d like him to play and make more hits like he did in the 3rd period. If he needs to, look over a couple a couple of stalls and watch what #8 does on a regular basis.

    (5) Maxim Lapierre played very well. What he did in the last few minutes of the game was invaluable. That is exactly how he needs to play on a regular basis. I liked watching him with Latendresse.

    (6) Michael Ryder played very well. He may not have been on the score sheet but he was a competitor tonight.

    (7) Saku Koivu may have gotten an assist but he seemed to be missing his fire tonight. Normally, I’d be concerned except that we have…

    (8) Alexei Kovalev. Another solid game tonight and he was brilliant with his stickhandling.

    (9) If P.J. Stock doesn’t consider Andrei Markov, Alexei Kovalev and Roman Hamrlik as great UFAs who signed with Montreal, then I’m curious what kind of players he considers them to be? He states that no other quality free agents (Briere, Shanahan) signed with Montreal, hence they had no choice but to go with a youth movement. Fair enough. I’ll be interested to see what UFAs want to play with our youth movement next year and beyond. We just need to send them a copy of the Rangers game not so long ago.

    (10) Let the talking head speculate about Bob Gainey leaving all they want. He’s not going anywhere. This guy finishes what he starts and the finish is nothing less than bringing Cup #25 (and more) to Montreal.

  213. PGHABS says:

    Good comments as usual Sulemaan, especially the PJ Stock comment. He had no idea what he was talking about.
    If Montreal finishes this year on any sort of swing like the one we are on now, i have little doubt it would be easier to sign some UFA’s.

  214. Spartan117 says:

    Most impressive player tonight….Lapierre, yes i said it and i cant believe i just did, but i was astounded watching the number 40 in the last minutes tonight, well dont boys

    HAbs are teh BEASTS OF THE EAST!!
    ——————————————————————–
    The Leafs are like an overused joke, it was funny the first 40 times, but after a while it gets old..

    nah who am i kiddin :P

    LES HABITANTS JUSQU’AU BOUT

  215. hhl says:

    ithought that price had the determination needed in his passing,n he seems quite confortable with the puck. very agile, as good or better than alot of dz in the nhl.

  216. habsernyk says:

    This is a great moment in the season. There have been a lot of comments from [impatient] fans that the rebuilding phase has been too slow and there were poor decisions made made by Gainey and Carbo. The melodramatic comments posted on Tues would have you thinking that the franchise might as well fold.

    I admit that I had doubts about Carbo early in the season (with specific regards to his line juggling) and I second-guessed Gainey’s decisions, but I had an epiphany on Tues.

    Maybe, just maybe, they know what they’re doing. Maybe the mistakes were made in the past [cough]Rejean Houle[cough] and couldn’t be fixed overnight. Maybe we “trained” 3 rookie coaches in the last 10 years (Vigneault, Therrien & Julien) but just happened to get them before their prime. Maybe it’s no fluke that teams like Detroit, NJ, Colorado and Dallas have all been perennial cup contenders for over a decade by building from within. Maybe these same teams stayed the course and didn’t sell the farm every trade deadline. Maybe “collecting” every big name available (hello NY Rangers and Toronto) doesn’t equal success. Just maybe…

    I have full confidence in Gainey, even if I don’t know why. I questioned the Rivet trade- but, in my opinion, we won. Georges is playing fantastically and is young. I questioned letting Souray go and signing Hamrlik- we won that one big time. I questioned letting Bonk and Johnson go- they are slow and ineffectual compared to their replacements. I questioned the trade and the non-trade last Tues. Then I thought- maybe Gainey’s right. Maybe Huet was holding Price back and was my favourite on emotion only (remember the OT softy vs. Carolina that eliminated us two years ago? Remember the final game last year vs TO?) Maybe the 2nd highest scoring team in the league doesn’t need more scoring when, in the opinion of a lot of people, we have several underachievers (Ryder and Higgins come to mind).

    I no longer question. I think keeping our young talent was the right thing to do. It’s what good teams do. I think that the elation we all feel right now- being a first place team- will be prolonged by the decisions Gainey (& Carbo) has made. It won’t be fleeting due to irrational and short-sighted decisions. Sure, there will be ups and downs (Detroit has lost 10 of their last 11) but the payoff will be worth it (Detroit is still the best team overall and has won 3 cups in the last 10 years).

    In short- I Believe!!!!!!

    ________
    JAS

    Go Habs!

  217. Rovell says:

    Well said!

  218. Gormdog says:

    Granted, the Habs have had a few fortunate things go their way this season (little-to-no-injuries, the Ottawa implosion, bunch-o-NHL-ready-rookies), but there was “no way” the Canadiens were supposed to be this good this fast. Even if they choke out the rest of the season and finish 6th 7th 8th, they’ve proven that they can beat any team in the East on any night.

    Like it or not, even though he has made mistakes (I think Latendresse could have been made an example more than Ryder), he has done an EXCELLENT job teaching these kids how to win, and, suprisingly, how to score goals. We havn’t even had a bona-fide #1 goalie all season, we can’t ride a Luongo, Brodeur, or even Leclaire to steal games for us.

    If the Habs win the Northeast, Carbo has to be a finalist for Coach of the Year. And he’ll lose to Boudreau if the Caps make it to the playoffs.

  219. Habsrule1 says:

    Anybody else think carbo will be nominated for the Jack Adams?
    This team is doing WAY better than anyone thought!

    Great job CARBO!!

    Go Habs Go!!

    Habsrule

  220. Blitzen says:

    I don’t care who wins between Pittsburgh and Ottawa, as long as they do it in regulation. Let’s minimize the number of 3 point games please…
    _____________________________________________________
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  221. moser17 says:

    Blitzen, I think Ottawa must win for us to take first overall in the East. If Pittsburgh gets two points they tie us in points but their win record is better than ours with the same #GP so they would sit in first.

    NB: this is hapax: “Go Ottawa!”

    [[All this presuming we beat on M.F.B. and the N.J.D. of course. For these do Hell's Bels toll...]]

  222. G-Man says:

    Ladies and Gents, the Habs have a Point Per Game player and he is Kovalev. Despite all the down and dirty tactics used against him this season (elbows, etc.), the second and third effort he has displayed this season is nothing short of jaw-dropping.
    68pts in 66 games. Love it. 7 players with 40+ points. Love that, too.
    1st place? Ain’t the view from the summit grand? What’s that, way down there lying on the ground? Could it be a fallen leaf? Yup, it’s a fallen leaf all right! Better sweep it away; it’s looking old and dry and might contaminate something.

    Gilbert

  223. ONTARIO HAB says:

    LOL!!!

  224. RH says:

    And the Habs go from facing a high flying, offensively oriented team that gives up tonnes of open ice, to a tight checking, defensive oriented(and boring most of the time), team that will be in a BADDDD mood, after last night’s loss. The Habs will see only a quarter of the open ice tonight, that they saw last night against the Sabres and I hope they dig in their heels for this one.

  225. ONTARIO HAB says:

    My GOD! What a BEAUTIFUL MORNING!!!

    THE CUP IS NEAR!!!!

  226. LizardKing1967 says:

    If we do not finish this high this season…..IT’S GREAT TO LOOK DOWN UPON ALL ELSE!!!!!! for the moment.
    Kovalev for MVP
    Carbo for Jack Adams

    Jim-out.

    I BELIEVE!

  227. doug says:

    My pic (for today) of Olli Jokinen (wish I wish could be larger so you could get the joke), should win an Oscar for:

    “Best impersonation of team’s logo by a hockey player”

    Click here for the picture to see what I’m talking about. Full credit to blogger/hockey journalist Jame Mirtle for finding it.

    http://bp2.blogger.com/_A0WaWSMnIQ8/R8hJNIZUmqI/AAAAAAAAAP8/xcBj_blsOHU/s1600-h/olli.jpeg

  228. LizardKing1967 says:

    11 players UNDER 25. Pleks is 25 and Komisaurus is only 26.

    Future looks good on D….HUGE 4: Kommi, Markov, O’B, and Gorges. ALL UNDER 30!!

    7 players with 40+ pts.
    9 players with 10+ goals
    4 players with 20+ goals

    #1 PP in the ENTIRE league

    Price will be NHL’s FIRST star this week: 3-0 1.33 GGA .956 SA PCT.

    WOW!!

    WE HAVE MORE GOALS FOR THAN DETROIT!!!

    Sorry, just a few random thoughts

    GO GUYS!!!!

    Jim-out.

    I BELIEVE!

  229. LizardKing1967 says:

    Forgot one thing…. 15 years of futility has come to this.

    FINALLY.
    Now, just make the playoffs and we’ll all love you guys.

    Jim-out.

    I BELIEVE!

  230. 46_14_27 says:

    Go Habs Go !!

    Here’s the difference from all the years before. The Habs didn’t have a game breaker. They didn’t have a guy that could put the team on his shoulders and carry them to victory. All they had was a bunch of lunch pail guys going to work everyday (Koivu included). Now Kovalev has arrived…really arrived.
    Goalies have never been the Habs problem. For years they had the goalie(s) to get into the playoffs, just not enough of anything else.
    From where I’m sitting, the Habs have enough of everything now to get the job done. If Price faulters, Halak has shown he can play with the big boys. Alot of these guys know what it takes to go all the way. Alot of them won the AHL championship last year. At a different level it’s the same thing. I’m not saying the Habs will go all the way but, this is our best chance in a long while.
    These guys are hungry. You can see it. Last year it was a crap shoot as to who was going to show up. This year they are the most consitant team in the league. That’s what it takes to win. Not a Jagr, not a Hossa, not a one man show of any kind…consistancey.
    Side note: O’byrne has also arrived. He was a force last night and made some serious smart defensive plays. One in particular was when he was behind the net with the puck in his feet and rather than waste time looking for it, he picked his head up and took out the Devil who knew where it was and was going for it. He was very impressive.
    Grovaski(?) is also going to be a fabulous player soon. I hope he’s on the same curve that Pleks is on. Next year should be a lot of fun.

    Go Habs Go

  231. LizardKing1967 says:

    good post. couldn’t agree more.
    I said a few days ago, when so many where crying that we let Huet go, that to win a CHAMPIONSHIP, on any level, as Price has, means something. Not only that, like I said, he won for his COUNTRY.

    We might not win the cup this year, but this team is on it’s way to something big in the next few.

    PS for all you stupid Gainey bashers…..grow up and learn hockey.

    Jim-out.

    I BELIEVE!

  232. moeman says:

    I wonder if Dave, Pat or Mike can comment on tsn’s dregger’s ludicrous rumour about Bob being on the short list for GM in toronto. Is this credible? Is the smirking dregger just making stuff up? Is his source some lame MLSEr? Can Bob call tsn and have them qualify their statement or apologize? Just curious.

  233. Shiloh says:

    I agree with everything you have said. I think we can really make some noise i the playoffs and there’s no reason we can’t win the East and get all the way to the finals. We have to remember though that there are some very tough teams we’ll have to play in the playoffs.

    Grabovbski could be great next year. It would be nice if we could find him a big winger who can fly.

  234. HabsFanInTampa says:

    Not since the 1993 season have the Habs been atop the Eastern Conference so late in the season, and we all know what happened that year! Enough of my giddiness, the Habs need to do exactly what they’re doing and keep this momentum. Their resilience, hard work, strong bodychecking AND quick speed have the other teams taking notice. It’s imperative, to my OCD, that we win the cup before the end of this season, or the next. We need to keep the streak of winning a championship every decade alive. I caught the game on NHL Center Ice, and finally I was receiving the HNIC feed which made me feel at home. Anyway, after the Coach’s Corner segment, I had the misfortune of listening to some guys in suits sitting and JAWING and WASTING about 10 minutes of beer commercials on the irrelevent Toronto Maple Laffs and the Sundin trade that never took place. I knew that TSN was Toronto’s Sport Channel. But, et tu HNIC?!?

  235. POPS says:

    This team has really grown together since Jan.1.They have been playing superb defensive hockey.They have had some come-back wins (in N.J.,home N.Y.R.).They have had some dominant performances (Buff,Atl,Bos).They have won some close games (N.J. last night).The goaltending has been excellent.The five on five play has been solid.The P.P. has been the best.The players on this team have realized that each has a role and must play that role every night for this team to be a championship calibre team.The only part of this team’s play that is a bit concerning is the P.K.This is quite funny considering the G.M. and the three coaches were the best in the business during their playing days.We have a very special team with great depth and I believe we are true cup contenders.The games yesterday were representative of the balance of power in the East.MTL and N.J. played a tight playoff style game while OTT and PITT engaged in a shootout with mistakes galore.This is why I believe MTL and N.J. will meet in the East final.One thing that bothers me is the Toronto media’s lack of respect for the Habs.Friday we beat BUFF to take over the lead in the division and the lead story on TSN is Huet’s shutout.Poor LOSERS!!!!We are having an amazing season and all they talk about is how Gretz should be coach of the year, or the amazing Penguins!The Habs are the story in the NHL this year!!!!!!!!!!!…..and the story has just begun.

  236. ColoradoHab says:

    That’s hilarious

  237. PattyBoy31 says:

    haha A.Kost is quite an interviewie

  238. habsguy says:

    LOL…I guess facts for facts doesn’t have any facts about a FIRST PLACE TEAM !!!!!

  239. carmine007 says:

    I totally understand your frustration. Let it be known that we still have a month of hockey left. I’d rather fly under the radar! This way our team has that ” we have nothing to loose” attitude. It keeps the pressure off them and puts it on the shoulders of those other teams.

    Great game last night!!!

    I’m even affraid of mentioning this but, I believe Price is starting to play better and better.

    I don’t want to jinx it!!

    It’s NEVER over til it’s OVER!

  240. wd40 says:

    HAHAHAH… good one.

  241. usversusthem says:

    In all fairness, though, it’s a lot easier to impersonate the Panthers logo, than, say, the Canadiens’…

    Hilarious pic, nonetheless.

  242. wd40 says:

    if you haven’t read it, i thought this was a nice story about David Maley who was part of the 85-86 cup-winning team.

    http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/sports/story.html?id=02f54082-82f1-4b69-93c5-b5f9dfddd70b

  243. dicktracy says:

    one thing though i haven’t noticed…here in southern ontario where the winter seems like it will never end…i hav’nt noticed any of those leafs flags on cars. don’t worry though, a couple more wins for them and those fans and their flags will come out of the little holes. how do you say….no draft lottery pick in torontonian. enjoy the sun tampafan

  244. wd40 says:

    After 66 games:

    * Seven 40-point scorers all currently on pace to be 50-point scorers
    * 1st in the PP: 25.3%
    * 22nd in the PK: 80.5%
    * tied for 2nd in fewest losses with 21
    * 2nd in Goals Scored: 3.11/game
    * 18th in 5/5: .97
    * 21st in FO Win%: 49.0%
    * 12th in Shots/Game: 29.3
    * 25th in Shots allowed/Game: 31.0

  245. The Teacher says:

    LMAO

    “Are the Habs ready to pay the Price?”

  246. Bill H says:

    Peter Young, thanks for those links to articles about the changes Russia with regard to players moving between the NHL and the Russian Superleague. I am surprised that there has not been more interest and discussion of this topic here on Habs I/O., especially considering the impact developments could have on the Canadiens. Consider the importance of Russian players on our team, and the perception that the Canadiens are/were becoming a destination of choice for Russian players.

    I am wondering if Dave Stubbs has any interest in doing some digging on this important topic and putting together an article. It seems to me there is lots that is relevant to the readers here. For starters there is the loss of Perezhogin. If Canadiens hold his rights, how is it possible for him to walk away from a contract? Is this something that any player can do as long as they choose to play outside of NHL?

    There is also the situation of Emelin, drafted by the Canadiens in 2004 but currently playing for Ak Bars in the Russian Superleague. There have been various rumours about his desire to play for the Canadiens and being tricked by his agent to sign with Ak Bars through to April ’09. If Perezhogin, under contract to play for the Canadiens, can walk and play in the Russian Superleague, why can’t Emelin, under contract to the Ak Bars, walk and play for the Canadiens, if in fact this is what he wants?
    http://habsprospects.hockeyhq.net/emelin.html
    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/prospects/alexei_emelin

    The articles linked by Peter Young also mention Russian players who are coming to Canada to play junior hockey with the expectation that this makes it easier to break into the NHL. Apparently, this will soon come to an end. NHL clubs may now have to pay compensation to Russian clubs if they sign their players. How is this situation different from the NHL’s relationship with other European clubs? How is the transfer relationship different? How is the relationship changing?

    I wrap up this rather long post with two quotes taken from the articles in question which on one level answer some questions, but on another level, raise some other questions:

    “Russia refused to sign a transfer agreement with the N.H.L., preventing the league from acquiring players under contract with Russian clubs, and putting an end to an N.H.L. practice of scooping up young Russian players who often ended up languishing in the North American minor leagues. ”

    “Thus completes the process begun by the Russian Parliament over the summer of bringing Russian labor laws governing athletes in line with North American labor codes. As Russian Hockey Federation head Vladislav Tretiak — a member of Parliament who co-sponsored the bill — says in the article, “The early dissolution of the contract between the athlete and his employer on the initiative of athlete without valid reasons now will bind the latter to pay off to the employer solid compensation.”

  247. Velavok says:

    Amazing win last night, beaming this morning. The devils are a very frustrating team to watch its almost like you have to score the first goal or 2 against them to force them to open up and send guys past the red line.

    I read this page daily and enjoy the sense of community it brings. As bad as it is to suffer through the lows, celebrating the highs with fellow loyal, passionate fans is what its all about.

    For all of us who suffered through years of mediocrity and poor performance, lets take a breath and really enjoy being on top today. As much as we always stand by and love our team it finally feels like we have turned the corner and we have a team that has a chance to bring it all home.

    This is not a team who gets up a goal and sits back clinging to the lead and praying they can hold it (ala last year) this is a team who will get up a goal and will look to put a stake through the oppositions heart.

    For all the media who picked us to miss the playoffs and finish 14th….. How ya like us now?

    Go habs go

  248. showey47 says:

    perezogin wasn’t under contract with us, he was a rfa. we still hold his rights till 2011-2012 then he can leave as a ufa.

  249. Robert L says:

    You gotta love this city when euphoria sets in!

    Things are starting to feel like they did when I was a little kid, watching the Habs win almost every year. I see it in the fans eyes, we are just drunk with happiness over how our team is doing.

    Kostitsyn’s 20th Places Habs At The Eastern Peak

    http://wwwrealitycheckeyesontheprize.blogspot.com/2008/03/kostitsyns-20th-places-habs-at-eastern.html

    The Story Of How Bob Gainey Became A Canadien

    http://wwwrealitycheckeyesontheprize.blogspot.com/2008/03/story-of-how-bob-gainey-became-canadien.html

  250. gauvinator says:

    I run a bar in Oshawa (Ontario) and honestly, ever since the Sundin will-he-wave-his-trade-clause week before the deadline, the Leaf fans have been coming out in droves…they sense some sort of optimism, like almost making the playoffs is a GOOD thing (“next year!” they yell always followed by a “habs suck”). None of them have clued into the fact that the more they lose, the better the draft pick!

    Ah well, with 15 flatscreens i could care less, i’ve always got my RDS on for me and my local Habs following, and
    forget optimism with us, we just know…

    PS Leafs suck!

  251. showey47 says:

    i hope they can take their frustrations out on the laffs who they play twice this upcoming week

  252. Scotty90 says:

    Kovy has been awesome this year. I don’t know what was discussed between he and Bob over the summer months but whatever it was has resulted in a great transformation. Not only is Kovy mentoring the youngsters, he is like father figure to them. Can you think of any other qualities a captain should have? Although what kind of presence Koivu has in the dressing room… Kovy beats him hands down with leadership on the ice! I vote Kovy as Captain!

  253. Wops says:

    CAREY PRICE’S WORDS:

    “It’s just another regular-season game,” he said. “The real season starts after the 82 games are over. That’ll be fun.”

    I love the guy.
    _______________________________________
    CH is for Chris Higgins

  254. Bill H says:

    Thanks wd40 for that interesting article. Its a good read and it gives insight into BG.

  255. Bill H says:

    Great stats wd40. They sure show our weaknesses – PK, faceoffs, 5-on-5, shots allowed. Now here’s a challenge for the statisticion in you. How would those stats compare to the Habs post All Star game record? Has our PK improved? 5-on-5 and faceoffs? Because its somewhat irrelevant what our PK average was in October. Its more important what it is now.

  256. Bill H says:

    Thanks Showey.

  257. Holyirishman says:

    If the season ended today……..we’d get the flyers in the 1st round…. hmmmmmmmm….sold

  258. The Teacher says:

    Hey timo, did you change your mind about that trip to L.A. and anaheim that you were contemplating a while ago? :P

    I remember you said you should forget it after one of their losses, to columbus if i’m not mistaken ;)

    “Are the Habs ready to pay the Price?”

  259. Bill H says:

    Thanks Robert L for that great story about Gainey. I really enjoyed reading about Sam Pollack’s trading of draft picks and how he brought Gainey to the Canadiens. That is a story as interesting as the famous draft picks that brought Lafleur to Montreal.

  260. showey47 says:

    improving our faceoff % would go a long way in improving our other negative stats which are all essentially puck possession stats, having price in net will also help our pk who has to be our best penalty killer.

  261. HABZ24 says:

    the teams playing awesome right now yuh gotta luv it.price is so far showing hes the man.go habz go!!

  262. moser17 says:

    Great article. Thanks wd40.

  263. Robert L says:

    That’s what I’ve always thought as well! Folks thought Sam had gone mad back then.

    I wish Pollock had gone ahead and not listened to Bowman, Ruel and Curry, and taken Marcel Dionne when the opportunity arose. He had offered Red Wings GM Ned Harkness Terry Harper, J.C. Tremblay, and another player for the 2nd pick in 1971. It was a done deal until the reactions of the other three nixed it.

    Imagine Dionne centering Lafleur in the 1970’s!

  264. Hoegarden says:

    What is really impressive about this week-end is that the Habs played two games in two nights with two totally different opponents.
    A high flying, offensive minded Sabres team and a boring, play the trap Jersey team. Habs prevailed in both styles.

    Price is playing really well around his net and what about Lapierre keeping the puck to himself in the Jersey end for well over a minute.

    SK74 had 6 hits last night, best on the Habs.

    One word, WOW…..!

  265. theflower says:

    Bill,

    Well I think you understand this issue very well. I will explain the why’s for you. The Russian federation is part of the IIHF. The IIHF and the NHL for years have negotiated a deal whereby clubs in various European countries would receive compensation to a maximum of $200K per player that is drafted and then signed by an NHL team. A few years ago the Russians, felt this compensation was far from enough, so they decided to opt out the IIHF agreement with the rest of the European countries. Being as they have no agreement with anyone, if you want a player who is from Russia and you draft him, that Russian team has decided they will charge the NHL team whatever they feel like is appropriate compensation for the player that the NHL team drafted. If the NHL team does not want to pay, then the player can not move to the NHL team.

    Now recently there was a labor law in Russia that allowed any employee to leave his employer by giving a 14 day notice and the employer could do nothing about it and also receive no compensation. Because hockey players are considered the same as regular workers like you and I, they legally could use this loophole to just up and leave their team and therefore the team could not get any compensation for their player. This is the kind of thing players who are playing in Russia have done to come to the NHL. The Russians have responded, by creating a new law that should be past any day now. This law says an employee needs to give 30 days notice if he wants to leave and also that if the employee leaves to go to a competing company, like say the NHL, the company, in this case the Russian hockey team is entitled to compensation. Once again, because there is no agreement between Russia and the NHL that compensation can be anything the Russian team feels it wants to be.

    This is why the NHL has pretty much stopped drafting great Russian talents early in the draft, because they are skeptical they will ever be able to actually have the player play for them. The Emelin situation is an example of that. He was tempted to get out under the old 14 day rule last year, but his agent said he would make more money in Russia, so he stayed. He may never play in the NHL. You see the NHL has caps on what a rookie draft pick is allowed to make. The maximum for a rookie is $850K plus bonuses. The Russian Elite league is willing to pay these kids up to 1.5 million. The kids without brains and agents who are getting there pockets lined with cash in Russia are convincing these kids to take the deal to make more money now. Many are taking it.

    On the reverse side in the NHL when a player like Perezhogin is under contract with the Habs, if he feels that he may not get the playing time or the money he feels he deserves and Russian teams are calling him, he decides he will go. Now because the NHL team owns his rights, he is considered in breach of contract in the NHL. The NHL teams only recourse is that the player can be fined and will be fined, if at some point he chooses to want to return to the NHL. Of course, he can only return to the team that owns his rights. I forget the player in Boston recently who got cut by a Russian team and he left the Bruins. Now there was talk of him coming back to the NHL, but first he would have to pay something like $200K in fines for breach of his contract. Presently the CBA has no other compensation agreement in place to stop these players from up and leaving. This is also the reason we may never see Perezhogin back in a Habs uniform. Now the NHL team could negotiate removing the fine from the returning player, but most NHL teams are too angry the player left in the first place, so they don’t. Then of course add to the fact, now the Russian team because they have no agreements with any other hockey federation, may feel they are still owed compensation for losing that player and ask for money.

    At this point as you can see, things get very complicated. The problem is this really. In Russia, the Russian Mafia/ex KGB controls all of the money flow throughout Russia. Hockey is a big part of money for Russian mobsters. They all want their piece. Since the Mafia runs the hockey, the NHL is basically being forced to deal with criminals who want their cut of everything. Not a situation you want to be in, if you are the NHL.

    The Russians have now decided to create a Russian Super league, which as of next year will have each team in the league having a salary cap of around 22 million. This league feels it can compete with the NHL so they are going to go after young players, especially young Russians and convince them, the money is better for starters and not to goto the NHL.

    So you can see how complicated this issue has become. There is obviously a lot more to this, but this gives you the basics of it. The sad part of all of this, is that young Russian players are being convinced that hockey in Russia is a better option than the NHL. So unless at some point an agreement between the NHL and the IIHF and the Russian Hockey Federation can be reached, the future of Russian talents coming to the NHL is dismal. Right now there is a lot of excitement about a kid named Filitov who is regarded to be a top 5 pick in this years draft. Many feel he will never play in the NHL so he will be drafted, but he will fall quite a ways in the draft. Sad stuff really.

  266. wd40 says:

    it’s kind of interesting. for all our success in other areas, including the teams’ consistency, we’ve never been (much) above mid-pack for either PK, 5/5 or FO this season. i would say that we have not improved in any of those stats since the all-star break. you could say we succeed despite our weakness in those areas.

  267. wd40 says:

    i agree. i know sometimes i come off as thinking bob walks on water but i really do consider him to be a great example of a wonderful human being. self-effacing, intelligent, soft-spoken, thoughtful. and think of the personal tragedy he’s had to face in his life. many of us would have trouble putting our socks on in the morning, let a lone transform this team into what it is today. it’s clear to me, as echoed by his long-time friend Christine Pickrell during the #23 retirement ceremony, the Habs are a huge part of his life, his passion, and Montreal is where his heart is.

  268. doug says:

    Very interesting and well researched; thank you

  269. doug says:

    ever seen this? it also shows you what kind of man he is and is very cute.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=KgnM1uxAbI8

  270. 1010 says:

    Murray Wilson is right: Kovalev deserves some consideration for MVP honours.

    GO HABS.

  271. Bill H says:

    Kovalev for MVP honours, yes. But I don’think it is smart to rip the captain’s “C” off of Koivu’s jersey and put it on Kovalev’s jersey just because Kovalev is having an amazing year on and off the ice. Kovalev has earned the “A”, but Koivu has earned the “C”. Players and management understand what Koivu has brought to the club for the past dozen years. And they understand what he continues to bring. The “C” does not necesarily go to the team’s brightest star, even if he is doing what Kovalev is doing for us AT THIS PARTICULAR MOMENT. I think I appreciate Kovalev as much as anyone, but I don’t think the captaincy should be a popularity contest. Your suggestion, Scotty, surprises me.

  272. hhl says:

    compare mtl to nj.mtl can compete def and in net. but mtl has more talent up front.also the speed and the way they execute their plays, is all in the coaching n development.n the speed,holy sugar honey iced tea,these guys r fast.

  273. Chuck says:

    I’ve said it before an I’ll say it again: if for some insane reason Carbo took the “C” off of Koivu and left it in the middle of the floor, NO ONE would have the balls to wear it while Koivu was still part of the team. There’s just too much respect for the guy.

    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________
    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  274. Chuck says:

    Hmmm… Lafleur, Dionne and Shutt. (drool!)

    I saw those three play on the same line in an oldtimer game here in Hamilton a couple of years ago. They might still have been able to give any line in the NHL a run for the money!

    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________
    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  275. Scotty90 says:

    its more than just being the brightest star in the team. When comparing both Koivu and Kovy I see more leadership coming from the latter. The team we have today is very different to the one to that existed when Koivu got the captaincy. Who are the players looking to today for leadership? My guess would be Kovy. As I mentionned earlier, I don’t know what goes on in the dressing room. Maybe Koivu is the man. I don’t know. But judging by what I see on the ice and on the bench, and what I have heard about Kovy staying on the ice to work with youngsters when most have returned to the dressing room after practice…. it has to make you wonder who the best man for the job really is. I agree with you that it shouldn’t be a popularity contest; you want your captain to go out there and rally the troops… set the example on the ice, set the tempo of the game and give those encouraging words to your team-mates , particularly the youngsters. I can’t say that I’ve seen Saku do all of those things. What I have seen him do in the past couple of years is take silly penalties, in the offensive zone to boot, that have proven costly on more than one occasion… not a particularly good example. Like the next guy, I don’t like hurting anybody’s feelings…. but!

  276. dudefella says:

    Now now, I think that’s ragging on Koivu a little too hard. Last year he set career highs in points I believe, and if not, he was certainly playing well. If we want to discuss last year, though, where was Kovalev?

    I think Kovalev wearing the C the one day Koivu was out with the flu (in NY I believe it was) was enough. It shows that he’s the second leader on the team.

    Koivu’s penalties… I agree, this year he’s been taking some foolish offensive-zone penalties, but you can’t fault the guy for some of the penalties he takes. I think you can tell when Saku’s playing his best when he’s actually taking retaliatory penalties. You know he’s in the game and playing with passion.
    My dad often says to me that he really realized Koivu was a leader in Game 1 of the playoffs in 2002 or 04, against the Bruins, during a TV time out, Koivu had the entire team around him, and he was drawing out a play on the bench. You could tell the entire team listened to him and that he was respected.

    Kovalev doesn’t have that kind of respect, yet. I don’t know if he ever will. All I know is that you don’t award the captaincy to a guy based on one year of great play and/or leadership. When Kovalev isn’t playing well, he’s the most frustrating guy on the team, and people start calling him a coach-killer, selfish, lazy, disinterested, all of those things.
    He’s playing extremely well, now, and I agree, Kovalev for MVP… but if it turns sour again (heaven forbid), I expect those nasty little names to come back.

    Look at a guy like Messier, at the end of his career, he wasn’t contributing terribly much to the Rangers, but nobody dared take the C away from him, because THAT would upset whatever chemistry there was and divide the room. Just because Koivu is having a bad season, or even if he’s on the downswing of his career doesn’t necessarily mean you should put the C on someone else.

  277. Scotty90 says:

    you bring forward good points Dudefella… this is what HIO is all about. My post was just something I wanted to throw out there to get people’s opinions. If anything, please don’t take my posts as ragging on Saku… it certainly was not my intent.

  278. ClaytonM says:

    You mean like Latendresse?

    I couldn’t resist :)

  279. ClaytonM says:

    I think what you’re missing is this. Kovalev is a team leader this year, but it’s the first time he’s stepped into that role, and he’s leading a contingent of young Russians, which is great. This makes him a Lieutenant, not a Captain.

    Koivu has earned the respect of every member of the team, most importantly guys like Higgins, Kovalev, Markov and Komisarek. In short, he’s the guy leading the Lieutenants, which is why he’ll finish his Habs career wearing the C.

    It’s not a knock against Kovalev. After all, Lafleur never wore the C, and no one can tell me Gainey led his team in scoring. But who would you want as Captain?

  280. linp says:

    Don’t create problem! The setup of the team is good as is.

  281. G-Man says:

    Thanks Ali B., I’m pretty tired of Shiloh’s s**t, too. 1st place and all he sees is one player’s deficiencies. Tiresome, at best.

    Gilbert

  282. Leo G. says:

    Good man Ali i agree with you 100% Say hi to your wife I sat with you and her at the HabsSummit pregame dinner. i hope to see you both and the next one.

  283. Shiloh says:

    This is acomedy routine, right? The guy lost every battle for the puck. He turned the puck over almost every time he touched it. He stuck out like a dent on a new Ferrari.

  284. OldGrover says:

    Were we watching the same game? Sheesh

  285. Shiloh says:

    It was 2-1 Habs over Jersey. Streit and AK46 got the goals. That’s the one I watched.

  286. OldGrover says:

    He had a couple of great shots on net, he beat out an icing, he had a couple of really crunching hits and he made some nice plays. That’s more than you normally get outta a guy playing on the fourth line!

    He’s got a lot of potential. He’s not there yet, but he has it. And Hamilton won’t teach him much – he’s too big, he’s too strong – he can already manhandle on the boards against NHL players (and if you didn’t notice some of the times he did that tonight, you weren’t watching) – he needs to do it against NHL players to gain that experience and skill. Doing that against AHL players just won’t do it.

    Carbo sees it, Gainey sees it – and just about all of us here see it. Why can’t you?

  287. A. Berke says:

    Judging by your a dozen or so posts after tonight’s game bashing Lats in each and everyone of them, you sir, seem to be the Comedy Routine.

    Frankly I, and I’m sure, many of the posters here don’t give a rat’s a$$ if you played 500 games or 500 thousand games. Reading your comments one would think that you are either:
    1- Blind, or
    2- Have a different agenda with your singling out and bashing Lats at every turn (after every game), OR
    3- After all those games you’ve played, you still didn’t learn hockey well enough to discern a decent play by a player.

    Please do not bother to reply to me. Simply put, I don’t care for your opinion and I don’t want nor need a dialogue with you and thus, I won’t read it.

    The only reason I bothered myself to write this post as a response, is that I’m sick and tired of having to sift through your inane and one track minded criticisms which, besides polluting the cyberspace, I guess, do not serve any other purpose than apparently making you feel better somehow.

    You’re obviously entitled to your opinion and that’s fine, but most of us here don’t want to hear the same rant over and over and over, especially on a glorious night like this one. Just once would be plenty IMO.

    Ali B.

  288. RH says:

    It’s a Wikipedia reference, so it MAY be wrong. But it’s all I can find right now. Gotta go.

    The Jersey Devil; an ominous cryptozoological creature supposed to inhabit the Pine Barrens of South Jersey.

  289. RH says:

    Actually, if you Google ‘Jersey Devil’, there are quite a few links to it, sighting various stories and accounts of how the ‘Jersey Devil’ came to be.

  290. G-Man says:

    Ever notice how the Devils are forever crowding the FRONT of their net. Their D concentrates on keeping opposition forwards from the front of their net. When you keep the puck behind it, and have no intention of bringing it to the front, their system will break down. Someone has to get out of position to stop what’s going on behind there, opening up some room.

    Gilbert

  291. Robert L says:

    On behalf of the Montreal Canadiens, to the rest of the NHL, WE’RE BAAAAAAAAAAAACK!

    Back where we belong.

    In first place.

    A Stanley Cup contender!

    This site can now crash due to server overload!

  292. doug says:

    Yeah, that second article lost all credibility by focusing on him and his plight. I don’t see a ton of non-soviet talent wanting to play in those remote outposts: the russians are not exactly known for their hospitality and joie de vivre.

    Having said that, the way that Daly suggests that the NHL has some natural born right to just dominate the hockey world is exactly the type of attitude that opens it up to valid competition. I think it’s funny that he thinks that no other league deserves even a return phone call to the NY Times, to say nothing of any further consideration at all, when the league is a distant fourth in U.S. popularity and has been disastrously run by Bettman from a marketing/popularity perspective.

  293. Xtrahabsfan says:

    For fact sakes don’t start with me,lol. I don’t need to be arguing with a guy who thinks he’s staring in the remake of the movie “RainMan”

  294. G-Man says:

    Too witty! lol. :D

    Gilbert

  295. moeman says:

    Hilariously, its all they got. mclame and his CotU buddies reek of blue and white desperation. They are not hockey fans, just leaf fans. This has been their moribund modus operandi for decades. Just laugh at them.

  296. usversusthem says:

    Props for “moribund modus operandi.” Got quite the way with words, eh?

  297. moeman says:

    I try.

    : )

  298. moser17 says:

    Yes, it has been very rare. I stopped looking at those b/c it’s never the way it is now. I wouldn’t have even seen it if you hadn’t pointed it out. What a year for Kovalev!

  299. The Teacher says:

    I was just looking at the Team Leaders comparison, and I might be wrong, but hasn’t it been a while since the best Habs player was ahead in goals, assists, AND points compared to the opposing team’s best prior to a game this year?

    If not the first time, it has been an incredibly rare sight over the last 10 years!

    “Montreal has registered at least four goals in five of its past six games.”
    – isn’t that AWESOME!!!

    “Are the Habs ready to pay the Price?”

  300. tony d says:

    I thought after seeing Brodeur pull off some amazing saves, that it would be one of those nights….got scary at times but the boys hung in…Kovy looked a bit tired or distracted…never had room to be his usual creative self…those devils are relentless with their fore-checking etc… but hey I’ll take this win and rock on boys…congrats!!
    Go Habs Go
    So washington sans Huet didn’t do as well tonight….

  301. Vid says:

    We’ve come back against the Rangers, beaten both Florida and New Jersey twice each. We’ve essentially prevailed against almost every team that has had our number.

    It’s a great accomplishment but I won’t start believing until we convincingly beat Ottawa a couple of times (and avenge our last loss to the leafs).

    It’ll be interesting to see how the habs stack up on the west coast trip.

  302. Shiloh says:

    Smolinski was excellent tonight – that last shift from his line was inspiring. This is why we got him – a veteran who can shut down the other team and contribute now and then to the attack. He will be very useful in the playoffs.

  303. martin says:

    yeah he played well tonight but too bad he can’t do that every game anymore. He plays well every 3 or 4 game but usually he sucks.

  304. doug says:

    I say make distance from Ottawa first. Go for the conference second. I want Ottawa to lose tonight. AND NO THREE POINT GAME!

  305. rbt259 says:

    Hey, we won but good Lord that was an ugly, boring game. It seemed like every time we got control of the puck, the 4th line was on. All I kept seeing was Smolinski. I must say Lapierre played a great game. Lots of hustle, and at the end when he hung onto the puck behind Brodeur, amazing. Our first line was as flat as my buddy’s wife, and I blame Kovalev to some extent…no leadership on that line tonight. And can we ever start winning some face offs for heaven’s sake? Good win, but snoozzzzzzzzze-est.

  306. sholi2000.com says:

    It was boring. Blame the Devils. 2-2-1 is terrible hockey. When Mtl took the lead, the game picked up. 16 games to go.

    sholi2000.com
    God Bless Our Infantry
    Death to the Taliban
    2PPCLI

  307. OldGrover says:

    I think Kovy/Pleks/AKost need at least some room and Jersey just doesn’t give it to them. They play such a horrible, smothering style of hockey. Smoke/Laps/Lats seemed to be able to bang enough to MAKE some room (plus, of course, they weren’t playing against the shutdown lines). Hard to know what to do – nice thing is, they have a lot of trouble shutting down the PP. And, too, we have four lines that can score, at least to some extent – they can’t smother them all!

  308. Habsville says:

    When the game started I thought of the differences between our goaler Price and King Richard. He is the best goalie and playing in the province he was born in against the team his has owned. His record against the club has been impressive. On the other side a western kid a rookie. In the end the kid took the crown and sent a clear message too. First Place!! Fantatic!! A playoff game win ! I’m a HAPPY HABS FAN

  309. Nicolas St-Henri says:

    First F. Place! Yes, sir.

    I like how our PP can change the face of a game. I like the young guys, I love Kovalev and Price is growing on me (lol!). I’ve been a habs fan since I was born and this is a long time coming.

    Les Canadiens
    Les Canadiens
    Les Canadiens…
    SONT LÀ!

  310. Chuck says:

    I was just cruising the sites of our upcoming western road trip opponents to see what their fans are having to say about the Habs’ visit, and they’re pretty quiet.

    The “Hockey 101″ section is an interesting read, though. Did you know that ice hockey is — strangely enough — played on ice?

    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________
    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  311. Robert L says:

    Well Canadians know 27 types of hockey – from road hockey to chesterfield hockey – so that kind of info can come in handy!

  312. Bill H says:

    I think its always wise to be clear about such things, but then I brought back 20 lbs of ice from my last ice fishing trip. ;-)

  313. showey47 says:

    great game on nbc between the rangers and the flyers

  314. Robert L says:

    Hey, I’m in Montreal for the Springsteen show – anybody going?

  315. doug says:

    hugely jealous. saw him a couple of times before on this tour. he played some good rare stuff in hartford the other days for first time on this tour – enjoy!

  316. habitual says:

    One of the joys of being a Habs fan is that we are not Leafs fans. Consider the following:

    The Leafs want to make the playoffs so the players can say, see, we’re not the load of turnips everyone made us out to be. So they are moving up the standings and with each team they pass decrease their opportunity to win the Steve Stemkos lottery in the 2008 Entry draft.

    I predict that the Leafs will finish somewhere around 12th place, meaning they fail to make the playoffs, fail to land Stemkos, and therefore place themselves in the worst of all possible situations.

    Don’t you just love being a Habs fan!

  317. Rovell says:

    Amazing sequence at the end by Lapierre, Streit, Smolinski at the end of the game to keep the puck in their end! Just wow =)

  318. wild flower says:

    Yes, smart hockey – the Devils seemed at a loss to counter it.

  319. Shiloh says:

    Those three played awesome the last half of the third.

  320. ClaytonM says:

    Unless you get Bell ExpressVu, you’re stuck with the laffs. I hope I’m wrong but considering the “resurgence” of the laffs that CBC and TSN keep trying to sell us, safe bet that only Quebec viewers will get the Habs feed.

    Time to spring for RDS, because if Habs & Sans are playing the same night in the post-season, you’ll get stuck with Sans games too.

  321. KerryPrice says:

    Does anyone know how to find out the breakdown for the HNIC tv schedule? I am in vancouver and it says i am getting either the habs or the leafs game. Any idea how i can find out which game i will see? I already checked the CBC website and could not find the actual breakdown of areas. Thanks

  322. Bill H says:

    Thanks theflower for that detailed explanation of the complicated relationship between NHL, IIHF and the Russian federation. I am still a bit confused about something though.

    I think I understand the issue of compensation going from pro teams to junior teams. Isn’t there an agreement between NHL and various junior leagues in North America that pays these junior clubs developmental fees as compensation? Isn’t that what the agreement between the IIHF and the NHL is about? And I can understand Russians getting pissed as they watch superstars like Ovechkin walk away and leave Russian hockey after Russian hockey has invested in their development for so many years. So its just a matter of agreeing on what acceptable compensation is.

    But as Showey pointed out, the Canadiens did not have Perezhogin under contract. He was a RFA. He should have the right to walk away. So where do these fines come into it? If a player is not under contract, then that player should be able to walk. Be it Perezhogin or Emelin. So then the question is, how long is Emelin under contract for? And who does the compensation go to if he does decide to take a crack at the NHL? If he is not under contract, then surely Ak Bars do not get compensation. Nobody paid the Canadiens compensation when they lost Perezhogin. So is it the junior club that developed the player that gets the compensation, or perhaps the Russian federation that overseas amateur hockey? If that is the case, then Ak Bars should be paying the compensation for Emelin. Then when Emelin’s contract runs out, he should be free and clear to play where he wants to play.

    Sorry for dragging this out beyond where most readers are likely interersted in going. But these are questions that continue to crowd out any clarity on the issue. And thanks again to theflower for bringing us this far.

  323. theflower says:

    Bill,

    Regarding the junior teams in North America. They are all as a sum compensated by the NHL. They also pay fees to help improve the talent of hockey in both Canada and the US, by many developmental leagues that have sprung up over the recent years. Once a kid plays junior hockey, his rights belong to that junior team regardless of where he came from, with some exceptions. Take for example K2 or Sergei Kostitsyn if you prefer. He was drafted by the Habs. He was playing in Russia and left to come and play in Canada. He got picked up by the London Knights to play in the OHL, but his rights belonged to Montreal. Junior hockey is a feeder system for future NHLers and they, just like the NHL draft kids who eventually play in their leagues and then eventually get drafted into the NHL. The thing with Sergei was simple. His brother told him come to Canada. His brother reasoned that learning English was the most important thing if he wanted to play in the NHL. A wise younger brother listened and voila, his ability to play at the NHL level was sped up by learning English. This is the same reason Grabovski, with all his talent has taken longer to look like the true star he is. His English has been a challenge to learn and it affects his ability to show his true talents. It seems to be getting better, so will his play.

    Perezhogin as an RFA if he chooses to leave his team and go to another NHL team as a Restricted player the other team is required to compensate the team who loses him. Also the team who loses him has the first right to match whatever the new team wants to pay him or lose him as before “with compensation” Take for example the Dustin Penner situation. He was a RFA, Edmonton wanted him and had to give up picks to get him as per the CBA. A restricted free agent whether signed or not yet, is the property of the team that has him. In this case Montreal. That is the only way an RFA can be moved to another team, is with compensation. UFA’s can move freely to anyone if they feel like it with no compensation of any kind. In the case of this situation, because of no agreement with Russia, the Habs can not get anything from the Russian team. The CBA has added fines to this process so that if they do leave to go to another country that if they come back they must pay a fine or fines. Montreal legally owns the rights to Perezhogin and the CBA is set up the way it is. Unfortunately this is the only recourse for an NHL team to get money back from losing a player they legally own to a Russian team. They could try to go to court and claim they own his rights and all that, but the cost to do so especially going after the Russian hockey federation makes no fiscal sense.

    As far as Emelin goes it’s all about contract. If I draft a player I am saying I would like to have him. But because I have not created a contract with him, I don’t own him. Emelin was drafted by the Habs, but chose to play hockey in Russia. He has no responsibility as a draft pick to ever go to the NHL. However if he chooses to, the only team he can goto is Montreal as they drafted him. I believe that draft picks are considered to be owned by a team for a 3 year period. So if I am correct, after next year, if Emelin doesn’t sign with Montreal, he is now a free agent to sign with any NHL team. That’s why Montreal has so desperately tried to sign him, before the draft rights are gone. Otherwise, they will have just lost a draft pick they could have used on someone else. Emelin, because he signed with a Russian team is under contract with them. He could break it the way Ovechkin did with the 14day rule and just walk out, but he chose not to. Remember this is Russian Mafia. They have told some players in the past, break the rules and go to the NHL, but guess what will happen to your family buddy! The elite teams are notorious for trying to strong arm some of the elite prospects. As it stands right now, he can get out of the AK contract but Montreal has to pay AK Bars compensation. As he does have a contract with them. I hope this makes sense to you Bill.

    There is no agreement with Russia and anyone. They get no compensation presently from anyone. They felt the money that the NHL was offering per player was way too low. They feel by doing this, they can have some say in getting money back when they lose players. I agree with that. The problem is they want a lot of money per player. Essentially holding the NHL at ransom and before, being a set amount made dealing easy between the NHL and Russia. Imagine drafting a guy and he plays for AK Bars. Now you offer him a contract and AK says well he is under contract with us. If you want him give us 2 million. Now that makes no fiscal sense to an NHL team. To get a kid who is still unproven at the NHL level. With the exception of a few elite players who might be worth that kind of money, it makes no sense.

    The Russians do not want to negotiate a new deal. They are making it difficult for the IIHF who has agreements with all the other countries like Sweden and Finland and so on. They all get compensation when a player from their country signs an NHL contract. Right now they get a maximum of $200K per player. Apparently, I hear this is all being re-negotiated now to give teams more money. A big part of that is due to this impending Russian Super League that is going to try and pluck all of Europe’s young players by offering them more money than they would get as a rookie joining the NHL. You can see what a war this has become.

    In the end, all countries should get compensation, to help improve hockey in their respective countries. The question has become how much.

    Hope this helps

  324. doug says:

    Here’s my cliched post for the next time the Habs are looking good or looking bad, given the manic-depressive nature of our collective temperament. The first part in parentheses should be used when we are playing well; the latter (in CAPS) when we’re in a slump.

    “It [is a good time/SUCKS] to be a Habs fan this year. After years of frustration [we're finally back on top!!!/WHEN THE HELL IS THIS ORGANIZATION GOING TO GET IT?] We’ve got [the top power play/A CRAP PK UNIT] which [reminds me of the 70's/IS EMBARRASSING WHEN OUR COACHES ARE CARBO, JARVIS, AND MULLER]. Carbonneau has [to be considered for the Jack Adams award/ LOST THE ROOM AND HAS TO GO], Koivu [is showing the leadership he's shown on the international stage/ IS PISSING ME OFF WITH THE OFFENSIVE ZONE PENALTIES], Higgins [is a future captain and is returing to form/ SHOULD HAVE GONE IN THE HOSSA DEAL], and as far as Price goes, [that was a brilliant move by Gainey to move Huet and tell him this is his team / HE WAS TOO YOUNG AND GAINEY GAMBLED WHEN HE DIDN'T NEED TO.] The fact that TSN rumors that Gainey’s being looked at for the Toronto GM job [is typical of the Toronto Sports Network - give me a break!/ IS AT LEAST SOME GOOD NEWS - MOVE THE BUM!]

    The way things are going [we have to be favorites for a Cup run/ IT LOOKS LIKE THE CENTENNIAL SEASON IS GOING TO BE YET ANOTHER EMBARRASSMENT.] It’s time to [get those champagne bottles chilled/ ADMIT THAT WE NEED VETERAN LEADERSHIP AND TRADE THESE OVERRATED KIDS]. Why would I say that? Because [Kovalev is playing like a man posessed, we have the best prospects of any team/ PLAYOFF EXPERIENCE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO WIN IN THIS LEAGUE], and Price [is God/IS NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME]. Seriously, that guy [has ice for veins/ IS SO FRIGGING OVERRATED] and I’d recommend [signing him long-term now/ TAKING A CLOSER LOOK AT HALAK AND LOOKING FOR A VETERAN].

    I’m just so [thrilled/PISSED] today and for the first time in a long time, and I say this hesitantly, [i'm a real believer that the Habs can make a run for the Cup this year/ I AM THINKING THAT MAYBE I NEED TO FIND ANOTHER HOBBY.] The Dynasty Habs are [back/GONE FOREVER] and it [just feels so good!/ IS TIME FOR ME TO REALIZE THAT.]

    [go habs go! i believe!!/ F___K!!!!!]

  325. Bill H says:

    ROFL Great post Doug. This is my nomination for post of the year, and Bench Talk. It funny because it is so true. Bipolar is right.

  326. hhl says:

    i like that idea. maybe we can get microsoft to make a custom keyboard,for inside out bloggers an poss expand on the function key as shortcuts to better express our manic depressive nature in a less time consuming way for both the have lives as well as the no lives.

  327. Chuck says:

    Hilarious!!!

    Mike Boone should make sure that a copy of this is distributed to all Montreal media, too!

    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________
    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  328. Da Hema says:

    Heheh….

    :-)
    _________________________________________
    “Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that’s real power.”
    –Clint Eastwood

  329. wd40 says:

    brilliant! even better, if someone could turn it into an automated online habs fan rant generator based on if they are winning or losing. :) something like Scott Pakin’s automaic complaint-letter generator:

    http://www.pakin.org/complaint/

  330. Les-Habitants says:

    Great, great post.

  331. G-Man says:

    Absolutely killer, doug! :D
    Our first “Post As Required” blog!

    Gilbert

  332. A. Berke says:

    Isn’t that the truth though?

    Fine post. :-)

    Cheers,

    Ali B.

  333. Sulemaan says:

    Great post Doug. I believe the phone is ringing and it’s the Comedy Network. ;-)

  334. habfan53 says:

    In Jon’s defence it was his first game back after missing 3, also he has been up and down between Cinncinati and Hamilton. Jon was the only defenceman that Hamilton kept for their cup run last year.

    His contract ends in June and will probably sign elsewhere for next year. It’s to bad because I think he can be a solid number 5 or 6 he is a defensive defenceman like Serge Savard or Don Awrey. Whether itwas at Cornell, Cinncinati or Hamilton (up to this year) he has always been a +

  335. Smart Dog says:

    What – people listen to me? lol

    Thanks for the note. I’ve been traveling a lot so have less time. That old dog face…. ugghhh… I still have nightmares!

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

  336. Smart Dog says:

    You’re right about one thing – we’re paying the price. I heard on CJAD the other day that the best seat in the house was five bucks back in the 40’s which today would be only 33. Instead it’s 400 bucks and even so you can’t buy a ticket. Outrageous. Makes you want to move to a US market where no-one comes so you can at least get seats. Like New York. :)

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

  337. Bill says:

    I worry about the ability of the Habs to hang on to their emerging young players. We’ll be in cap trouble very soon! Gainey must already be working on identifying which of these players are core, keeper types going down the road. I think Komisarek, both Kostitysns, and Price are obvious calls, but there are tough choices down the road.

    http://yearofthehab.blogspot.com

  338. cautiousoptimist says:

    Salaries for stars may not be going down, but they’re being spread around now at least. How many Ovechkins or Crosbys can a team afford to have now? There’s no way Pittsburgh can pay Malkin, Hossa and Crosby what they’re worth without gutting the rest of the team. Tampa tried that route and now they;re in the basement. The cap favours solid, balanced teams like ours, with no superstars but lots of guys who can pot 15-25 goals.

    http://www.flickeringpictures.com

  339. showey47 says:

    in case anyone wants to scout habs defensive propect yannick weber he plays at 7 pm on sportsnet against sarnia and stamkos

  340. nightmare_49 says:

    The Syracuse Cruncn beat the Hamilton Bulldogs 4 to 2 as Yann Danis stopped 21 of 24 with an empty net goal for the loss as Engelhardt and Chipchura added goals. Yes Showey they were also bad in the faceoff circle.

  341. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    Kostitsyn became the Canadiens fourth 20-goal scorer this season, but he’s not satisfied with the milestone.
    “I want more,” he said.

    THAT IS THE ATTITUDE GOING FORWARD FROM HERE…
    KEEP IT GOING BOYS!!!!!!!!!!

    the FANATICS ARE BEHIND YOU!

    ———
    1. Feb 19, 2008 – History was made.
    1. ONLY BELIVEAU CAN CONVINCE LECAVALIER…
    2. Thank GOD we have Alex Kovalev…..at his PRIME
    3. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans
    4. We will win the CUP

  342. showey47 says:

    sounded like the dogs played a strong game with 40 shots on goal

  343. showey47 says:

    i just hope bob can lock him long term before the russian super league offers him a boat load of money like they did perezogin

  344. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    don’t worry, his parents were in the crowd…they saw and felt first hand the passion and energy of the Great Historic Montreal Dynasty…and with their sons taking a prominent role…the contract is already signed…they are old school thinkers…

    OPPOSITE OF THE EMERY TYPE.

    Lets face it, Montreal IS THE TEAM OF CHOICE for the Russian elite players.

    just imagine Andrei, Sergie, Kovalev, Markov and Grabovski on the powerplay…now that is the Russian SUPER elite league.
    ———
    1. Feb 19, 2008 – History was made.
    1. ONLY BELIVEAU CAN CONVINCE LECAVALIER…
    2. Thank GOD we have Alex Kovalev…..at his PRIME
    3. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans
    4. We will win the CUP

  345. 9410 says:

    Perezhogin was not doing half as well with the opportunity, the organization stood tall with him during his full season suspension from the AHL, and he never seemed to be willing to go the extra mile. It would be interesting to see his reaction come june, He might be willing to pull a Semin and come back when he realizes who can best butter his bread.
    The Brothers are going to be a a Habs fixture for at least the next half decade, hopefully for longer.
    It still would not be a bad idea to stock pile North American talent, with the Russians looking to create a league which they hope will compete with the NHL.

  346. 9410 says:

    Perezhogin was not doing half as well with the opportunity, the organization stood tall with him during his full season suspension from the AHL, and he never seemed to be willing to go the extra mile. It would be interesting to see his reaction come june, He might be willing to pull a Semin and come back when he realizes who can best butter his bread.
    The Brothers are going to be a a Habs fixture for at least the next half decade, hopefully for longer.
    It still would not be a bad idea to stock pile North American talent, with the Russians looking to create a league which they hope will compete with the NHL.

  347. LizardKing1967 says:

    that PP unit seems to remind me of another one, from probably the smartest coach in hockey history (who BG learned from). He had 5 Russians on his PP unit…and the whole league was laughing, until he won a couple cups.
    Detroit? Scotty?
    Need I say more?

    Jim-out.

    I BELIEVE!

  348. Bill H says:

    Yes, we have quite a concentration of quality players from that part of the world. But as good Habs fans, we should learn to distinguish Belarusians from Russians. They have their own language, and, since the breakup of the Soviet Empire, they have their own sovereign country. I believe Markov and Kovalev are from Russia. But Grabs, K1 and K2 are from Belarus. So out of respect for these fine players, I don’t think we should call them Russians. I am sure they would appreciate the distinction. Its a little like calling Canadians Americans, isn’t it? Or perhaps you Habs Prof, are American and don’t really care about such subtleties?

  349. LizardKing1967 says:

    We won’t have to worry. If we sign the RFA’s and UFA’s (Streit) that we want to keep (which is quite a few), and we give them their just raises, we’ll still have about 12 million left over for an “impact” player. And this takes into account pro-rated bonuses, and two buy-outs we still have to pay.

    I don’t know if any of you have been to this NHL salary site, but I think it’s the best one out there. Check it out:

    http://www.nhlnumbers.com

    Jim-out.

    I BELIEVE!

  350. LizardKing1967 says:

    and if we look 2 years down the line, we’ll be alright, because, even if we pay Kommi 4, Price 2.5, the K’s 1.5 ea. Pleks 3, etc…and add a 10 mill for a huge name, we’ll be around 54 million, and the cap should be close to 60 by then.

    Jim-out.

    I BELIEVE!

  351. Infanteer says:

    Hence, Gainey sold a very good goalie for a draft pick . . . We’ve robbed the bulldogs of their top prospects, and it’s time for replenishment.

    I wasn’t a fan of the Huet trade, but therein lies why it was made.

  352. wd40 says:

    “I’d like to score every game,” said Kostitsyn.

    that would be just fine by us.

  353. The Teacher says:

    Alright, here is my report on the Hamilton Bulldogs following their 3-2 loss today to the Syracuse Crunch. We were leading entering the third 2-1. I know this was their third game in three days.

    We badly outshot them but the shots did not tell the game story.

    1) What an awesome arena to watch a game in. I felt like I was at a minor league hockey tournament, what a cozy feeling.

    2) Martin Biron – is the worst skater in the world (Shiloh, Latendresse is Catriona LeMay Doan compared to him)
    – He was on every single powerplay for the Dogs, and i could not understand why, he has no hands, no skating and no common sense. He will never make the NHL.

    2) Chipper – started off with a slow first period, but made an amazing play to deke the opposing defense, got around him and then potted a shorthanded go-ahead marker in the second.

    3) Corey Locke – He was crap. Every time he had the puck and an opposing player would be coming to check him he’d throw the puck blindly away. Seemed to try to do everything himself, but cannot. Took a dumbass penalty in the third.

    4) Duncan Milroy – was decent the first period, and invisible the rest of the game

    5) Valentenko – did not play, hugely dissapointed because I wanted to see him.

    6) Archer – too slow, best case scenario 7th D to fight.

    7) Marvin Degon – I was pleasantly surprised with him, seemed to show good hockey sense and made some good plays.

    8) Jean-Philippe Cote- Career minor leaguer

    9) Mathieu Carle- showed good hockey sense, has promise but they barely used him on their PP’s of which they had 7 or 8. I was dumbfounded as to why he didn’t play instead of Biron (who SUCKS!!!)

    10) Hamilton’s PP was largely ineffective, kept making very bad decisions. doesn’t help when Biron is the QB??

    11) Matt D’Agostini- did not impress, had one good shot that was saved with a blocker.

    12) Konopka of the Syracuse Crunch pulled a top corner shot and was the Crunch’s best player by far.

    bob Gainey sure knows how to evaluate talent since all these guys are still in the AHL. Chipper notwithstanding, he also needs to work on some things.

    “Are the Habs ready to pay the Price?”

  354. LizardKing1967 says:

    Yes, but WE have the game in hand!

    Jim-out.

    I BELIEVE!

  355. The Teacher says:

    sorry, but that will never happen dude.

    “Are the Habs ready to pay the Price?”

  356. showey47 says:

    watching weber play on sportsnet, what a cannon and a right handed shot to boot. 20 goals, 17 on the pp

  357. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    In a foreign country, would you call people born in Quebec: Canadian? or Québecois?…there is a difference of Culture and Language, but Quebec is not sovereign.

    The Belarus have the same Culture and Language but are sovereign, although they are intertwined with Russia in numerous ways, politically, historically and culturally.

    All the autonomy to them, but I don’t think they would be insulted or are sensitive to being called Russian.

    their independance was peaceful and mutual, their history with the homeland including the millions that died during the wars will always be a reminder and a calling to their origins.

    as for me, i am Canadian…

    as Canadiens…I guess we should be setting the example on sensitivity…
    lets give the first nations all their land back….isn’t that the right thing to do?

    ———
    1. Feb 19, 2008 – History was made.
    1. ONLY BELIVEAU CAN CONVINCE LECAVALIER…
    2. Thank GOD we have Alex Kovalev…..at his PRIME
    3. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans
    4. We will win the CUP

  358. Jonnyboy says:

    The draft keeps going year after year. Gainey will continue to build from the draft. Look at the Huet deal, he works both short and long term.

  359. Infanteer says:

    He’s the real deal, surely. Then again, the Habs aren’t looking too bad in the young D-man department with Komi, Georges, and Fingers O’Byrne. The latter has been especially impressive in his recent development.

  360. Infanteer says:

    Another reason Christobal was traded . . . Sad how important finances have become to the game.

  361. Bill says:

    I’m watching too, and he sure can shoot it. He’s only ranked 9th on the Habs defense propsects list at Hockey’s Future, though: wonder why? Some really good players ahead of him: Emelin, McDonagh, Fischer, etc., but also some I’ve never heard of.

    Interesting how that site ranks its players: the Habs are thought to have a pretty great crop of young talent, but HF ranks all off the Habs prospects as third-liners, 2nd pairing D, or back-up goalies. Only Carey Price gets a higher ranking, though even his isn’t fantastic.

    http://yearofthehab.blogspot.com

  362. dudefella says:

    I’ve always thought that site to be a little conservative in its rankings. But then again, it’s probably easier to be wrong and say that a guy “blossomed late” than it is to explain a guy like Alexandre Daigle.

  363. Sulemaan says:

    Let’s stick to Hockey here Hab-Prof. No need to go down the road of the First Nations. (Remember that our #1 goaltender has roots there.)

    PS> You have two #1 points in your signature, not sure if that is intentional or not…

  364. Bill H says:

    LOL well I don’t see how we got from Belarus to giving the Canadian First Nations all their land back, but your example of the relationship between Quebec and Canada is a good one. Contrary to what you stated, Belarus has its own language called Belarussian. If Quebec did separate from Canada, I would think they would resent being called Canadians, unless they happened to live on the West Island. I can’t honestly say I know what the political position is of the Belarussians playing for the Canadiens, but I’d be surprised if they didn’t prefer to have their own country of origin acknowledged. The breaking up of the Soviet empire was not a teaparty, even if there was no war of independence. If they aren’t insulted by being referred to as Russians, it is most likely because they recognize that Canadians are generally pretty ignorant about their history. So please, by all means, if you want to call them Russians, be my guest. You can drive up to Lac St Jean and call all the people up there Canadians too. Personally, I call them Quebecois as that is how most refer to themselves.

  365. dudefella says:

    Argh, double post

  366. nightmare_49 says:

    I’m confused , Sulemaan raves about The Bulldogs Biron “D” and The Teacher craps all over him so we’ll have to have Chuck and Retro Mickey as arbritrators and let us know what’s up with Biron , can he fill in. I also posted this on Mike’s thread by mistake.

  367. dudefella says:

    Good points, but I think we ought to err on the side of caution and just call them Belorussians until someone corrects us.

    I had a professor from New Zealand earlier this year who introduced himself by saying “I’m from New Zealand, try not to call me Australian, and I’ll try not to call you American”. Kinda the same thing, to me. People get touchy about nationalities.

  368. Ian G Cobb says:

    I want to take this time to let everyone know that due to a shake up with the Hamilton Bull Dogs office and marketing dept, they have pulled the plug on the Hamilton Dogs summit for this year.

    Dave Stubbs. You might put something to this effect for us in your article to let people know. Sorry all, we tried hard!

  369. Chuck says:

    Mathieu is 6’6”, 230… what’s not to like? :)

    He’s got a hard shot, but he doesn’t look like he skates tremendously well for his size. He could also stand to throw his weight around a lot more. And even with some NHL experience, at age 27 he strikes me as a career AHLer; if he gets called up to the Habs it would probably be to sit in the press box as injury insurance.

    Going into this year he had played something like 250 NHL games and was a -70.

    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________
    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  370. The Teacher says:

    I can definitely understand the – 70. Very diPlomatic assessment by Chucky boy, haha! IMo he SUCKS, lol. My point is, if Carle has promise, they should be giving him the PP time, not the career AHL-er.

    Ohh, another defenceman who has NO hope of making the NHL. jon Gleed, this guy was absolutely pathetic. looked like a zombie on the ice and made MANY MANY horrible plays.

    I like to think the reason Chipper had a goal and an assist is because I was close enough so he could hear me saying come on Chipper every shift.

    “Are the Habs ready to pay the Price?”

  371. Smart Dog says:

    Is that the Teacher or Dr. Seuss?

    Stink. Stank. Stunk! But would you touch them with a seven-and-a-half foot pole?

    I don’t get it. Everyone says we have incredible D prospects but you say we suck… that was just 1 game though… and also you gotta think we’ve picked the tree a bit dry this year, the team needs time for people to step up.

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

  372. Chuck says:

    Gleed also didn’t make the clear-day roster, which means that he’s not elegible to play in the AHL playoffs unless three Dogs are either called-up, injured, or suspended.

    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________
    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  373. RS says:

    I think Gleed has only got back into the line-up since Valentenko got hurt. I’m pretty sure Gleed has spent time with the Cyclones in the ECHL this year.

    Carle and Valentenko are the main (or only) prospects on D. Degon seems like a good AHL defenceman but undersized for the NHL. Poor Cote was close to making it a couple years ago, but his opportunity passed.

  374. RS says:

    We do have good D prospects in the NCAA, the OHL and in Russia. Only a couple in Hamilton. That all adds up to quite few good prospects.

  375. N.B.habs fan says:

    hey buddy ,why dont you put your old dog face on so when you speak most people will listen to you ,you havent been on her much and I dont know why,you are the one that gave me and Iann cofidence to come on here to speek so please show up more often.We need more people like you buddy.When I see you on here I tell my wife that my buddy is on so please as friend dont be so long to show your self.AFA.PAUL

  376. The Teacher says:

    Thank GOD!!

    “Are the Habs ready to pay the Price?”

  377. The Teacher says:

    Hahahaha

    no Timo, I was just giving my opinion on what the chances for our AHL prospects are.

    It looks like most of them are of the career-AHLer at the moment. Makes sense when you look at all the callups the Habs made this and last year.

    Interesting that Grabovski wasn’t on the bulldogs playoff roster. Gainey and Carbo must be keeping him up for the rest of the year then. I credit that to his newfound ability to stay on his feet at the NHL level.

    “Are the Habs ready to pay the Price?”

  378. Shiloh says:

    If what you say about Martin Biron is true then we gotta bring him up and let Gui whiz by him every day in practice. Think of the positive effect it would have! (Alert – an attempt at humour – not a slam – Alert)

  379. The Teacher says:

    Valentenko did not play. Carle is the only one who i think has a shot, with Degon a very outside shot due to his size.

    I wouldn’t touch Biron with a 7 1/2 foot pole, him or john gleed. Granted, it was only one game, but Biron is the proptotypical big D who can’t skate. I’ll pass thank you very much ;).

    Most of our other D prospects are not in Hamilton but rather in College, the juniors or overseas. The ones in Hamilton have already been picked you are right.

    “Are the Habs ready to pay the Price?”

  380. The Teacher says:

    LMAO!!

    GREAT IDEA!!!

    “Are the Habs ready to pay the Price?”

  381. Shiloh says:

    Some of the deals can be structured to put more money in the years where we have cap space as well. Some of the contracts last year paid a big chunk of the money near the front creating room after a year or two. Also, the cap should go up again – I think it’s risen from 39 million to 51 million since the lockout.

  382. The Teacher says:

    Hey Paul

    Are you talking to me with your last message or to the Smart Dog?

    “Are the Habs ready to pay the Price?”

  383. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    well, I’ll consider your warning…but I don’t mean any offense by calling them Russian!
    ———
    1. Feb 19, 2008 – History was made.
    1. ONLY BELIVEAU CAN CONVINCE LECAVALIER…
    2. Thank GOD we have Alex Kovalev…..at his PRIME
    3. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans
    4. We will win the CUP

  384. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    brother no offence intended at all to our 1st nations, quite the contrary.

    that said it is a sticky subject these days…and can be interpreted out of context if brought up!…so BACK TO HOCKEY!

    and YES..very intentional…2 #1 points, for now….
    ———
    1. Feb 19, 2008 – History was made.
    1. ONLY BELIVEAU CAN CONVINCE LECAVALIER…
    2. Thank GOD we have Alex Kovalev…..at his PRIME
    3. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans
    4. We will win the CUP

  385. The Teacher says:

    I’m not too sure how it works, but it’s the AVERAGE of the deal that fits under the cap.

    From what I understand, it doesn’t matter if you sign a two year deal for 15 million, with 10 paid in the first year and 5 paid in the second. The cap hit for both years is 7.5 million if I’m not mistaken.

    “Are the Habs ready to pay the Price?”

  386. The Teacher says:

    Shots don’t tell the whole story

    “Are the Habs ready to pay the Price?”

  387. The Teacher says:

    Well. We have 81 points with 16 games left.

    We can all pretty much agree that 95 points will be enough to make the playoffs? Buffalo has 71 points needing 24 (12 wins in their last 16 games) to reach 95 points. They would be running at a .750 clip if they did so.

    Three Eastern Conference teams made it with less than 95 points last year, so 95 points is a good bet.

    With 16 games left and 14 points (7 wins) to obtain, We would have to run at a .4375 clip at absolute worst and still qualify.

    I must say….it looks good.

    “Are the Habs ready to pay the Price?”

  388. PGHABS says:

    Yikes, is Komisarek really going to be an UFA after next season?
    Bob Goodenow and Gary Bettman were both idiots. Salaries are as high or higher before the lockout, players are leaving at younger ages, offers are being made to RFA’s encouraging increasing salaries…and all it cost you and I, the average/fanatical fan, was ONE season of hockey.
    To quote Goodenow, “There will not be a salary cap.”
    To quote Bettman, “There needs to be fixed cap on salaries, the system is broken…”
    There is a salary cap, and many teams would LOVE to break-even. Good work Bob. Good work Gary.

  389. PGHABS says:

    sorry about that, i just finished reading Money Players(revised version) and it’s frustrating seeing a status quo before and after the lockout.

    on another note, an outstanding weekend! so proud of our boys for beating the ever-so-lame NJ Devils at their own game. It’d nice to look down at the rest of the east!

    GO HABS

  390. Vid says:

    I never paid that much attention to Don Cherry though I never felt he was unjustified in his opinions until I heard him talk about Sundin.

    Basically he said that Sundin by not going to a playoff contending team this year has extended his playing career by years. So basically it’s preferable for him at his age (38) to be on a nonplayoff losing team and never have a chance to win the Stanley cup so he can play a few more years. A very odd justification. Then there was mention that Sundin might not even play next season if Toronto doesn’t want him.

    I don’t think any of the commentators currently working in hockey night in Canada has anything very intelligent to say these days except Kelly Hrudey. They should dump all their salaries and get some new commentators.

  391. wild flower says:

    Latendresse played a pretty good game. I thought he used his size well which was important tonight.

  392. Komi8 says:

    I thought both goalies were fantastic tonight. What a game!!

    First place in the conference as of March 1st – I think most of the so-called experts had our Habs pegged for anywhere from 8th to 12th.

    We have a tough Western road trip coming up – good luck Boys.

  393. doug says:

    Agree – perhaps his best game of the season.

  394. RS says:

    Agreed, Gui played an effective grinding game. He’s hard to knock off the puck.

  395. Shiloh says:

    Used his size for what? He rarely touched the puck and when he did he lost it in a second or so. He won zero battles along the boards.

  396. hhl says:

    sorry, i meant the have not lives.

  397. hhl says:

    is bedroom hockey on that list?

  398. Robert L says:

    Right after tonsil hockey!

  399. Rocket1960 says:

    I LOVE THIS TEAM!!!

    We have not had this level of excitement in 15 years.

    We need to enjoy it while it lasts. Savor every moment.

    Rocket1960

  400. Rocket Richard says:

    After seeing this game tonight and having seen what happened this week, Mr Carey Price has not only talent, but a true hockey gift. At 20 years old, this young man, if he continues to work hard will break some serious hockey records.

    with the trade of Huet, I believe Price has turned up his game up to the next level now that he is the number 1 goalie and doesn’t have to look over his shoulder.

    I wonder how many people at the start of the year would of even thought that the Habs will be in first in their conference even for a day or two?

    Bob Gainey looks like a genius these days.

    I applaud the Habs for their hard disciplinary work efforts.

    Can I smell a Stanley Cup in Montreal? Too early to predict, but it looks good so far.

    Maurice Richard.

  401. Robert L says:

    Yeah, this will be my 19th time, Ottawa in October being the most recent. That night we got apair of Arcade Fire performances thrown in at the expense of “Kitty’s Back”!

  402. ClaytonM says:

    If we’re lucky they’ll rest Koivu and Kovalev at one point before the playoffs. Grabovski can step into either line and we wouldn’t lose too much depth. The only catch is it has to be after we’ve cliched a spot and it has to be against a weaker team.

    Who said the laffs were totally useless?

  403. GoalieT says:

    This may be of interest to those who haven’t had the chance to see this. I posted a comment about Kovalev and how we were roasting him last year. Here’s a little insight to his evolution.

    http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=354733

    Ultimate Die-Hard Since 1986.

    T.

  404. wd40 says:

    yeah saw that, good article. here’s another indication of his evolution this year:

    The duo of Kovalev and Plekanec lead the team in TOI during short-handed situations. They have allowed 4 SH goals, and average 3.8 goals per 60 minutes short-handed.

    http://www.cs.unb.ca/%7Emwf/habs/sh.html

    Crazy.

  405. 9410 says:

    Teamwork, thats what its all about.
    The scariest thing about this young group is simply that they are young, even if the team goes deep in the playoffs and comes up short for a run at the Cup, the experience will be invaluable. This team has elements which have a lot of big game experience, Price, Kovy, Koivu and some with a little less Komo, Grab n’ Both Tits, Lapierre, O’Byrne and Streit who has captained the Swiss National team for a few years now. Ryder and Plecks were part of a ‘Dogs team that made it to the Calder Cup but came up short and I know Dandenault and Breezer also have Cups, but neither seems interested in making the effort so I don’t feel the need to include them.

    This experince will serve them very well in the playoffs as they have more familiarity with the win or go home aspect of it all. However, very few of them on this team have legit NHL Playoff experience, So it remains to be seen what they will be able to bring to the table.

    The pluses going forward at this time are simple, Chemistry and Heart. The chemistry has been growing more and more visible, as the D-pairings seem very comfortable with each other, and the top six roll more and more as units, then I have ever seen in Montreal (I’ve only been a Habs-junkie since 2002). The heart is evident, as we’ve seen a team that does not give up, they don’t mail it in, and they don’t like to be pushed around.

    The only real cautionary point is; drum roll please, Goal tending. Price and Halak are both good, but its great goal tending that wins it. I think they will be up to the task as both of them seem very hard to rattle and don’t buckle when its tough.

    I think home-ice advantage is a likely result for us, but the fact remains that this is a unit that will not give up on each other, will fight for one another and who shows all sings of wanting to win. With a plethora of experience behind the bench, a good leadership group and a hungry team, the stage is set for a deep playoff run, personally feel that anything short of the Conference championships would disappoint me.

    the reason for such optimism is simple; while there have been rough patches for this team, they’ve been worked out as a unit, there have been no major causes for concern, even our woes in the face off circles have been slightly improved, albeit at a glacial pace. While being considered a small and soft team, they have been able to stand up to a lot of teams with a tougher rep, and have been able to dominate in that aspect of the game against teams without any muscle. The idea of team-toughness is just a smaller component of what makes this year so damn uplifting; its the first year in close 15 that were watching a hockey team, and not a collection of hockey players with supposedly seemingly goal.
    Now that my diatribe is over, if you don’t mind I’ve got some gold to find at the bottom of whiskey bottle, yep I’m still celebrating
    #1 IN THE EAST BABY.

    P.S I’ve been meaning to comment on this for a bit, but have not been able to find an appropriate venue so Ill tag it in hear. Have you noticed how many late draft picks (anything after 5th round, though we have a good number of third rounders as well.) we have on this team, and not fringe players, but some serious components. Markov 162nd in 98, Ryder 216th in 98, Halak 271st in 2003, Streit 262nd in 2004 and Lil Sergei 200th in 2005.
    Not to mention some of the promising younger players such as D’Agostini and Valentenko all fit in this bill as well.
    Also, though we did the work, the Habs draft class of 1998 is great, but the wealth is shared, Markov and Ryder are here but Ribs and Beachemin are elsewhere. Guess Houle was not all that bad (I hate myself for saying that)

  406. wd40 says:

    good post,9410.

    re: draft picks. true, we’ve got some pretty decent *late* picks, and folks were quick to poo-poo the 2nd round pick for Huet. i know people were all over the fact that it turned out to be an Anaheim 2nd round, and not a Washington, however i’ve got confidence that our Scouting has a good chance of finding the oft-overlooked, diamond in the rough.

  407. nightmare_49 says:

    a very nice read with many good points and enjoy your whiskey but you better stock up as this team may have a few more tricks up their sleeve.

  408. N.B.habs fan says:

    good t6o have faith in what you belive but you are too long winded

  409. nightmare_49 says:

    I agree.

  410. rich_m_lewis says:

    Exciting times, these days. So exciting, in fact, that I had to express myself with a blog about the habs. Feel free to check it out and comment.

    http://richlewisblog1.blogspot.com/

    Its my first blog, so take it easy boys.

  411. the real vinnydj says:

    I enjoyed that, Good stuff!!

  412. Shobud says:

    Very nice and very true. I am one happy fan right now and I think we might surprise a lot of people before its over

  413. HABSMANIA says:

    Here is a cool video from last night in Buffalo
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZwyXyHdh_c

  414. Bill H says:

    My god! That was in Buffalo? Looked like St. Catherines St after a Hab win in the final. LOL

  415. gauvinator says:

    I’m torn here: as a Habs fan who has seen games in 4 away arenas, it’s awesome to see (and hear) the support for the visiting team.
    But at what point does the fan support become embarassing and arrogant? Maybe it’s just my personality but when I go, I’ll wear my Koivu jersey, I’ll applaud when they hit the ice and I’ll cheer when they score….but to “Ole Ole” during the game (which burned us one game in Ottawa this year…you saw it coming as soon as ‘they’ started to chant), i don’t know.
    Hey, maybe I’ve just never done the bus/train trip and, fueled with alcohol and numbers, I’d be the same way!

  416. N.B.habs fan says:

    theflour ,sorry you are to long winded for me ,please if you want to be herd say it in capts or in short sentences please .

  417. theflower says:

    sorry NB, but I was asked to put this information down in detail. So that a layman could understand it. So I did. Enough said.

  418. 9410 says:

    I agree, looking at some of the 2nd round picks we have had in the past, there is a wealth of potential; Subban, Maxwell, and Latendresse to name a few.
    I don’t think its a bad move, especially given that the market for a goaltender was so bare, Bryzgalov, who in my opinion is a little better than Huet, had to be waived because nothing was offered.

  419. 9410 says:

    I see it as a win for me on both fronts, whiskey and hockey.

  420. MNaslund26 says:

    so…. who do we want to win between the pens and sens? anyone? just hoping its not a 3 pointer…

  421. rich_m_lewis says:

    go Pens! 2nd in the east and a 1st round matchup against Buffalo or Boston looks a helluva lot better than 4th/5th and a 1st round (death)matchup against Pittsburgh or Jersey.

  422. KerryPrice says:

    yeah thank s, i finally got RDS at my girlfriend s house but still like to watch an english game in the comfort of my own home without her around . It kills me that the leafs get so much exposure out here , and your right , now that they think they are a playoff team there is no chance in hell im watchin in english today.

  423. Blitzen says:

    2-0 Habs tonight in a snoozefest. Goals by Grabs and Higgins.
    _____________________________________________________
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  424. Chuck says:

    There were thousands upon thousands of Hab fans in strong voice last night in Buffalo (as there alway is, actually). Fantastic atmosphere!

    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________
    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  425. dicktracy says:

    for the stats lovers….

    compare wins losses habs vs sens. i counted ot losses in the lost column and ot wins as a win

    sens: oct. 9 wins 1 loss
    nov. 7 wins 7 loss
    dec. 9 wins 5 loss
    jan 7 wins 7 loss
    feb. 4 wins 9 loss

    habs: oct. 6 wins 5 loss
    nov. 7 wins 7 loss
    dec. 6 win 8 loss
    jan. 8 wins 4 loss
    feb. 8 wins 6 loss

    if you take away october

    ottawa 27 wins 28 loss
    Canadiens 29 wins 25 loss

  426. Bill H says:

    Hey, check this out. This guy has been flying under my radar and I can’t figure out what’s up. Habs prospect J.T. Wyman. Plays for Dartmouth in the NCAA Division I. He is way down the list on our depth chart, and Hockeyfutures website ranks him at 5.0C http://www.hockeysfuture.com/prospects/j.t._wyman

    He plays RW, is 6’2, 212lbs and just turned 22. Drafted 4th round (100th overall) in 2004.
    Talent Analysis on J.T.

    “Wyman has the ability to single handedly change the game in one shift. He is very explosive and is a pure goal scorer. He has a tremendous first three strides, has nice hands, and a quick release. He will have to develop his play in the last 100 feet to make himself a more complete player.”

    Season GP G A Pts PIM
    2004-05 33 5 6 11 4
    2005-06 28 8 12 20 6
    2006-07 33 13 11 24 20

    However, this season he is GP 25 G15 A13 Pts28

    Compare to Pacioretty, who is also NCAA and is ranked as one of our top prospects. Pacioretty is GP30 G13 A18 Pts31.

    I can’t figure out why J.T. is ranked so low at 5.0C. Maybe the ranking is outdated and he is a late bloomer, as he is having a great season this year, near the top of NCAA Division I scoring. He should be a great addition to Hamilton next year.

  427. Blitzen says:

    Power forwards are often late bloomers. So who knows?
    _____________________________________________________
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  428. Chuck says:

    Embarassing and arrogant? Have you ever seen how Sabre fans act after a win in their own building? At least the Hab fans weren’t wishing ill on the other teams’ players and fans, or stealing a Hab flag from a kid and trampling on it.

    Half the fun of singing and chanting during the game is to let our boys know that we’re behind them all the way, even in the other guys’ building. If you ask they guys on the team, I’m sure that they appreciate the support.

    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________
    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  429. forumghost says:

    Stuck in Toronto; anybody know if there are pubs/bars that cater specifically to Habs fans?

  430. Bill H says:

    Kilgours Bar Meets Grill Bloor St West in the Annex. Just east of Bathurst on the south side. They usually have Habs on RDS.

  431. the real vinnydj says:

    Some late bloomers are even given a regular roster spot (Lats)

  432. doug says:

    It’s surreal to look at the standings and see that we’re the second highest scoring team in the league. Has this happened since the 1970s/early 80s?

  433. Higgins21 says:

    The demon will be exorcised.

  434. Xtrahabsfan says:

    Didn’t we beat do’s bums da last time?Carbo,just wisper some sturr da pot stuff in Lat’s ear and we will beat them badly.BRING THE BUMS FROM JERSEY ON!!!!

  435. Habs-Kat says:

    The Atlantic Division is never easy, but if we get over that Atlantic bug – then I think the idea of the Canadiens going all the way to the Cup Finals isn’t out of the question.

    Go Habs Go, get Globe Trotter on Marty F.’s ass!
    If we can make a Devils game exciting to watch, then anything’s possible.

  436. hhl says:

    as to our beloved back up, well,,,iwould strongly reccommend that he abstain himself of ingesting any form of halaxitives for the next little while.

  437. dicktracy says:

    Otis Clay..70 years old and he is just kikin ass….a real star. gave everything again i have beeen going to his shows since 1980. so here we go. yes we are first in the east and yes we are first i the conferance and yes we should enjoy…and yes we have….sorry i forgot….what was i trying to say again..


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