Game 8: Kostitsyn gives Habs win over Coyotes

Coyotes’ Vernon Fiddler (38) grabs Canadiens captain Brian Gionta as Gionta tries to carry the puck past Coyotes’ Sami Lepisto during the first period Monday night. John Mahoney, The Gazette

Preview | Matchups | Monday’s NHL schedule | Boone’s Game Blog and About last night … | Stubbs on Twitter | Hickey’s game story

AUDIO: Lars Eller | Mike Cammalleri I and II | Jacques Martin | Alexandre Picard

• At a Glance: Andrei Kostistyn scored his third goal in his last two games, this one an overtime winner as the Canadiens defeated the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 on Monday night.
After a goalless first period, there were three goals in the second period as the Canadiens took a 2-1 lead.
Kyle Turris opened the scoring 2:49 into the second period, beating Carey Price with a shot from the slot.
But the Canadiens came back less than five minutes later when Tomas Plekanec beat Ilya Bryzgalov after Andrei Kostitsyn hit the post.
Michael Cammalleri make it 2-1 Montreal 9:23 into the period when he beat Bryzgalov to the top shelf with a wicked wrist shot during a power play.
It was only Montreal’s second power-play goal of the season.
The Coyotes tied things up with a power-play goal of their own early in the third period, with Derek Morris scoring from the point after only 1:01 of action.
Price ended the game with 27 saves, while Bryzgalov stopped 26 shots.

• Key Moments: Despite the power-play goal, the Canadiens went 1-for-5 with the man advantage, including a few two-man advantages that came up empty.

• What It Means: Montreal improves to 5-2-1 after eight games and has won four of their last five games.

• What’s Next: The Canadiens play three more games this week, starting on Wednesday when the Islanders are in town, with a rematch set for Friday in Long Island. The Panthers visit the Bell Centre on Saturday night, a game which could mark the return of defenceman Andrei Markov.

 

387 Comments

  1. pic1983 says:

    I cringed when i saw spacek and hammer on the PP in the first period…

  2. Habfan29 says:

    I was very impressed with his play yesterday and hooray to CBC for showing AHL games on Sunday afternoon…

  3. SLONCOLD says:

    yup pretty much agree with everything here. Alhough eller only play 8 minutes on saturday. would be great to see eller, lapz and call up max pac to run a 3rd offensive line with some grit in it. just a thought.

  4. petefleet says:

    Did Pleks have the “A” on SAturday?

  5. Habfan29 says:

    watched the bulldogs on CBC yesterday and 2 players really stood out, Puluja (SP) and defenceman Brendan NASH. Nash was all over the ice and scored a nice goal, he is alos big and mobile and not afraid to mix it up. Puluja really fast and good around the net… These 2 are going to be great for the habs I think Nash will be the better of the 2 and could be in Montreal next year.

  6. icemachine says:

    So which start does Auld get? My vote is for Wednesday Night or else Friday (more likely). Not that Carey needs the rest now, but the team needs to know that they have to win the games no matter who is in net. Auld needs some action too, or else he won’t get us any points this season.

    ______________________

    Its time to switch to whiskey, we’ve been drinkin’ beer all night

  7. Mattyleg says:

    Hammer has been fine. He’s had a rough start, but he didn’t have any pre-season to prepare with.

    You may remember how well he played when Markov was injured for the first half of the year last season.

    …then again, you may not.

    People have poor memories.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  8. HardHabits says:

    Beware, the following text is rife with metaphor:

    What ever Gainey did I think it would be out of character to say that he acted out of panic. I don’t even think he’s capable of a knee-jerk reaction. Gainey is like a Stoic wearing a Mr. Pokerface mask. Gainey had cards, he played them. I don’t think it was a case of 52 card shuffle either. The what ifs are merely speculation. The team needed a heart transplant because prior to that operation the team was marching to the beat of more than one drummer. Now the thump-thump-thumpings are in unison.

     

  9. emann_222 says:

    Hahaha – Yeah sorry guys – I just finished writing the BBR post on the upcoming week – I was still in overall week mode! My bad … I should have been more pointed in my post to say that I was talking on the whole week. Having a Homer Simpson kinda day!

    Visit me at http://www.bleedbleublancrouge.blogspot.com

  10. TomNickle says:

    Yeah, I laughed and rewound it and replayed it a couple times to be sure.

    I wouldn’t read too much into it but it would stand to reason that a coach aspiring to get to the NHL could ignore some players weaknesses in favour of bringing out their strengths for a winning cause.

    Doesn’t make Boucher a bad guy, hell, I like out for number one.

  11. MathMan says:

    1. He’s the #8 D-man on the depth chart. Doubt you could get anything in a trade for him. Keep him for depth.

    2. All he needs is for pucks to start going in. He’s generating 4 shots a game but shooting 3.6%, instead of his usual 11+% average. Typical scorer’s run of bad luck, except it’s especially visible at the start of the season. He just needs to keep at it and it’ll fix itself.

    3. All he needs is for Gionta’s shots to start going in — see #2. A real top-6 player to slot as his LW wouldn’t hurt, but that was the glaring hole the roster had this off-season and Gauthier was unable or unwilling to address it. Now the Habs are stuck until Eller develops into that guy (which may be the plan).

    Basically, Gio and Gomer’s on-ice shooting percentage is well below average, and this is a matter of luck — not effort, skill, style or what-have-you.

    4. He’s very young. He’s a 21-year old rookie. Just give him time it’s a tall step to the NHL, and he’s pretty much holding his own. Come January or so, we could have something good on our hands. He’s not doing or getting anything Plekanec didn’t do or get as a rookie. He’s a lot more comfortable at center, too.

    5. Montreal has five top-6 forwards, and do not have a #6. Again, this was the big roster hole in the off-season and it wasn’t addressed. I don’t think Pouliot can quite be that guy, so the Habs are sort-of stuck with it until Eller improves enough to slot there (which I think he will… but it may not be this year).

  12. bertuzzisucks says:

    Would you guys do a Kovalev for Hamrlik deal right now?

    Our 2nd line would then be complete. And Hammer has played like crap the last 365 days anyway

     

     

    Are you going to bark all day little doggy?
    Or are you going to bite?

  13. krob1000 says:

    point was that we are playing Phoenix and Brygalov and not Floirda and Vokoun…was just kidding.

  14. bwoar says:

    Wow, really?

    That would completely go against the narrative of Boucher as a sports psychologist / player specialst.  Don’t tell the Smarty dog, he might poop his brains out.

  15. MathMan says:

    Vokoun may well be the best and most consistent goalie in the NHL…

  16. krob1000 says:

    Vokoun sucks…but Bryzgalov…..he worries me

  17. dhenry1234 says:

    For some reason I’m really excited for this game so I’m going to predict some craziness. Habs win 7-2 and just dominate every aspect of the game.

     

     

    GO HABS GO!

  18. emann_222 says:

    Well tonight will definitely be a bigger test for us than a lot of people think. Concerned about our lack of offense up against decent D men and a tender like Vokoun. My hopes are still with the Habs, but it won’t be an easy night.

    For more thoughts and discussion on this and more. please visit me at http://www.bleedbleublancrouge.blogspot.com

  19. 24 Cups says:

    Joey – two very quick points.  I have always stated that the Habs don’t have a true #1 centre, they basically have two  1A guys.  The focus on a player’s point totals can also work the other way around – just because you lead a team doesn’t mean you are stellar.

    Secondly, in terms of the playoffs, I don’t think you can single out any one player by saying we wouldn’t have gone ‘anywhere’.  There were quite a few guys who could fit that bill such as Halak, Cammy and Gill.  Guys who really stepped it up and came through when it counted the most.  We did well last year because quite a few stars aligned (no pun intended) and the top seeded teams underestimated us.

  20. krob1000 says:

    I am not really sure what was going on with Bob for that few days…weird, weird stuff.  The no Gionta stuff is funny given the whole man love for Gomer that Cammi and Gio have…but no it was all part of a master plan?  I left out several other messes like the Vinny fiasco, Mobstergate, the Centennial hoopla, the alls tar game, etc….Dandenault….it was really, really a sideshow…..BUT…there were enough core parts and cap space to keep the ball rolling.  When you look at everything together…nothing makes sense….Gomez bourght in but Kovy gets offer, Koivu doesn’t sign for weeks …. Komi a Leaf, Spacek….it was a weird, weird series of events and to me it probably as you put it was a panic of sorts.  maybe Gomez as there to support Koivu and Pleks was to be no 3, maybe  Koivu waiteed to see what would happen, maybe the Habs planned on doing that but then fuond themselvers with Gio and Cammi too and knew Moore would be available later, Max was coming into his own….maybe the decision to “go in a new direction” jsut meant one of Kovy and/or Komi and they didn;t know which…maybe once they realized they could land all three of Cammi, Gio and Gomez it allw ent out the window….no matter how you look at it in retrospect and at the time I still can;t find a way of justifying the Gomez deal. 

    maybe Koivu played hardball and wanted to see what Gainey could get in order to decide…maybe Gainey after years of frustration on the open market had no confidence in being able to land teh players he did….so maybe he then went and got Gomez….at the time they had huuge questions about Pleks…and if Koivu was fed up (as he should have been in hnidsight) ….maybe Gainey just panicked and hit the red button in a moment of weakness and voila…Gomezgate! Who knows…it was all so weird.

  21. habstrinifan says:

    You are one hundred percent right! Especially the passing issue. I wont degrade Gomez to the extent of saying that he pases at the back of people’s ankles but I will ask anyone to watch his passes and see how many are what my brazilian coaches(yes it was soccer but there are huge comparisons) used to call the “trigger pass”. Meaning the pass must be angled and located and weighted so that the ‘shooter’ pulls the trigger. Gomez passes are more like cycle passes or pass like shots into the crease.

    Now this may not be all Gomez’s fault because you need your linemates to ‘skate into position’ to pull the trigger. 
    And you need a coach who allows his top scoring lines to practise ‘combination puck movement’ plays with one object in mind.. get a quality scoring chance at the goalie. Note this does open up the game and that team mst respond with full involvement going the other way.  And of course you need the coaching staff to identify the proper linemates. All elements that this team has not accomplished in the last 2 years. I dont think JM works on this pure offensive skillset. He concentrates on battles at the net.

    There may be hope this year as I think, despite JM, the talent has been employing a more imaginative, aggressive  offensive skill set on several occasions. Especially the game when we were down 3 to 1 against Ottawa and came back to win. I knew the ashen face exhibited by JM after Ottawa scored their 3rd goal meant he was scared *&&^& that this was gonna be a loss at a most inopportune time. And he allowed the team to ‘skate’… including using Subban more .

    If you see Gomez’s line get an increase in ‘clean look’ scoring chances from the ‘scoring arch’ just beyond the crease then you would see Gomez being used at his best. If you see a preponderance of pucks being fired into a scrum at the net from 25 to 30 feet out or pushed throught the crease near the end of a cycle then the problem will continue.

    Right now Gomez is used and plays more for puck possession that true offensive prowess.

    Like a Riseorough/Tremblay set compared to a Lafleur/Lemaire/Shutt set.

    Offense takes imagination… individually and collectively. 

  22. TomNickle says:

    I will however always be of the opinion that both had to go considering the divide and that Max F. Lapierre had to stand up and question everybody in the dressing room in a playoff series as a player in his early twenties.

    That’s not good.

  23. habitual says:

    Well Stubbsie, that bar bet quiz has just risen to three … remember?

  24. 24 Cups says:

    Eric – I’m not sure where all this Pleks and Koivu stuff came from, it certainly wasn’t from me.  If you re-read my post I think you’ll see that I stated I have made my peace with the Gomez move (I would have looked for some goal scoring and size when it came to spending 7.3M long term on a centre.  However, that is probably easier said than done.  Not to mention that MN49 would be all over me:-)  The cost can never be justified but as some others have pointed out, which team doesn’t have some overpaid guys on their roster?

    In a perfect world, Leblanc will develop into a solid 2nd line centre and will be able to handle that role in another four years when Gomez’s contract is up.  Until then, the Gomez doubters will have to accept what he brings to the team.  Which is fine, just as long as the Gomez supporters don’t make him out to be more than what he really is.

  25. j2w4habs25 says:

    does anyone know where i can get this game online? maybe a link from TSN or RDS

  26. TomNickle says:

    I think if Bob Gainey had one major fault as a GM it was that he was a little too player friendly.

    Now, Carbo clearly had issues, not unexpected for a young coach.  Ask Dave Lewis what it’s like going from the guy giving hugs to the guy who has to be the hard ass.

    Anyway, back to my point.  I think Bob put too much faith in the concept that a coach can get a lot out of different players, and that Bob could himself.  

    And as much as it breaks my heart to say it.  It seems that Kovalev got more out himself and guys like Pleks and Andrei than Koivu was able to.  

    I try to refrain from judging that situation because nobody other than Kovalev and Koivu know what the true root of the problem was.

  27. Chris Aung-Thwin says:

    Not sure if this has been mentionned yet but Scottie Upshall just tweeted some trash talk.

    From Twitter:

    Little pregame skate in Montreal. Love it here. Especially Lv winning
    here in front of 20,000 fans. “Ole, ole ole ole..” (quiet please)

    Anyone going to the game: let’s get some coordinated heckles going, alright?

    I’m for either Sno-ttieee or Up-Yours.

     

    Let’s get after it.


    The Other Wing

  28. HardHabits says:

    I meant Plex has become a leader on the team.

  29. TomNickle says:

    Like I said yesterday.  Don Meehan is his agent, he is a player, and not just the sandpaper kind.

    He probably has 25 goal, 60 point potential.

  30. 24 Cups says:

    Rob & Tom – “It all comes back to Kovalev”.   Here’s what I don’t understand. Gainey fired Carbo to only go behind the bench and realize just how big a mess it all was – even to the point where the team couldn’t turn it around with Bob behind the bench.  Knowing all that first hand, why would Gainey then go and offer Kovalev a new, two year contract?  If Kovy re-signs, there’s no Gionta and certainly no fresh start.   Then there’s Komisarek’s contract offer.  If he accepted, would there still be a Hal Gill?  It really has to make you wonder if Gainey was just lurching through a series of options instead of having a new, five year plan.

  31. krob1000 says:

    White did enough to make this team…unfortunately cap constraints hamper us…he makes 350 k more than Darche or Pyatt.  I look forward to having another stand up guy in the lineup when White does get the call…and he will.  By the way….have you noticed how much more aggressicve Moen has become on that toughness front….he is now looking for trouble….and has assumed a role that is out of his league but he is giving it everything he has anyway.  I am very, very happy with Whites emergence…that is a quality teammate, and he can skate, and can score half decently too for the role he has….

  32. HabFanSince72 says:

    Bryzgalov should have had a star.

     

  33. TomNickle says:

    It was desperation.  I’m very happy we have him instead of Vinny.

    In my opinion it is only a mistake if we could’ve had Brad Richards.

  34. krob1000 says:

    I am not saying I don’t understand where you are coming from I just disagree.  Pleks was coming of f a horrid season (statistically as I still thought he was  glue guy through that whole year and couldn;t catch a break).  They gave him another opportunity but they did not know what they were getting and they de3monstrated that contractually.  I am still incined to believe that gomez was Koivu’s prelacement and they would take a one year flyer on Pleks and see what he could do…he has since become our best all around player not named Markov IMO.  I shouldn;t stuck my nose in to this but I am just so sick of peopel jsutifying Gaineys move…it sucked…the recovery….quite admirable but the constant efforts to alter hsitory just kind of tick me off.  It is expected temas, players, gm’s people…make mistakes….that deal was one IMO.  Gainey also did some good things and to his credit and Gauhtiers as they are still a team IMO…they have done a great job at rebuilding on the fly while remaining competitive….it is an amazing job but that trade goes down as one of the worst off all time as a HAb fan.  It limits us going forard and makes the job tougher….and as long as they manage it …ok…but what really sucks is Gomez takes the brunt of it….all he did is take the money that was thrown at him by the Rangers…like so mnay before him…who would have known he’d get traded to a lace where the fans actually care about their hockey?

  35. LA Loyalist says:

    I don’t know about you guys and would appreciate your posts – I just never felt closure from the blow up.

    I would give a lot to just be told the truth.

    And many posters are right, it is totally against BG’s personality to panic. To me it implies (and I don’t know anything) that he didn’t panic but there was SOMETHING that we don’t know. There’s a piece of the puzzle missing.

    If there was conflict between Koivu and Kovalev (much rumored) then Kovy should have gone. Why both? 

    When Chelios left, well, that was horrible but understandable given the extra-mural events.

    Even the disaster of Roy being traded, at least we all saw what happened live on TV and worked through the stages of horror and grieving.

    As they used to say on the X-Files: the truth is out there somewhere.

     

  36. fbkj says:

    scott stevens was payed a lot of money

    he did not score goals

  37. habstrinifan says:

    You are RIGHT!

  38. TomNickle says:

    Subban Gill and Picard were defending their teammates against the Senators.

    We do need a player who will protect up front though.

    Ryan White is his name.

  39. samTHEman says:

    A win tonight and we’re tied for 1st in the East with Tampa, and tied for 2nd in the League, behind Nashville.

    All without Markov, and with the worst PP in the League, 1/24. Sick..

  40. Xtrahabsfan says:

    Going back to Gomez and the contract I don’t think it would bother me except the team is so unbalanced in  every department I don’t see a system being able to be used for any length of time without all kind of holes being exposed ….which I know will happen.

    The Habs still have size and protection issues(they won’t defend each other) and get cornerd easily and if you want to take a player like Gomez out of the game  just have one of your bigger Dman smash him up in the first against the boards and throw him around a little  and let him know  that’s what he’s going to get all game! Gomez knows he’s got no back-up so he’ll turtle the rest of the game.Like I said the teams not balanced and this is a long standing problem with the team that has not been addressed.I think the Habs need a couple of Neil type forwards to complement  the Habs  AND  a one Pronger type player to replace Spach or Hammer and put O’Bryne back in there. The Sens game let it be known that the team is still soft and though it hasn’t affected the team yet this year ,it will! We should be thanking Neil for once again pointing this out so early in the season so as too address the problem.

     There is  a lot of talent on the Habs  but  it’s a easy team to rattle  and throw of it’s game and it’s got a lot of players that are not mentally there just yet: Polio and the two guy’s in the press box could use more swagger,Price  can be shaken even if it hasn’t happened YET! And Markov is not  a cure to all that ails the team….My hope is that as the season continues ,that this year will be different and  changes will be made to finally address the hole’s that will appear just like the rest of the Teams in the league will do.

  41. TomNickle says:

    WOW.  I recorded the Bulldogs game yesterday and am just watching it now.

    Jeff Marek asked David Desharnais what the difference is between Boucher and Cunneyworth.

    Desharnais’ reply was that one coach was just trying to make his way to the NHL and Cunneyworth is a coach who is there for his players.

    What a reply.

  42. Mark C says:

    With all respect, you have to do ALL the math, not just some of the math.

    For the life of me I cannot understand why people keep talking about Gomez’ lack of goal scoring. It is not part of his game. Been in the league for ten seasons, only scored more than 20 goals once. Pointing out Gomez’ goal totals is akin to stating that Markov doesn’t block enough shots, goal scoring just isn’t part of Gomez’ game. Plus/minus is generally a useless stat, know who else was minus 6 in the playoffs? Brian Gionta, who was Gomez’ only consistent line mate during the playoffs.

    Gomez led the team in assists by 3 and was third in team scoring during the playoffs.

    Gomez is clearly overpaid by $2M to $3M, but that isn’t as big of a deal as some posters like to point out. Last time I looked pretty much every single team is spending at least $3M in cap space on “dead money,” at least Gomez is still a legitimate 2nd line center.

      

  43. LA Loyalist says:

    As upset as I was over Koivu, I didn’t see it as an either/or with Gomez. I don’t even blame Gomez – I blame Gainey for panicking and hamstringing us for years instead of having the cojones (as they say down here) to say “You know what, it’s not working, I’m blowing it up for draft picks and there is going to be pain.”

    We trusted Gainey and I think we would have worked through it. Instead we have a structurally mixed up team that can’t be fixed because of cap issues. Halak actually hurt us by playing so well that the holes in this team didn’t show until the Philly series.

    I hope one day Gainey writes his memoirs and tells us what happened. Maybe he had no choice, but we never got an explanation. We’re just the poor slobs that pay the bills.

    As for Koivu, he gave everything, he lead by example, he was not on the best teams, and he was probably relieved to move on.

    He is the chosen role model for my son, I can think of no higher praise I can give him than that.

    Happily, we got to meet him a few weeks ago and he seems at peace and happy not to carry the team on his back. He gets to play with Selanne. I thanked him for what he did in Montreal, and I am at peace.

    with Gauthier and Gainey — not so much…

  44. TomNickle says:

    Who was given Koivu’s role as lead penalty killer and given our best scorers?

    Plekanec.

    Why let Koivu go?  You let him go if you believe you have an adequate replacement in the system.  They thought they had it with Plekanec.

    Gomez was a desperate addition.  Bob Gainey surely thought that a reunion between he and Gionta would produce a #1 line.

    Koivu has always been a #2 centre, and that’s what Plekanec was thought to be.  They thought Gomez would be a #1 centre, but he isn’t either.  That help?

  45. habaholic68NJ says:

    You forgot one thing.  Gomer is the most entertaining color man in the history of CJAD broadcasts of habs games.

  46. TomNickle says:

    I don’t disagree one bit on anything you said.  It all comes back to Kovalev.  He caused the divide in the room and Sheldon Souray all but said so two years prior to that.

    It still doesn’t change that a new group of faces was needed……a fresh start.

    But Max Lapierre having to question the veterans and the kids on the team is outrageous.  Perhaps Kovalev tried to become a leader in the room because Koivu had given up?  I don’t know.  I know it’s over, and I know that I don’t mind having Gomez on this team regardless of the price tag.  Like I’ve said before, show me a team that doesn’t have a grossly overpaid player.  Hell, show me a team that doesn’t have 3 or 4 grossly overpaid players.

    I remember being absolutely disgusted at the effort this team showed from Philadelphia in the Conference Semi-Finals through last September.

    We haven’t had a team that’s worked this hard collectively in a long time.  Whether or not Koivu would have fit in is a question that nobody can answer, including him.

  47. krob1000 says:

    So let me get this straight….Pleks is replacing Koivu but Gomez is replacing Pleks but not really?  Gomez is here…as our other top six center….Koivu is not…Pleks still is…I can’t go along with that line of thinking. 

     


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