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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

      

  4. 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?

  5. habaholic68NJ says:

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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. 

     

  8. joeybarrie says:

    So by ALL the math do you mean Pouliot did better than Cammalleri and Gionta because his +/- is better? Cammalleri was a MINUS 6 too. Gorges and Pleks -4. So basically AGAIN Maxime Lapierre was our best playoff performer last season because he has 55% in face offs and was only a -2. Sergei Kostitsyn was a ZERO so he outperformed Pleks and O’Byrne and Subban were our Best D players… EQUALLY

    Yes it would be awesome to have the extra 2.5 million in Cap Space if his contract was IDEAL. But its not. To be honest neither is Hamr’s. But where would we be last season without him? In the reg season he was our best D.

    We really only have 1 player performing under his contract. Its Gomez. But its still pretty good all around. You can’t simply pick his contract and erase it. You can’t simply pick a player you want, and get him. It doesn’t work that way… Look at Hossa. We would have a GREAT star right now. But we wouldnt have Gorges and a few others…

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  9. krob1000 says:

    They were assets….at the time Mcdonaugh was still a blue chipper…still may be…he is a dman who also slowed his progress by playing college hockey……we should have gotten the prospects for taking on the salary at least.  HIggins? never expected this from him…I really think that trade hurt him…..he wanted to be a Hab….he just didn’t want to be  a pro in Montreal and that is unfortunate……

    I think Kovalev is the wedge that forced Koivu out of town and that to me is just heartbreaking….Koivu would fit perfectly right now and would have last year…..heck if it is a leadership thing…switch up the captaincy….but it wasn;t it was more than that…it was a PR move IMO.  Koivu has already been given a letter in Anaheim…the guy is a leader…he was just trying to lead a bunch of uninterested misifts and guys whose minds were elsewhere ….Sergei,Andrei, the goalie divide, the kovy/koivu divide, the GM and Kovy have hand in hand walks, Komi, Higgins and the party crew, an uninterested Lats, the Ryder situation (who was Koivus most productive winger his entire time here pretty well, the Carbo thing, BGl? the list oges on and on…it was a sideshow and we didn;t know it.  …..sounds like something that was pretty well unrepairable no matter who has a C on their chest in retrospect.  Koivu took the fall…..but there was obviously a lot going on in that room…and Koivu or no mortal could have fixed all of that..

  10. TomNickle says:

    Your opinion on this matter is not even close to objective.

    Koivu brought a lot, that doesn’t mean Gomez brings less.

  11. twocents says:

    Rob, I am not bringing up the Pleks comparisons. SmartDog did and he is not alone in that. The tradition of shitting on one player to prop up another is alive and well at HI/O and it sucks, especially when it’s not realistic with regard to actual results.

    I have to run in 10 minutes so I may not respond beyond this.

  12. LA Loyalist says:

    If you have to ask what Koivu brought to the Habs you were on another planet for the past decade.

    Gomez is to Koivu what American beer is to Canadian beer: lite

     

     

    insert tagline here.

  13. joeybarrie says:

    I mean cmon, how are your posts supposed to be taken seriously, when you say Pleks’ 40 point season didn’t get better when he had a 70 point season. I mean he almost doubled his points…

    Halpern will help Pleks do better as well. He will be less tired from all his PK duties and perform better on the PP.

    Saying Gomez isnt a leader on this team is also ridiculous. Gorges doesn’t wear a C or an A, so he isn’t a leader on this team? Same with Hamr and Spacek? You don’t think their experience brings any type of leadership?

    I think your lost on this one.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  14. TomNickle says:

    Why should we be comparing Koivu to Gomez?  Gomez wasn’t a Koivu replacement.  Koivu had to go.  Gomez just happened to be the first addition following Koivu being let go, not technically but the decision was made prior to July 1st obviously.

    If anybody was seen as a replacement for Koivu, it was Plekanec.

  15. TomNickle says:

    But you, like others see Gomez’s arrival as a choice of him over Saku, not the case.

    Saku needed to go, I don’t need to go into my adoration of Koivu, but it’s the truth.  They are completely different players.

  16. twocents says:

    Rob, I totally agree that there’s no justifying his salary, nor the deal that was cut to get him. But I am just as sick of the attempts around here to paint him as a borderline third line player or worse, as you are of the money justifications. Especially the comparisons to Pleks that make Pleks seem the far superior player.

  17. krob1000 says:

    Pleks also had nearly 70 points the year before so we can;t credit Gomez for that either….why the Pleks attacks on this…we should be comparing Koivu to Gomez…..Pleks is still here….I don;t understand this whole thread…it is like now getting on Lapierre for the letting go of Moore because Boyd is struggling??

  18. TomNickle says:

    Was Plekanec even close to what he is now defensively prior to Gomez arriving?

    Haha, no.

  19. TomNickle says:

    It is worth noting that in Koivu’s last season with this team, it was Max Lapierre who had to step up and question the work ethic and focus of the team when they got down 3-0 to Boston in the playoffs.

    I love Saku Koivu the player and respect the man even more, but the point remains that new leadership was indeed needed.  Gomez and Koivu are different players in that Gomez brings more skill, Koivu brings more consistent effort.  Would I rather have Koivu at $3-4 million than Gomez at $8?  Yeah.  But the leadership needed to change, and we paid for it.

    I however don’t see the big loss in Higgins, Valentenko and McDonagh.

  20. LA Loyalist says:

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

    Last year’s playoffs : 2 goals, minus -6, dumb penalties in the offensive zone.

    Maybe on Jersey he was great. That was a long time ago in Hockey years and the trend is down. Now he couldn’t find the net with a GPS.

    Plex was improving on his own with maturity.

    Everyone says he’s a great guy in the room, good in the community, I buy all that and if he was $4 million I wouldn’t complain, but we sure could use another $3 or $4 million in cap space.

     

    “insert tagline here”

     

  21. krob1000 says:

    Whya re we comparing him to PLeks…should be Koivu…who also steps up ….and for cheaper, shorter term…what is this pleks thing about? If we have Koivu..then there is eventually a role for Eller as a top 6 center maybe next year or the year after….now? 4 more years min imum….guess he becomes a winger? or we have the highest paid 3rd line (and best I will conced) 3rd line center int he game? The swap of Gomez and Koivu caused problems…apparently not as insurmountable as I thought originally but problems…definitely caused and will continue to cause problems. 

  22. joeybarrie says:

    I have to say I disagree. In his only season on our team, he had more ice time than Pleks and more points than Pleks in the Playoffs. WHERE WE SAW OUR BIGGEST SUCCESS IN 17 YEARS… How can you say that Gomez is a 2nd line center and Pleks is a 1st line center if the 2nd line plays more and gets more points????

    So basically by these measurements that I have been seeing from others we have NO first line players. Not AK, Not Cammi, Not Pleks no one…. Yet we still beat Washington and Pitts in the Playoffs.

    And again, why was it acceptable for Koivu when he was here, but not Gomez?

    Bottom line is this. Does he deserve his salary? NO, but there are alot of others in that same boat. Is having him on this team better than not having him?  If you can say no and you would rather not have him, then I say simply to you, we wouldn’t have gone ANYWHERE in the playoffs last season.

    Are there other players in the league I would rather have???? OF COURSE. The problem with that is that the teams they are currently on aren’t going to give them up… Thats why no one traded Ovechkin, Stamkos, Crosby, Sharp, St. Louis, etc, etc to us….

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  23. krob1000 says:

    If we could haver Gomez, Hamrlik and Spacek ast what their real value should be …we could have afforded Hossa ? Gomez at 5 million, Hammer at 3 and Spacek at 3 ….

    Personally I think the mistake was taking Gomez over Koivu….people go on about Koivu needing to be removed…that is where it all went sour….Koivu is as productive and versatile even as Gomez despite his age.  Koivu comes at a fraction of the salary and is nearing the end…..it would have been perfect….but unfortunately Saku Koivu is too blame for the teams culture and past failures??? That is what kill s me about he Gomez deal…the grass is greener tjhing.  The reality is Scott Gomez is a good hokcye palyer, a good team guy, a clutch guy….so too was Saku…but cheaper…..and shorter term….that is the big issue. 

    that being said management has done a decent job of restocking and still meeting cap requirements…and if we really got into trouble…..we could always bury one of our aging vet dmen if need be….Spacek…you listenting…..step it up bud.  That used to be frowned on but now it is just a reality in the cap era …..so if thee PP struggles with Markov’s return…..Spacek continues to play like he looks…..who knows maybe MAB returns and we have a couple etra million bucks? maybe Picard steps up, OB or HEnry fills in and we have money for another move? Or maybe everything just works out but this constant justification of one of the most ridiculed contracts in the game is pretty tiresom…I realize these people are trying to spread positivity but it is a futile exercise in this instance…..I accedpt Gomez, I like Gomez the player….I will NEVER be spoonfed anything that blinds me to the reality of that deal though…..it sucked. 

    Gomez will not play as poorly has he has been…he’ll bounce back, get his 60 points, play a valuable role in the playoffs……but at no point in his career , even his best year…did he do anything taht warrants this type of money in todays cap world….especially considering we also gave up assets to get him…that is just the plain truth…I have and will always agree Steve. June 30th…the moment I found about that trade….will never be forgotten…and agian Ic an;t state this enough…it is not a knock against Gomez…so everytime someone defends or attacks this move it should be focussed on managemnet….Gomez did what anyone would have…he took the money…he is not to blame….

  24. TomNickle says:

    He went from 40 points to 70 points.  Facts are facts.  He wasn’t doing as well prior to Gomez’s arrival.

  25. TomNickle says:

    You do know that you can make your point without giving Plekanec credit for things he doesn’t do right?

    Plekanec drives the slot, not the net.  When has he had a goal or even a shot from within 5 feet of the crease?

    I find it funny that you continue to single out Gomez but say nothing about Spacek or Hamrlik.  There’s $9.3 million in cap money tied up in two players who have not been effective players for this team.

    Would you rather have $8 million tied up in one player who doesn’t score 1 point/game or $9.3 million tied up in two players who play in such a way that it causes at least one goal/game in our net?

    Gomez is a leader in our room, he creates space for his linemates with his speed and ability to control the puck and he is responsible defensively if not elite.

    You can’t teach what Gomez brings to our team and you can’t find it just anywhere.  Oh, and one more thing on his perimeter play, he creates space in the middle of the ice for Gionta and whoever his left winger happens to be on any given night.  Much like Cammalleri creates space for Plekanec and Kostitsyn by drawing multiple defenders to his side.

    He needs to contribute more offensively no question, but understanding that the money doesn’t just pay for points is a big part of understanding how to build a team.

  26. light_n_tasty says:

    1. O’Byrne must go.  He’s 26 and has been given enough time.  He seems just a little too stupid to play hockey at an NHL level.  Picard is faster, smarter, frenchier, and more physical than O’Byrne, and has plenty of size at 6’3″.

    2. Time.

    3. Complain and pray.  Benching won’t help. He has nothing to bring to the third or fourth lines.  Nobody will take him.  Nothin’ much else you can do.

    4. Needs more ice time.

    5. Pouliot.

  27. habs365 says:

    some people don’t understand. some players are playmakers, some are goal scores some are just checkers Gomez is a playmaker, 15 goals a season pretty much will be tops for him. Halpern is the only guy left to try on the second line, i think they’ve tried everyone else. martin won’t try that he’s scared it’s gonna work and some fan suggested it. oh well all i have to say is good luck to the team.

  28. twocents says:

    … who has proven his ability to step up in the playoffs. That’s not an insignificant point, Steve. 

    Do I like his contract? No. not one bit.  But. I’ll tell you this, I’ll wait for Pleks to produce at a better rate in the playoffs than he does during the regular season before speaking in such polarized terms about the two of them.

    And remember Gomez may have exceeded 70 points only once, but he’s achieved it three other times. Pleks has done so once so far. And Gomez has never dropped a 39 point steamer either.

  29. SmartDog says:

    he’s become a leader on the team.

    Doesn’t matter what I think about Gomez.  What matters are the facts.  Gainey brought in a lot of leadership; some of that has turned out well.  Gomez wasn’t a candidate for the C, doesn’t wear an A, ergo, he’s not one of our TOP leaders.   And Pleks was doing just as well pre-Gomez, and his play shows his success in points as well as for everyone to see every game.  If Gomez started steering into traffic instead of away with it and stopped passing at the back of people’s ankles, I’d change my tune, and MORE IMPORTANT, he’d be making an impact where it counts – on the score sheet.

     

    ———
    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  30. SLONCOLD says:

    i got 66 points per 82 games. but then again i only counted his regular season stats

    .80 points per game

     

    playoffs

    0.71points per game

     

     

  31. SLONCOLD says:

    how much would u sign gomez today for? and gionta has to step up

     

  32. 24 Cups says:

    Great post, Rob.  You’ve got hand it to Gomez when it comes to making coin.  Only once in ten years has he been a 20 goal scorer.  Same goes for getting more than 70 points – just once. 

    Hey, I’ve come to terms with Gomez being here as I’ve accepted the fact that Gainey panicked when he had his back to the wall.  I’ve moved on from my initial shock and disappointment.  I honestly hope that Gomez can contribute to the team during the next few years.  But let’s cut the bs by trying to justify what Gomez truly brings to the team.  He’s a decent 2nd line centre who is a great set-up man.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Plain and simple.

  33. HardHabits says:

    SD. I know you’ve hated the Gomez’ contract since square one but my point is a valid one. Gainey brought in players to change the leadership schism and by extension vacuum that existed on the team. Gomez is a playoff performer. Plex in his great year was under Kovalev’s wing. The year after that he was awful and most people wanted to trade him for a bucket of pucks.

    Now, not only has his play improved but his demeanor as well, and he’s become a leader on the team. Who would’ve said that about Plex before? I do believe Gomez has impacted Plex in a positive way.

  34. twocents says:

    Fun with numbers! hmmppph.

    So omitting the fact that Gomez led us by a considerable margin in assists(his game) during the playoffs, nearly doubling Pleks’ assist totals, is not playing fast and lose with numbers? Or how about the fact that he got more points in the playoffs than Pleks, who apparently is a far better player. That’s now. They are different players dog, and Gomez has proven to be effective in the post season, to a far greater degree than Pleks has, that’s for sure.

    Which brings us to another of your points. Players declining after turning 27. You do realize Pleks is turning 28 this month and just signed a long term contract don’t you? Anyway that’s beside the point. The fact is, many players in their late twenties find their regular season point totals diminish somewhat. The good ones though, improve their production in the playoffs and so are well worth the money in their 28-32 age stretch, in my opinion.

  35. joeybarrie says:

    TAKE THE STAT NUMBERS OUT AND HE HAS STILL LED HIS TEAM IN ASSISTS IN THE LAST 5 YEARS AND MOSTLY IN TOTAL POINTS AS WELL. FOrget about individual numbers and how they compare to a salary. He still has THE MOST assists on any team he has played for. LAST SEASON INCLUDED…. So how is he in decline?

    He averages 73 points a season for his entire CAREER. He had 73 points last season with the Habs…. This means he is producing his EXACT average. So how is this a decline????

    Again, if he is leading his team in points and ice time, how do you call him a 2nd line center. YES compared to the Stars in this league. However, remember 57 players had more points than he did last season. There are 90 first line players in the league… Are you trying to say players line Phil Kessel, Vanek, Briere, and Cammalleri are not top line players?

    How about Saku Koivu???????  He averages under 50 points a season. He has never had a season above 75 points. Yet its ok for him to be a TOP LINE PLAYER because we paid him less…

    If you are saying based on points Gomez is not a top line player, you are saying Saku Koivu was NEVER a top line player…

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  36. TB says:

    speaking of playing with numbers – with the rangers your stat of 2 goals in 7 games – he had 5 pts lead his team in scoring and accounted for almost 20% of the teams goals in the playoffs – fact of the matter is the rangers only scored 11 goals in those 7 games – so gomez was in on almost 50% of the offense – that is EXACTLY what i would expect from someone making that kind of money

    last year’s playoffs he had 14pts in 19 games – most of those 14 in the first 2 series – as we all know there were not many bright spots in the 3rd round with Philly

    so please layoff the “numbers” for awhile – he is having a slow start – which if it goes much longer might be cause for concern but right now he is not that bad he is a vet who knows what is expected of him and will get his game going pretty soon

  37. pic1983 says:

    1. O’byrne is one of those players that, unfortunately, will probably never flourish under martin.  Like Sergei Kostitsyn, Martin seems to have an axe to grind with O’byrne and just doesnt plain like him.  O’byrne needs to be shown confidence to develop, and it doesnt look like hes going to get any from JM any time soon.  If he can be a chip in a good trade, pull the trigger. 

    2. Put Gio with pleks and AK, and have cammy line up with Gomez and BP.  At this point, I dont think swapping cammy for gionta would have a negative affect on pleks line. 

    3.  I dont know.  As ive posted many times already, seems like were just stuck with him.  Benching him or demoting him is a sure way of alienating him.  I say they should try my solution from question 2, and go from there.  He’s a playmaker? so lets give him a bonafide sniper.

    4.  See my answer to question 1.  Seemingly another player who, for whatever reason, wont flourish under Martin.  I say we get him away from Martin and send him to the AHL.

    5.  Benny is being dragged down by Gomez and Gionta.  I think Benny and AK are both potential top-6 forwards if they have linemates who are legitimate top-6 forwards.  If Gio and Gomez were playing like top-6 forwards, which they aren’t, Benny would be just fine based on the way he’s been playing. 

     

  38. WarHero says:

    For those interested, here is the link to my fist live game blog for the Ottawa 67s:

    http://ottawa67shub.com/2010/10/22/ottawa-67s-vs-brampton-battalion-oct-22nd-2010-let-the-battle-begin/

    ————————————————————————
    Never judge another man’s decision poor until you actually have proof of it failing!

  39. Bryan says:

    It was Mike Comrie on the Pens.  The play was 100% incidental if you watch the reply.  Don’s just blowing more smoke out of his ass.

    _______________________________

    The Habs are making me slightly less bi-polar.

  40. joeybarrie says:

    This is very interesting, I never thought of this… Good post.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  41. SmartDog says:

    Well that’s worth $40 million right there!

    The year before Gomez came Pleks had only 1 fewer point than last year.

    Some people think that Gomez is weirdly responsible for everyone else playing well.  Maybe by comparison, but that’s about it.

     

    ———
    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  42. joeybarrie says:

    SYSTEM. Meaning you can make it work. We act as if he does nothing and want to put him on the 3rd or 4th line. This makes no sense. His whole line in struggling. Gionta too, yet there is no talk of sitting the Captain or putting him on the 4th line…

    If you want to complain about the Cap, you need to complain about the whole thing…

    Gionta is under performing worse than Gomez.

    Boyd, Moen, Eller, Pyatt, Darche, are all under performing. So we put them ALL on the 4th line????

    So our top 2 lines based on performance is AK, Pleks, Cammi    Then   Halpern, Pouliot, Gomez…

    Want to do it by Salary??????  OK Lapierre, Halpern and Pouliot for our TOP LINE…. With Pk Subban and Picard on defence.  Eller and Josh Gorges go to the AHL… Gionta sits in the press box….

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  43. Mattee. says:

    That was perfect. Pure Gold. Once again, nicely done JD.

  44. pic1983 says:

    excellent post as always.

  45. HardHabits says:

    I’ll add this untangible. Plekanec’ play improved ten-fold with the addition of Gomez. I for one believe that Gomez’ play and presence motivated and taught Plex how to be a more complete competitor.

  46. SmartDog says:

    The guy doesnt even look engaged when he plays!

    Unless you mean engaged to the wall.

    ———
    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  47. SmartDog says:

    I love it when people have fun with numbers, especially OLD numbers.

    To make Gomez’s stats look good you have to drag numbers from several years ago into it.   The fact is that he’s in decline.  So let’s look at NOW. The last two years he was NOT a ppg player in the playoffs and surely his 2 goals in 7 games and -4 for the Rangers and 2 goals in 14 games and -6 for the Habs are not evidence of offensive dominance.

    Unless someone is a bona-fide superstar, you have to be cautious signing
    anyone into a long term costly contract once they’re past about 27. 
    Many hockey players start to decline then and Gomez’s numbers show
    that. 

    Three of the LAST FOUR season he has scored 60 points or less.  Not very good for a first line center.  Certainly not for the high level player you are suggesting he is.

    I don’t know what he LOOKED LIKE with the Devils but if you watch him play TODAY you see a lot of peripheral play, and as many terrible passes as you see brilliant ones.  And that’s what seperates him from Pleks to me. Pleks doesn’t make many really bad passes.  Gomez does.  Pleks drives to the net.  Gomez sticks to the wall.   Maybe if Gomez would play differnetly he could regain his OLD FORM and OLD POINTS.  But he’s not.  Today – NOW – he’s just not that good and his numbers are what you’d expect from an “okay” 2nd line center.  As others have said you can’t pbe paying your 2nd line center what he’s making and expect it not to hurt the whole team.

    SD

     

    ———
    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  48. pic1983 says:

    If you think he’s been instrumental in helping this team succeed, I dont think we’re watching the same team.

    For $8 million, he’s got to bring more.  The guy doesnt even look engaged when he plays!

     

    A lot of things you mentioned are from the past, and the main reason he got that FAT deal.  However, ever since he signed that deal, he’s been a massive disappointment.

    Pleks makes $5 million, and honestly, I would have an easier time giving pleks the $7.3 million average and gomez the $5 million than vice versa.

     

    If Gomez wants people off his back, all he has to do is go out and produce.  That’s all he has to do. 

  49. avatar_58 says:

    I WANT TO BELIEVE

    *ufo*

  50. Bryan says:

    Martin said that Markov should be back this weekend.

    _______________________________

    The Habs are making me slightly less bi-polar.

  51. Don Carnage says:

    Next I eat the banana !!    Too funny

  52. SLONCOLD says:

    his salary is important becuase we live in a cap system:-)

  53. K-hab25 says:

    Good Post Joey!! I agree Gomez isn’t nearly as bad as people claim.

  54. SLONCOLD says:

    can’t be any worse than crosby over his first few years lol

  55. Jbird says:

    1) Wait – what else can you do? Trade him for hckey tape? Someone will go down and he will get a shot at some point this year.

    2) A new winger would help.  You could split him up from gomez but who do you put him with?  No one is splitting up Pleks line.

    3) See above answer.

    4) He might need to get more than 8 minutes to show his worth. But after the team win vs Ottawa that is not happening.  I loved it when he ran over that senator the other night.

    5) We have 5. Gio and Gomer are solid 2nd line players.  Not sure who the 6th is.  It could just be benny – it is not Darche, or Moen.

     

     

  56. Ian Cobb says:

    Fan Summit Updates

    I just received two more season game tickets from Habschick (Vicky) for the Gainey Foundation Summit raffle.!

    We will be selling raffle tickets at Hurleys Pub Friday night and the Baton Rouge 2:15 Saturday afternoon.

    Thanks again for your support Vicky.

    Everyone is welcome to all events. And try to bring something along to support this very fine Foundation.

  57. avatar_58 says:

    Regards to Subban’s “yapping” – I find it interesting Cherry is against this attitude. How can one blowhard with an attitude hate on someone for running his mouth? Last time I checked that was EXACTLY the type of player Don was in his time. You know, back in the 1840’s when he played.

    Subban yaps? So what. He’s a big boy and can take care of himself. I don’t like that Don suggested TWICE now that he was targetted for injury. Subban himself said the pens player (which was it again? I forgot) apologized more than once for the high stick. I sincerly doubt the shot on Sat was on purpose, given that would take some skill since Subban was MOVING at the time. Give me a break. I’m sure the sen appreciated Don calling him a dirty player too, since only dirty players intend to injure.

  58. 24 Cups says:

    1.  Not having a Dman who can use his size and be a force in our end is going to haunt us down the road.  There’s not a candidate in sight in terms of Montreal’s depth chart who can fill that role.

    2.  Gionta isn’t a bubble player.  Historically, he has run hot and cold.  He’s a good captain and a decent 2nd line winger.  He can’t have a new center because he came here with Gomez as a package deal.  Take that element away, and the two acquisitions start to lose credibility.

    3.  Tom said it best.

    4.  He’s a rookie for crying out loud.  I have no expectations for this guy right now.  Let’s hold off on any judgements.  He breaks in slowly by taking baby steps.

    5.  Ideally, we would have three guys fighting it out for the two open top six spots.  Due to cap restrictions, we didn’t have that liberty.  Let’s stay with some defined lines for ten games or so and give guys like Pouliot a real shot at making things happen.  I’d really like to see some long-term, set lines.

  59. pmaraw says:

    poupou is good name for him

  60. Mike Boone says:

    I really liked Nash in training camp. He has a shot at making the team next season … maybe earlier if there are injuries or trades.

  61. Mattyleg says:

    I’m not going to bother looking at that.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  62. Mattyleg says:

    1. Sit him and show patience. He did some psychological work on his game this summer apparently. Let him think.

    2. Gionta needs to get away from Gomez. Pair him with Eller and Pouliot

    3. Put Gomez on the 3rd line. Why not? What’s the worst that can happen? That he disappears completely? Maybe his salary will too!

    4. I think Eller just needs something to kick-start his season/career. A strong game, a good goal, etc. He’ll be fine -he’s got talent, heart and work. That combo will go far.

    5. Top 6 = Plek/Cammi/AK/Gio/Eller/Poupou

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  63. pmaraw says:

    i would look, if i didnt think you were trolling

  64. observer says:

    Gauthier addressed Habs today in dressing room: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RKTSwAVaoU

  65. nickster13 says:

    1. sit him until he gets his chance again, then if he blows that one, look into trading for bag of pucks

    2. Gionta hasnt looked good so far, maybe hes taking too many french lessons, he needs to worry about his hockey playing cuz his butt is on the ice half the time and he is looking awfully small right now

    3. Gomez, like gionta doesnt look game shape yet (hands and brains) yet, so hopefully that changes. You cant do much with him other than hope he starts producing, cuz everything else is in place

    4. Eller is plaing with pluggers thats all, he’s just easing his way into it, he should be ok with ice time and opportunity and time

    5. 6th guy is nowhere to be seen!

  66. TomNickle says:

    1. O’Byrne was done the second Picard was signed in my opinion.  He will very likely be this year’s Matt D’Agostini.  I believe he’ll be kept as an insurance policy until the right deal is in place, then he’s gone.

    2. Gionta needs time to get acclimated with the pressure that comes with being the captain.  Looks like he’s trying too hard right now.  Gripping the stick a little tight.

    3. Gomez is what he is.  A guy who picks his spots.  He either tries to hard or not hard enough.  A consistent winger on the left side might be a good solution.  Players who make their living off of passing the puck need to know where their wingers are going to be all over the ice.  

    4. Eller needs to be settled into a line.  He’s shown that he’s dangerous offensively and responsible defensively.  He isn’t afraid of contact and often initiates it.  His drought will end, it’s only a matter of time.

    5. Pouliot is our 6th forward, or should be.  He’s proven he’s ready.

  67. joeybarrie says:

    OK, I know his contract is HIGH. But people seem to ignore how much Scott Gomez brings to a team.

    09-10 Lead team in assists. Most even strenght ice time for a center, and total ice time was 1 second behind Pleks…

    08-09 Lead team in assists and points. Most ice time per game by a forward.

    07-08 Lead team in assists and was off by 1 in points. (TO JAGR) 2nd most ice time for forwards. (JAGR #1)

    06-07 2nd in assists. (BY ONE)  Most ice time per game by a forward.

    Since the Lockout Scott Gomez has been above 50% in Face offs. He has led his team in assists. Lead his team in ice time, and among the leaders of his team in points…

    He is a HUGE playoff player and has led his team in points 3 of 5 years in the playoffs and always in the top 3. He has been almost a point a game playoff player since the lockout and has only missed out on 1 playoff in 10 years.

    I am SO SICK of hearing people saying he is barely a second line player…  Funny, PROFESSIONAL COACHES INCLUDING Claude Julien, Lou Lamoriello, Larry Robinson, John Tortorella, Tom Renney and Jacques Martin all give him first line minutes, and seem to use him as a top center. Why is it that all these PROS somehow miss the fact the Scott Gomez is not a good hockey player???? AND YET SOME OF OUR PROFESSIONAL FANS WHO THINK THEY KNOW MORE THAN THE ONES BEING PAID MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO ACTUALLY COACH THE PLAYERS INSTEAD OF PAYING TO WATCH THE GAMES seem to know more…

    He has won the Calder Memorial Trophy, All Rookie Team, 2 All Star Games, 2 Stanley Cups, Bronze Medal, among others… He was awarded by arbitration 5 million a season when he was 26. Honestly we need to get over his contract, realize what he brings to this team and understand he is not overpaid by all that much.

    His numbers are similar to Plekanec, and more consistent. He plays more even strength time on ice than Pleks and has the experience of 2 Stanley Cups and 9 Playoff seasons. On average he makes 2.3 million more than Pleks. Gomez averages 73 points per season and Pleks averages 55. There is a 3 year difference in their ages and Gomez has played 5 more seasons and 484 more games than Pleks.

    I honestly don’t understand where people seem to think that his salary outweighs his addition to this team. In fact we have ONLY seen the opposite. His first season he lead our team in assists in both the regular season and playoffs and it is the first season we made it to the Conference Finals with MAJOR injuries…

    His line is going thru a slump now, but when he was setting up Gio left and right last season where were the Gomez is useless people???  Keeping quiet until he slumps again, and jump out and bash him left and right.

    If you ignore his salary he is one of the most important players on this team. So if that is true, why don’t we treat him with the respect he deserves as one of the most important players on this team.

    Finally, what I don’t understand is why we wanted Lacavalier here SO BAD, yet his salary is higher for roughly the same points in the last 5 years. Lacavalier has had 419 pts in the last 5 years, Gomes 384…

    Frustrates me to see people thinking he isn’t helping this team succeed just because of his salary. It is a non-issue. As long as all our players come in UNDER the Cap, then it doesn’t matter their function of that cap.

    Do you think The Pens are crying about the 5 million dollar hit Fleury has. YET THEY HAVE WON THE CUP…

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  68. 24 Cups says:

    We all have heard the old adage about never underestimating any team but you have think that this is a week to pick up some slam dunk points. We are playing four games against teams that will probably not make the playoffs this year. A smart coach would make full use of his roster and might even be tempted to give Auld his first start on Friday or Saturday. Anything less than 6 out of 8 points will be considered failure.

    Speaking of failures, don’t look now but the bubble may have burst in Phoenix. Kudos to Dave Tippet but I don’t think he can pull off a repeat performance this season. Attendance is still abysmal and the ownership merry-go-round continues with Chicago based financier, Matthew Hulsizer, being the newest kid on th block. Glendale is going to eventually re-structure the team’s arena lease or see their main tenant move on to Winnipeg or Kansas City.

    The Coyotes are off to a rough start and have lost 4 of their last five games (two were in OT). Opening the season in the Czech Republic didn’t help and giving up an average of 36 shots a game (3rd highest) will eventually wear down their best player, Ilja Bryzgalov. The Habs have dominated Phoenix lately taking 11 of 14 points in their last 7 games. They also have out-scored the Coyotes 28-17. The other good news is that Phoenix’s PP (27th) is almost as bad as Montreal’s (30th). Most of Phoenix’s offense so far has been generated from the back-end.

    Shane Doan and Martin Hanzal will be out of the line-up tonight which also bodes well for Montreal. Wojtek Wolski (cost them Mueller) and Ray Whitney (+35 contract) are still scoreless while Eric Belanger is the team’s leading scorer (ouch). Derek Morris is once again playing like crap now that he has another long term contract.

    The two players to watch tonight are forward Kyle Turris (21)and defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson (19). Turris just had a three point game and OEL is every bit as good as Subban. Both these kids are still pretty green but they are elite prospects in every sense of the word. D-man, Keith Yandle (24), is another great looking young player who broke through with a 41 point season last year.

    (Moved from another thread)

  69. JD_ says:

    * The Habs are 5-1-1 and have outscored Phoenix 28-17 since makin’ the Bell Centre their home. Unfortunately, that and $1.75 gets me a cup of coffee. Although the Yotes (TSNTalk™) are fiddlin’ around in the Western conference’s basement, their goal differential (GD) is only -1 despite bein’ tied at 15 with Edmonton (GD -6) and NJ (GD -15!) for the least number of goals scored. Gonna have to get to Break-His-Glove early and often.

    * Was that good times or what on Saturday night? If Sens’ GM Bryan Murray actually manages to hold on to his job this season, then I promise to concede to the rumour he is the second comin’ of Christ, for Occam’s Razor will leave me with no other option. Admittedly, I thought Jesus II would be taller and in somewhat better shape, but I’m told that God works in mysterious ways ‘n’ all that.

    * Speakin’ of collectin’ pogey, John MacLean’s soon-to-end coachin’ tenure is on the cusp of becomin’ such a negative outlier, the league average of approximately 2.58 seasons is set to be materially reined in, at least in the statistical sense. His Patch-Adams-f***-convention style is all well and good if you’re coachin’ some peewee co-ed team and want to beat the rich kids’ team from Connecticut, followin’ which Disney (NYSE:DIS) options the story, but this is the NHL fer chrissake. I have little doubt Jacques Lemaire is sittin’ at home ignorin’ the “Jeff Vanderbeek” flashin’ on his call display, instead patiently awaitin’ the FedEx® envelope stuffed with bearer bonds that is likely currently en route. John MacLean anagrammed: Lame. Can John.

    * TB looks like the Eastern conference’s new Capitals: Score a ton, get scored on a ton. Imagine what could happen if they get decent goaltendin’. Betcha Stevie Y’s wonderin’ the same thing, as we speak. (And on that topic, damn you, Tim Thomas, damn you for refindin’ yer mojo. Holy crap. Please let this be a Mopey Loafs-style flash-in-the-pan thingy.) Like it or not, for the last several years, the real issue in TB was leadership. The visceral importance of leadership cannot be overstated and is probably the least well-understood consideration when people invest their capital. Starts with an owner like Vinik and flows down from there. I could write you a book on the topic, presumin’ I haven’t already kinda.

    * Speakin’ of lame, Price’s early-season poise is just further evidence – although, at this point, the exercise is purely academic – that Jack Todd’s grasp of sports and, in particular, athletes is as superficial as it is hackneyed. Don’t hold yer breath waitin’ for the ol’ spineless one to revisit his recent, cowardly drive-by shootin’ of the young goaltender without him resortin’ to more disingenuous doublespeak than a capo di tutti capi testifyin’ before a congressional subcommittee on organized crime. Stick to the cowboy books, my choleric friend.

    * Douchebag Update: A glance through Todd’s piece this mornin’ and no mention of the NHL whatsoever. This technique is known as: Maybe if I pretend it’s not there, it’ll go away. Way to hide, dude. Quelle effin’ surprise.

  70. SmartDog says:

    5 QUESTIONS ABOUT BUBBLE PLAYERS:

    As many have said, we’re doing surprisingly well for having only 1 scoring line and one of our best players on the sidelines. (Note: as good as Markov is, I refuse to call him our “best player”. I find it disrespectful, and if you look at the play of Price and Pleks lately, arguable.

    But if Martin wants his good fortune to continue, he needs to fix some things. 

    Here are 5 of those things:

    1. O’Byrne.  What do you do?  Sit him, show him more patience, or trade him so some other team can fix him?

    2. Gionta. With 2 points in 7 games what does our new Captain need?  A new linemate?  A new center?  Something else?

    3. Gomez. The coach called him out but nothing changed and 3 points in 7 games only equals what we have from each of Benny, Subban, and Halpern, and one less than Gorges.  We need more from him.  What do you do?

    4. Eller. He’s looked okay, nothing great, and no big mistakes
    either. But he sits at -2 with no points in 7 games. He seems capable of
    more but is he just not ready?  Or can you see something else going on?

    5. Our sixth forward. How many top 6 forwards do we have on this team?  Right now it looks like the answer is somewhere between 3 and 5.  Who’s #6?  Is he in the house?

    SD

     

     

    ———
    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  71. Habfan29 says:

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

  72. 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.

  73. 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.

  74. 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


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