Higgins in familiar spot

Christopher Higgins was at left wing on the line with Saku Koivu and Alex Tanguay when the Canadiens practiced in Verdun this morning. Higgins and Koivu were reunited for the third period of last Saturday’s game on Long Island and Higgins scored the tying goal en route to a 5-4 win.  The line  is expected to stay intact for games Friday in Columbus and Satuday in Toronto.

That means Guillaume Latendresse will play with Robert Lang and Sergei Kostitsyn. Latendresse had a quick start while Higgins was out with a groin injury but has only one assist in his last five games.  

Audio: Mike Komisarek and Carey Price on All-Star ballot nomination



  1. howtathor says:

    Now it’s off to scout the Blue Jackets on TSN. R.J.F. Umberger indeed!

  2. howtathor says:

    I had the pleasure purchasing the 10 Greatest Games in Hab History today. What a treat to watch. Some I know first hand like the greatest comeback in franchise history, the 93 Stanley Cup, The Red Army game but the real showstopper for me was the 1960 Stanley Cup Final (5 in a row!). Believe it or not I had never seen The Rocket play nor Dickie Moore, Doug Harvey, Boom Geoffrion or Jacques Plante. What a feast for the eyes! I would recommend this set to anyone, The only dissapointment was the winter classic which was novel but not a classic!

  3. New says:

    I think you’re right Jimbo. Lats has potential. He doesn’t play as many minutes as the others because he doesn’t play shorthanded. If the team is going gangbusters, Lats grabs points, but in close games he looks…awkward. I don’t think he’s going to be with the Habs much longer. I hope he becomes the next John Leclair, but I don’t think it will be as a Hab.

  4. Mike Boone says:

    Or at least never admits to being wrong.

  5. Jay in PA says:

    Ah what the hell, let’s skip straight to rehashing Chuck Norris facts using Boone instead: Mike Boone does not sleep. He waits.

    Geez, I need some sleep.

    On topic, Lats is only 21. He’s no Eric Staal in terms of his development (or, realistically, his potential), but he also skipped a lot of seasoning in junior. It’ll take another couple of years before we know (and he knows) what he’s capable of. He’s a big body and he has soft hands. Once he gets the whole power forward mentality down and it starts to be more natural for him, he’ll be pretty good. It’s really my one regret about losing the Sundin sweepstakes–Matso is one guy Lats could really have used as a model.

  6. JasonM says:

    Well Mike, I guess we agree to disagree. :)

    I’ve seen enough from him to know that within in a few seasons he’ll mature well enough to become a sound hockey player with a huge upside. Will be he a John Leclair? I doubt it, not in Montreal… that’s for sure. Leclair’s best days was when he was surrounded by talent, tabbed the “Legion of Doom”. Gui has only been surrounded by talent a few games with the likes of Tanguay and Koivu and look at the flashes of brilliances we’ve seen! You can’t just rip all his PP time and bump him down to the 3rd line.

    He’ll do fine on the 3rd line but for shame that there’s no patience for a youngster to work out the kinks in his system especially when the team is simply not paying the price.

  7. jimbo says:

    You need to share whatever it is you’re smoking.Lats only started on that line because Higgy was hurt and Carbo tried to get 3 scoring lines started early.Lats is no where the player that you’re trying to describe.And really,what potential do you really have when you can’t skate,give or receive passes and don’t score.

  8. Gr8stFranchizEvr says:

    I haven’t seen many if any “flashes of brilliance”. What I have seen is a significant improvement in Gui’s skating and involvement in the play. Those elements have made him a much better player this year so far.

    Bottom line: If he was as brilliant as you say, he would never be demoted to the 3rd line.

  9. Shiloh says:

    A shame there’s no patience?? This is a player who has never suited up in the minors – never. Like Crosby, Gretzky and Lemieux he was deemed so valuable and ready that he needed no time in Hamilton to develop his game. He has slimmed down this year so his skating is a bit better, but he’s still very slow. His shot is poor, he frequently coughs up the puck and he doesn’t win very many battles in the corners. He will get his 15 goals or so and maybe a dozen assists – as long as he is on one of the big lines.

    Higgins is by far the better player and absolutely should be playing with Koivu and Tanguay.

  10. RS says:

    Well, how about putting Gui on a line with Eric Lindros in his prime? It sure worked for Leclair and Renberg.

  11. twocents says:

    That bit of management, keeping track of a players number of games in terms of assessing assignment options, is Gainey’s not Carbo’s.

  12. REB2 says:

    Lats is a player who was almost ready at 18 (kinda like Pac this year…), but was sent back to the Q. 2nd year he demonstrated that he was past the level of the Q; yes, he wasn’t ready for the NHL, but there were only 2 options – the Q or the NHL; he could NOT play in Hamilton that year. Would he have benifitted from that year? Of course, but it wasn’t an option.

    On another post KROB expounded on how Grabovski had out grown the AHL, but still needed time to grow in the NHL. The Habs wouldn’t give it to him, but now that he’s getting 18+ minutes per game, we’re starting to see what he can become…he’ll burn us, the same way that Leclair did, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he laughs every time. I didn’t see any dissent to KROB’s opinion – LET THE KID GROW IN THE NHL.

    Habs management chose to keep Lats in the NHL, and LET HIM GROW. It’s too late to send him down to Hamilton; while he might not be mentioned in any trade rumours, every GM/coach would jump all over him if the Habs placed him on waivers. The problem is, Lats has too big an upside and potential to let go, so the GROWING will continue. As Grabovski is demonstarting, the more time you give the player, the faster the growing curve; taking Lats off the line with Koivu just slows that curve down.

    We get the picture, Shiloh; you can’t stand Lats on the Habs. Maybe you are Francophobic, maybe he did your sister, maybe you’re blind…I don’t know and I don’t care. I do know that I am very tired of reading all of your ‘bash Lats’ comments, and I’d skip them if I could; problem is that I have to read your comments so that the comments from other good posters behind you make any sense. Ah well, c’est la vie.

    BTW-for the number of shots Higgins takes, he can’t hit the broad side of a barn!

  13. showey47 says:

    great post, but as for grabovski, there is just no room for another small center in our lineup. I also believe he is a major flight risk to the khl after this season. He wasn’t going to re-sign with us after last season, i think bob had very little choice but to move him. Remember, we were chasing sundin all summer to add the big right handed center we were looking for. We did end up with lang who i think is a solid 3rd line center, either way it we are better with out him then with him. This is the downside of having so much depth, there are going to be times when you have to move a some young players because of having a full roster.

  14. Shiloh says:

    Grow up. Francophonic? Get real. I just watch hockey and what I see of LaSlowesse is decidedly unimpressive.

  15. Shiloh says:

    I’m tired of your sad whining and smug assurance that you know so much about the game. Latendresse is a marginal 3rd or 4th-liner at best – with not much of an upside. He looks horrible out there – virtually every shift. He will get his 15 goals and dozen assists if he gets time on a big line. I’m sorry you have trouble processing hockey – it is a very fast game.

  16. New says:

    There’s more than just now to consider I think. Higgins has wild skill, and D’Agostini is pushing for a spot on the big team. I think the Habs might begin to firm up positions, who plays what wing, on what line. If that happens Carbo’s catch phrase about someone having to take your job away might become the rule of the day sooner than some people think.

  17. von says:

    HAHA coaches preference? You are killing me!!! Gui is probably the only guy in the room who gets special treatment, any other team would have him in the minors, and that’s real talk.

    Think about this. You ever heard Gui’s name in a trade rumour? Exactly, no one would even want him. How many times have you heard Higgin’s name? Pierre McGuire laughed at a caller asking if they could trade Latendresse for a top 4 d-man. A guy like Michael Ryder, who had three 20+ goal seasons (two of them 30) gets booted out of town even though in 07/08 he had 4 more points than Gui but had played in 3 less games.

    You love stats apparently, how about this stat. Gui has played 6 more games than Higgin’s, yet he has only registered 4 more shots than him.

    Wow, what an offensive force to be removed off the second line!!!

    “Obviously it would be great, but they don’t really hang conference titles in this rink. They raise Stanley Cup banners.” – Carey Price

  18. JasonM says:

    Float along? Sorry but are we watching the same player? A player who floats along simply doesn’t end up being 2nd in team bodychecks and 3rd in team assists.

    The fact of the matter is that since Higgy came back from his “injury”, Lats was immediately removed off the PP and his ice time has dwindled and the last few games is a poor stick to measure due to team indicipline and sloppy performance in a general sense. He lierally sat on the bench for practically entire 2nd period against the Wild game and when when the Habs went on the PP he was back on the bench.

    Here’s a good measure to check :

    Average PP time per game

    Higgins 3:13
    Latendresse 1:46

    Coach preference is easy to see as even though he preaches on merit. Stats don’t lie.

  19. Habsrule1 says:

    I agrre with you Jason to a point, but not about the coach preference part. He sees a lot in practice that we do not. I believe the only reason Higgins is playing with Saku is he believes this will create a better line, and more success.

    I could be wrong, but I hope not.

    “I can’t hear what Jeremy(Roenick) is saying because my Stanley Cup rings are in my ears” – Patrick Roy

    Go Habs Go!!


  20. Gr8stFranchizEvr says:

    Based on play level of late, this is a sound decision by Carbo.

    Higgins is comfortable with Koivu’s playing style. Besides,can anyone go wrong with Tanguay on the wing? That guy is setting them up and putting them in!

    Lats will probably do well on the third line.

  21. mrstewart61 says:

    Can anyone tell me if SK74 needs to pass waivers to be sent to Hamilton? Maybe a couple weeks there and he’ll get his game back. Bring D’Agostini up for the 3rd line.

    TSN: The Montreal Canadiens have signed forward David Desharnais to a two-year, two-way contract.
    If a man speaks in a forest where no woman can hear him, is he still wrong?

  22. Priceless says:

    He doesn’t.

  23. Harani says:

    It’s really stupid to make assumptions like that…if you can be aptient with Kovy and Pleks…Sergei will get back on track…it’s not like he’s trying to prove himself bcoz we already know his capabilities and his talent….it’s just taking a longer time for him to put it together. Sending him to Hamilton is shameful…I don’t ever think that anyone on the Canadiens’ organization would do such a thing to a player like S. Kostitsyn!

  24. Habboss says:

    Habs have a lot of trade bait for a good D, they have pax that they can bring up so I believe Lats, halak and maybe higgins could be gone. The Habs could use another sniper and a D.

  25. Skotbot says:

    Familiar is not always best..

    Hope it works

    Do I listen to pop music because I am miserable?
    Or am I miserable because I listen to pop music?

  26. JasonM says:

    I’m disappointed they went this direction. The team has their 2nd best initial stint, is winning and Lats had a great personal start but that’s simply isn’t enough for the coaches. No sirrie! Lats gets significantly less playtime compared to the other top 6 forwards, gets no PP time and in the end of games is bench in favor of other players while his line is on the ice. I wish they’d bank on him already and let him play the way he needs to be played or send him somewhere so he can be the new John Leclair.

  27. Mike Boone says:

    I really like Gui! but he’ll never be John LeClair. He’ll develop nicely bringing a physical dimension to the line with Lang and Sergei.

  28. von says:

    How can you be disappointed? Let’s get real here…

    Gui started off fine, but has been a non-factor the last 5 games. Koivu and Tanguay have been carrying that line, and Higgins rightful spot is in the top 6, not Latenderness.

    Face it, Gui has moments in games where he looks great out there and valuable, but then disappears for a dozen as he floats along. That’s not going to cut it this year.

    “Obviously it would be great, but they don’t really hang conference titles in this rink. They raise Stanley Cup banners.” – Carey Price

  29. Garbo says:

    They are banking on him, that’s the only reason he’s not in the AHL right now.

  30. Robert L says:

    How Gainey Could Fill Hamrlik’s Doughnut? ( Or, Gainey’s Search For The Next Craig Ludwig )


  31. mjames says:

    Interesting points. Do not disagree that we could use an upgrade on defense but I hate giving up prospects or players for these rentals. It seems that it is very seldom a rental works. Look at what Pittsburgh gave up for Houssa. Look what at Nashville did to get Forsberg.


  32. Sakus Evil Twin says:

    Let’s be honest, this was always gonna happen.

    Higgins will make space to be where he needs to be when Tanguay or Saku make the next pretty pass or to pick up the garbage that comes out.

    Gui should watch and learn from that line and do the same with slightly more limited ice-time – the Lang line isn’t that different (once Sergei realizes he isn’t Kovalev).

    “I like women and I like cake ” – HIO Summit 2008

  33. JasonM says:

    “(once Sergei realizes he isn’t Kovalev).”

    I laughed. Nice one Paul. :)

  34. nightmare_49 says:

    2009 Entry Draft Hot List : Jared Cowen, D – Spokane Chiefs (WHL): Currently known as the best draft eligible defenseman besides Victor Hedman, Cowen is only one goal shy of last year’s total (four) already. Of course, it’s his size (6-foot-5, 218 pounds) and puckmoving ability that really has NHL teams salivating. Draft eligible in 2009 ………………………… Philippe Paradis, LW – Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL): The Cataractes are on a serious tear, riding a 10-game win streak with Paradis getting in on the fun. The Q’s offensive player of the week has 19 points in 20 games and plays physical. Draft eligible in 2009 ……………………………..
    Sergei Chvanov, C – Severstal Cherepovets 2 (Rus): Chvanov made a big splash in his first game at the World Jr. A Championship in Camrose, Alta., torching Belarus for a hat trick and an assist as Russia bulldozed the underdogs 10-4. Draft eligible in 2009 ………………

  35. Dintrox says:

    ready to get Higgy with it.. Lats will get his opportunities but with Higgy back Lats gets bumped. I think Lats will fit well with Lang and SK..

  36. RetroMikey says:

    I’ve watched Matt D’Agostini, Ben Maxwell and Mike Glumac play and have been impressed by them so far in this short season with the Bulldogs along with Marc Denis in goal and Dan Jancevski being on loan from Dallas on defense (wish we had his rights).
    For those who keep whing about Max, Max, Max, he is struggling a bit and is NOT ready for the NHL.
    Here’s RetroMikey’s fearless predictions for anyone interested.
    D’Agostini derseves a stint up here, I see him playing on the right wing with Saku Koivu and Alex Tanguay. This guy could be the right winger sniper we need. I’m proud at how this guy is giving every effort playing in Hamilton. We don’t have an offensively player shooting right besides Robert Lang.
    Drop Higgins on the third line with Lang and Sergei/Lats.
    Both Sergei and Gui are struggling and Bob and Guy have a big decision to make.
    We’ll see how we stand after the 20 game mark.
    I’ve predicted before the season Sergei would have the sophmore jinx, I have yet to be impressed with the guy so far.
    There could be a trade involving Halak, O’Byrne and 2 prospects for a physical DMan or if the offense is struggling, look for us to go after a gifted long term offensive scoring player.
    I see Denis no problem being called up to backup Price. This guy is ready.
    Glad to see Grabovski given the chance in Toronto when we totally gave up on the guy which we are doing also with Chipchura.
    Grabovski will get better and better, I still have second thoughts if Sergei is ready for the NHL.

    “We will win the Cup only with Carey Price in the nets”

  37. mrstewart61 says:

    It’s not necessary to get nasty. No assumption was made. However, you made the following ASSUMPTION: “I don’t ever think that anyone on the Canadiens’ organization would do such a thing to a player like S. Kostitsyn!” I’m simply made a ‘what if’ statement. Does anyone think it would help or hurt?? I love SK’s game, and I certainly believe he will get it back, but he doesn’t seem to be the same since Andrei was hurt and maybe his confidence is down. Perhaps a couple weeks of dominance in the AHL and he’ll be back and better for it. Kovy and Pleks have been in the league longer than SK, veterans have been through slumps and know how to work their way out. But it’s not unusual for a sophomore to go back and forth for a while as their career is getting established. Perhaps opinions are not allowed anymore on this site. And by the way, I am not stupid, thank you very much!
    If a man speaks in a forest where no woman can hear him, is he still wrong?

  38. mrstewart61 says:

    I guess nobody is really listening to what I am saying. I’m looking for comments. I can wait for SK, he’s not really playing poorly, but how long IF he doesn’t come around. Perhaps it’s more his linemates. It’s just frustrating that people jump all over you for a harmless post. I have never wanted to prematurely get rid of AK46 or Kovy or anybody else for that matter(maybe Breezer).
    Perhaps it’s not worth my time to post here anymore.
    If a man speaks in a forest where no woman can hear him, is he still wrong?

  39. mjames says:

    I agree Harani. Patience, patience. I can recall when some of the astute fans/player evaluators wanted to release and get rid of AK46 as well as AK27. I think I can wait for SK74 to play better. He is not hurting the team. For that matter I can wait for Lats to get his game also. I would love to see D’Agostini but i guess all in good time.


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