Keeping track of Koivu’s wingers

The Gazette’s Pat Hickey writes that Sergei Kostitsyn, who made his NHL debut on Thursday night, became the seventh player to line up as a right-winger on captain Saku Koivu’s line.

After Michael Ryder, who started the season at the position but has struggled mightily, coach Guy Carbonneau has tried Bryan Smolinski, Tom Kostopoulos, Christopher Higgins (he’s normally the left- winger on the line) and defencemen-turned-forwards Mark Streit and Mathieu Dandenault.

With all that juggling, Hickey writes: The younger Kostitsyn didn’t look out of place in his first NHL game, but if this latest experiment doesn’t work, the Canadiens might have to
resort to holding open tryouts.


  1. Oprah says:

    Isn’t Locke subject to re-entry waivers?

  2. 24 Cups says:

    Ask that question again in three years when you’re paying your 4th defenseman $5.5 mil. He’s been great this year and may be the same next year too. After that it’s a crap shoot. It could be worse though – it could be Timonen or Souray.

    The Original 24 Cups

  3. 24 Cups says:

    Raycroft’s biggest problem is that he can stand on his head for an entire game and then for no good reason he will give up a soft goal that is a game breaker. His team never feels totally confident playing in front of him.

    The Original 24 Cups

  4. 24 Cups says:

    The lost point to Tampa and the one to Nashville could be very costly come April.

    The Original 24 Cups

  5. The Teacher says:

    No you’re not the only one. I’ve been admiring his play and been really impressed with him from Game number 1.

    The only problem I have is that I’m worried he would get tired out covering up for Breezer all the time.

    The last few games paired up with gorges has allowed him to regain his dominance after a slight 3 game dip. Just seems like he lost a bit of energy for a little bit there. But I love his patience with the puck in our zone…totally awesome to watch.

  6. showey47 says:

    That win against us was denis’ first of the season and he came into the game with numbers that would make racicot look like an allstar. But it does seem that the homegrown players seem to play their best hockey when they come home.

  7. Oleg Petrov says:

    not to mention the level of competition that brings out the best in every player from one game to the next – I think that is the greatest benefit of maturation of these prospects fighting to leave Hamilton and establish themselves.

  8. Smart Dog says:

    that was such a buzz-kill. Seems like it’s always us.
    But that’s BS – it happens to everyone. You get meatballed by some hot goalie.

    My favorite player is Grab-ARF!-ski

  9. Oleg Petrov says:

    gotta love the Quebec guys or the guys who grew up Habs fans who get so excited to come to Montreal and play. How many times does that result in a hall of fame performance and a win for the visiting team? Denis, Lecavalier, Thibault, Crosby, and on and on

  10. Smart Dog says:

    What’s great is that you get a sense that we have a critical mass of talented young players, with familiarity with each other to make things happen. Imagine how exciting this must be for them. They are going to run the Laffs off their old, tired feet. This must be fun for the veterans on our team – playing with these excited kids. YOu could really see it last game… I think that getting the two K-kids together is just cool and must create a special kind of buzz.

    – Shrink Dog

    My favorite player is Grab-ARF!-ski

  11. showey47 says:

    nice to see the real marc denis show up against the flames last night after putting on a hall of fame performance against us on tuesday.

  12. Oleg Petrov says:

    you said it JB_15 “if we show the type of energy that SK74 (or K2 if you prefer), we should be fine” – that is the key tomorrow night. If they come out with energy, then it should be a great night in the old phone booth. But if they start out at home like they have been, that energy won’t be there.

  13. Oleg Petrov says:

    From TSN broadcast tonight – intermission of Leafs game: Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh are looking for a goalie and they might be targeting Raycroft? @ $2 million this year and $2.2 next year? While I would laugh at either team thinking that would solve their goaltending problems, I hope it doesn’t happen so the leafs continue to be stuck with expensive but largely ineffective goaltending.

  14. Smart Dog says:

    Can we just call them K1 and K2?

    I’m a phonetic reader. Esskayfortyseven is a lot to say, even just in your mind. And besides he’s from Belarus not Germany.

    My favorite player is Grab-ARF!-ski

  15. showey47 says:

    i think the key will be to keep our legs moving against the laffs D and get pucks out quickly on the laffs dump-ins so they can’t establish a forecheck. Dumping the puck behind their D and chasing it, this should draw some penalties and wear them down. Winning face-offs will also be very important, in a game of puck posession if they don’t have the puck they can’t score

  16. JB_15 says:

    I think a loss. When the leafs get down, they get really down. They are not really the type of club to bounce back in a big way, it takes them time to regroup, and they are not very young. A confidence blow would be terrific, hopefully it will get them down and allow us to come out early and get a couple.

  17. showey47 says:

    i don’t think he ever has, but he would have to crack the lineup as a winger, not a center. He lacks size, footspeed and grit but probably has the best set of hands on the bulldogs. We already have a problem with size on our top 2 lines but i would like to see him get one last chance.

  18. JB_15 says:

    I think that if last night is any indication, our top line should skate circles around the leafs. They are a VERY slow team that will try to use their bodies. Their powerplay looks very disorganized largely because atlanta’s quick guys are beating them to loose pucks. If we show the type of energy that SK74 shows, we should be fine. THe crowd will be rocking no doubt after the win in philly and the fact that we are still only 2 points out of 2nd in the conference in point total. Sergei kostitsyn is a great guy to get koivu going – those two guys appear to have great work ethic, and of course higgy does too. No question I think there will be productivity from that line again.

  19. Oleg Petrov says:

    I wonder if he got into another situation whether he could get a shot?Has he ever played an NHL regular season game for the Habs?

  20. showey47 says:

    all the tools in the world, just no tool box. He actually reminds me of wellwood minus the footspeed and reoccuring sports hernia’s

  21. Oleg Petrov says:

    yea, I’d say you’re right – just can’t cheer for them anyway and every loss for them helps the Habs.

  22. Oleg Petrov says:

    poor locke will never get a shot will he? even with the potential of more call ups for tomorrow night, his name isn’t even mentioned.

  23. showey47 says:

    i say a loss, a slaughter so the laffs start raycroft. We need a demoralized laffs team here tomorrow night.

  24. Oleg Petrov says:

    I have never seen someone’s picture get so much attention! LOL

  25. showey47 says:

    3-2 bulldogs after one period. corey locke has 2 manlow has the other and d’agostinin has 2 assists

  26. Oleg Petrov says:

    on another topic – just flipping between the raptors and the leafs game on TSN – while I always want the leafs to lose, would it be better for the Habs for the Leafs to come to Montreal with a loss against Atlanta or a win? Whatever the outcome, hopefully it goes to shootout to maximize their time spent in Atlanta.

  27. Yeats says:

    Your new picture is soooo much better. I think I had you for Intermediate Macroeconomics at Columbia. Thank’s for the A!

  28. Smart Dog says:

    Glad someone agrees with me on this. Markov is great, but you probably COULD get a 35-goal scorer for him. And if he was the same age and big and tough, I think that would be a beneficial swap for a team that now is deep in D up-comers and has a solid mentor like Hamrlik and another Blue-chip D-man in Komisaurus.

    My favorite player is Grab-ARF!-ski

  29. Smart Dog says:

    Hey! That’s a great title for a new Robert Ludlum book!

    The Brisebois Experiment

    And Ludlum’s other up-coming book… The Ryder Conundrum

    My favorite player is Grab-ARF!-ski

  30. showey47 says:

    amen, i remember getting into what i will call a “debate” with another member here back in july when we signed hamrlik and this member claimed that souray was the better defenceman and the only reason why hamrlik had a good plus minus was because his partner was phaneuf. I tried to explain that it was actually the other way around and it was phaneuf who benefited from hamrlik, but nonetheless i knew he was solid and not the liability souray was. He won’t score like souray does but he will prevent more goals than sheldon will ever score.

  31. Oleg Petrov says:

    And the offensive skill is there when needed – as he gets more comfortable on this team, I think it will come out more and more. Big solid and the perfect mentor for O’Byrne, who I have been really impressed with (Tampa game aside – you know those will happen). Hopefully, the Brisebois experiment will end and O’Bryne will get the ice. He showed in his debut against Boston that he will make the simple play and can move the puck.

    Hamrlik is easily BG best FA signing and he backed into him after Souray took his big shot to Edmonton. We got really lucky and ended up with exactly what this team needs.

  32. Smart Dog says:

    Good point but you’d think we could trade 1 away. We seem to have a ton. And the line-up now is even pretty good. Markov,Komi,Hamr,Cube… not bad as a core. “A general is always fighting the last battle” as they say. We don’t want to have 10 great D-men and no big forwards.

    My favorite player is Grab-ARF!-ski

  33. Oleg Petrov says:

    Can’t trade Price Smart Dog – would never get enough back and it would be a huge hole in goal – Halak, Danis, Huet are not in the same class of what he could become.

    Markov? to get that big forward back? Yes, I would do it because we have some depth on D and I agree with you – Hamrlik is the real deal, at least for another year or two which buys time for the other prospects to develop. But it would have to be that big impact forward we have been searching for who is ready now.

  34. Smart Dog says:

    I remember when Hamrlik was signed people saying we paid too much. But am I the ONLY one that thinks Hamrlik is a huge addition to this team, and at a price that matches his contribution.

    He’s Plus-7 with 14 points on a team that has only 3 players above plus 1 (Komisaurus is plus 5, A Kost. is plus 3). He’s completely solid in his end, tough as nails (loved it when Lecalvalier tried to skate around him and ended up on this butt!), gives great break-out passes, joins the rush but manages to get back, can skate the puck out of his own end (so many players just fire it away)…. he also apparently is a great mentor – mentored Phaneuf. When i watch the game and Hamr is on the play I don’t worry. Markov has more offensive vision but just seems less solid to me. And solid my friends, is something we ain’t got enufa!

    My favorite player is Grab-ARF!-ski

  35. showey47 says:

    doug weight traded from st.louis to anaheim for andy mcdonald

  36. 24 Cups says:

    Harsh reality may dictate that neither Koivu or Kovalev will be here when we win the Cup. If we tank this year Kovalev is gone at the trade deadline – end of discussion. Koivu could stay but he has to resign at less than what he is getting now. Feelers could be put out concerning that option next year and if the answer is no then he is gone. And if I may be assertive here, let’s get something straight about our defense. Hamrlik is a good defenseman who we signed because we were in a bind. His contract is a little rich (in all aspects) for me. Markov is our main man – he along with Komisarek are the buildings blocks on defense. If McDonagh and Price join them then we are truly in business.

    The Original 24 Cups

  37. TradeRyder says:

    Why not? A trade still makes sense… if only because we obviously have some dead wood (Ryder, Slowinski) and we could use an enforcer… something along those lines would make sense.

  38. TradeRyder says:

    Given the choice? I’d trade Ryder.

    ‘course he’s not worth much now.

  39. Smart Dog says:

    Interesting responses to my last post. Good point re. Price. We’d get a lot but probably not enough… and yeah, trading Markov, even for a lot MIGHT not be a good idea. But here’s a question:

    If you HAD a chance to get a STAR forward and the deal had to include EITHER Markov or Hamrlik, who would you let go? Personally I think I would let go Markov. I think Hamrlik may not be quite as good in some ways – and he is older but I think he’s a better model of how this team needs to play. Tough, fast on the break-out, takes on all comers, ready to challenge.

    My favorite player is Grab-ARF!-ski

  40. Smart Dog says:

    I was going to put Kovalev on there – at the top actually. I guess I’m just exicited that we’re finally getting something out of his contract. And for 3 years I’ve been saying “I don’t get why this guy is so special” and now all of a sudden – he’s there, he’s plugged in, he’s guarding the puck and hitting the corners. But you’re right – his stock is high now…. could be smart to trade him. Except for one thing – he seems to have chemistry with the others Euro-Russians… though honestly I think it’s Plekanic who plays the central role (not just by name) in that group.

    My favorite player is Grab-ARF!-ski

  41. Roy-Rules says:

    Tell me about. Trading Roy away was the biggest mistake in franchise history. Tremblay and Houle took the dynasty down with them, and we are still recovering from their screw-ups.

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