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.

143 Comments

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Roy-Rules says:

    Well Kostitsyn did get knocked down last night and was slow to get up, could be as a precaution he is taking a night off. Lats blocked a couple of shots, and being Latenderness probably got injured. I don’t think any trades are happening anytime soon.

  4. saku11 says:

    I wouldn’t trade Price. If Scotty Bowman says he’s the real deal, I’m inclined to agree. At 20, this kid is already really good and will continue to get better. If you trade him now you wouldn’t get full value for him. Not to mention that you’ll only go as far in the playoffs as you’ll goaltender will take you and every indication so far is that Carey Price is a big game player. With all due respect to Huet and Halak, I’m not sure the same can be said about them. Anyway those are just my thoughts.

    Also, I wouldn’t want to see Koivu traded either. I think Montreal will be a legitimate contender in 09 and would love to see Koivu hoist the Cup in a Habs uniform and then pass it on to his teammate Vinny Lecavalier…

  5. Sulemaan says:

    Smart Dog,

    I wouldn’t trade any of our defensive prospects (O’Byrne, Fischer, McDonough, Subban) as defense has been a long-standing weakness of the team since the last cup. So in that vein I would not trade Markov either as he is still young at 28 years old. He’s also a key component of our power-play which is a big reason why we’ve won so many games.

    I agree with all of your other suggestions and assessments. The other name I would add is Kovalev. He’s old, he’s streaky and he’s got a huge contract. But for those reasons I don’t think he will be easy to trade either unless someone feels he will help them make a run at the cup.

  6. A. Berke says:

    Reasonable suggestion. However, in this day and age, I understand that trading in the nhl along with CBA’s etc. is something very difficult to achieve, especially at a large scale like that.

    Dave Stubbs:

    Do you think you can enlighten us with the possible limitations of making a trade (just basics). Thanks.

    Ali B.

  7. 24 Cups says:

    I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Pleks is slowing going to take over Koivu’s spot. Higgins deserves one more year to see if he truly is going to be a great player (because right he ain’t great – only good). Don’t worry about Hamrlik. Gainey overpaid in terms of dollars and length of contract. He’s playing well but he may be a liability in a few years. He’s going nowhere. Komisarek is untouchable in my eyes. The K brothers show potential but the jury is still out. I’d keep them for sure right now. Everyone talks about trading Ryder – right now you could probably do better with a Christmas regifted present. Breezer, Streit and Smolinski are all on one year contracts and would bring far less than you would think. I’m talking mid to low round draft pick at best. Dandy and Begin have another year left and will stay. I feel they serve a purpose and have some value in Montreal. Huet – he may not bring what guys on this site think he will. Markov? Trade him and you might as well close up shop. Koivu? That’s an in depth answer that I can’t get into right now but one thing I will say is we have to stop trading our captains like they were cattle. It’s a bad memory from a bygone era.

    The Original 24 Cups

  8. skoehn says:

    I am HUGE Huet fan and don’t want to see him leave but he deserves a team in front of him and to be treated better by the fans and the organization…..

  9. A. Berke says:

    Sounds like that will be the event of the year and thanks for sharing it with us.

    Just curious krob, will it be silent and deadly or thunderous? ;-)

    I was asking so that the folks can clear to the next province in time.

    Ali B.

  10. Smart Dog says:

    I have this awful feeling we’re about to trade someone really good…

    Here ARE THE TOP 5 PLAYERS I WOULD NOT TRADE (in order):
    1. Plekanic. This needs no explanation – goal-scorer, great passer, creative, hard working. I think he has a shot at being a start forward – 35 goals, 80-90 points in 2-3 years.
    2. Higgins. Big forward, can put it in the net, good leader. Similar to Pleks in potential.
    3. Hamrlik – vital at the back. Vital veteran, grit and talent. The DNA of our defense.
    4. Komiserik. What this team needs more of.
    5. K1 & K2. Special players both, and together, could be explosive. It would be foolish to pass up the opporutnity to see if they can strike fire together as they advance as players.

    I know Price isn’t there – that’s because unlike the above guys I KNOW that with Price we’d get a HUGE asset in return AND we are deep in net with or without him. With these other guys, I’m afraid Gainey would trade a Plekanic and get something modest. That would suck.

    THE TOP 5 I WOULD TRADE:
    1. Ryder, Breezer, Streit, Slowinski – in a flash. Got milk? Okay – fair trade.
    2. Koivu – to a contender. I think he wants to go and deserves to go. In return I would want a big tall center prospect.
    3. Huet – all star goalie – should get something good back
    4. Boulon – he’s good but we need to get bigger.
    5. Markov – Marky is great – but he’s once again recognized as being great so we’d get something big in return. I would ONLY trade him for an equally heralded big forward or a prospect likely to turn into that.

    Comments?

    _________________________________________________
    My favorite player is Grab-ARF!-ski

  11. Smart Dog says:

    I like your idea Krob. And I agree Higgins is probably the most independant forward – i.e. the one who can do it by himself. Might work out great – and maybe Koivu does just need a Lats or a Streit to bang the puck in off of.

    On the other hand, if you are taking about players that can play with anyone and make the other players better, I think the leaders on this team are Plekanic and Chipchura. Plekanic so obivously has a knack for finding other players on the one hand and receiving paases and making something out of them on the other. Chips has great vision, plays aggressive, and seems to be able to thread the needle with his passes.

    _________________________________________________
    My favorite player is Grab-ARF!-ski

  12. A. Berke says:

    in that situation it’s always prudent to cover the face and the throat. Better yet turn the face over.

    Ali B.

  13. Smart Dog says:

    We may just field a good team on Sat. The line-up shows no Ryder, no Breezer, no Slowinski, and Streit is on 4th line forward (minimize the damage at least).

    Carbo says if one of Lats and K1 can’t play, he’ll call Hamilton. So Ryder sits… good thing. Nothing against Ryder, just we have a team that flies…. let’s win a few before we think of giving him another shot at that 5th goal!

    _________________________________________________
    My favorite player is Grab-ARF!-ski

  14. kevin m says:

    Popular opinion of the day was that Luc Robitaille & Mike Bossy also lacked footspeed, toughness & size at the start of their careers. When they started potting goals like Tiger Woods sinks puts at Augusta, it didn’t really matter anymore.

    I’ll say it again “You can’t teach someone to score… it’s instinct and quickness that rarely involves any thought process”.

    PLAY RYDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Smart Dog says:

    Ah… the conspiracies are flying!

    Could be injuries – I’ve heard that when you play hard, you actually CAN get injured! Oh my!

    _________________________________________________
    My favorite player is Grab-ARF!-ski

  16. A. Berke says:

    Thank you for your sacrifice ;-)

    Ali B.

  17. JF says:

    RDS asked Huet a couple of weeks ago if he would be willing to stay in Montreal next season and play fewer games. He said no. Not surprising; he’s in a position to sign a long-term, multi-million dollar deal as a starting goaltender with some club. Of course he’ll do it. I just hope it’s in the West.

  18. A. Berke says:

    Ian,

    thanks for putting it this way, maybe now it may answer all them questions.

    Ali B.

  19. Scotty90 says:

    According to RDS:
    Guillaume Latendresse and Andrei Kostitsyn could miss the game on Saturday. They did not take part in the morning practice on Friday. Guy Carbonneau is confident that he can count on them to be there against the Leafs, but just in case, Bob Gainey should place another call to Hamilton.

    Duncan Milroy, Jonathan Ferland et Matt D’Agostini would be the players likely to be called-up if there is a need.

    Carbonneau also confirmed that Sergei Kostitsyn will play with Christopher Higgins et Saku Koivu. Kostitsyn played close to 13 minutes in his first game in the NHL against Philadelphia.

    Carbonneau did not specify if would be back in the line-up gainst the Leafs.

  20. coutNY says:

    The only thing about 3′K-ubed’ line, are we willing to mess up something in good working condition, to experiment with a 2 rookie line? One in which has 1 game of NHL experience?Against the Laffs no less… We finally look as if we were a team in Phili, a team simlar to TO.

    In my opinion, not sure I would catergorize Saku as fast. I think Pleks, who scores and assist a lot of transitional goals, would be a better choice centering a brother formation. Does he have the vetran patients to handle the young rookies? so maybe it would have to be Koivu..

    Anyway, I would take a few games to work in a brother line, in situational instances and off shifts. These guys are young maybe a few double shifts with Pleks. I admit there was an unmistakable moment were I thought the 2 Kosti’s showed shades of great chemistry… tough call.

  21. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    if the experiment for this is to unite the Kosty brothers then yes.

    I was pushing for Streit back to D in order to get Ryder in the lineup but after last night it would be foolish to change anything (even Gorges) going into tomorrows game.

    then again, with Carb, who knows whats the lineup for tomorrow, he may have Brisbrois back in.

    ———
    until the problem in my picture is solved…we will not be Champions.

  22. krob1000 says:

    No ti’s not….but I just put in a requisition to fart next Tuesday….I’ll let you know how it goes.

  23. krob1000 says:

    I am not trying to stir the pot after a win I just wanted to hear what other people think because I genuinely thin Higgins would be the same player on the third line….Ryder and Lats clearly are not.

  24. RS says:

    It’s a free country, but not at work.

  25. krob1000 says:

    Our corporate software doesn’t allow me access to TSN. Thank you though.

  26. krob1000 says:

    Strikeforce was my favourite tag team as a young wrestling fan. Rick Martel and Tito Santana……they beat demolition for the title. My friends and I had watched that match like it was a world changing event. We taked about it for months…heck years…..we were just kids you know but I always liked the name. The k’s make me think of strikeouts and they will be a force so…voila…I guess now I understand that may be random to someone else.

  27. RS says:

    Trent McCleary (no relation to Craig Darby)

  28. krob1000 says:

    Does anyone else think it is time to look at splitting Koivu and Higgins on 5 on 5 siuations??? They have tried seven rigth wingers…..maybe they should try one new left winger. This is in no way meant in any way to disrespect Higgins as I believe him to be a future star for many years here….and a semi-star now. The more I watch Higgins the more I think he could be just as successful on any line. He isn’t reliant on Koivu in any way. Ryder, Lats and Kostitsyn (Andrei) are guys who need set up men. Higgins is a one man wrecking crew and aside from Kovalev he is thte only guy who I believe can make offense happen on his own. Just a thought because if you could drop Higgins down and have three really good lines…..look out.

  29. RS says:

    Check out the TSN website. A Kostitsyn (knee) and Lats (unknown) skipped practice. Milroy, D’Agostino and Ferland are reportedly standing by in Hamilton awaiting the call.

  30. saku11 says:

    random but I like it

  31. krob1000 says:

    Can someone else please confirm this talk of the injuries and more call-ups being necessary perhaps.

  32. ccs says:

    I would love to see a Huet/Price tandem for years to come but he will be a highly sought after free agent and will be looking to cash in BIG TIME. We still need to sign others as well and hope to finally catch that elusive BIG NAME free agent, unless huet settles for less than what others offer him and in this day and age that aint gonna happen….

  33. krob1000 says:

    I like “Strikeforce”.

  34. Habs_008 says:

    I wasnt thinking of that “3K” if i offended anyone im sorry, I will think next time before i post. I honestly didnt think about that stuff. Sorry everyone!

  35. Scotty90 says:

    why is there no way that he will re-sign with us? I think he loves Montreal… don’t forget he is Parisian, and Montreal is as close to home as its going to get!

  36. Scotty90 says:

    someone that posted yesterday suggested the KO line. Pretty catchy actually.

  37. jrshabs1 says:

    Habs_008 do you even know what 3K’s mean? Plead ignorance and say your sorry and it’ll work it self out.

  38. Blitzen says:

    HE HAS SEEN DA LIGHT!!!! LORD BE PRAISED!!!!

  39. Blitzen says:

    Can we have it so that any post talking about the Laffs is automatically flagged as offensive?

    TIA!

  40. Blitzen says:

    The “KO line” would be more politically correct.

  41. Habs_008 says:

    It was not supose to be joke, I just think that would be a goodline, I dont care what they are called. I know I’m not funny. nice boat.


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