Kostopoulos to provide spark for top line

Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau will try and inject some life into his top line tonight by inserting Tom Kostopoulos with Saku Koivu and Christopher Higgings and bumping Michael Ryder to the third line, The Gazette’s Pat Hickey reports.

"I think playing with different people he doesn’t know, maybe he’ll trust his instincts and shoot a little more," Carbonneau said of Ryder, who is going through a deep slump and will be teamed with Steve Bégin and Bryan Smolinski in Buffalo.

Hickey writes: There won’t be as many expectations on the newcomer (Kostopoulos) to score goals, but he’ll be asked to do some of the heavy lifting along the boards.

9 Comments

  1. TommyB says:

    I have to agree in principal with RS, and nightmare_49 on this one. The line is essentially Koivu and Higgins. Who you add to it does not necessarily make great things happen, but it can have an adverse effect on the line. Point being, that if Ryder has become a “drag” on the line, then it is a benefit to move him and bring in someone else who may not be lightning in a bottle, but who also may not be a drag on the line, and thus holding the line back.

    I’m not sure if that is the point that RS and nightmare_49 are trying to make, but it is my take on the basis of what they are saying, and maybe adding a bit to it.

    God bless Ryder, and all he has done for the Habs in the past, but this is about right now! The staff has shown patience with Ryder, but the time has come to look for alternatives without totally giving up on Ryder. Ryder is still in the lineup! Now it is up to him to work his way out of the funk he is in, and subsequently, get himself back up to the first line.

  2. Scotty90 says:

    Mark my words….. Habs fans will have a new respect for the Spartan after tonight!

  3. kevin m says:

    If you look closely you may even see the resemblance between Kirk Douglas (Spartacus the Gladiator) and Tom K.

    Here’s to tonight’s battle

    Go Habs Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. sam says:

    i love the idea of putting Kosto up front to spark things up. they don’t need it but it’ll be a devastating line, for sure. as for Ryder; dude, pick it up. stop trying to carry the puck or play along the boards. you can’t. you cough it up. leave it to Higgins and Koivu. they’re at the top of their games for playmaking right now.

  5. nightmare_49 says:

    RS – Great point,Cashman wasn’t to fancy with Esposito and Hodge but he got the job done, i think they all are trying to do too much on their own on Saku’s line and should keep it simple and that’s the way Tommy K. plays so lets see what comes of it. I hope Gorges gets to play on Saturday as he needs ice time. Depth is great but you got to keep them fresh as the games so fast these days, it’s hard to step in when your stagnate.

  6. Naila Jinnah says:

    Is it just me or is the text in this post highlighted?! :O
    Also, I think the Bomb will create a spark tonight… and even if it’s just for a little while, I’ll take it!
    I bet he’ll score too! Or at least get a point or two. I suck at placing bets.

  7. Scotty90 says:

    Naila, I have a gut feeling that the Spartan won’t be that much out of place on the first line. A spark there will be. He’ll be so motivated out there that he’ll be pulling rabbits out of his hat. I can see him being a regular Tasmanian Devil in the corners and along the boards and feeding Koivu and Higgins. enjoy the game tonight.

  8. mar-lin says:

    I don’t know guys, don’t you think he’s a little short on talent? I like the guy but to me it just seems like he’s playing at level that doesn’t suit him. I know and love what he can do i just don’t think it’s worthy of first line ice time. BTW I have no problem with eating my words…they don’t usualy taste too bad. ;)

  9. Mr.Hazard says:

    All I know is Ryder has been a negative force on Higgins and Captain K. Can’t wait till he starts scoring.

    Ex nihilo nihil fit


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