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 B├ęgin 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.


  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.

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