Limping Brisebois can’t answer Isles bell

From The Gazette’s Pat Hickey in Uniondale:

Patrice Brisebois gave his best effort to stay in the Canadiens lineup, but the veteran defenceman faced up to reality after yesterday’s morning skate.

"I can’t go," said Brisebois, who has been hobbling since he was struck in the foot by a shot from Marcel Hossa during the third period of Saturday’s loss to the New York Rangers.

Brisebois participated in a full 90-minute practice Monday, but was limping as he left the Islanders’ practice facility in nearby Syosset. He had another full workout yesterday, but the pain and a lack of mobility ended his chances of playing last night.

"I was okay if I was going straight, but I couldn’t pivot," said Brisebois, who had been back in the lineup for three games after missing 11 games with a shoulder injury. "I hope there’s nothing broken, but it doesn’t feel right."

His absence forced coach Guy Carbonneau to shuffle his lineup. Mark Streit moved back to defence as Roman Hamrlik’s partner, while forward Tom Kostopoulos was back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch for the past two games.

31 Comments

  1. RetroMikey says:

    I still believe Brisebois and Smolinski are going to help us down the stretch big time. I do not question Carbonneau putting them on the 5 on 3 PP against the Rangers. Why not? The coach has to experiment since most teams now are focusing on our Kolavev on the PP! I’m not worried one bit. In fact, I’m more worried about the young guns not producing like Sergei Kostitsyn, Higgins and yes, even Lapierre who can score which he did in Hamilton. In my opinion, Higgins will be a 2 way player on our team, that’s all. Our offensive weapons are Plekanec and the Kostitsyn brothers, who will be our future first line for years to come. I would love to see Alexander Perezhogin come back from Russia next season. This kid can really help us.

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

  2. Chris says:

    I also like Matthias, but as a top scorer in the OHL I figure he’s a well-known commodity. Beleskey just reminded me of another of my favourite recent OHLers, Dustin Brown. Even in a dead game that’s not going well, he never stops skating, hitting or trying. That’s a trait I look for in the OHL, and you usually only find it in the NHL quality players. That being said, I’m more than happy that we passed on Dustin Brown and ended up with Andrei Kostitsyn! :) Its so great to go to the junior games and get a chance to see these guys when they are young and developing…for example, after watching Sergei Kostitsyn dominate the ice for the past couple of seasons, I can now truly appreciate what a steal he was in the 7th round. I’m relatively sure that S. Kostitsyn is going to be a good to very good NHL player.

    Now I just need to get to some Kitchener Rangers games to see Yannick Weber play…another Swiss defenceman with offensive prowess! Fortunately, will get a chance to see him at least once at the Memorial Cup this spring.

  3. jew4jah says:

    you are right!

    i paraphrased….it was closer to

    -be a really nice guy, well liked
    -try your hardest
    -really know your shit

    in my boss’s defense, he was an ignorant redneck. in my own defense, i did actually smoke a big bowl of something before writing that post. how’s my defense?

    go habs

  4. 24 Cups says:

    Ian – Matthias was originally drafted by Detroit and I only point that out because he was traded to Florida (along with a 2nd pick) at the trade deadline last year for Bertuzzi. What a waste that was – I hope that Gainey stays away from shortsighted moves like that this February.

    The Original 24 Cups

  5. Infanteer says:

    I’d say you boss had probably just smoked a big bowl of crack.

    How can anyone have the right attitude, but not put in the effort? The right attitude implies one would put in the effort. When’s the last time you heard someone say, “That guy has got such a good attitude, too bad he doesn’t give any effort.”

    As for Brisebois having no skills, well, at his best he’s an offensive defenseman. In general, offensive players are not judged as harshly for their defensive game – that’s why the “well-rounded player” is so highly valued. No one ever accused Gretz or Hull of winning too many Selke Trophies

  6. RiverviewCanadien says:

    I have never “bashed” Brisebois like some negative posters here, I do however point out mistakes that players may make. I think as a fan we have that right to be frustrated with this aspect of our favorite team. With that said, he makes mistakes and will make more (and so will other players, Huet stay in the net, Gui get the puck in the open net, etc), but having a guy that loves this team (like everyone says he does), in the locker room definitely has to be an asset for this team.

  7. Ian G Cobb says:

    This was for the bashers of our players that really don’t know the game !!!!

  8. westhab says:

    Taking pleasure about an injury within another team is bad. Taking pleasure about an injury within the team you call yourself a fan of is just insane.

  9. JF says:

    Well said, Ian! Brisebois is also a favourite of mine for the reasons you give. I get tired of seeing people put his play under a microscope and bash him for every mistake. As you say, they all make mistakes, and Brisebois’ are not the only ones that prove costly.

  10. Ian G Cobb says:

    I like Matthias even more, he was drafted by Florida. P.K. is a year younger and the two things you can,t teach is speed and heart. He has both. This junior level is all about coaching and development. If you bring to the table speed , heart and a willing attitude to buy into the program, you have a great shot at being a pro. He has it all and he is a work in progress. One more year in Jr. will tell a storey.

  11. Ian G Cobb says:

    WOW, just looked at all the i love you Brisebois posters appearing here, thats great, but where were you when he needed you. Think about it the next time one of our players has a poor stretch and you want to dump on him.

    I’ll take a big HEART over a big MOUTH everytime !

    IAN

  12. Chris says:

    Agree with you 100%.

    By the way, Ian…you attended a Belleville-Mississauga game recently, if I recall correctly. What did you think of P.K. Subban? I’ve seen him play three times this season (twice here in Guelph, once in Belleville) and I’m still not completely sold on him. Hope he develops, because he seems like a wonderful personality and the passion is there, but he just doesn’t jump out at me on the ice in terms of his talent. Matt Beleskey, the Belleville forward, on the other hand…I would love if Montreal could pry him away from Anaheim (because seriously, like they need ANOTHER young physical forward with offensive potential!).

  13. HABZ 24 says:

    breezby out, no loss there.he was a panic pick up anyway.we dont need him in the lineup.doesnt fit in with the youth movement of late.habs skated hard gave good effort vs isles.huet redeemed himself.go habs go.

  14. Ian G Cobb says:

    Brisebois might not be a # 1 or 2 D , but he is definetly a #1 with me for his leadership in the room and the pride he has playing for us, he gives his best every night and that is all i ask of anyone. It would be very nice if players made no mistakes when on the ice, but then it would not be hockey. It is a game of mistakes, just hope we make less than the other guys !

  15. jew4jah says:

    as a man, brisebois seems like a 100% stand-up guy. i really respect him. great attitude!
    as a defenseman, well…… i’m happy he’s out of the line up. hopefully it’s for good this time.

  16. rogus says:

    It’s too bad there aren’t more players with the pride of Brisbois, then we would have a team! Instead we get to deal with guys that should have signed here wondering why we boo them, eh Booere! (Briere) And Vince could play for a winning team too!!

  17. Infanteer says:

    Well done!

  18. jew4jah says:

    a boss once told me you need at least 2 of the following 3 in order to keep a job:

    1) effort
    2) attitude
    3) skills / knowledge

    no question, breezer’s got the first 2, but we hold professional athletes to higher standards than just effort & attitude, they gotta have the skills too. you don’t get a nickname like “Breeze-by” for good defense.

    can’t wait to see the boys thrash the thrashers demain soir. gohabs!

  19. Infanteer says:

    As the first poster here, might I plead with you all:

    No comments – please – akin to, “Oh, good. Brisebois sucks anyway,” “I hate Brisebois,” “Brisebois is useless” or, even more intelligent, “Make him a coach, then.”

    Behind this article is a hockey player who gave many good years to this organization, re-signed here for less than he would have made elsewhere – because he wanted to play here, and whose career is approaching its twilight.

    I for one cannot take pleasure in the fact he’s limping because – in a testament to self-sacrifice – he blocked a shot.

  20. Smart Dog says:

    Brisbois seems like a great guy and had many strong years as a talented professional athlete, helping to deliver a cup. We’re all proud of him for that – no-one could ever take that away. I’m not glad he’s hurt, but I do know that we’re better with him out of the line-up. It’s not up to him, it’s up to Carbo. I hope he feels better soon, and decides to retire. OR – if he does come back, respond to the bad press he gets by stopping the risky passes and by giving 200%. That’s the only way to shut us up… we’re not stupid fans or bent on his destruction. We want a winning team.

    ________________________________________________________________
    Habs Fans! The FUTURE looks bright:
    Plekanec, Higgins, Chipchura, A Kostitsyn, Lapierre, Latendress,
    Price, S Kostitsyn, Komisuarus, O’Byrne

  21. PattyBoy31 says:

    exactly what I feel, i’m not a breezbasher but i wish he would just either play hard (uninjured) or face reality and retire with class

  22. Chris says:

    Not to belabour the point, but I’m not convinced that we ARE better without him in the lineup. He is obviously nowhere near as good as Markov and Streit on the powerplay, but since Markov is such a key piece to our team (he plays on the shutdown pair of defencemen and all the PK’s), he can’t possibly play the entire PP every time or he will get worn down. Brisebois lets Carbonneau rest Markov.

    People have made a lot recently of the team’s record with and without Brisebois in the lineup. What the original poster forgot to include was that Brisebois has played 15 of the 20 home games, where the Habs have struggled mightily, but only 14 of the 25 road games where the Habs have been very good. I’m not sure that the Habs home troubles can be laid on at Brisebois’ feet. Furthermore, Brisebois is usually rested against weaker teams: the opposition is 358-299-71 (49.2% winning rate) in games that Brisebois has played, but only 213-197-46 (46.7% winning rate) in games that he has not played. The losses that Brisebois played in were against Carolina (twice), Ottawa (three), Detroit, Buffalo (three), New Jersey, Toronto and New York Rangers. With the exception of the Rangers, these are all teams that have given Montreal fits in recent years for a variety of reasons.

    I’ve never been a Brisebois basher…I can remember getting flamed repeatedly back in the 90′s for defending Brisebois and Vladimir Malakhov against jaded Habs fans and will continue to do so. If nothing else, Brisebois has been invaluable to our younger defencemen, especially Gorges, who would be getting absolutely crucified over some of the plays they have made this season if Habs fans did not have their one of their favourite whipping boys around to distract them. He does play too much of a role, but I agree with other posters who have pointed out that this is probably evidence of a need in the organization for a true 4th defencemen, something that Bouillon, Streit, Gorges and O’Byrne haven’t been able to fill or are not yet ready to fill. Given that our expectations were low going into this season and the depth of defensive talent we’ve got developing, I have complete confidence that this will not be an issue going forward, and Brisebois will have served his role as a stop-gap in the meantime.

  23. Richard B says:

    I too like Brisebois…it is just the times he gets to play that don’t make since.
    In that Atlanta game Brisebois was on the PP (making his bone head decisions) and either streit or Markov were riding the pine!
    The one PP goal they scored was when Markov and Streit were out there together. I think they should both play the entire PP.
    With the three Russians, Plecks and Koivu the main forwards on the PP…Markov and streit are the only D with the Creativity to play with them.
    Let Brisebois play…but not at the expense of Streit.

  24. J.T. says:

    I think Brisebois is a classic case of the spirit being willing but the flesh being weak. He’s trying…I truly believe he is. But he’s hurt so frequently, his body is trying to tell him he’s no longer physically built to play pro hockey. I don’t blame him for his overuse in games when he is able to play…his ice time’s not his call. That said, the team has a better record without him in the lineup for a reason, and even though he’s a dedicated team player and a well-liked guy, it may be time for him to admit he’s the end of the line in the NHL. Either that, or Carbo has to drastically change the way he uses Brisebois if he hopes to get any benefit from having him in the lineup.

  25. Richard B says:

    Well said,
    I think he is bennifical to have in the lineup…because of his experience and passion for the CH.
    But he needs to be on the ice a little less and perhaps at diffrent times.
    I don’t want to see him on the PP or in the last 2 mins!!

  26. Bill H says:

    Thanks Infanteer, for setting the tone of this thread. It is not criticism and the expression of opinions that made the crow metaphor in another thread appropriate. It is the disrespect and repetitive nature of the criticism that I have difficulty with. As people have correctly pointed out, it is not his decision how he is used or when (although I get equally tired of the way the coach is made a scapegoat). You have correctly identified the disrespectful way Brisebois is criticized, and the reasons he deserves more than that. I appreciate that thus far, posters have not allowed the criticism to revert to what it has been in other threads.

  27. Smart Dog says:

    Good point Bill. You don’t have to like the guy or want him to play even, but he’s been treated really harshly. This is a better discussion than most about Breezer.
    ________________________________________________________________
    Habs Fans! The FUTURE looks bright:
    Plekanec, Higgins, Chipchura, A Kostitsyn, Lapierre, Latendress,
    Price, S Kostitsyn, Komisuarus, O’Byrne

  28. JF says:

    Brisebois has a lot of class and a lot of courage. He took part in a full 90-minute warm-up with his ankle hurting him all the time before deciding he couldn’t play. He obviously wants to be back in the line-up. He is an experienced defenseman who often makes good plays. Yes, he causes turnovers sometimes, but people junp on him for every mistake, whereas the equally glaring mistakes made by other defensemen are passed over in silence. I know all his team-mates respect him and I wish posters would too. Criticism is OK, but not the kind of bashing he is routinely subjected to. I;m glad not to see any on this thread so far.

  29. RS says:

    I have never been a Breezer fan, but I don’t waste energy blaming the guy for everything. You have to have realistic expectations. That said, I’d be happy to see Markov, Komi, Hamrlik, Gorges, Cube and Breezer as our top 6 D, while O’Bryne is hurt. When he returns, I’d probably take O’Bryne over Breezer.

    At the start of the year, I really agreed that Streit should have been returned to his normal position on defence, but I’ve become convinced that he is a more effective forward who also plays the point on PPs. I would be fine seeing Breezer play 15 min a game and be on the second PP unit.

  30. The Teacher says:

    awww, poor baby, lol, send him to Paris for treatment.

    but i will say I respect how he handles himself with class and his devotion to the Habs.

    however, he is done.

  31. Ed says:

    Amen to that cournoyer. Some fans don’t show any respect for their Habs players, or any player for that matter, by wishing them ill well. It shows a lack of class. You summed it up perfectly, and this could apply to any player that a fan does not like, when you said that him not being in the lineup is enough. It’s like the old saying that with friends like this, who needs enemies.


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