Lines for tomorrow

If you go by the alignments at an early-afternoon practice in Verdun today, it’s Saku Koivu centring Christopher Higgins and Mark Streit, Tomas Plekanec and Alex Kovalev reunited with Andrei Kostitsyn, Kyle Chipchura, Guillaume Latendresse and either Tom Kostopoulos or Michael Ryder and Bryan Smolinski between Mathieu Dandenault and Steve Bégin.


  1. Bouleau noir says:

    Desagree LTHF

    The Detroit Red wings is seen as the best hochey organization in the NHL and I couldn’t wish My Canadiens a better set of hochey attributes then the ones their team has displayed during the last 14 years in which they never failed to qualified for the play-offs.

    Europeans and Russian players have been at the core of the Wings success and the great brand of hochey played in there the whole of that time,… your theorie is not only as flawed as they get but it also promote the idea of an esthetically un-apealling brand of hochey that I dont much care about.

  2. Chorske says:

    Amen. Pick the best guy, regardless of race, creed, colour, tint or hue. As much as I want Montreal to retain its visage Francais, I dont feel the same way about the team. I just don’t get the attitude that makes it impossible to have an anglo coach or captain. Until we hire / sign based solely on merit and talent rather than language, we’ll risk being a backwater team.

  3. A. Berke says:

    To: LTHF

    No sense talking a racist talk my friend.

    If not you, then at one point your ancestors were Europeans who had emigrated to Canada, Non?

    The team should have the best players they can get and afford without regards to race and nationality. This is the NHL of today, judging by your comment of being a fan for 60 years, you must be around 70’ish.

    Time to change your thinking please.

    Ali B.

  4. coutNY says:

    I agree G-man, I would be little more upset that there wasn’t anyone commanding respect in front of the Net. It makes other teams think twice about feeling comfortable crashin’ and bangin’ if they know that Komi going to give back to them 2 fold. That’s his job… Thank god because there are very few on the team that can do it!

  5. notbigbird says:

    In light of all of the late collapses, I have been wondering the same. Do they have a plan? Do they practise it at all? Didn’t I read an article in The Gazette on Sunday (that I don’t think made it onto this site) where Higgins was quoted as saying that they didn’t know what they were doing when trying to hold onto a lead? I’d really like this followed up as well.

  6. coutNY says:

    What the line combos werent enough for you?

  7. Gilles Poisson says:

    Not disparaging madame. Mais it was arrogant. But she did not mean it to be. The peasants were not allowed to come to Marie’s birthday and they were outside the palace of her and Napoleon and they were causing a ruckus and someone told Marie they were hungry and wanted to eat cake like her and she said “well let them eat cake” as if this would solve everything but the problem was that they were not invited to the party in the first place. Thank you.

  8. piche says:

    Ok… I’ll byte and toss in my lines – pardon my spelling.

    Kovalev – Plekanec – Higgins
    Kostitsyn1 – Koivu – Kostitsyn2 (a la Sedin twins)
    Latendresse – Chipchura – Ryder
    Begin – Lapierre – Kostopolous (hit everything that moves)

    Markov – Komi
    Hamr – Streit (we need Streit on the power play and Hamr can make up for his defensive lapses)
    Dandeneault/Bouillon – Gorges

    Should make for some interesting hockey.

    P.S. We need more hitting from our defence. This should come from Komi, Hamr & Bouillon. If Bouillon isn’t up for it bring someone up who really loves to hit. Maybe it’s Vealentenko as you say.

  9. LTHF says:

    Well well well, once again everyone is wondering what wrong with the Habs, and most continue to point the finger at Ryder, true he is having a rough time putting the puck in the net but at least he is working hard. As a habs fan for 60 years my patience have been tested to remain so the last few years and if Ryder sits tonight and smolinski plays—then my desire to remain a hab fan could diminish somewhat. As I see it the problem with the Habs, is the same as some other teams have, —- too many europeans on the team— no heart, no desire to perfrom every night. How many did Anaheim have last year when they won the cup— one or two? and something like 15 canadians, there my friends is the problem—start drafting more CANADIANS.

  10. ColRouléBleu says:

    Rolling eyes emoticone, where are you when we need you? So Markov is the second worse defensive player on this team according to you? I’m impressed, appreciating a player’s game with one number, Bravo.

  11. TradeRyder says:

    Can someone explain this to me? Carbo juggles the lines… it actually works and produces our best game of the season 5-on-5, and now we go back to pretty much the lines we had before. HUH???

    Thanks for the line changes I asked for Carbs! Now, do the defense!

  12. TradeRyder says:

    Good point. Hope some reporters are reading.
    Thanks for the line changes I asked for Carbs! Now, do the defense!

  13. mjames says:

    Instead of this constant reporting on lines do you think one of the Gazette reporters who cover the Canadiens could ask Carbo what exactly his team is attempting to do in a close game when it holds the lead? On Saturday I saw all our players )at least 4) standing on our blue line and backing in to let Nashville set-up in our zone. I would like to know if this is the strategy that is to be employed. There was one lonely forward who ventured in the Nashville zone before Nashville skated out unimpeded. The player looked like he was waving to the crowd. It would be very interesting to know what Carbo’s instructions are.

    I have never seen such soft reporting. All we hear about are the lines and who is on number 1, 2, 3, 4 lines and who is sitting out. Come on guys ask Carbo what is going on. Ask him why the team is collapses in late in games. We have seen game after game where this does not work. Please tell us what is going on. We dumb fans or this dumb fan would like to know.


  14. The Cat says:

    Habs should have the devil himself on their heels tonight. I think we’ll win.

  15. TradeRyder says:

    How Mark Streit, who looks half the time like he belongs in the minors and is a MINUS 9 on a team with a winning record, ends up on the first line I’ll never quite get. Mysteries abound… just look at Smolinski. Speaking of PLUS-MINUS, next to Streit, it’s Markov with a MINUS 8. Looks to me like Markov is believing the press about him being an offensive threat and starting to forget how to play defense. Thank god for Hamrlik.

    Thanks for the line changes I asked for Carbs! Now, do the defense!

  16. G-Man says:

    Where’s your “di”, man?

  17. G-Man says:

    Whine, whine, whine. If you don’t like watching Komisarek protect his goalie, you should watch curling or something. BTW, just making the lineup on an NHL team is an incredible accomplishment against great odds, so don’t knock Begin. He could probably skate rings around you.

  18. ABC says:

    Great , let it be etched in stone for the whole 60 minutes.1st line bla bla bla 2nd line bla bla bla …can we stop labelling everything and just hope for an enjoyable outcome irregardless of who plays with who. Really !grown men that have been playing this game and still have no clue of where to be to score or to recieve the next pass need not be in the NHL.For all the “hard” work Begin does it is time to work a little smarter than all that so called great grit which has netted him ? what a mighty 2 goals ?
    Can somebody give Komisarek a chill pill (be careful though he’s likely to push you) every time someone comes within a sniff of Price or Huet’s pads he’s shoving them and pushing them to no end after the whistle has blown and play has stopped.A certain R word comes to thought which ends with a d.
    to be continued…….

  19. likehoy says:

    Rejean Houle made that mistake

  20. likehoy says:

    very true…but the line would no doubt be very speedy and hopefully buzz around…other than higgins plekanec and kovalev, there’s no one else than grabs that can really keep up with koivu and kostitsyn in terms of speed and skill…

  21. teamplayer says:

    I think yuo can almost say the same for the western conference… other then Detroit at the top, 2 to 15th only have 12 pts seperating them and if wasnt for the losing slumps the bottom 3 teams are in it would be even tighter… WELCOME to the new nhl, where everyteam can compete.

  22. the_prestigitator says:

    great lines but you cannot put 2 playmakers on the same line. grabovski has speed but doesn’t shoot often, same goes for koivu. you need at least 2 snipers on the first line. that’s my opinion.

  23. the_prestigitator says:

    streit had surprised us all in a game against the senators last year. however, i do not think that our canadiens will be any match against the red wings even without maltby and draper. notice that hasek could also be considered a habs killer and that lidstrom doesn’t make many mistakes in the defensive zone. to top it all, rafalski hurt us in new jersey, he will again- this time, in a different uniform. fortunely, hasek’s GAA is tedious. let’s just cross fingers on this one…

  24. A. Berke says:

    Could it be that maybe, just maybe, Carbo is trying to catch up with a billion posters offering their gazillion lines for the team for every game?

    LOL 😉

    Ali B.

  25. PGHABS says:

    If I told you 25 games in the Habs would be four points out of first place in the division, would you take that?(They are also four points away from 9th place, and six away from 14th)
    I guess this means the eastern conference is a whole bunch of average hockey teams, with all of them lacking in some area.

  26. nightmare_49 says:

    I’m in total agreement with you.If you lose say little if you win say less.

  27. likehoy says:

    Maybe Carbo thinks theres a special award to whichever coach is able to make the most line combinations in the league…or he’s trying to solve a mensa puzzle of how many sets of 3’s he can make with 12 different numbers.

    At any rate, my take on lines:

    Kostitsyn – Koivu – Grabovski
    Higgins – Plekanec – Kovalev
    Latendresse – Chipchura – Ryder
    Begin – Lapierre – Dandeneault

    Markov – Komi
    Hamr – Streit
    Bouillon – Gorges

    Reserves: Valentenko (i want to see this guy hit, I heard he hits hard), Beauregard/Locke (they’re both goal scorers that can put pressure on our lack of goal scorers), and Brisebois for veterant support if anyone breaks.

    Halak (he will show his stuff during his stint and huet will become expandable which we can hopefully move with a prospect like locke or uruquart for immediate help)

  28. saku11 says:

    I called Dean Lombardi and offered him Ryder and Huet for Dustin Brown and a 2nd round pick. He told me he’d get back to me.

  29. Chorske says:

    Whoops, forgot to mention that one player, St Louis, wasn’t even drafted.

  30. likehoy says:

    but talented people are able to juggle flaming torches…what if our team are a bunch of flaming torches with insanely dangerous potency!? (ya right)

  31. likehoy says:

    i think the difference between the gainey era and dallas and the gainey era and montreal is that TREVOR TIMMINS makes the draft choices

    Gainey, if you guys haven’t heard, he doesn’t do anything. He just says “ok.”

    All draft picks are done by trevor timmins and gainey just double checks his work. Example of this, the Carey Price pick. Repeatedly, Timmins’ has said that Bob tells him to pick the best available talent, rather than pick by what positions they feel weak in. If you would like to argue Carey Price being a bad draft choice, then you my friend, have got to get yourself a hockey team and win yourself a stanley cup.

    All trade talks are done by Pierre Gauthier…and then Gainey gets the final word.

    Gainey as the VP and GM of the team, has put the team in the hands of very capable scouts and assistant GM so that he doesn’t have to put pressure on himself to make all the decisions and to be everywhere in the league because he just can’t. We will see in a couple of a years how Gainey’s management skills work out for this era with the Habs.

    Therefore your comparison to his years in Dallas is completely OBSOLETE.

    and by the way, Brenda Morrow and Marty Turco have both played for Team Canada repeatedly, pretty bad hockey players eh??

  32. notbigbird says:

    Seriously! Is there any other team that goes through even half of the nonsensical juggling that we do? I don’t pay much attention to other teams, so I’m asking a genuine question here. It’s beginning to seem ridiculous to me. Early last game, Mike said that the new lines were making Carbo look like a genius. Meanwhile, I wondered why it took a genius so long to find them.

  33. likehoy says:

    bouillon dandy was our worse defensive pair last year…if i have to watch marathons in our own zone of bouillon and dandy sucking again this year then i’m going to stop watching the habs for the rest of the year cuz we’ll have the same team that missed the playoffs last year.

  34. Chorske says:

    LOL, but then what would we talk about? How swell the boys all look in their new jerseys? 😉

  35. Chorske says:

    You could do the same for any of the teams. The more interesting stat is to look at the highly touted draft picks that end up panning out. The answer is, surprisingly few. There are few sure bets (Crosby, Ovechkin, and dare I say, Price). The rest is an educated crap shoot.

    You could also look at the top 25 players this year (I made it 25 instead of 20 so the list would include your precious Getzlaf), and look at what position they were drafted in. TEN were drafted either first or second overall. GAWD forbid we ever get such a pick, it’ll mean we finished last or sold our moms for it. Once you get past first or second overall, the mean selection position is 64th. In other words: a crap shoot. The fifth best scorer in the league today was picked 210th overall- Zetterberg. So your choice is: finish dead last and maybe you happen to luck into a top 25 guy… or don’t finish dead last, and do an educated guess about someone’s potential. That’s why they have professionals doing this- people NOT YOU.

  36. zacshot13 says:

    exactly that sounds pretty good lines.
    i think Gorges should be off the team ot they should try to trade him for whatever they can since they need some help now. Gorges gives terrible passes, always gives the puck up to other team, remember the Atlanta game?
    i think Grabovski got a lot of talent he should play more same for Kostitsyn he got skill. i want to see maybe a Grabovski, Kovy and Plecks or maybe work it out and put Kostystin on it.
    iunno wat to do w/ Ryder Koivu and Higgins line ????
    chipchura got skil too but nowhere rlly to put him. cuz he cnt play with people like Begin and Kosto

    wats goin on lately with Marky ?

  37. Moey says:

    I have to disagree, from what I can remember..having senior moments at times, cake was a disparaging remark against the peasants. Let the Habs eat cake, we’ll leave the hay to those who truly deserve it.

  38. sidhu says:

    My hopes for the lines (one day):

    Higgins-Pleks-Kovalev (scoring 1)
    Latendresse-Koivu-Ryder (scoring 2)
    Begin-Chipchura-Kosto (checking/shut-down)
    Kostitsyn-Grabovski-Lapierre (speed/energy)

    Streit-[Cube or Dandy]

    Bench, reitrement, AHL: Smolinski, Brisebois, Gorges

    Each line has a defined role, rather than the confusing lines we have now (e.g., a offensive forward like Koivu with a defensive player like Streit).

  39. Yeats says:

    It really speaks volumes when an animal in competition reveals more heart and passion than a human being that is being paid millions of dollars to perform. With apologies to Marie Antionette, “Let the Habs eat hay!”

  40. Moey says:

    Agreed, leave them to it. These overpaid, “fragile'” egotistical human athletes, fuddle duddle.

    How could you not love the noble horse. Like Mike Boone said a while back, the greatest moment he ever witnessed in sports was Secretariat winning the Belmont. I’ll drink to that.

  41. downeast hab says:

    lets remember, hockey is a game of mistakes. Every goal scored is the result of mistake by someone on the ice. But to read some of the comments by the critics here, it seems like some people have to much idle time, or to contary to live with.Lets leave the discisions to the pros and sit back and enjoy what we see. Because theres not a dam thing we can do, so why get all riled up over it. So when the habs play tuesday, just watch and enjoy, and see how the cookie crumbles. Like snook says, RIGHT ON !!

  42. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    this was mentioned in a thread below but the idea should be raised to the surface!

    TIME FOR DANDY to go back to DEFENSE.

    that would make room for LAPIERE on his line.


    brisbro and gorges in the rafters


  43. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    thats good you’ve brought up another posibility, putting Dandenault back on Defense…thats brilliant and would open up room on the forwards for Lapeire.


    and let lapeire take dandys spot on forward

    and you rotate brisbr and gorges in at times.

  44. saku11 says:

    hehe oops, I’m pretty sure Serge Savard encouraged them though

  45. saku11 says:

    they’re definitely good enough to be mentioned. Also, building a team through the draft wasn’t as crucial without a salary cap.

  46. Yeats says:

    They’re like some grade-school science experiment. Put to potatoe in the cup of water and come back a month later and see what has happened. You don’t want to watch the Habs in real time anymore. It just takes too much out of you. And, if they don’t give a crap, why should you?

  47. ebk says:

    Andre Savard not Serge

  48. teamplayer says:

    i thought the point was to win the cup? conn smythe was niewendyk that year. who cares what hes doing now, they traded him away 3 yrs after that and his career went down hill from there.
    and there are about 7-8 players drafted from 98-03 that are becoming names now in the nhl and most of them still with nhl.
    its not the best drafting but you gotta blame some of that on the scout team, considering timmins praises gainey for listening to this scout team.

  49. saku11 says:

    If you look at Detroit, they didn’t really draft anyone of note except for Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, which was fortunate for them because they wouldn’t be nearly as good without those two guys. If you look at where they were drafted, 6th and 7th round I believe, all 30 teams passed on them multiple times. Besides with no salary cap, the draft was not as big a deal.

    If you look at Timmins and Gainey’s performance for the Habs, I’d say they’ve drafted pretty well. Carey Price so far has been very impressive, Chipchura looks like he’ll be Selke winner eventually, McDonough has a lot of hype behind him, PK Subban and Ryan White were invited to the Canadian Junior Camp which has to be a good sign. You could mention the 2003 draft, but that was one of the strongest drafts in a long time and A. Kost was highly regarded by Central Scouting heading into draft day, the only concern was he had seizures in the past. I think once he becomes more consistent, he’ll be an excellent player. He definitely has the skill set.

    This team is much stronger than the team he inherited and will continue to get better. Within 3-4 years we will probably have one of the best defensive lineups as well as a perennial Vezina candidate in nets. I have give credit to Serge Savard for Komi, Pleks and Higgins though, they were excellent picks.

  50. Moey says:

    I guess you were in town for that one? We were out visiting, I asked if they would mind if I checked the score, it was 3-0 in the third, I was thrilled, of course I had to see the rest…..couldn’t believe it, neither could anyone else and they weren’t hockey fans. I went off the deep end, from now until Christmas I’m officially indifferent.

  51. HigginsIsABeast says:

    Scouting’s better in Montreal, hands down.

  52. P St. Pierre says:

    Streit is a defenseman, play him there. I’d like to see something like this:


    or maybe this:


  53. HigginsIsABeast says:

    Good point, and I agree with your switches but although Bouillon’s a beast for his size, I’d almost rather see Dandenault now that I come to think of it. Not that a huge part of his old team is still there.

    Oh, and it’s funny cause I look at those lines and although Lafleur said the Habs have 4 4th lines, I’d say he’s only half wrong.

    The Habs have 2 4th lines at best and 2 second lines (even strength) and their power play, which is actually their first line.

  54. Yeats says:

    Saturday night was much worse live than it was on tape. And, then to get the usual post game cliche crap, it was just too much for a thinking human being to bear.

  55. Moey says:

    Crap Yeats, did you have to use the word “founder”.

    The Habs don’t deserve this mascot, I’m thinking of changing it to Pepe Le Pew.

  56. saku11 says:

    I think Brendan Morrow, Marty Turco and Jamie Langenbrunner turned out ok.

  57. teamplayer says:

    1998, 1999, 2000 playoffs, dallas won a cup, went to the finals and went to the conference finals. and by trading away iginla they got joe niewendyk who got 21pts in 23 games in the playoffs the year they won it…. i think he did pretty decent in dallas.

  58. john turner says:

    i see not one of you expert clowns is working at the Canadiens front office yet. The way you are so critical you must be related to Don Cherry. The one that tells us how good He is because his team made it to the finals and he was the quickest to have 300 wins. Is so stupid to say we should have drafted differntly.Management as always goes for the player that can help them not the one that can win a scoring title. All you have to do is look at the history of the Canadiens. They win or loose as a team .The best player in the league is Crosby but where are the Pens they have fire power just not a team.Teams win cups players win scoring titles. Thanks from the West

  59. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    Your lines are good, forwards make a lot of sense, even going as far as switching SMolink with Begin (he needs to sit one.)

    BUT your defense pairing of BRISB and GORGES NO! NEVER!

    Bris can join Smolink in the rafters.

    to bad it won’t happen…but it should.

  60. Yeats says:

    Moey, we have hit the berg. And barring a miracle, we will surely founder.

  61. Moey says:

    How relevant is that when they won the cup in 1999? You’re looking for any crap you can find. Take my advice, we’re all obsessing, let it go for a couple of weeks and it will fix itself.

  62. Yeats says:

    You can’t give the other guys in the room “the look” when you haven’t done “jack.” In the vernacular, your street cred is nil!

  63. Yeats says:

    But, you know, as they tell us, Bob knows hockey.

  64. Yeats says:

    You want to go into seizures. Look at Houle’s! Ray Charles could have seen more talent!!!

  65. Yeats says:

    I think it speaks volumes to the offensive capabilities of this squad. They’re not foolin’ anyone, let alone the Red Wings.

    Q: What will the back of the net say to Koivu the next time he scores?
    A: Howdy stranger!

  66. HigginsIsABeast says:

    I don’t understand. If we have any hope of beating Detroit tomorrow, we need some offense to draw penalties if anything. Streit on the first line isn’t going to draw calls. I say go for these lines with Latendresse on the first since has actually been scoring and Detroit would look to shut him down. In any case, we’ll need special teams to come through to win.

    My picks:

    Higgins – Koivu – Latendresse
    Kostitsyn – Plekanec – Kovalev (Money line so far)
    Begin – Chipchura – Ryder
    Kostopoulos – Smolinski – Dandenault

    Markov – Komi
    Hammer – Streit
    Brisebois – Gorges

  67. Naila Jinnah says:

    I find it interesting that Streit’s on the first line.

  68. Yeats says:

    Send the deposit to the silver engraver right now! No 25 is on the way!!

  69. ebk says:

    thanks for the scouting report. The plan is close to maturity. Habs will rule forever

  70. Yeats says:

    Have you heard about the goaltending prospect the Habs have? They call him “Fat Bastard.” He can literally cover 23 sqaure feet when he goes down on his side. And, Dr. Evil parted with him for — get this — one million dollars!

  71. Yeats says:

    Mike Boone: The only line combo that matters tomorrow night is who will center the Jones brothers at pickup tomorrow night at West Point. As far as the Habs are concerned, I’ll just sprinkle some holy water on the DVD recorder and hope for the best. We are fourth liners, but at least we bring it to every skate!

  72. ebk says:

    I think you guys are wrong. Carbo is so far ahead of the curve, it is not funny. No wonder Gainey has been drafting all those defenseman. Soon we will dress 18 and dominate the league. Woo hoo

  73. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    Streit being a forward must mean that Gorges is in.

    Breeze should sit and move Streit back to D where he belongs, because he doesn’t belong on the #1 Line!…he is one of our better defenseman…did we forget that?

    and Ryder should be back on the 1st with Grab on the 3rd and Kostop or Begin in the pressbox for this matchup with the wings.

    or if he wanted to try something radical, put Ryder on the 3rd and migrate Chip to the first…his play has earned him the chance.

    this is getting comical…and Carb insists that Koivu’s line is still the #1!!!!!!

  74. LTHF says:

    smolinski cost the Habs the win on Sat., he shud be in the press box tomorrow night.

  75. Gilles Poisson says:

    It looks like coach Guy has made another silk purse from the materials provided by Bob. Bravo coach. Bravo.

  76. Yeats says:

    How much reefer do you smoke on average each day or is booze your medication of choice?

  77. Chorske says:

    You forgot to type ‘thank you’. You’re falling out of character.

  78. slamtherimtim says:

    please fire carbo and gainey

    and hire serge savard and jake demers

    gainey seems afraid to move his office around

  79. DYCSoccer17 says:

    I am glad that the NHL suspended Scott Nichol for 5 games. His cross-check to Brisebois’ face was the reason for this. I was critical of this at the time of the cheap shot in which people said Brisebois “turtled”. I am glad the league saw this and responded appropriately.

  80. linp says:

    I like this line-up. I hope Higgins plays the LW and Streit the RW.
    I have suggested a month ago to bench Ryder for a game or two. It could help him to recover much faster from his brain dead. Ryder still has the skill. His brain is just not functioning like last year when he got the puck.

  81. Mr.Hazard says:


    Ex nihilo nihil fit

  82. 24 Cups says:

    These lines make sense to me too. Please just leave them in place for the entire game (or two, or three). Give the guys some time to jell together. I think the constant tinkering indirectly gives the message that Carbo doesn’t believe in his players.

  83. Les-Habitants says:

    TSN reported the following:
    Higgins – Koivu – Streit
    Kostitsyn – Plekanec – Kovalev
    Players in 3rd line colours
    Latendresse – Chipchura – Kostopoulos – Ryder
    Players in 4th line colours
    Begin – Smolinski – Dandenault – Grabovski

    So, although I think Grabovski is going to be in the pressbox, he’s still in the thick of it for a spot…which is good, pushes both Begin and Smokes to be better.

    Don’t understand Streit being on the 1st line RW….I saw let Lats try out the RW, as he has proven to have some scoring potential…then again, I guess we need Streit for the PP

  84. Ibleedbleublancetrouge. says:

    I think if Smolinski sits, you can slide Grabovski into the middle with Dandy and Begin flanking him. You give him some speed and defensive responsibility with Dandenault and some size, protection and front-of-the-net presence in Begin. Might work…

  85. Ibleedbleublancetrouge. says:

    Is this Getzlaf talk ever going to end? The Hockey News & TSN have both ranked Montreal as 3rd in Prospect depth, let’s not blame Gainey (and Tmmins) on his drafting decisions. If anything is going right, it’s our draft picks, for a lesson on how NOT to draft, see Ferguson, John.

  86. 24 Cups says:

    The Getzlaf talk ends when Andrei K. becomes an NHL hockey player of any consequence who can make a difference. As for Kopitar, I’d love to have him on our team but Price was a much better selection. In fact, Price may be the 2nd best pick of his enter draft year next to Crosby. He’s sure better than Ryan, Brule, and Pouliot. It was a gutsy call by Gainey and TImmins.

  87. Ibleedbleublancetrouge. says:

    No? How about picking up Halak in the 7th? 9th round. Is there no praise there? Was that a bad choice as well? Hindsight is 20-20. Looking back on every single years draft, I am sure we could change at least one pick. That’s why the draft is a gamble, because you don’t know if your player is going to develop the way you hope he will. Maybe i’ll go dig up some names we let slip and over the years and mention them whenever things go wrong with the team…

    Gainey and Timmins have done a brilliant job in the drafting department, end of story.

  88. Chorske says:


    Can we make a deal? You shut up about PAST draft picks. Because it’s literally ALL you ever talk about. And in the weeks leading up to the 2008 entry draft, you tell us who you would pick if you were Gainey / Timmins. And then we’ll see how you do. If your picks make sense, we’ll talk. But right now, all you’re doing is talking out of your ass. Shoulda, coulda, woulda. Put up or shut up, you ass. My challenge to you.

  89. RJ says:

    Oh my God, we are in worse shape than I thought. Streit on the TOP LINE. Not only does this team not have enough depth that it needs to use D-men up front, it now puts one on the top line. Where is all this farm system depth we’ve been hearing about. The Dog Days of December are here.

  90. ebk says:

    I think these lines are brilliant. Lets get Ryder off of the ice completely and all the teams problems will disappear. He has been a cancer from day one and the sooner he is gone the better.

  91. ebk says:

    He must be the problem, dude, carbo keeps singling him out for punishment and demotions. The coach is never wrong dude.

    I was being sarcastic, you know the lowest form of communication according to our more learned posters.

  92. ebk says:

    well thanks for the clarification, cuz I thought I was

    don’t tell but I actually like Ryder

  93. Vecs says:

    Only difference is Kovalev something called ‘talent’. Once Ryder learns how to skate we can reevaluate his ‘talent’.

  94. Ed says:

    It’s refreshing to hear a true fan. I could never understand how anyone could use names like Habs Suck & TradeRyder, and have the nerve to say that they are true HABS’ fans. Those names sure don’t show any love for your favourite team.

  95. Hoegarden says:

    Ryder gets another chance tonight with Latendresse and Chipchura. Pretty soon Carbo will run out of combinations in the “Who plays with Mikey tonight” scenario.
    Smolinski is also in the lineup. My faith in Carbos’ judgment is taking a nose dive, unless Bob is insisting that Smokes is in, it does not make sense.

  96. TradeRyder says:

    Note to Self: if the Habs are losing at an intermission, shut off the TV (they never come back).
    Note to Self #2: if Habs are winning going into the 3rd, shut off TV. It’s just not worth the stress.

    Thanks for the line changes I asked for Carbs! Now, do the defense!

  97. Richard B says:

    How about picking up Recchi off wavers and putting him out with Koivu…

  98. ebk says:

    Danny Markov is still a FA and he wants around $3m a year. He could help with the Habs depth on the forward lines. Carbo could either play him on the wing or move another one up. Boullion looks like he has a good chance of being a decent forward.

  99. TradeRyder says:

    Why don’t we move the forwards to defense and the defense to forwards? That’ll fool ’em!
    Thanks for the line changes I asked for Carbs! Now, do the defense!

  100. A. Berke says:


    What are the redeeming factors in favour of Recchi?
    We had him when he was younger, why now? How is he going to improve the team?

    He’s another old player that’ll take away playing spot from our younger ones. We already have enough old players.

    I don’t understand the insistence on him.

    Ali B.

  101. ebk says:

    he is, just doing it slowly, one player at a time, to not give away the master plan to quickly. This is supposed to be super-duper quiet, so not a word to anyone.

  102. ebk says:

    not that I think he should be picked up but to answer your question. He would be better than probably 5 or 6 of the players in the line up right now.

    As for taking away spots from younger players, how much longer to Smolinski, Dandenault and Kostopoulous need to develop.

  103. Habs Suck says:

    Ryder’s gotta go and so do a lot of other players. This team is found wanting in many areas. It has limited talent up front (Koivu, Kovy stand above all, and neither is an elite player), big holes in the defense (only Markov, Komi, and the Hammer are dependable most of the time), and while the goaltending shows some promise the coaching has not allowed the #1 guy to play most games (and I’m a little skeptical about Price’s “greatness” – he’s no Roy or Brodeur or Hasek – granted he needs more time, but I already see how slow his lateral movement is). Even the kids in Hamilton are not much to get excited about: O’Byrne had a lame preseason camp (ok, so he’s big… so is Chara), d’Agostini has good hands but is small (like we need another small forward), jr. Kostitsyn is perhaps our brightest hope right now.

    Bottom line: a team that has to regularly use 2 defensemen as forwards has huge problems!!!

    Do I sound like a bear who’s been poked during mid-winter hibernation? Yes, and for good reason. Wholesale changes are necessary for this club to be a postseason contender. I know we’ve all been saying it’s all going to come together in a few years, but we have some influential players who may not be with us in 3-4 years: Koivu (34), Kovy(35), Hamrlik(33) – presently they are key cogs in the success of this machine. And, BTW, this team is not filled with “old” players (take a look at the roster sometime). It just so happens that some of the older ones are critical to any measure of success (see aforementioned players).

    Is the whole team a wash? NO. Players like Lats, Pleks, Higgins, Kost sr., Gorges, have to elevate their play to a much higher level. While we’ve seen glimpses of glory, but they are quickly forgetten in the long lapses between. Chemistry is another factor – there’s little of it. Coaches have a big role in finding that chemistry and assembling linemates that jive together. Carbo gets an F in this dept., infecting a wound worse than before by juggling lines so much. How many coaches do this to the extent Carbo does? Not many. His sophomore year has shown little progress.

    Fearless Prediction: Tonight’s dance will be over after 2…

  104. 24 Cups says:

    I can’t answer that question (even in jest) but you better get used to the above mentioned guys. Smolinski has a no movement clause in his contract and the other two guys are both signed for next year. As for Recchi, we’ve been there, done that on this site. He’s toast. I’d much rather call up Lapierre and let him play. Pittsburgh would just love to trade Recchi (4 goals since Feb 22) for either Lapierre or Grabovski.
    Let the kids play!

  105. TradeRyder says:

    I might agree that the team doesn’t have enough depth except that I don’t.
    For two reasons:
    1. I think we have a lot of talented youngsters and should admit that it’s a building year and groom these guys instead of expecting them to be star NHLers right away. Grabs for example, needs more ice time. Just give it to him already – let some old geezer sit.
    2. It’s hard to say just WHAT we have. The Habs don’t seem very good at recognizing (or supporting) their own talent. Ribiero…Bonk… both top scorers on their teams – both unceremoniously dumped here.

    Thanks for the line changes I asked for Carbs! Now, do the defense!

  106. Josh says:

    I wonder how many teams there are that Streit can actually make it on the top line..

  107. TradeRyder says:

    Thanks for the line changes I asked for Carbs! Now, do the defense!

  108. Chorske says:

    Hahaha, that’s my survival tactic as well. My poor ol heart.

  109. krob1000 says:

    Please answer me this folks………..Last year when Kovalev wasn’t scoring what exactly was his problem????What has magically changed this year??? Last year his shooting percentage was extremely low incomparison to his career averages…..this year ( as everything does in time) it has worked itself out and he has got some breaks. Two weeks ago Lats was being cited as a career AHLer now he is a fan favourite and goal scorer. For the first couple weeks of the season Higgins had no hands and couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn.

    My point is that over time things will sort themselves out…as they did for Radek Bonk. If the effort and chances are there success will be. How is Mike Ribeiro doing??? How about Beauchemin?? I know let’s talk about Hainsey. Thomas Vokoun yeah him too. I guess we were at least right about Samsonov although even he he is starting to come around according to Denis Savard. It may take time but for every slump there will be a hot streak and vice versa (this applies to individuals and the team). I guess we should get rid of Markov because he is hurt and not performing. Huet…gotta go after that collapse (even though he was the reason there was anything to collapse). This is ridiculous and for a while there we were getting to the point where people were starting to understand what it meant to support a team.

    I am going to really start something here and challenge the people who are quick to fly off the handle with irrational and/or drastic thoughts on a daily basis. I think some of you people should honestly take five minutes to think about things objectively.

    If you kid gets stragiht A’s from grade four to eight and enters grade nine are you gone give up on him/her because he/she has a rough month or two. What about an employee ….would you fire your best salesperson because they had a rough couple of months?

    Absolutely crazy. Great idea everyone….lets get rid of our best(arguable with Kovy) scorer because he is slumping. Better yet lets do it at a time he is approaching free agency and his stock is at an all time low. Yes that sounds really intelligent doesn’t it. The same people would then be criticizing management for getting nothing in return and be bitter when the player goes off and excels somewhere else….because you know he would.

    I know it is just hockey to us and we are just chit chatting but to these players it is their livelihood and their lives. If given these players without names what would you do??

    Player A is a talented,very hard worker who has done great things for you as recently as last year, expanded his talents and seems to be generating opportunities but is running into a stretch of bad luck but still is in the prime of his career.

    Player BCDEf Less talented players also having limited success and not really generating much in the way of chances. These players do occasionally show promise but are also hard workers sometimes. They haven’t quite the talent to expand their skill sets but their hard nose reputations have endeared them to some fans.

    Players GHI are all fantastic workers and multitalented and by sticking with them through injuries and slumps we are finally starting to see results…very positive results.

    Player JK are both hard worker on the upswing and have talent to match their work habits. They are generating expected results.

    Players LMN are all young promising players bringing solid efforts and learning at about the pace we expected but really not overly effective right now. They show great promise and the future is bright for these guys but tehy must learn on the job (this sometimes leads to mistakes) so as to develop in accordance to our expectations.

    Which group or player do you think you should be rotating in and out of your lineup???

  110. krob1000 says:

    Carolina is 4-6 in their last ten games
    Detroit is 5-4-1
    Ottawa is 3-5-2
    Montreal is 4-5-1
    St. Louis is the leagues hottest team at 8-1-1

    Hww messed up is that to look at????

  111. PPQB says:

    What are BG and Carbs waiting for???




    The Breezer experiment is a failed venture I think. He should be “press boxed” for the rest of the year, then they’ll sign him on as a defence coach for next season, which I think was the master plan all along anyway. What’s the saying…”those who can’t do, teach”. Koivu should play with Kovalev, and actually should have been paired with him from the day Kovalev arrived in MTL. Time to start bringing up the kids because quite frankly the vets aren’t getting the job done. Ryder’s gotta go…even if only for a bag of pucks and a new water bottle. Huet’s leaving either at the trade deadline or after this year, and this isn’t a secret, so start shopping around Bob. Maybe we could trade him for a decent quality player or some picks, maybe not. I’ll assume not though, as this is MTL after all. Sit Smolinski since he’s got a no-movement clause in his contract…and definitely no resigning for him next year. Bouillon or Dandy are both capable 7th d-men, but not much else. If I had to choose one, I’d take Bouillon though, as he’s a much grittier player. Might as well start the gelling of the new look Habs by bringing in the youth…and sooner rather than later because we all know, short of some kinda miracle, that this bunch won’t bring the parade to MTL in June. We’re never gonna get Vinny or Ovechkin, so those pipe dreamers can dream in technicolor all they want, it will not happen…EVER! Work with the tools we have, not with what we’d like. They’ve been saying for years that “we’re rebuilding…” so rebuild already!!! I’m just tired of all the band-aid solutions we keep getting stuck with…Smolinski, Dandenault, Kostopoulos, etc… Whatever the solution is, I know it’s not what we put on the ice every night. There, rant is done. I feel 10 lbs. lighter in the chest area. Next up:Detroit.
    GO HABS GO!!!

  112. Bouleau noir says:

    Despite our lost I whish Carbo had been asked by the journalists about his evaluation of the new line formations that he made up for the last game.

    Personally I liked it, I like the unusual 4 goals scored by our team when they were 5-on-5,… the addition of Garbs and Streit wasn’t a change for the worst in term of our evensthrenght team profile…. as long as our regulard PP specialists are reunited for power play time ( specially Ryder to get him going) I think Carbo should have pursued on the last game experiment.

    Anyway, I wish journalists would ask more pertinent questions instead of digging for emotional content….. which in the end leave us un-informed and guessing.

  113. Habs Suck says:

    Good thoughts. I like your line combos, although I don’t think I’d put O’Byrne with Gorges. I agree it’s high time for the coach/GM to make the move to use the young guys. However, I’m less convinced that Carbo sees the same light we do! He must toss and turn every night with the newest line juggling possibilities bouncing in his head. Enough already!!! Make some concrete moves and have the balls to do it…

  114. Ed says:

    You guys are too funny. Two HABS fans calling themselves Habs Suck & TradeRyder. I hope things change soon so you can both jump back on.

  115. HabsFansince49 says:

    I just signed up for this site, reluctantly. I have been a Habs fan since 1949 and being a Habs fan means sticking with your team through thick and thin, through the good, the bad and the ugly. There has been more good than the others combined.
    I said I signed reluctantly because there are too many so-called Habs fans here, but they’re not really fans. Guys like ‘Habs Suck’ and ‘Trade Ryder’ are not fans; they’re strange people who just need a place to vent. Unfortunately for the rest of us, they chose here.
    I’ve been to the old Forum and the Bell Centre many times and I bet I can pick out the same guys who are on here – negativity is their middle names. If the Habs were winning consistently and in first place, these guys would be lost. They thrive on the misfortune of others. They’re the same crowd who boo a player or the team during the game.
    Let’s hope people like ‘krob 1000’ dominate here. Otherwise,the rest of us will be as crazy as the ‘Habs Suck’ and ‘Trade Ryder’

  116. Habs Suck says:

    What can we say? Reality bites!

  117. fun police says:

    i can’t stand having two defensemen as forwards. you can’t tell me that young kostitsin wouldn’t be better up front than either streit or dandy.

  118. coutNY says:

    Not only that, but can you say that Streit would have looked worse against Nashville than Brise-bye? Streit with Hammer and give them time to gel. Quit the 2nd line swaping BS, along with moving all the defenseman to forwards. DO YOU think we’d generate more offense if we move our forwards to defense? Dandy had a great start and at least grew up playing offenseman and Streit displays alot of offensive tendencies, but not sure we can justify a top line or afford to have a less skilled D-corp without him at the Blue line. Couple that with an injured Markov and we’re probably going to see the Wings pick us apart.

    Making drastic moves against arguably one of the most well-rounded teams in hockey is a long shot at best!

    Good luck… go habs go?

  119. Sask Habs Fan says:

    Just my opinion, but I think Dandy does a great job. He may not be the most talented of forwards, but he works hard and is big and strong enough to win battles along the boards. Perfect 3rd or 4th line player IMO.
    Chuck Norris can do a wheelie on a unicycle.

  120. TradeRyder says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more Fun Police and LTHF…

    Even I agree that Ryder has been working his butt off and is a better contributor than Small-inski. And yeah, Streit on the first line… jeez, strange. But again – the line changes worked… why go back to status quo.

    Think I’ll change my name to ConfusedHabFan. In fact I don’t think we should trade Ryder anymore.. he’s not worth anything. Better to hang on to him til he finds his game again.

    Thanks for the line changes I asked for Carbs! Now, do the defense!

  121. A. Berke says:

    FYI, Smolinski is not from Europe! He was born in Ohio (and I’m not sure but he may have taken up Canadian citizenship as well).

    If Smolinski being an US citizen bothers you, then what do you think of Komisarek and Higgins (they’re also US citizens)?

    If you agree with LTHF on his opinion re European vs Canadian players, please read my reply to him a little below. In this day and age, talking the racist talk doesn’t befit a Habs fan. Give a shake to your head please.

    Every team has players from very different backgrounds however the difference between them is how good of a player they are not their race, religion or origin.

    Ali B.

  122. coutNY says:

    I find it odd that Streit is -9 but Boullion is even in the +/-? Haven’t they been paired up with one another most of the time???? Why don’t we play the Cube with Hammer in those defensive situations when we have a late 1 goal lead?

  123. TradeRyder says:

    That’s a really good point. It shows what a liability Streit must be… and maybe how good the Cube is. Maybe those minuses are coming when Streit is a forward. In my experience defensive players moved up front sometimes get they idea they don’t have to play defense any more.

    Thanks for the line changes I asked for Carbs! Now, do the defense!

  124. krob1000 says:

    I agree that Dandenault is fine for a third or fourth line guy as a forward. He can skate, hit, defend, is smart and occasionally shows a little offensive ability……sounds like a perfect third or fourth line guy to me.

  125. The Cat says:

    I agree with Traderyder, the lines should be kept intact from the Nashville game. That was one of the best 5 on 5 games the habs played, and what happened in the latter part of the game should be just forgotten as an anomaly. Nashville’s been blessed lately with insanely lucky opportunism, they’ve stung a lot of teams like that.

  126. krob1000 says:

    I don’t really care how they mix and match them but Grabovski should be in the lineup tonight. If ever a guy earned it he did on Saturday. He is going to be a keeper and I think it is evident that he is learning what he needs to do and what is role is. He is still very weak physically but so are a lot of offensive players. He will be good as his mind continues to grow into his feet. He was a catalyst and I don’t know what he did wrong to not earn a second game but then again that is why I coach children and not the Montreal Canadiens.

  127. coutNY says:

    I don’t think Streit is a major Liability on the Blueline (anymore than a few others not worth mentioning), but more that with his larger role on the PP, he is seeing alot of ice-time while Boullion is seeing his role deminished. Maybe we should, when Streit has seen alot of PP action, Play the Cube and Hammer together for a few shifts and in PK situations to see if Streit is just having difficulties with the extra minutes?

  128. TradeRyder says:

    Yeah, but plus-minus doesn’t count PP shifs. So it must be 5-on-5 that he is a liability. Or maybe that’s just how poor an offensive contributor he is when not on the power play. Worth considering. Though obviously Carbo thinks otherwise. I’ll bet you dimes to dollars Streit doesn,t finish the year on the first line. REALLY don’t get this one.

    Thanks for the line changes I asked for Carbs! Now, do the defense!

  129. coutNY says:

    Not sure but have we seen Grabby with the Begin & Kosto line… the energy that line could be generated would probably keep the building lit for a week. The line combo in theory could compensate for Grabby’s weaknesses while Grabby could add a little razzle-dazzle puck handling and scoring touch to the line… just thinking out loud… don’t mind me.

  130. TradeRyder says:

    Agreed! Grabs was a sparkplug on the offense. He always is – and with ice team he has the speed to start to click with our playmakers. It seems like Carbo has these labels for players. Grabs is Speed – “hmmmm… need more checking, put Mr. Speed back in the box.” Paint-by-numbers forward lines. What about Clumsy and Snake-bitten. Why are they playing?

    Thanks for the line changes I asked for Carbs! Now, do the defense!

  131. saku11 says:

    I agree, Grabovaki played well and deserves more ice time. I don’t know why were moving Streit to the top line while Grabovski sits in the pressbox. It’s definitely someone else’s turn to sit as Grabovski has earned the right to play tonight.

  132. Scotty90 says:

    Apparently Huest hurt himself in the first period Saturday night! In my opinion, he would have advised the coach and Price would have come in. The way he smashed his stick at the end of the game… he is obviously not happy with something and its affecting his game. Personally I think the injury statement is not correct. I heard this morning that Ryder is a healthy scratch tonight! (Team 990). It all smells fishy… like maybe something is in the making? Is the writing on the wall or am I imagining things?

  133. Sask Habs Fan says:

    Huet probaby got hurt when he tried to scamper back in the net after misplaying the dump in (which started the whole meltdown) and was feeling too stupid about it to say that is when it happened. As for if you are imagining things….who knows? With how conservative Gainey has been I don’t really expect anything to happen…..
    Chuck Norris can delete the Recycling Bin.

  134. TradeRyder says:

    Must be the beer! lol
    Ryder is a scratch. He’s gone, gone, gone. I bet they trade him for a bag of pucks and he blossoms elsewhere (haven’t I seen this movie before?). EVEN I THINK that Ryder deserves to be in there more than some others – Streit and Smolinski for example.

    – we squeak into the playoffs but just barely
    – being play-off bound keeps Gainey from making trades that we need
    – all the trades we do make will be to dump guys that Carbo can’t squeeze the juice out and any/most will improve elsewhere
    – we get squat in return. probably old squat.
    – Koivu leaves… either now or over the summer
    – I switch teams, out of frustation, become a Leafs fan, and mired in conflict, beat myself to death with a hockey stick.

    Thanks for the line changes I asked for Carbs! Now, do the defense!

  135. Moey says:

    I would have to speculate he’s not happy with his defensemen, and neither are we.

  136. 24 Cups says:

    Frasier Crane here – I’m listening:-)

  137. HNS says:

    Bottom line……If the boys are gonna have any chance at beating Detroit tonight is with a physical presence ala Edmonton, knocking them out of the playoffs.GO HABS GO!!!

  138. krob1000 says:

    Teams that try to play Detroit physical end up seeing themselves on the plays of the week getting undressed by Zetterberg or Datsyuk. The Black Hawks have beat the Wings three times this year with their group of small, fast and offensive forwards. Detroit plays a puck possession game and if you let Zetterberg or Datsyuk
    handle the puck for any length of time …you lose.

    Even if the goalie can stop them they will have Holmstrom standing in front of the net trying to win his seventh consecutive North American trash collecting championship. Price wil have to be huge and we will have to be able to hold onto the puck. If you just dump the puck in Lidstrom’s corner he is not only going to get there first but he will have made an outlet pass before the second forechecker crosses the blueline. Giving the puck to them and hoping they make mistakes will not work against the Wings.

  139. krob1000 says:

    Anyone think it could be possible in a free agent year to try to hurt a players production with the hopes of retaining them at a discount??? Strange idea but it is a strange world. I don’t really believe this but sometimes I wonder with both the Ryder and Huet situations. The only guy I can remember a coach being so vocal about was Samsonov and to compare Samsonov and Ryder is not fair. Samsonov was lacking effort and Ryder is just lacking luck.

  140. TommyB says:

    Do you really think the Habs organization would stoop to such low levels? C’mon krob1000, I expect better from you.

  141. Scotty90 says:

    Habs don’t have the best team in the league but they do have the most class…. so in answer to your question… not possible.

  142. KerryPrice says:

    If Ryder is benched ,Guy`s making a big mistake. If Ryder is traded the Habs will get the shitty end of the stick, as usual. I dont like these lines. 2 defenceman playing forward, whatta joke.

  143. krob1000 says:

    Physicality is useless without adequate speed. In combination with speed it can be the ultimate weapon….we have grinders and we have skaters….we don’t have grinders who can skate (Dandenault may be our only exception). I’d rather see us go offensive minded and see how we fare against their 2nd and 3rd lines….again I am just a fan though.

  144. TommyB says:

    Of course everybody is entitled to their own opinion….so here’s mine. Ryder has been given way too much respect from this coaching staff. They have tried to fit him in every which way you can think of, and each time the result has been the same…nothing from Ryder! So Ryder being a healthy scratch is long overdue in my opinion. In fact, I felt he got off easy last year when the team went through that horrible stretch, and Carbo was benching guys left and right…but not Ryder, who was doing no better than the guys being benched.

    It’s fine to be supportive of a player, or to have a favorite player…but that player should have something more going for him than being from Newfoundland…don’t you think?

  145. Hoegarden says:

    Ryder is a wounded soldier right now. Until he pots a few, he’s safe in Montreal. Would you trade for him and if so, what would you offer ?? Draft pick(s)…

  146. krob1000 says:

    No I don’t as I stated but the thought has crossed my mind…either that or Carbo just flat out dislikes Ryder. He has never stopped working or generating chances. He hits, hustles and has improved defensively and we are benching him for bad luck. We are dressing players who have not brought consistent efforts and have had several games that they barely break a sweat and that is their supposed role. I just don’t get it.

  147. krob1000 says:

    I apologize for the tone of my question as it obviously sounds more demeaning than intended when I look back at it but the constant calling out of Ryder has gotten under my skin and you all know that as I have spent several hours on here undergoing self serving hockey typo-therapy. I just threw that out there out of anger as I am hearing now that he is not even going to dress. Someone explain to me what Streit, Kostopolous, Begin, Dandenault, Kostitsyn, Chipchura or Smolinski has done to make them more valuable to us than Ryder. I would be the first one to say bench him if he simply did not show up on several occasions a la Smolinski (until last game…last three minutes excluded). Yet he is our scapegoat.

    I can deal with the media and fans using him but when Carbo sits at a press conference and discusses Ryder saying he needs to get things going it boggles my mind. He needs a few bounces. As of last week he was 26th in the league in shots on goal (in limited minutes and several chances were great ones). What is the possible explanation for this. Last year he also took flak for his huge minus numbers. Now they are gone and he has played a very well rounded game.

    Higgins never scores when he should yet has several goals that were ugly but count. Same can be said for Latendresse. I bet half of Kovy’s goals have been one-timers into open nets on the PP. If a guy is working and generating chances then time is the only cure. I have heard thhis statement and seen in action for the entire time I have been a hockey fan yet for some reason it doesn’t apply to Michael Ryder…..what gives.

    The puck will go in but pretty soon he is going to get very frustrated and things are going to get nasty in the locker room. I can’t imagine the guys in the room are naive enough to realize it could be them. Anyone can tell he is working and I am the ultimate optimist but I am questioning this issue big time. I am also frustrated that Grabovski may not play tonight either after a stellar game. Instead we are going to have two fourth lines and rely on a rookie (Kostitsyn) and a defenceman(Streit) to fix our problems when neither has done anything any better than our proven guy.

    I am probably red in the face right now as this really bothers me because in defending him I am forced to talk negatively about someone else to prove my point but I think it is necessary in this case. I remember when Shea Hillenbrand wrote the words “This is a sinking ship” on the chalk board in the Blue Jays clubhouse and I get the feeling that Carbo is taking this too far and it may lead to that sort of dissension in the locker room.

    You want to cure a goal scorer ….play him on the powerplay …a lot. Let him pot an empty netter late in the game…he has improved defensively and noone else seems to be able to hold a lead so give him a shot. I have noticed that Koivu obviously understands that things are out of control as the last few games he has gone out of his way (even turned pucks over on the PP trying to feed Ryder when other options were available). The guys have to be feeling for hima nd that means they are in slight disagreement with the coach or him. That is not good for any team. They are supposed to be playing the opposition not against themselves or in their heads.

    I need to go eat lunch because I am evidently getting cranky and I don’t like being that way.

  148. Scotty90 says:

    Hey Krob… there was nothing wrong the tone of your question. I agree with you as well for Ryder. I am a little upset that he isn’t producing but in the past 3 weeks to a month its not because of a lack of effort. I would much rather see Smolinski, Brisebois and maybe even Streit (although he is better as a forward IMO) sit before Ryder. I just hope something clicks and everyone starts playing to their potential game in and game out……soon..very soon!

  149. 24 Cups says:

    No need to worry about your comments. What they really reflect is your love and passion for the Habs and your frustration with the state that the team presently finds itself in – whether it be collectively or individually as in the case of Ryder. Pace yourself – this could be a long year!

  150. Habs Suck says:

    I agree with the Get rid of Ryder campaign!!!! I have thought so for a long long time. He’s a sniper who’s lost his focus and he’s got very few other tricks in his bag. But, the real question is “how” do you deal him? We’ll see how inventive Gainey really is in the coming month…

  151. A. Berke says:

    Tommy B:

    I fully agree with you.
    Besides for all of Ryder’s cheering section:

    1/3 of the season is already gone and at a salary of about 3 mil, Ryder has been paid ONE cool mil so far and he’s purported to be a goal scorer. So with 3 goals to his name so far, that means each goal cost the team 300K+

    If you look around the league I’m sure it would be very difficult to find players that earned that much with such a low performance even taking into account the amount of playing time. BTW, his playing time has gone down only recently, until then he was a regular on the 1st line. If I remember correctly he had at least one shift on the PP in the last game.

    I don’t have a dislike for Ryder, he seems to be a nice person but IMO, he’s not in a slump, he’s a player whose play style DOESN”T fit Habs play style anymore. Yes he’s trying harder than most but he’s mostly ineffective, i.e. on the boards, in keeping the control of the puck, on 1-on-1’s, in speed and finally in shooting (he had one quality shot in nashville game but at least in half a dozen occasions he missed the goal altogether from good scoring positions.

    Yes, I have to agree that considering his salary and his performance so far, he has been very disappointing.

    BTW, East Coast Fan:

    You being from Newfoundland does not give you the right to call Carbo and Gainey idiots just because your favourite Newfie player is benched. That only shows how biased you are and in my opinion that’s not an intelligent way to express your thoughts. From the looks of it you’re not really a Habs fan, but a Ryder fan. If you are a true fan, you should be rooting for the team. This is a team game after all.

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