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!!!!!!

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.