Lines set in Atlanta

Here’s a report from The Gazette’s Pat Hickey on how the lines were set up at practice today in Atlanta.

First line: Andrei Kostitsyn, Plekanec, Kovalev

Second line: Higgins, Koivu, Sergei Kostitsyn

Third line: Latendresse, Smolinski, Ryder

Fourth line: Kostopolous, Lapierre, Dandenault.

X-rays taken on defenceman Patrice Brisebois’s foot were negative. He practised today, but it is still uncertain if he’ll play on Thursday.


  1. steve17 says:

    Looking at what he Habs have in their pipeline, I wouldn’t want to make a trade involving prospects. I just saw on the TSN site that J.T. Wyman has 21 points in 16 Games and has improved every year. It seams he is a late bloomer and at 6″ 2″ and 208lbs, he would be a great right winger if he could translate that to the NHL. Maybe he will be like Corey Perry of the Ducks! Ryan McDonough is also drawing rave reviews!

    Having said that, I would have traded Ryder for Torres before he went down for the season. He would have brought more grit to the Habs. Maybe sending Ryder and a fourth rounder for J.P. Dumont would be good.

    Their are some teams that have aging goalies and could use a solid potential number one. Halak may be that chip, look at Vokoun!! Maybe packaging Ryder, Halak, Boullion, and Grobovski could land Mtl a true superstar like Lecavalier! By the way I love the way Boullion competes but with O’Byrne and Matt Carle coming along, he is expendable and to me would be an attractive addition to a team needing leadership, puck carrying skills, and dependability. At 31, he is still young enough and a veteran presence.

  2. nightmare_49 says:

    If Gainey listened to you all the time he’d be calling up players from Cincinnati as Hamilton would be spent , have a little patience as the 4th line hasn’t caused us any problems of late and what do you want a 45 goal scorer on the 4th line.

  3. mrstewart61 says:

    I think you need more than one period in that post. :)

  4. The Teacher says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHA, mad? nah…what for..LMAO, I am hurt now though :(

  5. The Teacher says:

    Didn’t know Marleau played with Anaheim, πŸ˜‰


  6. Klondike Habs Fan says:

    Maybe Mikko?

  7. Vancouver Hab Fan says:


  8. CHsam says:

    LOL an opened and half-drunk one at that! HA!

  9. sidhu says:

    I think they meant Ryder for a bottle of Tanqueray from a Calgary liquor store.

  10. CHsam says:

    lol. Tanguay for Ryder. That’s definately a one sided trade lol!

  11. JF says:

    From what Carbo said last night, I think this line change is mainly to get Higgins going. He said the last few games Higgins seemed to a bit lost . Koivu played a really good game last night, so maybe if he were passing to Higgins instead of Latendresse (who keeps missing the open net), some of those pucks would go in. I’m not sure about the third line, although Smolinski looked good last night, but I like the others.

  12. ebk says:

    you are correct,sir.

    TSN just mentioned something about Tanquay and Ryder.

  13. 24 Cups says:


    The Original 24 Cups

  14. TradeRyder says:

    LOL… good closing line.

    Isn’t it odd that Lats is best with Koivu – but not on a line with him. He’s second best with Ryder and Higgins – but not on a line with them. Carbo treats this team like it’s a Rubic’s cube… keep spinning and spinning and it will all fall into place. What’s really frustrating is that it seems like this latest roll of the dice is to accomodate Smolinski. Carbo must have a chain with Saint Jude on it – patron Saint of Lost causes… he’s still hoping these washed up players are going to spring to life. Dream on Carbs… dream on. Meanwhile, I’ll just watch Plekanic, Kostitsyn and Kovalev light it up – hopefully enough to keep our team in the game. Cause you sure ain’t helpin the rest of the team find their pace.

    Let the kids play… let the non-performers watch or walk.

  15. The Teacher says:

    You’ll miss out on a lot then….

  16. TradeRyder says:

    Isn’t he still injured?

    Maybe they were scouting someone who’s being traded for Saku…..

    Let the kids play… let the non-performers watch or walk.

  17. sag says:

    It seems as though Latendresse is useless with anyone but Koivu on this team. He is a good garbageman but needs someone who skates around for a while to give his lead filled skates in time to get in front of the net (soo painful to watch him skate in the open ice). Keep SK74, Saku and Lats together – it works. Smolinski and Lats on the ice at the same time??? That is a bad idea. I also really like Laps, Higgins, and Ryder together. The first line is a no-brainer (they must make defensemen more than a bit nervous). The fourth line should be Chipchurra centering which ever 2 wingers are the most hungry at the time. I understand the value of interchangable parts, but Guy needs to let guys have a chance to gel and make up for mistakes together. Does anyone remember Huet being this bad with the puck?? It seems like something got into his head regarding handling the puck.

    ps to the previous poster who was wondering about the 2 habs scouts at the Flames game. I’m guessing Brisebois for Phaneuf and picks.

  18. mbplekfan says:

    Could be scouting Miko Koivu…

    We could always wish.

  19. The Teacher says:

    you and your Getzlaf.

    He’d fit in perfect with the Laffs, come t think of it.

  20. sidhu says:

    I hope Matt Lombardi and/or Pavol Demitra!

  21. TradeRyder says:

    That’s an odd one. Wasn’t there a rumour of Ryder going to the Wild? Or who’s out of favor with Keenan?

    Let the kids play… let the non-performers watch or walk.

  22. TradeRyder says:

    I totally agree with you about trading or buying the cup. New York shows again and again (in every sport) that’s not the route.

    But I TOTALLY disagree that “we need Brisebois an Smolinski”. You want age for ages sake. We don’t need it… not from those two. We have great veterans in Kovalev and Koivu and Hamlrik and others. But Breezer and Smokey? LOL We won more games when the two of them were out of the line-up BY FAR. Someone showed that the other day. EVERYONE on here just about agrees that these two players are not playing well and probably hurting the team many nights.
    We MAY need Huet. I love Huet… I hate when people criticize him – look at the man’s stats. But Breezer and Smolinksi. That’s a joke. Begin is sitting out because we have too many guys. Chipchura could and should be brought up – a lot of people would agree with me.

    Let the kids play… let the non-performers watch or walk.

  23. showey47 says:

    habs scouts pierre gauthier and gordie roberts at the flames vs wild game. I wonder who they are scouting?

  24. gmd says:

    I’m with you Smart Dog. I think the Lats, Koviu and S. Kostitsyn line was doing a good job, so I’m somewhat confused as to why they aren’t playing together.

    I say sit Smolinski and bring back Chips.

  25. The Teacher says:

    who do you think teaches the youth?

  26. linp says:

    One observation I have during last game when we were defending a one goal lead. A player got control of the puck and there was another player near by free. Instead of taking a look and making an easy pass, he just dumped it forward immediately. It has happened a few times. That’s how we kept losing control of the puck and played those PK style of hockey. I don’t think it is Carbo’s defensive system. It is the mind set of the majority of players when we are defending a lead in the third period. The players should be made aware of that and should have more confidence making a play.

  27. mjames says:

    I agree with your comment on the lines. He had three good lines. Now he has basically cannibalized the third line . I think he did it to accommodate Smolinski.


  28. imafogdevil says:

    I’m sorry, but why does Carbo do this all the time? Can’t we have three lines that are going to be the same from one game to the next. I thought that we had 3 good lines. Then we lose to the Rangers and things change. It wasn’t that bad.

    Lapierre was great as the energy guy with Higgins and Ryder. I agree (gulp!) with Smart Dog. I don’t feel positive about the game tomorrow. And I think that for those of you who don’t like Ryder, things will get worse with Smokes at the wheel. And Lats on the left? Yikes! I don’t want to predict a plus-minus for them, but i shudder to think about it.

  29. MEL FRIEND says:

    if chipchura is not in the habs plans because i was very surprise they sent him down to hamilton after in my opinion he was playing fairly well then bob mr dithers gainey should trade him too a team a team that would welcome him and not have to worried about being demoted again chipchura is ready for the nhl so come on bob dont let this talent waste in the minors trade him for at least a 1st round draft pick also dont be surprise to see o bryne sent to hamilton wants he returns from the injury.

  30. westhab says:

    Gilbert: True all other lines are night to night, hopefully a line that Koivu centres will be established this second half.

    Smo is slow for this club but he’s is still just coming off an injury, he should be helping the faceoff thing.

  31. Ian G Cobb says:

    Once we have our kids ready to take a spot on the roster and hold it like a couple of them have already this year, we will keep our deadwood around as some of you call them. Why do you think we went and got these guys ? We need them until one of our young guns can step up. And the key is to show that they are ready.

    Look how many have been brought up already this year and been sent back down for more seasoning. It takes time to build and develop a winner. You can only go as fast as they develop. In the mean time, we need Brisebois and Smolinski, Huit and others. They are vets that stay until we have a new NHLer that can do the job.

    As far as trading up or buying our way to a cup. Does not work, just ask the Rangers. Or for that matter ask OttawA, A lot of cap in 3or 4 players and you are not much of a team. Heatly goes down, Spezza hurt and you go into a tail spin.

    As our players grow, spread the cap around to more players that have earned there stripes the hard way, from the bottom up in our franchise. I for one do not agree in bringing in a high paid rental player that did not go through our system. We will get to the promised land slowly but soundly, one player developed at a time.

  32. westhab says:

    yep, I liked what I saw in Chipper and was suprised he went down.

  33. TradeRyder says:

    Ian – you’re a nice guy but such a do-gooder!

    Please don’t talk down to me, I’m no spring chicken and have been involved in competitive sports my whole life as a player, leader, and coach.

    How do you like it when your bus has three kids standing? that’s us right now. We have older players that are taking up spots our younger players should be in. I’m not saying anything new or shocking. I’m just saying it more boldly than most.

    Everyone (but you maybe) agrees that:
    – Breezer should sit, retire, or just walk away
    – Smolinski has slowed down, is not playing well, maybe should also retire

    And MANY people agree (though not all) that Ryder is likely to be elsewhere next year for his good as much as the teams.


    Let the kids play… let the non-performers watch or walk.

  34. G-Man says:

    Do any of you really think that other than Plekanec, AK46 and Kovalev that the other lines will remain intact? No way.

    Smolinsky is trying to do his job, but I think the game is too fast and he’s a step or two too slow. Too bad, because he would have been an asset 3 or 4 seasons ago.


  35. G-Man says:

    Cheer for Anaheim. Please!


  36. TradeRyder says:

    STOP THE INSANITY!!! Someone needs to give that to Carbo.

    Good plan to get rid of some bodies. It’s a distraction.

    Let the kids play… let the non-performers watch or walk.

  37. showey47 says:

    agreed, i would like to see gainey move some dead-weight, overpriced 4th liners. We have too many players and guys like chipper should be in montreal, not playing in hamilton.

  38. Ian G Cobb says:

    Trade Guy– You seem to want to trade or suck players, i mean players suck.

    This is our team man, we are not getting another group of players in here, it does not work that way. We are coming along just fine the way were going, were getting better and were keeping our team. You can play your pretend games all you want but personally i hope you start enjoying the team concept soon.

  39. TradeRyder says:

    You can make that nine or ten, but we’re all just agreeing that Smolinski sucks. At least this year he has.

    Let the kids play… let the non-performers watch or walk.

  40. Smart Dog says:

    Based on these lines, I have a bad feeling about our next game. Aside from the first line, nothing makes sense to me.

    Aside from just not being able to believe in Smolinski (I know, I know, but it’s just my opinion), I might be wrong about this – but wasn’t Lats scoring goals when he was with with Koivu and Kostitsyn? Now he’s bouncing around as a shut-down guy – and Koivu’s in a bit of a stall? While Higgins is a double-threat as a shut-down guy. He can stop ’em, and if given the chance, he loves to break for the net. I think we are missing Chipchura too. And where is Streit? Sorry, I am seeing a black cloud over this game. Hope I am wrong.

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

  41. Sulemaan says:

    According to Bob MacKenzie, Marian Hossa is going to go the UFA route this summer. He’s not going to resign with Atlanta.

    I don’t think the Habs should use him as a rental player as they would have to mortgage too much of their future for him. The exception would be that Atlanta agrees to accepting the minimum for him (prospect and 2nd round pick) and he agrees to sign a long-term contract with the team like Kovalev did.

    Hossa definitely is a big winger who can score but I recall him going invisible many times during the playoffs with Ottawa. I also don’t know if the Habs are prepared to sign him to 5 year/$35 million contract given the Higgins and Komisarek are going to be free agents in 2 years.

    Although we are paying Ryder $3M so the question is whether another $4M for Hossa per season is worth it and if he would sign with us. (We did trade his brother to the Rangers…) It’s unlikely that Ryder will be around for another season as much as I’ve appreciated what he’s done in previous seasons for the club.

  42. ebk says:

    make that eight. Can’t imagine how smolinski gets such a pass for his crappy season to date.

    Smolinski has a grand total of 1 even strength goal in 31 games and it was an empty netter to boot. Pretty obvious he is not the same player he was. To bad, I have always liked him. As a fourth line player, he has some merit, right now on any other line he is a a liability.

    Madd Max has done nothing but play his butt off since his call-up. Put him back on the third line. Let Smoke hang out were he belongs with the other 4th liners.

  43. Chuck says:



    “A banner for Vezina must hang from the rafters!”

  44. sidhu says:

    If there’s unanimous agreement, you know we must be on to something. Hopefully Carbo or one of his minions reads this site.

    Hey, what do I win for this?? Mr Mio, tell me its a date with Habs TV host Sandrine Balthazard :)

  45. 24 Cups says:

    Sidhu – SEVEN posters have agreed with your message (see below) – that’s a HabsInside/Out record! Never happened before:-) Go to the front of the class!!!

    The Original 24 Cups

  46. Hoegarden says:

    We definitely have to go power vs power (Pleks line vs Ko’s line). If our new “turtle” line is up against Kowalchuk, we’re toast.

  47. sidhu says:

    I’d switch Smoke with Lapeirre – Max didn’t look out of place skating with Higgins and Ryder so I think he can add some speed to that line. Smoke is a smart player, so placing him with the checkers make sense.

  48. nick says:

    I totally agre. You have Lapierre who’s more offensive orientated then Smo… I think placing him between Latendress and Ryder would make for some good offensive opportunities… but thats just me…

  49. Billy says:

    totally agree. remember that ot goal. tenderness said afterwards he loves playing with max. said max was his best friend on the team. smoke may have hurt feelings being on the “4th line”. he did make a great dive to block a shot last night.

  50. Jay in PA says:

    I’ll throw my hat in on that one, too. I like Max on the third line, and I think he can be very effective there.

  51. 24 Cups says:

    Ditto sidhu. That way it gives us better balance with 3 decent lines. And the four line can see a limited amount of action depending on the events of the game.

    The Original 24 Cups

  52. RH says:

    You can definitely count on me agreeing with that.

  53. Girth says:

    I’m not sure …

    Wouldn’t the 4th line be a little slow?

  54. RiverviewCanadien says:

    It is about time we had that as our first line (at least this is the first I have heard of the promotion from second). That Kovalev is a machine this season, and that line is just incredible to watch most games.

  55. Habs_008 says:

    Which one of this lines are supose to stop Kovalchuk?? I hope Carbo doesnt put our 3rd line against them. It would be a longgggg nite if he does. Maybe the 4th line could do it. I guess we will have to wait and see.

  56. krob1000 says:

    I was just thinking the same thing…..which line will go against Kovalchuk? I actually thought we might go back to the Lapierre with Higgins and Ryder to match up against them but I am curious to see what Carbo pulls out of his hat. That third line is very slow with Lats and Smolinski on it together. Ryder is quick in a straight line and over longer distances but from a dead stop or int ransition that line could potentially get picked apart by Kovalchuk (any line gets picked apart to some extent by Kovalchuk).

    Atlanta is one of those teams that we should be able to beat based on our depth but we all know too well that no team can be taken lightly (especially after ripping the Wings apart). Atlanta gets hit or miss goaltending as well which will also be big what if. Hossa came to life last night and that has to be considered a little scary (he may have just been auditioning for a role with the Wings next year). Still regardless of how Carbo mixes them we should have the depth to wear on Atlanta if we can stop the big guns. We also must realize that Atlanta will have last change so they will get whatever matchup they want…..ouch. You know they are going to try and match against the Smolinski line so that makes me a little uneasy unless Smolinski steps up bigtime.

    This is the type of situation he was signed for so this will be a hgue challenge for him. Ryder is now one of our better backcheckers (unfortunately it has come at the expense of his icetime and goalscoring) and Lats will also be a bit of a wildcard given the task they will likely face. Should be a good one.

    Recchi has a point per game since joining the Thrashers (18 points in 18 games)…..guys like him jsut find ways to get it done.

  57. yukonhab says:

    Love the first line, and i’m sure if there is consistency the 2nd line will become a fan favorite over the next few games. Time will help this team gel, and if we can get our stuff together we will peak around the playoffs! Hopefully somwhere around the 3rd Round…….

    Go HABS Go!

  58. fuhgawz says:

    well if Smokes gets the job of covering Kovalchuk i am sure he will be up to the task. I think he is a better face off man then Lapierre so if we can control the puck off the face off that will help out.

    Do like the first two lines for sure —-

  59. REB says:

    Totally off topic:

    Under the old Canadiens website, there was a section called “Draft history”, where you could go and see who was drafted when, and also look for some obscure player who never made it.

    Under the new NHL-mandated “one size fits all” website, this feature seems to have been lost. Anybody know where I can find all of this information?

  60. MatttheHabsFan says:

    It seems Carbo’s main concern with matchups is making sure that Markov-Komi are on the ice versus the other teams top line.

    If I had to match up one line against Kovalchuk, I might go with Plekanec’s line. That line can maintain puck possession better then any other line on the team, and as such, Kovalchuk will have less time on the puck.

  61. drecha says:

    All I have to say is;

    IT’S ABOUT TIME!!!!!


  62. Hoegarden says:

    Was this approved by Don Cherry ?

  63. Jay in PA says:

    From the article:

    E-mail response to the column was overwhelmingly in favour of limiting Toronto to the Ontario market.

    β€œIn theory, it’s a good idea,” said Scott Moore, the head of CBC Sports. β€œAnd it’s something we discuss weekly as to what the distribution will be. We review the schedule keeping in mind team performance all the time.”

    And now, for a view inside one such HNIC programming meeting:

    A: If we take team performance into account, what adjustments, if any, should we make to the schedule?

    B: Well, the Leafs are playing lousy hockey, so that would argue for showing them less. But as we know, when the stock market rebounds from a prolonged slump, the most spectacular gains are seen at the very beginning of the rebound. Therefore, if we stop showing the Leafs, we’ll deprive the country of the opportunity to see some spectacular play when the Leafs pick it up again. I say we keep them on saturation-level broadcasts.

    A: Makes sense to me. And I’ll go tell Cherry to pump them up some more.

    C: Uh, how is a hockey team like the stock market? That’s just silly.

    B: How is your mother like a vacuum cleaner? I have spoken. This meeting is over.

  64. Habs_008 says:

    For those of us living in Laff Nation (Poor old ME!) I am still stuck with the Laffs Saturday nite! I wish CBC would blackout the Leafs altogether. They should have done this 39yrs ago.

  65. Blitzen says:

    Well, it’s about time.

  66. Chuck says:

    Does this mean that Don Cherry is going to have to cover the Habs game, or be relegated to exposure in Ontario?

    “A banner for Vezina must hang from the rafters!”

  67. Habs_008 says:

    E Le But! Poor old Cherry, he will go off. Didnt he say the laffs were going to the playoffs and the habs will be out of it before the season started? Yup sounds like he would say something stupid like that. I dont think anyone else hates the habs as much as he does. All because of a Too many man penalty. I cant wait to see him cry about it. haha. GOOD!

  68. krob1000 says:

    lol sounds abut right to me.

  69. Sulemaan says:

    Good observation on Recchi. He would have been a nice pick-up for nothing (waiver) down the stretch drive.
    He played well with Saku when he was here and they are good friends apparently.

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