Markov’s play a concern

The Gazette’s Pat Hickey wonders what has happened to Andrei Markov? The Canadiens’ No. 1 defenceman has been struggling lately, and head coach Guy Carbonneau is starting to get concerned.

"Maybe he sees himself in the All-Star Game too quick," Carbonneau said. "I don’t think he’s injured. But his play on the ice is not where it should be. We’ve talked to him about it. We need him to get back to where he was early in the year. He should be our best defenceman and right now he’s not."

Markov is minus-12 over the last 10 games and he has only collected four assists during that time.

Hickey writes that Markov isn’t the Canadiens’ only concern.

As the team’s losing
streak reached three games, Christopher Higgins said: "Every team that comes out of a losing streak has someone that steps up and makes a big play at a key point in the game.

"We need that, but it seems that everyone is waiting for someone to do it."


  1. Scotty90 says:

    I don’t think Demers’ ticker could take the pressure any more!

  2. Renegade says:

    Agreed 100%. We need a new coach, not after the season, not even after the next game, but now.

    Publicly picking apart each player by name, in the Montreal media nonetheless, is just plain bad coaching. It has to end now.

  3. Renegade says:

    I agree, except I have no idea why you have Ryder on a line with Kovalev and Plekanec when Kosti has been so successful there.

    If anything, Ryder should be a healthy scratch.

  4. linp says:

    That is Carbo biggest weakness as coach. You don’t openly criticize your star player. I have noticed that Markov was not 100% a few games ago. Our team relies so much on Markov’s rush and passes. Our other defense men do not have the same skill to start those outlet passes. Brisebois delivers at times but he also as likely passes to an opponent. During the last game, we keep giving the puck away. If you spent most of the time chasing your opponents, how can you score. On top of that, our players are not skating hard as before. They are not hitting hard to gain control of the puck.

    Let’s hope that Markov can get back to 100%. In the meantime, we need to control the puck more. Work harder and hit more. Have more confident to control the puck and pass more accurately. Just remember, they can’t score if you don’t give them the puck.

  5. ebk says:

    Markov like any true team leader during team slumps, tries to take on more of a load. He is pressing because he is trying to do much. He needs to relax and he will be fine.

  6. Bash says:

    I have said it too many times. We need some muscle. Bless Dandenault for jumping in last night but Souray would have pummelled someone if he had been on the ice.

    I don’t regret the loss of Souray execpt for the loss of toughness.

    O’Byrne and Lapierre are coming..Let these dogs out!
    Suddenly Begin and Latendresse pump it up…the offense gets some room and momentum develops.

    Ryder, Plek, Kova
    Kosti, Koivu, Higgins
    Latendresse, Chip, Smolinski
    Begin, Lapierre, Kostop

    Markov / Komi
    Hammer / O’Bryne
    Dandenault / Streit (either of these can move up when we shorten the bench for the last 10)

  7. Habs Suck says:

    I think we need to start a “Bring back Demers” campaign!!! Jacques could transform this team into a contender and quickly. Come on Jacques, we need a real coach!

  8. Habs Suck says:

    Bring back Jacques Demers!!!! I’ll bet he could lead this team. He’s got guts and charisma and knows his hockey and his players. Does he need the extra stress on his heart? NO. But, I’ll bet he’d entertain the idea….

  9. fun police says:

    being sent down because carbo has no patience with skilled players. he only has patience for players like himself.

  10. AdamG says:

    overrated? did you see how fast and crafty these guys were? if shutting them down is so easy, why are they still so productive?

  11. Ali says:

    Good job Guy, publicly calling out and humiliating your most valuable player, who’s is obviously not at 100%. Way to keep the players with ya coach.

  12. Ibleedbleublancetrouge. says:

    How are Zetterberg and Datsyuk overated exactly? We couldn’t stop them and neither has any other team been able to all season… I think rating them high is quite accurate.

  13. TradeRyder says:

    Or maybe we coulda just not passed them the puck. Let’s try that next time.

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

  14. saskhab says:

    I agree we let them have free range… but not because of a lack of physicality. Maybe we could’ve been more physical, but maybe we could’ve actually had some players in the middle of the ice when we tried to clear the zone that way. Or, just used the boards.

    Detroit had free reign through the neutral zone. There was no structure to the team’s D.

  15. HNS says:

    Zetterberg and Datsyuk are overated. If a team wants to shut down these hothouse flowers all they have to do is take the body to throw them off their game. Our boys let them have free range last night and did not hit anything at all.

  16. TradeRyder says:

    Latendresse has been playing well… true. And I think Kostitsyn has too. Most European players are criticized for being soft – Kostitsyn mixes it up and never gives up on the puck. I love watching him play. Plus he has the finesse.. great passing, good vision. Give him time, I’m sure he’ll be strong. Let’s hope that Carbo DOES sit the right people. We know who they are!

    A small thing — and I know it does no good to complain about the refs (though they’ve been almost as bad as the Habs this year!) but what they HECK was the ref thinking on that non-call on the Begin head-slam?? It was boarding, WITH a trip, and the most dangerous play I’ve seen in weeks. And the ref was within feet and aggressively waived it off. Insane.
    Thanks for the line changes I asked for Carbs! Now, do the defense!

  17. 24 Cups says:

    I double checked and you’re right, although Georges must clear waivers. I just assumed the others would never be considered as candidates for Hamilton right now. Even though Latendresse has been criticized on this site in the past his play has really picked up lately. He’s here for good now. As for Kostitsyn, he needs to play a ton of minutes and be on a good line (which he is) so we can find out if he’s going to make it or not. There’s still time for all of these guys to show their stuff. I feel better today knowing that we’re making some kind of move and bringing up two promising young guys.

  18. coutNY says:

    I agree this is a good move and agree we should actually play them, not just use tham as a motivational tool. Replace Breezer and Smoli for a while… their consistant play of less than desirable hockey is frustraiting. One thing that helped us out of the funk last year was a breathe of fresh call-ups… ie injection of energy.

    FYI, Well on the waivers thing, there’s also Price, Halak, Latendresse, Gorges(I think), and Kostitsyn, but right on Grabby maybe the easiest sense he is not an everyday player.

  19. 24 Cups says:

    He was probably sent down because he’s the only player on the Habs that doesn’t have to clear waivers. The second spot on Montreal’s roster was open due to Murray leaving town. Both Lapierre and O’Byrne don’t have to pass through waivers if we decide to send them back to Hamilton later in the year so really this is a good move all around. It’s also a signal to other players in Hamilton that the big club is watching and willing to give them a chance. These two guys will add size, grit, and enthusiasm to our team. I only ask one thing of Gainey and Carbo – play both of them on a regular basis and give them some decent minutes. Otherwise, it’s a total waste of time and will only curtail their development. Logic dictates that Brisebois and Smolinski sit down for a few games.

  20. saku11 says:

    I don’t know why Grabs is being sent down. He probably played his best game on Saturday. Hopefully we can trade some dead weight to make room for him. Hopefully Lapierre will have a similar start to the season with the Habs as he did with the Bulldogs.

  21. Habs64 says:

    Ryan O’Byrne and Max Lapierre have been called up. Mikhail Grabovski has been sent to Hamilton. per RDS

  22. habsguy says:

    KOVALEV…..LOLOLOL….I thought he was the one started all the crap lastyear (twice), isn’t he the guy who lastyear everyone wanted to get rid of for a bag of pucks……oh ya, he’s FINALLY trying a bit so now he’s the true leader of the team…Thanks but I’ll stick with Saku, 1/2 the size, twice the heart…… Oh ya look at Bonk now, nobody here wanted him, remember ………

  23. TradeRyder says:

    Carbo seems confused about a lot of things. Why Markov isn’t playing well. Why the team blows games. Why the leaders aren’t leading. Why the goaltenders get tired after being shelled for 60 minutes.

    Where to look for answers?? Where?? It’s too bad there wasn’t someone… someone who you could turn to…. someone in charge… hmmmmm …. who could that be??? Hmmmmmm…..

    God Bless you for trying Carbo! Next!
    Thanks for the line changes I asked for Carbs! Now, do the defense!

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