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!

  24. Ed says:

    The +/- is a very big concern, just as it was last year. After just 27 games, Markov is the worst at -10, while Hamrlik is the best at +10. How can 2 defencemen, on the same team, be 20 goals apart while on the ice at even strength after just 27 games? It’s not that Markov is not a good defenceman. I was under the impression that he was playing hurt, but Carbonneau says this is not so. There are 13 players with minuses, only 4 with pluses, & 3 are even.

  25. Richard B says:

    Richard B
    Last year I did not like the Carbo bashers…but y this year, when we were winning most games, did he have to go changing the lines becasue of the lack of goals from Ryder?
    The habs were winning most games!!!
    Changes to the top line and threats to a player(ryder) on your top line about being beanched probably does not give the rest of your team a warm fuzzy happy feeling.
    Ryder scored 30 in each of the last two seasons, and after a slump of a dozen games (granted a significant slump) Carbo goes off the handle and has gone back to his old tricks. Mixing lines!
    I watched Kovalev do an interview about 3 weeks ago and he said
    “Finaly we have two good lines that stay together and we can build some chemistry”.
    He is obviously fustrated with all the changing lines. Now we go switching lines again.
    First we get Koivu on the 3rd line with (jez, I dont even remember) ITS KOIVU ON THE THIRD LINE!!!
    And I love streit but as a fwd. on the first line????
    I dont’ think a line change is a quick fix…it scares everyone to death. Poor old crasher begin is out there coughing up pucks becasue he is afraid to loose his ice time. Begin is mr. Dependable…but last night? Not so much!!
    Anyway…I am quickly loosing faith in Carbo,
    relax with the lines old man…let the best players be the best players and if they slump let them try and get out of it.
    Don’t put your 2nd best offensive defensiveman on the first line as a forward!!! Hell!!!

    And if you want to keep changing the lines, how about giving Ryder a few shifts with Kovalev?

    When Kovalev draws 2 or 3 guys…ryder can take all the time in the world to snap er home.

    Very fustrated

  26. coutNY says:

    I a not sure what is going to pull the team from this loss of confidence, but Ryder on the top line, in my opinion is not the answer. He was only recently pulled from the top line and the 20 game trial period was enough for me. You can only ride your past success for so long. I think that #1 line has continued to down the same path since his departure, meaning his absence was not missed. Ryder has been given ample PP play time, last 2 games, he started the top PP unit, no success, actually booed off the ice last night with in his last few opportunities with turn-overs. I don’t hate Ryder, but a 20 game scoring drought from a 2-time 30 goal scorer pretty much justifies change, if nothing else, to see if he can produce more with others or in other areas. NOt that anyone else lighting the lamp these days…

    Next, playing him with Kovalev, who plays the same position and with a much different stlye does seem to make much sense to me. I am assuming this is the same rational Carbo is thinking. I believe Koivu should get the chance before Ryder anyhow. The difference between Ryder and Koivu is that Koivu willing to go after the puck and cause disruption. Whether in front or behind net, or in the corners he is always firery-eyed and working. This might mean taking a few lumps from bigger and Stronger Defenseman; Ryder does not seem to have this same willingness. Yes, Ryder works and hits, but more often than not it’s around the perimeter a stone throw away from the Action. Also, Ryder’s dynamics with the puck is a troubling matter. He needs to try a back-hand or a one timer albeit maybe a weaker or less acurate, but adds an element of suprise. The book seems to be out on his wristshot. Another tool he needs to add is faking the wrister to set-up a teamate. Souray had to develop an out because teams were cheating up to eliminate time to set up his rocket, hense the addition of a fake to get forwards to commit, so he could find lanes for others and to eventually cut down on turnovers. I am also sick of Ryder supporters thinking he is getting a raw deal. Carbo only has a few tools in his arsenal which are amounts playing time, line changes, and out-right calling out players. Coaches can’t just wait in the hopes that someday things will change after seeing the same play game after game. The best line that discribes that sort of mentality was a quote (a fellow blogger mentioned last year during our losing woes last year) from Benjamin Franklin “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different.”

    Moving on, this slump was bound to happen once the PP success dried up. Markov struggling is a direct result of teams cheating our D-men on an overly successful PP, and the forwards not adjusting to make teams pay for the overly-argressive strategy. I think Detriot had more opportunities short-handed than we had on the power-play. I don’t think playing Markov with an inept Breez-bye is going to stimulate his defensive play. There both are offensively minded and smallish in terms of D-man. Put him with Hammer to get him back on track is my suggestion. Calling him out after playing him 25-30:00 minutes a game doesn’t make much sense. Everyone knows Markov playing at sub-par is still better than bottom 3 D-man.

    I agree with most, that Breezer’s time in Montreal is, or at least should be nearing an end. He was brought into organization to help the PP, mentor the youngsters, and play some minutes in relief of the top guys. Somehow he’s now a regular top 4 and reverting to his old pylon ways. I’d rather try O’byrne, Cote, or Biron with some size and grit than watch Breezer get punished and taken advantage of game after game.

    Anyway, onto Boston, just waiting to pounce on the opportunity to redeem themselves after handing them their 2 worst losses. Oh yeah, also a team more than willing give beat down if things aren’t going their way. Scary with their size superiority and Heavy-weight thugs in numbers.

  27. Mr.Hazard says:

    Huet started struggling a lot when he made the All-Star team last year, and as soon as we find out Markov will most likely make it, he starts struggling. Seriously, I stopped voting a couple days ago…

    Ex nihilo nihil fit

  28. mjames says:

    Brilliant comment just brilliant.

    I guess it takes all kinds to make world. Too bad there are too many of your kind.


  29. Blitzen says:

    I’m sure you wouldn’t want to touch Zetterberg and Datsyuk. :rolleyes:

  30. 24 Cups says:

    How do you respond to or acknowledge a comment like this? It’s simple, you don’t.

  31. Ibleedbleublancetrouge. says:

    congratulations. that may be the single dumbest comment ever posted on here.

  32. showey47 says:

    so many racists so few bullets

  33. Habs Suck says:

    Hey, check the right side column in the “Rules” box. Let me help you a little by quoting an important line:

    “Habs Inside/Out encourages lively debate, but there is a zero-tolerance policy regarding RACISM, profanity and behaviour that we deem to be offensive.” (emphasis mine)

  34. J.T. says:

    I agree Markov’s struggled. So has the rest of the team. But I thought the “All-Star” comment by Carbo was snotty and low class. Markov’s not the type of guy who goes looking for public adulation or media attention. So what makes Carbo think that embarrassing him in public will help turn his game around? Maybe if the team had a bloody D coach, there’d be someone Markov could ask for advice.

    I read recently an old description of Toe Blake in which several of his players talked about the kind of coach he was. One thing that came up again and again is that Blake would rip you a new one in the room, but in public, everything was his fault, not the players. The players appreciated that and responded to his private rebukes. Maybe someone should mention that to Carbo, because I don’t see his style of criticism having very constructive results.

  35. Mr.Hazard says:

    I agree… Carbo must have been in some mood…

    Ex nihilo nihil fit

  36. habsgod says:

    i’m not worried markov will be fine!!he’s struggling now just like the team but markov,komisarek,and hamrlik are the back bone of the defence!!and i think once markov put’s it back together we’ll be fine!!also i think streit has to go back to playing defence not forward!!that little experiment has failed miserably gorges playing on streit’s spot on the defence is a joke!!bring up hulking defencman o’byrne from hamilton and teams will stop taking our blue line at will o’byrne and komisarek are the only 2 big monsters we’d have back there!!o’byrne can take bouillon and gorges minutes!!!at least we’d have effort from o’byrne and not the useless floating play or bad positioning that we get from bouillon and gorges!!!plus it gives us size back there and then we don’t get out muscled down low and in our own end !!!

  37. habsguy says:

    JT…I remember Steve Shutt being asked what he thought of Scotty Bowman, he said he hated him, but at the end of his career he realized just what he did for the habs and for HIS ( Shutts ) own career ..

  38. J.T. says:

    Yeah, but Scotty’s trick was to have EVERYONE hating him. I wonder if Carbo’s quite there yet.

  39. TommyB says:

    If I remember correctly, Shutt’s comment was more like “we hated him (Bowman) all year long, but at the end of the year, we skated around the rink with the Cup.

  40. mjames says:

    I have tried to curtail my comments on Carbo this year. Last year I ragged on him because he seemed intransient and unwilling to try things to get his team out of its funk. He was arrogant as he never accepted or shouldered any of the responsibility, at least not in the press. I resented his constant calling out of his players. This style did work last and I had hoped that Carbo had matured. Unfortunately as soon as things go bad he resorts to this calling out business. It does not work. I did not work last year and it will not work this year. I am actually surprised at Gainey for putting up with this. Boy that guy Savard in Chicago looks good right now. I think some hard decisions need to be made involving both players and coaches. I have to believe that a lot of players want out. This team is significantly better than the way it has played recently.

    Whose fault is it – players, coaches or both? More importantly who is going to take charge and do something about it? – Gillette, Gainey, Carbo, Asst GM, Asst Coaches, Koivu (leader in title only), Kovalev (he really is the true leader on this team) Hamrlik (leader based on play), Markov (silent leader), Higgins (gaining influence with the team). Maybe these players should approach Carbo.


  41. saku11 says:

    Carolina won the cup with speed and skill.

  42. coutNY says:

    One way to reposnd to DTD is to state that he’s clueless. Note our best all-around Defenceman right now is Hamrlik from Czech Republic with a Simlar Contract. THere are plenty North americans that could fit into the mold DTD is suggesting.

  43. A. Berke says:

    I’d say “a clueless racist”

    unless he’s a first nation member, his ancestors came into Canada from somewhere, most likely Europe.

    Ali B.

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