New mindset for Habs moving forward

Canadiens defenceman Mike Komisarek knocks down Devils winger Brian Gionta during their game last week in Newark, N.J.
Ray Stubblebine, Reuters

The Gazette’s Pat Hickey writes that the Canadiens have a new mindset moving forward after the all-star break. The team is 7-2-1 in its last 10 games and has the second-best record in the Eastern Conference with 60 points, only six behind the Ottawa Senators.

The big difference, said Christopher Higgins, is confidence.

"Ottawa is a fantastic team and they’re going to get some points down the stretch, but if we can match them and overtake them, that means we’re playing some great hockey, too.

"There’s still a team ahead of us in the standings and it’s dangerous thinking, thinking that we’ve accomplished something. We haven’t accomplished anything. We still have 30 something games remaining and you don’t accomplish anything with that many games left. None of our markers or goals have been met yet. The ultimate is to win the Cup and that’s our goal."

50 Comments

  1. Ian G Cobb says:

    Robert, I think he will be ready for this League in about 2or3 years of AHL seasoning. More kids have been ruined, especially goaltenders, by bringing them along to early. Price is going to be a great one, but this is the longest developing position in hockey. Physically scientifically and mentally.

    Only way I got the spelling was, Andree Is home. I drive her crazy when I’m on here.

  2. coutNY says:

    signed yesterday…

  3. rogus says:

    Selanne signed in Annahiem :(

  4. HabsProf says:

    With the exception of Buffalo, every team that is currently out of the playoffs in the East has played more games than Montreal. For example, we are only 6 points up on the Rangers, but we hold 2 games in hand. Since we have only 15 regulation losses this season, that makes us more like 8 to 9 points ahead of the Rangers. Or it can be viewed as giving us some wiggle room for a cold stretch (whereas the Rangers have none).

    Also, only Ottawa is ahead of us. If we are going to fall out of the playoffs, many teams trailing Montreal have to pass us.

    I am not saying the playoffs are in the bag, but I am saying that the Habs have a solid grasp on a spot.

  5. HabsProf says:

    Usually a player having an off year is traded for a player having an off year. Ryder for Nagy? Nagy has higher upside and a higher salary. However, in his four seasons, this is Ryder’s only “problem” season. Nagy may have more upside, but he also has more history as an underachiever (until this season, most would tab Ryder as an overachiever).

    Thoughts?

  6. rogus says:

    I wouldn’t. I could even score playing on a line with big Joe…in this case it’s the set up man not the trigger man.

  7. mar-lin says:

    I agree…they play Halak for the exact reasons already mentioned above, Because of what he did last year.This kid has the ability to play at this level and i believe was a pleasant surprise to habs brass. I don’t think anything is crystal clear yet in regards to our goalie situation. My line of thinking is more that if Price does get called up that maybe it’s because we’ve traded one of the other 2. We’ve been asking it all year long…what would we give up for a star player who can possibly take us even further into the playoffs. I like all 3 goalies for sure but it’s wait and see time from here to the deadline.

    cheers

    gohabsgo

  8. krob1000 says:

    From what I have heard it is only Higgins that sounds like that. Koivu seems to be very cautious. Higgins is a confident guy and needs to be that way to function….but in my opinion he should keep those things to himself as he has now raised expctations in the expectation capital of the world. I believe in this team and I do agree that the East is up for grabs and the Senators minus Heatley and with their goaltending struggles (on ice and off) are somewhat vulnerable (at least during the regular season). Whether or not that is vulnerable to us or another team remains to be seen. I am undecided on how I feel about the spike in bandwagon ticket sales as our young team has probably benefitted from flying under the radar thus far.

    Isn’t it great the all-star break is over……whew those were some stressful times….I almost checked myself into a ReHab center to help me through the withdrawal. I made it though with a little help from my friends here at Inside/Out….thanks everyone I couldn’t stand any more Leaf or All-star talk.

  9. habjay93 says:

    This sounds exactly like what they said last year just before they started losing every game in December and January.

  10. Smart Dog says:

    They’ll play Halak. If he steels a game or two, and he might, it’s win-win. Win the game, up his trade value. If he plays poorly, they check Price’s pulse and switch them.

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

  11. mrstewart61 says:

    I would do it, but I doubt Wilson will…he may request more.

  12. Robert L says:

    Price would be recalled when the Canadiens feel he is sharp and ready, and when Huet needs a break. As you say, look for it to happen near the next set of back to back games. The smartness of this move for now, is that both are goalies are playing every game. It’s been a good plan, and Price should be more confident when he returns.

  13. Robert L says:

    Anyone notice that many of the same people who predicted the Canadiens would finish 13th are now calling them the surprise team so far?

    Habs Have Critics Eating Crow

    http://wwwrealitycheckeyesontheprize.blogspot.com/2008/01/habs-have-critics-eating-crow.html

  14. Gormdog says:

    The higher the bar is set, the shorter the leash becomes according to the fans…

    My question is: How soon do we see Price back up?

    For now, all is well because we don’t play back to back games for two weeks. If Huet keeps his skull screwed on right, he will probably get all the starts until the back to backs (except for maybe the Toronto game but thats a mention for another thread).

    Does this mean that come feb 12th, when we play back to back sets of back to back games, we will be seeing our boy Price back in action?

    Habs brass has made it pretty obvious that Halak is not the guy. They made it clear by drafting Price, giving last years final start to Huet, sending Halak to Hamilton this year, and not giving him an NHL start while he sits on the bench for a team whose season he saved down the stretch.

    That being said, Carbo won’t have a choice, right? Everyone knows Huet cant play every game here on out, he has absolutely no brodeur/luongo abilities when it comes to in-season longevity.

    What do the crystal balls say?

  15. the Maritimer says:

    Catching Ottawa may not be so far fetched. Watching TSN last night, apparently Ray Emery is in the doghouse again for being late for practice…..again.

    According to Bob McKenzie, Martin Gerber has not been consistent in his play of late and Emery may be shown the door.

    It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

  16. mar-lin says:

    do it…do it do it…DO IT!

  17. likehoy says:

    Ryder for Cheechoo anyone?

  18. mar-lin says:

    well I for one AM going to get excited…why wouldn’t I? This is what it’s all about, chasing a playoff berth and challenging for the division tittle.COMMON GUYS… I put my heart out there, sure it’s a risk but that’s what we do. They play with passion and I support and cheer the same way. If i can’t get excited about this then why am I watching hockey? In the times when they fail for sure I’m devastated but that just makes the success they have that much sweeter. Ask me not to boo them and i’ll say no problem, ask me to support them when things are not going well…no problem. Just please i beg you don’t ask me to not get excited, i love this team! As for the regulars on here i’m sure you must feel somewhat the same way. Take the risk and put your faith and heart on the line that’s what identifies us as the best fans in hockey!Thanks for reading…

    cheers

    gohabsgo

  19. Lee Hayes says:

    The knowledge and passion, in gross amounts, is what makes Hab fans, Hab fans.
    I feel that with loyalty, comes reward.
    Now I’m not advocating blind cheerleading like the laffs, but I’m with mar-lin on this one. Enjoy the success, ’cause it may be fleeting.
    I can’t see this going south this season…should be a very exciting second half.

    Go Habs Go

  20. RH says:

    Tonight is the first of back-to-back games against the Caps. The two teams meet again in Washington on Thursday. The Canadiens return home on the weekend for a pair of afternoon games Saturday against the Islanders and Sunday against the Rangers.

    Hey Kevin, since you’ve already posted tomorrow’s article, can you give me the winning lottery #’s in advance as well? ;0

  21. Kevin Mio says:

    Sure thing, as long as we can split the winnings!

  22. Moey says:

    Sounds good to me, you go boys. I saw Saku & Chris being interviewed tonight on the news, playing at home is stressful, the fans expect only the best and the guys feel it, but not in a positive way. Can you imagine if they read half the stuff on HIO.

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, their bulilding their confidence one game at a time. Let’s stand behind them.

  23. Derek says:

    Well said. It’s up to all us fans to show our support. If they’re going to do well in this half, we’ll need to be supportive all the way; after all we are their fans!

  24. PGHABS says:

    Yes, when the Habs were hammering the Bruins the other night, the Bruins had two or three good shifts in a row, and the boo birds came out. The score was 6-1. As if the habs show their best effort of the season against a long time rival and we still mange to boo them.

    *My uncle is a Bruins fan and he mistakingly bet me fifty bucks and have to wear a hat of the opposing team for a day.. that oughta learn him*

  25. Sami says:

    I feel we’re on the upswing…..great building blocks in the minors, let’s let it build, patience folks, we’re on the cusp of something good I think!

  26. I am Canadien says:

    I feel quite good about our chances in the 2nd 1/2 of the season. Kovolev is a different player this year and as a team they’re starting to beleive in each other. Learning to lose together builds on learning to win together. Last year the learned the first part ; this year they’re learning the 2nd part.
    Sounds crazy but it’s true….

    HABS!!
    Price will be Back $$$

  27. Alirio says:

    I’m so glad I have tickets for Sunday’s game vs the Rangers….

    GO HABS!


    I’ve made a huge mistake…

  28. habsgod says:

    i hope you guys don’t mind me make a prediction on here!!but the boys will get 3 out of 4 points against the caps!!!

  29. P St. Pierre says:

    I agree, there is no point getting worked up over something that hasn’t happened yet. The team is in almost the exact same place it was last year at this time with the exception that it is playing better. Hopefully this trend continues, but I don’t want to get too excited yet.

  30. Chorske says:

    The first meltdown started around December 23 last season. If I remember right, it kind of got better after new years and then got worse after the allstar break. But this year’s group appears to be more mentally resilient. I think if they can keep healthy and stay above .500 at home, they’ll be fine. I agree with you in that I’m not sure catching Ottawa is the right goal- the sens have been hurting because a major player is injured, while we’ve been generally healthy. But I like what I’m hearing from the Habs players, confidence mixed with a reasonable assessment of what it will take to make the playoffs.

    Here’s to the boys NOT having their post-allstar break doldrums this year!

  31. habsgod says:

    hey cournoyer12 are you hearing something we aren’t? who do you think they’ll pickup? let’s hope it’s not like last year when we were all waiting with baited breath! ,for bob to do something and didn’t just picked up micheal leighton on waivers!!that was a disappointment!!!

  32. G-Man says:

    I predict the day after tomorrow.

    Gilbert

  33. habsgod says:

    well i hope so we could use a couple of things!!and we have the stuff to give up!i wouldn’t mind to see eric cole here!!or jokinen but i don’t know what bob has planned!

  34. mar-lin says:

    well like you and i were saying in another thread, we’re now in a possition of strength. Things look better and brighter now then ever before and i think the other stars are taking notice. Bob holds the key it’s just a question of wether or not he can find the right door.

    cheers

    gohabsgo

  35. G-Man says:

    Timo’s got it right. One game at a time, folks. And sorry moey, we ain’t the Dallas Cheerleaders. :) However, I like the effort and commitment to competing we’ve been witness to, lately. That come from behind win against Jersey was a real character builder. Let’s hope they learn from it and win the 20 games necessary to reach 100 points, but one game at a time.

    Gilbert

  36. Moey says:

    Understood G-Man, I predicted Obama two years ago, we shall see.

  37. PGHABS says:

    Apparently the Habs are scouting the Kings. If we got Rob Blake we would have a solid top four veteran group, with size and puck moving ability.

  38. habsgod says:

    ACTUALLY YOU MEAN A SOLID TOP 6 WITH O’BYRNE AND AND GORGES!!!I HOPE THEY GET BLAKE BUT I’M NOT HOLDING MY BREATH!!HE’D HAVE TO WAIVE HIS N.T.C. TO COME TO US!I DON’T THINK HE WANTS TO PLAY IN CANADA!!……………MAYBE JUST MAYBE IT’S FROLOV,OR CAMMALLERI!

  39. likehoy says:

    you know who’d be interesting too…Brian Campbell..smooth skating quick puck mover. Helps the PP too and comes at a cheaper rate and a better chance of re-signing him. He’s not my favorite player…but no doubt he would compliment a skilled speedy team like ours, unlike blake who is tough as nails, but not quite the best skater nor the most skilled player…sheldon souray part II if you ask me.

  40. mrstewart61 says:

    Apparently LA is requesting a roster player, a prospect and 1st rounder for Blake. I wouldn’t be willing to give up that much for him.

  41. ebk says:

    as much as I’d like to see it you old nag, I don’t think the American public is ready to elect Obama. I hope I am wrong but this is not the place for us to discuss that.

    No offense intended by the old nag comment, well maybe just a little.

  42. Moey says:

    Tail’s lifting….aaahhh that feels much better.

  43. habsgod says:

    yeah your right cournoyer but blake would help on the pp!have you heard any thing where you live what they might do?i live here in the west so i don’t here as much!!so than-god for this site and the team 990 and cjad 800!!which i have both as well as r.d.s!i’m a life long habs fan cournoyer!!36 years worth and loving evey minute of it!!!i’m spoiled because i grew up in the 1970′s!! so i got to see the cups in the 70′s,86,and 93!!!i have probably the biggest collection of habs stuff out here including jerseys,hats etc..sorry this is so long!!

  44. habsgod says:

    i agree! we are on the right track now though!!but you know what as they are getting better and becoming contenders i expect a cup in 2-3 years!am i asking for too much cournoyer?or is that the 70′s expection coming out of me again?where i expected them to win it every year!!because i’m actually expecting them to be the top team in the east next season is that expecting to much? what do you think?

  45. likehoy says:

    help on our first line? didn’t you hear? we’re looking for rob blake to add that power forward dimension…carbo’s looking for a big dman to slot into our top 6.

  46. habsgod says:

    timo it was posted on here!!by somebody else!!if we do get somebody from l.a. i’d like to see derek armstrong!!big, physical center that can score and fight if needed!!

  47. habsgod says:

    like i wouldn’t trade anything for campbell i’d just sign him as a free-agent in the summer!!but i never thought of campbell nice one!!!!

  48. likehoy says:

    always treat a lotto 6/49 player well…you never know when they’re going to win…

  49. JF says:

    Catching Ottawa, while not impossible, might not be a realistic goal, but winning some of our games against them should be a goal. Early in the season we played a great 55 minutes against them. We have become a better team since then, with more balance, more depth, a first line that is electrifying, and above all more confidence, especially after the huge come-back win over Jersey. On the other hand, I don’t think Ottawa has become better, and at the moment they’re missing one of their key forwards. Their goaltending might also be a problem; Emery seems to have issues with Paddock, which might be a distraction to the team, and Gerber tends to be inconsistent. If we go into those games believing we can win and play the kind of hockey we play at our best, we certainly have a chance. Beating Ottawa some of the time is important to our making the playoffs.


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