Price in goal, Kovalev on the bubble

Updating Kovalev’s status at 5:42 p.m.

Alex Kovalev did not take part in today’s practice, nursing a sore ankle apparently dinged early in Wednesday’s game vs. the Florida Panthers. Kovalev returned to score the game-winning goal in overtime, but he’s not been on skates since, and it’s unclear whether he’ll be in shape to face the Philadelphia Flyers at the Bell Centre on Saturday.

Defenceman Josh Gorges was home… sick. But Roman Hamrlik, out the past week with the flu and a skin irritation, is expected to be back in the lineup.

Carey Price gets the start in goal, and you can hear him here speaking about that.

Other audio: captain Saku Koivu talks about individual success, Michael Ryder and much more.

80 Comments

  1. The Teacher says:

    Forget about Kovalchuk, jeez. Everyone would love to have him, but it’s not even close to being a realistic possibility!

    Instead of getting holik, we probably will pick up a guy like Vasicek.

  2. POPS says:

    Ask N.J. how valuable he was during the cup years!You don’t have to pay him big bucks and his trade value is minimal!

  3. POPS says:

    Hey, I started the Holik notion!!!!He is perfect for what we need!!Great on faceoffs!Big,and strong in the centre spot!!Very abrasive!!!New thought….what about Kovalchuk?

  4. Shiloh says:

    Breezer – the geezer with the freezer.

  5. Shiloh says:

    You’re right when you indicate that Price has to play. If he’s only going to get in once a week then maybe he’d be better off playing every game in Hamilton. He’s probably the real deal and we shouldn’t slow his development at this young age.

  6. showey47 says:

    I get it was a no win situation for mr. gainey, if he trades sheldon the media rips him for throwing in the towel. It just sucks to lose suck a big asset for nothing, but being a glass half full type of guy, we got a much improved #44 now.

  7. the_vipah says:

    Wow look at that.

    Columbus outshooting the Wings 9-2 in the first and leading 3-0.

    Best team in the league getting its ass handed to it by a non playoff team.

    I guess it can happen to anyone. They’ve lost 4 in a row and maybe 5 after this. This is the stuff people need to reflect on when they are reaching for the razor and warming up the bath after a Habs loss.

  8. Hoegarden says:

    For those who may wish to read the article on RDS.

    http://www.rds.ca/canadien/chroniques/245845.html

    He is expected to play tomorrow night.

  9. Hoegarden says:

    Relax folks, according to Carbonneau’s press release this afternoon, Kovy was given the day off as well as tomorrow. Reason given was “mental fatigue” -rough translation- accumulates during the season and couple that with his sore ankle. In plain language, a well deserved rest.

    Lots of empty seat in Hockeytown tonight, at leas in the lower sections. Would we pay for Nash ? He’s the complete package and some.

  10. Ed says:

    Shame on all you Brisebois bashers. TSN reports that Kovalev missed today’s practice, and Michael (scratch me Mr. Carbonneau please)Ryder, played in his place on the Plekanec line. It also reports that Gorges joined Hamrlik on the sidelines, and guess what, that left only 5 defencemen. Carbonneau considers Brisebois so valuable that he used him as a defence pairing all by himself. Take that you Brisebois bashers. :)

    Or maybe the other defencemen are afraid to play with him because, as Blitzen says below, he has a bottle of flu bug in his freezer and he keeps spiking a D-Man’s drink as soon as another becomes healthy again. The truth is out there somewhere, and we have to find it.

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/feature/?fid=10460&hubname=

  11. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    TERRIBLE NEWS…
    It will be the GREATEST DISASTER OF THE SEASON if KOVALEV IS OUT.

    we better hope he is just taking a well deserved rest from all the physical fighting he has had to do for himself…he is the TARGETED HAB…the league knows if you SHUT DOWN KOVY, we are DONE…there have been numerous RUNS at our star this year and that is an issue that Gainey is going to have to rectify. Kovy has the size to take it and give it back but our other “talent” cannot..(although kostjr is trying, he needs another 85lbs of muscle)

    Praying that KOVY remains in the lineup until a playoff spot is secured, then rest him in the carribean….

    in the meantime, Gainey needs to act NOW…get some security for our STARS.

    ———
    1. BREEZE MUST NOT SEE THE ICE AGAIN
    1. Thank GOD we have Alex Kovalev…..at his PRIME
    2. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans
    3. Your’re not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”
    4. We will win the CUP in 2009

  12. KerryPrice says:

    Holik , whoop de frickin doo. I`d sooner Ed Ronan come outta retirement , then have that overpaid bum donning a Hab Jersey. i`d sooner Alyn MacCauley Or Mike friggin Ricci. If they get Bobby Holik for Ryder . I`ll shit myself. Booby Holik is a worthless bum.

  13. Habs-Kat says:

    I like the sound of big Joe Colborne.

  14. TommyB says:

    showey, no one can dispute your description of Souray last year. He was everything you stated, and more. If we missed the boat it was because we could not let the boat sail as long as there was a chance we could get into the playoffs. First round playoff gates would have gone a long way in erasing any loss by letting Souray go for nothing. First and foremost, and this is the Montreal Canadiens not the Pittsburgh Penguins, we want to compete. We want to be in the playoffs. We want to be part of that excitement. We want the additional revenue.

    Sadly, Souray was our “offense” last year due to most other players underachieving, whether due to the flu, lack of chemistry, lack of talent, or a lack of willingness to buy into Carbo as coach. We had to keep Sheldon if we were going to get to the playoffs. Gainey had no choice whatsoever. Unfortunately we missed by one point, but we had to take a run at it.

    Fate, as it would happen, has landed us a far better D-man in Roman Hamrlik. And we have a far better team in almost every aspect this year. The playoffs are not guaranteed…they never are unless you ride the top of the standings right out of the starting gate, and hold that position until the end.

    This year we do not have to rely on a crutch, the way we did with Souray last year. We have far more balance. This is also a reason why we may not make any major deal before the deadline. We “should” get into the playoffs, and we have a reasonable chance of advancing at least one round. A good step forward IMO, and the summer will be the time to re-assess the lineup and make adjustments. Those posters and fans who are too impatient to wait for the team to make the jump to actual Cup contender will just have to take some meds or something to tide them over. Or, they could switch to another more glamourous team until the Habs are ready for the dance. I’m not putting you in this category…I read your posts!

  15. The Teacher says:

    I meant Vasicek shouldn’t cost us too much, maybe a 6th rounder?

  16. The Teacher says:

    He shouldn’t cost us too much.

  17. Les-Habitants says:

    I’m telling you guys, I’d put the money on Holik.

  18. Mr.Hazard says:

    Interesting.

    EAST 18-pt Differential:
    #1. Ottawa Senators – 73 pts
    #15.Toronto Maple Leafs – 55 pts

    WEST 36-pt Differential:
    #1. Detroit Red Wings – 87 pts
    #15.Los Angeles Kings – 51 pts

    Also, 10 points seperating the first 9 teams in the East is kinda spooky (vs. 23 pts in the West).

    Ex nihilo nihil fit

  19. showey47 says:

    pretty good at 54.3%, good size at 6’5″ 215. He is only -1 on a team loaded with minuses.

  20. showey47 says:

    Souray was last season’s premier powerplay dman. We missed the boat big time. If we got a first rounder and gorges for rivet, could u imagine what we would of got for souray? Another first rounder for sure, high end prospect and a roster forward.

  21. The Teacher says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Gainey make a minor deal and pick up a guy like Josef Vasicek. How are his faceoff stats this year?

  22. Hot_Pie says:

    I wouldn’t call the Souray fiasco an epic blunder, far from it actually.

    Look at it this way, perhaps we could have gotten a decent return from him, perhaps not, but that’s hindsight for you.

    What I do know is that in not spending 5.25 million to get Souray, we managed to spend that money to get Hamrlik, a much better upgrade over Souray. Due to this being the salary cap era now, you cannot omit its importance in today’s NHL. Sometimes it’s better to let players test free agency and potentially lose them when one aspires to make a run for the playoffs. Especially now with the parity in the league, you’ll find this scenario happen much more often.

    Moreover, Gainey would be stupid to trade his number 1 goalie, especially when we have a good chance at making the playoffs; nobody does that. Rushing players and putting them in these types of situation can bite you in the ass in the future. Look at Carolina, they gambled by trading Gerber and having Ward be their #1 goalie; Ward has been mediocre ever since. Goalies take time to develop, and Price is no different.

    I personally don’t want to lose Huet in free agency, but if we do, at least that will give us a good extra 4 million in cap space.

  23. Bouleau noir says:

    I dont expect any big changes either,… I havent seen anyone showing me having the capacity in our organization to provoque moves having quantum leaping effects the way it has been seen with other organizations…. everyone is just going along with the ride never initiating but only reacting when things happen to fall apart.

    That being said I can see our defensement as being one of the best squad out there next year yet I still see our team having problems scoring when 5 on 5 next season,.. this would need improvement if we want to be something else than a the ” good little team” we have been for years.

  24. the_vipah says:

    He won the cup before the trade. After he won that cup with his fluke play through the playoffs they traded Gerber away thinking they were set in net with Ward. Woops. Not even close. Not that keeping Gerber would have helped anything, he stinks also.

  25. NightRyder says:

    Geez, I could have sworn Cam Ward led them to a Stanley Cup title. That really was a failed gamble.

  26. Maffu says:

    I am also starting to believe keeping Huet without signing him is risky as this is his only chance to cash in with a bigger contract.
    But what are we to do with him and Price right now? In the playoffs it will have to be Huet who gets the start, and only after a terrible game should Price be put in, just as Carolina did when Gerber got sick and chased out of the game by the HABS.

    In the next 10 days we will know if Price will hold the fort or if Huet will rebound as he usually does.

  27. nightmare_49 says:

    It’s funny nobody has come up with a list of Gainey’s rental players in the past at the deadline and how they panned out. I imagine JF jr. list would be good for a laugh. How to build a last place team.

  28. REB says:

    On a previous post someone mentioned that we should ride Huet “like a rented mule”, to see if he had what it takes to be a true #1 goalie, and we did, and he showed that he has limitations. At the same time, we have an up-and-coming franchise goalie, who 1) needs to play to stay sharp, and 2) did much better than expected when Huet was injured.

    We already know what Huet can/can’t do, but if we’re going to pin the future on Price, we need to get an idea of his limitations; it makes no sense to trade Huet and let Price be #1 next year, if Price can’t play more than 7-8 games in a row. I say we ride Price “like a rented mule” for now, and see what he can do (should have started 2 weeks ago…). It will give us a better idea of whether he’s able to handle #1 for the year, or do we need a veteran goalie to relieve his load.

    Halak isn’t in the above scenario because I honestly believe that he will follow Perezhogin. Danis qualifies as a rookie also.

  29. projectpete19 says:

    preaching to the choir, agree 200%

  30. zooziff says:

    Submitted by NightRyder on Fri, 02/15/2008 – 15:33.
    What I’d like to see happen is the dealing of Huet and Ryder for any type of future assets.

    Totally agree. It’s time to go with Price. Huet will want a two year deal at least. Does anyone really believe Price should be backup for two more years? Besides, Huet will ask for 3.5 – 4 million per year. Let’s keep building.

  31. A. Berke says:

    Agree with you 110%.

    Ali B.

  32. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    Thats fine…what about BREEZE, thats whats important to the Cro-Magnon fan.

    p.s. thanks for the interviews!
    ———
    1. BREEZE MUST NOT SEE THE ICE AGAIN
    1. Thank GOD we have Alex Kovalev…..at his PRIME
    2. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans
    3. Your’re not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”
    4. We will win the CUP in 2009

  33. DYCSoccer17 says:

    Why would you be more concerned with the body rash?

    Secondly, I am a healthy 27 year old person with a healthy immune system. This year was the first time in my life that I had contracted the influenza virus. It happens to the best of us…

  34. von says:

    The flu shot is for young and old people. Healthy people, especially hockey players, should have a strong enough immune system to be able to fight it off.

    It happens. I’d be more concerned about the body rash.

  35. Fab K says:

    I believe so since it is written in his contract, and when he changes teams, the contract, with all the details, follows him where ever he goes until it expires.

  36. Will Longlade says:

    You’re absolutely right. It only protects against the strains of influenza virus that the pharmaceutical co.’s expect to be prevalent during the upcoming flu season. Besides, a lot of bugs that are referred to as the “flu” really aren’t influenza at all. There are other types of viruses that are circulating that mimic some of the symptoms of the “flu”. The term “flu” as used by the mainstream financial press is a generic term. Anyway, all of this is probably a moot point if you’re sick and feeling lousy. Hope the Hab’s players who are under the weather feel better soon.

  37. wd40 says:

    i believe so. Stillman waived his to ok the trade to Ottawa this week and logically, i’d imagine any further trades would only occur pending his ok through the duration of his current employment contract.

  38. Hoegarden says:

    I’m assuming that Sundin’s agent would need to re-activate the no-trade clause with the Ducks, otherwise he is subject to being traded. You either wave or you don’t !

  39. RetroMikey says:

    The Price is right! Come on down! :)

    “We will win the Cup only with Carey Price in the nets”

  40. wd40 says:

    bingo. it doesn’t. it can help prevent the infection or the severity of the illness. also, it doesn’t do squat for the common cold.

  41. NightRyder says:

    I’d be disappointed if we blew up the future to get a rent-a-player this year. I’m fairly certain Gainey will stay the course.

    What I’d like to see happen is the dealing of Huet and Ryder for any type of future assets. We saw what keeping Souray did last year, it turned out to be an epic blunder. We could have had at least another first-rounder in this year’s deep draft. Huet and Ryder do not, or should not, factor in our future plans. Let the future start now.

    Let the young kids move forward this year, gain some playoff experience. They will be that much better for it when we are really ready to win.

    Price has show a penchant for big-time play in pressure games at the world juniors and in the Calder Cup playdowns. I say hitch your wagon to him now. Adding a veteran backup in the offseason will not be difficult if Halak can’t cut the mustard.

  42. Will Longlade says:

    Pretty soon the Hab’s defensive corps will be decimated and Breezer will have to log 60 minutes a game and cover both the left and right-D simultaneously through the use of mirrors. Yikes!

    Seriously though, Breezer did play a decent game in Florida. He has to continue to play within his means and not shy away from contact. When he shies away from contact the opposing player gains a time and position advantage that leads to scoring opportunities.

  43. 24 Cups says:

    AB – great post! I myself have just come down with the flu. Forget the flu shot for me, please send Scotch and Drambuie instead!

    The Original 24 Cups

  44. Habs_008 says:

    I think we give them enough money.

  45. Blitzen says:

    I may be wrong but I don’t think a flu shot guarantees you will be flu-free.

  46. A. Berke says:

    Since the team in their infinite wisdom, can not get the players receive a flu shot, can we, the fans, collect some dough (I think it’s $10 a head) to get the team inoculated next Fall?

    I think this is ridiculous.

    cheers,

    Ali B.

  47. TommyB says:

    I’d have to assume that Sundin’s contract goes with him, along with the no-trade clause.

    I like the way you think though…lol

  48. Blitzen says:

    BreezeBy has a bottle of flu bug in his freezer and he keeps spiking a D-Man’s drink as soon as another becomes healthy again.

  49. Jonnyboy says:

    Random question:

    If a player waves their no-trade clause during a trade, is the clause still in-tact after the trade. It’s never really likly to happen. Just interested.

    For example say Sudin agrees to go to the Ducks this week. Then in a weeks time the Ducks get an offer that is too good to pass up. I would assume the no-trade is still intact. Anyone know about this?

  50. vic says:

    I dont expect any big changes if any.The plan was for next year I think we have enough talent to challenge next year.I would nt like to lose any of
    the players that still havent reached their potential


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