Ryder, Brisebois, Gorges scratched tonight

Defenceman Ryan O’Byrne earned two assists in his impressive NHL debut tonight.
Bruce Bennett, Getty Images

Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau is making underachieving forward Michael Ryder and defencemen Patrice Brisebois and Josh Gorges healthy scratches for tonight’s game in Boston against the Bruins.

The Bruins will start 20-year-old goalie Tuukka Rask against Canadiens’ Carey Price, also 20; Rask fills in for No. 1 Tim Thomas, who was hurt in the final minute of last night’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Devils in New Jersey and will be lost to the Bruins for a week, or longer, with the groin injury.

Rask will be backed up by Alex Auld, who was acquired today from the Phoenix Coyotes for forward Nate DiCasmirro and a 2009 fifth-round draft choice.



  1. HabsWatcher says:

    Well said!

  2. krob1000 says:

    No but he is a Glen Murray, Cheechoo, Marleau or Jason Blake…who will all come around but none of whom is being treated as Ryder.

  3. sidhu says:

    I wouldn’t mind Beauchemin, but we already have a number of defensemen on the roster – we’d have to waive, send down, or trade one of our 9 defensemen on the team.

  4. sidhu says:

    Hear me now – Brisebois should remain in the press box or retire. I’d rather have Gorges, Joel Bouchard, J.P. Cote play than Brisebois.

  5. Corio says:

    I couldn’t agree more! I just hope the organization finally realizes that!

  6. coutNY says:

    I don’t know what Ryder’s attitude is on the situation, but if he said “see if I care”, I bet would NOT help his situation. Garenteed! I was commentting on how You thuoght “see if I care” was the right attitude, which comes off to me as smug & childish.

    Agree/Disagree, Carbo has his immediate future in his hands, so I would take the benching lightly without learning from the situation. Or at least potraying this attitude.

  7. Les-Habitants says:

    Thank you!

    How are people comparing Ryder’s slump to Kovalev’s or Higgins’?? Kovalev is on pace for 40, Higgins for 30+.

    Ryder has played over a one third of the season, and people are saying he’s played only a couple bad games?? This isn’t the early part of the season anymore people, we’re in the thick of it now. Ryder isn’t producing. As a third-liner, he was moved in an attempt to ‘shake him up,’ to give him new linemates to spark his game and hopefully start producing again. We all know he has a good shot, but he’s been shooting from low-percentage spots, getting forced into the corners when carrying the puck, and being stripped of it when in the slot. He’s had a few good games, one game where he was great, but then he went right back into doing nothing.

    Benching Ryder isn’t a long-term solution, and neither is Smokes being on the 1st line. But that said, aside from Plek and Kovalev, there isn’t another player who isn’t already on the 1st line who has had a 20+ goal season aside from Smokes. If Ryder isn’t producing through 1/3 of the season, Carbo has to try something else. Not scoring through that many games is more then just a slump, and hopefully Ryder will come from being benched with the hunger he needs to start scoring.

  8. Habs_008 says:

    100% better borat.

  9. Proudones says:

    Lats is a fast skater? Since when?

  10. Scott in Montreal says:

    I do believe you have summed it up. Good point about Lats’ play too, which begs the question: how come Smolinski is on the first line and not Lats I wonder?

  11. krob1000 says:

    Aaron Downey and Garth Murray had heart too…and about the same skill level. I am not knocking Higgins, Kostopolous, Smolinski,etc for any reason other than for the purpose of camparison with regards to the Ryder situation. We are hurting our chances for an interconference game for no real prupose. This will have absolutely no more impact then the first time he was removed from the top line did. He has brought effort and last game he stunk it up. It was the opportunity Carbo was looking for because he has seemed to want this to happen as he is trying harder than anyone it seems to keep Ryder down. I do not know what has happened between those two but it reminds me of what my Dad used to tell me about Lafleur’s last years here . In his last year here he scored 30 goals and added 40 assists in 80 games with diminished ice time and less PP time.

  12. Proudones says:

    2 bad games constitutes a slump…perhaps 3 or 4 if you really stretch.
    A third of a season is either lack of talent (over rated greatly in the past) or lack of (let me outta here) desire.

  13. T-roy West says:

    Chuck V. – totally agree with you. Ryder has had enough time and he is not well rounded enough for the top line. I’m not just picking on him because there are many more on this team that I would let go in a heartbeat. I don’t think he is really deep down committed to this team and a change of scenery might be good for him. Frankly since he started with montreal he really hasn’t impressed me much. Higgins plays like a mad man but as far as Ryder goes, sometimes he might as well not be there!

  14. Ron in Ottawa says:

    how quickly we all forget. a few weeks ago, Ryder was not scoring but the team was still winning. When Carbo juggled his lines then everyone thought it was a good idea. but now, the team is in a slump and Ryder is still not scoring. Two big problems.
    Jumping all over Carbo doesn’t make sense to me. he is trying to make a meal out of scraps and that is Gainey’s problem. we all know he cannot convince unrestricted players to come here- politics, taxes, the media- so he really has no choice but to try to make a trade. i think that huet being injured comes at a good time. maybe the duo of Price and Havlay will show that we can trade Huet while he is still worth something to the team. Also expendable in my books are: Gorges, Bullion, Ryder and Grabowski. if nothing happens i suspect that both Gainey and Carbo will be gone.

  15. Les-Habitants says:

    He’s been on the 3rd line for a total of 3-4 games, but like you said, he’s an offensively inclined player. I don’t know how you think Ryder isn’t disappearing… Both Higgins and Kovalev, even when slumping this season, continued to put the puck in net at least periodically…Ryder has a total of 3 goals in 25+ games. He has disappeared…he isn’t a scoring threat when on the ice, and that’s what we are paying him 2.95mil to be.

    Yet, you cannot ignore a scoring slump lasting a third of the season. Ryder is counted on to produce, and he isn’t. Higgins is on pace for 30+ goals. Kovalev on for 40. Ryder isn’t scoring, and I don’t understand why if he isn’t scoring then he gets benched for a single game, people are up in arms. Someone needs to let Ryder know that his job is to score, and if he isn’t getting it done then someone else will…not to say Smokes is the answer, but you get my jist.

  16. krob1000 says:

    If he had more years he would get more playing time than he deserves….see Bouillon adn Smolinski.

  17. Hoegarden says:

    If the boys lose tonight, the sun will shine tomorrow, however, if they don’t show up and make a real go of it, then it’s pretty well over for a couple of them. There comes a time when preaching and reminding is fine and dandy but now is the time, after the total humiliation handed in front of 21,000 + fans, including Hall of Fame heroes against a team averaging around 33 years of age, to put excuses behind and perform. Hopefully, Lappy and O’b can inject some much needed energy into our beloved Habs.
    May be Ryder will pick up some pointers from the rafters. He’s had more than enough time to sort out his game. Brisebois should sit out more, as was initially intended, when he was signed last summer (6 to 8 mins per game). Gorges is hard to figure out.
    Go Habs, Go they can do it.

    Bob must tell Guy to lay off the players on the public forum otherwise he’ll definitely lose control. Eye to eye does a lot more. If Markov is not 100% then give the lad a break.

  18. Habs_008 says:

    I like the move, Ryder needs to wake up. I dont understand why Tommy K was a healthy scratch before, all he did was pour his heart and soul into the team. Put him back in. As for Breezer whatever mistakes he makes i will blame Gainey more then Carbo, he is the one who signed him. Carbo should sit him as much as possible. And when he plays him, dont give him many minutes.

  19. Scott in Montreal says:

    I don’t see Higgins racking up huge points.

    Excuse me? 11 goals to Ryder’s 3. Ryder’s shooting percentage is 4.0 (Begin is at 8.6, Kosti at 6.5, and Higgins at 12.1 – just for comparison’s sake).

    And the only true skill Ryder has is putting it in the net. So what is he contributing here after 27 games? Those are not good numbers for the man who is supposed to be a sniper. He’s not a rookie and he has to take some responsibility for his lack of production. Higgins had been slumping but he seems to have worked his way out of it.

    FWIW I sincerely hope Ryder comes back Saturday against Carolina and pots the game-winner.

  20. Gilles Poisson says:

    I did not say he would say “see if I care, thank you”. The thank you part was me. Please do not put words in my head. As for his attitude I think we should disagree to agree. Thank you.

  21. krob1000 says:

    That is probably exactly what he will say.

  22. Cable Guy says:

    A few bad games?? Give your head a shake.

  23. krob1000 says:

    No they do not!!!! He has run into bad luck like Glen Murray did in Boston until he was allowed to play thruough it and is now on fire. Same can be said for Cheechoo…every year he starts slow. The reputation spawned from a few stupid (they were stupid I will give the pundits that) decisions Ryder made in wide open space to go to his backhand. He has not stopped shooting but he blew a few very obvious chances this way and they stood out so the mob began the lynching….exactly the same thing that happened to Mr. write in vote all star this year Alex Kovalev.

  24. coutNY says:

    Not unless he’s a 4 year old Brat kid. Not sure I would like my well paid professional employee to say “see if I Care, Thank you.”

    The right attitude would be to say “I understand Carbo’s decision, although I may not agree with it, it’ll give me an opportunity to see our team from a different prospective allowing me to improve my game.” but that’s just what I think…

  25. rogus says:

    dandy is also a DEFENSEMAN!

  26. Chuck V. says:

    Enough already!

    Ryder has not played “a few bad games,” he’s played a whole lot of bad games. Michael Ryder has ONE job on the team and that is to score goals, and he’s not doing it at all. Will people please stop comparing his slump to Kovalev’s, Higgins’, or Alfredson’s? Not only is he not nearly as talented as any of those players but he has THREE goals this year. THREE! That is pathetic! For a guy whose only job is to set up shop in the slot and shoot the puck, that’s not very many. Komisarek hits, plays defence, and still scores 3 goals. Steve Begin and Mathieu Dandenault have 3 goals while playing on the 3rd or 4th lines with no PP time. Ryder played with Koivu and Higgins on the 1st line and still couldn’t score. I’m sorry but Ryder simply is not a good player in a slump. He’s a trigger man with no confidence who has lost his touch, but playing him more on the first line instead of a guy who can actually put the puck in the net (Latendresse, for example, who is playing really well of late) will not help this team WIN, and that’s what priority #1.

  27. coutNY says:

    funny play on words “Pine-Ryder” got to smile on that one…

  28. Mike says:

    This is ridiculous. How is a player supposed to get over a slump if he plays a few bad games, he has to change his play because he is worried about being benched or criticized in the media. Ryder should be on the first line. It is the only way he will get some confidence back and score again.

    I think Carbo needs to call a team meeting immediately, sit them all down. Explain to them that he has messed up big time. Tell them all that he has messed up and that he believes in this team. Explain to them how and what they are doing well and what they are not. And give them advice on how to improve. And until he does this, this team will go nowhere.


    Ryder – koivu- Kovalev
    Kosty-Pleks- Higgins

    hammer- o’bryner
    boullion- Georges (streit and brisbois can rotate with georges)

    Defense I won’t discuss, all I will say is that he better keep komi and markov together.

  29. nightmare_49 says:

    Was Mikr Boone sent down to Hamilton also.

  30. coutNY says:

    Said already ~Couple of reasons I disagree with on the Ryder/Koivu/Kovalev combination and talent is not the issue:

    Ryders much more speedy than Koivu and Kovalev, whose style is more of a possession game and slow paced cycling. I think he would thrive on a line with Pleks & Kostitsyn because all three have demonstrated their ability to bring a lethal transition game. Higgins has also but his game has altered a bit due to adding muscle in the off-season slowed him in transition, but has allowed him to out-muscle his opponent with puck control and around the net. Ryder does not get front of the net nearly as well.

    Next, being mandated to Left wing handcuffs Ryder because when cycling he will either a)have his back to the wall or b) have the puck exposed, forcing him into the play to see the net causing turnovers. Most agree “Ryder lacks their stickhandling and hands” said krob100, would he be expected to perform better in a foriegn position with adding more absticles to overcome?

    Many piont to prior success on the powerplay as why this combonation will work, as in a previous blog here is why I think they differ:

    PP opens up the Ice for Ryder, not having a man-on-man defender to contend with, also allows for time to get into positon to compensate for being on his off-wing.

    PP allows players the luxury not to worry about their Defensive responsibilities, so they can focus on Offense because of their numeric advantage.

    PP allows Ryder another time advantage to set up his wrist shot, which has been his nemisis this year.


  31. Chuck V. says:

    Higgins: 11 goals
    Ryder: 3 goals

    No words required…

  32. MathMan says:

    Could it be because Higgins has 11 goals and Ryder has 3?

  33. 24cups says:

    He is lucky that bob has patience. if was another GM, Pineryder would be on waivers.

  34. 24cups says:

    He is a bum right now. Good thing that Bob signed him to a 1 Yr contract. Imagine if it was for 3 or more years!!! As I have already said, Shoot the freaking puck and go for the rebounds. Sick and tired of watching the habs stick handle and then lose it. Watch the good teams and you will see a difference. They pass the puck around in the offensive zone and do not stick handle. Stick handilng if for individuals and we have a bunch of them on the ice right now. They need to get back to playing as a team.

  35. krob1000 says:

    Wrong…he was doing his job. When you put him on the third line…his job description changes. His shots on net toal is still second highest on the team only to Higgins who is constantly dogged on here for being a puck hog at times(harsh and exaggerated but you get the jist). Kovalev went through the same last year (still getting chances but not scoring). Higgins went through it at the beginning of the year. This is flat out stupid. No other way to describe it. Anyone who disputes this has never been in a slump or doesn’t play hockey. Anyone who is an offensively inclined player or was at any level will understand exactly what is going on with Ryder.

    If Ryder were disappearing completely and chances were not happening then I would agree that something is seriously wrong and a different view of the game may be beneficial. In this case it is foolish. Ryder will come out of this in time and Carbo is somehow going to think this had something to do with it……wrong. Time is the only cure for this disease as illustrated locally by Higgns and Kovalev.

  36. Mike says:

    This is rediculous. How is a player supossed to get over a slump if he plays a few bad games, he has to change hhis play because he is worried about being benched or critised in the media. Ryder should be on the first line. It is the only way he will get some confidance back and score again.


    Ryder – koivu- Kovalev
    Kosty-Pleks- higgins

    hammer- o’bryner
    boullion- georges (streit and bribois can rotate with georges)

    defense i wont discuss, all i will say is that hje better keep komi and markov together.

    I think Carbo needs to call a team meeting immidiatly, sit them all down. explain to them that he has messed up big time. Tell them all that he has messed up and that he believes in this team. explaim to them how and what they are doing well and what they are not. and give them advise on how to improve. and untill he does this, this team will go nowhere.

  37. Gilles Poisson says:

    I think Ryder has the right attitude for to sit down tonight. He will not get mad at coach Guy. He will shrug his shoulder and say “see if I care”. Thank you.

  38. drecha says:

    So you put smokes with dandy?? Dandy is the fastest skater on the team?? I don’t get it??


  39. smiler2729 says:

    Oh cool, the “if-I-were-coach” game!

    1st line
    2nd line
    3rd line
    Gainey-Jarvis-oh, never mind…

  40. Sam Atalla says:

    Doesn’t make sense. You put Lats with Higgins and Pleks. Higgins and Pleks are fast, dunno if you’ve noticed. Dunno if you’ve noticed, Lats is slow.

    Dandy is one of the fastest players on our team. Yes, let’s put him on our 4th optional line.

    I agre with Chip on the 3rd line. 1st season in the nhl and this guy comes and does everything right. Everything.

    Koivu Kovalev shouldn’t be teamed up unless on PP. Hasn’t worked in past years but line would be worth a try.

    lats wont be able to keep up with higgins and pleky, although with lats crashing net and higgins and pleky who can skate with the puck around the net and maybe find lats infront of the net, might work…maybe.

    agree about 3rd line

  41. rogus says:

    Lats is a better forward with Higgins and Pleks than Smokes is with Koivu IMO

  42. Rocket9 says:

    why does everyone keep saying that Ryder stopped shooting? he’s got 75 shots to date and is on pace for 227. Last year he had 221 shots. Do these people watch the games or look at the stats? From what I’ve seen, he’s been shooting, and that is backed up by the stats.

  43. kevin m says:


    When will Carbo realize that you can’t will someone to score goals. It’s a gift. If you could score goals simply through hard work, then Begin should have about a dozen by now.

    Fact is, scoring requires confidence, skill, touch, quickness & instinct. Not necessarily teachable. How many of the pure goal scorers(so called one dimensional players) were great defensively?

    If I had a 30 or 40 goal scorer I would continually try to boost his confidence. Keep him relaxed, because if he’s not relaxed it spells disaster in front of the net. He can’t be thinking about what the coach said, he’s got to be purely instinctual. We’ve got players who can shut down the other team’s stars so let the scorers go.

  44. von says:

    “Just a thought…If Carbo wants to shuffle lines and get results, why doesn’t he put fast players together?”


    So you think Lats is as fast as Higgy and Pleks?

  45. Oprah says:

    The only reason the Ducks would be trading either of those guys is to dump salary. They would not want more than $0.00 in return.

  46. rogus says:

    Just a thought…If Carbo wants to shuffle lines and get results, why doesn’t he put fast players together? How many times have you seen a heavy foot (Smokes) waaay behind the play, only to have the playmaker looking around and getting stripped of the puck???

    My lines would look like this.


    Roll 3 lines, 4th line “optional”
    Esp. against Bruins, we should be exploiting our speed…any thoughts?

  47. Les-Habitants says:

    I don’t understand all these comments that are confused as to why Ryder has been benched, for the 1st time this season I remind you.
    He was given the majority of this young season to try and score…and score he didn’t. He gave up glorious opportunites, and continually ended up carrying the puck into the corner. He stopped shooting, despite good time on the 1st line and on the 1st unit powerplay. Carbo then tried switching line, which everyone agreeded was a good idea (until now ironically), as did Ryder, feeling it might get him out of his slump. It didn’t. Now you have to put together a lineup that will work, and I think this one is, at least for now.

    Is benching Ryder a long-term solution? Of course not, and Smolinksi on the RW is a temporary solution. A huge part of the Habs success depends on Ryder scoring again, but Ryder was getting good ice-time despite having zero shots in numerous game, despite being told by the coaching staff to shot the puck more often, ect ect. The message was not getting through, and Ryder simply started getting comfortable in knowing that he was going to get guaranteed ice-time.

    Ryder will be back in the lineup, and most likely soon, but benching him now was the right call. He isn’t doing his job, and that is typically what gets you in the press-box.

    Gorges is in the pressbox for a different reason: he doesn’t have the ability to move the puck like Streit and, although it pains me to say it, Brisebois nor is he as physical as Bouillon. That’s why he’s in the gallery. He’s a smart defenseman, but he’s a poor-man’s jack-of-all-trades. With O’Byrne now in the mix, both Brisebois and Gorges end up in the pressbox as he brings 3 things the Habs were missing: size, defensive-reliability, and grit.

  48. Gilles Poisson says:

    Mr. Stubb he say that Dandy should play on the first line. Mike Boones say Non… That is the spot for Tom “Le Bombe”. Hockey analyst Mr. Grabs says Smolinski MUST be on the first line. I say with all these great options Bob give to coach Guy, why can’t he make the team put the puck in the net? Thank you.

  49. krob1000 says:


    The worst part about this is regardless of who we dress tonight we we should win and Carbo may decide that he likes this lineup.

    Confessions of a Ryder…………

    Bless me Carbo for I have sinned it has been two weeks and I have not scored.

    I have hit several (more than nearly every one of my teammates) hockey players of different ilks out of anger and tried several times to steal their pucks from them.

    I have also shot several pucks with the intent of inflicting damage to opponents nets with regularity. I have not had much luck hitting their net as intended but I know I was trying my best to hurt them.

    I have been angry and have taken Lord Carbo’s name in vein every night in solitude so as to not reveal my true feelings. Instead I have continued to do and say all of the right things when confronted by others questioning why I could not inflict the same amount of pain to other teams nets as I have in the past. I am a liar.

    I am definitely guilty of displaying pride when I believe it was hoped I would crumble and fold.

    I do continously lust as the only driving force in my life involves a red light and Montreal.

    I am guilty of withholding my envy dear Carbo. I cannot stop these jealouss urges I get when I see how you favour my fellow teammates Smolinski, Kostitsyn, Begin, Dandenault, Kostopolous,etc before me.

    I am sloth-like in my spirituality and have only shown a propensity to work hard in a physical manner while at work day in and day out.

    I have been greedy for two consecutive years scoring the bulk of my teams goals and for this I am remroseful.

    I am also a glutton for punishment and continue to come back for more regardless of how outrageous it may appear.

    Please Carbo highest of Hockey Gods allow grant me the strength to watch Smolinski et al tonight without prejudice.

    P.S. That Jesus Price kid you sired better save us soon.

  50. Chuck V. says:

    ryder has played to score… on the first line

    ryder has scored 3 goals thus far this year, the same as mike komisarek, begin, and dandenault. not exactly stellar offensive numbers for a first-line right winger, are they? no offense to those guys, but none of them are known as anything resembling an offensive threat.

    carbo has shown patience with ryder, but he’s just not getting it done. while i don’t agree with every more he’s made, carbo is 100% right in letting ryder sit for a little while. let’s see if gainey can work some magic and get us something back for this waste of a player

  51. N.B. habs fan 50 yrs says:

    I dont agree to sit Rider out also,but even the Rocket had to be sat out and look what he accomplished.Ryder is no Alferson….This team dosent need a goal scorer to come here and get 40 plus goals and at the last 10 min.to see the team lose.I feel we have a problem at the coaching staff.Too much time with the media and not enought time with the players,I hate it when the coaching blames the players they need to be taught to shut up and back up their team,no wonder no one wants to play in Montrealwith coaching like that…………

  52. smiler2729 says:

    Maybe Don Lever should be coaching the Habs…

  53. smiler2729 says:

    Any truth to the rumour of Mathieu Schneider or Francois Beauchemin returning? C’mon Bob, let’s go Duck hunting! How about those two for Streit, Huet, Ryder and Smolinski or something?

  54. ganderhab says:

    not only should smolinski be a healthy scratch, don lever should be the one scratching him

  55. smiler2729 says:

    Brisebois, Ryder… No big loss, but like others, I’d rather see Josh Gorges in there rather than Bouillon. For Rivet, I want Gorges to succeed and grow into a quality d-man and Bouillon is nothing but a rambunctious fill-in who takes bad penalties.
    In hindsight, wouldn’t Radek Bonk have been better than Bryan Smolinski?

  56. ganderhab says:

    insanity – rampant panic – Ryder needs to score to break out, and must play to score – Carbo will not make it to the all star break – Gainey dusting off his whistle as we speak.

  57. kevin m says:

    I agree with the school of thought that begs Carbo not to scratch Ryder, your only consistent goal scorer over the past 2 years. On a team that scores very little they should always ice a proven goal scorer.

    Ryder will not be stifled for much longer and when he breaks out I suspect he will continue on his way to another 25+ goal season.

  58. Naila Jinnah says:

    The press box will be filled with those who should be up there… A good decision by Carbo.

  59. Sam Atalla says:

    Yeah, because the habs best scorer for the past 3 years hasn’t been Michael Ryder. 85 goals in his first 3 seasons in the NHL. 25 30 30. Nobody has scored 30 goals on the habs since zednik, and that was only one season.

    This isn’t daycare. It’s not punish-reward like we deal with children for god’s sake. Put him on the first line, encourage him, change some game plans, but sitting in the press box will just prolong his drought.

    “The press box will be filled with those who should be up there”. That’s like saying water is wet.

  60. fsinisi says:

    I don’t agree with the benching of Ryder – sure, he’s not scoring, but he’s bound to break out of this slump. Kudos for benching Brisebois though, I can’t stand watching him anymore!

    Tonight is going to be a very interesting match – thank goodness I have RDS! :)

  61. joel says:

    i am begining to feel that Ryder is losing interest in playing for this team… i really do like him, but with the contract hassles every year i think he is starting to feel sorry for himself. either this will shake him up or it will finish him as a Hab.. this slump is the longest i remember him being on..

  62. Rocket9 says:

    This is so frustrating. Why do the habs continuously treat their best players like this? How many goal scorers have come here and had their goals dry up? To me, the reason for that is the club’s constant lack of patience. If a player goes a couple of games without a goal, they start feeling the heat. They tighten their grip and things get worse.

    They start getting less ice time, get put on lines with lesser players, and finally end up in the press box and then traded. Shortly after that, they start scoring again when they find themselves in a situation that allows them to relax and play.

    The leadership (management)on this team has to start to understand that scoring goals is all about confidence, and thus learn to instill confidence in the team’s scorers. Their approach over the past 10 years has been the exact opposite. What do the Senators do when Alfredson goes into a mini slump? Basically, nothing. They let him play through it and that’s probably a big reason why it’s always just a “mini” slump.

  63. JF says:

    “If a player goes a couple of games without a goal…” In Ryder’s case, it’s a lot more than a couple of games. Watching from the pressbox could maybe give him a different view of the game, let him see what he needs to do. I don’t see how it could hurt him – or the team at this point since he isn’t scoring – and it just might produce results. The analogy with Alfredsson doesn’t really hold in my opinion, partly because it’s hard to bench the captain, partly because the Senators have a lot of scoring punch besides Alfredsson. The Habs HAVE to get Ryder going, and it had better be soon.

  64. Scott in Montreal says:

    If they had confidence in Ryder they would’ve given him a multi-year contract. A lot of what you say is true, but it’s mostly the media and fan pressure that drives the team to act as skittishly as they do.

  65. Axeman says:

    Best players? C’mon, Ryder has a grand total of 3 goals so far this year. I took arbitration to convince him to sign a 1 year contract. He’s a UFA at the end of the season. He’s on his way out … and its just a matter of time to see whether it’ll be his decision or the Habs’ decision.
    For whatever reason, he’s not finding the back of the net, and I think its because he’s no longer interested in playing here.
    Remember last season how everyone wanted Kovalev’s head on a stick ’cause he wasn’t scoring? This year, Kovy’s a hero. He has taken an interest in playing for this team. Ryder’s not just in a slump … he’s making stupid decisions on the ice. He either holds on to the puck too long, and it gets taken away from him, or he shoots it into the middle of the goalie’s chest … not gonna score many goals that way. The sooner we replace Ryder with someone who’s interested in actually PLAYING, the better.

  66. Sam Atalla says:

    Could not have been said any better. I’ve been thinking the exact same way about how our management isn’t patient with players. 2 losses or a few games without points and all the media are talking about it, carbo alrealdy shuffling lines up.

    Shuffling lines is another way of telling your players that you don’t have confidence in them. It’s true, when other players on different teams have a slump, nothing changes, and they break out of it because they are still playing together and they get more and more chances which builds their confidence and gives them hope. We’re doing the exact opposite.

    Koivu Higgins Ryder has worked last year and beginning of the season (at the exception of ryder scoring). There is absolutely no reason why that line would not work anymore. It doesn’t make sense! They just need time and patience. THe more you play together, the more chemistry you build, the more chances are created, and the more the puck will start going in on a regular basis.

    I’ve got to say that I am disagreeing with a lot of Carbo’s decision, but hey, I’m not the coach so I won’t moan and whine, but let’s just say I would like to see some drastic changes in the team soon.

  67. HabsWatcher says:

    What in the world does Gorges have to do to get a fair shot on this team? I’ve watched most games this year, and every gaem he’s played, and he’s ALWAYS player better than Boullion. Oh wait, maybe it’s because the Cube (the Pylon, more like it), makes approximatley 4x Gorges salary. Playing contracts, for the most part (for another example, compare anyone to see Smolinski).

  68. Chuck V. says:

    i’d rather see gorges in than bouillon myself, but could you imagine a pairing of streit and gorges? at least bouillon can handle the physical contests. gorges is a tough kid but not overly big, and streit shies away from contact so putting them together would not be good against claude julien’s boys given that boston has last change

  69. Chuck V. says:

    If he weren’t so good on the PP, it would be Streit instead of Gorges in the press box. I actually never thought I’d say this, but I kind of wish Streit were on the first line tonight so that Gorges could be in the game and Smolinski could watch from upstairs.

    Completely agree with benching Brisebois and Ryder, especially the latter. He’s proven he’s nothing but a trigger man, and this year he’s not getting any goals.

    If it were up to me I’d put Lapierre on the first line with Koivu and Higgins in Ryder’s old spot. The kid has speed, a good shot, and better hands than advertised. Couple that with his tenacity, physicality, and willingness to get to the front of the net and that line might actually work.

  70. Scott in Montreal says:

    Coulda seen that coming. I might be tempted to keep Gorges in and sit Streit, but otherwise, this makes sense. Let’s see how they respond. It’s just too bad there aren’t any better options than using Smolinski on Koivu’s wing. It’s like a plea for help from Carbo to Bob: GET ME A 1ST LINE WINGER!

  71. CH1909-2009 says:

    The stupid thing is he HAS first line wingers: Kovalev and Kostitsyn. He just refuses to use them on the first line. Also, when Latendresse was on the first line he played well. Putting Smolinski there, well I hope you’re right that it’s a message to Gainey becasue if not Carbo has officialy gone off the deep end. And which front-office type’s wife did Gorges get caught with in the bioler-room for him to be scratched over Boullion and Streit???????


  72. Rocket9 says:

    I disagree with your logic. If they need Ryder’s scoring, then they should play him. There’s no way that not playing is going to help him get out of it. What will help him is ice time, coaching and maybe a little luck. Sitting in the press box will do nothing but demoralize him.

  73. Chuck V. says:

    I whole-heartedly agree, but Smolinski is even worse

  74. CH1909-2009 says:



  75. Rocket9 says:

    ok, well how many guys did they have that scored 30 last year? so, doesn’t that make Ryder one of their best players? didn’t he spend all of last year on the 1st line?

    Yes, I remember how everyone wanted kovy’s head. I was one of them. He was not working hard, and that’s why I was annoyed with him.

    This year, from what I’ve seen, (and I watch almost every game), Ryder has usually been working hard. I agree he’s making dumb decisions with the puck, but the truth is, that’s not new. I’ve been frustrated with him last year and the year before because I thought he was a puck hog and would hang onto the puck too long to try to get himself into a position to shoot, instead of passing to higgins or koivu. the only difference between then and now is that then, he was scoring on 13% of his shots, while this year he’s at 4%.

  76. Axeman says:

    Using history to justify the present is dangerous …
    Saying that Ryder is one of our best players ’cause he scored 30 goals last year is like saying “The Habs should be a great team because they’ve won 24 Cups”. What has Ryder done for use lately? Not a whole lot. I really believe that the writing was on the wall at the end of last season when it took so long to re-sign him. Ryder is looking for greener pastures elsewhere, and even though he’s stinkin’ up the joint, other coaches will look at his past record (ala Theodore), and say … “He’ll regain his scoring touch with us”. That may end up being true. I truly believe Ryder’s performace is self-inflicted, ’cause he wants out.

  77. krob1000 says:

    Those would be my lines too but I would have Grabovski in the fold at forward still subbing in here and there and I am still not sold on O’Byrne being ready but only time will tell.

  78. HabsChick says:

    Sadly Joel, I think you might be right on this one.

  79. coutNY says:

    Again ~ Couple of reasons I disagree with on the Ryder/Koivu/Kovalev combination and talent is not the factor:

    Ryders much more speedy than Koivu and Kovalev, both playing a style is more of a possession game and slow paced cycling. I think he would thrive on a line with Pleks & Kostitsyn because all three have demonstrated their ability to bring a lethal transition game. Higgins has also but his game has altered a bit due to adding muscle in the off-season slowed him in transition, but has allowed him to out-muscle his opponent with puck control and around the net. Ryder does not get front of the net nearly as well.

    Next, being mandated to Left wing handcuffs Ryder because when cycling he will either a)have his back to the Net/Play or b) have the puck exposed, forcing him into the play to see the net causing turnovers. As you admitted yourself “Ryder lacks their stickhandling and hands”, would he be expect to perform better in a foriegn position with adding more absticles to overcome?

    Many piont to prior success on the powerplay as why this combonation will work, as in a previous blog here is why I think they differ:

    PP opens up the Ice for Ryder, not having a man-on-man defender to contend with, also allows for time to get into positon to compensate for being on his off-wing.

    PP allows players the luxury not to worry about their Defensive responsibilities, so they can focus on Offense because of their numeric advantage.

    PP allows Ryder another time advantage to set up his wrist shot, which has been his nemisis this year.


  80. krob1000 says:

    That is why I want him with Kovalev and Koivu….because they turn things into a PP like atmosphere. Both are far beyond average in terms of drawing defenders to them and the finding ope players. As for the foreign position thing he seems to score most of his goals from his off wing (yes most are powerplay) but I think it may work. As for the cycling thing …no matter which corner you are in you are expceted to joint he cycling so that doesn’t matter. In fact on the left side in the offensive zone he would have his back to the boards coming out of the corner on a cycle and be facing the net(ideal….just like he does on the PP). The biggest drawback would be in the defensive zone breaking out fo our end.

  81. Will Longlade says:

    Frankly, Frankie hasn’t hit squat since he returned from his injury. Nor is he skating or contributing offensively. Theres’ no doubt in my mind that Montreal could lose him and a few other players of his ilk and not even miss’em in the least.

  82. sisu says:

    Sidney Crosby scored 3 goals in a 20 game stretch last year, during which he shot 3.8%. I suppose if he played in Montreal the majority of fans and media would have been screaming that he should be waived and replaced with an AHL call-up.

    Crosby was not playing poorly – the pucks just weren’t going in. The dice sometimes keep turning up ones. It happens.

  83. coutNY says:

    So now Ryder’s a Sidney “Friggin” Crosby?
    I am willing to bet that Sid had a few more assist than 7 to compensate during that period. Crosby gets double teamed, smacked up, and singled out each game. He makes others better even if he’s not scoring goals by drawing the attention whenever he’s on the Ice.

    Can’t say that of Ryder….

  84. sisu says:

    I apologize for not explaining the concept of analogy prior to using one. Next time I’ll try to be more clear. While you’re reading that, you might also want to look up Straw man.

    I didn’t say Ryder was Crosby. I thought it was pretty obvious that Crosby >> Ryder. In case it’s still not clear, those are greater than symbols. As in ‘Crosby is a greater ice hockey player than Ryder.’

    If a better player can go 20 games and score 3 goals without the world coming to an end, you have to expect similar stretches with a lesser player. Sidney Crosby did not forget how to play hockey over that stretch. Ryder has not forgotten how to play hockey either.

  85. MathMan says:

    Sometimes it’s puck luck, and sometimes it’s the guy not having the right kind/timing/quality of shot. In Ryder’s case, I think it’s a bit of both, but it slowly went from more of the former to more of the latter, as the lack of puck luck resulted in a lack of confidence. He just doesn’t seem to feel that he’s going to score if he shoots, so he hesitates, loses that split-second of timing, tries to deke when he has a clear shot, and so on. He still gets his shots, but they’re not as good as scoring chances.

    There’s more to Ryder’s slump than bad luck, though it is a factor.

  86. Will Longlade says:

    I have always liked Ryder as a hockey player despite his deficiencies. He plays hard almost every night, but lately the results just aren’t there to show for it. Carbo has mishandled the funk Ryder is in so badly that I am convinced that there are only two solutions to the problem. One is change the coach. The other is to package Ryder with some other players and trade him. He’s a talented trigger man. I think he will regain his scoring touch in a different environment. He also needs to get back to what has worked for him in the past, which is to simplify his game.

    I hope its Carbo’s intention to sit Ryder for two games. Otherwise, he should have chose to shelter him from the boo birds in the Bell Centre on Sat. night and continued to utilize him on the road. That’s my take anyway.

  87. sidhu says:

    Mark Streit is a UFA after this season. Based on his play this year, do you think we will make a serious attempt to resign him?

  88. Les-Habitants says:

    I do, we don’t have many offensively inclinded d-men within our ranks. If he is willing to re-sign at an afffordable rate, then we will. Emelin should be over here by then, but there’s no telling whether he’ll be able to quickly adapt to the north-american style of play…and even then, he’s more of your stay-at-home type. Carle still needs more time, and Fisher remains a work in progress…we’ll only be able to tell once he hits his 3rd year of college (next season). P.K. has to become more consistent, but I see him playing for a spot in Hamilton next season.

    So, yah, I do lol.

  89. cautiousoptimist says:

    Anaheim’s Schneider makes $5.5M this year and $5.75M the next, so it’s got to be Beauchemin. Otherwise we’ll have more than $16M tied up in three defencemen and Gainey’s too responsible to do that.

    Beauchemin is more reasonable $1.65M – a little less than what we pay Dandy. If Gainey were looking for a Duck D-man – a big if – it would be him, probably for a pick and a Bulldog. Anaheim doesn’t want any more salary on their books.

  90. Habs_008 says:

    We dont need anymore DMEN, we already dress 8-10 a game, we need someone who can put that little rubber thingy into the big thingy. (the net)

  91. RS says:

    They have to move Schneider and his big fat contract. It wouldn’t make sense moneywise or hockeywise for Anaheim to trade Beauchemin.

    He certainly isn’t the right fit, but frankly the Habs could use Schneider. After Markov, Komi and Hamrlik, we don’t seem to have any NHL calibre D, certainly not top four material. The down side would be the heavy contract. It would not cost much in terms of trade bait, Burke has to make room fast.

  92. Hot_Pie says:

    Dear god people.

    You were all complaining earlier that Ryder should be benched, Ryder is useless, Ryder this, Ryder that, and now that he actually IS benched, people still complain. Talk about double-standards…People are pissed about Carbo’s hyprocrisy, yet seem to fail to see it in themselves.

    Anywho, pretty excited for tonight! Price vs Rask. Is Rask up to the Task? 😛

    It’s time for Priceberg the Great Wall of Montreal to shine and show us what he’s capable of! As well as the rest of the team for that matter.

    Go Habs!

  93. NLhabsfan says:

    I don’t believe Ryder is the problem of the teams woes…Whipping boy.Perhaps we should bench the coach…who has made LOT of mistakes this season.This is a rudderless ship.

  94. likehoy says:

    he’s also the league leader in TOI (time on ice) he averages over 28 minutes

  95. Les-Habitants says:

    They won’t trade him, he’s too young and too reliable already for him to be traded just so Scotty can play one more year (no matter how good scotty is)
    O’Donnell might go, and if he is available there will more then a few teams interested…very solid defender, easily most teams’ top 4.

    I say they trade Merchant, he’s a 3rd liner and can be replaced by someone who makes 1 mil less (his cap is 2.75 I think)…they may have to add a 2nd rounder to sweeten the deal tho.

  96. cautiousoptimist says:

    Only to make room for Niedermayer, partially on D but mostly at the bank. They had to resort to loopholes just to get Niedermayer in under the cap, and he had to sit out half the season to do it.

  97. HockeyMan says:

    Maybe if Guy Carbonneau would leave lines alone, and let player stay as a line longer then he wears underwear, this team could go somewhere. He him self puts pressure on players. Maybe he needs to give players their space, like Dallas did with MIKE RIBEIRO, his play has changed, and the guy that should be in the pressbox, no wait, in the AHL should be GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE, sorry folks he is just not NHL material.

  98. MathMan says:

    Latendresse has seven goals. Third on the team. Most of them were even-strength, too.

  99. likehoy says:

    why does everyone love o’byrne? he has zero NHL experience…for all we know he can suck as bad as hal gill. He was cut from the original team so I doubt he’s going to make much of an impact.

  100. Chuck V. says:

    he was cut because of the numbers game. he had a 2-way contract and others didn’t, leaving them exposed to other teams who could pick them up. while i agree that he won’t come in and make a huge splash, he adds physicality and a little nastiness that we need from the back end. i think that most of us agree that we need to stop letting players waltz into the slot against us, and o’byrne has the body and mindset to punish opposing players when they do.

    also, i don’t quite understand your argument about him having no nhl experience meaning we shouldn’t like the kid. if he’s shown signs of promise in the ahl, then shouldn’t it be logical to expect good things from him in the pros? i mean it’s not guaranteed, but you can certainly make an educated guess.

  101. habfan53 says:

    NOBODY “can suck as bad as Hal Gill”

    Sorry I just could not resist

  102. Corio says:

    Matrix Parody Alert!

    The other players have all been saying that Morpheus (Melancon, Carb, Gainey) believes he is the one…

    Trinity (Huet): “How did you do that?”

    Neo (price): “Do what?”

    Trinity (Huet): “Move that fast, you moved like them..” (Them being Great goalies of the past)

    Neo (Price): “Not fast enough apprently..”

    There is No spoon Price!

  103. TommyB says:

    So much has been said on here in defense of poor Michael Ryder, and that he should not sit in the pressbox because he is our only 30 goal scorer.

    OK, let me list a couple of other names of some guys who scored 30 goals or less last year:

    Joe Thornton – 22 goals (92 assists)
    Marc Savard – 22 goals (74 assists)
    Daniel Briere – 32 goals (63 assists)

    and now our dear Ryder, the last 3 years:

    30 goals (28 assists)
    30 goals (25 assists)
    25 goals (38 assists)

    Ryder’s best point total just touches what one of the above-mentioned players gets in assists.

    Why treat Ryder like one of the top players in the league? Are you support Ryder all the way guys really that impressed with him? Ohhhhh….he’s our top scorer the last 3 years. Big deal! Top scorer on a team that couldn’t put the puck in the ocean. Am I as a Hab fan supposed to be impressed with a team-leading 30 goals but little else, notably his assist total?

    Ryder is not an upper-echelon kind of player, and he’s been treated more than fairly. In fact he has been tried with everyone on the team. So at this point, with his 3 goals, the coach has decided to sit him for a game. And that’s a major crime with so many of you guys?

    I hope Michael Ryder breaks out of this slump, and I hope it happens here in Montreal, but I really don’t think it is going to happen. Certainly not this year, and therefore not likely it will happen for him next year… in Montreal..

  104. sisu says:

    The crime is failing to recognize the difference between a lack of goals and poor on-ice performance. Sometimes the goals don’t go, no matter how well you perform.

    And before anyone claims Ryder was not performing well, you’ll have to provide numbers to back up your case. The underlying numbers – shot differential, GF/GA differential, penalties drawn, strength of opposition – are solid for Ryder’s first 20+ games.

    It’s like throwing away a silver dollar because it only turned up heads once in the last ten times you flipped it.

  105. RS says:

    I sure hope we get to see the line that I’ve wanted to see all season: Begin, Lapierre and Kosty. That is a true energy line. Not likely to score any goals but they should be able to buzz around and pester Chara like black flies on a moose.

    So tonight we have Higgs, Komi, Plek, Kostistyn, Lapierre, Chipchura, Lats, O’Bryne and Price in the line-up with Halak on the bench. Sweet. Sure I’d like to see Gorges in there (if we aren’t going to play him, please trade the kid for his own sake), but that’s lots of young blood. At this point I don’t really care if they win or lose, as long as these young guys are working hard and developing.

  106. Axeman says:

    Has anyone considered that maybe, just maybe Ryder wants out of Montreal? Here are a few things to think about:
    1) It took forever, and an arbitrator to get him to sign a 1 year contract.
    2) He’s a UFA at the end of the year.
    3) Its easier to drive a bum out of town than a star.
    4) He know that coaches will look at his past record (ala Theodore) and say “he’ll regain his scoring touch with us”.

    Ryder’s performance this year is self-inflicted. He had his chances on the top line (like last season), but isn’t doing anything with them. As much as I believe Carbo still has a lot to learn as a coach, you cannot blame him for Ryder’s lack of production this year. I really believe that Ryder wants out, and this is a nice, subtle way of doing it.

  107. Chuck V. says:

    Try the last hundred…

  108. Chuck V. says:

    oh yes nice and subtle while we still pay his salary

  109. krob1000 says:

    Now now Tommy….

    Noone is calling Ryder a superstar but on our team he is oneof the best we have.

    All we care about is our beloved Habs and how they do. In order for our team to play come spring time every point is important (especially interconference). We need to dress the best possible players to provide the best results. I understood the juggling and experimental phase while it was affordable and we were top three or four in the league. Now it is back to the reality that we must battle game in and game out and to not dress our best goal scorer is insane (even more so when you realize that offense has been our problem).

    Next I would like you to include the stats of Smolinski, Kostopolous, Higgins, Plekanec, Kostitsyn, Begin, Dandenault, Latendresse,Lapierre Chipchura and even Kovalev and then look at those stats and see who we should have on the ice to stand the best chance of winning.
    Ryder may not be Marc Savard, Joe Thornton or Daniel Briere but he is far better than the guys who are dressing in his place……and that makes NO SENSE AT ALL. Ryder is being moulded into and then used as a scapegoat and it is foolish to not see this.

    Let’s compare Montreal apples to Montreal apples and then see how the figures shake out.

  110. Scott in Montreal says:

    Your analogy is a little off, unless you’re thinking of Recchi and not Ryder. As some others have pointed out – he’s only being sat for one game. He’s not being “thrown away”. Relax. Have a cream soda.

    Carbo has tried other options to snap him out of his funk. This is just one more. Enjoy the game, cuz tonight we’re gonna beat our Bruin whipping boys, I expect.


  111. TommyB says:

    You’ll have to enlighten me…please, tell me what those magical numbers are for Ryder, those “underlying numbers”?

    And then tell me, when have you ever heard “underlying numbers” mentioned in contract negotiations? Ryder gets paid to score goals, his underlying numbers will not get him a good-sized UFA contract.

    I watch Ryder play, and I don’t see much from him. And further, I felt the same way about him last year.

    Go ahead, someone, make your dumb*ss comment that “you don’t watch many games, do you”?

  112. CH1909-2009 says:

    I really like that attitude. This should be viewed as the lessons that these guys are learning that we can look back and point to, when they gel and progress, and get capped off by a big star forward and win it all!


  113. Habs_008 says:

    Ryder might want out on MTL, but he wouldnt play bad cause of it. IF he has another 30 goal season he will be able to get more money on the open market. Why would he play like crap on purpose? Makes no sense. Wouldnt you play your ass off if at the end of the year you can sign somewhere for 5m per? Instead of the 2 or 3 he is getting this year?

  114. habfan53 says:

    Like I said earlier this year I would not be surprised to see him reunited with Claude Julien in Boston next year.

  115. krob1000 says:

    Someone just please give me one other example of a situation like this!!! Just one!!! Where you bench a guy for bad luck!!

    O.K. you can’t use Grabovski after Saturday’s game….it has to be from another NHL team.

  116. Hoegarden says:

    I believe most of us would love to see Mike break out of this awful slump but I too totally agree with you.
    One fact that some folks may also refresh their memory with is that of the 30 goals he scored last year, 17 were on the PP. He therefore was getting a lot more “opportunities” with the extra duty on the PP and luckily for him and us all, it paid off.
    The magic touch has gone for now on our 1st line (Koivu has but one goal in the last 15) and Carbo, like the rest of us, never expected this unfortunate turnout.

    Ryder was also a fan favorite when he was playing in Hull for Claude Julien and Julien is the one who gave him a shot at the bigs. Drafted at #216, he obviously was a shot in the dark to make it and make it he did.

    In any case, points in the standings are more important than trying to figure out what is bothering Tom,Dick or Harry…
    A stint in the pressbox is in order, for the benefit of the team and player concerned. If he’s out of the picture for two or three games and the slump continues, then the pressure will disappear quickly for him and someone else will have to take it (sounds like Smokes for now).

  117. TommyB says:

    With all due respect krob1000,
    That’s your opinion that Ryder is better than the guys who are dressing in his place. Some of those guys are dressing to play other roles than what Ryder would be expected to play, and some of those who are dressing and are expected to score goals are definitely having better luck than Ryder so far this year.

  118. ebk says:

    Ryder is a Free Agent after this season. So there is no conspiracy to discover between him and Julien.

  119. Hoegarden says:

    Exactly; back with his old coach and with tons of Maritimers in New-England. That’s just perfect for him.

  120. sisu says:

    “…tell me what those magical numbers are for Ryder…

    Here. If you don’t look at things objectively and quantitatively, all you’re left with is biased impressions. He said/she said.

    Ryder is not paid to score goals – he’s paid to help the team win. To do that he has to outscore his opposition. To score goals he has to shoot, which he’s been doing. He’s also done well in preventing the other guys from scoring.

    “And then tell me, when have you ever heard “underlying numbers” mentioned in contract negotiations?”

    Check out player agent Rand Simon’s blog. That’s just one small example.

    There is a lot more to this game than the cliches (playing for 60 minutes, outworking your opponent, giving 110%) that the players spout.

  121. cautiousoptimist says:

    Warning: long, considered post below:

    Kiprusoff’s 0.886 save percentage just might scare Calgary into acquiring a proven Huet-type, and their current backup is some guy named Curtis McElhinny, whose 0.872% isn’t any better. If we could deal Huet, Ryder, Streit and Dandy for Phaneuf, a pick and change, I’d do it in a heartbeat. Hamrlik was like a father to Phaneuf, helping him grow and mature in Calgary. Phaneuf is francophone, albeit from Manitoba, and Calgary desperately needs the solid goaltending. Calgary is a Western team, and our old players won’t come back to hurt us since we hardly ever see the Flames.

    Calgary gets:

    • One of the best five or six goalies in the league, IMO, who carried the Habs on his back when no one else showed up to play, and whose good health would have dragged the lacklustre Habs kicking and screaming into the playoffs last year. How much more could he do for the fiery Flames, with Iginla at the helm and a better defence than we had last year in front of him? And if he really is hurt, it isn’t bad – even Huet says he’s fine.
    • Calgary is 13th in the West, even though they score a lot (5th in the West in goals for), because their D and Kipper’s weak goaltending are killing them. And this way they wouldn’t have to give up any scoring to improve between the pipes. A strong D man, even Phaneuf, isn’t as vital as a strong goalie. Good thing we’ve got at least two. :)
    • Ryder has proven for three years that he can score, and will do so in bunches with Iginla, Tanguay, Langkow and friends at his side.
    • An all-heart lightning quick d-man who can also play a solid defensive forward role, in Dandy. We won’t miss his speed, as we have loads.
    • A serviceable PP blueliner in Streit.
    • A fair bit of salary, but Huet, Streit and Ryder are UFAs, so no long-term commitments and they can renegotiate at their leisure.

    On our side:

    • We get a large, excellent, hard-hitting, shot-blocking, defensively-solid D-man, and the missing piece of the defensive puzzle that we need to win. Last week we were 7th in the league in goals for – we can score. But when our D is lousy, our forwards take less chances, forecheck less, score less, and we all whine and bitch here…. Carbo knows this, which is why he’s gone through a dizzying array of D-men to try to round out our top 4. Phaneuf is the guy – and he’s only 23.
    • We’d get one of the hardest-playing guys in the league. Only Ryan Smyth plays harder.
    • We’d gain a scary shot from the point.
    • We’d be decreasing our nightly press box payroll significantly, and we’d be down to two surplus d-men, which is a good number.
    • Hamrlik taught Phaneuf a lot, mentored him in Calgary, and played on his pairing. No chemistry growing pains there.
    • Il parle français, tabarouette! He (and his family?) might like to move to a French-speaking city.
    • Phaneuf makes just under $1-million, and we unload a fair bit of salary.
    • Price gets the playing time he needs and Halak backs him up, playing in the league where he belongs. After hauling our sorry butts around over 16 games last year, he’s at least earned his backup job.
    • We get one of the most feared D-corps in the league, and make room for the young guys we always say are languishing in the minors, so our lines look something like:

      A. Kostitsyn-Plekanec-S. Kostitsyn (even Gainey says he’s ready)

      Extra: Grabovski


      Extra: Gorges, Brisebois

      Now tell me, who’s going to push these bad boy D-men around in front of our net?

      What do you think?

  122. TommyB says:

    Axeman, I have been thinking since way back early last year that Ryder wants out of Montreal. To my eye, it’s almost obvious. I can take it a step further and suggest that Toronto is the place he would like to play. When he scored his “hat” in that last game vs the Leafs last year, I had the feeling he was saying “hey, Leafs brass, look at me! I’ll be available soon!”

    Now, this is absurd in the way that it is not based on any fact. But it is an inner feeling that I get with this guy. It’s not something that can be explained, or backed up with “underlying numbers” ;P

  123. Chuck V. says:

    well i’d make the trade… but i doubt sutter would

  124. Panther says:

    Well Guy if running Ryder out of town is your intention you’re one step closer. In my humble opinion the issue with Ryder is his centermen.If anyone truly believes Saku is any where near where a first line centermen needs to be then I can only imagine what your second, third and fourth line guys are like. Nobody needs to tell me how terrific, courageous and dedicated that Saku is.He’s a termendous individual.Did you see Higgins goal the other night set up by Saku? now how many other decent plays did he make.He’s lost his speed and endurance for probably obvious reasons but remember wingers rely on the play making abilities of their centermen. Try sticking Chip with some goal scorers and you’ll see what I mean.Instead Guy has decided to turn him into a copy of himself. A shot blocker stuck on a third or fourth lines with people like Begin or Smolinski or any other of our fourth liners who combined in total exceed the number of quality goal scorers on the team. Mr. Lafleur wasn’t all that far off the mark is he.
    Not to worry though Habs fans we have a couple of rookies coming in from the AHL that ought to make us a far better NHL team.
    I saw Guys press conference yesterday.He has as much control and influence in the dressing room right now as he did when they tanked at the end of last year.Funny Guy can’t seem to get 20 guys to play his system (whatever that is) so I guess we get 20 new guys eh Guy.
    This business of don’t blame the coach blame the players suggests some need to better understand what leadership is and that’s exactly what a coach has to instill.It’s a matter of follow me boys I know the way there. Can you really tell me he does and if so based on what evidence.The fact that he played on a good team with a good coach that won stanley cups. Good players don’t always make good coaches.
    The proof will be in the pudding tonight.I’m keeping my fingers crossed

  125. Habs_008 says:

    No Way in Hell Calgary is trading him, he is the next Pronger. But that would be something.

  126. cautiousoptimist says:

    I really think Calgary gets a lot in return, and I think both teams end up better.

  127. Hoegarden says:

    If Keenan ever mentions trade and Phaneuf in the same sentence, he’ll get run out of town.

  128. krob1000 says:

    I can tell you this TommyB and Hoegarden,

    About six or seven games into the season Ryder did have a ouple games where he disappeared and effort may have been a concern. The smart thing would have been to sit him out then. They could have called it an undisclosed injury and kept things in house. He could have then resumed at his normal position on the first line. Instead he has been under the gun and put in situations where he will not succeed and more time has been wasted.

    I do not like Ryder any more than I like any other Hab but I recognize talent and hard work when I see it. He has talent and has been working hard. I know you guys are relgious fans and aren’t on here piping off but I do think
    you have to acknowlege that in order for our team to succeed we have to get the most of our players. To get the most out of Ryder you need him to play with top talent and get PP time and he is not getting what he should in those areas.

    you are right that he probably never would have made it if not for Claude Julien…..obviously he saw the talent why can’t we. This is beyond a slump and that is evident but this slump could have been handled far differently and I would bet different results would have been the outcome(positive results). There are too many guys who should be sitting out before him and I respect both of your opinions but I know from debates past that none of us are going to sway too much in our opininos but this one is being mishandled by Carbo for sure.

  129. T-roy West says:

    CHUCK V.

    These comments seem all out of wack. I wish we went back to numbered comments. When you said “At the risk of starting a childish argument”, were you talking to me or DTD. I couldn’t tell but I think it was DTD, sorry!

  130. krob1000 says:

    Wow….that guy did his homework and it confirms what I have believed all along. Thank you for the great link. you should send a copy of that to Carbo.

  131. cautiousoptimist says:

    Maybe not if he gets the starting goalie in the all-star game in return, plus scoring help and a couple of serviceable D-men.

  132. Axeman says:

    Heaven forbid that Ryder ends up with the Laffs … you KNOW that’s gonna come back and haunt us….

  133. Hoegarden says:

    No, but according to Danny boy after the recent Prov.elections, he thinks that the Maritimes are now part of the Rock……….

  134. cautiousoptimist says:

    Well, Edmonton dealt Pronger for less than this. :)

  135. Habs_008 says:

    Huet, Ryder and Streit are also UFA next year. I dont see calgary doing that. I would never do that trade if i were them. I will try the trade on my Xbox game and see if its “accepted”, thats the only place where a trade like that would be….haha. how bout trade Huet and Ryder for a bag of pucks! jj, I like both of the players, Ryder just needs to snap outta it.

  136. TommyB says:

    Understand this, though, krob

    I am not saying, anywhere, that Carbo handled this thing properly from the start. As much as I support Carbs, I also find some peculiarity in some of the things he does. I am saying, Ryder spending one game in the press box is not going to cause much more damage. Others have been sat. Koivu and Rivet last year, for example. Ryder is no better.

    We will never totally agree on this issue. I do not hold Ryder in such high esteem as maybe you do. But at least we have had a decent exchange of views on this……Go Habs Go…..Bruins are our bitches!

  137. downeast hab says:

    I think the way things materialize in Montreals playing system, that if Crosby played here, he wouldnt prosper the way he has. If you dont have a proven system then no one is going to play to their abilities. Take Bonk for example, or maybe Briere seen something.

  138. Revolution No. 9 says:

    I think you’ve been playing too much NHL ’08.

  139. Hoegarden says:

    May be, but the link between Sutter and Phaneuf is as solid as you can find.
    Keenless traded Luongo, need we say more ?

  140. ebk says:

    You guys have convinced my with your ‘inner feelings’. They are spot on. Michael Ryder wants out of Montreal and he is doing his best to accomplish it. You should start a psychic hotline, people get paid big bucks for ‘inner feelings’ that are this accurate

  141. cautiousoptimist says:

    Come on, the guy is a beast! And he will indeed be the next Pronger.

  142. Wops says:

    CH is for Chris Higgins

  143. Wops says:

    Exactly, so the Flames won’t trade him for the little package you offered…

    Three UFAs, no logic whatsoever… + Streit = #5 D-man, Ryder strugglinh player, Huet will ask for too much money just to be a back up for Kiprusoff

    I would not even trade Phaneuf for Kovalev and Higgins if I was the Flames GM.
    CH is for Chris Higgins

  144. Revolution No. 9 says:

    I can get behind these scratches but what Carbonneau has to prove and has not yet done in his short reign is that he can coach his way out of a slump. We don’t have any serious injuries, we don’t have a crazy schedule. This is the same team that played great hockey to start but either:
    – the other teams have figured us out which means other coaches are smarter than ours or
    – Carbo can’t motivate his players in any effective manner.

    A measure of stability and calm without being inflexible while maintaining authority and confidence is the black magic of success. It’s not easy to master but you either have the knack or you don’t. I think this year will prove Carbo’s ability in this aspect one way or another.

  145. moser17 says:

    Now do one for Vinnie Lecavalier!

  146. cautiousoptimist says:

    I like them too, because they’re good! But Calgary needs a top-notch goalie more than a top-notch defenceman, as does everyone else. Good thing we have more than one.

    It’s true that Huet, Ryder and Streit are UFAs, but when Ryder breaks out of his slump in Calgary, he’ll stay in Calgary. And when Huet finally gets the #1 starting job he deserves, he’ll stay too. As for Streit, he’s just a bonus, but inexpensive either way.

    And Phaneuf’s only got one more year on his contract too.

  147. cautiousoptimist says:

    Sorry Moser, I was trying to stay within the realm of the possible here. :)

  148. Hoegarden says:

    The injury coverup sounds nice but Carbo learned his lesson last year when he benched Rivest (you don’t sit a veteran player). He soon was on his way out West following that. Besides, shooting blanks for 6 or 7 can get you by. Carbo gambled with this and lost. The whole line is sputtering, Higs is missing tons of chances and Koivu is getting more frustrated. I sure would not want to be in Carbo’s shoes….it catch22 in my book.

  149. Revolution No. 9 says:

    Calgary will trade Phaneuf about as quickly as we’d trade Price.

  150. cautiousoptimist says:

    That’s because they don’t need Kovalev and Higgins. They score already – they need to stop getting scored on, and Kiprusoff isn’t doing anything about that. Kiprusoff’s past will not make him #1 if Huet stops pucks, for the same reason that Theodore is not Colorado’s starter.

    Like I said, it’s true that Huet, Ryder and Streit are UFAs, but when Ryder breaks out of his slump in Calgary, he and his 30 goals a year will stay in Calgary. And with offensive-minded forwards there, he will score.

    And when Huet finally gets the #1 starting job he wants and deserves, he’ll stay too. As for Streit, he’s just a bonus, but inexpensive either way.

    And don’t forget, Phaneuf’s only got one more year on his contract too.

  151. Hoegarden says:

    Did Pronger give them a choice ???

  152. cautiousoptimist says:

    Well, can’t argue with that.

  153. cautiousoptimist says:

    They could have at least gotten more for him, and given their situation, they would have jumped if we’d offered Huet, Ryder, Dandy and Streit.

  154. cautiousoptimist says:

    Not even Price is untouchable, nor should he be, for the right player(s).

  155. 24 Cups says:

    Calgary won’t be trading for any goalies in the near future. Kipper has signed a six year contract extension that starts next year with a cap hit of $6 mil per season. They’ll have to live or die with him.

  156. TradeRyder says:

    Wish I had said all that.

    Like I said previously… you have to carry a stick – you can’t BE the stick or the players will just hate you. Carbo needs to read a book on motivation. Well, that or find a new job.

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

  157. cautiousoptimist says:

    I don’t think their fans will let the Flames die with him, and he seems to have caught Theodoritis. Stopping just 87% of shots, with his team two squads away from the basement almost halfway into the season, I don’t think Calgary will sacrifice years of success because of a goalie whose value was hugely overblown due to a strong, improbable playoff run three years ago. It’s not like they aren’t scoring – the problem is clear and urgent: lousy goaltending.

  158. cunningdave says:

    Take me to your dealer.

  159. Gilles Poisson says:

    I think with all the talk about Monsieur Ryder we should not be forgetting something. His new position should be a boost for our powerplay. Thank you.

  160. Habs Suck says:

    Very good point!!!

    People treat Ryder like he’s a #1 forward in the league. Not even close!!! When surrounded by average players, better than average numbers look really good. But, reality sets in when you compare those slightly better than average numbers with the real NHL stars’ points totals. Ryder has had middle of the pack numbers, but they look extra good next to his teammates’because we have been swimming in a sea of mediocrity, tossed about and going nowhere fast!!!

    Ryder is a one-trick pony. He has a great shot release which in the right conditions puts pucks in the net. And, I’ll admit his two-way play has improved since last year. However, he is not a playmaker, he is not a fast skater, he is not creative with the puck, he does not see the ice well.

    I think Bob gave him his contract hoping his numbers would increase, that he would really blossom this season. Notice it was a one-year deal? That means “make or break” time. It could also be as mentioned above that Ryder is looking to move on but wanted to hang on for one more year in Mtl hoping his stats would make him really enticing to another team. It’s not happening, so sit in the press box now and later sit on a bus to …. well, who knows where!

  161. Wops says:

    Snoopy, I don’t know how to put it, but here is the best version I found:

    No way are the Flames trading Dion Phaneuf. This guy is their franchise. And only 22…
    CH is for Chris Higgins

  162. Scott in Montreal says:

    I totally agree. I hate this backwards one way, forwards for replies format. It gives me a headache to rival the one I get whenever I watch Brisebois in his own end.

  163. Wops says:

    You are just fooling with us right??

    CH is for Chris Higgins

  164. Chuck V. says:

    no worries T-roy it is kind of a messy format. i was talking to DTD and agreeing with you

  165. 24 Cups says:

    There are a ton of Ryder comments so I may be repeating what other guys have said. At the start of the year Ryder and the Habs agreed to a one year deal for around $3mil. It was mutually beneficial. Ryder assumed he would have a great scoring year due to the fact that Montreal has so few scorers and he would get plenty of ice time. This ice time would probably be with guys like Koivu and Higgins and Ryder would also be on the powerplay. He could then break the bank as a free agent with another team next summer. Montreal looked at it from the viewpoint that there’s no way they are going to resign him long term (at an over inflated price) but he would help them shine this year by playing his butt off for free agency. Win-win situation. OK, Ryder has hit the skids but we’re only 1/3 of the way through the season. The motivation on both parties’ sides hasn’t basically changed. The Habs should play Ryder on a regular shift until he breaks out and starts scoring again (it’s not that he’s a jerk like Samsonov). If he does we probably will make the playoffs. Then he can ride off into free agency and we can replace him next year with Sergei K. Win-win.

  166. ganderhab says:

    i agree completely…ryder is not hurting you +-wise and only takes up 16-18 minutes on a good night. what was it about 13 shots last time against the bruins that gets him a cheap seat?

  167. 24 Cups says:

    I’m still not convinced that Anaheim has to make a trade to free up cap space for Niedermayer. http://www.nhlnumbers.com states that they are presently more than $6 mil under the cap without his salary. His salary would be prorated to just over $4 mil since 1/3 of the season is over. Therefore, they are still under the cap. Even http://www.nhlscap.com has Anaheim under the cap (if you prorate Niedermayer’s salary). Am I missing something here or is this just Brian Burke beating the bushes? Selanne is a unrestricted free agent so if he came back say with 20 games to go in the season they would only have to give him around $2-2.5 mil. As I said earlier in the day, something stinks here.

  168. MathMan says:

    Anaheim will be over cap for *next year* with Niedermeyer in the lineup. They have to free someone who is under contract for next year.

  169. WindsorHab-10 says:

    May be sitting out a game will benefit Ryder but it had to be done. I still can’t comprehend this slump that we’re in. I mean we have a healthy team that played so well at the start and then all of a sudden they quit. In any professional sport, winning and losing is a team effort and unfortunately our team of professionals have not put any effort in any of their recent games. For the amount of money that these guys rake in, a solid effort is the least they can do. They owe it to every fan out there. I hope we see a good product on the ice tonight because I’m so desperate for a win.

  170. T-roy West says:

    Thanks for clearing that up. Lets petition to get the format back to numbered comments. By the way nice all time favorite player!

  171. TradeRyder says:

    Obviously by my name I wanted Ryder gone… but I agree that he shouldn’t be benched now. He has been working his butt off and getting shots and as you say isn’t hurting us in plus-minus. But that’s where I totally disagree with you about Ryder. The problem is this: you say we would make the playoffs if he starts scoring. That’s the problem – when he starts scoring the other team starts scoring on us. He cancels himself out – or at least he has in the past. Souray was the same – lots of big goals from the blue line. A pilon on D. Not worth it. I think Ryder would do well on a team with a fantastic D. that really plays the trap where he could not think about the D and everythign would be fine. Which is why…. Trade Ryder. Though now he’s not worth much. And yes, he’s better than Samsanov so why they don’t play him I don’t know.

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

  172. Ed says:

    Have you considered changing your name to optimisticoptimist?

  173. 24 Cups says:

    Ganderhab – Slightly off topic but I couldn’t help but notice that your photo is a golf hole. Which one, on what course? Terra Nova? Hockey is obviously #1 in our hearts BUT when summer arrives golf takes over. Like hockey, it is a game of tradition, honour, and the pursuit of excellence. Once the hockey season ends we can turn Habsinsideout into a part time golf site. Maybe even have a website golf tournament. Of course, the defensemen would have to tee off with the forwards:-) It’s a new Hab tradition.

  174. gohabzzzz says:

    ok, I’m happy ryder’s benched but what about smolinski???
    it’s not like he’s any better and if I do remember well, he’s playing on the first line..yeah
    I don’t understand carbo…he confuses me

  175. LTHF says:

    Cant wait for the game to start and watch the Habs offense explode without Ryder. RIGHT!

  176. Chuck V. says:

    I love golf, but to be honest I’d rather the HIO posters be the one golfing in May and June rather than the Canadiens

  177. 24 Cups says:

    Perfect reply – that’s the answer I was looking for! A Cup run in June has me bunkering in at a Montreal hotel. Go Price Go!

  178. ganderhab says:

    First hole on our only 18 hole course here in gander nl. – habs and pictures like that get me through winter

  179. habsguy says:

    Are you kidding me, after all the crap you’ve layed on Ryder, everything that you said about him…and now you don’t agree with him being benched…you just answered a question for me !!!!!

  180. 24 Cups says:

    All said and good but hockey today is all about the cap. What do you suggest that Calgary does about the $36 mil?

  181. 24 Cups says:

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. We must be distant cousins! Hockey is about passion and golf is about one’s soul.

  182. LTHF says:

    Have been giving some thought to all the negative comments of late about the Habs (including myself).But when one takes a close look at the standings, they are not doing too badly, tied for third in the conference, just 5 out of first and 8 from 1st overall in the league. I think theres more parity in the league now than ever before. Just look at the standings in each division.
    Do anyone feel the way that I do that there should have been a penalty when Begin on injured, sure looked like a hook to me. Good luck Habs on Sat.

  183. Habsville says:

    The club is above the experts predictions at this moment. The points have come with the power play clicking as the best in the league. We are still week 5 on 5. I do not believe we have a #1 centre. Nothing against Saku but he would not be a number one centre on most clubs in the playoff mix. The thought of trading Ryder is interesting to me. A third round pick that has a great shot but what can we trade him for. Another player who is under achieving and making the same amount of money to keep our cap in line perhaps. The trade deadline comes a little eary this year and if Ryder stays off the score sheets a change of scenery may be inevitable.

  184. Habsville says:

    Typo on Ryder 8th rounder

  185. T-roy West says:

    DTD – I hardly ever miss a game. Are you trying to make a point?

  186. Les-Habitants says:

    You mean not score? Unless the Bruins get a shut-out, someone will be better then Ryder…the rest of the team will match him at worse…lol

    FOR THE LOVE OF GOD people, it”s ONE game. Ryder hasn’t done his job, and he’s getting benched. He was given over a third of the season to get it going. If you don’t do your job, don’t you generallly get benched??? man….people are over-reacting a weeeeeee bit?

  187. habfan53 says:

    Hey People

    I was so discouraged after the last couple of games that I decided to stay away and try to regain some sanity.
    First question is Dandenault in the line up tonight after the best tackle by a Montreal player since LAST YEAR’S Grey Cup. or did he receive a 1 game suspension??

    Don’t take the Bruins lightly dispite our record over them. They want to get a win for Julien tonight.

    I also think it’s time for Gainey AND Carbonneau to sit down with EACH player and do an evaluation of what is expected of them and what they expect.

    I’m truly a fan of Steve Begin but I’m wondering if Lapierre can now fulfill that role of energizer bunny and s**t disturber.

    Pair O’Byrne with Hamerlik and let Ryan grow the way Komisarek grew while making mistakes the last couple of years.

    We wonder why there is no scoring punch THERE ARE 2 DEFENCEMEN on the forward lines DAH!!!!.

    Streit is NO replacement for Ryder he had a career year last year and scored 32 points Ryder had 30 Goals.

    Tonight is a big game for Price after giving up 4 goals in each of his last 2 starts and 3 against Toronto last Tuesday he’ll have to shut down the Bruins.

    And finally with a wealth of defencemen in the system: Streit, Dandenault, Gorges, Carle, Biron, Valentenko, Cote, Brisebois and well the youngsters at the U S Universities package a couple with Halak or Danis (Huet as a LAST resort) and bring in a goal scorer.

  188. Scotty90 says:

    i’m experiencing ‘Deja Vu’!

  189. T-roy West says:


    I’m not attacking but I was just wondering what any of the defencemen that you have mentioned really done.

  190. habfan53 says:

    Absolutely nothing wrong Carle, Biron and Valetenko are still in Hamilton, Brisebois is getting long in the tooth probably should not be playing more than 14 minutes a game not the close to 20 he has been, Steit and Dandenault were using as forwards and Gorges has some NHL experience.

  191. Chuck V. says:

    At the risk of starting a childish argument, I’d say the same to you. While I appreciate your loyalty to Ryder, I question both your hockey knowledge and your tact. Surely you can get your point across better than by using cheezy retorts

  192. T-roy West says:

    You still haven’t stated your point, please tell me that you actually have one!

  193. krob1000 says:

    I will concede you may have a point in that he seems to think sometimes before he shoots and you are right he loses the edge when that happens. His confidence dwindling though is a direct effect oft his terrible handling. I noted the other day how he seems to even telegraph his shots lately but regardless he is still one of our best five forwards and he should be playing. No doubt about it.

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