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.

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