Smolinski in, Kostopoulos, Locke out vs. Bruins

Pat Hickey reports from Boston that Bryan Smolinski will return to the lineup tonight, having missed 14 games with a knee injury, to centre Mark Streit and Mathieu Dandenault on the Canadiens’ fourth line. Tom Kostopoulos and one-game veteran Corey Locke are the healthy scratches.

A few audio clips from the morning skate:

Head coach Guy Carbonneau
Smolinski on his return to the lineup
Bruins coach Claude Julien


  1. Will Longlade says:

    Ok, I eat my words. Credit where credit is due. Carbo is a genius. Touch wood.

  2. linp says:

    I hope Ryder scores tonight. If not, Carbo may replace him with Locke.

  3. Will Longlade says:

    Well maybe you don’t need a bicycle, but your chubby cheeks and the 10 extra pounds that you’re lugging around suggest that you should be working out more frequently.

  4. mar-lin says:

    thanks for the info and thanks to the others who replied as well. Yet another reason why i love this site…full of cool knowledgeable people.



  5. mar-lin says:

    you need a bicycle?! would you accept a unicycle…



  6. Habs-Kat says:

    Now the rumour is 10+ years worth at least 9.5$ million a year.

  7. WindsorHab-10 says:

    What happens when Begin comes back?

  8. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I have to agree because it makes no sense to sit Kostopoulos, a physical player and replace him with Smolinski, a veteran that has been a major bust so far. Boston plays a somewhat physical game and I think we’ll miss Kostopoulos tonight. At any rate, GO HABS GO!!!!!!!!!

  9. Bill H says:

    amen. And not even any whine with the opinion. Nicely said.

  10. 24 Cups says:

    Finally a clear, unemotional viewpoint on the subject. Couldn’t agree more.

    The Original 24 Cups

  11. TradeRyder says:

    Give it up Cournoyer… we’ll win with what we got… let the boys get a little bigger and play together for a year or two.

    As for tonight – we’re gonna kick Julien’s men all the way back to their farm teams!

    Let the kids play… let the non-performers watch or walk.

  12. TradeRyder says:

    Yesterday’s rumour should’ve read like this:

    “Rumour has it, Alexander Ovechkin is busy wasting the time of Montreal General Manager Bob Gainey. Capitals sniper Ovechkin was using Montreal to up the offer from his Washington team so that he could get the best contract he could. Ovechkin will be knocked on his sorry ass next time he visits Montreal. They will also refuse him entry to Chez Paris.”

    Let the kids play… let the non-performers watch or walk.

  13. Les-Habitants says:

    The problem is, within our depth charts we are very sparse on defensive centers, especially ones with size and good faceoff skills (which comes with expereience) Chip was given the chance to secure the spot, but ended up losing confidence hence he is sent down to hamilton to get playing time. Locke isn’t a defensive player, period, so it only stands to reason that Smokes, a defensive center, who has some upside and is good on faceoffs (not to mention his decent size) will be given the call.

  14. TradeRyder says:

    When you put it that way, yeah, sure seems stupid. Not to mention Ryder’s in. But let’s not go there shall we? lol

    Let the kids play… let the non-performers watch or walk.

  15. rogus says:

    let me guess. They flew Mike tyson in to help him work on his uppercut?

  16. rogus says:

    where are all of the “Chara backed down from Ryder” posts now. LMAO

  17. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    you got it…

    one of the few who do….

    1. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans.
    2. Your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”.
    3. Delenda Est Torontium….

  18. Richard says:

    TSN is now reporting that RDS may have been a little early on the story and that nothing has been finalized yet. RDS is still reporting it, though.

  19. RS says:

    I’m happy to see Smoke back in, but I’d rather see Kostopoulos and Streit with him on the fourth line, with Dandy sitting. Somehow Locke should get another game before being sent down again.

  20. Will Longlade says:

    I totally agree that it doesn’t make an iota of sense to have Kosto sit for this one. It doesn’t make sense from a team match up perspective or a motivational perspective. What message is Carbo trying to send to the players? Play your best game of the season and work your butt off for an opportunity to sit in the PB? It just doesn’t make a heck of a lot of sense to me. It’s almost as if Carbo likes to make contrary decisions to demonstrate his genius. Let’s hope he is a genius on this one.

  21. JB_15 says:

    This is really upsetting. I am thoroughly disappointed. We are not in the business of minor hockey here where 15 year veterans like Bryan Smolinski need to be put in the lineup just to get a fair shake. He has consistently disappointed us and will only hurt the lineup, and it is very distressing that our front office/coaching staff do not have the ability to see that.

    And here I thought Carbonneau was finally starting to do some things right…

  22. Smart Dog says:

    And Chipchura – the only Hab rookie included in TSN’s Power Rankings – needs to go to humbletown to work on his game. Yeah, like I need a bicycle.

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

  23. Habs_008 says:

    Sounds like no more Oveckin rumours for MTL, at least for another 5 years!

  24. Habs64 says:

    Alexander Ovechkin is reportedly going to be sticking around Washington for the long haul as is reporting that the 22-year old has signed a six-year, $54 million contract extension to stay in the American capital.

    The Calder Trophy winner is having another outstanding season for the Capitals, leading the team with 32 goals, 52 points and a +6 rating. He is currently 9th in the NHL in scoing. In 206 career games, the Moscow born sniper has fired home 130 goals and picked up 120 assists.

    Ovechkin, who was selected first overall by the Capitals in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, was set to become a restricted free-agent at the end of the season. This season he is earning $3.83 million.

  25. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    KOSTOP should be in….CHARA IS GOING TO TOSS US AROUND….did we forget what happened the last game, going after Kostysin etc…

    well we did destroy them with 7 goals….but it was painful.

    1. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans.
    2. Your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”.
    3. Delenda Est Torontium….

  26. Habs-Kat says:

    TSN’s reporting that Ovechkin’s locked up in Washington for the next six years.

  27. Vincent is possible says:

    Best Blog yet Dog. LMAO!


  28. Smart Dog says:

    Dandenault and Breeze-bye too. I’ll be careful.

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

  29. nightmare_49 says:

    But you might bite lats’s head.

  30. Vincent is possible says:

    They did that last year, I’m not sure its done every year, just once a year for one of the orignal six (toronto being the exception)


  31. habsgod says:


  32. Smart Dog says:

    Dandenault. A waste of a spot tonight. Why is Tom sitting, who actually plays a physical game? Why is Locke sitting, who needs to see some ice time and who is quick which is also good against a team like this?

    Sometimes I HATE it that I am a dog. Of course I could go bite Carbo in the ass.

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

  33. cautiousoptimist says:

    Especially with O’Byrne out…. I don’t like Bouillon’s chances against Chara…

  34. Xtrahabsfan says:

    At this stage in the season it would be perfect for Chara to go nuts on us,he would be doing us a great favor showing us are weaknesses in the physical dept before the trade deadline don’t get me wrong,I hope we win every game from this point on and Huet becomes unbeatable as Ryder amazingly finishes the season as the league scoring leader,but that’s about as unlikely as Bouillon having a growth spurt at 30 and becoming a basketball player,lol.Anywho let’s eat bear tonite.

  35. Habs_008 says:

    It makes no sense sitting Tommy Gun, when we were man-handled last time by this team. What is Dandy or Smoli gonna do when someone pushes Koivu or any of our other star players around?

  36. Richard says:

    I thought that we did it last year. Can someone confirm?

  37. nightmare_49 says:

    Yemelin is the only “D” man who may be ready for next year as Valentenko and Carle need another year in the AHL and Carle is ahead of Valentenko as it stands in Hamilton now. These assessments were made by Joel Bouchard (D) of the Bulldogs who Gainey brought in to groom the young “D” men. Valentenko has a lot to learn and also needs to adjust to North American Hockey , it’s another work in process.

  38. Bill H says:

    Hey, what about O’Byrne and Hamrlik? I’d put those in as 3 and 4 before those two. McDonagh will only be 19 next year. I look forward to when he joins the Canadiens as he is a top prospect. But that’s pretty young for a D man to make the jump to NHL. Isn’t he due for another year in Wisconsin? I would think he will put in the better part of a year in Hamilton before he cracks the lineup in Montreal. Valentenko, yes, hopefully he has progressed and learned the North American game in Hamilton. But I haven’t heard too much about his play since he went there.

  39. cautiousoptimist says:

    You’ve got to let Smolinski see some ice, and to my mind Kostopoulos should definitely be out there against a team that pushed us around last time. The weakest link in that line is Dandenault, with his 9 points and -9 rating. Give his spot to Locke or send the kid back down so he can play. Did they really call him up so he could play three minutes every other game?

  40. P St. Pierre says:

    Perhaps the Canadiens would rather not pay tribute to the Bruins. That would be fine with me, as long as they also do not pay tribute to the Leafs. I hate these two rivals the most.

  41. hummer37 says:

    Does anyone know when the Habs are going to pay tribute to Original Six rival Boston Bruins. We only have 2 games at home with them before the end of the season Jan 22 and March 22? Can anyone tell me?

  42. nightmare_49 says:

    Fischer may never be ready for MTL. or the NHL for that matter.

  43. P St. Pierre says:

    Thank you…I’d forgotten that Valentenko was in Hamilton. I agree that he probably has the best shot at joining the big team next year. I still think that re-signing Gorges would be a good thing, but he may get lost in the shuffle. Yemelin is the defenseman I would like to see join the team the most, but unfortunately he’s in the Russian Super League. Assuming these guys develop the way that they have been projected to, the Canadiens will have a wealth of good players in the future. That is so important as the organization seems to have a hard time attracting the more talented free agents.

  44. nightmare_49 says:

    Unfortunately Beech has always been an underacheiver (7th overall pick).

  45. RiverviewCanadien says:

    I like that Kat, nice call

  46. Hoegarden says:

    Guess what Smokes was doing at this morning’s practice ??

  47. Habs-Kat says:

    Valentenko’s in Hamilton, I’d look for him to make the big squad next year. This defence corps is starting to look very tough. Imagine this top-four set:

    Markov – Komisarek
    McDonagh – Valentenko

    Perfect blend of top-flight NHL defensive skill and passing ability paired with unparalleled grit and toughness.

  48. Richard says:

    NTC??? So much for my theory.

    Then make him sit, dammit!

  49. Revolution No. 9 says:

    As I understand it, each team gets a turn to pick up a player off waivers starting with the team with the fewest points and then it works its way up the chart (using the same tie breakers as they do for the standings).

    I think Streit is the only one we need to re-sign. I’d like to see all that cap space go towards a solid free agent signing.

  50. PGHABS says:

    If Beech isn’t good enough for Columbus he isn’t good enough for the Habs.

  51. Habifax says:

    I recall last game Chara took some liberties at the end of the game. So I hope that is remembered and the boys are ready for more of it tonight. Let’s hope they have the lead. Not that I hope that the foolisness starts at the end if things are in hand for the habs.

  52. rogus says:

    I pity the fool that tangles with Komi!

  53. Habifax says:

    OK guys if Tom K was the best forward the other night doesn’t that say something about the game the our best guys played?

    But I agree that he should play tonight. The only way I think the Smolski should play is he he can win a bunch of faceoffs. I think Lappy has his spot now.

  54. J.T. says:

    So, I guess when the Habs have a lead late in the third and Julien sends his guys out to “make a statement,” Dandy, Streit and Breezer will be standing up to defend their teammates. Good enough.

  55. Mike says:

    I know this is not the proper place to write this, but I am very worried about the next 2-4 years. We have so many ufa all ending their contracts. I would feel alot better if we signed komi and higgins to long (6 year) contracts

  56. P St. Pierre says:

    ebk is right. I don’t mind putting Smolinski in the lineup, but not at the expense of the Bomb. He played very well last game. Komisarek was exceptional as well. I think Breezer should sit and Streit should play D. Streit should be re-signed right now by the way.

  57. mar-lin says:

    holy dog glasses smart dog! I couldn’t agree with you more, we’ve been winning because of 4 quality lines that when Carbo mixes they still produce.



  58. Bill H says:

    Good analysis. Too bad that pesky no-trade clause means Smokes stays with us for the time being. Well, maybe his experience will help us in the playoffs and maybe his play will improve with the time off. He may have some gas in the tank yet.

  59. mar-lin says:

    Letting Gorges and Streit go would be a huge mistake as far as i’m concerned. Streit is a better version of Dandy and Gorges is starting to show us that he’s deffinitely nhl material. Smols can make himself useful by helping our faceoff % and working hard in the corners. I love Begin but I think maybe Max is an upgrade there as well. In order to retain our young core players we need to better asses our more costly vets. I think we have others who can fill the checking roles and maybe even bring a little more scoring touch to the lineup (locke,grabovski).

    Btw Beech was just picked up off waivers from the jackets…centreman 6,3 200+lbs 585,000 cost and young. Could we have missed the boat here (possible diamond in the rough). What’s the rule on picking up a guy on his way down anyway…thanks in advance.



  60. P St. Pierre says:

    I think Josh Gorges might also be re-signed as the seventh D-man. He’s still young and fairly cheap. I doubt that McDonough or Fischer will be ready by next season. Also, the status of the two young Russian defensemen is up in the air.

  61. nightmare_49 says:

    Exactly , Locke is there in case something happens to anybody on our top 3 offensive lines as i see it for now and a bit of showcasing if possible. I just hope Carbo does

  62. Doctor Device says:

    Seems slightly pointless to have Locke up from the farm to sit in the pressbox, but presumably some of these forwards will rotate in and out of the lineup over the next while.

    They do need to have some veterans along with the kids going forward, so keeping both Kostopolous and Smolinski in game shape is important.

  63. nightmare_49 says:

    Just letting you know , Smolinski has a no trade clause in his contract cuz his family is sick of moving at the trade deadline and i don’t think he will waive it as that was the big reason he accepted Montreal’s offer.

  64. DYCSoccer17 says:

    Highly unlikely we will get anything for Smolinski. He was a UFA last year and no one was willing to give him more than a 1 year contract. That’s a sign that no one is really interested in him. He’s kind of like Randy McKay when the Habs signed him.

    We’re much more likely to get something for Ryder.

  65. Smart Dog says:

    I know Kostopoulos played a strong game, and I like him. But having him, Smolinski, and Dandenault all in the game is one full line of guys that can’t find the net.
    Habs Fans! The FUTURE looks bright:
    Plekanec, Higgins, Chipchura, A Kostitsyn, Lapierre, Latendress,
    Price, S Kostitsyn, Komisuarus, O’Byrne

  66. DYCSoccer17 says:

    Depth is a double-edged sword. If there is too much of it, younger players cannot get the ice time required to develop. Look at Grabovski. He’s 6th on the depth chart when it comes to Centremen.

    I was looking at our contract situation for next year, and it seems like most of the players on the team now are signed through next year. Here are the exceptions:

    Gorges is an RFA
    Streit is a UFA
    Ryder is a UFA
    Brisebois is a UFA
    Smolinski is a UFA

    Other than those 5 guys, we are looking at the same team next year. I’d be surprised if we re-signed any of those. If we did, it would be Streit. Assuming we only re-sign Streit, this is what our lineup looks like next year:



    Grabs and D’Agostini as reserves?

    I know I omitted Huet’s UFA status. This post was to look at our future with position players.

  67. nightmare_49 says:

    We’ll see how Smols knee reacts to contact and how it is Friday morning , and Dandy coming back is fine but he must understand that he won’t be playing every game , as it stands , and complaining to the presse (French) about playing good and having to sit is not the best for the team. We don’t need a tongue issue when we are on a roll. Saturday is another game , stay tuned.

  68. Sulemaan says:

    Let’s just hope that if we can get a prospect/draft pick for Smolinkski that he agrees to wave his no-trade clause.

  69. Richard says:

    Just to add: Remember the days when we NEEDED to play both Murray and Downey just to fill the roster? I’ll take this new dilemma over that one any day.

  70. Richard says:

    Too many players. Someone’s gotta sit, and that someone will probably be good.

    I can’t say that I agree with the decision to sit Locke; the poor kid needs to build his NHL confidence. That said, I’m not surprised they sat him and I don’t know if there was a better option.

    Once Begin is healthy, we’ll have two full 4th lines. I won’t be surprised to see a couple of kids sent down to play the vets until they can be traded off.

    Chipchura will stay down; Locke will be sent down; O’Byrne will be sent down and Streit will be moved to D (with Breezer as #7); One of Begin, Dandenault or Kostopoulos will sit on a nightly basis.

    I think that we’ll play Smokes every night because he may be worth a prospect or low draft pick at the trade deadline. Once he’s gone, Chips or Locke (probably Chips) will play regularly.

    No matter what, it sucks that we’re sitting exciting kids for mediocre veterans… But that is what needs to happen in the mean time.

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