Spacek, O’Byrne out?

AUDIO: Dustin Boyd | Mathieu Darche | Brian Gionta | Jacques Martin | Alexandre Picard | Jaroslav Spacek | P.K. Subban

If the alignment at practice today in any indication, Jaroslav Spacek and Ryan O’Byrne will be healthy scratches tomorrow night in Columbus.

Coach Jacques Martin’s revised pairings had Alexandre Picard with Andrei Markov while P.K. Subban is with Roman Hamrlik. The third pair remains unchanged with Hal Gill and Josh Gorges although they have switched sides with Gorges on the left.   

The top three forward lines remained intact, but Dustin Boyd took Tom Pyatt’s place with Lars Eller and Maxim Lapierre.


  1. mbplekfan says:

    Spacek has been awful. His preseason was bad and his regular season has been worse.  It looks like too many miles have taken their toll on him.

    Our D has three excellent pieces with PK, Markov and Gorges.  Hamrlik can be a viable 15 minute guy if we can find a partner for him. Gill is usable in a platoon role with maybe 60 games max.

    I think we have to deal with OB once and for all. Let him play regular minutes or trade him and a prospect for an everyday defenceman.

    We dont have an NHL ready defenceman anywhere in our system for at least 2 years so a trade or signing is the only way to solve the problem.

    If Spacek doesnt improve by end of November he should be sat down and told he will be waived unless he retires. We need the salary space and he really is dragging down our team.

  2. habfan53 says:

    Can we downgrade JM to a good coach A graet coach wins multiple Stanley Cups A VERY GOOD coach wins at least 1 Cup Martin is in the next category.

  3. mike g says:

    Right now, the only thing Spacek is gaining are chins…

    What’s he up to now, a triple-chin?

    After X-mas he’ll have a quad, for sure.


    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

     I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  4. mike g says:

    Richard Labbe….

    Francophone journalist, once again proving my theory right.


    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

     I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  5. jimmy shaker says:

    Still rehabing his knee from his off season surgery. The habs have allowed him to use the facilities and team doctors to get him back to 100% health.  He wasn’t far behind Marky in returning, so if he were still with the team he would probably be back on the ice by now and practicing and getting the green light to play from the doctors by this weekend coming up.  So by the weekend, he will be open and healthy to the other teams around the league.  Hope the habs come calling first, which is a very good assumption if the PP still is failing and Spaceman and Hammer are still playing like 40 year old jabroni’s.


  6. Hobie Hansen says:

    I don’t think he can play better, his body, his hand-eye, foot speed, competitiveness and willingness is all deteriorating, rapidly.  

  7. showey47 says:

    I still feel obyrne is better then alot of people make him out to be. Led the team in hits last year by a mile despite playing 20-25 less games then most of them with limited icetime. Had less giveaways/game then any of our other dmen. Even this year he has 11 hits over 3 games which projected over 11 games puts him first again by a wide margain once again with limited icetime and had zero giveaways. 

  8. boneheadslanger33 says:

    I didn’t notice. Who wrote it?

  9. Wops says:

    Markov – Gorges –> 25min

    Hammer – Subban –> 20-25min

    Gill – Spacek –> 10-15 min


    I dont agree with putting Picard on the right side. He was just ok on the left side…


    My 2 cents.


    Spacek will step up. I dont like him but lets admit he can only play better, not worse.

  10. Storm Man says:

    On some french tv show doing slap shots.

  11. Storm Man says:

    Yawn……. Im 12-1 at this point, Let me know when you want to have a one week head to head challenge and don’t turn into a poulet on me.

  12. Hobie Hansen says:

    Man oh man do I hope this article is remains true. I was blasted on here by my fellow HIO comment contributors last week after saying that Picard should play and Spacek should sit. Mainly because people believe that it isn’t a hockey decision and more a monetary issue. I hope that no matter what a player’s salary is, the coaches make the best decision in regards to helping the team win. Spacek is “DONE”!!! If you have any doubts and are still hanging on and hoping that Spacek is worth the money he’s being paid, seriously sit down and watch him handle the puck in the Montreal end, he’s done…

  13. mike g says:

    So I know it was dicussed before…

    But uh, …..anyone notice who wrote the article bashing Gomez?

    And uh, …..anyone notice that the author felt the need to ask why we didn’t sign BIRON instead of Auld?

    Hmm,….wonder why he said BIRON and not nittymakki, or Ellis…., you know..?

    And then you guys wonder why I don’t like ‘em!

    (you can now defend your position to my post, Bugs.)


    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

     I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  14. Fansincebirth says:

    Someone asked me where MAB is these days and I truly have no idea.


    Can someone help out please…..

    “Without the strength of the past, the team may face a choice – to win, or to be French-Canadian?” — Ken Dryden

  15. Chuck says:

    Sheesh… EVERYONE knows that the parade goes up Sherbrooke.

    Centre Hice: Check out the new training aid at Brossard.

  16. Storm Man says:

    That would be a big wish on a big star.

  17. Bugs says:

    To business: If Indianapolis beats Houston tonight, I’m 10-3 on the Prédictions. Last week went 10-4. Billet non-gagnant. This week, did better, but…shoulda known my Cowboys were done, even against the friggin Jags.

    Doesn’t look good. Think I’m starin at another billet non-gagnant over here.

    Stupid Cowboys. I called the Lions game ferpetessakes!

    Spuriously furious, I swear as

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Minority Owner of the Habbalicious Bubble-Gum Emporium, Proprietor of the Flanneltop Pop Shop, and Beaming Tenant in Mama’s Basement, i.e., Habsbros Central:

  18. HabFanSince72 says:

    It’s early in the season, and we have not had  a difficult schedule, but the Habs are in 1st place in the conference.

    Why all the belly-aching?

  19. joeybarrie says:

    We have to beat the bigger teams. YES… But so far our team has beaten some good teams, and done very well. We have done this without production from our second line and without our best player. You have to admit that this is a DREAM start without Markov.

    IF we can keep up our positives right now, THEN get our PP going, and our 2nd line going…….How great can we be?

    Explain why it is that Tampa is legitimate but not the HABS?

    If we go .500 for the rest of the season and make overtime 4 times, we will have done BETTER than last season.

    We had 39 wins last season. We are 33 short of that with 71 games left to do it….

    Im not going to plan the PARADE. But we are doing BETTER than last season, and last season we came up 3 wins SHORT of the FINALS… And we did it again without our best player.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  20. nick says:

    JM’s next plan is to have Price pinch on the power play and fire the cannons!

    It’ll be raining slapshots like it’s no bodys buisness.

  21. HabFanSince72 says:

    O’Byrne was great?

  22. SeriousFan09 says:

    It will take time to iron the rule out Mike, 2005-2006 with the new obstruction/holding restrictions meant it was an insane year for the PP as everything got called and referees had to adjust to the regulations.

    Brown got bounced but he didn’t face supplementary discipline for it. It’s going to lead to some unfair ejections but better some ejections than some brain-damaged players because those hits were still legal.


    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  23. jimmy shaker says:

    Hey matraque,

    I think you, Tom K and I are the only ones in favour of bringing back MAB.  I’d get rid of Spacek and Hammer for MAB and Picard or O’Byrne to be in lineup.



    MAB/Picard or O’Byrne.

    Younger, better, faster and way cheaper if we dump Spaceman and Hammer!  Here’s to hoping!

    Bringing back Dandenault would be even better I say as well!



  24. krob1000 says:

    he hasn’t had any pp time….he has a cannon from the point…they say he shoots 85 MPH plus…but of course Martin won’t give him a shot…keeps making him play goalie…..he cannot handle young players!

  25. joeybarrie says:

    So explain why we are number 1 right now WITHOUT our GOD Halak?????????

    Who is performing the miracles right now?

    How many other excuses do we have to ensure the freaking COACH of a successful team doesnt get to share in the accolades.



    DID anyone notice how Some fans are sheep???? They think that a PLAYER who didn’t score a single goal is solely responsible for winning.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  26. Bugs says:

    He’s got more assists than Mathieu Darche though. And Andrei Markov.

    That’s why he’ll be in net next game.

    Spuriously furious, I swear as

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Minority Owner of the Habbalicious Bubble-Gum Emporium, Proprietor of the Flanneltop Pop Shop, and Beaming Tenant in Mama’s Basement, i.e., Habsbros Central:

  27. mike g says:

    I’m not talking about the 2 incidents you pointed out….

    I showed an example of a totally clean hit, but because of the way the new rule has so many gray areas, it would now surely be penalized and subject to suspension.

    We saw it with Dustin Brown last week. He went in to deliver a good/clean shoulder to shoulder hit, but because Mietinen moved at the last second, Brown was ejected.

    The rule itself is flawed, and I’d be happy to see it be more defined and solid.

    It would be a shame to remove big hits out of this game.


    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

     I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  28. joeybarrie says:

    MAB had 7 PP goals last season in 60 games. That’s 1 goal every 9 games…. So basically we would have at most 2 more goals on the PP to bring us to a 12.8% and 23rd in the league…

    MAB is not the PP answer.

    Without MAB last season our PP would be 20% which would still be good enough to be 6th or 7th…

    He has a laser, and did a great job to replace Markov’s goal production last season. But once you get the move, the players challenged him and he was pretty useless on the PP in the end. He couldn’t keep the puck in the zone, and had only 2 PP goals in 19 games in the Playoffs. Im am sorry, but a defensive liability so we can have 1 goal more every 9 games OR every 28 PP attempts is not worth it.

    So all in all based on his PP last season, we would have 2 more goals for, and I am willing to bet we would be in the EXACT same position.

    Markov is a great PP quarterback. He is creative and makes things happen. MAB had a shot. One trick Pony that worked when we needed it. But it wont work again. We have other guys who can take that shot too, just not as good. Our problem isnt with shooting from the point. Our problem is that has been the ONLY way we score on the PP lately. Look at our PP goal this season. Passes thru the middle that we tap in, shots on the goalie when we have created the space and tap ins on slaps shots from the point have made our PP so great in the last few years. We need to get that form back and Markov is the key.

    If our TEAM had the exact same production on the PP as last season we would have 9 more goals… Probably only the 1 loss to New Jersey. WE MUST GET THAT BACK.

    And our PP has gotten better, last few games we were simply unlucky.

    I remember PK hitting the post twice on the PP, Gionta getting robbed by the back of a players stick, among others.

    Somthing to think about…………. Last season we had 8 Short handed goals against… This season so far ZERO… Our PP is not that bad, we just need to stick with it, now that our BEST PP player is back we will make it work.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  29. terrygain says:

    We won because Halak performed one miracle after another. 


    Did anyone notice how those Maple Leaf fans are such sheep? They support management no matter what. It’s no wonder they haven’t won in 43 years.

  30. says:

    Could be a good pairing.  A high plus minus player with an offensive d-man.  You get production yet no goals scored against.  That’s my theory!

  31. LA Loyalist says:

    Will the parade be on Rene levesque or sherbroke?

    When we’ve beaten Philly, Detroit, caps… We can talk.

    The problem is there are some big gaps in this cobbled together team and beating a few bottom feeders by one goal – and not being able to beat Florida at home…..

    I know you want to plant your lawn chair in a good spot but we are not there yet.

    Tagline pending

  32. habrez says:

    Lets talk about how good we have been playing 5 on 5 hockey (for the first time in years) instead of talking about our struggles on the power play. I guess people will find anything to complain about, which is why everyone last year comnplained about our inability to score at even strength.

    And please stop talking about bringing back MAB. The habs are not the only team struggling with the PP and I don’t see any other team interested in his services. There’s a reason no one has signed him, especially considering a lot of teams have a lot less depth on D than the Habs.


  33. Timo says:

    I wish JM would just give up.

  34. says:

    lol hear hear!!!!

    4 Days Until the Summit Party!

  35. Timo says:

    You, my friend, have a vision.

    How is that golf thing going in the last couple of days ;)

  36. terrygain says:

    This is very shortsighted. Hamrlik is probably in his last year. This team is badly undersized.  O’Byrne should be playing.  He was great when paired with Markov in the playoffs.  

    I also wish Martin would give up his stubborn insistence upon playing a checker with G&G. 


    Did anyone notice how those Maple Leaf fans are such sheep? They support management no matter what. It’s no wonder they haven’t won in 43 years.

  37. mike g says:

    Darryl Sutter.

    That’s how you explain the moves.


    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

    I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  38. Johnny_D says:

    Judging from Saturday’s game, I would have benched Spacek and Hamrlik and brought in Picard and O’Byrne. Not for long, but Spatch and Hamr are not spring chickens, and they did play significant minutes for 4 games in 6 nights, until Markov came in and immediately took a big chunk.

    I don’t think we should count them out though, they were solid when it counted last year.


  39. SeriousFan09 says:

    are you Mike Richards lawyer or something?

    The NHL had to do something to make sure brutal, blindside headshots couldn’t be brushed under the carpet anymore. It looks bad if playing the puck outside the trapezoid or puck over the glass is an automatic 2 minutes but this and this are kosher.

    Players have to keep their heads up of course and that should be drilled from day one but charging/headhunting needs to be reined in.

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  40. VancouverHab says:

    Hmm.. That explains why Belle looked like such a stud when I saw him with the Bulldogs, but doesn’t make it at the NHL level….

    Thanks for that.

  41. punkster says:

    Bench Price! He hasn’t scored a goal in ages.

  42. Danno says:

    If you’re talking about the one PK got playing Tampa Bay, in his defence I would say that was a lame call by the refs.


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  43. habaholic68NJ says:

    I agree.  Picard has been a pleasant surprise playing with PK.  But I am concerned about him playing on the other side and top pairing minutes.  Markov-Hammer makes sense.

  44. SeriousFan09 says:

    Because he’s the coach and you’re not. Coachs often have to find the right mix of offence and defence to balance the lineup and perhaps he liked the idea of more puck-moving mobility through his D pairings.


    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  45. joeybarrie says:

    When you win most of your games by 1 goal, and the new coach has had the most success since 1993, you MUST admit he is doing a GREAT job…

    I know we expect to win and to post a shut out every game. And even then we would be complaining about paying Carbo to boot….

    But you should leave JM do what he has been doing… WINNING GAMES AND MAKING THE CONF FINALS…

    You know were tied for number 1 in the league and our best player is just coming back???

    How can you say our coach is not doing a GREAT JOB???

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

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