Spector’s Top 10

Lyle Richardson, who blogs as Spector and knows his stuff, picks his All-Time Top Ten Canadiens

Guess who’s number one?

•  •  •

Good news from this morning’s practice:

AK46 was back in gear, with Tomas Plekanec and Alex Kovalev.

The third line against Carolina tomorrow night will be Robert Lang between SK74 and Christopher Higgins.

The Koivu line remains intact, and Guy Carbonneau will chose his fourth line from among Maxim Lapierre, Mathieu Dandenault, Steve Bégin and Georges Laraque.


  1. nightmare_49 says:

    Dave – How come when you get on the site the “flag as offensive” appears, it must be programed. Komo does normally sit when we’re behind and last year Streit was moved up from forward but i don’t remember what the coach did cuz i was on my 2nd medium size pitcher, lol. I’ll verify that you seldom bash players, notice i didn’t say posters.

  2. coachdoug says:

    Need to rack up some points on the Hurricanes Tuesday and the D needs to be working. Carolina is hurting so bad now this should be a confidence builder. No doubt the 5 days made the boys rusty.

  3. mrstewart61 says:

    I completely agree. Why is Breezer playing ahead of Dandy or O’Byrne? Just to get his 1000th game in a Habs jersey?? Not acceptable. Experience is only worth something if it helps us win!

    If a man speaks in a forest where no woman can hear him, is he still wrong?

  4. cautiousoptimist says:

    I’m with you Krob. I remember last year when Chara elbowed Kovalev in the head in a cheap shot along the boards, and Lats came out of nowhere and jumped at him. He didn’t do much damage, but he was all heart on that one, and he doesn’t like to see his teammates get sucker-punched.

    1. http://www.flickeringpictures.com – not a hockey site, but still kinda neat
    2. Josh Gorges on Montreal’s attack: “They’re comin’, they’re comin’ and they keep comin’. Just line after line, wave after wave…”

  5. nightmare_49 says:

    The NHL Morning Papers (Monday Edition) : Schenn Sticks, Franzen out Four Weeks and Teppo Numminen just Happy to be Playing Hockey .. by Richard Pollock ….. http://www.illegalcurve.com/2008/10/27/nhl-morning-papers-monday-edition-schenn-sticking-in-toronto-flyers-organization-angry-at-fan-and-teppo-numminen-is-happy-to-be-back-playing-hockey/ …….. Recipe for a Loss .. by Stan Fischler ….. http://blogs.msg.com/gameon/2008/10/27/rangers-islanders-is-it-an-open-netter-for-the-blueshirts/ ……………………………… Brent Sutter the Coach, Brent Sutter the Father .. by Tom Gulitti ….. http://njmg.typepad.com/devilsblog/2008/10/brandon-sutter-improving.html

  6. sidhu says:

    I would start OB.

    We need to find our Brad Stuart for this season.

  7. Batalla says:

    I agree with that totally. I like Georges, but he’s been a bit of a liability and can’t get back into the defensive zone very quickly. Whereas Dandy has done just that.

    I also like that even though he *knows* this will be his last year (or half-year) with the Canadiens, he still gives 100% whenever he’s on the ice. That’s a professional. Glad to see he’s not pulling a Grabovski.

  8. Mr.Hazard says:

    Tanguay is tied for second in Shooting % (38.5) in the League, Koivu is 7th (30.8%). Rick Nash, with as many goals as Tanguay, is 94th.

    Ex nihilo nihil fit

  9. Batalla says:

    Also… Learn to spell…

  10. Batalla says:

    I should read that. Sounds interesting that someone like Muller (who I like very much) would make that list given all the spectacular players who have played in Montreal. I’m not saying he doesn’t deserve to be on that list, I just I wonder what the criteria are… And now that you’ve told me he’s on the list, I suppose I should expect Damphousse and Turgeon?

  11. sidhu says:

    Welcome back AK46!

  12. sidhu says:

    I think Skrastins looked pretty good too. I don’t imagine it would take much to get him off the FLA roster.

  13. Batalla says:

    Sorry to have offended you with my immense stupidity.

  14. krob1000 says:

    Sorry this is so scattered but I got interrupted by my work a few times (imagine that…work interrupting my HIO time!)and I just kept typing….you get the jist though.

  15. krob1000 says:

    Great News about Andrei K!!! Anyone know if he has actually received any medical clearance and can be expected in the lineup or if today is just a test? It sure would be nice to see our top nine all i the lineup and see how things go. Lang with Higgins and Sergei will be a phenomenal third line and the top two are perfect the way they are. I am glad (actually jealous but ….) everyone had fun at the Summit. Sounds like it was a heck of a time.

    One note about our tough guys not being goal scorers and our goal scorers not being tough…..bullshi(t). Even our smallest guys are fearless to a fault in corners and don’t hesitate to drive to the net. They may not drop the goves but that definitely does not mean they aren’t tough. Getzlaf and Perry’s line played a decent game but I thought the whole game had a weird vibe to it. The flow was nonexistent and the defense was horrendous …..and that goes for both teams. Niedermayer, PRonger and Beauchemin didn’t exactly look stellar either and although our shot total was inflated there was definitely a higher than normal amount of quality scoring chances. The whole game was surreal and seemed to have that same weird feeling as the game that we played the Leafs on the last day of the season and the game agaisnt Philly that eliminated us.

    Kovy and Pleks are playing decent hockey and the points are soon to follow. Koivu, Lats and Tanguay are a perfect combination and LAts has been playing physical and appears willing to be the guy to stand up for Koivu on that line if anything happens. Lats is coming along nicely and I don’t doubt for a second he would go with a heavyweight this year if Saku was wronged in any way. Gorges strength training was evident too last game when there wasa scrum in front of the net he reached down and shoved upward at someone and I couldn’t help thinking that there was no way he could have done that last year.

    Bouillon is tough as nails, Laraques is the toughest in the league but I have one beef with him…..he is too into this respect thing. I can respect it in some regards but other teams are sending goons out after Komisarek it seems. Laraques won’t go after a guy who isn’t a goona and isn’t willing to fight……great principles Georges but unfortunately his moral standards are too high at times. I would have liked to see him try and sucker and yapat/bother/poke at either or both PRonger and Getzlaf (both of whom are beasts and capable of throwing down with the heavyweights)into a fight. I know Parros may have been forced into battle but either way there was a hit along the boards on Sergei K that I thought let some air out of our sails. By Laraques initiating that it may have provided a spark or even better could have drawn one of Anaheim’s better players into something. That IMO was an ideal time for Georges to go with someone…..he is too feared and often even goons decline his invitation but how many guys let up on us?? Georges…get mean and save the nice guy stuff for the local charities. We can handle the occasional instigator penalty if the trade off is momentum or a top player from the other team. How many other tough guys try and get Komi to drop em…..he gets swarmed at least once a game.

    I think the rest of the game was too weird to be very critical and although Anaheim got the win I am sure Randy Carlyle was not happy with his teams play either….that game could very well have been an 11-10 score….sloppy …just sloppy. That game and it’s ugliness (both teams)is behind us and it s time to move on.

  16. Ian G Cobb says:

    Great list, but for those who have never seen this man control not only the game when he was on the ice, but how he absolutely owned the league in his day.

    He was not flashy like the Rocket or as heavy a hitter as Robinson. I would put this amazing hockey player who could do it all at the top of my list.

    Mr. Douglas Harvey, one of the greatest hockey players of any era.

  17. tamzarien says:

    I’m excited to see the three lines roll tomorrow against Carolina for the first time this season. Hopefully AK 46 can get Pleks and Kovy going at even strength. If so, we’ll finally see the depth this team may have up front. I would also like to see Tom the bomb, Lapierre and Begin get a crack at the fourth line together. Although none of them are giants like Laraque, I think they have the speed, along with all of our other lines, to really tire teams out, and make us chase them all night.
    Hopefully the defense will show up against Carolina as well.

  18. MatttheHabsFan says:

    TC has posted a link to a top 100 a few posts down. Definitely an interesting read. Gainey and Carbo are both ranked quite highly (although I would probably have put Carbo a little lower). Kirk Muller also makes the list.

    Alex Kovalev ~ “I still have four fingers left”

  19. Hockey11 says:

    There is no game tonite.

  20. Batalla says:

    Great list. And, like was said in one of the comments on that site, it’d be pretty easy to create another list after that. Maybe someone should compile a Top 100 since this is the 100th season? I wonder if Gainey or Carbo (featured here: http://habsbros.blogspot.com/2008/10/what-would-you-do-with-cup-carbonneau.html) would make that list?

    Also, I agree with Prax. How can Tom the Bomb be out of the lineup tonight? He’s been solid so far this year.

  21. secretdragonfly says:

    As requested –

    As I’m sure most hockey fans are aware this season marks the 100th anniversary of the Montreal Canadiens.
    In honor of the occasion (and because I’m also a Canadiens fan) here’s my listing of the top ten Canadiens of all time.

    10. Bernie Geoffrion: Winner of the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year in 1952, a two time Art Ross winner as the league’s leading scorer and winner of the Hart as league MVP in 1961 and played on six Stanley Cup championship teams in the 1950s. “Boom Boom” played much of his best years in the shadow of Rocket Richard and thus never got the full credit he deserved for his great career as a Hab. His innovating use of the slap shot made him the second player in NHL history to score 50 goals.

    9. Ken Dryden: 1971 Conn Smythe winner, 1972 Calder winner, and a five-time winner of the Vezina trophy as the league’s top goaltender, Dryden backstopped the Canadiens to six Stanley Cups in only 8 seasons, losing only 57 times and posting 46 shutouts in 397 career regular season games, posting a stunning .790 winning percentage and a career GAA of 2.24. His critics claimed he had it easy playing for the Habs dynasty of the late 1970s, but to a man his teammates say otherwise, praising him for providing the strong goaltending which helped them win four straight championships.

    8. Larry Robinson: Two time winner of the Norris trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman, the 1978 Conn Smythe as playoff MVP and played on six Stanley Cup championship teams. “Big Bird” was the stalwart of the Canadiens defense corps in the 1970s and 1980s. He could do it all: score, hit, fight and play a strong two-way game. His plus-minus rating of +120 in 1976-77 is second only to Bobby Orr’s single season plus-minus record of +124 and holds the record for most consecutive seasons in the playoffs with 20, 17 of those spent with the Canadiens.

    7. Patrick Roy: A three time winner of the Vezina Trophy, Roy won the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP twice by carrying two average Canadiens teams to the Stanley Cup in 1986 and 1993. “Saint Patrick” was also a six time all-star prior to his bitter departure from the team in December 1995. During most of his ten-plus years with the Canadiens Roy was their only superstar, and compiled the bulk of his regular season and playoff victories records as a Hab. His innovative use of the butterfly style of goaltending was widely imitated and is now the standard style of goaltending in the NHL.

    6. Doug Harvey: The first defenseman to win the Norris trophy as league’s best defenseman seven consecutive years (only Bobby Orr matched and broke that record), Harvey was the pioneer for the rushing defenseman. He played on six Stanley Cup winners in Montreal, including the great dynasty of the late 1950s, where tremendous skating and passing ability helped the Canadiens win five consecutive championships, using his skills to control the pace of the game. He was also an outspoken critic of the hockey establishment and with Detroit’s Ted Lindsay helped to set the stage for the eventual formation of the NHL Players Association.

    5. Howie Morenz: A three time winner of the Hart Trophy and a frequent scoring leader, Morenz was considered pro hockey’s first true superstar, called “the Babe Ruth of Hockey” and “The Stratford Steak” during his heyday in the 1920s. He used his great overall talent, especially his speed, to rack up impressive goal totals (including a 40-goal season in 1929-30) in an era of restricted forward passing. Morenz’s tremendous abilities would carry the Canadiens to three Stanley Cup championships before his premature death in 1937.

    4. Jacques Plante: Winner of the Vezina Trophy six times with the Canadiens, including five in a row from 1956 to 1960, a member of six Stanley Cup winners and the Hart Trophy as league MVP in 1962, Plante was not only a major component in the Canadiens “five in a row” championship dynasty in the late 1950s, he was also a goaltending innovator, particularly in the use of wearing a mask to protect his face from injury. Few goaltenders in NHL history have dominated that position as well as Plante did during his years with the Canadiens.

    3. Guy Lafleur: Three time winner of the Art Ross and Pearson trophies, two-time winner of the Hart as league MVP, the 1977 Conn Smythe winner as playoff MVP and a member of five Stanley Cup winners, Lafleur was the straw that stirred the drink for the Canadiens in the late 1970s, carrying them to four straight championships. During that time he was the game’s undisputed superstar, thrilling crowds with his end-to-end rushes, his blazing shot and dazzling play-making. The image of Lafleur in full flight with his blond hair streaming in the wind earned him the nickname “Le Demon Blonde” in Quebec. Long after his retirement Lafleur still remains among the greatest and most popular players in Canadiens history.

    2. Jean Beliveau: Winner of the Hart Trophy twice, the Art Ross as scoring leader in 1956 and the first winner of the Conn Smythe in 1965, Beliveau played on a mind-boggling ten Stanley Cup championship teams during his career, captaining the Habs to five of those championships. “Le Gros Bill” was the forerunner of big, smooth-skating , talented forwards like Mario Lemieux and was an inspiration to future Hab Guy Lafleur. Beliveau carried himself with class, dignity and confidence throughout his career, earning him the respect of teammates and opponents alike.

    1. Maurice Richard: No player was or is as beloved as Richard. “The Rocket” came to symbolize the Canadiens, playing with ferocious skill, speed and determination which powered the Habs to eight Stanley Cups. He was the greatest goal-scorer of his era and became the first player to score 50 goals in 50 games in a season, a record which stood for 37 years until broken by Wayne Gretzky. It was in the playoffs where Richard shone his brightest, setting league records for regulation goals, game winners and overtime goals which would not be broken for decades, making him one of the great clutch playoff scorers of all time. Richard remains to the day the true symbol of the franchise.

  22. Ian G Cobb says:

    This is exactly the best fit with Koivu, Tanguay and Latandress, If kept together, this line will be one of the best lines in the league.

    It will take Andre K. a game or two to push the Kovalev, Pleks line up to last years solid play. They will stay together this year also.

    Lang, Higgins and Sergie K. will develop into a solid 3rd line if given the time together. Once they get the chemistry down pat, no team”s 3rd line will be able to keep up. So this line should draw the most penalties in the league.

    We have 4 solid guys to round out the 4th line and are able to change momentum of any game with there hard work and tenacity.

    Our kids on the point will have the seasoning in a few months to round out a solid 7 men.

    Two great kids in net that will push each other all year long as they acquire experience in this league.

    And finaly, Guy will be coach of the year.

    After the new year, this team is going to start to show why we are going to be in the finals this year.

  23. Fer_hab says:

    Can anyone copy and pase the top 10 list please. I don;t have access to that site from work.

    Finally we have our full line-up projected lineup.

    Latts-Kap C-Tanger
    Lil Demon-Langer-Higgy
    4th Line rotation.

    The only weak point so far has been our TEAM D.

    I don;t know about you guys but Jay Boumeester would look very very good on our team as a Top 4 D-Man.

    What do you guys think it will take to get this UFA out of Florida.

  24. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Tough to pick 10. Who do you leave off to make room for Georges Vezina or Henri Richard but how do you leave them off? I’d have to include Henri and his eleven cups. No one will ever touch that record. One of the goalies, other than Plante, would have to go. I’d say Roy due to the fact that a lot of his success was recorded elsewhere.

  25. Prax says:

    Eric Engels suggested something interesting on Hockeybuzz…

    Sit out Breezer and O’Byrne and put Dandenault next to Bouillon as the 6th d-man.

    I like it tbh, Dandy’s worked hard this season so far and he should be rewarded, not sat out.

    then basically the battle on the 4th would be between Big Georges and Big Steve to go on Lapierre’s wing along with Tom the Bomb.

  26. G-Man says:

    Hey SlovakHab, Pleks will get his points. His frustration was showing by the end of the game Saturday. I think that’ll give him more ammunition for Tuesday against the Canes. BTW, it is his work ethic that got him to where he is.
    I’d like to have Mikko,too, but I think Saku will join his brother in Minnesota before Mikko comes to the Habs via a trade. He is the Wild’s franchise player right now. Gaborik is , well, Gaborik. Who needs a whiny injury-prone guy like him?
    Even after Saturday’s performance, I still believe in the D we have. It’s way too early in the season for a blockbuster trade. I also don’t think any team is willing to give up a Bouwmeester, Beauchemin or Robidas right now, either. Does anyone on this site think that the GMs of other teams have given up (besides Toronto)and are willing to throw every player they have overboard?

    2008/09 is the season of the Habs

  27. DD says:

    Carbo sat Komisarek out for the last part of the game, probably because of the mistakes you mentioned. Too bad that rule doesn’t apply for Brisbois because he was brutal all night. I counted at least 7 bad turn-overs in our end during the game directly attributed to him.

    BTW I don’t usually bash Brisbois, so please don’t put me in the “you guys” category, but as I said, I thought he stood out like a sore thumb all night.

  28. SlovakHab says:

    Fellow Bulldog Matt D’Agostini has been on a fire lately (10 points in 7 games)

    We seriously have depth, considering he’s probably an NHL player and deserves a shot, however, he may not get a chance this year unless we have some serious injuries or a trade.

    Speaking of trades, I hope BG will pull out a couple of good ones this year. We all know that we have depth up front and a shaky defence. No mention to goalies, they are just fine as they are.

    We need a 4th D-man and I would like to see Bouwmeester, Beauchemin or Robidas, or…. traded for a couple of forwards we have abundance of. There is heaps of options, we could trade TTB, D’Agostini, Dandy, Begin.. God knows we love them all, but we can’t play them all..

    There were many rumours about a possible trade with Minnesota. Well, we can agree we probably don’t need Gaborik, as he’s too injury prone, not a huge team guy, and we already have mid-sized goalscorers on the team etc.

    One player I would love to see traded from Minnesota to MTL is Mikko Koivu!
    He would keep his brother happy on the team for another 2 seasons, he is a good centreman, still hasn’t reached his prime, fast, can score, doesn’t shy away from the physical game. !IF! they don’t establish chemistry on Pleks line this year, I would not mind trading Pleks and Kostoupulos for M. Koivu and reuniting Lang with Kovy.

    I know many of you love Pleks and will bash me, but I just wanna have a little debate here:
    Did Pleks overachieve last season?
    Is he particularly great in anything?

    This is just a fantasy talk here – something for a debate. I quite like the team as it is now and only wish for another quality defenceman.

    Peace Out.

  29. DD says:

    I understand that it can be hard to pick the top ten Habs of all time, but I think to exclude the Pocket Rocket is criminal. Scotty Bowman said his drean team would have been a full team of Henri Richards.

    The guy could skate like the wind, never quit and has 11 rings to prove it. One for each finger including his thumbs and extra one to do whatever the hell he felt like doing with it. (Get your mind out of the gutter, Lee Hayes)

  30. 24 Cups says:

    I know it’s a little late, but here are some observations on Saturday’s game, a contest that I attended in person.
    – Halak seemed very awkward and uncomfortable, he was fighting the puck throughout his stay in net
    – Habs bounced back but then the Markov-Tanguay blunder was game over
    – the phantom Kovalev penalty makes you wonder why we bother to have two refs on the ice
    – poor Brisebois had one of the worst shifts in recent memory,just brutal
    – the entire Hab defense was terrible, even Markov. This was much more than Brisebois’ sub par performance. Everyone was guilty as charged as far as I’m concerned.
    – the Getzlaf line outmuscled the Habs all night long. They intimidated us. The point stated by Krob (see below) about Laraque was well made. All that I would add is that Carbo (as well as Laraque) has to rethink the best utilization of this player. We still got our butts kicked physically, even though we had a heavyweight in the lineup
    – seeing the game live gives you a totally different perspective on how plays unfold and the true value of what players bring to the team. In person, you really get to see how special Tanguay is – shades of the Flying Frenchmen no doubt. On the other hand, at least for this one specific game, you could see the limitations of Higgins and Komi
    – in the end, the Habs didn’t utilize their speed and skill which allowed Anaheim to dictate the terms of the game. On this given night, the best team won.

    Going for the Brass Ring – 25 Cups in 100 Years

  31. likehoy says:

    time to trade lats when his values high for ovechkin while his values low!

  32. Habsrule1 says:

    Breezer was not the only one to make mistakes. You guys see what you want. It’s almost laughable sometimes. I saw Komi, who I love, make 3 glaring mistakes, but all I ever read about is Brisebois.

    “I can’t hear what Jeremy(Roenick) is saying because my Stanley Cup rings are in my ears” – Patrick Roy

    Go Habs Go!!


  33. Habsrule1 says:

    Valid points Mike! They are both excellent. I think it’s a matter of personal preference at this point.

    “I can’t hear what Jeremy(Roenick) is saying because my Stanley Cup rings are in my ears” – Patrick Roy

    Go Habs Go!!


  34. MikeMcLaren says:

    I trust Bob Gainey’s judgment 99%

    The other 1% is Brisebois. Once Patrice retires, that number goes up to 100.


  35. DD says:

    For the life of me, I don’t understand why Carbo decided to go with Breezer over O Byrne against the Ducks, now that the Cube is back. (Who had a great game, BTW) I was totally surprised to see him dressed Saturday. The Ducks are an inherently a tough, physical team to play against and it was obvious to me that Patrice was way over his head. He made several errant passes due to the solid forechecking by the Ducks forwards, he coughed up the puck on numerous occasions due to this pressure and he took a cheap hooking penalty in our zone because of his ineptitude.

    O Byrne would have been better suited to play this style of game, where as, the Breezer was brutal all night. I can understand using him against softer, offensive type teams, but Saturday he stuck out like a sore thumb.

    I understand that Brisbois did have a good play off run last year, but that does not mean he should get the benefit of the doubt, night in and night out this year. In my opinion, he should be used as a stop gap and play occasionally and to give others D-men a rest once in a while.

    This game has lead me to the conclusion that we need another solid top 4 defenseman. I love the play of the Cube and Georges, and think that they make a solid 3rd pair, with O Byrne subbing but Hamrlik needs a dependable offensively minded counter part.

    I’m willing to bet that Bob Gainey is looking for someone as we speak.

  36. MikeMcLaren says:

    These cross-generational things are so difficult to figure out.

    What happens if you put Dryden in a time machine and give him Roy’s equipment and the 80’s/90’s team in front of him?

    What happens if you throw Roy in a time machine and give him Dryden’s equipment and the 1970’s team in front of him?

    Like you, I still think Roy would put up better numbers. Not saying that Dryden would be a “mere” Brian Hayward or anything.

    And how does Jacques Plante fit into the whole picture?


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.