Walking wounded are skating

Patrice Brisebois
Cleared for action

The Gazette’s Pat Hickey reports that defenceman Patrice Brisebois and forwards Steve Bégin and Bryan Smolinski were on the ice at Canadiens’ practice today.

Brisebois is the only one cleared for action. He’s available for the game against Tampa Bay at the Bell Centre tomorrow but probably won’t be dressed as coach Guy Carbonneau said he’d like to stick with the lineup that won two games in Florida and lost a heartbreaker to the Rangers.

Bégin will be ready in a week or two. Smolinski says he’s ready, but Carbo indicated the veteran would remain on the shelf for two to four weeks. Cristobal Huet will make his fourth consecutive start in nets.

More details here from Manny Almela at canadiens.com. 


  1. madmat411 says:

    keep them benched as extras. the team is doing fine without them it seems. especially Breezer. leave gorges there. he has proven to be pretty good, lapierre is showing he deserves a spot and sergei is amazing, so who needs the others?

  2. jrshabs1 says:

    It’s time for the breezer to leave the ice and move into an ambassador role. His time has passed and the team is better when he doesn’t dress. Patrice, if you really love the Canadiens like you say you do then step down and give some of the younger guys an opportunity to play everyday.

  3. G-Man says:

    With the abundance of bodies getting healthy again, it’s time to stop having D men playing forward. I know both Dandeneault and Streit have played reasonably well, but so could most of our youngsters in Hamilton. Dandeneault plays forward while Ferland (defensive specialist)waits in Hamilton and Chipchura waits upstairs. Granted, Carbo wants responsible forwards; it’s just that they can’t all play like Gainey and Carbo used to.

    Should be a fun one tonight. Huet should sit. He has trouble when he plays more than 3 in a row. The first game of 2008 begins at 7:38P.M. Be there or don’t show up!


  4. Leclerc1965 says:

    They say this because they would rather see him there than on the ice.

    “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” – Ben Franklin

  5. Leclerc1965 says:

    Send him to the press box

    “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” – Ben Franklin

  6. Lee Hayes says:

    TommyB, you beat me to it…Chelios, the very moment he decides to hang um up! Of course that could seriously be 3-4 years away.

    Go Habs Go

  7. 24 Cups says:

    Makes perfect sense to me. If O’Byrne comes back (and there are no more injuries) then we should keep Smolinski because he can play all three forward positions, kill penalities, and win faceoffs. He can play on the fourth line or be a sub. Which means Brisebois would have to be bought out. The chances of getting through the next month without another injury are slim so we may not have to cut anyone. Fine by me. Just keep letting the kids get the majority of the icetime.

    The Original 24 Cups

  8. mbplekfan says:

    Smolinski’s experience is needed in the playoffs. He understands what it takes to win, and we certainly cant do much in the post season with a team full of rookies.

    You need veteran players to settle down the youngsters when things get sportier.

    Or Bob decides to trade away the expendable vets for draft picks and take the kids into the playoffs and aim to be better next year.

    Either way I’m okay with it as long as Breezer retires.

  9. sidhu says:

    Smoke and Brisebois unfortunately are not needed on this team, as demonstrated by the team’s recent play and the logjam on the roster. Here is what I envision as the lineup, assuming all are healthy (aside from OB):

    (Kosto, Smoke)


    IR – 0’Byrne

    If a forward is injured, Kosto can jump in. If a defenseman is injured, Dandy can move back and Kosto can take his spot on the forward lines. In either case, Smoke and Brisebois are not needed. In fact, they will only hurt us in that they will count against the cap even if they sit in the press box.

    The more difficult situation arises when OB comes back. It may mean Gorges loses his spot, though that would be somewhat unfortunate since he’s been more than passable with Cube as our 3rd pair.

    Yes Smoke has a no-movement clause in his contract, but I think he would rather waive it than sit in the press box. As for Brisebois, he should retire – he got what he wanted, he wasn’t boo’ed out of Montreal and he can retire a Hab. All considered, that’s not too shabby.

  10. nightmare_49 says:

    Everything comes down to a stat. What a laugh.

  11. Rightwing says:


    All I can say is you totally lose all respect. How brave to sit behind the keyboard and wish other humans harm because they don’t satisfy your standards for play! It says a lot about you, rather than the players.

  12. P St. Pierre says:

    It is nice to see Carbonneau not changing his lines, simply because some veterans are coming back. The younger players have played much better than the other guys. I will not shed a tear if Smolinski and Brisebois don’t play another game all season. I love Begin on the fourth line and killing penalties, but I realize he is also pretty expendable.

  13. HABZ 24 says:

    the team seems to have more speed with the new young gunns,smolinski and breezeby would only disrupt the chemistry now.

  14. Sulemaan says:

    Agreed. We would need someone stronger to coach our current young defencemen (Markov, Komisarek, Georges, O’Byrne) and our future ones (Fisher, McDonough, Subban, Yemelin, Carle, Valentenko).

    Since Patrice wasn’t that great as a defencemen (defensively speaking) why on earth would we want him teaching our defencemen bad habits? Someone like Robinson, Bourque or even bringing Jacques Laperriere back would be good options I think. From a coaching perspective, this is where there is a whole on the team right now in my opinion.

  15. Smart Dog says:

    Not sure about needing Slowinski in the playoffs…his points-per-game and plus-minus are both much worse in the play-offs. His shooting percentage is worse too. Not exactly a clutch performer.

    Be happy! At least the FUTURE looks bright!
    Plekanec, Higgins, Komi, Chips, Lapierre, O’Byrne, K1 &K2, Price

  16. mbplekfan says:

    Breezer should retire, or agree to be waived, smolinski will be needed if we make the playoffs.

    plus we cant move smolinski without his permission.

  17. TradeRyder says:

    You said it all.

    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  18. TradeRyder says:

    Better than looking at Ryder! Of course it’s better than looking at any of you! If she was on our team I could care less about the score…. well, for 1 game maybe.
    Too late to trade Ryder now!

  19. Barts says:

    Smolinski and Brisebois should stay injured.

  20. TommyB says:

    Agreed…what would Breezer bring to table as a defensive coach with no coaching experience? Seems to me the common thread at least on this blog over the last year has been how we have no experience behind the bench.

    I do think you can take a player straight out of retirement as a player and put him on the bench as an assistant, i.e. defense coach….but with all due respect, Brisebois would not be high on my list. If it were my decision to make, I’d wait for Chelios to hang ’em up and then go have a talk with him.

    It was clear to me during the celebration a short while ago with Detroit in town, that Chelios still carries some pride in the time he spent in Montreal. This guy always competed, and this guy would bring what unfortunately Brisebois could not…..respect!

    I know….I’m dreaming. That’s why I said if it were up to me.

  21. CHsam says:

    I agree about Lapierre. You can tell that guy absorbed the message behind being cut last fall. We never know how the whole injury thing plays out so these young guns if not already are going to be super valuable if we do reach playoffs. Knock on wood.

    As for Huet, agreed with someone above about him being 50 game goalie. The guy can look so strong, but then shaky for two minutes in my opinion. There’s no better schooling than playing time for Price.


  22. TradeRyder says:

    Why do people keep saying that Brisebois should go behind the bench? Does he have coaching experience? If not… I don’t know about the rest of you but he doesn’t exactly instill confidence in me. Motivation is so key to success at this level. Would you want to be coached by someone known for having a high skill level but making lots of goofy mistakes in his own end?

    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  23. downeast hab says:

    Is it possible to lend Breezer and Smolinski to the Montreal Oldtimers for conditioning.

  24. TradeRyder says:

    Slowinski is just 1 year though right? At least there’s that. Can you buy-out a contract mid-way through the final year?
    Too late to trade Ryder now….shoulda listened!

  25. TradeRyder says:

    Guy21 – mostly I agree but I think you’re a little hard on Tom K…. although he takes penalties at the wrong time sometimes – and that totally sucks! Does anyone have good stats on Begin? Was he helping out in any areas especially – PK? Shut-down? In other words, is there any argument to put him back in?

    Ultimatley if we see Slowinski, Breezer, Dandy, and Tommy K as “contingency rentals” hopefully Bob sees what we all see – they are no longer needed. The youth movement has taken over the team and the fans would rather watch them grow (and take our chances) then watch these older guys (who we know all too well) do what they do night after night with oft-frustrating predictability.

    Hopefully Bob’s loyalty is to the team first (winning and improving), fans second, and individual players third. In other words – there’s no reason to play some of these guys. If we have to pay them to sit, we pay them to sit.

    Too late to trade Ryder now. Sigh.

  26. habfan53 says:

    If Gainey could unload Theodore’s 5+ million and Samsonov’s 3+ million
    I’m sure he would have no problem with Begin.
    I kept Smolinski BECAUSE of the no trade clause I don’t think T.K. has a no-trade.

  27. habfan53 says:

    Beleive it or not I think the key is Lapierre. He has to bring his spunk EVERY GAME something you know that Begin does,the one thing that nobody can acuse him (Begin) of is coasting.
    Lapierre will have to drop the gloves and not chid a player then back away as he did in his first game back.
    Your assesment of Gorges and Brisebois is right Patrice stated the year off much stronger but I think Jeff has come on lately and is playing a much more solid though not flashy game and WILL only get better.

    The problem is the numbers when everybody is back I think we are up to 24/25 players and I don’nt want to send either Chipchura or Kostisyn back to Hamilton.

  28. 24 Cups says:

    I don’t think we can ever forget the impact that the new collective bargaining agreement has on player decisions. Both Tommy K.($900000) and Begin ($1.3 mil) are signed for next year so to release them now would cost us money for this year and next. Plus we would have to pay a salary or two to replace them. They are both kind of expensive for depth players but I don’t see them leaving any time soon unless someone picked them up in a trade. Smolinski can’t be moved because of the no movement clause in his contract and I even wonder if he can be moved to Hamilton or bought out. I would think he’s here to stay too.

    The Original 24 Cups

  29. krob1000 says:

    I agree on some things and not others. I think your assessment is a pretty good take on the overall longer term picture but I don’t think things will work out like that for a while.

    Streit is so up and down…..sometimes you don’t notice him, other games he is great. I rarely if ever notice him negatively (as a forward). Dandenault is the most consistent of the grinders. He is never flashy but ALWAYS brings the same effort and focus every single game and he has speed, smarts and place a fairly hard hitting game. Kosto is the type of guy you want as a friend and maybe even as a teammate when things go bad. He often seems behind the play but has the heart of a lion……tough call until we get Lapierre ( I hear he can but have yet to see it) and O Byrne to start standing up for guys.

    Begin IMO is the most valuable of the missing bodies because if he is on he can be a very effective PK guy and is willing to make sacrifices (fight out of his weight class,block shots,etc). Begin has not been himself this year Nd I am hoping he just hasn’t lost a step. Chipchura is a rookie and I think sometimes we forget that with hima s his smarts and maturity are beyond his experience. He is not going to be hurt in any way, shape or form from a development perspective by sitting out the odd game and being a part of a taxi squad. I just don’t think Chipchura is as prepared as we believe on here. He is a rookie and to expect him to matchup against elite players already is too much to ask and he will likely see more time in the pressbox here and there unless Lapierre gets cocky again.

    Chips will be an everyday player next year but as long as this team is competitive Carbo will start looking for ways to get points and develop guys at the same time. IF that means a rookie playing 75 games instead of 82…big deal. Sergwi K…if he sticks will see a game or several from above as well.

    My point is that we have depth and it is a good problem to have. Not everyone is going to play and there is a pool of guys that know who they are that need to perform (give 110%…that is their role)in order to stay in the lineup. I think O’Byrne so far has done enough to stay and once he returns. Brisebois is not going to see much action but will act as a motivator for the young guys to keep up their efforts or know that a game ready vet will take their place. Gorges as of late deserves to play but early on Brisebois was the better of the two.

    I really don’t know what to say about Smolinski. Some games he looks good and other games I don’t know what he is doing out there. You know he has it in him…we’ve seen it for years but he doesn’t look right this year.

  30. showey47 says:

    the only downside of chipper having lapierre’s legs is that chipper would of probably would of been drafted much higher if he was a better skater. Hence we wouldn’t even have him.

  31. habfan53 says:

    RE: Acton I already corrected I meant Jarvis. Seems you and I pretty much agree on all other than Streit and Dandeneault but i think they can be interchanged as well

  32. Guy21 says:

    Habs fan 53-Not sure who you mean by Acton (put Acton upstairs)…Begin has the heart but not the wheels,Smolinski is on the down side of this career but has a no trade clause…Tom K is likeable but a dime a dozen and never wins a fight( just like Murray-willing but lightweight).Streit needs to stay up front Dandy can be cut loose also.Can skate but……

  33. habfan53 says:

    DUHHHH!!! I meant Jarvis (hell they coud be twins) Nah I blew There is no excuse

  34. hhl says:

    i would rather see brisebois finish the year in mtl even if he plays 10 games.we may need him in the playoffs.

  35. Vancouver Hab Fan says:

    Acton isn’t a Habs coach. He might even work for the Make me Laffs.

  36. Habs_008 says:

    I agree with most of what you said, except I like Kotstopolous better then Smolinsky, We need a play like Kosto, Smilinsky is a dime a dozen. I wouldnt quit on Begin just yet, we will prove his worth when he comes back.

  37. habfan53 says:

    Happy New Year everyone

    Here’s my two cents worth and even that might be over priced.

    The O’Byrne injury could not have happened at a better time for Brisebois it will give him a month to prove his value to the team. right now I think he is our #8 defencemen behind Streit. The most improved is Gorges who is playing well with Bouillon. If he can’t raise his level because Gorges and O’Byrne have raised theirs then I would hope that Gainey will go to his friend and suggest he retire and place him BEHIND the bench to work with the defencemen only, put Acton upstairs. I think this may even clear a couple of dollars for cap space which we may need at trade deadline.

    As for Begin vs Lapierre you should’nt lose your job because of an injury however I feel that is what has happened to Steve. The heart is there but the body is no longer willing again give him a couple of games but I feel that Lapierre can now fill is spot admirably as well as be an effective centre for Higgins and Ryder.

    That leaves Smolinski???

    So you have Dandeneault, Chipchura, Kotstopoulos, Streit and Smolinski.

    Dandeneault: has played well upfront all year probably realises there is no longer a spot for him on defence and knows that if he wants to play this is the only spot for him doe’nt make to may mistakes and is a solid 4th liner.

    Chipchura: He is part of our kiddie corps going to be around for awhile makes mistakes but seems to be learning from them (like Gorges and Komisarek before him).

    Steit: Number 7 on defence and in my opinion behind Dandeneault upfront His one saving grace is his shot on the PP but I think he can be replaced.

    Kotstopoulous: In my opinion the weakest of the 5. He seems to be our policeman but to often making the wrong play .

    Smolinsky: He will probably lose his job because of injury.

    4th line : Dandeneault, Chipchura full time
    Streit, Smolinsky in and out of fourth line /press box
    Kotstopolous and Begin (sorry Steve) down to Hamilton or given their release.

  38. Habs_008 says:

    actually we do care, no one wants him to play!

  39. notbigbird says:

    Huet is a solid goalie with great stats but he just seems to be missing that difference make gene.

    Yeah, I think that’s about it, or if he has it, he can’t sustain it for too many games. I think we’re all glad that we have him for now, however.

  40. linp says:

    I agree with you krob. The strength of our current team is speed. Lapierer has opened up room for Ryder and Higgins. He is also solid defensively. That line and our 2nd line should stay as is. When Huet is fully rested, he is still a better goalie than Price and should give us a better chance to win the next game.

  41. The Teacher says:

    No reason to make any changes, the work effort is there, so keep them as they are.

    Breezer ready…does anyone care?

  42. The Teacher says:

    ONE bad goal…not all..JUST ONE!

  43. TommyB says:

    Assistant coach at the Snooze…I mean, AllStar game! Wow, I’d do all I could to lose Thursday to ensure I don’t get to go. They should just canvas for volunteers.

  44. ZepFan2 says:



    Leave Gorges where he is and let’s say adieu to Patrice with a pat on the back and a boot out the door.

    Nice knowing ya’ Pat…everybody wave bye-bye.

  45. likehoy says:

    they’re selected on win percentage…TSN indicates that friday is the last day to pick coaches…paddock and babcock have clinched head coach…while the assistant coach positions are still within grasp.


  46. Revolution No. 9 says:

    Huet is a perfectly fine goalie on a team that allows 30 or more shots per game. What he can’t do, however, is play three games in four nights. It was generous to give him another chance to show that maybe he could do it, but I think the verdict now has to be that Huet is a 50-game goalie, tops.

    Giving Price the other 30 this year (and I’d possibly even do it again next year, even though Huet would never accept a 1yr deal) is as good a training regimen any 20 yr old goalie could ask for.

  47. krob1000 says:

    How does that work??? I don’t think I have ever heard how the coaches are selected.

  48. krob1000 says:

    Thanks 24!! I know it was a slip up…not the first time it has happened on here though lol.

  49. 24 Cups says:

    Ahhh, it’s Krob 1000. All the knobs are on the Lousy Leaf site!!!!

    The Original 24 Cups

  50. likehoy says:

    guys…interesting news…

    if carbo wins thursday night and NJ loses their next game…carbo gets to be the assistant coach at the allstar game for paddock…wouldn’t that be a little ridiculous??

  51. krob1000 says:

    What would be really nice is if you could put Lapierer’s legs on Chips body. I agree about Lapierre with the puck he is not the most talented but I think he is our best penalty killer and probably our second best forechecker. I did not like Lapierre last year and I was not unhappy to see him cut this year. Since his callup though he has deserved every second he has got in my opinion.

    Chips is far better with the puck and significantly smarter but he is a slightly below average skater in a league where his role is going to be to check teams best players…..that concerns me. Don’t jump on me yet …because I think Chips is a solid player but he needs to play a flawless game to be effective. He will score and can set guys up so for that reason he will enjoy a solid career in all likelihood. Right now though he is in a dogfight with a bunch of veterans playing the same role and another rookie who is outworking him.

    Huet being played again does not bother me as I am sure Price did not expect to have so many games under his belt by now so I am quite sure he is not too upset. I am sure he is not happy (nor should he be) but he appears to be as cool off the ice as he is on it.

    Good news VancouverHabsFan…..next year both Chips and Lapierre will be regulars and this won’t be a necessary debate anymore.

  52. 24 Cups says:

    I stand corrected but we don’t have to make a roster move as long as O’Byrne is hurt. If Brisebois, Begin, and Smolinski return we will be at the 23 player roster limit. That means three guys have to sit every game but that’s up to Carbo. Logic would dictate that Brisebois sits as the 7th defenseman and maybe get a game or two in down the road in place of Georges just so he gets his game legs. That would then mean that two guys would have to sit from the group of Dandy, Tommy K, Smolinski, Begin, and Lapierre. Once again, you could spread out the ice time as these guys are all basically checkers and penalty killers. I wonder if Montreal is trying to bring Begin back first so they only sit one forward and deal with Smolinski’s status later on.

    Personally, I’m not as uptight as some other guys about this development. Competition is good for everyone involved and I would rather have these guys around at the trade deadline instead of squandering picks or Hamilton bodies in order to get spare parts for a playoff drive. Just like the earlier thread on our youth, it’s finally nice to have some real depth in the organization.

    If we stay injury free until O’Byrne returns in six weeks then we will have a real personnel dilemma. You would have to wait and see how everyone is playing(at the time) but I think Gainey would have no choice but to face the difficult task of buying out Brisebois’ contract. It wouldn’t be a money issue but rather a diplomatic one of having to let an established veteran go, especially a man who has such a history with the Montreal franchise.

    The Original 24 Cups

  53. Vancouver Hab Fan says:

    Smolinksi has not played well this year and I would like to see him cut so as not to take time and opporunity away from someone younger with far more upside.

    Brisebois is insurance but I would like to see him ride the pine as much as possible for the balance of the year.

    Sergei K should not be sent down unless he strings together a number of terrible games. The kid as better presence than most if not all of the guys on the team, he is always in movement and stays in front of the net where most goals are scored from. There are too many forwards who go way to low or behind the opponents net on the Habs and it drives me crazy, how many passes have gone through the slot and then out of the offensive end from passes behind the net intended for guys who were also behind the next but should have been out front (this obvsiously means that team makes too many blind passes as well).

    Lapierre shows a lot of hustle but he is terrible with the puck. Bad passes, blind passes , etc. He looks like a kid playing novice slapping the puck around and chasing after it. I will acknowledge that he has made some good offensive plays but 90% of the time he has the puck I wonder how the heck he ever made the NHL or even got drafted. Why Chippy sat to play Lapierre is beyond me, Chipchura has made some bad plays but so as Lapierre and when Chipchura has the puck he looks in control and tries to make plays which is completely unlike Lapierre.

    Play Price…Huet lost the Rangers game. Huet is a solid goalie with great stats but he just seems to be missing that difference make gene. He can look all world and then let in the soft goal that kills the team, I just don’t get it with him. Price looked bad in his last start and has not played as great overall as I had hoped but teh Habs need to keep pushing is development because I would play Price in the playoffs.

    Go Habs!

  54. von says:

    Huet again??? After those terrible goals he gave up against NY? Then again, could be building up his stock for Bob 🙂

  55. N.B.habs fan says:

    Knob 1000,you are to funny lol,it is better to have that problem than not have enough D,I have been shoveling for 2 days and will be glad to see a good hockey game,but I have to work nights for 2 weeks and won’t get to see to many games,but when I get home I come on here tosee what has happened and it makes a big difference when you can read up on all this knowledge on here.Thank you guys for making my hockey more interesting…………

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