Wassup with brother Andrei?

• Dave Stubbs probes the enigma that is AK46

The system focuses on D

• James Mirtle on Gorges and Gill

• Robert L and Chris Boyle on the impact of losing Markov

• Robert and Chris break down Game 2 goals

• Jean-François Bégin on the shot bombardment

• The influence of the Bell Centre’s Seventh Man

• Roy MacGregor on Kris Letang

• Jarred Friedman finds a pretty cool Habs mash-up

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88 Comments

  1. Chris says:

    What I don’t understand with Sergei is that he is every bit as effective as a guy like Tom Pyatt.  They are both young, good skaters and defensively responsible.

    When Pyatt makes a mistake, it doesn’t come back to haunt him.  When Sergei makes a mistake, even after you would think he has seemingly earned a longer leash with much better play in March where he was engaged in the play and working hard (even when the point totals weren’t showing it), he’s banished back to the pressbox or nailed to the end of the bench again.

    I just don’t get it.  It is clear as day to me that Sergei Kostitsyn is ALREADY a better player than Tom Pyatt and carries a lot more potential to boot.  Yet he is the one that we are giving up on. 

  2. Fansincebirth says:

    This chatter about SK in the dressing room is somewhat reminiscent of last year and all the BS soap opera stuff that went on in the dressing room.

    How timely is when we are in the middle of a playoff run for this to be reported in the press!

    What friggin’ garbage this is and of course, only in Montreal friends….

     

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

  3. zamboni says:

    Thanks Chris and twocents for excellent back and forth that touched the most relevent points of the borthers situation, much more enjoyable to read your comments than most posters who follow the herd.

     

  4. StrungOutOnHabs says:

    I just want to say that i want to shake the hand of whoever made this video. So often people use cheesy songs for the videos but the song used in this video, called ‘Mission Statement’, is one of my favorite songs by the band Strung Out. I love the habs, and I love Strung Out! Wish the Bell Centre would play good music like this!

  5. twocents says:

    Confidence can be a very tricky thing to nurture. One strong game in this series could lead to another and a good performance in the playoffs can be a watershed moment in a player’s career in terms of confidence. I’m hoping for that sort of turn of events.

    Just looking on the bright side.

    As far as Sergei goes, it breaks my heart to see his kind of talent unfulfilled here. I think he has made some mistakes, and has been given chances, but still it is clear that Martin is not taking full advantage of him with his approach. A clash of personalities, that are toxic to each other. As someone said today, it may have been you, this type of thing happens every year on nearly every team with certain players. I just wish it wasn’t with a player who possesses such a well rounded game, my favourite types.

    Guys like him and Lats are victims of the coaching change. Just as Ryder, Perezhogin and Grabovski were for the last one. There’s always a price to pay with change. Losing that threesome I can stomach. And Lats, while I find unfortunate, is understandable. Sergei is a real waste and his brother will be too if it comes to that.

  6. pic1983 says:

    Jacques Martin is not good with young players.  Its a very fair statement. Look whos performing for us right now, all vets.  Not one developing player is actually getting better with the exception of Subban, who spent the whole season with Guy Boucher being prepped for The Show.  D’agostini, GONE! Pouliot had a hot start, but started to trail off when the going started getting tough, and Martin cant get him out of his funk.  Paccioretty? Gone back down to hamilton with shattered confidence!  SK and AK? Invisible.  Theres a trend here, and we cant always put it on the players. 

    Ill give Martin a lot of credit right now because we just knocked off washington in 7, and stole home ice from pittsburgh, but Guy boucher is the future coach of this team.  If we are ever going to get out of this seemingly eternal mediocrity we now find ourselves in, were going to need a coach who can work with, and develop young players.  If by some Miracle (and it will be a Miracle) we manage to win the cup this year, just remember that it proved nothing other than that were a team who got hot at the right time, and got EPIC goaltending (which is how weve won our last 2 cups).  This organization still has major flaws, and theres a lot of work to be done before we become perennial contenders. 

     

  7. Chris says:

    SK74 has known that he is gone at the end of the season since before Christmas.  Jacques Martin clearly gave up on Sergei Kostitsyn, and Sergei Kostitsyn has probably given up on the team. 

    It is pretty the same story as Guillaume Latendresse’s departure from the team.  There is no big drama to be had here…this type of stuff happens all the time in professional sports, and it IS a two-way street. 

    Sergei was playing some of his best hockey of the season post-Olympics, but still found himself in the doghouse or out of the lineup all together at the first sign of even a minor mistake.  That is not the way to cultivate a young player.

    Sergei bares some blame, as do the coaching staff.  We heard nothing but glowing praise from everybody’s favourite next coach, Guy Boucher, when discussing Sergei Kostitsyn, so he clearly isn’t “uncoachable”.  Perhaps just uncoachable by Jacques Martin.

    And if that is the veteran leadership that we’re getting in the dressing room, “confiding” in a journalist knowing that the story is going to leak, then the Montreal Canadiens definitely have some issues moving forwards.  Because that is complete and utter BS to be pulling that crap.

    If you’re going to pop your mouth off about a teammate, do it on the record for the world to see.  Otherwise, keep your mouth shut and worry about your own game.  Because other than Brian Gionta, Josh Gorges, Jaroslav Halak and maybe Tomas Plekanec, there is not a player on this year’s team that gave anything close to a consistent effort this season.

  8. Fansincebirth says:

    I just think AK would respond better to more work vs benching…..

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

  9. showey47 says:

    If you going to play the blame game you can also say. What was darche doing losing puck that was won on a faceoff right to him,what was maxwell doing letting his man talbot get behind him. Obyrne didn’t get the puck or the man,he needs to get at least one. Blaming ak is for the goal is dumb,there were 3 other players who failed to do their job. I find it odd that sk was benched (and has been in the pressbox ever since) for a goal where he was the only player who was in the right position.

  10. notbigbird says:

    I have my opinions, which I am not prepared to die for. :)  However, when Stubbs or Hickeys confirm that players are saying what they’re saying, I’ll believe. I pretty well agree with the gist what you’re saying btw. No real argument here.

  11. twocents says:

    Pouliot was hitting and doing everything better during his first 3 months here. While we know having an unsustainably strong performance after a call up or trade is not unusual, the length and consistency of that performance is beyond what most players experience. All this is to say that I think the mental part of his game, which has been hinted at as his biggest challenge, seems to have caught up with him again. He has the chance now and over the next season to overcome it. If he does, I think he can play a strong, very well rounded game, if he doesn’t, he’ll be a career 3rd liner or worse. I think he has all the physical and instinctual tools to succeed.  

  12. Chris says:

    I couldn’t agree more about his problems being mental, although I do think that he needs some technical work as well.  He has speed, soft hands and a big enough body to be a force at the NHL level…maybe not an elite scorer as was originally hoped based on his high draft position, but certainly a very effective complemetary player.

    Pouliot has seemingly struggled at every level to put together the ingredients that he so clearly possesses.  His last OHL season, the year after he was drafted, was good but not outstanding for a player of his talent.  His AHL career, much longer than you usually see for a top-5 draft pick, was similarly mediocre.  As you said, that nice run he had when he arrived in Montreal was too long and too solid to be a fluke:  he definitely has the ability.

    Confidence seems to be a big part of his issue.  When he started to struggle a bit after that nice run, you could really see his play spiral downwards.  In that, he is certainly not alone as confidence issues seem to have claimed a lot of the promising young players we have had in Montreal in recent years.

  13. pic1983 says:

    Ok calm down, this is supposed to be a DISCUSSION board, no reason to start calling people idiots.  The media are the ones who truly made the whole AK benching about that ONE goal.  Therefor, people who get all their hockey info from sportscenter, will regurgitate that message. In reality, other than the big performance in game 2 (?) against washington, he just hasnt been doing anything, and not even playing defensively responsible at least.  Seeing as we are playing a 5-man defensive system at the moment, AK just isnt fitting in.

    I agree with the posters who have said that we are not using AK to his talents, but based on the current circumstances, theres really no other choice.  If we really arent going to use the 4th line, i would dress metro between AK and SK and limit their minutes, rather than have maxwell and darche out there.  At least if were down in a game, and we need to amp up the offensive pressure, we can put that line in to try to generate some additional offense. 

    Than again, Martin is getting results right now, so who am i to question….

  14. bostonantifan says:

    Having “the heaviest shot on the team“, and the fact that “he is also a great stick handler, body checker and passer” is totally irrelevant! It’s not that he doesn’t have the skills/talent, it’s that he doesn’t put in the effort needed to be even a good player, much less a great player. He’s good enough talent-wise to play for Martin, it’s just that he doesn’t work hard enough to play for him.

  15. TrueRivalry.com says:

    hahahaha well said!!!

    —–

    http://www.TrueRivalry.com

    Twitter: @truerivalry

  16. Chris says:

    I agree that he is hititng…I just don’t see his hitting technique accomplishing much. I’m not one of those guys who is big on the players trying to kill each other on the ice.

    But if you are going to throw a body-check, you should be aiming to do one of two things: separate the player from the puck or remove the player from the play. Too often, Pouliot hits somebody, bounces off them (often falling down himself) and then has to chase his mark who continues on having neither been tied up along the boards nor knocked down.

    Pouliot has thrown some nice open-ice checks during his tenure in Montreal, but I think the coaching staff need to work with him (and Pacioretty, from what I had seen of him while he was up with the team) on positioning their body during their bodychecks along the boards so that they are more effective.

  17. Chris says:

    I agree that he had a great rookie season.  And Yeats, who seems to follow the Division I hockey more than anybody else on here, was certainly impressed with him during that season. 

    I still think he can be a good player, but I don’t see him having the hands for a top-6 scoring power forward.  Hope I’m wrong!

  18. KenD29 says:

    Popgun 46… pissed?! Sure, maybe “pissed” after having many Smirnoff’s. This guy, along with his brother, have the talent but lack what it takes between the ears!

    Maybe they can get a couple of cases of Smirnoff for the two of them in the off season!

    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  19. bostonantifan says:

    You’ve got to be kidding! They never had a chance to play together? What does that have to do with them both having terrible attitudes, and putting in virtually no effort? The players are supposed to play for the team, not the other way around. Maybe if you have a Gretzky, or Mario Lemieux, you change the system, but not for a couple of 3rd or 4th line wingers who have done nothing with this team. You’re acting like they have actually done something in Montreal. They don’t deserve to be given a chance to do anything. They need to earn the chance!

  20. B says:

    Pouliot is still hitting, his 20 hits so far in the playoffs leads all Habs forwards. I do think he could go to the net more though.

  21. habsguy says:

    Respect?????? he neebs to earn it first,  how does he do that,  by leaving it on the ice!!!!!

  22. B says:

    Pacioretty’s 15 goals and 24 assists in 37 games as an NCAA rookie was pretty impressive. That was only two seasons ago. I would not give up on him yet, perhaps he was just pushed in to the NHL too early?

  23. ed lopaz says:

    Habs hockey = Smart hockey we work as a team, and we win as a team. we play 5 man defence – not just 2. we play with energy, we play with Subban in Markov’s place (for now) – Pk could have been with us since the Olympics, but nevermind that

    Francois Gagnon reported that HE HIMSELF WAS TOLD BY HABS PLAYERS IN THE ROOM.

    gagnon was interviewed by AM 990 from 8;00 to 8:30 this morning – here in montreal.

    report is true.

  24. DAVE. N says:

    We went through this last year…remember a kid named Grabovski?   If memory serves, JM was NOT behind the bench…Was Latendresse this year, and no one can say that he never was given a chance! Laps is an FA, and I think he just started to figure out that he may not fit into next years plans, and now is the time to play for a contract.

    There seems to be a prima donna attitude from some players..I’m certain it happens on every team. Once the player has been drafted and played in the minors for a while, there is a sense they’ve paid their dues, and that whatever they bring to the table, is acceptable.. (what got them there, is enough right?)

    As for a coaching change, wouldn’t hold my breath on that at the start of the year. Habs are already paying Carbo for his contract, and would have to pay JM as well.. I can’t see the orgnization paying three head coaches on the books, with 2 of them no longer with the organization. JM is a coach, not a baby sitter. These players are paid an exceptional amount of money to be professional hockey players, and should be coachable and approachable to perform in the manner best possible for the organization that pays them. Alot of the Poor SK/AK stuff just doesn’t wash. I get it, about how you handle people but lets remember these are not children we are talking about, but professional athletes.

    IMO

     

     

     

  25. habsguy says:

    Played more often ?????????? you’ve got to be kidding,  how much do you want to lose by???

  26. terrygain says:

    Moen’s not a 4th line player. Lapierre does not carry the puck or pass well enough to be anything but a 4th line player, except on a team coached by Martin. 

  27. ed lopaz says:

    Habs hockey = Smart hockey we work as a team, and we win as a team. we play 5 man defence – not just 2. we play with energy, we play with Subban in Markov’s place (for now) - Pk could have been with us since the Olympics, but nevermind that,

    I think that if the coach isn’t fired this summer

    The idea that the coach will be fired has also left the station.

    Boucher will need to be handled carefully, but this group of habs is clearly responding to JM, so why would we change anything except the 2 Tits sisters.

    Clearly, the sisters should be playing in the KHL where they could make a ton of money and not be scrutinized for their work ethic.

    AK is NOT kovalev.

    Kovalev made people miss. He created his own time and space.

    AK is a pure sniper who needs a good centreman to feed him.

    same attitude as Kovalev – agreed – but different players.

     

  28. habsguy says:

    Come on man,  He has no interest in playing,  you could see that when his man (Cooke) if I’m not mistaken walked away from him and scored the first goal,  he has the talent and speed to burn players like Cooke if he wanted to,  as far as attacking,  Gio,  Gomez, and Cammi are always attacking,  so don’t blame JM’s system!!!

  29. habsguy says:

    heres hoping he’s sitting in the press box beside his brother!!!!

  30. terrygain says:

    AK has the heaviest shot on the team, but he is also a great stick handler, body checker and passer. But he’s not good enough to play for  Martin.  

    SK will sign an offer sheet with another team. AK’s trade value has been destroyed by Martin. This dumb coach didn’t play 20 until the 5th game. 20 and 79 were superb together. That turned the series around.   

    Your insults are tiresome Ed.

  31. B says:

    What was O’Byrne doing on that play? Should he not have been aware of Cooke coming down on his side? It looked like A.Kostitsyn was covering the D man who was beside him on the face off and O’Byrne got caught too far to his left as the play developed. Does all of the blame on that goal really fall only on A.Kostitsyn?

  32. ed lopaz says:

    Habs hockey = Smart hockey we work as a team, and we win as a team. we play 5 man defence – not just 2. we play with energy we play with Subban in markov’s place – could have been with us since the Olympics, but nevermind that,

    you say:  two ways to look at every situation and that JM doesn’t exactly nurture the younguns.

    do you know what is being said about SK and Ak in the room.

    according to reports this morning, from reporters who have interviewed Habs players, SK does not care.

    I really think that many posters here should give the coach a little more credit.

    the real warriors on this team are giving everything they’ve got every shift.

    that means that the room is healthy and the team is playing as ONE UNIT.

    why should the THE TEAM or the coach change or adapt to what SK or AK need?

    SK will not be on this team after this season. AK sulks when SK sits – which makes AK useless.

    The Habs Hockey =Smart Hockey IDENTITY has left these 2 guys way behind. They missed the train and now it has left the station

  33. AndyF says:

    AK46 has the talent, to be sure.   We used to also see him deliver some pretty bone-crushing surprise body-checks.  And then came “The Hit”.   He hasn’t been the same since.  

     

    I feel sad about this, because he could have been a very effective forward.  There are not a lot of hard-hitting snipers in the league.  Hartnell, Fisher, and a few others come to mind, but not many more.

     

    Here’s hoping he gets his act together soon…

     

    AndyF

    http://andyfroncioni.com 

  34. terrygain says:

    Get a clue. We’ve explained to unobservant people like you what happened on that play –  5 people were at fault for that goal, plus the coaching staff, but idiots like you want to put it all on one player.  As  for JM’s system, his soft trap means we play in our own end and we don’t win unless we get miraculous goaltending.

  35. habs001 says:

    good points…maxpac has never experience any type of scoring success at any level of hockey…in his last 6 years of hockey he has scored about 60 goals(if you score 10-15 goals in high school,junior and college that does not indicate you can score in the nhl beyond 10 goals a year)..  

  36. 24 Cups says:

    Sergio – I meant Paciorcetty.  I don’t think he will ever be a top flight player but he could be a good complimentary winger with size who could add some sandpaper to a 2nd or 3rd line. 

    I’ve always liked Lapierre.  It’s a bit of a mystery why he played like crap this year when it should have been a time for him to shine.  He’s much better in the playoffs so that has to be a good omen.  He’ll never to a top six forward but I still think he can be a good secondary player on the wing or at centre.  If we can’t re-sign Metro and Moore, then Laps may have to be a full time centre.  All the guys in Hamilton are small and offensive minded.  Maxwell is also an offensive minded pivot.  White was a centre in junior but will probably be a winger in Montreal.  Moen, Laps and White might be a decent 4th line for us next year.  Laps never passes the puck but that’s OK seeing that it’s a 4th line.  We might also be able to get a good PK combo out of that line.

     

  37. kempie says:

    Agree completely on all points but the fact is that watching AK struggle (and even sometimes when he succeeds) is a frustrating experience. Like really frustrating. SK has been given a raw deal no question since his return. I wish AK could understand that most of us really do want him to succeed but I think he gets bombarded with “you suck Kostitsyn” from the fans and the press. With his language issues, it’s pretty sad that those are words he no doubt understands by now. 

  38. terrygain says:

    Here’s hoping you get a clue.

  39. Seppo says:

    Thanks man ! I couldnt believe it this morning when i saw my video on front page of HIO, OMG! Strung out out is one of my favorite band since 1995 too !  I wouldn’t mind hearing  song like Ultimate Devotion or Mind of my own at Bell Center.

    Anyway being in Qc City i cannot go there so often :P

    Have a nice game, and may the habs prevail.

    mok@habsolumentepic.com

    _________________

     www.HabsolumentEpic.com Habs blog in french with custom picture that fit Habs news.

    *currently closed until we find new blogger*

  40. Ton says:

    he has been patient with pouliot, he has had offensive players on his team that were more offensive minded, heatley, spezza, alfredson at the start. i think he wants these two guys to play hard, they haven’t right?

  41. Corio says:

    Awesome video!

    AK46 is lost and not sure what it will take for him to find himself.  He needs to get pissed and play with some heart, he looks timid and lacking confidence, he is hurting the team most shifts when he is on.

  42. Le Jadester says:

    It’s hard to chirp JM right now because he’s getting results.  Question becomes, how much longer can we sustain this rolling of 3 lines business.  Can we do it for another 2 and a half series to hoist a cup ?  The odds are probably against us but anything can happen. Either way, a deep playoff run means nothing without the Cup IMO.

    The brothers have never been given a chance, firstly, to play together this season (one and a half games this season – correct me if I’m wrong) and secondly to thrive in a system that suits their strengths (i.e. attacking).

    Say what you want about the whole matter but I believe JM/PP and the AK /SK relationship has been broken and mostly due to the fact that JM has the power do to what he wants.

    IMO I would favour JM’s system in tournament (i.e the Olympics) as opposed to the playoffs which is obviously a much longer haul.  Abandoning players at this stage of the game perhaps may not be the best policy to follow in the long run.

    I guess we’ll have to wait and see how things play out.

    Habs OLE !

     

  43. Hammer says:

    Talent with no heart does not get one far. I refer to the K brothers. Maybe this is why SK was drafted so low, it had nothing to do with a lack of talent. Maybe this is why AK dials it in every second game, his fourth line status is not from a lack of talent. Could you imagine how good Doug Risebrough or Mario Tremblay would have been with Ak’s talent and their heart? If a player who is making 3mill a year can’t get up for the big ones, what is the use having him, regardless of talent? Personally I thought this would be a breakout year for both K’s , but injuries, missing busses and plain ineptitude have dealt them a cruel blow. When both these jokers are going full bore, they definately make the Habs a better team. When they are boat anchors you might as well cut your loses and trade them for whatever you can get. The Habs need the cap space.

    Many of use dreamt about making the NHL, but it was only a dream, can you imagine of being there, and not giving a sh**?

  44. G-Man says:

    1-dimensional players lose when it counts. See “Ovechkin, Alex”.

    Pretty much every forward needs to learn how to backcheck and fight for the puck. AK46 is inconsistent. He’s young. However, after a full season of JM, you’d think he would pick up cues from Gionta, Pleks, Cammy and Gomez on how to play. He’s been a major disappointment this season despite his injuries. There’s no apparent focus or drive. He only looks interested if he scores early. If not, he may as well take a nap, because that’s how lazy he looks.

    I wouldn’t trust AK and SK on the 4th line for a shift. It would probably cost the Habs a goal. And, in the playoffs, every goal is huge.

  45. Chris says:

    AK46 quite simply does not fit with whatever system Jacques Martin is trying to instill.  He looks completely and utterly befuddled out there right now. 

    SK74 is gone this summer.  He is an RFA, and there is simply no way he and his agent are not going to ask for a trade out of Dodge, given Martin’s reluctance to play him.

    Pacioretty might work out, but I’m not holding my breath for a scoring winger anymore.  A third-line Moen-like player is more my expectation out of him at this point.

    And I am completely and utterly unimpressed with Pouliot.  For a big guy, he hits about as hard as Gionta or MAB…he is almost always the guy that ends up on his rear end. 

    Colour me unenthused for the future of these guys in Montreal.

  46. notbigbird says:

    The coach has only one method of dealing with players — banishment. One shoe doesn’t fit all sizes. JM may or may not be good with systems, but I don’t think he’s any good with people. On top of that, you can’t always pound a square peg into a round hole, and far be it for JM to change the shape of the hole. I’m not saying that’s it’s all on JM. Clearly that would be silly, but I do think there are two ways to look at every situation and that JM doesn’t exactly nurture the younguns.

  47. Shublips says:

    Well said!  These two guys—and Andrei in particular—seem to be really moody.  AK46 seems to be a guy that responds to gentleness and not biligerance.  JM’s stylo has been to berate or demote these guys seemingly without talking to them.

    I don’t think Andrei responds to that.  He is not the type of player who will take a benching or diminished playing time motivation to work harder.

    No, he is the type of guy who sulks, when benched, and plays without any passion in subsequent shifts.

    I think, as a coach, you have to know how to push buttons on different peoiple by using different styles.  If there is one major drawback to JM, it is that he tries to use the same style for everyone.

    That dog don’t hunt.

    Habs Addict.com http://www.HabsAddict.com on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Habs-Addict/293450486615 on Twitter: http://twitter.com/HabsAddict on Hockeybuzz.com: http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blogger_archive.php?blogger_id=137

  48. Shublips says:

    AK46 reminds me a lot of Kovalev.  He has a boatload of skill but just doesn’t seem to have the consistent focus or drive to put it all out there night after night.

    Most nights he looks like a floater.  Moreover, he looks lost out there.  He looks like he doesn’t know what he should be doing.  I think that Jacques Martin’s D-first system does not mesh with his natural playing style.

    He is not a defensive player and seeing him back check, while great, does not look natural to him.

    Just like with his brother Sergei—who Martin seems to despise—I think that if the coach isn’t fired this summer, then both of the brothers will be shipped out of town.

    Will he be the next first round draft pick that we get rid of only to become a potent scorer somewhere else?  I think it is very possible.

    Habs Addict.com http://www.HabsAddict.com on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Habs-Addict/293450486615 on Twitter: http://twitter.com/HabsAddict on Hockeybuzz.com: http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blogger_archive.php?blogger_id=137

  49. Chris says:

    I agree. I think AK46 is one of those players that has added bulk unnecessarily in an effort to become “stronger on the puck”. The result is that he has lost some of the explosiveness that he had when he was younger.

    I think that the added bulk is part of the reason he gets off to such slow starts…after a couple of months, he is probably getting closer to the weight he should be playing at and can start to use his speed more effectively.

    Of course, the knee injury probably didn’t help things.

  50. 24 Cups says:

    My thoughts on AK46 are well known.  However, the fact of the matter is that the Habs desperately need three of their four young players up front (AK46, SK74, Pouliot, MaxPac) to blossom into solid, scoring top 6 wingers.  We really don’t have anyone down on the farm (White is a checker) and Kristo is quite a few years away.  Like it or not, we need a couple of these underachievers to mature and step up.  Next year is Andrei’s last chance in Montreal as far as I’m concerned.  If he fails again, then he goes in another Lats type trade.

  51. TrueRivalry.com says:

    I see some comments comparing AK46′s bad year to Pleks last year… but correct me if I’m wrong… we have not seen an all-star year YET from aK46. I think we have to acknowledge the fact that he will never be a superstar here.

     

    http://www.TrueRivalry.com

    Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/truerivalry

  52. habs001 says:

    ak46 was allways the first off the ice when playing with plecks in the playoffs…he was done in less than 30 seconds…most of the time in those 30 seconds he looked lost like a first year player…no excuses for him …pouliot had his best game sunday in the playoffs but not sure why we think he is a top six forward based on a 34 game hot streak he had when traded…the jury has to be out on him as he did not produce in minnesota and now in his lat 25 games not producing here….there have been many players who have a hot streak and even a  big season but revert back to what they really are…

  53. nickster13 says:

    His problem is he barely speaks enough english to communicate with his teammates, and hes also a few pounds heavier than what he needs to be. He is also not playing loose

  54. Chris says:

    Yep…I think that there is definitely more to it than just lethargic play, because that particular bug infected just about every Hab player for significant periods of time this season.

    As you say, I don’t think there is much value in speculating and fabricating, but I do wonder how much it has to do with the publicness of the Sergei-Martin clash in pre-season.  Martin does not strike me as a guy who likes the team’s dirty laundary escaping into the public eye, while Sergei strikes me as a intensely proud player that had a hard time getting over what was a very humiliating demotion to Hamilton.

    Ah well…like you said above, it pains me because Sergei is a player I think the Habs need to nurture as he could be a crucial building block.  But I think that we are unfortunately going to see another player lost to the KHL or, worse yet, to another NHL team.

  55. adam76 says:

    The 15 extra pounds sure aren’t helping.

  56. Ton says:

    they are big time tight, nothing wrong with that, whether its connected or not they are underperforming. i will say the team needs their offense. how do you ignite them?

  57. Fansincebirth says:

    Andrei is our new Kovy, tons of talent but shows up only once in a while….soon to be followed by little brother.

    So sad to see that much talent going out the door at the end of the season.

    Hmmmmmmmmm, a thought….I think players like Sergei and Andrei need to be played often and the more they play, the better they are. The more they are benched or watching from the press box, the more sullen they get.

    Whatcha think?

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

  58. coachdoug says:

    Clay…I agree that everybody deserves respect.  It is amazing to see everyone dog pile on Benoit since he is in a slump. Hero to zero in a few games.  Happened to Plek last year and all the “former professionals” on this site were calling for his head.

    The missing ingredient we do not get to see is the practices and locker room.  Even at the youth level a lot of the locker room atmosphere gets carried onto the ice.  Unless you are there it is hard to know what is going on for real.  So we will only see the on-ice performance.

    I personally would love to see these guys get their form back.  Both are unbelieveably talented.  We need them now as our offense chugs along with minimal production, saved only by the Habs awesome defensive play.

    “Save us Turtleneck Man…We need you now more than ever!”

  59. 123456 says:

    yes TV timeouts are planned. there are three and they each occure at the first whistle after a predetermined time (like 6, 10, 14 minutes into a period). there are other restrictions.. i’m guessing but i think a timeout will NOT happen if any team is shorthanded and also not after a goal and not after icing

    secret mod

  60. Ton says:

    made the team, under performed, sent to minors reluctantly and behaveed like a child, brought back (chance, given new life!), under performed again. Honestly do you think these two guys have helped our teamed in the playoffs. Answer the question honestly. Have you seen them in the corners, ho heart. They have been inserted in the line up!? Another chance! Plenty of them.

  61. avatar_58 says:

    AK46 just needs to find his groove thang. The speed and accuraccy of his wrist shot….WHY can’t he do this more often? There’s no way Fluery would stand a chance.

  62. coachdoug says:

    I have a friend in the Canes organization who told me they have a certain number of TV timeouts per period and they manage those based on the play and calls of the games…i.e. the glass breaks or regular stoppages.  He said except icing it can happen at any stoppage the officials decide and tell the on-ice refs.

    “Save us Turtleneck Man…We need you now more than ever!”

  63. Clay4bc says:

    When did SK get a chance? JM has had it out for him all season.

    __________________________

    “Peoples will only be truly free when the last king is strangled by the bowels of the last priest” Francois Laignelot -

  64. punkster says:

    It’s the nature of the blog Clay. Some feel the need to play God, or at the very least GM, behind the shield of anonimity here. Like the fools who started the pi–ing match over Halak/Price last night. No need to belittle either players or posters.

    I’ll admit to being disenchanted with the Ks for some time, like since September, but at this point I’m hoping JM plays them tonight or Thursday. While I’m tired of hearing people go on about a player who has “potential” I’d like to see these players actually deliver consistently or at least try. If they don’t, sayonara.

  65. habs-hampton says:

    There are 3 scheduled each period (except overtime). They are to occur at the 1st whistle after 14:00, 10:00 and 6:00 left in each period, unless the stoppage is for an icing call.

    I think I have my facts correct.,

  66. 24 Cups says:

     

    It’s only a small point, but I noticed something interesting about the “timing” of Sunday’s game.

    Near the end of the third period, a long shift was concluded by a Montreal icing. All of the Hab players were gassed, especially after having killed off some penalties. A minute later, a two minute television commercial break stopped the game. I remember thinking that the timing was absolutely perfect for our exhausted players. It seemed to go on forever.

    That led to a few questions. Are these television timeouts planned in advance? Is the team privy to when they will occur? If so, shouldn’t a coach keep that in mind and include it as part of his game plan? Especially a coach that dresses the full line-up of players but only uses a short bench throughout much of the game?

    Here are a couple of good articles from the Toronto Star concerning tonight’s game.

  67. Ton says:

    something is wrong. i think he’s out of shape, he cant get to pucks quick enough etc or based on the close relationship with his brother he’s striking and there negotiating their way out of montreal. too bad, these guys could have taken us over the top, you cant have missing links at this time of the year.  what does JM do, he actually needs their offense. he has given them a chance to produce!

  68. Clay4bc says:

    Wow, open season on AK here – and we’re supposed to be Habs fans. With fans like this, who needs the Leafs fans? How about we cut this man some slack. maybe he just doesn’t have what it takes – and that’s no reason to belittle someone. Remember everyone – this is someone’s son.

    And to think…if someone calls out Price (for example) for his piss-poor play, there are a legion of zealots here to defend him. But for Andrei, no one says a word in his defence. Has Price proved more than Andrei? Who not treat all players with respect, instead of just your favourites?

    __________________________

    “Peoples will only be truly free when the last king is strangled by the bowels of the last priest” Francois Laignelot -

  69. twocents says:

    That’s why it’s clear it’s a personality clash. You also have to wonder about things that have been said and done that we are not privy to. You have to wonder. You don’t have to speculate and fabricate, but the situation does suggest there’s more than meets the eye. Just because we aren’t privy to stuff doesn’t means it hasn’t happened or is insignificant.

    Regardless, I feel pretty sure that if it were a different personality mix whatever has transpired could be resolved more fruitfully.

  70. RJ says:

    While this piece focuses on his lazy defensive work (gently trying to chip the puck out of our zone) he should be equally criticized for his offensive play which is brutal. He is afraid to go into heavy traffic areas choosing instead a wrister from inside the blueline or a skate around the net only to lose possession before making a play. He is lazy and must go along with his brother.

    “My face is my mask,” Gump Worsley

  71. Habs_Juve says:

    He’s been doing nothing for so long that I almost have forgotten about his Game 2 hat-trick at Washington.

    And he has 6 points in this postseason. All scored in games 1, 2 and 6.

     

    MD

     

  72. pmaraw says:

    1 and 6 were important wins….

  73. Sbah Reverof says:

    What’s the mystery? He’s hit paydirt and now plays hard when he feels like it, which is about 30% of the time.

    The same could be said of a lot of NHL players, but he happens to possess an amazing skill set, which is all the more annoying.

    “Enigma” solved.

     

    “I respect your opinion, but you’re completely wrong!”

  74. SlovakHab says:

    If we manage to package the brothers for a good top-6 RW with size in the off-season, we could actually have 2 solid scoring lines. 

    ***

    In other news, ‘Wassup with Jaro & Ovie‘ (reposting from other thread)

    ***

    Found on a Leafs thread:

    Kadri could = Kane , Schenn = Seabrook , Phaneuf = Keith , Kessel = Hossa ,
    Kulemin = Sharp , Stalberg = Byfuglian , Sjostrom = Kopecky , Bozak = Brouwer , Grabo=
    Versteeg, Gunnersson = Hjalmarsson , Kaberle = Campbell , Beauchemin = Johnsson
    Mitchell = Eager , Komisarek = Sopel , Caputi = Ladd, Hanson = Bolland , Irwin = Burrish
    and no match for Orr. That leaves Giggy = Neimi , Gustavsson = Huet (we def win the goalie
    pairings), So that Leaves Jonathan Toews, ummm…could Didomenico or say Dale Mitchell
    turn out to be the guy or does Burkie find a way to land a guy with similar stats to Toews’ 76 games , 25 goals, 43 assists, 68 points and 47 penalty minutes 6′ 2″ 209 lbs 22 years old, 1st pick 3rd overall ,born Winnipeg Man, Canada……..His stats, 65 games, 20 goals, 37 assists, 57 points and 42 penalty minutes, 6′2″ 229 lbs 24 years old, 1st pick 3rd overall, born Welland Ont, Canada. His Name : NATHAN HORTON.

    Beware of the powerful Toronto Maple Leafs, they are 1 Nathan Horton away from being as good as Chicago Blackhawks!!

  75. Habs_Juve says:

    LOSERS!!!!!!!!!!!

    MD

     

  76. alestar says:

    We will be lucky to get some mid-round draft picks for them…

     

    XXIV…and counting

  77. pmaraw says:

    WOW!!!  Nathan Horton = cup run in toronto!!!  You could do this with EVERY team…  just cause they play the same position doesnt mean they matchup…

  78. coachdoug says:

    AK46 where art thou?  This guy could be a power forward times 10 if he worked hard. His wrist shot is a thing of beauty. He is Lucic with skill and talent.  Sad that he does not seem to get the message.

    Unfortunately he is my son Luc’s favorite player starting back to two years ago on the magic AK47 line. When we went to the Bell Center for a game this year he bought a framed player card with AK46.  Guess I’ll be replacing the card next year.

    “Save us Turtleneck Man…We need you now more than ever!”

  79. Harani says:

    You know what? Jacques Martin is never gonna do it but I would try the Kostitsyns with Metro. If he’s only gonna use them for a minute, he can basically make anyone sit on the bench and play only one minute.

    And if anyone has the hands and raw ability to score among “4th” liners, it’s AK46 and just for that, he’s worth having on the bench. And I REALLY think this could work. Am I just being delusional? Does someone understand my logic?

    “I gotta feeling…that tonight’s gonna be a good night!”

  80. pmaraw says:

    no it works, the biggest knock on ak was letting cooke just skate around him, it was a play they discussed quite a bit before the game.  if he learnt his lesson, i believe they could be a wild card line!

  81. habs-hampton says:

    agree, and if somone get injured or tossed, you have a player that can be moved to a higher line.

  82. 123456 says:

    idk why but i agree, darche or maxwell will not produce. why not use metro with th ebroths K as the fourth line and play them two shifts in teh first to see what they do. if they know upfront their play will dictate their icetime then maybe they will play well. not that this is a new philosophy but sometiems it takes people a few (many) times to get it.

    secret mod

  83. Habs_Juve says:

    Of course they were, but he’s floating and carrying the puck for just a moment too long.

    MD

     

  84. The Cat says:

    Hes not an enigma, its not surprising that he sucks, its all Ive ever seen out of him anyways. What does he bring to the table that MAB doesnt?

  85. habsguy says:

    LOLOLOLOLOLOL..”if they know upfront their play will dictate their icetime then maybe
    they will play well”,  that is actually pretty funny…LOLOLOLOLOLOL,  if SK doesn’t know that by now,  I really doubt he ever will !!!!!

  86. habsguy says:

    Oh,  so you should give him the chance to do it again !!!!!smart!!!


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