Will Ryder flourish on third line?

The Gazette’s Pat Hickey writes today of head coach Guy Carbonneau’s loss of patience with first-line winger Michael Ryder, who seems bound for the club’s third line tomorrow night in Buffalo. The hard-working Tom Kostopoulos was elevated to the first line in Wednesday’s practice.

Hickey also speaks to Canadiens goaltending coach Rollie Melanson, who speaks of the "healthy" competition between Cristobal Huet, tomorrow’s starter in Buffalo, and Carey Price, Saturday’s starter back home against Boston. 


  1. El Guapo says:

    Tu eres uno des dos cosas, un culo grande, o un pedaco de mierda, peude ser los dos.

  2. ClaytonM says:

    The strategy I’d go with is to not vote for the obvious competition for 2nd & 3rd forwards, so do not vote for Crosby, Sundin or Lecavalier. That will put Saku at a disadvantage.

    How the hell did Bryan McCabe make the ballot??? I’m torn between writing in for Komisarek and Hamrlik and picking McKlutz for sh*ts and giggles.

    We should also start a write-in campaign for Craig Rivet in the West.

  3. ClaytonM says:

    Too bad you can only choose one player who’s not on the ballot, or we could choose to vote for only Habs players and then former Habs from the West

  4. joe-hab-nuno says:

    would be interesting though, maybe he is the power forward we need :)
    could yoou imagine the forchecking bodychecks and trying to see opponent d trying to knock him out in front of the net.

  5. Chorske says:

    Heheh, we’re just messin’ round.

  6. joe-hab-nuno says:

    Nalia, i too like what you mentioned with Ryder-Freddy-Begin line.
    Chorske, yes we are winning, but why wait when or if things start going bad to fix the things we need now(hope things don’t start going bad :) ). I agree on sending Lats down and giving him a reality check cuz to me he seems like he things he’s a keeper in the bigs. I think hehas potential to be a good power forward but why not teach this kid what needs to be thought in the Ahl instead of dealing with his crap here for 1 1/5 season so far. Bring one of those kids that played well in the preseaon like Kost jr or Dagostini. I think lats need more time there then either these 2.

  7. J.T. says:

    I wouldn’t play Chipchura out of position when he’s doing so well. I’d rather make him the third line centre and play Ryder with him. He plays a simple, straightforward game that might inspire Ryder to try and do less.

  8. JF says:

    Naila, I like these lines. You could be right about Ryder and Chipchura. But to me the obvious thing to try first would be simply to switch Ryder and Dandenault. This would leave the fourth line intact, and I really like the way Begin and TomK work together. But Carbo often uses TomK on the first line near the end of a game when we need a gritty checker to protect a lead, and I guess that’s why he’s chosen him over Dandy. It could work if Kostopoulos parks himself in front of the net and tries for a tip-in or a rebound.

  9. GTC says:

    That bites dude. Same thing happened to me so I just used my initials. Nothing we can do we don’t have patents on names. Just pick another one. Could be anything. One guy DD used his cupsize.

  10. Scotty90 says:

    Krob… their system will probably only accept one vote from a particular IP!

  11. fuhgawz says:

    i’m with you on this one —- going to vote right now

  12. Chuck says:

    Why he’s not on the main ballot I’ll never know…

    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  13. krob1000 says:

    I am writing Kovalev in every time I vote too….and since we are slow at work today I have voted several times already.

  14. Scotty90 says:

    I think its great that the Spartan will be playing alongside Koivu and Higgins. The problem on the first line isn’t Higgins or Koivu, yes their production is down, particularly Higgins’, but I think thats’ as a result of Ryder’s lack of shots on net, lack of passing, lack of working hard along the boards and coming up with the puck and finally, being too fancy with the puck and coughing it up! Higgy and Koivu will benefit from having Kosto on their line. I am really looking forward to it.

  15. Chuck says:

    Well, now Brisebois has at least one vote! :)

    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  16. fuhgawz says:

    not in Saskatchewan —- we all talk ass backwards here

    To everyone who likes to correct …. thanks from now on i will do a better job.

    Go Habs Go ——-

  17. drecha says:

    I think Kovalev deserves a write in vote! Do your part!

  18. Chuck says:

    It’s actually “damn it”.


    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  19. Chorske says:

    Naila, I like those lines. I guess your lineup has helped me see the problem that Carbo has. He needs a winger on that first line, to take the pressure off Ryder so he can get his mojo back with great guys like Freddy and Begin. How do you replace him? You can’t bring someone up because you’d need to send someone down, and who do you send? Lats? Maybe, but it’s too early for that. What kind of message does that send? We’re fourth best in the whole friggin’ league and there’s no point upsetting the apple cart. We’re winning.

    But you need a winger on that line, and in reality your choice is pretty much TK or Dandy, and Dandy is a defensive forward, whereas TK is an offensive forward who brings his A game to every game. SO you go with TK.

    We’ll see how it goes. I was iffy about keeping Price up when Bob made the call, and see how brilliant that move looks now.

  20. fuhgawz says:

    dammit — they need spell check on here

  21. Chorske says:

    it’s ‘grammar’ :p

    😉 C

  22. GTC says:

    Thats a great point. Which guy do you think is Gretzky? Higgins or Saku?

  23. fuhgawz says:

    ok ok ok — did not come on here to practice spelling or grammer — but thanks for the tip

  24. Naila Jinnah says:

    Because they’ve got a whole bunch of individual players and no one to bring them together. Just wait for Baines to get back in there, I’m sure things will change. Also, maybe the guys are watching the big boys and thinking, why am I not up there instead of (insert under-performing forward of choice here). And that’s tough, not only on the ego, but also on the confidence and focus. As Rollie said, that’s Halak’s main problem, and you can bet other guys are thinking about it too…

  25. Naila Jinnah says:

    I think that Tom the Bomb could jump start things on the first line, but not for more than a few shifts. Instead, I’d have Dandy up there with Koivu and Higgins. My third line would have Begin, Chipchura and Ryder, because I think that Ryder and Chipchura could really work well together, especially with hard-working Begs to be tough in the corners. And on the fourth, Latendresse (because we all know he’s not going to be wearing a suit all game), Smolinksi and Tom the Bomb.

  26. TradeRyder says:

    Here’s a simple one for you hockey brainiacs!

    If Hamilton has such depth, how come they lose so much?

    PS: Trade Ryder

    Trade Ryder! Hope makes a good breakfast, but a bad supper!

  27. Naila Jinnah says:

    PS: Speaking of spelling, it should be “You’re right”.

  28. Naila Jinnah says:

    Except Freddy’s a centre. Like Saku. And that’s not going to change. I don’t think Kyle can perform as well on the wing… he’d have to completely change his style.

  29. Chorske says:

    Totally agree with your assessment of the Ryder situation. It’s being bollixed but when your first line is stagnating, you need to do something. And Carbo’s favorite ‘something’ is futzing with lines. *sigh* it’s cute when we’re winning but it won’t be so amusing when we hit our seemingly inevitable Christmas meltdown.

    The one thing I’d not do is tinker with that second line. They’re amazing to watch. Kovy is a man reborn. I was watching the replays from the Leafs game and was struck by how much puck support they give each other, how focused on the net they are, and how responsibly they pull back if they lose the puck in the offensive zone. It’s not so much backchecking / forechecking as simply being present and play-aware in the neutral zone.

    I hope that second line stays put.

  30. Habs_008 says:

    Good Call on the Laffs game, but i really want to blow them out one time, we are so much better then they are! Why dont we play well against them??? Carbo knows what he is doing. Let the man coach, lets see how they do this weekend before we judge too much. Ryder will be back, keep faith.

  31. fuhgawz says:

    LOL point taken —

  32. drecha says:

    Let’s also not forget that we had Aebisher as a “back up” to an injured Huet. Aebisher even got cut from one of the worst teams in the NHL, and is now in the Swiss league. You have to admit it was hard to watch Aebisher in net last year.

  33. 24 Cups says:

    When it’s all said and done, the Habs are off to a great start – much better than anyone predicted. What I loved about the Leaf game is that we came away with a victory on the road when basically the other team outplayed us for most of the game. We also won it coming from behind and with a goal in overtime from a guy who rarely scores – and on a breakaway. We also had a rookie in net. I see all of these factors as good omens. In the past, we would be snakebitten in these tight situations.

    My only major concern is our lack of proficiency on faceoffs. We lose possession of the puck too much which can be a problem for a team that is playing so many tight, low scoring games where one break here or there can be the difference between winning and losing the game. This baffles me seeing that the coaching staff is headed by former centres like Carbo, Muller, and Jarvis who all were great defensive players.

  34. fuhgawz says:

    lets not forget tho —— he was a -25 last season yes he scored 30 but that did not get us into the playoffs …..

  35. drecha says:

    I hope I am right too, One good season could be a fluke, but 3 consecutive seasons! Not a fluke!
    (Your welcome for the spelling)

  36. fuhgawz says:

    thanks for the correction on the spelling ……. and you know what I HOPE YOUR RIGHT about me eating my words …. that would be great ……

  37. Jay_in_PA says:

    I agree. Chips showed some nifty moves last game, and he might prove to be very interesting with increased ice time. And anyway, we know he won’t be a defensive liability.

  38. cautiousoptimist says:

    I just posted my long-winded defence of Ryder on the “Ryder seems likely for 3rd line vs. Buffalo” thread, but all that to say, give the man a break.

    And amen about the depth – our depth chart goes two lines into Hamilton’s roster for Pete’s sake. We could have put any number of guys in Ryder’s spot – from Kostitsyn to Grabovski to Latendresse (who unexpectedly impressed on the top line last year) all the way down to a d’Agostini, who was arguably our best player in training camp. He picked Kosto because he wants grit up there with two guys who can make plays and score, and because Kosto has made some surprisingly nice plays himself lately.

  39. drecha says:

    It’s Lecavalier, and relax man!! Ryder is more than just a shot. You do not get 85 goals in your first three seasons in the NHL if you are “just a shot”. He can hit and he can start and finish plays. Do not judge him on what he has done so far this season, he will be back producing on the first line and trust me you will be eating you words.

  40. Sulemaan says:

    Arguably we could have a better player on the top line instead of Kostopolous but at least he keeps working. He’s also pretty solid defensively and provides good defensive coverage for Koivu and Higgins.

    Personally, I wouldn’t touch the second line of Plekanec, Kovalev and Kostitsyn as they were fantastic against Toronto.

    I also like how Chipchura, Begin and Kostopolous play together. Our issue is that our first line isn’t clicking because Ryder is in a slump. Our third line (Smolinkski, Latendresse, Dandenault) is mediocre.

    Perhaps it’s time we called up Lapierre from Hamilton, now that Murray is gone. Have Lapierre, Grabovski and Gorges as the substitutes although I’d like to see O’Byrne get called up soon.

    I also agree with GTC – I’m glad the comments are back. I’m going to be in Montreal this weekend to catch the Saturday/Monday games. Looking forward to them!

  41. fuhgawz says:

    what is it with everyone and “Ryders Shot” if this is the only thing this player has he should obviously not be here on the first line on any team … there are hundreds of guys in the minors or elsewhere who also have a “big shot” – but frankly that is all they have. Lets face it folks Ryder is less then a one dimentional player …. no defense, no offense……. oh but wait he has a big shot — who cares .. everyone in the NHL today has a good shot. He is not a first line winger … not even close …… 3rd line ABOUT FREAKING TIME!!!! —– for those of you who say we have depth … look at our situation now. We have to move Kosto. to the first line to me that does not sound like depth …. we need to get another top scorer or at least bring up the young Kostitsyn who may actually add some fire power to this offense. Big shots do not win championships or scoring titles my friends …. all round players do (example Vinny Lac. in Tampa sorry i do not know how to spell his name so i am not going to try and butcher it)

  42. GTC says:

    Im just tickled pink by the depth on the team. Ryder is in what is arguably a slump no problem we have Nonstopoulos for the first line. If he doesn’t work they we have Dandy or Grabs or Begin. I think they should have given Murray a look on the top line too. He didnt get a fair chance
    And thank goodness the comments are back. I had so many important things to say and this is better than just pacing my room muttering them to myself. I hope you put the karma points back soon too because my ego is a little deflated lately and my cats arent doing it for me. I need a boost. And can we have some smiley icons too please I like those.

    Go Habs Go!

  43. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Excellent move by Carbo. Ryder will play with less pressure on him being on 3rd line. Kotsopolous provides toughness and is more than willing to go to the front of the net, not to mention provide much needed protection for Koivu/Higins. Well worth a try. I like it.

  44. krob1000 says:

    Kotsopolous works but I don’t know about playing him with Koivu and Higgins. Kotsopolous on his best day is no better than Ryder on his worst. Obviously there is a reason I only get to express my opinions here so perhaps Guy will prove me wrong….I hope so. Ryder scored 17 of his goals last year on the powerplay (which he hardly ever plays anymore). He is what he is and with this move I am starting to realize that his being traded is increasingly likely with every passing day. I saw Brett Hull (G.M.) last night say that Dallas is actively seeking a scorer to play with Modano……not to start any rumours because that was the entirety of his statement.

    Here is my solution…play Ryder with Pleks and Kovalev. As good as Higgins is he doesn’t see the ice all that great (Koivu is the best passer on the team though). Plekanec and Kovalev both have excellent vision and are extremely adept at drawing defenders and finding an open man. I understand that Kostitsyn has played very well and fit nicely with Kovy and Pleks but I think he is adaptable enough to play with either line. Kovalev and Plekanec are a two man show and Ryder could just as easily play with them. In fact it would give more opportunities to find space in five on five situations. With Kovalev and Ryder’s shots beng feared at the same time it would make for an interesting defensive matchup for opponents….even if they did cover those two Plekanec would just score himself. Kostitsyn could skate and think with Higgins and Koivu and there would be no insertion of a grinder onto an offensive line. Ryder is not a player who can create his own chances and to expect him to work out of his slump with Begin and Smolinski is absurd. He needs to work out of his slump on the powerplay…..score a fluky goal like Higgins did to break out his slump at the beginning of the season.

    This Ryder thing is the only negative situation facing the team and it has to be resolved soon. Koivu and Higgins have not exactly been lighting the lamp either and I think this controversy and issue may be partly to blame. They too are victims in this fiasco as it is they who have their line toyed with regularly.

    I support Carbo and the crew 99% of the time but I think this situation is being mishandled…..badly. What one dimensional scorer can possibly break out of a slump with Smolinski and Begin. I don’t understand why noone has knocked Smolinski’s lack of production on the powerplay. He has been great killing penalties and in his defensive role but he looks lost when they play him on the powerplay. He just immediately gets rid of the puck and poses no threat to shoot himself. He doesn’t even look at the net when he has the puck on the power play…..at least with Ryder the fear alone of his shot forced the oposition to move towards him and create space for others. I just don’t get it…….I honestly don’t get it. Oh well, we are succeeding as a team so I guess things aren’t that bad but every time I hear the name Ryder I get upset right now. He really hasn’t played that bad. He has done what he normally does and to take him off the powerplay where he is most effective does not help him, the team, or anyone. That’s about all I can handle discussing this as I am starting to type way too hard and probably have a red face right now.

    I would be a lot more o.k. with this situation if our record was reversed and we need to punish someone and Carbo was trying to make a point but up until this moving and benching of Ryder at least Koivu and Higgins were producing and Ryder was working hard and trying to expand his game. Now the sistuation is a distraction and is probably creating some tension in the locker room. I have noticed though that Ryder has never once been a jerk and made a statement even slightly implying that he is unhappy. Many,many, many players would not be taking this demotion and treatment the way he has so for that I commend him.

    For not shooting on breakaways I think they should skate his ass off in practice until he pukes or shock him every time he moves the puck to his backhand (or lack thereof) but for God’s sake don’t take him off off of 5 on 3’s and the power play and hurt the team.


  45. Habs_008 says:

    I agree with Julian, maybe lattes can play in the minors for a bit, he wont have to clear waivers. He needs to get his confidence back. Ryder will be ok on 3rd line for now. Let see what Tom can do on line one.

  46. fuhgawz says:

    if this does not work to get Ryder going where do we go from here? …. is anyone going to want a guy who’s game is “lost” – trade value is diminishing each game PICK IT UP MIKE!!!!!

    Thank god for the P,K,K line without them over the last couple games we would be as bad as the Laffs

  47. leafs67_andcounting says:

    If it jump starts Ryder…great, But Kostopoulos?..sure he works hard, but he’s hardly an offensive threat.

  48. Exit716 says:

    Seeing that they aren’t producing can we call the Koivu line the second line?

  49. drecha says:

    Ryder is simply a slow starter, there is not much difference between his start this year in comparison to last year. Let’s just be happy that the Habs are winning without his contributions, and look forward to how much better they will be when he returns to his usual form. He is a natural goal scorer that is simply in a slump, let’s not get carried away and start hitting the panic button too early. I am confident that Ryder will be back alongside Higgy and Koivu snaping one timers from the slot in no time.


  50. Piraba says:

    My question is why Kostopoulos is in 1st line? That doesnt make any sense to me. Why cant we put Latendresse there?

  51. drecha says:

    I am not sure I agree with Kostopolous on the first line either, but Carbs forgot more hockey knowledge than I will ever accumulate, so who am I to argue with him? I do think that Kostopolous is strong on the boards and can dig out the puck to set up Higgins or Koivu to finish. I certainly do not think that Latendresse would be the answer on the first line he looks lost out there. I think Dandenault would be the best fit, but again who am I to argue with Carbs?


  52. Habs_008 says:

    because Kostopoulos actually works and Lattes is LAZY, what has he done to deserve being on the top line? he is playing worst the Ryder. Lattes cant even skate!

  53. Scott in Montreal says:

    Part of why we think of Dandenault first is because he has been looking pretty good out there and making things happen –on the fourth line, however, where they are not likely to often be matched by the opponents’ most defensive line-ups. As you say, drecha, Carbo knows what he is doing. And perhaps it is his way of signalling to the team that they aren’t giving him a whole lot of options.

  54. J.T. says:

    Not so astounding. The Punch Line…greatest point-per-game line in hockey history…were all left-handed shots. I don’t think Dick Irvin, Sr. spent a lot of time trying to find a right-handed shot to round out the line!

  55. krob1000 says:

    Scotty 90

    Each time I vote and go back it allows me to vote again and I have a new verification number to enter. I would figure that if there was a once per day limit then they would not allow you to go back. Until the system stops me I might as well keep voting. I know for the baseball all star game and other vote in contests that they are usually unlimited and if not you will be prompted with a message indicating you can’t vote anymore.

  56. 24 Cups says:

    Oh no! I clicked on some of your profiles and I get the feeling I must be the oldest person on this site! Habs fan since 1959. (You haven’t lived unless you watched Jean Beliveau play – the consummate player in very respect). Anyway, I obviously revelled in watching the Habs win lots of Stanley Cups. And alas, I also painfully stood by our boys during the dark days of Rejean Houle. But trust me, the tide has turned. We are back and Carey Price will eventually return the Cup to it’s rightful place. Believe.

  57. JF says:

    I must be about the same age as you. Beliveau was my favourite player. I also revelled in all those Cups and have found the dark decade-and-a-half hard to take. But I think the dark times are over; we are heading for the light!

  58. krob1000 says:

    scott90 and everyone else
    I just read the all star voting rules…..says vote as often as you would like….you can even enter a draw to win tickets….as often as you would like.

  59. Scotty90 says:

    24 cups (and counting :)) there are a few of us old guys kicking around.

  60. Moey says:

    and old gals, I watched Beliveau play too, but it was towards the end of his career. But I agree, happy days ahead…we’ve turned a corner.

  61. nightmare_49 says:

    By the way, Kaz, Smolinski shoots right and Pirada why should we keep on promoting Lats for his lackluster play on the 3rd line and by putting Tommy K. on (RW) on the 1st line is to show Ryder how they want him to play while in a slump and the things he’s got to do to get out of it, get in front of the net and muck it up as he did when he was a rookie and he scored 25 goals and stop all this fancy BS, get down and dirty. “GRIT not GLARE”.

  62. Blitzen says:

    We should aim to try and vote Kostopoulos into the Al-Star Game.

  63. drecha says:

    I hope this is a JOKE!! You have to be an NHL player to be an All Star!!

  64. joe-hab-nuno says:

    hi everyone, this is my first post. I’ve been reading these posts for a couple of months now and finally gave up and decided to write and join in the fun.

    To start of i’ll just say what player has bothered me the most since he’s been here, and that is Lats, Roy was right on last year when he said the only reason he was here was cuz of his french heritage. If this guy was not good enough for the second line why do some ppl think he’ll be any better on the first. hopfully he’ll get sent down sometime soon, so we can bring in someone who is more deserving of being here.

  65. TradeRyder says:

    Anyone see the article in TSN about players that may be trade-ready?


    Question: if we could have ’em – who from this list do we most need?

    Trade Ryder! Hope makes a good breakfast, but a bad supper!

  66. TradeRyder says:


    From this list of possible available players, I’d take Afinogenov or Elias. Imagine Jagr as a hab!

    Trade Ryder! Hope makes a good breakfast, but a bad supper!

  67. Scott in Montreal says:

    Jagr eh? How much cap room do we have to play with again…

  68. TradeRyder says:

    I’ll give you two pucks.
    Trade Ryder! Hope makes a good breakfast, but a bad supper!

  69. A. Berke says:

    24 Cups:

    count me in too among die-hard Beliveau fans. I came to this side of the pond in 65 and been a Le Gros Bill fan ever since.

    Dave Stubbs:

    I had posted a long winged post at about 3 am this morning about Ryder, I know it was posted (I saw it in the temporary space) but now it’s nowhere to be seen. Was it canceled or just fell through the cracks during the transfer of postings? Just curious 😉


    Ali B.

  70. A. Berke says:

    Afinogenov would be too costly acquire although would be a nice fit. Patrick Elias has been around a while I would pass on him.

    My best (most sensible) pick would be Marek Svatos from the Avs. I saw him play, he can skate, hit, pass and most importantly SCORE. I don’t know what is his current contract is, but couldn’t be much higher (if at all) than Ryder’s.

    Besides Avs have that burning desire of trading for our players (incidentally Theodore is doing quite well this year and became their #1).

    Ryder for Svatos, in a heart beat.

    Ryder can not skate, hit, pass or deke. All he could do was to shoot and this year he doesn’t (can’t) do that either. I think he’s working hard but he’s like a misfiring cylinder, he’s playing catch-up to his line and to the opponents all the time. IMHO, Habs’ new (and fast) playing style is not for him. All this is dragging down Koivu and Higgins, that’s probably the major reason why they haven’t scored lately.

    Ryder can find himself again with another team and become a decent player too, but I think his time with the Habs is going to be over soon.


    Ali B.

  71. A. Berke says:


    If you’re not kidding me,

    Thank you!

    Ali B.

  72. Blitzen says:

    How many people would rather have last comments at the top instead of first comments? I think it’s a lot easier when posting during games for instance to not have the thread default back to the earliest post everytime you make a new post. I had changed that in my profile but I guess the option is gone now or I’m just not seeing where to change it.

  73. TradeRyder says:

    Hey Blitzen. I set my preferences to show the last one first… but it changed back. You should be able to set it. And yes, it’s foolish this way!

    Trade Ryder! Hope makes a good breakfast, but a bad supper!

  74. Blitzen says:


    I had found the preferences the first time around but have no idea where they are now. I’m guessing it’s one size fits all from now on.

  75. linp says:

    “OR we can put Steit on the first line AGAIN and let Georges play defence.”

    That is exactly what I said yesterday. I think Ryder’s problem is in his head. He is now half brain dead being in a pressure cocker. Watch one game in the box will do him good. He can wake up faster like that.

    It makes sense to play Georges more. He’ll get better. Steit can control the puck and shoot well. Since the first line has been giving up goal lately, he can help out the defense also. Lastly, don’t break up the 4th line. They are playing good. A line needs chemistry.

  76. nightmare_49 says:

    linp – Moving up Streit would probably be Option-B, and may come sooner than later, and would not screw up the lines much as Ryder would have to play (LW) though. If Ryder plays (RW) then Tommy K. would be his (LW) as he’s played that position with the Kings. I think Carbo is just showing Ryder that the way Tommy K. plays is the way to get out of the scoring slump he’s in. Play hard and play big and the goals will come. Gorges needs more playing time and Breeze and Streit are showing small signs that they don’t like the heavy hitting and are flinching more than usual. Streit’s value on the power play means that he can’t sit so i see him playing as a forward more in the future, he doesn’t hurt you there.

  77. G-Man says:

    It’s not just that Ryder is in a slump. His positioning has been terrible, as if he has no clue what to do. With a snap shot like his he has to be in the slot at the right time like Brett Hull. Higgins has been carrying the line all season and Koivu has run hot and cold. It’s time to say Pleks is the #1 center: he proves it with production.
    For all of those who want lazy ass Guillaume on the first line, keep dreaming. He has no work ethic, so time on the #4 may wake him up.
    For Afiniganov fans: just what we need, another tiny player. Gimme a break.

    Another important weekend for the Habs- the team must not only compete, it has to win. Go Habs!


  78. RetroMikey says:

    Michael Ryder, as I have always stated from Day 1 has not impressed me enough to be put on the top line with Saku Koivu and Christopher Higgins. A major disappointment along with Guillame Latendresse (send him down to Hamilton Bob!). Yes, he’s trying and improving his defensive game as well, but for how long will we h ave the patience? I have always recommended a second line of Kovalev-Plekanec-Kostitsyn from the beginning of training camp and this line whould be kept intact. But, if we have to, my solution would have to be is put Kostitsyn on the front line and replace him on the second line with Grabovsky. I can’t think of any other line juggling with our current roster. No, Dandeneault is not a 1st liner, keep him on the 3rd or 4th line, we need a sniper. Kostitsyn is a natural sniper and if given the opportunity on the top line, we’ll all be saying “Michael who”?

    “We will win the Cup only with Carey Price in the nets”

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