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» 2006 » October

  • Kovalev to Center 2nd line

    The Canadiens will be shuffling their lines a bit after being outplayed and badly out shot Saturday night against the Leafs.

    The biggest change will be Alex Kovalev moving to the Center position to play with his countrymen Sergei Samsonov and Alexander Perezhogin.

    This seems a bit odd at first but Kovalev would be quick to remind you he played center with the Rangers when they won the cup in 1994. Kovalev would also tell you he even played defense!

    Kovalev has a love hate relationship with the fans and coaching staff, he is undoubtedly extremely talented but there have always been question marks surrounding his work ethic. Kovalev recently took flak after slamming his stick on the glass and telling off the referee in Boston resulting in a game misconduct. Carbonneau was not impressed with him and his example as a veteran player.

    The newly crafted ‘Red Machine’ line was assembled to give Kovalev some more responsibility and get him ‘into’ the game more. As well as to hopefully get some more production out of youngster Perezhogin who up to now has not produced as much as expected.

    The third element is Samsonov, and his short trip to the doghouse seemed to wake him up a bit as he has put in strong efforts since. For the first time this year he is beginning to look dangerous.

    There is no doubt a lot of talent and speed on the line, but can anyone see Alex Kovalev winning defensive zone face offs? We’ll find out.

    The change also had to come after Tomas Plekanec blew his promotion to the second line.

    When Mike Ribeiro was traded to Dallas, Plekanec was expected to fill the void. Not only fill it – but stuff it. After all Ribeiro didn’t leave a whole lot to improve on. Plekanec has 2 assists and -3 record in 10 games. Unacceptable.

    David Abeischer will get the call again. There has still been no #1 established goaltender in Montreal but Abby is getting more attention than anyone would have thought at the start of the season. Is he playing that well? Or is this a showcase for a potential trade?

    This shouldn’t be a surprise, Carbo said from the beginning he planned on using both goalies extensively.

    Which Sens team will show up? The Sens have been turning it on lately , up until a loss to the lowly Bruins.

    After 10 games who would have predicted the Montreal Canadiens to have more goals than the Ottawa Senators?

    The Habs hold a 3 point lead over the Senators, and the longer they can keep above them in the standings the better their chances are down the road.

  • Habs and Leafs

    The Canadiens welcome the Leafs to the Bell Center tonight for their second meeting of the year.

    The Leafs are struggling defensively and will opt to start JS Aubin in nets over Andrew Raycroft.

    The Habs will go with Abeischer between the pipes who defeated the Leafs 3-2 earlier this year.

    Darcy Tucker is drawing attention for attacking Patrick Eaves and then turtling when challenged by Chris Neil among others. Don’t be surprised if Tucker gets involved tonight especially if they get down early.

    Remember the last time Tucker played in Montreal:

    These games speak for themselves.

    Habs and Leafs Saturday night.