montreal canadiens hockey – habs blog RSS

» 2006 » October

  • Sergei Samsonov

    Sergei Samsonov hasn’t made the best first impression in Montreal. When he was signed as a free agent over the summer there was excitement that Samsonov would come in and be a scoring machine with his speed and skill mixing well with the Montreal offense.

    Kovalev and Samsonov together??? Oh my! The creativity!

    Not only has he had a rather lackluster beginning with the Habs but now he is complaining to the media about his lack of ice time and his role with the team.

    Samsonov played less than two minutes in the third period in Monday’s loss against the Sabres and now he has been ‘demoted’ to the fourth line.

    Samsonov then proceeded to whine to the media about how he is overpaid to sit on the bench and maybe he’s not needed in Montreal. All this after a whole 8 games.

    What happened to the days when a coach could send a message to his players? Bench him. Sit him. Scratch him – without the player crying in public.

    Unprofessional.

    The fact of the matter is Samsonov’s play has not warranted him tons of ice time and a real player plays the role given to him by his coach.

    This is another example of ‘me first’ thinking and not team thinking which will quickly kill your likability with the Montreal mob.

    Who knows? If Samsonov concentrates on playing well and not complaining he might be surprised by the potential success of playing with Begin and Murray. How many fourth lines can compete with the speed all three of those guys can exhibit? Begin and Murray’s roughhousing might just give Samsonov the room he so desperately needs to create plays.

    The Habs are in Beantown to take on the Bruins. The Habs had much success against the Bruins last year (7-1) and Boston isn’t off to the start they hoped for. As always Divisional games are always crucial even early in the season.

    Huet shut out the Bruins three times last year. Goalies remember those things. For that reason alone he should get the start. He needs a couple wins under his belt to get confident again and on paper it makes sense against the Bruins.

    If he should fail to get the W the scrutiny on him will keep increasing.

    Guillaume Latendresse has a chance on the second line, and most likely a little more PP time. It’s time for him to get some points and prove they made the right choice in keeping him.

  • Sabres still Perfect

    The Sabres are still undefeated after coming in to Montreal and winning 4-1 against the Habs.

    The sad thing about this game for the Canadiens is they were as good if not better than the Sabres for long periods of the game but failed to finish and failed to stop the puck when needed.

    The first fluky goal set the tone for the game but the Canadiens kept up with the Sabres. IF Chris Higgins buries the puck after undressing the Buffalo defenseman, IF Sheldon Souray’s point blast is 2 inches lower – then it’s a whole different game.

    The thing with Buffalo is there are no IFs or buts. That’s what separates a good team like the Canadiens from the league’s best in the Sabres.

    Andrei Markov coughs up the puck, Chris Drury takes it in and buries it with authority. No if’s there. He does it. The game changes completely.

    The Sabres are really in a class of their own right now. Even if they have a momentary lapse their goaltender is rock solid. The Habs goaltending was less than stellar to say the least.
    So far this season Huet has been hard to watch. The first goal was absolutely brutal and he certainly didn’t look strong on the third. But he did make very difficult saves on harder shots which is puzzling and frustrating to watch.

    The Habs have six more games against the Sabres and it’ll be interesting to see how they will matchup. The Habs have been the team to give the Sabres the hardest time thus far, but not hard enough.

    The Habs have to put it behind them now and focus on three upcoming Divisional games against Boston , Toronto and Ottawa.

    The Northeast picture will start to develop over these next few games and the Habs can’t afford to drop many points if any.