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Back on Track

  • The Habs Holiday break was short and they were back to business against Ovechkin and the Capitals last night.

    Any doubts of whether they could pick up where they left off were answered with a 4-1 win.

    The Habs contained Ovechkin and almost earned a shutout against the Caps until late in the 3rd while down two men.

    The Habs got production from unlikely sources Mathieu Dandenault and Aaron Downey to take the lead in the first. 4th liner Latendresse added two helpers.

    The contributions from these kinds of players are helping the Canadiens maintain and improve their impressive record.

    Cristobal Huet was sharp as ever and deserved to get the shutout.

    The one thing you can fault the Habs for is taking penalties, many of them. At inappropriate times. Their special teams usually handle it but it’s a trend you would like to stop.

    The Habs play a back to back Friday and Saturday in Florida. The back to back games are another area the Habs have been sub par in, and the last time they played a second game in two nights in Florida they lost 5-1 to the Panthers.

22 Comments
  1. Great game lsat night in some ways. Actually thought Washington played harder then us. Rivets penalty was ridiculous.

  2. Great game last night! Latendresse is going to be a star for this team, he’s looking better and better every game he plays. Looked very confident out there last night.

    Habs did a good job of shutting down the top players in the WSH lineup. Others such as Laich ALMOST stepped it up enough to keep it close for WSH. Looking forward to the games this weekend.

    Go Habs!

  3. The Habs have the best checking line in the league since the McCarty/Draper/Maltby line were in their prime. Bonk/Johnson/Perogy can shut down anyone in this league.

    It almost seemed like Bettman called the refs to tell them they had yet to have a long 5-3 PP in the game so they turn a blind eye to Clark’s elbow on Rivet, only call Rivet in their scuffle, then call a phantom slashing call on Komisarek. That was BS.

    Give Latendresse 1-2 more years to work on his skating at an NHL level and he’ll be a smarter Todd Bertuzzi. He’s still a fairly weak skater by NHL standards. But his hands and his size are extremely rare for somone his size. He will be dominant.

    I bid you all a happy New Year, and I would like to acknowledge the following acheivements by the National Media and it’s members: completely ignoring the Habs succes, still waiting for Huet to come back to earth(won’t happen), saying Saku wasn’t worth the contract he got, and finally another full year of kissing the Toronto Maple Leafs collective asses. You know who you are:Darren Dreger, Bill Watters, Glenn Healy, Mark Osbourne, Al Strachan, everyone at CBC!

  4. OH yeah thats what I meant. Komisarek’s penalty was absoulutely horrific. It was a love tap on his part.

    I will personally take the blame for Washingtons goal last night. I said “shutout wiht 4 minutes left about 5 seconds before they started the floatgates towards the Habs penalty box.

  5. #5 habsboy4life says:
    December 28, 2006 at 6:19 pm

    Great game last night. The unexpected help from Downey and the checking line’s tenacity is part of the reason for the Hab’s success. I’m still anxious to see the second line develop some more offense than what we’ve seen thus far. I understand that Kovy is by far the most talented player but Samsonov’s lackluster play and Pleckanac’s spotty performance leaves much to be desired.

  6. Great game last night against a dangerous, but otherwise mediocre team. Huet definately deserved the shutout. I agree with everyone above.

    One thing about the second line. As frustrating as they have been (and boy, have they been frustrating!), I get this nagging feeling they will turn it up for the playoffs. It’s not a stretch by any means; certainly Kovy knows when to turn it up a notch (it’s just the damn waiting that kills me!!) and Sammy is starting to look slightly more comfortable. If I’m right (big if), watch out, this team is headed very far. If I’m not, down the stretch and in the playoffs, the clutch goals will have to come from people like Latendresse and Downey, not what I’d like to count on (though I love to see).

  7. #7 hab heaven says:
    December 28, 2006 at 8:01 pm

    I would really like to see Latendresse on the 2nd line, replacing Samsonov. I think Latendresse has earned that seeding. he’s not going to score alot of goals on the 4th line, and he really deserves to be bumped up to the 2nd unit. By contrast Samsonov was totally invisible against Washington, and has been that way for almost every game. he’s scored 2 goals in the last 25 GAMES ! Shameful! he doesn’t belong on this team. he can’t score, and he’s getting paid about 5 mil/ year! that’s about 1 mil/ goal! Wow did we screw up getting him.If we can unload him, that would save alot of cap room, and then we can go after a 2nd line center. I like this team, but feel we are still 2 pieces away from having a bonafide cup contender. we need: a) 2nd line center, and 2) very good backup goalie. If we can get these 2 pieces, look out! This is the year we need to make it happen, because come July, Souray will be gone, because we can’t afford him. when we lose him, ther goes our powerful PP, and it will become mediocre again. So Bob or Pierre, please bring us the pieces necessary to win it all this year!

  8. #8 HabsInBlood says:
    December 28, 2006 at 8:36 pm

    Look at even strength points before you start knocking the 2nd line too hard. I think that line has played better the past month – which is one of the reasons for our streak. Has anyone also noticed Ryder’s speed? You’d think he’d be a little sluggish with that clunky skating stride. I’m thinking back to that shorthander against Boston – Ryder blew up the ice past 3 Broons defenders.

    Rivet deserved a penalty – but so did Clarke on the elbow. The funny thing is the ref was looking directly at the pair when Rivet’s swallowed Clarke’s Jofa. And the Komi on the slash???? Oh My God. I thought this was hockey – not f’in ballet.

  9. #9 Rubberman says:
    December 29, 2006 at 1:50 am

    Please don’t trade Souray. We got a guy that doing great on the PP. I’d hate to lose him at the end of the season, but that’s a chance I’d be willing to take if I were in charge. There won’t be any big trades. All other teams want to move their garbage. If the HAbs fair well in the playoffs, that alone could attract a big name player. Until then, enjoy this season. It’s been a long, long, long time since our team has had success like this.

  10. I just checked out leaf’s blog ,ha ha ha ha ha ha ….One bloger said ” can’t win them all” HA HA HA …

  11. …who cares….and someone has said that here at some point too!

    Let’s play well vs TB and let’s try better at cutting out those penalties and giveaways. I know it’s all about pressure…then skate hard and buy yourself some time. Come on, the Habs have come along way. We need two or three guys motivated enough to energize the team and make the difference. That’s where Lapiere stood out. If Downey’s there in his stead…guess what, that’s what he’s got to do…and Kovalev and Samsonov have to produce…make things happen. If not by scoring, then setting others up or hitting. Forget about the whining. It’s embarassing and taking your focus away. Let’s hold the fort vs Lecavalier and St. Louis and Richards…Go Habs Go!

  12. This is a team, not just a bunch of individuals. From what I understand they hang out together, eat together, and enjoy each others company. Not like in past years where there were several cliques on the team. Downey recently stated that he feels that there is something special about this team. Gainey, in a relativly short period of time, has turned the team around. I wonder how Theo, Ribs and Dagenais are doing. I hear that Dagenais is tearing up the Austrian league. It’s amazing what competent management can do. Go Habs.

  13. #13 HUET_is_a_GOD says:
    December 29, 2006 at 1:10 pm

    Looking forward to tonights showdown against the panthers!

    Florida has a very deceptive record…Every time I watch them play, they play VERY HARD and are know to be a very competitive team! I just think it’s one of those seasons (so far) where unfortunately your team doesn’t get many good bounces!That being said it’s always have a great ride against florida!

    GO HABS GO!

  14. #14 stevejur says:
    December 30, 2006 at 4:57 am

    Losing to shit teams ?? This is a tough one.
    The difference between contenders and pretenders!
    Contenders DON’T LOSE to the Florida Panthers, PERIOD!
    On paper Florida should not even be on the same ice.
    Reality is that this team is a false hope, let’s not get to excited.

  15. #15 smiler2729 says:
    December 30, 2006 at 8:47 am

    The Florida Panthers are a better team than people think, they never take a night off and have some very key players that can change any game they play in. Did anybody Ed Belfour steal that game last night? He played amazing especially in the 1st period. Who’s Pierre Dagenais? Who’s Mike Ribeiro?? Who’s Jose Theodore???

  16. Hey Steve;

    The Sabres also recently lost to the Panthers, does that mean they are not a contender. And if not who is only Anaheim? 1 contender int the league and what happens if they lost to the BLues later on? DOes that mean there are no contenders in the NHL?

    Montreal has always struggled in Florida, I think they are 9-14-3 all time. Not good. Gotta feel for all the Habs fans down there, they deserve better. Defeinetely played better then the score indicated.

    ANd who was the fool that kept saying SOuray skates into HUet all the time. I think you have SOuray mixed up with Rivet.

  17. Belfour played well and was the difference. Huet is beginning to let in softies in teh third periods which is concerning since this was not happening before. HE is lettign the puck squeeze through his legs when he is covering up.

    I dont think we will be seeing Lats in the shootout anytime soon.

  18. really sad to see these points slip away…but that’s something that the team can’t shake. There were many opportunities to put this game away. Huet may have let in a couple of soft goals and that too can happen. In the first period, two breakaways by Lat and no goals also many other chances squandered. 4 PP opps and again draw a blank. Not sure but this was the same against the Bruins…no one stepping up and pulling the trigger. We need that killer instinct. Definitely, seems like Belfour has stolen the game. Let’s play better against TB. Need to check their scorers Lecavalier, St.Louis and Richards). Let’s make this a better result. Go Habs Go!

  19. ….LAPIERRE!.. bet he would of scored twice…,Belfour or anyone for that matter, can stop a puck if it’s shot at him.He’s a 41 year old,broken-back wore out from playing for TORONTO,half the reflex back up that should be goalie coaching,and we need fuckin snipers that can take the pressure of Huet, then we will be way past the first round and into the finals,been a long time coming!!! go habs..

  20. #20 hab heaven says:
    December 30, 2006 at 1:40 pm

    Guys; Latendresse doesn’t know what to do with the puck, 1 on 1 with the goalie.he needs some target practice. Also, Huet has started to let in some soft goals recently. I told you, he’s getting tired! And we don’t have an adequate backup; that’s why carbo is playing him so much. Also, our PP has gone to sleep recently. We need to get it back into high gear. Last night we had so many opportunities to score, and came up empty handed every time. Target practice, 1 on 1 with the goalie is the answer, because this team is like: “THE GANG THAT COULDN’T SHOOT STRAIGHT!. the shots aren’t even on goal. C’mon habs, learn to shoot at the goalie, and not at his pads, or the glass! Our defence was horrific last night. As a whole team, they didn’t skate, as evidenced by the 3rd goal(soft one). They need to show up tonight, because Boston is breathing down our necks. I’m going to make a prediction: Boston will end the season ahead of us, meet us in the 1st round(because MTL is not finishing higher than 5th),and beat us. They are comung on, and lately we haven’t been playing great. I say, bring up LAPIERRE to infuse our team with energy, something they lacked last night! Also, CUT OUT ALL THOSE STUPID PENALTIES! THEY ARE KILLING US!!

  21. Boston ahead of us? HA ……… Either you are a comedian or just one very negative person. Or a BRuins fan. Lets be honest we probably still lose that game if Lapierre was playing. He is not Guy Lafleur. ITs funny how all of a sudden Lapierre is our best player. We lost last night because of the goaltending battle. Bottom line. WE have wn games because of the same reason. The old man played well and that happens. Oh well, at least we wont have to play Florida in the playoffs.

  22. Still, the problem lies with the fact that we are going to play tougher teams and if we can’t beat these under .500 teams….it doesn’t look good!!

    As for the people that can’t see above the forest, we’ve only lost two games which can easily grow to four and five and before you know it we’ll be in fighting for the playoff position…sounds familiar!! No….then check out the last four or five season while the Canadiens try to get that last playoff spot.

    It’s time to shake up some of the dead wood on the team….as far as chemistry goes, I think this will come up shortly…either on a good or bad way. Go Habs Go vs Tampa Bay Lightning.

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