Final thoughts on the Canadiens 2007/2008 Season and playoff run….
ok 100th annaversary let’s ahve a shot at lord stanley’s mug!
0h streit’s gone so powerplay is finnaly dead…:(
Great regular season guys….my hat is off to you for that. Lots of high-flying, goals, excitement….first time in years a Montreal Canadiens team was a pleasure to watch and my appreciation is heartfelt.
I think most Habs fans like myself, although somewhat upset that our boys are gone, were really expecting it. Without wearing blinders, buried deep down inside we could see this was not a strong playoff team, and every game they played was a little extra entertainment. This is not a bad thing though….Gainey has a great blueprint now for next year and for years to follow. It was so easy and obvious to see what this squad was lacking in the way of playoff hockey, that it should make Gainey’s job easier next year. A few of the right lineup insertions, combined with a few severances should get us that much closer to the promised land.
Time to break with tradition…time to get a couple of strong, hungry, good old Canadian boys in that lineup that play a role much higher than 4th liners, and that come from some of the other 4 or 5 big provinces in our country. I think the new legions of Hab faithful that fill the Bell Centre every night really aren’t concerned any more with the primary language of the stars on the team, if it brings us to a shot or 2 at the mug.
Please don’t think this is biased or racist, it really could’nt be futher from the truth. It’s just the fact of the matter is, that with 30 teams snatching up players now, the amount of Quebec born stars that will be heading to Montreal are thinning out from past decades. We gotta catch up to the new NHL. Toughness, desire and grit is STILL what wins playoff series’. Thats where the Morrows, Getzlafs, Richards, and even Umbergers of the league play their biggest roles. We have the makings here Bob, and you’re the man to get us over that hump.
Once again, thanks so much for all you have given your loyal fans this season…it was very memorable. GO HABS GO !!!
I rate this a successful season. First place in the Eastern conference (WOW). The powerplay was great, best in the league. We saw the start of a great goaltending career. Price is a keeper. The Kostitstin (sorry) brothers are a talented pair. Kovalev had a rebound year, he played to his potential. PLeckanec was good. There is a good base for a solid defensive core (Komaserik, Markov, Hammerlik, O’byrne, etc…). The season was unexpected, exciting and made me proud to be a Habs fan. It’s been a long time since the team played this good…
***Sorry about the spelling on the names.
The playoffs was a huge let down. I think the Habs were lucky to beat the Bruins. The powerplay failed, the big guns were shut down, Price was questionable (and yes there was too much pressure placed on him). Komaserik and Markov weren’t even a factor. I’ll say it again, I was very disappointed, seeing the season they just had. The size up front wasn’t a factor in the season but come playoffs, they didn’t seem to have the grit or desire to get in the lanes or in front of the net to get the job done.
It’s probably because I’m a Habs fan but I found that the majority of the goals the FLyers and Bruins got were screens, tip ins, and lucky. It seemed that the lucky bounces were going the other way.
With all this said, the HAbs can hold their heads up high. Use the experience from this playoff and build from it. Try to sign a few big guys, now they have a quality product to brag about.
Lastly, to the media and fans, don’t put too much pressure on the team next year. Don’t expect a first place finnish but make the playoffs, whatever happens, happens.
Players I doubt will be back next year:
Two free agents i’d love to see sign with the habs:
Ryder, even though I don’t like his overall play, can be exciting to watch. I would give it 0% chance of him being wanted in Montreal or wanting to remain in Montreal. I think he’s a perfect fit for Toronto.
Streit, I think, will stay. Montreal speaks his language and the city has a culture closer to what he is used to than anywhere else in North America. Having said that, if the money is too high he can be let go. With O’Byrne, possible free agent signings and players coming up from the farm there is going to be an excess of defencemen.
It was a great year to be a Habs fan and the reason it was ,change. With last years new additions of up and commers and this year crop,things look brite for 100.If you listen to Coach Carbo’s press talk you’ll see he knows whats wrong and how to fix it.The Habs have learned this important lesson,the regular season and the playoffs are two shows and you have to show up for both with the proper attire.You will see a sharing of goal Price and Halak,increased size and grit up front and new defencive members “with size”…can’t wait.We all seen the size difference at last night’s hand shake,some thing I’ve drivin you all crazy with since I began posting on Habs Blog,sorry bout that,and that will be addressed for shure and I see lots of changed on the veterans core of players:Streit ?,Ryder?,Kovalev?,Brisbous?,Dandy?Smoke? Saku?trades ?it will be an exciting off season of changes ,can’t wait,And we gots new Habs ,Valentiko,Chipcura etc oohhh yeahh!!!!See I’m getting excited.So enjoy your off season Habs fans and get ready for 100 YEARS OF THE CANADIENS de MONTREAL.PEACE….GO HABS GO GO HABS GO GO HABS GO GO HABS GO GO HABS GO GO HABS GO……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
I have enjoyed this blog site since I first visited it at the begining of the Habs/Flyers series,but one thing you wrote in your blog confused/surprised me. The fact that the habs prefer to have their players being of Quebec desent, or at the least, mandetory French speaking players? Is this true Hab fans?…and if so, why?…I find this really odd…is this a political thing in Canada?
Sorry for the typos,I’m typing from my Blackberry.
Donnie,have fun with Jack opening up Pandora’s box on the French and English history of Canada and the problems and causes on both sides,OYE VEY!!! LOL
Great year for our beloved Habs, I was proud to wear my BLEU BLANC ROUGE .. I think we have a solid year to build from, and I think #11 and #27 will stay right where they are, With more young players coming up from our farm team we really are in a good postion to make some solid trades and I hope Gainey can land a couple of big solid, hard hitting FR’s …
Congrats to the entire Habs Organization for a fantastic year ….
PS: Was great hanging out here on the Blog thanks to all you guys and of course Habs Blog for allowing us to express of joy’s and frustrations …
Oh and to those saying Carbo should be fired … You really think the Habs will fire a Jack Adam’s front runner ? Not a chance in hell .. I think he will be here for a while yet ….
Great year boys. I think it is safe to say we have an exciting team on our hands to watch for many years to come. I do however agree with adding size,grit,toughness and adding a goon wouldnt hurt either. There is still work to be done and i do agree with all of the above comments that after watching this series against philly it is plain to see what needs to be added to go deeper in the playoffs. Price will be that much better next year so i have no worries on goaltending at all. Next thing to do on gaineys list is figure out what to do with emmelin before july 1st or we lose his rights. I would hate to see this guy slip away. You know what to do gainey, add the final pieces and we are golden. GO HABS GO
Well Jack…if not predominantly French Candians, then European. This is NOT and I repeat NOT a biased comment, it’s true. The days of Guy Lafleur, Beliveau, and the Richards are long gone….so is the “backyard” rule.
I’m not dissing the French players, there are plenty of great ones in the league, but NONE in Montreal anymore. We don’t get first tabs on them anymore. Bisebois, Begin, Lapierre, and Latandresse…where would these 4 players rank among French born players…..very low, it can even be argued some of these are not even NHL calibre.
Now take a look at recent cup winners and their contingent.
I can’t assume I know how the Montreal Canadiens system of players go…but I can look at recent, unsuccessful teams over the last 15 years, and see what they don’t have. The days of the flying Frenchmen are over because we don’t get all the fantastic French players anymore…if we did….load us up. But having lowskilled French Canadian players on the team just for the sake of having some doesn’t make sense does it?
Bottom line, everyone saw this year what a team full of Euros can do in the playoffs. They have no heart, and the non-European we have there, have the heart but not enough skill to make a difference. This is where the Richards, Morrows and Getzlafs come into play as I mentioned before.
Not shitting on the French players, just the ones we have…you tell me there no one else in the league or our system that can contribute more than these guys did? Name 3 leaders of Montreal ever that were not European or French origin…name 1. Again, we do not get the cream of the crop from Quebec anymore, so we gotta start looking elsewhere in Canada for these hard-nosed skilled players. There were positions on this team this year that were wasted, and at least 3 of them were low end French born players…so why were they there at all? Is it politics? Is it bad drafting? Or is it bad luck that the Yzermans, Sakics, Modanos….etc, etc, etc. do not end up here? I don’t know the answer, but I see who’s in and who’s not in the lineup each and every year of cup impudence over the last 15 years. I also see the combo of players from ALL OVER that the cup winners have. If I’m wrong please tell me, but I know I’m not the only Habs fan who sees this. But they are still my boys )
Last thoughts on a great year:
This series reminded me a lot of a series with the Oilers in the early 80′s,
I really believe the Habs were the better team, they had 0 puck luck.
Biron played outstanding, so did Moog, maybe Biron will prove me wrong, but
flash in the pan playoff performances by goalies are by no stretch uncommon.
(Richard Brodeur, Brian Boucher, Kirk McClean, John Davidson, Gilles Gilbert
None of these goalies would make my all time top 25.
So I tend to disagree in that this team IS a playoff team, if they add some parts, great, but only if the chemistry is right (Samsonov, cough cough)
In retrospect, did they shoot their wad in playing for first?
Maybe, but in the Philly series, they carried the majority of the play.
(Was I watching through rose colored glasses?)I saw a lot of lucky/unlucky bounces in every game including the last one, the series not only could
have gone the other way, it by all rights, should have gone the other way.
That’s why they play the games, luck is part of the equation.
I have a lot of confidence the core that has been assembled, Bob Gainey and the current coaching staff.
Here’s to a great season, and many exciting years to come!!
Wish I could have been with you guys last night, but no internet where I was. I did get to see the second and third periods. Obviously, I am disappointed it seemed with had the game under control then a lucky bounce of a shoulder and all hell broke loose. I never saw so many breaks go one teams way in a playoff series. A good example of it was the winning goal, not that it was not a great shot but it did hit the post and a quarter of an inch makes a big difference. On the other hand we it the cross bar again and a quarter of an inch lower and it is in the net. It seemed like it went that way the whole series. Hats off to the Flyers they played well and made their breaks and took advantage of them.
Now for next year.
Our young kids got to learn what it feels like to loose in the playoffs and should learn from this years playoffs and be better players for it.
Unlike some of you I do not blame for our losson
Carbo, Price, Gainey, anyone of our rookies or 2nd and 3rd year players who never were in the S.C. playoffs before.
Here are the players that I do blame. Kovalev, Markov, Streik, our defense in general.
Firstly, Kovalev was suppose to be our game breaker and our offensive leader and for the most part he did not lead nor did he provide the necessary offense when we needed it.
I thought Markov play well below his potential considering he was an allstar defenseman. Streik never did get back to his normal game, whether it was because he was still hurting from his hip injury or not only he knows for sure. He basically had the same injury that Komy had and Komy was out for three weeks whereas Striek only missed a couple of games. Komy, I did not feel he played up to his potential but he did not play bad either, I still think the Flyer took advantage of his hip injury and pounded it every chance they got.
Some of you thought that the players lacked heart, I guess I look at it the other way, we lacked leadership on the ice. Kiovu did his best but he is not a game breaking player, he is a very good second line centre. Our older more experence players who had been there before did not show any leadership.
We accomplished more than I thought we would accomplish this year, just making the playoff was an accomplishment let lone winning first play in our division and conference.
WE accomplished getting our young goaltenders some playoff experience and really when you get right down to it that was what the goaltending trade was all about especially when Huet was leaving as an UFA.
We accomplished getting the Kost. Bros, Plex, Obryne, Komy, and most of our other first, second and third year players the playoff experience they needed to take this team to the next level. Rome was not built in a day and neither was a Stanley Cup winning team. Most great teams take two to three years to develop that winning formula. With the advent of FA sometimes this can be excellerated. That is what Philly was able to do although I do not believe they will go any further.
Our coaching staff also got experience as well as they are all in the same learning curve as the players at their positions and I think overall they did an excellent job unlike some of you who would like to put it all on Carbo. He made some difficult decisions and had they worked he would have been a hero unfortunately they didn’t. Did he make some mistakes, of course he did, and so do most coaches, does that mean he should be fired, Hey he coached your team to first place in our conference, that in itself is an accomplishment. So I would suggest you quite being so hard on the coaching staff, he got a lot of input form his coaching staff as well, they are all first timers to the show as coaches.
So what do we need to go forward. Well we have to sign a couple of big strong forwards that can skate. That can play on the first or second lines. Personally I would make a couple of trades if the right player is out there then I am ready to trade the following players, Kovalev, Koivu, Markov,Smolinski and one of our bottom four defenseman. If we could get a big strong centreman who can score goals, win faceoffs and cabable of being our #1 centreman, then one or two of the above could be moved.
There are a few players on the bubble. Brisebois was signed for one year to give our young defenseman timem to develop, he is gone. Dandenault I like his utility to play both forward and defense but we have Streit so we do not need both of them. He also becomes trade bait. Smolinski, although he played well at times he is getting long in the tooth and he served his purpose in Montreal, I believe we have two or three players in the minors that can replace him.
Boulon I am afraid it is time for him to move on. To me he is too small to be effective as a defenseman and we already have Jorges who is a similar type player. We also have a couple of defenceman in the minors that should be given a good look next year. Bottom line we need to add more grit to our defence for next year because as much as I feel our forwards did not score, I feel that it was lack of solid defence that lead to Price’s downfall most of these games. If you analysis most of the goals he let in they were deflections, screens and bad breaks, yes he looked a little weak on some of the goals too but most goaltenders let in a weak goal from time to time and he sure looked strong on a number of breakaways when we needed him.
So if I had my choice, I would trade for a number one centremen who is at least 6’1″ and 200+ pounds.
I would also look to add a big strong power forward who likes to be in front of the net, something we were lacking this entire playoffs. I would also like to add one additional 6’2″ 225 pound defencemand who can handle the puck but can take the touch going when the game becomes physical. You see every team has its small players, even Philly ie. Biere, but they have the bigger guys who can protect them and play large in the corners. This is what we lacked was the players to play along side Plex, and A. Kost.
Two or three of the right players I feel could make this a championship team. So we either find them from within our organization, trade for them or try to signa FA or two. We have some good third and fourth line players what we need is a couple of first and second line players to be added replace our current players on those two lines. I am not saying to make wholesale changes but some players like Sergie or even Higgins could play a valuable roll as third line players that could be moved up to the first two lines when there are injuries or someone need to be given a night off etc.
This is how I see it anyway.
I hear people saying that we(the fans)need to support the Habs players. Who will support the heartbroken fans? Those players are Millonares. The rookies will soon be as well. They drive home in their expensive sports cars to the million $ home and take dream vacations. While the fans live in apartments or houses not good as the players garages, spending money on hockey tickets that some can’t afford cause they get crap pay at average jobs. It is the fans who provide these player with their posh life styles. What will comfort us, the fans. The millions of dollars will comfort the players……….
It’s too bad the defense wasn’t up to shape. But lose Huet, and look what you get. Bad move Gainey, and even worse, Carbo. Huet got TWO teams into playoffs, and even if they didn’t get the CUP, you have to admit it was thickheaded to throw him away, especially so ungraciously.
Hilarious Youppie mockumentary, for Habs fans needing a laugh:
What is “the backyard rule”?…and why?
Back in the 70′s and before, the Habs would pretty much get first crack at Quebec born players. As you can imagine this gave them powerhouse teams. All from getting the players from their own backyard.
Posted on May 4th, 2008 at 8:31 am. About ‘Canadiens 07/08′.
0h streit’s gone so powerplay is finnaly dead…:(
That “position” creates Hero. Last year, after Sheldon Sourey left some people were worried about Habs PP, but Habs still had super strong PP. SO, if Streit leaves, each and every existing Habs defenseman can take the role. Never worry this.
Donnie,the Habs have not had a true superstar since Lafleur and have not had the luck of having a draft pick turn into a superstar.And when there is a chance a draft pick is gonna be a Habs superstar”Leclair,Riberio,Volcun etc “we FU@KIN trade them.We need a superstar with a blue collar attutide that can lead the Habs and show them what can be.We also need a Cris Neil type player”or two or three,lol”We also need a true big SUPERSTAR Dman with a mean streak AND A HOWITZER.A GREAT START WOULD BE LECAVALIER,make it so Bob & GUY……………………
You saying most talented players in hockey are Quebec born?
Like it or hate it, that’s capitalism, DTD.
History speaks for itself. When the Canadiens were fully stocked with French Canadian players, they dominated.
I always thought that Les Habitents meant Les Habitents, meaning a team comprised of local talent.
No….talented players come from all over. We don’t get the most talented French players anymore is what I’m saying.
and another thing, Montreal got kicked out on my birthday. AAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!! Worst B-Day ever!!!!lol
Habs cannot have enough talented Canadian players, so more European players on Habs roster. No choice!
Don’t even need to think about other provinces, there are so many talented Quebec players in the league, but we couldn’t have one of them…
Can we expect more leadership from Koivu and Kovalev? the answer is NO, not at all. They are reaching the retiring age. They have NOT brought any leadership to the team so far, HOW CAN WE expect their leadership this game and next game???
Habs needs a REAL MOTIVATOR, no matter in the defense line or forward line.
Please remember my word: IF WE COULDN’T HAVE A REAL MOTIVATOR IN THE TEAM, WE WOULD SUFFER THE HEART BREAKING FEELING AGAIN AND AGAIN…
Posted on May 5th, 2008 at 3:45 pm. About ‘Canadiens 07/08′.
That could be a No Deal just because of the son-in-law-in-father relationship.
I know. What a shame. What a player!
Joseph, alternative way, fire Carbonneau.
I never thought of that. Good solution!
You cannot fire Carbo just because he does not meet you ideas. Personally, I think he and his staff did a great job this year. He made some mistakes sure but we should not crusify him for a few mistakes. He is a rookie coach just like a lot of our rookie players. He took a team that had been written off by most and made them an exciting team. Now it is up to Gainey to get the two or three players that we need to go over the top. Big strong centreman, big strong power forward and one more big strong defenceman. To me we have the rest.
guys the fact is our team was too young and the flyers got lucky. Our team pretty much went to the conference finals because philly was out skilled, the only good thing that they did and we didn’t was not getting to the net, but thats a rookie mistake. I think adding Jason Arnott to our team would be great. 1. Re-Sign Streit and Higgy let go Smolinski,ryder and trade away dandenault.
Brisebois, Patrice 36 MTL D UFA 0.700
Gorges, Josh 22 MTL D RFA 0.495
Grabovski, Mikhail 23 MTL C RFA 0.700
Halak, Jaroslav 22 MTL G RFA 0.500
Kostitsyn, Andrei 22 MTL L RFA 0.612
Lapierre, Maxim 22 MTL C RFA 0.562
Locke, Corey 23 MTL C RFA 0.495
O‘Byrne, Ryan 22 MTL D RFA 0.590
Ryder, Michael 27 MTL R UFA 2.950
Smolinski, Bryan 35 MTL C UFA 2.000
Streit, Mark 29 MTL D UFA 0.600
MTL’S FREE AGENTS Guys this might be a dumb question, but what does restricted mean?
My comment was meant as more of a joke, guys. Of course firing Carbonneau isn’t going to bring Brendan Morrow to Montreal.
Although I wouldn’t mind the trade…
“Restricted Free Agents (RFA) are players who have completed three accrued seasons of service and whose contracts have expired. They have received qualifying offers from their old clubs and are free to negotiate with any club until April 21, at which time their rights revert to their original club. If a player accepts an offer from a new club, the old club will have the right to match the offer and retain the player. If the old club elects not to match the offer, it may receive draft-choice compensation depending on the level of the qualifying offer made to the player.” (Source: Wiki)
andif u guys want to know some unrestricted free centermen, here u go.
Chris Gratton(6’4″ CANADIAN!)
Brendan Morrison(6’2″ CANADIAN)
LECAVELIER IS A FREE AGENT NEXT SEASON!!! AND WE MIGHT LOSE KOIVU AND KOVALEV.=9 MILLION!
FOR D MEN
Jim Vandermeer(6’3″?? CANADIAN OR AMERICAN!!!
I would resign some players and just get Chris Gratton. he’ll get 35 pts or something but he drives to the net and he’s 6’4″! and he’s also a canadian!!!
Does anyone know if Lecavalier has expressed interest in playing in Montreal? Legitimate interest.
Canadian$ at Par US$
More advertising income in Montreal, in Quebec, in Canada.
Habs already 1st place of Eastern Conference.
If top players still didn’t want to come to play here, I will say the swear words to them.
I’m looking foward to seeing more of that Stewart kid,I am sure he is going to suprise.
A petition demanding more french music at Habs home games? I may not be a regular contributor to this blog, but here is how I feel as a long time Habs fan from the east coast. With all due respect to francophones(by the way I am married to one), this is exactly the kind of thing that stops a lot of players from wanting to play in Montreal. There always seems to be stupid stories surrounding the team, that have nothing to do with hockey. Stop with petitions and politics and let the players entertain us on the ice. If not, it will only get tougher and tougher to attract talent to such a wonderful city, and the all-time greatest hockey team. I frequent the Bell Centre from time to time to take in a game, and I couldn’t tell you a single song I’ve heard at the rink. Why? Because I love the team and I am watching the game. People should not lose sight of that. Good luck attracting new talent in the off season!!!
I’m looking forward to next season. I think we’re on the right path. I believe in Gainey. I think he’ll make all the right moves this summer and give us an even better team to watch next season.
Cheers to ’08/’09
hey guys gainey wants a forward with grit or goal scoring ability. I would not be surprised if sean avery or even marian hossa
I think Gainey might get Jarret Stoll from Edmonton or get Chris Gratton from Tampa. I’d like that or just get Avery and another defencemen.
I would like to see a bigger version of Sean Avery aqnd times it by 6.
Sean Avery is a punk!!!!!!!! He’d be a disgrace to the CH