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Canadiens 2006 Home Opener

  • The Habs welcome the Senators to the Bell Center tonight for the first home game of their season.

    Cristobal Huet will be between the pipes despite David Abeischer’s recent strong play. Guy Carbonneau said he planned to start Huet in the home opener from the beginning because he deserved it after his play last season. Can’t argue that.

    On opening night one year ago, Cristobal Huet wasn’t even mentioned as a member of the team. Recovering from a knee injury and considered a ‘toss in’ on a deal to acquire Radek Bonk he was left out of the opening ceremony.

    Fast forward to tonight and he should receive one of the warmest welcomes of any Hab on the ice. How things change.

    How important is the game itself? Very. Although it’s only game 4 it is the first of eight divisional games against the Sens who have struggled out of the gate and find themselves last in the Division.

    Which Sens team will show up? The team shut out twice in 4 games or the sleeping giant offensive powerhouse?

    If you believe in past performances Ray Emery should get the start over Gerber who struggled badly against the Canadiens in the first round of the playoffs last year. Then again Ray Emery has never impressed in Montreal once being shelled for 4 goals in the opening period.

    If the Canadiens get the two points tonight the Sens will have dug themselves a hole very early in the season.

    Tonight also marks fan favorite and rookie Guillaume Latendresse’s first regular season game in Montreal. A couple question marks surround Alex Kovalev and Craig Rivet who both skipped practices to rest minor injuries. They are expected to start but if Kovalev can’t go Latendresse is expected to get a chance on the second line.

32 Comments
  1. I have seen a lot of Hab teams going to the 1950′s and I like this group. I think the coaching staff brings that winning pride to the team and with the addition of Andy Murray this is an elite corp. There is so much more to icing a team than than the pindividual players, the most complicated part is tuning the chemistry getting the best out of the line as a whole.
    I plan to watch this team evolve and grow and to bring us the 2007 Stanley Cup.
    I like this story and I’m sticking to it till June/07.

    MM

  2. Bravo MM….I like your take on this years team as well as your optimism. Get into the playoffs and anything is possible. I to have followed alot of teams
    since the late 60s and I really do like the look of this edition. Although I believe they will be closer to a possible cup in a year or two. This organization has not looked this solid since the Savard era….here is hoping
    for a win tonight!

  3. #3 Habs#1 says:
    October 14, 2006 at 1:01 pm

    Canadiens.com is reporting that Kovalev took the morning skate and is ready to go and will play tonight so Guillaume will once again be on the fourth line.

    I’ve just gotta say that I’m loving this two goalie system. We’ve got two good goalies. When you look at the four teams who made the conference finals last season they all had two good goalies.

    Lastly, I know that a lot of people don’t want to hear it, but Gainey has the option of sending Latendresse down to Drummondville before he plays 10 games. Guillaume can play 9 games max before Gainey has to make his decision. Don’t be surprised if it go’s either way.

  4. Latendresse is here to stay, like him or not.
    If Gainey wanted to test him out and send him packing then Guy wouldn’t be on the fourth line getting no ice-time. They just want him to develop for now and he’s going to do so much quicker playing

  5. Yeah, Carbo said in the preseason that if Latendresse was making the team he was staying the whole year, not just 10 tester games. And, after all, he signed a 3 year deal. He is getting paid more than Plekanec, Higgins, Begin, etc.

    My prediction for todays game is some strong play by Kovalev (he always does well against the sens), and the habs taking it in overtime 4-3.

  6. #6 PACTUM SERVA says:
    October 14, 2006 at 3:42 pm

    Ya i agree i cant see him being sent down to junior making that kind of money.I think carbo is doing the right thing breaking him in slowly.They dont want to take any risks with our futher

  7. #7 PACTUM SERVA says:
    October 14, 2006 at 3:49 pm

    lol sorry future

  8. #8 Gumper says:
    October 14, 2006 at 4:42 pm

    I’m looking foreward to tonight’s match. Great time of year and makes the winters almost bearable here. It’s way too early to get a distinct feeling of how lines and chemistry are unfolding. My only concern, if any, is the Kovalev / Samsanov pairing and how it looks on the ice. In the short term, they seem to need to talk to each other to fine-tune their positioning on the attack in the offensive zone. They need to bridge both Sami’s speed and ability to get in the open and Kovi’s great vision and “laid-back” approach. They should simply let things happen and not worry about who gets the goals and who gets the assists.

    Of Gui and cause and effect.
    In brief, i can see the very possibilty of media and fan frenzy getting to this kid. Simply put, there is far too much pressure on him and only time will tell if he goes the way of Ribs, Stephane Lebeau, and Brisebois, etc. Besides Lafleur, i can’t remember the last time a decent draft pick panned out for the Habs… and the only reasons why he wasn’t run out of town was because he started playing during the late cup years, thus he had less pressure on him to get comfortable enough to show what he had.

  9. Don’t forget Higgins and Komisarek strong starts. Guys, this is what you will see from them ALL year… get used to it.. you better start to believe..
    GP

  10. #10 Jack Tornton says:
    October 14, 2006 at 6:23 pm

    I juat wanna see Latendresse play on the second line.That’s it. Just try it Carbo. I’m pretty sure Gui is just waitin to be placed on the 2nd line and “BOOM” he would score and pass and score and pass and score. “Guillaume latendresse tir du du poignet et le but”!!!!!!!!!!!!!”Latendresse shoots and…….he scoressssss”!!!!!!!

    I just wanna see him play on the 2nd line!

  11. #11 Jack Tornton says:
    October 14, 2006 at 6:24 pm

    I just wanna see him play on the 2nd line*

  12. #12 martin says:
    October 14, 2006 at 7:21 pm

    What happened to radio-canada broadcasts? Where can I watch Habs games in Toronto?

  13. #13 Jack Tornton says:
    October 14, 2006 at 7:28 pm

    Guys I got some rimes about the leafs:

    Raycrof is soft
    Darcy tucker is a mother fuc***
    Matts sundin is more jokes than mr. bean
    Wellwood aint doin any good

  14. #14 Jack Tornton says:
    October 14, 2006 at 9:57 pm

    forget about huet. This guy sucks. thats all what I have to say. Man. You know what Huet go and learn your proper french first(quebecois. Then you can start working on your butterfly style or whatever. Afterall Im the dumb one I was the one that was againt everyone in this site backing up this mother*****. Aebisher your welcomed to take over the 1st positon.

  15. #15 CH fan1 says:
    October 14, 2006 at 9:58 pm

    well, you guys, I have been preaching about Huet in shooouts! HABS WILL NEVER WIN A SHOOTOUT WITH HUET IN NETS! NEVER! NEVER! NEVER!!!!! He can’t stop shots one on one! Why won’t Carbo change goalies for the shootout? Why should we give up a point? Carbo, please don’t leave Huet in for a shootout! It will be a loss every time!

  16. Does Huet suck in penalty shots or what??

    The Canadiens should practice this penalty shooting and stopping thing. Those are important extra points and they seem to suck at it.

    Aside from that, an ok game. We are capable of remaining calm and coming back in the last few minutes. Nice move from Samsonov. Higgins again a strong game.

    We are still running unbeaten in the regular 3 periods! Unbeatable. Just get better on those penalty shots.

  17. Huet should wake up at 6am for 2 weeks straight and practice stopping penalty shots for 4 hours before breakfast.

  18. See – people jsut rag on Huet. Leave the guy alone!

    If you want someone to blame, and god knows why i mean look at the positives first, then blame the whole team for not making chances, inevitably, not getting into a shootout situation.

    There is a full bandwagon of HuetHaters and AebeischerAdorers but in the end it comes down to my good ol mantra – ‘THE NAME ON THE FRONT IS A HELL OF A LOT MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE NAME ON THE BACK!’

  19. #19 PACTUM SERVA says:
    October 14, 2006 at 10:17 pm

    lol OH STOP YOU GUYS LOL come on now dont go blaming huet for this loss.Our 3 shooters didnt score REMEMBER.I would hate to go to war with any of you guys.JACK TORNTON with your 14 post i think that is in such bad taste to say something about proper french i feel embarassed for you.What makes you so special.I new right away that after this game there would be peolpe calling for huets head.Huet will be fine.Hey guys here is an idea lets ask gainey if he can get back that MENTAL CRIPPLE back out of colarado because remember how great he played for us.I am sure he would make jack tornton happy because he was born in quebec and has the proper butterfly style??????????????????????????????????????????????????? lol (end of sarcasm)Get real guys

  20. Exactly.

    In the words of Borat ‘i like you’

  21. #21 Leaf's fan says:
    October 15, 2006 at 9:06 am

    Hey guys:

    I am back a bit earlier than expected. Did you miss me? Your poetry is even worse than your hockey team is. Check this one out about last night’s games:

    I really don’t give a toss
    because we won and you guys loss
    Latendresse does not impress!
    Cristobal sure ain’t no wall!
    In case you guys don’t know the score,
    it’s you are sixth, but we’re number four! (and climbing!)

    It’s a good thing that you guys keep ranting on about your new found saviour GUI, but have you looked at any STATS lately? By my calculations if he manages to stay around Montreal the entire year, and continues at the torrid scoring pace he is at. He should have the following stats:

    0 goals- 0 assists- 0 points – 20 shots- -41 (+/-)

    Perhaps you can invent a Habs rookie award, and call it the Stephane Lebeau-Patrice Brisebois-Mke Ribeiro award so you can award it to Latendresse this year to recognize the greatness that the rest of the world cannot even see.

  22. #22 t8ter says:
    October 15, 2006 at 9:38 am

    Hey Jack, Instead of ripping on your own (I assume ) team with magical ryhmes, try matching wits with the the always insightful leafs fan!!! Apparently he has dabbled at matching words that sound alike also!!!

    GO HABS!!!

  23. #23 riser8 says:
    October 15, 2006 at 10:02 am

    1967

  24. #24 PACTUM SERVA says:
    October 15, 2006 at 10:26 am

    Hey riser was the tv even invented back then lol

  25. Habs #1, where did you hear this information about Latendresse being sent back to the QJMHL before the tenth game? Is that in his contract? There is obviously a lot of media/fan pressure on this guy and his presence on the team may be becoming a bit of a distraction. Did anyone else read that article on http://www.nhl.com in which both Begin and Johnson jokingly referred to Latendresse as a “baby” and speak of “having to change his diapers?” I know that they were joking, but that’s not the kind of thing that they would say about a teammate that they had a lot of respect for. One of my concerns is that Begin was scoring a bit last year, but is not doing so this year. The chemistry of the “grinding/grit” line seems off.

  26. #26 Habs#1 says:
    October 15, 2006 at 10:52 am

    Rob, if a player is still of Junior eligible age, regardless of contract, he can be sent back down to the Juniors but cannot be called back up till the season and playoffs are over for the juniors.(Jordan Stall, Gibert Brule, Anze Kopitar, and some guy from San Jose are in the same situation).

    And the Habs need an agitator. A Matthew Barnaby, Jarkko Ruttu type guy to draw penalties because with the Habs powerplay being as good as it is, if they get chances they’ll score. They only got one powarplay last night and in the new NHL were special teams are king(look at Minnesota) you need more than one per night.

  27. I think Carbonneau should sit Latendresse out for a game or two, and go with a real fourth line combination against Calgary (Downey-Begin-Murray.) Begin could definitely be an agitator type player if he put his mind to it. Begin was also a +9 last year, but has started the first four games as a -4 this season. The four players on the fourth line are a combined -10 in four games. There is a serious problem on the fourth line right now.

  28. #28 Habs#1 says:
    October 15, 2006 at 12:20 pm

    I agree Rob. I think that Murray should go instead of Latendresse. He’s just not someone who’s not suited for the fourth line. Like Pierre LeBrun said, he’s being wasted on the fourth line. He should be on the top two lines.

    My solution, trade Kovalev for a defenceman. With Rivet and Dandenault being hurt were going to need one and I’ve never liked Kovalev. He dosen’t give 100% and he just looks dissintersted most of the time. If he actually tried he could score 45 goals.

  29. #29 CH fan1 says:
    October 15, 2006 at 3:51 pm

    we need to put Latendress on the 2nd line, so he can score some goals and show some of his talent. He’s wasted on the 4th line. c’mon it’s ridiculous! also, we’re taking way too many penalties! Every game, we’re taking double the penalties of our opposition. You can’t win games if you’re always in the penalty box! they have no discipline.

  30. #30 CH fan1 says:
    October 15, 2006 at 4:03 pm

    hey leaf’s fan. have you noticed that your teams has played 2 MORE GAMES THAN US! c’mon this blog in 2 months when leafs are 15 points behind us!Also how that game against devils? 3 goal lead in third period, and YOUR LOUSY LEAFS BLEW IT! so how good are your pathetic, no talented leafs? PRETTY AWFUL!Here’s my quote: The leafs will tumble, while the habs will rumble!

  31. To all leafs fans -

    Anyone who can score 6 goals past Brodeur and STILL LOSE deserves to be laughed all the way home. Not only that but 3 goals in the 3rd period then fuck it up in OT – come on?! Wheres the playing in that!

    I hate people who disagree with me

  32. #32 Leaf's fan says:
    October 17, 2006 at 1:32 am

    You must hate a lot of people then.

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