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Carbonneau announces starting lineup

  • The Canadiens annual golf tournament marks the unofficial start to training camp and the new season. The Habs staff and players mingle with the media on the golf course and start dissecting the team and the upcoming season.

    On a positive note, Guy Carbonneau said his starting lineup is already decided and on paper it looks pretty impressive and deeper than it has in many years.

    Higgins – Koivu – Ryder
    Samsonov – Ribeiro – Kovalev
    Perezhogin – Plekanec – Johnson
    Begin – Bonk – Murray/Downey

    Gainey also gave hope to some of the Habs prospects saying that there is a spot available for them to earn.

    What first stands out is the offensive punch of the first two forward lines. Higgins is about to breakout after a stellar first year, Ryder is a proven goal scorer who is just getting started.

    No one can deny the talent Samsonov and Kovalev bring. If they stay healthy all year they could put up big numbers. However, the success of those 2 lines may be dependant on the 2 ‘troubled’ pivots, Koivu and Ribeiro.

    The news about Saku Koivu was not overly optimistic. Koivu is still suffering from the eye injury he received last April and apparently did not seem very confident about being 100% ready for the upcoming season.

    koivu eye

    Until Koivu can test the eye in training camp he is uncertain whether he can start the year. Should that be the case, the Canadiens depth and leadership will be tested right off the bat in game 1.

    Pre-season broadcasting gets underway September 19th against the Bruins.

23 Comments
  1. Really too bad about Saku… bad news. If the eye doesn’t improve, his days are truly numbered. Come on Ribs!! Show us what you really got (and had years ago) and earn that fat paycheck, man. Good luck to Carbo et al.

    Well folks, it’s amost that time of the year when we re-form the ass groove on LaZ Boy. Et le BUUUT!

  2. #2 Alestar says:
    September 6, 2006 at 9:41 am

    I wonder if there’s going to be another Latendresse (or if he’ll bounce back…) burning it up at camp, creating a big fuss. If so, be nice to move a forward/prospect and tweak the D…need a real #1 back there.

    Overall, looking forward to cheering on the Habs this season.

    Go Habs Go!

  3. True true, but who gets bumped up to the top line if Kapn Koivu cant play? NOT Ribiero.

  4. It’s the third line I’m excited about, could be a wicked line…watch out.

  5. nilan: I would like to see Plekanec up there in that scenario. Maybe bring up Kastsitsyn or Ferland to fill the spot, from the bottom up.

  6. The third line is the one I like the least.

  7. It may well be a reality. Koivu is ultra-tough and if anyone can do it…
    That may be “the spot” Gainey is saying will be open for the youngsters at camp. Plex WOULD be cool there, but Perez-Plex may have good chemistry that might not need tinkering. That would leave Bonk (not necessarily appropriate for the 1st line) or Ribiero (who I think is in a do-or-die situation with the Russians). Carboneau will figure it out.

  8. #8 Habsalmighty says:
    September 6, 2006 at 2:16 pm

    Need a Center and a defenceman before the start of November. I am sorry, but I think Koivu only has so many lives and I think they have now all been used. He will get caught coming accross the ice and will not even see big hits coming…other teams will exploit this. I worry about his safety…maybe he should just chill out and hike some fjords.

  9. #9 jack tornton says:
    September 6, 2006 at 4:01 pm

    the situation is very complex and no one can tell what will happen…All what I know someone has tom make a choice about koivu’s situation and it will sure be aither bob or carbonnau or both but keep something in mind even if koivu returns hes not a permanent player. Everyone already know that he will be injured again so what should we do right now. I dont want to trade him and im pretty sure everyone konow that too.

    But just think for a second if we trade him we could get a great player if we add a package of on or two of our prspects

  10. Koivu has a no-trade clause in his contract.

  11. nobody will want Koivu, because he is now considered DAMAGED GOODS! Get the picture? We are in BIG TROUBLE! no centermen. Koivu-injured, Ribeiro-couldn’t score even if his linmates were Ovechkin or Heatley! So who’s left? I am very disappointed that Gainey didn’t try hard enough to get another centerman for insurance purposes, and also didn’t attempt to get another D man, especially with Bouillon injured! Simply not smart!

  12. #12 jack tornton says:
    September 6, 2006 at 10:04 pm

    The time will fix everything

  13. #13 Bullsmith says:
    September 6, 2006 at 10:25 pm

    There is no reason to panic about Koivu and every reason not to. Think of the way we traded St. Patrick: sheer panic. Koivu’s injury is seriously worrying and he’d be difficult to replace, period. But in the meantime this isn’t a bad thing for the team. As long as Koivu’s out, we’re accumulating cap room. If he doesn’t come back we’ve got the room plus the prospects to go after a major 5-7 mil player. If he does come back, we’ll thank God we didn’t panic and make a bad deal. In the meantime we’ve got some really interesting forwards to look at – Pleks can move up, Perezhogin, Gaborik, the Kostitsyns,, Latendresse etc are all worth a look in the NHL. Guys like Johnson and, especially, Higgins can play on almost any line and succeed.

    We have the assets to accquire a serious center, and maybe should do it regardless, but Koivu’s cap hit is a major factor in the team’s salary structure. There’s no good reason for Gainey to replace him until we know if he can play. The worst that can happen is we lose points early we’ll miss later this year. If we make a bad trade because Koivu MIGHT not play again, we could regret it for years.

  14. #14 Bullsmith says:
    September 6, 2006 at 10:26 pm

    Ooops. Not Gaborik, Grabovsky or whatever it is.

    I wish.

  15. #15 jack tornton says:
    September 6, 2006 at 10:35 pm

    ??????????????What are you talking about Bullsmith? Funny name…whatever

    How can we aquire a serious center worth between 5-7 million dollars when we dont have 2 million left in the salary cap? re you dreaming or just throwing out guesses? Anyways

  16. jack tornton : If it’s ever happens (hope not) that Koivu doesn’t make it, there will be 4.5 or 4.75 (don’t remember how much he earns this year) avaible in the salary cap. With 2 more millions still avaible it’s make up to near 7 millions.

    BTW : Simon Gagne still have not signed a new contract. I know he is not totally free, but how much would it cost to get a guy like him in the new nhl ? A first round pick ? If Koivu is not playing, means that Kovalev will probably play center, he already did before, and that would let the place for a big winger. He ask for a little more than 5 millions and a 3 year contract, that money would be avaible and I would like to see another Quebecois, and a REAL superstar.

    If Koivu doesn’t make it, we will probably see a space for a young guy (hope so).

    In 2 years, if we keep good in Defence, we will be hard to beat.

  17. #18 jack tornton says:
    September 7, 2006 at 4:34 pm

    You guys are dreaming in my opinion…How can you predict that koivu is going to be out the whole season? He might be out for the first half, so if we aquire simon gagne(or someone else worth the same amount) we will have to trade him back since koivu returns and we will be over the salary cap…Makes sense?

    I hope you understand the situation. There wont be any Gagne in this team.

  18. #19 jack tornton says:
    September 7, 2006 at 4:35 pm

    And to get Gagne we will have to give 1st rounders up and an addition of one or two of our prospects

  19. “And to get Gagne we will have to give 1st rounders up and an addition of one or two of our prospects”

    Thank, that’s what I wanted to know.

    Yes, if Koivu doesn’t start and make it back, his salary count, unless there is something special when a player get a big injury. But if he is not able to start the season, the reason will be his vision not being 180 and that’s something that might never come back.

    Hope everything get right.

  20. #21 jack tornton says:
    September 8, 2006 at 4:22 pm

    If Koivu doesnt start the season, and we get gagne everything will be fine. The problems takes place when Koivu returns. We will be over the salary cap, therefore we will have to trade Gagne back. We would have lost many 1st round picks and 1 or 2 prospect just to get gagne for half of the season. NO WAY! This will never happen…

  21. #22 Begin Rules says:
    September 12, 2006 at 2:18 am

    Suprised nobody else knows that Higgins is a natural center. If Koivu can’t play Higgins can take his place and we could put someone else on LW like Samsonov, or a prospect. Also, If Higgins would continue to play LW Carbo could put a prospect at center who I’m sure will break into the NHL this year. People will call me crazy but Chipchura would have a shot at it. He’s WAY more than just a 3rd line grinder.

  22. Found a great link to see Mike Komisareak and Chris Higgins busting butt this off-season , check it out,,
    http://www.institute3e.com/index.html

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