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  • What can you say that hasn’t already been said and dissected a million times over since the Habs slump began?

    Not much. It’s the players turn to talk. They after all, are the only ones who can really do anything about it.

    Carbonneau can shuffle the lines, Gainey can swap a player for another player, but the team on the ice are who wins or loses the game.

    The Habs have lost all confidence in themselves. It was glaringly apparent in the loss to the Canucks. No passes connected, no shots penetrated, no big saves, no chemistry and no confidence.

    Every position is affected. Every player. Rookie, sophomore or veteran.

    How can the Habs regain their confidence? That’s a good question that nobody can really answer.

    One step at a time, baby steps – like scoring the first goal of the game. Build from there, and build some more.

    Saku Koivu, Chris Higgins and Michael Ryder are reunited.

    Making the other combinations for tonight:

    Guillaume Latendresse – Tomas Plekanec – Alex Kovalev.
    Samsonov – Radek Bonk – Mike Johnson
    Mark Streit – Maxim Lapierre – Alexander Perezhogin

    Craig Rivet and Sergei Samsonov are back in the lineup after their healthy scratch. It’ll be interesting to hear Rivet’s comments and see how he plays.

    Will Samsonov respond? Doubtful. Maybe to complain.

    Lose tonight and the bandwagon empties, the tires deflate and it grinds to a halt. Somehow defeat the Thrashers and then Buffalo Saturday? Then make room because ALL ABOARD! Next stop La Coupe Stanley…

    Gotta love Hockey in Montreal.

  1. #1 Habs#1 says:
    January 18, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    These are the lines i’ve been looking for all year. With Gui on Kovalev’s line Kovy finally has someone to go to the net for him while he does his thing and on the third line, Johnson and Bonk have no trouble going hard to the net while Sammy can dangle around and set them up.

    Gainey brought Sammy in to be Kovalev’s trigger man which was a mistake. I think these lines could very well turn the Habs around.

  2. The problem with the Canadiens is that they give up the first goal way too often. They need to score the first goal of the game to get the crowd out of it it Atlanta. Anyone notice how many times the Canadiens fall behind in a game. They do not have the offence to come from behind like the Thrashers and Senators do. They need to start scoring the first goal of the game. Huet has also struggled over the last two weeks but that could be attributed to the fact that the entire team is struggling right now as is he. Even when Patrick Roy was our goalie, when the team was struggling, so was he. Montreal can turn it around but they need to win tonight to get back on the right track!


  3. #3 riser8 says:
    January 18, 2007 at 4:36 pm

    I like the lines….lets hope that Carbo keeps them intact for at least two periods if not longer. Should be a good game tonight….your definitely right Hab’s blog about the bandwagon…

  4. Also, once again Gainey, please get rid of Rivet and Samsonov. They both SUCK! They are deadweight and we do not need that. Get rid of those assholes and we will be fine. We need to pick someone up at the trade deadline. If Gainey doesn’t make a move to help the team at the deadline, I am going to be very pissed off. Even more so than I am right now. Their sellout streak of 80 some games could be in jeopardy if they don’t turn things around in the next month or so because they might start losing fans again. Come on, you fucking slugs, get off your asses and show some heart and pride!


  5. #5 Habs#1 says:
    January 18, 2007 at 4:43 pm

    Easier said then done Ziman. Who would want Sammy or Rivet when they’re playing like they are. I think that once they get on a hot streak of sorts other teams might become interested, and since Gainey knows they’ll probably go back to playing crapily he’ll pull the trigger. But it’s more likely that Sammy get’s traded and then Rivet sticks around till he’s a UFA then hopefully go’s to play for Toronto.

    Although if Rivet miraculously get’s really hot at some point and starts playing really well Gainey might get lucky and get a whopper of an offer form a desperate team because defenceman are like gold these days.

  6. #6 high 4 habs says:
    January 18, 2007 at 4:44 pm

    This team isn’t going anywhere. You could change lines 400 times, and it won’t make a difference! lack of skill and talent are the reasons they are in this situation. Don’t change the lines, CHANGE THE PLAYERS!!!!

  7. #7 HabsInBlood says:
    January 18, 2007 at 5:24 pm (comment#9)

    Looks like you were bang on HabsBlog. We’re not worthy. It’s not how I drew them up, but the big thing was separating Kovy and Samsonov. If these lines stick, it will be interesting to see how it pans out. Carbo needs to stick to it for more than 1 shift, though :-)

  8. #8 coutNY_HabsFan says:
    January 18, 2007 at 5:50 pm

    HabsInBlood – If you look at the at #87 “GRARTH on Waivers” Blog I had that line-up posted a couple of hours ago. It’s been posted since noon on RDS. Just an FYI…

    Not to take away any praise to HabsBlog!

  9. #9 high 4 habs says:
    January 18, 2007 at 7:40 pm

    Actually, before the game is finished, look for Samsonov to be demoted to the 4th line, after they see him screw up another line, and does nothing, as usual!

  10. #10 kazmojo says:
    January 18, 2007 at 8:57 pm

    For once I agree with you high4habs. Perezhogin’s been struggling too, but not as much as Samsonov. Reunite the giant-killer 3rd line and relegate Sammy to the fourth line — and let him stay there until Begin gets back.

  11. #11 habs phan says:
    January 18, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    Well, up 3 to 1. In the second, hope they can keep the guns fully loaded for the whole game.

  12. #12 Habs#1 says:
    January 18, 2007 at 9:23 pm

    Did Samsonov and Kovalev just score in the same game? Habsblog, can you check if hell just froze over.

  13. HEY,LOOK WHO’S PLAYING GREAT HOCKEY,I’m in shock!We might have to bitch the Habs all the way to the cup!!!

  14. #14 Habs#1 says:
    January 18, 2007 at 9:31 pm

    If you look at all the games Sammy has scored except for his first, he’s been demoted or benched the game before.

    Carbonneau is going to have to bitchslap Sammy the rest of the way. Russians need a slap in the face every once in a while.

  15. Rick Moffat just about had a heart attack(radio play-by-play announcer)…Samsonov scoring and he hasn’t reached the next 20 game threshold…what gives! Lehtonen and the Thrashers feel like giving the game…must be one of those pro-line gags.

    Let’s keep it coming…can’t get enough PPGs…Let’s see if they continue on this path. Mind you, don’t get too carried away…it’s only the Thrashers. Go Habs Go!

  16. #16 joshtm says:
    January 18, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    Plekanic is the heart behind tonights game. And oddly enough Rivet finally woke up to stop a goal. Samsonov and Johnson clicked, but will they keep it up? After Koivu got angry you could tell that Johnson picked up. I guess the old guys are kind of outclassed by the rookies and it took Koivu to wake them up. Why can’t the vets compliment the rookies? How come the lines are only good when the rookies skate with healthy guys but then when they are on the same line as the older farts, the old guys basically give up.

    The defense is still a problem, if Huet can keep the puck out, we won’t care if the defense didn’t show up again tonite. Thank God the All Star break is here, the fans need respite from Carbo’s hopeless line juggling and Gainey’s yoyo action with the rookies.

    I guess the scouts are out in force tonite, and the vets have been told any offer would be heard. Maybe they heard Forsberg may come, maybe the vets are bucked up with thinking Forsberg is coming. But at what price?

  17. I’ll be back in April to tell you that I told you so, joshtm, Xhabsfan, and high 4 habs. In the meantime, I leave Habblog and Habs #1 (two of the few bloggers with any perspective on what Gainey has done for this team!) to deal with the idiot rabble…

  18. Rob, this is the habs blog,we all love em,and I hope yur right partner.

  19. #19 high 4 habs says:
    January 18, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    What exactly did you tell us, Rob?
    Isn’t it funny how these so called prognosticators think because we win 1 game, that everything is ok, and the habs will all of a sudden win the cup. Get off your laurels! It’s ONLY 1 win! I’ve decided not to get too excited, too high or too low, win or loss. When you get your hopes up, they get dashed, so it’s much better just to stay on an even keel, and accept what’s to be. winning 1 game doesn’t change a thing. We still need changes, in the form of a 2nd line center, and a good backup goalie.
    Tho habs played better, remember they played the thrashers, who have no defence, and Atlanta really didn’t play very well. But we do have to score 5 on 5, on a continuous basis. Can we? The big test is on Saturday vs Buffalo.
    I honestly think the habs play better on the road. We seem to take too many chances at home, always trying for that fancy play in front of the home folks. They just need to simplify things, and not take stupid penalties, and good D.
    That’s all folks.

  20. high for habs,u notice the habs D kick-in after 3 goal lead.Like u say ,Atlanta played the way they play,nothing special.Huet saved the game this time in the first.

  21. #21 snake says:
    January 19, 2007 at 1:09 am

    Pleks was the best player on the ice tonight. He has been on several occasions this year but it usually goes unnoticed so I am giving him his props for tonight. OTher notable stars tonight Huet, Latendresse, Boullion, Dandeneault, Johnson. ITs funny I think Markov and Komi were the least effective de tonight. That seems odd. Markov has not played his best hockey lately.

    Habs win!

    NOw if we can beat Buffalo then all those naysayers will turn into Cup chanters again. RIght Joshtm?

  22. #22 snake says:
    January 19, 2007 at 1:10 am

    NOthing more pathetic then someone who gets turned on by whinning about a hockey team.

  23. #23 stevejur says:
    January 19, 2007 at 2:02 am

    Huet saves the night again! This is getting old.
    Markov gave the puck away twice in the first and one turn out to be a goal.
    We cannot continue to depend on our goalies like this.
    I’m starting to feel sorry for Huet and Abby, our defense SUCKS!
    Don’t worry we’ll be back in the crapper soon enough.
    I loved the second line pairings.
    Congrats to Plekanec for carrying this team again, pure heart and soul player.
    A trade is still needed to make a further push in the second half.
    This defense is horrible

    Go Habs

  24. #24 smiler2729 says:
    January 19, 2007 at 2:36 am

    Some of you will never ever be happy…

  25. #25 WICKSTER says:
    January 19, 2007 at 7:14 am


  26. Two things:

    1. Rivet played a solid game tonight.

    2. Forsberg is NOT coming.

  27. ps…..yes , um, I am a star….if anyone was listening to the team radio 990, that was me giving my opinion about Kovalev.I also said that sammy would be playing for the girl guides next year….seemed to get quite a chuckle from Mitch & Mr. McGuire.

  28. Originally Posted by Habs_Dynasty
    ****THIS JUST IN****

    Jacques Demers just reported on TSN off the record that Sheldon Souray will be playing in LA next year!!

    I saw that too. Seems a lot of people did. Jacques didnt bat an eye when giving his answer, just said, Sheldon will be playing for LA next year.

    this does two things.

    1 makes him impossible to trade because everyone knows where he wants to go.

    2 makes it impossible to trade him even to the kings! They know all they have to do is wait and he’ll be there anyway, so why give up something for him now?

  29. #29 coutNY_HabsFan says:
    January 19, 2007 at 10:08 am

    I am happy for this “slump buster”… we needed a team that we have owned this year to build our confidence, and they did not let us down.

    I still would like to work on some basics because teams that play more a disaplined traditional hockey a Detroit or Jersey, and we not have faired so well. I will not elaborate because they won a well deserved victory and they’ve been bashed enough through this rut. Just note Habs, beating Buffalo at home, coming off their big win over Boston, would speak loudly for your ability to play through adversity.

    Snake – I would like to second your props on the play of Dandeneault. He was one of the few that I noticed played well against Canucks as well. I would like to see him with one of the Bigger D-men Souray, Komi, or Markov. The Bouillon and Dandee combo are a bit small and I think they might be better suited with Bigger guys to help with their speed.

    It is good to have this win to calm some of the “Dooms-day” front office hatters; even if it only one. They were a respectable opponent; whom were out played and dare say coached last night!??!!


  30. #30 joshtm says:
    January 19, 2007 at 10:54 am

    If you trade for small players in this trap style hockey, you are gonna pay. Similarly if you pay for big defense who do nothing but stand around all day, you pay for it. The balance is finding a strong forward and losing some of the pitiful defense. Or we get rid of the guys who are making those crappy trades.

  31. #31 joshtm says:
    January 19, 2007 at 10:59 am

    We have the ingredients now for a contender, maybe not all the way unless some miracle like reverse flu on the opponents hits…now we just need the rookies to come up and bench the lazy veterans who only show up when they are in the warmer climates like Florida, Tampa etc.

  32. #32 smiler2729 says:
    January 19, 2007 at 11:17 am

    Keep Sheldon Souray for the season, offer him big bucks in the summer and if he chooses Los Angeles to be with Becks & Posh then may his wrist injury re-occur and ruin his slap shot… whatever, seriously, as one door closes, another opens, he is replaceable. I still say there’s a Vinny Lecavalier trade happening someday, IT IS DESTINY.

  33. #33 smiler2729 says:
    January 19, 2007 at 11:30 am

    And since when is Jacques Demers’ word gold?

  34. #34 coutNY_HabsFan says:
    January 19, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    smiler2729 – I agree with keeping Souray unless someone is willing to give up a franchise player and take on some of our salary obligations from some underperformers. It’s been a while sense I’ve seen somebody break an opposing team’s stick for a deflection goal. It’s a gift to be blessed a cannon. Things happen when he is able to release it. Although on a micro note, Atlanta did not take any pointers from the Canucks on how to shut him down. Like a prize fighter with a great knock-out punch, you have to stay close to him and wait for him to open up… then take your jabs to create opportunities or at least cause some disruption so he’d have to take something off or force him to change his timing and direction. The Habs also made an adjustment by doing a good job by moving the puck on PP, so that the defenders had a tough time keeping their positioning on Souray.

    joshtm – I do agree that a balance D and Off is the key to the success of the team. But a Balance of veterans with playoff experience and rookies with drive are the key. I do not believe a flood of bulldogs will spontaneously result in a miracle offense and Defensive. I do not think there is anyone of Crosby’s caliber at this point and Pittsburgh a prime example of a young successful offense, but also an example of young inexperienced Defense.

    Our goalie facing over 40 shoots on goal a game. This will not hack it in the playoffs, but then again, Huet seems to thrive when he is occupied by 40 or more.

    izzy – I did not catch your opinion on Kovalev… I am curious, could you elaborate?

  35. coutNY

    All I said was get Kovy away from Sammy and play him with players who weren’t afraid to go in the corners. I said if someone feeds him the puck anywhere out front he could put it in.I also said that Sammy could go in the corners with eggs in his pocket and never make an omlet…he always cheats and turns away and has never finished a check.I said that you could play Kovy with a couple of girl guides as long as they could dig the puck out of the corners. I finished by saying that Sammy will undoubtedly play for the girl guides next year.

    great game by Johnson last night too. He was in their face all night.

  36. #36 coutNY_HabsFan says:
    January 19, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    Thanks for the recap izzy – Agreed the 2 had did not have any chemistry… and as for Johnson, he has been showing heart through-out the Habs slide; That goes for a lot of other Habs. I saw bunch of players, try too hard with individual efforts to change this teams coarse. They need to spread things around, act more as a team, and get other teams goalies moving out of position.

  37. how rumors get started…..last night I was flipping through checking on some other games when I happened across the Devils game…Stan Fischer ( Fischler?) said that as late as yesterday the habs were in serious discussions with the Flyers for Forsberg. How would this nut know that?…and why would he say so on television?

    I think some of these announcers know what kind of pot they’re stirring when they do this and are having a little tongue in cheek fun. They know that they have just started about 3000 threads on every website in North America. I think they should be interviewed after the game and asked where they got this information so we can watch them stammer and try to make something up on the spot….would be even more fun if someone like Forsberg was doing the interviewing…lol..

  38. ps….snowing like a bastard here…..( fredericton )….about a foot down now um…30cm?….and no sign of let up in sight.

    was considering picking up my shovel….but opened a beer instead….( priorities )

  39. #39 smiler2729 says:
    January 19, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    I like your priorities Izzy, snowsqualls here too (Orangeville, ON), lots coming into tomorrow… I’ve said from the minute he was acquired (for nothing!) that Mike Johnson would be an excellent fit, now who would you guys rather have now, Johnson or Zednik?

  40. #40 smiler2729 says:
    January 19, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    I think Peter Forsberg would be a good fit but Stan Fischler’s a goof, Rangers this, Devils that, blah, blah, zzzzzzzz.

  41. #41 Snake says:
    January 19, 2007 at 4:42 pm

    Oh Stan FIschler said that???? What time should we welcome Peter at the airport?

  42. #42 high 4 habs says:
    January 19, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    Guys, you don’t want Forsberg, with all his baggage, injiuries, and high price tag. He’s not the player he used to be, and doesn’t play enough games to make him worthwhile. besides, I suspect he has the lazy mindset of Kovalev.
    what we want is a good NORTH AMERICAN player,who’s not afraid to work hard, and plays thru pain. You know what I mean?

  43. #43 Habs#1 says:
    January 19, 2007 at 5:26 pm

    If know hockey, you’d know that Forsberg is more like Koivu then Kovalev. He’s got lots of heart, has come back from countless injuries to play at the same level and if he could get his skate thing fixed then he’d be a great pick up.

    You don’t win two Stanley Cups and a heart trophy if you don’t care.

  44. #44 Drive_4_25 says:
    January 19, 2007 at 5:34 pm

    Just a question (maybe a stupid one but I’d like an answer!!!)
    Is their a rule that forces players to wear their own jersey?!? by that I mean if for example the habs took the ice but everyone was wearing different jerseys it would be much more difficult for the opposing team to know whom their supposed to cover! I know it would NEVER happen but I was more interested to know if it was actually against the rules?


  45. #45 coutNY_HabsFan says:
    January 19, 2007 at 6:03 pm

    Snake – I am thinking there was a bit of sacasizm in the Stan Fishler comment???

  46. #46 coutNY_HabsFan says:
    January 19, 2007 at 6:17 pm

    I meant Sarcasm…

  47. #47 Snake says:
    January 19, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    You think correctly. There is no real downside in acquiring FOrsberg as long as we dont have to give up anyone too special. WE do have an excess of young telent that for one reason or another will never play for our team. Lets be honest what is the likelihood of all A Kost, S KOst, Grabovsky, O Bryne, Jancevski, Locke, CHip, COte, Millroy and futue picks all playing for us. ONly untouchables in my book would be Price and the younger Kost. AS someone said earlier 3rd line centers are overpopulated as it is and that is exactly what CHipchura is.

    JOSHTM keeps saying we need to call up the sheep and pigs from teh farm but really how many of those players will actually make it. NAd how many will turn into Tery Ryan adn Sebastien Bourdeleau. Or worse yet Matt Higgins and Brent Bilodeau.

    GIve up a good prospect for 3 months of FOrsberg. Foot problem or not he will play in the playoffs and produce just like for Philly against Buffalo. He singlehandily won two games for them. Hey if he can tuen Gagne a natural 18 goal scorer into a 47 goal man then he can do wonders for Kovy and Lats.

    Higgins Koivu Ryder
    Lats FOrsberg Kovy

    ALthough if this is the case the latter would be our first line.

  48. #48 Snake says:
    January 19, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    Prez Pleks Sammy
    Streit Bonk JOhnson

    Begin, DOwney, Lapierre ready to fill the void.

  49. #49 Snake says:
    January 19, 2007 at 6:52 pm

    OKay I just want to sum up a couple of previous posts done by the same writer. Im a little confused because his posts directly contradict themsleves.

    FIrst he writes that Lapierre is the future of the club and we desperately need him or else we will lose.

    THen he writes bottom line centers are a dime a dozen and arent worth anything. Well Laps is a 4th line center and always will play that roll.

    SO JOshTM, which one is it?

  50. #50 Snake says:
    January 19, 2007 at 6:55 pm

    January Stars so far: ALthough not many

    1. Thomas Plekanec
    2. Sheldon Souray
    3. Gui Unit (By default)

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