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Game 51: Penguins/Habs

  • Gut check time.

    Robert Lang’s injury perhaps the one that puts the team in real trouble.

    Who will step up and fill the void?

    One win in six, with a terrible powerplay, and the team’s best goal scorer gone for the season, perhaps forever. Where will the goals come from?

    Who’s going to fill Josh Gorges ice time and +7 rating?

18 Comments
  1. #1 Dancan81 says:
    February 3, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    With such uninspired play of late, with the exception of Lapierre oddly enough, everybody needs to step up. What the hell has happened to this team? There’s absolutely no leadership. As far as I’m concerned this team plays with no confidence or motivation and who’s to blame? The coach? The captains?

    I see it as too much pressure for a group of players that have no heart. Of course I’m generalizing, there are players on the team that care but it is not the difference makers. God help us. This team needs to do some soul searching or make a big trade and shake things up.

    As it stands the goal is to make the playoffs, nevermind win it all. Points wise we’re doing alright, but the past 3 weeks have been tough from a fans pov. If that don;t care why should we?

  2. #2 Mats Naslund says:
    February 3, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    Ultimately we need the guys who Gainey hoped would step up do so. Kostitsyn, Plex, Komisarek etc. They all need to get better if this team is to be successful.

  3. #3 Donnie says:
    February 3, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Imagine Kovalev with Lapierre’s work ethic, or Lapierre with Kovalev’s skill…..where do we find a guy like this?
    Uninspired hockey is what everyone is talking about and you’re all right. Right now our guys look like you or I going off to work because you have to. Playing for a paycheck is what too many guys on this team are doing. Where is the love for the game anymore?

    Hey Habs, share a little secret with ya…..if you play with drive and determination you can win games AND STILL get your fat paychecks..have the best of both worlds.

    Barring what happens tonight I think I have finally had my fill of Kovalev…to see him sitting there on the bench last game pouting like a punished 6 year old turned me.
    You’re all men playing for millions of $$$$…no one should have to put up with this SH*T. Bench the guy and send him off next year..only a matter of time before the Bell Centre fans get on him and he won;t wanna play anymore there anyways. This guy doesn’t deserve to wear the C when Koivu is out. He’s a p*ss poor leader, and the definition of what a competitor is NOT.
    Here’s my rant before the game….Kovalev, Kostitsyn, Kostitsyn, Plekanec, Markov, Brisbois….soft soft soft soft soft soft.
    Higgins, Latandresse, Begin, Kostopolous, Bullion, Georges….no skill no skill no skill no skill no skill no skill. We’re lucky to be where we are in the standings cuz the makeup of this team is rotten.

    Ah my…so why do I love them so ? lol Go Habs Go…ur brutal, but go anyways.

  4. Why can’t they bring this kind of effort most games? Not even every game, just most games. If they had thus far, they’d certainly be in a tight race with Boston for first right now.

  5. #5 Mats Naslund says:
    February 4, 2009 at 12:12 am

    The guys had lots of jump tonight. I love the line of Lapierre, S.Kostitsyn and Pacioretti. Lapierre has the will to make things happen and Pacioretti is learning quickly what effort can do to get results. Sergei had a fantastic game, and showed what he can do when he’s playing with players who will skate to get open. I thought O’Byrne played well after his missed check on the first goal, and after getting bashed by the Boston announcers all game sunday for being a “no skill goon” I thought Alex Henry was effective in what will be Laraque’s role next week. All in all, it was only one win, but if the Habs can string a few of these types of games they could really build some momentum towards the playoffs.

  6. Exactly Joseph…why do we have to bottom-out before our guys play a good hard game? 100% given tonight by basically the whole team.
    Are we gonna get this effort for the rest of the season, or is it only for a week or so while the panic button is pushed?
    Kovy figured out tonight that he’s playing on skates so he might as well use em. What a different, dangerous player when he gives some effort.
    Good job tonight but I’ll save my cheers until the next 5 or 6 games play out.

  7. #7 Senet1 says:
    February 4, 2009 at 1:00 am

    Well I hate the all star break and we always seem to be in Florida about that time. I think the guys just get their mind so far off hockey that it takes them time to get back in the groove. I mean we were playing really well until the Florida swing and then we went into the tank. I did not expect to beat Boston but we should have put better efforts agains the two florida teams.
    I am afraid I disagree with my friend Donnie, the guys that he pointed out as no skill have been carrying this team for two months and they were the ones who turned the team around from our November poor play. Higgins is not my favourite but he sure showed some speed and skill with that SH goal he scored.
    The soft guys I do agree, we identified them last spring and they are the same ones now. That is why I have been harping about getting a good strong defenceman to help Price because both goals tonight were really poor defensive plays.

    The Pitts game was an important game, 4 pointer becasue we needed to get some space between us and the pens. They were creeping up on us in the standings so we needed the win.

  8. #8 Mats Naslund says:
    February 4, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    It boils down to playing a style that uses the skill set we have, not the one we want. You play Boston’s game against Boston and you will lose more often than not. We forced the Pens to play our game and the result is a dominating win. Our success in the playoffs will rest on our ability to be the aggressor in determining the style of play.

  9. #9 Mats Naslund says:
    February 4, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Latendresse is out 4-6 weeks with a shoulder injury sustained against Boston, confirming that Boston’s announcers are two of the bigger douches in the NHL for insinuating that Guillaume was faking injury to draw a penalty on the play. Announcers should at least be able to call a play objectively. These two fanboys continually amaze me with their stupidity. Curses to the NHL’s blackout policy for NHL Center Ice.

  10. #10 Joseph says:
    February 4, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Wow, it sounds as though Bruins fans have got themselves a couple of class acts `bringing the games to them`.

    Its reassuring to know that intellectually retarded children are permitted to hold these types of jobs. That`s right, Edwards and Funayama, that`s what I called you. Please do comment back if my words should find their way to you. Hope, hope.

  11. #11 Mats Naslund says:
    February 5, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    haha I love their passion for the game, and I can respect pulling for your team (the habs can never do wrong in my eyes), but they get so caught up in the rivalry that they lose all objectivity. They call penalties for the refs, give no credit to opposing teams.. all in all they’re unprofessional. As someone who watches a lot of other team’s feeds due to the absence of RDS feeds on Center Ice, I can say that they are among the worst homers in the league.

    On to more interesting subjects.. Montreal trade rumors are EVERYWHERE right now. On top of the usual Lecavalier, Bouwmeester and Kaberle talks I’ve heard Montreal has been looking at Gaborik again (aparently he could be back in a month), Richards and Niskanen in Dallas, Jordan Staal and Ryan Whitney in Pittsburgh, Pronger in Anaheim.. it seems like every team who may have the slightest interest in selling at the deadline is in talks with Gainey. It’ll be really interesting if he can use some of this as ammunition towards getting a deal done, or whether the team responds enough that he doesn’t feel the need.

    With Laraque and Dandenault coming back, as well as O’Byrne getting a longer look we’re all of a sudden a lot tougher in our lineup.

  12. #12 Joseph says:
    February 5, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    Perhaps my reaction to that was a bit harsh but I’ve lost my patience with regard to ridiculously biased commentators, especially when it comes to belittling an injury to an opposing player. That’s extremely shallow.

    With Lang out, it’s no surprise that trade rumours are flying. I only hope that Gainey is able to turn one or two of those rumours into trumours and subsequently restore my faith in this team’s chances.

  13. #13 Mats Naslund says:
    February 6, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Practice Lines

    Forwards:
    A. Kostitsyn – Plekanec – Kovalev
    Higgins – Koivu – D’Agostini
    Pacioretty – Lapierre – S. Kostitsyn
    Laraque – Begin – Kostopoulos

    Defence:
    Markov – Komisarek
    Hamrlik – O’Byrne
    Bouillon – Gorges

    Goaltender:
    Price

  14. #14 Mats Naslund says:
    February 6, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    As big as some of the trade rumors have been, more important (long-term) is the signing of Komisarek. What do you guys think is fair value for him?

  15. #15 PACTUM SERVA says:
    February 6, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    I think he will get in between 4.5 to 5.5 million. I would not give him a cent more. I am not a huge komisarek fan anyways but i am sure there are teams out there that will be throwing some major bucks at him.

  16. #16 habknot says:
    February 6, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    Hey Guys! I was wondering about the effect of Lang’s injury vis-a-vis the salary cap. I believe we now have room to get a major rent-a-player [unresttricted at end of year, any ideas beside Bouwmeester?] from a non-playoff team. What happens to the payroll for playoffs when Lang gets back [fingers crossed]. Can we skate both guys even if they would not have been able to play the whole year together?

  17. #17 Mats Naslund says:
    February 6, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    We can sign a player for the same amount as Lang’s contract without moving other guys in the trade. He won’t be back this season.

    Pactum: I agree, I have heard people throw some crazy numbers around and guys comparable in the league make 3.5 – 4.5 (max). He has no offensive game at all. If he’s going to cost 5+ I hope Gainey makes other arrangements.

  18. #18 PACTUM SERVA says:
    February 6, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    Areed MN. Just look at what markov makes, he is no doubt a bargin at that price. 5 mill + would be hard for me to swallow as a hab fan.

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