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Gut Check Time

  • The Habs are about to play back to back games against the Ottawa Senators. Luckily for the Canadiens they are not quite back to back, but with a day of rest in between.

    The last time the Canadiens played the Senators they put forth one of their best efforts of the year and they won. Polar opposite of the 8-3 thrashing they received on Hockey Day in Canada.

    With the Eastern Conference standings tightening up on a nightly basis, Divisional and Conference games are even more important.

    Despite the Canadiens mediocre play, as of now they still remain in 4th place. Several teams are knocking on the door including the Senators and these next two games can be considered an 8 point series.

    How and will Sergei Samsonov respond? How will fans treat him? Will Gainey and Carbonneau regret not sending him to Hamilton?

    With the Canadiens 5 on 5 scoring ability ranking among worst in the league, the goaltending Cristobal Huet provided early in the year has to resurface in order for the Canadiens to remain in games.

    The Canadiens have not scored the first goal of a game in the past 6 games.

    David Abeischer has quietly been receiving the starting role on a more regular basis.
    What is the significance?

    Is Abeischer filling in solely to give Cristobal Huet a bit of a breather? Is he playing more because he’s out played Huet recently? Or is it possible Abeischer is being showcased for a potential trade?

    Maybe all of the above.

79 Comments
  1. #1 coutNY_HabsFan says:
    February 8, 2007 at 11:59 am

    These games will answer a lot of questions… in the Standings, teams heart, and Carbos ability to lead! Good or Bad…

  2. Don’t wanna be a smartass, but it’s “Aebischer”, with the “Ae” standing for the German “Ä”, not Abeischer. ;-)

  3. I hope we can get a couple of rental power fowards before the trade deadline for the journey to the big show.The Habs need some new blood in the lineup with skill,size and toughness, cause rite now ,honstly I figure it could super charge the Habbies who are playing like Habnots.And then bring on the LAFFS.U can rebuild and go to the Big Show too!And as for the Sens NEIL,I HOPE HE GETS HIS!!!

  4. #4 habmanj says:
    February 8, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    Prediction: Habs win …5-2 – take the lead in the first period with 3 goals and then ride Huet to the win.

    Samsonov a goal and an assist.

  5. #5 habs phan says:
    February 8, 2007 at 12:48 pm

    tonight is huge, that’s all i have to say!!! go habs go

  6. #6 Habz4EveR says:
    February 8, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    I’m gonna be at the game so i just hope they will make all of us habs fans proud (we do fill up about half the arena hehe)

    GO HABS GO

  7. #7 smiler2729 says:
    February 8, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    A home and home against Ottawa… the Habs NEED at least 3 out 4 points to stay comfortable and the f***ing Leafs aren’t rolling over and dying.
    I have a solution to the NHL’s problem of too many teams playing for the “tie” so to speak and ending up with these “3-point” games (see PGH-MTL last week). Award 2 PTS for a regulation win and only 1 PT for an OT/SO win and nothing for the losers, that should appease everybody and keep the 2 point/1 point dynamic that is what makes the NHL different from the other sports and their Win Pct.
    I wish the NHL would listen to ITS FANS!

  8. newest one is Nagy almost a sure bet to be a hab……sigh

    and new talks again this morning re Aucoin / sammy / rivet….

    Aucoin scored game winner last night with a rocket from the point?

  9. HEY!!!! I’M BACK!!!….LOL

    havent been able to post for three days….keeps sending me to the spam filter..

    yay.

  10. #10 Habz4EveR says:
    February 8, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    who or what is nagy?

  11. #11 coutNY_HabsFan says:
    February 8, 2007 at 3:01 pm

    Hummm???? Motreal would probably be in last place at this point. We always have low scoring close games. We would have 6 less points:( Ottawa would be ahead of us at this point. Not really sure how many overtimes, but they do have more wins. We better explore this next year.

  12. #12 coutNY_HabsFan says:
    February 8, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    Opps I was refering to #7 smiler2729.

  13. #13 coutNY_HabsFan says:
    February 8, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    I apologize to Yesterdays posting of the Line up: TSN had posted the practice squad lines and I was a little premature… Looks like Sammy will have to wait for his grand re-entree! They’re saying Markov is still out with his knee.

    RDS-has
    Higgins-Koivu-Ryder
    Latendresse-Plekanec-Kovalev
    Streit-Bonk-Johnson

  14. Who wrote those pathetic, apologetic posts under my name in the last blog? Weak!

    Truth is that I don’t apologize for criticizing Montreal fans for booing and jeering Crosby last Sunday. Crosby both loves the Habs, and wants to play for them one day. Crosby’s dad was once in the Habs organization. This still seems like jeering one of our own if you ask me. Anyways, I am over that, now…

    The other thing is that I will continue to disagree with joshtm everytime that he blames everything on Bob Gainey.

    As far as Samsanov goes, cut him some slack! You cannot teach an old dog to do new tricks, and not everyone was intended to be a defensive forward, Carbonneau (because I know that you are reading this.) You have got to let your work horses do what they are supposed to do so your ponies can run. Samsanov needs some ice time and play on one of the top two lines (maybe, even some PP time) if he is again going to find his game in Montreal.

    Let’s hope the Senators follow the example of their counterparts in Parliament, and not show up for work tonight. Go Habs Go!

  15. Xhabsfan:

    How’s life on the West Coast? Is the snow up over the soles of your birkenstocks yet?

  16. Izzy:

    Welcome back, man. I thought you had been put on Habs blog waivers for being a discipline problem too!

  17. I think it is time the Canadiens start playing the way they did earlier in the season and show what they are made of. They have to start playing well or else they will not make the playoffs. They need to win tonight and try and sweep this home-and-home series with the Sens. I think Montreal and Ottawa can build a rivalry as intense as the Sens and Leafs because of the close proximity of the two cities. Montreal is the same distance from Ottawa as Toronto is from Buffalo. Half of Scotiabank Place is filled with Montreal jerseys and flags whenever we play there so basically this could be two “home” games for us. Let’s make all those Habs fans proud and beat the Sens tonight!

    Ziman

  18. Let’s hope that clearing waivers will have the same motivational effect for Samsonov that it had for Daniel Briere (who also went unclaimed when put on waivers in 2001.) Even today, Briere still reminds the press about that, and speaks with clenched fists when he talks about being put on waivers.

    Samsonov is actually trying. He justs a few breaks and some ice time that is appropriate for a completely offensive minded forward.

    Go Habs Go. Go Sammy Go.

  19. #19 Jack Tornton says:
    February 8, 2007 at 4:48 pm

    Many people say Habs have rivalries with Carolia but that is completely wrong. They did not even showed any emotions. The played as if they had no legs. They had a couple of chances, not to forget Streit’s opportunity. What we need right now is a couple of fights every night.

    After all, why did we signed Murray and Downey if they’re not dropping their gloves?

  20. #20 coutNY_HabsFan says:
    February 8, 2007 at 5:39 pm

    Accidental butt end, normal pushing after a faceoff what ever it was the game in Pitt was fun to watch (with the exception of Koivu getting blasted, and Sourays retaliation boot.) I do not want to resort to intentional cheap shots but I haven’t seen that sort of intensity matched in the new year. Not even in the second game that we won. Too bad it took a bad situation to bring out the best in our team. I do not think a staged fight from Murray or Downey will bring out the same drive, but who knows, possibly if it were to be with that idiot Neil who was gunning for our top players in their last meeting with the Senators!?!?

    Koivu has not really been the same since that hit. He says that he didn’t really get the brunt of hit, but the full-on hits are not always the dangerous ones. Just a thought…

  21. #21 Drive_4_25 says:
    February 8, 2007 at 6:08 pm

    OKAY, i THINK THIS TIME CARBO’S REALLY THINKING OF HIMSELF BEFORE THE TEAM!!!

    Can anybody think of a more motivated player at this point then Samsonov!!! Why in the world would Carbo sit him!! This guy is really starting to piss me off! I’m starting to feel like HE”S actually the biggest reason for the habs play as of late!!!

    After all the bullsh_t that’s gone on concerning Samsonov..and now after “clearing” the air…He’s still going to sit him! What’s the message here? That he’s the coach and that he can do whatever he wants!!! Well, maybe he’s right he CAN do whatever he wants…Until the WHOLE team decides that their not going to do ANYTHING FOR HIM!!Then who goes ?? the team! I don’t think so!

    Carbo needs to climb off his HIGHHORSE And recognize that it’s not all about HIM!!!

    I would almost prefer to have a pitbull ass-raping me, on a comet, headed for the sun…Then continue to watch my team go through the senseless “REGIME of CARBO!” and lose their way out of the season!!!

    I did say ALMOST!

    GO HABS!!!

  22. thx Rob….I too cleared waivers…sigh…unclaimed….actually, Sammy is right here beside me now nursing a bottle of Jack Daniels. We’re seeing if we can organise a pick up game for tomorrow. Couldnt find any guys but some of the girls said they would play, so should be a good close game.

    ahhh….good to be back.

    izzy

  23. is this line up for tonight carved in stone yet?…..check the gazette pre game line up…usually is bang on.

    I too think Sammy would be more than motivated to show not only the habs but the rest of the league what he can do with a little push from the brass.In fact he better play like he is downright pissed off….or he has no self respect at all….

    gonna go see what Pierre McGuire has to say now.

  24. #24 Snake says:
    February 8, 2007 at 6:17 pm

    Bottom line is just find a way to win. NO excuses, no roadblocks just do it. IF each player finds that little extra in them then they will win.

    P.S Send out a search team for Captain Koivu. OR just put the C on Souray.

  25. Rob you have to leave this crosby thing behind.Just let it go man.

  26. #26 doggone R habs says:
    February 8, 2007 at 6:34 pm

    I just want us to win tonight. and if the habs lose, I don’t want to hear any more excuses! Excuses are for losers! This team needs to start acting like professional athletes. They make plenty of money, so start moving those feet, start skating, and act like you care, because the fans aren’t going to accept this underachieving mediocrity crap anymore. Speaking for all habs fans-WE ARE FED UP!

  27. #27 I am Canadien says:
    February 8, 2007 at 6:49 pm

    Watching the Habs play is a big waste of time. After a vacation where I spent all of my HARD earned $$, I am relaxed. The last thing I need to do is sit and watch a bunch of overpaid athletes float through another game and get a big can of asswhipping put to them. No point in ANALyzing the state of affairs anymore; they’re DONE.
    I’ve got the whole love hate thing happening here. I have zero expectations from them so losing to the Sens will have zero impact on my emotions.blah blah blah
    How about those Raptors!!

  28. ok…heres the poop as I understand it.

    #1. It wasnt Chicago that were dragging their feet on the sammy/rivet for Aucoin/Smolinkski deal. It was BG because of the health issues of Aucoin. Apparantly Aucoin is rested and healed and played a great game last night ( game winner to boot). Now, apparantly, talks are back on.This leads me to believe that this is the reason sammy doesnt play tonight.Could be he really is done here and maybe there might even be an announcement tonight during the game, although it wont be made while rivet ( if rivet) is on the ice, then it would be leaked afterwards.If you dont see rivet after the first period, or if he is a late pre game scratch, then you know something is up.

    #2.
    Pierre McGuire said just ten minutes ago that Ottawa was not good last night and will/should be very angry tonight. Gonna be a tough one. He said that Alfredson, Spezza,Phillips and Heatly should all be playing guilty hockey tonight after their performance last night.

  29. If the wheels fall off the wheels fall off,Hab Fans will still be and allways will be La creme de la creme,so keep those chins up and don’t swet the small stuff,roll with it and have fun with it,it will get fixed later.We will make sure of that!!!

  30. Sorry for creating dissention again, Habs Blog, but…

    Is there anyone out there that doesn’t think that Samsonov is being set up as a scape goat here? I mean really… Did we acquire him as a free agent for his defensive abilities? Why is he on the third or fourth line for crying out loud! Why after last Thursday’s game in Pittsburgh when the Bonk, Johnson, Samsanov trio had six points and he had two assists, was he benched? To satisfy some egos! That’s why.

    I guess it is time for me to take those meds again, and recite my pledge on why Sidney Crosby is so talented that he warrants booing…

    Can you imagine Aucoin and Souray on the same D… There would be fights over who would pull the trigger from the point. Two rockets from the point; it might be crazy enough to work!

  31. Guys…just floating this out there….you can jump on me later.
    I read and post on at least 5 sites including this one. The objectivity on this one combined with the lack of screaming naysayers is refreshing.
    There is however one common theme on each of these sites however that I have not addressed until now…..namely..” the team was over achieving at the first of the year”.
    Now, it seems to me that this “overachieving” simply means that they are capable of playing that way , not that they strung together 30 fluke games in a row. To me, overachieving means giving 110%, and THAT my friends is what they were doing!There IS NO SUCH THING as overachieving….just playing your guts out and doing what it takes to win. Thats what they were doing.They played like a team posessed.They left it all out there on the ice and when their shift was done, they crawled to the bench, some of them wretching in pain and some of them vomiting behind the coach.Overachieving simply means playing the absolute best you can, and when they played that way, they could beat anyone, and even sometimes made it look easy.
    “Overachieving” does NOT exist…..effort DOES!

    I traded emails with Red Fisher for a bit awhile back, and the jist of my concerns at that time was the fact that something happened on or around the 23rd of december.I asked Red if he thought Carbo had lost this team.Red was emphatic in his reply and it was a resounding NO!

    I’m sorry…I love Carbs, but I’m still not convinced.

    izzygoodenough@hotmail.com

  32. Samsonov has underachieved, bottom line.

    The team struggling is not all his fault but he hasn’t done his job all year. Oh yeah and he’s scratched again tonight.

  33. #33 kazmojo says:
    February 8, 2007 at 7:42 pm

    While Huet’s normal stellar goalkeeping did slide a bit of late, that wasn’t the main problem. I’ve said this before, but his success is due in part to his defense. Early on they cleared rebounds, cut off the pass on the odd man rush, and were great on the PK. They had lapses, but they were pretty good.

    You rarely saw Huet make the spectacular save, because he didn’t have to. Besides, he’s a positional goalie. He’s where he needs to be, playing the angles to near perfection.

    So when their defense started to crack, he wasn’t as “invincible” as he seemed to be early on.

    Abby, on the other hand, isn’t so great positionally. But he does have much more lateral movement than Huet, and can therefore bail out his defense on occasion (witness the first Pittsburgh game).

    It’d be great to have a goalie with both abilities (a la Martin Brodeur), but if I had to pick, I’d go with Huet. Carbo has gone back to his regular defensive pairings of late (Rivet-Souray, Dandenault-Bouillon, Komisarek-Markov/Niniimaa) and maybe that explains the tightened defense lately — except on the PK. Here’s hoping they show up tonight, and give Huet a chance.

  34. did I say it?…..Rivet is um….sick tonight and wont play….ahem

  35. did I say it?…..Rivet is um….sick tonight and wont play….ahem….see post #28

  36. #36 WICKSTER says:
    February 8, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    So is something going to be announced after the game or do we have to wait till morning?

  37. who knows…he might actually be sick…..but sure is strange

  38. #39 Drive_4_25 says:
    February 8, 2007 at 10:10 pm

    I hate to say it but i’m slowly giving up!!!

    WHEN THE HELL DID WE LOSE OUR TEAM?!?! For the first time this season…I’m actually turning the game off with 4 minutes left in the 2nd…Enough is enough!

    No one can score…Huet couldn’t stop a soccerball! Carbonneau Sits samsonov and play MURRAY! Koivu higgins and Ryder can’t complete a pass..let alon a shot on net…

    I AM DISGUSTED!!! Enough with the goddamn patience! Pull the fucking trigger gainey !!! And axe CARBO as well!

    Go HAB….wwhat’s the bloody point!!! they don’t listen anyway!

  39. #40 Drive_4_25 says:
    February 8, 2007 at 10:15 pm

    As per the above blog,,,,just understand
    1. I’M ORETTY PISSED RIGHT NOW!
    2.i STILL LOVE HUET!

    GO HAB…NEVER MIND**sigh**

  40. #41 WICKSTER says:
    February 8, 2007 at 10:23 pm

    It’s like watching the same old bad fucken movie!
    I have come to term’s that the talent just isn’t there. And what you see is what we fucken get.

  41. I’ll tell you why so many goalies look so hot againsts the Habs,cause Curlers can raise a shot stone higher than the Habs can lift a puck,which you learn to do when your like 8 years old!!!

  42. #43 i am canadien says:
    February 8, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    I’ve been a fan for a loooooong time. BUT I am very quickly loosing interest in this team.

  43. #44 i am canadien says:
    February 8, 2007 at 10:35 pm

    Put the whole lot of them on waivers!!!!Bring up the Bulldogs because they can’t do any worse.

  44. I disagree with previous comments. Sammy has really not done a whole lot worse than any of the others who are playing on the third or fourth lines. Actually, he did better than most. Did anyone really think that there was a defensive side to his game when he was acquired?

    OK, the military strong arm tactics a la Habs of the 1970s were used, and have failed. This is rapidly going from the sublime to the ridiculous. Sammy’s crime was asking to be played and if he was not going to be played on a line where he could have some production (ie. lines 1 or 2), he did not see much point in collecting $7 million dollars. What the hell is wrong with that?

    It’s time for Carbonneau to either sit down with Sammy over a few pints at the Peel Pub and really solve this or Gainey to trade him (period!) If they do take the former drinking option, I suggest that Downey go along with them. He can give them a lecture on what it takes to be a premier hockey player in this league.

    After tonight, we likely drop to 6th in the East; we need all the talent out there that we can get. Something needs to be done now; the status quo will not work.

    PS. By the way, the name “Rob” is now copyrighted so any express usage of this name without my written permision is now strictly prohibited!

  45. Hey Izzy:

    Are you name dropping, man?

  46. Now hold on a second,let’s not be so negative,let’s look at the Habs good points in the game ,like:………………….wait……………there’s………..but……..well….shit,can’t see any!!

  47. You just robed all the other robs of thier name rob,rob,that’s robbery.

  48. Xhabsfan:

    Even though you wear birkenstocks and live on the wrong Coast, I fear that you were correct all along about the current bunch of Habs. I am trying to think of a bright side, but cannot presently. Hell, give me a couple of days, and I will get back to you…

    PS. I can tell you guys how to remove the hex, but it involves a Sidney Crosby bobblehead, a jinn and some serious medications!

  49. #50 Iceberg14 says:
    February 8, 2007 at 11:00 pm

    Ok here comes the analysis….don’t anyone say something stupid like hey we should have played abby…forget that…huet played solid and even if he was unreal and a robot like he was in the 1st half..we still would have lost…you can’t win scoring one goal…and abby let in 4 against pittsburgh last thursday and 3 sunday so whatever…huet is an amazing goalie on any team and abby is soild..our defense sucks and our forwards look like jr B…honest to god when you look at the sens u see nhl calibre stars..on all 4 lines too…..but when you look at montreal….they look like minor leaguers..carbo has no offensive strategy and he sits sammmy???? in favour of who….here’s the bottom line..sammy sucks this year for one reason…he plays for montreal….he sucks no less or more than any other forward on the team…and if he got the pp time kovalev and koivu and ryder do, he would have just as many points…we aren’t making the playoffs and i couldn’t care less

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