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Habs and Sabres

  • The Habs and Sabres meet in Buffalo tonight for round 5 of 8. The Sabres hold a 3-1 advantage in wins with 3 games being decided by extra time or a shoot out.

    These are both very good teams who match up very well against each other. Win or lose you appreciate the battle that takes place every time they meet.

    The Habs have been better than the Sabres recently, 3 straight victories, #1 Powerplay, #2 Penalty Kill and the Sabres are finally showing some intermittent weakness.

    Still the Habs fail to get noticed much outside of Quebec.

    Newsflash: The Canadiens are a good team.

    Is tonight the game where more people start to realize?

    If they lose to the Sabres tonight, they are still a good team. Good teams still lose.
    But beat them and they are 5 points shy of the Conference lead. And the Mighty Sabres fall to .500 for December and lose two consecutive games to Northeast Rivals.

    What is making the Canadiens so good lately? Special Teams.

    The Powerplay is on fire. In today’s game a good powerplay wins you games. A good penalty kill in addition to that is even better. The Canadiens flirt with disaster every game by taking more penalties than their opponent but almost always save themselves.

    With Carbonneau running the show don’t look for this to change. It’s not a fluke. Habs fans finally have something to cheer and brag about, when was the last time the Habs powerplay was #1 in the league?

    Today it’s Andrei Markov feathering flip passes to Sheldon Souray for the one time blast, but it wasn’t too long ago that it was Dave Manson’s shot that was supposed to be feared and Peter Popovic doing the touch passing.

    And a lot of people can’t seem to forget those past awful Habs teams of the late 90s and early 2000′s.

    I read something recently that suggested the Habs were desperately struggling to hold on to a playoff spot. It’s not April yet but with the 5th best record in the league, I think there are quite a few more teams more worried.

    The least of them the Sabres and Habs, who should put on another great show tonight.

56 Comments
  1. #1 hab-dab-a-do says:
    December 19, 2006 at 11:15 am

    Sabres seem to have the habs number this year but I will go out on a limb and predict another overtime game with a score of 3-2 for the Habs, I going to say the goal scorers will be #27, #73 and # 11 in the OT,and I am also predicting Mr Gainey to be in attendence tonight.

  2. #2 coutNY_HabsFan says:
    December 19, 2006 at 11:37 am

    Does anyone know who’s in Net tonight? Huet has been hot as of late and I know he’s probably in, but I have heard anything yet…
    Note: Maybe we should forget about Fedorov, good player in all, but we would have to give too much up to take on his salary. Seems odd that he along with a couple of Russki’s only show up for games against the old teams. (Sergei last night against the Red Wings & Samsonov against Boston.) The Habs do not play Detroit and Boston enough to justify the loss of Rumored players we would have to give up. It would be interesting having a Russian line of talent… not that the two we have together now have formed much chemistry. I do not think addition would be much better due to there styles of play. They all have a passion for puck control, meaning I think they would not play nice and get jealous of the others puck playing. I have watched Fedorov play in Detroit in his Glory days, and admittingly he can put on a clinic when they’re playing to there potential, but tends to slump when things are NOT running smooth.

    Anyway the Sabres is going to be a true test of the Habs ability. There D is a bit better than Pitts was on Saturday; Being a little more mature and having a good Net minder. Montreal will have to force there will upon them, form doubt that they will not be able to put points up against our wall of D, and take advantage of their lapses in judgement.

    All I hope is that they keep up there consistency. Never a dull moment… Go Habs Go!

  3. #3 habs#1fan says:
    December 19, 2006 at 11:44 am

    Agreed H.B. the special teams are the #1 reason why the Habbies are doing so well. Carbo and Muller has the team’s PK working unbelievable (no coincidence). And the PP is terrific to say the least. If I was to pick an MVP of this team at this point it would probably have to be Mr. Souray. Where would we be without this guy? He is one of the best D-men in the league bottom line despite the odd defensive error. Please don’t go Sheldon. The Habs need ya. I would like to see this entire team back next year. Wishfull thinking I know. GO HABS GO!!!

  4. I read an article by Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun that stated the Hab’s were interested in Federov?? What a joke!! This guy must have woken up the other day and said to himself,”Let’s see, what rumour can I distribute today”? Journalistic integrity down the shitter!! GO HABS GO!!!

  5. #5 coutNY_HabsFan says:
    December 19, 2006 at 12:17 pm

    hab-dab-a-do
    I was looking for any News to see if Gainey was rumored to make a return. Maybe a little early and he may wait for a home game, but this is a big game which would bolster everyones confidence in the orginization and Fans alike!
    habs#1fan
    I would also add Markov and Koivu to be in the MVP running… or a least as honorable mentions!

  6. the habs have been able to give the sabres a pretty close run for it in most of their games this year, even when the team was not doing so well as it is now. with a bit of momentum behind them and higgins back, i think the odds are good for the habs. of course, it’ll still be close, and if they take another period off it could be disastrous, but i think they’ll pull it off. should be an exciting game.

  7. I have confidence that the Canadiens can win tonight. They have played the Sabres well this year and they have shown that they can compete with them. Two of the three losses have been via the shootout so they haven’t exactly been blown out by them so I expect a good, close game tonight and I think Montreal can beat Buffalo. I hope some people can give me some feedback and let me know if they agree with me on this one! Go Habs Go!

    Lates,

    Ziyad

  8. Koivu really deserve the MVP in my opinion. He is doing a great great job for the Habs this years as a Captain, he scored some needed goals or put the habs back on track to win some games.

    I don’t think we will see Gainey before christmass times. He really deserve to stay with his family during this time with what happenned to them. But I am sure he is watching the games.

  9. #9 coutNY_HabsFan says:
    December 19, 2006 at 2:05 pm

    You’re probably right about Gainey waiting to return until after the holidays. It’s hard not to think sooner only because of all these trade rumors floating around in his absence. I think they’re bunch B.S. anyway, the way these guys have playing, I could not see anything materializing until closer to trade cutoff or major melt-down.

  10. #10 chitownhabsfan says:
    December 19, 2006 at 2:37 pm

    As for a trade involving Les Habs, I doubt one would take place with BG absent.Also, I believe there is a no trade period prior to Christmas, exactly when it starts, I don’t know.

    I agree, expect BG to return after Christmas and at the latest, after the New Year.

    Les Glorieux can beat the Sabres if they give an 100% effort for three periods. However, if they coast for any period of time or take too many penalties, forget-about-it.

    La Sainte Flanelle, second in their division & conference and fifth in the LNH, gotta love it!!

  11. #11 HabsInBlood says:
    December 19, 2006 at 2:59 pm

    If I remember correctly, in at least a couple of our losses to the Sabres this year, we were out goaltended by Miller. Play Huet tonight. We can beat the Sabres on any given night with solid goaltending. We can beat the Flyers even with so-so goaltending, so if you’re going to play Abby, do it Thursday against Philly.

    Why is a trade needed? Latendresse/Begin/Lapierre would make an interesting 4th line. There are no open spots – unless you want to trade someone.

  12. #12 coutNY_HabsFan says:
    December 19, 2006 at 3:07 pm

    Just some food for thought HabsInBlood… the last time we beat Buffalo in the overtime win, The next game was against Flyers and Yup we blew a “give-me” game. I think we’ve stepped it up since then but every game the past few months have been nail biters.

  13. #13 HabsInBlood says:
    December 19, 2006 at 3:14 pm

    Jesus – and I totally forgot about Streit. We are deep, boys.

  14. #14 hab-dab-a-do says:
    December 19, 2006 at 3:20 pm

    Just heard thru a good source on “The Rock” that Ryder has requested a trade!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. #15 hab heaven says:
    December 19, 2006 at 3:42 pm

    don’t believe everything you read or hear. Now that Ryder has Higgins back on his line, I think he will start to produce. I really believe he wants to stay in Montreal, especially with the team playing so well. why on earth would he want to be traded? Forget it!

  16. #16 coutNY_HabsFan says:
    December 19, 2006 at 3:43 pm

    If anyone was wondering why nothing going happen in the trade relm until after Christmas; There is a holiday trade freeze December 19 -27.

  17. #17 hab-dab-a-do says:
    December 19, 2006 at 4:24 pm

    Ryders brother just signed with the Flames and from what I hear he was asking to be traded somewhere near him.

  18. and who told you that exactly? The “I Made it up” trolley as it passed by?

  19. #19 hab-dab-a-do says:
    December 19, 2006 at 4:57 pm

    Sit back and watch my friends and keep this date in the back of your head, January 13th 2007 and I don’t play near trolley tracks.

  20. #20 coutNY_HabsFan says:
    December 19, 2006 at 6:18 pm

    Pretty bold statement… given that even if you were Ryders agent, there are no gareentees players get what they want. Many details have to fall in place. Take Samsonov for instance, he wanted out early on in the season, things weren’t working out for either side, but he did not move just because he wanted to. Also, didn’t his brother signed an entry level contract with Calgary? Won’t he be in the Minors until he’s a little more mature? So even if they were on the same team they probably be to busy to hang out together or for him to look after him or what ever his reason he would want to get closer? Aren’t the Ryder’s from Bonavista, Nfld? Seems odd to me he’d want to move West thousands of miles away from home. Last, isn’t he on one of the best teams in hockey on the first line? Every indication to me says this guy moving would be a strech, but we’ll check back in middle of January.

  21. #21 Habs#1 says:
    December 19, 2006 at 6:25 pm

    Ryder asking for a trade right now would be stupid. Plus these ‘well placed sources’ most of the time are B.S.ing you and I’ll admit it took me a while to wise up to a lot of them myself.

    A ‘well placed source’ said last season that Souray had asked for a trade and was on the way out. Did that happen? Micheal Ryder’s own brother went on Newfoundland radio two years ago and said that Micheal had been traded to Tampa with Komisarek and a frist rounder for Brad Richards. Did that happen?

    Plus, January 13th is a game day against the Sens, a critical divisional game, why would Bob trade his first line right winger on a day like that?

    While Ryder may leave to go play with the Flames when he becomes a FA, he has no leaverage right now, he’s not a high profile player that teams will come drooling over(Chris Pronger), his brother is 2-3 years form playing with the Flames, and do you know how hard it would be for Gainey to get anything of Ryder publically or even privately asked for a trade to Calgary/Edmonton/Vancouver/Colorado/Minnesota?

    It just dosen’t make any sense.

  22. #22 Kazmojo says:
    December 19, 2006 at 6:50 pm

    Agreed Hab Heaven. Ryder’s been getting lots of chances of late and tends to be a streaky scorer. Now with Higgins back to do some of the grinding work, look for more production from Ryder. Of course, then what to do with Latendresse? Back to the fourth line might not be the best place for his talent, and Streit has done a good job on that line — definitely more deserving of time than Murray or Downey.

    And as for the Federov rumours, it was supposedly Bonk and Niinimaa for Federov. The Habs do need a second line centre, as Plekanec is better suited to a checking line role. Bonk may be playing better than he has in years, but I’m suspicious of anyone who breaks out of a years-long slump right when their contract is up (I’m looking at you, Jose!). So why not trade him while his value is at its peak. And Niinimaa with his fat salary and unproductive ways is more expendable than ever with Biron as a possible call up.

    Still, trading for Federov makes no sense. First even Bonk’s and Niinimaa’s contracts together add up to more than $1M short of his contract — can the Habs take that kind of a cap hit? Second, his salary totally screws with their contract structure, which has been more or less tuned to production (hence Koivu’s bump after signing Kovalev). Third, he really hasn’t been the same player since he left Detroit. He might be a better second line centre than Plekanec, but who knows what chemistry he’ll have with any of our scoring wingers?

  23. #23 Hab-a-dab-a-do says:
    December 19, 2006 at 6:58 pm

    all I know is that when you think about it,it all starts to make sence, His brother will be out west, his girlfriend is out west and just bacame co owner of a BBQ Chicken Resturant out west,seems like he has alot of personal interests in this part of the country.

  24. #24 hab heaven says:
    December 19, 2006 at 7:28 pm

    nevertheless, look for Ryder to stay put. Unless I hear it straight from the horse’s mouth(Ryder), it’s not true! besides,any time there is a rumor, it never comes to fruition. When GM’s make trades,do you think they make it public before it has happened? they’re as tight lipped as posssible, until the I’s are dotted and the T’s crossed! Ryder is a hab,and will remain a hab, at least until the end of the season.you can count on that, because Ryder, I predict, will score alot from now to the end of the season!

  25. #25 stevejur says:
    December 19, 2006 at 8:09 pm

    Everyone goes through tough times. Ryder’s here to stay.

  26. geez guys…I feel like I should keep writing…lol….last night I said that Kovy & Higgy would score and that our fourth line was one that could beat any line 5 on 5….check yesterdays posts….so far….one for Kovy & Higgy…& one for our fourth line…MAN are they fun to watch!!!!

    oh….go habs!!

  27. Say good-bye to first place Buffalo!!! GO HABS!!!

  28. What a convincing win tonight eh BOYS!!! Huet was unbelievable…again, should have been 1st star. That 4th line just blows me away with their work ethic and perserverence. Onward and upward only 5 points back now. Feels GREAT to be a Habs fan right now especially considering some of the abuse we’ve been taking from the media and OTHER NHL teams (some who shall remain nameless)lately. Nice to see alot of Hab fans in Buffalo cheering on the boys. LOOK OUT NHL you had better take this team seriously now!! GO HABS GO!!!

  29. #29 HaBz4EveR says:
    December 19, 2006 at 11:09 pm

    yeah we rock. 25 is on its way home… ;)

  30. #30 hab heaven says:
    December 19, 2006 at 11:15 pm

    that kid, Lapierre, does a great job in the corners, and he’s so hard to knock off the puck. he’s tenacious trying to get the puck. I so glad Higgins is back. he adds so much to the habs. I watched the game on NHL network(Buffalo, fox feed),so you know they were biased, in favor of the Sabres, but they really gave kudos to the hab’s PP.they know the habs are breathing down Buffalo’s neck. also, Buffalo is now 0 for 26 in PP chances vs us. In contrast, we are 6 for18 against them. not bad, huh? I hope we don’t have a letdown against Philly on Thursday. The same sequence and results happened a few weeks ago. guys, don’t let up. stay focused against Philly. I realize that after an emotional win against Buffalo, it is hard to get up for a game against the lowly Flyers, but they must. Go habs!

  31. #31 coutNY_HabsFan says:
    December 19, 2006 at 11:23 pm

    My brother was at the game tonight and when I got on the phone with him a little back the Fans were drownding out with cheers of victory (this was after the game was over!). Unbelievable amount of Fan support at the game. You would have thought it was playoff time in Montreal from the sound of it. Huet has proven he has the stamina and poise to bring the cup back to the Habs!

  32. Congrats to the Habs on an AWESOME job well done!

    We could be serious contenders this year!

    The drive for 25!

    Bring on the flyers…

    GO HABS GO!

  33. #33 Jack Tornton says:
    December 20, 2006 at 12:27 am

    Bring one the FLYERS so that we make their reputation falll even more down in their hometown FLYERS

  34. #34 Jack Tornton says:
    December 20, 2006 at 12:31 am

    This was the best ever match I’ve watch as a hab fan ( To be specific, I’ve been a hab fan since my birth)

    *Some people here will disagree with my opinion, but trust me this game was like a playoff game, final, 7th game.

    I swear to God that every goal worthed a place in the Canadiens’ history.
    -Lol I’m a bit too sarcastic. I ‘ve drunk 2 bottles of vodka. First time since 2 years.

  35. #35 stevejur says:
    December 20, 2006 at 2:30 am

    Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. HUET! HUET! HUET!

    One piece left baby. Let’s get that one last (center) player to seal the deal.

    Who will it be to bring back Lord Stanley?

    #25 coming home soon boys.

  36. Its great to be a Habs fan!

  37. #37 hab-dab-a-do says:
    December 20, 2006 at 9:36 am

    It will be interesting to see how the team will react with news of Ryders request for a trade. Hopefully they can look past it.

  38. #38 coutNY_HabsFan says:
    December 20, 2006 at 11:36 am

    How does not get one of the 3 Stars in recongnition of having stopped 42 shots?!!? I know this crap does not matter, but they should not take him granted! “Confidence can not be bought, it comes with earning the respect of your peers…” the league has already snubbed him from the All Star ballet. Ah guess who will probably be the starter… Mr. Miller from what I hear!

  39. #39 coutNY_HabsFan says:
    December 20, 2006 at 1:27 pm

    News Flash from TSN.ca
    “MONTREAL (CP) – Rookie forward Maxim Lapierre has been returned to the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs despite a four-games four-points”
    Not sure what there thinking on this one… they final have a great young center working his ass off on the ICE for a spot???? Not only that he’s producing!

  40. #40 HaBz4EveR says:
    December 20, 2006 at 1:48 pm

    Guys I heard the bad news too… All I’ve got to say is that I’m incredibly disappointed and that hopefully it is because of the trading migration thingy that keeps us from moving players from minors to the nhl until the 27th.

    If he isn’t back by then I’m gonna cry

  41. #41 smiler2729 says:
    December 20, 2006 at 2:21 pm

    Yeah, Lapierre’s only down in Hamilton for the holidays… as for the Fedorov rumour, who the hell would trade a talent line him for Bonk and Niinimaa(???!!) My wife’s a diehard CBJ fan and is on their boards every day discussing that team and this would just be stupid for them. Anyway GM Doug MacLean has stated that he has NO interest in trading Fedorov as the Jackets are finally clicking under Ken Fat Bastard Hitchcock and Fedorov has 15 pts in 15 games since the coaching change. Now as for the Mike Ryder tarde rumour, what the fuck??? Who makes up this crap and writes it as if its fact??? There’s nothing wrong with this team and the personnel it has now!

  42. #42 What the? says:
    December 20, 2006 at 3:17 pm

    Hey, what’s with the “Meet Gay Athletes” link at the bottom of this site?! Talk about leaving ourselves open for abuse!

  43. Leafs suck

  44. #44 HaBz4EveR says:
    December 20, 2006 at 5:09 pm

    lol I agree with the leafs suck comment but wtf did u put it on?!? totally out of context hehe

  45. #45 kazmojo says:
    December 20, 2006 at 5:29 pm

    I guess sending Murray instead to Hamilton would have required him to clear waivers? If not, that’s the more obvious choice: Lapierre alongside Latendresse and Begin.

  46. I feel all the Canadiens need is a proven Center and maybe one more defenceman and then they are a very serious Stanley Cup contender. They should try and go after Pavel Datsyuk. I believe he is the scoring center they need to be successful. They are for real and a tough team to beat but if they get one more proven forward, they will be even better and can be the top team in the Eastern Conference. I believe they can eventually overtake Buffalo. What do you say? Go Habs Go!

    Z

  47. #47 Habs#1 says:
    December 20, 2006 at 8:45 pm

    Khan man, What would Gainey have to give up for Datsyuk? If you look at Detroit’s needs(they have an abysmal powerplay), they’d demand Souray in return. Won’t happen.

    And everyone who’s complaining about Lapierre being sent down look at it this way. While Lapierre probably earned his stay in the Show, it just goes to show the organizational depth the Habs have. If they can send a guy like Lapierre down it just shows that they can afford to do that. If you look at the Bulldogs you’ll see that the Habs may have the most up-and-coming talent in the league. Especailly Kotstitsyn, that guy’s been lighting it up since he got sent down. He’s finally gotten the message.

  48. #48 hab heaven says:
    December 20, 2006 at 9:09 pm

    Actually,the reason Lapierre was sent down, was because there is a freeze on until December 27th. Thay means no NHL transactions are allowed during this time. I’m sure after December 27th, Lapierre will back up with the habs. But it is quite upsetting to habs fans to see him back down in Hamilton. What’s even more upsetting, is to see Latendresse practicing with Murray and Downey. it’s DISGUSTING! I can’t stand Downey and Murray! No talent, wasteful players taking up valuable room on the roster.I just hope this move does not affect the game results during the next week. And if for any reason, Lapierre does not return shortly, I, for one, would like some explaination. This guy belongs on our team, and he has more desire and physical presence than Kovalev and Samsonov COMBINED!

  49. #49 Habs4life says:
    December 20, 2006 at 10:49 pm

    o yeah abby is playing tomorrow, so this wont be a easy win anymore, last time we faced philly 4-2, and some weak goals let in by abby, i hate when the habs do that when your about to face the worst team and the habs could win easly they put in abby who sucks. i still think the habs will win but probably by 1 goal now.

  50. ok, guys, you can call me stupid if you like but….where the hell did this I want to be traded by Ryder come from….even his family was shocked by this one….his Dad even called him to see if he said anything like that…..his answer was” no Dad…you know how the media gets when a team like ours is doing well…anything to disrupt the chemistry…I even had to tell the guys that it wasn’t true as they heard the same thing.”………..

    from a solid source….family member here in the east. The Ryders and three quarters of Newfoundland are staunch Habs fans…..unfortunately the other quarter are leafs fans.

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