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Hockey Day in Canada: Habs/Sens

  • The Canadiens play a very important game against Ottawa to keep the battle for 1st alive. After falling short against Toronto, the Habs can climb within a point of 1st again with a regulation win.

    The Habs managed to handle the Sens without Heatly and Alfredsson earlier this week but will face a different team tonight as they are both back in the lineup and playing on home ice.

    Ottawa has never been too friendly a place for the Habs to play, last year’s Hockey Day in Canada meeting was a complete debacle with the Habs getting shelled for 8 goals in a disastrous loss.

    Ottawa’s defence and goaltending has been mediocre at best, allowing 4 goals in each of their past 4 games.

    If the Habs hope to compete they’ll need a full 60 minutes and not a third period vacation like Tuesday night.

41 Comments
  1. #1 groundworking says:
    February 9, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    If the Sens win tonight, the Habs’ situation changes in a big way. If neither Higgins nor Koivu score, my prediction is a 5-2 win for the Senators. Sorry to say it, but if Koivu doesn’t turn it around, then the team is in trouble. It’s five times as hard to shut down two lines than it is to shut down one.

  2. Koivu is counting his last days as a Hab…deal w/ Ryder coming…San Jose’s the destination.

    Also, Higgins is puzzling as he needs to take care of his play and forget about the others. He’s got to go to the net and bury rebounds. It’s an urgency to play together and Koivu has been missing heart…something I would never have said before but he’s too indifferent and a change of scenery is necessary. Since Huet has to get signed move Jalak too if this completes a blockbuster trade. Come Habs tonight’s big and you have to work harder than the other team. Can’t believe the crappy performance vs the Leafs and so it should be that you play a full 60 minutes. Go Habs Go!

  3. 5 minutes into the game, and it’s already 3-0 sens. GAME OVER.

  4. YEP just like HJ said, GAME OVER.sarcasm, What did they do vs. the devils? AND the Devils are like the wings vs. the habs. Anything is possible(fingers crossed)

  5. I’m sorry to say, but the habs are DEFINITELY NOT in the same league as Ottawa. and hab fans should start to worry, because the habs haven’t been playing well lately,not putting in 60 minutes, and I’m getting concerned. My fears are that we’ll end up fighting for that 8th playoff spot. I see the same results as last year because other teams are starting to creep up on us.

  6. WTF…since when do teams get a three spot at the beginning of a game. Did I miss something???…Was that Huet in net. There aren’t enough expletives to vent my frustration & disbelief….mmmmmph!

  7. #7 BarrieHabFan says:
    February 9, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    Don’t overreact. Montreal isn’t all of a sudden a crappy team. Playing against a great team like Ottawa is just like looking at the habs under a microscope. And it’s easy to see that without the top two forward lines playing well it is too easy for other teams to blanket the Kovalev line.
    If Koivu, Ryder and Higgins could even look like half the players they were last year this would be a very different story.
    Montreal is still a playoff threat, but only when a few trades are made. The Koivu line is killing the team.

  8. Hockey Day lol….Ok now we need some Hockey players,GEEESES!

  9. #9 I am Canadien says:
    February 9, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    I have pondered this in my mind all year but I must now admit that maybe Saku must be removed from his captainsy. To reflect on the many teams in the league; their captains are the best player on the team. Saku was but is now no longer.
    Don’t get me wrong; I still think much of him and all that he has been through no normal man could endure. He did. That said: I think that toll has brought us to a point in the teams timeline where maybe a change is required in order to move tho the next level. Unfortunate: yes. But we need to think beyond Koivu and focus on what the team needs in order to attain what I think they want to attain next year and that is a Stanley Cup for the city of Montreal.
    Saku is a Hall of Famer and a great Canadien but time does move on for all of us.

  10. Ok ,that it ,Gainey you lame ass G.M. GET THIS TEAM SOME SOME PROTECTION .

  11. #11 PACTUM SERVA says:
    February 9, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    Agreed xtra

  12. I say to Gainey to just trade away one of our prospects and a 2nd pick for a star. Ryder and Kovu are just having bad seasons. I’m really pissed just like all of you guys but don’t trade away 1 whole line for struggling this one year. Kovalev struggled last year and hes still here, smae thing will happen to Ryder and Koivu. Higgins will reach career highs this year.

  13. #13 groundworking says:
    February 9, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    I agree STUO11. But Ryder is a UFA at the end of the year, and he was always the player on the team with by far the least talent. He worked hard and scored though, because he had a decent shot. But even in his peak year, he was still way under 0 in his +/-, and unlike Souray or Markov, Ryder wasn’t matched against the other teams’ first line very often. So Ryder needs to go at the end of the year–there’s no point trading him because they wouldn’t get anything–well, they might get some late pick, but his salary is too high for future considerations (i.e the other team would have to give up too much down the road).

    I don’t think the team should trade Koivu because of his play. I think they should trade him because it’s clear that he no longer wants to play in Montreal. He has been the heart of this team for a long time, and I think he wants to move on.

    Higgins simply shouldn’t be traded. I agree completely that he’s having an excellent year and just struggling as of late.

    I would like to see things turn around for Koivu in Montreal, but this is still a team under construction and if the Habs can get some youth for him, then he should go. Gaigney will not make the mistake of giving up youth for a rental–this team isn’t at that stage yet. But it’s still a good time to be a Habs fan. This team and young and exceeding expectations already! In a few years, they’re looking like maybe the Detroit of the league. The dark days of those tools who ran the team in the 90s are over.

  14. Thanks Groundworking, and hab fans just forget about this loss because they play Tamp Bay and Florida on Tues and Wedn. Then a home and home against Philly but we have their number. next 10 games were going 7-1-2.

  15. I disagree with the last comment. Koivu should be traded because he has nothing left-no energy, no drive. There’s just nothing left in the tank. he’s now 34, soon to be 35, and has lost his desire to play, and no longer has the ability to compete at top form. As far as Higgins is concerned, he is having a very bad year. How can someone say he’s having a good year? look at his stats. He doesn’t score, he’s been struggling, missing the net, not shooting, trying to do things beyond his control. If we could get Hossa for him and aprospect asnd draft pick-GO FOR IT! we have a line team! how many years has this been going on, with nothing ever changing? It’s time for Gainey to get off his ass and get some scoring help, or this team will never make the playoffs!
    remember the date Feb 3rd: that’s the date our slump started. leading NYR 3-0, and lost. I knew it was the turning point of the season. we’re not playing well since, and coincidentally doing the same thing as last year, not SHOWING UP. That cost us the playoffs last year, and the samw will happen this year. Carbo has a responsibility to motivate his players, and unable to do so. If you can’t get up for a game against the leafs,sens, then against who?
    Carbo also making the same mistakes as last year. he should have taken a timeout when it was 2-0, but he did nothing. We will struggle again for 8th place, with the same results as last year. NO PLAYOFFS! this team is NOT BETTER.we still have only 1 line. this team overachieved for the 1st half, and now the true habs are here unfortunately. I’m so frustrated with this team. and it’s not just 1 loss. it’s been this way for awhile. let’s face it. How long did you expect this team to continue to win, with just 1 line, and on the PP only?

  16. #16 BarrieHabFan says:
    February 9, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    HJ, which is it? Is this team bad because it only has one line, or is it Carbo?
    Carbo has been a very good coach this year. You said it, he only has one line to work with. At the end of the game Carbo had the Koivu line out a lot, I would imagine partly to rest Kovalev and partly to see if the Koivu line would show anything and there was no display of desire to compete whatsoever. This is in the GM’s hands now. This does not rest with the coach. And I doubt very much the team is in a death spiral. No need to panic, yet.

  17. #17 BarrieHabFan says:
    February 9, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    When the habs do make a deal for a top 2 line forward, who would everyone be willing to see traded to get that player? Are there any untouchables on the team?
    Me, I’d be OK with them moving Latendresse (who other teams would want), Dandenault, Halak, Huet (only in a deal for a big name player), Koivu, Ryder and maybe one or two good farm players. If the habs could snag Marleau for Koivu and change I’d be happy. San Jose would be a great fit for Koivu too. Huet and a combination of players would be a great fit for a team looking for a number one goalie (Tampa – Lecavalier).

  18. look, there’s alot of teams looking for scoring help too, but we have depth as far as prospects are concerned. So we give a couple of prospects to Edmonton for Stoll, or trade Huet to Tampa for Richards(even tho he has a hefty contract). I didn’t say it would be easy. But if we don’t make a trade, I’m convinced we won’t have the depth to make the playoffs. Remember,we’re only 6 points out of 8th place. If we lose 3 in a row…..?

  19. Y’know, this game was supposed to be a wash as the two (Heatley & Alfredson) just got back. This game should have had anyone & everyone who had a shot to bodycheck, ride into the boards on those two. Instead they’re allowed to freewheel it. WTF…where’s the coaching staff! Can’t just stand behind the bench and watch. Come on….where is the desire!

    Now (before I lose it…) Ottawa is a top tier team…they have been sucking it for the last ten or so games and the Canadiens have sort of gained ground. But that was mainly due to the loss of the two forementioned players. But to have them waltz and what…3 goals on 5 shots…someone please dawn some boxing gloves and smack whoever was on the ice for those three goals. Koivu has got to go and Ryder too. As far as Higgins goes…He’s got to take it to the next level and shoulder some production. Kovalev has played better with better results but that’s what he should have been doing all along. As well, for someone who gets all the accolades doesn’t still set others no where as much as he should. Someone said it he’s a puck hog. That’s where he falls short…Stars like the Gretzky’s & Lemieux’s wouldn’t hesitate to set others up…Kovalev doesn’t do it as often as he should. If he did, he would have a lot more points. Behides it’s contract time….let’s review this next year after the signing. Oh by the way…why is Brisebois playing against Ottawa, he doesn’t know the meaning of hitting and probably can’t so why doesn’t he just sit these games….bring up one of the rookies who are able/want to throw solid hits (if nothing else, learn how to do this)…what two frigen waste of games….better not be the same sh*$@#$%t of the last few years happening. They have to be better…they have to be better…(I’ll repeat this 50 times prior to sleeping). Anything to give them some kind of shake. mmppph!!

  20. BarrieHabsfan,at this point it would be easer to ask who is untradeable,eh.Komasarik,Plecks ,the Brothers,price,Halak,Kovalev,Higgens and Markov are all keeper in my books…

  21. now that we’re close to the trade deadline, it will be interesting to see if Gainey does anything. He did say that if the team doesn’t start winning faceoffs, changes would come. we’re holding him to that. I’m sure he knows what we need. The question is: will he walk the walk ot just talk the talk?
    Action speaks louder than words.

  22. #22 Ice Man says:
    February 10, 2008 at 1:12 am

    Gainey don’t have the BALLS to make a change.

  23. 9 I am Canadien
    Posted on February 9th, 2008 at 10:29 pm. About ‘Hockey Day in Canada: Habs/Sens’.

    I have pondered this in my mind all year but I must now admit that maybe Saku must be removed from his captainsy. To reflect on the many teams in the league; their captains are the best player on the team. Saku was but is now no longer.
    Don’t get me wrong; I still think much of him and all that he has been through no normal man could endure. He did. That said: I think that toll has brought us to a point in the teams timeline where maybe a change is required in order to move tho the next level. Unfortunate: yes. But we need to think beyond Koivu and focus on what the team needs in order to attain what I think they want to attain next year and that is a Stanley Cup for the city of Montreal.
    Saku is a Hall of Famer and a great Canadien but time does move on for all of us.

    Yeah, Jason Smith is Philly’s best player. Brendan Morrow is Dallas’ best player. You have to stop being so hard on Saku. You are incorrect.A captain is the player that has the most leadership.

  24. By the way Marleau only has 27 points this year. Still want Marleau instead of Koivu…?

  25. I agree Xtrahabsfan……this team need some goddamn toughness…Its like a bunch of 16 years old playing against men….NYR and the Sens bullied us around the whole game and now they know they can do it with no consequences…this is no playoff team without someone to take care of business. Heatley and Alfie just back from ailments and they were given the whole ice surface to perform…..hit em…hit em hard…make that hip act up again…pound that shoulder….and God forbid helping out a team mate. This team also wanted to really embarass us last night….6-1 and they kept coming in waves right til the end. Listen, with all the heart he’s got, little Frankie Bullion can’t keep taking on all the giants…in the toughness category we get a ZERO.
    Remember the days of Nilan and Kordic…we still had good teams around these guys….some teams like the Rangers and Philly got whole lines of these players, and it speaks loudly to other teams” leave our good players alone and keep your head up”….do what you want to our guys is the message we convey.
    Our 4th liners are all minus players…can’t score, can’t stop goals from happening…so ya might as well put someone there who can fight at least…what are ya losing? This team, as good as they have been playing, have paper thin spines and its gonna keep showing more and more as the playoffs approach…teams are using this against us.
    We lost the game in the first 3 minutes because of Carbo’s line matching…sorry but it’s true…..who could even possibly think that Begin, Slomo, and Kostopolous can play against Heatley, Alfredsson and Spezza…come on Guy…3 superstars vs. 3 no-skilled bums who’ve been doing nothing all year.
    At least Kovy’s line would have traded chances with them…get outta the 80′s Guy, those years are 20 years past.
    ONE bright note is that bounces went Ott way last night…6-1 and we coulda been tied….3 posts, a crossbar, and a few goalcrease scrums…every bounce went Emery’s way….gotta get mad next game against them…find us some toughness Bob…please.
    Not gonna waste any more breath on Koivu’s line…we all know what they are.
    Next two against TB and Flo….gotta have 4 points, no doubt about it, no excuses…get back into this playoff run that we’re slowly falling out of…if 4th overall is the best we can do…then lets get it….GO HABS GO !!! Get a goon Gainey !!!!!!!!

  26. Who cares we will finish 5th. The pens are more talented and have Laraque.

  27. At least we don’t have a “home ice advantage(sarcasm :)

  28. Right on DONNIE BOY,Ilove’s your post #25,nice.

  29. 5th place? stop looking at this team with rose colored glasses on.I sinserely doubt the habs will make the playoffs. If they’re very lucky, they’ll squeeze into 8th spot. Their mid season meltdown has begun. want to know why: Carbo is unable AGAIN to motivate his players, and too many european players, (too lazy and no grit). When Gainey was coach, we didn’t have all these NO SHOW games, and less euros. Has to do with respect. The players don’t respect Carbo, and NO COMMUNICATION between Carbo and the players. Carbo is the wrong coach for this team. When he goes, along with Koivu, then, and only then will this team’s psyche improve.

  30. #30 patrick says:
    February 10, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    Oh yawn, could these comments be more predictable? You know what’s the difference between a Leafs fan and a Habs fan? The Leafs win one game there convinced they’ll win the cup, the Habs lose one game and we’re so sure they won’t make the playoffs. Look yesterday’s game was embarrassing, but we did not deserve to lose 6-1, Huet’s been great lately but things fell apart real quick and the team couldn’t recover despite a decent effort. We got a lot of shots, and we hit a lot of posts. We deserved to lose, but not 6-1, I think any team in the East would have taken that beating, Heatley/Spezza/Alfredson reunited after the team has been sliding, you knew they would have a big night. Ups and Downs Ups and Downs…In one week the Leafs managed get get blown out 8-0, but still beat Ottawa, Detroit, and the Habs, are we ready top crown them top team in the league? Hell No! I think the Habs will win the next two in Florida and get back on track. They’ve been great since Christmas, but they were due to lose a few. Now I know we need a trade, but not Koivu right now, that would be folding for the year, we need to package Ryder and prospects/picks for a new right winger to play with Koivu and Higgins. blah blah blah

  31. I must say a couple of things here: First of all, Montreal IS NOT in the same league as Ottawa and the second thing is that the Canadiens have been playing over their heads and it is starting to catch up to them. I am just being an honest Habs fan. They cannot compete with a team like Ottawa. It was predictable that they would lose to the Sens last night. With their top line back, I myself was predicting a massacre and that is what happened. They are not an elite team yet, they are still at least a year away from being an elite team so they should not be planning any parade routes in Montreal this season!

    Ziman

  32. #32 patrick says:
    February 10, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    6-1 was a misleading score, Habs actually out shot them, it was a weird game, the Sens deserved to win, but like i said not 6-1.

    p.s. Montreal and Ottawa are in the same league, the National Hockey League, lol.

    Habs will be back, the end is not here!

  33. Good thing we are playing to horrible teams next :)

  34. habs never beat the panthers. check their stats vs florida. and this isn’t just 1 loss. the team is overachieving, and have lost 4 out of the past 6, not to mention the fact that, their famous “no show” act from last year, is now happening every other game . very bad sign. this is a perennial trend with this team, so don’t expect too much.

  35. Exactly, those two games will turn to wins and montreal will get back on track. then well win one against philly.

  36. #36 MrBigTime says:
    February 10, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    I had to sit there and watch it too, Sens fans are retards… Horrid~

    But, we did hit 4 posts… bounces they got were incredible, and none our way…

    Some work to do, but was better than a 6-1… pull the trigger Gainey…

  37. O’Byrne and Kostopolous arrested last night in Tampa. Great way to go guys!

  38. Canadiens defenceman Ryan O’Byrne and forward Tom Kostopoulos spent last night in a holding cell in the Tampa jail after they were arrested outside a South Tampa night club early this morning

  39. “Horrible” teams are the teams we gotta look out for….these are automatic points most games for outstanding teams. Hopeful we get 4 points but Florida gives us trouble and Vinny loves to score on us, so we’ll see.

    Chris, second round, I sure hope you’re right and I’m wrong my friend. However, no secondary scoring or toughness are 2 big holes that need filling, and can we get both of these without shaking up the teams infrastructure too bad?

    Look at Pitt…..how are they doing it? They have no secondary scoring either…yet they are on a roll, playing great hockey, and doing it without Crosby. Other than the fact that Malkin scores a little more than Kovy…..we’re getting about the same goaltending, both defensive units are doing about the same, and as a matter of fact our Koivu and Higgins have more points than their secondary guys. So wheres the difference? How about a team playing with confidence to do what they want cuz if anyone wants to take a run at Malkin, guess who’s coming off the bench to treat you badly….yup, big George, just his presence makes a statement….Ruutu and Malone can chuck em too if need be. Any teams great players can play that much better when they know they got protection, no to mention that these Laraque and Ruutu can actually do things with the puck that are positive. Our 4th line can’t really do anything can they? Slomo is a floater, Kostop is invisble most games, and Begin works hard but get nowhere cuz his skill level isn’t at NHL levels. SWo basically, along with no secondary scoring, we got a line of duds bringing us down also.

    Cmon Bob and Guy, you guys know hockey, you’re old school. So why is it we’re one of the only teams without a protector? Getting pushed around like we are, losing streaks are inevitable.

    2nd playoff round is hopeful but I hope you’re right….I can see same finish as last year, with maybe holding on to a 7th or 8th seed, and then a quick first round elimination…we’re not ready yet to do what a team need to do to pull out tough, hard-fought victories…and this is what the Stanley Cup playoffs are all about. Tell ya what….lets see if we get the 4 points we need these next 2 games, and see what unfolds…our next 4 are against Phil twice, the Rangers and Pitt..and these games once again separate the boys from the men. Lets go gang and play how we’ve been playing, and hopefully prove me wrong, but I’m adament in my beliefs that these 2 gaping holes in our lineup have to be addressed…and quickly. GO HABS GO !!!

  40. We actually got more than 4 posts because they didn’t count the first couple. o it was more like 6 or 7. If we would have gotten at least 3 of them It would have been a different game all together.

  41. Patrick, what I meant when I said that Montreal was not in the same league as Ottawa was that they are nowhere as good as the Sens! I know they play in the same league but Montreal might as well be a minor league team as far as Ottawa is concerned. Right now and for the forseeable future, Montreal will not be as good as Ottawa. Ottawa is leaps and bounds ahead of the Habs and that will not change, at least not soon. I feel Montreal will finish anywhere from 5th to 8th in the conference as some of their old habits from last year are starting to show again and they are not playing a full 60 minutes. They need to make a deal or two to improve themselves because this pattern has been going on for the past 3 years where they play for a while and everyone thinks they are legitimate contenders but then reality sets in and they are exposed. They have been playing over their heads and I know that is not what everyone wants to hear but that is just the way it is. Gainey needs to make a trade. Look at the Sens, they made a trade today and have improved themselves. Montreal needs to make a trade to improve themselves too and make a believer out of me. Now, before any of you start insulting me with comments about this, I am just telling it like it is, and I can say what I WANT!!!

    Ziman

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