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Kovalev to Center 2nd line

  • The Canadiens will be shuffling their lines a bit after being outplayed and badly out shot Saturday night against the Leafs.

    The biggest change will be Alex Kovalev moving to the Center position to play with his countrymen Sergei Samsonov and Alexander Perezhogin.

    This seems a bit odd at first but Kovalev would be quick to remind you he played center with the Rangers when they won the cup in 1994. Kovalev would also tell you he even played defense!

    Kovalev has a love hate relationship with the fans and coaching staff, he is undoubtedly extremely talented but there have always been question marks surrounding his work ethic. Kovalev recently took flak after slamming his stick on the glass and telling off the referee in Boston resulting in a game misconduct. Carbonneau was not impressed with him and his example as a veteran player.

    The newly crafted ‘Red Machine’ line was assembled to give Kovalev some more responsibility and get him ‘into’ the game more. As well as to hopefully get some more production out of youngster Perezhogin who up to now has not produced as much as expected.

    The third element is Samsonov, and his short trip to the doghouse seemed to wake him up a bit as he has put in strong efforts since. For the first time this year he is beginning to look dangerous.

    There is no doubt a lot of talent and speed on the line, but can anyone see Alex Kovalev winning defensive zone face offs? We’ll find out.

    The change also had to come after Tomas Plekanec blew his promotion to the second line.

    When Mike Ribeiro was traded to Dallas, Plekanec was expected to fill the void. Not only fill it – but stuff it. After all Ribeiro didn’t leave a whole lot to improve on. Plekanec has 2 assists and -3 record in 10 games. Unacceptable.

    David Abeischer will get the call again. There has still been no #1 established goaltender in Montreal but Abby is getting more attention than anyone would have thought at the start of the season. Is he playing that well? Or is this a showcase for a potential trade?

    This shouldn’t be a surprise, Carbo said from the beginning he planned on using both goalies extensively.

    Which Sens team will show up? The Sens have been turning it on lately , up until a loss to the lowly Bruins.

    After 10 games who would have predicted the Montreal Canadiens to have more goals than the Ottawa Senators?

    The Habs hold a 3 point lead over the Senators, and the longer they can keep above them in the standings the better their chances are down the road.

  1. Maybe, just maybe, this new responsibility will light a fire under Kovalevs ass and he’ll run with it. His style of play is better suited for centre anyway.

    HOPEFULLY, this move works out for the Habs like the Czech lines worked out for the Rangers last season.

    Three tough games but ones the Habs should win in my opinion: Ottawa, Carolina and New Jersey(the hearalded return of Claud Julien!)

    Has anyone else noticed how the Habs are sub .500 in divisional play?

    And just wait till the Leafs start playing harder teams. They’ve only played Ottawa, Montreal and Atlanta who ar tough(I can’t believe they keep beating the Thrashers for some reason). Just wait till Buffalo get’s their hands on them.

  2. #2 Gumper says:
    October 31, 2006 at 1:50 pm

    I don’t know what the deal is with Plekanec and Perezhogin. They seem to be working at it but they aren’t finishing up as one would expect.

    The one thing I did notice the other night against the Leafs (and have been noticing all year so far) was that no one goes to the front of the net or the slot at the opportune time. I often see 2 men working the puck low or behind the crease and the third man (if any), wandering or strolling around the face-off circle without getting into the open. Maddening…

  3. Go Red Machine!!!

  4. Perezhogin: +5
    Johnson: +4
    Bonk: +3

    +/-‘s don’t lie gentlemen. And this line typically goes up against the opposing team’s top line. I’m not worried about Perezhogin. Now that lines have been shuffled we’ll see how those numbers change.

    What’s up with the 4th line – to me, Begin has been less noticeable over the course of the 1st 10 games. And his +/- is -6. What’s up with that?!?!

  5. BIG BIG game tonight! Higgins does a good job going to the net I have noticed but you are right we are not getting enough traffic. Can Kovalev handle center responsibilities? That means he has to cover the slot! OH OH. Still thsi line should produce tonight. GO HABS. I find it funny the sens are hiding Gerber from us. WE smoke him everytime. B Murray is afraid to put him in against us but he pretends it is because Emery needs action. Put in Gerber so we can smoke you ass.

  6. #6 johnnyhab says:
    October 31, 2006 at 8:18 pm

    all four lines have to show up tonight…lets hope the new position for kovo gives him the spark he needs if not carbo should send him to the 4th line and see what happens.

  7. Is their anyone more dangerous with the penalty kill then Chris Higgins. He, NOT GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE, is their best young player. This guy is awesome.

  8. #8 habs hearland 1 says:
    October 31, 2006 at 10:24 pm

    yes, I agree! I love Chris Higgins. he’s has so much enthusiasm, and he always gives 100%. he just has all the talent and drive, along with the confidence needed to be a great young goal scorer. he’s a real diamond in the rough!

  9. Habs #1 — again, I couldn’t agree more. The fans should be chanting Higgins’ name everytime he touches the puck! He seems to be the real thing, and appears to have the necessary work ethic that is required to succeed in the NHL.

    On the other hand, the jury is definitely still out on Guillame. I still think that the fourth line woes have a lot to do with bringing up a guy who just is not ready to play in the NHL. I remember a number of fans on this blog were predicting that GL would finish the year with 25-30 goals this season. What are these same fans saying now? When is Carbonneau going to do the right thing to get four lines clicking?

  10. In fact, as I am noticing that Latendresse was on the ice again for Ottawa’s 3rd period goal, I would like to point out that Latendresse is now the worst +/- on the team. At -6 over 11 games, he should end up -45 for the season if this trend continues. Whoever said +/- doesn’t lie is right on! For a guy that only sees about 9 minutes of ice time per game, this is an absolutely terrible statistic! When are we going to pull the plug on this failed experiment? However, if he ever does score this year, you can sure it will make the front pages of La Presse and all will be forgiven! Why don’t we have a post called “Should Latendresse remain with the Canadiens or return to the QJMHL?”

  11. #11 Habs suk says:
    October 31, 2006 at 11:08 pm


    man shut the hell up! You talk so much shi* guy go and sleep.

  12. #12 habs hearland 1 says:
    October 31, 2006 at 11:33 pm

    dear Habs Suk: can’t stand the truth? HABS REIGN! Leafs(aka laffs, because they are the laughing stock of the NHL!)are pathetic, mostly because they have you as a fan!And because you are their ONLY FAN!Go hide under that rock you crawled from!

  13. Thanks habs hearland 1:

    I wonder why all the Leaf fans come to this site??? Nothing better to do, I guess. Seriously though, can anyone tell me if Latendresse can still be sent back to junior or has he played too many games in the NHL now to send him back without having him to clear waivers? Good game for the Habs! Higgins and Aebischer continue to excel.

  14. More milk for Habs suk why do we allow these pablum sucking babes on this site??Ban them ……their not worth suckling.

  15. I believe after the 10th game…Latendresse is stuck here for the rest of the season…..He will not clear waivers…trust me…
    His +/- is terrible i agree…but give him a little more time and he’ll prove he deserves to be here…playing for the best team in the nhl.

  16. Hey did Koivu or Ryder play tonight? That’s 2 games in a row as a no-show.
    Thank God there was a second line tonight.
    Great job by Kovy, Abby and Higgins.
    Abby’s starting to look like St.Pat between the pipes,
    very similar in style and movement.
    He should change his name to Abish-Roy.

  17. #17 Gumper says:
    November 1, 2006 at 3:04 am

    Everyone showed up tonight. I smell a winning streak comin’ up and for a change, it ain’t in Tucker’s undies’ this time.

  18. #18 Joseph says:
    November 1, 2006 at 4:13 am

    Nice effort.

    Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.

  19. #19 johnnyhab says:
    November 1, 2006 at 7:47 am

    Rivet, Souray and Komisarek played a good game last night great bounce back
    Ryder has to show up in the next game. (is his back hurting again??)

  20. Guys I’m the first person that isin’t sure that Latendress shouldn’t still be in the minors…But if you saw the same game I did you have to admit he’s starting to show some presence on the ice. He had 2 good shots, a few pretty passes, and he layed the body “ON” more than a few times last night. Is he a crosby or ovechkin…HELL NO! but he does have talent to developpe and I believe is being cultivated to be more a LeCavalier style player…As for the other aspects of the game..I really liked what I saw in the 2nd period! the last half of the third though…well..Once again made me nervous…Why oh Why can’t these guys play 60 minutes of hockey! But overall Great game!

    Good news Carolina is playing Atlanta tonight (no small feat there)before we meet them tomorrow!

    Bring on the CANES!!! GO HABS GO!


  21. #21 Habs#1 says:
    November 1, 2006 at 11:46 am

    Gui, The Habs can send Guillaume back to the juniors before his 41st game but now since he’s played ten games they have to pay him his NHL contract money.

  22. #22 snake says:
    November 1, 2006 at 2:37 pm

    Everyone played well. Great win.

  23. #23 joshtm says:
    November 1, 2006 at 7:33 pm

    sha na na hey hey good bye!!

    It was finally a good game to watch, except the defense Habs sucked big time, at least Souray knocked them down when they stood still but the Sens skated donuts all around Sheldon and Ninny…

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