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Mighty Sabres visit Montreal

  • The league leading Buffalo Sabres are in town to pay a visit to team that came closest to handing them their only defeat this season.

    That’s right the Sabres have still not lost and at times they have looked down right menacing. They have a potent offense and have scored more goals than any other team including a 9-1 thrashing of the Philadelphia Flyers.

    All that being said, there is a certain confidence surrounding the Canadiens this year and the Sabres have to lose eventually. Montreal just might be the team to do it.

    To do so they’ll have to shut down the Sabres offense and continue to dominate on special teams. The Habs PK is second in the league and their powerplay is firing and is also 2nd best overall.

    Imagine the boost the team would get if they are the first team who are able to knock down the Sabres.

41 Comments
  1. #1 Jack tornton says:
    October 23, 2006 at 8:11 am

    The answer is that they will systematically murder sabres so no worries on that side! Now the questioin is all of our guys going to be ready?

    What we need right here is the whole team reporting that Montreal is going to win…We have the confidence right now. Now the question is are we going to use that confidence?

    Onviously we’re going to use this confidence and all of oour guys would be ready! this comment was just a warm up.lol

  2. #2 Jack tornton says:
    October 23, 2006 at 8:11 am

    obviously*

  3. Before we start on this one.

    Can we establish a blog rule that we don’t rant on how a Habs’ player should be traded unless the particular blog is entitled “Bob Gainey is asking your advice; what player do you think should be traded today?” I mean so far we have traded Aebischer and Bonk before the season even started. Since the season started, however, we have traded Huet, Niinimaa, Souray, Rivet, Markov, Samsanov, Kovalev. We are running out of players here.

    On the other hand, Latendresse (who has not done much of anything this season) has been promoted to the second line. I am sorting of now understanding why Gainey runs the team, and not the fans. Unless these trade rants are a form of psychotherapy for the person espousing them, let’s keep our comments to things that we actually have control of. If someone played a bad game, simply say why you feel that way.

    That being said. Remember that last year the Sabres were a “streaky” team. They had periods where they looked unbeatable followed by periods that they were horrendous. I strongly believe that their winning streak will end tonight.

  4. ‘”The Sabres are playing well right now,” Niinimaa told reporters at Sunday’s practice. “But they are going to lose a game, and it’s going to be on Monday.”‘

    Wonder if he plans on stepping up his game? Either way, it is always a good sign when you can play against the leagues best with so much confidence.

  5. Niinimaa predicts Habs win over Sabres

    With just one regulation loss in their first seven games and a thrilling comeback victory on Saturday against Jose Theodore and the Colorado Avalanche, the Montreal Canadiens are playing with a lot confidence.

    Enough confidence for defenceman Janne Niinimaa to make a bold prediction for the team’s Monday matchup at the Bell Centre with the first-place Buffalo Sabres.

    “The Sabres are playing well right now,” Niinimaa told reporters at Sunday’s practice. “But they are going to lose a game, and it’s going to be on Monday.”

    The Canadiens are 4-1-2 in their first seven games with 10 points, while the Sabres are undefeated in their first eight games and lead the league with 16 points. The Sabres also lead the NHL in scoring with 42 goals.

    The teams met at HSBC Arena in Buffalo on Oct. 7, a game in which the Sabres scored twice in the final five minutes to complete the comeback with a 5-4 shootout victory over Montreal.

    If the Canadiens become the first team to hand the Sabres a loss this season, they may have to do it without Radek Bonk. The veteran centre left practice on Sunday with back spasms and is questionable for Monday’s game.

  6. Did anyone catch the recent war of words between Boob-y Clarke and Ken Dryden last weekend? Now, all I can say is that one combatant is a SIX time Stanley Cup winning, soon to have sweater retired by the greatest hockey team of all-time, Prime Ministerial material winner while the other flailer is an out-of-work bum who felt so threatened by his own players that he managed any confidence out of them to retain his own mock glory in claiming that he was the best player that Philadelphia ever produced. See if you figure out which is which. Class-less to the end, Bob. Well done!

  7. #8 smiler2729 says:
    October 23, 2006 at 11:15 am

    I wouldn’t trade anybody on this team right now, they are clicking. As for Latendresse, leave him on the 4th line where he can live and learn, remember it took Lafleur three years to blossom! And Janne Niniimaa probably is overtaken by the magic of the sweater he’s wearing and thinks he’s on the 1977 Habs or something… but good for him for predicting this win, after all they had Biffalo beat on opening night til the mental miscues on team defense let the Sabres back in. That one hurt and tonight’s the opportunity to make amends.

  8. #9 Mike in DC says:
    October 23, 2006 at 11:19 am

    I have an unrelated question. Whom would be considered the Canadiens’ biggest goon? All teams have them, just want to find out who it is on this team. Thanks.

  9. #10 gilbert says:
    October 23, 2006 at 11:26 am

    Buffalo fan here – just found this blog through google – good luck tonight – let’s have an injury free, entertaining game!

    and oh yeah, Go Sabres!

  10. #11 smiler2729 says:
    October 23, 2006 at 11:26 am

    Biggest goon? Probably Aaron Downey. But if you’re looking for someone that would drop the gloves and kick ass, throw in Sheldon Souray and Craig Rivet. Steve Begin likes to mix up and agitate but he gets hurt too easily to be fighting. Of course, any of the guys will fight if they’re pissed off enough. Still wish someone would’ve taken out Justin Williams last spring after his hatchet job on Koivu’s eye but no one stepped up… disappointing.

  11. #12 smiler2729 says:
    October 23, 2006 at 11:28 am

    It’s hard to hate the Sabres… other than for being really good and in our division. I’ts so easy to hate the Leafs though.

  12. #13 Gino29 says:
    October 23, 2006 at 11:30 am

    Lol Gilbert good to see a fan from an opposing team with a bit of class….unlike fans of another team I don’t think I need to name

    That being said, the streak ends tonight

  13. #14 smiler2729 says:
    October 23, 2006 at 11:32 am

    You mean Leaf fans? I thought so.

  14. #15 Gino29 says:
    October 23, 2006 at 11:35 am

    As for the biggest goon, I believe goon would be exactly Downey’s job description…Although I will always have a special place in my heart for Gino Odjick, that raving lunatic…

  15. #16 smiler2729 says:
    October 23, 2006 at 11:39 am

    The Habs have had some pretty good ‘goons’ over the years. I liked when they were just called ‘policemen’ or ‘enforcers’. John Ferguson, Rick Chartraw, Chris Nilan!

  16. #17 Mike in DC says:
    October 23, 2006 at 11:57 am

    Thanks for the info! One more, is it possible to get jersey’s for players on-line? My brother is a hockey fan (though I know very little) and I wanted to get him a jersey.

  17. #18 Gino29 says:
    October 23, 2006 at 12:02 pm

    Mike in DC, just head to nhl.com and go to the “shop” section…you should be able to find jerseys there

  18. Speaking of goons and lunatics. Does anyone recall Chris Nilan fighting a guy on Boston (I think his last name was Miller or something – it doesn’t really matter.) When they both got sent to the penalty box, Nilan kicked through the boards separating the boxes, and continued the fight in the Boston Bruins penalty box. The Canadiens were actually not subject to too much goonery back then, but when it did happen, they could really handle themselves. Anyone remember Robinson cleaning Philly’s “The Hammer” Schultz clock in a bench clearing brawl. No wonder Clarke is still PO’d at Dryden after all these years. Ahhh, I miss those days! Wait, why do I feel like Grandpa Simpson all of a sudden?

  19. #21 Gumper says:
    October 23, 2006 at 2:05 pm

    Yes,… it IS hard to hate the Sabres. Objectively speaking, they blow me away with their team play and they are a pleasure to watch. The Sabres are the closest thing so far to the ideal product stemming from the “new” NHL rules. Kudos to their management for icing a team like that even after doffing the likes of Dumont and Pomminville, and all the instability of finances and what was to become of the franchise a few years back. It may even put some shine on their new logo. Don’t hear much about that now, do we.
    I for one like the fact the Ninniima (suggested) a guaranteed win for the Habs tonight because it brings into focus a team commitment that should be there every game anyway. A statement like this will always be picked up by the media and used as one more marketing tool to sell an event, pre and post game.
    On tonight’s strategy, we have to slow them down and wear them down by hitting them when we can… and all the lines have to just shoot the puck on net, make Miller eat rubber and not wait for the perfect play.

  20. #22 Jack Tornton says:
    October 23, 2006 at 3:04 pm

    Can someone tell me what exactley hapened with gino odjick?? 2 or 3 years ago i turned the radio on (CJAD 800) and the reporter was aying something similar to: ” Gino Odjick, if your listening to the radio i want to tell you oure an idiot and you can leave forever this team” or something like that… And they were talking about an incident that happened in the game but they werent clear.
    Does anybody knows what happened exactly?

    * And then he was fired and if i remember he wasnt allowed to enter Bell Center

  21. #23 Jack Tornton says:
    October 23, 2006 at 3:04 pm

    I mean Molson center!

  22. #24 Gino29 says:
    October 23, 2006 at 4:09 pm

    I’ve looked around a bit on the Gino subject, and what I’ve found is basically that in the offseason, Gino sustained a head injury during a pick-up game (it was an errant puck I believe) and got a concussion as a result. Gino was only able to participate in one day of training camp before the Post-concussion symptoms (dizziness, headaches, etc.) proved to be too much to handle and he had to be held out until the symptoms faded. Eventually, Pierre Boivin stated that Gino was no longer with the team, but no explanation was given as to why. The prevailing theory is that the Habs didn’t want to pay Gino because the injury happened during the offseason, and the NHLPA had to intervene. There’s apparently a confidentiality agreement regarding the whole deal, so basically we really can’t know what actually happened. Too bad because Gino was a fun player to watch, even though his best fighting days were long behind him…

  23. PREDICTIONS W0000000000000t! : Habs 2 – Sabres 3 (SO)

    *But we will score first two goals, then systematically collapse (ie. game one)

    *People will still bitch about trades and never learn to shut up

    *Someone will end up being injured

    *People will make awful predictions and add a taste of ironic humour to try and make it credible.

    …ah screw it! – Habs win 5-2!

  24. Hey Gilbert,
    Pretty classy buddy , your welcome here anytime…(unless we lose tonight!)But seriously, no wonder we can’t outright hate the sabers their fans aren’t like TORONTO or BOSTON fans! Anyway tonight’s game should be awesome…2 hours t’il the puck drops and I already have butterflies.(and this is only the 8th game of the season!)Either I am a true HABS fan or this truely is MY NEW NHL ! either way..gotta love it ! ENJOY EVERYONE..and uh..gilbert..GO HABS GO! GO HABS GO! GO HABS GO!

  25. PRDEICTIONS
    Habs 6 Buffalo 5 final in reg
    HABS scorers: Ryder 2,Higgins 1,Souray 1,Johnson 1,Komisarek 1

  26. Love to see Komisarek get a goal – he was born on my birthday *smiles radiantly* so he MUST be amazing!

  27. 10 minutes till game time, lets get ready to ruuuuuuumbleeeeeee!!

  28. #30 tricolor true says:
    October 23, 2006 at 8:48 pm

    I hope you people read my comments yesterday on (the return of Theo). I said ” YOU CAN’T SPOT A TEAM A 3 GOAL LEAD AND EXPECT TO COME BACK ON A REGULAR BASIS”; I noticed on several times, we had a chance to clear the puck, and failed to do so. I hope we aren’t getting into a bad habit of falling behind early and by 3 goals, and trying to play catch up. In the next few games, it is imperative that we score first. Our defensive play isn’t cutting it, and we’re taking too many stupid penalties. Again, we must tighten up defensively, and stop giving away the puck, We’re shooting ourselves in the foot!When you have a chance to clear the puck from your end zone, get it out, because alot of time, they will score as a result of your miscues.I just see a bad trend developing with our defence, our lack of. I notice when the other team is on the PP, we don’t pressure them enough. We need to get up in their faces, and not make it so easy for them to pass the puck around. We need a tighter perimeter.I hope we play better on Thursday. The Bruins won’t be a cake walk!

  29. #31 Habs#1 says:
    October 23, 2006 at 9:03 pm

    3-0 Buffalo in the third. I hate to be the one to say it but it appears that Huet’s play last year can be spelled with 5 letters: F-L-U-K-E. Good goalies don’t give up goals like the one he gave up to Novotny. That was pathetic. Aebischer is the #1 guy.

  30. How are you going to win when you think with 10 min left in the 3rd your team is down by 2 your on a PP and, I don’t know…let’s put some guy in the boards for no reason…Then with 6:30 left let’s suck whatever momentum the team might have and get a slashing penalty, for no bloody reason…Montreal deserved to LOSE more than Buffalo deserved to WIN…DISCIPLINE-DISCIPLINE-DISCIPLINE…This is a key integral part of any hockey team that WANTS TO WIN!!!And you know what guys..OUR HABS SHOWED NONE!!!!COngrats Gilbert!!!

  31. #33 Habs#1 says:
    October 23, 2006 at 9:37 pm

    Let’s face it. The Habs will not have much succes against the Sabres this season. No one will. They’re the best team in the league for a reason. They’re just plain better then the Habs. More talent and better goaltending then Montreal and I’d be surprised to see Montreal win more then 2 if not just one against Buffalo this season. And they don’t even have Connolly back yet.

  32. #34 tricolor true says:
    October 23, 2006 at 9:38 pm

    I agree with Habs #1. I’ve said it from the beginning of the season. Huet is a flash in the pan. HE CAN’T STOP HIGH SHOTS!!!!!!!! Aebischer is better than him, and at least we wouldn’t have to worry , if ever we’re in a shootout. Huet will not last the season. Just not good enough. I have NO CONFIDENCE in him! The word around the league is: SHOOT HIGH ON HUET BECAUSE HE CAN”T STOP HIGH SHOTS!! remember the Drury goal? or the first goal of the game? or how about all those shootout goals against him?All HIGH SHOTS. Our defensive liabilities are killing us. Also Kovalev takes the dumbest, and most undisciplined penalties! When your team is down, you just can’t take penalties, especially unnecessary ones! I think we are a 500 team, no better, mostly because of our POROUS defense. It makes sense for us to have SWISS players , because their play is like swiss cheese, “FULL OF HOLES”!

  33. Aside from that last bit being the worst pun in history, i do agree with you.

    I was once a Huet-Hugger, now leaning towards Huet-Hater because of failure at clutch moments. But the Sabres look to be unbeatable so why get our hopes up against such a powerhouse. Boston should be a pushover, and TB a bit tricky, maybe an OT win.

    Either way, go l’Habitants!

  34. #36 tricolor true says:
    October 23, 2006 at 9:49 pm

    Without discipline, you can’t win. We have NONE! All those stupid penalties we take, in EVERY GAME! you just can’t do that. You must show restraint and composure. What kind of a leadership role is Kovalev showing? NONE! Either he scores and helps, or he hurts us! we seem to have trouble getting started in every game. I don’t know why, but we don’t show up for the first period, and there is no energy; we look dead in the first period in all our games; and this is only our 8th game! what will happen by game # 40? Let’s face it. we don’t have enough talent to be in the upper echilon of the league. Our defence will do us in. They just CONSTANTLY GIVE AWAY THE PUCK IN THEIR OWN ZONE! I counted numerous times they had a chance to clear the puck, and instead screwed up. The game on Saturday night was just a fluke! we probably won’t score 8 goals again, this year!

  35. Well, we had a bad night, but no big deal. Relax. What we can say is that Montreal would be better off placing 6th overall in the conference than 5th. The reason? Buffalo will be 1st and we should avoid them as long as possible in the playoffs. I think there is in fact a good chance that the eastern conference finals will be Montreal vs Buffalo. I mean, aside Buffalo, there is no other good team in the east! No one we cant take down anyways.
    The west, on the other hand, is less clear. With Anaheim, Nashville, Dallas, San Jose, and maybe even Detroit fighting for a spot in the finals.

  36. #38 joshtm says:
    October 23, 2006 at 11:18 pm

    Trade Huet, Souray and Samsonov for a decent forward. Since the Habs have not been playing as a team on the offense, almost all of the goals have come from one man team efforts, since that is the team concept so far, get rid of the deadwood,even though Souray got the three stars as player of the week, on the plus minus, he is not exactly in the plus, for all the goals that he let happen as defense and the few goals he scored, he is more of a liablity. Tonite like other nights he basically gave the puck away. The same thing with Samsonov. And Huet, those goals were basically easy shots that any second rate goalie could stop on their worst night. Okay I got to get off the negative, but hey, early in the season is the best time, at least the Habs wouldn’t have to pay extra.

    I think it is time to buy a decent forward who is healthy and who hasn’t had like body parts replaced, honestly when you look at the Habs you can’t help but wonder if any of the players has not had a catastrophic injury of some type.

    Short of bringing up the rookies, which Latendrese is, hey those rookies sure played with passion and as a team in Halifax. I thought the Habs were a team, not a bunch of individualist…

  37. Three key players for one player – YOU ARE ON CRACK!

  38. #40 joshtm says:
    October 24, 2006 at 7:37 pm

    Then you get a couple of players like on the Sabres, or hey how about Havlat, he blew away the habs the other night too…one player is all it takes to turn a team around and make it play as a team.

    Huet does little to support the team concept, and Souray sure as heck is not exactly a cheer leader, and Samsonov is more of a liability now, he gets penalties at the worst times…hmmm kind having a contest with Koivu and Kovalev, but hey you can’t have your team in the box all the time….

    A good star forward will go a long way. And yes, I’m all cracked up over the Habs poor performance…actually maybe just a package of Huet and Samsonov and keep Souray perhaps….what would bring it around is having the rookies there, they have a better work ethic than Souray’s leisure lounge performance on power plays…hmmm…I can just hear Carbo telling Souray, Sheldon when on a power play just skate as slow as you can and give the puck away….or the other, Sheldon when you get the puck in front of the net make sure that you pass it to the other teams’ shooter….as if, but looking at the way the Habs have played it makes you wonder if Carbo is telling them the finer points of crappy defense…

  39. #41 lavaman says:
    October 26, 2006 at 11:33 am

    The Sabres have everything, speed, speed and more speed. They are well coached, have great goaltending and the three most skilled lines in the league. Their defense gives nothing away either so lets not get too down on the Habs. They will need to play to their full potential to compete with the “kill you if you make the slightest mistake” Sabres! The best counter attack team I’ve ever seen.

    Lava

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