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Playoff Preview?

  • The trade deadline has come and gone and the criticism about the Canadiens lack of activity was harsh.

    The bottom line is it has passed and the Canadiens still have 16 games remaining and a playoff birth on the line.

    If the playoffs started today, the Habs and Sabres would be squaring off in Buffalo and that just so happens to be exactly what’s on schedule for tonight.

    Earlier in the year a Habs and Sabres game was always exciting and entertaining as two of the quickest teams in the East kept a fierce pace for 60 minutes or more.

    These days the Sabres have been hit hard by injuries and the Canadiens are playing their best version of Jekyll and Hyde hockey.

    If the Canadiens play the way they did against the Leafs, skating, forechecking and finishing every single hit – they look like they can compete with any team in the league.

    If they play the way they did in New York, they’d have trouble beating some Pee Wee teams.

    Consistency is lacking. Big time.

    The Habs usually ‘get up’ for a game against the Sabres and they will have to be ready to play every remaining game if they hope to not squander their season and finish 9th or worst.

75 Comments
  1. #1 R habs 4 real says:
    March 2, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    We need to get rid of EVERY SINGLE DEFENCEMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. #2 R habs 4 real says:
    March 2, 2007 at 10:40 pm

    Toronto won too. we’re in 9th and fading fast. I predict we’ll finish in 11th place, no better.

  3. If Carbo starts Abby one more time then we can all be very critcial of poor poor coaching. At this point Abby can’t be counted on for anything….we have a better shot with Halak and Leighton……or call up Jablonski and Hayward…

  4. #4 R habs 4 real says:
    March 2, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    But the defence kept giving away the puck all night long too, so Aebishit could sue his D for lack of support. Demers said on RDS, that Leighton should start the next game. He’s right. Aebishit should never play another game for us. He allowed 7(1 was an open net) goals. you can’t expect to win when you give your opponent a 3-0 lead to begin the game. If you don’t play 60 minutes, you aren’t going to win, and they continually REFUSE TO PLAY THE ENTIRE 60 MINUTES! As a fan, it’s so frustrating, because the effort isn’t there, and when they score alot, there’s no defence! It’s a catch 22. I see no way out.
    Bouillon, Dandenault, and the other useless D men must go!

  5. OK, I missed the game, but scrap everything that I said about Aebischer in post #16.

    Perhaps more thought needs to be given to the goaltending situation. Maybe giving Leighton a shot is a reasonable next step. I watched him in a Philly-Detroit game recently and he looked pretty sharp.

    Does anyone know whether Carey Price can legally be called up at this point? I know it would be terrible to rush a goaltending prospect, but that guy already seems to actually thrive on pressure.

    Cue the prima donnas or let the fat lady start singing!

  6. I don’t care who you put in there,if you want to destroy his career ,put a C.H.on him and throw him in as goalie,and I’m not jokeing. Souray,Markov KOMASARIK AND Georges are keepers and then the Habs need at least 2 more Dmen that have to be big burly control freaks and one of 2 has to have a rocket! That combined with the proper two way ,big new North American forwards two replace the likes of Kovalev,Saku,Samsonov,who are good players but don’t fit the needs of the team and cost two much,will amazingly fix any goal-tending problems, guaranteed

  7. #7 Groundworking says:
    March 3, 2007 at 1:15 am

    Eff this. Who effing cares about the goalie situation? If somebody on the team is slumping, slap the pads on them and put THEM in nets. Aebischer is not even AHL quality, so we might as well make it into a good ol’ fashioned game of shinny if we’re going to expect the Montreal Canadiens to play in front of this character.

    The only thing I really like about Abby is that he kind of reminds me of myself; he plays exactly how I would play if they strapped the pads on me and said “Go play nets young man! Go play nets!”

  8. #8 IT'S TIME FOR CHANGE says:
    March 3, 2007 at 2:53 am

    Why are we still posting? The season’s been over 2 months ago.

    Let’s keep going to the game’s and giving these bums money.

    Ask me one question:
    Why was Claude Julien fired while Carbo is doing even worse?
    How can you allow this bull and justify firing Julien?
    Sorry but guys talking penalty’s in the offensive zone cannot be tolerated.

    This team makes me sick. It’s like watching an ex-girlfriend and hoping she fails in life.
    I hope this team, managment and players burn in hell.

    The have shamed us all! Shame! Shame!
    Richard is rolling in his grave.

    IT’S TIME FOR A CHANGE!

  9. dON’T BRING UP PRICE, WHAT A WAY TO RUEN HIM, THIS TEAM SUCKS, CAN’T NAME ONE GOOD PLAYER

  10. dON’T BRING UP PRICE, WHAT A WAY TO RUEN HIM, THIS TEAM SUCKS, CAN’T NAME ONE GOOD PLAYER, ALL THIRD LINE PLAYERS

  11. #11 smiler2729 says:
    March 3, 2007 at 8:39 am

    As a fan, I’ve lost complete confidence in David Aebischer and it’s quite apparent the Montreal Canadiens have also. It’s hard to play for a goalie that can’t make a crucial stop and is constantly out of position because his game is basically a guessing game, not a reflex game.

    He’s turned into Jose Theodore and I’m pretty sure he’s started his last game for the Canadiens. Like I’ve said, I’ve followed Michael Leighton’s career (don’t ask me why) since he was a Blackhawk and he’s got the stuff to be a successful goalie so I have no problem with him and Halak spelling each other but the question I have is both Curtis Joseph and Ed Belfour were seemingly available as rentals and no team including Montreal acquired them which leads me to believe the asking price was retarded or they have no-trade clauses… too bad, at least they would inspire some kind of confidence and comfort for the skaters in front of them.

    Although Abby’s a sieve, can he really be blamed for every goal? Of course not but I’m blaming him anyway. I’ll tell you one thing though, the new NHL crackdown has really altered the way the Habs’ defence plays where 2 years ago, Souray would just pummel a guy near his goalie, he can only watch now. There has to be a happy medium discovered here because we need a tight shield of defence to compliment the fact that this team can skate with any opponent. Oh yeah and a 60 minute effort would nice eh.

    Montreal 5, Boston 1. It’s getting to be ‘too little, too late’ time though.

    P.S. Martin Brodeur’s lifetime record vs. the Leafs is now 12-13-8. What… the… FUCK!

  12. #12 Drive_4_25 says:
    March 3, 2007 at 8:51 am

    The only difference between this team and the team we saw in the begining of the year is CONFIDENCE…and the reason Aebisher is getting all or most of the blame (BESIDES THE FACT THAT HE SIMPLY SUCKS!)is because without better than average goaltending, this team just can’t compete!
    That is to say it’s too easy to become deflated when your goalie let’s in a 22 mph floater from the opposition’s blue line!!!

    What I truely do NOT understand is why we didn’t get some experienced goaltending help at the deadline…at least Joseph or Belfour could have helped us gain a little momentum for the end of the year!!!

    People were screaming that we didn’t pick up Biron…I too would have loved to see this however there was NO WAY Buffalo was going to let him go to a team in there own division!!

    So this winds down another season for our beloved HABS and next season will be a new one, hopefully with a better more experienced team,I’d love to see Carbo get the AXE but that won’t happen because a GM can not fire 2 coaches in 2 years, it makes him look liable! I hate to sound like I’ve given up on the season that promised soooo much back in november/december…But promises are made to be broken…And broken is what this team is, with no fix in sight!

    Go HABS Go! In OCTOBER

  13. #13 Kev_in_Dorval says:
    March 3, 2007 at 9:13 am

    Yeah, Aebischer is making me sick. You’d think with Huet out this would be a golden opportunity to prove he’s still a quality NHL goalie seeking a new contract from some team for next year but time and time again, Abby doesn’t make the big saves in the big games. If Halak had started against Buffalo, the final probably would have been 5-3 Habs. So the Habs play the Bruins tonight and if they win, which they should, does this mean they’ll sneak into 8th or just delaying scheduling April tee-times. Tune in later …

  14. #14 smiler2729 says:
    March 3, 2007 at 9:31 am

    No use crying about Belfour and Cujo…

    First, (and I’m repeating myself here cuz nobody reads or understands) NO TEAM PICKED THEM UP probably because A) the asking price was way too much or B) they have no-trade clauses! Go ahead and slag Gainey for that.

    Second, I really deep down don’t want any part of anything Toronto Maple Leaf.

  15. #15 coutNY_HabsFan says:
    March 3, 2007 at 10:16 am

    On a side note Rivet put in a goal for San Jose…

  16. #16 Iceberg14 says:
    March 3, 2007 at 10:44 am

    i love the habs and because i care I am not going to silently support wrong decisions and all we’ve done is make wrong ones all year wrong..someone tell me how abby got 25 starts this year when we had a healthy ALL STAR on our team who could have played 90% of the games?? and don’t say it’s because huet wasn’t great…neither was luongo the first half but the canucks started him every game and raycroft the same and both have confidence and are playing great now…the habs didn;t show huet and respect or support…abby should have never been traded to us in the first place..he shouldn’t have been able to share the starts and he should have got traded at the deadline..this season is over..start the young guys cause we got nothing to lose

  17. #17 Iceberg14 says:
    March 3, 2007 at 10:49 am

    QUESTION FOR ANYONE..i need to take a break from my habs bashing anyways…CAN ANYONE TELL ME>…when was the last time a defenseman led his team is goals scored for a season? maybe souray will be the first?

  18. #18 smiler2729 says:
    March 3, 2007 at 11:31 am

    From what I’ve read, Souray will be the 1st defenceman to lead his team in goal scoring.

    I looked at Bobby Orr’s great seasons but Phil Esposito always outscored him.

    Paul Coffey in the Oiler dynasty? That Gretzky guy outscored him in his big goal years.

    Blackhawk Doug Wilson’s 39 goals in ’81-’82 eclipsed by Al Secord’s 44.

    Even Detroit’s Flash Hollett’s 20 goals in ’44-’45 beaten by forwards Joe Carveth (26), Mud Bruneteau and Carl Liscombe (23 each)…

    So it means our forwards either can’t score or the scoring is well spread out among them all, hmmm, which is it?

    Makes Sheldon all the more valuable eh.

  19. #19 smiler2729 says:
    March 3, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    What is scoring anyway?

  20. #20 R habs 4 real says:
    March 3, 2007 at 12:20 pm

    I’m not sure, bit I think Gonchar led the caps in scoring in 2000.

  21. #21 smiler2729 says:
    March 3, 2007 at 12:20 pm

    Last 50+ goal scorer – Stephane Richer, 51, 1989-90
    Last 40+ goal scorer – Vince Damphousse, 40, 1993-94

    Goal scoring leaders of the past 10 seasons:
    1996-97 Mark Recchi, 34
    1997-98 Mark Recchi, 32
    1998-99 Martin Rucinsky, 17!
    1999-00 Sergei Zholtok, 26
    2000-01 Brian Savage, 21
    2001-02 Yanic Perreault, 27
    2002-03 Richard Zednik, 30
    2003-04 Richard Zednik, 26
    2005-06 Michael Ryder, 30

    What happened???

  22. #22 smiler2729 says:
    March 3, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    Gonchar had 26 but Bondra had 39 in ’01-’02.

  23. #23 smiler2729 says:
    March 3, 2007 at 12:27 pm

    The Czech Steve Penney starts tonight against Boston… duh, Carbo.

  24. #24 Kev_in_Dorval says:
    March 3, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    Slovak Steve Penney, but anyway … does anybody get the sense that Gainey’s lack of activity at the trade deadline was just to ensure that nothing too valuable was given up before Draft Day? With 2 picks per round over the first 3 PLUS a lot more cap space PLUS a good variety of fair to excellent prospects, Gainey could be like Darryl Sutter nabbing Tanguay the year before. I hope he makes a serious pitch for Lecavalier. I would be willing to lose a lot to get him in a Habs jersey. He’d be exactly what the team needs – an elite franchise center with size who can produce and lead. Olli Jokinen or Marleau are also in that same kind of category. Things do look bleak now but if Gainey does it right in the offseason (i.e. big trade which impresses potential UFAs with management’s commitment to winning) the Habs could only be a few tweaks away from being contenders next year rather than having traded a Higgins or Komisarek to be pretenders this year.

  25. #25 Joshtm says:
    March 4, 2007 at 2:16 am

    Hey Kev, the playbooks gonna remain the same regardless of which face you put in or the types of moves they make on the ice, ie: Samsonov stickhandling, or Johnson falling over…

    You could have Crosby, Ovechkin, Bertuzzi and heck even the hotest goalie but if they follow the same plays next year, it’ll be much of the same. Just like the Russians never win in international play cause everyone has figured them out.

    Montreal is old hat now, Carbo’s and Gainey’s game has been figured out. All the other team has to do is park someone in front of the net, pass on the boards, and just outmuscle at the blue line and a quality shot and it goes in.

    Whether the trade goes on now or the summer, big difference, in the summer the stakes and the salary goes higher, players demand six year no trade clauses in the summer, during the trade deadline none of that is there and negotiations begin based on actual proven play. That is what did Gainey in, waiting until the summer and paying through the nose for the likes of Ninnima, Samsonov and Johson, only to see they don’t fit in.

    But Gainey is no Darryl Sutter, he has not sense of timing or no sense of what the Habs should be like. We are committing the same mistake that has Toronto going on fifty years without a cup, mixing and matching players only to get a team that doesn’t play as a team.

    Very few of the habs play together as a team. The only ones are the rookies. Even Kovalev and Koivu don’t pass the puck to each other when they are on the ice together. No one hardley passes the puck to Kovalev anymore. Souray just shoots the puck cause he’s learnt the only way for the Habs to win now is individual play.

    That is not exactly a team.

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