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Sabres still Perfect

  • The Sabres are still undefeated after coming in to Montreal and winning 4-1 against the Habs.

    The sad thing about this game for the Canadiens is they were as good if not better than the Sabres for long periods of the game but failed to finish and failed to stop the puck when needed.

    The first fluky goal set the tone for the game but the Canadiens kept up with the Sabres. IF Chris Higgins buries the puck after undressing the Buffalo defenseman, IF Sheldon Souray’s point blast is 2 inches lower – then it’s a whole different game.

    The thing with Buffalo is there are no IFs or buts. That’s what separates a good team like the Canadiens from the league’s best in the Sabres.

    Andrei Markov coughs up the puck, Chris Drury takes it in and buries it with authority. No if’s there. He does it. The game changes completely.

    The Sabres are really in a class of their own right now. Even if they have a momentary lapse their goaltender is rock solid. The Habs goaltending was less than stellar to say the least.
    So far this season Huet has been hard to watch. The first goal was absolutely brutal and he certainly didn’t look strong on the third. But he did make very difficult saves on harder shots which is puzzling and frustrating to watch.

    The Habs have six more games against the Sabres and it’ll be interesting to see how they will matchup. The Habs have been the team to give the Sabres the hardest time thus far, but not hard enough.

    The Habs have to put it behind them now and focus on three upcoming Divisional games against Boston , Toronto and Ottawa.

    The Northeast picture will start to develop over these next few games and the Habs can’t afford to drop many points if any.

56 Comments
  1. #1 aurel1 says:
    October 24, 2006 at 9:54 am

    The same scenario is playing out as in previous years. We just can’t seem to bury the puck when we need to. Montreal could have come out of the 1′st period with a two goal lead if they could have scored on their chances. On the bright side Higgins is starting to look like he will become a star in the league. Eventually, the Sabers simply wore the Habs down. Also, Huet seems to go down pretty quick. All of the goals were over his shoulders. Maybe Ninnema should avoid making predictions.

  2. #2 Les Habitant says:
    October 24, 2006 at 12:38 pm

    Am I the only one that thinks HUET’s garbage!!!??? Side to side hes gotta be the slowest in the league, he cant stop the high shots just like Theo last year, half the time he has no clue where the puck is and breakaways forget it!! He sucks!!!! ABBY IS #1!!!!!!!! One more thing, What is Plecanek doing on the second line?? The guy needs a soccer net to score!! We need a good second line center. I would try maybe Bonk (although hes nothing special) or even bring Latendresse up from the 4th line (he’ll never score over there) Heres a guy that had 43 goals in junior last year…

  3. AS for moving Latendresse to teh 2nd line, that would be a very bad move. First of all who doesnt score 43 goals in junior (Sebastien Bourdeleau scored 63 one year, terry ryan scored 50) second of all Guy is looking weak with teh puck with now and never could he keep up with Kovy and sammy. That would be a really bad miss match and would only hurt Guy’s ocnfidence. AS for HUet yeah I hate to say it but he is looking bad right now. IT is unacceptable to let in that softy last night. IT took all momentum from us. There is no reason why we shouldnt be up 2 goals at the end of the first. LEts be honest we made Miller look good last night. IF HUet continues like this he will not be playing very often and his salry will become a hindrance. Also even when he was making saves he looked uncomfortable, I am nervous on almost every shot the oppostion takes on him. Last year even on odd man rushes I knew he would make the save. Carbo is a samrt guy and wont flirt with disaster.

  4. #4 smiler2729 says:
    October 24, 2006 at 1:02 pm

    Geez, lay off the Huet hatefest here, he’ll come around. This is only the Habs’ second loss!!! The team’s fine just needs to tighten up a bit on defensive play and work hard on Offense… you guys are as bad as bandwagon Leaf fans fer cryin’ out loud!

  5. It’s only one game.. the Habs have shown their toughness. I wonder if other fans are saying,,”IF Higgins didn’t make the first shot in the shoot out”, etc… “If” goes both ways..I am just wondering if the Habs really beleived they could have won last night, not sure..
    GP

  6. Sorry to say it, but I have to agree that it appears that Huet has been solved. It is not uncommon for a goaltender to have a good stretch when they first play as a regular because the league has not figured out their weaknesses yet. Canadiens’ history is riddled with goaltenders’ names who had decent stretches then disappeared (in recent years, it has been Penney, Sevigny, Theodore, etc.) For Huet, his weakness right now is obviously the high shot. He simply seems to be too slow to react to these at present. The goals against him last night were all pretty weak ones, and the Canadiens’ confidence as a team has always been strongly linked to their confidence in their goaltender.

    Huet gives the Habs a capable NHL calibre back up, and should be put in nets for the away games against weaker teams so he can try to regain some of his confidence of last year. Aebischer, however, should be the go to guy in nets without question at present. Similarly to playing Latendresse on the fourth line, if you don’t play the best guys that you have available eventually, this decision will catch up to you.

  7. You guys jump too quickly to conclusions, give Huet a chance. He had the best save % las year in the entire NHL.. and now he has played only 4-5 games this season. Even Brodeur and Kiprusoff have been hammered on occasion this year.

    Remember one of the things you said about Theodore: “He doesn’t admit he is wrong, take it like a man!”. Well, after the game Huet said he made a mistake in the first goal, and he said the same last year on occasions when he made mistakes.

    He puts the effort in and eventually he will get into season shape. It takes time to get into prime shape after all. I also like Aebischer, but it’s much better having two capable goaltenders. If people start booing Huet, he will lose confidence and lose respect for the bunch of unsupporting fans. Who wants to play for a bunch of two-faced cats anyways?

    If by mid-season it’s clear that this is not his year, then he will be a great back-up anyways, so try to look at the bright side of things.

  8. In my humble opinion, Huet should start against Boston (ie. a weaker team on the road, and also a team that he seemed to have solved last year.) Aebischer, on the other hand, should start both of the games against the Leafs and Sens. Otherwise, we are definitely going to hear it from that Leaf’s fan guy on Sunday. Time will tell.

  9. HUET LOOKS LIKE ANOTHER THEO, CAN’T STOP THE PUCK. AS FAR AS THE TEAM GOES CANT SCORE, AT TIMES WEAK DEFENCE. GOT TO PLAY AS A TEAM GUYS OR YOU WON’T BE AROUND COME APRIL

  10. I feel certain that Abby will get the start against the Briuns — it’s been the pattern since the beginning of the season. Carbs’ words last night after the game suggest he was ticked off at Huet last night… there’s another reason.

    BUT: I fully agree with Rob. Huet needs his confidence back a little and the Briuns are a good opportunity for that. Typical sports cliche, he nees to come back and see the trust from the team, otherwise he might have problems later when we need him more.

    Abby, on the other hand, seems more reliable this year. Both the Sens and Leafs will be fighting with us for playoff spots. Do the math.

  11. I’m sensing a problem!! Journey with me if you will bavk to December-april last year.Cristobal Huet was a “stand-up goaltender!”very rarely did he go down! (I have a few recorded games from last year and I can prove this!!!)Throw in Rolie Melanson’s coaching (Butterfly style) and in the begining Huet slowly transformed into the fastest side to side (Lateral) moving goaltender in the league…NOW it seems that he’s gone too far from his normal capable form “stand-up” and is relying on the Butterfly-style form which more often than not when a BUTRFLY goalie is shaky results in going down 3 seconds too soon! Think back, ROY did it constantly!But Roy was Roy, and Huet IS Huet!I firmly believe he needs to get back to his basic form if he can. if not!!!He’ll be quit an expensive back-up! I say start’em in Boston!and ABS against T.O and OTT…GO HABS GO..Oh yeah…AND ENOUGH WITH THE UNDISCIPLINED, STUPI LACLUSTER PENALTIES..YOUR COSTING US POINTS, AND STRESSING ME OUT!!

  12. When that Game 6 goal against Carolina last year went in I had this bad feeling.
    The feeling that great goalies don’t allow those types of goals. NEVER!

    Les Habitant your right about his movement.
    I said the same thing last year, he sucks with his lateral movements.
    He moves slower than Jason Allison on a breakaway.
    WE AGAIN OVER-PAID FOR A GOALIE.
    We should have let him walk for that amount of money and signed a true centre/d-man.

    LINE UP SUGGESTION FOR CARBO:
    Samsonov Koivu Ryder
    Latendresse Higgins Kovalev
    OR Plekanec

    I hope Huet can prove us wrong. Go Habs Go!

  13. When that Game 6 goal against Carolina last year went in I had this bad feeling.
    The feeling that great goalies don’t allow those types of goals. NEVER!

    Les Habitant your right about his movement.
    I said the same thing last year, he sucks with his lateral movements.
    He moves slower than Jason Allison on a breakaway.
    WE AGAIN OVER-PAID FOR A GOALIE.
    We should have let him walk for that amount of $$$$ and signed a true centre/d-man.

    LINE UP SUGGESTION FOR CARBO:
    Samsonov Koivu Ryder
    Latendresse Higgins Kovalev
    OR Plekanec

    I hope Huet can prove us wrong. Go Habs Go!

  14. Jack you are so right!!Huet needs his confidence back. And I believe he will get it. Good thing we have good goaltender to step up.Fans are a funny group. Before the season started many fans wanted Aebischer traded.Those that want Huet traded or gone.Ya can’t have everything your way. Jay don’t get stressed. The HABS will make the playoffs.Right now everything is going well for them Sabers not even a small speed bump. Remember the Sens last year:=)The laffs well we will see.They have confidence in Raycroft…good because I will predict by mid season he will not be their top goaltender.Right now of course we have to listen to Ontario sports news hype which is sickening.

  15. #15 tricolor true says:
    October 24, 2006 at 7:05 pm

    Our goaltending is our nemesis! Huet just can’t stop those high shots, and in a 1 goal game, you can’t afford to give up even 1 bad goal. it will cost you the game! I have no confidence in Huet. Last year, he was new to the league. but now, all the teams have learned his weaknesses, and they are certainly exploiting them. So what goalie out there is still available? we had our chance to get a proven goalie, and as usual we screwed up! we all know you’re not going to go far in the playoffs without a good goalie, and for now we only have Aebischer to rely. comments about Huet needing time to get into shape, are totally erroneous. If a goalie is not in shape by now, he never will be! It’s not about being in shape, it’s about talent and ability! Why do you think LA was so anxious to get rid of him? Don’t you think they knew what we’re finding out now? HUET CAN’T STOP PUCKS! Carbo, please don’t wait until it’s too late. There must be a sucker out there, who wants him. I would prefer to have Danis as our back up. Call him up from Hamilton, and demote Huet, because that’s exactly where Huet belongs, in the minors!

  16. #16 joshtm says:
    October 24, 2006 at 7:46 pm

    I think everyone forgot that Huet had an injury late in the end of the season and it looks like he hasn’t come out of it. We have Corey Price as a potential, trading Huet for a half decent defense to back up Souray as Ninny there gets pushed aside like he’s a wimp…

    A trade early in the season would help to put things in perspective perhaps for those who think that they can now slink back into a regular season….look at the way the Habs do their leisure lounge skating act on power plays….hello, on a power play you only got so much, what is this “I’ll skate as slow as I can and pass it to the other team” act?

    What is with all those stupid stick penalties? The habs are not gonna get away with like the Canes get away with nasty stick defense….its a fine skill that the Canes have perfected….

  17. It’s interesting to see most people focus on the goaltending so quickly. Granted, it’s one of the keys to winning games, maybe the most important, but what about the other factors? We need to allow the team some time to gel, they’ve actually done OK until now!! Losing to Buffalo wasn’t such a bad thing at this stage in the season.

    Many are starting to ask questions about Kovalev. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of his, but wtf??? He has the talent to be tops in the league, but he seems to slack at the weirdest times. If you combine his work “ethic” with disfunctional line-mates, you get inferior production from the guy who should be lighting up the net. The solution may be an eventual line change, but that might screw up the first line… in other words, Carbo sticks with it for now; we’ll talk after 20 games.

    To rant a little more, where are all the Souray haters now??? The guy is not the greatest defensive defensemen of all time, I’ll give you that, but what a threat!!

    Huet against the Bruins!

  18. #18 Habs#1 says:
    October 24, 2006 at 10:00 pm

    Sorry for everyone who thinks Huet should go against Boston In Boston but these three games are to important to go with a goalie who’s shaky. Aebischer needs to go in the next three then try and go back to Huet.

    Kovalev is the laziest sack of S*** in the league. He’s a selfish piece of trash. I’ve never liked him and if anyone needs to go it’s him. Samsonov isn’t the one malfuctioning on that line it’s Kovalev. He dosen’t seem to understand that you can’t slash people or their sticks(on the powerplay too, What an idiot). He never tries, and for 4.5 million a season you’d hope he’d put in a decent effort every night. Unless he scores 40 goals a season with his talent he’s a waste of cap space. Trade him to Jersey for Gomez at the deadline if it looks like he won’t be back in the Swamp and move Plekanec to wing.

    Alex Perezhogin reminds me a lot of Maxim Afineganov from a couple years back. Tons of speed, burns everyone, try’s most night’s(I know I sound like Don Cherry but you can’t expect a Russian to put in 100% effort everynight) but he has absolutly no finish whatsoever. If he could just learn to hit the net, then pick the corners he could take that S.O.B. Kovalev’s spot which would then give Gainey a chance to unload his ass(Maybe to the Isles so he could play with Yashin, they both have the same amount of heart). Perogy could be better than Afineganov to because he’s bigger.

    Shane Doan would look great in a Habs jersey to. Tons of talent and more heart then a lot of players in this league and since he’s UFA at the end of the year and Phenoix is going in the tank(who said they’d be good again this year) he might be available and he only makes 3.3 million!!!! Kovalev makes 4.5!! Knowing Mike Barnett who seems to love washed up ageing veterans(i.e. Roenick, Nolan, Boynton, Laraque, etc.), he might actually go for it.

    JUST FIND SOME WAY OF GETTING RID OF KOVALEV!!!!!!!!

  19. #19 Habs#1 says:
    October 24, 2006 at 10:52 pm

    Forgot to add, Montreal’s powarplay vs. weak goaltending and the league’s worst penalty-kill. If the Habs don’t beat Boston on Thursday then I will be worried some.

  20. To Jay:

    I think that you are absolutely correct in your assessment.

    Huet seemed to be playing a completely different style last season than now. I remember often be amazed at how great his positioning was then, and what an old-style, stand up goaltender he was. He seemed to block more net in his old style, and could move faster from side to side. I cannot remember him playing a butterfly style very often, and in fact, it seemed a little scary in the playoffs when he did start going into a butterfly (pucks squirting between his legs and flying over his shoulders.) When he was standing up, the pucks did not seem to be flying into the top corners as easily, and his lateral movement seemed much better.

  21. Another problem is that the good teams (ie. Buffalo) have four lines playing. For this season, the Habs’ fourth line still has no points, and are now a combined -14. This line doesn’t seem to be having any impact on any of the games except to give the other team momentum. Maybe it’s nearing time for some of the fourth line players to sit in the press box so that some of the more deserving rookies get a chance to play.

  22. #22 Hab Fan for life says:
    October 25, 2006 at 8:16 am

    I am a big fan of the Habs, always have been and always will be. One of the things I have often found though, is the complete lack of support players receive from their “fans” when they are having a rough time. Without Huet last season, our beloved Canadiens might not have made it to the playoffs. He returns this year with a shaky start and everyone feels that he has been “solved” by the league? There is no such thing as a goalie without weaknesses. If there were, there would be no need for defencemen!

    This is only the beginning of the season. Lets not jump on the players who need our support now more than ever! Players like Huet, Kovalev do not deserve getting trashed by the Habs fickle fans, who are now ready to “dump” quality athletes on account of a couple of rough games. We have a good core group of players, high quality goaltenders and more on their way up in the years to come.

    Vive le tri-colore!!!

  23. #23 smiler2729 says:
    October 25, 2006 at 10:49 am

    Some of you make me embarrassed to be a Habs fan. You sound like Leaf whiners. We lose a game and you want everybody traded or fired. Get real, this isn’t your little NHL video game, these players are great and will get better as a team as they keep winning and losing. As for Huet, every goalie’s weakness is the high shots, he’s a pro, he’ll adjust accordingly, as for Kovalev, he’s always been streaky, you’ll hate him and question his heart and work ethic during the bad streaks and love him and praise him to high heaven during his hot streaks. These players are in the hands of very capable coaches and management so just sit back, relax and enjoy being a fan of one of the more exciting teams in the NHL. This ain’t 1978, we’re not going to dominate every game, even the current Sabres will falter and come to the reality that they aren’t perfect but a very good team. So every armchair GM/coach in here should just lighten up and show some class by not booing our hometown heroes on the ice cuz if you want to be like that, there’s plenty of room on the Toronto Maple Leafs bandwagon.

  24. Very well said Smiler.

  25. Ironic — because I have probably been a Habs fan longer than most of you, but…

    This is my last comment about Huet. It appears that some Habs fans are prone to magical thinking, and feel that the game is somehow personal. A fan who expects a team and its players to actually perform well is one that is “fickle” in their estimation. An analysis of why Huet is not playing well this year offends them. These are the same people who told you year after year that Jose Theodore is just having a slow start, and will get back to his 2002 form real soon. The same people that told you that Patrice Brisebois will actually be the second coming of Bobby Orr. Also, the same people that told you that Mike Ribeiro, Stephane Lebeau, Guillame Latendresse (a bigger form of Mike Ribeiro) or take your pick of several others will be the next coming of Guy Lafleur.

    As I had said about Jose Theodore between the years of 2003-2006, just by repeating over and over that Theodore is the Habs starting goaltender doesn’t make it so. Huet is currently playing poorly, and just by saying that the fans need to get behind him won’t change this situation. Perhaps you guys want to believe that a guy who came out of obscurity from a country where hockey is not a big time sport is going to be the next Ken Dryden, I wish that it were true too. Look at the reality of the situation, however. Look at the replays. Huet is sliding backwards in a butterfly position on penalty shots before the oncoming player has even shot. What does that say about a goaltender’s confidence? OK, I will join in the magical thinking too. All we need to do is get behind him more, and he will play better.

  26. #26 smiler2729 says:
    October 25, 2006 at 11:42 am

    I’m not into ‘magical thinking’ and ‘only needing to get behind him’ to help Huet, I merely think he will, with coaching, come out of the bad habits he finds himself with (either because of personal pressure on himself or whatever). I never expected Huet to be the next Dryden nor do I think he’s the number 1 goalie here. I just expect him to be a quality keeper in an excellent tandem with Aebischer. I really don’t think Montreal management is looking for a clear number 1 anyway because they seem to be the same goaltender in size, style and calmness, only Aebischer is the hot one right now and Huet is the not-so-hot one. It’s a long season and these things to work themselves out. I just don’t think we should be jumping all over Cristobal for a less than perfect start.

  27. #27 PACTUM SERVA says:
    October 25, 2006 at 11:42 am

    Great post smiler2729.I bet if higgens coughed up the puck in the next game which lead to a goal everyone would want his ass traded lol

  28. #28 smiler2729 says:
    October 25, 2006 at 11:49 am

    As for playing the lines, I think the only question Carbo has is Plekanec between Kovalev and li’l Sergei. Dare he dream that Radek Bonk could be placed between Samsonov and Kovalev and bring some stability and consistency with an all-Russian trio? Could agitator deluxe Steve Begin and very capable and versatile Mike Johnson and show Guillaume Latendresse a little more of the trenches than he would get on the fourth line?

  29. #29 PACTUM SERVA says:
    October 25, 2006 at 12:21 pm

    I dont think bonk is russian

  30. Smiler:

    I am not meaning to question you, but you brought the coaching question up. Do you really think that the way to get a goaltender’s confidence up is to play him against the best team in the league in his home rink? (which just happens to be the closest thing to a shrine that exists in hockey.) Do you really think that the Canadiens coaches don’t know that there is a problem with Huet right now?

    I have had the good fortune to sit behind the Buffalo bench with Ruff coaching, and it is like a game within a game to watch this bench operate. The level of intensity and speed on the bench alone is phenomenol! Don’t think that that message/intensity doesn’t carry through to the players on the ice. When we talk about the great Habs’ management that we have, we have to remember that all we have for this year is a great GM. Nothing more; nothing less.

    We all want to have our heroes except if you are a fan of Buffalo and Minnesota (currently, the best teams in the league.) In those cities, you just want 12 solid forwards, 8 solid defenseman and 2 solid goaltenders. We have to get over this mentality that anyone who criticizes a player on the Habs needs to recite his pledge of allegiance to the Montreal Canadiens one hundred times (or sign on with the Leafs.) This isn’t church or the mafia; no room for saints or untouchables anymore. Produce or perish is the philosophy in the new NHL.

  31. Put Perezhogin in Samsonov’s spot (and vice versa) for a game. Eventually we might need to trade for a decent center.

  32. Interesting: RDS reports that Latendresse will join Pleks and Kovy on the second line and that Huet will be in nets for the Bruins. Samsonov is “demoted” to the 4th line for his return to Boston.

    I trust Carbo knows what he’s doing; the report says that Sammy was not at all pleased with the move. I tend to agree with those who feel that things were not all that horrible with the lines… for the moment. I would have allowed more time for things to gel.

    But, as with all organisations, shaking things up a little can help, and putting Huet back in for this game is a smart move.

    Now, hopefully, they win the game!!! GO HABS GO!!

  33. Some line changes have been announced for tomorrow’s game in Boston. Latendresse will play in the second line with Plekanec and Kovalev, while Samsonov will play in the fourth line with Begin and Murray. This will be a great chance for Latendresse to finally get his first point in the NHL, and if he does well, he might stay there for a few games. Otherwise maybe Perezhogin can be given a chance in the line.
    Samsonov did not appreciate at all this change, and is also upset that he got less than 2 minutes of ice-time in the third period vs Buffalo. He wonders whether he has a future in Montreal or whether a trade should be forthcoming.
    Huet will start in net again, so it appears that Carbo has gone with Huet vs Boston and (I assume) Aebischer vs Ottawa and Toronto.

  34. #34 tricolor true says:
    October 25, 2006 at 4:50 pm

    Great idea! because, if Huet can’t stop the lowly Bruins, then he can’t stop any team!Also, putting Latendresse on the 2nd line, as an experiment, could work, but I think the wrong player on that line is Plekanec! He just doesn’t have the talent, nor does he know what to do with the puck. Let’s face it. WE DON’T HAVE A QUALITY OR TALENTED 2ND LINE CENTER!We are going to have to, either sign or trade for a quality center. there is no way Plekanec is the man for that job. He belongs on the 4th line!Try Bonk on the 2nd line, but eventually Gainey will come to the realization(after there are 0 points by our 2nd line centers!), that he must make a move, via trade or unrestricted signing. I would break up the 1st line, and spread it around, so it is more evenly spread between the 1st and 2nd line.that way, the opposition won’t focus solely on our 1st line, and shut them down.Normally, you give a team about 15-20 games to work out the kinks, and find out where the chemistry is. But because there is so much parody in the league now, we just can’t afford to wait too long, because it could make the difference in staying home in April, or making the playoffs. Last year, the habs didn’t secure a playoff spot until the last game of the season. Do we want to put ourselves in that position again,or try to make changes sooner? Gainey knows best!

  35. Gainey is not the coach–Carbonneau is!!!

  36. #36 Habs#1 says:
    October 25, 2006 at 5:24 pm

    Well, looks like you all got your wish. Huet starts on Thursday and Latendresse moves up to the second line. These are two bad moves.

    The Habs need all three of the next three games and they have a better chance of getting them with Aebischer, then put Huet in afterward.

    The Guillaume circus continues. So let me get this straight. Your replacing a guy with 4 points and a -1 rating for a guy with 0 points and a -3 rating? That’s just stupid. Latendresse belongs in junior and that’s that. The only reason he’s there is because Ribeiro is gone. Want to know why, and this may offend some people. Latendresse is the token French Canadian with talent there to appease the french media. Montreal hasn’t had a big French Canadian offensive star since Lafleur and they’ve been craving one ever since. He’s just there to make the fans and french media happy, plain and simple.

  37. I find it hard to disagree with Habs#1.

    I still believe putting Huet in is a savvy move,

    I certainly don’t like the Latendresse move (whatever the reason is), and getting Samsonov pissed is very risky.

    Once again: shaking things up now is a bold move. Let’s see if it works!

  38. #38 Leaf Hater says:
    October 25, 2006 at 5:53 pm

    Last year Huet OWNED the Bruins with more than one shutout against them?
    Good move, GuiLa is still a kid, he is no Malkin and they don’t really need him but the media prssure is buying him a good look. Play him and have him score or RTJ, return to Jr hockey.

  39. I partly agree with Habs #1, but starting Huet in Boston is not a bad decision (ie. on the road against a weaker team; it gives him a chance to get some confidence back.)

    But Latendresse promoted to the second line??? What the hell kind of decision is that? I will admit that before the season started that I thought Latendresse should definitely not be on the big team. He is not Sidney Crosby, and does not merit coming up from junior at the tender age of eighteen. So far, Latendresse has done nothing with the club to prove me wrong, but to piss off one of your talented free agents by moving him off the second unit so Latendresse gets a chance to score a goal/point is a really, really stupid move. Clubs that operate on principles like that will always lose. There are a lot of Russians on this club, and if they become even more disenfranchised by this kind of crappy, political decision, watch out.

  40. #40 Habs#1 says:
    October 25, 2006 at 6:04 pm

    If you read Samsonov’s comments on TSN.ca he sounds pissed. All but saying he wants a trade out of town already.

    Here’s some of the article and some of Samsonov’s quotes:
    ”I’m not shocked,” an angry Samsonov said. ”If you keep track of my ice time, that’s what I’m getting right now, I’m a fourth-line player.

    ”When I came here, I thought I was going to be a go-to guy and obviously, that’s not the case right now. What is it going to take? I don’t know. We’ll see.”

    After helping Edmonton reach the Stanley Cup final last spring, he signed a US$7.05-million, two-year contract as a free agent with Montreal.

    Samsonov was playing with Alex Kovalev and centre Tomas Plekanec but they did not find the chemistry that coach Guy Carbonneau was hoping for.

    Looking for goals, Carbonneau put the bigger, more physical Latendresse in the five-foot-eight Samsonov’s spot on the Kovalev line in the third period of a 4-1 loss to Buffalo on Monday night.

    They didn’t score, but the coach liked what he saw enough to try it again in Boston. Samsonov had only 12:16 of ice time in the game.

    ”I think I’m playing well,” said Samsonov, who has two goals and two assists in eight games. ”It’s frustrating when your team is down 3-0 in the third period and you end up sitting on the bench watching the game.

    ”If that’s the case, then obviously I’m not needed here.”

    The 27-year-old now wonders where he stands with team management and whether he has a future in Montreal.

    ”I’m getting paid too much to sit on the bench and watch hockey games and, if that’s the case, we’ll see where it goes from here,” Samsonov added.

    ”I obviously made a commitment to this team. I brought my family here. I bought a house. I’m fully committed to this team, so hopefully we’ll come up with something.”

    Carbonneau said Samsonov ”is not going anywhere,” but he wants to roll four lines and needs them all to produce.

    He doesn’t want to break up his top trio of Saku Koivu, Chris Higgins and Michael Ryder, or his third line of Radek Bonk, Mike Johnson and Alexander Perezhogin, both of which have played well.

    That left the fourth line, where Samsonov found himself skating with checkers Steve Begin and Garth Murray.

    ”You don’t want to rely on one line for scoring every game,” said Carbonneau. ”We need to find line combinations to balance our attack.

    ”I have nothing against Samsonov, but it’s not working right now with Alex. I saw him play before and when we talked about signing him last summer, I was all for it. He’s a good player, but we’ll keep trying combinations.”

    Before training camp, general manager Bob Gainey said he expected Samsonov would need time to adjust to a new team and that he was more interested in how he will be playing in February than in October.

    ”If that’s the plan, somebody’s got to let me know,” added Samsonov.

    Samsonov’s loss was an unexpected gain for Latendresse, the 19-year-old right winger who made the team after a strong camp.

    Where Samsonov and Kovalev both like to hang onto the puck and roam in the attacking zone, Latendresse heads straight in for a hit or goes to the net.

    You can’t be paying a fourth line player 3.5 million. Trade him or Kovalev(Please let it be Kovalev).

  41. That this has gone public already is a very bad sign that there is a discontent in the locker room.

  42. #42 Habs#1 says:
    October 25, 2006 at 6:31 pm

    If your going to make changes this one makes more sense. Move Ryder to the second line so you have your shooter there and then Samsonov up to the first to play with Higgy and Koivu so that way Koivu can shoot a little more with Samsonov setting him up.

    Kovalev and Plekanec are pass first players as is Samsonov. He needs to be with a shoot first player like Glen Murray when he was in Boston. Higgins is a shoot first player.

  43. You know what I don’t give a F**K weither Carbonneau puts Samsonov on the 4th line or has him selling Heinikens in the stands!This guy just made one unclassy stupid-ass mistake that YOU DO NOT make in MONTREAL…You keep your bloody mouth shut to the reporters, and keep problems with’n the “family” ESPECIALLY IN MONTREAL!!!A truely dedicated PRO would have said something along the lines of, “Well, right now were just trying to see where we can all fit in and produce, Sure I could have done more the last couple of games , but the important thing is that THE TEAM finds ways for the other 3 lines to start winning hockey games” Not WHAAAAAAAA I just bought a house with my millions…WHAAAAAAAA I only got 12 minutes of ice time! WHAAAAAAA I’m committed to the team!!! I’ll tell you all something. A TEAM PLAYER would have NEVER made comments like those, unless he TRUELY wanted to be traded!You can’t be classless, in the most classy hockey organization in the league!! IT WILL NEVER WORK!!

  44. #44 snake says:
    October 25, 2006 at 6:57 pm

    Jay, I agree with you on his lack of thinking there but lets be honest the media In Montreal has a way of sucking out these comments. Has Sammy produced up to par yet? of course not but puttin ghim on the 4th in ridiculous. I think Habs number 1 has a good thought about switching Ryder and Sammy but how much would that affect teh first line, thats the question. Im just not sold on Guy moving to the 2nd, good potential but his puck skills so far have been bad. I honestly thought he was a littl emore skilled. Maybe Guy wants to see what he can do on the 2nd line purely because it will be his ninth game and they are considering sending him back to juniors. If thats the case this move would make all the sense in the world!!!!!

  45. #45 snake says:
    October 25, 2006 at 6:59 pm

    Huet is a good choice for Thursday. I still have alot of faith in him but he must step up his game. WE need better! I am not bashing just being honest.

  46. You know if this were the Scotty Bowman days Not only would Samsonov sit …but so would Kovalev! I’m not sying guy should bench them…But when someone asks you to make a list of amazing NHL coaches Past or present, you wouldn’t have to scroll to far to see his name there…GO HABS GO!

  47. #47 Habs#1 says:
    October 25, 2006 at 7:10 pm

    My final thought’s and one final solution on a topic that has got me a bit stirred up. Although I don’t agree with Carbonneau moving him to the fourth line and I think my first solution is better(see blog entry 42) Sammy souldn’t have opened his mouth like that and know Gainey may need to make an exemple of him.

    Solutoin: On THE SPIN on THE SCORE last night during the Pierre’s Notebook segment, Pierre LeBrun said that he talked to Blackhawks GM Dave Tallon, who with all the injuries he’s just had(Handzus, Havlat, ‘Bulin) He’s phoning everyone looking to make a deal for offensive AND he’s willing to trade PROSPECTS!!!! With all the top picks the ‘Hawks have had the Habs could get some freakin awesome prospects.

    Think of these deals: Samsonov and Niinamaa /or another defenceman(insert the person you think would work here) for: Cam Barker, or Brent Seabrook or Duncan Keith. Three top flight young d-men with #1 defenceman potential.

    or,

    Samsonov for Jonathan Toews. Huge offensive upside, takin just after Jordan Stall in the Draft, he’s also responsible in his own end. Or Dave Bolland, 130 points in 59 games last year in the OHL for London.

    If Gainey can pull off one of these deals and he dosen’t he should be commited for insanity.

  48. #48 tricolor true says:
    October 25, 2006 at 7:12 pm

    I’m disappointed that Samsanov is being moved to the 4th line. c’mon, how many goals do you think he will score on the 4th line? also, his ice time will be diminished to about 4 minutes. give him more time, to find game. at least put him on the 3rd line,with Pleks and Johnson. 4th line is a hige mistake! 8 games and he’s already feeling unwanted, and ready to leave. Exactly how,is that going to give him a boost of confidence? it will only breed animosity between him and Carbo.and why didn’t Carbo use the preseason to do all this experimenting and line changes? By now, the lines should be set!I really think Carbo is now showing his lack of experience, and patience!

  49. Way too much controversy at the beginning of the season. Really bad for chemistry. Might hurt the team.

    Carbo: watch your step! We absolutely don’t need another Mario meltdown!!

  50. If he does do a Mario then a repeat of Richard riot should be in order :P

    Good to see people ragging on their own team (me included) so early in the season. Any other fans do this?!

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