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Sinking Ship

  • Let’s quickly summarize last night’s games to give you an idea of what’s happened to the Canadiens.

    Boston: 2 points
    Carolina: 2 points
    NYI: 2 Points
    Toronto: 1 point
    Tampa Bay: 2 points

    MONTREAL: 0 Points

    This has been more or less a nightly occurrence for the past several weeks. The Canadiens getting no points and their Eastern rivals winning, or managing that extra point in an OT loss.

    On the contrary, the Canadiens get shut out at home to a nearly 42 year old goaltender and a non playoff team.

    There is a very real chance that one team misses the Playoffs by a single point. Should the Habs miss the playoffs you might look at last night as the night that cost them.

    Were the Canadiens awful? Arguably. The least you can say is they did play a better game than the two against Ottawa.

    Ed Belfour stood on his head as he has now earned the title of Hab Killer along with Erik Cole and Justin Williams and several others. The Habs hit several posts and couldn’t find a bounce all game including a 5-3 in the dire minutes of the 3rd. Is that good enough? Of course not. Not for a team that wants to be in the playoffs.

    There is certainly some disturbing numbers on the Habs right now. I’ll share just a few…

    They’ve allowed the first goal 9 games in a row. The Canadiens don’t win when they don’t score first. Their confidence tanks the minute a goal is allowed.

    Their first line doesn’t produce, and worse than that they allow goals like their going out of style.

    Saku Koivu is -16. When your first line Center and your Captain is that bad, what does that say about the team? The most troubling thing is Koivu’s expression on the bench is lifeless, tired, cold. Not characteristics of a Captain leading his team back on track.

    Michael Ryder is -21 . 6th WORST +/- in the entire NHL.

    Chris Higgins could not score on a soccer net at this point. Since his injury he hasn’t been the same. In recent games he’s looked like the Higgins of old but can not bury one and get the monkey off his back.

    Pause for a moment and look at the Standings. The Canadiens sit in 8th place. Isn’t this where they are supposed to be? Isn’t this where they always are? Are we expecting too much of a rookie coach, a rookie starting goalie and a team that’s generally low on skill?

    Look at the last few years:

    05/06: 7th place.
    03/04: 7th place.
    02/03: 10th place.
    01/02: 8th place.

    One could argue we are right on track, and lucky to be there. The bitterness and frustration comes from knowing not long ago the Canadiens held the 2nd highest point total in the East and routinely beat or challenged teams like the Sabres and Thrashers.

    What next? The Habs play tonight in New Jersey. The chances of winning, very slim.
    If you are a betting man you could safely bet the farm tonight on a Canadiens loss. They have won once in NJ in close to 20 games. If they have so much trouble with the Panthers they will certainly have their hands full with the Devils who are rolling along.

    Stranger things have happened, and maybe a good dance with Devils will put them back on track. More likely, the Canadiens will miss out on 2 more points.

229 Comments
  1. The Leafs hold the tie breaker so they will leapfrog the Habs.

  2. #2 PACTUM SERVA says:
    February 15, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    In regaurds to post 149 “plekanecs cant skate” lol lol I think he may be faster than samsonov if you ask me but what do i know i am just a nobody.

  3. #3 coutNY_HabsFan says:
    February 15, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    RDS reporting;
    “Alex Kovalev the absence of Alex Kovalev will be prolonged for both or three next weeks.”

  4. #4 coutNY_HabsFan says:
    February 15, 2007 at 4:00 pm

    sorry for the rough translation… I think 2-3 weeks!

  5. #5 PACTUM SERVA says:
    February 15, 2007 at 4:04 pm

    Sorry but plekanecs also won the fastest skater contest in the A.H.L allstar game 2 years ago if i am not mistaken

  6. #6 fan4066 says:
    February 15, 2007 at 4:08 pm

    Gainey became head coach of the Minnesota North Stars in 1990-91, guiding his team to the sixth game of the Stanley Cup finals in his first season. In January 1992, Gainey also was named general manager. In 1993, after the franchise relocated to Dallas, he stepped down as head coach to focus solely on his general manager duties. Gainey turned the franchise into a powerhouse by acquiring players such as Joe Nieuwendyk, Brett Hull, Ed Belfour, and Sergei Zubov. The team won the Presidents’ Trophy in 1998 and 1999. Dallas won the Stanley Cup in 1999.

    WHY NOT US BOB, WHY NOT US!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. How long has Gainey been the GM of the Habs? It took him 7 years in Dallas to win the cup.

  8. I hate to say this, but unless we make changes and FAST, we will not make the playoffs this season. We need big changes and soon and unless we do it before it is too late, we can forget about the playoffs this year. We might even need a backup goalie if Huet is seriously hurt and for a long period of time.

    Ziman

  9. #9 fan4066 says:
    February 15, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    144 coutNY_HabsFan, thats weird and mine says 6’1″….someone screwed up. The funny thing is I always thought he WAS short!!

  10. hmmmm…2 -3 weeks. Kind of almost gives merit to the rumor of he & souray having it out & kovy saying he was done here.

    from our famous eklund this afternoon:

    habs have Pavel Datsyuk on their radar.

    oh, and a big deal with edmonton in the works….lmao…

    good old ek…um , has he ever gotten one right?

    ps…..Gainey was seen this morning at a dude ranch in Texas, drinking tequila from the bottle and talking to a yellow finch with the lyrics to Hells Bells printed on its stomach.

    the finch….was not harmed during the conversation.

    man, I gotta get away from the puter…sheesh.

  11. #11 smiler2729 says:
    February 15, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    Fuck the Leafs…

  12. #12 smiler2729 says:
    February 15, 2007 at 4:58 pm

    Who’s Eklund? Pelle Eklund, the Philadelphia Flyer??

  13. #13 Habs4life says:
    February 15, 2007 at 5:08 pm

    OMG anyone doesn’t think the habs are going to make the playoffs, arn’t really true habs fans. real fans stick with their team till the end, through the ups, and the downs. Just because they arn’t playing well doesn’t mean we have to go all nazi on them…they try hard every night, and things arn’t going their way. If you dont’t think the habs wont amke the playoffs, or arn’t cheering for them to do so than your just a fake. I keep on reading thse terrible blogs, and we should be talking about them making the playoffs, not talking about how they suck, and how they dont try, because thats bullshit. They give 110%, and right now its not going their way.

    Habs 4 Life

  14. #14 BarrieHabFan says:
    February 15, 2007 at 5:20 pm

    There is still a lot of time to go this season but it would be very difficult now for the habs to recover and be in the top eight. I don’t think that that means that the habs should do nothing though. Even a small move just to show the fans that there is an effort and to try to at least make the games more entertaining would be appreciated. Right now when I watch a habs game I feel like I’ve wasted 2+ hours of my life and even betrayed. Not expensive players, just toughness and grinding. Players who work hard for an entire game. If need be the #1 center that they need so badly can wait until next year. Waiting until the deadline just ensures that this team sinks as fara s possible in the standings. If they had been serious about htis season they would have made a deal long ago when they realized the team couldn’t score 5 on 5.

  15. #15 BarrieHabFan says:
    February 15, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    Sorry guys, I can’t type for shi*.

  16. Kovalev is out for the next 3 weeks so maybe we can use some of our cap space to get player that can help us. We need to get someone who can help us try and get home-ice advantage and someone who has HEART! We can put Kovalev on the injured reserve and see who can come in and maybe help us. Gainey, WAKE UP and DO SOMETHING NOW!!! We may also need a backup goalie if Huet is out for a long period of time. I hope we get rid of some of the shit on the team like Samsonov, Rivet, and Niniimaa. Those players suck!

    Ziman

  17. #17 coutNY_HabsFan says:
    February 15, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    I think Kovalev gets a bum wrap when it comes to heart. There is a bunch of non-Euro or non-Russians that have lacked heart on this team. Kovalev is an old school Russian, which if you watch their National teams they never usually show emotion. I think they’re taught to play that way. Different culture, that does mean he lacks the will to win. I admit he has bad habits not unlike many players in the league and on this team. People are trying to rationalize why we’re not winning and he is just one of many scapegoats. I think the players all want to turn things around. Frustration has turned to anger and the blame game has run rampit. Kovalev will be missed over the next few weeks!

  18. #18 Habs#1 says:
    February 15, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    Sorry guys, but the way this team is playing with no light at the end of the tunnel, the players seem to be thinking the way I am

    The season is over. One big trade isn’t going to solve this team’s problems. This teams problems run very deep. I’m talking major psychological problems. Gainey needs to flush out some of the high paid veterans on this team(i.e. Kovalev, Sammy, Rivet, Ninnamaa,etc.) and use that cap space to go after a true #1 centre(Koivu in reality is a really good #2 guy), so Drury, Briere and Gomez should be on the radar this offseason.

    Screw Datsyuk, do you really want another Russian at the age of 30 with a long term deal?

    Don’t look for anything major till the offseason. This is Gainey’s most important offseason to achieve his goal of a cup by 2009. So if you’re looking for something major, turn off your computer and t.v. till July 1rst.

  19. #19 R habs 4 real says:
    February 15, 2007 at 6:26 pm

    Kovalev will NOT be missed. In fact, it will be a blessing. If they call up Grabovski and Kostitsyn, collectively, they will be MUCH BETTER than Kovalev, and just might give a spark to this dead team. Also, with the call up of Halak,(and I hope he plays) he will show Huet and Aebischer how to stop a puck, and just might bring some ingredients now missing on this team.
    PLEASE DO NOT PLAY AEBISCHER!! I will be very angry if that happens. He’s just going to screw up the game, let in SOFTIES, which he is known for, and ultimately lose the game.
    So Huet and Kovalev, take your time, and stay away for the remainder of the season, PLEASE! Can Koivu and Samsonov get injured, too?

  20. #20 BarrieHabFan says:
    February 15, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    I agree with CoutNY_HabsFan. Kovalev isn’t the problem. Overall, even though there are definately weaknesses with existing players, the problem is not what this team has but what it doesn’t have. It doesn’t have a solid power forward, it doesn’t have a #1 center and it doesn’t have a great defensive defenceman. Despite some posts the goaltending is fine. It just looks bad now with the whole team playing horrible. Most players are fine. You can’t have a whole team of superstars. It just needs a few key players and it may take until next year to get those players.

  21. #21 R habs 4 real says:
    February 15, 2007 at 6:47 pm

    Barrie habfan: most players on this team are DEFINITELY NOT FINE.
    the goaltending IS NOT GOOD either. It has nothing to do with where the team is now. For a long time, Huet and Aebischer have been letting in 1-2 soft goals per game. We need more than 1 or 2 players. Remember, we added 2 players for this season. They need a complete overhaul. They need to change the face of this team totally or they will always finish around 8th spot. Check the habs finishes for the past 10 years. It’s always the same, because not enough changes take place in the offseason. Unless you have watched every single game this seasin, as I have, please don’t say we’re 1 or 2 players away from being competitive! That really ticks me off!

  22. #22 BarrieHabFan says:
    February 15, 2007 at 7:15 pm

    R habs 4 Real, I have watched every game. Everyone always dumps on goalies when things are bad. Their errors stand out so much more than any other players. Yes, these two goalies have let in soft goals, but so has any goalie through one or more stretches in his career. I don’t think Aebischer is a starter. I also think Huet is marginal at best as a starter. I also don’ t think either are the reason for the problems right now. Watch the type of quality scoring opportunities that both have to put up with in every game. For every good scoring opportunity Montreal has the oppostion usually has 10 or more. And a team is only a strong as its weakest links(s). Putting a few players in key positions can make a huge change for a team. I don’t think just a few changed would make them stanley cup contenders, but it would make a huge difference in the competitive level and entertainment value.
    And congratulations on bragging about watching every hab game and thinking that makes you smarter than everyone else. Stay ticked off.

  23. #23 big al says:
    February 15, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    the habs will be back, don”t give up hope.

  24. #24 R habs 4 real says:
    February 15, 2007 at 7:57 pm

    Barriehabfan: I wasn’t bragging about watching every game, simply stating the facts. No need to be so rude. Obviously you don’t live in Montreal. We are in the heart of this mess, and it’s not fun. It’s fine for you to come on the habs blog, but please don’t insult me. I am a true blue hab’s fan for 40 years. Living here, I have to endure all the negative habs talk everyday. There’s no escaping it. Maybe, if we’re lucky, we can salvage a few hab players, but we’re getting tired of the same scenario every year. We squeeze into the playoffs, barely, and eliminated in a hurry. We want it to be different. Just getting into the playoffs with a mediocre team, is no longer acceptable. So, if a complete facelift is needed, (and I belive it is), then we will have to wait about 3-4 years. It’s very frustrating to keep on losing, and I’m sure you can appreciate that. This team’s style of play is getting old and stale. It needs to go in a different direction, with offence being the priority.
    Now that there are injuries, it makes me think that it’s kind of a coincidence that all of a sudden these injuries are happening as the team is in turmoil. Rivet with pneumonia? Johnson with the flu? Kovalev and his elbow? yet Kovalev just admitted on the sports report, that he’s had this problem for the past 2 months. That being the case, I think he is just bailing out on this team, a real quitter, just like the other no show habs. They’re all gutless! The only player with heart, is Souray, and he’s leaving. So. I guess all the habs have abandonned ship, can’t take the pressure. Are those the type of players we want? Just hand them their walking papers, and get them out!

  25. #25 smiler2729 says:
    February 15, 2007 at 8:01 pm

    Habs call up goaltender Jan Halak from Smog City, Ontario… Probably start in Columbus Sunday… Peter Forsberg’s scratched from tonight’s Philly-Toronto game, healthy scratch! So he’s traded…. stay tuned.

    PS. All’s I know of Alexei Kovalev is he pretty much coasts thru regular seasons but really shows up in the playoffs, so hopefully this team wakes up and gets to the Post Season Dance!

  26. 174 big al
    Posted on February 15th, 2007 at 7:31 pm. About ‘Sinking Ship’.

    the habs will be back, don�t give up hope.

    big Al……the habs have to win 14 of the remaining 22 games to make the playoffs.

    Sheldon was seen at Golf Plus today.

    hmmmmm

    believe it or not, Eklund said two hours ago that Forsberg would be gone tonight….he did get his report from Tim Panaccio however…lol…

  27. #27 R habs 4 real says:
    February 15, 2007 at 8:29 pm

    Forsberg been traded to Nashville, for Scotty Upshaw and picks.
    I’m really disappointed now. Gainey missed the boat, AGAIN!

  28. #28 BarrieHabFan says:
    February 15, 2007 at 8:37 pm

    R habs 4 Real, not trying to be rude just responding with that which I thought was being directed towards myself.
    I’d prefer to keep my pointed remarks aimed at Toronto fans so lets agree on a few things:
    1) Montreal really sucks right now
    2) They need to make changes
    3) Gainey waited too long to make changes that were needed some time ago
    4) The tolerance management has with icing a mediocre team has got to end
    There are probably many things we will disagree with, but that’s ok. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I don’t agree with you that Montreal has to start from scratch. I think that there are good players on this team worth keeping. I think you can’t blame the goaltenders for the current problems. But I could be wrong. I think Koivu would be a great #2 center, but not a #1. All other teams have to do is throw a defensive blanket over the first line and Montreal can’t score. I think Montreal has good prospects that will be phased in over the next few years making a complete facelift right now sort of non-sensible. Remember, this team has been going through a rebuilding process for a few years now. They can’t just up and start another one. This team does suck, but you don’t just blow something up when it doesn’t work. Maybe sometimes, but ususally you fix those areas that need fixing. And in this case that means bringing in new players either now or during the summer and phasing in these great prospects in Hamilton. I really don’t feel like watching this team tear everything apart, start from scratch and watch another 3 or 4 years of crappy hockey. They can become contenders without tearing the team apart.
    But that’s just my opinion. And like I said, I could be wrong.

  29. Scotty Upshall, Ryan Parent, 1st round pick, 3rd round pick for Foppa. Could Montreal have matched this?

    3-0 Leafs. Habs are headed to 9th place.

  30. WE DON’T NEED FOPPA ANYWAY’S, WE GOT A POWER FOWARD CALLED NIINIMAA…..

  31. We need to trade teams with Columbus !!!

  32. Come on, Montreal is better than Columbus ;)

  33. #33 R habs 4 real says:
    February 15, 2007 at 8:56 pm

    Barriehabfan: I do agree with you on several points, and I’m not totally blaming the goalies, because it is a team game. You win as a team, and lose as a team. But I’m so tired of the same shenanigans every year. You know what I mean? We’ve been going thru this same situation for the past 10 years. Why can’t be have a great team like Detroit? And they have a winning team every single year. I’m jealous. We seem to struggle every year just to make the playoffs. And honestly, I don’t see this team better than last year. It’s just the opposite. It’s like we take 1 step forward, and 2 steps backward. why?
    I will concede that Souray and Markov are our 2 best D men, but Souray is leaving, so what then? I don’t agree with your assessment of Koivu. I don’t think he should return. His days as a leader are gone, as witnessed by his lack of performances, penalties no heart , and his diminuitive size. Besides he doesn’t score enough. Never more than 25 goals. We need bonafide snipers.
    Latendresse is a big load, young, strong, and still learning. potential there.
    I still have hope for Higgins, and Begin is great as a defensive player with lots of energy. Not sure about Bonk or Johnson, and Kovalev, Samsonov, need to go. Kovalev has bad work ethics, and doesn’t show up enough, and I think his attitude contaminated the rest of the team. They’re playing as little as him.
    As far as goaltending, make Huet backup to Halak. Huet is, at best a backup.
    Remember, last year he only came aboard at the halfway point of the season. He doesn’t have the physical or mental capacity to play the whole season, as evidenced by his mediocre play the past 6 weeks.
    It’s very important that Gainey becomes more aggressive at getting players. Because it’s so difficult to attract players here, maybe he could give some incentives, like paying a portion of their taxes, or setting up their kids in an english school, or something other than what other teams are offering. Agree?
    Hey, do you live in Barrie, Ont? My sister lives there, too. She hates it, though. So, give me some feedback.

  34. Souray is not your best defenceman. He is good on the PP but Montreal would be advised to move him while his stock is highest rather than try to re-sign him because he is an atrocious defender.

  35. #35 R habs 4 real says:
    February 15, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    Souray is lousy defensively, but I don’t think Gainey is going to trade him, because he’s quoted as saying, “it will ruin the chemistry on the PP”.
    He’s also very slow, as evidenced by him taking so many bad penalties.
    a couple of true snipers would definitely help our cause. I would like to see Souray traded, and maybe get someone like Aucoin in return. Perhaps a deal with LA, Blake maybe, or could be wishful thinking.

  36. Honestly Frank,the Habs are rating 31 in a 30 team league rite now and obviously is in the control of dyslectic’s.The fat lady chocked on a fish bone and died dude.

  37. #37 Hab-a-dab-a-do says:
    February 15, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    Forsberg has been traded to Nashville

  38. #38 R habs 4 real says:
    February 15, 2007 at 9:37 pm

    I hope you all realize, if leafs and NYI win tonight,(and they’re both winning), we’re in 10th place. So even if we won some games, we’re looking over our shoulders to see how those 2 teams are doing. We should be furious with all the hab players. They disgust me. To put out such little effort, and get paid so much money. A disgrace! Every year, they tease us into believing we are a good team. No more! Maybe we shouldn’t watch the 1st half of every season, and only watch the last 40 games. they disintegrate faster than a cookie crumbles! I hope they get booed on Saturday night. They deserve it!

  39. #39 smiler2729 says:
    February 15, 2007 at 9:37 pm

    Why would Nashville want Forsberg? They are already deep at center with the 1-2 punch of Arnott and Legwand, Forsberg’s arrival’s only going to upset the apple cart there.
    They didn’t give up that much in Scottie Upshall (an underachieving 6th overall pick from 5 years ago) and OHLer Ryan Parent (okay, he’s good)…
    There’s no way Forsberg could have helped Montreal, he would have been infected with the shit virus that’s made all the Habs pure crap. SOMEBODY’S REALLY GONE AND PRESSED THE “SUCK” BUTTON ON THIS TEAM’S CONTROLS EH?

  40. #40 BarrieHabFan says:
    February 15, 2007 at 10:24 pm

    R habs 4 Real, actually closer to Wasaga Beach, Ontario but my business is in Barrie, plus not many people know where Elmvale is.

  41. #41 BarrieHabFan says:
    February 15, 2007 at 10:29 pm

    btw, I also agree Koivu should go. But I list him as a #2 center as he has a no trade clause (if I remember right) and he can’t be traded.

  42. #42 BarrieHabFan says:
    February 15, 2007 at 10:38 pm

    You also mentioned possibilities for setting up incentives so that players would want to come to Montreal. I think it’s sad that players line up to play for a classless orginization like the Leafs that haven’t won a cup since ’67 but Montreal has a hard time. What does this say about players now?
    Montreal has got more class and shows more respect to retired players than all the other teams in the league. Not only that but Montreal is one of the best cities in North America. Certainly much prettier and friendlier than Toronto.
    An organization that honours the greats. I remember the tribute to the rocket, the recent number retirement for Dryden, and the stirring tribute and number retirement for “Boom Boom”. The pride and tradition alone should be enough to attract players, let alone the amazing city they play for. These same things should inspire the players already on the team.
    If incentives are needed I think they should be in the form of a levelling of the playing field between Montreal and most other cities in the league (notably U.S.). Why do most other teams have arenas built for them and some pay nothing to play there? Property taxes. Montreal pays the most, many pay none! What could the Canadiens do with that saved money. Maybe they could use it to attract players with incentives, but should they really have to?

  43. Leafs win with class 4-2, Islanders are winning, and the Habs will wake up in 10th place. Remeber when the Habs were 22-9-5? Yeah, me neither.

  44. #44 R habs 4 real says:
    February 15, 2007 at 11:20 pm

    Barriehabfan: I know exactly where Wasaga Beach is. I visited there when I saw my sister, and I know where Elmvale is, too. My sister teaches at Elmvale District High School. What a coincidence, huh? How about that little zoo they have there. It’s sure nice to meet a habs fan who lives in Ont; It seems that we get all the leafs fans here, and I really don’t like their obnoxious attitude. So, with the leafs tied with us now, not very pleasant for hab fans.
    Sorry I was a bit cantankerous earlier, but the habs,( who I love dearly), have put me in a real depressing mood lately. I know you understand and empathize. What can we do to get this team to wake up? I’m so fed up . I’d like to ring their necks, and shake some sense into them.

  45. Yeah, we all know that Habs’ fans were not obnoxious at all when things were going well. HA!

  46. So if the playoffs started today who would the Habs face? wait, from Stanley Cup Contenders at Christmas to 10th place with 20 games left? uh-oh…

  47. #47 smiler2729 says:
    February 15, 2007 at 11:41 pm

    Hey Toronto, how come your streets are full of drunken Italian transvestites?? Hey Toronto, how ’bout another Courtnall for Kordic trade??? Hey Toronto, try winning something… anything.

  48. #48 smiler2729 says:
    February 15, 2007 at 11:43 pm

    Glenn Anderson… Wendel Clark… Toller Cranston… yeah, Toronto sure attracts them!

  49. #49 JohnnyD says:
    February 15, 2007 at 11:49 pm

    Hey toronto, why dont you go lick matts sundin’s bald head and go suck on his beautiful teeth!!!!

  50. Just heard what Kovalev had to say bout his hurt elbo,he said basicly he didn’t feel like sucking it up while the team is folding cause playoff action would have made his elbo worse. I CAN’T BELIEVE THEY TRIED TO BUILD A TEAM AROUND THAT CORPORATE WELLFARE SELF CENTERED DICK.

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