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Striking Distance

  • There is a reasonable chance that by this time tomorrow the Canadiens are 1st overall in the Eastern Conference.

    Just writing that feels a little strange.

    Depending what happens between Ottawa and Florida tonight combined with a Canadiens victory over Toronto, the Habs could tie or pass the Senators for 1st overall.

    On paper the Canadiens should destroy the bottom dwelling joke of the Eastern Conference who were embarrassed by the Panthers to the tune of 8-0 two nights ago.

    However, Leafs and Habs games never go down as they appear on paper.

    Carey Price gets his first start in goal since returning, the first major difference. How he’ll play is anyone’s guess, but his 3-0 record against the Leafs this season should at least have him in the right frame of mind.

    Anything but a decisive victory tonight would be a major disappointment and you’d expect everyone on the team is fully aware of the situation.

    All of this leads up to another showdown between Montreal and Ottawa on Saturday where things could really start to get heated.

63 Comments
  1. Big game tonight! It will be nice to see Carey Price get a start, especially against the Leafs. With the way Ottawa has been struggling, them getting stomped by Florida isn’t a long shot – first place here we come!

  2. I think Florida might beat Ottawa but I’m more worried about Montreal losing because Toronto is going to want to strike back after their 8-0 loss.

  3. #3 East Coast West Coast Habs Fan says:
    February 7, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    GO HABS GO!

  4. Yeah, the Leafs are going to come out strong, that’s for sure. Keep your thoughts with Carey Price – his play is going to make the difference in this one.

  5. #5 East Coast West Coast Habs Fan says:
    February 7, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    hey… just noticed that CBC is showing the game tonight… might be behind the curve on this one, had my nose in the books lately, but for anyone who did not know… 7 pm Eastern

  6. Gotta love CBC HD :D I subscribe to NHL Centre Ice so I end up watching most games on syndicated American networks – CBC is a blessing!

  7. #7 habman says:
    February 7, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    Just in case you dont have rabbit ears for your T.V or you may want to watch the game on the computer and “live Blog” with us emotional yet insane hab fans here, you can go to…once again in bold balck and white…P2P.eu live sports casts on the net..if you have a better than grade 6 education you may be able to download the required software and enjoy the game(5 sec delay VS> real time)while “blogging Live with all your enemies..oopppps ! friends here and have some fun!

  8. #8 habman says:
    February 7, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    You know when i was a younger guy i was pretty small for my age and i always wasnt picked to be on the “best team”…i had to go through a lot of adversity and challenges until i grew up and learned to defend my self in martial atrs….there was always “critisism” and “downpalying ” when we would get a “shalqacking” playing hockey or baseball…then one day it was decided that we would pick for teams again and of course “ol jerry” would be in net..a uaual situation i got acustom to and gradually loved…..then before a game just as we were to begin to play..i picked up my stick and started to walk away….the other team yelled “hey SIV” ..where you going!!”..i said “to go home and have more fun like doing home work”…they said “but we NEED you in net”..” i said..”it sounds like you NEED to win”..they looked at each other and one guy came up and told me…”hey Jerry”..”if we didnt have you we wouldnt be able to win”..”and besides the guys are talking and getting impressed with your play”.”they were thinking about picking you today”..another guy said..and yeah…”we are kinda of sorry for calling you names”..without you THERE ……THERE WOULD BE NO GAME!!!!!!!

    Leave the Leafs alone..unless you think your better,,,,,” STRAP EM ON AND TAKE THE HABS ON YOURSEF”!!!!

  9. #9 habman says:
    February 7, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    If your happy about the Habs at this point..you’ve outlived your expectations..we can get better,,and WILL!!!

  10. #10 habman says:
    February 7, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    Both team skating like the wind…the refs put the whistles away(didos to them!)….this is the finest hockey !..and its Canadian hockey at its best!…Man can those habs turn on the jets!..Lapierre is going to be a fantastic player,,the special”K” brothers are keepers too..WOW!

  11. #11 habman says:
    February 7, 2008 at 8:37 pm

    Higgins doing great job and finding that his presence is more observed on the 4 line….late first,,good passing and pressure by that 4th line good job…good job coach Carbo!

  12. #12 habman says:
    February 7, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    One apiece…T.O outshoots us…thank you NY Rangers ..for kicking the “wasps nest”..Montreal knows it has a checking game now and the leafs are getting “Hammered”

  13. leafs aren’t getting hammered, they scored,and last minute of the 1st period, it was all leafs. habs better start skating and not look ahead to Ottawa, or it will be an embarrassing loss.

  14. #14 PACTUM SERVA says:
    February 7, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    That story almost brought a tear to my eye……HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

  15. #15 habman says:
    February 7, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    T.O scores …oh boy ….that bring a tear to your RECTUM SERVA!

  16. #16 habman says:
    February 7, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    see Kabina…thats “RECTUM SERVA” after i serve him a little “salt an peppa ” round kick to the face!

  17. #17 habman says:
    February 7, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    HJ.you can still out “hit” a team…”outshoot a team”.”outskate ateam” and still LOSE ..or you ever watch a hockey game???

  18. #18 habman says:
    February 7, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    I bet you two just had to “lick the frozen fence”..or “kick the porcupine”…and man you guyz thought..”i can do that again and expect a different result”!

  19. #19 PACTUM SERVA says:
    February 7, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    Are you for real lol

  20. #20 habman says:
    February 7, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    Yes! T.O scores!..3 to one..c’mon geniuses..wheres you yap now!!!..HUH!!!!????

  21. #21 habman says:
    February 7, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    like i said in the previous blog,,,,dont pick up that wounded cat,.they tend to bite when their mad!

  22. #22 habman says:
    February 7, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    This is what happens when your happy at “little accomplishments”….you stay in the loop…the habs are showing they dont want more ..for now…

  23. #23 East Coast Habs Fan says:
    February 7, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    I think I am leaving this blog…. its getting to be pretty tiresome. later folks

  24. I told you guys, HABS WERE LOOKING AHEAD, and not leafs seriously. a loss vs leafs is about as bad as it gets. wow, our home record is horrible!

  25. #25 Dancan81 says:
    February 7, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    save the one line yaps for the realtime blog section on the main page

  26. So where do we get Kovalev cloned lol and what would happen to the Habs if he got injured?

  27. I think Koivu’s eyes are the problem!Cataract perhaps?

  28. our defence is the problem.

  29. #29 Dancan81 says:
    February 7, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    defense? really? it’s secondary scoring and stupid penalties from bad hockey players that’s the problem.

  30. I think Kovalev had his best game. even A.Kostitsyn and T.Plekanec weren’t on their game tonight. It was Kovalev vs the leafs. and I’m starting to see what you guys are saying about Koivu, He really stinks. Price I think could have stopped some of those goals. If Huet was in net we would have won.

  31. #31 Ice Man says:
    February 7, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    Stuo11:

    Are you on drugs man? Price played great. If Huet were in net it would have been 7-2.

    We will see what Huet will do when the Sens beat their asses Sat.

  32. Fully agreed.

  33. I don’t know because montreal outshot toronto and the wellwood goal Price was down and just sat there while Wellwood got it. Huet would have been over there. I still would put Price in for the next leafs game though. But were not coming 1st! I always liked my captain, but from what I’ve seen tonight, I think Koivu is done. It;s Kovalev against the leafs and kovalev almost won.(That’s embarassing)

  34. guys the problem is, that the habs can’t play for 60 minutes. the game was lost as soon as the leafs tied the game, because after that , the habs stopped skating, and didn’t start skating until Kovalev scored. But, unless we get a 2nd line, we’ll be bounced out of the 1st round of the playoffs. Gainey needs to get us a scorer, and another D man. also, our home record is horrible. Why do we have so many problems at home?

  35. #35 Dancan81 says:
    February 7, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    wow, i cant believe you peeps still think huet is garbage. get over it, he’s our starter and by far the better goalie right now. so get your head outta your asses and realize that huet is a good goaltender and one of the reasons we are where we are.

  36. #36 Habs4ever says:
    February 7, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    Yeah wwe would have won if Huet had played.
    Yeah we would have won if Worsley had played
    Yeah we would have won if Plante had played
    Yeah we would have won if Dryden had played….you guys who beat up the goalies after each and every game, are you so mentally challenged that you cannot realize the problem is quite simply, we didn’t score enough goals, and
    only playing for one period(3rd) does not lead to many wins. IT IS NOT the
    goalies job to score goals, so get a life. Only scoring 2 goals will not win a bunch of games over a season.

  37. #37 Ice Man says:
    February 7, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    I’m not saying that Huet is no good. He is great right now. But he would not have won this game tonight. Price keep the score close.

  38. yeah, huey can;t play vs. leafs…

  39. Not looking good for the Sens game,YIKES!!!!!

  40. #40 bossdj420 says:
    February 8, 2008 at 1:52 am

    Wow! I never swore so much at Koivu before! What the F*#K was he doing when Markov tried passing him the puck? We’re down by 1 goal with less than a minute left and Koivu’s floating around staring at the leafs bench. I was defending this guy all season, hoping he’d pick up his game. Yeah right. He’s done for. Strip the ‘C’ from his jersey and give it Kovy. Even at the end of the game, Kovalev was waiting for the all the Habs to go to the dressing room and giving everyone props for a hard fought LOSS. Not Koivu. He was the first one in the dressing room. He ran away from the fans. I bet we could get a much better player if we dumped Saku instead of Ryder. C’mon Gainey, you have to see how lousy he is now. Jesus!@*&+%^#*() What a waste. A chance to have Saturdays game be the FIGHT for FIRST and we blow it to one of the 3 WORST teams in the league.

  41. #41 bossdj420 says:
    February 8, 2008 at 1:58 am

    And in no way should this loss be blamed on Price. He didn’t play spectacular but he wasn’t the cause for the loss. The team folded when the refs started calling penalties and slowing down the game in the 3rd. A number of tripping and high sticking penalties weren’t called on the leafs. I would have rathered have the penalties in the 1st and 2nd and let them play in the 3rd.

    As you all can tell I’m f-ing disappointed. They better have gotten a severe lashing from Carbo and the staff after the game. Hope Saturday’s game we can pull back within 1.

  42. We should havwe won last night. because now Pittsburgh is just 2 pts behind and have a game in hand, and Montreal is going to lose to Ottawa, and don’t forget, we still might not make it to the playoffs. About 4 losses and were out.

  43. #43 habsofthefuture says:
    February 8, 2008 at 8:37 am

    2/7/2008 9:17:22 PM

    The Montreal Canadiens have signed free-agent forward Brock Trotter to a three-year contract. Terms of the deal were not released.

    The 20-year-old Trotter played in 24 games with the University of Denver Pioneers, his third season with the NCAA team. He led the team with 31 points in 24 games (13 goals, 18 assists), and registered 18 penalty minutes.

    He will report to the Hamilton Bulldogs on Friday.

    WOW THERE IS OUR TRADE ACTION FOR THE YEAR LOL

  44. Price didn’t have that much of a bad game, made some good save and let in one bad goal. It’s his first game back, give him a chance. On the other side Saku, Saku Saku, don’t know what to say. Thanks to Plakanec and Kovalev for keeping it close. But we have to realize that we cannot make it to the end with only one line producing. We need a strong second line that can score at least one goal per game or we’ll be doomed to the first series in the plaoffs. Common Bob, maybe we do need to sacrifice 1 or 2 prospect. We have soooo many, they won’t all make it.

  45. #45 Donnie says:
    February 8, 2008 at 10:46 am

    Ben and HJ you’re absolutely right….and anyone watching our team play each and every night have gotta see and admit this by now. Theres only 1 line scoring for this squad, and thats not the resume of a team that going deep into the playoffs. It’s late in the year now and Kovy and his linemates are starting to get tired from carrying this team on their backs for so long. This line played brilliantly again last night, did their job, scored two beauties. But if we don’t get some secondary scoring soon, we’re all gonna see a tumble occur here.

    Without Huet playing well, and our defensive core, we are a glorified Tampa Bay…with only 1 line you can count on to score. Time to call a spade a spade boys….Koivus time is up here, he brings nothing that help this team on the ice anymore. Everyone remember the last 2 years when Koivu’s line was scoring and Kovy wasn’t. People were all but calling for the head of Kovy on a platter. Trade him, bench him, get rid of him all were shouting…..so I ask you, whats the difference with Koivu this year? Isn’t he doing what Kovy did the last 2 years? Wheres the lynch mob for this guy…Is he really THAT untouchable in Montreal, that he can do nothing and contribute no help, and he’s still a GOD? Guys, a great captain doesn’t hurt the team he’s playing for.

    Bottom line….we NEED 2nd line scoring, however Bob’s gonna get it here, or this great year is gonna go down in flames in the playoffs. You know how easy it is to closely mark and shut down 1 scoring line in playoff hockey…we see it every year with other teams. Or Kovy’s gotta start scoring at the pace of Gretzky or Lemieux, and as great as he and his line are playing…thats not gonna happen. The problem is obvoius now, no one can argue it now…Koivu, along with Higgins, have to shape-up or ship-out…..be condemned to the same fate that awaits their linemate Ryder. All that remains to see if this organization has the balls to do something to help their team achieve greatness.

    Well done Kovy and linemates, along with the defensemen and goalies of this team….Lapierre and Latandresse are doing their job and playing solid hockey, and the 4th line is coming around defensively…not many more to point the finger at, so its either get someone in here who can change Koivu’s fortunes around, or bounce him….thats the sometimes hard dealing of a hockey GM. GO HABS GO !!!

  46. #46 Donnie says:
    February 8, 2008 at 10:50 am

    And it should be said also…..we’re not in the playoffs yet, we still gotta win down the stretch…check the standing….a little slump like last year, and we’re watching a Habless playoffs once more….gotta make a move soon.

  47. #47 groundworking says:
    February 8, 2008 at 11:18 am

    What’s really amazing is how well the Habs are doing considering their entire first line is playing at an AHL level in the case of Koivu and Higgins, and a Men’s League level in the case in Ryder.

    I can’t see the Habs trading Higgins, but something is mentally wrong with Koivu (something has happened to zap his ambition for the game or the team) and Higgins is playing absolutely horribly. I don’t even need to comment about Ryder–nice guy, poor work ethic, and not an NHL player.

    I really can’t figure out the Koivu thing. I haven’t seen him do anything except “going through the motions” for the past two or three months. He rarely smiles anymore during the games. He’s the least enthusiastic after the game when it comes to congratulating the other players. He basically looks like he’s pouting. Maybe he’s had some bad health news? A falling out with the coach? Are there seriously no rumors about any of this?

    I suspect that the Habs will run into trouble. They have 1 scoring line that can be shut down. If the Koivu line isn’t at all a threat–which it isn’t–then three checking forwards against the Plekanec line and it’s all over.

    I could see trading Ryder and Koivu for conditional future considerations to open room for a player like Forsberg. The problem is that Koivu has a no trade clause, and Ryder sucks, is overpaid, and is a UFA at the end of the year. I’d be surprised to see Ryder in the NHL within 2 years, unless he seriously picks up his work ethic on and off the ice. The guy isn’t anywhere near talented enough to slack off and stay at the NHL level.

    In short, Higgins and Koivu must realize that they suck lately. The question is whether they’re injured, whether Koivu is under some kind of stress, or what? Something isn’t right.

  48. #48 MrBigTime says:
    February 8, 2008 at 11:20 am

    There must be a reason for having Ryder sidelined constantly, perhaps in fear of injury to blow a deal… they aren’t showcasing him at all anymore, so his stock is what it is, and slowly decreasing…

    I have to agree, time to ship Koivu, to the west, so someone can pick up this penalty happy captain…

    I have no idea what Koivu + Ryder + Halak or Danis is worth… I can’t see that geting us Hossa, but we’ll see… if we make any big deal, I am pretty sure it would be for Hossa… Joki would be awesome, but I just can’t see it.

  49. #49 Donnie says:
    February 8, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Thats exactly what I’ve noticed Groundworking. Koivu’s deminer on the ice. He showed emotion and with the smile you could tell he was enjoying playing. This year Kovy is all smiles…whatta 180 for this guy…great to see…and helps the team, because a happy Kovy scoring is still better than a happy Koivu scoring. I sure hope it’s nothing health-wise with Koivu, wouldn’t want to see that…but bottom line is he’s not producing, with no signs of him snapping out of it, and Guy is after trying everybody with him to get him going….he’s not helping on the ice and maybe, like Ryder, a change of scenery is what he need…the team comes first Bob…but I’m sure you know this. GO HABS GO !!!

  50. #50 MrBigTime says:
    February 8, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    HABMAN:

    No one cares to read your play-by-play during the game or at all about your retarded childhood stories… you are ruining a blog site… don’t ruin the blog and comment 1-2 times AFTER the game.. man, that is a lot of useless crap we have to read through…

    By the way, go see a psychistrist dude, you need professional help, that was pretty disturbing crap… I am being very honest, you need help man…

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