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Time for a change?

  • Is it time to panic?

    The Canadiens are slowly steadily erasing their great start to the season piling on loss after loss to teams below them in the standings.

    If this continues (and it appears to have no end in sight), the only possible outcome is the Canadiens dropping rank night after night until they find themselves out of the playoff picture.

    The Penguins and Senators both passed the Canadiens last night. Granted, the numbers are very tight but the Canadiens were once WELL above both of these teams. Firmly planted in the upper echelon of the East. Remember the talk of challenging the Sabres? What happend?

    The other disturbing trend is that it doesn’t seem to bother them. They are almost content to lose. There’s no passion, no effort, no guts. No guts no glory.

    The Senators came out like a team who wanted the two points, who wanted the playoff spot. The Canadiens? They didn’t come out at all. Take away a lucky penalty shot and it’s a 4-0 beating.

    Cristobal Huet looks exhausted. He is definitely not the goalie he was in the first half of the season. It shouldn’t come as that big of a surprise considering he has never played this many games in this short period of time. The All Star week may have further hurt his endurance.

    He is not sharp and his focus is not there. Fatigue. The first goal of the game, given up by the Habs for the 7th straight game. A 40 foot slap shot, clearly seen, from Chris Phillips? Yes Chris Phillips with his career high 7th goal.

    This is a time where goalies save their teams and drive them into the post season. Not give up brutal goals early in the game to pad the career stats of an offensively inept blue liner.

    Did he even try on Spezza’s goal? He looked to be asleep in the crease.

    You can’t blame it all on him, and certainly a bad game here and there is to be expected. So who can you blame?

    Samsonov? Koivu? Kovalev? Ryder? Higgins?

    Gainey? Carbonneau?

    Everyone is looking to point the finger.

    Which Canadien is absolutely untouchable? Which Canadien HAS to go? Look down the roster and see if you see any star players, Hall of Famers or future Hall of Famers on this team. Then look at the standings and all the teams above the Canadiens. Do you see any stars? Any hall of Famers? How about Martin Brodeur in his 384th NHL season putting up the best numbers of his career.

    The Canadiens don’t have that. They haven’t in a very long time. There is something missing.

    Time is running out to shake up this team before they throw it all away. Can they do it? Will they?

    Saku Koivu – you can’t criticize the Captain now right? Wrong. Koivu has been virtually invisible. Where is the leadership? You’re not putting points up, you’re not leading and motivating. What ARE you doing?

    Michael Ryder – it’s a sad situation. The former Canadiens sniper, 30+ goal scorer looked to have a bright future. An untouchable for the Habs for many years. The thing with Ryder is he is a one dimensional player, a goal scorer and more specifically a power play scorer. If he isn’t scoring, what good is he? He doesn’t contribute to the team in any other way and he hasn’t scored. Is it time for him to go? For the best of both parties?

    Samsonov – do we need more analysis on this? I don’t think so.

    Kovalev – nothing’s new here.

    Souray – Yeah we love the offense, but try stopping a goal when you’re on the ice instead of being on for every single goal against.

    …..Now without listing every single player, who is expendable and who isn’t?

    The only two names that come to mind are Christopher Higgins and Andrei Markov.

    What do you think?

    More importantly, what does Gainey think and can he do anything about it?

121 Comments
  1. RDS has just anounced tomorro’s line-up against the Sens:
    Begin Streit Murray
    Koivu Samsonov Bouillion
    Bonk Huet Niinimaa
    Johnson Higgens Souray
    Defence
    Dandenault Lapierre
    Perezhogin Ryder
    Plekanec Kovalev
    Rivet Latendresse
    Goal
    DOWNEY

  2. #2 habs phan says:
    February 10, 2007 at 3:44 am

    koivu, higgins and kovalev, if that dosen’t make a dent in the opposition then i don’t know what will. samsonov now knows that youppi is worth more then him so hopefully he feels like he needs to prove his worth. begin is back and hopefully full of fire. aebisher is getting the green light. markov??? i really want to beleive that things are gonna change. i simply can’t wait for tomorrow night. go habs go. skate hard, fire the puck, make crisp passes, finish you checks and go down to block shots. sounds like the recipe for success!!!! good luck

  3. I can just see it now. The gameplan for tonight will be to play strong defensively. We will do so and lose 2-1. No need to preach goalscoring cause we sure dont need that.

  4. Well…2-1 would be good. But things haven’t looked good. I believe we’re going to get shutout and the pens will have ample opportunities for PPGs as the Habs haven’t learnt that playing a disciplined game and being effective and anticipating is the key…only know that ho hum game of lacklustre performance…hook and grab and sort of after the fact hit and grind and ‘Oh I might as well check something because the puck’s going back the other way and I sure as hell haven’t done anything’….I wonder if guys even break a sweat.

    Now, I can’t stomach the fact that we keep talking about a great start only to flounder and then regroup and back into the playoffs….if this is a constant definitely need to create a new chapter in the Habs history. This year’s version is so emotionless, no sense of urgency and pathetic…going through the motions…When you create things, hit forecheck and backcheck…that’s what you need to do constantly to create intensity and have it feed back to the rest of the bunch. It’s winning those battles one at a time. I don’t see that happening/and haven’t seen this now for far too many games (probably around 20 games past)….this is just sad. I too have lost interest and until they show some intensity and desire with back bone I too will have an indifferent fan support…heck I’m already telling people the Habs are looking for an identity because they don’t know what they’re doing especially on the ice and going down and losing every game is becoming a reality. #%%#$@!!%$

  5. the latest…from Pat Hickey of the Gazette:

    samsonov and rivet to Edmonton for center Shawn Horcoff.

    i’m only the messenger.

    ps….Gainey DID make a move last night. He shifted his weight in his big leather chair.

    so, I wasnt totally wrong.

  6. can anybody tell me in one easy step how to record the game tonight with a ROGERS PVR?…lost the damned book….sheesh.

  7. New to the blog, and I love it.

    The Habs will lose tonight, it kills me to say so, but nothing has changed. Why should they win? Ottawa’s playing well and with the Habs it’s the same old.

  8. #8 Drive_4_25 says:
    February 10, 2007 at 12:01 pm

    Why oh why do I fall for this same trap every year!!!

    Resume of 2006-2007 :

    OCTOBER: Well, I guess that huet is just one of those “slow starters” but damn this team is really showing some spirit..They look very competitive and confident! I hope they can keep this up!

    MID-OCTOBER: Wow, They truely are a changed team I guess Carbo’s emotion has actually rubbed off , I’m really liking what I’m seeing…Just wish that latendress would show some of his pre-season self..and I can’t wait for Samsonov to pick it up! I guess he just needs to find his right fit in the line-up..And maybe cristobal is taking some time getting warm..But damn Abby’s playing really great! What an amazing tandem of goaltending we have! This Rocks! GO HABS!

    NOVEMBER: I can’t believe this…Just when Abby shows signs of cooling off Huet finds his stellar form of last season!!! I hope that we can pull through the loss of Higgins though..He’s on pace for 50 goals!Well, Maybe this is where Samsonov will find his game..it’s taking him quite a while to gel with this team!anyway I’m really excited about this habs team..THEY JUST DON”T GIVE UP!!And what’s going on with Souray…He’s just phenomenal!!! For the first time in a long time I have a team, that I’m confident can go somewhere! Could this be OUR YEAR!! GO HABS GO!

    MID NOVEMBER: This is amazing Lats get put on the first line and finds his confidence..It’s like this kid gets better every game…Huet is just stealing games left right and center…I love the Passion I see in this team! Even behind 3-0 they battle back and win 4-3 …I’M sensing a parade down ste catherine’s street…OLEEEEEE OLE.OLE.OLE..OLEEEEE…OLEEEEE! GO HABS GO!

    December: I’m so happy that this team is where they are! I’ve been waiting for this habs team for what seems like an eternity..Well since 1993 anyway…Let’s just hope that higgins gets back for the game against the iles like he intended…i can’t imagine the force this team will once Higgs gets back…I hope he’s back for the game against Buff on the 9th!And who’s going to be HABS M.V.P this year Souray, Huet…too many players to choose from at this point!, GO HABS GO!

    December 10th: Whoa, Laura gainey lost at sea…What a horrible blow to the entire gainey family as well as the entire habs organization…Our hearts go out to all of you!

    December 13th: The habs played with soo much emotion agains boston last night! I’m sure they dedicated this one to Bob and his family…You know what THIS IS THEIR YEAR..someone is going to suggest they dedicate this whole season to the gainey family..and were going to win it all..!!! YOU”LL SEE!!!

    JANUARY:Well we didn’t finish the year on such a great note…But what ever…Every team has to go through ups and downs in their season It’s all about how you react to these “little” slumps that matter..Besides you’ve seen the team this year..NOTHING IS GOING TO STOP THEM FROM WINNING!AND our captain is on FIRE!…GO HABS GO!

    MID JANUARY: What’s going on here!!! I’m sensing some panic from the team..Their not looking nearly as focused as they were before!!Ther’s so much line juggling..It’s almost as if Carbo’s panicking and the rest of the team is feeling it…And Huet has chosen a pretty bad time to lose his “mental game” It’s almost like the entire team has a “confidence virus” Luckily like all viruses…They go away! GO HABS!

    February: JUST WHEN IN THE BLOODY HELL DID THE WHEELS FALL OFF THIS WAGON!!! I CAN’T BELIEVE WHAT I’M SEEING HERE! THE WHOLE TEAM IS FALLING APART!! With the exception of Pleks and Streit, No one is anywhere to be found…Were sinking fast and it’s like no one is coming up with the idea to swim..or at least try to “tread”…WHO IS RESPONSABLE FOR THIS MESS? I can’t believe it!, i LOVE THIS TEAM TOO MUCH TO STOMACH SEEING THEM GO THROUGH THIS ANY LONGER!!! I can’t believe I fell for it again!!! **SIGH*

    GO HABS GO!

  9. Mid-April: How the hell did the Habs miss the playoffs? Oh well, at least we have the Expos…wait..what? What the hell am I going to do all Spring/Summer?

  10. YO Frank, don’t forget the Al’s

  11. Obviously Detroit isn’t trading Datsyuk, I was pointing he is a free agent this summer. I don’t live in a fantasy land where Mike O”Connell is the GM of every team in the NHL and will trade a great player for nothing (like he did with Thronton for garbage last year). I agree with the poster about Huet, he just doesn’t seem to have it.

  12. The Als are Montreal’s saving grace!

  13. #13 smiler2729 says:
    February 10, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    Shawn Horcoff would be great but Hickey’s smokin’ weed cuz the Oilers don’t want Samsonov back or is Kevin Lowe that stupid? I mean did trade Chris Pronger!!!!!! I dunno, I’m GM of the Oilers and Pronger wants a trade to California, I sit him until his 5 year contract is up, I DON’T GIVE HIM WHAT HE WANTS! Duh.
    But I’d rather have Horcoff than Datsyuk or Forsberg… Canadian grit over Euro soft anyday!

  14. #14 smiler2729 says:
    February 10, 2007 at 2:57 pm

    Too bad Mike O’Connell wasn’t totally out to lunch and traded Joe Thornton to Montreal for 3 hockey bags… still enough sense to give him away to the Western Conference, yep, that O’Connell’s a sharp one!

  15. #15 smiler2729 says:
    February 10, 2007 at 3:07 pm

    Tonight’s lines according to RDS:
    Higgins-Koivu-Kovalev
    Samsonov-Plekanec-Latendresse
    Streit-Bonk-Johnson
    Begin-Lapierre-Ryder

  16. #16 Rubberman says:
    February 10, 2007 at 3:19 pm

    I would bet that no many other managers want to trade with MTL. In baseball, do the other teams trade with the Yankees to help them out. NOOOOOOOOOOO!

    No moves will be made!!! As much as the guys should be shipped off, it won’t happen.

    Next year….

  17. #17 Rubberman says:
    February 10, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    As for Koivu, he has had his chance. Now, it time for new/different blood to lead the way. Kovalev is talented, “looks good”, but he isn’t helping the team. Huet is good but I would trade him…

    Frankly, this season is going down the toilet. Man, I got sucked in, thinking, holy crap, this is going to be a great playoff year for the Habs. Reality check: there’s a cancer on the team and it’s time to purge it, whether now or this coming summer. Gainey, this kinda shit gotta stop!!!

  18. #18 doggone R habs says:
    February 10, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    It doesn’t matter what the line combinations are. the problem is: SAME OLD PLAYERS! change the players, not the lines,Carbo! Are you brain dead? It’s not working, or can’t you tell by losing all these games. Honestly, I just don’t understand this organization. I think they want to finish in the basement, because nobody, and I mean NOBODY stands pat after 2 months of losing!
    I have lost all respect for this once proud franchise. they are the laughing stock of the NHL, and opponents lick their chops when they know they’re playing the habs next! habs are now an EASY PREY for other teams.
    Well, I hope your dusting off your golf clubs, hab players, because they will be used alot in April!!

  19. So…ah… anyone dare guess tonites score??? Be brave now, I myself am afraid to watch,never mind guess!Mite as well see who’s got a sharp pencil.OK,I’m gonna sound like an idiot again and say Hab’s 1 …Sen’s 0. Remember the Fans boy’s.

  20. #20 smiler2729 says:
    February 10, 2007 at 4:48 pm

    Today is Opposite Day here (don’t ask, it’s a SpongeBob episode) so my prediction is Ottawa 6, Montreal 1… opposite day, yeah, that’s the ticket.

  21. #21 Habs4life says:
    February 10, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    Well I say habs lose 4-2, my dad thinks they win 3-2 meh…the last time we beat ottawa 3-1, I said we were going to lose 6-1 because they came off that huge in 8-3, but my dad said we were going to win 3-2 and we won 3-1, so hope hes right tonight:)

    Habs 4 Life

  22. #22 Rubberman says:
    February 10, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    Prediction: Habs will win! It sucks ‘cuz they are sucking now, but Ottawa will come in over confident. Habs are going to win but their problems won’t stop. NEW BLOOD, Bob… Time for a change…
    And, the big crapper: Leaf’s will probably make the playoffs and Habs won’t…Arrrrrrrrrrrrr!

  23. #23 JohnnyD says:
    February 10, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    TRADE HUET!!!!!

  24. #24 Jack Tornton says:
    February 10, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    I know a lot of you guys will disagree with what i am saying but i say let’s be sellers.

    Let’s sell good players for a beter future. For example trade Koivu to a team like Los Angeles. They’ve been looking for a good leader and they will finally have one. They haven’t had a good leader since Robitaille has retired. The are the 2nd worst team in the league right now, therefore if they accept koivu for their 1st round draft pick we could have a chance in drafting ESPOSITO.

    *Or we can trade him to Philadelphia for 1st rounder(they’re currently the worst team)

    We could also sell KOVALEV and SOURAY to Detroit for ZETTERBERG. Sounds interesting?

    And then aquire Pavel Datsyuk while he is a UFA. We could re-unite Zetterberg and Dastyul in hockey town.

    We could leave Rivet walk out as a free agent.

    If Samsonov shines later on this season we could keep him.

    Leave Aebisher walk out as free agent too.

    PREDICTION FOR NEXT YEAR:

    Dastyuk Plekaneck Samsonov
    Ryder Higgens Zetterberg
    Latendresse Laprierre Kostisyn
    Chipchura Begin ( Murray or a youngster )

    Markov Dandenault
    Komisarek Streit
    Cote ( aquire a UFA)

    Huet
    Halak (Denis)

    What do you guys think?

  25. #25 doggone R habs says:
    February 10, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    Thank God I bet on the senators!

  26. Sounds good Jack, my only question,when do we get to shoot Niinamaa?

  27. #27 Jack Tornton says:
    February 10, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    Lol! Shoot him whenever you feel like you want as long as I am innocent. I don’t want to go to prison for shoorting a millionaire that practically does nothing in life( except being bashed by Habs’ fans every night!)

  28. weeeree baccckkk

  29. #29 HABMAN says:
    February 10, 2007 at 9:37 pm

    Steve Begin is allowing these guys to play 10 feet tall right now!! See the hit komisarik put on Neil? They have more purpose in their game with Begin in the lineup. Mark my words, it is what the Habs need. GO HABS GO!!!

  30. #30 stevejur says:
    February 10, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    Ya all they need is Steve Begin, the 50 goalscorer.
    If you think Steve Begin is the anwser boy you got another thing coming

  31. #31 doggone R habs says:
    February 10, 2007 at 9:56 pm

    Everyone who says habs can’t do anything right, not true!
    They are simply wonderful at taking penalties. In fact, they’re so good in that area, I think they should put on a clinic on how to take penalties.
    So congrats to habs for such a good job at taking penalties! It’s refreshing to see them do something right!

  32. #32 HABMAN says:
    February 10, 2007 at 9:58 pm

    He is at least making an impact in this game though. TOO MANY PENALTIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. Hey Habs fans,

    Are all of your players such huge pussies that they’re afraid to dance with Neil? Maybe some bleach should be added to the laundry machines so that the shirts come out the more appropriate colour of pink.

  34. THM must be an acronim for Toronto Homo Masterbation or something. Just go back to your own blog. What is it 40 years since you last tasted Stanley? That’s a shame. L O S E R!!!!

  35. THM = The Horse’s Mouth. As in: straight from … And you MUST be a Habs fan. I’m talking about Chris Neil and your team (did the NHL grant a special permit for you to field a ladies team tonight?). And yet here you are thinking I’m a Leafs fan. Brilliant, HABGIRLIE!

  36. You know ,I wouldn’t mind the penalties so much if they were the productive type : Hooking to stop a goal or if Neil took Niinimaa totaly out”please”,then take out Neil! Well,5 min into the 3rd and everything’s back to crap….wow …Markov can score? WEIRD but good hockey tonite…go Habs!!!

  37. T H M: THESPIAN HOMO MORON,DIDN’T YOU WONDER WHY THERE’S NO TEETH ON THAT HORSE,GEEK?

  38. shhhhh, Xhabsfan, it’s cyberspace! No need to yell and wake up the Habs.

    Had I realised what a bastion of literacy this place was, I’d have visited earlier.

  39. P.S. Define “Thespian” in your own words, Xhabsfan. Yes, you are allowed to look it up first.

  40. So you look like a horse do you? well I might have expected it from a Toronto fan, your team has been in the glue factory for 40 years!!! GO HABS GO!!!

  41. #41 I am Canadien says:
    February 10, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    THM is just a minnion from another blog. Probably sitting in this parents basement eating cheezies and wondering why some of his body parts are orange.

  42. Emery, Neil and Heater will get the three stars tonight. Latendress, Kovalev and Abby will get the three pink triangles.

  43. establishing a trend:

    HABSCHICK identifies an inability to read (s’ok, you can always get help) and the rest of you are weak on comebacks or insults. the old basement thing again “IaC”? Meh, perhaps that’s all you are familiar with. I suggest you cyber with HABSTWAT

  44. THM, the word thespian in your case would mean DRAMA QUEEN.

  45. I applaud you, Xhabsfan. You at least got the flavour of the word close.

    and now I point to the scoreboard and nod my head three times with a big smile on my face. Come to think of it, I’m also pointing to the previous game’s scoreboard too.

    Nighty night, ladies! I’ll be back next time you get to watch the Habs play a men’s hockey team

  46. #46 I am Canadien says:
    February 10, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    Hey THM, I Think I pounded you last night in my beer league game last night and that’s why you’re the way you are right now…go blow your nose!

  47. “IaC”, you only WISH you could have pounded me last night. Maybe you could hook up with HABSLADY instead. I hear he’s a bottom.

  48. #48 doggone R habs says:
    February 10, 2007 at 11:00 pm

    Hey, THM, when was the last time your team won the Stanley Cup? cars weren’t even invented then. 1920? what a joke. I guess winning the cup 24 TIMES, is awful, huh? Match that, smart ass! Oh by the way, how many years in a row is it that your team was supposed to win the cup, and geez, they just can’t make it out of the 1st round! whar a bunch of crappy players. can you spell
    C H O K E R S!!!!!!!!
    Stay on your own blog, because you make us want to vomit. your team is so pathetic. Come on when your team is eliminated in the playoffs(as usual), in the 1st ROUND!!

  49. hahaha. Vous m’amuse.

    Ok, I’ll let you girlies return to your self loathing sans moi.

    Just so you know, you guys are worse than Leaf fans.

  50. #50 The Duke says:
    February 10, 2007 at 11:14 pm

    Allright….Carbo has seen the cheese fall off his cracker….OK…among his many gaffs that just come to mind recently…Enema on for the final minute with the goalie pulled on Monday against the Canes..Helllloooo…(Sheldon…somebody tap my shoulder) …then…starting Huet against the Sens Thursday in a 4 pointer..annnnnnd…sitting Kovalev for a period and a half plus tonight for what ????…KOVY ?? This guys a game breaker…play him…THEN talk to him afterwards…Don’t alienate your guys like Mario ‘anal wart’ Trembley did with St. Patrick…not to mention Donald Brashear..
    Man…Bo needs to sit down with this rookie coach and slap some sense into him…is it just me…The Duke ??

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