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  1. #1 Mats Naslund says:
    November 24, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    I hope the fans let up on O’Byrne, Komisarek will be out for a month and we need him to play with confidence. Stupid mistake, move on and get the offense working properly which is the real story behind this loss.

  2. #2 regcan81 says:
    November 24, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    “Stupid Mistake” should read “Stupid MistakeS”

  3. #3 Chad Rumsey says:
    November 24, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    Tonight I am ashamed to be a Habs fan. Not because of the mistake by O’Byrne or that the team couldn’t put the game away, but because of the reaction of the fans after the shootout. I have seen Montreal fans act like children many times before but this is too much. Chanting his name….like they have never made a mistake before. Let it go! These things happen, and even though it was a bonehead move, he didn’t try to score on his own net. I lived in Edmonton for 10 years and never did I see Oilers fans act like that. Even after a bitter loss, they would rally behind their team. Not once did I hear a boo, let alone chanting one of their own player’s names. A sad day for hockey in Montreal. A sad day for Habs fans everywhere.

  4. #5 blanchstains says:
    November 24, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    are you fucking kidding me?
    they fans have a right to chew obyrne up. he cost us the last two games

  5. Damn right Chad….I came in here to rant about the same thing…..totally disgusting display showed tonight by the “fans” in the Bell Centre. The kid made a mistake, you move on…to rub it in the way they did as if O’Byrne was a member of the opposition was totally classless.
    This is where you get behind your players, not down them. How about booing and taunting Koivu, Kovy and Tanguay for their total lack of production as of late to help this team win? Alot of guys on this team would have seen the ice again in OT if they had made that same mistake.Brutal reaction from Carbo and brutal reaction from this unclassy bunch at the games end…embarassed to be a fan tonight.

  6. #7 groundworking says:
    November 25, 2008 at 12:20 am

    I give him credit for facing the media.

    Other than that, the Habs are terrible. Yes, they are 1 point up on last year’s pace, but they’ve played a lot of brutal teams this year, and even their wins have been unconvincing. This is a team that has supposedly added 2 stars (Tanguay and Lang) and where the younger guys have had an extra year of experience. Some benefit.

    Pathetic. No finish. No chemistry.

    I’m not so sure anymore that they’ll turn it around. I think that they fluked their way through alot of the games that they won earlier in the year–games that they should have lost.

  7. #8 groundworking says:
    November 25, 2008 at 12:24 am

    Oh, and the O’Byrne play tonight isn’t the reason that I think he should be in the AHL. See Pactum’s earlier posts–he’s probably on a ledge right now–about O’Byrne. Also, HB pushed for some AHL time in less hostile times too.

    Keep in mind from Carbo’s standpoint that we don’t know about the dressing room. It seemed peculiar to me that none of his teammates came over to him after it happened. It either reflects a huge problem with the entire team or there’s something about O’Byrne in particular. Didn’t he get into trouble stealing a purse last year? Maybe the guys don’t like him.

  8. More importantly than one player’s mistake, should the Habs be in a position night in and night out where they can ill afford to commit one single slip up? Especially considering the fact that their opposition thus far hasn’t exactly been the NHL’s best. No, that brand of opposition comes next. Yikes.

  9. #10 habsfreak says:
    November 25, 2008 at 8:17 am

    No groundworking, everyone felt bad for him, as I do. Even Gorges threw a look of disgust to the crowd. Speaking of Gorges…HE GOT HIS FIRST GOAL! that’s one thing we could sing ole about…

  10. #11 gibfen59 says:
    November 25, 2008 at 9:01 am

    Can’t blame Carbo for not putting O’Byrne back in, the crowd would kill this kid. In today’s nhl many players that should remain in the ahl are pressed into action via injury or free agent loss(M Streit) yet need further developement. Having seen him play he is not ready for primetime. He is going to make mistakes. I can say that the fans have unrealistic expatations for the players and this team.

  11. #12 Mats Naslund says:
    November 25, 2008 at 10:04 am

    I saw lots of players go up to him after on the bench. What coverage were you watching? Both Kirk Muller and Doug Jarvis as well. Here is reality for Montreal: There is nobody waiting to take his place. Komisarek is out for 3 more weeks by all accounts. Everyone is calling for Weber – the reality, he hasn’t been all that great in Hamilton. He’s not ready for the NHL. Ryan O’Byrne needs to play through all of this drama because the team is thin on defense at the moment.

    I watched last night and then highlights again today. That game really should have been 4 or 5 – 2 when that goal was scored. It was one of the most unlucky hockey games I’ve seen in a long while. They have to chalk that one up to the gods and move on, because dwelling on tough losses (especially when you outplay an opponent badly) will cause the type of lockerroom cancer you talked about. The bigger story is that Kovalev looked like the old Kovalev (the one we haven’t seen since NOV 1, Price has been solid for a good streak, and the powerplay (even though it was 1 for 7) at least had some of the movement that made it successful last year. Congrats to Josh Gorges on his first goal even though the MSG announcers can’t pronounce his name.

  12. Are we gonna get someone on this team who’s gonna shoot the dam puck. Seems to me we got a team full of passers. Countless numbers of times in the last few games alone have I seen someone right in the slot passing it off to someone else in obviously poorer scoring postion. They want the pretty goal, the tap in, the goalie on the other side wide open net goal. S. Kostitsyn and Tanguay are the biggest culprets.
    Startin to think we let the wrond D-Man go also. Carbo must have threatened Markov’s family to get him to take a couple of shots last night. He was set-up man for Souray and Streit….seems to me he doesn’t want to be or know how to be top-dog on the PP.

  13. #14 PACTUM SERVA says:
    November 25, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    I am not going to say anything about obyrne’s goal, the look on his face on the bench made me feel sorry for the guy. I agree with some of you that the fans showed no class chanting his name. I think carbo should have thrown oybrne out on his next shift but carbo’s big ego gets in the way of making the right call once again. My problem here is that in the past few games it was plain to see oybrne was struggling so in my opinion the coaching staff should have either cut his ice time a bit or sit him for a game or two and put dandenault back on defence or call up one of the dogs. Now carbo sits this kid for the remainder of the game taking away any confidence he had left. Should have thrown him right back in there imo.

  14. #15 Mats Naslund says:
    November 25, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    I agree, luckily the next game is in Detroit, so he can at least take shifts without getting boo’d. with any luck he scores a goal or something to settle the waters…. that being said, I don’t think the habs can count on any luck the way the past few games have turned out.

  15. #16 Joseph says:
    November 25, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    This O’Byrne situation is ridiculous. He had a brainfart. It happens to everyone. Everyone. Some fans need to get over themselves I think. But what some of these more vocal fans are so unforgiving about isn’t so much O’Byrne’s brainfart as it is the general frustration which comes with supporting this broken hockey team, in my opinion. Every player’s every move is being analyzed under a microscope right now (moreso than is usually the case in Montreal), and that’s a lot of pressure for a young player to have to handle. For any player to have to handle in fact.

    O’Byrne didn’t cost the Habs the game last night. Their inability (or refusal) to play smart, inspired hockey did. O’Byrne was just unfortunate enough to be targetted as a scapegoat.

  16. #17 groundworking says:
    November 25, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    I’m glad they went over to see him–I also heard Saku stick for him afterwards. I know O’Byrne and Lapierre are friends, and it didn’t surprise me to see Lapierre hanging around in the dressing room (everyone else was gone) while O’Byrne was getting flooded by the press.

    I missed Muller and Jarvis talking to him. I did notice that Carbo didn’t put him back out, and that none of the players on the ice even looked at him after it happened.

    It was a bad mistake, at a bad time, by a player who is getting too much ice-time for his stage of development. I agree. I also agree that it’s completely classless to chant this guy’s name, as he’s not one of the players who are supposed to be leading, let alone carrying, this team.

  17. On an entirely unrelated note, whatever happened to Senet1?

  18. #19 Mats Naslund says:
    November 26, 2008 at 11:12 am

    Another thing to consider: during this dry spell for the Canadiens, if you exclude the 6-1 loss to Boston, the Habs haven’t given up more than 2 goals in a long time. That is good news, especially considering all eyes are now on their hurting defense. If you ask anyone in the league they will tell you, take care of defense and the offense will work itself out. I don’t want to put too much weight on tonight’s game in Detroit (especially because Detroit can make anyone look bad), but this game could tell us a lot about the current team. Going into a hostile visiting environment, with all kinds of adversity, if they can find a way to fight through everything tonight and on Friday in Washington, we may have a different picture of the Canadiens this Saturday when they face Buffalo at home.

  19. I’m with Chad on this one. O’Byrne isn’t the first person to do this and won’t be the last. It was a mistake! The habs had two powerplays in the last 4 minutes that weren’t capitalized on either, we can’t forget that.
    Most of all, win or lose, we should be behind our team. All teams go through ups and downs. There are games where we connect and some we don’t. One thing is for sure, it’s not any easier when your fans aren’t with you. I feel ashamed when I hear the booing and chanting, man I wish these “fans” could just grow up a bit.

  20. #21 Habs 4 life says:
    November 26, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    In terms of the booing and chanting I only have this to say; welcomes to montreal!. The reason why the fans are this way is because they’re passionate and they know their hockey. Yes the guy made a mistake (actually more than one on the play) and I feel a little bad for him but you can’t let a guy off with a bone head play that costs you a very important game when you’re in the middle of a slump! I think the fans had to send a message that this isn’t expectable in montreal and if you don’t like it, then go play for Phoenix or Nashville where if you make the same mistake again, at least no one will be around o see it.

  21. #22 regcan81 says:
    November 26, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    I know why O’Byrne stole that purse…He has the hands of a frail old lady. No pass and shooting ability! No power for a big guy.

  22. #23 Mats Naslund says:
    November 26, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    Great game tonight by the boys in red white and bleu! Defense first and the offense will take care of its self. Hopefully Tanguay wasn’t hurt too bad on the heavy hit he took. On the replay it sure looked like an elbow to the face. O’Byrne played a rock solid game up until the give away at the mid 3rd. I don’t understand Carbo benching him for it though.. He isn’t the only defensive player to get walked around by Johan Franzen. The guy is a killer. Is Carbo going to bench him after every mistake he makes this year? Ridiculous. The score is 3-1, he played as well as you can ask a kid in his 2nd professional season. Anyways, enough bitching.. Great win for the Habs made so much sweeter considering the opponent and circumstances, and always great to hear Ole in an opponents building by the 7 or 8000 fans who showed up to drown out the home team.

  23. There are a lot of points to make after reading what everyone had to say about the team and Obryne.

    Firstly,last spring many of your were expresssing the need to bring Obyrne up for good because we needed more muscle. But remember, he is a rookie and rookies make mistakes. Personaly i have been saying since last spring that we need another experienced defensive defenseman. Over the last few games that is quite evident.

    Secondly, Carbo did the right thing sitting Obryne, if he went out and made another bad mistake in that game he would have been done in Montreal. The fans are that hard on the players, so Carbo spared him by sitting him. It was the right thing to do if you are coaching in Montreal. Setting him in Detroit was different and for different reasons. We had the game in hand with a 3-1 lead and we had to win that game. That late in the game he need to play his experience players, Detroit is too good and can score goals rather quickly, so sitting him is not necessarily punishment just good coaching, do you want to win the game or not.

    Thirdly, after watching the team play the last four or five games wev’e gone away from our system, of defence first, it seems like it is reckless abandon hockey. Carbo seems to have agreed after watching him change the game play for the Detroit game.

    Don’t you nay sayers be too hard on the Price either, you have to remember he is also a rookie and he is getting better, but like most goalies he will make rookie mistakes from time to time. More reason why we should be playing a better defensive style of hockey. Our weakest part of our team is our defense, it has been for years and it was last year and it still is our weakest part of our game.

  24. #25 Chad Rumsey says:
    November 28, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    Habs 4 Life said “The reason why the fans are this way is because they’re passionate and they know their hockey.”

    Are you kidding me? lived in Edmonton for 10 years and I’ve seen my share of Oilers games. Never once have I seen Oilers fans act like that. Even after a bitter loss, they rally behind their team. Not once did I hear a boo, let alone chanting one of their own player’s names. These fans know and appreciate their hockey. And please don’t refer to the riots during the playoffs a few years ago because everyone knows that was caused by a few troublemakers who knew nothing about hockey to begin with.

    I have no problem with fans who have high expectations. Hell, I’m one of them! But these things don’t just happen. Players have to develop and that means making mistakes too. The fans are not helping the team this way, they are making it worse. And if you are one of those people, do us all a favour and start watching wrestling.

  25. #26 Mats Naslund says:
    November 28, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    O’Byrne needs to play in Washington tonight. He is a young player who HAS to regain his confidence before coming back to Montreal for a 6 game home stand. If Carbo can’t get him rolling tonight, then he may as well send him to Hamilton because as many others have pointed out, the Montreal crowd will eat him up. You can’t play the game afraid to make mistakes. That is why I don’t agree with the decision to bench him in the 3rd in Detroit. O’Byrne is going to be looking over his shoulder every time he takes a shift. He is 6’5 235.. The hard reality is that from time to time a guy like Johan Franzen is going to get by you. On the play, O’Byrne’s partner Hamrlik skated right by without touching him, and Price was also fooled. Bad giveaway – absolutely. Rookie mistake – absolutely. But he also played a heck of a game moving the puck and clearing the front of the net, which is what needs to be recognized if he’s going to turn into the player we all want him to be.

    In a normal circumstance, I would agree that a player who has made a series of bad mistakes deserves to sit.. Unfortunately, the reality for Montreal right now is that Ryan O’Byrne has to succeed because of the injury to Komisarek. He is by far the best option, and while Dandenault is capable of playing a few games at defense, he is not a month-long solution. I don’t know if I’m being foolishly optimistic about O’Byrne’s potential, but I feel like when you have a player with his kind of size, you need to let him play through mistakes in November so that come springtime he has the confidence and experience to help in the playoff run.

  26. #27 Habs 4 life says:
    November 28, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    I agree 100% with Senet1 on all counts, but I’d like to add that I’ve never been a big O’Byrne fan, I don’t care if he is a rookie, he’s slow and way too soft for a big guy, he’s obviously going to make mistakes here and there and it’s hard to knock for that. I’d place the blame on Carbo. Why put this rookie, slow, soft defenseman on the first or second line and then stick him on the power play?? No wonder our PP sucks so much lately, put Georges up there, I think he’s earned it.

    Also you can’t put the blame solely on the defense, our offense has zero chemistry right now and it seems Kovalez has reverted back to his old self, where he’d dangle himself into a bad position in the corner and make a brutal, desperate pass to whoever and lose the puck. His body language looks terrible right now. I hope he proves me wrong but I still don’t trust him to take us deep in the playoffs.

  27. #28 Senet1 says:
    November 28, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    Mats Naslund, I agree with most of what you are saying, the only thing I do not agree with is not sitting him in the third period in Detroit. His teammates need to have confidence in him as well and if he went back out and made another poor play in the Detroit game and they lost the game then everyone would be pointing fingers at him. On the other hand they won the game which causes a positive feeling rather than a negative feeling and most of the players supported him at the end of the game, so having him sit was the best thing for everyone. I agree he needs to be put back int he lineup right away. Carbo and the coaching staff need to have a talk with him and express their confidence in him. He is going to make mistakes, even veterans make them. I seem to remember a play with Seldon Souray and Spezza a couple of years ago. Skilled players make the defence look pretty foolish at times. OByrne will learn who to respect when it comes to these types of players. Carbo knows that and i expect tht he will play in Washington.

  28. Lost 3-0….how did this happen? Look at the ice time…..
    Lapierre….13:49….Latendresse…13:18 Then we have….
    Kovalev 11:29….Plekanec…10:05…..Kostitsyn…10:37.

    Are you f**kin kiddin me? Give your far less skilled players more ice time then your big guys? Must be trying to score no goals? Well it worked Guy. Idiot!

    What other team does this? What can you hope to achieve from this? Christ sakes you’re and NHL coach, and you hoped what would happen exactly by giving all the “duds” more ice time than anyone else. The most poorly coached game I have ever seen in this league. When the big guns on other teams are in a slump, does anyone see them benched or taken off the PP? Hossa, Datsyuk, Crosby, Malkin Ovechkin….the list goes on….they are all back out there again aren’t they? Sure as hell you don’t see Maltby, Draper, or any of these other 4th liners out there trying to get the team back in a game. Carbo….you’re an idiot…I have been never more sickened by a game in my life.
    With 9 minutes left, down 3-0, on the PP…we had Kostop, Begin and Dandenault on the ice…are you serious?????
    This is not even attepting a comeback.
    Anyone wanna argue that these guys hustle more, thats why they’re out there. They hustle more to make up for the lack of skill, and still we get the same result…NO GOALS !!!
    Not even to mention the fact that your best players go on your PP. Am I wrong?
    Also, everyone knows that dealing with Kovy is like balancing on the head of a pin….does Guy actually think this is gonna get him going…if anything its gonna make him worse…and we all saw this happen before.
    This team is getting so hard to watch now that its not even funny. We had a little luck against a tired Detroit team, so now we play defensive style hockey again…is that it?
    This team is sucking so bad with no signs of snapping out of it…where are our guys from last year, and the first 10 games this year?
    Totally brutal effort…too many 4th liners playing on our 2nd and 3rd lines….too many duds on the team period…and then Carbo coaching like its amateur hour. For f**k sakes Bob, talk to that moron behind the bench, try some offensive guys from Hamilton, bump at least 4 of these jackasses out of the lineup.
    This is embarassing and f**king pathetic playing and coaching.
    P.S. Hows about that amazing giveaway from Boullion to get us behind a goal. Anyone riding him like O’Byrne Habs fans of the Bell Centre…or has Frankie got the last name going for him?
    Brutal bullshit…sad display tonight by all…esp Carbo….f**king dummy…gonna step in Bob????

  29. #30 Mats Naslund says:
    November 29, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    Senet1 I hear what you’re saying about the Detroit game. I think my problem is a matter of tactic. Isolation (which is what Guy is employing if he removes O’Byrne from play) works well when there is a threat that the player won’t return to action as a result. It motivates the player to give a little extra, or to find a part of their game that is not working. We’ve seen this work with Latendresse on occasion, as well as the grinders :Dandenault, Begin, Kostopoulos etc. The problem is that O’Byrne simply HAS to play unless Carbo has figured out how to go with 5 D for most of December, or one of the kids in Hamilton is ready (which they are not). Given 1)that there is no threat of being removed from play for an extended period, and 2) O’Byrne’s problem is NOT motivational (his problem is mental), Guy’s tactic of isolation does not address his biggest problem. I totally agree with you that had Carbo left O’Byrne in the game and he had made another mistake, O’Byrne would have had a hard time cracking the lineup again.. But Carbo also has to keep in mind what his goal is. A good coach does so with perspective and a vision for how things should be in the spring. A confident and experienced O’Byrne would be a huge asset next to guys like Komisarek, Hamrlik, Gorges and Markov in the playoffs. Its a tough call.

    As far as last night: Terrible game. I must admit that many times during the course of 60 minutes did I scratch my head about Carbo’s choice to augment each of his scoring lines with the offensive likes of Begin, Dandenault, Lapierre and Kostopoulos. I understand the thought (especially given that those are basically the only guys who have scored in the past 10 games), but it is certainly no way to get the offense rolling. Carbo has seemingly forgotten about S.Kostitsyn-Koivu-Higgins which worked pretty well in the playoffs last year. He’s hell bent on keeping Lang and Sergei together which has been a total bust thus far. Kovalev is pressing incredibly hard right now, Carbo’s solution was to remove his go to guy Andrei Kostitsyn, and replace him with “soft hands” Begin.

    My lines for Buffalo this evening (assuming Tanguay is still out):

    Get out there hustle, stop worrying about juggling lines, simplify the power play, and do the things that made you successful last year (play with confidence in the offensive zone!)

  30. #31 Joseph says:
    November 29, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    There’s the voice of reason. Hello, Senet 1. Fantastic team we’ve got so far this season, hey?

    I think it’s quite evident that this team has a long way to go before it can realistically be considered a contender for the Stanley Cup.

  31. #32 Joseph says:
    November 29, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    It appears right now that all 100 years of existence means is that an NHL team gets shittier with age.

  32. #33 Senet1 says:
    November 29, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    Hi Joseph nice to hear from you, I must agree that the team is not playing well right now, but with the expection of not getting a good experience stay at home defenseman I feel out team on paper is better than last year. However, it would appear that everyone team is waiting for us this year whereas last year we caught many teams off guard. There seems to be some chemistry problems right now along with poor defensive play. When you defense struggles so does your offense because your offense are not thinking about offense they are thinking about defense. That to s certain degree is good but lets face it you have to score goals to win. I think we can pull out of this but it may take a trade to do it. Tanguay and Lang looked good in the early going but I think Lang needs to play with better players and of course tanguay is hurt so hopefully he will be back soon.

    Lets not get down on the team so soon in the year, Every team goes into a funk sometime during the year, hopefully this is our funk time?? I believe we need a little shake up and a trade may be the answer.

  33. #34 Senet1 says:
    November 29, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    Mats, your points are well taken, and you are right it is a tough call on how to handle Obryne. Personally, I would like to see him brought along a little slower, with less ice time. 10-15 minutes maximum is my thought. Right now our defence with Komy out is in trouble. That is why I would like to see a trade for an experience defenceman.

    I see nothing wrong with your lineup suggestions. I would like to see Kovalev with Lang and the two Kost brothers on a line with Plex. Also they brought up D’Agosgini so I would give him a chance.

  34. #35 Mats Naslund says:
    November 29, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    Yeah I completely agree Senet1, O’Byrne is playing too many minutes for where his game is right now. Carbo has him riding the pine tonight, which I’m not necessarily against, but considering we’re at home for 7 straight, he’s going to have to play in Montreal at some point.

    So far the boys look disjointed and sloppy which is to be expected since Carbo has gone to completely different lines tonight. Continuing with his “get out of the funk by making everyone play in situations they have no business being in” line of coaching he has put D’Agostini on the PP, Dandenault on D (which was near disaster at a couple points in the first), as well as the Kostitsyns on the 4th line. This club certainly needs some tough love so I hope the point is taken, but I fear another 0 goal performance if Carbo is bent on keeping his skilled players away from their regular lines and guessing at how their new linemates will react to plays.

    Great point brought up by the HNIC guys tonight regarding the PP – They have been trying to use Markov as the point shot when he was SO effective as the set up man last year. Having Lang at the point allows for Markov to return to that role, which has already generated a few chances on the PP. I’m watching to see if that continues in the 2nd and 3rd.

    Once again, the habs give up a stupid goal on a weird play to be down 1-0 after 1. Everyone who watches this team is hoping that at some point this team breaks out, hopefully we see some more confident and smoother play in the 2nd.

  35. Well hopefully they will hang on to the 3-2 lead. Messages have to be sent and when Bowman coached he did the exactly the same thing. Once the players know he means business they will either play or be traded.

  36. One in the bank, appears that we have a positive start, hopefully it continues. Buffalo is a team we have to beat to make the playoffs. Nothing is going to be easy this year. Next game I bet Carbo come back with the original line up with his standard lines at least for the first period. If they do not respond then back to the tine of tonight.

  37. You too, Senet1.

    I agree there’s no question that it’s much easier to play the underdog than it is the favourite. However, while the Habs did begin last season an underdog, they were no longer one by mid-season, and still they were able to catapult themselves to a first place finish. San Jose and Detroit are also favourites this season yet neither team uses that as an excuse to lose hockey games. My point being, the Habs, regardless of whether or not teams are getting up for them, should be able to win more hockey games than they have thus far. When I watch them I see a plethora of talent on the ice which appears to be dazed and confused at the best of times. This shouldn’t at all be the case for such a talented hockey team as the Habs certainly are. They’re making stupid mistakes. For instance, a great indication of this team’s mental temperature occurred on Buffalo’s first goal tonight. Who was it, Kostitsin, who had an excellent clearing opportunity out near the blue line prior to the goal? He one player in front of him and a thousand options to get the puck down the ice effectively, yet he winds up and tries to put a slapshot through the Buffalo player. Huh? That’s beyond stupid, it defies the fundamental laws of physics. A ‘nomral’ player would have at least fired it off the boards and down the ice. In fact, play-doh would have fired it off the boards and down the ice. Unacceptable, and an indication that there is something fundamentally wrong with this team.

    As to Price, sophomore or not, he looks very average to me this season. Remember, the best players ever to play this game were rookies once as well, but everyone knew how great they were straight out of the gate.

    That being said, perhaps it’s a lot harder to be the next Patrick Roy than it is the Patrick Roy. Too much to live up to? Too much pressure?

  38. Hey Mats, here is a thought, maybe Carbo is sending two messages, 1. his best players are not performing like his best players and 2. the fourth liners also have to start to produce. It would appear that is what happened tonight against buffalo.

  39. #40 Mats Naslund says:
    November 30, 2008 at 2:13 am

    Yeah, Andrei for sure responded, aside from the goal, he played with much more intensity tonight. Sergei had a tough night and I won’t be surprised if he’s not in the lineup next game after taking 3 penalties tonight. The 4 on 4 goal was a huge play for Koivu and Markov. Hopefully the boys can build of of the home win and carry some momentum into their next game Tuesday against Atlanta. If the top lines play well and the 4th liners give energy they are a hard team to play. I also have to mention Carey Price and another game holding opponents to 2 goals.

  40. Well, a little better, we got 2 points anways. But hey, Dandy played defense…wow a Dman playing defense…much more effective here. Not playing our Dmen on D is why we got no PP apparently (Streit)…but anyways.
    I DID like A. Kostitsyn on the PP point though…probably best shot on the team. Little better game but still no where near what everyone is expecting.
    Just my opinion here below guys…feel free to give input….Sergi needs to be sent down for a while to get his game and head back…..Gainey needs to look hard for a puck shooting Dman to get our PP going(remember, this team feeds of PP goals, that usually gets us wound up enough to play a good full game)……D’Agostini really never helped out at all, send him back and try Paciorety(spelling wrong I know)…dont like the fact that Big George gets benched so often…he can be a menace behind that net, along with his other attributes…forwards need to go to the front of the net more instead of the area around the perimeter…for the love of God break up Koivu and Higgins, our captain was producing until the return of Higgins, even when Tanguay was still playing his and Koivu’s numbers went south when Chris came back….he’s a 3rd liner at best, put him there.
    And one thing I dont quite get…Chipchura is being held back apparently because of weak skating….anyone telling me that Latendresse CAN skate?
    Our game came around last night in the 2nd and 3rd when we started forechecking again and gave up on the dumb trap. Forechecking coughs up more pucks, and give more open ice for our skaters to take advantage, just like last year..please abandon the trap guys…its part of whats holding back our offense. Just a few thoughts there…remember we’re gonna play alot tougher games this year than Buf…lets get our fantastic game from last year back.

  41. #42 Mats Naslund says:
    November 30, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    To be fair, the 2nd slashing penalty on Kostitsyn was a blatant makeup call for the non-call on the hit from behind that happened just before the play. Kostitsyn gets slashed twice before he retaliates.. but then again, you get caught and you do the time. I do think he needs to reset in Hamilton. I would personally love to eventually see him on a line with Koivu and Tanguay because he is an incredible passer (91 assists 2 years ago). Those three together would be dangerous (assuming he snaps out of his funk). I’m not sure D’Agostini brings something to that top line, although his stay there will no doubt be temporary. Higgins has looked terrible other than one game since he came back. His hands are rock right now. The guy has a lot of energy, but zero finish. There has been a lot of talk about him moving with a prospect (maybe D’Agostini) for a defenseman from a non-playoff team. We’ll have to wait and see on that one I guess. Komisarek coming back will be huge so we may just need to weather the storm until he returns. Honestly I think habs fans need to get used to the idea of Montreal not being #1 in the conference. I’m fine with that as long as the team is in good shape going into the playoffs.

  42. #43 Donnie says:
    December 1, 2008 at 8:13 am

    Thank heavens someone else notices Higgins lack of all things offensive. My bro-in-law and myself(both big Habs fans)were starting to think we were going crazy…was there something we werent seeing that every other fan and hockey announcer were. This guy gets talked about like he’s the second coming in Montreal….and I’ll tell, I just don’t see it…never did. I for one would welcome him being part of any trade anywhere.
    You mentioned that he’s had 1 good game…this is what he’s been doing for a long time now….nothing for 10-12 games in a row, then a 3 point night(just enough to make him a hero again, and get everyone to forget his uselessness in the past 10 games)…THEN, another big nothing streak.
    We say he has hands like lobster claws cuz he’s so often having pucks bounce over his stick, get caught in his feet, fanning on pucks…geez, the guy should have 40 goals with all the open nets and great scoring chances he fumbles.
    Have always said that this guy is being used to the wrong capacity…he would be a good 3rd line, Mike Keane type player…..filling a more defensive role where the art of passing and scoring doesn;t have to be AS intune.
    Just take him off the 2nd line, off the PP, and get him away from Koivu who was fluorishing before Higgins’ return. With all the line-up jockeying did this last 6 games or so…once again this year Koivu Higgins is the only thing he won’t touch, and I try and try to understand this, and just never can….never will.
    Give the guy a break…take him from the 2nd line and let him do something he can handle…I beg you Guy.

  43. #44 Joseph says:
    December 1, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    It’s not about defensive mistakes, stupid penalties or own goals, which have been magnified and scrutinized meticulously under an electron microscope in the search for the real problem with this team. It’s about this: (headline)

    This certainly isn’t news to anyone, but if Kovalev had played half as well in the first 25 games of this season as he did last season, I think it’s safe to assume that the Habs would be among the top two in the East at this point.

  44. #45 Mats Naslund says:
    December 2, 2008 at 12:47 am

    I agree Joseph, I think it starts with Kovalev and trickles down, but nobody who watches Montreal should be surprised that this year is different from the last. At the beginning of last year the Habs were picked to finish out of the playoffs. They won the east, surprising everyone who thought that teams like Ottawa or New Jersey would roll over everyone else. Things change. Teams get healthy, guys who scored last year can’t find the net. That’s hockey. What is crazy about this team is that EVERYONE is in the exact same scoring drought. Kovalev, Plekanec, Koivu, Higgins, Tanguay, S. Kostitsyn all with one goal in at least their last 9 games. That is an infectious scoring drought. I’ll be watching Kovalev for a sign tomorrow night (apparently along with the rest of the lineup). He looked pretty good during the Buffalo game, and if he can get on the sheet there will be a lot of relieved pressure on the bench. You could see it on the goal by Plekanec before it got called back the other night.

    Other thoughts: Reading through the news feeds it seems as though O’Byrne will sit again tomorrow, as well (potentially) as Sergei Kostitsyn. Maybe a couple games in Hamilton would do both of these guys some good. As we talked about earlier, the minors are a good tool when the player needs to feel like there is pressure for his job. I watched Sergei Kostitsyn play for two years in London and I can say honestly some of the best games he played were when he was pissed off. He needs to find that fire or chip on his shoulder or whatever, because he is capable of so much more than he has done thus far. As far as O’Byrne, I really think that Carbo needs to make a quick call. Whether its in the AHL or the NHL the kid needs to play to regain his confidence, and continuing to brood over mistakes will not get him going. At 6’5 235 he could be a large asset to this team, but he’ll be useless if he’s afraid to make a mistake.

  45. #46 Joseph says:
    December 2, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    Solid points all, MN. And I think that it’s true that this team seems to mimick what Kovalev does. Not just the past season or so either. Recall the Habs-Boston playoff series of several years ago when the Hab were down 3 games to 1 thanks to Kovalev’s ouchy hand play. He came back on a mission the next three games and the team rallied behind his efforts. Or at least that’s my recollection of what transpired back then. :-)

    Either way, it’s quite evident now that when Kovalev plays so does the team. But when he disappears, then seemingly so does this team.

    I also agree that Carbonneau has not taken the best approach to motivating some of his players. That situation won’t likely right itself so somehting best be done soon to rectify the problem.

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