Don't Panick Hab Fans, But…

After watching the Montreal-Ottawa game I had a song in my head, “Reunited & it feels so good…”. Watching Heatley, Spezza and Alfredson thump the Canadiens showed what Montreal’s weaknesses are.

What can they do about it?

So I’m pretty sure all Hab fans are saying “please god, don’t let this be another repeat of last year!”, well its far from that but Montreal just got a wake up call and it was needed. A few reasons why they have lost a few:


They have been playing very bad decisively since the Ranger game, Allowing to many shots, more turn overs than usual and much more scoring opportunities. Obviously the loss of Hamrlik shows. He is a big part of Montreal’s blue-line. Patrice Brisebois is pretty much useless but I guess Carbo doesn’t have a choice but to dress him. Luckily O’Bryne and Hamrlik are returning to the line-up for some much needed size to bolster the blue-line.


So last year Kovalev wasn’t producing and Koivu was leading the way, This year its the complete opposite. What is going on with Montreal’s Captain? Higgins is so unlucky he couldn’t buy a goal and Ryder is just not the same. The younger players can’t be blamed. Latendresse is having an equal year or better, Sergei Kostitsyn is doing what he’s being asked. Smolinski’s line is useless when it comes to offence but they aren’t there for that but they eat up the clock and provide some energy when needed.

Main Weaknesses:

1. Too small up front, they get tossed around besides the bigger players(Kovalev, Ryder, Smolinski…)
2. No one to finish the play! I can’t remember the last time a Canadien put up 40+ goals….

What can they do?

Yes its easy to start making trades and cut loose the dead weight but I don’t think that is Bob Gainey’s plan for this very young team. The way the roster looks, the main goal is to reach the playoffs and give the younger players a taste of the post-season and see who shows up and performs. You can say they are a lock for the post-season but anything can happen and another free-fall(like last year) isn’t impossible.

I don’t think Bob Gainey will make any significant moves before the deadline for any top players in the league. Gainey isn’t the type to sell the future for the present, especially for a playoff rental. I believe some drastic moves might be made when the season is over and free-agency begins because Gainey will have an idea what the team needs/lacks and who should go.

Players who should go when the season is over:


Now some fans made want to add Koivu on that short list but that isn’t fair. I say give him a premier winger on his side who can finish the play and can net 40+ goals then judge him. His best winger has been Ryder but he isn’t scoring anymore and Koivu has had different wingers every game. If Koivu still struggles then it would be time for a change.

Habs need size, grit and fire power!

I know it sounds like a broken record to read these Montreal articles but the team is showing potential and they are just missing a few pieces of the puzzle to have a complete team(in a fans point of few).

Any trade suggestions?

By the way, Give credit to Ottawa, they came out flying and that 1rst line is very entertaining.

23 Responses to Don't Panick Hab Fans, But…

  1. ganou60 says:

    ok yes ottawa was all over the habs, downright embarassing, but Ottawa will not win the cup.  Reason is they have one line, and that line is fine against a tean like the habs but they are chickens.  they never go in teh corner first.  I am a habs fan, and we need some size up front.  But our players are not afraid to go in the corners for the puck.  Senataors havea great line.  Fast, great hands but are as cowardly as they come

  2. Habfanforever says:

    People need to give Saku the benefit of the doubt. Last year, he posted career numbers, Ryder was scoring and Higgins was producing. What in the world happened to that line? If that line would be half as good as they were last year, along with the Plekanec line, we’d be in first place right now and not having this discussion.

    I agree with giving Saku a solid scoring winger, if nothing still happens, then we can pass judgement.

    Gainey has draft picks and youth in his arsenal of trade bait, its time for him to use some of it, not in all departments but just to add a little zip to the team, to give the young forwards a nice long taste of playoff hockey.

    2nd round pick to LA for Rob Blake (that’s ALL he’s worth, although some fool will overpay for him)

  3. dexhabs says:

    Sure, I give the one line of Ottawa credit.  It may sound cruel, but to eliminate the embarassment and show some heart, they needed to hit the Sens powerful number one line…They fact that they were all mending injuries is no excuse not to hit them.

    Why wasn't Komisarek on the ice against the Sens big line?  Instead they play him against Vermette who has always been an NHL disappointment.

    On the Trade Front, I think Montreal needs a top six forward with size…preferably an all-star which they never seem to have.  I would prefer Canadian born, but Marian Hossa is another option before the deadline.  I like Hossa because he's a sniper…something the Candiens have long desired.  They may have to part ways with either koivu or ryder with Price and a draft pick, because watching Price play recently has given me some chest pain.

    Canadiens who need to go are definitely:  Dandenault, Smolinski, Ryder, Brisebois, and a goalie.

  4. yarfangor says:

    Ok so First of all, Price is fine, when your D-Men start leaving holes and are not on top of their game against a huge scoring line, shit happens.

    I agree we need a prime scorer, Hossa is Ideal, but who would we offer? Koivu? I doubt it, Atlanta wants Higgins, so it would be Higgins+Dandenault+a pick for Hossa and perhaps a later pick. Ryder is already gone, traded to Calgary for Tanguay, they through in O'Byrne. Calgary said the trade was made, just waiting on the OK for O'byrne's condition.

    So so far we got:
    Higgns, Koivu, Tanguay
    Kost, Pleks, Kovy
    Lats, Laps, Kost
    and the 4th doesnt really matter.

    If Gainey could land Hossa and sign him for 5-6 years, that would be an epic move, and we would be a serious contender.

  5. teezer6969 says:

    this year say good bye to the sens early this team is not the same with emery and gerber fighting they will finish first overall but im making a perdictin that they will not pass the 1st round i see them playing boston for some reason or rangers and i think they will get elimenated early then when redden leaves the team next year forget it this team will never win a cup they need goaltending wich they dont have emery's a lil baby someone should knock him out and gerber sucks to fragile mentally its wide opened in the east but perdictions philly and montreal or new jersey

  6. mitchamac says:

    Personally i think the habs should aquire jonathan tremblay from the sharks dont care how they get him but get him next the habs should go get kevin cormier from the coytes and Matt Kassian from the wild so you forth line can actually stick up for you players

    Kovalev  Plekanec  A.Kostitsyn
    Higgins  Koivu  Cole
    Latendresse  Lapierre  S.kostitsyn
    Jonathan tremblay  Matt Kassian   Kevin corimer

    Markov   Streit
    Hamrlik  Komisarek
    Bouillon  Gorges

    Trade ryder picprospect for cole
    try to bring in a Brendan Witt type defenseman

  7. careyprice31 says:

    Comeon dont give up on price. Hes been playing good hockey.Evryone here preaches about patience so I ask be patient with price because this guy will be the real deal. It is nothis fault when he has scraps like brisebois and bouillon playing in front of him. Lapierre line and kostopoulos line has to wake up as well. These guys should have 4 things in their mind 1 block shots 2 shut the teams top lines down 3 dont allow a goal bring massive energy to the team and hit anything u see and 4 be a nuissane and a pest agitate the other forcing them to take stupid penalties.After this embarassment im convinced and i hope we get something i mean it shows what we are lacking in scorer enforcer and a player like travis moen type play

  8. careyprice31 says:

    Now this is smart eric cole in the playerwe need in this team and brendan witt would be awesome as well good stuff mitchhamac

  9. harvey26 says:

    where did you hear tanguay was already traded for ryder??

  10. jarcpitre says:

    I wouldn't have guessed your a habs. Ottawa might have one line sort of speak, but they are one good forward to making it 2 good lines, which will get solved at the deadline. They have a 3rd line that is fast and can score, good goaltending and an excellent defense. I would say a cup is not far off for Ottawa as long as they stay healthy.

  11. Nans says:

    do u see yourself ending the sentance?

  12. yarfangor says:

    Calgary Herald

  13. billypilgrim says:

    Not panicking yet.

    Hamrlik and O'Byrne are definately part of the solution defensively, and they'll both be back. Wait and see if the Hossa trade will materialize and hope for the best. I wouldn't mind giving Saku a chance with a player of that calibre by his side.

    Otherwise this team still needs to find a way to have all top 6 forwards producing consistently, by any means necessary. With 2 months left to get it together, this team should be able to make it to the 2nd round at least this year.

    And hats off to Ottawa for proving that a small market Canadian team with an intelligent staff (y'hear that, Oilers fans) can assemble a top notch hockey team. If they remain healthy they have an excellent chance of making the final again. The goaltending issue is all they have to get straightened out, and the fact that Emery made it last year is all they need to keep in mind. Gerber is the playoff liability. Just think back to the first round 2 years ago when he was with Carolina and Montreal sent him packing after the first two games.

  14. billypilgrim says:

    Sorry, but:

    "Tanguay has NOT waived no-trade

    Despite media speculation/reports to the contrary, Alex Tanguay says he has not agreed to waive his no-trade clause."

    -Calgary Herald 10/02/08

  15. Nans says:

    I agree with everything u said except Gerber gets a lot of heat for the series against MTL.  He was sick and injured, and it shower.  People forget that later in that playoffs, he did shutout Buffalo in the ECF.

    That being said, Gerber is a huge liability at this point because he is so fragle, and that might rub off on the team at times.

  16. cartino says:

    I agree with most of your assessment of the sens, but let's be honest they don't have very good goaltending right now and for once in years their defence hasn't been playing that great either which in the past has been Ottawa's strong part. They keep winning because of their offence and top line.

  17. habsrock99 says:

    All Saturday's game showed me was that Ottawa's a One-Line team. Sorry Sens fans, it's true. I've been saying all year that the Cup was Ottawa's to lose. I'm no longer thinking that. If you can shut down the Sens Top Line like Anaheim did, you'll beat them 60% of the time.

    As for the Habs, I'm beginning to want Hossa BAD. I want to see what Koivu's capable of with another decent winger and not a guy who can seem to figure out his best asset is shooting.

    Also, to answer your question, the last 40 goal Hab was Vincent Damphousse in 1993-94.

  18. Nans says:

    I agree that the ducks  defense shut down the sens last year, and they were the better team.  That being said, who in the East has even close to enough D to shut down the sens?  Devils, the same devils with less scoring and a year older Brodure that got hammered by the Sens last year?  If the Sens hit the Bruins, that could be trouble.

    Only way a team in the East beats the Sens in the playoffs is if they run and gun with them, and their goalie's play lights out. 

    Only two teams i see beating the Sens, Bruins and Flyers, those r the two teams they do not want to see in the first round. 

    PS, if u put Alfi on the 2nd line with Fisher, they r a two line team, which they do a lot.

  19. LeafsNation91 says:

    You guys may all think I am joking, but if the Habs are looking for Grit and stregnth, maybe look at Nik Antropov. First off, I hear of Todd Bertuzzi from a Habs fan, but a less affordable version and more useful would be Antropov. The man is in ther first year of a two-year conract. AND he only gets paid two-million a season. Antropov has 19 goals and 23 assists which would be third on the Habs if he joined, and he plays alot like Ryan Smyth and Mats Sundin, but not as good. He is gritty, tough with the puck and can be the big body Montreal needs. All 19 goals come with him infront of the net either jamming it or tipping, he is a goalie's worst nightmare, really underrated. He might not be the fastest player, but his speed is not that bad and his defensive skills and puck handling is truly remarkable. Just a thought. So don't go haywire. He won't damage the HABS that much.

  20. lafleur10 says:

    antropov's a stiff and is brutal!!where would we play him on our 4th line?come on he's a bum!!i personally wouldn't give you anything for this guy not even brisebois!!

  21. habsoverserver says:

    Every team wants more size, grit and firepower.  However, it isn't always available.  Churning the fourth line – Smokes/Dandenault/Begin and the 7th defenseman doesn't turn a team into a winner.  None of those guys is the difference between winning and losing.

    Montreal's so called first line can't score or hit at even strength and takes too many penalties.  When a guy who wears the A and gets first line ice time scores only one even strength goal in 28 games, you don't get a new fourth line center, you get a new first line wing.  Higgins is having almost as bad a season as Ryder.  At least Ryder played way over his head for three full seasons, Higgins has been streaky for his whole career. 

    Gainey has more salary cap room for the upcoming seasons than almost any GM in hockey.  He has only $11 million committed to the 09-10 season.  He needs to successfully deploy that capital in the free agent market.  But, as yet, he has been unable to lure first tier talent.

    Every team has weaknesses, Carbo has done a fine job coaxing wins out of this team.  They are somehow managing to win the games they couldn't win for the past 15 seasons and I am greatly impressed. 

  22. LeafsNation91 says:

    has more points then most of your team, and is not a bad player, i can say equally about Ryder, who would give up Hossa or Tanguay for another stiff, atleast Antropoc will hit 20 or possibly 30 goals

    face it, he's not a bad plater, and could play well with Higgins, could tip in or jam alot of the rebounds he makes

  23. lafleur10 says:

    kovalev and plekanec have more points than ntropov markov is only 3 points behind streit is 4 and by season's end higgins and kiovu and both kostitsyn's will have more!even ryder will when we trade him!!come on buddy wake up antropov is the biggest stiff in the league!if he's so good then why don't you guys keep him?as one of your core players to build around!!if we ttrade for him he wouldn't be anything more than a 4th liner on our team!he'd have trouble taking kostopolous's job!!antropov will score 20 goals one doubt he's got 19 soo this will be career best!!and he'll nevr hit 30!ryder has had back to back 30 goal season and a 25  goal season!that's 85 goals over the past three seasons antropov probably hasn't evencome close to that!!he's a stiff!we wouldn't play well with higgins either !we tried latendresse there and he's big and slow like antropov and couldn't do it!!and latendresse is twice the player that the stiff (antropov )latendresse tips in a lot and jams in rebounds as well so like i said antropov would be anything more than a 4th liner on our team!!

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