Habs Lines are set but they hurt down the middle

RDS.ca is reporting that during a golf tournament, Guy Carboneau stated that his line combinations were already set.


So here they are:

Higgins Koivu Ryder

Samsonov Ribeiro Kovalev

Perezhogin Plekanec Johnson

Begin Bonk Murray/Downey

Markov Rivet

Komisarek Souray

Dandenaut Streit (Boullion being injured)

Huet and Aebischer

(there are 2 spots for youngsters: a 7th defenceman and a 14th forward. These will be fought for in the rookie camp)

That’s pretty much what we have all been saying all summer here on this site, however the bad news is that Saku Koivu is pessimistic about starting the season. Nobody is saying much and they are all saying we will see at training camp but it does not sound good. (this is another RDS article)


46 Responses to Habs Lines are set but they hurt down the middle

  1. Jrugges says:

    whippdy doo… ????

  2. blarneylad says:

    montreal has 2 offensive problems: not enough scoring touch (besides kovalev only got 65 points), look for ryder to step up this season, also lack of depth at centre. so i think gainy will try and adress both of these problems in one move, unfortunalty for us hab fans we won’t see this move till the trade deadline

  3. skandelousHABSfan says:

    Saku isnt pessimistic. I have been listening tot he interviews from the golf tourney and he sounds cautiously optimistic.

    Whenever coming back from a big injury like this you will always air on the side of caution, but he says he has been doing a lot of skating, and he is now waiting to see how he will react to one on one and physical drills.

    as far as the lines go, they look as we all expected. but even if this is what carbo has in his head right now, it will all go up in the air at training camp.

  4. Rico420 says:

    so basically the same lines as last year

    way to surprise us Guy

  5. mtl_prince says:

    Without Saku, We Are Toast!

    I see him playing half the year, if that.

  6. PaulK123 says:

    You were toast even before Saku was injured, you’re waek on defense and weak at center.

    Huet will flop next year, everyone saw what he really is in the playoffs and it didnt look to good, why do you think Aebisher is still a Canadien?

  7. ECWHSWI says:

    is a GAA of 2.33 and a 0.929% THAT bad ??

    If that’s what you meant by “not good”, I’d be happy with our bad goalie. Although considering that he played a little over 1/2 the year its hard to predict what he’ll do in about 60 games…

    But hey relax, its always like that with goalies in Mtl, they’re either Gods or good for the Juniors…

    can’t it be somewhere in between sometimes ?

  8. leafssuck67 says:

    listen, im the first to criticize huet but dude where the f.uck were u last spring?? not only did he shut everyone up by continuing his run down the stretch but after cap’n sak went down he did it again! the habs had no offence but they were all 1-goal games and he held the canes to like 2 goals each time….he did NOT flop under the pressure…..but i, like you, will still criticize him and praise bob for keeping aeby just because he has never played a full season much less as a #1 goalie….

    but PLEASE get ur facts straight…i was at game 6 right behind him…he kept us in the game…the forwards let him down by not producing and on a shitty line change for the winner

  9. habsdoc says:

    So you have to wonder if Saks doesn’t start, do they move Begin to center, or bring up Locke? He’s due a try I think.

  10. SoBaZzZz says:

    They call it the ‘Roy’ effect.

  11. koolcory77 says:

    Dont shoot me for suggesting such a trade between such a big rival, but if I do a bit of basic material:

    Leafs lack on the wing, are loaded at centre

    Habs lack at centre, are loaded on the wing

    If they werent in the same division, they could pull of some sort of deal.

  12. ECWHSWI says:

    Dont you think that after a decade some people should get over it 😉

  13. my_sphincter says:

    You are clearly weak on brains and hockey knowledge.

  14. Pedro says:

    Montreal is too small, there going to have to get a little bigger to start contending. Not saying they have to get huge, but way too small.

  15. Huge_Polar_Bear says:

    Either way he keeps saying that his peripheral vision is still an issue. He can’t play as well as usual without it. I mean Saku has “vision of the ice” as they call it he knows where his wingers are most of the time and his peripheral vision is what gives him that ability, also helps avoid the big checks and Koivu is not huge he can’t afford to be blindsided often because eventually he will not get up again. I really hope he plays but only if he is ready I don’t want him to rush back and be taken out early in the season because he never saw someone like Chara comming down on him as he crossed the blue line… I guess we wait and see.

  16. Huge_Polar_Bear says:

    Small is not as bad as it used to be. The “new” NHL is more suited to small fast teams (like Buffalo last year) however I totally agree that some size would really help the Habs like Daze for exapmle at 6’6” or a new #1 center that we so desperatly need to contend.

  17. habs_win_cup_2007 says:

    We are talking about Saku, and the Habs lines for next year, and ofcourse a Leafs fan has to come in and enlighten us with his bullshit………again. How about you worry about your own tean, and not others. Id take huet and aebs anyday over raycroft, dont make me laugh!!!

  18. habs_win_cup_2007 says:

    sure it could work, but it aint gonna………..and who does the leafs have on centre that would actually make the habs better other than unproven rookies

  19. GoalJudge says:

    Size is becoming less and less a matter in the new NHL.

    With little guys, like NYR Prucha for example, and others able to pot 30+ goals the Franchises will start to protect the little guys more and more.

    As for Koivu sitting, it is no surprise. He has all the heart in world, but his body just doesn’t give him a break. It is not a great situation, but not the worst.

    Center is the easiest position to fill. And as much of a leader as Koivu is, he has rarely been around for 70 games or more.

    His numbers also look like that of a second line Center. Mind you his health and the “Sundin-Syndrome” of never really having quality wingers to play with have limited his production.

    Given those two contributing factors: 1) Center is easy to fill, and 2) Lack of health/production; and Koivu may not be sorely missed in Montreal should he not be able to play any time soon or not ever again.

    He is always good for a comeback or “cinderella” story, but not truly the cornerstone to build around.

    He would probably be better moving into a coaching role or the likes.

    Don’t Get me wrong, Koivu even at 70 games a season is a good number two, but Montreal should replace him at #1 Center, if only for stability purposes, as we saw last playoffs that once he dropped – so did Montreal. They had Carolina down two games, and then BANG! It’s all over.

    That does not bode well for the HABS. Especially now that they seem to be rounding the corner and finally luring some bigger talent over the last few years with Kovalev, and Samsonov. Two good wingers who could both benefit from a reliable, and Montreals Long-missed, Power-forward with playmaking ability.

    They have the depth, and the prospects, its time to deal. They have been criticised for being too small for too long. And as I said that is going to be less of a problem in the future, adding that #1 Center and Power-forward would solve their problem in a hurry.

    Speculation – Florida’s Nathan Horton has shown some promise, and is poised to break out soon. He has also been long criticised by Florida Management, specifically the newly but not dearly departed Mike Keenan, for taking too long to develop.

    That’s not a rumour that is just my idea.

    I’m sure other people have others.

    Other Centers (not necessarily power-forwards) available are Gomez, Lang by trade from Detroit, Jason Allison (whom has played with Samsonov).

    I open the floor to you.

  20. bobsUruncle says:

    Just to touch on the end of your post…

    Lang doesn’t seem like a possibility. He has always lacked the work ethic and GOD knows we have enough of those!

    Gomez wouldn’t improve this team, and he is afterall another small center.

    I have thought all along that Allison would be worth looking at, but he would have a really hard time keeping up with the two russians.

    The next two weeks will shed some light on the habs current situation.

    I really hope Koivu comes back as good as he was, but I’m starting to get a little nervous about that.

    Montreal has some depth now at the forward position (on the wings) with the young guys, and it might require a move…

    Like I have said in earlier posts…

    Ribeiro can’t play on the line with the two russians…we will have waaaayyy too many goals scored against us.

    Bonk is our ONLY big man up the middle, but he plays smaller then Ribeiro on most nights.

    I’m sure that this will be our team into training camp…but I have a feeling something will ahve to happen for this team to attempt to go deeper into the playoffs

    While Higgins isn’t HUGE, he could be a good fit on the top line with Kovi and Sami. He is fantastic defensively, and doesn’t mind getting his jersey dirty.

    If Koivu is 100% (big if) then you could move a guy like Kostitsyn onto the left side.

    Gainey needs to find a way to move Ribeiro.

    I liked the rumors about the situation in Nashville. Bringing in Hartnell and Hamhuis could be a good move, if we could unload 3 bodies…opening up another roster spot for a rookie.

  21. GoalJudge says:

    I like what you said for the most part but Hartnell will most likely be staying in Nashville because he has a smaller contract and is gritty which they, like Montreal, lack.

    Higgins was my first thought for a replacement, over Ribeiro.

    Ribeiro is a difficulty when trading. It has been attempted in the past. He can be a locker room cancer, and is more than a little self centered. He-ll put up 60 pts and thinks he’s the Great One or better. Every time they tried trading him, other teams always said ‘well how about Ryder?”, which is not an option.

    My true hope is that Koivu misses about two weeks, or 6 games, and Higgins gets the chance and clicks with “Kovi” and “Sami”.

    If I was GM I would really watch the Gomez situation in NJ, or any other team with Cap contraints, to scoop up a good Center, and dish Ribeiro’s sorry ass the other way.

    When its a salary dump situation, the other team doesn’t really get to many options, and that would be the HABs best bet for getting a quality Center.

    They maybe could scoop one from the Flyers as Primeau still hasn’t decided to call it quits, Gagne is gonna get 4.25 or so (or sit, and we know Clarke would do it, he hates prima-donnas). So Carter, Richards or Umberger could become available, with maybe some more salary going Montreal’s way. That would be a decent investment for Montreal.

    Again, they are so close it hurts, but its that sizeable Center that holds them back, and they jsut won’t fork it out to get one. You’d think they would now that they Power-forward is going the way of the Do-do (extinct), and thus more available and more affordable.

    We’ll see.

  22. Habroller says:


    I wouldn’t trade any of our prospect wingers (Perezoghin, Kostitsyn, Latendresse, Higgins,…) for Stajan or Wellwood. That’s for sure!

  23. Habroller says:

    I think you mean grit more than size. A team full of 5’9 (or whatever’s his height) Steve Bégin would intimidate any team in this league…

  24. neilios says:

    Iam hearing the Canucks might trade Kesler for couple young good wingers.Kesler is $ this kid could be a top 2 center on any NHL club but the Canucks already have Moe and Sedin.Kesler is a gritty fast playmaker and I think the Habs can use a center like him.I think it would take Perizogan,Chipchurra,and Lattrendress or Kaz.What do Habs think of that kinda deal.

  25. Habroller says:

    You are a Canucks fan, aren’t you?

  26. 24_cups_and_counting says:

    All 3 of them for Kessler? Pass.

  27. Pedro says:

    actually, now that i think about,ya, they need more grit. It is always a contentous issue with size and grit. I think they need to become a grittier team to take a step forward. Not really there defence, which i think is okay, but forward grit pericularly on the first two lines.

  28. Pedro says:

    particularly i mean’t

  29. Pedro says:

    Kesler is okay, but not worth that.

    Top 2 line on any team. No, eventually he will be great, but right now he’s a decent player with lots of potential.

  30. habswinthecup-again says:

    You wouldn’t want Wellwood? I would trade Latendresse for him in a second. Perezhogin definately no, Higgins probably not, and Kostistyn I would sure have to think long and hard about it.

  31. SoBaZzZz says:

    True, some fans still live in the past. But it could be worse, Leaf fans still have the ‘can’t win a cup’ effect, and it’s been lasting what, 4 decades? 😉

  32. neilios says:

    Kesler is like a Modano,but aint scared to drop the gloves and is a hard nose player with lots of skills.

  33. passionch says:

    Montreal’s defensive system doesn’t allow its players to rise and become evident superstars but that’s how they play. The middle position is defintely going to need improvements to make the Habs contenders for the Stanley Cup! The Canadiens should however, easily make the playoffs and from that, anything can happen!

  34. habs_punk says:

    I wouldn’t trade Latendresse for him, only because if Latendresse does pan out, he’ll be the power forward we have been needing in Montreal for years. If Wellwood pans out, he’ll just be another small skilled forward that we already have tons of, only not as fast as the ones we already have.

  35. habs_punk says:

    I think that Kesler is a player that has only broken the point per game mark when he played in the MWEHL. I think that most teams in the NHL could do better for top 2 centres than a 22 year who put up 23 points last year. I think Montreal had two centres with more than twice that amount of points, and another 2 players who can play centre that put up the same or more points as Kesler. Bonk fell short of Kesler’s mark by 2 points and played 21 fewer games

    Now tell me again why Montreal would trade a 23 year old prospect who fell short of Kesler’s point total by 4 points while playing 15 fewer games, a 20 year old prospect that captained Canada to gold at last year’s World Junior’s, and either a 19 year old prospect projected to be the exact kind of player Montreal needs, or a 21 year old prospect that many felt if it weren’t for his health problems would have gone in the top 5 in the 2003 entry draft (Fleury, Staal, Horton, Zherdev, Vanek), all for Kesler?

    I hope I’m just over-analyzing a joke here, because that trade proposal was just plain dumb.

  36. barahir says:

    locke? No way…they’re screwed if koivu’s out. Seriously, a guy like markov might be moved as he is an UFA after this year. Who knows, it’s a bunch of shit anyways.

  37. barahir says:

    Raycroft is a piece of shit. Whoo, Hal Gill. ***** you *****

  38. barahir says:

    Ha, way to go man.

  39. barahir says:

    None are playmakers, well, Kovalev kind of, but its better to have the center be the set up man

  40. AfroCon says:

    65 points in 69 games during a season where he had surgery and played with a decent center and crappy left winger.

  41. AfroCon says:

    Grabovski probably has a better chance to crack the line up than Locke.

  42. Habroller says:


    I see Plekanec as a better 2nd center than Wellwood. Not that I don’t like the leaf youngster, I just think we already got better than him.

  43. Habroller says:

    Still not even close to be worth the package you mentioned.

  44. rojoke says:

    Daze is done. His back is shot. But other than that, they definitely need more size up front.

  45. habs_win_cup_2007 says:

    Its hard to say because Wellwood is going to put up more points this year than Plek. but its gonna be because of his extended icetime over Plekanec, leading most leafs fans to say…..”oh hes way better than, look at the points he put up”. Right now wellwood may be the better choice, but in a year or 2 we’ll see how Tomas is doing. I think id take Plekanic over wellwood anywyas

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