Habs Make Final Cuts

The Montreal Canadiens have made their finals cuts. WOW is all I can say. Quite a few surprises, depending on how you view the situation. The players currently on the roster ARRREEE (drum roll)..

Saku Koivu
Chirs Higgins
Michael Ryder
Andrei Kostitisyn
Alex Kovalev
Bryan Smolinski
Tomas Plekanec
Guillaume Latendresse
Kyle Chipchura
Tom Kostopoulos
Steve Begin
Andrei Markov
Mike Komisarek
Patrice Brisebois
Roman Hamrlik
Francis Bouillon
Mark Streit
Cristobal Huet
Those who were cut were Ryan O’Byrne, due to his two-way contract. MAXIM LAPIERRE, a fan favorite who was not putting in effort. Jaroslav Halak who will almost certainly be traded.
When i read this I was quite surprised in Grabovski and Dandenault sticking around. Dandenault will most likely be playing forward. The following lines are my own, although based on those from the Gazette’s release which I posted a week ago.
Your thoughts….

23 Responses to Habs Make Final Cuts

  1. eron says:

    A lot of people on TSN were asking why Lapierre was cut and Garth Murray was kept.  Looking at that list, its clear that Garth Murray was forgotten.  Unfortunately, that list includes 22 players, making Murray #23.

    I think Bob Gainey certainly likes Mattieu Dandenault, because if Darius Kasparitis is any proof, getting rid of underachiving defencemen to waivers is a good way to save cash and make room (and I like Darius!).  Maybe he wants him to get some play time as a forward in hopes someone will take him off Montreal's hands, but I got a feeling we'll be seeing Dandenault on the ice more than we wish.

    I agree with the line combos if the third line is going to get a lot of time, because Plekanec is the best player on the Habs right now.  The second half of the season and the exhibition he has been on fire. 

    I honestly think people are underestimating Streit.  He'll play with Hamerlik.  Briesbois will play third string D-time with Gorges or Boullion.  I can't see Streit being a top PP guy and get only third string minutes.

  2. mtlman2005 says:

    I really really really like the team this year. Like Carbo was saying we now have 3 lines that can score! Ok, we don't have that all star first line (ex: Spezza, Heatley, Alf) but its everywhere and teams are going to have a tough time handling it! The only thing I hope, is that plekanec plays on the second line with kovy and grabovski. That would be a sick line!
    As for our D, its  good, getting better! We are missing Sourray for the offensive pounch on the blue line, but we replaced him by Hamrlik who was +22 last year! That a difference of over 40….
    And then theirs the Price situation. Will he play? Should he play? I personnaly think he should play 30 to 40 games this season, if all is well. And I would start him against Pittsburgh in our 3rd game! Lets see what he can do under pressure!

  3. mtlman2005 says:

    Oh and btw Brisebois isn't playing on D….
    It should be:

  4. Milohabs says:

    The only surprise for me is lapierre BUT he has a 2 way contract and Murray doesn't. I think it really is that simple. As the season wears on and injuries spring up. lapierre will be an early call up and will have to work hard for playing time. It's always good to have this kind of a depth problem. On the flip side, if Grabovski goes 20 games with just a few points, they can send him back down if they feel he needs more time.

    Price will push hard for the #1 spot, which menas Huet will have to play at his best. This is also going to be very good for Montreal.

    i like the speed, youth and 3 scoring lines. Plex SHOULD get 2nd line with Kostitsyn & Kovalev and Grabovski should get 3rd with latendresse & Smolinski.

    Can't wait for Wednesday night in Carolina

  5. nordiques100 says:

    Always thought Dandenault should be playing forward.

    i think fans will like his grit and speed on the forecheck and find him to be quite useful as an energy guy. His play on D was shoddy. The Montreal system didnt suit his game as a defenceman. in detroit where they used the LW lock and where he had lidstrom or chelios as partners, he looked quite good back there.  

    team looks fairly decent. i hope they use a semi-platoon in nets as i dont think it is wise for price to play once every 2 weeks. if he can get 30-35 starts, it will be worth keeping him on as the "backup". that should be likely given huet's track record of getting hurt.  

    carbo needs to get his team to play air tight D. i stress the word team as everything shouldnt fall completely on their D. their D is average at best. their 2nd and 3rd pairs can be easily exposed defensively if the forwards abandon them like they did last year. those under the biggest scrutiny defensively are koivu, ryder, kovalev. they always seemed disinterested in playing in their own zone. they are the leaders of the team. if they can show a smarter approach in their own end and greater committment, i think that would rub off on latendresse, higgins, grabovski, kostitsyn. i think that is what could push the habs into the playoffs.  

    the habs seem like a team that tries too hard to make up for having many soft players.  for example i think the fans ask too much for a small guy like koivu to be phyical and lead the team in that waye or kovalev who has good size, to use it and take the body. when they dont, it looks like tehy arent trying very hard.

    they dont need to play in your face and try and be physical. they dont have the personnel to do that. so staying in proper position and using their good team speed means much more. its ok to be soft. it seems to work ok for a team like detroit. like leaf fans, habs fans seem to as well love the heart of their sleeve types and want all players to play that way. (i.e max lapierre).  

    i think the habs could be a real frustrating team to paly against if they sort of mirror the sens and use team speed to create turnovers and cut off lanes instead of trying to kill everyone physically and attempt to play don cherry type "im a real man and i can take it" hockey.

  6. habsrock99 says:

    While doing some fantasy reasearch on fantasysports.yahoo.com, i read up on some of Montreal's defence. Komisarek and Markov make up the first pair with Streit and Hamrlik making the 2nd pair. According to Yahoo Fantasy Sports, Brisebois makes up One of the 3rd pair defenceman with Bouillon, Dandeneault and Gorges fighting for the last spot. I can see Dandeneault getting little ice time as a forward which leaves me to believe he'll be put on waivers or auditioned a lot through the first few games. Unless Carbo is willing to give his first 3 lines evened minutes, I can't see Plekanec as a 3rd liner. Latendresse, it may not be a choice unless Kostitsyn gets moved to 3rd line duty. All Garth Murray is, is an extra body in case someone gets injured early but if that's the case, I can think of a few other players who are more talented then Murray. Lapierre being sent down and Price staying up completely caught me off guard, but it may be a short time before Price gets sent down. I believe Price is in the same situation as Jordan Staal and Latendresse were last year in that, Montreal can keep him up for up to 9 or so games and can send him down or bring him up without Price being put on waivers until he reaches the limit on Games Played. But, maybe Price is here to stay. Lapierre will be up later in the year when Steve Begin gets his yearly injury.

  7. morrissey says:

    Why Garth Murray? Who else do you want sitting in the press box? Seriously he's in the 13th forward position, if Lapierre couldn't crack the top 12 then I'd prefer he work on his game in Hamilton until he's needed, because he'd be just wasted in Murray's present spot.

  8. habsoverserver says:

    why will they trade halak?  he isn't a starter and they will need a backup next season.  besides, carey price still has not proven himself at the NHL level. 

    why would you stick plekanec on the third line, he had a breakout season, doesn't he deserve to stay on the second line?

    gainey is definately going with the people he brought into the organization.  his guys- chipchura, grabovsky and price made the team ahead of savard's draft picks – o'byrne, lapierre and halak. 

    given that fischer, mcdonagh yemelin and vanetenko will be ahead of obyrne on the prospects list, he should be begging for a trade.  there is no way he makes the team next year. 

  9. modk09 says:

    its simple:

    Murray was kept because he isnt going to develop any further so its not problematic to leave him in the press box for 60 games a year. if they did that with a prospect, it would hinder their development. ALSO, Lapierre said in the press conference that they demoted him because they want to convert him into a winger rather than a center which is easier to do in the minors

  10. Lord says:

    I didn't see it like that since you mentionned it. I hope that's not the main reason why these 3 new players are getting a spot this year, but it's possible. That's can explain why we lost Perezhogin. In the other hand, they will give Higgins a "A" this year and Plekanec and Komisarek a biger role.

    Maybe this year there prefer to keep the most talented players? Lapierre is overrated by Canadiens fans, and a competition between him and Chipchura is in place for a permanent spot at the center of the third line for years to come. Let's see you will get it.

  11. habsoverserver says:

    the organization definately wants higgins and komisarek to succeed.  but gainey had no alternatives to them at the time. 

    they went hard after briere to be the first line center.  so either they were trying to replace plekanec or koivu. chances are they it was plekanec who was going to get pushed to the third line.  but if chipchura is destined for the third line, then, Gainey would have traded plekanec.

    i like plekanec a lot and hope he has a monster season.  i thought he played great last year. 

  12. eron says:

    See, was Murray much better than Downey?  I preferred Downey.  If we need a tough guy, I'd go with the younger guy.

    If the Lapierre thing is true, then I'm happy with the decision.  However, I think its strange to have to be sent down to convert to being a winger.  Most people start as wingers and learn to be centers, not the other way around.  Least thats how it was to me, heh.

  13. habs_punk says:

    I didn't get to see any of the preseason games, so I rely mostly on the stuff I find online. I thought Grabovski had been playing on a line with Kostitsyn and Kovalev mostly through training camp. So I was kind of expecting the same line combos as posted above. Although I would expect Plekanec and Latendresse to get good minutes even on the third line. Almost a 1a/1b/1c situation going on there. Of course I wouldn't complain to see Plekanec on the second line, he's definitely earned it.

  14. DoubleDown says:

    i'm pretty sure grabovski was kept because kovalev likes playing with him, and motivating kovalev is A) key if the habs want any chance of making the playoffs and B) almost impossible. also heard in passing on 110% that Grabovski went Anton Stralman on the Habs and said he'd go back to Russia…but–it WAS 110%…

    i don't think he'll have much success. guy is just too small and frail and will get smacked around. centres will end up being koivu-pleks-smolinski-chipchura.

    hopefully gorges is ahead of bouillon and dandenault on the depth chart, but this is a team that signed a player that no other team even contacted and handed him the #4 D slot after missing pretty much all of training camp (Brisebois)…so i doubt gorges will be seeing any playing time, which sucks because he has some size and has been playing really well.

    gainey and carbonneau's a$$es are really on the line this season. they need to show some systemic improvement. can't just stagnate in the middle 7-10 position year after year and call it progress..

  15. modk09 says:

    very true, we would have been better off having downey instead of Murray but then wed have to find someone who wanted to take on murrays contract…

    its easier to convert fronm center to wing because you dont need to learn to take faceoffs. if you look, most NHL forwards were centers when they were younger because when they dominated the youth leagues, its best to be a center so you have the most freedom. they get moved to the wings later when they start playing with people who match up with them (higgins is a great example)

  16. habsoverserver says:

    to me this season is less about the standings and more about how gainey's core guys perform.  we need to see markov, plekanec, grabovski, latendresse, price, higgins lead the team.  if the rent a vets like huet, smolinski and kovalev lead the team, then the rebuilding hasn't taken hold. 

    Gainey is fine unless attendence drops.  I think you are right that Carbo can't go two years without making the playoffs. 

  17. Rico420 says:

    I guess I have to eat my hat in saying that Price would be in Hamilton, I guess that Gainey is planning on a 50/50 split in playing time for his tenders, I don't necessarily agree with Price even sitting on the bench for half the games because he could have been the starter in Hamilton and who knows he may be the starter as the season progresses..

    Not really a big surprise on Gorges making the team, Gainey would be lynched by some Habs fans if the NHL ready player that we received for Rivet was sitting in Hamilton, it's also kind of interesting that we have Streit and Dandenault who could be either on the third pair D or on one of the forward lines, still would have liked to see Corey Locke make this team but that may be another year and in another city.

    I was also really hoping to see the Habs pick up Gauthier off waivers – we really need a guy with a mean streak like him on the Blueline.

    Anyway I guess I will leave all the decisions up to Bob and Guy to make and the one Bob will make come the middle of the season end of the season is if to give Muller the head coaching job or bring in a guy with some experience to run the bench.

  18. mtl_prince says:

    if a goalie is traded, it will be Huet. His
    Contract is up at the end of the year.

  19. mtl_prince says:

    if a goalie is traded, it will be Huet. His contract is up at the end of the year.

  20. PointMeAtTheSky says:

    Plekanec definitely deserves the number 2 center spot.

    Halak is staying a Hab. Huet is a UFA next summer, they need both Price and Halak. They probably want to give Price the chance, at least for 9 games, to see what he can do. I can envision a 50/25/25 split, Huet 40 games, Price 20 games, Halak 20 games.

    It's odd..Murray, Dandenault and Brisebois are kind of dead weight. give the spot to a young guy, save some cap room.

    Even Kostopolous, I'd rather see Lapierre develop. He had 6 goals in 40-some games. Over a full season that's 12..solid 4th liner.

  21. rojoke says:

    Only if he gets hurt. Huet will play more than 60 games this season.

  22. rojoke says:

    I think you could see Carbo roll all four lines more than he did early last season, for the first month or so.  Plekanec is a great two-way player, and if Carbo chooses to play a more assertive forechecking style instead of the hurry-up-and-wait style from last season, that line could generate its fair share of offensive opportunities, from turnovers and in transition.

  23. ferron says:

      Plekanec on the 3rd line? Plek not only deserve 2nd center but I think he should be our first center, he's been the most productive player with the Habs ever since Carboneau stop torturing him by playing him with Samsonov and Kovalev, even in this preseason he was explosive. One more thing Brisebois wasn't a top 4 defenseman with the Habs 10 years ago why would he be now, Streit and O'byrne where much better this preseason, THEY are the one  who deserve top ice time not washed up talentless Briseby! We bood the Muthaf–ka
    out of Montreal and now after having an horrible preseason, Briseby will be back and not only as a 3rd paring defenseman but now he(Brisebois) will have Roman Hamrlik as his partner? Yes the same Hamrlik who was playing along Phaneuf last year , shounld't the habs let a youngster(O'Byrne) play along elite D-Man like Hamrlik so they grow into future Markov and Komisarek not Asses like Briseby!

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