Monday, April 6, 2009

Season Over

Well it is official. Montreal's dominating win over the Toronto Maple Leafs appears to have been the most costly game of the season with both Markov and Schneider out for long periods of time.

Schneider, who has brought life back to the powerplay is out for the season after a shoulder injury. I believe it was caused in the first period by a hard hit from Brad May behind the Canadien's net. Markov was injured by the hit from the pain in the ass Garbovski who is already hated by the entire team and now will be hated even more. Markov has injured his knee and is expected to be out for 3 weeks.

Markov will be impossible to replace so the team needs to come together and buy into a team defence strategy and Price will have to come up with some unbelievable goal tending.

It is possible that Markov will be back for the second round of the playoffs, if we were to make it that far.

That top line of Kovalev, Koivu, and Tanguay will need to be on fire and maybe the habs should bring up a guy like Weber who should be able to play quarterback for the Canadiens.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Habs Looking Great

Well, what can I say. I have been embarrased to write anything lately because we were on such a terrible stretch that there was nothing nice to say at all about the Canadiens. Fortunately, they seem to be coming out of the slump and getting into a grove at the optimal time in the season.

With a few games left in the season, it is looking very promissing that they will be playing in the post season again this year and hopefully they do not end up with New Jersey as their opponent. I would prefer the Bruins or the Capitals, just not the Devils.

When Gainey put Kovalev, Tanguay and Koviu together, a spark seemed to turn into a flame and the team just put it in high gear. The best thing about it was that it was the entire team who picked it up. Komisarek was having trouble earlier and seems to have gotten out of his funk. Schenider started being smarter and Markov stepped it up a notch as well. And of course, the most important piece is the goal tending and that seems to be improving as well. I expect Price to be healthy for Monday nights game in which we almost lock up the playoff birth.

What can I say about Kovalev? Well, when Kovalev is hot, he is hot. He scored last night against the Leafs, on the power play, the same way he scored on the powerplay last year. I don't know about the rest of you, but when Kovalev is out of the linup, the offence is horrific. I know some will disagree, but I am really hoping they sign him for next year as he is a piece of the puzzle that will be very difficult to replace.

But don't forget, there are still many who believe a trade is already in place to bring in big Vinny Lecavalier from Tampa before the no trade clause kicks in. I am not keeping my fingers crossed, but, who knows, we will have to wait and see.

I have so much to say right now that I will have to post more later today or tomorrow. This is the best time of year!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I Have Tickets for Saturday Night

Well, I will be off to Montreal tomorrow afternoon because I have tickets for Saturday night against the New Jersey Devils. It should be good to see Brodeur, I don't know if he is scheduled to break any records if he wins or gets a shut out but I hope the Habs blow him out of the water.

So far I like what I see with Gainey behind the bench. The team is playing harder and they are finishing their checks every time. By the sounds of it, Carbo had trouble communicating properly with the players which could have played a role in the teams lack of motivation and ultimately, the players giving up on the coach.

The potential is there for the Canadiens and when I turn the games on I feel that they are going to play well, I don't get that feeling I had earlier where it seemed like they might not score any goals!

Totally pumped for the U2 music pumping through the speakers at the game and the cheer of the crowd when we score.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

And the Next Coach Is...

So, we all know that it is highly unlikely that Bob Gainey will be coaching the team come next September as he said out right that he was temporarily coaching on an interim basis. That leads us to wonder, who will coach the Canadiens next season.

Some of the names I have heard are Patrick Roy, Larry Robinson, the coach of the Bulldogs, Bob Hartley, and why not, Pat Quinn.

Ha, all of those guys have their merits. Patrick Roy is basically a God when it comes to the Canadiens, not to mention he is a fiery guy and is French Canadien. Larry Robinson, also known as Big Bird, is another one of Gainey's friends from the glory days in the 80's. Bob Hartley has had some decent success at the NHL level and his teams tend to play with an edge. And what about Pat Quinn, he loves pressure, he has lots of experience, is burning to coach again, and most importantly has won at just about every level except he is still missing a Stanley Cup ring. Do I think Pat will end up in Montreal, absolutely not, however, his name has been mentioned.

I would expect that Gainey will move pretty quickly in the off season to secure a coach as there could be a number of teams looking for a coach and with so many people left to sign at the end of the year, it would be helpful to have a coach's input.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Carbonneau Fired!!!!!!!!!!

It is official, Guy Carbonneau has been fired by the Montreal Canadiens and Bob Gainey will be taking control of the coaching duties.

There are a number of theories as to why the firing happened but my guess is that it will never be public knowledge. Some of the rumours stem from the Kovalev situation, the Price situation, and the idea that Gainey needs to make the playoffs or might find himself out of a job in the summer.

I think this move is a shocker and I did like Carbo. However, as I have mentioned before, I did not like the way he managed ice time for players, especially because he had trouble changing his game plan when they were down by a goal with minutes left or something similar to that. Gainey and Carbo were friends and Gainey said earlier this year that the best thing he did as a GM was hire Carbo. Is it possible that something like Kovalev drove a spike between the two and things became too severe to proceed? I do not know. However, I do know that the offence has struggled for most of the year and hopefully this will really get the boys moving and scoring goals. After all, last year they were the highest scoring team in the NHL last year.

One of the issues was possibly that Carey Price was not playing up to his potential and Carbonneau was unable to get him going. There is no question that Price has struggled. Does Price need a different coach to get him going. What about a coach like Patrick Roy? Is Gainey considering St. Patrick as a potential coach? That would be pretty wild, Patrick Roy is my favorite player of all time.

I don't know what to say right now about this decision because I really liked Carbonneau. But as always, I have faith in Bob Gainey so we are going to have to hope that this is a good move.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Habs Show Signs of Life in Dallas

The third period is halfway over in Dallas and Montreal is getting chances. This game is exciting, Tanguay, Koivu, and Andrei Kostitsyn are clicking well and Kovalev shot the puck (and scored).

The team is playing good defence and they are actually playing a tough but smart game. They are not backing down but not doing anything stupid to end up in the box.

I guess being on the bubble to make the playoffs is starting to sink in and hopefully the team can finish the game strong and build from this.

Only time will tell but hopefully in the next 20 minutes we are celebrating a victory.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Habs Lose a Snoozer

Montreal's game last night against the Atlanta Thrashers was a boring game to watch and left me with a bad feeling that Montreal can't seem to score goals.

It was nice to see Tanguay back in the line up and he was banging away showing no signs of hesitation which is important after coming back from an injury. He passed the puck very well and made the line with Higgins and Koivu much stronger.

Price was the bright spot on a dismal game because he came up big time after time and kept the game close from beginning to end. The offence really let Price down.

It was nice to see some toughness finally from a team that has always been considered soft and that they tend not to stick up for each other, like when Kovalev got rocked in Buffalo. Ryan O'Byrne laid the beats down on some poor thrasher.

Lets hope the Habs find their offence or else it is going to be a struggle just to get into the playoffs.