Canadiens Plekanec doubtful with flu, Grabovski will replace him


    Winger Christopher Higgins said the team was willing to give Grabovski the benefit of the doubt – this time.
    “I don’t think he knew how things work over here,” he said of the rookie from Belarus. “Maybe it’s different from back home where maybe they do that more frequently – show they’re angry and frustrated.
    “Obviously, we aren’t happy with his decision, but not that he’s playing again. He’s a good player. He’s good to step-in for Tomas because he’s a good offensive guy, but it’s not something we take lightly – that he missed our flight and chose not to be with the team. Obviously, guys weren’t too thrilled with that.”

    I love Christopher Higgin’s straight forwardness and leadership………..he says it like it is and speaks his mind regardless if it ruffles other player’s feathers……..right Mr. Grabovski!!!!
    Hopefully, this is a huge lesson learned by a player who should know better……….Gainey will “deal” with Mikhail Grabovski after the season is done!!!!


    1. Firstly, Habster, I agree with you. I, too, love Higgin’s leadership and his ability to be direct with his teammates and the media. In my opinion, either Chris Higgins or Mike Komisarek will be the next captain of the Montreal Canadiens.

      As far as Grabovski, I think we are seeing him from different perspectives. I truly feel that fans and the media have had a short fuse where Grabowski is concerned yet have seemingly unending patience for players who are really underperforming on this team. In plain language, Latendresse has been terrible all season. According to McGuire he is slow, soft and a defensive liability. Another player, Lapierre, has at times shown energy and good forechecking but battles with bouts of inconsistency with a lack of grit and difficulty in the faceoff circle. Yet both of these players have escaped the press box and trips to Hamilton all year. Therefore, I can understand Grabovski’s annoyance when scratched in Phoenix after biding his time silently with the Bulldogs for most of the season.

      Why is it that we can’t excuse Grabovski one temper tantrum? Mikhail has exceptional speed, good hands, is very creative and is defensively responsible. I have also watched him pushed defenses, and drawn defenders and penalties. Apart from being terrible on faceoffs (and he wasn’t alone) Grabovski was terrific in Anaheim. He replaced Plekanec on the top line and didn’t look out of place. If you saw him on Sunday night, I think you have your answer as far as how he can perform with decent linemates.

      Grabovski has exceptional talent. Perhaps we should be asking how his development is being hampered by not giving him the opportunities that have been afforded to other players with less ability and effort.

      A caveat: if Grabovski’s temper tantrum’s continue, I will be the first to criticize him. Until then, I think that Gainey and Carbonneau can ‘deal’ with Mikhail by offering him opportunities to shine. Kovalev and Markov could also really help Grabovski to deal with his off-ice emotions and his adjustment to the NHL.

      A final note: Thanks Habster for providing an excellent forum where two passionate and (hopefully) knowledgeable Canadien’s fans can debate issues even with differing views. This doesn’t exist on the early afternoon airwaves which unexplicably is hosted by a guy who is ignorant about hockey (and most other topics).

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