Random Thoughts……From a Random Guy.



    You have to believe!!, You have to believe, Canadiens fan!!! The 2007-08 edition of the Habs are the real deal and are turning some heads in the NHL (Ottawa Senators don’t look over your shoulder as you might get hit in the chin by the CH flying by you).

    Those so-called hockey pundits ( Hello P.J. Stock ) who were calling for Bob Gainey’s head approximately 3-4 weeks ago have to start eating crow and realize the great job that Gainey and his hockey operations staff (especially Trevor Timmins) have done to build this team into a real playoff threat. I know it’s still early and a lot of things can happen between now and the end of the season (ie- injuries, prolonged slump,….) but I’d be shocked if the Habs missed the playoffs the way they’ve playing since the Christmas break (11-2-3 record).

    The Habs were full value again today against the New York Islanders, playing a solid two way game with Cristobal Huet having another steady game in goal. Here are some random thoughts about today’s game and various other NHL news:

    Huet Is a Stand-Up Guy!!!

    Has anybody noticed how much better Cristobal Huet has played since he has made a conserted effort to not go to his knee when even a hint of a shot is directed his way. He made a nice save against Ruslan Fedotenko in the first period which in the past would have been a goal in the top corner had he dropped to his knees, instead the shot hit him in the shoulder. I also liked seeing Huet’s baseball slide to break up Islanders forward Josef Vasicek’s breakaway……for once his wandering did some good but huet is no Rodney Scott!!!

    Begin And Kostopoulos In The Press Box?

    I think Guy Carbonneau is doing a fantastic job coaching the Canadiens and will be in the running for the Jack Adams award (coach of the year) after the season is done. With that being said, you have to scratch your head when he decided to sit Steve Begin and Tom Kostopoulos while inserting Patrice “nothing left in the tank” Brisebois and Mathieu “I’m not happy” Dandenault into the lineup. Begin and Kostopoulos have been playing excellent hockey the last few games on a line with Bryan Smolinski. I realize Begin was a -3 and Kostopoulos was a -2 against the Capitals on Thursday night. Carbo has also stated that he doesn’t like players not seeing the ice for extended periods of time but one mediocre game and your butt is nailed to the press gallery box…..seems a little severe if you ask me. By the way, Smolinski and Komisarek were both -2 on that night so Begin and Kostopoulos weren’t the only players having a rough night against Alexander the great.

    Higgy Almost Knocked Out Silly

    Like most Habs fans, I thought Christopher Higgins was going to join Patrice Bergeron in the hitting from behind/concussion epidemic NHL club. NHL players have to start understanding that when a player is facing the boards in a vunerable position, they should hold up the player without exploding into him. I know this is taught throughout minor hockey systems including the one in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan where Blake Comeau grew up and probable played his hockey. Thank god Chris Higgins wasn’t badly hurt!!

    Dynamic Duo: Batman and Robin?……No, AK-27 and Pleck!!!

    The KPK line continues to impress the hockey world with their amazing chemistry, skill set and versatility. It’s hard to believe that only last season, Tomas Plekanec and Alex Kovalev were having problems reading each others tendencies on the ice (maybe they couldn’t see each other with Samsonov in the way). Well, how times have changed since then with Plekanec and Kovalev playing beautifully together. Add in another offensively gifted player by the name of Andrei Kostitsyn and you have one of the hottest/best lines in the NHL. It’s debatable as far as the present NHL season is concerned but I can’t think of a Montreal Canadiens line within the last 20-25 years who have played so well as a forward unit. The Shutt/Lemaire/Lafleur line could be the last dominant Habs line but we won’t make that comparison, it wouldn’t be fair to the KPK line. What I do know is that like all Habs fans, I’m thoroughly enjoying every moment they’re on the ice together whether they’re on the powerplay, penalty kill or 5 on 5 situations, it’s fun to watch.

    Trade Deadline Dud???

    I’m hoping like many hockey fans that the next few weeks leading up to the Febuary 26th trade deadline will be more interesting than last season. I always try to take off a day from work to cover and analysis all the trade deadline transactions and it won’t be any different this year (I’ll be following all the action so make sure to check All Habs throughout the day on Febuary 26th). Unfortunately, I have wasted these days off the past two years because the trade deadline day has been a disappointments as far as the number of trades made, the Canadiens lack of action on the day and/or the lack of big names being dealt throughout the NHL. I’m hoping this year will be different but I have my reservations as there will probably be more buyers than sellers this year with so many teams still in the playoff hunt. We can thank league parity for this situation as 8 points are separating the #5 and #12 positions in the Eastern Conference while there is only a 6 point deficit in the Western Conference between #5 and #12 spots. Anyhow, I’ll be here logging all the trades and putting my two cents into the whole day, for what it’s worth!!!

    Let’s Make a Deal, Bob!!

    I really hope Bob Gainey can make some moves to improve the team’s roster but at the same time I wouldn’t like to see him trade away too much of the Canadiens future. The Canadiens success this season is largely due to the play and quick development of their young players, it would be ashamed if some of these players were traded away. Canadiens Fans and team management have been witness to a remarkable transformation from the veteran players carrying the team in the past years to a team that is depending on its young player to carry the responsibility and they’re doing it with tremendous success (Leaf fans wish they had the same situation!!!). You can see how things are starting to come together so it would be ashamed to tamper with a good thing.

    Bob Gainey Is No Fool Or Should I Say He’s No Rejean Houle!!!

    Bob Gainey is a smart and very patience GM so I would be shocked if he traded away any highly touted prospect from the organization unless he was blown away with a can’t miss deal which is highly improbable. Gainey has some options at his disposal with some limitations such as UFA Michael Ryder poor play, Cristobal Huet excellent play combined with Carey Price’s struggles and Bryan Smolinski’s no-trade clause. Gainey does have a wealth of prospects (not named Price and Kostitsyn) that can be dangled in a trade combo with a roster player and /or draft picks to add another playoff experienced veteran(s) to an already solid lineup. The Canadiens need to add and not subtract substantially from the roster…..it’s call “tinkering” with the roster.