Tag Archives: Tom Kostopoulos

Great Night….Except….

So many great things. And just one bad one. But that one bad one might be plenty. 

A 7-2 demolishing by the Canadiens is one of those things Habs fans don’t see very often from the boys. I don’t know what got into them and I hope they didn’t decide to do steroids or something. Regardless, they flattened the Carolina Hurricanes in a big way and we have to be happy about this.

It’s good to see a real good spanking from our guys every now and again. And tonight it was one of those, as guys throughout the lineup garnered points and it seems slumps are being broken out of in dynamic fashion.

But Andrei Markov may be seriously hurt again, and it’s like throwing a wet blanket over a hot fire.

Markov got tangled up with Eric Staal and crashed into the boards, and it looks to be a leg or knee problem, which of course is possibly the worst thing that could happen aside from Tomas Plekanec or PK Subban or Carey Price going down. (Price, by the way, made a beautiful stop tonight that you can see in all its glory below). 

When Markov slammed his fist into the boards with frustration, my heart sank.

But we’ve learned to live without Markov before and we’ll do it again. Is it too late to keep our fingers crossed?

Habs point-getting was all over the map on this night, and take away the Markov incident, this became a time to celebrate. Tomas Plekanec, quiet lately, had a goal and three assists. Andrei Kostitsyn, also less than sparkling in his last few games, tallied a goal and an assist, as did Mike Cammalleri, who is another one who could’ve started the season with more of a bang.

Benoit Pouliot continues to prove me wrong. Brian Gionta is starting to roll. Mathieu Darche from the legendary PhD line chipped in, and Maxim Lapierre scored a dazzler that deserves sports hilites for days to come. Lapierre raced in, did a Savardian Spinnerama and in the net it went, and Lapierre’s smile could be seen from miles around.

Scott Gomez added a couple of assists, and Jaroslav Spacek, Travis Moen, and Roman Hamrlil also had helpers.

So you can see it was all hands on deck on this night and it’s not too far-fetched to say things are coming together in many ways.

How I would like to gush and throw adjectives all over the place on a night when Montreal onloads on the opposition. But I can’t. Not seeing Andrei Markov go down like that.

Yes, it’s great that we won and tremendous that we won in a big way. But now it’s a waiting game about Markov and I’m worried.

Random Notes:

Good old Tom Kostopoulos scored Carolina’s second goal, which briefly tied the game before the flood gates opened. If somebody from the enemy’s going to score, it might as well be Kostopoulos, a good ex-Hab.

Shots on goal – 33-30 Habs.

Next up – Tuesday when Philadelphia shows up.

Lapierre’s Savardian spinnerama goal wasn’t the only Montreal hilight play tonight. Carey Price made this stop that had everyone oohing and awing.

How Are Some Of The Ex’s Doing?

Jaroslav Halak, as we all know, is playing extremely well in St. Louis with a meagre 1.71 GAA, two shutouts, and a record of 6 wins, 1 loss, and 1 overtime loss. 

And how are some of the other ex-Habs doing in their NHL careers?

In Anaheim, Saku Koivu has 2 goals and 2 assists, Kyle Chipchura 0-0, and Paul Mara 0-0.

Michael Ryder in Boston has 2 goals and 3 assists.

In Calgary, Alex Tanguay sits at 4-4.

Tom Kostopoulos in Carolina is 1-1 and Sergei Samsonov is 2-0.

Dallas’ Mike Ribiero is 0-9.

Chris Higgins in Florida is 1-1.

In Minnesota, Guillaume Latendresse has notched 3-3.

Sergei Kostitsyn is 1-0 in Nashville and his teammate Francis Bouillon is 0-2.

The Senators’ Alex Kovalev has 3 goals and 2 assists so far.

Dominic Moore with Tampa Bay is 4-1.

And in Toronto, Mike Komisarek is 1-3 and Mikhail Grabovski 0-4.

Halpern Brings Experience And Hopefully More

He’s 34 with a one-year contract with a brand new team.  He’s Jeff Halpern, now a Montreal Canadien via, LA, Tampa Bay, Dallas and Washington, and the team has just gotten a little bit grittier and a little bit deeper.

Take away Dominik Moore and Glen Metropolit, and add Jeff Halpern.

Halpern has racked up 131 goals and 185 assists in 720 NHL games. And no, these aren’t numbers to make anyone’s head swoon and recall Steve Shutt. But Halpern adds depth and grit and experience, and these three important intangibles are welcomed on any team. I’m guessing he’s great in the dressing room and on the bench, and there is much to be said for that.

This addition is good, I’m sure. Well, sort of sure.  Not really sure. It certainly isn’t earth shattering.

But there’s nothing I like better than gritty players. Remember Tom Kostopoulos?

This is also the power of positive thinking hard at work.

Halpern’s wikipedia info is a click away

Surprising Reaction To The Latendresse Trade

It seems there’s more fans than I thought who feel moving Guillaume Latendresse was another bad Bob Gainey decision and should never have happened.

I don’t know why. Are we patient babysitters or do we need this team to win?

The team is struggling with offence. It’s a rarity when someone other than Plekanec, Cammalleri, or Gionta light it up. It was expected of Latendresse, along with several others such as Max Lapierre and Max Pacioretty, to do their share in this department. But Latendresse talled two goals and one assist in 23 games, which in my book, are underachieving numbers for a guy who’s supposed to be an achiever.

Yes, he’s only 22 years old and probably hasn’t reached full potential yet. But what if he has? Can the organization afford to wait around and be patient when they’re sitting far down the standings and need to make some kind of small move up the ladder right now? And at 22 years old, a player should be a textbook case of energy, something I didn’t see much of at all from him. I often saw a player going throught the motions out there, like he had the job won.

Latendresse wasn’t helping the team win at all. Cammalleri, Gionta and Plekanec have been. So has Travis Moen and Roman Hamrlik and several others. But at what point in this season did we say after a game, “Wow, Latendresse was great tonight.” Was there a time?

He may or may not have a good NHL career, it remains to be seen. At this time, it doesn’t look like it to me. The average career in this league is about five years, and only those who produce and get the job done in one way or another last longer than that. He’s a player expected to provide offence and hasn’t provided this.

If I look back at players who have left Montreal, I think right off the bat to Steve Begin and Tom Kostopoulos. These were guys who left it all on the ice, who played every game like it could be their last, and I was sad to see them go.

In Latendresse’s case, I feel much differently.

He wasn’t helping the Habs, he was invisible on many nights, and so it was time.

Good luck in the future to Guillaume Latendreese with whatever team he ends up with. May he have a long career. It’s just too bad he couldn’t do the job in Montreal.

2003-04 Drummondville Voltigeurs QMJHL 53 24 25 49 66          
2004-05 Drummondville Voltigeurs QMJHL 65 29 49 78 76 6 6 4 10 7
2005-06 Drummondville Voltigeurs QMJHL 51 43 40 83 105 5 3 2 5 8
2006-07 Montreal Canadiens NHL 80 16 13 29 47          
2007-08 Montreal Canadiens NHL 73 16 11 27 41 8 0 1 1 19
2008-09 Montreal Canadiens NHL 56 14 12 26 45 4 0 0 0 12
2009-10 Montreal Canadiens* NHL 23 2 1 3 4          
2009-10 Minnesota Wild NHL Statistics Unavailable          
  NHL Totals   232 48 37 85 137 12 0 1 1 31

Bob Gainey Tosses Money Bags At Tomas Plekanec?

Tomas Plekanec avoided arbitration by signing with the Canadiens for $2.75 million dollars for one year.  And he’s a lucky lad. Because if he would’ve went to arbitration, the arbitrator might have told him he was worth about two million less than he signed for.

Plekanec had all of 39 points last season which is completely unacceptable for an offensive forward whose job it is to be an offensive forward. Thirty-nine points isn’t being offensive. It’s offensive that he wasn’t offensive. Plekanec was one of the reasons the Canadiens did well two seasons ago, and was a big reason they stunk like a duffel bag full of my old hockey gear last season. 

Now this huge under-achiever signs for almost three million dollars. What a great job it must be being a hockey player. You can accomplish almost nothing and make millions. And you can get a million dollar raise for absolutely no reason, like Plekanec has just done.

I wish he would’ve gone to arbitration. It’s there they hear all the painful truths. It’s there players are told what the coach and management really thinks of them as hockey players. It’s not an experience for the weak-hearted or emotionally fragile. But Plekanec avoids all this torture, and Bob Gainey gives him a wheelbarrow full of money instead.

Either they trade Plekanec, or he’d better shape up and put more points on the board than a measly thirty-nine. This will be another in a long line of wait-and-sees for this team. Canadiens fans have no time for overpaid floaters who accomplish almost nothing for a team which desperately needs all hands on deck at all times. If he has another season like the last, Plekanec will have robbed the Canadiens in broad daylight.

At least Tom Kostopoulos, a player not expected to rack up points, got his nose dirty. And he had only eight points less than Plekanec last year.

All The Best For Tom Kostopoulos

One of my favourite Habs is a Hab no longer. Tom Kostopoulos has signed a three-year deal with the Carolina Hurricanes. Hopefully he’ll be better appreciated in Carolina.

Kostopoulos was never a star, and will never be a star, but he’s as important as most any other on a team. He fights bigger men, he’s the definitive team player, he works harder than hard, he digs deep in the corners where bigger stars refuse to go. He’s just not an impact player, far from it, and at the moment, Montreal needs impact players.

Last year on the Quebec TV show 100%, Michel Beaudry, to the chuckles around him from Michel Bergeron and Jean Perron, called him Kostfuckupolos because Beaudry thought the team should be playing Steve Begin more.  Beaudry was fired for this, but that’s the sort of thing Kostopoulos had to put up with from certain brutal media types in Montreal.

This is a guy who earns his money and gets no respect, except from a couple of important ones – his teammates and many fans. I hope he does fantastic down south. Carolina’s lucky to have him.

Some Habs Fans Are An Embarrassment

An old friend of mine, JW, was at the Habs-Senators game in Ottawa Saturday night, and he wrote in the comments that some fans from Montreal who came up to Ottawa on the charters wouldn’t stand or take their hats off for the national anthem.

 Is this one of the reasons why there’s so many Habs haters out there? How can you not have the common decently to stand while O Canada is being played? Oh, you don’t like Canada, you say, and would prefer to not be a part of it? Then don’t come to Ontario, where most people like Canada? If you were at a bullfight in Spain, would you not stand for the Spanish anthem? Or ‘God Save The Queen’ at a Manchester United match?

 You’re a fan of Josh Gorges, and he’s from Kelowna. Tom Kostopoulos is a Mississauga boy. Matt D’Agostini, who I’m sure you cheered like crazy for when he scored, is from Sault Ste. Marie.

 We’re all in this together as good, decent Habs fans. We’re from everywhere. Please leave the politics out of it. Show some respect for the anthem. Try to be mature. Is it that hard to stand and take your hat off?

Latendresse Continues His Fine Play As He And His Team Bonk The Preds

It wasn’t exactly a barnburner, this 3-2 win by the Canadiens over the visitng Nashville Predators. It was a tight, mostly non-eventful mid-week game in the middle of winter in a time that is often referred to as the dog days. 

 

In fact, the most excitement came in the last minute when the Habs tried a dozen different ways to score on the empty net. To no avail, but it was frenzy-packed.

 

But they got their two points, they didn’t take a lot of silly penalties, and all’s well in the land of Habdom.

 

Guillaume Latendresse, who has proven that he’s a solid, if not a star player who punches in and out and earns his paycheck, opened the scoring for Montreal. He’s come a long way, from the World Juniors when he was basically the 13th forward, throughout his time in the big leagues where he’s struggled, been the subject of trade talks, been a healthy scratch at times, and he’s stuck with it, obviously worked hard, and showed that he belongs as a regular, even though it’s often as a fourth-liner.

 

Latendresse, along with the other grinders Tom Kostopoulos, Steve Begin, and Maxim Lapierre, have all been major cogs and big reasons why the team is rolling.

 

And one little thing about Kostopoulos and Begin. These guys stick up for their teammates, play with an edge, and get into their fair share of scraps where, sadly, they often lose, as Begin tonight did against Jordin Tootoo.

 

But the point is, they get in there and get dirty, bless their hearts. And God bless ice packs.

 

Too bad Geoges Laraque has been such a letdown and injury-ridden. He could be out there pounding heads instead of poor and bruised-up Kostopoulos and Begin. 

 

MAJOR OBSERVATION

 

Radek Bonk was in the lineup for the Preds. This ex-Hab from 2005 to 2007 has the best name as far as I’m concerned. I wouldn’t mind having the name ‘Bonk.’  Dennis Bonk. Maybe Denny Bonk. The Bonker.

Reminds me of the name of a guy I went to high school with. His name was Johnny Coull, and of course with that name he was president of the student council.

 

Imagine having a name like Johnny Coull? How cool is that?

 

The two Andrei’s, Kostitsyn and Markov, rounded out the scoring for Montreal. Alex Kovalev came close. Although you’re right, close doesn’t count.

 

ENEMY WATCH

 

Boston beat the Islanders 2-1. Grrrrr. I don’t even want to go there.

Tampa Bay defeated Philadelphia. Hah!

Warning To All Habs. Be Careful With This Girl, Uh, Guy

Message to Mike Komisarek, Tom Kostopoulos, Frank Bouillion, Sergei Kostitsyn, Georges Laraque (if he plays), and all the Habs.

 

DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, get in a fight tonight with Alexander Semin. You’ll get girly-slapped and have your hair pulled. He may even scratch you with his fingernails. Stay away from her, uh, him.

 

 

I’m Going To Celebrate The 4-0 Win With Some Two Dollar Beer

I know this probably sounds far-fetched, but yesterday as we were walking around the Las Vegas strip, dodging Mexicans handing out flyers for girls available in 20 minutes, I got thinking about the upcoming Ottawa game, and I thought, why can’t the boys put together a solid, 4-0 type game?

 

Then, when we were sitting in O’Shea’s casino, home of the two dollar Miller beer, of which I was drinking several, the scores came on and I saw that the Habs had indeed won 4-0.

 

Now if I can only channel these kinds of thoughts at the slot machines.

 

By all accounts, it was a solid game, the kind that teams use to break out of their doldrums. A much-needed shutout by Carey Price, a much-needed big game and hat trick by Chris Higgins, and just a much-needed win, period.

 

If it’ll help the Habs, maybe I should be in Las Vegas for every game! What do you think?

 

And because I didn’t see this game, I need to know – did Alex Kovalev play well? And were the Senators really flat, or were the Canadiens just great on this night?

 

Imagine if the Habs would’ve lost this game after the ridiculous bullshit in Toronto? But they didn’t. They won big.

 

WOW!

 

OTHER NEWS: I see Tom Kostopoulos has been suspended three games. I’m not going to defend this, but I’ve called for a suspension for Mike Commodore after he went after Andrei Kostitsyn’s head during the recent Columbus game.

The Kostopoulos thing happened during a high-speed ramming into the boards which was careless but can happen. Commodore’s was a vicious and intentional elbow to the head, just after Kostityn had returned from a concussion. I think there’s a big difference, even though Mike Van Ryn was hurt badly.

 

Regardless, it’s not good, it’s never good, and I have no problem with Kostopoulos sitting for three games even though he’s one of my favourite players. 

 

Oh darn, I have to go downstairs and gamble now, and after that head over to the House of Blues for some free music. Oh, and I suppose I have to see some more fine waitresses shuttling about. And then there’s those two dollar beers……

 

To be continued….. we’re here for a few more days.