Habs For Breakfast - March 28, 2008

Tons of good reads this day among the 13 links below, starting with Lions In Winter's comparison of the Habs through different stages this season. Beginning with the moment when Sergei Kostitsyn was called up, statistics wise, the Habs measure up well against the Detroit Red Wings. No mean feat!

The Globe Sports piece on Carbonneau through the eyes of Ken Hitchcock is quite revealing, as is the Edmonton Journal's take on what's going on with the Habs.

For the french and bilingual readers, check out what Beliveau thinks of retiring Roy's jersey and take a look at Francis Bouillon's long hard road to the NHL - it makes one really appreciate his efforts.

The Beliveau piece may get the translation treatment later in the day here. Enjoy.

The SK 74 Era: Habs Stats Since December - Lions In Winter

"With SK74 era as the defining moment when the Canadiens turned to offense (that's my allegation now), we observe that they remained consistent at the back, but did not see remarkable improvement. I suspect that this will be the continuing trend as the GM looks at the upcoming assets and considers how offense can win games after all. In other words, I don't expect a reversion to 8 D, nor a push for the Jennings trophy anytime too soon." - Topham

Kostopoulos Has A Shine On For Playoffs - Gazette

"For five seasons, through more than 230 National Hockey League games, April has always followed a familiar pattern for Tom Kostopoulos - go home and watch the playoffs on television." - Herb Zurkowsky

Habs Blend Of Veteran's, Youth Confounds NHL Pundits - Gazette

"I understand the media and fans when they said we weren't going to be a playoff contender because of what happened last season ... the injuries and sickness," Carbonneau said later in the day, during an NHL-imposed conference call. "But I knew at training camp, with our additions, we were going to be a better team."

No Longer The Fall Guy - Globe Sports

"Carbonneau learned from the greats when he played in Montreal, Hitchcock said; learned how to compete and how to shoulder the weight of expectations. He also learned how to play the game in various roles, as a scoring centreman, then defensive specialist, then veteran leader." - Allen Maki

The Kovalev Redemption - Montreal Canadiens.com

"Talking to Alex, he made the most of his long summer and watched old footage of himself when he was younger to see what he used to do and to rediscover how much he loved playing the game," explained Carbonneau. "I think it was really important to him to have a strong start to the season to prove all the work he put in had paid off."

Carbonneau Brings Winning Style - Edmonton Journal

"It's definitely going to be different," allowed the Montreal Canadiens coach, who played 231 playoff games, just behind Patrick Roy (247), Chris Chelios (246), Mark Messier (236) and Claude Lemieux and Scott Stevens (233). As a player, I prepared myself for a long series knowing you were allowed to lose the first game but you weren't allowed to lose the last. I don't think that's going to change as a coach." - Jim Matheson

x - Montreal Canadiens * - The H Does Not Stand For Habs

"Now that the Canadiens have earned their "x" for clinching a playoff spot, AND proudly wear the asterik as Northeast Division leaders in the NHL standings, we fans can stop worrying about if there'll be hockey in April. Instead, our attention can now be focussed on important things like potential dance partners and signs and omens." - J.T.

Habs Balanced Attack A Key To Success - TSN

"We have a lot of guys back from last year and there's better chemistry, a better understanding of where to be on the ice," coach Guy Carbonneau said Thursday. "Our offence was good last year, but we have better defence, so there's more balance."

Retrait du chandail de Roy: Jean Béliveau indécis - La Presse

"Mais même M. Béliveau, qui a longtemps siégé au comité responsable des retraits de chandails chez le Canadien, ne sait pas comment aborder la candidature de Patrick Roy à cet honneur. "Honnêtement, je ne sais pas ce que je ferais", a-t-il admis, hier, lorsque nous l'avons joint. "Est-ce qu'il faut séparer les exploits sur la glace de la vie courante? Faudrait-il attendre avant de retirer son chandail? Ce sont certainement des questions que le comité devra se poser." - Marc Antoine Godin

CH: Une puissance offensive qui s'ignorait - la Presse

"Guy Carbonneau a passé l'année à dire que son équipe n'avait pas la force de frappe des Sénateurs d'Ottawa. Mais il ne reste que cinq matchs à jouer et le Canadien, avant les matchs d'hier, était deuxième de la ligue avec 244 buts marqués!" - Marc Antoine Godin

"On a le contrôle de notre destinée": Carbo - Le Journal

"Si on remporte nos cinq derniers matchs, l'équipe sera assurée de terminer au premier rang. Bien sûr, ça nous ferait un petit velours d'éliminer les Sabres et les Maple Leafs, ce week-end, a-t-il ajouté. Ce n'est toutefois pas notre motivation principale." - Pierre Durocher

"C'est un gros avantage": Higgins - Le Journal

"C'est la preuve que nous avons une attaque bien équilibrée et diversifiée", a raconté Higgins. "Kovalev a été un joueur dominant et les frères Kostitsyn jouent très bien. Mais la clé, c'est que tout le monde contribue."

Bouillon: "Si ça pouvait durer..." - Le Journal

"Hartley s'exprime souvent dans un langage direct et coloré. Bouillon l'a appris à cette occasion. "Si tu continues à jouer de cette façon, tu seras le plus petit défenseur de la Ligue de hockey junior majeur du Québec", lui avait-il lancé. ouillon est sorti du bureau abasourdi. Il avait gagné un poste. "J'avais les larmes aux yeux, avoue-t-il. J'ai ouvert mon sac et j'en ai ressorti mon équipement. Puis, j'ai appelé ma mère et mes amis. C'était un moment merveilleux." - Bertrand Raymond

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