Friday, November 28, 2008

Mr D'Agostini sits in Washington

If the lines from the morning skate, as reported by La Presse's François Gagnon, are maintained tonight then Matt D'Agostini will not be dressed against the Washington Capitals.

Gagnon reports the lines will be as follows:

A. Kostitsyn – Plekanec – Kovalev
Latendresse – Lang – S. Kostitsyn
Bégin – Lapierre – Dandenault

Markov – Gorges
Hamrlik – O’Byrne
Bouillon – Brisebois

Halak in nets

I have trouble understanding why D'Agostini would not be given a shot on Koivu's right side. Kostopoulos actually played pretty well there against Detroit, but he is not blessed with great hands, nor is Christopher Higgins. D'Agostini appears to be a guy cut from the same mold as Michael Ryder - has a quick, heavy shot but playing without the puck is not his specialty. A spot on the same line as Higgins - who excels without the puck - seems like a natural fit, and getting his feet wet in the low-pressure environment of Washington seemed like a perfect opportunity to see what D'Agostini can offer.

While I'm a bit perplexed with Guy Carbonneau's decision on this, starting Jaroslav Halak in nets doesn't seem to me to be such a ridiculous idea. There are some who would say playing him against Atlanta on Tuesday makes far more sense, but Halak had to play one of these back-to-back games, and why not get him in there while the Habs are playing well defensively, and on the road? Carbo would never admit this, but he does his best to make sure his No. 1 guy is tending goal at the Bell Centre for those demanding fans.


Anvilcloud said...

I am concerned about Halak`s lack of play. It created a bit of a problem in the playoffs last year.

It must be disappointing for Dag. I hope they get him in soon and give him a real chance (unlike last year).

Sliver24 said...

I'm disappointed that we won't get a chance to see D'Agostini on the top (2nd?) trio but I have trouble finding fault with putting Kostopoulos there.

You're certainly right in saying his hands leave something to be desired, but our top three lines are littered with guys that have magic hands. Most of them have been playing like they're a little short in what Kostopoulos has a ton of - heart.

Players like Kostopoulos are relied upon by coaches to generate some momentum for their team. Maybe having him on the ice for 20 minutes will bring the spark that's needed to get everyone moving like they can.

Off the top of my head I can't remember how Carbonneau likes to match up against Ovechkin. In this case maybe he'll try to keep Koivu's line out there and give Kostopoulos the task of shadowing number eight. If anyone on the Habs can keep up with AO in speed and determination (if not skill, obviously) it's Kostopolous.

One thing's for sure; he'll be going full blast for every shift no matter how much he plays or who he's on the ice with. Here's hoping that he does play the entire game on that line because if he ends the game on the same line as Koivu and Higgins it will mean the Habs are ahead on the scoreboard.

In the end, that's all that matters.

Arjun said...

I am almost certain that D'Agostini will be a regular before Valentine's Day. I don't know why I chose Valentine's Day. Perhaps I should have said your birthday. But that's not a spot on all calendars. D'Agostini. By Feb 14. Which means there's going to be either injuries or trades or both.