Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Desperate times call for crazy measures?

Well, as promised, Guy Carbonneau inserted Patrice Brisebois and Mathieu Dandenault into the lineup for tonight's game against the Edmonton Oilers.

That was to be expected, as Carbonneau pointed out, when the team was playing so poorly. Except that instead of two defencemen getting the axe tonight, it's Steve B├ęgin and Sergei Kostitsyn who will sit out while Dandenault and Josh Gorges play up front.

Here are the lines for tonight's game courtesy of Habs Inside/Out.

Pretty wild, wacky stuff, huh?

I really don't know where to start, other than to say it's clear that Carbonneau wants to send a message that the team's defence has been sub par, which is obviously the case. But dressing eight defencemen? Having Gorges play up front and leaving a struggling Francis Bouillon in the lineup? Has the man gone completely batty?

First of all, pairing Bouillon with Ryan O'Byrne is no way to welcome Carey Price back to the net, especially when his confidence is an early goal away from being shattered. Though O'Byrne has been better since his re-call from Hamilton, he's still not what you would call a rock on defence. And Bouillon, like Gorges, is playing like a guy who could use a rest. Though that wasn't an option while Brisebois and Dandenault were out of the lineup, it definitely is now.

I don't really know what Maxim Lapierre has done to deserve having Georges Laraque and Gorges as linemates, but with the way Lapierre's been playing this season, watch for Gorges to get a hat trick tonight.

Finally, the one move I kind of agree with is moving Christopher Higgins to centre, though I wouldn't have necessarily tried it tonight. If Bob Gainey is unable to land a centre to replace Robert Lang, then Higgins is an option to play the middle, something he did throughout college and in last year's playoffs while Saku Koivu was out of action. He wasn't particularly effective in that role in the playoffs, but he was far from being a disaster.

If Higgins is going to be a Plan B to replace Lang, then you need to find out if he can handle the job sooner rather than later. I'm just not sure it needed to happen this soon.

I guess we'll see tonight.

I won't be posing after the game tonight because I'll be doing my radio show, Hump Night, on the Team 990. You can listen live as of 11 p.m. at Enjoy the game everyone.

1 comment:

Sliver24 said...

Yikes! It's almost like Guy chose his defence pairings and then pulled the forwards out of a hat.

I agree that Bouillon / O'Byrne is a strange pairing. Maybe Guy is trying to kick start Frankie's game but putting him in the role of experienced veteran and insisting he play a simple game.

Then again, maybe he's just been hitting the crack pipe again.

The real good news is that, despite the fact Guy's using two d-men as forwards, he hasn't yet been reduced to using forwards on D.

The second that happens I'm officially giving the Habs up and becoming a fan of the Brazilian soccer team.