News for Saturday, January 19th

The good news about tonight's game against the Penguins is this: no Sidney Crosby. The bad news? No Sidney Crosby! It's nice for the Habs not to have to face the league's most dangerous player, but at the same time it's always fun to watch him play. The Pens are still a potent team without Crosby, so hopefully his absence doesn't make them cocky. Questions: will Brisebois and Begin be in the line-up?

George Gillett is selling off his interest in Liverpool soccer club. He's been a decent owner for the Habs, so I'm hoping he sticks around here.

The Globe and Mail applauds the CBC for its decision to show the Habs nationally this week, instead of its usual serving of Leaf. The injury to Crosby is unfortunate for them, as it will definitely hurt their ratings, and I can't say I'm sorry for them.

When it comes to French-Canadian players and the Montreal Canadiens, the rumors just will not stop. The Winnipeg Sun says that "Canadiens assistant general manager Pierre Gauthier has been following the Flames like a bad smell", trying to arrange a trade for Alex Tanguay. I continue to feel that Tanguay, a slick, play-making winger, is a bad fit on a team full of exactly that kind of player. What the Habs need is a goal scorer, which, bafflingly, is exactly what they are rumored to be offering in return for Tanguay (Alex Kovalev or Michael Ryder, depending on whom you listen to). Let's hope this never happens. Spector of Fox Sports, dismisses the idea as "more fantasy than fact", for what that's worth.

La Presse heaps praise on Andrei Kostitsyn, who is certainly deserving. Since Christmas he's been the Canadiens most consistent scorer, and has earned the confidence of Guy Carbonneau. The article notes that Kostitsyn's emergence has coincided with the call-up of his brother, Sergei, who - while not putting up the kind of points his brother has - has played excellent hockey and has many fans excited over his future.

Also in La Presse, Cristobal Huet's rare shoot-out victory is lauded. Huet absolutely blew the play that led to Atlanta's tying goal; it was one of the worst give-aways I've ever seen, especially in the context of its leading directly to a late, game-tying goal. It looked like a choke, and when it went to a shoot-out, I don't think there was a Hab fan alive who thought the Habs were going to take it. We were surprised, but his teammates, it seems, were not. "We never doubted Cristobal," the article quotes Mike Komisarek. Haha, yeah right! Even his mother was doubting him on that one.

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