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Falon 01-07-2005 03:56 PM

Curiosity
 
Jason Labarbera - has absolutely dominated the AHL. This season, on a weak offensive team, as an outsider I will probably be nuked for saying that, but I have to ask. Is he NHL calibre? I mean it sure looks it. He has carreid his team to the point it's at.

Barnaby 01-07-2005 04:02 PM

He could probably be an NHL back-up. He's great in the AHL, but he just doesn't seem that quick in the NHL. He's looked out of place when he's been brought up.

Onion Boy 01-07-2005 04:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Falon
Jason Labarbera - has absolutely dominated the AHL. This season, on a weak offensive team, as an outsider I will probably be nuked for saying that,

You're absolutely right, but the flip-side of that is the Pack are an excellent defensive team, making it easier for LaBarbera and Valiquette to keep their GAA low and earn shutouts. LaBarbera may end up as an NHL back-up or a career AHLer. Soon he'll have to be protected on waivers in which case the Rangers will either let him go and let him back-up in NY.

BDubinskyNYR17* 01-07-2005 04:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sjb3599
You're absolutely right, but the flip-side of that is the Pack are an excellent defensive team, making it easier for LaBarbera and Valiquette to keep their GAA low and earn shutouts. LaBarbera may end up as an NHL back-up or a career AHLer. Soon he'll have to be protected on waivers in which case the Rangers will either let him go and let him back-up in NY.


Yea but the Rangers have been a very bad defensive team, so its not fair to judge Labby's play baised on that. If he was on the Jackets, Preds or even Kings, hed prolly put up alot better numbers if he was in the NHL.

FLYLine24* 01-07-2005 05:18 PM

He has never really been tested in the NHL. So i dont want to speculate. Sure hes played a game here and there..but not enough.

Son of Steinbrenner 01-07-2005 05:23 PM

can anybody say rick knickle

Levitate 01-07-2005 06:00 PM

i didn't see all of his games in the AHL, just two of them i think...he didn't look great but it could be that he needed time to get used to the NHL too...i dont' think he'd be a star or anything but he's probably a bit better than some people think also...the pack are a good defensive team but it's not like they keep the shots to 15 a game and all from the outside, he has to make his share of good saves and keep his team in the game sometimes

RANGER#11 01-07-2005 06:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Falon
Jason Labarbera - has absolutely dominated the AHL. This season, on a weak offensive team, as an outsider I will probably be nuked for saying that, but I have to ask. Is he NHL calibre? I mean it sure looks it. He has carreid his team to the point it's at.

I still still think that over the last to years he has earned the right as the Ranger back up with a chance to push for #1. For all that he has done give the guy a chance.

Firefly 01-07-2005 06:18 PM

Anyone know just how many games he's played in the NHL? I remember two...one in which I think he did quite well, and another where he got absolutely shelled. On another team he may fare better, but while playing behind the sieve that is the Rangers D, it doesn't seem fair to criticize him so much.

Brooklyn Ranger 01-07-2005 08:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sjb3599
You're absolutely right, but the flip-side of that is the Pack are an excellent defensive team, making it easier for LaBarbera and Valiquette to keep their GAA low and earn shutouts. LaBarbera may end up as an NHL back-up or a career AHLer. Soon he'll have to be protected on waivers in which case the Rangers will either let him go and let him back-up in NY.

Under the old CBA he'd become a UFA at the end of this season (based on the fact that he's no longer on his 1st professional contract, is 25 and hasn't played in at least 25 games in the NHL). Of course, who knows what will happen now.

In any case, I have my doubts that he will ever even be good enough to be a solid backup in the NHL. Backups need to be able to sit for a number of games and then come in and be at their best for the games they do get. LaBarbera only began to dominate when he got the starting job in Hartford pretty much by default last season. Add to that the fact that the Rangers will need to have an experienced goalie in the NHL (one who will not be freaked out by playing on a team without much depth or experience) and that they will need to make room for either or both Montoya and Lundqvist. It would be better all around if LaBarbera got his chance on another team.

AG9NK35DT8* 01-08-2005 05:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Barnaby
. He's looked out of place when he's been brought up.

I think nerves had alot to do with that.The kid ids so solid in the ahl to come up and be so bad does not make much sense.I mean some of the goals he allowed were shots me and you can stop. I think if given a real shot just let him play more than 2 or 3 games even if there bad Im sure once he gets a stride he will be an ok starter or very good backup.I definitly dont see him as a legit permanant #1, but hey you never know anything is possible.I would say he cane be like a J.S Aubin type of goalie. A real solid backup.

Fish 01-08-2005 05:27 PM

Labarbera has been a very good AHL, one of the best the league's ever seen, but he has benefited from the defensive system that the Pack have been able to institute and his size and speed is sufficient at the AHL level.

At the NHL level his speed is not even average. He is slower to move laterally (something a lot of bigger goaltenders have struggled with), and is slow to react to the second shot. In the AHL where the offensive abilities are substantially lower than the NHL he has sufficient time to adjust for the second save, at the NHL level he's simply not fast enough.

I understand people saying he should be given a chance etc, but particularly with goaltenders you can get a sense as to whether they are NHL quality or not just by watching the way they play. At least that's my opinion :)

FLYLine24* 01-08-2005 05:52 PM

I remember 2 games Jason played in last year...one where Dunham got pulled vs the sens when it was like 6-1...and the game ended up I think 9-1 (first game with Jagr as a Ranger) And I remember him in a late season game vs the Caps where i think he won 3-2.

Fish 01-08-2005 06:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FLYLine4LIFE
I remember 2 games Jason played in last year...one where Dunham got pulled vs the sens when it was like 6-1...and the game ended up I think 9-1 (first game with Jagr as a Ranger) And I remember him in a late season game vs the Caps where i think he won 3-2.

Actually that was Markkanen who got pulled against the Sens, he also played against Colorado and lost that game and then had two games late in the season...his first NHL victory and then a game where I believe he gave up 5 goals.

He also had 10 minutes against Pittsburgh a couple of years ago when Kirk McLean got pulled in a 6-5 loss to the Penguins (I think that was the score).

BDubinskyNYR17* 01-08-2005 06:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fish
Actually that was Markkanen who got pulled against the Sens, he also played against Colorado and lost that game and then had two games late in the season...his first NHL victory and then a game where I believe he gave up 5 goals.

He also had 10 minutes against Pittsburgh a couple of years ago when Kirk McLean got pulled in a 6-5 loss to the Penguins (I think that was the score).

I think people should give Valiquette a shot. He is a bit older at 26. I remember the 3-1 win against the Flyers where he stoped 39 shots. Not bad for a backup goalie.

Edge 01-08-2005 09:16 PM

Labarbera is a prime example of the speed difference between the AHL and the NHL. I'd put him in the same class as other Ranger AHL'ers of the past: Holmqvist and Labbe.

I just don't think he is an NHL player.

AG9NK35DT8* 01-08-2005 10:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JOrtmeyer41
I think people should give Valiquette a shot. He is a bit older at 26. I remember the 3-1 win against the Flyers where he stoped 39 shots. Not bad for a backup goalie.

I been saying let valiquette compete for the #1 shot , he has the talent and has pretty good nhl stats.I like the kid personally I think he can be a big surprise when Dunham and Weekes are gone let Valiquette and Labarbs fight it out till Lundqvist and or Montoya or even hopefully blackie are ready to take the roll.

bmoak 01-09-2005 06:27 PM

Vali is 26 and LaBabs is 25. Do we hold onto these guys until they are 30?

Fish and Edge explained the weaknesses in their games (they have similar styles) and why they will have adjustment problems to the NHL game, especially when NHL snipes play against them enough times and learn their tendencies.

Wolfpack system is cerainly a factor in their success. Look at Phil Osaer, who put up very good numbers last year but is really nothing more than an ECHL goalie.

Shadowtron 01-10-2005 07:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bmoak
Vali is 26 and LaBabs is 25. Do we hold onto these guys until they are 30?

Fish and Edge explained the weaknesses in their games (they have similar styles) and why they will have adjustment problems to the NHL game, especially when NHL snipes play against them enough times and learn their tendencies.

Wolfpack system is cerainly a factor in their success. Look at Phil Osaer, who put up very good numbers last year but is really nothing more than an ECHL goalie.


Yeah, we're not just talking about a mere refining of LaBarbs technique. He looked frighteningly slow when he was called up. I'm no judge of talent, but even I question how he'd be able to bring his game up to speed given how slow he looked. It's my personal opinion that Vali and LaBarb are nice assets if you want to strengthen your AHL team or need to remedy a short injury on the big club. They are not long term answers to either the #1 spot or the back-up.

NYFAN 01-10-2005 06:06 PM

Valiquette has been at the NHL level several times already,and has shown he can play. He is much better than Labs mechanically, and should be given a chance at least as the NHL backup if there is a season! Lets not forget as someone mentioned earlier, the Ranger D has been completely non existent for several seasons, so don't expect miracles no matter who is in net! I'd give Vali a shot at backup before I would settle on Mr Softee Mike Dunham!

Brooklyn Ranger 01-10-2005 08:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NYFAN
Valiquette has been at the NHL level several times already,and has shown he can play. He is much better than Labs mechanically, and should be given a chance at least as the NHL backup if there is a season! Lets not forget as someone mentioned earlier, the Ranger D has been completely non existent for several seasons, so don't expect miracles no matter who is in net! I'd give Vali a shot at backup before I would settle on Mr Softee Mike Dunham!

Where has Valiquette shown "he can play" in the NHL? He appeared in 6 games with the NY Islanders back in 1999-2000 (won two) and then didn't appear in the NHL again until he appeared in one game (for 13 minutes) for Edmonton last season. He then came here and started two games: one of which was fairly solid and the other wasn't. Furthermore, he's only appeared in more than 35 AHL games in a season once. He hasn't even proved he can carry a team in the AHL, much less shown much of anything in the NHL.

I seriously doubt he is capable of being anything more than a spot starter in the NHL, if even that.

NYFAN 01-10-2005 09:09 PM

In 9 career NHL starts he has a 2.57 gaa! While its not alot of experience, he hasn't been blown out of the net, and could quite possibly settle in and show something if given the chance. He has more NHL experience than Labs, and has gotten experience with 3 NHL teams. You are entitled to your opinion on him, just as I am entitled to mine. I say he is capable of being an NHL backup at the least! I don't feel that way when I watch LaBarbera. BTW, he appeared in 6 games with the Isles when they had Felix Potvin, Kevin Weekes, and Roberto Luongo on the roster. Its pretty easy to get lost in the shuffle with that group wouldn't you say!

Brooklyn Ranger 01-11-2005 12:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NYFAN
In 9 career NHL starts he has a 2.57 gaa! While its not alot of experience, he hasn't been blown out of the net, and could quite possibly settle in and show something if given the chance. He has more NHL experience than Labs, and has gotten experience with 3 NHL teams. You are entitled to your opinion on him, just as I am entitled to mine. I say he is capable of being an NHL backup at the least! I don't feel that way when I watch LaBarbera. BTW, he appeared in 6 games with the Isles when they had Felix Potvin, Kevin Weekes, and Roberto Luongo on the roster. Its pretty easy to get lost in the shuffle with that group wouldn't you say!

He hasn't had 9 career starts in the NHL, he has 9 appearences--with a total of 3 wins and 1 one loss. He made a total of 6 appearances with the Isles back in 1999-2000 and until the Rangers picked him up, played all of 13 Minutes in the NHL. He signed as a professional in 1998 and must have cleared waivers at least once since then. Kevin Weekes certainly didn't block his path because he hasn't played in the AHL since the spring of 1997. Why does that make a difference? Because, as I said above, Valiquette hasn't even made a strong impression in the AHL. He's an 8th role draft pick, who's pretty much maxed out. That's not bad, but it's not a good reason to pretty hand him the job.

There's more to being a backup goalie in the NHL than just sitting on the bench. The coaching staff and the players have to have confidence that the backup will keep them in the game. Most backups who end up being solid players in that role, were dominate sometime in their professional career. Valiquette has never even gotten to that point.

NYFAN 01-11-2005 12:47 PM

Weekes , Potvin and Luongo were all ahead of Vali in the Isles system, I never said he was blocking him at the AHL level. My point was that with that caliber of goaltenders it was easy to overlook Valiquette. It doesn't change my opinion of his ability either. He has an opportunity here, especially after the season that Dunham had last year, to make a name for himself on the NHL club. Personally, I think we screwed up trading Markannen, but make no mistake, Valiquette is a much better player and prospect than La Barbera. I can say that with confidence, even knowing he has had only limited playing time. I much prefer seeing him get a shot in training camp , than the repeated nightmare that Dunham has become! We already know , unfortunately, how inconsistent Dunham is. Lets move on. I like what Labarbera has done on the pack, he has made the most of his abilities and opportunity, but I wont pretend he has an NHL future, he doesn't.

Fish 01-11-2005 12:57 PM

Valiquette has yet to win the starting job in Hartford, and has actually been in net for 7 of the Pack's 11 losses, while playing in just 14 of the 38 games played so far. While I agree that he's better than Labarbera in a technical sense and may in some ways be better suited to the NHL than Labarbera, his inability to convert that to success in the AHL behind the best defensive team in the league undermines his ability to move up to the next level.

The first time I saw Valiquette was a few years ago in a preseason game between the Islanders and Flyers...I've seen him a couple of times in the AHL and of course on TV. I've actually improved my opinion of him since those first few viewings of him, but he still appears to me to be a little short of NHL talent, using his body more than his speed and quickness to keep the puck out.

Valiquette tends to be a little more prone to the second shot than Labarbera, who scrambles more.


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