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Mike8 11-25-2003 08:06 PM

I Hate to Say It
 
But you've gotta love how the Bruins have built their team.

The forward depth is strong, versatile, and multi-dimensional. There's a core group that can anchor each line.

Leading off the attack is a big, fast and talented first line (Knuble-Thornton-Murray; average size: larger than any Canadien forward). Second line is anchored by a young, but experienced Sergei Samsonov whose offensive skills are comparable to Koivu. With Samsonov, the B's pair a young forward like Zinovyev or Bergeron who are both oozing with talent. On the right side is usually a physical presence to balance the line.

The third line has a constant pairing of Rolston and Axelson, who form a nice shut-down duo that have a quick transition game and excel on the PK.

Fourth line can be anchored by Travis Green, who's strong on the draw, plays a gritty game, as well as Rob Zamuner, who's sound fundamentally.

The Bruins have a centerpiece or pairing on each line (first is Thornton; second is Samsonov; third is an Axelson-Rolston pairing, etc.) which allows the coach to toss on whoever they like to complement that player, and more often than not it will work.

A player like Zinovyev or Bergeron wouldn't cut it with the Habs because there's only one player on Montreal capable of anchoring a line: Saku Koivu. We're seeing him do it right now with Ryder, and it's wonderful to see, but where do all the other prospects go?

Ask Hossa. Or Hainsey. They head to the minors.

Stability is key here folks. We see it all the time. Why did Jackman enjoy such success and improvement last season? Because he was paired with MacInnis for the season. He experienced stability with a strong veteran. Why is Bergeron experiencing such success, especially on the PP? Because he's anchoring it with Samsonov, so he's developing chemistry and a support system. Even look at the success Jason King's experienced and the progression in his game from season opener. He's been playing with the Sedins all the way along.

Even in Montreal, we saw management plug Markov next to Rivet and kept that pairing as a fixture for the longest time. It was the one pairing that was never touched. Markov developed next to Rivet and enjoyed his breakthrough season. That stability and chemistry a player develops is necessary for youth.

Now Hossa being sent down is not necessarily a bad thing. Montreal doesn't have the players that Hossa can learn from. I think Hossa played one of the strongest fundamental games among all Hab forwards, but he didn't bring it offensively and one danger with developing youth on the pro club is developing bad habits and an acceptance of losing.

At the end of this season, much of the cancerous players are at the end of their contracts. This will be the time to judge Gainey and better guage his commitment to long-term success. One thing is clear though: a stronger veteran presence on each line is needed in order to develop youth properly.

Munchausen 11-25-2003 08:46 PM

I agree with you about the strong veteran presence needed, but what can be done about it?

I think Ryder is a good fit with Zednik and Koivu, but the rest of the veterans are average to poor (either in attitude or talent). I would like to have a Grier type of player anchor the 3rd line with youngsters like Higgins or Bulis, I'd like a Laperriere to help Begin on the 4th line, I'd like a Barnes or a Doan to help youngsters like Ribeiro and Hossa on a second line, a Carney to help Komisarek acheive his full potential, etc. But truth is, we don't have such veterans. We have loads of veterans, but they're for the most part soft/spineless/whinny/losers... In short, bad example for the kids.

So what do you do about it? Do you try and trade to acquire such veteran players, even if it means losing a portion of your youth for it? Or do you wait to acquire them through free agency? I think Savard underrated the importance of having QUALITY veterans to help ease in the kids when he signed all those mediocre fillers we're now stuck with, and as a result the youth movement is already choking pretty badly.

edit - typo

CHareth 11-25-2003 09:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Munchausen
I agree with you about the strong veteran presence needed, but what can be done about it?

I think Ryder is a good fit with Zednik and Koivu, but the rest of the veterans are average to poor (either in attitude or talent). I would like to have a Grier type of player anchor the 3rd line with youngsters like Higgins or Bulis, I'd like a Laperriere to help Begin on the 4th line, I'd like a Barnes or a Doan to help youngsters like Ribeiro and Hossa on a second line, a Carney to help Komisarek acheive his full potential, etc. But truth is, we don't have such veterans. We have loads of veterans, but they're for the most part soft/spineless/whinny/losers... In short, bad example for the kids.

Good points. BTW, don't ever lose that avatar. I was watching some Triumph the Insult Comic Dog clips yesterday - too funny. Anyway, I have the same problem with a number of our veteran players. I think they are great .... for me to poop on. Guys like Perreault, Audette, and now Rivet, remind me of some college professors I had - decent credentials on paper, but can't teach worth a damn, so you either teach yourself or just copy exactly what the professor says come exam time. I'm not sure that works in hockey though. Imagine a youngster copying the habits of, say, a Perreault come game time. Yikes! The alternative is also scary, as having the kid ignore his linemates and try to learn all by himself is a threat to his development.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Munchausen
So what do you do about it? Do you try and trade to acquire such veteran players, even if it means losing a portion of your youth for it? Or do you wait to acquire them through free agency? I think Savard underrated the importance of having QUALITY veterans to help ease in the kids when he signed all those mediocre fillers we're now stuck with, and as a result the youth movement is already choking pretty badly.

I was personally in favor of signing Oates in the offseason for the second line. And when Wiemer became available on waivers, I really wanted him for the third line (I wanted to trade for him long before that anyway). Like you, I've also been a big Grier fan, but I think we would have to overpay for his services, and our best trading assets for the time being are our youth, since so many of our veterans are overpaid for what they bring. I think our young players could have learned a great deal from playing with the likes of Oates, Wiemer & Co. instead of the ones we currently have.

HabzManiac 11-25-2003 09:22 PM

Mike that was the best post I've read this year. The Bruins have a well built line up they keep their lines together and they're built around the strengths of each player. The Canadiens don't have that kind of line up nor do they have any team chemistry. Veterans on the team aren't teaching our young guys how to play the game. Lineups are being changed all the time. Hossa in my opinion didn't deserve to be sent down. I thought he was doing the job defensively. he wasn't scoring but at least he looked a lot better then some of the guys on the roster. Juneau, Perreault, Audette, Dackell, Quintal are taking valuable time away from our young guys. I think Hossa, Gratton, Plekanec, Higgins, Komisarek, Hainsey would do a lot better then those vets. Then I would pair the young players with some of the vets who I do think are positive for the Habs. this is my future Habs line up: maybe next year.

Higgins Koivu Zednik
Bulis Ribeiro Ryder
Hossa Gratton Ward
Kilger Begin Sundstrom
Plekanec Langdon


Souray Bouillon
Markov Brisebois
Rivet Komisarek
Hainsey Beauchemin

Theodore Garon


And that's not including anything we could get of value for these guys if anything. That's not a contender but I think it's a beginning. Time to show the vets to the door. At least a line up like that would have more energy. In the future I would trade Ribs too because Koivu and him are both small and it would always be a hinderance to our team. Koivu is the better player and is the only true anchor on the team.

Habsolution 11-25-2003 09:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Munchausen
...

What can be done ?

First I'd give a try to a Sourray-Komisarek pairing. Sourray is dedicated. He is one of the few good veterans we have. He had a hard time over the past couple of games though but I think it has a lot to do with the bad play of Quintal and the overall bad play of the team. I think a Sourray-Komisarek pairing is worth a try.

Then I'd keep using Markov with Breezer. Not the ideal fit because I'd rather have a guy like Rivet with Markov. But Rivet has been playing awful this season and he was bringing him down with him. At least Breezer won't make awful passes to Markov and put him in trouble.

Then I'd never touch the Ryder-Koivu-Zednik line. And I'd smack some sense into Richard. I'd tell him to stop being a selfish player and I'd tell him to pass the puck instead of taking useless shots. He has turned it around in a great way over the past 4 games but at times he still has been very selfish. Which is unnaceptable.

Then I'd let Hossa and Hainsey find back their groove in Hamilton and call them up.

When I'd call up Hainsey I'd pair him with Rivet on the third pairing. Rivet would have time to find back his groove also and get back to last year's level. He could really help out a guy like Hainsey. I'd also stop using Rivet on the PP. The guy plays with no confidence right now. And I don't think this PP time will help him get out of this slump.

I know most of you will disagree with me but I'd move Hossa back at center where he belongs and play him with Bulis on the third line. With either Dackel or Sundstrom to complete the line. I think Hossa is sound defensively and could do just as well as Juneau. He's fast, he's responsible defensively, he's got good passing instincts and I think he's more likely to bank on his chances if he plays in the middle. Plus he has a good back (take that Juneau :p ).

I'd bring up Higgins if he keeps doing well in the AHL and I'd play him with Begin and Langdon. If he does well I'd give him some PP time with Ribeiro. Maybe he could also get some PK time.

I think Mike8 is bang on the fact we lack good experienced veterans to develop our prospects. But we can't keep those guys down forever. I really believe that Komisarek, Higgins, Hossa, Hainsey and Ryder are ready to play in the NHL. We don't have much quality veteran depht but we must use it the best way possible.

Zednik-Koivu-Ryder
Perreault-Ribeiro-Dackel (sigh, possible call up to Plekanec later)
Bulis-Hossa-Sundstrom
Higgins-Begin-Langdon

Markov-Brisebois
Sourray-Komisarek
Hainsey-Rivet

I'd use the dmen pairings depending on their performances on any given night. As a general rule Markov-Brisebois > Sourray-Komisarek > Hainsey-Rivet. PP time would go to Markov-Brisebois > Sourray-Hainsey.

I know ... I'm dreaming in technicolor. But it's fun to play armchair coach.

Habs 11-25-2003 10:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike8
But you've gotta love how the Bruins have built their team.

I agree. However, they did it by stinking up the joint for one season. Getting Thornton, and Samsonov, in one draft... wow.

They also always have character in Boston. The team plays hard 99% of the time, there are no nights off. Compare that to what is allowed in Montreal, and you see the difference.

The work ethic in Montreal, compared to Boston, is a joke. It's much easier to build stability within the club, when 90% of the players work their ***** off on a nightly basis.

Sadly, it is accepted in Montreal.

Character, character.. character. We have very little... what a shame.

Marchy79 11-26-2003 12:40 AM

Yeah Boston does have a good team... but as Habs mentioned, they did it by royally stinking it up in one season, and therefore picking up Thornton and Samsonov in one draft.

They also had a much greater build around their squad... When Andre Savard had to pick up the pieces of the CH less than 3 years ago... we were well on our way to being the worst team in the league. It did not help much having the absolute worst GM (next to Milbury at the time) in the league at that time, and did not know value if it bit him in the back door. (i.e. famous Houlian quote "there is no need to build on the draft" :mad: )

Furthermore, I personally don't like to see the habs be a bottom dweller... But the improvement is heavily significant in AS's time... and even Gainey has added a few players that will be around for a while yet. Our thing in Montreal is that our time has not come yet... and as some have alluded too, we are built to be strong after the 2004-05 strike ends. Some of our strong forward talent has only scratched the surface... while others will have to wait a bit before they are ready to be a part of this team... Many scouts have said that Andrei Kastsitsyn could have made this line up THIS year, but his personal/and eventually our scouting departments choice was to leave his growing talent under the great Viktor Tikhonov...

These guys that are mentioned as to being useless, I disagree with some (Juneau is a good fixture to this squad whether people want to believe it or not) but further more, they are here to get rid of worse bums like Jim Campbell, or Johan Witehall... Xavier Deslisle... :eek: The pure crap Houle set this team up with was absolutely rediculous.

The truth of the matter was outside of a few prospects, Souray, Theo, and Saku... this team was really poor in terms of having any real talent.
Savard plugged the holes for a few years with some bonafide NHL talent, sent a LOT of bums packing, and made our Prospect depth list top grade. We are 1/2 way there to getting back to previous glorious levels Montreal is used to... but people cannot see it because we aren't in a complete and utter Youth movement...

1-2 years and we are there, guaranteed... while many other squads will be dropping because their suns will have set. :teach:

Habsolution 11-26-2003 01:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ghost # 1

The truth of the matter was outside of a few prospects, Souray, Theo, and Saku... this team was really poor in terms of having any real talent.
Savard plugged the holes for a few years with some bonafide NHL talent, sent a LOT of bums packing, and made our Prospect depth list top grade. We are 1/2 way there to getting back to previous glorious levels Montreal is used to... but people cannot see it because we aren't in a complete and utter Youth movement...

1-2 years and we are there, guaranteed... while many other squads will be dropping because their suns will have set. :teach:

I hold a totaly different opinion altough I can see where you're coming from.

I don't think that hiring and trading for Juneau, Perreault, Quintal, Dackel, Traverse were good moves and here is why.

It only made us slightly more competitive. Those guys didn't come here because of the great winning and positive atmosphere. They came here because they are born here and because they probably want to live here after their retirement. They didn't come here because they were proud to play for the habs. Those moves were all about patching. Our first choices were Hull and Lapointe. But we ended up with the unwanted crap because the high profile UFAs didn't want to come here. And there's a reason why they didn't want to. Because they knew that coming here would be bad for their career.

AS was all about rebuilding while having a competitive team. I can agree with that. But signing Juneau, Perreault and trading for Audette, Czerkawski, Traverse, etc is only about patching the holes. Patching holes is never good. If you're gonna get veteran help it should be because those guys will help your young prospects to develop well. Linden was good in that respect but Perreault, Audette = bad. With Juneau and Perreault we became slightly more competitive which didn't help to create a winning or positive atmosphere because we kept falling out of the playoffs and we didn't get to draft the top picks. I would have had no problems with signing and trading for guys like Andreychuk, Nieuwendyk. I would have had no problems with Savard overpaying to keep a guy like Weinrich. Getting guys like Stu Barnes, etc. But what AS did was not good.

AS had the perfect opportunity to let the team follow its natural course toward the bottom in order to get franchise players. Houle had screwed the franchise and the medias wouldn't have wanted his head if he hadn't raised the expectations too high. When you're not ready to compete you should not go out there and bring in overpriced and poor veterans with long term contracts and no trade clauses. Now Gainey has his hands tied.

Habsolution 11-26-2003 01:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Habsolution

AS was all about rebuilding while having a competitive team. I can agree with that. But signing Juneau, Perreault and trading for Audette, Czerkawski, Traverse, etc is only about patching the holes. Patching holes is never good. If you're gonna get veteran help it should be because those guys will help your young prospects to develop well. Linden was good in that respect but Perreault, Audette = bad. With Juneau and Perreault we became slightly more competitive which didn't help to create a winning or positive atmosphere because we kept falling out of the playoffs and we didn't get to draft the top picks. I would have had no problems with signing and trading for guys like Andreychuk, Nieuwendyk. I would have had no problems with Savard overpaying to keep a guy like Weinrich. Getting guys like Stu Barnes, etc. But what AS did was not good.

I'll also add there's not much use in signing quality veterans 2-3 years before your prospects start to be ready. It just make the team better than it should really be.

Marchy79 11-26-2003 03:19 AM

Good points Habsolution :D We are on opposite sides of the fence for sure, and I also see your points as well.

In my rebuttal, I tend to believe that Juneau, Quintal, and Perrault were good additions to this team. Dackell I see as a good addition up until his contract extension, and Bouillon should not have been brought back (I'd rather of seen the return of Robidas IMHO)

Juneau is a very intelligent player, and I feel he is responsible for the development of the Jan Bulis we see today. The main thing with him I see as a roblem is that he has some offensive vision, but has been buried in to a defensive only role here in Montreal. His time here will expire at the end of this season, when I hope he will retire, and become a coach for this organization (this guy is a rocket scientist, and understands hockey like only a few people do). He has been every role there is in this game... I hope he will be a defensive coach or Special teams coach... It would be nice espescially since he would not be that far removed from his playing days, so players could relate to him better because of it.

Q-ball has been very good in the leadership department, and brings alot of pride in playing for the CH. He also is in the tail end of his career... 1 year remaining on his contract. I think he should come in to training camp with an open mind next season (that is if Rivet or Brisebois is moved) and should be the odd man out if one of the RD's are ready for next season (i.e. Archer... can't think of too many others though :D )

Perrault was needed in the first year of his contract FOR sure... as per right now, I don't see him lasting all year with us, as he still has some gas left in the tank, and his role in the NHL is primarily top 2 center... The only way I see him sticking around would be as a third line center, but unfortunately I feel his pride is too much for that. Ribeiro definately is ready for second line role now (because it truly was a now or never role for Ribs... I'm glad he ran with it) but he was insurance in case Ribs did bust. I think he still carries some value due to his face-off ability, and his sniping abilities. As a third liner though, I would make him primarily responsible for offensive contributions on that line, and stick 2 guys who can fill in defensively, and create some oppurtunities for him. (My 3rd line w/ him would be with Kilger and Sundstrom)

As for Traverse, that was a horrible deal... Dackell was easily replaced with an upgrade (Sundstrom).. And Bouillon clogs more holes than he contributes (It's pretty ugly having Dykhuis, Traverse, Hainsey and Beauchemin in the minors :shakehead )

The scouting dept. on this team has done better IMHO than almost any other team in the league since AS took over. The most obvious reasoning for this is just by looking how far we've come in just 3 short years. Savard has been a wizard for mid-late picks... and it is only a matter of time before we start tasting the repercussions from such good, shrewd picks... By not taking the complete youth movement however has put us in Suspended time... as I think we will be drafting anywhere from 8 - 17 th this year... Habs have always been a team that slowly brought about their players... (a friend of mine, who played for the Jr habs in the 60's 70's mentioned that LaFleur was sitting on the bench for the better part of 3 seasons because he was to watch what was going on before he was given the reigns as the premier RW'er on the team)

I firmly believe we are on the right path however, as we are built from the back end out... as many have said is the correct approach (and I am a believer of this approach as well). Having a Kovalchuk on the roster now, I feel would prematurely bring us to the next level... Hindering our future ability to become a major contender for the Stanley CUp.

Joe Cole 11-26-2003 05:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Habsolution
I hold a totaly different opinion altough I can see where you're coming from.

I don't think that hiring and trading for Juneau, Perreault, Quintal, Dackel, Traverse were good moves and here is why.

It only made us slightly more competitive.


I agree to a certain degree. Those patches were necessary to save the team short term. The problem is that (like in 93) the team did not too badly and management started to fool themselves into thinking that the line up was good enough and could sneak into the playoffs.

During that 1st season of AS, he should have been thinking ahead, knowng that those pickups were playing over their heads. Intead we resigned them and stagnated ever since.

To rebut Ghost #1's comments (is that a reference to Jellyfish? :bow: ) ...

Juneau is not a rocket scientist, he is a aviation engineer. Is he that good, where are we ranked in penalty killing? He is a pretty smart player, but he is physically over matched by ANY of the east conference #1 lines.

Perreault as a 3rd line player. No. That is a shut down line. Perreault doesn't have those skills. The wrong way to build a team is to fill roles with leftover players. We have our #1 and #2 centers, the team has made that obvious, Koivu and Ribs. The third center needs to be a big player that can skate with and physically handle guys like Primeau and Marian Hossa. We need to find a player for that role, not give it to a guy because he is on the roster.

I agree, I think that we are on the right path. But the road is long.

Just remember, you are building a puzzle, you cannot cram a corner piece in the middle.

Marchy79 11-26-2003 06:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe Cole
To rebut Ghost #1's comments (is that a reference to Jellyfish? :bow: ) ...

Juneau is not a rocket scientist, he is a aviation engineer. Is he that good, where are we ranked in penalty killing? He is a pretty smart player, but he is physically over matched by ANY of the east conference #1 lines.

Perreault as a 3rd line player. No. That is a shut down line. Perreault doesn't have those skills. The wrong way to build a team is to fill roles with leftover players. We have our #1 and #2 centers, the team has made that obvious, Koivu and Ribs. The third center needs to be a big player that can skate with and physically handle guys like Primeau and Marian Hossa. We need to find a player for that role, not give it to a guy because he is on the roster.

I agree, I think that we are on the right path. But the road is long.

Just remember, you are building a puzzle, you cannot cram a corner piece in the middle.

Which my name (for jellyfish)??? no :D actually it is paying homage to the first habs ghost that decides to move in to the Bell Centre from the Forum(someday :D )

Ya I have to agree with JJ being overmatched.. I do like the guy, but his role that has been given to him is too integral a piece of this team. He is however on the last year in his contract, by which I feel he will be rather a UFA, retire or be traded on the dead line. Either way, this is his last year as a Hab (I think anyways). As much as he hasn't been effective game in game out, I still have to say I enjoyed his tenure as Hab third line center, and I also hope he sticks behind the bench in some role due to the good all round career that he had. He can be a good source of info for young guys, and has proven to work well with the youngsters (Jan Bulis comes to mind).

As for Perrault as 3rd line center, I do also agree that he is not a prototypical third liner, I do like the fact that he is what I like to call "instant offence". He may disappear for stretches (gawd knows some times long stretches while we're talking about him :p ) But with this anemic offence that we carry, it would be nice if we could have a third lie that could pot in some goals or cover for Ribs when he goes cold. Because as much as I like watching Ribs succeed, I am still not completely sold on him being the second line center we're looking for, hence why I would like to see him around until it's proven (+ he's actually not that bad in terms of trade bait)

The guy I would like to see as third line center is actually already here though. Chad Kilger can skate with the big boys, and can handle them physically. It is just up to Claude Julien to give the guy the role (something he has lacked since his first year here). The biggest problem in his career as a hab has been lack of coaches confidence in his game (IMHO at least) I truly believe this guy belongs in the NHL, but lack of confidence is killing him due to the fact that nobody wants to give him a role for a LONG length of time (esp. at center, where he has looked pretty solid in the past, and would solve a piece of our 'Small Center' knock we've had these past few years)

This ultimately is derived from what I think is the habs biggest problem of all, too many depth/one dimensional players, not enough solid players.
Soo many guys on this team play the exact same game. Remember when Jason Ward broke in last year and it was a complete breath of fresh air... Then he got relegated to fourth line duties because Dackell/Sundstrom were ahead of him? I think Bob's gotta get rid of depth, then let the team set in/gel. I mean why sign a soft slow Dagenais in the summer, when it could have been Balej/Milroy/Ferland/Perezhogin filling in the injured role...

I am a firm believer this path, as frustrating as it is will result in the next Hab cup win... and the patch work was necessary at the time, but now is the time for the 'Face lift' and have new skin show the habs of the next generation...

Last summer, Jack Todd mentioned on a program I was watching called 'habs this week' that 12-14 guys were question marks from last year's team... Only 2 guys received the axe (Czerk and McKay) Gainey's gotta get moving, because the team's development is IMHO JUST STARTING to get stagnant, and Todd's philosophication is starting to become true.

These guys that were brought in however, did serve their time well in Montreal. I will give them that credit, as there was little else at the time of their signing to do other than sign these players. Confusing times at the phone booth, Definate growing pains are being felt... Maybe these big losses today, will get us to being the contenders for tomorrow. One can only hope... ;)

Habsolution 11-26-2003 06:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe Cole
I agree to a certain degree. Those patches were necessary to save the team short term.

Save the team ? Could you elaborate ?

Habsolution 11-26-2003 06:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ghost # 1
...

I still disagree completely but that's what this message board is here for :p

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ghost # 1
Having a Kovalchuk on the roster now, I feel would prematurely bring us to the next level... Hindering our future ability to become a major contender for the Stanley CUp.

You got to be kidding here on this one though...

Marchy79 11-26-2003 06:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Habsolution
I still disagree completely but that's what this message board is here for :p



You got to be kidding here on this one though...


Ya... I guess Kovalchuk was a bad example to give :lol:

goalchenyuk 11-26-2003 06:30 AM

Yeah Boston does have a good team... but as Habs mentioned, they did it by royally stinking it up in one season, and therefore picking up Thornton and Samsonov in one draft.

it was the 1997 year draft and now we are in 2003 ...take them 6 years to be there with a first overal draft choice .So , i am sure that if we wait a little bit , all our last 3 years draft picks are going to give us a competitive team ...

The farm team of the canadians is a really young team , with a lot of new blood , but they are already on top of the league.

Mike8 11-26-2003 06:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Habs
I agree. However, they did it by stinking up the joint for one season. Getting Thornton, and Samsonov, in one draft... wow.

They also always have character in Boston. The team plays hard 99% of the time, there are no nights off. Compare that to what is allowed in Montreal, and you see the difference.

The work ethic in Montreal, compared to Boston, is a joke. It's much easier to build stability within the club, when 90% of the players work their ***** off on a nightly basis.

Sadly, it is accepted in Montreal.

Character, character.. character. We have very little... what a shame.

I don't know if Boston managed to get to this point by being terrible. They got Thornton sure, but they also drafted Aitken, Ryabchikov, Sean Brown, Daniel Goneau, Eric Naud, Henry Kuster, Matt Alvey, Kevyn Adams, Dmitri Kvartalnov with high picks... Their drafting through the '90s was simply horrible. Before the Thornton draft, the only decent top two round pick was Kyle McLaren since 1991 when they drafted Glen Murray and Jozef Stumpel.

Boston's pitiful drafting is almost as bad as Montreal's during those years.

That's all to say that I don't believe tanking it is a necessity in order to rebuild properly and succeed.

I think we can break a rebuilding phase into three main stages (I'll make this brief):

Stage 1: getting a good base of prospects, and some strong stable veterans on the farm that will help the core prospects develop a winning environment on the farm (Gratton)
Stage 2: identify a core group of players on the pro club; including players playing different roles. Players must have character, be hard working, and be strong at the fundamental parts of the game
Stage 3: start trickling younger players into the lineup, remove the bandaid players, and be left with youth + core players


Stage 1 has been done very well considering what the team started with, but the team's stumbled on Stage 2. There's little Gainey can do right now since Montreal is riddled with bandaid players that need to be removed. But with no buyers, we'll need to wait for the off-season.

As I mentioned above, that will be the time to guage whether Gainey has a commitment to the rebuilding phase and how he'll go about it. I don't think it's necessarily bad for the prospects' development to stick in Hamilton, keep improving, developing some chemistry, then coming up to the pro club together next year. Give the prospects some glimpses of NHL action (as they've done with Hainsey, Hossa and now Komisarek), but keep them in Hamilton for most of the year.

This offseason I believe a core veteran player should be added. Whether they be an Adam Oates type as anon suggested (I like the thought of that a lot now in retrospect), or a player like Martin Lapointe (at half the cost), they will help Montreal. Make sure the character is there, and the recognition that Montreal is a rebuilding club is there.

Joe Cole 11-26-2003 06:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Habsolution
Save the team ? Could you elaborate ?

When AS took over, the team was in shambles. He brought in some players to patch it up. At that point they were on th brink of losing even more ground. Remember those were the years of Matt Higgins,Darby, Lind, Belanger Barry Richter and other stiffs.

The line up is better now....hard to believe.

Not only that, they also have better hockey men in place (scouting etc).

The Habs are going in the right direction....getting there is the hard part.

gunnerdom 11-26-2003 07:08 AM

[QUOTE=Ghost # 1] Dackell I see as a good addition up until his contract extension, and Bouillon should not have been brought back (I'd rather of seen the return of Robidas IMHO)
QUOTE]

I agree with you on most things but that bouillon comment. Right now Bouillon is skating circles around Rivet and Quintal. And he is much more responsible on the D aspect than Hainsey. So I'm very glad to see Bouillon, one of the only character guys we have.

Joe Cole 11-26-2003 07:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ghost # 1
Which my name (for jellyfish)??? no :D

Ya I have to agree with JJ being overmatched.. I do like the guy. I also hope he sticks behind the bench in some role due to the good all round career that he had. He can be a good source of info for young guys, and has proven to work well with the youngsters .

The guy I would like to see as third line center is actually already here though. Chad Kilger can skate with the big boys, and can handle them physically. It is just up to Claude Julien to give the guy the role

This ultimately is derived from what I think is the habs biggest problem of all, too many depth/one dimensional players, not enough solid players.

Find "Ghost at #1- by Jellyfish. Great band/tune, if you like Beatlish rock.

I don't agree that Juneau is such a good influence. His flagrant dissing of Therrien is not an example of leadership, it was a mid-pack player with an inflated head. I didn't like Therrien, but he was the coach, and this is a TEAM game.

As for Chad Kilger, I can't disagree strongly enough. The only reason he still has a NHL paycheck is that he is a 6'4" first rounder that can skate (in a straight line only). GM's think that they can turn him around. Think of it. Ducks, Jets, Coyotes, Blackhawks, Oilers and Habs, all in 8 years. :eek:

He was born without a mean streak. You have to have a bit of the ol' @ssh0le in you to be an impact player. Have you seen Matt Cooke lately? Chelios...and on and on.

This is the NHL. You have to stand up and be counted. STEAL A JOB from another. If you wait like a nancy boy waiting for the tooth fairy to give you a proper role, you land up being a first rounder traded 8 times in 5 years.

We cannot make excuses for these guys. They are wearing a Habs uniform. They play in the NHL. They make an average of over 1.5 Million $$.

Summary, I disagree with you on Juneau being a good influence and on Chad Kilger ever being an impact player in the NHL.

Marchy79 11-26-2003 07:48 AM

Juneau had a problem with Therrien.. but there is also a firm belief that JJ did develop some of the players in his time in the NHL, and it can be said that Carbonneau was not exactly the best example of ethics while he was here as well.

As for Kilger, I honestly am a believer he can turn it around, at times he has shown some good skill, The fact that he had almost no role in the past few years here must of been sore on his confidence... I mean, he had such a great first year here, then he was banished to limited play the year after (a la Jason Ward this year) His mean streak is not strong, but it shows it's face once in a while. Some guys take a long time to develop... I have faith in Chad and Gainey that he will find his role here by the end of this year.

PrairieHabber 11-26-2003 08:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mark0v
Yeah Boston does have a good team... but as Habs mentioned, they did it by royally stinking it up in one season, and therefore picking up Thornton and Samsonov in one draft.

it was the 1997 year draft and now we are in 2003 ...take them 6 years to be there with a first overal draft choice .So , i am sure that if we wait a little bit , all our last 3 years draft picks are going to give us a competitive team ...

The farm team of the canadians is a really young team , with a lot of new blood , but they are already on top of the league.

What's also interesting is that while it has taken the Bruins a few years to build to this level, and yes they consistently have a hard-working team, they have developed this club while having 4 different coaches since the summer of 97. Burns coaches most of that time but they also had Keenan, O'Connell for a little while and now Sullivan.

Démon Blond 11-26-2003 08:44 AM

There's only one spot where the Habs have done better than the Bruins in those years and it's the goaltender position. With Theo and Garon, we have a solid core there. The Bruins are still looking for their franchise goaltender... could it be Raycroft? I don't know yet.

Comparing the two teams, I think the defense is about equal right now, with a slight advantage to the Bruins, what truly diffenrenciates those teams is the offense, where Boston's is WAAAAAYYYYY better than Montreal's. Speed, scoring, toughness, gritiness, caracter... its truly pathetic on our side of the fence when you look at it :cry:

Joe Cole 11-26-2003 09:00 AM

[QUOTE=Ghost # 1].. but there is also a firm belief that JJ did develop some of the players in his time in the NHL.

As for Kilger, I honestly am a believer he can turn it around, at times he has shown some good skill, The fact that he had almost no role in the past few years here must of been sore on his confidence... I mean, he had such a great first year here. His mean streak is not strong, but it shows it's face once in a while. Some guys take a long time to develop... [QUOTE]


There is not a firm belief in Juneau, you have a firm belief in Juneau. I do not hate the guy, but you do not win with guys like Juneau.

As for Kilger, I repeat....he has to demand that they make room for him by consistantly having strong shifts. Shift after shift. What do you think Begin has done? He was just a spare part too, now Gainey mentions him in every sentence.

It is hard to give up on big guys. The Ilses have not given up on Kvasha because they remember Bertuzzi, now that is a slap in the face. But I say, send Kilger to Hamilton, if someone claims him off waivers, then so be it.

Your thoughts on his first year are right, it was his best half season. 34 PIM and 25 points in 43 games. He just doesn't have the fire to keep it going.

Kilger's mean streak....where did you see that. Has he ever dropped the gloves in defence of a team mate? Or dropped them when he is checked dirty? No.

Some guys take a long time to develop, and some guys are promoted to their level of incompetency. (The Peter Principle)

Call it straight, these aren't your kids. Juneau is done, Kilger never happened. It doesn't make them bad guys, just not good enough to do the job that they were hired for. :(

Mike8 11-26-2003 09:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Démon Blond
There's only one spot where the Habs have done better than the Bruins in those years and it's the goaltender position. With Theo and Garon, we have a solid core there. The Bruins are still looking for their franchise goaltender... could it be Raycroft? I don't know yet.

The Bruins actually have a fantastic young goalie prospect by the name of Hannu Toivonen. He's 19 and in the AHL right now.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Démon Blond
Kilger's mean streak....where did you see that. Has he ever dropped the gloves in defence of a team mate? Or dropped them when he is checked dirty? No.

In fairness to Kilger, he did drop the gloves after the McLaren hit (the shift after). I believe he pounded Zamuner, after Quintal took a cheapshot on Dafoe.

He also dropped the gloves with Tucker after a dirty check last year.


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