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Stephan Lebeau 01-05-2004 06:47 PM

question for the Juneau haters
 
I don't see why everyone wants to dispose of Juneau so quickly. So tell me one thing -- if we did dump him, who would replace him in shutting the opposition's top line down when we needed it?

Begin? -- sure, he was impressive in the few games Juneau was out..but is he really that experienced to fill Juneau's skates? Is he as smart? Does he know to defend as well as Juneau does? Seems to me like he's more of a sparkplug player; an energy line kinda guy. Come playoff time will he get the job done?

Sundstrom? Dackell? -- yeah, they're ok... but they can't do what Juneau does.

As old as he is (which only plays to our benefit due to the experience he's amassed) and as bad as his back is or as slow as he may be.... I'm willing to overlook that and take his mediocre 12 points and penalty killing expertise and run with em.

With the majority of our players either very young or not experienced in playoff hockey, we need guys like him.

I can't think of any instances this season where he's goofed up majorly or done us wrong.

Your opinions?

Kerberos* 01-05-2004 06:49 PM

Actually, Juneau only inspires apathy in me.

Traitor8 01-05-2004 06:52 PM

Begin is the only guy I see right now that might replace Juneau. Or we might put Koivu on that line and put Perreault on the 1st line. Or we can give the spot to Plekanec or Hossa(if he does something in the AHL)

KILLger 01-05-2004 07:06 PM

Jan Bulis

Stephan Lebeau 01-05-2004 07:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kerberos
Actually, Juneau only inspires apathy in me.

well, id say thats better than not wanting him on the team! it's like they say... when u go unnoticed in a game, it isnt necessarily a bad thing

BigM1ke 01-05-2004 08:13 PM

Begin is better than Juneau.. Once he'll come back, Juneau will leave.

Stephan Lebeau 01-06-2004 04:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Big M1ke
Begin is better than Juneau.. Once he'll come back, Juneau will leave.

How the hell do you figure that? Why is Begin better than Juneau? Are you saying that when Begin is healthy again, Juneau will pack his bags and say "alrighty folks, you don't need me anymore!"
You're basing your opinion on what? --the 26 games Begin has played for the Habs? Do you think that's what Gainey does when evaluating players? Look at who's hot right now?

You've got to be kidding me.

chicpea* 01-06-2004 05:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stephan Lebeau
I can't think of any instances this season where he's goofed up majorly or done us wrong.

How about in Carolina when he cleanly lost the OT face-off draw in his own end and Sean Hill potted the pp. winner? Although, that was more Julien's fault for having him take the draw, I guess.

Istvan 01-06-2004 05:14 AM

Along with Juneau, Sundstrom and Dackell take a beating on this board and i'm not sure why. The line usually contains or shuts down the opposition's top line and nets the occassional goal. They work hard every shift. What more are they supposed to do?

chicpea* 01-06-2004 05:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stephan Lebeau
Are you saying that when Begin is healthy again, Juneau will pack his bags and say "alrighty folks, you don't need me anymore!"

Hehe, yes, Juneau is just like the Littlest Hobo!

Habsaku 01-06-2004 05:19 AM

The best games we played were the ones where Juneau, Perreault and Quintal we're not playing. I've said it numerous times, Juneau was a 4th liner before coming with the Habs, that idiot Therrien abused him, making him our 1st line center with over 20 min a game in 2002 and sometimes in 2003(notice how much we were in our own zone, notice the high shots we allowed, or our poor offensive showings those years?). Sure Juneau helped in 2002 in our playoff run, but he was nothing spectacular and now he can barely skate, let alone play defense. Its funny how suddenly, because of 2 goals, the guy becomes a hero.

ANYONE can replace him because anyone can do a 4th liner's job. Bulis for example and its not like we couldn't find a bigger, tougher guy who can do the same job and cost us only a 2nd rounder or less.

Anksun 01-06-2004 05:40 AM

I like Begin more because he's seems to be like a motivation for Dackell and Sundstrom.

Both have played their best games when playing with Begin. More gritty, more speed, more pressure... For now, Juneau is ok with me on 3rd line, but when Begin comes back, I would give him few games to regain confidence on 4th and give him back 3rd line dutty. Then Juneau could play on 4th line and in very specific role on the 3rd.

Mostly depend what team we face (need experience?, need speed?, need ...) They could very well switch one game to another which would probably be ok for Juneau (would give him some ''rest'' for his back playing less on the fourth in some games). Plus this would give slowly the experience we want Begin to acquired.

For this year, I would not want to see competition between Juneau and Begin, I would want Juneau to help Begin (even if i think the 3rd line is still better with Begin, He could improved a lot with Juneau as a "mentor").

mcphee 01-06-2004 05:40 AM

Juneau, like the rest of our centers, is a victim of our overall personnel.He has become a smart defensive player who is positionnally sound and responsible in his zone. He is on a team that doesn't have a physical presence at his position. Saku, at the moment is our most physical center. My complaint with Juneau is his unwillingness, most of the time to venture into traffic in the offensive zone. He does have some imagination and will make some nice passes from the perimiter, but the days of his being a 2 way player are over. So, if you get little production from your third line, there is additional pressure on your other lines to score. A large gritty 2 way player would add a lot to any of our centers. I do like the idea of Juneau playing 4th line minutes leaving energy for his pk or late game responsibilities. He seems to be one of the guys being quoted in the media a lot lately, discussing how the team can succeed when they play within their system. I don't know whether he is assuming a bit more leadership or whether he is simply being quoted more. Like a lot of Habs lately, Juneau is contributing more than I thought he could at this stage in his career.

Habsaku 01-06-2004 05:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mcphee
Saku, at the moment is our most physical center. .


This is a huge problem we have to adress, I think its not acceptable to have our smallest and offensive center doing that job the most. We need a bigger body who can play on the top3 lines.

Habber 01-06-2004 05:55 AM

I’m kind of in the middle ground here. He has been very effective in shutting a line from the other team down on some nights, and is good on the PK, but that’s it. He’s a one-dimensional player and I think some people, myself included, want more from a position that gets 17 min of icetime a game.

I commend the job he’s done this season and rarely criticize him. He’s is playing to the best of his abilities right now, the problem is his abilities aren’t as good as they used to be and they’re getting worse. It’s pretty obvious that his body can’t handle this kind of icetime night after night, as seen from him missing the odd game, taking 25 sec. shifts and skipping some shifts altogether.

There are many 3rd line centres in the league that are just as effective defensively, but bring other elements to the table like physical play, scoring and energy. We saw a hint of this when Begin was playing the spot. He hit everybody, got more scoring chances in a game than Juneau did in a month and provided a spark to the line that came on after him.

I think we should keep Juneau through the year as insurance and a depth player, but it’s obvious he is not in the long term plans of the Habs. I would like to see someone, whether it be Begin or someone else that BG bring in, replace Juneau on the 3rd line centre slot and I’ll bet it happens before the season is over.

Joe Cole 01-06-2004 06:04 AM

Hey Stephane Lebeau...bet you couldn't wait to say "I told ya so", eh? :joker:

Well, I will be honest. I am one of those who said that Juneau was completely replaceable.

His play of late has been good. I will not deny that. I prefer him to Dackell, and maybe Sundstrom, but I will give Sundtrom a few more days in the sunlight.

That said, I still do not see him shutting down Thorton's line, nor Philly's top two lines. That is what I expect from a "shut-down" man. For now, he fills a role on the team. A modern day Benoit Brunet, a second rate defensive forward.

Just don't count me as a member of his fan club.

BigM1ke 01-06-2004 06:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stephan Lebeau
How the hell do you figure that? Why is Begin better than Juneau? Are you saying that when Begin is healthy again, Juneau will pack his bags and say "alrighty folks, you don't need me anymore!"
You're basing your opinion on what? --the 26 games Begin has played for the Habs? Do you think that's what Gainey does when evaluating players? Look at who's hot right now?

You've got to be kidding me.

Begin, when healthy, was doing a WAY better job than Juneau and everybody noticed it.... He's playing physical, something that Juneau ain't, and he's faster than Juneau. I know that Double J had a pretty good weekend, but 2 games ain't a year... I would put him on the 4th line when Begin comes back... The Dackell-Begin-Sundstrom was totally amazing few weeks ago....

You prefer to see Juneau than Begin?? You've got to be kidding me

august 01-06-2004 06:58 AM

I think that if they are healthy, Steve Bégin and Benoit Gratton are better than Juneau.

Mike8 01-06-2004 07:23 AM

I don't hate Juneau, but I'm not a fan. Two years ago, Juneau was effective. He contained players, and was proactive with the stick and in the neutral zone. He'd smartly steal the puck and clear the zone.

This year and last however, he's looked more towards containment as sole a means of defense. When he's down low, he'll look to stick to the fundamental part of hockey: stay between your man and the goalie, and keep them to the perimeter. The only problem is he gives about two feet of room between himself and his man because if he sticks any closer, his man will shrug him off and skate around him to the net. So he's having to cheat a bit.

At this point, Juneau isn't strong, quick or proactive enough to defend against the larger, faster, smarter players in the league. He's beaten down low on a fairly consistent basis these days, and doesn't have the strength to contain players in the slot. He's just coming up short too often.

Now, I'm not saying Juneau's entirely useless, but I do feel Koivu and Begin do superior jobs in their own zone than Juneau does. While Begin doesn't contain half of Juneau's hockey sense, he looks to run through his man in his own zone to force him to the outside. While Juneau hopes his man stays to the outside, Begin forces it.

If Begin's man is in the slot, he will tie up his stick, hold him, check him, deliver a cheapshot, or anything it takes to make him ineffective in the play. He's a give-it-your-all type of player, who plays every shift as though it's his last. And that type of game is more effective than what Juneau brings to the table right now.

deandebean 01-06-2004 07:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stephan Lebeau
I don't see why everyone wants to dispose of Juneau so quickly. So tell me one thing -- if we did dump him, who would replace him in shutting the opposition's top line down when we needed it?

Begin? -- sure, he was impressive in the few games Juneau was out..but is he really that experienced to fill Juneau's skates? Is he as smart? Does he know to defend as well as Juneau does? Seems to me like he's more of a sparkplug player; an energy line kinda guy. Come playoff time will he get the job done?

Sundstrom? Dackell? -- yeah, they're ok... but they can't do what Juneau does.

As old as he is (which only plays to our benefit due to the experience he's amassed) and as bad as his back is or as slow as he may be.... I'm willing to overlook that and take his mediocre 12 points and penalty killing expertise and run with em.

With the majority of our players either very young or not experienced in playoff hockey, we need guys like him.

I can't think of any instances this season where he's goofed up majorly or done us wrong.

Your opinions?

First off, Sundstrom and Dackell can't do it because they're not centers. Juneau is over the hill. He can't skate anymore, and his checking is mostly due to his great hockey sense. When Bégin was on this line, all 3 players spent most of their time against the opposition's best lines in the offensive zone. Bégin was IN FRONT of his opponent, not behind, trying to poke check. Bégin was intense. Juneau is not. Juneau is easily pushed aside. Bégin is not. Heck, Koivu played with Sundstrom and Dackell saturday and the line was creative and dominant.

That's the difference. The only reason why Juneau is still with the club is because he's got a couple more zeros than wanted on his pay checks.

Dutchy 01-06-2004 07:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by august
I think that if they are healthy, Steve Bégin and Benoit Gratton are better than Juneau.

I think it's too early to start putting Gratton in front of Juneau in the depth chart. Wait untill he gets 10-15 NHL games this season.

scosar 01-06-2004 08:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dutchy
I think it's too early to start putting Gratton in front of Juneau in the depth chart. Wait untill he gets 10-15 NHL games this season.


Remember we are looking for a center to step in and shut down the offensive centers of the other teams in our conference. Begin has the quickness and is reasonably tough. But if you ask me is he good enough to shut down Mats Sundin or any of Philly's big centers in the play-offs, I don't think so. Juneau's line has, and will continue to do a great job shutting down the other teams scoring line. If you want them to score too then you are just being unrealistic. How many teams have a scoring third line. Hell even Jarvis one of the best checking centers ever never banged in much more than 10-15 goals a season.

Mike8 01-06-2004 08:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by scosar
Remember we are looking for a center to step in and shut down the offensive centers of the other teams in our conference. Begin has the quickness and is reasonably tough. But if you ask me is he good enough to shut down Mats Sundin or any of Philly's big centers in the play-offs, I don't think so. Juneau's line has, and will continue to do a great job shutting down the other teams scoring line. If you want them to score too then you are just being unrealistic. How many teams have a scoring third line. Hell even Jarvis one of the best checking centers ever never banged in much more than 10-15 goals a season.

1. I wouldn't say Begin's "reasonably" tough. I'd say he's fearless. As tough as they come. He'll throw down the gloves, deliver hits on any player that's vulnerable for one, and check his man with as much intensity as anyone. Did you not see the effect Begin had on not only his line, but the entire team when he had an increased role? I saw Sundstrom and Dackell drop the gloves when playing with Begin even!

2. Juneau has NOT shut down the opposition for the last two seasons. Theodore has. Juneau's line is more often than not hemmed in their own zone because that line contains three players in the same mold. Unfortunately that mold is soft, perimeter players. As hard as Dackell works, he's still soft, and he's still a perimeter player who is at his best when paired with players that offer different attributes than he does. Same goes for Sundstrom, minus the hard working part, but he adds more offensive flair.

3. When in the offensive zone, not only does Juneau's line fail to get scoring chances, but they endlessly cycle the puck along the boards, manage to get themselves all hemmed in deep, then the opposition has enough of their cycling and they move the puck quickly up ice. This wouldn't be a problem, except for the fact that Juneau and Sundstrom are awfully slow, and Dackell's usually the man down low.

In other words, Montreal's 'defensive' line has problems with transition defense.

4. How many teams have scoring from their checking lines? Take a look within Montreal's division alone:

Boston - Rolston/Axelson is a big offensive threat; Bergeron has played much of the season with them. Rolston is a consistent 25+ goal scorer the past few seasons, on pace for 25 this year

Buffalo - Curtis Brown, regularly scores 15-20 goals

Ottawa - no real 'checking' line; Bonk is the main defensive center usually, but you could say Fisher or Smolinski are 'checking' line centers for them. Smolinski is fairly consistent at putting 20+ goals up, and Fisher's still developing but has already put up 20 goals I believe as a 22 year old.

Toronto - top three centers are Sundin, Antropov, Nieuwendyk. All provide offense.

You can look around the rest of the league at checking line centers providing offense.

The fact remains that Juneau with Sundstrom and Dackell doesn't work. They have chemistry on the PK, but even strength they're too similar and as such, too easy to play against.

HCH 01-06-2004 08:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Komisarek8
Begin is the only guy I see right now that might replace Juneau. Or we might put Koivu on that line and put Perreault on the 1st line. Or we can give the spot to Plekanec or Hossa(if he does something in the AHL)

Perreault on the first line? The guy can't even win a regular job... and if he is on the first line, I hope it is with another team.

BigM1ke 01-06-2004 09:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike8
I don't hate Juneau, but I'm not a fan. Two years ago, Juneau was effective. He contained players, and was proactive with the stick and in the neutral zone. He'd smartly steal the puck and clear the zone.

This year and last however, he's looked more towards containment as sole a means of defense. When he's down low, he'll look to stick to the fundamental part of hockey: stay between your man and the goalie, and keep them to the perimeter. The only problem is he gives about two feet of room between himself and his man because if he sticks any closer, his man will shrug him off and skate around him to the net. So he's having to cheat a bit.

At this point, Juneau isn't strong, quick or proactive enough to defend against the larger, faster, smarter players in the league. He's beaten down low on a fairly consistent basis these days, and doesn't have the strength to contain players in the slot. He's just coming up short too often.

Now, I'm not saying Juneau's entirely useless, but I do feel Koivu and Begin do superior jobs in their own zone than Juneau does. While Begin doesn't contain half of Juneau's hockey sense, he looks to run through his man in his own zone to force him to the outside. While Juneau hopes his man stays to the outside, Begin forces it.

If Begin's man is in the slot, he will tie up his stick, hold him, check him, deliver a cheapshot, or anything it takes to make him ineffective in the play. He's a give-it-your-all type of player, who plays every shift as though it's his last. And that type of game is more effective than what Juneau brings to the table right now.

Finally someone who thinks like me!! :handclap:


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