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-   -   Enough Already About Toughness. Let's Think About Talent (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=515927)

SherbrookeW 05-11-2008 09:38 PM

Enough Already About Toughness. Let's Think About Talent
 
Could we take a break on talking compulsively about how what the Habs need is "grit" "toughness" " hard nose" players and all the rest of the Don Cherry bull? Look who's almost certainly going to be in the final: the Penguins and the Red Wings. Sure, they have plenty of guys who play tough ,drive the net,etc. BUT their real edge on the rest of the league is skill -- skill all over, skill in abundance, skill wherever you could want it. Put Hossa and Sundin on the Habs and I guarantee a Cup Final appearance at a minimum -- it's not going to happen, but that's what it would do. In the much-diluted and damaged NHL we have now, sure, a tough (but talented) team like last year's Ducks can out-do a talented (and not particularly tough) team like last year's Senators. By all means, lets be sure that we have the Claude Lemieuxs to go along with the Mario Lemieuxs (if only -- but you see the point; that type of player.) But in the long run, and almost always, teams win cups with great players.

grifftopia* 05-11-2008 09:41 PM

i see your point, teams need tough grit players but not a team of them, the ducks toughness cost them the series because their "grit" players got them 1000 penalties

Ice Poutine 05-11-2008 09:42 PM

I totally agree with what you say but Don Cherry's spy network is already at work and you can expect to see some "good Canadian boys" from Kingston knock at your door soon...

:sarcasm:

le_sean 05-11-2008 09:44 PM

But like you said, yes they have talented players, but they also have the Holmstrom's, Franzen's, Malone's and Roberts' willing to pay the price in front of the net. The Habs do not.

Maxpac 05-11-2008 09:45 PM

ya guys stop thinking about what we need, think about what we have instead, that way we'l get ALOT better!


:shakehead

HotPie 05-11-2008 09:46 PM

I agree. I'm tired of hearing that we need some tough Canadian boys till we start contending.

We were tough and gritty enough in the playoffs as far as I'm concerned. It wasn't a lack of toughness that cost us the series against Philly, it was lack of experience, lack of finish, and lack of quality goaltending. In fact, I think we can attribute most of our problems to lack of experience, and I'm pretty sure all our young players will have learned from these playoffs.

Enough with this lack of toughness.

Sined 05-11-2008 09:46 PM

I've been telling this to everyone that has tried to shove the "grit" drivel down my throat for the last week.

I'd rather punish a team with skill than try to out muscle a grit based team.

Montreal isn't and probably will never be recognized in the league as a gritty team. So why do people want to all of the sudden change the team's philosophy over the course of the summer.

To me that would honestly be a step back in the development of this team.

Ice Poutine 05-11-2008 09:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HotPie (Post 14079274)
...

Enough with this lack of toughness.

What we need to develop as a team is an absence of softness. In all aspects of the game.

Sined 05-11-2008 09:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ice Poutine (Post 14079300)
What we need to develop as a team is an absence of softness. In all aspects of the game.

Exactly. You couldn't have put it in better words.

SilverLine 05-11-2008 09:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by le_sean (Post 14079245)
But like you said, yes they have talented players, but they also have the Holmstrom's, Franzen's, Malone's and Roberts' willing to pay the price in front of the net. The Habs do not.

Kovalev displayed this extremely well against the Flyers (I think). He stood in front of the net and got 2 goals doing it.

I think he did a great job showing his team how to run the power play in the playoffs. Unfortunately, no one decided to do it before him.

le_sean 05-11-2008 09:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SilverLine (Post 14079327)
Kovalev displayed this extremely well against the Flyers (I think). He stood in front of the net and got 2 goals doing it.

I think he did a great job showing his team how to run the power play in the playoffs. Unfortunately, no one decided to do it before him.

Koivu does too, but he's small and gets pushed away. I wish Gui would stand in front of the net and play like a real powerforward.

And I agree that I wish this team to be based on speed and skill, that is their strength. But we need a big guy on a top line to finish these plays in front of the net. If a guy like Smyth was on this team they would be scoring A LOT more goals because he pays the price.

Adding toughness does not take away skill. Holmstrom and Franzen are very good players themselves.

Habbiebo0gie 05-11-2008 09:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by le_sean (Post 14079245)
But like you said, yes they have talented players, but they also have the Holmstrom's, Franzen's, Malone's and Roberts' willing to pay the price in front of the net. The Habs do not.

+1

This is the main problem with the Habs' lineup. Of course skill is important, but we do not have guys willing to pay the price to drive the net (outside of the MVP line). Detroit has a guy on 3 of their lines that will make life hard for the opposing goaltenders (Holmstrom, Franzen, Cleary). Pittsburg has Malone on the top line and Dupuis on the second, with some serious grit+experience with Roberts on the 4th. We simply don't have that luxury. That's why we lost to phillie, whereas Pittsburg is cruising along.

Bullsmith 05-11-2008 09:55 PM

The Habs have been drafting size and nastiness and toughness and have a decent amount of it in the pool, certainly far more than they have had in a long long time. Valentenko, Chipchura, Pacioretti, McDonough, Subban, White, Emelin plus a number of pretty physical forward prospects who are at least 2-3 out 4 of on a list of Skills/Skating/Size/Playoff impact grit.

redmachine54 05-11-2008 09:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ice Poutine (Post 14079300)
What we need to develop as a team is an absence of softness. In all aspects of the game.

Exactly.

Quote:

Originally Posted by SilverLine (Post 14079327)
Kovalev displayed this extremely well against the Flyers (I think). He stood in front of the net and got 2 goals doing it.

I think he did a great job showing his team how to run the power play in the playoffs. Unfortunately, no one decided to do it before him.

Agreed. I think a useful strategy next season would be to try and sit Latendresse in front of the net; if we wants to play finesse hockey at even-strength, that's fine, but during power-plays, try him in front of the net. I don't know if Shutt liked the types of goals he scored, but he got 'em, and he net 60 in one season. I'm saying Latendresse = Shutt, but I think if you have a means of scoring, might as well try to use it.

(A little side story, I did the same thing in minor-league (AAA) hockey. I liked to try and play nice, smooth hockey, but I was 6'0", 230 pounds, and didn't have the speed to do it properly. Nobody liked it when I sat in front of the net, since it was an unwritten rule to not do it I guess, and the refs even told me to stop, but I did it anyway. Obviously, it's just minor league hockey, but I had some pretty good 'seasons', if you will, doing that.)

JTG 05-11-2008 10:09 PM

You are saying this, but you just got thumped by a lower seed who just simply out toughed you in every aspect of the game. Montreal is hands down probably one of the top 5 talented teams in the league, but if you have 5 guys on the ice who don't want to get their noses dirty you're never going to win. Remove Komisarek and your toughness is cut in half. Some muckers and grinders need to be added to this roster this offseason if you want success to come.

Ice Poutine 05-11-2008 10:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JTG32005 (Post 14079575)
... Remove Komisarek and your toughness is cut in half. Some muckers and grinders need to be added to this roster this offseason if you want success to come.

Hey, we have Brisebois and we are hoping to sign some male figure skater who is real fast with a puck i hear...

JGRB 05-11-2008 10:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ice Poutine (Post 14079219)
I totally agree with what you say but Don Cherry's spy network is already at work and you can expect to see some "good Canadian boys" from Kingston knock at your door soon...

:sarcasm:

I have some friends in Kingston, they do Yoga and meditate to Enya. Are these the same guys?

:sarcasm:

Habs 05-11-2008 11:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SherbrookeW (Post 14079174)
Could we take a break on talking compulsively about how what the Habs need is "grit" "toughness" " hard nose" players and all the rest of the Don Cherry bull? Look who's almost certainly going to be in the final: the Penguins and the Red Wings. Sure, they have plenty of guys who play tough ,drive the net,etc.

Thanks for painting yourself in a corner, so we don't have to. You agree these teams need the toughness, but somehow discredit it as if the talent would shine through without it.

This Penguins team without George, Roberts and Malone wouldn't be anywhere near where they are. Teams would hammer Crosby and Malkin into the injury ward, running the team into the ground.

You cannot have one, without the other, thats a fact. Your star players can't be "star players" without the confidence of knowing they have backup if anyone wants to get ugly.

Ask #99 where the Oil would have been without Semenko, or Mario where he'd be without Tocchet and others.

Habitant#1 05-11-2008 11:45 PM

How about we add tough talent? I don't think adding 3rd or 4th line grit will help, or adding more super skilled finess players will help either. Let's add skilled grit.

Obviously easier said than done though.

Jean-Guy Drouin* 05-12-2008 12:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Maxpac (Post 14079262)
ya guys stop thinking about what we need, think about what we have instead, that way we'l get ALOT better!


:shakehead

Exact. We have the talent, but we now need real 3rd and 4th lines forward. Not dikheads like Lapierre and Smolinski.

If Stewart always plays like the way he played in his game against the Leafs, let give him a spot right fuking now.

Sthabs 05-12-2008 01:15 AM

We re already adding big skilled forward upfront with Lats, Pax, Stewart, Wyman maybe or Maxwell, Chip on Defense that s all the guys that ll have to pay the price in front of the net, but that s in....maybe 2-3 years....? WIth hopefully whoever we ll add this coming draft, whch will be I hope a big skilled forward again, maybe a center.

Same thing on Defense , Markov(not so big) Komo, Obyrne, Valentenko Hammer then Subban, Webber(not tall but Bouillon type I heard) Emelin etc, thats all big skilled , and sometimes nasty guys that can hit...but that s in a few years too...
For now we can hopefully add Valentenko next year with hopefully a settled down Obyrne too, remove Streit (exept PP time or as the 7th Def) and Brisebois from the Defense and it s already not as soft, Cube and Georgs arent soft by any means and should play 15 mn of energetic hockey, that s how I see it anyway
Forwards, I think we still lack that star forward obviously but I hope that ll change soon..
I dont think we ll have much grit and skill upfront before another 2 years, so in the mean time I hope Bob fix that issue, a guy like Sundin would be perfect even tho that ll probably never happen...They need more confidence to play with a mean streak, and they need to teach those kids soon to put themselves in front of the net.( I stillthnk that s why welost the series)

tinyzombies 05-12-2008 02:51 AM

I'm annoyed that we have the talent, but lack the grit, because we could have done something about it. We didn't need a playoff series to show us the problem with this team (injuries notwithstanding).

The other problem with this team is the lack of defensemen who can pass the puck.

The Wings have three elite puck movers and two other capable movers.

We have perhaps one elite puck mover and one capable mover. Komisarek is solid, so you can count him as three if you like. Either way, we need more of these guys.

Anyway, I assume Gainey wants to keep going with the youth, but Koivu/Kovalev aren't getting any younger. I guess Gainey has a grand design in mind.

Maxpac 05-12-2008 12:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jean-Guy Drouin (Post 14080809)
Exact. We have the talent, but we now need real 3rd and 4th lines forward. Not dikheads like Lapierre and Smolinski.

If Stewart always plays like the way he played in his game against the Leafs, let give him a spot right fuking now.

For Smolinski your right but ffor Lappierre your wrong, right now he is playing with limited abilities at wing, i hope next year we're able to see a Latendresse-Chipchura-Lappierre line

toshiro 05-12-2008 03:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeafRefereeeeeees (Post 14081253)
I'm annoyed that we have the talent, but lack the grit, because we could have done something about it. We didn't need a playoff series to show us the problem with this team (injuries notwithstanding).

The other problem with this team is the lack of defensemen who can pass the puck.

The Wings have three elite puck movers and two other capable movers.

We have perhaps one elite puck mover and one capable mover. Komisarek is solid, so you can count him as three if you like. Either way, we need more of these guys.

Anyway, I assume Gainey wants to keep going with the youth, but Koivu/Kovalev aren't getting any younger. I guess Gainey has a grand design in mind.

Do we have the talent? The Habs need top end players. Laps, Komi, Lats, Obyrne, Emelin, Mcdonogh, Chip will be here soon. Koivu, Kovs, Higgins, titts 1 and 2 etc are not soft. Watching the Pens it appears the making of a dynasty.

tinyzombies 05-12-2008 03:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by toshiro (Post 14085557)
Do we have the talent? The Habs need top end players. Laps, Komi, Lats, Obyrne, Emelin, Mcdonogh, Chip will be here soon. Koivu, Kovs, Higgins, titts 1 and 2 etc are not soft. Watching the Pens it appears the making of a dynasty.

If you want my brutal assessment:

We have to continue improving both imo. I'm not married to our young guys. If we can make a move to upgrade our playoff toughness and not downgrade our skill like Ottawa did, I'm all for it.

It's not a black and white question. Look at Ribeiro. All he needed was a guy like Morrow and he's grown five feet.

The biggest problem imo is the puck movers and two-way defensemen. We need two more of those before Markov/Hammer get too old. Hopefully our farm has the answer. McDonough looks good on video. O'B is a good looking young guy. Komi is a solid complementary shutdown guy.

We also need to toughen up our bottom 6.

I'm not a Kovalev fan myself, but I understand the fascination. I would trade him this summer while his value is high. I LOVE Koivu though. That guy is a warrior. He just needs help.

Higgins has been hurt and did not want to battle in these playoffs, but if he ever gets healthy again... AKost shied away from the physical play imo, but if he can keep pulling the trigger like he did, we just need to get him a linemate with some toughness and skill. Plekanec I DO NOT like as a playoff player.

Lapierre is a good pest, but he needs someone on his line to stand up for him.

We also need a couple guys who can go to the net and take punishment. Hopefully Lats and Pacioretty can do it and score goals.

I thought Gainey could have done things a bit differently this year and we might have gone farther, but hard to argue with #1 in the East. It's all about playoff hockey though. Detroit still would have killed us in the final anyway. Too many smart players and puck movers on D...

The team is gaining experience though and should be better next year. And health would help come playoff time too. I like the overall direction. Keep the farm going!


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