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Renholder 05-19-2008 03:48 PM

Latendresse next year
 
Some would argue he had been rushed to the NHL a little too early and his fundamentals weren't up to par with NHL standards. What I do see is a big body with soft hands and great hockey sense without the skating tools necessary to be really effective offensive player.

Perhaps Tender will follow the development curve similar to that of A. Kost. in the AHL. It took him 2 seasons to acclimatize himself to the professional game and basically re-learn the defensive side of hockey. His third season he exploaded offensively and got called up at the end of the year.

Latendress is having to learn fundamentals, learn the defensive game and is being asked to produce offensively at a higher level of play than Ak46. That's a lot to ask for a very young player here.

In his third full season , I expect him to start producing a little more... he might even surprise a lot and secure himself a top 6 position and by his fourth year be one of the key contributers offensively.

Thoughts?

Chomsky 05-19-2008 04:02 PM

good post. I believe it might be plausible. Depending of course of his skating improvements. He really needs to work on his balance and acceleration this summer.

Btw, the bet is over, change your avy!!

Tusk 05-19-2008 04:03 PM

He's definitely got the tools to be a top-six forward, sooner, rather than later. He's still pretty intriguing but is taken for granted by most fans due to his early arrival and the local hootenanny surrounding him. I think he's very much a diamond in the rough and will have a lot of people eating crow. He's young, huge, has soft hands, and is developing still, and development doesn't usually happen over night. He has plenty of time to work on his skating too, which isn't as bad as people on here make it out to be. In short, I'm a believer that he will be a productive a top-six scorer, and maybe even a top-three one day.

Iwishihadacup 05-19-2008 04:04 PM

I am sure that if he get good ice time and play with Chipchura or Saku, he will put the points on the board

onice 05-19-2008 04:07 PM

I hope you're right and I'm wrong but I see a big body that moves terribly slow. Whenever he has to change direction it's like a ten wheeler having to turn around. His hockey sense is average. I haven't seen great hockey sense from him. And i wonder if he has the psychological make up to be a powerforward. In the Philly series he avoided the front of the net. Mind you he was not the only one but that is supposed to be one of his strengths - his big body.

i always thought and continue to believe that he should have stayed in the Q his last year and he should have spent last year in the AHL. I know I'm in the minority on this board but I really see nothing in his game that justifies having brought him up so quickly. Chipchura whose overall game is head and shoulders over Latendresse was sent down last year yet this kid has been kept up here.

Only time will tell if the Habs were right or wrong.

habsprospects 05-19-2008 04:24 PM

One thing for sure, all the send him to AHL crap is over because he would need to be put on waivers first.

*Never mind, people wil still propose that anyway...

Fire Brunet* 05-19-2008 04:29 PM

He needs to park his ass in front of the net, simple as that.

Chomsky 05-19-2008 04:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thief50 (Post 14159632)
One thing for sure, all the send him to AHL crap is over because he would need to be put on waivers first.

*Never mind, people wil still propose that anyway...

Yup..

Seb 05-19-2008 04:31 PM

I still feel we'll see another shy season from him.

He won't see any minutes on the top lines unless injuries.

le_sean 05-19-2008 04:34 PM

Well last year he was committed and lost weight. If he is actually committed to taking skating lessons we can see a new player out there. A quicker first step and stronger strides. We come to expect sophomore slumps these days, I expect a year of playing on Koivu's wing and we will see results.

Habbiebo0gie 05-19-2008 04:54 PM

Although I would like to be positive, I think there are a few things that might prevent his growth. Obviously, his skating and overall balance is despicable, to the point where I have trouble believing he will ever reach the level of an average skater. As was stated before, he doesn't have the mental ability necessary to become a power forward. He hasn't shown the ability to play with an 'edge', nor the aggressivity of a potential power forward. His inability to stay parked in front of the net despite his huge frame also leaves much to be desired.

Now, he could still develop into a legitimate top 6 forward, but I do not believe he will do so in the 'power forward' way. I think he has the ability to become a mini(very mini)-Malkin (big body with soft hands/good shot), if he can overcome the obvious problems with his skating.

Some have stated that his hockey sense is very good. I am not sure what to think about that, as of right now. Is Latendresse's game entirely hampered by his skating ability? If so, then he might become a very good player. But what if his problems go beyond his skating (psychological/bad fundamentals/bad habits)? There are too many question marks surrounding him right now, but I think we might get a clearer view at the end of next year. So I will reserve my judgement for now.

Roulin 05-19-2008 04:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Guy Carbonneau (Post 14159668)
He needs to park his ass in front of the net, simple as that.

True, but the opportunity to play that way usually happens on the PP. Watch for Lats to get more PP time next season, and improve his production as a result.

Magic33 05-19-2008 05:04 PM

i think its all about skating for him. If he can improve his skating and speed (which could take a while seeing as how slow he is now) then he can be productive, until then i dont think we'll see much

Vilgrain 05-19-2008 05:08 PM

not a big fan of him, but i heard somewhere (must of been radio) that he was on top of the nhl for most point for the least minutes per games played (or something like that). that doesnt look too bad.

is it me or doesnt he remind anyone of john leclair (potentialy)?

Ice Poutine 05-19-2008 05:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vilgrain (Post 14160021)
...
is it me or doesnt he remind anyone of john leclair (potentialy)?

I've seen Leclair start with the Habs and he was even less talented than Lats, or he hid it well. Lats is a diamond in the rough.:yo:

xeric716x 05-19-2008 05:11 PM

he will improve but i think he is still a season away from being a consistant point producer.

Iwishihadacup 05-19-2008 05:12 PM

Like i keep saying: give him ice time he will produce

he's a scorer not a grinder

JHabs 05-19-2008 05:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by preston (Post 14159406)
He's definitely got the tools to be a top-six forward, sooner, rather than later. He's still pretty intriguing but is taken for granted by most fans due to his early arrival and the local hootenanny surrounding him. I think he's very much a diamond in the rough and will have a lot of people eating crow. He's young, huge, has soft hands, and is developing still, and development doesn't usually happen over night. He has plenty of time to work on his skating too, which isn't as bad as people on here make it out to be. In short, I'm a believer that he will be a productive a top-six scorer, and maybe even a top-three one day.

:laugh: what a great word.

Seriously tho, he will become a top 6 player when he hits 25-26 he has potential, he was just over-hyped when he entered the NHL.

24Cups 05-19-2008 05:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Iwishihadacup (Post 14159407)
I am sure that if he get good ice time and play with Chipchura or Saku, he will put the points on the board

I'm also in favor of him starting the season on the third line with Chipchura and a speedster like Grabovski. This is year 3 in the NHL coming up and I expect Latendresse to find his role as a power forward. I think the physicality was there at times this season (mostly demonstrated after a game in the press box) and he needs to be more consistent in that area. The steady offense will develop with consistency and confidence.

While speed is not Guillaume's forte, I think he really needs to work on his quickness and first step to get in position in the offensive zone. First step quickness will allow him to get open for a quick shot or to place his big body in front of the net when another team mate has possession in the offensive zone. Tim Kerresque tip-ins and rebound goals will determine if Latendresse becomes a 40 goal or simply a 25 goal scorer a year.

Em Ancien 05-19-2008 05:48 PM

What he lacks even more than skating is positioning. I'm not sure if I'm the only one that has seen this, but he looks lost fairly often and has problem covering on the backcheck and in his zone. Learning how to position yourself in order to succeed in 3 zones is critical in order to get going back on offense and limit opponents opportunities.
I've not seen him make a case for good positioning (which he can't compensate with good athletic abilities, obviously), except when he gets in front of the net and in the corners. That's why he should have played at least 1-2 months in the AHL.
Let's just hope he gets some wheels to shadow that problem. He's doomed if he can't produce enough offensively to play on the top 2 lines and make his poor position game an afterthought.

Schooner Guy 05-19-2008 06:09 PM

Here's something I posted on Hockey BBS a few days ago....

Lats numbers are impressive for a 20 year old former 2nd rounder. He's young, he has improved his defensive play and he seems to have a good attitude overall. However, here are two concerns I have about Lats that go beyond the numbers....

1) He's slow...very slow. Is there a place in the New NHL for such a slow skater to be an impact player? Perhaps. Jason Allison put up some decent point totals in his lone season with the Leafs post-lockout but the Leafs cut him loose because his lack of foot speed made him a liability in the New NHL. No other team picked him up.

2) I don't think he's self-driven. Lats seems to play his best hockey after a benching or a lineup shuffle. He then goes into hibernation where he has long scoring slumps, doesn't throw his weight around, and doesn't drive to the net. Lats is at his best when he's hitting and going to the net. One thing I know from being around the game of hockey for many decades is that you can't coach or instill warrior mentality into a person....either they have it or the don't. You might be able to push the right buttons and motivate someone to play as a warrior in spurts but it's very frustrating for a coach to wonder on Gameday which Latendresse will show up. Milan Lucic, another 2nd Rounder, comes to the rink with that warrior mentality every game. His coach doesn't have to push any buttons to motivate him.

So speed and drive are my concerns. Now to the numbers...

The regular season numbers are half-decent but Lats didn't produce in the playoffs (1 assist and -5 in 8 games) and found himself in the stands for 4 consecutive games. Lats also frustrated Brent Sutter at the WJC and ended up rotting on the bench as Sutter lost faith in him. The NHL playoffs and the WJC are the two biggest stages Lats has played in and he didn't produce. Lucic was a force in the playoffs as a 19 year old and was fantastic for Canada in last summer's Super Series...a true gamer. Lucic's coaches don't have to worry on gameday about which Lucic is going to show up.

The good thing for Lats is he is young and has showed steady improvement in his overall game (especially defensively). He has great poise with the puck for a kid (as was shown on that cross-bar he hit in Game 5 versus Philly), soft hands, and he's stronger than an ox. He can work on his skating (although that stride sure ain't pretty) and most young players are inconsistent.

Ryder scored 30 goals in back to back seasons and many Habs fans still questioned his value to the team because of his flaws, and thought we'd be better off without him. Will Latendresse's positive attributes (size, poise, hands) ever be able to compensate enough for his stinging flaws that hurt a team (speed, consistent drive)? Will he ever be good enough to be a strong asset on a serious contending team? Does his style fit in with the speedy core of youth and character that Gainey and Timmins have been assembling? Time will tell and time is something that this kid has on his side.

Dr_Hook 05-19-2008 06:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Magic33 (Post 14159986)
i think its all about skating for him. If he can improve his skating and speed (which could take a while seeing as how slow he is now) then he can be productive, until then i dont think we'll see much

didn't really read your post but MAN ! that is an avatar !! I'd love to give her an innocent kiss on the cheek :D

Do we know her ?

Kirk Muller 05-19-2008 06:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roulin (Post 14159892)
True, but the opportunity to play that way usually happens on the PP. Watch for Lats to get more PP time next season, and improve his production as a result.

In some ways yes but he doesn't go to the net hard five on five either. How often on one on one situations do we see him trying to deke the defenseman instead of going wide and driving the net.

Skating isn't hindering Lats as much as the lack of mindset to not play a perimeter game. Anytime we have seen him on the PP he isn't in front of the net but on the side boards.

His game should be from the slot and in. He needs to take some lessons from Mike Knuble but he has one major advantage on Knuble and that is his vision and passing ability.

MathMan 05-19-2008 08:30 PM

Latendresse does not have any major problems that better icetime and linemates would not solve.

At even-strength, he's one of the most productive Habs, especially given his limited ice time and his linemates -- often offensive scrubs like Lapierre and Dandenault. For two years running his even-strength totals have been comparable to Higgins, and that often with worse linemates. Higgins gets more power play time which accounts for the difference in overall numbers.

His biggest weakness was defensive play, but he has improved this considerably playing on the fourth line, to the point where he was a plus player for the last few months of the season.

People wish for Lats to park himself in front of the net... but he can't. Remember, that doesn't work if his linemates do not have the puck. Dandy and Lappy never have the puck. They throw it into a corner, rush there while the D-man passes it away, hit the D-man, then back-check and get stuck in their zone for the rest of the shift. Basically Latendresse is forced to backcheck rather than get open because his line is always chasing the puck. Tomas Holmstrom wouldn't do much better than Latendresse in these conditions.

For Lats to be an effective net presence, he needs to play with at least one player who can hold the puck, so that he has time to get in front of the net or get open. It's no surprise his offensive production invariably skyrockets whenever he is used with Koivu or even Sergei Kostitsyn. These guys can actually handle the puck in the offensive zone and create something.

He also led all Hab forwards in hits, so he is not actually lacking for physicality. He hits very often, and occasionally pegs someone with his really big one. His physically is underrated on these boards, maybe because when he hits the camera doesn't often follow -- too often he is forced to chase a dump-in by one of his fourth-liner linemates, and hits a guy while the camera follows the puck going the other way.

I wouldn't be shocked to see Lats become a top-six forward next year and replace Higgins' place as second-line LW... and Higgins to become the leader of a killer two-way third line. In many ways Lats is already a better scorer than Higgins, whereas Higgy is the more complete player.

Kirk Muller 05-19-2008 08:41 PM

Quote:

At even-strength, he's one of the most productive Habs, especially given his limited ice time and his linemates -- often offensive scrubs like Lapierre and Dandenault. For two years running his even-strength totals have been comparable to Higgins, and that often with worse linemates. Higgins gets more power play time which accounts for the difference in overall numbers.
Thats a fallacy. Most of Lats production has come when playing with Koivu not the scrubs. His production with the scrubs is almost non existent.


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