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habakkuk 10-09-2008 07:02 AM

Sophomore Jinx
 
Many, especially young players or teams, have a tendancy to slump after a good year. Last year our Canadiens exceeded expectations. They exceeded expectation the way Buffalo did two years ago, the way Edmonton and Calgary did during their trips to the finals. What these teams found out that while it's difficult to get to the top, it's even more difficult to stay on top.
Each step on the improvement ladder is demands more effort and more sacrifice from each player. Everybody has to consistantly buy into the team first concept and be prepared sacrifice thier own goals to that of the team.
Sometimes it appears players or teams are satisfied with improvement or with a division championship. They are not willing to pay the price to keep up the effort required to be the best.

I sure hope Gainey and co are factoring this into this coming year.

Lone Rogue 10-09-2008 07:25 AM

We could most certainly crash and burn this year. The Buffalo Sabres did, and I was convinced they had a dynasty building. Of course, they also lost their leaders.

If Kovy gets lazy again, Andrei and Carey underperform, we deal with a crapload of badly placed injuries, nobody steps up and everyone plays at a water-downed pace due to pressure, yeah, the team could self destruct.

It's just unlikely with so many headstrong players.

Freaky Habs Fan 10-09-2008 07:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by habakkuk (Post 15753172)
Many, especially young players or teams, have a tendancy to slump after a good year. Last year our Canadiens exceeded expectations. They exceeded expectation the way Buffalo did two years ago, the way Edmonton and Calgary did during their trips to the finals. What these teams found out that while it's difficult to get to the top, it's even more difficult to stay on top.
Each step on the improvement ladder is demands more effort and more sacrifice from each player. Everybody has to consistantly buy into the team first concept and be prepared sacrifice thier own goals to that of the team.
Sometimes it appears players or teams are satisfied with improvement or with a division championship. They are not willing to pay the price to keep up the effort required to be the best.

I sure hope Gainey and co are factoring this into this coming year.

Are you talking about sophomore jinx or bellow-par seasons by some of our players? I'm not worried about sophomore jinx because we don't have many second year players who can really hurt the team exept Price.

Sergei did well, but was not the important piece of our line-up. He didn't rack up the points either, despite doing quite well for a rookie. If indeed he plays way bellow expectations, we'll be able to send him down and re-call a hot player.

O'Byrne is still too green to have a sophomore jinx. He's still learning, and he's in the same situation than Sergei.

As for Price, I don't expect anything less than a good season. He's serious about his career and wants to prove some people wrong after his bellow-par performance in the last playoffs.

As for a meltdown from certain players, I'm not too worried. We have so much depth so I think we're safe. Also, we're not a one man team. We have a few great offensive players, and a few sub-par offensive players. If one line can't do the job for a few nights, another one will take over. That's the beauty of running three offensive line!

GoneAway 10-09-2008 07:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lone Rogue (Post 15753244)
We could most certainly crash and burn this year. The Buffalo Sabres did, and I was convinced they had a dynasty building. Of course, they also lost their leaders.

If Kovy gets lazy again, Andrei and Carey underperform, we deal with a crapload of badly placed injuries, nobody steps up and everyone plays at a water-downed pace due to pressure, yeah, the team could self destruct.

It's just unlikely with so many headstrong players.

And I think thats what Bob had in mind when he moulded this team.

Judge Sauer* 10-09-2008 08:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Freaky Habs Fan (Post 15753297)
Are you talking about sophomore jinx or bellow-par seasons by some of our players? I'm not worried about sophomore jinx because we don't have many second year players who can really huet the team exept Price.

Sergei did well, but was not the important peice of our line-up. He didn't rack up the points either, despite doing quite well for a rookie. If indeed he plays way bellow expectations, we'll be able to send him down and re-call a hot player.

O'Byrne is still too green to have a sophomore jinx. He's still learning, and he's in the same situation than Sergei.

As for Price, I don't expect anything less than a good season. He's serious about his career and wants to prove some people wrong after his bellow-par performance in the last playoffs.

As for a meltdown from certain players, I'm not too worried. We have so much depth so I think we're safe. Also, we're not a one man team. We have a few great offensive players, and a few sub-par offensive players. If one line can't do the job for a few nights, another one will take over. That's the beauty of running three offensive line!

http://www.strategyteam.com/images/suspicious2.jpg

Pierre Dagenais 10-09-2008 08:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Freaky Habs Fan (Post 15753297)
Are you talking about sophomore jinx or bellow-par seasons by some of our players? I'm not worried about sophomore jinx because we don't have many second year players who can really huet the team exept Price.

Sergei did well, but was not the important peice of our line-up. He didn't rack up the points either, despite doing quite well for a rookie. If indeed he plays way bellow expectations, we'll be able to send him down and re-call a hot player.

O'Byrne is still too green to have a sophomore jinx. He's still learning, and he's in the same situation than Sergei.

As for Price, I don't expect anything less than a good season. He's serious about his career and wants to prove some people wrong after his bellow-par performance in the last playoffs.

As for a meltdown from certain players, I'm not too worried. We have so much depth so I think we're safe. Also, we're not a one man team. We have a few great offensive players, and a few sub-par offensive players. If one line can't do the job for a few nights, another one will take over. That's the beauty of running three offensive line!

A.Kost could have a sophomore jinx and it coulllllllld hurt

PS. Huet the team.. is that a new verb? to let in soft goals in the 3rd?

beowulf 10-09-2008 08:20 AM

Not worried at all. We have a good mix of veterans and young guys that seem to have meshed really well and will produce again this year.

waffledave 10-09-2008 08:46 AM

Players have sophomore jinxes because they are weak between the ears.

From what I've seen of our kids, it seems like playing badly only makes them play better.

mcphee 10-09-2008 08:57 AM

So many of theyoung palyers are in a situation that makes this year crucial. Higgins needs to establish what type of player he is, going into a contract year.

Lats, nothing more needs to be said. Lapierre and Chip are on the verge of showing whether they are NHL'ers or not.

AK struggled to make it, so in effect, I don't think it's an issue in thelearning curve.

The younger Kost. should, in theory be the most vulnerable to a letdown, but I think he's fairly strong minded and pretty well insulated by veteran players speaking his language.

Price struggling late last year, should make it clear to him that a letdown won't wash, so I don't see this being an issue.

Now, if th eteam struggles as they don't catch anyone by surprise this year, well, we'll see how they adjust.

Jiggernaut 10-09-2008 09:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by habakkuk (Post 15753172)
Many, especially young players or teams, have a tendancy to slump after a good year. Last year our Canadiens exceeded expectations. They exceeded expectation the way Buffalo did two years ago, the way Edmonton and Calgary did during their trips to the finals. What these teams found out that while it's difficult to get to the top, it's even more difficult to stay on top.
Each step on the improvement ladder is demands more effort and more sacrifice from each player. Everybody has to consistantly buy into the team first concept and be prepared sacrifice thier own goals to that of the team.
Sometimes it appears players or teams are satisfied with improvement or with a division championship. They are not willing to pay the price to keep up the effort required to be the best.

I sure hope Gainey and co are factoring this into this coming year.

When you use comparison's such as Calgary and Edmonton, you're almost comparing apples to oranges.

Neither of those teams had good regular seasons. Edmonton finished 8th, and went on a roll in the playoffs, then lost some very key players that off-season.

And Calgary finished 6th. Lost some key players as well, and changed coaches.

Neither of these teams were on top. They were mediocre teams that with about 2 more regular season losses wouldn't have even made the playoffs in each of their years. They got hot at the right time, went on a roll, and the next season they were in the exact same spot the following season.

If there's anything to learn for us, it's that the regular season didn't matter if you don't elevate your game come playoff time. That's what we can learn from Calgary and Edmonton.

And as for Buffalo, they did well one season, got better the next, didn't perform in the playoffs that season they were in top, then lost key players.

These comparisons will make sense maybe next year if we end up losing Koivu, Kovalev, Tanguay....

Freaky Habs Fan 10-09-2008 09:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pierre Dagenais (Post 15753489)
A.Kost could have a sophomore jinx and it coulllllllld hurt

PS. Huet the team.. is that a new verb? to let in soft goals in the 3rd?

Don't you read the news sometimes? Damn e and r...they are too close from each other. But yeah, Huet = Hurt...

TCIH 10-09-2008 09:47 AM

I don't foresee a sophomore jinx for Price, if only because he didn't perform well in the playoffs. Sounds strange, but I often find those that suffer from the jinx are those that are satisfied with their performance in the season prior. Someone who's happy with his goal totals, or his defensive performance. I'm sure Price was happy about his play towards the end of the season, but not in the playoffs. As a result, he's looking to improve rather than thinking "I've got this in the bag, this should come easy to me".

Darz 10-09-2008 10:37 AM

I'm not too worried about 'sophomore jinxs', or who will have an off year, who will improve kinda stuff, for one reason....DEPTH

There have been very few teams in the last ten years, who have the depth of forwards that Montreal has going into this year. If you go by the early predicted lines, 2/3 of our 3rd line were playing as top six forwards last year. With the addition of Big George, and a year of maturity under Chipchura's belt, out depth of 3rd/4th line players is better than last year as well.
Granted guys like Kovalev, Pleks, AKost, might not produce or have as good of years as last year, but when you consider we have Tanquay this year replacing a forgetable Ryder from last year, and Robert Lang replacing an easily replacable Brian Smolinski, it's hard to imagine the forward unit not being able to play up to last years standard. I expect a small improve would be considered a disappointment.
Defence might be the only spot where questions could arise, only because the depth isn't great. If everyone is healthy, there are no problems, but unlike the forward unit, the D doesn't have quite the same depth. I'm sure with the prospect assets and such at Gainey's disposal, if a problem arised this year, on the back end, Gainey would bring someone in, via trade, to shore things up. We wouldn't have cap issues, and we certainly wouldn't be in trouble prospect wise, if we were to move one, or two prospects.
Goaltending is an area that some people might worry about a 'sophomore jinx', in Price, but I wouldn't bet on that. If there is one player who I COULDN'T see going thru that, it is Price. He is just going to get better and better. He has the mental part of the game down pat (don't get too high, don't get too low) already, and that is usually the part that leads to sophomore jinxs. When you add in the fact that we have another good youn goalie backing up Price, our goaltending, imo, is as solid as any team in the league.
There is no comparision between this years Montreal Canadiens, and the Oilers and Flames team who made Stanley Cup runs. The habs are put together way better ,and have much more depth than either on those teams did.

GO HABS GO!!!!!

Watsatheo 10-09-2008 11:01 AM

Every year someone has an off year on every team. Last season for us it was Koivu, Ryder, and Huet. You just have to have more players with career or great seasons to counter this.

turgeon93 10-09-2008 11:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darz (Post 15754899)
I'm not too worried about 'sophomore jinxs', or who will have an off year, who will improve kinda stuff, for one reason....DEPTH

There have been very few teams in the last ten years, who have the depth of forwards that Montreal has going into this year. If you go by the early predicted lines, 2/3 of our 3rd line were playing as top six forwards last year. With the addition of Big George, and a year of maturity under Chipchura's belt, out depth of 3rd/4th line players is better than last year as well.
Granted guys like Kovalev, Pleks, AKost, might not produce or have as good of years as last year, but when you consider we have Tanquay this year replacing a forgetable Ryder from last year, and Robert Lang replacing an easily replacable Brian Smolinski, it's hard to imagine the forward unit not being able to play up to last years standard. I expect a small improve would be considered a disappointment.
Defence might be the only spot where questions could arise, only because the depth isn't great. If everyone is healthy, there are no problems, but unlike the forward unit, the D doesn't have quite the same depth. I'm sure with the prospect assets and such at Gainey's disposal, if a problem arised this year, on the back end, Gainey would bring someone in, via trade, to shore things up. We wouldn't have cap issues, and we certainly wouldn't be in trouble prospect wise, if we were to move one, or two prospects.
Goaltending is an area that some people might worry about a 'sophomore jinx', in Price, but I wouldn't bet on that. If there is one player who I COULDN'T see going thru that, it is Price. He is just going to get better and better. He has the mental part of the game down pat (don't get too high, don't get too low) already, and that is usually the part that leads to sophomore jinxs. When you add in the fact that we have another good youn goalie backing up Price, our goaltending, imo, is as solid as any team in the league.
There is no comparision between this years Montreal Canadiens, and the Oilers and Flames team who made Stanley Cup runs. The habs are put together way better ,and have much more depth than either on those teams did.

GO HABS GO!!!!!

I agree with you almost 100%. However, you forgot to mention the loss of Streit (and his 50+ points). He really saved us offensively on many occasions last year.

Beakermania* 10-09-2008 12:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pierre Dagenais (Post 15753489)
A.Kost could have a sophomore jinx and it coulllllllld hurt

PS. Huet the team.. is that a new verb? to let in soft goals in the 3rd?

LOL at the PS... awesome.

As for AKost, i'm not too worried... he's come in to camp and shown that he is determined to improve on last season. He's been the best player on the team in my mind during the preseason, I don't think that he's gonna fall apart now that the real games are here.

Darz 10-09-2008 12:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by turgeon93 (Post 15755498)
I agree with you almost 100%. However, you forgot to mention the loss of Streit (and his 50+ points). He really saved us offensively on many occasions last year.

I still believe the Montreal Canadiens power play made Mark Streit. Not to knock on him, but with the depth of talent, I don't think the team will miss him. Outside of the PP, he really didn't do much, and I don't see the PP dropping much without him.

Freaky Habs Fan 10-09-2008 01:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darz (Post 15756127)
I still believe the Montreal Canadiens power play made Mark Streit. Not to knock on him, but with the depth of talent, I don't think the team will miss him. Outside of the PP, he really didn't do much, and I don't see the PP dropping much without him.

In fact, I think we upgraded our PP. Markov is a better player than Streit, he has a better shot, better vision, and better everything. He will take the shots this year! And on his left, Tanguay will be there, and he's a fine passer with good vision. Really, the way I see it, we can't go wrong this year!

oli500 10-09-2008 02:51 PM

We also have 8 players that are going to be Ufa next year. I think that is going to keep us at a high level. After last year where we finish in the regular season this year means nothing. What important will be to finish the season on a strong note to make sure we go into the playoffs healthy and with confidence. Consistency and team chemistry will also be something all be looking forward to. for the rest what ever happens happens.


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