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12-07-2008, 12:57 AM
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Originally Posted by prairie hab View Post
I take no offense from your reply. What I can't figure out is Higgins' role:

A scorer?
A playmaker?
A defensive forward?
A hitter/energy player?

Which one is it?

I cannot for the life of me figure out what he does to justify 1st/2nd line minutes. He has not always played such minutes, but for the better part of two years he has. He needs to step up his game - I agree with you he is not a 40/50 goal guy - never will be. But he should at least be making players around him better and I do not see that.

I agree with your assessment on Chipchura: why he is not playing with the big club right now is beyond me. Here is a guy who can do a bit of EVERYTHING well. Smart, protects the puck, has scoring ability, hits, forechecks, cycles the puck effectively and is great in his own end. Will drop the mitts when he has to as well. A bit weak on faceoffs, and not the fastest skater but can skate better than GUI or LANG any day of the week...........
Higgins was by far the best player 2 years ago before he injured his ankle. His production went down after and I think that he thinks he can be a 40 goal scorer.. That puts a lot of pressure on you when you try too hard. He seems to second guys plays and hold his stick too tight.

Now he may be able to score 40 but at his skill level and the way he gets a lot of his goals "Garbage goals as I call them" his hard work will sometimes translate in goals or they won't. So with the same effort day in day out, he can have 20 or 40 goals depending on the season. On average he get's what, 27 goals? That's fine by me. That's also good enough for second like duty.

I agree 100% with you that he's having problems, but it's Carbo's job to find a way to bring his confidence back..

I have not been in the locker room nor at practices nor in the 1 on 1 player/coach meetings that Carbo has had with his players, but from what I have heard Carbo say on TV and in the papers (not what the reports have to say about him) he knows his hockey, but he seems to have a hard time in the psychology department. He seems to have a hard time to know what makes his players tick and doesn't seem to know how to motivate this lazy players and give confidence to his struggling players.. It's only an observations..

I know that Higgins is starting to get some experience in the NHL, but his confidence is still fragile..

And just to make one thing clear, a confident and healthy Higgins is valuable on a second line. He's above average defensively so he can take care of himself in his own end against the other teams top two lines, He can take a faceoff in case the center gets thrown out (which is important in key situations) and he can replace people on the first line when they are injuries and or other slumping players..

WE all have to remember that everyone slumps. Even Crosby was in a slump at the beginning of the season. Look at him now!! It's hockey.. So we just have to be patient and let him find his grove. I'd rather have a slumping Higgins then Perezhogin, Samsonov and Grabovsky combined... For free!

As for Chipchura, it's a question of speed. He's too slow. It's hard to play his style of hockey when he's always second on the puck... As he matures, he'll find his speed. And he'll also have much more leadership experience having been a captain in Hamilton.. The team has depth. We should all be happy about it.. Buffalo could have won the cup a few years back, but their lack of depth in the last round of play-offs cost them after all the injuries they suffered..

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