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11-04-2003, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Habs
Minnesota, Nashville and Columbus all offer a more exciting brand of hockey than Montreal currently does.

I'm not talking about wins or losses, but the effort on the ice. Certainly respect starts from the coaching staff, and branches out. I'm not certain many players are happy playing this brutal defensive style, particularily the ones with a nose for offence.

In today's NHL, a good defensive player gets a pat on the back, and not the big bucks. You tell me where you want to play? In a system that will probably keep your stats, and salary, bottomed out.. or in a system that allows players to generate offence.

Sure, defence can win the games, if you can score the goals. This team is playing the wrong style, with the wrong players. Zednick, Bulis... the youngsters.. they gotta be set loose.

Is it Julien's fault? I don't know, I'm not behind the scenes. Did Gainey tell him to play this way?

The first 6 games, teams hadn't identified our system, and it was good for the Habs. Now every team has our gameplan down to a science, and its easy to penetrate.

I really don't think its a coincidence we started losing when we did.
This team doesn't have the firepower to play a wide open style.

Right now the team is focused on a transition system; not a strict defensive system. The Habs had 28 shots and a lot of room to work with against a fairly young and weak defensive team in Edmonton. They couldn't bury their chances, and simply don't have the players to make things happen offensively.

Minnesota and Nashville are more exciting because of the players they have. They all are lunchbox type of players, many of which were stuck in the minors for years. Combine that with youth that has a lot of character, and you get a team of players working hard every shift.

Montreal is filled with veterans that have mainly been in the NHL from a very young age, in very specific roles: to score goals. There's only two legitimate playmakers on Montreal; one is on the shelf, the second is a perimeter player and doesn't bring it every night.

There's little character, grit, and skating capabilities on Montreal. That's what separates the Habs from the Predators.

Now if we see four or five players removed (Juneau, Perreault, Audette, Dackell and one of the right D's) removed and see the kids injected into the lineup, we'd see a very different, more exciting Hab team with more speed and character.

It's not the system, or the coach. It's the players.

Mike8 is offline