Columbus @ Montreal: November 11th, 2003
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11-11-2003, 04:33 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
I've never before posted during a game, but venting to my wife, who really doesn't understand the game, is just not making me feel any better.
I really don't understand this coach. The organization said, from the very beginning, that this year was going to be about the kids and developping them. They also said that the players who worked the hardest were going to be the ones who would play.
Why was Hossa yanked from the lineup? Okay, he isn't scoring, but games are won and lost in battles on the boards for the puck. If you're second to the puck, if you're soft, and if you lose battles, you cost your team. Inserting Perreault over Hossa is extremely frustrating for me. It seems to me that this coach is bowing to pressures from the media and playing the 'French' guy - who scores goals (they seem to disregard the fact that he's one of the largest defensive liabilities in hockey) over the guy who deserves to be there.
I assume this is a coaches decision and not from higher up the pay scale. If I find that this is Gainey's doing, I'll be extremely disappointed - unless he has a trade in the works. This is the kind of stupid decision that wrecks a kid's confidence and sets him back. It's the kind of decision mickey mouse organizations are known for.
There is a reason Montreal is known as the hardest lineup in hockey to crack, and I think you're seeing it here - a lack of coaching spine. For far too long has the media's power extended into the dressing room. For far too long has Montreal had a coach who cannot make decisions based on talent and instead makes them based on politics. For far too long have we seen youngster after youngster ruined because of improper use and development.
Okay, there were some really lean years in terms of drafts and youth to develop. But now that we have it, what are we doing? We play Hainsey for about ten mintues a game. We take Hossa and toss him in and out of the lineup completely irregardless of his play - constantly improving. We finally get a kid who seems to work out well, Ryder, and I can only expect him to be benched extremely soon. We have another young stud who may not have had the best training camp, but at this stage in the Habs development as a team, is he better off learning in the AHL, or would he be better off in the NHL. He certainly didn't look out of place last year.
Higgins is a better player than Ward, yet Ward gets a spot. Higgins is a better player than Audette or Perreault, yet we still persist in playing these big salary players in hopes that one day they might break out of their terminal slumps. It seems to me that Plekanec would have been a better choice than some of the useless buffoons we have here, hello Sundstrom and Dackell?
If you're going out to pick up character players like Begin to put around the kids, you have to play the kids, not bench them in favour of old retreads who have what seems like zero interest in playing at a high level anymore.
We've made some good changes this year, but I think we're still being held back and I, for one, am really getting tired of seing this absolute stupidity when it comes to the decision making.
The second is about to start.
A concerned fan.
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