The defence since Markov's return
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03-22-2012, 02:57 PM
Hockey's Future Staff
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Montreal, QC
Originally Posted by
He looks good with the puck on his stick and skating forward. His passes are still sublime and he sees the ice as good as ever, knows when to jump in the play.
Without the puck his reactions and change of directions are slow..not a big shock having barely played the last 2 years and jumping in with everybody else in midseason shape.
I agree with you. Markov coming back now after missing so much time in the last two years, is like you pulling out of your driveway onto the highway where everyone is going 100 km/h. He sees the play well and at the right speed but he's just not yet fully confident to push the knee when changing directions. Markov was never the fastest player but certain one of the smartest with the puck and positioning himself correctly to defend. He just can't reaction the way he wants yet. His coming back now was to test the knee's strength and to see if can it hold up to the stress of NHL play. He will be much better after a full summer of training and skating every day where he can start next season at the same pace as everyone else.
Markov brings more to the team with his patience and quick strike passing skills with the puck. He will only help the development of the young d-men like Diaz, Emelin and especially PK who is seeing how and why you need to move the puck quickly up the ice. Markov gives the team more open ice to exit their zone when he up to speed because the opposition has to respect his abilities to hit the long tape to tape stretch pass and this forces the other teams d-men to back out in coverage while unable to pinch or hold the blueline. It has been one of major issues for the Habs over the last couple of seasons, they have had a lot of trouble getting out of their own zone.
The Habs' defensemen prospects are still a few years away from playing full time in the NHL but will bring the right toughness, grit and nastiness to make it more difficult to play in the Habs' defensive zone or in front of their net. In the mean time, management needs to address these issues on the backend to bridge the time to develop the prospects properly and at the right pace not hurrying them. It takes much longer to develop defensemen and goalies than it is for the forwards. If the team can get out of it own zone more easily then you can be more aggressive on the offensive attack. The Habs offensive troubles are a whole other problem for another thread some day.
We can only look forward to seeing the changes over the summer to the team's roster, the development of the prospects, the new players drafted and the hope of a better season next year. It is hard to believe that Molson will not make changes to the management team after what has been an unexceptable season but then Ottawa didn't fire Bryan Murray and look how that has turned out of them.
I am not say that Gauthier is anything like Murray.
The new GM will have to name his own head coach, who will then decide his own assistants. We, as fans will have to have a lot of patience with the younger players as they learn from their mistakes and growing pains like Price and PK have. A turn around of this team isn't just a quick fix but there's always next year! Oh god, I am starting to sound like a Leafs fan already! Here's to a better 2012-13 season.
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