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11-24-2003, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by jl.roberts
Hainsey did not play poorly. It's hard for an offensive defenceman to show his stuff when he's only playing 4:00 a night. And please, don't tell those low minutes were his fault.

We all agree that Hainsey has as much talent as anyone on our blueline (or, at least those of us who aren't jealous of him), and he has to be given a chance to showcase himself. Julien playing Bouillon 20:00 a night is not smart. I'm a big believer in playing for your teammates and wearing your heart on your sleeve the way Bouillon does, and that size doesn't matter, but we are a team that is going nowhere. Would it not be better for our young core of players and veterans to grow together? If we want a winning team, our players need to develop confidence in each others abilities, they need to know how their teammates play and react to certain situations, and they need to form a team as one.

The "rookies" need to learn from quality veterans, not Rudy's like Bouillon. Everybody is so against bringing in a talented veteran or two, but why? I'd love to see the kids play, but as we've seen through Hossa, Hainsey, and Komisarek (last season), throwing a boy into the line-up alongside crappy players does him no good. Chris Higgins isn't going to become a great player learning from Juneau. I'll give Mr. J credit, he's played well thus far and has been as important as Markov or Souray back on "D", but if Gainey has a chance to go out and grab a guy like Jeff Halpern, would that not be a great thing for Higgins? To learn from an outstanding, two way forward who may just be what we'll see from Chris? And what about Hainsey? We saw how well Craig Rivet performed with Jay Bouwmeester. Give Rivet a clean slate, drop the booing and the holllaring, and pair him with Hainsey. Let them play together, let them learn their styles, let them feed off of each other.

Komisarek could learn so much from playing on Souray's right. If there's anyone on the team who can hit a man, it's Souray. What exactly do we want Komisarek to be? Do we want him to float up and down throughout the minors, and not seeing his true dominance until he's wasted half his career, a la Chris Pronger, or do we want to see him step up, gain confidence, and learn the game from one of our talented veterans (whether it be Souray, or another).

Look at Ribeiro, he has worked hard to get where he is (and there's still plenty of work left for #71), but we can only be sure that guys like Koivu have really helped him to produce the way he is. Ribeiro is blessed with offensive instincts beyond belief, but watching Koivu, skating with Zednik, and playing the powerplay with Markov have surely helped his offensive game.

Ryder has really taken off, and that was all due to confidence. In Hamilton, he was given a chance to show his stuff and he did that exactly. Look at where he is now. Skating hard on the top line, all because we showed confidence in him, and even after a benching, Julien was not weary or hesitant in reinserting him into the lineup.

Jeff Jillson went from a poor San Jose team, to playing with Nick Boynton and Co. in Boston, look at how well the kid is playing. He's only a year older than Hainsey. Ribeiro, Ward and Ryder are both a little older than the rest, and so was Markov when they decided to let him play, so maybe it's only an age factor for the coaches. Whatever it is, though, the kids have to play if we want them to reach their potential. We've seen what Ryder, Ribiero, Ward, and even Hossa can do when they've got the confidence of their coaches and teammates. Give these guys a role, and some talented players, whether they're 38 or 25 (look at what Gilmour and Koivu have done for Zednik), and we will see no more surprises, bad surprises that is.
There's NO WAY Hainsey has as much talent as Markov...Markov has more potential then anyone else in the habs system.

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