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12-02-2003, 10:55 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Halfway between Nothing and Not Much Else
Many teams in the league have an identity, something they are known for above all other things that makes them who they are. A few examples would be:
New Jersey: known for stifling defense
Detroit/Colorado: known for dynamic and dangerous offense
Philadelphia: known for size and physical play
Ottawa/Dallas: known for their depth
Toronto: known for gritty and at time dirty play
Edmonton: known for youth and speed
Fair or unfair as these indentities are, they exist nonetheless. When you see those logos or those teams play, it's what first comes to mind. So the question is, what identity do the Habs have? And is it important in building your team?
I think it is, and as I see it, the Habs are soft. They are not a particularly difficult team to play against. Not just in size, but they don't finish checks, they don't punish opposing forwards in front of their own net and they don't forecheck particularly hard. They play a trap and still manage to allow 35 shots a game. Their special teams aren't really feared or respected. For whatever reason there does not seem to be any commitment from the coaching staff to the players to form an identity. For how many more seasons can we say: "Yeah but we have some really good prospects." They're playing like their waiting for something.
It doesn't need to be a trade, but if nothing else I would like to see a LOT more effort from every player on the ice. The Habs don't have the talent to coast. And hard work alone can win you some games and make other teams really hate seeing your name on the schedule.
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