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05-31-2006, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Habnot
McPhee, I respect your opinion, but I must disagree on this one. The Habs cannot step up to the next level with Ribs as their second line centre. There is nothing to suggest in his career that he will be able to elevate his game to where it needs to be to make take the Habs to the next level.

I will continue to maintain that Ribs has benefitted from being in Montreal. Anywhere else, with his negatives, Mike would not be in the NHL. When he is your second line centreman, the team is in trouble.
I think the point is that Ribeiro could possibly work where is he if there are other pieces to the puzzle in place - in other words, if the coaches find him a surrounding cast that's a perfect fit. Like mcphee said earlier, Kovalev has some attributes that were able to help that line when he moved there. Maybe not an ideal solution, but it seemed to work well enough for a while.

I agree the team is in trouble if it has to rely on Ribeiro to take on greater responsibilities, but if there are others that can help carry the load, it's reasonable to believe it could work. I think it's not so much looking at it as Ribeiro dragging his linemates down as it is trying to find linemates that can help him. But that's the challenge - trying to find the right mix of players on the top 6. It will be all the more challenging if Koivu cannot play (please get well, Saku!).

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