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01-12-2013, 04:37 AM
Miller Time
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Originally Posted by Andy View Post

Sure you could say that the whole "wanting to make the playoffs" is just Gainey's love of mediocrity etc etc, but unfortunately that was his game plan. It might not be appealing to hardcore fans to just want to make the playoffs, but it is what it is. It's happened and done with.
phoenix and nashville have made the playoffs multiple times in the same timeframe, while spending a fraction of what we did...

no merit to the argument that

was a better group to "just make the playoffs" than:

Koivu/kovalev/tanguay (not too mention whatever quality players you could have also added with the 8M$ in savings compared to the trio Gainey purchased).

"making the playoffs" as a focus wasn't the issue, how that management team decided to go about it very much is, and ive yet to see any convincing argument to the contrary.

Originally Posted by Andy View Post
watched this series this past summer on the nhl network. Toughness didn't have anything to with the outcome. Biron players great (with the help of his goal posts) while Price played like crap. The Habs were the better team in that series, Price couldn't keep the habs in the game if his life depended on it.
so maybe the GM shouldn't have traded the veteran starter, who had been having a career year, at the deadline?

so much for prioritizing "playoffs" as a strategy...

Originally Posted by Andy View Post
for toughness being the real need of the team, when your powerplay stops working, toughness won't make up the goals. It was a need, but ES scoring was desperately required after how much the team scored on the PP that year. Not surprisingly, Lang and Tanguay were good ES players that were brought in.
funny, talk to just about any person with experience playing/coaching hockey about how to get out of a scoring slump (individually or as a team), and the answer inevitably includes reference to "getting to the dirty areas of the ice", " crashing or getting traffic in front of the net", " getting implicated physically"... all things that require a degree of toughness to commit to.

what is it that you think "toughness" contributes to?

or do you think that labels like ES, PK, PP somehow exist in a vacuum and are reflections of individual player ratings as if in a computerized EA model?

feeling confident enough to play aggresively on the boards and in front of the net so obviously contributes to ES efficiency it's a waste of bandwidth to type it.

part of what helped Biron "shine", was how much space and how comfortable he was in the net, and conversely, Price (as a young guy no less), didn't do so well with the constant traffic & post whistle incidents he faced... usually with a few of our players standing around doing nothing in the process.

all aspects of the game are related to each other, you can't just selectively poach this or that stat and interpret it without the broader context. it's not how team sports work.

Originally Posted by Andy View Post
was crap. Lang and Tanguay played great while they were here and filled their role quite well. If I recall correctly, Tanguay was the team's leading scorer until he got hurt. Moreover, they were never brought in to carry the team anyway. Tanguay came in to fill a 2nd line winger spot next to Koivu and Lang came in to play the 3rd line centreman role. Both were seen as upgrades to Ryder and Smolinski respectively. The moves made sense.
ok, so if I agree with you, does that not then support my point... namely that it was foolish to then jettison Tanguay, without even a contract offer?

If he played so great, and delivered so well, why not bring him back (at a bargain no less), instead of being stuck with a revolving door in our top-6 the next year?

I really don't get it? You're essentially making my point for me, just without the ability to relate the roster issue with the person responsible for the roster decisions?

Originally Posted by Andy View Post
explanation would actual make sense if the players would have actually lost their ice-time. But the roles of Andrei, Higgins, Plekanec and Sergei didn't change much with the acquisition of Lang and Tanguay, neither did their ice time. They all began the year in the same roles they played the season prior. Tanguay took Ryder's ice-time and Lang replaced Smolinski's ice time. Andrei began the year in the same spot as the year before, so did Higgins, Plekanec and Tanguay.
here's the thing with being a young, improving player... if you're "standing still", then that feels like you're moving backwards (and it pretty much is). None of those guys were playing as many minutes as they wanted to even in 07-08, and after the team/individual success, to expect them to not feel poorly with getting the same (or in Higgins/S.Kost case, less) ice time/pp time, is to not understand what the psychology and mind set of elite athletes is like.

the ego that got them to their level is the same ego that makes them overrate themselves, the same ego that takes a hit when their boss elects to find someone else to take up extra time in the roles they envision themselves being capable of filling.

Originally Posted by Andy View Post
also don't recall saying attitude issues were a problem. Off-ice issues were, both off-ice issues doesn't necessarily entail attitude issues. There were no stories that season of anyone mouthing off the coach etc etc. The only ever player described as having an attitude problem was Sergei and this characterization of him was made by the media in the subsequent season.
lapierre, lats, higgins, S.kost... all of them eventually left town under the cloud of behavioral/attitude issues.
No hint of that in the summer of 07, but by the summer of 08 the smoke started to become visible.

Originally Posted by Andy View Post
is excellent to say in hindsight, but this was not the discourse of both fans, media and hockey experts when both players were acquired unfortunately.
not true. I wasn't on an island, there were others both around here, and stuff in the media that reflected a similar view point... even if the concensus felt that they were overwhelmingly positive moves (since when is general concencus an indication of accurate opinion?)

Originally Posted by Andy View Post
team played okay actually until the injuries began though, which started around the all-star break: losing Komisarek, Lang and Latendresse in a single game. Tanguay was injured for a good stretch during the season as well. Price getting injured and struggling to get back to form. Eventually losing Markov, Boullion, Schneider, Tanguay as well. Hard to pinpoint the lack of success of that year on those particular moves when so much was going on.
i don't recall making any comments indicating that the struggles that year were because of the moves?

we overachieved in the previous season, and I do think that we failed to significantly (or perhaps better put, adequately) improve the team with the moves that were made.

Nevertheless, even with a more normal rash of injuries, we squeaked into the playoffs, much like we did througout the gainey/gauthier tenure.

hard to be a team that drafts as well as we have the past decade, and outspend more than 1/2 of the league, and NOT ice a playoff worthy team, wouldn't you think?

but beyond all that, the main point i'm making, is that we were poorly managed.

why would a team that "played okay actually" require the complete and expensive overhaul that Gainey put us on the following summer?

It didn't. He screwed up, made a bad judgement call, and we've spent the past 3 seasons watching that mistake play itself out.

hindsight or not, the results do speak for themselves... rather loudly I'd say (but thankfully the silver lining to the Gainey/Gauthier dark cloud is named Galchenyuk, and he looks to be the ray of sunshine we've needed around here since before Gainey took over!)

Originally Posted by Andy View Post
fact, the team was 27-11-6 as of January 17th and on pace to have an 112 pts season (8 pts better than 07-08). So it's hard to say that the moves were counter-productive when the team was doing okay. I say okay because they weren't really dominating games.
trading valuable assets and using up cap space on 2 veterans that end up being "one and done" is very much counter productive to any kind of legitimate long-term plan.

the swift 08 summer overhaul would indicate that the 07 summer moves were made with a pretty clear short term vision in mind. If Gainey thought that adding Lang/Tanguay/Laraque was going to push our overachieving 08 team into consistent contender territory, then yes, it was counter-productive and faulty judgement.

Originally Posted by Andy View Post
I recall didn't Tanguay say he wouldn't sign here after the team asked him to play injured in the playoffs? Also, we have no idea if 1/2 of what we did pay him would have kept him in town. This is great to say in hindsight, but Tanguay wasn't signed until late in FA period, August 30th to be exact.
i don't recall hearing anything of the nature... but i did hear him talk about that summer after he signed in calgary... it's his word vs nothing from the gainey camp, but a year later you could still hear the hurt in his voice over the fact that the habs made no effort to keep him in town (no contract offer, no communication period... which in itself is pretty amateur imo).

maybe gainey knew he could only offer him a small deal and respected him so much he didn't want to lowball him?

of course, that faulty logic ignores how much worse it evidently was to completely shun the guy with the silent treatment.

No offer & no communication seems pretty solid evidence that Gainey simply didn't want him back. pretty tough to defend given, as you described above, that Tanguay more or less delivered as expected.

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