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12-24-2003, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Thomas
I agree with everything you've said, but I dont think we should just dump him for it. Hes cheap at 800k, and when he does bring his good game, hes worth the money. You've just described Bertuzzi at the same age. Do I think Kilger will turn into another Bertuzzi, of course not, but bigger players are known to do this until they "mature". He's not hurting the team, so posters blaming poor performances on him is totally off base IMO. If ever he is traded and turns it around and uses his franchise player skills, everyone will want Gainey's throat, yet they originally wanted him gone more than anything. Instead of blaming 4th line players, its time to look what other players are bringing or lacking, Kilger isnt here to make or break a game.
You're right: Kilger's not in a major role and can't be blamed for the success of the club as a result. But fourth line players is one area that the Habs can control. Meaning the Habs can bring in fourth liners relatively cheap, and get a fourth line that works without spending much in the way of cash or assets. They can't replace second liners with that much ease, or even third liners.

I'm not advocating a Kilger move, because I'd think he holds close to zero value. But I don't buy the comparison to Bertuzzi or other big players. Contrary to popular belief, I don't feel Kilger has that much in the way of talent. He'll show glimpses here and there, but there's a severe lack of hockey sense in his noggin'. He has size, speed and could produce in junior, but you don't need NHL-calibre hockey sense to score in junior as we've seen countless number of times in the past.

I do think Kilger should be the 13th forward on this club; used sparingly, as a bit of a spark when needed. He doesn't provide a consistent enough effort on the fourth line and I feel the Habs need a fourth line that will go out there, provide energy, keep the puck deep and grind out a scoring chance here and there. Kilger rarely if ever can do this.

Last night was the perfect example of the team missing Begin and needing real fourth line players. Doig, Berry, Kwiatkowski, Whitfield and Halpern lay out a few open ice hits each on Hab players, and Montreal didn't have any line to throw out there to match Washington physically. It was the same old soft Habs, where Koivu had to stick up for himself, Souray delivered one or two big hits, likewise Komisarek.... but the fourth line for Montreal was a non factor. Even if they're playing 5mins a game, they need to bruise the opposition.

I know there's three players on that fourth line, but Langdon serves a purpose and Gratton, well, he's not an NHL player either.

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