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10-16-2006, 04:31 AM
  #44
Hackett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catch-22 View Post
I guess I am stating the obvious but our defense is very average and since Ribeiro is gone, this area is now our biggest positional weakness.

To start off, I should say that I do not hate either of these players. I still actually think they're both decent players. I like what Souray brings in terms of toughness and his shot. I used to like Rivet more (in the old NHL) and he certainly isn't a bad player worthy of the crap treatment he's had from Ribeiro fans in Montreal. However...

My observation is that Souray and Rivet are too slow to be playing on the same pairing and probably even the same team. Rivet is too slow. Souray is both slow and unreliable. There is little room for slow and unreliable players anymore. IMO, Komisarek is clearly capable of taking Rivet's stay-at-home spot and Cote will eventually be the same type of d-man, too. Niinimaa functions well in this role as well. Many of you may have noticed but in addition to losing 5lbs [he actually didn't lose 5lbs] Komisarek has also picked up an extra gear. He's obviously worked on his skating alot and IMO Rivet will very soon become a redundant and expensive liability.

Souray is a different kettle of fish. Defensively he is more unreliable than Rivet but his shot makes him a decent PP QB. I'm not certain we have a player ready to replace him in that position. The common sentiment that many of us harbour is that Souray should go. It's based on what is in my opionion the very correct philosophy that a defenseman's number one job is defense. But since our biggest statisitcal quandry is goal scoring, perhaps we should look at replacing Rivet and keeping Souray for the time being? When the coaching staff is convinced that replacements are found/ready I will not be disappointed to see one or both of these guys replaced.

Why we have these two guys on the same pairing, I'm not sure. Maybe the philosophy is that their combined experience will make up for their inadequacies. However, looking at good teams like Anaheim, SJ, Buffalo, Calgary (none provide good examples last night except Calgary...it was one hell of a weird night in the NHL), I cannot help but think that these guys should first be split up and then replaced ASAP or in the medium term...meaning when replacements are ready (just so that I don't get 100 replies about why we shouldn't get rid of them right now). Again, let me reiterat. I generally like these players. But I do not think they will be able to contribute to our success against the quick skilled teams that we will encounter if we climb up the playoff pyramid.

I make these comments thinking primarily back to the Buffalo game (but many games against fast teams last season can also be referred to), because Buffalo I think is probably the best team in the eastern conference and that's where we want to be. These guys looked like pylons out there against Buffalo's speedy, gritty forwards. Flashback to Rivet in the corner on Buffalo's tying goal.

Thoughts, comments?
This is a good post. Well thought out

The other thing i'd like to add into consideration is the leadership abilities.

Rivet is probably the 2nd longest serving habs player on the roster. Souray has been around for about 5 years or so.

I'm not in the dressing room or anything, but I get the feeling that these guys are leaders off the ice. They could be integral parts that keep our team together.

And like somebody else said, as much as I'd like to see a different pairing, I really dont want to mess with the other 2 pairings which are working pretty well.

And I also agree with McPhee. Souray and Rivet are effective in situational play. I like Souray both on the PP and PK. I love rivet on the PK even more. but its the free flowing 5 on 5 game that can get them in trouble.

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