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01-28-2004, 04:26 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Montreal
Country: Canada
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Originally Posted by Guy!
There are a few factors that go into the decline in play that we're seeing from Ribeiro at the moment, and I believe many of these are factors that Mike8 was hoping not to see when he started a thread with the purpose of following Ribbo's games to the end of the season.

The first of which, and one that I'm sure his coach will be most displeased with, is his shift length. Once again, he's staying on the ice much too long and therefore tiring himself out. Witness:

Koivu - 24 shifts, 18:27 total time on ice
Ribeiro - 17 shifts, 18:27 TOI

It's quite clear he's becoming irresponsible once again. And unfortunately this leads to the second problem, that of perceived or actual laziness. Very rarely is he on the puck first, and while at first I put it down completely to a lapse in his effort during the game, I now see that there's probably a great deal of truth in saying he's just too tired to get there. This kind of selfish play is completely unacceptable.

The next thing I've noticed is that he's strayed significantly from the system. Where, during the stretch of games the Habs were doing well, he was closing the gap to the defenders and being back quickly in a defensive role, now we see that gap widening game by game and his line being penned in the defensive zone far too often because of a lack of help.

Certainly, you can say that other teams have become aware of his capabilities and are putting out better defensive players to deal with him, but that isn't globally true. He's simply not playing tough anymore, and is being beaten in the simple things.

It begs the question of whether or not he's really able to handle the rigours of being a true second line centre at this level, or whether he was just a pretender who took advantage of a few games. I'd like to hope this is not the case, but it bears serious consideration as we move ahead to the more critical games leading to the playoffs.

I'd like to see him shorten those shifts and get his game back within the system for a start. Once that's occuring on a regular basis, one would hope his game will come around and he'll be once again a strong force. However, Mike8 posed a legitimate question regarding the long-term viability of Ribeiro as second line centre.

This is *the* critical juncture in his development, and he'd better be prepared to seize it or he'll either find himself out of Montreal or without a contract at the beginning of next season. There's a plethora of competition from younger kids behind him, and he's got to prove himself quickly lest he be overtaken and subsequently left behind.

I *think* he has what it takes, but streaks like this for an unproven player are difficult to accept.

I just don't see this slump of yours...No one has played up to par in the last three games.

Besides, it's not his fault the guys can't finish the plays he creates.

AK-47 is offline