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02-19-2004, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike8
That's a little extreme, I think. Why would Gainey deal players because the media overhypes one, and fans come down hard on the other? That isn't sound management.

No. If I was in his shoes as a veteran player, I would realize what fans think is irrelevant in the big picture. I wouldn't be playing for fans; I'd be playing for my teammates. If anything, Koivu can take the fans booing as simply a reflection of the team's state: it's a losing franchise, and he'll get cheers when (if) they become a winning one. Use it as motivation.

Koivu doesn't strike me as the type that will take booing lying down. I would be surprised if he'd be discouraged by it. Maybe some disappointment, but a whole lot more of motivation to improve.

On the whole I agree with your point that it was a disgusting display by a bunch of idiotic fans though.

I tend to agree with your posts, but I question this point. An argument or a fight in practice is not 'dividing' a team. I don't know your history in sports, but in my experience playing at a competitive level can be emotional and grueling. Fights will happen among teammates. It's inevitable when spending a lot of time with the boys to have a disagreement, have a tough stretch, and frustration boils over. I've had it happen with good friends in the past and it didn't mean a thing 10 minutes after the fact.

I'm not going to pretend to know what Ribeiro and Koivu's relationship is. I'm pointing out that rumours in the press about 'not-so-nice-looking' facial expressions on the ice between the two and a fight in practice isn't enough to convince me there's significant friction here, nor a division/staredown between two cliques.

And even if there was friction between the two, I don't find it's evident on the ice (in games, at least! ). I think both players have stepped up and played well this season.
I have the upmost respect for Jacques Demers. This guy has the most insightful comments on the locker room right now. He's got the experience, and he talks to the players a lot. From all spectrums. Demers said that there's no division within the club, and I believe him. But it's a known fact around the club that Koivu was not happy lately, with his ice time and his play on the PP. Even Demers talked about it tonight.

I do believe that the fight is not about creating a schism. By the way, Koivu and Ribs were seen in a restaurant all alone today. Having a good talk, according to some gossipers... And if it's true (both didn't want to talk about it today), then I commend Koivu for that.

Koivu knows his conduct on the ice yesterday was inexcusable. Why do you think he avoided the press? I'm pretty sure with the consentment of the Habs' spin doctors.

Do you really think Bob Gainey didn't have a talk with his captain about it?

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