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02-21-2004, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Jacques Strappe
5)[/B] Koivu. Not that he did anything wrong (except at the end of the game where he lost the puck). I just didn't see him in the game tonight. The Captain needs to step up his game in these situations to be an example for the rest of the team.

I have to totally DISAGREE here.

I wanted to see what all this fuss over Koivu and Ribeiro was about so I made it a point to at least catch the game today and here are some of my thoughts.

1) Koivu definitely was one of if not THE factor in CH coming back. His intensity turned up a notch in the 2nd and his speed and hustle became a big factor. Despite the embassingly awful (read: Biased) officiating, it was pretty evident that his effort charged the team up and wouldn't let them quit when it would have been so easy to fold and go home to get ready for the next game. You tell me if some like Sundin would be able to do that!!!

I don't understand all this unfair negativity towards Saku. Some objectivity would be nice instead of so easily being blindly persuaded by media or whoever it is that you are regurgitating.

2) Koivu made some dumb plays by trying to pass to Ribeiro on at least 2 occasions when that was not his best option. Perhaps he was trying to over compensate for those accusations that say that he doesn't pass to Ribeiro.

3) Ribeiro doesn't have a next gear to go to when he needs to ratchet up his game to the next level. He's always been slow but I see that he's improved immensely on his speed even from the beginning of THIS season but he just doesn't have that next gear that guys like Sakic and Forsberg are able to go to when needed. Koivu turned it up and was buzzing around almost like he used to in the old days starting from 2nd period on. Ribeiro wasn't able to...that or he was not trying.

4) Ribeiro was staying out on the ice for WAY two long on at least two separate occasions. Perhaps this is one of the reasons for some peoples' accusation that he's arrogant? I don't know.

5) Rivet still has limited talent (and that's being nice) but you can't fault him for his desire and work ethic...his fight with that puke Marchment was also very inspiring. He actually had one good flash of brilliance on offence today.

6) If Montreal were to go into the playoff and want to make a noise, Montreal will need to get another solid defenceman who can clear the crease and be a thorn in the oppositions side. Montreal's defence is solely lacking without Markov and Souray. In post season, there will definitely be injuries and you can never have too many defencemen when the dance starts! And I have always said, depth is the #1 factor in winning the MUG!

7) Ryder is gonna be one heckuva player! Actually, he already is! Like someone else already said, he doesn't need others setting him up...he creates his own chances and he works well regardless of who is with him. This guy is simply an awesome offensive player...who seems to want to be the difference when it counts! Last Montreal guy that was like this in my mind was Captain Kirk! Heroic player doing heroic things at heroic times! (That's a quote from Harry Neale during the '93 playoffs) Koivu has all these characteristics but his small frame will not allow him to bulldoze his way into position a lot of the times as slightly bigger guys like Kirk and Ryder are able to do.

8) Ribeiro still has the vision and the hands that I remember him having since his junior days...but that speed thing is always gonna keep him from being in that elite level of #1 centres in the league...unless his lack of speed is the result of him not hustling...which I haven't been able to determine yet.

Lastly, it just occured to me tonight that what Don Cherry really doesn't like are soft, lazy guys who don't work hard...and not necessarily Europeans. Don Cherry is right. Why dog on Koivu? It makes no sense...just when the team is finally in contention for the playoffs, why are the fans and the media (well, don't talk to me about media...I hate these can't live with them and you can't live without them!) trying to divide up the team?


ps. oh, I forgot about Begin. He's real fast and was one of the guys making a difference tonight with his desire and hard work! Way to go Stevie!

Last edited by David: 02-21-2004 at 11:43 PM.
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