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Game Summary, and revealed weaknesses...

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Old
03-24-2004, 09:30 PM
  #1
Lafontaine
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Game Summary, and revealed weaknesses...

Wow, what total crap that game was. It has left me with a few comments and a few big questions.

NO intensity! Now, I know this is pretty harsh considering the way the team has been playing lately, but watching the game tonight reminded me of the other 60 games this year where intensity was often a major problem. I'm concerned that this team may lack the leadership of a Gilmour type player. I'm also wondering if part of this problem can be pointed at CLAUDE JULIEN. Think about it, when is the last time you saw Montreal, when playing badly, really pick it up after they came out of the gates the next period? I'm not sure I've seen that yet this year. Be it because of a lack of adjustments, or a lack of motivation, it just seems to me that when the Habs are beaten, they're beaten and thats it...I guess its a good thing we always score first ! Not to worry though, the number one leading candidate for the cause of low intensity is the presence of Perreault and Dagenais on the ice, which can easily be solved...but I'll get to that in a minute.

Here it is again...the SIZE argument. IMO we didn't look really good in the New Jersey games offensively, ditto with tonight's game. This is my theory on why that is... One thing I've liked about the current Hab's top 5 offensive threats is that they are all talented stick handlers who can carry the puck into the offensive zone. This works well against most teams, and it was a breath of fresh air this year to see the likes of Ribiero able to work our way through the middle without losing possession or dumping the puck deep. However, in tight, hard hitting and defensive games like the last three we've faced (and will see all through the play-offs likely) even these skillful guys have trouble creating something. Today I really felt that Zed, Saku, Kovalev and Ribs were forcing it way too much. They were getting checked early and constantly coughing up the puck. This means we have to do a bit of dumping and chasing, which also means we are completely screwed! Except on the odd occasion when the Koivu and Zednik line look like they're on speed, our midget forwards have no hope in collecting pucks deep, starting the cycle and putting pressure on that way. Sure the Dowds and Begins can operate this way, but we will never win if our top two lines can't produce. This is why I really think...

JAN BULIS should be in the top 6 forward grouping. His speed, size and hustle will add a bit of another dimension to either KOIVU-ZEDNIK or RYDER-RIBIERO. I mean, whats the other option? Dagenais or Perreault? that will never get it done in the play-offs. And I'm not saying drop Dagenais and Perreault to the bench, I'm saying drop then off the freakin score card! Here is what I truly think our lines should and will look like come play-off time...

THEO
GARON

SOURAY-MARKOV
BRISEBOIS-RIVET
KOMI-CUBE
(please dont ***** about what side they're on, its just the top 6 ok!)

BULIS-KOIVU-ZEDNIK
KOVALEV-RIBIERO-RYDER
SUNDSTROM-DOWD-BEGIN
WARD-PERREAULT/JUNEAU-DACKELL/LANGDON

A few other comments to sleep on...

QUINTAL was absolutely terrible today IMO. He may still do the little things right, but his age and lack of skill is becoming VERY evident. He is SO slow, every Buffalo forward could blow right by him. I noticed him being lazy hustling back defensively, and his turn overs are getting ugly. I really never thought I'd say this, but please BRISEBOIS, get healthy quick!

Speaking of Defencemen, KOMISAREK looks so strong out there now. Mistakes like the one he made on the first goal are brutal, but overall he looks fast, tough, good with puck and he seems to be making smart passes.

Our first two lines were weak tonight, but I'll take it easy on KOIVU, ZEDNIK, RYDER and RIBIERO, because, essentially, they were playing by themselves on their respective lines. PERREAULT is simply awful, and just like DAGENAIS must be immediately demoted the second he stops putting pucks in the net. Possibly this kind of treatment would convince these two loafers that other things must be done to earn top two line ice time. And speaking of top two line ice time...

It was good to see KOVALEV on the third line. Man, so this is what we can expect of the guy. He has the skill to skate circles around any opposing team, but apparently he is the sort of guy that doesn't feel like it some nights. Hmmm, I won't complain yet, as long as he is there for us when it counts. That said, as good as he is capable of being, for that money Montreal could easily go out and find a consistent superstar. Where are we going to find some chemistry with this guy???

Anyways, thats all. After a crappy performance I like to ramble. We still got a long way to go, but GO HABS GO!!!

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Old
03-24-2004, 09:31 PM
  #2
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I'm sure CJ will think twice now about giving his players a 2 day rest with the kind of performance they put out tonight...

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Old
03-24-2004, 10:08 PM
  #3
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We lost one game. Whats the big deal?

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Old
03-24-2004, 10:19 PM
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooch
We lost one game. Whats the big deal?
This is the Montreal Canadiens, everythings a big deal.

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Old
03-24-2004, 10:29 PM
  #5
Lafontaine
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Read it...

It's not a panic thread. I commented on the game, and brought up a few problems I think the team will face down the road.

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Old
03-24-2004, 10:39 PM
  #6
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I think the mistake for todays game was moving urond the lines. Why play urond with youre winning combination. Also sitting Bégin was a big mistake as I think he could of been the difference in the second periode when mtl were geting outplayed. Bégin is a Energy boster and allways gives the second efort and in tonights game I believe that Bégin was the difference between the win an the lost cause bégin would of found a way to energize this team in the second.

We are in a position that we can offord to loose a couple of games here and there, well in the past it wasent allways the case as these games were must wins. Sometimes its good to loose a couple of games before the playoofs because it well give the chanche for the coach to realize what his team has too work on and to sit the players that dont give a second effort like dagenais because if we have him on our second line hes going to hurt us.

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Old
03-24-2004, 10:50 PM
  #7
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I think it was one game of where they just did not have the legs. Sometimes you steal the game often you won't. I do not agree that Komisarek was solid out there tonite, if i was grading the D he would be at the bottom of the six. He is still panicking and not properly reading the rush. It all takes time and that time will be at the beginning of next season. He will be a liability in the microscopic world of playoff matchups. I like Montreal and still think they can beat any team in the East when on their game.

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Old
03-24-2004, 11:10 PM
  #8
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I thought Markov and Souray were ok, but the rest of our D was shaky tonight. Garon bailed us out, it could have been far worse.

We just didn't have any jump. Speaking of jump, where was Begin?

Also, with Perreault as third line center we have three small centers who are not strong in their own end. I don't like it!

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Old
03-24-2004, 11:12 PM
  #9
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BULIS-KOIVU-ZEDNIK
KOVALEV-RIBIERO-RYDER

Bulis? This guy can't score! Tonight again he missed 2/3 chances. He had an empty net tonight but coudn't lift the puck. If Perreault would have been there, it's a sure goal.

I say, stick with Yannick as long as he score...if he stop producing, you put Dagenais there. (joke). No, if Yannick stop scoring, you go with Bulis for sure

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Old
03-25-2004, 12:18 AM
  #10
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Komisarek was playing very well until he got caught out of position on the first goal. That seemed to take away his confidence. I don't know if it is fair to lay all of the blame on him. Defensemen are supposed to stand up the forwards at the blueline and someone should have picked up Dumont on the backcheck. As it was it took a perfect shot by Dumont and Garon going down too soon. But his play in front of his net was very strong and he made some good moves to get the puck out of the zone. What I really like are the little jukes he makes with the puck and the way he joined the attack a couple of times. Not many big bruising defensemen are capable of that. He moves very well on the ice as well. Often big players, particularly defencemen, are deceptive in that they cover a lot of ground without looking like they are moving too fast. Komisarek covers the ground and does it smoothly.

As for the playoffs, it is hard to say. On the one hand, he is far less certain handling the puck than the vets. On the other hand, he is easily the strongest of the group in front of his own net. Bouillon looks flashy, but he is in trouble if he can't beat the forecheck and get the puck out before the other team floods the zone. Once that happens, he is just hanging on for dear life. Quintal's game is one of shortcuts. If he can't get away with the shortcut that experience has taught him, he is in trouble as well. Personally, I think that Bouillon and Quintal are the two weakest links in the defence, not Komisarek.

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Old
03-25-2004, 12:23 AM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by db23
Komisarek was playing very well until he got caught out of position on the first goal. That seemed to take away his confidence. I don't know if it is fair to lay all of the blame on him. Defensemen are supposed to stand up the forwards at the blueline and someone should have picked up Dumont on the backcheck. As it was it took a perfect shot by Dumont and Garon going down too soon. But his play in front of his net was very strong and he made some good moves to get the puck out of the zone. What I really like are the little jukes he makes with the puck and the way he joined the attack a couple of times. Not many big bruising defensemen are capable of that. He moves very well on the ice as well. Often big players, particularly defencemen, are deceptive in that they cover a lot of ground without looking like they are moving too fast. Komisarek covers the ground and does it smoothly.

As for the playoffs, it is hard to say. On the one hand, he is far less certain handling the puck than the vets. On the other hand, he is easily the strongest of the group in front of his own net. Bouillon looks flashy, but he is in trouble if he can't beat the forecheck and get the puck out before the other team floods the zone. Once that happens, he is just hanging on for dear life. Quintal's game is one of shortcuts. If he can't get away with the shortcut that experience has taught him, he is in trouble as well. Personally, I think that Bouillon and Quintal are the two weakest links in the defence, not Komisarek.
All good point db, but Rivet is also a liability at times. On the goal where Komisarek cut across, Rivet backed up too quickly and then did not switch off on coverage until it was too late. Also, he uses his stick instead of his body down low and often loses the puck in his feet and is a terrible stickhandler.

We all know the faults of our defense, but it seemed like when Souray went down and Julien mixed the pairings it fell apart. I think Julien might have done it on purpose to get a look at how they would react or to see how it would work.

Now we know, our D is very delicate and the strengths of one player are needed to cover for the weaknesses of the other and we can't stray away from the pairings that are working for us.

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Old
03-25-2004, 12:32 AM
  #12
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i find it funny that some people just after this one loss are already ready to blame CJ and lack of leadership. 1 game thats all it took
sure they played crappy but honestly we always do against buffalo, the team had no chemistry what so ever tonight but no need to panic i think it had to do with a long rest, our team got use to playing 8 games in in 14 days after a 4 day rest they came out very flat, so what it happens.

NO NEED TO WORRY

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Old
03-25-2004, 12:32 AM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raketheleaves
All good point db, but Rivet is also a liability at times. On the goal where Komisarek cut across, Rivet backed up too quickly and then did not switch off on coverage until it was too late. Also, he uses his stick instead of his body down low and often loses the puck in his feet and is a terrible stickhandler.

We all know the faults of our defense, but it seemed like when Souray went down and Julien mixed the pairings it fell apart. I think Julien might have done it on purpose to get a look at how they would react or to see how it would work.

Now we know, our D is very delicate and the strengths of one player are needed to cover for the weaknesses of the other and we can't stray away from the pairings that are working for us.
Komi is not the first D man to come across like that and leave the backside open, it happens many times. It is in no way Rivets fault he did that the only thing bad on Rivets part is not maintaining a tight enough gap, that got Komi excited when he saw it. In that type of two on two Rivet is to play it as a one on one and Komi should drop off to take on the streaking Dumont. Komi is only responsible for Satan if Dumont cuts behind Satan yet still in front of the D, Komi would then assume one on one with Satan and Rivet would be responsible for Dumonts whereabouts. I agree that Mike is tough in front and that is great, useful against bigger slower players. I am just not thrilled with his decision making on his first pass, he is nervous. He will be a good one though.

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Old
03-25-2004, 01:09 AM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafontaine
Wow, what total crap that game was. It has left me with a few comments and a few big questions.

I'm concerned that this team may lack the leadership of a Gilmour type player.
Bite your tongue! Gilmour = anitchrist, schlub, dirtbag, punk, ex-Leaf, ex-Flame, etc, etc. IMHO, of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafontaine
I'm also wondering if part of this problem can be pointed at CLAUDE JULIEN.
Whoa, whoa... simma don nya. Keep wondering, 'cause every critic and commentator i've heard mention CJ have used words like "Jack Adam's candidate", or "one of the smartest coaches in the league", or "excellent tactician" etc, etc. I gotta agree with them based on our rebound from last year to our play up to now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafontaine
JAN BULIS should be in the top 6 forward grouping.

THEO
GARON

SOURAY-MARKOV
BRISEBOIS-RIVET
KOMI-CUBE
(please dont ***** about what side they're on, its just the top 6 ok!)

BULIS-KOIVU-ZEDNIK
KOVALEV-RIBIERO-RYDER
SUNDSTROM-DOWD-BEGIN
WARD-PERREAULT/JUNEAU-DACKELL/LANGDON
I'm assuming you still meant the pairings as they appear? If so, no way on god's green earth is it responsible to put Komi and Cube on the same line in the playoffs. Might be neat to screw with to see if there's the chance of future chemistry there, but they're not ready to cover for each other against veteran skilled players YET.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafontaine
A few other comments to sleep on...

QUINTAL was absolutely terrible today IMO. He may still do the little things right, but his age and lack of skill is becoming VERY evident. He is SO slow, every Buffalo forward could blow right by him. I noticed him being lazy hustling back defensively, and his turn overs are getting ugly. I really never thought I'd say this, but please BRISEBOIS, get healthy quick!

Speaking of Defencemen, KOMISAREK looks so strong out there now. Mistakes like the one he made on the first goal are brutal, but overall he looks fast, tough, good with puck and he seems to be making smart passes.

Our first two lines were weak tonight, but I'll take it easy on KOIVU, ZEDNIK, RYDER and RIBIERO, because, essentially, they were playing by themselves on their respective lines. PERREAULT is simply awful, and just like DAGENAIS must be immediately demoted the second he stops putting pucks in the net. Possibly this kind of treatment would convince these two loafers that other things must be done to earn top two line ice time. And speaking of top two line ice time...

It was good to see KOVALEV on the third line. Man, so this is what we can expect of the guy. He has the skill to skate circles around any opposing team, but apparently he is the sort of guy that doesn't feel like it some nights. Hmmm, I won't complain yet, as long as he is there for us when it counts. That said, as good as he is capable of being, for that money Montreal could easily go out and find a consistent superstar. Where are we going to find some chemistry with this guy???

Anyways, thats all. After a crappy performance I like to ramble. We still got a long way to go, but GO HABS GO!!!
Alright, you brought 'er back home nicely. I was with you with you the rest of the way. Give Kovalev a spin with Ribs and Ryder, and I think he might pick 'er up. I think he still has enough personal pride that he won't let it be noticed that Ryder and Ribs ALWAYS leave him behind on the rush, and ALWAYS beat him back on the back-check. If we need Ryder's work ethic to rub off on anyone, it might be him.

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Old
03-25-2004, 01:19 AM
  #15
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But Mike was pretty much damned if he did and damned if he didn't on that goal. If he dropped off, the puck carrier would have just followed him over. The puck carrier was about in the middle of the ice and moving away from Rivet and towards Komisarek. Someone had to challenge him or he would have just carried it right down the middle. I still think if there is blame to be attached it should go to the Montreal winger who was lagging on the backcheck. Dumont was all by himself. If there had been a checker back, then Komo would have done the right thing by taking out the puck carrier while the backchecker tied up Dumont.

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03-25-2004, 10:02 AM
  #16
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Oh cripes! We're in a slump! What do we do now?

Nah.. but seriously now.. if there's one team I don't mind losing to, it's Buffalo. Why? Because I think the best funniest thing to see in the playoffs would be the entire NorthEast division. Just think about it, 5 out of 8 playoff spots being held by our division. 2 of the others being guaranteed to the top team in each of the other divisions leaving only 1 extra team the chance to get in.

And taking in consideration that 24 games are played versus your own division, it would just go to prove how tough of a division we have as obviously, you didn't get all your wins versus your own division (not to take anything away from Tampa Bay, but it must be nice to have to play 24 of your season's games versus Atlanta, Florida, Washington and Carolina).

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03-25-2004, 10:45 AM
  #17
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I don't mind the loss that much. We had to lose sometime, right? I'd rather they go back to Mtl all pissed off at themselves and put the horns to the Sens. I'd also like to see the Isles eliminated, since I don't really like them, so Buff. can have the two points, even if they took a cheapshot on Souray along the way.

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Old
03-25-2004, 11:27 AM
  #18
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For the last time, Begin has had a pretty serious flu. That's why he didn't play!

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Old
03-25-2004, 12:21 PM
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EaGLE1

Bulis? This guy can't score! Tonight again he missed 2/3 chances. He had an empty net tonight but coudn't lift the puck. If Perreault would have been there, it's a sure goal.

I say, stick with Yannick as long as he score...if he stop producing, you put Dagenais there. (joke). No, if Yannick stop scoring, you go with Bulis for sure
Amen!

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Old
03-25-2004, 12:35 PM
  #20
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Bulis had his stick tied up by two guys on that play. Let's put the spin in the closet, eh?

Perreault is a soft midget with good hands and Julien will use his as he sees fit and get some production out of him, nothing more or we won't win.

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