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In defense of our players!

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Old
05-01-2008, 10:03 AM
  #1
Lafontaine
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In defense of our players!

I was really so disgusted after the "Begin Depreciation" thread that I was going to give up on these boards, but then I was foolish enough to keep reading and found all the hundreds of brilliants posts screaming **** Kovalev, **** Kostitsyn, etc. etc. Yup, we love our team more than anyone else, but this kind of reactionary attitude that lacks any perspective on or appreciation for what players have done for us is a small reason for why it is hard for us to get UFAs to come and play for us in my opinion.

People, our team came first in the conference for the first time in how long?

"**** Kovalev"? We are lucky if we were a play-off team this year without Kovalev! Yes, Zdeno Chara, one of the best defencemen in the league shut him down last series - yet still he managed to lead the team in scoring and has been flying (IMO) against Philly. I too wish he'd shoot more on the powerplay, but he has been dancing through the Philly in the neutral zone with ease and has given Montreal a lot of puck possession and opened up a million opportunities that we just aren't burying!

Carey Price. Maybe it turns out this guy has a lot to learn. It seems to me he is a little too relaxed sometimes. Does anyone here seriously think he isn't going to bounce back? Even if you are disgusted with his performance in this series. A) He is a primary reason we are in this series. B) He is 20!

Halak. Some pretty fine work for a back-up I would say!

Ryder, Dandenault - don't complain, they are on the bench where you want them! I do have to wonder though, for a team who can't hit the net, maybe Ryder wouldn't be a bad solution. This isn't Boston, he will get his looks against Philly.

Koivu. I know no one is bashing Koivu right now, but give it about 10 games into the regular season and everyone will be talking about how we should trade him and how he isn't a real second line center. This guy has done everything for the Red, White and Blue but bring them a Stanley Cup. He isn't Mario Lemieux, but he's a freaking bulldog in the play-offs. I hope no one ever questions his effect on this team and the leadership and commitment he brings after this season. I hope he winds his career down with Montreal, even in a third line role if necessary. Yes, we do need a big center - always have - but what more do you want from this guy?!

The Kostitsyn brothers. First off, dissing Sergei? He has played what, maybe 50 NHL games, and we are already expecting him to be Alexander Ovechkin. Regardless of how he played (and I think he has been as decent as his numbers suggest), at his age he is WAY ahead of the curve and our expecations. As for his brother, I felt he was the one player who started to learn and find a way to fight throught the tight checking of the Bruins towards the end of the last series. He is a great stickhandler, passer and has some strength to go into the boards and come out with the puck - moreso than his bro, Pleks or even Higgins in my opinion. Can't believe some people here were not satisfied with his performance thus far!

Higgins. Admittedly a little disappointing, but lets not forget what this guy was originally projected to become. He came into this year talking as if he was going to score 40 goals, but three years ago we would have been thrilled if he produced 20 a season. I think he still brings the energy we expect of him - he just unrealistically raised our hopes that he could be a great sniper. Well, seems he can't shoot. Not his fault, he just isn't Teemu Selane. The effort is there though. Would you really want to part with this guy right now?

Begin, Kostopolous and Smolinski. As far as bang for your buck goes, what more do you want from these dudes? IMO Smoke has been given too much credit for his role on this line in the Boston series, but the other two matched the Bs grinders punch for punch. A hell of a performance! Mr. Begin has been doing this for us for years. So he takes bad penalties. A lot of players do. Begin's only sin has been his bad timing!

As for Plekanecs and Markov (and I'm grouping them together for a reason) I just sort of feel that play-off hockey doesn't really suit them. They need space - Pleks for his movement and stickhandling, and Markov for his breakout passes. They haven't caught the sense of play-off hockey yet. Ok, so, what, our players get one or two cracks at it and then we give up on them ever learning? Let's see how they perform (especially Pleks) over the next couple season before looking for other options. Plekanecs, like Higgins I would say, has exceeded all expectations over the past couple of years and deserves a little patience from the fans.

Komisarek. A bruiser in the Boston series, but I feel like he hasn't quite been himself against Philly. Meh, we all know we need his physical presence back there and he is certainly no liability.

Bouillon, Georges, O'Byrne, Hamrlik. Anyone have complaints against these guys? They've done their part. I think Hamrlik has been playing below his standard, but he has been phenomenal all year. He seems to burn out come play-off time. Perhaps management has to look at that, but let's not forget how big his role in getting us to the top of the league was!

Brisebois. We have always known this guy is a defensive liability. He isn't going to change. Blame Carbonneau for this one. We all thought Breezy was brought in as a 7th guy - I guess not!

Streit. I don't really want to touch this one Very tough to read this guy's value! Hopefully they don't overpay for him in the summer is all I have to say.

Lapierre and Latendresse. I don't want to start a firestorm here, but I haven't heard any criticism of Latendresse on these boards. Now of all our young players, wasn't he the one who was supposed to be our first line dynamo by now? Hey, don't get me wrong, I am patient and I think he will be a great player - just wish our Europeans would get the same kind of respect and patience from our fans. As for Max, he has stepped up his game like the coach demanded. He is playing hard, and makes a lot of scoring chances for himself. Unfortunately he is a 4th line grinder, so don't expect top line finishing - no other 4th liner in the league would be burying those chances...

So look, we were outplayed 5 of 7 games against Boston, but gained the experience and found a way to win. We have outplayed Philly badly in 3 of 5 games and were maybe 50/50 with them in the other two. If not for Marty Biron (and our poor luck and bad finishing), this series is 4-0 or 3-1 Habs - simple as that.

We are one of the youngest teams in the league, have cap space, great goaltending in the future, scored more goals than any team in the regular season, came first in the Conference and made it to round two of the play-offs where we are dominating but have suffered from bad luck and great goaltending (just like in the Carolina series).

Man, really sucks to be a Canadien these days

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Old
05-01-2008, 10:06 AM
  #2
CacaLauncher23
 
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wtf? i'm not reading all of that!

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05-01-2008, 10:09 AM
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Way. Too. Long.
I'm sure you're right about a bunch of stuff but I'm not going to dig through all that to make sure.

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Old
05-01-2008, 10:11 AM
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Lafontaine
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lol

Fair enough...

I guess I should have just said "**** Kovalev, **** Price, we suck!" Would have been a more popular thread

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05-01-2008, 10:12 AM
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anarmandaleb
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafontaine View Post
Fair enough...

I guess I should have just said "**** Kovalev, **** Price, we suck!" Would have been a more popular thread
No, maybe just bold your main point for each player. Then we can read on if we want to but we'll know what you're saying.

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Old
05-01-2008, 10:23 AM
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I still can't figure out how we managed to sweep both Boston and Flyers in the season but can hardly win against the Bruins and are now 1-3 against the Flyers...

What exactly went wrong?

We have it guys, we have the team to win the cup. There's no doubt in my mind. I just don't get what happens right now in the playoffs. It's just,... not the habs.

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Old
05-01-2008, 10:29 AM
  #7
Lafontaine
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Well, play-off hockey is definitely a different monster. As good as the Habs are, I am not sure we are ready to make it all the way to the Finals.

One of my main points (for those of you looking for the Cole's Notes version) is that this team is young and we have to give them credit and patience. I already see progress and some understanding from players (I really feel that the Kostitsyns and Lapierre, for example, started to adapt a few games in). Give it a year or two. I wouldn't demand too much tinkering at this point.

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Old
05-01-2008, 10:33 AM
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Kriss E
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I agree with you buddy..
HF has really lost some value in what it used to be..
So many morons that should post on the rds forums are invading this site..its sad cause there used to be a lot of interesting threads..

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Old
05-01-2008, 10:34 AM
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thank you, very good read. I agree with everything except maybe the Streit (he's injured) and Latendresse (what is he expected to do really with Lapierre and Streit?).

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05-01-2008, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafontaine View Post
Well, play-off hockey is definitely a different monster. As good as the Habs are, I am not sure we are ready to make it all the way to the Finals.

One of my main points (for those of you looking for the Cole's Notes version) is that this team is young and we have to give them credit and patience. I already see progress and some understanding from players (I really feel that the Kostitsyns and Lapierre, for example, started to adapt a few games in). Give it a year or two. I wouldn't demand too much tinkering at this point.


Exactly! We have a young team, it's normal that we aren't fairing well in the playoffs, for like the first time around for a bunch of them.

Also, don't forget that this team lacks gamebreakers. Kovalev and Koivu are somewhat gamebreakers, but are getting old and are constantly checked by the opposition.

While I beleive we need just a "little" tinkering for the next few years, the experience all our youngsters gained in the last few weeks will greatly benefit them. I mean, it's not like the Habs are going to fold after the playoffs are over. Things can only get better from now on.

Also, we have to remember that the majority of our "offensive" offense is made of young Europeans. I think they were totally not prepared for the playoffs. Some clueless people will say that's because they have no heart, but I disagree. I think players like the Kosts, Plekanec and even Streit, were just caught off guard by the intensity of the post season. They didn't have a lot of time to adapt, and actually, Pleks and the Kosts are starting to play some solid playoff hockey at the moment.

While this series is not over, the chances of us going through the second round are slim. But we shouldn't dwell on this. Next year, we will see a more determined cast of young guys, that will want to prove themselves, while knowing what's about to happen and what they will have to do to win.

Remember people, we are just out of a rebuilding phase. Actually, we are kind of still in it. Please be patient with our team!

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Old
05-01-2008, 11:33 AM
  #11
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I'm the only one who hasn't give up??

3-1, it's not over!! We came back against Boston a couple of years ago and the Bruins almost did it to us this year.

Are players are playing amazing!! Were just running up against an increadibly hot goaltender. It's almost getting to the point were I'm thinking of when Giguere lead Anaheim to the cup for the first time against teh Devils, the had no business being there but the man was on fire. I see this in Biron. There is no way the Flyers are in the top 8 in the league, but here they are.

The biggest Cliché in sports, "one game at a time"

The habs players this year have over achieved to a point that i myself didn't see coming. I was in for a long rebuilding year, and now that they have built themselves up on this petastil everyone is ready to bring them down and bash every player from Begin to carbo's coaching.

And I agree with the poster who talked about recent threads on this site. It seems that this is the most negative place in the world. Everyone is a basement GM, sitting in their homes telling professionals how to run and coach their teams. What happened to the hypothetical trade talks and draft discussions??? Now it's this guy sucks, our coach sucks, get rid of this guy and so on.

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Old
05-01-2008, 12:25 PM
  #12
Lafontaine
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Not over...

I absolutely belive that the Habs are still in this series! They are heading home and are playing good hockey. Three wins in a row is not impossible, especially against a team as average as Philly. If Biron keeps playing the same way, I'll be honest, we don't have as much of a chance, but if he falters even slightly, I believe we can pulverize this Philly team. Imagine we win by three or four on Saturday, the momentum swings our way and Philly will be a nervous bunch heading back home. We need good goaltending too, and some good bounces, but this is far from over. We win at home (I say the odds are in our favour) and suddenly it is 3-2.

Let's hope the fans are behind our guys; chanting Kovalev's name and calling out for Carey Price, screaming and hollering like maniacs in a sea of red, blue and white instead of acting like a handful of posters on this board!

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Old
05-02-2008, 02:30 AM
  #13
CareyPrice x 31
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Its 3:30 am so I had time to read the entire OP.

and well, , great post.

I agree with you on basically everything!

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