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Converting players positions or The "Higgins is a center" dilemna

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Old
08-01-2008, 02:30 PM
  #26
Teufelsdreck
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Originally Posted by Blades 0f Steel View Post
Plekanec
Koivu
Lapierre
Begin/Chipchura

Just.Trust.Them.
Higgins isn't a better center than Bégin or Lapierre? Those two wouldn't be considered for 1 nanosecond as a first or second line center.

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08-01-2008, 02:31 PM
  #27
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Originally Posted by montreal View Post
How many times have you seen Higgins play center?




Being named among the top 10 players in the NCAA as a sophomore is a big deal imo, don't see why it wouldn't be. He doesn't have great skills and yet he was still considered as one of the best players in the NCAA at 19, which imo is impressive.

In his sophomore year he had 20+21 in 28 games, certainly not overly impressive, so their must have been something about his game aside from his offensive skills that NCAA officials liked.


The short stint that I seen him played in the playoffs at Center was enough to convince me that he can't handle this duty



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08-01-2008, 02:34 PM
  #28
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higgins could.... maybe.... if we are in deep trouble, play as a shutdown center. I wouldn't play in on the 1rst 2 lines at center though.

defensively, he would do a great job. offensively, he does not have the tools to set up his wingers on a regular basis.... he'd dump the puck 80% of times im sure.

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08-01-2008, 02:35 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by Teufelsdreck View Post
Higgins isn't a better center than Bégin or Lapierre? Those two wouldn't be considered for 1 nanosecond as a first or second line center.
Irrelevant because he's better suited to the wing. You might as well compare Markov with Lapierre.

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08-01-2008, 02:39 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by Teufelsdreck View Post
Higgins isn't a better center than Bégin or Lapierre? Those two wouldn't be considered for 1 nanosecond as a first or second line center.
So what? Heatley or Hossa or Kovalchuk or St-Louis or Kovalev.. etc. might all be better centers than Lapierre or Bégin.

The question is:

Is Higgins at LW the best output we can get from Higgins.. or is Higgins at C the best output we can get from Higgins.

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08-01-2008, 02:41 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by Erika Kostitsyn View Post
The short stint that I seen him played in the playoffs at Center was enough to convince me that he can't handle this duty
So how many games was that? I honestly can't recall how many games he played center. Everyone seesm so sure of him not being able to play center but how many games has he played center in the NHL. I know I've seen every game he's played in the NHL but I don't recall him playing many at center.

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Originally Posted by AD View Post
Right. But it seems that those skills translated into a good winger potential in the NHL. I like Higgins, but I doubt he can carry a line and centres often have to do that.

This is in no way a Higgins bashing thread, but simply using the argument that a guy played center in lower leagues can play centre in the NHL is false. I'd rather find a guy who's never played center but that has the tools to do it than vice versa.
Well I don't agree that Higgins doesn't have the tools to play center but I'd need to see him at the position more to have a better opinion.

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08-01-2008, 02:42 PM
  #32
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Originally Posted by montreal View Post
So how many games was that? I honestly can't recall how many games he played center. Everyone seesm so sure of him not being able to play center but how many games has he played center in the NHL. I know I've seen every game he's played in the NHL but I don't recall him playing many at center.
Around 4. Which is not a lot.

Though one can surely look at his game as a winger as some evidence of the type of game he has and the tools he brings. And that helps in the analysis.

And (I hate using this argument).. but let's not forget that he's been followed about 16 hours a day 6 days a week by professional talent managers for the last 3-4 years who've all pretty much concluded that he's an above average winger and a below average centre.

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08-01-2008, 02:43 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by Kovalev the Great View Post
higgins could.... maybe.... if we are in deep trouble, play as a shutdown center. I wouldn't play in on the 1rst 2 lines at center though.

defensively, he would do a great job. offensively, he does not have the tools to set up his wingers on a regular basis.... he'd dump the puck 80% of times im sure.

How did you arrive at your 80%?

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08-01-2008, 02:50 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by AD View Post
Around 4. Which is not a lot.

Though one can surely look at his game as a winger as some evidence of the type of game he has and the tools he brings. And that helps in the analysis.

And (I hate using this argument).. but let's not forget that he's been followed about 16 hours a day 6 days a week by professional talent managers for the last 3-4 years who've all pretty much concluded that he's an above average winger and a below average centre.
That's what I thought. Funny how people are so confident of what a player can do when they have seen so little of him doing it. Maybe he needed a little more time to get the feeling back of his old position, I don't know, but I don't see how people are so sure he can't play center when the fact is they haven't seen much of him doing so as a pro.

As for the pro talent managers part, I don't know their opinions on Higgins as a center, I do recall something from Savard I believe who wanted Higgins moved to the wing if I recall correctly but I forget what he said exactly. They had to like something about Higgins at center since they put him there for a few games.

I am not saying Higgins should be a center, cause I don't know as I haven't seen him play there enough.

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08-01-2008, 02:55 PM
  #35
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Originally Posted by montreal View Post
That's what I thought. Funny how people are so confident of what a player can do when they have seen so little of him doing it. Maybe he needed a little more time to get the feeling back of his old position, I don't know, but I don't see how people are so sure he can't play center when the fact is they haven't seen much of him doing so as a pro.

I am not saying Higgins should be a center, cause I don't know as I haven't seen him play there enough.
I don't see many in this thread saying that Higgins can't play center. In fact, I think he's a better center than Lapierre or Begin. But most of us are saying that Higgins is (or probably is) a better winger than center.

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08-01-2008, 03:27 PM
  #36
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Originally Posted by AD View Post
I don't see many in this thread saying that Higgins can't play center. In fact, I think he's a better center than Lapierre or Begin. But most of us are saying that Higgins is (or probably is) a better winger than center.
Seems like to me people are really confident in their opinion of Higgins as a center based off a very limited viewing is all I'm saying. I don't know if Higgisn is a better winger then center cause I haven't seen enough of him at center. Frankly I don't really care, as I like Higgins a lot and I'm just glad he's on our team. I was just suprised to see so many being so sure of something that I think is very hard to be sure of at this point.

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08-01-2008, 03:43 PM
  #37
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Originally Posted by montreal View Post
Seems like to me people are really confident in their opinion of Higgins as a center based off a very limited viewing is all I'm saying. I don't know if Higgisn is a better winger then center cause I haven't seen enough of him at center. Frankly I don't really care, as I like Higgins a lot and I'm just glad he's on our team. I was just suprised to see so many being so sure of something that I think is very hard to be sure of at this point.
It seems to me that people are basing their judgments on hearsay rather than on careful consideration. They shouldn't simply parrot what other posters say like a chorus.

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08-01-2008, 04:17 PM
  #38
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Old
08-01-2008, 04:50 PM
  #39
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From what we saw from the season and the center experience in the playoff: Higgins has the potential to be a better center than Sergei could. Both, could potentially become way better at the C position than any other center we currently have in the near future (aside from pleks, koivu & maxwell).

While Sergei has the smarts to be successful at the position, the little we saw during the playoff was that he was mismatched by other players when trying to help his defencemen in corners. Higgins fared much better in this aspect as well as overall positioning.

In other words, I disagree with you, I think he has the potential in the long-run to become our third best center. Not a great one, but a respectable one.

Also, I don't remember who said this but the thing about the contract/position thing is absolutly right.
I wouldn't mind seeing Kostitsyn at center as I like just about every part of his game. Perhaps he might make a better center then Higgins as imo he's got more flash and could likely create more offense. He was great on the point on the PP w/London and in Hamilton he really impressed me with his passing, although I want to see him shoot more, I love his shot (then again I loved Marcel Hoss'a shot)

Pacioretty is another guy that I wouldn't mind seeing him at center. He saw some time w/Michigan in the face-off circle, but I don't know how he would handle the defensive part of it, as he seems solid as a winger but I would want to see how he did as a center in his own end. I don't suspect their would be a problem as I also love just about every part of his game.

They can't all be centers but if no Sundin which I assume is likely cause after reading how great the Nucks are he has to sign there. And if Koivu continues to have his ups and downs which I would assume he will again, that leaves Lapierre, Chipchura, Begin as guys who have played center for us. I wouldn't mind having Higgins or Kostitsyn at center, putting Chipchura on the 4th line and moving Lappy to the wing as I prefer him there, same for Begin. Don't know if Tanguay could handle the center spot, I like him on the wing but something needs to be done imo. I am a big fan of Chipchura's but I'd much rather see him on the 4th line then the 3rd. Guess we'll see what happens.

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08-01-2008, 06:31 PM
  #40
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Gainey's already named his centres: Koivu, Plekanec, Lapierre, Chipchura. Baring Sundin or some other surprise, that's the depth chart for C.

Pointless to debate Higgins at C, since you won't be seeing him there unless there are major injury problems. Bégin will be #5 C in that case. Pretty sure the org has decided Higgins at C is not the best place for either him or the team.

What other experts do you need to weigh in until we can agree on that?

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08-01-2008, 06:51 PM
  #41
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[QUOTE=montreal;15051836]Then you must be a really good hockey player. How much has Higgins played center in the NHL? How much has anyone on here seen Higgins play center?

I was born at Yale-New Haven Hospital, went to the University of New Haven, and work a half-mile from Ingalls Rink (where Yale plays). I've seen enough of Christopher Higgins at center to say that I hope the Canadiens are smart enough to leave him on left wing.

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08-01-2008, 07:46 PM
  #42
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Originally Posted by Teufelsdreck View Post
I'm not claiming that Higgins would be a great center but he did play at that position until about the age of 20 at Yale University. He was shifted to LW only after he arrived in Hamilton. As for you, I believe your first NHL shift would be your last, so I suggest you refrain from gross exaggeration and come up with a slightly more believable comparison. Do you realistically think you could match even Georges Laraque as an NHL center?

This and other posts that put down Higgins are not well thought out, although yours is undoubtedly the worst, Kriss. It's well to remember that Higgins was the first all-star center in the ECAC in his sophomore year at Yale. I saw Higgins play a few times in those years. His greatest drawback as a center is not his "vision" or his passing but rather his faceoffs. If he improved that skill, he could be an acceptable third line center.
Wow..was he really??..the first all-star center in the ECAC at Yale??..
Ahhhh ok ok..maybe I should rephrase what I said earlier then..

If Higgins can be a center in the NHL, I can play in the AHL..okay??
You know damn well it was an exaggeration, but for some reason you took it literally

Point is, if you're truly a good center, you won't be moved to the wing. Especially, if the only thing lacking according to you, was in the Faceoff department. They could have easily worked on that.

That being said, my exaggeration was not that Higgins wouldn't be able to play center, of course he could. But he'd have a lot of things to work on, not just faceoffs.
In any case, he's much more useful to us on the wing and he wouldn't be better than Chipper.

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08-01-2008, 09:11 PM
  #43
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I must say:
1)Higgins can play center
2)If Higgins play at center, he will be a defensive one. I was really impress by the defensive side of his game on the couple of game he played at center.
3)Offensively, he's not enough of a play maker to be effective at center.
4)I think on short term, he can make it. On long term, it will not help the team nor his career to play center. He's a really good winger, not the most productive one, but he played well. At center, he will be beat by a lot of offensive center.
5)People judged his capacity to play center really fast. The guy played less than 10 games at center and you think he can't do it. Remember, after 10 games at MTL, Gorges was AHL material in the mind of a lot of people. Don't judge too fast. Character is important and Higgins is strong in his mind.

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08-01-2008, 10:50 PM
  #44
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I like Higgins at center. And I think he can be a good one.

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08-02-2008, 07:12 AM
  #45
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Originally Posted by Kovalev the Great View Post
higgins could.... maybe.... if we are in deep trouble, play as a shutdown center. I wouldn't play in on the 1rst 2 lines at center though.

defensively, he would do a great job. offensively, he does not have the tools to set up his wingers on a regular basis....
+1. Now all depends on who would be his wingers. Do you dress him up with offensive wingers - to give the line some upside - or you clearly dedicate the line as a shutdown defensive trio.

Still, what is lacking in order for Higgins to be a credible depth option as a shutdown center is...faceoffs. Then again, let's say one of his wingers is better at faceoffs it would do.

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08-02-2008, 09:06 AM
  #46
montreal
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Gainey's already named his centres: Koivu, Plekanec, Lapierre, Chipchura. Baring Sundin or some other surprise, that's the depth chart for C.

Pointless to debate Higgins at C, since you won't be seeing him there unless there are major injury problems. Bégin will be #5 C in that case. Pretty sure the org has decided Higgins at C is not the best place for either him or the team.

What other experts do you need to weigh in until we can agree on that?
I missed that, I'm surprised cause you usually don't just hand a position to a rookie, so I would think Chipchura will need a good camp to earn a spot, not saying he can't make the team, just that I would be surprised if it was set in stone already that those would be the 4 centers.

I'm not a big fan of Lappierre at center, I like him more on the wing.

I also don't know if Begin would be the #5 center, personally I like him on the wing more as well. I know there was talk from Carbo I believe about trying Siarhei Kostitsyn at center, wonder if they would try that at some point.

As for other experts, it's a good month still before camp opens, no harm in debating how things will shake out. I don't think things are set in stone and will be interesting to see how things unfold.





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Originally Posted by CTHabsfan View Post
I was born at Yale-New Haven Hospital, went to the University of New Haven, and work a half-mile from Ingalls Rink (where Yale plays). I've seen enough of Christopher Higgins at center to say that I hope the Canadiens are smart enough to leave him on left wing.
I don't get it, so your saying Higgins was bad at center at Yale, cause I thought he was great, he was clearly the most skilled guy on the team and the coaches go to guy.

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08-02-2008, 09:06 AM
  #47
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A problem I see with the "shutdown" or defensive assignment for Chris is faceoffs. He's taken over 150 in his career and I believe he's batting about 40%. A large part of a defensive centre's assignment is to win faceoffs and therefore gain possession (keeping the puck away from the opponent's talented players).

I agree with those who say he's not best suited for top offensive line centre duties as well. So what's the bottom line?

Higgins should probably be left at the wing where he is best, and able to contribute best to his team.

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08-02-2008, 09:11 AM
  #48
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Originally Posted by CTHabsfan View Post
I was born at Yale-New Haven Hospital, went to the University of New Haven, and work a half-mile from Ingalls Rink (where Yale plays). I've seen enough of Christopher Higgins at center to say that I hope the Canadiens are smart enough to leave him on left wing.
Chances are you're not a bad player at your position when you received those honors:

"He was among the top ten players in voting for the Hobey Baker award for the NCAA’s top player. The sophomore center was named co MVP of the ECAC, MVP of his team in 2002-03, and a finalist for the Herb Gallagher Award as the Top Player in New England. Higgins was again the leading scorer for his team, and 6th overall in ECAC scoring."

http://hfboards.com/newreply.php?do=newreply&p=15055438

Now, what still REMAINS to be seen is if he can bring it to another level. But to see it and know it, let's give him a chance to do it...

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08-02-2008, 09:12 AM
  #49
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Higgins is really not bad at center imo(from the limited amount of games I have seen), clearly not far from his LW performance by any measure. If he could be a better faceoff guy I could see him as a gritty, annoying 2nd line center that can score. The keyword here is faceoffs, something that you can practice and improve over time.

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08-02-2008, 09:15 AM
  #50
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Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
A problem I see with the "shutdown" or defensive assignment for Chris is faceoffs. He's taken over 150 in his career and I believe he's batting about 40%. A large part of a defensive centre's assignment is to win faceoffs and therefore gain possession (keeping the puck away from the opponent's talented players).

I agree with those who say he's not best suited for top offensive line centre duties as well. So what's the bottom line?

Higgins should probably be left at the wing where he is best, and able to contribute best to his team.
The problem is we are missing a 3rd center. After Pleks and Koivu, it's Lappy/Chipchura/whoever else, so personally I rather see guys like Lappy and Chipchura on the 4th line but what options are there? I don't know if Higgins could handle say the 3rd center, or if say Kostitsyn could do it.

The way I see it, the problem with the roster is that you have your skilled players, Kovalev/Koivu/Pleks/Kostitsyn brothers/Tanguay/Higgins/Lats so that's 8 players for 9 spots, meaning one of the 4th liners Lappy/BGL/Begin/Kostopo/Chip has to play on the 3rd line, guessing it will be Lappierre but me personally, I'd like our team more if we had another skilled player to slot in and push Lappy to the 4th line.

This is where getting Sundin imo would just be freaking huge as it would solve that problem right away, giving us an impressive 1-2-3 down the middle with Sundin/Pleks/Koivu in whatever order the team wants. But I'm guessing that won't happen which is too bad as to me that's the missing piece right there.

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Originally Posted by Sarto View Post
+1. Now all depends on who would be his wingers. Do you dress him up with offensive wingers - to give the line some upside - or you clearly dedicate the line as a shutdown defensive trio.

Still, what is lacking in order for Higgins to be a credible depth option as a shutdown center is...faceoffs. Then again, let's say one of his wingers is better at faceoffs it would do.
I don't know what winger he would get if he were a center, I wouldn't mind in preseason to try Pacioretty-Higgins-S.Kostitsyn just to see how they could do.

As for face-offs it's a concern and a likely very good reason why Higgins wouldn't be moved to center, as they sent Chipchura down to work on his face-offs as he needs to work on that. Chipchura is seen by many to be a future shutdown center and yet he's struggled with face-offs so it will be interesting to see how that pans out.

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