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

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Old
08-02-2008, 09:28 AM
  #51
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I think that in order to even contemplate moving Higgins to Centre another offensive winger must be signed.... Right now we have 2 offensive centres and 6 offensive wingers...

Its the centre that completes the three offensive lines.

What wingers are out there?? Nagy, Glen Murray, Mark Parrish??? Sorry these three don't excite me.... Selanne?? I really doubt he wants to come to Montreal... Are you gonna count on Kostopolous, Begin, Laraque, or Dandenault in an offensive role??
Are D'Agostini, MaxPac, Wyman, or another prospect the guy for this role?? I don't think so, not yet. I think you are better off with Chips at Centre on the third line and Higgins on LW on one of the top three lines; then with Higgins at Centre on the the third line and one of the other prospects there. Chips is more NHL ready than those guys IMO. If you keep a prospect winger up that means that Chips is probably AHL bound.

So Moving Higgins to centre is pretty much a moot point right now with the present roster.

I really see a better chance of Lehoux, Maxwell, or White having a dominating camp and forcing themselves into the third centre role than moving Higgins over. This is still unlikely though...

To me its
Plan A) Sundin
Plan B) Trade for Lang, Kozlov, Nylander, or another centre
Plan C) Chipchura or Lappy
Plan D) One of the prospects forces his way on the team... this forces Higgins to try centre if its a winger prospect, or they take the third line if its a Centre.

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08-02-2008, 10:08 AM
  #52
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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.[/QUOTE]


Christopher Higgins was not a good center at Yale. Although he was obviously much more skilled than most of his competitors at that level, I never saw him as a guy who would be a great center. Granted, he was younger at the time, however, from what I have seen at Yale, and now in Montreal, I think Christopher Higgins is a far better winger than he is a center. He has been developing nicely as an NHL winger, so why set his development back by trying to make him into a center once again, particularly when he has never shown potential for greatness at that position?

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08-02-2008, 10:44 AM
  #53
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Originally Posted by Beakermania View Post
To me its
Plan A) Sundin
Plan B) Trade for Lang, Kozlov, Nylander, or another centre
Plan C) Chipchura or Lappy
Plan D) One of the prospects forces his way on the team... this forces Higgins to try centre if its a winger prospect, or they take the third line if its a Centre.
If moving Higgins at center is out of the question, I would totally agree with your plans. Thing is, if it's possible to trade for centermen like Lang, Kozlov, Nylander for those teams cap purposes, it may be possible to trade for just as good wingers in order to have Higgins at center.

It's extremely hard to get a centerman and most teams hesitate before giving them away, which is not the case for wingers.

Not saying we should stick with those teams but if take the Chigago or the Washington way, Chicago would probably prefer to give Havlat than Lang who's, right now, 1 of only 3 centermen signed with them. I really don't get why they would get rid of him.

Washington, it does make sense to get rid of Kozlov and I would obviously much prefer to see that than to even try Higgins at center. Washington have 7 centermen under contract. Clearly, they could let go a few guys out there. Though they have 14 players under contract so clearly some centermen will be playing the wings this year. I would love to put my hands on Chris Clark, still, Kozlov has to be the one that will be available.

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08-02-2008, 10:48 AM
  #54
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Originally Posted by CTHabsfan View Post
Christopher Higgins was not a good center at Yale. Although he was obviously much more skilled than most of his competitors at that level, I never saw him as a guy who would be a great center. Granted, he was younger at the time, however, from what I have seen at Yale, and now in Montreal, I think Christopher Higgins is a far better winger than he is a center. He has been developing nicely as an NHL winger, so why set his development back by trying to make him into a center once again, particularly when he has never shown potential for greatness at that position?
Thank you for your input.

I would lik ot hear from even more people who saw him at Yale.

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08-02-2008, 10:51 AM
  #55
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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.



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.
For some reason, you'd be prefer to see a guy like Higgins center the 3rd line and Chipper on the 4th?
Other than for his speed, Higgins is not a better center than Chipper.
I agree we haven't seen much of Higgins to determine if he'd truly be a great center. But I just don't see it based on his skills set.
Also, with what we've seen from Chipper, he had great potential. He was handling himself pretty well too but needed to work on his speed and Faceoffs. They sent Chipper down because of the lack of faceoff abilities, so I don't see why they would try Higgins that showed he's pretty far from good in the FOs department as well.

I don't see how you place Higgins directly as a 3rd center yet put Chipper on 4th. That doesn't make any sense at all to me.

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08-02-2008, 10:54 AM
  #56
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Originally Posted by CTHabsfan View Post
Christopher Higgins was not a good center at Yale. Although he was obviously much more skilled than most of his competitors at that level, I never saw him as a guy who would be a great center. Granted, he was younger at the time, however, from what I have seen at Yale, and now in Montreal, I think Christopher Higgins is a far better winger than he is a center. He has been developing nicely as an NHL winger, so why set his development back by trying to make him into a center once again, particularly when he has never shown potential for greatness at that position?
Don't want to repeat myself but I really and honesetly would like an answer to that. How do you become:

1- Amongst the top ten players in voting for the Hobey Baker award for the NCAA’s top player.
2- Named co MVP of the ECAC
3- MVP of his team in 2002-03
4- Finalist for the Herb Gallagher Award as the Top Player in New England
5- Leading scorer for his team
6- 6th overall in ECAC scoring

Not sarcasm but real question. Was the ECAC that bad? Was Yale that awful for still being recognized as one of the player and still be judged by you as "not a good centerman"???

Even if he doesn't have the perfect instincts of the centerman, you still need to be pretty good at your position to achieve those goals no???

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08-02-2008, 10:57 AM
  #57
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Originally Posted by Whitesnake View Post
Don't want to repeat myself but I really and honesetly would like an answer to that. How do you become:

1- Amongst the top ten players in voting for the Hobey Baker award for the NCAA’s top player.
2- Named co MVP of the ECAC
3- MVP of his team in 2002-03
4- Finalist for the Herb Gallagher Award as the Top Player in New England
5- Leading scorer for his team
6- 6th overall in ECAC scoring

Not sarcasm but real question. Was the ECAC that bad? Was Yale that awful for still being recognized as one of the player and still be judged by you as "not a good centerman"???

Even if he doesn't have the perfect instincts of the centerman, you still need to be pretty good at your position to achieve those goals no???
I suppose (and I'm really just supposing here) that you can be a great player in a so-so league and play any position and shine.

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08-02-2008, 11:01 AM
  #58
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Originally Posted by Kriss E View Post
I don't see how you place Higgins directly as a 3rd center yet put Chipper on 4th. That doesn't make any sense at all to me.
It does to me when you look at the big picture. 'Cause a Chipchura on the 3rd also means a Lapierre on the 4th and if Higgins was moved from centerman to the wing 'cause that he's not suppose to have the instincts of a centerman, why wouldn't that move be made to Lapierre as well. Lapierre is not, in my opinion, a good centerman in the NHL even on a 4th line who, in Montreal, is use quite often. So a pairing of Higgins-Chip is better than a Chip-Lappy on the bottom lines.

Also, if we hope and pray that Chip's ability in the faceoff circle can improve, why wouldn't it be possible for Higgins to do so as well? Higgins took a WHOPPING 62 faceoffs last year....and just like that we're able to judge him on his abilities to improve? Hey some people even thing that Bégin is doing fine as a centerman (which THAT makes no sense). Still Bégin is worst on the faceoff circle than Higgins.

So again, I don't see why we wouldn't try it. That's what a preseason is all about. Go with Chip, Lapierre, Higgins and even SKosty at the center position all preseason long and see for yourself. May the best men win.

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Originally Posted by AD View Post
I suppose (and I'm really just supposing here) that you can be a great player in a so-so league and play any position and shine.
True. Still despite all these stats, the poster said that he didn't shine. He wasn't a good centerman from his own words.

You know, I do have that tendancy to apply that to our own Ryan White. My own belief is that while he did great in his junior years, in my opinion, he might not be able to translate his play in the NHL and at the very least, he would have to be moved to the wings despite his great faceoffs abilities. I may be wrong but that's how I see it. Still despite not having the kind of honors that Higgins had, I really can't say he was a bad centerman in the WHL. He was, has the stats the prove it. So did Higgins.

Now if it can't translate, that's a whole different issue.


Last edited by Beakermania*: 08-02-2008 at 11:26 AM.
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08-02-2008, 11:31 AM
  #59
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If moving Higgins at center is out of the question, I would totally agree with your plans. Thing is, if it's possible to trade for centermen like Lang, Kozlov, Nylander for those teams cap purposes, it may be possible to trade for just as good wingers in order to have Higgins at center.

It's extremely hard to get a centerman and most teams hesitate before giving them away, which is not the case for wingers.

Not saying we should stick with those teams but if take the Chigago or the Washington way, Chicago would probably prefer to give Havlat than Lang who's, right now, 1 of only 3 centermen signed with them. I really don't get why they would get rid of him.

Washington, it does make sense to get rid of Kozlov and I would obviously much prefer to see that than to even try Higgins at center. Washington have 7 centermen under contract. Clearly, they could let go a few guys out there. Though they have 14 players under contract so clearly some centermen will be playing the wings this year. I would love to put my hands on Chris Clark, still, Kozlov has to be the one that will be available.
Lang and Kozlov would both also solve another problem for the habs... lack of RH shooting centremen... this can be a strategic thing in your own end as you'd rather a centre win the draw towards the boards than towards his own net.

If I'm forced into making a trade, I'd rather it be for a centre than for a winger as the natural centre solves more problems

1) RH aspect
2) Higgins even if improved will not be a good faceoff man, we struggled in the circle last year... I'd hope the guy we trade for can be a good faceoff man.
3) Less time wasted with experiments at the centre position
4) Hopefully the guy targetted will bring the coveted size up the middle (Lang and Kozlov both do have size)

It just seems like a more natural move to me to trade for the centre, rather than getting another winger and moving Higgins over.

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08-02-2008, 03:09 PM
  #60
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Originally Posted by CTHabsfan View Post
Christopher Higgins was not a good center at Yale. Although he was obviously much more skilled than most of his competitors at that level, I never saw him as a guy who would be a great center. Granted, he was younger at the time, however, from what I have seen at Yale, and now in Montreal, I think Christopher Higgins is a far better winger than he is a center. He has been developing nicely as an NHL winger, so why set his development back by trying to make him into a center once again, particularly when he has never shown potential for greatness at that position?
That's a bold statement since he was considered to be one of the top forwards in the NCAA, which is rare for a sophmore. What about him at Yale didn't you like?

I don't know if Higgins could be a center personally as i've said I'd want to see more. I like him on the LW but I don't like our center situation right now so I'm hoping something is tried this preseason.

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Originally Posted by Kriss E View Post
For some reason, you'd be prefer to see a guy like Higgins center the 3rd line and Chipper on the 4th?
Other than for his speed, Higgins is not a better center than Chipper.
I agree we haven't seen much of Higgins to determine if he'd truly be a great center. But I just don't see it based on his skills set.
Also, with what we've seen from Chipper, he had great potential. He was handling himself pretty well too but needed to work on his speed and Faceoffs. They sent Chipper down because of the lack of faceoff abilities, so I don't see why they would try Higgins that showed he's pretty far from good in the FOs department as well.

I don't see how you place Higgins directly as a 3rd center yet put Chipper on 4th. That doesn't make any sense at all to me.
I said I didn't know if Higgins could be the 3rd center, but I would prefer to see Chipchura as the 4th center and Lappierre on the wing. I don't know if Higgins would be a better center then Chipchura as I haven't seen him enough at that position. Chipchura would be a better setup guy but both are excellent in their own end and neither would be known for their face-off ability.

My whole point is that I don't understand how people are so sure Higgins couldn't be a center, when the Fact is, people have only seen him at center at the pro level in a limited amount of time. If Higgins can't be a center, so be it, just don't know how people are so sure of their opinion based off the limited amount of time he's spent at the position in the pros.

I put Higgins on the 3rd line, cause he's a more experienced NHLer that has a better skill set. I think Chipchura should start out on the 4th line and work his way up to the 3rd line in time. I've seen Chipchura well over 100 times and I like him a lot but I like Higgins more.

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Originally Posted by AD View Post
I suppose (and I'm really just supposing here) that you can be a great player in a so-so league and play any position and shine.
If you think the NCAA is a so-so league, then your way off base. Yale was not a very strong team back then, but for a 19 year old be considered among the very top forwards in the NCAA is impressive. The ivy league schools often have to fight for respect in the NCAA, since they play less games and often can't compete with say the WCHA which is often considered to be the top conference. That said the ECAC still churns out the nhlers.

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08-02-2008, 05:13 PM
  #61
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Originally Posted by Whitesnake View Post
Don't want to repeat myself but I really and honesetly would like an answer to that. How do you become:

1- Amongst the top ten players in voting for the Hobey Baker award for the NCAA’s top player.
2- Named co MVP of the ECAC
3- MVP of his team in 2002-03
4- Finalist for the Herb Gallagher Award as the Top Player in New England
5- Leading scorer for his team
6- 6th overall in ECAC scoring

Not sarcasm but real question. Was the ECAC that bad? Was Yale that awful for still being recognized as one of the player and still be judged by you as "not a good centerman"???

Even if he doesn't have the perfect instincts of the centerman, you still need to be pretty good at your position to achieve those goals no???
It wasn't that he was good at his position, it was that he was an was very talented player who was able to dominate his competition, except for face-offs. The ECAC isn't that bad, however, it does not come close to the AHL, much less the NHL. Yale was coached at the time by Tim Taylor, who was fired several years later than most Yale fans would have liked. If you look at the talent that Taylor had available, it is amazing to see how little success the Bulldogs (yes, Yale is also the Bulldogs) had, so I would not trust his judgement in making Christopher Higgins a center.

The Canadiens knew what they were doing when they traded up a slot to ensure that that got Higgins. They also knew what they were doing when they switched him to left wing.

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08-02-2008, 05:18 PM
  #62
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In the 80's and early 90's, sure, I can see it. Wasn't Damphousse put at center every now and again?

Nowadays there's too much commitment to positioning and defensive responsibilities, probably makes it difficult for a winger to adjust to that when their instincts take them elsewhere.
Damphousse was played exclusively at center because he was a good center.

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08-02-2008, 05:36 PM
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I said I didn't know if Higgins could be the 3rd center, but I would prefer to see Chipchura as the 4th center and Lappierre on the wing.
Why have Lapierre on the wing when he's one of our few decent faceoff guys?

The fact is, Lapierre is the best man right now for 4th line center duties. He's one of only three centers on the team who can actually win faceoffs with some consistency. I often said I'd like him better on the wing, but there isn't much place there for him right now and nobody who can do better in the faceoff circle to take his spot on the 4th line.

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08-02-2008, 06:21 PM
  #64
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I think that in order to even contemplate moving Higgins to Centre another offensive winger must be signed.... Right now we have 2 offensive centres and 6 offensive wingers...

Its the centre that completes the three offensive lines.

What wingers are out there?? Nagy, Glen Murray, Mark Parrish??? Sorry these three don't excite me.... Selanne?? I really doubt he wants to come to Montreal... Are you gonna count on Kostopolous, Begin, Laraque, or Dandenault in an offensive role??
Are D'Agostini, MaxPac, Wyman, or another prospect the guy for this role?? I don't think so, not yet. I think you are better off with Chips at Centre on the third line and Higgins on LW on one of the top three lines; then with Higgins at Centre on the the third line and one of the other prospects there. Chips is more NHL ready than those guys IMO. If you keep a prospect winger up that means that Chips is probably AHL bound.

So Moving Higgins to centre is pretty much a moot point right now with the present roster.

I really see a better chance of Lehoux, Maxwell, or White having a dominating camp and forcing themselves into the third centre role than moving Higgins over. This is still unlikely though...

To me its
Plan A) Sundin
Plan B) Trade for Lang, Kozlov, Nylander, or another centre
Plan C) Chipchura or Lappy
Plan D) One of the prospects forces his way on the team... this forces Higgins to try centre if its a winger prospect, or they take the third line if its a Centre.
I disagree with at least part of your Plan B.

You would actually trade for Lang, who is 2 months older than Sundin but isn't even a pale facsimile? I hope you wouldn't give up any of the top dozen prospects in the system for him. Some fans on this site claim that Koivu is too slow and they speculate that he may be gone after his contract expires next year. Would they want someone who is fully 4 years older than Koivu and a lot slower? Believe me, they wouldn't like what they see. Even in his prime Lang never scored more than 4 goals in a playoff year.

Nylander is 2 years older than Koivu and he wouldn't come cheap because his stats (before his injury) were a lot better than Lang's.

I don't think the Caps are looking to trade Viktor Kozlov (not to be confused with Slava Kozlov). He's part of their Russian contingent.

IMO Chipchura will start the season in Montréal. If he doesn't prove ready, Gainey might bring up Maxwell or another Bulldog.

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08-02-2008, 06:27 PM
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Why have Lapierre on the wing when he's one of our few decent faceoff guys?

The fact is, Lapierre is the best man right now for 4th line center duties. He's one of only three centers on the team who can actually win faceoffs with some consistency. I often said I'd like him better on the wing, but there isn't much place there for him right now and nobody who can do better in the faceoff circle to take his spot on the 4th line.
Lapierre is fast and he isn't bad on faceoffs but he doesn't have a great positional sense and he hasn't shown much playmaking ability. He's better without the puck because it frees him from making rapid decisions and he can be an effective pest but he doesn't anticipate well.

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08-02-2008, 06:30 PM
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I disagree with at least part of your Plan B.

You would actually trade for Lang, who is 2 months older than Sundin but isn't even a pale facsimile? I hope you wouldn't give up any of the top dozen prospects in the system for him. Some fans on this site claim that Koivu is too slow and they speculate that he may be gone after his contract expires next year. Would they want someone who is fully 4 years older than Koivu and a lot slower? Believe me, they wouldn't like what they see. Even in his prime Lang never scored more than 4 goals in a playoff year.

Nylander is 2 years older than Koivu and he wouldn't come cheap because his stats (before his injury) were a lot better than Lang's.

I don't think the Caps are looking to trade Viktor Kozlov (not to be confused with Slava Kozlov). He's part of their Russian contingent.

IMO Chipchura will start the season in Montréal. If he doesn't prove ready, Gainey
might bring up Maxwell or another Bulldog.
I'm not suggesting actual proposals in my Plan B... just stating that Plan B is a trade for a centre. As far as a response to your points:

1) No, I wouldn't give up a top prospect for Lang. I would hope to get him to come cheap as Chicago needs to get under the cap and his 1 year and 4million remaining is a good place to start.
2) Kozlov and Nylander were also mentionned as Washington is currently over the Cap. Though they are not in near the situation that Chicago is in. They also have a surplus of centres.

I mentionned three centres that are rumorred to be on the market... notice the part where i said "or another centre." I'm not sure what cnetres out there are actually available, but I trust that Gainey can get a good deal done if he decides to go that way. Which prospects to trade and how much to give up for that centre can vary on a case by case basis depending on how good/young he is and what his contract situation is obviously, however this isn't the thread for trade proposals. Its about whether we should move Higgins to centre, and I'm stating that there are other options I would explore before making this move.

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08-02-2008, 06:34 PM
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Lapierre is fast and he isn't bad on faceoffs but he doesn't have a great positional sense and he hasn't shown much playmaking ability. He's better without the puck because it frees him from making rapid decisions and he can be an effective pest but he doesn't anticipate well.
THat sums up my opinion ofd Lapierre,but I have to think that he's a work in progress and there are facets of his game that can be improved.

I think that I'm not a fan of Higgins at C for the same reasons as I lot of us, we see him not being a good puck distributor, granted in a limited sampling. That's how we look at C's. Some comments have me wondering though. His work in his own end was very good, and has to be considered.

I'm curious as to whether with some of these guys, it isn't so much where,but who. I think Higgins has a problem meshing with Kovy. C'ing his line would be disastrous. Higgins plays well on the wing with everyone else, I'm just a little clueless trying to picture what wingers he'd mesh with at C.

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Originally Posted by Fish on The Sand View Post
Damphousse was played exclusively at center because he was a good center.
He played lw under Demers thru the cup run, LeBeau was his C, he later moved to the middle, either 93-94 or 94-95.


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08-02-2008, 06:39 PM
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He played lw under Demers thru the cup run, LeBeau was his C, he later moved to the middle, either 93-94 or 94-95.
I remember that when Turgeon first got here he played LW on a pretty good line with Turgeon and Recchi.... That was the end of 95 and the failed playoff push. That was a one line team.

I think it was in 95-96 that he first started playing centre regularly, around the time of the Roy trade. I think we had some injuries and he was moved to a 2nd line centre spot and seemed to stay there the rest of his time in Montreal. I remember him and Rucinsky having chemistry down the stretch that year.

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08-02-2008, 07:34 PM
  #69
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Originally Posted by Railman View Post
Why have Lapierre on the wing when he's one of our few decent faceoff guys?
Well technically, and I know it just numbers but Lapierre was behind Saku, Smoke and Pleks as far as faceoff winning percentage...#4 out of our 4 centermen....

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Originally Posted by mcphee View Post
I'm just a little clueless trying to picture what wingers he'd mesh with at C.
Would mesh well with a puck distributing winger, like SKosty?


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08-02-2008, 07:40 PM
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It comes down to what will be our acquisition? If it's a center - depending on the "domino effect" of Sundin's decision - then our roster becomes fairly easy to determine with either Lappy or Chips as our 4th center where they will also both be used on a wing from time to time. Most probably they will become moreso role type of players for the time being - specialty players.

Now, for the "Ek" of it, let's say we trade (doubtful) or sign a wing man - let's say Selanne...I know, I know...this is just as thick as the Marleau to Montreal rumor. Now in this case, it gets difficult not only because of our weakness' throughout the middle of our roster but because of the increasing depth it carries to our roster. You will have guys like SK, Higgins and Tender fighting for a spot on the 3rd line since either Lappy our Chips will be taking center. And none of SK, Higgins nor Tender have anything to do on a 4th line - since we already have Begin, Kosto and Laraque. IMO, this is where the "Higgins as a center" becomes relevant.

Albeit a bit too much forthcoming, but neither Lappy nor Chips answer all of the aspects that need to be covered for 3rd and 4th center duties. In fact, merge Lappy and Chips together and you will get the perfect 3rd line center. One's lacking hockey sense and positional play is covered by the other, while speed and "gritness" is also the forte of one but not the other - not mentioning the names as they are self evident thus far in the thread. Lastly, both need to be more consistent on face offs. But, IMO, this will come with time.

Where I think we may be in trouble is Chips speed, not that it is bad, but average would be an adequate qualification. This is why - just like our prospect White - I am more inclined - even if Chips is a natural center - to put Chips on the wing.

Now, after considering that Lappy and Chips complement each other, it would be a safe assumption to foresee them on the same line:
Begin/Chips - Lappy - Kosto/Laraque

Leaving us with a 3rd line with offensive upside:
SK - Higgins - Tender

If we assume that on face offs:
Higgins = Chips

Assuming that on positional play and hockey sense:
Higgins = Chips

Assuming defensive awareness:
Higgins = Chips

Assuming that "gritness" is:
Higgins = Chips

Then only speed may come as a differentiator:
Higgins >> Chips

Taking all of this into consideration, could it make sense to swing Chips on the wing, make Higgins our 3rd center and Lappy our 4th?

Another consideration is that if we have to extend a declining Koivu for a few years because of lack of bonified prospects up the middle on our top scoring lines, then we need a backup plan. Otherwise, it's a gamble and we could still get burned next summer on the UFA front.

One thing is for sure, I feel a lot of pressure is on the shoulders of a young Maxwell since he will need to fill in much more sooner than later. Seeing how his development has being hindered in the last few years...we're playing with fire again.

That's why getting a UFA center is very much important in order to bridge the gap in our roster and also enable us to address our depth problem at center (prospects for top scoring lines).

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08-02-2008, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Whitesnake View Post
Would mesh well with a puck distributing winger, like SKosty?
They were together during those 4 games [approx.] weren't they ? Tough to say, S.Kost. was a rookie, and he looked like he was in tough in the post season.

I was dismissive about the idea, but Montreal's comments about the sample being too small, and Mike8 made a previous point about his defensive work, so I'm wondering if the idea may have more merit than I thought. We're used to a guy like Saku, who love him or hate him, has the knack for getting wingers the puck at the right time, and it may be unfair to expect the same from other guys.

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08-03-2008, 10:53 AM
  #72
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If you think the NCAA is a so-so league, then your way off base. Yale was not a very strong team back then, but for a 19 year old be considered among the very top forwards in the NCAA is impressive. The ivy league schools often have to fight for respect in the NCAA, since they play less games and often can't compete with say the WCHA which is often considered to be the top conference. That said the ECAC still churns out the nhlers.
Yes I think its a so-so league. (So is the WHL, the OHL, the Q, etc.). THey are not bad leagues, and they might be the best leagues in the world for players of that age.. but compared to the AHL and NHL, they are so so. (Note, I'm not criticizing the league, I'm just explaining how star players in those leagues shine compared to the rest)

The point is: Higgins might have played Defense at Yale and would have probably shined as one of the best offensive d-men in the NCAA. That does not mean his best utilisation would be as a defenseman in the NHL.

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08-03-2008, 11:07 AM
  #73
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The point is: Higgins might have played Defense at Yale and would have probably shined as one of the best offensive d-men in the NCAA. That does not mean his best utilisation would be as a defenseman in the NHL.
Nobody's contesting the fact that you might change your position when you go to upper levels. My point is that how do we know that Higgins is bad at that position when we saw him for how many games now? And the point of the poster that saw him play at Yale was to say that despite all the highlights of his college career, he wasn't even that good anyway. League thought he shined, the poster didn't think so.

But then my point is this....if it's good for Higgins to be moved from center to winger, why can't it be good for Lapierre? Why is it more obvious for Higgins to be moved than it could be for Lapierre who clearly in his defensive zone doesn't know what to do and he's not the greatest puck distributor as well. 'Cause contrary to Higgins, we're used to see Max at center and it feels confortable?

IMHO, if Higgins improves his faceoffs skills, and if Chipchura has to start in the 4th line, we would be better with Higgins at the center position than Lapierre.

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08-03-2008, 12:30 PM
  #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitesnake View Post
Nobody's contesting the fact that you might change your position when you go to upper levels. My point is that how do we know that Higgins is bad at that position when we saw him for how many games now? And the point of the poster that saw him play at Yale was to say that despite all the highlights of his college career, he wasn't even that good anyway. League thought he shined, the poster didn't think so.
Excuse me, but where did I say that Christopher Higgins was not good? The part where I called him talented? The part where I mentioned that the Canadiens knew what they were doing when they drafted Higgins? All that I have ever said is that Christopher Higgins is a MUCH better left winger than he was a center.

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08-03-2008, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitesnake View Post
Nobody's contesting the fact that you might change your position when you go to upper levels. My point is that how do we know that Higgins is bad at that position when we saw him for how many games now? And the point of the poster that saw him play at Yale was to say that despite all the highlights of his college career, he wasn't even that good anyway. League thought he shined, the poster didn't think so.

But then my point is this....if it's good for Higgins to be moved from center to winger, why can't it be good for Lapierre? Why is it more obvious for Higgins to be moved than it could be for Lapierre who clearly in his defensive zone doesn't know what to do and he's not the greatest puck distributor as well. 'Cause contrary to Higgins, we're used to see Max at center and it feels confortable?

IMHO, if Higgins improves his faceoffs skills, and if Chipchura has to start in the 4th line, we would be better with Higgins at the center position than Lapierre.
My counter question is: why did the Canadiens move him to the wing almost from day one, despite the fact he was a centre in the NCAA? They must have let him skate his position when he first arrived, but they obviously thought better of it very quickly. As he gets better though, maybe someday he'll be able to play either responsibly.

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