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So... no shutdown line?

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09-24-2008, 03:39 AM
  #1
Lord Horse
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So... no shutdown line?

The plan is to just outscore them every game? What about the good teams?

There are better #1 lines out there in the league, and a fair bit of those lines are not going to be contained by any of the top-9 combinations we've been smiling about offensively. It's a bold gamble on youth finding the back of the net at an increasing rate while betting the old guys don't suddenly drop off. All go, all scoring, all the time..... 3 lines that beat the other team. So what if their top guys get 3 goals in a game, so can ours. Saku's line will all get around 60 points; for his line it's around zero +/-. Lang and whoever ends up on his wings will aspire to this, but probably come short as a line points-wise with another modest +/-.

But then we get to the "energy line".

Begin-Lapierre-Laraque (or whoever plays, Dandenault, Kostopoulos, Chipchura, Glumac, whoever)

It's not a defensive line either. Now it's one thing to say "we don't need a policeman" (funny, they said that and still BGL in all his glory is here), but it's a whole other dare to leave aside having a competent checking line.

It will be the first thing Carbo scrambles to find at even strength the first time Vinny & Co. (or Sid & Co.) pot 5 goals in 2 periods in Montreal. If anything makes him juggle a bunch early in the season, it will probably be this. Ask this question: wither the opposing team's shutdown line? Most clubs can't ice 3 scoring line and compose with 2 + a shutdown line. Which line on the Habs will get the shutdown "treatment"?

(hint: the Tanguay-Koivu line most likely, as opposing coaches will try to match strength using their own high-powered #1 lines vs. KPK. )

On paper the questions are

a) can Montreal's scoring lines beat opposing team's shutdown lines for many nights in a row? and

b) can a 3rd line (assuming Lang & Co. sufficiently form a decent scoring line) score enough goals to make up any difference, or to tip the balance?

It's not to add a negative to this pile of positive news on the roster, but I'd like to know if there's a total abandonment of this type of line, which is IMO still key to win, but we can't really form without shaking up things. Higgins-Plekanec-Begin/Kostopoulos suggests itself, for instance, as I am sure the Plekanec is our best center at either end of the ice. But who the heck is gonna seriously consider that? I've never heard Robert Lang being described as a defensive centre, but would rather keep Plekanec with Kovalev. Saku isn't terrible in his own end but his defensive work is only so-so.

Clearly even had we landed Sundin this was Gainey's plan: 3 scoring lines and 1 line of crash-bang-smash. Hey, I remember doing this in video hockey, but is it a solid modern strategy for beating the Wings, or Pens, or the Bruins or Anaheim?

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09-24-2008, 04:26 AM
  #2
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What you are forgetting is that everyone is being asked to play two-way hockey.

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09-24-2008, 04:42 AM
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IMO the real question is will Lang be worse than Juneau, Bonk, Smolinski or whatever deadwood we used to have as our "shutdown" centers in past years. So frankly I'm not worried

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09-24-2008, 05:26 AM
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Don't be dissin ma boy Radek, he kicked ass for us from the moment he was here!

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09-24-2008, 06:22 AM
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Ross MacLochness
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How 'bout for once, just for once... we let the other team worry about shutting us down. For years teams with a lot of skill would come into Montreal and all we'd hear is "Ooh, how are you going to shut them down? What are you going to do about so-and-so? How are you going to keep the game close?!?" ... In our building no less!

Now the tables have turned. Teams have to worry about containing our skill, and guess what, it's gonna be hard. Say you manage to shut down K-P-K, they combined for over a 1 goal a game last year, usually playing against the other teams best lines. They had an off night, but now you gotta worry about Higgins-Koivu-Tanguay. A potential 30 goal scorer and two outstanding playmakers. If your shut down line manages to keep them in check, now you need to stop a 3rd line that has a guy with like 9 straight 50 point seasons, and two young, exciting offensive players.

We are going to be tough to beat, but no one is suggesting our top 3 forward lines play run-and gun. So who shuts down the other teams best players? Solid overall play by our forwards, along with Markov, Komisarek, and Hamrlik should do the job.

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Old
09-24-2008, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by revin5 View Post
Don't be dissin ma boy Radek, he kicked ass for us from the moment he was here!
Actually the first 3-4 months Bonk was terrible in Montreal. Having said that by the time he left he was one of my favourite players on the team.

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Old
09-24-2008, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by revin5 View Post
Don't be dissin ma boy Radek, he kicked ass for us from the moment he was here!
euh....no. He was pretty bad the first year. The following years were very good...I grant you that.

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Old
09-24-2008, 07:22 AM
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Well it is my feeling that Bob and Carbo are leaning toward three offensive lines instead of having a shutdown line..............Time to move forward and make other teams worry about shutting us down.

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09-24-2008, 07:30 AM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmc View Post
IMO the real question is will Lang be worse than Juneau, Bonk, Smolinski or whatever deadwood we used to have as our "shutdown" centers in past years. So frankly I'm not worried
You forgot how successful Bonk and Johnson were in the late minutes of the 3rd, and how much the top line was outscored 5-on-5? It was only 2 seasons ago, for Pete's sake.

At any rate, I brought this up when Lang was acquired and everyone was busy salivating at the thought of another 50 point center. This is why I'm a big proponent of Chipchura making the team no matter what. He needs to be on the Habs, and he needs to be groomed as a shutdown center ASAP or else we're going to be in trouble down the stretch and in the playoffs.

Better get used to seeing major line shuffling with 10 minutes to go in the game.

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09-24-2008, 07:33 AM
  #10
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I'd be more worried about improving on faceoffs, i think that is a big part of "defensive play" and will need to be better this year. Lang brings a certain improvement there, but we could really use a newly tinkered Chipchura. If he improved a lot on faceoffs we have all we need imo.

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09-24-2008, 07:35 AM
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I think that the top 3 ;ines are straight up 2 way lines, expected to play good hockey at both ends. The energy guys aren't shutdown players, esp. if GL is playing but 2 of the 3 guys can assume shutdown responsibility in the last few minutes. Maybe S.Kost misses a few shifts,maybe his brother and Begin plays more in the last 2-3 minutes. That's a late option you can do in a limted role, and probably what their personel is best suited for.

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09-24-2008, 07:37 AM
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What do you guys think would be the BEST shut-down line we can put on ice?

Higgins - Lang - Lapierre ????? (is Lang fit for shut-down duty?)


Carbo might just put the best line out there which is playing solid defensively
(?? Higgins - Koivu - Tanguay ?? ).

It just might end up being the Koivu line? (it'll be our offensive/defensive line???).


-------------------------------------------

Carbo might go with 3 balanced offensive/defensive lines, no?):

S.Kosts - Pleks - A.Kosts
Higgins - Koivu -Tanguay
Lats - Lang - Kovalev

------------------------------------------

SHUTDOWN LINE OF THE (NEAR) FUTURE:
__?__ - Chipchura - __?__(Ryan White?)


Last edited by Mr. Hab: 09-24-2008 at 07:58 AM.
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Old
09-24-2008, 07:38 AM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Hab View Post
What do you guys think would be the BEST shut-down line we can put on ice?

Higgins - Lang - Lapierre ????? (is Lang fit for shut-down duty?)


Carbo might just put the best line out there which is playing solid defensively
(?? Higgins - Koivu - Tanguay ?? ).

It just might end up being the Koivu line? (it'll be our offensive/defensive line???).


-------------------------------------------

Carbo might go with 3 balanced offensive/defensive lines, no?):

S.Kosts - Pleks - A.Kosts
Higgins - Koivu -Tanguay
Lats - Lang - Kovalev
Switch S.Kost with Kovalev.

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Old
09-24-2008, 07:41 AM
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Who on the top 3 lines is not defensively aware?

All three lines can play tit for tat with any other three lines and still have room for some scoring chances. That's huge.

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09-24-2008, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lone Rogue View Post
Who on the top 3 lines is not defensively aware?

All three lines can play tit for tat with any other three lines and still have room for some scoring chances. That's huge.
Koivu's been notorious for lazy hooking calls, and Lang's been notorious for...well being just plain lazy. We have some very responsible wingers in S.Kostitsyn, Tanguay and Higgins though.

With Hamrlik, Komi and Markov out there things should be alright for the most part. Though there will be games where we give up a point or two from late goals and the lack of shutdown line will become an issue. I'm hoping it gets resolved in Feb.


Last edited by Blades 0f Steel: 09-24-2008 at 07:51 AM.
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Old
09-24-2008, 08:00 AM
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Mr. Hab
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ed ible View Post
Switch S.Kost with Kovalev.
Yeah, I was just thinking of these lines in case Carbo reunited the Kosts brothers, AND reunited Lang with Kovalev.

We'll find out Oct.10...

I can't wait till then

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09-24-2008, 08:02 AM
  #17
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The best "shutdown" method is to control the puck for most of the night.

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09-24-2008, 08:05 AM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blades 0f Steel View Post
Koivu's been notorious for lazy hooking calls, and Lang's been notorious for...well being just plain lazy. We have some very responsible wingers in S.Kostitsyn, Tanguay and Higgins though.

With Hamrlik, Komi and Markov out there things should be alright for the most part. Though there will be games where we give up a point or two from late goals and the lack of shutdown line will become an issue. I'm hoping it gets resolved in Feb.
Koivu's hooking calls were not lazy, they were over exuberance, trying to get the opposing player off the puck instead of letting the defender stop them. Lazy players don't get hooking penalities because they don't backcheck hard enough to be in the play. Some of you need to stop listening to people like Pednault who has never played hockey and is clueless.

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09-24-2008, 08:07 AM
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Pleks and Koivu can both step into that role when necessary, their two-way value is being overlooked in this thread.

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09-24-2008, 08:18 AM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carey Price View Post
Koivu's hooking calls were not lazy, they were over exuberance, trying to get the opposing player off the puck instead of letting the defender stop them. Lazy players don't get hooking penalities because they don't backcheck hard enough to be in the play. Some of you need to stop listening to people like Pednault who has never played hockey and is clueless.
I've never listened to Pednault and I don't care who you listen to, every PBP man in hockey calls hooking a lazy penalty.

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09-24-2008, 08:36 AM
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Higgins + Koivu vs. top line of other team = shutdown.

Worse comes to worse, I think we'll see them out there in those situations but I really think Guy is just gonna roll his offensive lines.

In the playoffs, a shutdown line is important though.

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09-24-2008, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carey Price View Post
Koivu's hooking calls were not lazy, they were over exuberance, trying to get the opposing player off the puck instead of letting the defender stop them. Lazy players don't get hooking penalities because they don't backcheck hard enough to be in the play. Some of you need to stop listening to people like Pednault who has never played hockey and is clueless.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blades 0f Steel View Post
I've never listened to Pednault and I don't care who you listen to, every PBP man in hockey calls hooking a lazy penalty.
Actually you are both right. Some of Koivu's hooking penalties were the result of him being over exuberant. While others were taken towards the end of his shifts, that could be considered lazy.

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09-24-2008, 08:45 AM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carey Price View Post
The best "shutdown" method is to control the puck for most of the night.
Exactly...I will always remember the line of Plekanec-Perezhogin-Zednik a few years ago versus the Canes...it was incredible. Staal wasn't even able to touch the puck!

And anyways, did we really had a shut down line last year? I mean, Latendresse and Smolinsky were not exactly shut down players, and we did just fine.

If Carbo needs to form a more defensive line, he'll be able to put Higgins and Sergei with Lang. While it will not be a shut down line like we're used to see, it will at least be responsible, and they will offer a good two way game.

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09-24-2008, 08:54 AM
  #24
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Personally, I've always thought the "shutdown" line to be the wrong paradigm anyway. It always drove me crazy in the games when the team would dominate the other, then they'd sit back on a lead and watch wave after wave of attacker attempt to score - seemingly with frequent success, unless the goalie can hold the fort (it worked OK with Roy in nets, but...)

I think the best type of defensive game to play is to keep the puck in the other team's zone, cycling down low and keeping the other team focused on defense, adjusting the overall "risk factor" based on the moment. Faceoffs are clearly important here, which hopefully we've improved on.

That being said, it's going to be a challenge for the team motivationally to keep that style of game going the whole night, and if there's a problem with that, it might be a weak point. But even still, there are plenty of very good defensive forwards as well. Koivu, Plekanec, Higgins, Tanguay, [Chipchura], ...

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09-24-2008, 09:01 AM
  #25
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CAREY PRICE is the shutdown line!!!

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