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So... no shutdown line?

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Old
09-24-2008, 10:07 AM
  #26
Agnostic
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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
The OP made a good point, but this is the equally valid counterpoint.

It's been frustrating to watch players thrust into defensive specialist roles solely on the basis that it was the only role that was left for them once their offensive skills had left them. Montreal has had a long, long relationship with these types of players since Carbonneau left as a player.

One thing as the depth continues to grow and players like Begin and Kostopoulos get squeezed out, hunger develops in the form of tenacity and shot blocking. I suspect that will be the plan when things are tight - quickness, hard work, and good use of the shin pads in the dying moments.

It makes for heart palpitations, but it's better than the previous situations - slow and unskilled players like Juneau, Lindsay, even Gilmour, just trying to survive key shifts on the back of goaltender brilliance.

But Alas, if Chipchura could become a Selke winner, it would indeed help.

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09-24-2008, 10:09 AM
  #27
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No worried at all.. whatever line they wanna put there shutdown players.. we will most likely take advantage with another line.. what i worry is just our bottom 3 defensemen.. we need more reliability out there.. i would like an experienced 2 way defenseman.. mostly someone who is able to make a strong first pass.. and we are set imo. HOPEFULLY O'byrne start playing a smarter game.. sometimes he make dumb plays.. a la brisebois, but without having the intension to pass it to offense..

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Old
09-24-2008, 10:30 AM
  #28
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Tanguay-Koivu-Higgins is plenty good enough as a shutdown line if what you need is to hang on for that last minute.

Tanguay was asked to play a defensive role in Calgary last year and did so extremely well, and we all know that Koivu and Higgins are pretty good at this.

In a pinch, the Habs can put together an ad-hoc line of something like Begin-Plekanec-SKost to back them up. Let's not forget that while we're justifiably very high on Pleky's offense, he's always been a two-way player. Heck, even AKost-Plekanec-SKost could work in a pinch. Andrei's style of defense is more along the lines of "don't let the other guys have the puck", but it does work.

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Old
09-24-2008, 10:37 AM
  #29
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Our defensive is more solid the last year as O'b is better then Streit defensively..

and you don't need a shut down line when you spend most of the time in the offensive zone

the best defensive strategy is being in the offensive zone....

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09-24-2008, 10:38 AM
  #30
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I'm actually pretty happy with the way the Habs are set up right now. I think that the team should be set up to use their strongest asset (scoring depth), and having 3 lines that can score and play responsibly in their own end is a good choice. It would be nice to have a Madden, Peca (in his prime), Mike Fisher or Kris Draper to anchor a checking unit, but you can't have it all. Elite checking forwards are pretty rare.

One thing is for sure, I am much happier having S.Kost/Lang/Lats (or something similar) as the 3rd line, than have some of the players that have made up our "checking lines" in the past on our roster. Thinking back on the days of guys like Sunny, Juneau and Dackell makes me shudder. Just because a 3rd line is designated as a shutdown line, doesn't mean they are shutting people down. I would rather have a line that can score try and put goals on the board, then get pushed around and merely try to kill each shift in the hopes of avoiding getting scored on.

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Old
09-24-2008, 10:40 AM
  #31
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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.
Says the Detroit Red Wings



Oh and Higgins sucks, both offensively and defensively!


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Old
09-24-2008, 11:00 AM
  #32
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Last season the Kovalev line was matched against the oppositions' best and it worked pretty well.

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09-24-2008, 11:22 AM
  #33
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Its important to note that when you have 3 good offensive lines, opponent's first line need to watch how they are playing because one little mistake can result in a goal against. That means players on line 1 of the opposing team will be more on their heels and thus being less offensive.

A good example of this was that two of our best penalty killers last season were Plek and Kovalev. They would often steal the puck and get a break away or 2 on 1. I think putting on the opponent's offence on their heels is probably the most important part of a good defensive line.

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Old
09-24-2008, 12:21 PM
  #34
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Some good responses in this thread. It was interesting that the "let's cover our ears" thing came out so soon (i.e. "let's let the other guys worry about shutting us down"). To those of you thinking along those lines, I get it, but in the playoffs that really isn't gonna cut it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tmc
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
Then you've missed the point - yes we are better there, but we still can't check the other team's top line with a competent trio who can create lots of turnovers, win key faceoffs, and blanket the oppostion snipers all night.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcphee
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.
There is a sense here that the team is going to be expected to play both ways with equal aplomb. I didn't really give Alex Tanguay credit for defensive play, he may have been good for it in Calgary but he was completely misused by Keenan in "just" that role. I'm not convinced that matching up Saku's line, for instance, against Sid the Kid & Friends, or even Lucic-Savard-Ryder, will result in anything good happening.

In a 7 game series I would be especially worried about the wear-and-tear on our daintier players trying to backcheck and go into our defensive corners against more physical forwards. Look at what happened after we closed out Boston... the team seemed to have lost its legs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGoalJudge
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.
I look at is like this:

say it's Saku v. their top line, fine so they put their checkers v. KPK, now it's their line 2 scorers against.....Latendresse-Lang-Skost ??? I dunno about you but I think against GOOD TEAMS (as I specified in the OP) that's still not gonna favour us. Hey, maybe the Phat Kid really is gonna breakout this year, but that isn't very reassuring. I will admit that it's better than Latendresse-Smolinski-Dandenault. Ditto anything with Grabovski on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MathMan
Tanguay-Koivu-Higgins is plenty good enough as a shutdown line if what you need is to hang on for that last minute.

Tanguay was asked to play a defensive role in Calgary last year and did so extremely well, and we all know that Koivu and Higgins are pretty good at this.

In a pinch, the Habs can put together an ad-hoc line of something like Begin-Plekanec-SKost to back them up. Let's not forget that while we're justifiably very high on Pleky's offense, he's always been a two-way player. Heck, even AKost-Plekanec-SKost could work in a pinch. Andrei's style of defense is more along the lines of "don't let the other guys have the puck", but it does work.
The problem is that it isn't just about 5-10 minutes at the end of a game/period. It's in a playoff series where using the "good enough" Tanguay-Koivu-Higgins line may be a big fat mistake.

I said already that Plekanec is our best 2-way centre, so we agree there, but I really don't like the Kost-Plek-Kost combo at all as a two way line.... these boys all want to score and SKost as a defensive player is still a liability and not a strength.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turboflex
Last season the Kovalev line was matched against the oppositions' best and it worked pretty well.
Not in the playoffs. To me that line is great to match with the opposing #1 line on a team that isn't very deep; it gives us a huge advantage. When you look at the +/- stats, for instance, you gotta remember that there's some pretty week opponents in our division (last year Boston, TO, BUF were pushovers) - Boston, for one, will not be so easy this year.

Seems like a general feeling of "let's not worry" but

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blades 0f Steel
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.
seems all-too-real for my tastes. Not a single elite checker on the team; Lapierre once again to probably get "shadow" duty - not a good scenario. Yep, when the game's on the line, we could put Begin-Lang-Higgins or somesuch to win a faceoff and run out the clock, but the idea of matching strength-for-strength will likely expose us 5-on-5 this year, again.

It certainly is a paradigm shift, and Gainey is behind it so it's no accident. I will be very interested to see what happens at the deadline this year. I don't see any Esa Tikkanens or Kris Drapers on the team and they are certainly needed. I somehow doubt we'll score 5 goals a game in any round of the PO's.

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Old
09-24-2008, 12:51 PM
  #35
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Originally Posted by bwoar View Post
In a 7 game series I would be especially worried about the wear-and-tear on our daintier players trying to backcheck and go into our defensive corners against more physical forwards. Look at what happened after we closed out Boston... the team seemed to have lost its legs.
They didn't lose their legs, they were just played really tight by Julien and the Bruins. That was exceptional team defence played by a well coached, playoff built team. I credit taking the habs 7 games to the bruins and shouldn't be a detraction on the habs, they faced some serious playoff adversity and overcame it. This year's team with lang/tanguay is even better positioned to break a tight D system like that in the playoffs as those two guys bring MUCH more of a veteren gamebreaking factor than Streit/Ryder/Smolenski ever did.

Quote:
say it's Saku v. their top line, fine so they put their checkers v. KPK, now it's their line 2 scorers against.....Latendresse-Lang-Skost ??? I dunno about you but I think against GOOD TEAMS (as I specified in the OP) that's still not gonna favour us. Hey, maybe the Phat Kid really is gonna breakout this year, but that isn't very reassuring. I will admit that it's better than Latendresse-Smolinski-Dandenault. Ditto anything with Grabovski on it.
I think you're overrating the ability of a "checking" line to contain top players. They can do their best but in the end theyre up against guys who are just much better, there's a reason Kovalev (and most top players are high in + catagory) was +18 even though he was facing the opposition's best efforts to contain him. The habs best players have the skill to rout defensive pluggers trying to trap them.

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09-24-2008, 01:46 PM
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turboflex View Post
They didn't lose their legs, they were just played really tight by Julien and the Bruins. That was exceptional team defence played by a well coached, playoff built team. I credit taking the habs 7 games to the bruins and shouldn't be a detraction on the habs, they faced some serious playoff adversity and overcame it. This year's team with lang/tanguay is even better positioned to break a tight D system like that in the playoffs as those two guys bring MUCH more of a veteren gamebreaking factor than Streit/Ryder/Smolenski ever did.



I think you're overrating the ability of a "checking" line to contain top players. They can do their best but in the end theyre up against guys who are just much better, there's a reason Kovalev (and most top players are high in + catagory) was +18 even though he was facing the opposition's best efforts to contain him. The habs best players have the skill to rout defensive pluggers trying to trap them.

I completely agree and as it is, I'll let the real experts go along with their plan as they surely have the tools required for any aspects of the game. I have much more important things to "worry" about than such inanities that we have no control over whatsoever.

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09-24-2008, 01:47 PM
  #37
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I kinda agree with the original post.

I'm hoping for a shutdown line with serious threat to score:
Higgins - Koivu - Gui

1:
Tang - Lang - Kovalev
2:
S Kost - Plex - A Kost

Has anyone found out the reasoning why Carbo keeps putting A Kost on the LW and S Kost on the RW?

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Old
09-24-2008, 01:53 PM
  #38
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I love how people tend to refer 2-3 years ago's when talking about weaknesses that may hurt us today. Today in 2008 the team is so different any comparisons to 04-05 or 05-06 are ridiculous! This team has more youth , more talent , more skill then any team we have iced in the least 10 years or so.I believe!

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Old
09-24-2008, 05:17 PM
  #39
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Originally Posted by Carey Price View Post
The best "shutdown" method is to control the puck for most of the night.
exactly a good defense is a good offense.

that's how detroit does it, and we should be no different. we have a team that can play a pretty awesome puck possession game.

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09-24-2008, 05:37 PM
  #40
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Don't quite a few teams fight fire with fire anyway? Ottawa tends to do this. Makes the other team's top line be defensively aware as well and work the turnovers. If you have 3 solid scoring lines, I wouldn't be worried.

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09-24-2008, 05:39 PM
  #41
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what do you need a shutdown line for when the puck is in their own end?

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09-24-2008, 06:09 PM
  #42
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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
Tanguay-Koivu-Higgins is plenty good enough as a shutdown line if what you need is to hang on for that last minute.

Tanguay was asked to play a defensive role in Calgary last year and did so extremely well, and we all know that Koivu and Higgins are pretty good at this.

In a pinch, the Habs can put together an ad-hoc line of something like Begin-Plekanec-SKost to back them up. Let's not forget that while we're justifiably very high on Pleky's offense, he's always been a two-way player. Heck, even AKost-Plekanec-SKost could work in a pinch. Andrei's style of defense is more along the lines of "don't let the other guys have the puck", but it does work.
It's good you recognize Tanguay as being able to play defensive hockey. So can Plekanec, Higgins, and Koivu. But why nominate Little Brother S. Kost? I don't see his defensive capabilities and he's not good at faceoffs.

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09-24-2008, 06:20 PM
  #43
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Originally Posted by bwoar View Post
Some good responses in this thread. It was interesting that the "let's cover our ears" thing came out so soon (i.e. "let's let the other guys worry about shutting us down"). To those of you thinking along those lines, I get it, but in the playoffs that really isn't gonna cut it.



Then you've missed the point - yes we are better there, but we still can't check the other team's top line with a competent trio who can create lots of turnovers, win key faceoffs, and blanket the oppostion snipers all night.



There is a sense here that the team is going to be expected to play both ways with equal aplomb. I didn't really give Alex Tanguay credit for defensive play, he may have been good for it in Calgary but he was completely misused by Keenan in "just" that role. I'm not convinced that matching up Saku's line, for instance, against Sid the Kid & Friends, or even Lucic-Savard-Ryder, will result in anything good happening.

In a 7 game series I would be especially worried about the wear-and-tear on our daintier players trying to backcheck and go into our defensive corners against more physical forwards. Look at what happened after we closed out Boston... the team seemed to have lost its legs.



I look at is like this:

say it's Saku v. their top line, fine so they put their checkers v. KPK, now it's their line 2 scorers against.....Latendresse-Lang-Skost ??? I dunno about you but I think against GOOD TEAMS (as I specified in the OP) that's still not gonna favour us. Hey, maybe the Phat Kid really is gonna breakout this year, but that isn't very reassuring. I will admit that it's better than Latendresse-Smolinski-Dandenault. Ditto anything with Grabovski on it.



The problem is that it isn't just about 5-10 minutes at the end of a game/period. It's in a playoff series where using the "good enough" Tanguay-Koivu-Higgins line may be a big fat mistake.

I said already that Plekanec is our best 2-way centre, so we agree there, but I really don't like the Kost-Plek-Kost combo at all as a two way line.... these boys all want to score and SKost as a defensive player is still a liability and not a strength.



Not in the playoffs. To me that line is great to match with the opposing #1 line on a team that isn't very deep; it gives us a huge advantage. When you look at the +/- stats, for instance, you gotta remember that there's some pretty week opponents in our division (last year Boston, TO, BUF were pushovers) - Boston, for one, will not be so easy this year.

Seems like a general feeling of "let's not worry" but



seems all-too-real for my tastes. Not a single elite checker on the team; Lapierre once again to probably get "shadow" duty - not a good scenario. Yep, when the game's on the line, we could put Begin-Lang-Higgins or somesuch to win a faceoff and run out the clock, but the idea of matching strength-for-strength will likely expose us 5-on-5 this year, again.

It certainly is a paradigm shift, and Gainey is behind it so it's no accident. I will be very interested to see what happens at the deadline this year. I don't see any Esa Tikkanens or Kris Drapers on the team and they are certainly needed. I somehow doubt we'll score 5 goals a game in any round of the PO's.
That dainty label is out of date. You must have been referring to Streit and Brisebois, the two softest players last season. Also, Ryder wasn't a defensive stalwart. From what I've seen in the 2 preseason games, Tanguay looks as though he knows how to defend. Finally, who's better at faceoffs than Koivu?

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09-24-2008, 06:53 PM
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teufelsdreck View Post
It's good you recognize Tanguay as being able to play defensive hockey. So can Plekanec, Higgins, and Koivu. But why nominate Little Brother S. Kost? I don't see his defensive capabilities and he's not good at faceoffs.
S Kost used to be considered a good two-way player in junior. But he may still be a bit young to be relied on.

Higgins - Plekanec - Tanguay would work as a checking line with offensive capabilities, if it ever comes to that. That's way better than the Juneau, Dackell and Sundstrom we had back in 2003.

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09-24-2008, 07:02 PM
  #45
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Originally Posted by bwoar View Post
If Julien's Bruins from last year were so good as to take a superior team to 7 games, we ought to be really worried this year. (I'm not so much.) I thought Smoke was prety good v. the Bruins and we still had trouble winning FO's and above all re-gaining the puck.
Why? Both teams are better. Bruins are still a good match, but the habs are still better.

Quote:
I'm thinking back to Anaheim's checking line and the good work it did in helping them to the Cup.... In the regular season I expect top players like Kovalev to overcome tight checkers, but in 4 rounds of playoffs the checkers themselves step up and contain skilled players. I'd be a bit more confident if we had more of that somewhere in the bottom 6. I agree we are better positioned to break though tight checking though - this is of course the advantage of 3 scoring lines.
The stars gotta step up too, if the skilled guys aren't bringing it hard then your checker situation doesn't matter cuz you're losing anyways.

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09-25-2008, 09:48 AM
  #46
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Then why do you post your inanities here?
Because it is a distraction, an entertainment, and doing so, worrying about this kinda stuff is just counter-productive. If I'm gonna have some fun, I won't be worrying about something I have absolutely no control over. But, y'know, some people just like to give themselves some entitlement.

The bottom line is I'm pretty sure Gainey knows what he's doing, yes he can make bad decisions, but his success rate will always be better than the average HF user, so that's why I think it is ridiculous to 'worry' about it, especially when the assertion is built around intangibles and preconceived notions that not many seem to share.

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09-25-2008, 10:01 AM
  #47
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I think if we go with these lines, we definitely won't need to have a shutdown line.

S.Kostitsyn - Plekanec - A.Kostitsyn
Higgins - Lang - Kovalev
Tanguay - Koivu - Latendresse
Begin - Lapierre - Laraque/Kostopoulos

Line 1 is all offence. They are great on the ice together, but may lack toughness. Pleks can play good 2 way hockey.
Line 2 is mostly offence too. Kovalev and Lang aren't going to play much defence, but Higgins is great at both ends of the ice. He'll balance them out.
Line 3 is an offensive line too. Koivu and Tanguay are capable of playing 2 way hockey and Latendresse is so slow he'll be back there anyways...so that should work too.
Line 4 is pure energy. They need to go out and hit everything in site, keep the puck deep in the other teams end and pound on their defence until they create a turnover.

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09-25-2008, 11:57 AM
  #48
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Originally Posted by Ozymandias View Post
Because it is a distraction, an entertainment, and doing so, worrying about this kinda stuff is just counter-productive. If I'm gonna have some fun, I won't be worrying about something I have absolutely no control over. But, y'know, some people just like to give themselves some entitlement.

The bottom line is I'm pretty sure Gainey knows what he's doing, yes he can make bad decisions, but his success rate will always be better than the average HF user, so that's why I think it is ridiculous to 'worry' about it, especially when the assertion is built around intangibles and preconceived notions that not many seem to share.
I'm not "worried" about not having a shutdown line, I think it will be an interesting experiment. I also believe that a bona fide checking talent will be brought in at some point for the bottom 6. I can't understand what "counter-productive" could mean in the context of a hockey discussion.

I trust Gainey, always have backed him up around here and always will. He's a very smart person. It's just the whole paradigm shift that's interesting - dude I'd rather have discussion about this than:

jumbotron
Kovalev on Tv
all OT threads
parade route
NHL09
Anything Jacques Demers
Anything Dandenault

etc. etc.

The idea is to stick to real world hockey topics and discussions about the team. For the first time in a long time, the team has 3 lines that are being counted on to score goals, and no line being counted on to shadow the opposing top guns on elite teams. I thought I made this prety clear in the OP. it seems like everyone else undertstood the point.

Clearly I'm in the minority opinion that the lack of good checkers is a flaw. It's not so much a shutdown line we need IMO but a really great "shadow"... preferably one who can win a lot of faceoffs. If that person is a fourth-line player, no problem. But there isn't anyone in our depth that could be trusted to strip the puck from my grandma 9 times out of 10, let alone the Lecavalier or Iginla types.

I'm really excited for the season to see the offensive machine perform, but I think to extend the same hopefulness that we'll just score our way out of any trouble once the playoffs start is far-fetched.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turboflex
The stars gotta step up too, if the skilled guys aren't bringing it hard then your checker situation doesn't matter cuz you're losing anyways.
You're right on that, but "good pitching defeats good hitting, and vice versa." It's hard to know just who will come through for you (except the couple obvious guys).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teufelsdreck
That dainty label is out of date. You must have been referring to Streit and Brisebois, the two softest players last season. Also, Ryder wasn't a defensive stalwart. From what I've seen in the 2 preseason games, Tanguay looks as though he knows how to defend. Finally, who's better at faceoffs than Koivu?
Is that label out of date? We were lucky to get past the Bruins, and all they had to do was put a sleeper hold on the team. We have 1 center with muscles, and as much as I repect the defense of Koivu and Plekanec, they are still little. Yes, the team hits. Yes, they aren't collectively a bunch of Smurfs any more. But on nights when they don't come out with full-on jam you can clearly see us getting outshot and outplayed by weaker teams with larger players.

Mind you that's usually when Akost pulls out some magic in the second to get the comeback started

Last year's Habs could be checked into submission on lots of nights, esp. in the West. Hopefully this year's squad can benefit from that 3rd wave to power things up when lines 1 and 2 are slumping or having an off night.

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09-25-2008, 12:05 PM
  #49
Sam I Am
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The best "shutdown line" is a strong defensive trio with a heavy counterpunch. Remember, the other team's top line is not necessarily very good at checking. If well constituted, a checking line with offensive abilities can be very hard for the other team to handle.

I propose:

Higgins Plekanec S.K.

All three can cover even the fastest of opponents...and make them pay for getting caught up ice.


Last edited by Sam I Am: 09-25-2008 at 12:10 PM.
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09-25-2008, 12:26 PM
  #50
Maxpac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam I Am View Post
The best "shutdown line" is a strong defensive trio with a heavy counterpunch. Remember, the other team's top line is not necessarily very good at checking. If well constituted, a checking line with offensive abilities can be very hard for the other team to handle.

I propose:

Higgins Plekanec S.K.

All three can cover even the fastest of opponents...and make them pay for getting caught up ice.
you know just like i do that line has no chance of happening


The ignorence of some posters here is amazing

posts like this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by robbiezyg View Post
what do you need a shutdown line for when the puck is in their own end?
and this:
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?)
and this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carey Price View Post
The best "shutdown" method is to control the puck for most of the night.
Seriously, are you guys kidding me? smell the coffe and wake up, It's a big concern for us, We've always had a line that was specifically used to hold the other team's top line for the last couple of years and they've done a pretty good job too, we need atleast 2 defensive specialist on the team since Laraque is a lock on the 4th line, it's the big reason imo that Kyle Chipchura HAS to make the team this year, Bégin and Kosto skate faster but don't play the defensive game as well as Chipper can

edit: you can add that one to the list:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poochie_D View Post
If we have the puck, they can't score. 3 offensive lines.


Last edited by Maxpac: 09-25-2008 at 12:34 PM.
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