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Anyone else not panicking?

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Old
11-15-2008, 12:21 PM
  #76
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Before each games, the Habs need to start watching what this guy had to watch.


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Old
11-15-2008, 02:54 PM
  #77
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It's not time to panic, but it's fair to question some things. In particular, the Lang acquisition bothers me.

I don't see the big improvement over Smolinksi, at least not when we factor in his salary and his production relative to his PP time and his linemates. Looking back, Gainey has had Perreault, Bonk, Smolinski, and now 38 year old, 5 million dollar Lang. That's a lack of vision. It's the only center position out of 4 that hasn't been filled internally.

It's hard not to get the sense that Lang was a panic move. Gainey just had to get a veteran RH center. But he's had years and years to address that position, and he hasn't come up with anything other than expensive bandaid players who are at the tail end of their careers. If a veteran RH center is that important, then he should've gotten a quality one by now.

It was a miscalculation to get Lang in the offseason. While the Sundin saga was unfolding, I said that if he didn't come here, then the team should go with Chipchura and Lapierre to start the season. Then wait for an opportunity to get a veteran center, assuming that it would even prove to be necessary. I don't know why Gainey didn't just hold onto the Grabovski 2nd rounder. There was no rush to trade it for a guy who had little value across the league, to a team that was very hard up against the cap. In fact, even after dumping Lang, Chicago still couldn't afford to keep Cam Barker and his 2.7 million dollar salary to start the season.

It's not just about Lang. Chipchura is now in his 3rd AHL season. I'm unconvinced that he's not ready for the NHL. More than that, I'm not sold on the idea of having 3 finesse centers and only one banger in the top 9, and even that player -- Latendresse -- is not widely regarded as an especially gritty and physical player. A player like Chipchura would be beneficial to the Habs overall. Guys like that make room for the skilled players over the course of a game by grinding it out in the corners and wearing down the other team's defencemen.

You need a team balance of finesse and skill along with grit and checking. A guy like Chipchura might not generate the offence even strength that a guy like Lang should (and I'm not convinced of that either, if they had the same minutes and linemates over the course of a season), but a guy like that hurts you less in a game that's played in trenches instead of open ice. At least a guy like Chipchura gives you a better chance not to be badly outplayed when the game calls for bodychecking and puck protection, character and determination.

The Habs can't always dictate their style of play. There are times when your only choice is to outbattle the other team wherever the game is taken. Right now, if there is a problem with this team, it's one that goes back to last season, which is that the team struggles against an opponent with a game plan that neutralizes their speed and skill at even strength. Without a dominant PP, the Habs are very vulnerable against those teams. They still can't, or won't compete against teams who say, "Go ahead and beat us without your PP and finesse".

It's early, and Lang might yet prove me wrong. But as things stand now, I think it was an unnecessary move. I don't think the team would be worse off overall with Chipchura instead of Lang, and I think the team would be in much a better position at the trade deadline with the Grabovski 2nd rounder, lots of cap space, and 40 games or so to evaluate what the team really needs.

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11-15-2008, 03:24 PM
  #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davedave View Post
It's not time to panic, but it's fair to question some things. In particular, the Lang acquisition bothers me.

I don't see the big improvement over Smolinksi, at least not when we factor in his salary and his production relative to his PP time and his linemates. Looking back, Gainey has had Perreault, Bonk, Smolinski, and now 38 year old, 5 million dollar Lang. That's a lack of vision. It's the only center position out of 4 that hasn't been filled internally.

It's hard not to get the sense that Lang was a panic move. Gainey just had to get a veteran RH center. But he's had years and years to address that position, and he hasn't come up with anything other than expensive bandaid players who are at the tail end of their careers. If a veteran RH center is that important, then he should've gotten a quality one by now.

It was a miscalculation to get Lang in the offseason. While the Sundin saga was unfolding, I said that if he didn't come here, then the team should go with Chipchura and Lapierre to start the season. Then wait for an opportunity to get a veteran center, assuming that it would even prove to be necessary. I don't know why Gainey didn't just hold onto the Grabovski 2nd rounder. There was no rush to trade it for a guy who had little value across the league, to a team that was very hard up against the cap. In fact, even after dumping Lang, Chicago still couldn't afford to keep Cam Barker and his 2.7 million dollar salary to start the season.

It's not just about Lang. Chipchura is now in his 3rd AHL season. I'm unconvinced that he's not ready for the NHL. More than that, I'm not sold on the idea of having 3 finesse centers and only one banger in the top 9, and even that player -- Latendresse -- is not widely regarded as an especially gritty and physical player. A player like Chipchura would be beneficial to the Habs overall. Guys like that make room for the skilled players over the course of a game by grinding it out in the corners and wearing down the other team's defencemen.

You need a team balance of finesse and skill along with grit and checking. A guy like Chipchura might not generate the offence even strength that a guy like Lang should (and I'm not convinced of that either, if they had the same minutes and linemates over the course of a season), but a guy like that hurts you less in a game that's played in trenches instead of open ice. At least a guy like Chipchura gives you a better chance not to be badly outplayed when the game calls for bodychecking and puck protection, character and determination.

The Habs can't always dictate their style of play. There are times when your only choice is to outbattle the other team wherever the game is taken. Right now, if there is a problem with this team, it's one that goes back to last season, which is that the team struggles against an opponent with a game plan that neutralizes their speed and skill at even strength. Without a dominant PP, the Habs are very vulnerable against those teams. They still can't, or won't compete against teams who say, "Go ahead and beat us without your PP and finesse".

It's early, and Lang might yet prove me wrong. But as things stand now, I think it was an unnecessary move. I don't think the team would be worse off overall with Chipchura instead of Lang, and I think the team would be in much a better position at the trade deadline with the Grabovski 2nd rounder, lots of cap space, and 40 games or so to evaluate what the team really needs.


the question is, will gainey be able/willing to "fix" this mistake, or will he sit with it all year as he did with smolinski?


I really do think chipchura (and more specifically the type of game he plays) is exactly what the top 3 lines are lacking. sometimes just having a guy playing that way is enough to get other guys willing to play a little tougher, especially if when it's a young guy.

Move Lang for a physical presence on the blue-line that can play top 4 minutes (and relegate Breezer to the front/side/back office), call up chipcura, and see how that plays out between now and the deadline.

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11-15-2008, 03:30 PM
  #79
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I don't get why everybody has something against Lang. He's doing a more than decent job. He's much more useful to the team than Slomow and Bonk were. He has by far the better hans among these players, and he actually can control the puck for more than a few seconds...

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11-15-2008, 03:35 PM
  #80
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its no time to panic. This is the time for continuous evaluations as you make your way towards the trade deadline. Its also the time for the players and coaches to work out some kinks in their respective games. I'm much more concerned about how the team finishes the reg season than now.

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11-15-2008, 03:40 PM
  #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davedave View Post
It was a miscalculation to get Lang in the offseason. While the Sundin saga was unfolding, I said that if he didn't come here, then the team should go with Chipchura and Lapierre to start the season. Then wait for an opportunity to get a veteran center, assuming that it would even prove to be necessary.
Centers are harder to find in season. Price for Lang would have been much steeper at the deadline.

However I do question if another O center was needed. I think a more traditional defensive oriented third line is what the team needs more than anything else.

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11-15-2008, 04:22 PM
  #82
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Originally Posted by davedave View Post
It's hard not to get the sense that Lang was a panic move. Gainey just had to get a veteran RH center. But he's had years and years to address that position, and he hasn't come up with anything other than expensive bandaid players who are at the tail end of their careers. If a veteran RH center is that important, then he should've gotten a quality one by now.
He tried. Jason Arnott? The market is too tight for them and you end up overspending.

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Originally Posted by davedave View Post
It's early, and Lang might yet prove me wrong. But as things stand now, I think it was an unnecessary move. I don't think the team would be worse off overall with Chipchura instead of Lang, and I think the team would be in much a better position at the trade deadline with the Grabovski 2nd rounder, lots of cap space, and 40 games or so to evaluate what the team really needs.
I agree that Chipchura should have received a shot in the line-up, but I also feel that Robert Lang was a smart acquisition that gave us a third offensive option down the middle. We also have young forwards to facilitate and getting Lang was a good way to do that.

You have to remember, if Gainey got his way, Sundin would be in the lineup, and Chipchura would still be on the outside looking in. It may have been a panic move, but I think our team was ready to go into a three line attack, and I feel they still have the potential to be the most dangerous team in the league with it.

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11-15-2008, 04:41 PM
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davedave View Post
It's not time to panic, but it's fair to question some things. In particular, the Lang acquisition bothers me.

I don't see the big improvement over Smolinksi, at least not when we factor in his salary and his production relative to his PP time and his linemates. Looking back, Gainey has had Perreault, Bonk, Smolinski, and now 38 year old, 5 million dollar Lang. That's a lack of vision. It's the only center position out of 4 that hasn't been filled internally.
A couple of issues here ... first of all, Robert Lang makes $4 million per season, not $5 million. That's a significant difference. Secondly, you don't see a difference between Robert Lang and Bryan Smolinksi? Lang is better on faceoffs, better offensively, better defensively and bigger. His passing is light years better, his shooting is better, and he's able to play on, and contribute to the powerplay, something Smolinski proved beyond a shadow of a doubt he could not do. These aren't just minor differences. These are major differences.

You're comparing Lang unfavorably to Smoke and Perreault - two players who aren't even in the league anymore. Surely you see that this is a bit silly?

Then you go on to criticize Gainey for Perreault - a player he inherited from the previous regime, and a player who led the league in faceoffs. Seems an obvious choice to keep him around. Then you critcize him for Bonk, a player who filled the shutdown center role better then anyone has in Montreal in over a decade. I'm beginning to have doubts about your player evaluation skills.

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Originally Posted by davedave View Post
It's hard not to get the sense that Lang was a panic move. Gainey just had to get a veteran RH center. But he's had years and years to address that position, and he hasn't come up with anything other than expensive bandaid players who are at the tail end of their careers. If a veteran RH center is that important, then he should've gotten a quality one by now.
A panic move? He waited all summer to make the move. I don't think waiting three months constitutes a panic move. On the contrary, it appears to be the opposite.

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Originally Posted by davedave View Post
It was a miscalculation to get Lang in the offseason. While the Sundin saga was unfolding, I said that if he didn't come here, then the team should go with Chipchura and Lapierre to start the season. Then wait for an opportunity to get a veteran center, assuming that it would even prove to be necessary.
So you don't like Gainey getting veteran centers at the end of their career, but he should have got Sundin? You seem confused. If you want to take about miscalculations, I think going into the season with Koivu and Plekanec as the only offensive centers would have been an error. Particularily if the third and fourth line centers are green rookies or sophmores. It's one thing to criticze the moves Gainey made, but when your alternative is to stand pat and leave the team in the hands of young unproven players in a season when they are supposed to be making a run for the Cup is just odd.


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Originally Posted by davedave View Post
I don't know why Gainey didn't just hold onto the Grabovski 2nd rounder. There was no rush to trade it for a guy who had little value across the league, to a team that was very hard up against the cap. In fact, even after dumping Lang, Chicago still couldn't afford to keep Cam Barker and his 2.7 million dollar salary to start the season.
On one hand you say there's no rush, then in the next sentence you concede that Chicago needed to make the move to get under the cap. Huh? Of course there was a rush, he knew Chicago was moving Lang. You say he had little value across the league ... how did you learn this? It seems to me big veteran centers that have hovered at 20 goals a year and 35 to 40 assists for the past decade are obviously desireable. Chicago painted themselves in a corner and had to move him. Montreal, luckily, were able to get him.

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11-15-2008, 04:41 PM
  #84
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He tried. Jason Arnott? The market is too tight for them and you end up overspending.



I agree that Chipchura should have received a shot in the line-up, but I also feel that Robert Lang was a smart acquisition that gave us a third offensive option down the middle. We also have young forwards to facilitate and getting Lang was a good way to do that.

You have to remember, if Gainey got his way, Sundin would be in the lineup, and Chipchura would still be on the outside looking in. It may have been a panic move, but I think our team was ready to go into a three line attack, and I feel they still have the potential to be the most dangerous team in the league with it.
but the problem is that last year our "two line attack" was good enough to make us the highest scoring team in the league... but not good enough to advance past the 2nd round of the playoffs (after squeaking through the first vs the 8th seed!).

As much as having Lang is not a bad thing, it's hard to see how that "type" of player was going to make our team more of a playoff threat...

score more goals in the regular season, maybe so, but is that really what this team needed?

* the one clear benefit that Lang does bring is that he's nice insurance to have if one of Pleks/Koivu goes down with a serious injury, which given our luck last year, was not a bad insurance policy to invest in (what are the odds of staying perfectly healthy down the middle two years in a row, especially with Mr. Koivu)

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11-15-2008, 04:46 PM
  #85
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It's a good point that was raised regarding Lang. But if the Canadiens were really going to go with a three line attack, Chipchura could hardly be the third line centre. I have to admit that I was a bit concerned - the Canadiens don't have any semblance of a shut down checking line, but if the emphasis is on skill and more skill, I can see why there's no need for one. There's still time yet, I agree now that Lang isn't looking fantastic, but he's not played himself out of the lineup either. Ultimately time will tell whether getting Lang was the right move. And, it's unreasonable to think that Montreal can suddenly flip him for a defenseman. The third line is hardly the problem, I think. It's more a malaise affecting the entire team, everyone from the goalie to the first line, of not playing consistently..

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11-15-2008, 04:51 PM
  #86
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but the problem is that last year our "two line attack" was good enough to make us the highest scoring team in the league... but not good enough to advance past the 2nd round of the playoffs (after squeaking through the first vs the 8th seed!).
Our "two line attack" included the Kovalev line being rendered meaningless by a defensive plug by both Boston and Philly. They also focused heavily on stopping everything from us on the point and we had no counterattack. With a "three line attack", and especially with Koivu's line now being just as deadly (right now deadlier, second half of the season I'm betting the Plek line will be just as scary), teams have two lines to shut down with absolutely no line to shut down our third. It's an avalanche effect.

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11-15-2008, 04:52 PM
  #87
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Originally Posted by davedave View Post
It's not time to panic, but it's fair to question some things. In particular, the Lang acquisition bothers me.

I don't see the big improvement over Smolinksi, at least not when we factor in his salary and his production relative to his PP time and his linemates. Looking back, Gainey has had Perreault, Bonk, Smolinski, and now 38 year old, 5 million dollar Lang. That's a lack of vision. It's the only center position out of 4 that hasn't been filled internally.

It's hard not to get the sense that Lang was a panic move. Gainey just had to get a veteran RH center. But he's had years and years to address that position, and he hasn't come up with anything other than expensive bandaid players who are at the tail end of their careers. If a veteran RH center is that important, then he should've gotten a quality one by now.

It was a miscalculation to get Lang in the offseason. While the Sundin saga was unfolding, I said that if he didn't come here, then the team should go with Chipchura and Lapierre to start the season. Then wait for an opportunity to get a veteran center, assuming that it would even prove to be necessary. I don't know why Gainey didn't just hold onto the Grabovski 2nd rounder. There was no rush to trade it for a guy who had little value across the league, to a team that was very hard up against the cap. In fact, even after dumping Lang, Chicago still couldn't afford to keep Cam Barker and his 2.7 million dollar salary to start the season.

It's not just about Lang. Chipchura is now in his 3rd AHL season. I'm unconvinced that he's not ready for the NHL. More than that, I'm not sold on the idea of having 3 finesse centers and only one banger in the top 9, and even that player -- Latendresse -- is not widely regarded as an especially gritty and physical player. A player like Chipchura would be beneficial to the Habs overall. Guys like that make room for the skilled players over the course of a game by grinding it out in the corners and wearing down the other team's defencemen.

You need a team balance of finesse and skill along with grit and checking. A guy like Chipchura might not generate the offence even strength that a guy like Lang should (and I'm not convinced of that either, if they had the same minutes and linemates over the course of a season), but a guy like that hurts you less in a game that's played in trenches instead of open ice. At least a guy like Chipchura gives you a better chance not to be badly outplayed when the game calls for bodychecking and puck protection, character and determination.

The Habs can't always dictate their style of play. There are times when your only choice is to outbattle the other team wherever the game is taken. Right now, if there is a problem with this team, it's one that goes back to last season, which is that the team struggles against an opponent with a game plan that neutralizes their speed and skill at even strength. Without a dominant PP, the Habs are very vulnerable against those teams. They still can't, or won't compete against teams who say, "Go ahead and beat us without your PP and finesse".

It's early, and Lang might yet prove me wrong. But as things stand now, I think it was an unnecessary move. I don't think the team would be worse off overall with Chipchura instead of Lang, and I think the team would be in much a better position at the trade deadline with the Grabovski 2nd rounder, lots of cap space, and 40 games or so to evaluate what the team really needs.
Forgot that every single poster in here wanted to get a big right handed C...

Not saying Lang is great and all, but Gainey got exactly what fans/medias said he should have got before... get a BIG right handed C with some offense...


Who's available now (or this summer when we acquired Lang) ??? I mean, available AND better than Lang... AND younger too...

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11-15-2008, 05:49 PM
  #88
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A big red button with "Panic" written on it appears right next to you and your right hand starts shaking.
Well, i'm not panicking then.

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11-15-2008, 07:30 PM
  #89
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Centers are harder to find in season. Price for Lang would have been much steeper at the deadline.

However I do question if another O center was needed. I think a more traditional defensive oriented third line is what the team needs more than anything else.
Maybe. What would Chicago have done with Lang if Gainey hadn't called? I can't think of any contending teams with the cap space or the desire to add Lang. I also don't think a non-contending team was eager to add him. Whatever Chicago would have done with him, I think he would still be floating around the trade wire at this year's deadline if it came to that.

Essentially, Lang strikes me as an unsatisfactory compromise. He isn't a shutdown center, but he isn't an offensive star either. He's a veteran scoring center on the decline. So I sort of agree with you, in that I would have auditioned Chipchura as that traditional shutdown center or gone for an impact player, but I wouldn't have jammed myself up by committing to Lang.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lone Rogue
He tried. Jason Arnott? The market is too tight for them and you end up overspending.

I agree that Chipchura should have received a shot in the line-up, but I also feel that Robert Lang was a smart acquisition that gave us a third offensive option down the middle. We also have young forwards to facilitate and getting Lang was a good way to do that.

You have to remember, if Gainey got his way, Sundin would be in the lineup, and Chipchura would still be on the outside looking in. It may have been a panic move, but I think our team was ready to go into a three line attack, and I feel they still have the potential to be the most dangerous team in the league with it.
I'm not against the idea of having three offensive lines. But I see Sundin and Lang as different players. IMO, Sundin is a one-of-a-kind impact player. If you have a chance to add a player like that, you adapt your team accordingly. Gainey's other target was Hossa, who isn't even a center. But he is such a good player that you go ahead and add him anyway, and make whatever adjustments afterwards.

Lang, at this point in his career, is a complementary player. I just don't see the need to have traded for him, at his age and salary, in the offseason. Gainey committed himself to a three offensive line team, but limited his options for improving the team. Starting the year with Chipchura would have kept the flexibility to make a change -- and Chipchura might have been good enough to allow Gainey to make an improvement elsewhere.

The other issue is that I can't see how a player like Lang helps the Habs win the kind of games they had trouble winning last year. (Maybe Arnott is a different story, but that just makes the Lang trade seem even more like a panic move.) Basically, I agree with Miller Time on this point, though I do see your point about the avalanche effect, and I would agree if the other center was Sundin or someone like that. But I don't think good playoff teams will be worried about shutting down the Lang line. They'll still concentrate on Koivu and Kovalev and probably be content to matchup one of their scoring lines to force Lang and his line to play defence.

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11-15-2008, 07:42 PM
  #90
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Maybe. What would Chicago have done with Lang if Gainey hadn't called? I can't think of any contending teams with the cap space or the desire to add Lang.
The Vancouver Canucks would have loved to have him. It was rumored at that time that Montreal made the deal that the Canucks were looking at him.

The St. Louis Blues were also reportedly interested. Not sure why you think there wouldn't be a market for a player like Robert Lang.

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11-15-2008, 08:47 PM
  #91
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I am not panicking
this team needs some tweeks here and there and it will get rolling again.

It is all on carbo's shoulders. Some lines just don't work

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11-15-2008, 08:53 PM
  #92
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Not worried, not concerned, they'll be fine.

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11-15-2008, 08:58 PM
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Bob and Guy should be panicking. Bob for putting this slop together and Guy for not knowing how to coach.

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11-15-2008, 09:15 PM
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Not panicking but concerned. Still, lots of solutions.

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11-15-2008, 09:16 PM
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The Vancouver Canucks would have loved to have him. It was rumored at that time that Montreal made the deal that the Canucks were looking at him.

The St. Louis Blues were also reportedly interested. Not sure why you think there wouldn't be a market for a player like Robert Lang.
Ship him to St-Louis for Barret Jackman

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11-15-2008, 09:18 PM
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Gainey is making a big mistake by leaving so many key guys with no contracts for next year.

Why? Because you get guys that are playing for themselves, for their contract rather than for the team or for one another...guys that get pissed when they don't get their PP time, guys pissed at not playing with certain guys etc...

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11-15-2008, 09:19 PM
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Gainey is making a big mistake by leaving so many key guys with no contracts for next year.

Why? Because you get guys that are playing for themselves, for their contract rather than for the team or for one another...guys that get pissed when they don't get their PP time, guys pissed at not playing with certain guys etc...
Sorry but that's ********.

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11-15-2008, 09:22 PM
  #98
couz
 
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Originally Posted by Chomsky View Post
Sorry but that's ********.
You think....take a look at Kovy, he's trying to go through about three guys at once, he doesn't pass anymore etc...

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Old
11-15-2008, 09:22 PM
  #99
mariolemieux66
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Originally Posted by couz View Post
Gainey is making a big mistake by leaving so many key guys with no contracts for next year.

Why? Because you get guys that are playing for themselves, for their contract rather than for the team or for one another...guys that get pissed when they don't get their PP time, guys pissed at not playing with certain guys etc...
If that is the case, get them out of here. I can live without Kovalev, Plekanec and the brothers.

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Old
11-15-2008, 09:28 PM
  #100
Chomsky
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Originally Posted by couz View Post
You think....take a look at Kovy, he's trying to go through about three guys at once, he doesn't pass anymore etc...
That's a bad example. Kovy has always been like this. The difference is that his linemates are sleeping, and he's doing more bonehead passes than usual.

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