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4th line Observations

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Old
11-18-2008, 11:52 AM
  #1
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4th line Observations

Good morning fellow Habs Fans. This is my first post on HFBoards. I have been an avid reader for quite some time. I have been a Habs fan for close to 25 years. I, like most of you, have followed them through thick and thin. We finally have something good to cheer for.

I have a few observations concerning the 4th line this season.

Offensive zone faceoff. TV time out. Your first line just got off the ice. You are down 1-0. Why does Guy send his 4th line out. We just had a Tv timeout. 2-3 minutes of rest. Send out your 2nd or 3rd line. The 4th line does not need to play every 4th shift. It does not need to play 12 minutes a night. Not when most of the guys on the 4th line are being used as penalty killers anyways. They get their ice-time. Keep their shifts short, and only 6-7 minutes a game at most. Unless they prove they belong out there for more than that.

First off, i would like to dissect the center postion. I am a huge Maxim Lapierre fan. Not because of his incredibly scoring ability(joke) but because of the heart he puts into his game. He might not be the most polished hockey player, but he is great at agitating opposing teams (Mini Sean Avery). Rarely does he take a stupid penalty in the offensive zone. He works very well on the penalty kill, and he is out forechecking with all his might on every one of his shifts. He might not be the most polished person in the faceoff circle, but he has greatly improved in that area. He is not quick to drop the gloves, and i personally think that that is a good thing. While i am not a fan of him being benched last game, i feel that if he did merit being benched in Guy Carbonneau`s eyes, that a true center should have replaced him. Kyle Chipchura. He is a player that has a ton of heart, and is a greta leader. He was captain of the Canada World Junior team, and is now captain of the Hamilton Bulldogs. I would prefer Kyle in my lineup over Steve Begin any day. Steve Begin is one injury away from never playing another game in the NHL. He is reckless, and a liability to the team with the stupid penalties he takes. Time and time again, Montreal has lost the lead, lost games because of Steve`s carelessness. For the salary we are paying him, and for what he brings to the Habs long-term, he simply is no longer worth it. Its time to either put him on waivers, trade him. Having him in the stands or on the ice, in my opinion, is no longer an option. Its time for Chipchura to get some minutes with the big club again.

Guillaume Latendresse. If he is going to be used on the 4th line, then send him to the AHL. I am not one of his biggest fans, ill be very honest. I also feel that some fans are very harsh when criticizing him. The fact of the matter is that he has been given chance after chance to try to succeed, and i personally believe we have seen all we can see from Guillaume. 16 goals a year, bad-skating, bodychecking on home ice to get a rise out of the fans after the defenceman has already passed the puck up ice. He will never deke a player one on one, and cannot be used in penalty killing situation. He does not use his big body to fight, nor to take position in front of the net. He belongs on the third line at most, but clearly has no chemistry with any player other than Saku Koivu. At this point, u can put George Laraque with Koivu and Tanguay and he will either a) score or b)get an assist. Its the Koivu -Tanguay show. Anyone else is just along for the ride. So if Carbo plans on putting Gui on the 4th line fulltime , then send him back for some seasoning. Have him play big minutes in Hamilton, powerplay and such, and have him mature into the player he should be.

Tom Kostopoulos is another guy who brings high-energy, defensive hockey to the Montreal. He sacrifices himself every night, and yes he can`t bury a chance if his life depended on it, but shorthanded 5-3, I would want to him have on the ice.

In Tom`s newfound place on the line with Plekanec and Higgins i would bring up Matt D`agostini to replace him. He is one of a number of prospects we have on the farm that is producing, and by the looks of it, would be successful at an NHL level. It does not hurt to try. I believe if given the chance, he would try his hardest and come out firing on all cylindres to be successful on this team. If he doesn't succeed, replace him with a list of other players. Max Paciortetty, Yannick Lehoux and others. These players should be given the chance that Guillaume has been given. I do believe that D'agostini is the solution to filling the TOP 9 Forwards on our team.

Mathieu Dandenault, while a versatile player who can play 2 positions, and is also quite effective as a penalty-killer, has overstayed his welcome on the Montreal team. We keep talking about he is an extra defenseman in case of injury, but other than preseason when is the last Mathieu started a defenseman. He is overpriced for a 4th line player, and really doesnt provide a physical presence nor an scoring touch on the 4th line.

Boston's 4th line wiped the floor with us a few games ago. When is the last time our 4th line dominated a game, scored 3 goals, and was the star line. We rtalk about having 4 scoring lines, but put out a 4th line that cant score a goal.

In my ideal world, this is what i would do. Waive Steve Begin. If someone picks him up then fine, If not off to Hamilton you go. same with Dandenault, unless you can miraculously package him in a trade somewhere. Ship Guillaume to Hamilton for some fine-tuning, until he ready to be the big power-forward we all dream he can be. Bring up D'Agostini, Chipchura, and your pick of Yannick Lehoux or Gregory Stewart.

Forward lines:

Sergei k, Andrei, Plekanec
D'agostini, Koivu, Tanguay
Kovalev, Lang, Higgins
Lapierre Chipchura, Kostopolos, (subs Laraque Stewart)

These are only my opinions. Thanks for reading. Have a great day.

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11-18-2008, 12:10 PM
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there are a lot of issues that are jumping out of your post ...


the fact remains , dandy earned his place this year, when everybody called him out. He plays decent hockey, and unless there is a trade in progress that requires us to make some cap room, his place is in montreal.


begin, while taking stupid penalties , is the kind of player you need during the reg. season. In my opinion, when the level of the game rises , and when emotional hockey starts in spring, he is not as effective as he is in the reg season because he has trouble controlling his emotions and shows that he doesn't always have the control. but during a boring reg.season game, he's going to play likeits a playoff game, and you need players like that, especially now.


Latendresse, I agree with your post. I don't know how playing him with lapierre and begin is going to help him improve. One thing I know, despite having only 1 goal when he played with koivu and tanguay , he played well. its that kind of minutes he needs to be able to mature and reach his full potential.


you are looking at rebuilding the team, not moving any key players, but still , I know its empting to reach for the panic button sometimes, but have faith ... everything is going to fall into place...

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11-18-2008, 12:12 PM
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Alright, 'TrueHabsFan', send Latendresse to the AHL and lose him forever.. because he's going to get claimed.

Kthxbye.

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11-18-2008, 12:26 PM
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Greetings TrueHabsFan. I Feel Overwhelmed by your fantastic 1st post. NOw, One Begins to feel that Carbo is just shuffling the lines & shaking things up for the sake of it. It really does feel like there isn't much method to his madness at times.

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11-18-2008, 12:28 PM
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Ross MacLochness
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The 4th line in the offensive zone after a tv timeout is enough to drive anyone nuts. What's the logic behind this? Seriously... It's happened so many times this year as well. C'mon Carbo.

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11-18-2008, 01:01 PM
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Thanks for the replies guys.

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11-18-2008, 01:04 PM
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If the Habs don't bring their A game tonight, I really hope Bob gets rid of both Dandy & Begin. Enough is enough, the whole '14 forwards will push each other to be better' just hasn't been the case.

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11-18-2008, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blades 0f Steel View Post
If the Habs don't bring their A game tonight, I really hope Bob gets rid of both Dandy & Begin. Enough is enough, the whole '14 forwards will push each other to be better' just hasn't been the case.
Totally agree, at least one of them has to go ASAP. If Carbonneau isn't happy with Lapierre's play it just makes even less sense that Chipchura is down in the AHL because Begin should not be playing center or even in the lineup.

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11-18-2008, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by natey2k4 View Post
Alright, 'TrueHabsFan', send Latendresse to the AHL and lose him forever.. because he's going to get claimed.

Kthxbye.
So he gets claimed on waivers. What is the big deal. What are we losing. He is no John Leclair. He will definitely not come back to bite us in the ...

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11-18-2008, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueHabsFan View Post
So he gets claimed on waivers. What is the big deal. What are we losing. He is no John Leclair. He will definitely not come back to bite us in the ...
Wow.

The kid is 21-years old.

He's on pace for 41 points.

His +/- is improving each year, (-20, -2, +4).

His biggest problem was speed and he's fixed that.

His next biggest problem is using his size and he's got time to do that.

There is NO WAY we are putting him on waivers. If you're a real Habs fan, you wouldn't even consider saying that. If you didn't want him, you'd at least trade him for assets.

Wow.

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11-18-2008, 01:46 PM
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He is on pace for 41 points today. He was on pace for 88 points after 6 games. And next week he will be on pace for 27 points. Look, lets be honest here. Yes he is 21 years old. He has scored 34 games. Who is the last Montreal Canadien player that had a chance to make the team out of junior, made the team, and was given as many chances as Guillaume. Dont worry, i will wait for the answer. Regardless of his age, 2 players , Christopher Higgins and Michael Ryder scored more goals in each of their first two full seasons that Guillaume. They played on a line with Saku Koivu because they proved that they belonged there. No other player has been given the chance that Guillaume has been given. The only reason he isnt in the the AHL is because the Habs organization would have to admit that they made a mistake bringing him up so early. I believe that if he would have been given the chance to start in the AHL he would definitely be a much better fit for the today's Habs.

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11-18-2008, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by natey2k4 View Post
Wow.

The kid is 21-years old.

He's on pace for 41 points.

His +/- is improving each year, (-20, -2, +4).

His biggest problem was speed and he's fixed that.

His next biggest problem is using his size and he's got time to do that.

There is NO WAY we are putting him on waivers. If you're a real Habs fan, you wouldn't even consider saying that. If you didn't want him, you'd at least trade him for assets.

Wow.
He might get picked up, but hting is, lots of young guns are pushing hard, and making a good argument compared to what lats is showing. Now I agree that letting go of lats is a bit early, but if dags, chips, and any other young guns step up their game and prove themselves to be a better asset for the team than lats. The lats is history here. I actually expect that he would at least have figured this out and show some determination to stay (his game so far this season is ok imo, not great, not horrible), but he's not really proving himself all to much.
Honestly for him, I hope he steps up his game to become a valuable player and wakes the **** up, cause on this pace imo, he's bound to get replaced next season or the one after that.

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11-18-2008, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Johnny Drama View Post
Totally agree, at least one of them has to go ASAP. If Carbonneau isn't happy with Lapierre's play it just makes even less sense that Chipchura is down in the AHL because Begin should not be playing center or even in the lineup.
I drawed Carbo a picture.


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11-18-2008, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Cupmonger View Post
He might get picked up, but hting is, lots of young guns are pushing hard, and making a good argument compared to what lats is showing. Now I agree that letting go of lats is a bit early, but if dags, chips, and any other young guns step up their game and prove themselves to be a better asset for the team than lats. The lats is history here. I actually expect that he would at least have figured this out and show some determination to stay (his game so far this season is ok imo, not great, not horrible), but he's not really proving himself all to much.
Honestly for him, I hope he steps up his game to become a valuable player and wakes the **** up, cause on this pace imo, he's bound to get replaced next season or the one after that.
I really don't get it sometimes..

You think Dags or Chips will come up and be better than Lats??..Stop dreaming. Lats has been good so far anyways, I don't get the hate. I doubt, D'agos would come in and put up 40-50pts.

Had a great start, Higgy comes back, Carbs cuts PP Ice Time of Lats, 2Games later Higgy goes back with Koivu (lats wasn't playing badly at all), Carbs puts him on with the other slowest forward(big surprise that doesnt work but still showed some nice checks/effort), gets placed on 4th line with Dandy/Begin for St-Louis game. Nothing happends during that game, Carbs puts Lats with Koivu/Tang for 1shift, they create things and Lats would have scored if Hartnell didn't move the net.

Lats has been good so far this season.

As for Chips, he's a center, so he won't replace Lats.

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11-18-2008, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueHabsFan
... snip ...

Forward lines:

Sergei k, Andrei, Plekanec
D'agostini, Koivu, Tanguay
Kovalev, Lang, Higgins
Lapierre Chipchura, Kostopolos, (subs Laraque Stewart)

These are only my opinions. Thanks for reading. Have a great day.
OK someone had to do it, might as well be me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueHabsFan
The 4th line does not need to play every 4th shift. It does not need to play 12 minutes a night. Not when most of the guys on the 4th line are being used as penalty killers anyways.
Carbo rolls 4 lines, like clockwork. Get used to it, even though many don't agree it's how the team is going to play. Rewards come in the form of PP time only. With 3 minutes left and down a goal, you will *still* see the 4th line. We know, it's frustrating, but it's Carbo's way of doing things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueHabsFan
...
I would prefer Kyle in my lineup over Steve Begin any day. Steve Begin is one injury away from never playing another game in the NHL.
...
Re Lapierre / Begin / Chipchura:

Lapierre is a marginal NHL player. Fast but not much else, he wasn't even the best Bulldog skater in their Calder Cup run. A Mini-Avery?? Surely you jest. Steve Begin, for all the (true) flaws you point out, is better on the PK than the other two guys, plays harder-nosed hockey, and isn't slow himself. Chipchura still has to earn his way onto the team - under Gainey's reign, veterans are not going to play their way off the team unless they really, really, really stink it up. Chips just hasn't impressed enough yet to merit a call-up.

Re Guillaume.

Yes - having him on the fourth line seems stupid. He did, however, get goals from that spot last year. I'd prefer he and Kostopolous switched up. Frankly Gui earned time on the PP earlier and didn't get it, in favour of 2 Kostitsyn bros. who didn't produce at all. He should see a return there.

Seriously though, if you a) can't see that his skating is much better and b) honestly want to send him down to Hamilton - then there's no telling you anything as you aren't watching the same games I have. You have it in for the kid, despite your claim to the contrary. I'll take his 16 goals any day of the week over anyone else we have right now. It's not that the only chemistry he has is with Koivu, it's that he's still looking for his own chemistry with himself - he hasn't yet found a way to keep his game simple each night and so far most of his linemates this year, post-Koivu, have done him no favours whatsoever. Really I think Gui is still in a constant state of flux as he's rounding out his game, following the program set by mgmt. and just needs to play it simple.

Stop dreaming about him one day being a huge PF and you'll be on the right track.

To bring in D'Agostini to play a top 6 or top 9 role at Guillaume's expense would be ultimately foolish. They *did* rush #84 but they'll just have to stick it out with him and let nature take its course. None of the other names you mentioned are ready to go to the big time yet, sorry. I doubt D'agostini is going to have much impact if at all at the NHL level at this moment in time.

No one expects 4 scoring lines, dunno where that comes from. But I agree our 4th line struggles to be a factor in games. I'll put it out there that it's due to the constant shuffling around down there.

Some of what you say I totally agree with, but your conclusions regarding Latendresse are just more of the HF anti-Gui dogma and really don't reflect reality.

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