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Our team has no direction/role definition/identifiable core

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Old
01-03-2009, 12:14 PM
  #1
TheGoalJudge
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Our team has no direction/role definition/identifiable core

This is really bothering me and I don't know if I'm right or wrong in thinking this but I can't help but be bothered by this. In my eyes at least, we have just a mish-mash of players. We have a ton of youth and a ton of skilled forwards but we don't have any real role definition or core.

I get the feeling that the players don't know what is expected of them night in and night out when they're playing on different lines, playing with different players, playing different times, playing in different situations.

Our PP, our top lines, our bottom lines are all scrambled and filled with what seems like the same type of player. Part of it has to do with injuries obviously but even then there's just so much redundancy on this roster.

I guess what I'm saying is there's more quantity than quality. IMO we need to consolidate, bring in a couple top-end players or star type players, and get rid of all the youth depth we have.

I want to see a top line, a good 2nd line, a SHUTDOWN 3rd line (not a mish mash of Lang and some other unproven youngsters trying to do god knows what), and an energy line.

Our defense is okay in terms of their roles and our goaltending is fine obviously but the forward core is driving me nuts!

Let's identify who we want to keep long-term and who we don't, and trade those guys for some star power and fill the bottom lines with shutdown players and cheap grinders that we have (Lapierre, Stewart, Chipchura, Kostopolous).

Teams that win the Cup have VERY strict role definition and an easily identifiable core of players. They have stars and role players. I don't see anything like this on our team. Sorry for the long post btw.

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01-03-2009, 12:15 PM
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01-03-2009, 12:16 PM
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01-03-2009, 12:20 PM
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I believe Carbonneau has said this season that their identity is really as a good defensive team. That is when they play good defensively then they can build from that some good offense through turnovers in the neutral zone. This was also our identity last year though it got forgotten as the Team exploded offensively. I believe Gainey's ideal player in such a style is a good two-way player whom backchecks hard to play well defensively and then counterattacks with speed on turnovers; examples of this type of player are players like Plekanec, Higgins, Koivu etc. Thus, through playing good defense first Montreal hopes to build their offense off of that. It is also through good defense that we have been winning our games this year.

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01-03-2009, 12:20 PM
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big huge SIGH

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01-03-2009, 12:23 PM
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TheGoalJudge
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Originally Posted by Ozymandias View Post
big huge SIGH
Ok who is our shutdown line then? Every cup team has one. Who is our leader on offense? Kovalev? Who is our playmaker? Our face-off specialist? Our PP specialist? Who's the physical presence infront of the net? Who is our agitator?

I'm thinking about winning the cup and how traditionally those teams always have strict role definition. We seem to have a lot of quantity and redundant players on our roster right now.

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01-03-2009, 12:31 PM
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I think the issue is the Plek A Kost and Kovy doesn't work anymore.
Split it up for good they got lucky last year as teams didn't know hoe to defend against them.

lines should be
A Kost Lang D'Ago > this line was going great when Dags arrived then Carbo split it up.

Lats Lapierre Kovy > Kovy has played well with Lats in the past and Lappy is on fire lately.

Kosto/Chipper Pleks Pacman > Pleks is just not getting dirty so put him with some players that will.

Last line S. Kost Begin Chipper/Kosto I think Chipper and Kosto can be interchanged between the 3rd and 4th line yes Pleks is third right now the way Lapierre has been playing.

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01-03-2009, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGoalJudge View Post
Ok who is our shutdown line then? Every cup team has one. Who is our leader on offense? Kovalev? Who is our playmaker? Our face-off specialist? Our PP specialist? Who's the physical presence infront of the net? Who is our agitator?

I'm thinking about winning the cup and how traditionally those teams always have strict role definition. We seem to have a lot of quantity and redundant players on our roster right now.
You don't think Higgins - Koivu - Tanguay can be a shutdown line while providing offence? They are all very good two-way players. We have a few leaders in offence, our team is offensive. Our playmaker is our entire team basically. Face-off specialists are Koivu and Lapierre. PP specialist is clearly Markov. Physical presence in front has been Gui recently. Lapierre is also an agitator.

Satisfied?

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01-03-2009, 12:38 PM
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Russeltown
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Quote:
Originally Posted by le_sean View Post
You don't think Higgins - Koivu - Tanguay can be a shutdown line while providing offence? They are all very good two-way players. We have a few leaders in offence, our team is offensive. Our playmaker is our entire team basically. Face-off specialists are Koivu and Lapierre. PP specialist is clearly Markov. Physical presence in front has been Gui recently. Lapierre is also an agitator.

Satisfied?
Where Is Chipchura in all this ?

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01-03-2009, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by TheGoalJudge View Post
Ok who is our shutdown line then? Every cup team has one.
I wouldn't say every cup team has one, but I'm not thinking too hard about it. Did Tampa have one? Or Carolina for that matter?
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGoalJudge View Post
Who is our leader on offense? Kovalev?
Yeah, probably Kovalev in terms of talent. Probably Koivu in terms of consistency and effort.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGoalJudge View Post
Who is our playmaker??
I'd suggest Koivu.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGoalJudge View Post
Our face-off specialist??
Lapierre (11th NHL overall) and Koivu (16th) are both excellent face-off men.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGoalJudge View Post
Our PP specialist??
I guess Kovalev and Markov, but I admit the PP needs to be repaired or stopgapped before the playoffs.
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Originally Posted by TheGoalJudge View Post
Who's the physical presence infront of the net??
Latendresse, believe it or not, is and has been pretty good at that this season.
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Originally Posted by TheGoalJudge View Post
Who is our agitator? ?
Not sure every Cup team has these, but I would suggest Lapierre. Though he is agitating less now than he did last season, but he seems able to get under Crosby's skin.

I think there's obviously a core of players without which this team pales, but that core is getting older and many are UFAs this offseason. I don't think it's a stretch to think that core will look significantly different next season.

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01-03-2009, 12:43 PM
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our whole first line from the beginning of the season is out, our number 1 goalie has been injured for the past month, our agitor/fighter has been hurt all year, komo was out for 3 weeks, andrei was hurt twice this season, and our powerplay is completely useless, yet we are tied for 2nd best in goals against in the east and we are still 11 games over .500, and people still complain about the habs, about roles and other things

we all knew kovalev was our leader on offense, we all know we should have a better BEST forward, but we have great depth instead of 1 great player, with a healthy lineup, we would have 3 great offensive lines, and now i could even say 4 good lines because our 4th line would be lapierre, latendresse and kostopoulos

players know their role: play smart defensively, players like kostitsyn (2), saku, pleks, kovalev, tanguay, lang are there to score and to produce offense, the others are there to bring secondary scoring and play smart in their zone...

finally, with a healthy price, we would have atleast 5-10 more point than we already have

so whats the problem? i dont see one, we cant dominate every game, especially with our injury problem!

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01-03-2009, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by le_sean View Post
You don't think Higgins - Koivu - Tanguay can be a shutdown line while providing offence? They are all very good two-way players. We have a few leaders in offence, our team is offensive. Our playmaker is our entire team basically. Face-off specialists are Koivu and Lapierre. PP specialist is clearly Markov. Physical presence in front has been Gui recently. Lapierre is also an agitator.

Satisfied?
So our 2nd line will be our shutdown line? "We have a few leaders on offence". Like who? Who can we turn to to carry us? Our playmaker is our entire team? Not really. Koivu and Lapierre CAN win faceoffs I'll give you that. PP specialist is not Markov because he's our #1 D-Man. I'm talking about a guy like Streit. Physical presence is Gui? LOL.

I'll give you Lapierre as the agitator.

We have too much quantity, not enough quality. We need a star that other players can play off of and that can carry a top line. Then we can use our other players more suited for 2nd-3rd line duty like Plekanec and Higgins in their proper spots.

A guy like Kovalchuk would do wonders for this team. We have the pieces to trade for him and I think it's a no-brainer. What are we going to do with all this talent? Pacioretty, D'Agostini, Maxwell, The Kost bros. That's almost 2 full lines right there. Are we going to go with 4 offensive lines? Chipchura can't even get out of Hamilton because we have offensive players playing in his spot.

What I'm saying is all the cup teams have stars and then they have role players who succeed because they only have to a specific task and they do it well. We don't have stars and we don't have role players because they're being asked to do things they're not capable of (Plekanec #1 Centre for example).

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01-03-2009, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by TheGoalJudge View Post
This is really bothering me and I don't know if I'm right or wrong in thinking this but I can't help but be bothered by this. In my eyes at least, we have just a mish-mash of players. We have a ton of youth and a ton of skilled forwards but we don't have any real role definition or core.
That may be a problem. It's hard to put a dominant team on the ice, at the same time as developing as many kids as the Habs are. Of course, a lot of the youth would be in Hamilton if not for all the injuries.

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Our PP, our top lines, our bottom lines are all scrambled and filled with what seems like the same type of player. Part of it has to do with injuries obviously but even then there's just so much redundancy on this roster.
I don't mind the scrambling at ES. Carbo is dealing with so many injuries, and sheltering so many rookies, that it's pretty much unavoidable.

On the PP, however, I think Carbo has taken too long to identify which players to use. He likes to punish/reward players with PP time, but at some point, he should just use the players who are best suited to the role. Sergei Kostitsyn is the perfect example, in my view. Sergei has had some tough times at ES, but he has always been productive on the PP. If Carbo wants to get the PP going, Sergei should have a regular spot, enough with sending grinders out there.

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Originally Posted by TheGoalJudge View Post
I guess what I'm saying is there's more quantity than quality. IMO we need to consolidate, bring in a couple top-end players or star type players, and get rid of all the youth depth we have.
Agreed, the timing is right to make a quantity for quality trade. Easier said than done, I'm sure. But, if JBo or another dominant player can be had, I think the window of opportunity is open from the Habs' point of view to make that kind of move.

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Originally Posted by TheGoalJudge View Post
I want to see a top line, a good 2nd line, a SHUTDOWN 3rd line (not a mish mash of Lang and some other unproven youngsters trying to do god knows what), and an energy line...

Teams that win the Cup have VERY strict role definition and an easily identifiable core of players. They have stars and role players. I don't see anything like this on our team. Sorry for the long post btw.
Here, I disagree. Since the lockout, the Ducks had a shutdown line/third line. The Canes and Wings did not - Brind'Amour and Zetterberg's lines played against the opposition's best. Lang has done that job this year, and done a fine job. When healthy players are available, Carbo has given Lang at least one winger who can help do the job (Tanguay, Kostopoulos, Higgins). Unfortunately, we have so many good forwards injured, that Carbo has to spread quality players across the lines, especially on the road when the Habs have last change.

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01-03-2009, 12:58 PM
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So our 2nd line will be our shutdown line? "We have a few leaders on offence". Like who? Who can we turn to to carry us? Our playmaker is our entire team? Not really. Koivu and Lapierre CAN win faceoffs I'll give you that. PP specialist is not Markov because he's our #1 D-Man. I'm talking about a guy like Streit. Physical presence is Gui? LOL.
What does it matter what line is the shutdown line? As long as they do the job I don't care if it's the 1st or 4th line. Clealy those are 3 players capable of stopping top offensive players. Carbo likes power vs power too, it stopped the Sens late last year.

The whole team is full of offensive players. Kovalev, Tanguay, Lang, Kostitsyns, Plekanec, Koivu. There is offensive talent everywhere. But injuries have hampered the team, Tanguay had great chemistry with Koivu but he went down. Kovalev has picked it up recently and Plekanec did until last night. It's not a team carried by one player, but 3 lines that can all chip in regularly, theoretically.

Playmakers include Kovalev, Markov, Tanguay, Koivu. You don't think those 4 can pass?

Markov is a PP specialist as well as a #1 dman. What we need is a shooter on the PP, I'd say that's the glaring hole.

How is Gui not a physical presence? He's been playing great hockey recently, has been hitting and he's going straight to the net on the PP. Hell if you want a physical presence that bad I'm sure Kostopoulos and Begin won't mind going to the net.

Look, the Habs are 5th in the league in Goals Against. That is great and EXACTLY the philosophy needed to be successful in the playoffs. They are a very good 5 on 5 team as opposed to years previous where they got exposed for being merely a PP team. We finally have a goalie capable of leading a team alone on his shoulders.

Like I said before, find a PP shooter and we'll be laughing.

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01-03-2009, 01:07 PM
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GoalJudge, buddy....you seem to think if you fill up every category on a peice of paper then you win the Cup

Do you play hockey? If you lose a playoff series, do you turn to your team mates and say "well they have a PP specialist and a playmaker" But what if you beat that team? Then it wouldn't even enter your mind


I think you're focusing on things that do help but aren't necessary.

All that's true is you need a hell of a run from your goalie to make it deep in the playoffs. And luckily for all of us, Price has that potential

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01-03-2009, 01:22 PM
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Ironically, the original post lacks direction/definition, and doesn't really identify the issues with the club.

That said, I don't wholly disagree. Players like Plekanec, Higgins, A.Kostitsyn seem to be in limbo at certain points, while players like Tanguay don't seem to be utilized to the degree that they ought to be. The team has been a quick transition club, to an opportunistic team that thrives on forcing turnovers, to a puck possession club ... and it doesn't really have all the necessary ingredients to perfect any one of those styles.

Where I'd disagree with the original post, however:

- The notion that the team has too much quantity; not enough quality. Disagree. The team can use an elite player, sure, but this is not a necessity. Kovalev is a gamebreaker and Koivu's a legitimate front line player in the post-season. The two of them are beasts in the post-season and are not of the Datsyuk, Crosby level, but are a notch below that. Tanguay has Cup experience and is proven as a high-skill, productive player. These aren't a bunch of just OK players; all 4 veteran forwards (Kovalev, Koivu, Tanguay, Lang) on the team have significant playoff/Cup/intl tournament experience & success. The younger talent is the supporting cast.

- The suggestion that there is no identifiable core: in my mind, this has been solidified this year ... Koivu, Kovalev, Markov and Price are the core.

- The belief that there is no direction for this club: IMO, you threw this out there as a generic line ... but the direction has been made abundantly clear through actions and words. There are few teams with as specific a direction as Montreal has.

- [EDIT: forgot to touch on this issue] ... I would hold back on comparing Cup winners. To say Detroit had specifically identified roles is wrong: Datsyuk and Z, both centermen, often played on the same line and often formed the shut-down duo matching up against the opposition's top line ... yet they were the top offensive players for Detroit. Similarly in Carolina, both Brind'Amour and Staal are matched up power vs. power against opponents. Pittsburgh doesn't have a shut-down line. The only team that had the traditional 2 scoring lines, 3rd line shut-down line and 4th line energy line in recent years is Anaheim.


On the whole, I'd say there are issues with what type of game this Montreal team ought to play. But that's where the questions start and end, in my view.

BTW, I don't mean to be dismissive of your post. It's more thoughtful and thought-provoking than most threads (and replies to your post), but I would just tone down the melodrama (no direction! no role definition! no identifiable core!), as it seemed to me you keyed in on more specific issues than those anyhow.

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01-03-2009, 01:26 PM
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Ok who is our shutdown line then? Every cup team has one. Who is our leader on offense? Kovalev? Who is our playmaker? Our face-off specialist? Our PP specialist? Who's the physical presence infront of the net? Who is our agitator?

I'm thinking about winning the cup and how traditionally those teams always have strict role definition. We seem to have a lot of quantity and redundant players on our roster right now.
I made a big huge sigh because you are unable to see the obvious, you are oblivious to things that are quite bare to see.

Why need a shut down line when the team is based on two-way play and has been succesful at it, being in the top 5 defensively this season?

Your thread title alone tells how much you are off-base.

No direction??? Really? The direction is based on developing from inside the organization, with good drafting, and it is still quite an ongoing process. Do you realize that most NHL players aren't in their prime right off the bat? That our young players need developing, that is a direction you doof. This team is being built as a force at even-strenght. We have molded players to that effect, Plekanec, Higgins, AKost, Lapierre, trading for Tanguay and Lang. And look at the results. Our team, despite having many injured, is still in the top teams on defense and on even-strenght, yet you say they have to identity? No identifyable core?

What about our defense too? Not identifyable enough for you?

You are quite nitpicking and omitting to include things. An agitator? Isn't Lappy enough?

Physical presence in front of the net... you do realize Higgins isn't there, Lats is still developing and MaxPac barely arrived on the team.

As for the PP, it will get into groove somewhen, its not the most important thing right now, and for the future I am not too worried, when pointmen like Subban and Weber will make their debutes.

This team is 21-10-6, with players like Tanguay, Koivu, Higgins, Komi, Price, Dandy who have all been out for more than a few weeks, and some for a few months, yet we have a good record. A team without those things you mentioned would be out of contention right about now. Sure there are some issues, but nothing to warrant your analysis and especially your thread title. Go watch some soap operas if you so sorely lack that in your life.

Just by the number of posters proving you wrong, you should get an inkling of how far off you are.

BIG HUGE SIGH INDEED.


EDIT: Also realize that this team has ample choices to make to change the composition next summer because they have developed a lot of youth. These types of decision cannot be made without having them go through NHL play. This is not NHL 2009 on your PS3 or Xbox 360.


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01-03-2009, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by le_sean View Post
You don't think Higgins - Koivu - Tanguay can be a shutdown line while providing offence? They are all very good two-way players. We have a few leaders in offence, our team is offensive. Our playmaker is our entire team basically. Face-off specialists are Koivu and Lapierre. PP specialist is clearly Markov. Physical presence in front has been Gui recently. Lapierre is also an agitator.

Satisfied?
Tanguay has great offensive skills. Passing, shooting etc. But he is weak on the defence side of his game. He has no toughness, and is weak along the boards. When did you see him this year slam into the boards with an opponent and come away with the puck? Does not happen. He is NOT a shutdown type player.

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01-03-2009, 03:11 PM
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Ok who is our shutdown line then? Every cup team has one. Who is our leader on offense? Kovalev? Who is our playmaker? Our face-off specialist? Our PP specialist? Who's the physical presence infront of the net? Who is our agitator?

I'm thinking about winning the cup and how traditionally those teams always have strict role definition. We seem to have a lot of quantity and redundant players on our roster right now.
Actually your thinking like a fantasy league manager. Teams are built over time and requires patience. As long as the team continues to progress, you tinker with the team but you do not make major moves.

This team two years ago did not make the playoffs. Last year they got to the second round and if they would of had a tiny bit of luck, could of made it the third line.

Gainey made some changes, which although significant, did not cost the team a roster spot. We have not seen the true value as of yet of Lang, Tanguay and Laraque but trust me, when the Habs start the playoffs, they will be a different team, including some key youngsters are showing signs of maturity. (Price, Laps, Lats, Gorges)

This team is so much better than last year. They have basically posted a better record than last year, without a power play, without overly relying on goaltending, and with a boat load of injuries. If ever they get the PP on track, this team will be a true force.

So as Mike8 said, lay off the melodrama and if you think you are having a jerry McGuire moment, think again because you are probably off base.

PS. Who would you rather be, Detroit or Pittsburgh? Detroit always has a plan and every year adds little pieces without subtracting from its core or youngsters. Pittsburgh threw the dice last year, lost, and have taken steps back. I prefer Holland's model which I believe Gainey also subscribes to.

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01-03-2009, 03:24 PM
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I have to laugh at the fact that everyone implies that Datsyuk and Zetterberg completely shut their opposition down, as if to completely take away from the tenacity and hard work of Maltby and Draper in their defensive roles. If there's any comparisons to be made with the defending champs and the Canadiens, it's that we do not have a Chris Draper to send out in the dying minutes or to win important draws.

Expecting Max Lapierre to fill that role is a tad optimistic, and claiming that we don't need a defensive specialist for the playoffs is absolutely ridiculous. This team needs Malhotra come Feb far more than it needs a defenceman.


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01-03-2009, 03:44 PM
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This is really bothering me and I don't know if I'm right or wrong in thinking this but I can't help but be bothered by this. In my eyes at least, we have just a mish-mash of players. We have a ton of youth and a ton of skilled forwards but we don't have any real role definition or core.

I get the feeling that the players don't know what is expected of them night in and night out when they're playing on different lines, playing with different players, playing different times, playing in different situations.

Our PP, our top lines, our bottom lines are all scrambled and filled with what seems like the same type of player. Part of it has to do with injuries obviously but even then there's just so much redundancy on this roster.

I guess what I'm saying is there's more quantity than quality. IMO we need to consolidate, bring in a couple top-end players or star type players, and get rid of all the youth depth we have.

I want to see a top line, a good 2nd line, a SHUTDOWN 3rd line (not a mish mash of Lang and some other unproven youngsters trying to do god knows what), and an energy line.

Our defense is okay in terms of their roles and our goaltending is fine obviously but the forward core is driving me nuts!

Let's identify who we want to keep long-term and who we don't, and trade those guys for some star power and fill the bottom lines with shutdown players and cheap grinders that we have (Lapierre, Stewart, Chipchura, Kostopolous).

Teams that win the Cup have VERY strict role definition and an easily identifiable core of players. They have stars and role players. I don't see anything like this on our team. Sorry for the long post btw.
You sound EXACTLY like Marinaro.

I disagree that you can break it down on paper and define exact roles for individuals on a team. If that is so then injuries would deprive you of the elements you needed to succeed. If your shutdown line loses a player you are less effective. If you lose a face off specialist you are diminished. If you lose FIVE key players, like we have, you are doomed to fail.

Best that you play a sound defensive game and become an opportunistic team to provide your offense. It is a better way to build confidence which is the key to any successful team. Without confidence no team is safe.

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01-03-2009, 03:51 PM
  #22
Roulin
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Originally Posted by Blades 0f Steel View Post
I have to laugh at the fact that everyone implies that Datsyuk and Zetterberg completely shut their opposition down, as if to completely take away from the tenacity and hard work of Maltby and Draper in their defensive roles. If there's any comparisons to be made with the defending champs and the Canadiens, it's that we do not have a Chris Draper to send out in the dying minutes or to win important draws.
Not to take anything away from Draper and Maltby, but they were taking offensive zone faceoffs against second tier opposition. Zetterberg and Datsyuk were taking defensive zone faceoffs against top opposition.

Unfortunately, I don't know where to find shift charts for the playoffs, but it's the same team as this year. Pick a Detroit game against any team this year, and I'll show you evidence of how Babcock uses his forwards.

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01-03-2009, 04:04 PM
  #23
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Tanguay has great offensive skills. Passing, shooting etc. But he is weak on the defence side of his game. He has no toughness, and is weak along the boards. When did you see him this year slam into the boards with an opponent and come away with the puck? Does not happen. He is NOT a shutdown type player.

Defense has nothing to do with body strength and big hits. I'm of the mindset that Tanguay is a floater and more or less invisible way too often, but you cannot fault the effort he gives on his backchecks

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01-03-2009, 04:18 PM
  #24
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I get the feeling that the players don't know what is expected of them night in and night out when they're playing on different lines, playing with different players, playing different times, playing in different situations.

Our PP, our top lines, our bottom lines are all scrambled and filled with what seems like the same type of player. Part of it has to do with injuries obviously but even then there's just so much redundancy on this roster.

I want to see a top line, a good 2nd line, a SHUTDOWN 3rd line (not a mish mash of Lang and some other unproven youngsters trying to do god knows what), and an energy line.
I agree with these points. Everyone should have a clearly defined role on this team. What ever happened to 1-2 scoring lines, 1 shutdown and 1 energy line? Carbo rolls 4 lines like we have 12 superstars who can all score goals when the fact of the matter is we are not Detroit and need to give big minutes to our top 6 who can put the puck in the net.

I don't like to place all the blame squarely on anyone because clearly there are a number of players underachieving on this team, but Carbo continues to make horrible coaching decisions and I've lost confidence that we can win a cup under this guy. Anyways that's my 2 cents and despite our very good record I think we could be doing a lot better considering the talent there is on this team.

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01-03-2009, 04:26 PM
  #25
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Originally Posted by Blades 0f Steel View Post
I have to laugh at the fact that everyone implies that Datsyuk and Zetterberg completely shut their opposition down, as if to completely take away from the tenacity and hard work of Maltby and Draper in their defensive roles. If there's any comparisons to be made with the defending champs and the Canadiens, it's that we do not have a Chris Draper to send out in the dying minutes or to win important draws.

Expecting Max Lapierre to fill that role is a tad optimistic, and claiming that we don't need a defensive specialist for the playoffs is absolutely ridiculous. This team needs Malhotra come Feb far more than it needs a defenceman.
Draper and Maltby are shadows of their former selves.

And it's Kris Draper, by the way.

Malhotra's nothing special.

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