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Impatience getting to me (long)

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Old
03-17-2006, 05:24 PM
  #1
Hab-a-maniac
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Impatience getting to me (long)

And I'm not talking about this year's up-and-down squad. It's a constant building up of these feelings of impatience. I keep waiting for the day this Habs team becomes an elite club. We haven't finished better than 6th in our conf. in 13 years. It's been a steady decline since and that was followed by a steady rebuilding process. But we're still putting up with a team that has to pull of upsets just to get by the 1st round, has to sneak into the playoffs and has no true offensive stars in this league. Good thing we have good prospects developing in juniors, minors and with the big club cause add their progress into a mix of solid players we can pick up through Free agency this summer (we've got the cash freedom to do so and the cap going up means we'll have anywhere from 9 to 12 million cushion depending on the figure). Only thing this team has done right in the post-1993 blahs is develop goalies.

And to think, it was a drag for Hab followers from 86-92 cause the team couldn't win the cup but they also never missed the playoffs and never lost in the 1st round of the playoffs (4 div. final exits in disappointing fashion to Boston, 1 conf. final runner-up, 1 finalist). They were really only among the elite teams from 86-89 (after 3 years of middle-of-the-pack play that luckily resulted in a cup) and 92-93 they werent' quite top 5 so no one really considered them to be elite, just consistently good (kinda like St. Louis was before this season). When I look at all the other teams that have been in the league since 1993, we have one of the weakest track records (5 times out of it altogether, 2 first-round exits, no trips to the conf. finals and the closest we came was a 6-game loss to the Canes). Not in terms of winning %, but overall prosperity enjoyed. You have teams we'd rather not be cheering, like Florida or Anaheim, actually making the finals since then. Let's look at the rest of the league and it'll show you my point that, in terms of excitement and elite teams, the Habs lag behind the majority since that last cup:

Toronto-Sure, they have had their woes this season and look to be on the downside like they were from 95-98, but factor in 3 trips to the semi-finals and only 1 first-round exit has to be applauded. I'd taker that record in a second if it weren't for the fact the team had been cupless since 1967.

Buffalo-These past 3 years were frustrating but have led to something special. I can only hope we're in those stages ourselves. They're on pace for 119 pts!!! That's 9 pts. better than their previous best season of 1979-80. Should they win the cup, it's better than any Hab team has ever done since 1979. Just losing in the finals and they've still outdone every Hab team since then except 86, 89 and 93. Wouldn't it be sweet to have just one Hab team even remotely this good?

Boston-Here's one I wouldn't change shoes with. Well, they are playoff chokers despite their better record since 93. So I'd say being a Hab fan still looks better.

Ottawa-If they win a cup this year, it would make up for the awfulness that was their first 4 years (a stretch so bad that the Sens STILL haven't climbed above .500 for their overall winning % despite recording their 8th straight winning season this year). I'd definitely take the Sens past if it leads to the promised land. If not, I don't think sitting through Hab mediocrity is much worse than failing to live up to potential as well as all those emberassing playoff defeats to the Leafs.

NY Rangers-So they had a few good teams after their cup win in 94 and are looking stronger than they have in a while in 05-06. I'd still pass considering the 7 years of ineptitude that was sandwiched in between.

NY Islanders-Thank God I don't cheer for them. What a depressing experience.

Pittsburgh-Sure they stink now but they've had way better teams in the past 13 years than the best the Habs have iced. No cups, but wouldn't you rather have followed the exploits of Jagr, Lemieux, now Crosby and Malkin.

Philly-Their cup drought would make it tougher to take, but they've been icing very good teams nearly ever year since Bobby Clarke came back to the GM's chair.

New Jersey-3 cups? Nuff said.

Hartford/Carolina-A lot of mediocrity other than 2002. So this is another one of those Rangers scenarios. But knowing their future and the amazing turnaround they've undergone, being a Hurricanes fan seems a lot more of a thrilling thing lately.

Florida-1 big run to the finals, not much else. Pass.

Washington-Yes they've been bad lately but with AO the cornerstone of the franchise, things will no doubt improve. Add to that their old perennial success as well as a run to the finals in 98 and the Caps have provided better hockey overall than les Canadiens.

Atlanta-didn't arrive till 99 so they don't count.

Tampa Bay-Yeah, they've got that one cup but are failing to repeat their 03-04 success. Add in to that years of terrible hockey and I'll pass on this one to be honest.

Detroit-Of all the NHL teams, THESE are the guys I'd love to be a fan of if I wasn't already cheering the Habs. Even this year, they're on pace for a better season than anything they've done since 1996. Add in a stanley cup and it may be one of the 5 most dominating Wings team ever when the history books write it up.

Chicago-Uggh, definitely an unenvious situation.

Columbus-Added in 2000, so they don't count.

St. Louis-They may be in shambles now but they've given plenty to cheer about over the years. They've had their playoff disappointments but never missed it until now (first time since 1978-79 actually). The Blues have had a better go of it than Montreal for sure. Their present future I wouldn't take over the Habs, though.

Nashville-Doesn't count cause they arrived in 98.

Quebec/Colorado-Definitely one of the teams you'd love to have rooted for based on their great success over their time in the Mile High city.

Calgary-Another Rangers/Canes situation with many lousy years followed by a surprise run and now they're a pretty good team (albeit with even worse scoring than us).

Minnesota-Added in 2000, so I don't count them.

Edmonton-Though it's true they've been to the playoffs more than us, I don't think they've been successful enough to make me envy them considering they've won just two playoff series since 1992.

Los Angeles-Too many down years to consider them much more interesting.

San Jose-They had their struggles but the Sutter era helped propel them to some good years and last season's run was better than any in recent memory for the Habs.

Winnipeg/Phoenix-Not much to brag about from that franchise.

Anaheim-Ditto Florida. Many weak seasons, some led by the dynamic Selanne-Kariya duo, with one magical run to feel good about.

Dallas-Certainly they've been a top team nearly every season since making the move from Minnesota in 1993.

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Old
03-17-2006, 05:27 PM
  #2
Malakhov
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Houle destroyed the team so it will take time to rebuild. We won't be an elite team for a very, very long while. We don't have any elite centers, we don't have any elite wingers, we don't have any elite defencemen.

Look at all the big teams, they all have some big time elite players in them, we don't even have one...

Rangers: Jagr
Senators: Heatley, Alfredsson, Spezza, Redden, Chara, Havlat
Carolina: Staal
Detroit: Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Lidstrom

etc...

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Old
03-17-2006, 05:51 PM
  #3
Chfan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malakhov
Houle destroyed the team so it will take time to rebuild. We won't be an elite team for a very, very long while. We don't have any elite centers, we don't have any elite wingers, we don't have any elite defencemen.

Look at all the big teams, they all have some big time elite players in them, we don't even have one...

Rangers: Jagr
Senators: Heatley, Alfredsson, Spezza, Redden, Chara, Havlat
Carolina: Staal
Detroit: Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Lidstrom

etc...
Whatever you may think Kovalev and Markov are elite players, and Koivu is a very good #1 center.

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Old
03-17-2006, 05:54 PM
  #4
Chfan
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We don't have an elite team but the games are still very enjoyable. I am very happy with this team and its prospects.
Be patient for another 10 years if you want an elite team... But to pass time, try to be happy with the team and continue to support them.


Last edited by montreal: 03-17-2006 at 09:56 PM.
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Old
03-17-2006, 06:03 PM
  #5
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Must be hard cheering for a team that suck, I wouldn't want to be in your shoes.

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Old
03-17-2006, 06:04 PM
  #6
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Excellent post. The irony is that the more people in the Canadiens organization think impatiently, the longer it's going to be before they re-enter elite status.

And it does NOT have to take a very long time to re-enter elite status. It didn't take very long for Carolina, Buffalo and the Rangers to go from also-ran to elite Eastern Conference team.

And Alex Kovalev is definitely a world-class player, and the Olympics proved it. However, the Canadiens still don't use him to the best of his ability. And THAT is the biggest problem.


Last edited by montreal: 03-17-2006 at 09:56 PM.
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Old
03-17-2006, 09:20 PM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jag68Vlady27
Excellent post. The irony is that the more people in the Canadiens organization think impatiently, the longer it's going to be before they re-enter elite status.

And it does NOT have to take a very long time to re-enter elite status. It didn't take very long for Carolina, Buffalo and the Rangers to go from also-ran to elite Eastern Conference team.

And Alex Kovalev is definitely a world-class player, and the Olympics proved it. However, the Canadiens still don't use him to the best of his ability. And THAT is the biggest problem.
What? It has not taken long for those teams to excell? Rangers have not made the playoffs in what 7 years? Carolina has been rebuilding for ever.

You cannot rebuild with haste and be stupid throwing money all around. Look what it did for the Rangers all those years. Look at the Pens this season same with the Hawks with the money they spent on 'Bulin. I rather build slowly for the next two years and be ready for a run in 2009.

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Old
03-17-2006, 09:53 PM
  #8
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The only way to make a quantum leap is to get a large influx of talented players, as happened in 1971-1973 and again in 1985 and 1986. One new player won't be enough to propel the Habs into the top rank. Even getting Thornton and Samsonov in the same draft didn't do it for the Bruins. AS for signing free agents, don't forget that there are up 29 other teams out there who would also like to upgrade themselves.

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03-17-2006, 09:55 PM
  #9
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Problem is, its hard for management to be able to build a winner when they have to deal with the kind of fans and media montreal has. I never seen a fan base change opinions so fast on players. Its insane. Alot of people in montreal would not accept a rebuilding process and that is a major problem for management. We had the chance to have one when rejan houle took over. Not only did rejan houle fail at being a gm but he failed at tanking so we could get some top picks. We were pretty bad in his era but yet just good enough so we could miss those kovalchuks.


As a canadien fan im allways trying to have this hope that we will one day become the team we were once in the 70's. Theres one problem thow and that is the media covering this team.

The montreal media questions every single move canadiens management does and because of that this team is allways going to be a midle of the pack team and well never be the dynasties it once was.

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03-17-2006, 10:07 PM
  #10
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Personnally, the only thing that angers me is that we never score a lot. Losing when you score 0 goal, 1 goal....it just looks worse than losing when you have scored 2,3,4. You just have nothing to cheer in the loss...that's what make most of our losses lately so heartbreaking...we have one of the poorest offense in the league, we have an average defence that play above their heads because of a tight defensive system and a stellar goalie.

However, it's hard to win games if you don't score. That's my only beef(?), I wished we had a more offensive system. I wouldn't switch my allegiance(?) to the habs though.

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Old
03-17-2006, 10:44 PM
  #11
Jag68Sid87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beowulf
What? It has not taken long for those teams to excell? Rangers have not made the playoffs in what 7 years? Carolina has been rebuilding for ever.

You cannot rebuild with haste and be stupid throwing money all around. Look what it did for the Rangers all those years. Look at the Pens this season same with the Hawks with the money they spent on 'Bulin. I rather build slowly for the next two years and be ready for a run in 2009.
I meant that the turnaround was immediate with those teams...it wasn't slow improvement...it was from bad to great. And I am with you on the rebuilding part. I am preaching patience with youth and rebuilding. My point is, sometimes young players emerge a lot more quickly than we think if given the ice time to prove their worth.

You and I are saying the same thing.

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03-17-2006, 10:49 PM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oli500
Problem is, its hard for management to be able to build a winner when they have to deal with the kind of fans and media montreal has. I never seen a fan base change opinions so fast on players. Its insane. Alot of people in montreal would not accept a rebuilding process and that is a major problem for management.
Rangers fans used to say that, but they are loving their rebuilding plan a lot. Oh sure they signed free agents both in the summer of 2004 and 2005, but make no mistake...the Rangers are building for the long term finally. They didn't trade prospects this year, and only gave up marginal draft picks to improve the roster. They are definitely taking it a lot slower than they used to. Did they get lucky with Jagr? Perhaps, but it's a pretty good model for the Canadiens to pattern after. Get Kovalev more players that he'd play well with, and build the rest through youth and hard working foot soldiers. It worked for the Rangers, and it can work for the Habs.

Montreal may be only slightly different than New York in terms of the hockey market. It was VERY hard for the Rangers to admit they couldn't continue to buy expensive players anymore.

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03-18-2006, 12:53 AM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chfan
Whatever you may think Kovalev and Markov are elite players, and Koivu is a very good #1 center.
Markov is a very good defenseman but he's not elite, yet. And Koivu would be a second line center on most teams, he's not a #1 center.


He's ranked 39 in scoring amongst centers this season...

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Old
03-18-2006, 01:01 AM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malakhov
Markov is a very good defenseman but he's not elite, yet. And Koivu would be a second line center on most teams, he's not a #1 center.


He's ranked 39 in scoring amongst centers this season...
Yes Markov is elite. He's got the 7th most points by a dman in the last 40 games despite playing injured for the last 8 and playing on such a poor offensive team. Add to that his stellar defensive play and sick passing skills, and you got yourself a top 10 dman in the league.

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03-18-2006, 06:42 AM
  #15
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The elite teams vs the rest.

You must have talent, sure you can do it in 2-3 ways.
An unstoppable first line with league leading scorers.
An vezina goalie that stops nearly everything shot at him.
A great 4 line team, that kills you with that 3rd or 4th line.

The bottom line is that elite teams have that extra, that tips the balance in thier favour.

An attack that just forces the opposition to readjust and defend, defend, defend. In trying to defend so much, a lessor team gives up offensive opportunities ( tipping the balance )
Often an elite team gets that all important first goal. SAy what you will, that first goal tends to dictate the game.

The Habs have not had any prospect become super producers or pure elite game breakers since Mr. Roy. Throw in quite a few years of Hab top prospects turning out to be pure BUSTS and you have a long hard road.

Still with no prospect like Crosby or Ovechkin, the Habs do have a good crop of prospects, at least better than most years and most are still not showing signs of being outright BUSTS.

So habs fans have become hopefull again, that the next 20 prospect crop will finally produce some REAL upgrades at many positions. Pointing to a very very good 4 line team and perhaps tipping the balance in the Habs favour for a change.

Many current elite players are getting to old to continue to be elite players for much longer. Over the next 2-3 years the Sakic's, Jagr,Sundin,Linstrom,Blake,Pronger,Hasek type elite players will be gone or on a real decline and become elite no longer. Thier 10-15 year NHL career's haveing taken it's toll.

The have not teams now have Crosby,Ovechkin,Kovalchuk,Stall, Phaneuf and many more of the NEW ELITE, and will change the list of top teams.

It's these new elite teams, the Habs must face in 2-3 years for a run at the cup ( see Canes vs Habs this year ) ( see Caps,Pittsburg Atlanta vs Habs in 2-3 years )

A real transition has started in the NHL, the question is will the Habs be part of it with this new crop of prospects.

It looks good so far but WOW have we heard all this before !

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Old
03-18-2006, 08:07 AM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jag68Vlady27
Rangers fans used to say that, but they are loving their rebuilding plan a lot. Oh sure they signed free agents both in the summer of 2004 and 2005, but make no mistake...the Rangers are building for the long term finally. They didn't trade prospects this year, and only gave up marginal draft picks to improve the roster. They are definitely taking it a lot slower than they used to. Did they get lucky with Jagr? Perhaps, but it's a pretty good model for the Canadiens to pattern after. Get Kovalev more players that he'd play well with, and build the rest through youth and hard working foot soldiers. It worked for the Rangers, and it can work for the Habs.

Montreal may be only slightly different than New York in terms of the hockey market. It was VERY hard for the Rangers to admit they couldn't continue to buy expensive players anymore.
Rangers are not rebuilding. All they did was bring in players who fit well with jagr style of play. If the rangers were rebuilding, jagr,rucinsky,ruccin,sykora,kasparatis,poti would not be on the team. Rangers are not rebuilding they just change philosophie.

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Old
03-18-2006, 01:13 PM
  #17
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Rebuilding...philosophical change...what's the difference.

Would the old Rangers have Petr Prucha playing regularly this season? Would they have Fedor Tyutin along their blueline? Would they trust a kid like Lundqvist to be their No. 1 goaltender? Would prospects such as Montoya, Dawes, Korpikoski, Immonen and Staal still be members of their organization past the trade deadline?

If you don't want to call it rebuilding, then fine...but whatever it is, it's working.

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