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inexcusable, but here's my take

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Old
03-18-2006, 09:46 PM
  #1
Hab-a-maniac
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inexcusable, but here's my take

Ok, so we had some good offensive play but it's ridiculous to lose a game when you get nearly 50 shots, give up under 20 and lose. Especially to the Pens, especially for the third time (scoring 10 goals in 3 games should be enough for 1 win, right?). Aebishcer looked lost, his D played tentative like it was Theo in nets again so I see Huet getting the bulk of the games down the stretch. We're like a different team with him. It could go either 2 ways; we keep up our awful play vs. bad teams and/or non-rivals. OR Huet returns and we get back into playing good hockey. No doubt if we can't even take 2 pts. out of our mini road trip, we're screwed. Plain and simple. In tonight's game, I just knew we weren't going to score after the 5th Pens goal. We looked spent, unlucky, clumsy and frustrated to the max. Reminded me a lot of the other Pens home loss where we kept letting them come back at us. To have 2 leads and blow them made it even more painful.

Gainey's big mistake was not pulling Abby after the 1st. This team's G.A.A. when Huet is not in the lineup is something like 3.50. Really brutal obviously. The two games where Huet struggled were partly due to fatigue, penalty trouble, etc. So our best chance to get in will be by riding the hot hand. Aebishcer has his chance to establish himself as #1 next year, but right now he's got his games in and frankly looks like a lost puppy. I'm proud of only one thing; the effort. But the execution of that effort was bush-league; with paltry defensive play and the clumsiness was the most extreme I've seen from the Habs all season long. Obvioiusly we can now admit this team needs serious changes up front if they want to improve over the coming years. Pittsburgh has found the true key to beating the Habs, Huet or no Huet. All you do is play loose, risky offensive hockey with your quick skaters thus disorienting the Hab players and let your goalie do the rest. Let's check out the heroes and zeroes of this game.

Zeroes:
Kovalev-He's been more invisble and more ineffective but tonight he was simply brutal. I hated him tonight. Honestly, he diddled offensively, cost us perhaps insurance goal on the PP when he turned it over with a horrendous pass (thus setting up a break for Pitt. and Rivet's penalty that led to goal #4). Then he took a simply stupid penalty mid-way through the 3rd. His passes were awful, he rarely dekes into the right places. Simply put, the guy has the skills of a Jagr and the hockey sense/intelligence of an Aki Berg.

Ryder-He tries and gives it an effort but he can't seem to get his shots through. He really does look like he's playing injured, the poor s.o.b. But unlike Kovy, he actually looks like he's giving it all he's got.

Koivu-He played like such a superstar in the Olympics. I'm convinced it's not just the letdown of spending his energy and falling short of gold. I think he got injured too. He just looks like he's lost a step. I hate these posts declaring him overrated, lousy, etc. He can still redeem himself. But bottom line is, he's been a letdown for most of the season and right now he is taking more penalties than scoring chances created.

Dandeneault-Could this guy be more of a pylon right now? I think we've found the new Brisebois.

Zednik-He doesn't backcheck, he whiffs on his shots, he mishandles the puck. Him and Kovalev were like peas in a pod tonight. As detrimental to the team as you can get without being noticeable.

Aebischer-He looked like Roy circa 1995 Detroit blowout with that last goal, oddly enough Dandy scored that one on Roy. He got out of position a lot and the boards were his enemy. But Pittsburgh ******ed the Habs D early on and picked their spots from then on, beating Abby like a rented mule.

Streit-Can't do much of anything really. He's always getting his shots but never seems to score and his PP work is incompetent most of the time.

Komisarek-I liked when he threw his weight around and the penalty was embellished by Crosby. But he was caught way out of position all night long. No need to give up on him though. He reminds me of the Flames' Robyn Regehr who never really broke out of his youthful struggles till he reached 23 or so. So Komisarek has to prove himself next season or he will become the next David Wilkie in all likelihood.

Ribeiro-Trying to be Mr. Superstar, he kept ruining good rushes and elected to shoot on a 3-on-1. He did the usual stuff that made me want him traded in the first place. Gainey declined to swing any deals because he believed in many of our players. Looks like the more proper analogy was that he was giving some chronic disappointments enough rope to hang themselves with.

Bonk-Sure he kills penalties and all, but his offensive ineptitude and laziness is getting harder to digest.

Heroes:
Souray-Made his share of errors but was phyiscal, in control and present all night. His 2 goals were huge. He seemes to relish playing Pittsburgh (remember last season's 6 pt. game, well he has a bunch this season as well as 3 goals).

Rivet-Had his share of mistakes too, as did all, but still gave us most of the solid defensive play we've been looking for this year.

Bulis-Yes he has hands of stone most of the time but he at least buried one of those chances.

The 4th line-A goal, some energy, some fighting, shot blocking. They did all that was needed of them but the 1st two lines didn't draw off of it at all.

Boullion-N/A. Looks like his season could be over with that injury. But kudos to him for his play this year. He may be on the outside of the organization if Cote, Emelin and/or Archer make the jump. Our thinness there makes giving up Beauchemin look even worse. Knowing our luck, he'd just suck it up for us anyway. Looks like Simpson has a spot now but I feel like rotating Cote in there in place of the lame Streit.

Plekanec-With some of his play, he came perilously close to being a zero, but he was a sparkplug on a night where no one could settle the puck down for a moment enough to pot some big goals.

Did Perezhogin play tonight? I really can't remember seeing him. If he did, he didn't get many minutes and justifiably so. Call up Kostitsyn now!!!

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Old
03-18-2006, 09:51 PM
  #2
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I actually thought Koivu was our best player tonight, had several scoring chances and set Bulis up for a couple that should have found the back of the net.

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03-18-2006, 09:53 PM
  #3
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you really can't blame this loss against any body but Aiebesher.
when your against good teams, the stars MUST come through in order to win.

but against pittsburgh, your goalie could play average, and half the team wouldn't should up, you'd still win.

we had 5 or 6 guys who were useless tonite, we still would have won 4-1 with Huet, i could have even seen him getting shutout # 6

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03-18-2006, 09:55 PM
  #4
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I thought kovalev played well. He had and created many chances and not many times did he lose the puck at center ice.

but yeah this loss is totally blamed on abby and gainey.

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03-18-2006, 09:55 PM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unbiased Canadian
I actually thought Koivu was our best player tonight, had several scoring chances and set Bulis up for a couple that should have found the back of the net.
is that intentional sarcasm or a remark said because you were accidently watching the TORINO GOLD MEDAL HOCKEY DVD instead of the hab-pens game?

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03-18-2006, 09:57 PM
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canada_habs2006
is that intentional sarcasm or a remark said because you were accidently watching the TORINO GOLD MEDAL HOCKEY DVD instead of the hab-pens game?
Hmmm, maybe it's just me....but I really thought Koivu was all over the place.

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03-18-2006, 09:57 PM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Namso
I thought kovalev played well. He had and created many chances and not many times did he lose the puck at center ice.

but yeah this loss is totally blamed on abby and gainey.
Dont worry people always blame Kovalev and Koivu when they're the two guys who create the most chances for their teammates who continue to miss the net.

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Old
03-18-2006, 10:08 PM
  #8
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As a hab fan I want this season to be over asap. No matter were we finish in the standings this has been a frustrating season to follow. Some nights we can be so good, and some other nights we can be so bad. Its been like this all year. Part of this is I believe that were a young team and we cant forget that as Fans. We got four first year players.

This offseason is going to be one of the most important offseason in the last ten years. Its going to determin if were a team on the rise or a team on the decline. It all starts at the draft table too. We need to pick up a player thats going to complement the rest of our young players. We got the ingredents to become an elite team we just need some things to go right for us. We need to upgrade on six positions if we want to become an elite team. We allready have a good groupe of young players. We need upgrades on zednik,bonk,ribeiro,sundstrom.


If gainey makes the right moves next year could end up being very promising. Fore that to happen theres a core groupe of four that has got to go for us to be a better team.

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Old
03-18-2006, 10:11 PM
  #9
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Oh yeah, at least the two K's were creating chances. Zednik was horrific. But sooner or later, these guys must get off the pine. Ryder too. Aebischer is the main reason we lost and his D looked timid in front of him. But the offensively challenged culprits need to share some of the blame too. Any decent offense, no matter how good Fleury was, would be getting 6 or 7 goals tonight. Habs have no presence in the slot. Guys aren't strong enough to plant their frames there. I always see Ottawa score goals because they create a lane to the net like a bull charging through. They don't skate to the outsides or pass around the perimiter or get the majority of their shots from 40 feet out.

It's simply the Habs lack of strength and grit in their scoring talent. Guys like Latendresse will help that out. We definitely need more strength up front. Look at the best teams and you'll find at least one power forward. That's one more than we have. Enough of building our team up with small, speedy but easily physically dominated forwards. You can have some, but nearly every player on our top 6 forwards is a total cream puff in the end that you'd definitely not go to a brawl in the alley with them. A guy like Koivu can't thrive with outright p#$%ies. Sure, they may be strong but guys like Zednik and Kovalev lack the hockey sense to know where to score. Kovalev would score twice as much if he parked himself in front on power plays. But he's almost scared to considering when he takes abuse, it puts him off his game big time.

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03-18-2006, 10:14 PM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oli500
As a hab fan I want this season to be over asap. No matter were we finish in the standings this has been a frustrating season to follow. Some nights we can be so good, and some other nights we can be so bad. Its been like this all year. Part of this is I believe that were a young team and we cant forget that as Fans. We got four first year players.

This offseason is going to be one of the most important offseason in the last ten years. Its going to determin if were a team on the rise or a team on the decline. It all starts at the draft table too. We need to pick up a player thats going to complement the rest of our young players. We got the ingredents to become an elite team we just need some things to go right for us. We need to upgrade on six positions if we want to become an elite team. We allready have a good groupe of young players. We need upgrades on zednik,bonk,ribeiro,sundstrom.


If gainey makes the right moves next year could end up being very promising. Fore that to happen theres a core groupe of four that has got to go for us to be a better team.
I completely agree. Even though Bonk's contract may hold him back, the above mentioned players are giving Gainey a lot of good reasons to wheel some trades so he can perhaps pick up prospects or picks while signing some impact guys in the off-season.

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03-18-2006, 10:45 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hab-a-maniac
Kovalev would score twice as much if he parked himself in front on power plays.
Please don't be silly. If he did that the coach would scream at him, and rightfully because it's not the role he has on the power plays. They're having him man the boards and distribute, because he's good at it and because the other teams respect his ability and give him space. Half the time he's the guy handling the puck and creating movement. It's guys like Ryder who're supposed to stand in front of the net on the PP. If Kovalev did it then his stickhandling and passing would go to waste and you'd have to find someone else to do the work, and none of the Habs would do it as well. The Habs' PP (the first wave at least) is built around Kovalev at the boards. And guess what -- it's why they have one of the better PPs in the league (7th).

I do not think lack of size or grit is the real problem with this team. Lack of finish is.

I mean, OF COURSE Spezza and Alfredsson are those hulking power forwards always crashing the net, that's why Ottawa scores so much...


Last edited by MathMan: 03-18-2006 at 10:56 PM.
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Old
03-18-2006, 10:53 PM
  #12
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aebischer didnt look good tonight

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Old
03-19-2006, 12:00 AM
  #13
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Gainey blew this one

It cost us two points!

Look on the good side....Leafs and Atlanta lost.

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03-19-2006, 12:02 AM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MathMan
Please don't be silly. If he did that the coach would scream at him, and rightfully because it's not the role he has on the power plays. They're having him man the boards and distribute, because he's good at it and because the other teams respect his ability and give him space. Half the time he's the guy handling the puck and creating movement. It's guys like Ryder who're supposed to stand in front of the net on the PP. If Kovalev did it then his stickhandling and passing would go to waste and you'd have to find someone else to do the work, and none of the Habs would do it as well. The Habs' PP (the first wave at least) is built around Kovalev at the boards. And guess what -- it's why they have one of the better PPs in the league (7th).

I do not think lack of size or grit is the real problem with this team. Lack of finish is.

I mean, OF COURSE Spezza and Alfredsson are those hulking power forwards always crashing the net, that's why Ottawa scores so much...
Sure but Kovalev right now is not scoring the goals. So we signed him to be a puck distributor and stickhandling secret weapon to our PP? Guess his struggles to just get 20 (25 if not for his injury would be likely) don't matter right? Ryder is our sniper too, but he is not playing that role whatsoever. And when I speak of Ottawa I don't mean Alfie or Spezza, I mean Heatley, Fisher. Their 3rd line scores as much as our 2nd and there are several guys on Ottawa who would easily top Sundstrom, Bonk's "secondary scoring." We'd score more goals if there were imposing physical guys on the top 2 lines. Like Guillame, like a Bertuzzi (though not the new Bert). I can't see why people seem to think we don't need a player like this but that we need another speedy "scoring" forward.

The guys we do have that possess the size and strength to get in front either are lazy and clumsy (Zednik) or uninspired and overly fancy (Kovalev) with weak hockey sense in both cases (come on, Kovy gets by on skill alone cause he's not very physical and not a big effort guy though I still value having him, don't take this as a bashing). We can't finish well, true. But I think we would if a big guy was clearing space and commanding more physical respect, those finishers could do their job. How often do you see the Habs score goals with passes set up to the front of the net from the sides or behind it? Not many cause no one can get their footing in front, even with the advent of obstruction crackdowns.

A lot of the problems with tonight were with the weak shooting of some and the tendency for Hab players not to keep their sticks on the ice when the puck zoomed through. How many times did we see the puck get fumbled, mishandled, fired wide, fired right into the goalie's crest, overskated and outright missed? That seems to indicate we could use a finishing addition but a power forward would really help us. And more gritty guys like Edmonton's got. No more Ribeiro, Sundstrom, Bonk, Streit, Dandeneault, Bulis (maybe he stays if most of the previously mentioned get dealt) or drafting similar types all the time and we're a much more dangerous team. Heck, even Buffalo gets some of that to go along with their already impressive skill.

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03-19-2006, 12:16 AM
  #15
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The offense was there tonight. How people can complain about Koivu, Kovalev, Ryder, Zednik and company is beyond me. Koivu and Kovalev were buzzing, and aside from some bad penalties especially Kovy in the third, the chances were their. Ryder and Zednik weren't great but again had chances. Montreal scored 4 times. That should be enough. Poor goaltending, coaching and defense lost this game. Again tell me what Abby was doing on those goals, what game Gainey was watching as David let in those goals, and what Souray and Dandenault were possibly thinking as the blew defensive coverage.

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03-19-2006, 12:17 AM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hab-a-maniac
Sure but Kovalev right now is not scoring the goals. So we signed him to be a puck distributor and stickhandling secret weapon to our PP?
Seems to be working. Habs have the 7th best PP in the league. Many times the PP gets set up because Kovalev either carries the puck in, or retrieves and handles it after a dump.

I, too, wish he'd score more, especially at even strength, but I can tell you one thing: Kovalev was not signed to stand infront of the net and wait for a pass, either. He is arguably the best stickhandler in the game -- let him stickhandle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hab-a-maniac
Ryder is our sniper too, but he is not playing that role whatsoever.
Zednik and Ryder should score more, and ditto Perez. If that happened Kovy might score more too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hab-a-maniac
And when I speak of Ottawa I don't mean Alfie or Spezza, I mean Heatley, Fisher.
Heatley would be ineffective without Spezza to feed him. He's more of a shooter and not so much a power forward anyway -- Ottawa's game is so successful because it is based on skill and speed, NOT grit and toughness. Grit helps, but it's not Ottawa's strongest suit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hab-a-maniac
We'd score more goals if there were imposing physical guys on the top 2 lines.
They're creating plenty of chances already. The Habs would score more goals if they were simply able to put it in the net. A guy like Latendresse would help, but not just because he's big and strong -- he'd help mainly because he has a scoring touch.

Habs don't need a speedy OR a power forward, just one that can finish. Whether he's strong or fast is largely irrelevant. Speed does work, and that's why the Habs have done well against a team like Philly.

A big guy could even be a liability if he can't keep up with the skating speed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hab-a-maniac
And more gritty guys like Edmonton's got.
Edmonton's best goal-scorer has all of 30 goals. Edmonton's newest forward is -- surprise, surprise -- Samsonov, who's one of those speedy guys. Guess you need a balance.

If you want to see what pure grit buys you, just look at the Flames -- they have even fewer goals than the Habs, and they're totally riding the Kipper. Their offense has been dismal.

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Old
03-19-2006, 07:30 AM
  #17
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Im getting a little impatient with Kovalevs selfishness with the puck. Hey I would care if he deked two or three player and roof one,,,but he doesnt. His moves are getting old and tiresome. I also dont like how when he looses the puck after trying to go around the whole team he will just stand there in disgust while the other team takes off. As of now he is not playing a team game and if he keeps that up I would rather see him dealt in the summer.

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03-19-2006, 10:41 AM
  #18
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You can't blame the defensive coverage AND Aebischer, it's one or the other. I tend to blame the defensive coverage that gave up an initial shot and then did not cover anyone.

You expect Aebischer to play the first shot, bounce up and zip across the crease and save that one too? I don't get all the anti-Aebischer stuff. I was a goalie and I know poor defensive coverage when I see it. Ridiculous to blame the goalie.

Aeby is making his first start in Montreal and the defense doesn't take it up a notch for him. That is a very bad sign to me. Where's the character on this team? That makes me think this team is not functioning as a unit and has no prayer of making the playoffs.

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03-19-2006, 12:43 PM
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nash13
The offense was there tonight. How people can complain about Koivu, Kovalev, Ryder, Zednik and company is beyond me. Koivu and Kovalev were buzzing, and aside from some bad penalties especially Kovy in the third, the chances were their. Ryder and Zednik weren't great but again had chances. Montreal scored 4 times. That should be enough. Poor goaltending, coaching and defense lost this game. Again tell me what Abby was doing on those goals, what game Gainey was watching as David let in those goals, and what Souray and Dandenault were possibly thinking as the blew defensive coverage.
I agree again, I seriously think people hit nails in there eyes before each game. They're just looking for people to blame.

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03-19-2006, 01:41 PM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raketheleaves
You can't blame the defensive coverage AND Aebischer, it's one or the other. I tend to blame the defensive coverage that gave up an initial shot and then did not cover anyone.

You expect Aebischer to play the first shot, bounce up and zip across the crease and save that one too? I don't get all the anti-Aebischer stuff. I was a goalie and I know poor defensive coverage when I see it. Ridiculous to blame the goalie.

Aeby is making his first start in Montreal and the defense doesn't take it up a notch for him. That is a very bad sign to me. Where's the character on this team? That makes me think this team is not functioning as a unit and has no prayer of making the playoffs.
So what you are saying is, a goalie is never to blame. I'm sorry, so if a goalie lets in a weak wrister from the line with no traffic, but the shooter wasn't covered, its the defensive coverages fault.

We aren't talking about mutually exclusive things here. They often over lap. A team can blow coverage and a goalie can give up a weak goal on the same play.

You got Jose Theodore syndrome, everybody elses fault but my own.

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