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I try to figure how the Habs cannot be the best team in the league.. And I just cant.

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Old
07-17-2006, 11:56 AM
  #51
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The first goal of the Habs should be to try to secure a top four spot in the conference and home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

As Carolina players said when asked if the Oiler crowds were the loudest, fans in Montreal were as loud or louder than anyone - home ice in the playoffs is something I and all Hab fans miss, and I think it would make a difference.

I think the Habs have the talent to finish in the top four for the first time in a decade.

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07-17-2006, 12:09 PM
  #52
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Anything can happen for sure. The Habs have a deep andf talented line-up. But comparing them to the Sens they just don't match up. At least for the regualr season which is all you can predict the Sens are syill stronger in every area except perhaps goal. But Gerber and Emery are not bad by any means.

I just can't see Montreal as the best team in the North east let alone best in the NHL.

If things go terrible for the Sens and they get key injuries and if Koivu is healthy all season the Habs could pull past them but that is alot of ifs. There is a reason the Sens were the best team in the division last season and it wasn't about 1 or 2 players. Their entire roster was good and that just has not changed enough for the Habs to even remotely consider themselves the favorite in the East.

The Habs could get 100-105 points and still be 4th in the East and 2nd in the division.

As the offseason has gone on and in reading more posts and with the Samsonov signing I am more optimistic on the Habs but they are not near deep enough to consider themselves near favorites and with a few things going wrong they will be fighting to make the playoffs.

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Old
07-17-2006, 12:16 PM
  #53
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There are good teams around the league... but I look on our paper, and we definately are in really good shape for next year.
The line up is filled with talent, skill, prospects, and vetterans alike (with more potential prospects improving their games).
We can compete in our division... I believe we're a playoff team this year, and in the playoffs... anything can happen.
I am going to say, I totally believe we can be a great darkhorse team if we're not leading the division. We definately wont be heading in to the playoffs as "Best Team in the League" due to our conference parnters we play 8 times a year... Namely, Ottawa, Toronto, Bufallo, and Boston.
Regardless of what anyone thinks of them, Ottawa I believe lost some skill, but is still loaded with enough talent to be the top team in our division. Toronto has a line up that can beat any team any night... It's a question however, where they are going to get consistent offensive scorings on the wings. Questions will be abound about Raycroft and his rebound... I think he will though.
Buffalo IMO will be strong, however a bit of slumping in comparison to last year. Lots of improvements from within... but the question mark remains on the amount of players in arbitration... they must not be impressed... Jury is out on them IMO. Finally Boston, is pretty solid in their own right. They have enought talent to contend... Their goaltending situation is going to be interesting... Toivonen may be the one, gets hot, and goes far. They have a lot of talent on their team. They can win games too...

Every team in our division is strong.. It was that way last year as well... IMO we could finish 3rd in our division, and still be in contention for the cup come playoff time... Even more so now than ever

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07-17-2006, 01:11 PM
  #54
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Well, if you look at our first two lines only, we have 2 very complete lines... we have two centers who can create plays in Koivu and Ribeiro, we have 3 guys who can easily score many many goals in Samsonov, Higgins and Ryder, and Kovalev well... he just does whatever he wants on the ice

Even our third line has a lot of talent if it's Plekanec with Johnson and Perezhogin or something like this... Our fourth line has a lot of heart and they can, yes they can score goals sometimes...

Our defense, I know we don't have an incredible defenseman (except markov...) but we have a lot of depth with guys like Bouillon, Dandy, Komi...

Our goalies, well we can only hope Huet's not gonna choke lol, but he doesn't seem like the type of guy who's gonna choke... too calm for this IMO

I'm not saying we have the best team in the league, but I think we have all the assets needed to become one of the great teams in the NHL... and I hope we will be

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Old
07-17-2006, 01:15 PM
  #55
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The Northeast is going to be decided by goaltending.

Not one team has a truly proven netminder and if any of them fail spectacularly, particularly if both of the tandem do, that could be it for making the playoffs.

I think the division is more competitive with Boston acquiring some key players and getting past the Thornton issue, Buffalo playing with confidence and Toronto gambling with new goaltending and a revised defensive corps. Not to mention Montreal padding their multi-line offense with another scorer in Samsonov, and Ottawa putting out a more mobile and offensive d-corps along with a new goalie, at the expense of some truly high-level play.

But any positive changes made by the respective Northeast teams could be undermined if the men between the pipes can't get it done.

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Old
07-17-2006, 01:36 PM
  #56
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Hopefully Bob Gainey sees otherwise and keeps on trying to improve the team

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Old
07-17-2006, 02:31 PM
  #57
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I think the Leafs will be strong. Their kids are good and tough and with Kubina, their defense just jumped another level. I think Raycroft is a solid goalie too. He had three different leg injuries last year and was playing behind a terrible defense. He'll round into form. Maurice is a strong coach too, so they'll play strong, high-percentage hockey.

The Sens are still soft imo and losing Chara and Havlat doesn't help (neither does getting nothing in return). Very talented, but soft. The goaltending is good, and only good. I expect at least a 10 point tumble in points, maybe more if they have injuries. I think the Leafs are gonna enjoy beating them up...

Boston is better with Chara, Stuart, Mara and Jurcina and their goaltending is excellent. Signing Savard was a mistake, but they have decent depth up front now.

If we beat those three teams, I'll be happy.

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Old
07-17-2006, 02:34 PM
  #58
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http://www.rds.ca/hockey/talkbacks/208725/189962.html

Well I think he figured out!

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Old
07-17-2006, 02:41 PM
  #59
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I wanted Lindros here too...

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Old
07-17-2006, 06:50 PM
  #60
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Originally Posted by raketheleaves View Post
I think the Leafs will be strong. Their kids are good and tough and with Kubina, their defense just jumped another level. I think Raycroft is a solid goalie too. He had three different leg injuries last year and was playing behind a terrible defense. He'll round into form. Maurice is a strong coach too, so they'll play strong, high-percentage hockey.

The Sens are still soft imo and losing Chara and Havlat doesn't help (neither does getting nothing in return). Very talented, but soft. The goaltending is good, and only good. I expect at least a 10 point tumble in points, maybe more if they have injuries. I think the Leafs are gonna enjoy beating them up...

Boston is better with Chara, Stuart, Mara and Jurcina and their goaltending is excellent. Signing Savard was a mistake, but they have decent depth up front now.

If we beat those three teams, I'll be happy.


I agree with a lot of your post... I also think all the teams have improved, or were able to beat us to begin with...

BUT... By going through the teams with a fine tooth comb... we can expose what they dont have and try to compare them...

For example...
Toronto Maple Leafs
Goaltending, Raycroft was a worthy gamble... I still think JFJ chose 6 days too early. There were a boat load of good goaltenders looking for jobs, and he makes a deal, sending his #1 goaltending prospect (yaya... Poggie... blah blah... the consistent consensus is that Pogge is below Rask) for the goaltender who posted the worst numbers in the entire ****ing league!!!
Is he able to rebound... sure. Would I bet the house on it (question mark) nope. Not even my pet dog, Cooper. Hes talented, but he was crap last year. Seriously.
Talk to any leaf fan as to who their back up is... It is a slight mix... More knowledgeable hockey fans (who are leaf fans) will tell you either JS Aubin (and no I do not believe most realize hes been in the NHL a full season yet)... or Mikael Tellqvist. Aubin was awesome for them when it didnt matter anymore down the stretch... and Tellqvist is off and on. Hès still battlling consistency.

Defensively... LOL. Toronto has spent $20 million dollars in the least efficient way I have ever seen. I am being brutally honest here. Awful brains by JFJ on this subject. People can say what they want... but 20 million on these 4 is IMO a horrendous move. As they still have holes all over the place.
McCabe, is very much like our Sheldon Souray. Hès a little less physical than #44, and produces more points, but also produces more brain farts, and is at BEST inconsistent defensively. not a bad d-man... but he needs help.
Help does not come in the form of any of their new top 4.
Kaberle... is a type of d who does not involve himself physically, and provides average stick work... Leads to him playing a slightly undersized game, and is average defensively (at best case).
Kubina... a decent puckmoving defenceman who has holes in his defensive work. Inconsistent physical play. He needed Sydor much more than the other way around... and IMO the leafs are in for a world of hurt when they realize what Kubina brings for 5 million a season.
Finally Hal Gill... LOLOLOLOLOLOL
Just proved that JFJ still just might have a CH burning in his heart afterall
By your own account, Boston has a horrible defence... Well, it begins with this guy. he makes Pierre Dagenais look at least average. Heès going to be lit up like a firebug next year against us... Slow piece of crap this is... I still cant believe they got rid of a guy like Berg (who had skill, just didnt put it all together consistently) for this ****ing Pylon at 2.1 a year.
And of course the final 2 d-men...

Of course talking to the leafs... the fans realize that this was an awful period for their team. They lost out on a tonne of top end guys because they now simply cant afford to keep them around EVEN AT REDUCED SALARIES...

Up front, the leafs have problems on the wings... and depth problems as well.. .They are overdepending on players who quite frankly have never done what is expected of them next year (a la Andrei Kostitsyn fans in here). Add to this the fact, the failure of many leaf fans to realize the importance of Jason Allisonès job last year... and wère looking at a decent team, that IMO will have problems scoring consistently. Look for a tail off the scoring dept. due to the change at coach (Paul Mauricès defence always first in comparison to Pat Quinns shoot-out-the-lights philosophy)...

Ottawa Senators.
Goaltending...
Well, goaltending IMO theyre going to be just fine. Gerber is a decent starter who give it all game in game out. He was sick with the flu during our series, so please dont base him off of that at all... it simply must be cast aside. A decent back up in Emery as well... They have a decent tandem, not stellar, but theyll do the job on most nights with the group ahead of them.
Defence...
Hereès where the big change happens. Ottawa has a very strong top 6 defence. All with bonafide skills, and no real holes (like I was mentioning Toronto). Very mobile, and more no name than previous top 6ès they iced in recent years, but theyre stronger than they have ever been on d before... EVEN with losing Chara.
Redden & Phillips (IMO one of the most underrated d in the show) is a solid first line tandem, and following them up is the strong 2 way play of Meszaros, and Preissing (from the Havlat deal)... Add the bottom 2 of Corvo (40 pts last year) and the talented Volchenkov... and IMO the reason they have the best d should be plain and clear. So many interchangeable parts. So mobile, tough to play against, and responsible... They look different, which in their case could be an even scarier thing (if used properly).
Up front... They still have a very dynamic group. Itès weakened a bit... but not nearly as much as some believe. Their top 2 lines are still strong... With exception to the Left side... Lower line depth could be the achillès heel in Ottawa... but they certainly have a strong set of forwards... If the senators op lines remain clicking... they should be definate contenders in our division... They still have many weapons to account on, and better defence than any other team in OUR division can go against. The question remains on that lower line depth... and trust in their goaltenders (seemed to really affect them last year...) Gerber is pwned by both hab goalies... But it might be all for nought looking at their decent top 2 line depth... They did strike gold with Patrick Eaves, who potted 20 in his rookie year (LW) will he be able to replace Havlat... nope. Will he do a decent job... probably, he offers great heart, and tenacity so it may actually be a better fit...

Buffalo Sabres
Goaltending
Ryan Miller... Miller... Miller time... Mill-wright... whatever... Hès going to be a good one. The American goaltender for the next decade (unless DiPetro finally gets off his arse). Almost had the team heading to the cup this year. Backed up by Biron... heès good to, but will probably be off somewhere. Regardless, Miller is already their #1 starter, and already backboned them to a 110 point season. Easily could be considered the MAJOR threat our division has now. (Buffalo)

Defence
oofah... Top 6 is comparable to any team in the NHL. they have solid prospects down in their top 6 and even further. A star can be found any night... Spacek (fresh off a runner-up run) will try (unsuccessfully) to cover McKee... Numminen is the rock back there for the young group, but hès no spring chicken... Itll be interesting to see how Ruff handles Teppo after watching his team crumble when he placed to much responsibility on the wise vet, and got him injured. They have solid depth d, in Campbell, Lydman, Kalinen and Tallinder... not even mentioning Jillson as #7, and a few other diamonds in the rough of their depth. Very solid group of 6.

Forward
mmm... Theyre going to rival us in speed thats for sure. They had a bunch of guys arrive last year. Strong forwards (strongest in the division)... leads to a fearless tough group who can take no **** and stand up against any opponent. Buffalo may not be the team everyone fears yet... but slowly they are getting there. Their LW of Dumont, Kotalik, Vanek and Roy is incredible. add to this a strong up the middle grouping of Briere, Connolly, Drury and Gaustad and their right wing is in good to great shape with Afinogenov, Hecht, Pominville, and Mair...

This team is a lesson to all those wanting us to be moving around now for the future... Buffalo started rebuilding around the same time we did... they arrived last year (and I believe we will this year)... They are incredibly dynamic, and built for the new NHL (as we are) barring disaster in the arbitration room (which would be a shame) we will be returning to high levels of rivalry again against the Sabres, as they are going to be very good.

Boston Bruins
They went in to a half way rebuild to where they are now.
Goaltending, they haveToivonen and Thomas with rask, and Sigalet in the wings... They are decent, albeit a bit fresh behind the ears in comparison to the rest of the teams in this division...

On D, they have a young stable, with a good top 3 in Chara, Mara, and Stuart... Certainly a dark horse d if there was one in our division... However there are holes in their d... Chara has never been able to perform well in pressure cooker games (3 G in 48 playoff games is a good example of this)... Mara is just as weak defensively as he is talented offensively, and Stuart is definately a solid 2 way d-man... they do however need 3 more d to step up... they have potential to get it but it may be too much to ask from such a green group of d-men.

Forward wise, they have a solid group, weak defensively, but they can score. Boston is going to be a darkhorse team in our division who may turn it around just as quickly as they foundered.... Good for them ,bad for the rest of the division...
Everything has to go right in order for Bean town to right their ship in to a playoff spot... I think they could, they have burgeoning skill in Bergeron, Boyes, and Zhamnov, Savard, Murray, Axelsson and potentially Kessel...
I am just honestly wondering how well will they be at stopping goals.

Now on to us...

Goaltending wise, we have a very talented tandem. Huetès performance last year was nothing short of awesome, and Aebi is a # 1 goalie. Both guys will push eachother, and IMO we are the strongest heading n to the season in the pipes. in our division. Huet being the only goaltender walking home with an award in our conference (Roger Crozier saving grace award).

Defence, we dont have a potently offensive group... But they work hard as a tandem... Markov is crafting himself in to a worthy # 1 d-man... He doesnt have a natural #2 yet (hopefully Komi). but a strong # 3é4 in Souray and Rivet is definately an asset. The third pairing is the most underrated of them all, as teams think very little of Bouillon and Dandenault... but they are speedy responsible defencemen who are the puck rushers of the team. Good depth on the LD, a bit wary on the right however.

Forwards, were speedy, and dangeorous now. a solid top 12 makes us hard to beat on paper... however we need everyone to sta reasonably healthy in order to retain the strength of our forwards... The higher the player is on the squad in this circumstance the more serious that injury will be... If were healthy there is no reason why we cant compete against ANY team in the league.

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Old
07-17-2006, 08:38 PM
  #61
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We won't even be close to top 5 this season. The Habs will again have trouble making the playoffs.

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07-17-2006, 08:44 PM
  #62
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Originally Posted by Pere Noel View Post
Hopefully Bob Gainey sees otherwise and keeps on trying to improve the team
Dude i dont want my team to look like the rangers(~2002 era)

THe last spots remaining are for young guns

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Old
07-17-2006, 09:13 PM
  #63
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Originally Posted by NewHabsArea View Post
When your third line can play, even outplay any top lines in the league, you are in business... (Pleks vs Stall as exemple) Its Perezhogin's blossoming year centered by a kid who can be a solid second line center in the league, its quite obvious, give Pleks more offensive responsabilities and enjoy.. he did pretty well the few times when used on PP... Add a signifiant improvement over Zednik on this line in Jonhson and you get one of the best third line in the league if not the best one...
Even if we had the best third line ever, nothing changes the fact that last year we were one of the lowest scoring teams out there and squeaked by with a lot of really tight wins.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewHabsArea View Post
Is it useful to compare what impact will Samsonov have on the second line over Bulis? The weakest link on the line is obviously Ribs but any players would look good between such skilled wingers, even Bulis would look fine... At least Ribs is rather cheap if you compare him to Savard, which one will have a hard time to justify his big fat contract with the Bruins... Ribs has some superb stickhandling skills, Im sure he will do fine but the org wont be patient, Bonk and Grabovski will be there to challenge the second line center spot.. I hope Ribs like the pressure cause he will be well served...
If you think that Grabovski will play anywhere but Hamilton this year without a serious injury in the big club you need to think again. European players need to get acclamatised to the game in N.A.

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07-17-2006, 09:24 PM
  #64
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Originally Posted by Moester View Post
Even if we had the best third line ever, nothing changes the fact that last year we were one of the lowest scoring teams out there and squeaked by with a lot of really tight wins.



If you think that Grabovski will play anywhere but Hamilton this year without a serious injury in the big club you need to think again. European players need to get acclamatised to the game in N.A.
I also think Grabovski will spend the most part of the season in the AHL... What Im saying is that Ribs will have to work extremmely hard on his weakness cause some guys could take his spot at some point... If not Grabovski, Bonk... Jonhson and Plekanec are just there. In other words, we have the depth to replace a not so effective Ribeiro.

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07-17-2006, 09:34 PM
  #65
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Originally Posted by raketheleaves View Post
I think the Leafs will be strong. Their kids are good and tough and with Kubina, their defense just jumped another level. I think Raycroft is a solid goalie too. He had three different leg injuries last year and was playing behind a terrible defense. He'll round into form. Maurice is a strong coach too, so they'll play strong, high-percentage hockey.

.
Coliacovo, Steen, Wellwood, Stajan, Suglobov or Komisarek, Perezhogin, Higgins, Plekanec, Kostitsyn? Not even close...

I like Steen but he isnt the player Perezhogin will be next year.

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07-17-2006, 10:34 PM
  #66
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Originally Posted by Beakermania View Post
Our Kids are already emerging. Ryder has come through big time to be our leading goal scorer. Higgins, Komi, Plekanec, Perezhogin will be better with one more year of experience behind them. Kostitsyn will make the team. Ribeiro as maligned as he is (and I'm no fan) played great the last 1/4 of the season. I'm willing to see if he can play with passion and defensive responsibility come october.

Emerging Kids doesn't always mean rookies. You can't always count on Rookies but look at guy who are young and coming into their own now with experience behind them.
But I can see the kids really paying off in about two years when a lot of the old guys would be gone and some of them will make the line-up as regulars. This would be when all come together, like a wave of these guys just sparkles, this young group of gunslingers. Who knows, we`re dreaming but we could see something akin to 1986.

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07-17-2006, 11:04 PM
  #67
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As usual, NewHabsArea puts too much stock into prospects. Kostitsyn will never take Ryder's spot, unless the latter gets too much $$$ from arbitration

And why tell me this wont happen??? Do you seriously think you know Kostitsyn the player better than I? I know what I saw when watching him a few times with the Bulldogs and about 12 games with the Habs where he was doing great... I remember a couple of games where he was easily one of our best fowards... This kid has huge skills thats so obvious and his all around game improved a big deal, enough to make the big team and become an important player for us... Do you already forgot his superb world championship? Didnt MMX reports convinced you a bit? This kid is about 22 years old, we didnt rush him, thats the only reason why he has basically no hype at the moment, some even think he will bust when he still is clealy one of the most skilled 2003 drafted kids... I put too much stock in our prospects??? Thats what everyone are saying for a long time about me, but who thought Plekanec and Higgins would have the kind of impact they had with us last year before the training camp start outside me and few other posters? I remember half of you that were willing to package Pleks in a trade for peanuts... So, Pleks faced Stall's line in playoffs, got 4 pts in 6 games and had even the edge over him during the serie.. I watched the rest of the playoffs and never Stall faced a better line than the Pleks one... So I guess Pleks played over his head cause our vets sucked big time??? Did you watch the same playoffs as me? Cause Perezhogin was quite beautiful to watch doing everything pretty well, he was solid creating several scoring chances all the serie long against a great hockey machine? Again, do you seriously think you know Perezhogin the player better than I? I watched this kid as much as I could in the past, I know what he can do when playing with confidence

The key IS NOT our emerging kids, because Perezhogin, Plekanec and Higgins are not superstars in the making, that is plain obvious. Undoubtedly, they were important in their role (save for Perezhogin who got a well-deserved break in the AHL), but the problem is that sometimes they were playing better than our highest-paid players. That, however, is a testament to how bad Koivu and Kovalev played during stretches.

LOL.. I cant desagree more, you are quite beside the track if you think the kids you named arent better hockey players than some of our vets... Pleks is a better hockey player than Ribeiro, can be a solid second line center in this league if given the chance to... A Samsonov Plekanec Kovalev line would be way better than a Sammy Ribs Kovy one... Higgins is a much more solid hockey player than guys like Bulis, Sundstrom, Zednik, Ryder... Versatile player with a wonderful hockey sense and some pretty serious natural skills... Is Higgins a superstar in the making? Obviously no... Is Higgins the kind of player you will win with? Obviously yes... He has the skills to play on top lines, less offensive punch than some others but the hockey sense and work ethic to compensate... Even strength I rather have Chris Higgins in my team than a soft high risk player like Spezza, which one has superstar skills but no heart, no head. Is Perezhogin a superstar in the making? Doubtfully, he isnt Ovechkin, Gaborik, Iginla, Hossa... But I personally think he has the skills, hockey sense and charactere to become an above average first line winger, near the star status... Again, some superstars have all the skills of the world but their work ethic, 2-way game, attitude may affect the whole team... Im a big fan of Ilya Kovalchuk's skills but the guy will never be close the player Ovechkin already is... Ovechkin gets it all, top notch skills, top notch work ethic, smart player who understand very well what a team concept is... Wont put his team in trouble the way Kovalchuk does with regularity... I think Kostitsyn's upside is huge, he is the player that have the best chances to be considered a star IMO...

Barring trades, our lineup seems to be set in stone, especially the top 2 lines, and I don't see the kind of punch great teams, who contend for the President's Trophy year-in year-out, have.

Once again, Ribeiro will have to play his best hockey ever cause we have the depth to replace him properly... Ryder is another young player that could have a tough year, especially if Kostitsyn make the team as 14th foward... Grabovski could be closer to the NHL than what you think, Timmins said in an article I posted the other day that Grabov could be the darkhorse... Thats what we call depth... And we do have depth buddy!.
Do the Sabres have any all stars in their team? No... But they have a bunch of fast and highly skilled fowards.. About what the Habs line-up will look like next season... Our defensemans are better and more reliable... Isnt Kovalev a star in this league? With more help Kovalev should enjoy alot more playing here!
.


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Old
07-17-2006, 11:51 PM
  #68
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Do the Sabres have any all stars in their team? No... .
I would take Daniel Briere over any habs forward any day of the week.

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Old
07-18-2006, 12:03 AM
  #69
NewHabsEra*
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-D View Post
I would take Daniel Briere over any habs forward any day of the week.

Outch.

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07-18-2006, 12:20 PM
  #70
Quiet Robert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewHabsArea View Post
...
Please stop this nonsense NHA.

We were a struggling 8th seed last year. Adding an oft-injured, inconsistent Samsonov and bottom 6 guy in Johnson does NOT make us the best team in the league! I can't understand how you even think these things, let alone post them!

Sure we are improved, but so are many other teams. We will still be in the 6-10 area, needing to work hard every shift, every night in order to make the playoffs. It's simply ludicrous to think we are the best.

These posts are pure nonsense. I'm not doing this to attack you, but please think before you post.

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