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Defense is the Problem

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10-16-2006, 01:36 PM
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Defense is the Problem

Offense is NOT the problem. The problem is that we have a primarily offensive team and our coaches are trying to make our forwards become more defensive. The problem with that is, for most of our forwards it's a different style of play. This takes time to adapt to, hence causing our goal scorers to be weak at the beginning of this season. In the long run when Bouillion/all other defensemen etc come back, the team will have to rely less on the forwards being defensive and more-so on the defensemen being defensive. By then we'll have one of the best combined offenses/defenses balance in the NHL because our defense is starting to come together. It's our offense that is having trouble right now but in a defensive way. If Montreal's offense can learn to put the puck in the net without getting the puck put in ours, they'll have the team that I think Bob Gainey wants.

Don't forget that we have completely new management, and these are the guys who won the cup back in 93'. In 93 it was Defense and Goaltending that won the cup for us. Our goaltenders right now are both doing well. Abeischer is playing great. Huet only allowed 2 goals the other game, okay so he lost the shootout, big deal. Shootouts mean nothing. How often does a guy get a breakaway? And there are no shootouts in the playoffs, therefore as long as your goalie is all around good in every way other then shootouts (and your team makes the playoffs of course), your set.

Defense is the Problem. Too many of our defensemen are injured, our forwards are being taught a way more defensive style of play which they are adapting to as we speak. Offense is literally the problem, the reason the offense is the problem is because of the adaptation though. Bottom line, it all comes back to the defense. Montreal does have 2 good goalies, they have Koivu/Higgins/Kovalev/Ryder/Johnson/Samsanov, all of which are "capable" of 30+ goal seasons. Then you've got your plekanec who, on a line with kovalev/Samsanov(hypathetically speaking if this were to stay the same all year) could score 20+ goals and also get a LOT of assists. Another thing, Latandresse, Kostitsyn, where will they stand? You never know, look at Chris Higgins, last season he pulled off most of his goals towards the end of the season. Took him time to get adjusted but he sure made up for it. Maybe Latandresse will do the same.

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10-16-2006, 02:26 PM
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Disagree...our defensive weakness if way overblown. The Habs are a pretty good defensive team IMO, the problem has always been the offense and it's been this way for the past decade it seems. This team never has a point producer you can depend on game in game out, a PPG player. Not since the glory days of Kirk Muller, Vincent Damphousee and Pierre Turgeon have the Habs have a guy put up PPG. I'm starting to wonder if that will ever happen.

I think if Koivu can remain healthy for a season, he should be good for about 70 points or so, same with Kovalev...but for everyone else it's wait and see.

Defense wasn't the problem last year, and it won't be the problem this year. It's putting pucks in the net that's proving to be difficult.

IMO - Barring any injuries...

Ryder should get at least 30-35 goals

Higgins should get 25-30 goals

Kovalev should get at least 30-35 goals, but he's no longer interesting in shooting the puck. I find it odd, if you look at Kovalev's numbers they've been decreasing every year since his 99pt campaign and I think there's a direct correlation between that and his shot attemps on goal. This is a guy who was in the 290-320 range and we'll be lucky if he gets 200 shots on goal this year.

Our top 6 wingers need to find a way to get more shots on goal instead of looking for the perfect play.

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10-16-2006, 02:35 PM
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The team has not suddenly become defensive under Guy Carbonneau. It employed a defense-first strategy under Gainey, and before him under Julien and Therrien. The Habs don't have 100-point forwards suited to an offensive strategy. The most they're capable of is reaching a balance between offense and defense.

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10-16-2006, 02:36 PM
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There's a thread about offensive problean and one about defensive problem. Hey guys we got 6 points out of 8 it's not bad!

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10-16-2006, 02:38 PM
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It seems there's a theory that the Habs defense is their weak link, when IMO it isn't.

I think it's due to the fact that the Habs don't have a big recognizable name on defense. However, I think we solid #1 through # 6...

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10-16-2006, 03:07 PM
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Defense is the problem, because A) Injuries, B) Multiple slow defensemen, C) Forwards who are defensive liabilities. They can score, notice they always come back in the 3rd period a lot of the time. That proves they can get the goals under pressure. I know we're not a 6-1 kind of winning team but we can put the puck in the net. Many of our players can easily do it, it's a matter of lines and chemistry.

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10-16-2006, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oop007 View Post
Defense is the problem, because A) Injuries, B) Multiple slow defensemen, C) Forwards who are defensive liabilities. They can score, notice they always come back in the 3rd period a lot of the time. That proves they can get the goals under pressure. I know we're not a 6-1 kind of winning team but we can put the puck in the net. Many of our players can easily do it, it's a matter of lines and chemistry.
a)Injuries are a problem for any team. Nothing you can do about that. Tell me what team's defense wouldn't struggle losing anyone in their top 6?

b) multiple slow defensman - I wouldn't call any of our defensman slow, Souray and Rivet have mobility issues, but I think it's a problem magnified because they're paired up together. On the whole, we have a very mobile defense, so I disagree about that.

c) again, what team doesn't have forwards who are defensive liabilities, it comes with the territory.

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10-16-2006, 03:26 PM
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I agree, specially on the shoot outs.

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10-16-2006, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Kafka View Post
I agree, specially on the shoot outs.
lol!...kind of funny, last year we finished 5th best for goals against and 5th worst in goals for, yet the problem is still with our defense.

Same thing this year, the defense looks fine...it's the offense that's gone missing since game 1

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10-16-2006, 07:59 PM
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I don't think that there is a problem at the moment.
The team is doing remarkably well considering all the changes and considering the opposition that they played so far...even the Leafs always get up to play their best against CH and we got 6/8 points.

This is a vastly superior team to the bunch of cream puffs that packed it in when Saku went down. They were able to stay with Buffalo, who I would argue is the very best team in NHL right now.

If we can build from here, and get better, I have no problem with the team.

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10-16-2006, 08:40 PM
  #11
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Our defensive is thin on depth. When at full strength it is capable, losing Bou and Dandy is going to hurt.

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10-16-2006, 08:44 PM
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Well . . .

Injuries aside: Personally I think the forwards have been inconsistent. In that last game, they could not complete a pass if their life depended on it.

The 4 remaining D men held the fort.

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10-16-2006, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oop007 View Post
Offense is NOT the problem. The problem is that we have a primarily offensive team and our coaches are trying to make our forwards become more defensive. The problem with that is, for most of our forwards it's a different style of play. This takes time to adapt to, hence causing our goal scorers to be weak at the beginning of this season. In the long run when Bouillion/all other defensemen etc come back, the team will have to rely less on the forwards being defensive and more-so on the defensemen being defensive. By then we'll have one of the best combined offenses/defenses balance in the NHL because our defense is starting to come together. It's our offense that is having trouble right now but in a defensive way. If Montreal's offense can learn to put the puck in the net without getting the puck put in ours, they'll have the team that I think Bob Gainey wants.

Don't forget that we have completely new management, and these are the guys who won the cup back in 93'. In 93 it was Defense and Goaltending that won the cup for us. Our goaltenders right now are both doing well. Abeischer is playing great. Huet only allowed 2 goals the other game, okay so he lost the shootout, big deal. Shootouts mean nothing. How often does a guy get a breakaway? And there are no shootouts in the playoffs, therefore as long as your goalie is all around good in every way other then shootouts (and your team makes the playoffs of course), your set.

Defense is the Problem. Too many of our defensemen are injured, our forwards are being taught a way more defensive style of play which they are adapting to as we speak. Offense is literally the problem, the reason the offense is the problem is because of the adaptation though. Bottom line, it all comes back to the defense. Montreal does have 2 good goalies, they have Koivu/Higgins/Kovalev/Ryder/Johnson/Samsanov, all of which are "capable" of 30+ goal seasons. Then you've got your plekanec who, on a line with kovalev/Samsanov(hypathetically speaking if this were to stay the same all year) could score 20+ goals and also get a LOT of assists. Another thing, Latandresse, Kostitsyn, where will they stand? You never know, look at Chris Higgins, last season he pulled off most of his goals towards the end of the season. Took him time to get adjusted but he sure made up for it. Maybe Latandresse will do the same.
Defense is NOT the problem. We've allowed 11 goals in 4 games. Team defense is very good. It's even better than last year as Ryder is backchecking which astonishes me. He's really evolved. Chris Higgins always comes back. Which games were you watching. Our team ranks number 2 on the PK as well which also means we're defending well. The team's positional play on defense has improved immensely.

Offense is the problem as I was the thread starter for that topic. 12 goals in 4 games is not cutting it, yet we still have 6 out of a possible 8 pts. Gainey himself stated we needed to improve our offense this year which, perhaps he did as Johnson and Samsonov each have a goal. Zednik and Bulis each have ZERO. As long as our defense and goaltending stay solid I guess the goals will come, but, what that does is create a lot of one goal games.

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10-16-2006, 09:08 PM
  #14
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Patience. The Habs haven't played any of the defensively porous teams yet. They've scored at least 2 in all of their games so far and they scored 4 against Buffalo with Ryan Miller in goal. Wait until the 2nd line gets going.

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