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Souray: Does the good outweigh the bad?

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Old
10-18-2006, 10:42 AM
  #51
habgab
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Souray has a great shot, as we all know. That is wonderful, but he is a defenceman, as someone else pointed out, first and foremost. If he could be used only as an anchorman on the powerplay, that would be perfect. As we cannot use him for that purpose only, I think it is misleading just to look at the points he is putting up - he is not good on defence - too many mistakes, giveaways, failures to keep up with his man and so on. There is a problem, and it should be addressed. I am not saying that he has to be traded, but someone has to get through to him that he needs to play better defence - and, of course, take fewer penalties.

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10-18-2006, 11:20 AM
  #52
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Something else to mention about Sauray.
I don't know if Carbo has anything to do with it but, when Sauray is to take a point shot, he moves his feet, that is to say he is really trying to hit the net from a clear shot. He no longer tries to blast it through the oncomming defence and hitting the defence.

Another thing, both point men try to move 6-10 feet towards the center to take the shot, This might be coaching for sure, any point shot that does not hit the net will rebound off the backboards much harder and right back towards the slot. It's almost a planned play.

It has not produced a goal yet but it has turned the defence inside out at times and sooner or later that bounce will payoff.

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10-18-2006, 04:12 PM
  #53
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Originally Posted by BadHabit View Post
These people you have made as examples, they are all forwards. This is not a fair comparison as their ice time differs and what times they would be used differs as well. Comparing apples and oranges. If you want to impress me, find a well known defensive defenseman who has a -10 or higher rating.

Are we done here?
Wow, pretty snarky. How about Ray Bourque going from a +31 season to a -11 season? He's regarded as one of the best (if not the best) defenceman from the last 20 years. How about Scott Niedermayer with a paltry +8 last year or three consecutive season in NJ from +5 to -4 to +5? Look at some of Rob Blake's seasons while you're at it.

What does looking at +/- alone for a forward OR a defenceman prove exactly?

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10-18-2006, 04:30 PM
  #54
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Originally Posted by BadHabit View Post
Actually I am aware, and I am also aware this works both ways. We don't get to see his minus after checking someone at the blueline, getting out of position and someone coming in to score.

If you look at the facts on nhl.com, 5v5 icetime per game for a dman is typically close to double the amount of time of PP and PK time per game combined. If this is the case, wouldn't it be logical to assume that the +/- stat is actually somewhat important since that is where the majority of your play is? Great, you're a defenseman and you get points on the powerplay. To me, I'd rather have a good defensive 5v5 defenseman any day of the week than to have a defensive liability for most of the time he is playing. Think about it. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out. Besides, like a lot of Ryder bashers said on this board - anyone can score on the PP when they are put out there all the time. They were concerned about his 5v5 play. Amazing how things change when it suits their argument.

As for who would we pick up? Not sure to tell you the truth, you are right - defensemen are scarce and are worth a lot of money. There is a reason for this however and if you think you are smarter than 30 GM's in the league then maybe you should apply. GOOD defensemen are the 2nd most important thing on your team, next to a goalie. That is why they are paid the premium amount and why GM's don't let them go when they have them. They are worth every dime that is paid to them and the GM's know it. Suffice to say however, 2.4 million per should be able to get you a half decent stay at home defensemen if he should come up. Also, there is the possibility of trading that has to be considered.

I don't pretend to know all the answers, but one thing I do know is that Souray is terrible in a defensive situation. Sure he has a shot, sure he is physical, and maybe he'll score 30-40 points this year - but he constantly causes problems in his own end when he is on the ice, especially when paired with Rivet. One thing that hasn't even been brought up is the amount of turnovers and failed clearing attempts that don't lead to a goal being scored, but keeps the pressure in the Canadiens zone when they could be at the other end of the ice. Watch the games and you will see. At the end of the day, I am a "build the team from the net out" type of guy and my idea of a defenseman is defense first, scoring optional. That's what the forwards are for. Keep the puck out of harms way and I'll be happy. And with the new NHL, defenseman are even more important than ever before.

Again, my 2 cents.


Well last night there was more special teams play than 5 on 5 play. It kind of changes things, especially your point.

p.s. in the new NHL scoring from your D is more important than ever, another reason to keep Souray, and not Rivet after the season

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10-18-2006, 05:13 PM
  #55
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Originally Posted by BadHabit View Post
Actually I am aware, and I am also aware this works both ways. We don't get to see his minus after checking someone at the blueline, getting out of position and someone coming in to score.
Clearly you're unaware since one does get a minus if they're scored on while on the PP.

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Originally Posted by BadHabit View Post
If you look at the facts on nhl.com, 5v5 icetime per game for a dman is typically close to double the amount of time of PP and PK time per game combined. If this is the case, wouldn't it be logical to assume that the +/- stat is actually somewhat important since that is where the majority of your play is? Great, you're a defenseman and you get points on the powerplay.
No. Because that's a faulty assumption. Go check the stats for last night's game: Souray played more on special teams than on even strength. This is not abnormal for players who are exceedingly good on special teams and average on even strength, which is precisely what Souray is, and precisely how he should be used.

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Originally Posted by BadHabit View Post
To me, I'd rather have a good defensive 5v5 defenseman any day of the week than to have a defensive liability for most of the time he is playing. Think about it. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out. Besides, like a lot of Ryder bashers said on this board - anyone can score on the PP when they are put out there all the time. They were concerned about his 5v5 play. Amazing how things change when it suits their argument.
And yet this false logic doesn't apply to you? You feel at ease criticizing Souray, yet you criticize those who condemned Ryder for his abysmal 5 on 5 play? Interesting!

And it's wonderful that you'd prefer a great 5 on 5 defenseman to Souray, but special teams plays a major role in this NHL. When a team has a player with a unique skillset that's tailored towards special teams, and that player is not all that costly (above average, but not significantly), then there is no harm to keeping said player on your roster so long as you're able to cover his weaknesses.

Covering Souray's weaknesses is simple: play him less 5 on 5. Give him 18-20 minutes a night, depending on the amount of special teams play, and have 60% of that be on special teams. The other 40% can be against lower lines.

This is how coaching works; not every player is perfect. The vast majority of players have weaknesses, and under weak coaches those players are exploited. Under stronger coaches, their positive attributes can be brought to the forefront while hiding the weaknesses a little more.

Souray has enough tangible and intangible positives to bring to the table, and the remedy towards hiding his weaknesses is a very simple one.


There. As per your request, I've thought about it. And I've come to the conclusion that your perspective regarding Souray and a potential replacement is both idealistic and unrealistic, and ignored too many additional factors, which I've mentioned above, to be considered a well-founded proposal.

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10-18-2006, 05:18 PM
  #56
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Originally Posted by Mike8 View Post

When a team has a player with a unique skillset that's tailored towards special teams, and that player is not all that costly (above average, but not significantly), then there is no harm to keeping said player on your roster so long as you're able to cover his weaknesses.

Covering Souray's weaknesses is simple: play him less 5 on 5. Give him 18-20 minutes a night, depending on the amount of special teams play, and have 60% of that be on special teams. The other 40% can be against lower lines.

This is how coaching works; not every player is perfect. The vast majority of players have weaknesses, and under weak coaches those players are exploited. Under stronger coaches, their positive attributes can be brought to the forefront while hiding the weaknesses a little more.

Souray has enough tangible and intangible positives to bring to the table, and the remedy towards hiding his weaknesses is a very simple one.

.


Way way way better than i could have ever writen.

I love sourays talents, and i want them here for a long time. Carbo can coach around his occasional blunder. His playmaking skills in his own end arent bad, he makes great outlet passes and can break the puck out of the zone by skating it out. His only problem is with the little fase shifty top line forwards, on a 1 on 1 basis. SO DON'T PUT HIM IN THAT SITUATION!! you can use 5 other guys there. OK?

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Old
10-18-2006, 05:21 PM
  #57
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Hmmmm... Madden went from a 24 to a -7 over a FEW years because his team got worse. Didn't they win the Stanley Cup the year before and got to the final during that +24 year? Hmmmm...
It's nice of you to correct me by emphasizing the few years, given the fact that I had stated precisely that.

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Hmmm... Lehtinen. He lead his team with scoring that year of the +39. The next year he didn't play a full season. Anyhow, I thought we were talking about defensive players? And why are we talking about forwards?
Because, if you had paid any attention before jumping at the opportunity to be as contradicting as humanly possible, you would realize that the poster I was responding to, who was not you, had requested I back my statement regarding Selke winners. Selke winners, as you know, are forwards.

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Originally Posted by BadHabit View Post
These people you have made as examples, they are all forwards. This is not a fair comparison as their ice time differs and what times they would be used differs as well. Comparing apples and oranges. If you want to impress me, find a well known defensive defenseman who has a -10 or higher rating.
Impress you?

You like your +/-. Good for you. Since you seemingly have no interest in discussing perspectives and seeing the world of hockey without your trusted +/- by your side, I see no reason for you to waste your time with hockey forums ... perhaps you do it to give people the opportunity to impress you.

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Are we done here?
Yup, seems so!

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Old
10-18-2006, 05:40 PM
  #58
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Yes, the good outweighs the bad. I hope he gets re-signed.

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10-18-2006, 05:44 PM
  #59
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Souray > this thread

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10-18-2006, 05:56 PM
  #60
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Without Souray, we lose a huge element on the powerplay. Sure he is not great defensively, and is pretty slow, but if he had Scott Neidermayer's speed and Adam Foote's defensive awareness, he wouldn't be on Montreal at all. He'd be off making $7m somewhere

Souray can score and puts fear in the opposing team's PKers, such a shame though that he isn't the best defenseman in the entire league

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10-18-2006, 06:27 PM
  #61
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Yes.

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10-18-2006, 07:07 PM
  #62
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Anyone here is somewhat into baseball's Sabremetrics and/or stats analysis geekiness, thrown with a lot of Bill James? If so, you surely heard or red about the "Ken Phelps All-Star (team)"... About the players who HAS unshieldable weakness but one (or some) redeeming qualities that, if used effectively, the player could perform very well, and even turn out to be a star (which is somewhat what happened with Souray...). They key is to avoid to expose his weaknesses, and use his strenghts to the max.

Now, given "today's" game, Souray, with the sum of his "habilities", should BARELY break up an NHL roster, because those weaknesses are so ... like, evident. Let's be honest : for hockey smarts and agilitly, many, if not ALL the D's drafted in the first three rounds of last draft are ahead of Souray. BUT... He really brings something NO other D brings to team in term of "combined strenghts" -- PP AND PK guy, rocketshot, enforcing, leadership. Heck, Andy Delmore was able to get a job in this league for many years, and of those points, he was a capable player in only one departement -- and a much less effective player than Souray, in that regard -- and he had no other strenght whatsoever, well, maybe aside skating, but he wasn't even able to put it to good use.

Granted, Souray is a liability when asked to stop the top-6 of a team -- but we have Markov, Komisarek, and, at some point, Dandenault for speed and Rivet for smarts and guts for this job. However, if there's one guy I'd send to the ice when the grinder line and the enforcer line or whatever scrubs line, it's him.

Also, maybe because of the other effectives with the team, I think he's matched with the worst partner he could be matched with this year -- he's already slow, by pair with with the 2nd slowest D-Men with the team? I'd like to see him with Komisarek, who's at least faster than Rivet, but I clearly understand why Markov and Komisarek play together. And Dandy, well, isn't fit enough (nothing to do with physical shape, that guy's a monster and is actually my 2006 mancrush ) for something else than bottom pairing, unless there's an emergency. Streit would be okay, but that would give us a helluva turnover machine unless proved otherwise with Streit... And he can't play with Markov and Niinimaa, 'cuz, well, they play on the same side. My take? Play him on the 3rd pairing with Dandy, and the 2nd with ... Komo? when Streit is in the lineup. 3rd pair means he won't be exposed as much, and at least, will be with a wheeled guy... Okay, that screws us up with time putting Niinimaa with Rivet or Rivet on the 1st pairing with Markov (which worked in the past, but Rivet isn't getting any faster...)... I don't know. So many drawbacks for every move. Trade Niinimaa, Downey and a 2nd for Dion Phaneuf.

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10-18-2006, 07:32 PM
  #63
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Souray is like Jovanovski and McCabe IMO. If you get too caught up in picking apart his play, sure you find faults that basically boil down to poor defensive decision-making. It's not that he's abominably slow or a poor skater... he's actually decent enough compared to the truly abominable skaters on D in the league... it's just that he makes mistakes and doesn't have ways to recover for himself. But if he gets on the right roll with the right partner, he can really start to look special, which basically is what has happened to McCabe and landed him such a fat contract and 30+ minutes per night.

We've already had the debate about who the best partner for Souray is... and the partnership with Rivet might have come out of that debate as the best overall option for us from a set of non-ideal alternatives... but the bottom line is that we simply haven't found a truly top-notch complementary guy for him. I bet if we had one, a lot of the Souray bashing would go away as some number of his miscues became masked. And if that happened, then suddenly a guy who is already renowned for his PP and physical/character attributes might actually price himself right off our team! I don't pay enough attention to opposing players anymore to have any perfect solutions to suggest, but some names I'd toss around are Willie Mitchell, Mattias Ohlund on the more mobile side, or even some really smart no-nonsense pure stay-at-homers like Jay McKee or Rhett Warrener. (Mitchell and McKee got scary contracts this summer, alas). Ok, now probably the people who do pay attention will tell me they all play LD too. On the other hand, how much does it matter which side *Souray* himself plays on? He's confused enough on LD... would it make much difference if you put him on the right side? Then of course, you could even pair him with Markov. Ok, now I'm digging myself too much of a hole from what started as a relatively simple premise. But the bottom line is that I think Souray is indeed an extremely valuable asset for our team.
There is no doubt that out of all our right D, Rivet is the best suited to partner Souray which is exactly why the coaching staff has sacrificed Rivets game to try and make up for Shelly short comings. They tried Souray and Komi at the beginning of last year, then came Dandenault and finally they moved Rivet...then and only then did Souray's game pick up. Even a #1 D would have a hard time playing with him...you can't play both sides of the ice and every team sends the puck down his side knowing its the weakest.
The thought of pairing Souray and Markov is foolish....first they are both lefties but more importantly, why take away Markovs game when he has the skill to be an offensive threat...Souray has tunnel vision and would never give Markov the puck.

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10-18-2006, 07:59 PM
  #64
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Clearly you're unaware since one does get a minus if they're scored on while on the PP.



No. Because that's a faulty assumption. Go check the stats for last night's game: Souray played more on special teams than on even strength. This is not abnormal for players who are exceedingly good on special teams and average on even strength, which is precisely what Souray is, and precisely how he should be used.



And yet this false logic doesn't apply to you? You feel at ease criticizing Souray, yet you criticize those who condemned Ryder for his abysmal 5 on 5 play? Interesting!

And it's wonderful that you'd prefer a great 5 on 5 defenseman to Souray, but special teams plays a major role in this NHL. When a team has a player with a unique skillset that's tailored towards special teams, and that player is not all that costly (above average, but not significantly), then there is no harm to keeping said player on your roster so long as you're able to cover his weaknesses.

Covering Souray's weaknesses is simple: play him less 5 on 5. Give him 18-20 minutes a night, depending on the amount of special teams play, and have 60% of that be on special teams. The other 40% can be against lower lines.

This is how coaching works; not every player is perfect. The vast majority of players have weaknesses, and under weak coaches those players are exploited. Under stronger coaches, their positive attributes can be brought to the forefront while hiding the weaknesses a little more.

Souray has enough tangible and intangible positives to bring to the table, and the remedy towards hiding his weaknesses is a very simple one.


There. As per your request, I've thought about it. And I've come to the conclusion that your perspective regarding Souray and a potential replacement is both idealistic and unrealistic, and ignored too many additional factors, which I've mentioned above, to be considered a well-founded proposal.
1) I stand corrected, I did not know this was how +/- worked. However, I stand by the fact that the two players that I believe are the worst at defense have the worst +/- as well.

2) The stats do show he played slightly more on special teams last night - HOWEVER, check every other game this year and the average for the whole season last year and you will see my assumption is not false. 95% of the time he will play more on 5v5, unless someone has seen that he is not so good at 5v5 and is playing him only on special teams.

3) Special teams is very important yes... but we are not able to cover for his weaknesses on 5v5 by putting Rivet as his partener. It rears it's ugly head every night they play together. I also tend to think that paying someone above the average for services that are below the average is not good business sense, but maybe that's just me.

4) That's a great idea. Why don't we get as many players that cost more than the average as possible, and then only play them when we can because they are not complete hockey players? At this kind of money, we should not have to be making excuses for him or giving him less ice time - we should be getting someone else who we can rely on.

5) I realize not everyone is perfect, but he keeps making the same mistakes over and over. You will see it all year this year, and in my humble opinion, his positives do not outweigh his negatives.

Bottom line, you can bring up as many examples as you want to support your argument, and I can bring up examples to support mine. We do not share the same point of view and that is fine. I'm sorry that I get frustrated when I see this so called "God" make peewee defensive mistakes game in and game out. Anyone here that thinks he is great defensively should give their head a shake, and where I come from, a defensemen plays defense first. If you want someone with offensive talent on the point during the PP, put Kovalev there and watch him QB the PP.

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10-18-2006, 08:31 PM
  #65
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1) I stand corrected, I did not know this was how +/- worked. However, I stand by the fact that the two players that I believe are the worst at defense have the worst +/- as well.
That's fine, but it's also coincidence. Mike Komisarek was a -1 this first period. Does that mean he was among the worst players on the ice for Montreal, or that his bad outweighed his good? No.

I understand that if you take a larger sample, more can be shown, but there are enough examples out there of excellent defensive defensemen with negatives in the +/- to show that this statistic doesn't hold much water. In my mind, you would be better off explaining with real examples of why you feel Souray's bad outweighs his good, rather than pointing to a stat that is widely criticized for its inherent flaws.

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2) The stats do show he played slightly more on special teams last night - HOWEVER, check every other game this year and the average for the whole season last year and you will see my assumption is not false. 95% of the time he will play more on 5v5, unless someone has seen that he is not so good at 5v5 and is playing him only on special teams.
Souray's even strength time has been consistently on the decline this season, from what I've seen, while his special teams minutes eat up a larger percentage of his total ice-time. Pointing out an average doesn't account for the fact that the coaching staff is making an adjustment with regards to Souray's ice-time.

To demonstrate this adjustment in tonight's game: Souray played 7:28 in the first period; more than any other Canadiens player. 2:59 of that was at even strength, which is less ice time than Latendresse saw, less than half of what Komisarek saw, and only one second more than Mark Streit saw.

It'll be interesting to see if this adjustment holds up throughout the entirety of the game and over the next few weeks.

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3) Special teams is very important yes... but we are not able to cover for his weaknesses on 5v5 by putting Rivet as his partener. It rears it's ugly head every night they play together. I also tend to think that paying someone above the average for services that are below the average is not good business sense, but maybe that's just me.
Souray is not being paired with Rivet so that the latter can cover for the former. Rivet's had his miscues as well. They're just not a good pairing against faster teams. Neither are good with the puck, and both are prone to the occasional brain cramp.

Souray's services are not below average.

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4) That's a great idea. Why don't we get as many players that cost more than the average as possible, and then only play them when we can because they are not complete hockey players? At this kind of money, we should not have to be making excuses for him or giving him less ice time - we should be getting someone else who we can rely on.
No, that's complete and utter nonsense. $2.5 million is not enough money for a reliable defenseman who provides much in the way of a unique skillset. Or would you prefer having a group of fundamentally strong players, with no visible weaknesses, who provide nothing unique?

Or perhaps you would prefer fundamentally strong players, with no visible weaknesses, who do provide something unique, and would like to play in Montreal at a discount? I agree with you, in that case.


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5) I realize not everyone is perfect, but he keeps making the same mistakes over and over. You will see it all year this year, and in my humble opinion, his positives do not outweigh his negatives.
That is perfectly fine.

So, do me a favour here. Rather than run around in circles and hide behind nonsensical statistics, list the plusses you see Souray providing the team, and the minuses you see him costing the team. Perhaps then I'll have a better understanding of your take on Souray, and why his negatives outweigh his positives.

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10-18-2006, 10:29 PM
  #66
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Well, Souray was well off his game tonight, and his deficiences were plain to see. The guy has a power shot, when he can keep the puck from rolling over the blueline, but his defensive game HAS to pick up, imo. He made some serious misplays tonight and as he did not contribute offensively, there is no doubt he was a liability tonight.

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10-18-2006, 10:42 PM
  #67
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Koivu and Kovalev had miscues defensively tonight that led to good chances for Chicago. They did not contribute offensively either.

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10-18-2006, 10:46 PM
  #68
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YES! I said some bad things a few days ago, but I've seen a few better things from him in the last 2 days.

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10-19-2006, 09:29 AM
  #69
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Ok Mike8, here's what I think.

Souray Positives:
  1. Good on PP
  2. Good shot
  3. Can be physical
  4. Scores points

Souray Negatives:
  1. Foot Speed
  2. Takes unneccessary penalties
  3. Has trouble clearing the zone when under pressure
  4. Is positionally challenged when playing 5v5 or on the PK
  5. Has trouble keeping the puck in the offensive zone
  6. When paired with another slow defender it really shows his flaws
  7. Has a hard time keeping up with top 3 forwards of other teams, both with speed and keeping track of them on the ice. Reaction time too slow.

I'm sorry, I just do not see his positives outweighing the negatives and I likely never will unless he changes his game.

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10-19-2006, 09:35 AM
  #70
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I still maintain that unless you can find a suitable replacement without hurting our team overall, you've no basis to complain. In terms of players who bring Souray's PP skills, and are also sound defensively you're looking at a group of maybe 5.

BadHabit, there aren't many defensemen in the league whose positives outweigh their negatives if you measure like that. We seem to be in an era without a plentitude of excellent defensemen, and Souray, believe it or not, is probably in the top 60 in the NHL if you look at overall skill. Defensive defenseman, he is not. Invaluable team asset, he is.

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10-19-2006, 09:59 AM
  #71
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Originally Posted by RedScull View Post
I still maintain that unless you can find a suitable replacement without hurting our team overall, you've no basis to complain. In terms of players who bring Souray's PP skills, and are also sound defensively you're looking at a group of maybe 5.

BadHabit, there aren't many defensemen in the league whose positives outweigh their negatives if you measure like that. We seem to be in an era without a plentitude of excellent defensemen, and Souray, believe it or not, is probably in the top 60 in the NHL if you look at overall skill. Defensive defenseman, he is not. Invaluable team asset, he is.
You're missing my point. I would rather give him up and pick up a defensive dman, which I believe is a huge part of what this team is missing. A quality, stay at home defenseman is what we need... and not a rookie or sophmore one either. I think that would benefit the Habs more than the points he puts up on the board.

We have good forwards that can produce, maybe not 5 or 6 goals a game but if we had quality defense we wouldn't have to score that many. We have good goalies so that is not the issue either. I truly believe what this team is lacking is a good defenseman - not another 40 point guy who can't skate backwards.

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