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"Habs are actively looking to change the core of their team"

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Old
02-16-2007, 01:09 PM
  #101
rudethedude66
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If anything has to be done to start from scratch...GET RID OF THAT BUM KOIVU....how can u get rid of the core if he is around....hes the lousiest captain ever...too many ppl feeling too much sympathy cuz of his sickness....IF HE DIDNT GET SICK HE WOULDA BEEN DEALT LONG AGO!!!!GET RID OF....KOIVU..ryder..rivet...abby...ninnimaa...boui llon....dandenault...get some size speed and grit...a lil bit of size on the blue line would be nice too...bouillon and dandenault jus cant cut it....rivet is a bum....WE HAVE TO KEEP SOURRAY!...THE ONLY GUY WHO SEEMS LIKE HE CARES...keep kovy cuz he can still play...would be so much better with koivu gone and a much better captain....end of rant for now..peace!

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Old
02-16-2007, 01:10 PM
  #102
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Originally Posted by 417 View Post
Great post Mike8, and I do agree with you in part.

My issue is that with a guy like Koivu, being paid like a core player almost making 5mil/yr, can't really be a guy who strong for a portion of a season and weak the other portion, and in between for the other portion (breaking the season down into thrids for example) if Koivu makes almost 5mil/yr, the expectation IMO, or at least what management is telling me as a fan, is that Koivu is at least a PPG player. Can you honest live with the fact that Koivu makes 5mil/yr and won't even crack 65ptd this year? I know I have alot of trouble swallowing that. Doesn't make sense on any level. If Koivu is going to give you the production of a # 2 center, then he should be paid like one, not more because he's the captain and represents more to the Habs than anyother city, it almost looks like were paying a tax on Koivu's salary cause he's the captain and has been through so much during his career.

And if Kovalev is more of a support player to a core player, why is he being paid like a core player? All this doesn't matter now, but it puts into focus what the problem is with the Habs.

1. An underachieving/overpaid core
2. Overpaid depth players - Bouillon, Bonk, Johnson for example
3. subpar puck movement from the defense.
$5m a year is about right for a player who's fundamentally solid and productive offensively. 65 points is productive, in my view, especially given Montreal's (continued) offensive woes. And he's not to blame for that.

Look around the league at comparable players and salaries.

If you're heading into a playoff series, do you want Marc Savard, or Koivu? Do you prefer Savard to build around, or Koivu? In my mind, it's Koivu without a doubt. A telling quote on Savard from Kozlov after Savard left Atlanta is that (roughly) 'some players played for personal statistics, and those players are gone now'.

Bobby Holik makes a little less than Koivu, while providing a whole lot less.

Briere makes a bit more than Koivu while only having one season under his belt that was ever better than Koivu's. Now he's proving this year that he's a PPG player, but he's also on an offense that's substantially better than Koivu's. I do think Briere's more talented offensively than Koivu, but I don't think he's a much better player. If I'm building a team, I'd likely take Briere, but not by much. And consider the fact that Briere's likely due for a major raise this coming offseason (where he's a UFA).

Tanguay makes a fair bit more than Koivu. Is he substantially better? This was a RFA contract, too. People didn't tend to think Tanguay was substantially overpaid in his contract either...

Arnott's a great comparison because he was just signed last summer. He's making roughly the same amount as Koivu. Personally, I'd take Koivu any day over Arnott. He's more productive and he's more of a warrior.

At the time of Koivu's contract signing, I wasn't ecstatic. I thought it was a bit of an overpayment. But when you look around the league, it isn't. I was hoping for a bit of a bargain is all, and if Montreal had another elite player at the time then it would've been possible, but considering Koivu was/is Montreal's best forward and deserved to be paid as such, he received that salary...


On the three points...

I maintain that the core is too small to be blamed. It'd be the equivalent of sticking Elias on an offense-starved club then blaming him for producing less than he did with Gomez and Gionta by his side. It's not a realistic expectation. By having such a small core to build around, they're being set up for failure.

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02-16-2007, 01:13 PM
  #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike8 View Post
I don't see how the core has failed. What's the core? Koivu, Markov, Kovalev? Anyone else?

Most would agree that Koivu and Markov are core-player worthy, and Kovalev a legitimately strong support-core player.

Kovalev and Koivu are each paid roughly market value. Markov's paid below market value.

So given the fact that Montreal has a small core as it is, and we could all agree that they are not spectacular relative to the other cores of the league (though still worthy of being part of the foundation of any franchise), why is it that such a small amount (roughly $10.5m) is being spent on the core?

Why is roughly $6.5m being spent on #5, #6, #8 defensemen? (Dandenault, Bouillon, Niinimaa respectively)

While we value what Johnson has provided, he's earning an awful lot for a mediocre offensive player who provides energy, but not much in the way of grit. Same goes for Bonk.

Samsonov was identified as a core player (according to his salary), but hasn't worked out for a variety of reasons, which means Montreal's added more support scoring when a core player was needed.


Look, my point is that Montreal's core is not bad, it's just small. Teams have two options:

1) Small, elite core, a la Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, et al.;

2) Larger core, filled with depth and talents that complement eachother, a la Nashville.


I don't believe Kariya or Sullivan are much ahead of Koivu, for example. Nor do I believe Timonen is much better than Markov. The difference is primarily that Nashville has a couple of more core players which allows a player like Hartnell and Radulov to thrive in a specific depth role, whereas Montreal relies on its Hartnell/Radulov equivalents (players like Plekanec, Higgins) to provide a bulk of the offense.

A primary difference is the blueline. Nashville's got a deep, puck-moving defense. Montreal's defense is a weakness in the puck moving department.

Take the example of Detroit: Zetterberg, Datsyuk are the only forwards that have exceptional talent in some way or another. Datsyuk is not an exceptional player on the whole ... he's streaky, soft, suspect defensively and suspect when the going gets rough. Zetterberg is phenomenal, in my view, and a legitimate star. But then Detroit has the likes of Samuelsson and Cleary playing on the second line there, so we can make a claim that Montreal's talent up front is greater than Detroit's.

So why is Detroit better than Montreal?

In part due to Zetterberg, as he's really that good and helps mold their team as a whole, but largely due to the defense. Lidstrom, Kronwall, Lebda, Chelios, D.Markov, Schneider. They can all skate. They can all move the puck. They're all solid, unspectacular defensively and they're efficient.

Montreal's only efficient defenseman is Markov and at times Dandenault. Komisarek's useful, but the rest are average at best in their own zone. Rivet, as much as I like him, is not a puck mover and not a sufficient threat in transition, which makes him an average defenseman. He's worthwhile due to his character, but when there are three defensemen (Komisarek, Rivet, Souray) who are not efficient and they're all offering the same characteristics (character, grit, physical presence), then there's a problem. (And yes, I realize Souray's got a cannon of a shot).


My point is that this core has not failed. Koivu, while he's struggled horribly of late, also played well above his head earlier in the year and played like one of the better Cs in the league for a stretch. He's balancing himself out right now. Kovalev's played below par for himself this year, but we can likely all agree that he's more of a support to a core player than a core player himself, ideally.

The overpayment of depth players, the lack of an additional core forward added into the mix, and the subpar puck movement on the blueline are true causes for this team's return to mediocrity, in my view.

I can't think of another team in the league that relies on 1.5 core forwards to lead a team to the playoffs. Especially if the blueline isn't exceptional.
Great reading!

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02-16-2007, 01:17 PM
  #104
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Originally Posted by Astaroth View Post
Great post as usual and finally some sanity on these boards.

Like I said before, when we were on fire, all our top guns were carrying the load without much support from anybody else. When our top guns started to tail off, nobdy picked up the slack except Plekanec. Worst of all is that none of our goalies have stolen us a game during this whole time; sometimes that's all you need to get the ball rolling.

I see alot of people *****ing about Koivu, saying how it's all his fault, he's overpaid and underacheiving. That we need to start in a new direction. As a Habs fan I shake my head because that's just ******** and everyone knows it. This guy was one of the best centers in the league until january; he just ran out of steam. Our team doesn't even one line this year ES, it was Koivu, Higgins and then kind of Kovalev. Everything else was our PP, PK and the goalies playing like walls. Eventually teams figured that out and just shutdown Koivu, played a more disciplined game and we stopped winning. Our breakout/transition has be also one of the worse in the league as mentionned; when you spend 3/4 of your shift defending against cycling in the defensive and zone and then just have enough breath to dump in, you're not gonna get many points.

As a devoted Koivu fan I laugh and kind of wish he was traded just like last year a part of me hoped for him to leave for UFA. This is guy's salary is market value, half the teams in the league would jump on this guy the moment he was available. He brings PPG (give him actual team, I garantee you at least that), solid two-way play, good faceoff skills, grit and yes leadership. He's one of the respected players through the league and was named to the IOC comittee for Athletes.

Our core is just too small and without enough support. The bad contracts taken on by Gainey don't help.

Good post...but there's alot of miscoceptions in there IMO

Koivu was one of the best centers in the league until January??

Not sure I agree with that...we had a red hot PP, and he was getting most of his points there, however, 5 on 5 he was putrid as the rest of our team was. I love Koivu as much as the next Habs fan, but let's call it like it is here.

Koivu is a solid player, a much, much better player than he's shown this entire year IMO...but maybe, just maybe...he's slowing down, Koivu may have never put up huge numbers, but he's usually always been a steady 2 way player...where has that part of his game gone?

Fact is, Gainey gave a slowly declining player an increase in salary, over a long period, based mostly on the fact that he's loved and is the face of this franchise....that's a recipe for cap disaster.

I'm a huge fan of the NFL & NBA, two leagues who've had salary caps for a while, and i've learned you can't be attached to players like you used to, you have to make anyone 'movable', unless their young players with potential.

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Old
02-16-2007, 01:24 PM
  #105
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Originally Posted by Mike8 View Post
$5m a year is about right for a player who's fundamentally solid and productive offensively. 65 points is productive, in my view, especially given Montreal's (continued) offensive woes. And he's not to blame for that.

Look around the league at comparable players and salaries.

If you're heading into a playoff series, do you want Marc Savard, or Koivu? Do you prefer Savard to build around, or Koivu? In my mind, it's Koivu without a doubt. A telling quote on Savard from Kozlov after Savard left Atlanta is that (roughly) 'some players played for personal statistics, and those players are gone now'.

Bobby Holik makes a little less than Koivu, while providing a whole lot less.

Briere makes a bit more than Koivu while only having one season under his belt that was ever better than Koivu's. Now he's proving this year that he's a PPG player, but he's also on an offense that's substantially better than Koivu's. I do think Briere's more talented offensively than Koivu, but I don't think he's a much better player. If I'm building a team, I'd likely take Briere, but not by much. And consider the fact that Briere's likely due for a major raise this coming offseason (where he's a UFA).

Tanguay makes a fair bit more than Koivu. Is he substantially better? This was a RFA contract, too. People didn't tend to think Tanguay was substantially overpaid in his contract either...

Arnott's a great comparison because he was just signed last summer. He's making roughly the same amount as Koivu. Personally, I'd take Koivu any day over Arnott. He's more productive and he's more of a warrior.

At the time of Koivu's contract signing, I wasn't ecstatic. I thought it was a bit of an overpayment. But when you look around the league, it isn't. I was hoping for a bit of a bargain is all, and if Montreal had another elite player at the time then it would've been possible, but considering Koivu was/is Montreal's best forward and deserved to be paid as such, he received that salary...


On the three points...

I maintain that the core is too small to be blamed. It'd be the equivalent of sticking Elias on an offense-starved club then blaming him for producing less than he did with Gomez and Gionta by his side. It's not a realistic expectation. By having such a small core to build around, they're being set up for failure.
Again Mike8...great read, I can't really challenge your intelligence when it comes to hockey knowledge, I just sit back read and learn.

However, you used Arnott as a comparison...Arnott has the same amount of points as Koivu this year, IN ABOUT 15 LESS GAMES, so they're production isn't similar.

Bobby Holike as a huge mistake, Don Waddell I think is drunk when he's making half his deals anyway, so no need to expand on that.

Marc Savard is a good example, i'm not sure what he makes..but I'm sure it's similar... While I agree with you that i'd rather have Koivu going into a playoff series, if you're talking player vs. player, Savard is better in the role that Koivu has...which is # 1 center. hopefully if you're a team with March Savard, you've got vets that can surround him to make sure he's stays on course with his attitude, but in terms of their roles on their respective teams...there's no comparison.

Again, my point isn't to belittle Koivu...However, with his salary and role, I have an expectation for Koivu, and he's simply not meeting those expectations and I suspect Gainey feels the same way.

If Koivu getting 65pts yearly is good enough for you, which is an average production, than that's what this team will always be...average. That was fine 2 or 3 years ago, but my expectations have raised, ever so slightly, but still they've raised.

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02-16-2007, 01:39 PM
  #106
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I did some more thinking and I'm pretty convinced that we need to get what we can for Souray.

IMO by the deadline we'll see Souray, Ryder, and maybe Bouillion/Rivet gone. For the latter two, if it isn't done by the deadline I won't really care but I don't want to see them in a Habs jersey next season. $2 million for Bouillion is a disgrace.

I also think that Halak's call-up means he might be packaged with Ryder and picks to get a first line center. Yann Danis was more than serviceable in his short NHL stint last season and didn't appear out of his league at all. He was calm and solid which is what we would need to spell Aebischer for one game, maybe two during Huet's absence. It just smells fishy to me. Maybe we're giving Halak an audition in the bigs to see if Price is expendable.

I think we'll see two big trades in the next little while.

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02-16-2007, 01:42 PM
  #107
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Originally Posted by waffledave View Post
You guys are kidding yourselves if you honestly think that a bad month and a half will suddenly make Gainey want to move Koivu. He is not the problem. Koivu will play out his contract here in Montreal and probably retire.
Not the problem ?

we have a team that isn't able to buy more than one goal per game , and you say that our first line center ( and our most overpaid player ) is not a part of the problem ? Lapierre, Bonk and Plekanec are all more dangerous than him , for 1 and an half month .

If he's not a part of the problem , he's certainly not a part of the solution . At close to 5 m$ we can get someone else who is going to help the team , more than 30-35 games per season .

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02-16-2007, 01:43 PM
  #108
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I would just like to know where it all went wrong this season? This team went from being one of the top teams in the NHL early on to having now hit rock bottom.I certainly didn't see this coming at all.There is still time to right the ship but I am really starting to lose faith in Habs management,coaches and the players to get this turned around soon.Gainey is in a tough spot on how he should handle this IMO.

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02-16-2007, 01:49 PM
  #109
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If he's not a part of the problem , he's certainly not a part of the solution . At close to 5 m$ we can get someone else who is going to help the team , more than 30-35 games per season .
Tell me: who are you proposing Montreal acquires at $5m a year that will provide more than Koivu?

Do you believe Marc Savard is the answer?

Why is it black and white that Koivu is the problem? Is it inconceivable to believe Montreal's offense, which has 1.5 core players to most playoff teams' 3-4, is weak because of its lack of top-end players ... not because the current top-end players are underachieving?

Why is the solution to remove elements from the team, rather than add elements?

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02-16-2007, 01:50 PM
  #110
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Anaheim has a forward core of 2 as well - Macdonald and Selanne. They are similar in talent and salary to Koivu and Kovalev. Slight edge to Anaheim

Anaheim has cap friendly young forwards (Perry, Penner, Getzlaf, Kunitz) much like ours (Higgins, Plekanec, Latendresse, Ryder). Slight edge to Anaheim.

Anaheim also has overpaid 3rd and 4th liners in R. Neidermayer and Marchant. They are no better or no worse than MJ and Bonk. (To make matters worse, Marchant and Rob Neidermayer are signed to two more years).

Goaltending is about the same.

The big difference between the two teams is the Defense. They have the two of the five best D of the last 20 years along with a bunch of no names (and no salaries) to complete the top six. The Habs have too much salary tied down to their bottom three and not enough quality in the top two.

All this to say that I partially agree with Mike8. The defense and its inability to move the puck (and the fact that so much cap $$ are tied to them) is killing the team. Where I disagree with him is that a core of two at the forward position is not enough to build around with the quality that is present.

You have to upgrade the top two at forward and defense and the team will be fine with the rest of the supporting core. I would rather keep Koivu over Kovalev. But Koivu is more moveable than Kovalev. And Souray and Kovalev can no longer co-habitate on the same team. That much is sure.


Last edited by AH: 02-16-2007 at 01:55 PM.
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02-16-2007, 01:50 PM
  #111
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Koivu CAN be part of the solution if better surrounded, the problem is that Koivu's own contract inhibits any help Gainey can get him, add to that Kovalev albatross of a contract and Gainey is stuck.
better surrounded ? that 's a joke . We see that from his fans for how many years now ? Few seasons ago , it was may be true , but now we don't have the same kind of team than during the Houle era . Ryder = 30 goals , Souray , Higgins , Kovalev , Markov , Samsonov are not that bad .

May be it's time to realise that Saku is not able to make his liners good .

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02-16-2007, 01:53 PM
  #112
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Habs will be winning 6out of 7 of their next games, I can't wait to see this thread in a 2 weeks.

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02-16-2007, 01:53 PM
  #113
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Originally Posted by Mike8 View Post
Tell me: who are you proposing Montreal acquires at $5m a year that will provide more than Koivu?

Do you believe Marc Savard is the answer?

Why is it black and white that Koivu is the problem? Is it inconceivable to believe Montreal's offense, which has 1.5 core players to most playoff teams' 3-4, is weak because of its lack of top-end players ... not because the current top-end players are underachieving?
Or maybe because our "top-end" players really aren't "top-end" players.

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02-16-2007, 01:54 PM
  #114
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Why is this getting so much attention?

Is there still no link? Did he say it on air?

How do we know this isn't made up.

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02-16-2007, 01:56 PM
  #115
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Anaheim has a forward core of 2 as well - Macdonald and Selanne. They are similar in talent and salary to Koivu and Kovalev. Slight edge to Anaheim

Anaheim has cap friendly young forwards (Perry, Penner, Getzlaf, Kunitz) much like ours (Higgins, Plekanec, Latendresse, Ryder). Slight edge to Anaheim.

Anaheim also has overpaid 3rd and 4th liners in R. Neidermayer and Marchant. They are no better or no worse than MJ and Bonk. (To make matters worse, Marchant and Rob Neidermayer are signed to two more years).

Goaltending is about the same.

The big difference between the two teams is the Defense. They have the two of the five best D of the last 20 years along with a bunch of no names (and no salaries) to complete the top six. The Habs have too much salary tied down to their bottom three and not enough quality in the top two.

All this to say that I partially agree with Mike8. The defense and its inability to move the puck (and the fact that so much cap $$ are tied to them) is killing the team. Where I disagree with him is that a core of two at the forward position is not enough to build around with the quality that is present.

You have to upgrade the top two at forward and defense and the team will be fine with the rest of the supporting core. I would rather keep Koivu over Kovalev. But Koivu is more moveable than Kovalev. And Souray and Kovalev can no longer co-habitate on the same team. That much is sure.


as I said in 3 other threads:

6.5 million for our 5th, 6th and 7th D-men...


UNACCEPTABLE

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02-16-2007, 01:58 PM
  #116
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Habs will be winning 6out of 7 of their next games, I can't wait to see this thread in a 2 weeks.
Ya i bet opinions will change but not mine, people seem to be satisfied with just making the playoffs these days... I thought it was about winning stanley cups here in montreal..

Oh how the mighty have fallen

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02-16-2007, 01:59 PM
  #117
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Or maybe because our "top-end" players really aren't "top-end" players.
Well, that's wonderful semantics. What bearing does this have on any discussion? We've been over the fact that Koivu's not a top-tier center.

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02-16-2007, 01:59 PM
  #118
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Good post...but there's alot of miscoceptions in there IMO

Koivu was one of the best centers in the league until January??

Not sure I agree with that...we had a red hot PP, and he was getting most of his points there, however, 5 on 5 he was putrid as the rest of our team was. I love Koivu as much as the next Habs fan, but let's call it like it is here.

Koivu is a solid player, a much, much better player than he's shown this entire year IMO...but maybe, just maybe...he's slowing down, Koivu may have never put up huge numbers, but he's usually always been a steady 2 way player...where has that part of his game gone?

Fact is, Gainey gave a slowly declining player an increase in salary, over a long period, based mostly on the fact that he's loved and is the face of this franchise....that's a recipe for cap disaster.

I'm a huge fan of the NFL & NBA, two leagues who've had salary caps for a while, and i've learned you can't be attached to players like you used to, you have to make anyone 'movable', unless their young players with potential.
No you're right about that, Koivu was not that crazy 5 on 5 but he was solid and combined with his PP tear he was one of the best Cs in the league (like top 10 at that point only though).

I don't think he's slowing down, his 2-way play has gone to the wayside but pretty much his whole game and the team is in a tailspin right now so... Now if he doesn't turn it around by the end of season then you may be right.

One of his less questionnable decisions was the Koivu contract, I guarantee you that he would have gotten that on the open market easily.

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02-16-2007, 02:01 PM
  #119
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Ya i bet opinions will change but not mine, people seem to be satisfied with just making the playoffs these days... I thought it was about winning stanley cups here in montreal..

Oh how the mighty have fallen
Every team that makes the playoffs has just as much chance of winning the cup than any other team.

We did not finish first in the standings in the years we won our last 2 cups, why would it have to be different for any other year?
Senators, Anaheim, Calgary, Detroit, Boston in 2002 .... great seasons no cups...All I care about from the regular season is a playoff spot, doesn't matter which one.

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02-16-2007, 02:01 PM
  #120
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Where I disagree with him is that a core of two at the forward position is not enough to build around with the quality that is present.
Well, I did add a small caveat

Quote:
I can't think of another team in the league that relies on 1.5 core forwards to lead a team to the playoffs. Especially if the blueline isn't exceptional.
Anyhow, your point is entirely valid, though I'd say that having Niedermayer and Pronger is an exceptional circumstance that can't be duplicated.

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Old
02-16-2007, 02:01 PM
  #121
waffledave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigTimer View Post
Or maybe because our "top-end" players really aren't "top-end" players.
Ding Ding Ding!

I can't beleive how few people on this board get it. Mike8 especially is a breath of fresh air.

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Old
02-16-2007, 02:03 PM
  #122
waffledave
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Originally Posted by Mike8 View Post
Well, that's wonderful semantics. What bearing does this have on any discussion? We've been over the fact that Koivu's not a top-tier center.
I don't think he means Koivu. He's talking about guys like Kovalev, Samsonov and the rest of our enigmatic team.

They were brought in, expecting to be top players, when they aren't top players and never have been.

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Old
02-16-2007, 02:03 PM
  #123
tritone
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Originally Posted by Mike8 View Post
Well, that's wonderful semantics. What bearing does this have on any discussion? We've been over the fact that Koivu's not a top-tier center.
Well if you're calling it a fact then I have bad news for you...you're wrong.
Look at Koivu's numbers and you'll see he is always in the top 15 for Centers.
With 30 teams, that makes him a top tier guy.

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Old
02-16-2007, 02:03 PM
  #124
ECWHSWI
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Originally Posted by waffledave View Post
You guys are kidding yourselves if you honestly think that a bad month and a half will suddenly make Gainey want to move Koivu. He is not the problem. Koivu will play out his contract here in Montreal and probably retire.
He might not be THE problem, but he's a big part of the "core", and it's not working, all we did with him is a few 1st and 2nd round exits... is it all his fault ? nope, but still, he's part of a core that never won anything...

And with all that happened to him trough his career, I can't picture him being succesful on a 1st line for a whole 82 games...

come on, seeing how things are going since beginning of 2007, the closest thing to a 1st line center we have right now is Plekanec... doesnt it says it all ?

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Old
02-16-2007, 02:03 PM
  #125
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bouillon has the worst salary on the habs. I can't believe we're stuck with him for 3 years.

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