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Time for another State of the Union

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Old
03-09-2007, 08:32 AM
  #1
Netro
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Time for another State of the Union

I don't know about the majority of posters, but I am frustrated with all the negative posts I see. I understand people are upset but I wish everyone would take a step back for a second. I don't think many posters understand Gainey's plan. He has a long term plan and is building towards a series of seasons where the Habs are cup contenders. As such, he was not willing to make a trade for a goalie that would have gotten in the way of this plan. Plus, I think that both Carbo and Gainey felt that Abs and Halak would be able to play well enough to get them in.

In addition, I think he kept Souray for 2 reasons: (1) He did not get any offers that he liked...in other words, he probably got draft picks and prospects as opposed to a young NHL player and (2) It is still important that the Habs try to make the playoffs because it is a good experience for the young players as well as the extra revenue. Look, I wanted Souray traded only if they received current young NHL players (like a Matt Carle, who was untouchable anyway)

In the Salary Cap era, you need a pipeline of young cheap assets. You need financial flexibility and you better make sure that you don't give out bad contracts (in $ AND in length) The Samsonov contract is not as bad as we think if only because it is a 2 year deal. Gainey is sticking to this plan as he builds toward this series of seasons where the Habs are cup contenders. I personally believe that when the Habs are close, Gainey will be a buyer at the deadline, much like when he was with Dallas and traded Ignila.

This team is the same as the team that made the playoffs last year except, off the top of my head:
Samsonov for Ribs
Johnson for Zednick
Ninnimma as depth over an AHL d-man.

So, the questions...why has the team regressed this season when the talent should better than last year. Here are my thoughts:
(1) Young talent - you never know at what pace they will develop. This brings inconsistencies. This team had Perezhogin, Higgins, Plekanec and Latendresse starting the season in the top 12. Now they have added Lapierre as well as some time for Kostitsyn. Take a step back because that is half the forwards that start as either a rookie or second year player. No matter how much talent these players have, unless you are a Crosby or a Malkin, it takes time to adjust to the NHL. For those putting line-ups out next season with even more young players in the starting line-up, I would think about this for a sec. You need veterans.
(2) Teams around them improved and they are in a tough division - I don't know their division record but it is not easy to have to play Ottawa and Buffalo 8 times. Toronto improved and plays the Habs tough and the Habs are playing Boston 4 times in the last month - when they are playing inspired hockey. Plus, the other divisions in the conference are pretty strong as well. (with the exception of the Flyers, this season - they made some great moves last month) The West might have some of the top teams in the league but the East has more depth, or strong teams
(3) The flu - this may seem like a cop out - but this team was never the same after the flu went through them in late December. It really got them out of sync and for some reason could not get it back
(4) Not as good as the start - This team was winning with special teams and goaltending. This is not a formula for long term success. They had to improve the 5 on 5 play and failed to do so.
(5) Injuries - I don't know how many man games the Habs have lost to injuries but sometimes it is not the number of games but who is injured. Plus, the players playing through injuries that we don't know about. Losing Huet is huge. The Higgins injury set him back. I am sure he played injured when he came back and only recently does he seem to have his speed back. Kovalev, imo, has been playing hurt all season. He just has not looked the same and I am willing to bet his knee bothers him. The Begin injury hurts the team in grittiness. And who do these players get plugged with? Youngsters. Now - you can complain that Gainey should have gotten older players for depth but again, Gainey is building towards something...it is not about this year.
(6) Rookie Coach - Carbo is a rookie head coach and in the second half he appeared to panic, unlike the first half when he didn't need to do much because the team was winning. I have not lost faith in Carbo or the staff yet and I hope he will learn from the mistakes he made this year. He is a good hockey mind. (as is Jarvis and Muller)
(7) The Samsonov signing/dealing - This signing proved to be a bad fit. He never seemed to get adjusted to the team and Carbo admittingly did not deal with him well. He can still be productive player next season but Carbo and Gainey must tell him their expectations of him going into the summer and camp next season. With his contract, I don't see any team taking him until the deadline
(8) Size - It seems every season, they start great and then falter from Jan - Mar. The last few seasons they got in based on a March winning streak. I don't know why this happens but perhaps because they are a smaller team based on speed that they get run down. I am personally not a big proponent that size is the be all and end all, and I will always choose skill over size, but it may be wise for the Habs to go get some size with skill

They should have been better this year but weren't. Sometimes that happens. I know it is frustrating but if you see the big picture, you won't find it nearly as frustrating. I know it is hard to believe but this team is headed in the right direction. Just have some patience.

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Old
03-09-2007, 08:41 AM
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MadJah
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All right President Netro. Are you American by any chance? Us Canuks don't do States of the Union Addresses.

That aside, I would say you're right about the negative comments. How can they be productive towards our team's future?!

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03-09-2007, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by MadJah View Post
All right President Netro. Are you American by any chance? Us Canuks don't do States of the Union Addresses.

That aside, I would say you're right about the negative comments. How can they be productive towards our team's future?!
Madjah - I am a canuck. And sorry 'bout that.

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03-09-2007, 08:50 AM
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You forgot one of the biggest differences from last year- The Goaltending.
Huet was not ass good as he was last year ( before this injury) and the fantastic duo that we have right now is clearly poor.

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03-09-2007, 08:50 AM
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Loosing Souray's asset value is just deeply frustrating, considering the explanation was to keep him to make the playoffs THIS year. That's what I ask of a GM, positivism but not delusions. Now if hes gonna commit a double whammy by signing Souray 5-6m, I really dont think I will have faith in his abilities after that.

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Old
03-09-2007, 08:50 AM
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Madjah - I am a canuck. And sorry 'bout that.
Ah, well, for most Canuks, "State of the Union" conjures up images of a solid hour (or so) of bordom where GW Bush makes a monkey of himself on pretty much every TV channel.

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03-09-2007, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by MadJah View Post
Ah, well, for most Canuks, "State of the Union" conjures up images of a solid hour (or so) of bordom where GW Bush makes a monkey of himself on pretty much every TV channel.
I personally find it funny when GW Bush makes a monkey of himself, especially when I consider that he is the leader of the US.

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03-09-2007, 08:55 AM
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Sorry for the quick judgement. In hindsight, I believe Bush spares the Fraco TV stations, so it wouldn't be as evident of an Americanism (to Habs fans, viva le RDS!).

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03-09-2007, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Netro View Post
I personally find it funny when GW Bush makes a monkey of himself, especially when I consider that he is the leader of the US.
Exactly why you wouldn't want to be giving a "State of the Union", right!

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03-09-2007, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by skipp18 View Post
You forgot one of the biggest differences from last year- The Goaltending.
Huet was not ass good as he was last year ( before this injury) and the fantastic duo that we have right now is clearly poor.
Exactly. Huet's play last season and at the start of this one made us think we had a good team, while that wasn't the case. The habs are the Flyers with a good goalie.

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03-09-2007, 09:06 AM
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Exactly. Huet's play last season and at the start of this one made us think we had a good team, while that wasn't the case. The habs are the Flyers with a good goalie.
So are the Canucks for that matter, or the Flames as well. I can go on if you like.

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03-09-2007, 09:31 AM
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So are the Canucks for that matter, or the Flames as well. I can go on if you like.

Maybe it's just me, but any team who has a top 3 goaltender and top 3 defense in the league is a cup contender, not a "Flyers with a good goalie"...

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03-09-2007, 10:36 AM
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MadJah
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Exactly why you wouldn't want to be giving a "State of the Union", right!
How about "Skate of the Union Address", or use "Nation" (Nation of Quebec) instead of "Union", to make it more Habs-friendly?

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03-09-2007, 10:44 AM
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Injuries are not an excuse anymore. Look at who Buffalo has played without for significant stretches this year.

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03-09-2007, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by MadJah View Post
That aside, I would say you're right about the negative comments. How can they be productive towards our team's future?!
In that vein, positive comments won't be productive either seeing as we're not the actual co-GMs of the Habs

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03-09-2007, 10:51 AM
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we need bulis and sundstrom ...

remember bulis' breakaway goal in game 2, what a pass by kovalev.

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03-09-2007, 10:52 AM
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we need bulis and sundstrom ...

remember bulis' breakaway goal in game 2, what a pass by kovalev.
Remember the goal by Sundstrom in the second game of the 05-06 season against the Leafs? What a pass by Bonk

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03-09-2007, 10:53 AM
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In that vein, positive comments won't be productive either seeing as we're not the actual co-GMs of the Habs
A little thing called positive vibes. A happy aura, perhaps.

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03-09-2007, 11:35 AM
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Netro
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Injuries are not an excuse anymore. Look at who Buffalo has played without for significant stretches this year.
Well - I think Buffalo is a good team to compare us to in the sense that they waited for a lot of the young players to develop and it paid off. Roy, Afin, Hecht, Vanek, Campbell, Miller, etc..Of course, having Drury and Briere added to the mix helped.

The Habs could, and I stress could, be similiar in the future if we let our kids develop. We are probably 2-3 years behind Buffalo. The thing is, at Buffalo's stage now, they are in much better shape to play through injuries

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03-09-2007, 11:43 AM
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There was suppose to be a 5 year plan in place when Andre Savard was GM, it is now a different GM and that was 2001....6 years later we are no closer to being a cup contender or playoff hopeful!

Either Savard's plan was a pipe dream, or Gainey screwed the 5 year plan after his arrival.

There is no need to look positive with how the Habs have played since mid-December, and there is no positives in the fact that Gainey never tried to build the team into a playoff contender through trade at the deadline or to build for the future in trading some of our other UFA's like Rivet.

Gainey and Co. look to be building towards another "5 year plan" in my opinion, a plan in which as life long Hab fan is getting sick of seeing no results sine 1993!c

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03-09-2007, 11:49 AM
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Ah, well, for most Canuks, "State of the Union" conjures up images of a solid hour (or so) of bordom where GW Bush makes a monkey of himself on pretty much every TV channel.
My definition of a State of the Union Address: a night where there damn well better be a hockey game on so I have something to watch on TV that won't be pre-empted.

I'm American, BTW

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03-09-2007, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Netro View Post
Well - I think Buffalo is a good team to compare us to in the sense that they waited for a lot of the young players to develop and it paid off. Roy, Afin, Hecht, Vanek, Campbell, Miller, etc..Of course, having Drury and Briere added to the mix helped.

The Habs could, and I stress could, be similiar in the future if we let our kids develop. We are probably 2-3 years behind Buffalo. The thing is, at Buffalo's stage now, they are in much better shape to play through injuries
They had kids playing their first games in the NHL and making a huge difference. My point is that if we had 8 regulars out of the lineup, we would have all the excuses in the book already mapped out and ready to use.

Buffalo didn't just fold because they had 8 guys out, they weren't ready for excuses. They played hard without 8 guys and beat some really good teams without some of their top players.

No doubt we are behind Buffalo, but Buffalo was a doormat the year before the lockout.

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03-09-2007, 12:43 PM
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No doubt we are behind Buffalo, but Buffalo was a doormat the year before the lockout.
Hope for a quick turnaround next year then?

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03-09-2007, 12:47 PM
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Hope for a quick turnaround next year then?
Hehe, I certainly hope so

I just hope the media doesn't run Gainey out of town before then. Not many outstanding General Managers out there lining up to take the job...

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03-09-2007, 01:19 PM
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When I got my tickets for the NYR game I thought it was gonna be pretty pointless as we'd be assured a play-offs spot by then and we'd just be taking our foot off the pedal hoping nobody gets injured. How wrong was I. I've since exchanged them for a pair against Buffalo which isn't looking any more interesting.

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