I attended the training session in Bell Centre on Saturday morning and I went to the game on Saturday night against the Senators and I would like to share my observing and feeling about the players.
First of all, the first half of the training session is held by Doug Jarvis and the second session is held by Claude Julien. Already I see the difference between two coaches, and I can see why Bob Gainey bring in Doug Jarvis into our system. Doug Jarvis is a more strict coach like Burns who really take charge and control during practice. The thing they practiced are very practical like how to penetrate the defence, how to set up the play and let the defenceman shoot the puck, how to jam the net. No one can take a snap in the practice and the practice is very intensive. Audette did practice shoot the puck from the circle to the top angle of the net.. more than 50 times!! The practice session lasted for like 90 minutes and everyone is exhausted at the end. THAT'S THE TYPE OF COACH WE NEED! I attend open training session almost every year and I never see a coach pushing the player like this! I moved to Montreal in 93 and Vigneault is the best coach so far during these 10 years in my opinion. Not saying Vigneault is an excellent coach but comparatively speaking he is the best of all devils in my opinion. But Doug Jarvis! O man... now if the players not getting their 100% in the game I know they'll have a tough time in next day's practice LOL. Well indeed it's too early to say because Doug Jarvis is not our head coach yet but I think it wouldn't take long to see him here in Montreal.
The second session is conducted by Claude Julien. I am not impressed with the way he conduct the practice session. The thing they practice there ............. DUMP AND CHASE! O my god! Do we really need to spend so much time in doing that? I think we have a lot of areas to improve but dump and chase is the last thing we need here!
Doug Jarvis is head and shoulder better than Julien.
And during the game, I would say the following
Higgins - Peca in the making. I am confident that he'll make the team on the 3rd line there year. He is matured mentally and physiscally. The only thing he needs is experience in NHL.
Hainsey - very immature but talented. He tends to hold the puck for too long trying to impress. But instead he showed that he is very green and need fine tuning in the AHL.
Ryder - Too early to say if he belongs to NHL, but with his age I would bet there is a good chance he'll stay in Montreal this year. Like Riberio, everytime you see him you see improvement but there is always a question mark in your head - is he good enough?
Riberio - He should be really for NHL this year. I am not sure how good he'll be, but we'll only know if we play him.
Ward - His skating ability is going to limit his career in NHL. Poor skater with grit. I believe he has some scoring ability but I doubt he'll score more than 15 goals in a single season. Indeed Turner Stevenson is better in my opinion.
Komiserek - This guy is the real deal and he'll play with the big club this year.
stevenson is the worst skater i've ever seen .. ok ward is not that great in that department but he's still not that bad..
Jason Ward has more upside then stevenson ever had.
I'll agree that his skating isn't top notch, but his straight away speed is very decent.Ward has good puck skills and is sound positionally. He's got the potential to be more of a complete player, a guy u can use in a variaty of different situations both on offence and defence. Of course, he is never going to win a scoring title or pile up the goals, but at the very least he's going to be a very useful 3rd or 4th line player that can chip in the odd goal while providing grit, energy and a physical presence.
Finally, he seems like a good team player and a character guy.