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Do we really need a goon?

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Old
04-01-2005, 05:49 PM
  #1
CGG
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Do we really need a goon?

Honestly, do we? Does a goon still have a purpose in today's NHL?

I remember the good old days when Chris Nilan skated along side Guy Carbonneau and Bob Gainey to form one heck of a good checking line. All 3 would chip in around 20 goals, and Nilan would drop 'em with anyone in the league. But times have changed.

Whenever the NHL starts back up again, does Gainey go out and find a designated tough guy? Do you still need one in today's NHL?

I don't want to turn this into a lineup thread, but here's what we'll have next year, more or less:

Zednik-Koivu-Perezhogin
Higgins-Ribeiro-Ryder
Bulis-Bonk-Sundstrom
_____-Begin-Ward
Extra: Dagenais / Hossa

Are we better off playing someone like Hossa on the 4th line or signing up a cement hands brute who can only play 2 minutes a game without embarassing himself?

The age old argument is you need a tough guy to "protect" your star players. I don't buy it. Sure we're a small team, but do you really think the threat of maybe possibly being on the ice at the same time as Darren Langdon later on in the game stopped anyone from taking a cheap shot at Koivu or Ribeiro? Langdon was never on the ice at the same time as either of them, and if Langdon wanted to fight a guy later on to "get back at him" it's 2 minutes for instigating.

Langdon was by far the best enforcer Montreal has had in years, but still, 0 goals in 63 games and seriously limited talent. Wouldn't we be better off with a decent young guy on the 4th line, someone who can skate, log more than 3 minutes of ice time, and score the odd goal? Begin and Ward have a fair amount of offensive talent between them, I think they'd be better off with a Hossa on their line, and it would be better for Hossa/Higgins/Plekanec to play on the 4th line than not at all.

Thoughts?

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04-01-2005, 05:52 PM
  #2
eddy
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We do have a bit of a logjam at foward especially with a good amount of youngsters looking to crack the line-up but I think picking up a good enforcer through the waiver draft and just playing him when we are up against a big/rough team wouldn't hurt.

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04-01-2005, 06:21 PM
  #3
Quiet Robert
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I try to make a distinction between 'goon' and 'enforcer' because I do think they are different types of players. The way I see it, goons have no skill aside from dropping the gloves (Shelley, Oliwa etc..) enforcers drop the gloves less, but can fight when needed and are effective 4th line players.

At worst I would like to get a part-time 'goon only' type player because I think we need at least one tough guy. The way the game is today, we need at least a guy who can come in against the Leafs, Flyers and other tougher teams. However, I think we need an enforcer who has some actual hockey skill. I know these guys are rare, but they are very valuable.

I was thinking a player like Chris Simon. These are the types of players who can contribute offensively (around 25 points per year) who are solid defensively and who can drop the gloves. Though Simon drops the gloves less often than Oliwa or Shelley, he has so much more talent than them. He's a player I wouldn't mind having on the 4th line.

The problem with a simple goon, is as gc2005 pointed out, they play 3-4 minutes a game, get in a fight or throw a few checks. They negate the effect a 4th line could have. If you have a Simon (or at least a player with more skill) the 4th line becomes a real energy line that can give your team some needed momemtum and isn't a defensive liability. They can forcheck hard and change the pace of the game. With a goon player, the whole reason of the 4th line is eliminated.

A guy who I think would be good enough to be 4th line enforcer/checker, though he isn't as good as Simon, would be Andre Roy. He's big, effective, and relatively solid in the defensive zone. Not to mention he can give you around 15+ points a year.(Roy-Bégin-Ward wouldn't be too bad imo)

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Old
04-01-2005, 06:22 PM
  #4
JF
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gc2005
Honestly, do we? Does a goon still have a purpose in today's NHL?

The age old argument is you need a tough guy to "protect" your star players. I don't buy it. Sure we're a small team, but do you really think the threat of maybe possibly being on the ice at the same time as Darren Langdon later on in the game stopped anyone from taking a cheap shot at Koivu or Ribeiro? Langdon was never on the ice at the same time as either of them, and if Langdon wanted to fight a guy later on to "get back at him" it's 2 minutes for instigating.

Thoughts?
Maybe so, but I think that the player doing the cheap shot will at least think twice before doing it if he knows he risks an a**-beating after this.
If we remember the time when Andre Savard was the GM, he was not a supporter of the presence of a goon and it showed. We were pushed around like hell, even more so against teams like Toronto or Philadelphia. The players in my opinion were playing scared and did not display all their talent, and the team chemistry was not an all-time high. No one went to the defence of his teammates and that was sad to see.

In my opinion, finesse players are playing better when they know that someone will protect them if someone is trying to hurt them. They concentrate on the play, instead of worrying if they'll be hit.

I agree though that it could be seen as a waste of space (and it sometimes is), but if that prevents injuries or is making the team play better, then I'm all for it.

The solution to this problem: a goon who can play. (yeah I know, they are pretty rare and costly).
Anyway, just my 0.02$!

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Old
04-01-2005, 06:26 PM
  #5
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NO!!! goons are so overrated these days. They don't surve much purpose. All we need are players that are willing to hit and drop the gloves from time to time. Quintal did that for us last year. This year we have players like Rivet and Souray who are willing. Plus Bouillon and Komi aren't scared either. All we need are some forwards that are willing to hit while still producing when needed

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04-01-2005, 06:31 PM
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we do need a goon it keeps our big d from going off the ice for 2 or 10 or more we need langdon back

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04-01-2005, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x-bob
NO!!! goons are so overrated these days. They don't surve much purpose. All we need are players that are willing to hit and drop the gloves from time to time. Quintal did that for us last year. This year we have players like Rivet and Souray who are willing. Plus Bouillon and Komi aren't scared either. All we need are some forwards that are willing to hit while still producing when needed
Agreed. I'm a big proponent of the team toughness concept - though this takes time as drafting players with this in mind is systemic and requires the will to see it through.

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04-01-2005, 06:43 PM
  #8
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The problem is that all our actual players who are willing to drop the gloves when needed are defencemen (Souray, Rivet, Komisarek) and we can't afford to lose them for 5 minutes, even more when it's for fighting talentless goons.
I agree that the best solution would be a guy like Chris Simon. Andre Roy has too much of a short fuse for my liking and tends to take stupid penalties if I remember correctly.

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Old
04-01-2005, 06:52 PM
  #9
Quiet Robert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JF
The problem is that all our actual players who are willing to drop the gloves when needed are defencemen (Souray, Rivet, Komisarek) and we can't afford to lose them for 5 minutes, even more when it's for fighting talentless goons.
I agree that the best solution would be a guy like Chris Simon. Andre Roy has too much of a short fuse for my liking and tends to take stupid penalties if I remember correctly.
I totally agree about the defencemen. Souray fighting a goon is an absolute waste of time. I hate seeing our dmen goaded into fights because 5 minutes without a top 4 dman really hurts the team. That's why we need an enforcer.

For Roy, I think he does have a bit of temper, but he can learn to control it. Simon was pretty wild back in the day. I remember him with his really long hair going after guys.

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04-01-2005, 06:58 PM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quiet Robert
I totally agree about the defencemen. Souray fighting a goon is an absolute waste of time. I hate seeing our dmen goaded into fights because 5 minutes without a top 4 dman really hurts the team. That's why we need an enforcer.

For Roy, I think he does have a bit of temper, but he can learn to control it. Simon was pretty wild back in the day. I remember him with his really long hair going after guys.
And another point I forgot to say is that Souray has porcelain wrists, and I would be pissed to see his career ended for fighting someone like Wade Belak. So for all the points I mentionned above, yes, I want a goon, preferably who can play, but mostly who can win fights (so Dwyer is a no). And finally, no one is forcing us to make our goon play every game, we can just use him against physical teams, but in my opinion, we have to have a real fighter in the organization.

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04-01-2005, 07:12 PM
  #11
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We might as well just bring Ivanans up if we're looking at a part-time goon.

Langdon was a big part of last year's success. The previous year, we had Sylvain Blouin who no one respected league-wide. The year before, we at least had Gino as a known combantant. We were pushed around badly in 2002-03, to the point where Theodore had to go after guys who were crashing into him because no one respected the team. Last year, that wasn't a problem.

Ivanans can be the part-time Wade Brookbank type goon... He can take on the heavywieghts and win. The enforcer that can play as well as fight is kind of a rare commodity and there aren't any available. Ideally, you'd have two guys... one a hired goon and the other a guy that can play; like Philly having both Brashear and Fedoruk... It would've been nice had we kept Langdon but also had Ivanans around for certain games.

Yes, the enforcer still has a role in the NHL, even if it is in a more limited sense and if there are less fights.

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04-01-2005, 07:18 PM
  #12
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Chris Simon would be great, but we're not about to pick up someone that good from waivers.

I still don't see how having Langdon in the lineup protects our skilled players. You will never see someone like Langdon playing left wing with Koivu. Much less, you will never see someone like Langdon playing against the other team's top lines. So if Sundin wanted to cheap shot Koivu, Langdon can't protect him. He can't even get back at Sundin 10 minutes later, without taking a stupid penalty.

The only fights you see these days is goon vs. goon during the 4 minutes that each team has their 4th line on the ice (which is not at all about protecting your skilled players) or, much less common, a spur-of-the-moment altercation after a whistle, usually between two lesser fighters who can actually take a regular shift.

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04-01-2005, 08:36 PM
  #13
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We need someone. Two years ago Rivet almost killed himself, because we didn't have a fighter. Please don't laugh, but a guy like PJ Stock. An energy player who can fight...well....is an entertaining fighter anyway.

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04-01-2005, 09:04 PM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan
We need someone. Two years ago Rivet almost killed himself, because we didn't have a fighter. Please don't laugh, but a guy like PJ Stock. An energy player who can fight...well....is an entertaining fighter anyway.
We had PJ Stock. Bad.

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04-01-2005, 09:26 PM
  #15
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I don't think we need a goon (or an enforcer for those who make the distinction). With the way things run in the present NHL, what really makes a big difference is size on the blueline. More than that, we need several big, nasty d-men who can log minutes... something I hope that Komisarek will get to in a few years.

There are several advantages to having big dmen around to "police":
1. It's easier to get away with a massive, crushing hit or some nastiness in the corner than it is to get away with throwing punches... and you only get 2 for roughing.
2. Dmen will be on the ice coincident with star players who need "protection", so retribution can be more immediate and opposing players will think twice. Also a good open ice hitter will keep players minds on the game rather than the headhunting. (e.g. how many people went ape on a linemate of Mike Peca's? Answer: very few... he'd take their heads off if he caught them running around blindly)
3. It leaves another forward spot open for us to develop our current glut of forwards to find a 3/4 line that is tough to play against without being a liability (penalties, stupid decisions, etc.)

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04-01-2005, 10:51 PM
  #16
Stan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gc2005
We had PJ Stock. Bad.
Yeah, I know...but he looked good for Boston. Anyway, my point is that it can be an energy guy who can drop the gloves....Barnaby?....along those lines.

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04-01-2005, 11:02 PM
  #17
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Don't get me started! Bettman is a fool for putting the instigator rule in.. because of that, we now have no respect for star players and a lot more high sticking, slashing etc. So yes, we need a good as do all 30 teams. What we don't need is the instigator rule.

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04-01-2005, 11:39 PM
  #18
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Do you guys think Ivanans is ready to play a small role against rougher teams or he's not good enough? Because if he's ready and good enough to play and not make a foul out of himself he could certainly win some fights for us.

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04-01-2005, 11:47 PM
  #19
Stan
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I think he could fill the "goon" role. No more than a couple minutes a night until he proves he can play defence. He's a fast skater so he should be able to play at the next level...as a "goon" anyway.

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04-01-2005, 11:49 PM
  #20
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Well I think we should give him a chance to play a small role on the team and he could maybe become a good role player.

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04-02-2005, 12:00 AM
  #21
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Don't you guys think Ivanans would do a good job? Plus , I'm sure he'd score more goals then Langdon , the kid has a hell of shot but hey we don't him for that , we want him to drop the gloves , he's a HELL OF A FIGHTER!

Habsfan32 , I didn't read your post , you beat me to it.

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04-02-2005, 12:03 AM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Great One
Don't you guys think Ivanans would do a good job? Plus , I'm sure he'd score more goals then Langdon , the kid has a hell of shot but I think , he'll be the guy who'll drop the gloves a lot.
And when he drops the gloves he can do alot of damage. And his name kicks a$$.

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Old
04-02-2005, 12:07 AM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Habsfan 32
And when he drops the gloves he can do alot of damage. And his name kicks a$$.
Agreed , he's A TANK! Again , B.G , did a pretty good job.I don't think , he'll have much problems at the NHL level (especially with the size , he has!).

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04-02-2005, 12:36 AM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Great One
Agreed , he's A TANK! Again , B.G , did a pretty good job.I don't think , he'll have much problems at the NHL level (especially with the size , he has!).

If he lasts a few years [unlikely] he could buddy around with Kostitsyn. During the pre-game skate I only ever see Kosty talking with Ivanans and Ellis regularly

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Old
04-02-2005, 01:24 AM
  #25
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Ivanans scored yesterday. Did anyone else notice the incredible poise and patience with the puck? Haven't seen that since Skoula.

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