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Old
01-05-2006, 10:25 AM
  #1
Catala
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My views on where we are and where we need to be.

For the past few weeks, our team is having the worst difficulties to get 2 straight wins and while they are showing flashs of talent and comitment some ingredients are missing to take this team to the level of contender and powers of the nhl.

We can't say it's a bad team like i hear so often on the radio and sometimes on those boards, but to be fair and square, this is a middle of league team capable of beating the bests and lose to the worsts.
  • What we do have is a first line. Tho thx to injuries, we didn't enjoy it as much as i would have wanted to. Since the late 90's we rarely could have said we had a 1rst line capable of matching any first line in the league. Great center, talented with intensity which improves his abilities, a gifted winger in Kovalev that can play like he is god (well if he can borrow the title from Koivu... ) and a scorer in zednik. (recently invisible... Is he 1rst line material?).
    - We also have a good 3rd line and a great 4rth line also capable of matching the others from elite teams. Begin, Higgins, Bonk, Bulis, Sundstrom, Plekanec and more recently Murray or Ferland are all capable of doing things on the ice. I know some of you will say bonk isn't doing ---- but i find his defensive play sound and to me a bonk-bulis-sundstrom is an ideal 3rd line. As for our 4rth line, i don't recall being so excited to watch them jump on the ice. Some intense young talent mixed up with grit and some scoring skills. help me there, but if i recall correctly, last time i was excited like that on a 4rth line with the habs was Koivu's first year when he paired up with stevenson. (i remember a shift where they were aiming at anyone/everyone on the ice everytime they jumped on it.
    - The gap that exists between the habs and top teams as for offense is the 2nd line. We need one and we need it badly. i could be seeing a zednik type of player on the second with ryder and the need for a 2nd line center. this 2nd line needs to compete with the 1rst line to make them work at full efficiency. but Ribeiro-ryder-Dagenais isn't pushing and lazyness can pop up out of nowhere because of that. Can you believe that most of the time it's the 4rth line that pushes the first to play their best? can't work on a top team which we are not.
  • Defense: Markov and Souray are showing they can be 1-2 of the team and i challenge anyone to say otherwise especially after the recent surge of Souray. For the past few weeks he's been stepping it up and after concentrating on his defense, now slowly but gradualy gets his offense going which made him a weapon 2 years ago ( Big slap shot that doesn't miss the net anymore which makes the opposite team a lot more carefull when he's got the puck ultimately giving him more room for a pass or a wrist shot - see last goal)
    - We also have a very good bottom pair in Bouillon and Rivet who in a bigger team would have the 5 - 6 role. Rivet is playing his best this year even tho is play is less impressive recently for the simple reason that he's playing a role he shouldn't play o wouldn't in a top team (powerplay time?). Same goes for Bouillon which secured IMO his place in a hab uniform for a long time now.
    - Where are the #3 and #4 dman? well that's the point, we are missing the depth on defense which results in watching Streit (who does get better tho). Dandenault isnt what i've been expecting.

    Komisarek will turn it around and has the potential but this year is not his BADABOUM year.
  • Goaltending: New rules shows Theodore isn't in the elite anymore. All the top goaltenders in the league had difficulties. Brodeur, Turco, Kipprussov, Luongo, kolzig, Nabokov, Joseph adjusted accordingly and now are on cruise control even if some of them are playing in bottom league teams. Theodore can't adjust and won't adjust because of his size mainly and his technique. This goaly has the best lateral movement there is in the league, but all the forwards are aiming for the top part of the net because they know it's the way to score on him. Is there a lot of better goalies in the league? no not at all, but we can't say anymore that Theo can win a game by himself. 1-2 questionable goals by game is a concern i would have if i was Gainey.

A solid 2nd line, a top 3 dman with a solid #4 or #5 seems like a lot, but it is what we need if we want to hope staying on top when we are there. The start of the season was a great one, but those 1 goal wins would have caught us eventualy and they did. And as hard as it is to get a top goaly, let's be happy with what we have and improve what is in front of him. Gainey the time has come to complete your work, we're expecting some good news in the new future.

Untill then, Win or Lose: GO HABS GO !

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01-05-2006, 10:36 AM
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catala
For the past few weeks, our team is having the worst difficulties to get 2 straight wins and while they are showing flashs of talent and comitment some ingredients are missing to take this team to the level of contender and powers of the nhl.

We can't say it's a bad team like i hear so often on the radio and sometimes on those boards, but to be fair and square, this is a middle of league team capable of beating the bests and lose to the worsts.
  • What we do have is a first line. Tho thx to injuries, we didn't enjoy it as much as i would have wanted to. Since the late 90's we rarely could have said we had a 1rst line capable of matching any first line in the league. Great center, talented with intensity which improves his abilities, a gifted winger in Kovalev that can play like he is god (well if he can borrow the title from Koivu... ) and a scorer in zednik. (recently invisible... Is he 1rst line material?).
    - We also have a good 3rd line and a great 4rth line also capable of matching the others from elite teams. Begin, Higgins, Bonk, Bulis, Sundstrom, Plekanec and more recently Murray or Ferland are all capable of doing things on the ice. I know some of you will say bonk isn't doing ---- but i find his defensive play sound and to me a bonk-bulis-sundstrom is an ideal 3rd line. As for our 4rth line, i don't recall being so excited to watch them jump on the ice. Some intense young talent mixed up with grit and some scoring skills. help me there, but if i recall correctly, last time i was excited like that on a 4rth line with the habs was Koivu's first year when he paired up with stevenson. (i remember a shift where they were aiming at anyone/everyone on the ice everytime they jumped on it.
    - The gap that exists between the habs and top teams as for offense is the 2nd line. We need one and we need it badly. i could be seeing a zednik type of player on the second with ryder and the need for a 2nd line center. this 2nd line needs to compete with the 1rst line to make them work at full efficiency. but Ribeiro-ryder-Dagenais isn't pushing and lazyness can pop up out of nowhere because of that. Can you believe that most of the time it's the 4rth line that pushes the first to play their best? can't work on a top team which we are not.
  • Defense: Markov and Souray are showing they can be 1-2 of the team and i challenge anyone to say otherwise especially after the recent surge of Souray. For the past few weeks he's been stepping it up and after concentrating on his defense, now slowly but gradualy gets his offense going which made him a weapon 2 years ago ( Big slap shot that doesn't miss the net anymore which makes the opposite team a lot more carefull when he's got the puck ultimately giving him more room for a pass or a wrist shot - see last goal)
    - We also have a very good bottom pair in Bouillon and Rivet who in a bigger team would have the 5 - 6 role. Rivet is playing his best this year even tho is play is less impressive recently for the simple reason that he's playing a role he shouldn't play o wouldn't in a top team (powerplay time?). Same goes for Bouillon which secured IMO his place in a hab uniform for a long time now.
    - Where are the #3 and #4 dman? well that's the point, we are missing the depth on defense which results in watching Streit (who does get better tho). Dandenault isnt what i've been expecting.

    Komisarek will turn it around and has the potential but this year is not his BADABOUM year.
  • Goaltending: New rules shows Theodore isn't in the elite anymore. All the top goaltenders in the league had difficulties. Brodeur, Turco, Kipprussov, Luongo, kolzig, Nabokov, Joseph adjusted accordingly and now are on cruise control even if some of them are playing in bottom league teams. Theodore can't adjust and won't adjust because of his size mainly and his technique. This goaly has the best lateral movement there is in the league, but all the forwards are aiming for the top part of the net because they know it's the way to score on him. Is there a lot of better goalies in the league? no not at all, but we can't say anymore that Theo can win a game by himself. 1-2 questionable goals by game is a concern i would have if i was Gainey.

A solid 2nd line, a top 3 dman with a solid #4 or #5 seems like a lot, but it is what we need if we want to hope staying on top when we are there. The start of the season was a great one, but those 1 goal wins would have caught us eventualy and they did. And as hard as it is to get a top goaly, let's be happy with what we have and improve what is in front of him. Gainey the time has come to complete your work, we're expecting some good news in the new future.

Untill then, Win or Lose: GO HABS GO !


Nice post and i do agree with all the above...

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01-05-2006, 10:40 AM
  #3
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[QUOTE=Catala]- I know some of you will say bonk isn't doing ---- but i find his defensive play sound and to me a bonk-bulis-sundstrom is an ideal 3rd line.[/QUOTE]


I totally agree with you on all your points. Especially this one.

Although Bonk has been playing very well, the only hang up I have about him is that he is not producing offensively. If his salary was about 1-1.5 mil, then no problem. But at the money he is costing us, I expected a little more (like 20 goals more) out of him.

 
Old
01-05-2006, 11:13 AM
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lordchezz

Although Bonk has been playing very well, the only hang up I have about him is that he is not producing offensively. If his salary was about 1-1.5 mil, then no problem. But at the money he is costing us, I expected a little more (like 20 goals more) out of him.
agreed, but we need to realise that in any other more offensive sided team, Bonk would have had some goals. i couldn't agree more on one point tho, at least Radek, score 1 goal....

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01-05-2006, 11:23 AM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catala
For the past few weeks, our team is having the worst difficulties to get 2 straight wins and while they are showing flashs of talent and comitment some ingredients are missing to take this team to the level of contender and powers of the nhl.

We can't say it's a bad team like i hear so often on the radio and sometimes on those boards, but to be fair and square, this is a middle of league team capable of beating the bests and lose to the worsts.
  • What we do have is a first line. Tho thx to injuries, we didn't enjoy it as much as i would have wanted to. Since the late 90's we rarely could have said we had a 1rst line capable of matching any first line in the league. Great center, talented with intensity which improves his abilities, a gifted winger in Kovalev that can play like he is god (well if he can borrow the title from Koivu... ) and a scorer in zednik. (recently invisible... Is he 1rst line material?).
    - We also have a good 3rd line and a great 4rth line also capable of matching the others from elite teams. Begin, Higgins, Bonk, Bulis, Sundstrom, Plekanec and more recently Murray or Ferland are all capable of doing things on the ice. I know some of you will say bonk isn't doing ---- but i find his defensive play sound and to me a bonk-bulis-sundstrom is an ideal 3rd line. As for our 4rth line, i don't recall being so excited to watch them jump on the ice. Some intense young talent mixed up with grit and some scoring skills. help me there, but if i recall correctly, last time i was excited like that on a 4rth line with the habs was Koivu's first year when he paired up with stevenson. (i remember a shift where they were aiming at anyone/everyone on the ice everytime they jumped on it.
    - The gap that exists between the habs and top teams as for offense is the 2nd line. We need one and we need it badly. i could be seeing a zednik type of player on the second with ryder and the need for a 2nd line center. this 2nd line needs to compete with the 1rst line to make them work at full efficiency. but Ribeiro-ryder-Dagenais isn't pushing and lazyness can pop up out of nowhere because of that. Can you believe that most of the time it's the 4rth line that pushes the first to play their best? can't work on a top team which we are not.
  • Defense: Markov and Souray are showing they can be 1-2 of the team and i challenge anyone to say otherwise especially after the recent surge of Souray. For the past few weeks he's been stepping it up and after concentrating on his defense, now slowly but gradualy gets his offense going which made him a weapon 2 years ago ( Big slap shot that doesn't miss the net anymore which makes the opposite team a lot more carefull when he's got the puck ultimately giving him more room for a pass or a wrist shot - see last goal)
    - We also have a very good bottom pair in Bouillon and Rivet who in a bigger team would have the 5 - 6 role. Rivet is playing his best this year even tho is play is less impressive recently for the simple reason that he's playing a role he shouldn't play o wouldn't in a top team (powerplay time?). Same goes for Bouillon which secured IMO his place in a hab uniform for a long time now.
    - Where are the #3 and #4 dman? well that's the point, we are missing the depth on defense which results in watching Streit (who does get better tho). Dandenault isnt what i've been expecting.

    Komisarek will turn it around and has the potential but this year is not his BADABOUM year.
  • Goaltending: New rules shows Theodore isn't in the elite anymore. All the top goaltenders in the league had difficulties. Brodeur, Turco, Kipprussov, Luongo, kolzig, Nabokov, Joseph adjusted accordingly and now are on cruise control even if some of them are playing in bottom league teams. Theodore can't adjust and won't adjust because of his size mainly and his technique. This goaly has the best lateral movement there is in the league, but all the forwards are aiming for the top part of the net because they know it's the way to score on him. Is there a lot of better goalies in the league? no not at all, but we can't say anymore that Theo can win a game by himself. 1-2 questionable goals by game is a concern i would have if i was Gainey.

A solid 2nd line, a top 3 dman with a solid #4 or #5 seems like a lot, but it is what we need if we want to hope staying on top when we are there. The start of the season was a great one, but those 1 goal wins would have caught us eventualy and they did. And as hard as it is to get a top goaly, let's be happy with what we have and improve what is in front of him. Gainey the time has come to complete your work, we're expecting some good news in the new future.

Untill then, Win or Lose: GO HABS GO !

Nice post!

I would add that IMO, the type of 2nd line the Habs need is one that can play with intensity, win battles along the boards, and not be afraid to get into traffic in front of the net. And I don't mean just a grinder line - we already have a future trio capable of that with Begin-Murray-Ferland. I mean guys with some real scoring talent as well. Chipchura seems like a guy that could center such a line in the future. A guy like Ryan Smith in Edmonton also comes to mind.

Realistically, I don't expect to have all of these pieces in place this year, although a trade to start us in the right direction might be possible (I won't suggest specific players and leave that up to the powers that be).

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01-05-2006, 12:03 PM
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Nice post Catala. I agree with a lot of what you say. Here's my view.

Zed-Koivu-Kovy I've come to the conclusion that Zednik has to play with guys better than him, or guys who have a bigger presence on the team. Playing with these 2 guys, he usually looks for openings and uses his speed and shot. Being the top dog on a line puts him in a position where he tries to do it all himself. I don't know that he's loafing, but his play let the team down when they needed some leadership from him. If Zed was gone, Ryder would suffice, and in the long run, Higgins might, if he could transfer some cofidence to his hands. Kovy will have games where he doesn't show up, live with it, there's little you can do.

Bullis-Bonk-Sundstrom are all competent players, and contribute in a very unspectacular way. Often Bullis looks good doing nothing and Sunny looks bad doing something, but that's the way they are. I've never been a huge Bonk fan, Nyquil's comments are valid, what you see is what you get, he just isn't an intense high energy guy. He is a competent center and the team needs him to be at least that. Chalk his lack of production up to injury or not, I don't think in the long run it'll be an issue on this line. My problem is the lack of mean streak on a line that faces quality opposition. It's a painfree night against these 3 and the league knows it. Again if a winger is dealt, Higgins fits, as does Plekanec if Bonk isn't around.

Begin-Murray-Ferland- Higgins-Pleks, the makings are there for whatever you need game to game. You can't have spotty defensive play on your energy line, so it's crucial that wingers hungry to stick, do the little things like cutting off passing lanes, get the puck out of the zone against pinching d men, etc. Either the skill of Pleks or the physical presence of the others has to make a difference.

Ribeiro-Ryder-Dags, Pleks,Perez, Higgins, whoever- Obviously a problem. The first 2 lines offer enough of something else to make up for a lack of phyical presence, but this line doesn't. The only positive is that if the puck goes to Ryder near the crease, he scores. He hasn't forechecked effectively and strangely has no chemistry with his center. Dags, to his credit, seems to be doing what he can, but it isn't enough. If other guys are pulling more weight, great, you can hide him and take advatage of what he does bring, but that heasn't been the case. He has to find another aspect in his game or he'll become an AHL'er. Too bad, I've got no reason to dislike him, I just can't see how he fits. Early in the year, I really thought Ribeiro was turning a corner, learning the overall game, but it seems I was wrong. I find his act childish right now, moaning about negative media coverage, admitting his work ethic wasn't where it should've been, esp. when the team was down 3 centers, speaks to character and though I hate reacting to soundbites, and have defended him before, it looks bad on him this time. It's a problem, plugging Pleks in that role could work, but is that the answer long term ? Again Higgins could fit, but it seems I have the poor kid on every line now.


On D., Markov has been exceptional until Tuesday, Rivet has played a detrmined, sound game. Souray's palyed better but seems to make the key mistake, or take the key penalty. I'd like to see him as the support guy on a pairing, like Rivet is, rather than the lead guy,but Komi's struggling. I feel bad for Komisarek, personally, and for the weay every miscue he makes ends up in the net. He's the key to our D improving with the present personel. Dandenault and Bouillon are simple roster fillers. The more asked of them, the less they can deliver. I'd like to see a quality LD come in and pair with Dandenault,which would lessen his role.

Goalie- Theo has stunk, no other way to say it. He is our guy though, the $'s been spent and they have to hope he comes thru. Cry and moan all you want, he has to do the job, the decision's been made and we have to live with it. Crucify BG if you want on this one, and the Garon absence, it's done. Backup ? Who cares ? Theo simply has to be the guy, there isn't another way. Pie in the sky trades are pretty laughable imo.

Coaching, I'm disappointed that CJ has pressed the panic button in terms of some of the rookies icetime, but I don't know what instruction has been given and ignored. Rather than worry about being canned, he simply has to do a better job and identify who belongs where.

Trades, really as much as we love the idea, I think the message has to be, play better or sit and get used to Bell Center hotdogs. 2 players would help, but they are expensive players, a solid center and quality LD. Maybe a cosmetic change, checking winger for a bit of toughness, but that's not really the issue,imo, they simply have to play better.

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01-05-2006, 12:04 PM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbo
Nice post!

I would add that IMO, the type of 2nd line the Habs need is one that can play with intensity, win battles along the boards, and not be afraid to get into traffic in front of the net. And I don't mean just a grinder line - we already have a future trio capable of that with Begin-Murray-Ferland. I mean guys with some real scoring talent as well. Chipchura seems like a guy that could center such a line in the future. A guy like Ryan Smith in Edmonton also comes to mind.

Realistically, I don't expect to have all of these pieces in place this year, although a trade to start us in the right direction might be possible (I won't suggest specific players and leave that up to the powers that be).
In the future all the pieces will come in place. But right now, a talented 2nd line center more than an intense minded one is preferable. Let's face it, our 2nd line isn't scaring a mouse and we need a top one to compete. Ryan smith is definitly a solution as for the winger but the center, a rolston type of guy could be great. Morrisson would work too.

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01-05-2006, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catala
In the future all the pieces will come in place. But right now, a talented 2nd line center more than an intense minded one is preferable. Let's face it, our 2nd line isn't scaring a mouse and we need a top one to compete. Ryan smith is definitly a solution as for the winger but the center, a rolston type of guy could be great. Morrisson would work too.
I agree. I just don't want a "Ribeiro replacement". The team needs to look for a different type of center for the 2nd line, to complement Koivu on the 1st. The mixture of talent and intensity is what I would like to see for the center. Not necessarily a big player but one that shows up every shift and can score or feed wingers. The players you mention would be an excellent start.

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01-05-2006, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcphee
Nice post Catala. I agree with a lot of what you say. Here's my view.

Zed-Koivu-Kovy I've come to the conclusion that Zednik has to play with guys better than him, or guys who have a bigger presence on the team. Playing with these 2 guys, he usually looks for openings and uses his speed and shot. Being the top dog on a line puts him in a position where he tries to do it all himself. I don't know that he's loafing, but his play let the team down when they needed some leadership from him. If Zed was gone, Ryder would suffice, and in the long run, Higgins might, if he could transfer some cofidence to his hands. Kovy will have games where he doesn't show up, live with it, there's little you can do.

Bullis-Bonk-Sundstrom are all competent players, and contribute in a very unspectacular way. Often Bullis looks good doing nothing and Sunny looks bad doing something, but that's the way they are. I've never been a huge Bonk fan, Nyquil's comments are valid, what you see is what you get, he just isn't an intense high energy guy. He is a competent center and the team needs him to be at least that. Chalk his lack of production up to injury or not, I don't think in the long run it'll be an issue on this line. My problem is the lack of mean streak on a line that faces quality opposition. It's a painfree night against these 3 and the league knows it. Again if a winger is dealt, Higgins fits, as does Plekanec if Bonk isn't around.

Begin-Murray-Ferland- Higgins-Pleks, the makings are there for whatever you need game to game. You can't have spotty defensive play on your energy line, so it's crucial that wingers hungry to stick, do the little things like cutting off passing lanes, get the puck out of the zone against pinching d men, etc. Either the skill of Pleks or the physical presence of the others has to make a difference.

Ribeiro-Ryder-Dags, Pleks,Perez, Higgins, whoever- Obviously a problem. The first 2 lines offer enough of something else to make up for a lack of phyical presence, but this line doesn't. The only positive is that if the puck goes to Ryder near the crease, he scores. He hasn't forechecked effectively and strangely has no chemistry with his center. Dags, to his credit, seems to be doing what he can, but it isn't enough. If other guys are pulling more weight, great, you can hide him and take advatage of what he does bring, but that heasn't been the case. He has to find another aspect in his game or he'll become an AHL'er. Too bad, I've got no reason to dislike him, I just can't see how he fits. Early in the year, I really thought Ribeiro was turning a corner, learning the overall game, but it seems I was wrong. I find his act childish right now, moaning about negative media coverage, admitting his work ethic wasn't where it should've been, esp. when the team was down 3 centers, speaks to character and though I hate reacting to soundbites, and have defended him before, it looks bad on him this time. It's a problem, plugging Pleks in that role could work, but is that the answer long term ? Again Higgins could fit, but it seems I have the poor kid on every line now.


On D., Markov has been exceptional until Tuesday, Rivet has played a detrmined, sound game. Souray's palyed better but seems to make the key mistake, or take the key penalty. I'd like to see him as the support guy on a pairing, like Rivet is, rather than the lead guy,but Komi's struggling. I feel bad for Komisarek, personally, and for the weay every miscue he makes ends up in the net. He's the key to our D improving with the present personel. Dandenault and Bouillon are simple roster fillers. The more asked of them, the less they can deliver. I'd like to see a quality LD come in and pair with Dandenault,which would lessen his role.

Goalie- Theo has stunk, no other way to say it. He is our guy though, the $'s been spent and they have to hope he comes thru. Cry and moan all you want, he has to do the job, the decision's been made and we have to live with it. Crucify BG if you want on this one, and the Garon absence, it's done. Backup ? Who cares ? Theo simply has to be the guy, there isn't another way. Pie in the sky trades are pretty laughable imo.

Coaching, I'm disappointed that CJ has pressed the panic button in terms of some of the rookies icetime, but I don't know what instruction has been given and ignored. Rather than worry about being canned, he simply has to do a better job and identify who belongs where.

Trades, really as much as we love the idea, I think the message has to be, play better or sit and get used to Bell Center hotdogs. 2 players would help, but they are expensive players, a solid center and quality LD. Maybe a cosmetic change, checking winger for a bit of toughness, but that's not really the issue,imo, they simply have to play better.
Let me return the compliment, this is a nice post.

Some parts i totally agree:

I've come to the conclusion that Zednik has to play with guys better than him, or guys who have a bigger presence on the team
That is so true. Zednik can then do what he does best, score. we've seen him during kovalev's and koivu's injuries that the 1 hand grab go to the net works once every 3 months. and the more he will try and do it the more it will fail. When he's playing with better players he looks better. positioned well using his speed he can put it in the net. When his teamates are showing up, he has to show up too and it helps.

I find his act childish right now, moaning about negative media coverage, admitting his work ethic wasn't where it should've been, esp. when the team was down 3 centers, speaks to character and though I hate reacting to soundbites, and have defended him before, it looks bad on him this time
Simple as that, that's why i didn't take a lot of time on him in my original post. Stop play it crying and show the team and the medias what kind of man you are. Example by act is the most effective "booya" in the fans/medias face. With the injuries our centers had, he needed to realise his time to step up was there. better luck next time.

Souray's played better but seems to make the key mistake, or take the key penalty
That's where we disagree. For the key mistake , i tend to agree even tho we need to realise that stepping it up offensively means there will be place for turnovers. He now needs to be constantly covered by his teamate noticing the obvious call from CJ to force the dmen to be a lot more involved offensively.
For the key penalty, no. He's the only one defending the goaly or the teamates and we need someone like that... more than one actualy but Souray will do. Whenever he's on the ice, Theo doesn't see a lot of " let's take the goaly out and scare the hell out of him". now that come at a price and i was impressed when i saw he tries hard to reach the Physical/but no penalty ratio so hard to find in the new nhl. He needs to adjust again tho but has done a lot better than at the start of the season.

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01-05-2006, 12:50 PM
  #10
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I agree with what you say about Souray actually. I just find that bad things seem to happen for whatever reason. There was a play on Tuesday where he made a nice rush,faded to the right boards, fed Bullis who had an angle to the net, only to have Bullis return it towards him, the puck was intercepted and an odd man rush took off the other way. No fault of Souray's, just a no confidence play by Bullis that could only put Souray in trouble. I find that stuff just seems to happen to him these days. I do think he's part of the solution though.

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01-05-2006, 01:19 PM
  #11
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Things like that will happen. Souray seems a lot more confident about himself but that's not the case of everyone in the team. He's a bit unlucky lately but it's a risk i'm willing to live with if he continues to bring support like that.

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01-05-2006, 01:21 PM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbo
I agree. I just don't want a "Ribeiro replacement". .
so true it's not even funny...

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01-05-2006, 01:26 PM
  #13
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I think this a really good post. I would like to add more to it.

(1) Zednick. Zednick has excellent speed, a low center of gravity which is why he is so strong on the puck. This enables him to work well along the boards and drive to the net. He compliments these skills with a good shot, thereby making him a goalscorer. What he lacks is on ice vision and creativity as well as passing skills. He should never touch the puck, with the exception of short breakout passes, until inside the opposition blueline. He needs a playmaking centre to give him the puck at the right time, like Koivu.

As for the current state of the Habs, things are in a bit of disarray but I like how BG is not panicking. Teams are never as good as their best stretch and never as bad as their worst stretch. What does this mean? Well, the Habs are better than the way they are playing lately but not as good as the Habs team we saw in October. However, if you look back to those early games versus the games lately, there is a big difference. At the beginning of the season, it appeared that the Habs had possession of the puck 75% of time. Now, its like they never have it and are chasing it. Skaters aren't skating and they are out of position. When the Habs have the puck, they don't have any speed.

I think BG has been using the first half of the season to evaluate the club. I expect him to make moves in February/March and I am not sure we will see big moves. But, looking at the Habs, this is what I see:

(1) Strengths:
Solid first line in Zednick-Koivu-Kovalev
Solid second line right winger in Ryder
Solid checking line: Bulis-Bonk-Sundstrom (I think Bonk is playing better than his offensive numbers...I get the feeling when he gets one, they will start to come in bunches)
Solid fourth liners: Begin-Plekanic-Higgins-
Good NHL ready Young forwards: Higgins-Plekanec-Perezhogin (I think he needs to get his confidence back)
Good future #1 d-man: Markov (I'd say he is almost at #1 level, just not quite yet...soon)
Good depth d-man (#3-#7): Rivet, Bouillion, Dandenault, Souray
Good NHL ready d-man: Komisarek - now, I missed the games in December but I thought he was playing ok...makes typical mistakes seen in young players but can he hit
Potential Elite Goalie: Theodore (not playing like it this year but can't only judge him on these 40 games)

(2) Weaknesses
Missing #2 Winger and Centre: I have said since Ribeiro made the NHL that I believe, despite his wonderful skills, creativity and on ice vision, that he is too small and slow for the NHL. I really think that he is best suited as a #4 centre and PP/Shootout specialist. Dagenais, well, I just don't think he has the footspeed and creativity for #2 winger. He does have a great shot. But defensively, he is weak.

Missing a #2 D-man: I know a lot of Habs fans think Souray is a #2 dman. I just don't see it. With the exception of a fantastic first half a few years back, he has not shown me that he is more than a #3/4 guy. In the playoffs last season and so far this season, he just gets beat too often (Spezza goal, Palffy the other night). He has a great shot and size but I don't feel he is a #2 guy. I would feel better if every d-man on this team after Markov went down 1 peg on the depth chart.

To me, these are the 3 roles that need to be filled on this team. In the long run, I see Perezhogin as a top 6 guy, Higgins as most likely a 3rd liner (with potential to be a second liner, I am just not sure about his touch) and Plekanec as the next Carbo on the 3rd line. I also like Bulis playing centre. What does this mean? Well, Ribs is expendable, as is Bonk, though Bonk is untradeable given his contract. Ribs does not have much value as well. Bulis may never be a #2 centre, he is more like a 2.5. As such, a player like Zednick may have to be traded, or some prospects to get where I think this team needs to be. To me, the #1 priority should be a #2 dman. The Habs have much more depth at forward.

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01-05-2006, 02:00 PM
  #14
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You did put the finger on what we need. While i don't agree on your views on Souray, i think only time will tell who's right. He hasn't performed well enough to prove his potential but i'm sure we all saw what he's capable of. If he still can show that on a longer period than we'll have the Souray from 2 years ago.

BG is not in panick mode, but i'd like him to do something in the near future. The team and us the fans need to see that he wants this team to take the next step.

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01-05-2006, 02:09 PM
  #15
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The problems on this team were obvious. You almost named them all. They were concerns for a lot of fans even before the season started. Their great start at the beginning of the season has kind of brainwashed a lot of people who turned out to believe that the Habs were better than they really are.

Our biggest concern IMO, is still getting a top four defenceman. To be honest, I never liked the signing of Dandenault, especially for 4 years. He is overrated by many because he played on a good Detroit team and won a stanley cup with them, period. There is a reason why he has always been a 6th or 7th D / forward. He is far from being a solution on our team and we can't play a guy like him 20+ minutes a game.

I agree with what you said about Markov and Souray being #1 and 2 on our team.
Souray plays a major role on our team; I don't know why some of the guys on this board still want to trade him. With his confidence back, we need him more than ever. He brings a lot on the table; physical presence, deceptive shot from the point, is one of our few defencemen along with Markov that can actually start a rush without having to always dump the puck, can be used both on PP and PK and shows leadership and character.

About Rivet, I would say he's a solid #4 type of guy. We only need one guy to complete our top four. I always wished Komisarek would become our #5 this year and I still have hope and faith on him. He's been through a lot with his mother's death. It's all about gaining back confidence; refer to Souray.

I would also like to add that Bonk really has to step up his play. The bad penalty he took in the 3rd period tuesday was unacceptable for an experienced player of his kind. They were already two guys covering that player, it was useless and it cost us the game. He also needs to step his offensive game. Bulis and Sundstrum did it recently and I expect him to do the same. (still no goal )

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01-05-2006, 04:08 PM
  #16
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I had similar concerns regarding the 2nd line.

but...

what I wanted to say is the Souray needs to step up his game defensively. At the beginning of the year, he had trouble adjusting to interferance rules. Ok. I gave him a bit of a grace period.

Then... the Spezza goal in overtime. This was a blatant BS play on his part. It is overtime, and he is the last man back. Instead of playing the man, and staying between the attacker and the net.... he goes for the big hit. Whoops!! He misses. Theo is star struck and Spezza scores what will be a highlight for year's to come. What the XXXX was Souray thinking?

Ok.... maybe his head was not in the game because of the whole divorce thing....

Then, in the past week.... he does it again. Instead of playing smart hockey, he goes for the highlight hit... result, the attacker scores..we lose.

***. Although Souray has NEVER seemed comfortable in the defensive end... at least he was playing position. Now, he looks like he wants to get in the next Rock 'em Sock 'em.... and missing his mark... and allowing a goal.

Don't get me started on HIS responsibility on that blown responibility on the Kovalev/Bruins incident. Somehow, the defenseman is in front of the last forward...and just cruising around the neutral zone....

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01-05-2006, 07:35 PM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Cole
I had similar concerns regarding the 2nd line.

but...

what I wanted to say is the Souray needs to step up his game defensively. At the beginning of the year, he had trouble adjusting to interferance rules. Ok. I gave him a bit of a grace period.

Then... the Spezza goal in overtime. This was a blatant BS play on his part. It is overtime, and he is the last man back. Instead of playing the man, and staying between the attacker and the net.... he goes for the big hit. Whoops!! He misses. Theo is star struck and Spezza scores what will be a highlight for year's to come. What the XXXX was Souray thinking?

Ok.... maybe his head was not in the game because of the whole divorce thing....

Then, in the past week.... he does it again. Instead of playing smart hockey, he goes for the highlight hit... result, the attacker scores..we lose.
Spezza, Palffy... those are 2 greats players. With the new NHL i can't blame Souray. He looked stupid on those 2 plays but man, anyother dmaen would have looked as stupid.

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01-06-2006, 02:20 AM
  #18
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Tonight's loss is quite a confirmation of all that was said in this thread. We all know the problem and can guess about solutions.

Gainey needs to move accordingly and the sooner the better.

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01-06-2006, 10:18 AM
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catala
Tonight's loss is quite a confirmation of all that was said in this thread. We all know the problem and can guess about solutions.

Gainey needs to move accordingly and the sooner the better.
A move now is a risk. With the slump, the players' values are possibly at their lowest. But I agree - something has to give soon and I would take a chance on a trade to shake things up. While the Habs continue losing, the option of waiting until closer to the deadline is fading.

But I still wouldn't want Gainey to trade our real assets - the young players (Kost, Perez, Pleks, Higgins, Markov, Komi and even Begin, Ferland or prospects like Chip, Lats, Emelin, etc.). This team still needs to aim for the future. The goal this year is to make the playoffs and see what happens. Nobody expects a cup yet.

IMO, realistic trade bait would be Zed, Theo, Souray, Bulis, Huet, Ribeiro, Sunny.
Bonk, Dandenault, Dags would be hard to trade. Danis would probably also be a good trade bait but I would rather keep him.

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01-06-2006, 03:01 PM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catala
Spezza, Palffy... those are 2 greats players. With the new NHL i can't blame Souray. He looked stupid on those 2 plays but man, anyother dmaen would have looked as stupid.
Looking stupid is not caused by making the right choice and getting outplayed. It is caused by making the wrong decision, then being incable of recouping and saving your own backside.

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