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Old
01-27-2006, 08:05 AM
  #1
Canadian_Brewtality
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Observations

I was watching 110% last night and the alst thing Rinfret or whatver his name is said, that the Habs, since Gainey on the bench, have has 2 periods with more than 7 shots. Well he was wrong but not that off, its more like they have only had 4 periods with 8+ shots in 7 games. That is a very concerning stat for me. The fact that we hardly hardly got any scoreing chances this whole trip is concerning.

There is nothing I can say that basically hasnt been said. I am a lifelong (20 + years) Hab fan and I find it hard to be positive and enjoy hockey right now. We waited a whole year for hockey, we had that 20 game illusion where we thought we had a solid team, and its been a 2 month spiral down to the bottom. Not even a coaching change can help us. When you have 3 ex-Habs and 3 guys with experience and heart behind the bench and still cant get 100% out of their players, that is a serious problem.

I remember some of the mediocore habs teams we had in the mid 90's and early 2000. But theyre was always a "rebuilding" sign on our team, and hope for the future, now what? Our rookies and hopes havent panned out the way we really wanted them to. Kots, Pleks, Komi, Higgins are all still years away to becoming good NHL players. Perez still has alot to learn as well. Our development hasnt been up to par. And we arent surrounding these youngsters with any leaders. Our best players are slackers and underacheivers, what kinda message is that?

Our goaltending is deplorable. I have lost all confidence in Theo. At the beginning of the season, I was a Theo supporter. I thought he was and could be a top 5 NHL goalie. But game after game, he just doesent seem confident, ready or motivated. He is uneasy with everyshot, and his technique is horrible. What is Melanson teaching him exactly? He is playing a style custom to bigger goalies. They should be looking at tapes of Chris Osgood and Manny Legacy and to some extent even if he doesent have a style Hasek. Guys with small bodies, but cover alot of net. Butterfly style can not serve a small goalie. But now we are stuck with a huge contract and a bigger problem. Although Huet has been solid in his starts, I dont think he can step in and be a # 1 guy. Plus we can leave 5$ million on the bench for too long.

Our pick-ups in the off-season and past have been of no use to us. Im sorry but I never thought Kovy was worth 4.5 a year. He has an insane amount of skill, but has a wrap sheet of being a selfish, unmotivated player. And since that game vs Ottawa thats the only Kovy we have been getting. Bonk, who? A useless two way player who keeps getting 20 minutes of ice-time a game? Why do they insist of playing this guy? Dandenault? The biggest waste of a contract. This guy is just wow, I cant even explain the disappointment. Bad giveaways, poor defensive coverage, costly penalties. WHen he uses his speed, its usually to cover up his mistakes. That ONE goal he scored its because he was lying in the net. Sundstrom? No good. Zednik, what happened to you? Ribs? Never impressed me and to be honest for 1 million dollars, keep him.

Our biggest and most obvious problem, along with Theo, is Saku. Ive said it since last hockey season, and in the past, he is not a leader. He can be great, he can be a game-breaker, a motivator, but he doesnt speak to his teammates and he cant bring em together either. WHen youre a cptain, especially here, you have to be passionate, hard-working and know when to stand up and shake things up. Things that Saku hasnt shown all season. And if what they say is true, that he is distracted by contract talk, then he is also selfish, putting his concerns over the team.

What to do? Another 5 year rebuilding phase? Its obvious the team we have isnt going anywhere fast. Our players at this point have little value, so any trade we try to make we will be hosed. Players like Zed and Koivu has little trade value now, but put in the right environment they can be great players. We are stuck with abd contracts and a baffeled coaching staff looking for answers. A president and owner who know nothing about hockey, except the buisness aspect, and a frustrated province.

The Montreal Canadiens are the most historical franchise in the all of hockey. How can wearing the colors not mean anything to these guys? Look at the Yankees in baseball, you will never see them with a pathetic team, they know who they are. You cant get any more loyal than Habs fans, and this is how we are treated? We come out every game, sell-outs and loud, and in return we get a team that can get 15 shots a game. A team where the opposing goalie says "It was too easy" to add insult. Canadiens should not be an embrassment like we have witnessed this year and almost every year since 1993. I dont see any end to this. I will be a loyal fan forever, but we deserve alot better than this.

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Old
01-27-2006, 08:21 AM
  #2
KnuklZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian_Brewtality
I was watching 110% last night and the alst thing Rinfret or whatver his name is said, that the Habs, since Gainey on the bench, have has 2 periods with more than 7 shots. Well he was wrong but not that off, its more like they have only had 4 periods with 8+ shots in 7 games. That is a very concerning stat for me. The fact that we hardly hardly got any scoreing chances this whole trip is concerning.

There is nothing I can say that basically hasnt been said. I am a lifelong (20 + years) Hab fan and I find it hard to be positive and enjoy hockey right now. We waited a whole year for hockey, we had that 20 game illusion where we thought we had a solid team, and its been a 2 month spiral down to the bottom. Not even a coaching change can help us. When you have 3 ex-Habs and 3 guys with experience and heart behind the bench and still cant get 100% out of their players, that is a serious problem.

I remember some of the mediocore habs teams we had in the mid 90's and early 2000. But theyre was always a "rebuilding" sign on our team, and hope for the future, now what? Our rookies and hopes havent panned out the way we really wanted them to. Kots, Pleks, Komi, Higgins are all still years away to becoming good NHL players. Perez still has alot to learn as well. Our development hasnt been up to par. And we arent surrounding these youngsters with any leaders. Our best players are slackers and underacheivers, what kinda message is that?

Our goaltending is deplorable. I have lost all confidence in Theo. At the beginning of the season, I was a Theo supporter. I thought he was and could be a top 5 NHL goalie. But game after game, he just doesent seem confident, ready or motivated. He is uneasy with everyshot, and his technique is horrible. What is Melanson teaching him exactly? He is playing a style custom to bigger goalies. They should be looking at tapes of Chris Osgood and Manny Legacy and to some extent even if he doesent have a style Hasek. Guys with small bodies, but cover alot of net. Butterfly style can not serve a small goalie. But now we are stuck with a huge contract and a bigger problem. Although Huet has been solid in his starts, I dont think he can step in and be a # 1 guy. Plus we can leave 5$ million on the bench for too long.

Our pick-ups in the off-season and past have been of no use to us. Im sorry but I never thought Kovy was worth 4.5 a year. He has an insane amount of skill, but has a wrap sheet of being a selfish, unmotivated player. And since that game vs Ottawa thats the only Kovy we have been getting. Bonk, who? A useless two way player who keeps getting 20 minutes of ice-time a game? Why do they insist of playing this guy? Dandenault? The biggest waste of a contract. This guy is just wow, I cant even explain the disappointment. Bad giveaways, poor defensive coverage, costly penalties. WHen he uses his speed, its usually to cover up his mistakes. That ONE goal he scored its because he was lying in the net. Sundstrom? No good. Zednik, what happened to you? Ribs? Never impressed me and to be honest for 1 million dollars, keep him.

Our biggest and most obvious problem, along with Theo, is Saku. Ive said it since last hockey season, and in the past, he is not a leader. He can be great, he can be a game-breaker, a motivator, but he doesnt speak to his teammates and he cant bring em together either. WHen youre a cptain, especially here, you have to be passionate, hard-working and know when to stand up and shake things up. Things that Saku hasnt shown all season. And if what they say is true, that he is distracted by contract talk, then he is also selfish, putting his concerns over the team.

What to do? Another 5 year rebuilding phase? Its obvious the team we have isnt going anywhere fast. Our players at this point have little value, so any trade we try to make we will be hosed. Players like Zed and Koivu has little trade value now, but put in the right environment they can be great players. We are stuck with abd contracts and a baffeled coaching staff looking for answers. A president and owner who know nothing about hockey, except the buisness aspect, and a frustrated province.

The Montreal Canadiens are the most historical franchise in the all of hockey. How can wearing the colors not mean anything to these guys? Look at the Yankees in baseball, you will never see them with a pathetic team, they know who they are. You cant get any more loyal than Habs fans, and this is how we are treated? We come out every game, sell-outs and loud, and in return we get a team that can get 15 shots a game. A team where the opposing goalie says "It was too easy" to add insult. Canadiens should not be an embrassment like we have witnessed this year and almost every year since 1993. I dont see any end to this. I will be a loyal fan forever, but we deserve alot better than this.
agree with you 100%. Great post!!

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01-27-2006, 09:15 AM
  #3
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Worth reading, that's for sure!
I feel the same except for Melanson:

He can't change Theo's style; Théo has been playing butterfly for over 15 years. It was great in the 'old' NHL when guys couldn't take their time to shoot. Now they have more time and space. Goalies with good reflexes will perform better in today's NHL. Scouts will have to look for athletes first vs style. That's why I think Carey Price is a good pick.

Look at the European goalies; they are all good athletes, working as hard off ice as on the ice. They work on balance, quick feet, coordination, etc.

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Old
01-27-2006, 09:39 AM
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coco Fever
Worth reading, that's for sure!
I feel the same except for Melanson:

He can't change Theo's style; Théo has been playing butterfly for over 15 years. It was great in the 'old' NHL when guys couldn't take their time to shoot. Now they have more time and space. Goalies with good reflexes will perform better in today's NHL. Scouts will have to look for athletes first vs style. That's why I think Carey Price is a good pick.

Look at the European goalies; they are all good athletes, working as hard off ice as on the ice. They work on balance, quick feet, coordination, etc.
Theo's problems arent reflexs or or athleticism. Theo is great when he plays sound positionally and takes shots so there are few rebounds. This and confidence are his greatest problems. He is a great athlete who can return to form.

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01-27-2006, 09:42 AM
  #5
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I definitely think Koivu is a big problem right now. I've always loved him, but not only is he not a good first liner, he's not a good captain. I'd be looking to give Sakic a contract in the off-season. He may be old but he still produces and he'd be the best captain we've had in over a decade. I mean a team CANNOT play better than they're captain, and Saku has been outplayed by each and every 1 of our Rookies for the past month. If we had Sakic next season, it'd immediately have an impact, not only on our Rookies but on our vets.

Also Kovalev, what the hell was Bob thinking with a $4.9m contract? This makes him virtually untouchable. What team is going to pay the biggest underachiever in NHL history $4.9m to float around the ice?

As for Theodore, I'm willing to stick this phase out. Sure it's a horrible season, but I know that their's gonna be something great at the end of the tunnel, and for us to give up on that would be ridiculous.

Zednik, well.... I've never been impressed with this guy as a Top 6 guy. He's simply not that good. He's always been lazy, always used the same move. The only difference now is that he doesn't go to the net, he goes behind it and makes blind passes in front of the net which always lead to turnovers.

Ribeiro. You know everyone is still giving this guy a ton of crap, but he's being mislead. I'm not saying that I like what he does on the ice, but that a kid with that kind of vision and passing ability is definitely capable of 70pts seasons. You can compare his game to a bankrupt mans' Gretzky. He's got the same traits only, he's not nearly as skilled. They're both very weak, fragile guys that will never really "nail" someone. I certainly remember last season when he could deke 5 guys and still manage to get the puck to the net. All of our Key players have been a disapointment this year, and weither it's because they gave up on the team or lost confidence, we should still stick in with (most of) them.

Ryder. I can't say that I'm SUPER disapointed with his play, cuz he still does have some intensity. However, I think he's lost all of his stickhandling. Both he and Ribeiro were amazing with the puck last year, hardly coughed it up. This season, he just seems to carry it down and shoot.

Dandenault + Bonk. Worst impact on the team, BY FAR. Take them both out of the lineup and restore our old lines, and I'm quite positive to say that we become a .500 team again (take out Richard too).

The Line-up that I would like to see at this point;

Perezoghin - Koivu - Kovalev
Kost - Ribeiro - Ryder (obviously don't call up Dags)
Higgins - Pleks - Bulis (Intense, fast, defensively + 2 way sound)
Murray - Begin - Downey (Intense, hard working, forechecking 4th)

Basicaly, scratch all the players that have no heart/are no use to us anymore. It's clear that our Rookies can accomplish as much as Bonk, Sundstrom and Zednik so why not give the guys a chance?

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Old
01-27-2006, 09:52 AM
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian_Brewtality
Our biggest and most obvious problem, along with Theo, is Saku. Ive said it since last hockey season, and in the past, he is not a leader. He can be great, he can be a game-breaker, a motivator, but he doesnt speak to his teammates and he cant bring em together either. WHen youre a cptain, especially here, you have to be passionate, hard-working and know when to stand up and shake things up. Things that Saku hasnt shown all season. And if what they say is true, that he is distracted by contract talk, then he is also selfish, putting his concerns over the team.
Nothing is stopping anyone else from stepping up and being a leader in the lockeroom. It's not like you aren't allowed to speak or motivate if you don't have a letter on your sweater.

Alot of people seem to think Begin would be a better captain that Koivu. Well, then Begin should stand up and prove it. If anyone is holding back from saying anything just because they aren't a captain then they aren't good leaders anyways.

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01-27-2006, 09:53 AM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toshiro
Theo's problems arent reflexs or or athleticism. Theo is great when he plays sound positionally and takes shots so there are few rebounds. This and confidence are his greatest problems. He is a great athlete who can return to form.
I find one of his biggest problems is that he lets out huge rebounds into traffic.

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01-27-2006, 10:02 AM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waffledave
Nothing is stopping anyone else from stepping up and being a leader in the lockeroom. It's not like you aren't allowed to speak or motivate if you don't have a letter on your sweater.

Alot of people seem to think Begin would be a better captain that Koivu. Well, then Begin should stand up and prove it. If anyone is holding back from saying anything just because they aren't a captain then they aren't good leaders anyways.

No, no one is stopping anyone from stepping up, BUT no one is either way. The only player who talks to the media about stepping up and actually doing it is Rivet. Souray talks alot of crap, but he comes into games and looks lost at times.

I mean, Begin is a tough customer, he plays his role well, but Koivu is the captain. Begin has relaly only been with us one season, I dont know if a journeyman like him, can come into Montreal and be a leader, maybe hes not comftorable with talking?
Either way, we have a serious alck of leadership on this team.

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01-27-2006, 10:05 AM
  #9
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All I heard was an old man rambling like we hear them ramble every year. Forget Saku Koivu has never been outplayed by anyone on the team and had a great start of the season up until the injury. He's clearly a problem since two rookies have outplayed him. Forget the fact that one bad season doesnt mean another one(2003-2004), forget the fact you need stability in a franchise in order for it to be successfull. Forget everything and reality and yes, your post might have had some sense and interest to it. But what you wrote, we hear every year, the same old, same old every time the team loses. Changes are necessary, theres no doubt about it. We have the same team in 2003-2004 that was hard working everyday and showing it on the ice but with three new players Dandenault, Bonk and Kovalev. Demers says locker room problems can often be solved by trading 1 or 2 guys, get where I'm getting at?

Besides, I'll also add that the last time I saw this team lose all its confidence was teh last time we saw Theodore lose his. If there are cancers in the locker room, I'd look at KOvalev and Theodore.


EDIT: I'll also add that its foolish to put Souray in all that mess for one bad game where he was a game time decision. At least, it shows what some fans know about the game.

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01-27-2006, 10:05 AM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waffledave
I find one of his biggest problems is that he lets out huge rebounds into traffic.

That comes with positioning. Other goalies, fall into the puck. The way their pads are placed, it allows the puck less space to bounce out. When teams shoot on Theo its like a brick wall, that puck is gonna fly.
Whenever their is a scamble near the net, he looks so lost and apprehensive that the otehr team finds ways to it before he does.
Do even get me started on him playing the puck...

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01-27-2006, 10:11 AM
  #11
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Fantastic post Brew. And dead on!

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01-27-2006, 10:17 AM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Habsaku
All I heard was an old man rambling like we hear them ramble every year. Forget Saku Koivu has never been outplayed by anyone on the team and had a great start of the season up until the injury. He's clearly a problem since two rookies have outplayed him. Forget the fact that one bad season doesnt mean another one(2003-2004), forget the fact you need stability in a franchise in order for it to be successfull. Forget everything and reality and yes, your post might have had some sense and interest to it. But what you wrote, we hear every year, the same old, same old every time the team loses. Changes are necessary, theres no doubt about it. We have the same team in 2003-2004 that was hard working everyday and showing it on the ice but with three new players Dandenault, Bonk and Kovalev. Demers says locker room problems can often be solved by trading 1 or 2 guys, get where I'm getting at?

Besides, I'll also add that the last time I saw this team lose all its confidence was teh last time we saw Theodore lose his. If there are cancers in the locker room, I'd look at KOvalev and Theodore.


EDIT: I'll also add that its foolish to put Souray in all that mess for one bad game where he was a game time decision. At least, it shows what some fans know about the game.

First off, If an old man is 23, then I have false perception of age.

No one is doubting Saku's ability or injury woes,we all know the story. BUT i question his leadership, and its not only this year. He can play a good role as an assistant, but captains cannot take nights off, or weeks off. Get what im saying? If youre supposed top player and captain looks like a wet towel, it affects everyone.

Last years team was more hard-working and we brought in the same core of players, but its obviously not working. We havent passed the quarter finals since 93. That says something. Even though we upset Boston those 2 years, we basically got man handeled they next series. It says we need new leadership, change the core of the team. We are throwing away another season.

Teams like Buffalo, Carolina,NY have good leadership, healthy lockeroom, and timely goaltending. It starts from the inside. SOmething in the alst few years we have failed to do.

All i want is some effort. I could care less if we are an underacheiving team at this point, but playing half-assed is inexcusable.

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01-27-2006, 10:28 AM
  #13
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Originally Posted by Canadian_Brewtality
First off, If an old man is 23, then I have false perception of age.

No one is doubting Saku's ability or injury woes,we all know the story. BUT i question his leadership, and its not only this year. He can play a good role as an assistant, but captains cannot take nights off, or weeks off. Get what im saying? If youre supposed top player and captain looks like a wet towel, it affects everyone.

Last years team was more hard-working and we brought in the same core of players, but its obviously not working. We havent passed the quarter finals since 93. That says something. Even though we upset Boston those 2 years, we basically got man handeled they next series. It says we need new leadership, change the core of the team. We are throwing away another season.

Teams like Buffalo, Carolina,NY have good leadership, healthy lockeroom, and timely goaltending. It starts from the inside. SOmething in the alst few years we have failed to do.

All i want is some effort. I could care less if we are an underacheiving team at this point, but playing half-assed is inexcusable.
First I'll say that if you're not an old man, then dont see you've watch the Habs for more then 2 decades, you're about my age and I sure as hell dont remember a lot from the '93 cup win and that was 13 years ago. I somehow doubt you remember the great teams from when you were 2.

I dont see the point in getting rid of him, you're not happy with his leadership, then strip him of his captaincy, ask him to hand it over if you dont want to cause to much of stir. I dont see where Buffalo gets its good leadership, they have a team spirit, but who are the guys who step up? They dont even have any one superstar, they have a lot of good players. I think Koivu in all playoffs has shown that he's a leader. I dont remember a single playoffs when he wasnt basically the only one who was paying the price, and that goes from the start of his career to his comeback from cancer. He's the only guy who went out(with Begin) and knew he was gonna suffer and get injured. When I saw a guy like Bulis who does everything to avoid contact, what am I supposed to think. To hell with his production, thats not leadership. The same goes for Komisarek, Zednik, Ribeiro, Sundstrom, Bonk, Kovalev, Streit, Dandenault and Ryder. If these guys dont want to get their noses dirty, then whats the point in playing? The fact is, most of the guys who dont show up are normally hard workers which is something that I cant begin to understand. Komisarek, Zednik and Ryder I've never seen play as lazy. Hell, even a floating Kovalev normally gets along the boards and recieves his daily dose of stick work. If I'm Gainey, I'm looking at a few targets on my team I try to trade, not get rid of, but trade. To say we have crappy players is foolish, this is the same team that was forechecking and working hard the previous year, that means they can do it.

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01-27-2006, 10:54 AM
  #14
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Watching Kovalev hustle for Russia in the Olympics will be maddening.

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01-27-2006, 10:59 AM
  #15
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Originally Posted by lynx
Watching Kovalev hustle for Russia in the Olympics will be maddening.
And that is putting it lightly. The Habs should be priority. They are the ones that feed his family. It's a damn shame that 95% of the present Habs have no pride for the jersey they are wearing.

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01-27-2006, 11:06 AM
  #16
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Originally Posted by lynx
Watching Kovalev hustle for Russia in the Olympics will be maddening.

Did you NOT see him float in Salt Lake City? He got out of his coma in the third period of the SemiFinal when the States were up 3-0 in the game.

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01-27-2006, 11:17 AM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Habsaku
First I'll say that if you're not an old man, then dont see you've watch the Habs for more then 2 decades, you're about my age and I sure as hell dont remember a lot from the '93 cup win and that was 13 years ago. I somehow doubt you remember the great teams from when you were 2.

I dont see the point in getting rid of him, you're not happy with his leadership, then strip him of his captaincy, ask him to hand it over if you dont want to cause to much of stir. I dont see where Buffalo gets its good leadership, they have a team spirit, but who are the guys who step up? They dont even have any one superstar, they have a lot of good players. I think Koivu in all playoffs has shown that he's a leader. I dont remember a single playoffs when he wasnt basically the only one who was paying the price, and that goes from the start of his career to his comeback from cancer. He's the only guy who went out(with Begin) and knew he was gonna suffer and get injured. When I saw a guy like Bulis who does everything to avoid contact, what am I supposed to think. To hell with his production, thats not leadership. The same goes for Komisarek, Zednik, Ribeiro, Sundstrom, Bonk, Kovalev, Streit, Dandenault and Ryder. If these guys dont want to get their noses dirty, then whats the point in playing? The fact is, most of the guys who dont show up are normally hard workers which is something that I cant begin to understand. Komisarek, Zednik and Ryder I've never seen play as lazy. Hell, even a floating Kovalev normally gets along the boards and recieves his daily dose of stick work. If I'm Gainey, I'm looking at a few targets on my team I try to trade, not get rid of, but trade. To say we have crappy players is foolish, this is the same team that was forechecking and working hard the previous year, that means they can do it.
Fair to say when I was 2 i dont remember what the teams were like, but watched games with my dad all the time. By 1990, at the age of 8, I was fairly capable of watching hockey and understanding fundamentals. I remember all the seasons very clearly, especially 93.

Moving on, you can not strip a player who has been a captain for 5+ seasons. Its just not done. Its bad press, it makes the player look bad, and it will just make him look from the outside in.
Teams like Buffalo do ahve solid leadership. Connolly, Mckee, Drury, all guys who step up night after night, no questions asked. Having players able to buy into a system and feeling confident about their play. It starts from good coaching, then to the team leaders. Goes to show you, that you dont need great players to be succesful.

Now with Koivu man, I understand that he has shown up in the first round of every series, but since he has been captain in 1999, they made the playoffs twice. Does that have any meaning to you? I mean he hasnt had a great supporting cast most years, but 2 good playoff rounds do no entail GREAT LEADER. The first year he came back from the cancer and it was an affect that helped the whole team. As good as he played, Theo was that series. And last playoff against Boston, he played well, but how bout in Tampa?
Look at the other Canadian teams in the last few years. Canadian teams are suppose to be the most proud teams in the league, because this is OUR sport. Wearing a habs jersey should mean something.They build teams around solid veteran leaders. Edmonton has Smith, Smyth, Calgary has Iginla, Yelle, Simon, Mccarty, Van has Naslund, Linden, Bertuzzi, Ottawa has Alfreddsson, Chara, Hasek, Heatley, and to an extent, besides this yera really Toronto has Sundin, Mcabe, Tucker, and had Roberts and Nieuwendyk. ALL those teams have been more succesful than us in the last 6 years, cause they build with character and have great leaders with a supporting cast.

Thos guys on our team who dont show up everynight should have a captain who will get in their face, yell, throw, and encourage them to be at their best, especially at critical points in the season. Saku in my mind, is a skilled hockey player, can lead by example with his hard-play, but is not a captain. Its not just cause he's not producing, its because he's not doing anything. No hitting, not forechecking, not playing defence, and not shaking up the boys.

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01-27-2006, 11:25 AM
  #18
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To intervene on the whole Koivu issue, there's really three schools of thought.

One says he should be resigned because he is the captain, the heart and soul, and also the team's leading scorer and best player.

Two contradicts all of the above in varying degrees, and says that he should be dumped.

Three recognizes his value and just wonders whether the team is going anywhere to make re-signing him long-term worth it. If the team has to get worse before getting better by going through an extensive roster change, then I think Koivu should be shopped around in case someone offers up a real good prospect or young player with upside. Weight and Jokinen are expected to bring that kind of return from a team with designs on the Cup, and Koivu is definitely in the same class as those guys.

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01-27-2006, 11:28 AM
  #19
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The two week Olympic break will be the best thing for this team. They clearly hate each other right now, and maybe some time away will help.

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01-27-2006, 11:35 AM
  #20
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I think this is a really interesting post. I really think Habs fans had their perspective skewed by the start the team had. This team is in a rebuilding stage that commenced a few years after Houle was fired. It seems that the last 10 years the habs have been rebuilding because the massive amount of damage that Houle did during his time as GM. When Savard took over, he brought in some veterans that made the team instantly competitive but put in place a rebuilding program via the draft and some trades that is still in progress today. This is extremely important to remember.

Look at the Habs young players...Higgins, Perezhogin, Kostitsyn and Pleckanec. This season represents the first, I repeat the first, year in the NHL. Most young players go through growing pains in the first few years before becoming an NHL regular. Only special players a la Crosby, Ovechkin etc make the leap seamlessly. The fact that the Hab youngsters have had struggles is normal and does not take away from the fact that they will be really good players within the 2 years. It just flat out takes time and patience.

The Habs are also littered with players who are young professionals like Markov, Ryder and Bulis who regulars, are good but have yet to reach their full potential. There prime years are still ahead of them. Again, important to realize this.

Now, let's talk about Theo. He has been awful this year, no doubt, for whatever reason. Is this the real Theo or is the MVP he was a few years back the real Theo. Or does the real Theo lie somewhere in between. I would probably say in between. The other reality is given his contract and the fact that he is having his worst season ever, the return in a trade will be 10 cents on the dollar. The Habs best bet is to be patient, work with him, and get back to a top 10 NHL goalie, which I still think is possible. I use Modano as an example. Last season, he was awful, had something like 42 points in 75 games and was a -21. This season, he already has more points and is a plus player. All players, even superstars, have bad seasons.

Kovalev. What a talent. By far the most talented on the team and one of the most talented in the league. I was very happy, and still am, that he was re-signed. He is a gamebreaker, a great skater who is incredibly strong with a fantastic shot. True, he does not show up every night but I don't see him slowing down over the course of his contract. So, when the young kids are fully integrated into the line-up, he will still be a productive player.

Koivu. I am really surprised to see that people don't think he is a good captain. He is a true leader. Just watch him play and his work ethic. Not all leaders are vocal rah rah type of players. Some just go lead by example. Doesn't anyone recall the lift he gave this team when he returned from cancer? Doesn't anyone remember that he has outplayed Joe Thortnon by a long shot the last 2 playoffs and in that last playoff he had a serious injury (I think cracked ribs). Check out his point totals in the last 2 playoffs, I imagine they are really good. Now, if the team is fractured, it is ultimately the coach's responsibity to unify but I do also believe that the captain has to play a role in it as well. I will be curious to see how this team comes together down the stretch. Personally, I think it is important to resign him.

The biggest problem(s) with the Habs? Easy. No true #2 defenceman after Markov and no second line centre. Factor in awful years from Theo and Souray and that is why the Habs are where they are today. I personally believe Gainey will address these weaknesses, but it takes time

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01-27-2006, 12:21 PM
  #21
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Very nice post Netro. Your analysis of the Savard strategy is bang on, and the Modano example is interesting to think about.

I can see that the team is still rebuilding in the big picture. There are a lot of players in place, but unfortunately this year some of those key guys have just really struggled, which has caused the entire team to kind of take a step backwards. The main one of course is Theodore. Even if he was playing like his career average, the Habs would probably be 6th or 7th and Julien would still be the coach.

I guess it really depends on where the Habs are along the rebuilding spectrum. One of the problems with the Savard and Gainey strategies is that the team has never really gone through a thorough rebuilding program. The team still lacks an identity, a distinct style, and there have been chemistry problems for years, even when discounting the sensationalism of the local media.

At this point, I can see that the team is steadily rebuilding towards glory just as easily as I can see the team treading water with teams like the Islanders, who have been pretty similar to the Habs over the past number of years. They have some key pieces, some good young talent, and have slipped into the playoffs as the 7th or 8th seed a couple of times. But the Islanders aren't a team that I look at as being serious contenders any time soon. And I'm not sure how different the Habs really are in the big picture.

It's one thing to be negative and irrational, but I'm just wondering whether this pseudo-rebuilding program is masking some deep structural flaws that will prevent the Habs from becoming real contenders any time soon. Maybe Theodore will bounce back like Modano has, or maybe he'll just Yashin around for the next couple of years. I really don't know.

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01-27-2006, 12:45 PM
  #22
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I really have stopped caring about this season (well, not really I just can't wait till next). The reason for that is that we have a few players that should be ready to come up next season (Lats (hopefully), Chipchura?) and a few players that we can finaly get rid of (Zednik, Sundstrom?). The only question I have is how long do we have left on Bonk's contract? Cuz I really don't want this ****** taking up Chippers spot.

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01-27-2006, 01:12 PM
  #23
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I think there is some personal issues going on with a couple of our players though. I am certain there is something going on with koivu, in all my years of watching the habs, this guy is just NOT a floater. Just to take a guess, I would say robieros issues stem from being a popular player to the guy every fan wants to get rid of, he seems to be playing a much more perimeter game than he ever did, not that he ever went into the corners , but he used to make rushes and perfect passes on a regular basis. I dont know what theos problem is, but his confidence is completely shot after vancouver and carolina.

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