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Bob Gainey's Slam Dunk

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Old
04-06-2006, 10:45 PM
  #1
Catch-22
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Bob Gainey's Slam Dunk

Bob Gainey has once again shown why he is a master at this game. Why? First of all, he started Aebischer tonight. How does that tell us anything? Consider two general reasons, on which I will elaborate. (1) Aebischer's confidence and (2) the confidence of the team leading up to the playoffs.

Why did Gainey play Aebischer tonight?
1) Aebischer's Confidence.

a) Playing him on the road, he would not have his confidence undermined by Montreal fans if he were to let in a soft goal.

b) Playing him against Ottawa takes all the pressure off. The Habs weren't exepcted to beat Ottawa in theirn own building. He could not be reasonably expected to single handedly steal this game and could not be blamed if the most potent offense in the league were to light the lamp a few times.

c) Low risk/ High reward: 'a' and 'b' essentially mean that playing Aebischer tonight was a low risk decision. On the other hand, if he were to win and have a good game, he'd be confident and probably perform better next time.

d) With the Habs playing as well as they are, the risk is even lower.


(2) Now consider what playing Aebischer might do tonight for the team.

a) The Habs were not expected to beat the Sens in Ottawa. This was our toughest game from now till the end of the season. The team knows Aebischer has struggled since coming here, so Gainey puts him in and forces the defence to consider a more responsible game - essentially a rallying technique. This both increases the likelyhood of a better outcome for Aebischer and a better outcome for the team.

b) Up to this point, the Habs playoff drive has been largely attributed to Cristobal Huet. While I partially agree, Higgins, Koivu, Ryder, Kovalev, Souray, Markov, Dandeneault, Bonk , Begin, Murray, Downey and Plekanec have all contributed significantly. However, it is easy for the guys to think 'we're riding great goaltending.' Now consider the possibility that we put our back-up goaltender in (which I have already established is a low-risk decision), and we beat the NHL's best team with our backup. That tells players that there's more to this team than a goaltender and that the Montreal Canadiens can beat the best team in hockey without Cristobal Huet. Imagine the confidence boost that gives the players? Again, this was a low-risk, high reward decision.




It paid off. Hopefully, as the Habs move into a tougher stretch of games than the last 10, that confidence will provide benefits. While it's tough to predict how the Habs will finish, I think putting Aebischer in goal tonight was a great call, even if we hadn't won. But we did win and that has so many possible rewards. Here's hoping the guys can capitalize on the confidence they should now have in the entire team.

Go Habs Go!

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04-06-2006, 10:49 PM
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jcpenny
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In the first 2 periods Aebisher was making the saves but he gave rebounds all over the place. Even the commentators on Sportsnet said that he looked like he was only looking to position himself and gave too many rebounds. When the team took over in the third we saw a more calm Aebisher which was good to see.

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04-06-2006, 10:49 PM
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*Imagine Bob Gainey pulling a LeBron James*

Errr , Go Habs !!!

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04-06-2006, 10:49 PM
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Nice analysis.

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04-06-2006, 10:50 PM
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LesHabsRock
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I was thinking the same thing. Playing Aebischer on the road vs Ottawa won't allow fans to get on him if he let's the softies in. Since we won with Aebischer, this gives Aebischer confidence (team confidence), and at the sametime we give Huet much needed rest. This was the best case scenario tonight. We also set ourselves up for a dance for sole possession of 6th spot vs the devils on Saturday.

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04-06-2006, 10:53 PM
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very good analysis, i thought the exact same thing.
low risk, high reward.
then sens laughed at us for that game in january? well our backup just beat yours.
what a confidence boost for the entire team.

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04-06-2006, 10:54 PM
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The Habs weren't expected to beat us?

You give us too much credit

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04-06-2006, 10:57 PM
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So we win, Gainey is a genius...if we would have lost, everyone would have been ready to hang him for playing Aebischer and this post would be very different.

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04-06-2006, 10:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zamboner
The Habs weren't expected to beat us?

You give us too much credit
your offense scares the living hell out of me.

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04-06-2006, 10:59 PM
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Before we go erecting all kinds of shrines to BG let's consider what happens if the move backfires.

1)Aebischer's confidence is further ruined. Now while it was a lower risk (I would exactly say playing the Senators is ever low risk) due to the injury problems of Ottawa, IMHO it's still not a move you make when you are in a dogfight for a play off spot.


2)The team feels it can't win without Huet. Now if Huet starts to falter you have real problems.

It didn't work out that way, but these boards would have crashed with posting looking for BG's head had the Habs lost

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Old
04-06-2006, 11:00 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HABit
So we win, Gainey is a genius...if we would have lost, everyone would have been ready to hang him for playing Aebischer and this post would be very different.
not exactly, the sens are a solid team and the thread maker covered all of the 'ifs' and 'buts'
playing aebischer was an extremely astute decision.

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04-06-2006, 11:01 PM
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The Sens are where the Habs would be without Souray, Markov and Koivu.

This was not a team the streaking Habs were expected to lose to.

As for the annointing of BG as some kind of genius, Jan Bulis has picked up where he left off before being benched. Anyone who saw him tonight (and who watches the Habs regularly) cannot doubt that he should be among our top 9 forwards. Every night.

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04-06-2006, 11:01 PM
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It was good for Abby to play tonight and I hope it's not his last season game (how could it with 3 games in 4 nights next week).

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04-06-2006, 11:03 PM
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NORiculous
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catch-22
(2) Now consider what playing Aebischer might do tonight for the team.

b) Up to this point, the Habs playoff drive has been largely attributed to Cristobal Huet. While I partially agree, Higgins, Koivu, Ryder, Kovalev, Souray, Markov, Dandeneault, Bonk , Begin, Murray, Downey and Plekanec have all contributed significantly. However, it is easy for the guys to think 'we're riding great goaltending.' Now consider the possibility that we put our back-up goaltender in (which I have already established is a low-risk decision), and we beat the NHL's best team with our backup. That tells players that there's more to this team than a goaltender and that the Montreal Canadiens can beat the best team in hockey without Cristobal Huet. Imagine the confidence boost that gives the players? Again, this was a low-risk, high reward decision.


Go Habs Go!
You know... even if you hate Ribs, he has been playing very well since the olympics.

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Old
04-06-2006, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NORiculous
You know... even if you hate Ribs, he has been playing very well since the olympics.
No one agreed that Zednik was killing that line...

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04-06-2006, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Shabutie
No one agreed that Zednik was killing that line...
zednik was playing hard, just couldn't do anything right to score. poor guy.

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04-06-2006, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JV
The Sens are where the Habs would be without Souray, Markov and Koivu.

This was not a team the streaking Habs were expected to lose to.

As for the annointing of BG as some kind of genius, Jan Bulis has picked up where he left off before being benched. Anyone who saw him tonight (and who watches the Habs regularly) cannot doubt that he should be among our top 9 forwards. Every night.
I said it while he was benched, a 17 goal scorer (now 19) with speed should play.

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04-06-2006, 11:24 PM
  #18
HABit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wholeshow
not exactly, the sens are a solid team and the thread maker covered all of the 'ifs' and 'buts'
playing aebischer was an extremely astute decision.
Hindsight is 20/20. Simple fact of the matter is if we lost we wouldn't be singing his praises.

I agree it was a good desicion but it's the same story. We win, everybody thinks we're going to win the Stabley cup...we lose somebody has to pay.

Not saying it was a bad desicion at all, I agreed with it before the game started. But the Monday morning quarterback analysis is a dime a dozen.

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04-06-2006, 11:38 PM
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Catch-22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HABit
Hindsight is 20/20. Simple fact of the matter is if we lost we wouldn't be singing his praises.

I agree it was a good desicion but it's the same story. We win, everybody thinks we're going to win the Stabley cup...we lose somebody has to pay.

Not saying it was a bad desicion at all, I agreed with it before the game started. But the Monday morning quarterback analysis is a dime a dozen.
Only the last part of my post talks about it paying off. I simply detailed the reasoning. I also defended Gainey in several other threads during our 3 game losing streak when many posters were calling for his head. You're welcome to check. In any case, this is not about foresight or hindsight. Win or lose, it was the right decision. And I certainly am thankful that we have a coach who has the ability to rationalize the way Gainey did. That's what this post was about. No offense is taken here but I think you greatly missed the point of my post.

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04-06-2006, 11:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catch-22
The Habs weren't exepcted to beat Ottawa in theirn own building.

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04-07-2006, 12:01 AM
  #21
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Originally Posted by NyQuil
ottawa must have been the favorite for this game, no?

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Old
04-07-2006, 12:23 AM
  #22
LesHabsRock
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artie
Before we go erecting all kinds of shrines to BG let's consider what happens if the move backfires.
Ya think you could've picked a different word ?

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04-07-2006, 12:24 AM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MEGALINSKY
ottawa must have been the favorite for this game, no?
Perhaps if they had any of their top 4 defense, Hasek or Havlat in the game. You have to be kidding if you think the team with an AHL defense, missing their #1 goalie, their most skilled player, having played the night before and Alfredsson battling the flu was the favourite to win this one. I think I speak for every Sens fan when I say we were fully expecting to be blown out tonight.

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Old
04-07-2006, 12:29 AM
  #24
Shabutie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sting004
Perhaps if they had any of their top 4 defense, Hasek or Havlat in the game. You have to be kidding if you think the team with an AHL defense, missing their #1 goalie, their most skilled player, having played the night before and Alfredsson battling the flu was the favourite to win this one. I think I speak for every Sens fan when I say we were fully expecting to be blown out tonight.
Blow out is a strong word. I expected the win, but I thought it would be a close game. You guys opened with a great first period but I guess the energy grew thin after the first half of the game and we got a few lucky bounces (cough*arnason*cough). It was a good game, but tonight just demonstrated why the habs would be better off facing NYR or Philly than Carolina or Ottawa.

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04-07-2006, 12:32 AM
  #25
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Ottawa has so many injuries it's not even funny. Like I said in another thread, I believe it's not so much that we were expected to lose, it's that we could afford the loss.

If we'd lost, my opinion would have been that Gainey took a calculated risk that didn't pan out.

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