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OT: analysis of last season! (LONG)

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06-27-2006, 10:52 PM
  #1
Louis Houde
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OT: analysis of last season! (LONG)

Here's my final thoughts on this season and moving forward.

This was a disappointing season for me. I expected the Habs to be better
this season, not to merely tread water.

Well, I HOPED they'd be better, and let that hope get the better of me I guess. Even though I was one of the few who expressed reservations about Jose before the season, I allowed myself to be battered into submission by those who assured me I was an idiot for doubting the wisdom of his enormous signing, and thus decided to believe that Jose would be at least good this season, if no longer great.

Instead, well, we all know. He was a total chump that almost singlehandedly destroyed the season. And so it went this season. With the trials and tribulations of Theodore draining this team and until he was mercifully chucked away, the Habs suffered a rollarcoaster year that had, for me, too many downs and not enough ups. Thankfully, at the end of this ride with a crash and burn by the offence in the play-offs, there still is a decent core here, the albatross of the Theodore contract
has been quickly, almost miraculously, tossed from around the franchaises neck and nary a good player has been lost in the process. Unlike predecessors like Savard and Houle, horrifying trades weren't made to fix he problem.

Super clever trades weren't made either, with the exception on managing to find the one sucker out there for Theodore (though I think is was the sucker who
found Gainey). But Gainey did keep the team on track for a bright futre PENDING his upcoming moves.

Anyway, though it all, we found ourselves in scrambling into 7th, needing
Atlanta to lose on the second last day of the season to assure ourselves of a play-of birth. Alas, with too hard a first round opponent, it was a quick exit. I felt our new goalie, Huet, played the way Winkie kept trying to say Theodore played (in some alternate universe I suppose). That is, he made many saves he shouldn't, but occasionally let up one he should have had. Overalll, it added up to a good performance IMO, and only pathetic offensive support prevented him form obtaining wins. IF theodore actually had done that I would have been happy. But he didn't.

Huet did. I'm happy with the goaltending now. Good.

Anyway, summing up things I didn't like this year. I didn't like that this team found it so hard to score. I didn't like that some key players came up so small much of the season, such as Zednik and the forever- erratic Souray. I didn't like our 1-2 punch at center. Koivu's not scoring enough for a #1 on a contender. Ribiero isn't doing enough for a #2 on a contender. Streit was the wrong d-man to keep out of him and Hainsey. (I say that not because I love Hainsey. I just think Streit sucks!) Bulis was wrong to demand more icetime. Bonk's a bust. I didn't like that we seemed to be one key player sort at every position. Without anything close to even one top 5 center, winger, d-man or goalie, it is pretty tough to have a great team.

I'm satisified with the players like Dandy and Rivet and Komi's slow, but teady, progress. I'm OK with the fact that Ryder has become the player I though Dagenais would be. That is, a 30 goal scorer who does little else.

Hey, IMO, every team benefit's from one of those, as long as they don't kill you defensively. I'm satisfied that Perezhogin might develop into something useful (probably the next Bulis actually). Kovalev wasn't as great as I hoped, but not nearly as bad as he has been. He is entertaining!!

I liked Plecanec, our future #3 for years, a Carbonneau-lite who does a lot of little thing right. He'll never block shots like Carbo does, but he'll be better than Juneau was. Cross between a Carbo and a Juneau? I can live with that. I think Higgins will patrol the top 2 lines for a decade. I like him. So, it was nice to see two parts of our future make some good progress. Bouillon did very well. I hope he'll be back. Begin's still all heart. The team is getting a little grittier.

Moving forward, I like that Carbo will be coach next year. I like that Gainey was behind the bench, and he should have a better feel for most of his players now than a normal GM would. I like that the Habs have a decent amount of cap space.

With the cap going up, filling needs should be very possible. For the first season in, umm, EVER, we can compete monetarily for the BEST free agents. Yes, the BEST. We should be in the hunt for Redden, Chara, or Jovanoski. Elias should not be considered beyond our reach.

As for hope. I HOPE that Montreal will go for the best. I hope some top free agents see the good core, the good young guys, the stabilatition of this franchaise over the last few seasons culminationing with the jettisioning of the Theodore sideshow. Carbo has friends throughout the league I bet. Players will want to come play with him. Gainey should be given almost all cap space to work with, and I hope he fills most of it up.

As for what I'd do. Well, Koivu's staying, so Ribeiro's got to go (or move to wing, but mostly likely just go). We need another top center. Call him a #1, or #2, Or #1a, I'm talking about going after the best of what is available that isn't too old.

Going after a top d-man is the other priority. Yes, we have 6 capable NHL d-men, but who's #2 on this team? That's the problem. We got one top d-man, and a bunch of other guys who do some things well, but none do anything exceptionally well, and none are close to doing all things well. I think siging a top d-man doesn't just mean sliding all the other d-men down the depth chart. It means moving one out. The one I'm thinking is Souray. This guy has skills, but not the hockey sense to go with it. He has some grit and heart, but his head doesn't make it to the ice every night. Time to get rid of the human highlight reel for big shots, but also big time boneheaded decisions in the defensive zone.

No, don't toss him for nothing. Toss him because you signed Chara, or Redden or one of the other top guys. Get a guy who is at least consistently good at one thing, offence or defence or punishing opponents. Souray is too much in the vein of Malakhov or Brisebois. He might seem to have a better attitude, but he's just as erratic, and like those guy, whenever he touches the ice you just never know what you're gonna get. Replace his inconsistency with a consistent point producer on the PP (even McCabe qualifies then), a defensive gem like a Chara or Redden. Jovo-cop I think is nearly as erratic, but he punishes people. Him on a line with Markov killing people, and Komi on another. Montreal could actually be accused of having a physical defence again for the first time since probably Chelios and Ludwig!

So, sign a top center, a top d-man. Also go after another winger if possible (but it is 3rd on my list). Moving out to make room in the cap will be the likes of Bulis and Souray or even Zednik, depending on what we can sign or trade for to replace them. This team is close, but it is a matter of UPGRADING something decent, with something excellent. Souray is decent despite the mistakes, but we need another excellent d-man. Ribeiro is decent for his low price, but we need a better point producer in the middle.

The time is now for Montreal to makes its moves, enter the top 4 in the conference, and finally be something other that a 200-1 shot to win the Cup.

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Old
06-27-2006, 10:53 PM
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znk
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Bored tonight? didnt have time to read your stuff...will read it later.

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06-27-2006, 11:03 PM
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Kinda agree with most of it.

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06-27-2006, 11:11 PM
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Souray gave all he got to this team and is a valuable leader. Your comments about him being in the same veind as Malakhov or Brisebois is laughable and way off base. The guy could have asked the world after his all-star season or a trade when things were't gravvy with Angelica but he didn't and gave it all to the team. Looking at guys like Chris Pronger asking for a trade because the wife is not happy make me sick. Did you watch every game or the plays of the weeks on sportscenter to come to these conclusions ? Souray is a warroir and we dont have the luxury to let him walk for a whimp that's looking for the big bucks.

''forever- erratic Souray'' my ***

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06-28-2006, 09:25 AM
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I agree with almost of it ^^

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06-28-2006, 09:29 AM
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Vinceee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jozeph_Balej
Souray gave all he got to this team and is a valuable leader. Your comments about him being in the same veind as Malakhov or Brisebois is laughable and way off base. The guy could have asked the world after his all-star season or a trade when things were't gravvy with Angelica but he didn't and gave it all to the team. Looking at guys like Chris Pronger asking for a trade because the wife is not happy make me sick. Did you watch every game or the plays of the weeks on sportscenter to come to these conclusions ? Souray is a warroir and we dont have the luxury to let him walk for a whimp that's looking for the big bucks.

''forever- erratic Souray'' my ***
Amen

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Old
06-28-2006, 09:52 AM
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BORAT
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The Team played Great, Goaltending sucked, they lost their confidence.

Goaltending rocked, they rocked only to be eliminated by the Champions.

As far as I'm concerned any analysis longer than this is puke

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06-28-2006, 09:53 AM
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BORAT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jozeph_Balej
Souray gave all he got to this team and is a valuable leader. Your comments about him being in the same veind as Malakhov or Brisebois is laughable and way off base. The guy could have asked the world after his all-star season or a trade when things were't gravvy with Angelica but he didn't and gave it all to the team. Looking at guys like Chris Pronger asking for a trade because the wife is not happy make me sick. Did you watch every game or the plays of the weeks on sportscenter to come to these conclusions ? Souray is a warroir and we dont have the luxury to let him walk for a whimp that's looking for the big bucks.

''forever- erratic Souray'' my ***
to this I say : Yashemash

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