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What about double shifting Kovalev?

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11-03-2006, 03:54 PM
  #1
Munchausen
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What about double shifting Kovalev?

Considering his size, strength and stamina, I feel Kovalev is not playing a lot at the moment. His current average ice time is 17:50 which isn't bad by any stretch of the imagination, but Kovalev, we've seen it in the past, can handle 20+ without breaking a sweat. That's an asset we're not really taking advantage of at the moment.

Putting him on the 4th line would help him stay in the game a little bit more easily, especially during the games where we can't help getting penalities after penalities. Furthermore, this would probably help the 4th line with puck possession, something it has struggled with since the begining of the season. They would likely create tons of scoring chances because Kovalev can make any 4th liner he would be matched against look like a complete fool all by himself in the offensive zone.

I'm not saying to make this systematic, but when we play speedy, talented teams, or otherwise teams that clearly have no enforcer like the Canes or are not playing a rough style of play, I feel it would be to the team's advantage to scratch Downey/Murray, who don't play on the special units anyway, and double shift Kovalev as a 2nd line C and 4th line RW. I'd rather see that than see him sit on the bench during 6+ consecutive minutes and completely lose focus for the rest of the game.

Alternatively, we could make him see PK time, but it is going so well at the moment with our current forward duos that I'd be reluctant to see that combination modified.

Thoughts?

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11-03-2006, 04:00 PM
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Dan K
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Hrm, maybe it would make him happy?

Because maybe it's just me, but does this not sound like Kovalev and Carbonneau are fueding?

"Kovalev a la mèche plutôt courte avec les journalistes par le temps qui court. Visiblement, les relations entre Carbonneau et lui ne sont pas au beau fixe. Interrogé à savoir s'il désirerait qu'on l'utilise en infériorité numérique, Kovalev a de nouveau laissé entendre être insatisfait de son temps de jeu."

http://rds.ca/canadien/chroniques/216432.html

(translation: Kovalev has been a bit short tempered with journalists as time has gone by. Visibly, the relations between Carbonneau and him aren't perfect. Asked about if he'd like to be used on the penalty kill, Kovalev re-hinted at not being satisfied with his ice time.)

Am I the only one to whom this is news?

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11-03-2006, 04:02 PM
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Ross MacLochness
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Things are good right now.

Why do poeple always have to cause sh-t?

(referring to article above)

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11-03-2006, 04:07 PM
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Dan K
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slip Slidin' Slim View Post
Things are good right now.

Why do poeple always have to cause sh-t?

(referring to article above)
I agree. But I found that part of it kinda troubling.

After re-reading it, though, it sounds kinda like RDS just making something out of nothing. It was probably journalists wanting to get a quote from Kovalev on Julien, with him having no interest in giving them one. Then a question like "do you want to play on the PK?", which received an answer of "I'd play anywhere to get more ice time."

So probably no story. I would have to imagine if they were actually fueding it would get more attention like what happened with Samsonov.

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11-03-2006, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by #11 Saku Koivu View Post
Hrm, maybe it would make him happy?

Because maybe it's just me, but does this not sound like Kovalev and Carbonneau are fueding?

"Kovalev a la mèche plutôt courte avec les journalistes par le temps qui court. Visiblement, les relations entre Carbonneau et lui ne sont pas au beau fixe. Interrogé à savoir s'il désirerait qu'on l'utilise en infériorité numérique, Kovalev a de nouveau laissé entendre être insatisfait de son temps de jeu."

http://rds.ca/canadien/chroniques/216432.html

(translation: Kovalev has been a bit short tempered with journalists as time has gone by. Visibly, the relations between Carbonneau and him aren't perfect. Asked about if he'd like to be used on the penalty kill, Kovalev re-hinted at not being satisfied with his ice time.)

Am I the only one to whom this is news?
I don't necessarily see this as a bad thing. Often times, players who feud with their coaches at the beggining end up being on the same wave length at the end. Carbonneau and Kovalev are two of the proudest hockey people in the league, I have a feeling that when Kovalev proves he can play like he did the last two games consistently, his ice-time will increase and so will his value and the respect people have for him.

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11-03-2006, 04:12 PM
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I don't know if I see a real problem that needs addressing. The lines are nicely balanced now. We have three good PK duos and two PP lines that all happen to combine regular linemates. Also, the top two PP lines are regular lines. I like the fact that there's less shuffling, although it means that there will be some PK or PP stretches where some guys sit longer than they normally would. Also, I remember that Kovalev and Samsonov have seen PK duty over the last few games, no doubt as a result of Carbo's effort to keep their heads in the game.

We know all Kovy can handle the minutes, but with that has to come some additional risk of injury and burnout at some point in the season. I also agree that the fourth line could be upgraded but I think Lapierre could be the solution there earlier rather than later.

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11-03-2006, 04:16 PM
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He will probably end up being double shifted when we have lots of penalties in a game.
I honestly don't care what Kovalev does in November as long as he's his usual self down the stretch and in the playoffs.

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11-03-2006, 04:21 PM
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When the team cuts down on the stupid penalties, right there it opens up more time for his line to be on the ice.

The penalties are costing us crucial 5 on 5 time for a lineup that is built for the new NHL with tons of speed and scoring ability.

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11-03-2006, 04:26 PM
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Wow talk about RDS starting something out of nothing... Since the Julien incident, the french medias are constantly bashing Kovalev.

Double shifting Kovy, short-term: Yes Long-term: No

That guy is getting old, we don't want to risk an injury. I know he's capable of playing monster minutes but we have to keep him healthy for the playoffs.

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11-03-2006, 05:11 PM
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Instead of double shifting Kovalev, perhaps the Habs could first find some ice time for Ryder who spends much of the time sitting on the bench watching penalties being killed. You can't leave Ryder on the bench and expect him to produce cold - he has to stay warm on the ice. So, if there is double shifting to be done at all, it should include Ryder from time to time - some periods, he only gets to play two or three minutes, far less than Kovalev.

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11-03-2006, 05:29 PM
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Double-shifting my best player?
That's something I would do a lot of if I was coach.

Doesn't make much sense to me that you're not trying to play your best player the more you can.

The guys are such athletes these day, they can handle that..

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11-03-2006, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoupeStanley View Post
Double-shifting my best player?
That's something I would do a lot of if I was coach.

Doesn't make much sense to me that you're not trying to play your best player the more you can.

The guys are such athletes these day, they can handle that..
We're talking about Kovy here. Higgins has enough ice time as it is.

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11-03-2006, 05:34 PM
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When nothing happens in the third and you're down by a goal, I would like a lot to try a shift with Koivu-Higgins-Kovalev...
That could spark something and create some highlight reel stuff.

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11-03-2006, 05:45 PM
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the goal is to get 3 lines seeing fairly balanced ice time to increase the team chemistry, the 4th is playing more often as well if you guys noticed,
the new nhl is about playing your depth not about double shifting individuals, this should become more apperant as the season goes on.

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11-03-2006, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoupeStanley View Post
When nothing happens in the third and you're down by a goal, I would like a lot to try a shift with Koivu-Higgins-Kovalev...
That could spark something and create some highlight reel stuff.
oh, that's good. keep Ryder off the ice for even longer. Why do you think Kovalev will add more to that line than Ryder does????

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11-03-2006, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by habgab View Post
Instead of double shifting Kovalev, perhaps the Habs could first find some ice time for Ryder who spends much of the time sitting on the bench watching penalties being killed. You can't leave Ryder on the bench and expect him to produce cold - he has to stay warm on the ice. So, if there is double shifting to be done at all, it should include Ryder from time to time - some periods, he only gets to play two or three minutes, far less than Kovalev.
Quote:
Originally Posted by habgab View Post
oh, that's good. keep Ryder off the ice for even longer. Why do you think Kovalev will add more to that line than Ryder does????
Michael? Is that you?

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11-03-2006, 06:18 PM
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Munchausen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zurg999 View Post
We know all Kovy can handle the minutes, but with that has to come some additional risk of injury and burnout at some point in the season. I also agree that the fourth line could be upgraded but I think Lapierre could be the solution there earlier rather than later.
Well I highly doubt there's a chance of burning Kovalev out. A small guy like Koivu, different story, but with Kovalev's physical constitution and economical style of play, I think he could probably play 25 minutes a game with relative ease.

To me, I feel this would be a way of getting Kovalev a notch higher in terms of performance while making this team an even bigger threat 5 on 5. Our special units are doing well, however 5 on 5 we're an average team, and that's being generous.

I realize this might be a bad time to start such a thread as the team is going well, but I was hoping we could discuss the concept with little regard to the team's actual record. Maybe to be tried if we start to falter.

The sole reason for the proposition is because this is Kovalev. He is a beast of nature physically. A bit like Bertuzzi in Vancouver (who incidently was seeing double shifts on a regular basis). He can handle whatever you throw at him. The question is then, who do you feel adds more to the 4th line? Downey or Kovalev? The answer might depend on who we're playing any given night, but to me it would add an offensive dimension that we are lacking 5 on 5.

Lapierre is an interesing solution down the road I'll agree to that, however I'd leave him play in the AHL for at least half a season to round out his game before making the jump. Both Carbo and Lever have commented on things that need to be worked on some more in his game.

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11-03-2006, 06:23 PM
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While double shifting him sounds like a great idea..

Id rather see kovalev put a little more energy in this fewer shifts he has. I know hes the type to conserve energy, but hes got the ability to burn a little more......

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11-03-2006, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by habgab View Post
oh, that's good. keep Ryder off the ice for even longer. Why do you think Kovalev will add more to that line than Ryder does????
I never said to bench Ryder. I said that I would just try to spark something with them when the game is going nowhere.

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11-03-2006, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Munchausen View Post
The sole reason for the proposition is because this is Kovalev. He is a beast of nature physically. A bit like Bertuzzi in Vancouver (who incidently was seeing double shifts on a regular basis). He can handle whatever you throw at him. The question is then, who do you feel adds more to the 4th line? Downey or Kovalev? The answer might depend on who we're playing any given night, but to me it would add an offensive dimension that we are lacking 5 on 5.

Lapierre is an interesing solution down the road I'll agree to that, however I'd leave him play in the AHL for at least half a season to round out his game before making the jump. Both Carbo and Lever have commented on things that need to be worked on some more in his game.
Another comparable 'beast' might be Sundin, these guys just don't seem to wear down. But I still think with Kovy's history of injuries less might be more, except as you mentioned, if the team cools off.

I'm going to the Dogs game tomorrow night. Last game I saw, Lapierre seemed to tire substantially toward the end and it made a lot of difference in his play, but he did log a lot of ice time before then.

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11-03-2006, 07:23 PM
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i have already noticed Kovalev double shifted on the 4th line already this season. Watch the whole game and u might notice

But i guess he probably plans to do it more at certain times than other times, or more one game than the next depending on circumstances. He is a coach after all.

With 4 lines and 3 that are legit offensive threats, it is hard to target 1 player and only double shift that guy.

As other posters have pointed out, Ryder could use more time. Higgins is getting more all the time(wow he is becoming our best player). Koivu could get double shifted on the 4th line too. We have lots of options, not just kovalev. But i agree Kovalev could play a little more. BUt its early in the season and carbo needs to see what he has and needs to see everyone play. Kovalev will no doubt get more ice time in the playoffs though. The season is long, lets not tire the guy already. He isn't young anymore..


Last edited by Toro: 11-03-2006 at 09:56 PM.
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11-03-2006, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Munchausen View Post
Considering his size, strength and stamina, I feel Kovalev is not playing a lot at the moment. His current average ice time is 17:50 which isn't bad by any stretch of the imagination, but Kovalev, we've seen it in the past, can handle 20+ without breaking a sweat. That's an asset we're not really taking advantage of at the moment.

Putting him on the 4th line would help him stay in the game a little bit more easily, especially during the games where we can't help getting penalities after penalities. Furthermore, this would probably help the 4th line with puck possession, something it has struggled with since the begining of the season. They would likely create tons of scoring chances because Kovalev can make any 4th liner he would be matched against look like a complete fool all by himself in the offensive zone.

I'm not saying to make this systematic, but when we play speedy, talented teams, or otherwise teams that clearly have no enforcer like the Canes or are not playing a rough style of play, I feel it would be to the team's advantage to scratch Downey/Murray, who don't play on the special units anyway, and double shift Kovalev as a 2nd line C and 4th line RW. I'd rather see that than see him sit on the bench during 6+ consecutive minutes and completely lose focus for the rest of the game.

Alternatively, we could make him see PK time, but it is going so well at the moment with our current forward duos that I'd be reluctant to see that combination modified.

Thoughts?

If kovalev is going to play center, I'd rather have him not double shifting.

He's playing pretty responsible and working hard. Lets not wear him out already.

If kovalev was on the wing, then I'd consider it.

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11-03-2006, 10:17 PM
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7 Dmen

I agree with Munchausen : double-shifting Kovalev would be a good way to improve the team's performance against speedy teams. What I like the most about this idea is the fact we would be able to dress 7 defensemen. I don't like Niniima and I think Streit has been playing like a good 6th dman lately. But I'm afraid that with Dandenault's return, Carbonneau won't have the guts to keep Niinimaa and his 2,5 millions contract off the ice. Keeping 7 Dmen would be a good way to let Streit play without humiliating his boss (Gainey) about the Ribeiro-Niinimaa's trade.

By the way, I still think Downey can be a useful player, but I'm sure Gainey's plan (after the Ribeiro' trade) was to see him alternate with Murray... but the problem is that Murray has been playing like an average AHL player... Downey should not play more games because of Murray's bad performance. Kovy is one solution here. Lapierre is another... But Lapierre still takes too many penalties and he's a center, just like Plekanec ...

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11-03-2006, 10:59 PM
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Although i definitely agree with you on the idea itself. I say no right now.

I want Plekanec, at least for a good 5+ games period on a completely different line than Kovalev. Plekanec have play his best hockey the last 2 games and i truely think having him down there on the 4th line and letting him do his things without worying about a better veteran player on his line will do him wonders.

In 5 to 10 games, if things are still going the way the are right now. I would have absolutly no problem revisiting this as a viable option.

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11-03-2006, 11:18 PM
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I think it's a poor idea. It wouldn't greatly increase the scoring of the 4th line, and it would cut down on the time during which Kovalev could serve on the power play. Also, he wouldn't be fully rested when he joins his usual line. If the problem is lack of scoring on the 4th line, then Gainey should get more gifted players than Garth Murray and Aaron Downey.

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