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Higgins at center! (again with this topic!!)

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Old
11-15-2006, 02:04 AM
  #1
Mr. Hab
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Higgins at center! (again with this topic!!)

Higgins just might be the center that Kovy and Sammy need. What if Koivu and Higgins were to separate? (they're our most consistent forwards, so to create good balance for 2 lines, separate them...IMO, the team will benefit). Higgins is like Captain 1b, so let him captain the 2nd line (or call it Line 1b!). Why have 2 captains on one line? (spread the wealth!!). I keep thinking that Higgins is our solution for the center position. It's so hard to find a good centerman these days, but then again...we have him (well, in 2 weeks!).

Latendresse/Kostitsyn-Koivu-Ryder
Samsonov-Higgins-Kovalev
Perezhogin-Bonk-Johnson
Begin-Pleks-Kostitsyn/Latendresse

If Higgins can't wake Sammy & Kovy up then try...
Samsonov-Koivu-Kovalev
Kostitsyn/Latendresse-Higgins-Ryder
--------------------- ---------------------

Here's a quote from a Long Island interview with Higgins...
SOURCE from Habs Boards "cool Higgins interview" (puckingrivals.com)
INTERVIEWER:
do you think that the decision to move to the wing helped you in
your career or not?

CHRIS HIGGINS: I think I can be more offensive at wing however I’m very comfortable playing center. Centers have a lot of defensive responsibilities and need to be able to read plays extremely well. Wingers need to be strong and good along the boards. My development would not have been different but I would be better at face-offs if I played center more.


Last edited by Mr. Hab: 11-16-2006 at 04:32 PM.
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Old
11-15-2006, 02:09 AM
  #2
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Put him at centre, if he's comfortable there he'll play better and really that is what we want in the end.

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11-15-2006, 02:29 AM
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As much as I balked at the idea when I first read it, I think having someone who can crash the net and get off a quick shot would be a great complement to the puckhandlers we have on that line. Higgins also ain't small, it would just remain to be seen how he is on the doorstep (I don't see him infront of the crease that much nowadays).

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11-15-2006, 04:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Hab View Post
Higgins just might be the center that Kovy and Sammy need. What if Koivu and Higgins were to separate? (they're our most consistent forwards, so to create good balance for 2 lines, separate them...IMO, the team will benefit). Higgins is like Captain 1b, so let him captain the 2nd line (or call it Line 1b!). Why have 2 captains on one line? (spread the wealth!!). I keep thinking that Higgins is our solution for the center position. It's so hard to find a good centerman these days, but then again...we have him (well, in 2 weeks!).

Latendresse/Kostitsyn-Koivu-Ryder
Samsonov-Higgins-Kovalev
Perezhogin-Bonk-Johnson
Begin-Pleks-Kostitsyn/Latendresse

If Higgins can't wake Sammy & Kovy up then try...
Samsonov-Koivu-Kovalev
Kostitsyn/Latendresse-Higgins-Ryder
--------------------- ---------------------

Here's a quote from a Long Island interview with Higgins...
SOURCE from Habs Boards "cool Higgins interview" (puckingrivals.com)
INTERVIEWER:
do you think that the decision to move to the wing helped you in
your career or not?

CHRIS HIGGINS: I think I can be more offensive at wing however Iím very comfortable playing center. Centers have a lot of defensive responsibilities and need to be able to read plays extremely well. Wingers need to be strong and good along the boards. My development would not have been different but I would be better at face-offs if I played center more.
This is assuming that latendresse continues to produce while playing on the top line and that's a BIG if.

I expect higgins to go back to where he was before because I dont expect a 19 year old kid (sans Malkin, Crosby, Ovechkin) to stay consistent enough to play top line minutes every game.

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11-15-2006, 06:34 AM
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Higgins is our best foward along the board, no way we move him at center, he is perfect where he is... Also, nothing guarentee he would click with the 2 complicated Russians...

I like the Sammy Kovy Kostitsyn line, this line has some potential...

I rather see Higgins on the first line with Koivu and Latendresse if Lats continue to progress like he acutally does.. Ryder fighting with Perezhogin and Kostitsyn for ice time.. Thats what we call depth!!

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11-15-2006, 06:47 AM
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Why Some People Don't Get It!

For the hundredth time...the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens has stated on NUMEROUS occasions that Chris Higgins was converted to a winger when he was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens because he did NOT have the creativity to play the center position!


And to the other poster who wanted to keep Lats on the first line and have Ryder "fight for playing time", you putting a guy with 3 FREAKIN GOALS on the first line and moving a guy with 55 FREAKIN GOALS in 2 seasons off that line!

I thank God that Carbo and Gainey don't listen to Habs fans!

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11-15-2006, 07:12 AM
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For a second I thought, "why? we won last game 6-3"

then I remembered about Higgins.

****.

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Old
11-15-2006, 07:21 AM
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Simple, create a 5th line.

1) Higgins - Koivu - Ryder
1b) Sammy - Kovalev - Kosty
3) Perez - Bonk - Johnson
4) Begin - Pleks - Lats
4b) Lats - Higgins - Johnson


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11-15-2006, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyhabsfan View Post
For the hundredth time...the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens has stated on NUMEROUS occasions that Chris Higgins was converted to a winger when he was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens because he did NOT have the creativity to play the center position!


And to the other poster who wanted to keep Lats on the first line and have Ryder "fight for playing time", you putting a guy with 3 FREAKIN GOALS on the first line and moving a guy with 55 FREAKIN GOALS in 2 seasons off that line!

I thank God that Carbo and Gainey don't listen to Habs fans!

Another fan that can't tolerate an alternative opinion...dude, this is a hockey forum. I happen to think Higgins at center is exactly what Kovalev needs to get going. Maybe you're not watching the games, but I can tell you for a fact that Higgins has oodles of creativity. The only reason he doesn't have tons of assists is that Koivu hasn't converted most of the opportunities in the slot given to him by Higgins.

I had many arguments about my belief that Higgins was much more than 3rd line player last year, and luckily, he's proven me right. Once again, I will argue that Higgins is a helluva creative playmaker, and I'm convinced he will eventually prove me right once again. If somebody thinks that Higgins doesn't have the creativity to play center, then that person is the idiot. Time will tell, I guess, but like I said, I'm confident we will eventually see him shining as a center before too long.

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11-15-2006, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewHabsArea View Post
Higgins is our best foward along the board, no way we move him at center, he is perfect where he is... Also, nothing guarentee he would click with the 2 complicated Russians...

I like the Sammy Kovy Kostitsyn line, this line has some potential...

I rather see Higgins on the first line with Koivu and Latendresse if Lats continue to progress like he acutally does.. Ryder fighting with Perezhogin and Kostitsyn for ice time.. Thats what we call depth!!

There is no guarantee he will click with Kovy and Sammy, sure, but why not give it a try for at least a couple of games?

Higgins, as good as he is along the boards, is also a great playmaker. In any case, all three forwards on a line need to be good along the boards to maintain an effective cycling of the puck in the offensive zone. Just because you're a centerman doesn't mean you won't benefit from and get to showcase your ability along the boards, au contraire, mon frere.

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11-15-2006, 08:07 AM
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we still need a good centerman why not try him theres not much out there better

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11-15-2006, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by NRG87 View Post
There is no guarantee he will click with Kovy and Sammy, sure, but why not give it a try for at least a couple of games?

Higgins, as good as he is along the boards, is also a great playmaker. In any case, all three forwards on a line need to be good along the boards to maintain an effective cycling of the puck in the offensive zone. Just because you're a centerman doesn't mean you won't benefit from and get to showcase your ability along the boards, au contraire, mon frere.
Well, Im saying for a while Begin is more useful on the wings than centering a line, he is an energy guy who like to hit, work along the board and be involved deep in the offensive zone.. While I do not compare Begin to Higgins in term of skills, Higgins is our best foward along the board, he is so great to win his battles for the puck, he is gritty and agressive and likes to work deep in the offensive zone as well... I think Higgins could do well centering Sammy and Kovy but we certainly wouldnt get the best of Him cause this is just not the same type of game, the same responsabilities... I saw Higgins play center a couple of times with Hamilton and I thought he wasnt at his place, didnt seem confortable and I remember a game where he got brutally hit in the neutral zone, out about 2 weeks cause of a concussion... I can be wrong, I couldnt see Kovy play center at all and Im somewhat pleasantly surprised at the moment but I doubt Carbo will think moving Higgins at center, Higgins works so well with Koivu and Latendresse could make this line a pretty dangerous one if he keeps improving...

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11-15-2006, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by laubelroc View Post
we still need a good centerman why not try him theres not much out there better
Kovalev will be given all the chances possible but if he doesnt do the job centering the second line, I could see him moved... He is highly paid, couldnt find chimestry with Koivu on a regular basis, couldnt find chimestry with Ribeiro, couldnt find chimestry with Plekanec... At some point, there are some limits at what you can do to make a player happy and perform every nights... Most seem to have given up with Plekanec to center the second but no one seem to think Kovy might have a big part of the blame in this story... I still think Plekanec can become a good second line center with appropriate linemates... A Sammy Plekanec Kostitsyn line could be pretty interesting to watch...

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11-15-2006, 08:55 AM
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pleks will never be a 2nd line centerman . he s not smart enough offenseley to do it .pleks bails out to much from the boards he losers races for the puck scared of getting hit

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11-15-2006, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Hab View Post
Higgins just might be the center that Kovy and Sammy need. What if Koivu and Higgins were to separate? (they're our most consistent forwards, so to create good balance for 2 lines, separate them...IMO, the team will benefit). Higgins is like Captain 1b, so let him captain the 2nd line (or call it Line 1b!). Why have 2 captains on one line? (spread the wealth!!). I keep thinking that Higgins is our solution for the center position. It's so hard to find a good centerman these days, but then again...we have him (well, in 2 weeks!).

Latendresse/Kostitsyn-Koivu-Ryder
Samsonov-Higgins-Kovalev
Perezhogin-Bonk-Johnson
Begin-Pleks-Kostitsyn/Latendresse

If Higgins can't wake Sammy & Kovy up then try...
Samsonov-Koivu-Kovalev
Kostitsyn/Latendresse-Higgins-Ryder
--------------------- ---------------------

Here's a quote from a Long Island interview with Higgins...
SOURCE from Habs Boards "cool Higgins interview" (puckingrivals.com)
INTERVIEWER:
do you think that the decision to move to the wing helped you in
your career or not?

CHRIS HIGGINS: I think I can be more offensive at wing however Iím very comfortable playing center. Centers have a lot of defensive responsibilities and need to be able to read plays extremely well. Wingers need to be strong and good along the boards. My development would not have been different but I would be better at face-offs if I played center more.
not sure what will happen but this idea is much better than many that i've seen posted on these boards eg. trade souray for fedorov . either way higgins return will lead to some tough decisions having to be made by the coaching staff .

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11-15-2006, 09:09 AM
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I dont know...Kovalev seems to be a black whole that sucks any potential out of the players on his line.

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11-15-2006, 09:32 AM
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I would try it for sure if Latendresse continues to produce. If Lats goes into a slump, demote him and give Higgy his spot back. Or maybe move Ryder to the second line with Kovalev and Samsonov, play Higgins with Lats and Koivu.

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11-15-2006, 10:24 AM
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I dont know...Kovalev seems to be a black whole that sucks any potential out of the players on his line.
I tend to agree with that...the only person who can't be sucked into black holes is a man by the name of Saku.

I think we should eventually try Kovalev with Koivu again. I know we have good chemistry on all lines other than Kovy's, but Kovy is the most skilled player on the team and it's worth it to try to switch the lines around temporarily to see if maybe we can come up with better combinations. And to those who think Pleks can't be a second line center, I say that it's extremely difficult to figure out how to play with Kovy and Sammy. We should really broke those two up.

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11-15-2006, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by NRG87 View Post
Another fan that can't tolerate an alternative opinion...dude, this is a hockey forum. I happen to think Higgins at center is exactly what Kovalev needs to get going. Maybe you're not watching the games, but I can tell you for a fact that Higgins has oodles of creativity. The only reason he doesn't have tons of assists is that Koivu hasn't converted most of the opportunities in the slot given to him by Higgins.

I had many arguments about my belief that Higgins was much more than 3rd line player last year, and luckily, he's proven me right. Once again, I will argue that Higgins is a helluva creative playmaker, and I'm convinced he will eventually prove me right once again. If somebody thinks that Higgins doesn't have the creativity to play center, then that person is the idiot. Time will tell, I guess, but like I said, I'm confident we will eventually see him shining as a center before too long.
I dunno if Higgins can play effectively at center. But something I am starting to ask myself is "Who the hell can play with Kovalev ?"... Maybe it would be easier to trade him and get something cheaper, younger and eventually better, and who can adapt to his linemates.

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11-15-2006, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by NRG87 View Post
Another fan that can't tolerate an alternative opinion...dude, this is a hockey forum. I happen to think Higgins at center is exactly what Kovalev needs to get going. Maybe you're not watching the games, but I can tell you for a fact that Higgins has oodles of creativity. The only reason he doesn't have tons of assists is that Koivu hasn't converted most of the opportunities in the slot given to him by Higgins.

I had many arguments about my belief that Higgins was much more than 3rd line player last year, and luckily, he's proven me right. Once again, I will argue that Higgins is a helluva creative playmaker, and I'm convinced he will eventually prove me right once again. If somebody thinks that Higgins doesn't have the creativity to play center, then that person is the idiot. Time will tell, I guess, but like I said, I'm confident we will eventually see him shining as a center before too long.
I've missed 4 habs games since the "new" NHL was launched last year, including the Chicago game this year. I have seen Chris Higgins play since he was a freshman at Yale university and NEVER believed him to be a 3rd line player in the NHL.

His top 3 assets are:

1) His hockey sense, including his poistioning
2) His skating which is even getting better
3) His wrist shot which has a quick release and is accurate

He's a north south player, ideally suited for a winger.

I remember these boards when we drafted Hossa and he scored 4-5 goals in his first few games and everyone was comparing his to his older brother, some posts were ranting on how he was the second coming and he was even BETTER...


lats has 3 freakin goals..... when he is at a .75 ppg scoring pace, then carbo will have decision to make about the 1st line, until then, it's only the over-reacting of habs fans on this board!

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11-15-2006, 12:37 PM
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For the hundredth time...the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens has stated on NUMEROUS occasions that Chris Higgins was converted to a winger when he was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens because he did NOT have the creativity to play the center position!


And to the other poster who wanted to keep Lats on the first line and have Ryder "fight for playing time", you putting a guy with 3 FREAKIN GOALS on the first line and moving a guy with 55 FREAKIN GOALS in 2 seasons off that line!

I thank God that Carbo and Gainey don't listen to Habs fans!
Ryder has 4 goals in 16 games THIS SEASON (which is all we should care about) and Latendresse has 3 goals in the last 4 games... If he continues this streak and Ryder is still in his slump, I don't understand how the team wouldn't benefit from playing Lats on the first and Ryder on the 2nd or 4th.

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11-15-2006, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by nyhabsfan View Post

lats has 3 freakin goals..... when he is at a .75 ppg scoring pace, then carbo will have decision to make about the 1st line, until then, it's only the over-reacting of habs fans on this board!
In 4 freakin games...I can't even remember when the last Ryder goal was. If one player is on a better streak than another, it doesn't make any sense to demote him. It would've been like demoting Higgins for Zednik last season because Zednik was a proven 25 goal scorer...even if he was sucking it big time.

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11-16-2006, 01:30 AM
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Thanks guys for your responses! I thought most of you would bash me!!
Maybe you will after this comment (below) :

Let's just say, what if (huuuge IF!! ) Koivu got injured?? (remember...this is only hypothetical!!).
If Koivu got injured...we're in deep trouble, right? Yes, but (IMO) it won't be as bad IF Higgins is there to pick it up as center (unlike Ribeiro ). And, if Higgins gets the feel as a center (sooner than later) he will have more time to adapt to linemates, faceoffs, positioning, etc...(less pressure, better performance ).
Without Koivu, we can have Higgins and Kovy as our centers... (without Saku? Kovy as center & then who else?... ). Or, who knows? Grabovski as 2nd center?

Remember, this is just about planning ahead (all about "just in case...worst case scenario", etc...).

In the end, I really think the Habs would be awesome if Higgins was our center. I'm thinking about NOW and the future... No more shopping around for that "other" center, when we have him right here.
Higgins is the most creative, talented, intelligent forward we have. He'd make a perfect #1 or #2 center. I'd bet that sooner or later, we'll see Higgins at center (it's only logical, IMO), but I (most of all) hope it's not going to be because of an injury to Koivu.

Latendresse/Kosts-Koivu or Higgins-Ryder
Samsonov-Higgins or Koivu-Kovalev

OR

Kostitsyn-Koivu-Kovalev, etc...!!
Samsonov-Higgins-Ryder, etc...!!
Perezhogin-Bonk-Johnson
Begin-Pleks-Latendresse

So many more options when you have 2 solid CENTERS... (not to take anything away from Kovy, since he's playing injured...).

Go Habs Go


Last edited by Mr. Hab: 11-16-2006 at 01:40 AM.
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Old
11-16-2006, 01:50 AM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyhabsfan View Post
I've missed 4 habs games since the "new" NHL was launched last year, including the Chicago game this year. I have seen Chris Higgins play since he was a freshman at Yale university and NEVER believed him to be a 3rd line player in the NHL.

His top 3 assets are:

1) His hockey sense, including his poistioning
2) His skating which is even getting better
3) His wrist shot which has a quick release and is accurate

He's a north south player, ideally suited for a winger.

I remember these boards when we drafted Hossa and he scored 4-5 goals in his first few games and everyone was comparing his to his older brother, some posts were ranting on how he was the second coming and he was even BETTER...


lats has 3 freakin goals..... when he is at a .75 ppg scoring pace, then carbo will have decision to make about the 1st line, until then, it's only the over-reacting of habs fans on this board!
Part of my option (just my opinion) was to have Latendresse on the 4th. I'm so happy for LATS, but I still believe that this year and next year are "learning" years. Right now he's on the 1st and that's great for him. I'm patient, so I'll start EXPECTING from GUI when he's 21 (just like Kosts who is already 21 & I'm expecting a bit more from him compared to Lats). So, to me there's no pressure, especially that Lats is only 19, so...his 4 goals in 4 games is absolutely awesome (beautiful top corner shot in Tampa Bay game). And ,if he continues, then...let him ride the wave (it can only help the Habs' cause, depth, etc...!!). And, Higgins will be back in (approx.) 2 weeks...


This is just an example of the many options you can have!!:

Latendresse-Koivu or Higgins-Ryder
OR
Samsonov-Koivu or Higgins-Kovalev
OR
Kostitsyn-Koivu or Higgins-Kovalev
OR
Latendresse-Koivu or Higgins-Kovalev
OR
Samsonov-Higgins or Koivu-Ryder (I know! I know! 2 righties on same line...)

Perezhogin-Bonk-Johnson (great, consistent 3rd line)
Begin-Pleks-Kostitsyn/Latendresse (4th line)


Many more options for Carbo IF Higgins is center (great thing!).
I know we don't agree (I could be wrong!!), but...I really, really believe Higgins is our center! (can't you tell?!!). Also, I'd want 2 of our players groomed for the center position (in case of an injury):
Kovalev (already is, but he's slightly injured) )and Higgins.
Imagine if 1 of these players got injured? (we're in a tough position...the "center" dilemma!).
I'm already in PLAYOFFS mode!!! (what if this happened?!, what if that happened?! can't hurt to plan ahead, unless Bob Gainey has a center in mind? for March?).
Kovalev gets injured: we have 2 centers in Koivu, Higgins.
Koivu gets injured: we still have 2 centers, etc...

It's a very, very crucial position (we learned that the hard way vs Carolina with Koivu's injury...after Koivu we didn't have any legit centers...Higgs and Kovy can change that...).


Go Habs Go!!


Last edited by Mr. Hab: 11-16-2006 at 02:30 AM.
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Old
11-16-2006, 02:49 AM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by znk View Post
I dont know...Kovalev seems to be a black whole that sucks any potential out of the players on his line.
Although Kovy is a difficult guy to play with, there are times, like tonight on one of the powerplay's, where he put on a clinic, which led to an inordinate number of chances. And there is no denyng he is a major presence out there; he has a way of controlling the play, creating something out of nothing. The problem is, he doesn't just surprise the opposition, he also often surprises his own teammates, which is one of the reasons I think he is difficult to play with: you just never know what the heck he is going to do. Oh sure there is the odd turnover, but that's what his 'high-risk' game will sometimes lead to. But when the risk pays off, wow baby!

I don't know, but I'm inclined to think he is one of the pillars on this team. The others being Saku, Souray, and Huet (I mean, as we've seen, we can do without Higgins--not that I want him gone too long!). Losing one of these guys, if for no other reason (and there are other reasons) than they instill confidence and inspire their fellow teammates, I think we struggle.

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