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Julien's decisions...

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12-09-2003, 10:33 PM
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Necrophile
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Julien's decisions...

Don't get me wrong; I appreciate the work Julien and Gainey have done so far this season. I have found CJ's off-ice decisions to be excellent - although audacious - so far. HOWEVER, I have had a hard time understanding some of Julien's on-ice decisions. Here are some examples:

1) Bouillon and Rivet on the powerplay, when we have guys like Brisebois, Markov, Souray, and even some forward (Ribeiro) who could do a better job. I'd even prefer Komisarek on the PP.

2) 4th line seeing ice time in the second half of the third period in a close game.

3) 3rd line still used often in the 3rd period when the team is down 1 or more goals. I think I even recall seeing our checking line on the powerplay once!!!

4) Refusing to pull the goalie with about 1 minute left, while down a goal or two and in offensive zone. He seems to have done it only once or twice, though.

5) Last but not least, believing Craig Rivet is a reliable defenseman in late-game / critical situations. I would rather have Souray, Markov, Bouillon, Quintal, Brisebois, even Komisarek over Rivet in such a situation.

Can anyone explain some of these dubious decisions?

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12-10-2003, 05:04 AM
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habfan4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Necrophile
Don't get me wrong; I appreciate the work Julien and Gainey have done so far this season. I have found CJ's off-ice decisions to be excellent - although audacious - so far. HOWEVER, I have had a hard time understanding some of Julien's on-ice decisions. Here are some examples:

1) Bouillon and Rivet on the powerplay, when we have guys like Brisebois, Markov, Souray, and even some forward (Ribeiro) who could do a better job. I'd even prefer Komisarek on the PP.

2) 4th line seeing ice time in the second half of the third period in a close game.

3) 3rd line still used often in the 3rd period when the team is down 1 or more goals. I think I even recall seeing our checking line on the powerplay once!!!

4) Refusing to pull the goalie with about 1 minute left, while down a goal or two and in offensive zone. He seems to have done it only once or twice, though.

5) Last but not least, believing Craig Rivet is a reliable defenseman in late-game / critical situations. I would rather have Souray, Markov, Bouillon, Quintal, Brisebois, even Komisarek over Rivet in such a situation.

Can anyone explain some of these dubious decisions?
I'm not 100% sold on some of the decisions that Julien makes, but I'll take a stab at explaining them.

1) In a perfect world, the Cube and Rivet would be firmly bolted to the bench when the Habs have the man advantage. Unfortunately, until either Komisarek or Hainsey can stick with the team, we'll see one of the two supplementing Markov, Brisebois and Souray on the point. As for a forward, forget it! While Ribeiro can control the puck down low, I do not want to see him get caught flat footed as a penalty killing forward blows by him down the ice.

2) Rolling four lines will keep the team fresh later in the season. I have noticed that Julien will sometimes double shift a line that is playing well on a given night.

3) Two factors to consider. One, Julien is a line matching coach. Two, in the absence of Koivu the top two lines weren't scoring anyways. In the past few games Julien seems to have gotten a little more flexible in terms of line matching.

4) Start with the premise that you have to get the puck in the deep into the opposition zone. Then consider that the Canadiens play a passive trap, they only send one man deep to pressure the puck. Basically, they are not a strong forechecking team. It's difficult to switch from waiting for the opposition to make a mistake to pressuring them into making one. It's also tough to hem in the opposition's D-men with pint sized forwards.

5) See number three - Julien and line matching. Not that I agree with him on this particular decision. Rivet has to earn the coaches trust again with solid defensive play, until he should be watching critical situations from the bench.

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