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Old
03-08-2007, 10:19 PM
  #26
Mike8
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Originally Posted by deandebean View Post
It wouldn't be so bad if they had better talent at the core. They don't. Montreal probably has the worse talent in the conference right now when it comes to its core players. Well, Florida maybe, but that's about it.

I agree with you. I don't wish Koivu to be traded. But he's not the guy whom this team should rely on.

Kovalev, I would trade in a sec. It would give 4.5 M $ more in leaway to Gainey. Sic. Samsonite.

Markov is talented, but I believe he needs to be surrounded by a better cast, because he's been overused. He'd be a perfect 21 minute guy, but not a 26-27 minute man. He gets hit a lot. That can take its toll on a player.

If Montreal had a definite 1st-2nd defenceman besides him, that would work wonders.
Yes. This is why I can't be too upset with Koivu's play. He played very well through the first half of the season--among the top 12 in scoring centermen, if I remember correctly. But he's been leaned on by larger opponents, and expected to pick up minutes against top opposition lines on occasion, as well as play PK minutes that a fourth-liner could've done equally well. Koivu's proven over the years that he can't take being leaned on over a longer-term basis. It breaks him down, just as it does with the vast majority of smaller centermen (including everyone's saviour, Danny Briere).

As far as Kovalev goes, we'll continue to disagree about him. What I will say is that $4.5 million for a player who can be a catalyst on a secondary scoring line, playing with rookie contracts and picking up his game for the playoffs is something I can live with. But he's more of a luxury than he is an asset to be built around.

I agree with you on Markov. He would be fine as a #1 defenseman, if the team had a minute eating #2.


I think the most important direction this team needs to take is to do everything it can to identify a core player that's either a star, or a complement to the current core (in terms of adding unique attributes), then overpaying in assets to land that player.

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03-08-2007, 10:21 PM
  #27
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Originally Posted by Mike8 View Post
Yes. This is why I can't be too upset with Koivu's play. He played very well through the first half of the season--among the top 12 in scoring centermen, if I remember correctly. But he's been leaned on by larger opponents, and expected to pick up minutes against top opposition lines on occasion, as well as play PK minutes that a fourth-liner could've done equally well. Koivu's proven over the years that he can't take being leaned on over a longer-term basis. It breaks him down, just as it does with the vast majority of smaller centermen (including everyone's saviour, Danny Briere).

As far as Kovalev goes, we'll continue to disagree about him. What I will say is that $4.5 million for a player who can be a catalyst on a secondary scoring line, playing with rookie contracts and picking up his game for the playoffs is something I can live with. But he's more of a luxury than he is an asset to be built around.

I agree with you on Markov. He would be fine as a #1 defenseman, if the team had a minute eating #2.


I think the most important direction this team needs to take is to do everything it can to identify a core player that's either a star, or a complement to the current core (in terms of adding unique attributes), then overpaying in assets to land that player.
Yes, man. Overpay for a real talent. Nobody would mind. I believe that will have to be Bob's mission next summer.

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03-08-2007, 10:24 PM
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as long as we get talented players with lot's of heart, i don't mind overpaying a bit.

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03-08-2007, 10:39 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by deandebean View Post
Yes, man. Overpay for a real talent. Nobody would mind. I believe that will have to be Bob's mission next summer.
The problem is that the desirable return for real talent is going to be a combination of Higgins, Komisarek, and Plekanec. Likely two of the three.

Pronger, Havlat, Luongo, Chara. Those are the building block, core players that were moved over the past year.

I've been mulling over whether Smyth would be worth it for this club at $5.5 - 6m. Even if we assume the deal is only three years--not the five year deal he supposedly wants. I don't think he's enough of a building block player to warrant that salary. Thoughts?

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03-08-2007, 10:47 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by Mike8 View Post
The problem is that the desirable return for real talent is going to be a combination of Higgins, Komisarek, and Plekanec. Likely two of the three.

Pronger, Havlat, Luongo, Chara. Those are the building block, core players that were moved over the past year.

I've been mulling over whether Smyth would be worth it for this club at $5.5 - 6m. Even if we assume the deal is only three years--not the five year deal he supposedly wants. I don't think he's enough of a building block player to warrant that salary. Thoughts?
Yes and no.

We need a second line centerman badly but our top wings isn't anything to run home about either.

Smyth bring intangibles I get it, I really do but he's not worth 2-2.5 million of it because I see him at 3.5-4 for his production. Besides Koivu brings all kinds of intangibles and he can't carry thsi team. We'd have to cleave Kovalev and Samsonov and replace them with a top 6 center for us to be able to absorp Smyth at his salary. That's gonna be hard. Also Smyth isn't very durable also and misses about 10-15 games a season which could hurt a bubble team like le CH.

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03-08-2007, 10:47 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by Mike8 View Post
The problem is that the desirable return for real talent is going to be a combination of Higgins, Komisarek, and Plekanec. Likely two of the three.

Pronger, Havlat, Luongo, Chara. Those are the building block, core players that were moved over the past year.

I've been mulling over whether Smyth would be worth it for this club at $5.5 - 6m. Even if we assume the deal is only three years--not the five year deal he supposedly wants. I don't think he's enough of a building block player to warrant that salary. Thoughts?
What are the other options this summer? I like Smyth a lot but I would like to compare. I'd be for moving Kovalev for cap space if a solid star can be landed (i.e. donate him to the west for picks).

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03-08-2007, 10:51 PM
  #32
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I think Gainey would be a great GM, if there was no salary cap, like his days in Dallas.

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03-08-2007, 11:09 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by Turbo View Post
What are the other options this summer? I like Smyth a lot but I would like to compare. I'd be for moving Kovalev for cap space if a solid star can be landed (i.e. donate him to the west for picks).
where you moving kovalev to? a washed up selfish guy like that with 9 mill left on his contract for the next 2 years

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03-08-2007, 11:10 PM
  #34
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Yes and no.

We need a second line centerman badly but our top wings isn't anything to run home about either.
I don't believe slotting players into specific positions matters. You can say Montreal needs a real #1 center, who's big, strong, racks up the points consistently and intimidates the opposition. Someone like Sundin, or Lecavalier, or Staal; someone that can lead your team to the promise land. Then you can say: Koivu's not that guy. And it's true; he's not a top-tier centerman. Does that mean any team that slots Koivu as the top center in the depth chart is doomed to failure?

Does that mean Detroit, with Datsyuk and his consistent failures in the playoffs is doomed to be knocked out of the playoffs early because Datsyuk's less of a center than Koivu (speaking in the clutch)?

Is Gomez really that much better than Koivu, or is he a very talented, legitimate first-liner who's playing with a legitimate star in Elias?

Was Edmonton doomed from the start when playing Carolina in the Finals because their top centerman was Horcoff, who's inferior to Koivu by anyone's standards?

Instead of focusing on the #1 center, #2 center, #1 defenseman, I think it's important to identify the core and judge whether it's good enough or not. McDonald in Anaheim is no better than Koivu. Hannan in SJ, or Gonchar in Pitts, or Rafalski in NJ are no better than Markov. We can look at direct comparisons between contenders and Montreal and see that Koivu could be the best center on several contenders, or at least comparable with the current top center they have; likewise for Markov and Plekanec (who is no worse than Zajac in NJ, in my estimation, or even the oft-mentioned Robert Lang in Detroit).

The point is that these teams establish a clear-cut core and build around it. A core that can handle the load; physically, mentally and skill-wise. The level of skill of the top core players determines the size of the core (an elite core leads to a smaller core; a very good but unspectacular core leads to a larger core).

What positions these players play is irrelevant. The important factor is whether they relish the opportunity to be the go-to-guy, whether they have the skill to do so, and the physicality to handle the burden of the role. It's not like the old NHL where teams in the East needed a big center in order to compete. Now it is possible to have your primary offensive weapons on the wing. Or your leader between the pipes. Elias, Alfredsson are ideal players in many respects for being the go-to-guys for the core, I believe.


Note: I'm not really responding to you here wholly, but more or less a rant to air some thoughts on this...


Now, on to the meat of your post:

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Originally Posted by Astaroth View Post
Smyth bring intangibles I get it, I really do but he's not worth 2-2.5 million of it because I see him at 3.5-4 for his production. Besides Koivu brings all kinds of intangibles and he can't carry thsi team. We'd have to cleave Kovalev and Samsonov and replace them with a top 6 center for us to be able to absorp Smyth at his salary. That's gonna be hard. Also Smyth isn't very durable also and misses about 10-15 games a season which could hurt a bubble team like le CH.
This is the conclusion I came to as well regarding Smyth. And now if we factor in the fact that Smyth wants a contract that would be paying him in the $5.5-6m range when he's 36, considering his durability, or lack thereof, I have a hard time seeing this deal as worthwhile.

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03-08-2007, 11:20 PM
  #35
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What are the other options this summer? I like Smyth a lot but I would like to compare. I'd be for moving Kovalev for cap space if a solid star can be landed (i.e. donate him to the west for picks).
Options on the market, or trade-wise? Of course, trades would only be speculation, but that can be fun too.

UFA options: Drury, Jason Blake, Shanahan, Briere, Smyth, Nagy, Bertuzzi, Sykora, Gomez, Kariya, Timonen, Calder, Hannan, Guerin, Tkachuk, Hartnell, Datsyuk, Lang, Rafalski, Comrie, Phillips, and of course, Jan Bulis.

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03-08-2007, 11:23 PM
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I heard Demers complain about Samsonov. 6:30 on the ice and a -3. Ouch.

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03-08-2007, 11:25 PM
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as long as we get talented players with lot's of heart, i don't mind overpaying a bit.
Exactly. Hannan and another D and a scorer. Saweet...! (not gonna happen)

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03-08-2007, 11:28 PM
  #38
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where you moving kovalev to? a washed up selfish guy like that with 9 mill left on his contract for the next 2 years
He's movable, just not for much return (few low picks, all that matters would be to clear cap space - and again provided a replacement UFA was already signed). People like to bash him and I'm not particularly a big fan of his, but Kovalev is still a player with skill that can break a game. In the proper context, he should be able to help a team that can pay themselves the "luxury" of having him as secondary scoring and for their PP (using Mike8's term here, fits well I think). He's nowhere near washed up but I just don't like him in the context of the Habs for several reasons. In the end, this is not Samsonov we're talking about here.


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03-08-2007, 11:42 PM
  #39
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Options on the market, or trade-wise? Of course, trades would only be speculation, but that can be fun too.

UFA options: Drury, Jason Blake, Shanahan, Briere, Smyth, Nagy, Bertuzzi, Sykora, Gomez, Kariya, Timonen, Calder, Hannan, Guerin, Tkachuk, Hartnell, Datsyuk, Lang, Rafalski, Comrie, Phillips, and of course, Jan Bulis.
Cheers - UFA is what I was wondering... trade opens up too many possibilities for me to grasp right now

Looking at that list, well... Bulis stands out. Not in a good way though.

Drury, Briere & Smyth seem like the cream of the crop. Although I would hesitate to go Koivu-Briere/Drury-Plekanec as the top 3 centers... seems small. Smyth is probably the best fit for the Habs but surely really hard to land (and would be expensive).

Calder & Hartnell could bring something the Habs can use and should not cost that much I think (well, relatively speaking for UFAs that is). Not the "star" players we want though but good complements. Blake would be cool too but seems like he would come with a high price tag.

I don't think guys like Datsyuk, Nagy, Comrie are what this team needs. The others in the list I'm ambivalent on - guess it depends on the $ value and who's truly available to the Habs.

Some pretty sweet D in there too.

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03-08-2007, 11:56 PM
  #40
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I don't believe slotting players into specific positions matters. You can say Montreal needs a real #1 center, who's big, strong, racks up the points consistently and intimidates the opposition. Someone like Sundin, or Lecavalier, or Staal; someone that can lead your team to the promise land. Then you can say: Koivu's not that guy. And it's true; he's not a top-tier centerman. Does that mean any team that slots Koivu as the top center in the depth chart is doomed to failure?

Does that mean Detroit, with Datsyuk and his consistent failures in the playoffs is doomed to be knocked out of the playoffs early because Datsyuk's less of a center than Koivu (speaking in the clutch)?

Is Gomez really that much better than Koivu, or is he a very talented, legitimate first-liner who's playing with a legitimate star in Elias?

Was Edmonton doomed from the start when playing Carolina in the Finals because their top centerman was Horcoff, who's inferior to Koivu by anyone's standards?

Instead of focusing on the #1 center, #2 center, #1 defenseman, I think it's important to identify the core and judge whether it's good enough or not. McDonald in Anaheim is no better than Koivu. Hannan in SJ, or Gonchar in Pitts, or Rafalski in NJ are no better than Markov. We can look at direct comparisons between contenders and Montreal and see that Koivu could be the best center on several contenders, or at least comparable with the current top center they have; likewise for Markov and Plekanec (who is no worse than Zajac in NJ, in my estimation, or even the oft-mentioned Robert Lang in Detroit).

The point is that these teams establish a clear-cut core and build around it. A core that can handle the load; physically, mentally and skill-wise. The level of skill of the top core players determines the size of the core (an elite core leads to a smaller core; a very good but unspectacular core leads to a larger core).

What positions these players play is irrelevant. The important factor is whether they relish the opportunity to be the go-to-guy, whether they have the skill to do so, and the physicality to handle the burden of the role. It's not like the old NHL where teams in the East needed a big center in order to compete. Now it is possible to have your primary offensive weapons on the wing. Or your leader between the pipes. Elias, Alfredsson are ideal players in many respects for being the go-to-guys for the core, I believe.


Note: I'm not really responding to you here wholly, but more or less a rant to air some thoughts on this...


Now, on to the meat of your post:



This is the conclusion I came to as well regarding Smyth. And now if we factor in the fact that Smyth wants a contract that would be paying him in the $5.5-6m range when he's 36, considering his durability, or lack thereof, I have a hard time seeing this deal as worthwhile.


A very complete and well nuanced post. A perfect example of why you're one of the best posters here and it gives me hope that analytical dialogue will continue to survive post hf expansion.


I agree and disagree for a couple a reasons;

I agree that specific styles for specific postions don't matter. I do believe specific positional quality is required however. Your point of the traditional vanguard of a big center is not required anymore is valid yet the skillset of a first center is still needed. Look at Atlanta; elite core on the wings based on Kovalchuk, Hossa, and Kozlov (Holik is a non-factor offensively). They got away cheating with Rucchin, Kapanen, Slater and Sim for a awhile until the grind of a long season exposed them. They had to then acquire Walt and Belanger (pretty borderline but matches well with their and run and gun winners). We have a top 6 of Higgins, Ryder, Koivu, Plekanec, Kovalev and Latendresse/Samsonov/Kosts. We're 2/3 of a line here. We could have two soft scoring lines and we'd still be sucessful as long as the talent is there. Just look at Buffalo. Skill does kill in the new nhl. It's still hockey and you need the sum of all your parts.

I think we agree mostly on the pith and substance of the argument but disagree on the semantics of it.

Our defense also holds the same truth; we have two top 2 guys Markov and Souray (borderline, more of a top 4 PP specialist) but from then on the skillset isn't there. Nobody besides Streit can make a breakout pass. The fact that we have more than 3.5 million committed in our bottom pairing is a sign of bad management.

What we must be careful with this summer because it is the biggest free agent class in history is to be trigger happy. We signed Kovalev at 4.5 because no one else would consider going to MTL, now we're wondering why we're paying that for 13 goals and irregular effort. Of course it might different if he had a supporting cast but overpaying hurts the team no matter the cirumstances.

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03-09-2007, 12:17 AM
  #41
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Poor little Kovalev, he's getting some blame......have no idea why a 4.5 million guy with 13 goals would get any blame, that's so unfaird, it's definately the french medias's fault if he didn't play well today....I believe Michel Bergeron was centering him while Villeneuve was on the wing as well.....

Obviously nobody is ready to be accountable for their actions and that's the biggest problem of this team. But then in the end, this whole little sad season will happened 'cause of the french medias. If so, people will have to agree that let's keep that team as it is and shut up the french medias, that way we'll surely have a 100-point season....
It was up to Kovalev to score 7 goals to placate the hyenas in the RDS broadcast booth? Well, let them fall back on the Senators.

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03-09-2007, 12:22 AM
  #42
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Cheers - UFA is what I was wondering... trade opens up too many possibilities for me to grasp right now

Looking at that list, well... Bulis stands out. Not in a good way though.

Drury, Briere & Smyth seem like the cream of the crop. Although I would hesitate to go Koivu-Briere/Drury-Plekanec as the top 3 centers... seems small. Smyth is probably the best fit for the Habs but surely really hard to land (and would be expensive).

Calder & Hartnell could bring something the Habs can use and should not cost that much I think (well, relatively speaking for UFAs that is). Not the "star" players we want though but good complements. Blake would be cool too but seems like he would come with a high price tag.

I don't think guys like Datsyuk, Nagy, Comrie are what this team needs. The others in the list I'm ambivalent on - guess it depends on the $ value and who's truly available to the Habs.

Some pretty sweet D in there too.
Seeing how Buffalo's doing, maybe we should try to be smaller than that even

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03-09-2007, 12:23 AM
  #43
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Why? Face it, Kovalev is a marked man in the locker room. And don't believe the spin doctors: Carbo is not a pleased man after the russian interview.
I thought I liked Carbonneau. Unfortunately I was deceived. He doesn't seem to have a clue as to getting the team out of a fatal tailspin. He doesn't like the interview? Maybe it's because the truth hurts. He doesn't seem to have much credibility or show much responsibility. Maybe the Habs should play without a coach. They couldn't do much worse than 6-2 even if Kovalev were coaching the team.


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03-09-2007, 12:29 AM
  #44
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Carbonneau doesn't seem to have a clue as to getting the team out of a fatal tailspin. He doesn't like the interview? He doesn't seem to have much credibility. Nor does he show any responsibility. They couldn't do much worse than 6-2 even if Kovalev were coaching the team. Maybe the players should play without a coach.
Agreed, all we hear him say is "we're making mistakes" or "we're not working hard enough"...

well guess what Guy! EVERY player make mistakes, and EVERY player have a night off once in a while...


did he forget that's what he's paid for, finding solutions ?

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03-09-2007, 12:42 AM
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our players take more nights off "than once in while". if they players aren't willing to work hard on a nightly basis what is carbo suppose to do? it's not Carbo's fault this team lacks heart and has no pride in putting on the jersey. The players are the ones who need to look in the mirror. Carbo has made plenty of mistakes, but to say he's responsible for the players lack of effort on the ice during games is a reach at best. the players need to be held accountable for there on ice play.

And if the players gave up on the coach, they gave up on the organization, there teamates and the fans as well.

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03-09-2007, 12:51 AM
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The point is that these teams establish a clear-cut core and build around it. A core that can handle the load; physically, mentally and skill-wise. The level of skill of the top core players determines the size of the core (an elite core leads to a smaller core; a very good but unspectacular core leads to a larger core).

What positions these players play is irrelevant. The important factor is whether they relish the opportunity to be the go-to-guy, whether they have the skill to do so, and the physicality to handle the burden of the role. It's not like the old NHL where teams in the East needed a big center in order to compete. Now it is possible to have your primary offensive weapons on the wing. Or your leader between the pipes. Elias, Alfredsson are ideal players in many respects for being the go-to-guys for the core, I believe.
I agree with Astaroth. What a kickass post, Mike!

A couple of things:

-I believe you will soon see trends, much like the new NHL. Right now it's pretty wild but things will settle and you will see strategies and trends in the conferences.

-Also, I believe it's still important to be strong down the middle. I'd take a great winger over a mediocre center anyday, sure, but being strong in the middle does make more of a difference than the wing, I think.

-I think a reasonably small core is really a lot less headache in the new NHL. With a salary cap and a huge player turnover, too large a core will lead to yearly uncertainty.

Of course, what exactly constitues a "core" is somewhat theorical. Calgary is a good example:

Players such as Jarome Iginla and Dion Phaneuf are clearly core players. But an interesting case is Roman Hamrlik. Roman Hamrlik has been appreciated here and there in the league. He's had a somewhat roller-coaster career. Then he is paired with Dion Phaneuf and they click amazingly well.

It's so great that when Phaneuf is not paired with Hamrlik, his stats go down the drain. His play is stabilized and enhanced by Hamrlik. They've tried him with everyone else but it just doesn't work all that well. They've brought Brad Stuart on board specifically for Regehr so they don't have to touch the Hamrlik-Phaneuf pairing.

So even though Roman Hamrlik isn't really a core player on other teams, he becomes a lot more valuable for the Flames. Not only does he play really well, he makes Phaneuf play much better.

If a team has a playmaking core, they need some scorers. If the core is young, it needs veteran. If a core is intimidated, it needs some enforcer types. And it goes on and on.

That's one thing the Habs need to address as well. They need not only to identify a core of players and keep them. They need to provide them with the tools to flourish and teamates that make them better.

Granted, core players should make their teammates better but I think it goes both way.

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03-09-2007, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Reuben View Post
our players take more nights off "than once in while". if they players aren't willing to work hard on a nightly basis what is carbo suppose to do? it's not Carbo's fault this team lacks heart and has no pride in putting on the jersey. The players are the ones who need to look in the mirror. Carbo has made plenty of mistakes, but to say he's responsible for the players lack of effort on the ice during games is a reach at best. the players need to be held accountable for there on ice play.

And if the players gave up on the coach, they gave up on the organization, there teamates and the fans as well.
Well its hard to think he's not at fault, I mean, it's not like it's only a player or two that is playing badly or taking nights off... it's the whole team...

there must be something else than "we got the laziest players in the league" don't you think...

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03-09-2007, 12:57 AM
  #48
Reuben
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Originally Posted by ECWHSWI View Post
Well its hard to think he's not at fault, I mean, it's not like it's only a player or two that is playing badly or taking nights off... it's the whole team...

there must be something else than "we got the laziest players in the league" don't you think...
There are a handful of players who work hard everynight IMO. well we've been going through coaches like they are 1st round picks on trade deadline day, so i think it would be more logical to look elsewhere for the source of the problem.

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03-09-2007, 12:57 AM
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Vlad The Impaler
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Originally Posted by Stradale View Post
Yup, that is what the french media is doing. Habs getting pwned 6-0 and that's Kovalev fault. Everybody was expexting Kovalev to have a monster performance today but he didnt really get the chance to do lots. Seriously, he didnt get many chances to make this team win today. When you are losing 6-0, what do you want him to do? Seriously.. i hate these french media!
So, who said that this loss was Kovalev's fault?

Do you have names and facts or is this some baseless accusation?

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03-09-2007, 01:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Whitesnake View Post
Poor little Kovalev, he's getting some blame......have no idea why a 4.5 million guy with 13 goals would get any blame, that's so unfaird, it's definately the french medias's fault if he didn't play well today....I believe Michel Bergeron was centering him while Villeneuve was on the wing as well.....

Obviously nobody is ready to be accountable for their actions and that's the biggest problem of this team. But then in the end, this whole little sad season will happened 'cause of the french medias. If so, people will have to agree that let's keep that team as it is and shut up the french medias, that way we'll surely have a 100-point season....
I totally agree with you

Some guys here decide to start a war with the french media ( i could say the same about francophone players where it seem to be rule to bash them lately), I just don't know if it racism against francophone or they just hate the media.

We live in Quebec, a province where 80% of the population is francophone and those medias are our media, get use to it, they will still be here tommorow.

Honestly, this getting more and more annoying and it just make this forum less appealing for me.

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