Just want to see if anybody shares my opinion about Quintal. I simply love this guy. Yes, he's slow and makes little mistakes here and there but he's big, tough, a good leader and defends his teamates. Skillwise he's a step behind guys like Rivet and Bouillon today but the guy has heart and the kind of attitude I wish more of the other guys had. I know he takes up a spot for guys like Komi and Hainsey but I'd rather see guys like Rivet leave before Quintal does. He's sort of like our Belak but slightly more skilled and not as stupid. So what does everybody else think? Any haters?
Quintal's enjoyed a long and somewhat successful career, but he's always been considered an NHL calibre defenseman who starts every night. Belak's bumped between wing, defense, and the press box, and he's more or less pure goon.
At this point, I don't think Quintal adds a whole lot to the team. I liked his play in his second stint in Montreal prior to this season, but he's lost a few steps and he panics with the puck a lot more. He doesn't make adequate outlet passes and as big and strong as he is, he's not a physical presence.
There's no doubt he can fight, and will defend teammates when the need arises, but he doesn't seem overly interested in playing a physical or mean game. He's been on the ice once this season when Theodore was ran and he didn't do a thing. Last year when the Isles ran over Theodore, he was on the ice and again didn't touch anyone. It's not that he's intimidated, it's just that he doesn't seem to have the mentality to beat up an opponent if they look at one of Montreal's key players wrong like a Souray has, or how Komisarek is developing.
I see Quintal as more of a throwback player in the sense that he'll fight when he sees an injustice. Boughner delivering an open ice hit on Bulis got Quintal angry, so he chased Boughner for a fight. Petrovicky doing a golf swing towards Langdon led to Quintal fighting Petrovicky. McLaren cheapshotting Zednik led to Quintal slashing Dafoe and seeking a fight the next shift for some retribution. Basically, if he sees something he doesn't think is fair, he'll drop the gloves, but he doesn't seem to drop them for 'fair' hits or hits on his goalie as much.
Other than wanting Quintal to play with more of an edge, I see some fundamental flaws in his game.
- He's a big player who struggles to contain players down low. Too often he's caught playing the puck, or shifty players can skate through him if he tries to take the body.
- Since he's lost a few steps, he's easily beaten to the outside if Montreal doesn't have a forward causing obstruction in the neutral zone to slow down opposition when coming over the Montreal blueline
- With the puck, he'll often struggle to move it to a forward. Few of his passes are clean outlet passes.
- He doesn't use his lower body strength. As such, he can be beaten by forwards driving the net, and he has a tough time clearing the crease. He isn't as effective a bodychecker as he can be because he just shoves players rather than gets his whole body into the check.
Overall, he's more of a teddy bear when the team needs more of a vicious animal on defense.
On the bright side, Quintal is:
- a strong presence on the PK. He can be beat down low, but given a simple role he just needs to be a big body presence with a long reach to try and keep the opposition to the outside.
- is coachable. He usually keeps the puck along the boards and moves it up along the boards. So even though he can't connect on an outlet pass, he is usually able to force the puck out to the neutral zone.
- a solid team guy. Not his first time around in Montreal, but this time he has his head screwed on straight. He seems to be a quiet player who does his job and will do what is asked of him. But at this point in his career, I think he's about done, and should call it quits soon. He brings some intangibles, but doesn't bring enough to warrant his roster spot with emerging young players by next season.
Quintal is a big and tough team player, but his days are simply numbered. He's so slow, struggle to handle NHL speed at times, and his passing isn't the most accurate.
Age... A bit younger, the way he play now, and I would have gladly seen him as the Captain, because he works hard and always defend his teammates. Right now, IMO, he struggles, and it's apparent. Perhaps he shouldn't play as much. A game or 2 in the pressbox, not as a punishment, simply to relax a bit, could be good for him and, btw, for the team.