as i truely like some of the hockey know-how in these boards i would really like to know what you guys think markov's potential is.
Markov had such a great year last year and it raised our expectations for this year... and so far he has been dissappointing, and there are a few reasons for that(injuries,less ice due to the emergence of Souray, his father dying of cancer in Russia, no Russian teammate to hang with) but I still think he is a #2 or 3 D... he is still very young a possesses alot of talent, as Habs fans we are not always patient and leads us to be frustrated and the next thing ya know there is Trade Markov threads...
I think he has the most offensive upside of all of the Habs defenseman in the organization, with Hainsey coming close, but Markov definately is better offensively, he played a good game last night, he was making plays he did last year, taking more chances, breaking up plays before they happen, I think you'll see Markov step it up the rest of the way, which can only help
I don't know if Markov will ever be a Norris trophy winner, but I think he will be the type who might appear in a couple all star games and might make the 2nd all star team maybe once in his career. He definately has the offensive skills to be dangerous, and when on his game is underrated defensively. Top 10 league wide at his peak seems right to me.
This year has kinda clouded his future a bit, but with the personal problems he's faced and the fact that this is the first year of a new contract could be reasons why this is just a blimp on the radar of his career. I think coming out of camp next year we are going to find out how hungry a player Markov can be. Hopefully he pulls a Theo!
I'm not all that surprised by his regressing this seasaon, to be honest. I think I made a few posts about this heading into the preseason.
Markov is the most talented player on the team. He has incredible hockey sense and sees the game on a different level. He's able to make something out of nothing and is a rock in all three zones when he's on his game. He makes some no-look passes that are phenominal (eg. his pass to Dagenais for an opening goal against Toronto earlier this season), and rare among any players in the league.
On the other hand, Markov's a little "out there" on the ice. He'll make strange plays and seems to be an individual on the ice rather than a member of the team. That's not to say he's selfish--just that he doesn't seem at ease with things. He also has a low pain threshold, which ain't good for playoff hockey.
Another question I have for him is his work ethic off the ice. I'm guessing he's not in top condition right now, which is playing a part in his inconsistency.
All in all, I'd say there's not a doubt he has #1 defenseman potential. He sees the game on a different level, and can control the transition game. Markov's brilliant with his stick in terms of being proactive, poke-checking, and forcing turnovers. He has the ability to run a powerplay and make safe, smart pinches on even strength. He has the ability to play on a shut-down defense pairing, and did so with good success last season. Every attribute in his game is a result of his superior hockey sense.
If he improves his work ethic off the ice, bonds with his teammates a little more, then I think he'll regain his play of last season (which I think was the play of a legitimate number one defenseman in the latter stages of the season).