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Is it our "system" or players at fault?

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Old
01-31-2010, 09:25 PM
  #1
WhiskeySeven
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Is it our "system" or players at fault?

Since the demolishing at the hands of the Rags two weeks ago I've been increasingly worried that there is something fundamentally wrong with this year's squad. I see the effort, I see the individual skill but it's not working out.

My friend on msn put it best:
Quote:
any way i just dont get our system
we dont get goals
we dont stop goals
we just get injured and penalized
lol
It's not Halak or Price, so that debate can go to bed. It's Jacques "Michael Scott" Martin in my opinion. Our system is so flawed, so slow, so out-of-date that it's literally causing our players to get injured.

What happened to the puck possession we were promised? I haven't seen the Habs set up in the O-zone more than a handful of times 5v5.

If we don't want "boring" puck possession (a la SJS/DET) we should have a up tempo forecheck with our fast forwards like the Caps and Philly do. We have neither!

Our D-men are for the most-part old (Hamrlik, Spacek, Gill, Markov and Mara are over 30), Slow (Spacek, Hamrlik, Gill) and non-physical (Hamrlik, Spacek, Markov, Gorges). We should utilize a system that makes this sorry d-corps less of a liability, not more!

A strong forecheck, 2 men on the puck carrier at all times, would do wonders for this team. With skilled 2-way centers like Gomez and Plekanec, and wingers with good puck skills like Pouliot, Gionta and AKost, we should be scoring at will.

My point is that I think it's JM's issue/fault and either he needs to tinker and fix it or he needs to get the HELL out. The Sens fired the coach before Clouston 4 months into his contract, we could do the same.

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01-31-2010, 09:32 PM
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maci4life
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it's not the players fault that they've all been assembled and they're all short. It's also not the systems fault of a style of play that suits a forecheck which needs size and strength checkers that can actually have an impact along the boards, instead of midgets trying to hit like they have any size and weight yet, are only as annoying as flies being shoo'd away.

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01-31-2010, 09:45 PM
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Sebaldian
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One way to find out; fire Martin.

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01-31-2010, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Jack Black View Post
One way to find out; fire Martin.
lol?

Is the patient dead or alive? I don't know, let's choke him and find out.

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01-31-2010, 09:51 PM
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Sebaldian
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lol?

Is the patient dead or alive? I don't know, let's choke him and find out.
So we should just stand there and watch him and that will tell us?

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01-31-2010, 10:01 PM
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One Trick Pony
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Definitely the system

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01-31-2010, 10:40 PM
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The Gal Pals
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It's the system. The players have played well elsewhere just not under this system.

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01-31-2010, 10:43 PM
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JM's coaching system just sucks. Last year we put the blame on Guy, then Don Lever. Don Lever coached the Dogs to their first calder cup, then gets fired 2 seasons later, goes to Chicago and completely turns that franchise around.

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01-31-2010, 10:44 PM
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vokiel
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The Montreal Canadiens is a "System" team which tries to mold its players based on their system. In comparison other teams like Pittsburgh, Anaheim & San Jose are Players team which try to mold their system to their staff.

IOW Both are to blame for the recent failures. The system because it seems the staff is unable to modify it in order for the players to fit easily in it and the players because they seem unable to adapt their play to whatever this system is.

What's wrong is this team's philosophy. I don't think we'll ever see a dominant, let alone winning team in Montreal with people looking for a Golden Hammer system.

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01-31-2010, 10:50 PM
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JackZap
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if they fire martin, plz dont let him near the GM job

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01-31-2010, 10:51 PM
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THE HOFF
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Originally Posted by airic000 View Post
It's the system. The players have played well elsewhere just not under this system.
imo there a 3 layers of fail ...

1 - ''we are a puck posession team'' - jacques martin ...

2 - we dump, we never use speed or cross ice pass to strech the defense, and we expect our midgets to ''win their battles'' along the boards. its easy to contain a team that can't pass from one teammate to another when the distance is more than 3 foot.

3- thinking maxwell, dagostini and pacioretty are ready for the nhl and helping the team right now, give them ice time when you don't have the luxury, just like playing mab for the entire overtime against the sens ... completely ridiculous... see even if lapierre is not having a great season, he deserves to play more than those guys imho.

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01-31-2010, 10:56 PM
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CPrice
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Really don't think its Martin. The team has been mediocre for so long and will continue to be unless we build through the draft with better attention to player development. Building via free agency just doesn't make sense to me. Is there a team that has been successful building a team this way?

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01-31-2010, 11:01 PM
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THE HOFF
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Originally Posted by vokiel View Post
The Montreal Canadiens is a "System" team which tries to mold its players based on their system. In comparison other teams like Pittsburgh, Anaheim & San Jose are Players team which try to mold their system to their staff.
IOW Both are to blame for the recent failures. The system because it seems the staff is unable to modify it in order for the players to fit easily in it and the players because they seem unable to adapt their play to whatever this system is.

What's wrong is this team's philosophy. I don't think we'll ever see a dominant, let alone winning team in Montreal with people looking for a Golden Hammer system.
very, very well put, couldnt agree more ... and I believe thats how you are successfull ...

even teams like boston/philie/toronto are being more intelligent right now, they go and get players that can/would fit in their philosophy/system ...

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01-31-2010, 11:12 PM
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CPrice
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Originally Posted by THE HOFF View Post
very, very well put, couldnt agree more ... and I believe thats how you are successfull ...

even teams like boston/philie/toronto are being more intelligent right now, they go and get players that can/would fit in their philosophy/system ...
Dont you think the Habs are trying to do that as well though by acquiring speedy skilled forwards to fit their system. EG. Cammy, Gionta, Gomez, Pleks.

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01-31-2010, 11:22 PM
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Our team consist of semi-good overpaid UFAs and and youngters that are barely NHL caliber.

-They do what they can.
-Martin does what he can with them

But the lack of talent/size/grit and quality youngters is killing us.

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01-31-2010, 11:24 PM
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CPrice
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Originally Posted by LeMAD View Post
Our team consist of semi-good overpaid UFAs and and youngters that are barely NHL caliber.

-They do what they can.
-Martin does what he can with them

But the lack of talent/size/grit and quality youngters is killing us.
Yea I agree. Teams need to be built through the draft. I hate all this patchwork BS. Brian Burke is a great example of this.

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01-31-2010, 11:49 PM
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Teufelsdreck
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Personnel mismanagement, encompassing poor drafts, poor trades, and poor player relations. The Habs haven't had an astute GM since Sam Pollock, and even he was losing his touch in his last few years.

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01-31-2010, 11:52 PM
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THE HOFF
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Originally Posted by CPrice View Post
Dont you think the Habs are trying to do that as well though by acquiring speedy skilled forwards to fit their system. EG. Cammy, Gionta, Gomez, Pleks.
little, speedy, skilled , (well paid considering the cap )... forwards to play a slow dump and chase game = fail. epic fail.

if we play a defensive oriented style of play, with restricted freedom on the ice ie: no cross ice pass ... I'd say these are the worst aquisitions we could have made ...

do we play a speedy style of play? ... do we push numbers forward 5 on 5 ? ... we were told defensemen would be getting in the rush and I got all exited about that ... too bad it never hapened .

creativity is something jacques martin is affraid of , he has nightmares about A.kos trying that long pass on the other side of the ice ... he needs to losen up and have a dance a dix . but maybe thats just me

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01-31-2010, 11:56 PM
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MathMan
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Originally Posted by DogsFan View Post
Don Lever coached the Dogs to their first calder cup, then gets fired 2 seasons later, goes to Chicago and completely turns that franchise around.
That said, the Dogs aren't doing too badly with Boucher.

Lever may be a fantastic winning coach in the AHL, but I'm not convinced he's a great developmental coach. Boucher seems to have him beat in that regard.

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Old
02-01-2010, 12:06 AM
  #20
MathMan
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It's the system. The roster isn't perfect, perhaps, but the system is pure, unadulterated suckitude. The passive crap that Martin had them playing most of the year is hard to win with with any roster, but it's particularly unsuited to Montreal's roster of fast, skilled forwards. Gainey provided Martin with players who can play a puck possession style, but Martin never implemented one. From his comments when asked to explain his system, it was pretty clear "puck possession" was an empty buzzword for him anyway. This is a shame, because in the right system, this would be a strong roster, but it has a definite identity and the system goes squarely against it.

The passive approach means that the Habs concede the zone to the opposition and allow them to set up, concentrating on defending the slot and keeping the opposition on the perimeter. That's not the most effective of defensive systems, but it does help prevent the opponent from getting grade A chances, at the expense of puck possession.

The only way this can work is if the system calls for a rapid transition and counter-attack once the opponent takes a low-percentage shot (which the system readily concedes). However, Martin's system is very allergic to giveaways and calls for the safe clear over attempting to make a play when there's any doubt whatsoever. The clears off the boards are relatively safe plays but they are made at the expense of -- you guessed it -- puck possession. They're also highly predictable and often intercepted, but the upshoot is the opponent maintains possession and charges back into the Habs' zone, preventing any offense from Montreal and tiring the Montreal defense until they give up a prime chance. The system will give two 5% chances rather than one 10% chance, but it foregoes offense to make this tradeoff.

In the offensive zone the players backcheck as soon as the puck is deep and weakly forecheck with one guy -- allowing the opposition uncontested puck possession. Size is not a factor; the system does not give the Habs the opportunity to exercise their size, or lack thereof, it's basically designed to score almost exclusively off the rush -- rushes that don't happen very often because of the lack of transition. It's a credit to the top six that they score at all, and a feather in the roster's cap that they manage to be .500 with that strategic scheme.

Now, that's how they played most of the year. Since the Jersey game at least, this seems to be changing to something more sensible, but the Habs have been playing one way all year and they just aren't drilled for their new system and execution is severely off. Their timing is off in the offensive zone, but it's most obvious in the defensive zone where they've started chasing puck carriers and left people wide open. It may end up all right in the end, but we're likely to need to wait until next season to see good results and coaching making a positive impact. This, by the way, is actually an improvement, because for a while I thought there was no chance the Habs would improve next year as I felt Martin would last at least that long.

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02-01-2010, 12:39 AM
  #21
WhiskeySeven
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MathMan, email your entire post to every media outlet. Especially that blowhard Marinaro, so he talks about it and gets some pressure onto Jacques Martin for his inability to assess this squad.

I'm tired of having the media be a negative factor for the Habs, we can change something if we use the media ourselves.

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02-01-2010, 12:51 AM
  #22
MathMan
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MathMan, email your entire post to every media outlet. Especially that blowhard Marinaro, so he talks about it and gets some pressure onto Jacques Martin for his inability to assess this squad.
I'd be more inclined to do that if I didn't I suspect Martin has seen what's going on and is changing things already.

In recent games -- at least since the New Jersey win -- the Habs have really shifted gears and started on a much more aggressive system with puck pursuit and transition. I was in the stands in Ottawa and I'm not sure I saw the Habs clear off the boards even once. They were always trying to transition it rather than clear, sometimes too much -- a radical departure from the passive approach from earlier.

(I rather hope this is a coaching decision and not a choice from the players who just go "what the hell" and throw out what the coach tells them. But subtle hints like Gomez's "new game plan" comment make you wonder.)

The problem is that the players really aren't drilled for this kind of system yet and their execution is completely off. Their transition game is particularly bad right now because the synchronism is off, the forwards don't know how to get open to give the puck carrier options and the D-man doesn't know where to look for them; that prevents the D-man from making the critical quick decision. And they're so hell-bent on leaving the zone with possession that they tend to get stripped before they check down to "dump out", especially if the puck carrier is Hal Gill. But that sort of thing can be drilled, just like the timing in their offensive zone, charging the net in time with the shot and the like, can be drilled as well.

In Ottawa I felt they really looked a lot like I expected them to look around game seven or so... trying their hand at a puck possession system, but not entirely familiar with the new system and having trouble because of it. Too bad it took forty-plus game of the passive-resistance system before they got around to even start to try this.

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02-01-2010, 01:26 AM
  #23
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I'd be more inclined to do that if I didn't I suspect Martin has seen what's going on and is changing things already.

In recent games -- at least since the New Jersey win -- the Habs have really shifted gears and started on a much more aggressive system with puck pursuit and transition. I was in the stands in Ottawa and I'm not sure I saw the Habs clear off the boards even once. They were always trying to transition it rather than clear, sometimes too much -- a radical departure from the passive approach from earlier.

(I rather hope this is a coaching decision and not a choice from the players who just go "what the hell" and throw out what the coach tells them. But subtle hints like Gomez's "new game plan" comment make you wonder.)

The problem is that the players really aren't drilled for this kind of system yet and their execution is completely off. Their transition game is particularly bad right now because the synchronism is off, the forwards don't know how to get open to give the puck carrier options and the D-man doesn't know where to look for them; that prevents the D-man from making the critical quick decision. And they're so hell-bent on leaving the zone with possession that they tend to get stripped before they check down to "dump out", especially if the puck carrier is Hal Gill. But that sort of thing can be drilled, just like the timing in their offensive zone, charging the net in time with the shot and the like, can be drilled as well.

In Ottawa I felt they really looked a lot like I expected them to look around game seven or so... trying their hand at a puck possession system, but not entirely familiar with the new system and having trouble because of it. Too bad it took forty-plus game of the passive-resistance system before they got around to even start to try this.
JM's system which was announced at training camp WAS the transition game of short passes and NOT the off-the-boards clear. After seven games, we were indeed exactly where you said you thought we should be, learning it and getting better. If you will recall we had that first four-game win streak with Halak in nets after we got back from the opening road trip and lost two to Colorado and Ottawa. Unfortunately, with Markov already out, the two BEST and most skilled practitioners of the new system, Gomez and Gionta, both went out. Others were hurt, too. The team called up half of Hamilton, and the whole bunch of them played kitty-bar-the-door out of sheer desperation. And Gomez and Gionta were no longer there to SHOW the guys that the short-pass system works, just like it did for the Habs in the 70s and the Sens in the early 2000s.

Once the bulk of the players came back, the first reaction was for a few overworked guys like Plekanec to take a breather and let others run with it for a while. Meanwhile the bad habits were installed. Now, Gomez' comment shows that the team is going BACK to the plan JM had all along. I just hope missing Cammalleri doesn't change those plans.

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02-01-2010, 01:38 AM
  #24
JackZap
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JM's system which was announced at training camp WAS the transition game of short passes and NOT the off-the-boards clear. After seven games, we were indeed exactly where you said you thought we should be, learning it and getting better. If you will recall we had that first four-game win streak with Halak in nets after we got back from the opening road trip and lost two to Colorado and Ottawa. Unfortunately, with Markov already out, the two BEST and most skilled practitioners of the new system, Gomez and Gionta, both went out. Others were hurt, too. The team called up half of Hamilton, and the whole bunch of them played kitty-bar-the-door out of sheer desperation. And Gomez and Gionta were no longer there to SHOW the guys that the short-pass system works, just like it did for the Habs in the 70s and the Sens in the early 2000s.

Once the bulk of the players came back, the first reaction was for a few overworked guys like Plekanec to take a breather and let others run with it for a while. Meanwhile the bad habits were installed. Now, Gomez' comment shows that the team is going BACK to the plan JM had all along. I just hope missing Cammalleri doesn't change those plans.

i just read alot of excuses. His system sucks, hes a bad coach. All this passive resistance is pure crap. Keeps on putting wrong personnel on the ice in key situations, it goes on and on.

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02-01-2010, 01:49 AM
  #25
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i just read alot of excuses. His system sucks, hes a bad coach. All this passive resistance is pure crap. Keeps on putting wrong personnel on the ice in key situations, it goes on and on.
JM has never preached passive resistance. He speaks out against it often. Do you watch the press conferences?

You say his system sucks. What is his system, according to you?

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