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Old
10-30-2010, 01:52 PM
  #1
Crimson Skorpion
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The First 10 - Your Evaluation

The first ten games have come and gone, the Habs have posted a 7-2-1 record and now welcome Markov into the line-up for tonight's game.

What is your evaluation on the team thus far, as well as players that have stood out for good and for bad?

I've finally posted a new blog after weeks of neglecting it. So hopefully you'll all take the time to read it, and discuss your evaluation as well on the topic.

http://hometownanalysis.blogspot.com

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10-30-2010, 01:57 PM
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coolasprICE
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Schedule has been soft so far, but we capitalized... so there is no knock on them for dropping those games. I just don't feel this team has faced the real test yet, schedule wise. Though I think it's clear that we are a playoff team if we stay healthy -- but after 10 games, nobody can predict what spot we'll finish in or how good this team really is, obviously...

Had the Flyers had our record after 10 games they'd be slotted to finish 1st... However, there's more doubt with where the habs will finish at this point even though we are 1st -- rightfully so.

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Old
10-30-2010, 02:27 PM
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llamateizer
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habs against team in playoffs 1-1-1
non playoffs teams 6-1-0

happy though, really happy

We had this record WITHOUT markov., 30th in PP!
5th in shot against!
6th in PK,

Really impressed by Price.

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10-30-2010, 02:28 PM
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Also did my recap http://neogenhabs.blogspot.com/

Feel free to comment.

EDIT: Just read yours. I agree Spacek is honestly not playing well at all. Would not be shocked to see more Picard eventually. Wondering what your thoughts are on O'Byrne though, trade?


Last edited by neofury*: 10-30-2010 at 02:34 PM.
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Old
10-30-2010, 03:10 PM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neofury View Post
Also did my recap http://neogenhabs.blogspot.com/

Feel free to comment.

EDIT: Just read yours. I agree Spacek is honestly not playing well at all. Would not be shocked to see more Picard eventually. Wondering what your thoughts are on O'Byrne though, trade?
I think O'Byrne just needs time to develop. However, people seem to get the impression that he's fallen on the depth chart. There will be a few spots open next season, but if Habs fill them up with someone like Weber and/or a UFA or two, O'Byrne may never see time in a Habs uniform. At that point, his best bet would be a trade. His return would be quite low though, so people shouldn't expect much coming back.

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10-30-2010, 03:14 PM
  #6
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7-2-1 without Markov, without a PP or a productive second line ? If you asked me going into the season if that was possible i would have said **** no.

Here are the positives:

1. Beating teams we are supposed to beat
2. Getting quality goaltending
3. Getting first line production from Pleks line
4. Very good PK

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Old
10-31-2010, 12:44 AM
  #7
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Excellent start

-superb goaltending
-dictating the play more often than not
- scoring chances for outnumber the scoring chances against
-pk is among the elite

-pp is the only low light but you have to be confident that they will pick it up as markov gets his timing back.
-the second line isnt scoring but the 3rd line has really picked up the slack giving the 2nd unit time to find themselves

You cant ask for much more.

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Old
10-31-2010, 04:42 AM
  #8
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Positive = win/loss record

Negative = minimal production from 2 players expected to be key contributors (gio/Gomez)
& mediocre play of a ~4M dman


How long until PG addresses negatives?... We'll see

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Old
10-31-2010, 07:09 AM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neofury View Post
Also did my recap http://neogenhabs.blogspot.com/

Feel free to comment.

EDIT: Just read yours. I agree Spacek is honestly not playing well at all. Would not be shocked to see more Picard eventually. Wondering what your thoughts are on O'Byrne though, trade?
Spot on assessment of pretty much every aspect of the habs, from management moves to player's performance on the ice. Just out of curiosity, you gave AK an A, which I take it means you think he could do even more? For him to have an A+, hed' have to produce at more than a ppg on top of being aware defensively; that's sort of Datsyuk-esque to say the least..

Anyways, good read!

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Old
10-31-2010, 07:57 AM
  #10
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I see two liability in our team right now:

First one is obvious: Spacek
Sad to say but even with less ice time, everytime he's on the ice it end up with a scoring chance for our opponents. Seriously, he's the reason for at least one goal a game for the team we play against. He seem to be weak in every aspect of his game: loosing all his 1v1 battle, making bad defensive pass, not able to be on the right spot where he should be and making poor offensive pass to get out of our territory.

We really need to use Picard instead. I know that Spacek may eventually get back on his game, he may only suffer from Mtl fanbase heavy pressure, etc... but Hockey is also about results and Picard is the better of the two.

Second liability: Scott Gomez
He's a center, his job is to make his winger score. All Winger are good with Halpern... come on... Halpern! I don't want to ignore the credit Halpern desserve for his hard serious works but still... he's not in the same range of talent. Sad for his ego, but he need to be moved down to the third or fourth trio for a while... until he get his game togheter. A bit of playing against weaker opponents could only help him to improve his scoresheet and get some confidence back.

Otherwise, I think all other players are really awesome and that the team play very very well.

I'm a bit sad about our PP, but a goal is a goal! Who care if it's scored in PK or in 5vs5 ????? Thinking about it... I think there's more 5 vs 5 time than PP time in a game, so I prefer that we score most of our goal there. Anyway, Markov will progressively improve this. I'm pretty much confident.

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Old
10-31-2010, 09:12 AM
  #11
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Our strengths:

Top 3 - the ATM line has been one of most dangerous in the league, period.
Bottom 6 - not many mention this, but they are a big part of our 7-3-1 record at the moment. They outplay opponent's bottom 6 game in game out, and provide vital secondary scoring while our 2nd line is asleep. Kudos!
Penalty kill: Gorges, Gill, Subban, Pleks, Gomez, Gionta, Moen. etc. What more to say? Goaltending: the Price is right after all!

Good, but room for improvement:

Defense: easy identifiable holes in the top 4, spelled Spacek.

Need to fix ASAP:

PP: hopefully Markov will get it back on track...but I have a feeling we need to rethink our PP from scratch.
Second line: give Gomez & Gionta Eller or Pouliot at wing, FFS.

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Old
10-31-2010, 09:13 AM
  #12
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As stated above, Spacek and Gomez are handicapping how good this team can really be.

Not only are they a huge burden on the cap, but they're a black hole for any momentum the rest of our team builds up.

Spacek is a complete bust of a signing. His defensive shortcomings are becoming almost comedic, and despite being signed as a PP triggerman he has a paltry 7 PP points (only 1 goal) in 85 games with the Habs.

Gomez was always one-dimensional, but just because you have zero shooting ability doesn't get you off the hook. His gaining of the offensive zone and firing a 40 foot "slapper" right into the goalies chest is almost as predictable as Spacek's point shot missing the net. If any of his supporters are still lingering I'm sure we'll hear how he needs Gionta to start potting some of his chances for his numbers to look more acceptable. Well in reality one can admit that Gionta is snake bitten, but even if we add a couple of assists to Gomez's stats due to bad luck, we'd be forced to take away his only goal which wasn't NHL caliber.

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Old
10-31-2010, 09:25 AM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mother Pucker View Post
Penalty kill: Gorges, Gill, Subban, Pleks, Gomez, Gionta, Moen. etc. What more to say?
Subban, Gomez, Gionta, and Moen don't play on the PK nearly as much as Tommy Pyatt (2:16/game = 3rd on forward) or Jeff Halpern (2:28/game = 1st on forward).

Just thought I'd give a huge nod to those guys. People say we can go without Pyatt quite often, but he's a huge part of being the #6 PK unit right now.

Halpern has just been incredible. Everywhere Halpern.

Also if you're giving a nod to all those guys, as much as people hate him Spacek is the #3 dman for ice-time on the PK. Hamrlik is right behind him. Hamrlik, IMO has been pretty good this year. Spacek, not so much but his work on the PK has been decent or better.

In reality though, the people most responsible for our amazing PK are;

Gill. Gorges. Pyatt. Halpern. Plekanec. Price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mother Pucker View Post
Second line: give Gomez & Gionta Eller or Pouliot at wing, FFS.
Please no. Maybe Eller, I don't care. Halpern + Pouliot = love. Darche is playing pretty damn good with them too.

I guess I wouldn't hate;

Eller - Gomez - Gionta
Pouliot - Halpern - Darche

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Old
10-31-2010, 09:26 AM
  #14
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Players evaluation

A+ : Plekanec, Price
A: Kostitsyn,
A- : Cammalleri, Subban, Gorges

B+ : Halpern, Pouliot
B : Harmlik, Moen
B- : Picard, Darche, Gill

C+ :
C : Gomez, Gionta, Lapierre, Eller
C- : Pyatt

D+ : Boyd
D : Spacek, O'Byrne


So far, the three questionable players (Price, Kost and Pouliot) at the beginning of the season have performed quite well.

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Old
10-31-2010, 11:27 AM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natey2k4 View Post
Subban, Gomez, Gionta, and Moen don't play on the PK nearly as much as Tommy Pyatt (2:16/game = 3rd on forward) or Jeff Halpern (2:28/game = 1st on forward).

Just thought I'd give a huge nod to those guys. People say we can go without Pyatt quite often, but he's a huge part of being the #6 PK unit right now.

Halpern has just been incredible. Everywhere Halpern.

Also if you're giving a nod to all those guys, as much as people hate him Spacek is the #3 dman for ice-time on the PK. Hamrlik is right behind him. Hamrlik, IMO has been pretty good this year. Spacek, not so much but his work on the PK has been decent or better.

In reality though, the people most responsible for our amazing PK are;

Gill. Gorges. Pyatt. Halpern. Plekanec. Price.


Please no. Maybe Eller, I don't care. Halpern + Pouliot = love. Darche is playing pretty damn good with them too.

I guess I wouldn't hate;

Eller - Gomez - Gionta
Pouliot - Halpern - Darche
Yea, forgot a few essentials of our PK crew there..I should have added ''etc.'' to my list, because I think pretty much all our PKers are doing a good job.

As for no Pouliot on the Gomez line, I say why not? It has worked well before, and the fact that Pouliot works with Halpern is a sign that the guy can make things happens regardless of who he plays with (sort of...). I'd rather team him up with G-G so they can get it going again. As for Eller, he really should be able to play center, but that's just me!

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Old
10-31-2010, 11:43 AM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzoo View Post
A+ : Plekanec, Price
A: Kostitsyn,
A- : Cammalleri, Subban, Gorges

B+ : Halpern, Pouliot
B : Harmlik, Moen
B- : Picard, Darche, Gill

C+ :
C : Gomez, Gionta, Lapierre, Eller
C- : Pyatt

D+ : Boyd
D : Spacek, O'Byrne


So far, the three questionable players (Price, Kost and Pouliot) at the beginning of the season have performed quite well.

I almost totally agree with you.

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Old
11-01-2010, 12:23 PM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrimsonSkorpion View Post
I think O'Byrne just needs time to develop. However, people seem to get the impression that he's fallen on the depth chart. There will be a few spots open next season, but if Habs fill them up with someone like Weber and/or a UFA or two, O'Byrne may never see time in a Habs uniform. At that point, his best bet would be a trade. His return would be quite low though, so people shouldn't expect much coming back.
Problem is we can't keep the kid up all season without giving him a spot, and I think that's what will make them want to do the trade. Of course next year he could have a spot but if he's not able to fit into our line up cause of injuries or something else by deadline, I just wonder if the org would deal him out of fairness to the player, not that I really feel he isn't a #6 or #7, I actually do, but Picard has clearly stolen the spot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mother Pucker View Post
Spot on assessment of pretty much every aspect of the habs, from management moves to player's performance on the ice. Just out of curiosity, you gave AK an A, which I take it means you think he could do even more? For him to have an A+, hed' have to produce at more than a ppg on top of being aware defensively; that's sort of Datsyuk-esque to say the least..

Anyways, good read!
Yeah I gave him an A because I feel consistency would get him the A+. Like maybe in the next 20 games he doesn't get the same production but he still produces and is an on ice factor. For sure he'd keep an A, then 20 more games his consistency is still good and he's putting up points, I'd give him the A+.

It really is different from player to player. I base it on what I feel the player can achieve and what they are achieving. In his case it was just because his problem has always been consistency, but since he had a great season start I gave him the A. With that consistency of course he'll get the A+. He's been playing his game out there, looking good with and without the puck, if he keeps that up and keeps on finding the back of the net, would be tough to give him anything less than A+.

With Andrei its more about how he does in 30-40 games and then of course 80 and beyond. Other players who don't lack said consistency I rate them differently of course. It's more-so based on areas I feel players can be playing to a certain potential but aren't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olibrius View Post
I see two liability in our team right now:

First one is obvious: Spacek
Sad to say but even with less ice time, everytime he's on the ice it end up with a scoring chance for our opponents. Seriously, he's the reason for at least one goal a game for the team we play against. He seem to be weak in every aspect of his game: loosing all his 1v1 battle, making bad defensive pass, not able to be on the right spot where he should be and making poor offensive pass to get out of our territory.

We really need to use Picard instead. I know that Spacek may eventually get back on his game, he may only suffer from Mtl fanbase heavy pressure, etc... but Hockey is also about results and Picard is the better of the two.

Second liability: Scott Gomez
He's a center, his job is to make his winger score. All Winger are good with Halpern... come on... Halpern! I don't want to ignore the credit Halpern desserve for his hard serious works but still... he's not in the same range of talent. Sad for his ego, but he need to be moved down to the third or fourth trio for a while... until he get his game togheter. A bit of playing against weaker opponents could only help him to improve his scoresheet and get some confidence back.

Otherwise, I think all other players are really awesome and that the team play very very well.

I'm a bit sad about our PP, but a goal is a goal! Who care if it's scored in PK or in 5vs5 ????? Thinking about it... I think there's more 5 vs 5 time than PP time in a game, so I prefer that we score most of our goal there. Anyway, Markov will progressively improve this. I'm pretty much confident.
He's making the passes though, I'll be the first to admit he isn't playing up to standards, but he is making the passes. Not as well as he did last season maybe but Gio does have like 50 shots. I just find it pretty hard to blame Gomez when I see him making feeds to Gionta that I know a normal 20-30 goal scorer should be burying.

To me it's like blaming the guy who brings you your food because the cook made it poorly. Gomez is just the messenger, Gio is the one who has to find the back of the net and he isn't. Now does it make me realize the flaw in having a player whose a pure playmaker? Of course it does, but this isn't Gomez fault he's playing his game, albeit not as well as he could, but when you have a guy on your line who scores on 2% of his shots.... how can you be a successful playmaker in the NHL? Oh and the other guy is a 4th liner so mostly he's out of position even despite not being covered half the time.

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Old
11-01-2010, 01:04 PM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrimsonSkorpion View Post
The first ten games have come and gone, the Habs have posted a 7-2-1 record and now welcome Markov into the line-up for tonight's game.

What is your evaluation on the team thus far, as well as players that have stood out for good and for bad?

I've finally posted a new blog after weeks of neglecting it. So hopefully you'll all take the time to read it, and discuss your evaluation as well on the topic.

http://hometownanalysis.blogspot.com

After the first 10 games, I must admit, I'm pretty happy. The Habs have outshot their opponents in at least 5 games, which is something that didn't happen too often last year, they have a good record and sit in 2nd in the East right now.

The GOOD

Price - has been solid!! I was nervous starting the season with him as the #1, but he's proving that he is capable of being the goalie we need him to be. He looks like he wants to play and is working hard. He's making some huge saves for us when we need him to and he's reducing the soft goals as well. A

Plekanec - is earning every penny of his contract, maybe more so far. Scoring goals, setting them up and playing solid defence and killing penalties as well. He is the hardest worker on the team and one of the fastest players we have. A+

Kostitsyn - is doing exactly what I expected him to do. He needs a new contract and doesn't have his little brother as a distraction so he's playing with heart and determination, hitting, going into corners, skating fast and back-checking too. If he can stay healthy, I expect him to have a solid season. A-

Subban - is still playing awesome. Logging big minutes and putting some points on the board too. His defence is even better than I thought it was last year. Solid defender all around and the more he plays, the more I like him. He's going to be huge for the Habs in years to come. A+

Halpern - has been a great addition as well. I wanted to keep either Moore or Metropolit, but Halpern is better than both of them and quite capable of playing on the 3rd line and in an offensive role too. His faceoffs and PK are fantastic. Solid addition to the team. A

The BAD

Spacek - He's worse than he was last year, he's running around a lot more in his own end and getting caught out of position. He's screening or tipping pucks in past Price and his offensive game is practically gone. He's still playing on his wrong side, but he did last year too and he was better than he's showing now. E

Gomez - Gomer is a great centerman with good speed and he can carry the puck well too.....but so far this season he's making bad mistakes, not going into the corners and not working hard enough to win the battles. He is getting better and creating some chances, but he needs to control the puck better. D

Gionta - Gionta isn't playing as bad as everybody thinks, he's just in a slump and having bad luck. He needs to skate harder and use his speed more and control the puck better, but he's getting good scoring chances and the puck just isn't going in. Hopefully he'll find his groove soon....but he needs to be better than he is so far. C-

Cammalleri - While Cammy is still one of our highest point-getters, he isn't scoring like he's capable. He seems to be passing more than usual since Andrei is on a bit of a hot streak. He doesn't seem to be skating as well as last year and handling the puck as well either. He's not playing that bad though, he just needs to step it up a bit. C

Lapierre - Max isn't playing well at all yet. He has great speed and he always works hard, but he can't do anything with the puck and isn't passing enough. He needs to keep hitting and forechecking the other teams defence to create turnovers down low. Part of this has to do with never having the same linemates, but still thats no excuse...he needs to be better with the puck and better along the boards. D+

The rest of the team is doing what they have to. Pouliot is putting up points dispite playing most of the time on the 3rd and 4th lines. He should be with Gomez and Gionta IMO since they need a winger, but he's still playing his game and putting points up no matter who he's paired with.
Darche, Moen, Hamrlik, Gorges and Gill are playing the same they always play....solid defensively and chipping in with some offence where they can.
Boyd has been a disappointment so far, but he needs more playing time too....so does O'Byrne and Markov.
Pyatt needs to be much better too. He's great at killing penalties and dumping the puck in, but he can't get the puck back in the corners or carry the puck on his stick for any length of time. Eller certainly isn't living up to the "top 6" hype that people went on about since we aquired him, and I knew he wouldn't. He could barely crack the Blues lineup, and who do they have??? He's a rookie that needs to find his game. He seems like a decent player with decent smarts, but he has to get used to the hitting and speed of NHL hockey. He's certainly not ready for top 6 minutes and not ready to center the 2nd line either.

Overall though, I am pretty happy with how the Habs are doing so far. It would be nice to trade 1 of our extra defencemen or a forward, plus a prospect and a pick for a top 6 left winger with size to play with Gomez and Gionta and we could use another right handed shot from the blueline with some grit and muscle, but that may happen in the next month or so....we'll have to wait and see.

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11-01-2010, 01:57 PM
  #19
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I must say I am pleasantly surprised by our record and the way we've been playing.Our shots against are down and if we can keep this up i think Price will be just fine.Other notables playing very well are pleks,subban,gorges,cammy, and I hate to admit it but AK(still not sure if this is an apparition).And with the exception of gomez the rest of the team is showing positive signs as well.I do however think markov is overrated and will not make that big of an impact on his return.Hopefully i will be way off with this opinion.

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11-01-2010, 11:18 PM
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I think we should be jumping for joy with how the team has played.

When was the last time we had a winning record like this with the following factors :

- Markov out of the line-up
- one of the top two lines in a serious slump

Not only have we been winning, we adjusted our game plan to cut down on shots against.

Role players chipping in with goals (Moen, Darche, Halpern)
Rookies stepping up (Subban)

There is really nothing to complain about.
At the end up the day we are at the top of the standings during a period where we normally would be on a big losing streak.

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Old
11-02-2010, 07:39 AM
  #21
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The team has played fantastic so far. Aside from Gomez, Gionta and Cammy. Although Cammy seems to score often enough even when he's struggling.

Subban - struggled in a game or 2 early on I thought, but has adjusted and looks awesome once again.

Price has done what he needs to.

AK - Has impressed me the most. I always thought he was capable of the type of performance he has giving, but it is only 11 games now. Let's see if it continues. I hope it does.

Pleks - Plekanecs is proving he is a star in this league, the best player on the Habs just about every night.

Halpern - A welcome addition who is proving to be a huge upgrade over Metro imho.

Pouliot - Looks really good to me as well

Picard - A nice little surprise on the back end
They are the key contributors to me so far

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11-02-2010, 11:39 AM
  #22
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Andrei: He's been playing great looks like he's having fun out there and is really working hard. I've defended him for three years now I hope this year he proves me right.

Plekanec: Keeps proving me wrong. I'm really hard on his offensive game, but he's putting me in my place every game.

Price: I'm not surprised. He's a very very good goalie and didn't play as bad as it was portrayed last year. He's playing almost the same as he did last year except now he has consistency in his game which is normal for a 23 years(22 last year). Not a shocker, but still very proud.

Halpern: Loved the signing when it happened and he's just proving why. He's a very good hockey player, very underrated.

Picard: I doubted him in the pre-season but he looks really good. props to him.

Pouliot: Thought he played well in the pre-season despite what people said. Thought he played even when on the G-G line. And he's still playing well. Too much hate for no reason.

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Old
11-02-2010, 12:17 PM
  #23
wedge
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: victoriaville
Country: Canada
Posts: 5,272
vCash: 500
the most encouraging thing is that we're not always outshot like last year and in the playoffs. It's hard to win games when you constantly give up 40 shots.

I also like Price. He's calm and his teammates finally help him WIN games

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