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Old
10-05-2011, 05:50 PM
  #1
HCH
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Our defense

Individually, I like a lot of the players; as a group I don't like the mix at all. With Yemelin likely watching from the press box, I don't see a physical defensemen in the entire group. With the addition of Campoli and Diaz along with the departure of Hamrlik and Wizniewski this group is smaller and softer than last year.

Hopefully this group will be able to surprise me. Maybe the hope is that superior puck handling skills and skating ability (Gill excepted) will offset the lack of size and toughness.

Over the course of a long season, I am skeptical that they can get it done.

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10-05-2011, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by HCH View Post
Individually, I like a lot of the players; as a group I don't like the mix at all. With Yemelin likely watching from the press box, I don't see a physical defensemen in the entire group. With the addition of Campoli and Diaz along with the departure of Hamrlik and Wizniewski this group is smaller and softer than last year.

Hopefully this group will be able to surprise me. Maybe the hope is that superior puck handling skills and skating ability (Gill excepted) will offset the lack of size and toughness.

Over the course of a long season, I am skeptical that they can get it done.
I feel the same way. I hope that Yemelin catches on quickly and moves up in trhe pecking order.

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10-05-2011, 06:26 PM
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Chill out boys. Yea, right now, with Markov out, it looks sketchy. Wait till he comes back in a couple weeks and everything will be okay, even though MArkov isnt physical which is your concern. His presence will change everything back there. MArkov and Subban are easily 2 # 1 defeseman. I don't think we have a #3 but I think we have a couple 4-5s who can step up. And Emelin will make the jump at around the quarter mark of the year, and he will stay for good.

Just wait..

Markov- Yemelin
Gill-Subban
Campoli-Gorges
Spacek

An to those people who say Spacek will not be in the pressbox, well if our defence is not performing well he will be put up there and and 6-d will look like this.

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10-05-2011, 10:14 PM
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Kriss E
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I don't know why people are not excited by the speed, quickness and puck moving skills of our Dmen.
Every single one of them can move the puck from decently well to really well, with the exception of Gill.

Last year, we didn't have big tough Dmen. We had some bigger guys, sure, but they weren't tough physical Dmen. The problem was mainly their speed. By the time they got to the puck behind the net or in the corners, the opposing players were already pretty much on them. You need some very fast and good skaters if you want that puck out intelligently.
How often did you see our players slowly skate to the puck and due to the oncoming pressure, had no choice but to whip it around the boards? Remember what that translated to? Losing puck possession.

I don't think we have to worry about our Defense as much, especially not with JM's system. Some additions can be made throughout the year if toughness from our back end becomes an obvious necessity, but I'm not really worried so far.

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10-05-2011, 10:32 PM
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If we use the last tampa game as a gauge, the defence were never in much difficulty the whole game. We shall see what the regular season starts, but with JM system, and Price. It should be OK

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10-05-2011, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kriss E View Post
I don't know why people are not excited by the speed, quickness and puck moving skills of our Dmen.
Every single one of them can move the puck from decently well to really well, with the exception of Gill.

Last year, we didn't have big tough Dmen. We had some bigger guys, sure, but they weren't tough physical Dmen. The problem was mainly their speed. By the time they got to the puck behind the net or in the corners, the opposing players were already pretty much on them. You need some very fast and good skaters if you want that puck out intelligently.
How often did you see our players slowly skate to the puck and due to the oncoming pressure, had no choice but to whip it around the boards? Remember what that translated to? Losing puck possession.

I don't think we have to worry about our Defense as much, especially not with JM's system. Some additions can be made throughout the year if toughness from our back end becomes an obvious necessity, but I'm not really worried so far.
Exactly this !

A fast D = a good transition ! ... = an offense with plenty of hot pucks to work on !

Recently ... the NYR got 8 - 4 goals agains a swiss team applying the fast concept ... on big ice rink. i agree. (interestingly Diaz comes from this team Zug !)
you can read the GDT on the NYR board. and understand that they were just lost ! and looked like heavy cows on the field. Zug was flying and passing admirably. In spite of making stupid mistakes because they were nervous playing an NHL team, team that any hockey players dreams to play in !! Explaining getting scored 4 times.

But that could be a great asset. Wait and see the first 5 games. Then you can start thinking differently again or complaining further because you were right.

Trust your team's management.

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10-05-2011, 10:52 PM
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It's still missing a minute-eating defensemen with a well-rounded game(but more weighted on the defensive side).

It's much more mobile than last year and has a lot more speed. Hopefully one of Diaz or Yemelin adjusts quick and eats minutes. I'm not too worried about the size issue. More concerned with having players play minutes their not accustomed to because of the lack of more minute-eating d-men.

The puckmovement from Subban, Campoli, Diaz and Spacek(who is underrated) greatly benefits our team. Makes the habs attack more dangerous because it meshes well with their style.

As Kriss mentioned, quicker d, means quicker puck-recovery and quicker movement all around. They have other options aside from passing it. We have a few guys that can skate out of the zone with the puck. These effects were immediately seen in the Tampa game.

With Markov the habs defense is good. Without him, it's alright. With Markov and hopefully the acquisition of another minute-eater, the defense could be great.

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10-06-2011, 06:35 AM
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Beendair Donedat
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You have a budding superstar in Subban, an old slow shot blocker in Gill, a decent 3-4 guy in Gorges, a give away machine in Spacek, a bottom 5-6 guy In Campoli, and a couple of unproven guys in Diaz and Yemelin. I don't even count Markov as he's proven he can't stay healthy.

This team is in trouble on the back-end and only stellar play from Price or unexpected developments of Diaz and/or Yemelin will stabilize this corps. Once again no physical threat other than Subban occasionally.

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10-06-2011, 09:49 AM
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With Markov it might be the best unit in the East. Without Markov it's still fine, above average in the conference certainly. The problems with evaluating the Habs typically involve overvaluing the amount of D talent on other clubs, and undervaluing Spacek, who's been a perfectly capable top-4 D-man, on his wrong side, for the entirety of his Habs career.

The key skills for a defenseman are positioning and puck movement. Physicality is really entirely optional, though it's often mistaken for defense. Montreal's defensemen are good at what matters most.

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10-06-2011, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beendair Donedat View Post
You have a budding superstar in Subban, an old slow shot blocker in Gill, a decent 3-4 guy in Gorges, a give away machine in Spacek, a bottom 5-6 guy In Campoli, and a couple of unproven guys in Diaz and Yemelin. I don't even count Markov as he's proven he can't stay healthy.

This team is in trouble on the back-end and only stellar play from Price or unexpected developments of Diaz and/or Yemelin will stabilize this corps. Once again no physical threat other than Subban occasionally.
Unexpected to whom, exactly? People who have never watched them before this NHL preseason and yet somehow have fully-formed opinions on both players?

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10-06-2011, 10:08 AM
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Kriss E
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Originally Posted by Beendair Donedat View Post
You have a budding superstar in Subban, an old slow shot blocker in Gill, a decent 3-4 guy in Gorges, a give away machine in Spacek, a bottom 5-6 guy In Campoli, and a couple of unproven guys in Diaz and Yemelin. I don't even count Markov as he's proven he can't stay healthy.

This team is in trouble on the back-end and only stellar play from Price or unexpected developments of Diaz and/or Yemelin will stabilize this corps. Once again no physical threat other than Subban occasionally.
Who cares about being physical when the opponents won't even have time to get to the puck before it's being passed around?

Also, explain to me the logic in not counting Markov?? Is he expected to play 0 games this year? 10? 20?...How many games do you think he'll play??
The reason you don't count Markov is because you have a very pessimist view, simple as that. Whether it's offense, or defense, you keep criticizing the club, and the only thing you can find is physicality. Quite pathetic actually.

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10-06-2011, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by NewEraGM View Post
Chill out boys. Yea, right now, with Markov out, it looks sketchy. Wait till he comes back in a couple weeks and everything will be okay, even though MArkov isnt physical which is your concern. His presence will change everything back there. MArkov and Subban are easily 2 # 1 defeseman. I don't think we have a #3 but I think we have a couple 4-5s who can step up. And Emelin will make the jump at around the quarter mark of the year, and he will stay for good.

Just wait..

Markov- Yemelin
Gill-Subban
Campoli-Gorges
Spacek

An to those people who say Spacek will not be in the pressbox, well if our defence is not performing well he will be put up there and and 6-d will look like this.
My theory? Markov is the best damn thing that could have happened with Emelin. He'll calm him down, tell him to be patient, and mentor him. Emelin is going to sit this year, at least 20-30 games. So? Marky struggled his first year too. Mistakes all the time.

Don't forget, there's a good chance most young Russian D think Marky is a god, and rightly so. Marky is the difference between Emelin bolting, or sticking it out and becoming superb next year. And I think this kid will be superb. He needs a year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by torero View Post
Exactly this !

A fast D = a good transition ! ... = an offense with plenty of hot pucks to work on !

Recently ... the NYR got 8 - 4 goals agains a swiss team applying the fast concept ... on big ice rink. i agree. (interestingly Diaz comes from this team Zug !)
you can read the GDT on the NYR board. and understand that they were just lost ! and looked like heavy cows on the field. Zug was flying and passing admirably. In spite of making stupid mistakes because they were nervous playing an NHL team, team that any hockey players dreams to play in !! Explaining getting scored 4 times.

But that could be a great asset. Wait and see the first 5 games. Then you can start thinking differently again or complaining further because you were right.

Trust your team's management.
I love this post. Keep posting swiss guy. "heavy cows on the field" beautiful. I really like your post.


Last edited by Mike8: 10-06-2011 at 01:25 PM. Reason: merge
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Old
10-06-2011, 11:43 AM
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Diaz and Spacek last game really reassured/surprised me. Also thought Camper was solid.

I think we'll be ok until Markov comes back.

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10-06-2011, 11:45 AM
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Habs will have success against teams that take risks by sending too many forecheckers...but against teams that can manage to cycle down low. They will struggle.

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10-06-2011, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Jigger77 View Post
Diaz and Spacek last game really reassured/surprised me.
Spatch has been a perfectly capable top-4 D-man for the entirety of his Habs career, all the while playing on the wrong side. He should be fine on a third pairing in his natural position, even if it's with a rookie.

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10-06-2011, 11:50 AM
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With Markov it might be the best unit in the East. Without Markov it's still fine, above average in the conference certainly. The problems with evaluating the Habs typically involve overvaluing the amount of D talent on other clubs, and undervaluing Spacek, who's been a perfectly capable top-4 D-man, on his wrong side, for the entirety of his Habs career.

The key skills for a defenseman are positioning and puck movement. Physicality is really entirely optional, though it's often mistaken for defense. Montreal's defensemen are good at what matters most.
Exactement. Serge the man almost never hit anyone, because he was already past them heading up ice, threatening damage. I want D that make the opposing forwards back up with fear.

Serge regularly eliminated one forechecker by simply skating right by him. Forwards learned fast with him to back up. If you got caught and passed by him, now it's 5 on 4. Or 5 on 3 if another forward made a stupid change. Savard did this, and yes, Subban will do this. That's the best D, skating and skill. Bring it on. More, give me more D like this any time.

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10-06-2011, 11:52 AM
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Spatch has been a perfectly capable top-4 D-man for the entirety of his Habs career, all the while playing on the wrong side. He should be fine on a third pairing in his natural position, even if it's with a rookie.
Yeah I'm not worried about Spacek. He only struggled when overused last year.

He has a bad rep around here but so do any players over 30.

Been a solid defenseman for years in this league and I'm sure he'll help out the young guys a lot.

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10-06-2011, 01:16 PM
  #18
Beendair Donedat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kriss E View Post
Who cares about being physical when the opponents won't even have time to get to the puck before it's being passed around?

Also, explain to me the logic in not counting Markov?? Is he expected to play 0 games this year? 10? 20?...How many games do you think he'll play??
The reason you don't count
Markov is because you have a
very pessimist view, simple as
that. Whether it's offense, or
defense, you keep criticizing the
club, and the only thing you can
find is physicality. Quite pathetic
actually.
How can you count on someone that hasn't played the better part of 2 years, (52 games total) has had 2 major operations on the same knee and still isn't showing signs that he is close to game ready? You have no idea if he will be close to the superstar he was before or if he will even fully
recover. Orr certainly never did.

And just for the record can you name one team in the past 50 years of Stanley Cup winners that didn't have at least 1-2 physical defenseman. I'll be waiting patiently for your response.

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10-06-2011, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Beendair Donedat View Post
How can you count on someone that hasn't played the better part of 2 years, (52 games total) has had 2 major operations on the same knee and still isn't showing signs that he is close to game ready? You have no idea if he will be close to the superstar he was before or if he will even fully
recover. Orr certainly never did.

And just for the record can you name one team in the past 50 years of Stanley Cup winners that didn't have at least 1-2 physical defenseman. I'll be waiting patiently for your response.
People on this board love our D made up of oldies and small fast skating d-men.

Only PK makes sense. The rest are bottom pairing d-men on any NHL team.

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10-06-2011, 01:58 PM
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Individually, I like a lot of the players; as a group I don't like the mix at all. With Yemelin likely watching from the press box, I don't see a physical defensemen in the entire group. With the addition of Campoli and Diaz along with the departure of Hamrlik and Wizniewski this group is smaller and softer than last year.

Hopefully this group will be able to surprise me. Maybe the hope is that superior puck handling skills and skating ability (Gill excepted) will offset the lack of size and toughness.

Over the course of a long season, I am skeptical that they can get it done.
Gill is the "physical defenseman". Not in the Komisarek 07-08 version of "hit anything that moves" but he neutralizes the big forwards on the other team, him and Subban dominated the Horton and Lucic line last year.(sucks that Marchant Recchi and Bergeon beat us...though).

I think Yemelin should eventually be a force both in terms of size, skill and physicality.

Wisniewski is about the same size as Diaz and Campoli...Hamrlik was bigger but he was never a guy to run anybody over.

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10-06-2011, 02:00 PM
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People on this board love our D made up of oldies and small fast skating d-men.

Only PK makes sense. The rest are bottom pairing d-men on any NHL team.
The defense is not any much different from last year in terms of size and physicality. The differences are they are more mobile and much younger. Another difference is that they lost a minute eating d-man.

Last year old age was a problem and that was fixed.
Last year mobility was a problem and that was fixed.
Size and physical play hasn't changed much.
And until markov returns, we don't have another minute-eating dman.

So is it really at all worse than season when the habs were one of the best defensive teams in the league?

Does that mean it shouldnt improve? No. They should. What it means is that it's not as terrible as your post suggests.


Last edited by Andy: 10-06-2011 at 03:12 PM.
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10-06-2011, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Beendair Donedat View Post
How can you count on someone that hasn't played the better part of 2 years, (52 games total) has had 2 major operations on the same knee and still isn't showing signs that he is close to game ready? You have no idea if he will be close to the superstar he was before or if he will even fully
recover. Orr certainly never did.
Well, you haven't answered my simple question, so I don't know why I should answer yours, but I'll do it regardless.
Why should I count on Markov being part of our defensive corps? Simply because we signed him to be. You think management would have signed him if he wasn't expected to play???
Markov was initially set for a return around mid-november to december. So, explain to me how this has changed.
Whether Markov will come back to the level of play he was at prior to his injuries is absolutely unknown. You can think he will, or not. I don't know where he will be at the beginning of the 13-14 season. The most I can say is that I don't think, this season, he will be back to that level. That much would be an unrealistic expectation. Expecting him to play some games however should be a decent expectation.

So again, how many games do you expect him to play? Considering you don't even want to count him in as part of our D corps, it can't be a lot. He was expected to return in mid-nov/dec as I told you, how has this changed?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Beendair Donedat View Post
And just for the record can you name one team in the past 50 years of Stanley Cup winners that didn't have at least 1-2 physical defenseman. I'll be waiting patiently for your response.
PK is physical. Emelin also is. There, you have 1-2 Dmen, but hey, I'm sure you'll come back with something to counter those two players. Don't bother however, if you're going to look at what made each team win every year, then your idea of a winning team will change every year.
Nobody is arguing over physicality, some just put a lot more importance that they should on it. Also, a season is 7months, the roster can change over the course of that time.

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10-06-2011, 03:25 PM
  #23
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I hope that most of you are right. With Gomez seemingly coming back to life, the addition of Cole and a full year from Pacioretty, Desharnais and Eller the top 9 forwards look as good as they have in years. Price looks solid between the pipes.

I just wish we had a couple of guys who could take care of business along the boards, in the corners and in front of our net. Maybe I am over-reacting here, but it is the area of the team that concerns me the most.

Part of the reason that our offense struggled last year was due to the fact that our defense did not win the battles in our own end and our transition game was hampered. I don't know if speed will help them win those battles. I think you need a combination of skill sets to make it work... some guys with speed and some with size/strength.

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10-06-2011, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Kriss E View Post
I don't know why people are not excited by the speed, quickness and puck moving skills of our Dmen.
Every single one of them can move the puck from decently well to really well, with the exception of Gill.
This could be fun to watch because I think speed trumps brawn on a sheet of ice. Newcomers Diaz and Campoli, while not menacing crease clearers can make adept first passes out of the zone and engage in the transition very quickly.

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10-06-2011, 03:48 PM
  #25
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I still think that not re-signing Hamrlik was a bad decision...

the extra year he wanted was worth the risk, imo. No way to know how hard PG tried to move Spacek, but i still think a more schrewd GM would have found a way to make that happen, thus allowing him to keep Hammer and Gill.

With Weber/Emelin/Diaz in the fold and likely to be needed if/when injuries occur, a vet like Hamrlik who is very comfortable/effective in a mentoring role (even if not a vocal one), would have been a much better option than Campoli.

The longer we have to rely on Gill in the top-4, playing top-4 minutes, the worse he's going to look later in the season & in the playoffs.

our overall depth is solid, but our top-4 is very thin

IF Gorges/Subban play more or less the full season,
IF Spacek/Gill don't take too big a step back/aren't run ragged by being forced into ~20min/night,
IF Markov comes back and stays healthy,

then we should be ok...

but if any of those "IF's" falter, Price is in for a long, long season, and our playoff chances will fall squarely on his shoulders.

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