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The Chicoutimi Cucumber

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Everything posted by The Chicoutimi Cucumber

  1. Maybe a less extreme solution would be to give him some time off, or a 'conditioning' stint in the minors. Don't humiliate him, just take him out of the pressure cooker for a while.
  2. Theodore must be in real pain right now. To flop so disasterously, night after night, with the rep he has, and in the merciless Montreal meat-grinder...it's a hockey player hell. It really is. I pity the man. And I hope he can recover the confidence that defined him and that has totally deserted him. By season's end, dealing him may be a simple act of mercy, no more (or less) than that.
  3. Here's what I think about Theodore. He came up as a hot young goalie and pulverized the league with his MVP season. BUT teams have now thoroughly studied him; they know his weaknesses and keep exploiting them. This is compounded by his apparent confusion over 'the new NHL" (which I find unexpected, since I thought his excellent footspeed would translate into success). Anyway, the question - still unanswered - is whether he'll be able to adjust and take his game to a new plateau, or not. It's not a matter of 'recovering his old form,' because opposing shooters have SOLVED that goalie. Patrick Roy did it, mutating from a flopping, instinctual goalie to a very sound positional one. Felix Potvin didn't do it, and petered out after some stellar seasons in TO. Can a new, improved José emerge, with different mechanics? Depends... but it could take a while.
  4. I agree I'd like to see a real, scary heavweight. We'll see if Downey is the guy, but he sounds like another 'make do' goon. All the same, I can't see the sense in criticizing the Habs for picking him up - he's cheap and probably a reasonable gamble, all things considered. 'Bob blows' - puh-lease. Bonk is still unproven in a habs's uniform - you can't evaluate a player based on a groin injury. And nobody in a GM's chair, and I mean nobody, would have kept Garon over Theodore. Let's keep our heads here, Bob will need at least 3 or 4 years to completely turn this ship around. It's not HIS fault Theodore, Ribeiro, Zednik, and Bonk have all turned up duds this season; three of the four are proven veteran NHLers. Nor is it his fault about the injuries. Stay cool, all.
  5. Thanks for the link. Interesting to read Bob saying that (and I paraphrase) he's not sure that all of his players understand what they're capable of doing for the team. His whole argument seems to be that these players have to reach their full potential as individual hockey players. But the players themselves may have internalized their own mediocrity, or else they're looking around for someone *else*, some other player, to take charge and lead them out of the wilderness. What he's describing, then, is a young and/or insecure team that is too accustomed to losing fully to grasp that only they have the capacity to change things - AND that they do indeed have the talent to become winners. Effecting such a cultural shift on the team will, I suspect, take a good long time. But acquiring a Stanley Cup champion veteran or two - Mike Keane types - might help the process along. Just a thought.
  6. We shouldn't trade Theodore, because we'll get nothing back - especially with Kolzig and other high-profile goalies likely to be available. Better to start using Huet as our de facto #1 (all the while insisting that Theo is our number one goalie, positioning Huet as more a 1A type), then hope Theodore can recover his form next season. Since he has alternated good and bad seasons his entire career, this is not entirely a forlon hope. THEN try to trade him before his contract expires. Then again, if a better goalie becomes available in the offseason, I'd try to sign him and then buy out Theo's massive contract. This would admittedly be an expensive strategy, but it would still be better than dumping him for marginal value in a trade and leaving the team without a bona fide #1 netminder. Otherwise put, it's too risky to dump Theo until we've got a sure-fire alternative in the bag. I think Zednik and Ribeiro are the most likely to be dealt in the short term.
  7. Hear, hear. I'm going to bed now and I just want to say - I AM UTTERLY BUMMED OUT. This sucks, they suck, everything sucks. Not even Bob Gainey will be able to work miracles with this sorry-arsed bunch. It's gonna be a loooOOOOOOOOOOnnnng road back to sustained excellence chez Montreal. Les canadiens ne sont pas la. I wanna puke. 'Night.
  8. He was good enough for the All-star team just last season. So he has had at least 2 great seasons, while playing on a horrible team. Theo's previous NHL season was good, not great. For great, check out Kiprusoff. Maybe it's more the Stephane Richer symptom - alternating good and bad years and then finally slackening off into an endless swamp of mediocrity, in which team after team keeps hoping he can rediscover his magic touch
  9. Look, I've always defended Theo. But he only 'bailed out' the Habs consistently for one season in his career, the MVP year. This season, he's been a dog. You can see the whole team sag when their $5-million man lets in yet another key goal (whether soft, or an OK goal that a really sharp goalie would have stopped). Yes, Theo has a very high ceiling. But he has not put together two excellent NHL seasons in his career, and this year, he's compressed a lifetime's worth of inconsistency into one season. Anyway, if he's so great, why CAN'T we ask him to 'bail us out' year after year? What, did he get tired all of a sudden? For pete's sake, CuJo made a 20-year career out of making cruddy defences look good. I've said it before and I'll say it again - Theo's career arc is looking much closer to Felix Potvin's than Patrick Roy's at this point, that's for sure. In any case, someone - whether Theo, or Koivu, or Souray, or Kovalev - has to grab this team by the throat and WILL it to win. I still think Koivu is playing hurt, but he might also (finally) be fed up of what appears to be a team of babies, psychological weaklings and headcases. Interesting times...alas.
  10. Anybody else think Koivu's playing hurt? The explosive acceleration doesn't seem to be there. Yes, Theo's defence was horrible - but good goalies make big stops now and then, even when the D breaks down.
  11. I don't think we need to move that many players (4-5). Moving ONE 'soft' player, especially a first or second liner such as Zednik, could be sufficient to tip the balance. Besides, it's usually a mistake to think in terms of 'getting rid' of players - look at Brisebois; is our defence really so much better WITHOUT him? Better to think in terms of overall team balance and chemistry, and clearly we need to add a warrior, maybe two.
  12. I agree: the balance is wrong. As great as it is to have Yoda and Obi-Wan behind the bench, we may still need to tweak the roster. Komisarek is not soft - I think his confidence is just very fragile right now, after losing his mother and being benched, etc.. But at some point, he does need to step up and convince himself that (a) he really, honestly belongs in the NHL and, b, that he is potentially much more than Craig Rivet II - he has it in him to be an impact player, a hard-hitting shutdown guy, an anchor back there. I'm not saying he's in Dion Phaneuf's class, but he could learn something from Phaneuf's attitude. From day one, he believed he belonged, and the result is he's been dominant. Hopefully Gainey and Carbo can instill that belief in Komi (it's just too bad he's not better insulated on a team that has an average-at-best defence corps).
  13. The Habs looked very disorganized at times - partly the result of missing their top 2 defencemen. Not too many teams are successful without their best D-men. I don't think Theo looked 'terrible,' but I AM starting to wonder if Koivu is playing hurt. He doesn't seem to have his usual acceleration. Meanwhile, the usual culprits (Zednik, Bulis, Ribeiro) fail to hit the broad side of a barn. And that refereeing, oooh maaah loooorrrrd. Add that weird mix of factors to the Flames' incredible defensive and team play, and you have a defeat. But I think it'd be a mistake for the Habs to allow that freakish loss to derail the confidence they've started builing under Gainey. Get Souray back, correct a few things, regroup...and please God, beat those scumbags in Vancouver.
  14. Gainey, Andre Savard, Guy Carbonneau, Doug Jarvis. Is it the best in hockey? What do you think? Who's better? Now, if we can just start seeing results on the ice...
  15. HAHAHAHAAAAAAAA!!! Nice one. And it's truer than you think. I recall watching a CBC special, years ago in the late 80s, called 'Home Game' (narrated by Ken Dryden) that went into the Habs' dressing room during a game against Edmonton. One scene showed Gainey, then Habs' captain, taking aside Carbo with a little diagram and explaining a play to him ('the next this happens, bank the puck along the boards...and I'm there'). You could just see Carbonneau absorbing every single word this great habs was telling him, learning, learning - and eventually, HE became the last of the Habs' great leaders/defensive specialists. And if you look at Carbo's career, he has basically followed Bob around, to Dallas and now Montreal, etc.. Yoda indeed.
  16. ...according to RDS. http://www.rds.ca/canadien/chroniques/195643.html I find that surprising. Three straight starts for a backup, that's quite a blast of cold water in Theodore's face...Julien says that he's got to go with the hot hand, and I sure do agree, but I wish he would take the same attitude to our position players. It's a good sign, though. Thoughts?
  17. I don't buy the 'we need an offensive superstar' argument; I was around in 1993 and know better. But I understand the frustration, believe me. Bob's only been in charge, though, for what, one or two full seasons? You can't blame him for the crap that went before. It would be a fatal mistake to refer back to the pre-Bob era as part of any evaluation of that era. And who in their right minds predicted in, say, 2001, that the Habs would be contenders by now? Please. Still, it IS a good question, whether Julien is bringing along the rookies properly. I'm skeptical about that myself, and if little progress is apparent with our young talent by season's end, he should be gone. I think there are deeper problems on this team than talent, though. The players aren't working hard consistently, and there just does not seem to be any chemistry or conviction in their play...it is time for a trade. Ribeiro and Bonk have let down the entire organization - the team was counting on at least ONE of them to perform as a tolerable second-line centre. Without that, we're back to where we were before Yannic Perrault got here: the toilet.
  18. I guarantee you that Gainey is looking for a second-line C. Think about it - Ribeiro is the very antithesis of a Bob Gainey type of player. So I wouldn't be surprised at all if he's got his sights on Laperriere, although whether the Avs want to deal him is a good question... If something happens, I have a feeling it won't be a blockbuster involving Theo or Tanguay.
  19. Theodore has never put two really good seasons together in a row. That's the definition of inconsistent. And for God's sake, his save % is .899 and his GAA is like 3.20. That's the definition of ridiculous. And every time the opposing team crosses the blueline, he's on his knees. That's the defintion of mediocre goaltending. He's definitely tradable and Gainey should certainly test the market. BUT: 1. We'd be clinically insane to go with Huet-Danis. I know it's cranky of me, but I wish people would stop going bananas over Huet or Danis whenever one of them has a nice game. Sure, good on them, but sheesh...neither is a proven #1 goalie. We need one, either Theo or someone else. Therefore, we'd better get at least a decent goalie back in any trade, and we'd better make sure to sign one of the gaolie FAs in the summer. 2. Bertuzzi is high risk. Put it this way: he's had trouble handling the media and the pressure in VANCOUVER. Imagine how he'd fare in a *serious* hockey town. I waver on this, but Big Bert is a pretty erratic presence to get back for your 'star' goalie. 3. In the land of Gainey, where there's smoke, there's seldom fire. The man plays it too close to the vest for most of these rumours to be accurate. What about a package combining Morrison and Alex Auld, for Theo and someone else?
  20. Couldn't we just buy out Theodore's contract? How much would that set us back -? (Sorry, I'm hazy on these CBA details). At this point, I'd rather see the Habs on the hook for a % of Theo's salary and sign a reliably excellent goalie like Luongo (or even fernandez, although Minnesota goalies may be over-valued because of the incredible defensive system that protects them). But what % would that be? Can any capologists help me out?
  21. MAD magazine used to have a completely arbitrary exercise whereby they'd label a given celebrity a 'WINNER' or a 'LOSER.' A winner, for these purposes, we'll call someone who is a good team contributor, delivers positive results on the ice and off. A loser is just the opposite. And a 'N/A' is hard to pigeonhole due to an enigmatic nature, or a neutral impact upon games, or insufficient exposure at the NHL level. Another way to put it is to say that a 'winner' is someone you can imagine as a valuable contributor on a eventual habs Stanley Cup So, let's play the game...what do YOUR guts say? WINNERS Higgins - winner Koivu - winner Ryder -winner Begin - winner Souray - winner Komisarek -winner Rivet -winner Bouillon - winner Dandenault - I'd say N/A but he's got 2 Cups, so... Theodore -winner LOSERS Ribeiro - loser Bonk - loser Zednik - loser Dagenais -loser N/A Kostitsyn - N/A Kovalev -N/A Bulis - N/A Ferland - N/A Sundstrom - N/A Markov - N/A Assuming this whole exercise isn't idiotic, gimme your thoughts.
  22. No offence, but Mark Messier you ain't Hope you're right, though...and removing Theo is addition by subtraction at this point.
  23. I was wondering when someone would make the connection between these three duds. I don't know what's going on, but somehow the relentless medicority of Ribs/Dags has contaminated Theodore's game. Who knows? Maybe getting rid of Dud and Bigger Dud would improve José's performance...hanging out with losers makes you one, apparently.
  24. Well, we've all decended into every conceivable variant of negativity, what with people blasting Kovalev, Theodore, everyone but the rookies, Julien, Melanson, Gainey, etc., etc.. However, it's worth considering one thing. The Habs hit this slump when injuries took out practically every forward on the team (except, tabernac, those useless clowns, Ribs and Dags). Now, everyone's healthy. But it takes time for players to find their game after extended absences. Furthermore, the last two losses have featured major comebacks by les boys that fell just short. Slumps usually end with a few near-misses and bad breaks, then, finally, snap. The last 2-3 games have had that 'darkest before the dawn' feeling for me...a team that just can't seem to buy the breaks or get all its cylanders going at the same time, but now, at least, does have SOME pistons firing and just needs to get over that last hump. But Theodore MUST play better. Thoughts?
  25. I agree that you can't evaluate Bonk yet. But based on the knowledge available to Bob at the time - i.e., Bonk's many years of solid performance as the Senators' #1 centreman - that was a reasonable trade. This is especially true given Ribeiro's debatable status. And if Bonk finds his game, he may still prove to be a very valuable addition for us. Also, Montreal is a terrible place to bring along a young goalie without having established veterans around to help with the load, especially if a popular star goalie has been moved to make room for the young goalie in question. That's the main lesson of the disasterous Jocelyn Thibault Experiment. So don't assume Garon would have done it here; he may well have cracked under the insane pressure following his bad start. Finally: one good month doesn't mean he's 'proven' himself. Let's see how he does down the stretch and into the playoffs before rending our garments.
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