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Montreal Canadiens vs Detroit Red Wings

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Although i haven't seen enough of MaxPac to make a really informed opinion on how well he seems to be playing. Saw about a period and a half of the Detroit game.

If Carbo and BG decide he is best to stick with the big club, i do not think it will be Lats who he replaces. Most likely it would make Begin or Kostopolo expendable. With the addition of Larocque, it seem there is not much room for Kostopolo. And Max could make Begin expendable as the 4th line right-winger. Although i could see the lines most likely being:

A.Kostits/Pleks/Kovy

Tanguay/Koivu/Higgins

Pacioretty/Lang/S.Kostits

Latendresse/Lapierre/Larocque

extra forward Begin/Kostopolo/Chips/Dandy

Like i have mentioned before, as teams get better, the weak get weeded out. As much as Kostopolo seemed to bring to the table, it is easily replaced. The same goes for Begin.

I do like the looks of those forward lines. It's also possible that Chips replaces Laps as well. That seems to be a pretty solid unit. And MaxPac seems like he could replace much of the grit of a Begin or a Kostopolo with much more offensive upside.

Listen,

I know I'm a little bit biased cause he's Greek, but Kostopoulos has a lot of attributes that every successful winning team needs.

A) He doesn't complain, doesn't need to play a lot of minutes, or dress every game

B) He'll lay his body in front of a truck if he has to

C) He's cheap

D) Will stand up for his teammates even when they do something foolish like steal a purse..

Yet his most important intangible is that he has the heart of lion. And he proved it time and time again last year. Just remember that when a lot of his teammates were turtleing during the Playoffs, he wore his heart on his sleeve.

Every successful team needs at least one player like this. Look at Detroit's success. You think Detroit doesn't have better players/prospects than Chris Chelios and Sandy McCarthy? They do, but Detroit has understood what these guys bring to the team. I know it's a little ludicrous to compare McCarthy and Chelios to Kostopoulos since they don't quite add up, however they are players whom teammates feed positive energy off of.

If the Habs expect to contend for the Cup (and trust me they will), they have to find players who can do this. (and by this I mean bring positive energy, lead by example, speak from experience, take a bullet for the team etc.) Unfortunately, they don't have one person who brings all these attributes to the table. However they have the likes of Begin and Kostopoulos who bring heart, energy and teamspirit. You think they needed to sign Brisebois? No way in hell. They could have used one of the many defensive prospects which would have been a cheaper and wiser investment. They kept him on board because Brisebois has certain intangibles which are necessary for the Habs. He's a proud French Canadien who understands the significance of winning a Cup in Montreal. Some could argue that Carbonneau could fill that role as well, however, as a teammate it is sometimes easier to relate to a teammate than a coach. Consider Brisebois a mentor to the younger players, especially Latendresse and Lapierre.

Bottom line is that although I think it's great to have a team filled with talented players throughout the ranks, it is still important to hold a proper balance. These intanbigles are NOT EASILY REPLACED! And on a team with very talented players, they become even more necessary and useful.

By the way, anyone notice that our team is SCARY good???

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Actually, if you read his quote, he DID say that he was better than our top 6 wings!

By the way, Gui just scored on the PP! 3-0 Habs!

lol That's exactly what I'm telling you. I don't think he worded it the way he meant to because I don't think he believes Pacioretty is already better than Kovalev.

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Bottom line is that although I think it's great to have a team filled with talented players throughout the ranks, it is still important to hold a proper balance. These intanbigles are NOT EASILY REPLACED! And on a team with very talented players, they become even more necessary and useful.

By the way, anyone notice that our team is SCARY good???

That was an excellent post Helmethead. You are absolutely right about the role guys like Kostopoulos, Bégin and Brisebois bring to this team. Kosto and Bégin are feisty mofo's, they've been around long enough to know what needs to be done. Both of them will put their face in the way of a slapshot (OK, maybe not their faces, but certainly their bodies!) and together Bégin and Kosto cost the team 2 million$, which is very affordable!

We need these kind of players to make it far in the playoffs. Players who will stand up for their teammates!

lol That's exactly what I'm telling you. I don't think he worded it the way he meant to because I don't think he believes Pacioretty is already better than Kovalev.

Well, i'm waiting for him to explain himself a little more! ;):D

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Lats progressed like Carbo & Gainey wanted him to progress: learn the defensive side of the game first (something he barely knew when he broke in the NHL) and be consistent.

The stats are still there. I use them to support my argument which is that Lats was effective enough in his limited role of a 4th liner with his limited minutes. He dished hits almost every time he stepped on the ice while limiting defensive mistakes to the minimum, THAT is precisely what was asked of a 4th liner in Carbo's system.

You said Lats showed nothing of an effective 4th liner, and now that I showed you stats to back up my argument to the contrary, you try to shift the argument to Lats not being able to be more than a 4th liner and you brush aside facts (about Lucic, about Lats goals, etc) saying they mean nothing (hey, more hits of all the Habs forwards with the 4th less ice-time means nothing to you? Oh, right, the hit has to lead to a goal, my bad...) but at least I have something to back up my arguments. Where's your facts to back up your claims.

Lats-Plex-Kovy has been tried. Doesnt work, not compatible styles. Plex is versatile enough to being able to play any style, but all three together just doesnt click; not as well as it does with Kosty in there. Kosty-Plex-Kovy have the speed, finesse and fancy to use the entire offensive zone and be able to get scoring chances from anywhere. Lats is a slot player. He does what almost none other of our forwards can (excet for Higgins some times): get the ugly rebound, 2nd and 3rd effort goal. He just needs linemates who can set up/finish plays to the net.

The philosophy of Carbo & Gainey is that players have a role to do and they'll play as long as they fill their role. If Lats fills his role, Pac's not gonna force him out of the lineup. Doesnt work that way. Lats' spot is his to lose, not Pac's to win. SKost didnt get his spot for being so good in the AHL, he got it because he could do the job that Ryder couldnt. But before SKost was called up, everyone on the RW got a chance to do the job.

You’re bringing all kinds of statistics and logs to prove your points (which by the way cannot be proven because they are only opinions, just like everybody else’s), but you still didn’t answer my question regarding Latendresse’s quality of play on the ice (not on paper, even guys like Czerkawski and Berezin have looked like top offensive players on paper while, again on paper, Kevin Stevens was one of the most dominating offensive players for a few years).

As I asked before, while on paper Latendresse is our best goal scorer on 5-on-5, do you feel he’s a constant threat to score out there? Personally, most of the time, I hardly notice Latendresse until I hear “Latendresse compte” because he just picked up a goal out of nowhere. An occasional fluke/garbage goal or an occasional good play will lead to 10, 15 or sometimes 20 goals over a season, but that doesn’t make you a genuine scoring threat or a good offensive winger. You may be satisfied with Latendresse becoming another Ryder, personally I think he can be so much better than that.

Same goes for the number of hits, which looks very good on paper, but once again do you feel that Guillaume Latendresse is a constant physical presence on the ice, and that many of his hits are effective? No, every hit doesn’t need to lead to a goal, but what I meant is that simply making contact with every guy you get a chance to because the coach asked you to doesn’t make you an effective physical player. Again I barely notice Latendresse on the ice, and that’s not normal for a power-forward who’s statistically our best goal scorer at even-strength, as well as our hits leader (for forwards).

For example, many Canadiens fans spent the summer discussing Milan Lucic and how we’ll get back at him, and before him it was the habs-killer Erik Cole; these guys were a physical presence, and they made an impact on the ice. Do you think that Boston and Philly fans spent the summer discussing Latendresse? Do you think they even know who he is, besides being a somewhat familiar name like Brad Larsen, Branko Radivojevic, or Matt Pettinger; you know these guys are hockey players, but that’s about it. Latendresse was a big young highly talented powerforward with everything to prove, and every Bruins fan should know and hate him after such a tough 7-game series.

Anyways… you have your opinions, I have mine. Personally, I feel like Latendresse has shown very little improvement over the last 2 years; becoming good enough defensively to be a marginal forth-line player isn’t enough for considering his potential, that’s only good enough for limited guys like Begin, Stewart, Ivanans, Dwyer, etc. Latendresse needs to step up, become a more effective physical presence and offensive player, and secure his spot on our top lines for years to come… otherwise as you mentioned, he could end up like Michael Ryder, and lose his spot to a prospect like Pacioretty or maybe even D’Agostini.

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That was an excellent post Helmethead. You are absolutely right about the role guys like Kostopoulos, Bégin and Brisebois bring to this team. Kosto and Bégin are feisty mofo's, they've been around long enough to know what needs to be done. Both of them will put their face in the way of a slapshot (OK, maybe not their faces, but certainly their bodies!) and together Bégin and Kosto cost the team 2 million$, which is very affordable!

We need these kind of players to make it far in the playoffs. Players who will stand up for their teammates!

Well, i'm waiting for him to explain himself a little more! ;):D

I agree that every team needs players like Begin and Kostopoulos, however only when these guys know and accept their roles as depth/reserve players. I often mentionned that I don't want to see Begin resigning with Montreal, but mostly because he'll earn too much money for that role, which in addition to the fact that he's so well liked in Quebec will put pressure on Carbnonneau to dress him as many games as possible; the more Begin plays, the less effective he becomes. However if Begin accepts maybe 750-900K, and the fact that he may play 50, 40 or even 30 games.

Same goes for Kostopoulos. If our 4th line next year is Stewart, Lapierre, and Chipchura with Begin and/or Kostopulos substituting every once in a while, we'll be a in a great position.

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Personally, I feel like Latendresse has shown very little improvement over the last 2 years; becoming good enough defensively to be a marginal forth-line player isn’t enough for considering his potential, that’s only good enough for limited guys like Begin, Stewart, Ivanans, Dwyer, etc. Latendresse needs to step up, become a more effective physical presence and offensive player, and secure his spot on our top lines for years to come… otherwise as you mentioned, he could end up like Michael Ryder, and lose his spot to a prospect like Pacioretty or maybe even D’Agostini.

The kid's 21. 21. Most players don't even make the NHL at his age and here he is with two 16-goal seasons. If you give up on him now, what do you do when Pacioretty goes through his inevitable growth pains in the NHL? Throw him on the slag pile and get all hot to trot over the next young prospect? This is how it works with many young players. They come along in fits and starts and eventually put it all together. In a word: patience.

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You’re bringing all kinds of statistics and logs to prove your points (which by the way cannot be proven because they are only opinions, just like everybody else’s), but you still didn’t answer my question regarding Latendresse’s quality of play on the ice (not on paper, even guys like Czerkawski and Berezin have looked like top offensive players on paper while, again on paper, Kevin Stevens was one of the most dominating offensive players for a few years).

:o I totally forgot about this guy.

Now names are poping in my head : Peter Klima, Damian Rhodes, Mark Tinordi. What a great way to wake up ! Thanks.

Seriously, Kevin Stevens was really a dominating player because he played on the best line. Just like Kurri or Renberg.

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As I asked before, while on paper Latendresse is our best goal scorer on 5-on-5, do you feel he’s a constant threat to score out there? Personally, most of the time, I hardly notice Latendresse until I hear “Latendresse compte” because he just picked up a goal out of nowhere. An occasional fluke/garbage goal or an occasional good play will lead to 10, 15 or sometimes 20 goals over a season, but that doesn’t make you a genuine scoring threat or a good offensive winger. You may be satisfied with Latendresse becoming another Ryder, personally I think he can be so much better than that.

"Goals out of nowhere" or "Garbage goals" are good. It surely beats running around the zone trying to deke every player just to caught up the puck. There's players like that who can look mighty dangerous but who arent effective.

I never compared Lats to Ryder in any way, so I dont see why you're trying to put words in my mouth. I hated Ryder for being a lazy one-trick pony and I will hate him even more now that he's with the arch-enemy. Last season Lats was already a whole lot more complete than Ryder ever will be.

What you failed to see is how much more Lats could have done if he had more ice time. You can dismiss stats all you want, can talk about subjective impressions like "not being a threat" every time he stepped on the ice; you still have to show some judgement and recognize that scoring 16 goals in the NHL at 19 and 20 yrs old while playing under 12 mins per game and not getting any PP time isnt something just any schmuck can do. Admit that much.

Same goes for the number of hits, which looks very good on paper, but once again do you feel that Guillaume Latendresse is a constant physical presence on the ice, and that many of his hits are effective? No, every hit doesn’t need to lead to a goal, but what I meant is that simply making contact with every guy you get a chance to because the coach asked you to doesn’t make you an effective physical player. Again I barely notice Latendresse on the ice, and that’s not normal for a power-forward who’s statistically our best goal scorer at even-strength, as well as our hits leader (for forwards).

"Noticing", how much more subjective can you get? I notice lots of hot girls in the stands while I watch the Habs, does it make them good players? You not noticing him doesnt make him any less effective. Maybe you're simply not really that good at noticing and judging hockey talent, ever thought of that?

For the sake of argument, I'll say its easier to notice a top line getting huge minutes and PP time then a 4th liner getting no PP time. As for "effective" hits, I noticed it got the crowd going quite a few times, I noticed it allowed his linemates to get a loose puck. That's effective. But I bet you didnt notice...

For example, many Canadiens fans spent the summer discussing Milan Lucic and how we’ll get back at him, and before him it was the habs-killer Erik Cole; these guys were a physical presence, and they made an impact on the ice. Do you think that Boston and Philly fans spent the summer discussing Latendresse? Do you think they even know who he is, besides being a somewhat familiar name like Brad Larsen, Branko Radivojevic, or Matt Pettinger; you know these guys are hockey players, but that’s about it. Latendresse was a big young highly talented powerforward with everything to prove, and every Bruins fan should know and hate him after such a tough 7-game series.

You're comparing apples and oranges.

Lucic was a glorified goon who surprised everybody -even himself- by finding somehockey talent. His comparable on the Habs would be Stewart if Stewart had talent, not Lats. If you know some Canadiens fans who spent the summer discussing how to get back at Lucic, tell them to get a life. I've seen too many overnight playoffs sensations who fell back into obscurity to get all hot and bothered because, oh my!, a grinder hit and scored a couple of goals in 7 games of a playoff series. If that ever meant anything, Ed Ronan would be in the Hall of Fame by now. If that's what you call a physical presence, sure, it is. The same way Garth Murray was a physical presence.

As for Cole, you're talking about an established powerforward for years now who broke in the NHL at 23. Lats is still two years away from there. Want to make that comparison again in 2 years?

Anyways… you have your opinions, I have mine. Personally, I feel like Latendresse has shown very little improvement over the last 2 years; becoming good enough defensively to be a marginal forth-line player isn’t enough for considering his potential, that’s only good enough for limited guys like Begin, Stewart, Ivanans, Dwyer, etc. Latendresse needs to step up, become a more effective physical presence and offensive player, and secure his spot on our top lines for years to come… otherwise as you mentioned, he could end up like Michael Ryder, and lose his spot to a prospect like Pacioretty or maybe even D’Agostini.

I never mentionned that he could be like Ryder, where did you ever get that?

As for "securing" a spot on a top line: ok, fine, which one of Higgins or Andrei Kostitsyn do you demote then? Do you replace Higgins with Lats and have Higgins become useless because without Koivu he showed unable to produce; or do you replace AKost with Lats and mess up our top line? Helloooo?

You talk about Lats showing very little improvement; a fallacy if anything. The guy went from not knowing defense to being safe and you say its not enough. There's players who've been in the league 10 years and still can't play D. He's shown improvement in the little things that make a difference, at least for people who matters, mainly Carbo & Gainey.

Thank God they're running the team and not some fans...

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I feel like Latendresse has shown very little improvement over the last 2 years; becoming good enough defensively to be a marginal forth-line player isn’t enough for considering his potential, that’s only good enough for limited guys like Begin, Stewart, Ivanans, Dwyer, etc

Dude, you're not helping yourself!

He went from a -20 in 06/07, to a -2 last year. If that's not an improvement, then I don'T know what is? The coaching staff told him to improve his defensive game, and he did. Then they told him to improve on his skating, and he did that last summer. I'm not saying that Latendresse will ever become the best skater on this team, but he will no loger be one of the worst either! This year they are telling him to park his "not as fat as it used to be" ass in front of the net and pick up goals that way, and I have no doubt that he will improve that aspect of his game!

Edited by Habsfan

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"Goals out of nowhere" or "Garbage goals" are good. It surely beats running around the zone trying to deke every player just to caught up the puck. There's players like that who can look mighty dangerous but who arent effective.

I never compared Lats to Ryder in any way, so I dont see why you're trying to put words in my mouth. I hated Ryder for being a lazy one-trick pony and I will hate him even more now that he's with the arch-enemy. Last season Lats was already a whole lot more complete than Ryder ever will be.

Yes, garbage goals are very good, but I think Latendresse can be alot more than just a guy who picks up the occasional point every other game, giving him some half decent statistics at the end of the year, but who's had very little impact during games. I'm not saying that Latendresse needs to be that player at this point, however I haven't seen much of a progression to indicate that he's on the right path.

By the way, I'm not putting words in your mouth (I hate when people do that) and I never said you mentioned compater Latendresse to Ryder. I also think Ryder was a useless overrated player, and his 30 goal season don't impress any less than Latendresse's 16 goal seasons. In my opinion (again you don't have the truth, nor do I, this is a discussion where we share our opinions), Latendresse has been little more than a marginal NHL player since joigning the Canadiens, and that worries me considering all his potential.

What you failed to see is how much more Lats could have done if he had more ice time. You can dismiss stats all you want, can talk about subjective impressions like "not being a threat" every time he stepped on the ice; you still have to show some judgement and recognize that scoring 16 goals in the NHL at 19 and 20 yrs old while playing under 12 mins per game and not getting any PP time isnt something just any schmuck can do. Admit that much.

I don't fail to see anything, anyone who gets more ice time will in theory get more points; again I don’t care about points or stats, I care about quality of play. Maybe what you fail to realize is that Guy Carbonneau gave him several opportunities to play on better offensive lines, but he always plays himself out of that opportunity by reverting back to his passive, almost finesse-player type of play.

And that is where the true problem lies, Latendresse never had time to find his true self as a player. During his first training camps, he was a monster, hitting everyone as hard as who could, crashing the net, and the more open space of pre-season games gave him the opportunity to display his offensive game. However, as Dany Dube popinted out again earlier this week, even Latendresse’s coach back in Drummondville said that he’s not really that type of player. It was the same for coach Sutter at the WJC, who was impressed with Latendresse’s ability to dominate, but made him a bench-warmer because he played too much of a passive game.

I don’t really blame Latendresse, but the Canadiens organization that brought him up too quickly. I have no doubt that he would today be a much better player had he finished his last year in the juniors, played at the WJC, and adapted to pro hockey in Hamilton.

For the sake of argument, I'll say its easier to notice a top line getting huge minutes and PP time then a 4th liner getting no PP time. As for "effective" hits, I noticed it got the crowd going quite a few times, I noticed it allowed his linemates to get a loose puck. That's effective. But I bet you didnt notice...

Again I don’t care if Latendresse makes the occasional great play, even Lyle Odelein was able to look like Bobby Orr on one single occasion, I want to see a consistent game from him, I want to see him play the same game every time he steps on the ice, and show consistent improvement. That doesn’t mean he has to be perfect all the time, no one is, but he needs to more consistent.

For example, Chris Higgins and Tomas Plekanec debuted on a forth line where they were very effective. They didn’t put up too many points, but they played a consistent game, and they showed continuous improvement all season long. Eventually, Higgins got an opportunity to play on an offensive line, and he never really looked back since then. I know some people criticized him last season, but I still find he gave a consistent effort… however he’s just not the natural goal scorer some made him out to be.

Lucic was a glorified goon who surprised everybody -even himself- by finding somehockey talent. His comparable on the Habs would be Stewart if Stewart had talent, not Lats. If you know some Canadiens fans who spent the summer discussing how to get back at Lucic, tell them to get a life. I've seen too many overnight playoffs sensations who fell back into obscurity to get all hot and bothered because, oh my!, a grinder hit and scored a couple of goals in 7 games of a playoff series. If that ever meant anything, Ed Ronan would be in the Hall of Fame by now. If that's what you call a physical presence, sure, it is. The same way Garth Murray was a physical presence.

First, Lucic was the offensive leader of his WHL team at the age of 18, a team he lead to the Memorial Cup. He was also the tournament leader in points, and was named MVP. So he’s not exactly a no-talent goon.

Second, that glorified goon made a name for himself, and was all we could talk about during the series, and again over the summer. During the playoffs, not training camp, he drew comparisons to Cam Neely not only from fans, but also his team and Cam Neely himself (however I agree that Lucic will never be as good as Neely, that guy was awesome). Meanwhile Latendresse was passive, quiet, and nowhere to be seen...

As for "securing" a spot on a top line: ok, fine, which one of Higgins or Andrei Kostitsyn do you demote then? Do you replace Higgins with Lats and have Higgins become useless because without Koivu he showed unable to produce; or do you replace AKost with Lats and mess up our top line? Helloooo?

First, I would consider our third line as one of our top lines. Latendresse will and must be given a shot on one of out top three lines, but he must step up, contribute, and secure his spot on our top 9. Second, assuming Carbonneau won’t break up the first line for now, I would love to see Latendresse playing with Koivu and Tanguay, while Higgins would give us a great third line with Lang and S. Kostsitsyn.

By the way, I don’t why you’re getting so upset and on the defense. I believe in Latendresse, I have high hopes for him, and I want the team to do everything it can to ensure he succeeds. I think management screwed big time by bringing him up to fast, but that’s the past, and we need to make sure Latendresse becomes the great player he can be.

Also, I don’t’ think he should lose his spot in the lineup, not even to Pacioretty who in my opinion needs to play in Hamilton for now.

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The kid's 21. 21. Most players don't even make the NHL at his age and here he is with two 16-goal seasons. If you give up on him now, what do you do when Pacioretty goes through his inevitable growth pains in the NHL? Throw him on the slag pile and get all hot to trot over the next young prospect? This is how it works with many young players. They come along in fits and starts and eventually put it all together. In a word: patience.

Why do you bring up Pacioretty, we're talking about Latendresse.

Yes, two consecutive 16-goal seasons are nive, but again I want to make sure that he fully develops, and doesn't stagnate there. Some of the best offensive prospects such as Alex Daigle or Pat Falloon have looked quite good during their first couple seasons, but because they make the jump too quickly, they never had the chance to acquire the tools needed to improve and have a great successful career.

Latendresse just spent two very crucial years of his development playing sporadically, playing in a marginal role that didn't allow him to work on his overall game, and being constantly juggled from one line to another... that's not good...

Howeverm Latendresse worked very hard over the summer, Carbonneau will give him every chance to succeed on one our three offensive lines (worst case scenario is Latendresse playing with Lang and Serkei Kostsitsyn, that's not bad at all), and he has no reason not to show significant improvement.

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Dude, you're not helping yourself!

He went from a -20 in 06/07, to a -2 last year. If that's not an improvement, then I don'T know what is? The coaching staff told him to improve his defensive game, and he did. Then they told him to improve on his skating, and he did that last summer. I'm not saying that Latendresse will ever become the best skater on this team, but he will no loger be one of the worst either! This year they are telling him to park his "not as fat as it used to be" ass in front of the net and pick up goals that way, and I have no doubt that he will improve that aspect of his game!

Again with the statistics... and probably the least reliable one there is too...doesn't anyone actually look at a player on the ice when evaluating his potential/performance? A few years ago people were saying that they woudn't trade Zednik for Ryan Smyth in a 1-for-1, then Michael Ryder became one of the greatest pure goal scorers in the NHL, while Sheldon Souray was THE main reason out powerplay was so strong.

First I dind't say he didn't improve at all, but there isn't that much of a difference. Improving to "good enough" in the defensive zone isn't all that impressive - actually it's a basic requirement for practically all NHL players - especially since his offensive game has been pretty much the same over those two years.

Second, almost the entire team was mediocre on 5-on-5 two years ago while the team got back on track last season; it's only normal that Latendresse's +/- ratio would show significant improvement, it was the case for everybody else.

Just by the way, again we're only sharing opinions, no one is right and no one is wrong. With that said, I've heard all week comments from well known hockey analysts that support my opinions. Dany Dube also mentioned on CKAC that Latendresse needs to step up, and play less of a passive game. Last night I heard Pierre McGuire repeat that Latendresse was brought up too fast, and hasn't improved much. So it's not like I'm the only one thinking that...

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Why bother Kozed

If people are looking for things to pick at they will find them. I am constantly amazed at fans who mock Briere, boo him, call him gutless for not

wanting to play in Montreal then rip Lats a new asshole because he had the gall to make the NHL at 19. Could Tanguay and Laraque have dealt with

this with the same class and professionalism as Lats has at 19?

Then the kid scores the same amount of goals with less PP time, almost zero time on the top line, cuts his +/- drastically and is considered to have

not improved. He then busts his ass in the summer and improves the thing that everybody criticizes to the point where players are making comments

on how much he has improved.

Then comparing Lucic and his impact in the first round....2 goals in 7 games on the top line? How did he make any more of an impact than Tom Kostopolous

and his pair of goals on the 4th line? Is Kostopolous more of an impact player then Plekanec/AK46 who disappeared for games at a time?

Erik Cole? The guy was 24 years old when he was terrorizing the Canadiens in the 2002 playoffs.

The same shit happened with Carey Price last year and throughout the summer. What the ###### are expectations? How many players walk into the league

at 19 and 20 and dominate? They are few and far between, so why the hell would we compare them to these heights.

Latendresse is an above average learning curve and if assessing his play to the naked eye and dismissing "stats", coaches praise and player acknowledgement

about improvement is more important than what others have to say, so be it. Why continue to bang your head against a wall?

Edited by Wamsley01

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Why bother Kozed

[...]

Why continue to bang your head against a wall?

Yeah yeah yeah, I know. Nothing will change someone who's mind is already made up. But we have readers who dont post an just come here to read and get informed. Those people deserve to get a real, informed argument supported with factual stats.

Besides, the people who rag on Lats often tends to be the same who rag on Laps but hype Chipchura and D'Agostini. Same fans who used to say Hackett was vastly superior to Theodore or that Rivet was such a great leader but Breezer was a sieve (guess who's gone and who's still around now). That slice of the Habs fandom always finds a way to muddy things up. There's seems to always be some sort of rancid aftertaste of anti-French bias behind the criticism of Latendresse and Lapierre. It the anglophone equivalent to the francophone slice of fans who always bitch when the Habs dont draft every QMJHL player possible.

As if in a cut-throat world like hockey, in a bilingual town where expectations are sky-high language was more of a factor than performance and potential in Carbo & Gainey's eyes...

Carbo & Gainey deserves more credit than that.

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Why bother Kozed

If people are looking for things to pick at they will find them. I am constantly amazed at fans who mock Briere, boo him, call him gutless for not

wanting to play in Montreal then rip Lats a new asshole because he had the gall to make the NHL at 19. Could Tanguay and Laraque have dealt with

this with the same class and professionalism as Lats has at 19?

Then the kid scores the same amount of goals with less PP time, almost zero time on the top line, cuts his +/- drastically and is considered to have

not improved. He then busts his ass in the summer and improves the thing that everybody criticizes to the point where players are making comments

on how much he has improved.

Then comparing Lucic and his impact in the first round....2 goals in 7 games on the top line? How did he make any more of an impact than Tom Kostopolous

and his pair of goals on the 4th line? Is Kostopolous more of an impact player then Plekanec/AK46 who disappeared for games at a time?

Erik Cole? The guy was 24 years old when he was terrorizing the Canadiens in the 2002 playoffs.

The same shit happened with Carey Price last year and throughout the summer. What the ###### are expectations? How many players walk into the league

at 19 and 20 and dominate? They are few and far between, so why the hell would we compare them to these heights.

Latendresse is an above average learning curve and if assessing his play to the naked eye and dismissing "stats", coaches praise and player acknowledgement

about improvement is more important than what others have to say, so be it. Why continue to bang your head against a wall?

Why are you comparing me to Latendresse-haters, Briere booers, and the idiots who have criticized Carey Price for having ups and downs in the playoffs at the age of 20 despite the fact that he was superb a the end of the season?

I'm not syaing that Latendresse is a disappointment, I'm not saying he should be sent down to Hamilton (although I do believe that he could have used a month or two last year to get top quality minutes in a leading offensive role), and I'm not saying he can't achieve all his potential. I know the people you are refering to, and I think they're a bunch of idiots too, the same that saw Andrei Kostsitsyn as a major bust because Steve Bernier played a few games next to Marleau and Michalek, or that want to get rid of Chris Higgins because he didn't score 50 goals last season.

All I'm saying is that after 153 regular season games in the NHL, Latendresse is not showing much improvements in consistency and in his overall game; that doesn't mean he won't or that he can't, after all he's only 21 and there is still plenty of time for him to fulfill his potential. However are you honestly telling me that you have seen a significant improvement in Guillaume Latendresse's over the last 2 years? Do you feel he's a far better player than he was 153 games ago? If not, then you agree with me.

I just don't think we did Latendresse any good, besides making him a rich man faster, by bringing him up so quickly. He hasn't really been an asset for the Montreal Canadiens, and he spent the last two years, two very important development years, playing mostly as a marginal forth liner with limited ice time.

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Why are you comparing me to Latendresse-haters, Briere booers, and the idiots who have criticized Carey Price for having ups and downs in the playoffs at the age of 20 despite the fact that he was superb a the end of the season?

I'm not syaing that Latendresse is a disappointment, I'm not saying he should be sent down to Hamilton (although I do believe that he could have used a month or two last year to get top quality minutes in a leading offensive role), and I'm not saying he can't achieve all his potential. I know the people you are refering to, and I think they're a bunch of idiots too, the same that saw Andrei Kostsitsyn as a major bust because Steve Bernier played a few games next to Marleau and Michalek, or that want to get rid of Chris Higgins because he didn't score 50 goals last season.

All I'm saying is that after 153 regular season games in the NHL, Latendresse is not showing much improvements in consistency and in his overall game; that doesn't mean he won't or that he can't, after all he's only 21 and there is still plenty of time for him to fulfill his potential. However are you honestly telling me that you have seen a significant improvement in Guillaume Latendresse's over the last 2 years? Do you feel he's a far better player than he was 153 games ago? If not, then you agree with me.

I just don't think we did Latendresse any good, besides making him a rich man faster, by bringing him up so quickly. He hasn't really been an asset for the Montreal Canadiens, and he spent the last two years, two very important development years, playing mostly as a marginal forth liner with limited ice time.

I think he has improved significantly

He skates better, he positions himself better, he understands the pace of the game, he doesn't mindlessly follow the puck

because he has learned to anticipate where the play will happen. He still needs to improve on these aspects, but they are

significantly better than they were 2 seasons ago.

In his rookie year he relied on his skill set alone and the bulk of his 16 goals came during spurts when he was placed on

either the Koivu line or on the upper lines. He showed good hands and good offensive instincts.

Last season he dropped a ton of weight, he scored 16 with less PP time, very little time on the upper 2 lines and improved his skating marginally,

but improved his defensive positioning. He also seemed more at ease with the pace of the game.

Now he has busted his ass in the summer and has apparently made dramatic strides in his skating ability. He has proven two summers in a row

that he wants it and is willing to work hard. The kid is surrounded by Doug Jarvis, Guy Carbonneau, Bob Gainey and Kirk Muller, add in his work

ethic and desire to improve and it is folly to think he has not improved if you cannot see it.

Edited by Wamsley01

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Yeah yeah yeah, I know. Nothing will change someone who's mind is already made up. But we have readers who dont post an just come here to read and get informed. Those people deserve to get a real, informed argument supported with factual stats.

Wow, somebody is full of himself... which is too bad because this was an interesting discussion, and you made some interesting arguments that I enjoyed reading. Unfortuanely this is obvisouly not a discussion since you feel your opinions are the only truth there can be, and therefore everything else is some misinformed, hateful, language-oriented garbage...

Therefore let's just stop here, we'll just be going back and forth for nothing...

ps. Some people just like to use the language issue to support anything... while in fact, when it comes to Habs players, they all get criticized unfairly for all kinds of dumb reasons. There isn't one player in Montreal who didn't get criticized at one point or another, from Koivu, Kovalev, Markov, Higgins, A. Kostsitsyn, Tanguay, ... all the way down to Lapierre, Begin, Kostopoulos, Bouillon, etc. In fact, I'd say most of the criticism against guys like Lapierre and Latendresse come from francophones who go to extremes when it comes to other francophones (ex. Begin is a semi-God, the heart and soul of the team... while Maxim Lapierre is a lazy, worthless piece of garbage).

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Wow, somebody is full of himself... which is too bad because this was an interesting discussion, and you made some interesting arguments that I enjoyed reading. Unfortuanely this is obvisouly not a discussion since you feel your opinions are the only truth there can be, and therefore everything else is some misinformed, hateful, language-oriented garbage...

Therefore let's just stop here, we'll just be going back and forth for nothing...

ps. Some people just like to use the language issue to support anything... while in fact, when it comes to Habs players, they all get criticized unfairly for all kinds of dumb reasons. There isn't one player in Montreal who didn't get criticized at one point or another, from Koivu, Kovalev, Markov, Higgins, A. Kostsitsyn, Tanguay, ... all the way down to Lapierre, Begin, Kostopoulos, Bouillon, etc. In fact, I'd say most of the criticism against guys like Lapierre and Latendresse come from francophones who go to extremes when it comes to other francophones (ex. Begin is a semi-God, the heart and soul of the team... while Maxim Lapierre is a lazy, worthless piece of garbage).

I am with you on the English/French thing. But I live in T.O. So I don't really see everything happening in the city.

I do read alot of nonsense from the French media directed at non francophones, but I do not live in the province

so it is just an outside perspective.

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Now he has busted his ass in the summer and has apparently made dramatic strides in his skating ability. He has proven two summers in a row

that he wants it and is willing to work hard. The kid is surrounded by Doug Jarvis, Guy Carbonneau, Bob Gainey and Kirk Muller, add in his work

ethic and desire to improve and it is folly to think he has not improved if you cannot see it.

Latendresse has worked very hard, and that's a great thing, otherwise he would never make it, and I wouldn't spend my time defending him on another French message board (where I agree he gets unfairly criticized). As I mentionned, I'm not criticizing Latendresse, and I actually really like this kid. I still think Latendresse and A.Kostsitsyn could be our first line wingers in the near future, which I've being saying for almost three years.

However I haven't seen enough improvement in his game, not going grom 19 years old to 21. Those are years where players make significant leaps in their development, and if you forget Latendresse first 10-12 games in the NHL where he was mediocre, not even close to being an NHL player (he did improve a lot from those few games), from the point he played with Koivu and Ryder to the end of last season,

My concern about his development is that he still reverts too often to his passive game, it seems to me that he didn't get enough ice time to truly find himself as a hockey player. His instincts tell him to wait and let the play come to him, whereas all his coaches (at least Sutter and Carbonneau) are asking him to be more active, to provoke things using his hitting abilities and offensive skills. That was perfectly normal at his age and experience level, and usually players work on their consistency in the junior and minor league levels; unfortunately he was forced to fo this in the NHL... in Montreal of all places... and this is where I think he's really behind.

Reading the article posted by KoZed, Latendresse seems to be aware of this flaw, blaming it on the DiMaio incident, and seems eager to do more and be more consistent... and by the way this is Latendresse himself saying he needs to do more, and that he wasn't doing what he should have been doing last season... so I don't know why you guys get so upset when somebody else brings this up.

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Dany Dube also mentioned on CKAC that Latendresse needs to step up, and play less of a passive game. Last night I heard Pierre McGuire repeat that Latendresse was brought up too fast, and hasn't improved much. So it's not like I'm the only one thinking that...

It is true that Dubé and McGuire said those things, but Dubé also said (during the boston game last night) that he liked what he saw from Latendresse. He liked the fact that he parked his butt in front of the net. He liked the fact that he improved his skating and he liked the fact that he can follow the pace of the game alot more than he used to 2 years ago.

As far as McGuire is concerned, he has been saying that Latendresse should have spent the 06/07 season in The minors. I think we pretty much all agree with hiim, but the Habs COULD NOT send him to Hamilton that year, and sending him back to Drummondville would have been a waste of time. Even though i respect McGuire's opinions most of the time(about 75% of the time) McGuire has been known to be somewhat of a hard-headed person (ie: he won't ackknowledge that he was wrong very oftern). Even if Guillaume does end up scoring 30 goals in the near future, McGuire will come back and say that he should have done it sooner...

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Reading the article posted by KoZed, Latendresse seems to be aware of this flaw, blaming it on the DiMaio incident, and seems eager to do more and be more consistent... and by the way this is Latendresse himself saying he needs to do more, and that he wasn't doing what he should have been doing last season... so I don't know why you guys get so upset when somebody else brings this up.

I think that where we disagree is that you keep saying that in your eyes, Latendresse has not improved, whereas Kozed, Wamsley and myself, feel that he has improved significantly since his first days in Montreal. We all agree that Latendresse will (and has to) get better, but that will come with TIME. Like I said previously, we have to be patient with him. He (and Pacioretty) are the POWER-FORWARDS of the future for this organization. Let's let them develop, and if by the time they reach Unrestricted free agency they still haven't done anything to impress us, then we can start talking about doing something about it!

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It is true that Dubé and McGuire said those things, but Dubé also said (during the boston game last night) that he liked what he saw from Latendresse. He liked the fact that he parked his butt in front of the net. He liked the fact that he improved his skating and he liked the fact that he can follow the pace of the game alot more than he used to 2 years ago.

I was only giving my opinion on Latendresse's improvements over the last 2 seasons. The season hasn't started yet, so we can't judge him. We'll see whether all his hard work and good intentions will pay off after maybe 25-30 games... that's if Carbonneau gives him a genuine opportunity to suceed, which he hasn't yet.

As far as McGuire is concerned, he has been saying that Latendresse should have spent the 06/07 season in The minors. I think we pretty much all agree with hiim, but the Habs COULD NOT send him to Hamilton that year, and sending him back to Drummondville would have been a waste of time. Even though i respect McGuire's opinions most of the time(about 75% of the time) McGuire has been known to be somewhat of a hard-headed person (ie: he won't ackknowledge that he was wrong very oftern). Even if Guillaume does end up scoring 30 goals in the near future, McGuire will come back and say that he should have done it sooner...

I'm a big fan of Pierre McGuire, love him or hare him he truly knows hockey, but I agree that he doens't admit when he's wrong very often. I think he's still finding excuses to explain why Huet is still having sucess at the NHL level :P

However while I agree that playing in the minors would have been the best scenario for Latendresse two years ago, I disagree that playing in Drumondville would have been a waste of time, especially since he could have played at the WJC. Other prospects like Dion Phaneuf and Jeff Carter followed the entire CHL career path (although they were forced to because of the lockout), and they both came out of their last seasons as even better players.

Anyways we'll never know...

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I do read alot of nonsense from the French media directed at non francophones, but I do not live in the province

so it is just an outside perspective.

MOst of that nonesense comes from the idiots over at 110% and from the Journal de Montréal.

RDS will soon have a show that will be competing at the same time as 110%.(it will start in November) They will have François Gagnon(who is probably the best beat reporter/journalist/commentator who follows the Habs), Alain Crête as well as a few other people. I'm sure this show will be much better than 110%.

And as for the nonesense that you read in the J. de M., just avoid reading Réjean tremblay. Marc DeFoy is very good and is usually a level headed person! Anyways, I've always preferred LaPresse, as it's not a tabloid "wanna be" paper like the J. de M.!

Edited by Habsfan

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I think that where we disagree is that you keep saying that in your eyes, Latendresse has not improved, whereas Kozed, Wamsley and myself, feel that he has improved significantly since his first days in Montreal. We all agree that Latendresse will (and has to) get better, but that will come with TIME. Like I said previously, we have to be patient with him. He (and Pacioretty) are the POWER-FORWARDS of the future for this organization. Let's let them develop, and if by the time they reach Unrestricted free agency they still haven't done anything to impress us, then we can start talking about doing something about it!

This fully agree with... well almost, I agree Latendresse improved, just not significantly, or at least not if you ignore his first few games in the NHL where he was mediocre, but that was just a lack of confidence, he instantly became a better player once he was promoted to the Koivu line.

Latendresse needs time, and people need to get off his back. Giving up on him, as some people suggest, would be incredibly stupid.

MOst of that nonesense comes from the idiots over at 110% and from the Journal de Montréal.

RDS will soon have a show that will be competing at the same time as 110%.(it will start in November) They will have François Gagnon(who is probably the best beat reporter/journalist/commentator who follows the Habs), Alain Crête as well as a few other people. I'm sure this show will be much better than 110%.

And as for the nonesense that you read in the J. de M., just avoid reading Réjean tremblay. Marc DeFoy is very good and is usually a level headed person! Anyways, I've always preferred LaPresse, as it's not a tabloid "wanna be" paper like the J. de M.!

Excepts when it comes to Koivu, he never misses an opportunity to criticize him...

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I think he's still finding excuses to explain why Huet is still having sucess at the NHL level

Good one!! It's so true! ;):D

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