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The Chicoutimi Cucumber

Watching the playoffs...

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I agree thaty it was frustrating to watch Carey this season...but many of us have said it often, we NEED to be patient with this kid. He will be a top 5 goalie in the NHL...it's just a matter of time. Give him some decent d-men and he will become a good...no! A Great goalie!

We have to remember to be patient with him. It might sound stupid, but the pressure as the No. 1 goalie in Montreal is bigger than in almost any other position in all of major sports. Give the kid some time...he's only played 1 1/2 seasons in the NHL.

Edited by Habsfan

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I wouldnt even go as far to say that I have the delusion that the Habs could play against their peer teams that were knocked out in the 1st round. :(

Its funny because there seems to be a big split on why. Close to half seem to beleive its the Habs dmen, the other half think its the goalie.

Personaly I dont think the Habs would still be playing with the way the play even if they had Nedermayer, Pronger, Lindstrom, Chara, Green and Campbell as Dmen when all the Habs do is rush back to their own hashmarks whenever the other team clears the puck out of their own zone. As long as they keep conceeding 60% of the ice surface it doesnt matter what dmen they have or what goalie. Winning just cant happen.

Seriously though, when is the last time you saw the Habs force an offside? sometime last year? :puke:

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I wouldnt even go as far to say that I have the delusion that the Habs could play against their peer teams that were knocked out in the 1st round. :(

Its funny because there seems to be a big split on why. Close to half seem to beleive its the Habs dmen, the other half think its the goalie.

Personaly I dont think the Habs would still be playing with the way the play even if they had Nedermayer, Pronger, Lindstrom, Chara, Green and Campbell as Dmen when all the Habs do is rush back to their own hashmarks whenever the other team clears the puck out of their own zone. As long as they keep conceeding 60% of the ice surface it doesnt matter what dmen they have or what goalie. Winning just cant happen.

Seriously though, when is the last time you saw the Habs force an offside? sometime last year? :puke:

Good point. I also believe that the Habs give up the Blue line way too fast. Our d-men have a tendancy of backing up way too much!

Hopefully that will change next year with a new coach!

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I think we've crossed a line a bit and we're being too hard on the Canadiens. I was as frustrated as everyone else with the second half of this year. but last fall we were all feeling pretty good about things.

Last year we were all excited looking forward to this season, especially with Tanguay, Lang and Laraque added. If you compare the Canadiens from last year and last fall, my answer would be yes, we could compete with any of the teams in the play-offs. If you compare the post Christmas Canadiens, then I agree, I don't think they could compete with this years playoff teams. So for me the big question is, was Jan to April 09 a result of injuries and a slide that they couldn't turn around, or did it expose some weaknesses and flaws in some of our players. I think it's a combination of both. I think a healthy Canadiens team is a strong one, if Price and the defence are playing well. So depending on what Bob does with our UFA's we may be two or three players away from being a strong playoff team. I just hope that if we lose UFA's we don't add players that just keep us at the same level.

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So for me the big question is, was Jan to April 09 a result of injuries and a slide that they couldn't turn around, or did it expose some weaknesses and flaws in some of our players. I think it's a combination of both.

...and too many crazy nights of partying from alot of our younger guys!

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Another thing on Ward: he was really spectacular when he first broke into the league at 20. Then he struggled for 2 years. Now, he seems to have his game back at 23. Price looked great at 20 as well... and struggled at 21.

And yes, Montreal fans have idealized the goaltending position, although I wouldn't say it's a Montreal-specific problem. Roy sucked big time in 1991 and 1992... in fact, he sucked so badly in 1992 that the team almost lost to Hartford and got swept by Boston in Round 2. There were a lot of rough times with Patrick... but it was worth it for the great runs every few years he could take us on.

I don't think the Habs are that much worse defensively than the Capitals, however. Man... they are just so loaded offensively that all the bad pinches and lazy backchecking (an effect of Ovechkin taking 1:10+ long shifts consistently) gets hidden. That David Steckel line is great defensively for them, but that's about all they have (and Fedorov when he's not completely gassed). Pothier seems to know what he's doing in his own end, I suppose.

This is bang on!

Ward had a monster start to his career because he got hot for 3 months, all it was, was a glimpse. Just like Roy in 1986.

Then he struggled and people wrote him off as a fluke, even though as Carolina regressed, his stats improved. By the time

he had matured and adjusted to the NHL game nobody was thinking about him anymore. Then he has re-emerged in these

playoffs and everybody seems dumbfounded. This is just like Roy, and to judge a 21 year old Carey Price on a horrendous

defensive team is ludicrous.

Tim Thomas would not be a Vezina finalist on the 2009 Habs. And anybody who believes he would be is insane. And for anybody

who believes Thomas is not insulated by a Bruins D that cover up his weaknesses are not watching him continue to kick monster

rebounds out and overpursue pucks, only to have the Bruins cover his ass. Just because a goaltender has a penchant for making

spectacular saves, does not solidify his greatness. Mike Palmateer was the king of the acrobatic holy shit save, and he was a sieve.

I highly recommend going and watching the 2006-07 Bruin gamelogs on BruinsTV and watch how many breakaway goals, rebounds and easy

cross ice/crease tap ins Thomas gave up. He has not changed, the team around him has. I am in no way surprised that the Bruins lost

in OT on a shot that should never have resulted in a huge rebound.

Goaltender stats are not a precursor for greatness. Jonas Hiller is not the second coming, he is a Jean Sebastion Giguere clone

playing on a team that knows his weaknesses and manipulate offensive flow to accentuate his strengths. He is rigid, wears

huge equipment and is average athletically, but he is unbeatable when given a chance to set up and prepare for a shot, his positioning

and angles are impeccable (just like any Allaire trained disciple). Detroit caused problems for him when they moved the game east to west and forced him to play against his strengths. It is niave to believe that good teams do not understand where their strengths lie. Thomas is no different, he has monster limitations and Boston does a fantastic job at protecting him against his deficincies, but in the playoffs these things are almost

always exposed when facing the SAME team night after night.

Price will not reach the level everybody expects for another 2-3 years and even if the Habs bring in Lemaire and create the illusion

that he is among the games best, it will not be true. EVERY young goaltender goes through the SAME thing, and everybody who

piled on Price this season was short sighted. He has a ton to learn, but still remains the best prospect in Montreal in 20 years.

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This is bang on!

Ward had a monster start to his career because he got hot for 3 months, all it was, was a glimpse. Just like Roy in 1986.

Then he struggled and people wrote him off as a fluke, even though as Carolina regressed, his stats improved. By the time

he had matured and adjusted to the NHL game nobody was thinking about him anymore. Then he has re-emerged in these

playoffs and everybody seems dumbfounded. This is just like Roy, and to judge a 21 year old Carey Price on a horrendous

defensive team is ludicrous.

Tim Thomas would not be a Vezina finalist on the 2009 Habs. And anybody who believes he would be is insane. And for anybody

who believes Thomas is not insulated by a Bruins D that cover up his weaknesses are not watching him continue to kick monster

rebounds out and overpursue pucks, only to have the Bruins cover his ass. Just because a goaltender has a penchant for making

spectacular saves, does not solidify his greatness. Mike Palmateer was the king of the acrobatic holy shit save, and he was a sieve.

I highly recommend going and watching the 2006-07 Bruin gamelogs on BruinsTV and watch how many breakaway goals, rebounds and easy

cross ice/crease tap ins Thomas gave up. He has not changed, the team around him has. I am in no way surprised that the Bruins lost

in OT on a shot that should never have resulted in a huge rebound.

Goaltender stats are not a precursor for greatness. Jonas Hiller is not the second coming, he is a Jean Sebastion Giguere clone

playing on a team that knows his weaknesses and manipulate offensive flow to accentuate his strengths. He is rigid, wears

huge equipment and is average athletically, but he is unbeatable when given a chance to set up and prepare for a shot, his positioning

and angles are impeccable (just like any Allaire trained disciple). Detroit caused problems for him when they moved the game east to west and forced him to play against his strengths. It is niave to believe that good teams do not understand where their strengths lie. Thomas is no different, he has monster limitations and Boston does a fantastic job at protecting him against his deficincies, but in the playoffs these things are almost

always exposed when facing the SAME team night after night.

Price will not reach the level everybody expects for another 2-3 years and even if the Habs bring in Lemaire and create the illusion

that he is among the games best, it will not be true. EVERY young goaltender goes through the SAME thing, and everybody who

piled on Price this season was short sighted. He has a ton to learn, but still remains the best prospect in Montreal in 20 years.

Fantastic analysis, Wamsley.

This is a bit of a side-note, but the further we get from it, the more frustrated I become at the booing of Price in the final game. I just don't understand how so-called fans think it can help their team to publicly humiliate young kids who are battling to learn (it's just Price, of course - look what they did to O'Byrne). A city that can't seem to attract UFAs does not need to undercut the development of players within its own system, nor can it afford to drive them away. Especially when the booing is predicated on total ignorance of what it's fair to expect.

Anyway. I can't wait for the new coach we get in here. Whoever it is will certainly make it a top priority to properly insulate Price. Gainey certainly could do more as well: Allaire probably wouldn't hurt either, and signing a low-key veteran backup would also help. Doesn't have to be anyone great, just somebody of NHL-calibre who can step in to take the heat off when necessary. (LaBarbera will be available, although a more proven steadiness would be nice). (Then again, if you sign a veteran backup, what to do about Halak?)

Most of all, of course, the D just needs to be better. Losing Komisarek certainly won't help that cause one bit.

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Anyone noticed that since the lockout goalies are less and less able to steal series/games all by themselves?

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Mike Palmateer was the king of the acrobatic holy shit save, and he was a sieve.

:clap:

Price will not reach the level everybody expects for another 2-3 years and even if the Habs bring in Lemaire and create the illusion

that he is among the games best, it will not be true. EVERY young goaltender goes through the SAME thing, and everybody who

piled on Price this season was short sighted. He has a ton to learn, but still remains the best prospect in Montreal in 20 years.

Great analysis! I admit that at the end of the season, I was frustrated with Carey Price. I was disappointed and thought he could have played better.(especially on long shots from the blue line!) But I also know that we NEED to be patient with him. Make sure he is well surounded and give him a stable defensive corps.

but the further we get from it, the more frustrated I become at the booing of Price in the final game. I just don't understand how so-called fans think it can help their team to publicly humiliate young kids who are battling to learn (it's just Price, of course - look what they did to O'Byrne). A city that can't seem to attract UFAs does not need to undercut the development of players within its own system, nor can it afford to drive them away. Especially when the booing is predicated on total ignorance of what it's fair to expect.

Agreed. I was at that game and I couldn't believe my ears when I heard the people booing Carey. Yeah, he hadn't been playing well for 3 months, but what good could come out of booing him? I tried to get people to cheer, but to no avail!

I was so disgusted that I left before the game was over!

I can understand that many of the fans were frustrated. Seeing the Habs collapse in this centennial year(after all the promises that were made by the organization) was frustrating, but it's no excuse to boo your own fvc.king players!!

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Anyone noticed that since the lockout goalies are less and less able to steal series/games all by themselves?

Right now we are in an era of many, many skilled players. Makes life tougher for goalies.

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Right now we are in an era of many, many skilled players. Makes life tougher for goalies.

Maybe. I still haven't fully wrapped my head around the "new" NHL. Never since the 80's has so many kids made the jump and an impact right out of junior. And on the other hand never before has so many great players perform at a high level late in their 30's.

The thing with the goalies is that none managed to be really dominant for a long stretch and get his team over like some did in the past. I mean, just 10 years ago Steve Mason could have carried the BJ's very far. I haven't seen any of those lately. All the Vezina candidates are eliminated already, and the teams left in the playoffs haven't relied that much on their goaltending to steal games. It's very unusual.

 

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All the Vezina candidates are eliminated already, and the teams left in the playoffs haven't relied that much on their goaltending to steal games. It's very unusual.

Yeah, I wanted to scream when some guy on ESPN was complaining that all you need to win a Cup is a hot goalie, when no goaltender has been stealing series this year. Some goalies have had good games here or there, but these playoffs have been about goals.

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To think that so many were roasting us few who said the scum were going nowhere with Thomas in nets this year...enjoy signing his paychecks scummers! I almost hope he wins the Vezina and they don't let Basille buy that team just to show how clued out the league is.

Overpursuit and rebounds, long Thomas' staple, burn them in 7 games, how sweet it f'n is. System is great, d-corps molded perfectly into that system, with hyper-aggressive backchecking forwards and an unwillingness to give anything on the neutral-zone boards. Worked great until they ran into a team that has way better goaltending (among other things) - I thought Ward was almost the MVP of the league in the second half. Great goalie.

Price has no system in front of him, a quitter team, a ridiculous backing-in d-corps, political turmoil and media drama every day, and his attitude needs to be seriously checked. But he is the future.

It's nice to be able to watch the playoffs now with no interest in any team. Great for the heart.

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To think that so many were roasting us few who said the scum were going nowhere with Thomas in nets this year...enjoy signing his paychecks scummers! I almost hope he wins the Vezina and they don't let Basille buy that team just to show how clued out the league is.

Overpursuit and rebounds, long Thomas' staple, burn them in 7 games, how sweet it f'n is. System is great, d-corps molded perfectly into that system, with hyper-aggressive backchecking forwards and an unwillingness to give anything on the neutral-zone boards. Worked great until they ran into a team that has way better goaltending (among other things) - I thought Ward was almost the MVP of the league in the second half. Great goalie.

Price has no system in front of him, a quitter team, a ridiculous backing-in d-corps, political turmoil and media drama every day, and his attitude needs to be seriously checked. But he is the future.

It's nice to be able to watch the playoffs now with no interest in any team. Great for the heart.

:clap::clap::clap::clap:

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Yeah, I wanted to scream when some guy on ESPN was complaining that all you need to win a Cup is a hot goalie, when no goaltender has been stealing series this year. Some goalies have had good games here or there, but these playoffs have been about goals.

Goalies dont steal series in the new NHL, the ability to steal a series is now restricted just for the refs. :puke:

This years playoffs hasnt been aboot goals, its been aboot bad and missed calls.

Does anybody truely beleive that knocking the goalie into the net is a legitimate way of scoring? :wacko:

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We have the team to play with these guys... but our team plays like shit for some reason, so, no, we don't have a chance. I think we would have been swept by almost any of the other fifteen playoff teams. Our team just has a horrible, horrible mental problem that comes and goes. I think the type of player we should try to bring in is not another Koivu or Kostitsyn or even Tanguay that sort of "goes with the flow." I would target players who do their own thing regardless of how the rest of the team is playing. The players that showed that for us weren't talented enough to be our regular scorers... and sadly, the only true, reliable, consistent presence was Lang and he got injured.

Goalies dont steal series in the new NHL, the ability to steal a series is now restricted just for the refs. :puke:

This years playoffs hasnt been aboot goals, its been aboot bad and missed calls.

Does anybody truely beleive that knocking the goalie into the net is a legitimate way of scoring? :wacko:

Are you referring to the Cleary goal? I thought it was a good goal.

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We have the team to play with these guys... but our team plays like shit for some reason, so, no, we don't have a chance. I think we would have been swept by almost any of the other fifteen playoff teams. Our team just has a horrible, horrible mental problem that comes and goes. I think the type of player we should try to bring in is not another Koivu or Kostitsyn or even Tanguay that sort of "goes with the flow." I would target players who do their own thing regardless of how the rest of the team is playing. The players that showed that for us weren't talented enough to be our regular scorers... and sadly, the only true, reliable, consistent presence was Lang and he got injured.

So you wanna get rid of all our goal scorers and replace them with grinders?

Also, where are you getting those names from? Tanguay, who was easily one of our best players when healthy? Koivu, who hustles every single shift? Kostitsyn, one of our best natural goal scorers?

I especially don't see how anyone can accuse Koivu of going with the flow. Koivu is not a floater at all. He's always been known for his hustle, his unwillingness to ever give up on a play, how he never backs down from going into the tough places despite his size. Sure, he may not be in his prime anymore and he would probably have to sign for less to justify keeping him on, but you cannot accuse him of ever floating. If you think he just 'goes with the flow', you are simply wrong.

Edited by ForumGhost

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So you wanna get rid of all our goal scorers and replace them with grinders?

Also, where are you getting those names from? Tanguay, who was easily one of our best players when healthy? Koivu, who hustles every single shift? Kostitsyn, one of our best natural goal scorers?

I especially don't see how anyone can accuse Koivu of going with the flow. Koivu is not a floater at all. He's always been known for his hustle, his unwillingness to ever give up on a play, how he never backs down from going into the tough places despite his size. Sure, he may not be in his prime anymore and he would probably have to sign for less to justify keeping him on, but you cannot accuse him of ever floating. If you think he just 'goes with the flow', you are simply wrong.

Where did I say to replace goalscorers with grinders? I'm not sure how you managed to invent that. I specifically said that the guys who didn't go with the flow this season (mostly meaning Lapierre and Latendresse) didn't have the talent to lead the team offensively.

As for the guys I named, I wasn't blaming these guys. I was just pointing out that all of our core forwards are guys who suck with the team when everyone else sucks. Tanguay is slightly different and Kovalev will once in a while dominate a shift but for the most part, we have no top 6 forward that is consistently good, regardless of how well the rest of the team is playing. It seems like they all get infected by the losing atmosphere and just shrug their shoulders and go along with it. That's 100% different from floating.

Lang was the exception but he got injured. Once we lost him, everything collapsed.

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I especially don't see how anyone can accuse Koivu of going with the flow. Koivu is not a floater at all. He's always been known for his hustle, his unwillingness to ever give up on a play, how he never backs down from going into the tough places despite his size. Sure, he may not be in his prime anymore and he would probably have to sign for less to justify keeping him on, but you cannot accuse him of ever floating. If you think he just 'goes with the flow', you are simply wrong.

That's only in the playoffs. During the regular season, for 2 seasons in a row now, Saku has "gone with the flow" and been invisible more often then not. It rubs on the rest of the players, in a bad way.

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Fanpuck, Thomas was the lynchpin to the scum - not Lucic, not Chara, whoever. He didn't lose the series on his own, but his mediocre play doomed them in a series that they had the advantage - and often outplayed - the Carolina skaters. Watch the games again if you can (I recommend games 2, 3, 4, and 7, wonderful stuff) and see how much Thomas dominates and inspires confidence.

Cleary goal no argument, puck was loose all the way.

FG has a point, I honestly don't think Koivu dogs it ever; but I don't think he is any more than a 3rd line ctr anymore. He is a middling player whose best, regrettably, looks like he goes with the flow. I think physical exhaustion plagues him more than anything else, he has these brutal 'dead' stretches every year.

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FG has a point, I honestly don't think Koivu dogs it ever; but I don't think he is any more than a 3rd line ctr anymore. He is a middling player whose best, regrettably, looks like he goes with the flow. I think physical exhaustion plagues him more than anything else, he has these brutal 'dead' stretches every year.

I agree, I'm just not sure people are understanding my meaning when I said "go with the flow." I didn't mean floating. My point is that if we're losing in that way that only our team can lose, and everything is going wrong, which one of our forwards is capable of coming out of nowhere and leading the team with a strong shift? Kovy and Tanguay possess the skill to make something happen at any moment so they're possibilities, and Lang was a factor in every game he played in. But for the most part, our players tend to sink with the ship. So I was saying that we should not target a solid contributor that can fit into our lines; what we need is a guy like Sundin, Kovalchuk, Jokinen, Lecavalier, Datsyuk that will do his own thing and dominate a game. (We had this in Kovalev two seasons ago).

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I agree, I'm just not sure people are understanding my meaning when I said "go with the flow." I didn't mean floating. My point is that if we're losing in that way that only our team can lose, and everything is going wrong, which one of our forwards is capable of coming out of nowhere and leading the team with a strong shift? Kovy and Tanguay possess the skill to make something happen at any moment so they're possibilities, and Lang was a factor in every game he played in. But for the most part, our players tend to sink with the ship. So I was saying that we should not target a solid contributor that can fit into our lines; what we need is a guy like Sundin, Kovalchuk, Jokinen, Lecavalier, Datsyuk that will do his own thing and dominate a game. (We had this in Kovalev two seasons ago).

for people to think that one player can win the cup or lose the cup is crazy..for all these people to blame koivu for all the losing is crazy..and to think that bringing in sundin( dont see him with any cup rings, and he looks alot worst then koivu)or kovalchulk(his team sucks), lecavaliear( yea got a cup but his team was great this year, and not so great this year)Jokinen( didnt see him on any great teams latly) my point is that all these players are good but wont fix our problem..hockey is a team sport and any one that as play it knows you win as a team and lose as a team..

i think we need to bring in someone to help koivu lead and take some of the bull shit off of him..kovy cant do that and never well i like the guy but his to full of him self..he is a drama queen...we need role players, that work there ass off game in and game out..we need guys that what to win, play together, and that like each other..

i still think one of our biggest problem wasnt the talent on the team but the players being move all around each line..they could go from the top line to the 4th line in a night and this miss with guy heads, the young guys never feel relax, and the older guys get fustrated..i believe our biggest problam was mental..and the fans didnt help it with all the booing...to be the best you got to believe in each other and that your the best team on the ice, and i believe we lost that some where and let frustrated over take us...

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..i believe our biggest problam was mental..and the fans didnt help it with all the booing...to be the best you got to believe in each other and that your the best team on the ice, and i believe we lost that some where and let frustrated over take us...

Bingo.

This team and its young players especially are better than they showed.

A new coach, a new system, and a clear turning of the page on all the bad karma from this season are desperately needed. They will make a huge difference, and I wouldn't be surprised if by December of 2010 all of the pessimism around here has been replaced by sunbeams and daffodils.

Having said that, we still won't have the horses to win the Stanley Cup, which was the original point of this thread. So even though I think we're a lot better than we looked this season, we *still* need to be thinking in terms of a talent upgrade. Granted, it could come from within - e.g., the Kostitsyns could take a step forward, Pleks could stop being a little girl afraid of traffic, Latendresse could finally break out offensively; but all of that has to be balanced against the ongoing precipitous decline of Saku Koivu. And if we lose Komisarek without a fully adequate replacement - I'm terrified Bob will sign Ohlund and try to convince us it's a lateral move - then we will have no hope of getting out of the second round under any circumstances.

Of course, as Wamsley has pointed out, the real upgrade could come in 2011. I could see us treading water this season, improving from within (coaching, system, attitude, better young players, Koivu and Kovalev hanging on with credible performances) enough to keep the dogs at bay; and then finally making The Big Move.

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for people to think that one player can win the cup or lose the cup is crazy..for all these people to blame koivu for all the losing is crazy..and to think that bringing in sundin( dont see him with any cup rings, and he looks alot worst then koivu)or kovalchulk(his team sucks), lecavaliear( yea got a cup but his team was great this year, and not so great this year)Jokinen( didnt see him on any great teams latly) my point is that all these players are good but wont fix our problem..hockey is a team sport and any one that as play it knows you win as a team and lose as a team..

i think we need to bring in someone to help koivu lead and take some of the bull shit off of him..kovy cant do that and never well i like the guy but his to full of him self..he is a drama queen...we need role players, that work there ass off game in and game out..we need guys that what to win, play together, and that like each other..

i still think one of our biggest problem wasnt the talent on the team but the players being move all around each line..they could go from the top line to the 4th line in a night and this miss with guy heads, the young guys never feel relax, and the older guys get fustrated..i believe our biggest problam was mental..and the fans didnt help it with all the booing...to be the best you got to believe in each other and that your the best team on the ice, and i believe we lost that some where and let frustrated over take us...

I agree, especially on the mental issues - this team just seems to fold too easily. When I think of whom I'd like on the CH, I always go back to a pissed off Kovalev - not actually him, because he gives those kinds of performances way too infrequently, but someone who will take losing personally and fight tooth and nail to make it stop (disclaimer: NOT a grinder). Unfortunately in the case of Kovy, it happens more when he is personally challenged then when the team is being punked. In fact this leadership generation shift has been taking too long, I really hoped that Higgins would take over as the vocal guy who can lead on the ice, but unfortunately he's been injured, and then when he came back his game didn't exactly set him up with a great argument in the room. On some level I don't care who it is, or if it's from within or outside, I just think we need to add someone who ABSOLUTELY HATES TO LOSE.

It's almost unavoidable that with all the free agents coming up, we will take a step, maybe two back this year talentwise. The good news is that with a proper system and coaching, that should STILL make them better than last year's bunch. The other good news is that all our young forwards have room to grow, and even though last year wasn't great for them, I expect them to make some improvements next season. I also don't think we get swept by the Bruins if Markov is healthy. This team has ways to go to be a contender, but we do have a solid foundation to build on.

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