Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
dlbalr

Montreal - Chicago Game Thread

Recommended Posts

the problems with AK and to an extent Lats and Laps goes back to mid last year. Yes, we can just wait it out, but for how long. That is what we were told last year.

AK was streaky all of last season. As for Laps, he was quite simply our most consistent and most improved player last season. Lats? Mid last year he was injured, so I dont see where you're trying to go with this doom and gloom thing.

Again, I'll bring out the Plex example. 2 seasons ago he was pegged as a real #1, now next season he was useless, at best a 3rd liner somewhere else. What is he this year? Keep in mind that he's 3 years older than Chips & Laps, 4 older than Lats, 5 older than Pac. So if Plex can go from one thing to another at 25-26, imagine how much changes can still happen with guys who are 3 seasons or more behind in experience.

Compare it to, say, teen years. How much can change between, say, 13 yrs old and 14 yrs old; and then between 14 and 15, etc. That's basically what the first years of a pro hockey players are. They'll settle around 26, 27, 28 years old. Look how long it took Markov to go from unreliable non-english-speaking pig-headed offensive-only D to Top 5 in the World all-around franchise D.

That is what annoys me with many Habs fans and media commentators: the hasty labeling of kids, and subsequent hastier fuss over the player not fitting the label that was put on him too fast. Very very few players have completely smooth progression curves. They all go through bumps and streaks and slumps. You can say if a player is behind or ahead of his expected development at the moment, if he's got the right attitude or not; but they're always work-in-progresses. I understand the concept of "what have you done for me lately", but there's a margin between that and just crossing a play off as "nothing more than X or Y".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Players take time. I know it's painful. I know Lats looks like he sucks. I know Kostitsyn looks confused. I also know that a player doesn't really hit maturity until around 27, and that players as diverse as Plekanec, Mike Ribeiro, John Leclair, Hainsey, Beauchemin, Komisarek, Higgins and Markov were all Habs who spent time in the place those two guys are now - where you can't believe they will ever amount to anything.

Lats and Kosty are just too young to give up on unless they are total lazy p**cks who show absolutely no desire or commitment, especially considering the success they have already enjoyed at this level. Unless some knock out offer appears (involving youth coming back too), trust Jacques Martin and concentrate on developing these players, perhaps properly for the first time since they made the jump.

I am not giving up on any of them, but my point stands.. what does bob Gainey do to get more scoring given the funk most of these guys are in?

The only answer seems to be .. stand pat... I think a good GM will figure out which of these guys truly has potential and trade the other ones to a sucker for better prospects.

Look at our list... Ribs was already hitting his stride, that trade was just stupid (imo, I know others disagree). Komi is nothing special in my books. most leaf fans are willing to give him back gratis. ditto higgins. Beauchemin is not as good as his partner made him look, but that was definitely one that got away. I don't think anyone ever considered dumping Markov. Hainsey has been a minus player most of his career.

Maybe I just don't see the talent you guys see dripping off these guys. I have been hearing they are the 2nd coming for a few years now and so far, none have really panned out. Do we give them this year, regardless of the team performance, or does Gainey look to shake things up some?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AK was streaky all of last season. As for Laps, he was quite simply our most consistent and most improved player last season. Lats? Mid last year he was injured, so I dont see where you're trying to go with this doom and gloom thing.

Again, I'll bring out the Plex example. 2 seasons ago he was pegged as a real #1, now next season he was useless, at best a 3rd liner somewhere else. What is he this year? Keep in mind that he's 3 years older than Chips & Laps, 4 older than Lats, 5 older than Pac. So if Plex can go from one thing to another at 25-26, imagine how much changes can still happen with guys who are 3 seasons or more behind in experience.

Compare it to, say, teen years. How much can change between, say, 13 yrs old and 14 yrs old; and then between 14 and 15, etc. That's basically what the first years of a pro hockey players are. They'll settle around 26, 27, 28 years old. Look how long it took Markov to go from unreliable non-english-speaking pig-headed offensive-only D to Top 5 in the World all-around franchise D.

That is what annoys me with many Habs fans and media commentators: the hasty labeling of kids, and subsequent hastier fuss over the player not fitting the label that was put on him too fast. Very very few players have completely smooth progression curves. They all go through bumps and streaks and slumps. You can say if a player is behind or ahead of his expected development at the moment, but they're always work-in-progresses. I understand the concept of "what have you done for me lately", but there's a margin between that and just crossing a play off as "nothing more than X or Y".

I have never seen Pleks as a number one guy, just a number 2 guy, in one year with Kovy. If you don't want to judge the rest of them for 12 games, then don't be too quick to label Pleks as back either (although I do).

I don't know KR, all you seem to be offering is "faith" that somehow all these guys will turn into top 6 forwards next year. I would settle for 2 of them, but when? Why should I believe that any of them are going to break out?

Lats has been just what I have called him since day one.. a slow 3rd liner (and that playing on the PP and on the top line a lot, most 3rd liners don't get those chances to pad stats). I like Laps, but right now he is slumping, there is no doubt. I never said trade him. :)

Perhaps I am having a crisis of faith here, but it would help if one of these kids could provide me with a small miracle..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I dont see how, after a dozen of games, you can seriously and rationally say Laps and Lats have "regressed". If you want to talk development regression, you need a way longer time frame than a month of hockey at the start of the season.

How long does it take to get back into hockey shape and form? Beleive it or not the Habs have already completed 15% of this season.

Unfortunately at this point I would have to agree with the statement that they have regressed. I think they both took the summer off feeling cheated that they worked hard the summer before while nobody else did. I hope they can snap out of it soon. Laps has looked better lately but it seems it was just flashes of him from last year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How long does it take to get back into hockey shape and form? Beleive it or not the Habs have already completed 15% of this season.

Unfortunately at this point I would have to agree with the statement that they have regressed. I think they both took the summer off feeling cheated that they worked hard the summer before while nobody else did. I hope they can snap out of it soon. Laps has looked better lately but it seems it was just flashes of him from last year.

I highly doubt that is the case, if you remember last year we were one of the top teams in the league before the all star break, the team just completely fell apart. Nobody was complaining in December that guys didn't work hard in the offseason.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Price was 2nd star, he wasn't the problem. The team scored three goals in two road games, just unacceptable.

Right on. How can you win with 2 goals per game ??????

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Right on. How can you win with 2 goals per game ??????

allow just 1 goal per game :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AK was streaky all of last season. As for Laps, he was quite simply our most consistent and most improved player last season. Lats? Mid last year he was injured, so I dont see where you're trying to go with this doom and gloom thing.

Again, I'll bring out the Plex example. 2 seasons ago he was pegged as a real #1, now next season he was useless, at best a 3rd liner somewhere else. What is he this year? Keep in mind that he's 3 years older than Chips & Laps, 4 older than Lats, 5 older than Pac. So if Plex can go from one thing to another at 25-26, imagine how much changes can still happen with guys who are 3 seasons or more behind in experience.

Compare it to, say, teen years. How much can change between, say, 13 yrs old and 14 yrs old; and then between 14 and 15, etc. That's basically what the first years of a pro hockey players are. They'll settle around 26, 27, 28 years old. Look how long it took Markov to go from unreliable non-english-speaking pig-headed offensive-only D to Top 5 in the World all-around franchise D.

That is what annoys me with many Habs fans and media commentators: the hasty labeling of kids, and subsequent hastier fuss over the player not fitting the label that was put on him too fast. Very very few players have completely smooth progression curves. They all go through bumps and streaks and slumps. You can say if a player is behind or ahead of his expected development at the moment, if he's got the right attitude or not; but they're always work-in-progresses. I understand the concept of "what have you done for me lately", but there's a margin between that and just crossing a play off as "nothing more than X or Y".

once again kozed well said

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I highly doubt that is the case, if you remember last year we were one of the top teams in the league before the all star break, the team just completely fell apart. Nobody was complaining in December that guys didn't work hard in the offseason.

I agree, I don't think there is a lack of work on their part.

Frankly, Kozed hates when people label guys but that is exactly the problem. People keep labelling every guy in our system as a top line guy who we just have to develop. I don't label them for what they will be, i label them for what they are.

Right now, none of them are top line guys and none of them have shown me any reason to believe that they will be. ( I am not referring to Pacs or Max, they are rookies) I don't think Lats is going to play this bad all year, I am sure he will play better. Right now he is slumping, but when he lights it up, I have 4 years of evidence that he will light it up at a 3rd liner pace. What is the difference between him and Moen? What is the difference between Laps and Metro?

They are all good guys to have on your team, unless you are counting on them to be your 2nd line!

As for AK, he was touted and expected to be a top 2 line guy, but for what ever reason he is declining lately. I suspect it has a lot to do with his brother and maybe it will be better when we get rids of S. Kost. Alternately, he is just as ticked off as his brother at Habs management, he is just smart enough to shut up about it. If that is the case, then why not trade him and his brother plus Halak for a legitimate number 2 guy. Not a guy who MIGHT become one, but a guy who is PERFORMING that way.

My question still stands.. If Gainey was counting on these guys to become 2nd liners and fill out the roster (he brought in a first line and some parts like Moen and Metro for the 3rd/4th line), then what does he do if they don't deliver? The answer appears to be, wait, and miss the playoffs. I still think there is a way to make a trade or two to pull this out. Other teams have done it in the past and rapidly improved their teams. Why can't we?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AK reminds me a bit of Samsonov.

I don't mind the effort, he's throwing his body around, trying to make things happen... he just makes a mistake EVERY time.

I think he's on his way back up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AK reminds me a bit of Samsonov.

I don't mind the effort, he's throwing his body around, trying to make things happen... he just makes a mistake EVERY time.

I think he's on his way back up.

Samsonov... now that is depressing. :wacko:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AK reminds me a bit of Samsonov.

I don't mind the effort, he's throwing his body around, trying to make things happen... he just makes a mistake EVERY time.

I think he's on his way back up.

It's not like he could get any worse lol.

But seriously, his overall game has improved, and (I think) you can tell that Martin has been instilling some new components to his game that will help him out in the long run. There's a learning curve, as his efforts on the ice now require thought and aren't simply reflex at this point. This new delay in action to reaction has led to a few gaffes and likely also chips away at his overall confidence. It's frustrating to watch, and must be even more frustrating for Andrei. I have complete faith that one day, hopefully soon, it'll all click into place and he'll be better off. But like everything else on this particular team, it's going to take time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly, this loss still makes me sour.

I'm happy that this team is PISSED about their loss tonight if you listen to the post game comments.

Some guys have to step it up cause this isn't a 500 team, IMO it can do way better than this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember the good old days where you could send a guy down to rip up the minor leagues and get his confidence back? I don't know how you get AK out of his funk. I don't think benching him is going to do anything. He is reminding me of Ryder who was so abused that year by Carbo he never came back. I don't want to see a repeat of that mess with AK. If we can't trade him, then we have no choice but to give him ice time and hope he comes around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Remember the good old days where you could send a guy down to rip up the minor leagues and get his confidence back? I don't know how you get AK out of his funk. I don't think benching him is going to do anything. He is reminding me of Ryder who was so abused that year by Carbo he never came back. I don't want to see a repeat of that mess with AK. If we can't trade him, then we have no choice but to give him ice time and hope he comes around.

I remember a time when all you had to do was to threaten a player to trade him to the Winnipeg Jets and he'd get so scared he'd play like his life was on the line every game. :P

AK reminds me of Dainus Zubrus. Zubbie was the exact same when he was with us. A huge tease that never delivered.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I've never really been able to figure out is, what is AKs game. Is he a outside shooter, a slot shot, etc. What do you all think is his game?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am not giving up on any of them, but my point stands.. what does bob Gainey do to get more scoring given the funk most of these guys are in?

The only answer seems to be .. stand pat... I think a good GM will figure out which of these guys truly has potential and trade the other ones to a sucker for better prospects.

Look at our list... Ribs was already hitting his stride, that trade was just stupid (imo, I know others disagree). Komi is nothing special in my books. most leaf fans are willing to give him back gratis. ditto higgins. Beauchemin is not as good as his partner made him look, but that was definitely one that got away. I don't think anyone ever considered dumping Markov. Hainsey has been a minus player most of his career.

Maybe I just don't see the talent you guys see dripping off these guys. I have been hearing they are the 2nd coming for a few years now and so far, none have really panned out. Do we give them this year, regardless of the team performance, or does Gainey look to shake things up some?

Actually, I clearly recall a period in which Markov's NHL future was in doubt. The Habs were insisting that he incorporate defence into his game, communication was a huge issue, he seemed frustrated and confused...it could have gone either way.

'Talent dripping off these guys...' How can anybody deny that Andrei Kostitsyn is a bona-fide big league talent is beyond me. He has the physical robustness, the lethal shot, the capacity to see the ice, the strength on his skates, pretty much all the tools. You're forgetting his rookie season. The issue is between his ears. As for Latendresse, it's harder to say. He is certainly a legitimate third-liner in the mode of Turner Stevenson (minus the fighting) at this stage. He's obviously slow, but that isn't necessarily fatal. The question with him is, does he have any nose for the net; any ability to read the play; and any willingness to take the punishment necessary to score substantial numbers of goals? So far, the answer to all three is 'NO.' But power forwards just do take longer to develop. I get the sense with him that something needs to click, and we'll see a move from 16 goals per season to maybe an extra 10.

Higgins, BTW, would look pretty good on this team. We *know* that he is at least capable of producing like a second-liner for significant stretches of the season. That's more than the guys we're currently icing can say.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As for Latendresse, it's harder to say. He is certainly a legitimate third-liner in the mode of Turner Stevenson (minus the fighting) at this stage. He's obviously slow, but that isn't necessarily fatal. The question with him is, does he have any nose for the net; any ability to read the play; and any willingness to take the punishment necessary to score substantial numbers of goals? So far, the answer to all three is 'NO.' But power forwards just do take longer to develop. I get the sense with him that something needs to click, and we'll see a move from 16 goals per season to maybe an extra 10.

Lats found a zone of comfort in the past 2 seasons when all that was asked of him by the coaches was to do his job defensively and grind in the corners. He settled in that role and placed his offensive instincts on the ice. When I talk about offensive instincts, I talk about the feeling, the vibe, the flow for scoring and creating chances. It's an athlete thing. Lats can read the play, he's got a good vision, he will go in traffic, but he's not in the flow so he's never in the position he should be, his timing is off on shots and passes, etc. AK lost his instincts as well. You see that he's hesitating a lot with the puck, that's a huge sign. Pac was the same for 6 games to start the season, but if you look at him now you see him skate and carry the puck with ease. He's found his flow.

Lats is working hard every shift, there's a consistency and a 2nd and 3rd effort that's always there, so if keeps trying to make things happen, eventually things will come together. In AK's case, he's not as consistent or trying hard every shift and there's no emotion in his face. That's what worries me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Really? Wow. I am almost done with this board. I can't believe that after the horrible 6 periods, 6 periods with two or three good shifts and you can say that Price was the difference? I mean give your head a shake! This game would have been out of reach if Price had not been so good in net. He is also a 3rd defenseman in special tams...PK and PP. You, Brobin and JackP are completely high if you pin this one on Price.

My point IS price CANNOT make a SAVE when it MATTERS at the moment

Can we not agree on that at least?

I didn't say Price played poorly last night...by no means did he. He played like a slightly above average goaltender. It doesn't matter if his name is Carey Price or not, the bottom line is Habs fans want wins. I don't care who's in goal for the Canadiens....if he stops pucks and steals games for us, leave him in there. That is my justification for Halak..he comes up with those pressure saves that Price cannot seem to make right now.

Price hasn't been on his 'A' game this season... If you look at Sharp's game winner again...the goalie should be stopping that puck 9/10 times, especially if he makes himself big. I think if anything...it's not Price's fundamental goaltending errors right now as much as it is confidence issues.

I want Halak in tonight...for this reason only. If Price does in fact start tonight, and takes a Loss to our biggest rival with only 1 win (see leafs record in Montreal the past 4 seasons...and you will be VERY surprised)...the media will eat him alive. So with that being said....you give your head a shake as well and take note of all the above

Edited by l<OV4L3V

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My point IS price CANNOT make a SAVE when it MATTERS at the moment

Can we not agree on that at least?

I didn't say Price played poorly last night...by no means did he. He played like a slightly above average goaltender. It doesn't matter if his name is Carey Price or not, the bottom line is Habs fans want wins. I don't care who's in goal for the Canadiens....if he stops pucks and steals games for us, leave him in there. That is my justification for Halak..he comes up with those pressure saves that Price cannot seem to make right now.

Price hasn't been on his 'A' game this season... If you look at Sharp's game winner again...the goalie should be stopping that puck 9/10 times, especially if he makes himself big. I think if anything...it's not Price's fundamental goaltending errors right now as much as it is confidence issues.

I want Halak in tonight...for this reason only. If Price does in fact start tonight, and takes a Loss to our biggest rival with only 1 win (see leafs record in Montreal the past 4 seasons...and you will be VERY surprised)...the media will eat him alive. So with that being said....you give your head a shake as well and take note of all the above

I wouldn't say Price CAN'T make the big save, in fact, I think he can when he is playing with confidence. In fact, he use to make them look bloody easy. He was big, and at the top of his crease, and most stuff hit him.

His A game is in fact missing so far, at least consistently for an entire game.

I am not sure who to start tonight. Common sense tells me Halak as this is a split game and Halak has done great at home.. but.. at times.. Price can dominate the leafs... and maybe that is just what he needs. I do agree with you that it is high risk.. he plays strong tonight and takes a win.. the fans love him.. he lays an egg, or even just comes up short, and it will get ugly. At some point, they need to take a risk with Price if they want to get him back in the groove. You can't do that watching from the bench. In theory, the leafs suck.. so what better team to have him play. Remember, they take a lot of shots, but they are mostly shooting blanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That was Kosty's first game playing with two guys who are in synch with each other. He put in more effort that I think most of us have seen in ages, and had some chances. I think confidence was his killer tonight. That, and atrocious defense. ;)

On the other hand, the line with Chipper, Patches and Lats was awesome. Patches has grown in leaps and bounds this year, going from a 65 OA guy to well into the 70's. He looks good out there, and I have to wonder when he's going to get his shot again on the top two, and probably the first line. He's working extremely hard and is making things happen consistently.

Chipper I think has found himself and if he can keep it up, we're finally going to be able to point to him as the solid player we've been waiting for for years.

Price played an outstanding game. The winning goal he could very well have saved, but before that, he kept the team in the game when perhaps we didn't have the right for long stretches. No, he didn't make THAT particular save, but he gave us a chance to make something of the game. Early days in his career, isn't that what you want?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's sad, I was more impressed with the effort vs Pittsburgh (the first 2 periods at least) than in this one. Hard to pin this on Price in my opinion, the team once again played horrible in front of him.

By the way, still need someone to toss together the GDT for tonight, hint, hint...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That was Kosty's first game playing with two guys who are in synch with each other. He put in more effort that I think most of us have seen in ages, and had some chances. I think confidence was his killer tonight. That, and atrocious defense. ;)

On the other hand, the line with Chipper, Patches and Lats was awesome. Patches has grown in leaps and bounds this year, going from a 65 OA guy to well into the 70's. He looks good out there, and I have to wonder when he's going to get his shot again on the top two, and probably the first line. He's working extremely hard and is making things happen consistently.

Chipper I think has found himself and if he can keep it up, we're finally going to be able to point to him as the solid player we've been waiting for for years.

Price played an outstanding game. The winning goal he could very well have saved, but before that, he kept the team in the game when perhaps we didn't have the right for long stretches. No, he didn't make THAT particular save, but he gave us a chance to make something of the game. Early days in his career, isn't that what you want?

You make some good points here. For all our whining, there are promising signs among these 'depth' forwards. As you say, Pacioretty has definitely improved since the start of the season, showing flashes of genuine promise as a power forward, and Chipchura has gone from being a basket case to looking like a legitimate NHLer. Those are two players who had squat in the beginning, so this is a net improvement.

As for Price, he's played fine for most starts this season. But there does seem to be something about the 'Big Save.' I don't see how we can insist that he's come up big at those points in the game when the team needs it most. Instead, he's gotten beaten at key times. It's a fine line, though, because he *has* played well and, on balance, probably better than Halak (especially in terms of rebound control and puck movement). Yet he seems more prone than Halak to surrender those psychologically deflating goals. He shouldn't be the scapegoat, but this, it seems to me, is the case for playing Halak quite a bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You make some good points here. For all our whining, there are promising signs among these 'depth' forwards. As you say, Pacioretty has definitely improved since the start of the season, showing flashes of genuine promise as a power forward, and Chipchura has gone from being a basket case to looking like a legitimate NHLer. Those are two players who had squat in the beginning, so this is a net improvement.

As for Price, he's played fine for most starts this season. But there does seem to be something about the 'Big Save.' I don't see how we can insist that he's come up big at those points in the game when the team needs it most. Instead, he's gotten beaten at key times. It's a fine line, though, because he *has* played well and, on balance, probably better than Halak (especially in terms of rebound control and puck movement). Yet he seems more prone than Halak to surrender those psychologically deflating goals. He shouldn't be the scapegoat, but this, it seems to me, is the case for playing Halak quite a bit.

I don't know why people are raving about Price's puck handling. He had some great passes on the PP, when no one was around. Behind the net, I find his decision making spotty at best. I don't see this as a big strength, in fact, he still makes me nervous with the puck on the dump in when pressured. So does Halak though... :blink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On the other hand, the line with Chipper, Patches and Lats was awesome. Patches has grown in leaps and bounds this year, going from a 65 OA guy to well into the 70's.

:lol::clap:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...