BUILT FOR SPEED

For most of the 2007-2008 season, the Habs had one problem with the team: DID NOT HAVE AN IDENTITY…
1. Were they simply a skilled team with little toughness?
2. One dimensional (depend heavily on their powerplay)?
3. Defensive experts?
4. Etc.


Some will argue all of the above… I think that they finally found their I.D.: SPEED! I think the call up of Gravboski cemented that identity with the Habs. If you are a coach on the opposite team these days, it is somewhat overwhelming to see these names:
-Plekanec
-Sergei & Andrei Kostitsyn
-Higgins
-Koivu
-Grabovski
-Streit
-Etc.
Even Lapierre is finally showing some speed the past few games.

I think that the coaching staff finally realized that they won’t beat teams with their touhness or their skill and cannot depend on the PP to win every game or have the starting goalie be the first star of each game. Effectively using the team speed is creating numerous scoring chances and they are finally seeing the fruits of their labour! In the past few weeks, Ryder got a 3 points game (vs Rangers); Higgins 3 points game (vs Atlanta); Plekanec 3 goals game & Kovalev 4 assists (vs Buffalo).

Granted, Pleky scored his goals on the PP. However, Streit scored an awsome goal against Buffalo on a great back-handed feed by Grabovski, whom had outskated his defender(s) to make the play.

I must admit, earlier in the season (Oct.-Nov) I was a Grabovski basher… I stated that he reminded me of Perezhogin! However, Grabs seems to be an even faster skater (sometimes too fast) and a much better passer.

If the Habs stay healthy the rest of the season, not only will they make the playoffs, I strongly believe they can make some serious damage and go all the way! As most “experts” have concluded, the East is wide open. Ottawa’s play has gone south the past few weeks (1 goal in 3 games!); NJ is an enigma; Pittsburgh gave up too much for Hossa (which should hurt them in the long run); etc. Montreal can very well be the hottest, most consistent team heading into the playoffs and have an excellent chance of facing off against Boston in the first round, a team we haven’t lost to all year (not to mention we have their # in the playoffs).

Here are my bold predictions for the playoffs:

FINAL FOUR

EAST: MONTREAL-NYR
WEST: DALLAS-ANAHEIM

STANLEY CUP FINALS
MONTREAL-DALLAS

2007-2008 STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS: MONTREAL

Since the East is wide open, I think that Big-Name teams such as NJ, Pittsburgh, Ottawa will all fall in the first two rounds. Consequently, Montreal will have a relatively easy ride into the finals, similar to 1993. As for Dallas, they are in a much tougher conference, defending against powerhouse teams like Anaheim, Detroit, San Jose, Calgary. By the time they reach the finals against the Habs, they won’t have much juice left in the tank.

Who do you think will be the final four teams? Does Montreal have a chance this year?

Thanks for reading,

Cheers!


164 Responses to BUILT FOR SPEED

  1. Rico420 says:

    Habs fan here

    I'm not really all that comfortable playing Philly/Pitts/Jersey in the first round but if we get on a role we can win some games – saying we'll go all the way though that's hard to tell..

    And yeah the East is blown wide open – the way the Bruins are playing right now I could see Dallas/Boston in the finals.

    Of course I'm rooting for the habs 😀

  2. muckies says:

    I know Montreal is playing well and being the sexy pick in the East, they are  good team, but lets not forget tis is a team starting in goal that has very little playoff experience, and playing in a huge pressure packed market

    AND THEY ARE SMALL – when they get into a 7 game series with an experinced and bigger team like NJ or Ottawa, that are bigger and play mean, and have excellent special teams themselves, it is going to be extremely tough for them to win a 7 game series.
    I like the Habs, but a lot of teams can play ugly hockey agaisnt them like Boston, Ottawa, NJ, NYR, and I'm not convinced this is a team that is built to play ugly hockey – still a avery soft team.
  3. LeafsNation91 says:

    This might be the most interesting playoffs in a long time. The East, which has been named a slighter weaker version of the West, is completely wide open. Montreal could easily destory Philadelphia, but Philadelphia can destroy any team they want if they played their best.

    My probable favorite to come out of the East are the Pittsburg Penguins. WHY? Well, for starters lets say they went 20-6-5 in their last 31 games without a certain guy named Sidney Crosby. Yeah, Crosby, the best player in the league. It's not like losing a Lapierre or not even Andrei Koitsysn. It's Sydney Corsby. And Marian Hossa, who has not shown his capabalities yet with a slight knee injury, but will be back and firing on all cylinders. Let's not forget the defence is pretty tough with players like Letang, Whitney, Gonchar, Gill and other solid defenders. Also, they have the grit that a team Montreal lacks with players like Laraques, tough guy Ruutu, Taffe. The Habs will rely on Mike Komisarek for alot of that grit.

    I hear alot of criticism on the Penguins goaltending, but Ty Conklin has been great with a 2.35 GAA 92 save percentage when the starter Fleury went down with injury earlier this year. Now Fleury is back, he has been solid in a first game return from the ankle sprain. So if Fleury continues his role, beware of the Penguins goaltending.

    And they have been winning with a ton of injuries to key role players like Marian Hossa, Sydney Crosby, Marc-Andre Fleury, Rob Scuderi, Gary Roberts and Mark Eaton(who was the leading player with blocks on the team)

    Also, their offence is dangerous with players like Crosby, Hossa, Malkin, Sykora, Malone. They have top five forwards, and great defensive players in Talbot and Staal.

    So that is who I would choose from the East. 

  4. LeafsNation91 says:

    Good points, Montreal is small. Why do you think the Minnessota Wild got Chris Simon? Because they got crushed by Anaheim's grit last year and was just ran over. Leaving the wild bruised and battered. They got Simon so they can go toe-to-toe with Anaheim this year. With Fedoruk, Boogard and Simon, Montreal's players will be in some MAJOR trouble in a stanley cup finals. I would be scared of Boogard if i saw him coming near me. ANd who will defend the Habs players? Mike Komisarek? He cannot take on three guys himself.

  5. muckies says:

    I thnk the only team that can beat Anaheim physically is Clgary,  and the oly tea that could skate the puck into their zone with regularity s dallas. If the play Calgary and get beaten up, and then Dallas and get into a skilled series, they may not repeat. I ike them as the favorite, but i still think the Cup is wide open.

  6. Vinnypleasecomehome says:

    Oh my god. not Boston. common.

  7. Komic-J says:

    Might be a tony bit too early to picture 'em with the cup.

    Montreal does have a lot of speed, and the team's chemistry is awesome (which is crucial for a deep playoffs run) but there are still pretty young, and don't have tons of playoffs experience. And I'm not only talking about Price…

    I'd be happy to see them reach the second round…anything beyond that is an extra for me. Hell, I predicted they wouldn't even make the playoffs. So let's not put more pressure on their shoulder than they already have. Next year, depending on the summer we have, we might have a pretty decent shot…but this year, it would be one heck of an upset for me.

  8. percussio says:

    I dont know about the cup this year but Im sick of being one of our gutless hockey journalists who take the safe route to avoid being criticized and I say … Habs to the Finals.

    This team has showed us they have what it takes and it's finally time to support them accordingly. They have known their biggest slump … 3 consecutive games. Ottawa has done worse, Detroit had a 7 game losing streak … you see my point. We are consistant.

    Speed being a huge factor in overwhelming our opponents and making them take penalties … I however dont believe it is speed alone that makes this team.

    I have said time and time again and if you pay close attention to the mans' feats … Bob Gainey has built this team to his image.

    They are passionate, relentless and have incredible chemistry. It's their talent combined with their DESIRE that is winning them games. They have pride now.

    The sum is greater than its parts and when the team plays together it shines. Everyone contributes their part of the game and it makes this team more complete than most. The staff has always put the benefit of the team first and finally the players are doing the same. There is a sense of spirit and unity and selflessness.

    When teams have tried to play tough, like Philly at some point, they stepped up their game. Francis Bouillon is tank, O'Byrne hasnt been here long but he has shown us some impressive hits and Komy, well I call this guy the 8 o'clock train. I even saw Markov and Hamrlik give a punishing hit the night the Phillies tried to intimidate us !

    Our D is amazing, simply fantastic. Markov is amog the best D men in the league, Komisareks play is solid and consisant. Hamrlik is suge a huge part of this team that when he missed 3 games with the flu, we lost all 3. O'Byrne hasnt been here long but he is picking up the pace and is being a very physical presence on the ice and playing well considering he's a rookie. What about our 3rd pairing. I believe we have the best 3rd pairing in the NHL. Gorges has been nothing short of stellar, what a surprise this kid has been and recently he has been moving the puck forward more too. Bouillon is gravy. This guy never backs down, is solid and consistant, hits like a mofo, is ready to drop the golves for anybody, moves the puck up ice.

    This team plays to their full potential but mostly, they play for each other. They play for the sign on the front of their jersey, not the name on the back of it ! Thats what makes this team.

    Look at a guy like Streit, who the hell knew who this guy was before !

    Everyone is coming out of the woodwork to contribute.

    Price has been phenomenal and watch Halak this week, im sure he wont let us down either.

    Finally, after a decade of embarrasment and mediocre predictions, these guys have shown us that we can put our faith behind them. They deserve it as they have shown us time and time again that they are winners. Im not longer afraid to take heat and criticsm for this team and I will defend them through thick and thin.

    In Bob We Trust !

    Go Habs Go

  9. Vinnypleasecomehome says:

    I'm having a hard time disagreeing with you but I just don't think this is our year. We are missing a superstar and some muscle. If we get a new young guy stepping up every game, if Kovalev stays hot and if Price has a Dryden, Patrick Roy, Cam Ward type playoffs I could see it. I don't see this happening with enough frequency to win four series, maybe one or two, tops. The free agent market should be good to us this summer. Maybe a trade on draft day too. (Stortini and Lecavalier, you heard it hear first.) Ok, maybe just Stortini.

  10. percussio says:

    Name one team that beat us physically and won the game after the winter break !

    No one has. We dont solely rely on Komy for grit. On D we have Komy, O'Byrne and Bouillon. Anyone who watches the games kbows that these 3 guys hit.

    We may be small and not practice a gritty style, but thats cause we dont have to. We are too busy controlling the puck.

    Every team so far that has tried to intimidate us has been out hit ! Watch any of the games after Dec 23rd.

    Everyone chips in physically. Ive seen Markov give a punishing hit to a Flyer when they tried to be cute and play tough on us. Hamrlik too !

    Sergei Kostitsyn had 6 hits against New Jersey !

    Every team that has imposed a physical play has lost against us. We have responded very well to them physically AND on the scoreboard.

    This team is more physical than people give it credit for. It isnt in 1 player and it isnt in the stats, but watch the games attentively.

    Teams get frustrated and take a bad penalty as well and we capitalize on the PP.

  11. DandoEagle says:

    I fond thes arcticle today

    http://hockeytraderumors.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&thold=-1&mode=flat&order=0&sid=9378#260108

    God pointes made in it all over the place, btu teh one team we're forgeting is teh Toronto Maple Leafs – watch them in the playofs they can make some big noise whne Toskalaa get's hot!

  12. Rico420 says:

    I agree with you on Kostisyn that kid's amazing – in fact he's slowly becoming my favourite Haband thankfully we have Gainey behind the desk now and not Reggie because he'd have been packaged off with Koivu for a completely terrible return.

    The thing is will we be able to stand up against some of the big teams in the West if we do get to go the distance? I mean I love the guys like Begin and Komi but I really wish we had made a pitch for a guy like Tucker instead of focusing on Hossa at the deadline – I'm not complaining about what did happen by any means but I think that's what we needed to get the rest of the way.

    Either way GO Habs Go!

  13. LeafsNation91 says:

    Good points, but can Kostitsyn handle the bohemoths in the west like Boogard, Simon, May, Tootoo and other tough players, besides Philadephia, their is not really many teams in the East that play tough hockey. That is where alot of the Flyers wins have come from, griding it out.

  14. Rico420 says:

    The guy I was all hot for was Danny Carcillo I wish that little bastard played in Montreal!

  15. LeafsNation91 says:

    Lecalvier will stay in Tampa Bay because he likes the team and the fact that the TB lightning are going to rebuild this franchise around him. Maybe another good quality player but not Lecalvier

  16. muckies says:

    Regular season and the playoffs are totally different things. The Habs in a 7 game series and getting punished will be different then a wednesday night game in Philly. Less penalties late in games in the playoffs, and they will be up aganist teams that have great specality teams, maybe even better then Montreals. 

    They have inexperienced D – and forwards and goaltending. They have a lot going for them, but the playoffs is a totally different game then the regular season, and I just cant see this team with the players they have up front being able to win hard battles every night.
    To many Russians and Czechs, 
  17. adarsot says:

    i can see MTL DAL and ANA in the final four, but the rangers? come on, the leafs, the way they are playin now have a better shot. the east is wide open with the pens devils and habs leadin the way. i am a leafs fan and i hope MTL holds the top spot so the leafs can take them out in the first round!!! then we can take out the sens in the next round followed by the pens.

    the west playoffs will be crazy this year. if the playoffs started now:
    DET vs COL old rivalry
    DAL vs VAN rematch from crazy series last year
    CAL vs MIN rivary in close division
    SAJ vs ANA 2 of the best teams in the league
    final four
    ANA vs DAL
    TOR vs PIT……….
    ………..long shot but hey anythings possible
    EDM was in 8th place a couple years ago and made the playoffs by jus 3 points and made it to the final!!!
  18. adarsot says:

    lol boston?? boston??  come on thats worst than sayin the rangers will make it??

    hahaha that one cracked me up
    OMG Boston??
    lol then u say ur 'rooting for the habs'
    hahaha
    the leafs got a better chance the way toskala and sundin are playin
    go leafs go
  19. percussio says:

    What is it with Leafs fans ?!

    You people are completely delusional … is it the water ?!

    Keep dreaming buddy, they wont even make the playoffs. You people dont have an ounce of credibility.

    Here's my prediction … Leafs dont even make the playoffs and that last game the Habs play against the Leafs, a massacre !

    Even if you did beat us, guess what … still aint making the playoffs. This isnt last year buddy, it's time to wake up from that dream.

  20. careyprice31 says:

    LOL hahahahahahahhaha

  21. careyprice31 says:

    percussio those posts have to be the dumbest posts i have ever seen in my entire life lol.Man know wonder why evryone hates the leafs look at the stupid comments their fans post

  22. LeafsNation91 says:

    This might be the most interesting playoffs in a long time. The East, which has been named a slighter weaker version of the West, is completely wide open. Montreal could easily destory Philadelphia, but Philadelphia can destroy any team they want if they played their best.

    My probable favorite to come out of the East are the Pittsburg Penguins. WHY? Well, for starters lets say they went 20-6-5 in their last 31 games without a certain guy named Sidney Crosby. Yeah, Crosby, the best player in the league. It's not like losing a Lapierre or not even Andrei Koitsysn. It's Sydney Corsby. And Marian Hossa, who has not shown his capabalities yet with a slight knee injury, but will be back and firing on all cylinders. Let's not forget the defence is pretty tough with players like Letang, Whitney, Gonchar, Gill and other solid defenders. Also, they have the grit that a team Montreal lacks with players like Laraques, tough guy Ruutu, Taffe. The Habs will rely on Mike Komisarek for alot of that grit.

    I hear alot of criticism on the Penguins goaltending, but Ty Conklin has been great with a 2.35 GAA 92 save percentage when the starter Fleury went down with injury earlier this year. Now Fleury is back, he has been solid in a first game return from the ankle sprain. So if Fleury continues his role, beware of the Penguins goaltending.

    And they have been winning with a ton of injuries to key role players like Marian Hossa, Sydney Crosby, Marc-Andre Fleury, Rob Scuderi, Gary Roberts and Mark Eaton(who was the leading player with blocks on the team)

    Also, their offence is dangerous with players like Crosby, Hossa, Malkin, Sykora, Malone. They have top five forwards, and great defensive players in Talbot and Staal.

    So that is who I would choose from the East. 

  23. leafy says:

    It's not beyond the realm of possibility that Montreal can go all the way.  They have the defence and goaltending to do it.  I have one major concern, however.  As some people have mentioned already, Montreal's main achilles heel is their lack of size.  Don't underestimate the importance of that factor because the playoffs require a grind that lasts for 2 months.  Small teams tend to do well in the 1st and 2nd round, but then tail off in the later rounds.  Having said that, the East is wide open and anything can happen.  Could be another 1986?

  24. leafy says:

    The Penguins so much remind me of the '83 Oilers.  Everyone knew the Oilers had a powerful offence (ie, Gretzky, Messier, Kurri, Anderson, Linseman, Coffey, etc).  The only question was their defence….were they good enough to beat the 4-time defending champion Islanders.

    Well, in 1983, the answer was "no", as the Islanders demolished the Oilers in 4 straight.  But in 1984, different story.  The Oilers finally learned how to play defence and they beat the Islanders in the Finals.

    It's all a question of whether Pittsburgh has the goaltending and defense necessary to go all the way.  Bru believes they do.  You guys might be right, I guess we'll find out in the spring.

  25. LeafsNation91 says:

    Ask the Wild what Anahem did to them last year? Why else would Minny get Chris Simon

  26. habs_punk says:

    Their goaltending can get hot, and if they do at the right time, nothing will stop them. But you have to remember who we're talking about here. Conklin and Fleury haven't exactly wowed anyone in the playoffs before. Everything rests on whether these guys can keep it up through the playoffs.

  27. leafy says:

    Good point.  Reminds me of the Leafs back in the '70s.  I was a kid back then, but I recall the Leafs losing in 4 straight to Philly in '75…and the entire Leaf team was beaten up by bullies like Schultz, Kelly, Seleski, etc.

    So what did the Leafs do in the summer?  They brought in Kurt Walker and Dave Dunn.  Made all the difference in the world, as the Leafs faught the Flyers tooth and nail, in some memorable brawls and big-time body checks, and we pushed the powerful Flyers to 7 games.

  28. habs_punk says:

    They have two Russians and two Czechs. I don't know if I would call that too many. Possibly too many Belarussians, but I'm not complaining about the Kostitsyn's at all! And that Grabovski kid is showing serious promise.
    Ten Canadians and 4 Americans is a pretty solid North American contingent.

  29. habs_punk says:

    You honestly think the Leafs are only going to lose 3 more games all season? Because that's pretty much what they need to do to make the playoffs.

  30. habs_punk says:

    Again I will say it.
    Do you honestly think the Leafs can go the rest of the season only losing 3 games? That's what they need to do to realistically make the playoffs.

  31. habs_punk says:

    The Habs should be worried if they play NJ or Ottawa at any time during the playoffs. Pittsburgh would be an amazing series that could go either way, New York would be slightly less amazing, but could go either way. Anyone else: Boston, Philly, Carolina, NYI, Buffalo – Montreal should handle fairly easily. They have a shot to go all the way if NJ and Ottawa make early exits (not altogether unlikely), but the finals should be unbelievably difficult. I can't see Montreal matching up that well against any of the big three in Dallas, Anaheim, or Detroit. Those are some scary-ass teams. The only good news is that whoever makes it to the finals will probably have had to beat at least one of these teams and might be worn out from that matchup.

  32. muckies says:

    I think Ottawa's only non Canadian forward is Alfie, and he is the teams best player, so Ottawa have more Canadians at the forward position than the entire Montreal team, Ottawa also has 4 Canadians on defence.the Key for Montreal is their Canadian Kid, Carey Price. He can stone wall a team for many periods and during many Power Plays. He'll get scored on, but if he lets in 5-6 goals in his first playoff game, it might shake the teams confidence and they could be in a serious hole. 

  33. Kramer says:

    If the Leafs kept Belak, they would have swept the Habs in the first round.  The Leafs were built for speed and finesse.

  34. prospectiv says:

    What if Gainey's strategy for both the Briere deal and the Hossa deal was to elevate the sweeptakes??? 

    Philly and Pittsburgh are clearly Montreal's biggest competitors in the East  for the next 5 to 10 years and I think it's the brightest move ever to make them overpay right now for overated players in order to spoil their future!!!

  35. lafleur10 says:

    PUT THE CRACK PIPE DOWN!!YOUR MAKE ME LAFFS ARE DONE!THEY'VE GOT 2 CHANCES:SLIM AND NONE:AND SLIM HAS LEFT TOWN AND THAT LEAVES YOU WITH NONE!!PUT A FORK IN IT THEY'RE DONE! NA NA NA NA NA  NA HEY,HEY HEY GOOD BYE!! AND IF YOU DID MAKE IT THE HABS WOULD BEAT YOU GUYS IN 5 GAMES MAX!!

  36. UsedandAbused says:

    You never know exactly what is going to happen come playoffs, but I think this Montreal team really has a good shot at making it to the finals providing their young goaltender can hold up when it matters. Though it looks to me so far that this young goaltender has it.

    Some people believe that Montreal lacks toughness, but I don't agree with that. I think they have enough grit to get to the finals.

    I am not a Montreal fan so I don't want to see them get to the final four, but I think they will. However I don't think they would beat Dallas or Detroit in the finals.

  37. UsedandAbused says:

    Ya I am sure it was all a big strategy to make the Flyers overpay for Briere. lol…  No I think they really wanted Briere. Just because he is struggling right now doesn't mean he is overrated. I think a big problem this year is Gagne has been out.

  38. lafleur10 says:

    RICO PHILLY doesn't scare me they are too big and too slow and we've swept them in the season series !!philly's goaltending is questionable at best!jersey doesn't scare me we have proved that we can beat them we have gotten over the brodeur domination! there defence no longer has stevens and niedermayer !pittsburgh i think would will be a hell of a series !ottawa doesn't scare me or even worry me because we won't have worry about them because whoever plays them is knocking them out!!plus there goaltending stinks!if you were a sens fan and watching that team implode! would you be comfortable with the situation the way it is?nope!!the only team that scares me in the east is the rangers!

  39. UsedandAbused says:

    As a Flyers fan I have to say we couldn't beat Montreal this year. We lack goaltending and are weak on defense. If Flyers make it to the playoffs they won't last long, but they will get valuable experience. Flyers best years are ahead of them.

  40. lafleur10 says:

    well people have been doubting and under estimating us year long and we want them to keep doing that so we can prove them wrong again! yes we lack size  but i think we have the grit!! we are showing that every game and we don't get intimidated and we don't back down! don't forget we have some big bodies in the likes of chipchurra,latendresse,,kostopolous!these guys can play gritty and can play physical!also on defence we have o'byrne,komisarek,hamrlik markov!and in goal we have price who is 6'3 in size!!so i think that is a bit of a myth!we are smaller but people talk like we have no size!!too much size = no speed!and we have both! i think it will come down to carey price! and i think he's the difference because  when bob gainey traded huet away that sent the  message to carey that the ball was his now run with it !and he will all the way to the stanley cup final!this kid thrives on prssure and is coll asa a cucumber and will show everybody earlier than expected why we will hit superstardom!!

  41. habs_punk says:

    Foligno's from Buffalo, not that it really matters.
    But seriously, this isn't a competition for who has the most Canadians on the team. I was merely making the point that Montreal does not have the implied deficiency in Canadian content on their team. When the two Russians on your team are the always solid playoff performer Kovalev and Andrei Markov, that isn't something to complain about. If you're trying to make the case that the Sens will perform better in the playoffs because they have more Canadians on their team, you don't have much backing you up. Maybe the Sens will prove to be the better team in the playoffs, but it won't necessarily be because of their Canadian contingent.

  42. percussio says:

    Im not sure why Montreal should fear New Jersey. The Habs beat them 2 to 1 and that 1 game the Devils won was back in … NOVEMBER.

    Ottawa I could understand but Montreal has a much better team right now. Same players maybe (excpet Price) but their level of play has increasesd significantly since the beginning of the season.

    I dont know why people are so scared to go with Montreal. They have proven everyone wrong all season long and Im jumping on the bandwagon depending on how they play this week against the Ducks and Sharks tonight.

    Detroit … they've seemed to be falling from grace as of late. Maybe it could be a tighter match up than we think.

    Anaheim and Dallas scare me though … but thats also why I said Montreal to the finals, no Stanley Cup winners this year.

  43. leafy says:

    You could be right. It's not the same tiny team of 4 years ago.  Indeed people have been underestimating the Habs all year.  When the year started, the so-called experts picked them to finish out of the playoffs, but instead, they're first in the Eastern conference as of early March.

  44. percussio says:

    The biggest thing the Flyers are suffering from is coaching. Their philosophy is to imitate the toughness of the 70s … they dont have it. Thats why Briere is suffering, rather than focusing on speed and skill they are TRYING to be tough.

    Other than that, injuries have taken alot from this team. A healthy club next year with a change in mentality will make them soar.

  45. nyrfan1369 says:

    does anyone else think the pen's are screwed for the future? i mean crosby's huge contract. the 10 mill malkins gonna want, he wount take a paycut cus hes russian. and the first pick and first pick prospect they gave away

  46. LeafsNation91 says:

    I don't, as long as they keep Fleury, Corsby, Malkin and Letang they should be fine. All teams will go through what pittsburg and TB went through now, that is how the new NHL works.

  47. UsedandAbused says:

    I couldn't disagree with you more. I think that is nothing more then a label that has been branded on the Flyers. Sure we had a few bad suspensions early this season, but that was nothing more then coincidence. The league was also using the Flyers as an example. Even so… since then the Flyers have been playing some clean hockey. I watch every game they play and I just don't see it (trying to intimidate). I don't think the Flyers try and intimidate other teams at all. I do think they try and bring a physical element to their game, but there are times where I think they aren't physical enough. Besides most teams try and bring their physical game, that is part of the sport.

    The Flyers aren't the dirty team they are labeled to be.

  48. Archion113 says:

    We all know i'm a Flyers fan.. but i'd LOVE to see Montreal go to the finals and go 7 games and either win or lose.  I really love their team…

  49. percussio says:

    Im not saying they're dirty although they did have a couple of incidents.

    What Im saying is … are they really a tough, gritty team ? Is that truly their identity ?

    I doubt Briere would be at -23 if they focused their efforts elsewhere than toughness. These arent the Broad street bullies anymore. It seems like they're trying to go back to their roots and redefine themselves through the past in this era of rebuilding.

    The y should give that up and focus on their young, skilled and speedy players.

  50. UsedandAbused says:

    I think the Flyers are a gritty team, even if Briere isn't. It seams to me that they are more or less building their team the same way the Ducks have, with a good mixture of size and speed.

    In my opinion the Flyers have the forwards for the future. I think there are three elements that they need to become a real contender.

    1) They need another stud defenseman who can skate.

    2) They need a stud Goaltender.

    3) their young players need a bit more experience which they are getting.

    I believe they will get their defenseman in the off-season and their experience this year. Hopefully they can find a goaltender somewhere down the line, but right now I just don't see where they will get that goaltender who has been missing since Hextall.

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