The Carbo-cloning has to STOP

Spring 2007 will go down as a particularly long season for Hab fans everywhere, not only for the ugly finish but also for the overall roller-coaster season. The team certainly did not finish within expectations. Through December, they clearly showed they were capable of skating with the better teams in the NHL until inconsistency, individualism and bad coaching moves happened. The team started off the year as a tightly knit group, some players even mentioned how they were getting dinner tables for 20 instead of several groups of 4-5 guys. That stopped after a few months when rookie coach Carbonneau made the wrong moves at the wrong times. I will admit that he has a bright future as a coach but he mishandled a couple of situations with some of his better players including Kovalev, Samsonov and Rivet. As he pressured them on, the individualists in each one of them shone out. They tried to play harder, to produce more, but in the end they hindered the team’s success more than help it.

Gainey mentionned yesterday at the end-season press conference that Samsonov asked for a trade “prior to November” and that he felt it was unfair. There is a reason why he asked to be moved, because he simply would not fit into Montreal’s system. Everyone seems to be pointing fingers at our playes within the system when its the system itself that is flawed. For years, the Habs and their fans have seen the team go through a plethora of “defensive-minded” coaches. Anyone can argue that but the fact is our last 50 goal scorer goes back to Richer in the early ’90’s and our last 40 goal scorers was Turgeon and Damphousse in ’96. It seems to me Carbonneau wants all his payers to play defensively and go down and block shots the way he did night in and night out but not all players are meant to play defensivey. Perezhogin is stagnant in his development because he played with Bonk and Johnson this year. He had to settle being a defensive forward even though its not what he necessarily wanted. Last year he started with Koivu and Kovalev on the top line and was tearing it up until Julien took him off the line and replaced him with a mediocre Zednik. Kostitsyn was sent down at the beginning of the year because his play “without the puck” wasn’t good enough fo Carbonneau. Let me ask you, if the Red Wings or the Avalanche had a guy like Kostitsyn in their ranks,

Where would he be playing?

I could guarantee he’d be on the top two lines. Why? Because that is how these successful teams think. They got a good prospect, they mold him, nurture him and develop him until he reaches his full potential. Here we hold them back. Unfortunately the only prospects that fit into our “system” are Carbo-esque, defensive minded 3rd or 4th line grinders. Lapierre, Ferland, Milroy and Chipchura. Ok guys, but none of them will ever score more than 25 goals.

For this system to work, especially under guys like Gainey, Carbonneau, Jarvis and Muller. You have to get rid of the fancy players and get top level warriors. Smyth, Shanahan, Drury, Bertuzzi, Guerin or Blake are guys molded for this system. Perezhogin, Kostitsyn, Kostitsyn Jr, Grabovski and all the other fancy puck danglers would be further ahead in their development on a team like Buffalo or Detroit.

This team has a potential bright future depending on how they work with these players. We’re set in goal and on defense for years but unless we get an offensive minded coach like Tortorella, we’re far off from our next 40-50 goal scorer or 100 point man.