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.

9 Responses to The Carbo-cloning has to STOP

  1. habsoverserver says:

    You make some fair points.  Montreal has no system.  They are struggling to find an identity. 

    I agree that you can't be a defensive system and go after finesse free agents, give up more shots than you take, rely on the powerplay and have negative plus minus players on your top two lines.  Nor can you trade away your stay at home dman at the deadline, nor can you trade for an offensive defenseman who is a liability at full strength.  Similarly, you can't be an offensive team and have no dominant forwards, bench your finesse players and trade away your former top scorer.  

    Montreal doesn't need 50 goal scorers or 100 point men to win.  Tampa, for all their offense, finished one win ahaed of Montreal.  Montreal needs a consistent style that plays to their strengths, something that management has struggled to provide.

  2. passionch says:

    Nice article!  Personally, I don't think the problem with Montreal's defensive style is only because of the coach since there are quite a few former Habs' coach who are coaching elsewhere who develops very offensive players.  I agree that our top prospects would do so much better in teams like Buffalo and Detroit because they allow their young guns to play around good players and focus on what they are meant to be, offensive players.  Don't get me wrong about the importance of defence but if 90% (rough estimate lol) of your team is on defensive yet your team is one of the best at allowing shots, something is just wrong.

  3. ferron says:

     This was a great article and i think you should be the HABS new coach. Carby definitely slow down Perezhogin progress and some people might say that Perezhogin's not that good but i'm sure that if he had played with koivu instead of Latendresse then he would of had more point than Guillaume. The same goes for Kostityn this guy is so good but will end up making it in the NHL at 26 just cause he doesn't play defensive," news flash" Crapboneaux people are sick and tired of F—-n coaches like you. Anyway all this to say that that was a great article and i agree with every thing you wrote.

  4. ferron says:

     I also think that Price should be brough up next year he will be twenty and i don't think that's to young, after all if your are gonna be a great NHL player you can't start your career at 26. Patrick Roy came to the NHL at 18 years of age and wasn't drafted 5th overall and then went on to win the stanley cup and the conn smythe. I think that who ever is running things in MTL needs to wake up and stop letting are good rookies play in the AHL or the junior leagues till there mid twenties and lost that spark and energy that they once had in there early twenties. But why is it that the millions of habs fans across the world all know about it for the exceptions of Crapbo and Gaigney. Do any of you think that Lapierre should of been in Hamilton and Kostityn should of spend the year in Montreal and what was Latendresse doing on the first line at the begining of the season anyway, i think that every body knows where the problem is people are sick of seing 2-2 or 3-2 game what we want to see is at least for once be in the top three offence of the league , just this once please!

  5. passionch says:

    We may never see Montreal as a top 3 offensive team but I do not lose faith. 

  6. BieksaForMVP says:

    I like how you alll said he should have won the Adams in November lol.

  7. bailerson says:

    i agree on the perezhogin thing 100 percent. if you remember the last playoffs that line with perezhogin and zednik was our best line. the kid is big and can play strong . ive the kid some ice already.

  8. honestabe says:

    Set on defense for years???
    That's their single biggest weakness currently, and the biggest hurdle if the team wants to take it to the next level and become a legit playoff contender.  There's no #1 guy on defense, no leader to solidify the defense corp., no shutdown guy that can play against the other teams' best lines.  That's the #1 problem with the team.  Right now the best defenseman is Markov.  On the ice he's a legit top 4 player.  But he's no leader.  And asking him to be the top guy isn't fair to him or the team 'cause he's just not that kind of player.  Komisarek is also a legit top 4 defenseman.  But the rest of the corp. are essentially fillers.  Guys that just fill out the roster, or as in Souray’s case, a power play specialist.  The team will never contend with a below average defense. 

    There are some legit prospects in the system, but for right now, there’s more questions then answers.  Mainly because most of the prospects like Fischer, Carle, Cepek and Valentenko are so young it’s hard to tell exactly how they’ll turn out, and even if at that, they’re all probably 2-3 years away.  That said, none of them are “Blue Chip” prospects, so it’s really a waiting game.  And who knows what’s going to happen with Yemelin.   

    So in my opinion, the defense still needs a lot of work.  And I get the impression from what Gainey has been doing that he’s also recognizes that fact.  Build the team from the back end out.  Goaltending, Defense, then forwards.  There's been alot of people criticizing Gainey for the Rivet trade, but let's face facts, Rivet was a slug.  Yes Rivet probably would have given his left nut for the team and yes he may have been a leader in the dressing room, but on the ice he was slow, had poor offensive instincts, and had only average skills.  To get a first round pick for him was a steal. 

    Unfortunately, having a poor defense doesn’t just reflect itself on defensive stats like goals against and shots against.  But it also presents a huge problem for the offence.
    –           If the defense can’t get the puck to the forwards, it makes it much more difficult to score goals.  I’ve watched the defense struggle all year to be able to make the outlet pass to the forwards.  It’s the same old story just about every game.  The other team dumps the puck in our end and the defense has a hard time getting it out.  And more often then not, they just dump the puck out.  We need a defense that can go back and get the puck, not panic, and quickly move it up to the forwards.
    –           If the defense can’t get the puck out of their end, it forces the forwards to come back even deeper into the zone to help out.  Which is a lot of what’s happening.  The forwards are having to play too much defense to compensate for the inability of the defense to take care of business.
    –        The defense also needs to be able to join the rush in order to create odd man situations.  Montreal’s defense doesn’t do that very much.  Again, it makes the situation very difficult for the forwards to score.

    We’ve all heard the expression, “defense is a team game” or “team defense”.  Well the flip side is also true.  Offense is a team game.  Montreal has tons of good young forwards in the NHL and minors.  Now I’m not saying that they couldn’t use a few changes up front (like maybe some more Canadian players to give the team some passion and grit and get rid of the floaters) but what I am saying is that the D is far from being set for years.  There's still alot of work to be done back there.  Especially if they don't resign Markov.

  9. bigscoup says:

    I agree 100%…..good call

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