Two Words: SCRATCH LATENDRESSE

The Habs have started off pretty well and are playing better than anyone expected. Yet still, there is always room for improvement and they have a few problems to fix.

*Note to HTR* Please insert this picture if you do decide to put one in:
http://www.canoe.com/archives/sports/nouvelles/media/2007/03/20070315-070500-g.jpg

For some reason unknown to myself, Guillaume Latendresse has played in 13 of 14 games this year, something he is terribly undeserving of in my opinion. Latendresse, or ‘Lazy Tendencies’ as I like to call him, has points in only 3 games this year, he has 2 goals and 2 assists, and we all know the quality of his goals… Latendresse is second worst on the team with a minus three rating, and if you take a look at the other players with low plus minus ratings you’ll see that many have played on a line with Latendresse at some point this season. Plekanec has played much better than a minus three rating and Kovalev has played better than a 0.
Latendresse has very rarely actually been demoted a line, in fact Ryder has been demoted more times the Lazy Tendencies, and although I agree that Ryder should have been demoted that many times, Latendresse should have been demoted many more times than Ryder.
Unbelievably, Latendresse has been playing on the second line and has served as a cancer for that line, yet thankfully Kovalev and Plekanec have kept things together. I do not know why Carbo is so unwilling to send Latendresse a message, and for those of you who argue that he has, take a look at the powerplay. Notice that Latendresse is always on the second unit with Kovalev, yet he has managed 0 goals. Patrice Brisebois has more Powerplay goals than Lazy Tendencies does.
And for any of you who have beeto a game recently,you would notice that there are quite a few fans who have no problems calling Latendresse useless, unworthy, a cancer, and other more vulgar terms.
I really hope this is not the case, but I think that Carbo is being pressured by the French media into keeping Latendresse on the roster. I do not mean to sound racist in any way, but if Latendresse were to be benched there would be an uproar from the French media. Apart from Benoit Brunet the RDS broadcast team seems quite knowledgable and they would probably not be too upset with the move, but the likes of Journal de Montreal and La Presse would throw fits. They would throw other players like Josh Gorges under the bus in order to make it seems like Latendresse really isn’t all that bad. Of course, they’ll neglect to say that Gorges has been playing because of injuries to others and that he’s been giving the aging Brisebois the ocassional game off.
There is no lack of players on offence, and I’d much rather see guys like Grabovski, Lapierre, or even Sergei Kostitsyn getting a shot when a guy like Latandresse is showing no effort early on. I’m not saying get rid of Latendresse for a long period, simply scratch him once, and give another guy a chance. Give Latendresse the start next game, but tell him that if he does not play to his capabilities he will be benched/sent to Hamilton for the next 5 games. When that 5 game period ends give him another 2 or 3 games to prove himself, and if he does not do so send him down/bench him again, and repeat the process until he starts playing to his capabilities.
I hope it does not require much time to get him back on track, but if he is not willing to skate on an energy line with Smolinski and Dandeneault you know something is wrong.
So far, it looks like Lazy Tendencies would fit perfectly (speed wise) on Montreal’s old energy line with Audette and Gilmour, in fact I’d say those two played more like they had something to prove than Latendresse does.


20 Responses to Two Words: SCRATCH LATENDRESSE

  1. leafy says:

    Every team has their sad sack whipping boy, like we do with Belak.

  2. morrissey says:

    He's playing to the capabilities of a 20 year old that went right from junior to the NHL and wasn't the greatest skater to begin with. Bench him? Why? So he can learn from the bench? He needs to play. Now the best place for him to play would be the AHL and if there was any other player with size that could score too on the Canadiens he'd be down already, but there isn't. Who else are you going to park in front of the net on the second powerplay unit? Kostopoulos?

  3. habsrock99 says:

    Guillaume Latendresse has picked up his play recently. Yeah, he had a very slow start but has really picked his OVERALL game up. NEWS FLASH, Maxim Lapierre ISN'T an NHL hockey player. He's a fill in at best, like Josh Gorges. Sergei Kostitsyn isn't ready yet and Montreal really doesn't have anyone else in Hamilton good enough/ready enough for NHL duty (Forward wise).
     
    Now, reading your article, it seems to me, though I may be wrong about my assessment, but I believe you don't really care for Latendresse, who is EXACTLY what Montreal needs going into the future, a BIG, STRONG, POWER FORWARD.

    You go on to say that Latendresse is Montreal's worst +/- guy, well, last I checked, Latendresse WASN'T a defensive forward. He's not quick enough to fill an energy role and would be better suited playing with Koivu or Plekanec.

    When a guy's sole NHL purpose is to put up points and goals not defensive numbers and he's playing on the 3rd and 4th line, he's not going to put up anything because he's out of his element. Look at last year, Latendresse was a non-factor until Higgins was injured and got the chance to play with Koivu and he responded with a multi-point game. If you look at all of Latendresse's points, they came when he played with Koivu, not Garth Murray and Aaron Downey.

    If you want to point someone out, why not Andrei Kostitsyn? He's played with more talented line mates then Latendresse and he has 3 points to show for it. I'm beginning to realize that Kostitsyn isn't qualified to be a Top 6 forward and he'd probably be better suited, for the time being at least, to play with Smolinski and Dandeneault. I also believe Kostitsyn will be a non-factor until his brother (Sergei) gets to the NHL.

    Also, you can't really demote a player during a game when he already plays on the 4th line.

  4. THEGREATHAB says:

    He has been benched this year, there was no backlash from the media and Lats took it like a man, saying he knows the Habs and Carbonneau have his best interst at heart. Bottom line he is 20 years old, one of our best prospects and the only potential scorer who can and will hit. After his benching this year he has played alot better, and the points will come.

  5. habsoverserver says:

    true dat.

  6. simplyhabby says:

    If I way the postives and negatives for this kid, I say bench him but he brings a physical presence we so desprately need on the 2nd line. (we need it on the first line but hey who am I to argue about the production even with alagging Ryder)

    The bottom line is that Latendresse on the second line truly shows our lack of a physical scorer that can play second line minutes and situations.

    Personally, I would like to see Kovalev move to the first line, Kostisytn to the second and we obtain through trade a power forward for the second line wing.  We got prospects, we got picks, we got an abudnance of D-men, we got a goalie and we got Ryder. 

    Yes I completely would agree the chemistry between Kovalev and Plex is fantastic but don't you think my propostion would not benefit the habs?

  7. habsalicious says:

    Koivu and Kovalev don't click together…

  8. simplyhabby says:

    You obvioulsy did not watch the playoffs when Koivu, Kovalev and Zednik were playing together. 

  9. MtlHabs09 says:

    Did you not read the part where I said bench him or send him to Hamilton?

  10. habsoverserver says:

    Gazette reporting Latendresse scratched and Garth Murray waived.  Bouillon should be in the lineup and Gorges will sit.

  11. MtlHabs09 says:

    Notice I said bring in Lapierre/Kostitsyn/START Grabovski (who deserves a chance instead of sitting in theluxury box watching) for 1 game, and then MAYBE 3-5…
    Montreal doesn't just need a "BIG, STRONG, POWER FORWARD", they need a "BIG, STRONG, POWER FORWARD" who can score, and Latendresse's 2 goals and 2 assists really don't fit that criteria. So if Latendresse isn't a defensive forward and he has 2 goals after playing on the second line and the powerplay for almost every game this year, what the hell is he? An offensive forward who doesn't score??????????
    He's started on the 3rd or 4th line twice this season, and been demoted several times in game, so it really isn't an excuse for him. And I notice that guys like Smokes and Dandelion both have 2 goals so far after playing on the 3rd or 4th line all year.
    And with you trying to bash Kostisyn you're doing exactly what I said the French media would do, throw somebody else under the bus so Latendresse looks good. Kostisyn has played in 3 fewer games, has played with Kovi two or three times tops, gets no powerplay time, has a plus 2 rating, has taken no lazy penalties, and is usually on the 3rd line, where he belongs.
    Now you're trying to say that a guy who's been on the powerplay all year, and played on the 2nd line with arguably one of the most talented players in the league should have only 1 point more than a 3rd/4th liner?????????????

  12. MtlHabs09 says:

    One game is a start, but in my mind he needs to score to maintain his spot, and he has not done so. He can say he will try harder, but I want to see him do it.

  13. MtlHabs09 says:

    One game is a start, but in my mind he needs to score to maintain his spot, and he has not done so. He can say he will try harder, but I want to see him do it.

  14. MtlHabs09 says:

    Koivu and Kovalev both asked to be split up because they felt they were not clicking.

  15. Flobomb says:

    Its about time someone said this on here.  I read these posts almost everyday and cannot understand where some of the reason comes from.  Prior to the last two seasons every post had Latendresse as the next big thing for Montreal and now people want him shipped back down to Hamiltion, or in some cases traded?  You have to be kidding me, now i will be the first to admit that he is not playing near to the level he could be but anyone who as ever played hockey at any deacent level knows that if you are used to be in scoring role, playing on the bottom two lines does nothing for you.  Latendresse started this year playing with checkers so that Garbovski and Kostitsyn could play second line and PP time with Kovalev, that shocked me and made no sense.  Of course Latendresse did nothing playing in that capacity, and why?  So we could see the amazing points totals that Grabs and Kots put up.  This guy is right, Latendresse needs to play with talented playmakers who can get him the puck, he showed last year as a 19 year old that when given the chance on a top line that he can score at this level.  If he had played more last season on the top lines he would have hit 20+ goals as a rookie and can still be a 30+ goal man for this team.  I dont know where anyone finds the backing to say that Kotstitsyn can cut it as a consistant scoring threat at this level nevermind be put above Latendresse, even if we take stats alone Lats wins and that says nothing for Kots.  He has been given the same chance as Latendresse and has done even less with it.  If anyone should be packaged and shipped out it should be him or grabs, (i know the rangers are always looking for a dead end euro to filter out of their system).  They trade Lats for anything less then a package that brings a true star to the team, it would be a huge mistake for a team that lacks anything aside from ryder that has shown the ability to score goals at a consistant rate year after year(not counting this year of course, but given the chance he will turn it around).  If you are looking for a young guy who has been playing well and deserves a chance, give it to chipchura and maybe he surprises you people and shows that he has more offensive upside then people think.  Even if he doesnt score more points then he is now on the checking line, he is still on pace with Kostitsyn.

  16. Flobomb says:

    Its about time someone said this on here. I read these posts almost everyday and cannot understand where some of the reason comes from. Prior to the last two seasons every post had Latendresse as the next big thing for Montreal and now people want him shipped back down to Hamiltion, or in some cases traded? You have to be kidding me, now i will be the first to admit that he is not playing near to the level he could be but anyone who as ever played hockey at any deacent level knows that if you are used to be in scoring role, playing on the bottom two lines does nothing for you. Latendresse started this year playing with checkers so that Garbovski and Kostitsyn could play second line and PP time with Kovalev, that shocked me and made no sense. Of course Latendresse did nothing playing in that capacity, and why? So we could see the amazing points totals that Grabs and Kots put up. This guy is right, Latendresse needs to play with talented playmakers who can get him the puck, he showed last year as a 19 year old that when given the chance on a top line that he can score at this level. If he had played more last season on the top lines he would have hit 20+ goals as a rookie and can still be a 30+ goal man for this team. I dont know where anyone finds the backing to say that Kotstitsyn can cut it as a consistant scoring threat at this level nevermind be put above Latendresse, even if we take stats alone Lats wins and that says nothing for Kots. He has been given the same chance as Latendresse and has done even less with it. If anyone should be packaged and shipped out it should be him or grabs, (i know the rangers are always looking for a dead end euro to filter out of their system). They trade Lats for anything less then a package that brings a true star to the team, it would be a huge mistake for a team that lacks anything aside from ryder that has shown the ability to score goals at a consistant rate year after year(not counting this year of course, but given the chance he will turn it around). If you are looking for a young guy who has been playing well and deserves a chance, give it to chipchura and maybe he surprises you people and shows that he has more offensive upside then people think. Even if he doesnt score more points then he is now on the checking line, he is still on pace with Kostitsyn.

  17. habsoverserver says:

    They hated lafleur for his first three seasons when dionne was outscoring him.  Latendresse was a third round pick and is still young.  He will take a while to develop and if he doesn't, Montreal has other prospects.  There is no reason to trade him. 

  18. habsrock99 says:

    Latendresse has not played with Kovalev or played on the PP all year. He has recently gotten those opputunities. Kostitsyn started the year on the 3rd line with Latendresse and Plekanec, yes, but Kostitsyn has also played with Kovalev more then Latendresse has. When Plekanec relieved Grabovski as the #2 centre, Kostitsyn went with him. No, Kostitsyn doesn't take stupid penalties but he is also a ghost most of the night. I'm not bashing Kostitsyn, I like him, I hope he proves me wrong and he can score consistently in the NHL. Grabovski is probably the most talented of the 3 but has yet to score on a regular basis. Does he deserve 2nd line time, probably, but only because of his skill.

    Now, also notice how I said Latendresse ISN'T a defensive forward, well, he's been playing with 2 defensive forwards in Smolinski and Dandeneault/Chipchura most nights. Notice How I also said that when a player ISN'T in his element, he struggles. Latendresse is there to score, not play 3rd line minutes against opposing #1 lines.

    Also, you bring up that Smolinski and Dandeneault have 2 and 3 goals respectively, well, one of Smolinski's goals came at the tail end of a PP after a freak bounce after Hamrlik took a point shot. I also believe Dandeneault has 2 Empty Net goals. If not, he has 1.

    If Latendresse plays normal Top 6 line minutes, he will score a lot. He thrived when playing with Koivu last year and so far, has played mostly on the 3rd and 4th lines. He hasn't played on the 2nd line nearly every game, he's played on the 3rd line most nights and has been demoted to play with Begin on the 4th line.

  19. Flobomb says:

    agreed, and in my mind until montreal brings someone else in that is more proven to take a top 2 line spot, Latendresse needs to be in the top 6.  Kots and Grabs are not in that category

  20. habsoverserver says:

    kostitsyn is a top 10 first round pick.  management has to give him some ice time on the top lines.  at this point, the most talented forwards on the team are kovalev, koivu, higgins and plekanec.  ryder, kostitsyn and latendresse are the next level.  only two of the three can make the top lines.  if that is ryder he will be traded or not resigned.  if it is kostitsyn or latendresse, they will get time on the third/fourth lines until they mature and take kovalev's spot in 09.  grabovski and lapierre will not get a chance at the top two lines. 

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