Archive for December 12th, 2008

Montreal Needs to React

December 12th, 2008

Montreal’s fan crazed hockey market has flooded Hockey Gods Email box with suggestions on what is wrong with their beloved Habs.

Everything from Bob Gainey, who is an overrated General Manager, has no pulse on today’s game.  Gainey and the coaching staff should be replaced with a tougher version staff led by the likes of former coach Pat Burns.

Fans of the Habs love their team dearly just like all Canadian Hockey Cities. But there is always an extra little zest in the Montreal market with their mix of fans young and old.

First off, I think Gainey is one of the top GM’s in the league. Saying that I myself have not liked all of his moves and would like to see him make some changes at the leadership of the team. There wasn’t a sole who thought the Habs were going to have the year they did last year in the regular season. Do to the changes and some of the players that Gainey brought in and the chance he gave young goalie Carey Price, those worked out very well in the reg season.

Coaching Staff

The coaching staff in hockey circles is thought to be one of the best in hockey especially asst coach former Hab Kirk Muller. Muller understands the game and the special teams in the NHL as good as anyone. The only issue you could have with the coaching is that they have not gone to General Manager Gainey and asked for him to get rid of the main problem on their roster. That main problem? #27 Alex Kovalev. Why? Kovalev is a massive talent, that there is no doubt at all around the NHL. But Kovalev is a phony who floats and pays zero attention to the teams best interest. Kovalev is not well liked with his North American teammates because its become obvious that the only thing that seems to matter to him is his own ass, meaning contract years where he plays better. Kovalev, if putting his mind to it could be the difference maker on Montreal winning a Stanley Cup. But so far this season and throughout his career especially in playoffs he has been a no show!. Until the Habs either deal him or I suppose attempt to straighten him out they will not win with that type of leadership. Everything that Captain Saku Koivu does well as a leader in the room would be obstructed with Kovalev’s lack of leadership ability.

Kovalev is not the only problem with the Habs and I agree with the majority of the fans that emailed in on this, the teams overall grit across their 4 lines is not where it should be. Yes, they picked up the leagues toughest man in Georges Laraque who is an underrated 4th line player that can when he gets in on the 4-check, be a very effective player grinder.

Grit on Forward Lines

Also the play of gritty players like Tom Kostopoulos, who I coached in summer hockey back when he was younger and loved the way he played and his mix of skill and grit. This kid can also drop the gloves and is considered around the league as a great middle weight fighter. Forget about what he did to Toronto’s D VanRyan that is not the type of player Tom is.

Steve Begin is also a good 4th line player that adds that critical element to the Hab’s lower lines.

But look no further to what the Flyer’s did to the Habs in playoffs last season when they had no right even being in that series. The Flyer’s who are not the Broad Street Bullies of the old days by any means. But the Flyer’s game plan was obviously to get under the skin and pound away at the skill Montreal top 6 and get them to not want to battle through hard enough and eventually lost to the lesser talented Flyers squad. Gainey’s pick up of Larouque was to try and answer that beating they took in playoffs, but he won’t be enough because the changes needed to come in the top 6 forward lines, not to mention trade the lazy over skilled Russian #27.

In the over 60 emails we received there were several opinions on what to do in Montreal. And I love the passion from the Montreal fans. But as I’m sure, Gainey has to view things around the hockey crazed city,” opinions are like ass wholes everyone has one”

The Habs have some work to do to reach the promise land and it starts with some house cleaning in the leadership department.

For Hockey God I’m Dave Frost

Friday’s Games NHL Notes

December 12th, 2008

Friday’s Games

NYR @ NJD: Take Devils, this will be a tight game but give the edge to NJD at home

OTT @ WSH: Take Capitals, Ott will pay tonight in Washington for their weak defensive play.

TOR @ BUF: Take TOR, Tor played much better and have got back some injured players.

BOS @ ATL: Take Bruins, Boston on fire and much stronger then the lowly Thrashers.

DET @ DAL: Take DET, Detroit is money in the bank at home, Stars still struggling.

CHI @ COL: Take COL, Close call but give the edge to Av’s at home against the young Hawks

FLA @ CGY: Take Flames, Florida has played very well and this will be tighter than expected.

AVERY UPDATE:

The Dallas Stars management team will wait until Sunday to comment on their plans for suspended forward Sean Avery. Owner Tom Hicks met for an hour and 15 minutes in Hicks’ Dallas office with co-general managers Les Jackson and Brett Hull, as well as team president Jeff Cogen and Tom Hicks, Jr., the executive vice president of Hicks Sports Group.

WILSON ON LEAFS AHL GOALIE:

“It’s certain the Leafs will call up goalie Justin Pogge to the NHL, but the real question is when that will happen. “We’ll do it, I just haven’t mapped it out with (GM) Brian (Burke) yet,” Leafs coach Ron Wilson said yesterday. Wilson and Burke want to see Pogge in action, but there is concern about how to handle that with consideration to their current tandem of Vesa Toskala and backup Curtis Joseph.”
The Toronto Star Dec 12