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What It Takes To Win


youngnv

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Here are some key questions I feel it important to address when assessing a team's potential to be successful in the playoffs. Let me know if you feel my criteria are out of order, or if I am missing anything important. Also, feel free to assess the Canadiens using these, or your own set of questions. These questions are placed in order of importance, the top of the list being given more priority and weight than the ones at the bottom.

Here goes:

Q - Can the goaltender "steal" games for the team?

A - 100% - Carey Price CAN steal games. If he does or not remains to be seen.

Q - Doest the team have a solid core of experienced Defense?

A - 100% - There is plenty of experience on this defensive core, there is also a balance between size and puck moving ability.

Q - Are the forwards committed to back-checking and team defense?

A - 50% - Some seem to be capable of playing a two-way game, others will have to step it up.

Q - Are the players willing to "pay the price." (eg. blocking shots, taking hits to make plays, resistance to injury, etc.)

A - 75% - Many of our players have playoff experience and have shown that they are willing to take the punishment of the post-season. Some players are still unproven in this capacity. Time will tell... Overall, I think the Habs are in decent shape in this regard.

Q - Can the players "elevate their game" when necessary?

A - 75% - Again, with a number of stanley cup champions on our team, we know they can elevate their game. On the other hand, there may be some players on the team who are not capable of doing so. Keep our fingers crossed. I feel this area needs improvement.

Q - Can the players win battles in the corners play physical, but stay disciplined?

A - 75% - Most of our players can play well along the boards. With a few exceptions, we're pretty disciplined.

Q - Do the players have "playoff experience?"

A - 75% - Undoubtedly there is lots of playoff experience on this team.

Q - Is there enough depth to fill in for injuries and can the younger players play above themselves if called upon?

A - 25% - I think we are hurting on the depth chart right now. Many of our young players have shown they can play above themselves for short periods, but have not been able to stay consistent. This year will be a major test for those players. Hopefully they can really pitch in and help out the team.

Q - Are the players "buying in" to the coach's system and are they motivated with high team morale?

A - ??? - Unknown at this time, however, I am optimistic. (maybe 75%)

Q - Can the coach make adjustments on the fly, to counter the opposing teams?

A - 75% - For the most part I think Martin can be flexible if need be. We shall see...

Q - Can the team be successful on special teams?

A - 100% - I think our #1 PP line could do a lot of damage, and our PK will be good enough.

Q - Do we have "that player?" A player who can change the outcome of the game almost single handedly. A player who makes his teammates better just be being there. (eg. Lidstrom, Crosby, Iginla, etc.)

A - 50% - I think Markov fits into that category. I hope that Cammy or Gomez might step into that role as well. As a whole though, I think we are still looking for that one impact player. We shall see.

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I think the majority of your A's IMO are still " TBD " = to be determined or less than 50 % but then that is my opinion only as I am not sold on this year's squad much like I wasn't sold on the previous team's BG put together

Can Price steal games

Yes and we've seen he can blow them too

Is the D experienced .

Yes but so was last years D and it didn't make a difference

IS the team committed to back checking and team D

Are the players willing to "pay the price."

I guess we'll have to wait and see - this is an entirely new team with a new coach

Can the players "elevate their game" when necessary?

They couldn't last year

We'll have to wait and see

Can the players win battles in the corners play physical, but stay disciplined?

I think we are too soft

Last we took too many uneccesary penalityes

Do the players have "playoff experience?"

Yes but what does it matter if you don't get into the PO's

Depth

We have fill ins for 3rd and 4th liners but if a 1st line guy goes down there is no one ready to take that spot

Do we have "that player?"

no

I think Markov is a great player but he cannot single handliy change a game by himself like Crosby .

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Do we have "that player?"

no

I think Markov is a great player but he cannot single handliy change a game by himself like Crosby .

It's weird because when Markov is on his A game, Markov shuts down the Crosby, Ovechkin, Malkin and so on of this world with ease.

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Do we have "that player?"

no

I think Markov is a great player but he cannot single handliy change a game by himself like Crosby .

Don't compare him to Crosby. Compare him to someone like Chara or Lidstrom. I feel comfortable putting Markov in same category as Chara or Lidstrom. Each may have different strengths and weaknesses, but all three are all-star d-men. All three are leaders by example. All three are well balanced players meaning they are excellent defensively as well as great puck movers. All three make their teammates better just by being in the lineup.

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Don't compare him to Crosby. Compare him to someone like Chara or Lidstrom. I feel comfortable putting Markov in same category as Chara or Lidstrom. Each may have different strengths and weaknesses, but all three are all-star d-men. All three are leaders by example. All three are well balanced players meaning they are excellent defensively as well as great puck movers. All three make their teammates better just by being in the lineup.

I agree Markov is an all star D man , he makes the Habs better etc etc but he is not THAT player .

THAT player IMo is a game breaker , a player that can change a game all by himself and Markov isn't THAT player

I remember one time last year, or the yr before, on the PP he carried the puck into the other team's zone , circled and kinda through his hands up in frustration as there weren't any other Habs players around to dish off to .

Anyways back on topic , " do we have what it takes to win " .....I guesss we'll find out when this team actually gets on the ice and plays 20 to 30 games together

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to win in a salary cap world you need players who are far more valuable than their contracts. you need players whom other teams would pay 30%-50% more to be on their team.

I agree with that, although that is not the be all and end all. I tried to address that in the "depth" question:

Q - Is there enough depth to fill in for injuries and can the younger players play above themselves if called upon?

A - 25% - I think we are hurting on the depth chart right now. Many of our young players have shown they can play above themselves for short periods, but have not been able to stay consistent. This year will be a major test for those players. Hopefully they can really pitch in and help out the team.

By this I mean that if young players like Latendresse, Plecanec, and the Kostitsyns, can step in and have career years, they will be of great value for the money we are paying them. The problem last year was that, for the most part, they weren't stepping it up. That is why I only gave the team a 25% rating on that question. If we are going to go far, our young (or cheap) players have to play above themselves.

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Don't compare him to Crosby. Compare him to someone like Chara or Lidstrom. I feel comfortable putting Markov in same category as Chara or Lidstrom. Each may have different strengths and weaknesses, but all three are all-star d-men. All three are leaders by example. All three are well balanced players meaning they are excellent defensively as well as great puck movers. All three make their teammates better just by being in the lineup.

In my opinion Markov should have been nominated for the Norris trophy he was that good last year. Is he "that player?" A player who can change the outcome of the game almost single handedly? I think he makes his teammates better but we haven't had that type of player on this team in a long time.

Kovalev showed flashes of that but we haven't had a consistent player like that since Roy.

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In my opinion Markov should have been nominated for the Norris trophy he was that good last year. Is he "that player?" A player who can change the outcome of the game almost single handedly? I think he makes his teammates better but we haven't had that type of player on this team in a long time.

Kovalev showed flashes of that but we haven't had a consistent player like that since Roy.

Well, just look at our record after Grabs knocked out Markov last season... I think it speaks volumes.

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