montreal canadiens hockey – habs blog RSS

5 on 5

  • The Canadiens struggled badly last season with their 5 on 5 play.

    Early signs indicate they will continue that trend this year.

    The Canadiens have scored 10 goals thus far and only 5 have been even strength goals. Ranking them 28th out the 30 teams.
    Only Columbus and Chicago ranking lower.

    Unless they can count on their special teams to be one of the league’s best, and get excellent goaltending all season long – the numbers suggest they’ll have a hard time making the playoffs. Again.

    What can the Habs do to improve their even strength play?

    Or having once again not signed or traded for a legitimate scorer or scorers, keep them in the basement of even strength scoring?

    Are the Habs just not offensively gifted enough or is it more of a coaching issue?

10 Comments
  1. Most 5 on 5 goals are usually a result of a deflection or the goalie can’t see the puck. Montreal cycles well down low but it seems to me that its always a three man cycle . The way to have success is a rotating two man cycle with one man in front of the net causing havoc on a possible point shot. Right now it seems to me that no one wants to get their hands dirty. You have to challenge the other teams “D” . If you play with fear the goalies will know that 5 on 5 they will see most pucks.

  2. Interesting. I think the only line I’ve seen truly forecheck is the Begin line. The PP line with Kovalev does, but that isn’t 5 on 5 is it? I think the defensive system Carbonneau has in place places a low priority on the forecheck, so breakaways and tips/deflections will be the majority of 5 on 5 scoring. If you guys have watched any of the other games, we are the only NE team that doesn’t seem to crash the net much. Watch what Ottawa does thursday for example.

  3. I have RDS and I have watched all the games so far. From what I have seen The Habs are getting their fair share of scoring chances. But can’t put it in the net. They are missing the net, can’t get the puck up…..Etc…..

    Now Carbo can’t coach for beans. He could not teach a Dog to Sit….Enough said about that…….

  4. #4 Aurel1 says:
    October 15, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    I have to agree with DTD that the Habs had lots of scoring opportunities, especially in the third period, but could not put them in the net. A lack of size, especially in front of the net, seems to be the problem. Latendresse should be filling this role. Also, is Kostopoulos the best the Habs could come up with. I see that Lapierre has already three goals with the Bulldogs.

  5. lapeire leads the AHL with 8 points(4-4-8).

  6. #6 groundworking says:
    October 15, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    I don’t think it’s a coaching issue, I think it’s a chemistry issue between the top players. Koivu, Ryder and Higgins do not play well with Kovalev–Kovalev does, however, play well with Plekanec, but Plekanec isn’t a big goal scorer. As for the new guys with some flash, they’re just not skilled enough yet to play with Kovalev. Kovalev is looking like the player he can be so far this year, but he’s not a “system player” and he’s more of a creative, on-the-fly talented type (an “east-west” player, rather than a “north-south” player, to use Carbo’s expression). That makes him very hard to utilize to his maximum effectiveness without a top-rate skill player or two on his line. We don’t have that (with the sole exception of Markov).

    Also, it looks like my (our) prediction re: Latendresse is one step closer to coming true. We’ll see how he responds to Carbo’s criticisms in this article:
    http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app?articleid=340181&page=NewsPage&service=page

    I noticed that he’s had a few good shifts the last couple of games, so maybe he’s coming around from the sophomore jinx. We’ll see.

    As it stands on the goal scoring front, though, I think our problem is simply that we only have 2 players with first-line NHL skill (Kovalev and Markov), and Kovalev’s effort/health hasn’t been a problem so far this year. What has been a problem, though, is that he doesn’t have someone that really complements his skill and creativity (even though Plekanec picks up for some of his slack in the defensive end).

    So about 2 million of his 4.5 million salary is wasted even when he plays well.

  7. #7 Rubberman says:
    October 15, 2007 at 8:35 pm

    Coaching is an issue. Carbo is learning as he’s going along. That’s not good enough right now. THink about it, the Habs aren’t coming off great seasons, or have an easy team to coach (meaning superstars that do their jobs and makes the coach look good). I doubt that Carbonneau will get fired but that’s one of many problems. INEXPERIENCE and the NHL is not a place to learn the ropes. Send Carbo down to the Bulldogs!

    I don’t care if the team is rebuilding, they can still trade Huet, Ryder and whoever else for LeCavalier. The Habs have some untouchables (eg Price, Higgins, Komaserik(?)) but everyone else is worthy as tradebait. If you can’t land a big name free agent, trade for one.

    And, if that’s the plan, rebuilding from within, say it to the fans.

    I’m a very frustrated Habs fan. For me personally, the last 4 years have been painful. Gainey seems desperate during the summer. The media blows things out of proportion: makes stars out of average players: Latendress & Lapierre. Je suis canadien-français aussi but get some BIG CANADIANS BOYS who are willing to hit, go to the net, take one for the team, drop the gloves when need be. Look past the Quebec border, western boys play hard. The HAbs are dead in the water with this line up.

    Sorry, done bitching…

  8. #8 jack hab says:
    October 16, 2007 at 1:00 am

    The only way I can see this current team (and system) succeeding is by a total group
    effort every single minute of every single game. Good luck on that.
    Obviously, this team lacks grit in the opponent’s end and scoring touch badly,
    but I’d like to deal with the current roster.
    On the positive side there have been flashes of brilliance, and some great hockey.
    But with this team it seems that no lead is safe, and if they are down by a pair or more
    they seem to get disoriented. So the only logical answer is for the team to outwork
    opponents and really focus on the basics – like forgetting the fancy passes on the
    man advantage and fire more shots at the net.
    Every team has to deal with injury, sickness and bad calls. Some can rise above, others
    can’t. It’s early and hopefully this team can play well enough to win on most occasions.

    Looking forward to tonight’s tilt with Florida – let’s send them packing without a W!

  9. #9 chevy4CH says:
    October 16, 2007 at 9:21 am

    we can’t beat the upper echilon teams, because they out talent us. So We’ll have to be content to beat Boston,Florida, and maybe Atlanta. We’re not beating Ottawa, NYR, NJ,TB,Buff,Tor,Carolina,(fluke win opening night),phil,and Pitt(not again). So, unless Gainey decides to make a trade and get more scoring, we’re dead in the water, AGAIN!!
    Aren’t you guys getting tired of this broken record year after year after year,……forever!!! I personally have had enough!!
    Bring on an experienced coach, one who doesn’t play musical lines every 2 minutes. How can you get any chemistry when the coach doesn’t give you enough time to ESTABLISH CHEMISTRY? And without a PP, and not scoring 5 on 5, WE’RE DEAD! We will end up DEAD LAST IN SCORING! you guys know it, because there isn’t enough talent on this team to score, and win consistently!
    Sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s the reality of it!

Leave a Comment