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Game 44: Habs/Sabres

  • Early game today. It’ll be interesting to see how the team comes out today against a very good Sabres team. If the two scoring lines are going strong then we are a tough team to beat. Both Kostitsyns are game time decisions, and Mara is still recovering.

    Go Habs Go!

  1. #1 habknot says:
    January 4, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    A pretty good game by two pretty good teams. A lack of finish on our part, but credit Miller and a D that is better than I remember.

    AK46 was obviously missed. When Pax didn’t click on that line D’Ags should have been given a chance. I don’t think D”Ags belongs on this team. He is too lazy or weak to compete, but, he has the ability to think with the puck and is more offensively minded than Pax. It seems to me their skillsets and roles were reversed. I’d rather a 3rd rate top six than a 2nd rate third liner. I like Pax, and with experience, he will turn into a 1st rate 3rd line player (maybe even a top six guy, but he does his best work in the neutral zone). Don’t ‘reward’ him by giving him a job he can’t do and don’t ‘punish’ D”Ags for not competing by putting him on a line that is all about competing for space on the ice. Just my two cents.

  2. #2 Senet1 says:
    January 4, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    I see that Mara played last night but the Kost boys did not. Can anyone tell me how and what they injuried.

  3. #3 Senet1 says:
    January 4, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Habnot, I agree with you about Pax D’ags. In fact to me Pax is turning into the power forward that we have been looking for, however, I believe he is a year maybe two away for being a complete player. I thought D’Ags was going to develop into a potential top six forward but he either came up too soon from the minors or his development has stopped, to me when it time to make the trade we need, he is part of the package.

  4. #4 habknot says:
    January 5, 2010 at 4:11 am

    D’Ags reminds me of the player who at 30, you turn around and say “where has he been all this time?”. A guy who has a great skill package but learns how to use it in the NHL very slowly. Guys like Steve Sullivan, Ray Whitney, even Marc Savard: those guys are higher end than D’Agostini will likely be, but small skilled on-ice thinkers sometimes take a while to develop. They need to learn the complete job of being an NHLer (maybe because they were allowed to get away with laziness in the minors because of their skills -Hello Wellwood). Once they do, they are very useful.

    Pax is already a good 3rd liner and may develop into a top 6er. Right now, he can’t anticipate what Plex or Cammie are going to do, so he’s not useful on their line. I think MAB might be better, or Metropolit.

  5. #5 Mats Naslund says:
    January 5, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Here is my perspective on Matt D’Agostini. His best ever year in junior hockey was in 05-06 when he scored 79 points. The next year he graduated to the Bulldogsand scored a respectable 49 points in his first season as a professional. In his best year with the Bulldogs (07-08) he scored 53 points but was an atrocious -22. While his numbers point to a player with offensive ability, they do not support the case for his being a top 6 forward. His 79 points with Guelph might look promising until you consider Sergei Kostitsyn scored the same number that season a full year younger, and scored 131 the next year. D’Agostini has some valuable offensive skills, but nothing that will counter-balance his deficiencies in his own zone. His backchecking is terrible at best, he provides little to no support for his defensemen, and worst of all for this team, he has trouble winning battles against larger opponents. If Montreal didn’t have 3 or 4 guys his age battling for his spot he could take time to develop into a supporting player on the squad. Unfortunately for him: Sergei, Pouliot, Pacioretti and arguably Pyatt are better options when fully healthy.

    I have been harping on letting the young guys develop this year, and I fully support having patience with D’Agostini as well. I don’t have to see goals from the young guys to see improvements. We have all noticed Pacioretti’s improvements in the neutral and defensive zones while his offensive game has been slower to develop. Sergei has 4 points (albeit in less games than D’Agostini), but his shorthanded play, playmaking ability, and work ethic has been fantastic since his call-up. The problem for D’Ags is that I do not see the same type of intangibles. He is often caught in bad defensive position. He rarely cuts down odd man rushes with a back check. He has some flashes of skill with the puck, but he doesn’t have the ability to create offense for himself. The question is whether or not playing more time in the AHL would benefit him or if it is time to sink or swim at the NHL level. At this point I think his higherst value is as a chip in a deal to secure a defenseman or top 6 from a team out of the playoff picture at the deadline.

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