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Game 53: Habs/Jets

  • There is a critical game being played today that will lead to one team becoming the World Champion. That will not be this game.

    The Habs slipped unceremoniously into last place in the East overnight – which frankly is fine with me since their spot as third-worst in the league necessitates that they not pull any panic trades that will hamper the process of rebuilding (cough – Kaberle trade). It is clear that the team has a few pieces upon which to build. Now the task is set to acquire more from the aging veterans, and UFAs to ensure that next year our stable of prospects and young players is stronger than this one. The addition of a handful of elite prospects to Hamilton’s roster is set for next season – but selling assets like Travis Moen and Andrei Kostitsyn could ensure that a few years from now we’re talking about the strength of Montreal’s youth, instead of the bulk of their veteran contracts.

    I’m not one for tanking. Its no guarantee of success, but if you’re going to lose anyway…..

    It would be a lot easier to swallow if we could add one of Nail Yakupov (Sarnia), Mikhail Grigorienko (Quebec), Alex Galchenyuk (Sarnia), or Filip Forsberg (Leksands). The first three are stars in the OHL, while Forsberg has been a Revelation in the Swedish league.

    So who will you be cheering for today? Not in the hockey game – of course…

  1. I think the Jet or I mean the Giants should beat the Habs or I mean the patriots. I always go for the underdog because truthfully I don’t care.

  2. #2 Avatar37 says:
    February 7, 2012 at 1:04 am

    I’m not quite sure why there’s a desire to draft those Russian players with high picks. I think, if you wind up with the first draft pick, you’re almost forced to draft Yakupov, but I’d be immediately seeing if I could trade him for someone like Nugent-Hopkins or Seguin. This latest episode of skipping the all-star game certainly hasn’t done anything to boost my confidence that we’d be getting someone committed to helping us win. Strikes me to be more along the lines of Malkin, Semin, etc. High level of talent coupled with too many nights off because of a lack of desire to play hard and compete every shift. Prima donas and players who believe they’re entitled based on skill alone without hard work are not going to win you a cup.

  3. #3 Mats Naslund says:
    February 7, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Avatar come on.

    1. Galchenyuk was born in Milwakee Wisconsin, and played his minor hockey in Illinios. The fact that you would pass him up as a Russian is both funny, and telling of your knowledge on junior hockey. His dad is Belorussian though so – very close.

    2. Both Yakupov and Grigorienko play in the CHL. They compete against the best juniors in the world and have been scouted within an inch of their lives. Anything we knew about Tyler Seguin or Ryan Nugent Hopkins, we know about these 2.

    3. Yakupov and Grigorienko left Russia at a very young age to play in North America in order to make the NHL. How on earth could you question their desire to be here? We’re not talking about a guy like Emelin, who never played here and had question marks. Yakupov lives in Sarnia Ontario. I can tell you from growing up in SW Ontario, that you don’t live in Sarnia unless you have a reason. Grigorienko has it nicer in Quebec – and might ultimately be the one MTL should target as he’s familiar with Quebec, and loved by the fans.

    3. It is absolutely comical that you question Evgeni Malkin. I’ll refer you to: http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm#?navid=nav-sts-indiv. You’re right. He totally leads the league in scoring at 1.32 points per game because he’s lazy – there is no possibility that your bias against Russians is clouding your perspective there. If only he could work as hard as the good Canadian boys Giroux (2nd) who scores 1.25 per game and Stamkos (3rd)at 1.11 points per game. He also has a cup which as you’ve noted is impossible with lazy Prima Donas on your team. His Russian teammates on that squad included Sergei Gonchar along with Ukrainian USSR born, and noted Prima Donas Alex Ponikarovsky (Ukraine-Canadian) and Ruslan Fedotenko.

    4. Also – Prima Donas like Kovalchuk? http://blogs.thescore.com/nhl/2012/02/07/ilya-kovalchuk-is-doing-everything-for-the-devils/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+HousesOfTheHockey+%28Houses+of+the+Hockey%29. That’s something you don’t read about in most Canadian sources who love to tag him as you have.. why is that? The guy who supposedly can’t play defense and is a Prima Dona plays the penalty kill and BOTH powerplay units, scores over a point per game and AVERAGES over 24 minutes per game. That is EPIC. He’s the only forward on this list -> http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20122ALLSASALL&sort=avgTOIPerGame&viewName=summary.

    5. I can imagine someone drafting Yakupov because he had 101 PTS (!!!!) in 65 games last year as a 17 year old. FYI That beats Seguin’s 17 year old season by about 40 pts – and puts him in the exact same conversation as Ryan NH. Neither Hall, nor Eberle ever came close to that. I can imagine it further because he has 55 pts in 29 games this season. I think most scouts might sit up and notice someone who scores almost 2 points per game on average. If he had been able to play a full season – he was on pace to score 130 points this year.. which puts him in elite company – Tavares, Kane, Perry. There are MANY elite NHL scorers who never touched that – Giroux, Stamkos, Nash etc.

    6. I can imagine drafting Grigorienko because he has 65 points in 43 games. While maybe not as exciting as Yakupov, I would similarly imagine that scouts would also be interested in a guy who averages 1.51 pts per game. He is also noted as having a very effective NA style to his game, and at 6’3 200 he’s an NHLer waiting to happen.

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