Sunday, October 4, 2009

Well, at least no one's talking about the captaincy

Now that Ryan O'Byrne will join Andrei Markov on the sidelines for the next six weeks, you can expect speculation to mount on who the Canadiens will want to bring in to get through this early-season blow to their defence.

Free agent Marc-André Bergeron's agent says he's had two discussions with Habs assistant GM Julien BriseBois, and seeing as Bergeron is an effective power play quarterback he makes perfect sense to bring in as a stop gap measure to replace Markov, right?

Wrong. If you're going to bring in Bergeron, may as well simply play Yannick Weber instead, because both of them will make mistakes in their own end. If you have to live with defensive errors, I think you'd rather they come from a prized prospect rather than an out-of-work, one-dimensional veteran. If Weber - who was finally summoned to Calgary today - doesn't work out, then call up Mathieu Carle and give him a shot. Then you can try P.K. Subban.

The team finally has an excuse to use some of these promising young defencemen and see if they measure up to NHL competition, rather than simply spending an eternity evaluating them in the AHL. Francois Beauchemin was left to rot in the AHL forever, and how did that work out? How about Ron Hainsey?

While the aforementioned youngsters will get the most attention, I wouldn't be surprised to see Andre Benoit called up should Weber falter. He played the past two years in Europe and excelled, notching 38 points in 54 with Tappara Tempere in Finland two years ago and 20 points with Sodertalje, the worst team in the Swedish Elite League last year.

But in a year where so many new faces have worked pretty hard to build some chemistry the past several weeks, is it really worth it to mess with whatever chemistry they've created by bringing in another personality? I guess a former player wouldn't pose that problem quite as much, but I find this talk of bringing back Patrice Brisebois to be preposterous.


pierre said...

Left handed D dont like to play the right side because their passing habilities are reduced by half when they do...... we already have two playing on the wrong side and its a good thing that Weber wont have to endure playing off-sided as he is right handed himself.

He will fit right in at evenstrenght.

Spacek like any other D dislike to play the off-sided position but he has to do it during pp for his one timer shots to be effective..... his partner at the back playing on the left side wall during PP need to be left handed for his passes to be most effectivelly converted into quality one timers which is what we got from Sourey, Streit, Schneider and now Spacek whenever left handed Marcov feeded them passes from the left wall...... this ideal configuration at the back will no longer be if right handed Weber is partenered with Spacek...... it will makes things more difficult.... less effective.

V said...

'Francois Beauchemin was left to rot in the AHL forever, and how did that work out?'... well, based on his play in Toronto so far, it worked out pretty well.

He looked very good in Anaheim under very different circumstances - not looking so good right now. Gainey apparently had a choice between him and Spacek and so far, it looks like BG made the right choice. Time will tell, but I don't feel so bad about Beauchemin getting away. You're going to lose your share of guys like that.

Sliver24 said...

I agree 100% that Weber is the guy that needs to be called up but I'd take it even further. I think Martin needs to sit down with him once he gets with the big club and tell him that, no matter what else happens, he's going to have a full month to prove himself.

Then Martin should pair him with Mara and leave them together as much as possible.

I think the coach's confidence, coupled with a stable playing situation, will give him the best chance to succeed.

As for the powerplay, Pierre, I have to respectfully disagree with your assessment of the issue created by Weber's right-handedness.

The fact that Weber is a righty will actually make it easier for him to make a quick pass over to Spacek on the other point. It's the cross-ice over to Gomez (the Markov to Kovy pass that we used to see so often) that will be made more difficult because the angle will be easier for the opposing forward to cut off.

The fact that Weber is a righty on the left wing and Spacek is a lefty on the right wing could, if used properly, be an advantage in the sense that they'll both be in position for a one-timer.

That will make it harder for the defending team to cover the points because if they cheat to one side (remember how closely Souray used to be covered) the other point man will be able to take advantage the extra time and space to take a shot.

Arjun said...

No more trades. None. Not a one. Let the kids play. I figure they're going to be ok. This team hasn't really played well yet. Carey Price has. Let the team jell. Because it will. Eventually.