Tags Posts tagged with "George Parros"

George Parros

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Briere

During the 2013 off-season, Marc Bergevin spent nearly $6.5 million to improve the Montreal Canadiens. He started off with the ever confusing and controversial signing of Daniel Briere for a generous two-year deal that will pay the Gatineau native $8 million. Bergevin’s following move was trading a seventh round pick in 2014 along with AHLer Philippe Lefebvre to the Florida Panthers for enforcer George Parros. His final move came in August with the signing of Douglas Murray to a one year deal worth $1.5 million to replace the then injured Alexei Emelin.

Thus far, as likeable as they may be, all three of these players haven’t improved the team all that much.

Combined, the trio average 23 games played, 2.3 goals, 2.6 assists, a differential of 5.3, and 22 penalty minutes. I don’t think Bergevin was looking for such a terrible stat line from these three veterans.

I know Murray and Parros aren’t expected to bring any offence, but together they don’t even total 40 games played and they are a combined -14. Murray has the team’s worst differential with a -13 in only 32 games. The big rearguard has been a give-away machine and has proven his reputation of a defender with cement hands and feet. It is safe to say that Murray will not be resigned at season’s end and will need to find another team either willing to give him another chance, or desperate for a veteran physical defenseman.

George Parros’s acquisition was met with a rather positive reaction from the fans. Playing on opening night against the hated Toronto Maple Leafs, the now 34 year old was having a very good game and had won a fight against fellow enforcer Colton Orr. However, in a freak accident, Parros’s night came to an abrupt end during his second fight against Orr. Since then, things went downhill for him, often struggling during fights and being on the ice for a few goals against. Subsequently, he suffered a second concussion in two months against the Islanders’ Eric Boulton. With no points and a -4 rating and 42 penalty minutes, Parros is fighting more than he ever did in his career. The question is: can he sustain such a game with his concussion troubles? I don’t think so.

The Montreal Canadiens’ management, or Parros, will have to take a tough decision if the 6’5″ veteran suffers another concussion, no matter how small it may be health and his children. With his major in economics at Princeton University, he shouldn’t have any worries for his post-hockey career. Some people were telling me that Parros can’t retire midway in a season. Well they are wrong. The Canadiens can place the Washington native on long-term injury reserved and shut him down, much like the Boston Bruins are doing with Marc Savard. Anytime I see Parros drop the gloves now, I cringe because another concussion could be disastrous for him.

Like I mentioned earlier, Daniel Briere’s signing was rather confusing to say the least. Marc Bergevin said he believed in having a balanced team. This means having a good balance between size and speed, and grit and speed. The Habs have lots of speed and skill, but lacked in size and grit. After striking out on Vincent Lecavalier, Bergevin signed Briere, but after Briere’s rejection to sign in Montreal back in 2007, Habs fans have always kept a grudge against him. Thus, his signing here was met with a generally negative reaction.

Personally, I wasn’t thrilled at all with his addition, and I have maintained that opinion throughout this season. My negativity wasn’t because of his snubbing years ago, because I moved on a long time ago. I was upset because he is another small fragile player on the decline. He’s not helping the team’s balance, he’s worsening it. However, I was willing to give him a chance.

Safe to say, he’s far from meeting expectations. In 33 games so far this season (before Tuesday’s game against the Devils), he has seven goals and six assists. For a forward who is as one-dimensional as you can be, this is a rather big disappointment. I know he wasn’t expected to produce 70 points, but he was expected to tally around 50 points. The problem with the 5’9″ 174 lbs veteran is if he doesn’t produce offensively, he is completely useless since he doesn’t bring any physicality or any good defensive play. His poor play and low ice time has reportedly brought Bergevin to shop the diminutive forward, but he can’t expect to get anything good in return of a small 36 year old underachieving, fragile forward carrying a $4 million cap hit for another season.

The only silver lining to these mistakes for the Habs GM is two of those three players will be UFA’s at season’s end, and these two players are easy to bench also. As for the other player, he might be able to trade him to a desperate team, or buy him out. In any of these two options however, he will have to eat up a cap penalty by either retaining parts of the salary, or take the buyout penalty.

Follow me on Twitter @SLavoie54

 

(Photo source: Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images North America)

PostGameFeatured

MHT Post-Game: Leafs vs. Habs – Nov. 30th, 2013

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Join Corey Collard, Coach K, Matt Casavant and Rob Elbaz as they absolutely give the business to Paolo Mingarelli for using the “S” word (shutout) in the WSMN lounge during the Habs 4-2 victory over their rivals down the 401, the Toronto Maple Leafs, at the Bell Centre tonight.

Therrien_PanicRoom

Michel Therrien, the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens, has made some interesting decisions behind the bench so far this season. With a record of 8-8-1 to start the season, the panic room certainly isn’t a place the Habs’ bench boss needs to be so early in the season.

From the onset of the season, certain lines worked very well. The Galchenyuk-Eller-Gallagher line came out of the gates like a prized stallion, providing plenty of excitement and production in this season’s infancy. However, due to the lack of production of his other trios, Therrien decided to break them up in an attempt energize his other wards.

Of course, there is the public display of distaste he showed 2013 Norris Trophy winner P.K. Subban, berating him for all of Habs Nation to see on 24CH. While it seems that Subban has responded well to the public criticism, it still remains a point of contention among many NHL analysts and fans alike, as has his continuous refusal to use

The “overuse” of defensman Francis Bouillon and seemingly eternally struggling centerman David Desharnais has led many to believe that Therrien has an affinity for “les gars de chez nous.”  Wouldn’t “Cube” have been better served platooning with recently demoted defenseman Greg Pateryn in and out of the lineup? Pateryn can provide the secondary offensive push from the back end on the power play, and has the ability to play an aggressive defensive game.

Injuries certainly had a large part to play in their use so far this season, but we have seen recently, with the appearance of Desharnais in the press box, that his patience is running quite thin.

Regardless of the injury situation, or his use of certain players more than others, there are other issues at hand that have Canadiens’ fans questioning where Therrien is leading his team.

Therrien seems to have a propensity to use his fourth line too much after a goal is scored or coming out of a television time out. Granted, in most cases, your checking line is usually there to provide some energy when your team needs it to most, but lack of footspeed from players like Ryan White and George Parros are more of a crutch than a kick in the keester, especially given the combined -6 plus linus rating.

Over the first 20% of the season, we’ve seen the Canadiens refuse to drive the net throught the mid-ice lane. While having diminutive forwards is the root cause of the problem, players still need to engage the opposition’s defensemen. Continually playing around the perimeter without a single player in front of the net or in the high slot makes the Habs uni-dimensional offensively.

Mid-ice play and net drive force opposing player to pay closer attention to those players engaging them in the offensive zone, creating more open passing and shooting lanes to create offense. Is there a fear of injury plaguing the Canadiens’ players or has Coach Therrien instructed them to play that type of game to minimize the likelyhood of injury?

Then, there is their seemingly anemic power play, which doesn’t produce nearly as much offense as it is capable of. Under the watchful eye of assistant coach Clement Jodoin, the power play is rudimentary and simplistic. There is limited movement, and much of the offense is generated from behind the opposition’s goal line or along the half-wall between the hash marks and the goal line.

When two or more players engage the defensive team behind the net, your scoring options become very limited, Only the defensemen remain available for viable opportunities to shoot, oftentimes unable to wait for their forwards to disengage from the defense to take position in front of the net. Furthermore, depending solely on generating shots from the blue line is never a good way to conduct your offense.

Power play rotation is key to success, so no more than one forward should be behind the net unless support is required, in which case a second may come in to help. Creating odd-man situation that favour the defensive team while in possession of the puck on the power play is never successful.

Finally, maintaing possession of the puck, for a team as physically challenged as the Canadiens is paramount. Getting the puck back from bigger and stronger opponents is a daunting task. Instead of simply dumping the puck into the offensive zone, regrouping in the neutral zone, changing skating lanes and re-engaging the defense is the better option. As long as the Habs continue to use an up and down attack based on dump and chase hockey, their success will remain limited.

While in the midst of a four game losing streak, a coach’s mind is filled with limitless questions and scenarios. It remains to be seen how Michel Therrien and his staff deal with the situation, but the simple steps outlined above go a long way to providing some offensive variations.

Take a moment, reflect, and decide, but whatever you do Coach Therrien…

Stay away from the Panic Room !!!

HabsWild

MHT Pre-Game: Habs vs. Wild – Nov 1st, 2013

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Rob Elbaz makes his hosting debut, joined by Corey Collard, Coach K and comedian Mike Patterson to preview tonight’s games versus the Minnesota Wild. Brat Ratgen of hockeybuzz.com joins the crew in the second segment from Minneapolis, with Habs Nation chanting “Go Habs Go!” in the background.

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parrosTo fight or not to fight? That is the question one hears when discussing the NHL these days.  It’s definitely not without merit. But let’s delve in to the reasoning behind banning fighting from hockey.

Here are the most common two you’ll come across:

  1. The safety of the players. It’s hard to argue that there are way too many players ending up with severe injuries and concussions. In fact, a recent concussion study of the 2010-2011 season found that this was the cause of 44% of concussions suffered.
  2. It’s not needed in the game’s purest form i.e. Youth hockey and women’s hockey.  Can’t argue with that one. When kids are first taught to play hockey, it is a pure game: skate, pass, shoot. Same pretty much goes for the women: the rules allow them to display their skills without worrying about much else.

Anyone would agree that these are valid arguments. The problem? Those arguments aren’t for the removal of fighting; they’re for the removal of body checking from the game. You see, the two issues have interchangeable arguments. The 44% of concussions suffered during the 2010-2011 season were actually from legal body checks. That number jumps to 61% if you were to include the dirty hits. What about fighting? Fighting was responsible for just 8% of concussions. We can’t pretend to care about player safety but dismiss the true cause of injury, can we?

My biggest question when it comes to the fighting debate is this: what happens when fighting disappears, but brain injuries and head trauma don’t? What then?  What happens when it’s not the enforcers that threaten the National Hockey League with lawsuits, but the Marc Savards, the Pat Lafontaines, the Eric Lindroses? We can talk all we want about slowing down the game, widening the size of the rink, but the fact of the matter is that contact sports cause injury. The only true solution would be to remove the contact, wouldn’t it?

Obviously, at least from my point of view, that is a ridiculous solution. However, I predict it will be an unavoidable topic of discussion within the next fifteen years. Who would’ve thought, twenty years ago, that today we would be seriously considering removing fighting from the NHL? Not too many people, but recent research and scientific data reveal that there isn’t much choice, and at the very least forces the conversation. It would be irresponsible to deny that.

What happens if it’s the contact and physicality aspects of the game that are in the crosshairs next? Where’s the line going to be drawn when it comes to the balance of entertainment and player safety?

Let’s make this clear: an NHL fight is between two consenting, grown adults being paid millions of dollars to do what they do. For the average person, it’s hard to feel pity for people in those conditions when you’re working two to three jobs close to minimum wage just to live a comfortable lifestyle; the stress exacts a toll on your body and mind and is most likely just as taxing as the punches to the head, just not as obvious and/or cared about. Most people would gladly switch positions with any of them. It’s not as if we’re back in Rome and we’re forcing the gladiators into the coliseum. These men have made their choice.

Before you call me a Neanderthal and classify me as boorish, I’m not dumb. I understand the arguments for the removal of fighting in the game. I understand that fighting disappears when the playoffs come around, and that hockey can be just as exciting without it. But what I don’t understand is how as a society we can decry the fighting in hockey but then turn around and watch boxing and MMA. It borders on the hypocritical for members of the media to call for the removal of fighting in hockey and then turn around and devote hours upon hours of coverage on the latest hockey brawl.

The problem with society today and the current generation is that we seemed to have forgotten about the assumption and acceptance of risk. Whether it’s joining the army, parachuting from a plane or even driving a car, there’s a conscious risk we all assume in favour of reward.

If league executives really wanted it out of the game, it’d be gone. Recently, Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman stated he would like to see fighting removed from the game. It’s hard to take him seriously when his team has 10 fighting majors, good enough for third overall in the league through twelve games. Seems to me if he really wanted it gone, his team might lead by example?

The fact of the matter is fighting is entertaining. The fans love it, the players love it. It’s been a part of the game for over a century. If NHL teams and players wanted it out, they’d weed it out themselves. They haven’t. Case closed.

David Trentadue is a proud member of the TSN 690 Drive Show team. He is a man of few words, but is a great listener. Remember: Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens. You can follow him on Twitter @davetrentadue or email him at davetrentadue@gmail.com

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DerekWills

During the Sunday shinny, Nick and Gary were joined by Paolo Mingarelli, and Matt Casavant to discuss the current state of fighting in the NHL, in response to George Parros’ injury. The boys also spoke to Derek Wills, play-by-play voice of the Hamilton Bulldogs, about the Bulldog’s last pre-season game and previewing the start of the Dogs’ season.

 

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