Friday, September 28, 2007

Wild Imagination

Mr. Szporer at Les Glorieux want to tell us that the Habs should start sending a few scouts to Minnesota this winter.

The Habs and the rest of the league need to take note how much depth the Minnesota Wild have for the upcoming season.

An article questioning the depth of the Habs I can take (and have written actually), but did he pull the Wild out of a hat. The Habs will not:

continue to serve as doormats to the Minnesota Wilds of the league

as he put it. First of all, the Wild haven't exactly set the league on fire themselves, and secondly there must be some paralax when it comes to seeing their depth, because I for one can see the bottom of their pool pretty clearly.

Let's compare:
Higgins, Koivu, Ryder, Kostitsyn, Plekanec, Kovalev vs.
Gaborik, Koivu, Demitra, Rolston, Bouchard, Belanger

The Wild have an edge here. But in reality, while the names look good, the Wild don't exactly tear up the record book. Our top scorer outscored their's, and Souray tied them (Rolston and Demitra) in points. Sure Gaborik scores at a crazy rate, but he gets injured a lot, I should know from suffering with him on my team year after year in the pool.

Now onto the juicy bit:
Smolinski, Latendresse, Lapierre, Begin, Chipchura, Kostopoulos vs.
Belanger, Moore, Boogaard, Radivojevic, Walz, Veilleux

Can anyone else see the gulf? I can't. Wily veteran who started his career with the Bruins in the 90s? Check. Apparently, Radivojevic can step up to first-line production (as he did last year with Gaborik and Demitra when he got 11 goals and 24 points) at any time.

I think we have a better group here to be honest. We're not carrying a dopey fighter. We have youngsters who give a great effort, not to mention Begin for effort. We don't have Moore "one of the fastest and shiftiest talents in the game". Really? - sorry Jamie... but we have a 20 year-old who scored 16 goals last year. We have Lapierre who outpaced Moore for points last year anyway. In any case, the gulf is not wide...

Then there's the D:
Markov, Komisarek, Hamrlik, Streit (forgotten by Szporer), Bouillon, Gorges, Dandenault, O'Byrne, Brisebois vs.
Johnsson, Burns, Skoula, Foster, Schultz, Carney, Nummelin, ...

I don't like considering Brisebois depth, but everyone else on our list is better than or equal to Skoula. Also take into consideration not one of their defenders is as good as Markov, and it's looking like Hamrlik would be their number one as well. You can't vaunt Brent Burns as an up and coming D and put down Komisarek for being the same. Can you?

Lastly our triple headed goalie:
Huet, Halak, Price vs.
Backstrom, Harding

To me, in letting Fernandez jump, let their Huet go in favour of their first year sensation (Halak anyone). The Wild envy us here, no doubt. Backstrom is good, but Harding is no Price.

In fact, the Wild goalies tell you a lot about their team. They opted to bet on young goalies in order to spend their money elsewhere. This is something we haven't done in Montreal, obviously. To say it hurts our depth is a stretch.

Now compare the Habs to a team that's actually done something, you may be talking. The Wilds of this league and the Canadiens of this league look the same to me.

On an aside, Szporer, not one day earlier made the bold prediction of 6th for the Habs. So get out the champagne in St. Paul, 6th place doormats will be watching the Wild drafting 30th in June.

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