• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by BigTed3

  1. Kulak is easily our best LHD. That said, he's not that great when he's not next to Petry, he just complements Petry very well. And yes, Kulak is better than Chiarot, who is a fine 3rd-pairing defenceman but largely overrated. Too bad we don't know what Romanov would be able to do and too bad Mete is playing the wrong side of the ice and hasn't really progressed much since his rookie break-in. None of Kulak, Chiarot, or Mete are ideally in your top 4 if you're a contender though. The Habs played well against Pittsburgh and won this series pretty handily. They were the better team. That said, Pittsburgh has a 12.5% shot at Lafreniere and if you consider Montreal as having a 40% chance of winning each of its next 4 series, then they have maybe a 2-3% shot at winning the Cup. Then to boot, the top 10 pick is also out the window even if we ended up not winning the lottery. Right now, the odds are high that we'll be drafting 16th, and the player you get there is simply not as good as the one you get at 1st or 9th. The one good thing to come out of winning is that there's nothing to lose by keeping on winning now. In other words, we as fans can feel good about cheering for the boys to win the rest of the way, so at least we don't have to watch games with mixed emotions about whether winning or losing is actually better for us.
  2. I'd be okay with a run if we made the conference finals. Anything less isn't worth much to me, to be honest. It's funny, because if you think of things the other way, I highly doubt anyone would be okay with a playoff run of 1 or 2 rounds. If I told you we had Lafreniere in our organization and that we could make a guaranteed 3-round playoff run but would get knocked out in the Eastern conference semis and that as compensation for that playoff experience, we would be forced to trade Lafreniere for the 16th overall pick, would you do it? Would 3 rounds of NHL playoff experience for you be worth making that trade-off? Even if you end up with the 9th pick, that's still a much better choice than 16th (or 28th if we make the ECF). Imagine having a chance at getting a player like Sergachev in the top 10 and instead trading that pick for a pick that lands you a guy like Beaulieu or Tinordi or Leblanc or Poehling or so on. And yes, I fully realize you could find Patrice Bergeron or Nik Lidstrom or PK Subban outside of the top 10 or outside of the first round, but history shows that top 10 picks are much more likely to be regular NHLers and stars than guys who are picked in the 2nd half of the first round. You'd have to think we're unlikely to have too many years where we get a 12.5% shot at 1st overall and especially in a year where the projected top pick is a Quebecer who has publicly stated he wants to play for the Habs. Seems like a bad time to miss out on that.
  3. I think winning this series might end up being the worst thing that could happen to us. The way things are shaping up, we'd likely draw Tampa next round and then potentially Philly and then potentially Washington and then the best from the West. Odds that we win 4 best-of-7 series against the best remaining teams? Pretty darn low. So we're throwing away a top 10 pick and 1/8 chance at Lafreniere for this. Not the Habs fault for trying to win, but the NHL's decision to include us in the post-season is really screwing us over. That said, some positives to come from the line-up changes yesterday. It took Julien an entire year to start getting the lines going in the right direction, but we finally saw Danault put next to Lehkonen and put on a true checking line, which is where he belongs. I've been advocating this for a long time, so I'm happy to see it. Likewise, I've been calling for a reunion of Drouin-JK-Armia since we saw that line work so well to start the season, so that makes sense to me too. And giving your best center in Suzuki the best wingers also makes sense. It's almost like CJ finally woke up with respect to his lines and I don't know what took him so long nor do I know if he'll stick with it, but it's a nice start. Up front, the only things that don't make much sense right now are how to fit Domi in and why Weal is still with the team and not sitting behind Evans/Poehling every night. Domi, like JK and Galchenyuk and Pacioretty before him, is a skill player who really isn't going to give you full value playing with scrubs on the 4th line. Weal and Weise are probably the worst two linemates we could choose for him. Evans and Poehling would have been a step up, but even then, they're not fantastic. Byron's playing well, but one option would be to move Domi up onto a line with Danault and Lehkonen, leaving you with Byron-Poehling-Weise/Evans as your 4th line. It makes more sense to give those players 7-8 minutes a game than to give Domi less ice time. Sadly, it looks like Domi's days here may be numbered. On D, I still think Chiarot is overrated and is getting caught out of position around his own net too much. Weber and Petry and Kulak have been stellar though and are carrying the team. The 3rd pair, in contrast, has been awful. Ouellet has been the better of the two, albeit hard to know how to judge Mete when he's being asked to play the wrong side of the ice. I'd much rather see Juulsen or even Fleury on their natural side of the ice on the right and leave one of Mete or Ouellet on the left. So a few things left for Julien to get right, but at least we're making some progress.
  4. If they do go after Krug, we know they have also worked hard to bring Romanov over here and that he's not going to be playing in the AHL. So you would have Krug, Romanov, Chiarot, Mete, Kulak, etc. down the left side. You would have to think they'd be looking at trading Mete (who fills a similar role as Krug but less well) if they sign Krug.
  5. Danault didn't have an injury, he was part of a group of 5-6 players who were supposedly in contact with a positive COVID player (possibly Ouellet or Kulak). They had to wait out a period of time to make sure they didn't develop symptoms to be able to rejoin the main group... that's what I've read, at least.
  6. Agreed. Every pick is a gamble, no doubt. But at 9, you're going after a guy who's more in line with a Sergachev or Komisarek or so on. At 16, you're getting someone closer to a Louis Leblanc or Nate Beaulieu. While there are stars who get drafted at 16, there are more stars who get drafted top 10, and frankly it doesn't help us to end up with a middle 6 forward or 3rd pairing defenceman. You can find those on the free agent market or via trade. What you can't find easily without paying a bomb for it is high-end talent, and that's what the Habs need to put everyone in the right chair.
  7. Reporters watching the practices have said that Tatar-Gallagher look just as dominant without Danault there and you can't even tell Danault is missing. I've said for a while that I'd love to see Danault taken off that line and put back with Lehkonen in more of a shutdown role. If you did that, it leaves you with a shutdown Danault-Lehkonen line AND a possession line with Tatar-Gallagher, both of which would suffice to help to control the Pens' offence. I know CJ will never move Danault, but if he did, you could theoretically look at something like Tatar-Kotkaniemi-Gallagher (who I'd try to match up against Malkin's line) Drouin-Suzuki-Armia Domi-Danault-Lehkonen (who I'd try to match up against Crosby's line, with two great defensive players and an agitator, since we know Sid is easy to rile up) Byron-Evans-Poehling The forward group with Domi and a resurgent Kotkaniemi could be strong, but it still leaves you with a porous D line-up. Even with a rested Weber and Petry, the left side is maybe the weakest in the playoffs. Best-case scenario is Kulak-Petry Chiarot-Weber (with 2nd-pairing minutes) Mete-Juulsen Fleury Too bad we'll never find out if Romanov would have been a difference-maker there. If Romanov had been in and COVID were under control (i.e. we weren't perpetually wondering if the playoffs would just be shut down) and there were no shot at #1 (i.e. if we knew for sure we would be picking 9th overall if we lost), then I would have been on board with trying to win. But there are too many factors (along with the re-seeding of teams) stacked against our winning and against the playoff even being completed, so I'd rather have the sure bet of having a top 10 pick and possibly 1st overall.
  8. Not only that, but there's also a chance that the playoffs just get shut down completely at some point. If that happens after the play-in series, we've then lost our shot at a top pick AND a chance at a Cup. It's just not worth giving up the draft pick for a weak shot at winning and with all the uncertainty.
  9. Answer: Folin doesn't fit in. Unless you're goal is to aim for Lafreniere. Which it should be but which isn't what the coaching staff is going for. I'd rather see Juulsen, Fleury, Mete, or a bunch of others ahead of Folin.
  10. Not to discount Arpon Basu, because I'm sure he's reporting what he heard, but this seems like a load of something. I know you can have false negative tests where someone caught the virus but they can't detect it yet or where the test wasn't done well. But from everything I've seen, the test is very good at being correct when it comes back positive. In other words, "false positives" are extremely rare, never mind having two out of three on the same team at the same time. It doesn't make much sense. Also doesn't explain why three Habs missed practice nor why Domi is waiting 7-10 days, whereas a bunch of positives would explain all that. I don't really know what new information would make the team feel the results weren't real positives. If the players repeated the test and it came back negative the 2nd time, it would be more likely the first test was right and the 2nd one was either a false negative or the virus was cleared. I don't buy this false positive business...
  11. MB says Domi is nervous about coming back. Don't blame him, although wouldn't blame any of the other Habs about being nervous too. They're not immune just because they don't have diabetes. All in all, seems like a dumb idea to be playing hockey period, not just for Domi. Kulak, Brook, and Ouellet, yes, were the three guys listed as "unable to practice" and Arpon Basu had said "at least 3 Habs" have tested positive according to reports. So would figure these are the three. But... I guess also possible that someone else had already tested positive and cleared the virus and one of those three is out with something else. Or maybe there were never three and that was just a rumor. NHL has decided that secrecy is most important again, even while other leagues give full disclosure. The NHL said they want to avoid speculation and instead they've just created more. Overall, the NHL reports 43 total COVID cases among about 600 players tested. Seems like a pretty high number considering they're all still just coming back. That's about 7% of players tested, which is higher than the known prevalence in the general population.
  12. According to Renaud Lavoie, Romanov will join the Habs for phase 3. He will sign and burn the first year of his ELC and be allowed to practice with the Habs, but for whatever reason the NHL does whatever they do, he is ineligible to play in games. Not sure why Habs did this, but we now don't get to see him in games and lose a year of his ELC, cost-controlled contract.
  13. Multiple reports surfacing now, including from Arpon Basu, that several Habs players have tested positive for COVID-19.
  14. Which would be odd for us to do if it burns a year off his ELC.
  15. Seattle is interesting because it puts Price's wife back near home, so that's a wild-card factor. I can see Carey thinking that's a win for him. I'd agree with you on Vancouver not being a great fit, meaning they likely won't part with young pieces, but then again, there are rumors they want to trade Boeser now so who knows. If they think they're one goalie away from being a contender, maybe they'd part with a 1st rounder or two... I think Colorado is even closer to Cup contention and so I could actually see them being okay with trading younger parts to make a move. With the cap, your window doesn't last long and if they wait 2-3 years, they may not be able to afford to keep all their key pieces. Makar is going to get paid in a year. Can they do that AND retain Mackinnon and Landeskog and Rantanen and so on. There have already been rumors out of Denver that the Avs would seriously consider trading Timmins or Byram to make themselves better this year and next, and we've heard of them entertaining the idea of adding another top-6 forward, but they could also see Price as a serious upgrade in goal, despite the cost and the long-term hit. If you felt Price made you the favorite to win the Cup next year and for a couple of years after, maybe they say let's do it and figure the rest out later. Maybe Colorado also wonders if they can grab Price for a year and then trade him to a team like Seattle a year later. If the trade is Price and Lehkonen for Byram, Kamenev, and a 1st, which team says no? I could see that as both teams addressing needs, akin to the Pacioretty trade to Vegas whereby they got better now during their window and we got better long-term when we had no window to win right away anyways.
  16. Agree with this... I think we could get more bang for our buck trying to go after a top-pairing D man than a forward right now. I always like the idea of building through top-end D and finding guys who spend 24-28 minutes on the ice a night rather than a good center who might still only play 20-22 minutes. I like the idea of having a couple of top-end back-enders and I think of groups like Savard-Robinson-Lapointe or Niedermayer-Stevens or Niedermayer-Pronger or Subban-Josi-Ellis-Ekholm or Jones-Werenski or so on. That's why I advocated offer-sheeting Werenski last summer instead of chasing Aho or Marner or a forward. Cheaper and impactful IMO. As far as D men go this year, the UFA class doesn't offer anyone who would be a long-term solution, even if you have good vets like Pietrangelo available. The RFA class is usually more interesting if you think the Habs would consider an offer-sheet again or a trade-and-sign. I'd also consider a RHD to be almost as important as a LHD, given Weber and Petry's ages. If you're going after a guy who can be here for 5-7 years, then our right side might actually be weaker for more years in that span than the left side, which has better prospects coming up. That said, looking at the list of RFA's this year, there aren't a ton of viable solutions for the top pair and ironically-enough, Sergachev is the best option player-wise. Not sure if he'd ever think of coming back here though. Vince Dunn would probably be #2 on the list. Trade might be another route to go.
  17. I don't think Lafreniere will be a flop. I don't think he'll be Crosby or MacDavid by any means, but I think he'll be a top 6 player maybe akin to someone like Sean Couturier (who also had a lot of #1 overall clout before fading in his final junior year) and he frankly could end up being a star. Best case scenario is probably someone like a Vinny Lecavalier or Tavares, where he's the best player on your team for a few years and a top 10-20 player in the league. That said, I really like Stutzle and I think he could be a sleeper in the draft. I think he could have a similar impact to Matt Barzal for example.
  18. There would be 24 teams still alive, which means that each team's chances of winning the Cup, if all things were equal, would be about 4%. Now factor in that the Habs are the lowest-ranking team to be allowed into the post-season and that they will be the "road team" for all their series. That won't mean home ice or home fans for the other team, but it probably means last line change and so on goes the other way. And then to boot, the re-seeding every round ensures we get the best team left every round. So while I agree with you that we have a chance against Pittsburgh, I don't like our odds of taking down Pittsburgh and then maybe 3 of Boston, Tampa, Washington, and Philly just to get to the Cup finals, followed by the best team in the West. I'd say our odds of winning most of those series are under 50%. If you peg the odds of our winning each individual series at about 40%, then our overall chances of winning the Cup would come in at around 1% on the nose. Personally, I'd rather have the 12.5% chance of getting Lafreniere and a 100% chance of drafting in the top 9 instead of a 1% chance of winning the Cup and a 100% chance of drafting 16th or worse.
  19. I don't know what the NHL has decided for this year, since they keep changing their rules for draft position, but traditionally, if a team is eliminated in the 1st or 2nd round of the playoffs then they are ranked by reverse order of regular season finish. The only exceptions to that are division winners, who get bumped to the end of the list. Teams that make the conference finals or better are the last 4 teams to pick. So given that we didn't win our division, the only way we would be picking worse than 16th is if we made it all the way to the ECF, which would mean winning the play-in series AND winning two more rounds, all the while doing this while being re-seeded every round to face the best remaining team in the East. So our path would mean beating Pittsburgh and then likely two of Bos, TB, Was, and Phi. Seems like a tall order. As I've said, the Habs got a big screwjob from the league in this whole thing. The league made the playoffs harder for lower seeds to advance with the whole re-seeding thing. At the same time, they made the draft lottery odds lower for teams just outside the bottom 7 by making teams 8-15 equal in draft odds. Teams 1-7 retained their same draft odds. The Habs, as 8th-last, should have had a 6% shot at the top pick. Instead, teams 8-15 saw their odds lumped together and the Habs ended up with a 1 in 8 chance of the 24% pooled chances (so in essence a 3% chance at the top pick). Those odds have gone up now that the pooled placeholder spot one top prize, but we still saw our overall odds drop from 6% to 3%. The rest of the teams ranked 9-15 also had 3% odds, which was a drop-off for the Habs and the two teams ranked right below us (Chicago and Arizona), though Chicago's odds fell from 5% to 3% and Arizona's only from 3.5% to 3%. So Montreal is given the slimmest of hopes of making the playoffs and in exchange they see their odds of a top 3 pick slashed and their odds of the top pick cut in half and instead of a guaranteed top 11 pick and 99.6% chance of a top 10 pick, now there's probably something like a 40-45% chance the Habs win a play-in series and see their pick drop to 16th or worse. No other team got it worse in terms of seeing their draft odds drop and no other team got it worse in terms of the re-seeding hurting their chances of moving through the post-season. Like I said, giant middle finger from Bettman to our club.
  20. Not only that, but if you lose int he play-in, you're at worst the 9th overall pick. If you win that one series, you're at best the 16th overall pick.
  21. Yeah, that's right. Teams who finished in the bottom 7 just had their lottery and retained the same odds they would have had normally. Teams 8 through 15 were given a chance for a play-in to the playoffs but in exchange lost their draft pick odds. Teams 16-23 lost their guaranteed playoff status but saw their draft pick odds increase if they miss the playoffs. Teams 24-31 didn't see any real change in anything. But at the end of the day, the Habs probably got the biggest screwjob of anyone. Because for us, we had the best odds of a top pick out of the 8-15 teams and we have statistically the worst odds of winning a Cup (especially since teams will be re-seeded after every round, so no matter how many rounds we win, we always have the toughest opponent every subsequent round). If we lost the play-in (or if the season never happens), we theoretically should have had a 25% chance of winning the next lottery based on previous odds (6% odds of top pick out of 24% total assigned to teams 8-15). Instead we have half of that. Meanwhile, like you said, better teams like Pittsburgh and Toronto can also end up with Lafreniere if they falter in 3 games. My picks for the play in series would see the following 8 teams in the Lafreniere sweepstakes: Hawks, Coyotes, Wild, Flames, Blue Jackets, Islanders, Rangers, and... Pens. Yeah, I absolutely wouldn't be surprised to see the Habs knock off the Pens behind a fresh Carey Price and then get run out of the post-season by the Bruins or TB or Was or whoever else.
  22. All that said, Habs got screwed over by NHL today. The league had previously said that the teams that lost play-in (or the non-playoff teams if no season played) who would be in the 8th to 15th -last spots right now would be ranked accordingly, with the Habs being the 8th-worst team having the best odds of being the lottery winners. As "Team A" they would have been given their 6% chances among the 24% or so chances leftover for that group of teams, so essentially a 1 in 4 chance at being the 2nd lottery winner. With the change now to announce all 2nd phase lottery teams as having equal odds, our chances at Lafreniere just went down by half. Unclear why non-playoff teams 1 through 7 got to retain their odds but if the season never happens, why the Habs don't get the odds that go along with their 8th-last finish.
  23. So here are the scenarios for the Habs: - If the season never happens, the Habs are "Team A" for the lottery. However, the NHL announced today that all 8 teams that would have been non-playoff teams based on the last standings before the stoppage will each have equal odds of winning the second lottery and taking the first overall pick. So if there's no more season, the Habs get a 1 in 8 shot at 1st overall. If they don't win the lottery, they pick 9th. - If the play-in happens and the Habs lose to Pittsburgh, they likewise become "Team A" and again have a 1 in 8 chance of winning the lottery and moving up to 1st overall. If they don't win the lottery, they once again move into the 9th overall spot. - If the Habs win their play-in against Pittsburgh, then Pittsburgh goes into the lottery instead. The Habs then end up with at best the 16th overall pick (and in fact will get the 16th overall pick if they lose in the next round of the playoffs). I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm pulling for the Habs to lose to Pittsburgh. I'd rather have a 12.5% shot at Lafreniere and if not he 9th overall pick rather than have a less than 1 in 16 shot at a Cup and a guaranteed pick of 16th overall or worse. I don't like our odds of winning the Cup, but a 1 in 8 shot at a franchise-changing local hero is nothing to sneeze at.
  24. You're banking against the owners' and Bettman's greed though. Right now, the US is a disaster zone for COVID, especially Florida and Arizona. But until we know for sure what the hub cities are, we don't know if that affects anything. The NHL might choose to play its games in two cities that are a bit safer and choose to ignore the big picture. We know players and staff are going to be put at risk to some degree, but even with the Tampa outbreaks, the NHL is moving to Phase 2 of their plan and allowing 12 skaters to skate together at a time now (instead of just 6). So they seem to be forging ahead despite the setback medically. I think the NHL is going to try and get their playoffs in and then maybe back off on starting next season if there's trouble. If we don't see an end to this year, it'll likely be because the NHLPA steps in.
  25. Yes and no. On the one hand, they're being inclusive like you said. On the other, teams like Arizona and Chicago were points out with the team they were chasing holding a game in hand. I don't think either team had a realistic shot at the Cup, and it's not like anyone is gaining/losing gate revenue by being included or excluded from a neutral site playoff. Personally, I don't love the idea of including so many teams. I understand maybe including a touch more than 16 so that you satisfy both those who would be ahead based on point percentage vs. actual accumulated points in the standings, but if you would have stopped at 20 teams, that likely would have been enough. At a certain point, if you're not good enough to be in the playoffs, you're not good enough and I don't think teams can be crying about losing out when they're the 21st or 23rd best teams in a 31-team league. To some degree, the playoffs may be a crapshoot of who avoids having players get sick or go on quarantine and with less of a home ice advantage, it doesn't give much reward to the teams that have played well thus far. I'd have preferred to see them not make a squad like Pittsburgh have to go through a play-in. From our end, we're clearly not one of the best 16 teams in the league, and it's a bit of a sham to just throw us into the playoffs. I think we're being done a disservice by giving the organization some false sense of success and by taking away our shot at a top 3 draft pick. Getting into a play-in series might actually end up setting us back a few years insofar as draft position goes and insofar as the team evaluating itself as being more accomplished than it actually is. Does Bergevin end up keeping his job a year or two extra now because "we made the playoffs"?