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Noob616

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  1. I've been pleasantly surprised by a few things this year. Especially that at least so far the youth/speed movement seems to be more than just lipservice. They've scratched Alzner all season which I'm happy to see, and I was impressed that Plekanec played under 9 minutes last night and was basically just used a a defensive zone faceoff guy when Domi/Danault needed a rest and Julien didn't want Kotkaniemi's line taking a defensive zone faceoff vs. Crosby or Malkin. That's the exact role he should be used in at this stage and I'm glad they aren't trying to use him in the top 9, and I get the impression that even if they send Kotkaniemi back they're going to use Peca as the other top 9 center and keep Plekanec in this defensive role. Team still really suffers from being completely outclassed by most teams in the league in terms of pure skill/gamebreakers, the Habs have 4 good lines with some offensive ability but the only guys on the team with any track record of good ES scoring are Gallagher and Byron which is an issue. Maybe but tbh I'm more worried when Weber gets back that the PP will be even worse. The powerplay was substantially better last season (like in Jan-Apr 2018 the Habs PP was top 5 in the league with Petry instead of Weber) after Weber got hurt because when Weber (or Subban/Markov/Souray) are on the Habs PP this franchise has a consistent issue with literally not being able to stop themselves from running the entire PP through telegraphed slapshots from the point.The problem on the PP right now is there's no Galchenyuk type shooting threat on the right side for Petry/Drouin to pass to and punish teams for overplaying Drouin/Petry. I'd like to see Kotkaniemi in that spot honestly.
  2. Drouin-Domi-XXX Tatar-Kotkaniemi-XXX Don't care who plays RW on those lines, don't care how they make up the rest of the lines.
  3. To rehash the Byron thing, I'm not sure people realize (I certainly didn't) what player salaries are actually at these days. Byron's 3.4M would be the 171st highest forward contract in the league, just higher than Sven Baertschi at 3.36M, and just below Sobotka/Eller at 3.5M. I think even the most pessimistic person about Byron's aging curve would have a hard time arguing he's worse than the 171st best non-ELC forward in the league.... Byron's 3.4M today under an 82M cap is about equivalent to a 1.6M contract under the initial 39M salary cap.
  4. Leafs waived Connor Carrick. Solid 3rd pair RD, would be nice if the Habs claimed him and sent Juulsen to the AHL.
  5. I'm truly just blown away by the progression, I wasn't worried one bit when he looked underwhelming in that rookie camp 3 weeks ago because I always thought of him as a high end prospect but long term project. I figured he'd be in Finland this year, split Laval/Habs next year, and fully establish himself the season after that. But he's just been so good and by far the best center on the team since prime Plekanec so I'm wondering if he can just end up sticking the entire year. Maybe he doesn't hold that 1C spot the full year and goes to the WJC like Mete, but it feels like it's going to be really hard to get Julien on board with cutting him at some point and leaving Danault or Domi as the 1C.
  6. I mean, he is one. By the simplest definition, there's 186 top 6 forwards in the NHL and he's 146th in points over the past two seasons and In goals he's 79th. That's not a 3rd liner by the most simple measures, and his goal scoring puts him inside the top 90 (as in first line) forwards in the league. His even strength scoring is also particularly valuable (2nd on the team behind Gallagher, and 41st in the league overall). I'm not calling him a star but he's not a 3rd line guy playing above his role, he's a strong 2nd line and borderline 1st line scorer at even strength. In all situations. At even strength, Corsica has Byron as 2nd behind Gallagher in primary points per 60 mins and 3rd behind Gallagher and Carr in raw P/60 (excluding Rychel since he only had 40 minutes of ice time). I'm not really that interested in comparing raw P/60 since it's basically just a measurement of who got the most PP time, and most of those guys had significantly more PP time than Byron last year. Byron had 92 mins, Hudon 108, Lehkonen 127, Gallagher 200, Galchenyuk 240, and Drouin 252, while Carr had about the same and only Danault got less PP time. This stuff is all an opportunity cost, if you don't have a guy like Paul Byron to drive the play and score at even strength maybe the coach doesn't feel comfortable loading up PP1 with Domi, Drouin, Tatar, and Hudon which would basically put two separate lines out of commission for the shift after the PP against the opponent's top lines (who were resting on the PK). If you don't have Byron to fill minutes on the PK then maybe the coach has to use Hudon there which means he's not available for the PP at times. There's a whole lot of guys who can put up respectable raw point totals with lots of PP time, and not all that many guys that can score 20 goals with limited PP time while contributing on the PK and on a defensive matchup line. So we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Gallagher didn't need a spot opened up for him, he took the spot out of camp as a rookie. Mete beat out Schelmko, Morrow, Benn, Alzner, Streit, Gelinas, Jerabek, and Davidson to win a spot on the first pair. Hudon and Lehkonen both took their spots out of camp in a team with lots of veterans as well. Kotkaniemi looks like he's about to win at least a 9 game tryout and maybe more. Juulsen is about to make the team. There will be injuries, Shaw is one injury away from permanent LTIR, Plekanec is gone after this year, Deslauriers is whatever, Armia may or may not be in their long term plans, Tatar could easily be flipped at the deadline this year or next year, there will be spots available for these guys.
  7. This actually happens a lot, last September Vegas waived Calvin Pickard and nobody claimed him for free, but after he cleared waivers they traded a 6th and an AHLer for him because they could use him as an AHL goalie and have him as insurance in case they needed a backup later. Same could happen with McCarron, he's probably not much value if he has to clear waivers but as a guy who can go to the AHL and maybe come up in a different system after adjusting to a new team in the AHL could have some (marginal) value.
  8. /whispers - Byron is more of a low-end 1st line scorer and a high-end 2nd liner, not a "good bottom sixer". He was 74th in ES goals last year, and getting that for 3.4M is good value. Considering net on-ice performance/impact he's legitimately the 2nd best forward on the team right now unless Tatar/Domi/Drouin prove otherwise. I'm lukewarm on this, I don't really love the deal for the Habs because it's another example of the team not really committing to the rebuild, but I do understand the importance of keeping some veterans around and I think Byron is perfect in that role. Keep in mind that Byron at 29 is the 2nd oldest forward on the team this year and the next oldest is Tatar at 27. This is a very very young team already and I think there's a lot of value in keeping a guy like Byron around because you can make a line of Byron + any two idiots and they'll be effective, and he's incredibly versatile. I agree that it probably would make more sense for the Habs to trade him but I also think Byron is getting heavily underrated here. It's easy to talk about Lehkonen and Hudon and Scherbak and McCarron and Shinkaruk and Evans etc etc and say we shouldn't be blocking a prospect but none of those guys have proven themselves to be on Byron's level. If we want to gripe about blocking spots from good young players let's talk about DLR, Shaw, and Deslauriers, not a highly versatile 90th percentile ES goal scorer that can play up and down the linuep and excels on the PK and drives possession. I agree that there's a few too many forwards right now but in the long term I think it's overstated. Shaw is bordering on permanent LTIR status at this point and I don't think we can pencil him in as a player in the long term. DLR is gone unless he takes a spot. Deslauriers has a contract but he's gone in an instant if they need to clear a roster spot. Plekanec is gone at the end of the year and unlikely to come back. There's going to be lots of spots available next season for prospects, and Byron is the perfect veteran linemate to insulate those guys too. I can see why people are frustrated but I'm kinda evaluating these moves in terms of "do they create a mess for the next GM" at this point, and I think Byron at this price is a good thing in the short and long term and he'll always be tradeable.
  9. If Suzuki impresses they'll just move Domi back to the wing and run Danault/Plekanec/Suzuki/Peca at center.
  10. I think Suzuki is far more likely to win a spot than Kotkaniemi. Kotkaniemi would need to have an absolutely incredible rest of the preseason to secure a spot since it just makes so much more sense to have him learn to play center in Finland. Suzuki's a full year older and probably doesn't have much left to learn in the OHL so I wouldn't be surprised if they try their hardest to keep him in Montreal. I also think we're underrating the fan engagement/GM on the hot seat factor here. I know we want the Habs to do what's best in the long term for a player like Suzuki but if you're MB it would feel really good if you added a young and exciting center that puts up 45 points on the 2nd line this year, and especially if that player isn't even the center you just took at 3rd overall. I know they've said Domi, Danualt, Plekanec, and Peca are the centers and there doesn't seem to be room for Suzuki, but we said the same last year about Mete. We didn't expect Mete to make the team at LD over Alzner, Benn, Davidson, Schlemko, Morrow, Jerabek, Streit, and Gelinas, but he made it impossible for the Habs to send him back and they ended up dumping a bunch of those guys or sending them to the AHL. They'd make room for Suzuki too.
  11. I'll echo everyone else, Winnipeg, Nashville, Vegas, Tampa, Pittsburgh, Washington, Dallas etc. I don't think I'll go out of my way to watch Arizona games online since they'll never be on TV but if they were on TV I'd watch them probably. There's lots of interesting storylines and players to watch in the NHL right now.
  12. Pretty much the same as everyone else, Nashville, Winnipeg, Vegas, Tampa, etc. The Habs are boring but there's a ton of really interesting storylines in the NHL right now.
  13. I'll probably watch a few weekday games a month when there's not much else to do on a Tuesday night, but I haven't gone out of my way to deliberately watch the Habs since the 2017 playoffs really and don't see that changing. I'll definitely be following the Habs more closely though, there's some really intriguing prospects in the system now and I'm excited to see how Suzuki does (I expect he gets a 9 game tryout), but the pro roster doesn't have much intrigue for me at this point.
  14. Should be Gallagher but it'll be Weber. They'll give A's to Gallagher, Petry, and Plekanec and Weber will get the C when he comes back.
  15. Yeah I was gonna say, Suzuki had 100P this year in the OHL! I'm pleasantly surprised, disappointing return in the grand scheme of things and a sad end to his career in Montreal, but given the circumstances Suzuki is a great return and Tatar is a serviceable middle 6 guy with some goal scoring ability.
  16. Tkachuk is literally an entire year older than Kotkaniemi and this was basically JK's first semi-serious game on small ice. As for Zadina, he's fine but if people think Pacioretty is a floater and doesn't do anything if he's not scoring they aren't going to be happy with Zadina. I watched him in Halifax a fair bit and he's just not a #3 talent IMO, doesn't really drive the play from the wing. He's more James Neal than Pacioretty if that makes sense. Wahlstrom is the better winger IMO, he has much better vision and impacts the game more than Zadina. Tkachuk will have a fine season but I'm glad the Habs stayed away. He's always been the oldest and most physically developed player at every level and never really scored much at all, while Kotkaniemi was a top 6 forward in the 4th best pro league in the world as a lanky 17 year old and only just turned 18 in the summer. Tkachuk is a physically mature player and will probably have the 3rd best rookie season after Dahlin and Svechnikov but I'm not remotely concerned about which player is best in year 1 or 2 and I don't really see Tkachuk as a guy with a big upward trajectory. He's NHL ready now and will be a solid middle six player but I don't think we'll see big jumps from him in his 2nd and 3rd seasons and onwards. I dunno, people talk about him like he's Wayne Simmonds but I just don't think he'll be at that level.
  17. Less moving parts too. For example, if I'm Nashville I'm not giving anything big for Pacioretty right now because there's a solid chance Tolvanen steps in and pots 25G on a line with Fiala and Turris and then maybe you can make smaller moves instead of buying a big ticket forward.
  18. This is apt, I don't think I'd move to a new city for a 20% pay raise, especially because in Canada that probably means either Toronto/Vancouver where you'd lose it all in living costs, or Alberta where I don't have any family or friend connections. This thought exercise is basically what I'm evaluating for my career plans. I live in Nova Scotia and plan to become a teacher - moving to Ontario or Alberta would be a career-long 15% raise over staying in Nova Scotia, but I really don't have any interest in doing that. If I can't find a full time teaching position in Nova Scotia then I'd move to another province, but all things being equal I value staying in Nova Scotia over a 15% raise in Ontario or Alberta. ________________ If it were "me", as in me personally the idiot sitting here at the computer writing this post getting instantly teleported from my normal job to an NHL team that wanted to give me 2nd line money I'd easily take the 4-5M since that's more money than I'll make in my entire life in a single year even if I could maybe get 6M somewhere. If I were actually a hockey player that's worked my entire life to get to the NHL I don't think I'm taking a meaningful pay cut to play for my childhood favourite team or for a contender. I'm not going to chase every last dollar but I'm not taking a meaningful pay cut so my GM can overpay fringe 3rd liners or 3rd pair defensemen. If I'm Ellis or Kucherov or Seguin I'm not taking 2nd line money to stay, but I might leave 500k on the table to play in a state with no income tax and cheap cost of living (for Nashville/Tampa at least). Careers are so short and the idea that players should take big pay cuts so teams can throw 4.6M at Karl Alzner or 5.5M at Andrew Ladd or 5.8M at Ryan Callahan is nonsensical, get what you're worth because your career could be over before you know it. If I'm Pacioretty and I think I can get 7.5M somewhere and the Habs are offering 7M I'd stay because I don't want to uproot my life and family for 500k. If I think I'm worth 7.5M and the Habs are offering 6M, or if they're offering 7X4 while other teams are offering 6 or 7 years, I'm walking. The other thing is Pacioretty is absolutely a 1st line player. There is absolutely no way to put Pacioretty outside the top 30 LWs or top 90 forwards which makes him 1st line player by definition. In a world where Drouin is paid 5.5M, Galchenyuk 4.9M, Ladd 5.5M, and E. Kane and JVR just got 7M there is absolutely no way Pacioretty should be taking Drouin/Galchenyuk money and considering he was grossly underpaid his entire career I don't blame him one bit for chasing the money. I also think Pacioretty knows more than most players how quickly NHL careers can end, it's easy to ask why he doesn't take 1Y deals like Hossa did and chase a cup, but if you're Pacioretty and your career nearly ended in an instant before it even really started I think you're going to lock in as much as you can for as many years as you can get.
  19. They're both waiver eligible now unfortunately.
  20. Yeah just the 2nd was great value and it happened to turn out even better by getting a prospect as strong as Olofsson. I still have decent hopes for Valiev, he has some potential and he could be the best of the collection of 3rd pair LDs at camp, and even if not he's a good player to have in Laval. Meh, I bet both players just wanted a shot at a new team, I think Rychel saw that Deslauriers is blocking him from being the token gritty 4th liner and Shinkaruk was probably getting squeezed out of Calgary since they want grit in their bottom six. Neither player has much more than an outside shot, at least Shinkaruk is the better skater while Rychel has a lot of overlap with McCarron stylistically.
  21. I just don't really get this criticism of the trade, I don't know what you expected to get for an expiring 35 year old Plekanec. Nobody is giving away young NHL-ready talent for 35 year old Plekanec as a rental. Would you trade Lehkonen for Brian Boyle? Juulsen for Dan Hamhuis? Of course not. They got a 2nd for him and took Jacob Olofsson in this year's draft. He's an excellent prospect, 6'2" center that had 22P in 41GP in the Allsvenskan last season while playing in a heavy defensive role on a team that got promoted to the SHL and looked excellent as the matchup center against Jack Hughes in the U20 showcase Sweden-USA games. Of course he's not guaranteed to be an NHL player - no 2nd round pick is, but he's a really strong prospect with a unique combo of size, skill, hands, and excellent defensive play from such a young age. Valiev is a solid top 4 AHL defenseman with decent NHL potential, I wouldn't be shocked if he emerges as the clear best out of the collection of Ouellet/Benn/Alzner/Reilly/Schlemko/Despres at training camp, and even if he's just in the AHL that's fine depth to have. Rychel and Shinkaruk are long shots, they're unlikely to be NHLers but again they're fine to have as AHL depth and have an outside shot at being NHL contributors.
  22. Valiev, Shinkaruk, and Olofsson...Olofsson alone is significantly more valuable than Plekanec.
  23. Yeah I'm really excited about him. His points in the Allsvenskan were no joke, especially considering he was a shutdown center on the best team in the league. His coaches speak really highly of him too and think he has room to grow offensively. Even if he ends up as another Lars Eller I'd be thrilled with getting that so late in the 3rd round.
  24. I watched a bit of Sweden vs. USA, Olofsson looked really good being matched up against Hughes. Hopefully they can end up playing together in Montreal instead!
  25. Man does Pacioretty ever get underrated by Habs fans. 9th in goals since he became an established player in 2011 while playing with such superstar centers as David Desharnais and Philip Danault. Unbelievable. I worry for the next cohort of prospects, if Pacioretty pulling 35 goals out of thin air with 3rd line journeymen as centers, being a premiere shot creator in the league, anchoring a top PK unit, and being one of the league's most dominant possession forwards isn't good enough then what's going to happen when Kotkaniemi isn't Scheifele? If you want to say he's going to decline into his 30s and the Habs should move on that's fine and I more or less agree (but I don't believe he absolutely needs to be traded no matter the return), but this revisionist history that he was never a star player and that he's just another Michael Ryder is insulting. He is and was a top 10 goal scorer in the NHL and is an elite possession player, strong defensively, and is one of the most effective shooters (in both volume and quality) in the league. That is immensely valuable at 4.5M or 7.5M. Over 8 seasons from 2003-04 to 2011-12 (his scoring prime bookended by 25 and 35 goal seasons) Ryder scored 168 goals. Over just 6 seasons from 2012-13 to 2017-18 Pacioretty scored 173, and over his 8 season prime Pacioretty scored 220 but it seems like your qualm is that this comparison is unfair to Ryder which I just flat out disagree with. Ryder was a great player in Montreal and had an excellent career but he's not even close to Pacioretty's level just on goal scoring alone without even talking about defense, possession, and overall impact. They aren't even in the same ballpark.
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