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Everything posted by KeepsItReal

  1. This is kind of an odd statement, I don't think any single person thinks Diaz is a lock for the top 4 next year. He has a shot to earn a spot in the top 4 though, and I believe he's a lock to be penciled in every night somewhere in the line up. I'd say he's done quite a bit over his first 82 NHL games to show he belongs in the NHL. Also, "anyone can look good in a 10 or 15-game sample" is quite misleading. He was a rock through 19 games, and then missed 25 games and played the last 4. Then he was pretty average in the playoffs, and I can't think of a single d-man who played that well in the playoffs...but it was his first time ever playing in the playoffs as well, so not sure how you can condemn him too much for an underwhelming performance. Diaz came over and many thought he was just an older Weber, lots of offence and poor defence...but he's been very good defensively and before his concussion looked like he was emerging as a legit top 4 guy and maybe even a top PP guy as well.
  2. Diaz' defensive game is really underrated. I think with a big partner he could be a great 2nd pairing guy who could either play on the number 1 or number 2 PP. Him and Subban could be a deadly top PP unit actually, even if both righties.
  3. Why do people think Gorges isn't a top 4 guy? He's positionally sound, he has a good first pass, and he's a great shot blocker. He's not huge, but people need to honestly look around the league at some bottom pairing guys and tlel me how Gorges is one.
  4. The bolded is just flat out false. All the way back in 2009/2010 when they went on that big run he was far more than a 3rd pairing guy. During the season and the playoffs. In ES ice time (the measure of what "pairing" a guy is) he has been a top 4 going all the way back to 2008/2009. Sorry. The statistics show your claim is false, sorry. Check them out if you'd like.
  5. For all the superlatives about how great the Sens played, and the narrative of the Habs losing their cool, they lost the first game they'd been soundly outplayed in. That was obviously going to come at some point, no? If the Habs win tomorrow night, they have a best of 3 with home ice advantage AND even without Eller, Emelin and Pacio/Gio not playing at 100% they have better depth, and Karlsson has only played a handful of games and that game 6/7 back to backer will need lots of minutes from guys on the Sens and the Habs should be hypothetically able to roll their lines a bit more. We saw how Karlsson looked in game 2 of the B2B. So...A win tomorrow, and then hope for a win in 5 or 6 and hopefully the Habs significantly better forward depth, as well as the lack of the necessity to really have one d-man shoulder the load like the sens must needs do with Karlsson and hopefully the Habs get that game 7 win at home. I think we saw this series that win or lose, a Habs cup win seems like a tall and unlikely order...but there are too many positives about this organization to be overly upset about anything right now.
  6. I don't think Bergevin would say this team's blueline is "fine as is" though. First off they're missing one of their best d-men from this season in Emelin. Markov may not be a 25 minute a night d-man, but to say he's not even a top 4 d-man is getting a bit ahead of ourselves is it not? Honestly waht we've seen from Tinordi in 3 games has been very exciting to me, and looking at a core of Subban, Tinordi, Emelin, Diaz, Gorges and ____ sounds pretty damn good to me. This team has Markov and Bouillon to provide value in the other spots (yes I think Frankie will sit if this team ever gets healthy next year) until someone is ready. Desharnais----no one could have predicted he'd fall off like he has since signing that deal, but even still I didn't ever see how he fit on this team without real cup aspirations this year (as shown by their lack of moves at the deadline) since very soon AG will have to play center and Eller looks like a legit top 6 center as well. Too many centers is never a bad thing, and DD could certainly always play on the wing...but I hope he plays well for a while next year and is dealt, as I believe the sole purpose of the re-signing was to trade him down the road, a plan which is hindered if he's not playing well obviously.
  7. Jeez, what's up with Leblanc? Talk about a disappointing sophomore season. I'd love to see Galchenyuk get a shot on a 3rd line, at left wing of: Galchenyuk-Eller-Bourque I know some don't like Bourque, but he's a big body who can throw his weight around and create space. This could be the perfect thing for Galchenyuk.
  8. Even if last year was a fluke, Pacioretty is at worst a 20+ 20+ assist guy. There's just no way he isn't a top 6 calibre player. To sign him for 6 (more, after this final season) years at a price that's quite fair both ways really excites me. I'm almost positive (lets say 95%) that you can't re-sign guys in certain situation(s) until January 1st. Gorges last year, I'm positive wasn't able to re-sign until January 1st, I believe that's due to him being having signed a 1 year deal. He even signed on January 1st. But again that's different because it's just a 1 year term so there is not July 1st in the equation for when he "became" a player.
  9. You mean Boston who traded a good center prospect and a 1st rounder, they didn't "want" him? And Carolinaa, who signed him to a 3 year deal? They didn't "want" him? Just because Carolina was stupid and traded him when his value was at its lowest, and Boston didn't feel he fit in with their "tough" regime doesn't mean teams wouldn't "want" him. He has many assets and he is among the best in the league at moving the puck up the ice.
  10. Sure, I don't personally see it but there's no reason to think Markov and Kaberle couldn't man the points on the number 1 PP unit, but then it creates problems as well for the number 2 unit. I don't see why people are so concerned with Kaberle's "value" if he can provide his puck moving capabilities for the Canadiens with whatever icetime they give him I'm quite sure he'll be an asset to the team.
  11. I really don't understand how Kaberle being on the 2nd unit hurts his value, or how his salary has anything to do with it. Markov plays his role better (provided he's back and close to his former self) and Kaberle and Markov don't work together. I'm not gonna write off Emelin on the PP just yet, he had some good offensive numbers in his last year in the KHL and I like his point shot, nice low and accurate. He could definitely be an option on the NHL. Again, with Emelin we don't know how much better he can be once he gets comfortable on North American ice.
  12. PK: Moen-Plekanec Prust-Eller Bourque-White Gorges-Subban Markov-Emelin Diaz-Kaberle PP: Pacioretty-Desharnais-Gionta Subban-Markov Cole-Plekanec-Eller Diaz/Emelin/Weber/Bouillon-Kaberle My guess anyways
  13. Diaz put up pretty big offensive numbers the last 2 years in the Swiss League and Emelin I believe must have been getting pretty big minutes his last season in the KHL at the very least. He was also a beast in the playoffs in his 2nd last year, putting up 13 points in 22 games, again indicating he was getting big minutes. Now I'm not saying these guys are top pairing guys, but they certainly have the potential to be top 4 guys, Emelin in particular I feel could be used in a shutdown role against other teams top lines, while Diaz I feel also could progress to that, he could also be a bottom pairing ES guy who can play on the PP as well. As for Weber, it's just too soon for me to write him off, I know he's had a few years but for a smaller guy with those offensive capabilities it's to be expected that it takes him some time to adapt to the NHL. Whether he will prove himself to be a capable every night d-man or not remains to be seen, and being pessimistic on that accord is somewhat reasonable I suppose...but I won't make any declarations on him until he is AT LEAST 25 years old...with the way the Habs' defence is put together and the guys in the wings I think it's possible he could be on the way out....but I hope not. Also, love that Tinordi, Beaulieu and Ellis are potential guys in a year or two, but we also can't forget about Dietz, Thrower, Pateryn (who'll be in the AHL this year as well and doesn't get mentioned much as a future NHL'er) and Bennett. Pretty good makings of a future on defence IMO. Brendon Nash could also still potentially have an NHL career, AND (as of now) the Habs have 3 2nd rounders next year, I'd be shocked if the Habs, provided they have at least 4 top 60 picks next draft, didn't add at least 2 more very intriguing defensive prospects. But that's all of course looking into the future, for this upcoming season if a couple things go the Habs' way there's no reason why they can't contend for the division title, and if they face a bit of turmoil through the season there's no reason they can't be in the playoff race still. Does that mean there's no way they won't finish in the bottom 5 or bottom 10 next year? Hell no, there's nothing close to absolutes in hockey over an entire season. All I know is that I'm very excited to see how next season goes.
  14. I really don't see how you can claim Emelin is nothing more than a bottom pairing d-man after one season in the NHL. That's unbelievably confusing to me, when you consider the assets that he brings to the table and the fact that he's entering what could be a 4-6 year prime. The defence may be small but it is also a defence that is VERY good at moving the puck. Gorges, Subban, Boullion and Emelin are all pretty tough (although some would argue based on their definition of "tough" d-men and all play the puck well as well. There will be internal competition as well. And the things I said about Emelin could be said about Diaz too, maybe he doesn't have that rare physical side to his game like Emelin does, but he does a lot of things well and it's not out of the realm of possibilities that he, as a right hand shooting smart offensive d-man could play some on the PP. Also Weber could take that step we've all been hoping for for a couple of years, he's shown glimpses of it. You can look at any situation and people will have 2 different opinions, there are a lot of positives the Montreal defence has and when Gorges and Subban are probably going to be playing the most minutes, and Emelin will get lots of minutes as well. Sure they don't have a bruising defence like Boston but I really like the way all their guys can move it up the ice. As for not having a special guy like MAB, the Habs have a guy like that in Weber...a very solid offensive, smaller d-man who can't crack the top 6 more oft than not. Weber is way younger. John Scott is just a waste of one of the 50 roster spots and it amazes me he ever gets mentioned as a beneficial player. It's one thing with a goon forward on the 4th line who gets 6 minutes a game...but a d-man? How is limiting yourself to 5 d-men so that one guy can go out and (NOT) intimidate other players for 5 minutes a night and take more than that in PIM. This idea that having a guy like John Scott in the line up is a deterrence against Lucic is just asinine and if anything it has the potential to cost you chances at Power plays. Markov might be rusty, but if he can rebound and be a capable top 4 d-man who can play on the PP than that is huge, and there's really just not any reason to believe he can't do that, let alone go back to being a top pairing guy. Kaberle, in the right situation, and with a deeper team, will become a big asset as well. Even if he's overpaid a bit (barely) and somewhat redundant (If Diaz or Weber steps up they'll move Kaberle and LOL to anyone who thinks he doesn't have trade value) he's still a hell of an offensive PMD. Gorges-Subban Markov-Emelin Kaberle-Bouillon/Diaz. You can say it's bad all you want, but I believe that will be a good defence if they can stay healthy and a lot of offence can be provided out of capable/high end moving the puck up the ice from the back end. Those guys you mention the Habs losing Hamrlik, Mara, Souray, Komisarek and Gill were also at times all pretty brutal in the defensive zone and prone to awful giveaways. So what if they are "tougher" in front of the net if they're giving the puck away often. Now in Hamrlik's case it was only when they played him like a number 1 pairing d-man that he looked poor, and Gill knew his limits and played generally the smart simple game...but there's great potential for this teams defence to help the offence provide much more offensive pressure.
  15. Having stronger 3rd and 4th lines will allow them to play them more and keep the 1st and 2nd lines fresher later in the games. Also, I don't get why people say a guy like Cole isn't "tough" he might not fight but he is one tough customer in front of the net and he hammers guys on the forecheck as well. Pacioretty and Bourque also provide size and can both use their bodies as well. Prust, White and Moen can all drop the gloves and chuck 'em. You don't need 12 guys who are heavyweights, you need a solid mix of size, speed, aggressiveness and skill. The goal shouldn't (and hopefully isn't) be to go punch for punch with Boston and Philadelphia and other pathetic goon teams like that, but to have guys who will clear the crease when guys get in Price's (and other guys, but more than anyone else, Price) face and play smart so that you can get on the power play, as opposed to playing stupid and playing on the PK. Lets also not forget that the habs could potentially have the best open ice hitting d-man in the league next year, and when a guy like Malone decides to stomp his feet on the ground and cry like the pathetic baby that he is that Prust and White will be very willing to tango with him. I LOVE the mix of skill and toughness this team has next year, especially if Therrien lights a fire under Bourque's rear end, which I fully expect will happen.
  16. Montreal was 11th against in goals last season...but we're going to allow a lot of goals this year with Emelin, Subban and Diaz all having an extra year of experience and Markov potentially being healthy? How does that make sense?
  17. No reason why he couldn't develop a mean streak and into a 20 goal 50 point player.
  18. Hodgson is a geek who has injury issues and hasn't even broken out into anything. Toronto didn't need JVR and he doesn't answer the question of who other than Grabovski can be a top 6 center for them. Tampa Bay has improved but Carle is overrated, Salo is injury prone and Pouliot is a fringe NHL'er Those Winnipeg additions are both pretty "meh" In terms of who they've lost from the start of last season, Cammalleri has durability issues and is basically not worth the skates he uses while floating around the ice when things aren't falling into place for him. Gill is solid but Bouillon brings a lot of the same assets and both Diaz and Emelin were total unknowns and have now proven to be legitimate NHL'ers. Markov wasn't there to start the season, even if some of us fans thought he would be...and while he's a huge durability concern until we hear otherwise there's no reason to assume he won't be healthy and he won't be a very big asset to the team. Pacioretty wasn't a 30 goal scorer at the start of last seaon, Desharnais hadn't broken out with a 61 point season. Bourque was awful last year but he has a lot of good things he brings to the ice, with proper coaching he could regain some or all of what allowed him to score 27 goals in back to back seasons. Considering what Kostitsyn provided the Habs last season it's not out of line to think that some other combo of players in the habs bottom 6 can help to soften that blow.
  19. The Habs have a legitimate young number 1 d-man in Subban and a great shutdown d-man who could play 20 minutes a night on basically any team in the league in Gorgoes. What happens with Markov is very important but Diaz and Emelin are minute eaters and I think it's not out of line at all to think they'll improve. They don't need to be game changers. I'll wait and see how the Therrien coached Habs play until I make declarations on his coaching style personally. Last year when Campoli went down the Habs had to eventually go to a guy like Frederic St. Denis, their depth on defence is astronomically better than last year, even without Gill and Spacek. In terms of Diaz being a "shutdown guy" I guess it depends on what your definition is, he's not a physical player by any means but he's a very smart player and experience will just improve upon that...you say it's just as likely they take a step back but in all reality the odds are that someone coming over at 25 to play in North America for the first time ever will be better in his second season. There's internal competition on the Habs blue line which is exciting, especially with Tinordi, Beaulieu, Ellis and Pateryn all likely playing in the top 6 in Hamilton next year.
  20. I hope Eller develops a mean streak. He has it in him.
  21. That's not a reality, there are no "realities" in terms of talking future in sports. Only theories and beliefs. The Habs have one of the 5 or so best goalies in the league and their team is much deeper than it was last year. Outside of Carolina no one has improved that much of the teams who missed the playoffs either. I'm excited for the upcoming season, I think that overall this team will be better at controlling the play and scoring goals next season. They should also have much improved coaching. You say it's just as easy that Diaz and Emelin take a step back as forward and say they're not kids anymore. I never said they were young, but that developmental process will take time. Both of them bring a lot of assets to the ice for the Habs. Emelin is more valuable because he's a rarer commodity but Diaz is a guy who looks like he's potentially an every night d-man in the NHL capable of manning the number 2 PP unit. He's also better in his own zone than he's given credit for, much better.
  22. The Flyers from the beginning of last season have lost Pronger and Carle and replaced them with Schenn. That's a huge drop off. Philadelphia was only impressive in the first round when Fleury was letting in terribad goals every night and the Penguins were playing undisciplined stupid hockey. They got embarrassed by New Jersey.
  23. Gomez missed half of the year, Moen missed 30+ games, Diaz also had injury problems, so did Campoli who was supposed to shore up the depth on defence. You can say that Gomez sucks, but he had 38 points the previous season and only 11 this year. That's a huge drop You're also severely underplaying the importance of Gionta's injury. That took Plekanec's best winger away, one of the teams better 2 way guys, one of the most consistent guys and their captain. Also, you like the other fellow seem to be mistaken on Kaberle, he's had one poor season and it was spent sharing time between 2 poor teams. He had 47 points 2 seasons ago and was a regular playing d-man on the cup winning team. Emelin and Diaz are both going to be more acclimatized to the NHL and in both cases they could see their games goto new levels. Your comment about Gionta scoring 30 goals potentially being a negative impact on other players on the team <edit>. Neither Cole nor Pacioretty will have their minutes negatively impacted from Gionta playing by much, if at all, and the 3rd line outside of Moen didn't produce much offence at all on the wing (well Kostitsyn was decent but the coaches misused him completely) and there's nothing Gionta does that will negatively affect those guys. There are minutes to be filled on any given night, and when you lose a guy like Gionta you need to fill his minutes with guys who should be playing lower minutes and as a result you weaken your line up throughout. So if a guy like Gionta comes back healthy and productive, then that makes the rest of the line up stronger throughout, and not just in the lower lines...but in the (possible) number 1 line of Pacio-DD-Cole because having a stronger 2nd line makes it harder to defend than a team that has just one strong line. I think it's funny <edit> that somehow Gionta scoring 30 goals next year would be detrimental to the rest of the team.
  24. Never said Armstrong would score 22 goals, but that's a guy who can pot goals in the bottom 6. Just like Prust. I don't see the defence as paper-thin at all, Subban is a legitimate number 1 d-man, Gorges is one of the leagues best shutdown/defensive d-men, between Markov and Kaberle they have awesome PMD veterans, Bouillon is a warrior who will provide veteran stability (if he sucks so much someone explain why he was playing consistently in Nashville in the playoffs) and Emelin and Diaz both have very solid elements to their game and the chance that they improve a great deal in their second professional season in North America. I'm really not sure what you're talking about for Kaberle and his 2 years of steep decline. 2 seasons ago he had 47 points in the regular season and while he wasn't great in the playoffs with Boston he did still tie for the scoring lead for d-men for them. Kaberle has his flaws but he's a great pMD, it's hilarious that people think one poor season on 2 teams that were both basically lottery teams that somehow he's been on a "2 year steep decline" Bourque doesn't even get paid that much and can provide size, speed and hitting ability. With the right coaching if he can be around a 20 goal guy next year he'll be a positive member of this team. There's actually not a lot of things that need to break right for the Habs to make the playoffs next year at all. And, if you want to go that angle you can say the same thing about a big majority of teams in the East too. Here's something people seem to forget...when Martin was coaching the team was nowehre near a lotto team, the free fall only started once the clearly overwhelmed Cunneyworth took over. Just on coaching alone this team will be in the playoff race next year IF some luck goes the Habs way in terms of health and durability there's absolutely no reason why the Habs won't be in the division race throughout the season.
  25. Fine, lets say Cole drops down in production some. But what about the fact that Gionta provided 8 goals for this team? Or that between Bourque and Cammalleri's roster spot they got 14 goals? Or that Plekanec didn't hit 20 goals for the first time in 5 seasons? Or that after hitting 14 in his rookie season Subban had just 7 goals last year? How about the fact that Pacioretty missed 3 games from suspension and admitted that he was fatigued at times over the season? And still got 33 goals? How about the possibility of a much improved bottom 6, both in terms of consistency and overall play? Colby Armstrong has seasons of 22 goals and 15. Prust had 13 goals 2 seasons ago. All people do is focus on the negatives while completely ignoring the possibility of positive things happening. "Oh Cole will obviously not match last years numbers, so that's 10 or so goals lost that won't be made up by anyone else" It's really bizarre.
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