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Habs Lines 2011-12


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LOL, nice one, and I get your point, but cap space can't make a good first pass out of the zone. ;) At some point, we need to use that cap space productively to acquire or sign legitimate top-four defensemen in or close to their physical prime. That said, rebuilding the D wasn't going to be an overnight job. Most likely, we'll be in a better position to fix our blue line next summer.

No kidding! POTD :D

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LOL, nice one, and I get your point, but cap space can't make a good first pass out of the zone. ;) At some point, we need to use that cap space productively to acquire or sign legitimate top-four defensemen in or close to their physical prime. That said, rebuilding the D wasn't going to be an overnight job. Most likely, we'll be in a better position to fix our blue line next summer.

But Cap Space is money in the bank. Cap space is also good in the dressing room - never stirs the pot but yet a very good conversationalist. It's the new look of the Habs' D core - players with intangibles that exceed on ice ability and/or capability.

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I must have a different view of our defense.

Markov - Yemelin

Gill - Subban

Spacek - Gorges

spare: Diaz

Weber would play on the 4th line for his PP shot and maybe some shifts on D.

Markov is one of the best overall defencemen in the NHL. Top 8 calibre. Offensively one of the 4 best.

Yemelin is a mystery but far from being a rookie. Lots of years of experience in the KHL and has played for Russia at the World's.

Gill is very slow but his ability to play defense down low near Price is almost like having a 2nd goalie.

Subban will be an All Star this season. The whole package of good defense and great offense.

Gorges will be looking to hit it rich as he is UFA come July 1st. His rebuilt knee should give Gorges more speed.

Spacek will finally be able to play left D. Likely that Weber and/or Diaz will replace Spacek so he is not worn out through 82 games.

Our team has enough cap space to go after someone like Scott Hannan, Colin White, or several other players if the team feels it needs someone to fill a top 4 roster spot.

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Cammalleri Pleks Cole (Cammy can play the left)

Pacioretty Gomez Gionta

Andre Kostitsyn, Eller, Desharnais/Moen

Darche, Desharnais/White, Moen

Markov Subban

Spacek Emelin

Gill Gorges

Weber

or

Markov Emelin

Spacek Subban

Gill Gorges

I think it might be easier to have emelin play 2nd line duties rather than jump in and play the top line.

Subban is ready to play the first pairing and I think he should play it. IDK our Defense set up could look like anything

Normally I am against putting Markov and Subban together, but let me explain.

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Going to address a couple of posts from today:

1. Colin White is another left-handed, aging defenceman who is likely past his prime. There is a reason Lou Lamoriello didn't want to pay him 3M a year (a fairly reasonable cap hit in the big picture of things). If anything, the Habs might be able to get more use out of Hunter than White.

2. Markov and Subban are legitimate top 3 D men if healthy, and I'll give Gorges the benefit of the doubt and say that he can be used as a #4 guy. In an ideal world, he's a #5, but he's passable as a #4 if we have to go there. The big issue is that we have 5 million dollars of unused cap space and no #3 guy. Maybe PG has anotehr trick up his sleeve and he's just waiting to see how other teams decide to clear out cap space once they have to narrow down their rosters. Maybe he's really comfortable going with what we have. If we look from within, then I think the idea is to figure out not only where each guy fits now but also what his maximum potential is...

- Gorges, as I said above is a #5 whose upside puts him at a #4.

- Gill is a #6 whose upside would be a #5 who can play big minutes

- Spacek is a #6-#7 whose upside is probably a fair #4 but whose unlikely to achieve that potential this year

- Diaz is a #7-#8 with an upside of a #6 guy for the upcoming year

- Weber is also probably a #6-#7 with an upside of #5-#6, but who will most likely see time as a forward too

So the wild card in this, as I've said before, is Emelin. His pedigree puts him a notch above the others but the fact that he hasn't played in North America means that the range in his potential performance is vast. He likely becomes a #5-#6 guy this year, but if he adapts well enough, the potential is there for him to be a #4 and maybe eventually a #3 guy in this league. The chances that he achieves this in the upcoming season is low, but just as Subban was forced into becoming the de facto #1-#2 guy last year, Emelin may be forced into a bigger role than we would like this year and of the bottom-pairing guys we have after Markov and Subban, he's really the only one with the potential to develop into a top 3 guy. If we go with the current line-up, I am fairly certain we'll see Markov, Subban, Gill, and Gorges start the year as the top 4. But I wouldn't be all that shocked if Emelin ends up in the top 4 by the end of the year and while it's never a great situation to count on a rookie, the guy is already 25 with professional and international experience, so it's not out of the question completely that he's the guy who solidifies our D from within. That said, I also wouldn't be totally shocked if Emelin spends half the year in the press box learning the NHL game, but if PG doesn't make another move, he's really the player of interest in determining how this D corps shapes up as the year goes on.

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Agreed that Emelin is the wildcard. I had him at 6 because it's not realistic to expect him to just slide into solid top-four duty in his first season in the NHL. IF he can play like a top-four d-man, fantastic, and we're suddenly looking a lot stronger, but I just don't feel it's prudent to expect such a transformation.

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Agreed that Emelin is the wildcard. I had him at 6 because it's not realistic to expect him to just slide into solid top-four duty in his first season in the NHL. IF he can play like a top-four d-man, fantastic, and we're suddenly looking a lot stronger, but I just don't feel it's prudent to expect such a transformation.

I don't EXPECT him to be a top 4 guy, but looking down the list he's really the only one with even a remote shot at hitting that level one day. If he makes a better-than-anticipated transition, PG and JM look pretty good for standing pat and saving some cap space for later in the year. If he doesn't, then as you said, we have legitimate concerns. I think the most reasonable expectation for a positive is that between Gill, Gorges, and Emelin, they hold the fort down and give us quality minutes while Markov and Subban match the high expectations that will be placed on them to carry the load.

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I think our D looks quite weak on paper, unless Yemelin comes over here and plays amazingly. If he can play beside Markov and be a strong, stay at home counterpart to the puck moving Markov, having Gill-Subban as a second pairing doesn't look so bad. However, it's not really fair to expect him to be a first pairing guy in the best league in the world right away, but I'm confident he should be able to be at least a serviceable guy for us. If Yemelin falters, we're in deep trouble. After Markov and Subban, it's slim pickings on D for us, and god forbid Markov gets injured again. I really feel it was a mistake to let Hamrlik walk, I think if he could play on the second pairing with Subban instead of Gill, we'd have a great top 4.

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LOL, nice one, and I get your point, but cap space can't make a good first pass out of the zone. ;) At some point, we need to use that cap space productively to acquire or sign legitimate top-four defensemen in or close to their physical prime. That said, rebuilding the D wasn't going to be an overnight job. Most likely, we'll be in a better position to fix our blue line next summer.

That's just it. We all know what we need: that right handed defenseman in his physical prime capable of playing with Markov on our top line. The problem? That guy was not available on July 1st. I'd rather keep exploring potential trades for the right guy and/or wait until next season rather than sign a mediocre left handed defenseman who doesn't really solve our problem. A signing like that might make us slightly better this year, but it could hinder a proper rebuilding of our defense, especially if the guy we bring in is on a multi year deal. Even someone on a one year deal hurts flexibility for potential trades and takes playing time away from some of our young unknowns. (Namely Yemelin).

That doesn't mean I'm satisfied with our current D core, but I'm willing to give it a year if it means a better group long-term.

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That's just it. We all know what we need: that right handed defenseman in his physical prime capable of playing with Markov on our top line. The problem? That guy was not available on July 1st. I'd rather keep exploring potential trades for the right guy and/or wait until next season rather than sign a mediocre left handed defenseman who doesn't really solve our problem. A signing like that might make us slightly better this year, but it could hinder a proper rebuilding of our defense, especially if the guy we bring in is on a multi year deal. Even someone on a one year deal hurts flexibility for potential trades and takes playing time away from some of our young unknowns. (Namely Yemelin).

That doesn't mean I'm satisfied with our current D core, but I'm willing to give it a year if it means a better group long-term.

We can't afford to give up years experimenting with our defense. Our forwards have a good 1-3 year window to produce in a rate for a Stanley Cup run. After that we can easily assume Cole, Gionta, Gomez will be past their prime. Add in to this our very poor forward prospect pool and in 3 years, according to contract status, we are up for the next extreme makeover. We have to win now...In order to do that we have to put together the best defense lineup we can, and we still lack at least 1 top 4 defensemen. I think we lack 2 of them but lets hope one of Emelin, Weber, Gorges performs beyond expectations...

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That's just it. We all know what we need: that right handed defenseman in his physical prime capable of playing with Markov on our top line. The problem? That guy was not available on July 1st. I'd rather keep exploring potential trades for the right guy and/or wait until next season rather than sign a mediocre left handed defenseman who doesn't really solve our problem. A signing like that might make us slightly better this year, but it could hinder a proper rebuilding of our defense, especially if the guy we bring in is on a multi year deal. Even someone on a one year deal hurts flexibility for potential trades and takes playing time away from some of our young unknowns. (Namely Yemelin).

That doesn't mean I'm satisfied with our current D core, but I'm willing to give it a year if it means a better group long-term.

I still believe a viable option to look at in a trade would be Braydon Coburn. He fits the bill for what we're looking for, and the Flyers are tight against the cap still. I believe a trade for a player like Weber +/- a 4th round pick or a guy like Conboy might even be enough. The Flyers will not want to take on much salary, so they won't want an NHL-roster player making over 1M. Maybe it'll take more, but I think it's worth a phone call.

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I still believe a viable option to look at in a trade would be Braydon Coburn. He fits the bill for what we're looking for, and the Flyers are tight against the cap still. I believe a trade for a player like Weber +/- a 4th round pick or a guy like Conboy might even be enough. The Flyers will not want to take on much salary, so they won't want an NHL-roster player making over 1M. Maybe it'll take more, but I think it's worth a phone call.

Well written ;)

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I believe PG has a longer term vision for this storied franchise.

With the way he is creating the new defense core ...looking just three years down the road

you can see Markov on his final year, becoming the mentor for Diaz, Beauleau, Subban, Tinordi, Yemelin,

and Nash.

We also have 2-3 unpolished gems coming along on forwards, I believe most will be late bloomers too

so he has time to find good pieces with FA and TDA.

So here's my take on 2011-2012.

Leftwing-Center-Rightwing

Cammalleri-Plekanic-Cole

Paccioretty-Gomez-Gionta

Kostytsyn-Eller-Darche

White-Desharnais-Moen

Left Defense-Right Defense

Markov-Subban

Yemelin-Spacek

Gill-Gorges

Our extra D-men are Weber and Diaz.

Goal is All-Star Carey Price and guaranteed to improve this year Pete Budaj.

I think 20-22 games for Peter is not out of the question leaving Carey fresh for a nice long run in the playoffs.

I look forward to anyone mature and dedicated to comment .

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The above lines are not bad at all.

I don't like markov- subban as a duo, I've said it many times without elaborating: if you have 2 bonafide top 4 on your team the best way to maximize them is to let each of them play 25 minutes a night with all even strength shifts being seperate. This way you only have to "worry" about the third pairing getting the puck out of the zone. Instead of having one great duo and two average. You get 2 good and 1 average. IMO, that's better.

Opening night:

Cammy- plek- Cole

Pax- Gomez- gio

Desharnais-eller- ak

Moen-white- darche

Markov- gorges

Gill-subban

Emelin- spacek

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The above lines are not bad at all.

I don't like markov- subban as a duo, I've said it many times without elaborating: if you have 2 bonafide top 4 on your team the best way to maximize them is to let each of them play 25 minutes a night with all even strength shifts being seperate. This way you only have to "worry" about the third pairing getting the puck out of the zone. Instead of having one great duo and two average. You get 2 good and 1 average. IMO, that's better.

Opening night:

Cammy- plek- Cole

Pax- Gomez- gio

Desharnais-eller- ak

Moen-white- darche

Markov- gorges

Gill-subban

Emelin- spacek

This,IMO, Is without a doubt our roster opening night IF Eller is healthy. except I believe DD will stay at center with Darche in his spot. (Barring any big surprises at camp)

I agree with what you said about Markov and Subban. Also, having 2 good offensive d men together will probably reduce their point production. If each is a go to offensive guy on their pairing they get the puck and get more points. If together they could get the half the time, therefore half the points.

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The defense pairings are certainly a puzzle with the guys we have now and the biggest question that always comes up is who plays with Markov.

There's the Markov-Subban pair proposed because they're arguably #1 and #2 so they should play on the first pair. This is countered by the 'not put all your eggs in the same basket' point of view which I tend to adhere to for even strength play seeing that they bring the same type of skills on the ice.

Then there's the Markov-Emelin proposition born for the most part from an idea of potential mentor/mantee relation. As many have commented before, we dont know how Emelin will adapt to the NHL and I doubt that he'll be 1st pair material straight from the gate, perhaps later but not at the beginning of this season.

Then there's the Markov-Gorges proposition based on past experience that went relatively well. This is not a combination that I can see work for a complete season. I don't think Gorges has it in him to be a top 2 stay at home guy. That being said, I think Gorges would be the best available option or the lesser evil rather.

One thing I haven't seen suggested yet for obvious reasons of age and disappointing stretches of very bad play last year is a Markov-Spacek pair to start the season at 5 v 5. I think this is not a pairing that we want to see (it makes me cringe a little myself) but I wouldn't be surprised if we do see it. Spacek was put in the #2 role with Hammer most of last season and he also played quite a few times on Markov's right in 2009-10. Again, I'm not in favor of this but thought I would bring it up as something very possible to keep in mind.

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Too many question marks involving our defensive pairings. I guess we are going to witness alot of shuffling from JM, despite injuries, through out the season. In order to constract pairings that each one of them includes a player with puck moving skills and a player with stay at home abilities, our pairings should look like this:

Markov-X1

Subban-X2

Webber-X3

From the bottom to the top, X3 player must be a player that can mentor Webber through difficult situations and add some size and experiense. This player should be Gill. He can bring in Webber nicely the way he did with Subban last year. X2 player must be a player with size that can protect Subban, as opponents prime target, but we lack that kind of player. Gill could be on option but taking him away from the 3rd pairing makes it extremely weak. So options are Gorges, Spacek, Emelin. Emelin can sure protect and hit but then we would have a very young and unexperiensed 2nd pairing. Spacek when ever paired with Subban was a disaster, so i would go with Gorges though i'm not quite thrilled about it. X1 player comes down to be either Emelin or Spacek, assuming Diaz doesn't make the roster. So you have a slow footed,low size, experienced Spacek to pair with Markov and a younger, faster, bigger, grittier, unexperienced Emelin. I would prefer the latter option, though again not thrilled about it. The conclusion is something like:

Markov-Emelin/Spacek

Subban-Gorges

Weber-Gill

ex.Emelin/Spacek-Diaz

This is way, as i typed before i consider Spacek completely expendable. He can't even be considered as an experienced backup as he takes on too much salary. Our problems would have been solved if he had signed a 2 year contract. Now we approach the season with a huge hole in our top 4, and with 3,8M tied up in the bench. If PG can address this i would vote him as Manager of the Year. Trade now for a big, gritty top 4 D including a package of Spacek+propects+picks. Maybe Spacek+Kristo+conditional 1st or 2nd in 2012 for Winnipeg's RFA Bogosian.

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The defense pairings are certainly a puzzle with the guys we have now and the biggest question that always comes up is who plays with Markov.

There's the Markov-Subban pair proposed because they're arguably #1 and #2 so they should play on the first pair. This is countered by the 'not put all your eggs in the same basket' point of view which I tend to adhere to for even strength play seeing that they bring the same type of skills on the ice.

Then there's the Markov-Emelin proposition born for the most part from an idea of potential mentor/mantee relation. As many have commented before, we dont know how Emelin will adapt to the NHL and I doubt that he'll be 1st pair material straight from the gate, perhaps later but not at the beginning of this season.

Then there's the Markov-Gorges proposition based on past experience that went relatively well. This is not a combination that I can see work for a complete season. I don't think Gorges has it in him to be a top 2 stay at home guy. That being said, I think Gorges would be the best available option or the lesser evil rather.

One thing I haven't seen suggested yet for obvious reasons of age and disappointing stretches of very bad play last year is a Markov-Spacek pair to start the season at 5 v 5. I think this is not a pairing that we want to see (it makes me cringe a little myself) but I wouldn't be surprised if we do see it. Spacek was put in the #2 role with Hammer most of last season and he also played quite a few times on Markov's right in 2009-10. Again, I'm not in favor of this but thought I would bring it up as something very possible to keep in mind.

Good points CRB. We've all been pretty much writing Spacek out of the defence, and I'm on board in that I'm not at all comfortable with him playing on pairing #1. But as you pointed out, I'm not at all comfortable with anyone who is currently signed playing with Markov.

Spacek is making the big bucks, we might as well give him a chance to prove himself. He wasn't terrible for the entire year last year, he just got off to a really, really awful start (and didn't finish real strong either). Hopefully he can get it going a bit more this year, starting with earning that spot in preseason.

Addendum: As nice as it would be to trade Spacek for a top-four defenceman, I don't see any other team ever making that deal without some major additional concessions from our end. We can't be giving away first-rounders and top prospects willy-nilly and still be expecting to remain competitive. Seeing as how we're really only looking for one guy I'd rather ride it out this year and grab someone in free agency next year when we'll have some cash.

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This is going to hunt us down the road, all year. Who play's with Markov? Excuse me but i simply can't see how can Spacek fit in the lineup. Even with JM tactics, sticking with the veterans, i don't see him cracking the lineup. That would immidiately mean 3,8M sitting in the pressbox. We should have tried hard to shop him, prior or at the free agency deadline to teams that had trouble reaching the cap floor. Just look what defensemen Florida signed (Cambell,Vandermeer). I'm just saying that maybe Spacek+6th for Bernier would do the trick. I have a feeling we didn't push hard, maybe PG had in mind to keep one of Spacek-Hamrlik no matter what.

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There is no right answer to the 'who plays with Markov?' question, because we don't have the personnel at the moment. Maybe Emelin will develop into that player, as CRB noted, but it's certainly not a given and almost guaranteed not to happen right away, if it happens at all.

I'm not optimistic about our D corps this season. It's not a great group on paper, it's missing legitimate players in the top four, and it's paper-thin on quality depth. Even one or two medium-term injuries could scuttle our playoff hopes very quickly, unless Carey stands on his head.

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i think in the preseason just for the defence we try Markov/Emelin togather see how well emelin works out with someone from the same country try to make him feel as comfortable as possible .i think you may get the most out of him with markov...

This is how i would go for the regular season...

Left Wing Center Right Wing

E.Cole T.Plekanec M.Cammy

M.Patches S.Gomez B.Gionta

A.Kostitson L.Eller M.Darche

R.White D.Desharnais T.Moen Forward Pressbox-- plushjai,enquist,

Left Defence Right Defence

J.Gorges A.Markov

H.Gill P.K.Subban

A.Emelin Tinordi j/k would love to see it But i will have to say Weber..

I hope Next Year Our Defence Looks Like This

Emelin/Markov

Boulliou/Subban

Gorges/Tinordi With Nash & Weber Filling in and maybe switch Emelin and Tinordi around ...i guess i can dream and hope forthe best from our prospects..

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  • 3 weeks later...

Does Yannick Weber fit into our lineup? He showed in the playoffs that he's versatile and adept at handling second PP duties. Given our lack of puck movers beyond the 2 obvious, his right handed shot and skills appear suited to be in the lineup. The question is where/how? 12th forward? 6th d-man? 13 forwards with 5 d-men? 11 fwds/7. You get the idea. I think Weber's right handed shot, offensive skills and positional play belong on the roster. I just don't see how. Assuming Eller is healthy, where can he be slotted in?

Cammy - Plek - Cole

Pax - Gomez - Gio

DD - Eller - AK

Moen - White - Darche

You may not agree with the bottom 6 trios but those 6 names are slotted for those 6 spots. Weber's only hope is to steal a spot from Moen, White or Darche. All 3 of them bring a physical element the team sorely lacks, White's ability to defend teammates can't be underrated, Moen is a huge PK guy and coach favorite and Darche is very good down low and understands his role to a tee. Plus, White being a natural center helps him. Andreas Enqvist is also auditioning for a spot here. I don't know how Weber can fit into the lineup as a "grinder". He isn't skilled enough to bump any of the top 9. As a forward, barring injuries or underwhelming performances, his chances are slim to start.

Markov - Gorges

Gill - Subban

Spacek - Emelin

This one is obvious. He has to downright steal Jaro Spacek or Emelin's spot. Spacek's contract and JM's penchant for veterans heavily stacks the deck against Weber. Emelin's contract stipulations/size also work against Weber big-time. IMO, if Emelin who's not a young rookie, adapts slowly, Weber may start the year alternating with him. By year's end, I think for the overall well-being of the team on-ice, we have to hope that the Defence ends up looking like this:

Markov - Emelin

Gill - Subban

Gorges - Weber

Gorges can help Weber out, with solid positional play. A lot would have to go right for this to happen. However, it would lead to:

PP1:

Markov - Subban

PP2:

Emelin - Weber

Which IMO is clearly better than

PP2:

Emelin - Spacek

Plus, it would add 2 R handed shots into the mix for one-timers. Spacek's contract runs out and he will not be back, IMO it's in the teams best interest to transition away from him by seasons end and add youth with mobility.

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