Jump to content
The Official Site of the Montréal Canadiens
Canadiens de Montreal

2012-13 State Of The Habs


Recommended Posts

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.

Those aren't significant injuries, those are generally depth players. I don't think Gomez sucks, but at this stage his role on the team isn't even clear. He's been regressing for a few years and his absence is pretty hard to quantify. What exactly do you expect from him?

I also never once underplayed the important of Gionta's injury, I like Gionta a lot, he may actually be our best all around winger. I just said every year we see someone appear with the argument "x will be healthy so we add x goals" ignorant to the fact that we will probably have similar key injuries along the way.

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.

Kaberle was a regular on Boston when the won the Cup, but he was on their 3rd pairing (with PP time). Which is exactly what I project from him for us. He played 12 minutes a game ES during the playoffs. His 47 points are fine but his ES play started to slip during that season, significantly. There's no one who doubts his ability to rack up assists on the PP but it's still a question as to whether or not he'd even be on our 1st unit, with Markov and Subban probably being ahead of him. Making him a 4+ million dollar, PP specialist who doesn't even play on the top PP unit. You're vastly underrating his far his 5 on 5 game his slipped.

I did NOT say he can't rebound and be better, it's plausible but I did say it's pretty rare for a 34 year old DMan to regress and then take a step forward at that age. Usually the regression that begins at that stage is pretty permanent.

Emelin and Diaz may take some level of step forward just from adapting to the different styles but both are in their physical prime, far from kids. Also, development isn't that simplistic. They could also take a step back before taking a step forward. It's hard to bank on anything other than good bottom pairing play from either, if we get more, great. Bonus.

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.

I never made that comment so that's a typical straw man argument. I did say it's never as simple as dropping goals in. There will be impact elsewhere. You talk about being +22, from 8 goals to 30 and it's just not the simple. There's variables. If Gionta is scoring at 30 goal clip, he's probably going to start chewing up big time PP minutes, even first unit minutes which would take away from someone. There's significant net value in Gionta, it's just not as simplistic or basic as you want to think. BTW the 3rd line wasn't great, but it produced just fine. Particularly when it was Moen Eller Kostitsyn. Our 1st line was really healthy and had a really high sh%, the only one who I'd bank on shooting at that clip again is probably Pacioretty. It's hard for guys to sustain a 15+ SH%. It's rare.

The clear reality is we should be better but to be playoff level better, we need a lot to break our way. We need strong health, really strong goaltending and a leap forward from a handful of young players. Not impossible but safe money is probably on a 10-12 finish.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can Erik Cole, Max Pacioretty, and David Desharnais repeat?

Perhaps.

The last time a Habs player had a career year that had people hoping for a repeat was Alexei Kovalev with 35 goals and 84 points in 2007-08. A lot of fans actually thought he might improve because Andrei Kostitsyn only joined the line at the midpoint of the season, Tanguay and Lang were added to the team and would relieve pressure in matchups, a lot of young players would improve, etc. Fans pointed out what went wrong and then concluded Kovalev would do even better. The reality? A career year is a year in which more things go right than wrong. It could be repeated, but that is unlikely to happen.

However, what went right for Cole, Pacioretty and Desharnais is that they got a disproportionate number of offensive zone starts and power play time. They would cruise on the offensive zone together while Plekanec would perform shutdown duties with Ryan White and Brad Staubitz. Their performance this year has nothing to do with "luck", it is 100% repeatable in that case. As long as Therrien minimizes the offensive opportunities he gives to Plekanec, Eller, Bourque, Gionta, etc then we have a good shot at getting another great season from Pacioretty-Desharnais-Cole.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Philadelphia a contender? Good one.

All these assessments of Montreal as a lottery team are funny, because it took awful injuries and a LOT of bad luck for them to be a lottery team last year, and the last year they were in the division race for a lot of the season and didn't have Cole or Pacioretty (for most of the year) and Gorges missed the 2nd half as well. Why anyone thinks they'll be a lottery team again is beyond me. But then when people are calling Philadelphia a cup contender why would anything else they say be a good prediction?

Philadelphia was 5th this year.

I was really impressed by Philadelphia these playoffs. Giroux, Simmonds, B. Schenn, Couturier, Hartnell, Briere... that's a very potent offense. I'm not sure how the loss of Jagr will impact them.

They picked up Luke Schenn this offseason. He is a variable. He has apparently played poorly in Toronto this past year. However, I remember him from his rookie year -- he was amazing. Some thought he could be a franchise dman which is high praise for a defensive dman, but he was that good. This implies to me that there are coaching problems in Toronto, and that he could bounce back in Philadelphia.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Philadelphia was 5th this year.

I was really impressed by Philadelphia these playoffs. Giroux, Simmonds, B. Schenn, Couturier, Hartnell, Briere... that's a very potent offense. I'm not sure how the loss of Jagr will impact them.

They picked up Luke Schenn this offseason. He is a variable. He has apparently played poorly in Toronto this past year. However, I remember him from his rookie year -- he was amazing. Some thought he could be a franchise dman which is high praise for a defensive dman, but he was that good. This implies to me that there are coaching problems in Toronto, and that he could bounce back in Philadelphia.

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When Bergevin signs the best IMO of the UFA's to a four year contract it will be an impact full deal that gives room for a young center like Galchenyuk room to excel and gain confidence.While playing on the PP,PK and five on five,if there is one player in the league strong enough it would be Shane Doan.(Milan Lucic?)hasn't a chance playing against this guy wait and see,it moves the Habs even further from the competition with the signings of character players like Prust,Bouillon and Armstrong.Look out all ye of no faith the Habs are going to be a tough opponent with the new regime in place.Remember how Rick Dudley played hockey the Habs are going to personify a work ethic unseen since the days of Scotty Bowman as coach.Take that Boston Booins.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Chris Pronger played 13 regular season games last year, and no playoff games, I don't expect any dropoff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Regis2
.Remember how Rick Dudley played hockey the Habs are going to personify a work ethic unseen since the days of Scotty Bowman as coach.Take that Boston Booins.

Well we had Bob gainey as GM for 7 or so years

And he is a Stanley cup Champion and HOF'er

That didn't do anything for the way the Habs played

Im not expecting Rick Dudley as Assistant GM of the Habs to significantly influence the Habs playing style

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The clear reality is we should be better but to be playoff level better, we need a lot to break our way. We need strong health, really strong goaltending and a leap forward from a handful of young players. Not impossible but safe money is probably on a 10-12 finish.

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Outside of Carolina no one has improved that much of the teams who missed the playoffs either.

Relative to the start of last season, we've lost Cammalleri, Gill, Kostitsyn, Spacek and replaced them with Bourque, Prust, Armstrong, and Kaberle. We have not improved.

Buffalo picked up Cody Hodgson in the late season.

Toronto picked up James van Riemsdyk and Jay McClement

Tampa Bay picked up Matt Carle, Sami Salo and Benoiut Pouliot

Winnipeg picked up Ponikarovsky and Jokinen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

The only reality I talked about is that we should be better than last year, and you're right, it's a wait and see. But I did mean it as more of an expression than to state it factually, I think I even said, "the reality is we should be better."

Controlling the play has never been one of Therrien's strong suits in a system, even in Pittsburgh they were routinely out shot under him, even when they were good. I'm not really banking on us controlling much of the play, if we can limit chances to the outside and Carey is fabulous there's a chance for improvement there.

You're right, development takes time and that's what I said. It's also not easy to project because more often than not it doesn't go in a perfect upward trajectory, there's peaks and valleys. It's tough to over rely on guys like that. We'll see. There's some untapped ceiling IMO but neither guy projects as any kind of top pairing savior, which is what we may need, especially if Markov isn't Markov or is hurt again.

I don't know that Diaz isn't given credit for being OK in his own zone but he's far from any kind of shutdown guy. He's pretty solid across the board, except in terms of his physical play but I don't see projecting him as more than a 4-5-6 guy going forward. Useful, but not game changing. Right now our D is a pretty major question mark and I'm not sure how anyone can deny that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

I'm excitted as well, not cos we have a stronger team, because we have a new direction. I feel the team will play better with MB managing. Team spirits were at an all time low last year, fights broke out in practice, players ran their mouths to the media, injuries hit again (been like that since 08), we lost Muller, Pearn and Martin... People may not have liked JM (I wasn't thrilled about hiring him), but with him we went to the ECF and were only 2 points out of 8th when he was fired.

I'm not thrilled about Therrien either, but a lot of that has to do with his first time here and he did go out and improve, went through proper channels and did it the right way. So, imo he deserves the benefit of the doubt.

I'm excited about this season, but I'm really excited about the future.

The team did improve since MB took over, he added depth and toughened us up a lil (probably on MT's insistence), but didn't get the game changer that some fans were hoping for(in all honesty, there wasn't one available). I'm really ok with what MB did, he didn't throw around Molson's money simply cos he could. He knows we're not winning the cup this season, so he added some toughness and depth and is probably waiting to see how our youngins do and waiting for a deeper FA market before spending. Which is quite smart imo. Most new/rookie GM's would be looking to make a splash in their first offseason. MB didn't see anyone available who could instantly improve the team, so he went with depth. Better to sit on it and when something really good comes along, we'll have the money to spend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only reality I talked about is that we should be better than last year, and you're right, it's a wait and see. But I did mean it as more of an expression than to state it factually, I think I even said, "the reality is we should be better."

Controlling the play has never been one of Therrien's strong suits in a system, even in Pittsburgh they were routinely out shot under him, even when they were good. I'm not really banking on us controlling much of the play, if we can limit chances to the outside and Carey is fabulous there's a chance for improvement there.

You're right, development takes time and that's what I said. It's also not easy to project because more often than not it doesn't go in a perfect upward trajectory, there's peaks and valleys. It's tough to over rely on guys like that. We'll see. There's some untapped ceiling IMO but neither guy projects as any kind of top pairing savior, which is what we may need, especially if Markov isn't Markov or is hurt again.

I don't know that Diaz isn't given credit for being OK in his own zone but he's far from any kind of shutdown guy. He's pretty solid across the board, except in terms of his physical play but I don't see projecting him as more than a 4-5-6 guy going forward. Useful, but not game changing. Right now our D is a pretty major question mark and I'm not sure how anyone can deny that.

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Relative to the start of last season, we've lost Cammalleri, Gill, Kostitsyn, Spacek and replaced them with Bourque, Prust, Armstrong, and Kaberle. We have not improved.

Buffalo picked up Cody Hodgson in the late season.

Toronto picked up James van Riemsdyk and Jay McClement

Tampa Bay picked up Matt Carle, Sami Salo and Benoiut Pouliot

Winnipeg picked up Ponikarovsky and Jokinen.

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Yes, Subban is a legitimate number 1 and Gorges is a really good 4. So that's 2/4ths of a solid top 4. Markov is up in the air, both on how many games to reasonably expect and what level of performance to expect.

I'll wait and see how the Therrien coached Habs play until I make declarations on his coaching style personally.

And that's great, I saw him coach here the first time and I saw him in Pittsburgh, I'm not anti-Therrien by any stretch, I think he's OK but it's not as though he's known for great puck control. His system may have changed but we're hiring a guy who hasn't done any kind of significant coaching in several years.

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.

My definition of a shutdown guy starts with someone who is really good defensively, which Diaz isn't. I'm a Diaz fan, I like his game but his defensive game is just pretty good, he's nothing special. Sound decision making, OK positioning, good puck movement. Not great at anything, not really bad at anything except his physical game. Solid 3rd pairing guy. What do you expect? Right now it's silly to bank on anymore than him being a 3rd pairing guy this season.

You keep saying I said things I didn't, it's a straw man argument. I said it's hard to predict development, it's not always or even usually a straight upward trajectory. It's risky to over rely on players in that scenario. I like both players. I think Emelin has a nice ceiling, although his actual performance last year was overrated just because he brought something that was exciting for fans and the team hasn't had in a while. I'm not expecting anything other than 3rd pairing level production from Diaz and Emelin. Which is also what I'm expecting from a handful of the D. Which is the problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Regis2

Outside of Carolina no one has improved that much of the teams who missed the playoffs either.

We added an aging 36 yr old D man, two 3rd liners and a " new " coach

Did we improve that much ?

We were last in the conference , so any additions to the 3rd / 4 th line had to be better than the group that PG assembled but are we goign to be good enough to make the playoffs. ?

Also, to assume that the " young players " ( Pac, Eller, DD, Emelin, Diaz etc ) will be better with a year under their belt , one would have to make the same assumption for the young players on every NHL team .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also, to assume that the " young players " ( Pac, Eller, DD, Emelin, Diaz etc ) will be better with a year under their belt , one would have to make the same assumption for the young players on every NHL team .

I was going to bring that up, every bad team's fan base is saying the same thing that's being said here. The reality is this team has a lot more question marks than answers and even if things do go reasonably well, it's still hard to envision this season being much better than competing for 8th. I see a nonplayoff team but I'd be happy to be surprised.

I think it's fine if that's the way it goes though. I do like Bergevin so far and it gives us a year to try and start shedding contracts and giving some younger players a more pronounced role on the team. We're coming off a strong draft and a lot of our other prospects are turning pro this fall, it's not all doom and gloom but man, I don't see a lot of reason for optimism this fall for the big club.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Regis2

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".

The Habs added

Boullion - a 36 yr depth D Man

Armstrong ( injury prone or bad luck last yr ) and Prust

Pretty much " meh " too. Nothing spectacular .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Habs defense:

Subban-Gorges

Markov-Emelin

Kaberle-Bouillon

spares: Diaz, St-Denis, Weber

It's an extremely weak defense. The offensive dmen are all passers, we don't have any effective shooters like Marc-Andre Bergeron, Sheldon Sourray, etc. to complement them. We don't have a physically imposing defensive defensemen, so we're going to allow a lot of goals. Finally, as weak as this defense is, it looks even worse once you factor in the eventual injuries.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest habs1952

Philadelphia was 5th this year.

I was really impressed by Philadelphia these playoffs. Giroux, Simmonds, B. Schenn, Couturier, Hartnell, Briere... that's a very potent offense. I'm not sure how the loss of Jagr will impact them.

They picked up Luke Schenn this offseason. He is a variable. He has apparently played poorly in Toronto this past year. However, I remember him from his rookie year -- he was amazing. Some thought he could be a franchise dman which is high praise for a defensive dman, but he was that good. This implies to me that there are coaching problems in Toronto, and that he could bounce back in Philadelphia.

Meh...Briere turns 35 in October.....he's washed up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest habs1952

Habs defense:

Subban-Gorges

Markov-Emelin

Kaberle-Bouillon

spares: Diaz, St-Denis, Weber

It's an extremely weak defense. The offensive dmen are all passers, we don't have any effective shooters like Marc-Andre Bergeron, Sheldon Sourray, etc. to complement them. We don't have a physically imposing defensive defensemen, so we're going to allow a lot of goals. Finally, as weak as this defense is, it looks even worse once you factor in the eventual injuries.

Montreal's equally weak defense last year, without an effective shooter or imposing D-man, only allowed 2.61 goals against per game good for 11th in the league. Our offense was 19th in the league with only 2.52 goals/game. The power play was 28th in the league operating at an efficiency of 14.3%. It seems to me offense is the overwhelming problem, not defense.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Montreal's equally weak defense last year, without an effective shooter or imposing D-man, only allowed 2.61 goals against per game good for 11th in the league. Our offense was 19th in the league with only 2.52 goals/game. The power play was 28th in the league operating at an efficiency of 14.3%. It seems to me offense is the overwhelming problem, not defense.

We had a third of a season of Spacek and two thirds of a season of Gill. We're losing both.

GF and GA don't tell the whole story. We played a defensive system under Martin (a large swath of the season), which necessarily pushed down both the scoring and the goals allowed.

The weakness of the power play (and our general offense) is largely due to the lack of James Wisniewski / Mathieu Schneider / Mark Streit / Marc-Andre Bergeron / Sheldon Sourray type player.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Regis2

We need more washed up players like him.

I'm not saying these guys are washed up but

We have

Gomez who will be 33

Kaberle is 34

Markov will be 34

E Cole will be 34

Gionta will be 34 in January

Bouillion will be 37

We're doing pretty good in the age department .

Yet we expect these guys to have bounce back years or maintain past production

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...