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BigTed3

2012-13 Habs Lines

244 posts in this topic

Patches - DD - Cole

Eller - Pleks - Gionta

Armstrong - Gomez - Bourque

Moen - White/Noki - Prust

Gorges - Subban

Markov - Emelin

Kaberle - Bouillon/Diaz

First line: I no reason not to reunite our top scoring line to start the year

Second line: I'm more and more convinced I'd like to see what Eller can do in the top 6. The wing could very well be where his future is on this team, and even if we like him a center long-term, he could do worse than playing with and learning from the best one we have.

Third line: I would move Gomez in a NY minute if it were possible, but if he starts here he's still the most offensively gifted player of anyone else in our bottom 6. Bourque has always been more productive on the right side, and Armstrong has more offensive upside than the 4th line guys. Swap him with Moen if it's not working out.

Fourth line: Not much to say; solid 4th line.

Defense: There's really no configuration that puts me at ease. Play Subban 28-30 min a night and hope Markov's knee holds together.

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Patches - DD - Cole

Eller - Pleks - Gionta

Armstrong - Gomez - Bourque

Moen - White/Noki - Prust

Gorges - Subban

Markov - Emelin

Kaberle - Bouillon/Diaz

This is exactly what I'd like to see as well. I think putting Eller on the wing will be better long term as we will most likely have Gally jumping into the top 3 the year after. Prust and Armstrong is a toss up for me as well, I could see them flip flopping between 3rd and 4th lines throughout the year.

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The "reason" I would split up the DD line is to balance out the attack. Last season, we just didn't have anything past that first line and it made us a very easy team to counter. I realize Gio's back, but I'd still like to see Plekanec given more support and I'd like to force teams to have to decide whether to put their best defenders against Bourque/Eller-DD-Cole or Pacman-Pleks-Gio. I honestly have faith that DD can carry a guy like Eller or Bourque, both of whom have size and skill and who could benefit from DD's puck distribution.

As far as Eller goes, I agree that we need to see him in the top 6 at some point this year, whether to start the season or not. While I previously preferred him as a center, drafting Galchenyuk has led me to believe that we're better off developing Eller into a winger. We ideally want him to be a top 6 guy, and given our paucity of top 6 wingers (even on the farm), it would be a good move for us if it works. Ultimately, Eller needs to be given the chance to play with better linemates than he's had in the past so we can properly evaluate whether he's a legit top 6 guy going forward.

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And rolling Eller on the wing for a while will not mess up his development. It's still hockey we're talking about, it isn't like we're changing him from forward to defenseman.

I don't mind keeping the Two And A Half Men-line, but I'd really like for Plekanec to get a chance to play with TWO big wingers for a change. I see no reason why Pacioretty-Desharnais-Gionta shouldn't work, Gio plays bigger than his size, is better on the boards than DD and crashes the net. He also brings a defensive awareness to that line.

That leaves Eller-Plekanec-Cole, and a third line of Bourque-Gomez-Armstrong/Prust

Either that or

Pacioretty-Plekanec-Gionta

Bourque-Desharnais-Cole

Gomez-Eller-Armstrong

Moen-White-Prust

DD has great chemistry with Patches sure, but it's worth a try to see how they do separately.

Or completely wild card, second line to rely on wheels:

Pacioretty-Desharnais-Cole

Gomez-Plekanec-Gionta

Bourque-Eller-Armstrong

I suspect we'll start the season with the following lines:

Pacioretty-Desharnais-Cole

Bourque-Plekanec-Gionta

Eller-Gomez-Armstrong

Moen-White-Prust

Edited by dwdemonwolf
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Gomez cannot play LW, he is too soft and would not suit his style of play.

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Throwing this out there:

Pax DD Cole

Eller Plekanec Gionta

Prust Leblanc Bourque

Moen White Armstrong

Gorges Subban

Markov Emelin

Bouillon Kaberle

It's a lost season, if there is one, let's take some chances and groom for the future. I still contend Lars top end offensive skills are better than Leblanc and he will make an ideal winger for Galchenyuk when he's ready for primetime.

Louis is responsible and big enough to become a good 2 way center eventually. Start now.

Edited by MIASUN
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Throwing this out there:

Pax DD Cole

Eller Plekanec Gionta

Prust Leblanc Bourque

Moen White Armstrong

.

What do you do with Gomez and Petteri Nokelainen

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Anyone thought about what our D pairings would look like if Subban isn't signed on time? Is markov the #1 guy? How many left-handed guys end up playing on the right side? It would be a giant mess. Honestly, give the pairings a try without Subban there and ask yourself how comfortable you are with them.

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What do you do with Gomez and Petteri Nokelainen

Noke spare/interchangeable with White.

Gomez AHL to start season, if Leblanc gets overwhelmed or Gomez tears up the league after ten games flip them.

I threw it out there but If you pause and think about it, there's some merit to it for the sake of discussion in August.

I believe Lars is a future LW on a line with Galchenyuk.

DD is a placeholder.

Plekanec isn't, shouldn't go anywhere.

Leblanc was drafted as a center.

How bout for the sake of projection 2014-15:

Eller Galchenyuk Cole

Pacioretty Plekanec Gallagher

Prust Leblanc Bourque

Moen White Dumont

Gorges Subban

Beaulieu Tinordi

(defenceman obtained for DD) - Emelin

Price

Hey it's mid-summer and this is a fan forum for a league 15 days from locking out.

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Noke spare/interchangeable with White.

Gomez AHL to start season, if Leblanc gets overwhelmed or Gomez tears up the league after ten games flip them.

I threw it out there but If you pause and think about it, there's some merit to it for the sake of discussion in August.

I believe Lars is a future LW on a line with Galchenyuk.

DD is a placeholder.

Plekanec isn't, shouldn't go anywhere.

Leblanc was drafted as a center.

How bout for the sake of projection 2014-15:

Eller Galchenyuk Cole

Pacioretty Plekanec Gallagher

Prust Leblanc Bourque

Moen White Dumont

Gorges Subban

Beaulieu Tinordi

(defenceman obtained for DD) - Emelin

Price

Hey it's mid-summer and this is a fan forum for a league 15 days from locking out.

It's not that your lines are bad because I fundamentally agree with a few things you say but I'm not sure I view Leblanc as a long term center and I definitely view Eller there. I love his game down the middle, I love his size there and I love his smarts. He has some warts but if we agree that this is a lost season and if, as you say, DD is a place holder, why not try Eller on the top line or the 2nd line? Move DD to the wing. I'd like to get creative with DD because I don't think he sticks as a top 6 center when Galchenyuk gets to the show, maybe we can make him a utility guy. Guy who can play wing, can move to center, can take faceoffs, play on the PP. Start shuffling him around and add that dimension.

I'd really rather keep Eller at center. I'm convinced right now at worst he'll be a really good 3rd line center, he may end up being a very good 2nd line center and now's the time to try him out in an offensive role. I just want to keep him down the middle and like I said, LL is a winger to me.

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How bout for the sake of projection 2014-15:

Eller Galchenyuk Cole

Pacioretty Plekanec Gallagher

Prust Leblanc Bourque

Moen White Dumont

Gorges Subban

Beaulieu Tinordi

(defenceman obtained for DD) - Emelin

Price

You think these guys will be ready for reg NHL duty in three years

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You think these guys will be ready for reg NHL duty in three years

Yes. 3 years is a long time. I'd venture to say most will be here in 2 years.

Roy, we agree on mixing it up and maximizing Lars long term offensive potential. I see him as a top 6.

IMO, that means he's going to slide over since I think Galchenyuk and Plekanec should be our 1-2 punch in the coming years, everything you highlight about his attributes are valid but as you say fundamentally I see him in the top 6 where I feel both center spots are taken.

Edited by MIASUN
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Anyone thought about what our D pairings would look like if Subban isn't signed on time? Is markov the #1 guy? How many left-handed guys end up playing on the right side? It would be a giant mess. Honestly, give the pairings a try without Subban there and ask yourself how comfortable you are with them.

I don't think we'll have any problems with him signing, but the same can be said if he ever gets injured. You're right, Ted.... I tried it, and I didn't come up with anything remotely pretty.

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I don't think we'll have any problems with him signing, but the same can be said if he ever gets injured. You're right, Ted.... I tried it, and I didn't come up with anything remotely pretty.

If you look at the guys we have now AND the guys we project as having going forward, the large majority are lefties. The same can be said about the majority of D-men throughout the league; it's extremely tough to find a top-4 right-handed defenceman, which is what makes Subban even more valuable. People are projecting Beaulieu and Tinordi as being future partners, but they're both left-handed. Ditto for Gorges, Emelin, markov, kaberle, St-Denis, and Bouillon. The only other righties we have who are here or might be here in coming years are Diaz, Weber, and Ellis, and all of those guys really project as bottom-pairing players. The value of Subban to the line-up cannot be understated, neither next year nor going forward.

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Yes. 3 years is a long time. I'd venture to say most will be here in 2 years.

Roy, we agree on mixing it up and maximizing Lars long term offensive potential. I see him as a top 6.

IMO, that means he's going to slide over since I think Galchenyuk and Plekanec should be our 1-2 punch in the coming years, everything you highlight about his attributes are valid but as you say fundamentally I see him in the top 6 where I feel both center spots are taken.

The risk, I feel is that we're banking on Galchenyuk developing into a sure fire top 6 center, which is likely but you never know and Plekanec's game not regressing as he gets older. I can see Plekanec sliding into the 3rd line center role if Eller develops, or even being traded for assets and cap space. Either way, a lot can happen and we know Eller is a big body who can play center and I'm loathe to move that because of an 18 year old we drafted. I want Eller to get a top 6 shot at center before we consider it.

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The risk, I feel is that we're banking on Galchenyuk developing into a sure fire top 6 center, which is likely but you never know and Plekanec's game not regressing as he gets older. I can see Plekanec sliding into the 3rd line center role if Eller develops, or even being traded for assets and cap space. Either way, a lot can happen and we know Eller is a big body who can play center and I'm loathe to move that because of an 18 year old we drafted. I want Eller to get a top 6 shot at center before we consider it.

I think the bottom line is that we need to know if Eller is a top 6 player this season. It does us little good to have him toil on the 3rd line with Armstrong or Gomez or Prust. I honestly don't care too much whether Eller gets his shot at center or LW because I can see upside to developing him at each position, but either way, we need to know if he can handle the ice time and opposition and if the better linemates can bump his production.

If the long-term plan is to demote Plekanec to the 3rd, then I'd rather deal him. I don't see value in paying your 3rd-line center 5m. I'd rather we keep a cheaper player there and spend that money on our D or wing. That said, I see Pleks still having good value 2-3 years from now, which is why I favor moving Eller over to a position where we have zero depth in top 6 talent within the organization. DD becomes the buffer until we know what Galchenyuk can do, although I think Gally really does have a bright future. His work ethic just seems to be so solid that it's hard to see him wasting all the talent he has, but yes, you never know for sure. An ideal scenario for me would be Eller panning out on the wing, giving us two big top 6 LW's and two solid average-sized centers with skill. It would give us flexibility to pop any one of the right-wing prospects in our organization (LL, kristo, Collberg, Gallagher, Holland, etc.) in on the other side, depending on who develops.

If you build around Eller at center and DD at LW, then you're possibly stuck with 3 talented centers and no LW depth behind Pacman. It's not an impossible scenario to get out of, but it makes sense to at least give Eller a shot at LW in a season where we have room to experiment rather than be forced into trading to fix our line-up imbalances. The lack of evaluation of roster talent in various roles was a huge failure of Cunneyworth's (and his superiors for not stepping in above an interim coach) last season. Now, we still don't know what Eller can do in the top 6, what DD can do without his two power forward linemates, how Pacman and Cole can do playing against Plekanec's match-ups, how Dumont can do in the NHL on a bigger scale, how Palushaj of Geoffrion can do with better linemates, etc. We truly wasted a golden opportunity to use a wasted season to give us an edge on our talent evaluation going into this season, and if we do find ourselves out of the playoff picture, I hope the new staff takes advantage more than the last one.

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If the long-term plan is to demote Plekanec to the 3rd, then I'd rather deal him. I don't see value in paying your 3rd-line center 5m. I'd rather we keep a cheaper player there and spend that money on our D or wing. That said, I see Pleks still having good value 2-3 years from now, which is why I favor moving Eller over to a position where we have zero depth in top 6 talent within the organization. DD becomes the buffer until we know what Galchenyuk can do, although I think Gally really does have a bright future. His work ethic just seems to be so solid that it's hard to see him wasting all the talent he has, but yes, you never know for sure. An ideal scenario for me would be Eller panning out on the wing, giving us two big top 6 LW's and two solid average-sized centers with skill. It would give us flexibility to pop any one of the right-wing prospects in our organization (LL, kristo, Collberg, Gallagher, Holland, etc.) in on the other side, depending on who develops.

If you build around Eller at center and DD at LW, then you're possibly stuck with 3 talented centers and no LW depth behind Pacman. It's not an impossible scenario to get out of, but it makes sense to at least give Eller a shot at LW in a season where we have room to experiment rather than be forced into trading to fix our line-up imbalances. The lack of evaluation of roster talent in various roles was a huge failure of Cunneyworth's (and his superiors for not stepping in above an interim coach) last season. Now, we still don't know what Eller can do in the top 6, what DD can do without his two power forward linemates, how Pacman and Cole can do playing against Plekanec's match-ups, how Dumont can do in the NHL on a bigger scale, how Palushaj of Geoffrion can do with better linemates, etc. We truly wasted a golden opportunity to use a wasted season to give us an edge on our talent evaluation going into this season, and if we do find ourselves out of the playoff picture, I hope the new staff takes advantage more than the last one.

Dealing him is fine by me, the point is that we're talking about making a plan for a couple years down the road. Galchenyuk likely is in the OHL this coming season and not ready to be a front line center in the year immediately after. By the start of 14-15 (is feels crazy to say that) is when whatever our plan is should start to really come to fruition. My concern is at the start of that season Plekanec turns 32, hardly over the hill but I'm not necessarily comfortable flopping Eller so we can plan around a 31-33 year old Plekanec who will have a lot of tough miles on him.

As for needing LW depth going forward, there's just more value in playing center if he can handle it, you don't move him away from it just because we don't have a lot of LWers IMO. If his scoring doesn't develop like we hope, which is a real possibility. He offers a WHOLE lot more at center than he does at LW.

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Dealing him is fine by me, the point is that we're talking about making a plan for a couple years down the road. Galchenyuk likely is in the OHL this coming season and not ready to be a front line center in the year immediately after. By the start of 14-15 (is feels crazy to say that) is when whatever our plan is should start to really come to fruition. My concern is at the start of that season Plekanec turns 32, hardly over the hill but I'm not necessarily comfortable flopping Eller so we can plan around a 31-33 year old Plekanec who will have a lot of tough miles on him.

As for needing LW depth going forward, there's just more value in playing center if he can handle it, you don't move him away from it just because we don't have a lot of LWers IMO. If his scoring doesn't develop like we hope, which is a real possibility. He offers a WHOLE lot more at center than he does at LW.

I tend to mirror bigted on this one. I think we are considering the same things but I feel Lars is ready for top 6 duty as early as this year. IMO, the position isnt as important as the role, competition, pressure to produce and ice-time.

I don't see DD as a winger in the top 6, his only role is with big wingers on a scoring line.

Pleks will be older and banged up, but I feel he will get less taxed the next couple of years with better players around him.

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Roy_133,

Whatever concerns you have over the fact that Galchenyuk only has a ~50% chance of becoming the 1st line center we all want him to be should evaporate if we draft in the lottery again next year.

Edited by DA_Champion
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I tend to mirror bigted on this one. I think we are considering the same things but I feel Lars is ready for top 6 duty as early as this year. IMO, the position isnt as important as the role, competition, pressure to produce and ice-time.

I don't see DD as a winger in the top 6, his only role is with big wingers on a scoring line.

Pleks will be older and banged up, but I feel he will get less taxed the next couple of years with better players around him.

With the same token, I don't see DD as a center in the top 6 in the near future. I think Eller has a real possibility to be there and there's more value in that than on the wing, I like the safety net of, if Eller's offense doesn't come he's a big strong, 2-way center who can anchor our 3rd line as opposed to just another 3rd line winger.

He maybe, but there's already tough miles on him and he's entering his 30's, I'm just not sure I want to move a kid to accommodate him down the road. In fact, Plekanec maybe our most valuable trade asset that we would reasonably consider moving. The time maybe to move him this year if we struggle again. Get all we can for him and role with DD and Eller until Galchenyuk is ready.

Either way, I'm really loathe to move Eller to the wing when he's proven he can play center at this level, especially if the other part of your plan is moving Leblanc BACK to center.

Roy_133,

Whatever concerns you have over the fact that Galchenyuk only has a ~50% chance of becoming the 1st line center we all want him to be should evaporate if we draft in the lottery again next year.

Why would they evaporate?

Edited by roy_133
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I tend to mirror bigted on this one. I think we are considering the same things but I feel Lars is ready for top 6 duty as early as this year. IMO, the position isnt as important as the role, competition, pressure to produce and ice-time.

I don't see DD as a winger in the top 6, his only role is with big wingers on a scoring line.

Pleks will be older and banged up, but I feel he will get less taxed the next couple of years with better players around him.

We should not underestimate the value of having a luxury 3rd line center if that is what Lars becomes -- look at how valuable Jordan Staal was in Pittsburgh.

A luxury 3rd line is one who excels at shutdown, provides good secondary scoring at a level of over 30+ points a year, and can seamlessly become a 2nd line center if there's an injury. If you end up with such a player on your team, you have an asset, a good one that will in general be under-appreciated on the trade market. This can be Eller at the start of the 2012-2013 season, and can be Plekanec sometime around the 2014-2015 season or beyond.

I'll also point out that we don't have a lot of bottom-6 centers in the farm system. I can't think of any plausible NHLers other than Joonas Nattinen.

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Why would they evaporate?

I think we have a high chance of drafting another player equivalent to Galchenyuk next year. According to the Hockey News, Centers Nathan MacKinnon will go 1st, Sean Monahan will go 3rd, Aleksander Barkov will go 5th. If a Galchenyuk-type player has a 50% chance of succeeding (sounds about right?), then having two such players means you have a 75% chance that at least one of them succeeds.

I suppose my argument is moot if we use our pick to draft Seth Jones, or if there's a lockout and we end up drafting 23rd.

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I think we have a high chance of drafting another player equivalent to Galchenyuk next year. According to the Hockey News, Centers Nathan MacKinnon will go 1st, Sean Monahan will go 3rd, Aleksander Barkov will go 5th. If a Galchenyuk-type player has a 50% chance of succeeding (sounds about right?), then having two such players means you have a 75% chance that at least one of them succeeds.

I suppose my argument is moot if we use our pick to draft Seth Jones, or if there's a lockout and we end up drafting 23rd.

Yeah, we could end up with Jones or something different. I'm not anti-Galchenyuk, I love him but I'm just not moving a player from his best position in anticipation of his arrival at this age. Eller may even be able to provide more actual value as a 3rd line center than a 2nd line LW, so it's just not a move I'm prepared to make. Eller's game and intelligence really plays well at center, I'd like to see better puck distribution but he's a center in my books.

On Galchenyuk, it's hard to put a number on him. He's got a lot more risk than the normal top 3 draft pick because of the year missed.

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Overall I agree with you on Galchenyuk. We all hope he becomes a player on the level of Anze Kopitar, Tyler Seguin, Brad Richards, or Eric Staal. However, many top-5 picks fail, it happens, we should hope for a hope run but not depend on it. I do think though that he should be entitled to a top-9 role at the start of the 2013-2014 season.

In recent years Los Angeles drafted Brayden Schenn (Mike Richards) at 5th overall, Drew Doughty at 2nd overall, and Anze Kopitar at 11th overall. They don't make those picks without also drafting Thomas Hickey at 4th overall. That's how it goes.

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With the same token, I don't see DD as a center in the top 6 in the near future. I think Eller has a real possibility to be there and there's more value in that than on the wing, I like the safety net of, if Eller's offense doesn't come he's a big strong, 2-way center who can anchor our 3rd line as opposed to just another 3rd line winger.

He maybe, but there's already tough miles on him and he's entering his 30's, I'm just not sure I want to move a kid to accommodate him down the road. In fact, Plekanec maybe our most valuable trade asset that we would reasonably consider moving. The time maybe to move him this year if we struggle again. Get all we can for him and role with DD and Eller until Galchenyuk is ready.

Either way, I'm really loathe to move Eller to the wing when he's proven he can play center at this level, especially if the other part of your plan is moving Leblanc BACK to center.

Why would they evaporate?

The way I see it between Eller and Leblanc we need 1 top 9 winger and 1 top 9 center. Whom I in which slot isn't as important as maximizing our chance at this:

1 consistent 50+ point winger per year

1 consistent 2 way center

I feel Lars top end offensive skill offers a better potential to fill a higher slot in the top 9(6) than Leblanc moving forward.

I believe his skillset, size, possession and finish gives us a better chance at a legit 20-30-50+ player for many years.

I also believe Leblanc being right handed, not small, responsible defensively and a cerebral player bodes well as a potential 3rd lie center/fill-in.

To me, it doesn't matter who fits where bit the yield has to be one productive winger and one dependable center.

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