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jennifer_rocket

2013-2014 Habs Lines

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As I see it with the current contingent of signed players.

Rene Bourque - Tomas Plekanec - Brian Gionta

Max Pacioretty - Lars Eller - Daniel Briere

Alex Galchenyuk - David Desharnais - Brendan Gallagher

Brandon Prust - Ryan White - George Parros

Pressbox: Travis Moen and ?

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As I see it with the current contingent of signed players.

Rene Bourque - Tomas Plekanec - Brian Gionta

Max Pacioretty - Lars Eller - Daniel Briere

Alex Galchenyuk - David Desharnais - Brendan Gallagher

Brandon Prust - Ryan White - George Parros

Pressbox: Travis Moen and ?

That's probably where I'd start. If we have to have a line with two smurfs, make it one we can try and hide from other team's top lines.

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As I see it with the current contingent of signed players.

Rene Bourque - Tomas Plekanec - Brian Gionta

Max Pacioretty - Lars Eller - Daniel Briere

Alex Galchenyuk - David Desharnais - Brendan Gallagher

Brandon Prust - Ryan White - George Parros

Pressbox: Travis Moen and ?

How about spreading out the age? If Gionta starts the season, big if, or when he is healthy how about something like these lines:

Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Daniel Briere

Rene Bourque - Tomas Plekanec - Brendan Gallagher

Alex Galchenyuk - Lars Eller - Brian Gionta

Travis Moen - Brandon Prust - George Parros/ Ryan White

Youth and leadership on the top 3 lines. Like rolling three second lines.

Might be hard to defend against.

Edited by Max-Hab-Fan
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Three second lines is what I see too. I still don't like that we have to play a Center as a winger, and I still wish we had a definitive 1st line.

What I do like, is that we can rotate our lines fairly easily. For me, our forwards are all pretty interchangeable with the others in their position between our top 9. Some combinations I would like to see ...

Bourque - Desharnais - Briere

Bourque - Galchenyuk - Gallagher

Pacioretty - Plekanec - Gallagher

Pacioretty - Plekanec - Briere

Prust - Plekanec - Briere

Pacioretty - Galchenyuk - Briere

Pacioretty - Galchenyuk - Gionta

Pacioretty - Eller - Briere

I just want to see some different combinations really. Plekanec with different wingers, the youngsters need some more ice time, and we need to get Bourque and Briere producing. If we hit a rough patch for production later in the season, we need to have back up plans. Expirement early and often, then stick with what works as long as it's working, and give the productive lines more ice time, even if it isn't the higher paid vets.

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Now that we're getting a better idea of what our roster is going to look like next year, we can start to guess at what some of the line combinations will be. Post your thoughts on where each player should slot in - I moved over some of the posts from last year's thread.

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I have no problem playing centers at wing. You can never really have too many quality centers.

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I have no problem playing centers at wing. You can never really have too many quality centers.

+1, I've posted the same numerous times. It's a lack of depth at center that causes problems, one we had for as long as I can remember until just recently.

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+1, I've posted the same numerous times. It's a lack of depth at center that causes problems, one we had for as long as I can remember until just recently.

This 1000 times over. It's so weird seeing so many so adamant about the need to trade Desharnais...

Did people not see the center production this team got against Ottawa? Just because Eller went down, it became a black hole.

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I like center depth in the organization, players who can be called upon when needed, or step up to another line.

If we need to move our 3rd center to the top 6, I'd like to have a 4th center that can play with the 3rd line. When our roster is healthy that player would share fourth line duties with White. I like having call up options for the 3rd and 4th lines as well.

I generally don't like players out of position because they are accustomed to their role, and tend to be less effective, or miss assignments, when they have to play in a different area of the ice. Players normally play for years in one position, and it becomes ingrained. It's hard to change years of training and habits to be effective at a different position.

Now there are some players who can be effective in more than one position, but of all our centers, the only one I feel can be an effective winger, is Galchenyuk. I don't wan't Galchenyuk on the wing, simply because I want him to get as much experience and development as a center as he can.

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This is what I think Therrien will throw on the ice at the start of the season (presuming Gionta is injured)

Patches - DD - Gallagher

Bourque - Plekenac - Briere

Galchenyuk - Eller - Prust

Moen - White/Dumont - Parros

Markov - Subban

Gorges - Diaz

Boullion - Drewiskie (spelling?) :P

Not exactly what i'd like to see, but I'm confident this is what we'll see

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This is what I think Therrien will throw on the ice at the start of the season (presuming Gionta is injured)

Patches - DD - Gallagher

Bourque - Plekenac - Briere

Galchenyuk - Eller - Prust

Moen - White/Dumont - Parros

Markov - Subban

Gorges - Diaz

Boullion - Drewiskie (spelling?) :P

Not exactly what i'd like to see, but I'm confident this is what we'll see

I doubt DD and Gallagher are on the same line.DD and Gally are both too small to be together, for long anyways.I could see Gally with Pleks or staying with the kid line. and I'm pretty sure Tinordi is in before Drewiske, even ahead of Boillion if Emelin wasn't injured. Just my Thoughts.

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Going to wait a bit before I get into the forward combinations. But for now, I think we can assess where we stand in terms of the D. With Emelin out, we're going to be a bit thin on the back end to start the year, and I think this virtually guarantees that Tinordi will start the season with the Habs. To me, he's a cut above using Drewiske. To me, if we're stuck with Drewiske and Bouillon, they are respectively the #7 and #6 guys. Subban is the de facto #1 guy. So we're starting with

xxx - Subban

xxx - xxx

Bouillon - xxx

Drewiske

Those other 4 spots are going to be filled in by Markov, Gorges, Tinordi, and Diaz. I didn't particularly like seeing Diaz with Markov (at even strength) last year, nor did he do that well with Gorges. So to me, he's the guy who gets placed with Bouillon on the 3rd pairing. I don't think we can pair Tinordi with Markov either, so I see us looking at either Markov-Subban, Tinordi-Gorges OR Tinordi-Subban, Markov-Gorges. Either way, Gorges is the guy who gets pushed to the right side here, which is for the best since he's really the only lefty who made the transition smoothly. Part of me would favor Markov-Subban as the first pairing because I'm not certain I want Tinordi playing against the other teams' top lines. But on the other hand, I think Tinordi can handle the minutes a little better than Markov and if we restrict him to a purely defensive role, I think Subban can carry him. The nice thing about slotting Tinordi in with Subban is that it would allow Markov and Gorges to develop chemistry, and that pairing could remain intact even when Emelin comes back (Emelin would then slot in with Subban with Tinordi shifting down to play the 3rd pairing with Diaz). The wild card is Beaulieu and whether he forces the Habs to use him in place of Bouillon and/or Drewiske. But assuming he doesn't, I'd be in favor of

Tinordi-Subban

Markov-Gorges

Bouillon-Diaz

On the PP:

Markov-Subban

Gorges-Diaz

On the PK:

Gorges-Subban

Bouillon-Tinordi

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I like the idea of giving Tinordi some hard minutes early, and pairing him with either Subban or Markov. Give our staff a chance to evaluate and work with him throughout the season, and see how well he works with PK.

We are hurting on the 3rd pairing regardless of who slots in. We're really going to miss Emelin for a while.

This season is about developing and preparing for the next couple of years for me, while some of our contracts time out and we can get an idea of what we need to add in the next two off seasons (and hopefully be able to get it). For that reason, I would even like to see Beaulieu and Diaz as our 3rd pairing with low minutes and second PP time.

Run 7 D-men when Parros isn't in the lineup, and rotate Bouillion/Drewiske/Beaulieu/Diaz.

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I don't think we're hurting on the third pairing at all. We're hurting in the top four, because we have one legitimate top-four guy (Subban) followed by a bunch of fringe players / bottom-pairing guys.

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I'd probably start Markov on the top pairing with Subban and see how he holds up. I think to start the year at least, he'll be fine, especially after a full offseason of rest/training. That would give Tinordi some more time on the second and/or third pairing.


I still think Nygren might surprise and slot his way into the top 4.

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I'm with Ted on this one. We can futz around with subpar first-pairing options to play with Subban, but ultimately, none of those options will give us anything above temporary competence. So let's start breaking in the one guy with the potential and skill set to one day fill that role effectively: Tinordi.

Tinordi-Subban

Markov-Gorges

Bouillon-Diaz

Drewiske

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I don't think we're hurting on the third pairing at all. We're hurting in the top four, because we have one legitimate top-four guy (Subban) followed by a bunch of fringe players / bottom-pairing guys.

We have a legitimate number 1 d-man, one of the best PP d-men in the league (and a guy who just showed he can stay healthy for a year) and Gorges who is a damn good shutdown d-man and would be a top 4 on many teams in the league.

Saying the Habs have one legitimate top four guy followed by a bunch of fringe players/bottom-pairing players is a rather misleading assessment of their talent.

There's also Emelin who looked to be emerging as a top 4 d-man

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We have a legitimate number 1 d-man, one of the best PP d-men in the league (and a guy who just showed he can stay healthy for a year) and Gorges who is a damn good shutdown d-man and would be a top 4 on many teams in the league.

Nope. We've got a stud no. 1 d-man, that's all. Markov is sliding into third-pairing PP specialist territory, and Gorges would not be a top-four d-man on any contending team. He's a 5-6 guy ideally.

Saying the Habs have one legitimate top four guy followed by a bunch of fringe players/bottom-pairing players is a rather misleading assessment of their talent.

No, it's my opinion, which is just as valid as yours.

There's also Emelin who looked to be emerging as a top 4 d-man

And Emelin is recovering from surgery, which is why he's absent from my blueline projections. I like Emelin, and I think he's top-four material, but in all likelihood, we'll be starting the season without him.

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Nope. We've got a stud no. 1 d-man, that's all. Markov is sliding into third-pairing PP specialist territory, and Gorges would not be a top-four d-man on any contending team. He's a 5-6 guy ideally.

No, it's my opinion, which is just as valid as yours.

And Emelin is recovering from surgery, which is why he's absent from my blueline projections. I like Emelin, and I think he's top-four material, but in all likelihood, we'll be starting the season without him.

Our defense core is the weakest aspect of our team at this point, but I tend to think we over-state how poor it is.

Taking your comment on Gorges for example:

Boston - I'd put him in the top 4 on their depth chart, distantly behind Chara and Seidenberg but that's about it. Obviously Hamilton is a bigger talent with a higher ceiling but otherwise Gorges compares favourably to Boychuk, Ference, McQuaid etc.

Chicago - Obviously behind Keith, Seabrook and probably Hjalmarsson. Leddy is better offensively but Q was scared to use him in the playoffs.

Penguins - Behind Letang and Martin, probably in the same ballpark as Niskanen or Orpik (both do some things better, some things worse)

LA - Great defense core, I think Gorges still challenges for a top 4 spot on their depth chart (would bring similar to what Scuderi brought who I would say was their #3-4 guy).

Anyway, those are the conference finalists. Gorges wouldn't be a cut above a lot of these defenders but he'd very interchangeable IMHO with a lot of second pairing guys on these teams. This isn't to trumpet that Josh is some superstar; let's face it, he had a rough year and I think his contract is an overpayment.

It's more a comment on the quality of defensemen around the league and how many great ones teams can realistically acquire.

Edited by BeanCountingHab
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There's a case to be made for Gorges, but to me he's had exactly one year when he was a legit top-four guy. The rest of the time, he's been a bottom-pairing d-man both in usage and in performance. I just don't see him as interchangeable with those players TBH. He's a guy who does nothing particularly well but nothing particularly poorly either. No attribute to hide, but no attribute to max out. He'd look better if we had a better top four, certainly, but he's not a guy who's going to elevate someone else's play or log big minutes over 82 games without wearing down. I like Josh, though, he's a very nice success story even if his contract term adds up to overpayment.

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There's a case to be made for Gorges, but to me he's had exactly one year when he was a legit top-four guy. The rest of the time, he's been a bottom-pairing d-man both in usage and in performance. I just don't see him as interchangeable with those players TBH. He's a guy who does nothing particularly well but nothing particularly poorly either. No attribute to hide, but no attribute to max out. He'd look better if we had a better top four, certainly, but he's not a guy who's going to elevate someone else's play or log big minutes over 82 games without wearing down. I like Josh, though, he's a very nice success story even if his contract term adds up to overpayment.

Part of the problem with him is we've always asked him to be a top pairing guy and quite often a #1 between Markov's injuries and PK's ups and downs when he broke into the league. I think he's fine in the top 4 but it as the "B" guy in an A-B pairing. Too often we've made him be the A and he eventually wears down and/or can't carry the pairing. There's just way too many times where he's had to lead the team in ice time while the rest of the blueline dropped like flies to injuries. It takes a special kind of player to do that.

It's amazing what another legitimate top pairing guy would do to this defense core. Fortunately we have a few guys with that potential in the system right now.

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I have no problem playing centers at wing. You can never really have too many quality centers.

It's always good to have extra centers. Just think of who plays center growing up in minor hockey and then into the pros - the best players on the teams. It's a bit like in baseball how a team with depth at SS will still draft and acquire depth at SS, because they tend to be the best pure athletes and players on their teams.

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Keepsitreal posted an interesting thread that was locked in lieu of some moderator initiated special teams thread that isn't up yet (I see last year's exists but why waste effort posting in a thread doomed to be locked) so I figured I'd reply here since it does have a lines theme to it,

Ok so obviously we can all expect pretty big things from Subban and Markov on the back end...but after that it gets a bit murky.


Plekanec has never in my eyes had the high end vision or the needed size to really be a powerplay menace, not to say he can't excel there but I'd be far more inclined to see him getting 2nd (or no) unit minutes, and more ES/PK minutes.

Gallagher is a force, but would a more veteran presence be more logical there?

Desharnais was utter garbage on the PP, perhaps if he was used more in a ES only role, and getting top OZone starts (as he already was) he'd be more effective in the 5 on 5 role?

In my eyes, Galchenyuk has to be on the PP somewhere, he has all the skills.

So, there's 8 spots left after Markov and Subban, who should be getting the 6 forward spots and in what worder of minutes per game, and who gets the 2nd 2 d-slots?

Plekanec is good on the PP not great, agree his role should be reduced. It kind of depends how Desharnais is viewed, he was abysmal on the PP last year, almost painfully so but wasn't bad the year before. I'm not totally ready to give up on him on the PP but Briere's arrival makes ice time PP scarce for me because I'm intent on getting Eller and Galchenyuk a chance.


I know this is probably going to be a VERY unpopular suggestion because he wasn't great on the point but I wouldn't be completely opposed to using Tomas on the PP point for the 2nd unit with Diaz again if Bealieu isn't on the team. He wasn't great but he was sure better than Bouillon or Gorges. If we're not going to use him at C on the PP, IMO it's actually pretty logical.

I like Gionta but his stick is where nice plays go to die on the PP. Gallagher fills the same role only better at this point. I'm really ready to give Eller more responsibility, Briere has to be on the PP. We actually almost have too much depth here because I do like Bourque in front of the net and Desharnais is a still a nice option but I'm leaning towards,


Pacioretty Eller Briere

Markov Subban


Galchenyuk Desharnais Gallagher
Plekanec Diaz

The toughest decision for me was leaving Bourque off in favor of Desharnais, for the reasons I mentioned above. If you're dead set against Pleks on the point or Beaulieu makes the team, he plays C on the 2nd unit. Eller and Galchenyuk are untested on the PP so this is subject to change.

Edited by roy_133
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I like your lines, Roy, with the one exception that I'm still not sold on have Plekanec on the point. I don't like the idea of forwards playing defence in general, and as much as I like Tomas I don't see him having any more success there than what he's hd in the past. Personally I'd replace Desharnais with Pleks and then give Emelin the other point (once he's back)

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If Nygren happens to play his way on the team, he might be a nice option with Diaz for the second unit.

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