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Lars Eller


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Well, let's look at the two this season and make an assessment.

David Desharnais, 2015-16 to date:

64.2% Offensive Zone starts

1.6 Minutes average power play TOI

.932 5-on-5 On-ice Save percentage

10.67% On-ice shooting percentage (1.67 points above league average)

48.3% 5-on-5 Fenwick For %

-2.2% Team relative 5-on-5 Fenwick For %

106.7 PDO

Lars Eller, 2015-16 to date:

50% Offensive Zone starts

0.7 Minutes average power play TOI

.919 5-on-5 On-Ice Save percentage

7.79% On-ice shooting percentage (1.21 points below league average)

50.7% 5-on-5 Fenwick For %

0.5% Team relative 5-on-5 Fenwick For %

100.2 PDO

Where they put Desharnais is, empirically and indisputably, a better position to succeed than Lars Eller. Desharnais has played worse and been the beneficiary of very good luck, and the other players on the ice with him do better when not playing with him.

If "attitude" has any part of it, I would surmise that Lars Eller's "attitude" is superior to Desharnais', given the fact that he plays better while being set up to fail. I'm not sure how Eller can adopt whatever is necessary for the coaching staff to recognize his evidently superior play.

The per centage ozone starts is one thing but Galchenyuks line has taken 33% more draws than Desharnais so when Therrien has a face-off anywhere we are 33% more likely to se Galchenyuk and Eller. Not sure how DD is the favourite their. Not sure where the zone start info is coming from I just used NHL enhanced stats and looked at the face-offs per line.

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What I was pointing out is you should stop blaming DD for Eller. Eller is reposible for Eller. He has trouble giving and taking passes. No doubt he is very good defensively. He can even put the puck in the net if givin the opportunities. As far as all those stats go, I beieve they have a saying for that. ;) I have been preaching for three years that DD should be centering the third line. He is and doing a great job. Weise and a player no one else wanted seem to be doing pretty good playing with him. Praise Eller all you want and I hope he starts to shine, just give DD a break from the if he was not here Eller would be so much better.

Desharnais is having a pretty darn good start to the year. I think he's really benefiting from being on the 3rd line and getting the easier match-ups, and he's giving us exactly what we need from his position in the line-up. But as has been said, no one is blaming DD for Eller's luck, only pointing out that Therrien's treatment of DD only emphasizes the raw deal Eller himself is getting.

When Eller was on the third line, he got tough defensive match-ups and high percentages of D-zone starts. DD is getting a high percentage of O-zone starts, just as he was when he was on the 1st line. When DD slumps, he gets extra help to break out of it. When Eller slumps, he gets benched or press-boxed. When DD makes a mistake that costs us a goal/game, as was the case in Edmonton, there are no consequences unto him. When Eller is on for a goal, even when it's not his fault (as we saw yesterday), he gets punished for it. This has nothing to do with anyone blaming Desharnais. This has everything to do with people blaming Therrien for treating Eller so poorly, just as he's treated Sekac, Semin, Briere, Diaz, PAP, and Subban poorly in the past. You're absolutely righ that it's not DD"s fault he's one of the teacher's pets, but it doesn't make it any less frustrating to see players like him, Weise, Markov, or Bouillon be able to make mistakes willy-nilly and get away with it while guys like Eller get repeatedly punished for less. Eller is a prime example of how a better coach could improve the production and dominance of this team.

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never have thought much of eller. don't really care who coaches him i feel he is over rated always have.

I think the thing about Eller is that he's underrated by traditional measures of hockey players like goals and points, which don't accurately reflect how good he's been defensively and how much he's done in terms of having above average possession numbers despite poor zone starts and bad linemates and tough match-ups. Because of how underrated he is by these factors and because his coach treats him so poorly, I think many media, tweeters, and fans (including myself) have felt the need to expand upon how short-sighted it is to treat him so badly. As such, you then hear about him a lot more and that "over-exposure" probably leads others like you to think he's being overrated. I admittedly build up Eller's positives, as many people who believe in advanced stats do, but I think a lot of that is reactionary to how much Therrien has done to kick Eller down repeatedly.

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I thought Eller had a really good third period against Calgary though. Therrien gave him regular shifts, and the entire Flynn, Gally A, and Eller line was doing good work in the offensive zone. The message was clearly received. Hopefully they have a good game tonight and we have no need to talk about anyone getting benched. ;)

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I wholeheartedly agree with BigTed's above post.

I also feel he'd be looking better if he was still a Center. Of which we currently have too many. DD has been doing great on the 3rd line - which is where I've wanted him for ages now. Good stuff, I like the guy in this role - he excels there. Eller is best in a shutdown C role ...

...truncating post because he just scored. lol

i was going to basically say that he's best as shutdown C and could do very well as a 2C offensively if he had favourable linemates, which he's very rarely had.

(this shouldn't be a DD vs. Eller debate)

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I feel he would look great elsewhere. the fact is he is one guy who has never really fit it does not matter who's fault it is it just does not seem to be in the stars for him here he is a good player he would probably have a better career on another team. we are quite close to having it all right now i feel it is time yo make a couple of strategic moves to fill in our weak spots. chucky looks like a center to me all we need is to get him his own fleishman type player to finish his plays and eller has some value. and we are very flush at center

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I feel he would look great elsewhere. the fact is he is one guy who has never really fit it does not matter who's fault it is it just does not seem to be in the stars for him here he is a good player he would probably have a better career on another team. we are quite close to having it all right now i feel it is time yo make a couple of strategic moves to fill in our weak spots. chucky looks like a center to me all we need is to get him his own fleishman type player to finish his plays and eller has some value. and we are very flush at center

I do see a role for Eller. He has in the past couple of seasons eaten up a lot of tough minutes. This season, the coach has given the favorable zone starts to Galchenyuk and Desharnais' lines, and neither one has really been a go-to trio in defensive situations or important D zone draws. That means you're pushing the burden of tough zone starts and match-ups onto the Plekanec line and the Mitchell line. If you trade Eller and Plekanec gets hurt, who is your go-to shutdown center? Does Mitchell get 18-20 minutes a game? Do you recall McCarron or Hudon to play center? Do you start giving Galchenyuk or DD the tough match-ups? Eller is a player who can be slotted into your top 6 and keep up with the skill guys offensively but still be a solid defensive option. He matches up well in terms of size and speed to just about anyone you ask him to cover, and he's been a playoff beast the past few years. I think he gives us a lot of versatility that we would sorely miss if we traded him.

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I do see a role for Eller. He has in the past couple of seasons eaten up a lot of tough minutes. This season, the coach has given the favorable zone starts to Galchenyuk and Desharnais' lines, and neither one has really been a go-to trio in defensive situations or important D zone draws. That means you're pushing the burden of tough zone starts and match-ups onto the Plekanec line and the Mitchell line. If you trade Eller and Plekanec gets hurt, who is your go-to shutdown center? Does Mitchell get 18-20 minutes a game? Do you recall McCarron or Hudon to play center? Do you start giving Galchenyuk or DD the tough match-ups? Eller is a player who can be slotted into your top 6 and keep up with the skill guys offensively but still be a solid defensive option. He matches up well in terms of size and speed to just about anyone you ask him to cover, and he's been a playoff beast the past few years. I think he gives us a lot of versatility that we would sorely miss if we traded him.

Here's what I think... because of the move of Galchenyuk to center, it reversed the roles of both players. However, I do believe both also had a greater effect before the change and it was easier in terms of actually setting the line-up. I would still rather see Eller centering the line at this point (as long as Desharnais is a Hab and takes a center spot in the overall line-up). It may even be more effective for the line with two very skilled players on the wings (if Semin plays) and the defensive player Lars is in the middle. It also allows for a switch between Gallagher and Semin as a possibility, without the need to shake up things further and use 3rd/4th line players in the top-six.

The conundrum remains having Desharnais available (but he is excelling at least offensively with the current setup). The only way I can see both Eller and Galchenyuk playing center in the top-six, is if one of Plekanec or Desharnais is moved/traded (not going to happen so far).

Things could be different, in terms of changes forced on Therrien, if the team was actually losing more than they are winning.

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Limited to 9 minutes of ice time as of ~5 min left in third period tonight.

Terrible. No excuse for this to have gone on for as many years unchecked as it has. There's no way a bunch of fans on a forum see something that management can't. So tired of Therrien and his...illogical decisions.

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Limited to 9 minutes of ice time as of ~5 min left in third period tonight.

Terrible. No excuse for this to have gone on for as many years unchecked as it has. There's no way a bunch of fans on a forum see something that management can't. So tired of Therrien and his...illogical decisions.

Therrien has turned the Galchenyuk-Eller duo into his fourth line. He uses the actual 4th line as his shutdown line for 12-13 minutes a game. Why? Because he is aware that neither the DD nor Galchenyuk line can be used reliably in a defensive role. Both lines are being given heavy O zone starts and little defensive time, and Therrien has opted to play the DD line preferentially in these situations, giving the Galchenyuk line the leftovers. If Eller were still at center, you would see an actual viable two-way line, but having two of your top three lines require sheltering is costing Eller and Galchenyuk minutes. Even on the PP, DD and Weise are the ones getting ice over Eller. As it stands, we can call the lines by whatever name we want, but in terms of utilization, it's clear we have

- Desharnais line as our first line, pro-offensive unit with PP time

- Plekanec line as our two-way second line with PP time

- Mitchell line as our third line shutdown line

- Galchenyuk line as our 4th line, leftover minutes, least playing time

I agree with you that it doesn't make much sense, even if it's working in the short term. You will eventually need guys like Eller, Galchenyuk, and Semin to carry this team forward. We're not going to be able to rely on Weise (22.2% shooting %) and Desharnais (19% shooting %) and Mitchell (25% shooting %) and Byron (67% shooting %) to continue scoring on that high a percentage of shots. The DD line continues to have the bad possession numbers and high PDO numbers, suggesting they are going to come crashing back down to Earth shortly. It's 100% fantastic that they are producing and winning us games right now, but in the long run, Therrien is better off having his Galchenyuk line running smoothly than his Desharnais one.

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Therrien has turned the Galchenyuk-Eller duo into his fourth line. He uses the actual 4th line as his shutdown line for 12-13 minutes a game. Why? Because he is aware that neither the DD nor Galchenyuk line can be used reliably in a defensive role. Both lines are being given heavy O zone starts and little defensive time, and Therrien has opted to play the DD line preferentially in these situations, giving the Galchenyuk line the leftovers. If Eller were still at center, you would see an actual viable two-way line, but having two of your top three lines require sheltering is costing Eller and Galchenyuk minutes. Even on the PP, DD and Weise are the ones getting ice over Eller. As it stands, we can call the lines by whatever name we want, but in terms of utilization, it's clear we have

- Desharnais line as our first line, pro-offensive unit with PP time

- Plekanec line as our two-way second line with PP time

- Mitchell line as our third line shutdown line

- Galchenyuk line as our 4th line, leftover minutes, least playing time

I agree with you that it doesn't make much sense, even if it's working in the short term. You will eventually need guys like Eller, Galchenyuk, and Semin to carry this team forward. We're not going to be able to rely on Weise (22.2% shooting %) and Desharnais (19% shooting %) and Mitchell (25% shooting %) and Byron (67% shooting %) to continue scoring on that high a percentage of shots. The DD line continues to have the bad possession numbers and high PDO numbers, suggesting they are going to come crashing back down to Earth shortly. It's 100% fantastic that they are producing and winning us games right now, but in the long run, Therrien is better off having his Galchenyuk line running smoothly than his Desharnais one.

Agree with everything you've said here. Unfortunately, you know as well as i that Therrien wont make the changes required to fix that. The best we can hope for from him is maybe something like this:

Pacioretty - Galchenyuk - Gallagher True #1

Eller - Plekanec - DSP Shutdown

Fleischmann - DD - Weise Exploitation scoring

I dont agree with that top 9 but I think thats probably the best you're going to see from MT.

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Agree with everything you've said here. Unfortunately, you know as well as i that Therrien wont make the changes required to fix that. The best we can hope for from him is maybe something like this:

Pacioretty - Galchenyuk - Gallagher True #1

Eller - Plekanec - DSP Shutdown

Fleischmann - DD - Weise Exploitation scoring

I dont agree with that top 9 but I think thats probably the best you're going to see from MT.

Lars has to play center. He has played his best hockey there. Trying to turn him into a left-winger is just wrong IMO. And Galchenyuk has played his best hockey on left-wing IMO... he showed what he was capable of there in the past. Gallagher is not a true 1st line right wing IMO and played great with Galchenyuk-Eller in the past... why not reunite the kids. All this has done to-date IMO is give Therrien an excuse to play them the way he has.

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I agree so much with the last few posts here.

Eller is best at C, not on wing. Altho he's been doing OK there so far - I just haven't liked that line's minutes or makeup so far. I'd have at least swapped GallyB and Semin for a few games, for one thing. Give Semin a better shot at finding his former self, playing on a top-flight line with Patches and Plekky.

IDK, but the 2nd line has felt like it was purposely built to under-perform. All 3 guys (Eller GallyA Semin) would fare better in different spots/linemates, IMHO.

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IDK, but the 2nd line has felt like it was purposely built to under-perform. All 3 guys (Eller GallyA Semin) would fare better in different spots/linemates, IMHO.

I disagree, the line of Eller, Galchenyk and Semin was one of our best LInes early on, they certainly looked like our number 2 line, they had size, skill and constantly kept pressure in the offensive zone, We lose one game and therrien needs a scape goat or two, and he started pinning this on guys like Semin and Eller,

Instead of just accepting the fact that the team lost a couple of games. Not fall off the cliff in panic mode. If you want to shuffle for a game or two as a wake up call ---fine--- but it had nothing to do with Semin and Eller, but they are therrien whipping boys. Tinordi will be the third whipping boy if he ever gets a chance.

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Oh, I agree with that, essentially. But the results weren't there. However, it wasn't given a fair shake and the 3rd line was getting more minutes than that 2nd line. Predictable Therrien.

I also expected Semin to be sort of an "enigma" player (at least, to start) - so I'd rather have seen a slightly different deployment. For a trial, at least. It just seemed a bit risky to me. My thoughts on the 2nd line, before the season started, was something like:

Eller = natural C being pushed to wing, potentially uncomfortable / less ideal for him

Semin = massively underperforming the last season or few, a lot of questions, "enigma"

So we put those 2 on the same line as "let's give this kid a shot at C" GallyA?

I'd rather have either swapped GallyB and Semin, or Pleks and GallyA. GallyB and Pleks are going to do their thing no matter where you put them, so those 2 scenarios felt much more "blue chip" to me.

At any rate, Eller is doing quite well and GallyA looks good, too - some bad luck / posts otherwise he'd have a handful more points now. We just need to get away from putting bottom 6 guys in that other spot - that's my only complaint right now. Bring Semin back, be it where he was or try one of the scenarios I posted above.

Eller is and will continue to be a big (albeit too often underrated) asset to this team. B)

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Unfortunately for Galchenyuk and Eller, Semin did not provide the jump needed and I can't imagine Therrien being able to go up to anyone on that team right now and say oh by the way your benched tonight for Semin. This team is too hot right now and we are doing it with Mr. Semin in the stands.

My biggest concern with the acquisition of these players ( Semin and Kassian) is the impact they could have on the dressing room. Semin should not be entertained for ice-time again until we have some injuries. Galchenyuk along with Eller appear tp be having some growing pains. I expect Galchenyuk to get going but he could use a sniper on the wing. Eller appears to be a good fit, but they rely on possession and there big bodies to control the play and do not appear to have the same quick short passing, to utilise their speed that you see with both Plekanec and Desharnais lines. Funny to say we need a fast skating sniper when we already lead the league in scoring and the power play is cooking.

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Lars has to play center. He has played his best hockey there. Trying to turn him into a left-winger is just wrong IMO. And Galchenyuk has played his best hockey on left-wing IMO... he showed what he was capable of there in the past. Gallagher is not a true 1st line right wing IMO and played great with Galchenyuk-Eller in the past... why not reunite the kids. All this has done to-date IMO is give Therrien an excuse to play them the way he has.

I dont disagree with any of this, but thats why I prefaced it with "The best we can hope for from him (Therrien) is maybe something like this"

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  • 4 weeks later...

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/canadiens-lars-eller-super-comfortable-playing-on-the-wing/

Good piece by Eric Engels on Lars' transition from center to wing. He likes it a lot more than he expected and even goes as far as to say that it would be "almost weird" to go back to center.

Great game from him last night. He was in full-out beast mode and was unstoppable down low.

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hmmm lars likes playing wing.... go figure

He seems to have become more comfortable there with time. I still think we lose something by not having a second two-way center in the line-up (as Galchenyuk nor Desharnais can fill that role). I also believe that if Eller could move back to center, he would, despite what he said. He's a natural center, he's been clear from the start of his career that he wants to be an NHL center. I think what we're seeing in this interview is Eller coming to the realization that he's going to have to choose between being a LW on an offensive line or being a center on a checking line, and he's opted for the former. But I don't take this as his preferring to be a winger period. I simply think he realizes he won't get a shot as an offensive center and he'd rather keep his current role on the Galchenyuk line and have PP time instead of playing out shifts as a center with the likes of Flynn or DSP or Byron on his wings.

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