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2016-17 State of the Habs


BigTed3
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This team simply lacks stamina to play 60 minutes consistently, and cannot sustain momentum.  I even question their hunger to win. You notice a lot of lazy plays, sometimes players reluctant to take a hit, misplaced passes, concentration lapses etc.  We can no longer make excuses like lack of rest.  Maybe life in MTL is too comfortable.  Wonder what the players do on their off days between games :6396:?

We've always given the players the benefit of the doubt by placing the blame on coaching.  Wonder if the players have diehard ingrained habits they can't shake off.  They can practise all sorts of routines during training, but in the adrenaline rush of a real match underway, they simply revert to their own individual habits and style. Those with chemistry will guess correctly what the other intends to do, and bravo the tic-tac-toe passes connect and maybe it results in a goal.  Those without chemistry will misread the other and the passes won't connect because it's a step too early or too late.  Every routine during practice gets thrown out of the window.  Each player plays his own style, and hopes others can read his mind.

Take for example, the PP.  If it cannot be fixed after 3 different coaches and same problems remain, do we have to point the finger at the players instead? 

I can't wait for the playoffs to start.  Remember the poll conducted prior to the start of the season about playoff predictions?  I wonder how many still stand by their choices.  I do. :4224:

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^^ Habs PP is currently 2nd in the league at 23.2%, which is a marked improvement over past years, so I don't think we can say that Muller hasn't helped or that there is blame to go around for that. The PP has been streaky, but it's definitely better than in past years. The problem this season has been the PK, which used to be decent but has crashed to 22nd so far this season. That falls on Lacroix and/or Daigneault, the same guys who failed to run the PP in past years. Muller has been a huge boon to the team, but our other assistant coaches remain under-achievers.

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One of the things that I cannot get a handle on is why our defensive zone play is so passive and why our PK is so bad. Perhaps the two go hand in hand. On way too many occasions we look far too soft in our own end and particularly so on the PK. I can't believe the number of times we have failed to exit the zone and end up fishing the puck out of our own net ..... I would also be interested to know where the team stands on blowing leads in the third period of games. We have to be close to the lead in this dubious category. The only defenceman we have who hits regularly is Emelin but he makes way too many positional mistakes. I am disappointed in Weber overall and view him as somewhat overrated. I may be a little myopic on this point because I am so pissed about that stupid trade and Weber does log huge minutes. I do not think the team can legitimately contend this year unfortunately and our window for success is getting very narrow. I am cringing about the idea that Bergevin may swing a major deal yet that will leave this club totally pooched for the future.

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18 minutes ago, eldag said:

One of the things that I cannot get a handle on is why our defensive zone play is so passive and why our PK is so bad. Perhaps the two go hand in hand. On way too many occasions we look far too soft in our own end and particularly so on the PK. I can't believe the number of times we have failed to exit the zone and end up fishing the puck out of our own net ..... I would also be interested to know where the team stands on blowing leads in the third period of games. We have to be close to the lead in this dubious category. The only defenceman we have who hits regularly is Emelin but he makes way too many positional mistakes. I am disappointed in Weber overall and view him as somewhat overrated. I may be a little myopic on this point because I am so pissed about that stupid trade and Weber does log huge minutes. I do not think the team can legitimately contend this year unfortunately and our window for success is getting very narrow. I am cringing about the idea that Bergevin may swing a major deal yet that will leave this club totally pooched for the future.

Obviously Bergevin never sent you the memo about using the poke check to slow down/check the other team.

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One thing I didn't like was the recurrent quote coming out of the Habs locker room after the game that "we tried hard but what can you do facing the best team in the league..."

That's an awful awful attitude. For a team that's 1st in its division and trying to show it can be a Cup contender, you can't focus on how good the opposition is. You need to believe you can compete with anyone and you need to believe that you are as much trouble for the opposition as they are for you. At the start of the year, other teams were talking about how good the Habs were and how fast we were and how much pressure we put on other teams. Now we're talking up the opposition. We are supposed to be a good team, we were the home team, and we were rested. For guys to think beating Washington is above them is a defeatist attitude and needs to go. If you want to be a Cup winner, you need to believe you're just as good. Play your game, use your speed, be aggressive, don't be reactionary to your opponent... that's what Radulov did and look how many problems he gave Washington today. Other guys need to be playing that way.

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1 hour ago, BigTed3 said:

One thing I didn't like was the recurrent quote coming out of the Habs locker room after the game that "we tried hard but what can you do facing the best team in the league..."

That's an awful awful attitude. For a team that's 1st in its division and trying to show it can be a Cup contender, you can't focus on how good the opposition is. You need to believe you can compete with anyone and you need to believe that you are as much trouble for the opposition as they are for you. At the start of the year, other teams were talking about how good the Habs were and how fast we were and how much pressure we put on other teams. Now we're talking up the opposition. We are supposed to be a good team, we were the home team, and we were rested. For guys to think beating Washington is above them is a defeatist attitude and needs to go. If you want to be a Cup winner, you need to believe you're just as good. Play your game, use your speed, be aggressive, don't be reactionary to your opponent... that's what Radulov did and look how many problems he gave Washington today. Other guys need to be playing that way.

You're right BT, it's a defeatist attitude to say, or to even think that way. It's certainly not an inspiring way to face impediments. It's certainly not the way a Stanley Cup team's philosophy should be.

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1. shaw/eller/danault-subban/weber

watching head to head this afternoon, and based on the season overall..huge loss. eller is just simply a much better player. danault has stepped up and been great realtive to expectations...im a big fan for the same reason i was a big fan of eller. good smart skillled 2 way player. does it make it ok that we ditched lars? no. i would much much rather have lars and danault as a 2-3 than a spent plekanec/useless desharnais. 

nevermind what subban is doing in nashville. based on what he did here...night to night..compared to weber...huge loss again. shea doesnt make big glaring mistakes, and has a good point shot. beyond that, he is mostly a non factor. if we HAD to trade p.k and he really was a locker room cancer bla bla.....i would have rather got oliver ekman larsson. or another comparable potential trade. 

2.  to teds point about radulov....he is our only player actually capable of actually doing what he did. its not an effort issue. radu is a legit nhl "A" level player. chuck is one in the making, (price is obviously one but im talking about our skaters) and thats it. without him....mama mia

this team lacks legit offensive punch, and it lacks legit defensive presence. we have a bunch of ok players, and we have done ok in the regular season. the vast majority of our wins are against the garbage teams of the east, our record against the top teams of the league is horrendous, and that tells you exactly what this team is. a bunch of "ok" players with a mediocre coach who plays favourites and sucks at making effective, proactive decisions, and a mediocre gm who sucks at making progressive moves and is a homer who buys into his coaches favouritism and flawed philosophies. 

we are going to have our good games, and we might even win a playoff round if we get some bounces, but this team- lead by these guys -isnt winning anything ever as far as im concerned

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

Really light schedule coming up... Edm, followed by Col, Ari, Stl, Bos, a long break, then Wpg, NYR, NYI, Tor, NJ, and Clb to finish out Feb. No real dominant teams in there, outside of our inability to play well against Clb.

As has been our MO,,, we play down to our opposition. 

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I was even saying this last year even with Price out. They went through a couple month stretch where they couldn't score more than 2 goals.When I said that regardless of who was in net that they would have to be super human I was laughed at. Now even Price can't stand on his head and steal a game.

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On ‎2017‎-‎02‎-‎05 at 9:01 AM, BigTed3 said:

Really light schedule coming up... Edm, followed by Col, Ari, Stl, Bos, a long break, then Wpg, NYR, NYI, Tor, NJ, and Clb to finish out Feb. No real dominant teams in there, outside of our inability to play well against Clb.

On paper it looks light,, but all these teams are either fighting for a playoff spot, or their jobs for next year. Those games are the ones to be concerned with, IMO.

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6 minutes ago, H_T_L said:

On paper it looks light,, but all these teams are either fighting for a playoff spot, or their jobs for next year. Those games are the ones to be concerned with, IMO.

But then one could be concerned about every team we face. Every single team is either good or fighting for the playoffs or trying to impress for next year or so on. But that should include us too. When we played Washington, Therrien and the players said afterwards that they did their best against one of the best teams in the league. Yesterday, Therrien said "we were playing another really good team, they're fast and skilled. Plus we were playing 4 games in 6 days, so it's tough and you can't expect too much."

It's the same chorus of excuses from Therrien every year, every time we hit a skid. There's no emphasis on skill or on saying it was the breakout that was the problem or the shots need to be lower or we need to hit the O zone with more speed or any type of actual coaching/gameplan correction. Every time we hit a skid, it's always blamed on effort and fatigue. It's as if there's nothing else that can be done.

I just really hate the defeatist attitude that if we're playing a good team, that any points we come up with are just a bonus. It's a terrible attitude. It just teaches players that there's no sense of self-worth and no sense of pride in your own skill. Washington is 1st overall, they're good. But Edmonton is 10th overall, and we're 7th. We didn't hear Edmonton coming in and saying, "man Montreal is 7th overall, we're never going to win and can you believe we have to go and play them on the road." Therrien's attitude is "oh well, they are a good team so nothing we could do" and that's an awful approach for a head coach. A head coach should be mad that his team couldn't generate any offence in two straight games. A head coach should not accept that his team can't compete with any other team. This isn't Phoenix, where the team is on a self-imposed salary cap and is really at a competitive disadvantage. We have the best goalie in the league. We have high-quality players. We're relatively healthy right now. And every other team plays the same number of games and the same number of back-to-backs and so on. The excuses are tiresome. At some point, you can't just keep saying your team is tired and you played good opponents. If you just write off that it's going to be hard to beat the top half of the league, then you know what, you're not going anywhere in the playoffs.

On paper, this team is a playoff team. This team has the potential to be an ECF team. There is no one in our division that we shouldn't be able to beat. With an addition or two, we could be Cup contenders. But the attitude has got to change. We need to stop presenting ourselves as being the underdog fighting to stay afloat and start thinking of ourselves as a contender. If the head coach models the behavior that it's ok to lose, no wonder he's not getting full effort from his players.

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I'm not disagreeing with any of that Ted. My point was simply that the way we're playing at the moment is what we need to be concerned with in facing these teams. We should in theory defeat all or most of those guys, but they seem to be trending upwards and lately we're going the opposite way. The urgency just hasn't materialized for us yet, and we seem to be in float mode. It's totally on the coaches shoulders, and they don't seem to have the answer.

Just a small correction on your comment about playing the same number of B2B's. Not all teams play an equal amount and you also have to take into consideration the make up of B2B's. Some involve more travel then other's and then some teams will have more of those on the road. You would think that all teams are equal, schedule wise, but that's most definitely not the case.

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9 minutes ago, H_T_L said:

I'm not disagreeing with any of that Ted. My point was simply that the way we're playing at the moment is what we need to be concerned with in facing these teams. We should in theory defeat all or most of those guys, but they seem to be trending upwards and lately we're going the opposite way. The urgency just hasn't materialized for us yet, and we seem to be in float mode. It's totally on the coaches shoulders, and they don't seem to have the answer.

Just a small correction on your comment about playing the same number of B2B's. Not all teams play an equal amount and you also have to take into consideration the make up of B2B's. Some involve more travel then other's and then some teams will have more of those on the road. You would think that all teams are equal, schedule wise, but that's most definitely not the case.

It's never exactly equal, but over time, it more or less equals out. I think someone posted the numbers for B2B and 4-in-6 for our division maybe two weeks ago, and we were the 5th or 6th-worst off team out of 8. Hardly anything to complain about. And as for travel, the West Coast teams have a much bigger disadvantage than the East Coast ones. The point is that all teams go through the same thing, having to play B2B's and having to play 82 games and having to play on the road and so on. We had a long break for the ASG, we have another long break coming up, we're playing home games, and yet Therrien is up there making excuses about how his guys are tired. You know who else goes to work on back-to-back days? Just about every single working person. Sure, a hockey game is intense, but even the good players play 20 minutes a game. I hardly think it's an excuse to say you didn't show up one day because you had to exert yourself for 20 minutes the day before.

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16 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

The excuses are tiresome. At some point, you can't just keep saying your team is tired and you played good opponents. If you just write off that it's going to be hard to beat the top half of the league, then you know what, you're not going anywhere in the playoffs.

On paper, this team is a playoff team. This team has the potential to be an ECF team. There is no one in our division that we shouldn't be able to beat. With an addition or two, we could be Cup contenders. But the attitude has got to change. We need to stop presenting ourselves as being the underdog fighting to stay afloat and start thinking of ourselves as a contender. If the head coach models the behavior that it's ok to lose, no wonder he's not getting full effort from his players.

1.  The excuses have been tiresome for years now.  They're not likely to change until the foxhole team is ousted.

2.  On paper, the team very well might be a playoff team, but I shudder when I think how good the Canadiens could have been if they had  gotten Babcock or Robinson to coach them, kept Subban, kept Eller, and still got Radulov, Lehkonen, etc.  You're looking for "an addition or two" but there have been too many subtractions of beneficial players along the way, and too much dead weight being kept in the name of "grit" or "character."

3.  And the attitude.....you've been here long enough, Ted, you know that's not going to change either as long as MT and MB are in charge.  "Complementing" the ineffective "system" utilized on the ice resulting in collapses as predictable as sunrises, the current foxhole management team operates by way of an elitist, excuse-making mentality that has no accountability, and plays favorites over actually doing what it takes to put together a championship caliber team, all the while exhibiting a contemptuous disrespect to the fan base every time it misrepresents the facts to the media and the public.  And if you don't like it, you're gone, even if your name is P.K. Subban.  

And this doesn't even take into consideration the unfair treatment given the Habs by the league, from the corrupt commissioner all the way down to the refs.  (Isn't it interesting that Bettman came into power in midseason of 1993, the last year a Canadian team won a Cup?)

If you really want to know what would cause the team to put forth such pitiful efforts, try combining all of these factors over several seasons.  This is why I wouldn't be surprised to see Carey Price test the free agency market as soon as he has a chance (unless MB gets another brainstorm first).  

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20 hours ago, H_T_L said:

On paper it looks light,, but all these teams are either fighting for a playoff spot, or their jobs for next year. Those games are the ones to be concerned with, IMO.

Very important.

I tell ya...Chess might be a good analogy...We are such a whacked out team to my mind..Every game it's something new..That's why even a minor line change is so important to the point of win or lose...Then the opponents throw in a new opening when we have a new opening going.

If we had steadiness to the point a Dman could safely not have to interpret for a rush we'd be a whole lot better off but no one has confidence for second to second where anything is. If McCarron could shoulder some burden instead of DD falling down..WOW...but that's a dream...to my mind...(That's one example but there are many.)

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