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2016-17 State of the Habs


BigTed3
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2 hours ago, H_T_L said:

If DD finds his way back into the lineup after what we saw from big Mike last night, i think i'm going to lose my mind.

Absolutely no comparison. Take away the child's soother MB, before Therrien finds it again.

Agreed. So many things wrong with this team though. The most glaring ones being, the coaching and his overuse of DD. Both MT & DD are not playoffs material let alone Cup contenders. Also Coach's constant scrambling of the lines which does not allow players to properly gel together IMO.

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Based on current playing form, this team has to thank the current play-off qualification format.  So much for those criticizing the current format.

Under the old system where only the top 8 of each conference qualify, they would probably be clinging on precariously to a wild card spot.  Or just on the outside looking in.  

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6 hours ago, PuckPundit said:

Based on current playing form, this team has to thank the current play-off qualification format.  So much for those criticizing the current format.

Under the old system where only the top 8 of each conference qualify, they would probably be clinging on precariously to a wild card spot.  Or just on the outside looking in.  

Actually they would be in 5th place, 1 point out of home ice and 11 points up on missing the playoffs, exactly the same as they are now. Their first-round opponent would be the NYR, exactly the same as it is under the current system.

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TSN putting up stats recently showing Habs have 23rd-best record in league since Nov 13th. In that time they have gone 18-17-7, which means 6 more losses than wins. In Nov and Dec, we were playing good hockey, so okay to ignore a little downturn in the record. But in Jan and Feb, the team has gone downhill fairly drastically. If Habs lose today, they will go into the break losers of 6 of 7, with our only win being in OT against a bottom-feeder. Not good.

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2 hours ago, vegasrick said:

I predict:  

  1. Habs miss the playoffs this year as the meltdown continues.  
  2. Therrien does NOT get fired. 
  3. Bergevin makes a tiny trade at the deadline which improves nothing. 
  4. Molson sells enough beer to disregard all of it. 

 

For truth.

Nothing is going to change. Unless Molson mans up. What's happening right now is SO similar to last season, yet, excuses will be made. "Galchenyuk was hurt." "Desharnais was hurt." "Price was slumping." "MT is still learning his position." But... in all honesty, MB will actually say something like, "We believe in our coaching staff and we believe in our players." Get ready for the mediocrity to continue y'all.

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6 minutes ago, jennifer_rocket said:

 "Desharnais was hurt." 

They played better , or the results were better, when he was hurt

I don't understand why they don't just put him on waivers and send him to the AHL and keep McCarron and Carr up

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1 hour ago, Regis22 said:

There is a poll on HIO

After Sunday’s 4-0 loss to the Bruins, Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty said “we can’t be content eating up minutes and dumping the puck in.” Was he questioning Michel Therrien’s system?

Interesting coming from Max. Sure sounds like it to me.

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2 hours ago, Regis22 said:

as much as I am all for MT being replaced , I don't think this team is very good and has the horses to do any damage in the playoffs.

We'll see what CJ can do

That remains open for debate. Look at the Habs first line: they have an elite goal-scorer in Pacioretty, a top-5 scorer in the league at ES over the past few seasons; they have a potential #1 center in Galchenyuk, a guy who was a top 5 goal-scorer when he was moved to center last year and a top 5 point-getter to start this year before his injury; and Radulov, who many have called the best free agent signing this year. That's a true #1 line. Is there a Crosby on our team? No. But that top line can compete with any top line in the league. What do they need? Time to play together and time for Galchenyuk to mature as a center.

Now look at the rest of our forwards. Gallagher is a 2nd line player. By many metrics, he's a top-line player in the NHL. Byron and Lehkonen and Shaw and Danault are all very good 3rd line players or weak 2nd liners in a pinch. I agree that there is the need to bolster the 2nd line, and that is why trading for a guy like Duchene or RNH is the next most important step for MB. But every team has deficiencies, and this team should be able to make up for a weaker-than-average 2nd line with a stronger-than-average 1st line and a stronger-than-average 3rd line. And a 4th line that features Mitchell, Carr, and McCarron is nothing to sneeze at. Perhaps Mac or Lehkonen or Hudon or Scherbak can figure into being part of the solution for secondary scoring, but they also need to be given a chance to prove their worth there. Under Therrien, many young players and many skilled players have been held back and passed over in favor of pluggers. If that hadn't happened, perhaps we have more skill in our line-up right now.

On D, as much as I think Weber is overrated, he is still in my view a top-pairing defenceman in the league. Petry has played like a #1 D man for much of this season and is clearly a top 3 guy as well. Markov, as much as I have ragged on him in the past couple of seasons, is having a stellar year and at least this season, has performed like a top 4 D man too. Pateryn is a serviceable 3rd-pairing player. So really, the question is how you get another top 4 guy out of Emelin or Beaulieu. Both have played well for stretches and struggled for stretches, and we need to find more consistency there. I still believe Beaulieu has the potential to be a top 4 D man. His skating and puck movement skills are there. What he needs to work on are his defensive game and his decision-making, but those are often skills D men develop in their mid-20's, so there's still time for that to happen with proper coaching. In other words, it's possible that the horses ARE there on D if the coaches can do better. I think having JJ Daigneault head our D has really hurt us in that regard over the past couple of seasons, but I'm hoping Julien and a better system will help here. I think there's much less of an urgency to fill a hole on D, especially since acquiring another D man would simply mean we leave an extra player like Beaulieu or Emelin exposed in the expansion draft anyways (i.e. if you trade for Shattenkirk for example, you give up not only whatever assets you lose in the trade, you probably also end up losing a Beaulieu in the expansion draft instead of a Hudon or Shaw or Byron).

And in goal, we have an all-world goalie who has simply played poorly over the past 2-3 months. Is it injury? Is it being a father and being tired? Is it confidence? Is it a feud with Therrien? No one knows. But just as I said Carey would never sustain a .935 save percentage forever, he's not going to be a .900 goalie either. I think it's fair to expect him to get back to being a .920-.925 goalie, and that probably saves us a goal against a game compared to how he's been playing recently. As bad as he's played, given how well we know he can play, it also means we have a lot of room and hope for improvement.

I think there is sometimes the expectation that every roster spot should be filled by a strong player. Gallagher is a perfect example of a guy who has been a top 30 right winger in the league but whom many don't see as a first-liner. Petry has played at the level of a #1 D man, but many still peg him as a 3-4 guy. Lehkonen has scored goals and been excellent defensively, yet there is a sentiment that he can't be a top 6 player because he's a rookie. Well every single team in the league has holes in their line-ups. Every single team has to contend with the cap and fitting players in, which is why rookies and youngsters absolutely have to be part of your solution. Every team has to deal with the fact that there are 30 teams in the NHL and that the talent is watered down more than it used to be. Gone are the days where you can have stacked rosters like we did in the 50's, 60's, and 70's. And every team has to deal with injuries and plugging holes as they come up.

So do we have an optimal line-up? No. Can we upgrade, especially on the 2nd line? Yes. But do we have a line-up that should be competitive and as good as most other teams' rosters? Yes. And especially looking at our division, which is incredibly weak, it was imperative that we made a run for the Cup this season. This is why the Julien move was needed. Sure we could have waited until the off-season to fire MT but the window on Price and Weber and cheap Pacioretty is closing soon, so this is really a year we have the opportunity to make noise. Are we as complete a team as Washington? No, not yet. Do we have the elite stars the Pens have? No, but we do have a deeper team and better goaltending potential than they do. And I certainly think we should be able to take out Ott, Bos, or Tor with the roster we have on paper. If MB is capable of adding an RNH or Duchene or Landeskog or Couturier without subtracting too much on the current roster, then I think we become significant contenders for the Cup. As it stands now, I think the Julien hire still leaves us as the favorite to win our division.

 

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12 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

If MB is capable of adding an RNH or Duchene or Landeskog or Couturier without subtracting too much on the current roster, then I think we become significant contenders for the Cup. As it stands now, I think the Julien hire still leaves us as the favorite to win our division.

 

I cant see it

We can potentially put together a 1st line of  MP, AG , AR , but the rest leaves a lot to be desired IMO.

That grit and character that MB tried to build just seems lacking

 

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18 minutes ago, Regis22 said:

I cant see it

We can potentially put together a 1st line of  MP, AG , AR , but the rest leaves a lot to be desired IMO.

That grit and character that MB tried to build just seems lacking

 

To me,

Pacman-Galchenyuk-Radulov

Lehkonen-Duchene-Gallagher

Danault-Plekanec-Shaw

Byron/Carr-Mitchell-McCarron

Would be more than acceptable.

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12 minutes ago, Regis22 said:

https://twitter.com/BWildeCTV

McGuire: "I don't think it's the coach. Centre ice driven league; not good enough down the centre. For whatever reason C has set them back."

 

Pierre McGuire on #Habs: "One thing that needs to be fixed is centre ice play...Plekanec is a shell of his former self."

Sure. And Galchenyuk, Duchene, Plekanec/Danault would be as good a center line-up as most teams in the league.

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12 minutes ago, Regis22 said:

Yes do you hear what the Avs are asking for MD

Yes. I wouldn't give up Sergachev, but I would part with Juulsen, a 1st, and one of Mac or Scherbak. I'd be disappointed at losing prospects, but honestly, when are these guys going to be key to winning a Cup? In 3 years? 5 years? 7 years? When these guys are key cogs, Price will be gone or past his prime or too expensive to build a complete roster. Possibly the same for Pacioretty. Markov will be gone, Plekanec will be gone, Galchenyuk and Beaulieu and Lehkonen will cost more, Weber might be a #4 D man by then.

If you want to build around Juulsen and Scherbak and so on, that's fine. But is the goalie Lindgren or Fucale? Who else are you lining up? If that's the plan, you may as well trade Price, Weber, and Pacioretty now and find guys who will still be in their prime in 3-5 years. The bottom line is that it doesn't help to be a mediocre, make-the-playoffs team for several years. At some point, you need to make yourself a Cup contender. Pacman and Price and Weber and Galchenyuk and Radulov and Gallagher and Petry give us a shot at being a contender now. It's not a perfect roster, but it's a good roster. And again, with our division being so weak this year, you absolutely need to try to take advantage. Our rivals are all starting promising rebuilds and will be very good in 2-3 years. It might be hard to get out of the division with Tor, Fla, TB, Buf, and Bos in a few years. So why not take a shot now?

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