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BigTed3
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That was actually the start of last season... maybe just seems like a few years back because of how drastic a tumble the Habs took down the standings from 1st to near-worst. I don't have an issue with going three scoring lines either. The problem I have is with pretending that Byron and Flynn and DLR and Moen and Prust and DSP and so on can be parts of those scoring lines. You have younger players who can skate and score, you need to use them. We saw with Team North America how much speed and skill gives other teams fits, no matter the players' ages. I'm tired of Therrien and Bergevin saying McCarron isn't ready and Hudon isn't ready but then turning right around and using DLR and Danault and Matteau on the 3rd line. I'm tired of seeing Byron and Flynn in the top 6-9. Those players may have already reached their full potential, but that full potential is far short of what the kids' full potential could be.

I think we can agree that Desharnais has to go. Who else would you like to see not on the team to start the season and what would your line-up look like?

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I think we can agree that Desharnais has to go. Who else would you like to see not on the team to start the season and what would your line-up look like?

I don't have as big an issue with Desharnais on the 3rd line getting 3rd line minutes. But even when he's on the 3rd line, he's getting top 6 minutes, and that just isn't fair to the higher-quality players. Maybe Therrien being fired would fix that problem, but I don't trust MT to use DD correctly.

As far as others go, I consider Byron, Flynn, and Matteau to be more dead weight than anything. The first two are fairly uni-dimensional speedsters and the last is a project who has struggled to keep pace at the NHL. I have no issue with retaining these players in the AHL, but I think there are better options to keep around in the NHL and would rather see McCarron, Lehkonen, Hudon, Scherbak, Carr, Ghetto, and so on get those spots. DLR is also a guy who has failed to impress me. I think he can be a serviceable 4th line player but he may be better off playing the 2nd line in the AHL and getting more ice time that way. I don't think not having him start the year here would hurt us all that much and focus should be on his development.

If Desharnais stays and we go three scoring lines, would love to see something like

Pacioretty-Galchenyuk-McCarron

Radulov-Plekanec-Gallagher

Lehkonen-Desharnais-Shaw

Andrighetto-Mitchell-Carr

Danault

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I don't have as big an issue with Desharnais on the 3rd line getting 3rd line minutes. But even when he's on the 3rd line, he's getting top 6 minutes, and that just isn't fair to the higher-quality players. Maybe Therrien being fired would fix that problem, but I don't trust MT to use DD correctly.

As far as others go, I consider Byron, Flynn, and Matteau to be more dead weight than anything. The first two are fairly uni-dimensional speedsters and the last is a project who has struggled to keep pace at the NHL. I have no issue with retaining these players in the AHL, but I think there are better options to keep around in the NHL and would rather see McCarron, Lehkonen, Hudon, Scherbak, Carr, Ghetto, and so on get those spots. DLR is also a guy who has failed to impress me. I think he can be a serviceable 4th line player but he may be better off playing the 2nd line in the AHL and getting more ice time that way. I don't think not having him start the year here would hurt us all that much and focus should be on his development.

If Desharnais stays and we go three scoring lines, would love to see something like

Pacioretty-Galchenyuk-McCarron

Radulov-Plekanec-Gallagher

Lehkonen-Desharnais-Shaw

Andrighetto-Mitchell-Carr

Danault

I would love to see Hudon as Desharnais' replacement. Lehkonen impressed last night but both Ghetto and Carr were less than convincing as givens IMO. I, too, would like to see McCarron given a chance but more so on a third line. I think we have to give Shaw a shot as the second line energy player similar to Gallagher on a first line.

I think Danault could supplant one of Ghetto or Carr in a 4th line role. And Byron may supplant the other leaving only a 13th forward position available. Apparently Brown has signed a one year two-way contract... that may muddy the waters for skilled players like both Ghetto and Carr. Flynn and Matteau are on the bubble.

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Im really totally confused about what Id do if i was coach. This roster is really a mess because we have a bunch of young guys who may or may not be better than the older established guys in their positions.

I *think* id go with this:

Price / Montoya

Condon would be fine too but i think Montoya gives us a better chance to rest Price a little. Goal is (obviously) the one place we really have no concerns.

Beaulieu - Weber

Markov - Petry

Barberio - Pateryn

Emelin

But what if Juulsen or Sergachev are ready? Do we move Emeiln now?

Pacioretty-Galchenyuk-Radulov

Andrighetto-Plekanec-Gallagher

Lehkonen - Desharnais - McCarron

Carr - Mitchell - Shaw

Danault

To me those top 2 lines are perfect. A great, true #1 line, a very capable #2 line (you could swap McCarron with Andrighetto but I think Ghetto is better suited to the left side). Our bottom six is a mess though. Are we going to have a checking line? Can we keep Lehkonen with the habs? (he goes back to europe if not, AHL is not an option). I would rather not have shaw on the roster at all tbh, but on the 4th he might be ok, if we werent paying him so much. MB seems to think he's Gallagher/Marchant 2.0 but he is severely below either of those 2 players' talent level.

And, of course, MT wont do this. Shaw will most likely be on the 2nd like and Danault will probably be on the 3rd. Markov may well be on the first pairing. These are all big mistakes imho.


We have good players. If I had as much faith in our professional development / talent analysis as I do in our junior scouts I think we'd probably be ok, but you know that we are going to bury some good young kids for the sake of the Shaws, Byrons and Flynns on the roster.

I wonder if we'll see another trade or 2 from MB before the season starts. Emelin is looking like he may have lost his spot & apparently there's still interest out west for him...

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heres what I would do, me. not what I think will happen in the slightest

ghetto-chuck-radulov........pure offence posession line

patch-plek-gallagher........our de facto 1 line. perceived most responsible players

carr-shaw-big mac.......get mac eased into center. grit shutdown line

lehkonen-mitchell-hudon/whoever kids we have who should be playing

DD, danault, brown, matteau, flynn, byron, just get away from me with this plugfest 2000 lineup. whats ironic is all of these guys will get way more chances than any of these kids

this is the best configuration i can think of, we have a really sad sack forward group as far as im concerned, and i know i can count on coach T to put it together in the worst way possible and employ the highest of double standards with the guys he likes and the guys he doesnt

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Looking like Lehkonen has got a shot at breaking into the top 6 and pushing Shaw back to the bottom 6, where he belongs. This won't happen 100% like this, but this is where I would go with things after tonight's game:

Pacioretty-Galchenyuk-Gallagher

Lehkonen-Plekanec-Radulov

Andrighetto-Desharnais-Carr

Danault/Byron-Mitchell-Shaw

 

Beaulieu-Weber

Markov-Petry

Barberio-Pateryn

Emelin

 

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On 10/4/2016 at 7:26 PM, BigTed3 said:

Looking like Lehkonen has got a shot at breaking into the top 6 and pushing Shaw back to the bottom 6, where he belongs. This won't happen 100% like this, but this is where I would go with things after tonight's game:

Pacioretty-Galchenyuk-Gallagher

Lehkonen-Plekanec-Radulov

Andrighetto-Desharnais-Carr

Danault/Byron-Mitchell-Shaw

 

Beaulieu-Weber

Markov-Petry

Barberio-Pateryn

Emelin

 

 

Im sure they wont stay the way they are but right now im quite happy with the lines Therrien has in place (which are pretty close to yours aside from some bottom line/pairing differences).  Its pretty shocking considering how badly he's messed up our lines in the past.  He seems to have actually addressed the problems we' had in the last few years' lineups and, on paper at least, has the best looking lineup we have with our current roster.


Makes you wonder if Muller has had an impact?

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McCarron has definitely stepped up his game this year and given thought to whether he should be retained. Again, what doesn't help him is that he's on a two-way contract, whereas most of his competition is not... that said, it didn't help Barberio very much. My guess is that they're going to keep Sergachev for 9 games but want to retain the option of sending him down later, so I'm guessing they'll keep 8 defencemen and have Redmond around as the #7 in the event Sergachev is sent down. That leaves 13 forward spots. For me personally, what I'm sold on for now is:

1. The top 6 should remain the top 6 for now: Pacman, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Plekanec, Radulov, and Lehkonen. Lehkonen has made the team. He's earned 20 games on the second line.

2. Mitchell is the 4th line center.  He gives us the right-handed drawman we need. He's a veteran and he provides more offensive ability than the likes of Flynn or Danault.

3. Carr and Shaw should be wingers in the bottom 6. Shaw played much better last game when he dropped his silly antics. He's also on too big a contract to bench or demote right now, so he's in. Carr has been decent this pre-season, but he's really building off of how well he played last year, so he gets first crack at retaining this spot.

So to me (and this is by no means how MT is thinking, since he's obviously given jobs to DD and Danault and Byron), there are 4 roster spots left for DD, Byron, Flynn, Danault, Ghetto, and McCarron. The first question is who should ideally be playing the 3C spot. The answer is Eller, but with what we have, the three guys who can legitimately play there are DD, Mac, and Danault. I don't think Danault is ready, so let's cross him off right away. So then we need to ask which of the following types of combos works best as a third line:

Carr-DD-Shaw

Carr-DD-Ghetto

Ghetto-DD-Shaw

Ghetto-Mac-Shaw

Carr-Mac-Shaw

Carr-Mac-Ghetto

Those are really our 6 options (and no, Byron, Flynn, and Danault should not be on the 3rd line). I'll state right off the bat that I don't like DD and Ghetto together. Both small players who play small games, skilled players but both easily muscled off the puck and not strong defensively. So those combos are out. So if Ghetto is on the 3rd line, to me, Mac is the center and DD is not in the top 12. It's either Ghetto or DD but not both. I also can't see Carr-Mac-Ghetto because of the lack of experience on that line, so if Mac is on the 3rd line, I think you need Shaw there too... end result is that both DD or Mac probably end up better off with Shaw on the line at RW. It's either Carr-DD-Shaw or it's Ghetto-Mac-Shaw. Personally, I'm more excited about the latter, but I don't see us being able to stuff DD's salary into the 13th forward spot, so by default, he's going to keep playing unless we can trade him. It means we're going

Pacman-Galchenyuk-Gallagher

Lehkonen-Plekanec-Radulov

???-Desharnais-???

???- Mitchell-???

So once we have DD as 3rd line center, it's down to Carr and Shaw as wingers, or else moving Mac back to wing (which I'm personally in favor of). But I don't see Mac supplanting Shaw as 3rd line RW, so I think to start, it'll be Carr-DD-Shaw. So we come down to the 4th line and figuring out who to pair with Mitchell. Where we stand right now, we have players like Plekanec, Pacman, Radulov, and Mitchell who can play the PK, but you ideally need another PK player on your 4th line. It's not going to be McCarron or Ghetto, and of the rest I personally prefer Danault to Byron or Flynn, so Danault becomes my 4th line LW. I don't see Ghetto being very effective playing with Danault and Mitchell, so I think he's just out and better served by going back to the minors and playing top 6 there. I'm also just not a fan of Flynn being in the top 12, because I don't see him providing anything other than speed. So the call comes down to Byron or McCarron for me. After the pre-season, I'm inclined to keep McCarron, even if it's on the 4th line. He can be given the chance to move up to any other line in the event of injury, he can play wing or center, and he can and should be on the PP as a net presence guy, something we've really lacked, especially on the 2nd wave. So Ghetto and Flynn are my last two cuts, Byron slots in as my 13th forward, and it gives me

 

Pacman-Galchenyuk-Gallagher

Lehkonen-Plekanec-Radulov

Carr-DD-Shaw

Danault-Mitchell-McCarron

Byron

 

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Excerpt from article by Wilde:

  • Tomas Plekanec had a poor camp but I chalked it up to a veteran not really needing to prove himself. “Let's wait,” I said. Now he's had a poor first game. He seemed slow and certainly didn't drive the play. We’re going to need to see something from Plekanec soon. I said when he got the big $6 million contract that the clock was not on his side anymore. I'll reiterate that Plekanec should be between Gallagher and Pacioretty. Galchenyuk should be with Radulov and Lehkonen. Plekanec has shown no chemistry with Radulov. The Russian has had more chemistry with Galchenyuk in three shifts than with Plekanec all camp.

 

  • Radulov. Let's just say that Plekanec and Radulov are still learning to find each other.

 

 

http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/call-of-the-wilde-a-good-start-to-habs-season-but-room-for-improvement-1.3114631

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I think it's a little early to decide Pleks doesn't work with Radulov. The article mentions "camp". Well Pleks was at the world cup so he didn't really have musch of a camp to play with these guys. I say give it a little time. If after 10 games it's not clicking and Chucky's line isn't then switch them out. If Chucky's line is working then (I know everyone will hate this) try DD between Rad & Leh. He is a play maker and has shown when he has guys that can finish he can set them up. He also has good speed. It wouldn't make since to break up Chuck's line if at that point it was clicking.

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5 hours ago, Habs=stanleycup said:

Excerpt from article by Wilde:

  • Tomas Plekanec had a poor camp but I chalked it up to a veteran not really needing to prove himself. “Let's wait,” I said. Now he's had a poor first game. He seemed slow and certainly didn't drive the play. We’re going to need to see something from Plekanec soon. I said when he got the big $6 million contract that the clock was not on his side anymore. I'll reiterate that Plekanec should be between Gallagher and Pacioretty. Galchenyuk should be with Radulov and Lehkonen. Plekanec has shown no chemistry with Radulov. The Russian has had more chemistry with Galchenyuk in three shifts than with Plekanec all camp.

 

  • Radulov. Let's just say that Plekanec and Radulov are still learning to find each other.

 

 

http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/call-of-the-wilde-a-good-start-to-habs-season-but-room-for-improvement-1.3114631

 

2 hours ago, CaptWelly said:

I think it's a little early to decide Pleks doesn't work with Radulov. The article mentions "camp". Well Pleks was at the world cup so he didn't really have musch of a camp to play with these guys. I say give it a little time. If after 10 games it's not clicking and Chucky's line isn't then switch them out. If Chucky's line is working then (I know everyone will hate this) try DD between Rad & Leh. He is a play maker and has shown when he has guys that can finish he can set them up. He also has good speed. It wouldn't make since to break up Chuck's line if at that point it was clicking.

1. exactly what i suggested in the first place. makes too much sense, wont happen on this team

2. its not too early. pleks is a non factor offensively for some time now. he should have been traded instead of extended, and if we were to extend him he should be our 3c and eller 2c. as it is it makes way more sense that he plays on a more responsible line and allow chuck and rad to play pure offense.

rad isnt going to produce playing with plek and thats open season for some coach T pigeonholing to begin

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6 hours ago, Habs=stanleycup said:

Excerpt from article by Wilde:

  • Tomas Plekanec had a poor camp but I chalked it up to a veteran not really needing to prove himself. “Let's wait,” I said. Now he's had a poor first game. He seemed slow and certainly didn't drive the play. We’re going to need to see something from Plekanec soon. I said when he got the big $6 million contract that the clock was not on his side anymore. I'll reiterate that Plekanec should be between Gallagher and Pacioretty. Galchenyuk should be with Radulov and Lehkonen. Plekanec has shown no chemistry with Radulov. The Russian has had more chemistry with Galchenyuk in three shifts than with Plekanec all camp.

 

  • Radulov. Let's just say that Plekanec and Radulov are still learning to find each other.

 

 

http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/call-of-the-wilde-a-good-start-to-habs-season-but-room-for-improvement-1.3114631

Id be fine with:

Pacioretty - Galchenyuk - Radulov

Lehkonen - Eller - Gallagher


Oh wait...

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I think at the end of the day, Plekanec will sort himself out and he'll get his goals and his points. But I think it's also clear he's slowed down over the past couple of years and it's unrealistic to expect him to be able to play 20-22 minutes a night against the opposition's top lines and not look like he's going to wear out. It happens every season, whereby Plekanec is spent by the post-season. Ideally, Plekanec would be earning less money and playing the 3C position. And yes, if McCarron was deemed not ready to be the 2C then the best solution would have been to play Eller at 2C. Even if you keep the first line intact, Lehkonen-Eller-Radulov would have been fine as a second. I don't think what we have is awful, but obviously Eller would have been a more versatile asset than DD.

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2 hours ago, jeff33 said:

 

1. exactly what i suggested in the first place. makes too much sense, wont happen on this team

2. its not too early. pleks is a non factor offensively for some time now. he should have been traded instead of extended, and if we were to extend him he should be our 3c and eller 2c. as it is it makes way more sense that he plays on a more responsible line and allow chuck and rad to play pure offense.

rad isnt going to produce playing with plek and thats open season for some coach T pigeonholing to begin

I really liked Eller but putting him in the equation at this time doesn't matter because he isn't here.

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On 10/14/2016 at 1:06 PM, jeff33 said:

2. its not too early. pleks is a non factor offensively for some time now. he should have been traded instead of extended, and if we were to extend him he should be our 3c and eller 2c. as it is it makes way more sense that he plays on a more responsible line and allow chuck and rad to play pure offense.

rad isnt going to produce playing with plek and thats open season for some coach T pigeonholing to begin

 

Pleks is pretty boring and can be frustrating to watch so I'm not really interested in picking up the Pleks defender mantle but the guy plays tough minutes and has constantly produced, even last year 54 points with a lot of different linemates, I'm just not sure I remotely trusted Eller to produce that in Pleks' role. 54 points last year, year before that 60, that would comfortably put him as an upper end 2nd line centre in production. I don't like watching him with offensive players always and he definitely annoys me at times but it would be awfully hard to replace those minutes, matchups and that production. 

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10 hours ago, roy_133 said:

 

Pleks is pretty boring and can be frustrating to watch so I'm not really interested in picking up the Pleks defender mantle but the guy plays tough minutes and has constantly produced, even last year 54 points with a lot of different linemates, I'm just not sure I remotely trusted Eller to produce that in Pleks' role. 54 points last year, year before that 60, that would comfortably put him as an upper end 2nd line centre in production. I don't like watching him with offensive players always and he definitely annoys me at times but it would be awfully hard to replace those minutes, matchups and that production. 

sure thats fair enough, and really the point is moot as eller is gone, my real point is that pleks is not a 1st line center and should be playing more responsible minutes with more responsible players, and not offensive minutes with offensive players. 

now last night apparently we did

patch-plek-radulov

BYRON-chuck-gallagher, wow

 

this is a joke. this roster stinks, but it could look 100x better if it were deployed sensibly. plek is not going to recapture his 70 point magic from 10 years ago.

chuck is here to score and radulov is here to score. not kill penalties, not play a 2 way game, we have other guys for these things. they should be playing together all the time, 1st wave pp, offensive zone starts...basically the DD treatment. plek is here to kill penalties and shut down the other teams big centre etc etc. let him do that. why is this so hard

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16 hours ago, roy_133 said:

Pleks is pretty boring and can be frustrating to watch so I'm not really interested in picking up the Pleks defender mantle but the guy plays tough minutes and has constantly produced, even last year 54 points with a lot of different linemates, I'm just not sure I remotely trusted Eller to produce that in Pleks' role. 54 points last year, year before that 60, that would comfortably put him as an upper end 2nd line centre in production. I don't like watching him with offensive players always and he definitely annoys me at times but it would be awfully hard to replace those minutes, matchups and that production. 

This is why the Eller trade is so frustrating to me, I don't think he's incredible and the trade is pretty even in a vacuum but Eller was so valuable to this team. Plekanec was really great and underrated in his prime but was starting to slow down after 30. Then Eller became a great defensive C and took over some of the heavy lifting defensively and Pleks finally could just play offense, and Pleks responded with 60 and 54 point seasons at age 31/32. Now he's gone and Plekanec has to be the top matchups guy again since you want Galchenyuk and Pacioretty exploiting weak lines, Desharnais offers zero defensive value, Shaw is much better on the wing than at C, and you flat out can't give Mitchell 3rd line minutes. 

It just screws the lines up so much. Lehkonen and Radulov are both way too good for a 3rd line but neither should really be playing on a shutdown top matchups line either. There really isn't a good answer unless they bring in a genuine defensive 3C, Plekanec makes too much money to be a 3C and even if he didn't he's still the 2nd best center in the organization with nobody particularly close so if you move him down to the 3rd line then you're wasting Lehkonen and Radulov's talents on a line with Desharnais.

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1 hour ago, Noob616 said:

This is why the Eller trade is so frustrating to me, I don't think he's incredible and the trade is pretty even in a vacuum but Eller was so valuable to this team. Plekanec was really great and underrated in his prime but was starting to slow down after 30. Then Eller became a great defensive C and took over some of the heavy lifting defensively and Pleks finally could just play offense, and Pleks responded with 60 and 54 point seasons at age 31/32. Now he's gone and Plekanec has to be the top matchups guy again since you want Galchenyuk and Pacioretty exploiting weak lines, Desharnais offers zero defensive value, Shaw is much better on the wing than at C, and you flat out can't give Mitchell 3rd line minutes. 

It just screws the lines up so much. Lehkonen and Radulov are both way too good for a 3rd line but neither should really be playing on a shutdown top matchups line either. There really isn't a good answer unless they bring in a genuine defensive 3C, Plekanec makes too much money to be a 3C and even if he didn't he's still the 2nd best center in the organization with nobody particularly close so if you move him down to the 3rd line then you're wasting Lehkonen and Radulov's talents on a line with Desharnais.

This is the conundrum I discussed the day Eller was traded. Option 1 is to keep Plekanec in an offensive role, but then you have no shutdown center option (DD and Galchenyuk are not good defensively, Mitchell and Danault are not good enough to play big enough minutes). Option 2 is to keep Plekanec as your shutdown guy and have him take on tough opposition, but then who do you play him with? Does he get third-line linemates who limit his offensive capability and make him a waste of 6M a season? Or do you keep him with top-6 wingers but then force those skilled wingers to play a defensive role, thus limiting the offensive output of three skill players? Eller was 100% the ideal player to have as the tough match-up guy and who could still score 12-15 goals as the 3C, and he was skilled enough to move up onto the 2nd line if needed. We currently have no option to make this work, because both MB's vision for that role (Danault) and MT's vision for it (DD) don't really work. I have no issue with going three offensive lines, but to do this you still need to have at least two of the three centers be able to hold their own defensively and DD just doesn't cut it in that respect. It's not that DD is a bad player at all, and he can be a good 3C if your first two centers are Getzlaf and Kessler or Bergeron and Krejci or something like that. But I'd rather have seen Eller in that 3C role, no doubt.

 

 

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