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2017-18 Habs Lines


BigTed3
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Now that our roster is finished for the year, I think Julien & co need to look at what they have & really evaluate our holes.  I know, its a crazy concept & one we continue to ignore. Some guys could slip down the lineup to play different positions (for example, Galchenyuk playing #2C). Some guys (Carr) may be able to move up a line - but for the most part i think this is where we're at. Im not including guys like Froese or Logan Shaw because I think we have better options.   Some guys (Juulsen) may suprrise us next year, some  (Poehling) could pull a Mete and be ready early but im not banking on it.  

IMHO these are the players we have that a truly fits for each position:

True First Line Players:      Pacioretty (LW), Drouin (LW or RW), Galchenyuk (LW or RW)

True Second Line Players:   Hudon (LW), Gallagher (RW) Lehkonen (LW or RW) Scherbek (RW)

True Third Line Players: Byron (LW)  Danault (C) Shaw (C or RW)

True Fourth Line Players:   Deslauriers (LW)  McCarron (C or RW), Carr (LW or RW)  Rychel (LW) DLR (C)

 

True Top Pairing Dmen:   Weber (RD)- but for how long. I think getting him a #1 PMD partner would actually bring his game up.

True Second Pairing Dmen:   Petry (RD) and Mete (LD)

True Third Pairing Dmen:   Alzner (LD), Juulsen (RD), Benn (RD or LD), Reilly (LD), Schlemko (LD), Valiev (LD) 

 

So, if we trade no one, here's the "ideal" way our roster stacks up next year, in terms of talent (not that i suggest we necessarily play them this way):

Pacioretty - ____________ - Drouin
Hudon - Galchenyuk - Gallagher
Lehkonen - Danault - Shaw
Byron - McCarron - Carr

_________ - Weber
Mete - Petry
Alzner/Reilly - Juulsen

Ideally though, unless we're just dreaming of a Tavares + Dahlin summer, we need to move some assets to fill those holes.  Hopefully Pacioretty can fill at least one of them. 

Overall though, we do have a good solid starting point. But ultimately thats what makes this all so frustrating. This is not the days of Bulis and Zednik as your top line wingers. We have a ton of solid players but gaping holes at 2 of the most important positions.   

Can MB (or better yet, a new GM) fix that?   Are we seriously putting all our eggs in the Tavares basket?   Since we cant count on drafting Dahling, would signing JT  and then flipping Pacioretty for a #1 LHPM defenseman do enough to fix our roster? 


Lots of questions.  Would be nice to get some answers this summer for a chance.  Not holding my breath.


 

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^^ Agreed with a lot of your post, Jedi... I think Lehkonen after the regression he had offensively this year is best suited to a 3rd line, and he was gold with Danault and Shaw, so I'd leave that exactly as you have it. I also like AG as the 2C on an offensive, weighted-zone-start line next to Gallagher and one of Scherbak or Hudon. If you play Hudon there, then I think Scherbak as your RW on the top line could fly as well. He'd need support, but he has the offensive skill at least. Pacioretty or Drouin slots onto the other wing there, and then you almost need to look at trading the other one to find your 1C. Byron and Carr are perfect 4th line wingers, and IMO Carr is the guy who could move up to the 3rd, whereas I see Byron as being a great 4th liner but am hard-pressed to peg him into my top 9 every day. The 3rd player for this line comes down to McCarron, Deslauriers, Rychel, or maybe a surprise like an Addison or Audette, albeit I'm assuming we might trade for or sign someone new over the summer. It would be nice to have a right-handed center though.

On D, pretty much where I see things too... Mete-Petry is a great 2nd pairing. Juulsen has shown promise of being able to be the 3rd guy on the right side, and there would be battle to see who plays with him. I'd prefer Benn there if we can trade Alzner and Schlemko, although that's a tall order. The issue is again the top of the line-up. Weber is not IMO a top pairing D man at ES any more, unless he really rebounds and proves the injury slowed him down more than anything. Sure, you hope to draft Dahlin. Sure, it would be nice to sign John Carlson. If you do that, then you can even trade Weber and get the 1C that way. But it's way too many ifs for the time being... for now, best hope is a young puck-moving LHD in whatever way possible to partner a healthy Weber.

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