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2017-18 Habs Lines


BigTed3
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7 minutes ago, Regis22 said:

to be honest I know nothing about .

Only in Montreal do  3rd / 4 th liners or # 5 # 6 D men on other teams become 1 st liners or 1 st pairing D men on the Habs

in fairness to Schlemko, he was on the 2nd pair in NJ and did very well there.

If the plan is:  
Alzner - Petry
Schlemko - Weber

assuming you give the alzner-petry line more ice time and tougher assignments as your first pairing, then so be it.  But then there's a huge admission by the staff that Weber is now a #3, not a #1 and I would do everything under the sun to move him to a team. You could easily get back a 2nd pairing dman AND a top 6 forward for Weber if you decided to go that route. 

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Based on what MB said, this is how i think our roster will look, assuming we dont make changes (I think we will) before training camp.

Pacioretty - Drouin - Gallagher
Galchenuyk - Danault - Lekhonen
Byron - Plekanec - Shaw
Hudon - McCarron - Hemsky

Schlemko - Weber
Alzner - Petry
Davidson - Benn

 

Overall its not a horrible roster.  The two problem areas (my bold) are a big concern though.  Two players playing over their heads imho.   Hopefully that $8.5 in cap space we have translates into fixes for those problems. 


 

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1 minute ago, jeff33 said:

I think the plan is if Jerabek looks good at all hes gonna get to play with Weber, they just don't want to say that out loud. 

Alzner Petry seems academic as a 2nd pairing, and actually looks decent. 

I suspect you're right (either about Jerabek or another player) so as far as they are concerned, our 2nd pairing is set, our 3rd pairing will easily be filled,  so they will see who works best next to Weber and leave the others in tact. 

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1. Schlemko is not young. IMO, he fits in like a Josh Gorges and can be a reliable veteran, but he's not a real solution to the top 4 long-term. Not that Alzner is either though. Alzner told us he was informed he would play next to Weber or Petry, so if MB is telling us he sees Schlemko-Weber, it virtually guarantees Alzner-Petry as well, with Benn then lining up on the 3rd pairing next to any of Davidson, Streit, Jerabek, Morrow, or so on. MB stated that he thought the D has gotten better, which I think many disagree on. Lots of "safe" players but terrible puck movement and skating ability on the back end. I think we'll see a D that ends up blocking a lot of shots, and MB will interpret that as "great defence" while advanced stats pundits will view that as a team that is being dominated in possession and having to block shots as a result.

2. I think based on the comments today and the fact Drouin and Pacioretty have been working out together all summer, they expect to start the season together. I'm less sure as to whether Gallagher will be on that line though. I wonder whether Lehkonen might be a better complement to that trio, with Gallagher remaining on the 2nd line with Galchenyuk and Danault.

3. The Galchenyuk news continues to disappoint me. Yes, he was weak defensively as a center, but he was also much more productive as a center offensively as well, and that seems to be overlooked on a regular basis by current management. Drouin is younger with even less experience at center, so I'm not sure what MB thinks Drouin will do that Galchenyuk hasn't. I think we're seeing a double standard here again.

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9 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

.3. The Galchenyuk news continues to disappoint me. Yes, he was weak defensively as a center, but he was also much more productive as a center offensively as well, and that seems to be overlooked on a regular basis by current management. Drouin is younger with even less experience at center, so I'm not sure what MB thinks Drouin will do that Galchenyuk hasn't. I think we're seeing a double standard here again.

Ya think so

AG 61 Games  44 pt - 5 with 15 PP pts

JD 73 games 53 Pts - 13 with 26 PP pts

 

 

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2 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

1. Schlemko is not young. IMO, he fits in like a Josh Gorges and can be a reliable veteran, but he's not a real solution to the top 4 long-term. Not that Alzner is either though. Alzner told us he was informed he would play next to Weber or Petry, so if MB is telling us he sees Schlemko-Weber, it virtually guarantees Alzner-Petry as well, with Benn then lining up on the 3rd pairing next to any of Davidson, Streit, Jerabek, Morrow, or so on. MB stated that he thought the D has gotten better, which I think many disagree on. Lots of "safe" players but terrible puck movement and skating ability on the back end. I think we'll see a D that ends up blocking a lot of shots, and MB will interpret that as "great defence" while advanced stats pundits will view that as a team that is being dominated in possession and having to block shots as a result.

2. I think based on the comments today and the fact Drouin and Pacioretty have been working out together all summer, they expect to start the season together. I'm less sure as to whether Gallagher will be on that line though. I wonder whether Lehkonen might be a better complement to that trio, with Gallagher remaining on the 2nd line with Galchenyuk and Danault.

3. The Galchenyuk news continues to disappoint me. Yes, he was weak defensively as a center, but he was also much more productive as a center offensively as well, and that seems to be overlooked on a regular basis by current management. Drouin is younger with even less experience at center, so I'm not sure what MB thinks Drouin will do that Galchenyuk hasn't. I think we're seeing a double standard here again.

Maybe I'm reading too much into this,,,, but we've had DD as our #1 center,,,, then he left and we had Danault as out #1 center,,,, now we have Drouin. All Francophones. 

JM2C.

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13 hours ago, maas_art said:

Based on what MB said, this is how i think our roster will look, assuming we dont make changes (I think we will) before training camp.

Pacioretty - Drouin - Gallagher
Galchenuyk - Danault - Lekhonen
Byron - Plekanec - Shaw
Hudon - McCarron - Hemsky

Schlemko - Weber
Alzner - Petry
Davidson - Benn

 

Overall its not a horrible roster.  The two problem areas (my bold) are a big concern though.  Two players playing over their heads imho.   Hopefully that $8.5 in cap space we have translates into fixes for those problems. 


 

Definitely not a horrible roster but we're probably not going to strike fear into anyone either. It's a solid team, not good enough to compete for the Cup though. If Drouin can truly play center, which is a huge gamble at this point, we should be fine with Danault at 2C. There's still no one capable of playing with Weber though. Schlemko won't work, Jerabek might work – or he might not work out at all, same for Hemsky, there's just too many question marks IMO.

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The forward corps is reasonable; not outstanding, but reasonable. The issue is we have one defenceman in the top 4 who can provide elite performance in big 5-on-5 minutes. Meaning our forwards are going to be under even more stress to perform, and Carey will be barraged as usual. That isn't a recipe for success.

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This is a line-up designed to bring the "fun" back into winning the lottery ........

One might pose the question ... if management wasn't even considering being competitive for the foreseeable future .... why keep Price and give him that ridiculous contract?

 

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1 hour ago, eldag said:

This is a line-up designed to bring the "fun" back into winning the lottery ........

One might pose the question ... if management wasn't even considering being competitive for the foreseeable future .... why keep Price and give him that ridiculous contract?

 

no no...thats the true frustration! 

understand.....bargainboy really thinks this is good. he really thought subban for weber was good. he really thinks patchy is worth 8 mil. he will get it no doubt. he truly really thinks having price and expecting a record breaking year every year makes sense.

he looks at our lineup and doesnt say oh boy we need major upgrades...he looks at it and says ....Nailed it! look at all this character! character up the wazoo!!

now to tie this back into our lineup...

i worry about julien. he has a lot of coach t-esque ideas regarding lines.

patch-drouin-gallagher......i hate it.

chuck-danault-lehkonen....i hate it.

 

put our 2 most high level skill guys together, which is chuck and drouin, and let them make pure o-zone starts and max each other out on the ice. the 3rd member doesnt matter, id personally put lehkonen there, but it could be gallagher, and in situations where needed you make a hero line and put patch with those 2.

when you dont put your best players with your best players, its a whole lot of potential offence gone to waste in favour of safety....which is what we have been seeing here for way too long. its loser talk.  

 

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22 hours ago, maas_art said:

Based on what MB said, this is how i think our roster will look, assuming we dont make changes (I think we will) before training camp.

Pacioretty - Drouin - Gallagher
Galchenuyk - Danault - Lekhonen
Byron - Plekanec - Shaw
Hudon - McCarron - Hemsky

Schlemko - Weber
Alzner - Petry
Davidson - Benn

 

Overall its not a horrible roster.  The two problem areas (my bold) are a big concern though.  Two players playing over their heads imho.   Hopefully that $8.5 in cap space we have translates into fixes for those problems. 


 

that rosters not bad. and i don't mind those lines, not a fan of the D core, but you never know, that 8.5 mill will be there for awhile, unless you want him to pick up a few 4th liners at a high price, i don't see a big trade coming soon, since AG value dropped by poor performance, bad management with him and Can't forget MB bashing him before putting him on the trade block, i never understood how he has not been fire yet

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8 minutes ago, jwlk said:

that rosters not bad. and i don't mind those lines, not a fan of the D core, but you never know, that 8.5 mill will be there for awhile, unless you want him to pick up a few 4th liners at a high price, i don't see a big trade coming soon, since AG value dropped by poor performance, bad management with him and Can't forget MB bashing him before putting him on the trade block, i never understood how he has not been fire yet

Drouin joining the team may be a blessing in disguise for Galchenyuk, at least the local media will have other things to focus on.

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31 minutes ago, jwlk said:

that 8.5 mill will be there for awhile, unless you want him to pick up a few 4th liners at a high price, i don't see a big trade coming soon, since AG value dropped by poor performance, bad management with him and Can't forget MB bashing him before putting him on the trade block, i never understood how he has not been fire yet

I definitely dont expect MB to use the cap space on UFAs, there's no one of major value left (a couple of decent depth pieces but nothing we really need) but I do think he's working hard on one more big trade.  I think thats why he said Schlemko (Who is ill-suited to it) is penciled in next to Weber.  Thats the fall-back if he cant get a deal done but i think he's trying to land a centre and a LD, possibly for AG.  I hope not, because I want AG to stay but I would be very surprised if MB isnt exploring that as an option. 

20 minutes ago, ChiLla said:

Drouin joining the team may be a blessing in disguise for Galchenyuk, at least the local media will have other things to focus on.

I agree. It sounds like Drouin thrives on it too, so this could be the perfect scenario. 

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The roster is not awful, but these are my concerns, and they're not small:

1. We don't have a legit top 6 center on the roster. We might, but we don't yet. The team has once again decided they will not give AG a chance to play a full season there. Drouin, conversely, sounds like he will be given a chance, but will he be on the same rope as AG was whereby he'll be demoted if his defence isn't up to snuff? Like AG, he'll need an adjustment period to become an NHL-caliber center. The question is whether we will give him the chance to learn and whether the learning curve will be too steep in the short window we've given ourselves to win a Cup. Plekanec is a good 3C, Danault is a good 3C, but neither is a top 6 player on a good team. And the other options have even less experience than AG or JD. So we're going into the season (barring a trade) with a lot of question marks and inexperience/inadequacy down the middle, probably even more questions than last year, and we all know the importance of the middle of the ice towards winning.

2. Our D is brutal. I don't know what MB is thinking when he gives interviews saying our D has markedly improved and that he wanted to build a fast, puck-moving defence. Yes, we want those things. No, you have not given those things to us, Marc. Our D is older and slower and less adept with the puck. It's built around a lot of sluggish defensive defencemen who might put up shot blocking numbers but who won't help to re-launch the transition game or capitalize on many loose puck recoveries. Weber, Benn, Davidson, Alzner, Schlemko... all NHL-quality defencemen but not a single fast-skating D player among them and not a single guy who's going to be able to reliably skate the puck up ice or have the vision to make tough breakout passes the way Subban and Markov did. I like Petry, but he's also 30 now, so hard to see him getting any better than what he's already given us. And the rest of the guys frankly need to be sheltered and paired with types of players that we simply don't have on the roster. With Subban, we didn't need to worry about what type of player we could safely pair him with, but with Weber, it's an issue, and the same goes for all the new guys MB has brought in over the past year and a bit.

3. CJ, while a much better coach strategically and system-wise than Therrien, is still a coach who tends to overplay his grinders. He did it in Boston and he did it here last year with King, Ott, Martinsen and so on. So while we might have some decent scoring up front, the question is whether it will be given the chance to excel. Will AG and JD and Lehkonen all get 18-22 minutes a game or will they play 14-15 minutes and compete with the likes of Mitchell and Byron and Martinsen and Holland for ice time? Will Hudon be given a chance to play in the top 9 or will the team stick to the "safe" route and lean on Shaw or so on in that role? Shaw and Mitchell and Byron are excellent 4th liners but when you over-rely on them and don't play your stars, then the make-up of the roster is minimized and the on-paper list doesn't translate into on-ice results.

So yes, we have good wingers and decent bottom 6 forward depth and great goaltending, but we're deficient in a number of areas that are quite important. The roster IMO still needs work to make it a true Cup contender.

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29 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

The roster is not awful, but these are my concerns, and they're not small:

1. We don't have a legit top 6 center on the roster. We might, but we don't yet. The team has once again decided they will not give AG a chance to play a full season there. Drouin, conversely, sounds like he will be given a chance, but will he be on the same rope as AG was whereby he'll be demoted if his defence isn't up to snuff? Like AG, he'll need an adjustment period to become an NHL-caliber center. The question is whether we will give him the chance to learn and whether the learning curve will be too steep in the short window we've given ourselves to win a Cup. Plekanec is a good 3C, Danault is a good 3C, but neither is a top 6 player on a good team. And the other options have even less experience than AG or JD. So we're going into the season (barring a trade) with a lot of question marks and inexperience/inadequacy down the middle, probably even more questions than last year, and we all know the importance of the middle of the ice towards winning.

2. Our D is brutal. I don't know what MB is thinking when he gives interviews saying our D has markedly improved and that he wanted to build a fast, puck-moving defence. Yes, we want those things. No, you have not given those things to us, Marc. Our D is older and slower and less adept with the puck. It's built around a lot of sluggish defensive defencemen who might put up shot blocking numbers but who won't help to re-launch the transition game or capitalize on many loose puck recoveries. Weber, Benn, Davidson, Alzner, Schlemko... all NHL-quality defencemen but not a single fast-skating D player among them and not a single guy who's going to be able to reliably skate the puck up ice or have the vision to make tough breakout passes the way Subban and Markov did. I like Petry, but he's also 30 now, so hard to see him getting any better than what he's already given us. And the rest of the guys frankly need to be sheltered and paired with types of players that we simply don't have on the roster. With Subban, we didn't need to worry about what type of player we could safely pair him with, but with Weber, it's an issue, and the same goes for all the new guys MB has brought in over the past year and a bit.

3. CJ, while a much better coach strategically and system-wise than Therrien, is still a coach who tends to overplay his grinders. He did it in Boston and he did it here last year with King, Ott, Martinsen and so on. So while we might have some decent scoring up front, the question is whether it will be given the chance to excel. Will AG and JD and Lehkonen all get 18-22 minutes a game or will they play 14-15 minutes and compete with the likes of Mitchell and Byron and Martinsen and Holland for ice time? Will Hudon be given a chance to play in the top 9 or will the team stick to the "safe" route and lean on Shaw or so on in that role? Shaw and Mitchell and Byron are excellent 4th liners but when you over-rely on them and don't play your stars, then the make-up of the roster is minimized and the on-paper list doesn't translate into on-ice results.

So yes, we have good wingers and decent bottom 6 forward depth and great goaltending, but we're deficient in a number of areas that are quite important. The roster IMO still needs work to make it a true Cup contender.

all legitimate concerns & I agree with you.  my thoughts:

1.  Our lack of an established centre worries me.  I DO think one of JD or AG can be that guy. I do not know if they will be given the time and patience to get there.   If either of them steps into not just a #1, but actually an elite centre status (over a PPG) then having Danault as our #2 i think will work.  If neither of them can break 55-60 points though, we're going to be in tough with danault as a 40-50 point guy.

2. Your point about subban playing with anyone & the guys we have now needed the right partner is the real problem imho.   And while MB maybe could have addressed those problems, he didnt. Instead we have 6 or 7 guys who all would be fine with the right partner, but most of whom probably wont be playing with the right type of guy.

3. CJ does rely on grinders too much. For sure.   The difference is that he usually comes up with a very effective system.  We shall see if that works.  My biggest hope is that he's figured out some new style of trap that will let our ridiculously slow defense be way more effective than what they appear on paper. 

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With Hudon in a make-or-break year (would need to clear waivers if sent down) and the praise both CJ and MB have given him, i expect him to be with the bigs. In order to succeed, he'll really need top 6 minutes.  A lot of us feel Danault is better suited to 3rd line duties.... so what about 

Pacioretty - Galchenyuk/Drouin - Gallagher
Galchenuyk/Drouin - Hudon - Lekhonen
Byron - Danault - Shaw
McCarron - Plekanec - Hemsky

I know its crazy putting a $6m man on the 4th line but I think all 4 lines balance out a lot better, assuming Hudon can handle that role. 

Defense still concerns me & I see no way we can have a competent defense without adding a puck-moving big minute #1LD.  Maybe the plan is to coast for a few months & then try to pluck a guy from a non-contender but its playing with fire.  

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7 hours ago, maas_art said:

With Hudon in a make-or-break year (would need to clear waivers if sent down) and the praise both CJ and MB have given him, i expect him to be with the bigs. In order to succeed, he'll really need top 6 minutes.  A lot of us feel Danault is better suited to 3rd line duties.... so what about 

Pacioretty - Galchenyuk/Drouin - Gallagher
Galchenuyk/Drouin - Hudon - Lekhonen

Byron - Danault - Shaw
McCarron - Plekanec - Hemsky

I know its crazy putting a $6m man on the 4th line but I think all 4 lines balance out a lot better, assuming Hudon can handle that role. 

Defense still concerns me & I see no way we can have a competent defense without adding a puck-moving big minute #1LD.  Maybe the plan is to coast for a few months & then try to pluck a guy from a non-contender but its playing with fire.  

MB has already said (from my sources), that Chuck will not play center. So, IMO, the lines might look like this:

Max, Drouin, Gallagher

Chuck, Hudon, Lekhonen

Byron - Danault - Shaw

McCarron - Plekanec - Hemsky

Mack and Hudon had better have a very good camp. 

 

 

 

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40 minutes ago, kinot-2 said:

MB has already said (from my sources), that Chuck will not play center. So, IMO, the lines might look like this:

Max, Drouin, Gallagher

Chuck, Hudon, Lekhonen

Byron - Danault - Shaw

McCarron - Plekanec - Hemsky

Mack and Hudon had better have a very good camp. 

I haven't got a clue what the lines will be and I don't want to speculate but im not too thrilled with that 2nd line

A rookie, a 2nd year player and AG who management tells the world isn't very good defensively to be a C

I also cant envision Hemsky being on the 4 th line

Then you've got  MArtinson, Mitchell as the subs with  De La Rose and Carr headed for Laval

This team look s like its going to have trouble scoring goals again

 

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9 minutes ago, Regis22 said:

I haven't got a clue what the lines will be and I don't want to speculate but im not too thrilled with that 2nd line

A rookie, a 2nd year player and AG who management tells the world isn't very good defensively to be a C

I also cant envision Hemsky being on the 4 th line

Then you've got  MArtinson, Mitchell as the subs with  De La Rose and Carr headed for Laval

This team look s like its going to have trouble scoring goals again

 

No matter what the final lines look like, the scoring will be hard to come by. I'm guessing that the blender will be in full force come Oct. 5th.

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On 9/11/2017 at 4:07 PM, Regis22 said:

to be honest I know nothing about .

Only in Montreal do  3rd / 4 th liners or # 5 # 6 D men on other teams become 1 st liners or 1 st pairing D men on the Habs

Anaheim have constantly patched their top line with 3rd liners to play with Getzlaf and Perry.

San Jose is testing Boedker on their top line.

I would consider Teravainen a middle-sixer playing above his roster spot.

Jake Guentzel and Connor Sheary don't belong on a top line anywhere else in there league, but if Pittsburgh spreads the wealth elsewhere, then Crosby can make their talent shine through.

New Jersey has zero top-flight D in my opinion. That's less okay, because they on't have a proven commodity to shelter them.

Who do I think we have that is truly 1st line talent? Pacioretty, Galchenyuk, Drouin, Weber. But sometimes you've got to try unproven talent where it can thrive most.

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8 hours ago, RyderRocks73 said:

Anaheim have constantly patched their top line with 3rd liners to play with Getzlaf and Perry.

San Jose is testing Boedker on their top line.

I would consider Teravainen a middle-sixer playing above his roster spot.

Jake Guentzel and Connor Sheary don't belong on a top line anywhere else in there league, but if Pittsburgh spreads the wealth elsewhere, then Crosby can make their talent shine through.

New Jersey has zero top-flight D in my opinion. That's less okay, because they on't have a proven commodity to shelter them.

Who do I think we have that is truly 1st line talent? Pacioretty, Galchenyuk, Drouin, Weber. But sometimes you've got to try unproven talent where it can thrive most.

Every team is going to have to fill in holes in the cap era. If we take the Pittsburgh example though, I think these are some obvious differences:

1. Pit has Crosby and Malkin, which as you alluded to, give them two players who make everyone they play with look much better than they are. Pacioretty is an elite scorer, but I don't feel like he elevates his linemates as much as some other players. We don't guys like Sid, Tavares, Stamkos, Thornton, Benn, etc. who just drive the line and can be paired with just about anyone. It's akin to having PK on a D pairing and being able to throw him out with anyone and have them look decent next to him. Weber's a great player, but he doesn't elevate his partner as much as PK does. I think Drouin and Galchenyuk have the potential to be elite guys who drive lines with skill, but they need to be given more of a chance.

2. Pit sometimes played Phil Kessel on the 3rd line, but they also moved him up the line-up, they gave him PP time, and they played him 18+ minutes a game the last two years. What we did with guys like AG and Eller and so on was not only put them on the 3rd /4th lines at times but play them 14 minutes a game, which just doesn't get it done. If you look at AG as a center the past two years, he's one of the top players in the league if you adjust his stats for ice time. He was #1 on our team in point production per ice time, yet he gets 3rd line minutes on many nights.

3. Pit isn't afraid to turn to younger players. Guentzel's 22. Ryan Rust is 25. Sheary's 25 too. It's been tough sledding for a lot of our young guys (Hudon, McCarron, AG, Scherbak, Sekac, etc.) to crack the top 6 in recent years. I'm happy to see Lehkonen get ice time in the top 6, that's the right move. But we've wasted far too many other guys' talent by bumping our younger skill guys behind the likes of Ott, Martinsen, Moen, Prust, Weise, Flynn, Mike Brown, Blunden, etc.). Andrew Shaw on the PP when he had one of the lowest production rates there in the league? Michel Therrien's argument that you slot guys into the top 6 based on who you feel might have a good game in order to justify using Weise or Flynn in the top 6 while the likes of Hudon, Andrighetto, Parenteau, Sekac, or so on got little to no opportunity? It's impossible to find 9 elite scorers and get them on the same roster for your top 3 lines, but in order to make up for the lack of cap space, good teams absolutely need to be able to develop and play younger skill guys in key roles on the cheap. I have no issue with the team sticking McCarron next to Pacioretty and Drouin or Hudon next to Galchenyuk and Gallagher. Not every player has to be a proven elite star. But use the guys with potential to create offence instead of slowing down your stars by making them play with scrubs who can't finish and don't draw any attention from the defence.

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14 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

Every team is going to have to fill in holes in the cap era. If we take the Pittsburgh example though, I think these are some obvious differences:

1. Pit has Crosby and Malkin, which as you alluded to, give them two players who make everyone they play with look much better than they are. Pacioretty is an elite scorer, but I don't feel like he elevates his linemates as much as some other players. We don't guys like Sid, Tavares, Stamkos, Thornton, Benn, etc. who just drive the line and can be paired with just about anyone. It's akin to having PK on a D pairing and being able to throw him out with anyone and have them look decent next to him. Weber's a great player, but he doesn't elevate his partner as much as PK does. I think Drouin and Galchenyuk have the potential to be elite guys who drive lines with skill, but they need to be given more of a chance.

This.  We have a ton of very good - even great - players. What we dont have is anyone (not consistently) who is elite, aside from Price.  Everyone else on this roster needs to play with a complimentary player in order to be 'at their best.' This is not a terrible thing, lots of successful teams have that - but - the big difference is that their GMs recognize the fact and go out & get complimentary players.   Our defense had one glaring hole going into this year: A puck moving LD who could compliment Weber.  What did MB do? Got a few slow defensive defensmen and let the only guy on the roster remotely capable of playing with SW go to Russia.  

Its why this year is such a question mark.  If Drouin and Galchenyuk manage to get to the next level we're an entirely different team up front than we have been in decades.  On our blueline, if a guy like Jerabek joins the squad and is a legitimate #1LD we're laughing... but we need a lot of things to align for any, if not all, of these things to happen. 

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