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Claude Julien and staff 2017-18


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  • 2 months later...

CJ had a presser and a reporter basically asked him why he's trying rookies with veterans on defence, but not rookies with veterans on offence.  

CJ seemed to take this as a coaching affront and told the reporter not to worry about, he's the coach, he's got his reasons.  While I understand why CJ would be suspicious of this question on the surface, I do feel that it was a valid question and that it was not an affront to CJ as a coach.  A reporter simply noticed something different on offence vs. on defence and was curious of the rationale.  

Anyways, I only mention this bit here to be fair to the reporters, because there was another reporter that asked Galchenyuk an inflammatory question (I posted that bit in the Galchenyuk section) that I thought was low.

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7 hours ago, Windoe said:

CJ had a presser and a reporter basically asked him why he's trying rookies with veterans on defence, but not rookies with veterans on offence.  

CJ seemed to take this as a coaching affront and told the reporter not to worry about, he's the coach, he's got his reasons.  While I understand why CJ would be suspicious of this question on the surface, I do feel that it was a valid question and that it was not an affront to CJ as a coach.  A reporter simply noticed something different on offence vs. on defence and was curious of the rationale.  

Anyways, I only mention this bit here to be fair to the reporters, because there was another reporter that asked Galchenyuk an inflammatory question (I posted that bit in the Galchenyuk section) that I thought was low.

In fairness to Julien, there are a number of reasons he'd want to be closed-mouthed about this.  Most notably, if he's already got his forward roster in mind (meaning its pretty near impossible for a rookie not named hudon to crack that) then he'll want to stay mum so that the others dont think "whats the point."

On defense, there's probably a sliver of hope for a young guy to crack the roster. 

 

So while i agree it wasnt a bad question (it was valid) I also think Julien's answer was valid too.  Unlike MT, he's a pretty transparent coach (and when he keeps things private its for a reason, not a power trip) -  he just doesnt want to give away too much right now. 

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On 20/09/2017 at 0:25 PM, maas_art said:

In fairness to Julien, there are a number of reasons he'd want to be closed-mouthed about this.  Most notably, if he's already got his forward roster in mind (meaning its pretty near impossible for a rookie not named hudon to crack that) then he'll want to stay mum so that the others dont think "whats the point."

On defense, there's probably a sliver of hope for a young guy to crack the roster. 

Yeah this seems pretty clear to me. The first two preseason games basically telegraphed the starting forwardroster for us. In the first two games we saw Pacioretty-Drouin-Hemsky, Galchenyuk-Danault-Gallagher, Hudon-Plekanec-Lehkonen, and Byron-Mitchell-Shaw. Lehkonen and Hemsky could still swap places but the lines seem pretty close to set. It's easy to see why Julien wouldn't want to say anything though, even though it's very obvious he can't tell us or he'd have to walk it back if Drouin had a couple bad games at center or something. "I've decided my 12 forwards and you aren't one of them" is also not a really encouraging message to Scherbak or McCarron even if it's true. 

I don't think it reflects some philosophy of Julien preferring rookie defensemen and experienced forwards as much as the actual prospects themselves. There's just...not really any exciting rookie forwards that Julien would want to get a better look at besides Hudon, and I'd assume Julien already knows he's good and will be on the Habs to start the year. After that...Poehling and Ikonen are playing NCAA/pro and can't go to camp. Scherbak and McCarron seem like projects and are clearly not anywhere close to Hudon/Lehkonen/Byron/Shaw as 3rd/4th line wingers. After that it's just a mix of meh prospects, guys like Carr/DLR/Martinsen that have fallen off the depth chart, and depth veterans like Holland/Froese who might be 13th forwards.

With defense it's very different, Mete is probably a fringe #5-6 guy at best right now, but Mete and Weber are basically complete opposites in physical attributes and play style, and everything Mete is weak in Weber is strong in (and vice versa). In a vacuum Schlemko/Davidson/Jerabek/Benn/Alzner are all better overall players right now, but there's a non-zero chance that Mete-Weber make a better pairing than Weber with one of the many meh slow #5 fringe #4 defensemen on the team.

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^^ And that's a major difference between Weber and Subban. If Subban were here, I'd have no issue pairing him with any of Schlemko, Benn, Alzner, Mete, etc. I think they would be fine. But with Weber, we're trying to find a specific player who offsets his lack of speed and puck-moving ability. Weber in his own zone stays in front of his net and ventures to his own corner from time to time, but he doesn't get on loose pucks well and he doesn't skate the puck up ice. So his partner to some degree needs to be able to do that.

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On 9/22/2017 at 0:34 PM, BigTed3 said:

^^ And that's a major difference between Weber and Subban. If Subban were here, I'd have no issue pairing him with any of Schlemko, Benn, Alzner, Mete, etc. I think they would be fine. But with Weber, we're trying to find a specific player who offsets his lack of speed and puck-moving ability. Weber in his own zone stays in front of his net and ventures to his own corner from time to time, but he doesn't get on loose pucks well and he doesn't skate the puck up ice. So his partner to some degree needs to be able to do that.

For sure. And Its not weber's fault - he is what he is - its squarely MB & his evaluation staff's fault for not seeing this.   

Whats done is done though & I think if we can find that right partner it makes Weber a much more effective player so i think its crucial to do that. Unfortunately MB seems to just think things will work out on their own.  At least Julien (as seen by playing Mete there) realizes that Weber needs the right partner to be 'all he can be.'

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3 hours ago, maas_art said:

For sure. And Its not weber's fault - he is what he is - its squarely MB & his evaluation staff's fault for not seeing this.   

Whats done is done though & I think if we can find that right partner it makes Weber a much more effective player so i think its crucial to do that. Unfortunately MB seems to just think things will work out on their own.  At least Julien (as seen by playing Mete there) realizes that Weber needs the right partner to be 'all he can be.'

MB stated that he saw Schlemko playing with Weber. So I wonder how much of this is Mete being given a chance and how much of it is the team using Schlemko's injury to get him a feel for the NHL as a placeholder, without disrupting the other pairings. I'm pretty certain that when Schlemko is back, Mete will be given the boot.

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2 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

MB stated that he saw Schlemko playing with Weber. So I wonder how much of this is Mete being given a chance and how much of it is the team using Schlemko's injury to get him a feel for the NHL as a placeholder, without disrupting the other pairings. I'm pretty certain that when Schlemko is back, Mete will be given the boot.

Yeah i have wondered about that too.  Ultimately its CJ's roster though - although Im sure MB would give plenty of input - so we'll see.

Ive said before that while i think Mete may be the most effective player in our system to bring the most out of Weber, it would be incredibly unlikely that he's ready to play those sorts of minutes and assignments right now... but you never know.   And as someone said in a different thread, there's no doubt that right now, 2017, guys like Schlemko, Alzner, Benn, Davdison, Gelinas etc are all more complete players than Mete.  So you're probably right, that Mete is a) getting a taste and b ) a placeholder, but there's no reason CJ couldnt have used Gelinas or Morrow in that spot either, but he didnt.  Makes me think that he, at least, is aware of Weber's shortcomings - if MB isnt - and is trying to do something about it. 

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1 hour ago, maas_art said:

Yeah i have wondered about that too.  Ultimately its CJ's roster though - although Im sure MB would give plenty of input - so we'll see.

Ive said before that while i think Mete may be the most effective player in our system to bring the most out of Weber, it would be incredibly unlikely that he's ready to play those sorts of minutes and assignments right now... but you never know.   And as someone said in a different thread, there's no doubt that right now, 2017, guys like Schlemko, Alzner, Benn, Davdison, Gelinas etc are all more complete players than Mete.  So you're probably right, that Mete is a) getting a taste and b ) a placeholder, but there's no reason CJ couldnt have used Gelinas or Morrow in that spot either, but he didnt.  Makes me think that he, at least, is aware of Weber's shortcomings - if MB isnt - and is trying to do something about it. 

I think the Habs see Schlemko-Weber and Alzner-Petry as their top 4, and it's pretty clear they view Benn as the 3rd right-sided guy (since they've ditched most of the other options there) and Streit as his likely partner. Based on the partnering and playing time thus far, they seem to view Davidson as the #7, Morrow as the #8, and Gelinas as the #9, with guys being given the opportunity to leap-frog one another. As I said, I think Mete's only chance is to shine so much that they give him a 9-game trial, and if he does shine, it would bump Schlemko down to being Benn's partner. But like Sergachev last year, I think the slightest sign of inexperience would send Mete back down to junior.

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2 hours ago, ramcharger440 said:

Julien is really good coach, it is hard to make orange juice with lemons though.

So is Babcock they say .

And now that he has  Mathews ,  Marner, Nylander and a decent goalie and  supporting cast he looks like a genius

 

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On 9/27/2017 at 8:05 PM, Habs_Hockey_Nutz said:

So Julien is the answer... right?

I happen to think he's one of the best coaches in the league.  I think he has some decent forwards to work with but its going to take all his coaching skills to make this D roster work... 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm  surprised nobody has raised questions about super coach yet. Sure, he can only work with what he's given. But I'm referring to other things:

1) Player deployment - why is Galchenyuk on 4th line, why stuck with Hemsky, Streit and Benn for several games when it's not working?

2) Player positioning - why are Galchenyuk, Lehkonen and Benn playing on their "wrong" sides instead of their natural preference?

3) Tactical choices - why play defensive not to lose in 3on3 OT instead of trying to win? Why put Weber out when Mete is speediest Dman? Why bench most skilled players Drouin and Galchenyuk on 1st wave? Why still dump the puck and give away possession when executing a change?

4) Player Motivation - why double down on tough love approach when it isnt working with Galchenyuk?

I've had many doubts since the last playoff fiasco, which I still attribute mainly to his tactical and deployment decisions. The euphoria over Therrien's firing seems to have clouded everything. Sure, Julien is better than Therrien. But examine closely and ask whether there are more similarities than we care to admit? There's also more than a hint of stubbornness and inflexibility to stick with what many armchair observers already know won't work. Sometimes I wonder why the previous Habs teams managed to beat his Boston teams frequently, despite Boston having the superior roster and him being regarded as the superior tactician vs you know who.

I leave you to ponder my doubts and observe closely as more games roll on. 

Did the Boston top brass really know what they were doing, when they allowed the Canadiens to hire him? Has the organization, as usual, acquired personnel at the wrong stage of their career?

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I think Julien is a fairly good coach .... much superior to Therrien but so is just about every other coach in the league. There are also warning signs with CJ that were also evident in Boston and form part of the reasons he was let go. Some of the concerns are listed above. Almost every coach has a shelf life in an organization so I would not hold getting fired in Boston as a singular reason to diss him at this point .... we have much bigger concerns like having the worst GM in hockey who has just about crippled this franchise's ability to compete for the next 5 or so seasons .....and an owner who apparently doesn't care one way or another.

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I believe Julien deserves some more time before facing criticism over the team's results. Haven't we actually been decent in shot production and possession? (I'm actually not sure, but I feel like we have been better). Julien can't make the saves for Carey and he can't score the goals for the offensive forwards. I think we'll continue to struggle because our defense seems really poor. I guess the best we can hope for is to stay in the playoff picture and somehow use our $8+ cap space to acquire a really good defender before the playoffs begin... I know, I sound delusional.

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