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BigTed3

2018-19 Habs Lines

259 posts in this topic

9 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

It's fine to try Hudon at center. The problem comes back to the same issue, which is that all of our centers are either bottom 6 players (Danault, Plekanec, DLR, Peca, etc.) or else they're skill players but with very little experience at center and/or very little size (Drouin, Domi, Hudon, Kotkaniemi, etc.)... so either way, you're ending up with two top 6 centers who don't really have the moxie to play in any situation. Instead, you're going into the season with two guys who are going to need some amount of shielding or who just aren't capable of being in the top 6. It's fine to experiment with Hudon as your 2C if your 1C is Crosby or Matthews or Backstrom or Tavares or McDavid or Barzal or Draisaitl or Johansen or so on. It's a much bigger gamble to have Hudon as your 2C if Drouin is your 1C. Both guys are going to have the same lack of experience, the same size issues, the same need to improve their defensive games, and so on. Just creates a bit of a mess for a coach to try to win match-ups.

 

7 hours ago, maas_art said:

We have Gallagher, Scherbak, Armia, Shaw and a few players like Lehkonen and Hudon who have played RW but may be better suited to LW.    

Hudon actually spent a lot of time at RW last year.  Per  Szporer's article i linke to above:   

"According to the team’s roster page, Charles Hudon is a left-winger, but on four of his top five lines from last season he played on the right. On two of those, he played opposite Pacioretty. On two others, he was centered by Danault, who in turn centered Pacioretty on the team’s most-common line overall."

So  Pacioretty (LW) - Danault (C) - Hudon (RW) was the team's most common line overall last year.   Now, maybe Hudon is more effective at LW (and i still would really like to try him at centre) but there's been a history (last year at least) of using him on the right. 

I understand the concerns and facts stated. That said, if the upcoming season is basically a write-off, shouldn't the goal be to experiment and see what the young players can do regardless of the results in terms of winning games.

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52 minutes ago, Habs_Hockey_Nutz said:

 

I understand the concerns and facts stated. That said, if the upcoming season is basically a write-off, shouldn't the goal be to experiment and see what the young players can do regardless of the results in terms of winning games.

Absolutely. But you also have to ask what you're realistically going to be doing in the future. It's pretty unlikely the team can win with Drouin and Hudon as their top 2 centers down the line, and in the end, the plan seems to be the hope that at least one and maybe both of Poehling or Kotkaniemi becomes a top 6 center. They've also drafted a lot of other centers like Ikonen, Olofsson, McShane, etc. so I don't know that Hudon or Drouin's future necessarily lies at center when we're a competitive team.

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14 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

Absolutely. But you also have to ask what you're realistically going to be doing in the future. It's pretty unlikely the team can win with Drouin and Hudon as their top 2 centers down the line, and in the end, the plan seems to be the hope that at least one and maybe both of Poehling or Kotkaniemi becomes a top 6 center. They've also drafted a lot of other centers like Ikonen, Olofsson, McShane, etc. so I don't know that Hudon or Drouin's future necessarily lies at center when we're a competitive team.

That could be what the results show in the end. But the experience gained would only add to the players' values should they be replaced in future.

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So with Max out and Tatar in, I guess we're looking at something like

Domi-Drouin-Scherbak

Hudon-Danault-Gallagher

Tatar-Plekanec-Armia

Byron-Peca-Shaw

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3 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

So with Max out and Tatar in, I guess we're looking at something like

Domi-Drouin-Scherbak

Hudon-Danault-Gallagher

Tatar-Plekanec-Armia

Byron-Peca-Shaw

Doesn't exactly instill hope. 

 

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13 minutes ago, kinot-2 said:

Doesn't exactly instill hope. 

 

Depends what you're hoping for. I'm hoping for Jack Hughes, so there's instilling going on for me!

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 Mete says he thinks Suzuki has a shot at making the team out of camp. Not sure that says how good he is or how bad Mete thinks out forwards are.

I like Hudon Drouin Gallagher

        Lehkonen  Domi    Byron

        Tatar  Danault    Scherbak

        De la Rose (Deslauriers) Plekanec Armia

        

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32 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

Depends what you're hoping for. I'm hoping for Jack Hughes, so there's instilling going on for me!

True! With this team's makeup we're on fast pace to be in last place, or close to it anyway.

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11 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

So with Max out and Tatar in, I guess we're looking at something like

Domi-Drouin-Scherbak

Hudon-Danault-Gallagher

Tatar-Plekanec-Armia

Byron-Peca-Shaw

What a mess... and the D looks even worse.

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55 minutes ago, ChiLla said:

What a mess... and the D looks even worse.

Scary, isn't it? It'll be a long 82 games, that's for sure.

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2 hours ago, BizarreReverend said:

Scary, isn't it? It'll be a long 82 games, that's for sure.

Absolutely.

That's the team Bergevin managed to "build" in 6 years, pathetic.

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5 hours ago, ChiLla said:

Absolutely.

That's the team Bergevin managed to "build" in 6 years, pathetic.

That's the team Molson LET Bergevin build in 6 years.

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4 hours ago, habs1952 said:

That's the team Molson LET Bergevin build in 6 years.

Dark days indeed for the CH thanks to those two. Misleading information, arrogance and lies. Embarrassing as a lifelong fan of this organization.

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Here are my opening night lines:

L1: Tatar, Drouin, Gallagher

By default, really

L2: Domi, Suzuki, Scherbak

That could potentially be a pleasant surprise on an otherwise dismal season.

L3: Hudon, Danault, Lehkonen

All 3 are similar players who have played together before.

L4: Deslauriers, Plekanec/Peca, Armia/Shaw

D1: Mete, Petry

Again, by default

D2: Reilly, Juulsen

Yes, that is how bad our d is.

D3: Alzner, Ouellet,/Benn/Schlemko

G1: Price (Until he gets: Injured/Pitches a fit/demands a trade)

G2: Niemi

 

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I'm assuming Byron and Shaw won't be healthy to begin the year.

Max Domi - Jonathan Drouin - Tomas Tatar

Charles Hudon - Phillip Danault - Brendan Gallagher

Arturri Lehkonen - Tomas Plekanec - Nikita Scherbak

Nicolas Deslauriers - Matthew Peca - Joel Armia

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Drouin, Danault Domi

Lekonen Suzuki Gallager

Hudon/Tatar Pleks Scherback/Shaw/Armia

Delauries Peca Sherback/Shaw/Armia

No matter what you do you have 3 really good 3rd lines a good 4th line,  and a few second line players.

have fun :(

 

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7 hours ago, jennifer_rocket said:

I'm assuming Byron and Shaw won't be healthy to begin the year.

Max Domi - Jonathan Drouin - Tomas Tatar

Charles Hudon - Phillip Danault - Brendan Gallagher

Arturri Lehkonen - Tomas Plekanec - Nikita Scherbak

Nicolas Deslauriers - Matthew Peca - Joel Armia

Actually they announced today that Byron had been given the green light by the doctors and would start camp on schedule with everyone else tomorrow. Not sure if that means he's in game shape by opening day, but he's got a shot.

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14 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

Actually they announced today that Byron had been given the green light by the doctors and would start camp on schedule with everyone else tomorrow. Not sure if that means he's in game shape by opening day, but he's got a shot.

Ah, I guess that's good for Montreal. Well... better than Byron not being ready.

It's hard to say anything is good for Montreal right now.

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Tony Marinaro says Bergevin told him today on TSN690 that his 4 centers to start the season if it started right now are

1. Domi

2. Danault

3. Plekanec

4. Peca

So those are the guys to beat. It means they're viewing Domi as a 1C and Drouin as a winger, and it means Peca has the edge for the last center spot. Also suggests Kotkaniemi and Suzuki would have a lot to do to win a spot, and Suzuki had said yesterday that the Habs told him they view him as a center going forward.

So with all that in mind, seems like Drouin-Domi-Armia and Tatar-Danault-Gallagher are what the coaches view as the potential top 6. Plekanec is currently between Shinkaruk and Hudon. Guessing the latter keeps that spot as a default, but Shinkaruk might just be a placeholder for now. The Habs are testing Lehkonen with Kotkaniemi, but Lekhonen almost certainly moves into the top 9 somewhere, Scherbak can move up from playing with Suzuki, and then Byron and Shaw will draw back in at some point. I'm guessing the Habs view their bottom 6 as potentially being

Lehkonen-Plekanec-Hudon

Byron-Peca-Shaw

which means Scherbak, Deslauriers, DLR, McCarron, Ward, etc have work to do to find a starting job.

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36 minutes ago, jwlk said:

news is we have alot of centers, think we are still missing on the quality centers, but Domi will start at center, so management believes Domi is a better center than AG, we will see

https://www.tsn.ca/bergevin-domi-to-play-centre-drouin-at-wing-1.1174529

They've been playing Domi at centre (Drouin-Domi-Armia) for the scrimmages & they've looked very good apparently.   Julien says that Domi is there because he "knows what drouin can do"  so its possible they are just testing things but from people who have watched them play together, apparently Drouin looks more comfortable now than he did at centre.  Armia is apparently looking very good as the mucker on that line but obviously its early and just pre-season. 

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Here is the lineup I feel they should at least attempt to start (Yeah I know the top two centers are inexperienced but feel they should at least get a shot)

Drouin--Kotkeniemi--Gallagher

Domi--Suzuki--Hudon

Byron--Danault--Sherbak

De La Rose--Plekanec--Shaw (if available) Armia

Mete--Petry

Rielly--Juulsen

Alzner--Oullette/Benn

and obviously

Price

again not confident installing but I don't think that we have many other options. Plus I feel like both Suzuki and Kotkeniemi are mostly ready to play in the NHL, they will make mistakes but should be able to play through them and grow faster.

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Here's what I think they will do.  Not sure id do it this way but my guess is you'll see something like:

Drouin - Domi - Armia
Tatar - Danault-Gallagher
Hudon - Suzuki/Kotkaniemi - Scherbak
Byron - Plek/DLR - Peca

I think one of (not both) Suzuki or Kotkaniemi will be given a 9 game tryout.  If its Kot I think he goes back to Europe or Laval after 9. If its Suzuki, i think there's a chance he sticks with the big club (neither would learn much in Junior but Kot has the opportunity to play agains men in either Laval or Finland.)

Up front I think we might be better than expected but we will only be able to score by committee.  We'll be lucky to have anyone break 60 points most likely, but 6+ players with 20 goals is not out of the realm of possibility.  
 

On the back end its a tire-fire.   Unless the new defense coach (Richardson I *think* is getting that?) has the guts to say "No Alzner in the top 4"  we are in trouble.   There are some decent players there (Mete, Petry, Juulsen, Rielly) but out biggest problem are guys like Alzner, Schlemko and Benn playing way over their heads.   Alzner as a 3rd pairing guy who specializes on the PK may be ok.  Alzner as a top pairing guy is going to be a disaster.  With Weber out, Petry, Mete, Juulsen and Rielly should probably be our top 4 (although guys like Sklenicka, Moravcik or Ouellet may challenge for one of those spots).   

Im still holding out hope that MB is going to take some of the surplus of players we have & try to package for one true top 4 dman.   Pipe dream, i know, but as it stands right now we're probably losing 2-3 players to waivers if we dont move some bodies. 
 

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58 minutes ago, maas_art said:

Up front I think we might be better than expected but we will only be able to score by committee.  We'll be lucky to have anyone break 60 points most likely, but 6+ players with 20 goals is not out of the realm of possibility.  

6+ players with 20 goals... I'm not so sure about that. How many 20-goal scorers did we have last season? Gallagher and Byron? Byron's managed 20 twice with us. Tatar maybe scores 20...? Do Drouin and Domi pop in 20 each?

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12 minutes ago, jennifer_rocket said:

6+ players with 20 goals... I'm not so sure about that. How many 20-goal scorers did we have last season? Gallagher and Byron? Byron's managed 20 twice with us. Tatar maybe scores 20...? Do Drouin and Domi pop in 20 each?

Im not saying its going to happen, im saying there's no one on the roster that makes me think they can break 60 (unless they take a big jump forward) but there are several guys who have scored 20 goals (or come close).  Without a true #1 line you have to assume ice time and PP time will be spread out more so seeing multiple players score 20 ish wouldnt be unrealistic.  

Those who have scored 20 in the past:   Gallagher, Drouin, Byron, Tatar, Plekanec, Shaw, Weber     Those who have come close:  Domi (18), Lehkonen (18)

Obviously i dont think Pleks, Shaw or Weber are going to score 20 this year but the other 4 could for sure.   I think that Lehkonen and Domi may well score more this year & lets not forget about guys like Hudon (inconceivably low shooting percentage last year) and Armia (buried in the Winnipeg depth charts) as guys who may surprise. Even guys like Danault or Peca, if called upon to play a more offensive role, could find themselves pulling a Paul Byron & chipping in more goals than we expect them to.  Or maybe this is the year Sherbak finally breaks out.  And if Nick Suzuki somehow makes the club, who knows. 

So im not saying that we will have 6 guys score 20 goals, but I do think we may be surprised where the offense comes from this year.    We're going to need all 4 lines contributing if we have a chance of winning any games. 


 

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