Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
BigTed3

2018-19 Habs Lines

329 posts in this topic

After what I've seen tonight, I'd strongly think about icing a line-up that looks something like

Drouin-Kotkaniemi-Gallagher

Tatar-Domi-Scherbak

Hudon-Danault-Lehkonen

Byron-Peca-Armia

 

Kotkaniemi-Drouin has looked really strong, and Gallagher can only make that line better than what Armia brings. I've outlined how a Domi-Scherbak duo might have success before, and Tatar has had a good camp too. Hudon-Danault and Danault-Lehkonen have both had success in the past. And that 4th line is strong for a 4th line. Plekanec is the odd man out here, but the 12 guys ahead of him merit their spots more IMO. You could make arguments for Plekanec against Scherbak or Armia but the Habs have a greater need for goals and wingers than they do for a 3rd-4th line center.

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And on D for me

Mete-Petry

Reilly-Juulsen

Alzner-Oullet

Alzner has been weak, but Schlemko has been the worst and Benn looked awful again tonight. Tough call which guy to stick in there.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to see something like

Drouin-Kotkaniemi-Gallagher

Hudon-Danault-Lehkonen

Tatar-Peca-Scherbak

Armia-McCarron/Plekanec-ward

And yes I know Ward is 37 but he can still score skate and is still good for 15-20 goals a year. The 4th line would be able to help chip in goals and used for pk/shutdown

The defense is another story we desperately need help there but with what we have I was thinking something like

Mete-perry

Reilly-Juulsen

Ouellett-Learnout 

At least until Weber is back

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, campabee82 said:

I would like to see something like

Drouin-Kotkaniemi-Gallagher

Hudon-Danault-Lehkonen

Tatar-Peca-Scherbak

Armia-McCarron/Plekanec-ward

And yes I know Ward is 37 but he can still score skate and is still good for 15-20 goals a year. The 4th line would be able to help chip in goals and used for pk/shutdown

The defense is another story we desperately need help there but with what we have I was thinking something like

Mete-perry

Reilly-Juulsen

Ouellett-Learnout 

At least until Weber is back

Where's Byron? :P

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MB doesn't make it easy to move guys tied up for the next 5 years on lucrative deals. Byron has value but i'd be cautious taking on contracts like that. There's not that many MB's out there to deal with.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, H_T_L said:

MB doesn't make it easy to move guys tied up for the next 5 years on lucrative deals. Byron has value but i'd be cautious taking on contracts like that. There's not that many MB's out there to deal with.

I actually dont think he'd have any issue moving Byron.  Ideally 1 more 20 goal season would really help but its not like $3.5m is a lot these days.  Byron has proven he's a pretty diverse player & Im pretty sure MB could move him if he wanted to. I dont think he will - which is probably a shame because at 29 he likely wont be in his prime for this team hitting its real window in a few years. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, maas_art said:

I actually dont think he'd have any issue moving Byron.  Ideally 1 more 20 goal season would really help but its not like $3.5m is a lot these days.  Byron has proven he's a pretty diverse player & Im pretty sure MB could move him if he wanted to. I dont think he will - which is probably a shame because at 29 he likely wont be in his prime for this team hitting its real window in a few years. 

On THIS team Byron has a shot at 20 because he'll likely get top 6 minutes on most nights. How many other (playoff type) teams would use him on a regular basis in their top 6? 

He's versatile for sure but how many 30+ guys maintain that level of a speed game like Paul has been able to produce up until now? Unless MB plans on duping somebody out there into believing Byron will not show his age going forward, then I see us stuck with a buyout down the road. Like you,,,, I don't see MB moving him this year and he might have brought us his best value as an upcoming UFA at the trade deadline THIS year.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Byron was 7th in average minutes tied with Gallagher for ATOI but was fifth in points among forwards so TOI says 3rd line and some of that is penalty kill more than PP. His points however say he is top 6 on this team and his shooting percentage would say he is at the top 3 years in a row, but that stat doesn't seem reliable...... unless your name is Paul Byron.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, kinot-2 said:

Where's Byron? :P

 

Where's Shaw and Domi ?

Edited by Regis22
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After watching some more, I'll stick with what I proposed before, which was

Drouin-Kotkaniemi-Gallagher

Tatar-Domi-Scherbak

Hudon-Danault-Lehkonen

Byron-Peca-Armia

 

The further games have reinforced to me that Drouin-JK should stick together, and I really think Gallagher would be a perfect complement to them with his tenacity and net drive, as well as ability to score. Both JD and JK are great passers so whoever else is on that line has to be able to score, and Armia hasn't shown that enough yet.

Domi is the only other guy who can fit the top-6 center role, if indeed he plays out as a center. Danault isn't good enough IMO. I don't want Domi on the right, given he's a lefty, so he really needs to be in a puck distribution role to pass to his right, not an off-wing spot for a shooter. Scherbak is probably the best pure shooter we have on the team left, so I have him on that right side, and Tatar has played well enough to earn the top 6 spot.

Line 3 puts together two guys who have had success every time they've been paired together in Danault and Lehkonen, and Hudon is a great forechecker and has good speed. I think he's even better than Shaw, who played well on that line last year.

Byron, Peca, and Armia are the best of the rest. IMO, there is zero doubt Peca has earned that last center spot over Plekanec, unless of course Peca remains hurt. My 13th forward would be Plekanec and the 14th is a toss-up between DLR and Chaput. I think Chaput could be the next Mathieu Darche... hard-working local boy who produces more than you think he would off the 4th line. But on the other hand, DLR is better defensively and gives you another center option.

On D, I think Reilly-Petry, Mete-Juulsen are virtually a lock to start the year. Without Weber, our third pairing is pretty doomed. I believe Ouellet has to be there, and the last spot is really just trying to figure out who does the least damage. At this point, it can't be Benn, but I'm hard-pressed to support either Alzner or Schlemko.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

On D, I think Reilly-Petry, Mete-Juulsen are virtually a lock to start the year. Without Weber, our third pairing is pretty doomed. I believe Ouellet has to be there, and the last spot is really just trying to figure out who does the least damage. At this point, it can't be Benn, but I'm hard-pressed to support either Alzner or Schlemko.

The last couple of games I really think Schlemko pulled ahead of the other 2.   I remember how good he was in NJ & his short stint in SJ and have to wonder if last year was just an fluke (because of a nagging injury maybe?).  I think many (myself included) were really biased towards him this year but if you watch closely he's been a 100 times better than he was last year, night and day better than Benn and Alzner.  Then again, its only been a few games and its the preseason so who knows. Maybe he'll be as terrible as ever. 

If we spread out top 4 minutes over Reilly-Petry, Mete-Juulsen then I think we would be ok with Ouellet-Schlemko until Weber gets back.  But in no way can any of those guys be in the top 4.  That is just setting us up for failure.   In the past, I dont think our defensive coaches would go against the higher ups but i have a feeling Julien is going to get honest advice from Ducharme and Richardson. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

After watching some more, I'll stick with what I proposed before, which was

Drouin-Kotkaniemi-Gallagher

Tatar-Domi-Scherbak

Hudon-Danault-Lehkonen

Byron-Peca-Armia

 

The further games have reinforced to me that Drouin-JK should stick together, and I really think Gallagher would be a perfect complement to them with his tenacity and net drive, as well as ability to score. Both JD and JK are great passers so whoever else is on that line has to be able to score, and Armia hasn't shown that enough yet.

Domi is the only other guy who can fit the top-6 center role, if indeed he plays out as a center. Danault isn't good enough IMO. I don't want Domi on the right, given he's a lefty, so he really needs to be in a puck distribution role to pass to his right, not an off-wing spot for a shooter. Scherbak is probably the best pure shooter we have on the team left, so I have him on that right side, and Tatar has played well enough to earn the top 6 spot.

Line 3 puts together two guys who have had success every time they've been paired together in Danault and Lehkonen, and Hudon is a great forechecker and has good speed. I think he's even better than Shaw, who played well on that line last year.

Byron, Peca, and Armia are the best of the rest. IMO, there is zero doubt Peca has earned that last center spot over Plekanec, unless of course Peca remains hurt. My 13th forward would be Plekanec and the 14th is a toss-up between DLR and Chaput. I think Chaput could be the next Mathieu Darche... hard-working local boy who produces more than you think he would off the 4th line. But on the other hand, DLR is better defensively and gives you another center option.

On D, I think Reilly-Petry, Mete-Juulsen are virtually a lock to start the year. Without Weber, our third pairing is pretty doomed. I believe Ouellet has to be there, and the last spot is really just trying to figure out who does the least damage. At this point, it can't be Benn, but I'm hard-pressed to support either Alzner or Schlemko.

I agree with your assessment of the lines for the most part. Scherbak is definitely our best  pure shooter however has not had a great pre-season. So if he is going to be in there I would consider moving him back and moving Armia up to the Tatar-Domi line. Also I don't think the brass will allow CJ to ride Plekanec as a 13th forward after going after him specifically during free agency. However I would prefer he not make the starting roster. Perhaps the signing was done so he could not only play his 1000th game as a hab but also to retire as a hab.  If that is the case then I would play him the first 2 games just to get it done and over with and send back Chaput for the 2 games then bring him back as soon as Plekanec announces retirement. I don't think that he is back just to retire but other than MB CJ and Plekanec who knows stranger things have happened.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scherbak's stats:

Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2012–13 Kapitan Stupino MHL 50 7 7 14 14
2013–14 Saskatoon Blades WHL 65 28 50 78 46
2014–15 Everett Silvertips WHL 65 27 55 82 60 11 3 5 8 10
2015–16 St. John's IceCaps AHL 48 7 16 23 20
2016–17 St. John's IceCaps AHL 66 13 28 41 32 4 1 1 2 4
2016–17 Montreal Canadiens NHL 3 1 0 1 0
2017–18 Laval Rocket AHL 26 7 23 30 20
2017–18 Montreal Canadiens NHL 26 4 2 6 8
NHL totals 29 5 2 7 8

 

You might notice he got more assists (double) than goals, everywhere except with the Habs.

Why? Maybe because the Habs mostly refuse to play him with scoring talent (or, at least, whatever the Habs' version of scoring talent is).

Hope this changes, but I have my doubts with this organization.





 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lines at practice today were very telling - the first time Drouin-Domi have been broken up.

 

Tatar-Danault-Gallagher   (obviously CJ isnt mixing them up)
Byron-Domi-Lehkonen  (domi stays at centre, gets 2 good wingers still)
Drouin-Kotkaniemi-Armia   (Kotka & Drouin together in practice! good sign)
Chaput-Plekanec-Scherbak   
JDLR-Peca-Hudon      

Interestingly, i would say this is the better of the 2 remaining lines even though it was reported as the fifth.  Would much rather see  Hudon-Peca-Scherbak.    Seems crazy to have Hudon out of the top 9 but i still think MB needs to make a trade or 2. 

Mete-Petry     
Reilly-Juulsen
Alzner-Benn
Ouellet-Després

The top 4 features our 4 best defensmen: its a miracle.   Will Benn/Alzner actually play as the third pairing?   Where will Schlemko slot in? hopefully not next to the top 4.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Benn, he's likely been saved by Schlemko's injury. Unless the Habs acquire someone else, all Benn has to do is be better than Despres to make the top 7, and Despres has been just as much of a tire fire without having a contract.

As for Scherbak, I think he's actually had a decent pre-season. He just doesn't play the way a lot of other players play. He's like Kovalev, Pacioretty, Galchenyuk, Semin, Briere, etc... some shifts he looks like he's coasting but then out of nowhere he comes up with 3-4 great scoring chances or set-ups for scoring chances in a 5 minute stretch. If he continues to do that, it will lead to goals and points. Obviously he doesn't have the track record of those other proven forwards, but I think you absolutely have to permit yourself to have guys who can put the puck in the net and be dangerous, even if there are shifts where they appear to do nothing. Too many people focus on what Scherbak and Galchenyuk and so on do wrong and not enough on what they do well. To me, he's got NHL talent and he has a skillset that we aren't getting from other players.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we keep Benn for now, but may buy out or trade him once Weber returns and could see one of our spares or 4th liners moved as Shaw gets ready to return.  I would like to see Hudon play but think he has struggled throughout the preseason. I haven't been too impressed with Peca and given that Byron, Shaw and de la Rose can all play centre too, and Kotkeniemi is sticking it makes  centre a little crowded. Agostini  is likely one of the forwards  cut but the other may be based upon who is most likely to clear waivers. Plekanec may also find himself traded again if Kotkaniemi stays for the season and depending upon how we are doing at the trade deadline.

1) LW Tatar           C Danault          RW   Gallagher  

2) LW Drouin        C Kotkaniemi     RW   Armia                    

3) LW Byron          C Domi             RW  Lehkonen  

4) LW Chaput       C Plekanec       RW   Scherbak 15           

Spares C de la Rose     RW Hudon    

 Defensive pairings       

1) Mete   Petry     

2) Reilly   Juulsen

3) Alzner   Oullet   

Spare: Benn                   

  IR Shaw,  Deslauriers,  Schlemko,  Weber                                                                                                                                 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guys I think the Habs have overrated based on their use in pre-season:

1. Joel Armia... he just hasn't impressed me that much. Uses his body well to shield the puck but hasn't generated much offence. I see him as being a better fit in the bottom 6, and I'm not sure why he's continually being kept on the Drouin line, when Hudon and Scherbak would fit better in the top 6.

2. Danault... his line has played well, but I think the two wingers have out-performed him, and I worry he won't be able to keep up over the season. If JK is staying, this is the perfect opportunity to use Domi as the 2nd line center and put Danault back where he belongs on a 3rd line. A missed opportunity it seems, as the team continues to overrate what Danault can do offensively. That being said, since Domi took himself out of the pre-season, he's largely an unknown too, but I have to believe he's got more offensive potential than Danault. Too bad we don't have Galchenyuk to be the 2C, would have been a great fit.

3. Reilly... he had a great pre-season. Skated well, pinched in nicely. I'm just worried he isn't going to be able to fill a top 4 role once the season starts. I think he could be a great 3rd pairing guy and instead we're going to ask him to play above his head. Can he really keep up playing Austin Matthews or Tavares and Crosby or Malkin to start the year?

4. Benn/Alzner/Schlemko... still not cutting it for me. MB needed to come up with better options for us and didn't.

 

Guys I think they're underrating:

1. Hudon... I'm always impressed by his work ethic, his speed, and his forechecking, yet he just can't seem to find a regular role in Julien's line-up. For a few years now, the Habs just haven't seemed to want to give Hudon his due. He's a top 9 guy.

2. Lindgren... he played pretty darn well when he got the chance. Niemi is probably more reliable, but it's better for us to build up Lindgren's experience in a year we're not expected to challenge for a Cup than to play Niemi.

3. Ouellet... he's outplayed the other 3rd pairing candidates.

4. Scherbak... I'm convinced he's going to get dogged by management with the same reputation as AG, Pacioretty, Semin, etc. They don't appreciate guys who aren't wheeling all over the ice, but Scherbak creates chances in the O zone, even if he isn't always skating at top gear.

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^^^ I agree about most of your assessments BT.  Here's a couple of thoughts though:

- Danault - i think Julien just loves those 2 way centres so much. I think he feels like the Tatar/Gallagher dynamic is enough - and indeed, Danault really works the boards well for those 2 - but you may well be right, Domi could be a better fit there and move Danault back a line. 

- I really like Reilly. I liked a lot of what he was doing last year & he seems to be doing even better this year.  He was buried in the Winnipeg system. I think he'll do well for us & I do think he can handle top 4 minutes.  I think he'd actually complement Weber well but if Juulsen made Alzner look good, im ok with those 2 to start the year. 

- Hudon - i wonder if he's hurt.  Julien loves him he played him lots last year and he had a decent camp, so to see him so far down the lineup, i wonder if he's being sheltered because of a minor injury that isnt keeping him out of the lineup but needs a little less minutes?  Seems odd thats for sure.

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So looking at the lineup today I wonder if the whole reason for the formation they ran was to add size to each line. Don't think that it is a good idea but if you look at the lines and the sizes of the players every line has at least one guy - over 6 foot tall. Would rather see the best line formations for goals but am thinking they are trying to add size to all lines so they hopefully don't get pushed around. 

Also feel like if the plan is to form Kotkaniemi as the number 1 centre then the best place to put him is on the number 1 line. Especially if your planning on keeping him this year. So lines should be:

Drouin-Kotkaniemi-Gallagher 

Tatar-Domi-Scherbak

Hudon-Danault-Lehkonen 

Byron-Peca-Armia

With De La Rose and Chaput as reserves. Unfortunately I think Plekanec will beat Chaput for the spot.

D

Mete-Petry 

Reilly-Juulsen 

Ouellet-Alzner/Despres

Alzner/Despres reserve 

Trade/Buyout Benn 

Waive Augustino and Chaput if you plan on carrying Plekanec. 

And waive Lingren as Neimi give you the most consistency behind Price. 

Once Shaw, Schlemko, Weber return you have to consider trading Schlemko, Shaw and either Despres or Alzner for another top Dman or D prospect. Keeping in mind that the prospect/Top Dman has to be of top 2 caliber. If that isn't enough for a top Dman or D prospect evaluate the validity of adding a late round draft pick in 2020.

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tatar-Danault-Gallagher
Byron-Domi-Lehkonen
Drouin-Kotkaniemi-Armia  
Chaput-Plekanec-Scherbak   
JDLR-Peca-Hudon      

Mete-Petry     
Reilly-Juulsen
Alzner-Benn
Ouellet-Després

From the above line-up the players that have not impressed enough IMO are as Follows:

Benn, Després, Petry, Alzner, Scherbak, JDLR, Plekanec and Domi (though he didn't play)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Habs_Hockey_Nutz said:

Tatar-Danault-Gallagher
Byron-Domi-Lehkonen
Drouin-Kotkaniemi-Armia  
Chaput-Plekanec-Scherbak   
JDLR-Peca-Hudon      

Mete-Petry     
Reilly-Juulsen
Alzner-Benn
Ouellet-Després

From the above line-up the players that have not impressed enough IMO are as Follows:

Benn, Després, Petry, Alzner, Scherbak, JDLR, Plekanec and Domi (though he didn't play)

Hard to argue with that list of underperformers. I thought Scherbak and JDLR would have a much better camp and think Petry will get it together.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I won't go back into what I want to see for now but rather what do we know:

- we know Tatar-Danault-Gallagher is likely going to be our 2nd line

- we know Kotkaniemi has made the team, and there's a reasonable likelihood that we'll see him centering Drouin, at least to start the season. There's a likelihood that Armia remains on their right, although it could also be Lehkonen.

- we know Domi and Lehkonen are likely to be in the top 9 if they aren't on the Drouin line.

- we can be reasonably certain that Byron, Hudon, Peca, and Plekanec are going to make the team, even if they aren't all necessarily in the starting 12.

So that leaves two forward spots (if they go 14 forwards) for Scherbak, Chaput, Agostino, and DLR. Agostino is likely headed to Laval, and I think the team will favor keeping DLR for who knows why. So IMO, the decision on the last spot is going to come down to Scherbak vs. Chaput... the guy with the higher upside but whose work ethic is called into question largely because coaching/management seems to do that with many of their Russian forwards or the journeyman with a more consistent effort but less high-end potential to ever be a top 6-9 player. As well as he's played this pre-season, it absolutely has to be Scherbak they keep, if it were up to me. If anything, I think the decision on Chaput should come down to whether he unseats DLR or Plekanec, but I don't think management sees it that way.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On D, it looks to be a near given Petry, Mete, Reilly, and Juulsen are the top 4, which is good on the one hand since those are the best 4 D men we have and bad on the other because those are the best 4 D we have. In any case, I think Alzner will be on the 3rd pairing and I'd venture the team will keep Benn and Ouellet. I think the main questions to be answered are whether Despres stays on as an 8th D and supplants a forward and which of Ouellet or Benn starts the year in the top 6. My guess is the team will stay with what they know and give the edge to Benn next to Alzner, despite his pre-season.

In goal, I think the plan all along has been to keep Niemi as the back-up.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.