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State Of The Habs 2018-19


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20 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

You listen to the comments tonight, and it sounds like the room is divided or that at the very least there are scapegoats being called out. What do we know about friends on the team...

- We've seen tons of videos of Gallagher, Domi, Shaw, and Tatar as being friends. They sit together on flights, they post pictures hanging out together. Danault also seems to be friends with Shaw and in some of these outings as well, and we know Shaw and Byron get along too.

- We know Price and Weber like each other.

- We know Kotkaniemi said he sees Armia as a big brother figure on the team, and he's good friends with Mete. And maybe we tack Lehkonen and Niemi onto the group of Finns as well.

So who seem to be the odd men? Well the new guys like Weal, Thompson, Weise, and Folin are unknowns. Even though they're role players, lets keep in mind the team chemistry seemed to be pretty good to start the year, and now you have a ton of newcomers walking in the door. Weise in particular makes you wonder, because he and Subban have both admitted they were good friends and Gallagher has shown that he disliked Subban. So is there friction there? Drouin sticks out like a sore thumb as one of the top-tier players who doesn't really fit in a clique. And not sure where guys like Benn, Petry, Kulak, Reilly, Deslauriers fit in either. Hard to see someone thinking Deslauriers is the problem though, when he hasn't played much in the last while. In any case, wouldn't be surprised if those first 6 guys I mentioned see themselves as the de facto leadership group of guys who compete regularly and that they're holding something against others. I also wonder whether guys like Shaw and Gallagher and Domi are kind of usurping Weber as the vocal leaders of the team and maybe Shea has taken a back seat, which might be annoying others. Lots of theories and who knows, but sounds like something is an issue.

Very interesting perspective on the possible inside politics going on within our team BT. Trusting your insight and experience, I doubt you're too far off.

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23 hours ago, habby67 said:

I love my team and I love the people on Tsn 690 for the shout out. Without going to detail, we've had some bad news this week concerning my wife's health. Putting things into perspective in what's important in life. Just when you think it's only a hockey game.... just WOW.

Be strong Habby. 

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On 3/14/2019 at 10:18 PM, habby67 said:

I love my team and I love the people on Tsn 690 for the shout out. Without going to detail, we've had some bad news this week concerning my wife's health. Putting things into perspective in what's important in life. Just when you think it's only a hockey game.... just WOW.

Nothing but the best to your family, Habby. Please know that we're all rooting for her, and that the whole forum cares.

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I'm beginning to wonder if the coaching staff has spent so much time on trying to fix the power-play that the focus on what made them successful 5 on 5 has been forgotten. Perhaps just letting the players play on instincts would be better, rather than trying to coach them too much which has simply led to more confusion and a general lack of confidence. Sometimes very questionable decisions regarding lines and ice-time make the coaching staff look lost as to what they should be doing.

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One of the biggest issues i have seen over the last month in dee zone exit, our dee look way to slow getting to the puck, early in the year Riley, Julsen Petry were early on the puck, and our forwards supported a lot better with 2 or 3, 6 foot passes and then we were gone. I think the way the game has tightened up after the all star break we get to see our short comings as a team.

We look older and slower. The team cannot make a first pass. Weber came back like a young kid but now plays like he is 60 years old....

We looked like a young team that was developing early in the year, now we have young kids like Rielly in the press box, KK getting less icetime, and being a healthy scratch.

Should the coach and the manager be of the same playing field, bergevin would not trade any youth to make us better now, so julien should be playing our youth to making us better in the future..

IF we are not going to make the playoffs lets not make it with our kids, not 4th line player slike Weal, Thompson, or deeman like Folin or Benn...lets get Riley back in and give KK 19 minutes of icetime....

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1 hour ago, caperns61 said:

One of the biggest issues i have seen over the last month in dee zone exit, our dee look way to slow getting to the puck, early in the year Riley, Julsen Petry were early on the puck, and our forwards supported a lot better with 2 or 3, 6 foot passes and then we were gone. I think the way the game has tightened up after the all star break we get to see our short comings as a team.

We look older and slower. The team cannot make a first pass. Weber came back like a young kid but now plays like he is 60 years old....

We looked like a young team that was developing early in the year, now we have young kids like Rielly in the press box, KK getting less icetime, and being a healthy scratch.

Should the coach and the manager be of the same playing field, bergevin would not trade any youth to make us better now, so julien should be playing our youth to making us better in the future..

IF we are not going to make the playoffs lets not make it with our kids, not 4th line player slike Weal, Thompson, or deeman like Folin or Benn...lets get Riley back in and give KK 19 minutes of icetime....

100%

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3 hours ago, caperns61 said:

 

IF we are not going to make the playoffs lets not make it with our kids, not 4th line player slike Weal, Thompson, or deeman like Folin or Benn...lets get Riley back in and give KK 19 minutes of icetime....

Ain't gonna happen. Management is more focused on the extra $$$$ they'll make with a couple of playoff games than the extra experience the young players would get.

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2 hours ago, habs1952 said:

Ain't gonna happen. Management is more focused on the extra $$$$ they'll make with a couple of playoff games than the extra experience the young players would get.

Sure looks that way. Julien playing Weal all over the place last night was the biggest tell. You bench a kid who has a lot more offensive potential for a guy with a history of low production,,,, moving him up and down the lineup. Try moving the kid around to more talented wingers instead of the guys struggling to get their game going ( Drouin) and other linemates with almost no production. I realize the kid has looked a little spent of late but he needs to experience the grind  as part of his development.

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Have seen both sides of the coin in terms of arguments for and against Bergevin and Julien in the past 24 hours. On the one hand, no one wanted to see Bergevin sacrifice our best prospects for a run this year and in the end, we haven't been able to keep up in the playoff race. But on the other hand, the changes he did make have made us worse. Many people have likened his trade deadline this year to the one he had a couple of years ago. Weal/Thompson/Weise/Folin has become the new Martinsen/Ott/King/Nesterov... those types of changes didn't work back then and they aren't working now. And so sure, we can argue about whether Bergevin should have made his top 9 better or found help on the left side of the D, but based on what he did do, he's clearly made the bottom 6 worse and given CJ the tools to make the D worse too.

As for Julien, I'll be the first to say I like the guy. I think he's a proven NHL coach who has a good system and has made good hires this season for his assistant coaches. By all accounts, he treats people with respect and he takes responsibility for the team's performance, all in direct contrast to the guy who preceded him. But at the end of the day, we still have a coach who is going back to the well with grinders over skill on both the front and back ends. Danault in the top 6 for the entire season with Kotkaniemi on the 3rd line? Now Weal moving up the line-up and showing up on the PP 1st wave for two weeks? Deslauriers for too much of the season and now Thompson instead? Folin over Reilly? Benn in the top 4 over and over when he's shown he can't do it? I think arguments can be made for JK in the top 6 over Danault and for more playing time for Hudon and Peca over the slower guys we've opted for. I think Reilly, despite some struggles, is still a more viable 2nd pairing option than what we're using now. And yes, we can talk about how the Habs as a group probably over-achieved this year, albeit the latter 2/3 of the season seem to be more on Carey's back again than anything. But there are still two things that are unforgivable no matter how much you want to forgive all of the above:

1. On Bergevin, there's no excuse for having not done better than Niemi. He has been rusty all season, and whether that meant an internal replacement like Lindgren or McNiven or finding a trade partner, there is zero reason why Bergevin didn't make a plan to replace Niemi earlier. Even if he had to give up a 5th or 6th round pick, you could easily argue that Niemi alone has cost us 6-8 points in the standings this season, which is huge.

2. As for Julien, the PP woes are a travesty. I don't recall seeing a PP look this bad for this long. They can't establish the zone, they don't recover loose pucks well, they don't move the puck fast enough, they don't get rebound chances or screens set up well, they haven't figured out who the triggerman is going to be to replace Galchenyuk, and they've tried some bizarre personnel there despite the numbers telling them they shouldn't have: Armia on the first wave much of the year with no goals on the PP, Danault getting action in the last little while with no career PP goals, Weal on the 1st wave as a journeyman newbie, Drouin continually at the point with little to no success... the ineptitude has been mind-blowing, and with so many different players failing there, you can't really point the blame anywhere but Julien and Muller. I think CJ has to be re-signed to the fact he needs to fire Muller and find a different PP guy or else he falls on the sword himself. As with Niemi, the PP might have cost us 3-5 wins this year, so add that up with the points lost by the back-up goalie and those two factors alone are the difference from chasing home ice for the post-season vs. where we are now, sitting in the worst spot in the league just outside the playoffs.

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At the beginning of the year there was talk of CJ being a coach of the year candidate . Now people want to fire him . There was talk of what a great job MB did in the off season .

I never thought this team would make the playoffs . In fact I thought they would do much worse . I read / heard that Domi , Tatar and Shaw are having career years . Add to that Price is back to playing like he can,  and this team still wont make the playoffs . Next year will be interesting if these players don't match this year's ouyput and some other players don't step up

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26 minutes ago, Regis22 said:

At the beginning of the year there was talk of CJ being a coach of the year candidate . Now people want to fire him . There was talk of what a great job MB did in the off season .

I never thought this team would make the playoffs . In fact I thought they would do much worse . I read / heard that Domi , Tatar and Shaw are having career years . Add to that Price is back to playing like he can,  and this team still wont make the playoffs . Next year will be interesting if these players don't match this year's ouyput and some other players don't step up

We have a lot of good depth and good young players but the reality is we are missing truly high end talent. We have one top line forward essentially and two top 4 dmen. It just not going to cut it.

But I still feel good about this team, we are trending in the right direction

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I'm a little disappointed with Julien's response to questions about using Kotkaniemi. I believe it was in the Gazette, but I could be wrong. To paraphrase, I believe he said that we'd all be upset if he used Kotkaniemi in the wrong situation and he cost us a game and we missed the post-season... I don't really get that. I wouldn't be upset in we missed the post-season because we're not going to win the Stanley Cup anyway. And it just rings hollow because the team has failed so hard on special teams this season that we've already coughed up 5-15 points in the standings, I'm sure. And part of that is definitely on the coaching staff.

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1 hour ago, jennifer_rocket said:

I'm a little disappointed with Julien's response to questions about using Kotkaniemi. I believe it was in the Gazette, but I could be wrong. To paraphrase, I believe he said that we'd all be upset if he used Kotkaniemi in the wrong situation and he cost us a game and we missed the post-season... I don't really get that. I wouldn't be upset in we missed the post-season because we're not going to win the Stanley Cup anyway. And it just rings hollow because the team has failed so hard on special teams this season that we've already coughed up 5-15 points in the standings, I'm sure. And part of that is definitely on the coaching staff.

Yeah, I didn't like the reasoning either. I mean we were down by 1 single goal in a really important game, that's not the situation where I'm in favor of benching an offensively gifted player to send a message because he missed a couple of defensive assignments. If Armia had seen him wide open instead of going for a weak wrister in the 1st, we'd probably be up 1-0 thanks to KK.

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3 hours ago, jennifer_rocket said:

I'm a little disappointed with Julien's response to questions about using Kotkaniemi. I believe it was in the Gazette, but I could be wrong. To paraphrase, I believe he said that we'd all be upset if he used Kotkaniemi in the wrong situation and he cost us a game and we missed the post-season... I don't really get that. I wouldn't be upset in we missed the post-season because we're not going to win the Stanley Cup anyway. And it just rings hollow because the team has failed so hard on special teams this season that we've already coughed up 5-15 points in the standings, I'm sure. And part of that is definitely on the coaching staff.

The one thing i'll say - and not making excuses - but Julien has never been the most eloquent speaker. He sometimes says things in an odd or roundabout way.  If you take his words at face-value they make no sense (like, why would we care if our best young player lost us a point, but we dont mind if Niemi or Thompson or Benn lose us some?)  But I do have to wonder if there's something they are worried about with JK (confidence, minor injury, who knows?) that would make them scratch him 2 games, refuse to give him tougher assignments and basically bench him in the 3rd last game.

Its tough to say without all the facts but it sure seems bafflingly odd at this stage. 

1 hour ago, ChiLla said:

Yeah, I didn't like the reasoning either. I mean we were down by 1 single goal in a really important game, that's not the situation where I'm in favor of benching an offensively gifted player to send a message because he missed a couple of defensive assignments. If Armia had seen him wide open instead of going for a weak wrister in the 1st, we'd probably be up 1-0 thanks to KK.

Agreed.  I think we can all see that giving JK better wingers would probably help his confidence. Benching him for a period is likely going to make him worry more about making a mistake...so its almost like the coaching staff is saying they are trying to make it easy on him an then doing everything they can to do the opposite.

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ChiLla, yeah... that's what rubbed me the wrong way about it as well. He's shown you over a pretty large sample size that he can be a good offensive player. Don't punish him for one game with a couple of poor defensive coverages.

Maas, exactly! The team doesn't seem to mind if certain players cost us points, but if you're an 18-year old prospect, well... that's too bad for you, I guess.

 

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20 minutes ago, jennifer_rocket said:

ChiLla, yeah... that's what rubbed me the wrong way about it as well. He's shown you over a pretty large sample size that he can be a good offensive player. Don't punish him for one game with a couple of poor defensive coverages.

Maas, exactly! The team doesn't seem to mind if certain players cost us points, but if you're an 18-year old prospect, well... that's too bad for you, I guess.

 

Yeah. Ya can't teach an old doginosaur new tricks.

 

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Crawled back into a wildcard spot. Huge weekend coming up. Looking at remaining schedules,,, looks like things have turned around.  Columbus has managed to get through the toughest part of their schedule and it looks like the Canes now have a tougher route. Ours is the toughest of the 3 but at least our fate is back in our hands.

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Gotta give some kudos to Thompson on his effort last night. The whole team showed up, but some guys just stuck out, and he was one of them. Also liked the effort from Lehky. Still snakebit but not from a lack of trying. He needs one bad. Had about that Gally?? What a goon.:lol:

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Moose Jaw is down 2-0 in their first round playoff series. If eliminated, I believe Josh Brook would then be eligible to join the Habs (or the Rocket) to finish the season... wonder if the Habs would risk throwing him into the fire. My gut is they wouldn't, especially with his being a D man, but if you look at how bad Folin and Kulak have been of late, a little boost with a puck mover on the back end might be worth a gamble. They could theoretically be eliminated as soon as Wednesday.

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