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State Of The Habs 2018-19


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5 hours ago, habs_93 said:

The state of the Habs is the 2007-08 Edmonton Oilers.

Come on! We have a good relatively young team, lots of good prospects. Had we been in any other division we would have made the playoffs. Let this offseason and season playout, if things don't improve, MB will be gone and we will be in full rebuild mode

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30 minutes ago, habsisme said:

Come on! We have a good relatively young team

We're the 14th oldest team in the league, which is pretty much the definition of average. Of our $72.5M cap hit, nearly half of it is in players 30 or over. This is not a young team by any means. That isn't necessarily bad, but there's no reason to believe this core is going to develop into something significantly different than what it currently is. Not without significant movement. Particularly not with the two huge contracts on the books, which...

30 minutes ago, habsisme said:

if things don't improve, MB will be gone and we will be in full rebuild mode

...will 100% handcuff whoever the GM ends up being, because of the organization's institutional conservatism about hockey operations. Do you seriously believe the team is going to make a radical departure from this team's construction after Weber missed so much time? No, of course not. It will take at least another failed season and a sputter out of the gate following it for the team to consider a legitimate rebuild. Read: moving Weber and Price and losing hard for 2-4 seasons for draft picks.

I await the next series of excuses for why the team isn't good next season, or why we should be really happy about a first round exit in under 5 games or less. It took them nearly 15 years but Toronto finally got serious about building a modern hockey team. I wonder how long it'll take us?

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1 hour ago, habs_93 said:

We're the 14th oldest team in the league, which is pretty much the definition of average. Of our $72.5M cap hit, nearly half of it is in players 30 or over. This is not a young team by any means. That isn't necessarily bad, but there's no reason to believe this core is going to develop into something significantly different than what it currently is. Not without significant movement. Particularly not with the two huge contracts on the books, which...

...will 100% handcuff whoever the GM ends up being, because of the organization's institutional conservatism about hockey operations. Do you seriously believe the team is going to make a radical departure from this team's construction after Weber missed so much time? No, of course not. It will take at least another failed season and a sputter out of the gate following it for the team to consider a legitimate rebuild. Read: moving Weber and Price and losing hard for 2-4 seasons for draft picks.

I await the next series of excuses for why the team isn't good next season, or why we should be really happy about a first round exit in under 5 games or less. It took them nearly 15 years but Toronto finally got serious about building a modern hockey team. I wonder how long it'll take us?

I'm with you on this. This once proud organization has settled for less and therefore in the end we will get less. The Stanley Cup is but a pipe dream at this stage. Getting excited over a team because they are exciting to watch doesn't cut it for me IMO (the most exciting team to watch will be the one that wins the Cup). We need to revamp by hiring the best GM (not one who has lucked out), rebuild and do a total reset. I hope to see the CH hoist the Cup again in my lifetime but if not, hopefully the next generation will get the privilege.

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It’s a solid middling team. Close. Competitive. But it needs an offensive star. And I think Bergeron knows it. I expect him to chase some of the serious offensive stars in FA this year. 

And add a top four defenseman. 

Or viceversa. A top two Dman and yet another competent but non star forward. 

Habs def need one of the top 5 FA this year to climb into the playoffs next year. 

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7 hours ago, Habs=stanleycup said:

I'm with you on this. This once proud organization has settled for less and therefore in the end we will get less. The Stanley Cup is but a pipe dream at this stage. Getting excited over a team because they are exciting to watch doesn't cut it for me IMO (the most exciting team to watch will be the one that wins the Cup). We need to revamp by hiring the best GM (not one who has lucked out), rebuild and do a total reset. I hope to see the CH hoist the Cup again in my lifetime but if not, hopefully the next generation will get the privilege.

Unfortunately, the Canadiens always go for "the best Quebecois GM/coach".     Sure, you might luck out and get somebody incredible ... but for the most part we get what we've seen for the past 25 years ...

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On 4/5/2019 at 11:55 PM, Regis22 said:

It's not that far fetched . Bob Mckenzie was saying there is no guarantees  that Domi and Tatar are going to have  career years AGAIN . People are raving about Poehling but he's a third line C with the potential to be a 2nd line C -  two way C that  give you some goals .

People always assume that a players  trajectory is straight  up but that's not always the case .

The D still sucks . Aside from Weber and Petry none of the other guys would be top 4 on any other nHL team and to expect Romanov to jump in and be top four is stretching it .

 

When TP was traded for Kerby Rychel, defenseman Rinat Valiev , people assumed these two guys would step right in . They didn't even make it to training  camp

 

 

Yeah about Poehling......................

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Not sold that Charlie is the answer to our backup role. A backup to Price needs to be able to step in ice cold after possibly weeks of no game exposure. Charlie is a young guy with little NHL experience who is use to a lot more game action. Even last night he looked a little shaky in the early going. He did look stronger as the game progressed.

Niemi, until this year, seemed well suited for that type of role. His rebound control has always been an issue but he was a decent 1st shot goaltender until this year. For whatever reason, he was scary bad this year ( almost every start) and every shot was an adventure. 

I'm not opposed to trying CL in the backup role, but long term I have my doubts. He's always been a decent option as a starter if Price got injured, but that was only an option if he was in game shape by getting lots of starts on the farm. Unfortunately our options with him next year are limited unless we chose to risk losing him by waivers.

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26 minutes ago, H_T_L said:

Not sold that Charlie is the answer to our backup role. A backup to Price needs to be able to step in ice cold after possibly weeks of no game exposure. Charlie is a young guy with little NHL experience who is use to a lot more game action. Even last night he looked a little shaky in the early going. He did look stronger as the game progressed.

Niemi, until this year, seemed well suited for that type of role. His rebound control has always been an issue but he was a decent 1st shot goaltender until this year. For whatever reason, he was scary bad this year ( almost every start) and every shot was an adventure. 

I'm not opposed to trying CL in the backup role, but long term I have my doubts. He's always been a decent option as a starter if Price got injured, but that was only an option if he was in game shape by getting lots of starts on the farm. Unfortunately our options with him next year are limited unless we chose to risk losing him by waivers.

I hope they don't see it that way. To have any chance of actually making noise in the playoffs we need a RESTED Price. I want the back up to AT LEAST 30 games next year. I do think Charlie is the answer, though I don't think anyone can be sold, and I think a veteran should be available to compete with him

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21 minutes ago, habsisme said:

I hope they don't see it that way. To have any chance of actually making noise in the playoffs we need a RESTED Price. I want the back up to AT LEAST 30 games next year. I do think Charlie is the answer, though I don't think anyone can be sold, and I think a veteran should be available to compete with him

Unfortunately I think they do. They're paying Price 10 mill a year to play the majority of games and it's unlikely they go to a 1A 1B pairing in the immediate future IMO.

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45 minutes ago, H_T_L said:

Unfortunately I think they do. They're paying Price 10 mill a year to play the majority of games and it's unlikely they go to a 1A 1B pairing in the immediate future IMO.

If we want him to have success in the playoffs then we need to rest him. We need to be good enough to make the playoffs with him playing 10 less games a year

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7 minutes ago, habsisme said:

If we want him to have success in the playoffs then we need to rest him. We need to be good enough to make the playoffs with him playing 10 less games a year

Agree. I think Price needs about 60 games. With Primeau in Laval next year he may be ready to join the big club for 2020 or 2021. I think Bergy will create some competition in the off season by going after a UFA perhaps Ward or Halak to compete with Lindgren. Lindgren could end up sharing the load with Primeau in Laval next season. My only concern is we overpay ala Alzner, but I think this is less likely with a goaltender.

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22 minutes ago, Habberwacky said:

Agree. I think Price needs about 60 games. With Primeau in Laval next year he may be ready to join the big club for 2020 or 2021. I think Bergy will create some competition in the off season by going after a UFA perhaps Ward or Halak to compete with Lindgren. Lindgren could end up sharing the load with Primeau in Laval next season. My only concern is we overpay ala Alzner, but I think this is less likely with a goaltender.

I think Lindgren may have to go through waivers if he is sent down next year. 

60 games is too much, I don't want him playing more than 55. He can't play that many games and have success in the playoffs, which he has never had

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7 minutes ago, jennifer_rocket said:

I'm not sold on Lindgren as the backup for next season. I'm in favor of Lindgren and McNiven fighting it out in camp. I'd also bring in a veteran on a cheap one-year deal. Let him battle it out with Lindgren and McNiven as well.

The thing is I think with Lindgren, he either stays up or has to go through waivers. Honestly, I would keep him up (unless there is a trade opportunity) and hand him the back up duties. If it doesn't work then we can bring up McNiven, or trade for a veteran. If it wasn't for the waiver situation, I'd say sign a veteran but why lose Lindgren when all I've seen is a competent goaltender who keeps his team in games. 

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1 hour ago, habsisme said:

The thing is I think with Lindgren, he either stays up or has to go through waivers. Honestly, I would keep him up (unless there is a trade opportunity) and hand him the back up duties. If it doesn't work then we can bring up McNiven, or trade for a veteran. If it wasn't for the waiver situation, I'd say sign a veteran but why lose Lindgren when all I've seen is a competent goaltender who keeps his team in games. 

Yeah i have no issue with him as a backup, he has always done a fine job as a backup with the big club i don't think you can compare what he sees in front of him up here compared to down there. we have him he is good enough and we have many other issues to resolve as i don't think it is too hard to find a serviceable backup pretty much anytime.

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My final grades for the season:

GOALIES:

- Price: A... slow start but dominant over the last 2/3 of the season

- Niemi: F... one of the prime reasons we missed the playoffs. Lindgren allowed 5 goals in his only game and still had a better save percentage than Niemi did for the year.

 

DEFENCE:

- Petry: B+... our best D man, even if he slowed a bit down the stretch.

- Mete: B... great possession player, even if he couldn't buy a goal.

- Kulak: B-... a pleasant surprise. He should get a shot at the #6-7 guy again next year.

- Weber: C+... not sure if he was hurt, but despite the goal total, his skating was bad and his defensive ability grossly overrated. Didn't play like a 1st pairing guy.

- Reilly: C+... thought he was decent for a lot of the year and unfairly pressboxed more than his fair share.

- Juulsen: C+... pretty good while he was healthy, hope he makes it back okay.

- Benn: C... solid as a third pairing guy and awful when asked to be anything more than that.

- Folin: D... better than Alzner and Schlemko and that's about it. Not fit to be here next year.

- Alzner: F... thank goodness the team finally came to its senses.

 

FORWARDS:

- Domi: A... great season. He'd have had an A+ if it weren't for the repeated selfish penalties. Has to learn to control his anger better.

- Gallagher: A... a beast in terms of effort and production.

- Tatar: A... rebounded nicely in his new home.

- Shaw: A... very impressed by what he brought. Just hope he can stay healthy.

- Danault: A-... nice two-way player, would be better-suited to being a 3C though.

- Kotkaniemi: B... combination of slowing down and getting picked on by the coach down the stretch, but overall a solid rookie campaign.

- Armia: B-... came on strong down the wire, good 3rd-4th line player.

- Weal: B-... good speed, could be a useful 4th line guy next year if re-signed.

- Lehkonen: C+... snakebit but seemed to do better when playing with Domi.

- Thompson: C+... did a solid job eventually. Not sure he's worth bringing back next season though.

- Peca: C... sporadic opportunities, so hard to criticize him, but he was okay.

- Byron: C-... had a tough year marked by injuries and a drop-off in production.

- Drouin: C-... a career-year production wise marred by games where he was completely invisible and/or visible for a lack of effort.

- Hudon: D... clearly in the doghouse all season, but didn't seize his rare opportunities either. He'll be elsewhere next year.

- Deslauriers: D... good effort, okay defensively, but overall just not good enough to play in the NHL

- Weise: F... nope. Too bad but he's done in the NHL in my view.

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6 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

My final grades for the season:

GOALIES:

- Price: A... slow start but dominant over the last 2/3 of the season

- Niemi: F... one of the prime reasons we missed the playoffs. Lindgren allowed 5 goals in his only game and still had a better save percentage than Niemi did for the year.

 

DEFENCE:

- Petry: B+... our best D man, even if he slowed a bit down the stretch.

- Mete: B... great possession player, even if he couldn't buy a goal.

- Kulak: B-... a pleasant surprise. He should get a shot at the #6-7 guy again next year.

- Weber: C+... not sure if he was hurt, but despite the goal total, his skating was bad and his defensive ability grossly overrated. Didn't play like a 1st pairing guy.

- Reilly: C+... thought he was decent for a lot of the year and unfairly pressboxed more than his fair share.

- Juulsen: C+... pretty good while he was healthy, hope he makes it back okay.

- Benn: C... solid as a third pairing guy and awful when asked to be anything more than that.

- Folin: D... better than Alzner and Schlemko and that's about it. Not fit to be here next year.

- Alzner: F... thank goodness the team finally came to its senses.

 

FORWARDS:

- Domi: A... great season. He'd have had an A+ if it weren't for the repeated selfish penalties. Has to learn to control his anger better.

- Gallagher: A... a beast in terms of effort and production.

- Tatar: A... rebounded nicely in his new home.

- Shaw: A... very impressed by what he brought. Just hope he can stay healthy.

- Danault: A-... nice two-way player, would be better-suited to being a 3C though.

- Kotkaniemi: B... combination of slowing down and getting picked on by the coach down the stretch, but overall a solid rookie campaign.

- Armia: B-... came on strong down the wire, good 3rd-4th line player.

- Weal: B-... good speed, could be a useful 4th line guy next year if re-signed.

- Lehkonen: C+... snakebit but seemed to do better when playing with Domi.

- Thompson: C+... did a solid job eventually. Not sure he's worth bringing back next season though.

- Peca: C... sporadic opportunities, so hard to criticize him, but he was okay.

- Byron: C-... had a tough year marked by injuries and a drop-off in production.

- Drouin: C-... a career-year production wise marred by games where he was completely invisible and/or visible for a lack of effort.

- Hudon: D... clearly in the doghouse all season, but didn't seize his rare opportunities either. He'll be elsewhere next year.

- Deslauriers: D... good effort, okay defensively, but overall just not good enough to play in the NHL

- Weise: F... nope. Too bad but he's done in the NHL in my view.

I agree with all of this except Webber i would float him up to a B he can and i think will play better but being out for pretty much a whole year is tough for any player and then to come back mid year when everyone else is up to speed is tougher! i think by Christmas next year we will know where he truly is at. i am even ok with Drouins rating as even though he was a ghost for most of the second half he did put up good #'s for this team. As for Petry he is not my favorite Dman but he was great this year especially early on he took the mantle of #1 and played the hard minutes he kept us afloat for sure.

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Wow! What a ride that season was, eh? Too bad we couldn't pull it off in the end, but it was close. Still, lot's to be excited about going into next year! What a difference compared to last year! Domi and Tatar, fantastic! Kulak turned out pretty alright as well. Not the "big money" addition that we need, but hopefully we can do something about that this summer. 

Our forwards are looking awesome, absolutely love the balance. Every line just rolls, and the possible combinations seem endless. How about Thompson and Weal? I doubt Thompson will be back (although I wouldn't mind, as long as he's okay with being the 13'th guy for most of the season), But Weal, what a steal! I do hope we can re-sign him for a nice price. The guy seems to look great no matter where they play him. My only knock on him is that he seems a tad slow on his skates for a guy his size, but he just does everything else so well. 

And Poehling... What a debut!!!! 

I lam really looking forward to next season! Who's with me!!???

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5 hours ago, ramcharger440 said:

I agree with all of this except Webber i would float him up to a B he can and i think will play better but being out for pretty much a whole year is tough for any player and then to come back mid year when everyone else is up to speed is tougher! i think by Christmas next year we will know where he truly is at. i am even ok with Drouins rating as even though he was a ghost for most of the second half he did put up good #'s for this team. As for Petry he is not my favorite Dman but he was great this year especially early on he took the mantle of #1 and played the hard minutes he kept us afloat for sure.

I agree with you that Weber can be better. I graded players based on how I thought they performed this year and as noted, I wondered if Weber might have been injured. He definitely put up great goal numbers for a D man, but I also grade players based on how well they fulfilled THEIR role (in other words, Weber is clearly better than Kulak or Mete but I thought the latter two did a better job of doing what they were asked to do this year). In Weber's case, he was given the minutes of a #1 D man with plenty of 1st PP ice time. The PP didn't work despite Weber's shot, and for me, the major downside to Weber's play was the number of times he just got beat because of bad footwork and a lack of acceleration. He got blown by way too many times, and if you can't defend the rush, you're not doing a good enough job as a #1 D man. You become what Markov was to us a couple of years ago, which is still very serviceable but not up to par of what he could/should be. Again, I'd like to think Weber was hurt, and maybe we'll find out soon. I think he can bounce back somewhat, but I expected better from him this season.

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2 hours ago, MALMACIAN_CRUNCH said:

Wow! What a ride that season was, eh? Too bad we couldn't pull it off in the end, but it was close. Still, lot's to be excited about going into next year! What a difference compared to last year! Domi and Tatar, fantastic! Kulak turned out pretty alright as well. Not the "big money" addition that we need, but hopefully we can do something about that this summer. 

Our forwards are looking awesome, absolutely love the balance. Every line just rolls, and the possible combinations seem endless. How about Thompson and Weal? I doubt Thompson will be back (although I wouldn't mind, as long as he's okay with being the 13'th guy for most of the season), But Weal, what a steal! I do hope we can re-sign him for a nice price. The guy seems to look great no matter where they play him. My only knock on him is that he seems a tad slow on his skates for a guy his size, but he just does everything else so well. 

And Poehling... What a debut!!!! 

I lam really looking forward to next season! Who's with me!!???

The team was exciting to watch this season and they competed on most nights. Combine that with low expectations, and I think that's why most people are satisfied with a season that should have been deemed a failure by traditional standards.

As far as which depth forwards to bring back, I think you need to look at your potential line-up (barring trades or signings). We're likely going to have the following players in our top 9:

- Gallagher

- Drouin

- Domi

- Tatar

- Kotkaniemi

- Danault

Then I think you have another 4 players who could be 3rd line players but could be dropped to the 4th line if we have a good enough line-up:

- Armia

- Lehkonen

- Byron

- Shaw

And then at least two prospects who will fight to make the team in Poehling and Suzuki, with chances for players like Evans as well. No idea if McCarron gets another look, since apparently he's had surgery to correct a problem he's had for 4 years - maybe he comes back a different player. But in any case, you're looking at 10 guys who are fairly certain to be locks to be in the top 12, as well as two highly-touted prospects who will be given a shot. It means that there are 2 and maybe up to 4 spots open for depth players, and that's if they sign no one. So who's still around depth-wise?

- Peca, Deslauriers, and Weise are all signed for one more year. The latter two should not be back IMO, albeit that was true of Deslauriers last off-season and he got another shot. It would be ideal for us for both those players to be in the minors. Peca, I believe, will get another chance to win a spot as a 13th/14th forward.

- Hudon is as good as done here, so he shouldn't be a factor.

- So there could be space for at least one of Weal or Thompson. It likely comes down to cost... Weal has never scored more than 8 goals in a season, so if he expects a contract with a raise or a long-term deal, then we should let him walk. We can replace him. If he's willing to accept a 2-year deal for 1.5-1.7M a season, then it's reasonable to keep him. In Thompson's case, he's already 34. I would only offer him a one-year deal at something like 1.25M a year. If he doesn't want it, again, let him walk. I don't think we'll be starving for guys to play in the top 9, and we can find other players to round out the 4th line without overpaying.

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8 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

The team was exciting to watch this season and they competed on most nights. Combine that with low expectations, and I think that's why most people are satisfied with a season that should have been deemed a failure by traditional standards.

As far as which depth forwards to bring back, I think you need to look at your potential line-up (barring trades or signings). We're likely going to have the following players in our top 9:

- Gallagher

- Drouin

- Domi

- Tatar

- Kotkaniemi

- Danault

Then I think you have another 4 players who could be 3rd line players but could be dropped to the 4th line if we have a good enough line-up:

- Armia

- Lehkonen

- Byron

- Shaw

And then at least two prospects who will fight to make the team in Poehling and Suzuki, with chances for players like Evans as well. No idea if McCarron gets another look, since apparently he's had surgery to correct a problem he's had for 4 years - maybe he comes back a different player. But in any case, you're looking at 10 guys who are fairly certain to be locks to be in the top 12, as well as two highly-touted prospects who will be given a shot. It means that there are 2 and maybe up to 4 spots open for depth players, and that's if they sign no one. So who's still around depth-wise?

- Peca, Deslauriers, and Weise are all signed for one more year. The latter two should not be back IMO, albeit that was true of Deslauriers last off-season and he got another shot. It would be ideal for us for both those players to be in the minors. Peca, I believe, will get another chance to win a spot as a 13th/14th forward.

- Hudon is as good as done here, so he shouldn't be a factor.

- So there could be space for at least one of Weal or Thompson. It likely comes down to cost... Weal has never scored more than 8 goals in a season, so if he expects a contract with a raise or a long-term deal, then we should let him walk. We can replace him. If he's willing to accept a 2-year deal for 1.5-1.7M a season, then it's reasonable to keep him. In Thompson's case, he's already 34. I would only offer him a one-year deal at something like 1.25M a year. If he doesn't want it, again, let him walk. I don't think we'll be starving for guys to play in the top 9, and we can find other players to round out the 4th line without overpaying.

I think I pretty much agree with everything you've said here. I've always been a believer in Hudon, but for whatever reason it just hasn't clicked. Peca hasn't been much of anything, good or bad. Good guy for the farm. But the one thing he didn't do, and exactly what Weal did, was make the most of his opportunities. But I'm with you there as well, anything up to $2 million for 2 or 3 years, max. I doubt he'd be pushing for much more than that, but who knows...

I don't think Suzuziki will push to hard for a spot with the big club this year. You never know, but that's just my hunch. Maybe a mid season call up if things are going well, or if there's an injury. Evans will probably get a look. 

A lot can happen over the summer too, it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

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