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kinot-2

Sky's the limit for Kotkaniemi.

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Ok,, we've seen Kotkaneimi play, and he seem to fit in pretty good, but how long will he stay?

Until the preseason is over? 

9 Games in the regular season?

Longer than 10 regular season games? 

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Hopefully they'll let him have a say in his own destiny. If he wants to stay let CJ figure it out.

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Right now Id put the odds on:

Cut at the end of the preseason: 10%
Cut after 1-9 games:  40%
Cut after 10-39 games: 20%
Plays whole season: 30%


I think its very unlikely he is cut before the regular season.  I think the only way that happens is if something crazy like Nick Suzuki suddenly scores 10 points in the remaining games & they dont want to have two rookie centres for a 9 game tryout.

I think its probably the likeliest that he plays 1-9 games and then gets sent - either back to Finland, or maybe more likely - down to Laval - to play the season & develop.

I think there's an outside chance he plays past the 9 game threshold & then is cut before the even more important 39 game point.  10games = 1 year off ECL but 40 games = 1 year closer to UFA  so most GMs actually look at that game (39) as more important than the 9.

I think the second most likely scenario is that he plays the season with the habs.  Honestly, from what ive seen of him, he's NHL ready.  There are 2 caveats:  1) can his body handle the rigours... dude is skinny! - but maybe more importantly 2 ) is he mentally ready.  Hopefully guys like Ducharme and Richardson & others who are used to handling young players will know whether its right.  In a normal situation id be ok with what management decides but i dont trust some of these guys at all.


Going to be an interesting little bit here. 

 

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Haven't really seen him play enough to form an opinion just yet. Hopefully he dresses in the upcoming games vs the Leafs. 

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1 hour ago, H_T_L said:

Haven't really seen him play enough to form an opinion just yet. Hopefully he dresses in the upcoming games vs the Leafs. 

He's looked really good.  (although for sure its been a small sample size).


Coming in to the preseason I thought there was no way he'd make the squad (i thought Suzuki may have a better chance) but the thing that has really blown me away is how he seems to be improving almost overnight.   I mean he apparently did that in the last 6 months leading up to the draft where he went from nobody to possible first rounder to probably top 10 to being picked 3rd overall and it not being much of a shock.  But he came over & apparently looked 'lost' in the rookie showcase & just a few weeks later looks like the best centre on our roster.   Everyone who is watching him on a daily basis seems absolutely floored with how he seems to just improve at will. 

Its like "you need to work on _____"  and two days later he comes back, having mastered it  & says "ok what next?"   If only guys like McCarron (who still hasnt been able to fix his skating) could have improved half as quickly!

 

Toronto - and their centre group - should be a great test.  

 

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One more good game and I think he gets his chance. He  appears to be responsible defensively and can definitely pass the puck.  80% sure he gets 9 games. Our last 4 cuts could be tricky and another injury or two may help him and some others. Shaw is apparently practising again so it is getting a little tight for positions up front,

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39 games max and sent back to Finland to recuperate.

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22 hours ago, H_T_L said:

Haven't really seen him play enough to form an opinion just yet. Hopefully he dresses in the upcoming games vs the Leafs. 

Same

I trust the Habs do the right thing - for a change - they have to consider that all games he's been in are exhibition and he's playing against other guys trying to make it .

The real test comes in the reg season when he's up against the best of the best

 

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8 minutes ago, Regis22 said:

Same

I trust the Habs do the right thing - for a change - they have to consider that all games he's been in are exhibition and he's playing against other guys trying to make it .

The real test comes in the reg season when he's up against the best of the best

 

agreed. he looks good very good even but lets not get ahead of ourselves a good 9 game look will give us a better idea.

 

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9 minutes ago, Regis22 said:

Same

I trust the Habs do the right thing - for a change - they have to consider that all games he's been in are exhibition and he's playing against other guys trying to make it .

The real test comes in the reg season when he's up against the best of the best

 

That's why I'd like to see him play 9 games and see how he pans out against the "best of the best".

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31 minutes ago, Regis22 said:

Same

I trust the Habs do the right thing - for a change - they have to consider that all games he's been in are exhibition and he's playing against other guys trying to make it .

The real test comes in the reg season when he's up against the best of the best

 

Agreed

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8 hours ago, Regis22 said:

Same

I trust the Habs do the right thing - for a change - they have to consider that all games he's been in are exhibition and he's playing against other guys trying to make it .

The real test comes in the reg season when he's up against the best of the best

 

He looks really good and seems to adapt to the NA game at an astonishing rate but I agree, this is preseason hockey. The talent is clearly there but he needs to mature physically, i.e. add some muscle to fill out that frame of his.

Another point worth considering is that we start the season against Toronto, Pittsburgh (2x) and Los Angeles, where he'll face Crosby, Malkin, Tavares, Matthews, and Kopitar. I'm not sure that's the ideal situation to start your NHL career as an 18-year old. But hey, maybe he thrives in these situations, what do I know.

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8 hours ago, ChiLla said:

Another point worth considering is that we start the season against Toronto, Pittsburgh (2x) and Los Angeles, where he'll face Crosby, Malkin, Tavares, Matthews, and Kopitar. I'm not sure that's the ideal situation to start your NHL career as an 18-year old. But hey, maybe he thrives in these situations, what do I know.

Its not ideal if we were already adamant about keeping him but considering it will fall within the 9 game safe window, it probably is actually ideal.   If he performs well he's probably bought himself a full  time job.  If he falters, no biggie - we send him either back to Europe or down to Laval & let him work on getting stronger.  

 

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50 minutes ago, maas_art said:

Its not ideal if we were already adamant about keeping him but considering it will fall within the 9 game safe window, it probably is actually ideal.   If he performs well he's probably bought himself a full  time job.  If he falters, no biggie - we send him either back to Europe or down to Laval & let him work on getting stronger.  

 

IF he falters against any one of those teams sending him down may affect his confidence just because he faltered. However if they are planning on sending him down anywhere the HAL would be the best place for him as everyone already knows that North America has a style all it's own and the ice is smaller so sending him back to Finland would mean that he would not get to continue his development in the North American style and would further set him back.

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5 minutes ago, campabee82 said:

IF he falters against any one of those teams sending him down may affect his confidence just because he faltered. 

I get what you're saying but Im pretty sure that if a young player falters against Crosby, Tavares, Kopitar and company he will be ok.   You generally lose confidence when you are beaten by players below your skill level, not the best in the world.  

I agree that Laval is probably a better place for him than Finland, although there could be other factors that make the team want him to return home.   The SM-liiga in Finland is generally considered a higher level than the AHL so, while adapting to NA ice is important, if there are things they want him to work on, the level of competition would potentially be higher there. 

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1 hour ago, campabee82 said:

IF he falters against any one of those teams sending him down may affect his confidence just because he faltered. However if they are planning on sending him down anywhere the HAL would be the best place for him as everyone already knows that North America has a style all it's own and the ice is smaller so sending him back to Finland would mean that he would not get to continue his development in the North American style and would further set him back.

Hmmm....I think the size of the ice surface is overblown. If your a good player you could adapt to playing on any size ice surface pretty quick.

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I meant sending him down after might hurt his confidence instead of letting him play through it. Also I meant the style of play is different and might set his development back by going back to the European style instead of continuing to develop in the North American style.

Edited by campabee82
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Im starting to feel more an more that its likely he stays with the club for good.

Obviously, there's a chance he gets his 9 games and falters but in preseason he's been not just one of our 12 best (like Galchenyuk was his draft year) he's easily been one of our 6 or even 3 best forwards.   Assuming he does stay, I think there are two likely scenarios for where he ends up:  1st line or 3rd line.   The Tatar-Danault-Gallagher line will stay put imho. I think its a dream-line for a Julien coached team (he can deploy it at any time, any situation) so i see them sticking together.  I think you'll either see:

 

Drouin-Kotkaniemi - Lehkonen
Tatar-Danault-Gallagher
Domi - Peca - Hudon
Byron - Pleks - Armia

or

Drouin - Domi - Armia
Tatar - Danault - Gallagher
Hudon - Kotkaniemi - Lehkonen
Byron - Peca - Scherkbak

There's implications on guys like Scherbak, Plekanec etc that will play out depending upon where JFK is played.  I do think he can handle playing next to Drouin on the top line but i could also see Julien wanting to ease him in a little (and control his matchups) so a 3rd line is an option - and with guys like Hudon and Lehkonen on his wings, its not a huge demotion.  


Our forward group looks a lot better than most expected.  Told you guys not to panic :4322:lol.  Now, someone get rid of Bennalzerlemko please. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, maas_art said:

............ but in preseason he's been not just one of our 12 best (like Galchenyuk was his draft year) he's easily been one of our 6 or even 3 best forwards..

I'll rain on your parade so you can yell at me again :6351:

Is that reflection on how bad the forwards are ?

 

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1 hour ago, maas_art said:

 Our forward group looks a lot better than most expected.  Told you guys not to panic :4322:lol.  Now, someone get rid of Bennalzerlemko please. 

The D is still bad and sorry  Im still not sold on the forwards ,

The C position with or without him is steal weak IMO , Domi isn't a C

Shoot me for raining on your parade

 

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2 hours ago, maas_art said:

Drouin-Kotkaniemi - Lehkonen
Tatar-Danault-Gallagher
Domi - Peca - Hudon
Byron - Pleks - Armia

Ok I like the players you selected above however I think the lines should be something like this

Drouin-Kotkaniemi-Gallagher

Hudon-Danault-Lehkonen

Byron-Peca-Domi

Tatar-Plekanec-Armia

only reason for the Byron-Peca-Domi line at number 3 is cause of the speed they would generate a ton of chances, could even drop them to 4th line just listed them that way cause Plekanec is centreing Tatar and Armia.

 

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7 minutes ago, campabee82 said:

Ok I like the players you selected above however I think the lines should be something like this

Drouin-Kotkaniemi-Gallagher

Hudon-Danault-Lehkonen

Byron-Peca-Domi

Tatar-Plekanec-Armia

only reason for the Byron-Peca-Domi line at number 3 is cause of the speed they would generate a ton of chances, could even drop them to 4th line just listed them that way cause Plekanec is centreing Tatar and Armia.

 

Yeah I dont disagree actually - this was more about what I thought we might actually see Julien do going into the season.

Like you,  I would also prefer seeing Drouin - JFK - Gallagher, for example, but I dont think Julien will break up the GDT (Gallagher-Danault-Tatar) line and I think he wants to keep a FInn (armia or lehkonen) next to JFK right now. 

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1 hour ago, campabee82 said:

Ok I like the players you selected above however I think the lines should be something like this

Drouin-Kotkaniemi-Gallagher

Hudon-Danault-Lehkonen

Byron-Peca-Domi

Tatar-Plekanec-Armia

only reason for the Byron-Peca-Domi line at number 3 is cause of the speed they would generate a ton of chances, could even drop them to 4th line just listed them that way cause Plekanec is centreing Tatar and Armia.

 

how in gods name do you have tatar on the 4th line. hes possibly been the best player of the entire pre season. 

tatar danault gallagher has been fire, thats a lock

drouin-KK - domi

peca-hudon-lehkonen

byron-plek-armia

thats what i would do to start the year

 

KK in my eyes should probably be in laval...but i dont even know anymore.  hes been so good, and the lineup falls into place so much nicer with him in there

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24 minutes ago, jeff33 said:

KK in my eyes should probably be in laval...but i dont even know anymore.  hes been so good, and the lineup falls into place so much nicer with him in there

Hopefully he will excel as well as he has been during the upcoming regular season.

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