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2019-20 State Of The Habs


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2 hours ago, jennifer_rocket said:

To parallel some of the thoughts here, it is apparent that we haven't really improved (hopefully our back-up goaltending is a little better) while other teams in the East have made improvements (e.g. New York, New Jersey). However, a few other teams in the East have made no improvements or seemingly gotten worse (e.g. Columbus). Montreal will be in another battle to make the post-season unless a major improvement occurs between now and the regular season. We MAY make it. We may not. The failure here is that Bergevin hasn't improved the team's chances of making the post-season. He has improved the team is the smallest incremental manner imaginable by acquiring Kincaid. He may have made the defense worse by acquiring Chiarot. You can't rely on the adage that "The kids will be better with another year under their belt." If this is how it worked then it wouldn't matter because every team would be better as all of their kids improve.

I think you've summarized it well.  

I believe that MB thinks that some of our "improvement" will come at the hands of youth (poehling, maybe suzuki - even a longshot like Caufield) and improvements (Domi, Drouin, JK, Lehks etc improving on their past season).

This would be ok by me for the forwards. I think we have an insane amount of quality forwards. We may not have many game-breakers (although I think there's a couple of potential guys moving forward) but we could well end up with one of the most even top 12 units in the league.  There are guys who will be playing on our 4th line that would make the top 6 on a lot of teams.   Im happy to go into the season with this group of forwards - even losing Shaw.

The big problem is on defense though.  Chiarot is not the answer.  I dont think Leskinen is either although im willing to give him a chance.  We needed to hit a home run with a true top pairing guy - and maybe thats still coming - but until it does I feel like we're going into next year just marginally better.  

I think if we can work out our PP (and i dont think we necessarily need new players, we just need to figure out why the heck they changed their game whenever we had the man advantage) then i think that goes a long way but that gap at LD will concern me until we have a legit option there, not a band-aid solution. 

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36 minutes ago, maas_art said:

I think you've summarized it well.  

I believe that MB thinks that some of our "improvement" will come at the hands of youth (poehling, maybe suzuki - even a longshot like Caufield) and improvements (Domi, Drouin, JK, Lehks etc improving on their past season).

This would be ok by me for the forwards. I think we have an insane amount of quality forwards. We may not have many game-breakers (although I think there's a couple of potential guys moving forward) but we could well end up with one of the most even top 12 units in the league.  There are guys who will be playing on our 4th line that would make the top 6 on a lot of teams.   Im happy to go into the season with this group of forwards - even losing Shaw.

The big problem is on defense though.  Chiarot is not the answer.  I dont think Leskinen is either although im willing to give him a chance.  We needed to hit a home run with a true top pairing guy - and maybe thats still coming - but until it does I feel like we're going into next year just marginally better.  

I think if we can work out our PP (and i dont think we necessarily need new players, we just need to figure out why the heck they changed their game whenever we had the man advantage) then i think that goes a long way but that gap at LD will concern me until we have a legit option there, not a band-aid solution. 

I totally agree although I think Chiarot will help the PP and is a huge upgrade to Benn, I don't believe he should have been acquired as we already have sooooo many 2nd and 3rd pairing LHD. I would have rather rolled given Reilly more of a roll this year or perhaps tried Leskinen or Olofsson at 1LD than bringing in another 6-8 LHD on the depth chart. there was an article on Drouin this morning that summarized CJ perfectly and the reason for Drouin's poor performance as a Canadien and I think it applies to just about everyone of the young guys on the team. Basically it said that CJ prefers to go with slow defensive players over letting the offensive minded players carry the team putting undue stress on those offensive players to be more defensive. We have the young guys in the system to make a great team but CJ will never give more than 1 or 2 of them a shot out of his defense first mindset and as soon as one of them mess up defensively he will be in the press box like Reilly or reduced minutes like Drouin. Unless CJ truely changes his ways we will miss the PO 9 times out of 10.

see link 

https://thehockeywriters.com/canadiens-drouin-expectations-2019-20/

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1 hour ago, maas_art said:

I think you've summarized it well.  

I believe that MB thinks that some of our "improvement" will come at the hands of youth (poehling, maybe suzuki - even a longshot like Caufield) and improvements (Domi, Drouin, JK, Lehks etc improving on their past season).

This would be ok by me for the forwards. I think we have an insane amount of quality forwards. We may not have many game-breakers (although I think there's a couple of potential guys moving forward) but we could well end up with one of the most even top 12 units in the league.  There are guys who will be playing on our 4th line that would make the top 6 on a lot of teams.   Im happy to go into the season with this group of forwards - even losing Shaw.

The big problem is on defense though.  Chiarot is not the answer.  I dont think Leskinen is either although im willing to give him a chance.  We needed to hit a home run with a true top pairing guy - and maybe thats still coming - but until it does I feel like we're going into next year just marginally better.  

I think if we can work out our PP (and i dont think we necessarily need new players, we just need to figure out why the heck they changed their game whenever we had the man advantage) then i think that goes a long way but that gap at LD will concern me until we have a legit option there, not a band-aid solution. 

I don't see how we'll improve our PP this year. We've made no changes to the roster that would see any improvements. If they couldn't figure it out after 82 games last season... I'm doubtful it's going to click now.

If Bergevin is relying on improvements from the youth, then he's a terrible General Manager.

There's no guarantee that Max Domi will score 72 points again. There's no guarantee that Kotkaniemi improves this season. Drouin and Lehkonen may have already reached there maximum NHL potential (although I hope they haven't).

Bergevin needs to go out there and get us a top pairing LD. Praying for players like Leskinen to solve the problem is such a bad idea. Waiting for someone like Romanov (who is a child) is also a bad idea.

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6 minutes ago, jennifer_rocket said:

I don't see how we'll improve our PP this year. We've made no changes to the roster that would see any improvements. If they couldn't figure it out after 82 games last season... I'm doubtful it's going to click now.

If Bergevin is relying on improvements from the youth, then he's a terrible General Manager.

There's no guarantee that Max Domi will score 72 points again. There's no guarantee that Kotkaniemi improves this season. Drouin and Lehkonen may have already reached there maximum NHL potential (although I hope they haven't).

Bergevin needs to go out there and get us a top pairing LD. Praying for players like Leskinen to solve the problem is such a bad idea. Waiting for someone like Romanov (who is a child) is also a bad idea.

The powerplay is a tough one. I mean I totally get what you're saying but we had an historically bad power play and yet have a number of very good players.  At very worst this should be a middle-of-the-pack PP.  The fact it was so bad - to me anyhow - speaks to poor planning/execution and not personnel. I feel like it doesnt matter who was on our roster last year, they were in such a slump, nothing was going to change that.  Id feel better if we had someone else running the PP but I also think its probable it gets better with no changes to the roster/personnel... because in the immortal words of Lennon/McCartney "it couldn't get much worse."

No disagreement with your other statements. I think MB plays things too safe & just "hopes" a lot. Its why he signs a bazzillion mid-tier defensemen & then "hopes" one of them can step in & play next to Weber.   

 

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1 hour ago, maas_art said:

The powerplay is a tough one. I mean I totally get what you're saying but we had an historically bad power play and yet have a number of very good players.  At very worst this should be a middle-of-the-pack PP.  The fact it was so bad - to me anyhow - speaks to poor planning/execution and not personnel. I feel like it doesnt matter who was on our roster last year, they were in such a slump, nothing was going to change that.  Id feel better if we had someone else running the PP but I also think its probable it gets better with no changes to the roster/personnel... because in the immortal words of Lennon/McCartney "it couldn't get much worse."

No disagreement with your other statements. I think MB plays things too safe & just "hopes" a lot. Its why he signs a bazzillion mid-tier defensemen & then "hopes" one of them can step in & play next to Weber.   

Well, I suppose we could hope for different personnel running it... but, are we gonna get that? I assume it will be ol' Kirk back running the PP again this season. They'll probably say something like, "With Shea Weber healthy from the beginning of the season, we expect our PP to be better."

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4 hours ago, campabee82 said:

I totally agree although I think Chiarot will help the PP and is a huge upgrade to Benn, I don't believe he should have been acquired as we already have sooooo many 2nd and 3rd pairing LHD. I would have rather rolled given Reilly more of a roll this year or perhaps tried Leskinen or Olofsson at 1LD than bringing in another 6-8 LHD on the depth chart.

Reilly was a  healthy scratch last year . The other two guys no knows if they are NHL ready , let alone being a # 1 LD

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1 hour ago, Regis22 said:

Reilly was a  healthy scratch last year . The other two guys no knows if they are NHL ready , let alone being a # 1 LD

And how did getting Chiarot fix any of that? Reilly was a healthy scratch cause CJ is too old to understand that speed and skill are how to win in today's NHL. 

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I do think we'll be better because of progression of youngsters, but all teams can feel optimistic about their prospects. It's not a great plan to think this is what's going to put you in contention for next year. If your window with Price and Weber and Petry is closing quickly, it's tricky to say to them and to your fans that Poehling and Suzuki and Brook and Fleury is your big master plan... sure, JK could blossom, but he could also have a tough sophomore year. Maybe Mete puts the offence together finally, but maybe he just becomes a #5 D man. As long as MB hasn't addressed the LHD first-pairing issue, that's going to be the weak link that limits any progress we'll make.

As far as other teams in the East,  think Bos, Tampa, and Was are all still clearly ahead of us. Car, Tor, and Pit are also probably ahead of us on paper, albeit I think we could outplay them too. They're both going to be competitive and not teams we can count on being better than. Then you have Florida, the Rangers, New Jersey, and Buffalo that are all reasonably improved in various ways. Again, hard to know where we'll fall relative to them and we could still be ahead of all of them, but I don't think it's a guarantee by any means. Philly and the Isles are going to be competitive too. So the only three teams I'd be willing to give good odds on finishing behind us would be Det, Ott, and Clb. As it stands right now, I'd project the standings as

1. TB

2. Bos

3. Tor

 

1. Was

2. Car

3. NJ

 

WC1. Fla

WC2. Mtl

 

9. Pit

10. NYI

11. NYR

12. Phi

13. Buf

14. Ott

15. Clb

16. Det

 

but this means we're on the fringe again and we're needing to beat out the likes of Pit, NYI, and Phi to make it in... won't be easy, and we certainly haven't done enough to improve this off-season to give ourselves any room for error.

 

 

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9 hours ago, campabee82 said:

I totally agree although I think Chiarot will help the PP and is a huge upgrade to Benn, I don't believe he should have been acquired as we already have sooooo many 2nd and 3rd pairing LHD. I would have rather rolled given Reilly more of a roll this year or perhaps tried Leskinen or Olofsson at 1LD than bringing in another 6-8 LHD on the depth chart. there was an article on Drouin this morning that summarized CJ perfectly and the reason for Drouin's poor performance as a Canadien and I think it applies to just about everyone of the young guys on the team. Basically it said that CJ prefers to go with slow defensive players over letting the offensive minded players carry the team putting undue stress on those offensive players to be more defensive. We have the young guys in the system to make a great team but CJ will never give more than 1 or 2 of them a shot out of his defense first mindset and as soon as one of them mess up defensively he will be in the press box like Reilly or reduced minutes like Drouin. Unless CJ truely changes his ways we will miss the PO 9 times out of 10.

see link 

https://thehockeywriters.com/canadiens-drouin-expectations-2019-20/

If only those offensive players could score on the power play.

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On 7/22/2019 at 10:21 PM, habs1952 said:

If only those offensive players could score on the power play.

I saw a few major problems with our PP last year. One was early on with the overuse of Armia. You would think a guy like that would be planted in front of the net but all his play was pretty much the perimeter. Drouin was another bad choice with all  his telegraphed back passing. Add in the "give it to Weber" strategy that every team in the League had a counter for, and it's easy to see how this was a bad PP. Sure Webs has a cannon, but it's useless if he can't get it off fast enough before he has a guy breathing down his neck. He's slowed down on his delivery and it shows IMO.

We need guys on the backend that can make that quick pass, and other then maybe Petry,,,, we don't have that. Kulak was average there and ditto for Reilly when he was in the lineup. We may need to consider the 5 forward approach with the personnel we have. 

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1 hour ago, H_T_L said:

I saw a few major problems with our PP last year. One was early on with the overuse of Armia. You would think a guy like that would be planted in front of the net but all his play was pretty much the perimeter. Drouin was another bad choice with all  his telegraphed back passing. Add in the "give it to Weber" strategy that every team in the League had a counter for, and it's easy to see how this was a bad PP. Sure Webs has a cannon, but it's useless if he can't get it off fast enough before he has a guy breathing down his neck. He's slowed down on his delivery and it shows IMO.

Agreed.   If you're going to use a player like Armia, send him directly to the net. Otherwise its a waste of a player. I think his board work is so good they felt like he'd be useful but with the other guys on the ice it doesnt make sense. 

Drouin is not a PP quarterback & should not be used as one. 

Weber will only ever be a key cog on the PP if we have another weapon out there.  If we actually did/do manage to land Laine, watch for Weber to become much more effective because now the opposition needs to target two guys.  I think even someone like Caufield might provide that (although i dont see him playing with us for at least 1 more year). 

I think the key is going to be that LD point (big surprise).   If MB managed to snag an offensive, mobile LD to play next to Weber 5-on-5 i think our PP may end up being a lot better at the same time.  All of the guys we are rumoured to have enquired about (Ghost, Sanheim, Klefbom etc) should be able to help considerably on the power play. 

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Would disagree on why the PP was so bad. At the beginning of last season they had Drouin last up the ice with the puck and the setups went pretty good. A  few games went slow and Claude changed it to Domi. Then it all went to hell. Getting rid of Claude would fix every thing. But that is not going to happen. So we NEED Drouin on the PP and he is the key. No dispute about his talent so give him the green light to do what ever he wants. SH goals are a fact of life and not the end of the world. 

JK was terrible on the PP and should not be on the PP1 unit. Weber on unit one and Petry on unit  2 and the rest would be forwards. We will miss Shaw on this but maybe Weal can handle it. Coaches need to be aware who is having a great game and use them on these units. Not to mention on the shoot out. 

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2 hours ago, tony5775 said:

Would disagree on why the PP was so bad. At the beginning of last season they had Drouin last up the ice with the puck and the setups went pretty good. A  few games went slow and Claude changed it to Domi. Then it all went to hell. Getting rid of Claude would fix every thing. But that is not going to happen. So we NEED Drouin on the PP and he is the key. No dispute about his talent so give him the green light to do what ever he wants. SH goals are a fact of life and not the end of the world. 

JK was terrible on the PP and should not be on the PP1 unit. Weber on unit one and Petry on unit  2 and the rest would be forwards. We will miss Shaw on this but maybe Weal can handle it. Coaches need to be aware who is having a great game and use them on these units. Not to mention on the shoot out. 

Disagree totally Drouin was so predictable with his drop pass on zone entry the opposition was stepping up and taking the pass the other way on almost every shift. Domi was better in the fact that he at least shot the puck in and went after it but on the PP that's not the best option either. We definitely need a guy to help with zone entry and a scoring threat from the left. I think adding Chiarot to Webers left takes care of the second shooter portion as for the zone entry I think if Peohling makes the team give him a shot on the 1st unit. Maybe something like.

Domi-Poeling-Galagher 

Chiarot-Weber

Drouin-Kotkaniemi-Lehkonen

Mete-Petry

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6 hours ago, H_T_L said:

I saw a few major problems with our PP last year. One was early on with the overuse of Armia. You would think a guy like that would be planted in front of the net but all his play was pretty much the perimeter. Drouin was another bad choice with all  his telegraphed back passing. Add in the "give it to Weber" strategy that every team in the League had a counter for, and it's easy to see how this was a bad PP. Sure Webs has a cannon, but it's useless if he can't get it off fast enough before he has a guy breathing down his neck. He's slowed down on his delivery and it shows IMO.

We need guys on the backend that can make that quick pass, and other then maybe Petry,,,, we don't have that. Kulak was average there and ditto for Reilly when he was in the lineup. We may need to consider the 5 forward approach with the personnel we have. 

Our power play sucked because our players couldn't adapt to what the defense was doing. We just continued to try to run the same set plays the defense knew were coming. 

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I'm not sure why our powerplay was so bad. However, we can all agree, it was pretty bad throughout the entire season.

I have no idea how you fix it, but... Relying any Weber in any way, shape, or form is not going to be the answer. I feel like it needs to be flexible enough that players can be moving around and almost everyone can be a playmaker and a shooter. Do we have the personnel for that?

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I don't know yet if we have the personnel to have a "complete" PP unit. Having Weber's shot on the point is a great tool. He not only has a cannon but he usually hits the net has opponents apprehensive to block his shot some have been injured. His shot also causes big rebounds and confusion in front, and teams will over play him.(1) We do need someone who can make that "wheelhouse" pass. When Subban looked good shooting is when Markov would be passing to him because it would be "teed" up.(If only Subban could consistently hit the net). Nashville actually was worse with good D quarterbacks , but not having the shooters up front also.(1) The thing is we do need another pure shooter. Chucky was actually good on the right half wall. I do like Domi's game better, but we do miss that other shot option. That is what made Tampa so elite in the PP is Stankos and Kucherov on the other side, along with Hedman passing the puck to either. We actually do have the passers now and Gallager can be the in front man (we will miss Shaw there and digging the puck out) maybe Poehling can help in front, it seems he has the size and hands. Hopefully Colefield is only a year away because I think he could do that role. We have plenty of skill players but most aren't hard shot first players. Laine would fit that spot but I don't think he'll be worth the cost to get and the contract he'll want, because beyond that he's not great everywhere on the ice and at all times for what he'll probably want money wise. I personally don't like the entry almost all teams are doing now the initial player dropping the puck up to someone following. The rest of the players moving forward have their momentum slowed or stopped near the blue line waiting for the follow player to enter. Our team has been good on the rush and we have speed utilize Domi Druion that have speed and skill let them carry it up and in and if they stack the line then send it in with speed and retrieve it , adapt to what they do at the line. Possibly having a LD that was mobile and had a great shot would give the "second shooter" option? Maybe Chariot's shot will help make a difference with that? Maybe our LD Russian prospect when he comes over will help. Can JK be taught to shoot like Chucky could from that half wall. He should keep gaining strength?

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Nikita Scherbak quoted on twitter after an interview with Russian press, where he says the following about the Habs:

- Bergevin controlling... wouldn't let him rent an apartment downtown and gave him a curfew to be home at night.

- Said MB and MT instructed the team that Russian players weren't allowed to talk in Russian because no one would understand them. Stated this was hypocritical because MB and MT allowed Francophone players to speak French to each other, even if most players didn't understand that either.

- Said MT was a terrible communicator and just did a lot of yelling at younger players. Said he gave young players a very short leash and wasn't interested in teaching them anything.

 

Some might say this is just a bitter player taking shots, but frankly we have heard a good number of ex-Habs speak out about their frustrations with MB and MT and how unfairly they treated certain players. And frankly, I can't say I'm surprised. The "inside video" of the Habs on 24CH seemed to support MT being very unfair to certain players and doing a lot of yelling, and the above fits with how we saw the Habs treat their Russian players and send most of them packing. So yeah, maybe it's not the full story, but we've heard this side of things from so many ex-players that you have to believe a lot of that is true.

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24 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

Some might say this is just a bitter player taking shots, but frankly we have heard a good number of ex-Habs speak out about their frustrations with MB and MT and how unfairly they treated certain players.

Probably but he couldn't crack the LA line up either

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Looks like MR Kelly doesn't think this team is as deep talent  wise as some

 

https://montrealgazette.com/sports/hockey/nhl/hockey-inside-out/what-the-puck-habs-missing-playoffs-once-again-is-a-fireable-offence

What the Puck: If the Habs miss the playoffs again it's a fireable offence

 

Close to a month after the opening of NHL free agency, it’s a fair bet the lineup of the Montreal Canadiens today is the lineup you’ll see when they open the 2019-2020 season on the road against the Carolina Hurricanes. Honestly, there is little chance general manager Marc Bergevin will orchestrate any blockbuster trades between now and the season opener. Who exactly would he be trading from this roster?

And that’s the point. If I’m right and what you see is what you get, it’s not looking great. My colleague Stu Cowan reported this week the sports book SportsBetting.ag lists the Habs as having 33-1 odds of winning the Stanley Cup and it also lists the over/under odds for points totals next season and the Canadiens were at 88.5. Just to refresh your memory, Montreal had 96 points this season and still missed the playoffs, for the second consecutive season.

In other words, at 88 or 89 points, they are almost certainly not in the playoffs. And I actually think 88 or 89 points is a rather optimistic prediction for a team that has at best stayed the same as last season and/or has arguably gotten worse with the loss of Andrew Shaw.

I know we have been arguing about this all summer and, obviously, the pro-Bergevin crowd is always oddly optimistic in the face of facts that suggest there are no reasons for optimism. But here’s the thing. Let’s take it back to basics. A pal sent me the roster of the Canadiens the other day and it was, frankly, a little shocking.

As in, shockingly not so good. The first point to note is they’re short of wingers. On left wing, you have Tomas Tatar, Jonathan Drouin, Paul Byron, Artturi Lehkonen and Charles Hudon. On right wing, it’s even skimpier with Brendan Gallagher, Joel Armia, Riley Barber and Dale Weise. Keep in mind most people don’t expect Hudon, Barber or Weise to play for the big club.

They have more depth at centre, though arguably still no bona fide No. 1 centre, which has been the case since they traded away Pierre Turgeon 400 years ago. The centres are Phillip Danault, Max Domi, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Jordan Weal, Nick Cousins, Ryan Poehling, Nate Thompson, Phil Varone and Matthew Peca. Again most figure Peca and Varone will be in Laval and Poehling also might well be playing with the Rocket, depending on how his camp goes.

Given the shortages on the wings, you figure at least one of these centres will have to play on the wing. You also have to admit it’s not a forward corps with a lot of depth. One Top Six guy goes down with an injury and the whole thing collapses like a house of cards. Not to mention if a fellow named Drouin continues the slump he was on for the last third of the past season, the house of cards also falls to the ground.

The blue-line corps is just as rickety. Bergevin still hasn’t found an ideal candidate to play on the left with Shea Weber on the first pairing and if you think losing Jordie Benn and picking up Ben Chiarot is anything but a wash, I have a swamp in Florida I’d love to sell you.

Between the pipes, you’d have to say it’s about the same as last year given Keith Kincaid’s numbers last season were similar to Antti Niemi’s. But to remain the same, it also means Carey Price has to have a strong season again. In other words, no injuries and no issues upstairs. He’s already publicly complaining about the fact his window of opportunity is closing and he’s tired of hearing the hype about prospects. So that doesn’t bode well for a happy Price next season, especially if the Habs do as middling as SportsBetting.ag predicts.

I know these words of doom and gloom drive some fans crazy, but look at that roster and tell me how it looks like a squad that’s going to do any damage. And if we naysayers are right and they do miss the playoffs, that will make Bergevin’s era officially one of the worst eras in the over 100-year history of the Canadiens.

This is a fellow who inherited a pretty decent team, that then went on to the conference final in 2014. Since then, they have won squat. Okay to be more accurate, they have won one measly playoff series since that 2014 run. One! And they’ve missed the playoffs in three of the past five years and missed the last two playoffs.

I say if the Habs this season don’t make the playoffs again under Bergevin, it’s a fireable offence. Does the owner of the Montreal Canadiens feel the same way?

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1 minute ago, Regis22 said:

Probably but he couldn't crack the LA line up either

I'm just wondering who of the 16 Russian players to have suited up for Montreal got treated badly ...Markov ? Kovalev ? Emelin ? ...Berezin traded for Brian Savage? ...Sergachev traded for Drouin ? There have been a few Russians who played great for the Habs and a few that didn't like Semin ..I don't put a lot of stock in what Scherbak says anyway especially when the interview was with the Russian Press 

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12 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

Nikita Scherbak quoted on twitter after an interview with Russian press, where he says the following about the Habs:

- Bergevin controlling... wouldn't let him rent an apartment downtown and gave him a curfew to be home at night.

- Said MB and MT instructed the team that Russian players weren't allowed to talk in Russian because no one would understand them. Stated this was hypocritical because MB and MT allowed Francophone players to speak French to each other, even if most players didn't understand that either.

- Said MT was a terrible communicator and just did a lot of yelling at younger players. Said he gave young players a very short leash and wasn't interested in teaching them anything.

 

Some might say this is just a bitter player taking shots, but frankly we have heard a good number of ex-Habs speak out about their frustrations with MB and MT and how unfairly they treated certain players. And frankly, I can't say I'm surprised. The "inside video" of the Habs on 24CH seemed to support MT being very unfair to certain players and doing a lot of yelling, and the above fits with how we saw the Habs treat their Russian players and send most of them packing. So yeah, maybe it's not the full story, but we've heard this side of things from so many ex-players that you have to believe a lot of that is true.

Curfew ... not uncommon for teams to do so with young players.

Russian ... Scherbak spinning this in the negative rather than probably what it really was  ... MT saying "ok keep in mind there's a lot of your team mates who you'll be on the ice with who don't speak russian, so lets try shouting out those heads up in english" ... and french players to speak french to each other?  Two points on that ... French NOT Russian is Canada's 2nd language, and I also highly doubt Scherbak's account.

Last one ... well yeah, he's got MT nailed there ... however, where was the line between criticism and Scherbak being a millenial who thinks any criticism is bullying.

Sounds like a spoiled entitled kid who couldn't cut it in the NHL.

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13 hours ago, Regis22 said:

Looks like MR Kelly doesn't think this team is as deep talent  wise as some

 

https://montrealgazette.com/sports/hockey/nhl/hockey-inside-out/what-the-puck-habs-missing-playoffs-once-again-is-a-fireable-offence

What the Puck: If the Habs miss the playoffs again it's a fireable offence

 

Close to a month after the opening of NHL free agency, it’s a fair bet the lineup of the Montreal Canadiens today is the lineup you’ll see when they open the 2019-2020 season on the road against the Carolina Hurricanes. Honestly, there is little chance general manager Marc Bergevin will orchestrate any blockbuster trades between now and the season opener. Who exactly would he be trading from this roster?

And that’s the point. If I’m right and what you see is what you get, it’s not looking great. My colleague Stu Cowan reported this week the sports book SportsBetting.ag lists the Habs as having 33-1 odds of winning the Stanley Cup and it also lists the over/under odds for points totals next season and the Canadiens were at 88.5. Just to refresh your memory, Montreal had 96 points this season and still missed the playoffs, for the second consecutive season.

In other words, at 88 or 89 points, they are almost certainly not in the playoffs. And I actually think 88 or 89 points is a rather optimistic prediction for a team that has at best stayed the same as last season and/or has arguably gotten worse with the loss of Andrew Shaw.

I know we have been arguing about this all summer and, obviously, the pro-Bergevin crowd is always oddly optimistic in the face of facts that suggest there are no reasons for optimism. But here’s the thing. Let’s take it back to basics. A pal sent me the roster of the Canadiens the other day and it was, frankly, a little shocking.

As in, shockingly not so good. The first point to note is they’re short of wingers. On left wing, you have Tomas Tatar, Jonathan Drouin, Paul Byron, Artturi Lehkonen and Charles Hudon. On right wing, it’s even skimpier with Brendan Gallagher, Joel Armia, Riley Barber and Dale Weise. Keep in mind most people don’t expect Hudon, Barber or Weise to play for the big club.

They have more depth at centre, though arguably still no bona fide No. 1 centre, which has been the case since they traded away Pierre Turgeon 400 years ago. The centres are Phillip Danault, Max Domi, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Jordan Weal, Nick Cousins, Ryan Poehling, Nate Thompson, Phil Varone and Matthew Peca. Again most figure Peca and Varone will be in Laval and Poehling also might well be playing with the Rocket, depending on how his camp goes.

Given the shortages on the wings, you figure at least one of these centres will have to play on the wing. You also have to admit it’s not a forward corps with a lot of depth. One Top Six guy goes down with an injury and the whole thing collapses like a house of cards. Not to mention if a fellow named Drouin continues the slump he was on for the last third of the past season, the house of cards also falls to the ground.

The blue-line corps is just as rickety. Bergevin still hasn’t found an ideal candidate to play on the left with Shea Weber on the first pairing and if you think losing Jordie Benn and picking up Ben Chiarot is anything but a wash, I have a swamp in Florida I’d love to sell you.

Between the pipes, you’d have to say it’s about the same as last year given Keith Kincaid’s numbers last season were similar to Antti Niemi’s. But to remain the same, it also means Carey Price has to have a strong season again. In other words, no injuries and no issues upstairs. He’s already publicly complaining about the fact his window of opportunity is closing and he’s tired of hearing the hype about prospects. So that doesn’t bode well for a happy Price next season, especially if the Habs do as middling as SportsBetting.ag predicts.

I know these words of doom and gloom drive some fans crazy, but look at that roster and tell me how it looks like a squad that’s going to do any damage. And if we naysayers are right and they do miss the playoffs, that will make Bergevin’s era officially one of the worst eras in the over 100-year history of the Canadiens.

This is a fellow who inherited a pretty decent team, that then went on to the conference final in 2014. Since then, they have won squat. Okay to be more accurate, they have won one measly playoff series since that 2014 run. One! And they’ve missed the playoffs in three of the past five years and missed the last two playoffs.

I say if the Habs this season don’t make the playoffs again under Bergevin, it’s a fireable offence. Does the owner of the Montreal Canadiens feel the same way?

What was St. Louis odds last year?

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3 minutes ago, CaptWelly said:

What was St. Louis odds last year?

I tend to agree the odds aren't in our favour but our team is well balanced we just need to basically fill 2 needs a top line scoring winger and a 1 LHD. Maybe Caufield impresses so much at the world JR tryouts this week we Sign him and invite him to camp. Not likely but not impossible either. Or maybe there is a trade out there or one of Leskinen or Olofsson  step up and fill our 1 LD this year. We could be mediocre or if things fall our way we could take a huge step forward and take a run at the cup. Too early to tell how it will shake out but I expect by Halloween we will know how the rest of the season will go.

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3 hours ago, campabee82 said:

we just need to basically fill 2 needs a top line scoring winger and a 1 LHD. 

Only 2 holes, but those are pretty big ones.  I think there's an opportunity to fill at least one if not both but its not a walk in the park to do so. 

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2 minutes ago, maas_art said:

Only 2 holes, but those are pretty big ones.  I think there's an opportunity to fill at least one if not both but its not a walk in the park to do so. 

I know it won't be a walk in the park and I doubt we can pull it off filling both barring some miricale but am still hopeful LOL. Not that I think MB can do it but who knows

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