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2019-20 State Of The Habs


H_T_L
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I like Danault he is a great 2 way player and he plays some huge minutes. However he lacks both on the finishing plays and vision. 3 or 4 times last night he was in the slot and passed to the point instead of taking a shot. Sometimes you just have to put the puck to the net and hope for a bounce Danault is always looking to pass to the point for a big blast teams know this and anticipate it. Look at Tampa when they are in the slot they shoot low off the pads and get many rebound goals. 3 of Tampa's 5 last night were lucky bounces. The 1st off the glass and right back to Stamkos. The second was a McDonough shot that bounced off the end boards to Killorn at the side of the net and the 3rd was a bad rebound that was chipped up in the air and off Lehkonen and in. Chiarot and KK's goals were even examples of just put it on net. Gally shoots off Vasalevski's pads and it bounces to Chiarot in the slot and KK pretty much just put a shot to the net that should have been stopped but wasn't. Danault rarely shoots so teams let him stand in the slot and take his passing lanes away.

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8 minutes ago, campabee82 said:

I like Danault he is a great 2 way player and he plays some huge minutes. However he lacks both on the finishing plays and vision. 3 or 4 times last night he was in the slot and passed to the point instead of taking a shot. Sometimes you just have to put the puck to the net and hope for a bounce Danault is always looking to pass to the point for a big blast teams know this and anticipate it. Look at Tampa when they are in the slot they shoot low off the pads and get many rebound goals. 3 of Tampa's 5 last night were lucky bounces. The 1st off the glass and right back to Stamkos. The second was a McDonough shot that bounced off the end boards to Killorn at the side of the net and the 3rd was a bad rebound that was chipped up in the air and off Lehkonen and in. Chiarot and KK's goals were even examples of just put it on net. Gally shoots off Vasalevski's pads and it bounces to Chiarot in the slot and KK pretty much just put a shot to the net that should have been stopped but wasn't. Danault rarely shoots so teams let him stand in the slot and take his passing lanes away.

Yeah,,, I brought this up in the GDT too. Frustrating to watch a guy with a clean shot to the net pass off with time running down.

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Sometimes I think CJ doesn't really understand what he has and tries to make up for what he thinks is missing by sending out a balanced lineup. We Currently ice a lineup similar to when everyone is healthy

Tatar-Danault-Gallagher 

Drouin-Domi-Suzuki

Lehkonen-Kotkaniemi-Armia

Byron-Thompson-Weal 

Chairot-Weber

Mete-Petry

Kulak-Fleury

Price 

Lindgren

But by moving just a couple of players around we could have what every team looks for 2 scoring lines 1 Shutdown line and 1 checking line. How much better would the team be if Danault centered Lehkonen and Armia as a shutdown line in close games or at the end of periods? That line alone would give teams fits trying to score.

So you line up 

Drouin-Domi-Gallagher

Tatar-Kotkaniemi-Suzuki 

As your top 6 and now you have 2 very capable scoring lines follow that up with

Lehkonen-Danault-Armia 

In the D zone, while we are leading, or at the end of periods when we give up most goals.

Then any combination of

Byron, Poehling, Cousins, Thompson and Weal as the 4th line to eat minutes while the other three rest.

The D can remain the same against heavy teams or swap Chiarot and Mete when we need puck movement

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Time for my midway point grades and it feels like they deserve to be more harsh than they have in the past:

GOALIES:

- Price: D... I thought he wasn't bad to start the year, and it's true that the team defence in front of him has been awful, but he's supposed to be able to do more to carry the team than he is. The downturns in Price's career have come after he had his two children, which is not an attempt at an excuse or blame, but that's life. Life is more challenging when you have a family of young children and maybe that's part of it. Maybe age is part of it. But it's not going right.

- Kinkaid: F... worse than Niemi, and he is where he is now because of it. Terrible signing.

DEFENCE:

- Weber: B-... I know some people will think this grade should be higher, and some media members have even talked about whether he should be in the Norris conversation. I think he's probably been our best D man this year, but his play has been overrated. He was not that great to start the year, then he recently went through a 3-4 week run of being fantastic. Now he's looked ordinary the past few games again. I give him kudos for his offensive production and for playing well on the PP. But on the other hand, he's been brutal on the PK and his defensive play has been suspect. It feels like 75% of the time there's a goal against on the PK, he and Chiarot are on the ice, and it feels a decent number of goals are scored against us with pucks poked in from the crease/slot while Weber and Chiarot are standing there in the picture not taking out the opposing player or not blocking the passing lane properly. So yeah, good season in general, especially for a player of his age. But not as good as everyone thinks.

- Petry: B-... like Weber, he's showed flashes of brilliance at times, especially offensively. But he's also struggled for stretches in his own end. Like Weber, part of the reason may come down the fact the left side of our defence is brutal and neither Petry nor Weber has been provided with a capable partner.

- Mete: C+... he's shown some progression, but he hasn't shown he can be an everyday top 4 defenceman yet.

- Chiarot: C... again, I know some will think this grade should be higher, but while he's surprised me with his ability to handle minutes and to contribute a bit of offence and skate better than I thought he would, his defensive miscues remain a problem. He's frequently blown coverage in front of our goalies, knocked pucks in or towards our own net, or knocked over our own goalie. And unlike Weber, he doesn't provide the offence to make up for that. He's shown me he can be a solid 3rd-pairing guy, but like Mete, he hasn't shown me he can be a long-term solution in the top 4.

- Fleury: C... rinse and repeat. He's done well for a rookie, but the projection here looks like a decent 3rd pairing guy and not a top 4 player. So more of the same.

- Kulak: C-... I like Kulak. I think he skates well and doesn't get the credit he deserves from the coaches. I don't understand how he can sit for Reilly. But is play has dropped off recently and he hasn't been as consistent as last year.

 - Reilly: F... just awful this year.

- Folin: F... not an NHLer.

FORWARDS:

- Drouin: A... hasn't played in a while but maybe our best forward while he was active.

- Suzuki: A... this kid has great skill and he's already putting up points and making good decisions with the puck.

- Tatar: A-... he's produced, which is what he's paid to do. If it weren't for his early-season penalties, he'd be an A.

- Armia: A-... maybe the biggest surprise of the season. Strong on the puck and some goal-scorer's shots/plays to go with it.

- Gallagher: A-... consistent effort, consistent production. A few issues defensively though, like much of the team.

- Danault: B+... he's quietly put together a solid season. His PK work hasn't been as strong as in the past though, and he's still not a 1C, which is the role we're judging him on.

- Lehkonen: B... also quietly putting together a good year.

- Domi: B-... has turned around his offensive game of late, but his defensive game has been weak.

- Kotkaniemi: C+... some regression from last year. Hopefully he is re-energized coming back from injury.

- Thompson: C+... some good moments early and now back to earth.

- Poehling: C... he's getting better slowly. Hard to ask for much when he's playing 4th line minutes with AHL quality linemates.

- Cousins: C... started the year well when he got going, has slowed off lately.

- Weal: F... not much there, especially for a guy who's been gifted regular PP time. He doesn't provide much offence, he doesn't provide much defence or much toughness. Just a guy without a clear role on the roster.

- Byron: F... a bad season before he went down.

- Barber: F... not much there period.

COACH AND GM:

- Julien: C+... he gets a pass from me, basically because this team is where I thought they'd be, just outside the playoffs. He's working with an inadequate roster. On the other hand, the PK needs to be better.

- Bergevin: D... yes, his trade history is looking pretty good, while his free agency record is looking pretty bad. But overall, he's failed to address the team's needs, and that's what his job description is. We have no left side of our defence. We don't have enough scoring. And he's failed to find an adequate back-up goalie. Someone posted Price's stats when he's had more than 3 days rest vs. less than 3 days rest and the difference is staggering, yet we can't give Price breaks because we have no one else. And yes, if Bergevin is re-building then fine, but as I've elaborated, he's hanging on to veterans and seeing their value decline if that's the case. And should you really have no clear direction when you're 8 years into your mandate. As Jess Rusnak stated, Bergevin is high on his prospect pool but he told us the same thing a few years ago when he seemed to promise that players like Beaulieu, Tinordi, Pateryn, Galchenyuk, Scherbak, and McCarron would be the future that would turn this team around. Bergevin hasn't shown anything yet to deserve a better grade.

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Looks like Domi is back, too bad we lost Armia we are going to suck with his puck control out! Price has been off this year, Primeau should be up and getting some starts to get him ready i don't think our D is as bad as it has looked at times it is not great but Price has made some odd moves when he handles the puck and other times he is just too late to make a save. i would not waste my time with Lindgren or Mcniven i think Primeau will be out guy going forward so let's get him up here playing at this level while Price is still viable.

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4 minutes ago, ramcharger440 said:

Looks like Domi is back, too bad we lost Armia we are going to suck with his puck control out! Price has been off this year, Primeau should be up and getting some starts to get him ready i don't think our D is as bad as it has looked at times it is not great but Price has made some odd moves when he handles the puck and other times he is just too late to make a save. i would not waste my time with Lindgren or Mcniven i think Primeau will be out guy going forward so let's get him up here playing at this level while Price is still viable.

I think he's going to get some callups but only if they intend to use a backup that night. No sense having him on the team fulltime if he's going to sit for long periods of time. They'll just switch him out with Charlie or Kinkaid ( whoever is up at the time). I think we'll see him on our next B2B. 

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9 minutes ago, H_T_L said:

I think he's going to get some callups but only if they intend to use a backup that night. No sense having him on the team fulltime if he's going to sit for long periods of time. They'll just switch him out with Charlie or Kinkaid ( whoever is up at the time). I think we'll see him on our next B2B. 

I don't think we 'll see Primeau up much if at all .. we risk Lindgren being scooped if we send him down and that's a possibility at his salary ...Primeau is better off getting games in in the AHL for now ..for me it's difficult rating guys like Barber with so few games (9) in but he's only there to fill a role if injuries happen , same with Weal and to a degree Cousins ..with Drouin ,Armia ,  Byron and even Peca out with  a concussed Poehling still  in Laval there weren't other options early on in this season  ...as for the draft picks being the future it must be pointed out that at the time they were the future whether we liked it or not ..the highest pick ( other than JK ) not that long ago was Chucky and Bergy unloaded him for a better player ...other than Beaulieu at 17th in 2011 the picks have been in the 20s with no hidden gems..we were getting tossed around in those days so guys like Tinordi and McCarron were drafted on size and toughness ..Scherbak had size as well but he's now in the KHL and not exactly lighting it up there either ..Juulsen is an indication that nothing is for certain but early indications were that he was solid late pick ...the good news is the prospects are the best Montreal has had in a long time  and in one year or less 4 or 5 of today's supporting cast and/or regulars will be gone ...for all we know Bergevin and Julien included if the slide continues .. I'm not exactly giving up on this season at any rate 

 

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Disappointing end of the year with those two 1-goal losses. Didn't get to watch other than the extended highlights but usually 9 goals on the road should be enough to at least secure a couple of points. Looks like some funny bounces and defensive breakdowns cost us, plus Carey didn't look overly sharp either. Good to see Domi scoring again though and Suzuki has been a revelation, just wow. I'm glad Pacioretty is doing really well in Vegas but the trade is looking great for us.

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49 minutes ago, ChiLla said:

Disappointing end of the year with those two 1-goal losses. Didn't get to watch other than the extended highlights but usually 9 goals on the road should be enough to at least secure a couple of points. Looks like some funny bounces and defensive breakdowns cost us, plus Carey didn't look overly sharp either. Good to see Domi scoring again though and Suzuki has been a revelation, just wow. I'm glad Pacioretty is doing really well in Vegas but the trade is looking great for us.

I missed the Florida game, but the Tampa one ... two lucky goals by TB.    The one where it banked off the boards back out front and Stamkos tapped it into the empty, and the other one where it was going wide but went off Lehkonen and in.    Having said that ... They lost to TB not because of those 2 lucky goals, but because they let their foot off the gas and started to sit back.      I think the Domi goal, where they blew the horn almost 2 minutes later, threw the Habs off their rhythm. 

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1 hour ago, ChiLla said:

Disappointing end of the year with those two 1-goal losses. Didn't get to watch other than the extended highlights but usually 9 goals on the road should be enough to at least secure a couple of points. Looks like some funny bounces and defensive breakdowns cost us, plus Carey didn't look overly sharp either. Good to see Domi scoring again though and Suzuki has been a revelation, just wow. I'm glad Pacioretty is doing really well in Vegas but the trade is looking great for us.

 

15 minutes ago, HabsAlways said:

I missed the Florida game, but the Tampa one ... two lucky goals by TB.    The one where it banked off the boards back out front and Stamkos tapped it into the empty, and the other one where it was going wide but went off Lehkonen and in.    Having said that ... They lost to TB not because of those 2 lucky goals, but because they let their foot off the gas and started to sit back.      I think the Domi goal, where they blew the horn almost 2 minutes later, threw the Habs off their rhythm. 

Carey hasn't looked sharp at all, but on the other hand, the defence just plain stinks. You look at the goals that are going in, and notwithstanding the fact that Weber and Chiarot each put one in their own net against Florida and I think Lehkonen did the same against Tampa, the goals that are being scored against us are coming from very close-range shots or rebounds. 4 of the 6 against Florida went in from the high-danger trapezoid area between the goal and hash marks inside the circles. 4 of 5 against Tampa were from there, as were all 4 that Edmonton scored against us and 1 of the 2 by Winnipeg. So in the last 4 games, 13 of the 17 goals we've allowed have come from extremely close range. That's not to absolve Carey of any blame, but other teams shouldn't be getting that high-quality a chance over and over.

Our defencemen are largely to blame. We can talk about team defence and the role of the forwards too, but many of these chances and goals are on plays like 2 on 2 or 3 on 2 rushes where the D men just back up into the goalie and allow the opposition to not only come in close but get a screen shot. Or they're one timers where the D men allow a pass right through the slot/crease. Or they're rebounds because the defenders can't find the puck before the attacking forward. Our D men are simply not good at protecting the high danger area and getting on loose pucks and into passing lanes.

On the PK, it's much the same story, which is why we've been bad there. Weber, Petry, and Chiarot, while they have had very good possession numbers at ES, are all getting shelled on the penalty kill, with Weber being far and away the worst. Armia, Danault, and Thompson are also doing poorly on the PK, while others you might not expect like Suzuki, Fleury, Poehling, Lehkonen, Mete, and Kulak are doing better there. Weber and Armia in particular have goals against rates per ice time of over 1 goal for every 6 minutes of PK time played. To put that into rates people might follow more easily, if the Habs were to give up three powerplays, they would give up a goal once in those three times every time with those guys on the ice. That's a PK success rate under 67%, and that's just not going to cut it. People laud Weber and Chiarot and Petry for their ES play, and they've been contributing to create offence, but they've been bad in their own zone and especially bad at the penalty kill. The bottom line is that our D corps at present is weak and probably one of the worst in the league. We're not winning anything until Bergevin addresses it, and I'd be hard-pressed to believe Romanov is a guy who single-handedly does that.

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1 hour ago, HabsAlways said:

In case anyone missed it ... as I've seen his name thrown around in the last couple of weeks, Noah Juulsen hasn't played a game since November due to his head aches returnings

 

https://www.cbssports.com/fantasy/hockey/news/canadiens-noah-juulsen-headaches-have-returned/

  It's really a shame what's happened to him ...I think he would have been a regular part of the D at this point 

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2 hours ago, HabsAlways said:

In case anyone missed it ... as I've seen his name thrown around in the last couple of weeks, Noah Juulsen hasn't played a game since November due to his head aches returnings

 

https://www.cbssports.com/fantasy/hockey/news/canadiens-noah-juulsen-headaches-have-returned/

 

52 minutes ago, arpem-can said:

  It's really a shame what's happened to him ...I think he would have been a regular part of the D at this point 

SO sad.  I feel like the window is closing on Juulsen. He was such a promising young prospect too.  Hopefully they sort it out & he comes back.  The worst part is that you have to think if they had insisted he was done for the night after taking that first puck to the face he might be ok now. Instead, he "played hurt" and came back & in a freak accident took another puck to the face just  minutes later.  We'll never know but i have to think that second puck was the issue. 

 

On 12/29/2019 at 8:40 AM, campabee82 said:

I like Danault he is a great 2 way player and he plays some huge minutes. However he lacks both on the finishing plays and vision. 3 or 4 times last night he was in the slot and passed to the point instead of taking a shot. Sometimes you just have to put the puck to the net and hope for a bounce Danault is always looking to pass to the point for a big blast teams know this and anticipate it. Look at Tampa when they are in the slot they shoot low off the pads and get many rebound goals. 3 of Tampa's 5 last night were lucky bounces. The 1st off the glass and right back to Stamkos. The second was a McDonough shot that bounced off the end boards to Killorn at the side of the net and the 3rd was a bad rebound that was chipped up in the air and off Lehkonen and in. Chiarot and KK's goals were even examples of just put it on net. Gally shoots off Vasalevski's pads and it bounces to Chiarot in the slot and KK pretty much just put a shot to the net that should have been stopped but wasn't. Danault rarely shoots so teams let him stand in the slot and take his passing lanes away.

You have to wonder how much better we might be with some lineup adjustments.  

I understand Julien's reasoning: play players with players who have had success together - especially with the injuries we have - but  you had to think that with Suzuki looking so good and JK coming back from injury strong, maybe its time to move some of our natural centres back to centre and or up the lineup. 

If the future of this team down the middle is JK, Suzuki and Poehling, why is only 1 of them playing centre (and only 1 in the top 6, as a winger?)

MB suggested in his last press conference that this was a bit of a 'transition' year - he's not making a trade just to make the playoffs, the team needs to adjust.  So ok, lets try some players in their long-term roles. 
 

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57 minutes ago, maas_art said:

 

SO sad.  I feel like the window is closing on Juulsen. He was such a promising young prospect too.  Hopefully they sort it out & he comes back.  The worst part is that you have to think if they had insisted he was done for the night after taking that first puck to the face he might be ok now. Instead, he "played hurt" and came back & in a freak accident took another puck to the face just  minutes later.  We'll never know but i have to think that second puck was the issue. 

 

You have to wonder how much better we might be with some lineup adjustments.  

I understand Julien's reasoning: play players with players who have had success together - especially with the injuries we have - but  you had to think that with Suzuki looking so good and JK coming back from injury strong, maybe its time to move some of our natural centres back to centre and or up the lineup. 

If the future of this team down the middle is JK, Suzuki and Poehling, why is only 1 of them playing centre (and only 1 in the top 6, as a winger?)

MB suggested in his last press conference that this was a bit of a 'transition' year - he's not making a trade just to make the playoffs, the team needs to adjust.  So ok, lets try some players in their long-term roles. 
 

 I guess for starters Poehling isn't as good on face-offs as Thompson so there is still a learning curve as long as he's a 4th line shut down guy ….we might see Suzuki ending up at centre full time but being a rookie perhaps he isn't being thrown completely to the wolves just yet ...Price is heading towards his 2nd worst year for GAA and Save % so something has to change there defensively ( they were on track to straightening it out and then it blew up the last 2 games )...on the bright side Tatar , Gallagher Weber Danault  Chiarot and Petry are having career years point -wise  while  Tatar , Weber Danault and Chiarot career bests in the goals category ...Suzuki projected is good for 15 goals and 48 points but he might even keep getting better in the 2nd half ….. between Tatar and Suzuli it's the gift that never stops giving ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, maas_art said:

 

SO sad.  I feel like the window is closing on Juulsen. He was such a promising young prospect too.  Hopefully they sort it out & he comes back.  The worst part is that you have to think if they had insisted he was done for the night after taking that first puck to the face he might be ok now. Instead, he "played hurt" and came back & in a freak accident took another puck to the face just  minutes later.  We'll never know but i have to think that second puck was the issue. 

 

You have to wonder how much better we might be with some lineup adjustments.  

I understand Julien's reasoning: play players with players who have had success together - especially with the injuries we have - but  you had to think that with Suzuki looking so good and JK coming back from injury strong, maybe its time to move some of our natural centres back to centre and or up the lineup. 

If the future of this team down the middle is JK, Suzuki and Poehling, why is only 1 of them playing centre (and only 1 in the top 6, as a winger?)

MB suggested in his last press conference that this was a bit of a 'transition' year - he's not making a trade just to make the playoffs, the team needs to adjust.  So ok, lets try some players in their long-term roles. 
 

JK has scored in both games since coming back. That's great and I hope that gives him the boost he needs to keep competing and moving forward. That said it's only two games lets see hw he continues before sending him farther up the line up. His first half didn't look great hopefully he's was just battling injuries. Suzuki is playing better and better. That said he just recently said he didn't care where he played and in junior he played a lot of wing & center. I really like him with Domi. I hope when Drouin returns they'll give Drouin/Domi/Suzuki a try, I think that could be explosive. Suzuki also is getting PP & PK time both also. I like how Poehling has been playing the last few games and also like his use on the PK. You have to say in a division game Suzuki/Poehling both on the ice together killing penalties, it's hard to say Jullien isn't giving rookies a shot! The season isn't lost yet by any means. Yes it hurt losing these two games but there still is a long way to go. The Danault line produces and shuts other lines down and they have great chemistry. I see no reason to break up that line. I would like to see Poehling on JK's wing and when Armia gets back. Poehling /JK/Armia a line with size and speed. I do have to think that with Suzuki and Poehling getting PK time that makes Byron tradable. Please bring Primeau up. Let him take the back to backs and a few other games , practice with the team and be there to learn and to relieve and "push" Price some. 

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Realizing that the state of the Habs will never change so long as CJ is behind the bench. Poehling plays his best game so far and is infinitely more tallented than Weal. When Gally goes down who gets promoted Suzuki is the logical choice but CJ doesn't trust a rookie on his first line so Weal gets the spot. Weal scored his last game out so he must also be placed on the 1st PP wave. Forget that KK scored in the previous 2 games cause he's too young to trust with top minutes on the PP. I read somewhere that we have the best PP% on the road over like the last month and the second wave with the young guys are the ones usually making the stats better. CJ goes on record yesterday saying we need to play more boring hockey. So we respond by trying to play more defensive hockey and just look like we are a bunch of tidbits running around in our own end. Weber, Chiarot and Petry are three of the biggest guys in the league but can't clear the front of the net of even the smaller forwards. Mete and Fleury do a better job on the third pairing than our 3 best dmen. CJ can't run a team built on speed and skill. He likes grit, attitude, defense and boring hockey. Less speed more neutral zone trap style. We need a change or our future will also suffer.

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10 hours ago, campabee82 said:

Realizing that the state of the Habs will never change so long as CJ is behind the bench. Poehling plays his best game so far and is infinitely more tallented than Weal. When Gally goes down who gets promoted Suzuki is the logical choice but CJ doesn't trust a rookie on his first line so Weal gets the spot. Weal scored his last game out so he must also be placed on the 1st PP wave. Forget that KK scored in the previous 2 games cause he's too young to trust with top minutes on the PP. I read somewhere that we have the best PP% on the road over like the last month and the second wave with the young guys are the ones usually making the stats better. CJ goes on record yesterday saying we need to play more boring hockey. So we respond by trying to play more defensive hockey and just look like we are a bunch of tidbits running around in our own end. Weber, Chiarot and Petry are three of the biggest guys in the league but can't clear the front of the net of even the smaller forwards. Mete and Fleury do a better job on the third pairing than our 3 best dmen. CJ can't run a team built on speed and skill. He likes grit, attitude, defense and boring hockey. Less speed more neutral zone trap style. We need a change or our future will also suffer.

As much fun it is to play run n gun offensive hockey. CJ is correct that a more defensive style is actually better for the team. We stopped our last losing streak and started the west coast trip playing more responsible defensively and that's when we started winning. I agree I'd like to see JK get more time on the pp, but that said the pp started clicking when he was out of action. At this particular time with Drouin , Armia, now possibly Gallagher out isn't the time to try and open the game up. The high scoring games are fun to watch but losing 6-5 , 5-4 in Florida I'd rather see a 3-2 2-1 Win than a high scoring loss. When the "team" plays good "team" defense the team wins more. I would of liked to have seen Poehling move up also. I like Domi/Suzuki together and hope Drouin can be added there when he gets back. I can see opening the game up some once the whole line up is back but until then defense first wins more often. I'm glad Lingren had a good game. If they want to keep Primeau down for continued actin then maybe Charlie can play a few games. The next games are home games which can be difficult to keep the focus on good defense when playing in front of the home town fans and wanting to put on a show. Playing tight games now will give you the chance to make the playoffs and will get you ready for the playoffs as Tampa learned last year. 

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6 hours ago, CaptWelly said:

As much fun it is to play run n gun offensive hockey. CJ is correct that a more defensive style is actually better for the team. We stopped our last losing streak and started the west coast trip playing more responsible defensively and that's when we started winning. I agree I'd like to see JK get more time on the pp, but that said the pp started clicking when he was out of action. At this particular time with Drouin , Armia, now possibly Gallagher out isn't the time to try and open the game up. The high scoring games are fun to watch but losing 6-5 , 5-4 in Florida I'd rather see a 3-2 2-1 Win than a high scoring loss. When the "team" plays good "team" defense the team wins more. I would of liked to have seen Poehling move up also. I like Domi/Suzuki together and hope Drouin can be added there when he gets back. I can see opening the game up some once the whole line up is back but until then defense first wins more often. I'm glad Lingren had a good game. If they want to keep Primeau down for continued actin then maybe Charlie can play a few games. The next games are home games which can be difficult to keep the focus on good defense when playing in front of the home town fans and wanting to put on a show. Playing tight games now will give you the chance to make the playoffs and will get you ready for the playoffs as Tampa learned last year. 

Yes good team defense wins games and championships however we are not built for defense first mentality. We are a well balanced hockey team that plays it's best hockey when we use our speed and possession game to our advantage not when we try and stand the other team up at our blue line or try the neutral zone trap. We don't have the size to grind out 2-1 or 3-2 wins if we are not skating hard and making good passes we aren't winning games. We have to keep our foot on the gas so to speak not try to shutdown teams. If our forwards were say O'Reilly types of guys then yeah we could play shutdown hockey but when your top 9 only has one or two guys over 6 feet and 210 then your not going to be successful at shutting down other teams. CJ should know this and adapt his style to help make us successful

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