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2020-21 State Of The Habs


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From Wkipedia, his post playing career. 

"On March 4, 2008, the Phoenix Coyotes hired Burke to become its director of prospect development. He was also the assistant to the general manager and Coyotes' goaltending coach.[9]

In September 2016, Burke joined the Montreal Canadiens as a professional scout. On July 25, 2017, he was announced as the general manager of Canada's men's team for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang."

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14 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

And there it is: Stephane Waite fired. Sean Burke in.

Very interesting.  Im actually surprised they would do this mid-season (since they didnt do it  at the same time as Claude/Muller) but I wonder if they wanted to wait & see what DD thought.

I still am wondering about Richardson, who controls our defense but i guess we shall see. 

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39 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

And there it is: Stephane Waite fired. Sean Burke in.

What was surprising about this news is that it didn't happen earlier. Writing has been on the wall for awhile now. Richardson has to be sweating it out.

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21 minutes ago, HARBORSPORT said:

at this point in both our goalies careers, wouldnt the goalie "coach" actually be more of a guidance counsellor ?............and Carey seems to need a little more guidance than technique training...imo

His technique hasn't been great. Overplaying his angles multiple times a game. Going down way too early IMO and to boot his puck handling behind the net has been scary at times. Maybe a change is a good thing.

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Burke will be required to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine before joining the team. Laval Rocket goaltending coach Marco Marciano will work with Montreal's goaltenders until Burke is cleared to join the squad.

Didn't realize Laval had their own goalie coach. I thought Waite handled them too.

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5 minutes ago, H_T_L said:

Burke will be required to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine before joining the team. Laval Rocket goaltending coach Marco Marciano will work with Montreal's goaltenders until Burke is cleared to join the squad.

Didn't realize Laval had their own goalie coach. I thought Waite handled them too.

Never heard of Marciano. 

"Marco Marciano has been training goalies for more than 15 years. Well-known for always being one step ahead, Marco works toward bringing each goalie to another level while respecting their style. Innovative and dedicated, Marco trains with passion so that each training makes a difference."

Edited by kinot-2
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10 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

I said this a couple of years ago, but the 2021 off-season will be the most important for our GM in a long while. You have/had a number of UFA's at that time (albeit Petry/Gallagher since re-signed), you have the expansion draft where you have to decide who you are protecting, and you have young prospects pushing for spots (Caufield, Ylonen, Romanov, Poehling, Brook, Fleury, etc.) and others who are going to be due for raises soon enough (JK, Suzuki, etc.) and where you have to plan ahead for cap space. We talked about whether MB would be fired previously, but as I said two years ago, the time for Molson to make a decision on who he wants running his team for the foreseeable future needs to come before this next off-season.

As for Timmins, I'll come back to his draft record as being above average. The average team's draft produces about one career NHLer per year. Two NHLers is a good draft. The odds of a 1st round pick becoming an NHLer are good, but for the most part, the best ones tend to be picks in the top 10-15. Picks in the lower half of the first round are crapshoots. Picks in the 2nd and 3rd round maybe have a 20-30% chance of becoming regular NHLers and picks in lower rounds are all longshots. I've gone though this before but let's look back at what TT has done:

- 2012: Galchenyuk has played more NHL games than any other player from this draft and has more points than all but Forsberg. It was just a really weak draft year. The rest of the top 4 were Yakupov, Ryan Murray, and Griffin Reinhart. That's awful. Galchenyuk is clearly the best of that lot. Yes, Forsberg and Rielly came later but Grigorenko was also a flop. Timmins found part-time NHLer Charles Hudon as well and still did better than 90% of the other teams in this draft.

- 2013: McCarron was a bad pick, but the story there is that the choice was driven by Bergevin wanting to get bigger, and he was not TT's choice. That said, it's not like anyone great came after McCarron. The best player in the 2nd round was Lehkonen, and we got him. The draft had a lot of great talent at the top, but when you're picking 25, there just wasn't anything left to choose from. TT still found 4 guys who made the NHL, including 3 who played over 200 games (Lehkonen, DLR, Andrighetto). Again, better than most of his colleagues did if you look at who was chosen from pick 25 onwards.

- 2014: bad draft, but again, who was there when TT picked at 26? Scherbak was a bust, but so were the majority of the players picked after him. Best players in the rest of the 1st round and 2nd round were Barbashev and Christian Dvorak, and otherwise, they're all role players or never-was players.

- 2015: another bad draft, but if you sense the theme, Juulsen was chosen at 26. Had to pick stars when you're that low. Best of the next round included Aho, Carlo, and Dunn, so there were a few good players but most of the picks in the 50 that followed Juulsen were also bad choices. Again, it's a crapshoot in those areas of the draft. Vejdemo could still turn into a role player for us.

- 2016: Sergachev was a great pick at #9, we just traded him. Bitten was dealt for Gustav Olofsson, who is still with the organization. Mete is an NHLer and a srong pick for 3100 overall. This was a decently good draft for TT, we just never saw the reward of having Sergachev here. Imagine if he was, he would have instantly fixed our biggest hole.

- 2017: Poehling is a fringe NHLer right now but again, we were choosing at #25 and no one after Poehling has played more than 80 games in the NHL yet save for Jokiharju. Brook, Fleury, and Primeau are all still potentially guys who could be NHL regulars and Primeau could end up being the steal of the draft if he's our next starter after Price.

- 2018: When all is said and done, this could be a master class for us, similar to when TT nailed 2007 (McDonagh, Subban, Pacioretty...). Kotkaniemi is clearly an NHLer, Romanov is clearly an NHLer (and a pick that went against every single draft pundit's consensus), and Ylonen is pretty darn close. Harris has blossomed very well in college and even Olofsson has an outside chance. I think we'll see at least 3 regular NHLer's from this draft year, maybe 4. That's an outstanding draft.

- 2019: Too early to tell, but Caufield, Struble, Norlinder, Fairbrother, and Harvey-Pinard have all progressed better than expected. There's a lot of promise here.

- 2020: too early to tell for sure, but I'd put odds of their becoming regular NHLer's at around 80% for Guhle, 30% for Tuch, and 10% for Farrell. Those are our three best picks.

 

All in all, I'll come back to the point that TT has really done well with every top 10 choice he's ever had: Price, Galchenyuk, Sergachev, and Kotkaniemi. You can nitpick that there may have been 1-2 players better than them in retrospect, but he didn't flop with any of those choices. In the 11-16 range, he's added McDonagh, Caufield, and Guhle. Past that, there have been bad picks (Leblanc, McCarron, etc.) but there have also been nice finds deeper in the draft (Subban, Gallagher, Halak, Primeau, Mete, etc.). I continue to believe people over-estimate what picks you can make when you're outside the top 10-15. Yes, you can cherry pick that there's a Nik Lidstrom or Pavel Datsyuk or so on out there, but those guys are diamonds in the rough, not regular occurrences. Timmins found players like Subban and Lehkonen and Gallagher, who were clearly the best finds of their rounds and perhaps the rest of the draft after them. I have confidence that he is a much better judge of talent than MB.

 

Agree with a lot of your posts and definitely this one BigTed. I think TT has done a great job with the picks. I think Ylonen will be another year away but like how he is playing in Laval. Looks like KK played a strong game tonight which I am very happy to see. Looking forward to the future!

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16 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

I

- 2018: When all is said and done, this could be a master class for us, similar to when TT nailed 2007 (McDonagh, Subban, Pacioretty...). Kotkaniemi is clearly an NHLer, Romanov is clearly an NHLer (and a pick that went against every single draft pundit's consensus), and Ylonen is pretty darn close. Harris has blossomed very well in college and even Olofsson has an outside chance. I think we'll see at least 3 regular NHLer's from this draft year, maybe 4. That's an outstanding draft.

 

 

This was a horrible pick, he had multiple option at this point, Brady Tkachuk would look fantastic on our first line of a fringe second line center like KK. He could have traded down a few spots and still got KK. Romanov I grant you was a legit great pick but we totally dropped the ball on KK

Edited by 26NCounting
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8 hours ago, maas_art said:

Very interesting.  Im actually surprised they would do this mid-season (since they didnt do it  at the same time as Claude/Muller) but I wonder if they wanted to wait & see what DD thought.

I still am wondering about Richardson, who controls our defense but i guess we shall see. 

I posted this a few days ago, but it was clear that Price needed a change. Either he needed a change of scenery or at least a change of coach. It looks obvious that with his contract and poor play, we weren't getting value on a trade right now, so this move makes sense.

I would agree with you that maybe they wanted DD to get is feet wet and see what he thought. I also wonder if Burke is already in Canada now and started his quarantine. If you knew you were going to bring in a guy from the US, then it probably took a bit of time for him to sort out his paperwork to be able to cross the border permanently (not easy during COVID) and if the Habs knew that was going to be a week to sort out plus 14 more days to quarantine, there likely wasn't as much urgency to fire Waite. It's still possible MB and DD made that decision at the time CJ was fired but it just took more time to enact because of COVID issues.

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42 minutes ago, 26NCounting said:

This was a horrible pick, he had multiple option at this point, Brady Tkachuk would look fantastic on our first line of a fringe second line center like KK. He could have traded down a few spots and still got KK. Romanov I grant you was a legit great pick but we totally dropped the ball on KK

I definitely would not say he dropped the ball. I still remember the debate before this draft and there weren't a ton of Habs fans in favor of drafting Tkachuk back then. Most of the debate centered around whether we should go with the best pure scorer in Zadina vs. the up-and-coming center in Kotkaniemi. I think thus far we made the better choice of those two. There was also some question of whether we'd reach a bit to take a defenceman like Boqvist, Quinn, or Bouchard, but again, the consensus was that those players were lower down the list and not as strong a pick as JK. Lastly, there were some who supported looking at a North American forward like Tkachuk or Hayton (who was considered to be even more of a surprise pick at #5 when Arizone chose him). Those were basically the options at the time and even today, no one else is really in the discussion.

So where are we today? I wouldn't swap out JK for Zadina or Hayton or Boqvist or Bouchard. The only two guys you can debate about are Quinn and Tkachuk. In Quinn's case, he's clearly a capable defenceman offensively and fits the mould of a modern NHL defenceman. That said, he's weak defensively and needs some work to mature his game. I would still say JK is the better choice for us. As far as Tkachuk goes, he is absolutely the player who has performed better for the first two and a half years. But that isn't factoring in a few things to just say that outright:

1. Kotkaniemi was one of the youngest players in his draft class. He was born in July 2000, whereas Tkachuk was one of the oldest, having been born in September 1999. Not much of a difference if you're talking about a 34 year-old vs. a 35 year-old. But at 18, that one year of development can be huge in terms of experience.

2. Tkachuk was a lot more physically mature. He was a big guy playing in North America already, whereas JK had to come over here from Europe and adjust, and he clearly is still in the process of developing physically. So perhaps a bit more expected that Tkachuk would be physically ready for the NHL right away, whereas Kotkaniemi has more potential to improve on size/strength and adjustment to the North American game. Look at Sasha Barkov as another Finnish center who took some time to adjust to the NHL but is now dominant.

3. Kotkaniemi is a center. Tkachuk is a winger. A good center has more value than a good winger. Remember that at the time, we didn't yet have Suzuki and we had just traded for Domi, who was being used as a winger in Arizona. There were zero clear center options long-term for us past Danault, and MB was taking a lot of heat for not having found any centers (after the Drouin reach). Not sure if anyone remembers MB complaining about how it was hard to make trades and how it was hard to draft good players? Wasn't that long ago. Imagine where we would be today if you subtract Suzuki and Kotkaniemi from the mix, even if you add Tkachuk to the roster. We'd be using Danault as a center and maybe Drouin still. Maybe we'd have hung onto Domi instead of trading for Anderson. Maybe we'd be trying to force Poehling into the 2C slot instead of giving him time to develop. I've gone over time and again how it is very hard to find stars outside of the top 10-15 picks. If you want to find a guy with a shot at being a top-line center via the draft, you've got to take your shot when you're picking near the top. Would you rather have Domi-Tkachuk right now or Kotkaniemi-Anderson? I'd rather have what we have.

So I think it's easy to say Tkachuk is the better player now, but he's the guy who was more likely to have an effect right away all along. Everyone knew Kotkaniemi was going to take a bit longer to develop and that there was some risk there. But he addresses a more important position in the line-up and fills a much bigger hole in our organizational depth. You can go out there and trade for a Josh Anderson, who IMO is just as good as Tkachuk. But it's very difficult to go out and find a top 6 center under the age of 23. Tkachuk is a brutal defensive player and he's undisciplined. He has his faults as well. If I were to go back and re-draft 2018, with Dahlin and Svechnikov already gone, I would absolutely re-draft Kotkaniemi at 3. I think he still has the potential to become a better player than Tkachuk given that he's younger and has more room for physical growth, and I would absolutely prefer to have the center than the winger.

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1 hour ago, BigTed3 said:

I definitely would not say he dropped the ball. I still remember the debate before this draft and there weren't a ton of Habs fans in favor of drafting Tkachuk back then. Most of the debate centered around whether we should go with the best pure scorer in Zadina vs. the up-and-coming center in Kotkaniemi. I think thus far we made the better choice of those two. There was also some question of whether we'd reach a bit to take a defenceman like Boqvist, Quinn, or Bouchard, but again, the consensus was that those players were lower down the list and not as strong a pick as JK. Lastly, there were some who supported looking at a North American forward like Tkachuk or Hayton (who was considered to be even more of a surprise pick at #5 when Arizone chose him). Those were basically the options at the time and even today, no one else is really in the discussion.

So where are we today? I wouldn't swap out JK for Zadina or Hayton or Boqvist or Bouchard. The only two guys you can debate about are Quinn and Tkachuk. In Quinn's case, he's clearly a capable defenceman offensively and fits the mould of a modern NHL defenceman. That said, he's weak defensively and needs some work to mature his game. I would still say JK is the better choice for us. As far as Tkachuk goes, he is absolutely the player who has performed better for the first two and a half years. But that isn't factoring in a few things to just say that outright:

1. Kotkaniemi was one of the youngest players in his draft class. He was born in July 2000, whereas Tkachuk was one of the oldest, having been born in September 1999. Not much of a difference if you're talking about a 34 year-old vs. a 35 year-old. But at 18, that one year of development can be huge in terms of experience.

2. Tkachuk was a lot more physically mature. He was a big guy playing in North America already, whereas JK had to come over here from Europe and adjust, and he clearly is still in the process of developing physically. So perhaps a bit more expected that Tkachuk would be physically ready for the NHL right away, whereas Kotkaniemi has more potential to improve on size/strength and adjustment to the North American game. Look at Sasha Barkov as another Finnish center who took some time to adjust to the NHL but is now dominant.

3. Kotkaniemi is a center. Tkachuk is a winger. A good center has more value than a good winger. Remember that at the time, we didn't yet have Suzuki and we had just traded for Domi, who was being used as a winger in Arizona. There were zero clear center options long-term for us past Danault, and MB was taking a lot of heat for not having found any centers (after the Drouin reach). Not sure if anyone remembers MB complaining about how it was hard to make trades and how it was hard to draft good players? Wasn't that long ago. Imagine where we would be today if you subtract Suzuki and Kotkaniemi from the mix, even if you add Tkachuk to the roster. We'd be using Danault as a center and maybe Drouin still. Maybe we'd have hung onto Domi instead of trading for Anderson. Maybe we'd be trying to force Poehling into the 2C slot instead of giving him time to develop. I've gone over time and again how it is very hard to find stars outside of the top 10-15 picks. If you want to find a guy with a shot at being a top-line center via the draft, you've got to take your shot when you're picking near the top. Would you rather have Domi-Tkachuk right now or Kotkaniemi-Anderson? I'd rather have what we have.

So I think it's easy to say Tkachuk is the better player now, but he's the guy who was more likely to have an effect right away all along. Everyone knew Kotkaniemi was going to take a bit longer to develop and that there was some risk there. But he addresses a more important position in the line-up and fills a much bigger hole in our organizational depth. You can go out there and trade for a Josh Anderson, who IMO is just as good as Tkachuk. But it's very difficult to go out and find a top 6 center under the age of 23. Tkachuk is a brutal defensive player and he's undisciplined. He has his faults as well. If I were to go back and re-draft 2018, with Dahlin and Svechnikov already gone, I would absolutely re-draft Kotkaniemi at 3. I think he still has the potential to become a better player than Tkachuk given that he's younger and has more room for physical growth, and I would absolutely prefer to have the center than the winger.

Very well said Ted! I agree KK was the right choice, even today. You can see the way he is developing that he will clearly be a much better player than what he has shown to date. KK is getting better and even a blind man can see the skill, shot, speed, and physical improvements he has made over the last 2 and a half years are paying off. Alexander Barkov had a similar trajectory to his career (I am not saying that KK will be Barkov just that patients is required to see just how is career will play out).

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Well the changes keep coming? Will there be more? I have posted before that there needs to be wholesale change in the coaching staff and I am sure Richardson is on the bubble at this time. Price is in a fog and hearing the same voice is not working. Maybe this change will make a difference. I thought Price looked better last night other than the goal he allowed. That looked a lot like what we have been seeing over the past several weeks. He was not square to the shot and his movement was on the slow side from the post. Hopefuly this change will be the voice needed to get Price back to where he can once again have fun playing and eliminate the lathargic movements we have seen from him lately.

I thought the defense played well last night especially Petry. I have been critical of his play over the past few weeks but last night he along with all of the defense looked good. The four minute penalty kill was excellent and a turning point in the game for sure. I am still not sure what is going on with KK as he seems to be lost on the ice and is not productive in any way? 

It is a work in progress and it will take time however I am impressed with the quick results over the past week and look forward to the continued effort on behalf of all concerned. The last game against the Jets was ours and we had an unfortunate start to the OT. That effort needs to be repeated tomorrow and Saturday for two much needed wins. I like what I see so far. Keep the faith everyone and stay positive.

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21 minutes ago, richard464 said:

Well the changes keep coming? Will there be more? I have posted before that there needs to be wholesale change in the coaching staff and I am sure Richardson is on the bubble at this time. Price is in a fog and hearing the same voice is not working. Maybe this change will make a difference. I thought Price looked better last night other than the goal he allowed. That looked a lot like what we have been seeing over the past several weeks. He was not square to the shot and his movement was on the slow side from the post. Hopefuly this change will be the voice needed to get Price back to where he can once again have fun playing and eliminate the lathargic movements we have seen from him lately.

I thought the defense played well last night especially Petry. I have been critical of his play over the past few weeks but last night he along with all of the defense looked good. The four minute penalty kill was excellent and a turning point in the game for sure. I am still not sure what is going on with KK as he seems to be lost on the ice and is not productive in any way? 

It is a work in progress and it will take time however I am impressed with the quick results over the past week and look forward to the continued effort on behalf of all concerned. The last game against the Jets was ours and we had an unfortunate start to the OT. That effort needs to be repeated tomorrow and Saturday for two much needed wins. I like what I see so far. Keep the faith everyone and stay positive.

Don't see how you can say KK was lost on the ice last night when it was clear that he was our best forward by a landslide! Think you are being overly critical of him IMO.

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32 minutes ago, richard464 said:

Well the changes keep coming? Will there be more? I have posted before that there needs to be wholesale change in the coaching staff and I am sure Richardson is on the bubble at this time. Price is in a fog and hearing the same voice is not working. Maybe this change will make a difference. I thought Price looked better last night other than the goal he allowed. That looked a lot like what we have been seeing over the past several weeks. He was not square to the shot and his movement was on the slow side from the post. Hopefuly this change will be the voice needed to get Price back to where he can once again have fun playing and eliminate the lathargic movements we have seen from him lately.

I thought the defense played well last night especially Petry. I have been critical of his play over the past few weeks but last night he along with all of the defense looked good. The four minute penalty kill was excellent and a turning point in the game for sure. I am still not sure what is going on with KK as he seems to be lost on the ice and is not productive in any way? 

It is a work in progress and it will take time however I am impressed with the quick results over the past week and look forward to the continued effort on behalf of all concerned. The last game against the Jets was ours and we had an unfortunate start to the OT. That effort needs to be repeated tomorrow and Saturday for two much needed wins. I like what I see so far. Keep the faith everyone and stay positive.

Have to disagree with your evaluation of KK, he was one of our best forwards last night. He does need to work on lower body strength for sure, but still young. Only 20. And for those that think we should of drafted Tkachuk. Kk is almost a year younger, and for anyone that watched the game last night, he is becoming more physical, his passes were NHL elite, he played well at both ends of the ice. He is a center...Let's see where this goes in the next 10 years 🙂

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42 minutes ago, richard464 said:

Well the changes keep coming? Will there be more? I have posted before that there needs to be wholesale change in the coaching staff and I am sure Richardson is on the bubble at this time. Price is in a fog and hearing the same voice is not working. Maybe this change will make a difference. I thought Price looked better last night other than the goal he allowed. That looked a lot like what we have been seeing over the past several weeks. He was not square to the shot and his movement was on the slow side from the post. Hopefuly this change will be the voice needed to get Price back to where he can once again have fun playing and eliminate the lathargic movements we have seen from him lately.

I thought the defense played well last night especially Petry. I have been critical of his play over the past few weeks but last night he along with all of the defense looked good. The four minute penalty kill was excellent and a turning point in the game for sure. I am still not sure what is going on with KK as he seems to be lost on the ice and is not productive in any way? 

It is a work in progress and it will take time however I am impressed with the quick results over the past week and look forward to the continued effort on behalf of all concerned. The last game against the Jets was ours and we had an unfortunate start to the OT. That effort needs to be repeated tomorrow and Saturday for two much needed wins. I like what I see so far. Keep the faith everyone and stay positive.

I think Dom D will want to put his own stamp on his coaching staff. If he thinks Luke R is the right guy then he will keep him so I agree that Luke R is being evaluated more so by Dom D. For gawd's sake that Weber - Chiarot pairing has to be broken up as per the analytics and our eyes. This next stretch of games is our most important, as we can solidify the playoff spot by essentially burying Vancouver and Calgary once we get over the Winnipeg hump. 

The team scared me last night - yes they played well but could not bury the puck and there were a few miscues on defence that provided open looks. I personally thought Romanov played a very confident game, and was encouraged by KK's possession abilities. Suzuki is stuck in 3rd gear at present - I hope the sophomore jinx ends soon.

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4 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

I definitely would not say he dropped the ball. I still remember the debate before this draft and there weren't a ton of Habs fans in favor of drafting Tkachuk back then. Most of the debate centered around whether we should go with the best pure scorer in Zadina vs. the up-and-coming center in Kotkaniemi. I think thus far we made the better choice of those two. There was also some question of whether we'd reach a bit to take a defenceman like Boqvist, Quinn, or Bouchard, but again, the consensus was that those players were lower down the list and not as strong a pick as JK. Lastly, there were some who supported looking at a North American forward like Tkachuk or Hayton (who was considered to be even more of a surprise pick at #5 when Arizone chose him). Those were basically the options at the time and even today, no one else is really in the discussion.

So where are we today? I wouldn't swap out JK for Zadina or Hayton or Boqvist or Bouchard. The only two guys you can debate about are Quinn and Tkachuk. In Quinn's case, he's clearly a capable defenceman offensively and fits the mould of a modern NHL defenceman. That said, he's weak defensively and needs some work to mature his game. I would still say JK is the better choice for us. As far as Tkachuk goes, he is absolutely the player who has performed better for the first two and a half years. But that isn't factoring in a few things to just say that outright:

1. Kotkaniemi was one of the youngest players in his draft class. He was born in July 2000, whereas Tkachuk was one of the oldest, having been born in September 1999. Not much of a difference if you're talking about a 34 year-old vs. a 35 year-old. But at 18, that one year of development can be huge in terms of experience.

2. Tkachuk was a lot more physically mature. He was a big guy playing in North America already, whereas JK had to come over here from Europe and adjust, and he clearly is still in the process of developing physically. So perhaps a bit more expected that Tkachuk would be physically ready for the NHL right away, whereas Kotkaniemi has more potential to improve on size/strength and adjustment to the North American game. Look at Sasha Barkov as another Finnish center who took some time to adjust to the NHL but is now dominant.

3. Kotkaniemi is a center. Tkachuk is a winger. A good center has more value than a good winger. Remember that at the time, we didn't yet have Suzuki and we had just traded for Domi, who was being used as a winger in Arizona. There were zero clear center options long-term for us past Danault, and MB was taking a lot of heat for not having found any centers (after the Drouin reach). Not sure if anyone remembers MB complaining about how it was hard to make trades and how it was hard to draft good players? Wasn't that long ago. Imagine where we would be today if you subtract Suzuki and Kotkaniemi from the mix, even if you add Tkachuk to the roster. We'd be using Danault as a center and maybe Drouin still. Maybe we'd have hung onto Domi instead of trading for Anderson. Maybe we'd be trying to force Poehling into the 2C slot instead of giving him time to develop. I've gone over time and again how it is very hard to find stars outside of the top 10-15 picks. If you want to find a guy with a shot at being a top-line center via the draft, you've got to take your shot when you're picking near the top. Would you rather have Domi-Tkachuk right now or Kotkaniemi-Anderson? I'd rather have what we have.

So I think it's easy to say Tkachuk is the better player now, but he's the guy who was more likely to have an effect right away all along. Everyone knew Kotkaniemi was going to take a bit longer to develop and that there was some risk there. But he addresses a more important position in the line-up and fills a much bigger hole in our organizational depth. You can go out there and trade for a Josh Anderson, who IMO is just as good as Tkachuk. But it's very difficult to go out and find a top 6 center under the age of 23. Tkachuk is a brutal defensive player and he's undisciplined. He has his faults as well. If I were to go back and re-draft 2018, with Dahlin and Svechnikov already gone, I would absolutely re-draft Kotkaniemi at 3. I think he still has the potential to become a better player than Tkachuk given that he's younger and has more room for physical growth, and I would absolutely prefer to have the center than the winger.

Really well said BT.  I would also say that im more than happy with JK. I still think he has the potential to be a Barkov type player. He's maturing slowly but you can see it almost every game - and you just get the sense he's really close. 

Both Hughes and Tkachuk - despite how good theyve been on their respective teams - would be much maligned had they been drafted here. I cannot imagine Julien and co letting either of them play the shoddy defensive games they have shown in Vancouver and Ottawa respectively.  Maybe - just maybe - hughes/weber would have worked (with weber making up for his mistakes) but even then, I think he'd be nailed to the bench or, more likely, told to reign in the offensive stuff and concentrate on defense. 

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19 minutes ago, maas_art said:

Really well said BT.  I would also say that im more than happy with JK. I still think he has the potential to be a Barkov type player. He's maturing slowly but you can see it almost every game - and you just get the sense he's really close. 

Both Hughes and Tkachuk - despite how good theyve been on their respective teams - would be much maligned had they been drafted here. I cannot imagine Julien and co letting either of them play the shoddy defensive games they have shown in Vancouver and Ottawa respectively.  Maybe - just maybe - hughes/weber would have worked (with weber making up for his mistakes) but even then, I think he'd be nailed to the bench or, more likely, told to reign in the offensive stuff and concentrate on defense. 

Yeah, it's always hard to tell how a player not on our team would perform in Montreal. The cynic in me says, "probably worse." :lol: But that's just years of the team not being able to turn first round draft picks into anything noteworthy.

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24 minutes ago, maas_art said:

Really well said BT.  I would also say that im more than happy with JK. I still think he has the potential to be a Barkov type player. He's maturing slowly but you can see it almost every game - and you just get the sense he's really close. 

Both Hughes and Tkachuk - despite how good theyve been on their respective teams - would be much maligned had they been drafted here. I cannot imagine Julien and co letting either of them play the shoddy defensive games they have shown in Vancouver and Ottawa respectively.  Maybe - just maybe - hughes/weber would have worked (with weber making up for his mistakes) but even then, I think he'd be nailed to the bench or, more likely, told to reign in the offensive stuff and concentrate on defense. 

Also important to consider that Hughes and Tkachuk walked onto teams that were bottom-feeders and not expected to do much. So there was much more opportunity and leash for them to be thrown into roles with big ice time. Tkachuk has been given a 1st-line role in Ottawa and Hughes a top-pairing D man. As you alluded to, there is a zero percent chance that would have happened here. Look at our D corps and how shoddy Chiarot has been as our top-pairing LHD and yet despite this, a young dynamic player like Romanov is being left on the third pairing. I highly doubt Tkachuk would be getting minutes ahead of Tatar, Gallagher, Anderson, or Drouin without first proving he could be successful in the bottom 6. And before anyone bashes Drouin or Tatar, you can look at how well Kotkaniemi has played (#1 on the team in terms of points per ice time) and yet he is still sitting behind Danault (0 goals in 21 games despite getting top wingers) on the depth chart. JK is still averaging 13 minutes and change a night, whereas Tkachuk is in the 18-19 minute range. I'm honestly not concerned about having drafted Kotkaniemi and while no one can predict how he'll fare from here, the evidence is that he's going to get better and that he still has a good shot at being a 60+ point top 6 center.

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 'Carey is still an excellent goalie...but he needs help'

Marc Bergevin says the decision to dismiss goaltending coach Stephane Waite on Tuesday was his own and he did not consult goaltender Carey Price in making it.


Interesting. I know Carey & Waite seemed close... wonder how Carey likes the move... 

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15 minutes ago, maas_art said:

 'Carey is still an excellent goalie...but he needs help'

Marc Bergevin says the decision to dismiss goaltending coach Stephane Waite on Tuesday was his own and he did not consult goaltender Carey Price in making it.


Interesting. I know Carey & Waite seemed close... wonder how Carey likes the move... 

It could be a message.....an elite goalie can't have the big let downs that Carey has had here and  there in his career. sure he has had moments of sheer brilliance but he has had plenty of times when he lets in the easy goals that does a lot to deflate a team and get coaches fired! no more Waite to hold his hand is kind of like put up or shut up for Carey right now.

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Saw some interesting stats on RDS regarding Price. He's traditionally been a below average to average goaltender in his first dozen starts of a season after which he seems to get it going. 

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38 minutes ago, H_T_L said:

Saw some interesting stats on RDS regarding Price. He's traditionally been a below average to average goaltender in his first dozen starts of a season after which he seems to get it going. 

There's a fine line between "cool as a cucumber" and "doesnt care" - dont get me wrong i KNOW he cares - but Carey plays that 'calm under pressure" role so well that sometimes I think he's a bit off until he gets into the zone.

I am pretty sure he'll rebound. The nice thing is that we have enough depth and firepower now that we can have him play "slightly better than average' and be just fine. We dont need God-Mode-Price until the playoffs.  

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