Jump to content
The Official Site of the Montréal Canadiens
Canadiens de Montreal

2020-21 State Of The Habs


H_T_L
 Share

Recommended Posts

56 minutes ago, ChiLla said:

At the risk of arguing semantics, I think there are generational players like McDavid who essentially have their own category. Then there are guys with a certain game-breaking ability based on being exceptional/elite in one or more specific aspects of the game (e.g. Laine, Matthews, Kane etc.), followed by legit first-line forwards based on individual production. Who belongs into which specific category can certainly be debated and is ultimately subjective. What we can all agree on, I think, is that we don't have any generational talent on the roster and we're also lacking players who can single-handedly influence/decide the outcome of a game (with the exception of our goalies, but that probably applies to any other team in the league). I love Gallagher and he's without a doubt a first-line forward but I don't think he can be described as elite, as there's still a bit of a gap there IMO.

I definitely wouldn't group Laine with Matthews ect. Laine is way to much a one dimensional player he's more of a younger Phil Kessel even Kessel probably had a more rounded game.  I say that also into that Laine away from the pp isn't really a game breaker IMO. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, BigTed3 said:

You're right that Gallagher has great 5v5 numbers and in fact, he is a pretty good goal scorer as well. He doesn't fit the concept of a sniper but he gets his goals nonetheless. Where he falls out of the elite category for me are the following:

- He isn't a guy I think you build a line or team around the way you can say that about a Kucherov, Pastrnak, Ovechkin, etc. He's worked out really well with Danault and Tatar, but I don't think to myself that you can put Gallagher with anyone and the line will have success.

- He's been injured a lot in his career and not just that, but he also plays a style of game that leads to a high risk of future injury. He's a small guy and he gets battered a lot and it gives pause as to his future value on that account.

- Gallagher doesn't provide a ton of value at special teams. Yes, his 5v5 play is top-line worthy, and I've said that I agree with you that he's a clear first-line player. But he hasn't been a huge PP asset over his career and he doesn't play the PK really. So I don't think we can just say he's on a top 5v5 line and therefore he's elite, he doesn't contribute as much as some of those other guys I listed in other facets of the game.

Everyone will have their own definition of elite, but again to me, I'm thinking of guys who are top 5 maybe top 10 in the league at center, D, or wing or top 5 goalies. I'm thinking of guys where if you were to dissolve all the teams and have a re-draft of everyone that would be someone's top choice (ie one of the first 31 players re-drafted). I like Gallagher, I think he's a valuable asset, I think he's a first-line player, but I simply don't think he's elite the way others are. (also just to be clear, I wasn't saying everyone on my list was elite either, just showing that I have a long-enough list of guys I'd consider more valuable than Gallagher at wing).

I get what you are saying and that we all have our own definitions of elite. I do want to point out just a couple of things though. First off you said Gallagher's injury history is part of the equation but looking back through his injuries how many are "fluke/player inflicted" broke hand twice now from being hit by puck, broken jaw last season due to cross-checked to the face. So while he has had a lot of injuries they are not of the normal wear and tear types from his playing style.

The thing I disagree with about your definition of elite is IMO an "elite" player is a player who's skill and stats in one or more areas of the game exceed many of his peers, ie is top 5-10 in the league over several seasons. These players don't always drive offensive plays. Danault for example is an elite defensive center. He like Gallagher drives the play in a different way than the players you named above. Those guys are elite scorers but most suck or are average defensively, others are too soft or not great skaters or whatever but somehow that doesn't diminish the definition of elite for them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I should reiterate this part

The thing I disagree with about your definition of elite is IMO an "elite" player is a player who's skill and stats in one or more areas of the game exceed many of his peers, ie is top 5-10 in the league over several seasons.

It should read as follows

The thing I disagree with about your definition of elite is IMO an "elite" player is a player who's skill and stats in one or more areas of the game exceed many of his peers, ie is top 5-10 in the league over several seasons in these categories not just the league scoring leaders.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, ChiLla said:

At the risk of arguing semantics, I think there are generational players like McDavid who essentially have their own category. Then there are guys with a certain game-breaking ability based on being exceptional/elite in one or more specific aspects of the game (e.g. Laine, Matthews, Kane etc.), followed by legit first-line forwards based on individual production. Who belongs into which specific category can certainly be debated and is ultimately subjective. What we can all agree on, I think, is that we don't have any generational talent on the roster and we're also lacking players who can single-handedly influence/decide the outcome of a game (with the exception of our goalies, but that probably applies to any other team in the league). I love Gallagher and he's without a doubt a first-line forward but I don't think he can be described as elite, as there's still a bit of a gap there IMO.

Bang on.

I would say we havent had a generational talent since Lafleur.  Obviously you could argue a few of our goalies were up there but goal is a weird position so its hard to lump into that argument. 

We've had several game-breakers, most recently Subban, and we may have a few on the roster who arent quite there yet, (JK, CC, Suzuki?) but right now, we mostly just have good quality players like Gallagher or Anderson who may be 1st liners but lack the consistency to be considered game-breakers.  

Unfortunately all our game-breaking talent is either too young, or too old (Staal, Weber, Perry)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, CaptWelly said:

I definitely wouldn't group Laine with Matthews ect. Laine is way to much a one dimensional player he's more of a younger Phil Kessel even Kessel probably had a more rounded game.  I say that also into that Laine away from the pp isn't really a game breaker IMO. 

But in fairness, he's still really young.  Its possible he takes on more of a game-breaker role as he hits his mid 20s although I would agree that at this moment he's not quite consistent enough to be considered a true game-breaker. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, CaptWelly said:

A lot of "elite' scorers don't play PK including McDavid. Which in my opinion makes a player a complete player is being able to play all aspects pf the game. So you are correct everyone has their own opinion on this. Gallagher actually has been effective on the pp in the past. His being in front of the goalie and pestering the defense has lead to a lot of goals , maybe he didn't score them himself but he may have caused them to happen. I do believe he could play on any line. A player like Gallagher also drives play by his own example and energy sparking the team and other players. There are a lot of pure scorers that if they aren't scoring "Laine" that really then offer nothing else. If a player is only effective on the PP personally I don't consider them actually "elite". A player has to be able to play the whole game , PP's aren't a given. In the playoffs there usually are less. Size and possible injuries well Lindros was hurt a lot! It's when they are in the line up that counts. Yszerman and Sakic became 'Elite" IMO latter when they both were playing PP & PK. Scotty Bowman first thing in Detroit talked to Stevie and said you probably won't score as many points but now you'll win cups and he became an overall better player. From faceoffs to PK's ect. Personally I'd take Draisital over McDavid because he does play in more situations and is more well rounded. 

 

1 hour ago, ChiLla said:

At the risk of arguing semantics, I think there are generational players like McDavid who essentially have their own category. Then there are guys with a certain game-breaking ability based on being exceptional/elite in one or more specific aspects of the game (e.g. Laine, Matthews, Kane etc.), followed by legit first-line forwards based on individual production. Who belongs into which specific category can certainly be debated and is ultimately subjective. What we can all agree on, I think, is that we don't have any generational talent on the roster and we're also lacking players who can single-handedly influence/decide the outcome of a game (with the exception of our goalies, but that probably applies to any other team in the league). I love Gallagher and he's without a doubt a first-line forward but I don't think he can be described as elite, as there's still a bit of a gap there IMO.

I agree with both of you to some degree. I think an elite player needs to be able to influence the game and be able to take it over at any point. When I think of who we've had in the past couple of decades who could do that, I think of Kovalev as being elite, I think of Subban as being elite, and I think of Price in his prime as being elite. Those guys could single-handedly shift the direction of a game with their own individual play no matter how anyone else was playing. That's pretty much it for me going back over the past 25 years. We've certainly had a lot of other strong players who were "first-line" or equivalent, like Pacioretty, Markov, Koivu, etc. but these weren't guys who dominate games the same way, and Gallagher falls into that latter group for me more than the first group.

Personally I don't think a guy has to be an effective PKer to be considered elite. If you're McDavid or Crosby or Draisaitl and you can take over games at ES and PP, you don't necessarily need to be on the PK to be elite, although I agree that if you can add that to your game to, it's a plus. In terms of contribution to a PP, there are actually advanced stats that can measure how well a PP works with a guy on the ice (ie not just whether he scores himself or not). And yes, Gallagher is one of our top 5 PP guys on the Habs, but compared to the rest of the league, he's very average there. To put things in perspective, when Gallagher is on the ice at 5v4, we can expect to score about 6.31 goals for every 60 minutes of PP time. Compare that to some of the league's better players who are near the top for this stat (expected goals for per ice time)...

- Mackinnon 9.68 expected goals per 60, :Landeskog 9.55; Rantanen 9.12...

- Alex Chiasson 9.37

- Trocheck 9.1

- Nylander 8.86

- Panarin 8.8

- Kadri 8.69

- Dubois 8.65

- Mark Stone 8.5

 

Among forwards who have played at least 50 minutes of PP time this year, Gallagher ranks 115th out of 219 players, so he's a middle-of-the-pack performer on the PP and I certainly don't think the Habs PP is booming. Again, completely agreed that it's more effective for us with him out there than not out there, but he's not driving the PP to be top-tier and his numbers there are average. Then throw on top of that that he doesn't play the PK either. So he's a strong puck-possession player at 5v5 and a good goal producer there, he's slightly below-average on the PP, and he doesn't play the PK. It doesn't mean he's not a good player, and as we've all said, he's clearly one of the 62 best wingers in the league and as such, a true first-line player, but he's not a game-changer or game dominating player by himself. If we want to say that being a top-line player is in itself elite, then that's up to one's own definition of what elite means, but he's not a top 5-10 winger in the NHL in my books.

At the end of the day, my point comes back not to Gallagher himself but to the fact that the Habs as a team under Bergevin really haven't counted on elite players. We haven't had a true threat to win a scoring title in who knows how long. We haven't had too many guys nominated for major awards. So all I'm saying is that it's very hard to win a Cup when you don't have elite talent somewhere in your line-up. It's not to say having it will guarantee you go anywhere, but you look at pas 10-15 Cup winners and they're almost all teams that had very strong regular seasons. They almost all features superstars. Tampa with Kucherov, Stamkos, Hedman. Washington with Ovi. Pittsburgh with Crosby and Malkin. Chicago with Toews, Kane, Hossa, and Keith. LA with Kopitar and Doughty. Boston with Bergeron, Marchand, and Chara. The Ducks with Getzlaf, Perry, Selanne, Pronger, and Niedermayer. Even St. Louis a couple of years ago had ROR, Tarasenko, and Pietrangelo. I look at our roster and I don't see a single player whom I would label as being as good as any one of those players Iisted the years they won the Cup. Who is our "most elite" player right now? Is it Gallagher, whom we've just gone over? Is it Petry, who started strong but has faded as he wears down because he can't keep up with the minutes being given to him? Is it Tatar? Drouin? Suzuki or Kotkaniemi? Is it Price or Weber? We have a good collection of talent. We have pieces on which to build a winner. But we don't have any elite talent any more. We don't have a game changer. And when you don't have that, you have to be pretty darn strong in all facets of the game. You need to have a lot of pieces working well, and honestly my own personal bias is that you need to have a strong D corps. You look at a team like Carolina, who have some great forwards like Aho, Trocheck, and Svechnikov. They're forward group is better than ours too, but they also don't quite have a McDavid or Crosby level player. But they have maybe the strongest D corps in the league and so you have very few minutes of ice time where that team is being taken advantage of. They have great top-end talent on D with Slavin and Hamilton, but they also have strength down the rest of their D corps. There are no shifts where it's Chiarot-Weber being skated around or Mete-Ouellet being out-muscled.

So all I'm saying is this... you can't win being a middle of the pack team. You can't finish as a fringe playoff team every year and pick 15th overall and expect to find elite talent. Either you need to have years where you hit rock-bottom and re-build around a star or two or else you need to be all in on a Cup window. It means that we needed to have traded Weber and Price two years ago and looked at dealing Tatar or Danault or Gallagher or Petry this year or next year. You need to have a ton of chips in the prospect and 1st round draft pick pool to be able to hit on a few guys at the same time. I've said it before, but Carolina is being built the right way. The Rangers are going to be strong soon. The Devils are going to get stronger soon. Ottawa is maybe going to be the powerhouse in our division in 3-5 years, as long as their owner doesn't shortchange them again. And the Habs will continue to be a middling fringe playoff team, playing second-fiddle to TB and Tor and Bos now and then playing second-fiddle to Ott and Fla and Det in a few years as those teams rise above us with elite prospects. We remain in no-man's land under Bergevin. No plan to become an elite team. Never hitting as low a low as some of the other teams but never having a real chance at getting to a Cup either.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

 

I agree with both of you to some degree. I think an elite player needs to be able to influence the game and be able to take it over at any point. When I think of who we've had in the past couple of decades who could do that, I think of Kovalev as being elite, I think of Subban as being elite, and I think of Price in his prime as being elite. Those guys could single-handedly shift the direction of a game with their own individual play no matter how anyone else was playing. That's pretty much it for me going back over the past 25 years. We've certainly had a lot of other strong players who were "first-line" or equivalent, like Pacioretty, Markov, Koivu, etc. but these weren't guys who dominate games the same way, and Gallagher falls into that latter group for me more than the first group.

Personally I don't think a guy has to be an effective PKer to be considered elite. If you're McDavid or Crosby or Draisaitl and you can take over games at ES and PP, you don't necessarily need to be on the PK to be elite, although I agree that if you can add that to your game to, it's a plus. In terms of contribution to a PP, there are actually advanced stats that can measure how well a PP works with a guy on the ice (ie not just whether he scores himself or not). And yes, Gallagher is one of our top 5 PP guys on the Habs, but compared to the rest of the league, he's very average there. To put things in perspective, when Gallagher is on the ice at 5v4, we can expect to score about 6.31 goals for every 60 minutes of PP time. Compare that to some of the league's better players who are near the top for this stat (expected goals for per ice time)...

- Mackinnon 9.68 expected goals per 60, :Landeskog 9.55; Rantanen 9.12...

- Alex Chiasson 9.37

- Trocheck 9.1

- Nylander 8.86

- Panarin 8.8

- Kadri 8.69

- Dubois 8.65

- Mark Stone 8.5

 

Among forwards who have played at least 50 minutes of PP time this year, Gallagher ranks 115th out of 219 players, so he's a middle-of-the-pack performer on the PP and I certainly don't think the Habs PP is booming. Again, completely agreed that it's more effective for us with him out there than not out there, but he's not driving the PP to be top-tier and his numbers there are average. Then throw on top of that that he doesn't play the PK either. So he's a strong puck-possession player at 5v5 and a good goal producer there, he's slightly below-average on the PP, and he doesn't play the PK. It doesn't mean he's not a good player, and as we've all said, he's clearly one of the 62 best wingers in the league and as such, a true first-line player, but he's not a game-changer or game dominating player by himself. If we want to say that being a top-line player is in itself elite, then that's up to one's own definition of what elite means, but he's not a top 5-10 winger in the NHL in my books.

At the end of the day, my point comes back not to Gallagher himself but to the fact that the Habs as a team under Bergevin really haven't counted on elite players. We haven't had a true threat to win a scoring title in who knows how long. We haven't had too many guys nominated for major awards. So all I'm saying is that it's very hard to win a Cup when you don't have elite talent somewhere in your line-up. It's not to say having it will guarantee you go anywhere, but you look at pas 10-15 Cup winners and they're almost all teams that had very strong regular seasons. They almost all features superstars. Tampa with Kucherov, Stamkos, Hedman. Washington with Ovi. Pittsburgh with Crosby and Malkin. Chicago with Toews, Kane, Hossa, and Keith. LA with Kopitar and Doughty. Boston with Bergeron, Marchand, and Chara. The Ducks with Getzlaf, Perry, Selanne, Pronger, and Niedermayer. Even St. Louis a couple of years ago had ROR, Tarasenko, and Pietrangelo. I look at our roster and I don't see a single player whom I would label as being as good as any one of those players Iisted the years they won the Cup. Who is our "most elite" player right now? Is it Gallagher, whom we've just gone over? Is it Petry, who started strong but has faded as he wears down because he can't keep up with the minutes being given to him? Is it Tatar? Drouin? Suzuki or Kotkaniemi? Is it Price or Weber? We have a good collection of talent. We have pieces on which to build a winner. But we don't have any elite talent any more. We don't have a game changer. And when you don't have that, you have to be pretty darn strong in all facets of the game. You need to have a lot of pieces working well, and honestly my own personal bias is that you need to have a strong D corps. You look at a team like Carolina, who have some great forwards like Aho, Trocheck, and Svechnikov. They're forward group is better than ours too, but they also don't quite have a McDavid or Crosby level player. But they have maybe the strongest D corps in the league and so you have very few minutes of ice time where that team is being taken advantage of. They have great top-end talent on D with Slavin and Hamilton, but they also have strength down the rest of their D corps. There are no shifts where it's Chiarot-Weber being skated around or Mete-Ouellet being out-muscled.

So all I'm saying is this... you can't win being a middle of the pack team. You can't finish as a fringe playoff team every year and pick 15th overall and expect to find elite talent. Either you need to have years where you hit rock-bottom and re-build around a star or two or else you need to be all in on a Cup window. It means that we needed to have traded Weber and Price two years ago and looked at dealing Tatar or Danault or Gallagher or Petry this year or next year. You need to have a ton of chips in the prospect and 1st round draft pick pool to be able to hit on a few guys at the same time. I've said it before, but Carolina is being built the right way. The Rangers are going to be strong soon. The Devils are going to get stronger soon. Ottawa is maybe going to be the powerhouse in our division in 3-5 years, as long as their owner doesn't shortchange them again. And the Habs will continue to be a middling fringe playoff team, playing second-fiddle to TB and Tor and Bos now and then playing second-fiddle to Ott and Fla and Det in a few years as those teams rise above us with elite prospects. We remain in no-man's land under Bergevin. No plan to become an elite team. Never hitting as low a low as some of the other teams but never having a real chance at getting to a Cup either.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I agree that we don't have a McDavid or Crosby but that wasn't the discussion. They are generational players not elite players. Those are the type of players that only come around once every 20 years for a reason. I will touch on players I view in our lineup as elite because they are in the top ot the league in their particular area of expertise. Gallagher, was agree to disagree on lol. Price IMO is still elite but is more worn out mentally from years of frustratingly ineffective defenses in front of him. We see games and stretches of games where Price has absolutely stolen or kept us in games we had no business being in. Even this year while most of the season has been average or below his normal level he has kept games close that should have been out of reach. We learned last week that he had been playing injured and Weber may be as well, my suspicion is that they have both been injured since the beginning of March as that is when their play really started going downhill. I suspect Prices injury is groin or hip related as he has had issues in the past and those are the most common among goalies. I suspect Weber's if injured is core related as he is unable to do a lot of twisting (checking, shooting and physical battles). I think Weber feels like he can play through it even though he clearly isn't as effective. I also believe that IF near the end of the season we are like 6-10 points ahead with 3 games left the coaches will rest both Price and Weber heading into the playoffs. Danault is an elite defensive center, I don't think there are many others in the league capable of completely shutting down the likes of Crosby and Malkin for an entire 4 game series or consistently shutting down the likes of Matthew's, McDavid or Draisaitl night in and night out. The only other players I believe to be elite on out roster is Caufield, Romanov, Suzuki and KK except it is too early to say they are yet. I see a lot of Barkov in KK and he is progressing at about the same pace as Barkov did. Zuke has fallen off a bit lately but it is still his sophomore year so it is to be expected. Romanov is showing his potential especially lately with his skating. Caufield has proven over and over again that he can score at any level and his size is an asset not a hindrance, I expect more of the same once he get his shot in the NHL.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, CaptWelly said:

I definitely wouldn't group Laine with Matthews ect. Laine is way to much a one dimensional player he's more of a younger Phil Kessel even Kessel probably had a more rounded game.  I say that also into that Laine away from the pp isn't really a game breaker IMO. 

It was just an example, and like I said in my original post, individual categories are absolutely debatable and that's fine. I do think Laine is unique in a sense and that he can be a game-changing factor at even strength though, as his recent highlight goal shows:

Is he doing that regulary enough to be considered truly elite? Probably not. His shot, which wasn't even a factor here, is clearly elite though. That doesn't change the fact that if given the choice, I'd take Matthews over Laine any day of the week, so I tend to agree that they probably don't belong in the same category. I also don't think that Matthews has any business in McDavid or prime Crosby territory, so there's that, but I also admit that I may be biased when it comes to Leafs players :lol:

4 hours ago, maas_art said:

Bang on.

I would say we havent had a generational talent since Lafleur.  Obviously you could argue a few of our goalies were up there but goal is a weird position so its hard to lump into that argument. 

We've had several game-breakers, most recently Subban, and we may have a few on the roster who arent quite there yet, (JK, CC, Suzuki?) but right now, we mostly just have good quality players like Gallagher or Anderson who may be 1st liners but lack the consistency to be considered game-breakers.  

Unfortunately all our game-breaking talent is either too young, or too old (Staal, Weber, Perry)

Agreed, prime Subban – and arguably prime Price – were the most recent guys on our team who had the ability to just completely take over games. Kovalev, as BigTed pointed out, was another. Off the top of my head, I can't think of anybody else in recent history though and all three of them can be seen as somewhat controversial and definitely weren't loved unanimously by the fan base. The jury is still out on our kids and they could certainly turn into real difference-makers, but I have to admit that I have my reservations in all three cases. On paper, the entire narrative about scoring by committee and winning games by rolling four relatively even lines is great and all, but has it actually ever been done? We've been talking about this for years but IMO there's no way to win the Cup without elite talent, they're the guys that will be tipping the scales when it matters most and we (currently) just don't have them.

4 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

[...]

So all I'm saying is this... you can't win being a middle of the pack team. You can't finish as a fringe playoff team every year and pick 15th overall and expect to find elite talent. Either you need to have years where you hit rock-bottom and re-build around a star or two or else you need to be all in on a Cup window. It means that we needed to have traded Weber and Price two years ago and looked at dealing Tatar or Danault or Gallagher or Petry this year or next year. You need to have a ton of chips in the prospect and 1st round draft pick pool to be able to hit on a few guys at the same time. I've said it before, but Carolina is being built the right way. The Rangers are going to be strong soon. The Devils are going to get stronger soon. Ottawa is maybe going to be the powerhouse in our division in 3-5 years, as long as their owner doesn't shortchange them again. And the Habs will continue to be a middling fringe playoff team, playing second-fiddle to TB and Tor and Bos now and then playing second-fiddle to Ott and Fla and Det in a few years as those teams rise above us with elite prospects. We remain in no-man's land under Bergevin. No plan to become an elite team. Never hitting as low a low as some of the other teams but never having a real chance at getting to a Cup either.

A lot of good points in your post but the part in bold is what I was trying to get at in my post as well. Bergevin is right when he says that once you get into the playoffs, anything can happen. I'm also right when I say that once I play the lottery or start scanning beaches with a metal detector, anything can happen and I could get rich. That's not a sound strategy for success though, it's a truism that usually doesn't get you anywhere unless you're really darn lucky. And even if I bought a metal detector that somebody else had tremendous success with years ago, it's still a dumb idea because if the goal is to make money, there are more proven and reliable ways. OK, I'm losing track here, but what you described is essentially what we've been trying to do for I don't know how many years now and it clearly isn't working. It wasn't working 20 years ago and it still isn't. I get that fans aren't keen on rebuilds but what I'm seeing is a mediocre hockey team with plenty of holes that isn't going to win the Cup unless the stars miraculously align and a lot of things suddenly start going right for us, which isn't any different from the other teams I've seen in Montreal over the years. I realize that high draft picks are no guarantee for success but those draft picks turn into really good players more often than not and that's what helps building a winning team, not tinkering and acquiring veterans for chump change to fill holes. You can do all that once you have the core pieces in place, but Bergevin once again demonstrates that he lacks vision and isn't capable of building a winning team in this day and age. As long as he's around, we'll stay in this vicious circle of maybe getting into the playoffs, possibly winning a round, and ultimately getting squashed by better competition – without making real progress towards becoming a contender.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, ChiLla said:

Agreed, prime Subban – and arguably prime Price – were the most recent guys on our team who had the ability to just completely take over games. Kovalev, as BigTed pointed out, was another. Off the top of my head, I can't think of anybody else in recent history though and all three of them can be seen as somewhat controversial and definitely weren't loved unanimously by the fan base. The jury is still out on our kids and they could certainly turn into real difference-makers, but I have to admit that I have my reservations in all three cases. On paper, the entire narrative about scoring by committee and winning games by rolling four relatively even lines is great and all, but has it actually ever been done? We've been talking about this for years but IMO there's no way to win the Cup without elite talent, they're the guys that will be tipping the scales when it matters most and we (currently) just don't have them.

I think the 2011 bruins definitely fall into that category and you could argue the blues were too.  Both teams had some very special players in terms of what they bring but I dont know if i would call any of them gamebreaking.  Bergeron will beat you down, shift after shift - make you pay offensively or defensively and he scores extremely timely goals but he's not the kind of guy Id call gamebreaking. Definately elite as a Two-way-forward though.  Just like ROR in ST Louis.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, ChiLla said:

It was just an example, and like I said in my original post, individual categories are absolutely debatable and that's fine. I do think Laine is unique in a sense and that he can be a game-changing factor at even strength though, as his recent highlight goal shows:

Is he doing that regulary enough to be considered truly elite? Probably not. His shot, which wasn't even a factor here, is clearly elite though. That doesn't change the fact that if given the choice, I'd take Matthews over Laine any day of the week, so I tend to agree that they probably don't belong in the same category. I also don't think that Matthews has any business in McDavid or prime Crosby territory, so there's that, but I also admit that I may be biased when it comes to Leafs players :lol:

Agreed, prime Subban – and arguably prime Price – were the most recent guys on our team who had the ability to just completely take over games. Kovalev, as BigTed pointed out, was another. Off the top of my head, I can't think of anybody else in recent history though and all three of them can be seen as somewhat controversial and definitely weren't loved unanimously by the fan base. The jury is still out on our kids and they could certainly turn into real difference-makers, but I have to admit that I have my reservations in all three cases. On paper, the entire narrative about scoring by committee and winning games by rolling four relatively even lines is great and all, but has it actually ever been done? We've been talking about this for years but IMO there's no way to win the Cup without elite talent, they're the guys that will be tipping the scales when it matters most and we (currently) just don't have them.

A lot of good points in your post but the part in bold is what I was trying to get at in my post as well. Bergevin is right when he says that once you get into the playoffs, anything can happen. I'm also right when I say that once I play the lottery or start scanning beaches with a metal detector, anything can happen and I could get rich. That's not a sound strategy for success though, it's a truism that usually doesn't get you anywhere unless you're really darn lucky. And even if I bought a metal detector that somebody else had tremendous success with years ago, it's still a dumb idea because if the goal is to make money, there are more proven and reliable ways. OK, I'm losing track here, but what you described is essentially what we've been trying to do for I don't know how many years now and it clearly isn't working. It wasn't working 20 years ago and it still isn't. I get that fans aren't keen on rebuilds but what I'm seeing is a mediocre hockey team with plenty of holes that isn't going to win the Cup unless the stars miraculously align and a lot of things suddenly start going right for us, which isn't any different from the other teams I've seen in Montreal over the years. I realize that high draft picks are no guarantee for success but those draft picks turn into really good players more often than not and that's what helps building a winning team, not tinkering and acquiring veterans for chump change to fill holes. You can do all that once you have the core pieces in place, but Bergevin once again demonstrates that he lacks vision and isn't capable of building a winning team in this day and age. As long as he's around, we'll stay in this vicious circle of maybe getting into the playoffs, possibly winning a round, and ultimately getting squashed by better competition – without making real progress towards becoming a contender.

If it's winning by high draft picks by being bad for x amount of time than why aren't teams like Buffalo Arizona ect. fighting for the cup by now? You do have to have older vets for younger players to learn from and sometimes to take the pressure off the younger players. Rarely do all the young players become great at once all together.....maybe the Oilers in the 80's. How long and with how many top picks and very high other picks was Edmonton bad? I do think with Ken Holland there now things will get better but they still aren't a lock to win it all yet. Squashed did we get eliminated last year 0-4? Not what I remember. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, CaptWelly said:

If it's winning by high draft picks by being bad for x amount of time than why aren't teams like Buffalo Arizona ect. fighting for the cup by now? You do have to have older vets for younger players to learn from and sometimes to take the pressure off the younger players. Rarely do all the young players become great at once all together.....maybe the Oilers in the 80's. How long and with how many top picks and very high other picks was Edmonton bad? I do think with Ken Holland there now things will get better but they still aren't a lock to win it all yet. Squashed did we get eliminated last year 0-4? Not what I remember. 

Certainly its not JUST that - but very very few teams go all the way lately that didnt have a few really rough years in the not so distant past to get them a few really prime quality players. 

If edmonton had had a decent management they'd be perrenial cup contenders.  I mean look at their roster & imagine if they had gotten a decent return for Hall, Eberle, Strome, Schultz,etc. 


Heck, they purportedly almost gave us Draitsatl, Nurse + pick for Subban ( Mind you they would have kept Hall then). 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Elite talent, top talent, contending - we are not getting generational eliteness unless we absolutely tank or pull a Pollock trading Backstrom for a #1 pick so that latter isn't happening. We better strike some gems when picking in the #12-20 spot or trading in that range plus selling an asset at their peak like Petry in the next 2 years to fit higher. Plus like I say we need some IF's to come out of our current crop of youngsters. 

My Points in all of the following "TED" analysis are this - 1) There are teams that finish middle of the pack and can find enough talent with mid-level draft picks to contend, and supplement with good trades or free agency 2) There are many teams that rebuild, fall into the top draft choices and become continual failures - getting consistent top draft choices in a span of 2-3 losing years is not a recipe for contending success 3) Your chances of finding truly elite talent are increased by having some fortunate top 10 or higher picks - get a couple of them and you can have a nucleus for continuous contention. #2 and #3 are 50-50  4) I don't buy the argument that we have to finish as bottom feeders to contend, nor do I believe we have to reset - we have to develop our players properly, identify a core and trade / supplement by the proper free agents

Let's look at some of the contenders with top talent and see how they got there 

Carolina - Aho 2nd round #35, Niederreiter - trade but he was a #1 5th overall NYI, Svechnikov 1st round #2, Trocheck 3rd round #64 but came in a trade, Slavin 4th round #120, Pesce 3rd round # 66, Dougie Hamilton - acquired for a #1 5th overall Lindholm and #1 5th overall - Hanafin - My conclusion is that Carolina wasn't really built thru the draft - you could hardly argue that Svechnikov put them over the top - they had mediocre draft choices and got better by trades

Islanders - Barzal - 1st round 16th overall, Nelson 1st round - 30th overall, Bailey - 1st round - 9th overall, Beauvillier - 1st round 28th overall, Pulock - 1st round 15th overall, Dobson - 1st round 12th overall, - they had mediocre level draft choices with a breakout by Barzal but this team built by trades and free agency for the most part

Boston - Krejci - 2nd round #63, Bergeron - 2nd round #45, Pasternak - 1st round #25, Marchand - 3rd round #71, DeBrusk - 1st round #14, McAvoy - 1st round #14. Matt Grzelcyk - 3rd round #85 - Rask from a trade but 1st round #21 - they had mediocre level draft choices - this team built by trades and free agency for the most part

St. Louis - may be a team on the downturn but won a cup - Pietrangelo - 4th overall (since gone), Tarasenko - 16th overall, Schenn (traded from the flyers), Jaden Schwartz - 4th overall, Perron - 26th overall, Parayko - 86th overall, Binnington - 3rd round - 88th overall - Other than Pietrangelo and I would hardly call him a centre piece elite player - this team was built thru some trades and mediocre level draft picks 

Dallas Stars - Had a good contending run - barely beaten by the blues in the semi-final the previous year and lost in stanley cup final to Tampa Bay - Other than #3 overall Heiskanen, this team was built thru mediocre draft choices and trades

LA Kings won it 2013-14 - #11 overall Kopitar, #2 Doughty, #5 overall Brayden Schenn wasn't on this team - with the exception of #2 Doughty - this team was largely constructed from mediocre draft choices and trades and got fortunate with Kopitar at #11

Winnipeg - Connor 1st round - 17th overall, Scheifele - 1st round 7th overall, Ehlers 1st round - 9th overall, Dubois - arguably for Laine - 1st round - 3rd overall, Morrisey 1st round 13th overall - Wheeler - was acquired in a trade via Coyotes/Boston - I would conclude most of the Jet's core was built thru the draft and in top 10 repeatedly

Colorado - Built thru the draft - Mackinnon - 1st overall, Landeskog - 1st round #2 overall, Rantanen 1s round 10th overall Makar 1st round 4th overall, Girard - was a trade

Leafs - no comment - built thru tanking and disgusting play - not even sure they are contenders Edmonton - no comment  horseshoe lottery picks pulled out of azz

Washington - Struck it rich in draft with 1st overall Ovechkin, 4th overall Backstrom, and were sustained with middle of the pack picks 16th overall Wilson,  27th overall Carlson 55th overall Orlov and trades so we have to discount them

Tampa Bay - Stamkos - 1st overall, Hedman - 2nd overall, Sergachev 9th overall - but really Drouin - 3rd overall Kucherov - 2nd round 58th overall Point -  3rd round 79th overall - this team sucked for a # of years and nucleus built thru the draft

Penguins - Crosby #1 overall, Malkin # 2 overall, Fleury #1 overall - This team nucleus was built thru the draft

Chicago - horrible for years but had a good run - Toews -#3 overall, Kane #1 overall, Seabrook - 14th overall, Saad #43 overall, Crawford # 52

Vegas - This is an anomaly - gifted a contender via the expansion draft

Now let's look at the failures / busts with top draft choices - Buffalo (Eichel & Dahlin, Ristolainen - 8th overall, Mittelstadt - 8th overall) , Edmonton, Calgary has sucked for years - Tkachuk - 6th overall, Monahan - 6th overall,  Philadelphia - Couurier - 8th overall, Farabee - 14th overall, Patrick 2nd overall but he has been injured - This is an example of a team with mostly middle of the pack picks, Florida - crappy for years but maybe finally emerging but I am not sure they are a contender  - Barkov - 2nd overall, Huberdeau - 3rd overall, Eckblad - #1 overall , Spencer Knight - 13th overall. NY Rangers - Is it possible that this is an up and coming contending team? #1 overall Lafraniere has not made much difference yet. #2 overall Kaako Kappo is young, #9 overall Vitali Kravtsov is a 4th liner - 2017 # 7 overall Lias Anderson cannot make the team. New Jersey - will they make a competitive run - #1 Jack Hughes, #1 Nico Hischier Pavel Zacha - 6th overall, 7th overall Alexander Holtz has regressed in Sweden. Columbus - #3 Dubois now Laine #2, #8 Werenski, #4 seth Jones (trade for #4 Ryan Johansen) #2 overall Ryan Murray since traded. 

The rest of the teams have not impressed with either top draft picks or any trades to be contenders

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, CaptWelly said:

If it's winning by high draft picks by being bad for x amount of time than why aren't teams like Buffalo Arizona ect. fighting for the cup by now? You do have to have older vets for younger players to learn from and sometimes to take the pressure off the younger players. Rarely do all the young players become great at once all together.....maybe the Oilers in the 80's. How long and with how many top picks and very high other picks was Edmonton bad? I do think with Ken Holland there now things will get better but they still aren't a lock to win it all yet. Squashed did we get eliminated last year 0-4? Not what I remember. 

Because it's not just about getting high draft picks alone, but I'm sure you know that. Spending to the Cap, being able to sign sought-after UFAs, proper player development, smart trades, and adding leadership/mentorship through veterans all help, as shown by Pittsburgh, Chicago, Washington, and Tampa Bay – and who knows, maybe Colorado, the Oilers or the Leafs are up next? The "once you get in" mantra applies to all teams, I'd rather improve my chances by having legit talent on the roster.

8 hours ago, maas_art said:

I think the 2011 bruins definitely fall into that category and you could argue the blues were too.  Both teams had some very special players in terms of what they bring but I dont know if i would call any of them gamebreaking.  Bergeron will beat you down, shift after shift - make you pay offensively or defensively and he scores extremely timely goals but he's not the kind of guy Id call gamebreaking. Definately elite as a Two-way-forward though.  Just like ROR in ST Louis.   

True, the 2011 Bruins as they had no real gamebreaking supperstar, but they did have prime Chara who was still dominant at the time and they also got extraterrestrial goaltending from Thomas during the regular season and playoffs. Plus there was a "supporting" cast of Bergeron, Marchand, Krejci, Lucic, and Horton, which is still a hell of a lot more talent then many other teams had back then (and we have now). St. Louis is probably the best example, as outside of O'Reilly, Tarasenko, and Pietrangelo, they didn't have a whole lot of 'star power'. Be that as it may, I concede it did work in the past, but the chances are extremely low and it really took a miracle run to accomplish the feat :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, ChiLla said:

Because it's not just about getting high draft picks alone, but I'm sure you know that. Spending to the Cap, being able to sign sought-after UFAs, proper player development, smart trades, and adding leadership/mentorship through veterans all help, as shown by Pittsburgh, Chicago, Washington, and Tampa Bay – and who knows, maybe Colorado, the Oilers or the Leafs are up next? The "once you get in" mantra applies to all teams, I'd rather improve my chances by having legit talent on the roster.

True, the 2011 Bruins as they had no real gamebreaking supperstar, but they did have prime Chara who was still dominant at the time and they also got extraterrestrial goaltending from Thomas during the regular season and playoffs. Plus there was a "supporting" cast of Bergeron, Marchand, Krejci, Lucic, and Horton, which is still a hell of a lot more talent then many other teams had back then (and we have now). St. Louis is probably the best example, as outside of O'Reilly, Tarasenko, and Pietrangelo, they didn't have a whole lot of 'star power'. Be that as it may, I concede it did work in the past, but the chances are extremely low and it really took a miracle run to accomplish the feat :P

Of course all of the highlighted do or did when winning have top end talent. This is great to build around "if" you are "lucky" enough to get those exceptional draft choices. You can finish near or at the bottom for years and not be the team that hits on one or more of those type of players. Gamboling that you draft a superstar to build around is a crap shoot way to build also. It is frustrating I think we all know that but there were other teams in those years when Pitts, Chic, Wash, Tampa and even more recently Ed,Col. drafted those high end players that other teams were drafting close to them all and there are several teams that are still far away. So yes it's easy to say we can have a few bad years and magically we'll get a great talent but we could also keep having bad years and never hit that special player. 4 Teams highlighted 2 more mentioned heading that direction out of 31 teams! There may be a higher percentage of getting in and then having a run. It's hard to say neither is guaranteed or every team would do the same.  I'm hoping maybe Primeau can come in and be another Roy CC can be a St.Louis. If Price is out any length of time let Primeau play some who knows. I remember a rookie named Dryden!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, CaptWelly said:

Of course all of the highlighted do or did when winning have top end talent. This is great to build around "if" you are "lucky" enough to get those exceptional draft choices. You can finish near or at the bottom for years and not be the team that hits on one or more of those type of players. Gamboling that you draft a superstar to build around is a crap shoot way to build also. It is frustrating I think we all know that but there were other teams in those years when Pitts, Chic, Wash, Tampa and even more recently Ed,Col. drafted those high end players that other teams were drafting close to them all and there are several teams that are still far away. So yes it's easy to say we can have a few bad years and magically we'll get a great talent but we could also keep having bad years and never hit that special player. 4 Teams highlighted 2 more mentioned heading that direction out of 31 teams! There may be a higher percentage of getting in and then having a run. It's hard to say neither is guaranteed or every team would do the same.  I'm hoping maybe Primeau can come in and be another Roy CC can be a St.Louis. If Price is out any length of time let Primeau play some who knows. I remember a rookie named Dryden!

Hey, sure, all that could happen. I just don't think it will and to me there are better ways to build a contender than hoping for Primeau to imitate one of the greatest goalies of all time and for Caufield to turn into the the second coming of Marty St.Louis. But that's fine, we all have our opinions and it's really just that.

I'm tired of mediocrity and hoping for something spectacular to happen so we can finally keep pace with the good teams around the league. I thought MB did a good job and improved the team last summer, but maybe my expectations were too high. I see a team that has massive issues scoring goals and winning games in one of the weakest divisions, so maybe things haven't changed all that much. I also see the slowest defense in the entire league, while the game is getting faster year by year. Speed and transition were supposed to be our strengths but I haven't seen much of that for quite some time now, so my expecations for the team have dropped quite a bit. I do hope we get into the playoffs and make some noise, like I do every year, but I have little faith and don't think the team can actually go deep.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, ChiLla said:

 Be that as it may, I concede it did work in the past, but the chances are extremely low and it really took a miracle run to accomplish the feat :P

Oh yeah no arguments there!  I actually look at those 2 teams as aberrations. MB points to them as "see, anything can happen in the playoffs" but IMHO you shouldnt be building your team on a hope and a prayer.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, jennifer_rocket said:

I'm starting to hope we do miss the playoffs (I know, blasphemy, right? :lol:). Maybe then we can finally fire Bergevin and Molson will realize he's wasted the past nine years.

There's definitely chatter that even if we make the playoffs, MB may be gone unless we do very well there.  Like a 1st round loss & he's probably got a high chance of being replaced.  I think a lot will have to do with DD.  If he's in a position to be fired at the end of the year, then i think MB could very well go with him.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

52 minutes ago, maas_art said:

There's definitely chatter that even if we make the playoffs, MB may be gone unless we do very well there.  Like a 1st round loss & he's probably got a high chance of being replaced.  I think a lot will have to do with DD.  If he's in a position to be fired at the end of the year, then i think MB could very well go with him.  

I'm still not sure what to make of DD really, I don't think he's MB's lame duck but I haven't seen much improvement, if any at all, since he took over from Julien. A lot of people seemed to blame CJ for numerous of the team's shortcomings but at least deployment-wise I don't really see what DD is doing fundamentally different. CJ was known for overusing his veterans and mostly it's the same thing we're seeing now. I'm also not fond of our defense pairings, which also hasn't changed all that much since CJ was canned. I had high hopes for Durcharme to get Drouin going, but so far that hasn't happened either. It's still early and probably not possible to evaluate him fairly given the circumstances but I still think he needs to start putting his stamp on the team in some way, otherwise he'll be gone rather quickly I'm afraid.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

59 minutes ago, maas_art said:

There's definitely chatter that even if we make the playoffs, MB may be gone unless we do very well there.  Like a 1st round loss & he's probably got a high chance of being replaced.  I think a lot will have to do with DD.  If he's in a position to be fired at the end of the year, then i think MB could very well go with him.  

I don’t believe Molson fires DD but is more likely to fire MB even though he mildly delivered on making the playoffs. If MB hangs DD out to dry that would be disgusting abdication of responsibility. All I see with DD is more forward line experimentation - I haven’t  seen much offense upside that’s for sure

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, claremont said:

I don’t believe Molson fires DD but is more likely to fire MB even though he mildly delivered on making the playoffs. If MB hangs DD out to dry that would be disgusting abdication of responsibility. All I see with DD is more forward line experimentation - I haven’t  seen much offense upside that’s for sure

True, he seems to juggle the offensive lines a little more than CJ, so far without much success though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, ChiLla said:

I'm still not sure what to make of DD really, I don't think he's MB's lame duck but I haven't seen much improvement, if any at all, since he took over from Julien. A lot of people seemed to blame CJ for numerous of the team's shortcomings but at least deployment-wise I don't really see what DD is doing fundamentally different. CJ was known for overusing his veterans and mostly it's the same thing we're seeing now. I'm also not fond of our defense pairings, which also hasn't changed all that much since CJ was canned. I had high hopes for Durcharme to get Drouin going, but so far that hasn't happened either. It's still early and probably not possible to evaluate him fairly given the circumstances but I still think he needs to start putting his stamp on the team in some way, otherwise he'll be gone rather quickly I'm afraid.

I think the thing is, if DD doesnt somehow miraculously get us a few playoff round wins, then it falls back on MB because its coach #3 thats still under payroll.  Not that the money counts but the optics do.  

DD reminds me a little of our last interum coach (Randy Cunneyworth) in that you always feel like they want to do a little bit more but for whatever reason, they seem restrained as coaches.  I still think DD has the ability to be a good coach but right now i agree, he isnt showing much. 

 

27 minutes ago, claremont said:

I don’t believe Molson fires DD but is more likely to fire MB even though he mildly delivered on making the playoffs. If MB hangs DD out to dry that would be disgusting abdication of responsibility. All I see with DD is more forward line experimentation - I haven’t  seen much offense upside that’s for sure

If Molson fires MB then most likely DD goes with him. Sure, its possible to just fire a GM but usually - almost always - the new GM wants his own coaches, to start with a fresh slate. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, maas_art said:

I think the thing is, if DD doesnt somehow miraculously get us a few playoff round wins, then it falls back on MB because its coach #3 thats still under payroll.  Not that the money counts but the optics do.  

DD reminds me a little of our last interum coach (Randy Cunneyworth) in that you always feel like they want to do a little bit more but for whatever reason, they seem restrained as coaches.  I still think DD has the ability to be a good coach but right now i agree, he isnt showing much. 

 

If Molson fires MB then most likely DD goes with him. Sure, its possible to just fire a GM but usually - almost always - the new GM wants his own coaches, to start with a fresh slate. 

We're running out of recycled bilingual coaches.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • H_T_L locked this topic
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...