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2020-21 State Of The Habs


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15 hours ago, Graeme-1 said:

My opinion on Bergevin is: he's about average. On a scale from Benning to Yzerman, he falls somewhere in the middle.

I don't think this is a top-ten team, and this playoff run has definitely involved a lot of luck: Drafting & development has been a bit of a mess though: this roster only has a  few players that were drafted & developed by Montreal. Although I do give the GM credit for Caufield: 

I also don't think the "cobble together a top-four" approach to building a defense is sustainable. This defse has over-performed (helped by Price bailing them out of mistakes), and we saw how shaky things looked when Petry - who is now 33 and our only legitimate top-pairing dman - was out of the lineup.  While Suzuki and Caufield give me some hope for the future, I'm very worried about the defense and goal as Petry, Weber, and Price continue to age.

I’d agree Bergevin has been average but I believe based on most recent activities that his star is on the rise - cancelling out some prior stupid moves - Alzner, Sergachev etc. 

I would also agree we are not a top 10 team or close to repeating contending status for next year. I disagree that our long term defense is worrisome and believe that drafting and development is about to be on the upswing. While prospects are merely prospects, Norlinder, Harris, Guhle (who has played both sides) and the physically gifted Struble give me some confidence vs your worry, that they will fit with Petry, Edmundson and Romanov in the next 3 years. Bouchard is a solid development coach. I would like to have another RHD puck mover as Fleury and Brooks don’t seem to be able to replace Petry when he starts to inevitably decline. 
My worry is to get more scoring and Centre depth. Ylonen and Poehling may be our only forwards with potential. 

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I disagree with most on Bergevin. I think he's a great GM. His biggest mistakes (and maybe only imo) all happened in one off season; signing Alzner, not bringing back Markov or Radulov, and trading Sergachev (which when you put into context of getting a chance at a star french candian player, I don't think it was a crazy bad trade. We may think it doesn't matter but it does and we have to judge our gm's within that context). We wouldn't be here if we had PK instead of Weber. I thought it was a good (still surprising) trade then and I still think its good now. 

The only thing I ever disliked about Bergevin is that he doesn't believe in doing a full rebuild. I've always been a little on the fence on that issue, but I leaned towrds having a rebuild. Well if this run doesn't convince you he's right, I don't know what will! Where are Edmonton and Toronto with their 1st overall generational talents at C? And not just this year. Full rebuild doesn't mean winning, and Buffalo has been in rebuild mode for at least a decade! If you concede (even just for arguments sake) that rebuilding isn't the answer and you judge Bergevin in the light, then I don't know how anyone can dislike him as a GM. 

EDIT: I also think this team will be good next year. I don't think this is just a magical run. I think this team, with the injection of young talent is quite dangerous and will be in the contender catgory or at least dark horst category for the next year or two (and maybe longer depending on the health of our vets and/or new young players being added to the core)

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54 minutes ago, claremont said:

I’d agree Bergevin has been average but I believe based on most recent activities that his star is on the rise - cancelling out some prior stupid moves - Alzner, Sergachev etc. 

I would also agree we are not a top 10 team or close to repeating contending status for next year. I disagree that our long term defense is worrisome and believe that drafting and development is about to be on the upswing. While prospects are merely prospects, Norlinder, Harris, Guhle (who has played both sides) and the physically gifted Struble give me some confidence vs your worry, that they will fit with Petry, Edmundson and Romanov in the next 3 years. Bouchard is a solid development coach. I would like to have another RHD puck mover as Fleury and Brooks don’t seem to be able to replace Petry when he starts to inevitably decline. 
My worry is to get more scoring and Centre depth. Ylonen and Poehling may be our only forwards with potential. 

That's possible, as I said, he had a great last offseason and it seems like his more bonheaded moves are a few years in the past, so maybe he is actually getting better?

It's hard to know with prospects, every team has a handful of players who look promising, but a lot just go nowhere.  I hope you're right, but we probably could have said something similar 5 years ago and our current starting 6 is six players we didn't draft *or* develop ourselves: that's not a great sign.

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28 minutes ago, habsisme said:

I disagree with most on Bergevin. I think he's a great GM. His biggest mistakes (and maybe only imo) all happened in one off season; signing Alzner, not bringing back Markov or Radulov, and trading Sergachev (which when you put into context of getting a chance at a star french candian player, I don't think it was a crazy bad trade. We may think it doesn't matter but it does and we have to judge our gm's within that context). We wouldn't be here if we had PK instead of Weber. I thought it was a good (still surprising) trade then and I still think its good now. 

The only thing I ever disliked about Bergevin is that he doesn't believe in doing a full rebuild. I've always been a little on the fence on that issue, but I leaned towrds having a rebuild. Well if this run doesn't convince you he's right, I don't know what will! Where are Edmonton and Toronto with their 1st overall generational talents at C? And not just this year. Full rebuild doesn't mean winning, and Buffalo has been in rebuild mode for at least a decade! If you concede (even just for arguments sake) that rebuilding isn't the answer and you judge Bergevin in the light, then I don't know how anyone can dislike him as a GM. 

EDIT: I also think this team will be good next year. I don't think this is just a magical run. I think this team, with the injection of young talent is quite dangerous and will be in the contender catgory or at least dark horst category for the next year or two (and maybe longer depending on the health of our vets and/or new young players being added to the core)

My problems with Bergevin was less about him making a lot of atrociously  bad moves, and more that just after a decade, we didn't have a lot to show for it.  We went like half a decade without winning a playoff series, the team was never consistently competitive, etc.

 

I did hate the Subban trade and while we can't know what would have happened with Subban here (maybe we'd have been better, maybe worse), until this year Weber hadn't gotten us past the first round of the playoffs this year, so it was hard to think of that trade as much of a success in terms of team results: ultimately I think Bergevin was saved here by Subban's play falling off a cliff and the run this year, but for a few years that trade was looking bad.

It's hard to know if this run is sustainable or not: we've seen plenty of teams reach the final (and occasionally even win a cup) where in hindsight it was more of a lucky one-time run and less of a great team breaking through (think of who Tampa beat last year). I am somewhat optimistic primarily due to Suzuki and Caufield who look like the best offensive players we've had in decades, but I'm more concerned with our defense and goaltending which is playing above their level, aging fast, and consuming a good chunk of our cap space for many years into the future (although Weber may just end up retiring).

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14 hours ago, Graeme-1 said:

It's hard to know if this run is sustainable or not: we've seen plenty of teams reach the final (and occasionally even win a cup) where in hindsight it was more of a lucky one-time run and less of a great team breaking through (think of who Tampa beat last year).

To all of my fellow crow eaters!

As stated above I have to agree! This is the miracle on 1909, Avenue des Canadiens-de-Montreal. We have through the season bashed just about everyone on the team from the top down. I myself through the frustration of the season played a major role here. However here we are in the 2021 Stanley Cup Finals. The fact that we still have all of the Lazy-Boy coaches discussing what is good and not so good is well .....it is somewhat hilarious.Not sure what is taking place with this team right now but I for one am enjoying every day and as I watch the games I am at a loss to describe what is taking place on the ice. The determination and will to overcome the odds by these guys has created one of the biggest story in the NHL over the past 20 years!  There has been a lot of credit given to the "big four" and the young guns and rightfully so. However this is a team sport and everyone on this team including the trainers is reponsible for the results to this point. They realise they are four games away from doing what no other Canadian team has done since 1993 and that was the Canadiens. I am so looking forward to this series and should this determined will to win continue all of us will be very proud of this team as will all of Canada.

So let's keep the positive thoughts and positive energy focused on the Habs as they continue on this magical run in the playoffs. Being a fan for the last 76 years I am at a loss for words with their stellar play in the playoffs. My arm is very sore from pinching it to make sure I am not in some sort of hockey fantasy! LOL!!!!

Go Habs Go! :freu1:

PS: Had my crow dinner last night. Baked with a wine sauce, feathers and all. Not doing that again!! :6185:

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12 minutes ago, richard464 said:

To all of my fellow crow eaters!

 

Count me in, 

I thought they would lose in 4 or 5 to the Leafs . When it was 3 to 1,  I said they were done , that they were just not good enough.  Well they are in the finals . Im  Enjoying the ride. Tampa is the best team they have faced so far . A world class goalie. A Norris D man and a bunch of great forwards . Not to mention $18 over the cap .

Hope the Habs win

Go Habs Go

4 more wins

 

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I thought the Habs would lose to the Leafs, albeit in a long series. I thought they would dispatch the Jets without a problem. I thought they would be competitive against Vegas and that they could have pulled off an upset but that the odds of winning the series were likely 60-40 for Vegas. So I'm surprised they're here in general. I think the odds of their making it this far would have been about 10%.

Tampa was not the best team going into the playoffs. In fact, I thought Florida could have easily sent them packing. They've benefited from becoming "healthy" at just the right time though and they've been able to incorporate a far superior line-up to everyone else because they faked duration of injury to circumvent the cap. It's a huge advantage. Imagine the Habs had their current line-up but then added a Kucherov and a Stamkos to it (and dropped say Staal and Byron). We'd be in a much better situation too.

Regardless, we're going to be underdogs and I think we're going to have difficulty scoring goals against TB. We're already not a very good offensive team and Vasilevskiy is a strong goalie in a strong system. What needs to go right for us to win?

1. Price has to play like he has the entire playoffs

2. We need to physically pound the best players on Tampa. Wear down Stamkos and Kucherov and Point and even Hedman and Sergachev. If you can make those player sless effective or better yet, get them out of the line-up, their next-up guys like Schenn are a huge liability.

3. We need to win the discipline battle. Their PP is too strong to be giving them lots of chances there. On the other hand, they have a bunch of hotheads like Sergachev and McDonagh and Goodrow and Maroon. If we get under their skin, we can get them off their game.

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18 hours ago, habsisme said:

EDIT: I also think this team will be good next year. I don't think this is just a magical run. I think this team, with the injection of young talent is quite dangerous and will be in the contender catgory or at least dark horst category for the next year or two (and maybe longer depending on the health of our vets and/or new young players being added to the core)

I think there's a chance we contend, yes. A lot is going to do with whether we retain Allen (or get another quality backup) because we need a backup who can get us points and we need a rested Price.  This is not the 2006 oilers. I always believed on our forwards. I always believed in our goaltending.  Our defense worried me and I am the first to admit I did not expect this from Chiarot and Edmundson.   Consider Weber and Petry are both playing through substantial hand injuries, the defense has been remarkable. Im not sure you can do that the whole regular season though. We've been very fortunate to have breaks between series' and that has given these guys time to rest from the 25 minutes a game. 

I still believe we need to strengthen our blueline in order to content next year and i think what we do with our UFA will also play a bit role. 

10 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

What needs to go right for us to win?

1. Price has to play like he has the entire playoffs

2. We need to physically pound the best players on Tampa. Wear down Stamkos and Kucherov and Point and even Hedman and Sergachev. If you can make those player sless effective or better yet, get them out of the line-up, their next-up guys like Schenn are a huge liability.

3. We need to win the discipline battle. Their PP is too strong to be giving them lots of chances there. On the other hand, they have a bunch of hotheads like Sergachev and McDonagh and Goodrow and Maroon. If we get under their skin, we can get them off their game.

Bang on on every point. 

#2 is especially true - the isles were not physical at all (even in that important 7th game they let Kucherov do his thing rather than hammering him) 

I think we win (or lose) this series based on goaltending (who is better) and specialty teams. 

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2 minutes ago, maas_art said:

%E2%80%9CThe-Sky-is-Falling%E2%80%9D-Chi

Indeed.

In sports, it's hard to really make much of one game. It's also not like our special teams trend through rounds 1-3 make much of a difference given we are playing a different opponent in round four. Sure, we can maybe say "The penalty kill HAS been exceptional through three rounds," but that doesn't really mean it's going to be exceptional in round four.

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OK, now that the incredible playoff run is over, time to wake up to imminent news of MB's extension and DD's confirmation :5155::6185:.

But man, we shall always savour the sweet memories of this post-season because we don't know how long we'll have to wait before it happens again :freu1:.

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41 minutes ago, PuckPundit said:

OK, now that the incredible playoff run is over, time to wake up to imminent news of MB's extension and DD's confirmation :5155::6185:.

But man, we shall always savour the sweet memories of this post-season because we don't know how long we'll have to wait before it happens again :freu1:.

Do you like Don Cherry?

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Can anyone confirm, I read on Instagram that the Habs went over the salary cap due to bonuses . Since they were using LTIR to stay cap compliant , the overages will be removed froM next years salary cap ,

yes ? No ? No idea ? 

 

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20 minutes ago, Regis22 said:

Can anyone confirm, I read on Instagram that the Habs went over the salary cap due to bonuses . Since they were using LTIR to stay cap compliant , the overages will be removed froM next years salary cap ,

yes ? No ? No idea ? 

 

Wouldn't surprise me that we went over. We were nickel and diming players all season, with guys placed on waivers and being assigned to Laval on off days. Not unusual i guess. I know it gets tacked on to next years Cap. I believe MB commented on just that earlier in the year on one of his pressers when people were screaming to bring up CC.

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1 hour ago, Regis22 said:

Can anyone confirm, I read on Instagram that the Habs went over the salary cap due to bonuses . Since they were using LTIR to stay cap compliant , the overages will be removed froM next years salary cap ,

yes ? No ? No idea ? 

 

True. Exact number to be figured out but I heard we'll lose about 1-1.5M in cap space next year to cover paying out those bonuses.

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21 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

True. Exact number to be figured out but I heard we'll lose about 1-1.5M in cap space next year to cover paying out those bonuses.

It was worth it to bring up CC.

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This is what I'd peg as the odds certain players are back here next year:

- Perry 90%

- Staal 5%

- Danault 75%

- Armia 20%

- Lehkonen 80%

- Evans 90%

- Chiarot 90%

- Allen 50%

- Tatar 3%

- Merrill 20%

- Gustafsson 40%

- Drouin 20%

 

A few points about this:

- I still believe the Habs will go 4-4-1 for their ED protection and that they'll value Chiarot over Lehkonen and Evans, unless they happen to re-sign Danault before the ED (Which would force their hand to protect more than 4 forwards). There's still a chance they go 7-3-1 and don't protect Chiarot but I think the odds are low. So Evans, Drouin, and Lehkonen are still out there to be chosen too.

- Allen remains the most likely pick, although at the end of the day my gut is that Seattle will go a different direction (either a side deal or because they go with a different #1 goalie)

- Armia is a guy I'd love to bring back but I think he also knows he can be more than a 4th liner if he goes elsewhere. His playoffs really bumped his value.

- I do believe Danault and the Habs are close on a deal. They both seem to have interest and if Danault is admitting he's gotten over having to share ice time and if the sides were reportedly only 500-750k apart on a deal before, I don't see why it wouldn't happen. So looking at my first point above, I really wonder if MB is playing his odds that Danault won't get picked and will re-sign here after the ED (or that he gets picked but just comes back here anyways). He would need to trust Danault to follow through on his word, but it helps him keep Danault AND Chiarot, which I think is MB's biggest wish.

- I really feel like Drouin won't be back, if not via the ED then via a trade. And if not via a trade, maybe he just sits out the season. I have a hard time believing he will suddenly be able to tolerate the pressure of playing in Montreal, and in his case, that's really not what's important. I could see him going some place like Arizona, San Jose, Nashville, Columbus, or Seattle where the hockey market isn't as important to fans. That said, I look at the line-up we'll likely ice next year and he might be a great fit with Suzuki and Caufield. We know he had chemistry with Suzuki and he'd easily be the best LW set-up man for CC.

 

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13 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

This is what I'd peg as the odds certain players are back here next year:

- Perry 90%

- Staal 5%

- Danault 75%

- Armia 20%

- Lehkonen 80%

- Evans 90%

- Chiarot 90%

- Allen 50%

- Tatar 3%

- Merrill 20%

- Gustafsson 40%

- Drouin 20%

 

A few points about this:

- I still believe the Habs will go 4-4-1 for their ED protection and that they'll value Chiarot over Lehkonen and Evans, unless they happen to re-sign Danault before the ED (Which would force their hand to protect more than 4 forwards). There's still a chance they go 7-3-1 and don't protect Chiarot but I think the odds are low. So Evans, Drouin, and Lehkonen are still out there to be chosen too.

- Allen remains the most likely pick, although at the end of the day my gut is that Seattle will go a different direction (either a side deal or because they go with a different #1 goalie)

- Armia is a guy I'd love to bring back but I think he also knows he can be more than a 4th liner if he goes elsewhere. His playoffs really bumped his value.

- I do believe Danault and the Habs are close on a deal. They both seem to have interest and if Danault is admitting he's gotten over having to share ice time and if the sides were reportedly only 500-750k apart on a deal before, I don't see why it wouldn't happen. So looking at my first point above, I really wonder if MB is playing his odds that Danault won't get picked and will re-sign here after the ED (or that he gets picked but just comes back here anyways). He would need to trust Danault to follow through on his word, but it helps him keep Danault AND Chiarot, which I think is MB's biggest wish.

- I really feel like Drouin won't be back, if not via the ED then via a trade. And if not via a trade, maybe he just sits out the season. I have a hard time believing he will suddenly be able to tolerate the pressure of playing in Montreal, and in his case, that's really not what's important. I could see him going some place like Arizona, San Jose, Nashville, Columbus, or Seattle where the hockey market isn't as important to fans. That said, I look at the line-up we'll likely ice next year and he might be a great fit with Suzuki and Caufield. We know he had chemistry with Suzuki and he'd easily be the best LW set-up man for CC.

IMO, next year there has to be a little more emphasis on getting to the playoffs and not thru the playoffs. 
Following that, I am not convinced Armia is a player that helps as much for the former, so I’m prepared to let him sign elsewhere but he becomes a serviceable off winger LW if Drouin is LTIR or traded so there is that dependency. JD risk of comeback i peg at 5% - that’s a massive deep mental stigma if that is the case, with respect to not rejoining the team at the pinnacle of their success. Frank Mahovlich was able to overcome depression when there was little help available, so I have great uncertainty about JD. If it’s physical or family related causes that’s easier for most to grasp. We have a hole at LW as after Toffoli, there is a big drop to Byron, Lehkonen, Armia 
Despite MB’s desire for a big 4 defense and keeping Chiarot - players don’t keep up the physical pounding of the playoffs over an 82 game regular season. We should be prepared to lose Chiarot in a trade or ED, and obtain some puck mover for the left side. I know Ted you were just stating MB’s position on this, not that you agree with him on it.  I am not convinced Chiarot helps us get to the playoffs in a competitive conference and division for spots 

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6 hours ago, claremont said:

IMO, next year there has to be a little more emphasis on getting to the playoffs and not thru the playoffs. 
Following that, I am not convinced Armia is a player that helps as much for the former, so I’m prepared to let him sign elsewhere but he becomes a serviceable off winger LW if Drouin is LTIR or traded so there is that dependency. JD risk of comeback i peg at 5% - that’s a massive deep mental stigma if that is the case, with respect to not rejoining the team at the pinnacle of their success. Frank Mahovlich was able to overcome depression when there was little help available, so I have great uncertainty about JD. If it’s physical or family related causes that’s easier for most to grasp. We have a hole at LW as after Toffoli, there is a big drop to Byron, Lehkonen, Armia 
Despite MB’s desire for a big 4 defense and keeping Chiarot - players don’t keep up the physical pounding of the playoffs over an 82 game regular season. We should be prepared to lose Chiarot in a trade or ED, and obtain some puck mover for the left side. I know Ted you were just stating MB’s position on this, not that you agree with him on it.  I am not convinced Chiarot helps us get to the playoffs in a competitive conference and division for spots 

I agree with you on a lot of what you said. With respect to Armia, though he's not a consistent player, I do like to have players who bring skillsets that are hard to replace. Josh Anderson is a terrible passer but his combination of speed/size is incredible. Drouin shies away from physical involvement at times, but his puck control skills and ability to transition from defensive zone to offensive zone with the puck is superior to anyone else on the team. Likewise, Armia brings size and an ability to win puck battles in the corner and shield/cycle the puck as well as anyone else on the team. He also complements the collection of smaller forwards we have nicely. And as I alluded to, he's shown he's still improving as a player. I'm not sure Armia from two years ago would have performed as he did in the playoffs this year. Much more consistent, much better at driving to the net and staying involved in the play. Naturally, you need to consider the cost-benefit to signing him and if he's in high demand, as Elliotte Friedman said he would be, then I'm not paying 3M to retain a 4th liner. That's how you end up with Paul Byron on a 3.4M contract. But I'd be interested in keeping him on a similar contract to what he just finished.

At LW, we don't have as much depth if Tatar and Drouin both leave, and this is why I've said this past season that LW needs to be considered a position of need in the draft or free agency. Again, I can see a player like Brandon Saad being of interest to MB. Landeskog or Ovechkin could obviously be great additions but again at what cost? All that said, I think the simplest of solutions is just to play Caufield on the left. He's a better sniper on his off-wing and if you pull him off the right side, you still have Gallagher, Anderson, and potentially Ylonen and Armia and Perry down the right side too. There's room there to move guys around. And so if you consider simply the fact that you need 6 top 9 wingers, we have CC, Gallagher, Anderson, and Toffoli clearly filling 4 of those spots, Ylonen maybe able to make that jump, and then one hole to fill with Drouin or an acquisition.

Lastly, with respect to Chiarot, you know I feel the same way as you. He performed better than expected in the playoffs but despite playing as well as he could, he still provided little offence, had bad possession numbers, and took some boneheaded penalties. I still don't see him as a good match for Weber and he really should be a 3rd-pairing player. I think now is as good a time as any to capitalize on his playoff value and trade him, though I doubt it happens.

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