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Dressing room fodder:

Jets captain Blake Wheeler said Tuesday. "We try to let him see the puck and feel that if he's seeing pucks, he's going to stop them all."

Earth to Blake, you're not going to top them all. He didn't stop them all in the Oil/Jets games.

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The series schedule clearly favours the Jets.  So the longer the series progresses, the Habs are more likely to be gassed and worn down first.  More crucially, the Habs top 4 D are going to be worked hard without respite.  Unless Romanov, Merril, Kulak and Gustafsson play more minutes to relieve their physical strain, the D will eventually break down as the series progresses.

It's DD's second chance to put Romanov in early in the series to give him experience.  If he screws up badly, it's not too late to scratch him.  You never know until you've tried him. Heck, it might not be a bad idea to give Allen one of the first 2 games.  

Playing a different opponent means the gameplan which worked against the Leafs will have to be re-adjusted.  I'm unsure whether to put Tatar back in the lineup to give another chance to prove his effectiveness.  But the young guns should stay and any rotation of forwards should be between Tatar, Staal and (recovered) Lekhonen.  

Because of the fatigue factor and schedule disadvantage, the Habs have to grab an early series lead in Winnipeg to mitigate their effects further along the series.  That means a minimal series split in Winnipeg.  If they're down 0-2 in Winnipeg, then it's all over.

At this stage of the playoffs, the Habs are basically playing with house money.  Frankly, it doesn't matter what happens from here on.  Because they've already caused the biggest upset of the playoffs and that series win against the Leafs itself is sufficient to last the entire summer.  And to be honest, the winner of this series, whoever it may be, will be 100% annihilated in the semi-finals.      

 

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1 hour ago, PuckPundit said:

The series schedule clearly favours the Jets.  So the longer the series progresses, the Habs are more likely to be gassed and worn down first.  More crucially, the Habs top 4 D are going to be worked hard without respite.  Unless Romanov, Merril, Kulak and Gustafsson play more minutes to relieve their physical strain, the D will eventually break down as the series progresses.

It's DD's second chance to put Romanov in early in the series to give him experience.  If he screws up badly, it's not too late to scratch him.  You never know until you've tried him. Heck, it might not be a bad idea to give Allen one of the first 2 games.  

Playing a different opponent means the gameplan which worked against the Leafs will have to be re-adjusted.  I'm unsure whether to put Tatar back in the lineup to give another chance to prove his effectiveness.  But the young guns should stay and any rotation of forwards should be between Tatar, Staal and (recovered) Lekhonen.  

Because of the fatigue factor and schedule disadvantage, the Habs have to grab an early series lead in Winnipeg to mitigate their effects further along the series.  That means a minimal series split in Winnipeg.  If they're down 0-2 in Winnipeg, then it's all over.

At this stage of the playoffs, the Habs are basically playing with house money.  Frankly, it doesn't matter what happens from here on.  Because they've already caused the biggest upset of the playoffs and that series win against the Leafs itself is sufficient to last the entire summer.  And to be honest, the winner of this series, whoever it may be, will be 100% annihilated in the semi-finals.      

 

Tartar must draw back. I would sit Caufield again to start. Lehk in for Staal

the D? have you looked at Winnipegs D? worst in the playoffs. Def need to get the wheels going and forecheck. Tartar is superior to Caufield on the forecheck. I'd suggest the Jets D will be more gassed. Their top two way more than the top 4 for the Habs.

Stay out of the box. I will say that again. Sat out of the Box. That's why Lehks must draw back in. Jets PP is killer. 

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7 minutes ago, dreegking said:

Tartar must draw back. I would sit Caufield again to start. Lehk in for Staal

the D? have you looked at Winnipegs D? worst in the playoffs. Def need to get the wheels going and forecheck. Tartar is superior to Caufield on the forecheck. I'd suggest the Jets D will be more gassed. Their top two way more than the top 4 for the Habs.

Stay out of the box. I will say that again. Sat out of the Box. That's why Lehks must draw back in. Jets PP is killer. 

Fair enough but I don't think we should be benching Caufield. He's actually surprised me defensively with good reads and positioning and he seems to be really quick on the uptake and learning on the fly. Agreed that Tatar has been sound defensively and good on the forecheck but he was essentially a non-factor as far as offense I think. On the other hand, maybe now is the perfect time bring him back, as he'll be more rested than the others.

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5 hours ago, dreegking said:

Tartar must draw back. I would sit Caufield again to start. Lehk in for Staal

the D? have you looked at Winnipegs D? worst in the playoffs. Def need to get the wheels going and forecheck. Tartar is superior to Caufield on the forecheck. I'd suggest the Jets D will be more gassed. Their top two way more than the top 4 for the Habs.

Stay out of the box. I will say that again. Sat out of the Box. That's why Lehks must draw back in. Jets PP is killer. 

I like Tatar that said he could go in and sit Stahl. No way at this point do I sit Caulfield. He makes our PP so much better because he moves and is ready to shoot. The PP is les stagnant. Also CC is actually pretty strong defensively he has great reads and is fast to the puck. He is known as a shooter but he is very good at passing, and most of all the kid can skate!

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Ducharme has announced the Habs will keep the same line-up as the one that won Games 6 and 7. Typical Habs to be satisfied with a result and do nothing to try and improve on it until they face adversity. No adjustments. No feeling of the need to do better. Just a pat on their own backs. It took them time to figure out they needed Caufield and JK and that they were better off without Merrill, and now we're going to see them have to get thumped before they recognize the value in Tatar and Romanov.

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9 hours ago, dreegking said:

the D? have you looked at Winnipegs D? worst in the playoffs. Def need to get the wheels going and forecheck. Tartar is superior to Caufield on the forecheck. I'd suggest the Jets D will be more gassed. Their top two way more than the top 4 for the Habs.

This.  Jets fans have been dreaming of getting Chiarot back.  They have amazing goaltending and some very very good forwards but the defense should be something we can exploit. 

20 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

Ducharme has announced the Habs will keep the same line-up as the one that won Games 6 and 7. Typical Habs to be satisfied with a result and do nothing to try and improve on it until they face adversity. No adjustments. No feeling of the need to do better. Just a pat on their own backs. It took them time to figure out they needed Caufield and JK and that they were better off without Merrill, and now we're going to see them have to get thumped before they recognize the value in Tatar and Romanov.

Ridiculous.   I cannot fathom any reason why Romanov is still out.  Its insane.  If he's injured, tell us (which they would) so the only conclusion is that he's 'not ready' despite being in nearly every regular season game (and often being one of the 2 or 3 best dmen most nights).   Tatar likewise - he's not a game breaker but why wouldnt you dress your 12 best forwards?  There's no way he's not in that group.

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17 minutes ago, maas_art said:

This.  Jets fans have been dreaming of getting Chiarot back.  They have amazing goaltending and some very very good forwards but the defense should be something we can exploit. 

Ridiculous.   I cannot fathom any reason why Romanov is still out.  Its insane.  If he's injured, tell us (which they would) so the only conclusion is that he's 'not ready' despite being in nearly every regular season game (and often being one of the 2 or 3 best dmen most nights).   Tatar likewise - he's not a game breaker but why wouldnt you dress your 12 best forwards?  There's no way he's not in that group.

Romanov... also recall the Habs brought him into the bubble last season and had him practice with the team and burned a year on his contract for this exact reason: so that he would have exposure to playoff hockey and be ready when called upon the year after. You can't say "we're not playing him because he has no playoff experience" and expect him to to get any experience if you sit him in the press box. You're at Game 1 of a series, your regular D men are all exhausted from being over-used on a tight schedule, and you have a group of rested power forwards coming at you with the Jets. It just makes sense to put Romanov in.

Tatar... I've already posted how his possession numbers and PP value are tops on the team among forwards this post-season. So while he hasn't produced, he's playing well and we know he CAN produce. If I asked who didn't deserve to be in the line-up because of production failure alone, it's not just Tatar. Gallagher had no points until Game 7. Danault has 1 assist in 7 games. Evans has nothing. Byron had 1 assist the rest of the way after Game 1. Anderson 1 goal in Game 1 and nothing after. Toffoli was awful the first half of the series. The D hasn't done anything to produce any offence as a group. This isn't on one guy. So then ask who is generating more shots and chances for relative to what they're giving up and Tatar is number one. Then ask who has the pedigree to be able to score goals, and Tatar is right up there. Especially with Drouin being gone, we need skill at LW. Seems odd that they would prefer to run Evans, Toffoli, Byron, Perry/Armia down the left side. As I noted, Byron in particular has probably been our weakest forward in this series outside of the one magical goal, and if we're going to talk about who is most likely to score 3 goals or more in this series, it's not Byron and it's not Evans and it's not Perry and it's not Armia.

The Habs need to stop thinking about things in terms of what have you done lately and start thinking about how have you been playing and who is most likely to produce and provide value going forward. The entire organization is reactionary rather than proactive in making decisions.

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11 hours ago, PuckPundit said:

And to be honest, the winner of this series, whoever it may be, will be 100% annihilated in the semi-finals.      

We shall see.  Sometimes things appear black and white (like when certain people said there was zero chance of a 3-1 comback) but in reality they are different.  There's no question we lack the star power or colorado for example, but we havent seen these divisons play one another and that doesnt always translate the way we think it will. 

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38 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

Romanov... also recall the Habs brought him into the bubble last season and had him practice with the team and burned a year on his contract for this exact reason: so that he would have exposure to playoff hockey and be ready when called upon the year after. You can't say "we're not playing him because he has no playoff experience" and expect him to to get any experience if you sit him in the press box. You're at Game 1 of a series, your regular D men are all exhausted from being over-used on a tight schedule, and you have a group of rested power forwards coming at you with the Jets. It just makes sense to put Romanov in.

Tatar... I've already posted how his possession numbers and PP value are tops on the team among forwards this post-season. So while he hasn't produced, he's playing well and we know he CAN produce. If I asked who didn't deserve to be in the line-up because of production failure alone, it's not just Tatar. Gallagher had no points until Game 7. Danault has 1 assist in 7 games. Evans has nothing. Byron had 1 assist the rest of the way after Game 1. Anderson 1 goal in Game 1 and nothing after. Toffoli was awful the first half of the series. The D hasn't done anything to produce any offence as a group. This isn't on one guy. So then ask who is generating more shots and chances for relative to what they're giving up and Tatar is number one. Then ask who has the pedigree to be able to score goals, and Tatar is right up there. Especially with Drouin being gone, we need skill at LW. Seems odd that they would prefer to run Evans, Toffoli, Byron, Perry/Armia down the left side. As I noted, Byron in particular has probably been our weakest forward in this series outside of the one magical goal, and if we're going to talk about who is most likely to score 3 goals or more in this series, it's not Byron and it's not Evans and it's not Perry and it's not Armia.

The Habs need to stop thinking about things in terms of what have you done lately and start thinking about how have you been playing and who is most likely to produce and provide value going forward. The entire organization is reactionary rather than proactive in making decisions.

I continue to be disappointed that Romanov is being that easily dismissed but I guess I understand the why miss with the success lineup that got them here. I can only hope that when he gets in, the plays well enough and is hungry enough to dismiss other players coming back in. You would hate to see them miss with the kid's confidence if he makes one mistake and then they pull him. Romanov's time will come as he is young and certainly one would think Gustafson and Merrill won't be back next year. 

As to Tuna, seems like it is a bit of a toss-up between Byron, Evans and Tatar for playing time - Evans has probably impressed me the most on defensive play. Tatar seems to need that open ice to be effective which is in short supply in the playoffs. I''ll wait and see, 

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41 minutes ago, maas_art said:

We shall see.  Sometimes things appear black and white (like when certain people said there was zero chance of a 3-1 comback) but in reality they are different.  There's no question we lack the star power or colorado for example, but we havent seen these divisons play one another and that doesnt always translate the way we think it will. 

There is also a lot of games and time before the next round. Colorado could lose players like last year we could have some of our forwards get hot. It is playoff hockey and things can happen. It wasn't that long ago St. Louis won without a much if anything netter roster than ours.

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13 minutes ago, claremont said:

I continue to be disappointed that Romanov is being that easily dismissed but I guess I understand the why miss with the success lineup that got them here. I can only hope that when he gets in, the plays well enough and is hungry enough to dismiss other players coming back in. You would hate to see them miss with the kid's confidence if he makes one mistake and then they pull him. Romanov's time will come as he is young and certainly one would think Gustafson and Merrill won't be back next year. 

As to Tuna, seems like it is a bit of a toss-up between Byron, Evans and Tatar for playing time - Evans has probably impressed me the most on defensive play. Tatar seems to need that open ice to be effective which is in short supply in the playoffs. I''ll wait and see, 

I agree it's game 1 so I would give Romanov a shot I'd take out Gustfason or Kulak as I either will have a tougher time with Winnipeg's forward group. Romanov has a little edge to him and hit and take a hit. I would like to see Tatar in, I would probably take out Stahl though as then Evans can play center where I think he's better at. Stahl actually didn't play bad though and Winnipeg's not a fast team so Tatar would have to earn his spot to stay in which wouldn't be bad. 

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1 minute ago, jennifer_rocket said:

I suppose if we beat Toronto, anything is possible. Go Habs!

For me, beating the loafs was my Stanley Cup, anything else is just gravy. :)

 

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1 hour ago, CaptWelly said:

I agree it's game 1 so I would give Romanov a shot I'd take out Gustfason or Kulak as I either will have a tougher time with Winnipeg's forward group. Romanov has a little edge to him and hit and take a hit. I would like to see Tatar in, I would probably take out Stahl though as then Evans can play center where I think he's better at. Stahl actually didn't play bad though and Winnipeg's not a fast team so Tatar would have to earn his spot to stay in which wouldn't be bad. 

Gustafson, imho looked really good (and our PP benefitted greatly) so i think he's safe unless he makes a big gaffe.   Kulak though.. not a great outing the last couple. I would definitely insert Romanov in his place.

It just doesnt make sense to me.  I mean Romanov played almost the entire year, often getting bumped up the roster - like when Weber was injured, at first they played AR next to Chiarot.    Its so weird they now wont even dress him. I Understand that in the last round after game 4 you didnt want to dress him for an elimination game but what is the holdup now. its so odd. 

All i can think of is that they didnt like something in his game & when they traded for Merrilll and Gus they decided they would keep him out of big games until he worked on that but it seems to be an excessively long time at this point. 

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1 minute ago, kinot-2 said:

For me, beating the loafs was my Stanley Cup, anything else is just gravy. :)

 

Same. Although I suspect the players - especially guys like Price and Weber (who have never won) or Perry and Staal (who may retire if they could win this year) have other plans.   

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This team showed up for game 7 and each player bought into a game plan which resulted in our best played team game of the year. Yes, we could throw the lines into a blender, play a rookie on his off wing, take out a forward who is playing well and replace him with one who has been playing poorly and we could flip out a bottom pairing defenceman for another bottom pairing defenceman. Yes we could do all that but why? There will be a game two. If we get thumped it won't be because Tatar and Romanov didn't dress.

Go Habs Go.

.

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2 hours ago, maas_art said:

Gustafson, imho looked really good (and our PP benefitted greatly) so i think he's safe unless he makes a big gaffe.   Kulak though.. not a great outing the last couple. I would definitely insert Romanov in his place.

It just doesnt make sense to me.  I mean Romanov played almost the entire year, often getting bumped up the roster - like when Weber was injured, at first they played AR next to Chiarot.    Its so weird they now wont even dress him. I Understand that in the last round after game 4 you didnt want to dress him for an elimination game but what is the holdup now. its so odd. 

All i can think of is that they didnt like something in his game & when they traded for Merrilll and Gus they decided they would keep him out of big games until he worked on that but it seems to be an excessively long time at this point. 

I agree

 

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1 hour ago, rkgoalie said:

were we really that good game 7 or was price that great 

Both.  If you look at the shots in that game, we limited toronto to almost nothing.  Almost all outside or perimeter. Everyone was buying into the team game, made smart plays and hustled with and without the puck.  On the few mistakes we made, Price was great but didnt need to be exceptional to win that game. 

There were flashes throughout the series where the team played well but game 7 was arguably the best this roster has played all season.

 

1 hour ago, RCAF48 said:

This team showed up for game 7 and each player bought into a game plan which resulted in our best played team game of the year. Yes, we could throw the lines into a blender, play a rookie on his off wing, take out a forward who is playing well and replace him with one who has been playing poorly and we could flip out a bottom pairing defenceman for another bottom pairing defenceman. Yes we could do all that but why? There will be a game two. If we get thumped it won't be because Tatar and Romanov didn't dress.

Go Habs Go.

.

While i agree with a lot of what you are saying, Romanov is not just some random journeyman defensman. The team suggests they see him as a top 4, possibly top pairing dman - MB has said he's "untouchable" so to not get him valuable playoff experience seems foolish and short-sighted.  Its not like he's terrible and will singlehandedly lose the game for us. If anything, he should make us better, not just a wash. 

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