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https://www.nhl.com/news/montreal-canadiens-2021-22-season-preview/c-326305190

Canadiens season preview: Price's health key to success

Replacing Weber at defenseman; Drouin return could boost power-play, scoring

he 2021-22 NHL season starts Oct. 12. With training camps open, NHL.com is taking a look at the three keys, the inside scoop on roster questions, and the projected lineup for each of the 32 teams. Today, the Montreal Canadiens.

Coach: Dominique Ducharme (second season)

Last season: 24-21-11; fourth in Scotia North Division, lost to Tampa Bay Lighting in Stanley Cup Final

3 KEYS

1. Overcoming loss of Weber

Shea Weber will be out for the season and has possibly played his last NHL game. The 36-year-old defenseman's absence due to several injuries vaults Jeff Petry and Joel Edmundson to top pair status. Ben Chiarot, Weber's partner, is likely to play with David Savard, who signed a four-year contract on July 28. Coach Dominique Ducharme suggested that Savard will provide similar qualities to Weber, but Weber's leadership on and off the ice will be difficult to replace.

2. Health of Price

Carey Price's leadership will be needed and his return to health will be crucial. The goalie helped the Canadiens come within three wins of Montreal's first Stanley Cup since 1993 while playing through several injuries. The 34-year-old, who is preparing for his 15th NHL season, has begun skating and working out while recovering from arthroscopic surgery July 22 for a torn meniscus in his knee. His play will have a big impact on the Canadiens' fortunes, regardless of whether or not he is ready for the regular-season opener at the Toronto Maple Leafs on October 13.

3. Power-play production

A full season with Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield and the addition of forward Mike Hoffman could be what the Canadiens need to improve the power play, which ranked tied for 17th in the NHL last season (19.2 percent). The return of forward Jonathan Drouin, who took a leave of absence April 28 and missed the postseason due to anxiety issues, is another potential boost to the power play that has to overcome the loss of Weber. Christian Dvorak, who was acquired in a trade with the Arizona Coyotes on Sept. 4 for two picks in the 2022 NHL Draft, will also be in the mix on the power play, which will be anchored by Petry.

ROSTER RUNDOWN

Position battles

Depth up front means a talented forward will be the odd man out on opening night as long as everyone is healthy. Forward Ryan Poehling will have to battle with newcomers Mathieu Perreault and Cedric Paquette, and Jake Evans, Joel Armia, Artturi Lehkonen for the final four spots up front with Paul Byron out recovering from hip surgery. On defense, Mattias Norlinder and Chris Wideman will push Alexander Romanov and Brett Kulak for the final two spots.

Most intriguing addition 

Although he was acquired after Jesperi Kotkaniemi signed an offer sheet with the Carolina Hurricanes as a restricted free agent, Dvorak will help address several of the roles previously entrusted to Phillip Danault, who signed a six-year contract with the Los Angeles Kings on July 28. Dvorak's 52.1 face-off winning percentage last season was a slight drop from his 55.1 percent in 2019-20, but his success there as will his ability to play on special teams and his shootout success rate (4-for-4 last season), should help Montreal.

Biggest potential surprise

Drouin scored 23 points (two goals, 21 assists) in 44 games before leaving the team but could see those numbers increase this season under Ducharme, who coached him with Halifax of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League when he was named Canadian Major Junior Player of the Year in 2012-13. Drouin has scored 232 points (69 goals, 163 assists) in 393 regular-season games with the Lightning and Canadiens. 

Ready to break through

Caufield gave the Canadiens a glimpse of what he's capable of last season, scoring his first two NHL goals in overtime in consecutive games. After sitting out the first two games of the postseason, the 20-year-old scored 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in 20 Stanley Cup Playoff games while forming chemistry with Suzuki.

Fantasy sleeper 

Dvorak (fantasy average draft position: 165.0) has sneaky upside in late rounds with exposure to valuable wings like Hoffman, Drouin and Brendan Gallagher over the course of the season. Dvorak had the best goals (0.30) and points-per-game averages (0.55) of his NHL career last season and brings added appeal in fantasy leagues that include blocked shots (45 in 56 games). -- Pete Jensen

 

Projected lineup

Tyler Toffoli -- Nick Suzuki -- Cole Caufield

Jonathan Drouin -- Christian Dvorak -- Mike Hoffman

Josh Anderson -- Jake Evans -- Brendan Gallagher

Artturi Lehkonen -- Mathieu Perreault -- Joel Armia

Joel Edmundson -- Jeff Petry

Ben Chiarot -- David Savard

Alexander Romanov -- Brett Kulak

Carey Price

Jake Allen

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Watched some of the Red vs White game today, notes for the game are:

1. Caufield left the warmup feeling uncomfortable and is now day-to-day.

2. Team Red won handily 5-2 after everything was said and done. 4-1 after 2 30 minute periods and each team scored in 5 minute overtime. Team White scored twice in the shootout.

3. Guhle and Norlinder played well, Kulak looked bad. 

4. Poehling played well but was held off the scoresheet. RHP played really well and scored a goal for his efforts.

 

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5 minutes ago, campabee82 said:

Watched some of the Red vs White game today, notes for the game are:

1. Caufield left the warmup feeling uncomfortable and is now day-to-day.

2. Team Red won handily 5-2 after everything was said and done. 4-1 after 2 30 minute periods and each team scored in 5 minute overtime. Team White scored twice in the shootout.

3. Guhle and Norlinder played well, Kulak looked bad. 

4. Poehling played well but was held off the scoresheet. RHP played really well and scored a goal for his efforts.

 

I thought Poehling had a goal on a nice feed from Belzile? I didn't watch the game,  but I read that. Just sayin. 

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3 minutes ago, Regis22 said:

Can someone translate into english, please

  • Most concerning was the play of Ryan Poehling and Alexander Romanov. [RDS]

https://www.rds.ca/hockey/canadiens/poehling-et-romanov-ont-encore-des-plis-a-repasser-1.14644584?localLinksEnabled=false

Ryan Poehling et Alexander Romanov : encore des plis à repasser

I use Google Translate:

Long story short: "By playing the way he did on Saturday, Poehling didn't convince anyone he was ready to take the leap and establish himself once and for all in the NHL.

A blatant lack of involvement in the offensive phase of the game, an even more glaring lack of awareness in the defensive phase of the game have done nothing to help the cause of the American center.

True: Poehling has been strong in faceoff circles. He has won nine of 14 games he played for 64% efficiency. An eloquent statistic for a guy who is aiming for the center position of the fourth line."

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8 minutes ago, Regis22 said:

Can someone translate into english, please

  • Most concerning was the play of Ryan Poehling and Alexander Romanov. [RDS]

https://www.rds.ca/hockey/canadiens/poehling-et-romanov-ont-encore-des-plis-a-repasser-1.14644584?localLinksEnabled=false

Ryan Poehling et Alexander Romanov : encore des plis à repasser

 

1 minute ago, kinot-2 said:

I use Google Translate:

Long story short: "By playing the way he did on Saturday, Poehling didn't convince anyone he was ready to take the leap and establish himself once and for all in the NHL.

A blatant lack of involvement in the offensive phase of the game, an even more glaring lack of awareness in the defensive phase of the game have done nothing to help the cause of the American center.

True: Poehling has been strong in faceoff circles. He has won nine of 14 games he played for 64% efficiency. An eloquent statistic for a guy who is aiming for the center position of the fourth line."

As Carey would say, just-relax-just-chill-out.jpg Its the pre-season.


The media loves to make a big deal out of this stuff but we have zero idea what tasks Poehling has been asked to do / show etc.   In DD's mind he may be fine. My understanding is that he looked good in the first game.  It is wwaaaaaayyyyy too early to worry right now imho. 

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Romanov ( google translate )

Unlike Poehling, Romanov is virtually guaranteed to start the season with the Habs and spend the entire season in Montreal. The staff have also granted him the privilege of playing the first pre-season game to the left of Jeff Petry who will be the anchor on the blue line due to the absence of Shea Weber.

But this place is far from certain for Romanov. By getting caught, as happened too often for him on Saturday, he may well be robbing himself of the privilege of securing a top-6 spot.

Romanov collected an assist on his team's lone goal - Tyler Toffoli avoided the shutout by beating Michael Hutchinson with less than two minutes left in the game - which confirmed his attacking qualities. But he was caught very often far in the enemy zone after "gambles" which are him for having brought him dividends. Especially since these episodes where he was caught on the wrong foot and far out of position forced him to unduly prolong his presence on the ice.

In comparison, Brett Kulak was much better on Saturday in Toronto than Romanov. In every facet of the game. For a guy who seems forced to start from scratch every day due to the lack of confidence the staff shows in him, Kulak is a monster of resilience.

 

Maybe it's time to reward him?

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Poehling Translated

Poehling is playing his short-term future in the NHL right now. If he does not convince the staff that his progress on the ice, that his progress in strength and physical form and that his progress in maturity should open the doors of the locker room of the big club and not them. gates of the metro which will take him from the Bell Center to Place Bell in Laval, the first choice (25th selection) of the Canadian in 2017 will have to extend his apprenticeship in the American League.

By playing the way he did on Saturday, Poehling didn't convince anyone that he was ready to take the leap and establish himself once and for all in the NHL.

That no!

A glaring lack of involvement in the offensive phase of the game, an even more glaring lack of awareness in the defensive phase of the game have done nothing to help the cause of the American center.

True: Poehling has been strong in faceoff circles. He has won nine of 14 games he played for 64% efficiency. An eloquent statistic for a guy who is aiming for the center position of the fourth line.

But screwing up an out-of-zone and screwing up more, later in the same streak, his defensive cover as he just watched Michael Bunting deflect a puck behind Cayden Primeau instead of just watching. than trying to stop it, Poehling shot himself in the foot. He also greatly contradicted himself as Thursday, after his first training at the camp, the American said he understood he had to be more responsible defensively. He even claimed to have taken advantage of the last season in the minors to be more solid in his covers, to be more intense and tight in the application of his defensive play.

He will have to recover. Because Saturday Poehling was more worrying than reassuring in the way he played hockey.

It was only a first game, I know. But in the case of Poehling, a certain urgency - not to say a certain urgency - to see him offer convincing hockey at both ends of the ice should just cause him to be much more incisive than he has been. on the attack on Saturday. To be a lot less passive than he was on the Toronto defense against the Leafs.

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The decision on Poehling isn't going to be made based on one game, especially playing with crappy wingers. I suspect he'll be given Gallagher for Game 3 later this week and that he'll get another couple of games to see what he can do. The team knows he played well last year in the AHL and that he may be the best option to be one of the top 4 centers, so they'll give him the opportunity to make that happen. The team can't really afford to go in with Paquette as a go-to and Vejdemo looks to have been moved to wing, while I highly doubt they rush Mysak to the NHL. It's Poehling's job to lose.

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3 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

The decision on Poehling isn't going to be made based on one game, especially playing with crappy wingers. I suspect he'll be given Gallagher for Game 3 later this week and that he'll get another couple of games to see what he can do. The team knows he played well last year in the AHL and that he may be the best option to be one of the top 4 centers, so they'll give him the opportunity to make that happen. The team can't really afford to go in with Paquette as a go-to and Vejdemo looks to have been moved to wing, while I highly doubt they rush Mysak to the NHL. It's Poehling's job to lose.

Agree. And like i said above, the mandates in Preseason are not cut and dry. Players may come in to camp with minor injuries or coaches may ask them to  do / work on certain things.  Every year we have this same discussion and an experienced media guy like Francois Gagnon should know better than to stir up crap over totally meaningless games.

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18 minutes ago, maas_art said:

Agree. And like i said above, the mandates in Preseason are not cut and dry. Players may come in to camp with minor injuries or coaches may ask them to  do / work on certain things.  Every year we have this same discussion and an experienced media guy like Francois Gagnon should know better than to stir up crap over totally meaningless games.

Gagnon is a Quack!

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2 hours ago, maas_art said:

Agree. And like i said above, the mandates in Preseason are not cut and dry. Players may come in to camp with minor injuries or coaches may ask them to  do / work on certain things.  Every year we have this same discussion and an experienced media guy like Francois Gagnon should know better than to stir up crap over totally meaningless games.

 

1 hour ago, ramcharger440 said:

Gagnon is a Quack!

Yeah, I stopped listening to Gagnon long ago. He's very clear that he was a Nords fan and then became a Sens fan after the Nords left. He doesn't like the Canadiens. And he spends most of his time reporting trying to be inflammatory towards Habs' fans and the team in general. He constantly talks about how little trade value anyone on the Habs has and he sides with the refs/league against the Habs on most calls. And then he likes to say "I just call it like I see it" and pretends Habs fans are unreasonable all the time. Dont' get me wrong, all fanbases including we as Habs fans are biased in favor of our own team. But Gagnon seems to go out of his way to be biased against the Habs. So it doesn't surprise me that he would throw something like this out about Poehling and try to create controversy. He's a tool and frankly not very good at his job.

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https://awinninghabit.com/2021/09/28/montreal-canadiens-jake-allen-ready/

Montreal Canadiens: Jake Allen Looks Ready To Build on Last Year’s Success

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen knows his role on the Habs roster.

Any time he was asked about playing time or if he thought he should be the starter he always responded that he know he was on the team to ensure Carey Price stayed fresh.

There are no illusions in Allen’s head about whether or not he is in a goaltending battle for the top role.

That isn’t to say he couldn’t handle a bigger role. Allen was great for the Canadiens last season, first in spot duty when Price needed a rest, and later on in a busier role as Price was battling injuries in the second half of the regular season. Allen’s only problem was he couldn’t seem to get much goal support, but he constantly kept the team in low scoring games.

He finished the season with a 2.68 GAA and a .907 SV% but those numbers were better throughout most of the season before he was forced to play far more games in a row than expected.

Allen made his first appearance of the new season last night and though it was preseason, he was in midseason form.

It wasn’t his busiest night of his career, as he played just 30 minutes before yielding the crease to Kevin Poulin. However, Allen was impressive, moving well and reading plays while making tough saves look routine.

In total, Allen faced 15 shots and stopped every one of them. He played his position to perfection and showed why Canadiens fans and players should have full confidence in his ability to play often and keep Carey Price fresh this season.

 

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Kaiden Guhle standing out

Nothing like jumping over the boards 26 times and playing a team-leading 23:44 in your first-ever NHL exhibition game to get your feet wet, eh?

Kaiden Guhle’s debut was a near-perfect dive off the highest platform; an impressive performance that certainly caught his coach’s attention.

How so?

“Composure,” said Ducharme. “He’s not showing any sign of being nervous or anything else and things like that. He’s pretty calm, confident. I think he’s confident in the right way. He knows that he’s got things to learn, but he’s a great kid.

“A lot of people that had him on their team talk about (him) being maybe captain material. We can see why because of the way he handles himself.”

I mused on Twitter that Guhle, facing a room full of reporters for the first time at the Bell Centre, had ice on his foot and ice in his veins after he calmly answered a series of questions with an freezer bag taped over a battle wound suffered blocking a shot on a second-period penalty kill. Others in the room called him a mini Shea Weber, noting that he was reminiscent of the always-measured Canadiens captain.

I think he left that impression when he deflected recognition of his innate ability to properly read the play and gap up in the neutral zone with confidence — a trait Drouin praised him for, and one he was asked about to try to discover where that comes from.

“It’s the forwards that are tracking back that allows me to step up,” Guhle said, “and they did a great job of that tonight.

“Good team effort.”

Weber would’ve thrown in the word “obviously” a couple of times, but this type of answer was straight out of his book.

Here’s what I thought was most compelling: this was an A-performance from Guhle, and he had to have known it was being received as that by the nature of the questions he was fielding, but his own assessment of it was even-keel.

I snuck in a final question at his avail, a Columbo-style — how many of you are too young to get this reference? — “Just one more thing, Kaiden…How do you think you played today?”

“Solid,” Guhle said. “Simple. Tried to do my best and help the team out. I think it was a solid game. Obviously, there’s some things you can do to improve, but it I thought I was pretty decent. But again, team won, so it makes it a lot better.”

Like Ducharme said, the kid is confident in the right way.

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26 minutes ago, Regis22 said:

Kaiden Guhle standing out

Nothing like jumping over the boards 26 times and playing a team-leading 23:44 in your first-ever NHL exhibition game to get your feet wet, eh?

Kaiden Guhle’s debut was a near-perfect dive off the highest platform; an impressive performance that certainly caught his coach’s attention.

How so?

“Composure,” said Ducharme. “He’s not showing any sign of being nervous or anything else and things like that. He’s pretty calm, confident. I think he’s confident in the right way. He knows that he’s got things to learn, but he’s a great kid.

“A lot of people that had him on their team talk about (him) being maybe captain material. We can see why because of the way he handles himself.”

I mused on Twitter that Guhle, facing a room full of reporters for the first time at the Bell Centre, had ice on his foot and ice in his veins after he calmly answered a series of questions with an freezer bag taped over a battle wound suffered blocking a shot on a second-period penalty kill. Others in the room called him a mini Shea Weber, noting that he was reminiscent of the always-measured Canadiens captain.

I think he left that impression when he deflected recognition of his innate ability to properly read the play and gap up in the neutral zone with confidence — a trait Drouin praised him for, and one he was asked about to try to discover where that comes from.

“It’s the forwards that are tracking back that allows me to step up,” Guhle said, “and they did a great job of that tonight.

“Good team effort.”

Weber would’ve thrown in the word “obviously” a couple of times, but this type of answer was straight out of his book.

Here’s what I thought was most compelling: this was an A-performance from Guhle, and he had to have known it was being received as that by the nature of the questions he was fielding, but his own assessment of it was even-keel.

I snuck in a final question at his avail, a Columbo-style — how many of you are too young to get this reference? — “Just one more thing, Kaiden…How do you think you played today?”

“Solid,” Guhle said. “Simple. Tried to do my best and help the team out. I think it was a solid game. Obviously, there’s some things you can do to improve, but it I thought I was pretty decent. But again, team won, so it makes it a lot better.”

Like Ducharme said, the kid is confident in the right way.

The more i see of Guhle the more i am reminded of Weber. I dont agree with the comparisons of Hal Gill.  Positionally, Guhle looks sooooo much like Weber at that age.  Always the smart, simple play. He's a better skater already - not sure if he'll ever have Shea's shot and I cant speak at all to leadership but on the defensive side? He reminds me a ton of Man Mountain. 

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2 minutes ago, maas_art said:

The more i see of Guhle the more i am reminded of Weber. I dont agree with the comparisons of Hal Gill.  Positionally, Guhle looks sooooo much like Weber at that age.  Always the smart, simple play. He's a better skater already - not sure if he'll ever have Shea's shot and I cant speak at all to leadership but on the defensive side? He reminds me a ton of Man Mountain. 

Yeah, i have to agree. As much as i hate watching pre season hockey,, i made a point of watching last nights game just to see how the 2 kids on D would make out,, and i was left impressed by Guhle. Realizing it's only one meaningless game i'm not going so far as to say he should be in the lineup, but it was a pleasure to see how close he may be. 

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1 hour ago, H_T_L said:

Yeah, i have to agree. As much as i hate watching pre season hockey,, i made a point of watching last nights game just to see how the 2 kids on D would make out,, and i was left impressed by Guhle. Realizing it's only one meaningless game i'm not going so far as to say he should be in the lineup, but it was a pleasure to see how close he may be. 

For sure. Now is not the time, we still need to start giving good minutes to Romanov etc.  But maybe Guhle helps our decision easier on whether to resign Chiarot or not. 

40 minutes ago, H_T_L said:

If and when this lineup gets healthy, it's really tough to envision where a guy like Byron will slot in.

You can say that again.   Caufield, Drouin, Toffoli and Anderson seem to have the inside track on the top 2 lines.  Then Gallagher and Hoffman round out the top 9.   That leaves Armia, Byron, Perreault, Paquette (if we dont use him as a centre) and possibly guys like Ylonen or even Poehling (if we dont use him as a centre). 

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36 minutes ago, H_T_L said:

If and when this lineup gets healthy, it's really tough to envision where a guy like Byron will slot in.

1. I know you said if and when healthy, but the odds of everyone being healthy are low. We're already down Byron, Hoffman, Weber, Price, Caufield, and Edmundson and the season hasn't even started yet. So it's an okay problem to have if it comes to fruition.

2. I still feel uncomfortable with the D corps we have. Chiarot continues to concern me as a weak link and we have exactly one true top 3 D man. Savard is a #4 if he plays up to potential, while Edmundson, Chiarot, Kulak, and Romanov are likely all fringe #4 to #6 guys. So having buffer up front allows us to deal someone to acquire help on D.

3. Likewise, I'm not sure the center position is set, so we can always use trade chips to acquire another center and/or the team has shown they will use Byron himself at center if needed. I still think Byron is better than Paquette, although neither is an ideal choice for 4C.

That said, I 100% agree with the premise of your point, which is that the Habs have heavily invested as wing and have a surplus of quality there for the amount of ice time they'll be able to dole out. It doesn't make sense to have players like Lehkonen, Armia, Hoffman, or Gallagher playing 12-13 minutes a night while we have huge lacunes elsewhere. IMO, given the pre-season line combinations, I would not be at all surprised to see Lehkonen traded in the near future, specifically if we get to the point where we get to better health and some of Caufield/Hoffman/Byron are back or if we have a cheaper option like RHP, Ylonen, Bourque, or other step up to fill that role on the 4th line. I liked Lehkonen with Evans and I liked him with Danault, but if the plan is for him to be a 13th forward or to play with Poehling (whom I don't see as a good fit with him) then maybe we're better off dealing him for cap space and another asset.

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1 minute ago, maas_art said:

For sure. Now is not the time, we still need to start giving good minutes to Romanov etc.  But maybe Guhle helps our decision easier on whether to resign Chiarot or not. 

You can say that again.   Caufield, Drouin, Toffoli and Anderson seem to have the inside track on the top 2 lines.  Then Gallagher and Hoffman round out the top 9.   That leaves Armia, Byron, Perreault, Paquette (if we dont use him as a centre) and possibly guys like Ylonen or even Poehling (if we dont use him as a centre). 

Personally I don't see a need/reason to re-sign Chiarot. He's not that good to begin with and he's only going to be older and slower as time goes on. We have Edmundson and Savard signed longer than he is to fill a similar role, and we have Romanov and Petry already here for a while in all likelihood, with Guhle, Norlinder, Brook, Harris, and/or Struble knocking on the door. I don't really see a long-term future here for either Chiarot or Kulak.

As for the forwards, I believe the Habs might actually see Armia as being above Hoffman on the depth chart. Hoffman could well end up being a PP specialist, whereas they likely have more trust in Armia to play in all situations. Armia, if you believe the media reports, seems to have the inside track on lining up next to Evans and Gallagher on the 3rd line, and he was an absolute beast in the playoffs last year. Personally, I'd have loved to see a line of Armia-Poehling-Anderson, for example, where we could create huge match-up problems for another team to equal the combination of size and speed. But failing that, I think Armia and Gallagher possibly round out the top 9 and maybe we see a healthy Hoffman start on the 4th with Poehling and have to work his way up the line-up at even strength. FWIW, the team seems to have put Anderson and Dvorak together knowing both came from the London Knights organization, and Hoffman and Paul Byron actually played together for one year in junior too, so maybe they end up using those two together on a 4th line as well...

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52 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

1. I know you said if and when healthy, but the odds of everyone being healthy are low. We're already down Byron, Hoffman, Weber, Price, Caufield, and Edmundson and the season hasn't even started yet. So it's an okay problem to have if it comes to fruition.

2. I still feel uncomfortable with the D corps we have. Chiarot continues to concern me as a weak link and we have exactly one true top 3 D man. Savard is a #4 if he plays up to potential, while Edmundson, Chiarot, Kulak, and Romanov are likely all fringe #4 to #6 guys. So having buffer up front allows us to deal someone to acquire help on D.

3. Likewise, I'm not sure the center position is set, so we can always use trade chips to acquire another center and/or the team has shown they will use Byron himself at center if needed. I still think Byron is better than Paquette, although neither is an ideal choice for 4C.

That said, I 100% agree with the premise of your point, which is that the Habs have heavily invested as wing and have a surplus of quality there for the amount of ice time they'll be able to dole out. It doesn't make sense to have players like Lehkonen, Armia, Hoffman, or Gallagher playing 12-13 minutes a night while we have huge lacunes elsewhere. IMO, given the pre-season line combinations, I would not be at all surprised to see Lehkonen traded in the near future, specifically if we get to the point where we get to better health and some of Caufield/Hoffman/Byron are back or if we have a cheaper option like RHP, Ylonen, Bourque, or other step up to fill that role on the 4th line. I liked Lehkonen with Evans and I liked him with Danault, but if the plan is for him to be a 13th forward or to play with Poehling (whom I don't see as a good fit with him) then maybe we're better off dealing him for cap space and another asset.

As I was reading this I got a weird thought, what if the plan was to play Poehling in Laval for 1 more season. Who do we play at center? What about Suzuki, Dvorak, BYRON, Evans? Since we know that Byron can play center but is not a typical 4C why not 3C? How would a lineup look then?

Toffoli-Suzuki-Caufield

Drouin-Dvorak-Anderson

Armia-Byron-Gallagher

Hoffman-Evans-Lehkonen

Does this make sense or am I just over complicating things?

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