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2021-22 State of the Habs


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Just my opinion, you use preseason as real scrimmages and try new/different lines to see what seems to work and what doesn't.  If you're just trying to stack wins in preseason then you aren't doing your job to truly get ready for the real season.

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The Canadiens have released the following players from training camp:

Must clear waivers before being assigned to Laval:

M. Pezzetta

Assigned to Laval:

G. Bourque G. Fairbrother R. Harvey-Pinard

 

All of Michael Pezzetta, Gabriel Bourque, Gianni Fairbrother, and Rafaël Harvey-Pinard made positive impressions but ultimately are too far down the depth chart to make an impact at this time.

None of the names on the list are all that surprising in terms of cuts, and all four are expected to be big pieces of the Rocket roster this upcoming season. Luckily only Pezzetta needs waivers to clear, and the team will be waiting until 2pm EST on Thursday to see if he went unclaimed. Bourque, Fairbrother, and Harvey-Pinard will report to the Rocket for camp immediately as they are waiver exempt. Bourque is the only one of the group on an AHL contract.

This trims the roster down to 33 players. With several injuries still looming over the roster before opening night the Habs still have a handful of final cuts to make.

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1 hour ago, seth505 said:

Just my opinion, you use preseason as real scrimmages and try new/different lines to see what seems to work and what doesn't.  If you're just trying to stack wins in preseason then you aren't doing your job to truly get ready for the real season.

Totally agree.  
Some guys are learning new systems, others are not quite in game shape & dont want to rush & possibly cause an injury. 


I have always said you cant take anything from preseason.  Win all of them or lose all of them, its pretty much the definition of meaningless hockey. 

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56 minutes ago, 26NCounting said:

Poehling is already going to be better than KK, he is much better in the face off circle.  Is just as good defensively and will certainly put up more than 14 points this season.  Then again being better than KK was last season isn't a real big achievement

 

16 minutes ago, maas_art said:

 

Yeah the problem with Poehling isnt Ryan Poehling, its our needs.  

We need a top 6 centre.   Unless he suddenly has a career shift in offence (which I certainly hope he does!) ideally Dvorak is your #3, and as good as Suzuki has been for him to have to take on the brunt of the scoring at this stage is a lot to ask such a young player.   So if Poehling took a big jump forward & took over #2 spot then thats great!  But It doesnt seem realistic right now, despite his good numbers in the minors last year.  

Maybe one day he is a 2-way second line centre but right now it seems as if he's either your #4 in the NHL or your #1 in the AHL. 

There's a lot of question marks down the middle: Can Suzuki be a #1? Can Dvorak be a #2? Can Evans be a #3?   etc etc.   But none of those are Ryan Poehling's fault or concern. 

Here's the thing about face-offs, kind of like +/- or shot blocks or hits... they've been shown to not really make much of a difference in terms of outcomes of games. Sure, there are moments in games where winning a big draw is important, and we certainly all recall big faceoff wins, nice hits, or key shot blocks, but in the big picture of things, they don't matter as much as puck possession, passing ability, and finish around the net.

Think about faceoffs for a minute. Kotkaniemi won 48% of his draws last year. Suzuki won 44%. Evans 50%. Staal 49%. And Danault 52.5%. So certainly, I'd want Danault taking a last-minute D zone faceoff over any of those other guys, but how many of the faceoffs are game-changing? 2%? Many draws are neutral zone draws and don't lead to chances one way or the other. Many draws are ties for all intents and purposes and just lead to the puck going into the corner or along the boards for a battle. Many draws lead to a win and then a dump out and turnover of possession. Many draws can be "won" by the centerman but lost because the winger or D man doesn't do his job to get on the puck that's been won back. And even if you do consider wins and losses as being a clean yes-no stat, Kotkaniemi averaged less than 10 faceoffs per game last year. So consider Evans or Poehling coming in and winning 50% of draws instead of 48%... in 10 games played at 10 faceoffs per game, they would win you two extra faceoffs over that time. My point is that it's such a trivial aspect of the game that is really overblown in the media as being of value.

So now look at something like expected goals for % as a stat... this tells you what percentage of goals a team would score with a certain player on the ice if you corrected for how well goalies play and luck. Danault, Suzuki, and Kotkaniemi were all very strong in this stat last year. Evans was average. Staal was weak. That gives a much better indication of how those players played and matches the eyeball test better than faceoff win percentage. Suzuki was by far last on the team among center at draws last year and he was easily our best center. I'm not cutting Nick because of a 44% faceoff stat and I wouldn't choose Poehling over Kotkaniemi for a 2 or even 5% difference in faceoff wins either. As Maas said, Poehling can be an adequate bottom 6 center but he doesn't address the bigger need for a long-term top 6 center. He certainly doesn't have the skill or top-end potential that Kotkaniemi has.

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1 hour ago, BigTed3 said:

 

Here's the thing about face-offs, kind of like +/- or shot blocks or hits... they've been shown to not really make much of a difference in terms of outcomes of games. Sure, there are moments in games where winning a big draw is important, and we certainly all recall big faceoff wins, nice hits, or key shot blocks, but in the big picture of things, they don't matter as much as puck possession, passing ability, and finish around the net.

Think about faceoffs for a minute. Kotkaniemi won 48% of his draws last year. Suzuki won 44%. Evans 50%. Staal 49%. And Danault 52.5%. So certainly, I'd want Danault taking a last-minute D zone faceoff over any of those other guys, but how many of the faceoffs are game-changing? 2%? Many draws are neutral zone draws and don't lead to chances one way or the other. Many draws are ties for all intents and purposes and just lead to the puck going into the corner or along the boards for a battle. Many draws lead to a win and then a dump out and turnover of possession. Many draws can be "won" by the centerman but lost because the winger or D man doesn't do his job to get on the puck that's been won back. And even if you do consider wins and losses as being a clean yes-no stat, Kotkaniemi averaged less than 10 faceoffs per game last year. So consider Evans or Poehling coming in and winning 50% of draws instead of 48%... in 10 games played at 10 faceoffs per game, they would win you two extra faceoffs over that time. My point is that it's such a trivial aspect of the game that is really overblown in the media as being of value.

So now look at something like expected goals for % as a stat... this tells you what percentage of goals a team would score with a certain player on the ice if you corrected for how well goalies play and luck. Danault, Suzuki, and Kotkaniemi were all very strong in this stat last year. Evans was average. Staal was weak. That gives a much better indication of how those players played and matches the eyeball test better than faceoff win percentage. Suzuki was by far last on the team among center at draws last year and he was easily our best center. I'm not cutting Nick because of a 44% faceoff stat and I wouldn't choose Poehling over Kotkaniemi for a 2 or even 5% difference in faceoff wins either. As Maas said, Poehling can be an adequate bottom 6 center but he doesn't address the bigger need for a long-term top 6 center. He certainly doesn't have the skill or top-end potential that Kotkaniemi has.

While an enjoyable read I think you are very very wrong.  First off it's kind of hard to score when you constantly lose the face off, can't score if you don't have the puck!  KK had 14 points!!  I don't care if the other players had 100% more chances to score when he was on the ice when a player has 14 points what exactly is he contributing???  Put Poehling with the same linemates KK had last year and I guarantee he will have more than 14 points, add to that he will hit and will play some form of defense.  I'm not going to say Poehling will be a top 6 forward but KK certainly wasn't.  Maybe they used him wrong or developed him wrong but he was a non factor in most games.  In hindsight  I would have rather traded KK and Poehiling both for a stronger player at C.  But I firmly believe that given the chance Dovorak will be a much better 2C that KK ever was and Poehilng will develop into a decent 3 or 4C.

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2 hours ago, 26NCounting said:

While an enjoyable read I think you are very very wrong.  First off it's kind of hard to score when you constantly lose the face off, can't score if you don't have the puck!  KK had 14 points!!  I don't care if the other players had 100% more chances to score when he was on the ice when a player has 14 points what exactly is he contributing???  Put Poehling with the same linemates KK had last year and I guarantee he will have more than 14 points, add to that he will hit and will play some form of defense.  I'm not going to say Poehling will be a top 6 forward but KK certainly wasn't.  Maybe they used him wrong or developed him wrong but he was a non factor in most games.  In hindsight  I would have rather traded KK and Poehiling both for a stronger player at C.  

In fairness to Ted, he said Poehling "doesn't have the skill or top-end potential that Kotkaniemi has." and i think thats a fair assessment.  

Of course skill and potential doesn't mean anything -  its about results and its entirely possible that in a few years time Poehling will be a solid player & JK will have never met his "potential" - its impossible to know at this stage.

I do wish we had both though because 2 players with potential are better than 1 in case one doesnt work out.

2 hours ago, 26NCounting said:

 I firmly believe that given the chance Dovorak will be a much better 2C that KK ever was and Poehilng will develop into a decent 3 or 4C.

Im very interested to see what they try to do with Dvorak.  He's clearly been groomed into a defensive, 2 way role, but I think there's untapped potential on his offensive side.   If they give the toughest assignments to Evans' line then i think we might well see Dvorak (with 2 scorers no less) flourish offensively. Either way I agree, he'll be more effective in the foreseeable future than JK would have most likely been.

 

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3 hours ago, 26NCounting said:

While an enjoyable read I think you are very very wrong.  First off it's kind of hard to score when you constantly lose the face off, can't score if you don't have the puck!  KK had 14 points!!  I don't care if the other players had 100% more chances to score when he was on the ice when a player has 14 points what exactly is he contributing???  Put Poehling with the same linemates KK had last year and I guarantee he will have more than 14 points, add to that he will hit and will play some form of defense.  I'm not going to say Poehling will be a top 6 forward but KK certainly wasn't.  Maybe they used him wrong or developed him wrong but he was a non factor in most games.  In hindsight  I would have rather traded KK and Poehiling both for a stronger player at C.  But I firmly believe that given the chance Dovorak will be a much better 2C that KK ever was and Poehilng will develop into a decent 3 or 4C.

I always felt Poehling could become a really good two way player, I know preseason does not mean anything, I dont think he has played that well, but has been looking much better the last two times he has played. We have to remeber also he only played 28 games last season and on top of that had the injury end of sesason.

I agree faceoffs are huge in games. Statiscally you can wave at almost any metric. Crucial point in a a game do you want someone at 54% or 46%, give the me the odds anytime. Same as plus minus. It may be skewed a bit, but if a player year after year one of the worst plus minus on your team. Its not because the numbers are skewed that player is a huge liability. Perfect example was Galchenyk, +/- was such a telling metric, but some brushed it aside because of his skill set and hoped he would become something he wasn't.

KK may still find his way, but it would crazy to the tenth degree to pay him over 6 million ...We upgraded his position immensly, we can only hope Poelhing and Evans can make up for Danualt. And i am sure they will. 

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This teams chances at a successful season hinge on Evans and Poehling or maybe Byron. Someone needs to fill that 3C hole. If we have a really bad start I could see us overpaying in a trade for some kind of center. If we get that missing peice our forward group as a whole is pretty damn impressive! 

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57 minutes ago, habsisme said:

This teams chances at a successful season hinge on Evans and Poehling or maybe Byron. Someone needs to fill that 3C hole. If we have a really bad start I could see us overpaying in a trade for some kind of center. If we get that missing peice our forward group as a whole is pretty damn impressive! 

I'm thinking that our D, will be our Achilles heel. If we can't fix that for the start of the season we will be in real trouble.

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6 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

 

Here's the thing about face-offs, kind of like +/- or shot blocks or hits... they've been shown to not really make much of a difference in terms of outcomes of games.

As Maas said, Poehling can be an adequate bottom 6 center but he doesn't address the bigger need for a long-term top 6 center. He certainly doesn't have the skill or top-end potential that Kotkaniemi has.

Fair points - I would slightly counter and say how many times last year did our power play have a face-off in the opponents end, immediately lose the draw and lose easily 15-20 seconds of power play momentum? - My eye said it was drastic as I shook my fist at the TV. Change that stat and we have some degree of difference to the "conventional studies"

4 hours ago, 26NCounting said:

While an enjoyable read I think you are very very wrong.  First off it's kind of hard to score when you constantly lose the face off, can't score if you don't have the puck!  KK had 14 points!!  I don't care if the other players had 100% more chances to score when he was on the ice when a player has 14 points what exactly is he contributing???  Put Poehling with the same linemates KK had last year and I guarantee he will have more than 14 points, add to that he will hit and will play some form of defense.  I'm not going to say Poehling will be a top 6 forward but KK certainly wasn't.  Maybe they used him wrong or developed him wrong but he was a non factor in most games.  In hindsight  I would have rather traded KK and Poehiling both for a stronger player at C.  But I firmly believe that given the chance Dovorak will be a much better 2C that KK ever was and Poehilng will develop into a decent 3 or 4C.

KK hasn't demonstrated any skill or top-end potential - flashes of good games is not consistency so I'm aligned a little more with 26NCounting's view. IMO, KK is young, a clumsy skater and hasn't shown much of an NHL shot. Poehling was never forced into the lineup like KK was, and has 28 games of NHL experience vs. KK's 171 despite being a year older. Poehling hasn't been worthy of earning those NHL games. KK was handed the opportunity. It's a tough comparison but  I don't think either one has much of a ceiling. KK was drafted with that high ceiling and never delivered. Poehling was drafted much lower with reasonable expectations of a 3C despite an MVP junior experience. 

56 minutes ago, habsisme said:

This teams chances at a successful season hinge on Evans and Poehling or maybe Byron. Someone needs to fill that 3C hole. If we have a really bad start I could see us overpaying in a trade for some kind of center. If we get that missing peice our forward group as a whole is pretty damn impressive! 

 Solid comment - it also hinges on our lumbering defense keeping the puck out of the net - I am not impressed at all with David Savard so far as Ted and many others have previously stated - too much overlap with our existing players. 

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Just wondering, When do NHL rosters need to be finalized? Can't seem to find it anywhere.  Kind of hoping there may be some defensive help on the waiver wire. Hoping the later we go, the better the players being put on waivers. I know the later we go in the preseason, the odds that a team grabs a player or two from waivers is almost non-existent. The way we are going, we're going to need some warm bodies on defense. Maybe we get lucky?

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7 minutes ago, electron58 said:

Just wondering, When do NHL rosters need to be finalized? Can't seem to find it anywhere.  Kind of hoping there may be some defensive help on the waiver wire. Hoping the later we go, the better the players being put on waivers. I know the later we go in the preseason, the odds that a team grabs a player or two from waivers is almost non-existent. The way we are going, we're going to need some warm bodies on defense. Maybe we get lucky?

Don't think there's any "rule" about rosters being finalized. IMO, it's just the "go with whatcha got". 

 

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42 minutes ago, kinot-2 said:

Don't think there's any "rule" about rosters being finalized. IMO, it's just the "go with whatcha got". 

 

Well, I know that's true in our case, but, I thought players that you can carry on the roster was capped at 20,21,22 or 23.  Under the cap of course. I mean, if whatcha got are 35 players, I don't think that's gonna fly. Looking for a #1 D on waivers, for a friend. There weren't any today!

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9 hours ago, 26NCounting said:

While an enjoyable read I think you are very very wrong.  First off it's kind of hard to score when you constantly lose the face off, can't score if you don't have the puck!  KK had 14 points!!  I don't care if the other players had 100% more chances to score when he was on the ice when a player has 14 points what exactly is he contributing???  Put Poehling with the same linemates KK had last year and I guarantee he will have more than 14 points, add to that he will hit and will play some form of defense.  I'm not going to say Poehling will be a top 6 forward but KK certainly wasn't.  Maybe they used him wrong or developed him wrong but he was a non factor in most games.  In hindsight  I would have rather traded KK and Poehiling both for a stronger player at C.  But I firmly believe that given the chance Dovorak will be a much better 2C that KK ever was and Poehilng will develop into a decent 3 or 4C.

I always think it's funny where the same people who love possession which a lot of the time is a worthless stat also, because its what happens when you do have the puck not the amount of time you have it. The same ones about possession though usually say face offs don't matter, which together makes absolutely no sense.  Last years playoffs alone we got scored on by set face off plays several times. If you win those face offs that play doesn't happen. Also unless those same people think PP & PK mean nothing both PP & PK the face offs are huge. You ether have a chance at clearing the puck and disrupting a PP or start with the puck and have a better start to your PP, especially when the other team may ice the puck and have a tired group on. Winning or losing face offs are huge through out the game. It's the difference from chasing the game or not.

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8 hours ago, electron58 said:

Just wondering, When do NHL rosters need to be finalized? Can't seem to find it anywhere.  Kind of hoping there may be some defensive help on the waiver wire. Hoping the later we go, the better the players being put on waivers. I know the later we go in the preseason, the odds that a team grabs a player or two from waivers is almost non-existent. The way we are going, we're going to need some warm bodies on defense. Maybe we get lucky?

NHL 23 man rosters have to be finalized by the day prior to the regular season beginning. See section below from CBA.

"Active Roster" shall be determined as follows: Commencing on the day prior to the start of the Regular Season, and concluding with each respective Club's last NHL Game in a League Year, Active Roster shall include all Players on a Club's Reserve List who are signed to an approved and registered SPC, subject to the provisions of Article 11, and who are not on the Injured Reserve List, Injured Non-Roster, designated Non-Roster, or Loaned. A Player who is on a Conditioning Loan is included on a Club's Active Roster. During Training Camp, a Player shall be deemed to be on the Club's Active Roster only if he had been on the Club's Active Roster after the Trade Deadline in the preceding season on other than an emergency recall basis.

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With Price out for the foreseeable future i think it's time to reconsider who gets the backup job behind Allen. Personally i would go with Primeau at this time. This is an ideal situation for him to get some NHL experience and to see if he's actually a true big league goalie.

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11 hours ago, CaptWelly said:

I always think it's funny where the same people who love possession which a lot of the time is a worthless stat also, because its what happens when you do have the puck not the amount of time you have it. The same ones about possession though usually say face offs don't matter, which together makes absolutely no sense.  Last years playoffs alone we got scored on by set face off plays several times. If you win those face offs that play doesn't happen. Also unless those same people think PP & PK mean nothing both PP & PK the face offs are huge. You ether have a chance at clearing the puck and disrupting a PP or start with the puck and have a better start to your PP, especially when the other team may ice the puck and have a tired group on. Winning or losing face offs are huge through out the game. It's the difference from chasing the game or not.

There's a direct correlation between possession metrics and more goals for vs goals against.    It's statistically meaningful.   If you're possession numbers are crap, you're likely a checking forward and not going to generate offense.   End of story.    It can be shown time and time again.

Face Off wins ... while nice, have no statistically meaningful impact on goals for vs against.    The impact is 2% or so at best for the top guy in the league vs the worst guy in the league.

Give me a line of possession monsters and I'll show you a line that rarely gets scored on (as they always have the puck) and definitely scores more often than their opponents.    Even the great Scotty Bowman stated "the best defense is to have the puck".      KK's numbers showed that a) he had bad wingers b) was suffering from some bad luck c) was due to breakout

The ONLY reason we don't have him right now is Carolina threw us a fast ball.    I think over the next 2-3 years we're all going to be upset we don't have him on our roster.

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5 hours ago, campabee82 said:

NHL 23 man rosters have to be finalized by the day prior to the regular season beginning. See section below from CBA.

"Active Roster" shall be determined as follows: Commencing on the day prior to the start of the Regular Season, and concluding with each respective Club's last NHL Game in a League Year, Active Roster shall include all Players on a Club's Reserve List who are signed to an approved and registered SPC, subject to the provisions of Article 11, and who are not on the Injured Reserve List, Injured Non-Roster, designated Non-Roster, or Loaned. A Player who is on a Conditioning Loan is included on a Club's Active Roster. During Training Camp, a Player shall be deemed to be on the Club's Active Roster only if he had been on the Club's Active Roster after the Trade Deadline in the preceding season on other than an emergency recall basis.

👍  Thanks,  campabee82.

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1 hour ago, electron58 said:

He's still holding out hope, as all Team rosters have not been finalized.   😎

We can hope . Yes . But the players being released are not # 1 anything - you're getting other teams leftovers 

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