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2021-22 State of the Habs


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9 hours ago, campabee82 said:

Drouin says Weber to retire, IF true this is huge news and a major issue for the Preds. I would assume that Weber will stay on LTIR for at least this season after that I am not sure the league will allow it. I would hate to see a team be forced into a rebuild and have to sell off assets but they did do this to themselves.

https://www.nhltraderumors.me/2021/10/report-shea-weber-retiring-from-nhl.html

Yeah.  Weber being on LTIR is retirement, so, same thing.

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9 hours ago, Graeme-1 said:

Ya I think people are reading "retirement" literally, I don't think he means Shea will sign his retirement papers (which would be silly), just that they all know he's never playing another game. Honestly, not all that different than what Bergevin has said, apart from some slip hope Bergevin left open I guess.

The League could force the issue as LTIR is not meant to avoid retirement or the contract consequences there of.    They weren't happy with the Prongor situation in Philly and think they changed some of the language around LTIR.

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FWIW, The Atheltic updates likelihood of making the playofffs, and the Habs are projected to finish with 80 points right now, with only a 5% chance of making the post-season. Sportsclubstats' model is a tad more optimistic, giving us a 8% chance of making the playoffs and suggesting that it will take 93 points to give ourselves better-than-50% odds of doing so. To put that in perspective, it would require a record of 45-29-1 record the rest of the way to accomplish that feat (0.607 winning percentage). It's not impossible, but it would be a challenge to play better than .600 hockey for 75 games. Last year, we were a .527 team in a weak division. The year before that, we played .500. In fact, the last time the Habs played .607 hockey or better was 2016-17, and the only roster players remaining from that team are Price (injured), Byron (injured), Weber (injured), Petry, Gallagher, and Lehkonen.

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1 minute ago, BigTed3 said:

FWIW, The Atheltic updates likelihood of making the playofffs, and the Habs are projected to finish with 80 points right now, with only a 5% chance of making the post-season. Sportsclubstats' model is a tad more optimistic, giving us a 8% chance of making the playoffs and suggesting that it will take 93 points to give ourselves better-than-50% odds of doing so. To put that in perspective, it would require a record of 45-29-1 record the rest of the way to accomplish that feat (0.607 winning percentage). It's not impossible, but it would be a challenge to play better than .600 hockey for 75 games. Last year, we were a .527 team in a weak division. The year before that, we played .500. In fact, the last time the Habs played .607 hockey or better was 2016-17, and the only roster players remaining from that team are Price (injured), Byron (injured), Weber (injured), Petry, Gallagher, and Lehkonen.

thats why I think at this point, its better we finish last. The only way we're going to get the star players we really want is to suck for a couple of years. I hope we have a bad start and get better as the season progresses and we get healthier only because I'd hate to have ? over some of those young players

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6 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

To put that in perspective, it would require a record of 45-29-1 record the rest of the way to accomplish that feat (0.607 winning percentage). It's not impossible, but it would be a challenge to play better than .600 hockey for 75 games. 

Considering we're currently playing, what, .143 hockey that might be a bit of a tall task! :4224:

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7 games 2 pts ... given the other teams in our conference we likely need another 96 pts in 75 games to make the playoffs ...  thats a 0.640 pace.   Even if we play at .607 like we did in 2016-2017 we wind up with 93pts and most likely not in a WC spot.

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59 minutes ago, habsisme said:

that's why I think at this point, it's better we finish last. The only way we're going to get the star players we really want is to suck for a couple of years. 

It's looking like that won't be a problem. 

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58 minutes ago, maas_art said:

Considering we're currently playing, what, .143 hockey that might be a bit of a tall task! :4224:

Of course, but then we both know that the .143 is based on such a small sample size that it's not representative of much going forward. It's putting us in a huge hole to catch up the rest of the way, but I don't think this team with Carey, Edmundson, and some time for the new guys to gel is going to under .450 the rest of the way. In fact, I'd say the odds of our finishing bottom 5 in the league are also miniscule. At least some of Buffalo, Arizona, Anaheim, San Jose, Columbus, Ottawa, Detroit, Nashville, etc. are going to sink to the bottom of the pile.

The other challenge we have is that there really aren't a lot of players her to trade away as rentals to other teams. You have Chiarot as the obvious name there, and maybe at best he brings back a 2nd rounder and another lower pick, and you have Kulak and Wideman on D and Perreault and Paquette up front who could be dealt for spare change. Past that, you have Lehkonen who is an RFA after this season and doesn't seem to be highly valued by our organization and you have NIku who's an RFA too and that's it for expiring contracts. Looking to next year, you have Drouin, Byron, Caufield, and Allen expiring. But in general, most of our key guys are locked up to 3 years or longer, so they're not ideal targets for teams in contention to want to take on as contracts. In some ways, it's a bad year for us to be out of the playoff race early and want to be sellers, because we won't be peddling goods that other teams will pay for. We're more set up at present to trade away a winger in a hockey deal for a center or defenceman, and those types of deals are usually made in the off-season and are less likely to bring back futures.

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4 hours ago, HabsAlways said:

The League could force the issue as LTIR is not meant to avoid retirement or the contract consequences there of.    They weren't happy with the Prongor situation in Philly and think they changed some of the language around LTIR.

The CBA and NHLPA really limits what the league can do here. Obviously you can't just go on LTIR if you're not hurt, but NHL players are so banged up late in their career the NHL isn't going to win a case arguing "this player isn't hurt and needs to get back on the ice or retire", not to mention the PR nightmare from appearing to push banged up old players to play.

They may not be happy with it, since in a lot of cases I suspect the players could technically play, but I can't see them doing much.

 

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47 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

Of course, but then we both know that the .143 is based on such a small sample size that it's not representative of much going forward. It's putting us in a huge hole to catch up the rest of the way, but I don't think this team with Carey, Edmundson, and some time for the new guys to gel is going to under .450 the rest of the way. In fact, I'd say the odds of our finishing bottom 5 in the league are also miniscule. At least some of Buffalo, Arizona, Anaheim, San Jose, Columbus, Ottawa, Detroit, Nashville, etc. are going to sink to the bottom of the pile.

 

Obviously we'll improve from the current pace, but the big question is if this team is a bottom 5 team? On paper, we shouldn't be, but sometimes when the wheels fall off, it can happen fast and not make a lot of sense (San Jose's decent from conference finals to bottom-feeder without any clear explanation beyondbyond players getting a year older was perhaps most impressive example).

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21 minutes ago, Graeme-1 said:

Obviously we'll improve from the current pace, but the big question is if this team is a bottom 5 team? On paper, we shouldn't be, but sometimes when the wheels fall off, it can happen fast and not make a lot of sense (San Jose's decent from conference finals to bottom-feeder without any clear explanation beyondbyond players getting a year older was perhaps most impressive example).

Yeah this team is so poorly constructed its hard to say what we really are.

You've got 5 lines of NHL caliber wingers, with guys on our 4th line (or even pressbox) that would be on many team's 3rd.   You've got 7 or 8 nhl quality defensmen but all but 1 or 2 are #4-6 at best.  You've got good quality centres in Suzuki, Dvorak and Evans but all would benefit being pushed back 1 line. 

Its a very odd group to be sure and it's why i'm especially frustrated with MB.

We knew Weber was done at the beginning of the summer.  We knew price was having surgery and a couple of other key guys were going to be out to start the year too. There was ample opportunity to say "ok, retool time" but instead he just added more middling depth.  How did he think Savard + Wideman + Niku was going to replace a top 3 dman? How did he think Dvorak would replace Danault AND JK?   Its just a completely horrendous job. I dont hate MB as much as a lot of others on here, I think he's done some things very well but this is definitely not one of them. 





 

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11 minutes ago, Graeme-1 said:

Obviously we'll improve from the current pace, but the big question is if this team is a bottom 5 team?

2016 - 2017 Lost in the 1 st round 

2017 - 2018 Did not make the playoffs

2018 - 2019 Did not make the playoffs

2019 - 2020 - Lost in the 1s t round - in reality did not make the playoffs until the NHL created the buy in round and they beat Pittsburgh 

2020 - 2021 - Lost in the SCF but  had the least amount of points of all teams that qualified

2021 off season - lost CP and  SW ( and PD, TT, JK ) - the last 3 guys I would think  you should  be able to replace

2021 - 2022 - off to a bad start

 

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1 hour ago, Graeme-1 said:

The CBA and NHLPA really limits what the league can do here. Obviously you can't just go on LTIR if you're not hurt, but NHL players are so banged up late in their career the NHL isn't going to win a case arguing "this player isn't hurt and needs to get back on the ice or retire", not to mention the PR nightmare from appearing to push banged up old players to play.

They may not be happy with it, since in a lot of cases I suspect the players could technically play, but I can't see them doing much.

 

In this case you can, LTIR is intended for players that have some hope of playing again.    And yes, the CBA created this loophole but the NHL can still press the issue and file for mediation/arbitration if it feels the Habs are abusing LTIR.     Now will the NHL do this? Who knows, as the penalty in this case isn't against Montreal but against Nashville.

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2 hours ago, HabsAlways said:

In this case you can, LTIR is intended for players that have some hope of playing again.    And yes, the CBA created this loophole but the NHL can still press the issue and file for mediation/arbitration if it feels the Habs are abusing LTIR.     Now will the NHL do this? Who knows, as the penalty in this case isn't against Montreal but against Nashville.

I don't think that's right, otherwise what is Montreal supposed to do in this case, keep a player who can never play again on the roster?  They can't force someone to retire (nor should Weber be expected to, he can't fulfill his contract due to injuries sustained while playing hockey, why should Montreal get out of the contract because he got injured while working for them?) and I don't even think you can buy out an injured player.

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7 hours ago, Graeme-1 said:

Obviously we'll improve from the current pace, but the big question is if this team is a bottom 5 team? On paper, we shouldn't be, but sometimes when the wheels fall off, it can happen fast and not make a lot of sense (San Jose's decent from conference finals to bottom-feeder without any clear explanation beyondbyond players getting a year older was perhaps most impressive example).

It seems our lineup, when written on paper, was written in disappearing ink.

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https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/dan-robertson-the-ch-need-another-c-1.5642190

Dan Robertson: The ‘CH’ need another ‘C’

MONTREAL -- Mathieu Perreault was the centre of attention last Saturday at the Bell Centre.

He should not be the centre of the team’s third line.

With a natural hat-trick that triggered an ovation that only the Bell Centre fans can provide, it was a magical night for Perreault.

“You don’t even dream about a moment [like this],” said Perreault during the Habs’ post-game press conference. “You just dream of playing in the NHL and maybe playing for the Canadiens and not to actually score a hat-trick in your own building.”

After opening the season with five consecutive losses, Montreal desperately needed the two points against the Red Wings, and they got them with a 6-1 victory.

However, with respect to Perreault, he is miscast as Montreal’s third line centreman.

The 33 year-old Drummondville, Que. native wasn’t signed to skate between the likes of Tyler Toffoli and Cole Caufield, certainly not for the long term. That combination might work in a pinch, but Perreault and the team would be better off if he were battling for a spot on the fourth line, preferably as a winger.

He hasn’t played centre with regularity for a few seasons and was being used in Winnipeg as an energy winger with some grit and a touch of offensive flair. He isn’t the answer at the three spot for Montreal.

The truth is, that player isn’t on the roster.

In a better scenario, Ryan Poehling and Jake Evans would be battling for the number three centre role. Coming off a strong AHL season and with some sorely needed size down the middle, Poehling was given every chance at training camp to make the team, but couldn’t get the job done.

He’s still just 22 years old and could some day play in the top nine, but it seems far from a sure bet. When Jake Evans centres Artturi Lehkonen and Joel Armia, the makings of a solid defensive trio is clear. When Evans is on the third line and is needed to chip in with some offence, it’s evident he’s not a great fit in that role.

To this point, Toronto castoff Adam Brooks has played one game at third line centre while veteran Cedric Paquette is best suited for spot duty on a fourth line.

Montreal’s General Manager Marc Bergevin said recently he is not going to make a trade "just for the sake of making a trade." Nor should he.

But with plenty of road ahead to right the wrongs of the first two weeks of the season, it would make sense to find someone better suited for third line responsibilities. Granted, early season NHL trades are as rare as a Canadiens victory, but finding diamonds in the rough is one of the GM’s strengths.

If the Habs can acquire someone in the league who could thrive with a fresh start at the right price, they need to get it done. Then the Perreaults and Evans of the world could be slotted properly and things might just fall into place.

The Canadiens have no shortage of issues on their hands right now, but solidifying things down the middle at the right cost would certainly be a step in the right direction. 

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12 minutes ago, H_T_L said:

After the unexpected win in SJ last night, next up are B2B's in LA and Anaheim,,, which means Monty likely gets another start. This is like Neimi all over again. :rolleyes:

Or Keith Kinkaid. Or Mike Condon. Or Ben Scrivens.

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40 minutes ago, H_T_L said:

After the unexpected win in SJ last night, next up are B2B's in LA and Anaheim,,, which means Monty likely gets another start. This is like Neimi all over again. :rolleyes:

No way Jake Allen can keep standing on his head, like Carey did during his younger years. we're actually worse off in goal now! When we thought it would be one of our strengths.

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42 minutes ago, H_T_L said:

After the unexpected win in SJ last night, next up are B2B's in LA and Anaheim,,, which means Monty likely gets another start. This is like Neimi all over again. :rolleyes:

IMO, I think we’ve been unreasonably hard on Montenbeau. The guy has played two games with us, one preseason and one regular, and both games we were terrible in front of him. Allan has put up a few stinkers as well, and last night he gets the shutout. I don’t see the benefit of not getting behind this kid…

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20 minutes ago, MALMACIAN_CRUNCH said:

IMO, I think we’ve been unreasonably hard on Montenbeau. The guy has played two games with us, one preseason and one regular, and both games we were terrible in front of him. Allan has put up a few stinkers as well, and last night he gets the shutout. I don’t see the benefit of not getting behind this kid…

Agree.  The other thing to consider is that I guarantee MB didn't just pull his name out of a hat when we claimed him. Im sure that Sean Burke and Eric Raymond were both consulted - heck they may have been the catalysts for claiming him. Maybe they see something in him & have been working with him. Its not unheard of for a goalie to take time to develop. He was drafted relatively high (75th or so i think?) and never really had strong numbers, even in junior, so you have to wonder if there's something about him that makes the experts say "thoroughbred' as Gainey did in  reference to Price when he hadn't yet established himself.   

In any event, I dont see MB going out & getting someone else so its definitely a "get behind him" sort of situation because he's pretty much it until Price comes back.  \

 

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Yeah,,,, my bad on seemingly pinning this all on Monty. He hasn't played enough games to be branded a failure with us yet. It's a precarious situation for him no doubt with the team play in front of him at this point in the season. It almost feels like the only way we can win right now is if a goalie stands on his head so that the guys can loosen their grip on sticks and get into a flow. The team had no quit in them last year in the playoffs and we weren't left with the feeling it was game over whenever we were trailing. This version seems so fragile when trailing and doesn't come close to that same feeling. 

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3 hours ago, H_T_L said:

Yeah,,,, my bad on seemingly pinning this all on Monty. He hasn't played enough games to be branded a failure with us yet. It's a precarious situation for him no doubt with the team play in front of him at this point in the season. It almost feels like the only way we can win right now is if a goalie stands on his head so that the guys can loosen their grip on sticks and get into a flow. The team had no quit in them last year in the playoffs and we weren't left with the feeling it was game over whenever we were trailing. This version seems so fragile when trailing and doesn't come close to that same feeling. 

Its a crap situation because as I said above, I suspect Burke and/or Raymond targeted Monty as a guy they could help develop. I imagine they thought he'd only have to play a game or two & then get sent down (if he cleared) and they could work with him.  No such luxury now.  Hopefully the couple of weeks theyve had with him have helped but I wouldnt bet on it. 

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41 minutes ago, maas_art said:

Its a crap situation because as I said above, I suspect Burke and/or Raymond targeted Monty as a guy they could help develop. I imagine they thought he'd only have to play a game or two & then get sent down (if he cleared) and they could work with him.  No such luxury now.  Hopefully the couple of weeks theyve had with him have helped but I wouldnt bet on it. 

My question is whether he's really any better than McNiven/Primeau/etc. who were already in the organization. Doesn't seem like it so far. McNiven is already complaining that he's done everything asked of him and keeps getting bypassed by other goalies who he's outplayed (Lindgren cough cough)... Montembeault seems to fit that description too.

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30 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

My question is whether he's really any better than McNiven/Primeau/etc. who were already in the organization. Doesn't seem like it so far. McNiven is already complaining that he's done everything asked of him and keeps getting bypassed by other goalies who he's outplayed (Lindgren cough cough)... Montembeault seems to fit that description too.

For sure - and McNiven is not wrong.  At this point he absolutely deserves/d a shot but again, if they think Monty is the next waiver steal like Bryzgalov or Nabukov then you take that chance. It sucks for guys in our system already but it is a business.  

That said Im not sure what they see in Monty - or if they can bring it out -but I really dont think it was simply a random pickup. I think they believe they can develop him, otherwise they would have brought someone up from Laval imho. 

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