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2021-22 State of the Habs


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On 8/2/2021 at 5:57 PM, CaptWelly said:

Weber, Petry, Price, Gallagher , Byron all playing with injuries some severe. Drouin and Tatar not even dressing. This team can win and should be able to make the playoffs. Missing Danualt will hurt depending on what others do. I really think Poehling can fill that role. I think the biggest question mark is if JK can take the next step and become what everyone is hoping a true #2 center?

Yes I agree with you and many things written here. Just wanted to highlight that I highly value that Habs showed what it means to be a unit in the playoffs and how that helps to be successful. If the guys stay healthy and the younger players develop I also see us in the playoffs.

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5 hours ago, jennifer_rocket said:

McNiven signed a one-year deal worth AAV $750K. Nice to see him back. I suppose he and Primeau will be the guys in Laval this season.

I agree - McNiven was an undrafted goalie out of the ohl with some decent numbers and is only 24. He may not have much ceiling but is a good utility loyal prospect so he may get more time in the ahl with Lindgren out of the way. Although they say Price will be ready for the start of the season, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jake plus Primeau get some early season starts 

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Bergevin Expects Drouin to Start Next Season

Jonathan Drouin is back on the ice and skating at the Bell Complex in Brossard for the Canadiens. GM Marc Bergevin confirmed that he expects the forward to be back and ready to go on the first day of training camp. Drouin put up 23 points in 44 games this season before stepping away to take care of some personal matters. That he is starting to train again is a step in the right direction for the team and the player.

Bergevin’s comments seem to put to rest any potential news of a trade or possible retirement. Let’s hope Drouin is able to recover fully from whatever was ailing him and is able to contribute to a Canadiens roster that added pieces like David Savard , Mike Hoffman, Cédric Paquette and Mathieu Perreault , but lost Phillip Danault and Shea Weber.

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11 hours ago, kinot-2 said:

Lightning forward Alex Killorn trolls Canadiens by taking Stanley Cup to Bell Centre. :wut2:

ONE day with the Cup and he takes it downtown to get a pic in front of the Bell Centre ..........seems like a waste but what do I know 

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1 hour ago, Regis22 said:

https://thehockeywriters.com/montreal-canadiens-chiarot-partner-weber-savard/

Likeliest Canadiens Defensemen to Partner with Chiarot

I also assume they will try him with Savard first which, on paper, looks not so great.  But then Id actually much rather see Chairot further down the lineup. Despite how good he was for stretches in the playoffs, its unlikely he can or will replicate that in the regular season.

Im still hoping we will trade for someone for our top 4 but assuming we dont (and assuming no one like Norlinder or Brook or Guhle or someone blows the team away in camp)  I would do:

Edmundson - Petry
Romanov - Savard
Chairot - Wideman
Kulak

I assume they will actually be close to that but with Chiarot and Romanov flipped, which imho makes 2 pairings weaker. 

1 hour ago, Regis22 said:

ONE day with the Cup and he takes it downtown to get a pic in front of the Bell Centre ..........seems like a waste but what do I know 

 

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https://montrealgazette.com/sports/hockey/nhl/hockey-inside-out/what-the-puck-this-habs-team-will-be-hard-pressed-to-make-the-playoffs

What the Puck: This Habs team will be hard-pressed to make the playoffs

It doesn't seem like GM Marc Bergevin has adequately replaced the injured Shea Weber or the departed Phillip Danault in his rebuilt lineup.

Author of the article:
Brendan Kelly  •  Montreal Gazette
Publishing date:
Aug 17, 2021  •  
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2 hours ago, Regis22 said:

https://montrealgazette.com/sports/hockey/nhl/hockey-inside-out/what-the-puck-this-habs-team-will-be-hard-pressed-to-make-the-playoffsWhat the Puck: This Habs team will be hard-pressed to make the playoffs

Author of the article: Brendan Kelly  

Publishing date:
Aug 17, 2021  •  

The fact Kelly wrote the article means I probably wont read it. But I dont disagree with the title  - I do think it will be a dog fight to make the post season.  Honestly though, aside from 2 or 3 teams in each conference i think thats true of almost every team in the league.  Parity and the Cap have meant very very few teams are truly elite any more.  I think we will do better than some pundits believe but worse than MB is hoping. I believe it will be enough to make the playoffs, but only just. 

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19 hours ago, maas_art said:

The fact Kelly wrote the article means I probably wont read it. But I dont disagree with the title  - I do think it will be a dog fight to make the post season.  Honestly though, aside from 2 or 3 teams in each conference i think thats true of almost every team in the league.  Parity and the Cap have meant very very few teams are truly elite any more.  I think we will do better than some pundits believe but worse than MB is hoping. I believe it will be enough to make the playoffs, but only just. 

I do think this team is capable of making the playoffs. That said I do think many of the fans are dismissing the impact of Danault and definitely Weber to the line up. Price and Allen will both have to be good all year and JK will have to make the jump or Poehling or someone else pick up additional play. Evans alone I don't feel is going to replace Danault. I do believe he has been highly underrated. His wingers have had very productive seasons. His own points have been down but that is while playing a shut down role while having zero power play time. Show me a top shutdown center with NO POWER PLAY time that has a lot of points? Most "top" players that most drool over if you remove PP points are average. I think we will make the playoffs but it will have to be a TEAM effort. 

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Montreal Canadiens: 10 Dates To Circle On Your Calendar

 

The 2021-2022 schedule has been released and as always, there are games that will stand out more than others. Let’s take a look at 10 must-see games for next season.

October 13th MTL @ TOR – Once again the season opener will be on the road in Toronto. This year however has a little flavor of intensity as the Leafs will look to avenge their 1st round loss against the Habs all year.

October 16th NYR @ MTL – There’s no word yet if the home opener will be in front of 21,302 screaming fans but one can only hope. Not only will the fans welcome their hometown heroes with a roaring ovation after last year’s Cup Finals appearance, but this will also be everyone’s first glimpse of Alexei Lafreniere in his home province.

October 26th MTL @ SEA – A Tuesday night game at 10pm is hardly attractive for most people, but i’m sure many will make an exception to at least tune in for a few minutes and see NHL’s newest team and listen to the over-analysis about everything Seattle.

October 30th MTL @ LA – Facing old teammate Phillip Danault for the first time. You bet Danault will be giving his all that game to prove to the Los Angeles faithful that he deserves his contract.

November 6th VGK @ MTL – Saturday night in Montreal against Vegas. You know this one will be rumbling.

November 9th LA @ MTL – Danault’s return to the Bell Center. I expect nothing but loud cheers for the Victoriaville native.

December 7th TB @ MTL – What should be a cold Tuesday night outdoors will likely be boiling and red hot inside the Bell Center. Expect the boo birds to be heard every time Kucherov touches the puck. Not to mention the return of Corey Perry.

January 4th WSH @ MTL – It’s always special when Alexander Ovechkin hits the Montreal ice. For as long as he’s playing, we’ll be cheering him on to rack up the 165 goals needed to break Wayne Gretzky’s all-time record. This year he will likely notch the 37 goals needed to jump from 6th place to 3rd all-time passing by Marcel Dionne, Brett Hull and Jaromir Jagr.

February 4th to February 20th – Ok this is cheating a little as we’re circling 2 weeks, but it’s the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. We’re all going to be busy cheering for Canada’s men and women’s teams during that time. Even if the games will be likely be played between midnight and 7am our time.

 

April 11th WPG @ MTL – The return of Mark Scheifele on Montreal ice since the Jake Evans incident in last year’s playoffs. You know the Jets will be looking to leave with more than just a win.

Honorable Mentions:

November 18th PIT @ MTL – Sidney Crosby, folks.

December 2nd COL @ MTL – The old guard of the Nordiques always flash their colors high whenever the Avs are in town. I wonder if Colorado will bust out those reverse retro jerseys again for one night.

December 18th BOS @ MTL – Saturday night against the Bruins is always a must see show.

 

March 12th SEA @ MTL – Seattle’s first visit in La Belle Province and for some their first visit at La Belle Province.

April 29th FLA @ MTL – Last game of the season and unless he’s traded or we face the Panthers in the playoffs, likely the last time we’ll see Joe Thornton skate on our ice.

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10 hours ago, CaptWelly said:

I do think this team is capable of making the playoffs. That said I do think many of the fans are dismissing the impact of Danault and definitely Weber to the line up. Price and Allen will both have to be good all year and JK will have to make the jump or Poehling or someone else pick up additional play. Evans alone I don't feel is going to replace Danault. I do believe he has been highly underrated. His wingers have had very productive seasons. His own points have been down but that is while playing a shut down role while having zero power play time. Show me a top shutdown center with NO POWER PLAY time that has a lot of points? Most "top" players that most drool over if you remove PP points are average. I think we will make the playoffs but it will have to be a TEAM effort. 

I am not sure folks here are dismissing what Dano brought to our team at all I think it is more of a case of what he cost versus what he is worth. with the flat cap and some of our young centers needing to get a spot he was just going to be too much money and term for his output and his sterling defensive play was not enough to offset that. if we can get better production from another center and enough defensive play out of either Evans or Poehling we end up getting younger and more balanced. Gally produced with anyone he played with in the past as for Tater well he is gone too so we will have to see.

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14 hours ago, ramcharger440 said:

I am not sure folks here are dismissing what Dano brought to our team at all I think it is more of a case of what he cost versus what he is worth. with the flat cap and some of our young centers needing to get a spot he was just going to be too much money and term for his output and his sterling defensive play was not enough to offset that. if we can get better production from another center and enough defensive play out of either Evans or Poehling we end up getting younger and more balanced. Gally produced with anyone he played with in the past as for Tater well he is gone too so we will have to see.

I think the bigger problem with Dano was the term. I think MB would have given him the money he wanted (or even more) if it was 2-3 years but that salary at that term - with a NMC/NTC would have been very problematic in a couple of seasons. 

That said, down the middle we're definitely weaker right now.  I dont know if MB will address that this off season or if they believe guys like JK & Evans & Poehling are all going to progress this season but right now, assuming we dont add another centre, we're going to be in tough.

 

As for Weber, he wasnt very good for most of the regular season so im not sure if we will feel his loss that much this year. In the playoffs, if we havent addressed this and/or he doesnt come back, it could ba  big problem.  

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1 hour ago, maas_art said:

I think the bigger problem with Dano was the term. I think MB would have given him the money he wanted (or even more) if it was 2-3 years but that salary at that term - with a NMC/NTC would have been very problematic in a couple of seasons. 

That said, down the middle we're definitely weaker right now.  I dont know if MB will address that this off season or if they believe guys like JK & Evans & Poehling are all going to progress this season but right now, assuming we dont add another centre, we're going to be in tough.

 

As for Weber, he wasnt very good for most of the regular season so im not sure if we will feel his loss that much this year. In the playoffs, if we havent addressed this and/or he doesnt come back, it could ba  big problem.  

I agree we are weaker at least to start the season at center but we are in super shape on the wings! in fact we have an amazing lineup of wingers! faceoffs are going to be an issue but we may be able to overcome some of that with our strength on the wings. if we have to we can always make a trade for a good journeyman center if the kids crumble, it is not ideal but i am looking forward to seeing what they can do first who knows we may all get surprised!

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2 hours ago, ramcharger440 said:

I agree we are weaker at least to start the season at center but we are in super shape on the wings! in fact we have an amazing lineup of wingers! faceoffs are going to be an issue but we may be able to overcome some of that with our strength on the wings. if we have to we can always make a trade for a good journeyman center if the kids crumble, it is not ideal but i am looking forward to seeing what they can do first who knows we may all get surprised!

Our Faceoffs aren't as bad as one would think. Suzuki ended the season at 43.97% KK at 47.91% and Evans at 50.12% those are pretty good numbers for 3 young guys. Playoff stats were even better, Evans was at 51.28% KK had 49.35% and Suzuki at 45.73%. There is no reason to believe they won't have similar numbers or better this season.

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3 hours ago, ramcharger440 said:

I agree we are weaker at least to start the season at center but we are in super shape on the wings! in fact we have an amazing lineup of wingers! faceoffs are going to be an issue but we may be able to overcome some of that with our strength on the wings. if we have to we can always make a trade for a good journeyman center if the kids crumble, it is not ideal but i am looking forward to seeing what they can do first who knows we may all get surprised!

I still think MB will try to get another centre.  If he doesnt, I think they will look at younger players like Poehling or maybe Vejdemo for the bottom 6.   Theres' also the possibility we shift around a winger (pacquette, Hoffman and perrault have all played centre) but I think the problem is that while any of those guys may be fine as a #4  our #3 slot is a bit questionable (and thats assuming JK steps into the #2 slot ok). 

Right now imho we have

Suzuki: Deserves a shot at #1C - i think he'll excel. 
Kotkaneimi: Deserves a shot at #2C - I hope he'll excel - at worst he'll fall back to #3
Evans:  Will probably get a shot at #3.  He might be ready but Im still worried he's not a #3 but rather a great #4. 
Poehling: May get a shot. Because he's still not waiver eligible he may not.  I think he may be ready - he had a great bounceback season in the AHL.  Better than a #4? 
Pacquette: Safe choice for #4 if the 3 young guys all handle 1-3.   Do NOT want to see him playing higher up the lineup
Hoffman: Has played centre but is offense-first. Will not do well at this position for this coaching staff imho.
Perrault: Was actually a decent #4 but I dont believe he's played centre for some time
Vejdemo:  Outside chance at #4 slot but we dont lack options there.
Byron: Same as Vejdemo: could play #4, but probably wont get a chance. 

So, some options - not a bad amount of centres, just lacking guys in higher roles.  IF JK can step up to his potential, the whole thing becomes far less of a problem to be sure. 

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1 hour ago, campabee82 said:

Our Faceoffs aren't as bad as one would think. Suzuki ended the season at 43.97% KK at 47.91% and Evans at 50.12% those are pretty good numbers for 3 young guys. Playoff stats were even better, Evans was at 51.28% KK had 49.35% and Suzuki at 45.73%. There is no reason to believe they won't have similar numbers or better this season.

Interesting . I remember watching the playoffs  and quite a few Vegas' goals were off the face off win

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58 minutes ago, Regis22 said:

Alex Galchenyuk  ( just kidding )

haha.  I still think there's a -30% chance (yes, thats less than zero) AG27 comes back. I think its incredibly slim (maybe 5%) that Domi is considered though.  

 

33 minutes ago, Regis22 said:

Interesting . I remember watching the playoffs  and quite a few Vegas' goals were off the face off win

Yeah. I know that advanced stats guys will tell you faceoffs are unimportant but i do think that they play a role.  That said, those set plays in Vegas had more to do with our defense's mobility (or lack thereof) - if we had better blockout/positioning, those lost draws wouldnt have meant nearly as much. 

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20 minutes ago, maas_art said:

haha.  I still think there's a -30% chance (yes, thats less than zero) AG27 comes back. I think its incredibly slim (maybe 5%) that Domi is considered though.  

 

Yeah. I know that advanced stats guys will tell you faceoffs are unimportant but i do think that they play a role.  That said, those set plays in Vegas had more to do with our defense's mobility (or lack thereof) - if we had better blockout/positioning, those lost draws wouldnt have meant nearly as much. 

That always seems contradictory that face offs wouldn't matter. Than I guess the advanced stats don't want you to have possession? The neutral zone draws usually aren't a big deal generally.  All face offs in the defensive or offensive zones can be huge as a lot of zone time pressure can happen because of a face off lost. Which a lot of times leads to an icing or possibly a penalty when teams get chasing the play. It also as in the playoffs can be back breakers from teams winning and scoring off a face off. Of course timing is always big for face offs also. Teams trying to tie a game or defend from a team. I think face offs can be very important. (Late in the game defending or trying to tie who doesn't sit tight hoping your team wins the draw?) I also think "Advanced" stats are way over stated, especially when rating a defense man. I am not trying to start a debate which happens all to often just my own personal opinion! 

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You can say what you want about the rookies and what you hope and wish for, but in your mind, you know they need a #1 center and a #1 defenceman.  Bergevin was too cheap in not going all in on Hamilton which would have solved the D problem, instead of throwing a few darts at the board.  Also, he should have gone in with the Rangers and Sabres and gotten Zibanejad for Kot and a 1st and 3rd draft pick  to the Sabres while the Rangers throw a 2nd in for Eichel.  Bingo, both problems solved.  I love Suzuki, but at this point in his career, you don't just put him there and hope he succeeds because you want him to!.  The money would have worked out to with Weber, Byron, Drouin.

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