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2016-17 State of the Habs


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The dust has not as yet settled on the Subban trade... and probably never will for a very, very long time. That said, of course I did not like the trade... mostly in terms of the return not being greater than it was. But I have to admit that the State of the Habs has changed towards a direction that is, at least, interesting enough to warrant a continued following on my part.

I watch most if not all Habs games each year, starting with disappointment each year regarding what MB has done and not done each off-season since his appointment as GM... always hoping that in spite of everything things will get better. This season is different. I have mixed feelings.

Let's face it... Subban being a Hab under the current regime has been problematic, as much on the surface as otherwise and can not be denied. I always had a feeling he would eventually have to go for a number of reasons (most, IMO, not of his own accord). He was a marked player once his impact became evident early on... in the media, with officials, other team's players, fans and yes... among some Habs players and management. So... when something like that is so evident, change is the end result. I don't like it, but see it for what it has become. PK is a great player, not tough enough to plant fear into opposing players physically perhaps, but talented enough to warrant a lot of attention that can at some times help the team and others hurt the team IMO.

Moving on, I still see the possibility of another trade before the new season begins. Weber is big (so was Hal Gill) but I'm not sure just how much of a physical presence he will represent... and that, IMO, is what will define his effectiveness. The addition by subtraction of Shaw for Eller also is based on toughness... I have no doubt (but it would have been great to keep Eller at the same time as adding Shaw while trading Desharnais... it didn't fly I guess). Radulov... is the last chance for Michel Therrien to make the right decisions regarding a potential offensive threat that can only make the team better. He has to be given every chance to play in the right position to improve his chance at success. Goaltending is not an issue as long as Carey Price remains healthy. Petry may turn out to be what was expected by some (ditto Beaulieu) as definite positives... I remain not convinced. Sergachyov... may be the next one (in terms of a top 2 defenseman) that will help us forget the past with Subban. The rest of the team, barring trades etc., and prospects are acceptable for now

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I loved the last points of the above article about the value of the franchise and how fan protest is the only way that change can be achieved. As long as Hab fans continue to act like lemmings, the cycle will continue and we will have become an echo of the Maple Leaf legacy of futility ......

The numbers don’t lie. In terms of playoff success, the Habs have been near the bottom of the league for 23 years if they’re ranked with other teams that were in the league in 1992-1993. It’s a terrible record by any definition and is proof that over the course of three different owners – the Molson brewery, George Gillett and the group fronted by Geoff Molson – the team’s hockey operations have been atrociously managed.

Why is that? Because as the team becomes more and more below-average, the company’s profits just keep rising. Gillett bought the Canadiens from the Molson brewery for $275 million in 2001, the Geoff Molson group then spent $575 million to acquire the team from Gillett in 2009 and last fall Forbes estimated that the Canadiens were worth a cool $1.18 billion, making them the second richest franchise in hockey, just below the New York Rangers.

So the Habs have increased in value by over $800 million in 15 years. So where’s the incentive to strive for excellence? It really is the Toronto Maple Leafs all over again.

And there’s only one way this spiral of mediocrity is going to be stopped. It’s going to take a fan protest, not just in reaction to sending Subban to Tennessee but over the fact that the Subban deal is just the latest example of a team that treats its fans with contempt.

The ideal would be for everyone to skip the first home game next fall. But if that’s asking too much, how about, as reader Darrell Brown suggested to me, everyone shows up on opening night dressed in black and refuses to cheer. That’s a good first step.

Throw in the fact the team needs an owner and front office who can stand up to the French media.

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I loved the last points of the above article about the value of the franchise and how fan protest is the only way that change can be achieved. As long as Hab fans continue to act like lemmings, the cycle will continue and we will have become an echo of the Maple Leaf legacy of futility ......

The numbers don’t lie. In terms of playoff success, the Habs have been near the bottom of the league for 23 years if they’re ranked with other teams that were in the league in 1992-1993. It’s a terrible record by any definition and is proof that over the course of three different owners – the Molson brewery, George Gillett and the group fronted by Geoff Molson – the team’s hockey operations have been atrociously managed.

Why is that? Because as the team becomes more and more below-average, the company’s profits just keep rising. Gillett bought the Canadiens from the Molson brewery for $275 million in 2001, the Geoff Molson group then spent $575 million to acquire the team from Gillett in 2009 and last fall Forbes estimated that the Canadiens were worth a cool $1.18 billion, making them the second richest franchise in hockey, just below the New York Rangers.

So the Habs have increased in value by over $800 million in 15 years. So where’s the incentive to strive for excellence? It really is the Toronto Maple Leafs all over again.

And there’s only one way this spiral of mediocrity is going to be stopped. It’s going to take a fan protest, not just in reaction to sending Subban to Tennessee but over the fact that the Subban deal is just the latest example of a team that treats its fans with contempt.

The ideal would be for everyone to skip the first home game next fall. But if that’s asking too much, how about, as reader Darrell Brown suggested to me, everyone shows up on opening night dressed in black and refuses to cheer. That’s a good first step.

Interesting to note they've been the bottom of the league for 23 years. Pretty much the same amount of time that has gone by since the Roy trade.

i was a 20 something fan when Roy was traded. The Fans complained, and have continued to complain ever since.

If MB and Molson has confirmed anything, it's that they won't be swayed by fans input. They knew way before the trade that the city would blow up. They did it anyways.

I do like the fire power we have now in our top 6. i think from the foward ranks, we're better than we were last season.

On defense, talking strictly defense, we should be solid if everyone stays healthy. Offensively from the back end, we've dipped. Weber doesn't carry the puck into the offensive zone, so it'll be up to our forwards to make things happen and get through the neutral zone and deep into the o-zone.

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On defense, talking strictly defense, we should be solid if everyone stays healthy. Offensively from the back end, we've dipped. Weber doesn't carry the puck into the offensive zone, so it'll be up to our forwards to make things happen and get through the neutral zone and deep into the o-zone.

lol...MT 's system is to chip the puck out to centre and have the forwards outrace the opposing team to the puck . In that sense they won't miss PK because now there are very few D men who can carry the puck up the ice or even make clearing passes . SO this should be interesting

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lol...MT 's system is to chip the puck out to centre and have the forwards outrace the opposing team to the puck . In that sense they won't miss PK because now there are very few D men who can carry the puck up the ice or even make clearing passes . SO this should be interesting

Even without PK, we have several puck moving dmen in barbs, Bo, Petry and marky. Sure, we have a tendency to chip the puck out and hopefully recover in the neutral zone.

I wouldn't say it's part of Mike's system, per say. It's an automatic reaction to panic, something they've been taught since peewee. When in trouble, simply get the puck out of the zone so the team can regroup. If you want to call it part of his system, it's then part of every coaches system.

With the puck movers we have, we should be able to get the puck out without turning it over in the neutral zone.

For this to happen, we're going to need a little more help from our forwards.

Mikes system was to keep the wingers high in the dzone protecting the point shots. It also puts them in good position if our defenders can get the puck up to the wingers. With a speedy winger, they only have one defender on each side, to contend with. The forwards are low in the ozone and should be too deep to catch up to our speedy wingers. This is exactly how Byron has so many breakaways.

Being a winger, he checks the point on his winger. Keeping an eye on the blueliner and also keeping an eye out for a pass from his dmen or very least, if they're being pressured, be ready to pounce on a lose puck that a defender has chipped up the boards.

Unfortunately, a lot of young defenders will panic. Instead of looking for a winger, they'll panic and revert back to peewee basics, which is to chip the puck up the boards/glass and into the neutral zone, relieving some pressure. Every team does this, usually when they're being pressured. Those with less skill or who are playing a higher skilled team will have a tendency to do this more often. Which was definitely the case last season.

It is going to be interesting Regis. Weber isn't the best passer, it isn't part of his strength. His strength is tying up forwards, so a teammate can come in, retrieve the loose puck and get it up to the wingers who are waiting near or at the blueline.

Edited by FirstStar
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Even without PK, we have several puck moving dmen in barbs, Bo, Petry and marky. Sure, we have a tendency to chip the puck out and hopefully recover in the neutral zone.

I wouldn't say it's part of Mike's system, per say. It's an automatic reaction to panic, something they've been taught since peewee. When in trouble, simply get the puck out of the zone so the team can regroup. If you want to call it part of his system, it's then part of every coaches system.

With the puck movers we have, we should be able to get the puck out without turning it over in the neutral zone.

For this to happen, we're going to need a little more help from our forwards.

Mikes system was to keep the wingers high in the dzone protecting the point shots. It also puts them in good position if our defenders can get the puck up to the wingers. With a speedy winger, they only have one defender on each side, to contend with. The forwards are low in the ozone and should be too deep to catch up to our speedy wingers. This is exactly how Byron has so many breakaways.

Being a winger, he checks the point on his winger. Keeping an eye on the blueliner and also keeping an eye out for a pass from his dmen or very least, if they're being pressured, be ready to pounce on a lose puck that a defender has chipped up the boards.

Unfortunately, a lot of young defenders will panic. Instead of looking for a winger, they'll panic and revert back to peewee basics, which is to chip the puck up the boards/glass and into the neutral zone, relieving some pressure. Every team does this, usually when they're being pressured. Those with less skill or who are playing a higher skilled team will have a tendency to do this more often. Which was definitely the case last season.

It is going to be interesting Regis. Weber isn't the best passer, it isn't part of his strength. His strength is tying up forwards, so a teammate can come in, retrieve the loose puck and get it up to the wingers who are waiting near or at the blueline.

The part in bold is where we will need to make the biggest adjustments IMO. We can no longer afford to have that forward hanging out at the opponents blueline waiting for that breakout pass from PK. Those days are over now. The forwards will need to breakout as a unit with our D now to overcome that glaring weakness from the back end.

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The part in bold is where we will need to make the biggest adjustments IMO. We can no longer afford to have that forward hanging out at the opponents blueline waiting for that breakout pass from PK. Those days are over now. The forwards will need to breakout as a unit with our D now to overcome that glaring weakness from the back end.

Exactly.

My sentiments exactly, our wingers are going to have to go down to at least the half boards to help our defenders along the boards. And as you mentioned, break out as a unit.

Not having PK and his legs, will really change our style, at least on the breakout. Weber does have the hardest shot, so shots from the point should continue. But he won't be taking defenders on bus tour through ozone. :lol:

That is one thing I'll miss, seeing pk pulling defenders out of position by simply free wheeling through the offensive zone.

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Even without PK, we have several puck moving dmen in barbs, Bo, Petry and marky. Sure, we have a tendency to chip the puck out and hopefully recover in the neutral zone.

I wouldn't say it's part of Mike's system, per say. It's an automatic reaction to panic, something they've been taught since peewee. When in trouble, simply get the puck out of the zone so the team can regroup. If you want to call it part of his system, it's then part of every coaches system.

With the puck movers we have, we should be able to get the puck out without turning it over in the neutral zone.

For this to happen, we're going to need a little more help from our forwards.

Mikes system was to keep the wingers high in the dzone protecting the point shots. It also puts them in good position if our defenders can get the puck up to the wingers. With a speedy winger, they only have one defender on each side, to contend with. The forwards are low in the ozone and should be too deep to catch up to our speedy wingers. This is exactly how Byron has so many breakaways.

Being a winger, he checks the point on his winger. Keeping an eye on the blueliner and also keeping an eye out for a pass from his dmen or very least, if they're being pressured, be ready to pounce on a lose puck that a defender has chipped up the boards.

Unfortunately, a lot of young defenders will panic. Instead of looking for a winger, they'll panic and revert back to peewee basics, which is to chip the puck up the boards/glass and into the neutral zone, relieving some pressure. Every team does this, usually when they're being pressured. Those with less skill or who are playing a higher skilled team will have a tendency to do this more often. Which was definitely the case last season.

It is going to be interesting Regis. Weber isn't the best passer, it isn't part of his strength. His strength is tying up forwards, so a teammate can come in, retrieve the loose puck and get it up to the wingers who are waiting near or at the blueline.

The peewee reference is something that I have associated with PK's possession issues especially over this past season when he often didn't appear to look for an option or outlet pass. While PK is an exciting player with great skill I wonder if there wasn't some significant frustration with his over handling the puck at times ala peewee hockey. He would make some great rushes or plays but I think teams have adjusted ie. taking players away by covering them and making him over handle the puck even more. As long as he was kept on the perimeter he was less effective. I had no problem watching PK as he had great skill but the end results were not always there has happens with peewee players who can over handle the puck the turnovers were a big problem.

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The peewee reference is something that I have associated with PK's possession issues especially over this past season when he often didn't appear to look for an option or outlet pass. While PK is an exciting player with great skill I wonder if there wasn't some significant frustration with his over handling the puck at times ala peewee hockey. He would make some great rushes or plays but I think teams have adjusted ie. taking players away by covering them and making him over handle the puck even more. As long as he was kept on the perimeter he was less effective. I had no problem watching PK as he had great skill but the end results were not always there has happens with peewee players who can over handle the puck the turnovers were a big problem.

Granted, I don't think either he nor carey look for a teammate, simply get the puck into the corner and hope a teammate can get there first.

Let's be honest, there wasn't a slew of experienced teammates PK could pass to last season. If a teammate has an opponent breathing down his neck, rather than turn it over in the d-zone, flip it into neutral ice, get a line change and hope we get to the puck first.

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One thing i will be looking forward to seeing this season, Weber plaster marchand into the boards making him part of the advertisements at the bell centre. :D

If marchand thought PK hit hard, wait until he runs into Shea.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Roy needs his own team and that is not likely to happen at the NHL level. I think we went in the right direction, but can see a time if we continue to underperform where his stock will rise again in Montreal. He clearly has his convictions and is willing to stand up when he feels he is no longer valued in a role. The problem with that is he may leave as quickly as he arrives if things do not go the way he thinks they should and in todays NHL that is not always easy to do.

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Excerpt from article 'Montreal Canadiens third round or bust' by Ryan Szporer:

-Just making the playoffs won’t be good enough, in spite of the disaster that was last season. That’s because Carey Price was injured for all but 12 games, and, while normally that wouldn’t be a good excuse to write off the other 70, it’s okay in this one particular case. We know this because Bergevin said so at the team’s post-mortem press conference (I’m admittedly paraphrasing here).

http://thehockeywriters.com/montreal-canadiens-third-round-or-bust/

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http://www.habseyesontheprize.com/2016/8/23/12568762/montreal-canadiens-no-excuses-marc-bergevin-michel-therrien-carey-price-injury-lol

the end of "no excuses"

took the sign down. its just too perfect. does one laugh? cry? both? which one first?

MT and MB have been full of excuses since the day they showed up. The sign has always been ironic and a sign of hypocrisy. I think they just got tired of people pointing out all their excuses in the media and laughing at them for their sign. Therrien was actually asked about the sign point blank at the end of last year and looked a bit uncomfortable fielding questions about that (and other things). Management seems to know they have evaded answering the hard questions and haven't produced results. So it made sense to take down the sign, since they weren't following their own suggestion.

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http://www.habseyesontheprize.com/2016/8/23/12568762/montreal-canadiens-no-excuses-marc-bergevin-michel-therrien-carey-price-injury-lol

the end of "no excuses"

took the sign down. its just too perfect. does one laugh? cry? both? which one first?

All they need to do now is to get rid of the torch and stop living in the past.

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