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Does he even deserve a thread? What a brutal season he's having. I think he's played a total of one game where he actually looked like an NHL goaltender. This is another blunder on MB, not addressing the backup issue at the trade deadline. At worst he should have brought somebody up. Every shot on goal is an adventure with this guy.

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36 minutes ago, ChiLla said:

Yeah, probably his last game as a Hab. If I'm not mistaken, we have 1 more back-to-back where we play BUF and CAR, we simply can't afford giving Niemi any more starts I think.

 

I would also think that might be it for Niemi. He's been brutal this season. The couple of good performances don't outweigh the games he's performed really poorly. I don't know if Lindgren is the answer, but he certainly can't be any worse. Maybe McNiven is the best option we have right now... Either way, if we make the post-season (a big if), I'm not sure Niemi even sees a game if Price gets hurt. We'd be better off playing one of the younger guys.

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You look at our biggest problems this year and it hasn't been the performance of our top players, it's been our weakest links letting us down.

- Niemi has been a disaster more games than not.

- Deslauriers has been awful, yet kept getting chances.

- Alzner and Schlemko cost us games the past two years.

- Weise hasn't added anything at all.

- Chaput and Agostino started off well, but for the last 10-12 games they played here, they were getting hemmed in every game and costing us goals against.

 

The sad thing is that we had other options at those times. There was never a need to play any of these guys when we could have used the likes of Hudon or Juulsen or Mete or Kulak or Lindgren or McNiven or whoever else. Yet not recognizing or admitting those weak links have been costing us might end up being the difference between no playoffs or playoffs or the difference between drawing the Lightning or a weaker team in the first round if we do make it. Like I said in the GDT, there's just no way they can throw Niemi in for another game ever.

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So Claude Julien has got a lot out of this team that none of us saw coming. However, his need to have grit over talent in the bottom two lines has cost us dearly. His need to constantly throw out the fourth line baffles me. Playing the worst goaltender ever against a top team to save the best goalie is like saying hey we can't win this one. Even with Carey are we going to be too tired to beat the once Mighty Ducks? 

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1 minute ago, HabsRuleForever said:

So Claude Julien has got a lot out of this team that none of us saw coming. However, his need to have grit over talent in the bottom two lines has cost us dearly. His need to constantly throw out the fourth line baffles me. Playing the worst goaltender ever against a top team to save the best goalie is like saying hey we can't win this one. Even with Carey are we going to be too tired to beat the once Mighty Ducks? 

Precisely my thinking... why not, "We can win both games with our best players."

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You obviously have Lindgren and McNiven moving up the pipelines, but if the Habs don't think one of them can be a quality back-up next year, then some guys who are UFA's in the summer who might be targets could be

- Brian Elliott

- Cam Talbot

- Cam Ward

All guys who have been starters but who have not been able to hold those jobs in recent years. Could be acceptable veteran backups if they're willing to sign for cheaper. Not a lot of options though, truth be told.

Also important to remember that with the next expansion draft coming, the Habs will need/want to have at least two back-up options in the organization... if you have a guy like Elliott, for example, it offsets the risk of losing a Lindgren to Seattle if they so choose to take him. If you sign no one else this off-season and you lose Lindgren, you had better hope McNiven is capable of moving to the NHL quickly.

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1 hour ago, CANADIENS27 said:

How close is Lindgren to being NHL ready.  

Well thats the real question.  I think some would argue he's ready right now but clearly the team seems to lack confidence in him.

The problem with Charlie is that he's never looked as good in the minors as he has in the NHL.  His career numbers are better in the bigs and even though he's had a rough year in Laval I cant fathom how he could be worse than Niemi at this point.

My guess is that this is all on Waite - who probably is saying AN is good to go - and maybe he looks that way in practice - but he just a mess right now. 

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54 minutes ago, kinot-2 said:

Can you imagine if Carey got hurt or got sick at a crucial time where we need to win to get in? :6351:

Yeah, cause it's exactly what happened to us when Kreider took him out a few years ago. The team didn't have confidence in Budaj, so they recalled Tokarski and played him as the starter. I think we'd do the same and play Lindgren if ever Carey went down.

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