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2019-20 State Of The Habs


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1 hour ago, HabsAlways said:

Well ... great read :  https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/analyzing-carey-prices-play-defensive-support-front/

And matches exactly what I've been seeing on how the Habs have been playing and how Carey has for the last 2-3 seasons.

Yeah. It doesn't take a rocket scientist  to see our defensive play sucks and hangs Price out to dry far too often. 

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You can't fix this D overnight. Price or any goaltender for that matter is only as good as his defence. MB can make a desperate move for a forward, but at the end of the day ( insert sarcasm) this team is terrible defensively. The quicker fix would be to trade Price for a decent return but as per usual we are dealing from a disadvantage and considering Price has a no trade clause it gets harder, unless he wants out and then we will have to trade him for peanuts.

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44 minutes ago, habby67 said:

You can't fix this D overnight. Price or any goaltender for that matter is only as good as his defence. MB can make a desperate move for a forward, but at the end of the day ( insert sarcasm) this team is terrible defensively. The quicker fix would be to trade Price for a decent return but as per usual we are dealing from a disadvantage and considering Price has a no trade clause it gets harder, unless he wants out and then we will have to trade him for peanuts.

You can fix this D or any other part of the team over night. Trade for a 1 LHD and fire CJ. 

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https://montrealgazette.com/sports/hockey/nhl/hockey-inside-out/what-the-puck-canadiens-tragicomedy-directed-and-produced-by-bergevin

This is one fine mess. With Thursday night’s total embarrassment of a game, your Montreal Canadiens have lost six games in a row and they have, astonishingly, let in 20 goals in their past three games.

In five of the six games, including Thursday’s 6-4 defeat, they lost to teams that are below them in the standings. One of those teams, the mighty New Jersey Devils, are tied today with the Los Angeles Kings for second-to-last place in the NHL and that pathetic position includes the four points they took off the hapless Habs during the past two weeks.

It is a disaster. The Canadiens are playing like the Toronto Maple Leafs were just before head coach Mike Babcock was fired. The players talk a good game in the locker room after these games, but they are doing a fine imitation of a group that has given up on their coach

And how’s the kindly ol’ coach doing? He said after that joke of a game Thursday that he’s “frustrated as hell” and he’s been saying for days that his message isn’t getting through to the players. That’s code for the players have given up.

Throughout the losing streak, Julien keeps slamming the kids, singling out Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Cale Fleury and Nick Suzuki for their shortcomings. Yet never a word about the elephant in the room. That would be a chap named Carey Price who has been downright brutal.

The defence is mediocre, but that doesn’t justify letting in weak goals and Price is letting in laughers every night lately. But does Julien call out his highest-paid player? No, he gives a free ride to the goalie who is being paid US$15 million this year.

I know why Julien is doing this. I mentioned it in my last column. He’s sheltering the veterans because when the vets turn on the coach, the coach loses his job. The stars turned on Babcock and he was gone. In early 2017, Habs GM Marc Bergevin had a closed-door meeting with captain Max Pacioretty, Price and Shea Weber and, days later, head coach Michel Therrien was fired. Also remember that Price was playing terribly before Therrien was fired. Then, miraculously, once Julien came on-board, Price immediately found his game again. Interesting coincidence, eh? Is he doing it again?

 

But Julien isn’t the real culprit here — it’s Bergevin. The coach isn’t doing a particularly good job, but Julien said this season he could only work with what he has. What he has is a pretty mediocre group. We’re seven years into the Bergevin experiment and he still hasn’t been able to find a No. 1 centre. I like Phillip Danault, but he’s not a No. 1 centreman on a good team.

The blue line corps is terrible. Weber is doing well offensively, but he can’t skate with the 2019 NHLers. The rest of the defence hardly bears serious discussion. Did you see all the odd-man rushes and breakaways Thursday night? No wonder Price smashed his stick on the crossbar after a couple of periods of watching this Keystone Kops comedy.

This farce is written, directed and produced by Bergevin. What did he do this past summer? There was the Sebastian Aho charade, which allowed many not to notice that the “big” pick-ups were Ben Chiarot — no better than Jordie Benn — and Keith Kinkaid, who is looking like Antti Niemi.

The only time the Habs have looked good since Bergevin arrived in 2012 was in 2014, and it is fair to say that the squad that went to the conference final in ’14 was built by Pierre Gauthier and Bob Gainey. Since then, the team Bergevin has constructed has won one playoff series and has missed the playoffs in three of the last four seasons.

But the unwashed masses have been placated with the myth of the youth movement, this gang of Connor McDavids lurking in the wings. Well, Kotkaniemi is struggling and making it look like Bergevin should’ve picked Brady Tkachuk instead, Ryan Poehling is also struggling in Laval, Julien is complaining about Fleury and sitting him, and the only one who looks to be on track is Suzuki.

Bergevin keeps saying that the fans in Montreal won’t put up with a full-scale rebuild. But as former pro scout Simon Boisvert pointed out to me this week, if they had started a rebuild five years ago it would be completed by now. Instead they just keep finishing near the middle and nothing ever changes.

 

They keep Price and Weber because they don’t have the guts or the vision to trade them, so it’s not a rebuild and it’s not a path to the Stanley Cup, it’s simply Bergevin’s annual attempt to save his job. And the fans put up with it.

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The gazette article says “and the fans put up with it” - unfortunately when fans start running the team then all control is lost! It would have been better to say and Geoff Molson/Bell puts up with it since accountability starts at the top! Weber and Price deserve better than this unfortunately a huge cap hangover and Price’s nmc make trades virtually difficult. On the bright side thankfully Cousins, Thompson, Hudon, Weise,Kinkaid  are gone - Maybe we can move Reilly or Kulak and I’m not averse to shipping out Armia or Danault if we get some value in the draft 

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5 hours ago, H_T_L said:

I still contend he's possibly our best LD (not saying a lot i know but...) Highly touted prospect, had a good, short stint in Minnesota & then the injuries started.   If he can stay healthy he should easily leapfrog Reilly, Kulak and Chiarot. 

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11 hours ago, Regis22 said:

They keep Price and Weber because they don’t have the guts or the vision to trade them, so it’s not a rebuild and it’s not a path to the Stanley Cup, it’s simply Bergevin’s annual attempt to save his job. And the fans put up with it.

Well that is easy to say but you have to find a team willing to take these contracts in the first place.

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9 hours ago, maas_art said:

I still contend he's possibly our best LD (not saying a lot i know but...) Highly touted prospect, had a good, short stint in Minnesota & then the injuries started.   If he can stay healthy he should easily leapfrog Reilly, Kulak and Chiarot. 

He'll probably be injured before the weekend is over.

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3 hours ago, jennifer_rocket said:

He'll probably be injured before the weekend is over.

Unfortunately yes.  Considering he was a promising young D that minnesota traded for will bitten - it was clear they felt like injuries would do him in and they moved him for a warm body.

There's always hope but you have to figure that when you're injured more often than Benoit Brunet was, you're probably not going to be in the NHL long. 

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30 minutes ago, maas_art said:

Unfortunately yes.  Considering he was a promising young D that minnesota traded for will bitten - it was clear they felt like injuries would do him in and they moved him for a warm body.

There's always hope but you have to figure that when you're injured more often than Benoit Brunet was, you're probably not going to be in the NHL long. 

Hard to say remember when Marky was getting hurt a lot then he came back and finished his career quite strong. it would be a rare thing for this guy to turn it around but you never know. at least we get to see him play.

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Not much going right for the team at present. Up front, you have Armia and Lehkonen playing reasonably well, you have Suzuki making offensive plays, and you have Tatar scoring a bit. But Gallagher and Domi are struggling of late, and with Drouin and Byron out, we just don't have the horses to make up for those two not playing lights out hockey as well. Kotkaniemi has looked better the past two games, but he's still not a guy who's leading the charge. I still honestly believe that the coaches need to stick JK between Tatar and Gallagher and see what happens.

On D, it's hard to find a guy who's been playing well. Petry was our best player (not just defenceman but best overall player) through the first 20 games. But with this losing streak, he's looked way off and is turning over the puck repeatedly. He may in fact have been our worst player in the past 3 games. Weber has also made a number of mistakes, looking brutal on the PK and not being very good at getting on loose pucks or cutting passing lanes on odd-man rushes against. Mete has been somewhat invisible and is now gone with an injury. Kulak, who also looked strong to start the season, has looked lost since he 's been pulled out of the line-up and then stuck back on the 3rd pairing. Fleury is hitting well but isn't an offensive threat. Reilly has been a tire fire with bad pinches and being caught out of position. And Chiarot, while not that far off of his baseline the past two weeks, is still making regular mistakes defensively and continues to land on his own goalie and push defenders into Kinkaid and Carey, which is ultimately going to lead to one of them getting hurt. Simply put, no real bright spots on the back end in the past two weeks. Early on, this team was able to rely on Petry to play the big minutes and Kulak and Mete were able to handle their roles to some degree. Weber and Chiarot were better when put in more manageable situations. Now, Petry has fallen apart and it's had a trickle-down effect on the rest of the D, with Weber being asked to play bigger minutes again and not being successful at that. We know we don't have the depth to make up for the lack of top-end guys, simply put, the only way I see the D sorting things out without a trade is one, to change the system to a more defensive style and ask the forwards to do more or two, to have Petry go back to playing like a #1 defender, which can make Weber a good #2...

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1 hour ago, claremont said:

Let’s hope for positive news from MB during visit to Mother Russia - either he feels strongly that Romanov will be playing here next year or MB stays in Siberia 

I think MB has to go into the meeting looking for any sign that Romanov wants to play for Russia in the Olympics like even its a maybe he has to leave the meeting on the phone looking for a trade. We are already short on LHD we can't wait another 3-5 years for Romanov. I personally would be on the phone with the Devils working on a deal for Hall as well as .looking at all the other options for the LHD out there. 

 

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57 minutes ago, H_T_L said:

Too early to start the tank thread??

As much as this is a long stretch of futility, the Habs are two points back of Toronto for 3rd in the division and hold a game in hand on the Leafs. I don't see MB or GM making a move and I still see the Habs thinking they're right in the thick of the playoff race. I just don't know how long you can let the slide go without doing something, be it new GM, new coach, or trade... look at the Leafs. They made a move, they've maybe saved their season. Grant it, they see themselves as a Cup contender and we clearly aren't.

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