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2020-21 State Of The Habs


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1 hour ago, HabsAlways said:

If you compare how we played at the start of the season vs the tire fire of the last 20-25 games ... you can start to undestand the problem with this team.

Our success came when we played a speed game with a heavy forecheck that ran circles around the other team.    Then at some point we switched gears and starting playing a "clog the neutral zone" system which relies on positioning and hitting.    This in my opinion is the fundamental disconnect.    We have the players to play a speed game (albeit while protecting guys like Weber from getting caught due to speed), but MB insists on trying to build a roster that plays a heavy body, defensive game.

Agree.   When Julien was let go we were fed the notion that Ducharme was the guy who instilled the speed mantra to start the year but i see no evidence of that through his first 25 or so games as head coach. 

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2 minutes ago, maas_art said:

Agree.   When Julien was let go we were fed the notion that Ducharme was the guy who instilled the speed mantra to start the year but i see no evidence of that through his first 25 or so games as head coach. 

You're right. That's what we thought.  Ducharme & Richardson.  Maybe they realized,  with the D we have, it wasn't working.  Hard to say, but why stop? The players talk the speed game,  but.......where is it?

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6 minutes ago, electron58 said:

Yes, he did, but, not really this year. He should have garnered the benefit of the doubt, but was the forgotten one. 

Mete did not fit the Bergevin mold - he wasn't slow, methodical or physical. I believe Mete had sufficient time to prove himself at the NHL Level - he excelled his first year likely because Weber's skills had not eroded as much and Shea's play made Mete a little better than he was. Mete may have had some puck moving skills but he wasn't a threat to any opposing forwards with size. If the puck came to Mete, he was ok with moving it, but his ability to strip the puck from forwards on the wall or the corners, failed my eye test. That said, Merrill or Gutavson haven't made us any significantly better back there so far vs Ouellet, Leskinen etc. 

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31 minutes ago, claremont said:

That said, Merrill or Gutavson haven't made us any significantly better back there so far vs Ouellet, Leskinen etc. 

 

30 minutes ago, H_T_L said:

Or Kulak

Exactly.  Quantity over Quality. bergevin's motto.

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39 minutes ago, electron58 said:

You're right. That's what we thought.  Ducharme & Richardson.  Maybe they realized,  with the D we have, it wasn't working.  Hard to say, but why stop? The players talk the speed game,  but.......where is it?

Well and the thing is, we have the ingredients to at least try it.   Weber, Chairot and Edmundson in your top 4 is not a good example of the "puck moving transition" DD talked about when taking over.    Petry, Kulak, Romanov - and now even Merrill and Gustaffson are all potentially better PMD than the slow lumbering guys we're using in key positions. 

I certainly am no coach and have no idea what would work better but id definitely at least try things like Petry on the first, Weber on the second, puck movers on all pairs etc etc. 

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38 minutes ago, claremont said:

That said, Merrill or Gutavson haven't made us any significantly better back there so far vs Ouellet, Leskinen etc. 

True but small sample size. Merrill looks promising to me.  But you also have to put them in a position to make that impact.  No one on the third pairing is going to influence the game as much as Chairot on the first for example. 

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5 minutes ago, maas_art said:

Well and the thing is, we have the ingredients to at least try it.   Weber, Chairot and Edmundson in your top 4 is not a good example of the "puck moving transition" DD talked about when taking over.    Petry, Kulak, Romanov - and now even Merrill and Gustaffson are all potentially better PMD than the slow lumbering guys we're using in key positions. 

I certainly am no coach and have no idea what would work better but id definitely at least try things like Petry on the first, Weber on the second, puck movers on all pairs etc etc. 

The thing is, they have a little time to tinker, and ready the team for the playoffs.  Our D is all healthy, so start resting them, try different combos and hope the Flames & Canucks,  keep losing.

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54 minutes ago, claremont said:

Mete did not fit the Bergevin mold - he wasn't slow, methodical or physical. I believe Mete had sufficient time to prove himself at the NHL Level - he excelled his first year likely because Weber's skills had not eroded as much and Shea's play made Mete a little better than he was. Mete may have had some puck moving skills but he wasn't a threat to any opposing forwards with size. If the puck came to Mete, he was ok with moving it, but his ability to strip the puck from forwards on the wall or the corners, failed my eye test. That said, Merrill or Gutavson haven't made us any significantly better back there so far vs Ouellet, Leskinen etc. 

Maybe Mete should have been given a chance at a forward position.

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Radio talk today

Gord Miller :Suzuki and KK are not ready to play against other teams top centres . KK is getting eaten alive 

jeff O’Neill montreal  is an average hockey team playing average hockey 

nick kypeous Montreal doesn’t have a game changer or someone who csn control the play of the game . 
 

for some reason some people still keep thinking that if Montreal makes the playoffs , Price could steal a series . 

 

 

 

 

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34 minutes ago, Regis22 said:

Radio talk today

Gord Miller :Suzuki and KK are not ready to play against other teams top centres . KK is getting eaten alive 

jeff O’Neill montreal  is an average hockey team playing average hockey 

nick kypeous Montreal doesn’t have a game changer or someone who csn control the play of the game . 

for some reason some people still keep thinking that if Montreal makes the playoffs , Price could steal a series . 

Fair points and growing pains of youth - BTW Jeff O'Neill is the biggest leaf homer in the game - right up there with Jim Ralph - It sickens me to hear either one of them spew their rubbish.  37.5% owners of the leafs each for Bell TSN and Rogers Sportsnet have coached their broadcasters to say nothing negative against the leafs for fear of alienating their viewership.

Price won't steal a series - If Montreal is to last against the laffs, they have to out hit and outbang them physically, stay out of the p-box, and stop the #1 line. Easier said.  

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59 minutes ago, Regis22 said:

Radio talk today

Gord Miller :Suzuki and KK are not ready to play against other teams top centres . KK is getting eaten alive 

jeff O’Neill montreal  is an average hockey team playing average hockey 

nick kypeous Montreal doesn’t have a game changer or someone who csn control the play of the game . 
 

for some reason some people still keep thinking that if Montreal makes the playoffs , Price could steal a series . 

Bolded part is the key because, really, thats where we're at.   Allen is a good, solid goalie.  He does his job and he give you a chance to win a game. He almost never steals a game for you. This team needs a goalie to steal wins in order to get victories.  Simple as that.   

Now, whether Price can steal a series any more is a question for another thread... but in order for us to win, thats likely what it will take.  We have some great young players, some really nice complimentary scorers on the wing and a bunch of older players who arent going to be here when the other half of the team hits their stride. 

 

 

16 minutes ago, claremont said:

Fair points and growing pains of youth - BTW Jeff O'Neill is the biggest leaf homer in the game - right up there with Jim Ralph - It sickens me to hear either one of them spew their rubbish.  37.5% owners of the leafs each for Bell TSN and Rogers Sportsnet have coached their broadcasters to say nothing negative against the leafs for fear of alienating their viewership.

Yeah i never put much stock in "analysts'" viewpoints - most of them are either there to rile people up or they are articulate for a hockey player so they look good on TV.  

Its not to say they dont have good points but a lot of those guys are like fingers on a chalk board most of the time. 

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3 hours ago, electron58 said:

Yes, he did, but, not really this year. He should have garnered the benefit of the doubt, but was the forgotten one. 

Mete was the forgotten one because other players played better than him .. period.    He had speed, that's it.    In his own end all it took was regular size players to pin him to the wall and that speed was useless.     And he was very one dimensional in most cases ... skate it out or ring it around the boards to his partner.     Neither of which were working and he played himself out of a spot.    Senators are using him because they are rebuilding and he is their "best" option till something better comes along.

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1 hour ago, HabsAlways said:

Mete was the forgotten one because other players played better than him .. period.    He had speed, that's it.    In his own end all it took was regular size players to pin him to the wall and that speed was useless.     And he was very one dimensional in most cases ... skate it out or ring it around the boards to his partner.     Neither of which were working and he played himself out of a spot.    Senators are using him because they are rebuilding and he is their "best" option till something better comes along.

Pretty much.  

The problem with mete is that when he broke into the league & played like 40 or 50 games as a 19 year old on the top pair people thought he was something he was not.  We were severely lacking LHD and at that stage, Weber was still good enough to make up for an unsuited partner.   Mete was never going to be more than a #5-7  dman  - at least not the way we developed him.  If you could go re-write history and hire Bouchard earlier then maybe mete ends up being a #4 but we still likely would have tried to stick him in the lineup because of our complete lack of LHD that year. 

It sucks to lose players for nothing (im even more sad about Juulsen) but in the end, i highly doubt we look back on this in a few years and say "damn i cant believe we lost him"

This is not Bryzgalov or Kunitz or Grabner - or even Byron - i think Mete will get some ice time in ottawa but as some of their younger players like Sanderson, Thomson, Bernard-Docker etc take over, he's going to get pushed down the lineup.  When you look at all the young LHD we have in our system he was likely to get pushed out sooner rather than later anyway. 

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46 minutes ago, maas_art said:

it sucks to lose players for nothing (im even more sad about Juulsen) but in the end, i highly doubt we look back on this in a few years and say "damn i cant believe we lost him"
 

Yeah Juulsen I'm bummed about ... I think he would have been in our top 3 by now if not for injuries.     Which seem to still be an issue .. he got in 4 games in NHL, was sent down, played 5 games, brought up, placed on IR and taken off IR and sent down again I believe.  

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22 minutes ago, HabsAlways said:

Yeah Juulsen I'm bummed about ... I think he would have been in our top 3 by now if not for injuries.     Which seem to still be an issue .. he got in 4 games in NHL, was sent down, played 5 games, brought up, placed on IR and taken off IR and sent down again I believe.  

Yeah if he ever gets healthy he may still make it in the NHL but it seems doubtful.  So much bad luck.  Up until he got injured he looked like a sure thing for a top 4 RD. I honestly thought we could move one of Weber or Petry and not miss a beat because he was developing so well... now, that seems like a pipe dream. 

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7 hours ago, HabsAlways said:

1g0a through 8 games with Sens ... Mete makes their lineup only because they are rebuilding ... he is at best a 7th D on respectable teams.

Brett Kulak 1 goal 39 games, Romanov 1 goal 46 games, Chariot 1 goal 33 games, Edmundson 2 goals 48 games... 

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7 hours ago, ramcharger440 said:

He had one, how long do teams need to wait on players to find their game he has played first pairing minutes second and third we all know he is pretty fast but that is about it.

He played first pairing at 18 years old. What did you expect? 19 his second year, 20 his third.  Last year the league was cancelled, this year they brought in players who cannot skate to add to the bunch who already could not skate. I think they expected to much from him at 18 and 19. I dont think he was ever given a chance after that.   You do realize he is only 22 years old right. Deeman in general take longer to develop. Being muscled off the puck in front of the net ends up on the highlight real because it looks bad. Someone getting to the puck quickly and skating it out.

The game today is speed from the back end. For sure he had his flaws. I think he ends up being a really good solid top 4. Who can jump start a quick transition using his quickness and a nice first pass..

"I think he skated us out of trouble tons with his breakout," Smith said. "He's really good at cutting guys hands off in the D zone. He's not a big guy but he sticks his nose in there and skates really well. 

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5 minutes ago, caperns61 said:

Brett Kulak 1 goal 39 games, Romanov 1 goal 46 games, Chariot 1 goal 33 games, Edmundson 2 goals 48 games... 

Apples and oranges.   Mete except for speed brings nothing else to the table.  Romanov is a rookie, and eye test alone shows his upside is far higher than Mete's ever would be.  Kulak has more size, is a decent skater and doesn't get trapped in his own end as much as  Mete.   Chiarot and Edmundson ... Edmundson, top +/- on team, Chiarot big and nasty. 

You could argue that yes perhaps Mete > Chiarot, but that doesn't turn Mete into anything we need to cry over losing.   He's a bottom pair/7th D ... as is Chiarot.      Mete isn't going to magically grow more skill and his ceiling as a 4th round pick was fringe NHL player.

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I'm not losing much sleep over what Mete could have brought to the line-up, he wasn't going to be a top 4 D man here and past that, it doesn't matter much long-term. The problem is not that we lost Mete, it's that

1. Our D is still awful with or without him

2. We lost him for nothing

And that has been one of the recurring themes of Bergevin's tenures. He manages to trade all kinds of players at their lowest possible value or lose them for nothing. Go back a couple of years and Mete had reasonable trade value. Earlier this season when Mete reportedly asked for a trade, most pundits still thought we could have gotten a mid-round pick. Then we let his value slide and we ended up with nothing. Juulsen was also lost on waivers despite the fact he was a better option than half the guys we retained and the fact he was one of our few RHD. Barberio lost on waivers. Galchenyuk traded at his lowest point then Domi traded at his lowest point. Subban traded after bashing him and dropping his value. Ditto Pacioretty. Markov allowed to leave. Radulov allowed to leave. Plekanec traded too late in his career, when a year or two earlier he might have fetched a 1st rounder. Weber held onto too long. Price held onto too long. Pretty sure Petry and Gallagher will be here well past prime as well.

Just imagine if we had dealt Subban for the reported return of Draisaitl + Nurse + more.

Just imagine if we had dealt Galchenyuk as a 1st line center instead of a 4th line winger.

Imagine if we had dealt Plekanec for a 1st.

Imaging if we had traded Weber two years ago and been able to bring back a prospect like Byram or Bean or Dobson or so on.

Imagine if we had traded Mete before the year for a 3rd rounder and not lost Juulsen to waivers.

 

Can't change any of this now, but just consider how Bergevin has managed to bungle some of these dossiers that were clearly errors at the time they happened and not just 20/20 hindsight. Considering all of that, I'll stay on record as saying the Habs should

- Do what they can to try and get out from at least one of Weber or Price's contracts, possibly via the ED.

- Consider trading Petry within the next year before he loses value as well.

- Trade at least one of Chiarot or Edmundson before they become the next Paul Byron/Karl Alzner and we have no way out of their contracts either

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Problem with Mete is his lack of offensive instincts. A defensmen with his attributes (small, fast, skilled) needs to produce offensively. His inability to cover in the defensive zone, knock guys off the puck, stand players up at the blueline and protect the front of the net can be over looked if he had better offensive instincts. But retrieving and skating alone isn’t enough. It’s very possible that had we not rushed him, gave him time to develop, he could have added that element to his game. Then again, his offence wasn’t that good in Jr either. Hard to say. I like Mete, I hope he finds a way to address some of his shortcomings, he could still become a top 4 dman someday.

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