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Habs Lines 2011-12


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Who will play where? And with who? Who will ride pine?

An always-intriguing discussion topic on this forum, please discuss your thoughts on the lineups and pairings the Habs roll with this year, as well as what lines you would like to see formed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would go with:

Cammy-Plekanec-Cole

Pacioretty-Gomez-Gionta

Kostitsyn-Eller-Darche

Moen-Desharnais-White

Markov-Subban

Gorges-Gill

Yemelin-Weber

Spacek

Price

Budaj

- I would hope they have Scotty G on a somewhat shorter leash next season. If he struggles, I would move Desharnais, not Eller, up. I like Eller and AK together, and perhaps move DD to 3rd line RW. I would like to see DD get more icetime this year, but I reasonably see him 4th line C or 3rd line RW.

- I also hope we sign another D man. The thought of an injury and having a Spacek-Weber D pairing scares the crap out of me. The new guy is a ? mark as well, so...yeah. Scary.

- I'm interested in what will happen with Trotter. Probably AHL, but I'd be interested in a 4th line of Trotter-DD-White.

Hope it plays out that way with what we got, but I would definitely like another D man. I definitely would not have minded that Campoli for Moen thing. In the minority, but I'm glad Hamrlik departed and Gill stayed instead of vice versa. I feel the love he got here was a little bit much. Just me though.

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I think it's pretty evident how our top lines are going to be.

Cammy-Pleks-Cole

Patches-Gomez-Gio

Patches found success on the gomez line, why split that up?

The Pleks line needed a final piece, which imo they found in Cole. Be interesting to see Cole and Patches on the same line. But they're our only top 6 forwards with size, gotta spread them out-Maybe see them together on a PP unit.

The bottom lines are the ones that leaves me scratching my head. We're missing one or 2 guys to complete them, preferably PG will get an experienced grinder with grit. Like to see our youngins there, but we need some experience also.

After the way Eller finished the season, I'd curious to see how he does this season. One year old, gathered experience and seemed to find something with AK. They could be very good for each other. Like to see Eller work on his release, I find it a lil slow. Reading the scouting report, they said he had a quick release, I didn't see it last season. Not a big deal, something that can improved.

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I think it's pretty evident how our top lines are going to be.

Cammy-Pleks-Cole

Patches-Gomez-Gio

Patches found success on the gomez line, why split that up?

The Pleks line needed a final piece, which imo they found in Cole. Be interesting to see Cole and Patches on the same line. But they're our only top 6 forwards with size, gotta spread them out-Maybe see them together on a PP unit.

The bottom lines are the ones that leaves me scratching my head. We're missing one or 2 guys to complete them, preferably PG will get an experienced grinder with grit. Like to see our youngins there, but we need some experience also.

After the way Eller finished the season, I'd curious to see how he does this season. One year old, gathered experience and seemed to find something with AK. They could be very good for each other. Like to see Eller work on his release, I find it a lil slow. Reading the scouting report, they said he had a quick release, I didn't see it last season. Not a big deal, something that can improved.

I'd like to see an experienced gritty winger, and have Palushaj up as well

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Cammalleri-Plekanec-Cole

Pacioretty-Gomez-Gionta

Kostitsyn-Eller-Desharnais

Moen-?-?

Darche-White

Markov-Yemelin

Gorges-Subban

Spacek-Gill

Weber

Price

Budaj

We need a gritty line. Without that, we can't contend. We need impact guys, guys who drop the gloves to spark the team. Big guys who hit and intimidate other teams. Our division is tough... Ottawa may not have a good team but they are Tough, Toronto is tough, Boston is tough and if we don't get tougher then when we play versus these teams, we will get out muscled and bumped off the puck. I don't think we need just fighters, I like gritty guys who fight. More guys like Moen, They might not be offensively skilled but they are filled with heart, they hit, they play 2 way hockey, they drop the gloves when its time and can add some offense and attack the net on occasion. I'd love to see us pick up Brad Winchester and Sutherby for the fourth line. Both are big, they fight, they hae offensive talent, they are great team guys, middle aged and strong. Another possibility would be to move desharnais down, sign Winchester and put him on the third line and sign Eric Boulton who i personnaly love to play the wing with Moen and Desharnais.

These 2 guys either WInchester and Sutherby or Winchester and Boulton are great depth guys and they aren't guys who need 82 games a year, when we aren't playing a tough team, we can take one of them out and put in Darche to add some offense. With what we have now, yes we have white and darche but we need more, nobody is ready beyond them to be back ups. Blunden and Willsie are simply replacements for Boyd and Dawes so they arent on the 23 man roster, we need 2 guys and no guys like Palushaj and Trotter aren't ready for that role, they need to play hockey and riding the pine won't make them better. We need experienced guys who enjoy that role and who can make a difference in there 50 or more games like the 3 I mentioned above.

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To me, the interesting question is who rounds out the third line once Eller is healthy, because I think we can all agree that Pacioretty will rejoin Gomez and Gionta and Cole will be in the top six. Eller, AK, and ... ?

That is an interesting question. Darche fits nicely IMO, but at the same time I would really like to see DD get better than 4th line minutes and the chance to play with some other offensively talented players. I think when Eller returns, it's worth at least a stint of those three together to see how they look. DD may need to convert to the wing to have a future with this team anyway unless Gomez is moved sooner than later.

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That is an interesting question. Darche fits nicely IMO, but at the same time I would really like to see DD get better than 4th line minutes and the chance to play with some other offensively talented players. I think when Eller returns, it's worth at least a stint of those three together to see how they look. DD may need to convert to the wing to have a future with this team anyway unless Gomez is moved sooner than later.

I want to see DD get minutes too, but his lack of size would be a problem on the wing. As for the bolded part, I wouldn't be surprised to see Gomez traded or buried next summer, so DD's time could be coming. ;)

For AK and Eller, a north-south guy who plays a simple, direct game would be helpful. Darche has those qualities, and while he doesn't have a lot of talent, he goes in a straight line to the net. Moen is also a possibility, if for no other reason than his contract -- management generally isn't wild about paying guys $1.5 million to play fourth-line minutes.

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My favorite thread is back! Here's an opening night lineup, then a post-x-mas lineup.

October:

Cammy - Pleks - Cole

Pax - Gomez - Gio

Darche - Desharnais - Kostitsyn

Moen - Enqvist - White

Willsie

Markov - Gorges

Gill - Subban

Emelin - Spacek

Weber

Price

Budaj

January:

Pacioretty - Plekanec - Cammalleri

Pax will be a touch rusty, Gomer will struggle to start as always and this wing swap will ignite the offence.

Cole - Gomez - Gionta

Cole and Gio yelling at Gomer on the Bench sparks a second half surge.

Desharnais - Eller - Kostitsyn

DD and AK develop chemistry early and cannot be split but Eller's speed, backchecking and size gives the line its missing link.

Darche - White - Moen

White returns to natural position and becomes good at faceoffs, line becomes a consistent 10 mins a night grind line.

Blunden

Gets called up to beat up Pouliot.

Markov - Emelin

Emelin's hardhitting style takes 2 months to adjust and a couple bencings, Russian mentor helps him figure it out.

Gorges - Subban

Josh's new knee gives him more mobility and allows PK to join the rush more than Hal.

Gill - Weber

Mentors Weber the way he did PK, both guys are specialists with limited ES shifts.

Spacek

Gets spot duty after Emelin or Weber struggles, or when Gill needs a night off on road trips to long island.

Price

Starts 65 Games; 38 - 22 - 5 Leads Eastern conference All-Star voting.

Budaj

Starts 17 Games ; 9 - 6 - 2

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I want to see DD get minutes too, but his lack of size would be a problem on the wing. As for the bolded part, I wouldn't be surprised to see Gomez traded or buried next summer, so DD's time could be coming. ;)

For AK and Eller, a north-south guy who plays a simple, direct game would be helpful. Darche has those qualities, and while he doesn't have a lot of talent, he goes in a straight line to the net. Moen is also a possibility, if for no other reason than his contract -- management generally isn't wild about paying guys $1.5 million to play fourth-line minutes.

Yes, DD is small and I agree with you, I don't see him on the wing battling in the corners or in the crease. If anything, St Louis has proved that small forwards can be very productive in the NHL(one of the most productive forwards in the league-always up there in points). But if we plan on keeping DD and eventually moving him to one of the top two lines, there's no way he'll survive if we don't surround him with bigger players.

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Yes, DD is small and I agree with you, I don't see him on the wing battling in the corners or in the crease. If anything, St Louis has proved that small forwards can be very productive in the NHL(one of the most productive forwards in the league-always up there in points). But if we plan on keeping DD and eventually moving him to one of the top two lines, there's no way he'll survive if we don't surround him with bigger players.

Agreed also, but even on the wing, he would be on a line with AK and Eller who are both pretty big guys so I think his size would be less of an issue. It's not like there are no small wingers (St. Louis as you pointed out, or our very own captain :)).

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Seriously, I don't want to offend anyone, folks, but let's stop bringing up Martin St. Louis every time we're talking about the upside of one of our pint-sized prospects. Martin St. Louis is not a normal player, not someone who comes along every day, year, or five years. It would be like comparing every two-way center to Pavel Datsyuk -- it's just not a productive comparison, because nine players out of 10 are not going to be Martin St. Louis even if they are on the small side. Generally speaking, small wingers are going to get killed on the boards and aren't going to be terribly productive. That won't change just because one guy named Martin St. Louis defied the odds.

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Seriously, I don't want to offend anyone, folks, but let's stop bringing up Martin St. Louis every time we're talking about the upside of one of our pint-sized prospects. Martin St. Louis is not a normal player, not someone who comes along every day, year, or five years. It would be like comparing every two-way center to Pavel Datsyuk -- it's just not a productive comparison, because nine players out of 10 are not going to be Martin St. Louis even if they are on the small side. Generally speaking, small wingers are going to get killed on the boards and aren't going to be terribly productive. That won't change just because one guy named Martin St. Louis defied the odds.

This.

It looks like the size issue up the middle is not going to be addressed for awhile with Plekanec locked up long term (really solid player, no complaints, average height though) and Gomez looking like he'll be a hab at least for another season (if not two). Thankfully further down the depth chart we have Eller who plays with some size and doesn't seem to be to intimated from playing an aggressive defensive game. This leaves the team with Desharnais on the fourth line unless he is converted to wing, not making his case for a long term NHL career any stronger at all.

Eric Cole signing = decent size upgrade on the right side even if at a costly rate (such is the reality of the free agent market, pay to win but always knowing there's some sort of gamble being taken on deals like these) for a thirty two year old who's injury prone and has played with Eric Staal during his most successful seasons. This being said, I don't think anyone is genuinely upset about the deal. It was an area up front the staff needed to address and did, long term to. Whether he stays healthy all four years and manages to produce points and goals with our smaller albeit inconsistent centers is something we'll find out but this deal undoubtedly is a long term upgrade landing a proven performer and power forward.

David Desharnais and Brock Trotter just don't strike me as smaller depth centers that will overcome their smaller stature and put up big point totals. Like the poster above me stated, Martin St. Louis type players are rare, and he has been with a different core of players in Tampa Bay.

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DD is a sick player that has overacheived and proved his critics wrong at every level. From what I've seen of him in the last two seasons, I have no doubt that he will make a great NHL'er if given the opportunity. He is probably the most creative offensive player on the Habs right now. I personally think he could be a top 6 winger or center right now. Remember that MaxPac said that he thought DD was the best player in the AHL last year. That's quite the complement. Trotter is a question mark, but he has shown in the AHL and KHL that he can be a successful pro. I think he could center the fourth line to start the year with DD on the 2nd or 3rd. We definitely do have a bit of a size issue down the middle, but at least our wingers are a little bigger and more physical. I honestly think too much is made of the size issue. The Habs have overachieved the last two years with a smaller lineup despite have numerous significant injuries. I'm not saying DD or Trotter will turn into St. Louis. The fact is that he is a very rare talent. However, they can easily be successful pros with the potential to crack the top 6 or 9 and put up some decent numbers.

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Well, let's look at it a different way:

Is David Desharnais an NHL calibre player that you want to see in a Habs uniform for one full season?

Is DD capable of being a 4th line player?

What situation would use his skills and help the team?

IMO, Lars Eller when healthy should be a full-time Center. He needs to play and Andrei Kostitsyn needs to play with him. The question is who plays with them. What does the line lack? I would say a distributor. David Desharnais fits that role.

Is he an ideal LW? Absolutely not but I think he would help the team more as an undersized 3rd line winger than an undersized underutilized 4th line center. Eller and Ak's size could compensate for him.

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Seriously, I don't want to offend anyone, folks, but let's stop bringing up Martin St. Louis every time we're talking about the upside of one of our pint-sized prospects. Martin St. Louis is not a normal player, not someone who comes along every day, year, or five years. It would be like comparing every two-way center to Pavel Datsyuk -- it's just not a productive comparison, because nine players out of 10 are not going to be Martin St. Louis even if they are on the small side. Generally speaking, small wingers are going to get killed on the boards and aren't going to be terribly productive. That won't change just because one guy named Martin St. Louis defied the odds.

Just look at Theo Fleury! :P

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