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Habs Lines 2011-12


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I disagree with placing Cole on the third line. He was brought here to give us a legitimate NHL top line. Depth is all well and good, but before you can have it you need an actual first layer. Having 3 average lines is fine and all but it gives you average results.

Cammalleri - Plekanec - Cole

That's a bonafide top line.

AK didn't look good with DD? Well, maybe if the coach waited more than a game in the preseason they would have a chance to figure it out. I've already seen the movie of Andrei playing with Pleks and Cammy, it ends with frustration, no awards and no 30 goal scorers. If AK was so good with Pleks and Cammy, we would not have signed Cole to top line money in the first place.

:angry: C'mon Jacques!!!

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Worst case, I would understand placing Pacioretty with Desharnais and Cole with Gomez-Gionta, making them the top line and reuniting 2 guys that like playing together. However, this current version makes no sense.

Pacioretty was one of the only players who actually had any kind of success with Gomez last year, I think you have to give them a chance to replicate that.

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By the same logic we can agree that Andrei with Pleks and Cammy is NOT the answer.

Cammalleri - Plekanec - Cole

Pacioretty - Gomez - Gionta

Darche - Desharnais - Kostitsyn

Moen - Enqvist - Weber

That's what it should look like, and if you're concerned about defensive zone coverage with DD/AK, swap Moen for Darche. Again, this is just fundamental philosophical stuff: Do not weaken your top 6 to save your 3rd line.

Worry about depth when you have the tools. With Eller and White out, you don't have the ability to spread the wealth.

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I think that the coach will go with Gionta-Gomez-Max Pac however I would go with Gionta-Gomez-Cole

I think that JM will go with Cammi-Pleks-Cole however I would go with AK46 replacing Cole

I think that JM will go with AK46-DD-Darche however I would go with Max Pac replacing AK46 given the chemistry from the AHL.

I think that JM will go with Moen-Eller-Weber. I wonder if Eller can play the role of checking center. Otherwise our team will need a checking center. IMHO.

White who I believe will be out for a few more weeks should get lots of games on the 4th line when he is healthy.

I wonder if our team will trade AK46 to fill another role like checking center or top 4 D. Personally I would not trade AK46 as his size and skill might really help our team have three big wingers for teams like Boston and Flyers to deal with. Plus injuries would give our team very little depth for a big forward.

I assume that Markov will be out 5 to 10 games. But when Markov is back he is going to be top 4 and hopefully top 2 pairing on D.

Subban - Gill

Gorges - Campoli

Spacek - Diaz

With Yemelin as the spare D who will see action against teams with big forwards like the Bruins.

Price who will play 72 or more games this season.

Budaj who will hopefully be replaced as I truly think our team can find a far better backup goalie.

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I think that the coach will go with Gionta-Gomez-Max Pac however I would go with Gionta-Gomez-Cole

I think that JM will go with Cammi-Pleks-Cole however I would go with AK46 replacing Cole

I think that JM will go with AK46-DD-Darche however I would go with Max Pac replacing AK46 given the chemistry from the AHL.

I think that JM will go with Moen-Eller-Weber. I wonder if Eller can play the role of checking center. Otherwise our team will need a checking center. IMHO.

White who I believe will be out for a few more weeks should get lots of games on the 4th line when he is healthy.

I wonder if our team will trade AK46 to fill another role like checking center or top 4 D. Personally I would not trade AK46 as his size and skill might really help our team have three big wingers for teams like Boston and Flyers to deal with. Plus injuries would give our team very little depth for a big forward.

I assume that Markov will be out 5 to 10 games. But when Markov is back he is going to be top 4 and hopefully top 2 pairing on D.

Subban - Gill

Gorges - Campoli

Spacek - Diaz

With Yemelin as the spare D who will see action against teams with big forwards like the Bruins.

Price who will play 72 or more games this season.

Budaj who will hopefully be replaced as I truly think our team can find a far better backup goalie.

This is the part that I think is most misunderstood about our "big" players, they are able to hit and be hit but if you take Andrei K vs the Bruins as an example, AK isn't a bruiser that gets goals going into high traffic areas. He's just big enough to not get flicked off the puck but he's still a perimeter player that gets intimidated in the playoffs.

IMO, if AK46 were going to achieve his potential he would have shown more than "flashes" by now as a top 6. He will become like Kovalev a guy that always leaves you wanting more and looks like an All-star some nights. IMO, he is now miscast on the team. Cole and Pacioretty's net presence is crucial on the top 2 lines.

What the habs need on the third line more than an average sized skilled perimeter player is a well-rounded tough player that can play against anyone. They need a Colby Armstrong, Raffi Torres, Anthony Stewart, David Clarkson, Joel Ward etc... Players that are skilled enough to score 15+ goals but have grit, finish their checks, get under the other teams skin or in their face and kill penalties.

Ryan White may become that guy but I don't think he has enough skill to be a consistent scorer like Torres.

IMO, AK46 is a good player but he's not what this team needs and since he's about to become a UFA, I'd say this season is the time to really explore trades, especially if he has one of those "I wonder if AK has finally figured it out stretches that leaves all of us drooling" He hasn't. He won't. Trade him if you find somebody to buy that he has.

IMO, AK46 needs a 20-25 game stretch of inspired play 3 times not 6 games 3 times to justify any thought of re-signing him. I do not see that happening.

So, AK46 should NOT be with Pleks and Cammy.

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This is the part that I think is most misunderstood about our "big" players, they are able to hit and be hit but if you take Andrei K vs the Bruins as an example, AK isn't a bruiser that gets goals going into high traffic areas. He's just big enough to not get flicked off the puck but he's still a perimeter player that gets intimidated in the playoffs.

IMO, if AK46 were going to achieve his potential he would have shown more than "flashes" by now as a top 6. He will become like Kovalev a guy that always leaves you wanting more and looks like an All-star some nights. IMO, he is now miscast on the team. Cole and Pacioretty's net presence is crucial on the top 2 lines.

What the habs need on the third line more than an average sized skilled perimeter player is a well-rounded tough player that can play against anyone. They need a Colby Armstrong, Raffi Torres, Anthony Stewart, David Clarkson, Joel Ward etc... Players that are skilled enough to score 15+ goals but have grit, finish their checks, get under the other teams skin or in their face and kill penalties.

Ryan White may become that guy but I don't think he has enough skill to be a consistent scorer like Torres.

IMO, AK46 is a good player but he's not what this team needs and since he's about to become a UFA, I'd say this season is the time to really explore trades, especially if he has one of those "I wonder if AK has finally figured it out stretches that leaves all of us drooling" He hasn't. He won't. Trade him if you find somebody to buy that he has.

IMO, AK46 needs a 20-25 game stretch of inspired play 3 times not 6 games 3 times to justify any thought of re-signing him. I do not see that happening.

So, AK46 should NOT be with Pleks and Cammy.

AK's problem has always been how streaky he is, and I would agree with you the chances of him finding that consistency to his game seem pretty low at this point. The thing is, when he's on a hot streak, he's often one of the best players on the team. So while I think the standard should be Pleks-Cole-Cammy, I'm not opposed to periodic swaps of AK and Cole when AK starts heating up and/or the Pleks-Cole-Cammy line is cold and needs a temporary shakeup.

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I think most people have the same opinions about our top 3 lines regardless of what JM might think. But I'd like to get Betts off waivers from PHI and make our fourth line a little better and get Pleks the PK help he needs.

Cammalleri-Pleks-Cole

MaxPac-Gomez-Gionta

DD-Eller-AK

Moen-Betts-White/Darche

Weber

Gives us 3 good scoring lines and a great, gritty defensive fourth line that will be better at faceoffs.

PP 1

Cole-Pleks-Cammy

PK-Marky

PP 2

Patches-Gomez-Gionta

Diaz(if he makes the team)-Campoli

PK 1

Pleks-Moen

Gill-Gorges

PK 2

Betts-White/Gionta

PK-Spacek?

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I think most people have the same opinions about our top 3 lines regardless of what JM might think. But I'd like to get Betts off waivers from PHI and make our fourth line a little better and get Pleks the PK help he needs.

Cammalleri-Pleks-Cole

MaxPac-Gomez-Gionta

DD-Eller-AK

Moen-Betts-White/Darche

Weber

Gives us 3 good scoring lines and a great, gritty defensive fourth line that will be better at faceoffs.

PP 1

Cole-Pleks-Cammy

PK-Marky

PP 2

Patches-Gomez-Gionta

Diaz(if he makes the team)-Campoli

PK 1

Pleks-Moen

Gill-Gorges

PK 2

Betts-White/Gionta

PK-Spacek?

Sounds like it will be Moen - Enqvist - Webber as the 4th line to start the season.

Sounds like the Defensive pairings will be Gill and Subban, Spacek and Diaz, and Gorges and Campoli/Emelin, to start the season.

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Cammalleri - Plekanec - Cole

Pacioretty - Gomez - Gionta

Desharnais - Eller - Kostitsyn

Moen - White - Darche

Habs get a legit top 6, good young 3rd line and prototype 4th line. Currently a couple of these players are injured.

That's pretty much the lines as they will be when everyone is healthy.With all the talent in Hamilton the Habs shouldn't have to trade any picks away this year due to injuries.

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Habs claim Blair Betts, don't know what this means for Darche or White but I do know if he's not banged up, he's going to be a great PK duo with Travis Moen and allow TP to be on the second PK unit i.e. remain fresh. Nice Job PG, and he's even cheaper than Enqvist against the cap.

In about a week:

Cammalleri - Plekanec - COLE

Pacioretty - Gomez - Gionta

DD - Eller - Kostitsyn

Moen - Betts - Darche

Gill - Subban

Campoli - Gorges

Spacek - Diaz

Suddenly, this team is looking better, hopefully Markov recovers soon, because now you'd be looking at a solid lineup that isn't that small. We'd still need a thumper or 2 but that 4th line is looking like an NHL 4th line now. Tough guy/FO specialist/grinder.

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Habs claim Blair Betts, don't know what this means for Darche or White but I do know if he's not banged up, he's going to be a great PK duo with Travis Moen and allow TP to be on the second PK unit i.e. remain fresh. Nice Job PG, and he's even cheaper than Enqvist against the cap.

In about a week:

Cammalleri - Plekanec - COLE

Pacioretty - Gomez - Gionta

DD - Eller - Kostitsyn

Moen - Betts - Darche

Gill - Subban

Campoli - Gorges

Spacek - Diaz

Suddenly, this team is looking better, hopefully Markov recovers soon, because now you'd be looking at a solid lineup that isn't that small. We'd still need a thumper or 2 but that 4th line is looking like an NHL 4th line now. Tough guy/FO specialist/grinder.

Betts is a solid center with size and a good faceoff %,Montreal's penalty killing will automatically be better as well as the 4th line.Great signing Pierre,I hope he's in the lineup for the Toronto game.Engqvist is on his way back to Hamilton with this signing the last forward position is filled.

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This signing also makes it a lot harder for Weber to get a spot. Withe now slides to RW with Darche also available to play there. Weber not becomes our 14th forward or 7/8th D. Think his time is almost up..

Something I'm curious about: Since Georges Laraque still counts against the cap for this year, does he also take up an invisible roster spot amongst the 23? In that case, Weber also needs to be sent down...(or traded)

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Projected lines for game one versus Toronto:

Forwards

Brian Gionta-Scott Gomez-Max Pacioretty

Andrei Kostitsyn-Tomas Plekanec-Mike Cammalleri

Mathieu Darche-David Desharnais-Erik Cole

Travis Moen-Blair Betts-Yannick Weber

Defence

Hal Gill-P.K. Subban

Chris Campoli-Josh Gorges

Jaroslav Spacek-Raphael Diaz

Goal

Carey Price

Peter Budaj

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/globe-on-hockey/habs-trim-roster-add-betts/article2191784/

Not sure how accurate that is, though, as I would have thought Cole would be on one of the top two lines

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Projected lines for game one versus Toronto:

Forwards

Brian Gionta-Scott Gomez-Max Pacioretty

Andrei Kostitsyn-Tomas Plekanec-Mike Cammalleri

Mathieu Darche-David Desharnais-Erik Cole

Travis Moen-Blair Betts-Yannick Weber

Defence

Hal Gill-P.K. Subban

Chris Campoli-Josh Gorges

Jaroslav Spacek-Raphael Diaz

Goal

Carey Price

Peter Budaj

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/globe-on-hockey/habs-trim-roster-add-betts/article2191784/

Not sure how accurate that is, though, as I would have thought Cole would be on one of the top two lines

Cole's been on the third line for the past few practises. I'm not a fan of the decision myself.

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Projected lines for game one versus Toronto:

Forwards

Brian Gionta-Scott Gomez-Max Pacioretty

Andrei Kostitsyn-Tomas Plekanec-Mike Cammalleri

Mathieu Darche-David Desharnais-Erik Cole

Travis Moen-Blair Betts-Yannick Weber

Defence

Hal Gill-P.K. Subban

Chris Campoli-Josh Gorges

Jaroslav Spacek-Raphael Diaz

Goal

Carey Price

Peter Budaj

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/globe-on-hockey/habs-trim-roster-add-betts/article2191784/

Not sure how accurate that is, though, as I would have thought Cole would be on one of the top two lines

It looks like it's gonna be the starting lineup...apparently Cole is on the third line to balance things out...but what really bugs me is having Weber at forward, is he a better forward than Palushaj? absolutely not...and he's not even being used on the point on the power play.

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So, AK46 should NOT be with Pleks and Cammy.

I could be wrong. But I thought that AK46 - Pleks - Cammi started last season as a line. I also thought that they were playing great together but then in order to get Gomez and / or Gionta going the coach broke up the line. Assuming my memory is good. Why not put AK46 with Pleks and Cammi?

I think the ironic thing is that Cole is with DD during practise this week. I would put Max Pac with DD and then put Cole with Gomez and Gionta. I guess the fear is that Gomez played well with Gionta and Max Pac until the Chara hit so the coach does not want to break up a line that has shown chemistry thus Cole is put on the 3rd line. The 3rd line might see as much 5 on 5 ice time as the top line. Therefore our team should have far more balance if DD can create some chemistry with Cole.

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It looks like it's gonna be the starting lineup...apparently Cole is on the third line to balance things out...but what really bugs me is having Weber at forward, is he a better forward than Palushaj? absolutely not...and he's not even being used on the point on the power play.

I can only assume that JM is hoping to have success from the top two lines which did play well for several games last year. Therefore Cole is temporarily or permanently on the 3rd line. The top three lines might see the bulk of the ice time meaning that 5 on 5 the 3rd line would get plenty of opportunity to play against weaker D. I would also expect Cole to be parked out in front on the PP when a forward is on the point.

As for Weber. I think he is be a nice surprise this season. And it is far far too early to say that Weber will not be on the point on the PP. I think our team is better than last year. Weber might also play some D late in the game to give Gill or Spacek a break so they are fresher for the next game.

I think that Betts will help our PK and 4th line. It will be interesting how the coach handles Eller. Does Eller join DD, replace DD, or play on the 4th line becoming a checking player? Our team appears to have very few good forward prospects until two players in junior are ready next season. I think the Betts pickup confirms my view of the forward prospects.

It is a long season so having some depth is critical.

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I could be wrong. But I thought that AK46 - Pleks - Cammi started last season as a line. I also thought that they were playing great well together but then in order to get Gomez and / or Gionta going the coach broke up the line. Assuming my memory is good. Why not put AK46 with Pleks and Cammi?

Because we know the long-term sequelae of that reunion already. It's a streaky line. Cole was brought in to play with Plekanec/Cammalleri and bring a consistent skilled net presence to that duo. So, let's do it from the get go.

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