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#81 Lars Eller 2012-2013


ColRouleBleu

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Second game of the year... First game back after some pressbox time. I'll cut him some slack, but our "number 1" line needs to get going. White, Prust, Gallagher, and Markov aren't going to score every night. Desharnais and Cole need to be producing. Now it's Eller's job too.

No, White, Prust and Gallagher probably won't score every night. Markov, on the other hand, is on pace for 30 Game-Winning Goals and the Norris Trophy.

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I guess Coach Therrien had to try some new things with Eller tonight. Wasn't spectacular, but after two games in the press box, then playing with new linemates, you would expect some rust or nerves. Lots of potential, though. Coach will eventually find the best place he belongs.

And out of his usual position.

BTW

He did get second line pressures not first line pressure. Pleks line is the first line.

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He's got a short leash to prove that he isn't a draft bust. Let's go, Lars!

Just curious though: would not scoring a lot make him a bust?

He's being paid as a 3rd liner, he's shown he can play strong defensive hockey & is good on the PK... I mean we ALL want him to do well and hope he does - especially based on his skillset - but if all he ends up being is a good solid third liner, thats still not really a bust. It makes the Halak deal a crappy trade, but thats the risk with any trade.

Anyway, i still think he can & will become a solid 2nd liner but I am not sure it will be with the habs. We may give up on him too early (partially because of the forward group we have) which would be a shame.

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He's got a short leash to prove that he isn't a draft bust. Let's go, Lars!

Eller has already proven he isn't a bust. I am not sure why people write him off this early after his often really solid play last year? He's 23 years old and he has played a grand total of two games this season. Give him some time.

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Just curious though: would not scoring a lot make him a bust?

He's being paid as a 3rd liner, he's shown he can play strong defensive hockey & is good on the PK... I mean we ALL want him to do well and hope he does - especially based on his skillset - but if all he ends up being is a good solid third liner, thats still not really a bust. It makes the Halak deal a crappy trade, but thats the risk with any trade.

Anyway, i still think he can & will become a solid 2nd liner but I am not sure it will be with the habs. We may give up on him too early (partially because of the forward group we have) which would be a shame.

I said "draft bust", not "bust". :) You're drafted in the top-10 as a forward, the expectation is that you'll be a goalscorer, not a checker or a two-way player. But hey, if he can become a top-six winger good for 20 goals and 40-55 points per year, that's a success to me. I don't see him succeeding long-term at center, doesn't have the vision and the distribution skills.

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Clearly, Therrien has chosen him as "the one".

Every coach has one. Eller is MT's whipping boy. He looks nervous on the ice and handling the puck, scared to make mistakes which is why he is making mistakes. I hope someone sits him down and tells him you're going to start every game on the top line for 3 weeks, we won't yank you now go out there and play like that kid who scored 4 goals.

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I said "draft bust", not "bust". :) You're drafted in the top-10 as a forward, the expectation is that you'll be a goalscorer, not a checker or a two-way player. But hey, if he can become a top-six winger good for 20 goals and 40-55 points per year, that's a success to me. I don't see him succeeding long-term at center, doesn't have the vision and the distribution skills.

We'll see. I believe he has the vision to be an effective 2nd line centre, you dont, but time will tell. Right now (in the few games he's played this year) he's looked tentative & nervous.

I also (respectfully) disagree with your assessment of how he was drafted.

He was thought of as a strong 2 way player when St. Louis took him & Ive yet to see him do anything to make me believe he wont be that. The hope is that he will be more, but he was drafted as a "safe bet" to at least be a strong 3rd liner with good upside. You could argue that if that "upside" never materializes then the pick was moderately poor, but as long as he maintains a position in the top 9, i would hesitate to call him a bust - draft, or otherwise.

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Eller is probably the only guy quietly happy about Whites boneheaded double minor. (In his head- I know I'm not hurting our team like THAT guy)

He is hurting his team alot more than that guy (white), eller cant score, he is palying terrible in his own end, he is not physical, he cannot kill penalties, the only reason he is getting any icetime is because patches is out.

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He is hurting his team alot more than that guy (white), eller cant score, he is palying terrible in his own end, he is not physical, he cannot kill penalties, the only reason he is getting any icetime is because patches is out.

That's a big stretch to say that Eller's been worse than White. White's taken a whole lot of really dumb penalties, and I'm not one to say PIM's are a good thing in the first place.

I didn't think Eller looked all that bad tonight, he's been OK the past couple of games. Of course, this is definitely a make or break year for him and I'd like to see him take advantage of the opportunity and produce in Pacioretty's absence.

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He is hurting his team alot more than that guy (white), eller cant score, he is palying terrible in his own end, he is not physical, he cannot kill penalties, the only reason he is getting any icetime is because patches is out.

I'm sorry I just don't see how you can say Eller anywhere near hurt the team tonight in comparison to White. I am just at a loss to respond to that.

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Eller needs to stop being the whipping boy. He should be centering a second line with Cole and Pacioretty when healthy, he has more potential and size then any habs player besides Galchenyuk and Patches and I think its gonna come back to haunt the habs when he leaves because he never got a fair opportunity in montreal.

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I haven't really heard anything about Eller being shopped around. We still own his rights for awhile yet. He's getting some opportunity's right now. Even if he doesn't take advantage of it over the next few weeks,,,,that doesn't mean he's a wash on the season.

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Eller needs to stop being the whipping boy. He should be centering a second line with Cole and Pacioretty when healthy, he has more potential and size then any habs player besides Galchenyuk and Patches and I think its gonna come back to haunt the habs when he leaves because he never got a fair opportunity in montreal.

I still like Lars a lot but he's getting a pretty good opportunity right now and really doing anything with it.

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I think what needs to happen is Therrien needs to tell him that he's going to be in the lineup every night and not to worry about gettin sat. When you play hockey worried like that you over analyze every little decision, stride, hit, position, and you worry about not doing anything wrong instead of doing anything right. I see a player going through the motions and not taking chances. Maybe it's the new system, who knows and if he still doesn't produce half way through the year then maybe do something but he looks shook to me.

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I think what needs to happen is Therrien needs to tell him that he's going to be in the lineup every night and not to worry about gettin sat. When you play hockey worried like that you over analyze every little decision, stride, hit, position, and you worry about not doing anything wrong instead of doing anything right. I see a player going through the motions and not taking chances. Maybe it's the new system, who knows and if he still doesn't produce half way through the year then maybe do something but he looks shook to me.

I see what you're saying, and I think communicating something to him is helpful. But I don't see any reason why we should give him assurances that he'll be in the lineup no matter what, because he shouldn't be. "Play well with effort and intensity and you'll stay in the lineup" is the only message needed IMHO.

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Eller needs to stop being the whipping boy. He should be centering a second line with Cole and Pacioretty when healthy, he has more potential and size then any habs player besides Galchenyuk and Patches and I think its gonna come back to haunt the habs when he leaves because he never got a fair opportunity in montreal.

I actually agree. The thing is, you can say "he needs to earn his spot" all you like but playing him with weak line mates or in his off position is never going to give him the full opportunity to show what he can do. Theirren should take this opportunity to plunk lars at centre for a few games - give him a real opportunity with quality wingers like Cole and DD (or possibly Armstrong if MT believes DD is too small to play the wing on the top line). DD has not been particularly good this year so take him off the top line until he has time to get his speed & timing back.

Im not willing to write off Lars' career without at least giving him a fair chance to prove he has the stuff. Heck we gave Pouliot how many games?? He needs an opportunity to be a centre and get at least one decent winger in the process.

I think what needs to happen is Therrien needs to tell him that he's going to be in the lineup every night and not to worry about gettin sat. When you play hockey worried like that you over analyze every little decision, stride, hit, position, and you worry about not doing anything wrong instead of doing anything right. I see a player going through the motions and not taking chances. Maybe it's the new system, who knows and if he still doesn't produce half way through the year then maybe do something but he looks shook to me.

Yeah, like you, I've been saying this since his second game. He looks tight & worried of making any mistakes. He needs to know he's here to stay & go out & play his game.

That said, I thought he looked a lot better last night but still not as comfortable as he did for most of last year.

In the long run, who knows. Maybe MT's tough love will bring out a side of Eller we havent seen. I know Lars said in an interview "the coach wants me to play with more passion" - which certainly wouldnt be a bad thing. He has the tools, id like to see him use them. :)

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Eller needs to stop being the whipping boy. He should be centering a second line with Cole and Pacioretty when healthy, he has more potential and size then any habs player besides Galchenyuk and Patches and I think its gonna come back to haunt the habs when he leaves because he never got a fair opportunity in montreal.

2nd line? DD is heads and shoulders better.

Therrien is doing the right thing, he's giving him a shot and now looking at him as a shut down Centre on the 4th line. Lars reminds me of Bulis. Good defensive player with a flair for the odd scoring moment.

Trading him would be fine for a third round pick or higher. Dumont can easily replace him at centre. And Same with Noky. And Blunden is just as good on the wing. Better actually.

He's not needed and wont be more than a 4th or 3rd liner. But getting value for him is a nice idea.

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I actually agree. The thing is, you can say "he needs to earn his spot" all you like but playing him with weak line mates or in his off position is never going to give him the full opportunity to show what he can do. Theirren should take this opportunity to plunk lars at centre for a few games - give him a real opportunity with quality wingers like Cole and DD (or possibly Armstrong if MT believes DD is too small to play the wing on the top line). DD has not been particularly good this year so take him off the top line until he has time to get his speed & timing back.

Im not willing to write off Lars' career without at least giving him a fair chance to prove he has the stuff. Heck we gave Pouliot how many games?? He needs an opportunity to be a centre and get at least one decent winger in the process.

Yeah, like you, I've been saying this since his second game. He looks tight & worried of making any mistakes. He needs to know he's here to stay & go out & play his game.

That said, I thought he looked a lot better last night but still not as comfortable as he did for most of last year.

In the long run, who knows. Maybe MT's tough love will bring out a side of Eller we havent seen. I know Lars said in an interview "the coach wants me to play with more passion" - which certainly wouldnt be a bad thing. He has the tools, id like to see him use them. :)

2 coaches could not bring out a lot more last year. SO, it's certainly not a Therrien thing. It's Lars. He's improved defesively and I don't think he's played badly. He is what he is, an outer 6 forward. That will not change. He needs to accept it or trade him. There's a couple guys coming up the pipe as 18 year olds that already have better scoring prowess than Lars and top 6 talent, for when Gionta and Cole exit in a couple years.

Lars is an after thought, and should be.

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2nd line? DD is heads and shoulders better.

Therrien is doing the right thing, he's giving him a shot and now looking at him as a shut down Centre on the 4th line. Lars reminds me of Bulis. Good defensive player with a flair for the odd scoring moment.

Trading him would be fine for a third round pick or higher. Dumont can easily replace him at centre. And Same with Noky. And Blunden is just as good on the wing. Better actually.

He's not needed and wont be more than a 4th or 3rd liner. But getting value for him is a nice idea.

DD hasn't been proving that he's heads and shoulders better this year so far though. So far he's shown that he's small and easily pushed off the puck.

This could very well be that he requires 2 wingers running at 100% to distribute to to show his potential and he hasn't had that so far. But in the last game Eller showed a lot of desire to go into the corners and be strong on the puck, something that DD wasn't really able to do.

A 4 goal night last year definitely shows some definite goal scoring potential or some crazy luck. He needs to get some confidence back (which seems to be happening slowly over the few games since he's been back).

We also wouldn't be having any of these discussions if we didn't have a log jam at center. How many people do we have that are natural Centers? DD, Eller, Plecky, Chuckie, White, Noke? Am I missing anyone that can play center? The official boxscore has us as dressing 5 centers vs Ottawa.

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DD hasn't been proving that he's heads and shoulders better this year so far though. So far he's shown that he's small and easily pushed off the puck.

This could very well be that he requires 2 wingers running at 100% to distribute to to show his potential and he hasn't had that so far. But in the last game Eller showed a lot of desire to go into the corners and be strong on the puck, something that DD wasn't really able to do.

A 4 goal night last year definitely shows some definite goal scoring potential or some crazy luck. He needs to get some confidence back (which seems to be happening slowly over the few games since he's been back).

We also wouldn't be having any of these discussions if we didn't have a log jam at center. How many people do we have that are natural Centers? DD, Eller, Plecky, Chuckie, White, Noke? Am I missing anyone that can play center? The official boxscore has us as dressing 5 centers vs Ottawa.

i agree, Dd has had a tough start, his stature is starting to show. We all knew it would be harder for the Dd line this year. They took a lot of teams by surprise last season. This season teams are ready for our top line and have found ways to shut them down. basically shut down DD and the rest falls apart, he's the playmaker, shadow him and there's not threat in the offensive zone.

Although, Eller hasn't been much better this season. he did have an amazing gam last year, 4 or 5 point night in which he was first star. Like so many youngins, he has trouble with consistency. Even Subban has shown flashes of greatness, but trouble keeping it going through a full season. Which is why MB wasn't willing to give him a 5+ mil/season just yet.

I don't know if Eller would fair better on the top line. DD is a great playmaker when there's room for him to work, I even say better than Eller in that regard, but Eller has a good frame and could bulk up some to be stronger on the puck. Doesn't help either that we're missing a key piece on our top line. Without patches, the line isn't very threatening and there's no solution for that line until Patches comes back. We could always try Gallagher, but he's another small body and Cole can only do so much. If he's creating room for DD, then he can't get free to receive a pass. It's one or the other.

That was the great thing about the DD line last year, slowing falling to last place, teams didn't take our top line seriously. Cole and Patches took turns making room for DD to work while the other found a spot in the open to drive one home.

We may have a log jam at centre, but apart from Pleky no real stand out centre. They're either lower tier centres or youngins who are still developing and may never become a true top 6. We also have LL in Hamilton who's a centre but he's been struggling in hamilton and I think is on the 3rd line. So not holding my breath for him. Our only true young centre with true top 6 potential is Gally, but he's still a ways away from a permanent top 6 role.

For the short term, there are no solutions. Just stick it out and wait for our youngins to develop and mature.

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I don't see Eller as a top line player, he definitely had the potential but at some point it's a fish or cut bait type of thing. His play making game hasn't progressed to a level I'd feel comfortable with him being a number 1 center with 2 high end wingers, he's good with the puck, decent scoring ability but he's not a great play maker. He does a lot of things well, OK defensive value with the potential to grow into that role further, good body. I can see him being a high end 3rd liner at this point. I just don't know if we're going to follow through.

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