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#81 Lars Eller 2012-2013


ColRouleBleu

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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.

i agree with that assessment, to me a bust is a player who doesn't make the NHL and floats around the AHL and Euro leagues (NHL is the main goal for most of these players). As you mentioned, usually 1st rounders are considered to be the bread and butter, potential top 6 players. Pouliot was a 4th overall pick and hasn't amounted to much. He shy's away from the physical aspect, so that leaves him with a top 6 role, but when he's not scoring either, there isn't very many options left.

Hamrlik was thought to become a great offensive dman (1st overall I believe). It just wasn't in the cards for him. He adjusted his game to become a solid stay at home dman. At the end of the day, all these kids who are drafted want to succeed at the NHL level. Even if your game changes and end up not being the offensive player they thought you would become, if you've managed to remain in the league, earning good money and a key player for your team, then I don't say that's a bust or even a draft bust. Pouliot for me is slowly becoming a bust, I think T-bay has taken a chance on him, but if he can't find a role with them, then I feel his time in the NHL will come to an end. if he couldn't find a spot on the very talented bruins and now with the bolts(who have some good players, St Louis, Stamkos, Vinny, etc...), i don't know what to think, NHL just wasn't in the cards for him.

For me as long as a player can stay in the NHL, compete hard, have a regular spot on the roster and can last, then it's a success. Even if that means in a bottom 6 role. Maxim Talbot was quite the goal scorer in the minors. Just wasn't able to do the same at the NHL level. He's become a solid grinder who's well payed by the Flyers for. may not have been the scorer he was in jr, but found his spot just the same in the NHL... Again, for me that's a success, not a bust.

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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.

i had a lot of faith in the kid, read the scouting reports, like what I heard. At one point i wasn't too sure if he'd become a top 6 player, then Jm moved him to centre and I found some renewed hope. he seemed more comfortable at centre, he even seemed to spark AK46's game as well.

But I've never seen his quick release that the scouting reports stated. from what I've witnessed, he has a good shot, but nothing spectacular. Ak had a quicker/better release than Eller. As time goes on, I don't see improvement in his offensive game (may have to do with his wingers), but have noticed an improvement in his defensive game.

I think he'll be a fringe 2nd line centre. Good fit in case of an injury, but not as a full timer. i think he could become a solid, 2-way, 3rd liner, but my hopes of him ever becoming a top 6 centre on the habs is slowly dwindling. With Pleks our best centre (imo)and gally projected to be a top line centre, just don't see it in the cards for Eller, not with the habs. Even DD's place with the habs may come into question as our youngins mature. Still early in the season, he just isn't very strong on the puck. It's his stature, not much you can do with that. i think he may be physically too small to be a top line centre.

Time will tell.

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i had a lot of faith in the kid, read the scouting reports, like what I heard. At one point i wasn't too sure if he'd become a top 6 player, then Jm moved him to centre and I found some renewed hope. he seemed more comfortable at centre, he even seemed to spark AK46's game as well.

But I've never seen his quick release that the scouting reports stated. from what I've witnessed, he has a good shot, but nothing spectacular. Ak had a quicker/better release than Eller. As time goes on, I don't see improvement in his offensive game (may have to do with his wingers), but have noticed an improvement in his defensive game.

I think he'll be a fringe 2nd line centre. Good fit in case of an injury, but not as a full timer. i think he could become a solid, 2-way, 3rd liner, but my hopes of him ever becoming a top 6 centre on the habs is slowly dwindling. With Pleks our best centre (imo)and gally projected to be a top line centre, just don't see it in the cards for Eller, not with the habs. Even DD's place with the habs may come into question as our youngins mature. Still early in the season, he just isn't very strong on the puck. It's his stature, not much you can do with that. i think he may be physically too small to be a top line centre.

Time will tell.

I agree. I had high hopes too and I still think he can be a really good, useful player but for me the biggest tell is his vision/play making. It just hasn't come along. He's great with the puck, good on the boards but he doesn't really create plays for his wingers and that's a lot of what you want a number 1 or even number 2 center.

I'm starting to see more of a peak of a 35-40 point elite 3rd line center.

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I agree. I had high hopes too and I still think he can be a really good, useful player but for me the biggest tell is his vision/play making. It just hasn't come along. He's great with the puck, good on the boards but he doesn't really create plays for his wingers and that's a lot of what you want a number 1 or even number 2 center.

I'm starting to see more of a peak of a 35-40 point elite 3rd line center.

The term "elite 3rd line center" is a bit of an oxymoron. If a player is really that good, he'll eventually be moved up to a higher line or he'll be moved to another team (like Jordan Staal eventually was). In the NHL, if role players excel, they eventually demand so much money that it becomes ineffective to retain them when you can get a guy who's almost as good, younger, and a lot cheaper.

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The term "elite 3rd line center" is a bit of an oxymoron. If a player is really that good, he'll eventually be moved up to a higher line or he'll be moved to another team (like Jordan Staal eventually was). In the NHL, if role players excel, they eventually demand so much money that it becomes ineffective to retain them when you can get a guy who's almost as good, younger, and a lot cheaper.

I disagree in a sense. I agree with you that often times role players can become overpaid, but having someone who can take those defensive minutes and faceoffs is definitely an asset. When I hear elite 3rd line center I don't think of guys like Staal, because it's pretty obvious he's better than a 3rd liner on most teams. I think more of guys like Darren Helm, Brandon Sutter, Jarret Stoll, Jim Slater, etc. These guys are obviously important to a team, and when you can put a guy out like that who can contribute well at both ends of the ice you can save on paying your top 2 centers. We have Plekanec occupying those defensive shifts now, imagine if we had someone else in that role taking that ice time, and both Plekanec and Desharnais were able to play with more focus on their offense. Of course, you don't want to be in a situation where you're parking a 5 million dollar salary on the 3rd line, but if Eller can elevate his game to a similar level as the guys I mentioned earlier, you can pay a guy 3M or so and count on 40 points and good two way play.

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I think he'll be a fringe 2nd line centre. Good fit in case of an injury, but not as a full timer. i think he could become a solid, 2-way, 3rd liner, but my hopes of him ever becoming a top 6 centre on the habs is slowly dwindling. With Pleks our best centre (imo)and gally projected to be a top line centre, just don't see it in the cards for Eller, not with the habs. Even DD's place with the habs may come into question as our youngins mature. Still early in the season, he just isn't very strong on the puck. It's his stature, not much you can do with that. i think he may be physically too small to be a top line centre.

Eller becoming a solid third-liner who can fill in on the top-six may not actually be so bad at least for the next few seasons. I suspect by some point next season, Gally will be centering the top line. Plekanec is the perfect fit on the second line and still here (barring trade, etc.) for 3 more seasons after this (and may still have a few years left in him after that), so it leaves a nice opening for Eller. Unless Gally turns out to be a bust, I think the writing is on the wall for DD.

The term "elite 3rd line center" is a bit of an oxymoron. If a player is really that good, he'll eventually be moved up to a higher line or he'll be moved to another team (like Jordan Staal eventually was). In the NHL, if role players excel, they eventually demand so much money that it becomes ineffective to retain them when you can get a guy who's almost as good, younger, and a lot cheaper.

Even though Staal was on the third line, I never thought of him as a 'third liner'. I'd consider an "elite 3rd line center" to be among the best 3rd line centers who legitimately do belong on the third line. For comparisons sake, I'd consider an "elite second line center" to be someone like Arnott a few years back or maybe Plekanec, not Malkin even though he's a better player.

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The term "elite 3rd line center" is a bit of an oxymoron. If a player is really that good, he'll eventually be moved up to a higher line or he'll be moved to another team (like Jordan Staal eventually was). In the NHL, if role players excel, they eventually demand so much money that it becomes ineffective to retain them when you can get a guy who's almost as good, younger, and a lot cheaper.

Well I'd disagree that it's an oxymoron, you maybe on borrowed time with one but you can definitely be elite in that role. To be more clear though, I think Eller will be a below average play maker and if you can't make plays the odds of being a top 6 center in the league is low.

Either way, you MAYBE on borrowed time as an elite 3rd liner but you control the years until those demands come up. If we got 3 elite 3rd line years from Lars and traded him for a worthwhile package that would be a great end result. FWIW, I get the Staal example but he's a really, really unique case.

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Well I'd disagree that it's an oxymoron, you maybe on borrowed time with one but you can definitely be elite in that role. To be more clear though, I think Eller will be a below average play maker and if you can't make plays the odds of being a top 6 center in the league is low.

Either way, you MAYBE on borrowed time as an elite 3rd liner but you control the years until those demands come up. If we got 3 elite 3rd line years from Lars and traded him for a worthwhile package that would be a great end result. FWIW, I get the Staal example but he's a really, really unique case.

The problem for Lars is that with the addition of both Gally's the 3rd line, as we may think of it, does not exist on the Habs. That is the Habs 4th line. Lars is a tweener at this point. Not a great fit on most of the lines unless some players are removed from the equation. He plays better at center, IMO, and is not a true left winger. He is big enough, has good speed with some decent puck handling skills, but is not really a tough player who adds grit and will fight.

He has not been given the opportunity to replace Desharnais at center between two players like Pacioretty and Cole and probably never will be that lucky. I could see him centering a line with Moen and Blunden as a better fit, but that won't likely happen either. To this point, players like White and Armstrong have been alotted more importance on the team it seems.

Perhaps he will be given the chance between Moen and Armstrong next game. That's about all I can see for him right now.

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The problem for Lars is that with the addition of both Gally's the 3rd line, as we may think of it, does not exist on the Habs. That is the Habs 4th line. Lars is a tweener at this point. Not a great fit on most of the lines unless some players are removed from the equation. He plays better at center, IMO, and is not a true left winger. He is big enough, has good speed with some decent puck handling skills, but is not really a tough player who adds grit and will fight.

He has not been given the opportunity to replace Desharnais at center between two players like Pacioretty and Cole and probably never will be that lucky. I could see him centering a line with Moen and Blunden as a better fit, but that won't likely happen either. To this point, players like White and Armstrong have been alotted more importance on the team it seems.

Perhaps he will be given the chance between Moen and Armstrong next game. That's about all I can see for him right now.

I think you're actually spot on the money with this assessment.

I have said all along that its still unclear to me if he can be an offense-first 2nd line centre, or a two way 3rd line centre, but I would agree with those who say he's most likely on the path to being the latter. And I agree with Roy here - he still has the potential to be an elite 3rd line centre. Maybe not Carbonneau/Brindamour/Peca Elite, but of that mold.

And you're absolutely right - the problem right now for Lars is that we have no 3rd (checking) line. We have 3 scoring lines (even though line 1 isnt producing) and a tough guy/energy line.

I wonder if the answer lies in reshuffling our lines a bit. (When Patches is back):

Patches-Plekanec-Gio

Gally B- Gally A - Cole

Prust-Eller-Bourque

Moen-White-Armstrong

Is probably the best situation for the team as a whole. We have a line 1a 1b (you never know which will be top line on any given night as Plekanec is not quite a #1 centre and Gally isnt ready to be "the man" just yet). A solid checking line that can actually chip in points and an energy/tough guy line.

Obviously this leaves DD out in the cold though. See below.

Eller becoming a solid third-liner who can fill in on the top-six may not actually be so bad at least for the next few seasons. I suspect by some point next season, Gally will be centering the top line. Plekanec is the perfect fit on the second line and still here (barring trade, etc.) for 3 more seasons after this (and may still have a few years left in him after that), so it leaves a nice opening for Eller. Unless Gally turns out to be a bust, I think the writing is on the wall for DD.

I also agree with your assessment. In the near future Gally should easily take the #1 role, plekanec has several more years at #2 & if Eller can become a true #3 then where does DD fit in? Its why, even though I do like the kid & have rooted for him, I just dont see how he fits our long term plans. Maybe if converted to wing, but we've never even tried that yet.

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Someone from the Pittsburgh Tribune was just on Hockey Central at Noon talking about Brandon Sutter. I think he's a much better comparison for Eller than Staal is. They were talking about how even though he won't be relied on heavily for offense, this line will be key for the Pens if they are going to win another cup. Their combination of offense and defense will be key in the play offs while also hopefully shutting down other roams big lines. This is the type of player I feel Eller could be. I think it might be best for us if he DOESN'T become a legit top 6 guy, but a solid number 3 who can fill in on the second line in the case of injury. A 1-2-3 punch of Gally, Pleks and Eller Is good and if Eller can continue to improve defensively could do wonders for us in the playoffs. If we can add a face off specialist fr the fourth line we are solid down the middle.

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i only saw the third against ottawa and i thought eller stood out, he made himself a lot more noticeable than in any other game (at least in that period) imo

i think things being and for the sake of conversation staying the same, i agree with hockeynutz, 4th line center seems to be the place for him on this team, at least for this year...and that might actually be the best thing for him

a lot of you are mentioning him being a nice 2 way 3rd line center and i think thats bang on, thats what i see too and thats a great guy to have on your team

the knock on lars defensively at least is that he could be tougher and more physical. lars is a big boy, i think if he spends the year on a line with moen and armstrong and aspires to play to their level of grit, it not only makes him a major upgrade over ryan white there because of his offensive ability, but it develops the weakest part of his overall game.

patches the wolverine will be back any game now so we are gonna have to do something with him anyway. i dont think he deserves to sit, hes been playing pretty good

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If eller doesn't beat out DD or Rene Bourque by the end of this season or through next season he will like be moved for a draft pick or a postion player we are week at..

I have no doubt our third line center will be Michaël Bournival in the next one or 2 years...

I said it when we traded for Eller his value compared to Halak was not even close, we shoudl of went after one of there roster player at the time...

He has doen nothing at the NHL or the AHL - just hab fans over valuing one of our players..

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If eller doesn't beat out DD or Rene Bourque by the end of this season or through next season he will like be moved for a draft pick or a postion player we are week at..

I have no doubt our third line center will be Michaël Bournival in the next one or 2 years...

I said it when we traded for Eller his value compared to Halak was not even close, we shoudl of went after one of there roster player at the time...

He has doen nothing at the NHL or the AHL - just hab fans over valuing one of our players..

I think it will come down to Leblanc and Bournival for third line centre in 2 years, I don't think their year in Hamilton reflects what they're capable of, it's a disaster down there but that's for another thread. Eller has to prove himself this year or I'd have no problem making room for LL next year, getting to the time to where we have to see what he can do. Eller and DD should not both be on this team next year IMO.

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I can't believe people are still bitter about the Halak trade. Its only been what? 3 years? The guy is always injured and had to leave last nights game because of a cut lip.

Anyways it would be nice if Eller could get put into a position to succeed rather than stuck on the wing on different lines. Unfortunately that may not happen in Montreal.

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^^^^ totally agree...Eller has never been put into a position to succeed, unless they put him with quality wingers and give him time on the pp he will never reach his potential in mtl. I still feel he could be a very good center but i dont think he looks good on the wing. Imo its way too early to write off eller, he has shown flashes of brilliance over the last couple of years but until they put him in a position where he can perform offensivly this is thge eller we will see.(If he gets traded i feel we will regret this one alot more than the halak one)

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Great to see him have a strong game. But the question is can he put forth that same effort tomorrow and play withnconfidence.

This game went a long way to restore his confidence. He is also motivated to do well to avoid getting benched

and to keep MT's faith in him. Lars knows he is back on the 4th line once PAtches comes back but if he plays hard in both ends it could earn him some PP time or stints in the top 6 when things aren't going so well for the usual top 6 forwards.

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