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2016-17 State of the Habs


BigTed3
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5 hours ago, H_T_L said:

Down to 12 forwards and 6 D men now with the kid being sent back to Junior. No spare bodies kicking around.

 

Yup. But we have a lot of home games in November and very little travel (4 away dates to Clb, Det, Chi, an Car) until we get to the end of the month and head west. So there shouldn't be an overwhelming panic to be able to call up someone between games and get them there in time for the next one. I suspect they might recall someone tomorrow after 5PM to save as many days without a cap hit as possible, but even then, it really only becomes a concern if you have players who are playing hurt and who might be game-time decisions. It suggests team health is doing pretty well for now.

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From CBC sports:

Defenceman Nathan Beaulieu believes Montreal's win against Vancouver on Wednesday night should act as a wake-up call for his side.

The Canadiens were flat for much of the game but still crept away with a 3-0 win against the Canucks to extend their winning streak to eight games.

The Habs looked disorganized throughout the encounter as Vancouver outshot them 42-21.

"It's probably the worst game we've played this year," said Beaulieu, who scored the winner in the second period. "We definitely got away with one. We just weren't sharp. We were on our heels. We sat back and didn't dictate the game. It's a lesson tonight.

"It's the best kind of wake-up call to get, one where you get the win. Tough game for us. Back to the drawing board."

"We're not going to play perfectly every game, that's just a fact," said Price, whose shutout was the 37th of his career. "We definitely can't let ourselves get content. We're going to come out next game and try to get off to a better start."

 

Montreal hardly looked like the league's best team for much of the game. The Habs struggled to generate any momentum and failed to string passes together. The Canucks won most puck battles as they outshot Montreal 13-3 after 20 minutes.

"The first half of the game was tough for us," said Canadiens forward Torrey Mitchell. "We couldn't even touch the puck. If it weren't for Price we would have gone down 3-0 or even 4-0."

 

http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/nhl/canadiens-canucks-carey-price-shutout-1.3833799

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So here is what we got now after 10.

1st line...Patch-DD-Shaw. 10 games in and we got DD and Patch, just L to the O-L.  anyway this line tends to not be able to put 2 passes together...shaw is a plug. he will make a nice dig in the corner, get the puck out of there, turn around and pass....right into someones skates. anyway inevitably we'll get a certain measure of success, patch eventually gets open with time to aim and shoot and usually scores those. 

Now, despite the fact that these guys are often the first wave, effectively wasting the PP, I dont care because it has satisfied coach's insatiable thirst for patch dd, and thus allowed for

 

2nd line ....Radu-Chuck-Gallagher. A real live offensive line, I thought these things went extinct in the foxholeic era.  only line we have that makes anything happen. hopefully it never gets touched. imagine we actually used these guys like a real first line! hahah yeah right.

 

3rd line-Byron-Plek-Lehkonen... last night I came to the realization that byron is like 100x more effective than DD. I die inside every time he has been put in the top 6, but honestly id rather have him there than DD. little guy makes things happen out there, too bad pleky doesnt. what a lousy move extending this guy. should have traded him instead and kept eller. ugh. poor lehkonen is going to waste here. id switch him and shaw but what do i know

 

4th line....I gave this Danault guy a hard time but he's actually alright.  I like him and MItchell. now, Flynn...why? who needs to develop young players when you have old plugs. coach T hockey baby.

 

Weber...as advertised. rock on D, video game cheese goal on the PP.  however does basically nothing to contribute to transitional offence...or any kind of offence other than that shot. this will rear its ugly head later in the season when, like last year, we stop getting lucky goals from our plugs and reality kicks back in. Not hating though, the p.k trade broke my heart but weber is a legit 1 d. full marks so far

Emelin..why are you on the top pairing? oh right, we dont like guys who try to "make plays" and "create offence". fancy pants egomaniac selfish p.k lovers.

Bo...gonna get traded. which will be a mistake. hes on eggshells. he was losing the puck here and there last night, you can tell hes playing nervous because he knows hes in the coach t pigeonhole, filling the vaccuum left by p.k and eller

Markov...shelter him and he's fine. upgrade seriously on deck though

Pateryn...cant complain

Petry...been great. full marks

 

SO. we have one line, but hilariously not the one the coach thinks. We stink 5 v 5, and we will continue to stink on the pp as long as DD-Patch is our go to. but as long as the lot of them generate a goal, and weber hits the video game one timer, price stops everything and we win. 

I thought we were gonna bomb this year like last year. it could still happen..the recipe for disaster is still in place IMO. total reliance on price combined with offensive ineptitude combined with coach T garbage deployment.  My prediction though now is that we dont. Price literally wins by himself. He's so stupid crazy good. And having weber just stand beside him all night and not worry about anything else only helps that game plan. I get it now. These guys went all in on this game plan, and in a super mediocre eastern conference we might even come in 1-3. 

 

Thats my 8 cents. have at it amigos

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Top 5 players for the Habs right now (excluding goalies):

1. Radulov

2. Gallagher

3. Weber

4. Petry

5. Galchenyuk

Top 5 Most Disappointing Players:

1. Plekanec

2. Markov

3. Shaw

4. Desharnais

5. Beaulieu

Top 5 Over-Achievers Thus Far (exceeding expectations):

1. Mitchell

2. Danault

3. Emelin

4. Pateryn

5. Byron

 

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This is from Andrew Berkshire on Twitter:

Cwb3W6lWIAAy5a7.png

That's our current PDO with its components graphed, compared to every other full season (including other teams to date) since 2007. The Habs logo is the 2016-17 team. There's a reason there's a lot of diamonds near the cross.

This will not continue, full stop.

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http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/call-of-the-wilde-now-that-s-a-wake-up-call-1.3147225?platform=hootsuite

 

Nathan Beaulieu said the Canucks game, where the local heroes were doubled in shots but still won, was a wake-up call.

When you make your record no regulation losses in 10 games, no matter how poorly you have played, a win is not a wake-up call. In fact, it gives you a feeling of invincibility.

That's a sleeping pill, not a wake-up.

Now on the other hand, when the Columbus Blue Jackets are making you look like a Midget AAA team in a rout, that is some smelling salts.

After a rout, you're listening to the coach.

Now you're paying attention. Now you're skating harder.

Because nothing wakes one up faster than embarrassment.

And that folks was embarrassing.

8-0 at the end of the second period.

The Habs were bad against Toronto, but Price.

The Habs were bad against Vancouver, but Price.

The Habs were bad against Columbus and this time no 'buts'.

No 'ifs' either.

Lots of 'ands' though.

As in... And what is Plekanec doing this season. It would seem unfair to put a bull's eye on one player here but if the arrow fits, fire it.

We're still waiting for Plekanec to show he's worth the $6 million he's getting paid.

Hell, we're waiting for him to be worth an entry-level deal. All I see is a guy in his mid-30s looking like he's moving real quickly into his late 30s.

I've been Tomas Plekanec's biggest backer but I'm going to need some Robaxacet if he doesn't find some game soon.

This would be a rapid fall from grace but one can't hide too much longer from the statistic: 10 goals in 86 games.

I believe the Habs will ride Carey Price, Al Montoya and their collective .930 along with a little better than average shooting percentage of 9.5 to a 100 to 110 point season, but if you are outshot 40-20 each night then you're going to need a 150 PDO instead of a 102.

You can't get dominated like that and it's up to the co-coaches to figure something out.

 

Alex Radulov needs to play on his natural side. Let him play where he knows.

Galchenyuk and Radulov should click but let him play on the right.

Then let's see what Pacioretty can do as two offensive set-up men look to find the sniper.

The coaches tried to wake up Plekanec by giving him his line mates from the start of last season.

I want to see the three best together: Pacioretty on the left; Galchenyuk at centre; Radulov on the right.

 

Apart from that, the offensive issue seems to be two fold:

1. They need a second-line centre. It's not Plekanec anymore it appears. It's not Desharnais anymore, though he's had some fine moments this season at least. Marc Bergevin needs to find someone here. Win the middle. Win the game. Word is that Bergevin wants to go for it with this team right now and right now he needs a better second centre.

2. Their hole to start the season of puck-moving transitional defence seems to be an issue some nights. You don't get outshot 40-20 unless your D are having trouble moving the puck up and out. Shoot me, but I think they played better transitional hockey when Weber and Beaulieu played together.

 

Apart from that, a little less looking at the next guy for help and a little more looking at yourself.

Nothing to panic about here. You're first in the NHL but clearly some things to address for the coaches, the GM, and the players.

If Carey Price stops 50, you still likely lose if he has his usual .930 save percentage when you are only firing 20. The game can't be played exclusively in your end no matter how good your goalie is.

So let's try playing in the other end a bit next time and see how that goes.

Or there are going to be many more difficult wake-up calls instead of those lip service ones.

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If hating to lose was actually a thing that made you play better, then shouldn't Shaw and Weber and so on have come out with the most impressive third period ever played by hockey players? This is just further proof that "hating to lose" is not a thing and that you can't just will yourself to win. Yes, you want to see guys still caring and giving an effort, but it's normal human sentiment to be discouraged being down 5-0 or 8-0. Weber or Shaw don't play any better in that situation than Subban or Eller did. What wins you games? Skill. Physical ability and fitness. Smarts. And yes, compete level and commitment are things that factor in too, but the value of any of those assets will be reflected in outcomes and stats. If a guy plays hard and it leads to puck possession and scoring chances and goals and wins, like Gallagher or Koivu, then I'm all for it. But if a guy just gets labeled grit and character like Shaw or Flynn or Mike Brown or Bouillon but it doesn't translate into results on the ice, then it doesn't matter much. Maybe Shaw felt really bad after tonight's game but it didn't help us any when it counted.

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4 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

If hating to lose was actually a thing that made you play better, then shouldn't Shaw and Weber and so on have come out with the most impressive third period ever played by hockey players? This is just further proof that "hating to lose" is not a thing and that you can't just will yourself to win. Yes, you want to see guys still caring and giving an effort, but it's normal human sentiment to be discouraged being down 5-0 or 8-0. Weber or Shaw don't play any better in that situation than Subban or Eller did. What wins you games? Skill. Physical ability and fitness. Smarts. And yes, compete level and commitment are things that factor in too, but the value of any of those assets will be reflected in outcomes and stats. If a guy plays hard and it leads to puck possession and scoring chances and goals and wins, like Gallagher or Koivu, then I'm all for it. But if a guy just gets labeled grit and character like Shaw or Flynn or Mike Brown or Bouillon but it doesn't translate into results on the ice, then it doesn't matter much. Maybe Shaw felt really bad after tonight's game but it didn't help us any when it counted.

Well said BT. You always seem to have the insight to see the big picture with this team.

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I'm not going to read too much into this embarrassing loss, just like I refused to pay too much attention to the very successful start to the season.

Fact is that this team didn't suddenly become a contender by swapping Subban for Weber and Eller for Shaw. A really good team will lose games, that's not the issue. The issue is that we're being absolutely dominated by teams that are clearly inferior and should have no business doing so, e.g. TOR, VAN and CLB. It's the same old story since years, this team, in its current state, isn't a contender. It is poorly coached and plays an outdated brand of hockey that in all likelihood is never going to win us a Cup. It's amazing that we have a generational player like Price on the team but it quickly becomes a problem when we rely on such a volatile position as goaltending to win games. I know it has worked for this franchise in the past, but since the lockout no team has gone all the way on the back of a goalie. It's a really poor strategy because it's completely unsustainable and out of your control, but hey, management has made it abundantly clear on several occasions that they think it's impossible to win without Carey and that he alone is the answer to all our problems. I'm shaking my head in disbelief but it is what it is, let's deal with it.

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This was a total collapse, not just a loss IMO. It all started with the stolen games by us against the laffs and cannucks thanks solely to Price. Management's philosophy of grit and character has been exposed as a fraudulent charade. If coach MT had the ability to 'see the curve ball coming' as quoted by him in his team's loss against Columbus, then why didn't he have the foresight to provide the proper leadership? For example leaving Montoya totally exposed and humiliated without having called up Lindgren as backup? Anyway coming back to character and grit, seems to me the players are simply parroting managements' desires to tow the party line's list of fine excuses. Seems to me there are strict guidelines as to what a Habs player under our current management must and must not say publicly. Never-mind skill, just tow the party line and everything will be fine.

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Habs have surrendered the 3rd most shots against per game this year. And according to Andrew Berkshire, they have allowed 27% more scoring chances against than last season. So not saying a lot for the defence. Sure, the goaltending has been even better than previous years, but the defence is allowing much more through... guess that changing Subban and Eller for Weber and Shaw hasn't really paid off, unless of course someone wants to argue the big difference is because we lost Tom Gilbert and Victor Bartley.

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11 hours ago, Habs=stanleycup said:

This was a total collapse, not just a loss IMO. It all started with the stolen games by us against the laffs and cannucks thanks solely to Price. Management's philosophy of grit and character has been exposed as a fraudulent charade. If coach MT had the ability to 'see the curve ball coming' as quoted by him in his team's loss against Columbus, then why didn't he have the foresight to provide the proper leadership? For example leaving Montoya totally exposed and humiliated without having called up Lindgren as backup? Anyway coming back to character and grit, seems to me the players are simply parroting managements' desires to tow the party line's list of fine excuses. Seems to me there are strict guidelines as to what a Habs player under our current management must and must not say publicly. Never-mind skill, just tow the party line and everything will be fine.

That's just MT talking after-the-fact.  If he really could see the curve ball coming, he surely would have seen the knuckler approaching when he got fired from Pittsburgh after he lost the room there.  But no, he just kept complaining about how it was all the players' fault.  Very similar to his current stint with the Habs.  One can only wonder if Malkin or Crosby would have been traded if the Pens decided to keep Therrien.  

Personally, I'm in agreement with those who think our current roster is as good as any other out there, and with better coaching, this team would be very competitive on a nightly basis, even without Price in net.  But since we can all see the choice that management is making by sticking with Bergevin and Therrien, all we can do is watch as the team flushes season after season down the drain, wasting (or trading away) the prime years of our generational talent.  At least when Edmonton traded Gretzky, the Oilers had won a few Cups first.  

I commend all the hopeful fans on this forum, but I can't join in the optimism.  I realize none of us know for sure what will happen, but I simply do not see a Therrien-led Canadiens team going to the Cup Finals......ever.  NHL Hockey has moved past his style of coaching, and his elitist attitude will never win over the players to the point that they will do anything to win.  In fact, quite the opposite.  They have become complacent in being losers.....which is to be expected, as it represents a trickling-down effect from the bench.  Pretty soon, they'll all start to sound like him in press conferences, and not just Max.  

My new mantra:  "Thank God Las Vegas will have hockey soon." 

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I'm glad they bounced back with a win even if it wasn't pretty, playing back-to-back after that game in Columbus probably wasn't easy. Interesting week coming up with games against BOS, DET, LA and CHI though, let's see if the team is ready.

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