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2016-17 State of the Habs


BigTed3
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Carey is such a huge difference maker. If the team is off for a few games as all teams are during a long season he can eliminate a lot of those mistakes. I have been reflecting on the difference between say him, Hextall and Roy and the Lemeiux Gretzky type of superstar and I think there is an added bonus when the star is a goalie. With goals corers like Gretzky they could easily be counted on to get things going and you were often a 2 goal dog before the game started. But if Gretzky's goalie  was a little soft or the team a little off you may not win. With Price,  it is not possible to put up a style of play to neutralise Carey like you can do with a forward. Carey's passing and playmaking also appear to be getting much better as CBC pointed out last night. With Carey if the team is off they only need a goal or two, and if he is having an average night the team should still win when they are playing good. The only time this appears not to work is if both are off and that isn't often. I also believe that at this time in his career Carey is getting into the heads of a lot of opposition shooters. I would refer to this as the Carey zone or perhaps the Price zone where numbers are low low low.

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5 minutes ago, Habberwacky said:

Carey is such a huge difference maker. If the team is off for a few games as all teams are during a long season he can eliminate a lot of those mistakes. I have been reflecting on the difference between say him, Hextall and Roy and the Lemeiux Gretzky type of superstar and I think there is an added bonus when the star is a goalie. With goals corers like Gretzky they could easily be counted on to get things going and you were often a 2 goal dog before the game started. But if Gretzky's goalie  was a little soft or the team a little off you may not win. With Price,  it is not possible to put up a style of play to neutralise Carey like you can do with a forward. Carey's passing and playmaking also appear to be getting much better as CBC pointed out last night. With Carey if the team is off they only need a goal or two, and if he is having an average night the team should still win when they are playing good. The only time this appears not to work is if both are off and that isn't often. I also believe that at this time in his career Carey is getting into the heads of a lot of opposition shooters. I would refer to this as the Carey zone or perhaps the Price zone where numbers are low low low.

It is absolutely possible to neutralize Carey, the same way you can neutralize a Crosby, Gretzky, or Lemieux. A good scorer will still find ways to beat you, no matter how hard you try, and if you're double-teaming him in coverage or taking penalties to hit him, you're hurting yourself in other ways. With Carey, it's the same thing. To neutralize a good goalie, you create heavy trafffic through his crease. You bump him, you tap him, you go hard to the crease, you screen him, you get rebounds, you set up screens on your shots, you skate well to draw powerplays... Carey's very very good, but he's not immune to doing things that break down goalies. It may be harder, just as it's harder to shut down a star scorer, but it's doable. Especially in a 7-game series, the opposition might be willing to take a penalty or two early on in the series to get under Carey's nerves and rattle him as the series goes along.

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1 hour ago, BigTed3 said:

It is absolutely possible to neutralize Carey, the same way you can neutralize a Crosby, Gretzky, or Lemieux. A good scorer will still find ways to beat you, no matter how hard you try, and if you're double-teaming him in coverage or taking penalties to hit him, you're hurting yourself in other ways. With Carey, it's the same thing. To neutralize a good goalie, you create heavy trafffic through his crease. You bump him, you tap him, you go hard to the crease, you screen him, you get rebounds, you set up screens on your shots, you skate well to draw powerplays... Carey's very very good, but he's not immune to doing things that break down goalies. It may be harder, just as it's harder to shut down a star scorer, but it's doable. Especially in a 7-game series, the opposition might be willing to take a penalty or two early on in the series to get under Carey's nerves and rattle him as the series goes along.

Or run him like you know who.

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I don't think teams will be doing that and unless Carey gets hurt it will be of minimal effect. At this stage in Carey's career running him is not going to work and the players around him are a little nastier. I would expect to see a much different response  Carey knows his value and this is not the same  team that has been pushed around in the past. Standing in front of Carey is going to be much harder this year.

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16 minutes ago, Habberwacky said:

I don't think teams will be doing that and unless Carey gets hurt it will be of minimal effect. At this stage in Carey's career running him is not going to work and the players around him are a little nastier. I would expect to see a much different response  Carey knows his value and this is not the same  team that has been pushed around in the past. Standing in front of Carey is going to be much harder this year.

I'd like to believe they wouldn't, but we've seen frustrated teams do just that in the past a la Krieder. If it means winning a Cup, i don't put it past any team to target the best player on a team. We see it every year, with the difference being that you can sometimes work around losing an all star forward. That's much more difficult when you lose your all world goaltender. Too many of those dirty players out there who's only goal seems to be taking out star players. There's just no honour/respect in the game anymore. Win at any cost.

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1 hour ago, Habberwacky said:

Now I can agree with the fact it is easier to replace your all star forward or cover up for that absence. That is one of the reasons why I think Carey is more valuable than every forward in the league. And I don't think it is even close.

Fully agreed. I think Carey is as valuable if not moreso than any other player right now. But I also believe he can be neutralized if another team wants to enough. If the other team is willing to take penalties or even just play on the limit and spend time in his crease, it'll take its toll. Now the Habs can choose to take the powerplays but then they need to show they can consistently score on those. Or they can retaliate and have Weber or Emelin or Beaulieu or so on punch back, but that "sends the message" a little too late... the damage to Price is done and you negate your own powerplays that way. At the end of the day, the Habs have to

1. Prevent teams from playing in their own end to limit the times Price is in traffic

2. Capitalize on their powerplays. If you show teams you can score at will on your PP, they'll think twice about handing away goals. Last year, the Habs didn't do that.. This year, they've been better thus far but they need to sustain that.

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Steven Stamkos has a lateral meniscus tear and is out "indefinitely" while awaiting further medical opinions on how to manage it. According to Bob McKenzie, it could mean anywhere from a couple of weeks on the shelf to up to 4 months. Tampa is clearly the biggest threat to us to win the division, so this could be the opening we need to make sure we stay ahead. Then again, Tampa's one of those teams that hasn't completely fallen apart when their best player gets injured for a prolonged period of time, so maybe they won't miss a beat...

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On ‎11‎/‎13‎/‎2016 at 6:45 PM, BigTed3 said:

Fully agreed. I think Carey is as valuable if not moreso than any other player right now. But I also believe he can be neutralized if another team wants to enough. If the other team is willing to take penalties or even just play on the limit and spend time in his crease, it'll take its toll. Now the Habs can choose to take the powerplays but then they need to show they can consistently score on those. Or they can retaliate and have Weber or Emelin or Beaulieu or so on punch back, but that "sends the message" a little too late... the damage to Price is done and you negate your own powerplays that way. At the end of the day, the Habs have to

1. Prevent teams from playing in their own end to limit the times Price is in traffic

2. Capitalize on their powerplays. If you show teams you can score at will on your PP, they'll think twice about handing away goals. Last year, the Habs didn't do that.. This year, they've been better thus far but they need to sustain that.

I believe there is already a perceived difference at this time though. Weber has that nasty reputation and players already know of him. Like Toews said he's glad he doesn't play against him much anymore. Subban (different kind of d-man) didn't put any fear into anyone. Even with Pateryn we have a bit of a different group back there. I think other teams know that with Shaw if the game gets ugly he'll go there after their guys. I don't see teams running at Price or running us as much now.

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1 hour ago, CaptWelly said:

I think other teams know that with Shaw if the game gets ugly he'll go there after their guys. I don't see teams running at Price or running us as much now.

If Zdeno Chára, Shawn Thornton, Mark Recchi, and Milan Lucic weren't enough to save Marc Savard's career, why would Andrew Shaw alone be enough for one of our players?

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1 hour ago, CaptWelly said:

I believe there is already a perceived difference at this time though. Weber has that nasty reputation and players already know of him. Like Toews said he's glad he doesn't play against him much anymore. Subban (different kind of d-man) didn't put any fear into anyone. Even with Pateryn we have a bit of a different group back there. I think other teams know that with Shaw if the game gets ugly he'll go there after their guys. I don't see teams running at Price or running us as much now.

Toews may not have enjoyed playing against Weber and maybe at the end of the day he goes home with a few bruises, but that hasn't helped the Preds in any way. Toews and his group of skilled teammates with Chicago have walked off with multiple Cups while Shea Weber never made the WCF with Nashville. If you look at Toews' career numbers with the Hawks, he has 14 goals and 21 assists for 35 points in 46 games. Doesn't look like he's suffered on the scoreboard. Patrick Kane has 20 goals and 23 assists in 50 career games against Nashville. At the end of the day, good players are willing to pay the price to score goals and win games. If they hoist the Cup, it doesn't matter much that Weber landed a body check or two on them really. It only matters if those checks are preventing shots, scoring opportunities, and goals against and leading to your team winning, and thus far in his career, Weber's intimidation factor hasn't done that. Weber's goals are great, but the whole physical aspect of his game is largely overrated when it comes to translating into measurable worth.

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We are nearing the end of November

Last 2 games , L to Chicago and OT loss to FLA

It was about this time last year , the Habs lost Price , and the team imploded.

Price is still here , but are they going to maintain some sense of consistency or are we going to see a slight drop in play ?

 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Regis22 said:

We are nearing the end of November

Last 2 games , L to Chicago and OT loss to FLA

It was about this time last year , the Habs lost Price , and the team imploded.

Price is still here , but are they going to maintain some sense of consistency or are we going to see a slight drop in play ?

In fairness, 3 of the last 4 games have been pretty well-played. We did very well against LA and Detroit, we were awful against Chicago, and we had a terrible first against Florida but really dominated the 2nd and 3rd. I'm less worried about the results on the scoreboard and more intrigued by how we play as a team. The next two games are ones where we should be heavily favored. Tradiitonally, we have played down to our opponents in this type of game under Therrien. I personally don't think the two great games last week are enough to say MT has turned a corner as a coach. As I said, I'd like to see sustained quality play, I'd like to see how he handles injuries and adversity (which he has never done in the past), and I'd like to see us handle bad teams easily. We have an easy stretch coming up, so let's see if we can keep the train on the tracks.

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6 hours ago, CaptWelly said:

 I think other teams know that with Shaw if the game gets ugly he'll go there after their guys. I don't see teams running at Price or running us as much now.

I don't think Shaw strikes fear in other teams . Now Weber on the other hand

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Not only 3 losses in a row, but now also 3-3-1 with Montoya in goal. That means a .500 record, which means that without Price, we would once again NOT be in the playoffs. And that's with Montoya just in sporadically, nevermind asking him to be the starter regularly. Also concerning that the team has played poorly in 5 of the last 9 periods and that they haven't been able to muster wins without Lehkonen and Radulov. If losing those two players sets you back that much, imagine losing Price, Pacman, Galchenyuk, Weber, or Gallagher... Therrien has never been able to win under adversity and it looks like it will remain the same this year.

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Something's gotta give. Too many key forwards under-performing right now: Plekanec, Desharnais, Gallagher, Shaw, Pacioretty. That's more than half of your supposed top 9, and the rest of your top 9 includes two guys who have been hurt (Radulov and Lehkonen) and a guy who should probably still be on the 4th line, even if he's done well where he is (Byron). The only true top 9 player who has been consistent, healthy, and excellent is Galchenyuk. Radulov has also been very good, but outside of those two, the top 9 has really been a letdown to start the year.

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Just about at the quarter-way mark, so these are my grades for the players thus far:

Goalies:

- Price: A+... the team is zilch without him

- Montoya: B... aside from the one blemish, he's kept his team in every game.

Defence:

- Petry: A... very impressed with him thus far. I've said it before, but he really reminds me of Hamrlik.

- Weber: A-... what a beast on the PP but also on the PK. Overrated defensively at ES with very weak possession stats, but he's helping us win.

- Markov: B... strong offensive start but still a lot of defensive miscues.

- Emelin: B... maybe his best start to a season as a Hab.

- Beaulieu: C-... disappointed by his play thus far, especially after a great pre-season.

- Pateryn: C-... started the year very strong, but has really struggled of late. I think the lack of confidence from his coach has turned into a vicious cycle.

Forwards:

- Galchenyuk: A+... top 5 forward in the league right now.

- Radulov: A+... not far behind his linemate. He's the new Gallagher, spark plug for the line-up.

- Byron: A... surprisingly decent in the top 6.

- Mitchell: A... like his start last year, he's been a beast as a 4th line center. Hopefully he can keep it going this year.

- Danault: B+... very strong on the 4th line, less effective when his role has been upped.

- Gallagher: B-... strong start but seems to have vanished for the first time I can remember as a Hab.

- Pacioretty: C+... his goals will come, but he should be doing more. His all-around game is lacking.

- Lehkonen: C... spending a lot of time getting in the right position, but he needs to start finishing his chances more.

- Flynn: C... he's average at being a 4th liner. Meh.

- Carr: C-... shades of what he can do but not nearly as good as last season.

- Shaw: C-... 4th liner, maybe 3rd at best. What a disappointment thus far. I think he'll be better as the season goes along, but he's not showing much yet and taking some boneheaded penalties to boot. No character here.

- Plekanec: D... over his last 100 games, he's produced like a 4th line player. Not acceptable, especially given his recent contract.

- Andrighetto: F... doesn't seem to be motivated to pay the price to be in the NHL this season.

- Desharnais: F... I just can't see a use for him on this team right now.

 

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15 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

Something's gotta give. Too many key forwards under-performing right now: Plekanec, Desharnais, Gallagher, Shaw, Pacioretty. That's more than half of your supposed top 9, and the rest of your top 9 includes two guys who have been hurt (Radulov and Lehkonen) and a guy who should probably still be on the 4th line, even if he's done well where he is (Byron). The only true top 9 player who has been consistent, healthy, and excellent is Galchenyuk. Radulov has also been very good, but outside of those two, the top 9 has really been a letdown to start the year.

I have to agree... but I do believe Therrien's influence has not helped. That said...

I still don't get trying to fit Desharnais into the line-up let alone the top nine. That definitely affects how other lines need to be constructed and the way certain players are being used. Heck, if you're once again going to slot Desharnais at center between Pacioretty and Shaw no wonder some players continue to struggle.

Pacioretty: C+... his goals will come, but he should be doing more. His all-around game and leadership is lacking. (C)

Shaw: C-... 4th liner, maybe 3rd at best. What a disappointment thus far.  Character??? (D)

Plekanec: D...  a little harsh IMHO. (B)

Gallagher: B-... strong start but seems to have vanished for the first time I can remember as a Hab. (B)

All of the above have been affected by the inclusion of Desharnais in the line-up IMO.

 

Beaulieu: C-... disappointed by his play thus far, especially after a great pre-season. Agreed... justifies my belief that he has been over-rated.

 

 

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