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2016-17 State of the Habs


BigTed3
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Indeed. Basically, the point I'm trying to get across is this: If the impact of "intangibles" is so minor or so easily obscured by random chance, then you clearly shouldn't be prioritizing it, or even giving it serious consideration.

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I think the labels we use are definitely limited by the actual events that transpire amd it can be great folly to take any too seriously. I agree with the comment that KIng could definitely play more physical and living in Edmonton now I've had the chance to watch him often out here and can see how we got him for next to nothing. It would be interesting to find some player insights to help resolve these mysteries, but we are more likely to resolve questions related to the creation of the universe  than be able to gather that kind of info. Perhaps in 10 years or so someone from the team will give us a somewhat better rationale for these choices

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So here is my breakdown of where we stand:

- Goaltending: we still have a top-tier goalie. We have options as well, as Montoya is a capable back-up and Lindgren could well become a starter in the NHL. This is not an issue, albeit the problem will be re-signing Carey when he becomes a UFA after next year. If he's not signed to a reasonable deal by the holidays, there's a strong argument to be made for trading him.

- Defence: we will likely lose a D man in the expansion draft. I don't see any way they won't protect Weber, Petry, and Benn. Markov will likely be back. Sergachev will get a chance. Davidson likely won't get claimed and comes back too. So the questions are whether Beaulieu gets claimed or traded first and whether MB finds a way to deal Emelin (clearly deadweight and cap weight here). You can line up Weber-Petry-Benn down the right and you can line up Markov-Sergachev-Davidson as your #3, 6, and 7 defencemen. But you absolutely need to find a puck-moving lefty t play the first pair. Weber cannot lead this D crew without support, and we saw how poorly it worked out for us to have all our key D men be worn down in the playoffs. Good teams now have elite D men in the 25-28 age range, not 30-35 year olds running the show. We traded one for the other.

- Forwards: this is the area that needs the most work. Maybe we lose Shaw or Byron in the ED if we protect 4 defencemen, but I think the Habs protect both guys. It's almost imperative we re-sign Radulov, and I think the odds are good that will happen. So our top 6 has Pacman and Lehkonen on the left, Radulov and Gallagher on the right. I'm relatively certain the Habs will try to trade Chucky in the off-season, likely after the ED and probably at the entry draft. I wouldn't be surprised to see them do a Galchenyuk for Duchene swap, even though like the Subban/Weber trade, we're losing age in a player's prime and should be asking for additional assets in such a deal. Danault is your 3C, but it's a mistake to keep thinking he can play in the top 6. Shaw is a 3rd liner by default. But you'd have to think there's motive to move Plekanec out and there needs to be a re-make of the 4th line. King should be barred from coming back. Ditto for Ott, who did well in the playoffs but who isn't a guy you want here long-term. Flynn should go too. Chances need to be given to Mac, Scherbak, Carr, and Hudon (whom they better protect). Right now, there are too many question marks, especially down the middle, and no clear plan from Bergevin to fix the problems... all he's said is that it's hard to be a GM and it's hard to find centers.

- Coach: we're set here as well, there is a zero percent chance CJ is going anywhere for at least two years, probably longer. He needs to get over using his 4th line. It's a shame he plays them so much because he's otherwise a good coach and has a much better system than Therrien.

- GM: I don't think MB's job is definitely safe. Like Therrien last off-season, I think he SHOULD be fired but will get an extra year to make up for his mistakes. But this lost season is squarely on Bergevin's shoulders. He wants us to blame Marc Bergevin and we should. He gets an F as his grade for this season, starting with the Subban and Eller trades and ending with acquisitions of players like Ott, King, Martinsen, Nesterov, and so on, who as a whole made this team worse than if we had just gone with Ghettoe, Hudon, Carr, and McCarron. MB lacks direction, and his adage of grit and character wins games has just been proven to be useless. So if his mantra is a lie, where does that leave the GM himself? He's lost all credibility and it's time for GM and the Habs to move on without him. Hire Brisebois, hire Timmins, hire someone else. Don't hire McGuire or Serge Savard or Patrick Roy but when are we going to find a GM who doesn't overvalue size and character? Really feels like this team would have been better off without Bergevin this year.

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5 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

.

- Forwards: this is the area that needs the most work. Maybe we lose Shaw or Byron in the ED if we protect 4 defencemen, but I think the Habs protect both guys. It's almost imperative we re-sign Radulov, and I think the odds are good that will happen. So our top 6 has Pacman and Lehkonen on the left, Radulov and Gallagher on the right. I'm relatively certain the Habs will try to trade Chucky in the off-season, likely after the ED and probably at the entry draft. I wouldn't be surprised to see them do a Galchenyuk for Duchene swap, even though like the Subban/Weber trade, we're losing age in a player's prime and should be asking for additional assets in such a deal. ar.

and if that's how they start the season , I will see who the # 1 and # 2 C 's are , but that's weak again , IMO

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I 'm not even disappointed how this season ended up .

I thought the starting roster LAST year was better than this year's ( there was a thread on this somewhere  ) .  I didn't have much faith in this TEAM . It just seemed like a mish / mash of players thrown together , no real # 1 line , all year trying to find a # 1 and sometimes a # 2 centre

I don't follow the farm team but I don't even know if  they have any young prospects that could play in the NHL.

Heck the  Leafs have like 9 rookies this year .

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1 minute ago, Regis22 said:

I 'm not even disappointed how this season ended up .

I thought the starting roster LAST year was better than this year's ( there was a thread on this somewhere  ) .  I didn't have much faith in this TEAM . It just seemed like a mish / mash of players thrown together , no real # 1 line , all year trying to find a # 1 and sometimes a # 2 centre

I don't follow the farm team but I don't even know if  they have any young prospects that could play in the NHL.

Heck the  Leafs have like 9 rookies this year .

They also have a "real" good coach.

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As I've repeated many times, COMPLETE Rebuild!  Not gonna win a Cup with Price, Pacioretty, Plekanec, Markov, Emelin.  Just let them go when contract expires.

The real core are the young guns i.e. Lingren, Lehkonen, Gallagher, Sergachev, Juulsen, Lernout. I'll keep Shaw because he does display some tenacity in a weak team, and there's no choice with his contract term.  Danault only in the 3rd line. Notice I didn't include Galchenyuk or Beaulieu? Because I predict both will be traded.  How old is Byron?  I'll keep him as a veteran for reasonable cap. Stuck with Weber for many years to come, so no choice.

A HUGE mistake was not tanking all the way last season when the Habs failed to make the playoffs.  Might not have gotten Mathews in the lottery, but certainly could've moved up several positions on the draft.      

But management refuses to endure the pain of years in the wilderness to get a better draft, a la the Oilers and Leafs. Look what the future holds for them now after years of swallowing the bitter pill?

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42 minutes ago, PuckPundit said:

As I've repeated many times, COMPLETE Rebuild!  Not gonna win a Cup with Price, Pacioretty, Plekanec, Markov, Emelin.  Just let them go when contract expires.

The real core are the young guns i.e. Lingren, Lehkonen, Gallagher, Sergachev, Juulsen, Lernout. I'll keep Shaw because he does display some tenacity in a weak team, and there's no choice with his contract term.  Danault only in the 3rd line. Notice I didn't include Galchenyuk or Beaulieu? Because I predict both will be traded.  How old is Byron?  I'll keep him as a veteran for reasonable cap. Stuck with Weber for many years to come, so no choice.

A HUGE mistake was not tanking all the way last season when the Habs failed to make the playoffs.  Might not have gotten Mathews in the lottery, but certainly could've moved up several positions on the draft.      

But management refuses to endure the pain of years in the wilderness to get a better draft, a la the Oilers and Leafs. Look what the future holds for them now after years of swallowing the bitter pill?

For that to happen, we need our do nothing, lackadaisical owner Mr. Molson to WAKE up and DO something.

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47 minutes ago, PuckPundit said:

As I've repeated many times, COMPLETE Rebuild!  Not gonna win a Cup with Price, Pacioretty, Plekanec, Markov, Emelin.  Just let them go when contract expires.

The real core are the young guns i.e. Lingren, Lehkonen, Gallagher, Sergachev, Juulsen, Lernout. I'll keep Shaw because he does display some tenacity in a weak team, and there's no choice with his contract term.  Danault only in the 3rd line. Notice I didn't include Galchenyuk or Beaulieu? Because I predict both will be traded.  How old is Byron?  I'll keep him as a veteran for reasonable cap. Stuck with Weber for many years to come, so no choice.

A HUGE mistake was not tanking all the way last season when the Habs failed to make the playoffs.  Might not have gotten Mathews in the lottery, but certainly could've moved up several positions on the draft.      

But management refuses to endure the pain of years in the wilderness to get a better draft, a la the Oilers and Leafs. Look what the future holds for them now after years of swallowing the bitter pill?

Lol Price? No way we let him go.

Patches will be fine with proper line mates. 

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6 hours ago, PuckPundit said:

As I've repeated many times, COMPLETE Rebuild!  Not gonna win a Cup with Price, Pacioretty, Plekanec, Markov, Emelin.  Just let them go when contract expires.

Yes, excellent asset management. Why should get a valuable return for star players like Pacioretty or Price when we can just let them walk for nothing, right?

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So I stayed up until 5am to watch the game. After a promising first period it was a complete letdown. As a EA Nhl gamer and fantasy GM the best after a season was the waiting for rerates. Unfortunatly it doesnt work that way in real life. I mostly just checked the scoring of the games next morning since I had no interest in MT-style hockey and there weren't many lunch games for the Habs this year so most of the games didnt even start before 1am. 

I wasnt even mad after the loss there was just no real compassion there. Plekanec not scoring on that half open net was just a reminder of how I saw him for the last few years. Remember the time when we thought we could trade him and actually get anything for him? 

So what happened to Gallagher? Did he overachieve in the past or did our opponents just know what to expect? He had a real good shot in the past. 

The main question for me is who is the guy that should excite me going forward. Subban is gone. Galchenyuk didnt make the next step. He is still only 23 years old and I have no idea if there is much room for improvement or better if he has it in him to reach his potential. Pacioretty was our best scorer again and didnt show up in the playoffs... again. So the only guy I really like is Price. But how long does he wait for a cup chance and at least one of the goals was catchable yesterday.

To be honest I would rather suck and have young players developed than being mediocre and giving money to players who aren't skilled but have the will. Gosh I have to the will to win every game but I cant skate so I am not nhl player. Maybe I should give MB a call. They would run like hell because they would fear my rage in the locker room. :D

 

 

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Price is a great goalie. Will he go down as one of the greats of all time? Probably not. Lundquist can be wrapped up in this as far as I am concerned. If he doesn't win either he will be remembered but not as much as those who won CUPS. A couple of soft goals last night against Price. Yes, I know we didnt make the playoffs last year without him and I realize he can be very good but what I always remember from him and this is just my opinion, is those soft ones you know he could have stopped. In no way, as far as recent history is concerned, can he steal a game for this team and believe me, I know it shouldn't rest on his shoulders completely. I know I shouldn't bring up the past but I remember many a time when even Dryden had to be miraculous for the Habs to win, even with their lineups. I remember Steve Penney to some extent doing it and Patrick Roy of course. 86 comes to mind where we were getting pummelled in NY and stole the series and in 93 when we looked down and out VS Quebec. Our weakness is surviving enough to make the playoffs but never floundering enough to pick high enough in the draft or have the guts to rebuild. Sad when guys like Lehkonen and Gallagher can bring it but the guys we count on as the top forwards get blanked. Tweaking isn't enough. MB needs to grow a set and move a few people out. You are going to get a boat load for a guy like Price who could be coveted by certain teams that have always looked for THE one to bring them to the next level. Sad that this crew didn't do it but I don't think this entire group has it in them. We have some pieces that give us hope, but many spare tires need to go. 

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I really hope this is the end of the size and grit fetish for this fanbase and management team. Ott, King, and Martinsen were all useless deadline trades, they're all substantially worse NHL players than Andrighetto, Mitchell, Hudon, Flynn, and Hudon. 

Somehow I still feel like the media will be crying about how the Habs need to get tougher and grittier when they spent the deadline trading for big plugs and moved Subban for Weber. At what point are we going to stop trading skill players for grit? 

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33 minutes ago, Noob616 said:

Somehow I still feel like the media will be crying about how the Habs need to get tougher and grittier when they spent the deadline trading for big plugs and moved Subban for Weber. At what point are we going to stop trading skill players for grit? 

So maybe before moving forward you have to find an owner and GM who dont give a dime about what media says. Although I dont think that MB did what he did because of media rather than he believed that this is the way to success. I dont see how you can go forward trying another approach with the same GM. That wont work in my opinion.

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2 hours ago, Noob616 said:

I really hope this is the end of the size and grit fetish for this fanbase and management team. Ott, King, and Martinsen were all useless deadline trades, they're all substantially worse NHL players than Andrighetto, Mitchell, Hudon, Flynn, and Hudon. 

Somehow I still feel like the media will be crying about how the Habs need to get tougher and grittier when they spent the deadline trading for big plugs and moved Subban for Weber. At what point are we going to stop trading skill players for grit? 

To me, Daniel Carr is the perfect example of a player who can help you on the 4th line. He's got "grit" and "character" in that he works hard, goes to the front of the net, takes his licks and keeps going, etc. But he's also got some amount of skill and can put the puck in the net. He doesn't hurt you by being on the ice, he doesn't get caught out of position that much, and he doesn't take bad penalties. That's the ideal 4th line player. Mitchell is another guy who fits that bill. McCarron might yet be another player (perhaps and hopefully with a higher ceiling) who can bring toughness but still bring some amount of net presence and scoring ability to the game. The point being that you can't simply have size for the sake of having size and you can't simply have guys whom you label as having character because they like to fight or because they give good interviews or because their name is on the Cup for nothing remotely related to their own doing.

As I've noted elsewhere, if you look at the past 365 days in isolation, Bergevin's work has been horrid. Subban for Weber made us older and less skilled in areas of breakout, puck control, and skating. Eller being swapped out to bring in Shaw took away a player who was excellent at puck protection and working along the boards, and brilliant at taking on tough match-ups no matter the size or skill of the opposition forward. As we've all noted, Ott and Martinsen don't add that much to the line-up and King is possibly the worst acquisition MB has made. Yes, he added Benn, which was a nice deal. And yes, he dumped Desharnais for Davidson, although Davidson is likely a 3rd pairing role player at best and more importantly, we didn't take advantage of opening up a skill spot on the roster for a player like Hudon to step in. Desharnais goes and instead we see his ice time allocated to King and Ott, which doesn't really help in any way.

The fact is that MB, while he has made an occasional good trade (Vanek, Petry, etc.), has a history of loading up on players who don't matter, like Murray, Bouillon, Drewiske, Bryan Allen, Nesterov, Lessio, Flynn, Ott, Martinsen, King, and so on. For every good trade he's made (Petry), he's made a bigger gaffe (Subban). For every decent acquisition, there are 2-3 guys who are predictably awful who end up here and who clog up roster spots and take playing and development time away from skill players. For every move he makes to free up cap space (Cole for Ryder), he then fills it with a waste of cap room (Briere). For every promising signing/trade he makes (Sekac, Semin, Kassian, PAP), those players are relegated to small roles and then dumped for character reasons. For every young player with skill (Galchenyuk, Beaulieu, Scherbak, Hudon, etc.), there seems to be obstacle after obstacle thrown in their way that we don't seem to see with many other organizations. Lehkonen was very successful this year, but one has to wonder if he would even have been given the chance had it not been for his contract that prevented him from going to the AHL. Is that really what it takes to see a young skill player get a shot with the big club? To me, Bergevin has hit on maybe 20% of his moves, which is way too low for a GM to be successful, and his biggest moves have been failures that put not only the present but the future of the club in jeopardy.

 

 

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Because I'm getting a bit out of the realm of just discussing Carey...

1 hour ago, roy_133 said:


There's lot of variables though, Bishop is actually a .919 career SV% goalie, close enough to Price that if you got him for 3-4 million less per year than Price would get on a new deal, it could be worth exploring.

You're right though, IF you feel like Price will be a .925 goalie for the next few years the value is there. He was .923 this year, he's had injury problems and is logically exiting his physical prime. It's not impossible his performance stagnates or even raises after 30, it's just probably not the safest bet. If you're giving him 7-8 years x 8.5, you're worried about more than just the next couple of years.

We're in a pretty unfortunate bind here. There's no reason for Price or Pacioretty to accept a team-friendly contract with regards to term or AAV right now. Even if the front office could sell them on winning now/next season and then having flexibility to move them to a contender/the team of their choice once the inevitable rebuild starts, no good agent would let their clients accept a contract like that after the performances they've had.

I'd argue it doesn't matter what Carey's save percentage is for the next five years. The smart move is trading him when his value is at its absolute highest, right now. As fun as it's been watching one of the best sustained goaltending performances in the modern era happen with our team, building around an elite goaltender is not a way to win these days. In today's NHL if your team rises or falls on a few thousands of your #1 goalie's save percentage you're probably not going to win anything, as we've seen. We will get more value and be in a better position to contend longer and more seriously if we aren't led astray by emotions and sunk cost. We should want to have a team which is favoured in the first round and is reasonably expected to get to an ECF every other year or so with a #1 goaltender providing a 5-on-5 save percentage within half a standard deviation of league starter (≥ 30 games) mean in the last 5 82-game seasons, or around .922. Ideally, we luck out early on and lock a solid starter into a long, team-friendly contract, but we should be willing to move on from goalies if their cost gets out of control.

Forecasting a goalie's save percentage is treacherous territory. If we had the kind of organization that was capable of taking the truly bold moves required to go 100% all-in, I would in no way be considering trading Carey or signing him to anything less than a huge 8-year contract. Even if it didn't work, we could at least know we tried, and tidying up afterwards could be done almost as quickly as starting a rebuild right now. But I'm almost certain we're not going to get that. I'm a lot more pessimistic today than I was at the end of the series because it seems pretty obvious that Bergevin is going to continue on as GM, and he's just not the kind of guy who's going to do anything like what's needed. The only strategy he knows is safety and stability. He's going to make peripheral moves, demand CJ continue to give Weber #1 5-on-5 minutes to the team's detriment, and we'll be just good enough to still be competitive for a playoff position in the last month of the season. Because apparently that's success.

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22 minutes ago, habs_93 said:

Because I'm getting a bit out of the realm of just discussing Carey...

We're in a pretty unfortunate bind here. There's no reason for Price or Pacioretty to accept a team-friendly contract with regards to term or AAV right now. Even if the front office could sell them on winning now/next season and then having flexibility to move them to a contender/the team of their choice once the inevitable rebuild starts, no good agent would let their clients accept a contract like that after the performances they've had.

I'd argue it doesn't matter what Carey's save percentage is for the next five years. The smart move is trading him when his value is at its absolute highest, right now. As fun as it's been watching one of the best sustained goaltending performances in the modern era happen with our team, building around an elite goaltender is not a way to win these days. In today's NHL if your team rises or falls on a few thousands of your #1 goalie's save percentage you're probably not going to win anything, as we've seen. We will get more value and be in a better position to contend longer and more seriously if we aren't led astray by emotions and sunk cost. We should want to have a team which is favoured in the first round and is reasonably expected to get to an ECF every other year or so with a #1 goaltender providing a 5-on-5 save percentage within half a standard deviation of league starter (≥ 30 games) mean in the last 5 82-game seasons, or around .922. Ideally, we luck out early on and lock a solid starter into a long, team-friendly contract, but we should be willing to move on from goalies if their cost gets out of control.

Forecasting a goalie's save percentage is treacherous territory. If we had the kind of organization that was capable of taking the truly bold moves required to go 100% all-in, I would in no way be considering trading Carey or signing him to anything less than a huge 8-year contract. Even if it didn't work, we could at least know we tried, and tidying up afterwards could be done almost as quickly as starting a rebuild right now. But I'm almost certain we're not going to get that. I'm a lot more pessimistic today than I was at the end of the series because it seems pretty obvious that Bergevin is going to continue on as GM, and he's just not the kind of guy who's going to do anything like what's needed. The only strategy he knows is safety and stability. He's going to make peripheral moves, demand CJ continue to give Weber #1 5-on-5 minutes to the team's detriment, and we'll be just good enough to still be competitive for a playoff position in the last month of the season. Because apparently that's success.

Would you trust this management team to get  full value + for Price???  We are talking about the same team that traded PK for Weber,,, right??? He would just as likely trade Price for Quick and a 3rd rounder. I wouldn't be against moving CP for knock it out of the park value, but I have nightmares thinking this is the guy doing the dealing.

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Just now, H_T_L said:

Would you trust this management team to get  full value + for Price???  We are talking about the same team that traded PK for Weber,,, right??? He would just as likely trade Price for Quick and a 3rd rounder. I wouldn't be against moving CP for knock it out of the park value, but I have nightmares thinking this is the guy doing the dealing.

Yep, I'm there too. Hence my pessimism. I don't think Bergevin deserves another big trade given his track record, and I do not trust him at all with making the determination when our window is over. Frankly, I don't know if I trust the organization to be honest. It seems willing to accept mediocrity. I think we're on the way to a Toronto of the last decade situation if things don't change.

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In a salary cap era, every team will have a hole. It's a question of which part of the roster each team chooses to have the weakest link.

Which position would you sink the biggest chunk of cap space?

I've changed my mind about building from the net out. No other team in the league does that. It's why Steve Yzerman received only ONE offer (LA Kings) for Ben Bishop. We're talking Vezina calibre BEN BISHOP! Also shows the Canadiens organization has been building the wrong way for so many years from the other teams.

I'll invest the biggest chunk of cap space on offensive firepower. Put my money on goal scorers. My weakest link will be goal tending, which I hope to mitigate with a decent D.

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On 4/28/2017 at 6:46 AM, PuckPundit said:

In a salary cap era, every team will have a hole. It's a question of which part of the roster each team chooses to have the weakest link.

Which position would you sink the biggest chunk of cap space?

I've changed my mind about building from the net out. No other team in the league does that. It's why Steve Yzerman received only ONE offer (LA Kings) for Ben Bishop. We're talking Vezina calibre BEN BISHOP! Also shows the Canadiens organization has been building the wrong way for so many years from the other teams.

I'll invest the biggest chunk of cap space on offensive firepower. Put my money on goal scorers. My weakest link will be goal tending, which I hope to mitigate with a decent D.

ie what the Oilers are doing currently.   Talbot is good, but he's not Carey Price.      I think in this day and age of the salary cap, your superstar can't be the goalie ... yes, he will keep pucks out but it's useless if you're not scoring 2.5-3 goals a game yourself (ie why the Habs are out now)

Winning is a numbers game really ... say with price you get 1.75 to 2.25 goals against and 1.5 to 2.5 for ... it's a wash.   With Talbot you get 2 to 2.5 against, but the savings lets you get scorers that net you 2.25 to 2.75 and now you're winning a few more games.

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