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Poll: Carey-Less


If Carey were injured for the season now, how would the Habs fare?  

21 members have voted

  1. 1. If Carey were injured for the season now, how would the Habs fare?

    • Not make the playoffs
    • Make the playoffs but out in round 1
    • Make it past round 1

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The Habs are off to blistering start, but they had an even better start last year and collapsed when Carey got hurt. If Carey were to go down again this year, do you think the Habs would fare better than last season? How far would Al Montoya and Charles Lindgren take this team? Are there enough other elements to not have to rely on Carey?

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I don't want to ruffle any feathers here but I'm man enough to admit when I've been dead wrong. I know Ted and a few others will say it's a small sample size, we've only played nine games and I'll agree with them. However, this is by far one of the best teams I've seen assembled in the past 20 years. What's even better is that there are a ton of talented players waiting in the minors to get their chance in case of injuries or if someone under performs.

I was angry to see PK go but watching Webber, I don't miss him as much as I thought I would. Webber comes as advertised, no nonsense, team player with a booming slap shot. Nowhere near as flashy or talented as PK but a guy you definitely want on your team both as a leader and a team player.

The addition of Radulov brings real excitement to this team. Shaw has settled down and is playing hard hockey. Montoya is rock solid as a back up looking to take over Carey's job. Not that it'll happen but it's starting to remind me a little of the Halak - Price battle and that's healthy for both goalies and for the team.

Back to this poll and Carey. Carey is by far the best goalie in the world. But losing him this year will by no means impact the team like it did last year. It will obviously hurt but not to the extent of missing the playoffs or not making it past the first round.

I'm starting to believe that Bergevin is right in doing what he did. Therrien is still a question mark for me but so far he's been making all the right moves with the line combinations and trying to adapt to different situations. This team is for real guys and girls and I'm excited about Habs hockey again.

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I'm cautiously optimistic that this team is indeed for real, I would expect a small drop off if Price went down, but i wouldn't expect the wheels to come flying off like they did last year. Hopefully we won't need to test that theory.

Rad has been a godsend so full kudos for MB addressing that issue. Not fully ready to forgive him about not dealing with last years fiasco regarding a backup tender however. Despite the holes in that lineup i still felt we could have contended..

MT on the other hand still leaves me shaking my head at times. Despite our hot start. we still haven't seen a complete game from our boys. That is squarely on the coaches shoulders. and his game to game adjustment is still below par as far as NHL coaching goes IMO.

Things are going well right now but we are depending strongly on goaltending once again. That needs to change. It's OK for your tender to steal you an occasional game but to expect it on a nightly basis is suicidal,

Weber does indeed look good for us. MT is riding him hard in the early going out of necessity. How that plays out for us in the long term remains to be seen. Easy to forget the pain we will suffer down the road as this contract becomes lopsided and not in our favour. Never had an issue with acquiring Weber. Still believe the Preds win out long term. MB in essence was protecting his job in the short term without giving much thought to the organization down the road. Self preservation.

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Through 9 games last season, the team had a 104.93 PDO and a 53.65% adjusted 5-on-5 Corsi For. Through 9 games this season, the team has a 105.23 PDO and a 51.15% adjusted 5-on-5 Corsi for. Fewer shots for per 60, and more shots against per 60. Carey Price (.966 5-on-5 SV%) and Al Montoya (.963 5-on-5 SV%) are #3 and #4 in the league for 5-on-5 save percentage among goalies with more than 130 minutes of 5-on-5 played; league mean is .925 so far and the best single season performance ever is .950, so the chance of one (let alone both) of our goalies staying anywhere near where they are is nonexistent. Montoya is sitting on a .918 SV% since 2007, which is slightly under the average between 2007 and now for goalies who've played at least 5,000 minutes in that time. All data from Corsica.hockey.

What I mean by all this is that absolutely nothing has changed. The PDO and Corsi figures are so similar as to be basically identical; I don't even want to comment on a superficial trend in one direction or another, because there's nothing to support it. It's goaltending and opportunistic offence, again. There's nothing wrong with enjoying watching the best goalie on the planet play, nor do the lucky goals count for less in the standings than the ones that were more predictable. But neither of these things are things you can expect with any degree of certainty, because shooting percentage and save percentage are heavily influenced by random factors outside of the players' control. So when we know that the league average 5-on-5 shooting percentage since 2007 is 7.85%, we know that the Canadiens' current 5-on-5 shooting percentage of 9.05% is unlikely to stay where it is. And if our team 5-on-5 save percentage starts resembling league average for any reason, that's going to have a gigantic impact on the team's performance.

This isn't pessimism, it's simple probability. And it's not a situation we have to be in. It's just fiction to declare that all teams are equally beholden to luck. All teams are subject to the same risk of injuries and fluctuations, but not all teams put themselves in a position to be as heavily impacted. We have chosen—through on and off ice personnel decisions and tactics—to make our performance almost solely a function of luck.

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Probably doesn't become a total gong show like last season because Montoya shouldn't collapse like Condon/Scrivens/Tokarski and it's unlikely that so many core players get injured again (Gallagher, Petry, Subban, Pacioretty not at 100%) but Montoya isn't an NHL average starter and this team is built around having the best goalie in the world. Without Price the Habs are a fringe playoff team unless they get another solid starter like if they had traded for Reimer last year.

The forwards are better with Radulov and Lehkonen but the defense is worse with another year of city miles on Markov and the Subban/Weber trade, and the transition game is worse with an aging Plekanec while Eller was moved for a winger. I'm not convinced that moving out Subban, Eller, Weise, Condon, and Gilbert while bringing in Weber, Shaw, Radulov, Montoya, and Lehkonen is enough to make this team a real contender. The same tactical issues plague the team, the possession/transition issues were worsened by trading away the best possession driving D (Subban) and F (Eller), and the coaching staff was given an implicit vote of confidence by trading away their scapegoats for shiny new toys beloved for their leadership leaving me unconvinced they'll make tactical or personnel changes to improve the possession game.

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I also believe this team is a better and deeper team than we have seen in recent years. It's the first year in a long time where I think we can legitimately construct a #1 line without having Max Pacioretty play a part in it, and compared to last year, I think the major improvements are

1. Radulov

2. Galchenyuk being given the #1 center role

3. Emergence of Lehkonen (and hopefully by the end of the year, McCarron)

4. The play of Beaulieu and Pateryn on the back end, both of whom I think have made strides compared to last year. Emelin, of note, has also been superior to last year, but I'm reluctant to list this as an improvement because I'm not yet convinced he will maintain this cadence.

5. Montoya being a more solid and veteran back-up compared to Condon or Scrivens or Tokarski.

6. Philip Danault has really impressed me on the 4th line. Mitchell has been solid too, but I expected Mitchell to give us what he has and he did the same last year. I had doubts about Danault going into the season, but he has really impressed me in the role he's been given, which has really solidified that 4th line.

That being said, I think we have taken some steps back too:

1. Weber has played really well, but as I mentioned in another thread, he is still on for a lot of shot attempts against and he does little to prevent the initial chance. If it's anyone other than Carey in goal, I think this style of play and his lack of footspeed become a big issue. Subban in my view is still the superior defenceman now and going forward.

2. Shaw for Eller in my view is thus far an awful trade-off. I suspect Shaw will prove to be more valuable down the stretch and into the playoffs, but then again, Eller was also a clutch performer at that time of year, and his skillset would be more valuable to us. I'm also disappointed at the added cap hit and term this swap brought us.

3. Plekanec and Markov, as many of us suspected might happen, have seen their play drop off markedly over the past year or two. Markov has been our worst or at least or least consistent defenceman this year and Plekanec has been the most disappointing forward. We have suddenly found ourselves with needs for a top-4 left-handed defenceman AND a second-line center, with neither Plekanec nor Desharnais being ideal for that role.

With all that in mind, I think we're a better group than last year. I think we'll be able to overcome a Carey injury in enough to get to the post-season, if only because 1. We're in a weak division and 2. I find it hard to believe we could replicate the total ineptitude of last year, even if we hadn't made any big changes. Last year wasn't just bad, it was the worst performance by a Habs team in 60-70 years, and we were the worst team in the league from December onwards. The odds of that happening again just have to be low. I have significant concerns, however, that Michel Therrien has learned absolutely nothing from one season to the next. He continues to talk about grit and team bonding and how he sees that as being the major difference compared to last year. He continues to have a poor breakout and he continues to preach a system that puts us at risk of being outshot and outchanced on many nights. He continues to shuffle lines and put 4th liners at the top. Therrien has shown no signs of understanding or improving, and if as a coach, you can't apply new knowledge, you're getting worse.The powerplay has improved, probably in large part due to Muller and to Weber and to Galchenyuk, but there needs to be more. This team will almost certainly regress as the season goes on, and we will almost certainly be counting on points that our goalies steal us. I don't think the team will collapse inasmuch as it did last year, but if Carey goes down again, Therrien doesn't have the answers to do more than get us into the post-season.


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4 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

He continues to have a poor breakout and he continues to preach a sysem that puts us at risk of being outshot and outchanced on many nights.


Most shot attempts against


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16 hours ago, Regis22 said:

While the NHL managed to get this right, they don't do a lot else right with regards to stats. I can't warn enough against using it for anything. I'd really point you in the direction of Corsica.hockey's team page: http://www.corsica.hockey/teams/

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17 hours ago, Regis22 said:

Possession is an issue but having the most shot attempts against isn't necessarily a bad thing in and of itself as long as the ratio is favourable. I'd much rather see the Habs play high event hockey because Price gives the team a sizeable goaltending advantage every single night, and the top 6 forwards are better than probably 20 of the teams in the league. The Habs benefit from trading chances with almost every team in the league save maybe Washington or Tampa Bay who are the only teams I can think of off the top of my head that have both a goalie that's remotely close to Price and also have better forwards than the Habs.

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30 minutes ago, Regis22 said:

Still early in the season  , but after the Leaf and Canuck game , anyone want to change their selections :7072:

No. Because Montoya could probably steal a few games by himself and the Habs are in a really awful division. Even last year, they could have played sub-.500 hockey after Carey went down and still potentially have made the playoffs. They really tanked to one of the worst stretches in NHL history, and I have a hard time believing they could ever do that again even if they bad. They were absolutely dependent on Carey to win the last two games, but I think they could still play close to .500 hockey the rest of the way without him. They wouldn't win pretty but they could scrape by some close games. Look at our division... Buffalo is bad. Toronto is well-coached but they're not a playoff team yet. Ottawa is a streaky team, also better-coached this year, but beatable. Detroit is the same. The Bruins look like a bit of a mess. I still think the Habs would be competitive for one of the three playoff spots within the division, even without Carey. That's not a commentary on the play of our team, just that given a 6-10 point cushion on the field, they'd be able to squeak into the playoffs.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Again, this is what worries me. They got off to a fast start last year and then Price went down. Then they went into a tailspin they could not recover from. However, the new guys on this club appear to have brought some life to the team. What has happened to Pacioretty? I don't see him too much in the goal scoring column of late. Just so everyone knows, I got the Canadiens app so I have a better idea of what's going on. I wish there was some way I could listen on my smart phone or computer. And I see Galchenyuk has performed better so far than I've seen him before. I'm still really concerned about the goalie situation, though. Even with the changes, I'm worried that they could go into another slide again. It does bother me that they play so much of a defensive style. I wonder if this is really an attempt to help protect the goalie, or just because his coaching style is not a good fit for his players. Probably both. I wish the Habs had kept Gerard Gallant. The other thing that concerns me is despite the hot start, they hit a major speed bump against Columbus. That's the part that makes me believe that if Price gets hurt again, that they will go through the same problems as last year. And Tampa Bay is still a good team. And with Plekanec and Markov slowing down, depth could become a big issue, and soon. Okay, I'm not trying to be negative here. I'm just expressing an honest opinion.


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