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9 hours ago, Habs=stanleycup said:

All I know is we will NOT win the CUP this upcoming season. We have no offence, an aging defense and we put all our chips into our goalie. Big mistake.

What should we have expected from Bergevin?  After all, Price is clearly his favorite player.  

 

 

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Unless Jerabek is an instant star the team is worse than September 2016. Alzner is better than Emelin but he's really not ideally in your top 4 and with that contract he'll be getting big minutes.

IMO in the aggregate the team is worse off with Alzner+Schlemko+Streit in and Markov-Emelin-Beaulieu out. Forwards are more or less a wash since Drouin replaces Radulov, Hemsky is fine but not a big deal either way. Price and Weber are another year into their 30s, last year is probably Plekanec's new normal, and we still have no idea if Galchenyuk will play center.

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Doomed for failure for yet another upcoming season. Sticking with the CH because of what it HAS been and what it CAN be, certainly not because of its current management and owner (only exception in my mind being coach CJ if he can pull a rabbit out of a hat). Otherwise another year wasted minus the Stanley Cup unfortunately.

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21 hours ago, Habs=stanleycup said:

only exception in my mind being coach CJ if he can pull a rabbit out of a hat

This is the big unknown to me.     CJ is a top 5 coach in the NHL.  He's been able to get a lot out of not much in the past... can he do it again? I dunno.   Back when NJ perfected the trap they were not a great team.  In 1995 they barely made the playoffs but played their system to a T.   Can Cj figure out a system that can succeed in today's NHL with non-mobile defense and fast forwards?  Who knows.   At least he's got Price. 

 

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1 hour ago, maas_art said:

This is the big unknown to me.     CJ is a top 5 coach in the NHL.  He's been able to get a lot out of not much in the past... can he do it again? I dunno.   Back when NJ perfected the trap they were not a great team.  In 1995 they barely made the playoffs but played their system to a T.   Can Cj figure out a system that can succeed in today's NHL with non-mobile defense and fast forwards?  Who knows.   At least he's got Price. 

 

The  problem is, he doesn't have much else.  

 

 

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13 minutes ago, CANADIENS27 said:

The  problem is, he doesn't have much else.  

I dunno if i agree with that.  We have some very good players. We are just missing specific types of players. 

We have:

- two top 3 defensmen on almost any team in the league. unfortunately we have no one even close to a 3rd now that markov isnt resigned.

- about zillion #5-6 dmen

-  a full contingent of top six wingers  

- a very good bottom six

 

Our big holes are:  

#1LD  (this is a huge, glaring problem that, worse still, i dont think MB knows is a huge, glaring problem)

#1 C   (which may or may not be a problem if either (or both) Drouin and Galchenyuk can play centre.

 

Put it another way:  You add OEL and RNH to this roster right now & we're a contender.  Obviously you arent adding those guys without losing something from our current roster but if MB can pull something out of his hat, we may just be able to add some guys while limiting our losses in the trade(s).    

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2 hours ago, maas_art said:

Put it another way:  You add OEL and RNH to this roster right now & we're a contender.  

IMO this team a long ways away from being a contender . Even adding those 2 guys  

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The problem with making trades now is that no one wants picks and prospects. Everyone is full of hope for the new season and they don't want to go in dealing a prime hockey asset for potential. You can make that type of trade at the deadline, you can do it at the draft when teams still feel they can make other trades or sign free agents to fill holes. You could have made a deal like that prior to the ED, when teams were trying to clean up their rosters. But now, what's in it for the Isles to deal Tavares for prospects or for the Oilers to do the same with RNH?

Why would they not play the first half of the year with them at this point, if the only point of a deal is to land futures? That way, they

1. Get the benefit of the player for half the year and get half a year to figure out if they're a contender for a playoff spot or not

2. Widen the pool of teams looking to acquire someone, either because they need an injury replacement or because they have more cap space only having to pay a player for part of a season

If I'm Phoenix or Colorado or NYI, I'd consider a hockey trade now, but I wouldn't deal a star for futures. It doesn't have any value. So if MB is to make a trade for a guy like Tavares or Duchene or RNH or OEL, he's going to have to send someone like Galchenyuk or Gallagher or Lehkonen or Pacioretty back the other way. He missed his chance to trade futures, and his next window for that will be once 2018 rolls around. The only way he's going to land a star in a "trade" right now without giving up current roster players o our own is to offer sheet. If he offer sheets Draisaitl, for example, he could land him for a combination of picks. 

So how does MB get creative? Let's take Minny for example. They have about 15.7M in cap space but need to add 5 more forwards and another D man to their current roster. So let's say Marcus Foligno re-signs for his same 1.875M salary and they add 2 forwards and 1 D man on entry level deals. It will leave them about 11M to re-sign Neiderreiter and Granlund. Niederreiter's going to arbitration but wants 6M or more per season (at least that's his ask). Granlund is also going to arbitration after Niederreiter and also wants over 6M per season. Something's got to give if both players win their cases. So is Minny going to be willing to deal someone to fit everyone in? Will they trade Granlund or Niederreiter or Brodin or Dumba or someone else? The Devils swooped in on Marcus Johansson because the Caps couldn't fit everyone in. Now Minny is sitting in a potentially vulnerable position. Could be a chance for MB to grab an impact roster player and offer prospects or a lesser-paid roster player (like a Danault or Lehkonen) to ease Minny's cap issue. Granlund for Danault, Scherbak, and a 1st? Just one example, but perhaps wiggle room for MB to pounce the way Ray Shero did.

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4 hours ago, maas_art said:

This is the big unknown to me.     CJ is a top 5 coach in the NHL.  He's been able to get a lot out of not much in the past... can he do it again? I dunno.   Back when NJ perfected the trap they were not a great team.  In 1995 they barely made the playoffs but played their system to a T.   Can Cj figure out a system that can succeed in today's NHL with non-mobile defense and fast forwards?  Who knows.   At least he's got Price. 

 

This is the other thing that bothers me about throwing money and term at Alzner. We saw last year what Julien was able to do with probably the slowest and oldest top pairing among playoff teams (Markov-Weber), one genuine puck moving top pair defenseman (Petry), one #5-fringe #4 defensive specialist (Benn), and a collection of bottom pair depth guys with either little experience or significant flaws in their games (Nesterov, Emelin, Beaulieu, Davidson). It can't be overstated, Petry is the only defenseman on the team who didn't need to be purposely deployed in certain situations to maximize his value, and he managed to get a cohesive top 6 out of Petry and 5 guys with warts in their game you have to plan around.

If that group of defensemen can be as effective as they were under a hastily employed Julien system, why did we have to go throw that kind of money at another #5-fringe #4 defensive specialist? Benn was totally fine as a defensive specialist and an adequate #4 next to Petry, why did we have to go spend that much money on a guy who's basically going to fill the same role? I'd be more confident in Julien coaching this team with Beaulieu, Nesterov, and Emelin gone, and Schlemko + one of Markov or Radulov returning. Sure Alzner is better than Schlemko or Benn, but the point of paying millions to one of the best defensive coaches ever is you don't need to buy defense on July 1st and Schlemko/Benn+ 75% of a signed Markov or Radulov is better than Schlemko/Benn/Alzner.

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My gut is that we'll be pleasantly surprised by Schlemko, as we were with Gorges, Weaver, Benn, etc. But all those guys have something in common: they're defensive defencemen with little offensive upside who really only excel when limited to a 3rd pairing role. Those guys aren't going to move the puck or play the PP or put up points. I also think Davidson has some potential and I honestly don't know what Jerabek will bring, albeit those in the know seem to think he's headed to Laval to start the year. Morrow's probably a decent call-up but not a regular player to start the year either. So when I look at the D corps, I think you can pencil in

XXX-Weber

XXX-Petry

Schlemko-Benn

Davidson

I don't see a need or role for Streit because of how weak he is defensively (just not sure how you hide him in the line-up). And I don't think Alzner fits in with what we have. He's an upgrade on Emelin by a little bit, but then we didn't really have a big need for Emelin either. We're sorely lacking left-handed puck-moving D men, and that's the essence of it.

Gaston Therrien wrote a piece on rds.ca after the Markov presser where he blasted Bergevin for failing to build a D corps. One of his arguments (and a very true one that many of us have been talking about for the past year) is that Weber has to be sheltered to some degree and that it was a mistake to give up a player like Subban who needed no sheltering at all. By that, I mean that you could pair Subban with anyone. You could pair him with Markov but also with an Alzner or an Emelin or a Beaulieu and you could feel comfortable with that duo on the ice. PK is so dominant, so great at getting on loose pucks, so good at moving the puck, such a strong skater, that he really makes up for any deficiencies his partner has. You can get away with putting a player with flaws next to him. With Weber, that's not the case. Weber has a great shot, he's great on the PP, but he's not a strong skater and he doesn't move the puck up ice very well. In his own zone, he tends to stay in front of his own net and roam to his own corner to pin a man. But he doesn't go after loose pucks very often and he's not the guy who's organizing the fast break. So you can't pair him with a guy like Alzner and expect Weber to be the puck mover on the duo. You really need to have a skater/puck-mover there, and right now we just don't have anyone who fits that description. Markov could have filled in, even if not for a full season. Beaulieu could have played that role, even if he's a poor man's version of a top 4 D man. And maybe Sergachev could have played there part-time as he learned the NHL. But Alzner, Davidson, Schlemko, Streit, and Jerabek are not likely to complement Weber very well.

Maybe MB wasn't able to find much on the UFA market, but I would have rather not spent money on Alzner (it basically undoes any savings we had by having LV take Emelin off our hands by great luck) or Streit. Use that money on Markov, and then you at least have only one puck-moving role to fill. Just don't get what MB is doing here.

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According to a survey of NHL fans by The Hockey News, Habs management ranks 28th of the 31 teams (marginally up from 29th last year). People continue to think Bergevin is doing a poor job, and this is not just Habs fans but all teams' fans. The Habs ranked 28th for drafting and development, 27th for trades, 27th for roster building, and 27th for long-term vision. Most fans said they have less confidence in Bergevin than last year, when they were already very low on him. Said The Hockey News, it felt like the Habs made "moves for the sake of change not for improvement" and that this team is "misguided on how to turn it into a great" one. Pretty harsh but fair criticism of the weak job Bergevin has done this off-season.

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I agree

https://ca.yahoo.com/sports/canadiens-thinking-now-trending-topics-134159102.html

 

"The Canadiens blue line is, to put it lightly, a point of concern. It’s Shea Weber, about to be a year older and worse than he already was, complemented by Karl Alzner and a bunch of guys who serve as nice depth pieces on most teams. However, that means they probably also can’t necessarily be counted on to do the one thing that caused the team a ton of problems last season: Get the puck up the ice. "

When the Canadiens traded P.K. Subban — still funny and relevant, by the way — they did so with the acknowledgement that Weber was more of a stay-at-home guy. He’s not going to lug the puck for you. Neither was Markov, to be fair. Not at his age. Then there’s the addition of Alzner, not known as a puck-mover either. So then who’s in charge of moving the puck through the two non-attacking zones? Jeff Petry? Sure, him. Did it last season, didn’t he?

So Jeff Petry is your No. 2 defenseman again, which didn’t work last year. Karl Alzner isn’t going on a pairing with Weber for a lot of reasons, so you effectively brought him in as a $4.625 million middle-pairing defenseman. He’ll play with David Schlemko, maybe? That leaves two of Brandon Davidson, Jordie Benn, and newly signed Mark Streit as your bottom pair. You have to therefore ask again: Which of these guys is moving the puck for you? The answer might be “nobody

.................

 

Point being, while goalscoring was a bit of a problem for the Canadiens last year (they ranked 15th), that wasn’t their primary problem. I don’t know how you go into an free agency period with a very obvious need like this — indeed, this is Bergevin’s second straight offseason with such a need — and wholly fail to address it. If anything, the Montreal blue line got worse since the Drouin trade.

Guys out: Markov, Sergachev, Nathan Beaulieu (which, whatever). Guys in: Alzner, Streit, and Seguin trade castoff Joe Morrow.

Seems like a downgrade on every front, doesn’t it?

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Markov >>>>> Streit

Alzner > Emelin by a touch

Beaulieu > Schlemko

 

That's pretty much what it comes down to. Maybe a slight upgrade to what amounts to a #5 defenceman in Alzner (who is way overpaid). And then downgrades everywhere else. People complain about the forwards not scoring, but they're not going to score if the D can't launch chances for them.

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1 hour ago, Habs=stanleycup said:

Interesting read from the Gazette:

Why fans' once-unwavering loyalty to Canadiens is wavering

http://montrealgazette.com/opinion/columnists/dan-delmar-why-fans-once-unwavering-loyalty-to-canadiens-is-wavering

Good article ... pretty much covers it ....

I remain utterly mystified at Molson's seeming loss of interest in the franchise.

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1 hour ago, eldag said:

Good article ... pretty much covers it ....

I remain utterly mystified at Molson's seeming loss of interest in the franchise.

I guess he figures he'll make money hand over fist no matter what because the seats will all sell out regardless.

We have become the new Laffs prior to when they actually made significant changes and made a public pledge to their fans.

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15 hours ago, Habs=stanleycup said:

Interesting read from the Gazette:

Why fans' once-unwavering loyalty to Canadiens is wavering

http://montrealgazette.com/opinion/columnists/dan-delmar-why-fans-once-unwavering-loyalty-to-canadiens-is-wavering

It's like they're writing about me.  I never went so far as to get a tattoo so there's nothing to remove, but I've made a point to tell my family that I'm not really interested in any more Habs kitsch for stocking stuffers.  I still try to catch games when I can but it's becoming a less and less frequent occurrence.  When management does things that make watching the games less fun, it shouldn't come as any surprise that fewer people are going to be watching.

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