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2019-20 State Of The Habs


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9 hours ago, campabee82 said:

I agree wholeheartedly with this and given Molsons interview posted today I don't think MB is even close to being fired. Basically Molson said that the fans need to be patient, our window is sometime in the next 3-8 years or even 1-8 years. Way to narrow down the plan Mr. Molson. So sometime in the next 1-8 years he plans on being a contender and if not what then another MB retool? So now we are talking about MB entering years 9-16 of his 5 year plan. Koodos to MB for making his rebuild seem like a  minor retool. Our new dynasty is to "retool" every 4-5 years until we somehow get lucky and squeak into the playoffs where anything can happen as MB puts it. Forget building through trades, FA, Waivers, OS Or good old fashioned PTO's let's luck into it like we are playing the lottery. Why not it isn't like it's MB's money is it Mr. Molson?

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/montrealgazette.com/sports/hockey/nhl/hockey-inside-out/habs-owner-geoff-molson-urges-fans-to-have-patience-in-his-speech-to-canadian-club/amp

How many years has Bergevin had so far? Is this his seventh season or eighth?

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21 hours ago, 26NCounting said:

TBH Part of me wants to see the Habs be better and make the playoffs, but part of me wants to them to just miss them once again so we can get MB out drivers seat.  I think he has proven again this year that he is a worthless GM.  Price and Weber have a few years left and he has kept this team at a point of mediocrity for too long, his list of failures far outweigh his successes.

Believe me when I tell you that I 100% understand this sentiment, but I don't think that there's any realistic result this year that will result in MB's firing.

A few years back we had a great record, but it was pretty obvious to anybody watching the games that the team was actually playing pretty badly and it was just a matter of Price carrying us through.  Bergevin had made some pretty questionable decisions to focus on grit and character (not to mention his choice of head coach) and I was pretty upset with him back then, but I couldn't really fault management for not making a move - who's going to argue with the guy who's brought your team to first place?

Cut to the next year, though, and Carey got hurt.  What followed was a pretty predictable run of bad results (although I don't think anybody predicted that they'd have literally their worst run of hockey in 80 years, but there it is).  "Well," I thought, "this is no fun to watch but at least we'll finally get to see some changes at the top - Therrien will be out and Bergevin has finally had a chance to see what his team really looks like without Price to mask everything.  We'll make the right moves and then we'll finally have a real contender of a team!".  But lo, instead of learning any great lessons, Bergevin came out of that season with only two ideas: we were unlucky that Price was hurt, and we have to try harder.  Therrien was soon given a contract extension.

At that point it was pretty clear to me that there was nothing that Bergevin could do that would get him fired, and it was clear that the team wasn't getting any better.  After the summer with the Subban and Eller trades I realized that I wasn't even really enjoying watching the team anymore, and since then I've pretty much moved on and only caught a few games (plus playoffs) over the last number of seasons.

 

So why am I bringing this up now?  Well, I'm over it :).  I'm still not a Bergevin fan - far from it - and I'm not thrilled that he made it through the summer without addressing the biggest hole in the team on defence.  But we've got some exciting new players now, both the young kids and guys like Domi, and for the first time in a long time I've at least got some optimism that we could be moving in the right direction.  It's also been long enough that this feels like a "new" team to me, and watching no longer frustrates me by reminding me of what could have been.  I wholeheartedly agree with Ted above that they need to make a stronger move towards either winning now or towards selling our veterans, but even if nothing happens I still think that we're going to have a reasonably talented team that should be fun to watch.  I'm looking forward to seeing how things shake out this year... and maybe still holding out a bit of naive hope that Bergevin has at some point learned form his experience.

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11 minutes ago, Manatee-X said:

  Well, I'm over it :).  I'm still not a Bergevin fan - far from it - and I'm not thrilled that he made it through the summer without addressing the biggest hole in the team on defence.  But we've got some exciting new players now, both the young kids and guys like Domi, and for the first time in a long time I've at least got some optimism that we could be moving in the right direction.  It's also been long enough that this feels like a "new" team to me, and watching no longer frustrates me by reminding me of what could have been.  I wholeheartedly agree with Ted above that they need to make a stronger move towards either winning now or towards selling our veterans, but even if nothing happens I still think that we're going to have a reasonably talented team that should be fun to watch.  I'm looking forward to seeing how things shake out this year... and maybe still holding out a bit of naive hope that Bergevin has at some point learned form his experience.

THIS. 

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May 2012  so yes, 7 full years, entering his 8th.


I still say the problem is guys like Poile, who was in place for nearly 2 decades before his team was close to contending for a cup (and they still havent won).  I see MB showing examples like this to Molson & saying "this takes time."  The huge difference of course is that Poile started with the worst team in the league back when expansion rules were not good for the new team.  Mb started with a pretty solid foundation including several elite young players...

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Lines at practice today (presumably what we'll see on opening night):

Tatar - Danault - Gallagher
Lehkonen - Domi - Suzuki
Drouin - Kotkaniemi - Armia
Byron/Cousins - Thompson - Weal

Mete - Weber
Chiarot - Petry
Kulak - Fleury
Reilly - Folin

Price
Kinkaid

 

Opening night roster 2018-2019:

Tatar - Danault - Gallagher
Drouin - JK - Armia
Lehks - Domi - Shaw (a few of these lines changed over the course of the night. I remember Lehks-Domi-Byron at one point)
Byron - Peca - Hudon

Reilly - Petry
Mete - Juulsen
Benn -  Oulette 


The defense looks a lot better, but obviously having Weber back & Reilly out of the top 4 helps.  Up front I think our overall depth is better - and specifically more talented.  Id still rather have Poehling than Thompson but I get what they are doing.  Why risk losing a player if you can send Poehling down - and i think it might be a positive for him to centre the first like there for a few games.  Ducharme has done some fabulous work with young players.

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14 minutes ago, 26NCounting said:

My god, the fourth lines for both offence and defense look atrocious.  I would be scared to match them up against any kind of real talent on any NHL or AHL team for that matter

you think Byron - Thompson - Weal is bad for a 4th line?  I think at least 20 other teams would love to have those guys on their 4th line. 

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16 minutes ago, maas_art said:

you think Byron - Thompson - Weal is bad for a 4th line?  I think at least 20 other teams would love to have those guys on their 4th line. 

I agree. That looks like a pretty decent fourth line to me. Has Poehling been sent down?

EDIT: Just saw that Poehling was, indeed, sent to Laval.

I'm sure he'll be back soon. I guess we'll start the year with 13 forwards and 8 D.

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1 minute ago, jennifer_rocket said:

I agree. That looks like a pretty decent fourth line to me. Has Poehling been sent down?

He has. I suspect for a couple of reasons: To not have to expose one of Cousins/Thompson/Reilly/Folin to waivers.  And secondly because it means Poehling gets a bit of time as a first line centre, big minutes, under Ducharme.  I imagine he'll be the very first call up when the time comes.  

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I like having Byron there don't get me wrong he has a ton of speed and some offensive talent for sure.  But Thompson and Weal?  They might be able to play a decent down low grind game, but seriously doubt their skill or speed to be very effective.

 

I think a legit play maker like Poehiling or Evans with Byron would have been a better fit.  

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23 minutes ago, maas_art said:

He has. I suspect for a couple of reasons: To not have to expose one of Cousins/Thompson/Reilly/Folin to waivers.  And secondly because it means Poehling gets a bit of time as a first line centre, big minutes, under Ducharme.  I imagine he'll be the very first call up when the time comes.  

This makes me think of the Pacioretty thing from his earlier seasons, where he said something along the lines of how he'd rather be in AHL as a key player than riding the bench or getting a few minutes a game on the fourth line in the NHL.  If Poehling can play well in the minors, I don't see any reason why he won't be given a shot when our inevitable injuries happen during the season.

As an aside, this sort of thing is yet another reason why it was such an important move to finally get rid of Lefebvre.  We no longer have to make a strict choice between keeping someone in the NHL and completely stymieing their development.

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30 minutes ago, Manatee-X said:

This makes me think of the Pacioretty thing from his earlier seasons, where he said something along the lines of how he'd rather be in AHL as a key player than riding the bench or getting a few minutes a game on the fourth line in the NHL.  If Poehling can play well in the minors, I don't see any reason why he won't be given a shot when our inevitable injuries happen during the season.

As an aside, this sort of thing is yet another reason why it was such an important move to finally get rid of Lefebvre.  We no longer have to make a strict choice between keeping someone in the NHL and completely stymieing their development.

Agree on all points.  The other thing is, Ive seen here (and even more on other boards) where people are upset that a guy like Thompson is "picked" over Poehling. I think this is a bit of an exaggeration.   If we put a guy like thompson or cousins on waivers there's a good chance they get picked up. So no big deal, right?  Probably but what if Poehling isnt ready?  Wouldnt it make more sense to at least see who can and cant cut it?    I mean sure, if Thompson - Cousins are still on the roster and Poehling does well etc, and we're not giving him a chance its a bit of a downer but I think as much as most of us dont 100% trust Management to do the right thing, you have to at least give them a chance. 

As for Laval - what a turn around. In the past, as you said, you'd try to avoid sending a player down because it would hurt him.  Ducharme & co seem to be helping a ton. I am sure thats why Brook got sent down (only 7 games down there last year) while fleury (full season in laval) got the nod. 

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1 hour ago, maas_art said:

He has. I suspect for a couple of reasons: To not have to expose one of Cousins/Thompson/Reilly/Folin to waivers.  And secondly because it means Poehling gets a bit of time as a first line centre, big minutes, under Ducharme.  I imagine he'll be the very first call up when the time comes.  

Also Bergevin said  because he was injured and missed most of camp except for 2 games ...

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1 hour ago, arpem-can said:

Also Bergevin said  because he was injured and missed most of camp except for 2 games ...

yeah, i think thats more optics. He looked up to speed to me when he came back but fair enough. It certainly makes the decision easier for MB. 

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5 hours ago, 26NCounting said:

I like having Byron there don't get me wrong he has a ton of speed and some offensive talent for sure.  But Thompson and Weal?  They might be able to play a decent down low grind game, but seriously doubt their skill or speed to be very effective.

 

I think a legit play maker like Poehiling or Evans with Byron would have been a better fit.  

I’m hoping all of us will be surprised on Weal - granted stats in his junior career have not translated well to his pro career but this 2 year contract is his last kick at the can. I’ve liked his possession game on the power play 2nd unit from what I saw last year and preseason - to me there are too many similarities between Thompson, and Cousins and Maybe even Armia. Someone is on a short leash if Poehling starts to bring it - nothing wrong IMO with Poehling getting some seasoning in the AHL and competing with Evans, and Hudon 

On the D - hoping Fleury can play well but long term I think Brook has more upside than Cale 

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6 hours ago, 26NCounting said:

I like having Byron there don't get me wrong he has a ton of speed and some offensive talent for sure.  But Thompson and Weal?  They might be able to play a decent down low grind game, but seriously doubt their skill or speed to be very effective.

 

I think a legit play maker like Poehiling or Evans with Byron would have been a better fit.  

 

50 minutes ago, claremont said:

I’m hoping all of us will be surprised on Weal - granted stats in his junior career have not translated well to his pro career but this 2 year contract is his last kick at the can. I’ve liked his possession game on the power play 2nd unit from what I saw last year and preseason - to me there are too many similarities between Thompson, and Cousins and Maybe even Armia. Someone is on a short leash if Poehling starts to bring it - nothing wrong IMO with Poehling getting some seasoning in the AHL and competing with Evans, and Hudon 

On the D - hoping Fleury can play well but long term I think Brook has more upside than Cale 

I'm mostly agreed with both of you. My view on some of these players:

- Thompson isn't an exciting player, but on the other hand, having a veteran guy who can take draws, kill penalties, etc. isn't horrible. I'd rather have him as a 13th forward, but I get the idea that coaches like having players like him, and guys like Halpern, Metropolit, White, etc. have had success in that 4th line role before.

- I don't get the love for Weal. Just not my type of player I suppose, and maybe that will change, but he's kind of a no-man's-land player. Not good enough to be a top 9 player IMO but it's also not clear what role he's filling as a 4th line player and why he's on the PP.

- As MB said, Poehling isn't expected to stay in Laval long. He basically said he just needed to send him there to buy time. And since MB isn't planning on an injury, it means he's likely actively working on a trade to move someone out. It could be a forward but it could also be a move to get something in return for Reilly or Folin so he has the roster spot for Poehling.

- Evans is also near ready to be an NHLer but it looks like he'll be more of an injury replacement than anything.

- Cousins isn't here because he's better than Poehling or Evans, he's here because he's a better fit as a 13th forward in and out of the line-up and because he's not waiver-eligible.

- Agreed that Brook has the higher ceiling than Fleury, but I had Fleury making the NHL before Brook, if only because Fleury has the year of AHL experience and very few D men make the jump directly from junior. Mete is more the exception than the rule and he went back down for a stint last year.

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22 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

As MB said, Poehling isn't expected to stay in Laval long. He basically said he just needed to send him there to buy time. And since MB isn't planning on an injury, it means he's likely actively working on a trade to move someone out. It could be a forward but it could also be a move to get something in return for Reilly or Folin so he has the roster spot for Poehling.

Bolded part is key.  If MB can trade a guy like Reilly or Folin or Cousins or whomever - then dont expect Poehling to just the 13th forward. He will play. The point is that Mb doesnt want to lose any of our reserve guys - and to be honest, i dont blame him.  The guys we have left all have value.  So if he can move someone get an asset so that Cousins or Thompson can sit in the pressbox as insurance in case of injuries, so be it.

I dont feel like Poehling or anyone else isnt going to be given a shot. I think their time is coming - and soon. 

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9 hours ago, maas_art said:

Bolded part is key.  If MB can trade a guy like Reilly or Folin or Cousins or whomever - then dont expect Poehling to just the 13th forward. He will play. The point is that Mb doesnt want to lose any of our reserve guys - and to be honest, i dont blame him.  The guys we have left all have value.  So if he can move someone get an asset so that Cousins or Thompson can sit in the pressbox as insurance in case of injuries, so be it.

I dont feel like Poehling or anyone else isnt going to be given a shot. I think their time is coming - and soon. 

Agreed. My gut is that he's trying to move a D man, especially if they feel Juulsen is going to be back in the next few weeks. Further to that, I wouldn't be surprised if it's Reilly he's attempting to ship out. And further to that, with Beaulieu injured for the next 4 weeks, Winnipeg is hurting for D men and I wouldn't be surprised if that's his primary target. Reilly and Beaulieu are pretty similar players...

If MB can move a D man, like you said, I would expect Poehling to be recalled and I would expect he'd get playing time ahead of Cousins, Thompson, Weal, Armia and maybe even Byron on certain nights.

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On 10/1/2019 at 9:39 AM, jennifer_rocket said:

How many years has Bergevin had so far? Is this his seventh season or eighth?

The refrain about being patient is starting to wear thin on me. Sure, they had a couple of decent playoff runs under the current regime, but I do not see much improvement. In fact, they have regressed quite badly. They have made some deals and draft picks that I believe have caused all of us to scratch our heads at minimum, and angered many people (the Subban trade). I am tired of all of this. The whole thing should be unacceptable to fans who cheer on a team that has won 24 Stanley Cups and brought us many great moments and players. There is no way with this team's tradition and market size that this team should be floundering as they have recently. I would love none other than to see the Habs return to their past glory. But I just don't see it right now under the current organizational situation. I m not out to blast any player or anything. I just am tired of the same old song every season. This comes from someone who has been a Habs fan for most of my life and who has rejoiced in seeing them win numerous Stanley Cups. And counts meeting his all-time favorite athlete in all of the sports, Rocket Richard, to be his best ever memory.

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On 9/30/2019 at 11:55 PM, campabee82 said:

I agree wholeheartedly with this and given Molsons interview posted today I don't think MB is even close to being fired. Basically Molson said that the fans need to be patient, our window is sometime in the next 3-8 years or even 1-8 years. Way to narrow down the plan Mr. Molson. So sometime in the next 1-8 years he plans on being a contender and if not what then another MB retool? So now we are talking about MB entering years 9-16 of his 5 year plan. Koodos to MB for making his rebuild seem like a  minor retool. Our new dynasty is to "retool" every 4-5 years until we somehow get lucky and squeak into the playoffs where anything can happen as MB puts it. Forget building through trades, FA, Waivers, OS Or good old fashioned PTO's let's luck into it like we are playing the lottery. Why not it isn't like it's MB's money is it Mr. Molson?

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/montrealgazette.com/sports/hockey/nhl/hockey-inside-out/habs-owner-geoff-molson-urges-fans-to-have-patience-in-his-speech-to-canadian-club/amp

I read the story and looked at an assessment on the NHL.com website. I think the predictions are pretty accurate. But I think several players played over their heads and probably beyond what they are normally capable of playing. I think they will just miss the playoffs like they did last year, by only a couple of points. Another maddening year appears on the horizon for this season at least. Everybody says they will go as far as Price takes them. But that contract he got may come back to haunt them in the near future. When you pay one guy that kind of money, it's going to hurt your ability to put together a good team around him. Especially in this day and age of the salary cap.

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13 hours ago, Larry-Launstein-Jr said:

The refrain about being patient is starting to wear thin on me. Sure, they had a couple of decent playoff runs under the current regime, but I do not see much improvement. In fact, they have regressed quite badly. They have made some deals and draft picks that I believe have caused all of us to scratch our heads at minimum, and angered many people (the Subban trade). I am tired of all of this. The whole thing should be unacceptable to fans who cheer on a team that has won 24 Stanley Cups and brought us many great moments and players. There is no way with this team's tradition and market size that this team should be floundering as they have recently. I would love none other than to see the Habs return to their past glory. But I just don't see it right now under the current organizational situation. I m not out to blast any player or anything. I just am tired of the same old song every season. This comes from someone who has been a Habs fan for most of my life and who has rejoiced in seeing them win numerous Stanley Cups. And counts meeting his all-time favorite athlete in all of the sports, Rocket Richard, to be his best ever memory.

I've basically given up on giving Montreal/the NHL any cash. I haven't been to see a Montreal game in more than three years (I used to go 6-7 times per season), I haven't purchased any merchandise in that time, and I didn't bother to renew my NHL Live subscription. I'm just one person, but I'll start handing money back to the Montreal Canadiens when the team is actually competitive enough to make the play-offs again. I don't think they're competitive enough to make it this year, so... sorry, Montreal. I doubt they care that much, but eventually hot dog and beer sales will slump enough that things might change.

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2 minutes ago, jennifer_rocket said:

I've basically given up on giving Montreal/the NHL any cash. I haven't been to see a Montreal game in more than three years (I used to go 6-7 times per season), I haven't purchased any merchandise in that time, and I didn't bother to renew my NHL Live subscription. I'm just one person, but I'll start handing money back to the Montreal Canadiens when the team is actually competitive enough to make the play-offs again. I don't think they're competitive enough to make it this year, so... sorry, Montreal. I doubt they care that much, but eventually hot dog and beer sales will slump enough that things might change.

I agree with this entirely, the only way Molson will get rid of the moron driving the bus is to hurt the cash flow.  I don't even care if the team is competitive enough to make the playoffs, just to have a sense of direction that makes sense.  My god the fan base can see the wholes in the line up, why can't he.  

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