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2019-20 State Of The Habs


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2 hours ago, HabsAlways said:

In theory it's Suzuki, Domi, KK, Drouin .... the only way we're getting somebody of the talent you list above is finishing near the bottom and getting Lafreniere this year

not going to happen but can you imagine the Buzz in the air at the draft  if Lafreniere became a Hab ….

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3 hours ago, HabsAlways said:

I forgot Josh Brook 

https://www.habseyesontheprize.com/pages/montreal-canadiens-organizational-depth-chart

Romanov and Norlinder on the left and Brook on the right.    We need another D prospect who's projected to be a top pairing guy so that if any of those other 3 don't work out, we have a 4th guy who might.

As of right now, I'm not convinced we have a top-pairing D prospect in our system. There are a few guys who have the potential but no blue chipper the way Colorado had Makar or Dal had Heiskanen or Van had Hughes or so on. Obviously, these players could do better than projected, but as it stands, I see Romanov as potentially a #3 guy and Brook as a #4 guy at ES and PP specialist as a most likely scenario. Mete is maybe a 4-5. Fleury is probably a 5-6. Juulsen is maybe a 4 if he can return to health. Norlinder is again maybe a 4-6. The last guy we had move through our system who you knew was going to be a top-pairing guy was Subban, and we haven't really seen that from anyone on the farm since. Doesn't mean there can't be surprises with how players peak, but I'd agree with you that this team badly needs another high-quality D prospect, especially on the right side.

To meet that demand, it's why I ranked Drysdale as my #3 prospect for the Habs to look at drafting, after Lafreniere and Byfield. I like Stutzle too, but Drysdale could be a harder guy to find elsewhere if you pass on him in favor of a Stutzle or Raymond or Holtz or Perfetti or so on. There really aren't a ton of D men near the top of the draft this year.

The other aspect of this is that it shows why MB making a couple of trades for high picks or prospects can be vital. If he's able to swing Weber or Petry or Tatar or Price and pick up someone like Evan Bouchard or Noah Dobson or the like, it fills a key organizational need. We've seen how hard it's been for Bergevin to find a young 1C. We've seen how hard it's been for him to find a top-pairing LHD. He can't really afford to keep some of these aging vets around at the expense of leaving future holes at the top of his line-ups. In a year where we're clearly not making the playoffs, the rest of the season should be about playing and giving experience to the guys who will be here in the future and about creating opportunity via trade for younger elite talent to come in.

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9 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

As of right now, I'm not convinced we have a top-pairing D prospect in our system. There are a few guys who have the potential but no blue chipper the way Colorado had Makar or Dal had Heiskanen or Van had Hughes or so on. Obviously, these players could do better than projected, but as it stands, I see Romanov as potentially a #3 guy and Brook as a #4 guy at ES and PP specialist as a most likely scenario. Mete is maybe a 4-5. Fleury is probably a 5-6. Juulsen is maybe a 4 if he can return to health. Norlinder is again maybe a 4-6. The last guy we had move through our system who you knew was going to be a top-pairing guy was Subban, and we haven't really seen that from anyone on the farm since. Doesn't mean there can't be surprises with how players peak, but I'd agree with you that this team badly needs another high-quality D prospect, especially on the right side.

To meet that demand, it's why I ranked Drysdale as my #3 prospect for the Habs to look at drafting, after Lafreniere and Byfield. I like Stutzle too, but Drysdale could be a harder guy to find elsewhere if you pass on him in favor of a Stutzle or Raymond or Holtz or Perfetti or so on. There really aren't a ton of D men near the top of the draft this year.

The other aspect of this is that it shows why MB making a couple of trades for high picks or prospects can be vital. If he's able to swing Weber or Petry or Tatar or Price and pick up someone like Evan Bouchard or Noah Dobson or the like, it fills a key organizational need. We've seen how hard it's been for Bergevin to find a young 1C. We've seen how hard it's been for him to find a top-pairing LHD. He can't really afford to keep some of these aging vets around at the expense of leaving future holes at the top of his line-ups. In a year where we're clearly not making the playoffs, the rest of the season should be about playing and giving experience to the guys who will be here in the future and about creating opportunity via trade for younger elite talent to come in.

This.  The other thing to remember is that an elite dman can often work with a #3 to form a top pairing. Subban in his prime could. Weber in his prime could (not so much any more).  So you get a guy who is an elite dman and you can use those #3-4 guys a bit above their punching weight because he takes up the slack. 

I also think there are guys who will step up (I still really like Harris) above expectations but right now while we have a lot of guys who i think are very very likely to be top 4 guys we have almost no one im confident will be a #1.  I think Brook or Romanov might, but its still not a sure thing. A guy like Norlinder or Harris or Fairbrother may surprise but for right now we have no one on defense thats even close to guys like Suzuki, JK, Caufield, Poehling etc up front. 

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18 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

As of right now, I'm not convinced we have a top-pairing D prospect in our system. There are a few guys who have the potential but no blue chipper the way Colorado had Makar or Dal had Heiskanen or Van had Hughes or so on. Obviously, these players could do better than projected, but as it stands, I see Romanov as potentially a #3 guy and Brook as a #4 guy at ES and PP specialist as a most likely scenario. Mete is maybe a 4-5. Fleury is probably a 5-6. Juulsen is maybe a 4 if he can return to health. Norlinder is again maybe a 4-6. The last guy we had move through our system who you knew was going to be a top-pairing guy was Subban, and we haven't really seen that from anyone on the farm since. Doesn't mean there can't be surprises with how players peak, but I'd agree with you that this team badly needs another high-quality D prospect, especially on the right side.

To meet that demand, it's why I ranked Drysdale as my #3 prospect for the Habs to look at drafting, after Lafreniere and Byfield. I like Stutzle too, but Drysdale could be a harder guy to find elsewhere if you pass on him in favor of a Stutzle or Raymond or Holtz or Perfetti or so on. There really aren't a ton of D men near the top of the draft this year.

Agreed, and the part in bold is a bit of a problem given our needs. This year's draft seems to be very forward heavy, outside of Drysdale there really aren't a lot of dmen listed in the top 20 so far, although that may change. On the other hand, this could lead to a few teams passing on forwards and reaching for dmen instead. Then you have Askarov, who according to some is special and might get picked as high as #5, so with a bit of luck we could get our hands on a really good forward (depending on where we finish of course). Looks like sooner or later we will have to trade for some legit help on defence, I don't think we'll find the LHD we're looking for through the draft.

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4 hours ago, ChiLla said:

Agreed, and the part in bold is a bit of a problem given our needs. This year's draft seems to be very forward heavy, outside of Drysdale there really aren't a lot of dmen listed in the top 20 so far, although that may change. On the other hand, this could lead to a few teams passing on forwards and reaching for dmen instead. Then you have Askarov, who according to some is special and might get picked as high as #5, so with a bit of luck we could get our hands on a really good forward (depending on where we finish of course). Looks like sooner or later we will have to trade for some legit help on defence, I don't think we'll find the LHD we're looking for through the draft.

I don't see a high value for us in drafting Askarov, but like you alluded to, hopefully someone else bites. Price is still here for now and we already have Primeau in the wings. Sure he's not a guarantee, but neither is Askarov and we have bigger fish to fry.

Looking forward, I would almost argue that RHD is a bigger need for us than LHD, which is where Drysdale fits in nicely. LHD you have Romanov who could be a top 4 guy if we're lucky but at the very least should be a serviceable NHL defenceman. You have Mete who is still young as depth. And you have some prospects in Norlinder and Harris with upside. On the right, Brook has taken a bit of a step back, Juulsen is maybe not a viable option any more, and Fleury is depth. Once Petry and Weber are gone, there's not a lot there. But a right side of Drysdale-Brook-Fleury at least has some merit as a potential trio down the line.

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This has been going around the internet today... a Sabres season-ticket holder named Duane called into a radio show and just went on an absolute rant about how mismanaged the Sabres are. A lot of the sentiment, albeit with different types of problems, could be directed at the Habs too. You look at our team and it's flagrant mismanagement all over the place. From retaining Bergevin's friends in coaching positions way too long to trading players because their values or styles don't mesh with yours to failing to give most of the younger guys decent shots to lying to fans about injuries and trading players to not having a plan for how to win a Cup to jacking up ticket and concession prices and so on, it's one slap in the face after another. Have a listen to Duane:

https://wgr550.radio.com/media/audio-channel/1-29-caller-duanes-sabres-rant

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9 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

This has been going around the internet today... a Sabres season-ticket holder named Duane called into a radio show and just went on an absolute rant about how mismanaged the Sabres are. A lot of the sentiment, albeit with different types of problems, could be directed at the Habs too. You look at our team and it's flagrant mismanagement all over the place. From retaining Bergevin's friends in coaching positions way too long to trading players because their values or styles don't mesh with yours to failing to give most of the younger guys decent shots to lying to fans about injuries and trading players to not having a plan for how to win a Cup to jacking up ticket and concession prices and so on, it's one slap in the face after another. Have a listen to Duane:

https://wgr550.radio.com/media/audio-channel/1-29-caller-duanes-sabres-rant

Just a little pissed.:lol:

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3 hours ago, HabsAlways said:

https://globalnews.ca/news/6484610/call-of-the-wilde-whats-going-on-here/

 

Great read and sums up my thoughts pretty good.    MB however will stupidly pursue the playoffs to the bitter end.

Perfectly said. Enough with the JK scratching, back to back Price starts, desperately trying to claw close to playoffs, I’ve had enough mediocrity and constant failures to develop and a lack of a clear path to the future 

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1 hour ago, booboo_mtl said:

Perfectly said. Enough with the JK scratching, back to back Price starts, desperately trying to claw close to playoffs, I’ve had enough mediocrity and constant failures to develop and a lack of a clear path to the future 

Ok I know this isnt going to be popular however I am one of the biggest supporters of KK I love his skill and 2 way play however he had a couple of brutal give aways in the Washington game one leading to a goal against so I understand CJ wanting to give KK some time to reflect however that should be it he should get back into the lineup next game. Hopefully when he does get back in he comes back motivated to be better

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15 minutes ago, campabee82 said:

Ok I know this isnt going to be popular however I am one of the biggest supporters of KK I love his skill and 2 way play however he had a couple of brutal give aways in the Washington game one leading to a goal against so I understand CJ wanting to give KK some time to reflect however that should be it he should get back into the lineup next game. Hopefully when he does get back in he comes back motivated to be better

Petry and Weber is what cost us that game, not KK

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6 hours ago, HabsAlways said:

Petry and Weber is what cost us that game, not KK

Oh I didn't say he cost us the game I said he made some brutal give aways. I also didn't say I agree with the decision to sit him over Thompson, Cousins or Weiese only that I understand why he did it. He is an old style coach and that's to be expected of CJ. 

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Further proof of how stupid it was to sit Kotkaniemi... Domi did absolutely nothing playing the 3C spot next to Cousins and Lehkonen. That isn't on Domi, it's on the coaching staff for expecting an offensive player like JK or MD to be able to produce playing between a defensive player with a small amount of offensive upside but not great finish in Lehkonen and a 4th line scrub in Cousins. You don't produce much offence that way. Sure, Kotkaniemi hasn't produced to expectations this season, but he's also been given a tough task of drying to draw offence out of guys who have little to none. I've said it before, but Drouin-JK-Armia was out best line to start the year and then when Drouin was going well, the coach pulled him off that line to jumpstart Domi. If the coach had left him alone and Drouin doesn't get hurt, maybe JK is a top 3-4 scorer on the team right now. Much easier to put up points when you're given Tatar and Gallagher every night the way Danault has... when Danault and Tatar got Cousins on their line, they too produced zippo.

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1 hour ago, BigTed3 said:

Further proof of how stupid it was to sit Kotkaniemi... Domi did absolutely nothing playing the 3C spot next to Cousins and Lehkonen. That isn't on Domi, it's on the coaching staff for expecting an offensive player like JK or MD to be able to produce playing between a defensive player with a small amount of offensive upside but not great finish in Lehkonen and a 4th line scrub in Cousins. You don't produce much offence that way. Sure, Kotkaniemi hasn't produced to expectations this season, but he's also been given a tough task of drying to draw offence out of guys who have little to none. I've said it before, but Drouin-JK-Armia was out best line to start the year and then when Drouin was going well, the coach pulled him off that line to jumpstart Domi. If the coach had left him alone and Drouin doesn't get hurt, maybe JK is a top 3-4 scorer on the team right now. Much easier to put up points when you're given Tatar and Gallagher every night the way Danault has... when Danault and Tatar got Cousins on their line, they too produced zippo.

Like I said further up I don't think it had anything to do with his overall play this year so much as his play the last game. We're Weber and Petry worse? Absolutely! But CJ doesn't sit vets for bad play just younger guys so it was expected that he would sit KK. Would I have sat KK absolutely not the kid has to make mistakes and learn from them and he needs better wingers and more opportunities to improve not less. Suzuki has done well with everyone he has played with but he hasn't had two of Cousins, Weal, Lehkonen, Wiese, Peca or Hudon on his wings all year either. When he has been at center he has always had the  Domi, Lehkonen, Armia, Drouin, Kovalchuk types of players. That is setting KK up to fail and Suzuki up for success in my book.Maybe CJ just doesn't see KK as anything more than a 3rd line center.

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High number of roster decisions for hopefully our new Gm to make but here’s my armchair analysis big roster followed by laval with everyone with an expiring contract UFA & RFA

Weise - look for a Dutch league, Cousins - thx for the enthusiasm bye bye, Domi and Kovie - yes resign 3 yrs and 2 yrs Thompson 50-50 on a 1 yr but I think he’s replaceable, Scandela - arrividerci, Mete - 2 yr deal 

at the laval  non-roster Peca - take your piano music elsewhere, Alzner - here’s your buyout, Hudon still an RFA - go play in Europe if you don’t like the min offer you had your chances , Evans and Vjdemo here’s your RFA offers, Sturtz wtf is a sturtz cya later, Waked / Belzile / Barber / Dauphin / Varone - goodbye Juulsen - we are not giving up on you here’s an RFA offer, Folin - ciao, Ouellet / Olofsson - here’s your offer - hope you like it in Laval , Kinkaid - retire , we are giving your spot to a McNiven offer 

24 contracts to be dealt with before any newbies - that’s quite a turnover before the additions of hopefully Romanov and Caufield 

I’m expecting new blood! 

 

 

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3 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

Further proof of how stupid it was to sit Kotkaniemi... Domi did absolutely nothing playing the 3C spot next to Cousins and Lehkonen. That isn't on Domi, it's on the coaching staff for expecting an offensive player like JK or MD to be able to produce playing between a defensive player with a small amount of offensive upside but not great finish in Lehkonen and a 4th line scrub in Cousins. You don't produce much offence that way. Sure, Kotkaniemi hasn't produced to expectations this season, but he's also been given a tough task of drying to draw offence out of guys who have little to none. I've said it before, but Drouin-JK-Armia was out best line to start the year and then when Drouin was going well, the coach pulled him off that line to jumpstart Domi. If the coach had left him alone and Drouin doesn't get hurt, maybe JK is a top 3-4 scorer on the team right now. Much easier to put up points when you're given Tatar and Gallagher every night the way Danault has... when Danault and Tatar got Cousins on their line, they too produced zippo.

"If " he is going to live up to expectations he has to have better puck management and be a better 200' player. I don't think his benching has anything to do with not producing offensively at all. The offense will come but his overall game has to be much better. He has struggled this season and as much as most want to see him moved  up in the line up he has to earn that promotion and he hasn't yet. Sitting a game may be good for him. It had been suggested before maybe even a short stink in Laval as the #1 there to get his game back. Draft position doesn't make it automatic to where and who you get to play with. This is the NHL you earn your ice. 

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10 minutes ago, CaptWelly said:

"If " he is going to live up to expectations he has to have better puck management and be a better 200' player. I don't think his benching has anything to do with not producing offensively at all. The offense will come but his overall game has to be much better. He has struggled this season and as much as most want to see him moved  up in the line up he has to earn that promotion and he hasn't yet. Sitting a game may be good for him. It had been suggested before maybe even a short stink in Laval as the #1 there to get his game back. Draft position doesn't make it automatic to where and who you get to play with. This is the NHL you earn your ice. 

Agreed with you that he also needs to be better defensively, but I'll comment on the fact that players like Desharnais and Domi and Drouin have gone through their fair share of playing terribly defensively and never seemed to pay the price for it from the coaches, whereas guys like Galchenyuk and Kotkaniemi have. There's a double-standard there. As I said, when JK got better linemates, he did better, and in meaningless games (which is what the rest of the season is), why not give the guy 20 games in the top 6 with decent linemates. If he flops, then at least you know he's not ready.

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1 hour ago, BigTed3 said:

Agreed with you that he also needs to be better defensively, but I'll comment on the fact that players like Desharnais and Domi and Drouin have gone through their fair share of playing terribly defensively and never seemed to pay the price for it from the coaches, whereas guys like Galchenyuk and Kotkaniemi have. There's a double-standard there. As I said, when JK got better linemates, he did better, and in meaningless games (which is what the rest of the season is), why not give the guy 20 games in the top 6 with decent linemates. If he flops, then at least you know he's not ready.

Yup ... down the stretch, with this season lost, your top 2 lines by minutes played (and top PP units) should heavily feature KK, Suzuki, ... win or lose.    Poehling should be moved up to 3rd in a defensive role.    

Drouin - Suzuki - Domi

Tatar - JK - Gallagher

Poehling - Danault - Armia

Lehkonen - Thompson - Cousins/Weise

If you want Suzuki/KK to develop their offensive game you don't strap Weal/Cousins to their back.

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24 minutes ago, HabsAlways said:

Yup ... down the stretch, with this season lost, your top 2 lines by minutes played (and top PP units) should heavily feature KK, Suzuki, ... win or lose.    Poehling should be moved up to 3rd in a defensive role.    

Drouin - Suzuki - Domi

Tatar - JK - Gallagher

Poehling - Danault - Armia

Lehkonen - Thompson - Cousins/Weise

If you want Suzuki/KK to develop their offensive game you don't strap Weal/Cousins to their back.

The problem is that no way that Claude plays Danault on the 3rd line or Lekhs on the 4th for any period of time.   I agree with you - Suzuki & JK should be our top centres now (games are essentially meaningless anyway) and should therefore get the best wingers but i am certain that both CJ and MB believe we can make the playoffs and will continue to play vets, continue to play Price 90% of the time and will say "well we tried" when we miss the playoffs by a handful of games. 

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9 minutes ago, maas_art said:

The problem is that no way that Claude plays Danault on the 3rd line or Lekhs on the 4th for any period of time.   I agree with you - Suzuki & JK should be our top centres now (games are essentially meaningless anyway) and should therefore get the best wingers but i am certain that both CJ and MB believe we can make the playoffs and will continue to play vets, continue to play Price 90% of the time and will say "well we tried" when we miss the playoffs by a handful of games. 

Exactly that's why they should both be fired at the same time

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