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2019-20 Habs Lines


BigTed3
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10 minutes ago, campabee82 said:

No ever since he got here he was lazy defensively and when he lost the puck he just gave up on the play or worse decided it was time for a line change. He was much worse last year than this year and I think part of it is from watching the video over the summer and part is his time with KK last year. Perhaps playing with the kid has rubbed off on him. Whatever the reason Drouin himself at the exit interviews said he gets it now and was going to work on it and so far it seems like he has and he is. Good on him! As for the part of your statement where you said he was beeping use properly this year. I don't see his role this year as being different than last year he is still being used offensively, he is still on the point on the PP his role hasn't changed just his attitude has.

Right, even Drouin himself last night says he feels like he has matured compared to last year and that he's trying to improve his work ethic and mimic what some of the harder-nosed guys like Weber do. I don't have a problem with a guy making mistakes from time to time, but Drouin last year was dumping no-look passes right to the other team just so he could avoid being hit. He would turn over the puck and not skate back or head to the bench for a change. This year, you can see he's putting in more effort to skate back and play defence and he's also been more willing to take or make a hit. It's what he needed to do.

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29 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

Right, even Drouin himself last night says he feels like he has matured compared to last year and that he's trying to improve his work ethic and mimic what some of the harder-nosed guys like Weber do. I don't have a problem with a guy making mistakes from time to time, but Drouin last year was dumping no-look passes right to the other team just so he could avoid being hit. He would turn over the puck and not skate back or head to the bench for a change. This year, you can see he's putting in more effort to skate back and play defence and he's also been more willing to take or make a hit. It's what he needed to do.

Exactly and it's paying off for him, his line mates and the team. If he continues this style I see him getting to that 70-90 point range with 30+ goals something we desperately need.

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1 hour ago, BigTed3 said:

Right, even Drouin himself last night says he feels like he has matured compared to last year and that he's trying to improve his work ethic and mimic what some of the harder-nosed guys like Weber do. I don't have a problem with a guy making mistakes from time to time, but Drouin last year was dumping no-look passes right to the other team just so he could avoid being hit. He would turn over the puck and not skate back or head to the bench for a change. This year, you can see he's putting in more effort to skate back and play defence and he's also been more willing to take or make a hit. It's what he needed to do.

In a game where Drouin scored two absolutely beautiful break-away goals it was 3 separate defensive plays he made that made me go "wow."  The guy is a completely different player this year.  

Last year i would have had him 5th or 6th maybe in actual "ability on ice" but this year he's been our best forward at both ends of the ice.  If he keeps this up he's going to be an absolute beast. 

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On 10/27/2019 at 2:17 PM, maas_art said:

In a game where Drouin scored two absolutely beautiful break-away goals it was 3 separate defensive plays he made that made me go "wow."  The guy is a completely different player this year.  

Last year i would have had him 5th or 6th maybe in actual "ability on ice" but this year he's been our best forward at both ends of the ice.  If he keeps this up he's going to be an absolute beast. 

i agree with all of this. there is just no comparison with the compete level form last year to this year. i am happy for him and the team i hope he keeps it up.

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https://www.nhl.com/canadiens/news/practice---bell-sports-complex---october-23/c-310408872

 

Julien was adamant that he's prepared to make changes up and down his lineup at any point in time.

"We've also got other options. We've been mulling over different line combinations. I don't think we've been outplayed to the point where you say, 'This is definitely a disaster and we need to blow things up.' We're trying things, and I could easily go back to old lines. I'm telling you guys right now, get used to it," said Julien. "It's going to happen all year, because we have a lot of depth in our lineup, and we have a lot of different combinations - and we're fortunate enough that we're capable of using it. That's what we're doing right now."

 

Case and point is the fact that only the line of Tomas Tatar, Phillip Danault and Brendan Gallagher has stayed the same, while there have been a variety of switches everywhere else.

"There's one line that has stuck together, and that's the Danault line. When those guys have a good start, they create scoring chances and give us momentum right away. They have good chemistry, so it's tough to break them up. We don't necessarily want to separate them either because they do good work," praised Julien. "But, we think we can get more out of certain lines by making changes. That's about instinct. During coaching discussions, we'll say what we believe a player can bring to a line and how they can help a line improve. When it doesn't work, we start over again."

 

Quick hits

Nick Suzuki was rotating with Armia on right wing on Wednesday.

If Armia is unable to play against San Jose, the 20-year-old London, ON native could potentially play with Drouin and Domi.

Julien is confident Suzuki will steadily grow into a player capable of delivering the goods alongside top offensive weapons just like them.

The fact that he's been featured in the lower-half of the lineup early in the year isn't cause for concern at all.

"He's having success right now because he's maybe playing against third and fourth lines instead of first and second lines. It's about player development. Whether it's next year or the year after that, I can say that he'll play on one of our big lines. Right now, we're giving him the chance to gain some confidence and some experience," said Julien. "When you see a player his age on the power play, it means that we have a lot of confidence in him. We're giving him time to walk before asking him to run."

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On ‎11‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 6:34 PM, Regis22 said:

https://www.nhl.com/canadiens/news/practice---bell-sports-complex---october-23/c-310408872

 

Julien was adamant that he's prepared to make changes up and down his lineup at any point in time.

"We've also got other options. We've been mulling over different line combinations. I don't think we've been outplayed to the point where you say, 'This is definitely a disaster and we need to blow things up.' We're trying things, and I could easily go back to old lines. I'm telling you guys right now, get used to it," said Julien. "It's going to happen all year, because we have a lot of depth in our lineup, and we have a lot of different combinations - and we're fortunate enough that we're capable of using it. That's what we're doing right now."

 

Case and point is the fact that only the line of Tomas Tatar, Phillip Danault and Brendan Gallagher has stayed the same, while there have been a variety of switches everywhere else.

"There's one line that has stuck together, and that's the Danault line. When those guys have a good start, they create scoring chances and give us momentum right away. They have good chemistry, so it's tough to break them up. We don't necessarily want to separate them either because they do good work," praised Julien. "But, we think we can get more out of certain lines by making changes. That's about instinct. During coaching discussions, we'll say what we believe a player can bring to a line and how they can help a line improve. When it doesn't work, we start over again."

 

Quick hits

Nick Suzuki was rotating with Armia on right wing on Wednesday.

If Armia is unable to play against San Jose, the 20-year-old London, ON native could potentially play with Drouin and Domi.

Julien is confident Suzuki will steadily grow into a player capable of delivering the goods alongside top offensive weapons just like them.

The fact that he's been featured in the lower-half of the lineup early in the year isn't cause for concern at all.

"He's having success right now because he's maybe playing against third and fourth lines instead of first and second lines. It's about player development. Whether it's next year or the year after that, I can say that he'll play on one of our big lines. Right now, we're giving him the chance to gain some confidence and some experience," said Julien. "When you see a player his age on the power play, it means that we have a lot of confidence in him. We're giving him time to walk before asking him to run."

I actually agree with this process completely. I think as fans we see some great flashes from talented young players and automatically want them on the top lines and top minutes used in the crucial times of the game. Even if a young player has talent it still takes time to adjust and to learn the speed and style of the NHL. It takes time to learn systems and to be comfortable in different situations. Prepare them to succeed instead of set them up for failure.

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3 hours ago, CaptWelly said:

I actually agree with this process completely. I think as fans we see some great flashes from talented young players and automatically want them on the top lines and top minutes used in the crucial times of the game. Even if a young player has talent it still takes time to adjust and to learn the speed and style of the NHL. It takes time to learn systems and to be comfortable in different situations. Prepare them to succeed instead of set them up for failure.

I would almost go as far as requiring young players spend a year in the AHL to play big minutes instead of low minutes in the NHL unless they are of a generational talent.

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2 hours ago, habs1952 said:

I would almost go as far as requiring young players spend a year in the AHL to play big minutes instead of low minutes in the NHL unless they are of a generational talent.

Yeah, I'm generally in favor of that approach as well. In a perfect world, i.e. in a world where we don't have a roster with glaring holes, none of Mete, Kotkaniemi, or Suzuki make the jump from Junior/Europe right away. No doubt they're holding their own but in the long run, it might have been better for their overall development to spend some time in the A first. That's all on Bergevin though, he has created those holes in the first place and was then forced to rush his prospects to close them.

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30 minutes ago, jennifer_rocket said:

With Poehling getting called up, I wonder how the lineup shakes out for Tuesday's game. Poehling on Thompson's wing?

Because Cousins - Thompson - Suzuki was so good I could see them going back to that & putting Poehiling in JK's 3rd line centre slot.  

Although you cant really argue with the logic, I sort of hope they dont.  Lekhs - Suzuki - Byron was really good and I believe suzuki had the best advanced stats on the team the last game, with no real sheltering.  Id really love to see him at centre for a bit longer to see what we have. 

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1 hour ago, maas_art said:

Because Cousins - Thompson - Suzuki was so good I could see them going back to that & putting Poehiling in JK's 3rd line centre slot.  

Although you cant really argue with the logic, I sort of hope they dont.  Lekhs - Suzuki - Byron was really good and I believe suzuki had the best advanced stats on the team the last game, with no real sheltering.  Id really love to see him at centre for a bit longer to see what we have. 

This is exactly what they did in practice today.

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

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

Price
Kinkaid

Power play units:

Cousins
Suzuki - Armia - Domi
Petry

Danault
Weber - Gallagher - Tatar
Drouin

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Lines largely unchanged at practice today, with Danault once again drawing the best offensive wingers in Drouin and Gallagher. Not sure why CJ is going down this route again. From my view, I'd go down the following to make my lines...

- As discussed in the rumors thread, Domi and Kotkaniemi would be my top 6 centers based on offensive skill and ceiling. Danault would be my 3C (not necessarily meaning limited ice time, just in terms of which wingers I would assign him). Thompson remains the 4C and is dong well in that role.

- Cousins has done well as a 4th line winger and I'd leave him in that role too.

- Drouin played badly with Domi and didn't look fantastic with Danault either, albeit in one game. He played really well with JK, so no sense in breaking that up.

- Lehkonen and Danault were very good, playing with Shaw as a 3rd linemate and even playing with Byron as a 3rd linemate. I'd stick Lehkonen back with Danault as the core of my checking line.

- By default, Tatar then becomes Domi's left winger.

- I'd prefer to keep Poehling in the line-up over Byron or Weal, and this means that either Weal or Folin would need to be exposed to waivers and sent down. I'm fine with that. I would rotate Byron in for Poehling or even Lehkonen from time to time, but Byron becomes my 13th forward for now.

So that leaves me so far with

Tatar-Domi-XXX

Drouin-Kotkaniemi-XXX

Lehkonen-Danault-XXX

Poehling-Thompson-Cousins

- I think there's a bit more flexibility in assigning RW's to the top 3 lines. You could argue Armia played well with Drouin and JK, but you could also argue he's the 3rd most talented RW and should be on the 3rd line. You could argue Gallagher's experience would help to complement Kotkaniemi but you could also argue he's got established chemistry with Tatar or with Danault. So I see a bit more room for CJ to experiment in that regard, but IMO, the above 9 guys would be my locks for the next few weeks to see how things go. I'd personally start with Gallagher on the Domi line, Suzuki on line 2, and Armia on line 3, but easy to switch that up if it doesn't work.

 

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I don't think I'd break up the Tatar Danault Gallagher line just yet. Though Tatar has been slipping .

I like Drouin Domi they have had great chemistry together in the past and they both can skate. Drouin Domi Suzuki could be fun.

JK I need to see more positive from this year. Hopefully the groin was bothering him that much. I don't think he's quite ready for top six offensive role yet , maybe as the season goes and he shows more. So for now I'd put Lehk/JK/Armia 

Poehling Thompson Cousins/Weal

After Drouin I think there's starting to become more of a worry at left wing. Tatar seems to be falling off and taking a lot of lazy bad penalties.  Lehk's is just frustrating , Byron needs to snap out of his funk. I would possibly even try

Poehling/Danualt/Gallagher  you could possibly switch Gallagher for Armia = Poehling/Danault/Armia  big tough line to play against . And lines don't have to play as 1,2,3,4

Drouin/Domi/ Suzuki                                                                                              Drouin/Domi/Suzuki      offense together!                   the lines can play depending on game

Tatar/JK/Armia                                                                                                    Tatar/JK/Gallagher   put the spark plug with JK             situations

Byron/Thompson/Cousins-Weal                                                                                   Same

 

It's nice to finally have a line up with enough talent to move pieces around.

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1 hour ago, BigTed3 said:

Lines largely unchanged at practice today, with Danault once again drawing the best offensive wingers in Drouin and Gallagher. Not sure why CJ is going down this route again. From my view, I'd go down the following to make my lines...

- As discussed in the rumors thread, Domi and Kotkaniemi would be my top 6 centers based on offensive skill and ceiling. Danault would be my 3C (not necessarily meaning limited ice time, just in terms of which wingers I would assign him). Thompson remains the 4C and is dong well in that role.

- Cousins has done well as a 4th line winger and I'd leave him in that role too.

- Drouin played badly with Domi and didn't look fantastic with Danault either, albeit in one game. He played really well with JK, so no sense in breaking that up.

- Lehkonen and Danault were very good, playing with Shaw as a 3rd linemate and even playing with Byron as a 3rd linemate. I'd stick Lehkonen back with Danault as the core of my checking line.

- By default, Tatar then becomes Domi's left winger.

- I'd prefer to keep Poehling in the line-up over Byron or Weal, and this means that either Weal or Folin would need to be exposed to waivers and sent down. I'm fine with that. I would rotate Byron in for Poehling or even Lehkonen from time to time, but Byron becomes my 13th forward for now.

So that leaves me so far with

Tatar-Domi-XXX

Drouin-Kotkaniemi-XXX

Lehkonen-Danault-XXX

Poehling-Thompson-Cousins

- I think there's a bit more flexibility in assigning RW's to the top 3 lines. You could argue Armia played well with Drouin and JK, but you could also argue he's the 3rd most talented RW and should be on the 3rd line. You could argue Gallagher's experience would help to complement Kotkaniemi but you could also argue he's got established chemistry with Tatar or with Danault. So I see a bit more room for CJ to experiment in that regard, but IMO, the above 9 guys would be my locks for the next few weeks to see how things go. I'd personally start with Gallagher on the Domi line, Suzuki on line 2, and Armia on line 3, but easy to switch that up if it doesn't work.

 

Yeah like I said I am fine with playing Domi at Center he has looked good there. My only rational for moving him to the wing is IF we plan on having JK, NS, RP and PD as the centers in the next 1-2 years we may as well start playing them there once in a while so they do develop into centers and not wingers cause as we have seen in the past it's much harder to develop as a winger then be moved to center later, the exception being Domi. If your planning on keeping one of NS or RP on the wing or moving one of them for LHD help then it really doesn't matter where they develop but if the idea is in 1-3 your centers are in no particular order JK, NS, RP and PD then we need to start moving some of the to center sooner than later.

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I question the wisdom of Julien going back to playing Mete with Weber and Chariot with Petry... Chariot - Weber were very good together recently and Mete - Petry also. I also think that Reilly - Fleury were better together than Kulak - Fleury.

The forward lines are still not yielding the best results the way they are set-up. Drouin started off great but the move to play with Domi didn't work again like last year. Trying to get Byron going further up the line-up is also not working IMHO. Hopefully things will get worked out sooner rather than later.

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7 hours ago, Habs_Hockey_Nutz said:

I question the wisdom of Julien going back to playing Mete with Weber and Chariot with Petry... Chariot - Weber were very good together recently and Mete - Petry also. I also think that Reilly - Fleury were better together than Kulak - Fleury.

Here are some numbers for you, in terms of Corsi, broken down by the 4 RHD and who they've played with regularly:

 

- Kulak-Petry = 62%

- Chiarot-Petry = 55%

- Mete-Petry = 49%

 

- Kulak-Weber = 60% (but very limited time together)

- Chiarot-Weber = 52%

- Mete-Weber = 51%

 

- Kulak-Fleury = 51%

- Reilly-Fleury = 49%

- Chiarot-Fleury = 47%

 

- Chiarot-Folin = 51%

- Reilly-Folin = 38%

 

So if I look at that, a few observations...

1. Mete-Petry not as good as I thought they were though still not terrible and they had tough match-ups (albeit favorable zone starts). Petry is easily still our best defenceman overall.

2. Kulak remains very underrated. Was the best partner for Petry, was the best partner for Fleury and in limited ice time, produced higher Corsi with Weber than either Chiarot or Mete too. He's made every single partner he's had better.

3. Also surprised to see that Chiarot has held his own with both Petry and Weber, which I will admit I was not expecting. He was actually the worst D man at being able to support a lesser partner in Fleury and he was easily inferior to Kulak, but he didn't really hurt Petry or Weber to any significant degree either and was better than Mete possession-wise.

4. Reilly has only really played any significant amount of time with Fleury and Folin. Reilly with Fleury was average, and again, worse than Kulak-Fleury, while Reilly-Folin was a tire fire.

 

If I look at this early data, it would suggest our best possible D line-up would probably be

Kulak-Petry

Chiarot-Weber

Mete-Fleury (with no available data yet to know how this would work out, and if worse than the numbers Chiarot-Fleury put up, you could put Mete back with Weber, which was comparable to Chiarot-Weber).

 

 

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, Habs_Hockey_Nutz said:

I question the wisdom of Julien going back to playing Mete with Weber and Chariot with Petry... Chariot - Weber were very good together recently and Mete - Petry also. I also think that Reilly - Fleury were better together than Kulak - Fleury.

The forward lines are still not yielding the best results the way they are set-up. Drouin started off great but the move to play with Domi didn't work again like last year. Trying to get Byron going further up the line-up is also not working IMHO. Hopefully things will get worked out sooner rather than later.

Drouin and Domi need to be kept apart because 2 play makers on the same line doesn't work unless it's the power play. 

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Hudon recalled from the Rocket. Being sent down was just to prevent burning off a day from his 30 days before he had to clear waivers. Looks like either Drouin or Byron will be out a significant amount of time to the point they are worried about Hudon having to clear waivers to be sent back down. Not good. My thought is it's Drouin as Byron has been listed as day-to-day 

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  • 3 weeks later...
30 minutes ago, kinot-2 said:

Here's a full look at this morning's lines. 

Tatar-Danault-Gallagher
Lehkonen-Domi-Armia
Cousins-Suzuki-Weal
Peca-Thompson-Barber

Kulak-Weber
Chiarot-Petry
Leskinen-Fleury

That top 9 forward group looks horrible. Basically we have 1 2nd line, 2 3rd lines and a 4th line maybe even 1 second and 3 4th lines. We desperately need Drouin, Kotkaniemi and Byron back or to trade for some top 6 help.

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33 minutes ago, kinot-2 said:

Here's a full look at this morning's lines. 

Tatar-Danault-Gallagher
Lehkonen-Domi-Armia
Cousins-Suzuki-Weal
Peca-Thompson-Barber

Kulak-Weber
Chiarot-Petry
Leskinen-Fleury

Things are definitely slim in the bottom 6.  Ideally Armia wouldnt be in your top 6. Still, with the injuries what can you do.

Its interesting to see how much they are bouncing around the LD.  Now Kulak is up with Weber.  I like that CJ has stuck with Leskinen-Fleury for a few games. 

 

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13 minutes ago, campabee82 said:

That top 9 forward group looks horrible. Basically we have 1 2nd line, 2 3rd lines and a 4th line maybe even 1 second and 3 4th lines. We desperately need Drouin, Kotkaniemi and Byron back or to trade for some top 6 help.

They may not be elite but by every metric the Tatar-Danault-Gallagher line is a first line.  They are 2 way line so you wont have point per game scorers but they do everything well.

The problem are the other lines.  Domi  & Suzuki are the only other top 6 players & we have one playing 3rd line (which is probably the right call while everyone is out).  Cousins, Weal playing above the 4th line is a big problem but what can you do?   I dont think trading makes sense in the long run. They need to ride this out. 

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