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2019-20 Habs Lines


BigTed3
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With the injuries we're somewhat limited on what we can do but id really like to see Julien shake things up a little. Domi and Suzuki both need players that can compliment them & right now.. thats each other.   I know julien wont break up the first line so what about this:

Tatar - Danault - Gallagher
Cousins – Domi – Suzuki
Lehkonen – Poehling – Armia

I think Poehling can handle that 3rd line centre spot if you give him those wingers.   Cousins, while not a top 6 player by any means, has shown he can compliment Domi & Suzuki.  

 
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59 minutes ago, maas_art said:

With the injuries we're somewhat limited on what we can do but id really like to see Julien shake things up a little. Domi and Suzuki both need players that can compliment them & right now.. thats each other.   I know julien wont break up the first line so what about this:

Tatar - Danault - Gallagher
Cousins – Domi – Suzuki
Lehkonen – Poehling – Armia


I think Poehling can handle that 3rd line centre spot if you give him those wingers.   Cousins, while not a top 6 player by any means, has shown he can compliment Domi & Suzuki.  

 

I like that combination. I agree Domi and Suzuki together are a good fit.  Cousins , Domi, Suzuki would have nice speed and creativity.Hopefully we'll see Drouin,Domi,Suzuki once Drouin is healthy. I also agree with the way Armia is playing and Lehks is solid I like Poehling with those two. The line would have size and speed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Will be an interesting situation with Suzuki having played well at center on a couple of occasions now. Currently, we have a number of players who can play center and a shortage of talent on the wings. With our current line-up for TB Saturday, I'd like to see

Tatar-Danault-Gallagher

Lehkonen-Domi-Suzuki

Poehling-Kotkaniemi-Barber

Cousins-Thompson-Weal

 

And when we're healthy, we should have some options, so I'd try

 

Tatar-Danault-Gallagher

Lehkonen-Domi-Suzuki

Drouin-Kotkaniemi-Armia

Byron-Thompson-Cousins (but maybe looking for a trade for Byron and then inserting Poehling there to get some more size).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Lines at practice today:

Tatar-Danault-Kovalchuk
Lehkonen-Domi-Suzuki
Poehling-Kotkaniemi-Cousins
Weal-Thompson-Weise

Chiarot-Weber
Mete-Petry
Scandella-Fleury

 

I have my doubts Kovalchuk will be able to restart his career but man imagine if he could? 

 
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3 minutes ago, maas_art said:

Lines at practice today:

Tatar-Danault-Kovalchuk
Lehkonen-Domi-Suzuki
Poehling-Kotkaniemi-Cousins
Weal-Thompson-Weise

Chiarot-Weber
Mete-Petry
Scandella-Fleury

 

I have my doubts Kovalchuk will be able to restart his career but man imagine if he could? 

 

If he does when everyone is healthy our forward group probably looks something like

Tatar-Danault-Gallagher

Droun-Domi-Suzuki

Lehkonen-Kotkaniemi-Kovalchuk

Byron-Thompson-Armia

 

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2 hours ago, campabee82 said:

If he does when everyone is healthy our forward group probably looks something like

Tatar-Danault-Gallagher

Droun-Domi-Suzuki

Lehkonen-Kotkaniemi-Kovalchuk

Byron-Thompson-Armia

Thats actually a great looking lineup.  Instead of having cousins and Weal playing in the top 9, you have so much depth guys like Armia and Byron play on the 4th.  

I think Kovy may have lost too much of a step to play with Tatar-Danault against the opposiiton's best lines every night - but could be excellent on an exploitation line next to JK.  Personally, id keep Lehks-Domi-Suzuki togther  and play Drouin - JK - Kovalchuk


Will be interesting to see how he does 

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9 minutes ago, maas_art said:

Thats actually a great looking lineup.  Instead of having cousins and Weal playing in the top 9, you have so much depth guys like Armia and Byron play on the 4th.  

I think Kovy may have lost too much of a step to play with Tatar-Danault against the opposiiton's best lines every night - but could be excellent on an exploitation line next to JK.  Personally, id keep Lehks-Domi-Suzuki togther  and play Drouin - JK - Kovalchuk


Will be interesting to see how he does 

I am cautiously optimistic, others have rekindled their careers for 1 or 2 seasons near the end why shouldn't we get lucky with him lol

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Well, who knows? Maybe it just wasn't a fit in LA and he does have some gas left in the tank. It's not like it never happened before, so let's hope for the best. Looks like they're putting him in a position to succeed as well, which is encouraging.

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5 hours ago, ChiLla said:

Well, who knows? Maybe it just wasn't a fit in LA and he does have some gas left in the tank. It's not like it never happened before, so let's hope for the best. Looks like they're putting him in a position to succeed as well, which is encouraging.

Theoretically he should have a lot of gas in the tank. After all, for a lot of years he only skated in one direction. 

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On 1/6/2020 at 0:27 PM, ChiLla said:

Well, who knows? Maybe it just wasn't a fit in LA and he does have some gas left in the tank. It's not like it never happened before, so let's hope for the best. Looks like they're putting him in a position to succeed as well, which is encouraging.

He was still pretty dominant in the KHL before coming back to the NHL.  He's just one year removed from that, so I agree, there's a chance he just didnt have the right fit there.   I feel like there's a potential for something really special in a Drouin - JK - Kovalchuk line if we ever see one... 

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19 hours ago, habs1952 said:

Theoretically he should have a lot of gas in the tank. After all, for a lot of years he only skated in one direction. 

That was a stereotype he had in Atlanta, yes but in NJ he was actually quite good defnsively. As he got older he seemed to turn into more of an all-round player. 

I didnt watch him play much in LA but I think reports of him being 1 dimensional are a bit misleading.   He won win the Selke but he's not horrid in his own end either. 

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22 minutes ago, maas_art said:

He was still pretty dominant in the KHL before coming back to the NHL.  He's just one year removed from that, so I agree, there's a chance he just didnt have the right fit there.   I feel like there's a potential for something really special in a Drouin - JK - Kovalchuk line if we ever see one... 

Yeah I like the looks of that line as well

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55 minutes ago, campabee82 said:

Yeah I like the looks of that line as well

yep right now he is filling in but once we get Gally back things will get interesting. don't forget before we lost a line and half to injury we were scoring very well adding kovy will only help if he is slotted in on the third with pp time on top.

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Goals going forward should be to play the younger guys and get those young skill players into the right roles. Primarily, that means Kotkaniemi should be getting better wingers than Danault and Poehling should be at center over Thompson. Second, we should be promoting guys we want to trade, like Tatar or Petry or Byron or Weber or maybe even Kovalchuk. So what I'd like to see, assuming Gallagher is back next game:

 

Kovalchuk-Domi-Suzuki

Tatar-Kotkaniemi-Gallagher

Lehkonen-Danault-Vejdemo

Thompson-Poehling-Cousins

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8 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

Goals going forward should be to play the younger guys and get those young skill players into the right roles. Primarily, that means Kotkaniemi should be getting better wingers than Danault and Poehling should be at center over Thompson. Second, we should be promoting guys we want to trade, like Tatar or Petry or Byron or Weber or maybe even Kovalchuk. So what I'd like to see, assuming Gallagher is back next game:

 

Kovalchuk-Domi-Suzuki

Tatar-Kotkaniemi-Gallagher

Lehkonen-Danault-Vejdemo

Thompson-Poehling-Cousins

I like your thought process but also would like to keep both Tatar and Lehkonen with their current centre's. Therefore would go

Lehkonen-Domi-Suzuki

Kovalchuk-Kotkaniemi-Gallagher

Tatar-Danault-Vejdemo

Thompson-Poehling-cousins

D would be 

Mete-Weber

Chiarot-Petry 

Scandella-Fluery 

Then alternate Price and Primeau in goal to actually give the kid a good look to see if he really is going to take over for Price or if he is going to be about her McNiven/Lindgren

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17 hours ago, campabee82 said:

I like your thought process but also would like to keep both Tatar and Lehkonen with their current centre's. Therefore would go

Lehkonen-Domi-Suzuki

Kovalchuk-Kotkaniemi-Gallagher

Tatar-Danault-Vejdemo

Thompson-Poehling-cousins

D would be 

Mete-Weber

Chiarot-Petry 

Scandella-Fluery 

Then alternate Price and Primeau in goal to actually give the kid a good look to see if he really is going to take over for Price or if he is going to be about her McNiven/Lindgren

Lehkonen has been hot, the only issue I have with this is that Tatar is probably candidate #1 as a forward to be traded and bring us a return. He and Danault really produced zippo without Gallagher or Kovalchuk on their wing, so doubt they'd have much luck with Vejdemo (who has now since been sent down anyways). I think we need to keep Tatar in the top 6 until time we can trade him.

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Tatar - Danault - Kovalchuk
Lehkonen - Domi - Suzuki
Poehling - Kotkaniemi - Cousins
Weal - Thompson - Weise
Peca

Chiarot - Weber
Scandella - Petry
Mete - Fleury
Kulak

Price
Lindgren

 

Nice to see Chiarot back, Drouin was also skating I think even if he is ready they wait until after the break to play him

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When everyone is healthy, we actually have very good depth up front. I'm actually not sure if we ever get to that point who CJ will bump out of the top 9. He seems to like the Danault line in its original incarnation, even though Gallagher could easily help another line just as well. I feel like he won't bump Kovalchuk and that Lehkonen might be the odd man out, but not really sure to be honest. Not to say this is what I would do, but I think CJ would go with

Tatar-Danault-Gallagher

Kovalchuk-Domi-Suzuki

Drouin-Kotkaniemi-Armia

Poehling-Thompson-Lehkonen

(although I can imagine if we trade Thompson and Byron makes it back, a 4th line of Byron-Poehling-Lehkonen is pretty darn good... no more Weal, no more Weise, no more Cousins)

The problem is that the D is still the same group of misfits, none of whom can fill the top-pairing LHD spot. So even though our forward depth makes up for the lack of stars up front, we're only as good as our weakest link, and that's the left side of the D. I don't see a quick fix for that this season. As much of a surprise as Chiarot has been as a skater and with a bit of offence, he's not very good defensively in his own zone. As much as Mete has shown flashes offensively, he's often overmatched in his own zone. As underrated as Kulak is, he's a 3rd pairing depth guy. As much as Scandella is an upgrade on Reilly, he's not a solution in the top 4 either. And as strong as Weber and Petry are, they show wear when they're used too much and neither guy is really a shutdown stalwart either. Petry has shown issues trying to defend the rush against him and backs up too much. Weber, for all the praise he gets, is weak at defending the slot and crease. You look at the above and you almost have to feel that if this team is going anywhere, a forward will need to be sacrificed to bring in a younger D man at some point, especially if there's additionally consideration of bringing in Caufield this year. Otherwise, I think we're building for the future and even though we've won two in a row, I don't see this team making the playoffs.

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Once everyone is healthy, this is what I would like to see...

Drouin- Domi- Kovalchuk (I know suzuki has been playing well here, and I could see him bumping kovy)

Tatar- Danault- Gallagher

Lehkonen- Suzuki- Armia (If Suzuki is on the 1st line, Id install Poehling or Kotkaniemi)

Byron- Thompson- Poehling (swap Poehling for kovy in plan 2)

So... Im wondering what other people think about this. My reasoning is Id like to see Kotkaniemi sent down to get his groove. It's not that he's playing poorly, but I think he still has maturing to do, and he can find his offensive side better at the lower level. We see flashes, but I think he can really benefit from a solid stint where he's the top skilled guy. I think we have enough depth, where we can afford to do this now, especially with the way Suzuki and Poehling are playing. When everyone comes back healthy, someone's gotta be odd man-out, and I want to give Kovy a shot to see what he has left.... just my 2 cents. What do you think?

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2 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

When everyone is healthy, we actually have very good depth up front. I'm actually not sure if we ever get to that point who CJ will bump out of the top 9. He seems to like the Danault line in its original incarnation, even though Gallagher could easily help another line just as well. I feel like he won't bump Kovalchuk and that Lehkonen might be the odd man out, but not really sure to be honest. Not to say this is what I would do, but I think CJ would go with

Tatar-Danault-Gallagher

Kovalchuk-Domi-Suzuki

Drouin-Kotkaniemi-Armia

Poehling-Thompson-Lehkonen

(although I can imagine if we trade Thompson and Byron makes it back, a 4th line of Byron-Poehling-Lehkonen is pretty darn good... no more Weal, no more Weise, no more Cousins

If everyone was healthy I think CJ might do:

Tatar - Danault - Gallagher
Lehks - Domi - Suzuki
Drouin - JK - Kovalchuk
Poehling/Byron - Thompson - Armia

 

Either way though, i agree, our forward depth is quite good. Considering just how many top 6-9 players we have had out for extended stretches, its a wonder we've been able to ice 4 respectable lines. 

The really frustrating thing for me though is that you see that by just adding Scandella, our D looks a fair bit better.    We're still not world beaters or even contenders, but you have Weber, Petry, Chiarot, Mete, Scandella, Fleury, Kulak etc and its a group that shouldnt lose you games on a nightly basis.   All MB had to do was upgrade a little for a very low cost but he chose to wait until it was (probably) too late.  Did we really need to see Folin in action, or Reilly to know know there were better options out there? 

 

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18 minutes ago, maas_art said:

If everyone was healthy I think CJ might do:

Tatar - Danault - Gallagher
Lehks - Domi - Suzuki
Drouin - JK - Kovalchuk
Poehling/Byron - Thompson - Armia

 

Either way though, i agree, our forward depth is quite good. Considering just how many top 6-9 players we have had out for extended stretches, its a wonder we've been able to ice 4 respectable lines. 

The really frustrating thing for me though is that you see that by just adding Scandella, our D looks a fair bit better.    We're still not world beaters or even contenders, but you have Weber, Petry, Chiarot, Mete, Scandella, Fleury, Kulak etc and its a group that shouldnt lose you games on a nightly basis.   All MB had to do was upgrade a little for a very low cost but he chose to wait until it was (probably) too late.  Did we really need to see Folin in action, or Reilly to know know there were better options out there? 

 

Agreed. But think about which seat you would want to put your D men in in an ideal world. For me, it would be

- Petry: #2

- Weber: #2

- Mete: #4-5

- Chiarot: #4-5

- Scandella: #5

- Kulak: #5-6

- Fleury: #6

It's better depth than when we had Reilly (probably a #7-8) or Folin (not an NHLer in my view), but it's still just a lot of depth. Like you said, maybe doesn't hurt you as much, but it's not winning you games and it doesn't give you great options match-up wise. Most of our D men are still not very good at marking within our own D zone. When your top 2 D men are in their 30's and shouldn't ideally be playing 25+ minutes a night game in game out, you really need a 3rd guy who can give you big minutes and have the legs to do it while playing at a high level.

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Juilen has been playing with Suzuki at centre a bit lately. He also seems to love Kovy  - and Gallagher basically works anywhere in the lineup so i wonder, when everyone is healthy, if he'd consider something like this:

Tatar - Danault - Kovy
Domi - Suzuki - Gallagher
Drouin - JK - Lehkonen
Poehling - Thompson - Armia

Byron ends up being our 13th forward at this point.  Crazy. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Lines at practice this morning weren't that bad, CJ confirmed that Drouin and Gallagher will not play but are both hopeful to return before the weekend. Scandella was given a therapy day according to an article he is dealing with a minor lower body injury. 

Tatar - Danault - Kovalchuk
Domi - Suzuki - Armia
Poehling - Kotkaniemi - Lehkonen
Cousins - Thompson - Weise
Drouin - Weal - Gallagher

Chiarot - Weber
Kulak - Petry
Mete - Fleury

Price
Lindgren

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