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Has the development within the Montreal Canadiens really changed?


campabee82
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IMO the development from within the Habs organization as a whole has changed. It's gotten better within the Rockets, however that's not what I am getting at with this thread. My question is really about the development of players within the team. Is it better worse or the same? For this question is a resounding NO! While the system below the main club has gotten better the Canadiens team remains lackluster in this department. Let's take a look at what I am referring to. Kotkaniemi makes the team out of camp as a third line center and remains with the team in this role for the entire season. Some would think this is great and exactly how it should be. However my argument to that would be no matter how well he played he was never given top 6 minutes. Not for 1 game. Even this year when Drouin-Kotkaniemi-Armia were dominating the games and clearly the best line for the Habs both Armia and Drouin wee promoted to Domi's line leaving Kotkaniemi with struggling wingers yet again. That has got to be affecting the young players confidence. Basically being told no matter how good you are we are not moving you up the lineup. At that point why even bother trying. It's not just Kotkaniemi that is getting this treatment though. First signs of adversity for Suzuki and he is demoted to the 4th line and he remained there almost as if it's a punishment for a missed assignment. Same with Fleury he gets sent to the press box for his mistakes and sits 2 or 3 games. Same thing happened with Reilly and Mete last year only instead of sitting Mete and they sent him to Laval. Poehling is sort of experiencing the same thing. He missed time due to injury in the preseason and got sent to Laval which was understandable however he has been playing IMO better than Weal, Byron, Lehkonen and Cousins however he remains in Laval. I thought this was a team moving forward with development of young players not backwards.  CJ still prefers experience over skill. He isn't going to give the young guys the shots they earned especially at center because he is too hung up on not losing his job. Last year Kotkaniemi was the second best center we had and the yearly part of this year he was the best center and was left at 3rd line. Poehling is probably better than Thompson and is definitely better than Weal, Byron, Lehkonen and Cousins yet remains in Laval. Evans is better that the previously mentioned players as well yet remains in Laval. What do our young players especially our centers have to do to prove they deserve top minutes? Would our lineup not look better with some version of the following Drouin-Domi-Armia-Tatar-Kotkaniemi-Gallagher-Lehkonen-Danault-Suzuki-Byron-Poehling-Evans-Cousins-Thompson as the top 14 forwards and Mete-Weber-Kulak-Petry-Leskinen-Fleury-Chairot as our top 7 Dmen?

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3 hours ago, campabee82 said:

 Would our lineup not look better with some version of the following Drouin-Domi-Armia-Tatar-Kotkaniemi-Gallagher-Lehkonen-Danault-Suzuki-Byron-Poehling-Evans-Cousins-Thompson as the top 14 forwards and Mete-Weber-Kulak-Petry-Leskinen-Fleury-Chairot as our top 7 Dmen?

No. You have 5 rookies in the lineup . The current line isn't going to make the playoffs and the lineup you list would surely be worse.

I would like to think an NHL organization knows more about players' skills and developing than we do . Last year Mitch Marner was sent down to the 4 th line and look now .

I have no idea if, after 1 NHL game ,  Poehling is probably better  than the 5 guys you list or Evans is surely better . I think the club knows much more than we do , even though some people get frustrated by the moves and lineup .

There is a big difference between university / AHL and NHL . 

I'll  let the club decide when it's time for so and so to make his NHL debut.

 

 

 

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I think the team is actually doing it right. JK has been smuggling defensively this season and getting pushed off the puck to much. The dominating part was more of Drouin playing harder and making JK look better. It deficiently wasn't every shift and only a couple of games that they were "clicking". JK isn't a first line center yet , Domi and Danault are still ahead of him and don't need to be protected. Suzuki actually has looked better now playing with Thompson with better match ups. Suzuki is still getting PP time along with JK. As tight as the league is (we missed the playoffs by a point) every game matters and all the points matter. Everyone has to play for their "earned" ice time not "perceived" ice time. I really like Poehling and do want to see him up. That said Thompson is playing well and plays in some key defensive situations which generally are harder to learn than the offensive side of the game. He is getting top line minutes at center in Laval at this time. This should help when he does come up. Only a couple of games ago it looked like Suzuki may need some time in Laval. He has gained confidence since scoring (nice set by Thompson) and looks more comfortable. As others have said NCAA . OHL , USHL, including the European leagues where JK played ect. are all not the NHL including pre-season. You can rush the players and ruin their confidence by failing early a lot easier than easing them into where they're going to be. Especially in Montreal and the markets that watch every move by every fan and media out there. It is also a business and winning is the final line and the professionals are going to utilize their personnel as they feel will win the most which is bottom line.

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Julien trying to keep his job is not a bad thing. 

 Developing players is a job for the assistant and minor league coaches. Julien's job is to manage the limited resources he is given in order to go as deep as possible in the play-offs.

I wish him bonne chance in keeping his job.

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1 hour ago, Regis22 said:

No. You have 5 rookies in the lineup . The current line isn't going to make the playoffs and the lineup you list would surely be worse.

I would like to think an NHL organization knows more about players' skills and developing than we do . Last year Mitch Marner was sent down to the 4 th line and look now .

I have no idea if, after 1 NHL game ,  Poehling is probably better  than the 5 guys you list or Evans is surely better . I think the club knows much more than we do , even though some people get frustrated by the moves and lineup .

There is a big difference between university / AHL and NHL . 

I'll  let the club decide when it's time for so and so to make his NHL debut.

 

 

 

There's that experience over skill issue again. If I am the coach or GM IMO skill should always win out over experience. I wouldn't care how many rookies at in the lineup spread them out over the lines if your that worried about it.

Like others have already said we are not a playoff team this hlyear anyway let them grow together.

1 hour ago, CaptWelly said:

I think the team is actually doing it right. JK has been smuggling defensively this season and getting pushed off the puck to much. The dominating part was more of Drouin playing harder and making JK look better. It deficiently wasn't every shift and only a couple of games that they were "clicking". JK isn't a first line center yet , Domi and Danault are still ahead of him and don't need to be protected. Suzuki actually has looked better now playing with Thompson with better match ups. Suzuki is still getting PP time along with JK. As tight as the league is (we missed the playoffs by a point) every game matters and all the points matter. Everyone has to play for their "earned" ice time not "perceived" ice time. I really like Poehling and do want to see him up. That said Thompson is playing well and plays in some key defensive situations which generally are harder to learn than the offensive side of the game. He is getting top line minutes at center in Laval at this time. This should help when he does come up. Only a couple of games ago it looked like Suzuki may need some time in Laval. He has gained confidence since scoring (nice set by Thompson) and looks more comfortable. As others have said NCAA . OHL , USHL, including the European leagues where JK played ect. are all not the NHL including pre-season. You can rush the players and ruin their confidence by failing early a lot easier than easing them into where they're going to be. Especially in Montreal and the markets that watch every move by every fan and media out there. It is also a business and winning is the final line and the professionals are going to utilize their personnel as they feel will win the most which is bottom line.

Yes this year over the last 5 games KK has struggled but the middle to end of last season he wasn't but still didn't get the ice time or wingers he "earned". I am not talking about giving them more time or better looks I am talking about moving them up and giving them the opportunities they earn even if it means the team has 3, 4 or 5 rookies on it if they are out playing the guys above them let them play if they regress after 10 or 15 games or whatever send them back down. Suzuki has been played on the 4th line and deservedly so but promoting him to the second line isn't right either he should have to earn his way through the lines like everyone else. Put him on the third line see how that works and if he out plays the guy above him move him up just like everyone else.

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5 hours ago, campabee82 said:

IMO the development from within the Habs organization as a whole has changed. It's gotten better within the Rockets, however that's not what I am getting at with this thread. My question is really about the development of players within the team. Is it better worse or the same? For this question is a resounding NO! While the system below the main club has gotten better the Canadiens team remains lackluster in this department. Let's take a look at what I am referring to. Kotkaniemi makes the team out of camp as a third line center and remains with the team in this role for the entire season. Some would think this is great and exactly how it should be. However my argument to that would be no matter how well he played he was never given top 6 minutes. Not for 1 game. Even this year when Drouin-Kotkaniemi-Armia were dominating the games and clearly the best line for the Habs both Armia and Drouin wee promoted to Domi's line leaving Kotkaniemi with struggling wingers yet again. That has got to be affecting the young players confidence. Basically being told no matter how good you are we are not moving you up the lineup. At that point why even bother trying. It's not just Kotkaniemi that is getting this treatment though. First signs of adversity for Suzuki and he is demoted to the 4th line and he remained there almost as if it's a punishment for a missed assignment. Same with Fleury he gets sent to the press box for his mistakes and sits 2 or 3 games. Same thing happened with Reilly and Mete last year only instead of sitting Mete and they sent him to Laval. Poehling is sort of experiencing the same thing. He missed time due to injury in the preseason and got sent to Laval which was understandable however he has been playing IMO better than Weal, Byron, Lehkonen and Cousins however he remains in Laval. I thought this was a team moving forward with development of young players not backwards.  CJ still prefers experience over skill. He isn't going to give the young guys the shots they earned especially at center because he is too hung up on not losing his job. Last year Kotkaniemi was the second best center we had and the yearly part of this year he was the best center and was left at 3rd line. Poehling is probably better than Thompson and is definitely better than Weal, Byron, Lehkonen and Cousins yet remains in Laval. Evans is better that the previously mentioned players as well yet remains in Laval. What do our young players especially our centers have to do to prove they deserve top minutes? Would our lineup not look better with some version of the following Drouin-Domi-Armia-Tatar-Kotkaniemi-Gallagher-Lehkonen-Danault-Suzuki-Byron-Poehling-Evans-Cousins-Thompson as the top 14 forwards and Mete-Weber-Kulak-Petry-Leskinen-Fleury-Chairot as our top 7 Dmen?

This reads like a recipe for tanking. 

A fine wine matures with age.

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16 minutes ago, habs1952 said:

This reads like a recipe for tanking. 

A fine wine matures with age.

Not really, my point was give the kids what they earn. There was a point from about mid season on where KK had earned more minutes higher up the lineup but CJ refused to play him there cause we were in a playoff spot. Purhaps my point was missed or I didn't make it clear enough. I don't want to just give Poehling, Suzuki, Leskinen or anyone else a spot not even KK just give everyone the same curtousy if they earn more minutes or better linemates give them that shot even if it's the end of the season and we are fighting tooth and nail for that last playoff spot. Don't be afraid to play guys who are younger because you already have 2 or 3 rookies in the lineup. Play who has shown they deserve the minutes. Weal, Byron and Lehkonen have done virtually nothing this year and don't look like they will do much going forward either.

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I’m ok with the development effort so far - why burn out the kids with a ton of responsibilities and pressure like the leafs did in the early 80s - seems to me the islanders didn’t rush trottier before their run and the same with the oilers first couple of seasons - get the bitter taste of losing to appreciate the effort required to succeed 

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17 minutes ago, campabee82 said:

The better question is is he out playing Reilly Folin and Chiarot? IMO he has.

Not comparable , they play in different leagues against a different calibre of players

And Reilly's played 3 games and Folin 5 so Habs management must believe there are better options on the current roster some nights .

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31 minutes ago, Regis22 said:

Not comparable , they play in different leagues against a different calibre of players

And Reilly's played 3 games and Folin 5 so Habs management must believe there are better options on the current roster some nights .

How is the level of play not comparable? Most have been saying that Folin, Reilly and Chiarot are AHL calibre players playing above their heads. If that's true then their level of play is directly comparable. Leskinen is also playing top pairing minutes in the AHL which would suggest he is at least the next logical call up on D if a player goes down to injury. Which suggests that he is close to NHL ready as well if he is not already there.

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2 hours ago, campabee82 said:

There's that experience over skill issue again. If I am the coach or GM IMO skill should always win out over experience. I wouldn't care how many rookies at in the lineup spread them out over the lines if your that worried about it.

Like others have already said we are not a playoff team this hlyear anyway let them grow together.

Yes this year over the last 5 games KK has struggled but the middle to end of last season he wasn't but still didn't get the ice time or wingers he "earned". I am not talking about giving them more time or better looks I am talking about moving them up and giving them the opportunities they earn even if it means the team has 3, 4 or 5 rookies on it if they are out playing the guys above them let them play if they regress after 10 or 15 games or whatever send them back down. Suzuki has been played on the 4th line and deservedly so but promoting him to the second line isn't right either he should have to earn his way through the lines like everyone else. Put him on the third line see how that works and if he out plays the guy above him move him up just like everyone else.

The "end" of last season JK actually struggled quite a bit. That is when he sat out a couple of games and he was being outplayed by Weal and others that took his spot. He was only 18 and the Finnish league doesn't have near as many games.

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5 minutes ago, CaptWelly said:

The "end" of last season JK actually struggled quite a bit. That is when he sat out a couple of games and he was being outplayed by Weal and others that took his spot. He was only 18 and the Finnish league doesn't have near as many games.

And that was the right thing to do at the time. My issue is during the middle part of last year when he was playing better and earning his minutes he still wasn't getting them he was still being sheltered and playing reduced minutes. Also right now he is playing third line center but is struggling but remains in that position even though Poehling or Evans may be a better option. Why not send KK down for a few games and make play him as first line center in Laval while still giving Poehling a shot on the Habs? Weal isn't playing well at all and he remains with the Habs. Byron isn't playing to his abilities either yet gèts more starts on the second line then Suzuki. That may change now that Suzuki is doing better though. Lehkonen hasn't done anything offensively last year or so far this year however he started the first what 8 games on the second line. Folin and Reilly flat out suck yet remain with the team cause they are afraid they will lose them to waivers. Who cares if they aren't going to play or contribute to the team's success. I don't care who stays and who goes as long as we are doing it for the right reasons. We need to win games if that means we have 7 rookies in the lineup or 1  it shouldn't matter as long as it's the best team possible to give you a shot at winning every night that was my point and the whole purpose of the thread. Are we doing the right things development wise on the Habs are the right guys being put in the right positions to succeed and give us the best shot at winning every night? My opinion is no we are not. At the current point in time KK has not shown this year he should be with the Habs outside of the first 4 or 5 games. Weal has not shown he is a viable option on any line, Folin Chiarot and Reilly are barely 3rd pairing guys. Why not replace some of these struggling players right now with some players that are doing well in the lower AHL even if it means carrying 4 or more rookies.

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And what duration of games/minutes constitutes a body of work? This won’t be the first slump of KK’s career so is it best to give him a conditioning and confidence stint in Laval now? It’s not like Poehling or Evans are lighting it up. I don’t think  KK is hurting the team nor is Fleury and Byron knows he is in a slump. They deserve a chance to get pushed and play out of it after 11 games - 20-25 games changes the equation 

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The care and development with the younger players with the NHL club seems good to me. Kotkaniemi has had his struggles this season. I'm sure he'll work his way out of it. Suzuki has been good, IMO. I like how he's slotted into a spot on the fourth line and PP. He's been contributing and I really like his game so far.

The team is also giving Cale Fleury some opportunities, although I'm not sure how long that will last.

I'm sure Poehling will see some NHL game time soon, too.

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If this team actually had 23 NHL caliber hockey players this discussion would not be taking place. What we call depth on this team is maybe just that we have only 14 genuine NHL players and at this time another 14 marginal players so we amuse ourselves by moving the marginal ones up and down and around and about while Julien plays the fiddle.

Montreal/Laval combined record 9-9-3.....mediocre at best.  I know the season is still young but it may get old real fast.

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43 minutes ago, Regis22 said:

I think we over estimate how good the prospects are or are going to be . None of them are in the Eichel, Mathews . McDavid , Dahlin class.

We definitely overestimate our prospects. Maybe Kotkaniemi becomes a stellar top-six center in the league... but there's no guarantee. Suzuki, Poehling... I suppose they might be top-six players. But... it's hard to say at this point. Their ceilings seem unclear to me.

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