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2021-22 State of the Habs


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From The Athletic (paywall):

https://theathletic.com/2973346/2021/11/24/the-best-defenceman-in-the-country-who-is-jordan-harris-the-prospect-the-canadiens-must-do-everything-to-keep/

Harris found himself on the top defence pairing as a freshman at Northeastern. So to say he has the trust and confidence of his coach today would be a massive understatement.

“Right now, Harris is, in my opinion, the best defenceman in the country, and I really believe that,” said Jerry Keefe, who plays Harris between 26 and 30 minutes a game. “I just think he brings an element that he plays 200 feet, he can defend against anyone and he can transition against anyone.”

 

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1 hour ago, ChiLla said:

From The Athletic (paywall):

https://theathletic.com/2973346/2021/11/24/the-best-defenceman-in-the-country-who-is-jordan-harris-the-prospect-the-canadiens-must-do-everything-to-keep/

Harris found himself on the top defence pairing as a freshman at Northeastern. So to say he has the trust and confidence of his coach today would be a massive understatement.

“Right now, Harris is, in my opinion, the best defenceman in the country, and I really believe that,” said Jerry Keefe, who plays Harris between 26 and 30 minutes a game. “I just think he brings an element that he plays 200 feet, he can defend against anyone and he can transition against anyone.”

 

He really has the look of a modern-day NHL defenceman. He can play big minutes in all situations, he moves the puck, he skates decently well, and he can QB a powerplay. Almost feels like some of the guys the Bruins have brought through their system, like Torey Krug or Charlie McAvoy. No telling if he can translate this to the NHL, but he's a guy you really want to bring here. If I'm MB, I'm pulling out what I can to convince him:

- max ELC

- offer to join the team this year and burn an ELC year if he does

- trade Chiarot and possibly Kulak and show Harris that he has the opportunity to not only play games but play in the top 4 if he shows he can

- sit-down with Cole Caufield and Ryan Poehling to have them explain their transition from college to the NHL and/or maybe another American player like Petry who has chosen to stay in Canada and sign a long-term deal here instead of going back to the States.

- attempt to sign his teammate Struble at the same time

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46 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

He really has the look of a modern-day NHL defenceman. He can play big minutes in all situations, he moves the puck, he skates decently well, and he can QB a powerplay. Almost feels like some of the guys the Bruins have brought through their system, like Torey Krug or Charlie McAvoy. No telling if he can translate this to the NHL, but he's a guy you really want to bring here. If I'm MB, I'm pulling out what I can to convince him:

- max ELC

- offer to join the team this year and burn an ELC year if he does

- trade Chiarot and possibly Kulak and show Harris that he has the opportunity to not only play games but play in the top 4 if he shows he can

- sit-down with Cole Caufield and Ryan Poehling to have them explain their transition from college to the NHL and/or maybe another American player like Petry who has chosen to stay in Canada and sign a long-term deal here instead of going back to the States.

- attempt to sign his teammate Struble at the same time

Now that’s a GM plan - something visibly lacking in the org. 
One wonders if Harris bails on signing, if there becomes even more political posturing (“I told ya”), for the Habs to reconsider those opting for the USA college route. There’s still plenty of talent in the CHL and Euro leagues to avoid getting nothing for the draft selection - in this case he was 71st overall and who knew he would work out to be this promising 

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42 minutes ago, habsisme said:

They really should change that rule. It makes it too easy for players who decide to go to college to ditch their draft team. I would add at least a year maybe two

Agreed. Way too easy for US players to dictate where they want to play by the time they're 21 or 22. The rule favors American teams, since most players who dump their draft team are ones wanting to play in the States.

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Have to wonder how many players would look better if they changed the coach. It's hard to know about the new guys, since we never saw them here under another coach. But I look at this season's version of the Habs and ask myself how many guys have looked better under Ducharme than they did under Julien or other coaches. Chiarot, maybe, looks better this year than last, although I've been more willing to overlook his bad penalties since we're not in games enough for them to cost us. Evans is better this year than last. Petry is worse. Allen is worse. Toffoli is worse. Gallagher is worse. Armia is worse. Suzuki looks about the same. Drouin and Anderson are inconsistent but overall are probably about the same. Lehkonen about the same. But I don't see a bunch of guys who have done anything special or developed or looked better in Ducharme's system. They almost all look worse. I kind of have the feeling that if we got a real coach, we'd look better putting some of these players in a real system. At this point, I wouldn't hire Patrick Roy as a GM, but I wonder if he might not be a good coach to bring in: used to working with youngsters, holds player responsible for their actions, knows on the other hand what it's like to be a star player in Montreal and how to not treat them a a coach, and has more of a system than Ducharme.

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4 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

Have to wonder how many players would look better if they changed the coach. It's hard to know about the new guys, since we never saw them here under another coach. But I look at this season's version of the Habs and ask myself how many guys have looked better under Ducharme than they did under Julien or other coaches. Chiarot, maybe, looks better this year than last, although I've been more willing to overlook his bad penalties since we're not in games enough for them to cost us. Evans is better this year than last. Petry is worse. Allen is worse. Toffoli is worse. Gallagher is worse. Armia is worse. Suzuki looks about the same. Drouin and Anderson are inconsistent but overall are probably about the same. Lehkonen about the same. But I don't see a bunch of guys who have done anything special or developed or looked better in Ducharme's system. They almost all look worse. I kind of have the feeling that if we got a real coach, we'd look better putting some of these players in a real system. At this point, I wouldn't hire Patrick Roy as a GM, but I wonder if he might not be a good coach to bring in: used to working with youngsters, holds player responsible for their actions, knows on the other hand what it's like to be a star player in Montreal and how to not treat them a a coach, and has more of a system than Ducharme.

You mean he has a system. I don't think anyone other than Douche knows what he is thinking!

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5 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

Agreed. Way too easy for US players to dictate where they want to play by the time they're 21 or 22. The rule favors American teams, since most players who dump their draft team are ones wanting to play in the States.

6 hours ago, habsisme said:

They really should change that rule. It makes it too easy for players who decide to go to college to ditch their draft team. I would add at least a year maybe two

I support any rule which enables young players to choose where they want to live and start a family etc.  Bettman and his band of owners already have too much power. The player gambles on himself i.e. that he won't sustain a career ending injury and that his play over those 4 years will remain good enough to garner a contract where he wants to play. I admire anyone who stands up for himself

Montreal drafted a player that asked not to be drafted so if a different young man tells Montreal no thanks I don't get upset. 

 

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1 hour ago, BigTed3 said:

At this point, I wouldn't hire Patrick Roy as a GM, but I wonder if he might not be a good coach to bring in: used to working with youngsters, holds player responsible for their actions, knows on the other hand what it's like to be a star player in Montreal and how to not treat them a a coach, and has more of a system than Ducharme.

I never thought I'd say it, but yes... I would take Patrick Roy right now. He's a better coach than DD is. And if we kept losing, I'm sure it would be more entertaining.

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1 hour ago, RCAF48 said:

I support any rule which enables young players to choose where they want to live and start a family etc.  Bettman and his band of owners already have too much power. The player gambles on himself i.e. that he won't sustain a career ending injury and that his play over those 4 years will remain good enough to garner a contract where he wants to play. I admire anyone who stands up for himself

Montreal drafted a player that asked not to be drafted so if a different young man tells Montreal no thanks I don't get upset. 

 

The league has a draft process to distribute players equitably. If you allow players to choose where they want to play, then it disrupts the competitive equilibrium. Why are American players allowed to choose where they want to go but Canadian players can't? I'm not saying I support Bettman by any means, but I don't think anyone believes a league where there's no draft and everyone can just sign wherever they want will allow franchises to have a fair shot at being competitive. No one's forcing Harris to play in the NHL. He can go to Europe or play in another league in North America if he doesn't want to be drafted. You want to play in the NHL, then the way to make the league fair and worthwhile for all cities/teams/fans is to give every team equal opportunity to drafting good players. NHLers can become UFAs by the time they're 26 or 27. They can force their way out as an RFA, as Kotkaniemi did, or by forcing a trade, as Fox did, if they really really wanted to and were good enough to control their demands. There are plenty of other professions where you don't necessarily get to choose where you intern/stage/train or start your career, so I don't see this as being isolated to the NHL and it's temporary control for the drafting team.

In any case, whether you allow players to break free from their draft team or not, it's still not fair for the drafting team and the league should at the very least provide compensation for a player lost. You loose a draft pick that another team signs and you wanted to match, then that team owes you compensation the same way they would if they signed one of your RFAs.

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16 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

The league has a draft process to distribute players equitably. If you allow players to choose where they want to play, then it disrupts the competitive equilibrium. Why are American players allowed to choose where they want to go but Canadian players can't? I'm not saying I support Bettman by any means, but I don't think anyone believes a league where there's no draft and everyone can just sign wherever they want will allow franchises to have a fair shot at being competitive. No one's forcing Harris to play in the NHL. He can go to Europe or play in another league in North America if he doesn't want to be drafted. You want to play in the NHL, then the way to make the league fair and worthwhile for all cities/teams/fans is to give every team equal opportunity to drafting good players. NHLers can become UFAs by the time they're 26 or 27. They can force their way out as an RFA, as Kotkaniemi did, or by forcing a trade, as Fox did, if they really really wanted to and were good enough to control their demands. There are plenty of other professions where you don't necessarily get to choose where you intern/stage/train or start your career, so I don't see this as being isolated to the NHL and it's temporary control for the drafting team.

In any case, whether you allow players to break free from their draft team or not, it's still not fair for the drafting team and the league should at the very least provide compensation for a player lost. You loose a draft pick that another team signs and you wanted to match, then that team owes you compensation the same way they would if they signed one of your RFAs.

Couldn’t a Canadian go the NCAA route? Sure we usually go the CHL way but sounds like more should be getting the education and options. 

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1 minute ago, booboo_mtl said:

Couldn’t a Canadian go the NCAA route? Sure we usually go the CHL way but sounds like more should be getting the education and options. 

A number of Canadians have gone the NCAA route but it’s not common. Dylan Holloway, Cale Makar, Alex Newhook, Kent Johnson, Owen Power etc - they would have the same 4 year rights 

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32 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

The league has a draft process to distribute players equitably. If you allow players to choose where they want to play, then it disrupts the competitive equilibrium. Why are American players allowed to choose where they want to go but Canadian players can't? I'm not saying I support Bettman by any means, but I don't think anyone believes a league where there's no draft and everyone can just sign wherever they want will allow franchises to have a fair shot at being competitive. No one's forcing Harris to play in the NHL. He can go to Europe or play in another league in North America if he doesn't want to be drafted. You want to play in the NHL, then the way to make the league fair and worthwhile for all cities/teams/fans is to give every team equal opportunity to drafting good players. NHLers can become UFAs by the time they're 26 or 27. They can force their way out as an RFA, as Kotkaniemi did, or by forcing a trade, as Fox did, if they really really wanted to and were good enough to control their demands. There are plenty of other professions where you don't necessarily get to choose where you intern/stage/train or start your career, so I don't see this as being isolated to the NHL and it's temporary control for the drafting team.

In any case, whether you allow players to break free from their draft team or not, it's still not fair for the drafting team and the league should at the very least provide compensation for a player lost. You loose a draft pick that another team signs and you wanted to match, then that team owes you compensation the same way they would if they signed one of your RFAs.

Fairness is the last thing Bettman desires, he is interested only in maintaining control of a closed industry. 

If Harris chooses not to sign with Montreal and  chooses to play in the NHL on his own terms within the existing rules I don't think we should not start a crusade to restrict players' freedoms even more. Did Montreal even ask him if he would play there if drafted?

I think that Canadian born players who choose to go the American university route are subject to the same draft rules as their American peers but if you say they are not I won't argue although a friend's son did go to university in the US after being drafted and 30 days after graduation signed where he wanted to play as a free agent. I don't think a fake birth certificate was used but, regardless, I think a middling country town lawyer could sort that birth place discrimination suit out even against the hot shot NHL legal department. In fact, I believe all North American players are subject to the same draft rules.

I do hope Harris becomes an NHL hockey player if he is good enough.. 

 

.

 

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, claremont said:

Anyone else now rooting for Seattle, Ottawa and Arizona not to mention Hawks and Canucks to win games and build points? 

lol

Dont have to root for them .

With the games in hand they have it will happen 

Montreal is the worst team in the league , worse than Buffalo last year :(

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9 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

The league has a draft process to distribute players equitably. If you allow players to choose where they want to play, then it disrupts the competitive equilibrium. Why are American players allowed to choose where they want to go but Canadian players can't? I'm not saying I support Bettman by any means, but I don't think anyone believes a league where there's no draft and everyone can just sign wherever they want will allow franchises to have a fair shot at being competitive. No one's forcing Harris to play in the NHL. He can go to Europe or play in another league in North America if he doesn't want to be drafted. You want to play in the NHL, then the way to make the league fair and worthwhile for all cities/teams/fans is to give every team equal opportunity to drafting good players. NHLers can become UFAs by the time they're 26 or 27. They can force their way out as an RFA, as Kotkaniemi did, or by forcing a trade, as Fox did, if they really really wanted to and were good enough to control their demands. There are plenty of other professions where you don't necessarily get to choose where you intern/stage/train or start your career, so I don't see this as being isolated to the NHL and it's temporary control for the drafting team.

In any case, whether you allow players to break free from their draft team or not, it's still not fair for the drafting team and the league should at the very least provide compensation for a player lost. You loose a draft pick that another team signs and you wanted to match, then that team owes you compensation the same way they would if they signed one of your RFAs.

A Canadian can play for a NCAA US College team ( Johnathan Toews North Dakota) I do agree that there shouldn't be any clause as to number of years ect. , that creates a way for a drafted player to  not have to sign with the team that drafts them. The should call it the Lindros rule. Who ever drafts you you remain their rights. It's a privilege to play in the NHL not a right or given. As said they can go to KHL Europe ect. if they choose otherwise.

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This is from Chantal Machabee:

“I saw Petry in the hotel lobby and he has difficulty putting one foot in front of the other. He's all crooked and I wonder why we haven't brought him a wheelchair."

If this is true - and I have no reason to doubt Chantal, who is generally a pretty good source, the real question is: why? Jeff Petry is 33 years old, just signed a long term deal and the season is lost. Why in the heck would we be playing him hurt?? We literally just watched a key player on our team play through injuries & probably end his career. Is that the goal with Petry too?   This is not the cup finals. There is nothing to be gained by playing Petry at this point.

If this is true every member of habs management should be fired. This is complete and utter asset mismanagement..  

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7 minutes ago, maas_art said:

This is from Chantal Machabee:

“I saw Petry in the hotel lobby and he has difficulty putting one foot in front of the other. He's all crooked and I wonder why we haven't brought him a wheelchair."

If this is true - and I have no reason to doubt Chantal, who is generally a pretty good source, the real question is: why? Jeff Petry is 33 years old, just signed a long term deal and the season is lost. Why in the heck would we be playing him hurt?? We literally just watched a key player on our team play through injuries & probably end his career. Is that the goal with Petry too?   This is not the cup finals. There is nothing to be gained by playing Petry at this point.

If this is true every member of habs management should be fired. This is complete and utter asset mismanagement..  

Yep I have to agree! at this point he is hurting the team by playing! you can see something is wrong he is not even a shadow of himself. this smacks more of some trying to save their jobs than good management! lets be real there is no hope of even getting close to being in the playoffs! let the man heal or go or both!

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https://www.habseyesontheprize.com/2021/11/25/22801828/montreal-canadiens-need-better-guidance-to-turn-their-play-around-advanced-stats-expected-goals

The Canadiens need better guidance to turn their play around

Montreal is playing poorly, and right now there isn’t much to suggest a turnaround is imminent.

February 24, 2021 feels like so long ago. I couldn’t even tell you what the big song on the radio was then. That could have more to do with it being about 10 years since I’ve listened to music on the radio.... But, for Montreal Canadiens fans, that date is significant. That’s when head coach Claude Julien was fired. Since then, Montreal almost missed the playoffs, almost got eliminated in Round 1, and then came within three wins of a Stanley Cup.

The most interesting thing about Julien’s firing was who replaced him. You see, I was under the impression it was Alain Vigneault’s turn again to coach the Canadiens. I suppose because he wasn’t available, general manager Marc Bergevin had to call an audible.

So far, in Dominique Ducharme’s first season with a full training camp, he has his team 18th in the league in Corsi-for percentage, 20th in expected-goals-for percentage, and 22nd in goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five. Julien’s iteration last year was second in Corsi-for, first for expected goals, and first in goals per 60

I can already see the comments about how advanced stats are nonsense, so let’s put this into real terms: the Habs’ record so far this year is 5-14-2. The Habs’ record at the time of Julien’s firing was 9-5-4.

So what’s the point of the advanced analytics? I certainly know as well as anyone does that what actually matters is that the team with the most goals wins. Every year there are teams that put up decent advanced stats and don’t do well. So I’m not saying that because the numbers were good under Julien that Montreal was destined to do well. What I am trying to say is with advanced stats that good I would have more faith that Julien’s Canadiens could get out of their funk than the current iteration.

More and more I’m starting to think that the playoff run had less to do with Ducharme’s tactics and more to do with the player core, led by Carey Price and Shea Weber, willing Montreal through the playoffs.

It’s hard to put a finger on one or two things that are making it difficult for this team to win. Certainly, I think the fact Montreal’s forwards are primarily responsible for zone exits is causing the rushing game to be ineffectual. Look at Artturi Lehkonen’s goal against the Nashville Predators. He started the breakout at one end and finished the goal at the other. That’s a lot of responsibility on one player and, in my opinion, is not something to be relied upon.

I usually like to end off my articles on a positive note, but would double negative notes do?

Ducharme and the players have both said multiple times, “the plan is there, the problem is in execution.” If old-school hockey thinking is to always take responsibility, then I would say the players are trying to, and the coach is not.

At the end of the day, if the execution has failed so much to this point, it has to be either a problem with the communication of the plan, the practising of the plan, or the plan itself.

 

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https://montrealgazette.com/sports/hockey/nhl/hockey-inside-out/what-the-puck-canadiens-change-needs-to-start-with-a-new-head-coach

What the Puck: Canadiens' change needs to start with a new head coach

Things are going from bad to worse for the Canadiens and management needs to act. First thing to do is fire coach Dominique Ducharme.

Author of the article:

Brendan Kelly  •  Montreal Gazette

 

 

.............................

They made it to the final because Carey Price played like he’s never played before, Shea Weber took the team under his iron grip, Corey Perry provided much inspiration and the group gelled in magical fashion.

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NHL teams in a playoff position on Thanksgiving Night have ended up making the playoffs 77% of the time in the salary cap era.

Notably that’s 77% of the time for both the four-division (74/96) and six-division (86/112) formats.

*excluding shortened seasons
**going by Pts% not Pts.

Does bergebin really think we have a chance? Too bad he's NOT an analytics guy. It could have saved him & us, a lot of grief.

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