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2021-22 State of the Habs


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12 hours ago, Graeme-1 said:

I'll take the under. Given so far we've only won slightly over 1 in 5 games, winning 4 or more against some pretty good teams would count as a big step forward ...

Well we've won a tad under 30% of our games thus far and I'd have to venture that just about everything has gone wrong... poor play, poor coaching, injuries, bad luck, awful special teams, etc. Are we really going to have special teams this bad the rest of the way? Is Gorton really just going to let the same coaching mistakes go unchecked? Not sure, but by natural regression to the means, there could be a little bit of an improvement. So going 4 out of 10 instead of the predicted 3 out of 10 is not a huge huge difference. But I agree, on paper, it seems like a tall order to get 8 points out of 20 for this squad.

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15 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

Well we've won a tad under 30% of our games thus far and I'd have to venture that just about everything has gone wrong... poor play, poor coaching, injuries, bad luck, awful special teams, etc. Are we really going to have special teams this bad the rest of the way? Is Gorton really just going to let the same coaching mistakes go unchecked? Not sure, but by natural regression to the means, there could be a little bit of an improvement. So going 4 out of 10 instead of the predicted 3 out of 10 is not a huge huge difference. But I agree, on paper, it seems like a tall order to get 8 points out of 20 for this squad.

We've won 6 of 28, so only 21.4%, so 40% would be a decent jump, with that said I generally agreed with the "mean reversion"/ "we can't keep playing this bad" thinking, except I've been saying this all season, and am now starting to shift to "maybe the team really is this bad".

Hope I'm wrong!

Oh and the coaching point is interesting: given Gorton basically said Ducharme has until the end of the season I'm assuming he's safe, but it really is hard to fathom how he's still around, seems like you'd at least give the "new coach bounce" a shot.

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The Montreal Canadiens are 31st overall in the NHL standings with a very good chance of winning the NHL Draft Lottery if the regular season ended now.  And the potential of playing just a couple of hours down the road from his junior town of Kingston is enticing for projected No. 1 pick Shane Wright.    "I wouldn't mind that, yeah," the Frontenacs centre told reporters upon his arrival at Hockey Canada's world junior selection camp. "That'd be an unbelievable place to play. It's obviously such a storied franchise, unbelievable city and the fans are some of the best in the league."  

It would be awesome,  if this played out in our favour.

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5 hours ago, Graeme-1 said:

We've won 6 of 28, so only 21.4%, so 40% would be a decent jump, with that said I generally agreed with the "mean reversion"/ "we can't keep playing this bad" thinking, except I've been saying this all season, and am now starting to shift to "maybe the team really is this bad".

Hope I'm wrong!

Oh and the coaching point is interesting: given Gorton basically said Ducharme has until the end of the season I'm assuming he's safe, but it really is hard to fathom how he's still around, seems like you'd at least give the "new coach bounce" a shot.

You're using strict wins out of games played, and I was referring more to point percentage won (ie to me two OT losses equating to a win), so by that stat we're at 27% point share. The point remains similar, being that it's well below what's acceptable and hard to see miraculous improvements. I think everyone sees this won't be a .600 team. That said, I'm surprised they're not a .450 or .500 team. It's pretty hard to be at .270, and you look at this roster and it just doesn't make a lot of sense. I have 100% been saying that this team was not an elite team or true contender and that being gifted "playoff" appearances the past two years (one from COVID allowing 24 teams in and the other from playing in the weak Canadian division) does not mean we should be thinking this team was better than it is. The Cup finals run was great last year, but it was never going to be reproducible and as I've said, we came one goal away from being knocked out in 5 games in the first round. So this has frankly been a poorly-constructed roster for years: the best roster Bergevin had was what he started with, when he had Price, Subban, and Pacioretty entering their prime, a young Gallagher and Galchenyuk, and a still-useful Plekanec and Markov. He had a real window to try and win with that core that Gainey and Gauthier handed him and he blew it. As much as we can say he won the trades that he tinkered with, the roster wa shurt by poor organizational development and by a failure to address the key positions on a hockey team. I've said this before too, but you look at most Cup winners and contenders and they have elite centers and a true #1 D man. Bergevin has built this team around wingers and depth scoring and hoping for elite goaltending at the right time. That's never been a winning strategy for sustained success in the NHL. The Habs' best bet for building a true contender would be to be downright awful for this year and next, draft high this year and hope to grab Bedard next year.

As for Ducharme, I think Molson and Gorton recognize the season is lost. They're paying Julien this year and then his 5M is off the books. They're paying Ducharme for a couple of years. So they figured no need to pay a third guy to burn with the tire fire. I think they're going to fire Ducharme the moment the season is done and then Gorton is going to bring in a guy he likes and he's going to talk about how it's a fresh start. He doesn't want to associate his new guy with this awful season and Molson doesn't want to pay a third guy.

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1 hour ago, electron58 said:

The Montreal Canadiens are 31st overall in the NHL standings with a very good chance of winning the NHL Draft Lottery if the regular season ended now.  And the potential of playing just a couple of hours down the road from his junior town of Kingston is enticing for projected No. 1 pick Shane Wright.    "I wouldn't mind that, yeah," the Frontenacs centre told reporters upon his arrival at Hockey Canada's world junior selection camp. "That'd be an unbelievable place to play. It's obviously such a storied franchise, unbelievable city and the fans are some of the best in the league."  

It would be awesome,  if this played out in our favour.

We're headed towards a bottom 10 and maybe bottom 5 finish, but I think fans overestimate the likelihood of the #1 pick. It does help us that teams can only move up ten spots this year, meaning teams in the 12-16-ranked spots wouldn't supplant the last-place team even if they won the lottery. And there are only two teams that win this year, not three. So those things help. But even with that, if the Habs were to finish 2nd-last, the odds of their drafting in various spots would be

1st overall: 12.1%

2nd overall: 13.6%

3rd overall: 32.2%

4th overall: 42.2%

So the odds are still way higher that we'd pick 3rd or 4th overall than anything else. The Coyotes in last place right now have a 25.7% chance of first overall, so that's more than double the odds, but still a 55% chance of drafting 3rd. So finishing low guarantees you a good pick, but still not a Shane Wright, and this year's draft isn't as good/deep as nex year's.

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5 hours ago, Graeme-1 said:

Oh and the coaching point is interesting: given Gorton basically said Ducharme has until the end of the season I'm assuming he's safe, but it really is hard to fathom how he's still around, seems like you'd at least give the "new coach bounce" a shot.

unless Gorton really doesnt want to win games this year.   Its one thing to throw games (which obviously no team does and no players would ever be asked to do) but if you put your team in such a horrendous position (BT and I were actually questioning whether the team we could ice with our injured players is actually better than those who are dressed!!) then the losses will come.

I think right now the players are being told:  feeling a bit under the weather? dont risk it.     I really dont think the team wants the potential surge that comes with a new coach!

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3 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

We're headed towards a bottom 10 and maybe bottom 5 finish, but I think fans overestimate the likelihood of the #1 pick. It does help us that teams can only move up ten spots this year, meaning teams in the 12-16-ranked spots wouldn't supplant the last-place team even if they won the lottery. And there are only two teams that win this year, not three. So those things help. But even with that, if the Habs were to finish 2nd-last, the odds of their drafting in various spots would be

1st overall: 12.1%

2nd overall: 13.6%

3rd overall: 32.2%

4th overall: 42.2%

So the odds are still way higher that we'd pick 3rd or 4th overall than anything else. The Coyotes in last place right now have a 25.7% chance of first overall, so that's more than double the odds, but still a 55% chance of drafting 3rd. So finishing low guarantees you a good pick, but still not a Shane Wright, and this year's draft isn't as good/deep as nex year's.

I don’t believe Gorton is in any drastic hurry to make some roster moves unless an unbeatable offer is presented. He should take his time gathering various inputs and doing full player interviews on commitments especially Gallagher, Toffoli and determining who is in for a roster rebuild 

As far as the draft is concerned, while finishing last is ideal for odds, I hope we finish in the bottom 3 to have at worst a top 5 pick. While the draft may not be that deep, there are some excellent players in the top 5 especially Kemell. While Wright is consensus #1 , we should wait to see how both of them and any others perform in the cdn junior tournament showcase before being despondent that we lost out on Wright 

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I can't get into the games this year, I hate watching the team lose then to go and only dress half a team or less like it is the preseason just is not worth my time. I don't want to watch the Habs deliberately lose. I don't want to go through the 4th rebuild in 10 years. I want to watch my favorite team actually go out and play hockey. It would be great if management built a contending team but they do not have to tank for that to happen. We already have a solid lineup and with a few tweaks here and there could be a contender. For instance we could sign Bergeron at the end of the season to relieve some of the burden on Suzuki next season. And trading for Girard or Dunn significantly changes the D make up as well. Even if we barely make th playoffs and go on another magical run it would be far more worth it than suffering through another 3-5 years of tanking and rebuilding.

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57 minutes ago, Regis22 said:

Not going to happen ( making the playoffs this year  ) 

Wasn't saying it was going to happen this year was saying in general I want to see a team that competes every night rather than one that sucks A** every night. I want a winning team that has a shot at the playoffs every year rather than one that doesn't have any hope for 3-5 years then is maybe good for another 5 years before they suck again. Being in a constant state of rebuild/retool is an insult the such a storied franchise. Going 30 years without a cup win is ridiculously insulting to the former players and management. It's like we have become the Sabres, getting top picks every couple of years just to waste them and trade them or letting them walk instead of showing we have faith in them becoming the player we drafted. Confidence is the number one motivator in this League, without it scorers miss the net, D men miss checks and top goalies look like shaky rookies. Let's stop wasting talent like Caufield on the 3rd or 4th line and start showing them they are the future of the franchise and we support them even when they make mistakes. No body is perfect and those who strive for perfection almost always land flat on their faces.

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52 minutes ago, campabee82 said:

Let's stop wasting talent like Caufield on the 3rd or 4th line and start showing them they are the future of the franchise and we support them even when they make mistakes. No body is perfect and those who strive for perfection almost always land flat on their faces.

This, is what it should be all about.  We need to play our young players regularly,  not bench them when they make a mistake, but let them learn from it. To date, DD has been playing the young guys less than 10 minutes a game. And, like you said, campabee82, putting them on the 3rd or 4rth lines, or 3rd defense pairing or press box, is doing nothing for them.

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14 minutes ago, electron58 said:

This, is what it should be all about.  We need to play our young players regularly,  not bench them when they make a mistake, but let them learn from it. To date, DD has been playing the young guys less than 10 minutes a game. And, like you said, campabee82, putting them on the 3rd or 4rth lines, or 3rd defense pairing or press box, is doing nothing for them.

Exactly, this might be a wasted year in terms of the playoffs but every game is a chance for the players to learn and grow and the team to build up the confidence in the young guys instead of tearing them down.

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40 minutes ago, campabee82 said:

Wasn't saying it was going to happen this year was saying in general I want to see a team that competes every night rather than one that sucks A** every night. I want a winning team that has a shot at the playoffs every year rather than one that doesn't have any hope for 3-5 years then is maybe good for another 5 years before they suck again. Being in a constant state of rebuild/retool is an insult the such a storied franchise. Going 30 years without a cup win is ridiculously insulting to the former players and management. It's like we have become the Sabres, getting top picks every couple of years just to waste them and trade them or letting them walk instead of showing we have faith in them becoming the player we drafted. Confidence is the number one motivator in this League, without it scorers miss the net, D men miss checks and top goalies look like shaky rookies. Let's stop wasting talent like Caufield on the 3rd or 4th line and start showing them they are the future of the franchise and we support them even when they make mistakes. No body is perfect and those who strive for perfection almost always land flat on their faces.

Absolutely hear you. I have to find a back-up team in this embarrassing phase. Cheering negatively for the LAFFS has never been stronger so that is only 1 source of keeping my interest and when the LAFFS start to play well, I get so negatively amped. 

You do raise an interesting point - How long before we are able to get some degree of ascension on a plan? 2 years from now are we in the playoffs, 3 years? Who is our core? is our core going to be good enough?

Seems Boston always has a perennial contender. Washington is always in the mix (generational player), same with Colorado. We need to aspire to that level of consistency.

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4 hours ago, campabee82 said:

Exactly, this might be a wasted year in terms of the playoffs but every game is a chance for the players to learn and grow and the team to build up the confidence in the young guys instead of tearing them down.

Absolutely. But you look at the Habs when they had lost seasons in the past and they spent time using the likes of Desharnais and Danault on the 1st lines and Murray and Bouillon and Alzner on D instead of figuring out if young guys like Galchenyuk, Eller, Kotkaniemi, Tinordi, Beaulieu etc. had what it took. You have a wasted season in terms of Cup conquest, but you have 60 games to figure out what various guys can do. Can they play bigger roles? Can they play special teams? What combos work? It's an opportunity to have a 60-game training camp to get ready for next year.

You look at this line-up and there are guys who you're going to want to know what role they can play in the next 2-3 years. Can Suzuki be a true 1C and if so, who is he going to play with? Is Poehling a 3C or more or less? Is Caufield a LW or a RW and what type of player best complements him? Can Clague play the PP and does he have a shot at becoming a top 4 D man? Can Romanov handle tougher match-ups? Is Ylonen ready for an offensive role? These are the things I want to know. Especially with so many injuries it's an opportunity to evaluate the younger guys, and playing Caufield with Perreault and Ylonen with Paquette doesn't teach you much. It teaches you that Perreault isn't good enough to feed CC and that a player like Paquette doesn't generate offensive opportunity for a Ylonen. That's not news. If I'm Gorton, I'm telling DD that he needs to play with the skeleton of what I want the line-up to potentially be next year. So when healthy, give me Drouin with Suzuki and Anderson and figure out if it's worth keeping Drouin into his contract year. Give me Caufield on the left of Poehling and Ylonen and use some guys who can mature together. Give me Evans with Lehkonen as my checking line. On D, let me see what Clague can do next to Petry. Let me see a bit of Norlinder-Romanov later in the year, maybe a bit of Brook at end of season if he's healthy, and maybe even a bit of RHP and Vejdemo on the 4th line. I don't need to see any more of Paquette or Perreault or Savard or even Pezzetta (he's been okay in his role, but I think we know what he does and doesn't do well already).

 

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On 12/10/2021 at 4:42 PM, BigTed3 said:

You're using strict wins out of games played, and I was referring more to point percentage won (ie to me two OT losses equating to a win), so by that stat we're at 27% point share. The point remains similar, being that it's well below what's acceptable and hard to see miraculous improvements. I think everyone sees this won't be a .600 team. That said, I'm surprised they're not a .450 or .500 team. It's pretty hard to be at .270, and you look at this roster and it just doesn't make a lot of sense. I have 100% been saying that this team was not an elite team or true contender and that being gifted "playoff" appearances the past two years (one from COVID allowing 24 teams in and the other from playing in the weak Canadian division) does not mean we should be thinking this team was better than it is. The Cup finals run was great last year, but it was never going to be reproducible and as I've said, we came one goal away from being knocked out in 5 games in the first round. So this has frankly been a poorly-constructed roster for years: the best roster Bergevin had was what he started with, when he had Price, Subban, and Pacioretty entering their prime, a young Gallagher and Galchenyuk, and a still-useful Plekanec and Markov. He had a real window to try and win with that core that Gainey and Gauthier handed him and he blew it. As much as we can say he won the trades that he tinkered with, the roster wa shurt by poor organizational development and by a failure to address the key positions on a hockey team. I've said this before too, but you look at most Cup winners and contenders and they have elite centers and a true #1 D man. Bergevin has built this team around wingers and depth scoring and hoping for elite goaltending at the right time. That's never been a winning strategy for sustained success in the NHL. The Habs' best bet for building a true contender would be to be downright awful for this year and next, draft high this year and hope to grab Bedard next year.

As for Ducharme, I think Molson and Gorton recognize the season is lost. They're paying Julien this year and then his 5M is off the books. They're paying Ducharme for a couple of years. So they figured no need to pay a third guy to burn with the tire fire. I think they're going to fire Ducharme the moment the season is done and then Gorton is going to bring in a guy he likes and he's going to talk about how it's a fresh start. He doesn't want to associate his new guy with this awful season and Molson doesn't want to pay a third guy.

lol yes I refuse to consider overtime losses any sort of win, as much as GMs want us to think otherwise so that 3/4 (or whatever) of them can claim to be "over .500" :D

But ya I think the reasonable expectation of this team was to be a bubble-team: maybe if you get Vezina goaltending that pushes you up the standings, if your goaltending is awful it pushes you down, but base-case would have to be middle of the league. Part of me still thinks, like you stated, this is a decent team that's having bad luck, but the season is 1/3 over, at what point do we need to admit this is a bad team? On paper it doesn't look that bad, but that's largely because of our depth at wing, generally considered the least impactful position. As you've said before, MB's defense + lack of depth at center may be really limiting what our wingers can do. 

For Ducharme, that's true, it's not like there's a reasonable chance fo turning the season around at this point. I guess the important question is if he's hurting development of younger players on the roster or not (I have no idea one way or the other)?  If not, then I suppose there's little reason to try the coaching change.

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On 12/10/2021 at 4:47 PM, BigTed3 said:

We're headed towards a bottom 10 and maybe bottom 5 finish, but I think fans overestimate the likelihood of the #1 pick. It does help us that teams can only move up ten spots this year, meaning teams in the 12-16-ranked spots wouldn't supplant the last-place team even if they won the lottery. And there are only two teams that win this year, not three. So those things help. But even with that, if the Habs were to finish 2nd-last, the odds of their drafting in various spots would be

1st overall: 12.1%

2nd overall: 13.6%

3rd overall: 32.2%

4th overall: 42.2%

So the odds are still way higher that we'd pick 3rd or 4th overall than anything else. The Coyotes in last place right now have a 25.7% chance of first overall, so that's more than double the odds, but still a 55% chance of drafting 3rd. So finishing low guarantees you a good pick, but still not a Shane Wright, and this year's draft isn't as good/deep as nex year's.

This is a great post, frankly I don't really see the point of "tanking" in the current lottery system (unless there were 3 elite prospects followed by steep dropoff: then finishing last would guarantee you one of the 3).

Our season should be focused on the long-term: trade for futures and clear up future cap-space where possible, prioritize playing younger guys and accept mistakes, etc, but I don't think the goal should be to lose.  Another thing that often gets overlooked with tanking is I can't imagine it's very healthy for the young players who are currently there to be losing all the time and not have good players on the team to look up to. I'm not sure if "losing culture" is at the root of the problems in Buffalo and Arizona, who engaged in some of the most explicit tanking we've seen in recent history, but I suspect it may be contributing to their issues.

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1 hour ago, BigTed3 said:

You look at this line-up and there are guys who you're going to want to know what role they can play in the next 2-3 years. Can Suzuki be a true 1C and if so, who is he going to play with? Is Poehling a 3C or more or less? Is Caufield a LW or a RW and what type of player best complements him? Can Clague play the PP and does he have a shot at becoming a top 4 D man? Can Romanov handle tougher match-ups? Is Ylonen ready for an offensive role? These are the things I want to know. Especially with so many injuries it's an opportunity to evaluate the younger guys, and playing Caufield with Perreault and Ylonen with Paquette doesn't teach you much. It teaches you that Perreault isn't good enough to feed CC and that a player like Paquette doesn't generate offensive opportunity for a Ylonen. That's not news. If I'm Gorton, I'm telling DD that he needs to play with the skeleton of what I want the line-up to potentially be next year. So when healthy, give me Drouin with Suzuki and Anderson and figure out if it's worth keeping Drouin into his contract year. Give me Caufield on the left of Poehling and Ylonen and use some guys who can mature together. Give me Evans with Lehkonen as my checking line. On D, let me see what Clague can do next to Petry. Let me see a bit of Norlinder-Romanov later in the year, maybe a bit of Brook at end of season if he's healthy, and maybe even a bit of RHP and Vejdemo on the 4th line. I don't need to see any more of Paquette or Perreault or Savard or even Pezzetta (he's been okay in his role, but I think we know what he does and doesn't do well already).

You need to look at skill and develop experience but you also need to assess heart and personality. A good coaching team can teach skills but if there’s some poor attitudes or quit then then those need to be moved. We may be expecting too much leadership from Drouin or Dvorak’s Or Armia’s demeanor (both appear too even keeled?) may not be what is best for our core. It’s not something we as fans may see, but it’s an essential part of the evaluation process. 
I agree with you on the players you mentioned that are entirely devoid of skill and I don’t care what their attitude is. 

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1 hour ago, BigTed3 said:

Absolutely. But you look at the Habs when they had lost seasons in the past and they spent time using the likes of Desharnais and Danault on the 1st lines and Murray and Bouillon and Alzner on D instead of figuring out if young guys like Galchenyuk, Eller, Kotkaniemi, Tinordi, Beaulieu etc. had what it took. You have a wasted season in terms of Cup conquest, but you have 60 games to figure out what various guys can do. Can they play bigger roles? Can they play special teams? What combos work? It's an opportunity to have a 60-game training camp to get ready for next year.

You look at this line-up and there are guys who you're going to want to know what role they can play in the next 2-3 years. Can Suzuki be a true 1C and if so, who is he going to play with? Is Poehling a 3C or more or less? Is Caufield a LW or a RW and what type of player best complements him? Can Clague play the PP and does he have a shot at becoming a top 4 D man? Can Romanov handle tougher match-ups? Is Ylonen ready for an offensive role? These are the things I want to know. Especially with so many injuries it's an opportunity to evaluate the younger guys, and playing Caufield with Perreault and Ylonen with Paquette doesn't teach you much. It teaches you that Perreault isn't good enough to feed CC and that a player like Paquette doesn't generate offensive opportunity for a Ylonen. That's not news. If I'm Gorton, I'm telling DD that he needs to play with the skeleton of what I want the line-up to potentially be next year. So when healthy, give me Drouin with Suzuki and Anderson and figure out if it's worth keeping Drouin into his contract year. Give me Caufield on the left of Poehling and Ylonen and use some guys who can mature together. Give me Evans with Lehkonen as my checking line. On D, let me see what Clague can do next to Petry. Let me see a bit of Norlinder-Romanov later in the year, maybe a bit of Brook at end of season if he's healthy, and maybe even a bit of RHP and Vejdemo on the 4th line. I don't need to see any more of Paquette or Perreault or Savard or even Pezzetta (he's been okay in his role, but I think we know what he does and doesn't do well already).

 

Unfortunately, Ducharme's interests and the team's interests aren't really aligned right now. He's almost certainly gone next year and needs to do whatever he can to pad his stats and make an argument for staying, or at least to get another shot somewhere in the future.  It's debatable if what he's currently doing is smart in the short-term (sure doesn't seem to be working), but understandable if next 2-3 years isn't his focus.

Even firing him may not do much: unfortunately most coaches are evaluated on much shorter time-frames than GMs, I'm not sure how you really get around this beyond someone from management going behind the bench for the rest of the year, bringing in an established name and making it clear to them & media this year's results don't matter, or bringing in someone who is semi-retired and interested in a short-term stint.

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1 hour ago, BigTed3 said:

Absolutely. But you look at the Habs when they had lost seasons in the past and they spent time using the likes of Desharnais and Danault on the 1st lines and Murray and Bouillon and Alzner on D instead of figuring out if young guys like Galchenyuk, Eller, Kotkaniemi, Tinordi, Beaulieu etc. had what it took. You have a wasted season in terms of Cup conquest, but you have 60 games to figure out what various guys can do. Can they play bigger roles? Can they play special teams? What combos work? It's an opportunity to have a 60-game training camp to get ready for next year.

You look at this line-up and there are guys who you're going to want to know what role they can play in the next 2-3 years. Can Suzuki be a true 1C and if so, who is he going to play with? Is Poehling a 3C or more or less? Is Caufield a LW or a RW and what type of player best complements him? Can Clague play the PP and does he have a shot at becoming a top 4 D man? Can Romanov handle tougher match-ups? Is Ylonen ready for an offensive role? These are the things I want to know. Especially with so many injuries it's an opportunity to evaluate the younger guys, and playing Caufield with Perreault and Ylonen with Paquette doesn't teach you much. It teaches you that Perreault isn't good enough to feed CC and that a player like Paquette doesn't generate offensive opportunity for a Ylonen. That's not news. If I'm Gorton, I'm telling DD that he needs to play with the skeleton of what I want the line-up to potentially be next year. So when healthy, give me Drouin with Suzuki and Anderson and figure out if it's worth keeping Drouin into his contract year. Give me Caufield on the left of Poehling and Ylonen and use some guys who can mature together. Give me Evans with Lehkonen as my checking line. On D, let me see what Clague can do next to Petry. Let me see a bit of Norlinder-Romanov later in the year, maybe a bit of Brook at end of season if he's healthy, and maybe even a bit of RHP and Vejdemo on the 4th line. I don't need to see any more of Paquette or Perreault or Savard or even Pezzetta (he's been okay in his role, but I think we know what he does and doesn't do well already).

 

Yes please Ted everything you said, Romanov is coming into his own and looks down right mean and loving it lol. I want more minutes for him and less for Chiarot.

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13 minutes ago, claremont said:

You need to look at skill and develop experience but you also need to assess heart and personality. A good coaching team can teach skills but if there’s some poor attitudes or quit then then those need to be moved. We may be expecting too much leadership from Drouin or Dvorak’s Or Armia’s demeanor (both appear too even keeled?) may not be what is best for our core. It’s not something we as fans may see, but it’s an essential part of the evaluation process. 
I agree with you on the players you mentioned that are entirely devoid of skill and I don’t care what their attitude is. 

Well Stephane Waite has been an "insider" for the media over the past year, sharing what he learned from his time with the organization. He was pretty clear when he said there aren't a lot of leaders in the Habs room right now and that "after Suzuki, Gallagher, and Petry, there isn't a single guy with leadership qualities on the team." Now grant it, some of the current players weren't there when he was there, but Waite has also stated he's still in contact with the goalies and other members of the team, so he probably still has some idea of what's going on.

You look at some of the other vets on this team though and it's not much of a surprise...

- Drouin has skill and he's reportedly a smart hockey player, but he has a tendency to disappear on the ice at times.

- Armia is extremely inconsistent.

- Dvorak looks like he plays with no emotion.

- Toffoli looks like he's content to be a role player but not much of a guy who picks up the rest of the team

- Savard is barely an NHL player any more, so hard for him to be a role model

- Kulak, Wideman, and Paquette don't even get to dress every game

- Chiarot is likely on his way out and everyone knows it

And above all else, Ducharme seems like he has no clue what's going on or how to fix anything. No leadership, no authority, no answers. All he says to the media is "it's on the players" and "they need to try harder." He's disconnected himself from any responsibility for fixing things. So there's a real void of ownership for how this season has gone. The team almost needs a couple of players to step up and revolt against Ducharme and say enough is enough, we're taking back our team.

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11 minutes ago, Graeme-1 said:

Unfortunately, Ducharme's interests and the team's interests aren't really aligned right now. He's almost certainly gone next year and needs to do whatever he can to pad his stats and make an argument for staying, or at least to get another shot somewhere in the future.  It's debatable if what he's currently doing is smart in the short-term (sure doesn't seem to be working), but understandable if next 2-3 years isn't his focus.

Even firing him may not do much: unfortunately most coaches are evaluated on much shorter time-frames than GMs, I'm not sure how you really get around this beyond someone from management going behind the bench for the rest of the year, bringing in an established name and making it clear to them & media this year's results don't matter, or bringing in someone who is semi-retired and interested in a short-term stint.

Yeah it is a tough one but it has to happen the team needs a simple system with good structure just to get everyone back on track! right now they are lost!

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9 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

Absolutely. But you look at the Habs when they had lost seasons in the past and they spent time using the likes of Desharnais and Danault on the 1st lines and Murray and Bouillon and Alzner on D instead of figuring out if young guys like Galchenyuk, Eller, Kotkaniemi, Tinordi, Beaulieu etc. had what it took. You have a wasted season in terms of Cup conquest, but you have 60 games to figure out what various guys can do. Can they play bigger roles? Can they play special teams? What combos work? It's an opportunity to have a 60-game training camp to get ready for next year.

You look at this line-up and there are guys who you're going to want to know what role they can play in the next 2-3 years. Can Suzuki be a true 1C and if so, who is he going to play with? Is Poehling a 3C or more or less? Is Caufield a LW or a RW and what type of player best complements him? Can Clague play the PP and does he have a shot at becoming a top 4 D man? Can Romanov handle tougher match-ups? Is Ylonen ready for an offensive role? These are the things I want to know. Especially with so many injuries it's an opportunity to evaluate the younger guys, and playing Caufield with Perreault and Ylonen with Paquette doesn't teach you much. It teaches you that Perreault isn't good enough to feed CC and that a player like Paquette doesn't generate offensive opportunity for a Ylonen. That's not news. If I'm Gorton, I'm telling DD that he needs to play with the skeleton of what I want the line-up to potentially be next year. So when healthy, give me Drouin with Suzuki and Anderson and figure out if it's worth keeping Drouin into his contract year. Give me Caufield on the left of Poehling and Ylonen and use some guys who can mature together. Give me Evans with Lehkonen as my checking line. On D, let me see what Clague can do next to Petry. Let me see a bit of Norlinder-Romanov later in the year, maybe a bit of Brook at end of season if he's healthy, and maybe even a bit of RHP and Vejdemo on the 4th line. I don't need to see any more of Paquette or Perreault or Savard or even Pezzetta (he's been okay in his role, but I think we know what he does and doesn't do well already).

 

Could Charlie Lindgren have fit into this organization as a starter or at least a backup?  It seems he has better teammates in St. Louis.  

 

 

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3 hours ago, CANADIENS27 said:

Could Charlie Lindgren have fit into this organization as a starter or at least a backup?  It seems he has better teammates in St. Louis.  

 

 

Nah , he’s only playing due to a bunch of injuries otherwise he’s be in the ahl . 

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