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2021-22 State of the Habs


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23 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

 But again, look at Paquette, Perreault, Savard, and Montembeault and tell me which of them is helping the team and can't be replaced by a league-average player?

Honesty, other than Perrault whom as you've stated has been just okay, if I didn't know any better and thought MB was smarter than he is, I'd think he did this on purpose to prove a point to the French media. "So you want francophone players do yeah?" This is how useless I think these players are to our team. Obviously this is not the case.

13 hours ago, ChiLla said:

 

I understand the necessity of signing Quebec-born players, it's a requirement to some degree, but there's no point in adding French-speaking plugs and spare parts just for the sake of it and reach some sort of quota/contingent.

I simply do not understand the necessity of signing Quebec-born players. I wish we had a GM (who would have to be French to pull it off) simply explain to the media that winning is all that matters. Take it or leave it. I believe the majority of fans would be fine with that. It would only be a loud minority who would protest. 

9 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

The organization made a great move in drafting Sergachev and getting a guy who could have taken over, but then they dealt him for Drouin. As we've discussed, in isolation that's not necessarily a bad move, but in the big picture of things, you traded away your only heir apparent at top 4 LHD.

I truly believe this is yet again tied to the French language thing. I think that the moment Yzerman offered Drouin in the trade, MB's hand was forced. Could you imagine if he turned down that trade and the French media caught wind of it? They would go ballistic. 

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4 minutes ago, MuddyWaterMoose said:

I truly believe this is yet again tied to the French language thing. I think that the moment Yzerman offered Drouin in the trade, MB's hand was forced. Could you imagine if he turned down that trade and the French media caught wind of it? They would go ballistic. 

This is a very good point. The other thing is that Drouin was young and established. We can look back on the deal in a revisionist matter but at the time it seemed like it was "can't fail" (purely from a player to player swap, not positionally, which didnt make sense then & still doesnt now).  Yzerman took all the risk but it was mitigated by the fact that either he made that trade & hoped Sergachev would work out, or he would lose a quality player to the Knights in expansion. 

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Michael, you were lucky Montreal signed you .  And trade U ?? to who , no one wanted you before that 

 

I went to the coach's office a lot to make my case, but I was constantly told that I was not playing because of the salary cap. It was all they knew how to tell me, it seems! I said to them: 'ok, but trade me, in that case!' They didn't want to hear anything."

 

https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/ex-nh-ler-michael-frolik-says-canadiens-put-an-end-to-my-nhl-career-altogether-162327049.html

Ex-NHLer Michael Frolik says Canadiens 'put an end to my NHL career altogether'

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5 hours ago, habsisme said:

2012: agree

2013: I remember thinking why not take Hartman if you wanted that type of player. It's not that they missed Shea Thedore, its that they don't even get the Hartman's of the world in the first found. 

2014: They also missed on Kempe

2015: again we keep not getting the few stars that are left but also we get almost nothing in return. The 2 picks following ours were Larson and Beauvillier, either would have helped this team but we got ZERO

The rest agree and maybe too early. 

I do agree that MB needs to value puck moving D more and need to get rid of guys a little earlier but I only caution that you can get into a bit of a perpetual rebuild too. I don't think you move on from a price or a gallagher. But should he have moved pleks and markov and petry before he did (if he ever did)? Yeah I think so. 

Right now unless I'm actually getting something significant, I'm not going to get rid of players just for the sake of doing it. But we could look at some of our older wingers and try to shop them at least. But why get rid of toffoli and hoffman when they could be the wingers of Wright next year? You gotta get something of value back because those are still good players. 

Sure, Hartman and Kempe are better than the guys we picked. I didn't include them because my point would be this: so what if we picked them? They're middle 6 wingers and probably 3rd or 4th liners on our depth chart on the wing if they're here. It doesn't solve the problem we have of not having top 6 centers or top-pairing D men. Hartman and Kempe aren't moving the needle here and if free agency has been any indication, it's not hard to find middle 6 wingers to sign. We got Toffoli for free. We got Hoffman for free. We got Armia for free in a deal in exchange for taking on a moderately-bad contract. We got Tatar as a throw-in and probably could have kept him if we so chose. We got Gionta for free. We got Cammalleri for free. We got Byron for free and Radulov for free. So you miss on drafting a Hartman or a Kempe and frankly you can make up for that by finding a depth winger later in the draft (Gallagher, Lehkonen, etc.) or signing/trading for them.

What you can't find easily elsewhere are top 6 centers (Crosby, McDavid, Draisaitl, Malkin, Barkov, Toews, etc.), elite scoring wingers (Ovechkin, Kane, D. Sedin, etc.) and top-flight D men (Hedman, Karlsson, Subban, Heiskanen, Makar, etc.). So this is why I come back to either needing to get top 5 picks to get access to these players in their prime or you need to get lucky with a later pick. Guaranteed not one team thought Subban, Kucherov, Gallagher, Markov, Lidstrom, etc. would be as good as they ended up being or they would have been drafted much higher. But the odds of getting an NHL regular after the first round are maybe 10% and the odds of finding a bona fide star are under 5%. You can't bank on getting lucky with a player panning out. So you want a legit shot at star players who move the needle? You need top 5 picks. Either you need to be bad enough to end up in that draft position or you need to win the lottery or you need to trade assets for other teams' draft picks. You can't bank on winning the lottery, so again, this is why I've said over and over that the worst thing you can do for your franchise is be mediocre and end up with picks in the 14-22 range every year, never really challenging for a Cup and never being bad enough to secure top-end talent that makes you better. The best thing that could happen for this franchise would be to get an elite player at the top end of the draft AND make more trades like the ones that brought the likes of Suzuki or Pacioretty to Montreal... get those extra 1st round picks to give yourselves more shots at finding elite talent.

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7 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

Sure, Hartman and Kempe are better than the guys we picked. I didn't include them because my point would be this: so what if we picked them? They're middle 6 wingers and probably 3rd or 4th liners on our depth chart on the wing if they're here. It doesn't solve the problem we have of not having top 6 centers or top-pairing D men. Hartman and Kempe aren't moving the needle here and if free agency has been any indication, it's not hard to find middle 6 wingers to sign. We got Toffoli for free. We got Hoffman for free. We got Armia for free in a deal in exchange for taking on a moderately-bad contract. We got Tatar as a throw-in and probably could have kept him if we so chose. We got Gionta for free. We got Cammalleri for free. We got Byron for free and Radulov for free. So you miss on drafting a Hartman or a Kempe and frankly you can make up for that by finding a depth winger later in the draft (Gallagher, Lehkonen, etc.) or signing/trading for them.

What you can't find easily elsewhere are top 6 centers (Crosby, McDavid, Draisaitl, Malkin, Barkov, Toews, etc.), elite scoring wingers (Ovechkin, Kane, D. Sedin, etc.) and top-flight D men (Hedman, Karlsson, Subban, Heiskanen, Makar, etc.). So this is why I come back to either needing to get top 5 picks to get access to these players in their prime or you need to get lucky with a later pick. Guaranteed not one team thought Subban, Kucherov, Gallagher, Markov, Lidstrom, etc. would be as good as they ended up being or they would have been drafted much higher. But the odds of getting an NHL regular after the first round are maybe 10% and the odds of finding a bona fide star are under 5%. You can't bank on getting lucky with a player panning out. So you want a legit shot at star players who move the needle? You need top 5 picks. Either you need to be bad enough to end up in that draft position or you need to win the lottery or you need to trade assets for other teams' draft picks. You can't bank on winning the lottery, so again, this is why I've said over and over that the worst thing you can do for your franchise is be mediocre and end up with picks in the 14-22 range every year, never really challenging for a Cup and never being bad enough to secure top-end talent that makes you better. The best thing that could happen for this franchise would be to get an elite player at the top end of the draft AND make more trades like the ones that brought the likes of Suzuki or Pacioretty to Montreal... get those extra 1st round picks to give yourselves more shots at finding elite talent.

Well I definitely agree with you on what we need to do at this point. I guess what matters now is how much we value each player. 

I get the impression some people would trade price and retain half his salary for a 7th. To me that's crazy! He's still capable of being elite, same with Gallagher and Petry. There is value in keeping them as well. But yes it's time for a rebuild. 

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29 minutes ago, Regis22 said:

Michael, you were lucky Montreal signed you .  And trade U ?? to who , no one wanted you before that 

 

I went to the coach's office a lot to make my case, but I was constantly told that I was not playing because of the salary cap. It was all they knew how to tell me, it seems! I said to them: 'ok, but trade me, in that case!' They didn't want to hear anything."

 

https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/ex-nh-ler-michael-frolik-says-canadiens-put-an-end-to-my-nhl-career-altogether-162327049.html

Ex-NHLer Michael Frolik says Canadiens 'put an end to my NHL career altogether'

No Michael, you put an end to your own Career.   last 3 seasons in league declining numbers ... in 8 games with Habs you had 0 pts.  Year before with Sabres 4 in 19 and 10 in 38 with Flames.    

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A look at the bottom of the overall NHL standings this afternoon!

28.     Seattle       13       4     8     1     9

29.  Chicago        14       3      9     2    8

30.     Ottawa       12       3      8     1    7

31.  Montreal       14      3     10    1    7

32.   Arizona        12       1     10    1    3

Habs in good company.  I know.  It's still early. Just passed by Chicago.

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Eastern                       GP     W        L    OTL       Pts 

 

Florida                        13      10       2       1           21

Carolina                      11      10       1      0           20

NY Rangers                13       7       3       3           17

Washington               12        6       2       4           16

Detroit                        14        7       5       2           16

Toronto                      13        7       5       1           15

Tampa Bay                12        6       3       3           15

Columbus                  10        7       3       0          14

Philadelphia                10        6       2       2           14

New Jersey                 11        6       3       2           14

NY Islanders               10        5       3       2           12

Boston                        10        6       4        0          12

Pittsburg                     11        4       3        4          12

Buffalo                        12        5       5        2          12

Ottawa                       12         3      8        1            7

Montreal                    14         3     10        1           7

 
 
 

If Playoffs started today, Teams in black bold, are in @ present.

Tough to figure out, who Boston & NYI will displace, once they play a few more games. And Pittsburg?

So, we're 7 points back of Columbus, who have 4 games in hand.

We're 1-2-1 on this present homestand.

We are 31st.  out of 32 teams.

I know.  I know.  It's still early. yada. yada.  So.  When do we start to worry?!?

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7 hours ago, electron58 said:


 

If Playoffs started today, Teams in black bold, are in @ present.

Tough to figure out, who Boston & NYI will displace, once they play a few more games. And Pittsburg?

So, we're 7 points back of Columbus, who have 4 games in hand.

We're 1-2-1 on this present homestand.

We are 31st.  out of 32 teams.

I know.  I know.  It's still early. yada. yada.  So.  When do we start to worry?!?

Depends what you're worrying about. I didn't think this team would make the playoffs, so I expected them to not be in a favorable spot in the standings based on their roster composition. With that in mind, I would almost say we're "better off" than I thought we would be, because I figured we'd be ranked a little higher, thus having a worse draft pick while still missing the playoffs. If we really finish down the standings then at least we get compensation for our bad season.

As far as playoff odds go, sportsclubstats has us at a 1% chance of making the post-season now. We'd have to go 43-25 (.632 winning percentage, or a 104-point pace over an entire season) the rest of the way just to have a better than 50% chance of making the post-season. To put that in perspective, the last time the Habs had that good a record was 2014-15, when they finished 2nd overall in the league. So not holding my breathe about that happening. Until the defence composition/philosophy is changed and until the center line is deepened, I don't think we're going anywhere, and seeing the D make-up change likely requires a change at GM.

So my only worry now is whether Geoff Molson finally wakes up and fires Bergevin.

 

 

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7 hours ago, electron58 said:

I know.  I know.  It's still early. yada. yada.  So.  When do we start to worry?!?

Nothing to worry about . Buckle your seat belt and enjoy the ride . Look at the last five years . Three they didn’t make the playoffs . One they made it because of the added bye in round and they beat Pittsburgh in a short series , and last year although they went to the finals they had the worst record of all teams that qualified.  This year back to a regular schedule and key players gone , I didn’t expect them to make the playoffs but then I didn’t expect it to be this baD . It is what it is . The team needs help in pretty much all areas  except wing . 

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If we look at MB's key off-season additions, interesting to note that the worst 4 players on the Habs by advanced stats are (starting from worst) Perreault, Hoffman, Savard, and Dvorak. Every single one of them has been weak as far as possession. That said, conversely, our top 6 are (starting from best) Pezzetta, Belzile, Lehkonen, Wideman, Brooks, and Paquette. Niku also has pretty good advanced stats, with a high expected goals for %.

So what does all this mean? The 4th line seems to be holding their own and playing reasonably well, and the 3rd-pairing puck-moving D men are also doing their jobs. But the big problems remain a failure of the top 9 forwards and top 4 D men to do anything, and given that they play 80-90% of the game, this means the end results haven't been favorable.

If we look at the Big 4 flops in terms of acquisitions though, the trends were there to see before we signed any of them:

- Hoffman has been a negative possession player in 4 of the last 6 seasons, and his best result was a 50.37% Corsi, so just barely positive. His value is on the PP, where he's been decent but where the team as a whole has struggled, and Hoffman is hurting us at even strength. It suggests he's probably a player who should be playing lower down the line line-up with less minutes at ES and more exclusively big minutes on the PP.

- Perreault conversely has been a positive possession player most of his career, but his numbers dropped 3 years ago and then his last two years with Winnipeg were negative, including last year in the weak North division. The writing has been on the wall that his level of play has fallen off progressively over the past few years as he's aged.

- Dvorak, as I went over when we traded for him, was a negative possession player in 4 of his 5 years in Arizona, and his only positive year was barely over 50% like Hoffman. So once again, no surprise that he's being dominated here in Montreal. As I've said, he's a middle 6 center probably best-suited to being a 3C and certainly not worth a 1st and 2nd round pick. His production has been lower than predicted, but his overall play is largely concordant with what we would have projected from his career to date. I've been largely disappointed with his lack of engagement on the ice as well.

- Savard is probably the worst addition of the bunch, having signed a 4-year deal. MB claimed he's a perfect replacement for Weber, but Weber was a much better offensive weapon, a more intimidating hitter, and a better possession player. Savard has been a negative possession player in 8 of his 9 seasons in the NHL. We've seen him frequently caught out of position here and slow on his feet, and this is largely what his advanced stats show in the past. He's a guy who gets hemmed in a lot, so no surprise. He's very clearly a 3rd-pairing D man (and not a great one at that) and he's been outplayed by every other D man on the team so far this year.

So yeah, Niku and Wideman and Brooks have had better success, but for the most part, the "big" additions MB made have flopped. Keep in mind that Hoffman, Dvorak, Perreault, and Savard were also brought in to more or less replace in order Tatar, Danault, Kotkaniemi, and Weber, and those 4 guys have been strong possession players most of their careers. So we've gone from giving big minutes to guys who possess the puck to giving big minutes to guys who spend most of their night chasing it. Not surprising to see the change in outcomes of games. You don't have the puck, you don't score as much. You don't have the puck, you spend more time defending and giving up chances, and you spend more time wearing yourself down and taking penalties. Not that hard to understand.

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2 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

If we look at MB's key off-season additions, interesting to note that the worst 4 players on the Habs by advanced stats are (starting from worst) Perreault, Hoffman, Savard, and Dvorak. Every single one of them has been weak as far as possession. That said, conversely, our top 6 are (starting from best) Pezzetta, Belzile, Lehkonen, Wideman, Brooks, and Paquette. Niku also has pretty good advanced stats, with a high expected goals for %.

So what does all this mean? The 4th line seems to be holding their own and playing reasonably well, and the 3rd-pairing puck-moving D men are also doing their jobs. But the big problems remain a failure of the top 9 forwards and top 4 D men to do anything, and given that they play 80-90% of the game, this means the end results haven't been favorable.

If we look at the Big 4 flops in terms of acquisitions though, the trends were there to see before we signed any of them:

This season for the long run is probably a bit of a blessing for a series of reasons 1) Looks like MB has flopped again on acquiring a game changing d-man - wasted $ on Alzner, and looks to have wasted money on Savard 2) Made a bad public relations decision on over picking Mailloux - who I still think will pan out 3) Perhaps this is the year when Molson finally gets rid of MB and get someone who can effectively plan 4) Looks like we will get a top 10 draft pick - maybe a crack at Shane Wright and there looks like a couple of other centres in the draft that could have some ceilings (Lambert, Savoie)

 

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12 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

Depends what you're worrying about. I didn't think this team would make the playoffs, so I expected them to not be in a favorable spot in the standings based on their roster composition. With that in mind, I would almost say we're "better off" than I thought we would be, because I figured we'd be ranked a little higher, thus having a worse draft pick while still missing the playoffs. If we really finish down the standings then at least we get compensation for our bad season.

As far as playoff odds go, sportsclubstats has us at a 1% chance of making the post-season now. We'd have to go 43-25 (.632 winning percentage, or a 104-point pace over an entire season) the rest of the way just to have a better than 50% chance of making the post-season. To put that in perspective, the last time the Habs had that good a record was 2014-15, when they finished 2nd overall in the league. So not holding my breathe about that happening. Until the defence composition/philosophy is changed and until the center line is deepened, I don't think we're going anywhere, and seeing the D make-up change likely requires a change at GM.

So my only worry now is whether Geoff Molson finally wakes up and fires Bergevin.

Yes. Not really worrying about anything. Just  some people felt it was early and we would turn it around once we jelled as a team. I have to admit, that I didn't think we'd be this bad. Now,  I  just wanta fight for Wright. Molson has to get rid of bergebin soon. A new GM can use the rest of the season to make assessments & deals. A new GM would have an easier time getting rid of players,  as he would not have any emotional attachments to them. 

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6 hours ago, claremont said:

2) Made a bad public relations decision on over picking Mailloux - who I still think will pan out.

2 hours ago, Regis22 said:

You have more faith than I do.

I think Mailloux will pan out,  as well. Just not sure, if it'll be with the Habs.

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10 hours ago, electron58 said:

I think Mailloux will pan out,  as well. Just not sure, if it'll be with the Habs.

I agree and certainly hope it's with the Habs,  I'm sure he will learn his lesson from his punishment and turn out to be an excellent player.  He certainly has the size and talent

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1 hour ago, 26NCounting said:

I agree and certainly hope it's with the Habs,  I'm sure he will learn his lesson from his punishment and turn out to be an excellent player.  He certainly has the size and talent

Not a fan of the Mailloux pick, but he's part of the organization now. Hopefully he learns from his mistake, continues to grow as a young man, and becomes a person and player Montreal can be proud of.

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1 minute ago, jennifer_rocket said:

Not a fan of the Mailloux pick, but he's part of the organization now. Hopefully he learns from his mistake, continues to grow as a young man, and becomes a person and player Montreal can be proud of.

Certainly we picked him a little early (despite his wishes and transgression), but at 6-3 and 210 lbs plus with a cannon of a shot and Right handed defenceman, he may fill a void in the prospect pool. He will have one shadow that haunts him for a long time, so I hope that he learns from the peer pressure mistake he made.

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8 hours ago, 26NCounting said:

I agree and certainly hope it's with the Habs,  I'm sure he will learn his lesson from his punishment and turn out to be an excellent player.  He certainly has the size and talent

For sure. & the thing is, he was a minor at the time. If it happened here, the documents would be sealed.  As it was, he didn't try to deny it. He owned up to it, and was willing to face the consequences,  although,  who made the OHL judge & jury? 

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7 hours ago, jennifer_rocket said:

Good decision. No harm in seeing what they do when inserted into Montreal's lineup. Worst case scenario Poehling goes back to Laval and Norlinder plays another year in Sweden.

If Norlinder doesn't get hurt, I see him going back to Sweden.  He sure gets hurt a lot. Seems fragile. I'm not worried about Poehling. Would have been nice to see him stay in Laval for at least a half season. He seems to get hurt a lot too. I hope he's not fragile?

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7 hours ago, jennifer_rocket said:

Not a fan of the Mailloux pick, but he's part of the organization now. Hopefully he learns from his mistake, continues to grow as a young man, and becomes a person and player Montreal can be proud of.

It sure confirmed bergebin to be the hypocrite that he is.I don't mind Mailloux,  but the optics at the time were everything the Habs shunned. Bad PR.  But again,  as a minor, he made a mistake. I'm confident, that he learns from it.

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