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Thread: Montreal Canadiens

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    With the Habs and drafting QMJHL prospects it's been a love-hate thing over the years. Sometimes they reach for them and other times they avoid em. I wonder if the Latendresse turnout played into Gainey going so heavy on US high school guys. I just find that a lot of NHL teams find reasons not to draft certain players (focusing on the negative) instead of focusing on what the player does well and his potential.
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmyatt View Post
    I was looking at capgeek.com and seen his name as UFA this year. He's due for raise and I would be fine with the Habs throwing 2.5MM a year at him. He would be a perfect 3rd liner that could easily slide to 2nd when an injury strikes. Also a nice body in from the net for the PP.

    Would love to see them sign Bickel for 4 years at say 2M, maybe even 2.5M (same as Prust). He is exactly what we need - very big, gritty, and with skill - plus he seems to excel in the playoffs, has 4 points in 6 games this year, and similar impact the last few years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thunder View Post
    In terms of the personnel, there's no doubt that's a real bias. I don't intend to debate the merits of that policy. I've learned my lesson during the whole Cunneyworth episode

    But I don't see evidence of this having happened in recent years in terms of the players. The only one that comes to mind is Leblanc --where the organization arguably caved in to media pressure for a draft held at the Bell Center.

    Other than that, I can't think of recent examples of players being drafted or called up solely based on their birthplace.
    yeah you're right about that, they've been much better lately as far as drafting players goes. I agree with the overall sentiment though, these kind of biases should never come into play in an NHL organization, you should always be targetting the guy who will be best for the franchise, whether that's a player, a coach, etc

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    Quote Originally Posted by ross10019 View Post
    In response to Eric's various comments:


    - Size cannot be downplayed when it comes to playoff hockey. Look at the impact of size in the Hawks winning run,a nd how much they suffered when they lost the Brouwers and Byfugliens the next year. Look at Boston's winning run. Lots of it based on having big heavy hitters with skill.
    I'm with Eric here and think that the size card is being way overplayed.

    Did the Hawks have a down year after winning the Cup because they lost the size of Brouwer and Buff or simply because they lost skilled players?

    Obviously, size is an advantage but I think it takes way too much important for some people. If size was the only important thing, the Bruins and Flyers would've won a hell of a lot more Cups.

    When you look at Pittsburgh, Detroit or Chicago's runs to the Cup, I see puck possession skills more than size. I think that's the most important factor in building a contender. Having a team that knows how to control the puck.

    Size is great, there's no denying that. But I just don't think it's as 'Stanley Cup defining' as some believe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by niconasr View Post
    I'm with Eric here and think that the size card is being way overplayed.

    Did the Hawks have a down year after winning the Cup because they lost the size of Brouwer and Buff or simply because they lost skilled players?

    When you look at Pittsburgh, Detroit or Chicago's runs to the Cup, I see puck possession skills more than size. I think that's the most important factor in building a contender. Having a team that knows how to control the puck.

    Size is great, there's no denying that. But I just don't think it's as 'Stanley Cup defining' as some believe.
    Boomo. Exactly.
    And a good goalie. Puck Posession and and a good goalie outweighs Size in a significant way. The Canadiens were even smaller when they ousted Pitts and Wash in 2010.
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    Quote Originally Posted by niconasr View Post
    I'm with Eric here and think that the size card is being way overplayed.

    Did the Hawks have a down year after winning the Cup because they lost the size of Brouwer and Buff or simply because they lost skilled players?

    Obviously, size is an advantage but I think it takes way too much important for some people. If size was the only important thing, the Bruins and Flyers would've won a hell of a lot more Cups.

    When you look at Pittsburgh, Detroit or Chicago's runs to the Cup, I see puck possession skills more than size. I think that's the most important factor in building a contender. Having a team that knows how to control the puck.

    Size is great, there's no denying that. But I just don't think it's as 'Stanley Cup defining' as some believe.

    I agree with you... pre-2010. I think things have changed since then, mainly in terms of what the refs are willing to let go, opening the door to size and toughness playing a bigger role in determining playoff success.

    Detroit and Pittsburgh haven't done all that much in the playoffs since their last Cup wins.

    The Habs in 2010 were a huge anomaly, trust me, they beat Washington and Pittsburgh based on (a) an insanely hot goalie in Halak, especially on the PK, and (b) Cammallerri having an incredible goal-scoring touch. Those were the main reasons, with a ton of heart thrown in (Gorges, Gionta, etc.).

    And what teams have won since?

    Hawks in 2010, with Byfuglien, Ladd, Brouwer playing major roles (plus Hossa, people forget, is a pretty big dude) - Byf and Ladd left the following season, Brouwer the next, and they haven't had nearly as much playoff success since (until this year, if they win let's see how much of an impact guys like Bickell will have had).

    Bruins in 2011. Ask any Canucks fan what they think about whether size made a difference in that final.

    Kings in 2012, with huge contributions from guys like Dwight King and a pretty big/tough team.

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    Quote Originally Posted by niconasr View Post
    I'm with Eric here and think that the size card is being way overplayed.

    Did the Hawks have a down year after winning the Cup because they lost the size of Brouwer and Buff or simply because they lost skilled players?

    Obviously, size is an advantage but I think it takes way too much important for some people. If size was the only important thing, the Bruins and Flyers would've won a hell of a lot more Cups.

    When you look at Pittsburgh, Detroit or Chicago's runs to the Cup, I see puck possession skills more than size. I think that's the most important factor in building a contender. Having a team that knows how to control the puck.

    Size is great, there's no denying that. But I just don't think it's as 'Stanley Cup defining' as some believe.

    It's not a pure size thing, it's not as if we're suggesting that adding a 6'4 250lbs goon to the equation is somehow the silver bullet. It's that to be successful you need balance on your lines and you need complimentary players to make it work. Unless you have just sick talent (like Datsyuk, Crosby, etc) you gotta have a guy on every line who is willing and able to do the grunt work, you gotta have a guy that will goto the net and work in the corners to dig pucks out, that's how you win games. So while in theory it is fine for the Habs to have a bunch of undersized playmakers, in practice it doesn't work as well because there aren't enough guys willing to do the grunt work. And the simple fact of the matter is that bigger guys often fill that role better. So yes it is an oversimplification, but that doesn't make it untrue.

    Fun fact...the Penguins are smaller on average than the Habs! But part of the reason that it works for them on a puck possession level is that guys like Crosby are just otherworldly. As a defender you have to be VERY careful of a guy like Crosby because he'll burn you in milliseconds if you mess up. And therefor he doesn't have to be big or physical to get space and respect. So yeah, if we can land the next Crosby then I happily abandon my entire 'add a little size and grit' argument

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    Quote Originally Posted by ross10019 View Post
    Bruins in 2011. Ask any Canucks fan what they think about whether size made a difference in that final.

    Kings in 2012, with huge contributions from guys like Dwight King and a pretty big/tough team.
    Who won the Conn Smythe for those teams?
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    Player-by-player analysis for the 2012-13 season

    I'm going to start today with forwards. This includes everyone that played at least one game for the Habs. You may agree or disagree with my picks but that's not the point. I will try to justify my answers as well as I can. Just note that not every player will be evaluated based on the same standards because each player's role is different. I am just grading the player for what he did.

    Using letter grades:
    A = excellent
    B = good
    C = average
    D = bad
    F = awful

    Colby Armstrong: D-

    Not a good acquisition. You can't blame the GM for trying - you don't get much for $1 million - but this one didn't pan out. He did not really contribute in any way. The only thing preventing him from getting F is that he logged heavy minutes on the PK.

    Michael Blunden: F

    He only suited up for five games but it is simply amazing to see a guy with his size never use it. His true chance was last season. I don't see much NHL in his future.

    Rene Bourque: C

    Much better than last year but overall just average. He did play himself out of the doghouse that could have led to him being an amnesty buyout. He did well contributing in different ways. Decent secondary winger.

    Erik Cole: F

    He had every opportunity to produce and blew it. He was shipped to Dallas and it appears that the GM cashed out while the price was still high because Cole did not fare better on his new club.

    David Desharnais: C+

    Coming into the NHL Desharnais was the underdog who was never satisfied and always forced himself up the depth chart. This year he received the first big contract of his career and for the first time appeared to look somewhat satisfied. His intensity down the stretch was not where it needs to be and his point total was certainly helped by having Max Pacioretty on his wing. He will have to work harder moving forward because there will be internal pressure from some up-and-coming star centermen.

    Gabriel Dumont: C

    He arrived in Montreal in a depth role and played it well. He is undersized but never hesitated to be strong on the body and on the forecheck. He definitely took a step forward to increase his chances of securing a gig in the NHL full-time.

    Lars Eller: B+

    On many nights he was the team's best forward. He took a major step forward as a playmaker and after some early struggles brought a lot of energy to the team. He is emerging as a guy who can be highly-effective in all three zones.

    Alex Galchenyuk: B-

    It is pretty amazing to see a guy produce as well as he did in just 12 minutes of ice time per game. He did well in puck possession and creating chances. His consistency needs to be better although we must remember that he is still recovering from the missed experience when he was injured during his draft year. Never looked out of place in the NHL.

    Brendan Gallagher: A-

    Gallagher had a great rookie season and immediately became the team's heart and soul up front. He was used in a number of roles and no matter where he was deployed he made his linemates better. Lots of intangibles are factored into this grade.

    Brian Gionta: C-

    He is just too ordinary. At this point he is a cap albatross. He looked good during his first year in Montreal but hasn't been the same since being named captain. He doesn't go to the net enough and rarely elevates his game to "lead" the team when it needs a boost. He does have the gift of goal scoring (pace for 24 goals over 82 games) which is a plus but does not justify his contract.

    Jeff Halpern: C

    He was acquired from waivers to play a specific role and did it well. He finished the season 56% at the faceoff circle in 16 games with the Habs. He helped the penalty kill unit. But he is completely useless offensively so I cannot give him more than C.

    Travis Moen: D-

    Like Armstrong, the only thing keeping Moen from getting F is his contribution on the PK. The one thing he had working for him is his work ethic but that was lost this year. The long, more lucrative contract along with a reduced role did not work for Moen. I am not excited about him being around for three more years.

    Max Pacioretty: B

    He led the team with 39 points and certainly has the gift of getting on the score sheet. One knock against him is that he was less of a net presence this year and instead opted to play more of a perimeter game. He is still young and will find his way.

    Tomas Plekanec: B

    Plekanec is one of the top defensive forwards in the game and never gets credit for it. He ranked second among forwards in points but is maddeningly inconsistent on the score sheet. He is more of a guy who rolls with the chemistry of the line. When it goes well, he is producing. When it is slumping he is not the guy who will help the unit break out.

    Brandon Prust: A-

    He would get A but gets knocked down one peg for his play being counter-productive in the playoffs. Like Gallagher, he makes his line better and can be deployed in any role. He makes things happen on the ice and his work ethic is contagious.

    Michael Ryder: C+

    Everything about Ryder screams average. But he has the gift of scoring goals. He has a great shot and when paired with good playmakers he can be a deadly force. Unfortunately he was exposed down the stretch when the team hit a wall. When he is not scoring he is useless.

    Ryan White: F

    He played a few good games but overall this was a disaster for him and his career. At times he was way over the top and hurting the team with one dumb penalty after another. At other times he was too tame and didn't offer much of anything. The truth is that he can be a pretty good two-way energy line player but rarely showed it this year.

    Next time, defensemen and goalies.
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    And now the rest...

    Nathan Beaulieu: C+

    He did not play much but provided quality minutes while in the NHL. Two points in six games and plus-5 is a good stat line. He is definitely one to watch for next year.

    Francis Bouillon: B

    For the role he had Bouillon provided excellent quality. Provided great physical play in addition to strong work ethic and leadership. His grade would be higher but he did play extensive power play time with next to no results.

    Rafael Diaz: B-

    He missed a large chunk of games due to a concussion but when in the lineup was effective at both ends of the rink. He was a 20-minute guy who played on both the PP and PK. I still wonder if he is too soft to sustain this level of play.

    David Drewiske: C-

    He played 10 games in Montreal after being acquired on deadline day. He was decent. Good insurance policy, but not much else. He was surpassed by others on the depth chart. Do not expect to see him back next year.

    Alexei Emelin: C+

    He is not the sharpest knife in the drawer but his physical play is an asset. He also found a way to produce offensively with the help of Andrei Markov. He just needs to pick his spot better to go for the big hit. Even on the play that knocked him out for the year he had crossed the ice surface instead of playing his position.

    Josh Gorges: B

    He is the Habs' version of Dan Girardi. Fearless blocking shots and gives it his all. Plays huge minutes on the PK and is always used against the opposition's best line. He does tend to get banged up and can be out-muscled in front of the net. He would be better if the Habs could land another Gorges-type defender to take a on some of the load.

    Tomas Kaberle: D+

    He was not particularly bad but with the names that surpassed him on the depth chart it's tough to evaluate his season in a positive way. He played good PP minutes but was limited to just three points in 10 games. Amnesty buyout this summer.

    Andrei Markov: B-

    I was originally giving him C+ but his working in helping Emelin and PK Subban post career years offensively it has to reflect positively. Markov bounced back well from his knee injury but has clearly lost a step and is no longer the defensive asset that he used to be. He is more useful for his smarts and his stick work these days.

    Greg Pateryn: D+

    He did not hurt the team while he was up but also didn't offer much. He was practically invisible. For most defensemen that is good because that means he did not get beat. But in this case Pateryn will never have opportunities handed to him and he needed to do more to stand out even in limited minutes.

    PK Subban: A+

    The team's MVP took a huge step forward and is emerging as a star player. The sideshow antics were few and far between. To me the biggest improvement was the fact that unless his shot is deflected it hits the net about 90% of the time. This year he received fewer defensive assignments and everyone benefited. He was also the lone player to really step up and make a mark on the score sheet in the playoffs.

    Jarred Tinordi: B-

    His playoff performance helps his grade as made a good impression with his physical play. His puck moving abilities are also underrated. He is not going to be a point producer but he can make a good first pass. Like Beaulieu, he is one to watch next year.

    Yannick Weber: D+

    Like Kaberle, Weber did not play poorly but found ways to get himself out of the lineup. He typically does not respond well to being in and out of the lineup so unless he is going to be a full-timer (unlikely) I would prefer seeing the team try to trade him.

    Petr Budaj: B-

    Good job overall in a backup role. He has accepted his role and offers good support for Carey Price. I am happy knowing that he will be around for two more years.

    Carey Price: B-

    The workhorse deserves credit for playing as much as he does. He ends up doing part of his backup's job which has to reflect positively on his grade. He tends to have prolonged slumps which hurt the team a lot this year. Normally the schedule would be 82 games and the team would have an extra 34 games to work through the problems which would help Price get his numbers back on track. Bottom line: the next step is to shorten the slumps. The best goalies find ways to bounce back with a big game and limit the slumps to just a game or two instead of having it span over multiple weeks.
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    The Habs officially announced the signing of Magnus Nygren (2 years) and Sebastian Collberg (3 years)

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    Emelin had surgery today and will miss six months.
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    I actually didn't know this until today as I was reading up on it but he tore both his ACL and MCL which sucks. Hopefully he can rehab it and get back to form soon

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    great read on your teams players@!! wanted to ask more about:

    David Desharnais: C+

    what do u see of him across the board going forward (g,a,ppp,sog - specifically if you can ball bark). looking at a deal to get him and im curious what we can expect for the next few years 3-5.
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    Quote Originally Posted by newper114 View Post
    great read on your teams players@!! wanted to ask more about:

    David Desharnais: C+

    what do u see of him across the board going forward (g,a,ppp,sog - specifically if you can ball bark). looking at a deal to get him and im curious what we can expect for the next few years 3-5.
    G/SOG: low. It's been that way for two years and I don't see him suddenly developing a shooter mentality.

    A/PPP: solid. He is a playmaker so these numbers will be up.

    One concern though is that he could be in a situation similar to Daniel Briere in Philly. Briere was thought to be in a great position but the up-and-comers pushed him down the depth chart. I would use caution if I'm acquiring him. Definitely do not pay the 60-point price.
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