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The Chicoutimi Cucumber

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The Chicoutimi Cucumber last won the day on March 13

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About The Chicoutimi Cucumber

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    NHL Hall of Fame

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  • Favourite Habs
    Price. All-time favourites: Roy, Subban, Koivu.

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  1. 4 Teams - 1 Playoff Race

    Personally, I want Columbus to lose, just to see them punished for flatulently trading away picks in a pathetic attempt to achieve a first-round playoff exit.
  2. Habs vs Blackhawks

    Just for the record, I didn't say Weber won't be able to "play at a high level for many years to come." What I'm saying is that he has begun, or is about to begin, his decline from being a #1 defenceman, probably to becoming a #2-3. PK Subban, God love him, is irrelevant to that discussion.
  3. Habs vs Blackhawks

    I expressed serious concern over Pleks before he cratered. And it had less to do with cap hit than with the problem that we had no organizational plan for succeeding him. Just like we have no obvious plan for succeeding Weber. I like the Markov parallel. After 2013 Markov was no longer a legit #1. Fortunately we had Subban coming up to take the load off, and he could sort of ease into his role as a #2-3 guy. What I’m saying should not be controversial, really: a d-man going on 34 is entering his decline. No duh! And yet people have this mystical belief in Weber’s exemption from the normal laws of aging. Again: I really think I’m right about this, and that no amount of denial or wishful thinking will make the reality of imminent decline disappear.
  4. The Habs in three years: a heavy-duty Cup threat?

    I don’t believe Poehling projects as a #1 C, does he? Also Karlsson and Weber are both RD.
  5. Habs vs Blackhawks

    That’s all fair. But I stand by what I said. He is 33 with over a decade of brutally hard minutes behind him. I heard similar rebuttals when I raised concerns over Pleks having discernible dips in performance: don’t worry, he is Mr Reliable, etc. What we we will probably see with Weber are stretches where he looks like his old great self, followed by more of these dips where he looks slow and off kilter. Everyone will continue making excuses for him during these latter periods, until finally they stop doing so and realize he’s no longer 27. Then we will settle into lower expectations for him. I predict that within two years he will no longer be a #1 d-man and may be better placed as a second pairing guy. Of course we have no replacement in the system, so some fans will no doubt play ostrich.
  6. 4 Teams - 1 Playoff Race

    I agree. I don't think you build a winning culture and organization by doing your best to lose, year in and year out, until that magical moment when you are favoured to win it all. Tanking doesn't work half the time anyway (c.f. Edmonton and Florida). Meanwhile your veterans want out and UFAs won't touch you with a 10-foot pole. Incidentally, two of the better teams in the East - TB and Boston - got where they are *without tanking.* They do it by astoundingly good drafting and development. (Those organizations are on another level from MB's Habs and I see no sign of that changing any time soon, unfortunately). I'm always sourly amused when people forget such examples. Of course, following them requires having the right people in place managerially. Don't tank. Strive for league-best excellence in all areas of your operation and instill a total dedication to winning. You may not win the Cup, but success will be your reward.
  7. 2018-19 NHL General Discussion Thread

    I can't believe anyone is getting upset over a squib like Kenny Agostino
  8. The Habs in three years: a heavy-duty Cup threat?

    My prospect projections were based on some reading - I'm no prospect expert - but I was shooting for 'reasonable optimism' on that front. I do have a really good gut feeling about Suzuki. Even so, there are no high-end stars in my lineup above. Only a 34-year old Price and a declining Weber. As Commandant notes, turning that into an elite team is not impossible. But a lot of things will have to to go just right for that to happen, including a #1LD UFA signing here (unlesd we can somehow trade for one). This is not an organization that you look at and go, 'phew, in a few years they are going to be scary.' The likeliest scenario is yet another era of being good, not great.
  9. Habs vs Blackhawks

    Wasn't it Weal who blew the coverage on Chicago's second goal? So much for his infallible defensive acumen.19 minutes for Weal *is* ridiculous, That said, I've seen this movie 100 times before. Coach wants X out of young player; young player doesn't provide it; coach bumps him down the lineup; fans howl with outrage. It happens on almost every team and is a normal - perhaps necessary - part of player development.
  10. Habs vs Blackhawks

    Subban is also having an injury-compromised year. But my point was not about The Trade, but rather about Shea Weber.
  11. Habs vs Blackhawks

    It's a sign that he is becoming more injury prone - itself a symptom of age and, therefore, decline.
  12. The Habs in three years: a heavy-duty Cup threat?

    They're not going to be trading high-impact guys on expiring contracts. They are a bubble team and therefore will be fighting to make the playoffs, which means they'll keep such players for stretch drives. And anyhow, even if they did trade 'em, the pucks/prospects returned for those good-not-great players would be unlikely to help us by 2021-22. That leaves UFA signings. So a pessimistic but not unrealistic reading is to say the Habs do not currently have the organizational pieces to be serious contenders in three years. They're going to be relying on UFA home runs and/or home runs at the trade table to pull that off.
  13. Habs vs Blackhawks

    I get that everyone is down, but the fact is the Habs came to play tonight. They just ran into Crawford playing a phenomenal game. That said, I agree that putting Galchenyuk - oops, I mean Kostitsyn - oops, I mean Drouin out there at the end was indeed stupid. But that's not why they lost. Crawford is. People may jump down my throat, but I think the sub-par play of Weber has been a significant contributor to the Habs' mediocrity lately. They count on him to eat huge minutes error-free. A dip in his performance ramifies for everyone. Personally I believe this stretch marks the first visible indicator of his inevitable decline. He'll bounce back, probably, but what we're seeing is the emergence of a Weber who us either more prone to injury than before, or else who needs his minutes managed. Oh well.
  14. 4 Teams - 1 Playoff Race

    It's not about will and character. It's about the players not being good enough.
  15. I think about this a lot: when will the Habs be a true contender? Not just a good team, a playoff team that might get hot and go on a miracle run, but a top-5 threat to win the Cup. I've got a bit of time off from work and thought I'd play the game of trying to project the Habs' lineup in three years. This seems a reasonable time-frame. 2021-22 will represent Bergevin's 9th year as GM and the fourth year of the current 'retooling' job. I note ages and hopefully realistic extrapolations over point totals in cases where this seems useful. My questions are twofold: first, is this a reasonable extrapolation of the roster in three years? And second, does this look like a real contender? General observations: the Habs have quite a few C in the system, almost too many. Some of these will probably be moved to the wing. The other is that the D still projects to be a tire-fire IMHO, especially with Weber's likely decline from first-pairing D-man (which we have already seen serious signs of over the past weeks). Finally, if Drouin's fairly flat development arc continues, this team will have issues all the way down the left side of the lineup. CUKE'S PROVISIONAL VERDICT: good team, probably not a real contender. Bergevin is gonna need either some shrewd and high-impact UFA signings, or else about two more home-run trades of the Galchenyuk/Patches variety, in order to make it happen. LW Drouin - 65 pts Evans?? Lehkonen ? C Kotkaniemi - 70 pts Domi - 60 pts Poehling - 45 pts Danuault? RW Suzuki - 60 pts Gallagher Jlonen? - 40 pts Shaw (30, still under contract, probably damaged goods) or Byron (32 still under contract, probably no longer any good) RD Weber - 36 years old, likely a 2nd pairing d-man at this point Brook - 30 points? Perhaps a 2nd-pairing guy? Juulsen LD Mete - probably a 2nd pairing d-man Kulak? Romanov? G Price (34 years old, probably still Henrik Lundqvist) Pennywise the Clown