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The Chicoutimi Cucumber

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Everything posted by The Chicoutimi Cucumber

  1. I get that Poehling stands to be a very effective two-way FW. But people seem to be seeing him as an offensive star in the making - yet he's never neen that at any level, right? Once we get past the usual breathless excitement at a kid playing well , what's a realistic projection? A strong top-9 FW who can sometimes gust into the top-6?
  2. Good, I always think the Hokeyville towns especially deserve to see some legit NHLers, even if they won't get to see a legit NHL game. It's the least teams can do.
  3. Also vets generally coast during training camp. The guy's been a regular for five years, albeit in a different market, so he probably isn't interested in giving it his all at this juncture. So, I'd rate it as a file to watch, but not one to get overly fretful about just yet.
  4. Hmmm. Should we be worried about Chiarot? Or is this premature? LD is not exactly an area of strength to begin with.
  5. I guess that's true - as usual, you are excellent at seeing the big picture. I'm just disappointed in the fact that we lack anything resembling a top-pairing LD (indeed, the team has not meaningfully upgraded at all, as far as I can see) and am mentally combing the scrapheap, even though it serves no real organizational purpose.
  6. I know the analogy is quite imperfect, but one could also argue that between Kulak and even Reilly, the Habs have shown some skill in getting value out of castaway young-ish defencemen. (Of course a pessimist could retort that this says more about the dismal state of the Habs' blueline depth than about their excellence in rehabilitating young defencemen. But that is unlikely to be MB's interpretation). Also it fits with the "Bargain Basement Bergy" paradigm to take a flyer on a Honka, assuming the asking price to be modest. Plus "Honka" is a sure-fire entry in the NHL's Best Surname Sweepstakes. I've said this before, but it surprises me a little bit that the Habs have not been linked to Ben Hutton. The kid had a rebound year last season and seemed to show himself to be a serviceable bottom pairing, puck-moving LD. Probably an upgrade on Reilly, who never won the coach's trust. He would also seem to be an attractive candidate for Bargain Basement Bergy to try rehabiliating. Ah well.
  7. Let's hope it crashes and burns spectacularly
  8. It's probably too top-heavy, eh? A bit of a Pttsburgh model. I was surprised they didn't move Nylander, who I like a lot as an exciting skilled player, but who is probably the odd man out of their youthful core. But maybe they are waiting for his value to creep back up after his disastrous season last year. If you flip a Nylander for prospects/picks, you are better positiond to keep up a pipeline of cheap young talent coming up to supplement the core.
  9. I agree, but you can't really expect a bunch of jocks to come up with clever monikers - especially jocks who cultivate the boring PR image of most hockey players. Much of the problem is that the hockey media are letting us down. A lot of the great nicknames of the past were coined by hockey writers: "The Chicoutimi Cucumber," "The Stratford Streak," "Boom Boom," "The Rocket/Pocket Rocket," "The Golden Jet," and, of course, that all-time favourite: "Red Light Racicot!" I still remember that headline for a Red Fisher story. Inspired. "Breakaway Byron" is not in that league, but come on, it's obvious. (Incidentally, "The Flower" was, I think, a great nickname for #10. I know it was just a literal translation of his surname, but I loved how non-jock, non-macho it was - like Pierre Trudeau's lapel rose, it captured perfectly the elegance and panache of his game).
  10. I never understood why he's not nicknamed "Breakaway Byron." Seems so obvious.
  11. I have trouble seeing Winnipeg being in "win now" mode when their blueline has been decimated. My guess is that this would be a transitional season for them. Total side-note here, but I was surprised to learn that Gallagher is 27 I guess, because he came up with Galchenyuk, I irrationally tend to think of him as about Galy's age - as a kid only now coming to maturity. But of course he came up at a later age than Galy. It's kind of amazing, when you're an old codger like myself, to contemplate the speed with which the average NHLer's career comes and goes. Gally has already been part of one young up-and-coming Habs team that went to crap and has a chance to be part of, at most, one more such team before he's likely done. By and large, these careers are mayflies.
  12. Given that I'm one of the inexplicably small number of Habs fans who actually thinks MB should have done something to improve the team, I sure would welcome a September surprise. Here's hoping.
  13. Well, if by some miracle the Jets are (a) dumb enough to trade Laine and (b) dumb enough to prefer Drouin over Domi, why, we should be all over that like Ron Hextall on Chris Chelios.
  14. Yeah, much as I love Domi, Laine is a potential superstar. You make that deal.
  15. Good point about the backup...but then again Kinkaid's numbers were so atrocious last year that I am not too excited about him. You're right about the fine margins. Fair point. Then again, we can flip that point around. The team missed by two points - a healthy and non-regressed Weber will make up the gap, right? Well, maybe not. What if Gallagher gets hurt? Or Domi? My point here is just to say that, rather than settle for marginal improvement (if we have even that), we gave ourselves a bigger margin of error. Instead we are basically standing pat with a bubble team and hoping the breaks go our way this time around. Fundamentally, I do not understand why fans are satisfied with that. I'm being honest here. I just don't get it. Now if someone wants to reiterate the point that the offseason isn't over yet, more could still happen - hey, I agree. But as of right now, I see no reason to be particularly excited or especially optimistic. We have a bubble team just like last year! Yaaaaaaaaay!
  16. Boy, I barely know what we're arguing about any more. The idea that Poehling is going to displace Domi is ridiculous, period. What is the point of writing long posts defending or attacking a ridiculous idea? That said, HEART's underlying question about how this team is going to improve next year, given the loss of Shaw, is entirely valid. What is not valid is answering it through unrealistic projections about what rookies will bring to the roster. Rookies are usually a project; you ease them into the lineup and manage their minutes. They are seldom the ticket to immediate improvement. So, forget that. So, where does the improvement come from? Well, Chiarot probably represents a modest upgrade on Benn. But I find it hard to believe that Bet Chiarot is some big difference-maker. Beyond that, we'd have to hope that young or young-ish players like Arnia, KoKo or Mete - players with upside, who are no longer rookies - can improve. And of course we can hope that Weber both stays healthy all year and does not see any regression in his game due to advancing age. That seems to be about it. As it stands right now, MB has done precisely jack-sh*t to improve the roster. Therefore, we have to just cross our fingers that KoKo suffers no sophomore jinx, that Mete progresses, and that Weber stays injury- and regression-free. Why do you think I have opted out of the general bubbly optimism around here? This team regularly sits on millions in cap room and did little to improve on a roster that missed the playoffs.
  17. Oh, I agree with all of this. In talking about an "offensive lift-off" I was vaguely referencing some sources I'd read suggesting that he'd added some oomph to his offensive game, but basically I was trying to be as charitable as I could to the "other side" of the argument. (For my pains, I was downvoted, of course). I agree with everything you say in this post, and that others have said since my earlier post arguing that the idea of Poehling replacing Domi at C is ridiculous. 100%. Ironically, Poehling's first game may now create problems with the fan narrative around him. I can just see it: "why is this guy struggling? It's because they're not giving him offensive opportunities! Fire the coach!!" Etc. I predict he will become the new Lars Eller, a third-line C who some fans continually pine to see in a top-6 role, and blame the organization if he does not ascend to such a role. Anyone expecting ANY of the Habs' prospects to step in and make an impact this season is almost certainly delusional. Prospects almost always have to be eased into the NHL game. KoKo had an unusually excellent rookie season and scored all of 34 points...and if memory serves faded significantly as the season ground on. That is pretty much the absolute best that can be expected, and he is the best "prospect"-aged kid in the system. Expect less rather than more from rookies. What bugs me is that wave after wave of rookies come up without fans ever figuring this out.
  18. Poehling might grow into a top-6 C. It's possible given the lift-off that his offensive game displayed in the minors, after he was drafted as more of a two-way guy. What I'm skeptical about is that he will step in and be a #2C next season, his rookie year. And even in the highly unlikely event that he plays like a top-6 FW consistently, it is probably more realistic that *he* would be the guy placed on the wing next to Domi, rather than the other way around. Here's another way to put it: Poehling is 99% guaranteed NOT to be a better player, or better C, than Max Domi next season. My general attitude can be summed up as follows. Rookies rarely step in and make a consistent impact. That's just reality. And that's why I generally don't get too excited about what they will add to the roster, in that first season. Call me a pessimist all you want, but the list of Habs rookies/prospects that people got all excited about is practically endless - and of all of them, only a small handful actually bucked the odds and had an immediate impact. (Indeed, most of them amounted to nothing or relatively little as NHL players in general, never mind as rookies).
  19. Shrinking the goaie gear is a no-brainer, provided it can be done safely. The trapezoid may actually help with scoring, since it prevents goalies from playing Third Defenceman back there. The goalie crease *should* mean something, even if brain-dead NHL officiating is incapable of actualizing that.
  20. It is highly unlikely that Poehling will just step into a top-6 NHL C slot. And it is even more unlikely that he will outperform Domi's impressive 72 points. We have seen over and over and over that, apart from rare outliers like Price, Subban, and Gallagher - prospects hardly ever come in and make a big impact. (And hell, even Price and Gally crashed a couple of years in, before recovering; and Subban was benched for five games). And yet wave after wave of prospect comes up with all tbese unrealistic assumptions about what they might be able to do.We never learn. This post also illustrates what I mean about Domi being overlooked as a C. If I told you tomorrow that Poehling would become a 60-point C, folks would be clicking their heels. Meanwhile we have a 23-year-old 72-point C and quite a few people overlook this, or else talk about moving him to W for some reason. Domi's production is that of a legit #1C in the NHL. Let's internalize that, finally.
  21. Yeah, Domi FINALLY gives the Habs a legit top-6 C. It's funny how often commentators and even fans fail to acknowledge this. Whoops, I completely forgot about Weal! My bad.
  22. Ok, but - who is 4th on our depth chart at RW?
  23. It's hard to see what harm a PTO would do. Excluding the kids, he is competing with Dale Weise and probably represents an upgrade on him.
  24. Always agreed with that. To me, that strategy says that the GM values managerial ego - fear of being made to look bad by the guy you traded away - more than winning.
  25. My memory may be hazy, but I seem to recall many commentaries on this site and elsewhere talking about the "steep price" St Louis paid to get O'Reilly.
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