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The Chicoutimi Cucumber

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Everything posted by The Chicoutimi Cucumber

  1. The Powerplay

    It helps to have elite talent on the PP. Just saying...
  2. Carey Price

    Is there an explanation for this drop in save %? Equipment changes? Increased league-wide emphasis on speed? Regardless, it remains true that Price has not been great. I take no consolation from the parallel to 2010, since at that point he was still a young guy who had been brought up too soon and was struggling to put it all together. Not do I accept that his being 'just OK' is any kind of balm (not that this is your claim). If Crosby went through a season as a 40-50 point guy, then started a new season on the same pace, legitimate questions would be raised, especially if he'd had major knee issues in the past. Again, I'm not panicking, but I am concerned. Even here in distant Vancouver, it has become common fan knowledge that he's not what he was. Any psychological edge he once had is gone. He needs to get it back, and this organization cannot be chained to a contract like that for an average goalie, if it ever wants to contend.
  3. The season at the 20% mark

    No kidding! Petry is a core piece on this blueline, like it or not; and it's hard right now to perceive who could replace him in the short- to medium-term. Mete's development has stalled, Reilly is dodgy as a top-4 guy, Juulsen, I dunno...it's basically Petry or bust.
  4. 2018-19 NHL General Discussion Thread

    Galy appears, from a distance at least, to be for Arizona exactly what he was for us - an offensively productive C with faceoff 'issues.' The difference is that Arizona is less motivated to irrationally ignore his strengths and obsess over his limitations (at least so far). I don't know how his play has been away from the puck, however.
  5. The Powerplay

    Petry is what he has always been: a second-pairing D-man who is capable of performing well in a top-pairing role for a limited period of time, before he reverts back to his normal level.
  6. The season at the 20% mark

    I think the team will fall back a bit even with Weber returning. Price is a huge X-factor, however; and so is Max Domi. Can he keep playing like an elite #1 C? If he does, then that changes a lot of our calculations about what to expect.
  7. Nov. 10, Golden Knights vs Habs, 7:00 PM

    Domi has been really, really, REALLY impressive. What I notice about him is that he seems to *expect* himself to produce every night. He's giving off the air of a guy who believes his role is to drive the offence - not of a guy who is happily riding a hot streak. Last night he was wholly contained in the first, but just found a way to make it happen as the game ground on. Schlemko, yeah, I thought he was OK.
  8. Nov. 10, Golden Knights vs Habs, 7:00 PM

    Yeah, that game was a hot mess. Entertaining though! If Julien had hair, he'd be ripping it out.
  9. Carey Price

    I hope you're right. Is it possible that injuries have damaged him a bit, though? It's not a slump at this point, it's a season and change. Panic is not warranted, but concern is.
  10. Nov. 10, Golden Knights vs Habs, 7:00 PM

    I thought the team stunk that period. Skating in cement. Galley credited Vegas with clogging up the neutral zone very well, and also with really putting pressure on the Habs' dodgy D down low, and that seems pretty right to me. Yep, although he is a beast out there tonight, I also suspect that we shipped him out at the right time, more or less. Fine asset management for once.
  11. Nov. 8, Buffalo vs Montreal 7:30pm on TSN2, RDS

    It's quite likely that, as Chris says, if the D in front of him evolves into a good, strong D corps, he will look much better. But the thing is, for the first decade of his career it was Price making the D look artificially good. I fear that the back nine is going to be an era where he is still good enough to look elite behind a strong D - relying on positioning to make all the saves he should make - but no longer a guy who can carry a team. That being said, I have not lost faith in the guy. I'm just concerned.
  12. 2018-19 NHL General Discussion Thread

    Canuckleheads score 8 (!) on the Prunes as Jaro Halak (whose presence in Beantown reminds me of the Habs signing of Andy Moog at the tail end of his career) turns into a pumpkin. Amazingly, Van did it without Brock Boeser and with Pettersson being held off the scoresheet. I can't see it lasting, but right now they're up there with the Habs as an early-season Cinderella story.
  13. 2018-19 NHL General Discussion Thread

    I'd been predicting immanent decline for Patches for a while, and this slump is suggestive. He will of course go on a tear eventually but his decline will likely be marked by longer slumps and fewer hot streaks. I have a feeling we moved him at just the right time.
  14. Nov. 8, Buffalo vs Montreal 7:30pm on TSN2, RDS

    I posted words to this effect a couple of games back. He sucked all of last year and he has been average to mediocre this year. There will come a point where we do have to ask if this is what he is now. We're not at that point yet, but this cannot continue.
  15. Tomas Plekanec to be released

    This news really saddens me. I guess the whole idea was to get him to Game 1000, but it still seems an unfortunate end to the career of one of the best, classiest Habs of this era.
  16. Dear Bergevin I am man enough to admit I am sorry

    Well, what is his natural level? What is/was the scouting book on him? Before he got here, I thought of him as a guy who might be a 60-70 point man given linear progression, but whose game was waylaid by injury. I'd assumed him to be a winger, though. I accept the limited parameters of this thread: that the Domi trade is so far shaping up to be a terrific move, and that I, like others, was wrong to denigrate it as just another MB folly. One good trade does not excuse the cataclysmic squandering of the 2014 team - artificially grinding its Cup window shut through a series of idiotic moves and ridiculous misjudgements. And the fact that he destroyed the near-contender he inherited should give us ZERO reason for confidence that he will manage to avoid destroying any future contender he manages to assemble, assuming that he can even get that far without shooting the organization's feet off, like the blundering jackanapse he is.
  17. Dear Bergevin I am man enough to admit I am sorry

    Julien will be gone eventually, so I wouldn't make that my primary desideratum (remember the asinine argument that Weber was a "better fit for Therrien's system" than Subban - Price's wan attempt to justify that trade?). I prefer to look at the players themselves and what they bring to the table. If Galy plays C and does it better than Domi, then we lose the trade. The jury remains out as to whether Galy can become more than "a good 2nd line C" as you have pegged Domi's natural level. If he does, then we lose, regardless of who our coach is, IMHO.
  18. Dear Bergevin I am man enough to admit I am sorry

    Domi has been amazing - as good as anything we would have hoped for from Galy. In no way do I recant my wider condemnation of how Bergevin mismanaged this organization over the past six years. But the early returns from that deal are looking outstanding, so I was wrong to treat the trade as just another folly in the long list. That said, Domi is on a 50-goal pace. That is probably not sustainable. While I have no doubt any longer that he is a quality player, what we're seeing may be a bit like Weber's first six weeks with us, i.e., an explosion of production of almost ridiculous proportions, to be followed by a reversion to much more normal career numbers. Because Domi is so young, this, in his case, would not mean a 'reversion to career norms' in the NHL, but a reversion to earlier expectations of what he would amount to as an NHLer. Whatever else scouts projected for Domi, I doubt a 50-goal season was among them.
  19. 2018-19 NHL General Discussion Thread

    Boeser was obviously a more impactful rookie than Koko has been so far. I mean, he was a stud pretty much off the hop, was the single best player on the ice for the Canucks most nights. The only Habs rookie I can think of making a comparable impact was Subban. (These days The Flow is labouring with a groin pull and still managing to put up points). Kotkaniemi is, at this stage, merely a decent player out there, hanging in with the big boys but not lighting it up. However, Boeser was 20 years old as a rookie, where Kotkaniemi is 18. Those two years make a big difference. That said, we all thought the sky was the limit for Galy as well when he came up at the same age. If we assume a linear progression for Coconut Miami, then maybe he will become as good as Boeser or better. I've seen 'linear progression' go sideways enough times not to book it. I do take the point about Koko being a C though.
  20. 2018-19 NHL General Discussion Thread

    Pettersson looks like something special, all right - not just a star rookie but a potentially game-changing superstar. Boeser, meanwhile, is an absolute stud (even if he had a slightly dodgy start to the season). Add Horvat, a solid top-6 C, and you've got a line that has the potential to dominate the league for the next decade. Once Quinn Hughes makes the jump, I predict the Canucks will suddenly re-appear. They're maybe 2-3 years away from being a top franchise again. (Habs, I believe, have no player in the system who is on a par with Pettersson, Boeser, or Hughes, unfortunately).
  21. Nov, 3, Lightning at Habs, 7:00pm

    I've enjoyed the early season run, obviously, but all along I've been waiting to see if this team will settle back down to its 'level.' The question remains unanswered, but my guess is what we have here is a solid, well-coached team whose lack of elite talent means it likely will be a 'bubble' team. Not a Lose for Hughes team, but quite possibly not a playoff squad either; a middling bunch.The surprise here is that it's done this without Weber. But I actually don't see it as self-evident that Weber's return will automatically mean a basket of wins. For example, we've seen the peculiar phenomenon in the past of the boomer from the point actually yielding a worse overall PP (because everything then becomes funneled to Weber/Subban, a predictable, unimaginative pattern that is ultimately easier to defend against). For that matter, he may return, but some other key guy might get hurt, or hot players like Domi or Petry or Gally may regress, resulting in something close to a wash. Or he may take longer to get up to form than we hope. And so on. Things just don't work in that linear way. As for Price, I'm getting a bit tired of this movie. No, no, of course he does not suck. No, no, you generally can't point to goals against and say, 'well, that was a real stinker.' But that's akin to taking Ovechkin and saying, 'well, he's on a 20-goal pace, that's still pretty good.' Carey Price's JOB is not to be a competent NHL goalie; it is to be, frankly, a superstar goalie. That is his rep. That is how he is paid. And until he starts playing like one of the very top goalies in all of hockey - something he has not done for well over a season now - he is a fair subject for at least moderate criticism. He needs to steal the team some games if they have a realistic chance of making the playoffs. Will the real CP please stand up? Or - scary thought - is this 'pretty decent' goalie now the 'real' Carey Price?
  22. Nov. 1, Caps vs Habs 7:30

    Neech has outdone himself! I would have expected this thread from Torontohab, however
  23. 2018 Bergevin Appreciation Thread

    You know, despite the fact that it doesn't really make sense, there does seem to be something in the idea of certain franchises having identities that define them across generations. You think of the Flyers, you think of gritty, physical teams. Ditto Boston. Sure, at their best they are also very skilled, but there's something to the core identity of those franchises that makes their greatest teams also reliably intimidating teams physically. The 2011 Bruins squad was a perfect expression of Bruins-ness, for example. So were the ultimately unsuccessful Lindros Flyers teams. The Habs also have a historic identity: what used to be called the Flying Frenchmen, a swift-skating, puck-moving team, even in eras when goonery was the rule; often considered 'too small' but with a lot of pluck and determination, and - invariably - with great f**king goaltending to back it up. Sure, we've had tough guys and muscle too, the Fergusons and Nilans and the perfect mix of both in, say, Larry Robinson. But think of any classic Habs team (except maybe the Burns-era teams) and that's what you think of, a team that plays very much the kind of game that we are seeing from this group. It's not that this team is in the same league as classic Habs clubs; heck it's far from clear that they are really a playoff team. But what I am saying is that this team, so far, has returned to the classic 'Montreal Canadiens' style of hockey. We played like this in 2008, and again in 2010 and 2011, the Smurf Years; once more in 2014 and 2015 and then lost the plot, as Bergevin wasted years and burned the prime of an entire core trying to make us older, slower, and stronger. A catastrophic mistake, of course. The Habs should always default to skating, skating, skating. It's what the has always meant.
  24. 2018 Bergevin Appreciation Thread

    Boy...Domi has 11 points in 10 games. Those are #1C numbers! If he can somehow keep that up, then that was an outstanding trade. Didn't see that coming, that's for sure.
  25. Oct. 20, Montreal vs Ottawa, 7 PM

    Well - that is not what happens after 20 minutes. Say what you like about CJ, he us not a complete, drooling moron.