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The Chicoutimi Cucumber

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Everything posted by The Chicoutimi Cucumber

  1. Permanent Rumour Thread

    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.
  2. Permanent Rumour Thread

    Yeah, much as I love Domi, Laine is a potential superstar. You make that deal.
  3. Stuff moved from the Rumour thread that isn't rumours

    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!
  4. Stuff moved from the Rumour thread that isn't rumours

    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.
  5. Stuff moved from the Rumour thread that isn't rumours

    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.
  6. Stuff moved from the Rumour thread that isn't rumours

    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).
  7. 2019 NHL Offseason Thread

    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.
  8. Stuff moved from the Rumour thread that isn't rumours

    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.
  9. Stuff moved from the Rumour thread that isn't rumours

    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.
  10. Permanent Rumour Thread

    Ok, but - who is 4th on our depth chart at RW?
  11. Permanent Rumour Thread

    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.
  12. 2019 NHL Offseason Thread

    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.
  13. 2019 NHL Offseason Thread

    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.
  14. Stuff moved from the Rumour thread that isn't rumours

    The issue is not whether there are "perfect teams" (Tampa seems close, on paper; God knows what happened in the playoffs) or whether there are GMs who "fix every weakness." That's a crazy, artificial binary. Of course every team has holes, and of course every GM tries to fix them. But it *is* fair to suggest that, as busy a bee as Bergevin has been, he has not been very good at fixing glaring roster problems. He had a team that needed a top-6 C for years and did nothing to fix that. In fact, he waited around twiddling his thumbs until Plekanec's game cratered from old age, and then suddenly was stuck with a team that had zero top-6 C. Indeed, it took him from 2012 to 2018 (!) to add a single clear-cut top-6 C to the roster in Max Domi. No wonder the team has a mediocre record over that span. Similarly, he has had at least one major hole on the blueline (LD) since 2017, and has done jack-squat to address that too, at least so far. (By contrast, he *did* go out and get Jeff Petry to help solidify RD a few years back. I don't say he's never done anything. But has he done enough?). When he did add a major piece in Radulov, he couldn't hold onto him. Hell, even the backup G position has been inadequate, for, like, years. Meanwhile, the single biggest move he made, the Weber deal, was a lateral move in nearly every sense, and did not tangibly improve the team. The Drouin deal, less said the better. All that did was compound the organizational hole at LD. When people say Bergevin "has done nothing," they're falling into hyperbole, which invites the easy riposte that "no, he's done stuff." That's the wrong argument. The issue is whether that "stuff" fixed major roster holes. Too often, it didn't.
  15. Stuff moved from the Rumour thread that isn't rumours

    As I've said before, I have no real problem with people arguing that we are now at MB 2.0 - that as of the summer of 2018 or so, he switched gears and entered his second act as GM - and having faith that this time around it will all work out. Sure, I continue to believe it's unduly optimistic, but it's a defensible attitude. My problem is when people try to argue that he's done a bang-up job for his tenure overall. Au contraire. He basically sucked balls (or if you prefer a more genteel phrasing, he was mediocre - "not very good for his tenure as a whole," as you put it). I never rule out the possibility of a guy learning and improving. I just wish we were putting our faith in someone who had a track record of success instead of failure. I'll admit that I also resent the fact that he was never held accountable for the garbage he inflicted upon us for 6-7 years, as he protected his bum-buddies Therrien and Lefebvre instead of insisting on excellence - because this lack of accountability does not speak to a sound organizational culture, and it emanates from the very top, i.e., Kegmeister Molson. The track record is part of what dilutes my optimism about MB 2.0.
  16. Stuff moved from the Rumour thread that isn't rumours

    How many playoff misses will it take before MB defenders think he should be fired, I wonder? If we miss this season, does that do the trick? I don't see why Habs29's post has three downvotes. He is quite right that data requires context, and also quite right that - in the main - the longer MB has been GM, the worse the results have gotten. The overall uptick last year doesn't change the fact that the team still missed the playoffs, after all. If that's a fine season, then the bar is just too damned low around here. The argument that the talent pool is good and the organization is now trending the right direction makes some sense. But saying that is quite different from redeeming MB's body of work to this point, which would indeed have been completely unacceptable for any Habs' GM prior to Bergevin. We may like the look of the future, but it hasn't happened yet. Taken as a whole - looking at what actually has happened, in terms of results - MB's career has been mediocre at best.
  17. Habs sign Sebastian Aho to offer sheet

    Sure, I agree - the offseason isn't over. But if the appropriate response to what we've seen so far probably should not be panic and hysteria, nor should it be complacency, let alone praise for Bergevin (whose track record does little to inspire confidence). Instead it should probably be a degree of unease or restlessness: when/how is he going to make this team better?? So far, crickets...and let's keep in mind what a lot of folks on this site seem to forget, which is that the status quo (a non-playoff team) is utterly unacceptable.
  18. Habs sign Sebastian Aho to offer sheet

    In terms of the Habs' moves so far - not just the Aho farce - this seems like a fair analysis: https://www.habseyesontheprize.com/analysis/2019/7/13/20686892/montreal-canadiens-front-office-made-quite-few-moves-this-off-season-but-will-they-pay-off-analysis I guess the folks who are Jim Dandy with the Bergevin regime trust that we will receive considerable improvement from within, as guys like KoKo and Meat (and even Drouin) have more experience, and we can add a Poehling or Suzuki to the mix. (They also assume, I guess, that these rookies will fit right in and have strong overall seasons; that there will be no "sophomore slump" from KoKo; etc.; in other words, that everything with our young players will go right). Therefore, it's perfectly OK that the summer moves were classic Bergevin, i.e., "lateral" moves that leave the team no better than it was before. For the grouchier types like myself, it's all a bit head-scratching. Isn't the whole point to improve the team - ? Why is standing pat OK when your team missed the dance last year? I don't really get the complacency. Here we have a GM who has not made a failed team discernably better (at least so far). And the fans are happy as clams. I wonder if the hyperbole of some of MB's critics ("worst GM since Milbury" etc.) has not pushed others into excessive optimism about his merits.
  19. Stuff moved from the Rumour thread that isn't rumours

    Yeah, I can see the argument that, after years of flailing around, MB finally has the organization moving in a coherent direction and the propect/young talent pool looks good. I find it unduly optimistic, based on faith, but it's a defensible viewpoint. But the idea that he has done a great job over his tenure? Untenable short of some magical thinking that ignores actual results.
  20. Stuff moved from the Rumour thread that isn't rumours

    Above average in what sense - ?
  21. Stuff moved from the Rumour thread that isn't rumours

    Personally, I ignore downvotes. It's a way for people to say "I disagree with this post." So what? In terms of your metaphor, the issue is: what IS the "pudding" in question? Is it next year alone? So if the Habs make the playoffs and maybe win a round, MB is officially a good GM? Or, is the "pudding" eight years of mediocrity? I take the latter view. If I've been on a job for eight years and the overall results have been weak, it's fair to say I'm not very good at my job. As for the theory that MB has learned from his mistakes and now embarking upon a much more impressive Second Act, yes. That is possible. But like I said before, it's rooted mostly in faith. The track record is mediocre. I'll need more actual evidence (and relatedly, actual success) before I shift my thinking on MB.
  22. Stuff moved from the Rumour thread that isn't rumours

    I knew the comment about MB's timidity would invite derision. And it's true that it wasn't refined enough. Yet there does seem to be a weird risk-aversion in MB; it mostly has to do with money. Thus, he insisted on giving Subban a bridge deal, presumably because he felt Subban was a "risky" player. The result was that Subban had him by the balls three years later and squeezed a $9 million deal out of him. That could have been avoided easily had he not been so timid about committing to Subban in the first place. He also caused the team to crater in 2018 by timidly failing to re-sign Radulov and Markov. Those contracts were too "risky." And he failed to acquire a top-6 C when that was all the team really needed to elevate to the level of top-tier contender; and he is currently replicating this mistake (on a lesser scale) with LD. He held on to idiot Therrien long past his best-before date. He has done nothing to improve the team this year because "the price is too high." And so forth. These all seem to be related to a tendency toward caution. As for his bold moves, Subban for Weber was really a "safe" move for an old-school guy like Bergevin. Weber is a reassuring type whereas Subban was busy pushing envelopes. Too scary. Sergachev-for-Drouin was a bad hockey trade and risky in on-ice terms, but it wasn't actually risky, because with Drouin being a francophone, fan support was guaranteed. Meanwhile, trading Patches was a no-brainer. Any GM would have done that. This doesn't mean it wasn't a great trade; it was. But that wouldn't be my example of bold risk-taking. Galy for Domi was a lateral move on paper, even if it worked out brilliantly. As for the claim that MB is an "above average" GM, this is religious belief rather than rational analysis. How can an "above average GM" have such a mediocre record after eight years? Ridiculous. He had one above-average offseason (summer 2018) and fans are trying to leverage that into overblown claims about how great he is. Even Reggie Houle made a good move now and then. Doesn't follow that he was "above average."
  23. Stuff moved from the Rumour thread that isn't rumours

    His 2018 off-season was first-rate. His 2017 off-season was a disaster. So I'm not sure how we get "2-3 strong years" out of one good year. Yes, it's possible Bergevin has learned from his mistakes and is now poised to have an excellent second act as GM. That'd be good. I always allow for the possibility of people learning and growing. But it's also a hope rooted in sheer faith. His body of work does not inspire grounds for optimism. His history suggests a GM who is excessively cautious, unable to make the big, bold move that elevates the team to the next level; and also one whose petty ego gets in the way of sound decision-making. Chara is a freak. I have no doubt Weber will still be playing in 2-3 years; what I doubt is that he will still be a top-pairing defenceman. I agree that Price is likely to be a top goalie for a while yet, notwithstanding the lingering worry about his injury history. Koko, maybe. You could be right. We'll see. I've had 25 years (!) of this kind of "wait until so-and-so comes up/develops/etc." and have yet to see the Habs become clear-cut top-end contenders. Hell, even when we did manage to develop really elite, stud players (Koivu, Price, Subban) we still could not assemble a single damned top-end contending club. Not even once. Missouri is the "Show Me State." After eight years of being jerked around by the Bergevin mediocrity machine, and a quarter-century of being jerked around by the Habs hype machine, I'm the "Show Me Fan." It'll take more than one lively season in which the team missed the playoffs to make me pick up my pom-poms again.
  24. Stuff moved from the Rumour thread that isn't rumours

    As I say, I accept the view that the Habs now have a good development system and quality prospects in place. The problem is that that is a long way from being a Cup contender, and, as we know from bitter experience, having well-regarded prospects does not in any way guarantee elite status. So when it comes to our young talent, my view is: I'll believe that they are the core of a future contender when I see it, not before. Meanwhile, MB's body of work to date does not provide any grounds for confidence that he knows how to take good raw materials and turn them into a Cup contender. He inherited a strong nucleus in 2013 and turned into a big pile of liquid, dribbling, noisome crap. So what I know is this: 1. the Habs have some fine young players/prospects (albeit none that seem to be top-tier all-star calibre, like an Elias Pettersson, say); 2. the Habs' two best players, the franchise pillars, are 32 and 34 respectively, and one of them has already arguably shown signs of decline; 3. the Habs GM has a track record of failure. The optimism is understandable but excessive IMHO.
  25. Permanent Rumour Thread

    Asinine decisions, but the Habs fanbase showed its true colours the following season, mindlessly getting excited about a team that missed the playoffs. There is no need for accountability and therefore no reason to excel.
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