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The Chicoutimi Cucumber

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Everything posted by The Chicoutimi Cucumber

  1. No, not really. French guys receive a whole other level of media mollycoddling in Montreal. Let-s say Kovy II continues to bang away as a legit top-line W until season's end, then wants to get paid like a legit top-line W on a 2-year deal, or take somewhat less on a 3-year deal. MB's pattern to this point is that he will 'try,' but the player was unreasonable, and making a deal was too 'tough.' Shrug shrug shrug.
  2. Yeah, yeah. I didn't say he *will* bust. Maybe Commandant is right and he becomes Kopitar 2.0. But as I've noted before, elite young players nowadays generally look much more impressive than he has thus far. And my main point there, which is (naturally)nbeing ignored as peopke rush in to defend their baby, is that IF KK turns out to be merely a decent player, it makes the future look considerably dimmer. And feankly, anyone who watches KK and says 'wow, that guy is going to be a real impact player!' night after night is watching different games from me.
  3. I knew that comment would freak people out, but I'm thinking more about his inability to sign Radulov or re-sign Markov or go all-in on Aho. He handles nickels like manhole covers, which has its benefits, but also its downside; one downside being the likely loss of Kovalchuck. (On the specifics, the Drouin trade was risk-free because of the PR subsidy a franco 'star' always enjoys; and all of MB's dealings with Subban were marked by risk-averse conservatism. You will never hear me slagging the Domi deal, which was a gem).
  4. The increasing likelihood that KK will not emerge as an elite player really puts a crimp in all the 'we'll contend in three years' stuff, IMHO. The projected organizational charts sure look better if we pretend that KK is destined to be a stud. If he doesn't work put that way, it weakens the picture considerably.
  5. I'm glad someone pointed this out. It's like the mythical trading of a bad contract to a cap floor team...only slightly less rare than a unicorn. If we trade him, he's gone for good, especially with a GM as risk-averse as MB.
  6. I'm no fan of KK, but they're not sending him down. Domi is an interesting case. A dynamic offensive player, much more productive at C, and gives you the offence of a legit top-6 C. But his defensive coverage and decision-making is sketchy. (We could say the same of Suzuki, but he hasn't been in the league five years, like Domi. In the case of Mad Max, you have to think that what we see might be what we get in this regard). A really good team, then, probably would not have Domi at C...yet his value at W is more limited. Much as I like the kid, then, it's possible that he will turn out to be one of those guys who is well-suited for weaker teams, i.e., teams that are willing to accept significant holes in a centreman's game because they need the production. That's different from a team built on the classic Cup-winning mold of strength down the middle.
  7. Indeed. That said, whenever he gets a scoring chance, I automatically assume it's not going in, and this is a safe assumption. Lehks is thus a frustrating guy on a team with an eviscerated top-6, because he's not one of those tweeners who can move up and down the lineup and produce - he's an old-school checking forward. Nothing wrong with that at all. In the 1980s he'd have been a prospective Selke candidate.
  8. MB takes forever to fix anything. This team is not going to "go for" anything except a playoff spot next year.
  9. The directive was a "reset" or "retool," not a "rebuild." Just saying. I tend to agree that we don't have enough prospects and young talent to be a truly elite contender in 3-4 years, but it's doubtful that trading Kovy II will get you back a player who would tilt the equation decisively. I do get the idea of "accumulate all the picks you can and hope some hit," though.
  10. You don't have to sell me. But the MB era has not exactly been marked with these sorts of joyful decisions about popular and flashy players. Subban was traded, Radulov allowed to walk, Markov cut loose. We can probably expect the same fate for Kovy II, especially if management concludes that a playoff charge is unrealistic. Even if they don't, I wouldn't be surprised at all if MB decides he doesn't like Kovalchuky's contract demands and lets him walk on July 1. Joylessness, thy name is Habs.
  11. Victory snatched from the jaws of defeat snatched from the jaws of victory! And that right there is why I think there would be significant interest in CP if he were to be on the block. They'd go, "boy...imagine him with our strong team in front of him...#StanleyCup" I'm often slightly fuddled by coaches' choices of guys to go on the shootout. Cousins? (I mean, I know he had two, but still). Armia? Why not Domi, who was flying and hungry in OT? This is not about attacking CJ, more about head-scratching. At least he had the sense to put our Kovy II and Tuna. What a shame Kovalucky is probably as good as gone...
  12. In the process of blowing it...as usual 😫 Price left to his own devices repeatedly. Sheesh
  13. ...and Weise gets what is probably his last point in the NHL, an assist. Nice goal by Cousins.
  14. Hey, I said earlier in the season that this was a decent team and berated MB for not giving it the added resources needed to get over the bubble. He finally did add those pieces, but - true to form - probably too late for them to overcome the hole created by injuries. So I was moderately 'positive' about the team, if not uncritical of its management, and somewhat skeptical about likely success of the reset. It's not either-or. I aspire to be positive where positvity is warranted and critical where critique is warranted. Given that the Habs have been a disaster since 2015, any unmixed positivity about this organization is just servile stupidity (or delusion) in my book.
  15. It all depends on the return. I do think both players could have massive value to a contender, where the fit is right. I wouldn't trade both of them, but I would definitely be open to trading one. Frankly, I think it's much easier to get a good G than a top-pairing blueliner, and that's why I've written positively on this site about moving #31 if the opportunity arises.
  16. I agree that MB has done much better in the past two years (although I'm still annoyed at his failure to upgrade the team last summer). But I think you're gesturing toward a fundamental problem with the entire 'reset' model, which is that Weber and Price are getting old. They will have aged out, or be aging out, by the time the kids hit their primes, and they are the top talents in the entire system. If we do the thought exercise of adding an impactful Romanov and Suzuki while subtracting Weber and Price - and I know this is a highly simplified heuristic device - it clarifies this problem. Such a team would be no better. It might be worse. So I'm not saying the reset for sure won't succeed, but when the best talents in your reset are in their mid-30s, that should give pause. Ce n'est pas evident.
  17. I'd be inclined to agree with this. The backup is important, however - it needs to be someone who can play a significant number of games, because I don't believe Price can carry the load he used to. He needs fewer games in order to be the 'real' Carey Price over an entire season. And that means we need a backup who is close to a 1A. The other concern is the back end. Our chronic problem of blown opportunities should go away when the injured guts return, especially if we keep Kovy II. But the team this year has been prone to catastrophic, almost comical, breakdowns in its own end. Any regression from the big three (Petry, Chiarot, Weber) will lead to further disaster. So that could be the Achilles Heel. A whole lot - maybe too much - is riding on Romanov back there. So, I do think you're right, but a couple of things need to happen to make it so. In any case, I'm not a 'tanker,' and so have no real issue with re-signing Kovy II provided his trade value is not super-high. Thjngs have been complete shite in Montreal for years now. He at least gives us some glamour and fun.
  18. One question we hardly ever discuss is: when do we want/expect the Habs to be a serious team again? Next year? The year after? Or is it the fabled "three year window?" If we don't expect the habs to be any good over the next two years, then re-signing Kovalchuk seems a bit pointless, assuming you can get value back for him at the deadline. Rebuilding teams don't typically invest in 36-year-olds who probably don't have more than a couple of years left in the tank. We'd have the oldest core in the history of rebuilding teams! Also, if Kovy II actually would like to win something rather than play out the string in futility, perhaps he'd prefer to sign elsewhere anyhow, given demand for his services.
  19. A brilliant pick-up. 👍 Kovalchucky still has some jam. Scandella is OK too. I liked those moves right away, and only wish they had happened sooner.
  20. I believe this is so, otherwise he'd have canned MB back around 2017. Can't prove it, of course.
  21. You are right, of course. I wouldn't trade both, only one - preferably Price. But as you note, it'd only be worth doing if the return is strong, and Price has to want it. What I don't like is the idea that management has no interest in trading either, when it should be open to exploring the idea at least, not ruling it out on the grounds of "leadership." However, our response to this depends on how we read the word "intention." As Bill Clinton once said, it depends on what the meaning of "is" is.
  22. 🙄 Mr. "Character and Leadership" strikes again
  23. I don't remember previous iterations of this group being quite this hapless on the back end. Now maybe Weber has lost a bit of mobility with age, and maybe Chiarot is being over-extended (actually, there's no "maybe" about it). Petry I always saw as more cyclical, i.e., he'd go through bad patches. Could be a "death of a thousand cuts" thing. Conversely, maybe in the past Price tended to cover up for the gaffes, and this year he's not doing it. On the other hand, which A. Coach is responsible for the defence? Wasn't there a switch in responsibilities last summer - ? I forget, but it might be worth asking about that.
  24. This game basically boils down to injuries. The Habs had lots of chances - they seem to have good cohesion in the O-zone and their speed gets them opportunities - but those chances are going to guys who can't hit the broad side of a barn, like Weal, Cousins, Lehknonen, Mete, etc.. Put Gally, Drouin, even Armia back in the lineup and we probably have more than one goal, at which point the entire complexion of the game changes. The other thing is comical defensive breakdowns. I don't know what's with this group, but that's been happening all season and shows little sign of abating. Put a bunch of cement-hands up front and chronic lapses into confusion in the D-zone, and hey presto, a lottery team.
  25. Yep, Suzuki aligns with that phenomenon that's much more frequent these days: if a kid is going to be an impact player, you can see it almost right away, with no need for rationalizations and excuses born of hopeful thinking. He needs to get the defensive lapses out of his game, but he has great hockey smarts and vision. I think he'll be a legit top-line FW (although whether at C or W is another question).
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