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The Chicoutimi Cucumber

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Everything posted by The Chicoutimi Cucumber

  1. It's not about judging Neech, nor blaming anyone for liking this or that player. But if you track this thread, you find old-timers giving names like Richard, Beliveau, and Harvey...then slightly younger-timers talking Lafleur, Robinson, Dryden, Gainey...then middle-agers like me talking Roy, Carbonneau, Naslund, Muller...and then suddenly we get to fans whose formative memories are of guys like Begin, Bonk, and Bulis. Basically, it's a long slide from the sublime to the ridiculous.
  2. While the '93 team doesn't win without Roy, I agree 100% with Habs29 that that was a damned strong team. They were in the hunt for #1 overall for most of the season until they hit a late skid and ended up, I think, 6th overall. The reason they are so under-rated is, first, they had no offensive superstar in an era that fetishized them, and second, they had young players who would go on to be stars (LeClair and Desjardins) but who were unknowns at the time. In that playoff, they played like the players they would become. That's a key reason they won. The other factor is that Muller, who was a 40-goal, 94-point man and an absolute two-way beast at C, ended up playing in Toronto when he had declined into a bottom-6 player. Because so much of the commentariat is Toronto-focused, *that* Kirk Muller is the guy everyone assumes the Habs had. Typical TO-centric balderdash. He was a stud #1C. Game Two of the Finals remains one of the most astonishing, electrifying games in Cup history, and Habs' history. Sadly it has been forgotten, again because the media hype machine was too busy mourning Toronto's elimination to pay attention. Now as for the thread - great to hear from the real old-timers about the legends of the past. I wish I'd seen Doug Harvey play. His cerebral game sounds like the kind of thing a true aficionado of the sport would savour. No individual players 'made me a fan.' I had two phases of youthful fandom. One was as a little kid in the late '70s. I didn't really understand what was going on, but I did get swept up in Guy Lafleur's stardom - even wrote him a fan letter, and got a package back with a big Lafleur poster and what was basically a form letter. (I also remember thinking Dryden was cool). But I disengaged for a while, picking up the Habs again around 1984-5. And it's from that era that I have clear, specific memories. I'd say the players that most influenced my fandom were -Guy Lafleur. Vague memories of childhood excitement. -Mats Naslund. Boy did I like watching the guy Sather called 'the little pisspot' do his moves and turns just past the opposition blueline. -Stephane Richer. The first player who taught me that unbelievable talent can be squandered. I went from loving Richer to resenting him. The frustration of Richer has informed my reaction to inconsistent, unreliable talents like Galy and Drouin ever since. -Guy Carbonneau. One of the smartest players I ever saw, he taught me the difference between gaudy offensive numbers and true mastery of the game. I could never figure out why he couldn't translate that acumen as a coach. -Patrick Roy. I actually found Roy frustrating from 1987-1992 when he was someimes inconsistent and owned by Neely. But 1993 sealed his greatness. Still the only legitimate Habs' superstar I got to watch as a consciously aware adult.
  3. Also - everybody please stay calm. Practice social distancing. Be sensible. Panic and hoarding are not helping anyone. Our society, like all societies, has been through analogous crises and will come out the other side, like always. Sang froid, Habsland!
  4. A true great has left us. Another sad moment for Habs fans, and for the hockey world writ large. Godspeed, Pocket Rocket! You and Maurice will be scoring up a storm in that great hockey game in the sky.
  5. Boy, that is some iron logic you're showing there. You know what? I'm utterly convinced. Your compelling argumentation, backed by reams of rigorous evidence, has demonstrated beyond any doubt that Timmins has an astonishing, unsurpassable track record of finding REALLY high-end, impact fowards, draft after draft after draft. It truly has been a privilege to behold wave after wave of elite talent flooding into the Bell Centre, year upon year - what a gift to see forward units that leave the 1985 Oilers in the shade through this non stop parade of supremacy: Art Ross after Art Ross, Richard Trophy after Richard Trophy, first All-Star selection after first All-Star selection, it's been a veritable jaw-dropping tsunami of FW bedazzlement! Yaaaaaaay, Timmins! Hell - yaaaaaay, the entire Habs management since 1995!!!!! What have we done to deserve such monumental excellence and achievement? Why, the only downside of Timmins' unrelenting drafting wizardry is finding room in the rafters for all those FW jerseys we're going to have to retire when he's done. HOORAY FOR EVERYTHING!!!!!
  6. 2016 was a disaster, and 2017 became a near-disaster such that Therrien was fired and CJ managed to stabilize a wildly wobbling ship just enough to sink in the first round. Sorry, not buying it. 2013 was at least a promising season, although no one was under any delusion that they were contenders. But if it makes people feel better to argue that we've had five rather than four quality seasons since 1996, be my guest.
  7. Say what you like about Timmins, but his inability to draft a single elite forward in 15 years as chief scout is pretty appalling. MB can spew all the verbal diarrhea about 'luck' that he likes, but at some point it's not luck any more, it's something deeper than that.
  8. 2008 - great regular season, disappointing playoff 2010 - bubble regular season team, Cinderella playoff 2014 - good team, great playoff ruined by Kreider's knee job 2015 - very good season, fell short in playoffs And that's it, since about 1996. Other seasons involved - as Habs29 says - bubble teams with bubble results. At no point in those 25 years have the Habs assembled anything resembling a sustained run of being a strong team. What we've had instead are blips.The closest we came to being the real deal was with the Gauthier-developed core from 2014 & 15. The idea that we've been as good as San Jose over that span is a joke. This is not to deny that SJ must be very frustrating - yes, it-s aggravating when you have a very strong core for 10 years and fail to win. But the big difference is that *SJ had a very strong core.* The Habs have not. We never do.And we still don't. And I'm not even going to address the ridiculous idea that I'm complaining because these aren't the Habs of the 1970s. 😩 All I ask is that the Montreal Canadiens build a team that ranks among the league's best for a sustained period. That's it. And it is a testament to the bottomed-out standards of the Habs fanbase during this Harold Ballard era that that is perceived as an unreasonable, impossible ask.
  9. Shocking how low the bar has become for some Habs fans. A quarter century of mediocrity will do that to a fanbase
  10. F**k I hope so. Just sick and tired of the same thin, dreary gruel.
  11. The reason for complaining is the widespread belief that this isn't 2014 - the thought being that we will get a higher quotient of "peak Price" if he is not driven into the ground, and also if he can have time to work on his game when he hits on of his slumps instead of having to grind his way out of it while the team loses 8 in a row. That said, I don't care if Price plays every game from now until tee time hits, since nothing they do this season matters any more.
  12. We had arguably the top goalie of his generation and wasted his career on (mostly) garbage teams. And no end in sight to the spoilage.
  13. Ding ding I would have split the difference and moved Tatar while keeping Petry, assuming a strong return. You know, it doesn't have to be either/or (as in, either we eject all our core players, or wee keep all our core players).
  14. The beauty of acquiring Dumba is that it would free us up to move Petry and youngify a D-core that is much, much too old, way out of sync with the organization's "developmental" stage. That's a move worth exploring, although how the hell we would get him out of Minny is far from self-evident.
  15. We catch a break in that the Canuckleheads' elite goalie Markstrom has a knee injury. Thatcher Demko has looked solid, though - so maybe not all that much of a break.
  16. That seems to me a very fair analysis. The guy makes good trades but somehow seems never to actually address massive structural roster holes. And I appreciate the discussion over the last few posts. On alfredoh's remark that "this year was the hump year," we can hope. But I seem to remember a lot of people saying that *last* season was the hump year - the year where the org made the pivot from old suckage to youthful up-and-coming. So much for that. Similar things were said in 2011 and again in 2013. That's the trouble, it feels like a perpetual Groundhog Day in Montreal. Right now I struggle to see how next year will be a ton better, and - while I admit to being no prospect expert - our system seems to have great depth but relatively little elite talent. So I also have trouble seeing a Cup anywhere on the horizon. I'd like some convincing, compelling source of hope. And I'm not seeing it.
  17. There is a plan. It's to draft and develop. The plan takes no account of the slowly closing windows of Price and Weber, of course - two players of an elite standing who appear to have no analogue within the system. (That's to say, we seem to have no prospects likely to top out at their level). But you know, it's a plan. What I continue to wonder about is the time frame for when all these picks and prospects can reasonably be expected to be contending. Last year we heard a lot of fan talk about the Habs contending after a "three year" transition period. I notice that that talk has gone away now and that the timeline has gotten a lot vaguer, as has the aspiration of building a heavy-duty contender instead of just a "playoff team." When will Caulfield be a scoring star, Suzuki a 60-70 point C, KK a clear-cut top-6 C, Romanov a reliable top-pairing D, this year's top picks taking regular shifts and helping, etc.? Beyond these particulars: when, if current trends continue, will the Habs contend? Three years from now? Four or five? In other words, what are we being asked to expect, after swallowing hippopotamus excrement pretty much non-stop for a half-decade? Being a senile old man, I remember when Serge Savard took over. He said he had a five-year plan. In Year Five, the Habs went to the Finals (and sadly lost to the Flames). I understand that the league is very different now, but this is Year Two of the reset, and it'd be nice to have a realistic estimate of when to expect a switch from Reset to Contend.
  18. If you don't add significant pieces, and the team stays healthy, then it's a bubble team, just like it was this year. A "bubble team" is not a "playoff team." I'm not ripping my hair out about this fairly inactive deadline, but definitely do not want a repeat of last summer, where basically Bergvin stands around with his d*ck in his hands instead of taking real measures to make the team better. What we saw last year was a nothing deadline followed by "don't worry, there's July 1," then "oh, don't worry, the season hasn't started yet," followed by "OH CRAP THE TEAM IS NO BETTER AND FULL OF INJURIES AND NOW WE SUCK ROCKS." Let's not have a repeat, please.
  19. 😄 I might make that my new avatar if it's OK with you (and if it fits in the digital space allotment)
  20. Moving Tatar is hardly "blowing up the core." He's the guy I'd be shipping out (assuming a competitive return). Petry is a bigger issue because his departure would turn a mediocre blueline into a catastrophic one. As for those persistent Price rumours, now THAT is the unicorn. A trade which - if we get back the kind of return you expect for Price - could really change the parameters of the Habs' future. I am pessimistic that it will happen, but hope it does.
  21. Seems logical. I hope we move at least one of them. But we probably won't, and already quite a few posters here and media commentators are stroking their beards and sagely nodding as if standing pat is a wise move by Bergevin 🙄
  22. I don't believe in tanking, but neither Tatar nor Petry have a future with this club beyond next season. Given that their value is probably has high now as it will ever be, I don't understand not maxing out that value now for at least one of them. I wouldn't trade both, but I would trade one (probably Tatar) if it means getting a high-impact return that could help to further propel the "retool." Given that teams are paying a king's ransom for middling rentals, surely they would pay at least as much for Tatar, from whom they will get two playoffs, not just one. But hey, if you think the Habs are Jim Dandy and it's all just "stay the course" and we don't need any further infusion of youthful assets, then hey, all's well.
  23. You'd hope. But I have less faith in the rationality of the average NHL general manager. Even though his offer was a joke, MB is still probably perceived to have committed a Code Violation, which to a hockey "mind" is roughly equivalent to the greatest atrocities ever conceived by a depraved human race. 🙄
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