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The Habs defensive standing was largely due to Price standing on his head. Now that Price isnt lights out like earlier in the year (still playing well, just not #1 or 2 in the league at this point), the defense is being exposed. Second pair D and hall gill should never be said in the same sentence. Gill should not get much ice time outside of pk duties and should not be playing more then 12 or 13 minutes a night.

I'd love to see the Habs add more punch to the offense, but I'd rather see at least one upgrade and even some replacements on the D first.

With Markov healthy, our D is among the best in the league.

With him out, it's workmanlike: solid but beatable.

There's a lot of confidence around here, from myself too, but I still think that injury was a very significant blow, and any yelping about the Habs' inadequacies needs to take it into consideration.

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Price deserves definite credit for Montreal's defensive standing, but it's also about twice as good as last year's team in terms of allowing shots on goal, while still blocking a good amount of shots, especially on the PK.

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That's what worries me the most. If we could get Regher for a Spacek, Moen (I like Moen as a 4th liner, but at least getting rid of him would prevent the Penguin to consistently move him up to the first two lines - although that would probably mean Darche would become the new top two liner for Martin:wacko:), Pyatt, darche or Laps, i'd be okay with it. That would also be in line with usual fleecing of Sutter. But we're talking about the Habs, so we'd probably end up giving up Ak46, which would be highway robbery for the flames.

I wish that you hadn't mentioned Travis moen in a possible trade. This guy has been our muscle and grit and I would be very worried to see what our team would look like physically up front without our good mate Moen at a bargain price that we have him for. :unsure:

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I wish that you hadn't mentioned Travis moen in a possible trade. This guy has been our muscle and grit and I would be very worried to see what our team would look like physically up front without our good mate Moen at a bargain price that we have him for. :unsure:

Though hits alone don't tell the whole story, he's 4th in hitting behind Lapierre, Kostitsyn, and Pouliot, averaging less than 2 a game. Had Subban not been sat for 3 games, he'd be 5th. Consider that Moen plays more than Pouliot and Lapierre too and still trails them in hits. Moen should be the muscle but quite frankly, he hasn't been, especially lately.

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The Habs defensive standing was largely due to Price standing on his head. Now that Price isnt lights out like earlier in the year (still playing well, just not #1 or 2 in the league at this point), the defense is being exposed.

You're correct, the defense is being exposed. Price is consistently giving them a chance to win every game. How many turnovers by the defensemen have lead to costly goals lately? I believe a puck moving defenseman is the greatest need at this point. Essentially we need a Markov-like player, which are few and far between. Most of the mistakes are an attempted break out pass from the defensive zone. So either a coaching adjustment or a roster move is in order to fix it.

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The Habs defensive standing was largely due to Price standing on his head. Now that Price isnt lights out like earlier in the year (still playing well, just not #1 or 2 in the league at this point), the defense is being exposed. Second pair D and hall gill should never be said in the same sentence. Gill should not get much ice time outside of pk duties and should not be playing more then 12 or 13 minutes a night.

I'd love to see the Habs add more punch to the offense, but I'd rather see at least one upgrade and even some replacements on the D first.

Price has been making the D look better but the D has also been making Price look better. It is no coincidence that Price and the D are starting to look worse at the same time - they depend on each other. When the Habs play their game, a goalie like Price will look like a superstar.

I didn't say that Gill was a second pairing d-man. Just that in the playoffs, there is more commitment to defense and these conditions make Gill much more useful in the PO than during the regular season. Last year's playoffs he was one of Montreal's more valuable players.

The only d-man I don't want being a starter is Picard. I wouldn't mind if they could exchange a forward like Pyatt or Boyd or a pick for a gritty, cheap, experienced depth d-man. But in a perfect situation, they would still get the new forward.

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Though hits alone don't tell the whole story, he's 4th in hitting behind Lapierre, Kostitsyn, and Pouliot, averaging less than 2 a game. Had Subban not been sat for 3 games, he'd be 5th. Consider that Moen plays more than Pouliot and Lapierre too and still trails them in hits. Moen should be the muscle but quite frankly, he hasn't been, especially lately.

I really don't get the love on for Moen. He isn't that physical, has no hands, yet is consistently give 1st/2nd line opertinities by JM. There have been too many instances where someone needed to drop the gloves and given our personnel, that person needed to be Moen. When Price is being crashed, I expect Moen to return the favor, yet am constantly disappointed. It's not like he is afraid of taking a penalty either as he has taken a lot of dumb, lazy penalties that are not of the physical variety.

Lastly, from our true forth liners, he is the most expensive one on the payroll. Yes he won a cup, but he was on a team with the two of the best defencemen in the game. He'll, even Gary Leeman won a cup with the Habs in 93'!!

Edited by hab29RETIRED

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Moen doesn't make the dumb mistakes that the other players you mentioned do. Including dumb penalties, (e.g Lapirre).

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The latest on Bieksa from everyone's favourite rumour inventor... (typo is his, not mine)

On Montreal and Vancouver...

According to a few sources the Habs and Canucks were the closest to pulling of a deal last night and there is wide-spread belief the two sides could actually pull the trade together in short order once the freeze has been lifted.

That in and off itself is not very surprising since we have known of this for some time now the Habs have interest in Bieksa, however what is more surprising is the fact it appears there is a "much better than expected forward coming to Vancouver" as one source put it. Another source added, "The Canucks are also putting in a solid offensive prospect."

There's 1 forward that comes to mind reading that, that being Andrei Kostitsyn. The Habs surely won't deal Cammalleri, Plekanec, or Gionta, while Vancouver is dealing Bieksa to avoid cap purgatory, so Gomez is out too. Well, I suppose Eller with his upside fits as well. I still don't think these teams are good trading partners though.

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The latest on Bieksa from everyone's favourite rumour inventor... (typo is his, not mine)

There's 1 forward that comes to mind reading that, that being Andrei Kostitsyn. The Habs surely won't deal Cammalleri, Plekanec, or Gionta, while Vancouver is dealing Bieksa to avoid cap purgatory, so Gomez is out too. Well, I suppose Eller with his upside fits as well. I still don't think these teams are good trading partners though.

I would be pretty pissed if a deal did go down and Eller, Ak46 or Pouliot were involved. I wouldn't mind moving Laps, Moen, darche or pyatt, but not even idiotlund would consider either of these guys as offensive guys. Moving Gomez for bieksa would be a wet dream that unfortunately ain't happening. Yes, I agree that if by some miracle such a deal did go down, it would leave us thin at centre, but think of the cap room to pick up a top UFA centre at the deadline.

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I would be pretty pissed if a deal did go down and Eller, Ak46 or Pouliot were involved. I wouldn't mind moving Laps, Moen, darche or pyatt, but not even idiotlund would consider either of these guys as offensive guys. Moving Gomez for bieksa would be a wet dream that unfortunately ain't happening. Yes, I agree that if by some miracle such a deal did go down, it would leave us thin at centre, but think of the cap room to pick up a top UFA centre at the deadline.

Gomez ain't happening - the need to move Bieksa stems from the fact Salo is due off LTIR soon, they simply cannot add salary. It's for that reason that even Kostitsyn makes no sense; sure the salaries match but then Vancouver is in the same situation they were to begin with. That's why I said Montreal and Vancouver don't make good trading partners.

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Gomez ain't happening - the need to move Bieksa stems from the fact Salo is due off LTIR soon, they simply cannot add salary. It's for that reason that even Kostitsyn makes no sense; sure the salaries match but then Vancouver is in the same situation they were to begin with. That's why I said Montreal and Vancouver don't make good trading partners.

Pouliot might, might make some sense in that flip. I guess then Pacioretty was called up to take Pouliot's spot? Then send Weber or Subban down and call up one of White, Desharnais or Maxwell? Or maybe we take on one of their not quite minimum wage depth forwards (please be Hansen, more likely Glass)?

Heh, just finally building up some depth on the wing and deal it away. But I guess it's most important to have depth at C and on D, so that's your justification, I suppose.

Ah, too much thought into an Eklund rumour.

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Remember how big a difference Dominic Moore made last season? Just adding one guy like Hagman to the lineup can make a huge difference. It could bump Moen off the second line, Pyatt into the press box, etc. I think it could really jump start our offense. I'm really happy with Pouliot, Eller and Pacioretty but I'm not yet sold on any of them playing like second liners for a long period of time. I think what eliminates us in the playoffs this year will be a lack of scoring depth, not our inability to prevent goals.

Habs have been the #2 defensive team with this D - and this is mostly without Markov who I still have hope will return sometime in the playoffs.

Habs shut out two elite teams last April with this D (and great goaltending which Price can realistically provide). They didn't do it by having 6 star d-men, they did it by perfecting a 23-man defensive system. Martin's system masks any deficiencies in our six d-men and you need to consider that our top forwards are pretty capable two-way players and that more than half the forwards on the Habs kill penalties. Not every team has a player like Plekanec that can neutralize an opposing superstar forward. Not to mention that Hal Gill, who is currently a number 5 or 6 defenseman, is sure to morph into a monster playing in a completely defensive environment.

I would love to have both but I think that if we want to win this year, we'd be better off with a forward. I'm thinking specifically of a series against Philly.

I don't think one guy dramatically alters the face of a whole team. We are talking about 14 minutes out of a 60 minute game

that Dominic Moore provided. 12 forwards equals 180 minutes of ice time per game of which Moore played 8% of the available

minutes. Was he a good acquisition? Yes, did he change anything? Not really.

What the Habs accomplished was a team commitment, is your team better off with a dedicated team player like Moore?

Of course, but if the rest of the team hadn't committed his difference becomes negligible. The same thing with Markov.

The Habs record without Markov is overstated. I looked at the games they lost and those were against teams that they

had a history of losing against with Markov in the lineup.

Sites like behindthenet have put Markov's value at anywhere between 3-4 wins a season. That would equal 8 points. That total

would have vaulted the Habs from 8th to 5th in 2010, something akin to a borderline playoff team to a solid team. It will be

interesting to see how Philly performs without Pronger. If that is even close to accurate, what is Moore worth? A half a game?

1 game?

If Moore was that valuable, he would still be with the Habs.

Thinking one player makes that big a difference is an oversimplification. When Gretzky left, the experts predicted impending

doom for the Oilers, when Fuhr got hurt as well nobody gave the Oilers any chance at all. They won the 1990 Cup and made

the 1991 Conference Finals. Lemieux left and the Pens continued to finish at the top of the league, Orr left the Bruins and they

made the Final 4 3 straight seasons. etc etc.

I don't think a guy like Hagman would make any difference at all long-term.

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I don't think one guy dramatically alters the face of a whole team. We are talking about 14 minutes out of a 60 minute game

that Dominic Moore provided. 12 forwards equals 180 minutes of ice time per game of which Moore played 8% of the available

minutes. Was he a good acquisition? Yes, did he change anything? Not really.

What the Habs accomplished was a team commitment, is your team better off with a dedicated team player like Moore?

Of course, but if the rest of the team hadn't committed his difference becomes negligible. The same thing with Markov.

The Habs record without Markov is overstated. I looked at the games they lost and those were against teams that they

had a history of losing against with Markov in the lineup.

Sites like behindthenet have put Markov's value at anywhere between 3-4 wins a season. That would equal 8 points. That total

would have vaulted the Habs from 8th to 5th in 2010, something akin to a borderline playoff team to a solid team. It will be

interesting to see how Philly performs without Pronger. If that is even close to accurate, what is Moore worth? A half a game?

1 game?

If Moore was that valuable, he would still be with the Habs.

Thinking one player makes that big a difference is an oversimplification. When Gretzky left, the experts predicted impending

doom for the Oilers, when Fuhr got hurt as well nobody gave the Oilers any chance at all. They won the 1990 Cup and made

the 1991 Conference Finals. Lemieux left and the Pens continued to finish at the top of the league, Orr left the Bruins and they

made the Final 4 3 straight seasons. etc etc.

I don't think a guy like Hagman would make any difference at all long-term.

Those are examples of legendary teams losing a superstar but remaining loaded. I'm not sure the same rules apply when we're talking about loaded teams as there are only so many points to go around. If one team acquired all of Ovechkin, Crosby, Malkin, Stamkos, St Louis, Datsyuk, Toews and Getzlaf the tendency would be to assume that all of these guys would have career seasons. In reality, I think that most of them would regress statistically because they would get less minutes than they would get on teams with less depth. If half of these players hit free agency the following off-season and are replaced by normal second and third liners that can play those roles sufficiently, I think the team might actually improve.

I don't think that Moore was irreplaceable - Halpern has already made me forget about him - but his addition to the line up filled a weakness, bumped a couple of people down the depth chart, and allowed other players to take a few minutes off. What he accomplished with his play didn't make a big difference but the impact he had on our line up was significant. I don't know where to find the stat but I bet certain players were getting less ice time once Moore came in. There is a butterfly effect.

Our top four forwards are not particularly good players compared to other good teams around the league but look at the difference in TOI/G

Plekanec - 28 pts in 32 gms - 20:02

Gionta - 20 in 33 - 18:49

Cammalleri - 25 in 32 - 18:29

Gomez - 14 in 31 - 17:42

Combined: 75:02

Boston:

David Krejci - 22 in 25 - 19:32

Patrice Bergeron - 19 in 32 - 17:58

Nathan Horton - 23 in 32 - 17:17

Milan Lucic - 27 in 32 - 16:47

Combined: 71:34

Detroit:

Pavel Datsyuk - 39 in 32 - 19:56

Henrik Zetterberg - 33 in 32 - 19:40

Valtteri Filppula - 17 in 32 - 16:38

Johan Franzen - 24 in 31 - 16:32

Combined: 72:46

Philly:

Mike Richards - 32 in 35 - 19:14

Claude Giroux - 31 in 35 - 18:53

Jeff Carter - 28 in 35 - 18:04

Danny Briere - 25 in 32 - 17:56

Combined: 74:07

Montreal's top 4 gets a lot of minutes relative to their talent (Plekanec gets 4 seconds less per game than Malkin does). Certain teams like Tampa, Pittsburgh and Washington give their top players more minutes than ours but that's because they have elite talent that is worthy of those minutes (and because those players have linemates, one or two unworthy players like Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis getting big minutes). Teams with tons of forward depth like Boston and Philly get to rely less on their top players even though they are top talent. Habs don't have that forward depth so we have our #5 scorer Pouliot getting under 12 minutes per game, and other than Kostitsyn (16:02), no other Habs forward has played more than third liner Jeff Halpern with 13:34 (except for Pacioretty in his 3 games). The Habs only have 5 players being used as top 6 forwards. The void, usually filled by Travis Moen (13:09), makes our top 4 have to play extra minutes.

In comparison, Boston's 6th forward (Blake Wheeler), Detroit's 6th forward (Dan Cleary) and Philly's 6th forward (Ville Leino) all play almost 16 minutes. Hagman plays 15:46 for the Flames (5th among forwards, 1 second more than 6th forward Matt Stajan).

The addition of a Hagman would give us a normal top 6 and allow Martin to manage his bench's minutes without alternating a rotation of players on the PP. On any given night, it makes little difference. I think in the long run it'll keep a guy like Plekanec fresh for the playoffs when we know we'll be counting on him plenty. It would also limit the minutes of our bottom six players that are receiving more minutes than they should be getting.

Will it take us from "playoff team" to "Cup contender"? Not really (nor would Bieksa). But it would take us from "good team in need of scoring depth" to "good team with no glaring weakness, just some question marks."

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For those pining for Reghyr, i just the Flames game until the start of the Habs game and for the 3rd straight game he was awful. Too slow, not nearly as physical as he used to be. definitely does not look like he is worth what was once thought to be a bargain $4m salary.

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Those are examples of legendary teams losing a superstar but remaining loaded. I'm not sure the same rules apply when we're talking about loaded teams as there are only so many points to go around. If one team acquired all of Ovechkin, Crosby, Malkin, Stamkos, St Louis, Datsyuk, Toews and Getzlaf the tendency would be to assume that all of these guys would have career seasons. In reality, I think that most of them would regress statistically because they would get less minutes than they would get on teams with less depth. If half of these players hit free agency the following off-season and are replaced by normal second and third liners that can play those roles sufficiently, I think the team might actually improve.

I don't think that Moore was irreplaceable - Halpern has already made me forget about him - but his addition to the line up filled a weakness, bumped a couple of people down the depth chart, and allowed other players to take a few minutes off. What he accomplished with his play didn't make a big difference but the impact he had on our line up was significant. I don't know where to find the stat but I bet certain players were getting less ice time once Moore came in. There is a butterfly effect.

Our top four forwards are not particularly good players compared to other good teams around the league but look at the difference in TOI/G

Plekanec - 28 pts in 32 gms - 20:02

Gionta - 20 in 33 - 18:49

Cammalleri - 25 in 32 - 18:29

Gomez - 14 in 31 - 17:42

Combined: 75:02

Boston:

David Krejci - 22 in 25 - 19:32

Patrice Bergeron - 19 in 32 - 17:58

Nathan Horton - 23 in 32 - 17:17

Milan Lucic - 27 in 32 - 16:47

Combined: 71:34

Detroit:

Pavel Datsyuk - 39 in 32 - 19:56

Henrik Zetterberg - 33 in 32 - 19:40

Valtteri Filppula - 17 in 32 - 16:38

Johan Franzen - 24 in 31 - 16:32

Combined: 72:46

Philly:

Mike Richards - 32 in 35 - 19:14

Claude Giroux - 31 in 35 - 18:53

Jeff Carter - 28 in 35 - 18:04

Danny Briere - 25 in 32 - 17:56

Combined: 74:07

Montreal's top 4 gets a lot of minutes relative to their talent (Plekanec gets 4 seconds less per game than Malkin does). Certain teams like Tampa, Pittsburgh and Washington give their top players more minutes than ours but that's because they have elite talent that is worthy of those minutes (and because those players have linemates, one or two unworthy players like Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis getting big minutes). Teams with tons of forward depth like Boston and Philly get to rely less on their top players even though they are top talent. Habs don't have that forward depth so we have our #5 scorer Pouliot getting under 12 minutes per game, and other than Kostitsyn (16:02), no other Habs forward has played more than third liner Jeff Halpern with 13:34 (except for Pacioretty in his 3 games). The Habs only have 5 players being used as top 6 forwards. The void, usually filled by Travis Moen (13:09), makes our top 4 have to play extra minutes.

In comparison, Boston's 6th forward (Blake Wheeler), Detroit's 6th forward (Dan Cleary) and Philly's 6th forward (Ville Leino) all play almost 16 minutes. Hagman plays 15:46 for the Flames (5th among forwards, 1 second more than 6th forward Matt Stajan).

The addition of a Hagman would give us a normal top 6 and allow Martin to manage his bench's minutes without alternating a rotation of players on the PP. On any given night, it makes little difference. I think in the long run it'll keep a guy like Plekanec fresh for the playoffs when we know we'll be counting on him plenty. It would also limit the minutes of our bottom six players that are receiving more minutes than they should be getting.

Will it take us from "playoff team" to "Cup contender"? Not really (nor would Bieksa). But it would take us from "good team in need of scoring depth" to "good team with no glaring weakness, just some question marks."

I don't think Hagman would make a difference because the Canadiens lack of scoring has nothing to do with talent.

It has to do with the style they play. They commit to the defensive zone and THAT is the reason for their early season

success. It is exactly like the Pat Burns Canadiens. They used to struggle for goals and in 4 seasons only 3 players were

able to crack the 80 point mark in one of the highest scoring eras in NHL history. Yet they continued to win and compete

as a Cup contender every year.

Burns leaves and in comes Demers and Roy's GAA and SV% plummet and the Canadiens magically have four 80+ point players.

Adding a Hagman/Moore/low 2nd/top 3rd line player will change nothing. It won't create significantly more offense

over the remaining 60 games. Your argument about minutes in regards to forwards also holds true in regards to the

back end as well. Adding a Bieksa lightens the load on Hamrlik/Spacek/Picard/Subban etc.

I would prefer to go from being very good defensively to being elite defensively instead of average offensively to

average offensively. I went through the lack of offense frustration with the Habs 20 years ago and for the last 10

years I have been BEGGING for that problem. They are still among the best defensive teams in the league even though

they have had a bad 5-6 game stretch.

In a cap age when you dedicate yourself to the defensive side of the puck your front end suffers. If the Habs opened up

then we would be talking about lack of depth defensively or people would complain about Price's .915 SV%. I just don't buy

the argument that Gomez, Gionta, Cammalleri, Plekanec, Kostitsyn and Hagman is better than those 5 with one of Pacioretty,

Pouliot, Eller, Darche, Pyatt etc.

If they continue doing what they are doing they will remain in a solid playoff position. I am way more concerned about the breakdown

of Spacek (who gets injured every year) and the overuse of Hamrlik than I am of the upgrade from a C+ forward to a B- forward.

The Dallas game is the third game all year where they were essentially out of it for the majority of the game and that was more or

less based on one team getting some breaks. Three deflections that Price has no chance on altered the outcome of that game. Outside

of that game the Canadiens have been within one shot in EVERY game. That is based on the defensive commitment.

Defense is a controllable element in which you can maintain consistency. This team can't hang with the elite teams offensively,

so the Devils way it is. Like it or not.

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I'm not quite as fatalistic as Wamsley tends to be about the impact an individual player can have, but I agree with the gist of his analysis above. The key is team identity. As he says, this is a Pat Burns/New Jersey Devils-style team concept, which always means a defensive orientation and scoring by committee. It would make more sense to reinforce this by adding a quality defenceman than deviate from it by adding a middling forward.

I haven't followed Reghyr's development closely this season, so I'll defer to Habs29retired's scouting report. The point is that THAT's the type of player I'd like us to acquire. Easier said than done, natch.

I wouldn't be too keen to panic based on this December. Slumps DO happen. Nevertheless, the absence of Markov is not a variable you can just assume away with coaching or system, and that's the area we'll need to address.

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JUst wait until we get hit with the [yearly it seems] flu bug...........

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JUst wait until we get hit with the [yearly it seems] flu bug...........

Auld has/had the flu so it may have started already actually.

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Auld has/had the flu so it may have started already actually.

I Blame them players' kids!

I don't have any, but know plenty of friends that do...

Would it be to much to ask these players to quarantine their kids upon their return from school?

Yeah i guess it would be too harsh

Edited by CoRvInA

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I'm not quite as fatalistic as Wamsley tends to be about the impact an individual player can have, but I agree with the gist of his analysis above. The key is team identity. As he says, this is a Pat Burns/New Jersey Devils-style team concept, which always means a defensive orientation and scoring by committee. It would make more sense to reinforce this by adding a quality defenceman than deviate from it by adding a middling forward.

I haven't followed Reghyr's development closely this season, so I'll defer to Habs29retired's scouting report. The point is that THAT's the type of player I'd like us to acquire. Easier said than done, natch.

I wouldn't be too keen to panic based on this December. Slumps DO happen. Nevertheless, the absence of Markov is not a variable you can just assume away with coaching or system, and that's the area we'll need to address.

Most people don't believe that one player doesn't dramatically alter a team but every year big names go down

and good teams don't miss a beat.

Crosby in 2008 went down for 20+ games. The result? 12-6-4 when the media predicted impending doom.

Brodeur went down in 2008-09. Devils are done right? Clemmensen magically has Vezina type stats and the Devils

finish near the top of the Conference.

It is an oversimplification. Take my favourite player of all-time. Patrick Roy.

He was the difference between the Avs winning and losing in the playoffs, but what difference did he make in the regular season?

In 1995 the Nordiques had a .677 winning percentage. Jocelyn Thibault, Garth Snow and Stephane Fiset went 30-13-5 with a 2.75 GAA and a .909 SV%.

In 1996 the Avalanche had a .634 winning percentage. Roy went 22-15-1 with a 2.68 GAA and a .909 SV%.

Montreal must have fallen apart with the loss of a legend like Roy, right?

In 1995 the Canadiens had a .448 winning percentage. Roy 17-20-6 with a .906 SV%.

In 1996 with the Canadiens he had a .568 winning percentage. Roy went 12-9-1 with a .907 SV%.

In 1996 with the Canadiens, Thibault went 23-13-3 (.628) with a .913 SV%.

Arguably the best goaltender of all-time for a guy who flamed out and there is zero statistical difference and zero team performance decline.

1 guy out of 19 does not change the fortunes of a team to the extremes that people would like to believe. So a 2nd-3rd line player makes

almost ZERO difference. This happens ALL THE TIME. Crosby and Ovechkin were dominant in their rookie seasons, how did the Pens and Caps do?

Hockey is a team sport. Good teams always seem to plug in guys and continue success because they are playing as a unit. The MSM likes to create

stories. This ONE player did this. This ONE player changed the fortunes of the team. This ONE event galvanized the team and lead them to glory.

It is storytelling and it leads to John Madden being paid $3M per season and Jeff Halpern getting 500k.

The 2011 Habs will rely on their defensive commitment. If they don't continue that commitment, this team will miss the playoffs. If they continue

to play together, they will finish in the top 5 regardless of Nik Hagman/Bieksa/etc.

Edited by Wamsley01

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I don't think Hagman would make a difference because the Canadiens lack of scoring has nothing to do with talent.

It has to do with the style they play. They commit to the defensive zone and THAT is the reason for their early season

success. It is exactly like the Pat Burns Canadiens. They used to struggle for goals and in 4 seasons only 3 players were

able to crack the 80 point mark in one of the highest scoring eras in NHL history. Yet they continued to win and compete

as a Cup contender every year.

Burns leaves and in comes Demers and Roy's GAA and SV% plummet and the Canadiens magically have four 80+ point players.

Adding a Hagman/Moore/low 2nd/top 3rd line player will change nothing. It won't create significantly more offense

over the remaining 60 games. Your argument about minutes in regards to forwards also holds true in regards to the

back end as well. Adding a Bieksa lightens the load on Hamrlik/Spacek/Picard/Subban etc.

I would prefer to go from being very good defensively to being elite defensively instead of average offensively to

average offensively. I went through the lack of offense frustration with the Habs 20 years ago and for the last 10

years I have been BEGGING for that problem. They are still among the best defensive teams in the league even though

they have had a bad 5-6 game stretch.

In a cap age when you dedicate yourself to the defensive side of the puck your front end suffers. If the Habs opened up

then we would be talking about lack of depth defensively or people would complain about Price's .915 SV%. I just don't buy

the argument that Gomez, Gionta, Cammalleri, Plekanec, Kostitsyn and Hagman is better than those 5 with one of Pacioretty,

Pouliot, Eller, Darche, Pyatt etc.

If they continue doing what they are doing they will remain in a solid playoff position. I am way more concerned about the breakdown

of Spacek (who gets injured every year) and the overuse of Hamrlik than I am of the upgrade from a C+ forward to a B- forward.

The Dallas game is the third game all year where they were essentially out of it for the majority of the game and that was more or

less based on one team getting some breaks. Three deflections that Price has no chance on altered the outcome of that game. Outside

of that game the Canadiens have been within one shot in EVERY game. That is based on the defensive commitment.

Defense is a controllable element in which you can maintain consistency. This team can't hang with the elite teams offensively,

so the Devils way it is. Like it or not.

If we're talking about EITHER Hagman OR Regehr, then we are talking about two players who will have roughly the same impact. If that is almost zero, then it is almost zero in the case of either of them. It is just a question of which area needs that (however slight) cushioning more, the offense or the defense.

I have confidence in this D to look amazing as long as the team plays committed defense. I don't have confidence in this team to come back from behind. (I also disagree that the offensive struggles have nothing to do with a lack of talent. Their talent is average. Combined with a defensive system equals weak.)'\/

From the most simplistic view, it is more logical to seek help for your team's weak spot than its strength. The Habs could use help at both positions but I think the D is fine as is provided the team plays team defense - which is how they intend to play. I actually see it the opposite of you: if their plan is to open up and play a firewagon style, THEN bring in Bieksa because Picard-Subban is sure to get exposed.

I'll still be happy if they bring in Bieksa but I don't think this team can realistically contend for a Cup unless they add or groom another forward that can log top 6 minutes (15+).

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I have confidence in this D to look amazing as long as the team plays committed defense.

Lets go by part...

AMAZING? AMAZING when Price stops everything that comes his way.... it looks amazing..

The current D only if 100% healthy will look amazing... it's far from that mate... What team were u watching?

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Lets go by part...

AMAZING? AMAZING when Price stops everything that comes his way.... it looks amazing..

The current D only if 100% healthy will look amazing... it's far from that mate... What team were u watching?

Price has been making the D look better but the D has also been making Price look better. It is no coincidence that Price and the D are starting to look worse at the same time - they depend on each other. When the Habs play their game, a goalie like Price will look like a superstar.

I've been watching the team that had the #1 D in the league until 5 games ago. With Markov out there are question marks there but there is no need for panic. The Habs will start winning when the team goes back to their system, not when Spacek turns into Superman and starts having 5 hits, blocked shots and takeaways a game. A Hagman/Bieksa/Regehr isn't going to save them if they don't play their system.

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If we're talking about EITHER Hagman OR Regehr, then we are talking about two players who will have roughly the same impact. If that is almost zero, then it is almost zero in the case of either of them. It is just a question of which area needs that (however slight) cushioning more, the offense or the defense.

I have confidence in this D to look amazing as long as the team plays committed defense. I don't have confidence in this team to come back from behind. (I also disagree that the offensive struggles have nothing to do with a lack of talent. Their talent is average. Combined with a defensive system equals weak.)'\/

From the most simplistic view, it is more logical to seek help for your team's weak spot than its strength. The Habs could use help at both positions but I think the D is fine as is provided the team plays team defense - which is how they intend to play. I actually see it the opposite of you: if their plan is to open up and play a firewagon style, THEN bring in Bieksa because Picard-Subban is sure to get exposed.

I'll still be happy if they bring in Bieksa but I don't think this team can realistically contend for a Cup unless they add or groom another forward that can log top 6 minutes (15+).

This team is not contending for a Cup as currently constituted. Adding Bieksa/Hagman/Regehr won't change that.

Like CC has said, this looks like a stealth rebuild. They continue to be competitive, they identify and groom their team

identity and they continue to draft and develop until the window opens for a championship run.

Stealing back the identity that Jersey stole gives the Habs a chance to win every night. The veteran core is solid, but outside

of Cammalleri and Plekanec, maybe Gionta they are no longer in the prime or approaching their prime. So this team will not

move into that upper tier until Subban, Pacioretty, Eller, Pouliot and to some extent Price make the leap.

The Habs can then move out Hamrlik, Spacek, Gill, Gomez and replace them with free agents in their prime. This leaves a

veteran core of Plekanec, Cammalleri, Markov (hopefully recovered) and Gionta + the developed youth + the in prime free agents to make the Stanley Cup assault with a 2-4 year identity where the system becomes the defining piece of the franchise.

At this point you hope that the next generation can step in and provide solid lower line minutes while they apprentice and

continue the cycle of consistent contending. Leblanc, Kristo, Tinordi etc.

I am searching for consistent effort and team commitment. Everything else will take care of itself.

Any addition of the players mentioned will secure a solid playoff seeding and we can sit back and hope for a great run,

but the 2010 playoff run was a mirage. I am hoping it was a successful reboot that has put this franchise back on the

proper track, but I won't put them in the Stanley Cup playoff picture until I stop looking at how many points the 9th seed has.

That day has not come yet.

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