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What's up with Gionta & Gomez?

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Okay, even with last night's 3-2 OT win over Phoenix, Gionta and Gomez looked brutal! These guys have to get going if we're going to have any sort of balanced attack this season. Pretty soon teams will clamp down on Plex's line so we need the double G's to step it up.

My suggestion would be to put Benoit Pouliot back on their wing in hopes they can rediscover the chemistry they had last year. Pouliot is skating well and hitting hard. They just need to work on some set plays and score that first goal together to get things going.

I prefer Pouliot on Gionta/Gomez's line instead of Eller because I'm convinced Eller should be playing center on the third line with Lapierre and Pyatt. Eller is a better fit at center and should be playing with speedy & gritty players. I wouldn't mind even seeing Pacioretty playing with Eller at some point later in the year. Guys like Darche, Moen, Boyd and Halpern should be rotating through the fourth line.

Thoughts?

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I honestly think it's on Gomez right now, and it's just a matter of time, really. I think Gomez made a steal in the 2nd period that helped change the momentum of the game, and drive Montreal to produce quality chances in successive shifts. The problem was he passed the puck to Gionta who was in a terrible shooting position, so it was a weak chance in the end. Little things like that are plaguing Gomez's game. Gionta is trying to spread the defense out by heading for the far blue line to receive stretch passes and really working to create chances, but Gomez's game isn't all there yet so it's not working.

You could put Cammalleri there and I don't think it'd help them all that much. I understand Jacques' logic on this one: put a defensively responsible guy there so at least the line has pretty much no chance of getting exploited. When Gomez is ready to be creative again, then Pouliot makes sense.

It sucks for Benny, though, who really came to play out of the gate. That said, I think Gomez is getting closer, so it might be worthwhile to put Pouliot in there again to load up the line.

Pacioretty has his own game to work out in Hamilton right now. It's a nice thought that he might come up and contribute, but he has to force the issue to be on this team.

I still like Boyd as a player to play wing with Eller, but they're all kind of interchangeable when healthy.

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Okay, even with last night's 3-2 OT win over Phoenix, Gionta and Gomez looked brutal! These guys have to get going if we're going to have any sort of balanced attack this season. Pretty soon teams will clamp down on Plex's line so we need the double G's to step it up.

My suggestion would be to put Benoit Pouliot back on their wing in hopes they can rediscover the chemistry they had last year. Pouliot is skating well and hitting hard. They just need to work on some set plays and score that first goal together to get things going.

I prefer Pouliot on Gionta/Gomez's line instead of Eller because I'm convinced Eller should be playing center on the third line with Lapierre and Pyatt. Eller is a better fit at center and should be playing with speedy & gritty players. I wouldn't mind even seeing Pacioretty playing with Eller at some point later in the year. Guys like Darche, Moen, Boyd and Halpern should be rotating through the fourth line.

Thoughts?

I agree...however, Martin doesn't evidently as Pyatt once again is with Gomez/Gionta in practice today. Pouliot, meanwhile, looks as if he was demoted.

Cammalleri - Plekanec - Kostitsyn

Pyatt - Gomez - Gionta

Moen - Eller - Lapierre

Pouliot - Halpern - Darche/Boyd

At least they split up the RH shots of Lapierre/Halpern...

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I agree...however, Martin doesn't evidently as Pyatt once again is with Gomez/Gionta in practice today. Pouliot, meanwhile, looks as if he was demoted.

Cammalleri - Plekanec - Kostitsyn

Pyatt - Gomez - Gionta

Moen - Eller - Lapierre

Pouliot - Halpern - Darche/Boyd

At least they split up the RH shots of Lapierre/Halpern...

Don't know if I'd say that he was demoted... Halpern has quietly been one of our best players so far this season.

I'm looking at the Behind the Net Ratings, and despite listing Pyatt as a D, they give an interesting perspective... Boyd has had the worst season to date, followed by Pyatt, then Eller, Pouliot, and Darche... then Gomez. Meon and Halpern have been rocks for the bottom six in terms of possession vis a vis the competition they face.

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I'd like to see:

Cammalleri - Plekanec - Kostitsyn

Pouliot - Gomez - Gionta

Moen - Eller - Lapierre

Pyatt - Halpern - Darche/Boyd

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Gomez has his problems, but Gionta is really struggling too. IMO the pair should not play together for a while. I think that they are too predictable right now and that playing with other guys would help them in the long haul.

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Gomez has his problems, but Gionta is really struggling too. IMO the pair should not play together for a while. I think that they are too predictable right now and that playing with other guys would help them in the long haul.

I wholeheartedly agree. I guess the question becomes, do you split up AK, Pleks and Cammy to try and fix the 2nd line? As badly as they're faring at this point, I think that Gionta and Gomez would be a waste on the 3rd/4th line, so Martin is left with the sole option of rolling various wingers on the Gomez line.

Like many others, I'm baffled that Martin has gone back to Pyatt as the solution. In my opinion, if Martin is going to stick with Pyatt on the 2nd, we need to work on tertiary scoring, in case (and in all likelihood) that secondary scoring fails.

Cammalleri - Plekanec - Kostitsyn

Pyatt - Gomez - Gionta

Pouliot - Eller - Lapierre

Moen - Halpern - Darche/Boyd

I think that the bolded line would serve as a 2b scoring line, and you could rely on the Halpern line to be a true shutdown unit.

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Don't know if I'd say that he was demoted... Halpern has quietly been one of our best players so far this season.

I'm looking at the Behind the Net Ratings, and despite listing Pyatt as a D, they give an interesting perspective... Boyd has had the worst season to date, followed by Pyatt, then Eller, Pouliot, and Darche... then Gomez. Meon and Halpern have been rocks for the bottom six in terms of possession vis a vis the competition they face.

The biggest flaw in corsi is that in can't really quantify what makes quality of competition.

If your job is to prevent goals, then you are unlikely to take offensive chances. So where Plekanec looks to

counter when he gets the puck, somebody like Boyd may look to dump it out and set up in the neutral zone

or dump and chase resulting in a net loss.

On the other side, if you are Plekanec and the other team matches you up with Andrew Ebbet, how does that

affect your quality of competition?

It also doesn't take into affect the quality of shot. If you are on the ice and in your defensive zone you give up

the outside, block three shots and allow a slap shot from the point that misses the net by 10 feet and then as the puck

comes around the Canadiens transition to a Plekanec breakaway and he is robbed, Corsi will list your line as a -3.

So as a fan you will watch the game and take away the strong positional play, sticks in the passing lanes and the

great outlet pass that sets up the breakaway, a corsi lover will look at that shift and spin it in the negative because

the statistics paint it as such.

On a whole it is a good indicator of possession in regards to team (their remains a flaw in regards to team as well,

because of score effect. You can beat a team 6-0 and register a negative corsi because you are not pushing offensive

zone possession), but individually I think it is flawed.

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The biggest flaw in corsi is that in can't really quantify what makes quality of competition.

If your job is to prevent goals, then you are unlikely to take offensive chances. So where Plekanec looks to

counter when he gets the puck, somebody like Boyd may look to dump it out and set up in the neutral zone

or dump and chase resulting in a net loss.

On the other side, if you are Plekanec and the other team matches you up with Andrew Ebbet, how does that

affect your quality of competition?

It also doesn't take into affect the quality of shot. If you are on the ice and in your defensive zone you give up

the outside, block three shots and allow a slap shot from the point that misses the net by 10 feet and then as the puck

comes around the Canadiens transition to a Plekanec breakaway and he is robbed, Corsi will list your line as a -3.

So as a fan you will watch the game and take away the strong positional play, sticks in the passing lanes and the

great outlet pass that sets up the breakaway, a corsi lover will look at that shift and spin it in the negative because

the statistics paint it as such.

On a whole it is a good indicator of possession in regards to team (their remains a flaw in regards to team as well,

because of score effect. You can beat a team 6-0 and register a negative corsi because you are not pushing offensive

zone possession), but individually I think it is flawed.

Well, you have to believe that NHL coaches make generally rational choices out there... Individual CORSI/QCOMP breakdowns did show that Pat Quinn was a dinosaur with the Oilers last year, refusing to match lines and it tanked the team in a hurry. Every other coach matches lines to some degree, some more stringent than others.

You also have to make the assumption that things like the Plekanec shift you provide aren't consistent occurences. Generally, quality does correspond to quantity pretty well given a large sample. A single game (or shift) isn't terribly illuminating, but the collection of 10 games with 20-30 shifts per game is much more so.

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Well, you have to believe that NHL coaches make generally rational choices out there... Individual CORSI/QCOMP breakdowns did show that Pat Quinn was a dinosaur with the Oilers last year, refusing to match lines and it tanked the team in a hurry. Every other coach matches lines to some degree, some more stringent than others.

You also have to make the assumption that things like the Plekanec shift you provide aren't consistent occurences. Generally, quality does correspond to quantity pretty well given a large sample. A single game (or shift) isn't terribly illuminating, but the collection of 10 games with 20-30 shifts per game is much more so.

I love the guys at Copper and Blue, but I think the fact that Quinn lost his only NHL goaltender, his best forward and his top scoring defenseman all within the first month had something to do with the Oiler collapse. They were hovering around .500 when they lost Hemsky and Khabibulin for the season.

If you replaced Halak/Price with Dubnyk and Deslauriers could we create a stat that said Martin was a dinosaur with

his line matching and blame him for the Canadiens collapse? Or does that narrative only get created when matching

it to the final result of them missing the playoffs? Would that narrative have been created had Quinn been able to start Carey Price and Jaroslav Halak every single night? He played 80% of his schedule with AHL goaltenders on a mediocre team,

that is a recipe for disaster.

As for corsi,

Why should we make the assumption that it isn't indicative of a regular shift? When you create a stat that matches

blocked shots, missed shots and shots on an equal level, how can we make the assumption that they are all equal?

That is what that stat does. A blocked shot at the offside dot is equivalent to hitting the goalpost in corsi.

Last night Kostitsyn was the first star of the game with a goal and an assist and 3 SOG. He registered a -6.

He was a -6 because the Coyotes registered 9 shots, 2 misses and had 6 shots blocked but registered 0 goals.

Kostitsyn and his linemates produced 7 shots, 2 of which went in the net, 1 which hit the post, 1 that missed the

net and 1 that was blocked. Should I assume that this is just an anomaly? That Kostitsyn was a detriment

to his team? That Tom Pyatt who finished +3 was ultimately more valuable in that game?

It is the same flawed thought process that awards the same reward to a goaltender for stopping a 150 foot shot and

a breakaway. Just say Carey Price saw 1 extra shot from outside the blueline per game (the expected goal result from

outside the blueline is almost zero) that would inflate his SV% from .912 to .918. He goes from league average to well above league average all because of shots that have essentially zero chance of going in. It doesn't change his performance, but

it creates the perception that he is better than he actually performed.

I am not ready to make that assumption because the fact is that corsi rates a blocked shot, a missed shot AND a shot

as 100% equal when we all know this not to be the case. How can we properly rate it in regards to game situation, because it has already been proven that score does affect the corsi rating. What if you play with Ovechkin, has anybody done a study

to see how ones corsi rate fluctuates when they are on his line or off his line? If so, the quality of your linemate also alters

you number.

There are plenty of things about corsi that I can get behind, the fact that it is only tracked at even strength, that it does give an indication of time of possession etc, but it is a flawed stat just like points, +/- etc.

Until somebody does a study where they watch the games AND use these micro stats and the findings coincide with

each other, I will not be 100% convinced of it's relevance.

Edited by Wamsley01

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I wholeheartedly agree. I guess the question becomes, do you split up AK, Pleks and Cammy to try and fix the 2nd line? As badly as they're faring at this point, I think that Gionta and Gomez would be a waste on the 3rd/4th line, so Martin is left with the sole option of rolling various wingers on the Gomez line.

Like many others, I'm baffled that Martin has gone back to Pyatt as the solution. In my opinion, if Martin is going to stick with Pyatt on the 2nd, we need to work on tertiary scoring, in case (and in all likelihood) that secondary scoring fails.

Cammalleri - Plekanec - Kostitsyn

Pyatt - Gomez - Gionta

Pouliot - Eller - Lapierre

Moen - Halpern - Darche/Boyd

I think that the bolded line would serve as a 2b scoring line, and you could rely on the Halpern line to be a true shutdown unit.

I've been scratching my head on this one too. I mean if you could send those 3 (eller, Benny and Laps) out against a 4th line with Subaan and Picard, that's a lot of unexpected offence

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Cammalleri - Plekanec - Kostitsyn

Gionta - Eller - Pouliot

Moen - Gomez - Lapierre

Pyatt - Halpern - Boyd

Our first line is golden so far, i'd really hate to see it being broke up. I'd really like to see what Eller could accomplish playing consistently with wingers who have good offensive capabilities. I think it's no coincidence he produced his first point the moment he was sent on the ice with AK46. That kid have a lot of potential but he's not on a high enough level to carry a line by himself (at least not yet) so he need some support. Gionta/Gomez needs to be broke up I think, they look for each other too much. I dont think Gomez would produce a lot of offense with Moen and Lapierre as wingers but he wouldnt get many goals scored against either. Nothing's against Pyatt but he just dont belong on a top 2 line.

Edited by Jean

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Over time, most stats balance out. ie.. Price will get easy shots about as much as the next goalie.. so they all benefit. One game is irrelevent, but trends over time are pretty accurate.

Personally, until we play at least 25 games, your eyes are the best judge, imo.

I saw a funny one on another board.. .a halak guy posted how his SV was better then Prices.. the next day, a Price fan was going on about how Price was doing better then Halak.. lol.. 5 games of data means that it changes all over ever day.. but some people will cling to it. Same with goal scoring.. based on the current data, McArthur is one of the best goal scorers in the league.. we might want to check back at the end of the season to see how he did...

Oh.. and don't get me started on the Leaf parade route planning after 4 games... there were cup contenders a week ago..

I love the guys at Copper and Blue, but I think the fact that Quinn lost his only NHL goaltender, his best forward and his top scoring defenseman all within the first month had something to do with the Oiler collapse. They were hovering around .500 when they lost Hemsky and Khabibulin for the season.

If you replaced Halak/Price with Dubnyk and Deslauriers could we create a stat that said Martin was a dinosaur with

his line matching and blame him for the Canadiens collapse? Or does that narrative only get created when matching

it to the final result of them missing the playoffs? Would that narrative have been created had Quinn been able to start Carey Price and Jaroslav Halak every single night? He played 80% of his schedule with AHL goaltenders on a mediocre team,

that is a recipe for disaster.

As for corsi,

Why should we make the assumption that it isn't indicative of a regular shift? When you create a stat that matches

blocked shots, missed shots and shots on an equal level, how can we make the assumption that they are all equal?

That is what that stat does. A blocked shot at the offside dot is equivalent to hitting the goalpost in corsi.

Last night Kostitsyn was the first star of the game with a goal and an assist and 3 SOG. He registered a -6.

He was a -6 because the Coyotes registered 9 shots, 2 misses and had 6 shots blocked but registered 0 goals.

Kostitsyn and his linemates produced 7 shots, 2 of which went in the net, 1 which hit the post, 1 that missed the

net and 1 that was blocked. Should I assume that this is just an anomaly? That Kostitsyn was a detriment

to his team? That Tom Pyatt who finished +3 was ultimately more valuable in that game?

It is the same flawed thought process that awards the same reward to a goaltender for stopping a 150 foot shot and

a breakaway. Just say Carey Price saw 1 extra shot from outside the blueline per game (the expected goal result from

outside the blueline is almost zero) that would inflate his SV% from .912 to .918. He goes from league average to well above league average all because of shots that have essentially zero chance of going in. It doesn't change his performance, but

it creates the perception that he is better than he actually performed.

I am not ready to make that assumption because the fact is that corsi rates a blocked shot, a missed shot AND a shot

as 100% equal when we all know this not to be the case. How can we properly rate it in regards to game situation, because it has already been proven that score does affect the corsi rating. What if you play with Ovechkin, has anybody done a study

to see how ones corsi rate fluctuates when they are on his line or off his line? If so, the quality of your linemate also alters

you number.

There are plenty of things about corsi that I can get behind, the fact that it is only tracked at even strength, that it does give an indication of time of possession etc, but it is a flawed stat just like points, +/- etc.

Until somebody does a study where they watch the games AND use these micro stats and the findings coincide with

each other, I will not be 100% convinced of it's relevance.

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Over time, most stats balance out. ie.. Price will get easy shots about as much as the next goalie.. so they all benefit. One game is irrelevent, but trends over time are pretty accurate.

Personally, until we play at least 25 games, your eyes are the best judge, imo.

I saw a funny one on another board.. .a halak guy posted how his SV was better then Prices.. the next day, a Price fan was going on about how Price was doing better then Halak.. lol.. 5 games of data means that it changes all over ever day.. but some people will cling to it. Same with goal scoring.. based on the current data, McArthur is one of the best goal scorers in the league.. we might want to check back at the end of the season to see how he did...

Oh.. and don't get me started on the Leaf parade route planning after 4 games... there were cup contenders a week ago..

I disagree that it all balances out. There is a reason why Jacques Lemaire coached teams always produce elite goalie stats.

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Personally, the 2nd line in my eye played very well last game, but seemed to be well covered and have to dump far too often.

Gomez's asforementioned 2nd period passes left Gionta in a bad spot and he had no play both times. However, during the first period they seemed to be really dominating, just not finishing. I was really disappointed on the 5 on 3 when Subban wasn't given the puck when he was so often in scoring positions and open. It astounds how quickly he seems to be able to sneek in deep and get back in position.

As for the purposed lines, I agree Pouliot Eller and Laps is a great 2b line, but with Halpern playing so well, what if a chemistry is found in that mix? We could end up with 1a 1b 2a 2b by seasons end. Lots of potential there and a few excellent young callups available in the pound. It looks like we are in for a much more relaxed jovial atmotosphere around here.

I came out of the first period feeling we had owned them, and they had somehow stayed in it. The shots on goal surprised me as we were attacking all the time. Price was wearing 29 and being there to stop the few quick barrages. I knew we would go down 1 in the 2nd, and feared we would lose a game we should have won. The first period reminded me so much of the 70's Habs. A threat to score every shift and almost impossible to gain their blueline. If you did manage to break through, there was 29...This team seems to not have just got hot in the playoffs last year, but truely have become a team. Great legacy BG! If they continue to buy in this is a real team!

When do we get Philly?

Edited by johnnyhasbeen

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A lot of eyes on G and G line. Money says they are our top line. I would suggest that they haven't earned second line status yet. I would take Gomez and see how he likes the fourth line for a few games. If it turns out he doesn't respond to that view, maybe he can watch the panorama from the press box. We are boasting and brimming with young talent, lets impresss upon Gomez and Gionta for that matter, that the door swings both ways.

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I don't want to get too overblown with that... I don't think CORSI/QCOMP are junk stats, but I don't think they're the greatest assessment of player talent out there, either. I agree that Quinn had his cards stacked against him in Edmonton last year, but the point I was making was not that his strategy was flawed, but that he was really the only anomoly out there: most coaches are coaching fairly similarly nowadays in terms of who they have out on the ice in certain situations. I think it allows you to fairly compare players in certain situations... I'm not sure if the end all-inclusive rating Gabe has there is necessary, I'd be more inclined to compare Hal Gill with other players who are used similarly to Hal Gill league wide, rather than compare Hal Gill to P.K. Subban.

I did find it interesting, however, that the players Martin has rotated in and out of the lineup were players that, by this methodology, came out the worst.

As far as advanced metrics go, I like Zone Start/Finish (my Halpern piece used that) because it's basic and pretty telling (though I found out that plays that end in goals end up showing up as neutral zone faceoffs, so you have to adjust), and I do agree that CORSI should be ditched indivdually for the Fenwick number: don't punish blocked shots, since often they do reflect proper defensive positioning, and can be used to gain possession back/thwart legitimate chances. Scoring chances are definitely more important on an in game analysis than CORSI/Fenwick, though. In the long run, scoring chances and CORSI/Fenwick are generally related, but you're right in your example that it doesn't tell the in game story.

I actually wish the scoring chance gurus would track odd man rushes alongside their scoring chance analyses, too. Not that I'm volunteering to help them out, though. :lol:

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A lot of eyes on G and G line. Money says they are our top line. I would suggest that they haven't earned second line status yet. I would take Gomez and see how he likes the fourth line for a few games. If it turns out he doesn't respond to that view, maybe he can watch the panorama from the press box. We are boasting and brimming with young talent, lets impresss upon Gomez and Gionta for that matter, that the door swings both ways.

What he said, NOT.

Watch the games not the box score.

If G and G are out then Pleks Cam Kost draw the top shut down lines instead.

Then we will have to bench them because they won't be producing.

Also remember that they are late season players, we are 8 games in.

Knee jerk reactions are not needed.

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I don't want to get too overblown with that... I don't think CORSI/QCOMP are junk stats, but I don't think they're the greatest assessment of player talent out there, either. I agree that Quinn had his cards stacked against him in Edmonton last year, but the point I was making was not that his strategy was flawed, but that he was really the only anomoly out there: most coaches are coaching fairly similarly nowadays in terms of who they have out on the ice in certain situations. I think it allows you to fairly compare players in certain situations... I'm not sure if the end all-inclusive rating Gabe has there is necessary, I'd be more inclined to compare Hal Gill with other players who are used similarly to Hal Gill league wide, rather than compare Hal Gill to P.K. Subban.

I did find it interesting, however, that the players Martin has rotated in and out of the lineup were players that, by this methodology, came out the worst.

As far as advanced metrics go, I like Zone Start/Finish (my Halpern piece used that) because it's basic and pretty telling (though I found out that plays that end in goals end up showing up as neutral zone faceoffs, so you have to adjust), and I do agree that CORSI should be ditched indivdually for the Fenwick number: don't punish blocked shots, since often they do reflect proper defensive positioning, and can be used to gain possession back/thwart legitimate chances. Scoring chances are definitely more important on an in game analysis than CORSI/Fenwick, though. In the long run, scoring chances and CORSI/Fenwick are generally related, but you're right in your example that it doesn't tell the in game story.

I actually wish the scoring chance gurus would track odd man rushes alongside their scoring chance analyses, too. Not that I'm volunteering to help them out, though. :lol:

I love advanced metrics.

I love the fact that people are beginning to look past the flawed models that have existed for 80 years and challenging

the sacred cow of what defines a great player. The thing I don't like about advanced metrics is those who use them

as gospel when proving a point (not you, no problem with how you used them, as they were particularly relevant in

the Halpern piece). They are in the infancy stage right now, akin to Bill James playing around in the mid 80s, because of

this they are still flawed. The Gill/Subban comparison is a prime example.

20 years from now Hockey will be viewed in an entirely different light when we define a great player/goaltender.

Edited by Wamsley01

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What he said, NOT.

Watch the games not the box score.

If G and G are out then Pleks Cam Kost draw the top shut down lines instead.

Then we will have to bench them because they won't be producing.

Also remember that they are late season players, we are 8 games in.

Knee jerk reactions are not needed.

I get the feeling that you are trying to tell me that the reason PCK line is successful is that the GG line is drawing the opponents top defensive line and that's why the GG line is important. I give opposing coaches more credit than that. We all know that what I said would never happen. The situation reminds me a lot of a baseball anology, where Gaston left Hill in the line-up all year batting.200 or less because he believed the veteran would come out of it. The difference being that the Blue Jays were going no where this year, the Canadiens have a chance to be good.

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The beauty of all this is that the team is having success WITHOUT its two biggest-name players being productive. And I'd like to point out that if you had told me a year ago that the Habs would go 5-2 without Andrei Markov, with G & G AWOL, and without a decent PP, I'd have fallen on my face. It could all be a freak thing based on a temporarily hot Kostitsyn and Price. Then again, it could point to a lot of the things we talked about going into this season: better team chemistry, massively improved bottom-6 depth, the mighty addition of PK, and a full season under Martin's system. My point is that this 'problem' (and it is a problem), put in context, actually could be used to reveal a fundamentally strong team.

A lot can go wrong and I know it's early. But the longer this goes on, the longer we can begin to ask if, just maybe, this club really is better than all the 'experts' believed. :hlogo:

Edited by The Chicoutimi Cucumber

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The beauty of all this is that the team is having success WITHOUT its two biggest-name players being productive. And I'd like to point out that if you had told me a year ago that the Habs would go 5-2 without Andrei Markov, with G & G AWOL, and without a decent PP, I'd have fallen on my face. It could all be a freak thing based on a temporarily hot Kostitsyn and Price. Then again, it could point to a lot of the things we talked about going into this season: better team chemistry, massively improved bottom-6 depth, the mighty addition of PK, and a full season under Martin's system. My point is that this 'problem' (and it is a problem), put in context, actually could be used to reveal a fundamentally strong team.

A lot can go wrong and I know it's early. But the longer this goes on, the longer we can begin to ask if, just maybe, this club really is better than all the 'experts' believed. :hlogo:

I think the latter half of your point is more representative of the 2011 Canadiens.

Outside of a 30 game stretch in 2008, this team has been routinely outshot for more than a decade and

has been over reliant on goaltending. So far this season, outside of the Tampa game, a game in which the

shot clock was a result of the Canadiens amassing an early lead, they have been strong with their 5 on 5 play.

If they have finally raised the bar with their 5 on 5 play and are capable of getting top 10 PP production with

Markov's return, then this team will likely jump to the top 4 in the Conference.

I am not one to simplify and state that when Gomez and Gionta get going that this team will take off, because

it will likely coincide with a cool down of Pleks, AK and Cammy. The start is certainly something to be optimistic

about considering how reliant they have been on Markov since the lockout ended.

The media predicted a collapse because they think that Halak did it all by himself and created the perception that

Price is some sort of Leightenesque hack. The media never predicts internal improvement outside of looking at

teams like Chicago, Pittsburgh and Washington loading up on high picks.

I continue to wait for the let down and my guard will not drop until the playoffs.

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I think the latter half of your point is more representative of the 2011 Canadiens.

Outside of a 30 game stretch in 2008, this team has been routinely outshot for more than a decade and

has been over reliant on goaltending. So far this season, outside of the Tampa game, a game in which the

shot clock was a result of the Canadiens amassing an early lead, they have been strong with their 5 on 5 play.

If they have finally raised the bar with their 5 on 5 play and are capable of getting top 10 PP production with

Markov's return, then this team will likely jump to the top 4 in the Conference.

I am not one to simplify and state that when Gomez and Gionta get going that this team will take off, because

it will likely coincide with a cool down of Pleks, AK and Cammy. The start is certainly something to be optimistic

about considering how reliant they have been on Markov since the lockout ended.

The media predicted a collapse because they think that Halak did it all by himself and created the perception that

Price is some sort of Leightenesque hack. The media never predicts internal improvement outside of looking at

teams like Chicago, Pittsburgh and Washington loading up on high picks.

I continue to wait for the let down and my guard will not drop until the playoffs.

Holy mixed messages, Batman! :lol:

No, I agree with your general analysis. But if that analysis is warranted, then the nervousness of your last sentence is not. The issue here is just that 8 games is not a sufficient data pool from which to declare that these Habs have 'finally raised the bar.' If they play another 30 like this, then unlike yourself I may actually start to relax... ^_^

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Really, the most encouraging parts to me are actually the Ottawa games. They may indeed be that lousy, but the fact of the matter is, when have the Habs ever completely dominate opponents? Those were two complete butt-kickings, and Price even let in two goals on three shots in a period and we still won. I hope to see more domination games this year. That will help convince me.

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Regarding the G & G line I believe that they must be split up. They worked well playing together for the Devils but thats many years ago now. Gionta and Gomez need to rediscover themselves again shed old skin if you know what I mean.

Kostitsyn-Gomez-Cammelleri

Eller/Pouliot-plekanec-Gionta

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