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Machine of Loving Grace

Who will be the big season surprise?

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I hate seeing a negative topic like brobin's without doing something more positive as well.

We're one game into the regular season. Who do you think is going to be the big surprise of the season? Surprise as in they out perform their numbers last year or merely pull off a better season than you expected? You don't just have to play off of the first game but also your off season expectations.

To start, I've been saying that I think Colby Armstrong is going to surprise a lot of Habs fans but I think we might see Rene Bourque put up the best numbers compared to his atrocious season last year. Playing on the right wing and having something to prove has really put a kick in his strides.

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I hope you are right about bourque, so that we can trade him. The guy has size but doesn't hit, lost his speed after his injuries and floats too much to be relied on to be a consistent threat.

I hate seeing a negative topic like brobin's without doing something more positive as well.

We're one game into the regular season. Who do you think is going to be the big surprise of the season? Surprise as in they out perform their numbers last year or merely pull off a better season than you expected? You don't just have to play off of the first game but also your off season expectations.

To start, I've been saying that I think Colby Armstrong is going to surprise a lot of Habs fans but I think we might see Rene Bourque put up the best numbers compared to his atrocious season last year. Playing on the right wing and having something to prove has really put a kick in his strides.

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I'm going to say Diaz. I've long been stating that he was a lot better than most gave him credit for last year and I expect he will take a step forward this season. Will he move into the top-4? Perhaps not but it's my expectation that people won't loop him in the same group as Weber in terms of trade-ability by the time the end of April rolls around.

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Bourque is starting from expectations well south of zero, so if he shows up semi-regularly, drives the net now and then, and scores here and there, he will have massively surprised practically everyone. That's a good call.

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Bourque is starting from expectations well south of zero, so if he shows up semi-regularly, drives the net now and then, and scores here and there, he will have massively surprised practically everyone. That's a good call.

Bouillon is another that fits the description. We think of him as a roster filler, but the fact is he'll log heavy minutes each game and be effective in his role.

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Bouillon is another that fits the description. We think of him as a roster filler, but the fact is he'll log heavy minutes each game and be effective in his role.

I just wish I didn't keep confusing him and Desharnais out there! Same height, same numbers - what are the odds? :lol:

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Bouillon is another that fits the description. We think of him as a roster filler, but the fact is he'll log heavy minutes each game and be effective in his role.

Bouillon, for me, has always been heavily underrated because of his size. In his prime, quality top-4 guy who can hit, move the puck, and is defensively responsible. His acquisition over the summer was extremely smart.

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I just wish I didn't keep confusing him and Desharnais out there! Same height, same numbers - what are the odds? :lol:

Had a hard time yesterday, I was thinking seeing Igor Ulanov . Didn't Bouillon wore a different number last time?

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Had a hard time yesterday, I was thinking seeing Igor Ulanov . Didn't Bouillon wore a different number last time?

Yeah, #51.

I'm with Colin, I always respected Bouillon as a solid bottom-pairing character guy. So a useful season from him would not surprise me, although his age is a concern.

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I'm hoping for a nice short season from Bouillon as well. And at the risk of repeating myself, when Subban returns, every player on the back end looks better.

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Diaz or Kaberle. Diaz has shown some nice flashes and might be more consistent this year. I think Kaberle will have a nice bounce ack ear, at least offensively.

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I don't know about biggest surprise, but I think Emelin will take another leap forward and be a real blue line beast this year.

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I think there is potential for Emelin or Eller to step up and be big surprises

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If given the chance, I think Eller has the skills necessary to take a huge step. Two things have to fall into place though: he has to be put on an attacking line with two quality wingers, and he has to take that next step to better consistency. He showed longer and longer flashes of the latter last year. With a little of the former, he might have a breakout season.

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If given the chance, I think Eller has the skills necessary to take a huge step. Two things have to fall into place though: he has to be put on an attacking line with two quality wingers, and he has to take that next step to better consistency. He showed longer and longer flashes of the latter last year. With a little of the former, he might have a breakout season.

My fantasy hockey team hopes he gets that chance...

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I'm *cautiously* skeptical about Eller. There is no question he has the talent to be an effective C. What I don't sense from him is a whole lot in the way of determination and drive - that raw desire to make things happen and take charge. I have a suspicion that he sees himself in a sort of affably supportive role, kinda like Ringo ('just happy to be here') and has no particular impetus to become a go-to guy.

Of course, this is all totally impressionistic and may be hugely unfair to the lad. Just a feeling.

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I have a feeling people would be singing Lars Eller's praises if he was still in St. Louis. I think he's just as good as Berglund, only Berglund has received better opportunities.

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I have a feeling people would be singing Lars Eller's praises if he was still in St. Louis. I think he's just as good as Berglund, only Berglund has received better opportunities.

Totally agree. He needs skilled wingers, rather then the Moen, darche types. I'd be interested in seeing him with gionta and one of the Gally's, or even with an all kid line, where he has both Gally's to work with.

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Totally agree. He needs skilled wingers, rather then the Moen, darche types. I'd be interested in seeing him with gionta and one of the Gally's, or even with an all kid line, where he has both Gally's to work with.

It's always a 'philosophical' question: do you give a seemingly-talented young player top-6 line-mates and ice-time in the hope that it will help him blossom; or do you ask that he actually earn his way into the top-6 with performance? I don't know, and I'm not sure there is any definitively right answer that applies in all cases. But there is certainly something to be said for the idea of making young guys earn what they get.

I think we have to be careful about blaming everybody but Eller for the fact that he has shown no sign, thus far, of being consistently productive. If Therrien declines to give him top-6 line-mates, that will make three consecutive coaches who have felt they had reason to refuse to promote him. Connect that to occasional murmurs that Eller really isn't terribly committed, it may be telling us something about where his head is at this stage in his development.

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i also would guess Eller should have good year.

How did Therrian generally critique Eller on RDS last year?

Just wondering if Cucumber and coach are of similar mind and explain's Eller's lack of ice on Sat?

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Eller is apparently not going to dress (healthy scratch) tomorrow

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Eller is apparently not going to dress (healthy scratch) tomorrow

Therrien wouldn't commit to that, the lineup will be announced tomorrow. https://twitter.com/JohnLuTSNMtl/status/293420538523688960

That said, he was the odd man out at practice today. Galchenyuk was centering the 3rd line with Prust and Gallagher while Moen dropped to the 4th with White/Armstrong.

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Therrien wouldn't commit to that, the lineup will be announced tomorrow. https://twitter.com/JohnLuTSNMtl/status/293420538523688960

That said, he was the odd man out at practice today. Galchenyuk was centering the 3rd line with Prust and Gallagher while Moen dropped to the 4th with White/Armstrong.

Well there will be tons of compete on that line if nothing else.

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Eller is apparently not going to dress (healthy scratch) tomorrow

Some off ice issue?

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For me big surprise will be Diaz or Gallagher. I just love these guys and think their play will be a lot better then most would expect. I also would say this because I don't think there will be a big surprise from anyone in the room. I believe Pleks and Gionta will have a better years but I don't think that would be a "surprise". If Eller improves considering how many people have picked him and his young age I can't say that would be a surprise either. The top line who well can't surprise us much more, Galchenyuk who as 3rd overall has highish expectations on him already, Armstrong probably will get hurt, Markov who was an allstar before he was injured and probably won't play as well so nothing surprising here, leaving guys like Moen, Bouillion, White, Kaberle have established games that won't really change.

Edit: I forgot to mention Bourque, and well considering he had multiple 27 goal seasons a better year from him, as with the cases of Pleks and Gio, wouldn't be hard to imagine.

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