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Prime Minister Koivu

Why is our defense so bad? Is Julien to blame?

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We all know that our defense is struggling and the two recent games in Florida really exposed just how bad it is. We have been asking for a left defense for a couple of years now but I'm really starting to wonder if Julien is the problem.

 

To be clear I think that Julien is a good coach that makes some bizarre decisions at times. An example would be dressing Kulak on his off side and pairing him with a struggling Reilly. Is Kulak on his off side better than Fleury in his natural position? Julien loves to ice character/grinders over talent (he always has) and how many times have we been down a goal with a minute to go in the game and Julien will send out the 4th line instead of skill?

 

I look at our D corps and don't currently see a gaping hole there.

 

Chairot struggled badly at first but he has adjusted and is playing some excellent hockey (I'm sure that playing with Weber helps too).

Kulak pairs well with Petry and I like Kulak's game a lot.

Mete on the last pairing is where he should be and plays well as a bottom pair Dman.

Weber is on pace for a career year.

Petry has had some wonky games but his overall body of work is outstanding.

Fleury is playing very well for a rookie on the bottom pair. Yes he makes mistakes but he is not a black hole out there.

 

An upgrade on Kulak would be welcome but is he responsible for our weak defensive play? Is Kulak or anyone else on the defense the reason that we are so bad in our own end?

 

We can't clear our zone, clearing attempts are often intercepted, we run around in our end and give up prime chances every game. It does not help that Price is not on his A game either (I have been self questioning if Price does not want to be in Montreal anymore because he looks disinterested to me).

 

We have some strong defensive forwards to back up the defense (and maybe someday Domi will learn how to play some defense).

 

So what is the problem?

 

CJ has a strong reputation as a defensive coach but our defensive play is terrible.

 

We can score goals now which is a very exciting and welcome change but we can't keep pucks out of our net.

 

Is Claude Julien to blame for our weak defensive play?

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Habs are;

18-21

10th GF/gm

25th GA/gm

20th in NHL ranking

7pts out of wildcard spot

 

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, DON said:

Habs are;

18-21

10th GF/gm

25th GA/gm

20th in NHL ranking

7pts out of wildcard spot

 

 

 

 

 

So the answer is that we simply suck?

 

What makes us suck so bad to be 25th is goals against?

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Dont protect the middle of the ice, dont clear the front of the net 

 

Too many turnovers and soft on the puck

 

loose too many one on one battles 

 

Forwards dont back check

 

Give up way too many odd man breaks 

 

cross crease passes are far too easy, too many players watch the puck 

 

Did i mention they are small, soft and dont win enough battles 

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The chiarot weber pairing is actually leaking goals at a high rate against.  

 

Both are doing well at preventing goals when not together.

 

It might make sense to go chiarot - petry.

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CJ overplays Petry Weber and Chairot nightly, 

 

Needs to balance out the minutes

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2 hours ago, Prime Minister Koivu said:

 

So the answer is that we simply suck?

 

What makes us suck so bad to be 25th is goals against?

Poor d by the skaters and poor goaltending, i assume if end season letting in lots of pucks, Luke Richardson will be fired and a more boring game play will be used next season.

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What seems clear to me is that Carey Price is not 25 any more. He cannot play 68 games per season and maintain elite play, let alone single-handedly carry the team on his back. I believe this is the season in which he's clearly crossed that threshold. He needs more rest.

 

Lindgren's good play tonight may offer a bit of hope that we can stop playing him into the ground.

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I figure I can post this quote in here, to explain why the Habs tend to blow leads:

«Il y a des joueurs que tu ne peux pas utiliser dans des situations de fin de match. Alors, plus le match avance, plus tu surcharges certains joueurs, plus tu rends ton équipe vulnérable en réutilisant les mêmes joueurs. Et c’est ce qui explique la décroissance offensive au lieu d’avoir de la stabilité. » Dany Dubé

https://www.985fm.ca/nouvelles/sports/288361/lexplication-de-la-decroissance-offensive-du-canadien

 

Basically, it is the lack of talent exacerbated by the trade deadline trades and the injuries which make CJ overplay certain players who cave in at the end of games.

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Team defense and confidence just hasn't been good enough, easy to blame Coaching but when the group can go for stretches looking solid and then stretches looking leaky, you can't honestly think the Coaching is telling them to change up something that allows them to have success. 

 

On Paper the team has 3 very solid D, all of which are probably being over played atm because they are indeed the only 3 worthy of being overplayed, if we bump that up by 1 more, we would be in obvious, much better shape. We'll see what happens this summer, a hockey trade could bring that piece in, or even a guy like Romanov can prove he is capable of filling the role into the later stages of the season, we'll just have to see how it plays out.

 

 

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Or is it that the forwards defense is also a bigger factor? You saw Armia toss braincramp softie turnover at own blueline with little time left, Domi has assisted on several opposing goals, etc; but is it much different than all teams, i dont know?

But having to use Alzner & Oulette doesnt help.

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I still can't believe that we're paying one of the best goalie in the game 10M$ a year and keep surrounding him with that crappy unit.

 

If you identifiy your Goalie as your main weapon, god damn give him something to work with !!!

 

You want to win games 2-1 or 3-2  using the best goalie ?  Then you betta make sure that your team reduces substancially the number of AAA scoring chances it allows. 
BRING  TOP QUALITY DMEN !!!!  Don't ship them out of town.

 

 

In the NFL, when a team want to ride a good QB that is not that good at escaping pressure and doesn't have the quickest realease,  you see them drafting Offensive Line players with first and 2nd rounders  for 2-3 straight drafts.  They bring the support to the piece they identify as their #1 weapon.

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40 minutes ago, JoeLassister said:

I still can't believe that we're paying one of the best goalie in the game 10M$ a year and keep surrounding him with that crappy unit.

 

If you identifiy your Goalie as your main weapon, god damn give him something to work with !!!

 

You want to win games 2-1 or 3-2  using the best goalie ?  Then you betta make sure that your team reduces substancially the number of AAA scoring chances it allows. 
BRING  TOP QUALITY DMEN !!!!  Don't ship them out of town.

 

 

In the NFL, when a team want to ride a good QB that is not that good at escaping pressure and doesn't have the quickest realease,  you see them drafting Offensive Line players with first and 2nd rounders  for 2-3 straight drafts.  They bring the support to the piece they identify as their #1 weapon.

 

I'm still a fan of drafting BPA then if you get a stockpile of talent in one position you trade some stockpile to address your needs. We have strong depth on the wing so we should sell some to get help on D - this is how it is supposed to work.

 

I do think that Julien deserves some criticism for our defense beyond the idea that he is the coach so he is responsible.

 

CJ is a chess player, he is a line matcher and I'm not sure if that is the best way to coach this team. We do not have a high power line like some other teams do, what we have is balance and depth. When our roster is full and healthy I think we have 3 second lines and one third line. With a roster like that we should be rolling 4 lines instead of trying to line match.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, JoeLassister said:

In the NFL, when a team want to ride a good QB that is not that good at escaping pressure and doesn't have the quickest realease,  you see them drafting Offensive Line players with first and 2nd rounders  for 2-3 straight drafts.  They bring the support to the piece they identify as their #1 weapon.

Ask Cleveland Browns, Miami, Buffalo, Cinni Bengals, etc just how easy it is to do eh.

Sounds so simple on paper.

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Good teams are good teams for a reason. 

 

teams like the browns, dolphins, red wings, habs are now in the conversation for being an annual bottom feeder are there for a reason, ownership, management, coaching drafting and develpment. Thats what they all have in common 

 

I disagree about having 3 2nd lines, they barely have 1, the rest are spare parts and grinders, Suzuki will continue to improve and be a legit top 2 center, Danualt on a bad team otherwise a perfect number 3. 

 

Jury is still out on KK and the current picks, 

 

If anyone is relying on Drouin to be a top 6 winger they will be disappointed. 

 

If CJ is a match up guy, he should be using Danualt Lehkonen Armia to shut down others top lines, yes actually having a checking line that can put some points up .put Suzuki with tatr and gallagher 

 

Domi is too streaky and a defensive mess to be reliable, I love byron bit on a good team he is a 3rd liner, the rest are just mix and match 

 

Same for defense, Petry and Weber are legit top 4, they don't have a legit top 4 LD, Chairot has been very good but on a good team he is a great bottom pair guy. 

 

 

 

 

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Danault is a third line centre... but some how his rw had a career best season last year and his left wing is having a career best season this year.

 

Hes a guy with little pp time as they save him for PK... but is easily top 30 in ES points for a centre.

 

His lines analytics are amongst the best in the nhl.

 

But yeah, hes not a second line capable centre.

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tied for 77th in scoring 

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49 minutes ago, DON said:

Ask Cleveland Browns, Miami, Buffalo, Cinni Bengals, etc just how easy it is to do eh.

Sounds so simple on paper.

2019 : Browns traded their 1st for Odell.  Miami and Buffalo went with a defensive tackle,  Bengals did draft an OLine  who missed the whole season though.
2018 : Browns drafted a QB and a CB (and Nick Chubb in the 2nd),  Buffalo a QB and a Linebacker while Bengals did draft a Center.

Among teams you listed, only the Bengals did try to draft high-end talent on their OLine   the past 2 years in round #1.


Anyway, my point is that in the NFL,  the quickest way to fix a glaring hole in your roster is to draft by position instead of BPA and  NFL teams do that a lot, as opposed as the NHL.

Because in the NHL, only a few players jump from the juniors to the big league and it's alright, because they're still kids while NFL rookies are older.

What's left in the NHL : Free agents and trades.  That's where you (try to) fix your roster real quick.  And for 2 years now,  MB has failed to bring top talent at defense to boost his all-star goalie.

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1 hour ago, JoeLassister said:

2019 : Browns traded their 1st for Odell.  Miami and Buffalo went with a defensive tackle,  Bengals did draft an OLine  who missed the whole season though.
2018 : Browns drafted a QB and a CB (and Nick Chubb in the 2nd),  Buffalo a QB and a Linebacker while Bengals did draft a Center.

Among teams you listed, only the Bengals did try to draft high-end talent on their OLine   the past 2 years in round #1.


Anyway, my point is that in the NFL,  the quickest way to fix a glaring hole in your roster is to draft by position instead of BPA and  NFL teams do that a lot, as opposed as the NHL.

Because in the NHL, only a few players jump from the juniors to the big league and it's alright, because they're still kids while NFL rookies are older.

What's left in the NHL : Free agents and trades.  That's where you (try to) fix your roster real quick.  And for 2 years now,  MB has failed to bring top talent at defense to boost his all-star goalie.

But really is terrible comparison example NFL vs NHL draft.

NCAA vs High School kids, NFL typically drafts for roster needs; NHL draft BPA for couple to several years down the road...so current roster is mostly irrelevant, unless picking top 5.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Chris said:

tied for 77th in scoring 

 

Danault is 37th in scoring for centres, Domi 38th and Suzuki 48th. That's three second-line centres for you, today.

On the left, Tatar is 7th and Lehkonen is 57th (easy first-line LW, and a somewhat marginal 2LW based on points production).

On the right, Gallagher is 22nd and Armia 45th,  that's very much 1LW and 2LW again.

 

And that's without including Drouin, Byron or Kotkaniemi.

 

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3 hours ago, Chris said:

tied for 77th in scoring 

 

93 NHLers play on the first line (3 forwards per team)

 

77th in scoring is a bottom tier first liner....

 

As a second line centre... more than good enough, especially since that scoring includes PP time, and Danault doesn't get much. (11th fwd on the Habs in PP Ice time per game)

 

Pure 5v5 scoring, he's tied for 31st in the NHL.... tied for 16th amongst Cs.   Which is a clear first liner.


We all know his defence is excellent. 

So he scores at a good level, his defence is excellent. Tell me again why he can't be a second line centre on a good team? 

 

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I didnt say he can;t i said on a good team he is the best 3rd liner in the game

 

On a bad he is fine as a 1 or 2 

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bad team 

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32 minutes ago, Chris said:

I didnt say he can;t i said on a good team he is the best 3rd liner in the game

 

On a bad he is fine as a 1 or 2 

 

My question was "So he scores at a good level, his defence is excellent. Tell me again why he can't be a second line centre on a good team?"

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His LW is on pace to put up over 70 points... he isnt dragging him down.

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