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Habs Playoff Debrief


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KK and Suzuki have arrived and MAY be what we’ve been looking for at centre - need to see them over a full season now that there will be greater expectations. This offseason will be like a 2nd offseas

The 4th line wasn't the problem, the Habs lost because they didn't score enough. I like Nate Thompson but he wouldn't haven't been the difference.  They needed some of the their goal scorers to come t

Danault/Lehkonen could be the cornerstone of one of the league's finest defensive lines. Armia would fit right in. I like that idea lots.   As others have noted, the emergence of Suzy and (h

KK and Suzuki have arrived and MAY be what we’ve been looking for at centre - need to see them over a full season now that there will be greater expectations. This offseason will be like a 2nd offseason for Suzuki and 3d for KK.  Suzuki obviously recharged during the break and KK got healthy, stronger and confident.  Hopefully he realized what Crosby did in year 1-3, that he has to improve his ability to win faceoffs and hopefully that is an off season focus.  

 

But there is still a lot of work to be done.  We need better wingers, more finish.  Canfield May be a solution in two years, but unless we want to remain a bubble team, we need more offensive players.  I think 2 of the three in Drouin, Tatar (Really only effective in one game) and Domi need to be upgraded.
 

 I may be in the minority, but I still think we need major upgrades on D - Romanov MAY be part of the answer. But again, unless we want to remain a bubble team the trident or pitchfork is not the answer.

 

Hard decisions to be made about petry.  Move him or extend him?  Gallagher as well.  Love the heart, will and fight, but would be careful on the length of the extension, given the strengths I just listed meshing with his style and smaller frame.  Maybe an opportunity to take advantage of a team like the oilers or flames to get them to seriously overpay.  If add the leafs, but they don’t really have much outside of their top 4 I like and I rally done want Nylander, Marner’s or Tavares contract, and they ain’t moving Mathews.

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One thing for sure, there will be less talk of trading for a centre which will be a nice change, Suzuki, KK and Danault is starting to look like a good group. I agree about Petry, that is a big decision. He will be 33 next year, has been a work horse and still has some good years left but his best years are behind him.  Trading him now would likely bring good value but also leaves a hole on the right side and Weber is not getting any younger.  

 

Good to see St. Louis going down as i believe the Habs have their 2nd round pick which should be higher now. Maybe they can package a couple of their 2nd round picks and move up in the draft. 

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I honestly dont really consider them to be a bubble team or team tank as some seem to call them.  🤣

 

Last year it was just stupid luck they failed to make the playoffs.  They are the 2nd team ever to have 96 points and not make the playoffs.  The year before that they sucked, but they should have done a lot better that year.  I have no idea what happened that year but it sealed Pacc's and Galchenyuk's future with the Habs.  The year before that they did really good, and the year before that I blame on Subban.  PK won them 5 games that year but probably cost them 10 and they missed the playoffs by 11 points.

 

This year they had a ton of bad luck with injuries and at the same time.  The Leafs almost missed the playoffs and might have legitimately if the season had actually played out - which is nutbar considering.   The Leafs also had stretches of 2-7-1 but were only missing 1 top player during those stretches but the Habs had 3-4+ top guys out during their prolonged suckfests. 

 

The Habs definitely need better dmen, and Romanov should help that, but they should probably pick up another guy in the off season. 

 

I think they are in fairly good shape and should be a playoff team. 

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Let's start with the D  : with how well Ouellet played, it will allow the CH to have a good look at Romanov without rushing him to the NHL. Ouellet, Juulsen, Folin and Mete need to be signed, and that will force the Habs to trade one of them if they resign them all. The "pitch fork" was solid, but did not contribute too many points which opens the door for speculation to what changes can be done to improve the D.

 

For the forwards, the emergence of Evans enables the Habs to focus on improving the top 9. I am hoping Gallagher makes a complete recovery (for his sake) and that he comes back to perform with the same passion. That would provide two scoring lines, something the Habas have not had in years

I am disappointment in Domi, more than I am on Drouin. Drouin seemed to be able to deliver some offense despite all the pressure on him: that is great. Domi kind of crumbled under the scrutiny and expectations, didn't provide a spark, didn't use his speed, didn't make his line dangerous.

 

All in all, it was an interesting season for the Habs. Full of drama, and some hope for the future, Let's hope the third act of this retool delivers :)

 

 

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I was pissed at MB for doing nothing last offseason because I said we were one player away from being a playoff team that could win a round or two. I think these playoffs proved that and imagine if Thompson was still our 4th line centre, imagine if we could have replaced a struggling Tatar with Kovalchuck...

 

Domi - I continue to believe he is way overrated and if I can find a team that gives him a high valuation then I would trade him.

 

Mete - Why are we excited about him? He can't score, he doesn't hit, he is not great on the boards, he can carry the puck and make some passes.

 

Oulette - after a rocky start he actually looked pretty good in game 5 and 6

 

Kotkaniemi - Pair this guy with skill and he goes hard to the net and is dangerous every shift - stop pairing him with guys like Lehkonen

 

Suzuki - He may be a top 10 player

 

Lehkonen - This guy brings it 100% every shift and I love him. I'm also wondering if we need to move on from him or at least stop using him in an offensive roll. He just can't convert really great scoring chances.

 

Petry - I continue to believe he is the best player on our team. He does so much without the puck that gets over looked, he is incredible.

 

Tatar - is this guy a playoff dud? This is not his first playoff struggle.

 

I think this also proves that we don't need to tank or rebuild and that talk should be put to bed. Please Bergevin bring us an upgrade on Mete and a sniper (along with Romanov) and this team can do damage. We hung in there with the cup favorites and could just as easily be moving onto the next round with some good bounces.

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2 hours ago, Prime Minister Koivu said:

I was pissed at MB for doing nothing last offseason because I said we were one player away from being a playoff team that could win a round or two. I think these playoffs proved that and imagine if Thompson was still our 4th line centre, imagine if we could have replaced a struggling Tatar with Kovalchuck...

 

 

 

Tatar had 2 goals in the playoffs,  Kovalchuk had a grand total of 1 assist. Nate Thompson had 1 goal.  I agree with many of your other points especially regarding Lehkonen, Suzuki and KK.

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10 hours ago, Habs Fan in Edmonton said:

Maybe they can package a couple of their 2nd round picks and move up in the draft. 

Cant see it making huge difference, trade a 2nd and move up to maybe 13th, but doubt it happens. And trading 2 2nds would be very rare i think. 

So instead of a Connor Zary 57gms 38g 86pts at 16, you maybe get a Jack Quinn 62gm 52g 89pts.

 

Ouellet, #14, #15, Price, Kulak, Armia,  played better than expected.

Domi & Tatar not so much. 

Drouin came through and showed he can be effective.

Evans & Muller held their own 

Too bad Poehling, Fleury, Juulsen and Romanov didnt get to dress.

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31 minutes ago, DON said:

Cant see it making huge difference, trade a 2nd and move up to maybe 13th, but doubt it happens. And trading 2 2nds would be very rare i think. 

So instead of a Connor Zary 57gms 38g 86pts at 16, you maybe get a Jack Quinn 62gm 52g 89pts.

 

 

 

The Habs have 3  2nd round picks and I think at this most point they should be more interested in quality not quantity. They can definitely be used as currency if there is a player they are targeting. Time for MB to get a little creative.

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29 minutes ago, Habs Fan in Edmonton said:

 

The Habs have 3  2nd round picks and I think at this most point they should be more interested in quality not quantity. They can definitely be used as currency if there is a player they are targeting. Time for MB to get a little creative.

OK, what i meant was that, prospect at 16 vs 12 isnt worth trading up for. Maybe a 2nd could be part of a trade for a roster player, or trade for 2021 picks (But have 11picks already next year).

As it does seem unlikely for Bergy to pick all 3 2nds, he is always active on draft day and given will be some teams in real need of shedding salary, should be interesting.

In 2010 he did use 2nd to trade up from 27th to 22nd, but likely bit tougher to trade up to 12th (Panthers) or 13th (Hurricanes already have 2 2nds).

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4 hours ago, Habs Fan in Edmonton said:

 

Tatar had 2 goals in the playoffs,  Kovalchuk had a grand total of 1 assist.


That’s a valid point — but Kovalchuk would surely have had a different role in Montreal. Maybe we would not have dressed Weise, either.

 

But, in the end, no one can know what would really have happened.

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I feel so much better about this team than I did before these bubble playoffs.  This is mainly down to KK's emergence as a top-2 C of the present and future.  He's starting to show shades of Kopitar with his physicality and skill, and now I'm back to dreaming big about his potential.  Suzuki is a stud and has a higher ceiling than Patches on his own, which makes that trade an even bigger steal.  Danault is an elite 3rd line center, and we were able to carry the play against Philly largely due to our strength down the middle.  We still need some actual star power up front - maybe Caufield can add some of that, but it's hard to see where extra scoring will come from in the short term.  

 

On D, our guys are playing about as well as we could hope.  Ouellette didn't even hurt us much, but hopefully Romanov can step in and be effective, and Mete can learn to shoot (not holding my breath on this one).  Overall, this team pretty much maximized their potential during this short run and played well against decent playoff teams - not the elite like Boston or Tampa.  We'll still be a bubble team next year, but one with a recipe for playoff success.

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They were a .500 team in the playoffs... same in the season... this team needs more then some depth players... they need more young talent...

 

another first round exit is hardly a sign of great things to come..

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5 hours ago, Habs Fan in Edmonton said:

 

Tatar had 2 goals in the playoffs,  Kovalchuk had a grand total of 1 assist. Nate Thompson had 1 goal.  I agree with many of your other points especially regarding Lehkonen, Suzuki and KK.

 

Thompson is a 4th line player that was in our face and up our ass all series long. Would you rather have Hudon or Thompson on your 4th line?

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52 minutes ago, Prime Minister Koivu said:

 

Thompson is a 4th line player that was in our face and up our ass all series long. Would you rather have Hudon or Thompson on your 4th line?

 

The 4th line wasn't the problem, the Habs lost because they didn't score enough. I like Nate Thompson but he wouldn't haven't been the difference.  They needed some of the their goal scorers to come through, Gallagher, Danault, Byron and Domi had 3 goals between them in 10 games. Not nearly good enough.  i hate being critical of Gallagher, he was playing hurt and there is nobody I respect more on the Habs. 

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17 hours ago, Sir_Boagalott said:

I honestly dont really consider them to be a bubble team or team tank as some seem to call them.  🤣

 

The two are VERY distinct terms/concepts teams do not tank to be bubble teams ... they tank to be far, far from a bubble team

 

17 hours ago, Sir_Boagalott said:

... I think they are in fairly good shape and should be a playoff team. 

 

I think the Philly series showed that they are still very much a team that depends on Price ... with him at his best they should be in the playoffs ... but the rest of the team is not a solid "playoff team roster" ... top 6 wingers need improvement, other than Gallagher whn healthy

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6 hours ago, Habs Fan in Edmonton said:

 

Tatar had 2 goals in the playoffs,  Kovalchuk had a grand total of 1 assist. Nate Thompson had 1 goal.  I agree with many of your other points especially regarding Lehkonen, Suzuki and KK.

 

Tartar had two goals in one game, and no assists ... I agree that Kovalchuk would have not made much difference but overall neither did Tomas really

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14 minutes ago, GHT120 said:

I think the Philly series showed that they are still very much a team that depends on Price ... with him at his best they should be in the playoffs ... but the rest of the team is not a solid "playoff team roster" ... top 6 wingers need improvement, other than Gallagher whn healthy

 

It's true. But by the same token, neither would the Flyers be a playoff team without Hart.

 

After this past week's blender, I'm not quite sure who our top-six wingers are any more. 😁 But I assume you mean Tatar, Gallagher, Drouin and Armia. I would argue that in the small sample size that we have, Drouin-Suzuki-Armia showed a lot of promise, and they could be a very effective second line. Tatar, yes. But if we had Caufield-Kotkaniemi-Gallagher as the first line, it would be a significant improvement.

 

That said, if we can pry a young(ish) top-six winger from one of the cap-constrained teams this fall, I'm all for it.

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1 hour ago, GHT120 said:

 

Tartar had two goals in one game, and no assists ... I agree that Kovalchuk would have not made much difference but overall neither did Tomas really

 

Tartar had a poor playoff, I don't think anyone would argue that. He was one of a group of players that under performed offensively. 

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3 hours ago, Habs Fan in Edmonton said:

 

Tartar had a poor playoff, I don't think anyone would argue that. He was one of a group of players that under performed offensively. 

 

More concerning to me is that is reflective of his playoff history ... his fifth postseason and only once has he performed well

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1 hour ago, GHT120 said:

 

More concerning to me is that is reflective of his playoff history ... his fifth postseason and only once has he performed well

 

True, 6 goals in 35 playoff games is well below his regular season average. Loved his play for the Habs during the last 2 regular seasons but the playoffs is a different animal. 

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15 hours ago, Prime Minister Koivu said:

I was pissed at MB for doing nothing last offseason because I said we were one player away from being a playoff team that could win a round or two. I think these playoffs proved that and imagine if Thompson was still our 4th line centre, imagine if we could have replaced a struggling Tatar with Kovalchuck...

 

Domi - I continue to believe he is way overrated and if I can find a team that gives him a high valuation then I would trade him.

 

Mete - Why are we excited about him? He can't score, he doesn't hit, he is not great on the boards, he can carry the puck and make some passes.

 

Oulette - after a rocky start he actually looked pretty good in game 5 and 6

 

Kotkaniemi - Pair this guy with skill and he goes hard to the net and is dangerous every shift - stop pairing him with guys like Lehkonen

 

Suzuki - He may be a top 10 player

 

Lehkonen - This guy brings it 100% every shift and I love him. I'm also wondering if we need to move on from him or at least stop using him in an offensive roll. He just can't convert really great scoring chances.

 

Petry - I continue to believe he is the best player on our team. He does so much without the puck that gets over looked, he is incredible.

 

Tatar - is this guy a playoff dud? This is not his first playoff struggle.

 

I'm unsure if Domi is way overrated.  I still think its too early to make that determination.   I fully agree with Mete - I dont understand him at all, picked in the 4th round and somehow played for Can at WJ.  I think Lekhs might be a risk of being dumped, he's decent but he has shown that he isnt capable of scoring 20g/yr so there is a strong likelihood that another player could do just as good if not better so why keep him.  I definitely agree with Petry - they need to resign him, I'd give him a contract until Norlinder+1.  ex: if Norlinder will be a Habs in 3 yrs sign Petry for 4 yrs w/o a NTC and move him at 1 of the trade deadlines once Norlinder (and Romanov) are capable. 

9 hours ago, tomh009 said:


That’s a valid point — but Kovalchuk would surely have had a different role in Montreal. Maybe we would not have dressed Weise, either.

 

But, in the end, no one can know what would really have happened.

 

I agree with you on Kovalchuk.  He only had 1 assist but the Caps have better forwards and dont need or play him as much as the Habs would have, its like apples to oranges so its hard to say, but he probably would have done more for the Habs.

 

Depending on what Ilya would sign for, I'd almost consider bringing him back if the right moves could potentially be worked out.  ex: sign Illya for 1-2 yrs if a team would give us a dman for Tatar.  Illy is probably just as good as Tatar so if they can improve a dman for basically nothing it would make sense to do it.   

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