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Quarter season evaluations!


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#1 REV-G

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 11:59 AM

I know it's still a bit early since the beginning of the season but with such a shortened season I think it's time to evaluate and see what we like and what we don't.

 

What is working well:

 

1. GM Bergevin and his management team. I really like and feel confident in how they are working. 

    I like how Bergevin handled the Subban situation. I read Bergevin himself was the one who sold PK on the deal.

    I like how Bergevin didn't try to remake the team right at the start but added a few pieces for toughness and then

    seemingly has allowed the rest to play and maybe even make up for last year with a fresh start so he can see how

    everyone is doing in a more stable environment than last year.

 

2. Players who have exceeded expectations or have risen to the occassion.

    Andre Markov: What an improvement he has made to our team in so many ways. It's obvious how much we missed him.

    Rene Bourque: he seems inspired, enjoying playing, and he's trying. Maybe he was injured but I didn't see any of these

                             happening last year.

    The kids: Galchenuk and Gallagher. For me they have exceeded expectations. It's fun to watch them growing and  

                    gaining confidence and it seems like everyone is rooting for them, wanting and pushing them to do well.

    Price: He seems so confident, solid, well positioned and positionally so good. Around the league I've heard a number

              of analysts picking Price as the first or second goalie in line for the Olympics next year. 

 

3. The coach: From the beginning I thought Therrien would do at least a good job and maybe even a really good job. I like

                       his sysytem of aggressive forecheck, attacking and supporting one another. They seem to be using their

                       speed much more effective this year and it is definitely making it difficult for other teams. 

                       I like that he is making players accountable. I like White but I think that has been a good example of what

                       happens if you don't put the team first and it shows what Therrien wants.

                       The overall team unity and buy-in: it seems to me they are all committed, are working together and are

                        having fun together. For me that spells great team chemistry.

 

So for me out team is better than what I expected. I find them much more fun to watch this year and with the young guys and what we have drafted and what we'll gte this year in the draft I think each year is only going to get better. So a very bright future ahead!!

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#2 The Chicoutimi Cucumber

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:51 PM

I agree with most of this. I think the keys to our early success have been, in roughly descending order of importance:

 

1. Markov

2. Galy and Gally, stepping in and adding a much-needed blast of secondary scoring and enthusiasm.

3. Bourque suddenly being a good power forward.

4. Added robustness and grit throughout the lineup.

5. The positive energy created by both a new coach, and by a burning desire within the team to turn the page on last year's debacle.

 

I don't list Price because there's nothing new about him being a key for us.

 

I am most nervous about whether the top three considerations will last, especially the top two. Markov will have to play a good long time before I am convinced he isn't 'one hit away' from destruction. And I'm always jittery about counting on rookies. Meanwhile, Bourque is notoriously inconsistent (although his stats do suggest a pretty reliable 25+ goal-scorer). As for Therrien, I don't think he'll be an issue until well into Year Two of his contract...assuming he hasn't learned anything and actually become a good coach.


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#3 IN THE HEARTS OF MEN

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 02:17 PM

1) MT- was a good coach in his first stint with us. Rookie mistakes are exactly that... rookie mistakes. He has clearly shown the ability to learn and move forward. He was a good coach in Pitt as well. Learn and move forward! we are playing a speed game, with high pressure and quick transition counters. he has basically taken the players we have and built the best system to make them successful rather then forcing a system/ style that isnt meant for "our" team as in years past. FIrst test: We lost 3 in a row, 2 collapses and the last being a drumming to TO. We responded by winning 3 straight ourselves, 2 in Florida (where we've been better at tanning then hockey in recent times) and one against a struggling philly team who we've struggled against as well. MT has done nothing to show he will have an epic collapse in the near future. i for one think he's going to get better as the season progresses he's still young, not a rookie but still treading the 500 games mark. next test: dealing with injuries (gallagher)
the board was screaming for guy boucher once upon a time.... what's he done since his TB move? nada

 

2)Carey Price- he has now matured since his early career whoas and is emerging as the premier goalie in the universe.

is there a goalie at only 25yrs old that has his career stats all time? his presence is so ever reassuring to the team and we can win any given night with him in the nets! any doubters of the habs this season should be eating a handful of crow having clearly underestimated how we possess i believe the best player in the world at his position and arguably top 5 player in the world overall (Gainey's best move: keeping Price and dumping Halak for sure)

 

3) Andrei the Giant- the general of the PP and leader of the defence is back and has brought a calmness to the back line. no longer relying on the kid PK  to carry the load. he has brought a ripple effect to the D core. everyone from his partner emelin to diaz have elevated there game this season. Pk no longer is our #1 and can now focus on maturing into a future Norris candidate thanks to marky's return.... Welcome back Mr. Markov, and heres to healthy 2013

 

4) B. Prust- oh man how i like this guy! what a pick up by MB. He is the real deal! nothing the habs have seen since Keane left. tough as nails. fights every minute of every game to win. a heart and soul player who will do anything for his family "our habs"! 1 more guy like that and the sky's the limit for this team..... clutterbuck or clarkson anybody?

 

5) plekanec- all this talk of the rookie's and bourque but everybody forgets the habs most consistent forward over 5 years now. saddled with all the defensive responsibilities as well as scoring, he has stepped up to the table again. with a healthy line up and consistent line mates he's reminding us all how he is one of the best 2 way centermen in all of hockey. if only he can step up that horrible faceoff game which drags him down immensely


 


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#4 REV-G

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:08 PM

In the Hearts of Men, you're absolutely right about Plekanec. I think many of us have taken him for granted. He is absolutely a key piece of the puzzle for us. The reason I didn't include him in the original thread is because he is not a surprise, he just keeps on being consistent and solid.
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#5 Machine of Loving Grace

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 04:23 PM

I see Plekanec as a top six center for Montreal for the rest of his contract.  He isn't going to drop off and I don't see anyone moving him to a third line role.  I think he'll forever be underrated as a goal scorer in this league.  Andrei Kostitsyn scored 26 goals and everyone creamed at his potential.  The same season, Plekanec scored 29 and nobody talked about it.


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#6 dlbalr

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 04:37 PM

I put my player evaluations up last week so instead of weighing in here, I'll just link my columns instead:

 

Forwards: http://www.habsworld...cle.php?id=3010

Goalies/Defence: http://www.habsworld...cle.php?id=3006


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#7 IN THE HEARTS OF MEN

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 06:28 PM

i went with the 5 people key to our resurgence so far this season.


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#8 Colin

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 10:55 AM

Playing with confidence.  In other words, being able to do what your skills allow without being Chara'd.  More specifically, Prust.  Finally, we have a tough guy who can chip in with some real talent and more importantly makes opponents accountable.  We are still a little "smurfy" but Prust has changed the way the Habs are viewed.  (Yes, to a lesser extent Armstrong, Moen and White help, but they're not even in the same universe as Prust.  We finally have the Chris Nilan the team has been missing for a very long time.  You can get useless fighters anytime, but Prust is so, so very much more.


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#9 brobin

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 06:18 PM

I agree with the above comments, but I would add that I have been very impressed with Diaz.

2nd on the team in points.
Plus 4
4th on the team in TOI

Diaz has been getting better and better defensively as well.

He is quickly becoming my nod for " surprise of the year".
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#10 brobin

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 06:24 PM

I put my player evaluations up last week so instead of weighing in here, I'll just link my columns instead:
 
Forwards: http://www.habsworld...cle.php?id=3010
Goalies/Defence: http://www.habsworld...cle.php?id=3006


No way I give Plecs an A- and Galy an A. I would switch those.

I also think Prust is a B.

Overall, i agree that too many forwards are currently getting Cs and we need them to start hitting the books, so to speak.
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#11 dlbalr

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 06:36 PM

No way I give Plecs an A- and Galy an A. I would switch those.

I also think Prust is a B.

Overall, i agree that too many forwards are currently getting Cs and we need them to start hitting the books, so to speak.

 

I dropped Galchenyuk due to him slowing way down after a terrific start (1 point in a 7 game stretch) while Plekanec has been consistent throughout.  That was a big part of my rationale for that choice.


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#12 brobin

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 07:10 PM

 
I dropped Galchenyuk due to him slowing way down after a terrific start (1 point in a 7 game stretch) while Plekanec has been consistent throughout.  That was a big part of my rationale for that choice.


Sorry, I meant pleks should get an A and Gallagher should get an A-. Pleks has done a ton on the PK and against top lines while leading the team in scoring. I agree On your Chucky rating.
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#13 JoeLassister

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:11 AM

Ahem.

 

When you guys will read this post, Habs will stand  1st in the East and 3rd in the NHL.

 

Just sayin'...

 

(Well... if you read it soon enough...)


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#14 dlbalr

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:06 AM

Sorry, I meant pleks should get an A and Gallagher should get an A-. Pleks has done a ton on the PK and against top lines while leading the team in scoring. I agree On your Chucky rating.

 

Ah.  I gave Gallagher the 'A' for simply wildly exceeding expectations - he has had a notable impact on games despite being a rookie and playing less than anyone else most nights.  Plekanec got the - for his porous faceoff rating which, at the time, was I believe near 43%.  (Yes, I can be a picky grader...) :)


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#15 Turd Burglar

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:19 AM

In this thread I see nobody mentioning Emelin.  While he doesn't stand out nightly, thats a good thing.  To me, his defensive ability has improved greatly.  He's playing on against top lines with Markov and you don't notice him until he lays a big hit. For a defenseman with his skill set, this is how you know he's doing a good job.  While our forwards picked it up, our 2 rookies last year on the back end, Diaz and Emelin, are coming into their own, solidifying a shaky defense last year. 


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#16 The Chicoutimi Cucumber

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:58 AM

In this thread I see nobody mentioning Emelin.  While he doesn't stand out nightly, thats a good thing.  To me, his defensive ability has improved greatly.  He's playing on against top lines with Markov and you don't notice him until he lays a big hit. For a defenseman with his skill set, this is how you know he's doing a good job.  While our forwards picked it up, our 2 rookies last year on the back end, Diaz and Emelin, are coming into their own, solidifying a shaky defense last year. 

 

Yep. Diaz has been a revelation - playing like a top-4 guy - and Emelin has been useful. Add Markov into the mix and our D is massively upgraded from last season. That's huge. Honey Boo-Boo has been some nice depth too. Look at Kaberle sitting in the stands, that tells the whole story.


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