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The Chicoutimi Cucumber

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The Chicoutimi Cucumber last won the day on September 26

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    Price. All-time favourites: Price, Roy, Subban, Koivu.

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  1. I’m not sure where to put this observation, so I’ll dump it here. Squinting half-blindly into the future, it would not surprise me if, for reasons other than linguistic politics, the Habs re-sign Drouin. This has to do with organizational depth at LW, or lack thereof. Neither Byron nor Hoffman are likely to be around after this season. If Drouin leaves as well, that will leave three vacancies at LW in the top-9 - effectively gutting the roster at that position. Now, maybe Slaf will be ready by 2023, but that would still leave two holes to fill. Heineman or Farrell might or might not be plausible options. We could, of course, let Drouin walk and try to sign a UFA to patch over the LW position until our LW prospects are ready. But unless Drouin insists on huge term, I can well see an organization just signing the devil they know, under these circumstances. Just saying…
  2. Just so I’m clear…as an out-of-market Habs fan, if I want access to all or most regular season Habs games, this is now the service I need to buy - ? I know, I know, old man syndrome, but there was a time I could pay $5 extra for RDS on my cable package and hey presto, Habs.
  3. Let's not be crazy...expecting them to do better than SURE FIRE TOP-6 C RYAN POEHLING!!!!! may be unreasonable... 🙄
  4. I’m not sure I even agree with this - at least not as you frame it. If we’re clearly out of the playoffs, then yes, we should be managing assets so as to ensure future success. But that is not interchangeable with “getting the best odds at a top 10 pick.” E.g., if the Habs are 21st overall and out of the playoff picture, the best way to maximize our draft odds for 2023 would be to trade Suzuki at the deadline. That this is obviously out of the question proves that the GM’s strategy shouldn’t be only (or even primarily) about maximizing draft position.
  5. Well…it’s often a mistake to make too much out of training camp anyway. The actual NHL talent is generally idling at 50% during those camps, and we’ve seen dozens of kids make a splash in camp over the years only to evaporate once the big boys actually start caring. Nevertheless, Beck’s impact is heartening; we’ll need C with upside in the organization, especially if Dach doesn’t work out.
  6. I don’t believe the Habs are intentionally icing the worst team they can in order to maximize their lottery odds. If that’s tanking, we’re not doing it. Just look at the forward unit, which is actually quite strong, overall. Why keep that unit intact if the goal is to lose as hard as possible? Chicago, by contrast, has shipped out young players who played a major role (Dach and DeBrincat) for no discernable reason other than to suck as hard as they can in order to get Bedard. Now that’s true tanking. People confuse tanking with rebuilding. Rebuilding involves setting a timeline for a team to become competitive, and tries to maximize the likelihood of successfully realizing that target. Yes, this often means moving out veterans in favour of picks and prospects. But since you need some veterans around to mentor and role-model for the kids, and since (as I keep saying) you want to create an environment in which the kids can succeed and grow, that’s not interchangeable with fire-bombing your roster in a determined effort to grab the #1 pick. The Habs will likely suck, not through a deliberate intent to suck, but as a consequence of their best players aging out and middle-aged players having been traded for prospects. Winning lots of games is not the goal; it’s a development year. But to say that losing is the goal? That’s a bridge too far IMHO.
  7. Good point, and maybe it’s so…but I still worry about the effects of being dominated night after night. We’ll find out soon enough.
  8. 2014 and 2015 were bright spots for sure. The team was knocking on the door, emerging as a top-end contender, led by peak Price, Subban, Patches, Pleks, and Gally. Price’s injury in 2016 destroyed all that. Folks forget, but we were destroying all comers before that injury; Price was 10-2 when he went down. By 2017 Pleks had aged out, Subban was gone to satisfy management’s ego, Therrien had outstayed his welcome, Price was in his third act as a more physically fragile and less consistently sublime goalie, and the whole thing disintegrated.
  9. Looks like we’ll see very quickly whether the D is in fact deep enough to support the proper development of young defencemen (as opposed to just throwing them out there when they’re overmatched, because we have no one else). This is too bad, I was looking forward to seeing Edmundson back.
  10. I have too much PTSD relative to Habs prospects to be “pumped” by Slaf. We’ve basically had 30 years of hyped prospects turning into pumpkins, so I keep waiting for the anvil to fall out of the sky on my head as a fan. It would be more typical of our history for Wright to become a stud while Slaf tops out as a 2nd-liner, and for Nazar to become a feared offensive C while Dach flounders. But I will say that, if Slaf turns out to be a home run, it will be so frigging sweet…
  11. Wow, that is really interesting. Thanks. And yeah…hard to know what to make of that. But it certainly helps to explain why Toews clearly views him as a good young player - because whenever he played with him, he was impressed. I was always suspicious of the argument that a kid is *entitled* to be partnered with top players. This was an argument we heard with KK, Eller, and Galchenyuk: ‘ how do you expect them to be stars if we keep them with plumbers?’ By contrast, I want players to force themselves up the roster through convincing play, like Koivu or Subban did. It’s an ambiguous case, though, when a kid does consistently well with higher-end linemates (something that the aforementioned trio never consistently did); he may not be ‘forcing his way up the roster’ but why look a gift horse in the mouth, if he is flourishing? Maybe this helps to explain the Habs’ strong belief that MSL will help Dach. He seems to be different from the average, scowling, hidebound, risk-averse coach, and may actually be committed to making sure the kids succeed. In Dach’s case, if this means giving him top-6 partners, hey, do it.
  12. I stand to be corrected, but I recall reading somewhere that Dach received significant minutes in Chicago with strong linemates and still put up weak numbers. If they didn’t give him a “fair shot” it was only in the sense of giving up on him so young. That said, it’s a very good sign that Toews is upset at losing him.
  13. I thought Harris was a LD, per the info here https://www.habseyesontheprize.com/pages/montreal-canadiens-organizational-depth-chart If he is RD, then that changes the equation at that position for sure. If he’s not, then we still need another RD back there, in my opinion.
  14. Subban really dropped off after he went to Jersey. I don't know if it was any one injury, but that fact is, he had a fairly injury-riddled career, and the accumulation of damage caught up to him. His first step was never that great, and without having watched him closely in the last couple of seasons, I would guess that once that regressed he was done as an impact D-man. Without question the most consistently electrifying player the Canadiens produced after Lafleur, PK was a fabulous player for us and for Nashville too. He brought it every single shift and thrived on the big stage. I loved him from Day One and never understood the joyless resentment of him evinced by some fans. The talk about his dodgy D-zone play was just that, talk, oblivious to the fact that when he did make a gaffe he usually recovered very well. Meanwhile the toxic attitude of Habs management toward him said a lot more about those A-holes than it did about him. Not unrelatedly, he had to put up with a sh*tload of subliminal and not-so-subliminal racism, especially early in his career when he was widely demonized for being too uppity. Although The Trade seems to have been undertaken for the wrong reasons (Therrien hating PK's guts, MB being angry over a contractual outcome which his own stupidity ensured, etc.) it was a classic case of a trade that, thanks in part to Weber's career-ending injury, worked out for both teams. Props to PK for a great career. 👍 I look forward to what will surely be a memorable second act in broadcasting.
  15. Re: Barron, this is why we need to add one more legit NHL defender IMHO: a #5-6 guy who can be slotted in at need. One injury at RD and we will be over-using Barron; but what if Barron is not ready yet? Then his confidence comes in for a beating and the team gets shellacked night after night. The kid needs a better safety net, I think.
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