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Everything posted by CerebusClone

  1. We looked slow, however not because our players are slower, but because Calgary's execution and transition game was much more effective. You also have to give the other team some credit sometimes, for example on the first goal, Calgary capitalized on a simple turnover in the offensive, with a couple quick passes Tkachuk was already entering the offensive zone, instead of dumping the puck he deked, pivoted, opened some space for Giardano who got a great shooting opportunity. While the Flames are playing with great confidence, meanwhile our players are still adjusting not not dumping the puck every time they can, and trailing last night this was evident as we reverted back to dump and chasing. Our forwards have lost the confidence to do what Tkachuk did on on the first goal, in the same situation without the great easy opening we would have shot the puck on Elliott, or sent it behind the net to chase it. We can see some improvements since Julien took over, especially on defense, but our players are still not programmed to keep control of the puck. Julien said it best when he took over, this team has no self-confidence... If we played with more confidence, guys like Pacioretty, Radulov, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Danault, Byron, Mitchell, Shaw, etc would be circling around in the offensive zone, like they did in the first 10-12 games of the season. Every game earlier we were saying how Montreal was just too fast for the other teams, all four lines were fore-checking and just circling around in the offensive zone. Our players didn't get slower...
  2. In a way this is like Galchenyuk's rookie season as a center, he has much to learn in terms of positioning, and mastering what is probably the hardest position in hockey. He was quite decent against the Canucks, he generated absolutely nothing offensively last night in Calgary, and wasn't great in his own end either. Unfortunately at this point he is obviously unable to take any two wingers, and make them look better than they are like Koivu did in the past, Plekanec at times a few years ago, or even Max Pacioretty over the last few seasons... but like I mentioned Galchenyuk is a "rookie" center so it is normal, and I'm not too worried yet. I will be very interested in observing Galchenyuk's progression next year under Claude Julien from day 1 at training camp, if there's player who could really blossom under a highly structured coach like Julien it is Galchenyuk. If he's willing to learn, he could take that step to superstar status next year...
  3. Timmins always said he will draft the best available player, in his team's view, and not draft based on short term needs, position, of anything else. Personally I like that mentality, and have no problem with it, you never what will happen moving forward including trades, injuries, surprises (ex. Byron, Danault), disappointments, etc. For example back in 2005 many criticized the Habs for drafting a goalie with the 5th overall while we had a young Jose Theodore coming off some strong seasons, and just entering his prime at 26 years old; they wanted either Gilbert Brule or Anze Kopitar. Well Jose Theodore sort of collapsed immediately after that, Gilbert Brule was a bust, and granted that Kopitar became an excellent player, however Carey Price has become arguably the most impactful player in hockey, and his presence alone makes the difference between being a contender and having trouble making the payoffs.
  4. We'll see for Delarose, the good thing we can maybe say is that lately, for the time, he's been contributing offensively more consistently. If not mistaken he has 10 points in his last 14 games, which would be some quite decent production coming from a 21 year-old two-way forward (assuming this he could maintain that level, and it is not just a lucky streak). I don't see Top 6 potential at all anymore, but we know his defensive game and hockey sense were NHL caliber, so if he can give us a little bit of offensive production, we could still get a solid depth player with very good size and mobility. Flynn turns UFA after this year, and there's a chance we could lose Mitchell at the expansion draft, we will need good players for the 4th line. ps. If we want to be ultra positive... Delarose's production levels at the same age in the AHL looks very similar to Philip Danault's, even higher, except that Delarose played less. You look at their stats at 20 and 21, Danault didin't exactly do any better... there is still hope LOL !
  5. Two questions about that First which of these players are truly helping us win versus hacking at the puck well enough to allow our key players (Price, Weber, Pacioretty, Radulov ...) to lead us to a win? here are a couple youngsters chipping like Danault and Lehkonen, but they never player for us at the AHL level. Byron stepped up this season, Mitchell is playing some solid hockey, Petry is playing perhaps his best hockey, same for Emelin ... but again none of them played for Lefebvre. My answer to this first question is that McCarron is playing quite well, but in a very limited 4th line role, and that's about it. Scherbak scored a PP goal, that was one game. Some might want to mention Beaulieu, but he was mediocre in the AHL under Lefebvre, he's now progressing again after being away from Lefebvre. Other than that, Andrighetto fails to stick with the team over and over, Carr is mediocre, and the other guys (Farnham, Johnson, Hanley...) are all marginal players playing marginal hockey. The second question is whether these players that played under Lefebvre and helping us now, have they actually improved during their time in the AHL playing under Lefebvre? Michael McCarron is a first round pick, he joined us in the AHL after a great OHL season where he was the first line center of the Memorial Cup champions, and now he's playing decent hockey as a limited 4th line center... is that thanks to the amazing work of Sylvain Lefebvre, or is it just the strict minimum we could have expected of him at this point?? Scherbak scored one PP goal in his first game, woohoo!, after one year and a half Lefebvre transformed a highly skilled offensive player, one of the best offensive players in the WHL, into a guy we're afraid to give ice time to, but is able to score a PP goal while being all alone with the goalie in front of the net. I'm not a Therrien fan, but I can give him some credit this season. However even though I would love to give Lefebvre some credit for developing our young players, I'm sorry I have a hard time seeing significant progression in the players who play under him. McCarron was good enough to play on our forth line last year, and he's pretty at the same level now, any improvement I would award more to experience and maturity.
  6. Anyone else noticed that Pacioretty has been taking faceoffs recently, and has been great with a success rate of 66.7%!? He won 20 faceoffs out of 30...
  7. Ohh... would have to look at the replay, but that looked like a pretty cheap shot to the head by Emelin...
  8. True, but he's been pretty good and somewhat consistent this season in the AHL. I doubt he will be recalled, but at this point we need players who can do something with a puck.
  9. We need skills, not more grinders, and it could be time to give Scherbak a chance. Although Delarose has produced consistently as of late, I would prefer seeing him than Farnham on the fourth line.
  10. Different situations. I'm not talking about trading dead weight, damaged goods or even retired players away to another team, but what would still be a very good defenseman who happens to make 1M or 3M in actual salary versus a cap hit of 7.85M. On the contrary a good active player who saves a team almost 5 to 8 millions in salary is actually a value to a low budget team. If Weber becomes dead weight that's another story, but I'm not expecting that at all, and it's the type of thing that could happen with any of the other players we'll soon resign to long term contracts (Price, Pacioretty, Galchenyuk ... will all cost a lot of money over many years ... and they can all get recurring injured or magically start underperforming all of a sudden).
  11. The thing is also even if Weber's performance level drops to a point where is cap hit is unacceptable, he should not be difficult to trade. There are a few teams like the Coyotes who should be very happy to add a somewhat prestigious name like Shea Weber to their roster (in the hopes to help ticket sales), and at the same time add a lot of cap hit for little actual money. Still I would expect Weber to remain the same until he's 35-36, then have a slight drop in his offensive numbers while remaining a very solid defender. Also by then there's a chance a 7.85M cap hit might not be that much anymore, star players are now hitting the 10M+ mark while already we're seeing some good-but-not-that-great players in the 6-7M range.
  12. In Radulov's case, I think we need to resign him now. He seems happy in Montreal, he 's contributing, and I don't mind exposing let's say Mitchell to ensure Radulov stays in Montreal. The impact of losing Radulov is far greater than losing a Mitchell. Another guy in a similar situation will be Markov. I'm pretty quite sure there is no risk of him signing elsewhere during the off-season, it looks like he will play his entire career with us, therefore we could look at resigning Markov only after the expansion draft... however it is still unclear whether the NHL will look at these cases, and if so, what type of penalties team could face. The other option would be t expose Alexei Emelin, and protect Markov, which I personally don't have a problem with if we really have to.
  13. Bergevin could also be setting the table for the upcoming Price negotiations. We should not ignore the possibility that Price may look at his options next year instead of resigning blindly, for example he may look at the possibility of going back home to play for Vancouver, or he may not feel Montreal is doing enough to become a top contender, and therefore may look elsewhere to avoid having a legacy of the great goaltender who never won the cup. So on one hand Bergevin probably wants to make Price more comfortable. I'm guessing Price gets along well with Montoya, Montoya isn't out to take his spot as number 1, he's very experienced, he's been quite good, and that removes some pressure off Price's shoulders. On the other hand, in the catastrophic case were Price decides to not resign with Montreal, Bergevin will need to change his plans, and having an experienced quality goaltender like Montoya will help, especially if the Plan B is one of the kids like Charlie Lindgren. Either way signing Montoya is probably a good thing...
  14. Beaulieu can be good, and can be a contributing member of the team as long as we limit our expectations. He's a different player, but he reminds me of Brad Stuart ; the Sharks originally thought he would be a star defenseman, they gave up on him, and he became a solid depth defenseman for the Wings later on. Hopefully Beaulieu can do that with us, and not some other team. Obviously Beaulieu is not the great offensive-minded defenseman we originally thought he could be - playing with a powerhouse in the juniors skewed his numbers - he could not put up good numbers in the AHL, and he is not putting up numbers in the NHL. However he can help an NHL team with his puck rushing abilities, and if he works on his consistency he is capable on strong overall play. I would say is upside now is that of his teammate Jeff Petry, great size, great speed, strong overall game, and maybe 20-25 points on a normal season.
  15. I fully agree, a lack of production can come from multiple sources, including forwards, defensemen, lack of preparation, poor coaching strategies, etc. Every case is different, and you need to analyze the play in the ice... statistics are just an indication, and don't tell the whole story. Still individually I do remember Gallagher doing his thing, being a pest around the net, and trying to position himself to jump of loose pucks. I also remember Pacioretty playing a game similar to what he does during the regular season. The big difference in my opinion from regular season to the playoffs was Desharnais not being able to do much in the playoffs' increased intensity, tighter defensive play, increased tolerance from referees for interference, and too often just ending up in the corner on his ass or losing the puck after failing to see an opening (and yes here that is also his teammates responsibility to find ways to make themselves available for a pass). Too often plays just seemed to die whenever he carrying the puck.
  16. Who isn't inconsistent on the scoresheet? The very top, exceptional players manage to avoid unproductive streaks for the most part, but even Sidney Crosby goes into the occasional slump. Kane is having another pretty solid year, but at some point he went 1G 3A in 7 games with a -7. Tarasenko had a similar sequence with no goal, only 3 assists, and a -3 in 7 games earlier this season. And these are guys with strong supporting cast around them. In the case of Pacioretty he is known more as a shooter - although his overall game is stronger than we give him credit for - and he has never really had a strong offensive center to help him avoid these type of slumps. Over the last few years whenever Pacioretty cooled down a little, which happens to all players, his line would just be completely silenced because his teammates, like Desharnais and Gallagher, relied mostly on him for their production. One guy I like to compare Pacioretty to is Jamie Benn. Before 2013 Benn was a very good player for Dallas, a leader on those teams, and a guy collecting his 60-65 points. Up to that point both had about the same age and similar production. Then Dallas acquired Tyler Seguin, and that pair has been amazing ever since, it gave Benn the support he needed. If Benn is having an off night, he can still collect a point here and there because his teammate can pull his own, and vice and versa. So both guys are able to go through a season collecting points pretty consistently. That can be the difference between a 60-65 point season versus a 75-85+ point season. Unless you are Sidney Crosby, it's very difficult to avoid scoring slumps when you are plying with guys like Desharnais, Gallagher, Plekanec, Weise, etc. Especially in the playoffs, Desharnais just loses all effectiveness and can't even remotely approach the net, while Plekanec becomes a unidimensional defensive specialist.
  17. Kessel still has been a strong acquisition for the Pens, one of their best players last year in the playoffs, and still a pretty strong season so far this year. I understand what you mean though, if a guy like Kunitz can look like a star player playing with Crosby, one could assume Kessel's production would skyrocket to the 100+ point mark! You are right, but with two guys like Giroux and Voracek who are such great passers while also able to finish plays - and who are still very responsible defensively - I would tend to think that with Pacioretty this line could hurt the other team in so many ways.
  18. (wrong thread... can't we delete messages on this board?)
  19. SImmonds is definitely more physical than Pacioretty, although Max does bring a good physical presence on the ice with his size and speed, however I'm not sure that would translate into making the team better in the playoffs. Simmonds has not had more success in the playoffs, and while Pacioretty's production has declined a bit in the playoffs so far, I would give him the benefit of the doubt right now, and point the finger more towards his centers who completely disappeared every year. Same for Gallagher, we see him as a warrior and playoff-type player, and yet his production in the playoffs has been average at best. Again it's difficult to produce offense when your center, the guy who is supposed to be controlling the play and generating scoring chances, is doing a great impersonation of the Bermuda Triangle for pucks.
  20. Well Montreal did go through a losing phase in Nov/Dec, playing under .500 hockey for more than 10 games (4-5-2). We had trouble scoring even twice in these games. Yet from what we could see the team remained solid, the guys regrouped, I haven't heard anyone complain about the coach or their role, and we are still competing through a couple key injuries.
  21. He had his ups and downs as a 20 year-old rookie in the AHL last year, playing in front of a horrible team. Still he put up an acceptable performance. Also ever if Fucale fails to play regularly in the NHL, I'm not sure I would use the term bust ... there were never high Price-like expectations on him, he was always someone we took a chance on to see if he was actually good, or whether his success in the juniors came primarily from playing with powerhouses in Halifax. However he definitely lost his spot as the Habs best goalie prospect to Charlie Lindgren, who has been amazing for us since signing. With Lindgren we now have a prospect with actual number 1 potential behind Carey Price, and not just a bunch of intriguing suspects like Fucale and McNiven who may or may ot surprise us (but more likely won't).
  22. That's what I'm saying, a good top 6 forward doesn't have to be an offensive leader, the guy who generates the offensive opportunities for his teammates, he can also be a Gallagher-type player who needs to be surrounded by players with more skilled players, and brings something unique to transform a good duo into an excellent line. It remains to be seen whether McCarron can follow the pace on a first or second NHL line for an entire season, and if he does, he does bring some hard-to-find assets that could really help the team. I think this is what TImmins and Bergevin are hoping McCarron can turn into, that he has the hockey sense, the hands, and enough overall skills to become a power-forward in the NHL. And then yes they will settle for a good depth third liner if that's all he's capable of.
  23. I would add to this another related issue, what is a Top 6 forward? When some people talk about a top forward, they describe an offensive juggernaut who needs to score at least 60 points per season no matter who they play with... and yet in reality there isn't a single team that even comes close to having 6 such forwards (last year Chicago and Pittsburg only had 2 players with 60+ points, the Blues only one, the Caps did better with 3). All teams have Top 6 forwards who end up with 40+ or 50+ points. For example there is a player in Montreal that most people love, almost no one has any issue classifying as a top 6 forward, and yet has never scored more than 47 points. This despite first line, all offensive quality minutes with first power play line duties. I'm talking about Brendan Gallagher. To come back to Micheal McCarron, let's say we give him quality minutes centering a first line with Pacioretty and Radulov. Or a second line with Gallagher and Pacioretty (with Galchenyuk, Radulov, and Lehkonen getting the better PP minutes). Don't you think he would be capable of ending up at least in the 45-55 points range? Assuming that line is responsible (i.e. finishes with a plus rating and not some awful line that gets dominated game after game), that McCarron does pretty well on faceoffs, brings a strong physical presence, and plays in all game situations, wouldn't that make him a pretty decent Top 6 forward?
  24. Except for the most part, Montreal under Timmins has gone with guys with high potential with their first round picks. We drafted guys like Sergachev, Scherbak, Galchenyuk, Beaulieu, and Andrei Kostsitsyn who were all top offensive minded players. We also drafted Pacioretty and McDonagh who I am sure Montreal saw as top talents, and that's what they became. Two years ago we took a risk on a high riser like Noah Juulsen. Montreal also selected Louis Leblanc, who I was high on that year (actually at least a year before we drafted him), who projected to be a solid Top 6 player in the Patrice Bergeron mold. Of course we went for a potential franchise player in Carey Price in 2005. Montreal also took a chance on David Fischer, they went for the homerun, the hidden gem, but they struck out on this one. So far all guys definitely selected to be Top 6 forwards, Top 4 defensemen, or top goalie. Then we have Michael McCarron, I still think (and that's what Montreal said) they viewed him as a potential huge physical player with the skills to play a Top 6 role. If we're talking about trying to hit a homerun, this is one example, a homerun is not always a smaller player or a unidimensional offensive player. I don't think Montreal drafted him hoping he'd become a very strong 3rd liner, I think they drafted him hoping he would develop into an impactful power-forward. That leaves us with only 2 players possibly drafted in the hopes to see them become high quality, shutdown players. The 2004 and 2010 draft were mediocre years for prospects, it's easy to point one player the Habs missed on in Kuznetsov (although he only has one good year so far, this year isn't for that great for him), however other teams did not exactly do better. Those were pretty good years to go for the safer picks... it's not like the team could not use what we were hoping to see Chipchura and Tinordi become.
  25. How would the Habs be a better team? Just about every single decent line we've had in the last few years (for more than 2-3 games) were the ones Pacioretty was playing on, the only exception would be the Galchenyuk-Eller-Gallagher line at the very end of the shortened season. Otherwise Plekanec, Desharnais, Gallager, or even Weise would boost their stats playing with Pacioretty, and pretty much disappear on other lines. I don't see how Wayne Simmonds would do better than that, or come even close to that kind of impact where most of the offense would have rested on his shoulders. Then of course there's the pick... we can wish Montreal would have selected Domi or Wennberg (the only players that would make this trade not look like a steal for the Flyers) however from what has been said, Montreal was extremely high on Samuel Morin, and would most likely have drafted him at 13rd overall as well. It's still early, but so far Morin looks more like a Tinordi-type player, at best a huge bottom pairing defense-only defenseman who sruggles to put up any points even at the AHL level. So even looking at this today : Pacioretty for Simmons and Morin? Non merci ... although for the Flyers Pacioretty could look really good playing with Giroux and Voracek!
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