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Everything posted by saskhab

  1. Josh Gorges is the new Rivet. People like him as a leader for the same reasons they used to dig Craig. Craig became a captain in Buffalo and then was a healthy scratch before his tenure there ended. The modern NHL uses captains as marketing tools. The Habs don't necessarily need to do that, but you can't underestimate that part of the equation. In that sense, Subban is a no brainer. Plus he handles the media very well, has an insane passion for the club, craves a chance at winning in Montreal and is great in the community. Sure, he can yap on the ice and he'll take a dive, but he's not alone in the NHL for captains that do that, and one team recently won the Cup with a captain much worse at that kind of stuff (hello Dustin Brown). Leaders are always going to be leaders no matter who has the C. Gorges will still be a leader if he's not the captain but if he takes over the C, and his hard career starts to catch up to him on the other side of 30, we're stuck with a captain that is overpaid and is hardly contributing in the NHL. That's essentially why people are looking beyond Gionta now, even though he's still a very good player when healthy. I hope Gionta is re-signed because he can still play at both ends of the rink at 35 and not many of our wingers have chops defensively. So hopefully the captaincy doesn't change because we work out a reasonable contract extension with our current guy. But if that can't happen let's just get Subban signed long term and make him the C.
  2. I hope the captain next season is Brian Gionta as he transitions into his late career defensive specialist phase. Or Saku Koivu.
  3. Well, almost the entire management and coaching staff has been turned over since the last 'recent history' data point so we'll see if they keep up the policies of Gauthier/Martin or not.
  4. Yeah, and some team websites aren't even airing their prospect games. Some are. You can probably watch all of them since enough teams are showing them, but these aren't very high end promotional tools. I'll look at who gets invited to the main camp and who gets into preseason action, which at least has the benefit of trying to get players familiar to the systems the team will be using that year.
  5. Yep. Plus, you get more players involved in the competition and evaluation. Lots of benefits. It's not as high-intensity as those tournaments, but these kids get enough of that in junior/college/international play.
  6. The Habs don't participate in those. They used to way back when, but haven't for years. I don't understand why other teams do it, to be honest. The amount of chippiness and fighting is way up from normal games in those, as players try and literally fight their way onto the roster. The Oilers lost a couple of defensemen to injuries in fights at these games a couple years back, guys they thought would make the NHL (Alex Plante, Colton Teubert). I'd like to keep these kids healthy for games that matter.
  7. I'll also chime in as it seems relevant given the source of the disbelief. Nygren won the Top Defenseman award for Swedish players in the SEL (it doesn't mean he was considered better than all non-Swedish D in the league). That's significant. The SEL is like the AHL in quality, probably a bit above it as it involves older players (although it lacks the AHL's pure talent level as the AHL has more players with bigger upside). Obviously, there is an adjustment to be made to the smaller ice surface but the level of play he was playing at in the SEL suggests he has NHL ready talent. Now, Streit was in a similar situation in Switzerland when he came over, and took time to adapt. Emelin was also in a similar situation moving from the KHL to the NHL. Both were a bit older than Nygren when they did it. David Rundblad won this award a couple years back, started the year in the NHL, got demoted and traded for Kyle Turris and hasn't stuck yet in the NHL for Phoenix (probably will this year). It's no guarantee that Nygren is NHL ready, will make the adjustments seemingly, or that the NHL team he is playing for is looking for his type of defenseman on their NHL roster. It seems like Therrien and Bergevin specifically want a physical defender to fill in for Emelin and sought out Murray after playing Tinordi last year in his spot. Similar situations could be influencing Rundblad's arrival in the NHL for all I know (I'm not particularly keen on finding out why Phoenix has kept him down). In that sense, what Nygren has accomplished is ahead of what Tinordi or Beaulieu have so far. He's also at 2-2.5 years older than them. He should be further along, and the fact that they are close to each other shows that the younger two probably have brighter futures. What was being said on EOTP was that Nygren at least filled the need at the NHL level of being a right handed d-man, as the Habs, with Emelin having played the right side last year, were short at that position. Murray plays LD, while Tinordi and Drewskie filled in on RD as they tried to find a fit. Pateryn was the only RD called up during the season, and he was by far the least qualified defender that played for the Habs last year (below even Weber or Kaberle). I agree he won't be on the team to start the year (barring further camp injuries), but that was the case being made there as it related to the Murray signing. He should be considered in a similar situation to Tinordi and Beaulieu in terms of NHL level talent, although there is some concern about him adjusting to the smaller surface, which requires more action defensively than the more timid, conservative defence big ice lends itself to.
  8. We were 5-4 against Boston and Toronto last year and finished above both in the standings. Am I missing something here? We did lose one game 6-0 to Toronto and another 5-1... is that what this is really about? I'm more concerned about our 0-3 record against Pittsburgh than I am about the Boston/Toronto records. We had a good record vs Boston (3-1). We allowed 14 goals to Pittsburgh in 3 games, two of them were 6+ goal efforts. My main concern with Murray is if he can help prevent teams like Pittsburgh from lighting up the scoresheet against us. I don't think he does at all. I'm also more concerned about Detroit than Toronto. I am concerned about Boston but don't feel that we match up against them badly overall. Whatever we give up physically to them we make up for in other areas. Toronto games have always been weird ones for us but last year they rode a hot goalie to a playoff spot and I suspect they'll fall back much like the past two teams that took the EC champion to 7th game OT did: us in 2011 and Florida in 2012. They aren't a well built hockey team. We've got to make the playoffs first but our path through them most likely is Detroit, Boston and Ottawa before hitting up a Pittsburgh/Washington/Rangers team in the next round. I like physical hockey. But my qualifier for every acquisition before it happens is "can the guy play?" If he can, and adds physicality on top of that or as part of that, then I'm quite happy. If he can't play, I don't care if he's physical or not. I'm looking for wins. As for what Bergevin and Therrien like, I'll point out that the two biggest contracts the Habs have handed out in 2013 were to David Desharnais ($14m) and Daniel Briere ($8m). Price has gotten the most money since they arrived, then Pacioretty, then Desharnais, then Prust who got a little more than Briere did over 4 years total compared to 2 for Briere. BTW, I think Prust can play. Also, using homophobic slurs because someone disagrees with you on a hockey player's attributes? I don't even know how to respond to that. I probably shouldn't even give you the benefit of arguing reasonably in response.
  9. It's a three year declining trend for Murray. If he hadn't built up a reputation before this he wouldn't be in the NHL this year. If we signed Murray to fill in for Emelin and just keep the AHL guys down there because that's where we want them, fine. But the $$$ value compared to what, say, Fistric got seems to suggest they think he can play regularly. Or Andrew Alberts is out there as well if we want physical 3rd pair fill-ins. I don't understand this signing for the most part. It doesn't make sense for me to use up the space that could be banked for a significant trade deadline acquisition on such a low impact spot. I mean, what is Drewskie even here for if he's not trusted to fill in for one guy being hurt for a couple of months? As for the use of statistical analysis in these decisions, there is a lot we don't know about what will be relevant in the future but the early returns on signing guys like Murray isn't encouraging in these analyses. I'm not convinced the PK analysis, for example, is super relevant because I think that's a much more technical discipline than a personnel one: I don't think Montreal's PK fall in the past year was due to personnel as much as it was due to changing tactics. Subban should be out there and Markov not but that's not the main fix with Montreal's PKing in the year-to-year change. There's a lot more league wide variety in how teams play on special teams than there is at 5 on 5 for whatever reason.
  10. Well, if you go with 'on pace for' that's more realistic. Injuries will happen, of course.
  11. Mayer was leaving for Switzerland. They caved as a result for whatever reason. Tokarski should've threatened to bolt as well, I suppose.
  12. I think there's a formula where you can protect two goalies but you have to leave quite a lot of other skaters available. 2/3/7 might be the ticket vs 1/5/9. I think it's the idea that if you're more willing to give up one of your top 4 D than a goalie you can do so.
  13. If he did all that without giving it his all, imagine what he could do if you coaxed the extra big out of him? Man, I'd kill for a guy who played like Ovechkin. Seriously, I would murder someone for that.
  14. Gregoire had a real nice playoff run in the Q. Could just be a blip or maybe he started to put it all together late in the year. He was a top prospect heading into his Q career. I'm cautiously optimistic about his potential, but he's a 'backburner' type prospect. Like Dustin Walsh always was for me. Injuries with him seemed to rob him of taking the leaps he looked capable of making.
  15. It's not a rebuild if you've never built anything before.
  16. I don't know if he'd be better off doing that. Obviously if the organization offered him that deal, they'd think it was better for him than the WHL. I think the Habs generally think anything under their control is better for prospects than handing them over to someone else, but Don Hay may be an exception. As for Bennett... I just don't see the level of progression in the amateur ranks that makes him into a NHLer. He needed to take a major step at some point by age 22 and he hasn't. He's still mainly a good skater with some passing ability that doesn't read the play well. If he were more than that, he'd be dominant in the CCHA at age 22. That's my take. At this point, his ultimate upside doesn't even seem to be that of a player we couldn't find on the cheap anyways. He's currently about at the level of NCAA play Aaron Ness was at two years ago. Ness turned pro two years ago and is still in the AHL... and is only a year older than Bennett. Being a year behind the Ness' of the world isn't encouraging to me. There are too many people to surpass for him to make it. That said, I like that remix he did of a Rufus Wainwright song.
  17. Thrower has to make the Bulldogs in order to get a contract. His contract can't 'slide' since he turns 20 this year, so Bergevin will wait to see if Thrower can make the Bulldogs and start his pro career. If he can't, he'll either go to the ECHL without an ELC or back to Vancouver. That's what my take is on that situation. Certianly, he'd have a contract right now if he didn't have a sketchy year, though. Bergevin is keeping his options open with him, just like he is with Nystrom. He wants to see if they're ready for the AHL. If they are, they'll get an ELC.
  18. BTW, someone was asking about the benefits of signing McCarron right away. The other is simple: He can stick at training camp as long as possible. This is the benefits of playing in the CHL over the NCAA is attending training camp in general, but if McCarron were to shine they could keep him around the team until after the deadline to send him back. It's unlikely, but there would be no rush to get the paperwork done like there was a bit of with Gallagher a couple years back and Latendresse before then. Bergevin obviously likes having the paperwork done now for the guys he knows are real prospects, such as Bozon, Hudon, Collberg, etc.
  19. Heck, I don't think it's a lock at all that Subban hits 50. His first two full seasons he hit 38 and 36. But I'm with you in terms of being cautious with distribution. There's only so many goals that can be scored. There were only 7 teams above 240 goals scored in 11/12, league median was 222 (Winnipeg), league high was 282 and we don't have Crosby/Malkin/Staal down the middle to do that. Nashville had 237 goals that year, a top 10 offensive team with balanced offence. Here was what they looked like: http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?season=20112012&gameType=2&team=NSH&position=S&country=&status=&viewName=summary#?navid=nav-sts-indiv TWO guys only that cracked 20 goals. 6 guys between 15-19 goals. Again, this team finished TOP TEN in goals scored. Weber, BTW, was a Norris candidate that year with 19 goals and 49 points. And a lot of people thought he should've won. We'll see how high PK can get, but I don't think it's a guarantee he even hits 50.
  20. I'd like to point out that Jacques Martin basically never had Markov. He also never had Crosby or Malkin.
  21. Winning a Cup requires most everything to go your way. What I like about Vignault is his tactics: he's aggressive in putting his best offensive players in offensive situations (leading to career highs for the Sedins with scoring titles for each) and putting defensive players in really tough situations (Manny Malhotra goes out for 9 defensive zone faceoffs for every offensive zone faceoff he gets). It works very well. As far as 'developing young players', please... Crosby Malkin and Staal were not going to ever suck. He did get the only really good season Fleury has ever provided, but I doubt that was anything but luck. He needed his GM to steal Hossa to win the East in a year where it was quite wide open, and his team was still a below average puck possession team despite all that talent. Bylsma arrives and takes a team that was going to miss the playoffs as a bad possession team and flips it into a good possession club that wins the Cup.... against Detroit WITH Hossa.
  22. He was going to miss the playoffs with the 2009 Penguins. They fired him, went 18-3-3 and won the Cup. His teams are cosistently lousy at even strength. And even strength is 90% of the game. This hiring is embarassing.
  23. Max Pacioretty for the next 5 years will be a better player than Rick Nash for the next 5 years.
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