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Everything posted by hockeyrealist

  1. Good points. Factor in the improved PP (I predict) since there are far more tools available than just the bomb from Webs. Petry can QB a PP. Suzuki could very well be poised to become a true #1 C, which has been an issue for how long? Caufield has shown to disprove the naysayers his whole career and is obv a natural offensive stud. Normally I keep expectations low for these young players but he’s never need much adjustment time and is already here, on the scene, living rent free in the back of goalies minds. I am happily boarding the positive outlook train and riding it into 2022.
  2. Agreed, and doesn’t need to be an offensive producer (or PP qP) as much as reliable defensively with a good first pass, creativity in relieving pressure other than to ice it/pin the puck to the boards. I believe it is in the pipeline but not ready yet. Hoping Romy can make that step and take the second pairing slot, push Ben to 3rd pair. Savard / Chiarot pairing is not going to provide the elements described above. One of them has to slide down IMO, assuming Romy progresses and I think he will, he won’t be a healthy scratch ever again.
  3. IMHO TO got worse this off-season, Boston did as well. No reason a healthy Habs team cannot split or win season series here. TB is still a juggernaut. Any W’s here will be a bonus for most part. FLA is the biggest question mark for me. I don’t like their winger depth, but they’ve been steadily improving year after year and will be physically intimidating and tough to play against. I do believe a split of season series is possible. If the Habs do as well as I’ve described against divisional heavyweights/contenders, They have a chance…. So I see the biggest cause for concern is how poorly the Habs usually seem to play against the bottom of the division. They’ll have to have a killer instinct going up against Sabres, Sens and Wings. Any loss of points to these teams is unacceptable. No disrespect to those teams as it will not be easy. No nights off, Habs are not good enough to take any team lightly, but good enough to compete with the best. Is this a team that can play that way for 100+ games? I believe so, I think there is good leadership and attitude with this group so staying healthy is paramount.
  4. Petry is all that and more. He has improved year upon year and shown no sign of decline. He will shine in the increased role and can QB a PP fine given there is also more offensive options to leverage (Hoff, CC, Suzuki, Toff can al finish). And Petry has a bomb, plus a quick release wrister that can beat goalies. Potential Norris candidate year for him.
  5. Good point, agreed. Would love to see him force his way into play with excellence. But realistically best think for him is a full season of top line AHL duties. What’s the most games he’s played in a year before? College, shortened pro seasons, has he played over 50 games/season yet? The NHL is a grind that can impact player development on its own. No reason not to still see potential strong 3/4 C or middle six winger come from him. This season will obv be a huge sign as to what we can expect longer term.
  6. Nice, I have liked what I’ve seen more recently. Agreed Kulak seems to Be black sheep. Norlinder ‘21!
  7. “I DO NOT want Hoffman on the line that is going to play against the other team's #1 line. I don't want Drouin there either. ”. Amen to that, not only will team lose but Suzuki and CC will be hindered/end up injured from trying to do too much. With this in mind I can see Toffolli there. “Why would you want Dvorak and Gally to be burdened with a bad defensive player while facing the other team's top line?”- good point, Byron may be good for there when back, I’d try Anderson on off wing in this situation almost exclusively. Now I’ve got Drouin and Hoffman in the bottom 6…Hmmm, I’m starting to not like this abundance of wingers (and no real star yet, CC 2023/24?). Not sure Id expect Dvorak to gel with Gally, he and Anderson both played for London Knights (think they were there at same Time for one year but not checking). Lots of middle six wingers to spread around a shallow C pool. That’s why I see Pacquette getting every chance to play 3C. Perreault has never really been a C and have a hard time seeing him playing, let alone at C. The other new additions are going to get prime opportunity to make Bergy look good and relatively new coach won’t have as much preconceived notions. So Hoffman def gets an offensive line, Pacquette gets every opportunity to play important role, Perreault is the Perry/Froik combo pack where he has to get a chance and then make it impossible to take him out à la Perry but think he starts as 13th forward.
  8. Good point, especially about the quickness a blender will come out. Think they will still have scoring issues (as in consistently getting the 3 goals that win games). Hopefully I am wrong and maturity/new additions help. Think Anderson will rebound well, last season was his first real season in a long Time and seemed to get worn down over time.
  9. Thx for the heads up, fortunately I stuck with tshirts and hoodies (adult/youth) and have a pretty small gift list haha, but I did contemplate a scarf (they do look cool). My family is finally going to be surprised (not bleu blanc et rouge gifts haha) The Boston side of my family particularly enjoy the annual arrival of Habs gear, they actually wear them around the house (in private haha) but also proudly supported them in playoffs when they wanted Habs to beat Leafs and then rocked them rest of way once Bruins were done so gotta give them kudos for that haha.
  10. IMHO: The Habs fan/media environment most likely places too much pressure, expectation on draft picks. Very likely this part of the reason for lack of success. Young players getting distracted by immense scrutiny. since the lightning are the popular comparison, there is not “prospect rankings” or in depth features of their prospects, no arm chair analyzing of their potential versus production. Same goes for mostly every other NHL team, Leafs are good comparable as far as level of media/fan attention. How’s their talent development going? I’ve got family in/from Boston so obv huge Bruins fans (season tickets in family for over 40 years, multiple generations) and even they know nothing about their developing players, not even their names unless they play for local college. They could care less about the draft, players aren’t really important until they crack NHL or are impactful at AHL and expected to step up. But they know PP/PK success rates, years left on contracts, player stats so it is not like they are ill informed. Off the cuff theory: Perhaps we the fans are part of the problem. We drive the relative amount of money allocated to media focus on prospects, maybe this is actually creating a negative environment for them to mature, possibly reach their projections. Maybe we are the problem? Literally, no other team has constant media updates of their prospects playing in low level Europe leagues, USNDT, college, etc. Just speculation but the more I think on it, the more I can see how this messes with a kid’s head, these are kids. Google alerts, media, fans, agents, friends, family all pointing out and magnifying everything. Crazy times we live in. I personally love following prospects and rooting for them as they step into the bigs, makes for great branding/marketing but is it best for the young players? Curious what player development trends have looked like when overlaid against the boom of internet, instant access to info, attention related to that. We’re the Habs more successful at player development in the 60’s,70’s,80’s? just spewing off ideas, so please don’t take this for an informed opinion haha.
  11. Winning at AHL level and developing talent do not necessarily go together. That is not a fair comparison to make and shows a lack of understanding of the role of the AHL compared to the NHL. Timmins is extremely respected around the league, is praised by many smart hockey minds who are in the industry, so I don’t think any posters on an Internet forum have any cause to call for the termination of someone in a role that really is not a decision-making role. There has been numerous statistics shared in the forum about just how long shot it is to have decent NHL careers come from late drafting positions, it is a crap shoot and the team has rarely had the chance to draft at an impactful position.
  12. Kick ass logo. Looks like Im giving out Lions3R merch for Xmas this year! Order is in haha.
  13. Man does the writer ever try to get creative with their lines, terrible use of off wing players who have rarely done it in past. And then writer completely hedges every suggestion they’ve made at end of article. Ive said it before, saying it again. JoDro is not a top line, let alone top 6 players. Give him the lower quality opposition, lower expectations that come with third line and let him shine, along with PP time but as of yet in his career he has yet to show he can maintain a top 6 role successfully. Seems against his personal, professional best interests to put him in a spot where he will have high expectations, high visibility, high pressure. He says the right things (just like when traded here) but in reality has shown he cannot deliver and the pressures get to him. Anyone who has seems his career and time with Habs should be aware of this and see the best chance to maximize his value, see personal/professional success is to let him work away from the glare of expectation. Third line with Pacquette at C and either Gallagher or Anderson on wing and let him rock the point position on PP1 with Petry. To put him in a high visibility and high pressure role this season is downright disrespectful to his situation last season regardless of what went on. He will still get more than his fair share of ice time given the PP time as a quarterback feeding Petry, Hoffman and CC.
  14. Hard to picture it, Buffalo is cheap. Their idea with KK would have been same goal as Habs (bridge deal). Dvorak is relatively pricey for them, they are cheap! Additionally, the Habs would be completely betting on Eichel having super quick recovery (hasn’t even had procedure yet, possibly won’t play this year or at best half of season) and Mtl will surely blow this entire season if they ship out Dvorak, and that isn’t happening under Bergy in his last year of contract. The team see Dvorak as a Danault 2.0 (undervalued, underused and poorly complimented on prior team) and he will be given lots of opportunity to shine in Mtl. His contract is gonna look good after 55 point year this season, taking all of the key draws that Danault used to and playing first PK unit, 2nd PP unit. Will be an upgrade on Danault, much better than KK for next 2-3 years. He is not going anywhere.
  15. not sure I follow your logic. At 3C there is the Pacquette option who is no slouch and really doesn’t require wingers to cover for him. Evans appears to be in the same boat at this point, has proven he can be relied upon. Regardless, if the team feels the need to “insulate” the 3C it will be by asking that player to focus on défense first mentality, which actually allows wingers to flourish in an offensive role as they know their C will reliably be the high man in o-zone and first back checker and deep d-zone support coming back the other way. It means that 3C winger duo can focus on offensive push, which is why I like Drouin/Gallagher on 3rd line with and experienced, reliable C as in Pacquette. He may not be exciting but given that role he could thrive. Same said for Evans, but see no reason to push him past 4th line with two mature, reliable, two way wingers like Lehks/Armia. That makes a deep, four line attack that the organization seems to prefer. They also prefer défense-first, no mistake hockey so whomever plays 3C will not be a burden to their winger production, I see it as being a possible boost for them. That line will still get 13-16 min/night depending on special teams. Re. Byron: he is overpaid, but also loved by teammates, reliable two way player who never takes a shift/game off. Injuries will occur and given he has played just about every position is a useful, versatile member of the team. If Habs are a bust I can see him moving by trade deadline to a contender with some salary retained. He’s not terrible at C either, not ideal but given lack of C depth I could see him getting a shot if either Pacquette and/or Evans falter.
  16. Some good points for sure, as much as I’d love to see Jo hit his stride and play engaged as we’ve seen bits of and hit 60-70 points, I Can’t see why we’d expect Drouin to come back and play top 6, let alone top line. He couldn’t do that yet in his career. Agreed, CC needs to look strong to warrant staying in NHL and only in top 6 role. I believe he will. My take now that KK is gone: Toffolli-Suzuki-Caufield Hoffman-Dvorak-Anderson Drouin-Pacquette-Gallagher Lehkonen-Evans-Armia These lines fit with the Habs desire to roll four lines that can all score, skate and defend. I don’t see that mentality changing in one short off-season. These lines can all do this. First line is proven offense and can handle top opposition based on experience (assuming Toff is healthy). 2nd line has two way middle, strong forecheck from Andy and a proven finisher, maybe flip Hoffman and Toffolli as well. Drouin/Pacquette can be the new French Connection with Gally causing havoc and bein generally strong all over ice, he and Pacquette can insulate Drouin so he can be more creative. Thay fourth line could be best in the league and take over for Suzuki’s line should we need to just shut down an opponent and free up Suzuki to exploit a lower skilled line, I’d feel ok with this fourth line out against almost any opponent and know we’d at least shut them down. Joel Petry (heh heh, see what I did there) French Flex (Chiarot/Savard) Romy - Kulak/Wideman (whomever looks best in camp gets nod, but I believe Wideman has edge and will play 2nd pp). PK1: Dvorak-Armia Chiarot-Savard PK2: Evans/Pacquette-Lehks Eddy-Romy PP1: Caufield-Suzuki-Hoffman Petry-Drouin PP2: Toffolli-Dvorak-Anderson/Gally Wideman-Romy
  17. Gorges was very good with many of the young players from different accounts. Was a stand up guy and player, regardless of talent level. That statement is so true, these young players are experiencing a dizzying array of changes at all levels of their lives.
  18. Hard to grow players when most are drafted late. And especially hard to grow players when team is always in win-now mode, at least constantly desiring that due to internal/external pressures, history. That is not a franchise that can suffer a lot of youth mistakes and the late drafting spot means not getting elite talent that can slide into a competing team and contribute reliably. In Habs terms, there have been some dark years but compared to Pens (to get Sid) or Oilers, Avs, many more who have stars the Habs have not really hit bottom and scored an elite player via draft. Re. KK - I immediately upon drafting saw disturbing trends in his over usage and self-aggrandizing on social media and that is example of narcissistic behaviour. I wrote it off to youth, but combined with the selfish attitude he showed during playoffs (that whole “4” thing for the scratched guys should never have come public, represent schisms in the group which always undermines collective objective) I am not surprised he accepted the ridiculous offer sheet, gonna cost himself out of work. Sad to see him go, but in hindsight no I am not. I believe he was a future locker room cancer who will never produce more than inconsistency à la Armia/Lehks. Never saw him as more than 3C anyways. He will be playing 3rd/4th line wing by Christmas.
  19. The team seems to be treating each player individually, not following a formula. I think that is smart, especially in today’s age. What worked 10-20-30 years ago does not any longer. Times change, the game changes, players change. There is no right or wrong until hindsight. Using hindsight in this conversation is meaningless. Fans do not know the inner workings, multitude of reasons a player doesn’t pan out as projected. The odds of a pick turning out to be valuable player are greatly against the team, perhaps we should be looking at the wins and apparent healthy trajectory of treating each player uniquely: CC vs Poehling for example. There is always room for improvement, but we as fans lack the data, inside knowledge he to critique someone as a professional scout, etc.
  20. Good point. It still irks me, but definitely not taking a stance on this one. And don’t want to stir up this old (seems old now) issue. The KK drama actually worked well to shorten the media life span on this shit show, gladly. A possible silver lining to losing KK via a revenge sheet.
  21. Gotcha, makes sense why hard to make an informed opinion with no prior knowledge on it. Thanks for the description. Have to assume he hits camp in good shape, I am intrigued by him.
  22. Norlinder seems to be starting off well, what is the North American comparable level for the league he is playing in?
  23. Regarding the Logan M suspension from OHL. Seems punitive, redundant given the situation was handled by the legal system and the stated objectives are completely subjective. That league (and CHL in general) has a large history of misdeeds, indiscretions and scandals of its own that were dealt with poorly. I personally know past players who were involved in worse, caught on Canadian soil and never missed a game. This is PR and posturing by the league, I now feel bad for the kid whereas I originally felt he had a huge hill to climb in order to be someone I could root for should he ever play for the Habs. He still does, but this issue of bigger than hockey and remedies most likely involve early education systems for all, not just hockey players. Some of the comments about this case in media are verging on a witch hunt of hockey players.
  24. Yeah, slick Nick can finish. Love seeing his confidence grow with taking the shot on PP, decking goalies out of their jocks, threatening to be the shooter opens up so many options for him as well. He could be a 30 goal guy, 40 assists.
  25. Intriguing, same concerns I had earlier about Drouin playing top line. And Evans being 3 vs 4. But that 2,3,4 is pretty balanced and could cause some havoc. The winger depth makes this a fun exercise.
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