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2012-13 Habs Lineup: the Forwards


hankhab
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All my hand-wringing is premised on the idea that we will go into the season with basically this roster. If MB swings a deal to land a LW, then that's Jim Dandy with me and I withdraw all my provisional criticisms of MB's baffling indolence on this subject.

I suppose the analogy between our current holes at LW and last season's holes on D is a bit exaggerated, inasmuch as we *do* have forwards (Leblanc, Moen, Desharnais, Bourque, even that jackass Gomez) who could conceivably be slotted into the LW position. So some sort of crazy, wing-and-a-prayer game of musical chairs may be able to get us through the season. We didn't have this luxury on D last season. But as luxuries go, this is pretty piss-poor.

We'll see what happens. All I'm saying is it doesn't look good, and could have been made to look somewhat better with fairly minimal cost.

I say f Gomez is on this team he'll play center and not LW. Problem is that Gomez and Eller are both piss poor on the left side.

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Would rather take our chances at Left with Bourque, Leblanc, Gallagher, or even DD (if Galchenyuk makes the team or Gomez finds his game) than sign any of the remaining UFAs, don't think we really want a Shane Doan making $7MM at 39 especially if RW is our strength.

Maybe Morrow can be picked up from the Stars if the price is right now that he's fallen out of their Top 6 but he's still risky coming off a bad year so debatable if he's an actual upgrade.

2013 UFA LW class looks pretty deep if all of the above fail, would rather throw big money at a guy like Clowe or Hartnell next year if they don't resign extensions.

Will be a very interesting Pre-Season, big decisions to make on Scotty's fate and if Gally sticks - with his $3+MM ELC and missing last season it's a long shot but there's got to be a part of MB that wants to showcase his biggest addition to the club so I expect him to get to audition for the top 6, better for him to go back to Jr than play bottom six - mind you thought the same about Seguin and apparently didn't really hurt his development.

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Although I still think the Habs will try to land a top 6 forward to play on the left side, I wonder what Tomas Holmstrom has left in the tank. He doesn;t address our top 6 but as a 3rd line guy who sees PP time I imagine him to be still effective in this league.

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Any hope Kristo ever plays for Montreal?

Would he have any trade value or does he end up in the Schultz loophole where teams can just wait til he's a UFA.

Of course there is hope Kristo will be in Hamilton next fall and he also would likely have good trade value, as he is likely about the 20-25th ranked NCAA player, can really skate, defensively smart and has some offense.

Habs have till near end of next summer to sign him and he seems to have made no indication yet that he would jump ship. And with Pacioretty/Leblanc and several other americans on the Habs roster, as well as teammate and special team linemate Mark MacMillan being a Hab draft pick, i would say a better chance he signs than not. Maybe even he will suit up for AHL playoffs?

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Leblanc was kristo's teammate in the USHL.

Still everything Kristo has said to this point is that he wants to sign with Montreal after going for the NCAA title.

I tend to believe him, as due to his year in the USHL he could have de-registered from North Dakota and been a UFA at the same time as Schultz. He didn't need to complete his 4th year there to be a UFA.

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Although I still think the Habs will try to land a top 6 forward to play on the left side, I wonder what Tomas Holmstrom has left in the tank. He doesn;t address our top 6 but as a 3rd line guy who sees PP time I imagine him to be still effective in this league.

Holmström has said he will only sign with Detroit.

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He did play in the USHL but it's a major generalization to think players will get along just because they played in the same league or are the same nationality.

Not sure major generalization or not; but major assumptions and hunch for sure;

I think having many NCAA kids drafted/in the system and on the Habs as well as LL being old teammate, MacMillan/Bennett/Didier/Sullivan/Vail will likely be in Hamilton in 2-4 years also and Stejskal/Pateryn/Nash/Quailer/Geoffrion/Palushaj will be there when he likely suits up in May playoffs; all are pluses to get the kid signed i think.

Kristo has even said he followed and was big fan of NCAA hockey growing up and not the NHL as much, so i really do think having all the american/NCAA connections may be more important for this kid in particular (get Pacioretty/Cole/Gionta to twist his arm if need be).

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Alot of people have suggested that Desharnais will eventually move to the wing. Is there anything wrong with "eventually" being this season?

Of course with the current roster that would mean either Gomez or Galy make the team out of camp.

(null)

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Dunno, when you start looking at all the pieces and question marks damn near impossible to predict a lineup.

DDs size, defensive game and offensive talent make him a better winger IMO. When I watch him play tough not to think of Marty St. Louis with weaker skating ability.

Dont think you can play him with Gio so maybe DD/Pleks/Cole followed by Patches/Gomer-Galy/Gio

Other option if either of the Gs make it is to keep the 2 1/2 men line together and put Pleks in the 3rd hole - not a slight but more because hes our best and really only shut down guy - Ellers FO stats werent the best last year and don't think he's ready to go head to head with the leagues best, maybe he goes to Pleks right side with Moen on the left to mentor under Tomas. This of course still leaves a guessing game for LW in the top 6.

Honestly highly unlikely either Scotty or Alex are on the team come October, DD is back between Cole/ Pacs and revolving door on LW next to Pleks/Gio and lots of nights relying on Carey to give up 2 or less

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You're probably right. I just thought if he's going to move there someday, why not now? Especially as I don't think we're contenders this year.

(null)

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Agreed on contending, problem is we are really deep at centre when you look at a depth chart just not really strong when you look at the individuals, hopefully Galchenyuk is the savior.

But like someone previously posted would be nice to see if DD can play without the twin towers before we have to re-up him. Think there will be a lot of line juggling in the pre-aeason

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Hope there is a preseason lol. Would be just our luck to have a short season which becomes a sprint. With a new coach and no settled lines, would make things a bit tricky.

(null)

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Yeah, the obvious problem with moving DD to wing is that it leaves a huge hole at C - plausibly assuming that Galy will not be ready for heavy NHL minutes - and breaks up one of the league's best lines.

One thing's for sure, line matchups *will* be very interesting this season. Unlike most years, where it's a pretty lame discusson topic IMHO.

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It makes no sense to put Plekanec on the third line merely because he's "our best shutdown guy"

I mean why doesn't Boston play Patrice Bergeron on the third line, Vancouver with Kesler, Detroit with Datsyuk, Minnesota with Mikko Koivu? Do you think Carolina will play Jordan Staal on the third line? Will St. Louis put David Backes there? How about San Jose and Joe Thornton? Nashville and Mike Fisher? etc... etc... Its all over the NHL.

There are far more teams in the league currently using a top 6 centre as their matchup centre than those with a dedicated third line.

The idea that our best defensive centre plays on the third line in an antiquated one.

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My biggest concern is at centre and i still say Plekanec and Desharnais cant be the top 2 centres and expect to contend.

Some say face-offs arnt important; but ,

Plekanec-55th, Desharnais-53rd and Eller-71st out of 81 centres on F.O %, is a glaring weakness that needs to be addressed sometime, maybe Desharnais and Eller can improve, as they are just starting out bvut Plekanec has consistantly sucked for years with zero improvment (too small, weak maybe??).

One reason i see a Paul Stastny would be a good trade for Plekanec. Which i am sure still wouldnt be a popular proposition, but really need an upgrade for first line centre sometime. Stastny-Cole-Pacioretty would look pretty good.

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2012 Playoffs.... Team faceoff percentage.

Los Angeles 49.7%

New Jersey 47.2%

New York Rangers 48.4%

Phoenix Coyotes 51.4%

Montreal's 2012 regular season percentage.... 48.3%

Pleks and DD were both above 49%

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2012 Playoffs.... Team faceoff percentage.

Los Angeles 49.7%

New Jersey 47.2%

New York Rangers 48.4%

Phoenix Coyotes 51.4%

Montreal's 2012 regular season percentage.... 48.3%

Pleks and DD were both above 49%

Come on that's pretty dishonest to compare regular season with post-season.

That said, NJ and NY did not have the greatest face off numbers. Elias in particular is terrible at the circle.

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I guess you've never heard the price for Stastny the last time a team tried to trade for him. It was ridiculously high. You're not getting Stastny until he falls out of favour with the Avalanche.

which i had heard at one time he was out of favour (maybe was just his father who was pissed??), Any upgrade trade wouldnt be painless and would cost, especially if trying to find a centre who is better than Tomas, who is very good all-round and is an "almost" All-Star every year and a perfect #2 centre (cept for faceoff liability).

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which i had heard at one time he was out of favour (maybe was just his father who was pissed??), Any upgrade trade wouldnt be painless and would cost, especially if trying to find a centre who is better than Tomas, who is very good all-round and is an "almost" All-Star every year and a perfect #2 centre (cept for faceoff liability).

I remember hearing the Leafs inquired for him (around that same time) and the Avalanche wanted something like Grabovski, Shenn and two firsts. Something ridiculously high like that. So for Montreal equivalent we're talking Plekanec, Emelin and two firsts. No thanks.

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2012 Playoffs.... Team faceoff percentage.

Los Angeles 49.7%

New Jersey 47.2%

New York Rangers 48.4%

Phoenix Coyotes 51.4%

Montreal's 2012 regular season percentage.... 48.3%

Pleks and DD were both above 49%

Tomas would still be #30 of 44 centres in playoffs (if extrapolated reg season #s), So you think bottom 1/3 of league consistantly is OK for a centre group and are happy with that, what can i say, but that i disagree and see as a glalring weakness that needs to change.

There is a reason Stastny/Bergeron/Malhotra/Toews etc are on for every important faceoff in a close game.

For the Habs it dosent matter, they all suck (relatively) at it.

It is costly to have to consistantly chase puck down the ice after most offensive PP faceoffs, and for Gorges and Price to stand on head stopping/blocking point shots after most PK faceoffs.

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