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Life on the bubble, after that November


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1 hour ago, alfredoh2009 said:

Cucumber, I like you posts in general and a I enjoy your analysis for the most part: honestly.

 

But when you say that some of us accept mediocrity and swallow the org's kool aid; I feel it is addressed to me, at least indirectly. Let me just say that as a person, I limit what "gets to me" and bothers me to things that matter: family, employment and heath. Being a CH fan, for me, is a pass time and as much as I would love them to win a cup this year: I know that will not happen.

So I temper my expectations, look at where the team is and enjoy the winning times but also endure the mediocre periods. That's it, that's all. 

 

I think folks might be confusing tone and content. Like you, I don't lose a wink of sleep over the Montreal Canadiens. My wife's had breast cancer, my sister-in-law died catastrophically in her early 30s, I'm a parent, I've been around the block, I know what matters and what doesn't matter so much. Following the Habs really is a minor sidebar in life, a mental holiday from more important concerns, like watching "Star Wars."

 

That said, when I *do* turn my mind to the Canadiens, I see a franchise mired in long-term mediocrity and hear quite a few fans basically saying that that's Jim Dandy. So I'm not buying that. One can cheer for a team and still critique it - just as one can be patriotic, and disagree with the direction of your country's government, or criticize its practices. (The analogy is imperfect of course, because what countries and governments do actually matters. But the point, which is that allegiance can combine with critique, stands).

 

1 hour ago, DON said:

Not sure how you see being cynical and pessimistic 100% of the time as the only acceptable way to be?

 

Let's remember what contributed to some of this discussion. I piped in and said that IF the Habs miss the playoffs for a fourth season out of five, the GM should be fired. I find it quite amazing that this is some wildly controversial position. The fact that it is, exemplifies the problem.

 

And as for me being "100% pessimistic," I don't think it is terribly negative to say that this team is one quality LD from being more than a bubble team. The true pessimists are the ones who say to blow everything up because this team is garbage from top to bottom.

 

Where I am pessimistic is in my skepticism that MB will fill the hole. But that's a well-earned pessimism; this guy has proven quite good at adding quality depth pieces and absolutely horrible at fixing major, top-end roster holes.

 

I am also skeptical that we have all these fabulous players who are going to emerge as stars in three years. That's because a lifetime of watching hockey has taught me that expectations should generally be tempered about prospects (except in rare cases, where guys like Price, Subban, or Gallagher step in and right away you can see they are going to have an impact).

 

Finally, I am skeptical that Weber and Price are going to be elite or semi-elite into perpetuity, which is an obvious fact to any living human except Bergevin, apparently. They will fade away like everybody else. And I think it'd be a pity if Price in particular plays out the string without being part of a serious, ongoing contender; he deserves better than that.

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I'll start by saying your view point in this post is completely understandable, you bring up good points that validate your skepticism and that of others. However imo, you are omitting some of the big

They havent done the same thing every year and those are not their only options...   Why does MB have to choose to a) strip it down  b) go all in Being so narrow minded in tak

The habs brass, drafting and decision making is average at best.    Which is why they have been a "bubble team" for 25 years.    MB has made some good deals and some bad deals, sam

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2 hours ago, The Chicoutimi Cucumber said:

 

Disappointing to hear my view caricatured this way. That is not my position and never was.

 

As for supporting mediocrity, some of the posts on here prove my point. 'The team may not contend within Price and Weber's window and that's A-OK.' 'I just want to cheer for the Habs no matter what.' Such claims exemplify an uncritical embrace of eternal mediocrity. We all cheer for the Habs, but some of us don't see that as interchangeable with swallowing the organization's Kool-Aid all the time. You only have to consider how this 'everything is awesome' mindset would have worked during the Houle era to see its folly. Worse, by cheerleading endlessly we indirectly enable the franchise's mediocrity, just as Leafs fans did all those years.

 

Honestly, there is no poster I respect more on this site for the posts they make.  I hope that is clear.  I was probably too snarky with the strawman comment, and I apologize for mischaracterizing your posts like that. 

 

That said, this whole debate, on Bergevin, on the trades, on whether the team has improved or regressed, on what the timeline should be for being a playoff club.  All of this.  I feel like its a discussion we've had in the last 6 months, on a number of occassions.  I know we see things differently, but thats ok, lets see if I can summarize our two positions. 

 

1) You and H29, and others: Bergevin inherited a good team that had a huge hole at Centre, he didn't fill that hole for many years. Now his team has a hole at LD and he's did nothing to fill it this past summer.  Based on that, he should be fired. 

 

You are also skeptical of the prospect depth. 

 

2) Me, and others: I agree, Bergevin's first 4-5 years in charge, mistakes were made particularly at centre.  I felt he should have been fired in 2018, but he wasn't.  Since that time, I think his moves have shifted into a rebuild or retool of the club, and I actually like the moves he's made (Domi, Kulak, Suzuki/Tatar/Romanov for Pacioretty, overall drafting and prospect development.  I agree we need a LD but I look around the league and no big LD moved in the last 18 months or so.  He made a pitch on Gardiner who took less money to get out of the media spotlight after being in Toronto.  So a stop gap was acquired in Chiarot, and I said at the time that Chiarot was an upgrade on Jordie Benn.  Chiarot struggled his first two-three weeks of the season, but since then he's been really, really good.  I think this signing is a win, even the need for the top pair guy hasn't been adressed.  

 

I don't know what is out there in the trade market and what the cost is, cause I haven't seen a top pair LHD get moved in quite some time.   So who knows what the cost is.  This isn't centre all over again where we watched Bergevin not make moves while Tyler Seguin and Matt Duchene and other centres were traded.  The only person who might be close was Jake Muzzin. So this is different cause no one close to that calibre of dman that we need is moving right now. So what has Bergevin done?  He's had the organization draft a crap load of LHD, Romanov looks like a future stud.  Norlinder, Harris, Struble are all doing well.  Leskinen was signed and has played well in the AHL, lets see what he is (though i doubt its more than third pair), and there are others in the system.  My opinion is that in filling this hole all he can do is stock the system full of good prospects.  That has a dual effect in that if a legit D becomes available he has the prospect capital to move for him, or one of those prospects develops.   I think in KK, Suzuki, Primeau, Caufield, Brook, Romanov, Fleury, et all, this prospect group is one of the best in the league and could be worth waiting for if nothing sensible emerges on the trade front. 

 

With that evidence in mind, I don't know where to criticize the job Bergevin has done since I wanted him fired in the spring of 2018.  The last year and a half, I'm not seeing miscues from him.  Yes, there are things I'd like him to do on LHD, but I have no idea if something was available and he passed on it. 

 

----

 

We've gone in this circle several times in the last six months, and I'm not sure what has changed for us to re-litigate this position over again.  Without some sort of change in fortunes of the club (ie... they were a bubble team when this started... looking at the standings, despite an 8 game losing skid, we are a bubble team today)... no moves have been made either by the Habs or others to get that type of LHD. 

So until something changes, I just feel like we are having this circular debate and no one is going to change their positions without more evidence being generated by the team, either on or off the ice. 

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I think part of the problem is that there isn't always new stuff to talk about so we rehash prior issues a lot. I don't accept mediocrity as I remember the glory years well and long for those years again but I also realize there is no short cut to get there and MB realized this a couple years ago deciding to build from within, stockpiling draft picks  and making the odd trade to fill in. Some have worked (ie. Domi), some haven't.  I would like the Drouin trade back. I haven't given up on Drouin but Sergachev obviously would fill a bigger need. 

 

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If Bergevin gets fired for missing the playoffs 4 out of 5 years, I don't have much faith in Molson and co. to find a replacement who is much better.  We'd probably get some old fogey with ties to our past Cups to head the search, and of course language would likely rule out many of the best candidates.  The game was so different when we were winning Cups and Quebec was a major producer of talent. Our organization is unique in its backwards-focus and stringent language requirements, neither of which are helpful in winning three decades into the 21st century.  That said, looking at our situation long-term, it's possible that a major course change is what's required, ie. unloading Price and Weber at an opportune moment.  Bergevin is clearly committed to those two and will go down with the ship.  

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1 hour ago, The Chicoutimi Cucumber said:

 

I think folks might be confusing tone and content. Like you, I don't lose a wink of sleep over the Montreal Canadiens. My wife's had breast cancer, my sister-in-law died catastrophically in her early 30s, I'm a parent, I've been around the block, I know what matters and what doesn't matter so much. Following the Habs really is a minor sidebar in life, a mental holiday from more important concerns, like watching "Star Wars."

[...]

Let's remember what contributed to some of this discussion. I piped in and said that IF the Habs miss the playoffs for a fourth season out of five, the GM should be fired. I find it quite amazing that this is some wildly controversial position. The fact that it is, exemplifies the problem.

My respects ChicoutimiCuc, I have not been touched by cancer, but both my parents are battling alzeimer. Like I said, I have no personal issue with you. But sometimes on the tone.

 

If the Habs miss the palyoffs, I will look at it then. It is too early for me to say now what would be best for the team in hte future if they miss the palyoffs 4 out of 5. But given my current stand point, I will probably base my evaluation on progression from where we started the season versus an absolute, binary, black and white, measurement. 

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Quick thoughts here:

 

1. It is a good question, who MB's replacement might be. I agree that there is a danger that it be Patrick Roy or some other "old fogey with ties to our past Cups," to build on Neech's concern. Think about what this means, though...it means we should keep the current GM because we can't trust ownership to hire someone based on criteria of excellence rather than sentiment. In other words, this organization is absolutely committed to mediocrity; mediocrity is utterly baked-in. So when I say "MB should be fired if we miss the playoffs," what I really mean is that an organization committed to excellence would fire him and do a rigorous and intelligent search for a top-end replacement. Maybe I'm giving the Habs too much credit in assuming these conditions hold in their case.

 

2. One of the basic differences separating me from Commandant is that I tend to take MB's work as an ongoing whole, where he accepts a categorical break in 2018 between Hapless Bergevin and Competent Bergevin. If you think in terms of continuity - four missed playoffs in five years, a team that has flat-lined two years in a row below the playoff bar, etc. - then you are probably comfortable saying MB should be canned. If you think in terms of 2018 as Year Zero, then firing him is surely premature. That's fair.

 

3. In terms of being "skeptical about prospect depth," let me clarify. I accept (because I have no way of knowing differently) the widespread expert view that the Habs have good prospects. What I am skeptical about is that this translates into Cup contention within Weber's window - or at all, really. Many people talk as though it is just axiomatic that we will contend when these prospects mature. In fact, it is anything but axiomatic.

 

So what do I want? It's really very simple. I want the GM to improve this team enough that it makes the playoffs this season. Then I want the GM to build on that modest success going forward. These are hardly ridiculous asks IMHO. And yet when I complained in the summer that MB had done jacksh*t to improve the club, I was told to be patient, that the season hadn't begun yet. With the season is well begun, I'm now being told it didn't matter all along that he didn't improve the club, either because this season is irrelevant to the mythical Three Year Vanishing Point, or because we should just sing Zip-A-De-Doo-Dah all the time regardless of what the Habs do. No. As it stands right now, the team is no better than last year's: that's a FAIL. And as with many other failures, it's on Bergevin. Now hey, if the team rights the ship, charges strong in the new year and makes the playoffs, then God bless. But if current trends continue, then MB should go, subject to proviso (1) above.

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Let me be clear.  

 

I havent made a decision one way or the other on what to do with Bergevin in april of they miss the playoffs.  Depending on what the circumstances of that miss are... what moves are and arent made... and what happens over those four months has to go into the equation for me.  Its not as simple as get in and keep your job or lose and get fired.

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3 hours ago, Link67 said:

For point 1, i'd sooner see a competent President of Hockey operations get brought in, to help infuse more insight in important hockey deals and also keep people accountable if trust becomes a factor. That person would then be entrusted to assure mediocrity is not a strategy, that building towards contention is the constant goal no matter what part of the cycle we are at.

 

I would very much like to see this.

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14 hours ago, Link67 said:

[...] This feels very different, this looks different, and for that reason, optimism that this could end up working out much better is warranted imo.

Thank you Link67, well put.

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On 12/7/2019 at 3:55 PM, The Chicoutimi Cucumber said:

 If our Andy Capp of a GM would get off the couch and fill the abyssal hole at LD, I honestly think that would be enough to get us over the playoff bar. And that should be the goal this season: getting over the bar.

 

Remember, even if we’re retooling with youth, those youth will need playoff experience. It is consistent with - indeed, desirable to - a youth movement to ice a team that makes the dance.  I do not subscribe to this narrative of endlessly deferred gratification in the name of some continually-shifting three-year vanishing point when we will miraculously contend. MB’s job was to make this team better than last year’s. As usual, that turned out to be too ‘tough.’

 

 

Well said!  MB's epic fail on the left side of our top pair is THE issue that holds us back from being in the playoffs.  I'm not asking for a legit #1C out of thin air (which would make us an actual threat to advance in those playoffs, if coupled with a top pair LD addition), but the blueline fail is inexcusable and he should be fired if the bubble bursts yet again.

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Oddly enough Chiarots emergence as a top 4 D has been a welcome surprise. He has looked really good next to Weber and has actually given Weber the ability to be more offensive minded and it’s paying off.

 

If Mete can continue to grow into a top 4 and Kulak can round out the bottom pair, things might be working themselves out. Chiarot stepping up like he has has done wonders.

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3 hours ago, Scott462 said:

Oddly enough Chiarots emergence as a top 4 D has been a welcome surprise. He has looked really good next to Weber and has actually given Weber the ability to be more offensive minded and it’s paying off.

 

If Mete can continue to grow into a top 4 and Kulak can round out the bottom pair, things might be working themselves out. Chiarot stepping up like he has has done wonders.

It’s the timing of the conversation. Chia rot has never done much more than be a 20 point player. He may hit 26 points this year and call it a good day. Once the playoffs come around we can’t expect the way he’s been playing to sustain itself. The Habs need an upgrade on the top pair. Imagine Chiarot on the second pair and Mete on the third pair. Now we’re talking. 

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10 minutes ago, xXx..CK..xXx said:

It’s the timing of the conversation. Chia rot has never done much more than be a 20 point player. He may hit 26 points this year and call it a good day. Once the playoffs come around we can’t expect the way he’s been playing to sustain itself. The Habs need an upgrade on the top pair. Imagine Chiarot on the second pair and Mete on the third pair. Now we’re talking. 

 

I agree an upgrade on any position would be great but at the same time what would be the cost? Playoffs I think Chiarot would do well because he’s a big body that can move his feet. 

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6 hours ago, sbhatt said:

 

Well said!  MB's epic fail on the left side of our top pair is THE issue that holds us back from being in the playoffs.  I'm not asking for a legit #1C out of thin air (which would make us an actual threat to advance in those playoffs, if coupled with a top pair LD addition), but the blueline fail is inexcusable and he should be fired if the bubble bursts yet again.

 

Who is the Top Pair LHD that the Habs should have acquired in the last 12 months? I want someone who was actually moved, either by trade or in free agency... not just someone in a vague rumour, a player who was out there on the market who Bergevin could have acquired but didn't.   If on a trade... what is the package from the Habs that is comparable to the one given up?

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Hamilton LD

hanafin LD

karlsson RD

McDonagh LD

Muzzin LD

Barrie RD

 

last couple seasons that I can think of...

 

Nonetheless we are not in a position to throw all kinds of assets out for these guys the last couple of seasons. Sure, we are in a better position today to make a deal like this. For me, buying low is key this year.

 

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Hamilton and Hanafin were moved for each other.  So not sure how bergevin was supposed to trade for either of them without that calibre of d to give up.

 

Karlsson and Barrie are RD so not sure you have the player to fill that hole.

 

McDonagh and JT Miller were traded to the lightning at the 2018 trade deadline.  The season where montreal was headed for fourth last in the nhl and the third overall pick (kotkaniemi). He was also a rental who the lightning then re-signed.

We werent, nor should we have been buyers at the time of that move.  It was only after the domi trade, the pacioretty trade and other moves worked great in the summer of 2018 that what was looking a long term rebuild got sped up.  Its not a move Bergevin could have been involved in at the time...

 

So that leaves only Muzzin as a realistic option he could have acquired but didnt.

 

Muzzin went for a 1st rounder, sean durzi (2018 2nd round dman), and carl grundstrom  a 2016 2nd rounder who was doing well in the ahl.

 

Whats the equivalent? 

 

First round pick (lottery protected)

One of romanov, fleury or brook

Jesse ylonen

 

 

Does anyone want to give that up for 1.5 years of muzzin before free agency?

 

Thats really the only real trade possibility that bergevin realistically could have done for our left d.  I just want to know who thinks he should have given that up for muzzin.

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7 hours ago, Commandant said:

Hamilton and Hanafin were moved for each other.  So not sure how bergevin was supposed to trade for either of them without that calibre of d to give up.

 

Karlsson and Barrie are RD so not sure you have the player to fill that hole.

 

McDonagh and JT Miller were traded to the lightning at the 2018 trade deadline.  The season where montreal was headed for fourth last in the nhl and the third overall pick (kotkaniemi). He was also a rental who the lightning then re-signed.

We werent, nor should we have been buyers at the time of that move.  It was only after the domi trade, the pacioretty trade and other moves worked great in the summer of 2018 that what was looking a long term rebuild got sped up.  Its not a move Bergevin could have been involved in at the time...

 

So that leaves only Muzzin as a realistic option he could have acquired but didnt.

 

Muzzin went for a 1st rounder, sean durzi (2018 2nd round dman), and carl grundstrom  a 2016 2nd rounder who was doing well in the ahl.

 

Whats the equivalent? 

 

First round pick (lottery protected)

One of romanov, fleury or brook

Jesse ylonen

 

 

Does anyone want to give that up for 1.5 years of muzzin before free agency?

 

Thats really the only real trade possibility that bergevin realistically could have done for our left d.  I just want to know who thinks he should have given that up for muzzin.

You do realize we agree here right...

 

With that said, I wanted the Habs to sign either of Panarin or Karlsson as a UFA in the summer. To me, paying those 2 guys in particular even with those high CAP hits would of been worth it personally. 

 

 

 

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I wouldn’t say Muzzin is even all that much better than Chiarot is right now.

 

33 minutes ago, IN THE HEARTS OF MEN said:

You do realize we agree here right...

 

With that said, I wanted the Habs to sign either of Panarin or Karlsson as a UFA in the summer. To me, paying those 2 guys in particular even with those high CAP hits would of been worth it personally. 

 

 

 

 

It would have been great to get either of those two but unfortunately both seemed to have made up there minds on there current locations.

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37 minutes ago, IN THE HEARTS OF MEN said:

You do realize we agree here right...

 

With that said, I wanted the Habs to sign either of Panarin or Karlsson as a UFA in the summer. To me, paying those 2 guys in particular even with those high CAP hits would of been worth it personally. 

 

 

 

 

The issue is that Karlsson signed with San Jose before July 1st, so he was never even available. 

Panarin signed for a big deal with the Rangers, but he took less money than the Islanders offered.  Was he ever even an option for Montreal?

Of course I'd want one of those players too, but I never heard that either ever really considered Montreal. 

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Wants and dreams vs reality.... They dont always come to fruition. If they did Crosby would of demanded a trade to play for his childhood dream team (The Habs) ten years ago just as i envisioned.

Seriously though, this is why I wasn’t to disappointed that he didn’t blow our space on marginal players vs CAP implications like a Gardiner etc. 

 

Also, my comments on Chiarot from the start were that he would in fact be a good acquisition. Ive watched a lot of Jets games over the last few seasons because of fantasy hockey and knew he was very solid. While BUFF and Trouba got the accolades Chiarot quietly went about his business. Did anyone think he’d be this good given the added responsibility? I didn’t think he’d be THIS GOOD either. I knew he’d be nothing like Alzner though and commented as such.  Did MB just find another Petry steal?  Sure seems that way although the sample size is only 20/25 games... It also isn’t fair to say Muzzin isn’t all that much better. Muzzin has been playing quality hockey for years now and formed quite the line with our Captain for team Canada. Im sure we would of been very happy with a Muzzin Weber pairing!!

 

 

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I’m not even ragging on Muzzin he’s a quality D.

 

I’m just making the point that Chiarot is playing just as good as him and all we had to give up for him was salary and not the high price the Leafs had to pay to get Muzzin.

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A week later ...

 

On 12/6/2019 at 5:56 AM, tomh009 said:

Atlantic:

  • 2nd: Florida (has 1 game on hand): 1 point ahead of the Habs (5-5-0 in the last 10)
  • 3rd: Buffalo (0 GoH): 1 point ahead (4-4-2)
  • 5th: Toronto (2 games more played): tied with the Habs (4-6-0)
  • 6th: Tampa Bay (3 GoH): 1 point behind the Habs (5-4-1)

 

Today:

  • Buffalo (33 games): 2 points ahead of the Habs
  • Habs (32 games)
  • Tampa Bay (30 games): 1 point behind
  • Florida (31 games): 1 point behind
  • Toronto (33 games): 1 point behind

 

We do look like a solid bubble team!

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7 minutes ago, tomh009 said:

A week later ...

 

 

Today:

  • Buffalo (33 games): 2 points ahead of the Habs
  • Habs (32 games)
  • Tampa Bay (30 games): 1 point behind
  • Florida (31 games): 1 point behind
  • Toronto (33 games): 1 point behind

 

We do look like a solid bubble team!

with Kotkaniemi anf Mete starting to skate and Byron almost ready to come back. The next couple of weeks will be interesting 

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