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2020 Playoffs - Projected Habs lineup


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20 minutes ago, Fanpuck33 said:

That's a fair point that we're probably defining lines a bit differently. To me, the top two lines are responsible for the lion's share of the offense, the third line is your defense first line who can chip in offensively, and then the 4th line is a bit of a grab bag. In terms of ice time, the top 3 lines should ideally get similar minutes, with the 1st and 3rd edging the 2nd a bit ...

 

I believe the days of a third line regularly matching up against one of an opponent's top 2 lines to "shut them down" are long gone ... a third line may in some cases get some specific shutdown circumstances in a game but not often ... 

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25 minutes ago, Fanpuck33 said:

 

That's a fair point that we're probably defining lines a bit differently. To me, the top two lines are responsible for the lion's share of the offense, the third line is your defense first line who can chip in offensively, and then the 4th line is a bit of a grab bag. In terms of ice time, the top 3 lines should ideally get similar minutes, with the 1st and 3rd edging the 2nd a bit.

 

Playing on the 3rd line, no he probably wouldn't be a 50 point player. That's not the point, though. The point is that playing on the 1st line with the team's best offensive talent, he is a 50-60 point player. That's not good enough! That is capable offensive production from a player who is forced into a top line role. 

 

Danault is probably in the same ballpark defensively as Bergeron, with Danault's lacking recognition because of the Selke's trend towards best two-way player as opposed to the best defensive forward. But Bergeron is nearly a third of a point per game better than Danault offensively. Sure, some of that is playing with guys like Marchand and Pasternak. But it's also that he is much more capable offensively and good enough to be used on the power play!  Or is Danault not being used in a major role on the PP our whole problem and he'd suddenly be a 70-80 point first line guy?

 

The point is that he is scoring the same at 5v5 as all those players we consider a first line player.  Which is what we should judge him on when we are deciding where he should play in the lineup.  He is more than capable of playing with our two best wingers (Tatar and Gallagher) at 5v5 and producing in those situations what O'Reilly, Bergeron, Aho, etc are producing for their teams.

 

The PP is a totally different aspect of the game.  Lets say Kovalchuk (or another PP specialist) comes in next year.  Takes a spot on a PP unit and produces well there, while being a third liner at ES.  Then we are fine... we are literally getting the same production out of Danault playing the first line minutes and that player being a PP specialist and third liner.  

 

There are many ways to skin this cat, and this probably saves you money as Danault + PP Specialist, would be cheaper than 1st line centre + shut down third line centre. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Commandant said:

 

Comparable 1st line centres Even strength points this year.

 

Sean Couturier 46 in 69 games
Sebastian Aho 44 in 68 games

Philip Danault 43 in 71 games

Ryan O'Reilly 42 in 71 games

Elias Pettersson 42 in 68 games

Alex Barkov 41 in 66 games

Kuznetzov 40 in 63 games
Kopitar 40 in 70

Tavares 39 in 63

Dubois 39 in 70

Patrice Bergeron 35 in 61

Getzlaf 33 in 69

Monahan 32 in 70

Duchene 31 in 66

 

 

At Even Strength, Philip Danault produces like a first line centre.

 

 

The question is would you take any of those players over Danault? I would probably take Danault because of age and cap hit over Getzlaf (already in decline) and kopitar (Started declining with huge cap hit). It would take me all of 1 millisecond to trade Danault and a first for any of the other players - particularly Aho, Barkov, Patterson, Monohan and Kuznetsov.

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Friday lines

FORWARDS

Tatar - Danault - Gallagher  
Drouin - Suzuki - Armia  
Byron - Kotkaniemi - Lehkonen  
Weise - Domi - Weal
Hudon - Evans - Poehling

 

DEFENSEMEN

Chiarot - Weber
Kulak - Petry
Ouellet - Mete
Fleury - Juulsen
Olofsson - Folin
Romanov

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On 7/31/2020 at 2:35 PM, Commandant said:

The point is that he is scoring the same at 5v5 as all those players we consider a first line player.  Which is what we should judge him on when we are deciding where he should play in the lineup.  He is more than capable of playing with our two best wingers (Tatar and Gallagher) at 5v5 and producing in those situations what O'Reilly, Bergeron, Aho, etc are producing for their teams.

 

The PP is a totally different aspect of the game.  Lets say Kovalchuk (or another PP specialist) comes in next year.  Takes a spot on a PP unit and produces well there, while being a third liner at ES.  Then we are fine... we are literally getting the same production out of Danault playing the first line minutes and that player being a PP specialist and third liner.  

 

There are many ways to skin this cat, and this probably saves you money as Danault + PP Specialist, would be cheaper than 1st line centre + shut down third line centre. 

 

A #1 center has to contribute in all phases of the game. Putting a team together piece-meal is what Montreal has been trying to do for years and it's not getting us anywhere. How many teams in the last 20 years have had a top center who isn't better than Danault? Andy MacDonald top quality for long, but he did have a very good short stretch around that Cup win. Other than that, only Scott Gomez. The same Scott Gomez this team acquired to be the guy. 

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A team needs to be built and another centre who is capable of playing 1a/1b with him is needed.... but Danault alone is not the problem, nor does he need to be a third liner. 

 

Hopefully one of Suzuki/KK becomes that second piece.

One centre alone isn't going to get it done either.  Its depth down the middle that most of the cup winners have. 

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2 hours ago, Commandant said:

A team needs to be built and another centre who is capable of playing 1a/1b with him is needed.... but Danault alone is not the problem, nor does he need to be a third liner. 

 

Hopefully one of Suzuki/KK becomes that second piece.

One centre alone isn't going to get it done either.  Its depth down the middle that most of the cup winners have. 

 

Who said Danault is a problem? It's not his fault he's the best center on the team. Suzuki is looking really strong, so hopefully he soon grows into that role.

 

Depth is absolutely of critical importance, which is why it is important to develop two centers better than Danault offensively. And let's also not focus solely on center depth. This team needs to develop offensive depth at all positions. I only focus on center because I see hope in younger players on the roster. I don't see any wingers ready to step up.

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After winning game 3 against Pittsburgh, I re-checked this thread and no one predicted CJ would win with this lineup:

 

Tatar - Suzuki - Gallagher

Drouin - Kotkaniemi - Armia

Byron - Danault - Lehkonen

< K.O. > - Domi - Weise

Chiarot - Weber

Kulak  - Petry

Mete - Ouellet

Price

 

If CJ comes back with this line up in one of the next two games, it will be an indication of good times coming

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That's because up to last night nobody could predict CJ would have those type of balls. Clearly he sees what WE are seeing in that Suzuki can play with Crosby and  Malkin no doubt. Hes also now fully trusted on the defensive side of the puck. Kotkaniemi was also great last night and for once CJ listened and increased his role and didnt shelter him. Trust from your coach goes a very long way to confidence in yourself.

 

The future is NOW in Mtl

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With Evans likely out for game 4 who comes in ... Weal?  Poehling?  Belzile? Hudon?

 

Weal could have a chip on his shoulder to prove he shouldn't have sat out, or his spirit might be "broken".

Poehling dressed for the warmup last night, so he was an option if Gallagher had to sit out?

Belzile was the 13th forward versus TO, but haven't heard that he even has been practicing, so likely not an option.

Hudon is the enigmatic option ... perhaps the most skilled option, but would be surprised if he were the choice ... but might be what Domi needs to generate some 5-on-5 scoring chances ... it would pretty much be Charles' last chance to impress Habs or anyone else (NHL or Europe) ... he is a RFA after the playoffs, becoming a UFA either summer 2021 or this fall if not qualified by the Habs

 

My bet is Weal, my preference is Poehling, 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, GHT120 said:

With Evans likely out for game 4 who comes in ... Weal?  Poehling?  Belzile? Hudon?

 

Weal could have a chip on his shoulder to prove he shouldn't have sat out, or his spirit might be "broken".

Poehling dressed for the warmup last night, so he was an option if Gallagher had to sit out?

Belzile was the 13th forward versus TO, but haven't heard that he even has been practicing, so likely not an option.

Hudon is the enigmatic option ... perhaps the most skilled option, but would be surprised if he were the choice ... but might be what Domi needs to generate some 5-on-5 scoring chances ... it would pretty much be Charles' last chance to impress Habs or anyone else (NHL or Europe) ... he is a RFA after the playoffs, becoming a UFA either summer 2021 or this fall if not qualified by the Habs

 

My bet is Weal, my preference is Poehling, 

 

 

 

Speaking of Belzile - and sorry if this side-tracks your question - but is there any significance to the fact that our two most recent rookies got absolutely destroyed and concussed in their first NHL game? I don't know if I've ever seen that happen in immediate succession. Is this just bad luck, a freak event, or were these kids simply not prepared for the pace/power of the NHL game - ?

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53 minutes ago, The Chicoutimi Cucumber said:

 

Speaking of Belzile - and sorry if this side-tracks your question - but is there any significance to the fact that our two most recent rookies got absolutely destroyed and concussed in their first NHL game? I don't know if I've ever seen that happen in immediate succession. Is this just bad luck, a freak event, or were these kids simply not prepared for the pace/power of the NHL game - ?

 

I would suggest it was bad luck ... Belzile was doing what he was supposed to be doing, looking to put a puck past Andersen ... then got cheap-shoted by Muzzin and projected into the boards ... so was Evans ... trying to clear the zone off the pass from Mete, which was a bit soft/slow ... leaving Evans standing still and giving Tanev time to get there

 

 

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34 minutes ago, Fanpuck33 said:

These are lines I can get behind, though I'd still like Domi in the top 6. He looked good out there tonight.

 

Challenge is whose spot does he take in the top 9 ... it would have to be as a winger ... not Max's favourite role

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26 minutes ago, GHT120 said:

 

Challenge is whose spot does he take in the top 9 ... it would have to be as a winger ... not Max's favourite role

Either Max plays were he is needed, or he is gone. No room for primadonas  

 

 

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37 minutes ago, GHT120 said:

 

Challenge is whose spot does he take in the top 9 ... it would have to be as a winger ... not Max's favourite role

 

He takes Drouins spot IMO.

 

Drouin is not doing enough.

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1 minute ago, Commandant said:

 

He takes Drouins spot IMO.

 

Drouin is not doing enough.

 

That is not an unexpected response (1g, 0a) ... but one must consider that Tartar is not doing much either (0g, 0a) ... also, TT's historical playoff production (4g, 5a in 28 games) is a little less than Drouin's (6g, 9a in 27 games) ... Drouin is a lightning rod type player ... full of raw talent and until he hits 25-30g/80-85 points there will always be more expected.

 

Despite his unexpected scoring this last series, it might have to be Lehkonen, with Tartar moving back with Danault ...Domi then could play with whichever of Suzuki or KK the coaches see as the best fit (Drouin taking the other spot) ... 

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22 minutes ago, alfredoh2009 said:

Either Max plays were he is needed, or he is gone. No room for primadonas  

 

As a pending RFA I would expect he would just be happy to get the best opportunity to shine ... but unless he enjoys 18/19-like success on the wing it may be an issue going into 20/21 TC and beyond

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1 hour ago, GHT120 said:

Challenge is whose spot does he take in the top 9 ... it would have to be as a winger ... not Max's favourite role

 

And do you know how excited I am by that prospect? How long has it been since we talked about shifting a center to wing because of our depth at center? 

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27 minutes ago, Fanpuck33 said:

 

... How long has it been since we talked about shifting a center to wing because of our depth at center? 

 

Well ... Galchenyuk moved from centre to wing ... wing to centre ... centre to wing ... wing to centre ... centre to wing ... wing to centre (wash, rinse, repeat)

 

😁  😋  😏

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1 minute ago, GHT120 said:

 

Well ... Galchenyuk moved from centre to wing ... wing to centre ... centre to wing ... wing to centre ... centre to wing ... wing to centre (wash, rinse, repeat)

 

😁  😋  😏

 

But that was never because of our depth. That was because they were never quite happy with him at C, but kept hoping he'd work there. We've shifted numerous guys to wing because of lack of performance and shear number of centers, but it's been a long time since it was because we were actually happy with who was already playing there down the lineup.

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2 hours ago, GHT120 said:

 

That is not an unexpected response (1g, 0a) ... but one must consider that Tartar is not doing much either (0g, 0a) ... also, TT's historical playoff production (4g, 5a in 28 games) is a little less than Drouin's (6g, 9a in 27 games) ... Drouin is a lightning rod type player ... full of raw talent and until he hits 25-30g/80-85 points there will always be more expected.

 

Despite his unexpected scoring this last series, it might have to be Lehkonen, with Tartar moving back with Danault ...Domi then could play with whichever of Suzuki or KK the coaches see as the best fit (Drouin taking the other spot) ... 

 

Lehkonen brings soooooo much defensively, they will want him against one of the Lightning/Philly top lines. 

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13 hours ago, Commandant said:

Lehkonen brings soooooo much defensively, they will want him against one of the Lightning/Philly top lines. 

 

Absolutely. Byron-Danault-Lehkonen was an awesome shutdown line.

 

Rather than trying to move Domi to a different line, I would like a different winger for him. Weal-Domi-Belzile? Domi-Evans-Belzile? That's assuming that Evans will be ready to return. (I agree that Poehling is not ready yet for this year's run.)

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