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Round 3, Game 5: Montreal Canadiens @ Golden Knights


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2 hours ago, tomh009 said:

There have been "breaks" the other way, too. Drouin absence. Evans concussion (thanks, Scheifele). Merrill injury. Petry dislocated fingers. And a ridiculous lack of penalty calls.

 

You make your own luck. You take advantage of opportunities and bounces. You work hard. And that's how you win games.

 

And Stone's lack of production is not a "break" we got. Nine out of 12 Vegas forwards have failed to score. Do you really believe that's just luck? Price is playing lights-out, and our skaters are very much keeping the shots to the outside, giving Price an opportunity to deal with them. And our PK is playing a stellar, aggressive game, with four short-handed goals against only three allowed in 44 opportunities.

 

The Habs are certainly not the most skilled team in the league. But they are definitely not a single win away from the finals just because they are lucky.

I never said it’s only because they are lucky. The old saying is you have to be good to be lucky. no matter how good you are, you need things to roll your way. For the flames to finally beat the Oilers in the playoffs , it took a Steve smith flub. It also helped us to win the cup in 86’ not having to play the Oilers.
 

I also acknowledges the Petry Weber injuries.  Drouin was pretty much invisible for the last half of the regular season (that he was around for), so not a big loss. Evans injury hurts, but guarantee he’s be in the lineup. Stone on the other hand is the knights best forward by a country mile (IMO), and I’d take him over any of our forwards and is a very consistent producer (Suzuki, Caufield, and possibly even KK May become better players than him in the future). He’s actually played well to start the series, and Pice has stoned him on numerous occasions. but if someone had told me Stone would be pointless after 5 games, I’d say no way; too good of a player.

 

not saying that we don’t deserve to win. We were clearly the better team in the last two games and because of bad breaks, only won one of those two games.  On the other hand we were fortunate to win the one before that , thanks to the Fleury screwup.  Price has not made any of those confidence sapping plays. We won some games only because Price was playing like Hart trophy Price, and I think the team fed of that, and they played like a team am that has complete confidence in their goaltender. Not something Vegas can do with Deboer flip flopping his starters. 
 

anyways, my point is that we had things go our way - AND we have taken advantage of those opportunities. We’e also had bad bounces, and bad luck, but we have had far more things go our way.    With the combo of Price being a wall and the number of forwards who can score (and we still have Gallagher who hasn’t really contributed offensively), this really is like the 86’ and 93’ teams, where we had elite goaltending, and so many forwards that were contributing. What we don’t have from those teams is the same skill level on the blueline.

 

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43 minutes ago, DON said:

https://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/MTL/1986.html

shows like 8 rookies on roster, Kordic/Chelios/Richer/Carbo.

 

Oh, I know we had a lot of more rookies as well as 2nd/3rd year players like Suzuki and KK. But Roy and Lemieux were both Conn Smythe worthy. 93, we had Leclair and Desjardins have their coming out party, and solid play from that 2-24 age group that either started emerging as regulars, or had a flash in the pan effort. It was an impressive effoett by your guys like Schneider, Dionne, Dipietro, Haller, odelin, and Brunet.

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2 hours ago, GHT120 said:

That formula works in the playoffs ... but the Habs almost didn't make the playoffs this year ... "built for the playoffs" is paying off handily at the moment, but it can only do so once you get there.

 

Yes, but thats not because of the 4 large dmens size.  That is more from the top 4 dmens lack of being able to do the other things, like making good 1st passes, not icing the puck, not contributing offensively.

 

If the Habs had at least 1 more big dman, and 1 that could do all of those things, they would have a much easier time making the playoffs.   In fact ultimately the Habs could even use a 2nd large dman that could do all of those things too.   Its an unrealistic expectation that the Habs can pick up 2 though.  

 

i.e. if the Habs had 2 more large dmen that could pass and score etc, those 2 guys would bump Chiarot or Edmundson out of being in the Habs Top 4 Dmen.   Part of the current issue is that Chiarot and Edmundson arent really Top 4 Dmen, they just have the size and strength to keep the crease clear.   

 

@DON, ya, realistically Guhle would need to gain at least 10 lbs to be able to fit in and accomplish what the Habs current Top 4 dmen are doing.  i.e. the extra 10lbs would be solid muscle, and then he'd have the strength needed to push most players away from the front of Prices crease.  

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A big reason that 3 team's forwards have been stymied is not cuz they aren't performing. You can say that about one or two stars, but not every star in every series. Danault and team defense have been just as critical as Price in shutting down all of these teams. There has been some luck for sure, but the sample size is now big enough to say that the Danault has just been better than the stars he's facing. Team defense has been fantastic overall.

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It is awful that there are still posters bashing the defence, calling for moves, generally complaining about the lack of “top 4 d”.

The proof is in the results, these guys are legit top 4, any of our core 4 would be playing top 4 on other team’s.

Are they perfect, ideal players for all situations? Of course not, but when your best asset is your goalie you build around that with your d. These four can protect the slot, their goalie like nobody’s business.

For all of the Knights offense from the backend, I am not impressed with their d-zone play, consistency, or ability to handle a forecheck.  
There will always be room for improvement, but the hate that the defence is receiving is unjustified at this point of the playoffs.  There are a lot of teams with “puck-moving defenseman” that are watching these playoffs.  


Given the Habs best player is Price, this défense makes perfect sense, protect the slot, protect CP31. Most puck moving dmen do not do that well.  You hardly see a knight player near the crease. That says it all.

As long as Price is playing like he can, you build outward from him.  It is working, I wish more posters could just appreciate/enjoy that rather than repeatedly call for changes that are not required now or as long as CP31 is the man.  Being comfortable in tight games as this team is, is huge.  And all because of CP31, and he seems to be loving this d group for the most part (especially core 4).

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I think the defence is playing great. 

 

That said it is true that the playoffs and regular season are different.  The division is going to be tough next year with Tampa, Toronto, Boston, Florida all in there.  We still need to be better as a regular season team and that probably means another puck moving defenceman. 

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10 hours ago, BCHabnut said:

A big reason that 3 team's forwards have been stymied is not cuz they aren't performing. You can say that about one or two stars, but not every star in every series. Danault and team defense have been just as critical as Price in shutting down all of these teams. There has been some luck for sure, but the sample size is now big enough to say that the Danault has just been better than the stars he's facing. Team defense has been fantastic overall.

Yes. Given that 9/12 Vegas forwards have not yet scored, it's not just a break for us, it shows that our defensive formation is working well. The set plays off the faceoff were a problem earlier but they are defending against those better now, too.

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We are talking about it lot, but I don't know if we're talking about it enough. Danault has been an absolute monster in these playoffs. He has been instrumental in shutting down 3 teams top forwards. It's mind blowing. I wish bieksa would do a piece on him. I try to watch him and it seems that he is just always in the right place. Is it more about his body position than anything else? I need an X and O guy to show me.

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I liked Dom's changes on how the team started supporting each other all over the ice. Part of the adjustments made late in the season had to do with forwards supporting the D to compensate for a lack of mobility in the Habs back-end by design because their are constructed to box out the opposite team.

 

On times were Dom's structure didn't work, Weber, Chiarot and Edmundson were exposed. On times were the D was not active on the O-zone, the team didn't create scoring chances.

 

The Habs top-4 are playing great because the team is clicking and applying the game plan perfectly. That will not tranlate well to the regular season. That is were a Tatar-type of player is needed, a Domi-type of player may have a career season and Gustafson may rack up points.

 

For the VGK-MTL series, it is awesome to see them execute and dream about winning their Stanley cup participation.

It is awesome to watch Lehkonen, Armia, Byron, Staal perform beyond our expectations.

It is awesome to see Kotkaniemi, Caufield and Evans shine and support our hopes for better days ahead.

 

But, like some on this forum, I do not project any of this to map onto the 2021-2022 season. Next season will see new story-lines and a different evolution of the team. Although I am confident that teh teram will continue growing in maturity and consistent play

 

So Habs, Go!!!

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1 minute ago, alfredoh2009 said:

But, like some on this forum, I do not project any of this to map onto the 2021-2022 season. Next season will see new story-lines and a different evolution of the team. 

WIshful thinking, hope it kinda helps in the "preferred destination" ranking for franchises attracting UFAs (or even prospect Jorden Harris).

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Just now, DON said:

WIshful thinking, hope it kinda helps in the "preferred destination" ranking for franchises attracting UFAs (or even prospect Jorden Harris).

yes, focusing on this series and enjoying it.

 

but not kidding myself in thinking the Habs has suddenly become a sure-fire cup contender

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11 minutes ago, alfredoh2009 said:

yes, focusing on this series and enjoying it.

 

but not kidding myself in thinking the Habs has suddenly become a sure-fire cup contender

Not a sure-fire contender, no. But we certainly look much more credible than before.

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20 minutes ago, tomh009 said:

Not a sure-fire contender, no. But we certainly look much more credible than before.

Are the Habs like the Sens or Flames who had a good run? Or legit contenders?

 

I believe that the Habs were built for a deep run in a « anything can happen » type of way

MB has not yet built the legit contender he wants. We’ll be able to tell from his 2021 summer moves 

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3 hours ago, BCHabnut said:

We are talking about it lot, but I don't know if we're talking about it enough. Danault has been an absolute monster in these playoffs. He has been instrumental in shutting down 3 teams top forwards. It's mind blowing. I wish bieksa would do a piece on him. I try to watch him and it seems that he is just always in the right place. Is it more about his body position than anything else? I need an X and O guy to show me.

I absolutely agree.  Danault isn’t throwing up a lot of points, but he’s very dependable in his own zone.  I’m also pretty sure he’s leading the playoffs in faceoffs and face off win%. For a team built like the Habs this year, who aren’t going to go out and dazzle you with offence, he’s a very unsung hero.

 

Edit: I am totally wrong about face off win %.  He is 8th among players still in the playoffs.

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6 minutes ago, TurdBurglar said:

I absolutely agree.  Danault isn’t throwing up a lot of points

2a in 16gms(tied 158th in playoff scoring at 19:12/gm), so bit of understatement.

 

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2 hours ago, Habsfan84 said:

No surprise here but it looks like it will be Lehner in tonight's game.

 

 

I expect OT tonight.

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20 minutes ago, TurdBurglar said:

I absolutely agree.  Danault isn’t throwing up a lot of points, but he’s very dependable in his own zone.  I’m also pretty sure he’s leading the playoffs in faceoffs and face off win%. For a team built like the Habs this year, who aren’t going to go out and dazzle you with offence, he’s a very unsung hero.

 

Edit: I am totally wrong about face off win %.  He is 8th among players still in the playoffs.

Third among players who have won at least 50 faceoffs, behind Cizikas and Roy.

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3 hours ago, alfredoh2009 said:

yes, focusing on this series and enjoying it.

 

but not kidding myself in thinking the Habs has suddenly become a sure-fire cup contender

Unlike poor Columbus, who be rebuilding again and clearly not the place guys wanna stay & play in

 

From Lebrun d man bit:

 

Given that Jones has made it clear he’s not signing in Columbus

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14 minutes ago, DON said:

Unlike poor Columbus, who be rebuilding again and clearly not the place guys wanna stay & play in

 

From Lebrun d man bit:

 

Given that Jones has made it clear he’s not signing in Columbus

 

Columbus SHOULD be rebuilding and moving out guys like Jones, Nyqvist and Atkinson. But are they really willing to see the attenance dip that will come with a rebuild? The fact that they are in deep negotiations for Jack Eichel seems to indicate they are going "all in" again trying refloat the ship that sunk last season.

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2 minutes ago, Fanpuck33 said:

 

Columbus SHOULD be rebuilding and moving out guys like Jones, Nyqvist and Atkinson. But are they really willing to see the attenance dip that will come with a rebuild? The fact that they are in deep negotiations for Jack Eichel seems to indicate they are going "all in" again trying refloat the ship that sunk last season.

Rebuild not big deal, BUT another top player wants out of Ohio. 

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6 hours ago, BCHabnut said:

We are talking about it lot, but I don't know if we're talking about it enough. Danault has been an absolute monster in these playoffs. He has been instrumental in shutting down 3 teams top forwards. It's mind blowing. I wish bieksa would do a piece on him. I try to watch him and it seems that he is just always in the right place. Is it more about his body position than anything else? I need an X and O guy to show me.

I love what he has done, but when you ignore offense playing shutdown is not an enormous task. Stay on right side of puck, takes great commitment, stamina, physical skills so not knocking how good he is. Just saying, that if you’re getting a pass on producing offense, being a defensive centre is not the toughest job.  Do that and put up 70+ points (60 even) and we will be talking.

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24 minutes ago, hockeyrealist said:

 being a defensive centre is not the toughest job

Really, kinda like saying a defensive d-man or goalie (stand there and block shots) has an easy role as well, which is bit naive, no?

Are defensive players and then are very good defensive players that other teams need to plan to deal with.

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48 minutes ago, hockeyrealist said:

I love what he has done, but when you ignore offense playing shutdown is not an enormous task. Stay on right side of puck, takes great commitment, stamina, physical skills so not knocking how good he is. Just saying, that if you’re getting a pass on producing offense, being a defensive centre is not the toughest job.  Do that and put up 70+ points (60 even) and we will be talking.

So why doesn't every team have a defensive centre that can shut down the best players for 20 straight games? It's a bit harder than you imply, I suspect.

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