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2022 NHL Playoffs


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24 minutes ago, Prime Minister Koivu said:


Lehkonen never had the opportunity with the Habs. 
 

With Colorado he played significant minutes with very strong offensive line mates and plenty of PP time. 
 

We generally speaking played him with plugs for most of his time here. 

I agree. Part of the issue is we doesn’t have the talent. If you look at the Avs top 3 or 4 forwards and top 2 dmen, we don’t have any comparable. 

 

also doesn’t help to have had the Rinse, repeat coaches in julien and Therrien and clueless DD. I think lekhonan has probably surpassed Gallagher in the tenocity he brings, but didn’t get that type of opportunity.

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16 minutes ago, Habs Fan in Edmonton said:

 

Lehkonen had plenty of opportunity with the Habs.  Of course the Habs don't have nearly the same talent as the Av's but he was given plenty of ice time by every coach he had. Before the trade he had gone on a bit of tear with the Habs and it just continued with the Avs.  I am very happy for him. 

There is a difference in getting ice time, and getting ice time with elite players. Lekhonan is never going to be the straw that stirs the drink, but he is someone who can make it better. Not everyone can succeed playing with elite players, he has looked very good since the playoff run for us last year, and was a a much better player this year. Success brings confidence and greater confidence brings more success. 
 

i always loved the work ethic, with better player and a bigger role, we are seeing better production and a much more confident player. That’s part of player development, and it’s something the habs have done a crap job with for decades.

 

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Lehkonne's role with the Habs was to be the defensive player compensating for the other Habs forwards on his line. I thought that the first time he got a real chance was when (Therrien?) he played with Drouin and Domi... but that was short lived.

With the Avalanche, he was able to play his game, the way he played when drafted, i.e. Gallagher-esque

 

It was not development that played against him, it was roster deficiencies and coaching

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13 minutes ago, alfredoh2009 said:

It was not development that played against him,

 

I agree. Lehkonen gained the confidence of every coached he played for. Of course when you are playing with a Mackinnon, Raantanen, Landeskog etc.  you are going to play with a lot of confidence and feel less pressure because there is less pressure on you to score as so many others on the team can do it. 

 

Colorado is the perfect team for Lehkonen because he has the speed to keep up and he brought something they needed on the defensive side.  It's not a development thing in my opinion (although the Habs screwed up the development of others), it's just a case of Lehkonen being a perfect fit on Colorado and Sakic was smart enough to see that. 

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Lehkonen has his own elite talent. His ability to forecheck and win puck battles is phenomenal.  It's crazy how outmatched he is size wise, bit still comes out with the puck. I agree that he should be paid like a 40 point 3rd liner, but he should get a bump up for his defensive game. He was one of my favorites. It still hurts seeing armia, Byron getting paid in Montreal and lehky gone...

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9 minutes ago, BCHabnut said:

[...] It still hurts seeing armia, Byron getting paid in Montreal and lehky gone...

 

yes, it hurts... although Armia may be a great fit in other teams like Dallas or St-Louis

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1 hour ago, hab29RETIRED said:

He’s arbitration eligible though. I can see him easily doubling his salary at a minimum. If they are smart they sign him long term, and I would think Sakic will probably do that. 

 

He's a year away from UFA eligibility.  It's safe to say they're going to try to work out a long-term deal, especially if Kadri and one of Burakovsky/Nichushkin leave.

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Here's the thing. The Habs have long lacked elite talent at FW. That should mean more offensive opportunity for a guy like Lehks, not less. It's like how borderline top-6 players often flourish on expansion teams: they get way more ice time than they otherwise would and end up producing decent numbers; as the team's depth improves, they typically slide down the depth chart and revert to obscurity. So, on a team with middling offensive talent, Lehks should have had every opportunity to nail down a top-6 role. 

 

What I remember for most of his career is a cement-handed player who was great down low and played an admirable defensive game but seldom put the puck in the net. 

 

Maybe what he really is is Mike McPhee redux - a bottom-6 guy who has somehow developed a knack for scoring clutch goals even if he isn't too prolific on the regular. Playoff success helps - for some players, having a great post-season seems to give them new reserves of confidence. Maybe he's one of those guys.

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4 hours ago, The Chicoutimi Cucumber said:

Here's the thing. The Habs have long lacked elite talent at FW. That should mean more offensive opportunity for a guy like Lehks, not less. It's like how borderline top-6 players often flourish on expansion teams: they get way more ice time than they otherwise would and end up producing decent numbers; as the team's depth improves, they typically slide down the depth chart and revert to obscurity. So, on a team with middling offensive talent, Lehks should have had every opportunity to nail down a top-6 role. 

 

What I remember for most of his career is a cement-handed player who was great down low and played an admirable defensive game but seldom put the puck in the net. 

 

Maybe what he really is is Mike McPhee redux - a bottom-6 guy who has somehow developed a knack for scoring clutch goals even if he isn't too prolific on the regular. Playoff success helps - for some players, having a great post-season seems to give them new reserves of confidence. Maybe he's one of those guys.

I think he is more skilled than McPhee. He had a good rookie year, and despite working hard couldn’t produce.
I do think he gained a lot of confidence and success from last year’s post season and his production went up. I like seeing hard working guys get rewarded by their effort, and really wished we had offered him the term and $ we gave to Armia.

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