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-   -   are we becoming a contender if not already one? (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=927948)

subbanged 06-18-2011 05:45 PM

are we becoming a contender if not already one?
 
It seems more and more that we are an attractive option for free agents, and with the choice for Jagr coming down to between us and Detroit I have to think we are closer to a contender then many think we are

andy28 06-18-2011 05:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by subbanged (Post 33729495)
It seems more and more that we are an attractive option for free agents, and with the choice for Jagr coming down to between us and Detroit I have to think we are closer to a contender then many think we are

Always tough to answer that kind of question. Some people say we suck and we are destined to continue being mediocre. Others point out that we are the team that lost by a hair to the current SC champions. In the end, no one really knows until we hit the ice next season. So we shall see.

Mike8 06-18-2011 05:55 PM

Most teams in the league are not far off from being a contender in any given season. There's a whole lot of parity in the league right now.

Bullsmith 06-18-2011 05:57 PM

Party makes a lot of teams contenders on paper. At the moment, we seem to mainly be focused on keeping the team we had, minus the mid-season pick ups. Hopefully we'll do more to improve the team.

CoupeStanley 06-18-2011 06:01 PM

We'll see how P.G play his defense cards... We're a bit lacking on offense but we may end up with one of the best defensive corps in the league and Carey Price.

le_sean 06-18-2011 06:09 PM

If they do sign Jagr and Kostitsyn is pushed down to the 3rd line, I think the Habs do have a contender. They have a Top 5 goaltender in the league and great special teams. If they can move up to the top half of the league in offence with work on the even strength side, then they have a good shot.

Now I'm not saying they are favourites to win, but they would certainly have a shot once they are in the playoffs. Anyone with strong goaltending has a good shot.

NewHabsEra* 06-18-2011 06:14 PM

Lets see the summer roster moves first.. As somebody mentionned, the parity in this league is crazy, but we can count on a solid basis of youg players and I think the future is bright..

DJ Breadman 06-18-2011 06:17 PM

I don't see it, a first line center with 38 points and a - 15. Also a bunch of young still unproven players, the d will also have a couple young unproven guys

Krnage 06-18-2011 06:19 PM

we are not contender

Montreal Typical 06-18-2011 06:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DJ Breadman (Post 33729911)
I don't see it, a first line center with 38 points and a - 15.

Gomez is our second line centre and he had by far the worst season of his career. I don't like the player much, but I doubt he'll be as bad this coming season.

But if he is, Martin will have to grow a pair and bench his ass.

le_sean 06-18-2011 06:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DJ Breadman (Post 33729911)
I don't see it, a first line center with 38 points and a - 15. Also a bunch of young still unproven players, the d will also have a couple young unproven guys

Terrible year for him. But the positive side is that there is no way he's going to get worse. He seems like a proud guy and really looked distraught with himself at the end of the season. So if he brings 55-60 points, that's definitely a few more games won and maybe even home ice advantage.

I'm more concerned about the 1st line RW to be honest. I think the team is better suited getting a guy to shift Kostitsyn down and bring the team depth. Because if we go into a season with something like Pouliot-Eller-Darche/Desharnais as a 3rd line, then we are in trouble.

Born in 1909 06-18-2011 06:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike8 (Post 33729625)
Most teams in the league are not far off from being a contender in any given season. There's a whole lot of parity in the league right now.

Precisely.

There are many contenders.

Cup runs in the future will come down to..

1. team health
2. favourable match ups
3. hot goaltending
4. lucky bounces in critical moments
5. grit
6. coaching strategy

(Provided the team is a good one of course)

Captain Smurf 06-18-2011 06:41 PM

We need a serious boost in the offense department before we can compete. Size is also a factor. Finally, as always, we actually have to stay healthy.

MathMan 06-18-2011 06:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by le_sean (Post 33729974)
I'm more concerned about the 1st line RW to be honest. I think the team is better suited getting a guy to shift Kostitsyn down and bring the team depth. Because if we go into a season with something like Pouliot-Eller-Darche/Desharnais as a 3rd line, then we are in trouble.

I agree that we want Kostitsyn to get bumped down, but as third lines go, Desharnais-Eller-Darche is hardly a disaster.

macavoy 06-18-2011 06:58 PM

Carey Price potential = potential contender.

Look at what Thomas did for the Bruins.

le_sean 06-18-2011 07:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MathMan (Post 33730440)
I agree that we want Kostitsyn to get bumped down, but as third lines go, Desharnais-Eller-Darche is hardly a disaster.

I disagree. Obviously Eller and Desharnais are improving, but it's still a line that isn't physically or offensively intimidating. They will work hard, that's for sure, but I would prefer someone a little more proven as opposed to playing Darche full-time. Either Kostitsyn, or if they acquire Versteeg. Guys who are proven to bury goals in the NHL. I don't really want the playmaking of both players to go to Darche. Nothing against the guy, but he should be a 13th forward, not a 3rd liner.

MathMan 06-18-2011 07:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by le_sean (Post 33730787)
I disagree. Obviously Eller and Desharnais are improving, but it's still a line that isn't physically or offensively intimidating.

Desharnais can score against third-liners and has the hockey sense to learn defense, and Eller dominates possession already, he just has Gomez-itis (the puck just won't go in). The points will come. I put Darche there because he can finish a bit, but if you don't like him, replace him by Moen or any other third-liner you care to name. The key is Eller-Desharnais anyhow. I don't disagree that it's better with a better player like Kostitsyn or Versteeg completing it (duh), but it's the difference between a good third line and an excellent one.

The important thing is not to underestimate Eller. He was already out-possessing third-liners by the end of the season. Just needs a little more finish, and he'll have the points to convince everyone.

Keep in mind, too, that these guys wouldn't go against first- or second lines. I'd send them against third lines any day.

DeVries* 06-18-2011 07:46 PM

I'm in for Jagr for one year. Recchi did well in Boston at 43, why not a try with Jagr at 39?

torero 06-18-2011 07:53 PM

The Habs are certainly a contender.

I do not believe that the habs have what is needed to finish a regular season as a firm 1st.

Among the reasons are : competitivity in NHL is amazing, then the salary cap is a definitive re distributor of talent. this last element neutralizes the huge fan base that the Habs have.
In conclusion the only way to make it through a regular season as a serious contender for the winner is to have a very stable organization with A LOT of talent ... and taking care of all players in a way that a 1 year higher salary somewhere else will mean nothing to them.
I do not believe that this condition exists in Montreal. Look at Nashville ... in some years. they have all the elements that allows to say that they will be tomorrow's red wings.
Under this aspect, playing under the loupe (in Canada) must be tough for the players.

Yet to win a cup, they proved by being a very tough opponent to the Bruins, this years cup winners. They are a serious contender.

Lafleurs Guy 06-18-2011 08:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by macavoy (Post 33730455)
Carey Price potential = potential contender.

Might as well just say that any team is a potential contender. And it's true if everything goes magically perfect you have a shot at winning. But what do you think the likelyhood of that is?
Quote:

Originally Posted by macavoy (Post 33730455)
Look at what Thomas did for the Bruins.

Greatest season in the history of hockey for save percentage (at least recorded save percentage.) You can't expect that of Price or any goalie for that matter. Not even Roy or Hasek matched Thomas' year. And Thomas had Chara (likely to win his 2nd Norris this season) to help him out.

Tampa fans might as well just say 'look what Gretzky did for the Oilers' and then point to Steve Stamkos and hope for the best. Stamkos = potential contender right?

le_sean 06-18-2011 08:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MathMan (Post 33730933)
Desharnais can score against third-liners and has the hockey sense to learn defense, and Eller dominates possession already, he just has Gomez-itis (the puck just won't go in). The points will come. I put Darche there because he can finish a bit, but if you don't like him, replace him by Moen or any other third-liner you care to name. The key is Eller-Desharnais anyhow. I don't disagree that it's better with a better player like Kostitsyn or Versteeg completing it (duh), but it's the difference between a good third line and an excellent one.

The important thing is not to underestimate Eller. He was already out-possessing third-liners by the end of the season. Just needs a little more finish, and he'll have the points to convince everyone.

Keep in mind, too, that these guys wouldn't go against first- or second lines. I'd send them against third lines any day.

It wouldn't be a disaster or anything, I would just be more positive going forward this season without having to rely on Darche as secondary offence. Depth and goaltending are the big reasons as to why the final was Boston vs. Vancouver.

Kriss E 06-18-2011 08:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DJ Breadman (Post 33729911)
I don't see it, a first line center with 38 points and a - 15. Also a bunch of young still unproven players, the d will also have a couple young unproven guys

You still haven't figured out that Plekanec is our first line center? He had 57pts this year (last year he had 70 btw). Just so you know, the Bruins top scorer had 62pts.

The 38pts from Gomez was also his worst career year. Expecting things to remain as bad for him isn't realistic.

Which unproven guys do we have on D? Subban? No. Gill? No. Markov? No. Gorges? No. Spacek? No. Weber? Perhaps, but he's likely to start as the 7th D anyways and he's progressed nicely over the past season. Emelin? Ya, he's the only one, and there's a very real possibility that he'll be playing in Russia instead of the NHL. If he doesn't, that means things are going well for him here, so no worries.
There's also a possibility that Gauthier will bring in another D from the open market.
So, I wouldn't say the D is going to have a couple young unproven guys. We could end up having one of the best defensive team in the East next year, especially if Price plays as well as he did last season.

Our offense needs to improve, and I'm sure Gauthier will bring in at least one new signing for the top 6. With MaxPac starting the year here, with DD-Eller-AK possibly as a third line, we could end up having a very solid offense as well.


Really, the only question mark about our team is health related. Other than that, there's no reason to doubt our potential.

Quote:

Originally Posted by MathMan (Post 33730933)
The important thing is not to underestimate Eller. He was already out-possessing third-liners by the end of the season. Just needs a little more finish, and he'll have the points to convince everyone.

There's always idiots like Marinaro that whine about how Eller should have played in the AHL simply because they're not seeing points on the stat sheets after the games.
But I was very impressed by Eller as the season progressed and even in the POs. I never knew he was so good at protecting the puck. I knew he had a good offensive flare, nice hands and not a pushover, but never realized how well he protects the puck.
His defensive game also improved over the season.
I'm very eager to see him play next year, hopefully his injury will not have affected his training so much.
I'm really hoping Martin puts him and AK together as I felt they had good chemistry along side one another. Throw DD between those two big guys and I can see them dominate their opposition on most nights.

Kriss E 06-18-2011 08:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by le_sean (Post 33731536)
It wouldn't be a disaster or anything, I would just be more positive going forward this season without having to rely on Darche as secondary offence. Depth and goaltending are the big reasons as to why the final was Boston vs. Vancouver.

Boston relied on offensive depth a whole lot more than Vancouver did, but even then, they needed Thomas to win the Conn Smythe to get there.
Vancouver cruised by with a lot weaker goaltending and depth. They relied on Special Teams and their top 6.
The bottom 6 players for Vancouver combined for 10 goals and 25pts. Boston's bottom 6 got them 24Goals 70pts. They relied on their depth a lot more, but even with all of that scoring from their bottom liners, it's nothing without Thomas.

So, I'd say goaltending remains the #1 factor for PO success imo. Vancouver's bottom liners didn't contribute a whole much. But for Boston yes, no doubt.

macavoy 06-18-2011 08:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy (Post 33731395)
Greatest season in the history of hockey for save percentage (at least recorded save percentage.) You can't expect that of Price or any goalie for that matter. Not even Roy or Hasek matched Thomas' year. And Thomas had Chara (likely to win his 2nd Norris this season) to help him out.

Tampa fans might as well just say 'look what Gretzky did for the Oilers' and then point to Steve Stamkos and hope for the best. Stamkos = potential contender right?

1. I think Price has the potential to put up a playoff performance in TT neighborhood. Look at his sv% from this year and he had some pretty bad games. I think he underperformed pretty massively this post season. I think when he hits his prime, he's gonna be sick.


Stamkos doesn't have nearly the potential of Gretz. Also Gretz wasn't enough to do it on his own. Look at how poorly he did outside of Edmonton. He had one good run in like 10 years. The goaltending position is the most important position in hockey.

Its the only position that can lose you games on your own.

Melvin Udall 06-18-2011 09:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by subbanged (Post 33729495)
It seems more and more that we are an attractive option for free agents, and with the choice for Jagr coming down to between us and Detroit I have to think we are closer to a contender then many think we are

By "contender" I asume you mean a contender for the Stanley Cup?

Habs forwards are smaller and generally faster (but no faster than Vancouver - the Canucks are as fast as Montreal and have more overall skill/scoring)

Bruins just proved that in order to win 4 rounds of the playoff grind a team has to be bigger, stronger and more physical (size and toughness defeated skill, speed and finesse).

Habs are a soft team to play against - doubt that other teams dread playing the Habs because the Habs are considerd tough and physical.

No....IMHO, the HABS will likely continue to be mediocre at best - expect that they will continue to fight for a playoff spot 'till the last week or so of the regular season (i.e. some things never change)!

JAGR?

Jagr was once a great player.....he turns 40 in February - hardly in his prime - seriously doubt many top level teams are interested in signing him at this point in his career.


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