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03-15-2012, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
If the Habs finish strong there's also a better chance that PG returns as GM so it's a double loss.
That's my biggest fear as well. There was that press conference where PG basically downplayed the horrible season and said they just needed tweaks to be back in the playoff picture.

While I don't completely disagree with him that it wouldn't take much to turn things around, I don't think he's the right person to do it.

People have to realize that there are no "stacked" teams anymore. In the East, I consider that the Flyers and Pens are the only teams playing to their level of talent. Rangers have a record that exceeds their capabilities. Bruins are falling to a position closer to the quality of their roster. They have no superstar on offense, their defense is average and they won a cup with TT standing on his head.

Teams like Habs and Sabres are under-performing for various reasons but it would only take a few key moves to turn things around. With a good GM in place, we could see this realistic scenario for next year:

1) get rid of bad contracts
2) draft a quality prospect and play him on a 3rd line with kids like Leblanc/Eller depending on position. keep expectations low and let them develop.
3) pull off another Cole-type UFA signing to fill the gap on the second line. right now, that line is just patchwork. DD-Pac-Cole is a legit 1st line no matter what the DD haters say. heck, does he have to hit 100 pts to get some respect? just need to have a solid 2nd line to spread the defensive coverage on the other team.
4) i have to disagree with most and say that the biggest hole is not offense but rather our atrocious D. the good news is that's where we have the most depth in the pipeline. short-term though, that hole could be plugged on the UFA market.

That's why the biggest threat of finishing the season strong is keeping PG, not the draft position. There is no Crosby in the draft this year so getting the 1st overall will only put tremendous pressure on that team to pick the right player. I'd rather be 5-7th and be "oh well, i guess we'll have to settle for that Forsberg guy" and he turns out to be a superstar while the Russians ahead of him bolt for the KHL. I'd settle for another MaxPac and that didn't require a top-5 pick.

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