Defense going forward
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04-09-2012, 08:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Anyone care to look at the stats? Defense is supposed to prevent goals against. Montreal was 11th in the league in goals against. Only 3 teams in the Eastern Conference allowed fewer - the Rangers, Boston, New Jersey. That's it. Montreal gave up fewer goals than Pittsburgh, Florida, Philly, Buffalo and Ottawa.
(Remember, shootouts don't count, since there's no defensemen on the ice, so don't just go looking at the standings and tell me I'm wrong. Montreal gave up 214 real goals last year, 11th best in the league).
The defense gets a bad rep. Everyone thinks they're awful. Truth be told, they're not, or at least they're not so bad that Price can't bail them out. We remember how Campoli sucked, especially in his first few games. How Subban made some awful errors early on that ended up in the back of the net. How Kaberle let a guy walk around him and score. This group gets labelled hilariously "soft", despite the presence of two guys that hit like trucks (Subban and Emelin, who was # 4 in the whole bloody league in hits), not to mention having Gorges who leads the league in blocked shots, 51 blocks ahead of the next guy. Those guys aren't soft, and that's half the top 6. Add in some very good puck movers in Markov and Kaberle (not to mention Subban) and that's a pretty good well-rounded group.
I'm all for signing one second-pairing guy next year, ditching Campoli, sending St-Denis back to Hamilton and using Emelin as a # 6 guy, leaving Diaz and Weber as extras.
With Markov for a whole season plus a coach that doesn't hate Subban much less benching the guy, plus a decent system with forwards who know what they're doing, and the current bunch will be a lot better next season. A decent $3 million # 4 UFA signing will make it much more than playoff worthy.
Diaz / Weber
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