: Confirmed with Link:
Brandon Prust to Montreal [4 years, $10M]
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07-02-2012, 12:35 AM
Et le But
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: New York
Originally Posted by
Talks to Goalposts
The thing with Plekanec on the PK is that he's actually elite there. I'd put good money on him being top 5 in the NHL for centermen. This is something that stands out in terms of goals against on the PK in a big way. And the penalty kill is very high leverage minutes. They mean more than even strength ones. Its one thing to not use a star on the PK because they are barely better than your plugs at it. Its another when playing him there gives you a significant advantage.
If anything, they should be looking at getting better 5 on 5 so he doesn't play so many minutes there.
But Prust isn't a center. He has no impact on whether Plekanec plays PK minutes or not. He's in contention with Moen, Gionta, Bourque and White there. And there isn't much reason to need to go away from Moen and Gionta as the top two wings. This is Moen's bread and butter and Gionta is both an excellent PK winger and also doesn't get 1st unit power play time so its reasonable in terms of minutes to use him 2nd unit on both special teams. If they actually got someone like McClement or Halpern (still UFA), the might be able to lighten Plekanec's load a bit. But Prust doesn't do that.
They might have been "easy to play against" in the recent era, but there were long periods were they weren't easy to win against. That should be the goal IMO. They've added in players that can help physically but I'm skeptical of how much they've added in ability to win hockey games. The second priority is far more important. Soft Montreal has largely matched up well against the supposed pinnacle of modern toughness in Boston. There's an object lesson in the real impact of this stuff on the scoreboard there.
Also, grit, pushback and so on are only really effective when its near the top of the lineup where significant minutes actually happen, If you want a counter to Lucic, Hartnell etc. it has to be there rather than the bottom.
Now I will give you that I'd far rather overpay for a Prust who plays minutes than even consider playing a Laraque, Staublitz, Scott or Parros who are useless in hockey terms.
The biggest problem Montreal faces right now is they appear unable to win more than one line matchup with the personel they have right now. Plekanec is unlikely to beat the tough matchups with just Gionta as support and Eller isn't going to score enough with the guys we have and have added to be a good bet to win his. Its very hard to be a good team winning only one top 3 line matchup. Montreal needs to regenerate the depth in two-way talent that let them have 3 good lines to start 2011-12 if they want to be good on even strength again. As of right now they've done little to suggest they'll be able to replace Cammalleri and Kostitsyn, let alone improve on them.
This 4th line stuff is a side show. At the end of the day it won't have much bearing on whether the Habs make the playoffs or not.
Agree with this except if we aren't getting any scoring help we might as well lessen Plekanec's PK time even if it hurts the PK, last year showed that having an elite PK is pretty meaningless if every other element is awful. The way the team is constructed now we need whatever scoring we can get from Plek.
Unfortunately I'm expecting the team to sign a hockey-useless "heavyweight" before someone like Semin, Jagr or even Kostitsyn, especially with Therrien seemingly having major input.
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