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09-03-2012, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by MasterDecoy View Post
this might all be semantics, i understand what you're saying, but i still don't think that it's "structuring the team around Desharnais".

the way i see it, desharnais' wingers were 13 and 18 in goal scored for the entire league. could they have scored just as much with tougher opposition? could plekanec fed them well enough to allow them to score that many goals? would desharnais still have 60 points without these two?

who knows... to all questions, my suspicion is most likely not. would the team have performed better? maybe, i don't know... what killed the team was the shootout and third period cluster****s. i fail to see how desharnais was responsible for either and he's one of our better shootout player so

and i know you know this, but the sedins are also sheltered in the same way desharnais was last year. i am not comparing whichever sedin plays center to desharnais, far from it. but if you have a selke-type of center (kesler/plekanec), it's better to give the more offensive player the soft, offensive minute, and give the other center the tough minutes. maximizing goals for, minimizing goal against.

ideally, you want a center that can take the tough minute, and rip his opposition - those guys are rare... hopefully, galchenyuk will be that guy, but in the meantime, i see no problem in sheltering DD and letting plekanec handle the tough minutes. but that man needs wingers though. seriously...

aaaaanyways. centering the team around him? no. but that doesn't mean he can't play an important role for the habs in the future - as center, on wing, centering the first or third line...

edit: my post is all over the place
21 year-old Max Pacioretty scored 14 goals in 37 games, equivalent to a 31 goal pace, with Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta in 2010-2011. This year, 22 year-old Max Pacioretty scored 33 goals in 79 games, a 34 goal pace, with David Desharnais and Erik Cole. There's really no evidence that Desharnais made him better. His goal pace improved marginally, but he went from age 21 to age 22, and the goal paces agree within the margin of error anyway.

Plekanec managed to get 52 points, a meager 8 less than Desharnais, playing with a panoply of wingers, against the toughest opposition in the league, with a ton of defensive zone starts and dealing with the fatigue of 3 minutes a game of PK time. Towards the end of the season we were seeing a line of Staubitz-Plekanec-White: the contrast was between Desharnais playing with the two best wingers who are 1st liners on most NHL teams, and Plekanec playing with the two worst wingers on the team, guys who wouldn't make most 4th lines throughout the NHL.

Given these factors, it is clear that Plekanec is at this time a vastly more effective offensive center than Desharnais. Given Plekanec's role last year and the fact he played the toughest minutes on the team in terms of opposition, wingers, etc, there is no doubt that his production was spectacular.


I know that the Sedins are sheltered. I brought that up. When they're sheltered, Henrik Sedin produces 90 points a season, not 60 points, and thus sheltering them is worth the cascade of decreased production it causes everywhere else in the lineup.

The way I see it, there are three roads forward with Desharnais:

1) Give him the same spot as last year and hope he becomes Henrik Sedin or Claude Giroux. If this happens he is worth structuring the team (ok, the offense) around.
2) Give him the same spot as last year, and then sell him at the deadline, so that the Habs can sell high for once. We can ride Plekanec-Eller-Galchenyuk down the middle in 2013-2014, the point from which surgical tanking will be over.
3) Transition Desharnais to wing at some point next year. Hope that Desharnais can become a poor man's version of St-Louis and that Galchenyuk can become a rich man's version of Lecavalier.

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