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03-24-2014, 03:43 PM
Lshap's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Montreal
Country: Canada
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Originally Posted by Noob616 View Post
So how do you explain that virtually the exact same roster was able to be near the top in the league last season? And how every single player save Desharnais has regressed this year?

The only significant personnel change from last season (not counting Vanek) is Diaz and Ryder out, Murray and Briere in, which seems to be something the coach is fully in support of.

The Habs have guys in the discussion of best defenseman and goalie in the league. Pacioretty is a 3 time 30 goal scorer and possession monster. Plekanec is a top flight two way center. Markov is still a great talent.

I get it, the Habs have had a crappy roster for so long that fans are used to it. It isn't true anymore, this roster is not one that should be second last in the league in scoring goals. It's good enough that Galchenyuk has been on the 3rd line most of the year and it hasn't been unreasonable for him to be there.
A big part of the regression is how other teams adjusted to the Habs this season. Before last season, Montreal was a bottom-three team playing Jacques Martin's leftover defensive style of hockey. Suddenly, in 2013, Therrien came in and introduced a quick-transition game. Our D moved the puck fast and forward, and because the opposition wasn't expecting it, we took 'em by surprise and scored a ton of goals.

This year the opposition adjusted and cut off our transition at the source, pressuring our D deep in our end and forcing mistakes and turnovers. The moment our dmen got the puck, an opposing forward was on him, preventing him from moving it or forcing him into a desperate long pass. Habs D isn't big or mobile enough to make them pay for committing that deep in our end. No coincidence that softer dmen like Diaz couldn't adjust -- with no time to skate or pass his game was neutralized. So all those fancy first-passes dried up, along with gaining the neutral zone and controlling the play into the o-zone.

Beaulieu can give us back some of what we lost -- the ability to control the puck from our end out. Right now, everybody except Subban is a turnover risk in our zone, which makes our forwards play a more cautious game, knowing we'll probably get hemmed in. Beaulieu will undoubtedly make mistakes, but he brings what we need very badly.

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