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Early look at next season... (merged)

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Old
05-04-2008, 08:40 AM
  #26
onice
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Weaknesses to address next year

First off I want to congratulate the Habs. They were one of the top 8 teams in the league this year. That's saying alot considering we were at the other end of the totem pole last year. Also, the future looks bright. With all the young guns on the team and in the pipeline, we have something to look forward to.

But what do we do for next year to improve on our top 8 finish?

1) Strength down the middle. Every winning Hab team in the past had strength in the centre position. If you look at this year's team we had a mish-mash. Koivu-Plekanec are a fast, crafty duo but a little undersized. I'm still not sold on trading one of them but if we keep both, we have to do something with the other two centres. Lapierre, I like very much. His only problem is consistency. In these playoffs he didn't play with a high level of intensity throughout the games. Next year this weakness has to be addressed. Smoke should be gone next year and Chipchura should take his place. So down the middle we have:
Koivu
Plekanec
Lapierre
Chipchura.
I'm wondering if that is enough to put us over the top, considering Koivu will be one year older. Plekanec will have gained one more year of experience so that will be a wash. If we keep those centremen we may have to address a size issue in the top 4 wingers. Later on that point.

2) Goaltending. This year again, patch work. We weren't really sure what we were doing except that Price was our goalie of the future. Next year the coaching staff and MANAGEMENT should work out a strategy where they go with both goalies: Price and Halak throughout the year. I'm not saying splitting the games 50-50 but something close to it. We saw what happened to Price in the playoffs this year. This mistake should not be repeated next year. Both goalies should be tested and rested. This way we don't put ourselves and Price in a no win position. We have two excellent goalies and we should place ourselves so we can use both when the time comes.

3) The top 4 wingers. Well, the way Ryder was treated chances are pretty good that he's gone. Kovalev and A.Kostitsyn are an excellent match with Plekanec. They have size, skill and speed. I would not touch that line. Higgins and S. Kostitsyn with Koivu are not a good playoff line. It was proven this year. Although Koivu plays like a goliath, he's still only 5'8. One of those two wingers need to be replaced. And we need a winger with size on top of skill and speed. Sorry, Latenderess does not fit the bill. He is slow, usually out of position and rarely uses his size at the right time. I'm really disappointed with his development and i blame management and the coaching staff for this. He should never have been brought up so early but they did and what did they teach him? He has not improved one iota since he came up. You only need to look at Lucic of the Bruins.I know they're not the same kind of player but that's the way Gui was sold to us - a powerforward. But he isn't and never will be. I'm afraid Gainey has another Kilger or worse yet Dagenais on his hands. So we're left with getting a powerforward to replace Higgins/Kostitsyn. I'm not saying trading one of them. The one that's replaced can move to the third line.

4) Defence. please, please no more Brisebois. He is soft, slow and is constantly caught out of position. He should not be resigned. I don't care how much experience he has - it's the wrong kind of experience. The other five are a very good core. With one (hopefully) full year of experience O'Byrne should fit in and round off one of the better defence corps in the league.

5) The system. I really didn't notice it during the year but it was pretty much evident in the playoffs. Something tells me the coaching staff has a system in place where the players react a certain way in a certain situation without thinking. They just react - no thinking.
Boullion's giveaway last night was an example of that. He was taught to pass the puck to the other corner. And he did it without thinking or looking.

If you take a look at when the Habs are in their own zone they're constantly shooting the puck around the corners without looking. During the year that worked cause most teams didn't scout the Habs properly. But in the playoffs that was a tendency that the opposing team noticed and used against us. This system is not only in our zone. We used set plays in the offensive zone - again without looking. The cross ice pass is one example. How many times did we get caught on a 2 on 1 because of cross ice passes without looking. I think the coaching staff should give the players more options in their decision making.

Anyway, those are my thoughts and again I want to tip my hat to the Habs. It was a good season. Let's hope for a great season next year.

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Old
05-04-2008, 08:50 AM
  #27
didouche
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1)agreed except for lapierre... I think he will be a winger. He seems to be more effective there

2)No problem there for me. 70/12 60/22 50 etc... Not a concern. it will all play out by itself

3) I would leave lats alone for now. he is still developping. Slowly but surely... I have patience because gainey seems to have patience with him. I think higgins will need to play on the 3rd line but we need to find someone to play with sk+ koivu

4) Brisebois did what he was asked. didn't cost us any games of any importances.
The D will be better. The question is more is it better with or without mark streit!

5) system... please....

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Old
05-04-2008, 08:58 AM
  #28
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For the most part I agree with where we need to improve. However I think more attention should be placed on our D.. We were to weak around our net, lost to many battles in the corners and made to many errors against the forecheck (especially with 2 forecheckers)

I like Markov, Komi, Gorges and Hammer.. however.. Komisarek has to be hurt.. i hope because he was not an impact player the way he can be .. I do believe that boullion (turn over on losing goal) is a liability. Dandy and Breezeby have to go..

Talking to TT yesterday he had no idea where emelin stands. we need someone like him, big, strong smart and mean...

Philly was in our goalies crease and made contact the entire round. why? because they were allowed to and were not afraid to..

we need 2 big, mean d.

Obyne and Komi to me were way to soft they did not intimidate at all and i really think philly (they were laughing and smiling around our net all the time) felt safe in front of our net...

but I also think this problem will be addressed within the org within time...

Mcdo, Fish, Tank, Emelin...

by the way.. I congradulated TT on his picks and our kids.. His comment.. the best is yet to come..

so lets hope!

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Old
05-04-2008, 09:21 AM
  #29
RE-HABS
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Ryan McDonagh, D (2)
Max Pacioretty, C (5)
Ryan O'Byrne, D (13)
Kyle Chipchura, C (4)
Ben Maxwell, C (6)
Mikhail Grabovski, C (11)
David Fischer, D (7)
P.K. Subban, D (14)
Yannick Weber, D (NR)
Mathieu Carle, D (18)
Matt D'Agostini, RW (17)
Alexei Yemelin, D (12)
Brock Trotter, C (NR)
Ryan White, C (16)
James Wyman, RW (NR)
Pavel Valentenko, D (15)
Andrew Conboy, LW (NR)

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Old
05-04-2008, 09:29 AM
  #30
Ice Poutine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qui Gon Dave View Post
....

Trotter won't make the Habs next year IMO. He has good pace but really needs to work on building up his upper body, lower body, outer body, inner body, full body and any and everybody strength....
C'mon; stop being too subtle, what are you trying to tell us here? ___

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Old
05-04-2008, 09:33 AM
  #31
Bronn
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Chipchura ----------> Smolinski
O'Byrne -----------> Brisebois
D'Agostini -------------> Ryder (not sure about that one though)

Stewart will most likely see some games. Maybe Valentenko will get a shot as well if he performs well at the camp. Other than that i think that guy like McDo and Pacs are at least another year away from the big club. I also think that Dandenault will be gone via trade or waivers.

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Old
05-04-2008, 10:25 AM
  #32
goldglove
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Post your 2008-2009 lineup with your UFA signing

mine:

Kostitsyn - Plekanec - Kostitsyn
Higgins - Koivu - Kovalev
Latendresse - Avery - Paciorretty
Cooke - Chipchura - Kostopoulos

Markov - Komisarek
Hamrlik - O'Byrne
Gorges - Streit

Price
Halak

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Old
05-04-2008, 10:26 AM
  #33
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Avery wont come to Montreal after he generalized that French-Canadians all wear visors when they fight. Are you kidding?

Streit isnt coming back, I guarantee it.

And Pacioretty wont make the team at 19. THey already made that mistake with Lats.


Last edited by amnesiac*: 05-04-2008 at 01:19 PM.
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Old
05-04-2008, 10:27 AM
  #34
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Originally Posted by amnesiac View Post
Avery wont come to Montreal after he generalized that French-Canadians all wear visors when they fight. Are you kidding?
$$$$$$$

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Old
05-04-2008, 10:29 AM
  #35
Dwight
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Higgins - Koivu - Kovalev
Kostitsyn - Plekanec - Kostitsyn
Latendresse - Lapierre - Dupuis
Kostopoulos - Chipchura - Stewart/Laraque

Markov - Komisarek
Hamrlik - O'Byrne
Gorges - Bouillon

Price
Halak

(Sorry, I really don't see Streit coming back..)

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Old
05-04-2008, 10:30 AM
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Label View Post
Chipchura ----------> Smolinski
O'Byrne -----------> Brisebois
D'Agostini -------------> Ryder (not sure about that one though)

Stewart will most likely see some games. Maybe Valentenko will get a shot as well if he performs well at the camp. Other than that i think that guy like McDo and Pacs are at least another year away from the big club. I also think that Dandenault will be gone via trade or waivers.
Exactly what I think...however I think that could change if Fabien Bruunstrum( sp?) signs. Then Ryder's place would be taken.

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Old
05-04-2008, 10:31 AM
  #37
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Originally Posted by goldglove View Post
$$$$$$$
Im saying the fans wont accept him and wouldnt fit in well with this city.

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Old
05-04-2008, 10:36 AM
  #38
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A.Kostitsyn - Plekanec - Kovalev
S.Kostitsyn - Koivu - Rolston
Latendresse - Lapierre - Higgins
Begin - Chipchura - Kostopoulos/Stewart

Markov - Komisarek
Hamrlik - O'Byrne
Gorges - Bouillon/Yemelin/Weber

Price
Halak


Last edited by amnesiac*: 05-04-2008 at 10:48 AM.
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Old
05-04-2008, 10:37 AM
  #39
couris
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Sign Rolston, Trade for Cole

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Old
05-04-2008, 10:37 AM
  #40
Dwight
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amnesiac View Post
A.Kostitsyn - Plekanec - Kovalev
S.Kostitsyn - Koivu - Brunnstrom (thats right)
Latendresse - Lapierre - Higgins
Begin - Chipchura - Kostopoulos/Stewart

Markov - Komisarek
Hamrlik - O'Byrne
Gorges - Yemelin/Valentenko/Webber

Price
Halak
I think we should stay away from Brunnstrom. I just have a feeling he'll bust.

Although if we sign him, I will definitely cheer for him, and will have high hopes for him. He just seems like another Lahti to me..

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05-04-2008, 10:38 AM
  #41
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Originally Posted by ZeRo.O View Post
I think we should stay away from Brunnstrom. I just have a feeling he'll bust.

Although if we sign him, I will definitely cheer for him, and will have high hopes for him. He just seems like another Lahti to me..
Yeah, I just edited. I think the Wings will be the winners of that sweepstakes.

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Old
05-04-2008, 10:40 AM
  #42
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Originally Posted by couris View Post
Sign Rolston, Trade for Cole
Rolston would be a nice fit. Scoring winger with a hard shot, gritty, experienced. Put him with Koivu and SK.

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Old
05-04-2008, 10:40 AM
  #43
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Brad Stuart and/or Sean Avery and/or Fabian Brunnstrom

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Old
05-04-2008, 10:41 AM
  #44
Dwight
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Originally Posted by amnesiac View Post
Yeah, I just edited. I think the Wings will be the winners of that sweepstakes.
I agree. No matter what line he plays on for Detroit, he'll put up points, that team will never falter.

I think we should go for Cole if Higgins is willing to move to line 3

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05-04-2008, 10:41 AM
  #45
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Chipchura!

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Old
05-04-2008, 10:44 AM
  #46
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Originally Posted by ZeRo.O View Post
I agree. No matter what line he plays on for Detroit, he'll put up points, that team will never falter.

I think we should go for Cole if Higgins is willing to move to line 3
Or trade him for Higgins + young Dman (Valentenko, Fischer, or Subban)?

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Old
05-04-2008, 10:45 AM
  #47
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FOR SURE:

Chipchura, OByrne and Grabovski (if he doesn't play in Russia)

MAYBE:

Stewart, D'Agostini, Milroy, Locke, Ferland

FOR A COUPLE OF GAMES:

Valentenko, Carle, White, Maxwell

BIG SURPRISE:

Emelin
Pacioretty

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Old
05-04-2008, 10:46 AM
  #48
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Higgins-Koivu-Kovalev-
Kostitsyn-Plekanec-S. Kostitsyn/Malone
Latandresse-Holik-Malone/S. Kostitsyn
Lapierre-Chipchura-Laraque/Cooke
Kostopolous-Begin

Markov-Komisarek
Kalinen/Norstrom-Hamrlik
O'Byrne-Georges
Bouillion

Price
Halak

Out: Dandenault, Breisbois, Smolinski, Ryder, and Streit.

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Old
05-04-2008, 10:48 AM
  #49
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Originally Posted by ND Irish View Post
No offense, but I hope you are wrong.

If Breezer and Bouillon are on the Habs roster next season I doubt this team will make the playoffs -- you are welcome to quote me on that!
I agree they are both our worst defensive defenseman but at the same time during the playoff, Brisebois is the only defensemen that was usefull on the powerplay and Bouillon was the only defenseman to bring the puck in the offensive zone by himself.

I just hope if they are not back that we still have some D depth next year. The problem with Markov is he pass the puck on the powerplay wich is really hard in playoff cause it get intercepted all the time and Streit is supposed to be a good shooter but IMO Brisebois was supperior during the playoff. We need another Defenseman that can shot the puck on the powerplay and not be a defensive liability.

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Old
05-04-2008, 10:49 AM
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bipolarhabfan View Post
Higgins-Koivu-Kovalev-
Kostitsyn-Plekanec-S. Kostitsyn/Malone
Latandresse-Holik-Malone/S. Kostitsyn
Lapierre-Chipchura-Laraque/Cooke
Kostopolous-Begin

Markov-Komisarek
Kalinen/Norstrom-Hamrlik
O'Byrne-Georges
Bouillion

Price
Halak

Out: Dandenault, Breisbois, Smolinski, Ryder, and Streit.
sign 3 FAs and leave no room for the youth to develop?

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