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A Max Pac away from Winning the Cup?

View Poll Results: What if we had Max?
Yes 26 16.67%
No 38 24.36%
We could have beat the Bruins, but would have lost eventually 92 58.97%
Voters: 156. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
06-14-2011, 10:30 PM
  #76
habtastic
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+ Max
+ Markov
+ Gorges
+ DD (game 7, I'm sure he would have made a difference)

defffffinitely a contender

we've seen that it's more about how you play during the actual games

with the D moves we're likely to be making, I think next year, I really wouldn't move anyone. I think Pouls and AK are completely do-able. IF we got Jagr, even better (we'd prolly lose Benny).

The only think that might change things is the potential impact of Wiz. Then again, PK and Markov on the PP isn't bad (even if they're on different waves). Personally (not popular) I like AK on the point cuz he is a very good puck distributor and the shot could come from him or PK/Markov.

If we keep Wiz, get rid of Spacek (not likely), not even a question. The fact that we lost in the first round has kinda made it seem like we weren't a very good team. I thought we were a legit contended even this year, but the injuries were too much.

What are the odds that Philly gets swept in the playoffs again? Not likely. That's probably the only thing I'd worry about getting passed. Bruins wouldn't have slipped by with the carter/pronger/goalie situation. They are now slipping towards the cup cuz Luongo is what we've always known him to be --> ?????

goaltending IS everything. Price makes us a contender.

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Old
06-14-2011, 10:55 PM
  #77
Lafleurs Guy
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Originally Posted by Talks to Goalposts View Post
Scoring more means a grand load of nothing when your team defense bad and you give even more back. Those teams scored more than the Habs 5 on 5. Whop-de-do, the Habs gained all that back by allowing less goals then they did 5 on 5.
First of all, you've come into a conversation that I was having with a another poster and are talking about something completely different. We were talking about forwards and offense, something that we don't have very much of. The clubs that he mentioned all outscored us. 5 on 5 or not, we came in 23rd overall in scoring this season. That sucks and there's very little chance that a club with that kind of offense will ever make the finals let alone win a cup. I don't care how good your defense is, no team that has won the cup has had an offense anywhere close to how bad ours was this season.

That was the context of the conversation so please, give it up.
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Originally Posted by Talks to Goalposts View Post
It is not the number of goals you score that matter, its the amount relative to the guy your facing. You have a point about needing better 5 on 5 scoring but my point is that it doesn't matter if the Thrashers, Islanders, Hurricanes and Leafs score more than the Habs if they lose even more ground due to bad defense.
I couldn't care less about 5 on 5 scoring if we managed to accumulate enough PP goals to offset things. 23rd in the league though isn't nearly good enough.

The Thrashers, lslanders etc... were brought up by the other poster. And again, we were talking about forwards and goalscoring...

And once again, the Sabres, Hurricanes, Rangers and are a much closer comparison than the Canucks are. They're right in the same group that we are, a bubble team trying to make the playoffs.

Seriously, if I provide you with two groups:

A. Pittsburgh, Detroit, Vancouver
B. Carolina, Buffalo, Rangers

You'd put us in the first group? I don't think so man, sorry. We're nowhere near group A. And btw, only Carolina had a worse goal differential than us in group B.

I expect that New Jersey and Toronto will be better next season. It's not a given that we'll even make the playoffs.
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Originally Posted by Talks to Goalposts View Post
The Colorado scored more than Washington's offensive power house this year. One was 2nd in the east and had a 1.07 5 on 5 ratio they other was 2nd worst in the league with a 0.88 5 on 5 ration because they couldn't make up for all the goals they let in.
No kidding? Really? Wow, defense is necessary to win too? Thanks for clearing that up.

Dude, teams need BALANCE to win. Everyone knows this. But you can't just point to goaltending and defense. I don't care how you try to slice it up, a team that comes in 23rd in the league in scoring isn't going to win a cup. Forget about it.
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Originally Posted by Talks to Goalposts View Post
As I said, its how much you outscore the opponent that matters, not how much you yourself score.
Right. Our goal differential was +7 goals dude. How in the world is that a contending team? It isn't. Most contending teams are at minimum in the +30 range. The Rangers (who you and the other poster cited as being inferior were +35.)

In fact, of all the clubs who made the playoffs we (tied with TB) had the worst differential in the East. Fortunately, we play in a crappy conference and an awful Division. Meanwhile Calgary misses despite being +13.

Vancouver (+77) was 1st in offense and 1st in defense. Boston (+51) was 2nd in defense and 5th in offense. How in God's name do you figure we're contenders with +7 despite playing in one of the weakest divisions in the league?

Cup winning teams tend to skew one way or another (Edmonton, Pittsburgh towards offense) (New Jersey towards defense) but those teams had balance. And if they skewed really hard they were exceptionally great at what they did. We were nowhere close to the best defensive team in the league and our offense sucked. That is not indicative of a contender in any way. So I'm not sure what it is that you're trying to argue here.
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Originally Posted by habtastic View Post
goaltending IS everything.
No. That's just plain wrong. You do actually need to be able to put the puck in the net yourself and no team with an offense as bad as ours has ever won the cup and I don't expect one with scoring this poor will win one anytime soon. You have to be at least middle of the pack. The worst I found was the '95 Devils at 13th in offense. (The '86 Habs were 6th.)


Last edited by Lafleurs Guy: 06-14-2011 at 11:23 PM.
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Old
06-14-2011, 11:11 PM
  #78
Lafleurs Guy
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Originally Posted by coolasprICE View Post
The point of this thread is basically to show that in this cap era, it takes much less to win a cup.
I think if you'd have phrased the thread that way you'd get more interesting responses because that is actually a discussion worth having.
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Originally Posted by coolasprICE View Post
I agree with Lafleur Guys and sons on the idea that it's important to have 'franchise' guys in your core, that rebuilding is crucial to the future and indicative of past successes;however, I also believe it's important to reform our beliefs so they remain relevant and relative of the era we are in.

In the case of Boston, they are 1 win away ... and all they have is a HOF in Chara, a goalie whom until this year was a non-HOF candidate, and a supporting cast.

What this says to me is that building a contender in todays NHL takes less top end talent / top picks / franchise players than it did 5 or 10 years ago.
Actually, I'd say with the parity that's coming, superstars are more important than ever. If the margin of victory is that thin, you're going to need something to be able to put you over the top. That's why the vast majority of cup winning teams have superstars (or at the very least guys having career years) leading the way. Think about it, without Price do we have any chance going forward? I don't think so either. Superstars are the guys who make the difference between clubs that win and those that don't.

The only team I can think of that didn't have this might be Carolina. Even there though, Staal was one of the best players in the league that season and Cam Ward was spectacular.

Again though, they are among the weakest (if not THE weakest) team to ever win a cup. Most clubs have multiple superstars on it. Superstars are the difference makers and take otherwise mediocre teams to the next level. That's why they're so important to get.
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Originally Posted by coolasprICE View Post
With just a few right pieces (Subban, Price), and depth (including the Max Pac's of the world)... a cup is a possibility.
If we landed a superstar forward, this is a completely different conversation. Assuming (and we have to hope that everything goes right with this) that Subban and Price actually become superstars, that is something to build around for the future. I don't see how we'd be contenders next year but it definitely provides hope for the future. But the forwards aren't there and we still need more size and grit. And there's just no way that we win with the centermen that we have now. MaxPac and his (hopefully) 20-25 goals doesn't make up for this.
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Originally Posted by coolasprICE View Post
I don't expect this trend to end either, I think we'll also see an 8th seeded like teams to finally pull it off in the near future.
It will happen eventually, it has to.

But most of the time it will be the favourites who win. Even Boston this year (who I am shocked is in the 7th game and could win it all) had great numbers this year. 5th in scoring and 2nd in defense is fantastic. Thomas is having an all time great season for any goaltender and Chara is the Norris favourite (his 2nd.)

Again, if we want to win a cup we should pattern ourselves against the best teams, not the worst. The contenders almost always win. That's what we should strive for. If we want a cup, we need to go out and actually pay the price to do it. Sometimes that means taking a step back to go two steps forward.


Last edited by Lafleurs Guy: 06-14-2011 at 11:21 PM.
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Old
06-14-2011, 11:21 PM
  #79
Megaforce
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Sure we were not perfect but Boston has absolutely no forwards.

Recchi? Ryder? Come on! We have Gionta, Cam, Pleks, Pax, clever snipers in abundance.

So I voted Yeah, yes.

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Old
06-14-2011, 11:22 PM
  #80
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@Lafleurs Guy, I appreciate your attempt to bring goal-differential as a yardstick of team strength, but you need to understand how percentages relate to goal-based metrics.

Goal-based metrics are the confluence of three things: shots (for and against), shooting percentage, and save percentage. Simple enough: goals-for = shots-for x shooting percentage, and likewise goals-against = shots-against x (1 - save-percentage). Intuitively this makes sense, but those stats are not created equal.

1- shooting percentage is transient and not something teams have any real control over; it heavily regresses to league average over time, and teams have little to no ability to maintain a high or low score year over year.
2- goaltending is more sustainable than shooting percentage, as goaltending is a real skill, but it is also very volatile and heavily regresses to career average
3- generating/preventing shots is a much more sustainable skill. This corresponds to controlling the play, possessing the puck, and generating/preventing scoring chances.

This means that goal-differential, while normally a decent yardstick of team strength, is like all goal metrics subjects to the vagraries of chance and percentages -- and that extreme percentages will heavily skew goal metrics, in ways that don't represent actual team ability.

As it turns out, both Boston and Montreal had extreme percentages this year.

Consider the Boston club of last year. They were much like the Habs of this year, in that they had the worst 5-on-5 shooting percentage in the game. This created the illusion that they were extremely weak offensively, when in reality they were only unfortunate. They took an unusual swing this year in that they went right up to the 4th-best shooting percentage in the league, creating the illusion that they became an offensive juggernaut over a single offseason with essentially the same roster. In practice, this is not entirely untrue as they did generate significantly more chances/shots (at the expense of defense, as it turns out; Boston was a very high-event club at both ends). But the majority of their increase in goal-scoring has been due to changes in percentages.

Those percentages were the primary factor that turned Boston from the 28th 5-on-5 scoring club into the highest.

(One of the many reasons I don't see the Bruins as elite.)

Montreal, this year... is pretty much were Boston was last year. 2nd-worst shooting percentage in the league (comparable to last year's Boston; only New Jersey was worse). This created the illusion that they did not improve their 5-on-5 game, even though they both increased shots for and cut down on shots against at even-strength (their turnaround at both ends of the ice was nothing short of phenomenal).

Unfortunately, they couldn't buy a goal. And that led people who are obsessed with goal totals (and apparently rely entirely on stats and don't watch games ) to assume the Habs hadn't improved their offensive game, which is incorrect. The nature of the Habs' game has changed profoundly: instead of being a terrible possession club that wouldn't score because the other guys always had the puck and they couldn't generate chances, they became an excellent possession club that wouldn't score because even though they had the puck more often than not and would generate chances, they could not finish.

I think it's unlikely that the Habs' finishing talent took a sudden nosedive relative to last year wouldn't you say?

A swing like the Bruins had, going from a very low to a very high shooting percentage year over year is possible, but unlikely. It's much more likely that it'll return to average. Nevertheless, should the Habs' shooting percentage indeed return to the level it was last year (league average, slightly below even) they will be a top-third offensive club. Their improvement in puck possession and chance generation was that good.

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06-14-2011, 11:29 PM
  #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
@Lafleurs Guy, I appreciate your attempt to bring goal-differential as a yardstick of team strength, but you need to understand how percentages relate to goal-based metrics.

Goal-based metrics are the confluence of three things: shots (for and against), shooting percentage, and save percentage. Simple enough: goals-for = shots-for x shooting percentage, and likewise goals-against = shots-against x (1 - save-percentage). Intuitively this makes sense, but those stats are not created equal.

1- shooting percentage is transient and not something teams have any real control over; it heavily regresses to league average over time, and teams have little to no ability to maintain a high or low score year over year.
2- goaltending is more sustainable than shooting percentage, as goaltending is a real skill, but it is also very volatile and heavily regresses to career average
3- generating/preventing shots is a much more sustainable skill. This corresponds to controlling the play, possessing the puck, and generating/preventing scoring chances.

This means that goal-differential, while normally a decent yardstick of team strength, is like all goal metrics subjects to the vagraries of chance and percentages -- and that extreme percentages will heavily skew goal metrics, in ways that don't represent actual team ability.

As it turns out, both Boston and Montreal had extreme percentages this year.

Consider the Boston club of last year. They were much like the Habs of this year, in that they had the worst 5-on-5 shooting percentage in the game. This created the illusion that they were extremely weak offensively, when in reality they were only unfortunate. They took an unusual swing this year in that they went right up to the 4th-best shooting percentage in the league, creating the illusion that they became an offensive juggernaut over a single offseason with essentially the same roster. In practice, this is not entirely untrue as they did generate significantly more chances/shots (at the expense of defense, as it turns out; Boston was a very high-event club at both ends). But the majority of their increase in goal-scoring has been due to changes in percentages.

Those percentages were the primary factor that turned Boston from the 28th 5-on-5 scoring club into the highest.

(One of the many reasons I don't see the Bruins as elite.)

Montreal, this year... is pretty much were Boston was last year. 2nd-worst shooting percentage in the league (comparable to last year's Boston; only New Jersey was worse). This created the illusion that they did not improve their 5-on-5 game, even though they both increased shots for and cut down on shots against at even-strength (their turnaround at both ends of the ice was nothing short of phenomenal).

Unfortunately, they couldn't buy a goal. And that led people who are obsessed with goal totals (and apparently rely entirely on stats and don't watch games ) to assume the Habs hadn't improved their offensive game, which is incorrect. The nature of the Habs' game has changed profoundly: instead of being a terrible possession club that wouldn't score because the other guys always had the puck and they couldn't generate chances, they became an excellent possession club that wouldn't score because even though they had the puck more often than not and would generate chances, they could not finish.

I think it's unlikely that the Habs' finishing talent took a sudden nosedive relative to last year wouldn't you say?

A swing like the Bruins had, going from a very low to a very high shooting percentage year over year is possible, but unlikely. It's much more likely that it'll return to average. Nevertheless, should the Habs' shooting percentage indeed return to the level it was last year (league average, slightly below even) they will be a top-third offensive club. Their improvement in puck possession and chance generation was that good.
And that's fine for the Boston example. Still, Boston had a goalie who has been absolutely sick and their goals against are still fantastic.

Even if we knocked them down a few pegs on offense, that goal differential is still +50. So even if I'm extremely generous and give you say 20 goals the other way, it's still so far beyond where we're at that it's not even close. And that's just one team.

Our club hasn't been able to score for years. There's nothing new here. We've needed a centermen just like Philly has needed a goalie. Until this changes we aren't contenders. We need to be able to score if we want to win. And that doesn't even address the grit/size problem that we have.

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06-14-2011, 11:48 PM
  #82
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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
And that's fine for the Boston example. Still, Boston had a goalie who has been absolutely sick and their goals against are still fantastic.
Absolutely and it made up for a defense that was bleeding shots against. One would expect Thomas to regress next year. That could also slice down their goal differential some as well, if Tim Thomas is merely excellent as opposed to superhuman. If Boston kept its total shots-against but their goaltending went to the level of the league's second-best (Vancouver, ironically), that would already be a difference of 10 goals, purely 5-on-5.

If their goaltending went to Montreal's level, it would represent a difference of 30 goals -- and Montreal was one of the top-10 5-on-5 goaltending teams in the league.

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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
Even if we knocked them down a few pegs on offense, that goal differential is still +50. So even if I'm extremely generous and give you say 20 goals the other way, it's still so far beyond where we're at that it's not even close. And that's just one team.
20 goals is not "extremely generous", that's actually more likely to be on the low end. The Habs may have left as many as 30 goals for on the table, purely at even strength.

Their shooting percentage was really, really crappy. Unusually so. It was roughly the equivalent of facing Pekka Rinne or Bryzgalov every night. The average goaltender the Habs faced saved more shots than Carey Price! (And no, it's not because they're crappy finishers. They were much better last season).

Don't underestimate the difference percentages may make, especially really extreme percentages like those we're dealing with. Boston's goal differential went from +6 to +51 in one year almost entirely on that basis.

The Habs were a much better club than Boston in terms of possessing the puck or controlling the play at even-strength.

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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
Our club hasn't been able to score for years.
And yet they were the second-highest-scoring club in the league as recently as 2007-2008... by one goal.

In no small part because their shooting percentage was very good that year. Funny how that went back to league average in 08-09.

Nevertheless, there was a profound difference in Montreal's offense relative to last year. The breadth of the turnaround is frankly difficult to overstate; they went from one of the league's worst possession clubs to one of the better ones. Over time, this is what makes elite clubs elite. This is what makes the Red Wings consistently an elite club.

To say that it's "same old same old" is missing the forest for the trees. They went from a low-volume attack to a high-volume one, and it's a shame that sheer misfortune prevented the difference from being blindingly obvious.

If the Habs should maintain their possession game next year (and I expect that they will), then they have good odds of finding themselves in the top third of the league for 5-on-5 offense.


Last edited by MathMan: 06-14-2011 at 11:53 PM.
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Old
06-15-2011, 12:00 AM
  #83
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Absolutely and it made up for a defense that was bleeding shots against. One would expect Thomas to regress next year. That could also slice down their goal differential some as well, if Tim Thomas is merely excellent as opposed to superhuman. If Boston kept its total shots-against but their goaltending went to the level of the league's second-best (Vancouver, ironically), that would already be a difference of 10 goals, purely 5-on-5.

If their goaltending went to Montreal's level, it would represent a difference of 30 goals -- and Montreal was one of the top-10 5-on-5 goaltending teams in the league.



20 goals is not "extremely generous", that's actually more likely to be on the low end. The Habs may have left as many as 30 goals for on the table, purely at even strength.

Their shooting percentage was really, really crappy. Unusually so. It was roughly the equivalent of facing Pekka Rinne or Bryzgalov every night. The average goaltender the Habs faced saved more shots than Carey Price! (And no, it's not because they're crappy finishers. They were much better last season).

Don't underestimate the difference percentages may make, especially really extreme percentages like those we're dealing with. Boston's goal differential went from +6 to +51 in one year almost entirely on that basis.

The Habs were a much better club than Boston in terms of possessing the puck or controlling the play at even-strength.



And yet they were the second-highest-scoring club in the league as recently as 2007-2008...

Nevertheless, there was a profound difference in Montreal's offense relative to last year. The breadth of the turnaround is frankly difficult to overstate; they went from one of the league's worst possession clubs to one of the better ones. Over time, this is what makes elite clubs elite. This is what makes the Red Wings consistently an elite club.

To say that it's "same old same old" is missing the forest for the trees. They went from a low-volume attack to a high-volume one, and it's a shame that sheer misfortune prevented the difference from being blindingly obvious.

If the Habs should maintain their possession game next year (and I expect that they will), then they have good odds of finding themselves in the top third of the league for 5-on-5 offense.
For a good example of what MathMan is talking about here look at this years Avalanche compared to last years. One was -61, the other was +11 without major changes to their lineup. The difference was the first year they got fantastic goaltending from Anderson which he didn't repeat and as a team they all "made their shots." They were a bad outshoting team though (-4.2 the first year, -2.6 the next) and that came back to haunt them.

This sort of thing happens all the time. This year Dallas's first half was unsustainably good and they fell back to earth, while Calgary was unsustainably bad and recovered almost to the point of a playoff berth despite starting from 14th place. Washington is a good team, but last year's offense depended on an unusually high shooting percentage to be as spectacular as it was and they fell back to this year (basically same lineup, one 3.89 goals per game, the other 2.67).

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06-15-2011, 12:10 AM
  #84
Lafleurs Guy
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Absolutely and it made up for a defense that was bleeding shots against. One would expect Thomas to regress next year. That could also slice down their goal differential some as well, if Tim Thomas is merely excellent as opposed to superhuman. If Boston kept its total shots-against but their goaltending went to the level of the league's second-best (Vancouver, ironically), that would already be a difference of 10 goals, purely 5-on-5.

If their goaltending went to Montreal's level, it would represent a difference of 30 goals -- and Montreal was one of the top-10 5-on-5 goaltending teams in the league.
And that's great. But we can't score and we haven't been able to score for years. Goaltending is a strength and our defense is okay... but we can't put the puck in the net. And this is nothing new.
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20 goals is not "extremely generous", that's actually more likely to be on the low end. The Habs may have left as many as 30 goals for on the table, purely at even strength.

Their shooting percentage was really, really crappy. Unusually so. It was roughly the equivalent of facing Pekka Rinne or Bryzgalov every night. The average goaltender the Habs faced saved more shots than Carey Price! (And no, it's not because they're crappy finishers. They were much better last season).

Don't underestimate the difference percentages may make, especially really extreme percentages like those we're dealing with. Boston's goal differential went from +6 to +51 in one year almost entirely on that basis.

The Habs were a much better club than Boston in terms of possessing the puck or controlling the play at even-strength.
Again man, this is the same movie we have seen for years. We don't have the finishers on our club to put the puck in the net. You keep talking about how the shots will eventually go in. Sorry, but they haven't gone in for years. I think that has more to do with the guys trying to score than luck.

Chris Higgins had a billion chances every game but couldn't put the puck in. At some point it's not luck, it's skill. If you consistently can't put the puck in the net, something is wrong. I'm not sure what it was with that guy, but he was never the same after his injury. And from what I've seen in the postseason it still hasn't changed for him.
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And yet they were the second-highest-scoring club in the league as recently as 2007-2008... by one goal.
And we all remember this... from three years ago.

Unfortunately, none of those guys are on our team anymore. So even if that season didn't stick out like a sore thumb (which it does) the argument is irrelevant because Kovalev (who was fantastic that year) is no longer here and is now an old man.

If you want to look at history, our offense has generally sucked for the last 15 years. And it didn't improve this year much either. Hopefully it's a little better next season... but that's not saying much because I don't see how it can be any worse.

Sorry, but when your centermen are Pleks, Gomez and Eller... you're in serious trouble up front. Without Price and the D, we'd be in a very bad place.
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In no small part because their shooting percentage was very good that year. Funny how that went back to league average in 08-09.
Do you not remember how Kovalev would put the puck in exactly the right spot? Part of the reason that our percentage was so high was that we had an elite sniper who could launch powerful shots with pristine precision. Do you think Scott Gomez could do this? Don't you think that there's a reason why Kovalev's shooting percentage is higher than Scotty's?

Was it a flukey year? Sure. But the forwards we have on our roster right now aren't the best snipers in the world. Only Cammy really qualifies. It's not surprising that we aren't scoring or that our shooting percentage is below league average... we have below average forwards.
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Nevertheless, there was a profound difference in Montreal's offense relative to last year. The breadth of the turnaround is frankly difficult to overstate; they went from one of the league's worst possession clubs to one of the better ones. Over time, this is what makes elite clubs elite. This is what makes the Red Wings consistently an elite club.

To say that it's "same old same old" is missing the forest for the trees. They went from a low-volume attack to a high-volume one, and it's a shame that sheer misfortune prevented the difference from being blindingly obvious.

If the Habs should maintain their possession game next year (and I expect that they will), then they have good odds of finding themselves in the top third of the league for 5-on-5 offense.
I'm sorry, but your Corsi numbers (which I asked you about months ago in that Gomez thread and you did not respond) don't seem to correspond to actual production. Puck possession is great and all but if it doesn't lead to results then it carries far less meaning than your stats say it does.

Gomez is the classic example of why your sabremetric theories don't work. He carries the puck through the neutral zone like a champ but once he gains the blueline he generates nothing. Sure he's got the puck for a good while but it doesn't result in anything and quite often it gets stripped from him and goes the other way. I know you've blamed his wingers and said that he's unlucky but I'm sorry... I don't buy it. I also looked at some of the other Corsi leaders and they're also guys who just don't produce.

Again, sabremetrics works pretty well for baseball (though its still not perfect) but they've got a long, long way to go to forecast anything for hockey. I'm not sure that they'll ever be able to come up with anything for this.

Bottom line is that we haven't been able to put the puck in the net. And when you look at our forwards (esp at center) that's not surprising.


Last edited by Lafleurs Guy: 06-15-2011 at 12:36 AM.
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Old
06-15-2011, 12:12 AM
  #85
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Originally Posted by Talks to Goalposts View Post
For a good example of what MathMan is talking about here look at this years Avalanche compared to last years. One was -61, the other was +11 without major changes to their lineup. The difference was the first year they got fantastic goaltending from Anderson which he didn't repeat and as a team they all "made their shots." They were a bad outshoting team though (-4.2 the first year, -2.6 the next) and that came back to haunt them.

This sort of thing happens all the time. This year Dallas's first half was unsustainably good and they fell back to earth, while Calgary was unsustainably bad and recovered almost to the point of a playoff berth despite starting from 14th place. Washington is a good team, but last year's offense depended on an unusually high shooting percentage to be as spectacular as it was and they fell back to this year (basically same lineup, one 3.89 goals per game, the other 2.67).
Yes, fluke years happen.

Unfortunately though, our offense has sucked for years. That is not a fluke. It is a recurring pattern. Our forwards are nowhere near a cup contending group.

I also find it interesting that when your arguments are refuted, you come back with this as though the stats suddenly don't mean anything anymore. First it's not about offense. Then it's about goal differential. And when I blow both of those arguments away... it's just a 'fluke' season for us and we were just not lucky.

Right...

Slice it up however you wish. We're in group B, not group A.


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06-15-2011, 12:31 AM
  #86
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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
Again man, this is the same movie we have seen for years. We don't have the finishers on our club to put the puck in the net. You keep talking about how the shots will eventually go in. Sorry, but they haven't gone in for years. I think that has more to do with the guys trying to score than luck.
Five-on-five shooting percentage for the Habs:

2010-2011: 7.0% (ludicrously low)
2009-2010: 7.9% (low)
2008-2009: 8.5% (about average)
2007-2008: 9.2% (high)

You are wrong when you say the pucks haven't been going in for years. They went in in 2007-2008. A lot. But the Habs's shooting percentage has not been an exceptional outlier on the low end either... until this year.

Like Boston last year, however, this does not actually mean that their team is composed of bad shooters.

There is practically no such thing as team-wide "finishing skill". Over time, all the teams' shooting percentages cluster near each other. Oh, every year a handful of teams end up as outliers at either end, but they usually go right back to normal the year after, sometimes even going completely the other way (Boston, for one; San Jose went in the opposite direction).

(BTW, what did you ask me about in the Gomez thread, specifically? I gave up on that thread long ago. It's become completely impossible to have a rational discussion on the guy; people are at the point where they make up flaws about him.)

The "Habs' problem for years" has not been offense. The "Habs' problem for years" has been that they have been continually outplayed and outshot 5-on-5. Part of that has been that, yes, they couldn't generate shots for. And part of that is that they couldn't prevent shots against and had to rely on goaltending to keep them afloat.

And it is precisely that problem that they fixed this year. You just missed it.

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06-15-2011, 12:51 AM
  #87
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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
Five-on-five shooting percentage for the Habs:

2010-2011: 7.0% (ludicrously low)
2009-2010: 7.9% (low)
2008-2009: 8.5% (about average)
2007-2008: 9.2% (high)
That tells me that we have forwards who can't convert. And when you look at the list of forwards we have, it's not surprising.

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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
You are wrong when you say the pucks haven't been going in for years. They went in in 2007-2008. A lot.
I'm not wrong. Since the mid 90s the pucks haven't been going in. One season doesn't change this. It's part of a pattern that has existed for a long time. Just like Philly has no goaltending, we don't have scoring. We've relied on stellar goaltending for years and it's gotten us into the playoffs, but our offense has sucked.
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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
But the Habs's shooting percentage has not been an exceptional outlier on the low end either... until this year.

Like Boston last year, however, this does not actually mean that their team is composed of bad shooters.

There is practically no such thing as team-wide "finishing skill". Over time, all the teams' shooting percentages cluster near each other. Oh, every year a handful of teams end up as outliers at either end, but they usually go right back to normal the year after, sometimes even going completely the other way (Boston, for one; San Jose went in the opposite direction).
Bottom line is that pucks haven't gone in for us for years. You want to examine shooting percentage? By all means go ahead. But the bottom line is that by and large we haven't been able to score. And it isn't surprising because for years our best forward was a small center who would get 65-70 points for us. Now we have more small forwards and our top scorer (on a good year) nets us 70 points.

Other clubs have much better players up front. It's not secret as to why we get outscored every year. We don't have great players the way other clubs do. And that's why we're not contenders.


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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
(BTW, what did you ask me about in the Gomez thread, specifically? I gave up on that thread long ago. It's become completely impossible to have a rational discussion on the guy; people are at the point where they make up flaws about him.)
You'll have to go dig it up. I pulled up a bunch of Corsi leaders and asked you about it. A lot of the guys who are leading in that stat aren't in the scoring leaders group and aren't anywhere near elite. So again, Corsi may have some value, but I don't see how it has anywhere near the value that you try to attribute to it.
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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
The "Habs' problem for years" has not been offense. The "Habs' problem for years" has been that they have been continually outplayed and outshot 5-on-5. Part of that has been that, yes, they couldn't generate shots for. And part of that is that they couldn't prevent shots against and had to rely on goaltending to keep them afloat.

And it is precisely that problem that they fixed this year. You just missed it.
I said many times this year that we played a heck of a lot better than last year. There are a few things to consider here though:

1. Getting outplayed is an indicator that you can't score or play well. I already mentioned that we probably miss the playoffs for the past several seasons if we didn't have great goaltending so I'm not sure why you seem to think that we disagree on this.

2. Who's to say that our improved play will continue again next season? They might just go back to how it was last year. Would that really surprise anyone? It wouldn't surprise me. No matter how you try to spin it, our forward group just isn't all that good.

3. Even with our improved play (and I felt we were better) we still couldn't score. You say it's luck, but again it was the same as the season before.

4. Low scoring has ALWAYS been a problem for us. That hasn't changed this year and I doubt it will change next year. You can say it was lack of 5 on 5 or whatever... bottom line is that this team hasn't been able to score and has been mostly outplayed for years.

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06-15-2011, 04:10 AM
  #88
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I think the Desharnais injury did you guys in. He was playing spectacular in game 6. I had a feeling he was going to score the winner in game 7 until he went down the game prior.

It's so weird seeing someone so small be basically a power forward.

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06-15-2011, 04:17 AM
  #89
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With Crosby and Malkin out east was wide open this year. I think Tampa would have got us

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06-15-2011, 04:21 AM
  #90
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I voted that we WOULD have beaten the Beaners... However, I dont know about the rest of the cup run. We were literally walking wounded. Injuries not only depleted the line up, but down the stretch run, players were overused and injured there as well.

I honestly would question if we even had the strength in Manpower to get to the cup finals.. 1-2 more injuries and we wouldve seen it for sure.

This being said, I think we are close to contention now... I just wish for once, I would have the feeling of faith in our forward units.... But I have watched WAY too many anemic Canadiens squads get rather a) Lucky to have a goalie at the right time...
b) pull off an upset, and beat a fvoured opposition.

For once... I want US to be the favourites... Even if it's just ONE round lol

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06-15-2011, 05:53 AM
  #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
I think if you'd have phrased the thread that way you'd get more interesting responses because that is actually a discussion worth having.
I could of but I like taking alternative approaches.

Instead of this thread, I could of also made a thread titled '' A Scott Gomez away from Winning the Cup? ''

There are many ways to go about the argument of being a piece or two away from contention.

Quote:
Actually, I'd say with the parity that's coming, superstars are more important than ever. If the margin of victory is that thin, you're going to need something to be able to put you over the top. That's why the vast majority of cup winning teams have superstars (or at the very least guys having career years) leading the way. Think about it, without Price do we have any chance going forward? I don't think so either. Superstars are the guys who make the difference between clubs that win and those that don't.

The only team I can think of that didn't have this might be Carolina. Even there though, Staal was one of the best players in the league that season and Cam Ward was spectacular.

Again though, they are among the weakest (if not THE weakest) team to ever win a cup. Most clubs have multiple superstars on it. Superstars are the difference makers and take otherwise mediocre teams to the next level. That's why they're so important to get.

If we landed a superstar forward, this is a completely different conversation. Assuming (and we have to hope that everything goes right with this) that Subban and Price actually become superstars, that is something to build around for the future. I don't see how we'd be contenders next year but it definitely provides hope for the future. But the forwards aren't there and we still need more size and grit. And there's just no way that we win with the centermen that we have now. MaxPac and his (hopefully) 20-25 goals doesn't make up for this.

It will happen eventually, it has to.

But most of the time it will be the favourites who win. Even Boston this year (who I am shocked is in the 7th game and could win it all) had great numbers this year. 5th in scoring and 2nd in defense is fantastic. Thomas is having an all time great season for any goaltender and Chara is the Norris favourite (his 2nd.)

Again, if we want to win a cup we should pattern ourselves against the best teams, not the worst. The contenders almost always win. That's what we should strive for. If we want a cup, we need to go out and actually pay the price to do it. Sometimes that means taking a step back to go two steps forward.
I think if we can subtract Gomez from the equation, and find a way to replace him and his cap hit with a center that plays at least to 75-85 percent of his worth, we'd be pretty close to the level of Boston (and since we tend to match-up well, I wouldn't be scared facing them at that point)...

Especially with an extra year of experience for Subban and Price. Yes, they're not superstars yet, but they're looking like real deals.

Boston is pretty thin up front (since there's no clear F superstar on their team)... the only difference is that they don't have a 7.3 million cap sucker draining them out of contention. they have Krejci, a 2nd rounder... whom I think falls short of Superstar / franchise status, but definitely productive top 6.


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06-15-2011, 06:25 AM
  #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
Yes, fluke years happen.

Unfortunately though, our offense has sucked for years. That is not a fluke. It is a recurring pattern. Our forwards are nowhere near a cup contending group.

I also find it interesting that when your arguments are refuted, you come back with this as though the stats suddenly don't mean anything anymore. First it's not about offense. Then it's about goal differential. And when I blow both of those arguments away... it's just a 'fluke' season for us and we were just not lucky.

Right...

Slice it up however you wish. We're in group B, not group A.
Those are not "fluke years".

High and lows are just a common occurence of cycles in complex systems. That's what happens when you mix 600+ individuals into 30 groups and make them compete against each other in a pinball sport (high fluctuations) like hockey. It's 600+ individuals making thousands of decisions on and off the ice, events in their lives, that affect their play, played over thousands of games.

Hockey players aren't little robots, they aren't some little AI bots from a video game that respond game after game to their established 'overall'.

Hockey isn't like basketball either, where the number of players makes the necessity for an exceptional player all that much more desirable, whereas hockey is more a group sport, where the team is only as good as it's weakest link, not it's strongest one.

His argument has not be refuted, only sidelined. There are a lot more ways to be a winning team without having a high +/- differential, and a static group of 20 will without a doubt bring different results year in and year out, depending on the system, the yeild will be greater or thinner, because the more variables there are, the more complex the system becomes, and the more unpredictable it becomes, the more the yeild can change.

The best example of this is that predicting a winner in basketball is a lot easier than hockey, because they have 1/3 the variables in the player factor, compared to hockey.

Point is, no matter what paradigm of systematic approach you force upon people here, won't change the fact that you're only creating that paradigm in a tightly-closed logical loop that discounts a big part of reality, which is the common problem here and everywhere this type of thing is discussed.

No matter what paradigm you're trying to impose, the present (part) lineup has yeilded a lot more than expected while being depleted more than expected, and as such, discounting it's success is a bad approach, and also not being able to quantify the added variables properly as we've never witnessed some of the probable coming events (full season of Markov + Subban, first full season for Pac) added to the present group, which if just added to the base should already change the yeild considerably.

What has become a fluke is winning the cup. For any team, even Detroit. The difference between team #1 and team #20 is much more smaller than it was just 10 years ago (even 5 years ago), and even more so than 20 years ago. There's also the added variable of absorbing more and more talent into the same container (30 teams) for a long span, this has created a league filled with talent EVERYWHERE which makes the 600+ player group even more unpredictable in the outcomes.

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06-15-2011, 06:44 AM
  #93
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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
That tells me that we have forwards who can't convert. And when you look at the list of forwards we have, it's not surprising.
Those numbers say nothing of the sort. They say the Habs are like all teams where it comes to shooting percentage: average. With variations year over year. Just like Boston. Or San Jose.

Let's play a little game to illustrate. Which, of the following two teams, do you believe has had the best 5-on-5 finishers over the last four years:

Toronto Maple Leafs
Detroit Red Wings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
You'll have to go dig it up. I pulled up a bunch of Corsi leaders and asked you about it. A lot of the guys who are leading in that stat aren't in the scoring leaders group and aren't anywhere near elite. So again, Corsi may have some value, but I don't see how it has anywhere near the value that you try to attribute to it.
Remember three things: Corsi refers to five-on-five play (scoring leaders typically rack up a large portion of their points on the power play) and Corsi is about outscoring more than it is about offense (outscoring is what matters in hockey, not just offense), and for individual players Corsi is heavily dependent on context (players who play softer opposition or often start in the offensive zone will get higher Corsi without being better). Icetime matters as well. You can't expect to take a list of Corsi leaders and have it match the list of top scorers; that's not what Corsi represents at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
2. Who's to say that our improved play will continue again next season? They might just go back to how it was last year. Would that really surprise anyone? It wouldn't surprise me. No matter how you try to spin it, our forward group just isn't all that good.
Because puck possession is a sustainable skill (unlike shooting percentage), and because the Habs loaded up on strong 5-on-5 possession players in 2009 and has had their players seriously underperform their results on other teams. I made a little study and everyone who joined the Habs saw their puck possession metrics go down when they joined the club, and everyone who left saw them go up, regardless if they were coming from strong clubs like Detroit, decent ones like the Rangers, or poor ones.

This year, however everyone played pretty much to their "average" level of historical performance. Basically, the "black hole" that joining the Habs represented is gone. Basically, the Habs' player are now playing at the level they always have, whereas last year was an anomaly for them individually.

I've complained a lot about Martin in the past, but this year he's achieved what I thought/hoped he would. I expected it last year, but maybe there was a learning curve.

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3. Even with our improved play (and I felt we were better) we still couldn't score. You say it's luck, but again it was the same as the season before.
No it wasn't. It was a massive difference. It wasn't subtle. You're merely willfully ignoring it.

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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
4. Low scoring has ALWAYS been a problem for us. That hasn't changed this year and I doubt it will change next year. You can say it was lack of 5 on 5 or whatever... bottom line is that this team hasn't been able to score and has been mostly outplayed for years.
On the contrary, there was a huge difference. They fixed their long-standing problems with 5-on-5 this year. I'd say you just missed it, but you do have this tendency to just ignore whatever doesn't suit your argument.


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06-15-2011, 07:17 AM
  #94
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Wasn't his weakness yellow? Would have to avoid the Bs, then.

http://www.seanbaby.com/superfriends/greenl.htm
it used to be... Until Hal Jordan & co. beat the yellow out of the central battery... no more yellow weakness... Honestly the green men should be all over them by now...

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06-15-2011, 07:27 AM
  #95
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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
Those numbers say nothing of the sort. They say the Habs are like all teams where it comes to shooting percentage: average. With variations year over year. Just like Boston. Or San Jose.

Let's play a little game to illustrate. Which, of the following two teams, do you believe has had the best 5-on-5 finishers over the last four years:

Toronto Maple Leafs
Detroit Red Wings



Remember three things: Corsi refers to five-on-five play (scoring leaders typically rack up a large portion of their points on the power play) and Corsi is about outscoring more than it is about offense (outscoring is what matters in hockey, not just offense), and for individual players Corsi is heavily dependent on context (players who play softer opposition or often start in the offensive zone will get higher Corsi without being better). Icetime matters as well. You can't expect to take a list of Corsi leaders and have it match the list of top scorers; that's not what Corsi represents at all.



Because puck possession is a sustainable skill (unlike shooting percentage), and because the Habs loaded up on strong 5-on-5 possession players in 2009 and has had their players seriously underperform their results on other teams. I made a little study and everyone who joined the Habs saw their puck possession metrics go down when they joined the club, and everyone who left saw them go up, regardless if they were coming from strong clubs like Detroit, decent ones like the Rangers, or poor ones.

This year, however everyone played pretty much to their "average" level of historical performance. Basically, the "black hole" that joining the Habs represented is gone. Basically, the Habs' player are now playing at the level they always have, whereas last year was an anomaly for them individually.

I've complained a lot about Martin in the past, but this year he's achieved what I thought/hoped he would. I expected it last year, but maybe there was a learning curve.



No it wasn't. It was a massive difference. It wasn't subtle. You're merely willfully ignoring it.



On the contrary, there was a huge difference. They fixed their long-standing problems with 5-on-5 this year. I'd say you just missed it, but you do have this tendency to just ignore whatever doesn't suit your argument.
Seriously? the maple leafs had better 5/5 finishers than the wings over the past 4 years? That surprises me.

Is the black hole you speak of.. Shots on Goal? I could see that improved for sure this year...

The aberration is our shooting %? This is why we couldnt win at times this year? (Terrible season for our snipers)

& you feel that because our trend is climbing,, So Long as we return to league average shooting %... We should see a natural incline in our overall teamplay/stats?

CORSI I have a decent (not great) understanding of the stat... Is it goals/sog for ice time? Or puck possession

I heard that Scotty Gomez, is much more visible on our CORSI lists.. (Esp. 2 years ago, his first season as a hab, and last season as a Ranger

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06-15-2011, 08:07 AM
  #96
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For the people who still find it hard to accept that shooting percentage isn't an interesting stat as shot production, go on the www.nhl.com stat page, sort all players on their shooting percentage and look at, say, the top-30 players who played a significant number of games (60+). You'll see some good players, but also a load of average ones who had an exceptional year (Sergei Kostitsyn for example, who will very very probably never come ever close again to having these kinds of numbers in his career).

Then, sort the players list on their number of shots (no needs here to check their game played, as you need to play a lot of games to register a lot of shots).

See the top-30 list? They are all exceptional players. It's certainly a much more interesting group of guys than in the first one. Even without looking at their stats, the difference is striking.

Look at the shooting percentage of some of the best snipers of the league. It can vary from guy to guy, and some tend to always be better than others, but in the end, it's mostly random. What define their greatness is the number of shots they make year after year. The shooting percentage can vary a lot, sometimes quite wildly, but the number of shots remain relatively constant.

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06-15-2011, 08:24 AM
  #97
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We are a Jagr away from a Cup!!!

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06-15-2011, 08:28 AM
  #98
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We are a Jagr away from a Cup!!!
Or a Ryder.... Lol

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06-15-2011, 08:50 AM
  #99
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So now hockey is a linear formula and a system of random physical interactions like a pinball machine.

If left to the properties of these laws given time Gomez will eventually become Ovechkin and vice versa.

Skill is involved at every touchpoint between the players themselves and the puck . It can't be broken down to show that certain things are controllable and certain things are always and only subject to luck, chance, or laws of probability.

Too much academia here shielding a reality that has been articulated by Lafleur's Guy. The team needs to find more productive player combinations at forward, as I like to say they need an upgrade at the Gomez position.

Interesting discussion though.

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06-15-2011, 09:22 AM
  #100
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This season is already in the books. Conjecturing backwards is no more than a parlor game. The Habs have to start all over in October and the games they won in the regular season and the playoffs against the Bruins won't count in the standings. How will they be improved? Mostly by the availability of their injured regulars. They don't have a future Béliveau in their system or a very high draft pick in 2011. A Cup in 2012 isn't visible in my crystal ball.

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