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2011-12 most complete Habs team in 5 years?

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07-24-2011, 08:46 AM
  #1
macavoy
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2011-12 most complete Habs team in 5 years?

I'm looking forward to this season immensely, more so than the past few years. I don't think we are a top 3 contender but I think we have what it takes to be making a lot of noise.

I feel like we finally have a legit top 6. We've had holes in our top 6 for a long time. We've even got AK who is on the outside looking in right now but is a legit top 6 imo. So when someone inevitably gets injured, we'll still have 6 top 6 forwards.

Hopefully Eller can step up his game this year. We need to decide shortly if he can be a 2nd line centre. I think one of our biggest problems is a lack of a 3rd line shut down centre. We are using that spot right now to let Eller develop and its adding strain on Pleks. I really hate paying $5m to have a guy used in a shut down role. Vancouver did it right when they got Maholtra for the 3rd line so Kessler could play an offensive role. Then when injuries occurred, they still had Kessler in the mix. We need to do the same.

I think we've got a good enough defence to make noise this year. We are a lot younger which is good. Ideally, I'd like a little more depth in case of injuries but I'm liking this core better than what we started last year with. Going into last year, while we were all super high on PK, there were doubts if he could ride the wave all year long and he's proven he can. So Markov + PK is a solid top 2 dman. Then having Gill and Gorges as your shut down guys with Markov and PK who also have excellent shut down capabilities. Then we've got Yemelin who can add some toughness and grit on the back end. Hopefully Weber continues to progress in his development.

And last but not least, we just seen a career year from Carey Price. I expect him to be in the same ballpark as last year but I don't think he'll have to steal as many games for us, so I don't have a problem if his stats dip ever so slightly. I'm just hoping that PG and staff are right about gambling on a backup again this year and going off the board with Peter Budaj. Maybe without the pressure of being a #1 and being a pure backup, he'll shine.

All in all, I like what this team can do come playoff time. We've seen Cammy turn into a beast in the playoffs. I'm really hoping my hope for next season doesn't end prematurely like it did this past January when Gorges went down.

I'm hoping for huge years from MaxPac and Yemelin but in the end all that matters is how they do as a team.

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07-24-2011, 08:53 AM
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DAChampion
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Do most people expect Subban to be on the first pairing with Markov on ES and the PP?

Overall I agree with you Macavoy. With one caveat that I think is solved. A lot of people would have written the post you just wrote in August 2008. The 1st place EC team and 2nd round playoff team had just added Robert Lang (size down the middle), Alex Tanguay (1st line winger to complement Koivu) and George Laraque (an enforcer, finally). SK74, Higgins, O'Byrne, Latendresse, Price, Plekanec, AK46, etc were young and only going to get better.

I've thought about it, and while it worries me, I don't think the analogy applies. The other big difference is Jacques Martin. He's a better coach than Carbonneau was. He's experienced. He'll give the most ice time to the top-6 and not to the bottom-6. He won't put Gorges on the 1st line, and he won't have the 4th line and 3rd pairing D out against the other team's top players.

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07-24-2011, 08:54 AM
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Andy
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You're such a Pacifist homer! We'll struggle to win games without an enforcer!

All mocking aside. I agree with most of your post. I think if Gauthier can somehow replace Hamrlik's role(depth D man who can eat 20-24 responsible minutes in case of injury) that this team can turn heads.

I agree with your point about a shutdown center. You never, maybe Eller becomes that shutdown center while providing offense ala Jordan Staal(hoping he could do that), it would lessen the strain on Plekanec!

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07-24-2011, 08:58 AM
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i would say so, offensively thats for sure, and in goal also...

we have the luxury to have ak as a replacement to any injury or poor performance from anyone in the top 6, we have darche and moen on the 4th line who could easily play on the 3rd line with the same circumstances written above on the 3rd line...

on goal, we have carey...enough said, plus a former starter who can help carey save some energy for the end of the season

however, our defense isnt quite better than what we already had, if we would have signed hamrlik or a replacement than yes, we just have to see how yemelin and diaz react to the nhl game, but i am confident that our new defense corps is just a lateral move at worst, with the potential to be great with pk getting betterm the return of the general, gorges and yemelin's mean streak and talents

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07-24-2011, 09:02 AM
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Yeah I love where this team is going right now. I think our defense is underrated and our offense has the potential to be hard to slow down and of course there's no denying that Price has the ability to steal games all year. It's going to be an interesting year for sure and the best part is we don't really have to worry about losing our core anytime soon as we have the cap space next year to accommodate Subban and Price's new salaries.

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07-24-2011, 09:11 AM
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patsbury
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I like this year lineup but,
http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/l...000452008.html
This will not happen this year (1st in East)

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07-24-2011, 09:14 AM
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I would tend to agree if Hamrliks minutes get replaced. If not, we may have taken a step back.

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07-24-2011, 09:19 AM
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macavoy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patsbury View Post
I like this year lineup but,
http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/l...000452008.html
This will not happen this year (1st in East)
That 2008 team was fractured. Saku was a warrior and if Gomez had half of his heart, we'd be amazing. But the reality is Saku and Kovalev didn't really get along, its not that they fought, they just kind of both did their own thing and let the other guy be.

Yea Gomez sucks but he's a great leader off the ice and for the first time since Roy left, I feel like we've got a team that buys into the team concept and support each other and buy into the system. Yea they did last year as well. Gomez and Gill were integral to setting up the dynamics of this team, Price bought into it 2 years ago when he was riding the pine and it worked good for him. Dashernais same thing, Gomez was there to help him make the transition.

I don't expect us to finish 1st, that year was the stars aligning in the regular season. Martin > Carbo but more importantly, I like the team chemistry and comraderie that this team has. PK and Price are best friends but you've seen PK and Cammy working out in the off season. Even Markov was working out with I forget who a few weeks ago, two guys that I didn't think were the same personality type, but they were in their together.

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07-24-2011, 09:21 AM
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I'm very confident about this year.

I wasn't happy with the major overhaul 2 offseasons ago, I thought it was too drastic, but I think this year we've got a lot of pieces and we have the potential to be a strong team, the problem is that a lot of teams have gotten better, so we'll have to wait and see until the season comes around.

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07-24-2011, 09:24 AM
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macavoy
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Originally Posted by habsjunkie2 View Post
I would tend to agree if Hamrliks minutes get replaced. If not, we may have taken a step back.
You don't think Markov can eat those minutes?

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07-24-2011, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by macavoy View Post

I feel like we finally have a legit top 6. We've had holes in our top 6 for a long time.
I disagree. We still have a hole in the top 6. Even if Gomez rebounds to a 50-55 point season, he is a terrible complement to Pleks. I think that Gomez will get his 50-55 points but not because of any improvement in his game but because Patches & Gionta will carry him.

When you have Gomez in your top six, you can't declare that we have a legit group of top 6 players. Well, you can declare it but not with a straight face.

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07-24-2011, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macavoy View Post
You don't think Markov can eat those minutes?
I think it's moreso the fact that Gill is spotted to be in our top 4 on most projections. Having Markov, PK, and Gorges in our top 4 is fine. However there is a huge question mark as to whether or not Gill can play 20+ minutes a night for 82 games plus playoffs. Will Diaz, Yemelin or Weber be able to play 20+ minutes? No one really knows for sure. We all hope so however at this point in time no one can say for sure.

And that's also assuming health isn't in question. Hamrlik for the past two years stepped up when Markov went down.

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07-24-2011, 09:38 AM
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I do believe it will be. We have a great blend of veterans and youngsters on the roster. 3 solid attacking lines, a really good 4th line. Defense will be the question IMO with Gorges and Markov coming back from season ending injuries and we need them to play a complete season injury free.

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07-24-2011, 09:56 AM
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I'll tell you after I see Diaz and (Y?)Emelin at training camp. Seriously though, I really hope those two are as good as I've been reading around here because if not we've got some glaring holes on the defensive end.

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07-24-2011, 10:17 AM
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The way I look at it, this team the Habs will ice is full of question marks.

Cammalleri - Can he post up 30 goals this year?
Plekanec - How will he work with Cole?
Cole - Can he add the same offensive punch with Plekanec, like he did with Staal?
Gomez - Well, what can we expect?
Pacioretty - How will he look after the injury he suffered?
Kostitsyn - Which one will we see more over the course of the season?
Desharnais - Can we hope to see the same thing, or was it adrenaline?
Eller - Can he fight for the #2 spot? How is his shoulder?
Moen/White - Will these two work together? If so, how well?
Darche - Will he be able to help the team, with the possibility of playing only in the bottom 6?

Markov - (knock on wood) Will he be able to stay healthy?
Gorges - Will the knee injury affect his game?
Subban - Can he keep up his pace of swag and disrespect?
Spacek - Will he be able to be a leader to some of the new guys, in the bottom pairings?
Gill - Does he still have enough gas left in the tank?
Yemelin - What can we expect from him? Stud or dud?
Weber - Can he finally prove to Martin that he is a capable defenseman?

Price - Will he continue his dominance, or will he fall back down to earth?
Budaj - Will he see more games than Auld? Will he do any better than Auld?

Obviously, it's just as easy to assume an answer as it is asking a question, but the only real way to find out is to watch the team's performance over the year. To me, there are just way too many question marks to be able to predict how this team will do. I hope that they perform like the most complete Habs team in 5 years.

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07-24-2011, 10:17 AM
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It's looking good upfront but I'm not sold on the D.
Yemelin has hold out for so long, he better be has good as advertised, but even if he is, he'll need time to adjust.
Markov and Gorges are coming off major surgery and for Markov, it's twice so not sure what kind of mobility of durability you will get there.
Gill is older but I'm not to worried about him. He is gonna be paired with PK and together, they will be fine.
Spacek is falling apart right before our eyes and I see nothing more then possible depth from him.
Weber is a wild card but as wild has it is, I still doubt he's strong enough to handle big forward, but honestly if paired up with the right partner he could fair well.
Diaz is new on the scene and I don't expect much better then Weber...could surprised here but doubt it.
All and all, we need more experienced in the shutdown role.I would like to get this via trade if possible.

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07-24-2011, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by onice View Post
I disagree. We still have a hole in the top 6. Even if Gomez rebounds to a 50-55 point season, he is a terrible complement to Pleks. I think that Gomez will get his 50-55 points but not because of any improvement in his game but because Patches & Gionta will carry him.

When you have Gomez in your top six, you can't declare that we have a legit group of top 6 players. Well, you can declare it but not with a straight face.
Hard to argue that IMO

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07-24-2011, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Jigger77 View Post
I'll tell you after I see Diaz and (Y?)Emelin at training camp. Seriously though, I really hope those two are as good as I've been reading around here because if not we've got some glaring holes on the defensive end.
Not sure Diaz makes the team out of training camp. He'd have to surpass Weber by quite a bit. Emelin is the one with the high expectations. Still can't believe he finally decided to come over.

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07-24-2011, 10:25 AM
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Crimson Skorpion
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onice View Post
I disagree. We still have a hole in the top 6. Even if Gomez rebounds to a 50-55 point season, he is a terrible complement to Pleks. I think that Gomez will get his 50-55 points but not because of any improvement in his game but because Patches & Gionta will carry him.

When you have Gomez in your top six, you can't declare that we have a legit group of top 6 players. Well, you can declare it but not with a straight face.
Fair enough to say this. I also think he'll add some offense to the PP, if Markov can stay healthy and play the point when Gomez is out there.

But then again, it falls back into your statement of a player carrying him.

Alone, Gomez can't do it. When he has capable linemates to pass to, he'll see more stats on the sheet in his name. However, that doesn't take away all his cred. I doubt even Crosby, a guy that makes teammates appear much better than they really are, could put up as much offensive with Darche and Moen on his wing, than he could with Pacioretty and Gionta.

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07-24-2011, 10:31 AM
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We need to be positive, I really like the outlook of the team heading into the year but wouldn't complain if we added a shutdown defenseman to add to our defensive depth. The offense is a deep as I have seen it in a long time with 3 capable scoring lines. I think the supposed line of AK-Eller-Desharnais is going to be a HUGE line for is this year and produce majorily. I see them all coming together and agreeing that they all need to prove their capabilities as they all have very high ceilings. I don't think it's out of the question to see AK put up 20+, Eller 15-20 and Desharnais anywhere between 10-20. I'm really excited for the coming season, especially to see the line I mentioned above play great hockey together.

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07-24-2011, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Jigger77 View Post
I'll tell you after I see Diaz and (Y?)Emelin at training camp. Seriously though, I really hope those two are as good as I've been reading around here because if not we've got some glaring holes on the defensive end.
Yeah definitely. If Emelin can play well defensively and add a bit of physicality I'll be happy. The offensive game in his case can wait I just hope for him to be a responsible D.

Even with Subban, Markov, Gorges, we need some more responsible D. Gill can be a pylon at times, Markov might get injured, Weber, Diaz, Emelin are young and Spacek is a wild card like always He can be a solid D when he's at peak conditioning and health.

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07-24-2011, 10:31 AM
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I think we need to add a solid top 3 two way dman to replace Hamr's minutes.

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07-24-2011, 10:33 AM
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macavoy
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Originally Posted by onice View Post
I disagree. We still have a hole in the top 6. Even if Gomez rebounds to a 50-55 point season, he is a terrible complement to Pleks. I think that Gomez will get his 50-55 points but not because of any improvement in his game but because Patches & Gionta will carry him.

When you have Gomez in your top six, you can't declare that we have a legit group of top 6 players. Well, you can declare it but not with a straight face.
You have a point there. But even at 38 points, Gomez was in the top 60 centres (just barely lol)

He was 60th. If he rebounds to 50-55 points, he will be in the range for top 5 second line centres. If he only gets up to 45 points, that is still a middle of the road 2nd line centre.

You have to keep in mind, 2nd line centres are guys like Koivu with 45 points, Tim Connolly with 42 points, David Legwand with 41 points, Eric Belanger, Nik Antropov.

2nd liners are often over rated and people don't realize how inconsistent 2nd liners actually are in the NHL.

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07-24-2011, 10:33 AM
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Not sure Diaz makes the team out of training camp. He'd have to surpass Weber by quite a bit. Emelin is the one with the high expectations. Still can't believe he finally decided to come over.
I think Diaz is our 8th defenceman and after that, it's Nash.

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07-24-2011, 10:37 AM
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Max Levine
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Originally Posted by onice View Post
I disagree. We still have a hole in the top 6. Even if Gomez rebounds to a 50-55 point season, he is a terrible complement to Pleks. I think that Gomez will get his 50-55 points but not because of any improvement in his game but because Patches & Gionta will carry him.

When you have Gomez in your top six, you can't declare that we have a legit group of top 6 players. Well, you can declare it but not with a straight face.
Gomez can't do worse than last season and Pacioretty-Gomez-Gionta could very well end up being our top line. We do have a legit group of top 6 but I'll admit that it is not one of the most productive in the league. In this system, it is certainly one of the best two-way top 6.

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