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2011-12 most complete Habs team in 5 years?

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Old
07-24-2011, 01:47 PM
  #51
DekeLikeYouMeanIt
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Yes it's close to a complete offense (and goaltending), but we are missing a PK/faceoff specialist (like someone like... oh yea Halpern!). And you could argue a hit-n-run player who can still play some defense on the 4th line like Rupp/Torres/even Rypien.

Defense needs a guy like Hannan. Shutdown #4 who can step up to #3 if need be. And you know he's still available. If we can work in a cheap 3-year deal, I'd be very happy.
So the year after we let go Spacek. If Yemelin pans out, we let go one of Gill/Hannan. If he agrees to a fat 1-year deal, then so be it.

We'd have for 2011/12:
Markov-Gorges
Hannan-Subban
Gill-Weber
Yemelin-Spacek

2012/13:
Markov-Gorges
Yemelin-Subban
Hannan-Weber
Gill

So yes I'm excited.

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Old
07-24-2011, 01:47 PM
  #52
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Originally Posted by BaseballCoach View Post
Right now, yes. Weber over Hamrlik, Blunden over Pyatt, Engqvist over Halpern, some bizarre decisions so far, unless PG plans to spend most of the his final $5M getting real upgrade players.
Pandering to the masses though, you think that's how Gauthier makes decisions? The man traded Halak after that playoff run.

I don't think it's Weber over Hamrlik and I do agree with you in how much the team will miss him, but Weber is much smaller to get to your original point. I think the D could use a little more for sure and if nothing changes going into training camp then I assume they are gambling with their new imports. I don't think they thought, well, let's get Yemelin, what's he like? They know all about him, they had to have done their research to get him over here. He's a risky wild-card at this point but is a young vets age taking a pay cut to come to North America. But I digress, I do agree about the loss of Hamr.

I think it's White over Pyatt too and Halpern was such a late signing that it's possible another one like that could be made.

There's just too much that can change before camp without the need to get ahead of ourselves as fans right now. Some of these discussions won't be necessary until Septemeber.

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07-24-2011, 01:58 PM
  #53
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I'm fairly optimistic because I think it's a safe bet to expect the following core players to contribute more this year, compared to last year:

Markov (for obvious reasons)
Gorges (for obvious reasons)
Gomez (he can't be as bad, can he?)
Cammalleri (not a good regular season last year by his standards)
Pacioretty (if he's healthy, he should be a force)
Eller (showed glimpses of something special in the playoffs)
Desharnais (I expect more responsibilities and good production)
Cole (will be a notable improvement over Pouliot)

If all those guys do better as I expect and others such as Gionta, Plekanec, Kostitsyn, Subban, Gill and Price keep the same level of play, this team will battle for the division title.

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07-24-2011, 02:00 PM
  #54
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Originally Posted by BaseballCoach View Post
Weber is in EVERY projected lineup for the Habs in 2011-12, signing a one-way contract.

Hamrlik is not in a single projected Habs lineup.

As for Engqvist, thanks for making my point, people value him for "size", which is actually "height" since he weighs no more than Crosby or Gomez. Of course he skates at half their speed, or Moore's for that matter.

The question is whether we have a more complete team than before. I compare our current roster (admittedly with cap room left) to the roster that won two rounds in the 2010 playoffs and I do not think we are more complete.

We already had Subban, we already had Markov (at least against Washington), we already had Darche, Eller is only a FUTURE HOPE to replace a solid NHL vet like Moore, and Weber can't hold Hamrlik's jockstrap.

Engqvist is so good and so promising that last year when we had injuries, Pyatt was moved to 4th line center and Engqvist was returned to the Bulldogs after 2 useless games "motoring" ....ok, sputtering....around doing nothing useful.

No, I did not forget Engqvist is tall, so no need to tell me again.
Weber is not replacing Hamrlik. The first replacement is Markov, and the second is probably Emelin. Weber might be on the third pairing.

Pacioretty can replace Pouliot by not being benched.

You're right Eller is a future hope. Name me the last good team that went far without help from overachieving youngsters. Boston had Brad Marchand for example. Pittsburgh had Staal. All Stanley Cup contenders have overachieving youngsters, welcome to the cap era.

Engvist had a hard time in his first NHL call up. So do most players.

But overall, I think your point is that if Markov goes down to injury, and none of our youth improve, that is if none of (Eller, Pacioretty, Desharnais, Emelin, Diaz, Weber) improve, and Gauthier makes no deadline pickups of the type we see every year, we won't make the conference finals. I agree with your point in that case.

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07-24-2011, 02:38 PM
  #55
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Originally Posted by BaseballCoach View Post
The question is whether we have a more complete team than before. I compare our current roster (admittedly with cap room left) to the roster that won two rounds in the 2010 playoffs and I do not think we are more complete.

We already had Subban, we already had Markov (at least against Washington), we already had Darche, Eller is only a FUTURE HOPE to replace a solid NHL vet like Moore, and Weber can't hold Hamrlik's jockstrap.
we had subban in the last two games against the caps where he played 10 minutes per game. he got more icetime when markov went down in game 1 vs. pens. not to mention that he had two games of nhl experience by that time.
subban in 11/12 is better player than subban in 2010 playoffs.

i think this habs edition is much stroger offensively than one that won two playoff rounds in 2010. cole and pacioretty are two powerforwards that we didn't have in 2010. sure we need some one like moore (right hander prefferably) but we still have more than enough space to fill that role.

if yemelin is able to fill hammers role, the habs will be a serious contender next year.

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07-24-2011, 03:54 PM
  #56
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Originally Posted by neumann103 View Post
Yes

Probably about as well as he worked with AK46 but Cole's superior net crashing play will likely yield a little more. Cole may also create extra space for Pleks leading to more Plekanec goals

Yes. Plekanec makes everyone look better playing. So does Staal or I would project more upside from Cole.

Can't be worse. I figure somewhere in the mid teems for goals and around 40 assists for about 55 points. Partially due to improvement, but mainly cashing in on Gionta and MaxPac's finish.

Lets see after spending time at camp with Cole.


Contract year Kostitsyn? Unless he gets shorted minutes and psychologically falls apart I expect a good season. Caveat is if he gets no time on the top two lines and Martin makes the mistake of not playing Eller and AK46 as much as he should.

He looked pretty real. I think repeatable but probably also closer to the potential upside limit than...

He earned the #2 spot already. He will have it by the beginning of 2012 season - sooner if JM gives up on Gomez (unlikely) or PG unloads Gomez at the trade deadline for a cap floor team looking ahead to the +$3M per year in Cap vs salary the last two years of Sather's madness provides. The shoulder thing seems oversold. He was one of the most vigourous MTL forwards in the final two games of the playoffs.

Don't know, not a big concern to me. I think the delta between the actual 4th liners and the likely Bulldog callups is not that big.

See above. I expect Darche to contribute more than Moen or White. I don't think Darche is going to have a lock on that pressbox seat and he has so much more versatitlity than those guys.


Yes. You have to say yes. You can't waver. Three years in a row? No, it can't be. Yes. Healthy. Yes. Keep repeating it until it is true.

We may not see as many end to end rushes...

He is a star. The sooner mere mortals realize it the better for them.

He will play his role and expect to be shopped at the deadline.

One more year. I think he wants to finish the PK project and see how good this D can be if everyone can stay healthy for 5 minutes.

He is the real deal. Here is hoping he doesn't get benched for no reason mid way through the season and flake out.

No, but I think he can prove that he makes more sense on the roster as 4th line/7th D/2nd unit PP than others. Related: see Darche, M


He will be a top 5 goalie again, the question is will he be top3?


A few more games. A bit better than Auld. He should play more but I think they want to ride Price, and Carey wants the workload. The real (knock on wood) value of Budaj is he is more capable of being a starter than Auld if (god forbid). Auld is basically a career backup. Budaj is a starter if he can fix his positioning and concentration
So in essence, you believe the entire roster will improve, not one player will struggle or regress. In that case, get the champagne out, plan the parade, the cup is ours.

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07-24-2011, 04:36 PM
  #57
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Originally Posted by habsjunkie2 View Post
So in essence, you believe the entire roster will improve, not one player will struggle or regress. In that case, get the champagne out, plan the parade, the cup is ours.
Where did he say that? it was a good post, saying Markov wont be injured every 7 games , that gomer can't do worse or to wait and see what Patches can do doesnt mean they'll all have ppg seasons.

Some players will struggle, some rookie will regress but someone can also overachieve. But it's highly probable that players, especially veterans, will continue pretty much on a similar pace.
The main question marks are the new young players we've added to the team because they have much more unknowns. The rest is all the things you can't control, like injuries.
I pretty much expect a similar season as last year if no major injuries or injuries to major player like Subban, Markov, Price or Pleky!

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07-24-2011, 05:00 PM
  #58
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Originally Posted by neumann103 View Post
We may not see as many end to end rushes...
That's it, I'm not watching the HABS this years

And btw, he has been playing with this injury for many years, so I don't see how it will be that much different, unless Dr. Nick Riviera did the job...

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07-24-2011, 06:11 PM
  #59
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Originally Posted by habsjunkie2 View Post
So in essence, you believe the entire roster will improve, not one player will struggle or regress. In that case, get the champagne out, plan the parade, the cup is ours.
Don't know if you wrote it before, didn't go through the whole thread, but who do you feel will either regress or have a similar season as last year?

Sure, Markov might get injured right from the start, but realistically, don't you think there's more chances of improvement as opposed to regression?

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07-24-2011, 06:14 PM
  #60
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Price, Subban, Gionta, Gill and Darche all had excellent seasons last year, and are such candidates for regression.

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07-24-2011, 06:48 PM
  #61
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I really like the team we have this year, and I look forward and share the enthousiasm ...

all I wish for is a solid dman. Most people here think markov will take hammer's workload. I have no problem with that, but we will have an OK defense. What made us one of the best defences in the conference was when we had them both at the same time. Hammer the shutdown D ... yeah but he still recorded 30-ish points on a consistent basis, on top of being a rock.

And people are quick to forget how good wiz was for us last year. Its fine and I always wanted to see Emelin here... its going to be a treat watching him. But objectively, its our best defensive dman and our best offensive dman that went away. Not that subban and markov aren't better than wiz ... but you can't take away what wiz did last year either... he was something we needed even before markov went down imho.

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07-24-2011, 07:01 PM
  #62
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Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
Price, Subban, Gionta, Gill and Darche all had excellent seasons last year, and are such candidates for regression.
Good point. Furthermore, to the original poster's question of whether this is the most complete team we have had in many years, another area of LESS completeness/depth is goaltending. We used to have TWO good young goalies, now only one.

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07-24-2011, 07:16 PM
  #63
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I'm still a proven D vet away from being comfortable with our current lineup. Just a 1.5-2M guy would be fine for me, he can sit on the bench and get traded come trade deadline if it comes to that.

Aside from that, I have high hope for what Paccioretty and Cole can bring to our overall offensive game.

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07-24-2011, 07:41 PM
  #64
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Yes but that's sort of a ludicrous statement. A lot of top 6 players are complementary players who produce based on good chemistry and/or line mates. To say a 55-60 point Gomez would still make us not a "real top 6" is absolutely ludicrous. The results are what is important and if we have a top 6 of all 50-60 point players, whether or not Gomez is one of them isn't relevant, it's a top 6 by default.

Plus people often forget Gomez has had 80+ point seasons and he's still only in his early 30s. He may have had a bad season but so did Plek and tons of people ate crow. Gomez sadly has proven more in his career than Plek has. It's sad how quickly people are willing to jump to the conclusion that if our 2nd line center gets 50-60pts we'll still not be a real top 6... even though 50-60 points is fine for a 2nd line center. Whether he's "carried" or not isn't relevant. I didn't see him getting "carried" this year, so if he manages to get carried this year and gets 50-60pts then he's a 2nd line center and we have a real top 6. There's no two ways about it, it's about the results not about your bias against Gomez. Need I remind you 55-60pts isn't true 1st line C numbers either and you're not saying it's because of Plekanec that we don't have a true top 6.

This is a team that performs by a committee of offense and two-way play. Solid defensive play and goaltending, it's a system team. Saying it isn't a true top 6 even with the top 6 performing to standard is pretty silly, especially to blame the 2nd line center if he's performing up to 2nd line center standard. Whether or not Pacioretty/Gionta carry him isn't really relevant. If it's so easy they'd hire you off the street to do it.

This isn't raiding in world of warcraft guys, it's the highest level of a professional sport
a signle team did it this season (SJ), after that the closest (with 5 forwards with 50+ pts) didnt make the PO...

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07-24-2011, 07:46 PM
  #65
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We lack a top 4 dman that could eat minutes and play a good reliable shutdown role. Perhaps one of Emelin, Weber or even Spacek (if he has a good year), ideally he would have been big and physical. Also, we need a good banger that can play hockey hit and fight in our bottom six to help Moen and White. We also need a good faceoff man (that could come from within with a guy like White or Eller that is improving).

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07-24-2011, 08:28 PM
  #66
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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.
Perhaps Gomez wouldnt suuck so much if had 2 talented players on the wings for a period of time. He was playing with Gionta and Elias in Jersey(correct me if Im wrong) and was less the straw that stirred the drink than a cog in a system. Maybe Pacs will mesh with Gomez as Pacs can make plays as well as crash the net and score, and can keep up with Gomez as Gomez gains the zone.

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a signle team did it this season (SJ), after that the closest (with 5 forwards with 50+ pts) didnt make the PO...
And Boston wasnt exactly burning it up down the middle.


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07-24-2011, 08:38 PM
  #67
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I don't think I said that. I was just responding to the questions. I think the team is somewhat improved over last year through the Cole deal which fills a very specific need and niche. The Habs played above expectations for a lot of 2010-2011 and having Markov and Gorges back after missing most of the season has to count for something. My expectations for the team are finishing around 6th, although maybe a stronger 6th and winning at least one playoff round. If luck goes there way and Price stands on his head, who knows? Things got a little tougher with improvements to teams like Buffalo Washington and the Rangers, and the slight fallback I expect for Tampa and Boston is not enough to make a big difference. Philly is the only contender team in the East i think has really slipped below the Habs vs last year.

If asked who had a better season, a worse one or about the same, though I would say the following (and indeed for some I implied this in my original response)

Better:
  • Plekanec (carrying less weight due to addition of Cole, progress of Eller)
  • Cammy (realizing the 30 goal potential)
  • Eller (my pick for biggest improvement)
  • Gomez (how could he not be better?)
  • Darche (steps up to fill gaps, more versatile than the other bottom liners)
  • Weber (more minutes in a utility role)
  • (Y)Emelin (NET NEW - possible breakout)
  • Gorges (Better than sitting out half a season, probably not too hindered by the knee rebuild)
  • Markov (better than missing 75 games but probably not up to 2009 level)
  • Subban (not a lot better, but just reasonable progress)

About the same:
  • Cole (NET NEW to Habs but about the same as in Carolina last year)
  • AK46 (although what I expect is similar PPG output in fewer minutes on the third line but perhaps stealing some PP minutes from...)
  • Gionta (benefits a bit from less Gomez suckitide but probably has less PP time with COle and AK46 in the picture)
  • Desharnais (As i said, I think we saw the real Desharnais last year, not a mirage, but that there probably is not much upside left, unlike Eller)
  • Price
  • Budaj (about the same as Auld)


Worse:
  • MaxPac (obviously not worse than having your head caved in by a cro-magnon, but I do not expect him to score at the PPG rate he was last year)
  • Gill (age, he probably won't be asked to shoulder the minutes)
  • Spacek
  • White
  • Moen

So I appear to have picked
  • 10 to improve (1 of whom is new to the team and the NHL and 2 of whom were injured practically the whole of last season)
  • 6 to stay about the same (including the franchise goalie, the star Free Agent signing and the team Captain)
  • 5 to regress including many fans fave prospects for scoring (Patches) and grit (White)

We could get into further Apples/Oranges comparison (eg the effect of missing Hamrlik and Halpern both of which I think are net negatives) but overall, as I said, a slight improvement plus a healthy Markov and Gorges makes a better team, but probably without dramatrically better results.
It easy to dismiss DD and MaxPac but both are capable of breakout seasons IMHO. Its possible that DD will become a PP wizard.

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07-24-2011, 08:38 PM
  #68
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I'm guessing they'll take the same approach with Diaz that they have with Weber, hopefully, Weber's developed nicely.

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07-24-2011, 10:07 PM
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The question of who can put in Hamrlik minutes is interesting but it neglects to consider the possibility that Hamrlik has finally reached an age at which he is no longer capable of playing Hamrlik minutes. I assume that Gauthier considered it in not offering him a 2-year contract. We don't know yet what (Y)Emelin is capable of doing, or for that matter Markov or Gorges after returning from season-ending injuries. Somehow the minutes will likely be accounted for by a combination of players.

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07-24-2011, 10:28 PM
  #70
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While I for one wanted Hamrlik back, the reality is that his and Wizniewski's mins are going to be taken by Gorges and Markov respectively - can we all agree they are capable?

That being said, I still hope they make a depth D signing as well as a depth center who is good on the dot

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07-24-2011, 10:53 PM
  #71
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I'm guessing they'll take the same approach with Diaz that they have with Weber, hopefully, Weber's developed nicely.
It is a different situation. Weber has been a work in progress since turning pro three years ago, getting some stints here and there until finally playing a half season this year. Diaz, on the other hand, is a finished product as far as his game is concerned. He will only need to adapt to NA game.

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07-24-2011, 11:06 PM
  #72
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Originally Posted by neumann103 View Post
The Habs played above expectations for a lot of 2010-2011 and having Markov and Gorges back after missing most of the season has to count for something. My expectations for the team are finishing around 6th, although maybe a stronger 6th and winning at least one playoff round.
Another very good post imo! I don't agree with everything but still well thought out.
I am apprehending a drop in Subban's effectiveness, especially on offense and hope he is still paired with Gill and concentrates on his defence if offence doesn't come as easy this year..
I also think Spacek will be more useful than most think, considering "most" has him as the 7th dman, I believe he can still handle top 4 minutes playing on the left side.

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Subban - Can he keep up his pace of swag and disrespect?
awesome !


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07-25-2011, 12:20 AM
  #73
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Originally Posted by BaseballCoach View Post
Good point. Furthermore, to the original poster's question of whether this is the most complete team we have had in many years, another area of LESS completeness/depth is goaltending. We used to have TWO good young goalies, now only one.
I appreciate your posting BBC, wether I agree with you or not, but this is just grasping at straws to discredit the depth of this team, which you are actively saying is lesser than '09-'10 team. You are right, but it's a pointless point and I feel like you just want to sound right. Teams with 2 great goalies are such a rarity and usually a coincidence, basically only one of them plays when it matters but I
shouldn't have to point that out to you.

I can assume you're missing the Habs dearly right now, me too.

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07-25-2011, 12:40 AM
  #74
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Quote:
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Yes


He will be a top 5 goalie again, the question is will he be top3?
My sentiments exactly, solid post btw.

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07-25-2011, 03:57 AM
  #75
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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.

Spacek playing on the left side is a good enough no.4

And I think he could play 18-20 minutes a night, he's not half as bad as people make him out to be.

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