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Old
08-03-2011, 10:07 PM
  #26
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Originally Posted by Habsterix View Post
I don't think that it's the case at all. The Habs simply lack on top end talent, which makes every line very similar. They're more balanced, but I wouldn't call them "Top 9", at least not on many other teams... when your top points getter has less than 60 points anyway.
I get what you're saying. It's a team of mostly 2nd liners but not very many true 1st liners. But it's still a top 9. It's hard to have a top 9 with a legit first line of 2-3 1st line caliber players then having a bunch of 2nd liners on your 2nd and 3rd line. As we've seen with other teams it's attainable but only for short periods usually and teams run into cap issues as a result or lack in other areas like goaltending or defense.

I think we're doing a fine job with this balanced crew. It would be nice to have a 100pt 1st line C or something but I don't think it's the end of the world.

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Originally Posted by RoyBoyCoy View Post
AKost has been getting the **** end of the stick way too often for my liking. However, I'd rather him have some stability with a centre he's proven to perform with (Eller), rather than have his confidence boosted playing with Pleks and Cammy, only to have Jacques Martin award him by sticking him with Gomez to "get him going." If the ATM line was kept together for the whole season they would have been a very very formidable threat and Kostitsyn's numbers would better reflect his abilities.
Exactly. I don't see him getting moved to the 4th line after being a fixture on the 3rd

The stability will help.

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08-03-2011, 10:50 PM
  #27
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Fun read and hope AK finds the back of the net. Will we lose him during or after the season? I say yes at 75%

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08-03-2011, 11:29 PM
  #28
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I've been saying this for quite a while now but without the ~15 games AK played with Gomez last season, he would have got a pretty decent season. He has a PPG rate of around 0.70 when he played with either Plek or Eller so that would have give him a 55 pts season which is exactly what we are expecting from him.

He also improved his defensive game a lot.. so much that Martin even use him (when he was playing well) to close games from time to time.. I think he is one of our leaders in empty net goals.

I remember really well he was our leader in +/- with +12 after 50 games or so until JM decides to put him back with Gomez... to see him dropping from +12 to +4 with -8 in 6 games. Martin kept Gomez and AK together for 8 games, where AK got 0g, 0a and -8. AK was then demoted to the third line with Eller and Moen and went on a hot streak with 9 points in 7 games with limited icetime.

So, even if he's really gonna start the season on the third line with Eller, I'm still really excited to see what that line can do and I hope JM uses DD instead of Moen on the other wing.

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08-03-2011, 11:32 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by neofury View Post
I get what you're saying. It's a team of mostly 2nd liners but not very many true 1st liners. But it's still a top 9. It's hard to have a top 9 with a legit first line of 2-3 1st line caliber players then having a bunch of 2nd liners on your 2nd and 3rd line. As we've seen with other teams it's attainable but only for short periods usually and teams run into cap issues as a result or lack in other areas like goaltending or defense..
It's more than a top-6 of 2nd liner. It's a top-6 of 2nd liners with, in some case, excellent defensive capability. Able to play disciplined and intelligent, in most case. Also, we have a few interesting penalty-drawers and a killer powerplay. It ain't that bad.

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08-04-2011, 12:00 AM
  #30
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Its been said and I'll say it again. We're not talking about a top 6 anymore... it's a top 9. We got that much depth on O for the first time since 86.
86? I think we had even better depth back in 1993 :

Top 9 - 1986

Mats Naslund
Bobby Smith
Kjell Dahlin
Stéphane Richer
Guy Carbonneau
Bob Gainey
Mario Tremblay
Ryan Walter
Mike McPhee
+ rookie Claude Lemieux

Top 9 1989

Mats Naslund
Bobby Smith
Stéphane Richer
Guy Carbonneau
Claude Lemieux
Shayne Corson
Mike McPhee
Russ Courtnall
Brian Skrudland/Mike Keane

Top 9 1993

Vincent Damphousse
Kirk Muller
Brian Bellows
Stéphan Lebeau
John Leclair
Denis Savard
Gilbert Dionne
Mike Keane
Gary Leeman/Paul Dipietro

1996 was very great too, but it's was the beginning of the downfall after that :

Top 9 1996

Pierre Turgeon
Vincent Damphousse
Mark Recchi
Saku Koivu
Martin Rucinsky
Valeri Bure
Brian Savage
Andrei Kovalenko
Benoît Brunet

How does this compare to today?

Top 9 2011-12

Tomas Plekanec
Mike Cammalleri
Brian Gionta
Scott Gomez
Andrei Kostitsyn
Erik Cole
Max Pacioretty
David Desharnais
Lars Eller

I say it might be the best top 9 since 1996! We have the depth, but not the high end talent and scoring punch that Turgeon-Damphousse-Recchi could bring.

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08-04-2011, 07:32 AM
  #31
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Ok. Then, compared to '96, how is our defense/goaltending/coaching? Are our PMD marginally better?

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08-04-2011, 07:55 AM
  #32
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Coaching is definitely better now. Tremblay, for as much as he's grown as an assistant coach, was too green and raw to be a head coach.

Goaltending was actually okay with Thibault (despite much criticism), but he was never at Price's level.

Defense consisted of Malakhov, Brisebois, Odelein, Quintal, Popovic, and a rotating #6 (Rivet emerging at this time). On the whole, it was big, but not very good. Odelein was definitely serviceable, but neither Malakhov nor Brisebois had the capacity to run the blueline. Both were probably best suited as #3s in their prime. Quintal was serviceable in a top-4 role, but nothing more. So all four (minus Popovic) were deserving of top-4 minutes, but none would 'make' the blueline good.

The defense now, assuming Markov's healthy, is better.


....

On a different note: doesn't anyone think the 2008-09 top-9 was better than today's?

Kovalev
Koivu
Plekanec
Lang
A. Kostitsyn
S. Kostitsyn
Tanguay
Higgins
Latendresse

The C depth of Plekanec-Koivu-Lang definitely beats today's. The winger depth is superior, and top-end talent comparable. Of course, there's much distaste for Tanguay and Kovalev these days here, but they're good talents and were strong.

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08-04-2011, 08:09 AM
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Habsterix View Post
I don't think that it's the case at all. The Habs simply lack on top end talent, which makes every line very similar. They're more balanced, but I wouldn't call them "Top 9", at least not on many other teams... when your top points getter has less than 60 points anyway.
It's still a strong top 9. Having good depth at the forward group makes up for the lack of elite talent. Look at Boston, they didn't have anyone Elite in their top 9, but it worked because it provided a balanced attack night in and night out making matchups a nightmare. Montreal has 7 players in their top 9 capable of putting up 50 or more points, very few teams had this type of depth in their lineups and the ones that did were among the better teams in the league.

Not to mention that Canadiens also will have significant offense from their back-end(Markov and Subban) for an entire year, playing on two different even-strength pairings will also be of significant help.

Right now it's quite clear that on paper, the Canadiens have a pretty strong top 9. It's not Philli 10-11 strong, but it's still better than a good portion of the league.

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Old
08-04-2011, 08:46 AM
  #34
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I'm still mad at the Sergei trade.

We would have a perfect third line with ultra chemistry with Kostitsyn Eller Kostitsyn

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08-04-2011, 08:53 AM
  #35
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Originally Posted by Koseegin View Post
It's still a strong top 9. Having good depth at the forward group makes up for the lack of elite talent. Look at Boston, they didn't have anyone Elite in their top 9, but it worked because it provided a balanced attack night in and night out making matchups a nightmare. Montreal has 7 players in their top 9 capable of putting up 50 or more points, very few teams had this type of depth in their lineups and the ones that did were among the better teams in the league.

Not to mention that Canadiens also will have significant offense from their back-end(Markov and Subban) for an entire year, playing on two different even-strength pairings will also be of significant help.

Right now it's quite clear that on paper, the Canadiens have a pretty strong top 9. It's not Philli 10-11 strong, but it's still better than a good portion of the league.
If they buy into a defense first team play system they are comparable to Boston. The Habs don't have Charasaurus but the Bs dont have PK and Markov. It will of course depend on how well the young players do. Hasnt Philly taken a hit with trades and age?

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08-04-2011, 08:57 AM
  #36
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Originally Posted by Mike8 View Post
Coaching is definitely better now. Tremblay, for as much as he's grown as an assistant coach, was too green and raw to be a head coach.

Goaltending was actually okay with Thibault (despite much criticism), but he was never at Price's level.

Defense consisted of Malakhov, Brisebois, Odelein, Quintal, Popovic, and a rotating #6 (Rivet emerging at this time). On the whole, it was big, but not very good. Odelein was definitely serviceable, but neither Malakhov nor Brisebois had the capacity to run the blueline. Both were probably best suited as #3s in their prime. Quintal was serviceable in a top-4 role, but nothing more. So all four (minus Popovic) were deserving of top-4 minutes, but none would 'make' the blueline good.

The defense now, assuming Markov's healthy, is better.


....

On a different note: doesn't anyone think the 2008-09 top-9 was better than today's?

Kovalev
Koivu
Plekanec
Lang
A. Kostitsyn
S. Kostitsyn
Tanguay
Higgins
Latendresse

The C depth of Plekanec-Koivu-Lang definitely beats today's. The winger depth is superior, and top-end talent comparable. Of course, there's much distaste for Tanguay and Kovalev these days here, but they're good talents and were strong.
Well it's kind of an unfair comparison. We have a total question mark as the 3rd line C in Eller but he could turn out to be better than Lang as early as this year.

Then we have Gomez who has put up better numbers than Koivu over the years. If he bounces back he'll at least bring more points to the table than Saku. No denying the heart/dedication part goes to Saku

But with Plekanec he's a better player now than he was then and many of the players you listed outside of centers were pretty green at the time. SK? Higgins? Lats? None of these guys performed the best for us. They each had their moments though. I think Cole, Current Andrei, Cammalleri, Gionta, etc >>>>> our winger depth before.

So I kind of disagree actually. I like this top 9 more overall but I think I prefer the C depth from the year you linked. That having been said though if Eller/Gomez have good seasons it's really a wash anyways. The only difference being that Koivu is a heart and soul kind of guy.

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08-04-2011, 09:32 AM
  #37
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Eller has a lot more miles to do before you put him on Lang's level. Lang had good vision and could put the puck in the net. Lang was also accomplish at the Olympic level and part of the team that won gold and bronzed twice.

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08-04-2011, 10:14 AM
  #38
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Originally Posted by Habsterix View Post
I don't think that it's the case at all. The Habs simply lack on top end talent, which makes every line very similar. They're more balanced, but I wouldn't call them "Top 9", at least not on many other teams... when your top points getter has less than 60 points anyway.
We are not in the 80's anymore. 60 pts is the 48th scorer in the league last year and 70 pts is the 24th scorer.

We have a bunch of top 9 talent, just no clear cut top line talent that will be top 10 scorer, but we have plenty of top 9.

Many teams would take our top 9 happily. AK who will on our 3rd line would make all other 29 teams 3rd line easily.

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08-04-2011, 01:07 PM
  #39
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Originally Posted by PricePkPatch View Post
It's more than a top-6 of 2nd liner. It's a top-6 of 2nd liners with, in some case, excellent defensive capability. Able to play disciplined and intelligent, in most case. Also, we have a few interesting penalty-drawers and a killer powerplay. It ain't that bad.
Oh believe me when I say this I wasn't at all trying to make it out to be bad. I was in fact defending it. And I actually agree with your response. But it is true what he's saying also, we don't have really any definite 1st line player unless Cammy can put up 80+ again and Plekanec 70+. I think it's possible but even then when you look at teams where the #1C is 90-100 points it's a crazy comparison. Obviously few teams have that but Plek putting up sub 70 to me is more of a 2nd line two-way center. If he puts up 70 I'd say he's right at the line where you become a true 1st liner.

That having been said though our 3rd line will be made up of 2nd line material. How can you go wrong? I'd rather have 3 2nd lines(with one having the potential to be a 1st) than one 1st line(guaranteed) and two 2.5-3rd type lines.

I think the balanced 3 scoring lines that teams like Boston and Philly use are the future of the sport. Philly didn't win the cup but had they addressed their goaltending need sooner rather than pretending it didn't exist they would have won the cup imo.

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08-04-2011, 01:13 PM
  #40
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Originally Posted by otto bond View Post
Eller has a lot more miles to do before you put him on Lang's level. Lang had good vision and could put the puck in the net. Lang was also accomplish at the Olympic level and part of the team that won gold and bronzed twice.
I never "put him at Lang's level". I said he could potentially be as good as soon as this year. Meaning by the end of the year he could already be playing better than Lang did then. I'm not trying to say he will be or that he's better than Lang in his prime. Just saying he has the potential to go far and if he does improve/develop greatly by years end he could be as good if not better.

For me Eller has a high ceiling, he could be another Plekanec for us with more size and different strengths. I still can't get over that one game where it basically took the entire bruins line to strip him of the puck Don't get me wrong I wanted us to keep Lang, but there's no doubt in my mind Eller could be better as soon as this year. He could also flop entirely. Time will tell.

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08-04-2011, 01:29 PM
  #41
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Originally Posted by Mike8 View Post
Coaching is definitely better now. Tremblay, for as much as he's grown as an assistant coach, was too green and raw to be a head coach.

Goaltending was actually okay with Thibault (despite much criticism), but he was never at Price's level.

Defense consisted of Malakhov, Brisebois, Odelein, Quintal, Popovic, and a rotating #6 (Rivet emerging at this time). On the whole, it was big, but not very good. Odelein was definitely serviceable, but neither Malakhov nor Brisebois had the capacity to run the blueline. Both were probably best suited as #3s in their prime. Quintal was serviceable in a top-4 role, but nothing more. So all four (minus Popovic) were deserving of top-4 minutes, but none would 'make' the blueline good.

The defense now, assuming Markov's healthy, is better.


....

On a different note: doesn't anyone think the 2008-09 top-9 was better than today's?

Kovalev
Koivu
Plekanec
Lang
A. Kostitsyn
S. Kostitsyn
Tanguay
Higgins
Latendresse

The C depth of Plekanec-Koivu-Lang definitely beats today's. The winger depth is superior, and top-end talent comparable. Of course, there's much distaste for Tanguay and Kovalev these days here, but they're good talents and were strong.
thats the softest top 9 i ve ever seen! i think our top 9 today is much more balancedthan 08- 09.

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08-04-2011, 01:43 PM
  #42
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Originally Posted by Mike8 View Post
On a different note: doesn't anyone think the 2008-09 top-9 was better than today's?

Kovalev
Koivu
Plekanec
Lang
A. Kostitsyn
S. Kostitsyn
Tanguay
Higgins
Latendresse

The C depth of Plekanec-Koivu-Lang definitely beats today's. The winger depth is superior, and top-end talent comparable. Of course, there's much distaste for Tanguay and Kovalev these days here, but they're good talents and were strong.
No, that was superior, and a big reason we finished top 2 in scoring the season prior. That being said, I think our current top 9 is more suited for the style of play we are playing now, and can be just as effective in different roles.

I like the puck carrying ability of Pleks, Gomez and Eller in a transition type offense. I also like having three powerful wingers in Cole, Kostitsyn and Pacioretty to compliment them.

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08-04-2011, 01:59 PM
  #43
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No, that was superior, and a big reason we finished top 2 in scoring the season prior. That being said, I think our current top 9 is more suited for the style of play we are playing now, and can be just as effective in different roles.

I like the puck carrying ability of Pleks, Gomez and Eller in a transition type offense. I also like having three powerful wingers in Cole, Kostitsyn and Pacioretty to compliment them.
And skilled wingers in Gionta, Camellari and Desharnais..

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08-04-2011, 02:03 PM
  #44
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Exactly ^^

I like our current top 9 a lot more like I said power forwards in our system make all the difference.


Last edited by neofury*: 08-04-2011 at 02:09 PM.
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08-04-2011, 02:38 PM
  #45
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Exactly ^^

I like our current top 9 a lot more like I said power forwards in our system make all the difference.
Just like it took us so long to cobble together four puck movers on the blueline, we finally have, potentially, some balance up front without dropping off in skill. A LOT is riding on Gomez though, which I do not like. But as another poster here said, he had a strong second half and was good in the playoffs. So, he'll probably be fine. Especially now that he has some size and grit to help him in the corners (either Patches or Cole).

Hopefully we can pick up another scorer at the deadline.

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08-04-2011, 02:40 PM
  #46
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thats the softest top 9 i ve ever seen! i think our top 9 today is much more balancedthan 08- 09.
In that case, don't we owe Carbo an apology?

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08-04-2011, 02:41 PM
  #47
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I don't understand it , Andrei demonstrated this year that even when playing with Gomez for 30 + games , he still finished 4th in points and 3rd in goals. He's improved tremendously defensively (trust me I noticed him) , all while being ranked 1st in hits and being shifted between 1st and 4th lines all season.

How about we look at the facts Andrei had his best season in 2007-2008 when he consistently played on a line with teammates that mesh with his style , not when he was dropped down to a defensive/3rd tier scoring line. As for all you statistic Junkies , Kostitsyn's 45 points last year were good for 118th in scoring , lets do the math here so 30 teams x 3 1st line players = top 90 right? So this means and wait for it... Statistically speaking Andrei is 28th among 2nd line players! I just don't get why so many people are ready to put him on the 3rd line due to a few good games with Eller. If anything their chemistry showed that Eller needs more ice time and Gomez needs less ice time.

I'm just befuddled by all the lack of hockey knowledge sometimes rampant around these boards it's almost like "do these people actually watch hockey?" or do they simply regurgitate what they hear and see on TV/internet. I don't know in which world you live in but in mine consistent 20-25 goal scorers do not belong on the 3rd line of an offensively anemic team.

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08-04-2011, 02:44 PM
  #48
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And skilled wingers in Gionta, Camellari and Desharnais..
LOL Andrei hate much?


No skill there , then again I'm sure it's easier to deke out ECHL/AHL kids then NHL.



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08-04-2011, 02:48 PM
  #49
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LOL Andrei hate much?


No skill there , then again I'm sure it's easier to deke out ECHL/AHL kids then NHL.


My only problem with him was that it seemed like he lost almost every single offensive zone puck battle. Probably not because of strength, but because his agility is poor and maybe his anticipation skills are too? Just seems like he doesn't compete for loose pucks. And that's unacceptable in the playoffs. But this discussion hijacks.

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08-04-2011, 02:52 PM
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Plus, AK has already been put in the power forward category, it's not like I was going to mention him a 2nd time. Chill dude.

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