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The Hockey News predicts Habs will finish 8th in East

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Old
09-01-2011, 08:46 AM
  #276
CGG
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Originally Posted by mix1home View Post
I agree that he will not score 50 points, which = that team will miss difference in Wiz production. Wiz was no liability on your D aside form pure production.

And I disagree that Markov will not miss a bit. I also disagree that limited speed will allow him be as effective. It will affect team speed, which Montreal relies on.
Markov doesn't skate end-to-end Bobby Orr style. The strength of his game is passing and hockey sense. He's not slow, but speed was never his chief attribute. He'll help the d-zone coverage immensely by doing something smart with the puck every time he touches it, and helping with the breakouts. He'll also rack up a ton of points on the PP - it's always near the top of the league with him in the lineup, you should expect 50 points easily from Markov.

If he's lost any speed at all, that won't affect his passing game, it won't affect his vision or his brain, and it won't affect his PP play, where he spends most of the time relaitvely stationary on the blue line with the occasional sneak-in play. None of that requires top notch speed to succeed.

And to state the obvious, The Wiz didn't get 50 points last year with Montreal. He got 30. Markov got 3. Add them together and Markov needs 33 points this year to match last year's production. He'll have that by the all-star break.

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09-01-2011, 09:30 AM
  #277
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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
Biggest question for TO is this: Is Reimer for real? If he is, they have an outside shot at the playoffs. I personally don't see them in but they could do it.

If Reimer isn't great though, I don't think they really have much of a chance. And if he gets hurt or sucks... forget about the playoffs. I don't think TO would want to give away players to get a short term replacement for him and I think they'd really be in trouble getting in.
I'm of the opinion Gustavsson will be very solid this upcoming season.

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09-01-2011, 09:59 AM
  #278
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Originally Posted by RogerRoeper View Post
I'm of the opinion Gustavsson will be very solid this upcoming season.
Sound like some of you guys are losing faith in Optimus Reim!

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Old
09-01-2011, 11:03 AM
  #279
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Originally Posted by RogerRoeper View Post
I'm of the opinion Gustavsson will be very solid this upcoming season.
That would be much more convincing if I hadn't heard it from a Leafs fan during every off-season since he came over from Sweden.

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09-01-2011, 11:15 AM
  #280
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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
Biggest question for TO is this: Is Reimer for real? If he is, they have an outside shot at the playoffs. I personally don't see them in but they could do it.

If Reimer isn't great though, I don't think they really have much of a chance. And if he gets hurt or sucks... forget about the playoffs. I don't think TO would want to give away players to get a short term replacement for him and I think they'd really be in trouble getting in.
Reimer will have a hard time living up to who he was last year in the 2nd half. He came in with no pressure or expectations last year and exceeded expectations...this year he's expected to be good every night with a back up that's been up and down in 2 NHL seasons. Goaltending could turn into a weakness for them pretty easily.

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Old
09-01-2011, 11:36 AM
  #281
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Originally Posted by Talks to Goalposts View Post
Yeah, 10th wasn't that much of a surprise with their talent level. The main areas they were lucky was they were disgustingly healthy all season and had Reimer's hot streak.
And their infamous best second line consisted of players who had career years...


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Originally Posted by Talks to Goalposts View Post
That would be much more convincing if I hadn't heard it from a Leafs fan during every off-season since he came over from Sweden.
That and "we are sooooo making the playoffs this year" for the last six years.

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09-01-2011, 12:38 PM
  #282
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And their infamous best second line consisted of players who had career years...
That I'll agree with, I doubt Grabrovski or MacArthur ever do better than they did last year. They're basically at the peak age for scoring forwards and it was obviously their best year on an individual basis. They played well enough though that I think similar if not quite as good levels of play is sustainable for them. Kulimen went on more of a shooting run but he's young enough that some further improvement is reasonable. Offensively and territorially I think they may have gotten something of a boost from playing so much from behind though.

Toronto's problem is that while that line can carry the play 5 on 5, no other part of their lineup can. Their forward group is built like a lesser version of those declining Ottawa teams with one good unit and nothing to back it up. Or Anahiem with very good instead of exceptional players at the top of the forward unit with Kessel taking Selanne's role.

EDIT:
Essentially, the Kulemin-Grabrovski-MacArthur line is functionally equivalent to the Pacioretty-Gomez-Gionta line. Dominates territoriality and a major source of positive shots and scoring chances differential but only plays against 2nd level competition. For a team to be effective with that kind of line they also need a unit that can play well against the opponents best like the Plekanec line. Asking that from a line lead by Connolly and Kessel seems too optimistic at this point and Toronto doesn't have a good hard minutes defensive third line that could compensate.


Last edited by Talks to Goalposts: 09-01-2011 at 01:18 PM.
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09-01-2011, 01:11 PM
  #283
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Originally Posted by RogerRoeper View Post
I'm of the opinion Gustavsson will be very solid this upcoming season.
Your opinion hasn't been backed up by results. I'm not as optimistic as you are on his performance or abilities.

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09-01-2011, 01:13 PM
  #284
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Your opinion hasn't been backed up by results.
Not sure how it could be backed by results considering it was a projection of this coming season.

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09-01-2011, 01:17 PM
  #285
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Not sure how it could be backed by results considering it was a projection of this coming season.
Now you're just nitpickin'.

Previous results... my friend. Previous results.

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Old
09-01-2011, 01:27 PM
  #286
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Well, if everyone comes back healthy and ready I see us ending up between 4-6 in the east.

Cole - Plekanec - Cammalleri

Gionta - Gomez - Paccioretti

Kostitsyn - Eller - Darche

White - Desharnais - Moen


Markov - Gorges

Gill - Subban

Spacek - Weber/Emelin


Price
Budaj

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Old
09-01-2011, 01:35 PM
  #287
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Am I the only one who thinks that Spacek most probably playing with Emelin is an excellent thing? I think Spacek will be the perfect influence on Emelin and think that this pairing can intact be one of the top bottom pairings in the league. Of course we will have to see how Emelin transitions to the NHL but with him already being in his mid 20s i think that won't be a problem and he'll already have the maturity and skill level to do so. With that , I see the Habs contending for the division if not winning it alone or finishing either 4th or 5th.

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09-01-2011, 01:37 PM
  #288
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Originally Posted by Habs4life74 View Post
Am I the only one who thinks that Spacek most probably playing with Emelin is an excellent thing? I think Spacek will be the perfect influence on Emelin and think that this pairing can intact be one of the top bottom pairings in the league. Of course we will have to see how Emelin transitions to the NHL but with him already being in his mid 20s i think that won't be a problem and he'll already have the maturity and skill level to do so. With that , I see the Habs contending for the division if not winning it alone or finishing either 4th or 5th.
Makes sense. I didn't think of it. But I like the idea.

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Old
09-01-2011, 05:16 PM
  #289
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Man games lost due to injury...where can you find out this info guys? Last season specifically?

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Old
09-01-2011, 05:40 PM
  #290
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They put good kool-aid sirupt, on their waffles, in hogtown. I still can't believe they think their non-playoff team is almost as good as the Habs.

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09-01-2011, 05:50 PM
  #291
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Originally Posted by FF de Mars View Post
They put good kool-aid sirupt, on their waffles, in hogtown. I still can't believe they think their non-playoff team is almost as good as ours.
Over the past few year the Boston fanbase seems to think their team is similar to Montreal (although of course they thing their team is better but you can't blame them for liking their own guys) so they at least respect Montreal as an opponent and have a reasonable picture of the team's ability to play.

Likewise, Toronto's fanbase think their team is pretty similar in ability to Montreal's, just in this case it leads them to think Montreal is worse than it is and they seem to think that means Montreal should be out of the playoffs too (or that they both are equally on the bubble).

This should get you started on man games lost to injury last season but if you look harder you can find better measurements like caphit lost to injury or minutes played per game lost to injury which better take into account the quality of players lost.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sport...rticle1955920/

http://springingmalik.blogspot.com/2...ason-wrap.html

While Montreal was about average in man games lost they are above average in cap hit and minutes lost because of the big impact Markov's injury had. The cap hit thing can have perverse effects though, New York gets huge credit for losing about 5 million dollars worth of Chris Drury who was largely a useless player last season.

Its pretty clear that Carolina was boosted by being disgustingly healthy while the Islanders were sunk by so many guys on the IR, although I doubt they would have made the playoffs anyway, just not ended up with a lottery pick.


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Old
09-01-2011, 05:58 PM
  #292
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Originally Posted by BLONG7 View Post
Man games lost due to injury...where can you find out this info guys? Last season specifically?
http://springingmalik.blogspot.com/2...1_archive.html

If you want them to compare Montreal and Toronto, I'll save you some time:

MGL:

17 - Montreal (236)
24 - Toronto (178)

Cap Hit of those MGL:

10 - Montreal (9.557M)
24 - Toronto (5.452)

Cap Hit lost on forwards:

24 - Toronto (2.139M)
26 - Montreal (1.903M)

Cap Hit lost on defence:

1 - Montreal (7.654M)
16 - Toronto (1.776M)

Cap Hit lost on goaltending:

4 - Toronto (1.537M)
26* - Montreal (0M)

*tied for last

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Old
09-01-2011, 06:15 PM
  #293
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As it stands, Montreal was pretty good on injuries last year except for the Markov one, which is neck in neck with Parise's and Crosby's for being the biggest impact injury of the year.

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09-01-2011, 06:24 PM
  #294
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Originally Posted by Talks to Goalposts View Post
As it stands, Montreal was pretty good on injuries last year except for the Markov one, which is neck in neck with Parise's and Crosby's for being the biggest impact injury of the year.
Agreed. Which is funny considering all the talk of the Habs being too small and soft to endure the rigours of a long season.

What does concern me is that the Habs were extremely healthy up front last season and still struggled to produce offensively. Even if those players that had down seasons last year bounce back, we shouldn't count on our offense being that healthy again.

Or maybe our forwards are just really resilient.

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09-01-2011, 06:31 PM
  #295
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Originally Posted by Talks to Goalposts View Post
As it stands, Montreal was pretty good on injuries last year except for the Markov one, which is neck in neck with Parise's and Crosby's for being the biggest impact injury of the year.
I'd say losing Gorges was also a doozy. On its own it wouldn't be as big a deal as it was combined with the Markov injury. Spreading the damage out between forwards and D-men would've been easier to handle.

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09-01-2011, 06:32 PM
  #296
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Originally Posted by Bill McNeal View Post
Agreed. Which is funny considering all the talk of the Habs being too small and soft to endure the rigours of a long season.

What does concern me is that the Habs were extremely healthy up front last season and still struggled to produce offensively. Even if those players that had down seasons last year bounce back, we shouldn't count on our offense being that healthy again.

Or maybe our forwards are just really resilient.
They're way deeper on forward than they were at the start of last season when they only had 5 top six caliber forwards so that should help. Going by pure average luck the regression to the mean from poor shooting performances should be a way bigger plus than the negative of more injuries. The second line was an absolute black hole for missed scoring chances all year with the situation only slightly righted by the Pacioretty-Gomez-Gionta line's success. Even they scored more by shear volume of chances generated than from the favour of the hockey gods.

The shear volume of blown chances that occurred when Gomez was on the ice was so epic it was almost biblical.

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09-01-2011, 06:33 PM
  #297
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Originally Posted by Bill McNeal View Post
What does concern me is that the Habs were extremely healthy up front last season and still struggled to produce offensively. Even if those players that had down seasons last year bounce back, we shouldn't count on our offense being that healthy again.
They didn't get goals, but it was not for lack of generating offensive chances. They left 20 to 30 goals on the table due to bad conversion rates, and don't underestimate how much offense is driven by puck-moving from the back end.

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09-01-2011, 06:37 PM
  #298
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I'd say losing Gorges was also a doozy. On its own it wouldn't be as big a deal as it was combined with the Markov injury. Spreading the damage out between forwards and D-men would've been easier to handle.
Gorges was a dozy, but the kind of dozy you'd expect to happen to someone on your team every season. It only mattered in the context of the much more important injury to Markov. The one long term injury they wouldn't be able to handle in Markov's absence was Plekanec, as he was basically carrying the team with the minutes he was taking in the period of time before Subban and Pacioretty started making a difference. While he got less points, there is an argument to be made that last year was an even more impressive year for Plekanec than the one before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MathMan
They didn't get goals, but it was not for lack of generating offensive chances. They left 20 to 30 goals on the table due to bad conversion rates, and don't underestimate how much offense is driven by puck-moving from the back end.
Going into the year I'd have said that the teams biggest immediate needs was for a strong puck moving defenseman to help the team get out of the zone and a solid two way left winger that could compliment Gomez-Gionta (preferably someone that could also crash the crease on the powerplay). Quite fortunately they found both internally in Pacioretty and Subban.

EDIT:
While everyone was raving about how good a year Subban had, when I was going over the numbers for an EOTP article I was once again amazed by how dominant Pacioretty was last year. Lead the league in Corsi and relCorsi, had about a 58% ratio on scoring chances at even strength and got Gomez out of his funk. He was also fantastic on the power play, with the best goalscoring rate on the ream as well as one of the best team on ice scoring and shot production rates and generated a huge penalty differential as well. It might be fair to say he was the second best forward on the team after Plekanec and he wasn't far off either.


Last edited by Talks to Goalposts: 09-01-2011 at 06:48 PM.
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Old
09-01-2011, 07:02 PM
  #299
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Originally Posted by Talks to Goalposts View Post
They're way deeper on forward than they were at the start of last season when they only had 5 top six caliber forwards so that should help. Going by pure average luck the regression to the mean from poor shooting performances should be a way bigger plus than the negative of more injuries. The second line was an absolute black hole for missed scoring chances all year with the situation only slightly righted by the Pacioretty-Gomez-Gionta line's success. Even they scored more by shear volume of chances generated than from the favour of the hockey gods.

The shear volume of blown chances that occurred when Gomez was on the ice was so epic it was almost biblical.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
They didn't get goals, but it was not for lack of generating offensive chances. They left 20 to 30 goals on the table due to bad conversion rates, and don't underestimate how much offense is driven by puck-moving from the back end.
Oh, I definitely agree. I don't get into the numbers games as deeply as you two do, but I think any Habs fan just using their own two eyes to assess the team's play should have seen a noted difference between last season's team and teams of the recent past.

And I'm hoping for the bolded. Given how well the team played last year and how healthy our forwards were it's a shame the team didn't put up more goals. But as Mathman alluded to, you can't ignore the impact that losing a Markov has on the offense as well.

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09-01-2011, 07:02 PM
  #300
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Originally Posted by Talks to Goalposts View Post
Likewise, Toronto's fanbase think their team is pretty similar in ability to Montreal's, just in this case it leads them to think Montreal is worse than it is and they seem to think that means Montreal should be out of the playoffs too (or that they both are equally on the bubble).
You'd think that after four years where the closest they got was seven wins away, they'd get the hint that there's a gap.

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