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Grading the MTL Canadiens

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Old
09-12-2011, 01:25 AM
  #26
CuteHockeyBunny
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Why is everyone pencilling in Weber as a top 6 defenseman. He is by far the softest player on this team and also the one with the least amount of security in the team.

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09-12-2011, 02:27 AM
  #27
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Some people are way too generous. If we use the rest of the league as a barometer, here is how I see it:

On offense, A would be the Canucks. F would be the Panthers. I say we are... Maybe a C? We are in the bottom half of the league. We don't score a lot of goals, but our forwards are defensively responsible. Don't get me wrong: I love our team. I've been preaching PG's work for a while now. I like his moves. But I can stay realistic at the same time. This team won't score a lot of goals but it won't take a shift off. We're lacking a true high-end forward. Gomez is a good no2 center (who cares about his salary). Pacioretty, Eller, Desharnais are question marks at this point, but they will do great I think.

On defense, I would say B. Lots of young guys, but they have a decent amount of experience. Will Subban go through the same kind of hardships Tyler Myers went through last year? Who knows. But on paper, we're solid. Gill and Gorges are a great shut down pairing. Markov and Subban are dynamic, productive and reliable on defense. Emelin has played in the KHL for a long time now, and he's coming into his own. I have no worries that he will adapt to the NHL. Weber has played half a season last year and has looked pretty good. He'll get more responsabilities this year and hopefully will show why he was regarded so highly a few years ago. (this is on paper, btw... if Markov goes down, if Subban struggles, we're a C or even a D)

In goals, we're definitely an A. It's VERY close at the top of the league in terms of goaltending. Carey is top-10, maybe top-5 (but that's another debate) in the league, but even if he's the 10th goaltender, it's so close up there, and the talent pool is so high, it's not a knock on him at all. He's amongst the best in the league.

Coaching and special teams is where the Canadiens will truly show what they're worth. This team is coached by a smart coach, who has an array of smart players who perfectly execute his plans. The Habs have been great on the PP for a few years now, and amazing on the PK since Martin took over. I'm giving both an A.

I'm personally fond of the Front Office's work. But it's too hard to judge to really put a grade on it. So much's going on that we don't hear about.

So overall, I think we have a good team. A solid B. We will be competitive this year. We will make it to the playoffs. We'll play solid, smart hockey and teams will hate playing against us. It won't always be exciting, but we will have a chance to win every night.

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09-12-2011, 11:50 AM
  #28
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True but we have enough depth imo to be considered better than a B+

Of course I'll let the boys speak for themselves after they show us how good they are. That having been said both opinions imo have validity just all boils down to the way you see it.

I'm the glass half full type. While I see we don't have a Crosby or Malkin or even a Kovalchuk, I see that we have a lot better offensive depth overall than their teams. (If you notice we have 3 offensive lines, Pitts struggles to at times put good wingers with Crosby and Malkin. Luckily they have Crosby and Malkin lol. But we have 6 solid wingers, 2 good centers and 1 young promising center. Yes Gomez is a good center)

Goaltending I think is sound. Give Budaj a backup role and I think he'll really shine especially with a decent team in front of him. He seems like the kind of goalie who has been hung out to dry and never really given a fair shake. I think a new scenery could be good for him. Whether that's in Montreal or another team I can't say but I suspect he plays less than 20 games even still.

Defense is what has me worried. On paper I'd say we're more of a B- or even C+ with the potential of being an A. There are a lot of what ifs involve imo. Losing Hammer will be a big loss but having a healthy Gorges and Markov *knock on wood* is a bigger gain. We still have Space cadet in the line up which is imo a wild card. We've seen what he's capable of but we've also seen a lot of bad too.

Subban is only in his second year I project him having a better season but I can understand concerns of a sophomore slump.

Weber, Emelin and if it comes to it Diaz, are all unproven at this point. I see a lot of potential but the only one to prove much is Weber.

It's going to be a youth movement on D backed by vets like Gill, Gorges and Markov. I hope they're up to the task because it's definitely going to be tough.

Emelin I do think will make it but at an expense, costly penalties.

I'm mostly worried about the defense, offense looks the best I've seen in years due to depth. We may not have Crosby but we have depth all around. Price seems sound to me, in my eyes he's only had one bad season and is a young phenom and when people say we don't have a superstar I disagree completely. Having a good goalie on the back end gives your forwards that extra chip on their shoulder. They can take more chances, they have more confidence. When you have a superstar young goalie like Price on the back end you know every night you can win, you know every night you can come back from being down. It's like Brian Gionta said the atmosphere they had in Jersey was that you could win the cup every year, you could win every game, the feeling in the locker room was that you always had a strong chance of winning.

Our management is assembling a club of winners and I like what I'm seeing a lot. They might not make all the best moves on paper but I truly believe there's a lot of thought behind every move. For the first time in years we really have a team. Not just a bunch of guys but a real team. I don't see how coaching could honestly screw this up I really don't but I have to admit D is currently questionable. Many injury risks and young unproven players. No Hammer to back them up. If we don't use that cap space I'll be pissed we didn't give Hammer the 2 year deal because if we sacrifice having a pillar like him we most certainly must make a big time move at deadline for somebody that will put us over the top.



Cammy has 2 meh seasons with some injuries, has some trouble coming back to 100% and suddenly he isn't a go to guy? He most certainly is imo. He's no Kovalchuk but he's good enough imo. Cammy gets severely underrated around here. Give him a healthy season and I think he'll blow your expectations of him away. He most certainly wasn't carried in Calgary and LA, he can pull it off here too.

Also if you rate our offense a B+ how do you rate Philadelphia's?

You don't necessarily need to have 1 guy who puts up 85-100pts+ to have an A+ offense. Depth can put you over the top. I guess it boils down to how many goals you score as a team more than anything. Last year we were one of the worst so I understand the concern but I think we're going to surprise people this year.

I like this team because we're a team that actually plays hockey. We may not have a lot of goals but we also don't have a lot of goals against. For some people it's boring hockey but I love seeing hockey like this where it's tight games, tons of team work and playing hard. Timely saves! To me that's what the sport is really about not necessarily one guy but the team. I see our offense as a collective given their two-way style to be good.
I like your post, but I've noticed a lot of guys saying we have offensive depth.

Sorry to be neg and rain on the parade, but I disagree. I'm more worried about O than D. Yet Again.

While I love AK, DD, Eller and Max, all four are huge question marks this year. All four could fail utterly. Except for AK to a degree, they have not proven at all that they can produce 3rd line points over a full 80 games in the NHL. They just have not done this.

DD? I love this kid, but really, let's wait and see. 30 points would be great.

Eller? I also love the guy, but I have absolutely no confidence that he will become a money player yet. None. When I think of offense this year I do not even include him. Sorry, harsh, but there it is. He did not score points last year. Yes his D, skating, smarts, and aggression was fantastic, but he just does not finish. At all. Really really low production of points, and I think that's a problem. Yes I know blah blah he did not have the minutes, but what, 7 points? Come on! Love the guy but 30 points from Eller is not depth scoring this year.

Max? I hate to say anything neg. I really do. Max is the Wolverine. But let's see how it goes. I am so pissed at what happened to him last year, and I'm not sure any player just walks away from that. That **** just never every happened to almost any guy in the NHL. I love Max, but 30 points would be my prediction. Or 90, but hey, I'm neg as you can tell.

AK? No trust at all. I don't know here he is. I love him too, but I could wager 20 points and gone by March, or 50 points. I'll go with 30 points on the third line with him.

What does this mean?

The so called 'depth' third line by my thinking may well be looking at 90 points this year. That's about 30 points less than a depth third line should have.

And Max might play with Gomer. All year. Yes, all year. I could see both of them doing absolutely nothing this year, because Max got ****ed by Chara, and Gomer is just nowhere.

We could end up with a 110 point second line, when a depth second line should get you 150 points.

Conclusion? I could easily see an 70 point deficit from line 2 and 3 this year. Easily. Bottom third of the league in goals. Again.

It's a bit early to say we have O depth. Really early.

Sorry guys. I will wait until 40 games in. You can all torch me now, but I have zero confidence in Habs offence right now.


Last edited by bsl: 09-12-2011 at 11:57 AM.
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Old
09-12-2011, 11:59 AM
  #29
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The so called 'depth' third line by my thinking may well be looking at 80 points this year. That's about 40 points less than a depth third line should have.
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We could end up with a 110 point second line, when a depth second line should get you 150 points.
Just a heads up: only two teams had their second line produce more than 150 pts last year; the Flyers and the Sharks. And both certainly did not have their third liners pot 120 pts (that's 40 each!)

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09-12-2011, 12:02 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by Goldthorpe View Post
Just a heads up: only two teams had their second line produce more than 150 pts last year; the Flyers and the Sharks.
Yes, and those are teams with depth scoring. Thanks for proving my point!

In other words, if anyone wants to say the Habs have depth in scoring, I guess that means top10 in the league or so, and you've just shown how difficult that level of depth scoring is to achieve.

Hence, we do not, as far as I see, have depth scoring.

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09-12-2011, 12:06 PM
  #31
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Yes, and those are teams with depth scoring. Thanks for proving my point!
Your point is that only 2 teams in the league have depth scoring?

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09-12-2011, 12:10 PM
  #32
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I would grade the forwards B+, we don't have a superstar forward to even qualify getting an A.
It's more a B-, because no 30 goals scorer and one of the worst team in scoring at 5 on 5.

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09-12-2011, 12:12 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by Talks to Goalposts View Post
Your point is that only 2 teams in the league have depth scoring?
In a way, yes, I guess I am. More sensible, as I understand from you, to say that the top ten O teams have that depth. I would agree with that. At lower points totals than in my post. Fair enough.

Point is I don't think we're top ten yet in depth scoring, and we should not predict this until our top 9 forwards prove they can produce, all year.

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09-12-2011, 12:13 PM
  #34
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Yes, and those are teams with depth scoring. Thanks for proving my point!
That the Sharks and the Flyers had depth scoring last year isn't the point. The real question is if the numeric criteria you selected to define depth scoring are realistic or not. If they can't be met by anyone (at least for the 120 pts third line), it may be a sign to revise your assumptions.
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In other words, if anyone wants to say the Habs have depth in scoring, I guess that means top10 in the league or so, and you've just shown how difficult that level of depth scoring is to achieve.
I haven't shown anything. Those are your assumptions of what constitute "depth scoring", not mine. And I don't agree with them.
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Hence, we do not, as far as I see, have depth scoring.
But "the way you see it" seems quite arbitrary.

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09-12-2011, 12:16 PM
  #35
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Forwards B-
Defense B
Goaltending A+

Overall: B+

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldthorpe View Post
Just a heads up: only two teams had their second line produce more than 150 pts last year; the Flyers and the Sharks. And both certainly did not have their third liners pot 120 pts (that's 40 each!)
As for last year, our highest point getter last year had 57 points. The Flyers had four players better than our best. You can't just ignore the top end talent when factoring in depth. It's nice that our 2nd line may have produced but you can't ignore that our 1st line is well behind what most teams have.

As for this year, it's the same old story with us. Some decent scorers but no top end talent at forward. Having lots of guys who can score 20 goals is good, but our top end talent is lacking.


Last edited by Lafleurs Guy: 09-12-2011 at 12:24 PM.
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Old
09-12-2011, 12:17 PM
  #36
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In a way, yes, I guess I am. More sensible, as I understand from you, to say that the top ten O teams have that depth.
Some teams rely on a few very high point scorers to be in the top-10 offence, while having ordinary offensive depth. The Pens (with Crosby and Malkin) and the Lightning are two good examples.

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09-12-2011, 12:22 PM
  #37
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That the Sharks and the Flyers had depth scoring last year isn't the point. The real question is if the numeric criteria you selected to define depth scoring are realistic or not. If they can't be met by anyone (at least for the 120 pts third line), it may be a sign to revise your assumptions.

I haven't shown anything. Those are your assumptions of what constitute "depth scoring", not mine. And I don't agree with them.

But "the way you see it" seems quite arbitrary.
You are right, I should have done more research. But don't go all HAL 9000 on me dude.

I like this board because guys like you bring me up short when I guess instead of researching, fair enough.

And I don't have to 'win' the discussion. 'Winning' the discussion does not matter to me, or you I would imagine.

Apologies for yet more internet inaccuracy, but I will stand by my main point: It's a little early, due to the questions I raised, to say that we have depth scoring.

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09-12-2011, 12:23 PM
  #38
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You are right, I should have done more research. But don't go all HAL 9000 on me dude.
I'm afraid I can't do that bsl.

Peace,

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09-12-2011, 12:25 PM
  #39
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Some teams rely on a few very high point scorers to be in the top-10 offence, while having ordinary offensive depth. The Pens (with Crosby and Malkin) and the Lightning are two good examples.
And both of those clubs have won cups.

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09-12-2011, 12:33 PM
  #40
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Some teams rely on a few very high point scorers to be in the top-10 offence, while having ordinary offensive depth. The Pens (with Crosby and Malkin) and the Lightning are two good examples.
I agree with you, you are correct. But the assumption on the boards I was questioning was whether the Habs have depth scoring, not high scoring players.

If we agree that the Habs do not have one or two top point getters such as Malkin , then perhaps only depth scoring will put is in the top ten scoring range.

I do not agree yet that we have this depth, and therefore without proven top scorers, we may struggle this year to be top ten in goals for.

By the way, I can still see the Habs potting 230 this year, with reasonable injury time. That's not bad. Given 200 against, a reasonable assumption if 3 or our D don't collapse in October and Carey keeps his head on, a 30 goal differential should give us 100 points or so. All is not lost...

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I'm afraid I can't do that bsl.

Peace,
Open the pod bay doors Gold. Gold..... Gold. Open the pod bay doors Gold. Gold?

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And both of those clubs have won cups.
Correct. But we do not have these types of players. We should have them of course, but we've both seen where our position on that question will get us!


Last edited by Mike8: 09-12-2011 at 12:37 PM. Reason: merge
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09-12-2011, 12:37 PM
  #41
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The lines in October in my opinion will be:

Cammalleri - Plekanec - Cole
Pacioretty - Gomez - Gionta
Kostitsyn - Eller - Desharnais
Darche - White - Moen
Blunden

Markov - Gorges
Gill - Subban
Spacek - Yemelin
Weber

Price
Budaj

Call up's will include Palushaj, Enqvist, Diaz, Woywitka and maybe even Nash

GO HABS GO!!!

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09-12-2011, 12:42 PM
  #42
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And both of those clubs have won cups.
Which is irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

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09-12-2011, 12:51 PM
  #43
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Which is irrelevant to the discussion at hand.
Well, I'd say that Pittsburgh warrants an A on their forwards. You're saying they only have a couple of elite forwards and regular depth. I'd say that elite forwards and regular depth trumps above average 2nd line scoring.

Think about it, Pittsburgh can have Crosby, Malkin and Staal centering each of their top three lines. When you have players like that on the ice every shift the wingers are almost irrelevant.

You can't exclude top line talent when evaluating how good a teams' forwards are. Those clubs won their cups due to strength at forward. Others (Bruins) won because of elite talent at D and G. I'd say we've got a while to go before we deserve an A at our forward position.

Our D could get there quick if Markov stays healthy and Subban actually becomes a star and I think our goaltending is already there. But up front, we need better top end talent. If our forwards have a good year it could go to a B or B+ but I don't see how folks on here can say that our forwards warrant an A.

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09-12-2011, 01:27 PM
  #44
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Well, I'd say that Pittsburgh warrants an A on their forwards. You're saying they only have a couple of elite forwards and regular depth. I'd say that elite forwards and regular depth trumps above average 2nd line scoring.

Think about it, Pittsburgh can have Crosby, Malkin and Staal centering each of their top three lines. When you have players like that on the ice every shift the wingers are almost irrelevant.

You can't exclude top line talent when evaluating how good a teams' forwards are. Those clubs won their cups due to strength at forward. Others (Bruins) won because of elite talent at D and G. I'd say we've got a while to go before we deserve an A at our forward position.

Our D could get there quick if Markov stays healthy and Subban actually becomes a star and I think our goaltending is already there. But up front, we need better top end talent. If our forwards have a good year it could go to a B or B+ but I don't see how folks on here can say that our forwards warrant an A.
I don't necessarily disagree with what you are saying. But it has nothing do with the "what is good defensive" depth discussion we just had. Thus my comment that it was irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

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09-12-2011, 01:31 PM
  #45
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I don't necessarily disagree with what you are saying. But it has nothing do with the "what is good defensive" depth discussion we just had. Thus my comment that it was irrelevant to the discussion at hand.
Well, the quote that I responded to had to do with offensive depth.

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09-12-2011, 01:39 PM
  #46
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Well, the quote that I responded to had to do with offensive depth.
Yes, offensive depth as having more offensive players than "normal", and as opposite to being "top heavy" (like Pittsburg). Which says nothing about which "model" is better.

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09-12-2011, 02:20 PM
  #47
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Seven player profile.

Franchise Goalie - Carey Price
Elite Puck moving d-man - PK Subban
Stabilizing d-man - Andrei Markov
Power Forward - Erik Cole, MaxPac
Specialist - Tomas Plekanec
Two elite centres - That's where we're stuck. Plekanec is a great number two. Gomez has to be the number one he used to be.

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09-12-2011, 04:04 PM
  #48
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Seven player profile.

Franchise Goalie - Carey Price
Elite Puck moving d-man - PK Subban
Stabilizing d-man - Andrei Markov
Power Forward - Erik Cole, MaxPac
Specialist - Tomas Plekanec
Two elite centres - That's where we're stuck. Plekanec is a great number two. Gomez has to be the number one he used to be.
No offense but I think McGuire`s formula is silly as hell.

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09-12-2011, 04:28 PM
  #49
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I think some homer glasses here:

Forward: C+

In the NHL, this unit, is at the very best slightly above average (I define C as average). I give them a plus because I am also a Habs fan and believe in some potential, but they lack a true superstar (Cammy I'd call a star). They have lots of good pieces, but there is most of a first line missing away from being anywhere near an elite group. Vancouver, Detroit, Pittsburgh, etc. are the A range teams. We're nowhere near them, no matter how much we all love Plekanec. Fact is, while there is a solid core of mid-range players there, it's the guys like Crosby, Zetterberg, Malkin, etc. that are hard to find and this team just doesn't have.

Defense: B+

If everyone is healthy this is a good unit, but I cannot give them an A with two big wonky knees back there. Got a potential Norris type guy in Markov, got a future Norris type guy in Subban. Got some good prospects (Weber, Emelin, etc.). Also got some good shut down guys. Speed has go to be a concern though. No one outside Subban has much. Even Markov and Gorges, who were at best decent speed before, likely are a step slower this year. Gill is Gill, but fast he is not. Spacek is aging. Bottom line: Wonky knees and general overall speed are the only concerns.

Goal: A

Price is as good a goalie as you could want. I only hold back from A+ because while Badaj is fine, I'd say the combo of Thomas/Rask is still higher end (arguably needlessly higher end, but still).

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09-12-2011, 04:29 PM
  #50
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No offense but I think McGuire`s formula is silly as hell.
While it's not the defining evaluation method, there is some merit to it. A big part of why we aren't contenders is that our 1-2 centre punch is weak compared to contenders'. Then there's depth (which shouldn't be an issue this season) and faceoffs and you can see why we're struggling offensively.

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