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An asset manager's view of the habs - Part I: Forwards

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11-10-2011, 10:20 AM
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Slew Foots
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An asset manager's view of the habs - Part I: Forwards

Since I have some spare time today, I've decided to share my thoughts on the state of our beloved Habs franchise - not necessarily because I believe I have some groundbreaking insight, but simply because I enjoy thinking and talking about the Habs (more than I enjoy thinking and talking about investing and financial assets, which is what I actually get paid to do) and haven't had the chance to do so in a long time, and I'm curious to hear other people's thoughts.

I don't think I'm alone in being concerned about the team's performance of late, especially given the increasingly competitive landscape in the NHL. Fundamentally, I believe the Habs should make the playoffs this year despite questionable asset utilization by Martin (e.g. overplaying underperforming declining veterans at the expense of youth, insisting on playing a single forechecker system when we have enough speed to play a more aggressive forechecking game) and asset management decisions by Gauthier in the offseason (and by Gainey previously; e.g.: Gomez trade, Gionta signing).

1. Forwards:
1.1 - Summary: We have some good depth at the NHL level in terms of NHL calibre forwards. We may not have superstar/elite level talent, but we do have four forwards with a good size/skill mix (Cole, Pacioretty, Eller, Kostitsyn) who have all performed reasonably well so far - something we haven't had in a while. Unfortunately, many of our smaller forwards (Gionta, Gomez, Cammalleri) have underperformed (especially with respect to the dollar amount invested in them). All 3 need to step up if the Habs are going to make the playoffs. Other than that, I actually like our current mix of size and skill, and youth and experience. I believe we should make the playoffs and could do well this year as long as Martin starts to use his assets a little better.

1.1 Player-by-player assessment (cap hit, years remaining including this year):

Gomez (7.357M, 3 years): Clearly, Gainey made a horrible decision in acquiring him while giving away a stud like McDonagh, and a decent bang-for-buck player like Higgins (in a cap world, you keep your assets who are giving you decent results for a good price, and you stay away from assets who are overpaid - a rule ignored by Gainey et al.). Now, none of this is Gomez's fault, so a lot of the criticism people are giving him is unfair to a certain extent. Yes, he should be playing better, but people are blinded by his cap hit. He is still a good player. He is still a better option than Desharnais as our 2nd line center (not as good an option as Eller though - I'll get to that later). As much as Gomez needs to be less predictable with his game, Desharnais is much more predictable, and is often overmatched in 5 on 5 situations and down low since he is smaller, much weaker and slower than Gomez.

Cammalleri (6M, 3 years): He needs to be better for the habs to have success, but he is actually a good signing since he's still in his prime, contrary to a guy like Gionta for example. Needless to say he is a playoff beast - he needs to be better in the regular season. Markov's return will help boost Cammy's PP production. Martin also needs to free Cammy from a center like Desharnais and put him with Plekanec to increase his chances at success. Knowing Cammalleri has a tendency to pout, I'm sure he would prefer knowing he is playing on the 1st line.

Plekanec (5M, 5 years): Great signing because of all that he brings to the team. Even when he's struggling offensively, he's a stalwart defensively. Needs to play with Cammalleri to see his production increase, and I would pair those two smaller guys back with Cole now that he's got his swagger back.

Gionta (5M, 3 years): Admirable work rate, but no longer a top-six player on this team in my opinion. He has never been a player who uses his linemates well, and now that he's scoring less, he really does bring little value in a top-six role 5-on-5. He is still very good defensively though, so I would use him on the PK and reduce his PP time (he gets way too much PP time at the expense of younger & more talented players). If he's as good a leader as people say he is, Martin shouldn't worry about alienating Gionta by reducing his PP time and transitioning him to a 3rd line role. He is a player who is declining, and still has 3 years left on his contract. I honestly would have rather seen the team keep Koivu than sign Gionta: Koivu's cheaper and would have given us similar production in points. I also don't get why Gionta doesn’t get any flak from the media for his poor production (especially given his salary) and for the fact that he’s a captain who can’t speak French. Any insight on why the media was so much harder on Koivu than on Gionta would be greatly appreciated.

Cole (4.5M, 4 years): Started off poorly, but has really stepped up nicely of late. His contract is inflated, but contracts will usually have to be slightly inflated in order to attract assets to Montreal. I expect his play to decline over time, but hopefully not too much. If he can sustain his current play for the first two seasons of his contract, I can live with his contract. He has good size, good speed and his link up play with linemates has been better than expected.

Kostitsyn (3.25M, 1 year): Arguably our best forward this year. His combination of size and skill is a very rare commodity. His consistent work rate this year has been a pleasant surprise. What hasn’t been surprising has been Martin’s poor utilization of Kostitsyn. He really needs to be given more PP time – it doesn’t make any sense why guys like Gionta or Desharnais would get so much more PP time. Kostitsyn would be great playing the half-boards position on one of our PP units (like Kovy) – he has a sweet wrister, and has an uncanny ability to find the open man on the opposite wing with a precise laser pass (can set up Weber or Subban for the one-timer as the move up and down the right wing looking for a seam). He is also one of the few assets we have who gives us very good value for what we pay him. He needs to be signed for 2-3 years minimum: he’s still relatively young and in his prime, and has intriguing chemistry with our two emerging skilled forwards: Eller and Pacioretty. Another reason to keep Kostitsyn is that we don’t have too much elite forward talent in the youth pipelines (I don’t expect guys like Leblanc or Palushaj to ever produce what Kostitsyn can).

Pacioretty (1.625M, 2 years): He’s having a great season so far. I like the fact that he works really hard too, so I expect him to continue to improve his body positioning around the crease in order to get more scoring chances and enhance his finishing ability. He’s emerging as the power forward we’ve been looking for.

Moen (1.5M, 1 year): He’s also having a great season so far. He has good speed and size, he’s reliable defensively, he can fight when necessary and he can chip in on one of the top 3 lines in case of injury even though he’s best utilized on the long run on an energy/4th line. I would re-sign him for 2-3 years at the right price (somewhere in the 1 – 1.5M range).

Eller (1.27M, 1 year): He’s already our second best center. He may not have as much finishing ability as we’d like to see (I expect that to improve as he continues to mature and grow in confidence), but he’s capable of putting solid numbers right away if we place him with two speedy guys who can put the puck in the net like Kostitsyn and Pacioretty (that could be a potent line for years to come).

Desharnais (850K, 2 years): I like him, because he works really hard and has overcome the odds to establish himself as an NHL player. That being said, I don’t see him as being able to center a 2nd line in the NHL. He lacks foot speed, he’s very easy to knock off the puck down low, and he’s very predictable in his play. People claim he’s a great playmaker, but his passes surprisingly often lack precision. He is a very smart and has good offensive instincts, but he often doesn’t execute the play properly since he’s not as skilled as you would think. I’m OK with him getting some PP time, but not as much as he’s being given right now, since his PP play is too predictable (always tries the same cross-crease pass). When the Pacioretty-Desharnais-Kostitsyn line had success, it was a more a function of Kostitsyn and Pacioretty’s play together than Desharnais’s link up with the two in my opinion. I believe he would be best utilized in a 3rd line winger role with PK time and a bit of PP time – in other words, I still think he is an important player on the team.

Darche (700K, 1 year): Won’t say much other than the fact that he is the ideal 13th forward to have on your team.

White (625K, 1 year): Can’t wait for him to get back – he’ll make our 4th line that much better.

Blunden (615K, 1 year): Hasn’t been bad so far – should go back to Hamilton once White is ready.

Nokelainen (550K, 1 year): He’s been better than expected. I think he’s very good in his role as our number 4 center.

Proposed lines (% of 5-on-5 time):

Cammalleri – Plekanec – Cole (33%)
Pacioretty – Eller – Kostitsyn (33%)
Desharnais – Gomez – Gionta (21%)
White – Nokelainen – Moen (13%)

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11-10-2011, 10:36 AM
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Dirty Danglez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NRG87 View Post
Since I have some spare time today, I've decided to share my thoughts on the state of our beloved Habs franchise - not necessarily because I believe I have some groundbreaking insight, but simply because I enjoy thinking and talking about the Habs (more than I enjoy thinking and talking about investing and financial assets, which is what I actually get paid to do) and haven't had the chance to do so in a long time, and I'm curious to hear other people's thoughts.

I don't think I'm alone in being concerned about the team's performance of late, especially given the increasingly competitive landscape in the NHL. Fundamentally, I believe the Habs should make the playoffs this year despite questionable asset utilization by Martin (e.g. overplaying underperforming declining veterans at the expense of youth, insisting on playing a single forechecker system when we have enough speed to play a more aggressive forechecking game) and asset management decisions by Gauthier in the offseason (and by Gainey previously; e.g.: Gomez trade, Gionta signing).

1. Forwards:
1.1 - Summary: We have some good depth at the NHL level in terms of NHL calibre forwards. We may not have superstar/elite level talent, but we do have four forwards with a good size/skill mix (Cole, Pacioretty, Eller, Kostitsyn) who have all performed reasonably well so far - something we haven't had in a while. Unfortunately, many of our smaller forwards (Gionta, Gomez, Cammalleri) have underperformed (especially with respect to the dollar amount invested in them). All 3 need to step up if the Habs are going to make the playoffs. Other than that, I actually like our current mix of size and skill, and youth and experience. I believe we should make the playoffs and could do well this year as long as Martin starts to use his assets a little better.

1.1 Player-by-player assessment (cap hit, years remaining including this year):

Gomez (7.357M, 3 years): Clearly, Gainey made a horrible decision in acquiring him while giving away a stud like McDonagh, and a decent bang-for-buck player like Higgins (in a cap world, you keep your assets who are giving you decent results for a good price, and you stay away from assets who are overpaid - a rule ignored by Gainey et al.). Now, none of this is Gomez's fault, so a lot of the criticism people are giving him is unfair to a certain extent. Yes, he should be playing better, but people are blinded by his cap hit. He is still a good player. He is still a better option than Desharnais as our 2nd line center (not as good an option as Eller though - I'll get to that later). As much as Gomez needs to be less predictable with his game, Desharnais is much more predictable, and is often overmatched in 5 on 5 situations and down low since he is smaller, much weaker and slower than Gomez.

Cammalleri (6M, 3 years): He needs to be better for the habs to have success, but he is actually a good signing since he's still in his prime, contrary to a guy like Gionta for example. Needless to say he is a playoff beast - he needs to be better in the regular season. Markov's return will help boost Cammy's PP production. Martin also needs to free Cammy from a center like Desharnais and put him with Plekanec to increase his chances at success. Knowing Cammalleri has a tendency to pout, I'm sure he would prefer knowing he is playing on the 1st line.

Plekanec (5M, 5 years): Great signing because of all that he brings to the team. Even when he's struggling offensively, he's a stalwart defensively. Needs to play with Cammalleri to see his production increase, and I would pair those two smaller guys back with Cole now that he's got his swagger back.

Gionta (5M, 3 years): Admirable work rate, but no longer a top-six player on this team in my opinion. He has never been a player who uses his linemates well, and now that he's scoring less, he really does bring little value in a top-six role 5-on-5. He is still very good defensively though, so I would use him on the PK and reduce his PP time (he gets way too much PP time at the expense of younger & more talented players). If he's as good a leader as people say he is, Martin shouldn't worry about alienating Gionta by reducing his PP time and transitioning him to a 3rd line role. He is a player who is declining, and still has 3 years left on his contract. I honestly would have rather seen the team keep Koivu than sign Gionta: Koivu's cheaper and would have given us similar production in points. I also don't get why Gionta doesnít get any flak from the media for his poor production (especially given his salary) and for the fact that heís a captain who canít speak French. Any insight on why the media was so much harder on Koivu than on Gionta would be greatly appreciated.

Cole (4.5M, 4 years): Started off poorly, but has really stepped up nicely of late. His contract is inflated, but contracts will usually have to be slightly inflated in order to attract assets to Montreal. I expect his play to decline over time, but hopefully not too much. If he can sustain his current play for the first two seasons of his contract, I can live with his contract. He has good size, good speed and his link up play with linemates has been better than expected.

Kostitsyn (3.25M, 1 year): Arguably our best forward this year. His combination of size and skill is a very rare commodity. His consistent work rate this year has been a pleasant surprise. What hasnít been surprising has been Martinís poor utilization of Kostitsyn. He really needs to be given more PP time Ė it doesnít make any sense why guys like Gionta or Desharnais would get so much more PP time. Kostitsyn would be great playing the half-boards position on one of our PP units (like Kovy) Ė he has a sweet wrister, and has an uncanny ability to find the open man on the opposite wing with a precise laser pass (can set up Weber or Subban for the one-timer as the move up and down the right wing looking for a seam). He is also one of the few assets we have who gives us very good value for what we pay him. He needs to be signed for 2-3 years minimum: heís still relatively young and in his prime, and has intriguing chemistry with our two emerging skilled forwards: Eller and Pacioretty. Another reason to keep Kostitsyn is that we donít have too much elite forward talent in the youth pipelines (I donít expect guys like Leblanc or Palushaj to ever produce what Kostitsyn can).

Pacioretty (1.625M, 2 years): Heís having a great season so far. I like the fact that he works really hard too, so I expect him to continue to improve his body positioning around the crease in order to get more scoring chances and enhance his finishing ability. Heís emerging as the power forward weíve been looking for.

Moen (1.5M, 1 year): Heís also having a great season so far. He has good speed and size, heís reliable defensively, he can fight when necessary and he can chip in on one of the top 3 lines in case of injury even though heís best utilized on the long run on an energy/4th line. I would re-sign him for 2-3 years at the right price (somewhere in the 1 Ė 1.5M range).

Eller (1.27M, 1 year): Heís already our second best center. He may not have as much finishing ability as weíd like to see (I expect that to improve as he continues to mature and grow in confidence), but heís capable of putting solid numbers right away if we place him with two speedy guys who can put the puck in the net like Kostitsyn and Pacioretty (that could be a potent line for years to come).

Desharnais (850K, 2 years): I like him, because he works really hard and has overcome the odds to establish himself as an NHL player. That being said, I donít see him as being able to center a 2nd line in the NHL. He lacks foot speed, heís very easy to knock off the puck down low, and heís very predictable in his play. People claim heís a great playmaker, but his passes surprisingly often lack precision. He is a very smart and has good offensive instincts, but he often doesnít execute the play properly since heís not as skilled as you would think. Iím OK with him getting some PP time, but not as much as heís being given right now, since his PP play is too predictable (always tries the same cross-crease pass). When the Pacioretty-Desharnais-Kostitsyn line had success, it was a more a function of Kostitsyn and Paciorettyís play together than Desharnaisís link up with the two in my opinion. I believe he would be best utilized in a 3rd line winger role with PK time and a bit of PP time Ė in other words, I still think he is an important player on the team.

Darche (700K, 1 year): Wonít say much other than the fact that he is the ideal 13th forward to have on your team.

White (625K, 1 year): Canít wait for him to get back Ė heíll make our 4th line that much better.

Blunden (615K, 1 year): Hasnít been bad so far Ė should go back to Hamilton once White is ready.

Nokelainen (550K, 1 year): Heís been better than expected. I think heís very good in his role as our number 4 center.

Proposed lines (% of 5-on-5 time):

Cammalleri Ė Plekanec Ė Cole (33%)
Pacioretty Ė Eller Ė Kostitsyn (33%)
Desharnais Ė Gomez Ė Gionta (21%)
White Ė Nokelainen Ė Moen (13%)
I love those lines. Imagine having a top 2 line with 3 big players! Something this team hasn't seen for a while. Cole seems to thrive as the go to PF in a line. He can hit, skate, charge the net... I still think he is a perfect fit for Cammy and pleks now that (like you said) he has his swagger back.

Sure that 3rd line is small, but it will be playing against other third lines, where the size of the player's doesn't really matter as much since most 3rd lines play a defensive role. This line did perform well in the playoffs last year, so there could be some chemistry.

Crash and bang 4th line with a faceoff guy... perfect 4th line with reliable players. I definitely like your analysis.

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11-10-2011, 10:54 AM
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Great analysis!!!

I agree with those lines, but I'd rather put moen with gomez and gionta instead of DD.

Can't wait to read about your defense analysis cuz we all know how our defense is STACKEDD this year

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11-10-2011, 11:04 AM
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That is a fair assessment. It'll be interesting to see what's your opinion of the current Defense situation as it is a bit more touchy.

Nevertheless, I think you are bang on for the line match-ups. These would take the most advantage of our current forwards and thus giving us the best chance of winning. I think alot of us have been rooting for a Pacioretty-Eller-Kostitsyn line for a long time now, I hope the training staff wakes up and sees the opportunity aswell soon enough.

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11-10-2011, 11:15 AM
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An asset manager's view of the habs - Part II: Defensemen

I tired myself out with the Forwards section, and I need to leave my house soon, so I'll be more brief with Part II.

Defensemen:

2.1 - Summary : Again, we have some solid depth at the NHL level. Weíre in even better shape here because weíre less handcuffed with bad lengthy contracts in the coming few years, and we have a number of talented young defensemen who have already either established themselves (Gorges, Subban), are in the process of doing so (Weber, Emelin, Diaz), or project to do so in the future (Beaulieu). The main question mark is Markov's health, as a lot of asset management moves in the coming year will depend on whether or not he can get back to his Norris-like self.

2.2 Ė Player by player assessment:

Markov (5.75M, 3 years): Obviously, itís hard to judge whether or not this will have been a fruitful move until we see if he can recover from injury. It will either be a great signing Ė getting arguably one of the top 10 defenseman in the NHL at a very good price Ė or a bad move, having signed damaged goods for 3 years. Iím hoping itís the prior. This PP will improve by leaps and bounds when he returns. Heís also our best defensive defensemen and can play massive minutes, so he will also help reduce opposition scoring chances, and alleviate the load for other defensemen currently being overutilized and exposed.

Spacek (3.83M, 1 year): Heís been much better this year than last year. Heís currently being forced to play more minutes than he should, but Markovís return will hopefully fix that. With the emergence of so many of our younger defensemen, I donít think he needs to be re-signed, unless Markov struggles to stay healthy.

Gorges (2.5M, 1 year): Heís been good this year. Iím hoping is unusually high current offensive production doesnít lead to his next contract being overly inflated. He isnít necessarily great in any one area, but heís good enough in all areas, he appears to be a good leader, and heís still young.

Gill (2.25M, 1 year): Heís struggled this year, and I donít expect him to be re-signed. I would have rather seen the Habs re-sign Hamrlik, even if it would have been more expensive. Heís a great guy and leader to have on your team though, and I think heíll improve once Markov returns to alleviate Gillís workload.

Campoli (1.75M, 1 year): We havenít been able to see him this year due to injury, but with Gill and Spacek likely not returning, he may be a good option to re-sign depending on his play once he returns since it appears as though we will have a very young core of d-men for next year Ė maybe too young.

Emelin (984K, 1 year): I believe he has what it takes to become an everyday NHL d-man, and heís been better than expected despite some mistakes. He also bring a dimension that is lacking on this team: physicality. While we could argue that Diaz has been better than Emelin so far, we have to remain cognizant of the mix of defensemen required on the team to be successful on the long run, and I believe the team needs to focus on doing whatever it takes to groom Emelin to be a successful full-time player for next year. Martin needs to give him more playing time.

Diaz (900K, 1 year): Heís also been better than expected, but heís not quite as ready as Weber for an everyday role. He needs to go down to Hamilton to improve his strength and positioning. Iím also not sure where he fits in on the long run, since I expect our top-six to be Markov, Subban, Gorges, Weber, Emelin and either Campoli or another veteran (preferably with size). If we go with Diaz full-time in our top six for next year, our d-man mix will likely be too small and young (even though it would have an intriguing level of offensive skill & transitional passing/speed).

Subban (875K, 1 year): He hasnít been great, but he hasnít been as bad as people are saying. I think he is a victim of the very high (justified) expectations weíve put on him. Iím not worried about him at all, and I am confident he will be a stud for us for years to come.

Weber (850K, 2 years): Heís arguably been our best d-man this year, and I think he has established himself as a serviceable everyday d-man who should be a full-time player on our team for years to come. Heís actually quite strong in one-on-one battles down low, and his positioning has been improving. Heís also been our most dangerous player on the PP so far.

2.3 Proposed pairings when healthy (% of 5-on-5 time):
Markov-Subban (40%)
Gorges ĖSpacek (35%)
Campoli-Weber (25%)
Gill & Emelin (#7 Ė swapping in with Spacek from time to time & #8 Ė swapping in with Weber from time to time)

2.4 Projected pairings for 2012-2013:
Markov-Subban (40%)
Gorges-Weber (35%)
UFA/Campoli-Emelin (25%)
Diaz

2.5 - Goaltending:
I'm not going to start another thread to say that Carey Price is our #1 goalie and one of the best in the league. His play has been good, but he's capable of being better. Martin needs to stop using Price 70+ games a year, and if the team isn't confident with Budaj (who is signed for 2012-2013 too), then they need to find a backup they are confident giving 15-20 games to.

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11-10-2011, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by RaMMuT View Post
Great analysis!!!

I agree with those lines, but I'd rather put moen with gomez and gionta instead of DD.

Can't wait to read about your defense analysis cuz we all know how our defense is STACKEDD this year
Thanks. I thought about putting Moen with Gomez and Gionta to balance the size a little better, but as someone else alluded to in this thread, the size concern is less of an issue if they're facing 3rd liners, and those three do have some chemistry. Also, relegating Desharnais to a 4th line is harsh - he can still help the 3rd line more than Moen in terms of offensive production.

Regarding the d-men, I know this isn't the popular consensus, but I believe we're in better shape with our d-men. We're consistently limiting opposing shots & scoring chances with respect to the number of scoring chances and shots we create for ourselves. Our contract situation on D gives the team more flexibility in building/reshaping as necessary for next year. We also have more NHL level young talent and prospects at D than at F. I believe the team's lack of success this year is more due to our failure to capitalize on offensive chances and failure to generate production on the PP.

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11-10-2011, 11:49 AM
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Keep this to one thread

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11-10-2011, 11:58 AM
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Solid analysis. Now I know who wears the pants in this family's hockey insight. I agree with all of the above except for the whole AK would be good on the Kovy spot on the powerplay... that guy does not have what I call "quick thinking".

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11-10-2011, 12:00 PM
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I agree with most of what you said particularly about Gionta. The man seems to forget he has linemates and takes a tremendous number of shots that have so little chance of getting past the goalie and ultimately kills a rush or pressure. (I am all for throwing the puck at that net with a weak shot but lots of traffic - but not a 35 foot shot and no screen).

The part I disagree with is Gomez. I am not blinded by his salary or cap hit. The man is simply not a good hockey player right now or last season. He makes dumb hockey plays, takes bad penalties, makes his linemates worse and generally makes poor decisions. He certainly is not worth the money - but my issue is that he brings down the team with his play.

I most interested in reading your analysis of the JM. I think that your opening paragraph touches upon the real issue with this team. The coach is the right fit for the players we have. We have small, fast skilled forwards that need a more uptempo game. In other words, this team needs to play a more aggressive style to be successful. He plays a defensive, rope-a-dope, wait for the other team to make a mistake style. I get infuriated by things like Darche on the PP, the constant "messages" he sends to younger players and allowing vets to get a pass - but ultimately those are small issues. The larger issue that this coach and team don't fit and that IMHO he mismanages younger players.

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11-10-2011, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NRG87 View Post
Since I have some spare time today, I've decided to share my thoughts on the state of our beloved Habs franchise - not necessarily because I believe I have some groundbreaking insight, but simply because I enjoy thinking and talking about the Habs (more than I enjoy thinking and talking about investing and financial assets, which is what I actually get paid to do) and haven't had the chance to do so in a long time, and I'm curious to hear other people's thoughts.

I don't think I'm alone in being concerned about the team's performance of late, especially given the increasingly competitive landscape in the NHL. Fundamentally, I believe the Habs should make the playoffs this year despite questionable asset utilization by Martin (e.g. overplaying underperforming declining veterans at the expense of youth, insisting on playing a single forechecker system when we have enough speed to play a more aggressive forechecking game) and asset management decisions by Gauthier in the offseason (and by Gainey previously; e.g.: Gomez trade, Gionta signing).

1. Forwards:
1.1 - Summary: We have some good depth at the NHL level in terms of NHL calibre forwards. We may not have superstar/elite level talent, but we do have four forwards with a good size/skill mix (Cole, Pacioretty, Eller, Kostitsyn) who have all performed reasonably well so far - something we haven't had in a while. Unfortunately, many of our smaller forwards (Gionta, Gomez, Cammalleri) have underperformed (especially with respect to the dollar amount invested in them). All 3 need to step up if the Habs are going to make the playoffs. Other than that, I actually like our current mix of size and skill, and youth and experience. I believe we should make the playoffs and could do well this year as long as Martin starts to use his assets a little better.

1.1 Player-by-player assessment (cap hit, years remaining including this year):

Gomez (7.357M, 3 years): Clearly, Gainey made a horrible decision in acquiring him while giving away a stud like McDonagh, and a decent bang-for-buck player like Higgins (in a cap world, you keep your assets who are giving you decent results for a good price, and you stay away from assets who are overpaid - a rule ignored by Gainey et al.). Now, none of this is Gomez's fault, so a lot of the criticism people are giving him is unfair to a certain extent. Yes, he should be playing better, but people are blinded by his cap hit. He is still a good player. He is still a better option than Desharnais as our 2nd line center (not as good an option as Eller though - I'll get to that later). As much as Gomez needs to be less predictable with his game, Desharnais is much more predictable, and is often overmatched in 5 on 5 situations and down low since he is smaller, much weaker and slower than Gomez.

Cammalleri (6M, 3 years): He needs to be better for the habs to have success, but he is actually a good signing since he's still in his prime, contrary to a guy like Gionta for example. Needless to say he is a playoff beast - he needs to be better in the regular season. Markov's return will help boost Cammy's PP production. Martin also needs to free Cammy from a center like Desharnais and put him with Plekanec to increase his chances at success. Knowing Cammalleri has a tendency to pout, I'm sure he would prefer knowing he is playing on the 1st line.

Plekanec (5M, 5 years): Great signing because of all that he brings to the team. Even when he's struggling offensively, he's a stalwart defensively. Needs to play with Cammalleri to see his production increase, and I would pair those two smaller guys back with Cole now that he's got his swagger back.

Gionta (5M, 3 years): Admirable work rate, but no longer a top-six player on this team in my opinion. He has never been a player who uses his linemates well, and now that he's scoring less, he really does bring little value in a top-six role 5-on-5. He is still very good defensively though, so I would use him on the PK and reduce his PP time (he gets way too much PP time at the expense of younger & more talented players). If he's as good a leader as people say he is, Martin shouldn't worry about alienating Gionta by reducing his PP time and transitioning him to a 3rd line role. He is a player who is declining, and still has 3 years left on his contract. I honestly would have rather seen the team keep Koivu than sign Gionta: Koivu's cheaper and would have given us similar production in points. I also don't get why Gionta doesnít get any flak from the media for his poor production (especially given his salary) and for the fact that heís a captain who canít speak French. Any insight on why the media was so much harder on Koivu than on Gionta would be greatly appreciated.

Cole (4.5M, 4 years): Started off poorly, but has really stepped up nicely of late. His contract is inflated, but contracts will usually have to be slightly inflated in order to attract assets to Montreal. I expect his play to decline over time, but hopefully not too much. If he can sustain his current play for the first two seasons of his contract, I can live with his contract. He has good size, good speed and his link up play with linemates has been better than expected.

Kostitsyn (3.25M, 1 year): Arguably our best forward this year. His combination of size and skill is a very rare commodity. His consistent work rate this year has been a pleasant surprise. What hasnít been surprising has been Martinís poor utilization of Kostitsyn. He really needs to be given more PP time Ė it doesnít make any sense why guys like Gionta or Desharnais would get so much more PP time. Kostitsyn would be great playing the half-boards position on one of our PP units (like Kovy) Ė he has a sweet wrister, and has an uncanny ability to find the open man on the opposite wing with a precise laser pass (can set up Weber or Subban for the one-timer as the move up and down the right wing looking for a seam). He is also one of the few assets we have who gives us very good value for what we pay him. He needs to be signed for 2-3 years minimum: heís still relatively young and in his prime, and has intriguing chemistry with our two emerging skilled forwards: Eller and Pacioretty. Another reason to keep Kostitsyn is that we donít have too much elite forward talent in the youth pipelines (I donít expect guys like Leblanc or Palushaj to ever produce what Kostitsyn can).

Pacioretty (1.625M, 2 years): Heís having a great season so far. I like the fact that he works really hard too, so I expect him to continue to improve his body positioning around the crease in order to get more scoring chances and enhance his finishing ability. Heís emerging as the power forward weíve been looking for.

Moen (1.5M, 1 year): Heís also having a great season so far. He has good speed and size, heís reliable defensively, he can fight when necessary and he can chip in on one of the top 3 lines in case of injury even though heís best utilized on the long run on an energy/4th line. I would re-sign him for 2-3 years at the right price (somewhere in the 1 Ė 1.5M range).

Eller (1.27M, 1 year): Heís already our second best center. He may not have as much finishing ability as weíd like to see (I expect that to improve as he continues to mature and grow in confidence), but heís capable of putting solid numbers right away if we place him with two speedy guys who can put the puck in the net like Kostitsyn and Pacioretty (that could be a potent line for years to come).

Desharnais (850K, 2 years): I like him, because he works really hard and has overcome the odds to establish himself as an NHL player. That being said, I donít see him as being able to center a 2nd line in the NHL. He lacks foot speed, heís very easy to knock off the puck down low, and heís very predictable in his play. People claim heís a great playmaker, but his passes surprisingly often lack precision. He is a very smart and has good offensive instincts, but he often doesnít execute the play properly since heís not as skilled as you would think. Iím OK with him getting some PP time, but not as much as heís being given right now, since his PP play is too predictable (always tries the same cross-crease pass). When the Pacioretty-Desharnais-Kostitsyn line had success, it was a more a function of Kostitsyn and Paciorettyís play together than Desharnaisís link up with the two in my opinion. I believe he would be best utilized in a 3rd line winger role with PK time and a bit of PP time Ė in other words, I still think he is an important player on the team.

Darche (700K, 1 year): Wonít say much other than the fact that he is the ideal 13th forward to have on your team.

White (625K, 1 year): Canít wait for him to get back Ė heíll make our 4th line that much better.

Blunden (615K, 1 year): Hasnít been bad so far Ė should go back to Hamilton once White is ready.

Nokelainen (550K, 1 year): Heís been better than expected. I think heís very good in his role as our number 4 center.

Proposed lines (% of 5-on-5 time):

Cammalleri Ė Plekanec Ė Cole (33%)
Pacioretty Ė Eller Ė Kostitsyn (33%)
Desharnais Ė Gomez Ė Gionta (21%)
White Ė Nokelainen Ė Moen (13%)
I like your lines but I would give Gomez 20 games with MaxPac & A.K. and prove that he can still get it or not.

DD-Eller-Gionta would be fine.

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11-10-2011, 12:22 PM
  #11
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The is one factor that you have to include when evaluating assets - age. This is extremely important when you are projecting future value/performance. It's also a key aspect of evaluating what players have to be replaced or become surplus due to progression of younger players.

The Flyers moves this summer, were all about opening up spots for progressing players. They have been extremely progressive in their asset management - classic sell high, buy low, and fill holes with UFAs.

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11-10-2011, 12:24 PM
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I like your lines but I would give Gomez 20 games with MaxPac & A.K. and prove that he can still get it or not.

DD-Eller-Gionta would be fine.
I love AK... but I'd feel very bad for AK and especially Max if they did these lines at this point.

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11-10-2011, 02:32 PM
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Martin needs to stop using Price 70+ games a year, and if the team isn't confident with Budaj (who is signed for 2012-2013 too), then they need to find a backup they are confident giving 15-20 games to.
Having found myself nodding lightly in agreement with 93% of your analysis, this last sentence made me smile. A solid backup goalie is one thing we don't discuss, but it is much more important than we realize. 100% agree.

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11-10-2011, 03:27 PM
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Solid analysis. Now I know who wears the pants in this family's hockey insight. I agree with all of the above except for the whole AK would be good on the Kovy spot on the powerplay... that guy does not have what I call "quick thinking".
I wonder what taking Kostitsyn off his epilepsy medication for a game or two would do to his "quick thinking".

By many accounts prior to the 2003 draft, Kostitsyn was supposedly a very aggressive player who was always hungry for the puck. I think them epilepsy pills cured his epilepsy, but turned him into some kind of slow-thinking zombie.

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11-10-2011, 03:44 PM
  #15
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Since I have some spare time today, I've decided to share my thoughts on the state of our beloved Habs franchise - not necessarily because I believe I have some groundbreaking insight, but simply because I enjoy thinking and talking about the Habs (more than I enjoy thinking and talking about investing and financial assets, which is what I actually get paid to do) and haven't had the chance to do so in a long time, and I'm curious to hear other people's thoughts.

I don't think I'm alone in being concerned about the team's performance of late, especially given the increasingly competitive landscape in the NHL. Fundamentally, I believe the Habs should make the playoffs this year despite questionable asset utilization by Martin (e.g. overplaying underperforming declining veterans at the expense of youth, insisting on playing a single forechecker system when we have enough speed to play a more aggressive forechecking game) and asset management decisions by Gauthier in the offseason (and by Gainey previously; e.g.: Gomez trade, Gionta signing).

1. Forwards:
1.1 - Summary: We have some good depth at the NHL level in terms of NHL calibre forwards. We may not have superstar/elite level talent, but we do have four forwards with a good size/skill mix (Cole, Pacioretty, Eller, Kostitsyn) who have all performed reasonably well so far - something we haven't had in a while. Unfortunately, many of our smaller forwards (Gionta, Gomez, Cammalleri) have underperformed (especially with respect to the dollar amount invested in them). All 3 need to step up if the Habs are going to make the playoffs. Other than that, I actually like our current mix of size and skill, and youth and experience. I believe we should make the playoffs and could do well this year as long as Martin starts to use his assets a little better.

1.1 Player-by-player assessment (cap hit, years remaining including this year):

Gomez (7.357M, 3 years): Clearly, Gainey made a horrible decision in acquiring him while giving away a stud like McDonagh, and a decent bang-for-buck player like Higgins (in a cap world, you keep your assets who are giving you decent results for a good price, and you stay away from assets who are overpaid - a rule ignored by Gainey et al.). Now, none of this is Gomez's fault, so a lot of the criticism people are giving him is unfair to a certain extent. Yes, he should be playing better, but people are blinded by his cap hit. He is still a good player. He is still a better option than Desharnais as our 2nd line center (not as good an option as Eller though - I'll get to that later). As much as Gomez needs to be less predictable with his game, Desharnais is much more predictable, and is often overmatched in 5 on 5 situations and down low since he is smaller, much weaker and slower than Gomez.

Cammalleri (6M, 3 years): He needs to be better for the habs to have success, but he is actually a good signing since he's still in his prime, contrary to a guy like Gionta for example. Needless to say he is a playoff beast - he needs to be better in the regular season. Markov's return will help boost Cammy's PP production. Martin also needs to free Cammy from a center like Desharnais and put him with Plekanec to increase his chances at success. Knowing Cammalleri has a tendency to pout, I'm sure he would prefer knowing he is playing on the 1st line.

Plekanec (5M, 5 years): Great signing because of all that he brings to the team. Even when he's struggling offensively, he's a stalwart defensively. Needs to play with Cammalleri to see his production increase, and I would pair those two smaller guys back with Cole now that he's got his swagger back.

Gionta (5M, 3 years): Admirable work rate, but no longer a top-six player on this team in my opinion. He has never been a player who uses his linemates well, and now that he's scoring less, he really does bring little value in a top-six role 5-on-5. He is still very good defensively though, so I would use him on the PK and reduce his PP time (he gets way too much PP time at the expense of younger & more talented players). If he's as good a leader as people say he is, Martin shouldn't worry about alienating Gionta by reducing his PP time and transitioning him to a 3rd line role. He is a player who is declining, and still has 3 years left on his contract. I honestly would have rather seen the team keep Koivu than sign Gionta: Koivu's cheaper and would have given us similar production in points. I also don't get why Gionta doesn’t get any flak from the media for his poor production (especially given his salary) and for the fact that he’s a captain who can’t speak French. Any insight on why the media was so much harder on Koivu than on Gionta would be greatly appreciated.

Cole (4.5M, 4 years): Started off poorly, but has really stepped up nicely of late. His contract is inflated, but contracts will usually have to be slightly inflated in order to attract assets to Montreal. I expect his play to decline over time, but hopefully not too much. If he can sustain his current play for the first two seasons of his contract, I can live with his contract. He has good size, good speed and his link up play with linemates has been better than expected.

Kostitsyn (3.25M, 1 year): Arguably our best forward this year. His combination of size and skill is a very rare commodity. His consistent work rate this year has been a pleasant surprise. What hasn’t been surprising has been Martin’s poor utilization of Kostitsyn. He really needs to be given more PP time – it doesn’t make any sense why guys like Gionta or Desharnais would get so much more PP time. Kostitsyn would be great playing the half-boards position on one of our PP units (like Kovy) – he has a sweet wrister, and has an uncanny ability to find the open man on the opposite wing with a precise laser pass (can set up Weber or Subban for the one-timer as the move up and down the right wing looking for a seam). He is also one of the few assets we have who gives us very good value for what we pay him. He needs to be signed for 2-3 years minimum: he’s still relatively young and in his prime, and has intriguing chemistry with our two emerging skilled forwards: Eller and Pacioretty. Another reason to keep Kostitsyn is that we don’t have too much elite forward talent in the youth pipelines (I don’t expect guys like Leblanc or Palushaj to ever produce what Kostitsyn can).

Pacioretty (1.625M, 2 years): He’s having a great season so far. I like the fact that he works really hard too, so I expect him to continue to improve his body positioning around the crease in order to get more scoring chances and enhance his finishing ability. He’s emerging as the power forward we’ve been looking for.

Moen (1.5M, 1 year): He’s also having a great season so far. He has good speed and size, he’s reliable defensively, he can fight when necessary and he can chip in on one of the top 3 lines in case of injury even though he’s best utilized on the long run on an energy/4th line. I would re-sign him for 2-3 years at the right price (somewhere in the 1 – 1.5M range).

Eller (1.27M, 1 year): He’s already our second best center. He may not have as much finishing ability as we’d like to see (I expect that to improve as he continues to mature and grow in confidence), but he’s capable of putting solid numbers right away if we place him with two speedy guys who can put the puck in the net like Kostitsyn and Pacioretty (that could be a potent line for years to come).

Desharnais (850K, 2 years): I like him, because he works really hard and has overcome the odds to establish himself as an NHL player. That being said, I don’t see him as being able to center a 2nd line in the NHL. He lacks foot speed, he’s very easy to knock off the puck down low, and he’s very predictable in his play. People claim he’s a great playmaker, but his passes surprisingly often lack precision. He is a very smart and has good offensive instincts, but he often doesn’t execute the play properly since he’s not as skilled as you would think. I’m OK with him getting some PP time, but not as much as he’s being given right now, since his PP play is too predictable (always tries the same cross-crease pass). When the Pacioretty-Desharnais-Kostitsyn line had success, it was a more a function of Kostitsyn and Pacioretty’s play together than Desharnais’s link up with the two in my opinion. I believe he would be best utilized in a 3rd line winger role with PK time and a bit of PP time – in other words, I still think he is an important player on the team.

Darche (700K, 1 year): Won’t say much other than the fact that he is the ideal 13th forward to have on your team.

White (625K, 1 year): Can’t wait for him to get back – he’ll make our 4th line that much better.

Blunden (615K, 1 year): Hasn’t been bad so far – should go back to Hamilton once White is ready.

Nokelainen (550K, 1 year): He’s been better than expected. I think he’s very good in his role as our number 4 center.

Proposed lines (% of 5-on-5 time):

Cammalleri – Plekanec – Cole (33%)
Pacioretty – Eller – Kostitsyn (33%)
Desharnais – Gomez – Gionta (21%)
White – Nokelainen – Moen (13%)
I would say you have a great grasp of our team's players and I also like the lines as you have them.I'm of the opinion the Habs could use the help of a good centerman like Grigorenko or Girgensons and they would be Stanley Cup material two seasons from now.


Last edited by S Bah: 11-10-2011 at 03:49 PM.
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11-10-2011, 03:58 PM
  #16
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Regarding Kostitsyn and your comments on him I completely agree and would even consider offering him a 4 year deal if it would get him to stay at a reasonable cap hit. He is a valuable player and I think maybe he's playing better with Eller-Pacioretty because they are easier to relate to. They're young but more his own age. If you notice Edmonton is reaping the benefits of pairing their youth together but also having vets around for the locker room and consistency.

Kostitsyn does have chemistry with Plekanec too it's undeniable. Maybe not as much with Cammy but definitely Plek. I think Eller/Patches/Kostitsyn should remain a line. We still have Cole who is a power forward and he could play with Cammy-Plekanec. Those are two awesome lines. Moen-Desharnais-Gionta would be fine as a 3rd line imo. The rest are top 6 forwards.

As for Gomez I would maybe give him a chance over Moen on the 3rd line.

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11-11-2011, 01:40 AM
  #17
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Originally Posted by NRG87 View Post
I tired myself out with the Forwards section, and I need to leave my house soon, so I'll be more brief with Part II.

Defensemen:

2.1 - Summary : Again, we have some solid depth at the NHL level. Weíre in even better shape here because weíre less handcuffed with bad lengthy contracts in the coming few years, and we have a number of talented young defensemen who have already either established themselves (Gorges, Subban), are in the process of doing so (Weber, Emelin, Diaz), or project to do so in the future (Beaulieu). The main question mark is Markov's health, as a lot of asset management moves in the coming year will depend on whether or not he can get back to his Norris-like self.

2.2 Ė Player by player assessment:

Markov (5.75M, 3 years): Obviously, itís hard to judge whether or not this will have been a fruitful move until we see if he can recover from injury. It will either be a great signing Ė getting arguably one of the top 10 defenseman in the NHL at a very good price Ė or a bad move, having signed damaged goods for 3 years. Iím hoping itís the prior. This PP will improve by leaps and bounds when he returns. Heís also our best defensive defensemen and can play massive minutes, so he will also help reduce opposition scoring chances, and alleviate the load for other defensemen currently being overutilized and exposed.

Spacek (3.83M, 1 year): Heís been much better this year than last year. Heís currently being forced to play more minutes than he should, but Markovís return will hopefully fix that. With the emergence of so many of our younger defensemen, I donít think he needs to be re-signed, unless Markov struggles to stay healthy.

Gorges (2.5M, 1 year): Heís been good this year. Iím hoping is unusually high current offensive production doesnít lead to his next contract being overly inflated. He isnít necessarily great in any one area, but heís good enough in all areas, he appears to be a good leader, and heís still young.

Gill (2.25M, 1 year): Heís struggled this year, and I donít expect him to be re-signed. I would have rather seen the Habs re-sign Hamrlik, even if it would have been more expensive. Heís a great guy and leader to have on your team though, and I think heíll improve once Markov returns to alleviate Gillís workload.

Campoli (1.75M, 1 year): We havenít been able to see him this year due to injury, but with Gill and Spacek likely not returning, he may be a good option to re-sign depending on his play once he returns since it appears as though we will have a very young core of d-men for next year Ė maybe too young.

Emelin (984K, 1 year): I believe he has what it takes to become an everyday NHL d-man, and heís been better than expected despite some mistakes. He also bring a dimension that is lacking on this team: physicality. While we could argue that Diaz has been better than Emelin so far, we have to remain cognizant of the mix of defensemen required on the team to be successful on the long run, and I believe the team needs to focus on doing whatever it takes to groom Emelin to be a successful full-time player for next year. Martin needs to give him more playing time.

Diaz (900K, 1 year): Heís also been better than expected, but heís not quite as ready as Weber for an everyday role. He needs to go down to Hamilton to improve his strength and positioning. Iím also not sure where he fits in on the long run, since I expect our top-six to be Markov, Subban, Gorges, Weber, Emelin and either Campoli or another veteran (preferably with size). If we go with Diaz full-time in our top six for next year, our d-man mix will likely be too small and young (even though it would have an intriguing level of offensive skill & transitional passing/speed).

Subban (875K, 1 year): He hasnít been great, but he hasnít been as bad as people are saying. I think he is a victim of the very high (justified) expectations weíve put on him. Iím not worried about him at all, and I am confident he will be a stud for us for years to come.

Weber (850K, 2 years): Heís arguably been our best d-man this year, and I think he has established himself as a serviceable everyday d-man who should be a full-time player on our team for years to come. Heís actually quite strong in one-on-one battles down low, and his positioning has been improving. Heís also been our most dangerous player on the PP so far.

2.3 Proposed pairings when healthy (% of 5-on-5 time):
Markov-Subban (40%)
Gorges ĖSpacek (35%)
Campoli-Weber (25%)
Gill & Emelin (#7 Ė swapping in with Spacek from time to time & #8 Ė swapping in with Weber from time to time)

2.4 Projected pairings for 2012-2013:
Markov-Subban (40%)
Gorges-Weber (35%)
UFA/Campoli-Emelin (25%)
Diaz

2.5 - Goaltending:
I'm not going to start another thread to say that Carey Price is our #1 goalie and one of the best in the league. His play has been good, but he's capable of being better. Martin needs to stop using Price 70+ games a year, and if the team isn't confident with Budaj (who is signed for 2012-2013 too), then they need to find a backup they are confident giving 15-20 games to.
Great insight again on our defence and goalies NRG87 or is that energy Crosby.Whichever I like the breakdown and your opinions about the team.

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11-11-2011, 04:40 AM
  #18
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Originally Posted by NRG87 View Post
Gionta (5M, 3 years): Admirable work rate, but no longer a top-six player on this team in my opinion. He has never been a player who uses his linemates well, and now that he's scoring less, he really does bring little value in a top-six role 5-on-5. He is still very good defensively though, so I would use him on the PK and reduce his PP time (he gets way too much PP time at the expense of younger & more talented players). If he's as good a leader as people say he is, Martin shouldn't worry about alienating Gionta by reducing his PP time and transitioning him to a 3rd line role. He is a player who is declining, and still has 3 years left on his contract. I honestly would have rather seen the team keep Koivu than sign Gionta: Koivu's cheaper and would have given us similar production in points. I also don't get why Gionta doesnít get any flak from the media for his poor production (especially given his salary) and for the fact that heís a captain who canít speak French. Any insight on why the media was so much harder on Koivu than on Gionta would be greatly appreciated.
I don't really disagree with much besides most of the Gionta part. his goal production over the last two seasons are his 2nd and 3rd best career goal totals in the NHL, and he's on pace for over 20 again this season after a noticably slow start. I think your assessment of Gionta is a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to the slow start he and the whole team has had up to this point this season. I don't see why he won't put up 20+ goals this season like he has every other year, and he's excellent in scoring dirty goals down low, a trait which we lack from most of our other forwards. His hand-eye is easily the best on the team.

While I agree that his best uses are on the PK, I don't think he at all deserves to have reduced ice-time 5-on-5. He's one of our best puck possessors, and is great along the boards and in the corners. He's likely the grittiest small-guy in the league, and doesn't get pushed off the puck easily, unlike a Desharnais for example.

As far as the assessment of our defense goes, I agree in most of it with the exception of saying Weber's been our best defenseman (but I guess that's why you said "arguably"). He has been good, and I don't understand any of the flak he's been getting from some of the posters on our board (though I don't understand a lot of what goes on on our board from time to time, lol). I think compared to most of last season, he's been far and away our most improved player and definitely deserved a spot on the d-corps permanently now. I'm also very happy to see him using his cannon of a shot that we'd heard so much about in the AHL but hadn't really seen when he became a full-time Canadien.

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11-11-2011, 07:35 AM
  #19
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Originally Posted by Dekar View Post
I don't really disagree with much besides most of the Gionta part. his goal production over the last two seasons are his 2nd and 3rd best career goal totals in the NHL, and he's on pace for over 20 again this season after a noticably slow start. I think your assessment of Gionta is a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to the slow start he and the whole team has had up to this point this season. I don't see why he won't put up 20+ goals this season like he has every other year, and he's excellent in scoring dirty goals down low, a trait which we lack from most of our other forwards. His hand-eye is easily the best on the team.

While I agree that his best uses are on the PK, I don't think he at all deserves to have reduced ice-time 5-on-5. He's one of our best puck possessors, and is great along the boards and in the corners. He's likely the grittiest small-guy in the league, and doesn't get pushed off the puck easily, unlike a Desharnais for example.

As far as the assessment of our defense goes, I agree in most of it with the exception of saying Weber's been our best defenseman (but I guess that's why you said "arguably"). He has been good, and I don't understand any of the flak he's been getting from some of the posters on our board (though I don't understand a lot of what goes on on our board from time to time, lol). I think compared to most of last season, he's been far and away our most improved player and definitely deserved a spot on the d-corps permanently now. I'm also very happy to see him using his cannon of a shot that we'd heard so much about in the AHL but hadn't really seen when he became a full-time Canadien.
Good insight, especially regarding Gionta's goal scoring since joining the team. My opinion is not a knee-jerk reaction though, since I've felt this way since he's been on the team. I believe him putting his 2nd and 3rd best goal scoring totals with us is a direct result of Martin's overutilization. I believe Martin gives him too many looks on the PP at the expense of other more talented players. I believe Gionta (ignoring the Coyotes game yesterday lol) generally doesn't utilize his linemates well, and makes his line less effective offensively in 5-on-5 situations. I also believe that Gionta can score 20+ goals irrespective of which line or center he plays with, since he relies on a gritty goal-crashing style to generate his chances as opposed to building scoring chances by linking up with his linemates. Conversely, a guy like Cammalleri absolutely needs to be playing with our best center in order to get scoring chances. Again, it's a question of optimizing asset utilization to maximize team performance.

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11-11-2011, 08:10 AM
  #20
neofury*
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NRG87 View Post
Good insight, especially regarding Gionta's goal scoring since joining the team. My opinion is not a knee-jerk reaction though, since I've felt this way since he's been on the team. I believe him putting his 2nd and 3rd best goal scoring totals with us is a direct result of Martin's overutilization. I believe Martin gives him too many looks on the PP at the expense of other more talented players. I believe Gionta (ignoring the Coyotes game yesterday lol) generally doesn't utilize his linemates well, and makes his line less effective offensively in 5-on-5 situations. I also believe that Gionta can score 20+ goals irrespective of which line or center he plays with, since he relies on a gritty goal-crashing style to generate his chances as opposed to building scoring chances by linking up with his linemates. Conversely, a guy like Cammalleri absolutely needs to be playing with our best center in order to get scoring chances. Again, it's a question of optimizing asset utilization to maximize team performance.
This. The Gomez-Gionta tandem at this point are the perfect 3rd liners. Against weaker opposition these guys will light it up.

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