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Which center will have to go away?

View Poll Results: Who will have to be moved in the next 2-3 years?
Tomas Plekanec 37 22.98%
David Desharnais 36 22.36%
Lars Eller 15 9.32%
Louis Leblanc 3 1.86%
Alex Galchenyuk 1 0.62%
None. 2 of them can play on the wing. 69 42.86%
Voters: 161. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
06-24-2012, 10:17 AM
  #151
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roke View Post
The good news is it's not a decision that needs to be (or should be) made this year. Galyenchuk should be sent back to junior seeing how he missed all of last season with the injury, the Habs have 3 pretty capable centres, and Galyenchuk's 26 year-old season is almost certainly going to be more valuable than his 18 year-old season Heck, looking at just the ELC situation you're better off having him on an ELC from 19-21 than 18-20.

The decision will be made next summer and I think Desharnais should be the odd man out:

Plekanec's a very good contributor in all situations and his contract is very good (plus he has a no-trade clause). Centres that can play well against the opposition's best players are very tough to find and he does that.

Eller already has a strong two-way game and should be able to fairly easily handle 2nd-line matchups if he gets a decent winger or two (he almost handled that nicely in the second half of this past season with garbage on the wings). Thanks to little PP time, poor linemates, and taking on the 2nd-toughest centre minutes for most of the year his offensive totals this past year weren't outstanding which means there's a chance the Habs wrap him up to a bargain medium-term contract.

Desharnais' weak defense means you will always have to shelter him to some degree. This past season that was done by putting the team's best two wingers with him and giving him the 3rd-toughest matchups which while worked out well for that trio absolutely crippled the rest of the team. I looked at the with/without shot-metrics for him and the various players he played with a while back and no player on the ice with Desharnais for 100+ total shot attempts (combined for and against) did better in the metrics with Desharnais than without him. Going all the way down the list Mathieu Darche was the first guy who out-shot the opposition more with Desharnais than without him.

More importantly than Desharnais' spots is the situation you want to put Galyenchuk in when he does make the big team - you don't want to push him too hard, too fast and have him playing against players over his head. If the Habs are dealing Plekanec or Eller in two years time to open up a top-9 centre spot that means one of Desharnais or Galyenchuk will have to take on some pretty tough minutes from the outset. I'd rather the Habs take things slow with Galyenchuk, put him in soft 3rd-line matchups to start and then work his way up as he adjusts and improves like Boston did with Seguin or Edmonton has seemed to do with Nugent-Hopkins. Unless Desharnais' defensive game improves significantly this season the Habs probably can't afford to have Galyenchuk and Desharnais as two of their top-3 centres if they want to be competitive. Shifting Desharnais to the wing could work out though with anything resembling centres difficult to acquire on the market (buffalo thought Ville Leino was a top-6 centre after all) you might be better off trading him and bringing in another winger for less than you get for Desharnais.
And there was a voice of reason and truth that spoke. Good post.

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06-24-2012, 10:20 AM
  #152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Felix60 View Post
Desharnais was the 20th most productive center this season.
You'd think he had Malkin like production the way the people are obsessed with moving one of our two way centres to service an offense-only line after one good statistical season on an awful team.

I like Desharnais, really. But...why not try him on the wing where it's less of a matchup issue?

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06-24-2012, 10:24 AM
  #153
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Originally Posted by Roke View Post
He can be an exploitation 3rd-line centre behind two very good two-way guys like Briere was when Philly went to the final despite playing Michael Leighton in goal. Though you can't be making your team weaker by playing your best wingers with that type of player though if you want to contend.
DD at no. 3 is possible, true. At center, not wing. That is his place in our future if we are contender, maybe. No higher, no other position.

I love the guy, but so many people on this board have never seen a cup winner, and have no clue. It's astonishing.

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06-24-2012, 10:31 AM
  #154
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Originally Posted by Et le But View Post
You'd think he had Malkin like production the way the people are obsessed with moving one of our two way centres to service an offense-only line after one good statistical season on an awful team.

I like Desharnais, really. But...why not try him on the wing where it's less of a matchup issue?
I wouldn't mind moving him to the wing, none at all. I was directing this to the one poster that claimed DD was not a roster player on a contending team.

Plus, the matchup was more of a non-issue last season, if you ask me.

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06-24-2012, 10:36 AM
  #155
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Originally Posted by bsl View Post
DD at no. 3 is possible, true. At center, not wing. That is his place in our future if we are contender, maybe. No higher, no other position.

I love the guy, but so many people on this board have never seen a cup winner, and have no clue. It's astonishing.
I could see DD in a Briere-like role if Eller develops offensively. I have a lot of faith in Eller too, if Eller can learn from Plekanec then yes, in a few years Pleks can be moved.

The problem is, it's still a lot of what-ifs. Eller is better than DD and Plekanec both were at the same age but you never know, maybe the skeptics are right and you can write him off because of his point total this year. But I want to see what Eller does on a non-dysfunctional team before we figure out what he is. Galchenyuk has never played a single game in the NHL FFS; and even if he makes the team there is no reason to think he will dominate from day one.

Right now, Plekanec is more valuable than Desharnais. Yes, his point production dropped last year - and yet he still produced at a comparable level to the DD line with terrible wingers and starting most shifts in the defensive zone vs top lines.

I just don't get it, year after year everyone complains we have no center depth. Everyone told me that we MUST draft a C this year, and that most Cs can be converted to wingers but not the other way around. Now we draft one, and have too many before Galchenyuk ever played a shift in the league? Wow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Felix60 View Post
I wouldn't mind moving him to the wing, none at all. I was directing this to the one poster that claimed DD was not a roster player on a contending team.

Plus, the matchup was more of a non-issue last season, if you ask me.
Well, the matchup issue is overblown by some - the DD line controlled possession at a convincing level that even though they played a lot of shift against 3rd lines, they were dominant enough that it wasn't fluke production. DD has earned his place. But he was also used far better by Cunneyworth than Eller or Plekanec, whose production was hurt by how they were misused. Also Desharnais has not shown the consistent possession that Plekanec and Eller have, and that's why I think he makes more sense as a winger if the plan is to put Galchenyuk in as a C right away. Which would be another mistake.

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06-24-2012, 10:44 AM
  #156
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Isn't it possible that the Habs can and will have 3 lines that are responsible defensively and can score in a couple of years?

Pacioretty-Galchenyuk-Desharnais
Collberg-Plekanec-Cole
Leblanc-Eller-Gallagher

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06-24-2012, 10:51 AM
  #157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roke View Post
Though you can't be making your team weaker by playing your best wingers with that type of player though if you want to contend.
This. Pacioretty-Cole is one of the best tough minutes LW-RW combo in the East. Desharnais is an extremely usefull player that will find a way to put point on the board as long as you give him semi-talented offensive players, soft minutes and some PP time but he's not a player a good team should have playing with their best tough minutes wingers, not in a league where teams mostly play power on power.

He also won't be cheap for long, kind of curious to see what kind of contract he'll get.

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06-24-2012, 11:46 AM
  #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Et le But View Post
I could see DD in a Briere-like role if Eller develops offensively. I have a lot of faith in Eller too, if Eller can learn from Plekanec then yes, in a few years Pleks can be moved.

The problem is, it's still a lot of what-ifs. Eller is better than DD and Plekanec both were at the same age but you never know, maybe the skeptics are right and you can write him off because of his point total this year. But I want to see what Eller does on a non-dysfunctional team before we figure out what he is. Galchenyuk has never played a single game in the NHL FFS; and even if he makes the team there is no reason to think he will dominate from day one.

Right now, Plekanec is more valuable than Desharnais. Yes, his point production dropped last year - and yet he still produced at a comparable level to the DD line with terrible wingers and starting most shifts in the defensive zone vs top lines.
Not really worried about Eller (see homer screen name). In the first half of the year, before the winger depth was decimated, he had a pretty respectable assist rate at ES (almost all first assist too), especially considering the fact that he was already starting to get used in hard minutes, and his production was hurt by his bad personal shooting %.
I also remember looking at something Chris Boucher posted here about players completed offensive zone passes and he had a pretty good sucess rate there (good % and amount of completed passes overall) but one of the lowest rate of conversion (to goals, by his linemates) on the team. Wich also fits with the fact that he had one of the lowest overall quality of linemates ( looking at behind the net).

Also, not worried at all about Plekanec. If there is a player on this team. I feel like I can always trust what I'm going to get and he'll do his job no matter what kind of stupid thing the coaching staff ask of him, it's Plekanec.

The other day I was reading an old post on Oliver's blog (who counts our scoring chances) about the scoring chances of the 2010-2011 season. If I remember well, he had separated player's opposition into groups (something like A=top lines, B=second lines....) and Plekanec, playing with mostly respectable 5on5 (but not as top end as a Pacioretty-Cole combo) wingers went near 55% on scoring chances (in our favor) against the top group (wich is damn good, also where he had the majority of his minutes played) and that number, naturally, went up as his opposition dropped. If I remember well, he was a ridiculous 75% on chances or something against the softest opposition.

I have no doubt Plek could put up flashy numbers in soft minutes but the overall on-ice value he gives us makes him just as valuable used like that. When he becomes less effective as he ages, he'll just be the perfect third line center anyway. I suspect he might end up being one of those players where his overall point totals won't change that much as he ages since, as he gets out of his prime, he'll just get softer minutes than he did in his peak. He doesn't seem like the kind of player who'll stop being good young to me, trading him only to see him play another eight + years at a high level would hurt.


Last edited by EllertoKostitsynGoal: 06-24-2012 at 11:55 AM.
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06-24-2012, 11:49 AM
  #159
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Let see how much Plekanec and DD produce offensively next year. Personnaly i predict 80 points fro DD and 45 for Plekanec with anither excellent -15 for him as well. In my opinion Eller as already proved he can be a solid third line center, so PLekanec is becoming expandable. NO way the Habs keep Plekanec and trade Desharnais. Remember the Cunneyworth saga, this would be 2 time more controversial. Its the beginning of the end for the ''girlie''!!!

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06-24-2012, 11:53 AM
  #160
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Plekanec should stay the length of his contract, maybe longer. Great second line center.

DD can be moved to the wing where he'd likely be a better value.

Galchenyuk is going to be a first line center.

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06-24-2012, 12:13 PM
  #161
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Habs in 2-3 years.

Patches Galenchuck Collberg
Gallagher Eller Cole
Kristo Pleks leblanc
Moen Vail Bozon
extras ( Hudon Bourque )

Subban Tinordi
Beaulieu Thrower
Georges Emilin
Ellis

Price
?

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06-24-2012, 12:13 PM
  #162
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I refuse to get rid of Plekanec or Eller unless an offer we can't resist comes along. Pleky is a special player, he can play both ends of the ice, something hard to obtain. Eller is big 6'2" 210lbs uses his size and can also play both ends.

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06-24-2012, 01:01 PM
  #163
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EllertoKostitsynGoal View Post
This. Pacioretty-Cole is one of the best tough minutes LW-RW combo in the East. Desharnais is an extremely usefull player that will find a way to put point on the board as long as you give him semi-talented offensive players, soft minutes and some PP time but he's not a player a good team should have playing with their best tough minutes wingers, not in a league where teams mostly play power on power.

He also won't be cheap for long, kind of curious to see what kind of contract he'll get.
He's arbitration eligible next summer is he not? If Galchenyuk doesn't suffer a setback and is soft-minutes ready for the 2013-14 season things could get interesting.

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06-24-2012, 01:09 PM
  #164
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Originally Posted by Et le But View Post

Well, the matchup issue is overblown by some - the DD line controlled possession at a convincing level that even though they played a lot of shift against 3rd lines, they were dominant enough that it wasn't fluke production. DD has earned his place. But he was also used far better by Cunneyworth than Eller or Plekanec, whose production was hurt by how they were misused. Also Desharnais has not shown the consistent possession that Plekanec and Eller have, and that's why I think he makes more sense as a winger if the plan is to put Galchenyuk in as a C right away. Which would be another mistake.
Pacioretty-Desharnais-Cole did control the play well against the opposition they were matched up against (basically usually 3rd lines on the road and 2nd-lines at home with normal variation you would expect by being unable to get perfect matchups). That said, both of Pacioretty and Cole have better metrics away from Desharnais than with him and it's likely they played tougher minutes without Desharnais.

Put that together with Desharnais' high on-ice shooting percentage* and he's due for some regression unless Therrien keeps the line together and loads them up with Offensive-zone starts, which would again hamper the team's ability to win games.

*on-ice shooting percentage being the shooting percentage of all Habs when Desharnais is on the ice, not just him. For pretty much all the league (Except for goons and players like Moen on the low end and the likes of Crobsy on the high end) it being significantly different than expected is not a repeatable skill.


Bah, sorry about the double-post.

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06-24-2012, 01:16 PM
  #165
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roke View Post
Pacioretty-Desharnais-Cole did control the play well against the opposition they were matched up against (basically usually 3rd lines on the road and 2nd-lines at home with normal variation you would expect by being unable to get perfect matchups). That said, both of Pacioretty and Cole have better metrics away from Desharnais than with him and it's likely they played tougher minutes without Desharnais.

Put that together with Desharnais' high on-ice shooting percentage* and he's due for some regression unless Therrien keeps the line together and loads them up with Offensive-zone starts, which would again hamper the team's ability to win games.

*on-ice shooting percentage being the shooting percentage of all Habs when Desharnais is on the ice, not just him. For pretty much all the league (Except for goons and players like Moen on the low end and the likes of Crobsy on the high end) it being significantly different than expected is not a repeatable skill.


Bah, sorry about the double-post.
I agree with this, I remember in I think the Vancouver game when we got an opportunity to see Pacioretty-Plekanec-Cole in action and it looked very, very good. But Desharnais' vision is still a major asset, I think he can adapt to another role even if it hurts his statistics. Unfortunately with the media narrative (Someone on TSN 990 just the other day called that line untouchable) I'm gravely concerned that line has become elevated at the expense of any depth.

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06-24-2012, 01:32 PM
  #166
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Originally Posted by Et le But View Post
I agree with this, I remember in I think the Vancouver game when we got an opportunity to see Pacioretty-Plekanec-Cole in action and it looked very, very good. But Desharnais' vision is still a major asset, I think he can adapt to another role even if it hurts his statistics. Unfortunately with the media narrative (Someone on TSN 990 just the other day called that line untouchable) I'm gravely concerned that line has become elevated at the expense of any depth.
Me too. The narrative makes the{ Pacioretty-Desharnais-Cole line out to be some sacred cow when it was just some guys in soft minutes on a bad team. You see that on occasion.

I am encouraged with Therrien employing zone-start based usage when he was in Pittsburgh. If the Habs can put Desharnais with Bourque and Leblanc/free agent and give them at least a 60/40 split of Offensive-to-defensive zone-starts (i.e. faceoffs) I think Desharnais will have a reasonably productive year. With Cole and Pacioretty playing bigger roles, Gionta back, and hopefully someone else to fill the gaping LW hole the Habs could have two stronger lines in front of Desharnais which means he won't get as difficult matchups on the road.

Basically I'm hoping Therrien switches Desharnais' sheltering from linemate-based to situational/positional-based. Eller and Plekanec can drive play from the Habs zone toward the opposition's, get a 4th line and a 4th-line centre that can push the puck out of the defensive zone against 4th-liners and the Habs would be set up pretty well for every forward to succeed to some degree.

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06-24-2012, 06:00 PM
  #167
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Perhaps the solution is to play DD and Eller on the same line (Eller at center, DD winger ?) ?

Eller can bring his 2-way play to play against opposing centers, and DD brings creativity to generate offense. Problem solved.

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06-24-2012, 06:36 PM
  #168
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Gionta must be traded we don't want to have too small of a team with a captain that will be injured and unable to play one season out of two.

Bourque is crap he needs to be moved

Gomez is crap he needs to be moved

Petteri Nokelainen is crap he needs to be moved

Blunden is too old and we don't need him on the 4th line


that leaves us with

Erik Cole
Lars Eller
Mathieu Darche
Travis Moen
Ryan White
Brad Staubitz
Tomas Plekanec
Max Pacioretty
David Desharnais
Louis Leblanc


We absolutely must keep the patch/DD/Cole line, unless they can't produce anymore.

Max Pacioretty/ David Desharnais / Erik Cole

I want to Galchenyuk in the regular season I think he may well be the best rookie next year after Yakupov. So we need some guys that can back him up on the wings.

My ideal pick would be Alexander Semin being russian too I would see a strong connection there, so hypothetically.

Semin / Galchenyuk / Eller

Third line that can produce would be

Leblanc / Plekanec / Gallagher

Fourth

Moen / Whyte / Staubitz


This would help us in attempting to get bigger bodies and most importantly have three good offensive lines.

I really hate the fact that Eller and Leblanc are two potentially good centers that would probably be better off playing their positions

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06-24-2012, 08:32 PM
  #169
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Originally Posted by ChoseLa View Post
DD should 1st or 2nd line as a winger, only Patch and Cole should be ahead of him, on par with Gio (who's aging while DD is blossoming).
A line I'd like to see in the future is DD--Gally--Patches. I really think DD is best suited in Martin St. Louis role. He can't do anything as good as St. Louis, but he's surprisingly adept in board play and escapability; his shiftiness is one of his best assets. Put him in a playmaking winger role with a two natural goal scorers in Gally and Patches, and you've got a terrific top line.

edit: potentially terrific, lol.

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06-25-2012, 03:55 PM
  #170
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A line I'd like to see in the future is DD--Gally--Patches. I really think DD is best suited in Martin St. Louis role. He can't do anything as good as St. Louis, but he's surprisingly adept in board play and escapability; his shiftiness is one of his best assets. Put him in a playmaking winger role with a two natural goal scorers in Gally and Patches, and you've got a terrific top line.

edit: potentially terrific, lol.
I get the St. Louis comparison because of the size and they were both overlooked but in style of play they aren't really comparable. St. Louis takes a tonne of shots (he's a lot like Brian Gionta in that way though a better finisher) while Desharnais rarely does.

Offensively Desharnais is a lot more like Alex Tanguay - rarely shoots, but has a higher shooting percentage than normal.

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06-25-2012, 11:55 PM
  #171
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Originally Posted by Rise from the Ashes View Post
Voted Eller because I feel he is expendable. He is not a third line center, which is what he will be used as. Plekanec is too valuable a player to the Habs unless they can get a defender in return and Desharnais is going to be a Hab for at least the prime years of his career.
Then what is he?? The guy was a very good third line center last year and yet he isn't a third line center? I am a 100% sure that Eller is going to be a very very good second line center in a year or two. Eller had good top 6 even strength points last year, give him line-mates who can score goals, and some PP time, and he will give you 50 points.

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06-26-2012, 06:31 AM
  #172
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Originally Posted by Patofqc View Post
Let see how much Plekanec and DD produce offensively next year. Personnaly i predict 80 points fro DD and 45 for Plekanec with anither excellent -15 for him as well. In my opinion Eller as already proved he can be a solid third line center, so PLekanec is becoming expandable. NO way the Habs keep Plekanec and trade Desharnais. Remember the Cunneyworth saga, this would be 2 time more controversial. Its the beginning of the end for the ''girlie''!!!
You have something against Plekanec. It's really sad that you do that just because DD is French. It's a sad state of affairs #realtalk

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06-26-2012, 06:38 AM
  #173
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I see only two scenarios:

-we shift DD to wing and play him with two scorers, e.g. Galchenyuk and Pacioretty, where he can use his playmaking skills while keeping us big up the middle.

-we get another top 6 forward with size to provide other options if we want to load up on size on the first line with both Pacs and Cole.

You have to play DD with two players with size who can score. That means Eller (he's a passer), Pleks and Gionta are all out. DD limits us in this way unless we can solve the problem with one of the two options I mentioned.

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06-26-2012, 06:40 AM
  #174
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Originally Posted by bsl View Post
DD at no. 3 is possible, true. At center, not wing. That is his place in our future if we are contender, maybe. No higher, no other position.

I love the guy, but so many people on this board have never seen a cup winner, and have no clue. It's astonishing.
DD on the third line is asking for trouble. The way forward is teams like LA, Boston, Vancouver and Philadelphia. Those are the teams we'd compete against. What are their centers like? Who would DD go up against? I love DD, he's proven everyone wrong, but we have to be smart about positioning and line combinations. I see him as a Martin St. Louis.

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06-26-2012, 06:43 AM
  #175
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Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
Then what is he?? The guy was a very good third line center last year and yet he isn't a third line center? I am a 100% sure that Eller is going to be a very very good second line center in a year or two. Eller had good top 6 even strength points last year, give him line-mates who can score goals, and some PP time, and he will give you 50 points.
Last year we came 15th in the East.

The issue for me is our glut of wingers once Galchenyuk is ready - Pacioretty, Cole, DD (assuming that's the solution), Gionta, Bourque, Gallagher, Leblanc and Kristo should all be vying for six positions. Likely add Collberg the year after (Gionta will likely be home then).

I'd keep Pacs, Cole, Gallagher, Leblanc, DD for next season and get a top six left winger with size - an Evander Kane type. That's our real problem.

I'd line them up as Pacs and Collberg (DD until then and we figure it out later), Kane and Cole and Leblanc and Gallagher on the top 3 lines.


Last edited by Ginu: 06-26-2012 at 06:55 AM.
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