The problem is we'll be trading for "potential future" rather than immediate impact and somehow this management doesn't strike me as any different from previous ones in terms of managing assets and getting the right pieces.
We have players like Bouillon, Brière and Parros that have no business being on the team to begin with, a coach that can't coach or stick to a line for more than one shift and bunch of players playing in positions they shouldn't be.
At this point I believe we can get Malkin and still completely screw him up. The change that needs to happen is more than just the players and that is even more far fetched than us ever landing Malkin.
I'll give the admin a little more credit than you for its asset management. Let's not forget that none of Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Bournival, Tinordi, Beaulieu, Holland, Pateryn or Dumont had ever played an NHL game before 2013. The explosion of rookie exposure specifically reflects the Bergevin era.
On the other hand, no argument about Briere and Parros. Bouillon was solid but really regressed. I don't know if their continued over-usage is because everyone else is either worse or not ready in Hamilton, but at least two of the three will be gone after May.
Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy
Sorry man, I really am.
I came into this season pretty positive... and then we signed Briere. To me that kind of killed the momentum we had going because I really felt like we were on the right track. And really we played reasonably well at first but now?
Just don't know what's wrong because we should be better than we are with this roster. I still feel like catering to DD has seriously hurt us overall and is hurting us in the development of Eller.
We keep talking about specific players and specific holes, and to a point it's true, but my concern is that there's a deeper malaise within the dressing room. I think we're watching a demoralized, unmotivated team who no longer believe the coach's message and has tuned him out. Like you said, this roster should be better, and it has been better. If this awful play continues, the problem area is most likely between the ears.
The good news is that the solution to motivational issues can be as simple as a coaching change. Look at St-Louis before Hitchcock was brought in three years ago. The change in culture changed the outcome, with almost the same roster. I realize this leads us to the logical follow-up of who's available and... um... acceptable to Montreal, but that's another discussion.
Originally Posted by Andy
There were two moves that needed to be made for the Canadiens to be a competitor (especially with Price playing so damn well) at least in the East along side Boston and Pittsburgh. The competition in the east got even easier now that Boston has had to endure some serious injuries, namely one to Seidenberg who is a key component of Boston's shutdown game.
With the signing of Briere, I think the ship has sailed for this year. Unless the Canadiens can magically unload one of Briere and DD and replace either with a scoring RW winger with a little bit of sandpaper or ability to win battles on the wall (doesn't have to be a premier powerforward, two options were available in Jagr and MacAurthur this summer), the Canadiens can be in a little better position.
However, they still need help on D and I don't think Bergevin is willing to spend assets on both a forward and a D-man, hell he's reluctant to pay the price to fix one these holes. That is why there Briere signing is such a **** off. There we a couple of opportunities this summer for the Canadiens to fill a hole without wasting assets (except cap space of course), but instead Bergevin chose to sign the exact opposite of what the team needed. The Canadiens would have been in a better position if come deadline time, they would only need to trade assets to secure the defense. Now, there is no way Bergevin pays the price to fill the hole on the back end and up front.
I really feel as though an opportunity to take advantage a window was lost and I am disappointed not only in Bergevin's inability to read or see that window open up, but also his inability to act accordingly and take advantage of it.
I hate the Briere contract, but even I can't blame him for the ship sailing on this season. As I said above, this is a winning roster that has seemingly lost its ability to win. Whether it really is Therrien's fault or not, the total lack of chemistry and heart and concentration is symptomatic of mental letdown, and not because the Habs aren't big or skilled enough. I agree with all the personnel fixes you mentioned, except right now none of them will make a damn bit of difference if the players are unhappy. Sure, get that top-line forward, bring one of the defensemen up from Hamilton, but first and foremost, make sure the team has confidence in their coach. If they can't or won't play for Therrien, replacing him is the only personnel move that matters.
The Habs are stuck as a treadmill team going nowhere amongst the nine middle pack of teams in the east let alone even taking on the west. Good enough to not be really bad, and bad enough not to be good. There is virtually nothing except for lower average players in the minors that can be brought up to improve upon that. Making the rough tough playoffs with a smurf team out in the first round, and getting a lousy draft pick because of ending the soft regular season (as vs the tough playoffs) too high, and the cycle continues.
The small improvements the Habs do make are not better or even worse than their counterparts in the east so they go nowhere except getting a little bit worse every year. They have to break the cycle and do a major rebuild if they ever plan to really get better but it looks like management only looks at the short term so that will never happen. They are stuck in the twilight zone of mediocrity.
To be a contender a team needs depth, size, character and goaltending and great special teams. So we're 3/5 there.
Can we change this? Yes.
Will it happen? No
The biggest impedance we have is DD. He's getting points so we can't bury him in the minors and we have no compliance buyouts available. Teams might be willing to trade for him if Patches was included....NO. Without him in the lineup Eller and Patches would be a devastating pairing IMO. Trade Diaz + good prospect + DD (they have a compliance buyout left) for Jagr and put him with Pleks. NJD aren't making the playoffs and he's a good asset.
This is a significant upgrade on what we have have proven they can work through it and AGally gives them a bit of size. Patches Eller Gally would be fun to watch. A veteran 3rd line with some grit, and a 4th line that can generate energy. Parros can come in when we play goony teams and Briere can platoon with 4th line dependant on need.
On D it's pretty obvious Cube is a weakness. For whatever reason he's on the PP, mostly probaby because Emelin is more suited to the PK. Sit Cube down and go get a dman before the deadline.
We won't win the cup, but we'll win a round (maybe 2) and given the our younger core more valuable playoff experience for when can contend.
Slight problem with your scenario, MT loves the guys you want to trade.
Therrien has to figure it out:
Dump-and-chase doesn't work.
Therrien does not possess the critical thinking, and the guys who hired him do not have the ability to discern that he doesn't.
The team is where it is because of Price playing at a high level, and special teams having performed well until recently, which gave the team a nice cushion. Other teams have since adjusted to the special teams to an extent, but MB is not known for his own ability to adjust.
I believe we can beat Bos and Pitts in 6 or 7 games IF we stay healthy (HOT Price, PK Subban will always be a playoffs warrior/winner,etc).
We can worry about the Western teams when/if we get to the Cup Finals (let's first worry about being better than EVERY team in our Conference).
Top teams in our Conference, imo:
Bos, Pitts, Montreal, Detroit...no?
Emelin+1st Rnd Pick+_?_
Drewiskie (in March?)
What's funny is that you're right. Habs are equipped to beat the top teams in the East. But I'm not confident that one or two wins in the regular season will translate into four wins in a gruelling series. In practical terms, what will inevitably kill us will be an inability to score when we need it, and an inability to punish opposing forwards as much as they punish ours. We don't have a punishing core of Dmen - we need that in the playoffs. We also don't have dependable scoring depth. It might show up, it might disappear. We really need to add some scoring power.
I hate playing the 'size' card because I think it's an overrated fetish on this board, but the truth is we need a better balance of physically dominant players to wear down the other guys before they wear down our guys.
I'm not a GM or coach, not even close but I can still dissect a team and figure out that the Habs aren't in the running for the Stanley Cup this season. Price is definitely ready as is Subban, Markov & Emelin on defence, the forward strength is lacking though and that's the biggest flaw. The defence is passable with a solid forward group (the depth at forward is a C+) combine that with (a defence of B/B-) and (a goalie strength A/A+).
Either the defence needs a big boost 3rd or 4th Dman that could sub for a #2, or the forward group needs another top center and upgrades on 2-3 wingers. That's a lot of needs, the depth of which the Habs haven't yet developed. Given a couple years more development, no serious injuries(career ending or retirement Markov)and the Habs will be serious contenders IMHO.
The Habs are overmatched by the "Elite Playoff Teams" at center, the most important position in possession during the playoffs. On defence the Habs 2nd pairing isn't close unless their forward ranks are superior to the opposing team defensively. This is significant in that Plekanec usually plays against the Top line with the first pairing. Leaving Pacioretty's line with DD and Gallagher playing with the 2nd pairing, nullifying their offence and not making up for the lack of a true 2nd pairing. Eller is a quality center with Galchenyuk and Prust but not quite experienced enough to carry that load and produce offence. The 4th line is adequate when Bournival is on it but inexperience is a factor again.
IMHO the Habs are a couple of years away from the finals and the depth/experience isn't there yet.