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Report Card & Biggest Need

View Poll Results: What's our biggest need in the next 12 months?
We still need a big #1 center. Plekanec, Eller & Desharnais can't deal. 26 21.14%
We need a #2 defenseman to play with Markov. We don't know that Emelin is that guy yet. 15 12.20%
Overall, we need more size & sandpaper on defense. Too soft. 19 15.45%
We're fine. We just need a new playing style. *cough* new coach *cough* 13 10.57%
We need a grinder on the 4th line who can deliver some major hits & drop the gloves. 30 24.39%
Other. 20 16.26%
Voters: 123. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
11-21-2011, 12:17 AM
  #1
Ginu
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Report Card & Biggest Need

For those of you who've frequented these boards the last few years, you'll notice polls that I put up a couple times a year to address different concerns facing our Montreal Canadiens.

At the first quarter mark, here's my first one this season. This one is going to be really interesting.

In the last 12 months, we've seen a major youth movement. Eller, Desharnais, Weber, Pacioretty and White, and now Diaz, Emelin, Palushaj & St. Denis (not regulars) making an impression with the big club.

We've also seen a change in mentality (not necessarily by choice) towards a larger forward group with Pacioretty & Cole now playing key roles in our top 6, Eller getting more and more responsibility, the attempted acquisition of Betts, and the acquisition of Blunden.

In previous years, we've always said our biggest needs are a goalscoring winger (we now have Cammalleri, Cole, Pacioretty & Gionta) and a big center (we now have Eller).

What do you as fans believe is now our biggest need in the next 12 months given what the team's addressed? What has the first quarter of the season shown you as our biggest hole?

It'll be interesting to see your thoughts. Let's have fun with this.

-----------------------------
EDIT (11/21 @ 12:45pm)

Interesting responses so far:

32% of people believe we need to address the defense in some form.

22% believe we need a 4th liner who can drop the gloves and play.

21% believe we need a big #1 center.

9% believe we need to change the coach as our biggest need.


Is anyone surprised with this result so far?

In terms of the defense, does Emelin have the potential to be that guy? Can we get by with Subban, Gill and Emelin bringing the tough stuff?

With Gill, Spacek & Campoli likely giving way next season, what will be our defensive needs next season?

With regards to the 4th liner, does Ryan White returning in the new year help that situation or do we still have to further address it?

With the #1 center, are we okay with Eller for now or do we have to go out and get that player? Are we willing to give him the time necessary or will he develop more into a bigger Plekanec (a great #2 center but not a #1)?

Do people still want JM out?


Last edited by Ginu: 11-21-2011 at 02:37 PM.
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Old
11-21-2011, 12:22 AM
  #2
The Kremelin Wall*
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New coach and to get rid of Gomez. Also for all our young guys, experience. We just need them to play and learn.

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11-21-2011, 12:26 AM
  #3
Bill McNeal
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Voted the 2nd one, though I'd settle for another top 4 d-man. Gorges has exceeded my expectations so far this season, and a top 4 of him, Markov, Subban and player X would be solid. I'd love a top flight offensive player, but I think we can win with our current group of forwards.

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11-21-2011, 12:33 AM
  #4
Ginu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Kremelin Wall View Post
New coach and to get rid of Gomez. Also for all our young guys, experience. We just need them to play and learn.
We'll let's talk about what we need and then see what we can do about getting it. If we only need a 4th line grinder, we don't really need to get rid of Gomez for that. We're simply addressing need here. I agree on giving the youth a chance though.

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Old
11-21-2011, 12:34 AM
  #5
MasterDecoy
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i think the habs need a little bit of all of them. nevertheless, i voted for a bigger d-corp but only if they can move the puck as well as the current crop of d-men we have.

it's a thing of beauty how well we can get the puck out of our zone.

but our biggest need by far is some magic potion, we need to stay healthy!

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Old
11-21-2011, 12:36 AM
  #6
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Voted the 2nd one, though I'd settle for another top 4 d-man. Gorges has exceeded my expectations so far this season, and a top 4 of him, Markov, Subban and player X would be solid. I'd love a top flight offensive player, but I think we can win with our current group of forwards.
Player X = Campoli?

I thought we all agreed he was a very solid Top-4?

Id sure like to switch Gomez for a new winger. Someone gritty who could play on the 3rd line alongside Eller and AK. DD/Cole are going places, Plek/Gionta are very solid shutdown pairing.

With a better D currently at the infirmary, I really believe this team has it all, just no star.

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11-21-2011, 01:27 AM
  #7
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Forwards: We've been missing a power forward for years and now we have two in Cole and Patches. I'm happy with our forwards especially once AK comes back. I think with the following 6 forwards we have 6 players who are capable of at least 20 goals each and possibly 30 for some:
Gionta
Cammalleri
Plekanec
Cole
AK
Pacioretty

The centers (Plekanec, Eller, and DD) are great thus far. Pleks is without question our leading scorer and most complete player. He might be the best in the league at what he does offensively and defensively. Desharnais has emerged as an excellent second line center between two big forwards. That combination has worked very well; so well that Gomez' role on this team has diminished

Travis Moen has been a pleasant surprise and is being rewarded for his hard work with his offensive production. This team finally has size to compliment the smaller forwards.

Goaltending: is elite in Carey Price. And we have a fine backup in Budaj.

Defense: as stated earlier we need to get healthy. I'm confident with the return of Markov and Gill our top 4 D round out nicely. Add Campoli to the mix along with a great crop of youngsters on D battling it out and you then have great depth at the position. Weber has been rock solid and has done most of the damage to other teams on our PP.

Coaching: This is the only reason our depleted lineup as been able to be in and win most games this season and in seasons past. The defensive system allows for the team to overcome injuries to key personnel. I for one am happy with what the coaching staff has done over the last 2-3 years considering the injuries.

This team is a contender when they're even moderately healthy.

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Old
11-21-2011, 01:35 AM
  #8
Le Tricolore
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Wow, Blair Betts. Forgot about that... he hasn't even played a game this season lol

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Old
11-21-2011, 01:49 AM
  #9
MathMan
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Probably a true tough-minutes defensive center. Call it an upgrade on Nokelainen, say. But Montreal doesn't really have gaping holes anymore, just areas they could upgrade on.

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11-21-2011, 02:08 AM
  #10
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I said option 3 but in terms of long term suggestion, we need a big legit #2 center. Some size would be nice, thinking Stoll as a UFA would be nice. FO skills, can play point and all that, versatile and will give us options with DD as winger for instance.

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Old
11-21-2011, 02:25 AM
  #11
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Needs:
-AHL goaltender who can back-up if Price or Budaj get injured
-4th liner who is versatile and can play at least 10 quality minutes a game. Avery-type without the attitude
-legitimate top 4 Defenseman

If we really want to be a top contender:
send Gomez to the minors and Trade Eller or Desharnais + Weber or Yemelin+ a top prospect+ a first round pick for Staal or Getzlaf!!!

I love all those young players but I think a Staal or a Getzlaf will make this a perennial cup favourite for at least the next 5-7 years

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11-21-2011, 02:25 AM
  #12
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Its a bit of a difficult question because the lineup is in the midst of a generational shift at the points that may need upgrading.

2nd Center: No one that has the complete ability to play 2nd center is in the lineup, like Gomez did in 09-10 with the combination of offensive production and line matching ability. Instead there are 3 players with 2nd center aspects collaborating to do the job of 2nd and 3rd center. Desharnais supplies the offense, Eller the line matchup ability and Gomez the territorial game. The hope would be that over the next year Eller transitions into the two-way center needed while Desharnais develops into a good soft minutes offensive option and Gomez jettisoned when convenient. But there is the chance that Eller and DD's progression stalls. Which is pretty much fine, as they can be competitive as is but stronger play from both would make center depth more of a strength.

This is probably an issue best dealt with internally as good top six centermen are hard to get. Although if a Jeff Carter type comes on the market, that would probably be a smart upgrade.

4th Defenseman: The depth chart has Markov and Subban at the top (both should be number one caliber, or at least top pairing) a drop to Gorges as a competent 3rd and then a mess of 2 veterans on the downside, 3 youngsters on the rise and Campoli who no one really knows what he can bring. Hopefully one of the 3 rises to the point of being a good 4th man on the depth chart while the other two fill out the bottom pairing. But if no one breaks out they might need to go looking for outside help.

Defensive specialist center: Getting Plekanec out of some of his penalty kill duties would be preferable and having someone to take some extra defensive zone faceoffs would be preferable. Someone like Halpern or a pre-injury Betts would be a nice utility addition, freeing up more offensive duties for the other centers. Engqvist might be that guy with some more seasoning but its unknown if he can make that jump. Nokia can do the job right now but isn't ideal for the role.

Wingers and goaltending aren't likely to get much better than the current group. Retaining Kostitsyn so a 3 line forward strategy remains viable should be a priority though, especially if Gomez's cap hit can be disposed of with minimal disruption.


Last edited by Talks to Goalposts: 11-21-2011 at 02:42 AM.
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Old
11-21-2011, 02:41 AM
  #13
1UP
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Voted "Other"

We need healthiness.

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Old
11-21-2011, 03:55 AM
  #14
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Why are people talking about a #2 center.


We need a real #1 so Pleks can be our second center, then we'd be in business.

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Old
11-21-2011, 04:01 AM
  #15
ECWHSWI
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Originally Posted by Kovatar View Post
Needs:
-AHL goaltender who can back-up if Price or Budaj get injured
-4th liner who is versatile and can play at least 10 quality minutes a game. Avery-type without the attitude
-legitimate top 4 Defenseman

If we really want to be a top contender:
send Gomez to the minors and Trade Eller or Desharnais + Weber or Yemelin+ a top prospect+ a first round pick for Staal or Getzlaf!!!

I love all those young players but I think a Staal or a Getzlaf will make this a perennial cup favourite for at least the next 5-7 years
yeah, we get rid of Gomez and trade both Eller and DD... so we can doubleshift both Plek and our new C... makes sense completely...



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Old
11-21-2011, 04:50 AM
  #16
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yeah, we get rid of Gomez and trade both Eller and DD... so we can doubleshift both Plek and our new C... makes sense completely...


hmmm. Perhaps it would make more sense to you if you read what I wrote correctly. Eller OR Desharnais.

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11-21-2011, 05:26 AM
  #17
Jason MacIsaac
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Nothing, Montreal is a top 5 team in the East in my opinion. They PP is top 4 in shots for, their PK it tops in the league by far in shots allowed and they are a 52.5 % Fenwick when score is tied. I still think they take the division.

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11-21-2011, 05:35 AM
  #18
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Other: We need A healthy Cammy, Markov, Kostitsyn, Campoli, Spacek.

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11-21-2011, 06:06 AM
  #19
ECWHSWI
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hmmm. Perhaps it would make more sense to you if you read what I wrote correctly. Eller OR Desharnais.
still doesnt.

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11-21-2011, 08:11 AM
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I like the poll I feel we need a mix of a couple things you asked about. We are certainly in need of a guy or 2 that can drop the mitts and throw em Moen is our tough guy currently but can't do much against guys like Lucic and Deveaux etc we need someone to combat them and we need another solid 1st pairing D as I do not believe Markov is solid enough to stay healthy for more that 10 maybe 20 games. I would love to see a true #1 or 2 centre that can WIN faceoffs and chip in on the scoresheet in the G and A department.

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11-21-2011, 08:13 AM
  #21
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Habs biggest need is to get healthy IMO...it's very difficult to analyze the potential of this roster because we've never seen it at full capacity for any length of time.

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Old
11-21-2011, 08:19 AM
  #22
Monctonscout
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginu View Post
For those of you who've frequented these boards the last few years, you'll notice polls that I put up a couple times a year to address different concerns facing our Montreal Canadiens.

At the first quarter mark, here's my first one this season. This one is going to be really interesting.

In the last 12 months, we've seen a major youth movement. Eller, Desharnais, Weber, Pacioretty and White, and now Diaz, Emelin, Palushaj & St. Denis (not regulars) making an impression with the big club.

We've also seen a change in mentality (not necessarily by choice) towards a larger forward group with Pacioretty & Cole now playing key roles in our top 6, Eller getting more and more responsibility, the attempted acquisition of Betts, and the acquisition of Blunden.

In previous years, we've always said our biggest needs are a goalscoring winger (we now have Cammalleri, Cole, Pacioretty & Gionta) and a big center (we now have Eller).

What do you as fans believe is now our biggest need in the next 12 months given what the team's addressed? What has the first quarter of the season shown you as our biggest hole?

It'll be interesting to see your thoughts. Let's have fun with this.
In order to answer that question we'll need to see the full roster play for a stretch.

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Old
11-21-2011, 08:51 AM
  #23
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I had to go with Other because I really think the main thing we need is to get healthy.

Compared to the current playing roster, I would say we need an extra solid scoring winger. I actually think AK can be that guy. I would like a guy that can be more aggressive and drop them on the 4th line. White I think can do that (he can't drop them with say Thornton, but he's also better at hockey than most goons). We clearly lack something on defense to reassure me, but if everyone was healthy I would think our D is actually quite solid. And as much as I would like another coach at times, I actually think that what JM managed to do with the amount of injuries we got is good, I can't seriously blame coaching overall. But I wouldn't mind a change, I just don't think it's a 'need'.

I can't call stuff like 'getting rid of Gomez' a need either, all you would have to do is bench him if he's hurting the team. He's not really (although I wish we can keep Eller at center...).

Maybe a 4th line center that is dominant at face-offs and can fight would be what I think we lack the most if healthy, or a #2 D. Obviously you could upgrade any position by a super-star player and it would be better (as much as I like DD this year and think that he's doing his role fine, if we could get a top 10 center with size I'd take it...), but I don't think our healthy line-up has any glaring need. But we NEVER have a freaking healthy line-up...

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Old
11-21-2011, 09:07 AM
  #24
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I guess I have to go with option #1. I mean, a "#1 centre" is going to make the biggest difference of all those options regardless of team, imo. So if someone else came in who was not only good enough to fill the role Gomez is/was supposed to, but also pushed Plekanec down the depth chart one spot, I think that'd make the single biggest difference to our team.

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Old
11-21-2011, 09:30 AM
  #25
MarkovsKnee
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It would be nice if we stayed healthy. I'm pretty happy with our forward group overall. The grinding winger who can drop the gloves is White. The big centre everyone wants won't be around for a few years. The only way we're getting him is if we draft him.

I went with a top 4 tough physical d-man. Someone like Matt Green in L.A would be nice. Too many small offensive players on D right now, although it has led at times to a nice transition game.

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