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McKenzie's Take On The Habs

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Old
01-11-2013, 01:06 PM
  #76
tinyzombies
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Originally Posted by Myron Gaines View Post
Gomez has to win a role in the starting lineup. Eller is our 3rd centre and has earned it.
I don't agree. Eller didn't look good in the middle. But yes, definitely, Gomez will have to prove he is healthy. Therrien has proven he is good with young players, so I'm not worried about this situation.

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01-11-2013, 01:08 PM
  #77
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With our current cap situation, how likely it is to see Scott Gomez play in MTL this year?

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01-11-2013, 01:09 PM
  #78
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Originally Posted by tinyzombies View Post
I don't agree. Eller didn't look good in the middle. But yes, definitely, Gomez will have to prove he is healthy.
Gomez will have to prove he can still produce in the NHL. Eller has to be more consistent.

He is a centre, he looks lost on the wing.

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01-11-2013, 01:11 PM
  #79
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Originally Posted by Myron Gaines View Post
Gomez will have to prove he can still produce in the NHL. Eller has to be more consistent.

He is a centre, he looks lost on the wing.
Eller is a tweener. We don't know where to play him yet or what he does best, and there's no guarantee he's going to take the next step. But Eller did have shoulder surgery to start the year last year. It will be interesting to see if he's any better in the circle, if they play him there.

Gomez had a torn lat and torn groin last year, otherwise he's a known quantity. And we've never given him decent linemates. He's commented in the past that Gionta doesn't pass the puck, and he had Pouliot on the other side... And we've never had size on the wing until now. We've stupidly tried to play puck possession with small players in the past without the required elite skill to compensate for lack of size. Ironically, we'd be a better puck possession team now.

But now we've stupidly returned to having small players in the middle without compensating with some size on defense. To me, Eller is a soft player, so having him in the middle solves nothing. Unless the problem really was his shoulder.

Signing Bouillon was a mistake imo. We just don't match up against Boston or New York, and we'll likely play one of them in the first round.

But if Markov is healthy, he cleans up a lot of those problems and makes our defense multi-dimensional and able to deal with two scoring lines. He would nullify the Seguin line and then hopefully Subban/Emelin could deal with the Lucic line. Then we could compete.

If that doesn't happen, we could still squeak in, but we'd get crushed when it comes time to sort out the boys and girls.


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01-11-2013, 01:23 PM
  #80
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How is Eller a soft player? Because he's European? I get some of the Eller criticism but the man is built like a tank and hits like one, he isn't nasty but he doesn't avoid contact at all.

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01-11-2013, 01:28 PM
  #81
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Originally Posted by Myron Gaines View Post
Gomez will have to prove he can still produce in the NHL. Eller has to be more consistent.

He is a centre, he looks lost on the wing.
THIS! (if you're talking about Eller) If I had a wish for the Habs it would not be to win the cup this year, but to stop playing prospects out of their natural position/side. We're not talking emergency situations here. I am more fearful of Gally being groomed as some kind of LW than being a bust when compared to other centers drafted in his class or age. Same goes for Eller. I'm surpised that Leblanc hasn't gone completely insane at this point.

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01-11-2013, 01:32 PM
  #82
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Originally Posted by tinyzombies View Post
Eller is a tweener. We don't know where to play him yet or what he does best, and there's no guarantee he's going to take the next step. But Eller did have shoulder surgery to start the year last year. It will be interesting to see if he's any better in the circle, if they play him there.

Gomez had a torn lat and torn groin last year, otherwise he's a known quantity. And we've never given him decent linemates. He's commented in the past that Gionta doesn't pass the puck, and he had Pouliot on the other side... And we've never had size on the wing until now. We've stupidly tried to play puck possession with small players in the past without the required elite skill to compensate for lack of size. Ironically, we'd be a better puck possession team now.

But now we've stupidly returned to having small players in the middle without compensating with some size on defense. To me, Eller is a soft player, so having him in the middle solves nothing. Unless the problem really was his shoulder.

Signing Bouillon was a mistake imo. We just don't match up against Boston or New York, and we'll likely play one of them in the first round.

But if Markov is healthy, he cleans up a lot of those problems and makes our defense multi-dimensional and able to deal with two scoring lines. He would nullify the Seguin line and then hopefully Subban/Emelin could deal with the Lucic line. Then we could compete.

If that doesn't happen, we could still squeak in, but we'd get crushed when it comes time to sort out the boys and girls.
Eller is probably our most physical centre. Doesn't hit often but uses his body pretty well. He's had problems with balance tho', I can give you that. But to say that he's soft is a fallacy.

Gomez's game and numbers are on the decline while Eller is on the rise. You say that Gomez hasn't had good linemates, but Eller hasn't been paired with a guy like Gionta so far in his career with Montreal. He did earn his spot last year, even if Gomez was injured, so it's his spot to lose.

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01-11-2013, 01:36 PM
  #83
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Originally Posted by cphabs View Post
THIS! (if you're talking about Eller) If I had a wish for the Habs it would not be to win the cup this year, but to stop playing prospects out of their natural position/side. We're not talking emergency situations here. I am more fearful of Gally being groomed as some kind of LW than being a bust when compared to other centers drafted in his class or age. Same goes for Eller. I'm surpised that Leblanc hasn't gone completely insane at this point.
I still don't understand to this day why Leblanc was converted to winger. He's a centre and plays better at centre, he looks lost at wing.

This organization seems to think that any player can play anywhere and any given time.

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01-11-2013, 01:42 PM
  #84
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Originally Posted by Halifaxhab View Post
They "could" make it if things go well

They "could" compete for a spot but fall just short

They "could" get a top 5 pick.


They key to this season is to just let the guys play. give the young guys leading roles in Hamilton win-lose or draw, it will only help them develop (look at Tinordi). Give expanded roles to guys like Eller and Emelin. It's really time to see what our guys can do. If they do well, we can be sellers in a way moving some older players. Heck, we can leave Gomez in the press box all year and give his icetime to someone like Eller, White, heck, my dog even.


Basically, I am going into this season with ZERO expectations and am interested in storylines, not necessarily in the outcome.

Next season, after Bergevin has time to assess and make moves, then I'll be more critical


That's the way I see it too. I have 0 expectations, I'll let them surprise me. The best is yet to come!

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01-11-2013, 01:51 PM
  #85
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Originally Posted by EagleBelfour View Post
With our current cap situation, how likely it is to see Scott Gomez play in MTL this year?
It is 100% certain.

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01-11-2013, 01:53 PM
  #86
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Originally Posted by tinyzombies View Post
He'll be in the top 9, but will he be in the middle? I don't think so.
If he isn't at center it will only be because he is better on the wing than Gomez. I'm not convinced Gomez will be on the team in a month...but we will see...

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01-11-2013, 01:55 PM
  #87
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How is Eller a soft player? Because he's European? I get some of the Eller criticism but the man is built like a tank and hits like one, he isn't nasty but he doesn't avoid contact at all.
I agree, I would put him more on the physical/gritty side than soft.

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01-11-2013, 01:57 PM
  #88
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If he isn't at center it will only be because he is better on the wing than Gomez. I'm not convinced Gomez will be on the team in a month...but we will see...
Where will he be? Traded? To who? The cap goes down by 6M$ next year, no one is trading for Gomez.

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01-11-2013, 02:00 PM
  #89
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Where will he be? Traded? To who? The cap goes down by 6M$ next year, no one is trading for Gomez.
If they don't find him useful here they'll waive and send him to another league and save 900k in cap hit and waive him in the summer. Just because most of his cap hit applies won't stop them from shipping him out if he isn't an asset.

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01-11-2013, 02:25 PM
  #90
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You have to take the audience for this piece into consideration. It was designed for a national hockey fan audience, not hardcore habs fans.

Hardcore fans already know the state of their team. Those of you expecting more from Bmac should keep this in mind

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01-11-2013, 03:22 PM
  #91
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Rask is a much steadier goalie than Thomas. Thomas would lose games and steal games. Rask will be more consistent. They are a better team with him in there I fear.
Its not the fall from Thomas to Rask that hurts them. Its the fall from Rask to his new backup this year. They went from a quality G in every game played to a quality one in likely 5/8ths to 3/4th of the games played.


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Being realisic means looking at what happened last year logically. Even with the players they had last yaer they had bad luck finishing 28th. Comapre the GF/GA to playoff teams like Ottawa and Florida.

So just going back to average luck and nothing else puts them around 10-12 instead of 15. That's without considering a healthier lineup, young/newer players developping, more grit coming in and a new coach and/GM(which usually lights a fire under teams).

The team has question marks but at least there are internal options to potentially fill them...and every team has holes. A lot of teams in the East went backwards by losing big players, a few more overachieved last year and a few are just plain bad(NYI Toronto). Not too many teams in the East got better.
While this is true, it was the more talented and better coached team of the first 30 games that racked up most of the good goal differential. That was a really good team getting horribly unlucky. The team for the next 50 games was just horrible though. The second half team's paper lineup resembles this Habs team more than the paper strength of the starting lineup. Basically they need Galchenyuk and Bourque to be as good as Cammalleri and Kostitsyn, which is an iffy proposition.

And I don't think Therrien is as good a coach as Martin. Later Martin era teams played a very tight structured game that resulting in very strong puck control at even strength.

Meanwhile Therrien does not have a history of leading strong ES performances in the NHL. Pretty good special teams and goaltending though I doubt he's as incompetent as Cunneyworth.

The X factor is Markov though. If he's a number 1 or number 1b level defenseman and healthy this year, having that and Subban in the lineup forgives a lot of sins elsewhere.

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01-11-2013, 03:54 PM
  #92
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That's the way I see it too. I have 0 expectations, I'll let them surprise me. The best is yet to come!
Umm, having no expectations kind of leads to being surprised... a lot.

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01-11-2013, 03:55 PM
  #93
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Originally Posted by Talks to Goalposts View Post
Its not the fall from Thomas to Rask that hurts them. Its the fall from Rask to his new backup this year. They went from a quality G in every game played to a quality one in likely 5/8ths to 3/4th of the games played.

Regular season doesn't mean squat. You build your team for the playoffs (something Montreal doesn't do). Boston will have to find scoring if they want to beat New York though (and maybe us, if we stay healthy).

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01-11-2013, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Myron Gaines View Post
Eller is probably our most physical centre. Doesn't hit often but uses his body pretty well. He's had problems with balance tho', I can give you that. But to say that he's soft is a fallacy.

Gomez's game and numbers are on the decline while Eller is on the rise. You say that Gomez hasn't had good linemates, but Eller hasn't been paired with a guy like Gionta so far in his career with Montreal. He did earn his spot last year, even if Gomez was injured, so it's his spot to lose.
We don't need someone physical, like you say, just someone who can take a hit and keep the puck in the playoffs. Not convinced Eller is that guy. He's only 200 lbs. But if he IS that guy, he's not going to be third line center, he'll be #2 center and someone will have to drop. But I don't see Jordan Staal here.

If Galchenyuk proves himself better than Eller right away, do you put him in as third line center? he didn't look like a man amongst boys at the WJC, so I'm not expecting it.

If this team is going to win the Cup, Galchenyuk is going to have to be a #1 center in two years, Eller #2 and playing like Staal, and Plekanec #3 in a two-way role (with Markov in top form, Subban, Max and Bourque all peaking...yes, BOURQUE), but that doesn't mean Eller is going to beat out Gomez right now or that he's a natural NHL centerman. I guess we could still win with Pleks at #2 and Eller being a very effective #3.


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01-11-2013, 04:08 PM
  #95
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Originally Posted by Myron Gaines View Post
I still don't understand to this day why Leblanc was converted to winger. He's a centre and plays better at centre, he looks lost at wing.

This organization seems to think that any player can play anywhere and any given time.
This is an organization that regularly places soft defencemen on the fourth line.

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01-11-2013, 04:19 PM
  #96
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This is an organization that regularly places soft defencemen on the fourth line.
Yes, although the real issue is that our bottom 6 hasn't had an identity for such a long time. At least we have Prust and Moen.

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01-11-2013, 04:27 PM
  #97
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http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=413274

Doesn't think they'll be as bad as last year but also doesn't say how good he thinks they'll be this year.

Figured people would care because it's McKenzie.

Discuss.
I like Bob as an insider, never liked him as an analyst... nothing to do with how he rates the Habs this year either. He over-values this team on most years, when clearly they shouldn't be, and should stick to breaking news and other hockey tidbits.

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01-11-2013, 05:24 PM
  #98
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Rask is a much steadier goalie than Thomas. Thomas would lose games and steal games. Rask will be more consistent. They are a better team with him in there I fear.
Totally disagree. Rask is a decent goalie who has proven nothing beyond one good half-season and a couple of solid backup seasons. He has never shouldered an entire full season as the starter and was in nets in the 2010 playoffs for the Bruins massive choke to the Flyers.

On the other hand, without Thomas Boston never would have gotten past us in 2011, let alone go on to win a Cup. There is nothing to suggest Rask could come close to replacing him.

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01-11-2013, 06:26 PM
  #99
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It's easier to evaluate individual players than the teams on which they play. By no means are the Habs in stasis. Some posters focus on the younger players on the opponents while contending that the Habs' new recruits are unprepared. That remains to be seen. A few dark horses could make their mark in the NHL as early as this abbreviated season.

Let's look at the veterans. Take Boston, for example. Does anyone deny that the Bruins will be weakened by the absence of Tim Thomas or the Flyers by the absence of Pronger? Of course the Rangers have Rick Nash, but they were already stronger than the Habs. The same goes for the Penguins, who will have Crosby. Markov's return will be a plus, as well as that of Gionta. Bergevin picked up some free agents who, although not scoring machines, will stiiffen the spine. The major losses have been Gill (it was time to replace him anyway) and AKost (the only one who might be missed if he isn't satisfactorily replaced).

Where does this leave the Habs? No worse than where they were last season in terms of personne but with a more stable organization from top to bottom and a fresh outlook. Their only major concern in the disposition of Subban, and that could be resolved within days. Even if Subban were to depart the Habs would receive players and/or draft picks because he isn't a UFA.

Are the Habs assured of making the playoffs? I can't say, but it's highly unlikely they'll finish 15th in the East once again. And, as we saw lat June, there are compensations even for that disappointing turn of events. I also can't wait to see the extra second rounders they'll acquire in the deep 2013 draft.

Things can go wrong but they can also go right. (Hmm, that's a platitude, isn't it?)


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01-11-2013, 06:47 PM
  #100
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I don't agree. Eller didn't look good in the middle. But yes, definitely, Gomez will have to prove he is healthy. Therrien has proven he is good with young players, so I'm not worried about this situation.
Gomez has to prove a damn sight more than just being healthy! He has 2 goals in his last 118 games played! 2!! If water turns to wine and he shows that he can be a relevant and competent player again in the NHL - something I seriously doubt - then I guess Therrien has no choice but to shuffle the deck. Barring that, Eller is the 3rd-line center on this team. Period. He has the hands, build and drive to be a very useful player and I sincerely hope Therrien doesn't pull him in favor of Scott "gimme another chance" Gomez.

To be honest, I think (and pray) we've seen the last of Scotty on this team.

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