You can diss any poster you want, but you don't think that this subject is not a legitimate one? Older D's that might be leaving, really thin on numbers AND talent on immediate prospects in Hamilton (unless Carle surprises everybody and Nash continues his surprising progression), Spacek who while not leaving next year might not improving as well, not a whole lot of interesting d-men on the UFA market that we might be interesting while some of them will sign with their team prior to going to market etc....
Sorry but while everything is always questionable, the D is immensely questionable and determinant as to where this team is headed in the near future. And it's not by giving up on a young, physical one that you take care of the subject.
I got to admit that I am a fan of the O'Byrne/Bournival trade but you are bringing a really good point.
Going back to the 2008 training camp, we thought that we were set for years.
-Valentenko and Carle had a promising rookie season in Hamilton
-Weber and Subban seemed like amazing prospects
-McDonagh was doing great in the NCAA
-We had to patient with Fischer
-Emelin was supposed to come over to North America soon
-O'Byrne did a nice job in his first season in the NHL
2 years and a few months later, crazy how things changed fast.
-O'Byrne and McDonagh were traded
-Fischer was released
-Valentenko decided to return to Russia and was later traded
-Carle is still in the AHL
-Emelin will probably never come in North America
At least Subban and Weber made the squad and they will be part of our core for a long time. Carle might still end up in the NHL, but he will probably never be anything more than a 3rd pairing dman.
We have a few prospects, Nash, Bennett, Tinordi, Ellis, but they are 3 to 5 years away from the NHL. While Pateryn, Kishel and Stejskal are very long shots. So no one is ready to step in next year if some of our Dman don't come back.
I like Picard just fine as a number 5/6 guy for the money he's making and assets we lost for him (none). But he is not likely to be more than a bottom pairing player at any point (short or long term).
PK on the other hand has potential to be a top pairing d-man (and much more). Not only that but he plays the type of game that could benefit from a calming influence who will be there when PK makes mistakes (which all players who are game-changers make, you cant have high reward without high risk especially being a young "PMD") and also be a mentor on the ice so PK makes fewer of those mistakes.
We should run these pairings as it will do several things:
Give Subban our best defenseman (with Markov out) to play with
Move Spacek back to his natural side and reduce his ice-time/pressure (PK and Hamr can play a lot more than PK and Picard)
Weber has shown he deserves to play, while Picard is showing he could use a rotation out every once in a while
With Weber in, gives us two L/R handed pairings on D, something we haven't had in a while
Hamr and Subban show chemistry on the PP
Ideally PK would have someone like Pronger to play with, but the closest we'll get for a while is Tinordi.
Yeah, Picard is responsible for Subban's bad passes, unneeded spin-o-ramas, and brainfarts.
Picard hasn't been as good the past few games as he was at the start of the season, but he hasn't been horrid.
And of course, Subban is the young kid, so he's going to get praise here no matter what - but whos to say he's not bringing Picard down?
They're both making bad mistakes though that the other, at this point in their careers, aren't capable of making up for. It needs to be changed.
On that note, I think different partners would do wonders for both. The pairing worked for awhile because both players were proving they belonged. Now, they're both getting more risky and that's not going to work when their together. I think I'd try;
I was using hyperbole, clearly, but a better partner would do wonders for PK's game
It certainly would but lets come down to earth here PK is just starting his 2nd pro season and 1st in the NHL, top 4 paring defencemen take years to develop and learn there trade PK is no exception.
I have no doubt he is capable of reaching top 4 dman level but he has to simplify his game, make easier/smarter/safer plays instead of playing with fire, which he does too often for a rookie. And Jack Martin is a defense first coach, I think PK is probably going to be scratched again soon.
I think just practicing with guys like Gill Hammer and Spacek he will pick habits and tips up from them, but its going to take time just like any young player let alone a defenceman.
Habs fans have such a bad rap on these boards for pumping up there players and PK is the poster child for 2010-11. Stating that his biggest problem is a crappy linemate just perpetuates the cycle that gives the rest of us a real bad rap.
Putting Hammer and Spacek with those two guys would burn them out pretty quick I think, with them pared together (subban and picard) it gives Martin a better chance of getting them out at a more favorable matchup. I think its fine the way it is PK will figure it out after he gets slapped up to the press box a couple more times.
Reading some of the comments in this thread, I'm seriously questioning the expectations that people have on him or on any 6-7th d-man in this league. He's not Ray Bourque. He's not paid like a Ray Bourque and he's certainly not getting the quality ice time that a Ray Bourque would/should get. So why expect perfection (or just about) from him? Come on people...
Pickard is what he is. He is a guy you can bring in on your bottom pairing for a few games when you have injuries. The problem is we have a major D man injured for more than just a few games. So ideally we should be looking for someone much better to fill that hole, pushing Picard back to filling in here and there.
For a guy who was tossed around in numerous big trades, I can see why many teams gave up on him. He has limited offense, bad vision and doesn't hit too much besides his big size. This is a type of guy that is a career AHLer. Good but not good enough for the NHL. He fills in holes here and there. I don't see why people are complaining. I think he's doing the things he's asked to do. He is not paid like a Pronger either.
Martin should limit his time use and put him in where he excels. Besides, I think Spacek plays more horrendously at times with a whopping close to 4 million dollar salary. That's something to complain about.
I don't think it's his "biggest weakness" but I think he would BENEFIT from playing with a veteran. Look at yesterday's game; I think it was van Riemsdyk who got around Picard like he was a pylon after Subban made a turnover. We need a veteran D that will be able to correct his mistakes and give him advice. The Montreal media is looking for anything to talk about and whenever PK has a bad game, it gives them material. That's bad for his confidence and that's why we need him to play with someone who will be able to correct his mistakes. No one cares if Subban makes a turnover if we end up winning.
Hammer and PK speaks for itself, our two best D and PK would get a great mentor. Spacek (believe it or not) can be good both offensively and defensively, I would just like a young D specialist with him to take off some pressure and clean up his mistakes. Gill and Weber each need to be on the team for their special team and Weber also needs someone to clean up his rookie errors.It could either be a good pair with a stay at home with a mobile PMD, or it could turn out to be a a rook and a pylon getting torched every shift. Chances are it land somewhere in the middle and it could be worth a try.
Hamrlik - Subban
Spacek - Weber
Hammer and PK have had good creativity so I would keep them together. Weber should be on the PP and Spacek is sort of there by default. I wouldn't mind giving Spacek a rest and trying a forward on the point (we actually have the forward depth for this now).
Gill - Gorges
Hamrlik - Spacek
Best PK in the league, if it ain't broke don't fix it.
I like Picard and I don't think that he deserves to be taken out of the line-up for now. He's been surprisingly consistent and rarely makes a mistake. Good bottom-pairing guy from what I've seen so far this season.
However, I agree. I think Subban would benefit from a better partner, plain and simple. PK makes a lot of mistakes, but he's a lot more effective when he's playing his game despite that - the famous "high risk/high reward" cliche definitely applies to him. He just needs to be paired with someone who can cover for those mistakes effectively.
I like your pairings. I wish PK and Gorges didn't play the same side, because I think they'd be a great match.
Want to know what would fix all of this?
Well, there is one constantly recurring issue. There is one slot being rotated primarily by weber and picard. Two solid defenders, but they just don't fit. Trade for a solid defensive vet to play along PK and we are laughing! I really like wiesnewski.
Picard has had a little bit of a rough going the past few games. At the start of the game I didn't like his play. Towards the end, he really got things back together. When he plays well (which is most of the time) he is a solid D. He has made some mistakes, but lemme tell you...so has PK. It's cool, he'll be alright. Obviously we are going to try for that top D, so let's see what happens, but between him and Weber I think we're good for now. Bigger question is the "what is Spacek going to do" moments when your heart stops. Like I've said, Spacho can play very well, but he can equally stink it up reaaaal bad. Today, no harm, no foul. He was acceptable. some bad giveaways that coulda been goals, but also ate up minutes of mistake-free hockey.
Picard has lots of upside. PK is not being held back by him. If anything, it's good that Picard is a stay at home D, cuz PK is going to be taking it up. I don't understand his use on the PP though.
PK played well tonight. His positioning was much better. One criticism I have is that he needs to back up his big hits. When Carcillo went after him, he looked like he was figure skating and waiting for a teammate to jump in. If you're gone talk the talk, walk the walk.