As reported in our daily news post this morning, Jeremy Roenick spoke to RDS about the P.K. Subban situation, as well as the Habs in general.
As much as I have to agree with the generalities he states about Subban, I simply can not avoid commenting on the outrageous remarks that he's made on the Habs. And not just in the RDS article but also in the December 29th edition of his blog.
For those who might be interested, his blog is humbly called: "The World according to JR", and can be found on the NHL's official web site.
Here's what JR had to say about Cole:
1) "Erik Cole has had a decent season, but he doesn't have anybody to play with that can match his speed".
2) "Erik Cole est également un excellent joueur, mais il est avant tout un très bon complément."
Well, this one will be easy. Erik Cole is simply having a career year; over 82 games, he's set to have his best year ever in terms of goals scored, assists, points, PP goals (even though the Habs have had the worst PP all year) and shots on net.
You're right JR; this would have to be considered a "decent" season.
Habs have no playmaker
Here's what Mr. Roenick had to say about Tomas Plekanec: "The Canadiens don't have a playmaker every night that sets up their goal scorers...Tomas Plekanec, who might be their best playmaker, is two games on, one game off, two games off, one game on."
I will assume that JR would have a different opinion would the Habs have the luxury of counting of a first line centerman such as Vincent Lecavalier, Ryan Kesler, John Tavares or Patrick Marleau.
Well, since 2009-10 and in over 200 regular season games, Plekanec has had more assists than all these "big names", and in less games than each of them.
During that period of time, Plekanec ranks 16th in the league. See chart below:
Habs a very small team
Here's the un-researched (that's polite, no?) comment that our favorite new NHL blogger made to RDS: "En plus d’un manque de talent, le Canadien forme une petite équipe alors que, dans notre ère, les joueurs sont gros, forts et talentueux. C’est difficile pour eux de gagner régulièrement en raison de ce facteur."
And he added the following on his blog, in the article stated earlier: "The Canadiens also are a very small team that gets pushed around too much. Their lack of size and speed in the big and fast NHL forces them to work extra hard to win games. That's never a recipe for extended success."
Well, if you look at the chart pasted below, the Habs are the ninth heaviest team in the league. Also, all 30 teams are either 6'0" or 6'1" on average, and the Habs fall under the 6'1" category.
With Michael Blunden, Rene Bourque, Cole, Lars Eller, Travis Moen and Max Pacioretty all being forwards over 6'2", how can someone who follows hockey not know that Montreal can no longer be considered a "small team" up front? One could argue they have a "shortish" center line, but Roenick's comment was about the whole team.
On defense, only the two Swiss countrymen, Diaz and Weber, are under 6'0" (both are 5'11).
How can one say the Habs are still a small team? I certainly don't feel they get pushed around too much. Has anyone else had that feeling lately? Is Montreal still a "small" vulnerable team?
The numbers say no, but what do you say?
Frank Dumais is a freelance writer, currently contributing to HabsAddict.com “Habs By the numbers” weekly column. He writes on current Habs topics, but with a “numbers twist”.
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(Photo by Mark Von Holden/Getty Images North America)