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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Habs/Flames Post-Game, Yanni Gourde, Grabovski, Crosby and More

Morning Hab fans!

Carey Price sure seems to have offered a rare dud of a performance last night, eh?

Then again, when the 15th ranked Habs head out west, where they seldom have success to begin with, it is hard to expect great things.

At least there were some positives to be taken away from the game.

Max Pacioretty is inching closer to the 30 goal plateau and is now tied for the team lead in scoring.

Lars Eller contributed two points as his offensive prowess continues to grow.

Ryan White continues to add a much needed physical element to the squad. He finished the night with three hits along with two shots on goal.

Although it has been a rough campaign, there is hope in the development of many of team's younger players.

Who do you think has been a bright spot for the Habs this year?


Habs News

HabsAddict.com - The NHL's Next Undrafted Gem: Yanni Gourde

ESPN - Rant answers: Coming down on the Habs

HabsWorld.net - HW 3 Stars - The February 2012 Edition

Hockey Inside / Out - About last night …

La Presse - Jarome Iginla!

La Presse - Canadien : patience! ça achève…

Hockey News

ESPN - Debate: Who's in the mix for the Olympics?

ESPN - Possible Crosby return has league abuzz

Sports Illustrated - Is Steven Stamkos Hart-worthy?

SportsNet - The Grabovski Gamble

The Hockey News - Boylen: Buffalo's charge and Wheeler wows

TSN - Siegel: Leafs spring familiar leaks in Carlyle's home debut

TSN - Cullen: The 2012 Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

USA Today - Roundup: Caron, Seguin lead Maple Leafs past Bruins


(Photo by Mike Ridewood/Getty Images)

19 comments:

I think Lars Eller is getting very close to being a 2nd line Center. A good 3rd line next year would be Eller, Moen and Gionta I think they could provide 55+ goals if they can stay healthy.
We just need to get Bourque and Plekanec going and find them another offensive minded winger hopefully with some size and grit.
Maybe the draft will provide us a 2nd liner that can play next year....although I am not a fan of rushing young players.

HockeyHype

Why not put Gionta on a long with Plekanec and Bourque and put Leblanc with Eller and Moen?
The Eller line would be decent defensively and would have three guys who could chip in offensively while the plekanec line would have have smarts (plek), speed (gionta) and size (Bourque)

Sean

3 reasons I think that way.

1. I would limit small forwards to 1 per line, I think they will have more space to use their skills effectively. I am not convinced Bourque plays big enough to compensate for 2 small line mates.

2. We need more secondary scoring and I think balancing lines 2&3 will mean one of them should have a good match up every game as many teams have 2 lines who can play well defensively.

3. The more I see Leblanc, the more I think he needs another year in the minors. I think we rushed him due to injuries and he is starting to look over matched.

All good points, I've been hoping that Bourque is just having trouble finding his groove on a new team and that next season he'll come back and play more of a big game.

As for Leblanc, I threw his name out there based on who we have now but I fully agree with you. The Habs have a history of rushing players and I'd like to see Lebland spend another year in Hamilton/Laval.

For the to happen though, Montreal will need to make a trade or bring in a free agent to fill Kostitsyn's spot, and ye bigger the player is the better

Guys,

I love Tomas Plekanec, but with the emergence of Desharnais and Eller, isn't it time to consider shopping Plekanec and getting a bonafide first line centre? For that to happen, Plekanec's roster spot and cap-hit need to go.

I think if we package Plekanec with one of our many draft picks we could bring in a solid first line centerman
That's the only way I would be okay with parting ways with Plekanec though. He's been my favorite Hab for years but if we could bring in a type of guy like Getzlaf then I would be behind the move 100%

Just floating this, as its unlikely, but what if the Habs made a play for Parise ?

Or, what if, as suggested by some, the Habs get Huberdeau from FLA?

Don't you have to seriously consider move TP then?

Why does Pleky have to be the one dealt? I think he's better than Desharnais who gets bounced around like a ping pong ball some nights. If we get a miracle first line center - and after so many years without I will believe it when I see it - I'd shove the tiny tot out the door first. Take his two big wingers away from him & give them to Pleky for most of the season & Mighty Mouse is going to look a lot less mighty...

@Rosalyn

If Montreal gets a genuine first line centre (big if, I know), then Pleks has to go for a few reasons. He is more costly, older and probably would garner good value in a trade.

As for your arguments about DD, the issue of his linemates is a bit redundant. Don't get me wrong, TP has gotten garbage most of the season, but if DD has chemistry and produces with Cole and Pacioretty, he deserves credit for that. Beyond that, he keeps producing although he is now facing increased defensive coverage (his line is obviously MTL's best).

Last year he had 22 points in 43 games and he certainly wasn't playing with stars. And, before the NHL, he has been a point-per game player in every league he played. Somehow though, many espouse this notion that he only has success because of linemates.

Why does Pleky have to be the one dealt? I think he's better than Desharnais who gets bounced around like a ping pong ball some nights. If we get a miracle first line center - and after so many years without I will believe it when I see it - I'd shove the tiny tot out the door first. Take his two big wingers away from him & give them to Pleky for most of the season & Mighty Mouse is going to look a lot less mighty...

@Roz: And this is why we love you! Tell it like it is, my dear!

While I agree that Plekanec is a player you could look at moving (only because there are only three untouchables, imo, MaxPac, Subban and Price), just to see what kind of deal you can get. But for me, I think this team is much better with Plek in the two-hole and, say, Getzlaf (for example) as the first line center.

Can you imagine how much better this team would be with Getzlaf, Plekanec and Eller as their top three centers?

I think DD is an excellent player, but he is not as multi-skilled as Plek. Plek is a Selke type guy...an all around player who does everything well.

He's not having a good year? Well show me a Hab who is (aside from DD, Pac, Cole, and Eller). This team is in total disarray and Plek is NOT being used well.

Dave Stubbs, from the Montreal Gazette, said it best when he said (on Twitter) that Plek is clearly not being put in a position to succeed with wingers like White, Geoffrion and Staubitz.

All this said, to GET a Getzlaf-type player, you will probably need to trade Plek, but, like Roz, my first instinct would be to try and move Desharnais. He is having a hell of a year and his stock will be high over the summer.

Interesting times in Habland to say the least...

Pleky has proven to be worth his money and he's still under 30. He'd hardly fetch a good return if he was as bad as some are saying & perhaps he'd have good chemistry with quality wingers if he was ever given the chance to actually develop some so I don't see how that's a credit to DD. Pleky routinely gets the bitch assignments and DD gets actual wingers so he is insulated to some degree by that. If Pleky had played the season with Max & Cole I might cut DD some slack but let's see him play with garbage and still decide if he's worth Pleky money. Look at what Grabovski just got for a deal. DD line is MTLs best but I still don't think DD is in Plekys league. And Pleky & his "wingers" still get the rough D assignments & shutdown duties not the DD line. I think it's clear (Enqvist) that AHL stats don't always guarantee NHL greatness. Let's see DD make a silk purse out of a sows ass before we run Pleky out of town on a rail cause right now that's what Pleky is doing & all he gets for it is SFA from the coaching staff and now from the fans.

@Rosalyn

My intent is not to run Pleks out of town. Honestly, the fact he is on pace for about 50 points in spite of the revolving door of Juha Lind quality wingers impresses me to no end.

Rather, my contention is that, should Montreal obtain a legit no. 1 centre, Plekanec could / should be traded. He would need to be moved to open a roster spot for this new hypothetical centre and, given that he is more expensive than DD or Eller, is a logical candidate to move.

As for our debate about DD, I simply wonder what the heck he has to do to prove himself. If any other - i.e bigger - centre were putting up his numbers, we would be giving this player unabashed applause. But, since DD is pint sized, we are content to chalk up his success to his big wingers. In 629 games between the Q, ECHL, AHL and NHL, he has 738 points in 629 games! Must all be because of those big, skilled wingers he had for 600+ games. Can't we all agree that he has arrived in the NHL already.

P.S Comparing to Engqvist is silly. Engqvist has never even produced at a 0.5 ppg pace and has only started putting up numbers this season.

Hey guys, the Habs real problem lies on defense, not on offense! With Gionta's return next season and the acquisition of another top-9 forward, we'll be just fine. The problem is that we are too soft on the back-end other than Emelin.

If Markov proves to be healthy, he will move likely play with Emelin next season and Gorges with Subban. We would need to sign or acquire a very physical d-man to play with Kaberle.

Weber or Diaz then can be used as the team's seventh d-man.

MaxPax-DD-Cole
Bourque-Plekanec-X
Moen-Eller-Gionta
Darche-Geoffrion-White

Gorges-Subban
Markov-Emelin
Kaberle-Diaz/Weber

Price
Budaj

Leblanc and Palushaj are clearly not ready to play in the NHL and I hope the team gets rid of Gomez in the summer.

@Louis Not really. I think DD is grossly overrated & wouldn't be anywhere near the top 2 lines on any other team but this one where we always overrate players after one good season. I'm with Kamal & Stubbs. Pleky is a much more well rounded player who routinely draws Datsyuk comparisons & legit Selke talk while DD gets put in a position where he's pretty much guaranteed some great stats. I remain unimpressed as a result & I don't agree that it must be Pleky out the door to save a few bucks.

Fred

You got that right! I don't think our forwards are as bad as they are being made out to be.
The problem is more on defense.
I think DD at 850K for next year could be one of the best bargains in the league. I think he is not as complete as Plekanec but he is close offensively and might turn out to be even better.
Plekanec should only be traded if you are getting good value as that is what you are giving up.
A solid top 3 D-man under 26 years old with size and grit would fit the bill.
Keep in mind we may be drafting a top 6 forward that can play next year.
I think on D we can only keep one of Kaberle, Diaz & Weber assuming Markov is back.
If we had to pick today I think it would be Diaz.
We need 2 bigger and meaner bodies to fill out our top 7.

@Rosalyn

How do you go from undrafted, to ECHLer to grossly overrated NHLer? Quite an accomplishment.

@Fred

I feel the forward unit could use some proper sorting out as I'm not sure how I feel about some of the pieces there (Bourque, Darche), but overall I agree with you. The backend could use some more physical content, although I worry about trading a Weber or Diaz given Montreal's history of losing talented, young blueliners.

Like I said, Habs players are always overrated in Montreal. This is a mediocre bunch as it has been for almost two full decades now, and DD is no exception to that rule. We've grown so used to it now that a legitimate 30 goal scorer (Pacioretty) is the exception not the rule.

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