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  • Contenders?

    9-0-1 in the last 10 games, this whole streak started when we got 100% healthy when Emelin came back. The team is something like 38-9-6 with him in the lineup.

    So, we had a crazy schedule of 6 games in 9 nights, which included beating a rested Bruins team, and have a legit fourth line and tough guy when things get chippy. A healthy squad and Price playing like, arguably, the best goaltender in the game and a potential Hart candidate, are the Habs legit contenders?

    We continue a crazy schedule, 7 games in 12 nights until the Christmas break, and it starts with LA. I feel if the Habs can win against the Kings, or at least show legit competitiveness against them and keep it tight, that Bergevin should look to add pieces for a deep playoff run. In a weak Eastern conference, the Habs could go really far...and who knows what happens then...

  • #2
    Re: Contenders?

    Hard to deny the Habs are looking like one of the better teams in the East right now, but there's no way I'd call them contenders yet. They have depth at every position, but it's really tough to be a contender without any real star power up front. The Bruins have been the exception in recent years, but they have other factors to make up for it - a circus freak on the blueline, being the dirtiest team in the league, and immense depth up front. Price and Subban are a great start, but if the Canadiens are going to be true contenders, it will come with the emergence of Alex Galchenyuk as the 90-point superstar he has the potential to be, and that won't be for at least another year, maybe two.

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    • #3
      Re: Contenders?

      Thing is that this is the last year before the big contracts start rolling out. Emelin' 4.1M deal kicks in next year, Subban will get at least 7.5M, Markov will get at least 4.5M, Eller is making a case for 3.5 - 4.5M, Galchenyuk and Gallagher will need extensions, and the money will be eaten up by our core.

      I feel with another piece or two, we could make a lot of noise, especially if Price keeps up this super consistent play. 2 goals or less allowed in every game he's played since November 10th is absolutely ridiculous.

      We also have the assets to make moves. 1st and 2nd round picks should be available this year, Bozon, Beaulieu, Pateryn, Leblanc, Holland, Collberg, Thomas, Bourque, Diaz, etc. (the latter two if it gets us a better player in those positions).

      I think the most telling thing will be the Kings game. If we can compete with them and be competitive, Bergevin should look to make the moves necessary. I think we could give Boston a lot of trouble in a 7 game series...hell, we beat 'em in our 6th game on a 9th night (OT, who the fuck makes these schedules? Dating back to late November - December 21st, Habs are playing 14 games in 23 nights).

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      • #4
        Re: Contenders?

        True, enough, they do have a ton of assets, and a trade or two could at least put them in somewhere in the stratosphere of contenders. But you're never going to acquire a player through trade the caliber of what you're going to get from Galchenyuk down the road. The core of this team going forward is Price-Subban-Galchenyuk, so as long as you have those three together they'll have at least the potential to be contenders for years to come. I'd say the best bet at winning a cup is going to come when you have those three guys in their primes.

        That said, you are right that you're going to have make a push with the team you have now before Markov gets too old and you start losing players to cap-restrictions. So yeah, I'd say you're right to make some moves now as long as you keep in mind that this will only be the first push, and you don't give up too much of the future.

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        • #5
          Re: Contenders?

          Yeah, I'd say a couple small moves would give them a real shot this year. I'd add a left winger to the bottom six and a left-shooting defenseman who can score, say a Dan Hamhuis or Ryan McDonagh type...

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          • #6
            Re: Contenders?

            WE COULD HAVE HAD MCDONAGH IF NOT FOR GAUTHIER AND THAT GOMEZ TRADE OMGGGGG

            Would have had a super legit blue line.

            McDonagh - Subban
            Markov-Emelin
            Gorges-Diaz
            Murray

            Omg :(

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            • #7
              Re: Contenders?

              Gorges should play with Emelin in that configuration and Markov with Diaz, but yeah.

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              • #8
                Re: Contenders?

                Nah, Markov-Emelin have great chemistry together.

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                • #9
                  Re: Contenders?

                  Thought Gainey made the Gomez deal (and got Cammaleri and Gionta in the same off-season).

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                  • #10
                    Re: Contenders?

                    Pretty sure it was Gauthier, Gainey took another position in the organization and was 'adviser' to Gauthier as well. Dumb shit.

                    The deal did end up landing us Galchenyuk though, who could be the best player out of his draft and a franchise center, so win-win, I guess.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Contenders?

                      The Habs have been really solid in the last little while...not sure I'd say they're contenders. I think they're missing the superstar forward who can put the team on his back and take over a game. They have Subban for that on defense, but they need an absolute game breaker at the forward position. Boston won without one, although they had a very, very tough team to play against and loads of depth. I think Galchenyuk could be that, but not yet.

                      Also, not sure they can grit it out in the tough playoff hockey. They absolutely crashed and burned in the series against Ottawa last year. They had some notable injuries, but not enough to justify how bad they were both physically and on the score-sheet.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Contenders?

                        Originally posted by Alfie11
                        The Habs have been really solid in the last little while...not sure I'd say they're contenders. I think they're missing the superstar forward who can put the team on his back and take over a game. They have Subban for that on defense, but they need an absolute game breaker at the forward position. Boston won without one, although they had a very, very tough team to play against and loads of depth. I think Galchenyuk could be that, but not yet.

                        Also, not sure they can grit it out in the tough playoff hockey. They absolutely crashed and burned in the series against Ottawa last year. They had some notable injuries, but not enough to justify how bad they were both physically and on the score-sheet.
                        They had something like seven injuries. That's enough to justify their troubles.

                        Most of their troubles came from the taking their foot off the pedal in the third period, though. It's no coincidence that 12 of their 20 goals came in the third period or beyond. Habs just did a bad job of keeping up their effort for a full 60 minutes on top of all the injuries. That, and Anderson was playing way above his head and crashed back down to earth vs. Pittsburgh.

                        I remember Galchenyuk scoring a beautiful goal on Anderson in game four in the second period and then being benched for the rest of the game that was lost in overtime. Therrien was outcoached in the series as well, but more telling was that I remember Galchenyuk having a good series when he wasn't sitting on the bench for no reason.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Contenders?

                          Originally posted by Dean Ambrose
                          Originally posted by Alfie11
                          The Habs have been really solid in the last little while...not sure I'd say they're contenders. I think they're missing the superstar forward who can put the team on his back and take over a game. They have Subban for that on defense, but they need an absolute game breaker at the forward position. Boston won without one, although they had a very, very tough team to play against and loads of depth. I think Galchenyuk could be that, but not yet.

                          Also, not sure they can grit it out in the tough playoff hockey. They absolutely crashed and burned in the series against Ottawa last year. They had some notable injuries, but not enough to justify how bad they were both physically and on the score-sheet.
                          They had something like seven injuries. That's enough to justify their troubles.

                          Most of their troubles came from the taking their foot off the pedal in the third period, though. It's no coincidence that 12 of their 20 goals came in the third period or beyond. Habs just did a bad job of keeping up their effort for a full 60 minutes on top of all the injuries. That, and Anderson was playing way above his head and crashed back down to earth vs. Pittsburgh.

                          I remember Galchenyuk scoring a beautiful goal on Anderson in game four in the second period and then being benched for the rest of the game that was lost in overtime. Therrien was outcoached in the series as well, but more telling was that I remember Galchenyuk having a good series when he wasn't sitting on the bench for no reason.
                          It just wasn't a great showing for Montreal. They had a lot of injuries, but Ottawa had key injuries to Karlsson and Spezza. But it's not like it was a close series. After Game 2, the Sens won 6-1, 3-2, and 6-1 again. The 3-2 game the Habs had a 2-0 lead with eight minutes to go. The series lasted five games. Plus, Montreal is a small team and not really gritty. Who's to say they don't get injured again this playoffs?

                          The Sens often didn't play for the full 60 minutes either, but pulled out wins. Anderson was good, yeah, but he didn't really have to be spectacular except for Game 1. Montreal was playing the perimeter and weren't getting great scoring chances to begin with. I also don't know how Carey Price's mental game would handle a full playoff run where there's ups and downs.

                          Therrien isn't a great coach - you're right. But he's still there. What makes you think he won't get out-coached again next year in the playoffs? He was too busy complaining that the Sens and MacLean were too disrespectful to draw a plan to get the Habs back to winning.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Contenders?

                            About Therrien - Gallant has a larger role now. He's probably going to be the next coach and is doing a lot more.

                            Everyone and their blind grandmother knew the Habs weren't crashing the net...the game they did and played physically, they won. They were inconsistent.

                            As for Carey, it's night and day. The new goalie coach is doing wonders for both goaltenders and Price is fulfilling his potential. This whole 'mental toughness' is a complete myth created by the same people who say Subban is a risky choice for Team Canada and bad defensively. You can't expect a young goaltender (Price's first playoff runs were in his very early 20s) and expect him to play like Roy immediately.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Contenders?

                              Originally posted by Dean Ambrose
                              About Therrien - Gallant has a larger role now. He's probably going to be the next coach and is doing a lot more.

                              Everyone and their blind grandmother knew the Habs weren't crashing the net...the game they did and played physically, they won. They were inconsistent.

                              As for Carey, it's night and day. The new goalie coach is doing wonders for both goaltenders and Price is fulfilling his potential. This whole 'mental toughness' is a complete myth created by the same people who say Subban is a risky choice for Team Canada and bad defensively. You can't expect a young goaltender (Price's first playoff runs were in his very early 20s) and expect him to play like Roy immediately.
                              I wasn't aware the Habs have somebody else stepping up huge to play the role of a coach. Honestly, I wasn't a fan of Therrien in Pittsburgh and don't really like him in Montreal. Oh well.

                              Why I mention Carey Price's mental game is because I've seen what a bad goal can do to him. Instead of being able to shake it off, I find he lets it get straight to his head and he starts struggling. This isn't uncommon, although it's something he's going to need to fix to reach his full potential. Maybe he's improved that this year..but it's only been 30 games. I'm not saying he hasn't, but we'll see. It's a reason I'm nervous with him as Canada's starter, although goaltending isn't strong for us. And, for what it's worth, I think Subban should be on the team.

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