The Habs at the Quarter Pole. What do you think?
Been a while since I posted on this board, although I am fairly active on the western equivalent. Anyway, what are the view of the Habs thus far. Is this a team you think has a shot to make the playoffs and if so, can they make some noise when they get there? This year seems to be pretty wide open across the league and I don't see any truly dominant team so I think if the Habs make it in, their chances won't be any worse or better than the other teams to go all the way. As for my view of the team, this is what I have seen so far.
Forwards My dad said at the beginning of the year that Montreal has no first line, just 2 second lines and 2 fourth lines. He's partially right. Right now, I see 3 second lines and a fourth line, which I think is a decent mix. The Desharnais/Cole/Pacioretty line has been the most consistent and Cole really seems to be working out. lekanec is playing at par for him, though Gionta and Cammalleri have been a little slow out of the gate. I think Lars Eleer has improved immensely over the off season and although Gomez hasn't found the back of the net in forever, his decision making has improved quite a bit ie he is shooting the puck more. There is a possibility of six 20 goal scorers on Montreal, which is fine by me. A good group, though not a great one.
Defense For a depleted defense core, I think they have done tremendously well. Alexi Emelin and Raphael Diaz got off to shaky starts but have played really solidly. What has bothered me has been the play of the supposed top pairing of Subban and Gorges. While Gorges has turned his game around, Subban has played well below his ability. Sometimes he seems lost and his decision making has been downright awful at times. If i were Jacques Martin, I would strongly consider sitting him a game or two when everyone heals if he doesn't turn things around. I can't wait till Markov comes back. An overachieving group (mostly) that will improve once healthy.
Goaltending Price has looked disengaged most of the year so far. In his back to back shutouts, I 've seen the Carey Price we want start to emerge. I picked him to take home the Vezina this year and he still could, but the coaching staff has to find a way to keep him focused. Peter Budaj, is a capable backup and if Price melts down, he could take the reins and be successful. A solid tandem that has the potentail to take the team far.
Coaching If the Habs don't make it into the playoffs or out of the second round, Martin has to go. I have always believed he is the wrong coach for this group and they should of picked John Torterella (who by the way has won a Stanley Cup and may have been able to attract Brad Richards, just saying). When Martin gets fired in the next year or two, the organization should REALLY examine their personal, find their strengths and pick a coach who can exploit them. Martin tries to make them a chip and chase team and plays too conservative for the skill they have. This year has been better in that regard, but they lost to Boston last year because they tried to sit on leads and plays it safe. Poor strategy. Can he lead this team to success? Yes. Will he? Probably not.
I await replies to the above statements.
Last edited by 4Beliveau4; 11-19-2011 at 10:17 PM.
Reason: checking for typos