Kings open Western final with win vs Coyotes

kings-goal

Los Angeles Kings’ Dwight King celebrates his goal on Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith Sunday in Glendale.
Todd Korol, Reuters

The opponent changes, but the song remains the same for the Los Angeles Kings: another road win, another big goal from captain Dustin Brown.

The Kings won their sixth consecutive playoff road game of the season Sunday, beating the Phoenix Coyotes 4-2 to take a 1-0 lead in the Western Conference final.

Including two last season, Los Angeles has now won eight in a row in the opponents’ rink.

• Monday night: Game 1 in the Eastern Conference final between the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

The Cat showed Torts a thing or two about MSG madness: Dave Stubbs
Brad Richards paying off for Sather’s Rangers: Red Fisher
Kings offence a challenge for Coyotes attack: THN’s Rory Boylen
Coyotes know they need to be better: NHL.com
18 years later, Rangers and Devils meet again: AP
Eastern final could get ugly: NY Daily News’ Pat Leonard
Brodeur eager to face Rangers, Lundqvist: NY Daily News’ Kristie Ackert

213 Comments

  1. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …uCe’s link to the Vancouver Province’s overview on Lapierre reminds Me of My frustrations with Our Habs misuse of Francophone talent (which is not only unique to Francophones, but because of the Montreal Canadiens unique cultural significance, the waste of Franco talent cuts more deeply).

    WHY ??? …could not Our Management slap Lapierre upside His noggin to ‘shutup’ and play ?

    Lapierre, at His best, is a valuable component.

    Too soon to tell whether Bergevin will be more enlightened to strengthen and nurture the Francophone face of Our Team, but it is something I will be measuring Him on for certain.

  2. Bripro says:

    Having covered virtually every subject there is to cover when talking hockey on HIO, there are a few items of concern I haven’t read up on.
    Perhaps they were discussed when I wasn’t logged on, but on here there’s usually discussions that turn into small plays when discussing anything controversial.
    That being said, I wonder about the following:

    How is Brian Gionta’s health? Will he be game-ready come september? Is it fitting that he remain captain of this team as opposed to …say… Gorges?

    If Hal Gill retires, it seems to me there was talk of his interest as a player-coach. Fine, he skates like my wife’s cat when I wrap newspaper around his paws, but he’s an articulate and intelligent man, and a good positional player….even if it takes an extra second or two for him to get there.

    And finally, and most important of all… Ian Cobb are you there?

    When’s the next HIO summit? Let’s get it done! We should have a summer fishing summit!!!
    I have it on good authority that HabinBurlington and HabFab have the ideal fishing resorts where we could set up on a fine, sunny day. (honourable mention goes to Canadien Errant and Habitant in Surrey, but quite frankly guys, you live too far off the beaten track…but you’re both welcome to come Norm and Chris…Gerry OK’d it!)
    Of course, we’ll have Hobie, 24 and Boone as bouncers in case Timo or TomNickle get out of hand.
    Shiram has promised to add to the pot luck with some potato and cheese concoction. Don’t ask…and Habfan10912 will supply the pork chops!
    I’ve also received word that Prime Time, Hard Habits, The Dude and Zep will be supplying the intoxicants….of various natures.
    Finally, for your entertainment, we will open with some educational readings from the book of Mattyleg, followed by a musical interlude by Bon Jovi and my son (the B’s fan) drummer boy, and once everyone is good and sh*! faced, we will close with readings from JohnBellyFull.
    I would offer to host it here if it rains, but you guys haven’t met my wife!
    Beautiful? Absolutely! Dangerous? You guessed it….
    (For all interested HIO members, your requests will be taken shortly…please take a number and have a nice day!)

    • ZepFan2 says:

      Wow, I must have zoned out. I can’t remember agreeing to anyth…?!

      What were we discussing again?? :roll:

      ———————————————————————-
      “Bring it on home, Bring it on home to you…” – Plant/Page

      Bring it on Home

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      What? No Montréal Canadiens softball team game as the keynote evernt? Or are you getting ready to do me one better, and organize an Anciens Canadiens game?

      ———————————
      In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • HabFab says:

      TOGA TOGA TOGA TOGA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • LizardKing12 says:

      I wouldn’t strip Gionta of the C. The locker room was not the problem last year and Gionta is a great leader by example, leaves it all on the ice every night. Gorges may be more suited to the role of captain but his time will come in 2 years when Gionta’s contract is up as I doubt he will be resigned. Also just because he isn’t the captain doesn’t mean that Gorges can’t be a leader. He is a team first kinda guy and doesn’t strike me as the type to pout over the captaincy, he will continue to be a vocal leader in the locker room with or without the C.

      As for Gill being an assistant coach that will be the new coaches decision and I can’t see it happening. With a new management team in place Gill has no ties left within the organization unless the new coach happens to be one that he’s played for. Big Bird is ready and willing to join the Habs coaching staff and IMO he is the best guy there is to coach our young up and coming Dmen.

  3. Un Canadien errant says:

    A West Coast look at Maxim Lapierre.

    http://blogs.theprovince.com/2012/05/13/canucks-mayday-a-look-at-maxim-lapierre/

    ———————————
    In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  4. Habitall says:

    A lot of discussion below re. the relative merits of our current top-3 centres. My two cents: They’re all worth keeping, though if you had a serious offer, Plex is the one who would net the highest return. He’s quite streaky, and I think he can be a 70-pt player again. In today’s NHL, those are more-than-respectable numbers.

    As for Eller, there were a few games I saw last year when I thought, “Man, this guy is a horse, ready to break out.” There was something in his intensity, and his ability to use his size, that I liked. Kind of like Jordan Staal … but certainly there are parts of his game he needs to work on — like shooting. (Would it kill the Habs to hire Lafleur or Bossy to come and teach these guys about quick release?)

    The problem as I see it is Desharnais had an awesome season last year, and the thought of splitting up that top line is dicey, but I agree with those who say he’s better suited to the wing. If you were to make that move, you have room for Plex, Eller and two other centres. We already have White and Leblanc, and possibly one of the G’s in the upcoming draft. Not exactly Pittsburgh, but not too shabby either. Balanced it out with a modest upgrade on the wings, and we’re moving forward.

    • aj says:

      I mentioned earlier in here about Jordan Staal’s eligibility for a trade. Also, some of the rumours surrounding the Penguins is that the 3 top Centres they have (Crosby, Malkin, Staal) would be available for a trade. Ray Shero wasn’t happy by the way the team performed this year and If that’s the move they might do, I’d say the Habs should either make a big move by trading Plekanec +/or Eller for Jordan Staal.

      I would also have Brian Gionta be traded by July 1st so that it would make way for 2 big top 6 forwards needed to add for the lineup.

      • piper says:

        I think the only way Habs could get Staal would be to offer DD, Eller, and one of our second round pics.
        I’d do that in a heart beat then send Gomez to Hamilton. Molson won’t like it but he has to eat that contract.
        We would finally have a true first line Cole, Staal, Pac.

      • LizardKing12 says:

        The Pens will be looking for a big return if they are trading Staal. Although he has never had fantastic numbers he was a second overall pick and his stats can be attributed to playing a 3rd line role with below average wingers. If you ask most NHL GM’s I’m sure Staal is viewed as a top 6 center and depending the team a potential #1 center (he’s still only 23).

        If you ask me the Pens will want our #3 overall pick and Eller for Staal, maybe more. I don’t think it’s worth it, especially since he only has 1 year left on his contract and will want to be paid like a #1 center.

        Also, I would not trade Brian Gionta. There are no big top 6 forwards available in free agency and Gionta will not command one in a trade. With such a shallow UFA pool it’s best to keep our proven commodity. Gionta was the leading scorer on the team 2 years in a row, he is good for 25+ goals almost every year. Sure he doesn’t have a lot of size but he is an effective scoring winger and he was sorely missed when he was injured. At 33 years old and coming off a major injury he will not have great trade value, he is worth more to us on the team than on the trade block it’s a bad move to trade players when their value is low.

  5. aj says:

    The way how the Eastern and Western finals are showing right now, the 2 strongest teams that may meet in the Stanley Cup final would be the New Jersey Devils and the Los Angeles Kings.

    I’m sensing that the Kings will win the Cup. NJ is strong on the offence but LA has a much more bigger punch. In terms of 2 star players, Parise and Kovalchuk may not even have a chance by matching up with Brown and Kopitar (just an opinion).

    • shiram says:

      Gagné has just been cleared for contacts, meaning he could get back for Stanley Cup series.

      • aj says:

        That’s good. I could see the Kings either sweeping this series with Phoenix after 4 games or win the Western Final by either 5 or 6 games. However, I really wanted the Coyotes to win. But, I’m feeling this could be NJ vs LA in the final.

  6. K-hab25 says:

    The best part of these 4 teams making it this far is 3 of the 4 have goaltenders left, consistently play 60+ games a season. Out the window with another ignorant opinion, claiming you can’t win a cup if your goalie starts 60+ games. Well, I guess you can!!

    Proud Pricebot since 2006/2007

  7. pmaraw says:

    remember when M.A. Fluery called Pleks ‘Jagr’ lol! and then remember when Fleury actually played against Jagr in the playoffs LOL

    • Bigdawg says:

      That was the best!

      I love Plex – and ya maybe there are 40 guys in the world that are about his level….the thing is most of those guys are untouchable!

      So don’t touch my plek!

      and a few more !!!….!!!!….!!!!..!!

    • mark_ID says:

      I think it was actually Jose “Threeormore” who called Pleks ‘Jagr’ in round one versus the Caps.

      Then Pleks went on to score the winner in OT versus Theodore…..ahhh, memories

      “I think I may have found a way to get us Bonds and Griffey, and we really wouldn’t give up that much” – Costanza

  8. commandant says:

    The Rangers went 7 games in each of the first two rounds.

    No team has ever won round 3, after going 14 games in the first two rounds.

    Will the fatigue catch up to the Rangers as it has to so many teams before (last example Montreal in 2010)

    Go Habs Go!
    Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters
    http://lastwordonsports.com/category/lastwordblog/nhldraft/

  9. jeu_de_puissance says:

    I say we try to sign Gaustad on a one year deal. Solid 4th line Centre, have Moen (another one or two year deal) and perhaps Staubitz play with him. Solid 4th line, energy line.

    Can\’t F#*k with history!!!

  10. otter649 says:

    Dale Hunter quits/resigns from Washington just in time to go to The Memorial Cup with London Knights……..

    • Ali says:

      “I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!”

      • commandant says:

        I think London is making a mistake if they switch coaches now. Mark Hunter has done a great job in getting them to the Mem Cup, and I wouldn’t change that.

        Go Habs Go!
        Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters
        http://lastwordonsports.com/category/lastwordblog/nhldraft/

        • TomNickle says:

          I realize this is jumping the gun but I see no way out of a Saint John/London Memorial Cup Final.

          It’s very likely that Saint John and London bulldoze their way to that game. One of them will of course have to play a semi-final game against either Shawinigan or Edmonton and my money’s on London having to play that game but a final without both of those two in it would be a tremendous upset.

  11. FanCritic says:

    LA and NYR look like the favourites to go all the way

  12. Ali says:

    Geez, i was just thinking that of the two teams playing tonight, the Rangers play the boring defensive game and the Devils are the exciting puck-chasing, forechecking team. Never would’ve thought the day would come…

  13. Ali says:

    @TomNickle

    I agree with what you wrote below re: Eller. He definitely has second line center potential, and the size and ability to protect the puck. I will say sometimes I feel he has his head down too much when he’s stickhandling and worry he’ll get steamrolled but hopefully that awareness will come, and he has decent vision. I know you blasted me a while back for wanting Jordan Staal despite the fact that I think there are a lot of similarities between him and Eller, but if we could manufacture a situation where we traded Pleks for Staal (if he agreed on an extension, etc etc) then I think down the middle this is a very solid group and allows whoever the coach is to insulate Desharnais.

    I love Pleks, he’s a great two-way player, but I don’t think he can coexist on the same team with Desharnais. And I think we can get more for him of the two.

    • TomNickle says:

      I’m sorry if you thought I was blasting you. Didn’t mean for it to seem that way at all. On the same thread there were many who were adamant that we should be giving the #3 overall pick to the Pens for him. Something that I couldn’t disagree with more.

      The only issue that I have with Staal is that he’s going to command #1 centre money and #1 centre term, but I don’t feel he’s capable of being that guy. I see him as a potential upgrade on Plekanec offensively but not defensively.

      • Ali says:

        Maybe blasted wasn’t the right word, lets just say “strongly disagreed”.

        The market for top end centers is pricey. Last year the price of Mike Richards/Jeff Carter was a top end prospect or pick (Couturier/Schenn) and a young top six player (Simmonds/Voracek). But in the end it paid off for LA, if it wasn’t for the Wiz suspension and Jeff Carter being a brat, and having a goalie who cant stop a beachball it might’ve for Columbus as well.

        edit: I’m not putting Staal in the Richards category, just think he has that potential. But the price for him will be in that area. Who else is out there though?

        • TomNickle says:

          Personally I’d rather sit on Eller and Desharnais and add Galchenyuk or Grigorenko at the draft table.

          • Ali says:

            Fair enough. I feel though Bergevin has no vested interest in any of the guys on the roster, and will want to put his stamp on the team. He’s seen what a difference having a stud at center likeToews can do, so I think it’ll be one of his first moves.

  14. Lafleurguy says:

    Been away, and just now had to Google how the Blues fared. Swept?! Anyone have time to summarize what the explanation for this outcome. I’m referring to HIO posters who had some interest in the money player on that team. Phoenix?! NJ goes from non-playoff participation to final four status in just one year. Sets the bar high for new GM man (just found out who that was this AM).

    “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Timo says:

      Yes, no Halak.

    • HardHabits says:

      Halak got injured in the previous round.

      • K-hab25 says:

        He lost the only game he finished in the playoffs. I guess he didn’t feel like “willing” his team to victory, or he reached his games played limit.

        Proud Pricebot since 2006/2007

        • HardHabits says:

          It was all part of a diabolical plan to extend the Halak-Price debate further. :-)

          But on a serious note, he got concussed by his own player. So you might want to revise that. He was 1-1-1 with a 1.73 GAA and a .935 sv%. Hardly mediocre numbers.

          • LizardKing12 says:

            He wasn’t 1-1-1. The link you have shows 1 win, which he got credit for but only played 21 minutes in, 1 loss and 1 OT game which was the same game as the loss. His stats were improved by the 21 min of shutout hockey he played in game 2, his SV% in game one was a below average .912 and he only started that game because Elliott was still nursing a minor injury.

            Having Halak would’ve helped the Blues in the long run but that’s because neither he or Elliott are true #1 goalies and do best when playing in a tandem. Having Elliott pull the whole load was too much and it showed against the Kings. In the regular season though Elliott was clearly the 1A. Only 9 of Halak’s 26 wins came against playoff teams, whereas Elliott has 14 of his 23 wins against playoff teams. 26 of Elliotts 36 games came against playoff teams whereas only 19 of Halak’s 46 starts came against playoff teams. Halak may have had more starts but Elliott was trusted to take on the tougher opponents.

  15. mark_ID says:

    Does anyone know why the C in the CH has a hectogon type shape on the top part of the C…..just curious, I have always wondered if there was meaning to it??

    “I think I may have found a way to get us Bonds and Griffey, and we really wouldn’t give up that much” – Costanza

    • So people won’t confuse it for a toilet bowl!

      • mark_ID says:

        Ha! yea especially after last season.

        “I think I may have found a way to get us Bonds and Griffey, and we really wouldn’t give up that much” – Costanza

    • GrimJim says:

      Since it is at the top of the letter the correct term is a “terminal” although most people refer to these elements as a serif. It’s a typographic design element that is supposed to increase the readability of the typeface by drawing the eye to the next letter in the word (and it looks pretty).

      • mark_ID says:

        ok, interesting. Thanks for the info.

        “I think I may have found a way to get us Bonds and Griffey, and we really wouldn’t give up that much” – Costanza

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        This is what I mean when I say I learn stuff on here. There’s always someone who knows. Thanks GrimJim. Can you expound on SansSerifs then?

        ———————————
        In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  16. HFX-HabFan says:

    So with Dale Hunter out in Washington, another club (along with Calgary) is looking to fill their coaching vacancy. Other coaching names who might get some looks between the Caps and Flames include:

    -Mike Sullivan (former BOS coach, current NYR asst)
    -Troy Ward (currently coaching CGY’s AHL club)
    -John Hynes (current coach of PIT’s AHL club, former coach of the USNTDP)
    -Dave Cameron (current OTT asst)
    -Paul Maurice
    -Ron Wilson
    -Craig MacTavish

    What other names aside from those we’ve heard tied to the Habs could be thrown into the mix?

    • commandant says:

      Brent Sutter
      Gerard Gallant
      Bob Boughner
      Mike Haviland
      Andy Murray

      Go Habs Go!
      Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters
      http://lastwordonsports.com/category/lastwordblog/nhldraft/

    • TomNickle says:

      The man they pick will have to accept that he has no say in player personnel.

      They’re committed to Ovechkin for the long haul and the new guy will have to deal with that. I suspect that’s the reason Dale Hunter won’t be returning. He knows that they need to rebuild their group of forwards.

      Dave Cameron’s candidacy for any head coaching job in the NHL is laughable for me. If anyone can mismanage a good roster, he’s the guy.

  17. habs001 says:

    It is unlikely the team will add any impact forwards from outside the organization…as mentioned below the habs really need at least 2 solid two way d who can be physical and provide secondary scoring and pp point help…if the habs get those 2 d ( will not be easy) and improve by a fair margin in winning key faceoffs they can have a huge turn around season…

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I think they can get the physical defenseman you’re hoping for but not the all-in-one that can contribute on the PP as well.

      Suban, Markov and Kaberle should be pretty good on the PP so I don’t think you need to worry about that when searching for a physical dman this summer.

      We need a couple guys that can smack people around, clear the crease and put pucks off the glass.

      • TomNickle says:

        If the team wants to compete it needs at least one. And if it can only get one it’s going to have to be a guy who can play close to ten third period minutes.

  18. shiram says:

    Todd Richards remains in Columbus.
    Nikita Filatov “bolts” to the KHL.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I hesitate to say that a free agent who signs a contract with another team in another league has bolted. I think that term applies to a player like Alex Radulov, who left the Predators in the middle of a contract, but not to a player who has finished it off. Nikita Filatov was free to negotiate with any team in the world, except for the 29 other NHL team who didn’t hold his rights.

      ———————————
      In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

      • shiram says:

        Fair enough, I did put in quotation marks.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          Agreed, wasn’t taking you on. We’ve had some spirited discussions about Russian players on here lately, and the idea that a player bolts to the KHL has become common currency, I just want to frame that term in context.

          ———————————
          In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

          http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  19. 123456 says:

    All this talk abou tcenters and having an extra good center – the penguins have three decent centers… anyone think they are looking to move one of them?

  20. ont fan says:

    Hunter not returning to Caps

  21. commandant says:

    I think the best plan is to draft a guy like Galchenyuk who probably needs another year in the minors.

    In one year’s time when he’s ready to come to the NHL you move DD to wing.

    DD’s biggest asset is his hockey sense, and how intelligent he is as a player, I think he can make the adaptation and still be a scoring threat.

    I also think DD is overmatched defensively at Centre, and this becomes a real problem on the road. He quite simply can not contain big forwards down low on the cycle (something he is asked to do as a center, but wouldn’t need to do as a winger). If you notice guys like Fleury, Cammalleri, Gionta, Ennis, Gerbe, they were all centres when they first reached the NHL, but were quickly converted to wingers for this reason. If you check the home +/- of all three members of DD’s line and compare it to the road +/-, you see the big disparity, almost 25 pts of difference per guy.

    Yes I know that DD’s line was our best last season and this would mean breaking it up. But there is no guarantee they will still have that chemistry going forward. We saw Zednick – Koivu – Kovalev, we saw Kostitsyn – Plekanec – Kovalev, we say Kostitsyn – Plekanec – Cammalleri all be unable to carry their chemistry after an offseason away. This happens in other cities too as the Ryan – Getzlaf – Perry line couldn’t keep it together. So there is no guarantee the line will keep firing at its current pace. You’ll start next year with them together anyway, and if it does work, then great, re-assess the plan and maybe leave DD at centre, but if it doesn’t then I think moving DD to wing is the way to improve down the road.

    Solves the need for a talented top 6 winger at the same time.

    Go Habs Go!
    Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters
    http://lastwordonsports.com/category/lastwordblog/nhldraft/

    • shiram says:

      An interesting proposal, I prefer it over trying to move any of the 3 centers we have right now.

    • HFX-HabFan says:

      And when you say “minors”, you mean “junior”, right?

    • TomNickle says:

      In theory that’s a good idea but this team doesn’t really have a shoot first centreman.

      Who do you play him with? Eller and Leblanc?

      • commandant says:

        Plekanec scores over 20 goals pretty much every year except for this last one. However, I think you’d play DD with Galchenyuk and Patches, and you’d have two goal scorers to play him with.

        Cole would play with Plekanec,

        Gionta with Eller.

        And then you have to figure out where you slot Bourque, and maybe one of the young kids… Gallagher or Leblanc… to round out your top 9.

        Remember we are talking about 2013-14 here.

        Go Habs Go!
        Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters
        http://lastwordonsports.com/category/lastwordblog/nhldraft/

        • TomNickle says:

          I agree with the Galchenyuk and Pacioretty pairing but I don’t feel that Galchenyuk will be ready for the NHL this season. I could easily be wrong but at the very least it’s unlikely.

    • LizardKing12 says:

      I really like this proposal. I’ve thought about this before and it makes a lot of sense. I much prefer moving DD to the wing than Eller who’s more physically suited to playing center. Like you said DD’s greatest asset is his hockey sense which means he would likely make a smooth transition to the wing.

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      I think Desharnais is a winger on any team, but especially on this team because most of his faults are the exact opposite of Lars Eller’s which makes them an obvious pair IMO.

      “I’m not opposed to trading Plekanec and/or Markov”
      – Sean Bonjovi

  22. Bripro says:

    All the discussions regarding the centre position.
    Whether it’s DD, Pleks or Eller, I believe there’s a bigger issue here.
    IMO, had Pleks played with Cole and Max, there is no question his output would have been more in line with what many expected.
    Some are disappointed by his “poor performance” or “sub-par performance”.
    I’m not knocking any of them, because I like what all three bring.
    What I believe to be more important is acquiring top wing man (men) to turn our #2 line into a contending #2 line.
    Take a look at, for example ( I hate to use them but…) the Bs depth.
    If we had one or two additions, such as a Peverley, Marchand (Yes…the rat), Seguin, Kelly or Thornton, our depth would increase dramatically, and this discussion would be moot.
    Our problem is not up the middle, it’s the snoozers (can you say Bourque) on wing.

    • TomNickle says:

      I don’t necessarily disagree with what you’re saying Bripro but there’s much more to consider here.

      First, can you sign a Parise, Jagr or Semin in free agency?

      30 teams get the chance to so it’s highly unlikely. I think that’s fair.

      Now, your only other option if you want Plekanec to have a first line winger right now is the trade market. So what are you willing to give up for a first line winger to have with Plekanec and Gionta. #3 pick? Two second rounders in a ridiculously deep 2013 draft? Andrei Markov?

      Taking all of that into consideration you must also think about where your team is at and what good that winger would do you this coming season and into the future. In other words, do you feel you can adequately address your situation on defense in conjunction with adding that first line forward in such a way that you would be able to compete for a Stanley Cup under a first year coach? And I say that because the defense situation is far more dire than the situation at forward. You have to(in my opinion) add at least two capable two way defensemen who can punish opposing forwards and give Price room to move. If you can’t do that via free agency you’re going to the trade market yet again.

      So, would you rather mortgage a good chunk of the future for three high end players needed to make this team a potential Cup contender under a first year head coach or would you rather move one or some of your valuable veterans to put the foundation in place for a Cup contender from a player personnel standpoint?

      It’s an easy decision for me but I don’t have an entire city watching my every move.

      • Bripro says:

        Tom, safe to say that you and I see that there is something lacking.
        Personally, I think our best strength is at centre, even if we don’t have a true #1.
        I agree 100% that our D is also lacking, but the future looks pretty good there, with our rising prospects.
        As for picking up strong wingmen, free agency is coming up, and I’m hoping that Bergevin is as much a wizard as my impression of him shows him to be.
        After ridding ourselves of Gomez (IMO that is crucial), the team should have the resources to sign a top man or two, without trading Pleks or anyone else. Unless of course, a brain-dead GM is willing to pick up the contracts of Gomez, Kaberle and Canpoli. That’s a lot of wasted money.
        I don’t want to mortgage anything. We don’t have the depth for that. But we certainly need reinforcements, and I appreciate the 3 centres we’re both speaking of too much to trade them away.
        Another thing we also agree on….given the shallow pool this summer of UFAs, if they trade Pleks, they had better bring in a maximum return, because he’s a top-10 defensive centre, and will be hard to replace.

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          Campoli is already gone. UFA.

          • Bripro says:

            True. My mistake. That’s one less headache.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            I saw you mention that last week too :-)

            I’ve been trying to relieve your stress by getting your attention and letting you know he’s gone ;-).

          • Bripro says:

            Ahhh stress-free mondays. Thanks for that, Hobie!

        • TomNickle says:

          I appreciate your opinion. When you talk about adding UFAs or trading for people it needs to be with a clear direction of what your plan is.

          If this team is rebuilding around Price, Subban, Pacioretty and a couple of others than it will not be adding first line talent via free agency and it won’t be trading prospects or picks for short term help.

          It’s one or the other. If the team wants to remain competitive during a rebuild they’ll sign lesser expensive and lesser talented players to fill temporary holes in the roster.

          You won’t be seeing Parise or Semin, Stuart or Suter.

          You’ll be seeing guys like Hannan and O’Brien or Hecht and Winnik.

          I happen to think that it’s unrealistic for this team to become a serious threat under a first year coach and because of that and the challenges in store filling the elite talent gap at forward and role filling required on defense, I wouldn’t be signing expensive free agents or trading young talent or draft picks for anything.

          Markov, Plekanec and Gionta would be asked for a list of teams.

          • Bripro says:

            I think this is the first time that you and I are 100% agreed.
            Break out the Champagne (or Guinness).
            I don’t think we’ll be a solid contender this year either. They blew up too much, and gave away too many good prospects.
            And you’re bang on in saying that it would be unwise to trade the talent that we have in the younger players.
            So it’ll be (to the chagrin of most on HIO) that the team will have difficulty acquiring an overall no. 1, except for our #3 draft pick.
            I would love to see Parise here, but I believe with Kovalchuck still in the mix, that he would rather stay put.
            I’m truly looking forward to seeing how Bergevin can pull a rabbit out of his hat. The first year will be a slow rebuilding process.
            You have to admit though, that the team was better than last year’s results.
            Also, I think Markov is prime for the trade market now, and someone would be willing to trade for him, like Philly.

          • TomNickle says:

            Markov wouldn’t be going anywhere in the same conference if I were Bergevin.

            Gionta and Markov’s injuries crippled this team. Gionta especially.

            With the idea in mind that this team is too far away from being able to beat New York, Boston or Philadelphia in a seven game series, I would be looking for good deals with Markov, Plekanec and Gionta being the guys heading out of town.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Been waitin’ to join in, and yours is a good post to follow Bp. None of the non-injured centers did anything to play themselves off the team, so I found the debate as to who’s better to be no. 1, 2, or 3 a bit moot. Even Pleks’ contract is not excessive (see Hemsky, Grabovski). Bp’s point about the high importance of depth bears repeating and emphasizing. A nice story within a story was how David D. played his way onto the depth chart and got playing time due to injuries among Halpern, Gomez, Plekanec. He next played his way onto the roster and the subsequent no.1 or no.2 center position. Nothing was handed to him. If next year’s roster has other dark horses emerge, it will make for a much more enjoyable season.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

      • ont fan says:

        We have to decide whether we are playing for this years playoffs or possible contenders in three years. If it’s three years, Pleks gives us the best return now, with draft choices or prospects. We can beat this to death but that’s the problem.

        • Lafleurguy says:

          Would be nice if Eller jumps up to a 52 point season (Plek’s total, and his lowest in about 5 years), and Desharnais doesn’t drop off from his 60 points. I was rather puzzled by Cammalleri’s low productivity, followed by an even more meager scoring rate from Bourque, so I wouldn’t presume 50 point players are readily found.

          “May you live in interesting times.”

          • Bripro says:

            I said it early last year, when DD was still underrated, and I still believe it to be true. DD is the next coming of Marty St Louis, but, like St Louis, he needs to be paired off with big wingmen, given his size.
            Does that mean keeping last year’s line together? I can’t speculate on whether that will be an attractive option for the new coach, but a more-balanced lineup would be what I would be looking for, and that means the acquisition of 1-2 top wingmen, preferable through this summer’s UFAgency.
            As for 4th line centre, I’m sure there will be a few quality players out there (Moore, Halpern) who we can entice to return, now that PG and JM are gone.

        • Ozmodiar says:

          >Pleks gives us the best return now

          why now? why after a supposed ‘down’ year?

    • GRECOHAB says:

      Last year the MAX-DD-COLE line enjoyed some huge success. The problem is that team success comes above personal stats and one line numbers. More balanced teams are hard to play against, and rosters with depth are usually the ones that wins it all. It is a no brainer that if we draft one big centerman in Galtsenuyk or Grigorenko (predicted to be NHL ready) then one of the current three C is expendable. Perhaps Plekanec holds the most value of the three, but i wouldn’t rush into trading one of them. Eller needs time , Desharnais needs to resume consistency, and Plekanec is a two-way specialist. The position we must improve is the 4th line center. We should develop Enqvist and Nattinen for this spot but for now we need a big PK,FO gritty guy to fill the gap. Via FA we can spot Gaustad, Moore, Stoll, McClement, all decent options for this spot.

      • Ozmodiar says:

        >The position we must improve is the 4th line center.

        I agree with this. Take away some defensive responsibilities first. This should increase his offensive production, even if he has to play with Bourque. Best case scenario – he gets a top 6 winger as well.

        If this plays out, his numbers will go up and so will his trade value. Then if you still want to trade him next year, you’ll get a better return. This also gives time for DD to prove he can do it for more than just one year.

        Buy low, sell high.

    • DorvalTony says:

      I beg to differ. Size and nastiness is sorely missing up the middle and it’s been that way for far too long. Those three guys as your top 3 centres is a prescription for failure.

      tony-mclean.blogspot.com

  23. petefleet says:

    You know of all the problems to have, the Habs have a problem with who is the #2 and #3 centre. That’s not even figuring in LL who could easily make a push this year to be one of the guns at centre. So there you have it. DD at #1, Pleks at #2, and LL and Eller dualling for #3. In this scenario there is no #4 because neither one of them is that kind of player. Nokia will have to do for now. Is Halpern under contract this year yet? I digress. The point is, if all the youth develop this year at centre and on the back end, MTL has a great problem to have….what to do with all the talent. Any suggestions?

    ******************************************

    “It just goes to show how difficult predictions are, especially ones made about the future.”

    RGM
    ***Habs Forever***

    • TomNickle says:

      It’s a good problem for a General Manager.

      Bad problem for a Coach.

      Tomas Plekanec should be traded provided he’s willing to be moved.

      • Bigdawg says:

        I would not touch plek unless the return was excellent – above and beyond.

        Having three centers capable of icing lines that can score (ok we need an upgrade on wing for this to happen) is what can give montreal an edge next year. Its hard to shut down 3 lines.

        Eller is good now and can be great but still needs to take it to the next level and that is why I think he needs a good scoring vet on his wing this year. Gio can probably fit that role but in my ideal xbox world it would be UFA Doan.

        • TomNickle says:

          Your first sentence is one I agree with. But with it being Tomas Plekanec, the return would very likely be good and worth the risk of trading him.

          • sane hockey fan says:

            So do you think we can get much more in return for him than hes worth?

          • TomNickle says:

            I have no idea what we can get for him.

            I know that at the very least Chicago, Columbus, Calgary and Winnipeg would very likely be beating down Bergevin’s door to discuss it.

          • sane hockey fan says:

            I’m sorry but if you believe there are 80+ players that can do what pleks does (taken from your post below) then sorry, columbus, chicago, calgary, whoever definitely wont be beating down bergevins door to get their hands on him.

          • TomNickle says:

            Sure they will Sanefan because those teams don’t have any depth at the centre position and there aren’t any going to free agency.

          • sane hockey fan says:

            I don’t think you’re understanding what I’m trying to say. If we hold that, as you said, there are 80+ guys like pleks to choose from, why would they take one that costs 5+ mil/year when they could get someone who does the same as him for much less salary and ? Also, with that many options to choose from, why would they be beating down the door?

          • TomNickle says:

            I understand you perfectly. You’re saying that I believe a “Plekanec type” of player isn’t valuable because there are so many. That’s not true at all.

            It isn’t that there are a ton of players who can play in that role, it’s that it isn’t rare by any means.

            And of those players I listed who are similar to Plekanec, there aren’t probably aren’t a half dozen that teams would move because they offer elite skills in some area of the game and few of them had as bad of seasons as the Habs. It’s also worth noting that few of them have as many capable centremen as the Habs.

            There are teams screaming for capable centremen. That needs to be exploited.

      • petefleet says:

        Pleks has a skill set that is not easy to find. He’s in rare company in the NHL. Getting rid of him would almost guarentee another dissapointing season for the Habs. I don’t think what he bring to the table is as appreciated as it should be. The list of teams looking to sign him would be long, maybe 28 or 29 long.

        ******************************************

        “It just goes to show how difficult predictions are, especially ones made about the future.”

        RGM
        ***Habs Forever***

        • TomNickle says:

          It depends on what you consider to be rare. I feel that there are around 40 players who do what Plekanec does in the NHL today, maybe more. There are probably close to an equal amount capable who haven’t been given the opportunity.

          • petefleet says:

            For arguement’s sake can you name them? I’m at a loss to find that many comparable centremen to Pleks in the NHL right now.

            ******************************************

            “It just goes to show how difficult predictions are, especially ones made about the future.”

            RGM
            ***Habs Forever***

          • TomNickle says:

            Toews, Backes, Legwand, Datsyuk, Mike Richards, Kopitar, Getzlaf, Vermette, Thornton, Pavelski, Marleau, Eriksson, Laich, Mikko Koivu, Paul Stastny, Duchene, Kesler, Sedin, Tavares, Brad Richards, Giroux, Zajac, Parise, Staal, Crosby, Hornqvist, Backstrom, Antropov, Weiss, Eric Staal , Bergeron, Krejci and Berglund.

            There are several others who play the wing exclusively and are just as effective defensively and contribute similar or better offense.

            Brown, Couture, Bolland, Sharp, Oshie, Filpulla, Glencross, Smyth, Landeskog, Callahan, Hartnell, Elias, Henrique, Dupuis, Alfredsson, Marchand, Ruutu, Ladd, St. Louis and a few I missed I’m sure.

          • petefleet says:

            I’m not sure what your perameters were looking at the list of names. To put Pleks in a category with J Thornton and E Staal is something I never thought to do. I would have confined my search to the following:
            1. kills every penalty
            2. plays every power play
            3. checks other teams top line
            4. revolving door of wingers 50+pts
            5. scores short handed goals
            6. never takes a night off

            but that’s just the way I’d look at it.

            ******************************************

            “It just goes to show how difficult predictions are, especially ones made about the future.”

            RGM
            ***Habs Forever***

          • TomNickle says:

            And if you were to look at it like that you’d be cherry picking.

            He also didn’t see everybody’s top line this year. Eller got that responsibility. Never takes a night off is total fallacy. There isn’t a player in the league who gives 100% every single night of the year. And if anyone on this team is close, it’s Gionta or Subban, not Plekanec.

            So if you’re looking for players who do minimum what Plekanec does in every single area, you won’t find any, which I’m sure suits the agenda some have that would see Plekanec stay here for his entire career. But if you want to look at things objectively, you broaden the scope and look at similar players, not identical.

            The players I listed all carry significant defensive responsibilities while being expected to contribute offense. I’m not going to cherry pick their strengths to call them better than Plekanec, and in turn I won’t be cherry picking their weaknesses in an effort to make Plekanec look better, like you.

          • petefleet says:

            I wouldn’t call it cherry picking. I just don’t like it when people under value Pleks. He’s been doing it all for years and has sacrificed personal #’s for it. He’s not one to complain about either, which is a little different in today’s NHL. Had he kept the quality wingers he had when he was scoring 70+pts, there would be no one calling for a trade, including you. 50+pts with his workload is admirable especially when you factor in two question marks on either wing. And, be careful what you wish for. He may be gone before you know it and then it’ll be “what if”.

            ******************************************

            “It just goes to show how difficult predictions are, especially ones made about the future.”

            RGM
            ***Habs Forever***

    • habs03 says:

      LL played mainly RW in MTL, and even in Hamilton he was playing RW. You could also move Eller to LW. Eller is much better at Centre, but has had success on the wing, he playing Wing for Denmark in the World Champions now, and is doing well.

      • petefleet says:

        Yes he did but he is a centre. He will develop more easily and quickly in his ‘natural’ position. Look at the difference it makes in Eller’s game.

        ******************************************

        “It just goes to show how difficult predictions are, especially ones made about the future.”

        RGM
        ***Habs Forever***

      • DorvalTony says:

        Louis is a centre and brings a physical aspect the ‘big three’ do not. (Pleky’s slashing penalties don’t count.)

        tony-mclean.blogspot.com

        • commandant says:

          Montreal has already started the process of converting Louis to wing. Much like Chris Higgins, I don’t think they believe Leblanc is a fit at Centre, and is better on the wing.

          Consider that Hamilton was really hurting for centres this year, and they kept playing Leblanc at RW.

          I think that is where the organization sees him in the future.

          This happens to a lot of “natural” centres. In fact 90% of NHL forwards were a “centre” growing up, because the coaches in peewee, bantam, etc… always put their best forward at Centre. Its usually in Junior or in the AHL that the guys get converted to Wing.

          Go Habs Go!
          Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters
          http://lastwordonsports.com/category/lastwordblog/nhldraft/

    • shiram says:

      I see all of DD, Eller and Pleks fighting for that #1 center spot, many are really fond of DD, but he has not done anything that Pleks has not done, so I would not just hand him the reigns.
      But this is not a bad situation, with a good coach, hopefully minutes and special teams are handled so all 3 can have important tasks and good TOI.

  24. TomNickle says:

    Lars Eller is ready to be a #2 centreman or better in the NHL.

    He was a 4th line centreman two seasons ago for the Habs. The debate over who the better option was between he and Desharnais happened quite a bit albeit inconsistently here during that time. Desharnais’ point totals were often cited, but who wouldn’t have better offensive production on the second line and seeing powerplay time than a guy playing centre on the fourth line and killing penalties?(save the Gomez jokes)

    At every level of his career as a hockey player Eller has had a season to develop and then has blossomed offensively.

    He scored two points in his first 14 games with Frolunda of the SEL and followed that up with 29 in his next 48. In his second full season of professional hockey he scored 57 points in 70 games for Peoria while playing with mono and while playing in North America for the first time.

    Last year with the Habs he scored 17 points as a fourth line player. This year he scored 28 as a third line player(sixteen goals).

    Now he has four points in five games at the WHC with 3 of the four points coming in two games against Sweden and Russia.

    Eller will take a big jump forward this year given the opportunity in my opinion. Some of the criticisms here have me shaking my head. What third line player on an opposing team in the NHL would we say lacks finish if he had 16 goals? None. He would be credited for making the most out of a less than desirable situation. I also realize that Eller scored four goals in one game. They all count folks.

    • Cal says:

      His numbers keep saying he’s a 3rd line center. The “big jump forward” hasn’t happened yet. 1 great night in 2 seasons doesn’t make him a number 2 with Pleks on the team. Pleks was playing with a myriad of wingers and still got 50 points in what many here described as an “off” year.

      • commandant says:

        Depth up the middle is great. Plekanec and Eller can both match up well in defensive roles, so the need for a “pure shutdown” centre isn’t there. If we can get the wingers to surround them we can have 2a/2b lines with Pleks and Eller and they can be used in any situation.

        This is the kind of depth you need to be able to roll to be a true contender.

        Go Habs Go!
        Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters
        http://lastwordonsports.com/category/lastwordblog/nhldraft/

        • Cal says:

          I agree with you. I disagree with this statement: Lars Eller is ready to be a #2 centreman or better in the NHL.” He simply isn’t and hasn’t shown anything with any consistency to be a #2 or better.

          • TomNickle says:

            That’s your opinion.

          • Cal says:

            @TN- and what you wrote isn’t opinion? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight!

          • TomNickle says:

            Cal,

            My opinion isn’t stated as fact. Your complete MO is to disagree with somebody without providing any logic or insight as to why you’ve formed your opinion and then leave when they point out that there’s nothing to what you’re saying.

            You’re the biggest troll here.

      • kempie says:

        Don’t forget that he basically missed all of last summer. He spent the summer rehabbing his shoulder instead of doing any serious training. I expect Larry to show up this year bigger & stronger. I also have a bit of a conspiracy theory about Eller being held back a bit because of bonuses in his contract last season.

      • HardHabits says:

        Yo C-Man.

      • TomNickle says:

        Desharnais got a combined 68 goals from Cole and Pacioretty alone. Eller got a combined 19 from his various linemates.

        Eller also scored a goal for every 75 minutes played. Desharnais scored one for every 93 minutes played.

        Eller did it in a shutdown role, Desharnais did it in an attacking role.

        Desharnais averaged over three minutes of powerplay time per game. Eller averaged 37 seconds.

        This is not a knock on Desharnais, this is an indication of the circumstances to point out that Eller made the most of his opportunities and linemates, as did Desharnais.

        Your consistent indictments of Eller lack reason, analysis and for the most part truth.

    • shiram says:

      Eller has had as many goals as any other Habs center this past season, and I think he can improve, I also don’t get the rational behind trying to dicredit his 4 goal games, he scored them, so they count!

      • TomNickle says:

        Because eliminating four goals from his total and saying twelve sounds better when your goal is to put him down because you’re pissy that Halak was traded for him.

        • shiram says:

          Sure, I just don’t consider that a valid reason! What’s next taking away hat tricks?

          • TomNickle says:

            Reminds me of the film Mr. Baseball.

            Tom Selleck – “C’mon coach, I lead this team in two out, ninth inning doubles in October last year!”

            A lot of people here don’t like to take statistics for what they’re worth, instead they just prefer to include them or discard them to suit opinions.

      • Cal says:

        NHL Totals for Lars Eller GP 163 G25 A 22 Pts 47

        Eller gets one point every 3.5 games.
        In 163 games, he has 47 points. If those are numbers for a number 2 centerman, the Habs are worse than I imagined.

        • sane hockey fan says:

          Yes but hes the best player on team Denmark !!!

        • TomNickle says:

          In a third line role. But don’t let the mitigating circumstances deter you from an uninformed upchucking.

          • Cal says:

            You call me a troll, yet you post opinion and try to back it up with “circumstances.” His scoring stats speak for themselves. 47 points in 163 games. Anyone else gets those numbers and they are what they are: a 3rd liner.

          • TomNickle says:

            It certainly means they’ve been playing a third line role.

            I guess Jordan Staal will be nothing more than a third line centreman.

    • ed lopaz says:

      one of my biggest complaints against Martin as a coach was his inability to see and take advantage of the player Eller can become.

      and I am CERTAIN that this caused great friction between Martin and Gauthier (see MoneyBall movie to understand what I mean)

      Eller is a center.

      Martin kept trying to force Eller to play wing.

      Eller is a talented offensive player.

      Martin kept Eller away from the power play and tried to make Eller into a defensive center.

      This is what I mean when I complained before Martin was fired that the Habs are WEAK when it comes to Pro Development of certain players.

      We traded for Eller so he could play as a the “big, talented center” that he has shown he can be all of his hockey life.

      It is TIME to give him the responsibility and the offensive chances that he deserves.

      let me add that Eller is a real pro – he is mature beyond his years – he is great team player – and he is a real asset for the Habs bench and locker room.

      as we saw with Paccioretty and with Subban, and even with Price,

      once they are given the “opportunity” to play the right position, the correct amount of ice time, and in the key situations, these guys all become stars.

      Eller is next.

      Our next coach should see this and encourage it.

      I was totally against the trade that brought Eller to the Habs.

      And I have seen over these past 2 seasons that Eller has the skills, the attitude, to become a great NHL player.

      Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

      • TomNickle says:

        Certainly nice to see somebody who didn’t want Eller acknowledge that he can become what this team has longed for since the late nineties Ed.

        Your feelings of Eller are how I feel about Desharnais today. Didn’t think he could make the transition, didn’t like that he was getting spoonfed important minutes and skilled linemates, and all he’s done is completely change my opinion of him.

        • ed lopaz says:

          desharnais has done that to everyone who has watched him play his entire career.

          he is the exception to every rule the scouts follow.

          remarkable.

          • TomNickle says:

            The only thing that he does now that completely amazes me is how well he protects the puck.

            He doesn’t really lean on his stick, isn’t quick changing direction and from what the eye can see doesn’t seem to be all that strong in the upper or lower body as compared to opponents.

            He just doesn’t let them take the puck. He’d probably be insulted by this but it’s quite possible that he’s just one of those guys who was born with it.

      • ont fan says:

        Watching how Eller and Cole were used last year by Martin was a head shaker. I agree that Eller will step up this tear.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I thought the year before he played quite a bit on the third line as well though?

      He defintely played better but the proof will be in the pudding as they say. I think he would have been further ahead is last season when they habs got him he should have played in Hamilton.

      I still think the habs really need to go for at top 6 winger.

      What centre would you move to try and put eller in top 6? Why not try him on the wing?

      “Like Canadian Hip hop..check us out http://www.groovecontrolmusic.com

    • habsfan0 says:

      Eller is the diamond in the rough that the Habs have been searching for for a long, long time. He will turn out to be one of the goat’s few good moves.

    • DorvalTony says:

      I don’t see him better than a number three anywhere. Last CH to have a four goal game was (drum roll) Jan Bulis. Lars is still VERY young and making a call this early is premature. You like him, that’s good, I like him too, he’s shown flashes, was good in playoffs against B’s last year but it’s way early.

      tony-mclean.blogspot.com

  25. jon514 says:

    I tend to think if the habs only add one player it has to be a top 4 defenseman over a top 6 forward. what do you guys think?

  26. ari says:

    good morning all ,why there is no link for jack todd ?

  27. Hobie Hansen says:

    People have been speculating on Eller’s development and generally hoping for the best. With the current logjam at center in Montreal with Plekanec and Desharnais holding down the top two spots, I hope Eller ends up with two good wingers next season on the 3rd line.

    I’m guessing that Bergevin will sign another top six forward to play on the wing with Plekanec and Gionta. Maybe Bourque stays there but I think he should move to the 3rd.

    I think a 3rd line of Bourque, Eller and Moen could be pretty good. Moen might not light the lamp a ton but he is a solid positional player who shouldn’t drag his line mates down and actually create space and recover pucks for them.

    Hopefully the new coach gives Bourque a major kick in the arse as well.

    Bourque-Eller-Moen is what I’d like to see next year for our 3rd.

  28. chanchilla says:

    Max pac had played with desharnais in hamilton as well so they had played together for a little while

  29. 123456 says:

    Nice story from local paper on the callahan (rags) and stephen gionta (devils) rivalry. For those that may not know, stephen gionta is brian gionta’s little brother and he only had a few NHL games under his belt before the playoffs started.

    http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20120513/SPORTS/305130048/Lifelong-friends-Callahan-Gionta-meet-NHL-playoffs?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Home

  30. habstrinifan says:

    Reviewd the WHC scoring since tournament started. Max Pac is really showing his stuff. Amazing player he is turning out to be. While Lars Eller is doing some scoring I am a little disappointed in his stats. Understanding that the Danes are one of the weaker teams, I was still hoping that Eller would be putting up more points, especially assists. Maybe his promise isnt as high as I and others believe. He should be using this tournament to stake a claim for the number 2 centre in HABS lineup next season.

    Note to Marc Bergevin! When Max Pac returns get a scouting of all players from him. If Max Pac says that is a good player… go with it. Rememebr his praise of David Desharnis, after maybe less than a year playing with him. That worked out fine! So pay Max Pac a little extra to do some scouting for you.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Nice observo, trini. Max made those comments before his neck fracture, and it created a little story within a story that makes for terrific reading. Maybe he and Des could be a lesser version of Hull and Oates (pun intended).

      On the other point, gotta like how the Kings are like a well tuned engine/instrument.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Clay says:

      Sad that the mods got rid of your more recent post. Lame mods…

      __________________________
      ☞ “Wow, that’s a nice lookin’ pair of Crocs!” Said no one ever.☜

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think we need to be careful about judging Eller’s performance, essentially he is playing for the Washington Generals right now against the Harlem Globetrotters over at that tournament. My understanding he was far and away best player for Denmark.

      I still have high hopes for the young Dane. Key I think is he gets a summer to train and not rehab like he did all last summer with his shoulder injury. Hopefully he can add 5lbs or more this summer and be even stronger on the puck next year.

      Have a good day Trin, gorgeous weather here as well, I am off to play Devils Pulpit golf course. A treat for me!

      • shiram says:

        A set of decent wingers that are not changed every other shift would be nice also.

      • Stev.R says:

        Eller needs a shot. His biggest issue is not finishing.

        • Cal says:

          He doesn’t have the vision to be a big point getter. We’ve all seen him skate around and around the periphery in the offensive zone without passing the puck. It’s nice that he can skate with the puck. That he doesn’t end up doing much with it is the concern. His points totals do not inspire confidence in that direction. As a 3rd line center, Eller will be fine.

          • TomNickle says:

            I disagree. Players who hold the puck longer have better vision and typically better skill than those who can’t.

            You’re using vision as a criticism because you know that it can’t be quantified. Just a reason to knock him. You point to his point totals as a reason they don’t inspire confidence. How many third line centremen scored 16 goals this season?

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      Maybe you should watch the games. I saw Denmark quite a bit and Eller has been their best player. With a little bit of luck, he could easily have two or three points more as well.

      It really doesn´t help much when you´re on a crap team even if you have decent linemates and Denmark´s defence completely sucks by the way.

      I hope we get a smart HC who makes him our second line center and gives him two decent wingers.

    • TomNickle says:

      Circumstances. Pacioretty today is a better player than Eller. Pacioretty’s also had Paul Stastny and Bobby Ryan as linemates for the majority of the tournament.

      Frans Nielsen and Jesper Jensen have been Eller’s.

      Eller currently has the same or more points as Mikhail Grabovski, Bobby Ryan, Jeff Skinner, Gabriel Landeskog, Ales Hemsky, Jamie Benn and Pavel Datsyuk.

  31. habstrinifan says:

    The LA Kings are reviving all around aggressive smart hockey. They are not playing like Pittsburg nor Philly did…. all out mayhem with bad defensive structure and they are not playing like Rangers are and Washington did… boring limited offense hockey.

    Remarkably, the NJ Devils is the team best resembling LA from the East, except NJ does not seem to have a line like the Brown line. I just dont see NYR beating NJ nor Phoenix beating LA.

    So we are in for a high-flying Stanley Cup final I think… NJ-LA!

    I cant believe I am saying NJ and high flying in same sentence.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Hard to disagree my friend but I predicted Yotes in 5 yesterday. Shows you how much I know. Have a good one bud. :)

      ———————————–

      • habstrinifan says:

        Hope if you have any cash invested it’s real disposable income. LOL! Kings look too strong but then again Phoenix were looking as if they had Lady Luck on their side last night.

        Great day here in Ottawa.. hope you have as nice weather too..enjoy!

  32. The Cat says:

    Finally Dave Stubbs mentions me in an article ^_^

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  33. Habfan10912 says:

    Morning Gerald. Interesting question. This series should be a lot mote physical then Washington/ Rangers were. Might be the spark that gets me more interested in the playoffs. I think Jansen plays at the least.
    On another note, there seems to be a lot more Ranger fans down here now. Can you say bandwagon?

    ———————————–

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Morning Jim, yah I have to imagine lots of those old hard core Ranger fans are coming out of the woodwork. I look forward to watching this series. I will also be curious to watch the games in Jersey and see the crowd shots, I would expect alot of Rag’s fans showing up in the Swamp.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Ranger fans saying they’ll get all home games. It won’t be that bad but NJ will use a lot if artificial noise in their building. Guessing it’ll be like 70-30.

        ———————————–

  34. HabinBurlington says:

    Will New Jersey dress either Janssen or Boulton in game 1? These were tough guys for New Jersey against Rangers during the season, but haven’t been seen wearing a jersey since the playoffs started.


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