LizardKing12 - (Pasquale Pettinicchio)Member since April 10, 2012
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- Comment on Therapy day for Habs’ Markov, Emelin and Subban; Pacioretty named NHL’s third star (2014-04-07 15:49:14)
I agree that the Habs do not have the size to be a prototypical puck possession team. Teams like LA and Boston seem to be the ones that excel at this type of game. However, if the Habs use their speed to implement a tenacious forecheck we can be amongst the top ranking puck possession teams. Look at the stats from last season. the Habs ranked 6th in the nhl in puck possession. Our style of play was far different last season with a much bigger emphasis on using our speed to forecheck hard, force mistakes and maintain offensive zone pressure. That system resulted in us being the 3rd highest scoring team in the NHL and a top 10 puck possession team. This season's success is attributable to Carey Price having a career year and Budaj playing lights out as a back-up. We are one of the lowest scoring teams in the NHL and are bottom 5 in puck possession. If Carey Price doesn't play to the best of his abilities and the Vanek line doesn't continue scoring at a pace that makes them one of the top 3 lines in the NHL the Habs will struggle to win in the playoffs.
- Comment on About last night … (2014-03-30 17:18:42)
Since Vanek has joined the DD-Pacs line and they've been lighting it up he's naturally been the talk of the town. There is no denying the positive impact that adding a player of Vanek's caliber has had on the Habs. Hopefully that line can keep it up come playoff time and Habs fans everywhere get to enjoy a very interesting spring! For the long run I think it is essential that the Habs find a way to keep Vanek. Looking at this season and future seasons pending free agents it doesn't look like there are many, if any, realistic replacements for the combination of size and skill that Vanek provides. As far as prospects go De La Rose and McCarron are probably the best bets to round into big effective top 6 forwards but that could take a while. Keeping Vanek in combination with our youth improving makes the Habs a contender over the next few seasons as opposed to having to wait 2-3 more years before reaching that status. That being said there are few fans who don't think keeping Vanek is a good idea. The main argument isn't that we shouldn't sign him but that he won't sign here because it's been a known fact all season that he is Minnesota bound this offseason. From Vanek's perspective that move makes sense, his wife wants to go there and he has ties to the community because he played college hockey there. What about from the Wild's perspective? Going into the trade deadline the Wild were looking to solidify their top six with a goal scoring winger just like the Habs were. If their plan was to sign Vanek this offseason why not trade for him at the deadline? They ended up giving away more assets for Moulson. If you are planning on giving away boatloads of cash to a player in the offseason and have the opportunity to bring him in at the deadline doesn't that give you an idea of if he will work out on your roster and whether he will truly be worth the money? It would've also allowed the Wild the option to sign him to an 8 year deal instead of 7 years and given them exclusive negotiating rights until july 1st. Obviously it is still a possibility that Vanek ends up in Minny. The way I see it though all the reasons for why he would sign there are reasons that it makes sense for the player but nothing has come out about the team having any interest in him. IMO it is much less of a done deal than some make it out to be. He is currently gelling really well with DD and Pacs and getting a taste of what it's like to win and be a fan favorite in the mecca of hockey come july first anything can happen!
- Comment on Budaj gets start in goal for Habs against Sharks (2014-03-08 16:43:07)
Even though there are a fair amount of similarities between the two teams there is a key difference, size. The only LA King to play in all 20 games during their cup run that was under 6'0 was Mike Richards who is 5'11 but plays with a ton of grit. They had several players in the 6'2-6'4 200-220 lbs range and their smaller players were all 6'0-6'1 190-205 lbs. That was a big, physical team built for a long playoff run. The Habs have 5 players in their top 9 in the 5'7-5'11 range. Adding Vanek helps tremendously but this is still a group of forwards that lacks the size and grit to compete in a long cup run. It isn't impossible but we've seen how the playoffs work and bigger teams tend to be more successful. The exception to that rule lately seems to be the Hawk's who are not a very big team but they have elite skill that we lack. Last season if you pro-rate the seasons of their most productive players (assuming they were to remain healthy) you get Kane 95p, Toews 84, Hossa 64, Sharp 59, Keith 48. In comparison the Habs leading scorer is PK Subban with 45 points and he's on pace for 56 which isn't even as much as the Hawks fourth leading scorer and 40 points less than their leading scorer. In today's NHL you either need to be a big team with balanced scoring (LA,BOS) or have high end skill (CHI,PIT). We fall into neither of those categories, we are an undersized team that struggles to score goals. A deep playoff run will depend on Price playing lights out and Pacioretty and Vanek scoring goals at Cammy's ridiculous .7 goals per game pace from the 09-10 playoffs.
- Comment on ‘It’s a pretty cool feeling,’ Olympic champ Price says (with video) (2014-02-25 11:50:28)
I know that you don't think Markov is or ever was as good as Lidstrom. I understand that you are comparing what another organization did with an aging vet who was drafted by them. However, it is not a fair comparison because of the fact that he is an all time great. Obviously someone who is potentially the best ever at their position is going to be able to make some adjustments in order to have a more lengthy career. That being said Lidstrom didn't even really have to adjust that much, his point totals from ages 30-35 were :71,59,62,38,80 and his totals from 36-41 were: 62,70,59,49,62,34. Not a whole lot of difference, Lidstrom was an elite point producer up until his final season. Furthermore he never dealt with many injuries playing 70+ games in all but one season which I believe was a lockout shortened season so he literally never missed significant time to injury. It is just far to different a situation to make a comparison. The only similarities is they are offensive dman who were drafted by a team and spent a long time with the same team. Lidstrom was a consistently healthy player who never showed signs of decline. Markov has dealt with very serious injuries and is showing declining point totals and whether or not you want to admit it is no the same guy defensive that he was prior to the injuries, still good but not the same. How often would pre-injury Markov be made to look like a total pylon like he did vs Malkin in the last Pitts game, yes Malkin is elite but Markov used to shut those guys down not be made to look like a fool. Like I said, Gonchar IMO is a very fair comparison. An elite puck moving dman, slightly better offensively and slightly worse defensively and who also dealt with some injuries in his career. Gonchar post 35, like a large majority of offensive dmen, has put up declining numbers, and has been less effective defensively. Markov is already showing regression in offensive output as well as defensive reliability. Markov has what it takes to play into his late 30s but not as a #2 6 mil a year dman. Someone will give him that money but will most likely regret it when he is a minus player putting up 35-40 points at 37-38 years of age.
- Comment on ‘It’s a pretty cool feeling,’ Olympic champ Price says (with video) (2014-02-25 11:31:04)
You are right dmen age much better than forwards. That being said you are mistaken if you don't think Markov is dwindling. I posted the stats below. His point totals are declining year to year and his second half of seasons both last year and this year show that although he is able to continue producing he becomes more and more of a defensive liability. He now tends to fly out of the gate both offensively and defensively but piles up more and more minus games as the season wears on. We can see it with out own eyes that Markov is not as defensively sound as he once was. The knee injuries have taken their toll and he isn't the fantastic skater he once was. A lot of good forwards have blown right by him on their way to the net and it happens more and more frequently the later we get in the season. Becoming a stay at home dman is simply not in the cards for Markov. The comparison with Lidstrom is also a stretch as I mentioned in a reply to your post above. Lidstrom is undoubtedly the best dman of his generation and one of the top 5 all time. He won multiple norris trophies including one at the age of 35 when he put up 80 points and was +21. Comparatively Markov is turning 35 and is on pace for 43 points, he is currently +7 but that is because of his good +14 start he has been a minus player since December and should the trend continue he will end up a minus by the end of the year. Lidstrom put up 62 points at 40 years old, 2 less than Markov's best season in the prime of his career. Sorry to burst your bubble but the two are worlds apart. A better comparison would be Sergei Gonchar, who also was more offensively gifted than Markov in his prime but is much closer in skill than Lidstrom. Before the age of 35 Gonchar was producing at roughly 0.7 PPG, since then he has produced at 0.53 PPG. That's a difference between averaging close to 60 points a season to under 45 points a season. Markov at his best was averaging in the mid 50 points per season and at 35 has already seen that total drop to the low 40s, can't imagine he will be putting up more points at age 36-38.
- Comment on ‘It’s a pretty cool feeling,’ Olympic champ Price says (with video) (2014-02-25 11:02:57)
Matty comparing Markov to Lidstrom is a major stretch. It's like comparing Kessel to Crosby. One is a top tier talent at his position and one is an all time great. Lidstrom in the eyes of many is among the top 5 dmen all time. He won like 8 norris trophies and at the age of 35 put up 80 points and took home the Norris. Markov is at a similar age and is on pace for 43 points and won't be anywhere close to in the discussion for the norris. Lidstrom was still one of if not the best in the league at that point. Not only was Markov never near that good even in his prime, at this point in his career he isn't even the best dman on his team. The situation in MTL is much much different, Lidstrom put up 62 points at 40 years old that is 2 points less than Markov's best season when he was in his prime.
- Comment on ‘It’s a pretty cool feeling,’ Olympic champ Price says (with video) (2014-02-25 10:45:05)
You make excellent points Matty. Continuity and stability are major keys to success in the sports world. Having a management team and coaching staff in place for a long period of time allows a team to cultivate a culture and put a plan in place for long term success. It also applies to players, you want to draft well and retain your players for as long as possible. A cohesive locker room and a roster that is familiar with each other is a key to success as well. If you have constant turnover it is rarely conducive to success. Bergevin seems to understand this. His goal to build through the draft is one that involves putting together a nucleus of players and retaining them long term. Price was locked up long term when he got here and he has made long term deals to retain players he identified as a part of the team's core (Pacs, Emelin, DD) and will likely do the same with PK this offseason. The problem with Markov is that he is old and we are building a core that will compete in the future, not this season or next season but 3-4 years down the line and will remain competitive for many years once that success is established. He is a player that is declining in offensive and defensive skills and will most likely not be worth his contract in the later years. Knowing when to part ways with declining players and get a maximized return of assets for them is also a key part of building a successful franchise. I will use an example from the NFL, I know it is a different sport but I believe the philosophy applies nonetheless. The New England Patriots have been arguably the most successful franchise of the last 10+ years. They have done this in part by retaining the good players they draft and building a stable core but also by maximizing the value of their assets by parting ways sometimes a year to early rather than a year too late. When they identify a player that will most likely not be worth their contract in a year or two they either trade them for assets or simply cut them in order to better use the cap space. Instead of being saddled with a player who is taking up a lot of cap space and underperforming they now either have draft picks that will potentially contribute in the future + cap space if the player was valuable enough to trade or just cap space that will be used more effectively if he is just cut. For the last 10-15 years the Habs have been terrible at identifying when a player will be of declining value to the team in the future or simply unwilling to part ways at a time that would lead to maximizing assets. As a result we have often been stuck with ageing players who no longer earn their salaries, or lose a player without getting assets in return which is a big mistake when that player has good to great trade value (Souray, Koivu, Kovalev).
- Comment on ‘It’s a pretty cool feeling,’ Olympic champ Price says (with video) (2014-02-25 10:27:54)
I doubt anyone thinks a draft pick is a sure thing. We have experienced our fair share of 1st round busts and seen any more around the league to think that even for a second. As far as trading markov goes we would definitely get more than just a draft pick, I highly doubt MB trade him away for just picks he'd want something slightly more tangible. IMO it would be more like a first or second rounder plus a fairly highly rated prospect who has a good chance of being a top 6 forward and at the very least will be a contributor on the 3rd line. The reality is that trades always involve risk. You don't improve a team without taking risks. The argument when looking at the Markov situation is will he be worth the big contract 2-3 years down the road, will he be a piece that can help us contend for a cup in those years or will he be a declining dman with a big cap hit. Taking that into consideration you have to either take a risk by signing him long term and hoping he only declines slightly while remaining a top end offensive talent, or take the risk and trade him for assets that could contribute more than a declining markov would in years 2-3 of his deal.
- Comment on ‘It’s a pretty cool feeling,’ Olympic champ Price says (with video) (2014-02-25 10:07:10)
I disagree, I think it's all the more reason to trade Markov. Offensive Dman/PP QB is often a sought after commodity at the deadline for cup contending teams with weak special teams. Markov is one of the only players that fits the bill for teams looking for that kind of player and his value is still high. If there is a team out there that thinks a PP QB is the missing ingredient to a cup run than we could get some quality assets for the future. We don't need to replace Markov right away. Yes in the immediate future we become weaker on the back end but in the next 1-2 years the Habs are not legit contenders anyways. Also do you really think Markov will be the same Markov in the future? Maybe next year he will but it gets less and less likely as the years go on. Bergevin's plan is to build through the draft and with the plethora of draft picks he had in the last 2 seasons it is clear that he is looking to be a contender when these young players become the core of this team in the future. By then Beaulieu or Tinordi will be a #2.
- Comment on ‘It’s a pretty cool feeling,’ Olympic champ Price says (with video) (2014-02-25 09:51:32)
IMO Markov has the potential to be the most sought after dman at the deadline, especially if that is a fairly accurate list of who will be available. Rangers will be looking for a big return for Girardi, he is only 29 and can reasonably have 4-5 years of very good hockey left. He may be way to expensive for a potential rental. Macdonald is having a good season but isn't really a proven commodity as an offensive dman as this is really his best season from an offensive standpoint and is more of a middle of the pack talent when it comes to offensive talent. I doubt the Sharks part ways with Boyle, they are having another good season and are running out of opportunities to make a cup run before having to retool a bit once Boyle, Thornton and Marleau get older in the next few years. Gonchar has shown significant decline in offensive abilities and hasn't been very good defensively for quite some time. He is still an option for a team looking to improve offensively on the back end for a cup run because he wouldn't take much to get but he also comes with another year at 5 mil and I don't see many teams wanting to take that on. That leaves Markov and Zidlicky as the top offensive dmen available. They both have similar offensive upside but Markov has always been the superior PP QB and this IMO should make him the more sought after commodity. There are a fair amount of defensive dmen available at the deadline but Markov and Zidlicky look to be the only really viable offensive dmen available. Should Bergevin attempt to move Markov at the deadline I believe he will be a sought after commodity and we could get a first and a highly rated offensive prospect.