liberjon - (Jonathan)Member since February 22, 2013
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- Comment on About this season … and next season … and the one after that … (2013-05-10 10:05:00)
While it is disappointing the way the Montreal Canadiens lost in the playoffs, there is a lot to be grateful for. Before the season began most analysts predicted that the Canadiens would finish at the bottom of the eastern conference again this year. I did not believe this, but I also did not believe or expect that they would win their division. What has happened this season is truly remarkable.Aside from a few players, this team is almost the same team that finish 15th in the eastern conference just one year ago. So how did they make such a remarkable U-turn? At the time and even now I truly believe that the habs were not as bad as their record showed last year, but neither were they as good as their record was this year. They are somewhere in the middle. They were playing above their heads, but were playing as a team. Most of the team improved. Whether it be players like Emelin or Diaz or even Markov who came back from injury and was very solid until Emelin got hurt. Bourque had a strong season. Pacioretty led the team in points, but did not have as much of an impact as last season and I expect a bounce back. Desharnais did not have a great season, but was it fair to expect him to play at the same level as he did last season?-I’m not sure. Subban was great and so were “the kids.” Eller improved to be more of the player that everyone knew he had the potential of being. In a few seasons, not only will he be a great replacement for Plekanec, but he will be an upgrade. In short, the future is bright. Offense Through 40 games this season, the Montreal Canadiens were able to roll three lines that were able to score. It was a very scary team to face. Before the game, it was impossible to know which line would play like their #1 line on any given night. They had depth. Defense On the back end, they were solid. Although we did not know this at the time, Alexei Emelin was the stabilizing force on defense. Opposing players were afraid to go down his wing as they knew that they were going to get clobbered. His communication and chemistry with Markov was able to mask the latter’s deficiencies. In the past, Markov used to be able to pinch offensively and then remarkably get back on D and cover his man. This season, it was obvious that he had lost the foot speed, but he still went on his little excursions. Emelin was able to cover for him so no big deal was made. After Emelin went down, the defensive pairings were unbalanced. Markov was exposed and apart for Subban, the top 4 were no longer intimidating at all. Goaltending I do not blame much on the goaltending. Although Price did not steal many games, he was solid throughout the first 40 games. It was very unfortunate that while the defense was trying to adjust to the loss of Emelin, Price and Budaj were struggling. On a team, you cannot have more than one area of your game struggle at once. When Goaltending is struggling the defense needs to pick up the slack and vice-versa. Budaj was a very strong backup during the regular season. Not only did he play well, he also played against some strong teams. He beat the Boston Bruins twice! Playoffs Although they were done after 5 games, they put up a good fight. They controlled the tempo of the game during the first two periods in most games. The problem was the 3rd. They went into the 3rd period with the lead on 3 occasions. They lost two of those games. They were outshot 13-0 in the third, but this number is partly skewed due to the fact that some of those goals were at the end of games that really didn’t matter at that point. Although this is not an excuse, the team was decimated with injuries. Yes, many teams play banged up during the playoffs, but how many can lose 6 regulars and others playing banged up and still compete? I was very impressed with the way they responded. Bottom line is that they did not have any luck at all at either end of the ice. Summer This is a good team. They did not lose because they were small. Apart from Gionta, none of the players that were injured were small. When healthy, they can roll 3 lines that can cause havoc in the offensive zone.They have many good draft picks and they will draft some good players as this is supposed to be a deep draft. There are a few players that will not be back next year( specifically Ryder). I think they will be able to attract a good free agent due to the way this season turned out.They need a big tough forward who can be physical, fight and play. This would take a huge load off Brandon Prust’s shoulders. Wouldn’t David Clarkson look great in a Montreal Canadiens uniform? They also can use another big defenseman, but it does not look like there is much on the market. In all, this was a great season. Although the outcome in the playoffs was not what he had hoped for, this team was fun to watch! They made it easy to forget about last year. Because they were so good and entertaining to watch, we forgot where they were last year and hoped for a long playoff run. It is great to hope, but in reality this was a great step in the right direction.
- Comment on Bring on the Senators! (2013-04-28 22:53:27)
Is it just me or did sens ticket prices just double over the last 2 hours?
- Comment on Armstrong returns to Habs lineup; Moen will be healthy scratch (2013-04-23 13:51:05)
In Price we trust!
- Comment on Liveblog: Canadiens at Penguins (2013-04-17 19:59:14)
Price in for second?
- Comment on Canadiens wake up in first place despite loss to Islanders (2013-02-22 17:03:12)
In 2005-2006 they were 12-3-2 after 17 games(26 points) which is 2 points better than 11-4-2(24 points).
- Comment on Canadiens wake up in first place despite loss to Islanders (2013-02-22 13:18:54)
If I am not mistaken the Habs started the 2005-2006 with a record of 12-3-1 after 16 games. How is this their best record in 20 years?