ChrisMember since November 21, 2007
Habs fan since: 1984
Favorite current player: Andrei Markov...who will now be traded because I listed him. Still love Koivu and Higgins as well.
All-time favorite player: Mats Naslund, but also Eric Desjardins, Stephan Lebeau, Kirk Muller
- Comment on Eller agrees to four-year, $14-million deal with Habs (2014-07-25 17:22:38)
I admired the way Desharnais bounced back from adversity last season. I think you have to go back to late-1990's Patrice Brisebois to see a key Montreal forward being so mercilessly ripped the way Desharnais was early last year. To see him turn around his season was pretty awesome. And while he didn't score much in the playoffs, I give him a pass because he never stopped working. All I ask is that players try when to their best of their ability when they are out there, and Desharnais always does that.
- Comment on Eller agrees to four-year, $14-million deal with Habs (2014-07-25 17:13:11)
I like both guys...I had to do my one last post on the subject. After today, I'm treating the DD/Eller thing the same way as Halak/Price, and Subban's contract negotiations...saying my piece, then leaving it alone. For me, Eller's 2013-14 was like Plekanec's 2008-09. He just inexplicably fell apart. Like Plekanec, I think Eller bounces back strong. Having Eller and Desharnais both signed on $3.5 million deals gives the team some flexibility if they both play to their capability over the next couple of seasons.
- Comment on Eller agrees to four-year, $14-million deal with Habs (2014-07-25 17:11:13)
Galchenyuk was used almost exclusively on Plekanec's wing post-injury, so that cannot be used to justify Eller's offensive numbers.
- Comment on Eller agrees to four-year, $14-million deal with Habs (2014-07-25 16:52:55)
No, I'm comparing Galchenyuk to the wingers that Plekanec had all season. The commonly held belief is that Eller would do as well as the other two centres if given the same quality of wingers. The reality is that he had the same wingers as Plekanec, and he wet the bed. I did explicitly note that Eller's offensive production was watered down by not playing on the PP and not playing with Pacioretty. I would put Galchenyuk ahead of Gallagher and possibly even ahead of Gionta. Vanek came in late in the season, so I discount that a little. It seems to be acceptable to say that Eller was given short-shrift by not being able to play with Pacioretty. I am arguing that Galchenyuk was given short-shrift by playing so much of the season with Eller. Eller was simply terrible for most of last season. I still like the guy, and I think he can rebound in a big way. But I'm not going to put lipstick on the pig that was Eller's 2013-14 season. It was pretty obvious that he was struggling, and I'm not convinced that giving him PP time or putting him with Pacioretty would have helped him. If anything, I fear that the increased expectations and pressure of such a move might have been enough to crush him as a player in a market as intense as Montreal.
- Comment on Eller agrees to four-year, $14-million deal with Habs (2014-07-25 16:51:15)
No worries...just pointing out that it is one of the ones that I used all the time, so I love when it gets more attention. I wish the NHL would make something like that available...it would be so easy to implement.
- Comment on Eller agrees to four-year, $14-million deal with Habs (2014-07-25 16:46:47)
It is truly hideous.
- Comment on Eller agrees to four-year, $14-million deal with Habs (2014-07-25 16:44:21)
I love Eller. He and Markov are my favourite players on the team. His lack of PP time is certainly an issue, as is not playing with Pacioretty, the team's best pure sniper. With that out of the way, I have to agree with Dipsy that Eller's supporters are simply not arguing in good faith. Eller's ice time at even strength was 1,035:16 this past season. About 45% of that ice-time came with Galchenyuk on his wing. So the "quality of linemates" argument is somewhat bogus, because Galchenyuk represented the 2nd or 3rd (behind Pacioretty and perhaps Gionta) most skilled winger on the team until the arrival of Vanek. We spin the numbers however they wish, but Eller played 2013-14 like he had his head buried up his rear end. I don't know what happened to him, but his confidence was shot, his hockey IQ was non-existent, he was taking bad penalties all over the ice and his defensive positioning started to deteriorate dramatically. Power play time is a privilege given to players that earn it. Eller was more likely to play himself into the AHL then onto the power play given how dismal he was playing. Was his supporting cast really any worse than that of Plekanec? He had Galchenyuk for most of the year, until it became clear that Eller's play was the anchor on that line and they move Galchenyuk up to play with Plekanec. He played with Gionta, Bourque, Briere and Gallagher a fair bit, the same cast of wingers that were rotated through Plekanec's line. He just didn't get it done. As with so much on HI/O, the Eller-Desharnais thing is so overblown to have become tedius. Eller was terrible last season, easily as bad as Rene Bourque who was the popular choice for worst regular forward on the team. With Eller, I chalk it up to a bad season. It happens. I think Bergevin recognizes the same. Eller now has a couple more years to prove himself a worth successor to Plekanec's title. He will be 27 when Plekanec finishes his current contract, a perfect age to move up the depth chart. Desharnais played his way out of his funk, finally turning his season around in Game 20. With Eller's dream start turning into a death spiral and Plekanec not playing like himself, the Montreal Canadiens very possibly don't make the playoffs, let alone earn home ice in the first round, if David Desharnais hadn't been with them. I simply can't fathom why people find it so hard to give the guy his due: he played at a 70 point pace after his own disastrous start, salvaging a 52 point season after getting just 1 point in his first 19 games. People make it sound like anybody could play with Pacioretty, but the reality was that both Desharnais and Pacioretty started the season in a funk: Pacioretty had just 2 goals and 4 points in his first 12 games (he missed 7 with injury) before the duo finally broke out and continued to play well for the rest of the season. The partnership of Desharnais and Pacioretty is one where the sum is better than the parts. When one struggles, he drags the other down with him. When they are both on, there are few pairings in the league that are more productive. They complement one another well because Desharnais loves to pass and Pacioretty loves to shoot.
- Comment on Eller agrees to four-year, $14-million deal with Habs (2014-07-25 15:15:39)
He's been running that site for years now...I've linked it a few times, as it is one I often use to help figure out who is actually playing with who the most. When you dive into the numbers, you actually see that a lot of commonly held perceptions are not in fact supportable by evidence.
- Comment on Eller agrees to four-year, $14-million deal with Habs (2014-07-25 09:19:08)
I agree that the blood passport has cleaned things up. I think the evidence of a cleaner sport is how the last five Tour de France's (including this year's) will have been won by first-time winners. The days of winning the Tour 4-5 times in a row are probably over. With the drug testing as fierce as it is becoming and some actual teeth in the punishment, it is getting harder and harder to get away with cheating. And I agree whole-heartedly about the hypocrisy surrounding doping in cycling. They are probably the most tested athletes in the world now. They test for everything...you had guys like Rui Costa riding with pneumonia in this Tour, probably because the chest infection he has been riding with all Tour could not be treated with the usual drugs due to WADA rules. Hockey players aren't even tested for the drug that they are most likely to abuse, HGH. The doping controls in the NHL are simply a joke. Operacion Puerto, the high-profle blood-doping bust, has obviously implicated a number of top cyclists, and we heard all of their names. In the early days, it was released that many top soccer and tennis stars in Europe were also implicated, but we haven't heard a peep about any of that.
- Comment on Eller agrees to four-year, $14-million deal with Habs (2014-07-25 09:01:35)
The cobbles didn't really deny anything, and I think they added a lot of excitement to that first week. Froome crashed out before he ever got on the cobbles. He crashed the day before and was riding with a bad wrist, and then crashed two more times on the slick roads. We now know he has a broken wrist. I'd like to see a cobbles stage every Tour. If guys really want to win the Tour, it is nice to see that they be true all-arounders, not just climbing specialists. I also would have liked to see a team time-trial in the first week, as that puts some emphasis on building a strong team.