ChrisMember since November 21, 2007
Habs fan since: 1984
Favorite current player: Andrei Markov, Lars Eller, Chris Higgins
All-time favorite player: Mats Naslund, Eric Desjardins, Stephan Lebeau, Kirk Muller, Saku Koivu
- Comment on Capitals vs. Canadiens preview (2015-01-30 15:24:31)
Mikita could easily be ranked closer to the top-20, if not top-10, all-time: - six-time 1st team All-Star (and two more 2nd team All-Star votes) - four-time Art Ross Trophy winner - two-time Hart Trophy winner (and he finished 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th in other seasons) - 14th on all-time career points list (and he didn't have the high scoring 80's and early 1990's to pad his stats...only Phil Esposito and Gordie Howe posted more career points than Mikita without the benefit of the 1980's or 1990's when league scoring was through the roof) Stan Mikita stacks up very well with Jean Beliveau, a player whose career overlapped with much of Mikita's. Beliveau ended up with 507 goals and 1219 points in 1125 career games, while Mikita posted 541 goals and 1467 points in 1394 games. Outstanding player.
- Comment on Canadiens give Price day off after win over Stars (2015-01-28 15:08:03)
The Leafs are challenging the idea of all teams eventually scoring a goal. :) I think the problem with Fouts and Marino was the lack of balance on their teams. They just couldn't get the stops when they needed them. Marino was outstanding in his prime, but I'm not sure how much guys like Joe Montana/Steve Young gave up to him. Marino made it to the Super Bowl in his big 1984 season, but he was well off his best level (29-50, 318 years, 1 TD, 2 interceptions) and his team went with no running game. They basically played the same game the Saints have been trying with Drew Brees the past 2-3 years. It is that balance I fear with the whole Price discussion. I am hugely grateful that Montreal has the best goalie in the game. But like Dominik Hasek on the 1990's Sabres, I think his excellence is masking a somewhat middling team.
- Comment on Canadiens give Price day off after win over Stars (2015-01-28 15:00:06)
Don't think he's got that kind of speed. Kessel is one of the five fastest players in the fastest league on the planet. Those are big boots to fill. Here's a fun graphic showing the top speeds and top accelerations taken from game situations for a number of top NHL players.
- Comment on Canadiens give Price day off after win over Stars (2015-01-28 14:53:59)
The 1993 Montreal Canadiens finished 8th overall (out of 24 teams) and ranked 9th in goals for and tied for 7th in goals against in the regular season. Not historically great, but a good balance that, together with some unbelievably good luck (all the elite teams were shocked by lesser teams meaning that Montreal didn't really face a team that was far superior to itself, talent-wise) resulted in a Stanley Cup. The 1986 Montreal Canadiens finished 7th overall (out of 21 teams) and ranked tied for 6th in goals for and 4th in goals against during the regular season. People make it out like it was a complete fluke that they were even in the playoffs...they were a good team all season, who only finished as low as they did due to a terrible stretch to close the season and a locker room that tuned out coach Jean Peron. Once the players took over, the team was bolstered by a group of youngsters who all performed at a very high level, and Roy of course took his game to another level. Like 1993, all the elite teams were upset elsewhere, so Montreal did not have to beat a team that finished more than 2 points higher than they did in the standings. Roy was great in both Stanley Cup years. But I absolutely LOATHE the notion that they were single-handed victories. They weren't...not even close. 1993 was a tour de force, with 10 overtime victories, but there were a lot of heroics in that run: John LeClair's penchant for game-winning goals, Eric Desjardins' emergence as an elite defenceman and his third period/overtime hat trick in Game 2 of the finals, very strong play by Vincent Damphousse and Kirk Muller and fantastic defensive play by Guy Carbonneau and Mike Keane, who were far and away the best defensive line in the NHL in that era.
- Comment on Canadiens give Price day off after win over Stars (2015-01-28 14:40:01)
The 1993 Habs were FAR better than the team that we have now. That team remains seriously underrated.
- Comment on Canadiens give Price day off after win over Stars (2015-01-28 14:36:07)
I disagree with you in one very important way, the comparison of an NHL goalie to an NFL quarterback. A goaltender playing out of his mind can only, at best, guarantee you a 0-0 tie. You have to hope that your players up front are able to score. If not, all your heroics are for naught...one need only ask Henrik Lundqvist, whose career playoff numbers (2.25 GAA and 0.922 SV% and 9 SO) warrant a far better record than the 43-49 record that he has been saddled with. On the other hand, a great quarterback at the top of his game can put points on the board, and lots of them. Even if the defence doesn't do their job, he can still carry a team to victory. True contention for the Stanley Cup is not, contrary to overwhelming popular opinion, based on great goaltending. This has been proven time and time again by the number of relatively average goaltenders post 2005 lockout that have made deep runs in the playoffs. The commonality, with previous few exceptions over 20 years, is that the best teams are the ones that feature top-5 offensive and top-10 defensive performances through the regular season. I understand the idea that Price is a great goalie. But I also understand the idea that many Montreal fans are a bit wary of the team's record. A great goaltender can hide some flaws, but those flaws will inevitably catch up to a team in the end. Montreal has three monumental problems: 1. They struggle to score -- 21st overall in scoring just isn't going to get it done 2. They spend far too much time without the puck -- their possession stats are grim, and the eye test confims it...you can get away with that kind of game when you are playing a different team every night and the games are spread out. But if you spend too much time chasing the puck, you are going to get worn out. 3. They are very weak against power teams that can skate -- here, I'm not talking about Bruins style thuggery. The Bruins lose their minds against the Habs, which is hilarious because their normal gameplan of speed and power (not thuggery) would cause Montreal all sorts of problems. Teams like Philadelphia, San Jose, Los Angeles, Columbus, St. Louis, and Anaheim give Montreal fits in a playoff series because they are bigger and just as fast if not faster than Montreal is. Everybody that watched that Los Angeles - St. Louis first round series last season marveled at the ferocity that those teams played with. Put Montreal up against that and they are mincemeat with the current roster.
- Comment on Canadiens give Price day off after win over Stars (2015-01-28 13:41:23)
He is only a smidge over the 5'11.75" and 190 lbs that he measured in the CSS final rankings in 2013, his draft year. So he's probably not going to gain any extra height, but could put on another 10-15 pounds, depending on how they want him to play.
- Comment on Carey Price survives All-Star Game shootout (2015-01-26 12:38:41)
He's got offensive ability. His problem is that he needs to play with offensive players for that ability to come out. If I were Toronto, I would take Mike Richards in a heartbeat over Tyler Bozak to centre Kessel and Van Riemsdyk. With wingers of that quality, Richards can be a 55-70 point player in the NHL, basically the equivalent of Tomas Plekanec. The cap hit make him a risky pick, as do the 5 years remaining on his deal. If he were a FA, I think there are a significant number of teams that could use a guy like Richards. Detroit comes to mind...Richards is, in my opinion, the equal of Stephen Weiss. They don't need him right now, but he's smart and talented enough to be salvaged by a good hockey system. He also might not be a bad pick-up for a team like Edmonton...they desperately need a #2 centre, and Richards has been through the wars. He could help that team out, if his personal life is straightened out. Richards was very good in both the 2011-12 Stanley Cup run and the 2012-13 run to the conference finals. He fell off last season, but I think there is still some talent to work with, as Richards turns 30 in three weeks.
- Comment on Carey Price survives All-Star Game shootout (2015-01-26 12:28:26)
And with 5 more years at $5.75 million cap hit, there won't be a lot of takers. It is too bad, because he can still be pretty effective as a 1st or 2nd line centre. Being buried behind Kopitar and Carter killed him in LA.
- Comment on Carey Price survives All-Star Game shootout (2015-01-26 12:22:07)
There are a ton of optimists that would still choose "No." to that question simply because it isn't very easy to do. But hey...polarization of every issue in the world into black vs. white, us vs. them, optimist vs. pessimist is always productive. Nothing bad has come from that in any other aspect of life, so we should definitely do it here too.