rhino514 - (jason dobson)Member since December 4, 2010
Habs fan since: 1978
Favorite current player: Saku Koivu
All-time favorite player: Guy Lafleur
- Comment on Familiar faces on Sportsnet’s NHL broadcast team (2014-08-30 07:59:36)
Very stinging reviewon Rene Bourque on EOTP. Abit unfair,Ithink. It is stated that the habs got swindled on that deal. Sure,on paper,if youlook at regular season stats,Cammalleri, who is purely an offensive player with little defensive prowess,blows most guys away, let alone Bourque with his almost point per game averages. But I think we have to consider the following points: The habs cleared almost 3 million in cap space each of the last two years. This added sum would have been a fairly significant hindrance to the team. 2) Though I think the size has been overblown with the habs, the team was inordinately small during the Squid´s tenure. 3) Though Squid is a playoff clutch player, Bourque´s game seems to also lend itself to the post season. He isn´t a legitimate top six guy in the regular season any more, but I think he can play like one during the post-season, at the very least like a good top nine guy. His recent performance wasn´t a one-of; during the previous year´s brief playoff stint, he was one of the few guys who played ok, and scored a pretty awesome goals versus the Sens. Though you could make a case the habs get by Tampa even without Bourque (though most of the games were one goal games), I think he also scored a couple of clutch goals versus Boston, and that series was basically one goal away from going either way. And the playoffs is really what matters. 4) Do we really know how many goals Cammalleri costs by the absence of much of a defensive game? Yes, he can also do some PK, but five on five he seems to be quite the floater. 5) Cammalleri is one of those guys who is always going to miss a significant portion of games due to injury. So though he has the ability to score 35 goals a year, his injuries will in fact limit him to 20-26 goals a year. 6) I don´t think Cammalleri has a bad attitude; he wants to win...yet he does seem to be at times somewhat of an egocentric player. I remember JM, during an interview, talking about how the Squid was always pushing to be captain, the stories are actually quite funny. I´m not sure he fully embodied the habs team concept. 7) Purely visual, but I saw Bourque hit a ton of posts last season and he had more than one goal called back for sure. His lower than average shooting percentage last year is also noteworthy. Bottom line; if you let him play a full season on the top nine and leave him alone, I bet he still gets around twenty goals. I actually liked Cammalleri; I salivate at the thought of what he could do playing at least seventy games a season, and was fearful of not having a guy like him in the playoffs. But I don´t think that trade was a big loser in the grand scheme of things. And Bourque is slagged for being a lazy player, but I don´t detect a bad attitude from him either. I think it´s quite possible that he is just a streaky player, there are many guys like that, or perhaps he gets a bit tentative at times going into the corners after so many concusssions...but who wouldn´t? I say let him play out his contract; he tries hard in the playoffs when it really counts and that´s cool.
- Comment on Familiar faces on Sportsnet’s NHL broadcast team (2014-08-29 11:25:30)
Can someone explain to me why people think Sekac can hit twenty goals in the NHL, when he potted all of 11 goals in about 50 games in a decidedly inferior league? What am I missing?
- Comment on Cournoyer speaks about vacant Habs captaincy (2014-08-28 14:18:40)
There is definitely a glut of pretty decent fourth line players I still think Moen is too expensive to have as insurance and it would be great if they could find some way of getting rid of his contract. He didn´t do much in most of the games he was inserted into in the playoffs. The hit on Iginla was great, but nothing else.
- Comment on Cournoyer speaks about vacant Habs captaincy (2014-08-28 14:05:39)
Of course this is all barring significant injuries to key players. I didn´t say they would lose in the second round, just that the veteran absence would show. It´s more likely that they would not have to face the best team in the conference in the second round,as they did this year, so I would in fact favour them again in the second round, but it would be tough. If they get a sniper at the deadline or one of the kids comes through, they stay healthy, and Markov doesn´t slow down too much, they have the talent and character to go pretty far once again. And yes if they stay fairly healthy I think they will top 100 points quite easily.
- Comment on Cournoyer speaks about vacant Habs captaincy (2014-08-28 05:19:35)
Make no mmistake, the goal of the habs next season will be to finish top two in the conference. I feel this way because they will miss the much maligned Briere and Gionta in the playoffs (Gorges not so much). They basically are leaning on Parenteau along with one of the kids on defence to assert themselves and help the team to plus 105 points, thus assuring the team of a very winnable first round match up. But the loss of the vets will show as of the second round. I don´t put much heed into adding a guy like Malhotra; I admire him for coming back from his eye injury, but I don´t think he will have much of an effect on games...unless it comes down to a key faceoff in the dying minutes of game seven. It would be an enormous plus for the team if Prust is healthy next playoffs, though I see this as more and more unlikely. As I´ve mentioned before; guys like Eller and Bourque seem to perform better when only modest contributions are expected of them. The team is in a similar situation as last year; they need to add a sniper at some point to take the pressure off these guys and create more depth in the lineup. One of Andrighetto, Bournival, or Sekac should get about 30 games to prove themselves. They all bring interesting upside, though I think that the next crop of kids including De La Rose, Lehkonen, and Hudon is more exciting. I love Bournival and hopefully he can still play 40 games on the fourth line even if he loses the top nine battle. The interesting thing is that Ghettoblaster and the Czech are regarded as having more offensive upside, but it is exceedingly difficult to find a linemate for Plekanec; at this point the club has pretty much decidid that he is a shutdown centre, though I still bet he could score sixty points on some teams. Hence he doesn´t provide the best situation for for an offensively minded winger. Bournival, though, has a better chance to adapt to such a role than the other two.
- Comment on Cournoyer speaks about vacant Habs captaincy (2014-08-28 05:02:44)
The saving grace with McDonagh is the whole universe consequently changed and we never would have tanked far enough to draft Galchenyuk. That´s why many of us want chuckie to become a star because if he does so he basically negates the McDonagh mistake. Though imagine this spring´s team with Mcdonagh......sigh Here is an interesting thought; how would Subban have developped with Mcdonagh on the team? Though I have been tough on the way he and his agent acted recently, I acknowledge the fact that subban has had to fight for every inch of respect and playing time despite his obvious talent and healthy attitude. It still hasn´t been easy. It would have been quite crowded with McDonagh, Markov and him on the team and there probably would have been a real struggle to hand out quality minutes to all three. Who would have suffered? Would McDonagh have been used exclusively as a shutdown guy and Subban exclusively as an offensive dman? You wonder if the habs would have managed such a situation optimally. Anyway,like I said before, we REALLY want Chucky to be a star.
- Comment on Cournoyer speaks about vacant Habs captaincy (2014-08-28 04:45:35)
Speaking of screwing up pronunciation, I live in Spain, and in the gold medal game, Toews was "Towers" throughout the whole game. He touched the puck quite a bit, too. It´s odd seeing a game telecast where the commentator knows little or nothing about hockey nor the players and just has to make it all up as they go along. The puck was referred to as either "disco" (disc), or even worse, often, as "pastilla" -the pill....because it looks like a giant pill. There is simply no word for puck in many languages.
- Comment on Cournoyer speaks about vacant Habs captaincy (2014-08-26 06:18:02)
My thoughts on the captaincy are this: It´s not that important. And, yes, the habs don´t have an obvious candidate. The thing one has to be careful about with the captaincy is that some players will feel the load of its responsibility too much and it will affect their game. That´s why I am usually in favour of a veteran player, who isn´t necessarily a prolific scorer on the team, being a captain. So, for example, while I like the image of Pacioretty as captain, he is the kind of guy who needs to be loose in order to get out of his mini-slumps (though he isn´t an inordinately streaky player, credit to him). I think Markov would be great, but he would hate having to answer all of those nonsensical questions postgame. Though he isn´t touted as a favourite, I think Desharnais could be a good choice. He is at ease talking to the media, and he could do so in both languages. But I´m not sure he would be accepted by all of his teamates as being The Guy. I could see it being Plekanec by default; he´s really too quiet and private to be a captain, but only he and Markov have unquestioned respect on the team. They really don´t have an ideal guy. Me, i would have alternating captains for a season. That would be my solution, which many on here I am sure would not like. When I think of Gionta´s departure, I always a have a cringe reaction; I realize they did not have room for him with the cap situation, and actually am happy Bournie and Andrighetto will have opportunites, but a guy who can score around twenty goals AND shadow the opponets top players is an extremely valuable commodity. I fear his absence will cost the habs dearly, especially come playoff time. Yes, he only had one goal in the playoffs, but he was clearly given primarily defensive assignmnets. Note how his plus minus figures are always positive when playing against top forwards, even when he doasn´t score. Note also how remarkable of a player Plekanec is, when he is given similar responsibility and still manages to pot twenty plus goals and contribute offensively in the playoffs. I wouldn´t bet on Gio getting safely over twenty goals in Buffalo if he isn´t given as much heavy responsibility as he was given this past year. He was also a good, if unspectacular, choice for captain.
- Comment on Stubbs is all wet (don’t say it) for ALS research (2014-08-25 06:09:53)
Have the Habs improved? Let´s see. On D, no one knows how Beaulieu and Tinordi will fare with more playing time, but the advanced stats are quite clear that they are already much less of a liability than Murray and Bouillon (though come the playoffs, which is a totally different animal, they are still very green and bigger risks to make an outcome determining gaffe than the much maligned Cube). But Beaulieu and Weaver (a great pick-up) will be much stronger than having Bouillon and Murray, or Bouillon and a rawer Beaulieu/Tinordi as we had last year. I still don´t know about Beaulieu´s maturity, but he really doeasn´t have to do much to be better than the aforementioned vets, and Tinordi could also be a capable bottom pairing guy. Gilbert offsets Gorges. Emelin will probably be better (how much better we don´t know) on his right side. The only possible negative is that Markov could slow down further in the first year of his new contract; he was pretty awesome through the first 60 games or so last year and it won´t be so easy to duplicate that level of play. On offense, Parenteau will offset Gionta and then some, offensively. The ninth forward will be an experiment, but we had the same situation last year. The fourth line is definitely improved on paper, but let´s not overestimate their importance as they play limited minutes. Also, Galchenyuk, Eller, and Bourque (if he draws in for most of the games) should all have better seasons, though no one knows how much better. The team will miss Gionta´s defensive game, thoug, especially come playoff time. So yes I see the team as improved over the 100 point team of last year. But the team is not as good of a playoff team as last year´s team. In a league of obscene parity, just having Vanek as a threat even if he´s not playing well, can be the difference in a game. The loss of 3 veterans will also hurt come playoff time Briere, a regular season non-factor, was huge in certain games in the playoffs, most notably the last deciding game against the bruins. Gionta´s defensive game will be sorely missed there, and Gorges, to a certain extent, as well. To counteract this; IMO 3 things have to happen; the young veterans like Pacioretty and Subban have to assume more leadership. And, yes, if we want to go far in the playoffs, we will have to acquire a guy who can replace some of what we lost with Vanek. Even if one of our prospect wingers surprise, they cannot be counted on to do much during the playoffs, particularly defensively. However, because of that extra change coughed up on subban´s contract, I´m not sure we have the space to make such an acquisition, even at the deadline. Remember how we struggled to score goals during the regular season and the firepower shown after the Vanek acquisition. Guys like Eller, Bourque and others seem to perform much better when they are not the focus of other teams attention. So a very good regular season team, but we are a good established winger away from being able to duplicate what we did this spring. Of course I prfer having a better playoff team, as opposed to a better regular season team.
- Comment on Stubbs is all wet (don’t say it) for ALS research (2014-08-23 13:20:53)
Show me the stats on Stockholm. I find it very hard to believe that that city would not be a far more attractive place than Hamilton. We are talking about the most highly civilized part of the planet.