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Pasty7
PickupHockey Veteran



Canada
2257 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2013 :  07:48:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Poll Question:
The Habs are off to a hot start 6-2-0-0 record with 26GF and 17GA, is this team just off to a quick start or are they a legit top team in the eastern conference?

Choices:

Yes they are a legit contender
No they are simply off to a hot start
to soon to tell

(Anonymous Vote)

Alex116
PickupHockey Legend



5786 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2013 :  07:57:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Pasty, all i know is this....They're the toughest team for me to predict! I picked them to miss the playoffs for about 5 straight years and they kept sneaking in. Only last year did they finally miss. This year i picked them to be dreadful and look at them!!!

I think it's too early to tell yet, but we all know that an early season win is worth the same 2 points as a late season win and this start will be a big help to their playoff chances. Add in the fact that Carey Price is a top tier goalie and they have a good chance! From the little i've seen of them, they've been fun to watch, especially the surprising start to Galchenyuk and Gallagher's careers as well as the incredibly quick return to form of Markov!!!
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Pasty7
PickupHockey Veteran



Canada
2257 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2013 :  08:05:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Obviously tonight's game is a great test for this team, they have had a fairly easy shcedule so far both in oppents and travel. The Big Bad Bruins tonight will show us habs fans if this new found toughness is for real. I have only missed one game so far this season (the Ottawa win 2-1) but from all I have seen this is a much bettter team from last years version. Not sitting back playing a up tempo game with 4 solid line that can be rolled out onto the ice, The return of PK helps because it leaves the habs with a legit top 4 and get Kaberle's minutes down under 10 per game. Not to mention Price seems determined in earning that huge contract he signed this summer.

Now do i think they are a contender? No, this is a team still with a lot of question marks, Rene Bourque has played wll so far this season but i do not think it will be long before he becomes dead weight, Gionta is aging and to me just isn't the player he used to be and the Rookies Gally and Gally off to a hot start will hit a slump of that i am certain. Also if the injury bug bites their is nothing and i mean absolutly nothing in the minors to step in and help this team.

To me the habs are in that group that can finish from 12 to 7th in the league and my prediction is they will have a shot at the 7th or 8th spot in the last week of this season,

the good news is Gally and Gally both look like the real deal, some big contracts come off the books at the right time and this team is showing they are not as bad as they were last season, with key core players already in place a total overhaul is not nessisary for this team to become a real contender in the near future.

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Alex116
PickupHockey Legend



5786 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2013 :  07:44:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well Pasty, i'd say they passed the test, no? Aside from a 2min brain fart early in the 3rd, the Habs played the Bruins pretty well. I only saw part of the game, but the shots were pretty even as was the score. Looking at the stats line, the Bruins ruled the face off circle, while Montreal actually out hit them. Another note, the Bruins blocked 23 shots to just 12 for Montreal, which to me says the Habs actually prob had more offensive zone time? What did you think?
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Pasty7
PickupHockey Veteran



Canada
2257 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2013 :  08:33:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What i like about the game is they weren't leaning on Price to hold them in the game, in the past the habs have held the Bruins to close scores but Price was the sole reason the score looked like the habs were in this game, this game was quite the opposite in first period Rask was very sharp and kept the game scoreless. The habs played well pushed hard and i would say lost because the Bruins played very very well in the last 40 min of the game besides the face off circle the habs were on par with the Bruins for 58 minutes of this game, a slow start in the third hurt them. By the way my boy Eller was 67% in the faceoff circle the only hab over 40 % . all in all i am anxious to see how the habs respond in buffalo tonight. Another solid performance will maybe make me believe this team is a playoff team!

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The Duke
PickupHockey Veteran



Canada
1036 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2013 :  12:19:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Its funny Pasty how game by game performances change our opinions of our favorite teams.

Montreal was rolling along until they got destroyed by the leafs saturday night. Other than a 20 shot second period, the canadians looked below average and very much totally out matched.

As a leaf fan i see this with my favorite team also. Some nights they look like a lock for the playoffs, other nights they look the opposite.

One things for certain, a great coach with a solid system really helps a hockey team. Toronto finally has this with Randy C....also, goaltending is steady once again.

Montreal did have some good scoring chances saturday night but the score could have easily been 8 - 3 leafs.

As for Montreal being the real deal ? From what i saw Saturday night, the answer is No. They were totally dominated physically Sat. night....other than Brandon Prust, the Canadians are a very, very under-sized and soft team.

Sat. night was a eye opener for Montreals management for sure. What will they do in a 7 game series playing against a big physical team ?

Its hard to judge the leafs also, they are still one of the leagues youngest teams and still in the learning process.

I`m so glad that moron Ron Wilson is gone. Funny how someone ( Randy . C ) finally gave Kadri a chance to play.....in his natural position ( center ) and on a scoring line.....guess what ?? He leads Toronto in scoring.....imagine that.

I wonder what that defeat aganist the leafs will do to Montreals confidence ?? The next few games will tell. Will it send them reeling down the standings with follow up losses ?....maybe they will re-group.

I know one thing...after watching that game, Carey Price better be ready for the next 3 - 4 starts or Montreal will be in trouble over the next 2 - 3 weeks.

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Pasty7
PickupHockey Veteran



Canada
2257 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2013 :  15:16:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
at this rate the whole North East division minus the Lindy Ruffless Sabres are going to make the playoffs,

habs are hot though no one predicted them to have the best record in the east at 1/4 mark of the season, Granted they have 3 games played more than the Bruins and I am in no way suggesting they are the class of the east. But this team has lots of scoring depth and playing well defensivly even got back to back wins without Carey Price,

And how many poolies thought they would get this kind of production from Diaz?

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slozo
Moderator



Canada
4574 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2013 :  05:42:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My answer is still no at this point (not for real), but . . . it's now very close. Like many, I keep predicting this team to miss the playoffs year after year, and they've only missed once in the last 5.

The key for me is a healthy Markov - if he gets injured, I predict a slide downward. I really think everything flows out from him defensively, and allows Price the comfort of not having to stand on his head every night.

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
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Pasty7
PickupHockey Veteran



Canada
2257 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2013 :  07:48:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by slozo

My answer is still no at this point (not for real), but . . . it's now very close. Like many, I keep predicting this team to miss the playoffs year after year, and they've only missed once in the last 5.

The key for me is a healthy Markov - if he gets injured, I predict a slide downward. I really think everything flows out from him defensively, and allows Price the comfort of not having to stand on his head every night.

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug



I think Markov is key but for example the last two game Diaz has had the most Ice time followed by Gorges,, with Subban and Markov following, I really think what has this team rolling is 4 good lines, and 6 solid d, in this short compact season it is important to use the whole bench and with a 4th line of Eller, Moen, Armstrong or White these guys on any given can play up to 14 minutes and not hurt a team and even contribute (see Eller)

I think in 2 weeks we will have a clear picture on this team if they continue to pick up points and play over .500 hockey for the next 2 weeks I think this team is the real deal.

what could hurt this team big is injuries, this team in not deep after their 25 man roster, there is absolutly nothing in Hamilton right now of note that is a NHL ready,

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slozo
Moderator



Canada
4574 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2013 :  05:04:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Pasty7

quote:
Originally posted by slozo

My answer is still no at this point (not for real), but . . . it's now very close. Like many, I keep predicting this team to miss the playoffs year after year, and they've only missed once in the last 5.

The key for me is a healthy Markov - if he gets injured, I predict a slide downward. I really think everything flows out from him defensively, and allows Price the comfort of not having to stand on his head every night.

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug



I think Markov is key but for example the last two game Diaz has had the most Ice time followed by Gorges,, with Subban and Markov following, I really think what has this team rolling is 4 good lines, and 6 solid d, in this short compact season it is important to use the whole bench and with a 4th line of Eller, Moen, Armstrong or White these guys on any given can play up to 14 minutes and not hurt a team and even contribute (see Eller)

I think in 2 weeks we will have a clear picture on this team if they continue to pick up points and play over .500 hockey for the next 2 weeks I think this team is the real deal.

what could hurt this team big is injuries, this team in not deep after their 25 man roster, there is absolutly nothing in Hamilton right now of note that is a NHL ready,

Hello, 911? It's an emergency, my teddy bear's been kidnapped!
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The reason Markov isn't getting the most ice-time (I am not that surprised by that, actually) is he is being protected. Which is what MOntreal coaching needs to do, and what they haven't had the luxury to do until Subban came back on the team. Moen is a solid piece too, sure.

Honestly though . . . I see no depth whatsoever for more high end "top 6" scoring. I think the future will prove me right, and when a guy here or there gets injured (it's happening to every team), the team will go south.

Not dramatically south - there is always Price, and a decent defence with Markov - but definitely south.

I still think they are a playoff bubble team.

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
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Alex116
PickupHockey Legend



5786 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2013 :  07:46:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by slozo
The reason Markov isn't getting the most ice-time (I am not that surprised by that, actually) is he is being protected. Which is what MOntreal coaching needs to do, and what they haven't had the luxury to do until Subban came back on the team. Moen is a solid piece too, sure.

Honestly though . . . I see no depth whatsoever for more high end "top 6" scoring. I think the future will prove me right, and when a guy here or there gets injured (it's happening to every team), the team will go south.

Not dramatically south - there is always Price, and a decent defence with Markov - but definitely south.

I still think they are a playoff bubble team.

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug



I agree, injuries affect every team at some point and Montreal may not have the depth some other teams do so they could be hit even worse eventually, but we don't know for sure that they will suffer any major ones this season? Depth wise, i do think if they lost a top 6 forward that Eller could step in and play more minutes and make up for some of the lost production. The little bits i've seen of this kid i've been impressed with his individual skill. I think he needs more ice time to develop and an injury in the lineup may be what helps him?

As far as "still a playoff bubble team", i don't recall you predicting that before? In fact, in our early season rankings, i thought, like me, you had them near the basement of the east??? Personally i didn't see Galchenyuk and Gallagher making this team and even when they did, i didn't think they'd produce as well as they have!
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Pasty7
PickupHockey Veteran



Canada
2257 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2013 :  08:23:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ok Slozo this i can agree with I thought you meant they were going to slide to the bottom of the east again, i said it from day one this team is a team that can finish anywhere from 12th to 7th imo and with this hot start i think they have a goo chance of landing the 8 spot. Still some work to do to make this team a legit contender but the pieaces are in pace to build off of.

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slozo
Moderator



Canada
4574 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2013 :  18:24:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
To be clear, I thought they'd be a lot worse, based on myself predicting Markov would never be the same player and would quickly reinjure himself. The opposite has happened - he's playing better than ever, and the team is playing great D.

So I have upgraded them to a solid bubble team

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
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Alex116
PickupHockey Legend



5786 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2013 :  20:30:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Haven't seen much of the Habs lately, but i've noticed Markov isn't putting up the points he did the first 10 games, having gone pointless in the past 7 and just 2 assists in his last 11?
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Pasty7
PickupHockey Veteran



Canada
2257 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2013 :  19:27:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Alex116

Haven't seen much of the Habs lately, but i've noticed Markov isn't putting up the points he did the first 10 games, having gone pointless in the past 7 and just 2 assists in his last 11?



Markov got off to a great start but as it stands now he is their 3rd defenceman behind Subban and Diaz, Markov is a great powerplay QB but the rest of his game is not number 1 d material,

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Guest4178
( )

Posted - 02/27/2013 :  09:38:08  Reply with Quote
On the Hot Stove, someone (I think it was Elliot Friedman) mentioned that one of the keys to the Canadiens' early success is that they're rolling four lines. He commented that the Habs have no players playing less than 10 minutes per game. Interesting observation, but if you check out other teams stats, most of them have all their regular players (or near all, except for a slugger) playing 10 or minutes per game.

I get the point though Montreal appears to be using all four lines to win hockey games.

The next 14 games are key for Montreal. 10 our of their next 14 games are on the road, so it will be interesting to see where they sit then. With only four regulation losses in their first 19 games, I think they're playing over their heads a bit. If they can go .500 for this stretch and they're sitting at 18 wins, 10 losses and 5 overtime losses by the end of March, they will be in a good position to make the playoffs, with only 1/3 season remaining. That's where I see them by March 30th.
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JOSHUACANADA
PickupHockey Veteran



Canada
1871 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2013 :  09:56:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In the past the key to winning against Montreal was the shutdown or play hard on Markov, now they have depth on defense and Markov is playing less. Wonder with there success if Montreal is protecting him to make sure he isnt reinjured and is available for the playoffs? Either way the lack of depth upfront is being compensated by there depth on defensman with offensive skills. More and more successful teams are building from the back end first. I see them as a playoff team, which I might not have said prior to this season.
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The Duke
PickupHockey Veteran



Canada
1036 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2013 :  15:38:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Don`t see many comments on Montreals speed. The leafs are a very fast team, they use this speed to win most of the games they do win....its a great asset to them.

As fast as they are ( the leafs ), they cannot out skate the Canadians...if anything, they can barely keep up with them.

Speed kills and i`ve got to admit, the Canadians can just fly.
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Guest6306
( )

Posted - 03/03/2013 :  23:47:11  Reply with Quote
with the habs win tonight against boston while both where hot and second longest point streak in the league at 11??games thats pretty impressive.. as a habs fan tho.. i think boston will eventually take over with their 3 games in hand.. but who knows right??
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Guest6306
( )

Posted - 03/03/2013 :  23:53:24  Reply with Quote
with the habs win tonight against boston while both where hot and second longest point streak in the league at 11??games thats pretty impressive.. as a habs fan tho.. i think boston will eventually take over with their 3 games in hand.. but who knows right??
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Guest9848
( )

Posted - 03/04/2013 :  05:31:10  Reply with Quote
Definitely a big win for the habs last night
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Pasty7
PickupHockey Veteran



Canada
2257 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2013 :  19:37:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
at this point its hard to think these habs won`t be a playoff team come april! big win against the bruins with the backup goalie trailing going into the third ! big win!

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Alex116
PickupHockey Legend



5786 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2013 :  20:53:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Pasty7

at this point its hard to think these habs won`t be a playoff team come april! big win against the bruins with the backup goalie trailing going into the third ! big win!

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Huh! Didn't even realize Budaj was in net. Prob would have been 4-0 with Price eh Pasty?
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Pasty7
PickupHockey Veteran



Canada
2257 Posts

Posted - 03/05/2013 :  10:07:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Alex116

quote:
Originally posted by Pasty7

at this point its hard to think these habs won`t be a playoff team come april! big win against the bruins with the backup goalie trailing going into the third ! big win!

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probably not seeing Price gave up 7 the night before, and Budja actually played very solid hockey and made a couple big saves in the final period, but it is always and encouraging sign when a team can win with their number 2 guarding the net!
Huh! Didn't even realize Budaj was in net. Prob would have been 4-0 with Price eh Pasty?



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