Preview your team

Discussion in 'Hockey' started by Babe_Ruth, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. Babe_Ruth

    Babe_Ruth Sultan of Swat Staff Member V.I.P.

    The season is less then a week away, so I've decided to make a team preview for the Montreal Canadiens.

    Key New Additions: Brian Gionta, Mike Cammelleri, Scott Gomez, Jaroslav Spacek, Hall Gill
    Key lost: Saku Koivu, Mathieu Schneider, Alex Kovalev, Mike Komisarek

    Goalies: Our top two goalies are Carey Price and Jaroslav Halak. Price will be the starter again this season, he'll need to rebound from last year debacle he had mid-way through the season. He has a lot to prove, but in my opinion he can do it. He hasn't looked amazing in pre-season, but he's looked pretty good and he's made some key saves. His rebounding control seems to be better as well. If the Canadiens want to have major success then everything will be on Price shoulders. It's a lot to ask for a young goalie, but I think he can handle the pressure. He has to use his body to his advantage, make himself look big. The glove needs to be really good as well, because players know that was a weakness in the past. Halak is arguably the best back up in the league, he can come him and steal a game if he needs to. He just needs to be more consistent that's all. I know it's hard because he only plays a limited of games. It won't surprise me though if he gets traded mid-way through the season.

    Defense: Markov will be the leader on defense again this year, he's a top ten defenseman in the league, he usually defends the best players in the league. He will be relied upon again this year. The Habs lost Komisarek, which to me is a big lost because he blocked a lot of shots and delivered a lot of hits. But the Canadiens did add two players in Gill and Spacek. I was never a fan of Gill because he never used his body size to his advantage but he played really well in the playoffs last season so hopefully he keeps it up this season. Spacek brings a wicked slap shot from the point, he should be really valuable from the point on the powerplay. The defense looked lost at times during the pre-season, they will need to gel together if they want success. A wild card for this defensive core is Weber, if he can make the team and not commit to many mistakes, he might be a real valuable player.

    Forwards: The Habs did lose their Captain and their most valuable player this off-season, but they signed three guys that can put the puck in the net. Cammelleri scored 39 goals last season, he will relied upon to put up similar numbers. Gomez is a strong center that the Habs have been lacking for years, he will need to play like he did in New Jersey a year before he signed with the Rangers. Then you have Gionta, a lot of people think he's slowly declining, but I have confidence that he can rebound from last year and have a good year. One player that is going to need to step it up is Plekanec, the Habs decided to give him another chance this season, he'll need to perform to the level he did two years ago. Same thing with Andrei Kostysyn, he has one of the best slap shots in the league he'll need to use it to his advantage. I'm expecting big things from Latendresse and Lapierre this year, they showed last year that they belong in the league, they just need to take it a step higher, especially Guillaume. Hopefully Laracque will be healthy this season, we need to be the enforcer again this year, we have a lot of small players on this team, so bigger teams like the Flyers and Bruins will take advantage, if that's the case you send Big Bad George on the ice and you send them a message, Montreal has a good balance of four lines this year.

    Coach: Jacque Martin, I've never been a fan of his and his system. I think he's more defensive minded, which might help the team, but he needs to let the scores do their thing as well. It's been proven on many occasions on his resume that his system never truly had success. I know he had a few good seasons with the Senators, but he never won the Stanley Cup, which to me is having success. Should be an interesting story behind the bench that's for sure. Hopefully he has tons of success.

    I can't really give any predictions for this team this season, I expect them to be better then last year and I expect them to make the playoffs again this season. But like I said earlier, the biggest piece of the puzzle for the Canadiens to have success is Price in my opinion. I just believe that a lot of hockey so called analyst will be wrong about the Habs this season and they'll surprise a lot of teams once again this year. Just like they did two years ago when they finished atop the Eastern Conference standings.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2009

  2. brtriad

    brtriad New Member

    I'll briefly overview the Hawks offseason.

    Losses: Khabby, Havlat, Pahlsson, Walker
    Gains, Hossa, Madden, Kopecky

    It sucks to see Khabby go, but Huet should do alright with a strong defense in front of him or else he is going to get booed back to France. Hawks fans in general aren't too big on him to begin with. Havlat I am sad to see go, but Hossa is just as good offensively and defensively. Madden is an upgrade over Pahlsson. Good riddance to Matt Walker. I could skate better with one leg.

    For lines, this is what it will look like when Hossa/Burish return from their injuries:

    Sharp-Toews-Kane
    Ladd-Bolland-Hossa
    Byfuglien-Madden-Versteeg
    Eager-Kopecky-Burish

    Keith-Seabrook
    Campbell-Hjalmarsson
    Barker-Sopel

    Huet
    Niemi

    Currently, we're riddled with injuries, but everyone except Burish and Hossa should be ready for the season. My guess for the opening day lineup is this:

    Sharp-Toews-Kane
    Ladd-Bolland-Versteeg
    Byfuglien-Madden-Skille
    Eager-Kopecky-Brouwer

    Keith-Seabrook
    Campbell-Hjalmarsson
    Barker-Sopel

    Huet
    Niemi

    Skille and Dowell are the two rookies who have the best at seeing significant time on the roster. Aliu could and should be called up for a few games. My guess is that he spends most of his time in the AHL this year to get accustomed to the pace. He'll be a major contributor soon enough.

    I expect the Stanley Cup this year. Anything less would be a dissapointment for the most talented squad we've had since the 60's.
     
  3. Babe_Ruth

    Babe_Ruth Sultan of Swat Staff Member V.I.P.

    Chicago have a good team, a lot of good young players but there's no way that Huet will be able to carry this team to the promise land. He doesn't win big games and in my opinion he's better suited as a backup then a starter. As a Canadiens fan I speak from experience. Huet might have a good regular season but when the game is on the line he doesn't perform at a high level.
     
  4. Konshentz

    Konshentz Konshentz

    I am just curious if the addition of Heatly and the loss of Grier, Ehrhoff, Michalek and Roenick will work out for the good or the bad.
     
  5. Babe_Ruth

    Babe_Ruth Sultan of Swat Staff Member V.I.P.

    A lot of Canadian analyst expect big thing from the Sharks this season, some of them believe they'll win the Stanley Cup. Personally I think the addition of Heatley will be great for this team. Even though he's only one dimensional the dude can put the puck in the net and he should score around 50 goals if healthy this season. Playing with the best passer in the NHL will help him a lot.
     
  6. Puckhead58

    Puckhead58 Registered Member

    I think the Habs will do alright. Price needs to be better than he has so far in his young career....he really needs to take his game to the next level. If Price can't get the job done, Halak will be there to step in. Halak is very underrated and the best backup goalie in the league....there is a chance that he could steal the #1 job from Price if Price doesn't get his head in the right place.

    Habs defence is 10 times better than last year. The additions of Gill and Mara provide size and strength....something that Boullion and Brisebois have never been able to bring. Spacek is a huge addition to the powerplay and is a pretty respectable defencemen too. Letting Komisarek go didn't hurt the team as much as people think. Yeah he was good at playing tough and blocking shots, but he wasn't a good passer, he had trouble getting the puck out of his zone and he contributed ZERO offence. Ryan O'Byrne has been a pleasant surprise in camp and could easily replace Gorges or Mara in the lineup. Our defence is much better than last year.

    Upfront the Habs got rid of the dead weight that was Koivu, Kovalev and Tanguay. The Habs needed to change the identity of the team, and Bob Gainey done that and inturn greatly improved the attitude of our forwards. The guys who were leaders last year are gone and new leaders will emerge. With guys like Gomez, Gionta and Cammalleri....the whole team should be able to see what it is like to give 100% every shift, of every game. Those 3 guys are players who don't take nights off....they love to compete and they never give up....which is something that we needed.

    All in all....the Habs are a much better team IMO. They are younger, they have better goalscorers, they are faster and our defence is bigger and better. Yes our forwards might be small....but that makes it harder to catch them. With guys like Moen, Stewart and Laraque in the lineup to protect them, they should do just fine.
     
  7. Millz

    Millz Black 7! Staff Member V.I.P.

    I'll do a quick look...

    WE didnt lose many people (Jay McKee, Manny Legace) but added a reliable backup goalie in Ty Conklin and all the young kids are one year older.

    The big pieces are there...Boyes, Tkachuk, Kariya, Backes, McDonald and the kids with Oshie and Berglund. There are more kids coming eventually.

    Brewer needs to get back in there and the defense will be fine since Erik Johnson is back.

    This is a playoff team but how far they'll get I'm not sure.
     

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