NHL 2016 - 2017 Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Scott Merryfield, Oct 21, 2016.

  1. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Last season's thread did not get a lot of traffic, but I thought I would give it another try this season.

    My Habs are off to a decent start, earning 7 out of 8 possible points in their first four games. Carey Price was finally back between the pipes last night after missing almost all of last season with a knee injury and the first three games of this season with the flu. The team's new additions have looked very good so far -- Shea Weber as the #1 defenseman (received in the trade for P.K. Subban), Alexander Radulov as 2nd line winger, Andrew Shaw as third line winger, rookie Artturi Lehkonen as a 2nd line winger, and backup goalie Al Montoya. Even 18 year old defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (the 9th overall pick in the 2016 draft) has looked promising at times, although I expect he will be sent back to Windsor of the OHL after his nine game stint for further development and to avoid burning a year of his entry level contract. Radulov, especially, as been a pleasant surprise, showing a lot of puck skills, giving 100% effort on every shift, and even showing some leadership in the locker room.

    It looks like Brad Marchand has taken his game to another level with the Bruins after having a fine World Cup for Canada. Boston and Montreal renew their rivalry on Saturday. It should be a fun game.

    I think this is the season where the Red Wings streak of qualifying for the playoffs comes to an end. Their defensive group is terrible, and GM Ken Holland failed to address it at all in the off season. They barely squeaked into the post season last year, and are without long time top player Pavel Datsyuk this year. It's time for a rebuild in Detroit, but the team may be unwilling to go through those growing pains while moving into a new arena next season. It will be interesting to see what happens here.
     
  2. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    The Bruins' top two lines are definitely making some noise. After that, crossed fingers and prayin'. . .
     
  3. 3 Oct 22, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2016
    Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    That's one of the improvements on the Habs so far this season -- they are running four effective lines right now. David Desharnais is actually where he should be, centering the third line instead of the first. And the fourth line centered by Tory Mitchell has been pitching in a few goals so far.

    The blue liners have been solid, too. Getting Jeff Petry back healthy has really helped. His absence last season was an overlooked reason for Montreal's collapse, hidden by all the injuries to higher profile players such as Price, Gallagher and Subban. If/when Sergachev gets sent back to juniors, they will have three solid pairings of Weber / Beaulieu, Markov / Petry and Emelin / Pateryn.
     
  4. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    The Habs have now won nine straight games in Boston, and they did not even face their old whipping boy Tuuka Rask in net last night! The only bad thing about the game is I had to watch it on NHL Center Ice via the Bruins broadcast. I cannot stand Jack(ass) Edwards. The guy whines more than a teenage girl, and he constantly mispronounced Nathan Beaulieu's name. It's BOY-l-U, not BOIL-ler.
     
  5. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    You would have loved the Bruins game the other day, when Edwards FLIPPED OUT over a Chara goal that got called back due to a delayed offsides review. He was convinced that the officials got the call wrong and kept talking about it. When the period ended, they cut to the in-studio guys, who proceeded to discuss how the call was correct! :)

    That said, despite my general love for video review in sports, I find the whole "we're taking away a goal because we just noticed an offside that happened a minute and a half before" to be really obnoxious.

    Not as obnoxious as the Minnesota Lynx find it, but obnoxious nonetheless!!!
     
  6. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Yes, some of the NHL's new review process is strange. Along with the offside issue you mentioned, even though all goals are reviewed you still have coach's challenging the ruling looking for goaltender interference. It makes zero sense to me to see a coach needing to use a challenge for something that's already been reviewed.
     
  7. 7 Oct 25, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
    Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I am watching the Florida - Pittsburgh game. Vince Trocheck has developed into a fine player for the Panthers. I think I suggested that you keep an eye on him when he first came up, Aaron. Trocheck played junior hockey for my former hometown team, the Plymouth Whalers, and he stood out as a fine all around player then. His smaller size is the only reason he wasn't drafted in the first round.

    Crosby is back in the lineup for the Pens, and has scored a power play goal. Matt Murray is off the injured list, too, and is the backup goalie. It will be interesting to see how quickly he replaces Fleury as the starter.

    Peaked in a little of the Tampa - Toronto game. Anderson sucks in goal for the Leafs. Toronto fans are funny booing Stamkos because he didn't sign with them this summer. He has answered the boo birds with two goals.
     
  8. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Choked it! :(

    Speaking of backup goalies, I guess it's better that I watched the Bruins get crushed instead. My low expectations were met. First-round pick Malcolm Subban now has two NHL starts, and has been pulled both times. At least the backup to the backup to the backup looked OK.
     
  9. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Yes, the Bruins are having a bad run of luck in goal right now . And Subban has certainly struggled in his brief appearances so far. You are seeing why teams are no longer spending first round picks on goalies . They take a long time to develop , and it's difficult to predict how well they will develop . I believe that Subban was the last goalie taken in the first round by any team.

    Speaking of Subbans , the Habs return on trading PK Subban has been working out fine so far . Shea Weber had two points tonight versus the Islanders , including the game winning goal. He leads the Habs in scoring in this young season , and leads the entire league in plus / minus .
     
  10. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Subban was a questionable pick at the time -- not least because Tuukka was already waiting in the wings to take over for Tim Thomas. Hopefully he'll put it together. . .eventually.

    On the plus side, for an AHL backup forced to start an NHL game on the road against a quality opponent, I thought McIntyre's performance was a lot better than the score would indicate. The second goal was a rookie mistake, but of the other four, at least three were directly attributable to defensive ineptitude in front of him.
     
  11. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Ho-hum, another Habs victory over the Bruins. :) It was actually a pretty even game -- while the Bruins outshot Montreal by a large margin, many of those shots were from from the blue line or further, and were easily stopped and controlled by Price. The actual scorign chances were pretty even. I do find it humorous that Boston rarely uses Rask in net for these games anymore -- McIntyre played last night.

    The Canadiens still have a few holes to fill even though they have the league's best record. They are weak at center, with only Galchenyuk and Mitchell (4th line) playing well. A better center to replace Desharnais needs to be a priority. One more top 4 defenseman would be nice, too. Emelin has been playing well paired with Shea Weber, but he's really not a top 2 defenseman.
     
  12. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Rask sat because it was the second night of a back-to-back and he's still recovering from an injury. Better to throw McIntyre to the wolves than risk aggravating the injury at this point of the season.

    The good news is that a guy who was an AHL backup a couple of weeks ago is looking respectable out there. :)
     
  13. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I knew the Bruins were on a back to back. Of course, Boston could have chosen to play Rask against the stronger Habs team and McIntyre the night before against the weaker Sabres. I'm sure it had nothing to do with Rask's 3-14-3 record versus Montreal, though. ;)
     
  14. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Maybe they should have waited. . .now I'm reading that Rask actually did re-aggravate the injury on Monday. Sigh. . .
     
  15. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    That's not good. I know what it's like to have your favorite team miss its #1 goalie.

    In other news, last year's All-star sensation John Scott has retired.
     
  16. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    The big news from last night's Montreal - LA game was that David Desharnais was a healthy scratch -- it's the first time I can ever remember him being sat down when healthy. Philip Danault took his place as the third line center and played extremely well, even getting selected as the game's 1st Star in the Habs dominant 4-1 victory. It will be interesting to see if coach Therrien finally sees the light and continues to bench his pet player. I'm sure the French media had a fit over the benching, as they love the local Desharnais despite him being no better than a marginal AHL talent.
     
  17. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Especially when your record is 8-0 with him and 0-6 without him!

    Farewell, Scotty. You gave us all a nice story. :)
     
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  18. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    The injury bug is beginning to hit the Habs again. They lost #1 center Alex Galchenyuk for 6-8 weeks due to a knee on knee hit from Kopitar last Sunday, and then lost David Desharnais to a knee injury in the very next game. Losing DD wouldn't hurt much if Galchenyuk hadn't also been injured, as Desharnais sucks, but he is a center, and Montreal already was thin at that position.

    Tomas Plekanac will need to step up his game in Galchenyuk's absence. Plekanac has played poorly all season, but he did have his best game of the season on Tuesday in the Canadiens first game without Chucky -- so there is hope.
     
  19. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    David Pastrnak is making me all giddy!!! :rolling-smiley:
     
  20. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    And they'll be lucky if Price doesn't get suspended for that little fracas.
     

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