Thursday, January 27, 2011

All Star Game Mock Draft w/ FredPoulin98

I recently collaborated with's own Fred Poulin whom has some really great stuff that you should all check out! Fred's Blog He and I composed a AllStar Game Mock draft, and considering the Draft is tomorrow, we thought it was fitting. Here are the results!
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Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Crosby, Malkin,Zetterberg, Iginla,Enstrom and Hemsky will not be participating in this year's ASG, for personal reasons, and some nursing injuries.

The Draft is Friday the 28th, at 8PM, The Super Skills will be aired the 29th at 7PM, and the All Star Game Will be the 30th at 4PM.

Until then, Cheers!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Trade Looming?: What Could Happen w/Pierre Gauther and The Habs

I know I promised in my previous article that I would write about who the Habs should target for a 3rd liner, however the Habs' needs seem to be a bit bigger than that.

What might happen over the next few days?

Well first of all I think a trade will happen between Today(26th) and next Thursday, its just a hunch I have, and I think Pierre Gauthier is close to a deal.

Habs are desperate for some offense, and they need much more then a rental. The Habs need a player that can contribute immediately, but also can figure into the long term plans, which seems to be the train of thought that Pierre Gauthier is going through.

So quickly who could we be seeing in a new Habs jersey?

Jarome Iginla: Yes, the unthinkable has been rumored throughout the web, and I would be giddy at the thought of getting Iggy. I don't think it needs to be said, just how important Iggy would be to our team, he has been on a declining team for the longest time, without a true #1 center, and the thought of Plekanec, Cammalleri, and Iginla on 1 line would be mind blowing to say the least. He brings Elite level skill, speed, leadership, and a winning pedigree, Iginla is also contracted passed this year which would fit the Habs plans. What would it cost? I've heard somewhere along the lines of Weber, AK46, one of Eller, Leblanc, or another great prospect, and a first. Yes its a tough pill to swallow, but Iginla is one of the best most complete RWs in the game, and he would be a serious deal for the Habs.

RJ Umberger: Size, Skill, two-way ability, I have a feeling though Columbus wouldn't let him go cheap, which might make the Habs think twice about him.

Dustin Penner: A nasty contract, and just as inconsistent as AK, but a change of scenery might spark this enigmatic winger.

Jason Arnott: Big body, Played with Gomez, and Gionta, could spark some offensive chemistry, and I'd imagine as a rental he would be fairly cheap.

One thing is for sure, the next week might hold a lot of excitement, and perhaps surprise, as Pierre Gauthier has expressed how he refuses to deal at the trade deadline. Given that the All Star Break is upon us, it is the perfect opportunity for the Habs GM to make a splash, for both the immediate and distant future.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Trick of the Trade: What would you do?

With the loss of Markov to long-term injury, the Habs are faced with another blow to the roster. General Manager Pierre Gauthier of the Montreal Canadiens made a public announcement that Josh Gorges would undergo season ending surgery on his knee.

The Habs are passed the rebuilding stage, and I believe its safe to say their immediate interest is to win, and solidify a playoff spot, because as they proved last year, anything can happen in the playoffs.

With two key components out of commission, and an invisible Andrei Kostitsyn in the top 6, it seems as though the Habs have two needs that need to be addressed asap.

Need #1: A first line goal scoring winger to compliment Tomas Plekanec
Need #2: A third line winger with grit and scoring capability

While the Habs do have a gaping hole on the blue line left by Markov and Gorges, the acquisition of James Wisniewski has done wonders for the team, and there have been rumblings across twitter, and the interwebs that suggest Pierre Gauthier spoke to the Wiz, and mentioned something along the lines of wanting to sign him long term at one point. While we can debate and speculate that we need another Dman, so far the Habs seem to be doing alright on D for now...

A Top line forward is a glaring need that has been a consistent problem for as long as I can remember. Pierre Gauthier has revealed what kind style of GM he is, and has already expressed his desire to make deals now, as opposed to the Trade Deadline to avoid paying top dollar, and for the new players to bond for a longer period of time with the team. Gauthier has stated that he refuses to overpay, and it is apparent that he has an aggressive style of dealing, he seems to favor young players with great potential, speedy players, players at a low cap hit, and players that can fit in either immediately or in the not so distant future. If I were PG I'd be targeting the following players:

Jakub Voracek, he is a speedy, flashy offensive player, his cap hit is cheap but he would definitely cost the Habs a pretty penny, but would be worth the gamble as Columbus has been rumored to need a shake up, and are willing to move roster players, -except for Rick Nash- to get it done. Gauthier would be wise to target this young fellow as he fits the JM system well, he would bring an intense amount of talent, skills in the defensive zone, and great speed. Jakub Voracek has a legitimate shot at being a force in the NHL, and a first line player in the not so distant future.

Niclas Bergfors, has been having a rough time in the Thrashers system, and a change of scenery would do him wonders. He has plenty of offensive skill, and wouldn't cost nearly as much as Voracek. While Bergfors does have the potential to be a top line player, given his age (23), and progression so far, he is more likely to be a 2nd line skilled player, with potential to have 60-65 point seasons, the Habs need abit more then that, and while he wouldn't cost much, Bergfors might turn into a Benoit Pouliot situation, where people want instant results.

Michael Frolik, has been rumored to be available as Florida continues to prepare for a rebuilding phase. Frolik brings 2 seasons of over 20 goals, a boat load of talent, and pure goal scoring capability. Frolik can set up players, but his true forte is scoring goals, given his cap hit,age, and potential, Frolik is a possible candidate for PG, as he fits the needs, and would not only be an immediate fit into the top 6, but a player the Habs could keep for the future.

Martin Havlat, Havlat has always been an extremely skilled player, and has had success in the NHL before, producing 60-70 points a season when healthy, and some years, had he not fallen to injury would have been on pace for 80+. While he isn't exactly a spring chicken (29 years old), he is still young enough to have a good six to seven years left in him if he can avoid injuries. His cap hit is a bit of a deterrent, and the fact that he has been known to be as fragile as bridge made of toothpicks, could cause teams to think twice before offering a package for him. If Havlat is to leave the wild, -which has been speculated in the last month, with the possible destination being Montreal- his cap hit, and injury proneness would certainly soften the blow of what the asking price would be for such a skilled player. The one glimmer of hope that could be what everyone is looking to is that Marty Havlat has been healthy for the most part for the last three seasons which believe it or not is a personal best. This could be a target worth going for because while Havlat's cap hit is high, it isn't particularly horrendous as he brings speed, skill, a great shot, great pass, and is the former teammate of Tomas Plekanec from the Winter Olympics on team Czech Republic, which could develop into some jaw dropping chemistry, and lets face it, a line of Cammalleri-Plekanec-Havlat isn't half bad.

Those are the names that have been mentioned around the web, twitter, and everywhere else you can think of, they aren't outlandish, and everyone has a price.

I will be back with another piece on need #2: A third line winger with scoring capability.

Until then...What would you do? And just for the fun of it, not to create rumors, but to know your opinions, what would your packages be?


Monday, January 10, 2011

Back from a few months of Chaos

To all my good followers, and friends, and general lovers of my blog, I have splendid news for you all! I'm back, after an unexpected, unannounced, unfortunate (Lots of uns today my gosh) leave of absence for personal reasons, I am back to the Hockey, Blogging, and Twitter world! I look forward to writing my new pieces very soon, and I thank you so much for all your thoughts, prayers, and great friendship!

I'll be back with some more Habs Blogs.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Andrei Kaboom-stitsyn

Andrei Kostitsyn has shot out of the starting gate like a bat out of hell, hes looking stronger than ever, more aware, and thank the lord he figured out "hmmm...if me" While most Habs fans -including myself- have been infuriated by Andrei Kostitsyn's play season after season, it may be safe to say Andrei Kostitsyn has finally found his groove. We can all agree that he has game-breaking ability, and that when he was drafted he was said to have the potential to be an 80 point 40 goal scorer. While it is premature to say he will net anything close to those numbers, we can say with certainty AK46 has 6 points in 7 games in the 2010-2011 NHL season.

Where is this coming from? What happened that could have sparked this great start to a season? While none of us could possibly be in Andrei Kostitsyn's head -nor could we understand what the hell he would be saying- we can take a few educated guesses as to what might have helped Andrei raise his game to the level we've seen so far.

First off, I think we can safely say with a big sigh of relief, that with the departure of Andrei's brother Sergei Kostitsyn ,a shadowy veil of negativity that had been surrounding the team ever since Sergei was called up from Hamilton, has been lifted. Whether Andrei spoke to his brother, and was consulting him through these dark times, is unknown, however it wouldn't be far fetched to say that this had caused some sort of a distraction. With Sergei gone, and a clean slate on a new season, Andrei can focus on what he does best, trying to speak some form of english -lets call it Russlish-, making nice dekes, passes, and finally shooting that puck like nobody's business.

Secondly, Andrei arrived to camp looking more buff than ever. He is currently playing some of the best hockey of his career, and it is not a stretch to say that his fitness level, and his current play go hand in hand.

Thirdly, Andrei's confidence level is at an all time high, and when you have a skilled russian with speed, and confidence to burn you better get out of the way. Players with Andrei's skill, speed, hockey IQ, and potential, are rare, and if they pan out and discover their confidence, their groove if you will, they are extremely dangerous to play against, and just when you think your goalie made a huge save, you realize the rebound that he gave up landed back into your own net, as Kostitsyn grins towards his teammates for a good ol Butt slap and a high five.

And Lastly, Kostitsyn is playing with Tomas Plekanec 2010 edition. Pleks has been showing us why he signed that 5 million dollar contract, and why he is our 1a center. When your number one center is playing with confidence you would think it would eventually rub off on his line mates, and we could hazard a guess to say that's whats happening with AK. He's playing with a line mate that has elevated his game to a whole new level, and Andrei has discovered that he is also capable of so much more. With Pleks becoming a silent leader by example, Andrei has stepped it up and is playing great hockey.

It could be argued that yes AK is in his final contract year, and wants to play hard for a contract, but there have been many players that have had god awful contract years, and had proven absolutely nothing, at least AK is starting to prove why he should stay.

While we can't predict how the season will pan out, or who will get injured, we can only hope that Andrei continues this pace as he is slowly solidifying his position as a top six forward, and while AK might have dry spells as he searches for consistency, at least we know for certain that Andrei Kostitsyn is capable of playing First Line minutes, of scoring 70 points if he were to be consistent, and is capable of being a game-breaking forward that Montreal has desperately been searching for.

Until next time!


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Painfully Passive Power Play

Having only played six games, the Habs are already feeling the stress of a non-functioning Power Play. The past problems of a struggling Power Play continue to linger, and the stress continues to follow as the Habs come up Empty time after time. Hopefully with a little patience, and enough luck to power a small city, the return of Andrei Markov could ignite the Power Play, and hopefully shoot the Habs into contention.  Ironically enough, there was a time where the Habs were not gasping for air on the Power Play, where they were such offensive juggernauts to be reckoned with, that Star Players would take double Penalty Kill shifts just to try and shut them down.

For all the fans who remember the year Alex Kovalev scored 84 points with the Habs, do you also remember just how dangerous and effective the Power Play was? Top in the league for a long while. The shots from the wings, the point and Markov cycling the puck on the back end was enough to sky rocket the Habs' Power Play to first in the NHL.  What do we need to get back to that position? Well For one we need Andrei Markov back on our Power Play, his value is extremely under estimated by many, and is arguably one of the best Power Play Quarter backs in the league, as well as a top defender. Markov's influence on the Power Play brings some confidence, patience, smart plays, and I believe to an extent fear. I believe that Markov is an intimidating force on the Power Play, and that he brings that X-Factor every team craves. We also need that ridiculous point shot to compliment our quarterback, we need an identity on the power play.

How can we create this identity you may ask? Well like all fans, when I see the Habs Power Play, and I see that it is clear everyone is trying to Tee up Cammalleri, I shout "NO, HE DOESN'T HAVE A CLEAR SHOT!" well low and behold he doesn't.The reason why is because our Power Play has become predictable, and its the unpredictable plays that are the most dangerous on a Power Play. A perfect example is when Gorges scored that beauty from the point, no one expected him to let one rip, and he got a lucky bounce, but never the less it was unpredictable and it lead to a goal. That's what the Habs need to get back into. They need weapons at three positions.

The Habs need a Quarter Back, a position that will hopefully be filled properly once Markov is back, and as PK Subban progresses he will learn how to play the Quarter Back, as well as the Point shot. They also need a heavy shot from the point to compliment the QB, and I honestly believe Andrei Kostitsyn would be much more useful at the point next to Subban rather than in front of the net, because lets face it Jacques Martin, Andrei Kostitsyn is no Tomas Holmstrom, never has and never will be, his wrist shot is the equivalent to a slap shot according to his teammates, and it is an asset we could take advantage of.  A power play with Subban- AK46 on the back end is simply mouth watering, and we could have Eller or Pouliot slot in front of the net, because both are quick, and have very soft hands, so if a rebound does come their way they have a good chance to cash it in.  Just for good measure, the final key to a successful powerplay is a sniper on either side of the powerplay waiting at the faceoff circle, just dying to launch a massive cannon towards the net. I know it seems like the Habs try this formula, but in all fairness  PK Subban is currently trying to be the QB and the Point Shot, which is not very effective.  We also lack that heavy shot at the point, Spacek just doesn't seem to have the juice anymore, its almost as if his Slap Shot is only half as good as it used to be, and whether the Habs trade for a point shot, slot Yannick Weber in there, or try the AK46 method, it will prove to be a much more effective way of generating offense, instead of using a war-torn Spacek for a point shot. The Habs have the perfect sniper on the wing to generate the cannon from the wing, however I believe all three keys need to be aligned before we start potting goals in bunches.

While the Habs continue to struggle on the Power Play we can only hope Andrei Kostitsyn gets his shot as Point man, and I think Jacques Martin should familiarize himself with one of the greatest songs ever to be recorded. To quote the very great band ABBA "Take A Chance On Me", Yes JM, take a chance, take a chance, take a chance......

What are your thoughts on the Power Play? Any different strategies you can come up with?

Until next time!

by JHabs