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» 2012 » February

  • Game 59: Habs/Sabres

    Update: Hal Gill and a conditional 5th Round Pick have been dished to Nashville for Blake Geoffrion, Robert Slaney, and a 2nd Round pick in the 2012 draft.

    I have to say – I’m on cloud 9 about this trade.

    The Habs get the 2nd round pick that I was hoping Gill would bring + a fourth generation Canadien in Geoffrion, and Robert Slaney who will provide depth at the AHL level.

    The conditional 5th round pick depends on whether or not Geoffrion plays 40 NHL games next season.

    When Gill was signed by the Habs in that fateful summer, I was dead against the move. Since then I’ve lamented his lack of speed and physicality – but noone can question the effect that he had on grooming both PK Subban and Josh Gorges into professional hockey players. His effect on the ice was as a leader, and I can only speculate on what it meant to the team to have such a grounding and consistent leader in the locker room.

    Getting two prospects plus the second round pick is awesome. Hopefully Gill will be able to make a deep playoff this run with Nashville. I think its a great pickup for that team.

    Two teams at the bottom of the Eastern Conference will battle it out tonight for the pride of being in 14th place in the East. Buffalo has been fairly terrible of late, especially so last evening when they were blown out 7-2 by the Philadelphia Flyers. Montreal rolls into Buffalo fresh off of a tough OT loss to the Bruins in which they played very well for stretches, but couldn’t ultimately score in a shootout. Quelle surprise!

    Two of the teams who were reported to have interest in impending UFAs on the Habs roster made moves with other organizations last night.  San Jose made a deal with Tampa Bay for Dominic Moore and a 7th round pick. San Jose will give Tampa Minnesota’s 2nd round pick in the upcoming draft. As a result of this trade – the outcome does not look good that Travis Moen will end up in SJ.

    Philadelphia meanwhile, a team that was reported to have interest in Hal Gill, picked up a guy who I think MTL should target in the off-season – Niklas Grossman from the Dallas Stars. Grossman earned the stars 2nd (2012) and 3rd round (2013) picks, which is a decent haul for an impending UFA. Grossman is a big guy who plays physically who is essentially tailor made for Philadelphia. Daren Dreger reported that Philly is still looking for another defender – implying that Hal Gill might be the best fit. The question is – for what? The Flyers are running out of picks, and it is highly unlikely that they will part with a prospect of any note for a short term UFA like Gill.

    It seems as though Montreal’s most rumored trading partners are suddenly not great fits.

    Go Habs Go!!!

  • Game 58 – Habs/Bruins

    It would be a lot easier to cheer for the Habs to lose for a better draft pick if the rest of the teams fighting for the playoffs in the East were playing well.  In the last 10 games:

    Ottawa – 6 of 20 points

    Toronto – 11 of 20 points

    Washington – 9 of 20 points

    Winnipeg – 8 of 20 points

    NYI – 10 of 20 points

    Montreal – 12 of 20 points.

    No one is exactly lighting it up. So while Montreal suffered what should by all rights be a kill-shot to their playoff chances when they blew yet another 3rd period lead to lose to the Hurricanes, they are still hovering around the same level as the other floundering Eastern Conference teams. While I have no real opinion that the Habs could jump over the teams above them, they certainly haven’t been mathematically eliminated, which as I’ve noted before – makes me nervous as to what the “plan” will be.

    93 points was an arbitrary number which has been thrown around as a cut off for what it will take to make the playoffs. That could be, but NONE of the teams from Ottawa through Montreal are currently on pace (when you average their season winning percentage with that of the past 10 games) to make that mark. Obviously someone could get hot to surpass that number, but we could very well see a team make the playoffs this year with a sub-90 point total. In 2009-10 that was exactly the case when Philadelphia AND Montreal made the post season with 88 points. All of the teams around MTL have averaged between 0.9 and 1.1 points per game this season. Even if all teams matched the high end of that total, only Ottawa would break 90 points. So how many would Montreal need to gain to get to 90? 1.4 points per game played. 35 of 50 points.

    Its a tough task – but certainly not impossible. The Rangers have played this whole season above that mark, and while I’m in no way implying that the Habs are anywhere near capable of that over the full season, over the course of 25 games – many teams are capable of getting to that level. Playing slightly better than they have over the last 10 games would get the team to that point. Obviously this is a very unscientific approach to this problem. Any team above them could match this point total over their final 25 games or so and make all of this irrelevant. Montreal could gain nowhere near 1.4 per game and make this whole post moot.

    Still, the play of those teams above the Habs over the past 10 games have left the door slightly open.

    ….

    Bruins tonight. It will be very interesting to see the lineup after word leaked from practice yesterday that there was a heated exchange between Cunneyworth and Gomez regarding the later’s effort. Ryan White will be back in the lineup – which will at least give the home crowd something to feel good about regardless of the result tonight.

    Go Habs Go!!!