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Game 27: Habs/Sharks

  • Here’s the bad news: Markov is done for the year. He will undergo surgery on Wednesday for the second time in as many seasons on his knee. Markov had been the team’s best player throughout many seasons – and the Habs record without him (until this year) has been dismal.

    The good news: This season the Habs have played fantastically through Markov’s absences. This was a team that looked at Andrei Markov as a fantastic addition to a team that already knew how to play together. His presence on the blue line will be missed – but for the first time in a long time – it will not be a fatal blow to this team.

    The inevitable question is what to do with the cap-space that will result in Markov’s long term IR? The Habs will gain a considerable amount of Markov’s cap hit back (between 4 and 4.5M) which would go an awful long way towards bringing an impact player in return. So what do we need?

    Top 6 Winger? The Habs could surely use someone who produces points in the lineup. The one knock on the team throughout the start of the year has been their inability to really put the puck in the net. They could absolutely use a big, skilled forward to compliment their top 6. Travis Moen is a hard worker – but he would be far more effective in the bottom 6 role that he is built for. That said – Eller, Pouliot and company have done an admirable job of supporting the top lines with timely scoring and great puck possession. Finally, there is always a call-up of Max Pacioretti (who is on fire in the AHL right now) or one of his Hamilton contemporaries.

    Another Defender? The Habs are notoriously small on defense. Except they’re not. Picard, Hamrlik and Gill are large men each. Gorges and Subban play much bigger than they are, and Spacek has raised his game of late. Its hard to knock a group that has given up a only 2 goals per game on average through 26 games (second only to Boston’s 1.95 through 24).  Sure we could use another Defender – the wear and tear on the old guys will take its toll, but is that a role that could be filled by a committee of young guys like Picard, Weber and Subban? Weber looked good against the admittedly terrible Devils.

    We all know Montreal’s goal-tending situation is locked up for two years, and beyond in Carey Price. I won’t go there. Until we see more of Alex Auld – it’s hard to argue that the Canadiens need to tinker with their goalie situation.

    So what do you do? PG could wait. There is no reason to make a desperation move since the team has played without Markov for all but 7 games this season. Fans tend to be trigger happy – but the Canadiens have a tricky, and potentially critical decision to make.

    Oh yeah… Matinee versus the Sharks.

    Go Habs Go!!!!!

  1. So now we have a played 11 of 12 periods of pretty good hockey. Weber has played better than I expected and PK has had a little time to hopefully understand why he was sat out the last two games. I think PK should play the next game, and we need to give some of our older D-men a rest. So maybe next game we could site Spacek and play PK. We need to know if we can play without Spacek because we need to know if we could trade him.

    Now the next move we need to make is to bring up Pacioretti and explain to him that we would like to creat a young kid like that could be the future of this hockey team. Pac, Eller and Pouliot. Three pretty good size guys that all have offensive upside. That is the first move I would like to make to see if it has potential.

  2. #2 Mats Naslund says:
    December 6, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Interesting suggestion Senet1. I’m also a little itchy to see what MaxPac could do in the NHL now that he’s grown as a player and as a person over the past year or so out of the NHL. I don’t think it will happen any time soon – but I wonder how long Gauthier will sit on his hands while Martin attempts to find a second line. In all of his attempts to get Gomez going, you have to wonder if he’s done more harm than good with respect to the other players (AK46, Cammy, Gio, Plex etc). Personally I love what Pacioretti brings to the table as a player. His one knock has typically been that he didn’t put the puck in the net with consistency. Although I wouldn’t have him in the “Top 6″, I would have him on a third scoring line.

    I would love to see a slightly different lineup of:

    Plex-AK46-Cammy
    Gomez-Gionta-Pouliot
    Eller-MaxPac-Darche
    Halpern-Moen-Lapierre-Pyatt

    Pyatt, Darche and Lapierre could rotate in and out of the lineup unless someone sticks out. On defense I would keep a 7 man rotation of Hammr, Spacek, Gill, Gorges, PK, Picard and Weber. There is no sense in messing with that other than to give some much needed games off to our vets. As long as they understand that Martin is saving their legs for the playoffs, I can’t imagine egos getting in the way. It also allows a proper evaluation of exactly what Weber is. The last thing you want to do is trade him away in haste given how volatile the Markov situation will be next season.

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