A Funny Thing Happened Along the Way......

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from jmwalters. Show jmwalters's posts

    A Funny Thing Happened Along the Way......

     


    .....it was a very interesting year. The team gelled down the stretch on their way to a President’s trophy, plenty of award nominations, and being Stanley Cup favorites. However this regular season success masked more than a few issues that I feel contributed greatly to their early playoff exit.


    1.  All the new guys: this roster had a major overhaul from its 2013 predecessor. Just think about this for a minute. By the end of the season this team included as regulars quasi rookies Smith, Soderberg, Miller, Bart, and Krug. Throw in other new guys Eriksson, Iginla, and Johnson, and others along the way that played more than a few games (Spooner, Sweethands, Fraser, Mez, Florek, and superstar Potter) and fully a third of the roster comprised players that had not played a full season with the team. That’s quite the change-over from a team that went to the finals the previous year, almost McDonald’s-like employee turnover.


    2. Injuries: the partial reason for all the newbies were injuries along the way.  Seidenberg, McQuaid, Kelly, Paille, and Eriksson all missed substantial time during the regular season and into the playoffs. Yes, all teams have injuries which is why proper replacements are so important...on to the next point.....


    3. False sense of security pt. 1-Yet the team did very well down the stretch so when the deadline came PC only made minor moves; Mez and Potter. This is reminiscent of 2013 when the only additions were the underwhelming Zanon, Motteau, and an out of shape and over the hill Rolston.  Neither pick up played particularly well down the stretch and into the playoffs. Yet, it hardly seemed to matter at the time because the B’s were crushing it in the regular season.  Habs picked up Vanek and Weaver, both of which proved to be shrewd moves.


    4. False sense of security pt. 2-remember the opening lineup at the start of the playoffs? It included three first year d-men as well as Florek on the third line and Caron on the 4rth. Of the teams left standing thus far, how many have three quasi-rookies on their back end? Answer: none. It was high risk that did not pay off, and CJ admitted as much in his presser. How many rookies did the Habs start on their back end? One, and he was only added the last 2 games...playing minimal minutes.


    So, what is my point? I think this team overachieved in the regular season to such an extent that fans, media, and the team itself almost forgot exactly how much turnover this roster had. Really, did anyone seriously talk about 3 quasi-rookies on D and think it may be problematic for a deep playoff run? What teams are left that had a comparable amount of turnover? None of course. It was high risk but necessary due to injuries and cap issues and it simply did not pay off in the end.


    That said, the youngins gained experience, some of the dead wood has been exposed and next season will be much different.


     

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from marco0863. Show marco0863's posts

    Re: A Funny Thing Happened Along the Way......

    In response to jmwalters' comment:

     

     

    .....it was a very interesting year. The team gelled down the stretch on their way to a President’s trophy, plenty of award nominations, and being Stanley Cup favorites. However this regular season success masked more than a few issues that I feel contributed greatly to their early playoff exit.

     

    1.  All the new guys: this roster had a major overhaul from its 2013 predecessor. Just think about this for a minute. By the end of the season this team included as regulars quasi rookies Smith, Soderberg, Miller, Bart, and Krug. Throw in other new guys Eriksson, Iginla, and Johnson, and others along the way that played more than a few games (Spooner, Sweethands, Fraser, Mez, Florek, and superstar Potter) and fully a third of the roster comprised players that had not played a full season with the team. That’s quite the change-over from a team that went to the finals the previous year, almost McDonald’s-like employee turnover.

     

    2. Injuries: the partial reason for all the newbies were injuries along the way.  Seidenberg, McQuaid, Kelly, Paille, and Eriksson all missed substantial time during the regular season and into the playoffs. Yes, all teams have injuries which is why proper replacements are so important...on to the next point.....

     

    3. False sense of security pt. 1-Yet the team did very well down the stretch so when the deadline came PC only made minor moves; Mez and Potter. This is reminiscent of 2013 when the only additions were the underwhelming Zanon, Motteau, and an out of shape and over the hill Rolston.  Neither pick up played particularly well down the stretch and into the playoffs. Yet, it hardly seemed to matter at the time because the B’s were crushing it in the regular season.  Habs picked up Vanek and Weaver, both of which proved to be shrewd moves.

     

    4. False sense of security pt. 2-remember the opening lineup at the start of the playoffs? It included three first year d-men as well as Florek on the third line and Caron on the 4rth. Of the teams left standing thus far, how many have three quasi-rookies on their back end? Answer: none. It was high risk that did not pay off, and CJ admitted as much in his presser. How many rookies did the Habs start on their back end? One, and he was only added the last 2 games...playing minimal minutes.

     

    So, what is my point? I think this team overachieved in the regular season to such an extent that fans, media, and the team itself almost forgot exactly how much turnover this roster had. Really, did anyone seriously talk about 3 quasi-rookies on D and think it may be problematic for a deep playoff run? What teams are left that had a comparable amount of turnover? None of course. It was high risk but necessary due to injuries and cap issues and it simply did not pay off in the end.

     

    That said, the youngins gained experience, some of the dead wood has been exposed and next season will be much different.

     

     



    I had my worries about the playoffs and I was clear through out the start ... didn't want to face mtl. 

    I cannot understand chia thinking that with mez he was comfortable with this team going into the playoffs. I felt we could have used vanek for the playoffs. We got a guy who hardly played.  The holes were there mislead to many by the pres trophy ... I saw them and I'm just a fan. 

     
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  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from OrrandPapiRGods. Show OrrandPapiRGods's posts

    Re: A Funny Thing Happened Along the Way......

    Astute analysis as usual JM. The rookies looked like rookies in this series. If you asked me out of the blue, "Could a team win a cup with 3 D who are rookies?", I'd have to say no. After the regular season the Bs had with this youth I may have answered yes but in hindsight that may have been too optimistic.  

    I hope this doesn't turn into another "blow it up and trade everyone" thread.

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from jmwalters. Show jmwalters's posts

    Re: A Funny Thing Happened Along the Way......

    In response to OrrandPapiRGods' comment:

     

    I hope this doesn't turn into another "blow it up and trade everyone" thread.



    Not at all. What I am suggesting is that the excellent regular season may have led many (including myself) to place unrealistic expectations on this particular group. I am thinking that even if PC did nothing but re-sign the same players this team would be even better next season. However, I do expect some tweaks, just not wholesale ones like we saw this year.

    In hindsight, if someone were to suggest to me last summer that the B's would win a Presidents Trophy and be considered cup favorites with a roster turnover of one third of its players ( including 5 quasi-rookies) I would be wondering what they were smoking and where I could perhaps find some.....

     

     

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from islamorada. Show islamorada's posts

    Re: A Funny Thing Happened Along the Way......

    Indeed, that is so true (bold/black below)!

     

    In response to jmwalters' comment:

    In response to OrrandPapiRGods' comment:

     

    I hope this doesn't turn into another "blow it up and trade everyone" thread.



    Not at all. What I am suggesting is that the excellent regular season may have led many (including myself) to place unrealistic expectations on this particular group. I am thinking that even if PC did nothing but re-sign the same players this team would be even better next season. However, I do expect some tweaks, just not wholesale ones like we saw this year.

    In hindsight, if someone were to suggest to me last summer that the B's would win a Presidents Trophy and be considered cup favorites with a roster turnover of one third of its players ( including 5 quasi-rookies) I would be wondering what they were smoking and where I could perhaps find some.....

     

     




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  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from RichHillOntario. Show RichHillOntario's posts

    Re: A Funny Thing Happened Along the Way......

    These are the same 3 young-uns folks were praising for their play and poise last year on the way to the finals. In defeat this year they're somehow exposed?

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from jmwalters. Show jmwalters's posts

    Re: A Funny Thing Happened Along the Way......

    In response to RichHillOntario's comment:

    These are the same 3 young-uns folks were praising for their play and poise last year on the way to the finals. In defeat this year they're somehow exposed?



    Miller didn't play last playoffs. Bart and Krug played a bigger role this playoff, much bigger. Just look at the B's 2013 post-season top 6-d  and the 2014. Big difference.

     

     

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hanrahan1. Show Hanrahan1's posts

    Re: A Funny Thing Happened Along the Way......

    Completely agree with the OP. The Bs struggled to compete with the league's best teams during the season regardless of their sort of surprising first place finish. Injuries were a factor but they can't easily explain away all of the Bs shortcomings. Love this organization but there is a missing factor in the team which flies in the face of the whole 'built for the play offs' persona.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from SylvesterMexicano. Show SylvesterMexicano's posts

    Re: A Funny Thing Happened Along the Way......

    In response to marco0863's comment:



    I saw them and I'm just a fan. 



    You don't know squat about hockey or being a fan.

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from jmwalters. Show jmwalters's posts

    Re: A Funny Thing Happened Along the Way......

    In response to Hanrahan1's comment:

     there is a missing factor in the team which flies in the face of the whole 'built for the play offs' persona.



    To me it is the myth of rolling 4 effective lines. The 4rth line clearly struggled this playoff and it became obvious last night when their collective behinds were stapled to the bench for most of the third period.

     

     

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Bookboy007. Show Bookboy007's posts

    Re: A Funny Thing Happened Along the Way......

    4th line got outplayed by the Montreal 4th line.  That doesn't happen very often.  But I would say they were no more or less outplayed than the rest of the roster.  Didn't get pucks to the net, didn't have that characteristic "spring Paille" thing going, didn't clear the zone, didn't generate any emotion or momentum.  How is that different from any of the other lines?  People keep giving Soderberg a pass and Bergeron and neither was playing with his head.  

     

     

    Are you not entertained?!?!

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from Klaas. Show Klaas's posts

    Re: A Funny Thing Happened Along the Way......

    Montreal had the Bruins number this season. It continued in the playoffs. Booing Subban seemed to make him a better player. Price continued to show why he was a Gold medal goalie ... actually all of the above was not such a funny thing.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from jmwalters. Show jmwalters's posts

    Re: A Funny Thing Happened Along the Way......

    In response to Bookboy007's comment:

    4th line got outplayed by the Montreal 4th line.  That doesn't happen very often.  But I would say they were no more or less outplayed than the rest of the roster.  Didn't get pucks to the net, didn't have that characteristic "spring Paille" thing going, didn't clear the zone, didn't generate any emotion or momentum.  How is that different from any of the other lines?  People keep giving Soderberg a pass and Bergeron and neither was playing with his head.  

     




     Good points Book. My retort would be that I am looking at the whole 2014 playoff and the 4rth line added next to nothing the whole run; aside from shenanigans, bad passing, and the ability to get hemmed in their own end for large chunks of their limited shifts.

    To me the Bergeron line did well against Detroit. The third line did its part against the Habs in Games 4 and 5. And yes, the Krecji line underperformed on the whole but at least Iginla was able to net 2 gwg's. Considering they only won 7 games the whole run that's not nothing. They also had their share of chances and moments of dominance.....not consistently but periodically.

    The 4rth line, however.......***crickets***

    you can't be a 4 line team with only 3 lines.

     

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from OrrandPapiRGods. Show OrrandPapiRGods's posts

    Re: A Funny Thing Happened Along the Way......

    In response to jmwalters' comment:

    In response to OrrandPapiRGods' comment:

    I hope this doesn't turn into another "blow it up and trade everyone" thread.



    Not at all. What I am suggesting is that the excellent regular season may have led many (including myself) to place unrealistic expectations on this particular group. I am thinking that even if PC did nothing but re-sign the same players this team would be even better next season. However, I do expect some tweaks, just not wholesale ones like we saw this year.

    In hindsight, if someone were to suggest to me last summer that the B's would win a Presidents Trophy and be considered cup favorites with a roster turnover of one third of its players ( including 5 quasi-rookies) I would be wondering what they were smoking and where I could perhaps find some.....

     

    Sorry I didn't mean to imply that it was your intent to "blow it up' but rather that some would use the opportunity to turn it into that.

    I totally agree with your take.

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from jmwalters. Show jmwalters's posts

    Re: A Funny Thing Happened Along the Way......

    In response to OrrandPapiRGods' comment:

    Sorry I didn't mean to imply that it was your intent to "blow it up' but rather that some would use the opportunity to turn it into that.

    I totally agree with your take.




    No worries, I simply miss-interpreted reading your post the first time. I am terrible at multi-tasking. My fault.

     

     

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from RichHillOntario. Show RichHillOntario's posts

    Re: A Funny Thing Happened Along the Way......

    In response to jmwalters's comment:

    In response to RichHillOntario's comment:

    These are the same 3 young-uns folks were praising for their play and poise last year on the way to the finals. In defeat this year they're somehow exposed?



    Miller didn't play last playoffs. Bart and Krug played a bigger role this playoff, much bigger. Just look at the B's 2013 post-season top 6-d  and the 2014. Big difference.

     

     



    You're right. Miller wasn't around.

     
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