Saturday, October 5, 2013
Legion of ............
With the Philadelphia Flyers coming to town for Saturday night's clash at the bell centre, I would like to go back in time. Remember when the canadiens traded John Leclair to philly, well it was 1995, a panic move, one of many that ravaged the team in the 1990's. The dismantling of the team during that era, well, the habs are still trying to recover from those bad decisions. A pattern that lasted right up to the removal of the previous regime of Gainey and Gauthier.
So the success achieved by Leclair in Philly, why did it occur? I believe it was a combination of two things. First Leclair was just coming into his own, gaining confidence, and growing as a player. Second, he was put on a line of monstrous size (and skill) in Lindros and Renberg. The legion of doom line was dominant, especially when they gained the offensive zone, their ability to win puck battles and beat you will skill afterward was legendary.
Now fast forward to today, we have a forward with similar size and shot ability in Max Pacioretty and he is in the prime of his career, and who do we have him with, a small forward and a tiny forward. Their ability to sustain puck pressure is far from optimal, and when you don't win those puck battles, it means you don't have the puck for long and your skill is voided. People will point to the banner year Max had with Desharnais and Cole, and I will put forward that it was an anomaly, and would not of happen again. Bergevin saw this and got rid of Cole while he could, an apt move on his part.
I must say that I have a lot of respect for Bergevin, what he is trying to do is not easy and he will make mistakes. One of those mistakes was the Desharnais extension, if over the next 20 games that line continues to struggle, what do they do? A trade of that contract is unlikely, a demotion to the AHL admits mistake, a healthy scratch???, a move to another line??Well, I'd be ok with less icetime for him.
I was and still am ok with the briere signing, I think he should centre Max and another bigger player, Philly would never have put him out there with smaller players.
I can't help but think we are wasting what could be our most productive asset, during his prime years, I just hope Max doesn't realize the same and start looking forward to the day he is not on the montreal canadiens and the legion of shroom.