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Old 05-03-2019, 04:08 PM   #41
TheSquatch
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"What happened to the top line after the All Star Break?"

Heard this a hundred times, and I think the answer is.... "Nothing."

Nothing "happened" to them. What happens is that the game gets faster and more intense, and checking gets tighter, and they didn't respond to that.

Playoffs even more so.

So these guys look okay when other teams aren't ramped right up, when the game is a little slower. But when things get faster and the checking is tighter and there's not so much room out there.... you need some other gear, some other dynamic - I think we got a glimpse of Lindholm's, for example, where he started to be a more physical player and threw some pretty good hits. But Johnny and Monny did not find some other dimension, and got shut down, utterly, in the playoffs.

Not sure what Monahan is. Not a dominant driving 1c, but doesn't have the tenacity I'd like to see in a 2c either. He's like, a soft 1c who has a nice touch at the net, but doesn't have the full-package game at that same level - his defending was inadequate and at some times in the playoffs laughable, wrong place, wrong time, wrong direction, and all of it with seemingly no real intensity.

Tough to question his heart after he played out the season last year on a broken everything.... and yet I just don't see that fire in his game, the will to win (or refusal to lose). Same with Neal this year.... go smash someone, do something useful if all you do on the ice is float around the perimeter of the play hoping for a puck to squirt loose in your direction.
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Old 05-03-2019, 05:18 PM   #42
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Monahan has shown extended glimpses of being a great two way center. I think he has the potential to be a great player.

What I really want to know is what happened to Nathan Mackinnon in the summer of 2017? Did Crosby take him to the Cole Harbour fountain of hockey greatness?

Whatever it is, we need to get Monahan on a similar program.

Mackinnon pts per season:

2014:63
2015: 38
2016: 52
2017: 53
2018: 97 (74 gms)
2019: 99
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Old 05-03-2019, 05:54 PM   #43
Jiri Hrdina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSquatch View Post
"What happened to the top line after the All Star Break?"

Heard this a hundred times, and I think the answer is.... "Nothing."

Nothing "happened" to them. What happens is that the game gets faster and more intense, and checking gets tighter, and they didn't respond to that.
.
I would add that teams adjusted to their tendencies and they failed to re-adjust.
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Old 05-03-2019, 07:21 PM   #44
TheSquatch
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Yes, the break-out pass to Gaudreau who gains the blue line, curls to look for a pass, and is mauled by two back-checking forwards and one defenseman (and this speaks again to the speed of Monahan because JG just didn't have a target half the time) just got stopped in its tracks. So you need a new trick.

Like a fake play in football, you set something up enough times that the other team thinks they know what's coming, then you do a double reverse or a fake punt or whatever. Flames had not even a glimpse of that. There was no other play coming.
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Old 05-03-2019, 08:22 PM   #45
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the big question for me with Monahan is whether he has another gear... and that's with respect to mental not skating.

As many have noted, you don't have to be a blazer to impact the playoffs.. but you do need to be able to raise your level of compete.

Not ever pro athlete is a money player.

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Old 05-03-2019, 08:27 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Jiri Hrdina View Post
I would add that teams adjusted to their tendencies and they failed to re-adjust.
Yes this. Monahan, Gaudreau and Lindholm should shoulder a lot of the blame but probably have to hang a bit of this on the coaching staff as well. I like Peters and think he's turned out to be a really good hire but if there's on thing I would pick at after his first season is that he was pretty slow to adapt. Seemed like he felt if they just keep playing their game when slumping that things will come around and work out but it didn't after the all star break.
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Old 05-03-2019, 08:37 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSquatch View Post
Yes, the break-out pass to Gaudreau who gains the blue line, curls to look for a pass, and is mauled by two back-checking forwards and one defenseman (and this speaks again to the speed of Monahan because JG just didn't have a target half the time) just got stopped in its tracks. So you need a new trick.

Like a fake play in football, you set something up enough times that the other team thinks they know what's coming, then you do a double reverse or a fake punt or whatever. Flames had not even a glimpse of that. There was no other play coming.
When Gaudreau has 3 players mauling him, his ability to make a play to Monahan is very limited.
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Old 05-03-2019, 08:59 PM   #48
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When Gaudreau has 3 players mauling him, his ability to make a play to Monahan is very limited.


There would be 2 open players in this situation.

Someone has to be open.


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Old 05-03-2019, 09:08 PM   #49
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Random occurrence or not he is always hurt. He plays a soft game for that to be an issue.
God, I swear that some of you possess the attention span of a golden retriever. Sean Monahan was shut down last year with several injuries, but prior to then had missed a grand total of NINE GAMES in four full seasons, with seven of those occurring in his first year. He has played every playoff game for which he has been available.

Monahan is NOT "always hurt." He has been very rarely hurt.
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Old 05-03-2019, 11:05 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Erick Estrada View Post
Yes this. Monahan, Gaudreau and Lindholm should shoulder a lot of the blame but probably have to hang a bit of this on the coaching staff as well. I like Peters and think he's turned out to be a really good hire but if there's on thing I would pick at after his first season is that he was pretty slow to adapt. Seemed like he felt if they just keep playing their game when slumping that things will come around and work out but it didn't after the all star break.

He also could have handled the James Neal situation better. We needed all guys going in the playoffs; "a difference maker, rather than a third wheel."
We are talking playoffs which pretty much turned out to be a waste of a season.

"Coach should have known better since the Neal problem hung around all year!"
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Old 05-03-2019, 11:11 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Steve Bozek View Post
When Gaudreau has 3 players mauling him, his ability to make a play to Monahan is very limited.
I think if BT can find a couple more upgrades for the first or second line that might do the trick.
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Old 05-03-2019, 11:26 PM   #52
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When Gaudreau has 3 players mauling him, his ability to make a play to Monahan is very limited.
Right and the point is that there's 3 guys on Gaudreau because nobody else is up the ice, nobody driving to the net, nothing.

As the next post said, if there's 3 guys on Gaudreau, somebody should be open. And they were, just, not across the blue line yet.

Team speed was not good. Team motivation was not good. Team was not good. I thought Gaudreau was okay, I'm not really hanging this on him (I would like to see a larger tool bag, some break-away speed so he could at least scare defenders into thinking he's going to go around them...), but the problem was partly that he didn't make any adjustments when things weren't working. As mentioned in other posts, this is also a coaching thing.
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Old 05-04-2019, 10:31 AM   #53
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I'm hanging in on Johnny just as much as the rest.
He over handles the puck. You can pass the puck faster than you can carry it. Johnny likes to have it on his stick, and as such, it allows teams to pressure him and create turnovers.
He became predictable. Teams have a book on him. If he's truly an elite offensive talent he will find a way to adjust.
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Old 05-04-2019, 11:28 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by TheSquatch View Post
Right and the point is that there's 3 guys on Gaudreau because nobody else is up the ice, nobody driving to the net, nothing.

As the next post said, if there's 3 guys on Gaudreau, somebody should be open. And they were, just, not across the blue line yet.

Team speed was not good. Team motivation was not good. Team was not good. I thought Gaudreau was okay, I'm not really hanging this on him (I would like to see a larger tool bag, some break-away speed so he could at least scare defenders into thinking he's going to go around them...), but the problem was partly that he didn't make any adjustments when things weren't working. As mentioned in other posts, this is also a coaching thing.
Swarming a star puck-handling player is a tactic that works most of the time - it forces a turnover or limits his ability to make a good pass. As Jiri Hrdina says, Johnny tends to overhandle the puck, and the way to beat the swarm attack is to get the player to pass sooner.

As the “expert panel” said in the last game, that’s what the Sharks were doing to Mackinnon in the early stages of the game. Mackinnon then made an adjustment. Johnny’s approach seemed to be to fight through it - he had a little success with that in the Flames’ last game, despite the loss.

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Old 05-04-2019, 11:47 AM   #55
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I think it's really hard to pin it on one guy because it really is a chicken and egg situation. Is Gaudreau overhandling the puck because Monahan isn't getting open? Or is Monahan not trying to get open because Gaudreau won't pass it anyway? You need both guys to break out of their niches simultaneously or else it won't work. If we start next season with Gaudreau-Monahan-X as our top line again, I really hope the coaching staff gets a bit more critical if they're still relying on the same habits. It's hard because, as they've shown, you can score a point-per-game by relying on the "Gaudreau carries the puck, Monahan finishes" dynamic.
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Old 05-04-2019, 11:54 AM   #56
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Cole Harbour fountain of hockey greatness?

LOL I love it !!
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Old 05-04-2019, 01:51 PM   #57
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Monahan has always been an interesting case ever since we drafted him. Since his rookie year it was clear that he had an elite shot and was especially dangerous in the slot. As Gaudreau and him developed chemistry it was awesome to see him increase his offensive production and at times, he's looked like a consistent #1 Centre. However all of this success has come without an ounce of tenacity or a "mean streak" which is without a doubt, not who Monahan is as a person or a player.

I don't doubt for a second that Monahan will take his offseason training seriously and I would be shocked if he doesn't come back to training camp with an extra gear but is this enough to propel the Flames further into the post-season next season when teams play focus on shutting him down?
I'm not here trying to cut down Monahan or say that he's doomed to never succeed in the playoffs as a Flame, hell i have a Monahan jersey. But, regardless of how Monahan's offseason goes I just don't see the him as being able to truly elevate his performance come playoff time without that edge that we see in other top Centers around the league.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm not going to be quick to give him a pass on these last playoffs just because he's working on his awful skating stride, and IMHO don't believe this will be enough to change our fortunes in future possible post-seasons, UNLESS we have a true game changing centre to compliment him on the depth chart. Now unfortunately I'm not sure if we can acquire one of those without Monahan going the other way in a trade.. but picking up a more competitive Centre through FA like Kevin Hayes or acquiring a Kadri through trade are possible options are the only way I think it's sensible to keep Monahan as our #1 C.
Again, nothing personal but a great regular season team is one thing, a threatening playoff team is another entirely and for me the most important position other than goaltender is #1 C
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Old 05-04-2019, 02:01 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayo View Post
Monahan has shown extended glimpses of being a great two way center. I think he has the potential to be a great player.

What I really want to know is what happened to Nathan Mackinnon in the summer of 2017? Did Crosby take him to the Cole Harbour fountain of hockey greatness?

Whatever it is, we need to get Monahan on a similar program.

Mackinnon pts per season:

2014:63
2015: 38
2016: 52
2017: 53
2018: 97 (74 gms)
2019: 99
Many players figure out the league a little better in year 4-6, and that's when you see them have their best offensive totals.

When you combine that with MacKinnon's physical gifts, you have a perennial 100 point player.
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Old 05-04-2019, 02:56 PM   #59
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Break up Monahan and Johnny. Force Monahan to create on his own. He did it in junior if I remember right he wasn't on a stacked team. Take that option away from him like in his first year in the NHL. I think its better for his development to become a more rounded player, force him to drive his own line.
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Old 05-04-2019, 05:36 PM   #60
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Many players figure out the league a little better in year 4-6, and that's when you see them have their best offensive totals.

When you combine that with MacKinnon's physical gifts, you have a perennial 100 point player.
Ya - you're right - another good example is Brad Marchand - goes from a 40 point guy to a 100 point guy

Can't say the physical gifts of Marchand are the same of Mackinnon though - so how do you get these players to break through? Or how do you identify players who can/will do it? I guess that's what scouts and GM's are for

Fingers crossed Monahan can be one of these guys though
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