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angryjay93

Montreal Canadiens

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Montreal Canadiens



Team Overview: Despite not having a true super star skater on the roster, Montreal is widely regarded as being one of the top teams in the game. They receive this distinction in large part due to a hard hitting, slick skating and opportunistic playing style...and oh yeah, the best goalie in the game Patrick Roy. Another asset of Montreal's is they do have a lot of flexibility throughout the lineup to play to most any user's strengths or needs to match up to the opponent.

Forwards: Lacking a premier sniper or speedster, Montreal makes up for this with a hard hitting set of forwards such as Denis Savard, Stephane Lebau, and Vincent Damphousse to cause havoc on the fore-check, which then in turn feeds a quick strike offense that is difficult to stop. Montreal is at its best when all three members of a line are chipping in offensively, they instantly become one of the toughest teams to stop in the league if this can be achieved.

French Connection:

Damphousse-Lebeau-Savard

Vincent Damphusse: 6 weight, 4/4 skating, 3/3 shot, 5 sth, 4 pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: L

A mold of consistency, Damphousse is solid on both ends of the ice due to his 6 weight, 4/4 skating and a solid skill set that consists of 4 off aware, 5 stick handling, 4 passing, and an acceptable 3/3 shot. There quite simply aren't many guys in the league with this sort of skill set at such a low weight, but Montreal is blessed with a few of them. With his left handed shot, Damphousse is able to weave his way through traffic by bouncing off body checks or using his magnet like puck skills to either dish off to the open man or skate in for a nifty deke.

Stephan Lebeau: 5 weight, 4/4 skating, 3/5 shot, 4 sth, 3 pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: R

Although never mentioned among the elite players, Lebeau is still a two way force that must be respected due to his 4/4 skating, 5 weight and 3/5 shot. Because of his deadly accurate shot and mediocre 3 passing, he is the ideal center for this line because he can cash in on opportunities that no one else on this team can.

Denis Savard: 5 weight, 5/4 skating, 3/3 shot, 5 sth, 4 pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: R

Completing this skilled lightweight trio is crafty veteran Denis Savard. With 5/4 skating, 5 weight and stick handling; Savard is among the best in the game at sifting through traffic due to his ability to withstand body checks, skate through poke checks and the great ease in which he can be handled. Despite a middling 3/3 shot, Savard is a force to be reckoned with offensively because he can use his 4 passing to dish a pass off to Lebeau in the slot or weave his way in close with the goalie and use his right handed shot to deke the goalie.

Although this isn't the most dynamic line in the league in terms of speed, it is a very scary line because of the vicious fore-check and back check that can be applied which will feed right into the opportunistic counter attack offense that Montreal specializes in.

I don't think any other line Montreal can ice can come close to being as effective as this unit, but here are a few more options just in case an injury arises.

Feed the Sniper:

Lebeau-Muller-Savard

Kirk Muller: 9 weight, 4/4 skating, 4/4 shot, 4 sth & pass, 4/4 aware, Shoots: L

Kirk Muller and Brian Bellows are essentially the same player, with weight being the only difference, 9 and 8 respectively. Muller for whatever reason with his 4/4 shot seems to cash in on more of his chances, thus the reason he gets the call over Bellows. What Muller also brings here is a little extra shot power to a team that is utterly devoid of it. Secondly, it allows a slap shot option in Lebeau who can snipe a slap shot past an unsuspecting goalie. This extra offensive variety comes at a cost though due to Muller's weight disadvantage.

Pure Aggression:

Savard-Lebeau-Leeman

Gary Leeman: 5 weight, 4/4 skating, 3/3 shootin, 3 sth & pass, 3/2 aware, Shoots: R

What Leeman brings to the table is another lightweight option (5 weight) that posses all the bare minimum skills that a forward should have, 4/4 skating, 3/3 shot, 3 passing and stick handling. Of course, Leeman brings nothing dynamic, he's just a mucker and a grinder that can abuse a team loaded with heavyweights such as Pittsburgh or Edmonton.

Other Options:

Brian Bellows: 8 weight, 4/4 skating, 4/4 shot, 4 sth & pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: R

Suffers from Owen Nolan syndrome, above average skills in every respect but no stand out abilities on a roster filled with light and equally as skilled players means a lot of time on the pine for Bellows. Even in the GDL, Bellows is typically nothing more than a 3rd/4th forward who is constantly on the bubble.

Mike Keane: 5 weight, 3/4 skating, 2/3 shot, 2 sth, 3 pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: R

A true bugger, Keane is great at playing the physical game and frustrating opponents. Really fits into the Montreal mold of playing a heady offensive game and crashing the net, could be a very useful sub when the need arises.

Guy Carbonneau: 6 weight, 4/3 skating, 2/1 shot, 4 sth & pass, 2/4 aware, Shoots: L

Not a bad 5th/6th forward in the GDL, Carbonneau is light, defensively aware and he can distribute the puck to a more offensively inclined player with great consistency. Those shot ratings are awful though, dont even bother with the regular shot and just use the pass shot.

Forwards Rating: (8/10)

Defense: Much like the forward unit, the Habs don't have a legit #1 option to throw at the opposition, yet they are still able to ice a unit that should be solid and contribute to the defensive posture of the team.

Schneider-Daigneault

Mathieu Schneider: 7 weight, 3/4 skating, 3/2 shot, 4 sth & pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: L

While nothing spectacular, Schneider does posses several skills that the other Habs defenseman can't match. He is the most gifted skater (3/4) and puck distributor (4 passing and stick handling), this allows him to kick start the offense from the back and provide some much needed skating ability to run down breakaway attempts and fleet footed forwards working a cycle deep in the defensive zone. At 7 weight though, Schneider isn't gonna lay the body on many people, which makes him the biggest defensive liability on the ice.

J.J. Daigneault: 6 weight, 4/3 sakting, 4/2 shot, 3 sth, 2 pass, 2/4 aware, Shoots: L

J.J. is an underrated defenseman, with a 4/2 left-handed shot, 4/3 skating, 4 def aware, and 6 weight, it can be difficult to find that sort of skill set in such a light package...if he were just a better passer though, he'd be something really special. With a pathetic 2 passing rating, any mid-long range pass is bound to be a disaster with it being inaccurate and very slow.

Brisebois-Daigneault

Patrice Brisebois: 5 weight, 3/3 skating, 3/2 shot, 2 sth & pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: R

Brisebois fits right in with the Canadiens, a light weight player with an average skill set. At 5 weight and 3/3 skating, he is one of the more mobile light weight defenseman in the game and is thus able to effectively apply the poke check and be difficult to harass when handling the puck. But with only a 3/2 shot and 2 passing, icing this duo makes moving the puck up to the forwards a laborious activity.

Other Options:

Eric Desjardins: 9 weight, 4/3 skating, 3/2 shot, 4 sth, 3 pass, 3/4 aware, Shoots: R

Eric Desjardins is another option in reserve, but at 4/3 skating and 9 weight, he's a bit on the heavy and slow side and doesn't have enough of a skill set to warrant a spot over the three previously mentioned players.

Defense Rating: (6/10)

Goalie Zone:

Patrick Roy: 6 weight, 6/4 skating, 6 puck control, 5/5/6/6 save, Catches: L

Arguably the best goalie in the game, Patrick Roy brings elite ability to the table every night. With 6/4 skating, 5/5/6/6 save ratings and an impeccable 6 puck control, Roy is great at making the big save, and then dishing out a pass to start the counter attack. At 6 weight Roy is heavy enough to be resilient to the ram tactic, yet is light enough to be a joy to handle in manual control. Roy is almost always near the top of the league in save percentage and goals against regardless of the user.

Andre Racicot: 4 weight, 2/3 skating, 3 puck control, 2/2/2/2 save, Catches: L

With a nickname like "Red Light." It should be simple to deduce what happens when Racicot enters the game. Also, why the hell would you take out Roy for this guy? You should be ashamed of yourself for even considering it.

Goalie Rating: (10/10)

Bottom Line: With an efficient quick strike offense, a steady defense and a world beater of a goalie, Montreal's depth can come from all directions to stifle and frustrate opponents into mistakes that translate into goals. With that said, Montreal is the ideal team to play with the lead, trying to come from behind doesn't play to their strengths.

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That took pretty long, but it's a good analysis overall.

Let's note that in NHL '94 tihs was probably the last year in which Savard still maintained himself as an effective player and from there his skill declined bit by bit due to age, so enjoy him in the game.

I think Flasox has a liking to Leeman and Roy is effective, be it leaving him alone or on manual goalie.

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wonder if these line combos will work for snes?

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wonder if these line combos will work for snes?

You'll want my Weight Bug Fix analysis

But really you'll want to play Sega because it's better! ;)

PS: we really need some signature font size limits.. sigs shouldn't make it hard to read the actual messages..

Edited by smozoma

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You'll want my Weight Bug Fix analysis

But really you'll want to play Sega because it's better! ;)

i know it is but im also playing classic snes so it would be helpful to know if they can be used in snes or are they just for gens

Edited by mav

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You'll want my Weight Bug Fix analysis

But really you'll want to play Sega because it's better! ;)

PS: we really need some signature font size limits.. sigs shouldn't make it hard to read the actual messages..

I'd like the Weight Bug analysis myself. If there's anyone who knows more about the SNES he's welcome to speak.

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i know it is but im also playing classic snes so it would be helpful to know if they can be used in snes or are they just for gens

In case you missed it, Smoz was kindly and subtly asking you to reduce your signature font size as it takes away from the posts you make.

PS: we really need some signature font size limits.. sigs shouldn't make it hard to read the actual messages..

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Weight Bug Fix Analysis

Montreal's unmatched depth at the forward position is decimated by the weight bug, but they are still just as good of a team without line changes.

Forwards

Improved:

Kirk Muller becomes a good power forward with 9 weight and 4s in everything else important. His overall checking effectiveness is 10.1, so only the biggest forwards can stand up to him.

John Leclair is an option if you are getting hammered with checks. he isn't particularly skilled (3 skating and shooting, with terrible 2 passing), but he has 11/3 checking and 3/4 skating.

About the same:

Brian Bellows' 8 weight allows him to withstand checks from lighter forwards, but his 2 checking means he can't do much damage when checking. His other stats are very similar to Muller's.

Weakened:

Denis Savard, Vincent Damphousse, and Stephane Lebeau lose their low weight advantage, and tend to be 3rd or 4th forwards in draft leagues. They are further weakened by all having 2 in checking

I would go with Muller at centre, Savard on one wing, and any of the other 4 players mentioned on the other wing depending on how they match up against your opponent's team.

Defense

Improved:

Eric Desjardins is now a solid starting D. 9/4 checking (10.1 effectiveness), 4/3 skating, and 3 passing.

Rob Ramage's 9/4 checking is now good, but he's still a slow 3/2 skater and average 3 passer. He's more of a 3rd D.

About the same:

Matt Schneider is maybe a little less effective now with his 7/3 (7.4) checking, but his skating (3/4) and puck skills (4 stick handling and passing) are good enough that you'll probably want him on the ice.

Weakened:

J.J. Daigneault and Patrice Brisebois at 6/3 (6.6) and 5/3 (5.9) checking, respectively, are no longer good enough checkers to keep on the ice. They both have abysmal 2 passing, as well.

Edited by smozoma

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i know it is but im also playing classic snes so it would be helpful to know if they can be used in snes or are they just for gens

I wouldn't use AJ's lines verbatim on the SNES because he is assuming the weight bug is left in the game. If you want to go by AJ's info (it being more detailed than my weight bug fix analysis), you just need to translate to SNES a bit: if he says a guy is skilled but heavy, then on SNES he is really good (Lemieux, Muller, etc) and you probably want him at centre. If he says a guy has no skills but is light, then on SNES he is terrible and should stay on the bench (Leeman). If he likes the guy's skill AND the fact that he is light, the he probably makes a good winger on SNES (Lebeau), and sometimes a good centre (especially fast guys like Selanne).

I haven't played the SNES version more than a handful of times, but from what I gather, players who are good with the weight bug fix on the Sega are also good on the SNES (since the SNES didn't have the weight bug), so that's why I suggest looking at the weight bug fix analysis. Unfortunately, I don't give much advice on what position to put a guy in.

Edited by smozoma

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Brisebois the Breeze block we called him (That's cinder block the other side of the atlantic, but that doesn't even come close to rhyming!)

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GO HABS GO

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AJ, Thank you so much for doing these. Really great stuff. You raise the bar for competition in the NHL 94 community and we all thank you.

THE FLYING FRENCHMEN!!!

Edited by da94wookiee

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CB Notes

Forwards

Vincent Damphousse: On the majority of the teams, Vinny would still be an eminently useful option as his premier stick handling is buttressed nicely by his plus skating and passing skills. A great option off the bench for the Habs, Vinny will have to fight for his ice time with Steph Lebeau as Kirk Muller and Brian Bellow have become viable CB options.

Steph Lebeau: Questions have been raised as to Lebeau's status as the #1 center and for good reason. Lebeau doesn't have dynamic speed which makes it easier to pluck him out of the middle and slap him on a wing where his skill set still plays well enough. Lebeau can still be a fantastic option in the center but if he is getting beat up by the heavyweights, it may be best to move him to the outside.

Denis Savard: Not much changes for Savard despite being a 5 weight who is susceptible to the CB check. Savard has always been a perimeter player who uses his agility to dance around the ice and find a streaking center or winger in which to feed. Lebeau should give the heavyweights around him more trouble than they should be able to give him.

Kirk Muller: Shot power has always been in short supply in Montreal but they may have just found a bit in way of Muller. Muller is a prototypical slug who plays a very consistent brand of hockey. While the most elite centers in the league may still out match him, Muller has evolved into a respectable option that allows fantastic checking balance for a team that is a little light on legitimate CB options.

Brian Bellows: Nearly a carbon copy of Muller, Bellows has a right handed shot as opposed to Mullers left which is the main difference between the two Montreal middlemen. Choosing between the two is mostly a preference of handedness.

Gary Leeman, Guy Carbonneau & Mike Keane: They can still answer the weight bug whore call and have just enough skating skill to possibly be a threat on offense. There are just too many better options for them to get consistent ice time.

John Leclair: 11 weight, 3/4 speed, 3/3 shot, 3 sth, 2 pass, 3//3 aware, Shoots: L

Built in the mold of Kevin Stevens, Leclair is the only mega CB option available on the roster. With so much talent previously stated it is hard to envision a spot where Leclair deserves to start.

Defense

Mathieu Schneider: With Scheneider's speed and puck moving ability, it was never a tough decision whether to insert him into the Habs lineup. Now...he still deserves a spot, but should he get a spot? Schneider is in that funky middle weight zone and his lack of agility could make things a bit tricky for him. Dont get the wrong idea, Schneider is still a solid defender to be employing in the back rank.

J.J. Daigneault: Passing continues to hinder Daigneault and now that he can be pressed by the fast heavyweights, his weakness has become magnified. If you're adept at getting pucks on net with defenders, J.J. still needs to be considered as he does have a fantastic shot for a defender.

Patrice Brisebois: A competent weight bugger paired with Montreal's forwards makes the Habs a nightmare for a majority of the other teams. His skills aren't a huge downgrade from the previous two mentioned and Brisebois should still get plenty of ice time.

Eric Desjardins: If anyone stands to earn more ice time it is this man right here as he is a fantastic CB counterpart to not only his d partner but his forwards as well. In most formations the Habs will have two lightweight wingers and Desjardins will fit in nicely on either side to compliment them. Still by no means a burner, he has just enough skating skill to make his CB abilities relevant, especially if a vicious back check is putting the opponent into predictable spots.

New Pair: Desjardins-Brisebois or Schneider-Desjardins

Both of these pairings provide a different type of balance. Desjardins and Brisebois have a weight difference of 4 which means that no forward in the league, no matter their weight can avoid being bodied off the puck by any one of the duo. Schneider and Desjardins would only have issues taking down 8 weight attackers but the increase in skill and skating ability will make Montreal more dangerous when they have the puck and look to spring their deadly counter.

Bottom Line

Believe it or not, Montreal's ability to matchup against their opponent has increased even more now that their skilled heavyweights have a place in the lineup. They have always been a perfect counter to high flying teams such as Detroit, Calgary, and LA due to their ability to make these teams duke it out in a battle of attrition. Montreal continues to be resistant to making mistakes and making the opponent pay the price when they make one.

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