FanPost

The 3RD Pairing - Right Defense position. Why did Bergy screw this up...so badly??

It has certainly come to Habs fans attention during the regular season here in 2021 but even more so in these 2021 playoffs. The Right Dmen spot is normally filled with A Right Shooting Defender or a Left Shooter who is fully comfortable playing on that side. The same problem can happen with Forwards in that some guys just can't play on their Off Wing. So how do you deal with this issue that we see impacting from 10-15 minutes each game? Well let's go back and revisit the last 2 shortened seasons. When Claude Julien selected his 2019-20 team a rookie named Cayden Primeau made the team and started as the 3rd pairings RIGHT Dmen. For a rookie he played more than well enough to show he belonged in the Bigs. He responded to the Coaching he received. He was not spectacular but he DID His Job. He certainly showed an appetite to use his body on anyone who entered our zone or thought they could park in from of Price. He had a nice shot from the point, moved the puck well and contributed with a few goals before the season was interupted by that "Bug" thing. Overall as a rookie it certainly would have been a passing grade for his performance and his play would further improve thru time on the job and good coaching. The Team got back on the ice in the summer and the "season" resumed with a short "Play in" to get into the Stanley Cup. But Claude Julien with this 2nd chance and maybe not wanting to sacrifice his Job Security wasn't going to have that decided for him by a rookie's mistake(s). So no Fleury. We saw both Mete and Kulak take turns in trying to play in Fleury's spot with very limited success. There was never ever and y comfort shown by those 2 players during those 2 series with the Pens and Flyers. So we come to the new 2021 Season. Bergy in the Off season brought in a new face and as well another rookie showed up from Russia to join the team. AS well a former player who had recovered from his injuries came to camp looking for that job and he had a bit of an edge. Like Fleury - Noah Juulsen was a Right Shooter. But in the competition Juulsen couldn't win over Coach Julien...maybe Jul;ien had lingereing guilt feelings for the injuries Juulsen suffered after he was put back into the Washington game after catching a hard shot with his face. A broken jaw and severe concussion and knee injury were the results of using his face to block another Washington shot. Unfortunately for the Habs and Juulsen the only way he could get to Laval was to be placed on waivers. If he cleared he was still Habs property and could go to Laval and work again with Coach Bouchard. Butr not to be....he was claimed by Florida and that was that. The season began and it became a battle of 3 guys for 2 spots. Mete, Kulak and Romanov to fi;ll out the 3rd pairing. Noting all of these guys were Left Shots meaning someone was going to need to play on the other side. With lots of hoopla from fans and the press as they wanted to see the Super Ruskie Romanov out there and they got their wish. So Romanov started on the 3rd pairing as the Left DMen and Kulak was forced to the other side. It didn't take long for that to come apart. Pairing a somewhat green Romanov with a guy struggling to play on his off side. Kulak's play was negatively impacting the pairing and the team so he switched places with Mete. If things were bad before they sunk to a much worse level now. Mete just could not play that side. If you watched him on the ice you would have thought we were using 2 guys on the Left side of the ice and leaving the Right Side wide open. Mercifully the Trade Deadline was approaching and Bergy knew he had to do something. The team was foundering and his big spending spree was beginning to look like another year of dissappointment. So Bergy did his thing. He had a problem and he needed to fix it. He did what he has always done....used Baandaids to fix a problem on a Temporary basis. Merrill and Gustafason jump on board. Merrill a Defensemen from Detroit was thought to be a solid but not flashy guy on the blueline. However, Gustafason was....ok..simply not a Defensemen...maybe call him a 4th Forward. Because inside our Blueline it looked like he had jumped to a new dimension of LOST!! Sure he looks good carrying the puck forward when no one's near him - sorta reminds me of another guy who sorta played here for 44 games but not now..... Anyways Julien was gone and Ducharme was in and he basically flipped Kulak out for Merrill and back in and out for the balance of the season. The playoffs started and no Romanov and soon no Kulak. The 3rd pairing has been mostly Merrills but on occasion Ducharme has put Edmonston in there ( the Best) and Chiarot. But in the finals both of those 2 guys are back in their usual spots on the Top 2 Paairings. That has left us with Merrill and Gustafason doing thir best Keystone Kops routine when they are out there. Tampa has done a very good job of exploiting this pair with much success. So we're down 3-0 and Game 4 is tonite AND for the Life of Me I simply do not understand Ducharme's stubboorness in allowing this dysfunctional pairing to be dressed let alone out on the ice. I'm not sure if Ducharme has full control of the roster and Bergy is demanding these 2 jobbers play because they remind him of himself when he played in the league for just about every team it seemed. Or maybe Duccharme so badly wants "Interim" removed from his title that he is willing to risk this series with these oafs. It is truly perplexing. So that brings us back to the Cayden Fleury Mysterious absence in 2021. I have not read in the press or online sooocial groups anything that says Fleury isn't playing because: in the off season he was caught doing something inappropriate.. maybe wearing his Covid 19 mask the wrong way?? Or maybe Bergy is pissed at him because in the Team's golf tournament he heard Fleury referring to him as a "Hacker" out on the course?? Anyways, with no news out there on why this young kid who fits the Right DMen 3rd pairing spot like the last piece to the puzzle I have my own reason he hasn't played for the Habs this year. It comes down to simple confusion with the name's he has. Cayden Fleury..... Cayden, Cayden, Cayden....who do we know with that name??? Oh right ...the guy we drafted thats playing in Laval. But Cayden Primeau is a Goalie??? And we need a Right Defensemen preferably so cancel him out..........Fleury, Fleury, Fleury.....where have I heard that name before.... wasn't he playing for the Pens and got traded to the Flames....no wait...Vegas took him in their Expansion draft....Plus he's a goalie too!! So nothing there..... So what's your thought on the Fleury ommision from our line-up? Is it a communications conspiracy or something racier??

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