MONTREAL – Over the weekend, the First Line staged the first Q&A session of the 2015-16 campaign. It afforded members the opportunity to ask Guy Carbonneau and general manager Marc Bergevin questions at the Bell Centre.
Question: If you were playing center with the current edition of the Canadiens, which wingers would you like to play with and why?
GUY CARBONNEAU: Which guys are the best goal scorers? [laughs] I don’t really know. There’s no question that everyone would love to play with a guy like Max Pacioretty. I think he’s a player who’s capable of being a difference-maker on the ice. The player I really feel strongly about is Brendan Gallagher, though. I like his abrasiveness out there. He makes me think of Chris Nilan, but with a little bit more talent.
Question: You faced the media as both a player and a coach. Does that help at all in your current work as a member of the media yourself?
GUY CARBONNEAU: Everything helps. Every day, I try to take something from the experience I picked up at some point in the past. I’ve always said it. When I started out as a coach, I didn’t have any experience. I had a lot of experience as a player, but I didn’t have any experience as a coach. I got up every day and every time I had a game to play, there were things I’d do that would help me be a better coach one day. It was the same thing as a player. Now that I’m working in the media, all of those experiences really help me be a better analyst. That’s my job. When you’re watching a hockey game, you see good things and bad things. It’s not up to me to judge Michel Therrien or to judge the players, but I have a job to do and I have to be honest in terms of what I say and what you hear. I need to explain things in a way that will help the viewer or listener understand what’s happening on the ice. The players also understand that I have a job to do.
Question: To what extent do advanced statistics help you in terms of evaluating and picking up players?
MARC BERGEVIN: We use it as a tool. The final decision isn’t based on advanced stats, though. We’re looking at the player on the ice, a player who’s willing to sacrifice his body to block shots and go to the net. You don’t see that in advanced stats. There are some good things about advanced stats and we can use them, but ultimately it isn’t the only thing we’re using. We have scouts watching players. I think we have a great group of scouts.
Question: Is making the team bigger among your objectives down the road?
MARC BERGEVIN : I’m always looking to improve the team. That’s for sure. We’re playing well right now. That doesn’t mean that we aren’t looking, though. Bigger guys aren’t typically available, and when they are, they’re usually very expensive. We’re always going to look at our options, but we can’t guarantee anything in that regard. You might want to have bigger players who are talented and score 30 goals a season, but those players just aren’t available.
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Content collected by Élise Robillard. Translated by Matt Cudzinowski.