A Line Made In Heaven?
Much has been made of the fact over the past few years by fans that Saku Koivu has always had the ability to make the players around him better. But aside from a season or so of with Richard Zednik, Koivu never had unparallelled chemistry as he had with wingers Shayne Corson and Mark Recchi in the late ’90s. In some ways, that was the prototypical line of that era – a power forward to work the corners, a playmaker at centre, and a high scoring winger. Well, until now, that is. This article is exclusive to HTR and TheHabsFan.com.
Chris Higgins caught everyone’s attention when he moved to a line with Koivu and Michael Ryder last season and caught fire with 18 goals in the second half. It’s not a prototypical line, although Koivu is a playmaker and Ryder a pure goalscorer, Higgins can’t be accused of being a power forward. But chemistry is what these guys have in bunches.
This year there was the question mark of Saku Koivu’s eye injury. Koivu continues to experience problems seeing pucks at his feet, a consequence of a serious injury to his left eye during last year’s playoffs. But so far this year, the line has proved that it was not a fluke. They produced all four of Montreal’s goals in the season opener against Buffalo.
So are they one of the great lines in the NHL? Are they Montreal’s equivalent of the fancy Sens Alfredsson-Heatley-Spezza line? Well, it’s too early to tell, but things are looking good for the boys in bleu, blanc et rouge. As we saw last night when Chris Higgins scored shorthanded off a feed from Saku Koivu, they still got their chemistry this year.