Don't Under-Estimate Les Canadiens
Funny lil story, just about this time last year, every sports station across Canada and every Canadian sports magazine predicted the Habs to finish 13th or lower. Well, what happend? Habs went through the first 2 and half months, running with Buffalo for the top 2 seeds in the North East division. It wasn’t until Francis Bouillon came back and f***ed with the Habs chemistry, that they hit their season long slump. I know, it’s unfair to blame Bouillon but him coming back started a snowball effect that went from that, to the entire Habs locker room getting a nasty flu bug that stayed for a month to Cristobal Huet playing incredibly aweful hockey that cost us the season to him getting injured. Montreal’s biggest mistake last year was starting a cold Huet against the Leafs and not pulling him after he gave up 3 weak 1st period goals. They should have went with the hot goalie in Halak. I firmly believe we would have won if Halak started. But enough about last year.
Since July 1st and the failed signing of “Marquee” talent has led most Habs fans to believe that the Habs will falter and bomb miserably. Well, me, I’m not making any hardcore predictions, though I have given my views of what might occur but nothing concrete because if theirs one thing I’ve learned about the new NHL, anything can happen. Now, look at the Habs roster. It’s pretty much the exact same with a few adjustments. Hamrlik is in for Souray, Grabovski is in for Mike Johnson and Smolinski is in for Bonk. All are improvements in most aspects. Hamrlik is a better defender and therefore a better overall player then Souray, though the PP will suffer. Smolinski is a more consistent scorer then Bonk without the sacrifice on defence. Grabovski is a more talented and faster player then Johnson and he also comes at a fraction of the price. Kostopoulos is a better player then Garth Murray and Aaron Downey combined so no question a vast improvement their. Overall, the Habs have improved and their’s still more moves to be done on Montreal’s part. Gainey said he’s planning on making a few trades and, if Edmonton’s attempts of signing RFA’s reaches Ryder, the Habs could let him go and receive a lot of compensation in the form of 1st round picks, but let’s hope that doesn’t happen because losing Ryder would hurt the Habs too much. Overall, don’t worry about the Habs because no matter how bad they may seem, they always make the season interesting.