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.

8 Responses to Don't Under-Estimate Les Canadiens

  1. Komic-J says:

    Honeslty, I don’t why everyone keeps comparing Hamrlik to Souray…because in my opinion, Hamrlik is there to replace Rivet. Sure, he’ll probably get some PP icetime too, but the main reason why he signed Hamrlik is to solidify our defense, which was Rivet’s role, not Souray.

    I don’t think Grabovski is there to replace Johnson either. If anything, he could be Perezhogin’s replacement, as they are both good skatters with decent offensive upside. Johnson was a solid two-way player, which Grabovski isn’t.

    The only 1-on-1 comparison you can make is Bonk vs. Smolinski. I wouldn’t call it an upgrade necessarly, but Smolinski’s good enough to replace Bonk for one season. Anything beyond that could be a stretch.

    Also, Michael Ryder cannot sign an offer sheet with another team since he filed for arbitration. I was under the impression that he could, but nope…too bad. There’s no way we could have had the same kind of compensation as Buffalo for Vanek, but still…a 1st, 2nd and 3rd round picks would’ve been nice. But it won’t happen.

  2. Gowan1139 says:

    I agree, the Habs will be fine. Also Hamrlik is most deffinately there to replace Souray. If hes not the who is? I'm not sure how many people reading this watch other hockey games than just the Habs. I watch every team play when I can. I have seen Calgary play many times. Hamrlik has a bullet from the point, no denying that. He doesn't have all the offensive upside Souray has, but atleast he can play defense. I'm liking the Habs they have not made huge changes but changes that should benefit them.

  3. habsrock99 says:

    If Ryder were signed to an offer sheet, Montreal's compensation would be determined by how much the offer sheet is. Last year, had the Canucks let Ryan Keslre go to Philly, their compensation would be a 3rd round pick because of the 1.5 million Philly offered. Had Vanek gone to Edmonton, the Sabres woulda got 3 first rounders, 2 second rounders and a 3rd rounder. That might not be 100% exact but its fairly close to what the Sabres would have gotten.

  4. habsrock99 says:

    Oh, and I forgot to mention that I wasn't technically saying that those players were replacing them, I was just saying that Grabovski, Smolinski and Hamrlik were taking those vacant roster spots.

  5. Komic-J says:

    Had Vanek gone to Edmonton, Buffalo woulda got 4 first rounders, that’s it. But that’s not the point.

    The point is that a player, who filed for arbitration, cannot receive an offer sheet as a RFA from another team. The only team allowed to negociate with him at this point is the Canadiens.

  6. habsoverserver says:

    Let me get this staight, the return of the #5 defenseman for the Habs caused them to fall from second place to missing the playoffs?  The biggest mistake was leaving in a goalie for one game? 

    It's an 82 game season with 25 players.  Their top two lines were disasters at even strength and despite strong special teams, the Habs had 41 fewer powerplays than penalty kills.  This led to them having the third most shots against in the league.  Their entire third line – which had the best plus minus the most consistency  and the best chemistry was the only part of the team that Gainey replaced. 

    Bonk, Johnson and Perezhogin were not the problem with the Habs, they were what was right with the Habs.  Tinkering with the part that's is fine – is dumb, useless and a waste of time. 

    The Habs could still finish in 6th-8th place like any other season. 

  7. Toonces99 says:

    This years Habs will prove to be an interesting bunch…l look forward to watching them play….

  8. habsrock99 says:

    i never said Bouillon was the cause, i said him returning to the line up started a chain reaction that led to other things that led to Montreal missing the playoffs. Ultimately it was Huet's fault why the Hasb missed the play-offs. He won once in a month span and looked like an amateur during the final game of the season.

    When Bouillon came back, the Habs were 4th in the East and just 4 points behind the Sabres for 1st and 12 points ahead of the 8th seed. The only reason the Habs stayed competitive was because of the lead they built early in the year. Bouillon returning messed with the Habs chemistry and causeed them to go into a mini-slump that ultimately lasted for the rest of the year.

    Huet was terrible in that Leafs game. He let in several weakass goals such as the Antropov attempted pass that somehow got in. He looked more like Aebischer then Huet. It also didn't help with Begin making the Habs go down 2 men cuz he took a stupid 4 minute high sticking penalty at the end of the 2nd period.

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