Habs line up for the start of 07-08***NOT FINAL***

Ok, here’s what I have come up with so far for Montreal’s line up come October. NOTE, this isn’t final and is based on what I believe it will look like as of this very moment ( 1:23 PM, July 5, 2007)

Latendresse-Koivu-Ryder

Higgins-Plekanec-Kovalev

Grabovski-Smolinski-A. Kostitsyn

Begin-Lapierre-Kostopoulos

Murray, Chipchura, D’Agostini, S. Kostitsyn

Markov-Hamrlik

Komisarek-Gorges

Streit-Dandeneault

Bouillon, Archer, Cote, Jancevski, O’Byrne

Huet-Halak

Price

I believe the only spots that are really up for grabs are: Grabovski’s, A. Kostitsyn’s, Begin’s, Lapierre’s, and Kostopoulos’ as well as Gorges, Streit and Dandeneault. I have Bouillon on the outside looking in because,. is it just me, or did Montreal’s troubles begin once he came back from injury in December? Now, this next part is what I believe each player that I have in the line up doing this upcoming season.

Latendresse- 20 G 25 A 45 PTS (Will continue to grow and fact he has a permanent line will help a lot)
Koivu- 22 G 45 A 67 PTS (Might be his last year as Habs #1 Centre)
Ryder- 35 G 30 A 65PTS (Will become more consistent)

Higgins- 25 G 25 A 50 PTS (No injury will help keep him in a groove)
Plekanec- 25 G 35 A 60 PTS (Will continue to grow as Habs future #1 C)
Kovalev- 18 G 25 A 43 PTS (This may be a little generous but he might surprise us this year)

Grabovski- 15 G 20 A 35 PTS (Decent rookie campaign)
Smolinski- 17 G 26 A 43 PTS (Will help his wingers adjust to the NHL)
A. Kostitsyn- 10 G 15 A 25 PTS (Might be better then what I expect)

Begin- 10 G 8 A 18PTS (PK is where his ice time lies)
Lapierre- 10 G 15 A 25 PTS (Might emerge as Habs best Face off Man)
Kostopoulos- 7 G 10 A 17 PTS (Teamed with Begin and Lapierre, a less talented Grind Line (Draper-Maltby-McCarty in Detroit in the 90’s)

Hamrlik- 10 G 35A 45 PTS (Will put up what’s expected of him)
Markov- 8 G 55 A 63 PTS (Out of Souray’s shadow and will emerge as Habs best playmaking D-Man since Desjardins)

Komisarek- 8 G 25 A 33 PTS (Increased role and ice time as well as PP time)
Gorges- 7 G 20 A 27 PTS (Full year under Carbo’s system will help him)

Streit- 15 G 15 A 30 PTS (Breakthrough year will continue)
Dandeneault- 7 G 8 A 15 PTS (Not gonna be a Hab much longer)

Huet- 19-16-10, 2.58 GAA, .905 SV% (Can’t win more then 19 games)
Halak- 18-7-5, 2.25 GAA, .915 SV% (Will be this years Toskala)
Price- 4-1-2, 2.16 GAA, .930 SV% (Will get first shot a NHL action)

Total- 41-24-17 99 Points (I know, I know, probably won’t happen but I’m basing this on if every Hab player does what I think they’ll do but a probably more realistic record would be 37-30-15 89 Points)

I believe that if my “predictions” come true, the Habs will lock up a play off spot in the 6-8 seed range, even if they only get 89 points. If they happen to start the way they did last year and continue to play like that, I believe a division title isn’t totally out of the question. I’m probably being more generous then I should but, I’m hopeful. I don’t seriously think that every player will score that many goals or points but I think its about the right range for each player.