Montreal Canadiens 2005-2006

By Marco Normandin

PAYROLL: 25,5M$ (09/02)

GM: Bob Gainey, 2nd Season with the team.

COACH: Claude Julien, 3rd Season with the team.



– Mathieu Garon (L.A. Kings)

– Joe Juneau (Retired)

– Stephane Quintal (Retired)

– Jason Ward (N.Y. Rangers)

– Darren Langdon (N.J. Devils)

– Andreas Dackell

– Karl Dykhuis

– Jim Dowd (Chicago BlackHawks)

– Patrice Brisebois (Colorado Avalanche)

– Yanic Perreault (Nashville Predators)

– Gavin Morgan


– Radek Bonk (Ottawa Senators)

– Christobal Huet (L.A. Kings)

– Mathieu Dandenault (Detroit Red Wings)

– Alex Kovalev (UFA / Resigned)

– Mark Streit (Swiss League)

– Peter Vandermeer (Detroit Red Wings)

– Jonathan Aitken (Vancouver Canucks)

TEAM MODE: The Habs are entering their 4th year (out of 5) of their rebuilding phase. They aren’t going to compete for the cup just yet, but they proved last season that they are to be taken seriously. The longer off-season gave the Habs’ young group of prospects (ranked top-5 in the league by most experts) extra time to develop, which might help them cause even more surprises this year. The new rules should be favourable to the young and speedy Habs, let’s hope for them the officiating stays constant all year long, or else their small size up front will be exposed just like every year before.

TO TAKE CHARGE!: Even though Saku Koivu is the captain and leads by example, one player will be the main factor this year and it is goaltender Jose Theodore. Forget about the new rules taking away liberty of the goalies, he is still the main actor for this team that doesn’t have a good enough defense yet, to contend with the forces of the league. He proved once and he’ll need to prove it again, that he can steal games and series by himself if the Habs want to make it into the playoffs and even past the first round.

ON THE RUSH: The re-signing of Alex Kovalev will take a lot of pressure of off a guy like Richard Zednik or even sophomore Michael Ryder. Given that the new rules are respected and called all year long, he should retrieve his chemistry of the past along with Koivu & Zednik and have a great offensive year. He is the flashy superstar that the fans wanted for so long in Montreal. Mike Ribeiro should continue to get better and look forward for him to have a career season, playing for his next contract after signing a one-year deal this summer. He’ll probably get some ice-time along with Kovalev from time to time and even though both didn’t have much time to adapt to each other last year, they could make some highlight-reel plays this season. Saku Koivu should have the same kind of season he usually have, given that he does not go down again due to injuries. Playing a full year with Kovalev & Zednik could even give him a career year in terms of points. Also, one forgotten player that will help Claude Julien try some things offensively is ex-Senator Radek Bonk. He is more than likely to center the 3rd line, but could be switched around to kickstart some players in a slump for example, he has enough offensive talent to be considered as a valid option. He should get some PP time as well. It should also be noted that the Habs will have one of the most efficient third line in the league with three great two-way players in Nicklas Sundstrom, Radek Bonk and Jan Bulis.

COVERING THE D-ZONE: Now moving on to the weakest link of this team, the defense. Even though thay have some very talented defensemen in Sheldon Souray, Andrei Markov, Craig Rivet and Mathieu Dandenault, the problem is: None of them is a #1 defensemen. Rounding up the defense squad are Francis Bouillon, prospects Mike Komisarek & Ron Hainsey. Newly acquired Jonathan Aitken and Mark Streit could also have an outside shot at earning a regular spot. The first thing that you see when you analyse Montreal’s defense is the size of their d-men. Luckily for them, Komisarek should earn a regular spot this year and Aitken might also be helpful on a spare time basis. Realistically, this is still not enough, though. Given the size of their forwards, the Habs just can’t have a small defensive squad and that is why they’ll have to acquire a big strong top-3 defensemen before the end of the season. Even though not many expect Sheldon Souray to repeat his last season’s performances, he has a lot of pressure carrying this defense squad on his back. Markov and Rivet should help him out, but he’ll be expected to be the team quarterback this year with the departure of Patrice Brisebois.

GUARDING THE NET: Not much to debate here, it is all about Theo. However, with an injury this offseason, Christobal Huet might have lost his chance to play in Habtown this year as Yann Danis seems to be ready to make the jump in the NHL. Jaroslav Halak or Olivier Michaud might both have an outside chance of making the cut, but if you’d have to bet I’d suggest you to take Danis as this year’s helper for Theodore. Talking about Theodore, he shouldn’t have much difficulties adapting to his new equipment / new rules because of the facts that a) he wasn’t much of a puck mover around his net to begin with and b) he was already playing with ”small’’ (in the old NHL) pads. The little parts removed from his pads will give him extra speed if anything so I wouldn’t worry one bit about that.

PROSPECTS: This year should be exciting for Habs fans in terms of prospects. We all know that the Montreal organization has always been slow moving prospects up to the big team and when there, giving them quality ice time along with players from the first or second line. But this year might be different as a lot of the team’s best prospects have matured quite a bit in this lengthy lockout and are now ready to make the cut, which might force the hand of Claude Julien and Bob Gainey. Some of the organization’s best most exciting prospects includes:

Christopher Higgins – This 22 year-old gritty, although rather small, forward is not afraid to take a hit and playing a hard-nosed style. Can play just about anywhere from second to fourth line and have a decent offensive upside.

Andrei Kostsitsyn – This 20 year-old right winger selected tenth overall by the Habs was right away tagged as ”the steal of that year’s draft”. However, along with this tag came in small letter the following warning: ”*If he isn’t affected too much by his sickness and his back stays healthy”. This Belarussian has amazing puck-handling skills along with a great shot and above-average speed. Could be a great asset for the Habs and become a fan-favorite… If he manages to stay healthy.

Alex Perezhogin – When not busy slashing other players in the face, this 22 year-old right winger can play great hockey. Considered a natural scorer by some, he is also considered a solid playmaker by others. Perezhogin is another fast and spectacular player that should be loved by the Montreal fans and he might have great odds at earning a spot with the Habs as soon as this season.


1. Zednik – Koivu – Kovalev

2. Perezhogin/Dagenais – Ribeiro – Ryder

3. Sundstrom – Bonk – Bulis

4. Dagenais/Perezhogin – Begin – Higgins

Regular Defensemen








1. Theodore

2. Danis


This article was written 3 weeks ago so that explains why there’s nothing on Guillaume Latendresse or Marcel Hossa.

However if I had to decide this year’s line combos I’d go with those:

1. Zednik – Koivu – Ryder

2. Plekanec/Dagenais – Ribeiro – Kovalev

3. Hossa – Bonk – Bulis

4. Sundstrom – Begin – Higgins


Kovalev & Zednik can’t seem to pass the puck to each other and I don’t see this line staying together all year long. Ribeiro being the best playmaker of the team and Kovalev being the best sniper, it’d make a great combo.

Also, after being Marian Hossa’s linemate in Ottawa, Radek Bonk found instant chemistry with his Hossa’s young brother Marcel.

Latendresse won’t make the cut and that will be the smartest move for the Habs as there are plenty of good prospects ready to make the big jump. Hossa & Plekanec have to be waived to be sent to the minors so don’t expect the Habs to give ’em for free to another team.


EXPECTATIONS: The Habs are expected by most to finish between 7th and 9th in the Eastern Conference, however most agrees on the fact that they have a solid enough team to make the playoffs and not worry about missing the big dance. This will mostly depends on the performances of Jose Theodore, though.

PROJECTED: I, for myself, project them to finish between 6th and 8th in the Eastern Conference this season. I have almost no worries about them missing the playoffs as I am quite confident that Theodore should have a very good season and that the new rules will help their speedy forwards take advantage of the big defensemen of their rival teams. I do not see them past the 6th position this season, but I’d say if they are managed wisely, they are 2 to 3 years away from being cup contenders.

I am looking forward to see the NEW NHL, and I hope you enjoyed reading this preview of the Montreal Canadiens. I wish you all a great season!

Thank you for reading.

Marco Normandin

HTR Vice-Admin

85 Responses to Montreal Canadiens 2005-2006

  1. Air33 says:

    Nice accurate article.

  2. TheWho says:

    Good review, but you forgot a few prospects.

    I see montreal finishing between 4th and 6th.

    our line-up will be something like this:










  3. Tweek says:

    Im sorry and i’m probably the only one in the world who thinks this but Jose Theodore seems overated to me. I mean he’s good and all but great? I thought Garon was just as good as he was in Montreal and im pretty sure this Danis guy will put up the same numbers as well. Theodore seems to let in soooo many weak goals, way more then the other “elite” guys in the league and he can never seem to turn it up another notch against a team other then Boston in the playoffs. Ill get ripped for this but whatever. The habs will easily make the playoffs and should be fun to watch this year and I expect Kovalev to rip in 35 to 40 goals this year.

  4. Habfanforever says:

    The thing with the Habs is they have a 1.5 line, two second lines and a thrid line, speaking in terms of player caliber. I firmly believe Marcel Hossa will make some noise this year because he seems resolved mentally to overcome his past confidence issues and its already paying off on the ice. A line of Hossa, Bonk and Bulis would fare well under the new rules for a number of reasons. Speed and chemistry are the two most important ones. Speed for obvious reasons and chemistry because being from the same regions in Europe, they basically know each other’s style and have already shown chemistry in the preseason. Bonk was quoted to saying that he’ll do anything he can to help out Marcel Hossa reach his potential and so far, Hossa has shown to be most assertive when on a line with Bonk. I guess the question is, who better to help him than the guy who played so long with his brother in Ottawa?

    Plekanec, Perezhogin and Higgins ALL deserve roster spots which makes the coaching staff scratch their heads. Who to cut? Dagenais? Sundstrom? Do we rotate them? or give them all permanent spots? How will this work is beyond me but watching these four guys skate circles around the Leafs the other night left me scratching my head myself.

    Goaltending is not an issue. Theodore seems as solid as ever and Danis has shown some brilliance in the preseason so he should be a fit replacement for Huet.

    Ryder looks hungry to play and I don’t see any let up coming from him. His sophmore jinx never happened because his follow up year was in sweden where he racked up a good share of points. Ribeiro still looks like a question mark to me. He can be great but he can be bad as well under the new rules, he’s a hard player to gage in these situations. His diving will have to stop however because he obviously won’t get away with that in the new NHL.

    My picks:

    Team MVP: Alexei Kovalev

    Top scorer: Alexei Kovalev

    High-risk, high payoff: Saku Koivu

    Guy to watch out for: Jan Bulis (seriously, I saw him in the pre-season opener, he was all over the ice)

    I’m expecting a great year from the Habs. A 6th overall in the east finish is realistic.

    GO HABS GO!!!!

  5. habswinthecup-again says:

    The Habs finish anywhere between 3rd and 5th in the Eastern Conference, ahead of Toronto and Boston, and maybe even ahead of Ottawa( if Hasek gets hurt or just plain sucks).

  6. thatleafsguy says:

    Montreal will finish between 7th-10th spot in the conference, they are still to small, their D is marginal at best, and they lack grit and toughness. Montreal will be lucky if they get into the playoffs. Other than Ottawa, there are no “locks” to make the playoffs. The Eastern conference is way to parallel.

  7. TheWho says:

    c’mon man, im a huge habs fan, but gotta be realistic too, a head of Ottawa, thats gonna be tough, but Boston, its possible.

  8. habswinthecup-again says:

    I said if Hasek gets hurt or if he sucks they might finish ahead of them.

  9. Starkey77 says:

    Well in that case you should’ve said that Montreal will finish anywhere between 2nd-15th…

  10. Starkey77 says:

    Another great article. I’m beginning to really enjoy these team assessments and commenting on them. Good job guys!

    On a Habs note, I believe they have a couple more years of development before they become a force in this new NHL. They’re young and very gifted but there’s still a few pieces of the puzzle that are lost but I bet Bob Gainey will find them soon enough.

    In goal they seem to be one of the more better off teams in the league with Jose Theodore but I do have my doubts in Yann Danis and what he brings but time will tell I guess and I expect Theodore to take on more than the majority of the load this year unless a freak injury arises. They look sound in net so no worries there.

    On the backend protecting Theodore is where the Habs will be the most vulnerable as you said. With Brisebois gone (even though I thought it was a good move with his ridiculous salary) we’re left with Souray, Rivet (who I believe is overpayed as well), and Markov. By no means is Dandenault an upgrade from Brisebois and if anything it’s a downgrade. In order for this defensive unit to compare to last year and hopefully surpass it, Komisarek and Hainsey will have to step up in a big way and I just don’t see that happening this year. The Habs need a top-tier defenseman with size and not necessarily quaterbacking skills but experience and leadership to take them to the next level.

    Up front the Habs seem solid enough to hold their own and with the new rules speed will overcome size or so we’re lead to believe… I like the firepower brewing on the top 2 lines and expect big years from Kovalev and Ribeiro. My favorite part of this line-up is the 3rd line lead by Bonk and hopefully alongside him Bulis and Hossa. It’s a make or break year for Hossa and I think with the guidance of Bonk he will turn heads and have a solid year. Still need a bit more size and grit up front in my opinion.

    The problem is the amount of prospects expecting to break through this year, if you can call that a problem at all. Plekanec expects to crack the roster after leading the Bulldogs in scoring the past two seasons and then there’s Higgins and Perezhogin. Where do you put these guys? How do you keep them happy? Those questions will be answered soon enough and I expect all three of these guys to crack the line-up at some point this year.

    With Bob Gainey in charge how can you be worried if you’re a Habs fan? He’s a genius and will always find a way to put together the best team and win. When the Habs made him GM I think you heard the sigh of relief throughout the busy streets of Montreal and with good reason: this guy is here to win and will make the best decisions to get to the top. Mark my words, Montreal will be a contender within the next 3 years!

  11. simplyhabby says:

    I have a feeling this year that Dagenais will be seeing a lot of healthy scratch time. With perezhogin most likely taking his spot, there is still Pleckanec, Hossa and Higgins all deserving of a spot.

    I think it would be a great idea if Montreal could trade Dagenais and Rivet to Washington for Witt. That would add the size and grit Montreal desperately needs on the D.

    One thing that is going against the habs and pretty much every team in the North East is playing in the North East. Extremely talented division with 4 playoff teams.

  12. Starkey77 says:

    Very well said. I agree that the Habs have to free up room up front for up and comers like Perezhogin, Plekanec, and Higgins and possible casualties are Sundstrom and Dagenais.

    The Dagenais and Rivet for Witt deal is briiliant and I wouldn’t doubt if Bob Gainey agreed fully and offered the trade tomorrow morning. Freeing up room for either of the prospects and getting a #1 D-man in Witt makes so much sense and I don’t like Rivet all that much anyways.

    The Northeast division is definitely the tougest in the league with all 5 teams looking to make the playoffs and focusing on improving the blueline in Montreal will prove vital in the end.

    GO HABS GO!!!

  13. capouel says:

    You are sooo right !!

  14. robinson19 says:

    The Habs need a big strong experienced checking defenseman, to play probably with Dandenault if the other pairs are passt season’s Souray-Komisarek and Rivet-Markov. This would leave Streit, who wants it but needs to improve his defensive play, and Hainsey, who is lazy, to battle it out with already developing Boullion for the extra D position.

    Who in the league needs young flashy wingers, and therefore could benefit from the Habs surplus of great prospects, while having the afforementioned Dman. Any ideas? Jackman in St.Louis? would he be quite worth a Sundstrom/Plekanec or Perezhogin/Hainsey type deal?

    Help me out here, people!

  15. capouel says:

    Even if Hasek is hurt the sens will score more goals than they will allow. And Emery is ready to play some games. If he fails, they have enough dept to make a trade.

  16. thatleafsguy says:

    Even though the conference is parallel the Habs are not good enough to compete for spots 1 through 6, there is more required of a team then what Montreal has. Size, defense, toughness, Montreal reminds me of the Sens teams of 1997-2000, decent but needs to make alot of strides.

  17. porkchops says:

    With Khavanov, Pronger and MacInnis gone, Jackman probably isn’t leaving saint lou.

    Witt from washington is apparently looking for a trade. He would be a decent pickup for a bit less than Jackman. Sundstrom/ Hainsley for Witt maybe???

  18. Montrealsdogg says:

    what kind of comment is that?? i’m sorry but Montreal won’t have a hard time making the playoffs, their D is far from “marginal” and it is not spectacular but a capable bunch. They won’t have to fight that hard to get in, but will likely have a hard time getting into the top 4 group.

  19. CanDude says:

    I do think Theodore is slightly overrated. But only slightly.

    To believe that Garon was as good is really bad thinking. Rating Garon on the few games he’s played is like rating Theodore on the games he played in 2002 where everything went nuts. He never was as good since. But he’s still a fine goaltender.

    Lets in weak goals, but came through MANY MANY times when the team couldn’t.

    Garon has potential, but he’s no Theodore yet.

    Danis will not put up the same numbers. Remember that Garon was never as good as that time where he basically stood on his head and made the news. When everyone went “Who’s Garon? WOW! He’s amazing”. Then never was able to follow that performance properly.

    You need to play more than 19 games to be rated.

  20. canadaownshockey says:

    GREAT ARTICLE. I get a little skepticle when reading about the Habs, because it seems most of the time, people are unrealistic about this team. They just hop ont he bandwagon. I mean after Latendresse’s first game people were already saying he’d win the calder and the Con Smythe. But a great article you nailed very accurate in my opinion. Good Job

  21. Saku11Habs says:

    Overated? I think the real underlying problem here is the comparison that is always made between Martin Brodeur and Jose Theodore. I take nothing away from Martin for he is truly one of the greats to play the game. However, where would Martin Brodeur be if New Jersey #1 didn’t have a great trap system and #2 Have a great defense in front of him. Jose has never really had a solid defense playing in front of him. Sure at times guys like Markov and Souray have had outstanding stretches but really when was the last time that we talked about the Habs Defense positively? Look, Jose Theodore is no Patrick Roy, Jacques Plante, or Georges Vezina! He is a good, potentially great goaltender though. He has shown flashes of brilliance when it seemed as if everything else on the Habs was failing. He is one of the top 5 goaltenders in the league. How can that be overated?

  22. habsoverserver says:

    Thorough and even-handed.

  23. dan27 says:

    Wow. just another Leafs fan comment.

    Upset that the Leafs are old and useless? Heard Lindros is injured already. HAHA.

  24. Tweek says:

    Ive never compated Martin to Jose, its not even a question as to who is better. I never said theodore was bad, he’s not great though. I can think of plenty goalies better then Theodore at this time…





    -Bulin Wall




    Now Theodore isnt better then any of those guys yet for some reason he is always paired up there with them and im sure people will argue he’s better then Raycroft but I would respect that opinion I suppose but I just disagree.

  25. Montrealsdogg says:

    i’m a hab fan, and i really think that Latendresse will go back to juniors

  26. habs79 says:

    03/04 numbers

    Brodeur- 75 games 2.03 GAA .917 SP

    Nabokov- 59 games 2.20 GAA .921 SP

    Kipper- 38 games 1.69 GAA .933 SP

    Raycroft- 57 games 2.05 GAA .926 SP

    Bulin Wall- 55 games 2.33 GAA .910 SP

    Belfour- 59 games 2.13 GAA .918 SP

    Hasek- 14 games 2.20 GAA .907 SP

    Loungo- 72 games 2.43 GAA .931 SP

    Theodore- 67 games 2.27 GAA .919 SP

    Well there you go his numbers put him among the leagues elite. Especially if you take into consideration that he has one of the weaker defenses of all these goalies which leaves him more exposed. I do agree that he gives up more soft goals then a goalie should. However a hart and a venzia trophy. One of the best playoff comebacks I’ve seen since the Canuks in the 94 playoffs. As far as Kipper and Raycroft go they had amazing years but you have to have more than one good year to be considered a great goalie. The name Jim Carey comes to mind and I don’t mean the actor. So I would wait on calling them elite until the end of this year.

  27. shapter07 says:

    montreal would be lucky to finish 7th.. how are they any better than last year? losing brisebois and getting dandenault isnt a game breaking move

  28. habs79 says:

    So that habs have a “marginal defense”, well in that case I would have to say the leafs defense is more that “marginal”. In fact it has been the one thing that has kept them from winning a cup. They always leave their goalies hanging out to dry.

  29. habs79 says:

    They are weak on D, but luckly for Gainey he has trade bait. With Perezhogan maybe taking Dagenais’ spot he would become a trade option. Given his decent numbers 50 games 17 goals 10 assists for 27 points, and a plus 15. He has shown he is to talented to be a healthy scratch. Gainey should move him instead of letting him rot. Another viable option is Sundstrom. Now alot of people on this site are saying packaging one of the players I mentioned along with the likes of Rivet or Hainsey for Witt. Although he would address their defensive needs. They still lack a true #1 a defenceman that is a offensive threat every game and isn’t a defensive liability. Maybe they should have made a try to land Pronger.

  30. Starkey77 says:

    St. Louis won’t let Barret Jackman go…

  31. Starkey77 says:

    LOL! When I read the wooha about Latendresse in La Presse I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself. The kid has tons of potential and will be an NHLer but please remember that he’s 18 years old with a lot yet to learn. Knowing Gainey, he’ll let Latendresse dominate in Drummondville this year and then give him a shot with the Bulldogs before letting him crack the line up.

  32. garyroberts7 says:

    Finally a Hab fan that realizes the Canadiens have a slim to none chance at winning there division.

  33. robinson19 says:

    That would work…

  34. habsoverserver says:

    Here’s why the Habs should not trade Sundstrom to make room for LaTendresse:

    1. The converse of more powerplays is more penalty kills. The Habs need two strong pk units. You need veterans on the pk.

    2. The checking line is not the place for a sniper to develop. Too much devensive responsibility.

    3. Depth is a huge adavantage in a salary cap league.

  35. trashcan says:

    This looks to me to be about right for the line combos.

  36. CanDude says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Boynton ended up in Montreal.

    It’s exactly what they need.

  37. simplyhabby says:

    Definately agree. You can easily argue that Sundstrom is our best Pk man and as you indicated, there will be a lot of PKs this year.

    Another reason is if you give Guilliame a roster spot, that counts as year one of 7 to free agency. Lets see how the team does this year and assess Guiliames possible role next year when he is more and mature and hospefully even more effective.

  38. AfroCon says:

    Plekanec can easily do Sundstrom job.

    If you want to make room for Latendresse, it’s Dagenais you need to move and as of now, the only forward that hits is Latendresse.

    Montreal needs him or someone else to do start hitting.

  39. AfroCon says:

    I think Markov can be that offensive threat this year.

    He should be able to easily make 40-50 points.

  40. AfroCon says:

    No but having a bunch of young players play a year with the big boys in Europe and having Bonk instead of Juneau sure is an improvement.

    Having Kovalev for the whole year instead of just a couple of games with Koivu should also be an improvement.

    Only time will tell but this team looks much improved when you take the time to look at it and watch the games and read the after-game reports.

  41. AfroCon says:

    How is Zednik-Koivu-Kovalev not a legitimate first line?

  42. habsoverserver says:

    At this point, I’d wait to see how Plekanec, Hossa and the other possible rookies do over the first 20 games before getting rid of a known quantity like Dagenais.

    Dagenais won’t hit or pass but he can put the puck in the net and he’s cheap.

    I agree about the hitting. That’s why I thought Bonk does not fit on the third line.

  43. Habs69 says:

    It will be nice to see hom in Montreal but never Boston will trade Boynton to Montreal…maybe the Habs gonna do like the Bruins did with Jeff Hackett !!

    (Just a reminder… Hackett for Sundstrom and Hackett for McLaren)

  44. Saku11Habs says:

    By Tweek:

    And I quote!

    “im sure people will argue he’s better then Raycroft but I would respect that opinion I suppose but I just disagree”

    I appreciate your opinion but how can you judge Andrew Raycroft’s one season in the NHL with Jose Theodore’s 9? I take nothing away from Andrew but one season in the NHL makes it impossible to even determine that he is better. We shall see what he can do on the Bruins with their new lineup this year.

  45. CanDude says:

    Oh I remember.

    The thing is, the way the NHL works is that you can make trades between teams. hehe. BUT… with Boston… Montreal doesn’t do trades. And it’s the dumbest thing on earth.

    As you’ve mentioned concerning Hackett going to SanJose (the Boston) for Sundstrom. (And McClaren going to SJ).

    It’s insane. This deal is doable, but there’s this weird unspoken Bruins-Habs no-trade thing going on. SO weird.

  46. Tweek says:

    Looking at numbers dosnt show how good a goalie is bud, I would have put Turco ahead of Theodore if I went on numbers but when I watch Turco play nothing impresses me at all about Turco’s game and the same goes for me and Theodore. When I watch Kipper and Raycroft play they both play a style that works well in todays NHL, they are quick and stable in net. Jim Carey was neither during his “fluke” year, he was a goalie that used his reflezes and anticapation and when he lost that skill he just fell off the face of the earth. I again say Theo isnt bad but nor he is “franchise goalie” everybody makes him out to be, he is just solid.

  47. morrissey says:

    I smell a trade coming… there’s just too much talent up front and it’s all young players that need to play regularly to develop. Hossa, Pleckanec, Latendresse, Higgins, Perezhogin all look NHL ready but who to cut? Dagenais has had a decent camp, and did alrigth last year, I’d say he went beyond expectations anyway; Sundtrom has his uses, defensive players that aren’t slow, clutch and grab style are an asset int he new NHL… Begin is the grittiest guy on the team and Bulis looks set to explode with the camp he’s having. Something has to give and let’s face it we need a short term rentla backup goalie until Huet returns, Danis is not getting the job done and the defense could stand an improvement, its acceptable at best. We have some cap room, watch a top prospect go for a solid D-Man anytime soon!

  48. habsoverserver says:

    Don’t put too much faith in pre-season performances. I don’t remember anyone thinking that Ryder was going to be the leading rookie scoroer after training camp last year. The “smart money” was on Ward and Hossa, neither of whom met lofty expectations. This isn’t the first time Bulis has excelled in the pre-season.

    Let’s play 10-20 regular season games before assessing the youngsters. The NHL season is a grind. Many of these young players have never played 5 preason + 82 reg + playoffs (hopefully).

    My early guess is that Latendresse will not make the team but could join the team by mid-season.

  49. CanDude says:

    I agree in general with what you’re saying. Except that Ryder WAS setting up high expectations in camp. In fact he was the one who did THE best in camp last season.

  50. habs79 says:

    I would have to disagree, but that is just my opinion. I just go with the numbers because even if you do not like the style of play the numbers show that the style does work. However that is your opinion this is mine and they differ. That’s the thing with opinions there really is no right and wrong.

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