Projections for the Habs in 2006-07

Ladies and Gents, the dust has settled for the Habs this off-season. With the exception of Ryder who will be signed within the next 2 weeks, one way or another, the roster is set. Assuming that Gainey does not pull off a trade involving Abby anytime soon, which could involve multiple players, these are the Montreal Canadiens we will see opening night.

The lineup (23-man roster):

Higgins – Koivu – Ryder

Samsanov – Ribeiro – Kovalev

Perezhogin – Plekanec – Johnson

Murray – Bonk – Begin

*Kostitsyn, Downey

Markov – Komisarek

Souray – Rivet

Dandenaut – Bouillon




Things to take into consideration:

First off, the health of Saku Koivu and whether he is able to make a return to hockey. By all reports, the surgery went well but the eye isn’t healing as well as the doctors had hoped. People are still optimistic that he will make a succesfull return, and I really hope so cause his lost is irreplaceable. He has been the Habs leader, heart, and soul for a long time and will be needed if the Habs hope to be at all succesfull.

That aside, Ribeiro is the next question mark. Carbo said that he sees Ribeiro playing alongside Samsanov and Kovalev, which has a lot of offensive potential. Ribeiro comes into this season with a lot to prove: he was suppose to take advantage of the new rules, but instead was shown to be lacking the speed and desire. If he has a strong rebound, then we have no worries. If not, then Johnson may be his replacement. Johnson has experience as center, as well as speed and offensive instinct. While Gainey described him a strong third-liner, he played on the top 2 lines in Pheonix. His size is also great for the center position, although he doesn’t play with a physical edge.

The 3rd and 4th lines have a good deal of potential, with prospets able to play in case of injuries.

The defence and goaltending are pretty set, and if/until Abby gets traded, it will be a Huet – Abby goaltending tandem. Gainey said that if he signed Bouillon, he was not planning on making any additions to the blue-line, so don’t expect any new gritty d-men coming our way. Komisarek should continue to improve, who brings a big physical presence. If Souray learns from his few highlight reel mistakes, he should be again a great top 4 d-man. Rivet is always steady, as is Boullion. Dandenaut is the weakest of the 6 regular d-men, but showed strong improvement late in the season. I expect to see similar play all next season, which leaves Streit as a much improved 7th defenceman, compared to last season.

Huet needs to demonstrate that he can preform as he did in 30-odd games for 50-60 games. I think he can, but Montreal would be well advised to have a strong backup, as it seems in the new NHL backup goaltenders are playing an important role.

With this lineup in place, Montreal should make the playoffs. However, the Habs will once again be in one of the hardest divisions of the league. The Leafs are much improved, and a healthy d-corp plus new goaltending will help. Ottawa is still dangerous, as is Buffalo. Boston is stronger, as Chara and Savard bring much needed skill to the Bruins.

I project the Habs to land 4-6 in the conference. The rookies have all improved, so look for them to increase their production. This, of course, all hinges on Koivu making a healthy return.

16 Responses to Projections for the Habs in 2006-07

  1. habsfan2006 says:

    good article i agree with you 100%

  2. habsoverserver says:

    I wonder if Montreal will protect Bonk in the waiver draft.

    Tough to pay a fourth line center 2.4 mil with a salary cap. He will probably play third line, just because of how much he earns.

    The third line has no checkers. I can’t see how that makes sense. A third line with Begin Bonk and Johnson is more likely.

    I don’t much room on the team for Kostitsyn.

  3. Les-Habitants says:

    I really don’t see the 3rd line as a checking line, but the ‘prospects’ line. To be honest, I expect some offensive output from that line, as Johnson, Plekanec, and Perezogin can score goals. Kostitsyn will work to replace offensive players whom get injured/need a rest, while Downey is there to add muscle if the situation requires it. The energy line will be our 4th line, who will also have the checking line duties.

    That’s how I see it anyway, and if last season can serve as an example, that is how it will pan out.

  4. kinslayer says:

    OKay first thing : Toronto dell with some old players with not a lot of talent but grat leadership (Peca) and one very good player (Sundin). They fired the Old BElfor for the weak Andrew Raycroft. He Had one good year, with Boston and it was hi rookie year. They have one good dman in Bryian Mccabe and one good Player (Ales steen) and teh rest of the team…well I wiill say nothing.

    Boston : They aded CHara And savard…Those 2 guys will not help the team as much as Joe Thornton did it with Glen Murray, Samsonov and Nick Boynton.

    Otaawa : WTF…MArtin Gerber as goalie #1 ???, they Have a good defence but that’s all but they have a lot of young and old good player. (Heatly,alfredson,Vermette, Henessy,Redden). They will be great this year but they will not won the cup.

    BUffalo : Let see what wil happen but they will be one of the best team of the NHL.

    The habs : They will be great if Saku return healthy and if Bob get us a big #1 center. We have a verry good defence, a good attack (all our forward can score) and 2 verry good goalers !! We will be in the top 8 NHL team this year !!

    Go habs go !!

  5. JJ-Dynomite says:

    if Ryder and Koivu come back, then id say possibly 5th or 6th that if Huet repeats. overall a good article

  6. passionch says:

    4th to a possibly worst 8th ranking in the Eastern Conference. Montreal has improved much this season and not many question marks are above the fans head so little controversy which means the team will be having less pressure. Even if Huet doesn’t perform like last season, with Abby, Montreal will still make the playoffs. However, Buffalo and Ottawa will be tough rivals for top in this tough division where T.O. can surprise. Boston will be 9th.

  7. TheStryker says:

    I have a feeling that Markov won’t be in Montreal by the time christmas rolls around. He somehow feminds me of a former Russian d-man that played in Montreal, VLADIMIR MALAKHOV. Filled with talent but no heart. He has alot of trade value. Maybe package him with Ryder and Reibeiro and go after a stud D-man and a big center.

    What do you think hab lovers ???

  8. Les-Habitants says:

    I would have to disagree with the Malakhov vs Markov comparison. I’ve seen Markov plays, and he plays hard. Malakhov had talent, but was like a Ribeiro on defence except he didn’t even want to be in Montreal. Markov is the real deal, and I hope that he remains a hab for a long time.

    It’s about time teams start showing loyalty, and players too. I hope if one thing the cap does, it forces some GMs to be loyal to their players.

  9. leafssuck67 says:

    i agree, except for the leafs and bruins bit…instead of rebuilding they both should, they got high priced guys that wont mesh. this is more true for boston. toronto just sux this year and i sincerely doubt they will push for 8th

  10. leafssuck67 says:

    totally right…except switch mccabe for kaberle and ur right…cuz mccabe is as good as sourray and kaberle is arguably the best player on the team

  11. leaf_20 says:

    see this is what i dont get the leaf fans get bashed for being to full of the leafs why is it that montreal doesnt. and an other thing i was reading a post up further that said the leafs have a week goalie one good defensemen and a bunch of old players the average age on the leafs is 26, our goalie played 2 seasons he won rookie of the year and then played with a SHITTY team. we signed kubina and kaberle who are both amazing d-men and its ALEX steen but your forgeting we also have stajan, wellwood, ponicoravski and o’niell.(who may have had a bad season but give him a break his brother died) so the thing is you montreal fans are even more full of ur team then we are of ours

  12. HockeyGirlHH says:

    I don’t think Gainey has trade plans for Markov. When Gainey took over behind the bench last season, Markov was really his go-to dman. I think he has a lot of confidence in him. I think if there’s one thing Gainey knows – it’s that making extreme roster changes will hurt your team more than it will help it.

    Gainey wants the old kinda habs. Players drafted and groomed into All-Stars within the organization. He wants loyal, dynasty-type players like his team back in the day.

  13. toughend says:

    I still say GET RID of Souray. He bashes Montreal and makes fun of french people calling us “frogs!” And then turns around to the media and acts sweet and says how much he loves it here!!! He needs his A— kicked!

  14. 100_years_of_glory09 says:

    When was this? i follow the habs intensively all year around and i never heard anything like that.

  15. PolO780 says:

    You Leafs fans don’t seem to understand. Kaberle had a minus 17 rating last season and only 5 goals on an offensive oriented team.

    Raycroft won the Calder trophy while hiding beheind a stacked Bruins team before being exposed by the Habs in the playoffs and the following season.

    Hal Gill is a Pilon who dosen’t skate, have of the Leafs prospects you just named who only be 2-3 line players and Jeff O’Neill is washed up.

    The Habs are stacked with good prospects and a bright future unlike the Leafs.

Leave a Reply