The Montreal Canadiens Mid-Season Report…

The Montreal Canadiens are pretty much where everybody thought they would be after 40 games, however, the path they followed to get there took a lot of fans by surprise.

Record

19-15-06 (44pts)

Division Rank

29-09-03 – Ottawa Senators

27-13-02 – Buffalo Sabres

24-15-03 – Toronto Maple Leafs

19-15-06 – Montreal Canadiens

16-20-06 – Boston Bruins

Conference Rank

Currently ranked 10th in the Eastern Conference, 1 point away from the 8th spot, with 3 games in hands on Tampa Bay (8th) and New Jersey (9th).

Other Stats

117 Goals For – 2.88 per game (21st in the NHL)

131 Goal Against – 3.25 per game (23rd in the NHL)

17.6% on the Power Play (16th in the NHL)

81.0% on the Penalty Killing (20th in the NHL)

30.7 Shots Per Game Average (9th in the NHL)

30.0 Shots Against Per Game Average (19th in the NHL)

Team Leaders

30gp – 10g – 21a – 31pts —> Saku Koivu

40gp – 18g – 11a – 29pts —> Michael Ryder

27gp – 08g – 19a – 27pts —> Alexei Kovalev

38gp – 07g – 19a – 26pts —> Mike Ribeiro

37gp – 05g – 20a – 25pts —> Andrei Markov

Key Injuries

Saku Koivu – Missed 10 games (Groin)

Alexei Kovalev – Missed 13 games (Knee Surgery)

Richard Zednik – Missed 9 games (Groin)

Sheldon Souray – Missed 5 games (Foot and Groin)

José Théodore – Missed 4 games (Knee)

Month-by-Month Recap

The Canadiens are lucky they got such a good start, keeping them in the race for the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference. How well will they do in the second half of the season…hard to say. So far, it’s been a real roller-coaster ride…

October

Record: 08-03-01 (17 points on 24)

The Canadiens looked good after a month, however, the general feeling in Montreal was that the Canadiens were lucky to have such a good start. 6 of the first 8 wins were by a 1 point margin, and Montreal fans knew that, eventually, this would become a problem. However, the Canadiens looked pretty good against top teams like Philadelphia and Ottawa, proving they could beat those teams. The Canadiens outshot their opponents in 9 of these 12 games, while keeping their opponent under 30 shots 8 times.

November

Record: 06-04-03 (15 points on 26)

Things started to get ugly for the Habs in November. Eventough the Canadiens managed to win the first 4 games of the month, something was not quite convincing. They pretty much stole 2 games against Buffalo in a home/away series, and all their wins were, again, by a 1 point margin. On November 14th, the Canadiens announced that Alexei Kovalev would need a knee surgery, and placed him on the injured list for the next 13 games. Koivu, Zednik and the others did what they could, but this injury seemed to shake their confidence quite a bit. On November 19th, the Canadiens lost an awful game to the Washington Capitals by a score of 5 to 1. This is where things started to decline.

December

Record: 04-06-02 (10 points on 24)

The Canadiens hit rock bottom…On December 1st, Saku Koivu suffered a groin injury, keeping him off the ice for 10 games. José Théodore went down too with a knee injury, and was forced to give his place to Crystobal Huet for 4 games. The Canadiens who used to find a way to win the close games couldn’t do it anymore, losing to struggling teams like Washington, again, and the Florida Panthers. With Koivu and Kovalev missing, Mike Ribeiro had to carry the offense, and failed to do it, leading a lot of fans to believe that he would be traded.

January

Record: 01-02-00 (2 points on 6)

With Koivu, Kovalev and Bonk back in the line-up, everybody in Montreal thought the Canadiens would be back on track. And maybe they would be if Jose Theodore would have made the key saves…or even, just the saves. Theodore let 3 of the first 4 shots go in against Pittsburgh, and let the very first shot of the game go in against New Jersey. The offense did what they could, but didn’t get a lot of help coming from the defense. 11 goals in 2 games is just too much for the Koivu, Kovalev and others…Crystobal Huet and Montreal’s defense had a solid game against Ottawa, finally giving a chance to Montreal’s fans to rejoice a bit…

Expectations For This Season

The Canadiens, just like all the NHL teams, have their faith in their hands. January isn’t going to be an easy month for them, and if they can get out of it with a .500 winning record, they could be okay. April is a crucial month for the Habs. They’ll meet the Bruins 3 times, and the Senators, the Sabres and the Devils twice. To be succesful, the Habs will need better performances from José Théodore. They have a decent offense, but they can’t expect to win more games than they’ll lose if Theodore don’t make the big saves. Bob Gainey could have a busy second half, the Habs are in need of something new…

Strenghts

The Canadiens have decent fowards, and a lot of depth. With young players such as Alexander Perezhogin, Thomas Plekanec, Chris Higgins and Andrei Kostitsyn already seeing valuable ice time this season, and prospects like Kyle Chipchura and Guillaume Latendresse, things could improve pretty quickly. They do have core players to help these kids, and a good leader in Saku Koivu. Andrei Markov is establishing himself as a true leader on defense, and I personally think that, someday, he’ll be considered for the Norris.

Weaknesses

Same as always…the Habs lack size and, sometimes, emotion. No doubt that Saku Koivu and Steve Begin are bringing it every night, but the Canadiens need a better and more constant effort from everyone on the team to be succesful. Is José Théodore there to stay ? Nobody knows…some say he should, some say we should trade him. One thing’s for sure, Théodore needs to find his game back, in Montreal or somewhere else. Mike Ribeiro is another one who’s on jeopardy right now. The Habs have been looking for a big right-handed center for years, and if they ever get it, Ribeiro will be sorry he didn’t take the opportunity to lead the team when Koivu was down. Sheldon Souray had a rough start this season, but he’s playing better now. He denied it, but I think his personal issues with his wife had something to do with his poor performances. Sure, he won’t post numbers like he did during the 03-04 season, but all we need is solid defense from him, and a goal here and there. The Habs could need more depth in defense, Mike Komisarek being the only valuable prospect we have.

The Future

Like I said previously, things are looking great for the Habs in the future. I really think Kyle Chipchura will be our next captain. He is a true leader (not only because he was Team Canada’s captain, but because that’s just who he is…) and I also think that Chris Higgins will eventually be an assistant. I know Thomas Plekanec really impressed Bob Gainey and Claude Julien, but I gotta say that Alexander Perezhogin and Andrei Kostitsyn were the biggest surprise for me.

Bob Gainey could be tempted to trade one of these prospects in return of a proven veteran, maybe in a package. Richard Zednik‘s future with the organisation seems to be uncertain, just like Mike Ribeiro. Niklas Sundstrom and Jan Bulis will become UFA at the end of the season, and I doubt the Canadiens will sign them to a new contract. If the young prospects are showing the can play in the NHL next year, don’t be surprise to see Gainey buyout Radek Bonk’s contract either. In a couple of years, the Habs line-up will look something like that;

Perezhogin – Koivu – Kovalev

Kostitsyn – Plekanec – Ryder

Latendresse – Chipchura – Higgins

Ferland – Begin – Murray

Markov – Komisarek

Souray – Rivet

Bouillon – Dandenault

Theodore

Danis

Price

And who knows who will be added to the team until then…

What I Would Do…Again !!!

I know some of you saw those “suggestions” in other articles, but I thought I would add them here…just to get more feedbacks on it I suppose. First thing I would do if I’m Bob Gainey; get some size. Viktor Kozlov in New Jersey or Michal Handzus in Philadelphia would be my first “targets”. The last time Montreal faced New Jersey, Kozlov was playing on the fourth line. I don’t really know what’s happening with him there, but he could be exactly what the Habs are looking for. He’s 6’5, and can play either center or left wing. I think he would be a good fit with Koivu and Kovalev. Handzus would be the ideal 2nd line center. There was some rumor, before Keith Primeau got injured, that the Flyers wanted to move him to make place to Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. I don’t know what his status his now tough…

Division trades aren’t commun in the NHL, but I would still give a phone call to Buffalo’s general manager regarding Taylor Pyatt and Maxim Afinogenov The first one would be a great linemate to Steve Begin, while the other one would be an upgrade, in my opinion, to Richard Zednik.

Finally, I would also try to get in touch with Calgary’s general manager and try to get one of their defenseman. Earlier this season, the reports from Calgary were that they were willing to trade one of their defenseman (Jordan Leopold to be more specific) for a 1st or 2nd line center. I doubt the Canadiens have what the Flames are looking for, but it doesn’t hurt to ask…and maybe Bob Gainey did already, I don’t know…

That’s pretty much it…do I trade Theodore ? Am I keeping Mike Ribeiro ? Not a clue…it all depends on what I could get in return I guess.

Oh…and please try to get your hands on Ian Laperriere and Denis Gauthier. I still can’t believe Gainey didn’t even tried to get Laperriere when he was a free agent…but offered a $2.3m contract to Radek Bonk…


31 Responses to The Montreal Canadiens Mid-Season Report…

  1. Rysto says:

    Montreal definitely does not want Handzus. You think that Bonk and Ribeiro are floaters? Handzus is even worse.

  2. Trickst says:

    future is not looking very bright for the habs!

    GO LEAFS GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. SensDude says:

    BIG TRADE IN MONTREAL COMING TONIGHT AGAINST COLORADO

    Bob Gainey. Mercredi 11 janvier 2006 – MONTRÉAL (PC) – La rumeur veut que les Canadiens annoncent une importante transaction avec l’Avalanche du Colorado au cours des prochaines heures.

    Bob Gainey a accompagné l’équipe à Denver, où ils jouent ce soir, tout comme Julien Brisebois, le directeur des opérations hockey et des affaires juridiques. Celui même qui règle les détails des contrats.

    Il est donc clair que Bob Gainey est allé rencontrer Pierre Lacroix, son homologue au Colorado, afin de discuter sérieusement d’échange. La question reste à savoir qui sera impliqué. Rappelons que la dernière fois qu’un dg des Canadiens a transigé avec Pierre Lacroix, Patrick Roy partait au Colorado.

    All it is says what is being saying all day, players like Rebeiro, Dagenais, Zednik, Bulis, Bonk and maybe Koivu are on the tradeblock

    2 sources say 2 blockbusters deal could be done tonight or tomorrow for the second one.

    RDS

    Energie radio

    Denver Post

    Journal de Montreal

    1 Blockbuster deal with Colorado

    Theo, Rebeiro, Dagenais

    for John Mickeal Liles, Aebisher and 3rd round pick

    Another blockbuster deal with Vancouver

    Vancouver would send Bertuzzi and Matt Cook, Morrisson

    Montreal would send maybe Koivu, Zednik, Rivet and 2 round pick

    those deal would be done during or after the match between Colorado and Montréal.

  4. Habfanforever says:

    Habs have better prospect depth at forward than any other team. Future is looking BRIGHT.

    Leafs suck.

    GO HABS GO

  5. SensDude says:

    hmmm I am not a leafs fan but hum your wrong on this …between Plekanec, Pereghozin, Krosthishyn I would prefer to have on my team Steen, Stajan and Wilm.

  6. Habfanforever says:

    Wilm???? ahahahahahahaha

  7. Gretzkin says:

    My favorite part of that article is the fact that the Leafs have only 5 less wins than the Ottawa Senators.

    That’s not a huge difference.

    Both Montreal and Ottawa got off to these excellent starts, dominating everybody on the league, and the Leafs keep plugging along. Even with key injuries to Lindros, Sundin, Allison. Czerkawski as a healthy scratch for many games, just to make it fair.

    The Toronto Maple Leafs can face adversity better than every other team in the League.

    I thought there was more division between the Ottawa and Toronto.

    Wow! All you Senators fans out there on your High Horses are actually just blowing a lot of Hot Air.

    5 games is not a lot. Especially for how *****y you guys have gotten.

    And there’s a big trade apparently in the works this evening between Montreal and Colorado.

    You guys are going to fall the hardest that you’ve fallen yet.

    You aren’t even going to get the chance to face the Oilers in the Final.

    Ottawa is going to be Golfing before any other team that makes the playoffs!

    WHOOOOO HOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

  8. Gretzkin says:

    Wilm’s got more fight in him than Theodore’s paedofile girlfriend’s dad’s Lawer.

    Oh wait, Theo’s gonna get traded tonight.

    Never mind. Not your problem.

    Wilm could play on the First Line for the drowning Habs

  9. Habfanforever says:

    The problem with you leaf fans is you smoke too much of that blue dope. However this excuses your extremely stupid assumptions regarding hockey and hockey facts. Go back to your fantasy leaf rumors. (which basically covers every player in the NHL)

    Leafs are overachieving right now and Habs are underachieving. By seasons end, Leaves will be playing golf and Habs will be in the playoffs.

  10. habs79 says:

    Everyone needs to relax. Did you thinks the Habs were going to make a run this year? The Habs are just going to slip into the playoffs or miss them like they have done in the past. Maybe they can pull off a first round upset depending on who they face? Bottom line they will go no farther then the second round if they even get that far.

    The only thing they need to do is wait. Let the young kids develope, DON’T trade any of them. The only moves they should be making this year is dumping the waste.

    Radek Bonk- Untradable right now cause no one will want him, if they could get a late draft pick for him great, if not buy him out in the off-season.

    Pierre Dagenais- Same as Bonk.

    Mike Ribiero- Yeah we all know he is a ***** and plays with no heart. However he is in his mid-20’s and has decent playmaking talent. I’m sure they could get AT LEAST some kind of draft pick for him.

    Mark Streit- I don’t understand why some people really like this guy, he is a pansey on defense, and he has really bad puck control. When he is on the powerplay a pass to the point ends up at center ice.

    Jan Bulis and Niklas Sundstrom- since they are going to be free agents. If Gainey can get anything for them great, if not let them go Higgins and Plekanec can fill their spots.

    Richard Zednick- Will go to a team that is looking for depth on the wings. Probably for a decent prospect and/or draft pick.

    Jose Theodore- Do they trade him or not. Well if Colorado is offering David Aebischer plus anything, Gainey should take it. Aebischer can’t do any worse and is alot cheaper. If anyone compares this to the Roy trade, they are complete morons who don’t watch hockey. Theodore is NOWHERE near the goalie Roy was, and Aebischer is 10 times better then Thibalt ever was. Thibalt was considered a bust when the Roy trade was made.

  11. Trickst says:

    Leafs aren’t overachieving leafs are GO LEAFS GO!

    Habs lack heart – hey, comes with the territory when you sign all these russian bums.

    ill take steen/wellwood/stajan over any trio of those russian younggunfairies (who i cant even name off the top of my head, because they’re obviously garbage and dont warrent media attention). GO LEAFS GO

  12. Gretzkin says:

    The Crazy thing is, I’m not a Leaf Fan, so you give me full crediblity.

    I’ve never smoked any of this Blue Dope that you speak of.

    I’m not sure I would turn it down, it sounds pretty good.

    All joking aside, the fact is the Leafs aren’t overachieving one bit. They’re doing pretty much as well as I expected.

    The Habs got off to an unbelievable start, but have now come back down to earth. They should get themselves a shovel, because they are going to be going much further down then that.

    And that’s coming from a Non-Leaf fan.

  13. 92-93 says:

    that’s really immature.

    who are you jannetty?

  14. 92-93 says:

    i agree with you on the fact that its going to get worse before it gets better for Mtl. – i know the leafs schedule isn’t that great but the Habs upcoming games are horrendous.

    the leafs are doing what they were suppose to do by this point. right now they are in a position to go up and battle for home ice and 5th spot (where Buffalo and NYR are right now) or wallow into the uncertainties of battling for the 7th and 8th spots (which isn’t good because they have Atl, TB, Mtl, NJ to be worried about – AND, if they do win one of those seeds, they have to take on the Sens or Flyers in the 1st round … ouch).

    in any case, the Habs are going to have to start winning a crap load of games SOON or else they will be in serious trouble. i think they will turn around but i dunno if they’ll do it in enough time to make it into the playoffs or to make a run for the 4th-6th spots in the East.

    and i certainly do not agree with the habs fan you responded to in his assumptions about what is going to happen the rest of the way or when he said that the habs were ‘underacheiving.’

  15. 92-93 says:

    well, not better than the flyers – that team is amazing right now with a lot of injuries.

    I do agree with you on how the Leafs “quietly” went about playing .500 or slightly above-.500 hockey while all the hockey world was buzzing about the Sens and Habs’ starts.

    but i don’t think we should ever talk about toronto approaching ottawa in the standings. it just won’t happen.

    that being said, the sens have NOT reacted well to injuries to key players which has put a dent in their armour.

  16. Gretzkin says:

    I don’t think the Leafs, will finish the regular season ahead of the Sens, I’m just saying that the division in wins/losses is not that great. I was a bit surprised when I saw it, is all.

    I think they could/might catch them at some point, but not at the end of the season.

  17. Gretzkin says:

    It would be nice to see the Leafs finish in 4th place this year.

    The whole Sens to the Flyers thing is killing them.

    For once, they deserve an easier first round, because they always come out crippled.

  18. Komic-J says:

    Great…

    I don’t know how a “Montreal Canadiens Mid-Season Report” article became a “Montreal vs. Toronto” one, but there’s a couple of things I’d like to say…

    First of all, Leafs fan have every reason in the world to be proud of Matt Stajan and Alexander Steen. They’re both good players…but also the only valuable players the Maple Leafs drafted in the last couple of years. Well, that’s not exactly true…I’ll give you Tomas Kaberle too, and I think Kyle Wellwood isn’t bad either, but that’s pretty much it. Take a look at your current line-up. You have 10 first round selections. How many were drafted by Toronto ? 3 of them; Alexander Steen, Nik Antropov and Carlo Colaicovo. All the others were acquired via free agency or trades.

    You didn’t draft Sundin, Quebec did…you didn’t draft Lindros, Quebec did as well. And it goes on and on with Allison, O’Neill, Kilger, Berg etc…

    If you take a look at hockey’s future website, you’ll see that the Canadiens are currently ranked 6th in their “Organisation Ranking”. Where are the Leafs ? Right…28th !!! And you guys say that the Habs have no future ? Our team is younger (27.6 compared to 29.5) and we have far superior players in our system than you guys ever had.

    The Habs drafted 4 of the 7 first round pick they currently have on their line-up, and we still have most of our 1st round selections with the team. The only two first round selections Toronto have in their system (not on the team) are Brad Brown and Tukka Rask. And you’re saying that is better than what the Canadiens have ?

    Here’s a list for you…

    Valuable Players 25-years old and under – TOR

    Alexei Ponikarovsky

    Matt Stajan

    Alexander Steen

    Kyle Wellwood

    Carlo Colaiacovo

    Staffan Kronwall

    Tuuka Rask

    Justin Pogge

    Valuable Players 25-years old and under – MTL

    Mike Ribeiro

    Michael Ryder

    Christopher Higgins

    Thomas Plekanec

    Mike Komisarek

    Andrei Kostitsyn

    Alexander Perezhogin

    Kyle Chipchura

    Guillaume Latendresse

    Carey Price

    Yann Danis

    …and I didn’t even include players who are currently playing with the Canadiens such as Garth Murray or Jonathan Ferland, or even players like Mikhail Grabovski because I don’t think they can be considered as “long time prospect”…

  19. Komic-J says:

    I’ll give you Matt Stajan and Alexander Steen. I think they’re both good young players that the Leafs should build around…

    …but Clarke Wilm ?!? CLARKE WILM ?!? The guy is almost 30-years old, how can you say he’s a “prospect” ? It would be like saying that Richard Zednik is a great young prospect for the Habs…

    Stajan, Steen, Colaicovo and Rask are pretty much all they have, and the Canadiens have much more depth (and also more 1st round pick in their organisation) than the Leafs…sorry.

  20. Gretzkin says:

    You forgot:

    Antropov

    Andrew Wozniewski

    Ian White

    Brendan Bell

    Roman Kukemberg

    J.F. Racine

    Dimitri Vorobiev

    Oh, and the Toronto Marlies are also beating the Hamilton Bulldogs in the AHL standings.

  21. 92-93 says:

    yeah totally. but more good news is that they do not have as much of a veteran squad that will get crippled. sure inexperience might get to them but i like the fact that they have got some young guys with a bit of speed and stamina.

  22. 92-93 says:

    of course you are ignoring all the first rounders and propsects that the Leafs have let go (so its not really the quality of the drafting but holding onto their draft picks that has been ‘the problem’) … but what people fail to understand is that a lot of these moves were made in order to contend for the stanley cup. but those positives are usually ignored:

    “In the past 12 seasons, the Toronto Maple Leafs have played in four Eastern Conference championships and missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs only in 1997 and 1998. Since Doug Gilmour, Dave Andreychuk, Wendel Clark and Felix Potvin revived the franchise under coach Pat Burns in 1992-93 to the most recent cast led by Mats Sundin, Gary Roberts, Tie Domi and Darcy Tucker, the Maple Leafs have been perennial Stanley Cup contenders.

    That success has come with a cost, however, with a number of draft picks surrendered in trades. Nor have top Maple Leafs’ draft picks panned out over the last two decades [WITHIN the leafs organization – but they have on other teams]. The team is under new leadership with GM John Ferguson Jr. and drafting will be one of his big challenges. It’s breathtaking to realize that since 1987 when the team selected defenseman Luke Richardson, only one first-round draft pick, forward Nik Antropov, has made a significant contribution to the Maple Leafs. Other teams have used Toronto’s first-round pick to take players like Scott Niedermayer, Darius Kasparaitis, Roberto Luongo and Mark Bell. That’s information in a vacuum, though, because many players who have advanced the Maple Leafs’ cause have come via those traded picks.”

    http://www.nhl.com/futures/features/prospects_tor072105.html

    also, this hockey-future website that so many people are keen in quoting compiled their list a while back BEFORE the likes of Steen, Wellwood, Coliacovo, began to prove their worth. moreover, it came out just BEFORE the Leafs began to revamp their farm system.

    oh well, cling to that article for as long as you can i guess.

  23. Komic-J says:

    Right, I forgot Antropov, sorry…didn’t see him because he’s on the IR list. As for the others, they’re not “Valuable Prospects” if you ask me.

    They’re not bad players…just not the kind of players Toronto are counting on for the future as “key players”

    Wozniewski wasn’t even drafted, you guys signed him as an undtrafetd free agent, White is a 2002 sixth round pick, Bell is currently being evaluated as a 6.5B by hockeysfuture.com, and ranked 11th on your prospect list, Racine falls way behind Rask and Pogge, and was drafted in 2000…and who the hell is Kukemberg ?!? I know he’s a 6’1 winger playing for you minor club, and you guys drafted him in the 4th round of 2004, but is he suppose to be a “valuable prospect” ?!? I don’t think so…

    I didn’t list the Corey Locke, Cory Urquhart, Juraj Mikus, Matt D’Agostini, Mathieu Aubin, Ryan O’Byrne, Oskari Korpikari and Chris Heino-Lindberg for Montreal…because just like 5 of the 7 you listed, they aren’t players that the Canadiens really count on for the future.

    What I was trying to say is that the Leafs have some good young players like Stajan, Steen and Antropov, but you don’t have the same quality in the minors/junior, while the Canadiens have plenty. True, some of them graduated this year (Plekanec, Higgins, Perezhogin and Kostitsyn) but we still have about 6 more with a legitimate shot to be used on our first two lines in the near future.

    By the way…I’m not trying to bash the Leafs…only trying to explain my point…

    Don’t worry…you guys have a bright future anyway…you’ll probably get good free agents again in the future… 😉

  24. Komic-J says:

    My point exactly…

    You just quoted: “The team is under new leadership with GM John Ferguson Jr. and drafting will be one of his big challenges. It’s breathtaking to realize that since 1987 when the team selected defenseman Luke Richardson, only on frist-round draft pick, forward Nik Antropov, has made a significant contribution to the Maple Leafs. Other teams have used Toronto’s first-round pick to take players like Scott Niedermayer, Darius Kasparaitis, Roberto Luongo and Mark Bell.”

    So how could they have a brighter future than the Habs then ? They are older, and they haven’t use their first round draft picks in the last couple of years because they traded them…

    I’m not saying they don’t have a team…I’m just pointing out that the Habs DO have more “valuable” prospects than the Leafs…I’m questioning the Leafs skills, they DO have a lot. You guys are ahead of us in the standings for a reason.

    But…

    Your best prospects already graduated, while the Canadiens still have a lot of them coming next year and the seasons after…

    That’s all I’m saying…

    Also…the “Organisation Ranking” was updated on October 28th, 2005…only three months ago. What changed so much since then ?!?

  25. Gretzkin says:

    I was just trying to show that you excluded some Leafs prospects. I don’t disagree though. The Leafs have built around trading, not really bringing in much through the system, and then when they do, they trade it away.

    I’m not a Leaf fan, by the way.

  26. 92-93 says:

    the point that you seem to be repeatedly missing is that toronto got to contend for many years (and is still contending) while Montreal has only recently begun to regain its former glory. but the main point is that despite all of the trading away of key prospects like Boyes and Dempsey – the Leafs still have amazing young players and some very decent prospects.

    therefore, the leafs have been contenders and are conteders AND have the awesome young players in their system – while the Habs, right now, can claim that they have a few key prospects but are certainly not in the same position as toronto in terms of being a contender (and this has been true since the mid-1990s.

    I’ll give you the nod on having ‘better prospects’ bu they are not that much better than what the Leafs have and its important to not put too much stock in what the ‘experts’ say. where were these guys at the start of the season? did any of them think Poni, Telly, Wellwood, Steen, etc. would do the job they’ve done. did any of them applaud the leafs when they drafted Pogge and Rask (no – actually they lamented the fact that the leafs missed out on Price).

    your statement after ‘But…’ is totally wrong. you have to do a little more research within the Toronto organization – and yes – these kinds of rankings become dated very quickly and three months, a lot can happen.

  27. robinson19 says:

    The Canadiens are only one point behind where they were at this point in 2003-04, everyone is just freaking out because of the quick start followd by a dramatic crash. Theodore, Kovalev, and Koivu all are known for tearing it up late in the season and in the playoffs.

  28. 92-93 says:

    yeah, i wouldnt freak out if i was a Canadien fan either. although they are digging themselves into a big hole right now.

    i think the Habs will pull it out in the end but they’ve got their work cut out for them. The teams they are going to have to compete with range from Buffalo, NYR, Toronto, Atlanta, NJ, TB. along with montreal, 2 of these 7 teams are going to have to miss the playoffs.

    so, don’t panic, but the habs DO have to start winning and start winning NOW or at least play more consistently before the olympic break or else they will be in trouble.

  29. Komic-J says:

    Lol ! 🙂

    I guess we could throw that ball to each other all year long…but hey…you like your Leafs, and I like my Habs (well, most of them anyway). So I guess we’re both loyal fans, and that’s what matters…

    That fact and the matter is this…you’re probably from Toronto, and I’m from Montreal. Both team tried to “sell” their prospect to their fans, and judging from what I see, did a good job. You like your prospects, and I like ours…I wouldn’t trade ours for yours, and vice-versa…

    Let’s just call it a tie, open a beer…and hope the Canadiens and the Leafs will meet in the playoffs sometimes in the next decade…

  30. Komic-J says:

    Hey !!!

    “Freaking Out” is what we do best, let us at least enjoy that !!! 😉

  31. 92-93 says:

    no your wrong wrong wrong, … oh wait, yeah ok.

    agree to disagree.

    actually i am from ontario – more generally – not toronto and am currently living in quebec for the past year.

    the selling of the prospects is definitely on within our media respectively. its just too good though when the toronto media misses the coverage of some players (especially early in the season) and it takes the rest of the season for other fans to catch up to what you’ve known all along – call it the indie rock syndrome i suppose. if both franchises are smart – and i have to say i have more confidence in Gainey then i do in JFJ – they’d hold on to these guys as hard as they can.

    trust me, i’ve dreamed up scenarios for the leafs and habs to meet in the playoffs – its got to happen soon!!! i’d rather see a leafs-habs series then a leafs-sens one. i’m just too tired of the Senators, there’s not the same kind of magic when you see the colours of the habs and leafs on the same ice surface!

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