Who's Laughing Now?

I’m sure there are more than a few people out there who are a bit surprised or even a bit annoyed that the Habs are where they are.

Too bad! They’re for real, and everyone better think twice if they think the Canadiens will be easy pickings in round one.The presence of Bob Gainey has been the number one factor in the team’s turn around. On all levels management has improved its’ competence and depth of talent. Savard, Madden and Gauthier are top talent scouts, and Gordie Roberts has added another dimention to their crew. By having Melanson, Charron and Green as Juliens’ assistants is ideal. The young, but naturally skilled coach, is backed up by ex players and experienced coachs. The whole organisation has increased it’s level of effectiveness. This has transferred to the ice.

Going into the season there were numerous questions about certain players on the roster. Buyouts to McKay and Czerkawski started the ball rolling, and during the season Audette went the wayside as well. Dagenias and Damphousse (J.F.), were signed, Begin and Langdon joined by way of the waiver draft, and the HAbs went into 2003-2004 slightly more streamlined and a bit tougher.

During the season a number of positive developments helped the Habs become a real team. Souray joined the upper echelon of two way physical defensemen. Ryder came out of nowhere to be a top 30 scorer in the league and a near lock for Rookie of the Year. Ribeiro broke out to become a top 25 scorer, and a real NHL top two line center. Zednik and Koivu supplied good years, Bulis, Perrault and Deagenais did alright, and there’s way more to be said about every one of the team’s player’s .

The way I see it is that there is no way that the Habs don’t have a real shot at the big prize. Stranger things have happened…

Following is an evaluation of Montreal’s depth.

I welcome criticism and comment on my views and evaluation.



Saku Koivu

Size does matter, however, with Montreal’s Mighty Mite it isn’t the primary factor. Heart, talent and determination are the calling cards of number 11.

Mike Ribeiro

Slick and sneaky, this is one slippery bugger. Finally has his maturity catching up to his talent. Not just a playmker, this guy’s got 20 goals to go with his 60 points.

Steve Begin

What did he cost Montreal? Nothing! Waiver wire pickup up from the Sabres. Made the Habs with a preseason performance in a Buffalo uniform. An agitator with speed, heart and no fear.

Yanic Perrault

What can you say about a guy that is the best faceoff man four years running? But even better, after being scratched often during a more than 20 game drpught he has since experienced a renaissance as a top line left winger.

Joe Juneau

The dean of Habs players, old Joe is a great checking line center and a valuable insurance policy. A leader and a steadying influence in the dressing room.

Jim Dowd

A new arrival who has become an integrsl part of the sucess of the team. The long sought after right handed center has brought it all to the table. Faceoffs, experience, defence and timely offence, this guy will be super valuable to the Canadiens come playoff time.


Jan Bulis

Bulis is a guy who can play in many different positions. Center, the wing, PP, PK, overtime, 2nd or 3rd line, he’s your man. Good support player who has the durability and talent to fill in where needed.

Darren Langdon

A real tough guy, none come more real than this man of the Rock.

Nicklas Sundstrom

He is a multitalented player, in the mold of Bulis. Either wing, Center in a pinch, two way, not little and a good team guy.

Pierre Dagenais

Dagenais, who is 6 foot 5 and 225 pounds, by the way, has scored 15 goals in 44 games with the Habs. Once was one of the best of his junior league on a line with Mike Ribeiro.

Richard Zednik

He is one of the best Slovakian players in the world.

As I hear silence around me I will say even louder that he is one of the really good players in THE WORLD. A world class winger, tough and dedicated, Richard rules.

Michael Ryder

Yes. The man himself, he is the real deal. We’re talking about a guy noone has the right to hate, he’s what’s good about hockey. Almost down and out, he made the team and is one of the top 40 scorers this year. If Raycroft doesn’t take it, he will.

Alexei Kovalev

Kovalev came in late, but has the potential to make a big impact. He is a top player in this league.

Jason Ward

He is a solid 3rd liner, and with the Habs’ depth he will end up being an effective 4th line force.

Andreas Dackell

Part of the support crew, but he is skilled, experienced and dedicated to the team cause. Not to be discounted.

There are also a few youngsters who merit mention in the Habs’ depth evaluation. Gratton, Hossa, Higgins, Perezhogin, Plekanec, plus Hainsey and the veteran defencemen Traverse and Dykhuis are capable of supporting the team in one way or another. The goaltending depth is actually better than almost any team in the league. Theodore and Garon make arguably the best one-two punch around. Add to this Fichaud, Damphousse (both 1st rounders) and Michaud, I ask anyone to dress a list of five goalies that compares to that.


Another area where there is much hope to be found.

Sheldon Souray

He is the bionic man. His knee injury interfered with his career year. So what? He’ll still end up in the upper reaches of defencemen scoring. A physical force with two way ability to boot. Shop around, at 1.6 million you can’t beat the price…

Francis Bouillon

He is a tougher and less skilled Don Sweeney. Right now, I tell you I think Bouillon is a really good NHL defenceman for at least the next 3 years.

Andrei Markov

Markov is a two way defenceman who is neither small nor scared. A tribute to the good Russian D-Men of old, I’d take Markov in my top 6 any day.

Stephane Quintal

The quintessential veteran-tough D-man that every good team needs.

Patrice Brisebois

Has overcome unfair criticism to post a very good season. Not a premier offensive defenseman, but a solid two-way presence who provides veteran leadership.

Craig Rivet

A really good defenceman. He is very talented, and his two-way ability coupled with his physical play makes him a do-all d-man. Essential and underrated.

Mike Komisarek

For a fairly inexperienced guy, Komisarek has shown that he has what it takes to be a dominant defensive defenceman in the NHL. Wait and see, he will be the real deal.

The Habs are ready. Are the other teams?

121 Responses to Who's Laughing Now?

  1. bubbakazoo says:

    For your information *****face, since I was born I’ve been a fan of the greatest team in sports history. Go ***** yourself, bandwagon. ***** you and your bullshit.

  2. habs_punk says:

    they have assembled a few of these streaks. and no they wouldnt be on the outside looking in if they just played average, they would be closer to the isles sure, but they would still be in 7th most likely. besides who’s to say this is just a streak? it could be the habs are just hitting their stride. or can we say that the lightning are just on an extended streak, cuz they werent near this good in the first half of the season. heck, what about the leafs streak, if you took that out they’d be in 7th right now. but for some reason they’re considered elite and montreal is just an ok team?

  3. habs_punk says:

    i would think that ribeiro is a top player, i mean among centres, ribeiro is tied for 7th in scoring, in other words, there are only 6 other centres in the nhl that have more points than ribeiro — sakic, lang, sundin, richards, thornton, and elias. thats not bad company he’s sharing there.

    ryder’s fairly impressive among others at his position as well, 14th – ahead of glen murray, miro satan, tony amonte, and pavol demitra whom are all considered top echelon players

  4. habs_punk says:

    are you trying to imply they are all one-sided for boston?

    thornton over koivu, only cuz of the huge size difference

    ribeiro over nylander nylanders played what like 10 games this year? while ribeiro’s put up a solid 61 points with 8 games to go

    rolston over begin based on points, yet begin is montreal’s checking centre… so odd comparison there

    donato vs. juneau?? who cares? two players way past their prime, neither would have much of an effect on the series

    murray over bulis of course

    knuble over langdon… another odd comparison — a 40+ point getter to an enforcer wierd

    samsonov over sundstrom, samsonov is amazing, my favorite player on the b’s, extremely skilled, but you compared him to a checking forward on montreal again

    ryder WAY over bergeron, both work extremely hard, but ryders got 21 more points than bergeron

    and of course, like it was said before, why’d you leave out players like zednik, kovalev, souray, even perreault and brisebois

  5. habs_punk says:

    gainey’s been amazing, steps in and gets the fans to stop booing brisebois and now brisebois is leading the team in plus/minus at +19 and has 30 points

    now everyones all over rivet, but he is still pretty good, he played for canada at the world championships, you dont play for canada if you arent good. 12 pts +5 and 78 pim isnt a bad season. his points are down, but those points have been more than made up by souray, brisebois, and markov

  6. Tweek says:

    classy guy, classy, classy guy

  7. kidhenry1 says:

    Make it 6. But the Isles remaining 8 games are a lot easier than Buffalo’s. They did themselves a huge favor by beating Tampa Bay.

  8. Tweek says:

    he’s not old and he’s not young he is almost 28 is he not? but yeah i like the guy and i think the habs would be better off trading him and getting a good d man in return

  9. 24cups says:

    he’s 26 and a good bait for trades.

  10. bubbakazoo says:

    You even said it yourself, that you don’t see any Canadiens games. So shut your *****ing mouth asshole.

  11. rojoke says:

    “If not for that run they’d be wallowing down with other teams in the East like Buffalo, Florida, and the Isles.”

    Fact. They haven’t lost more than four games in a row all season. Going on 8-1-0-1 runs means exactly that they can be a threat to anyone in a seven-game series. It means they can win two series in 10 games. And since they’ve been in the same position for most of the season, it means that their play has been pretty consistent all year. It’s not like they’ve been out of the top eight for the first half and then suddenly got hot. But then in that case, you just go back to two seasons ago, when they were one of the best teams during the last six weeks and bounced the 1st-place Bruins in 6 games.

    And by the way, here’s the Habs record against the teams you mention as their first round opponents:

    Bruins – 2-2-1-0. And only one game was decided by more than one goal.

    Philly – 1-2-0-0. Habs won the last game in Philly Jan 20.

    TB – 2-2-0-0. TB outscored the Habs 12-10.

    So, depending on the last game against the Flyers, they could have a .500 record against all three of them. But there’s one statement that I agree with. They do have a lot eft to prove.

  12. Tweek says:

    either way he should be traded because he is too good to be second fiddle

  13. mike_gohabsgo says:

    Yes i sure do agree that the habs still have lots to prove, but i strongly disagree what you said about Kovalev! Yes! they definetly are a better team with him and the reason they aquired him, well rented actualy is, because they have one hell of a great GM that believes in this team and is going out to prove that they think and do have a great chance of winning it all.

    and by the way itas not just because they`ve gone 8-1-0-1 in the last ten, its because they have beaten all these great teams while goin on that hugh winning streak, including teams like Ottawa, N.J., Philly, Boston, Leafs and even Colorado who are all have an awesome chanch of winning the cup.

    YES! Montreal is definetly a great threat this year and will go far!

  14. mike_gohabsgo says:

    Theo is most definetly not the reason the habs are winning all these games, sure he`s been playin good, but you are underestimating how great the habs forwards are playing. they are 7th in the league in scoring and i dont think Theo has scored any goals!?! I do agree wat u said bout joe Juneau he has been garbage ever since they picked him up. But wat you said about Koivu, horrible captain, common, wat those this kid have to do to get some attention. He`s by far one of the greatest captains in the game today and wat you said about him is just plain BULLSHIT!

  15. MAniac29 says:

    what are you talking about?

  16. kingbobert says:

    ummm ***** the attendance…

    what about the selling out

    they also have the record for most sold out games a season and thats with the biggest arena in the nhl…

    we support the habs through thick and thin…if not they would of wound up like florida or carolina or chicago or pitsburgh…

    the only difference this season is that the team and GM are giving us something in return for our loyalty

  17. stopbitching says:

    Juneau has not played in 4 games, Dowd is the 3rd line center. Juneau is just a safety net for the playoff, he will most likely retired after thisseason (Too bad he didn’t do it last year)

  18. BosBrn77 says:

    Your response is an insult to not only Montreal fans… but hockey fans in general!

  19. BosBrn77 says:

    And it is funny how you compare one Boston fan with all Boston fans!

    I hope you do not have to learn from YOUR mistakes.

    Side note- I’m hoping Boston plays Montreal in the playoffs. There is nothing better then these two teams playing it out over seven games. And it would come down to how Raycroft plays. Although Potvin has always been a good goalie in the playoffs. He is the kind of guy who can stand on his head under pressure! Regardless… it would go seven games… and only Lord Stanley knows who would win the seventh!

  20. BosBrn77 says:

    Considering all you do is call people names… your replies are boring!

    Montreal vs Boston is the best rivalry going! Either team could win……. and I hope they play each other. Good old fashioned hockey is needed in case there is no next year!

  21. BosBrn77 says:

    His only response is to curse. Maybe his parents should take away his computer!

Leave a Reply