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Guy_Guy_Guy

Best Hab in 2003-2004 season?

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As we all know the habs surprised everybody last year by not only making the playoffs with 94 points and 41 wins but by also eliminating the "heavily favored" 2nd place Boston Bruins after being down 3 games to 1. Even though the second round against the stanley cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning didn't turn out the way we wanted to, the season for the habs was as Bob Gainey said a success.

Now here are the top 10 habs from last year.

1-Saku Koivu: Captain of the team and a great leader. Struggled at the beggining of the season after his comeback but shortly thereafter showed his talent by accumulating 55 points in only 68 games.

2-Richard Zednik: Was a dominant scorer throughout the season as he tallied a team high 26 goals and 50 points in 81 games. However he had a couple of scoring slumps troughout the year which was a downfall from his 31 goals the year before.

3- Alexei Kovalev: Acquired during the trade deadline from the New York Rangers, habs fans were really excited only to be dissapointment when Kovalev scored only 1 goal in the remaining 12 games of the season. However when Claude Julien placed him on the top line with Zednik and Koivu he showed his overwhealming talent by amassing 6 goals and 10 points in 11 playoff games.

4- Mike Ribeiro: Finally we saw the breakout year for Mike Ribeiro and what a productive season he had leading all of his team in points with 65, assists with 45 and was third in goals with 20. Enjoyed much of his success with fellow wingers Pierre Dagenais and rookie sensation Michael Ryder.

5- Micheal Ryder: A real surprise, the Newfoundland native played a key role in the success of the habs this year. Ranked first in his team in shots, second in his team in points with 63, second in goals with 25 and third in assists with 38.

6- Steve Begin: Acquired by the habs from waivers, Begin's grit, determination, toughness and great checking showed what a great contributer he really is.

In the playoffs, Begin lost a couple teeth when he intended to check Bergeron who bent over thus leaving Begin crashing into the boards. This lead to Begin showing his toughness once again by making a return later that night!

7- Sheldon Souray: Another shocker, Sheldon Souray once and for all proved that he was worthy of wearing a habs uniform as he lead all defenseman in not only his team but the whole league with 15 goals! However wrist and knee injured put sidelined Souray for much of the remainder of the season. Unfortunately Souray wasn't the same dominant player beyond his return.

8- Mike Komisarek:

A hard nosed young defenseman, Komisarek earned himself a spot on the habs. At first, Komisarek went through a tough time making some rookie mistakes but hey noones perfect! However the playoffs is when he became famous amongst thousands of habs fans after his awesom hit on Joe Thornton in the first round of the playoffs, which many consider the turn around of the series.

9- Jose Theodore: The Montreal Canadien who so many people consider the back bone of the habs this year. Winner of the molson player of the year for the 4th year in a row, Theodore was one of the best goalies in the league. Habs fans were thrilled by his constant unbelivable saves and great goaltending performances. However Theodore struggled quite a bit in the playoffs, noticably in the first round as he let in some really weak goals such as Bergeron in the overtime in game 2 among others.

Now its up to you to decide who was the best habs player this year and list the reason behind your pick.

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1. Michael Ryder

Came from nowhere and played on a regular basis with a team that made it to the playoffs. He was nominated for the Calder Trophy and no one could ever have dreamt of that when the season was about to start.

2. Saku Koivu

For me last season was Sakus first "star-season". He started poor but I think Koivu has developed into the star Canadiens once drafted.

3. Mike Ribeiro

I never tought that he would make it. He scored more than the most and I think he deserves the third spot.

4. Alexei Kovalev

The big-time scorer we all knew we needed. He came and I really hope that he will stay. His stickhandlig is sick!

5. Jose Theodore.

Our star. If we had a defence as good as the Devils I think many more would consider Theo as one of the top 3 goaltenders in the NHL.

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1. Jose Theodore

One of 2 all-stars on the team this season and the only MVP winner on the roster. He's clearly the Canadiens superstar.

2. Sheldon Souray

The only All-star on the Habs this season (discounting goalies), and one of the league's best defenders. With a weak D consisting of Rivet and Brisebois and just 6 goals from Markov, the team needed a player like him - desperately.

3. Michael Ryder

Ryder rised to the level of a star player this year with 25 goals. The Habs lacked big scorers this season, but Ryder stepped up.

4. Richard Zednik

The Habs best scorer (aside from Kovalev). He didn't break the 30-mark, but without him, the Habs would probably have missed the playoffs.

The difference between a player like Zednik and a huge scorer like Bertuzzi (considered a star), is that Zednik is a superstar during the 3rd period and the playoffs. Players like Bertuzzi disappear.

Zednik is probably the Habs best player on offense.

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