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Really 14th in the east. That's a pretty bold prediction, I counter with the habs winning the North East.

Boston - added one scorer, that wont make up for their team being unable to score, especially since it looks like Savard will be moved.

Buffalo - Buffalo got gutted by losing two key D men. Still has one of the best goalies in the league.

Ottawa - I see Ottawa as a team that actually has improved due to Gonchar, although their goaltending is shakey, will surrender more goals without Volchenkov.

Toronto - Wheres the goals going to come from?

Montreal - removed two cancers from their lineup, the playoffs showed what this team can do with chemistry. Goals will come if Ak/Pouliot/Pax can produce. Time for Price to repay the faith in him.

This division is a toss up, with 4 teams with a serious chance of winning it.

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Eastern Conference

1. Philly - improved - really should have been challenging for #1 last year.

2. Pittsburgh - improved

3. Washington - no change

4. Boston - Improved as scoring was there issue - Horton should add some scoring, will also depend on if Sequin is a factor

5. New Jersey - don't know what to make - lost Martin but did pickup some new D men

6. TB - improved - best young coach and Kubina added, Stamkos/Hedman have another year of experience

Bubble for last two spots:

7. Ottawa - hard to say - lost some D and gained Gonchar

8. Montreal - D added Subban, but Hamrlik/Spacek are another year older, Markov out for start, forwards no change, no 1-2 goalie punch anymore

9. Carolina - came on at the end of the year

10. Buffalo - Lost some key dmen but have one of the top coaches in the league that gets the most from his players

I see the top 3 teams battling it out for #1 and see the last 4 teams listed battling for two positions (minus Atlanta and add TB from last year)

I'm not overly optimistic for the following reasons:

GOALTENDING:

1. Unless Price comes in with his head screwed on right, is CONISTENT and we don't have to rely on Auld we are screwed!! There is no safety net this year.

DEFENCE:

2. Even with Subban being penciled in, I really don't think we improved our D.

a) Hamrlik is a year older and is not worth the cap hit. To me that was the one move that Gauthier HAD to make.

b) With Gill are we going to get the shot blocking/PK specialist of the playoffs or the pylon we saw during the regular season.

c) Is Martin going to give O'Byrne a real chance, or will he be the new whipping boy now that SK is gone???

d) Are we going to pick up another Dman, or is someone from Hamilton going to crack the lineup??

FORWARDS:

3. Forwards - up front this is still the same team that couldn't get anything going against a big Philly team to take advantage of them having really no goaltending.

a) Is AK46 going to start playing like a top 6??

man u must be the most negative person...ever posted u put down the habs...Price will have a good year, sk whipping boy, man he a D**k and if u cant see that u are help less..well our foward loss against phi but we took it to pit and was..F**k we didnt win the cup but this team played great in the playoffs...

i think the team is moving in the right way, yes we might have over paid players but so do everone else and most of them dont make the playoffs lmfao..

The season as not start and u are already acting like its over i love the new team and cant wait to trade AK and drop Hamrlik, and watch Subban,Pouliot,Boyd and eller play...

I really think we could use a guy like Arron Asham

to show the third and fouth guys how to play hard....

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KEEP26, you're being too hard on hab29!!! I love your optimism, but I think he does have some good points/concerns. As for me, I'm a big Carey Price fan, but am worried about next season. If Plex drops off even the slightest, and Carey doesn't play as well as Halak we could be in trouble. And Pouliot is terrible, I truly believe that if Jaques Lemaire couldn't get through to him, it's possible nobody can.

Edited by Habsy

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man u must be the most negative person...ever posted u put down the habs...Price will have a good year, sk whipping boy, man he a D**k and if u cant see that u are help less..well our foward loss against phi but we took it to pit and was..F**k we didnt win the cup but this team played great in the playoffs...

i think the team is moving in the right way, yes we might have over paid players but so do everone else and most of them dont make the playoffs lmfao..

The season as not start and u are already acting like its over i love the new team and cant wait to trade AK and drop Hamrlik, and watch Subban,Pouliot,Boyd and eller play...

I really think we could use a guy like Arron Asham

to show the third and fouth guys how to play hard....

You really think we made enough changes to finish better then 7 or 8th in the conference??? I really don't think we have made enough changes.

The defence needed an overhaul. Adding Subban on defence alone is not enough. Spacek and Hamrlik best days are way behind them. Gill can't block shots like he did in the playoffs over an 82 game schedule - which is why during the regular season he was a pylon. Other then having Subban for the entire year, the only positive on the D is that MAB won't be back!! Unless someone steps in from Hamilton, or Spacek plays like he did for Buffalo, I just don't see the D being all that much better. Subban will help, but he is going to be a rookie and will have to go through growing pains.

Up front there are a number of questions as well.

For the top 6 to be effective, we either need Pouliot and AK to step up, or move AK for another top 6.

If AK is still here, is he going to finally show some consistency???

Will Pouliot actually drives to the net like he started out or play a perimiter game???

Can Eller crack the top 6???

While Gomez is not a $7.2M player, will he actually play like a $5M player who can at least put up 70 points???

Is Boyd going to be an upgrade over Metro or Moore?

Is Laps finally going to show some consistency?

But the biggest question is can Price finally realize his potential and carry the habs into the playoffs like Halak did and then provide the goaltending that is needed??

Sorry, there are way too many questions to be optimistic or think this habs team will be any different then the other ones that scraped into the playoffs.

What is it that you want me to be excited about??? PG replacing Halak with Auld and Eller??? Or giving up SK for Boyd - who they was an UFA anyways???? The habs should have let SK walk to the KHL, hope he put up some numbers there and then move him when he wanted to come back. But like the past decade, PG, is continuing on in the tradition of lousy asset management.

Edited by hab29RETIRED

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KEEP26, you're being too hard on hab29!!! I love your optimism, but I think he does have some good points/concerns. As for me, I'm a big Carey Price fan, but am worried about next season. If Plex drops off even the slightest, and Carey doesn't play as well as Halak we could be in trouble. And Pouliot is terrible, I truly believe that if Jaques Lemaire couldn't get through to him, it's possible nobody can.

maybe but iam just so sick of all the negative with some habs fans...its a sickness and its getting bad, we as fans are becoming laughable...montreal fans are getting a bad name with the booing of price and the ole ole in the first period..price is 22 and fans boo him and his number are not that bad...and its not even about price its about the over all fans and how rest of the hockey world look at us...I have never seen fans anywhere that what to see their team fail...its a joke.. and iam sick of being put in the same bunch as these fans...

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On paper, is this team as good as last year? Probably not, but they're not all that much worse either. As has been noted, Subban making the jump should help the defence while youngsters like Eller and Boyd will give the Habs a notable influx of speed, particularly over someone like Metropolit. The top-6 from the playoffs also remains intact, though some may consider that a weakness...

Is the goaltending weaker? No question, but it was their position of strength; they dealt from that position to fill a couple of needs (a legit NHL calibre C prospect and some added toughness). Are the small improvements from the skaters enough to offset the downgrade from Halak to Auld? Probably not, but...

Injuries are something that needs to be considered here as well. If the team isn't hit with a huge rash of injuries last year, they're not an 8th place team but are probably in the 4-6 range. Take Halak off that team and they're a 7th/8th place squad. That last sentence I think is reasonably accurate as to where this team sits today, a team on the playoff bubble. Not a division winning squad nor a 13th place one either.

The Habs have enough cap space left to add another small piece to the puzzle but not an impact one, so it's more than likely that this team will once again be a team in the middle of the pack. Quite frankly, I don't think anyone should have expected anything different given last year's spending spree that led to little cap space.

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Expectations depends from our limited knowledge and our capacity to project from there by including a fair porportion of risk.

What we are sure of :

Least 1 person of the CH will be hurt during next year...might be Markov during 1 month.

1 of the 30 teams will win the stanley cup

The CH can build experience upon playing 3 rounds in their series for first time in ages...

What are the strong assumptions we can say:

PK Subban, Pyatt, Pacioretty, Eller have the potential to make the CH Club next year.

Carey Price will have to take his sharehold of victories because Auld, Sandford and Desjardins arent exactly depth goaltending

High risk but good reward:

Pouliot, AK47 will need to increase their offensive contribution next year.

I expect them to battle for the 8th spot once again this year because of all the uncertainity of injuries, keys roles not yet filled, etc.

I'm eager to see the final line up of the club next year and then it will be easy to say what will happends.

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maybe but iam just so sick of all the negative with some habs fans...its a sickness and its getting bad, we as fans are becoming laughable...montreal fans are getting a bad name with the booing of price and the ole ole in the first period..price is 22 and fans boo him and his number are not that bad...and its not even about price its about the over all fans and how rest of the hockey world look at us...I have never seen fans anywhere that what to see their team fail...its a joke.. and iam sick of being put in the same bunch as these fans...

Every chance I get to go to Montreal, I've paid good money for the best seats available - and despite seeing some stinkers like a 6-1 trashing at the hands of the Canes, I have never booed the habs. I've seethed at what the habs have become, but have never booed them.

Do you really think that by not leaving any safety net for Price, PG is doing him any favors???? First bad game or streak he has, the fans are going to get on him and there is no alternative - Auld a career hobo is NOT a feasible alternative. On top of that if Price struggles at all and Halak starts strong, you can expect the booing to be even worse.

Mgmt of the habs has been incompetent for far too long - not Rejean Houle or Mike Milbury incompetent, but they have done a lousy job on managing their assets, squandering draft picks, picking the wrong coaches. They finally had a good young coach they could have promoted and they kept the penguin who in over 25 years of coaching has NEVER ONE A DAMN THING!! He also is showing that he is LOUSY at developing young players. Did you read the interviews with almost every player in Hamilton???? Almost to a man, they said Boucher is the best player they ever had. And don't talk to me about Martin's success in the playoffs last year. In every post game interviews, the habs players were praising Muller - NOT Martin.

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You really think we made enough changes to finish better then 7 or 8th in the conference??? I really don't think we have made enough changes.

Reality is that without the huge injuries plague, this team is not 7th or 8th seed, but maybe 4th-5th seed...

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maybe but iam just so sick of all the negative with some habs fans...its a sickness and its getting bad, we as fans are becoming laughable...montreal fans are getting a bad name with the booing of price and the ole ole in the first period..price is 22 and fans boo him and his number are not that bad...and its not even about price its about the over all fans and how rest of the hockey world look at us...I have never seen fans anywhere that what to see their team fail...its a joke.. and iam sick of being put in the same bunch as these fans...

Ya, you are right about that. Unfortunately I am one of the negatives this year. Price has never really given me a reason to think he is stable and ready to be a star, but he has shown how good he can be, and that he can make the next step to elite. When he is on his game, he is really a joy to watch. I am really worried that the fans may rip him apart. I think listing the positives and the expectations from the team might be a nice change.

The team developed great chemistry and a never say die winning atitude last year. You don't have to go back too far to see an example of the strong affect this can have. When Boston took us to game seven, and in the following year they dominated the league.

I keep saying that the team didn't get better. Well, maybe they did. Moore and Metro could not wear down the other teams defense. They were very good in their roles, but were relatively perimeter players. Maybe Eller and Boyd will be able to do this. I expect more bang and crash from Moen this year. He was just kind of....there. We may have gotten better just by bringing up Subban. I know he is a rookie, and I'm not expecting him to change the world, but this kid has something special, and it could be infectious. SK is gone, and I figure we have till Feb, March next year to see how AK does. If he still has no heart, I hope to see him go bye bye to another team, so we can get some size and grit in the top 6. O'Byrne could be an intangible here too. I remember us bashing Komi when he was young too. He could mature as well. The problem there is I think JM doesn't like him. Every season a player from the previous season slumps, and a slumper finds his game. My only worry is that AK will go crazy and turn into a 6 mill player and we sign him. Then he goes back to sleep.

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Every chance I get to go to Montreal, I've paid good money for the best seats available - and despite seeing some stinkers like a 6-1 trashing at the hands of the Canes, I have never booed the habs. I've seethed at what the habs have become, but have never booed them.

Do you really think that by not leaving any safety net for Price, PG is doing him any favors???? First bad game or streak he has, the fans are going to get on him and there is no alternative - Auld a career hobo is NOT a feasible alternative. On top of that if Price struggles at all and Halak starts strong, you can expect the booing to be even worse.

Mgmt of the habs has been incompetent for far too long - not Rejean Houle or Mike Milbury incompetent, but they have done a lousy job on managing their assets, squandering draft picks, picking the wrong coaches. They finally had a good young coach they could have promoted and they kept the penguin who in over 25 years of coaching has NEVER ONE A DAMN THING!! He also is showing that he is LOUSY at developing young players. Did you read the interviews with almost every player in Hamilton???? Almost to a man, they said Boucher is the best player they ever had. And don't talk to me about Martin's success in the playoffs last year. In every post game interviews, the habs players were praising Muller - NOT Martin.

you keep looking at the bad and not the good..this is not the nhl of 30 years ago..now we have 30 teams fighting for the cup with a cap..maybe fans in montreal should leave guys like price alone and boo all their lose sons that dont what to play in montreal because they think the fans are nuts...guys hate bob now they hate PG and same as guy and martin...its the same thing year after year with the fans.. I dont think his lousy at developing players, i just dont think he care about cry babys and want ice time they should get, he makes players work for ice time...man i not going to fight with u because i have read alot of your comments and we dont agree on anything so later..

Like i said iam sick of all the cry baby habs fans..at least leaf fans think they well win ever year(we all know that wont happen) but i think alot of habs fans could take a lesson in faith and hope...At the rate habs fans are going no one well what to play here....even the great scotty Bowman said we be nuts to trade price...

Edited by lazy26
double post

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all we gotta do is stay healthy...

but with markov out until ######ing christmas, that doesnt help.

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Habs29retired is *probably* too pessimistic because he isn't factoring in all the chaos the team had to endure last season, from injuries to the most gigantic chemistry experiment in league history. There is reason to believe that - bonded by the great playoff drive as well as by the expulsion of toxic waste from the dressing room - this team which play much more cohesively from the get-go.

What prevents me from real optimism is the goalie crapshoot. IF Price delivers, and barring further major injuries, we can be quite a good team. But when you look at the competition, it IS hard to see us finishing higher than 7th. Boston, Pittsburgh, Washington, Philly should be locks to do better. Tampa is improving and Jersey is Jersey. There's always teams that fall back and surge forward, though. But on paper I'd slot us 7th, provided, again, Price steps up.

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Reality is that without the huge injuries plague, this team is not 7th or 8th seed, but maybe 4th-5th seed...

I think our playoff run is bringing on overly optimistic expectations.

You can't expect Gorges and Gill to be the shot stopping machines they were in the playoffs. During the regular season, Gill has tended to be a pylon, despite him having a good run during the last two playoffs.

Injuries hurt us, but almost every team had to contend with injuries.

Our biggest issue is that we have a team full of guys that lack consistency. Too many of the guys that should be part of the core group like AK46, Pouliot, Gomez, Hamrlik, Spacek, Gill don't put forth the same consistent effort. AK46, Gomez, Laps, Hamrlik and Gill take too many stupid or lazy penalties. Lastly, our two smallest guys (Gionta/Cammy) are the only one's who drive hard to the net with any kind of consistency.

Most of the East has gotten stronger and the only area we really improved (Subban for full year), is risky, since he WILL be prone to errors as part of his learning process. The upside is that his errors can't possibly be as bad as MAB. Watching MAB on D last year probably took 10 years off of my life - I think i'd be less stress out working with a bomb squad then i was watching MAB on the nights when Martin played him 15-20 minutes a night.

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I don't agree with the assessments of a lot of teams getting better in the east. Buffalo weaker, Boston traded for Horton who's had what 25 goal seasons, and they're on the verge of losing Savard? Washington, losing parts. Pittsburg traded offensive D for 2 all around Ds. Ottawa will be better on the PP, they are the team that improved the most in my eyes. The flyers added more D depth...still not going to help their goalie situation.

I just don't agree with people saying teams improved that drastically. Injuries happen, but when you combine injuries (drastic close to 1/3 of your payroll injuries) combined with 17 player changes on a team, a D corp trying to get use to each other, you get a 8th place team. Just think the habs could have easily finished 6th last season.

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Habs29retired is *probably* too pessimistic because he isn't factoring in all the chaos the team had to endure last season, from injuries to the most gigantic chemistry experiment in league history. There is reason to believe that - bonded by the great playoff drive as well as by the expulsion of toxic waste from the dressing room - this team which play much more cohesively from the get-go.

What prevents me from real optimism is the goalie crapshoot. IF Price delivers, and barring further major injuries, we can be quite a good team. But when you look at the competition, it IS hard to see us finishing higher than 7th. Boston, Pittsburgh, Washington, Philly should be locks to do better. Tampa is improving and Jersey is Jersey. There's always teams that fall back and surge forward, though. But on paper I'd slot us 7th, provided, again, Price steps up.

I am factoring in the Chaos from last year. I'm also factoring in what we lost going forward and the holes that have not yet been addressed.

I think we have four BIG issues. The first is the dice that is being rolled on Price, without providing him with any sort of insulation. The second is the defence. The Habs NEEDED to move Hamrlik. I know everone is optimistic about the D after the playoffs, but you CANNOT expect Gill and Gorges and others to through their bodies in front of pucks over an 82 game schedule the way they did in the playoffs. I know everyone has high hopes now that Subban is replacing MAB. BUT Subban is a rookie. He WILL make mistakes - as i've said before, probably not on the same scale as MAB, but there will be growing pains.

Thirdly, I have no confidence in Martin. Subban and Pouliot were the #1 reasons I wanted Boucher behind the bench. He mishandled Lats, SK and really couldn't get anything out of Pouliot down the stretch. Until last year, Martin really has NEVER had any playoff success and I'd defer many of that to Muller. Listen to the post game interviews. The players, from Gomez, Cammy, to Gionta all raved on about Muller. I didn't hear anyone say anything positive about Muller from the team. Martin's hand picked man, Pearn was not able to make any adjustments to the PP to get it going. Then when news came out that Robinson was interested and was ignored, that really made by blood boil. Are you telling me that Robinson was not the ideal guy to have as an assistant coach to work with Subban, O'Byrne and some of the other Hamilton hopefuls??? Even Gomez raves on about Robinson's coaching.

Lastly we didn't get any net presence in our top six up front. We needed at least one big body who is going to drive hard to the net. IF Pouliot comes into camp stronger and determined not to be a perimeter player and IF AK46 is either motivated in a UFA contract year, we may be able to make do up front, because both of them have shown that when they're heads are screwed on right they can be effective, but there is just too many IFS for me to be optimistic.

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at the beginning of last season, so many on these board were saying it would take at least 1/2 the season for this team to find its new collective identity. major injuries extended that process until the end of the regular season. by the time the playoffs came around - THEY WERE A TEAM. i don't believe last years edition of the Montreal Canadiens were an 8th seed by talent & teamwork - they were better than that. every team has injuries - but ours were decimating, not because of who or how many players, but because this team needed to discover its identity, injuries robbed them of that precious time.

injuries will happen again in 2010-2011, but they will not be as devastating (as demonstrated when Markov went down in the playoffs - many among us (myself included) figured that was the end of the playoff run - we were wrong).

i agree with Lassiter, the Habs were a 4-5th seed team. i believe they would have been a 4-5th seed team if it had been their 2nd full season together and not their first.

sure, the backup goalie position is now weaker - but that has allowed the Habs to strengthen other areas. sure the defense is older, but there is Subban and guys like O'Byrne & Weber who will be knocking on the door, ready to cost a gray-beard their spot in the starting lineup. the offense is just as good, and likely better because they have become ONE.

i expect the Habs to finish 4th or 5th in the Conference, behind Boston who should win the division this year.

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I don't agree with the assessments of a lot of teams getting better in the east. Buffalo weaker, Boston traded for Horton who's had what 25 goal seasons, and they're on the verge of losing Savard? Washington, losing parts. Pittsburg traded offensive D for 2 all around Ds. Ottawa will be better on the PP, they are the team that improved the most in my eyes. The flyers added more D depth...still not going to help their goalie situation.

I just don't agree with people saying teams improved that drastically. Injuries happen, but when you combine injuries (drastic close to 1/3 of your payroll injuries) combined with 17 player changes on a team, a D corp trying to get use to each other, you get a 8th place team. Just think the habs could have easily finished 6th last season.

I see the following:

BOSTON- added scoring in Horton - 25 goals will help. If Sequin has the same impact as Duschene in Colorado, that will also help. If they move Thomas or Savard, they should be able to get even stronger. should be a 3-4-5 place team.

PHILLY - Even stronger on Defence, loaded up front that they can still make a move to get a goalie. With their Defence and offence, they won't be as dependent on goaltending as team like the habs. Should be 1-2-3

OTTAWA - they got a quarterback for their PP, which should make some of the floaters stronger. I see them as 5-6-7 place team.

PITTSBURGH - The two defencemen they added are an upgrade from Gonchar. I'd take Martin over Gonchar (at this stage in his career), without blinking. You must not know much about Zbynek - highly underrated. 1-2-3-4 place team.

WASHINGTON - really haven't made any changes, but then they were loaded. They will also have learned a lot from their upset loss to the habs, which shold make them stronger. should be a 1-2-3 place team.

TAMPA BAY - Biggest move was change in Mgmt- went from a cirucs to Stevie Y and stealing Boucher will help. Picking up Ellis, Kubina and shedding some bad contracts will help. Stamkos and Hedman have another year of experieince. Vinny should be better - maybe not be a 95 point guy, but should be better - particularly under Boucher. Should be good for 5-6-7-8

NEW JERSEY - lost some key d-men, but gained a couple as well, but when was the last time they didn't make the playoffs??? should be good for 5-6-7-8.

Those are the 7 teams I think should make the playoffs. IMO, the weakest is Ottawa, because, like the habs, they have a couple of guys that you don't know what to expect (Kovy and Spezza).

IMO, opinion at best the habs are a 6-7-8 place team - more likely battling for 7-8 position.

Edited by hab29RETIRED

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I see the following:

BOSTON- added scoring in Horton - 25 goals will help. If Sequin has the same impact as Duschene in Colorado, that will also help. If they move Thomas or Savard, they should be able to get even stronger. should be a 3-4-5 place team.

PHILLY - Even stronger on Defence, loaded up front that they can still make a move to get a goalie. With their Defence and offence, they won't be as dependent on goaltending as team like the habs. Should be 1-2-3

OTTAWA - they got a quarterback for their PP, which should make some of the floaters stronger. I see them as 5-6-7 place team.

PITTSBURGH - The two defencemen they added are an upgrade from Gonchar. I'd take Martin over Gonchar (at this stage in his career), without blinking. You must not know much about Zbynek - highly underrated. 1-2-3-4 place team.

WASHINGTON - really haven't made any changes, but then they were loaded. They will also have learned a lot from their upset loss to the habs, which shold make them stronger. should be a 1-2-3 place team.

TAMPA BAY - Biggest move was change in Mgmt- went from a cirucs to Stevie Y and stealing Boucher will help. Picking up Ellis, Kubina and shedding some bad contracts will help. Stamkos and Hedman have another year of experieince. Vinny should be better - maybe not be a 95 point guy, but should be better - particularly under Boucher. Should be good for 5-6-7-8

NEW JERSEY - lost some key d-men, but gained a couple as well, but when was the last time they didn't make the playoffs??? should be good for 5-6-7-8.

Those are the 7 teams I think should make the playoffs. IMO, the weakest is Ottawa, because, like the habs, they have a couple of guys that you don't know what to expect (Kovy and Spezza).

IMO, opinion at best the habs are a 6-7-8 place team - more likely battling for 7-8 position.

Philly, Boston and Pittsburgh seemed to have improved but these three teams were already better than us. They don't bump us down the rankings. (Also remember that BOS and PHI probably need to dump some talent before the start of the season.) Washington was also already better than us. After these four, there's a big drop off and we'll certainly be one of the teams fighting to to come next in line.

Tampa is improved, sure, but I have trouble just penciling them in for the 6th seed. They were supposed to have the big turnaround last season too but it never happened. None of the changes you mentioned seem that convincing to me. Hedman might pull a Doughty/Stamkos or he might take longer to hit superstardom. Boucher might instantly become one of the league's top coaches or might be exposed as a rookie only just over a year removed from coaching in junior leagues. (Similarly, Seguin might be a Duchene for Boston but he could also be a bust in his first year. I've heard analysts say that he might not be NHL-ready.) Vinny is a total question mark. He seems like an 80 point center. They added Kubina but they lost Meszaros (a bust for them but still the upgrade is hardly enormous).

Tampa, New Jersey and Ottawa have as many question marks as we do. I only really see 4 teams that are clearly better than on us on paper.

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I am factoring in the Chaos from last year. I'm also factoring in what we lost going forward and the holes that have not yet been addressed.

I think we have four BIG issues. The first is the dice that is being rolled on Price, without providing him with any sort of insulation. The second is the defence. The Habs NEEDED to move Hamrlik. I know everone is optimistic about the D after the playoffs, but you CANNOT expect Gill and Gorges and others to through their bodies in front of pucks over an 82 game schedule the way they did in the playoffs. I know everyone has high hopes now that Subban is replacing MAB. BUT Subban is a rookie. He WILL make mistakes - as i've said before, probably not on the same scale as MAB, but there will be growing pains.

Thirdly, I have no confidence in Martin. Subban and Pouliot were the #1 reasons I wanted Boucher behind the bench. He mishandled Lats, SK and really couldn't get anything out of Pouliot down the stretch. Until last year, Martin really has NEVER had any playoff success and I'd defer many of that to Muller. Listen to the post game interviews. The players, from Gomez, Cammy, to Gionta all raved on about Muller. I didn't hear anyone say anything positive about Muller from the team. Martin's hand picked man, Pearn was not able to make any adjustments to the PP to get it going. Then when news came out that Robinson was interested and was ignored, that really made by blood boil. Are you telling me that Robinson was not the ideal guy to have as an assistant coach to work with Subban, O'Byrne and some of the other Hamilton hopefuls??? Even Gomez raves on about Robinson's coaching.

Lastly we didn't get any net presence in our top six up front. We needed at least one big body who is going to drive hard to the net. IF Pouliot comes into camp stronger and determined not to be a perimeter player and IF AK46 is either motivated in a UFA contract year, we may be able to make do up front, because both of them have shown that when they're heads are screwed on right they can be effective, but there is just too many IFS for me to be optimistic.

yea because before he got here lats and sk was allstars lmfao....guy had the same problem with these guys...AK needs to be moved before the season starts....subban well be hands down all around better then mab...I also would of like to see Robinson here..Martin and muller is a team and plays diff roles to get the most out of players..good cop bad cop..this is not new in the coaching world..one acts like your boss and the other try to be your friend...iam not saying martin is the greats but man u got to give him credit...

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Philly, Boston and Pittsburgh seemed to have improved but these three teams were already better than us. They don't bump us down the rankings. (Also remember that BOS and PHI probably need to dump some talent before the start of the season.) Washington was also already better than us. After these four, there's a big drop off and we'll certainly be one of the teams fighting to to come next in line.

Tampa is improved, sure, but I have trouble just penciling them in for the 6th seed. They were supposed to have the big turnaround last season too but it never happened. None of the changes you mentioned seem that convincing to me. Hedman might pull a Doughty/Stamkos or he might take longer to hit superstardom. Boucher might instantly become one of the league's top coaches or might be exposed as a rookie only just over a year removed from coaching in junior leagues. (Similarly, Seguin might be a Duchene for Boston but he could also be a bust in his first year. I've heard analysts say that he might not be NHL-ready.) Vinny is a total question mark. He seems like an 80 point center. They added Kubina but they lost Meszaros (a bust for them but still the upgrade is hardly enormous).

Tampa, New Jersey and Ottawa have as many question marks as we do. I only really see 4 teams that are clearly better than on us on paper.

Nice post. I share your opinion on the last line you wrote. I don't even see Ottawa in the playoffs honestly.

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The slate's clean for me.....always has been after each season.

Hopefully we'll play a higher tempo game this upcoming season, and get our shot for UP and shots against DOWN

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Last year if I remember correctly our habs had one of the lowest scoring ratios in the league. Our power play was also the lowest or near there and as for shots against it was a nightmare. No one can argue the fact that if it wasn't for the outstanding performance of Halak we wouldn't have made the series and neither would we win the playoff series against the caps and the penguins. If I also remember it was Gomez who stated that Halak was the reason why they were where they were it was all Halak. I wish I can be optimistic regarding the 2010-2011 season but my prediction is that every time the caps and penguins play us it will spell revenge. Let me also add that because of our size each time the leafs, devils or sabres plays us they will make us pay physically and will result with lots of injuries. Pierre Gautier believes that Lars Eller along with Boyd fills the holes but I don't share the same faith. As for Price I'm a firm believer that he will be great someday but I don't believe it to be with montreal. P.K Subban will be a pleasant welcome and by the way he reminds me off Bobby Orr. My greatest concern is our aging and slow defence, if we are to have any chance we need a defence that can clear the puck and block shots for our young goalie. I can say more and more but I'll laeve that to someone else. :unsure:

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Nice post. I share your opinion on the last line you wrote. I don't even see Ottawa in the playoffs honestly.

Gonch feeding Kovy on the right slot? seriously? I think that get's them 8th place right there.

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Gonch feeding Kovy on the right slot? seriously? I think that get's them 8th place right there.

I take Markov feeding Cammy 100X before Gonchar feeding Kovy. If Alfredsson gets injured, they are done.

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