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So, how do we rate the 2005-06 Habs?


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Well, we improved from last year but I only expect a 6th seed finish. We can hopefully upset the 3rd seed. But our chances will be low in the second-round.

BUT-----

I just thought of something.:clap:

With the Sens dumping Redden (and I haven't heard about Bondra) and their financial problems and the Leafs sucking more than they usually do. We might have a shot at division-leader which would most likely give us the 3rd seed. Than, I'm confident we can make the Conference Finals. It all depends on whether we can beat Ottawa.

Oh wait, then there's Boston.:wall:

There goes my thought.:guru:

[Edited on 2005/8/20 by Bulis_the_Habbie]

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At first, I think we'll be weaker than last year. We've lost Quintal, Langdon, Perreault & Dowd (Perreault & Quintal will hurt the most). They were all heart players. I don't know if we've replaced that yet. That'll depend on the young ones coming up. Dandenault will likely be a good replacement for Brisebois and Komisarek will likely have matured with the experience he's had. Kovalev all year long will certainly help but still, I think that, at first, we'll be weaker.

This may be a transition year in many ways. New faces will be coming in and some older ones will likely be on their way out. Transition years are usually weak years.

In any case, I'm not concerned. If Gainey is working like Ricciardi is building the Blue Jays then the future will get brighter and brighter.

It'll come.

:ghg::ghg::ghg:

[Edited on 2005/8/20 by shortcat1]

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I agree Shortcat1. BG is building this team for long term success. It is imperative that the young players get a chance and it is inevitable that rookie mistakes will cost us some games. What I would like to see is a reasonable start that allows us to contend with the team peaking at the end of the season and winning a couple of rounds--or more hopefully-- in the playoffs.

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Great thoughts guys. I guess I'd echo the idea that we need to engage the young talent in this year's contest. One of the most overlooked things about young players is they still have alot of jump at the end of the season. No offense, but I didn't see any jump from Perault or Quintal...I know that BG remembers that his last Stanley Cup ring (1989) was won largely on youth...Chelios, Lemieux and Roy...

I like our chances to go past the second...we've got more heart than we get credit...if you get past the second round...it's anybody's shootin' match...I wouldn't mind meeting the Lightning again this year for some payback!

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I believe if the NHL sticks to its crackdown on obstruction, and if they can stay healthy, then the Montreal Canadiens can challenge for the division.

Of course it goes without saying that all players need to perform, but if Theodore can play like he has in the past, thats a good start. The smaller pad shouldn't hurt him as he's a smaller goalie and wore smaller pads anyways.

The Defense will be key. Souray will have to play better then he did at the World Championships were he didn't look very good and wasn't playing by the end of the tournament. Hopefully he can stay healthy and produce 12 to 15 goals. Andrei Markov will need a solid season producing 10 goals and 40+ points.

Losing Brisebois and Quintal hurts, as they were experienced defensman. So Montreal needs Komisarek to continue developing well defesively, while hopefully increasing his offensive output. That will pick up some of the slack of losing Brisebois and Quintal, and be a major boost to the Montreal blueline. Dandenault should be a steady stay at home, who can move the puck well and be a positive attitude for the youner guys in the dressing room.

Bouillon and Hainsey will duke it out for the 6th/7th spots. I hope Hainsey continues to develop and can eventually become a top 4 defensman, although that may not happen till next year.

Up front, to be successfull, Montreal will need strong performances from Koivu,Ribeiro, Bonk, Kovalev, Ryder and Zednick, and will need one of two of Chris Higgins, Alexander Perezhogin, Marcel Hossa , to make the big jump like Ryder did last year and put up a big rookie year. Well Hossa isn't a rookie, but you get the idea.

Begin, Sundstrom, Dagenais, Bulis and Plekanec will fight it out for 4th line duty and probably won't see much action, although Bulis could be a wild card.

I think its reasonable for the habs to have 6 or 7, 20 goal scorers with Koivu, Ribeiro, Bonk, Ryder, Kovalev, Zednick and an outside shot of maybe Hossa or Perezhogin if they get extended opportunities on the 1st, 2nd lines and the Power Play.

I know its a big if, but if the above happens, I really believe Montreal can fight for the division, especially with playing Toronto, Ottawa, Buffalo and Boston 8 times each, and make a deep push in the playoffs, although I don't think they have what it takes to go all the way. I think the defense is a little suspect, and their probably an impact forward away from reaching the finals, although if Theodore gets hot anything can happen.

BUt thats just my optimistic view of how things will be!! GO :hlogo: GO

[Edited on 2005/8/20 by kaos]

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I think lot of Habs regulars are either in the middle or entering their prime. Given that the roster is almost the same as a year ago -- which should give the Habs an edge based on chemistry -- that should be enough reasons to think the Habs can and should do better than their last season.

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Originally posted by Habiman

Great thoughts guys. I guess I'd echo the idea that we need to engage the young talent in this year's contest. One of the most overlooked things about young players is they still have alot of jump at the end of the season. No offense, but I didn't see any jump from Perault or Quintal...I know that BG remembers that his last Stanley Cup ring (1989) was won largely on youth...Chelios, Lemieux and Roy...

!

Gaineys last cup win was 1986. That Habs lost in 89 to Calgary

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Interesting stuff. But I DON'T think the Habs will 'start out' worse than last year. Komisarek is an upgrade on Quintal---he was one of our best guys in the playoffs last year. The kid will manage.

People forget just how key the addition of Bonk stands to become. Suddenly, we have a MUCH bigger and more complete player than Perreault---a truly legit 2nd line centre, who can also play wings---who can step in if Riebiero flags or Koivu gets hurt. Over an 82-game season or whatever it is, that could mean 5-6 extra points, plus less wear and tear on Ribs and Koivu. I'm not saying Bonk is a star, just a very useful fit for this particular team. Plus, with Kovalev absorbing a lot of attention from rival checkers, Koivu should also get a little more room.

So, we should be better. Not enough to escape the 2nd round, but we're that much closer.

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shortcat1 how can u say that perrault and quital is a big loss they did shit all for this team. All perreault did was win face-offs and Quintal is old and washed up so no they are no good and imglad we got rid of them.

The habs will be definetly better this year with some solid D like komi and souray.

Gainey has done well!

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Originally posted by Koivu11

shortcat1 how can u say that perrault and quital is a big loss they did shit all for this team. All perreault did was win face-offs and Quintal is old and washed up so no they are no good and imglad we got rid of them.

Koivu11, I said that, at the beginning, the absence of Perreault and Quintal will make for difficult times.

Quintal was always there to defend his team mates. He was a good hitter also. He did slow down, that's true, but he was a TEAM player.

Perreault didn't do 'shit' for the team. He got 16 goals and 31 points and that was mainly from sporadic play time and usually only on the 2nd & 3rd lines. His face-off savy was vital. Despite the fact that he was more or less discarded, he was still a TEAM player. He never complained about his role.

Again, at the beginning, their absence will be felt because they will be replaced (except for Bonk) by young and inexperienced players. As they mature, gain experience and become more NHL adept then the team will be stronger because I expect that they also will be TEAM players. They will want to play so as to stay there.

:ghg::ghg::ghg:

[Edited on 2005/8/20 by shortcat1]

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I guess i would tend to agree with Shortcat, in that the Habs may have a bit oif difficulty at the start of the season with some new faces and a bit of a lack of synchronicity and timing.

I admit that Perrault, though his course has been run, was a useful player for us two seasons ago. All he did was whatever was asked of him, yeah he lacked consistency, but he was also shuffled all through the deck.

Bonk will help, but i doubt that 20 goals are in his future. I suspect his role will be to take on the other teams top line and Bulis and Sundstrom should not be undervalued for their defensive prowess and skating abilities. They'll chip in with some timely goals, but i think their roles will be clear and i see them being successful.

The majority of the offense will need to come from the top two lines and hopefully our PP, with Koivu and Ribeiro leading the charge, but we should have some peripheral guys that will also allow us to spread it around.

Hainsey better prove something this year or he may end up as trade bait...then again, maybe i'm just impatient!

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This is off topic, the Saint, but is your name Simon Templar? :);) ;) :)

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Montreal will struggle to make the playoffs, but they will get 7th or 8th where they will lose to philidelpha in the first round. I definitely would rather see montreal in the playoffs than toronto.. I guess its all up to kovalev.

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Originally posted by The Saint

Shortcat

You know i can't answer that...:)

Ah, you secret agents... can't get anything out of you.

By the way, are you the 'secret' agent for any up-and-coming prospects that the Canadiens should know about? :lol::);):):lol:

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Perreault leaving didn't bother me much and I was glad to see Quintale leave. To me, the biggest loss was Jim Dowd but that's because I love those kind of players (Bulis, Sundstrom, Juneau). And Juneau and Dackell too. We should have better offense than last year and our ranking can be hugely changed on which face Souray brings to the rink. Remember, last season he was on pace to more goals and points than any Defenseman in the legaue including Gonchar.

Bonk is a big plus and if Bulis plays like he did in Europe than our 3rd line will be incredible: a defensive, checking line that can transform into explosive offense in the blink of an eye.

The first line dominate the same as always. Remember that we didn't have Kovalev last year. That's HUGE.

The second line is small and might get pushed around but they'll put away their chances as usual.

The fourth line will be almost as flexible as the third line with Bégin centering two offensive prospects. One will most likely be Chris Higgins, a two-way player who can find the back of the net. Can dominate in every aspect of the game. The other will probably be Alexander Perezhogin who is all offense. One of the trio is solid defense and checking, the other is two-way and the third is (potentially speaking) top-notch offense.

On D, Komisarek, Markov and Bouillon are 2 years older. Dandenault can replace Brisebois satisfactorily. I have no idea how Mark Streit plays but he sounds like he'll make the team. Rivet is solid and plays great with Markov. Again, Souray is a risky player to be your top offensive defenseman. He's had one random breakout season after years as an NHL blueliner

If Theodore shows off his legendary skills and agility we should fly high.

If all goes well, I predict a 6th seed finish. And a first-round series vs Tampa Bay. Hmmm....

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ok well u guys are insane, saying the loss of perrault and quintal is a bad thing....u guys sertanly havnt been payin attention to what happend in the nhl...ok lets look at this perrault got 31 points right 16 goals like 8 of those goals were when he was on the first line! and he ios a lazy man all he did was win faceoffs yea thats a good thing but mtl has no room for lazy players like hossa and hainsy u stay lazy then ship em out so he usless in mtl. then u got quintal an old lazy fart who took sterioids and 37 yrs old iam happy with what mtl has on defense quintal can retire thats all i say unless he signs wit boston lol

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if we get selanne will be fine

or maybe finaly tryout hte russian players we have in the minors that are most probably ganna kick ass soo anyhting goes its a whole new year and we have alot of players that have to prove themselves if they wanna stay and i say maybe 3rd round for once in 12 years about...

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I think the Habs are going to surprise alot of people this year. Speed kills,and we have loads of speed up front. If the league cracks down on holding, clutching etc...,that will only help a team like ours. A team like Philly with those giant D-men, will have a difficult time of it containing our speed. We have young legs that are a year older and wiser. I am very confident that offensive output will not be of great concern this year. As for the defense, getting rid of Brisebois is cause for great celebration. I've been praying for this for many years. We've all witnessed this guy throwing the puck up the middle of the ice from his own end on countless occasions. He was supposed to be our "veteran" defenseman, but if you don't know when to use the boards, you're useless. Enough about him, Christ, I could go on all day.The rest of our D is solid. Not great,but solid. As for goaltending, I think most other teams in the league would kill to have the depth of young talent that we do. I truly believe that Theodore can go all the way. We have no worries in regards to goaltending. Bob is going to let this team grow. Grow and improve as a TEAM. Just like in the old days. We don't need or want over-paid 35 year olds from other teams. Bob knows that slapping together a bunch of Free-Agents does not produce a winning TEAM. The odd addition here and there, sure, but let the core nucleus of the team grow and improve together.:hlogo:

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Wow...so this is my first post, been reading the threads for a couple of weeks, and I thought I'd weigh in.

I predict a #1 in the league finish. I say this because we really don't know how ANY TEAM is gonna fair in this new landscape we call the NHL. Also, I'm hopefully optimistic when it comes to my habs.

All I know is the leafs and habs play 8 times...everyone of those games will be the game 7 Stanley Cup finals for my roomate(she's a diehard leafs fan...booo!) and myself.

Only way I'll be disappointed this year is if the habs don't make the playoffs, which I wont think will happen. I know people are gonna say, "Oh be reasonable, there's no way the habs can win first place", that could be true but ignorance is bliss.

Well I welcome responses, I'm a big boy I can take it ;)

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The Habs will be struggling to make the play-offs. Maybe another 7th seed finish.

We have improved but teams from behind have improved much more and have made themselves play-off teams. Luckily the Leafs dropped so there's an additional spot.

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Originally posted by The Saint

the Habs may have a bit oif difficulty at the start of the season with some new faces and a bit of a lack of synchronicity and timing.  

With several hundred free agents, every team has a load of new players. Most more than the Habs...

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Habs will finish as a top 5 seed in their conference for the playoffs.

1) Less "new" players on the team means chemistry is less of an issue...our 'team' play will be a step ahead of most other teams. This will be huge the first 25 games of the year.

2) Our young guys all got another year experience and we have 2-3 guys who could step into major roles immediately...and they're ready for it. Higgins, Plekanec, Perezhogin, Komisarek are all 1 year better and more ready.

3) Our youth affords us GREAT depth in a time when salary caps limit how much depth teams can have.

4) Our biggest "hole" is with our 6th d-man...and we've got 3-4 guys who can step up into that spot. Komi, Markov, Souray, Rivet and Dandenault are clearly our top 5 guys with guys like Boullion, Hainsey and Streit to fill out the 6th spot.

5) We've got great scoring punch on our 1st line and potentially a great combo on our 2nd. Our 3rd line looks to be VERY effective in both ends of the ice.

How can anyone say this team isn't a lock for the playoffs? We don't have nearly as big, or as many, questions as most other teams.

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