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03-18-2004, 12:04 PM
  #19
HABitude
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Laprairie, dans la belle Province
Posts: 2,561
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Don't start driving nuts with the current winning streak! (in french we say “part pas en peur ********”)
There is winning streaks and losing streaks. We are in the winning streak and good for us, it's just before the PO time. Actually Koivu is playing his best hockey in his life, as good as before his first big knee injury back in 1996. In fact he was #1 in the league at that time, he was a elite fast skater. That injury souldn't never happen but what is done is done, it's sad but injuries are part of this sport.

Back with the winning streak, if the series would have start 2 weeks ago, we would have gone 2 rounds by now with Koivu leading in inspiration the rest of the bunch, let's hope the team will go on with that nice team effort when PO time will start.

Now for saying how would we rank Koivu, I've changed my mind when I ranked him something like 29th. We see a much upgraded and improve Koivu since the Ribeiro-Koivu incident. Koivu raised his play and speed skating since that incident. Psychologically he faced his inner emotions and transformed some of his angryness and frustrations into the game, and it shows a lot.

Centers before him are right now: Forsberg, Sakic, Thornton, Sundin, when healthy Lemieux

On par with Koivu: Roenik, Demitra, Datsyuk, Fedorov, Lecavalier, maybe Morrison.

In fact when we talk about forwards, there are names that comes before Koivu, such names as Kovalchuk, St-Louis, Hossa, Jagr, Naslund, Bertuzzi, Heydjuck, maybe Alfredson.
It doesn't matter much for me if the Habs have the best center in the top 10 or top 5. As long as the team is in the top 5 before playoff time, this is all what really matters for me. I do remember the Habs winning 4 Stanley cups in a row with a getting old Lemaire as first center, so “Coco” Lemaire was not a top 5 at that time, neither was K. Muller in 93 and Bobby Smith in 86 .

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