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04-07-2004, 10:30 AM
Sam I Am
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If there is one facet of the current edition of the Hab's that will likely not measure up to the standard of the '02 playoffs it's in nets.

It's unreasonable to expect Theodore to be quite as miraculous as he was two years ago. This season, the disparity between the two teams' netminding has all but disappeared.

The immobility of the Bruins' d-men, brought so clearly into focus by Montreal's small, speedy forwards in '02, has ceased to be an issue. The Bruins are a less flawed team this time around. The only guy no longer around who may be missed is Bill Guerin, a hard-hitting, scoring money player.

On the Habs' side of things, they are enormously improved over two years ago. Yes, the '02 playoffs were Gilmour's last hurrah--he was inspirational. But he has been replaced--and the Canadiens have added talent and depth throughout. Ryder's game is significant and perfectly adapted for the playoffs. Ribiero's...well, we'll see how he responds to the grind of a long series.

And a long series it will be--if Souray is healthy and Theo is hot.

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