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03-15-2008, 02:43 PM
nas26's Avatar
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As much as I hate to admit it, the Habs lost that last game because they are not as good as Ottawa. Period. At least not yet. When you go up and down the lineups, it is pretty clear. Montreal may have more young talent, but at this point in time, I think Ottawa has the better overall team.

Forwards-Ottawa boasts three of the best players in the league with Alfie, Spezza and Heatley, along with a versatile mix two-way forwards (Vermette, Stillman, Fisher, Neil, Lapointe, Kelly). Montreal has one elite but tempermental talent (Kovalev), one aging and diminutive upper level talent (Koivu), a couple of good two way forwards (Higgins, Plekanec), and some great but very young offensive players (Kostitsyns, Latendresse, Plekanec fits here too). I hate the Sens, but you have to admit, they have the better players right now.

Defence-Ottawa has multi-year allstar Redden, rock-solid Phillips, strong, young stalwarts Volchenkov and Mejzaros, and veterans Commodore and Richardson. Montreal has burgeoning stars Markov and Komisarek, steady but unspectacular Hamrlik, gritty but undersized Bouillion and Gorges, and rookie O'Byrne. Nod to Ottawa, though it's getting closer.

Goal-Ottawa is enduring a complete s*&t-show with Emery, but Gerber has the ability to carry the load. Montreal has the best goalie prospect to come along since, well, maybe Brodeur, and has a rookie back-up with No. 1 upside. I think that Montreal wins this category on talent alone, though Ottawa's experience and overall team depth mitigates any advantage.

Bottom line is that Montreal generally loses it's games against Detroit, San Jose, Anaheim and Ottawa. These are the true contenders in the NHL year-in-year-out. The Habs will join these teams at some point soon, but when 80% of your most valuable players are under 25, you will experience some growing pains against good veteran teams.

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