It's a good thing to finish strongly...
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03-15-2012, 12:35 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
It's a good thing to finish strongly...
While I was excited for a top 5 pick as much as anyone, I've come to the conclusion that it's actually a good thing we're playing well to end the year. While the season until recently was a disaster, the team appears to have rediscovered it's Mojo, and all that appeared lost going forward, doesn't actually seem that far away...
THE PRICE IS RIGHT
Price brokeout last season, and while we were all excited for him, there was a question in the back of our minds if he could do it again. Despite the teams struggles through the 1st three quarters of the season, Price has remained excellent throughout and has shown himself to be an All-Star goalie for the foreseeable future. I think we all are more confident that he can be "that guy" now that he has done it in back to back years in the NHL.
A TRIO OF CENTERS
They may not be the biggest trio of centers, but in DD, Pleks, and Eller we have ourselves a very good set of centers, all under 30. All three guys are two way guys, guys who can produce as well as be responsible defensively, and I for one wouldn't be shocked if we could count on them to produce at 70-60-50 points per season respectively for the next few years. Considering their defensive acumen, that's damn good production.
I think it's fair to say that Max has shown he's a young, big, top line forward that can score in bunches. Heading into the year most of us didn't know exactly what to expect, if he'd be a difference maker at all, but I think the results speak for themselves, and I don't think anyone could have expected more. He looks like a 30/30 guy going forward, with the upside for more.
SUBBAN SHAKES THE SLUMP
Halfway through the season, Subban was struggling significantly. He was sophomore slumping, and his upside suddenly came into question. He's since put it back together and I think it's reasonable to believe that he will come out and have a monstrous 2012-2013. Him becoming a two way star who can throw highlight checks and get under the skin of opponents is not too far off.
He certainly took his time, but now with Markov back and getting comfortable it seems like everything is coming together. The PP, the overall mojo of the team, he was signed to be an elite player for us, and him finishing strongly certainly bodes well for next year.
While he's clearly suffering a little bit from exhaustion, the Habs have found themselves a young defensive and physically imposing studn who can also move the puck. Emelin reminds of Volchenkov of the Sens, with a bit more offensive upside, and he looks like a big part of the blueline going forward.
Before Moen got hurt, he Gorges, and Cole emerged as true veteran leaders of this team. All three deserve A's on their sweater, and Gorges might end up with the "C" before too long.
With Emelin, the infusion of size into the lineup, along with the Brad Staubitz pickup and Ryan Whites return, the Habs are suddenly a pretty tough team as opposed to the softest group in the league. It seems as though there's been a significant culture change over the last calender year. I think it's pretty fair to say this long standing issue has been addressed.
THE KIDS ON THEIR WAY
The habs don't have a great group of prospects, but they do have a great group arriving in Hamilton next season. Tinordi, Beaulieu, Ellis, Kristo, Gallagher, Bournival, Holland, etc, there is serious influx of talent inching towards the show especially along the blue line. As the Habs aim to bounce back next year, the reinforcements are in place to step in for the injuries that are bound to happen.
All in all, it's been too little too late for this season, but when looking at the organizational big picture, and all the question marks heading into the year, pretty much EVERY SINGLE ONE looks better and a surer bet going into next year that it did into this. The Habs are back folks, it's just going to be next year we reep the rewards...
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