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07-26-2012, 01:22 PM
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We were also a much better 5 on 5 team than anyone gave credit for, the worst aspect of the Habs by far was the powerplay which should be helped tremendously with the return of Markov and a new coaching staff.

New coach is important - of course I don't expect Therrien to be a Jack Adams candidate but the players are going to respond better to him than to Jacques ''I'm obviously gonna get fired'' Martin and Randy "I'm only there for a few months and have no idea what I am doing" Cunneyworth.

The players are also going to want to prove their worth to the new coach and to the new GM. They are competitive guys, Subban, Pacioretty, Price... They don't want to lose again, they all want to make the playoffs so bad.

We might have lost Cammalleri, Kostitsyn and Gill and while the new acquisitions are inferior offensively we also benefit greatly from the return of Markov and Gionta who both barely played last year.

I know everyone expects Markov to injure himself 3 games into the season but its unlikely. People that aren't 12 or that have a decent memory are going to remember how awesome he is, and that he single handedly makes us a much, much better team. In the meantime Gionta we should expect to score 20-25 goals.

Guys like Bourque or Kaberle can rebound and actually be useful players. Bourque can be better than Kostitsyn. Kaberle can be a top4 defensemen. If only one of these two players rebound we are in a solid position.

We have much better depth. Our young guns (Leblanc, Palushaj, Geoffrion, St-Denis) are more experienced and the number of decent call-up options has increased considerably with all the junior players reaching the AHL. The addition of Prust and Armstrong means we have real bottom 6 players with grit and energy.

Unless Bergevin blows the team up this team won't finish in the bottom5. If there are major injuries again and the team sucks so much after, say, 40 games that the playoffs are out of question then sure, Bergy should trade some assets at the deadline. You tankers should not count on that however, this team will be middle of the pack.

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