Hamilton vs. Cleveland
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12-06-2003, 03:52 PM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Balej is now third in AHL scoring. Quite a turnaround from last season. If he hoped to remain in Montreal's plans on the right wing, he needed to stay ahead of Perezhogin on the depth chart this season, and so far he has done that. On the other hand, this is Balej's sixth season playing in North America compared to Perezhogin's first, so it's to be expected that he would be more acclimatized. Nevertheless, it's nice to see him bounce back.
It's safe to say the Habs' future on right wing has changed for the better in the past year. Ryder, Ward, Perezhogin, Balej and Kastitsyn give us a solid prospect base for the next decade. I would not be surprised to see one of the latter three being switched to left wing, probably Kastitsyn.
Possible lineup in a couple years if the prospects pan out:
Kasty Koivu Zednik
Higgins Ribeiro Balej
Bulis Plekanec Ryder
Kilger Begin Ward
Urquhart, Lambert and Lapierre knocking on the door.
A little small on the top two lines, but no lack of skill there. If Ribs isn't a 60-70 point scorer by then, Plekanec or Urquhart will be more than happy to take his place.
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