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07-17-2006, 11:31 AM
  #37
J-D
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: the dizzle!
Country: Canada
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I see the Habs as above-average offensively, average defensively and above-average between the pipes. Just enough to make the playoffs by a hair or two, as usual. The addition of Samsonov will not make that big of a difference, and our defence is very suspect, especially if an injury comes up (remember when Markov was out, the PP and transition game was dreadful).

Predicting the Habs finishing better than 4th in the East would be IMO totally ludicrous. They will never beat Ottawa in their division, and they will evidently battle hard with the Sabres, who (maybe) could drop in the standings. The Leafs and Bruins seem to have improved on last year.

As usual, NewHabsArea puts too much stock into prospects. Kostitsyn will never take Ryder's spot, unless the latter gets too much $$$ from arbitration, while Grabovski will obviously play most of his 82 games in the AHL barring an incredible amount of injuries.

The key IS NOT our emerging kids, because Perezhogin, Plekanec and Higgins are not superstars in the making, that is plain obvious. Undoubtedly, they were important in their role (save for Perezhogin who got a well-deserved break in the AHL), but the problem is that sometimes they were playing better than our highest-paid players. That, however, is a testament to how bad Koivu and Kovalev played during stretches.

Barring trades, our lineup seems to be set in stone, especially the top 2 lines, and I don't see the kind of punch great teams, who contend for the President's Trophy year-in year-out, have.

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