I believe these are the 5 players that must absolutely show up in the playoffs, for the Canadiens to have any success. If any of those 5 have a difficult first round, it will be difficult to beat any teams, even the Bruins.
# 5 - Thomas Plekanec - Plekanec was great against Carolina two years ago, he was quick, and score several important goals. He must continue his great year, and be aware he will get hit often, and hard. Him and Kovalev are the 2 best offensive players the Habs have, and the Bruins know it. If he gets cold, our first line production is in danger.
# 4 - Saku Koivu - The captain needs to be healthy. We are winning right now without him, but we need him to be productive and in shape to have a good second scoring line. I don't think the Canadiens can win many games with only the first line producing.
# 3 - Andrei Markov - Our best defensemen. When Markov is on his game, the Habs do not lose very often, if at all. It's that simple.
# 2 - Alex Kovalev - The MVP for the Habs this year. If Kovalev goes silent in the post season, our hope of success disapear. He must continue to produce at PPG pace, because otherwise, we might be some goals short at the end of it all.
# 1 - Carey Price - Obviously, the goaltender is the most important position in hockey, even still in the playoffs. Will Price be able to stand on his head against the same team, for 6 or 7 games? Probably, he did it last year in Hamilton, even though he had some rough games. If Price is not at his best, the Habs will not win the Cup, that's for sure.
What do you think? If any of those 5 players go cold in the playoffs, I don't see the Habs winning the Cup. If they all play well, anything's possible!
#1 Carey Price
#2 Alex Kovalev
#3 Andrei Markov
#4 Mike Komisarek- he's going to be a marked man
#5 Saku Koivu/Tomas Plekanec - not sure how effective Koivu can/will be, so we'll need Plekanec to play like he did the whole season
I'd say Price is easily the most important player of the 5 in order to succeed in the playoffs.He has to be dominant.
Koivu(our great leader),Kovalev(our MVP),Markov and Komisarek(our premier d-man pairing),Plekanec(our top centre)-I'll also include Higgins in that list(important leader)-must show up big time this postseason.I do believe Koivu will have a great playoffs.
Thank God we don't have Ribeiro anymore.One playoff chronic underachiever out.