Hope I'm wrong, but, I expect the Habs will find it difficult to make the playoffs in '09!
Can't lose sight of the fact that the 2 best forwards on Montreal (Koivu and Kovalev) are nearing the end of the most productive parts of their careers (i.e. "they aint gettin any younger").
How will Habs replace them (considering that the best UFAs don't seem interested in signing with Canadian based teams)!
Most of the time, when a team lose a good player, other players step up because they have more ice time, more PP opportunities or go up on the depth chart. All that because the main guy is not there anymore. When Souray left, Streit took his place on the PP and Hamrlik took his place on the defensemen depth chart. When Rivet was traded, Komisarek took his place as the main physical defenseman. When Huet was traded, Price took his place as the #1 goalie. If Kovalev leaves/gets traded, then Andrei Kostitsyn becomes our #1 RW (which is his natural position) and Latendresse might go up the depth chart (to get some PP time and a regular shift on the 2nd line) and Max Pacioretty might makes the team as a 3rd liner. Same thing for the defensemen depth chart. You need to make a spot available for guys like McDonagh, Fischer, Subban and company.
i know exactly the type of response this will get but i was thinking while watching the game and all.. what about bringing in chipchura.. the kid can play and, imo, should be able to handle the pace of the game and can bring a more.. cerebral brand of 2 way game as well. i mean, at this point, our backs are against the wall so would it hurt really?