Latendresse shows flashes of what kind of impact a big power-forward can have on this team. His ability to protect the puck in tight while wearing defenders like a second jersey is pretty remarkable. He's also got very good hands and is smart enough to make high percentage plays for himself and his linemates. I think the guy gets too much grief considering his recent injury history and the fact that he's probably still not anywhere close to 100% in health or game-shape.
Turris Zibanejad and Smith - particularly Smith and Turris really need to show up. They're not against a big tough defense, they're not against big tough players - they need to be able to pressure and score.
Without Spezza - Turris and Smith need to carry the load at center if we hope to make it out of round 1.
My money is on Pageau. While their key D is stacked against our best players Pageau is gonna cause some havoc.
Regarding earlier discussion about Latendresse, I think folks around here wouldn't give him so much credit if he were on another team. It just seems like homerism to covet what is basically a street hockey all-star who can balance himself on skates really well.
If we want to win the series Karlsson and Anderson have to come to play therefore they are not our x-factor.
The real x-factor is:
Zibanejad and Silfverberg.
Who remembers last year when Silfverberg came in and had that dominant 3 minute shift in game 7 against NYR in the playoffs. He steps it up big time in clutch moments.
Zibanejad will go ham like he usually does hopefully. To exploit their defense and quick speed Zibanejad will be able to retaliate with speed of his own but he has to punish people in the process to give him the upper hand which I believe he will.
Alfie - The captain will step up like he has so many times before and lead the way. I feel like he saved some juice in the tank for the playoffs and considering this could be his last run, he is going to go all out. There's times we could see 07 Alfie. He's also got fantastic numbers for his career in the playoffs and against the Habs.
Turris - He's got a huge spotlight on him. I think he learned a lot last year and with this being his third playoff run, it's time we see him truly break out and go point per game or close to it. He's going to get a lot of ice-time and be put in situations that he can succeed in and I think he relishes that opportunity.