And once again Koivu will return to a huge ovation. The guy by himself represents everything beloved about the Habs (except a Cup win, of course). I'm really not worried about the lineup in his absence.
Well, maybe a short stint without koivu is just what the doctor asked for.
Koivu will probably be out for a couple of weeks (1-2 months max?).
We have been complaining that Ribeiro does not take his job seriously for what feels like an eternity.
Koivu's not there? Ok Ribs, here's your chance. Your trio is now the Montreal Canadiens 1st trio.
Go ahead and fly kid because you are the one I'll replace if it doesn't work out.
I'm less worried about the second trio. I think Plekanecs could fill the job wonderfully.
Three things comfort me:
A) The old "kid line" last season (Higgins-Plekanecs-Perezhogin on the 4th trio for the very first 5-10 games) was really flying out there.
B)Pleks played very solidly all year long. Very responsible, stiff upper lip, never complains.
C)The Zednik-Plekanec-Perezhogin line was impressive in the playoffs. Playing in the role of a third line, they usually found themselves in the offensive zone, controlling the play (only thing lacking: finish)
You think Bonk's underrated? Mr.Defensive genius has the opportunity to prove it on a third line. If the **** hits the fan, I'm pretty confident Begin can center the third line (he's a natural center I believe).
Perezhogin and Johnson to complete.
We got plenty of pluggers for the fourth line. Garth Murray is a center and they are usually plenty comfortable on the left wing.
Downey's physical and Begin is a good leader for our "energy line". If Bonk sinks himself on the third, he can try his luck on the fourth. If Bonky boy cannot perform even in the fourth, well, physical grinders are not the most difficult to find.
See a problem? No problems! We didn't even talk about our rookies!
Replacement for Bouillon? I'll vote for Coté. Very solid.
In my opinino, Koivu's absence will be a good opportunity to judge once and for all Ribeiro's talent and Bonk's usefullness.
Ribeiro doesn't fit? That's our trade right there. Go find a true 2nd line center and stop talking about it.