I think Ryder and Ribeiro will be key players for the canadiens.
I think that after the Koivu-Zednik-Kovalev line dominated against Boston, Tampa Bay will shut them down.
If we're going to win.......wait, what am I saying....When we win, no wait, can't jinx it..........
Anyway, Ryder Ribeiro and whoever else they end up playing with need to step it up.
I agree, I expect to see our #2 line to turn alot of heads this series. I expect TB to put alot of emphasis on shutting down our #1 line and that could allow Ribs and Ryder to bring out some magic...Also TB is not a big team like the bruins and usually when ribs faces big teams he is pretty quite...I expect to see him come out with guns in hand.
I think Ribeiro's line will get much more space to work with, as the Bolts aren't as physical as the Bruins. Plus, I'm really confident to see Ryder and Ribeiro light up the scoreboard on numerous occasion as most of the attention will be brought to the 1st line.
I think that Kovalev will be our best offensive player in this series, he's on a roll and he will continue to dominate. We'll need him to produce as much as Martin St. Louis, that is not an easy task but he is talented enough to do it and he seems to have the will as of right now.
He will have a lot of pressure on his shoulder as well as Koivu. The second line should produce more in this series, but Kovalev will, IMO, still be our offensive leader. In fact, we could argue that he already is. Koivu made some nice plays but Kovalev finished these off and sometime created these goals by his own play, but it still gave a point to Koivu. Don't get me wrong, Koivu played great and was our best overall player, but I still think that Kovalev was our more dominant player in the offensive zone. He left d-men standing like pylons and took shots that mystified Raycroft's. His skillset is just so damn impressive.
Ribs' line should have more room this series and be able to contribute, but it still comes down to Koivu, Kovy and Zed. If the Koivu line isn't running on all cylinders, we don't win, simple as that. We do need some offence from the 2nd line, but they aren't going to win us the series.