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25 August 2007

The Hockey News : "Habs to finish 13th in East", Koivu : "We're making the playoffs"

Recent discussion about the Canadiens has been revolving around predictions.

The Hockey News (THN) has predicted that the Habs will finish 13th in the East.
Gaston Therrien, journalist for RDS, wrote in an online editorial on http://www.rds.ca/ that the he agrees with THN in saying that the Canadiens will be packing up their gear before the playoffs.

He predicts a 10th place finish.

Team captain Saku Koivu replied to THNs prediction in an interview given to La Presse published in today's Montreal paper.
He assured Richard Labbé of La Presse that the acquisitions of Hamrlik and Smolinksi are worthwhile, and will help the team make the playoffs.
On Harmlik, Koivu feels he is a very good defender able to fill some of the void left by Souray on the power play. He also feels that Smolinski who has played on a winning team in Ottawa is the type of player that the Habs needed.

Now that I've filled you in on the predictions I've gathered up, time for me to analyse them a little myself! Firstly THN according to me seems to rely too much on free agent signings to come up with their predicted standings. Therrien from RDS is much more realistic with a 10th place finish, but being a Habs faithful, I have to say I believe they will make the playoffs! Of course, it will be a tight finish, but they should pull it off. They are more solid defensively, young players like Higgins, Plekanec, Komisarek, Lapierre and Latendresse have gained experience, and several more are ready to step up if needed (Price comes to mind). The Habs will finish 7th or 8th, after a very tight race!

13 fanatics have replied:

Layne said...

Let's remember that before Christmas last year, we were sitting 2nd in the East. Then the dreaded flu bug hit (can't we play all our games away from Montreal in the dead of winter and home games AFTER flu season :) and we went into the toilet. (no pun intended) It took a superb effort by the team and some individuals (hello Tomas Plecanec) to almost nail down the last playoff spot, only to fall short on the last day of the season.
So if the young guys are better, the replacements are a slight improvement over Bonk, Johnson and even Souray, and we skip the flu, as well as Buffalo being worse, I'm saying 6th in the East!!

Katy said...

No need to worry about what you are getting placed as by these things. Sometimes it is good to slip under the radar and take the hockey world by surprise. It's what happened to the 05/06 Canes and I think they did pretty well for themselves. Just as long as the beginning of the Habs' season doesn't look like the 06/07 Canes..I wouldn't worry!

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with The Hockey News. There's no way I see the Habs making the playoffs this year. I don't think they'll finish dead last, but I do expect a further drop-off from last year. The young guys who you think should be one more year experienced and ready to push harder simply aren't that good in the first place. And the worst overpaid free agent signing goes to Montreal for Hamrlik. You should have spent that money elsewhere.
It's going to be a long year in Quebec.

Aaron said...

Really sick of hearing negative predictions. Buffalo was supposed to win it all, and the outcome was not positive. Let's just sit back and watch the games. My only concern is Huet's goaltending.

Anonymous said...

You got to be kidding me buddy, Huet's goaltending is your main concern?

If anything it should be the last thing on your mind, there's absolutely no problem with Huet right now (and seriously, the guy can back 2 months after being injured and played a crappy game, so what? It's not the freicking end of the world, maybe if Carbonneau had brains Halak would've played and Huet could've gotten some pucks come playoff time, ASSSUMING they won).

It's also kind of sad how people forget how good he really is, funny, some people still supported Theodore to the bitter end while he was playing like a load of crap and when Huet had an un-and-down season --he was an All-Start, gosh-- it becomes a main concern.

Sorry man, but I take anything negative about Huet to heart...he has wanted nothing but to do his best, and keep the team in the game, even if they're playing terribly in front of him.

My main concern is our scoring depth, especially at centre, and our lack of consistency overall.

Huet's not perfect, but I've really had enough of all the criticism he has gotten the past offseason...and for WHAT? Really, somebody enlighten me and tell me why Huet is under the radar so bad?

I'd also have to say people in this town are partially crazy if they want Carey Price, who has under 25 games of AHL experience (and yeah, he won the Calder Cup, and who get them there? HALAK did!) to be the starting goaltender on a team that fans believe strongly and want to make the playoffs and in a city where the pressure cooker's off the charts.

Pierre, don't be worried about whatever stuff THN says, from what I've learned, they tend to overvalue how a team does in the offseason (UFA), and not how much they improved by in terms of player progression.

BBeR said...

You got to be kidding me buddy, Huet's goaltending is your main concern?

If anything it should be the last thing on your mind, there's absolutely no problem with Huet right now (and seriously, the guy can back 2 months after being injured and played a crappy game, so what? It's not the freicking end of the world, maybe if Carbonneau had brains Halak would've played and Huet could've gotten some pucks come playoff time, ASSSUMING they won).

It's also kind of sad how people forget how good he really is, funny, some people still supported Theodore to the bitter end while he was playing like a load of crap and when Huet had an un-and-down season --he was an All-Start, gosh-- it becomes a main concern.

Sorry man, but I take anything negative about Huet to heart...he has wanted nothing but to do his best, and keep the team in the game, even if they're playing terribly in front of him.

My main concern is our scoring depth, especially at centre, and our lack of consistency overall.

Huet's not perfect, but I've really had enough of all the criticism he has gotten the past offseason...and for WHAT? Really, somebody enlighten me and tell me why Huet is under the radar so bad?

I'd also have to say people in this town are partially crazy if they want Carey Price, who has under 25 games of AHL experience (and yeah, he won the Calder Cup, and who get them there? HALAK did!) to be the starting goaltender on a team that fans believe strongly and want to make the playoffs and in a city where the pressure cooker's off the charts.

Pierre, don't be worried about whatever stuff THN says, from what I've learned, they tend to overvalue how a team does in the offseason (UFA), and not how much they improved by in terms of player progression.

Aaron said...

If the Habs had a better goaltender, they would win more games. As fas as more offence, no good scorer wants to play in Montreal, not even Briere. Why pay higher taxes, and put up with the press. I recall a few years ago, all I heard was "trade Koivu, he's useless".

Pierre Ste-Marie said...

What's this about goaltenders being an issue in Montreal. I'm sorry but that is the craziest thing i've heard! I wont even argument it anymore!

Anonymous said...

Huet is certainly not one of the premiere guys in the Eastern Conference. Get over it guys.

Bleu, Blanc et Rouge said...

Oh Huet's not a premiere of the Eastern, yeah, but according to THN as well (goalie rankings mag), Raycroft, Fleury and Lehtonen are compared to him.

Oh and one can always easily ignore he was an Eastern ALL-STAR and could've gone on to have much better numbers had it not been for the Habs' sucking after December.

Aaron said...

Huet won't be around upcoming season. The Habs can do better than him. Some of the goals he let were amateurish - the Mr. Softie types-which deflated the team.

Aaron said...

Overall, expansion into the southern states has hurt the quality of play in the league - it's a business, not a sport. A minute salary cap was put into place to put them on an equal footing with the more established teams. Even with this move, hockey will never flourish in those cities. NASCAR dominates, and the lack of major U.S. TV network contracts (coverage) with the league are an open sore. Nobody in the southern states watch anyway, especially during the football season.

Adding two more teams to the league will just make it worse. The overall quality of the players is poor as a result of expansion.

Lifting or substantially increasing the cap MAY attract better players to MTL.

Anonymous said...

ur such a loser aaron thats all i got to say. YOu dont know shit about hockey if u think huet isnt a good goalie. He made it to allstars and he fucking plays his best. Souray who keeps messing up and huet bails him out. Am i not correct? Huet bails everyone on the team when they do poor on defense. You can expect him to make 30 saves every single fucking game he play. So why dont u take all ur comments and shove it up ur ass

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