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The heart and soul of the Montreal Canadiens over the last ten years.
The tits – Great playmaker, and terrific vision of the ice. He knows where his teammates are and will get them the puck more often than not. When he’s not injured count on him for just under a point a game pace. A skilled skater who can handle himself well down low in the corners; he’ll pivot himself out of traffic and find a way to the net. He scores goals at opportune moments; his game rises with the circumstances.
The cellulite- I don’t recall ever seeing Koivu blaze down the ice and fire a blast past a goalie. He recognizes that his shot isn't his most potent weapon. Over 90% of his goals are scored in close. If you can push him out of the slot and keep him on the periphery you’ll limit the threat. When he’s not injured count on him for just under a point a game pace. The argument is that he’s not a legitimate no.1 centre.
The armpit hair – Health. Two bad knees, the terrible cancer, an accumulation of bruises over the years. It means the team can’t count on him to play the 82 game schedule, although you know he desperately wants to be there. Slumps. Long ones. He’ll go goalless for 20 consecutive games, almost every single year. It brings the first line to a grinding halt. Then the whole team suffers and the predictable 20- game slide begins. When he’s not injured count on him for just under a point a game pace. The argument is that he’s not a legitimate no.1 centre. He doesn’t rake in the points the way a game breaking star does. He’s been a target in the French media for a long time. He took a 5 minute phone call while eating at a restaurant in Finland this summer only to find that he had brought nuclear Armageddon to the world, or at least on the front pages of La Presse. Has he had enough?
In the VIP room - Work, no matter the circumstances. Whether riding a streak or mired in a slump. In health or near death, he's conditioned to fight. It’s in his blood. He’s relentless. Courageous. Disciplined. That’s why he wears the “C”. It’s not for meaningless speeches in the room, not for his words, because he is a man of few. It’s because everything he represents to this team and to this game is apparent, and right there to learn from during every practice and every game. When he’s not injured count on him for just under a point a game pace. The argument is that he’s not a legitimate no.1 centre. He doesn’t rake in the points the way a game breaking star does. True, but only 9 other centers in the league had more points than he did last year. You want a top 10 centre? So do 20 other teams. Now only if we could get a top ten winger….
Chez Parée bound? - He’s welcome WHENEVER he wants. Think Ray Liotta and Lorraine Bracco in Goodfellas slipping through the backdoor of the club, through the kitchen and inside where the waiters are hustling in a new table for him on the best spot in the house.
.....Lap dances (out of 10) - In the words of HF10...A million! A million lap dances for Saku!
Signature Song – Heart of Gold. He embodies life in all of its sequences and tempos and whatever the circumstances he does so with an unblemished will to prevail. He gives to the team, to the community, to a voracious media as he sits in his stall game after game. A special man, Montreal is lucky to have him.
4 a.m. Smoked Meat Sandwich:
HF10: As much as it pains me to say it, 2007 Saku isn't an NHL number 1 centre. Two major knee injuries and the cancer battle have taken too much from the original mini-mite who made Turgeon expendable and looked like a perennial top-ten scorer. However, I absolutely love his talent, guts, and dedication to the franchise. He's one of the good ones and no one deserves to lead another Habs Cup winner more.
HF29: I will never say anything bad about him. Period.