Chris Higgins, Alexei Kovalev, Saku Koivu, Andrei Kostitsyn, Sergei Kostitsyn, Tomas Plekanec, Georges Laraque.
7 forwards that regressed considerably in comparison with the previous season.
Maxim Lapierre, Guillaume Latendresse, Tom Kostopoulos.
3 forwards that have taken a step in the right direction in 2008-09.
Alex Tanguay: Too injured to rate, but a pleasant addition who has brought a good offensive dimension to the first line.
Robert Lang: See you in round 3, or rather the third hole.
Token rookie: Gregory Stewart, I like you, you're a decent man, and I'm sure you pay your mortgage on time, and you can tell a lot by someone's timely mortgage payments.
Your highest scoring team in 07-08 has taken a considerable step backwards; 7 steps backwards, with 60% of this team's forwards having fallen in terrible slumps at various intervals of this all-important year.
About 3 weeks ago, so we're talking about 70 games in, while glossing over the team's individual stats I came across a figure that truly shocked me. I actually found it so unlikely that I quizzed a bunch of friends who were no where near the vicinity of a correct answer. Question? How many assists to you think Chris Higgins has so far this season. Answer: 9.
I couldn't believe it. 9 assists. Sit on that for a moment.
I don't care about the 20 plus goals brother Andrei has scored all year. They came in bunches that would make the Brady's jealous. His play has been so uninspiring that one has to wonder whether or not he actually attempted to play himself out of Montreal. His brother has been nothing more than an on-ice and off-ice side show, with a few verbal jabs in Mikhail Grabovski's direction to boast about.
You have to admire the Lapierre line's desire. If Maxim has shown desire, what has really caught my attention is Guillaume's blossoming leadership skills. I never saw that coming.
Assume the first line picks up where it left off; you need the Plekanec line to contribute, otherwise it's game over. Assume the Bruins shut down the Koivu line; it's game over. So Zombie guy, guy who hangs around with a pimp guy, guy who hangs around with a pimp guy's brother, rise from the frealing dead boys and do something that turns the light behing the opposing goalie a bright red. Sound good?
You wanna win in the playoffs? Easy. Two scoring lines, a gritty third line that contributes those timely goals and a fourth line that plays an honest and errorless shift.
Because they're playing the Boston Bruins, against forwards that have all taken a step...forward, including Michael Ryder, to add insult to injury.
Savard, Lucic, Krejci, Kessel, Recchi (61 points!). A healthy Patrice Begeron who's shown that he's ready to go.
You want to beat these guys? You skate, you skate like fucking Kristi Yamaguchi and you move the puck forward and quickly.the.fuck.out.of.your.zone. C'est aussi simple que ca (which means, quebecois prefer natural breasts - so that's what you say people when you come across a pretty woman in Montreal).
I don't like the matchup. I don't like the Habs' chances, and I think that for once this decade, logic will prevail and the better team will win as easily as the standings indicate it should. The key is that first period of Game 1, which scares me to shits. I have this feeling that Boston will come out FLYING and pound Montreal into bondage. I'm afraid that sets the tone for the rest of the series. If the Habs can manage to come out of that first period not trailing 3 or 4-0, then I'll breathe easier. If we win Game 1, call it a real series.
And one last time, no mention here of Mathieu Dandeneault because Mathieu Dandenault being a less than average defenceman did not make him a first line forward, Guy Carbonneau, you monumental, ...drumroll....asswipe.