Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The story so far....

Ok, so we are three game into the season and are slowly starting to get a look at what the 2008-2009 Montreal Canadiens can do. So far, things look pretty good to me. Mmmm, maybe not actually. Things don't look bad, they just look a little uncoordinated, at times. That is totally normal, however, and the result of the team trying to gel. One thing is for sure, and that is that this team is going to be somewhat of a juggernaut once they come together.

Right now, you can tell that they are still learning how to play together. There are new players, and TONS of skill on every line.

A few things that have stood out for me in the three games I have seen, that are very encouraging. First and foremost, is that this team is absolutely loaded with talent. It is crazy, because I feel like I don't know who to watch. There are skilled, talented players on every line, and every line can score, hit and pass. I haven't watched anything like this in Montreal, for many, many years.

Lang is a GREAT addition to this team, and his size and faceoff skill has shown since game 1, along with his still present offensive prowess. Tanguay is looking good and starting to gel with Koivu and that is another great addition, but the thing that has struck me the most about this young season is the kids.

Lapierre, Latendresse and Sergei Kostitsyn have REALLY started to blossom - especially the latter.

Lapierre apparently took boxing lessons this summer, and it shows, because he is much less afraid of dropping the gloves. Latendresse, on the other hand, was handed a gift when Higgins was injured to start the season. The Higgins injury meant that Latendresse was slotted in as a second line winger, and that move is paying dividends. Latendresse looks like the perfect compliment for Tanguay and Koivu. He size in the corners and in front of the net is working well. I believe that if things continue like this, they should keep Guillaume on that line. He should be able to play the roll of garbage man and pick up 25 goals this year by planting himself in the crease and scooping up the trash. Guillaume looks a little quicker, but much more confident and solid on his skates, this year, and I am hoping this will translate into a 50 point season for him.

Speaking of being more solid, Sergei Kostitsyn has got to be the best player on the team through the first three games. He has an incredible vision of the ice and is working out swimmingly on Lang's wing. Kostopolous too, doesn't look entirely out of place on that line, but I believe that Higgins should take that spot once he comes back. I think that will give us three very balanced lines, all capable of scoring and all defensively responsible. Adding Higgins to that line, in Kostopolous' place, will add even more skill to the line and arguably make them just as good as the second line.

We'll have to see, I guess.

K.

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