Pittsburgh doesn’t worry me. Either does Boston, or Buffalo, or Tampa Bay, or the Rangers. Calgary doesn’t worry me, or Dallas, Anaheim, Vancouver, and Colorado.
In fact, no team worries me about getting in the way of Montreal’s big season. Except Detroit. They worry me. Not a lot, mind you. Montreal will take out any team. This is the year.
But Detroit is a concern.
It isn’t even so much that the Wings landed Marion Hossa. And I’m not at all concerned about Kris Draper and Tomas Holmstrom or most of this team for that matter, including Johan Franzen, who is probably just a one-hit wonder like Iron Butterfly was with In-A-Gadda-Da-Vita.
It’s three other guys in the Motor City I’m not crazy about.
I’m hoping Nick Lidstrom pulls a hamstring. Maybe a couple of times. And maybe Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg could break a finger or two. Nothing serious, just a finger. Even a pinky finger. They can still make whoopee with their wives. They just can’t shoot the puck.
This is the Year of the Habs. And all that needs to happen is this:
Carey Price, with a year under his belt, can’t be tired at the end of the regular season, and his confidence can’t take a nap at any stage in the year.
The defence, led by Mike Komisarek and Andrei Markov, has to play mean and ugly and dangerous. And this also means Ryan O’Byrne. He in particular has to play with an edge that scares the bejeesus out of opposing players.
Up front, Saku Koivu needs to have one of his best years ever. Alex Kovalev has to take his magic into the playoffs. And Tomas Plekanec needs to become a household name throughout the league.
Alex Tanguay has to play like he’s been a Hab for years.
It’s time for Chris Higgins to become a real star this year. A big star. A huge star.
The Kostitsyn boys have to continue to blossom, as they’re expected to do.
Robert Lang has to make us all forget what Mats Sundin might have done in Montreal and be the final piece of the puzzle that’s been missing.
Guillaume Latendresse has to finally become a player. It’s time. We’ve been waiting patiently.
Tom Kostopoulos, Steve Begin, Josh Gorges, Francis Bouillon and the rest just need to keep doing what they did last year because they were great.
Georges Laraque has to become the new John Ferguson.
The team needs to have a very fine power play again, like last year. And they have to score a lot of goals, like last year.
And they have to be stingy with goals against.
Youppi has to relive past glory and become the mascot he was with the Expos.
The Ole song must only be sung when the team’s about to win, not when it’s close.
And everyone, please stay healthy. (I’ve noticed that Koivu and Laraque are already nursing minor injuries.)
And that’s it. It’s simple!
The boys lose big to Boston 8-3, but take out Buffalo in Roberval, 3-2.
And with those cameras so low at the Roberval arena, it felt like we were there, in about the fourth row. It reminded me of the outdoor game in Edmonton a few years back