Have the Montreal Canadiens Chosen Wisely?
This is a very exciting year for the Montreal Canadiens. Aside from impressive additions to the team’s roster with the likes of Center Robert Lang, Winger Alex Tanguay, and bruiser Georges Laraque, this season marks 100 years of hockey for the franchise (99 due to the lockout in 2004-05 for those who want to get technical). Montreal will also be hosting the 57th NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, January 25, 2009 as one of the main events of the Montreal Canadiens’ Centennial celebrations. Most people who participate in fantasy leagues have been setting their expectations quite high and are optimistic the Canadiens will finish first in the East once again and possibly take home the Stanley Cup. One question right now is whether or not the Habs made wise decisions with their new players, so let’s have a quick look at their performances so far.
Wow. They say in poker that you should never regret folding your hand based on which cards hit the table afterwards. The same could be said to the Calgary Flames, as they could never have predicted that Alex Tanguay would lead the Montreal Canadiens in points, and would be named the team’s player of the month for October, right after they traded him. Watching Tanguay and Saku Koivu playing together is reminiscent of the Stanley Cup winning Habs of 1993, who seemed to read each other’s minds on the ice. They both handled the puck with skill and precision and both enjoy setting up plays, making them a fearsome duo for any goaltender to contend with. Calgary should also be pleased to know that Tanguay is also in consideration for the starting lineup of the All Star Game in Montreal on January 25th.
The 6-foot-3, 216 lb Center from Czechoslovakia made a fantastic first impression on Montreal, scoring the Canadiens’ first goal this season against the Buffalo Sabres. Since then he’s earned 8 points in 12 games, proving his worth as a veteran playmaker. This year he’s rejoined forces with Alexei Kovalev, as the two shared lines when they played for Pittsburgh together in the late 1990s.
Finally, the Habs hired someone to protect their talented golden boys in the front line. Born in Montreal, Laraque was named the number one enforcer by Sports Illustrated in 2008, and was ranked second “best hockey fighter for the buck” in an article written by Forbes. True to his title, in his first ten seconds on the ice as a Canadien he went blow to blow with Shawn Thornton of the Boston Bruins. He’s only played six games so far and although he is still without a single point he’s already got three fights under his belt. According to hockeyfights.com he’s only won one of them, but if you actually watch the video, he should have been considered the winner against Thorton. Now when you buy Montreal Canadiens tickets there’s a good chance you’ll see a boxing match as well as fantastic hockey. Laraque will certainly come in handy should the Canadiens make it to the playoffs, which is where unchecked goons have caused critical injuries to Montreal’s key players in the past.
For more information and predictions, check out UnlockedSports.com.