I've seen four MTL games in person this year, 2 at the Bell Centre, one in Toronto and I happened to be in San Jose last week to watch the shoot-out that occured against the Sharks.
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Here are a couple of things that come to mind when I watch this team, and even as a Leafs fan I will be objective:
1) Has Campbell given komisarek his jock back? (If you thought that was a pretty goal on TV you should have seen it live)
2) When is Carboneau going to put Kostopolous in the lineup and playing 12-14 minutes consistently? This guy is going to be a force in the playoffs. 5 shots last night, a goal against the Kings the other night and Engels doesn't even mention him?
3) Why hasn't Michael Ryder's butt been nailed to the press box seats permanently yet?
4) Is Maxim Lapierre actually a tough hockey player or does hes just play one on TV?
I love the Habs team speed. They can fly around any team in the east and certainly keep up with the upper echelon out west...the only question remains is whether they have the toughness required to beat one of those western teams in a seven game series.
Kovalev has had a pretty good year, but is it just me or does he seem disinterested 1 out of every 3 shifts? With the lack of consistent scoring throughout the lineup I think that MTL's playoff success rises and sets with Kovy...let's hope his wrist holds up this spring.
IMO, get a legitimate tough guy - a la Riley Cote or George Larocque - and put another quality playmaker/scorer up the middle (Patrick Marleau anybody?), along with one more "sandpaper" guy who doesn't "pull the shoot" before going into the corner (that was directed at you Maxim) and with the homegrown defense and goaltending this red, white and blue juggernaut could be a perennial contender for 2 or 3 years to come...move over Senators, by then the games oldest and best rivalry should be back.
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