Two years ago, it was Sheldon Souray blasting shot after shot from his spot on the right point, taking Andrei Markov's passes and forcing teammates and opposition to duck for fear of having their heads ripped off by a piece of rubber flying at 100 mph.
Last year, the thought on everyone's mind was "What will we do without Souray?"..."The power-play is gonna be brutal without Shelly's big shot"..."Can Roman Hamrlik make us forget about Sheldon?".
Enter Mark Streit...the Swiss Army Knife of the Montreal Canadiens.
13 goals, 49 assists, 62 points...Sheldon who?
Fast-foward to now...Mark Streit is an Islander. Take this to the bank, Mark Streit won't be putting up those numbers next year. Take this with you; the Habs power-play won't suffer because of Streit's departure...add Mats Sundin to the mix, it might even be better.
The 49 assists Streit collected came from feeding a certain someone the puck, who would hang on for awhile, make a few guys look silly, then rifle a shot top corner from his trademark territory along the right wing boards, or pass it off to his young Czech center or his Belarussian apprentice, and they would put the icing on the cake.
The 13 goals came from some point shots and some time up front playing foward.
Alex Kovalev-the most hated man in Montreal one year, the next, a hero. Things change fast in this city. Anyways, Kovalev was the key cog in the Habs power play machine last year-and guess what, he's still here! The main ingredient in this recipe for success. Now, add 2 cups of Kostitsyn, a dash of Plekanec, a sprinkle of Koivu, a hint of Higgins, and why not throw in some Latendresse, some Laraque even, why should the goalie be allowed to see anything! Who gave him that right! Park one of those two in front of the net and shoot from everywhere! Ohhh but wait, it gets better! Markov! Hamrlik! Price! (sorry had to put that in there). And last but not least...we've waited to long to not get him...Mats Sundin. Take a moment to imagine the firepower that this team has, with or without #13...and everyone is worried about Streit leaving. Why? Sergei Kostitsyn can play the point, Kovalev can play the point. We have Pavel Valentenko who could make the team this year as a 7th defenseman-the guy can shoot a puck 102 mph. P.K Subban! What if he has a stellar camp and steals that 7th spot!
Guy Carbonneau is gonna have a looooooooooooooooot of fun making his combinations this year...let's hope the PK can improve, and we can finally get back to the days when the words "Canadiens" and "feared" can be used in the same sentence again.