The Sports Daily > Barry Melrose Rocks
2007-08 Preseason Foreplay: Montreal Canadiens

Who doesn’t love Youppi?

Quick hits

  • Youppi is actually a real man who is mute and covered in orange fur.
  • The Habs have not won a Stanley Cup in 13 seasons, the longest drought in the franchise’s storied history.
  • Just to remind you how storied that history is… The Pocket Rocket, Henri Richard, won 11 Stanley Cups during his 20 seasons in Montreal. That percentage alone makes Derek Jeter look like a scrub.
  • This year the franchise turned 98 years young. I think the present I sent got lost in the mail. Sorry, Montreal.
  • FourHabsFans post on why they hate the New York Rangers is plain fucking awesome. Do yourself a favor and go read it.

Odds for the folks at gambler’s

78 to 1: In his return to Montreal on January 8th (provided he doesn’t get cut before then), Sergei Samsonov will voluntarily scratch himself from the lineup to commemorate his time in Montreal.

4 to 1: If a poll was conducted, the majority of BMR readers would be in favor of French speaking ice girls.

9 to 1: The Habs will win the Cup this year. After all, they’re the sexy pick.

Obligatory serious analysis

Things aren’t so bad in Montreal. Well, let’s just say that they could be worse. The folks up there have the longest Cup drought in franchise history going, the Habs have stunk up the joint in recent years, and of course there were those shenanigans about an American buying the team a while back. Fear not, Habs fans. Hope is on the way.

Montreal finished two points out of the 8th spot in the East last season, and have, for the most part, taken care of business this off season. First off, the team rid itself of Sergei Samsonov, which is a plus in itself. Despite the loss of Sheldon Souray, the team strengthened it’s blue line by re-signing Andrei Markov, Mike Komisarek and adding Roman Hamrlik, Patrice Brisebois and Jamie Rivers. The additions weren’t earth shattering, but these players will at least provide experience and depth to their defense.

Up front the team lost Radek Bonk and Samsonov, which isn’t that big of an issue considering neither player scored more than 26 points over the course of the season. To replace them, Bryan Smolinski and Tom Kostopoulos have been brought in. They’re not a whole lot better than the aforementioned players whose places they will be taking. Kostopoulos is a career depth player and Smolinkski will turn 36 in December and his engimatic personality leaves it almost impossible to tell how well or poorly he will play.

One thing is for sure; how far the Habs go will be only as far as goaltender Cristobal Huet leads them. The Frenchman was a standout two seasons ago when he posted a .929 save percentage and a 2.20 GAA in 33 starts. Last season he split time with David Aebischer, whom has since signed with the Phoenix Coyotes. Aebischer’s numbers were weaker than Huet’s, but Huet’s numbers dropped significantly. Witness a 2.81 GAA and .916 save percentage over the course of 39 starts. In this league you have to have a solid goaltender, and Huet will have to be just that for the Habs.

Prediction: The Habs are going to ride a solid year from Huet, who thrive on being the #1, and finish in the East’s 8th spot.

The best looking ice girls in Montreal
There are no ice girls in Montreal (as far as I know), so all we’re left with are more Elisha Cuthbert pictures because she’s from Montreal. It’s too bad, really.

Previous Editions of Preseason Foreplay