2010 Montreal Canadiens Preview
I hate to say a team’s season comes down to one player, but that seems to be the corner the Montreal Canadiens have painted themselves into. Success in the coming NHL season will ride on 23 year old Goalie Carey Price. The Habs traded Goalie Jaroslav Halak to St. Louis for forward prospects Lars Eller and Ian Schultz. Now the weight of a city’s expectations fall squarely on Price’s shoulders who has already lost the starting goalie gig for this team once.
Head Coach Jacques Martin may be one of the toughest coaches in the NHL today. How more than his system how he manages Price and where he spot starts Goalie Alex Auld will determine whether is his a success of not. The good news for this team is they play very good defense. In last year’s playoffs they handled Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, and Evengi Malkin while advancing through two rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
This team’s breakout candidate may be LW Benoit Pouliot. This is a guy who has yet to live up to being the fourth overall pick in teh 2005 NHL draft. He did have 17 goals a year ago, and this may very well be his year to shine. Of course this team also has the fifth overall pick from that draft in Price.
While Price will have a lot of pressure on him, and most of the media following his story, Elder is not exactly pressure free. He comes to this team projected as the second line center and the Habs will need him to produce in his first NHL season. He spent most of last season in the AHL where he racked up 18 goals and 39 assists for Peoria. He may end up as the third line center behind Tomas Plekanec and Scott Gomez.
Key Additions- G Alex Auld, C Dustin Boyd, LW Lars Eller, and RW Ian Schultz
Key Subtractions- G Jaroslav Halak, RW Sergei Kostitsyn, D Shawn Belle, and RW Gregory Stewart