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» 2006 » May

  • Cristobal Huet vs David Aebischer

    One of the first questions Canadiens management will have to answer is the goaltender situation.

    David Aebischer stated that he wants to stay in Montreal but only if he can be a #1 and start 50 or 60 games.
    Cristobal Huet is up for a contract renewal and he surely deserves a raise over his $456 000 modest salary.

    When Bob Gainey traded Jose Theodore for David Aebsicher it was first speculated that Aebischer was just part of a larger deal that would soon follow. He was not and the Canadiens competed down the stretch with 2 “startable” goaltenders . Aebischer did see some minor action and received major criticism after a slow start.

    What will the Habs do? If Aebischer is making demands and the Canadiens management feel better about Cristobal Huet as their #1 then Aebischer may be packed up and shipped out in the off season. With confidence in Yann Danis and Carey Price further down the line the Habs goaltending future is the least of their concerns.
    Yann Danis could back up Cristobal Huet at the start of the next season and fill in the backup role quite nicely.

    Aebischer could still be a hot commodity for teams desperate for goaltending and maybe packaged with some of the more expandable Canadiens be good enough to acquire a real player in return.

    Can you see the Canadiens snubbing Cristobal Huet and starting next season with David Aebischer? Doubtful.

  • First Round Playoff Surprises

    The first round of the playoffs yielded some interesting results. Habs Blog playoff predictions went 5-3 and correctly called Anaheim over Calgary in 7 games but missed the Oilers upset over the Wings as well as the Avs over the Stars.

    The new NHL wanted parity and an even playing field for all teams. The Western Conference saw seeds 1, 2, 3 and 4 all lose to the lower ranked teams. How’s that for parity? That includes President’s Trophy winners the Detroit Red Wings losing to the 8th place Oilers who barely qualified for the playoffs.

    Proving that rankings mean absolutely nothing and each team is as good as the next in the Playoffs. Can you really call them upsets anymore? Does every team have an equal chance once the puck drops in Game 1? Should we pay more attention to the teams who are playing strongly down the stretch and less attention to their actual ranking?

    Anaheim was one of the hottest teams in the last half or last third of the season. They were victorious. Same for San Jose over Nashville. And we all know the Devils haven’t lost a game in ages.

    In the East all the top seeds won their series. Not without a couple scares, but the top teams prevailed.

    Looking at the next round the crop just gets better and winners harder to call. Let’s take another shot.

    East:

    (1) Ottawa vs
    Buffalo
    (7 games)
    New Jersey
    (6 games)
    (2) Carolina vs
    (4) Buffalo (3) New Jersey

    West:

    (5) San Jose vs
    San Jose
    (7 games)
    Anaheim
    (6 games)
    (6) Anaheim vs
    (8) Edmonton (7) Colorado

    Buffalo looked like the most dangerous team for a while and in the first round embarrassed the Flyers. I still have them as my Cup pick.

    Ottawa will fight it out and make it exciting but Ray Emery is about to be exposed for what he is.

    So in the East we get a real blue collar battle. The armpit of America Buffalo vs the Swamp Devils.

    Edmonton and San Jose will probably be the toughest series. Edmonton is sky high after putting away the Wings but San Jose might have the more complete team. As always whichever goaltender comes up a bit better will make the difference.

    Anaheim is a complete team. Well coached and disciplined. I can’t see Jose Theodore really being able to win another 4 games.
    So on the west side it’s a straight up California match up. Get ready to be tired at work if you plan on watching every 10 or 11pm start in the next round.