Alex Kovalev is back with Plekanec and Kostitsyn, the line that did so well last year. Too little too late? Will they provide the spark to get the Habs back into the winning column?
The Montreal Canadiens are the most scrutinized franchise in hockey. Now that the Canadiens have fallen to the 7th position behind the New York Rangers every game will be scrutinized that much closer. I had hoped that the replacement of Guy Carbonneau with Bob Gainey would lead to more consistent production by our top lines, and yet things have remained how they were under Carbo’s watch: inconsistent. Gainey has shuffled the deck once again at the expense of the 4th line by basically placing Pacioretti and D’Agostini on a line with Glen Metropolit. We will see if the usual suspects (Kostitsyn, Plekanec, and Kovalev) can get the job done tonight in Ottawa. It really is a mystery to me in that it seems as though only one player at a time seems to want to have any offensive impact. Whether we’re talking about Tanguay, Kostitsyn, Plekanec, or Kovalev – it has been a rarity to see Montreal get a consistent offensive performance. There was a time when Kostitsyn seemed to be the only Hab capable of hitting the back of the net. Since then Plekanec has been lighting the lamp, and Kostitsyn has gone into hibernation. If this team wants to make the playoffs it will need consistent scoring from its “top players”. So far anyone NOT named Andrei Markov has been a mystery.