Montreal lost another key defender for the year when Josh Gorges went down with a knee injury as well. The injuries forced GM Pierre Gauthier to get some help and he added James Wisniewski. Wisniewski filled the gap well but left via free agency this summer.
Last season was the coming out party for starting goalie Carey Price as he helped carry the team through injuries by posting impressive 38 wins, 2.35 GAA, and .923 save % in 72 games.
The Montreal and Boston age old rivalry was a significant focus last season after a game in February that featured 14 goals and tons of fights. Then a few weeks later in the rematch Max Pacioretty was driven head first into the boards in a violent collision with Bostonís Zdeno Chara. The incident sparked much controversy and even came under legal scrutiny. Then the Habs and Bruins meet in the conference quarter finals and Boston won in game seven.
In the summer the Habs said good bye to Wisniewski and Roman Hamrlik and signed Erik Cole to help bolster the offense.
|Mike Cammalleri||Tomas Plekanec||Brian Gionta|
|Max Pacioretty||Scott Gomez||Erik Cole|
|Travis Moen||David Desharnais||Andrei Kostitsyn|
|Mathieu Darche||Lars Eller||Ryan White|
|P.K. Subban||Andrei Markov||Carey Price|
|Josh Gorges||Hal Gill||Peter Budaj|
|Jaroslav Spacek||Alexei Yemelin|
|Yannick Weber||Raphael Diaz|
Top Breakout: David Desharnais - Scored 22 points in 43 games. May leap frog Gomez on depth chart and play second line.
Top Rookie: Alexi Yemelin - Little fantasy value, but the big Russian will make his presence felt!
Hidden Gem: Max Pacioretty - The Chara hit ended what was starting to look like a breakout
Donít Draft: Scott Gomez - A pitiful 38 point season wont be good enough to keep a top six role. He may drop further!
Donít Draft: Andrei Markov - 2 seasons lost to knee injuries. Even if he plays a full season he will never be the same.
Best fantasy value: Carey Price and P.K. Subban are money in the bank.
Montreal is a good regular season team. Very good special teams and elite goaltending and excellent team speed make them a strong team. Montreal sorely lacks any physical presence however and in the spring when the stakes are higher and the penalties are few and far between can the Habs stand up to the physical abuse. Unless Gauthier makes some moves and adds some grit and sand paper the key to beating Montreal will continue to be to beat on them!
Pete Harling is and always has been passionate about hockey. He loves to watch it, play it but what he loves the most is fantasy hockey. Email Coach Harling at [email protected].