Now that it’s been decided that the Habs will power into the playoffs and dominate opponents all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals (it’s been decided, right?), there’s a couple little details that I’d like the team to take care of.
Before the regular season comes to an end on April 10th, I’d like to see:
1. A big bad blow out. The team has been playing well recently and I’d like to see a strong effort at both ends of the ice. I’d love a confidence booster heading into April, say a 7-1 or 8-2 shellacking of a divisional rival.
2. Scott Gomez end the season with 70 points. It’s a bit of stretch (he’d have to play at almost a 1.5 points per game pace) but I think it’s possible and would go a long way to proving that even though he’s got a bloated contract, he does have the skills.
3. The brothers click. Both Andrei and Sergei have shown flashes of brilliance this season but usually for only a few shifts or, at most, a single game. I’d love to see the Belarussian brothers have a few multi-point games coupled with some highlight worthy goals. Andrei “Best wristshot in the NHL?” Kostitsyn has lit the lamp only 12 times this season. Sure he’s missed a ton of time due to injury, but 12 goals? He’s getting paid $3.25 million to score a heckuva lot more than 12 goals. Sergei escaped his temporary purgatory in Hamilton and has shown NHL-calibre skill but, like his brother, the results aren’t there. Sergei has 11 points, only 2 of them goals. Glen Metropolit has more goals than the Kostitsyns combined. Seriously. We’ve had high hopes for these two for a while – now is the time for them to perform.
4. A positive goal differential. It’d be nice to end the season knowing that we’d scored more goals than we’d allowed.
5. Carey Price get at least 2 more starts and 2 more wins.
Halak is definitely The Man right now, but it would do The Franchise some good to end the season on a high note.
6. Halak to get another shutout. And not against Carolina or the Islanders, but against a legitimate playoff team like Buffalo or New Jersey.
7. Travis Moen get 2 more goals. Just so he has more than Tom Kostopolous.
8. Speaking of confidence boosts – I’d like to see Ryan O’Byrne score a goal this season. He’s been a silent contributor on the backend and has been limited to only 3 assists in 41 games this season. He deserves to pot at least one.
9. Benoit Pouliot outscore Guillaume Latendresse.
10. One of our tougher guys – Travis Moen or Ryan O’Byrne – get into a fight and win it convincingly. A little swagger heading into the postseason can go a long way.
11. Max Lapierre put his money where his mouth is. If he wants to earn back some respect from the league and from the fans, he’ll have to play squeaky clean and back up his yapping.
12. Everyone healthy. What a treat it’d be if for the last 3 weeks of the season, we got to see the fully healthy Montreal Canadiens team that Bob Gainey envisioned last summer.
Too much to ask?