I agree with Damian Cox in his futility assessment concerning rookie camps. So while there are a plethora of rookie camp story lines I could take up and write about, I want to instead look to the future and make my 2010/2011 season predictions. The first of which is that 9 out of 10 won’t happen and my credibility as a forecaster will be lower than Pierre McGuire’s (remember his man-love affair with Komisarek and how he’d take the Leafs to the promised land).
So without further ado…my predictions
1- The Habs won’t announce their captain by the opening of the season
I know it’s what Gauthier, Martin and friends are saying, but they said the same thing last year. The excuse? After evaluating the team and watching them over the pre-season it was decided that to chose one leader amongst the leadership core would be counterproductive. Instead they will be rotating the “C” around a group of players including Gorges, Gill, Markov, Gionta and Plekanec
2- Out of the gate, Price plays like his hair is on fire and the team goes 8-1-1.
…Then just to keep Auld fresh, Martin gives him a start. For the rest of the season Carey has trouble finding that fire and is inconsistent. I say “inconsistent” not “terrible” because his play will be good, but not great. Good enough for the Price-haters to be kept at bay, but not good-enough to resolve people’s hearts into forgetting about Halak.
3- Bye bye AK47 (at the trade deadline).
Same old story. It’s not that I think he doesn’t have heart, or that he isn’t talented, I just think big brother Kositisyn is a bit stupid. I truly believe he doesn’t have the required hockey IQ to play the game at this level. His teammates always speak about his quick shot, and his immense skill. But that’s in practice, because come game-time, the big guy is just a little slow between the ears and doesn’t get how to play the game. So we trade him for a veteran winger who will play on the third line, and bring Max Pacioretty up to take his spot.
4- Some crazy PQ or Bloc politician will cause a firestorm when it comes to light that the Federal gov’t won’t fund a new Quebec City arena
The target of this firestorm? Our beloved Habs. Why? Because they will be an easy target ever since they sent Louis Leblanc back to the Q at the end of rookie camp. The Habs, feeling the pressure of not having enough francophones will re-sign MA Bergeron at the trade deadline. In his first appearance back with the Habs, he is -4, took only one shot from the point, and generally was unable to hold the blue line. The French media call his defensive performance the greatest thing since the Joe Louis moon pie. Too far?
5- Carey Price won’t get a shutout all season
I am a Price-fan, so please don’t misread this prediction. It’s just that Price isn’t a shutout goalie – the puck seems to always find it’s way to the back of the net whenever Carey is less than a minute away from the shutout!
6- Mike Cammelleri hits the 40 goal mark
I am totally confident in this prediction. We saw his production rate in the playoffs skyrocket and had he not been injured for twenty or so games last season, he would have been close to 40 goals, if not over that amount.
7. Scott Gomez validates his contract
Gomez is due for a big year. I love watching his speed as he carries the puck from the neutral zone into the opposing offensive zone. With Gionta and a *hopefully* productive Pouliot on his wings, I can see Gomez getting between 70 and 80 points. Well..maybe that doesn’t justify an $8-million dollar salary, but it makes it a TAD easier to swallow.
8- Markov isn’t resigned by July 1
As a huge Markov fan, this prediction makes me sad. Markov is a one-of-a-kind player who is great at both ends of the ice. But I don’t think Montreal is going to re-sign him. With Subban coming up, he becomes expendable as our powerplay QB. I think Markov is basically going to teach Subban how to replace him and when July 1st comes around I am going to have to go and buy a new jersey. If Montreal were going to re-sign him, it would be because he was made captain. But as I said in my first prediction, we won’t actually have a single captain, which means the motivation for re-signing Markov disappears.
9- The Wild win the Latendresse/Pouliot trade
Last year it was neck and neck. Both players started producing as soon as they switched teams. Pouliot decided he didn’t need to score goals in the playoffs, and Latendress’s team didn’t even make the playoffs, so we are left to use this season as the marker. Sadly for the Habs, I think the Wild will win this one. I just don’t think Pouliot has the stamina to produce over an 82-game season. Both players will be about even in points until the All-Star break, but then Latendresse is going to take a monster lead.
10– The price of beer at the Bell Centre increases
From $10.50 to $11.00 purely because it will increase beer-boys tips. Let me explain: When you buy a beer for you and the friend who took you to a game you pay with two $20 bills. You get $18 back in change. It’s not like you are going to keep the lousy looney, so instead of giving a two dollar tip, you end up giving a $3 tip.
And that my friends is my 2010/2011 Predictions!