Saku Koivu Has the Hot Hand for the Montreal Canadiens

Francois GendronSenior Writer IMarch 27, 2009

MONTREAL- MARCH 14:  Saku Koivu #11 of the Montreal Canadiens skates during the warm up period prior to facing the New Jersey Devils at the Bell Centre on March 14, 2009 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Devils defeated the Canadiens 3-1.   (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

The Montreal Canadiens are one of those teams.

Every time you think that they are down and out, they rebound in spectacular fashion to shut down the criticism.

GM and head coach Bob Gainey decided after the loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs that it was time to put the pressure on his veteran players.

Gainey united team captain Saku Koivu with Alex Kovalev and Alex Tanguay.

The last two Canadiens head coaches have tried to unite Koivu and Kovalev in the past but without any tangible result. But against the Atlanta Thrashers earlier this week, the trio scored a total of five goals and registered 11 points.

Then yesterday evening in front of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Koivu scored the game-winner during the overtime period on a great individual effort for a 3-2 victory. The team captain has three game-winning goals, two of those during overtime, since the arrival of Bob Gainey behind the bench.

Are those two victories against mediocre teams enough to ignite the team for a hot winning streak? Will the Koivu-Kovalev-Tanguay line remain red hot? Does Bob Gainey has something to do with this late revival?

Those questions are to be answered in the upcoming games.

In the meantime, the Canadiens are still holding on to the eight and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.