Montreal Canadiens: the Hockey News Makes its Predictions

Miah D.Senior Writer IAugust 14, 2008

The Hockey News Magazine has just revealed its annual prediction of the teams rankings.

We remember a year ago, the Montreal Canadiens were placed 13th in the Eastern Conference.

All season long, the players had the motivation to prove it all wrong. They finally ended up first, surprising themselves, the fans, and the entire NHL, except probably the Philadelphia Flyers and Daniel Briere!

Today, THN placed the Canadiens on the first spot by next April.

It sounds to me more as a bad joke than a good new. Me, who used to laugh so much at those predictions through the season, saying that THN should review its hockey skills for a change. Who's laughing now?!

If you find this rewarding, I am glad you won't lose your sleep tonight. Personally, I feel that this is a huge trap that the Montreal Canadiens will have to watch.

Ever heard of the overconfidence syndrome?

Remember, starting last year's series, some even predicted a 4-0 against the Bruins. Six games later, fans were going to the Saint Joseph Oratory to ask for every power they could to make it work.

Then, sports journalists on TV were warning the Flyers to watch out, as Carey Price just regained some confidence and experience. One win and three straight losses later, summer was painfully announced earlier than expected.

I know, you will tell me that the stars may be aligned this year.

Alex Kovalev will be looking to renew his contract, Saku Koivu must be fed up to death after so many years trying, Alex Tanguay wants to give a new start to his career, and a lot other reasons why we should not throw last year's car flag yet.

But I strangely prefer the way I looked at the team a year ago. A bunch of questions marks, from the Captain to the rookies. At least, I can plan my summer holidays without too much doubt!

Don't get me wrong, yes it must be flattering for such a team who could not even get one point to the playoffs a year ago. But it is in no way comforting.

Meanwhile, a quick look at the Sundin's case.

Coach Guy Carbonneau declared in an interview on CKAC that the organization is willing to wait as long as it takes for the Swedish superstar and number one procrastinator to take his decision.

"The most important for him is to take his time and decide if he wants to play or not. We are ready to wait for him."

Considering the other possibility that Sundin won't come, Coach Carbo won't make it that big of a deal. "We have team in place, a good team."

Finally seeing the path his team has followed so far, and what is ahead for a first seeded organization, the coach is confident as always. "I am waiting for more this season. It will surely be hard, the only thing that is better than a first place in the East is the first place in the NHL."