How Well Will the Montreal Canadiens Do in 2008-09?

Matt EichelSenior Writer ISeptember 25, 2008

So much hype riding on such a young team in such an important season.

So far, we've all seen what expectations have been piled upon the 2008-09 Montreal Canadiens.  We've also seen the amount of celebrations that will occur during their 100th season.

We've also seen how the Canadiens can flounder in the playoffs, as they did last spring.

Is this 2008-09 squad the team that everyone is making them out to be?

With important players including Robert Lang, Alex Tanguay, Mike Komisarek, and Saku Koivu unrestricted free agents next offseason, and Tomas Plekanec and Alex Kovalev restricted free agents in the same summer, the Canadiens theme for their centennial campaign might read, "Now or Never!"

So much pressure on an already pressured team.  Fifteen seasons removed from Stanley Cup No. 24, and the pressure isn't going to lessen anytime soon.

Can this young team, with an influx of experience and talent in Lang and Tanguay, come up big in the Canadiens biggest season in recent memory?

Are the ghosts finally going to call the Bell Centre home?

After a record season where the Canadiens won a division title, finished atop the Eastern Conference, and first among goals for NHL team, there are expectations for this seasons Canadiens squad.

It's now or never.

Let's hope it's now—for sure.