Youth of the Canadiens: Montreal's Next Dynasty Working Their Way Up?

Lisa BoychukSenior Analyst IJanuary 10, 2008

Everyone in the NHL always says: Give rookies and sophomores the chance to play, and let the veterans coach them along the way as to what is right or wrong. 

The Montreal Canadiens have been doing just that.

There are a lot of people in the younger generations out there who never got a chance to see the Habs' dynasty of the 1970s.

The best source these kids have is what is found in history books, videos, or from older people who got to see them win their five-straight Stanley Cups.

Montreal is typically named one of the hardest cities to play in—mainly because of the "boo-birds," as their fans are called.  If there is any team in the league whose players are under immense pressure to not only compete but perform, it would have to be the Habs.  If a third-line skater makes a tiny mistake, it leaks into the media. If they do something phenomenal, it's all over the media.  Anything they do can't be done without the pressure of people wanting to know more.

I've heard people on many different sites and from many different sources that Guy Carbonneau is a bad coach for the Habs and why Bob Gainey is a unfit GM.  What they fail to realize is that these two men are rebuilding the team without saying much—by letting their actions do the talking. 

They've start their tenure by picking up good prospects in the entry draft, players in which they see potential—even if they're not a top-30 pick.  Then they let these players develop in the college leagues or their AHL affiliate.  Once they have developed fully enough to enter the Bell Centre, they call them up.

Take a look at all of the players this year who are new to the team or only in their second year with the team: Latendresse, Lapierre, Price, Chipchura, Grabovski, Kostitsyn, Locke, O'Byrne, and Halak.  The now-regulars like Kostitysn, Price, and Latendresse have been living up to the expectations the team and the fans had for them. 

Latendresse is a powerful force who can throw a few crushing blows and still score goals.  Sure, Price hasn't been perfect in goal—but how much can you expect out a rookie goalie? 

And Sergei Kostitsyn fits in just fine on his older brother Andrei's team.  Both Kostitsyns have a great deal of speed, which is what has always been needed by the Habs. 

Try to name another team with nine prospects in their line-up, who are the reason they've been performing as good as they have been—I bet you couldn't.