Despite what the current Eastern Conference standings are showing, the Montreal Canadiens are playing good hockey. They are among the few teams that do not have a regular season loss. Sure, they have only played 7 games up to this point, but that is still significant compared to the rest of the Conference and the League.
The Habs do have big expectations to live up to. Most hockey analysts are predicting them to once again be at the top of the Eastern Conference, as well as a viable Stanley Cup contender. They may just get there yet.
The unexpected stars have begun to shine, such as Jaroslav Halak doing a swell job of filling in for Carey Price. And then there is Saku Koivu.
The Canadiens' famed Captain is already off to an amazing start. What is surprising to most is that he is leading the team in points. His line has been the most productive line, on the power-play especially. The trio of Koivu, Alex Tanguay, and Andre Markov clicks. Just look at what they did against the Toronto Maple Leafs. How many times have we heard Koivu to Tanguay, now?
So many people expected him to be in the dying days of his career. I believe that contrary to him being a potential free agent at season's end, Koivu is not simply shirking.
He knew the expectations of the entire team, he knows there are a lot of young kids who are trying to be included on the team and need someone to look up to. There is no one better for that than Koivu.
The game against the Phoenix Coyotes is all the proof a person needs. Koivu's leadership was shown after the hit (which I am still convinced was dirty) against Andre Kostitsyn— that knocked him out and has kept him out of the lineup thus far. Sergei Kostitsyn was not a happy boy, and tried to be pushy and start a scrum (something he is not known for). They turn the camera to the bench. What do we see? We see Koivu with his arm around Sergei trying to calm him down and tell him that everything will be alright. That touching moment nearly gave me chills.
That game versus the Coyotes was also when he reached a new plateau, becoming the 7th all-time leader in assists on the Canadiens, passing the legendary Maurice Rocket Richard on the list. The next game, he accomplished the feat of scoring his 600th career goal.
Everyone knows that Saku is my role model, and always has been. However, that does not make this article biased. I have honestly heard people who are not fans of the Habs (and actually hate them) complimenting Koivu, telling me they are impressed with what he has done so far this year.
That is the best thing about heroes: they never fail to inspire, and will never let you down.