It’s true! The NHL season starts tomorrow night!
So here’s what I’m going to do. Back at awinninghabit.com, every Wednesday I would count down the top 5 of any Montreal Canadiens topic I chose. Today I’m going to do the top 5 players to watch opening night (October 6th) that are playing around the entire league. So here we go!
5. Erik Cole- Cole was brought in to add scoring touch and a physical presence to the top 2 lines. While he was quite impressive during the pre-season, he will definitely do more to please the Canadiens fans. Cole can get 50-60 points a year, something that the team definetley needs.
4. Matthew Lombardi- Lombardi will be returning from a concussion that kept him out of all but one game with the Nashville Predators last season. Lombardi proved he was able to get 50 points with the Calgary Flames, but that was with Jarome Iginla. This time around, he should be playing on the bottom 2 lines, so don’t expect him to get much more then 30, unless he outplays Tim Connolly or Mikhail Grabovski, which is unlikely. Is he ready to return to a full season? For Leaf fans sake, they better hope so.
3. Sean Couturier- Should Couturier make the team over Brayden Schenn? Schenn, the top rated prospect by The Hockey News, was sent down to Adirondack of the AHL, while Couts is with the big club. Some say that its a mistake, but Couturier is making $1.375M, while Schenn is making $3.1M including bonuses, so it’s clearly a cap issues.
2. Ilya Bryzgalov- Is Mr. Moneybags worth it? Making $10M ($5.66M cap hit), he is going to be the starter for, hopefully for the Flyers, at least 9 years. If not the much cheaper option ($1.75M) is Sergei Bobrovsky. Bryzgalov has proven he can be an elite goaltender, winning the Stanley Cup in 2007 with the Ducks, and a Vezina Candidate for the Coyotes in 2010.
1. Jamoir Jagr- Does Jagr still have it? If he thinks hes everything and a bag of cheese, he better enjoy sitting in the press box. He needs to be a team player, something he transformed into during his stay in the KHL. Some say he’s not worth the $3M he is going to earn, but if he gets 60+ points like many fantasy experts believe he will, he could be one of the best steals of the off-season.