Crystal ball gazing

Monday, 17.08.2009 / 2:30 PM / News
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Crystal ball gazing
MONTREAL – The 2009-10 season may still be a few months away, but that hasn’t stopped pundits from attempting to predict what’s in store for the new-look Canadiens.
 
Arguably the most respected hockey publication around, The Hockey News has been doing its thing for over six decades. With its annual Ultimate Fantasy Pool Guide now on newsstands, we couldn’t resist seeing what might lie ahead for the Habs.

Projection Time
Here's what the Hockey News expects from the Habs in 2009-10
  GP G A PTS
Mike Cammalleri 81 38 42 80
Scott Gomez 78 17 53 70
Andrei Markov 79 14 50 64
Brian Gionta 80 23 45 68
Andrei Kostitsyn 78 23 23 46
Tomas Plekanec 81 20 25 45
Jaroslav Spacek 73 9 35 44
Guillaume Latendresse 79 23 21 43
Sergei Kostitsyn 71 14 24 38
Matt D'Agostini 72 15 17 32
With so many new faces on his team this coming season following Bob Gainey’s summer shopping , it’s anyone’s guess how quickly the Canadiens will jell. To hear THN tell it, the Habs’ GM shouldn’t have any second thoughts about his bold offseason moves.
 
First up is newcomer Mike Cammalleri. Coming off a huge season with the Flames alongside Jarome Iginla, all signs point to Cammalleri picking up where he left off, with the talented winger apparently headed for a another big year. After 82 points and 39 goals last year, THN is banking on 38 goals and 80 points from him in 2009-10.
 
The change of scenery is expected to do Scott Gomez a world of good this season. Fresh off an un-Gomez-like 58-point campaign last year, a spike back up to the 70-point mark is foreseen for the talented center.    
 
His former partner in crime, Brian Gionta, isn’t likely to regret ending up in Montreal, either. His 60-point season with the Devils in 2008-09 will apparently be eclipsed to the tune of a 68-point harvest this coming season.
 
With those three first-year Habs expected to lead the way up front for Montreal this season, right there with them will be Andrei Markov, who will, it seems, reach new heights with a career-high 64 points.
 
As for the players who have left town, Saku Koivu and Alex Kovalev will miss Montreal according to THN. Kovy’s first season in Ottawa will not be without its growing pains, with 58 points and 22 goals apparently awaiting him. Koivu’s pending “bro-mance” with longtime buddy Teemu Selanne in Anaheim is expecting to fizzle as well. Fifteen goals and 47 points is all The Hockey News was willing to pencil in for the former Habs captain.
 
Time will tell how accurate The Hockey News will be this time around.

Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com

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