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What do the experts have to say?

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
MONTREAL – With the start of NHL training camps only a month away and the preseason right around the corner, experts everywhere are already weighing in on the Habs’ upcoming campaign.

After gazing into their crystal balls, reading their tea leaves and cracking open their fortune cookies, the seers and fortune-tellers of the hockey universe have offered up their predictions. While the Montreal Canadiens of 2009-10, with all their changes on the ice and behind the bench proved to be tough team to gauge, the 2010-11 edition of the Habs promises to be less of an enigma.

The authorities at The Hockey News, Hockey le Magazine and Pool Pro all settled on the same conclusion: the Montreal faithful can expect to see their team suiting up for the postseason come April. Out of the three publications, Pool Pro gives the bleu-blanc-rouge the best odds, pegging them for a fifth place finish in the East, while the other two have the Habs rounding out the conference as the eighth seed.

While the experts might all agree that you should pick the same four Canadiens skaters to help take you to the top of your hockey pool, none of them settled on the same superfecta. Pool Pro singled out Tomas Plekanec to lead the team in points for the second straight year, finishing the season with a new personnel best of 72 points, followed by Michael Cammalleri, Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta.

Hockey le Magazine gives Cammalleri the edge over Plekanec, predicting a 71-point campaign for the winger, with Gomez and Gionta ranking third and fourth, while The Hockey News has Cammy, Gomez and Gionta all ahead of the Czech center in the points race.

It’s unanimous that P.K. Subban is on track for a bright future with the Habs, but only The Hockey News predicts he’ll finish first in points among the team’s defensemen, with the other two leaving the title in the hands of veteran Andrei Markov.

Now all that’s left to do is wait until April to find out how their predictions play out and which one of them gets bragging rights.

Alexandre Harvey is a writer for Translated by Justin Fragapane.

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