HabsWorld.net -- 

The 2009-2010 season was an eventful one for the Habs. In the summer of ’09
we saw what was supposed to be the core of our franchise for many years leave
the club within hours. The "Habs Next Captain" Mike Komisarek turned
down the Habs to sign a similar offer with archrival Toronto while his good
buddy Chris Higgins along with a recent first rounder were traded away for Scott
Gomez and Tom Pyatt. The Habs had lots of roster
spots to fill and lots of cap room available. If the UFA talent wasn’t as
spectacular as in previous years, at least this time the Habs managed to sign
the better ones.

Here’s a look back at some of the most interesting HabsWorld polls from the
50 we had on our homepage through the year. We’ll see if we had the right
perspective on our club as it progressed up to the Conference Finals.

Perspective on the newcomers

Poll question: How many points will Jaroslav Spacek get this season?
Poll date: 2009-08-28
Total votes: 716

Under 30 17%
30-40 38%
Over 40 45%

Outcome: With only 7 powerplay points and 21 points total, Spacek was a huge disappointment for fans
this season. From his reluctance to switch to right
defence, and the ineffectiveness of his shot on the powerplay, even in the
absence of Markov, we were expecting a lot more offensively from the great Spacek
we used to fear when he was with the Sabres.

Poll question: How many goals will Brian Gionta score this year?
Poll date: 2009-08-19
Total votes: 444

15- 2%
15-19 5%
20-24 27%
25-29 43%
30+ 23%

Outcome: Gionta scored 28 goals in the regular season, and added 9 in
the post season, good for a remarkable and better than expected 37 goals! Only
Mike Cammalleri (39) had more goals this year.

Poll question: Which UFA acquisition are you most excited about?
Poll date: 2009-07-10
Total votes: 466

Mike Cammalleri 80%
Hal Gill 2%
Brian Gionta 3%
Paul Mara 3%
Travis Moen 10%
Jaroslav Spacek 2%

Outcome: Cammalleri was the overwhelming favorite UFA signing, and he
didn’t disappoint us. His enthusiasm on and off the ice, capped with a
league-leading 13 goals in the playoffs, have made him one of the most popular
Habs. If we weren’t very much excited by the acquisition of diminutive winger
Brian Gionta at a steep price, Gionta exceeded fans expectations and was crowned
as the Canadiens’ top forward this season by HW’s Chief Editor Brian La Rose.

Poll question: Of the 6 players who’ve worn the ‘A’ this preseason, who
would you like to see named captain?
Poll date: 2009-09-22
Total votes: 572

Cammalleri 8%
Gill 1%
Gionta 50%
Gomez 19%
Markov 11%
Metropolit 2%
None/Other 9%

Outcome: I think we were right on when we felt – as early as training
camp – that Gionta was deserving to be the next Canadiens’ captain. If he wasn’t a
popular signing 2 months ago, and if we didn’t expect much from him, Gionta
surely impressed us as soon as he landed in Montreal. His level of commitment
and his forceful attitude are traits that were crucially lacking in recent

Poll question: Which of the new additions has been most impressive thus
Poll date: 2009-11-01
Total votes: 395

Bergeron 2%
Cammalleri 65%
Gill 2%
Gionta 17%
Gomez 2%
Mara 1%
Moen 11%
Spacek 1%

Outcome: Only 2 months in the season, Brian Gionta is already picking
up some "fan points." If only 3% were excited about him in July, now
17% consider him as the most impressive addition of the offseason.

Poll question: Which of the "Little 3" has the most to prove this
Poll date: 2010-04-16
Total votes: 186

Cammalleri 23%
Gionta 8%
Gomez 70%

Outcome: Unfortunately for Gomez, his annual $7.3M cap hit will follow him
around and keep attracting fans scrutiny. Gomez did manage a decent playoff
performance, logging up important minutes and being the most consistent offensive
threat. I feel that anything less than a point-per-game will ever be expected
from him, even though he managed the feat only once in his 10-year career.

Dear Tomas, please stay!

Poll question: On a 1-year deal from arbitration, what should Tomas
Plekanec’s salary be?
Poll date: 2009-07-16
Total votes: 333

Less than $2 million 38%
Between 2 and 2.5 49%
More than $2.5 14%

Poll question: What will happen with Tomas Plekanec by the trade
Poll date: 2010-02-22
Total votes: 187

He’ll sign an extension and stay 38%
He won’t sign but will stay 42%
He won’t sign and will be traded 20%

Poll question: Will Tomas Plekanec be back with the Canadiens next season?
Poll date: 2010-05-25
Total votes: 300

Yes 45%
No 55%

Poll question: What is the maximum amount of money that the Habs should
give pending UFA Tomas Plekanec per year?
Poll date: 2010-06-07
Total votes: 340

Less than $4 M 23%
Between 4 and 5 65%
Other 12%

Outcome: If at the start of the season, after a disastrous 39-point
performance, fans were not willing to give Plekanec much more than a $2 million, 1 year contract, his value has sky-rocketed after a career-high 70 points.
Tomas has developed as one of the most solid and constant 2-way center in the
league. According to our latest poll, fans expect Plekanec to sign a deal, on a
yearly basis, that will be worth at least the double than what he made this
year. Considering our cap situation, fans are realistic and realize it will be
difficult to keep him. At the trade deadline, 20% thought he would be traded. In
March 55% fear he will be gone. There is still realistic optimism here.

What’s going on, Sergei?

Poll question: Is it time to bring Sergei Kostitsyn back up?
Poll date: 2009-11-22
Total votes: 70

Yes, he’s learned his lesson 27%
Yes, because there’s no better option 50%
No, he needs to stay down longer 7%
No, there’s better options than him 16%

Poll question: Has Sergei Kostitsyn done enough to stay up with the Habs
when the injured players return?
Poll date: 2009-12-20
Total votes: 280

Yes 69%
No 31%

Poll question: Has Sergei Kostitsyn played his last game with the Montréal
Poll date: 2010-05-05
Total votes: 265

Yes – We won’t see him again in a Habs uniform 80%
No – He will be back soon 20%

Poll question: Is it time to bring Sergei Kostitsyn back into the lineup?
Poll date: 2010-05-16
Total votes: 147

Yes 76%
No 24%

Outcome: It has been a love-hate game between Sergei and the fans
all season long. He struggled to crack Montreal’s lineup due to his
and lack of commitment on and off the ice. After a stint in the minors, in
November, 77% of the fans asked for his recall. In December, 69% of the fans
expressed their appreciation for Sergei’s re-energized play. However, he hasn’t
taken advantage of all the rope given to him by the fans and the coaches. Playing
sporadically and making no apparent effort to get the trust of his coaches
during crucial times, Sergei was finally cut from
practice on May 7 by Jacques Martin, supported by 80% of the fans. That being
said, less than 2 weeks later, after a 6-0 loss against the Flyers, 76% of the
fans wanted him back in the lineup ASAP!

The goalie dilemma

Poll question: If you were in charge of the goalies, what would you do?
Poll date: 2009-10-23
Total votes: 405

Alternate goalies between games 3%
Halak becomes #1 11%
Price stays #1 13%
If the goalie wins, they start the next game 43%
Make decisions on a game-by-game basis 30%

Poll question: Is now the right time to trade Jaroslav Halak?
Poll date: 2009-12-13
Total votes: 293

Yes, the Habs can fill a need by trading him 51%
No, the time isn’t right 29%
No, they shouldn’t be trading him, period 21%

Poll question: Do you think the Habs will deal a goalie before the Olympic

Poll date: 2010-02-01
Total votes: 376

Yes, Halak will be dealt 15%
Yes, Price will be dealt 24%
No, both will remain 61%

Outcome: As soon as October, Price left the #1 goalie job up
for grabs. Still, in December, the majority of the fans wanted Halak traded in
order to improve one of our top-6 forwards. Immediately after that poll, Halak
went on a phenomenal streak, winning 6 of his next 7 starts. By February, Halak
gained the favour of the fans and now more fans wanted Price traded instead.
Needless to say the goalie situation will be a tough one to solve for GM
Pierre Gauthier this offseason.


Poll question: Are you happy with the Dominic Moore acquisition?
Poll date: 2010-02-11
Total votes: 241

Yes 34%
No 66%

Outcome: Moore has been a pleasant surprise, consolidating the 3rd
line with strong performance on the faceoff circle, leading Habs with a 53
winning percentage (among players with 200+ draws). Plus, his 4 playoff goals were
more than often magical and contributed to the success of the team in their run.

Poll question: How many points will it take for the Habs to make the

Poll date: 2010-03-21
Total votes: 129

Less than 90 26%
90-93 66%
94 or more 8%

Outcome: The Habs needed only 88 pts to make the playoffs, good for 19th
place overall.  When you consider the Dallas Stars’ 88 points only gave them the
12th spot in the West, you know the Habs were lucky to get in the spring dance!