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Sizing up the Canadiens

G JOSE THEODORE, 5 feet 11 inches, 180 pounds (33-28-5, 2.27 GAA) -- After a Vezina and MVP 2001-02 season, he turned into a pumpkin last year and the Canadiens missed the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons . . . He had six shutouts this season, one against the Bruins . . . Catches with his right hand . . . Susceptible high to the stick side, just ask Sergei Samsonov . . . Where's Andre "Red Light" Racicot when you need him?
C MIKE RIBEIRO, 6-0, 176 (81 games, 20 goals, 45 assists, 65 points) -- Never heard of him? Check out Joe Thornton's statistics; the numbers are similar . . . He's a thinker with the puck . . . Likes to pass behind the defender, hitting his teammates while they are breaking, not standing still (got that, Hal Gill?) . . . If you don't have your head on a swivel, he will make you look silly.


RW MICHAEL RYDER, 6-0, 196 (81, 25-38--63) -- He's their Patrice Bergeron . . . Led rookies in assists and scoring but he won't win the Calder Trophy (Andrew Raycroft in a landslide) . . . Led the team with 10 power-play goals (about half a seasons' work for Guy Lafleur).
RW ALEXEI KOVALEV, 6-2, 220 (78, 14-31--45) -- If he stops figure skating and starts playing hockey, Raycroft will need a bulletproof vest . . . The Canadiens' big deadline acquisition, but he's been sightseeing since he arrived (1 goal, 2 assists in 12 games) . . . For sheer skills, he was in a class with fellow Russian rockets Pavel Bure and Sergei Fedorov, sans Anna Kournikova . . . A lefthanded shot playing right wing, he can hit the inside of the far post shooting between a defender's legs . . . He'll score one goal in this series that will simply amaze you.
C SAKU KOIVU, 5-10, 181 (68, 14-41--55) -- Returned from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in the final weeks of the 2001-02 season and was one of the team's best players in the postseason . . . Bruins defensemen mostly saw the back of his jersey in the '02 playoffs . . . Plays almost 20 minutes a game, the most among Canadien forwards . . . Named the team's 27th captain in the 1999-2000 season.
LW RICHARD ZEDNIK, 6-1, 196 (81, 26-24--50) -- He survived the Kyle McLaren guillotine in the '02 postseason . . . Looks like a jockey when he's barreling with the puck and he's hard to knock off the play . . . Not afraid to take the puck off the wing and move to the middle . . . A good scorer, even by today's lower standards . . . Led the team in goals and game-winners (nine).
D SHELDON SOURAY, 6-4, 227 (63, 15-20--35) -- He's the Thornton-buster, but he's been playing with, ahem, an upper-body injury (either his wrist, shoulder, or both) . . . Had wrist surgery last season and the Canadiens missed the playoffs. You figure it out . . . He didn't morph into Paul Coffey this season (because he still plays defense) but he had career highs in goals, assists, and points . . . Had four multiple-goal games (including a hat trick against Nashville Dec. 18) . . . He likes to play rough.
C YANIC PERREAULT, 5-11, 184 (69, 16-15--31) -- The Bruins don't stand a chance against him in the faceoff circle . . . Has been known to cover empty spaces in the defensive zone (a team-worst minus-10 ). . . He's small and quick, a bad mix for Bruins defensemen.
D PATRICE BRISEBOIS, 6-2, 202 (71, 4-27--31) -- Once reviled by the home crowd, he has won them over with solid defense and no quit . . . He plays a ton (average ice time 21 minutes 30 seconds) and led the team with a plus-17.
C JOE JUNEAU, 6-0, 193 (70, 5-10--15) -- He's a licensed pilot and earned a degree in Aeronautical Engineering in three years at RPI . . . At 36, he doesn't get from Point A to Point B as fast, but he always preferred to stop in the middle anyway, setting up shop along the right-wing boards . . . He's scored 19 goals in the last three seasons; he scored 32 in 1992-93, his rookie season with the Bruins (playing with Adam Oates helped).
C JIM DOWD, 6-1, 190 (69, 7-22--29) -- He is the Canadiens' other deadline acquistion, primarily for his defensive fortitude, but he outscored Kovalev with three goals and an assist since his arrival . . . Won the Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils in 1995 (they beat the Bruins in the first round).
NOTABLE -- Defenseman
Stephane Quintal has been around since the 1988-89 season (he started with the Bruins) and he's still not a good guy to pick a fight with . . .
Andrei Markov is a smooth point man on the power play and seems to play the entire game . . . Backup goaltender
Mathieu Garon had a better save percentage (.921 in 19 games) than Theodore . . .
Andreas Dackell's other passion is golf, so he might be preoccupied with the Masters . . . Defenseman
Craig Rivet will jump into the play but he only seems to score against the Bruins (half his four goals came against Boston) . . . Extremely large rookie
Pierre Dagenais (6-5, 215) scored 17 goals in 50 games . . .
Niklas Sundstrom has a sore ankle (we think) and might not play . . . New York-born
Francis Bouillon might hear a few inflammatory remarks from the FleetCenter crowd . . .
Jan Bulis, a.k.a. Bully, is one of 10 Canadiens with 10 or more goals . . . The only reason to dress
Darren Langdon is if the Bruins suit up Doug Doull.
Compiled by Jim Hoban

in today's globe
Bruins playoff recap
Bruins vs. Canadiens
Habs win series, 4-3
 Game 1: B's 3, Habs 0 | Gallery
 Game 2: B's 2, Habs 1 | Gallery
 Game 3: Habs 3, B's 2 | Gallery
 Game 4: B's 4, Habs 3 | Gallery
 Game 5: Habs 5, B's 1 | Gallery
 Game 6: Habs 5, B's 2 | Gallery
 Game 7: Habs 2, B's 0 | Gallery

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