Tonight is the big game. Well, in one sense it is. In fact if you’ve been a fan of the Montreal Canadiens anytime in the last decade then you’re familiar with longtime captain Saku Koivu.
Koivu, during his tenure in Montreal, was one of my all time favorite players. In fact, back when Saku officially became a free agent, I wrote an article with my personal goodbye to him titled “To Saku Koivu“.
I can tell you that I’ve cheered the former Habs captain on for so many years that it will be hard not to cheer him on against the very team he once lead. Koivu had been an inspiration on many levels. Coming back from a few major injuries, a battle with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and a certain disrespect that I don’t believe he deserved as long time captain of the team. I know some might argue otherwise but I could never understand the hounding he took from certain media outlets because he couldn’t speak french.
I thought I’d share some info sent to me by Matthew Ross, host of Game Points on the Team990 (which happens to be one of my favorite sports channels… that’s my plug! haha) on some recent polling going on for Saku Koivu’s return to Montreal:
Will Saku Koivu (ANA) score a goal?
Yes +325 ( or 13/4)
No -450 ( or 2/9)
Will Saku Koivu (ANA) record a point?
Yes +140 (or 7/5)
No -170 (or 10/17)
Will Saku Koivu (ANA) be the first star of the Game?
Yes -150 (or 2/3)
No +110 (or 11/10)
There’s been quite a bit of stuff written about Koivu’s return to Montreal. I really enjoyed this article by Dave Stubbs of the Gazette titled “Emotional return for Captain K“.
I’m really hoping that Koivu gets a warm response from the crowd. Through his long tenure as captain he was the source of much emotion, but inspirational like coming back from his battle with cancer, or battling back from a near career ending eye injury…. or from his critics that continued to pound at him in papers and radio/TV talk shows that he should speak french.
Saku, I truly hope you get an incredible welcome tonight. You deserve it.