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