I so many questions about the Montreal Canadiens that I’d like answered. Who are the Canadiens? Also, what are the Canadiens? And why are the Canadiens?
No matter how you slice it, the Canadiens are a team that don’t make much sense. One week they’ll play such inspired hockey that people will call them a juggernaut. The next, they’ll get taken apart by any team that doesn’t start with “Vancouver” and end with “Canucks”.
That’s not to say it’s been all bad for Montreal. Tyler Toffoli has proven to be the bargain signing of the decade, leading the Canadiens with 27 goals and 40 points. Jeff Petry has been one of the league’s most productive defensemen all season. And an injury to Carey Price hasn’t sunk the team’s chances like in previous years, thanks to the work of offseason acquisition Jake Allen.
And yet, the Habs might as well be clinging onto the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division. Sure the Flames remain eight points behind with just six games remaining, and the Canucks are a clear 14 points back (albeit with 11 games to go), but Montreal has been gifting them a lot more time.
In their last 10 games, Dominique Ducharme’s crew has posted a middling 5-5 record and and struggled to string wins together, especially against potential playoff matchups like Toronto and Edmonton. While it seems unlikely that the Canadiens will fall out of the playoff picture at this point, the team will certainly head into a first round matchup with some shot confidence.
That is, unless, they’re able to put it all together in their final six games. The Habs remaining schedule includes three games against the Maple Leafs and two home meetings with Connor McDavid and the Oilers. Maybe some inspired play and the late addition of Hobey Baker winner Cole Caufield can help rally the troops in the final two weeks of the regular season.
Or maybe they just want their future playoff opponents to let their guard down before a long spring/summer of postseason hockey to come. Because sometimes the smartest way to beat the best is to never let them figure you out.
1) Toronto Maple Leafs ⬆️ 5
Yeah yeah, we know you’re saving your judgement for our first round results, too.
2) Ottawa Senators ⬆️ 3
Three wins in four games against Vancouver and we took Montreal to overtime yesterday. Start planning our 2022 Cup parade now!*
*This section of the North Division Power Rankings has definitely NOT been sponsored by The Hockey News!
3) Edmonton Oilers ⬇️ 2
Is- is Mike Smith actually elite?!
4) Montreal Canadiens ⬆️ 7
Is it too late to start the “Cole Caufield for Calder” campaign?
5) Calgary Flames ⬇️ 4
Our season is cooked, but Darryl Sutter has us playing our best hockey in years regardless. Hooray?
6) Vancouver Canucks ⬇️ 1
*drinks fifth coffee of the day* Can it just be May 19th already?
7) Winnipeg Jets ⬇️ 6
No one let the Flames or Canucks know we’ve lost six games in a row. Please.
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