Montreal Canadiens: The Last Spot

Numbers Game - If We WIN

 

The Montreal Canadiens are a complete different team going into this next season NHL season. Whether you like it or not the team changed its way of play and added physicality and grit instead of having a very dynamic play to the game. The loss of P.K. Subban losses the capability and strength to having such a dynamic player and a big factor to the offense night in and night out. Now we added the fire power to the power play with Shea Weber at the point. With Weber also adding the definition of a leader that this team needs. The additions beside Shea Weber provide us Montreal fans with a lot of hope for the upcoming season. We have new leaders coming into the locker room and they have to define themselves into this team quickly and get into the role they’re needed at. I find that Andrew Shaw two-time Stanley Cup Champion will make the biggest impact out of all of them. Everything that he brings on his resume is what every Montreal Canadiens fan loves. He’s a gritty player with offensive upside which we can always use. He has the leadership factor of winning for many years throughout his career and always being a locker room guy. The physicality factor will build up when the pesky pair are playing together which is his new partner in crime Brendan Gallagher. Alexander Radulov needs to be our scorer this upcoming year along with Max Pacioretty. With Radulov coming back to the NHL he has the expectations of only being a twenty goal scorer which is very accurate. But he does bring the player that he was in the KHL and can bring that level of play and skill overseas to North America I believe he can make it past expectations and be closer to a thirty goal scorer. With Max and Radoluv leading the way maybe this team will finally find a way to become more offensive.

With that being said I believe that we can be a playoff team this year I don’t think will be back to the top of the Atlantic Division since the Florida Panthers a young team with the addition of  veteran experience, has a lot of potential to be a force in this league for years to come and this is only the beginning. The Tampa Bay Lightning will be the first place team this year in the Atlantic and most likely in the conference with the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins fighting for that spot as well. I do believe the Tampa Lightning will be back in the Stanley Cup Finals this year representing the Eastern Conference which brings me to where the Montreal Canadiens will end their season.

Montreal won’t do anything spectacular and they won’t meet the every year fan base expectation of winning a Stanley Cup. The Montreal Canadiens will battle to get a third place spot in the division heading into the playoffs this year. With a healthy roster I do believe the Montreal Canadiens can surprise the league this year, they just need constituency. Boston will be right with them battling the whole year so those six divisional games we have against them will all be highly important more than others. Detroit, Ottawa and Buffalo will all be really tough teams to beat this year but they won’t be making the playoff picture. If we don’t make it into the top three for the division I believe we can sneak into the last wild card spot, assuming the Metropolitan division will have a lot of good teams. Which in that case means an even tougher road ahead in the playoffs. Placing third in the division will definitely increase the chances of Montreal making it into the second round this year. Which if they do place third, I believe they will. With Carey Price almost anything is possible and with the new dynamic of this team I really do believe the leadership can get us there. If we were to place in the wild card spot I don’t believe that the second round is a great possibility because whoever it is Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh or Washington they’ll all be on a mission. With that said if the leadership of this team and the best goaltender in the world I do believe there is that chance to make a run in the playoffs. But we would need to add a couple additions to this roster.  Meaning I believe to become a Stanley Cup Contender than just a playoff contender we need to add a top four defense men, this summer there has been a lot of rumors about Shattenkirk and Fowler but to get either one we would have to give up a lot of young talent and draft picks. Another piece to the puzzle would be another scoring forward. Another play maker in the top six mix would greatly improve the Canadiens and make them a legitimate team.

With that being said I would like to hear where everyone believes the Montreal Canadiens will finish this year and how they’ll end up being?

 

Kolby Fournier

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