The Canadiens Chances in the Playoffs

Photo from Richard Wolowicz, Getty Images

Photo from Richard Wolowicz, Getty Images

The Montreal Canadiens are once again, almost guaranteed to make the playoffs standing second in the Atlantic Division and third in the Eastern Conference. They have the highest playoff percentage of every team (in the sense that they make it to them). But for the last 20 or so seasons, they’ve been without the cup. This is the longest cup drought the Montreal Canadiens have ever had since being established in 1909. So, given that they stand about as good of a position as last year nearing the end of the season, what are the chances they can go all the way and be hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup?

Essentially, what it comes down to is a few things. Those being; goaltending, drive to win and of course playing as a team. It’s not always about skill as it’s been proven in previous years when the Canadiens only superstar in the 1993 win seemingly was Patrick Roy and maybe Guy Carbonneau. Or in more recent years when, even with all their skill such as Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the Penguins got shutout in the series by the Boston Bruins. Essentially, what I’m getting at is that skill and superstar status don’t always win championships but being a united team does. I know what some of you are saying to yourselves, “What are you talking about? We have Pacioretty, Vanek, Subban and Price!” However, I am not denying that skill doesn’t help.

Goaltending is a significant piece to every Stanley Cup winning team. Looking back at the past few year’s winners we see goaltenders like Crawford, who’s a great goaltender (personally thought he should have backed up Price in Sochi), or even the Eastern Conference Champion of the 2013 playoff’s goaltender, Tuukka Rask (even though he is a Bruin). And of course, Quick, Thomas and so on. Montreal, however has arguably the best goaltender, not only in the NHL, but the world. So, in that category, it’s a mystery that he hasn’t led us to a multitude of Stanley Cups like Dryden, right?

Wrong. While Carey Price is the best, he isn’t God, nor is he a brick wall. He has proven time and time again that he can stand on his head and steal a game for the team. But when playoffs come, they cannot let Price stand on his head. Otherwise they won’t stand a chance.

The next thing we can look at is everyone in front of Price, offense and defense. The Habs have all the pieces as long as all or most of the injured players have returned. The defense has a solid six players that can play who are PK Subban, who is arguably one of the best defenders in the league, Andrei Markov who is another extremely good and underrated player, Josh Gorges who is probably one of the smartest defensive players in the league, Alexei Emelin who can crush the likes of just about anyone he pleases when he pleases, Jarred Tinordi who can do just the same and has some of the size the Canadiens have been lacking and Mike Weaver who has gone way beyond my personal expectations and plays with heart. Montreal  has two of the of the best players in the NHL for scoring in Vanek and Pacioretty. They even have a defensive forward being considered for the Selke Trophy in Plekanec or he at least should be getting votes this time around. Along with 3 other solid lines including the hard-skating, heart-filled fourth line with White and Weise. These players, with their skill can be the ultimate team with a mixture of heart and skill.

So, what’s stopping us from winning the cup? Nothing. Some of you may say coaching but when the Canadiens aren’t losing, coaching isn’t a problem I see anyone complaining about or very little. Over this season, ASIDE from giving Bouillion and Murray huge minutes, I think Therrien’s been doing a more than decent job. It’s time for the Stanley Cup to go back to where it belongs this year… the real hockey town.

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4 Responses to The Canadiens Chances in the Playoffs

  1. Price will need to be unbelievable to get to the cup with the team currently in place IMO. Crawford? I don’t think he is as good as people think he is. Just like when Niemi won the cup with Chicago, they made some big saves but overall they didn’t have to be outstanding to win. The team in front of them are great from top to bottom.

    As for Therrien, he’s worse than just playing Murray/Bouillon. Enough evidence out there to prove that one. And perhaps you are not following enough folks on twitter, because even when MTL wins there are negatives all throughout the game and after. For example, the Habs haven’t been playing well on this winning streak.

    Michael Gomez March 31, 2014 at 4:55 pm Reply
    • We’re all entitled to our opinions. With that being said, I do agree that Price will have to be unbelievable to win the cup, I was just saying he can’t do it alone. And I like Crawford, he may not have lead the Blackhawks to the cup, but he played a major role.

      As for the Therrien thing, I believe he has done well with the team. He did turn us around from 15th in the East to second in the conference in one year. Not only that, I happen to follow plenty of people on Twitter, I just don’t agree. Our first line plays well and our fourth line plays well, obviously all four lines need to be going but I say give the Habs an opportunity to regroup and regain our best players. ALL teams play well sometimes and ALL teams steal games from time to time. Montreal is no exception.

      Cody March 31, 2014 at 6:54 pm Reply
      • I don’t see any reason to give him full credit for the turnaround after the year that they finished last. They were a better team than one that should finish last in the first place. Therrien didn’t magically come in and fix everything. He has proven more times than not that he is a stubborn old school coach that if he makes changes, they aren’t for the good. Theres enough evidence to show that he shouldn’t get as much credit as people think he should and its actually laughable to see the amount of fans giving him the praise.

        Michael Gomez March 31, 2014 at 10:20 pm Reply
        • Fair enough. A team who went to a game 7 with Bodton that could have gone either way the year Boston won the cup and quite possibly provided the biggest challenge for the Bruins that year are truly a fully capable team. If it were up to me, Thereien wouldn’t be the coach. BUT I also think he receives way too much criticism. If only we had signed Larry Robinson to our coaching staff a few years ago.

          Cody April 2, 2014 at 11:19 am Reply

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