The Montreal Canadiens rebounded from an embarrassing effort Thursday night with a convincing victory over the Nashville Predators on Saturday night.
A 6-3 win over mediocre club Preds isn’t enough to cover the stench that is the 2021-22 Montreal Canadiens. This game was the team’s 20th of the season and only their 5th victory.
They average just over two goals per game and allow 3.5 goals per game. They have been outscored by 26 goals and only the Arizona Coyotes and Seattle Kraken have the worst point percentages at this point in the season.
It’s been a lousy start to the season and there’s almost no chance the Habs will finish within 15 points of a playoff berth. Trying to tackle that deficit would be like putting Seabiscuit ahead of a quarter mile and thinking that you have a chance to catch up by riding a bull. In other words, the Habs just don’t have the horses to catch up with the Florida Panthers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins or Tampa Bay Lightning who are all off to a good start.
What the Habs need to do is forget about the team that was in the Stanley Cup final and see this season as an opportunity to complete a rebuild.
The team doesn’t need to chase after a playoff berth they’re already guaranteed to miss. They have to retool and bet on Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield, Ryan Poehling, Alexander Romanov, Mattias Norlinder, Cayden Primeau and the Next Wave, including Kaiden Guhle, Jordan Harris, Jayden Struble, Riley Kidney, Joshua Roy, etc. the next two years.
What would also help with that is an overall first-choice chance and Shane Wright. He has the potential to be as good as Nathan MacKinnon and will be the face of someone’s franchise starting next season.
The Canadiens haven’t had an offensive superstar since… Guy Lafleur?
The last time the team finished in the team’s top ten scorers was Mats Naslund in 1986. He scored 110 points that season and was only 105 behind the league leader. . Seriously. The last time the team had a player in the top 20 scorers was Alex Kovalev who finished 11th in 2008. He is the only Montreal Canadiens player to finish in the league’s 20 top scorers since Pierre Turgeon. in 1997. It’s been 25 years since The Canadiens have a guy who finished in the league’s top 20 scorers once.
Shane Wright is said to be Montreal’s first consistent offensive star in decades. There’s no guarantee you’ll get the top pick after a horrible season, but it’s mid-November and the Canadiens can already guarantee they won’t make the playoffs.
You might as well try to get the best possible choice since the playoffs are out of reach. Canadians really should be doing everything they can to rebuild the organization right now and here is how they could do it.