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Major Turnaround: The 2023-24 Season Doesn't Look Like Anybody Expected

Published December 25, 2023 at 12:01
BY AARON

Just days before the start of the season, few experts predicted that the Montreal Canadiens would still be in the playoff picture by Christmas.

Moreover, complicating matters for the team led by Martin St-Louis, several key players had to miss an extended period of time, starting from the first weeks of the regular schedule.

However, despite numerous injuries, the Canadiens find themselves only four points away from a playoff spot, reigniting fans' hopes for a potential spring dance participation.

Having missed the playoffs in the last two campaigns, many fans would like to see their favorites qualify this season, especially since the team's recent performances are very encouraging.


Even though the team is still in its rebuilding process, the players are more motivated than ever to cause a surprise, and it reflects in their performances on the ice.

It's quite astonishing when you think about it. Kirby Dach has only played two games this season, Alex Newhook and Rafaël Harvey-Pinard are out for several months, David Savard missed about 20 games, and other key players had to miss a few matches. Yet, the Canadiens manage to accumulate victories.

The discussions about a top-5 pick in the next draft have simply disappeared and are no longer relevant for the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge. The team has a much more important goal now: qualifying for the playoffs.

In this context, former Quebec Nordiques head coach Michel Bergeron believes that the management's plan has completely changed due to the CH's recent performances. He firmly believes that the top brass aims to reach the playoffs rather than securing a high draft pick.

He even added that General Manager Kent Hughes might refuse to be a seller at the trade deadline, which would be a completely unexpected turn of events given that everyone believed he would trade many veterans on March 8th.

"The Canadiens are too close to a playoff spot to say, 'We're going to be more sellers than buyers' at the trade deadline. I don't believe that. I think the management will feel the lure of success and will want to be in the playoffs as the season progresses. And that's what the fans want." - Michel Bergeron

Wow!

Certainly, it's very pleasing to see the team string together victories despite the absence of several key players. It's really promising for the future of the organization. We strongly hope that the Canadiens can find a way to rank among the top eight teams in the Eastern Conference when the regular season ends.


Credit: GoNordiques
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Major Turnaround: The 2023-24 Season Doesn't Look Like Anybody Expected

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