2016-2017 NHL Team Predictions: Montreal Canadiens

2017 nhl team predictions montreal canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens were coming off a 110 point season in 2015, seeing them win the Atlantic division for the second time in four years, and they seemed to be ready to improve on that going 19-4-2 through the first two months of he 2015-2016 season until it all fell off the rails, turning into one of the biggest collapses in franchise history.

The Habs were forced to dress 46 different players last season due to injuries, the most in franchise history. Franchise goalie Carey Price, top right wing Brendan Gallagher and top four defenceman Jeff Petry were among the injured. The Habs goaltending went from the best goaltending in the world to the worst with a combined .867 save percentage after November 25th. That's not getting you into the playoffs unless your the 1977 Canadiens or 1986 Edmonton Oilers.

The Habs were 1st in the NHL standings by 9 points ahead of the Presidents Trophy winning Washington Capitals and 16 points up in their division, while coming top 5 in almost every category you could think of including possession until the downfall.



If Carey Price is healthy, the Montreal Canadiens will end up top 3 in the Atlantic. Looking at their roster especially up front, it looks like the best lineup Price has ever had. With the additions of Alexander Radulov, Arturri Lehkonen and Daniel Carr, the Habs have more options up front and more depth in all positions. The Canadiens also added Montoya as a backup goalie, who finished with a .919 save % last year and they also have Alexei Emelin, Mikhail Sergachev, Greg Pateryn, Zach Redmond all battling for the bottom pair on defense.

Projected Lineup
Forwards
Pacioretty  Galchenyuk  Gallagher
Lehkonen  Plekanec  Radulov 
Carr  Desharnais  Shaw
Danault  Mitchell  Byron
McCarron  Andrighetto  Flynn

Defense
Beaulieu  Weber
Markov  Petry
Sergachev  Emelin
Redmond  Pateryn

Goalies
Price
Montoya

Prediction: 2nd Atlantic Division  

The Habs will be a dangerous team, of course it comes down to Carey Price and the rest of the team being relatively healthy. Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Beaulieu, McCarron and Carr have all stepped up and I've always said that Carey Price can win the cup with an average team that can score. I believe the Habs finally have what it takes to give Price that offence to contend.

Related:

2016-2017 NHL Team Predictions: Toronto Maple Leafs
2016-2017 NHL Team Predictions: Ottawa Senators
2016-2017 NHL Team Predictions: Calgary Flames
2016-2017 NHL Team Predictions: Edmonton Oilers
2016-2017 NHL Team Predictions: Vancouver Canucks
2016-2017 NHL Team Predictions: Winnipeg Jets

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