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It’s clear to Kaiden Guhle: the CH can make the playoffs next year

The Canadiens had a relatively difficult last season. Many factors played a role, but the organization’s plan wasn’t necessarily to qualify for the playoffs.

Kent Hughes and the management team wanted to see the individual progress of the players and the collective progress of the club.

That said, the GM was clear in his words during his end-of-season review. Expectations won’t be the same in 2023-2024… And the team will do everything in its power to be competitive.

There’s no doubt in the players’ minds. The guys are confident going into the next campaign…

And Kaiden Guhle was keen to reiterate this. Appearing on Chris Nilan’s excellent podcast, the CH’s young defenseman told the former player that the Habs “definitely” have a shot at the spring dance next year.

The task won’t be easy, given the competition in the Atlantic Division… But that doesn’t scare the players, obviously.

Obviously, he wasn’t going to say otherwise. But Guhle is so sure of his shot that, in the end, his comments are particularly interesting.

In reality, the CH still has some crusts to eat in order to compete with the Leafs, the Lightning, the Sabres and even the Panthers. The team will have to find a way to be consistent over 82 games if it is to qualify for the next playoffs, and it will have to avoid injuries…

And the young players will have to take a step forward in their production. Are they ready for such a challenge? That’s the question we’re asking ourselves.

But I admire the guys’ confidence. They know their skills better than anyone else, and it’ll be interesting to see whether they’ll be as good as we’ve been hearing for a few weeks now.

Clearly, Guhle wasn’t just talking about what’s in store for the team next year. I took a few notes from the 45-minute interview with Chris Nilan, which I’d like to share with you.

1. The Habs’ young defenseman really made a point of praising Martin St-Louis. You often hear it from players, especially young ones, but the Habs’ head coach is a big help to the guys because he understands “the game so well”.

Playing for St-Louis is easy. And for that, Guhle is truly grateful.

2. The last game Kaiden Guhle played in 2022-2023 was on March 16 against the Panthers. He missed the entire end of the season with a leg injury and had to wait until he was back at 100%.

That’s the case right now.

The young man admits that the weeks following his injury were not easy, but now he’s back in shape and back in training. This is wonderful news.

3. The young players on the team have really exceptional chemistry. They hang out together in the locker room, they eat at the same table on the road and they love being around each other. And, if you take a step back, it really looks like it.

4. Playing at the Bell Centre is a really special feeling. We know that many players feel the same way… But Guhle really emphasized the fact that the Centre Bell is a different kind of amphitheatre, one that delivers great emotions.

5. Martin St-Louis is so fit and still so good that Guhle could see him playing in the NHL tomorrow morning. “If he wanted to, I’m sure he could,” he says. I’m not that surprised, hehe.

6. The rookie dinner turned out to be an unforgettable moment. The youngsters had a great time…

And the team’s veterans had to help out at the end of the evening when they saw the bill, which came to around $35,000. You can see in his face that the event had a real impact on him, which is great to see.

If you’ve got an hour to spare, I really recommend you check out the podcast episode above. Kaiden Guhe is interesting to hear because he’s brimming with confidence and, as usual, the dynamic created by Chris Nilan is really cool.

Worth a listen.

In brief

– That’s pretty clear, too.

– It’s a shame for the Quebecer.

Nice !

– Stay tuned.

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