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Arpon Basu doesn’t see the Canadiens finishing among the 10 worst teams in 2023-2024
The general feeling around the Montreal Canadiens is not particularly positive, as the upcoming season approaches. The team, which finished 32nd in 2022 and 28th in 2023, has been given very reserved expectations for the 2023-2024 campaign.

Quickly, it’s quite logical to think that the scenario will repeat itself. After all, Alex Newhook will be (for now) the only new player to join the edition that won 31 games last year.

Not so fast, though.

In his most recent mailbag, Arpon Basu is asked to comment on the team’s status. “Are we a bottom-5 team again this year?” the reader asks.

Basu believes that, healthy, this team could easily achieve a better fate in the coming year. He offers as an example the many games lost by a single goal or the overtime setbacks suffered following Cole Caufield’s season-ending injury. The little scorer’s presence could have changed the outcome of many of these games, and given the Habs valuable points in the standings.

(Credit: YouTube)

Of course, froma lottery point of view, it wouldn’t have been ideal.

It’s also possible to do the same exercise with Mike Matheson, who made a big impact in the games he played.

We know that the last edition was heavily affected by injuries, but let’s put things in perspective:

  • Cole Caufield missed 36 games
  • Mike Matheson missed 34 games
  • Kirby Dach missed 22 games
  • Kaiden Guhle missed 38 games
  • David Savard missed 20 games

Add to that the extended absences of Xhekaj, Slafkovsky, Gallagher and Monahan… And you have a season that could be very different if only half the injuries were prevented.

The Canadiens’ head therapist will now be Jim Ramsay, who brings with him a strong reputation from his years in New York.

Will it make a difference? Where will the Habs finish in the overall standings?

“If the Habs are considerably healthier than last year, I don’t see a scenario where they finish among the 5 worst teams, and I don’t even think they’ll finish among the 10 worst.”

-Arpon Basu

But hey. Not finishing among the 10 worst clubs could also mean finishing 21st, far from the playoffs…

In Rafale

– Young player of the year, David Reinbacher.

– Good news.

– The highest-paid player in history (until the next ridiculous contract).

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