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More and more talk of series in Montreal
When a club is rebuilding, we all agree that the big advantage of losing games is to position itself advantageously on the bangs of the amateur draft lottery.

Otherwise, the losses just hurt.

When a club is seriously fighting for the playoffs, it’s normal to see club bosses pushing to win. When a club is as pocketed as this year’s Sharks, it’s normal to push for the opposite.

But when a club is in no man’s land?

Right now, the Montreal Canadiens are in a bit of a no-man’s-land. They’re four points away from the playoffs, but they’re also three points away from seeing everyone else in the East (except Columbus and Ottawa) catch up.

So what to do?

Obviously, we didn’t expect the Habs to be “so high” in the standings (12th in the East) on December 21. The holiday trip, which got off to a good start in Winnipeg, may change things, but at the moment, things are going better than expected.

And that’s even if the club has no offense.

The question is: should the Habs adapt their plan? Without taking any shortcuts in their rebuilding, could the Habs try to lose less this season?

I ‘d have to say yes. Why would you say yes? Because it’s not Tanner Pearson, Mitchell Stephens or any other such rental player who’s going to transform the club via a transaction in March.

You might say I’m forgetting Sean Monahan, but let’s not forget that the Habs are thinking of offering him a new contract anyway. You might say I’m forgetting the Savard, Dvorak, Allen and Armia who are in the shop window… but apart from Savard, would these departures hurt the chances of winning?

What I’m trying to say is that if the Habs decide they want to try and be competitive past the deadline this year, it wouldn’t be that hard to do. If the club holds out soon, giving up the opportunity shot on the market probably wouldn’t be huge due to the lack of good rental players.

It would hurt to get a lesser pick, obviously… and that’s kind of where I get stuck, knowing that a good first-round prospect in 2024 could help down the road. #LackOfTalent

But in Montreal, there’s a growing sense that the media vibe is to forget about the draft and try to win. Réjean Tremblay, who wrote about it this morning, is a good example.

Michel Bergeron is of the same opinion, believing that the Habs are too close to a playoff spot to think that the club has to be more seller than buyer at the deadline.

And playoff regular Michel Therrien wants to see the Habs play with a playoff mentality going forward.

The Habs, who need to find their identity, are obviously still a long way from having a good team. I think it can be easy to get carried away with winning when it’s December.

In reality, in my eyes, that doesn’t change: the guys are playing to win… and we’ll see in March. It’s early days yet, isn’t it? And if the Habs are still in the mix in March, without adding, the club could evaluate… but don’t hold your breath too long.

In gusto

– That’s right.

– The Stade is the talk of the town again.

– What do you think?

– Notice to all interested.

– Really?

– Indeed.

– Flower will not face the Habs.

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