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“Yes, I’m looking at the standings”: Nick Suzuki and the Canadian believe it’s possible
And how was your Christmas? Did you eat well? Did you get nice presents? Did you spend quality time with your loved ones?

I say “spent” as if the holidays were over, even though they’re not. I guess I had the Habs players’ holiday schedule in mind on this one.

Because no, in the NHL, the break isn’t long. Many clubs will be playing tonight, by the way.

(Credit: Sportsnet)

The Habs are one of the lucky ones in this regard. Not only did it not play on December 23, it’s not playing tonight. In fact, only four clubs won’t be playing tonight.

But the fact remains that the challenge of getting back into game shape will be there for the boys.

At 3pm this afternoon, reality will catch up with them in the detour as a training session will be on the menu. The goal? Get back into game shape and burn off those holiday fats.

And they’ll have to do it fast, because tomorrow marks the start of a sequence of six games in ten days. The games will take place in five different cities, and tough opponents will be on the menu.

(Credit: Google)

The boys obviously know that the challenge will be imposing over the next few days. After all, holiday travel is always difficult because of – obvious alert – travel and Christmas.

But at least this year’s holiday trip is off to a better start than in other years. At the moment, the Habs have five points out of a possible six, which is very good.

The goal? To keep the chain off the games in Carolina, Florida (twice) and Texas. That way, the club can stay in the hunt for the next round.

Because yes, for those who don’t remember, the club is only four points away from the playoffs. Tampa has the last playoff spot in the East right now.

(Credit: NHL)

I’ve said it before: I don’t think the Habs will make it to the March deadline. That said, it’s important to see the guys play meaningful games, and we can understand why they like it.

It’s also understandable that they care.

Yes, I look at the standings.

These are the words of Nick Suzuki. The Canadiens’ captain, as reported in a piece by Renaud Lavoie on the TVA Sports website, obviously likes to see his team in the running.

He also says that the way his club performs against the good teams says a lot about the Habs 2023-2024.

But the most important thing to note in all this is the level of confidence. The club is able to make up lost ground in games because the boys don’t crash when they allow a goal.

How long will this last? As long as possible, ideally.

Martin St-Louis, who claims that the club has raised its standards, must be pleased to see that the step forward has been taken despite the absence of key players such as Kirby Dach and Alex Newhook, among others.

I’ve named those two, but don’t forget Rafaël Harvey-Pinard, Jordan Harris, Tanner Pearson and, if you want to add them, Carey Price and Chris Wideman, two guys who probably won’t play all year.

(Credit: Cap Friendly)
As a final reminder (because yes, that was the point of my first piece today), the Habs currently have 13 healthy forwards and seven healthy defensemen.

Normally, Michael Pezzetta or Emil Heineman don’t play and Gustav Lindstrom is the extra defenseman.

We should also remember that Jordan Harris may be on the verge of returning, which will cause congestion on the blue line. This might be more manageable if the club had two goalies instead of three, but hey.

It’s also worth remembering that the holiday trading freeze ends at one minute past midnight. That’s in just over 3 p.m., at the time of writing.

Breaking news

– Here are today’s games at the World Junior Championship.

– The Quebecer has the confidence of his club.

– Sad news for this young man, who will miss the rest of the CMJ.

– The Harvey-Pinard story. [98.5 FM]

– Les Lions: no big connection with the Canadiens?

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