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Tony Marinaro explains why the Habs can make the playoffs next year

Today is January 8… And at the time of writing, the Habs are five points behind the Devils for the final playoff spot in the East.

I think we can all agree that not many people expected this to happen in the first place. Especially since the Canadiens are currently decimated by injuries and have had to get by since the start of the season without Kirby Dach, one of the team’s best players.

It makes you wonder if things would be different today if Dach, Newhook and all the other injured players were healthy. Georges Laraque and Tony Marinaro (BPM Sports) estimate that the Habs might have picked up three or four more wins, which would put the club in a playoff position today…

And it leads Tony Marinaro to believe that the Habs, currently playing for .500 without some of their best players, have what it takes to make the playoffs next year:

Without injuries, the Habs have, I’d say, one (more) win in the month of October, in the month of November, in the month of December, in the month of January… They’d have at least 6 to 8 more points […] Georges, the Habs are going to make the playoffs next year. – Tony Marinaro

Injuries or not, there’s one thing in particular to remember about all this.

The Canadian is progressing. It’s not perfect at the moment, far from it… But the club has shown since the start of the season that it’s capable of competing against the other good teams in the league. Proof of this came in the last week with victorious encounters against the Stars and Rangers, two of the National League’s powerhouses.

It’s hard to predict anything right now, because you can’t discount the fact that the Atlantic Division is really powerful too. The Wings, Leafs, Lightning and Bruins are likely to be pretty good again next year, and we don’t know if the Sabres or Senators will ever blow up.

But seeing that the Habs are on the right track is reassuring for everyone, because the last 18 months haven’t necessarily been easy.

And also, to see the Habs winning without their key players and without Cole Caufield having to score goals by the ton is a good sign. At the end of the day, that’s what’s important. Because the more the Habs improve, the closer they’ll get to their ultimate goal of competing with the top clubs night after night.

In gusto

– The news is now confirmed.

– His smile is contagious.

– If he wins, Fleury will become the second-winningest goaltender in NHL history.

– William Nylander feels at home.

– Kevin Rooney is placed in the waivers.

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