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The Canadiens will have to make the playoffs in 2024-25
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

June 2021: the Canadiens eliminate the Vegas Golden Knights on St John’s night in Montreal. If the NHL were like the stock market, we could compare this day, June 24, 2021, to the peak that preceded the 2008 crash in New York. Since then, it’s been a disaster in Montreal.

Marc Bergevin let Corey Perry go…

Carey Price and Shea Weber have (unofficially) retired…

Christian Dvorak replaced Phillip Danault and Jesperi Kotkaniemi…

Joel Armia has been extended

Tyler Toffoli was traded…

Artturi Lehkonen too…

Paul Byron hung up his skates…

Alexander Romanov, Tomas Tatar, Joel Edmundson, Jeff Petry (twice) and Ben Chiarot left Montreal…

We went looking for Mike “fuc*ing” Hoffman…

And the entire coaching staff AND management were renewed.

Since the last Stanley Cup Final game in 2021, the Habs haven’t played a single playoff game. Much to the disappointment of TVA Sports, which pays a lot of money to broadcast 22 season games and playoff games (of a team other than the Habs).

In 2021-22, the Habs finished 32nd and last in the entire league, less than a year after reaching the Cup Final.

In 2022-23, the Habs did BETTER, finishing 28th, 10 points ahead of the Ducks and dead last in the overall standings.

This morning, the Tricolore sits 26th in the league, following its victory over the Coyotes, who were on a 12-game losing streak. An unconvincing victory that moved the Montrealers up two places in the standings.

In short, we’re improving… but not fast enough.

I know the rebuilding process isn’t over yet, and it’s going to take as long as it takes

But how long will it be before the Habs are a real contender? We’re not a year or two away from aspiring to the Stanley Cup; we just have a trio that’s producing.

Before the start of the season, Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton, refusing to talk about playoffs, had nevertheless mentioned that they wanted to see their team play meaningful games in March and April. The only meaning of games right now is the percentages in the lottery abacus…

And when we collectively start wishing for losses, the Habs start winning (thanks Samuel!). Our club isn’t even capable of losing properly.

The Habs are 15 points out of a playoff spot this morning. This time next year, it’ll have to be a maximum of four.

In fact, I’m going to say it loud and clear: when the regular season ends in 14 months, the Habs have to be in the top eight in the East… or at worst, four points behind the eighth-place team. Otherwise, it will have been another season of failure.

Four seasons without making the playoffs would be a record of mediocrity for the Tricolore. We have to avoid that.

In Brief

– This week on the Stanley25 Podcast, we’re joined by none other than David Garel, the guy behind Hockey30. The episode should be out in the next few hours.

– CF Montreal: Piatti is behind the recruitment of Matias Coccaro.

– CF Montreal trains outside.

– This is your chance to work for the Habs.

– News from the Rocket defenseman.

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