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Canadien: yesterday was a great day for the lottery
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

The Montreal Canadiens were officially eliminated from the playoffs in the last few days, putting an end to fans’ long-awaited hopes. The goal now is to see where the Habs will draft.

And since the club lost twice over the weekend, including a 5-2 defeat to the Rangers last night, let’s just say it’s good for the Tankathon standings.

I’ll say it again: in my eyes, the club needs to win games once in a while, but defeats don’t necessarily hurt in the long run because of the lottery.

But hey. All this to say that not only have the Habs lost their last three regular-season games, but the Ottawa Senators and Arizona Coyotes won yesterday.

What does that mean?

It means that the two clubs closest to the Canadiens in the standings managed to overtake the Flanelle last night. This gives Kent Hughes’ club the exclusive fifth spot – down – in the standings.

Spoiler alert: this is definitely what the club’s scouts want to see right now.

Looking towards the bottom of the standings, we can see that the Blue Jackets can still mathematically catch up with the Habs, but it would really take a major turnaround.

Six points clear with four (Columbus) or five (Montreal) games to play? Very, very unlikely.

The Habs, on the other hand, can still mathematically catch the Devils, Sabres and Kraken, but let’s just say it’s as unlikely as the Blue Jackets overtaking the Habs.

Even the Flames (three points ahead of the Habs) is unlikely.

The battle is really between the Sens, the Coyotes and the Habs for spots 26 to 28. Everyone still has five games to play, and the Sens are ahead of the rest with 72 points.

The Coyotes are at 71 points, one ahead of the Flanelle.

This week, the Senators travel to Florida to take on the Panthers and Lightning before returning home to face the Canadiens on Saturday. The Rangers and Bruins (both on the road) are also on the menu.

What about the Coyotes? Road games in Seattle, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary are on the menu before returning to play one last game – against the Oilers – in the comfort of the big Mullett Arena.

The Sens, according to Tankathon, have the third-toughest schedule in the league between now and the end of the season, and the Coyotes are in eighth place. Both are therefore in the top-10.

The Habs are 23rd with the easiest schedule to the end of the season.

Tomorrow night, the Flyers will be at the Bell Centre, followed by visits to Long Island, Ottawa and Detroit. The Red Wings will finish the season at the Bell Centre on April 16.

Will the Habs keep losing? Watch this space.

But if we look back at the Sunday night game (it’s not usual, but hey) between the Habs and Rangers as such, we can find some aspects to analyze.

What can I take away from the game?

1. Cayden Primeau didn’t do a bad job in front of his net, quite the contrary. He still faced 45 shots and stopped 41 against the mighty New York Rangers.

After 11 minutes of play, he had already received 13 shots. A strong start.

It took him more than half the game before he faltered for the first time, and by then, the Rangers had opened the floodgates. But to stop 41 shots against New York is very good.

If there was a game, it was the one that bounced back from its tough outing against Tampa Bay by playing well on Saturday and Sunday. The goalie was surely his team’s best player.

2. Cole Caufield scored the first goal of the game, late in the first half. In the end, the goal didn’t make the difference, but at the time it was scored, it was very important.

In February, Caufield scored twice and in March, he only had one goal. But in four games in April, he had four goals, one per game. So he’s found the back of the net in his last four games.

3. Mike Matheson played over 25 minutes, got his 46th and 47th assists of the season, has a shot on goal and finished the game without a negative differential.

What more could you ask for?

4. Colin White, Tanner Pearson, Michael Pezzetta and Jesse Ylönen (who didn’t play yesterday, but fits into the same category) are really passengers on the club.

And then there’s Josh Anderson. What laziness!

5. As a rule, the effort is there. The club may be losing its games, but it’s not doing it by crashing miserably for 60 minutes either, which isn’t naughty.

So much the better.


The Canadiens are back in Montreal following their game in New York, as the Flyers will be in town tomorrow. The Habs announced a day off on this Monday in April.

I guess the boys wanted to see the eclipse…

Joking aside, we’ll have to wait until tomorrow for news of the injured. Will Kaiden Guhle or Chris Wideman Arber Xhekaj – or both? – be able to play tomorrow, potentially sending Justin Barron back to Laval?

Will Christian Dvorak return to action by next Tuesday? And if so, will he need at least one full training session with the boys?

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