Canadiens Gaining Ground In The Race For Connor Bedard
As the Montreal Canadiens enjoy some vacation time, their rivals in the “Connor Bedard Sweepstakes” are gaining ground on them in the standings; making the possibility of a bottom-five finish more of a reality.
After a dreadful month of December, the Canadiens lost a lot of momentum due to major injuries to players like Sean Monahan, Cole Caufield, Kaiden Guhle and even youngster Juraj Slafkovsky.
Although the Canadiens showed some bite against top teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and Winnipeg Jets; you could see the fatigue setting in on the remaining players.
It doesn’t get much better for the Canadiens in the month of February, as they get set to play nine games, including two back-to-back situations, in just 17 days.
In the meantime, teams vying for the NHL Playoffs have begun to create separation in the NHL Standings and pulling closer to the final Wild Card spots, meaning the Canadiens now have a generous gap between themselves and the teams currently on the bubble.
However, what is noteworthy as of late, has been the improved play of many bottom-feeding teams, who are all seemingly picking up their play just as the Canadiens’ season looks to be headed for a nose dive.
Movin On Up
As of Wednesday, the Canadiens are now currently 27th in the NHL standings. They’re tied with the Vancouver Canucks, but Vancouver ranks above them due to having fewer games played.
The Canadiens have also seen their 10-point lead on the bottom-five teams evaporate over the last couple of weeks, as the San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks and Arizona Coyotes have all climbed within four points of the Canadiens.
The Sharks could, in fact, surpass the Canadiens in the standings with their next victory, as they’re just one point back of the Canadiens in the standings and playing some inspiring hockey thanks to the heroics of Erik Karlsson; who seems to be back in Norris form this season.
The Ducks have also made up some serious ground over the last seven games, collecting 10 of a possible 14 points in the process; thanks to some solid goaltending from John Gibson and timely offence from their defencemen.
After a very hot start to the season, the Montreal Canadiens seem to be trending toward another bottom-five finish this season; improving their odds of winning the lottery and getting the opportunity to select Connor Bedard.
Although it is important that they remain competitive and don’t invite a losing mentality, this outcome is likely more along the lines of what general manager Kent Hughes expected this season to ultimately play out.
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