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Montreal Canadiens

Canadiens Face Perfect Schedule For Improving Lottery Odds



Montreal Canadiens draft lottery - HAbs news

The Montreal Canadiens won a surprising number of games in February.

If you’re among those hoping they end up with improved lottery odds, you could say they won a frustratingly high number of games following their week off.

But even if the team earned more points than expected thanks to impressive performances from their goaltending duo, the numbers are still on the Canadiens’ side when it comes to the remaining schedule.

It has already begun with back-to-back losses to the Kings and the Anaheim Ducks.

Upcoming Games

Montreal is unlikely to drop below the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Chicago Blackhawks, the Ducks, or the San Jose Sharks, but they have a legitimate chance to usurp both the Vancouver Canucks and Arizona Coyotes in the basement of the NHL standings.

The Canadiens have more points than both Vancouver and Arizona, however, as previously mentioned, they possess the most difficult strength of schedule in the league.

In comparison, the Coyotes have a much easier schedule, whereas the Canucks have a cakewalk, with one of the easiest schedules down the stretch.


As an Eastern Conference team, the Canadiens will be facing some of the best clubs in the NHL, teams that have bolstered their lineup during the arms race in the week leading up to the deadline.

Of the 20 remaining games, 13 take place against playoff teams, including matchups against the reigning Stanley Cup champions, not to mention a pair of games against the Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, and Tampa Bay Lightning.

They will face seven teams that are not currently in a playoff position. And the majority of those games will be played against teams that are still vying for a chance to play hockey in the spring.

They’ll only face one team below them in the standings: the Columbus Blue Jackets.


Comparatively, the Canucks will only face seven teams currently in a playoff position, just half the number of games they’ll play against non-playoff teams. They’ll also face seven teams below them in the standings.

The Coyotes have a more difficult schedule, similar to the one the Canadiens will face, however, it must be noted that as a Western Conference team. they will be facing much weaker teams than the Canadiens down the stretch.

Brass Tacks

There are no guarantees in the NHL.

As Canadiens fans know all too well, a goalie can steal a game in which the team had no business competing.

But there’s a certain level of comfort to be had when examining the Canadiens’ competition for a bottom-5 finish in the standings. The Coyotes have an easier schedule, and the Canucks should comfortably pass the Habs by the end of the month, if not sooner.

Strength of schedule ranking courtesy of Tankathon.

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The problem is that with the Bruins locked in at 1st overall and the Leafs/Lightning locked in as 1st round opponents, I can see these teams resting players, especially in April. We won’t be facing those top teams on the ice that got them to the place they are today. We’re likely to be facing teams with their minor league or backup goalie, and a lot of minor leaguers playing to rest all their stars before the playoffs. Just think back to our 10-2 win over the President’s Trophy winning Panthers in the final game last year. We’ll have guys fighting for jobs and highly motivated kids playing on our side. It’s not going to be as arduous as we think. Meanwhile, all those other teams below us have gutted their teams in the past couple of weeks. I’m hoping they all go into OT or shootout when they play each other to make 3pt games and that we definitely lose whenever we play any of them. My fingers are crossed for tight, competitive games where we just fall short like the last 2 games against L.A. and Anaheim.


Leafs and lightning are both battling for home ice. Bruins will beat the habs even if they rest some players. I want the habs to beat the leafs and the panthers and pick up maximum 6 points. We will be comfortably in the bottom 2 or 3.

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