In 2013-14, the Canadiens won 46 games, which is the most
they have won since 2007-08. In the postseason they made it to the Eastern
Conference Finals for the first time since 2009-10, but were knocked out by the
New York Rangers in six games.
The Habs may have went even deeper had Carey Price not been
injured in game 1 vs. New York. Price is the Habs’ most important player and he
did his part in 2013-14. He went 34-20-5 with a 2.32 GAA (14th in NHL), .927
SV% (t-3rd) and six shutouts (t-2nd).
P.A Parenteau – RW Thomas
Vanek – LW
Tom Gilbert – D Brian
Gointa – RW
Manny Malhotra – C Josh
Gorges – D
Joey MacDonald – G Danny
Briere – C
White – C
Blunden – RW
Dubnyk – G
P.K. Subban continues to grow into an elite NHL defenseman.
The Habs made a significant investment in Subban this offseason, signing him to
an eight-year contract worth $72 million dollars. (See Montreal Cap Situation) The $9 million dollar cap-hit makes him the highest paid defenseman
in the NHL ($1.2 M more than Shea Weber). Last year he set a career-high and
finished fifth among D-men with 53 points in 82 games.
At 35-years-old, Andrei Markov is not slowing down points
wise. He finished fourth among D in points in the lockout shortened year and
finished tied for 17th with 43 points (7G / 36A) in 81 games last season.
Markov’s skating and defensive abilities have slipped in recent years, but his
offensive game is still there. It is only a matter of time before his offensive
production starts to dwindle as well, but we think he has at least one more
40-point season in him. The Habs added offensive-minded Tom Gilbert this
offseason. Gilbert had three goals and 28 assists in 73 games with the Panthers
last year. He gives the Habs a reliable defenseman to play on their second
power-play unit behind Subban and Markov.
Up front the Canadiens will look a lot different this
season. They lost veterans Thomas Vanek and Brian Gionta to free agency and
traded Danny Briere to the Avalanche for P.A Parenteau. Losing those guys will
give the Canadiens a different look, but not necessarily in a bad way. Their
top-5 remains intact and Parenteau is likely the top candidate to slide in and
round-out the top-6.
Max Pacioretty is the Habs’ top forward. He scored a
career-high 39 goals with 21 assists (60 points) to lead the team for the third
straight season. Alex Galchenyuk, 20, enjoyed a solid sophomore season and will
take another step forward this year. He will eventually be the best forward on
this roster, but he still might be one season away. A leap from 30 points to 50
points is not out of the question.
Tomas Plekanec has seen his point totals drop every year
since posting 70 points in 2009-10. He will once again play a big role in the
offence, but that has not translated into large point totals. He is capable of
getting back to 50 points but that 70-point year seems like an anomaly.
Undersized forwards David Desharnais and Brendan Gallagher both may have more
offensive upside than Plekanec. Gallagher could be
on that top-line at some point, He’s a hard guy not to like, he goes full-tilt every shift and gets under the opponents
skin. Couple that with offensive ability
and he could land himself his first 50-point season.
Montreal finishes third in the Atlantic Division and qualifies for the playoffs
for the third straight year and seven out of the last eight.
View the Canadiens’ entire roster and cap space heading into
the 2014-2015 season.
View the Canadiens’ potential line combinations heading into
the 2014-15 season.
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