The Montreal Canadiens have had a really hot start to the year. They currently hold a record of 3-0-2. They are the only team in the Scotia North division to not have a regulation loss.
The Montreal Canadiens have had the luxury of being able to roll all four lines and get point production. Joel Armia for example had 2 Goals and 2 Assists against the Canucks in their 7-3 Win. In that game Joel Armia had only 11 Minutes of ice time that game. Also their offseason moves have meshed in with the rest of the team and put up some great numbers. Josh Anderson who was involved in the Max Domi Trade has had a total of 3 points in 5 games playing on a line with Nick Suzuki and Jonathan Drouin. Another player playing well in La Belle Province is Tyler Toffoli. Toffoli has played especially well against his former team in the Vancouver Canucks. Toffoli has 6 Points in 2 Games against the Canucks. This Canadiens Forward Core might be the best they have had in awhile…
The Montreal Canadiens defense does not get the credit it deserves. If you look at a lot of these names on the defense core you would think its a weak core, for example Ben Chariot who was playing 2nd or 3rd pair with the Winnipeg Jets is now playing top pairing with Shea Weber. Brett Kulak who most regard as a 7th Defenseman. Came to Montreal and almost immediately had a big impact as a depth defenseman for the team. Kulak is now playing on a pair with rookie defenseman Alexander Romanov. The main piece in this defense core this season has been Jeff Petry. Petry has played well in all situations being a power play quarterback feeding the puck to Suzuki or Weber. To say the least this Habs defense core has been one of the best this season.
This position is definitely the Habs strong point with elite starter in Carey Price with one of the better backups in the NHL with Jake Allen. They even have goalie depth on the taxi squad and the AHL with Primeau and Lindgren ready to get a shot in the crease if an injury occurs. Allen has played a total of two NHL games for the Canadiens. He had a rough game versus the Canadiens with three goals on 17 shots but he did play very well against the offensive powerhouse Edmonton Oilers.
The Canadiens X Factor is their depth in all positions.They undoubtedly have the deepest team in the Scotia North Division. Teams like Toronto can rival their forward depth but, with a team like Toronto they don’t have the defensive and goaltending depth like the Habs do.The Canadiens can get scoring from all four forward lines. Their third line has a total of 14 combined points in the last two games. The fourth line has also played really well with the emergence of Jake Evans as their true 4C. Evans is meshing well with Byron and Lehkonen.
The Canadiens are currently 6th in the League for Power Play Scoring Percentage. They have 6 Power Play Goals on 20 Power Plays. Their Power Play is majorly run with Toffoli-Suzuki-Drouin-Weber-Petry. Petry sets up Weber for one timers or makes the play to Suzuki. Their Penalty Kill is currently 22nd in the League. They do have a 76% Penalty Kill Percentage. They also have 4 Shorthanded Goals.
In conclusion, The Montreal Canadiens are a huge threat in this tough Canadian Division. Expect the Canadiens to make a push for the Division Title and the Stanley Cup.
Written By: Brody Neufeld.