2015 Montreal Canadiens Season Preview
By most franchises standards, the Montreal Canadiens had a fantastic season a year ago, finishing with 110 points and an Atlantic Division title. But the Canadiens enter 2015 poised to push for more. The biggest problem for Montreal last season came on the offensive end of the ice. The Canadiens struggled to score points in key situations and are desperate for better play from their front line in 2015. To help bolster that attack, Montreal brought in veteran Alexander Semin, who is looking to put the struggles of the last two seasons behind him. The sure thing for the 2015 Montreal Canadiens will be their goaltending. Carey Price earned both the Vezina and the Hart trophies last season, and is easily one of the top 3 goaltenders in the league. In front of him will be a talented and disciplined Canadiens defensive front that should help Montreal keep their goals allowed average near the bottom of the league once again. Coming into the 2015 season there are three powerhouse teams in the East, the Lightning, Bruins, and the Canadiens, if Montreal can improve their goal scoring, they may be the team to beat in the Eastern Conference.
2014 Montreal Canadiens Season Preview
In just two seasons the Montreal Canadiens have gone from last place in the Eastern Conference, to the Eastern Conference Finals. Last season the Canadiens finished the season 46-28-8 and had a playoff run that included a come from behind 7 game series victory over the heavily favored Boston Bruins. Montreal’s season ended 2 games shy of an Eastern Conference Championship and a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. For 2014, the Canadiens have seen a few of their veteran players leave. Captain Brian Gionta is gone, as are team leaders Josh Gorges, and Daniel Briere. But the buzz around the Canadiens is still positive as the team moves many of its incredibly talented young players into leadership roles. The 2014 Montreal Canadiens team will be heavy on young players, but look for the veteran additions of Manny Malhortra and Tom Gilbert to add some much needed experience and for them to mentor emerging talent like Brendan Gallagher, and Alex Galchenyuk. The Canadiens had a terrific run in 2013 and have a great chance to make a repeat trip to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2014.
2013 Montreal Canadiens Season Preview
The Montreal Canadiens proved they are part of the top tier in the Eastern Conference once again, and the Quebec club thinks Marc Bergevin has found the right formula to win more titles for the NHL’s most accomplished franchise. Daniel Briere is now a Canadien after signing a two-year deal, as well as picking up George Parros from the Panthers. Douglas Murray was brought in to secure the blue line while Alexei Emelin is sidelined, and the club is looking for plenty of production from both players in 2014. The Canadiens will have home games at the Bell Centre against the Penguins and Maple Leafs at the end of November, as well as a three-game homestand against the Bruins, Sabres and Kings beginning on Dec. 5. The defending-champion Blackhawks will visit Montreal on Jan. 11.
2012 Montreal Canadiens Season Preview
As one of the most storied franchises in NHL history with a dedicated fanbase and history of success, the 2011-12 season was a bit of a letdown by the Montreal Canadiens' lofty standards. The team finished the regular season with a 31-35-16 record and finished at 15th in the Eastern Conference. As a result, the Canadiens experiencing myriad changes all over the ice and in the front office for the 2012-13 season, including head coach Michel Therrien, who is back for his second stint with the team. The team is hoping to put its scoring woes behind them and come back reloaded and ready to compete for a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Canadiens put on one of the worst scoring attacks in the NHL during the 2011-12 season, posting an average of 2.52 goals per game, which ranked 19th in the league. Although the Canadiens' scoring lines will remain largely the same from a year ago, an improvement in their depth should help the team overcome its woes. The front line is still lead by talented goal scorers like Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec and Erik Cole, but the team will have to stay consistent to achieve their true potential. On defense, the Canadiens have added newcomer Francis Bouillon to the mix, but the starting tandem of Andrei Markov and P.K. Subban will have to play much better than they did in the 2011-12 season. While Markov was sidelined with injuries for much of the year, the younger players on the squad gained valuable experience, which should help the Canadiens if he misses extended time again this year. Of course, if there's one area of the team roster that doesn't need any changes, it's at goaltender. Carey Price has been one of the best goalies in the league for the past several years, and his backup Peter Budaj is more than capable of shifting in to keep Price fresh throughout the season. Heading into the 2012-13 season, the Canadiens will open up the season at home for the first time since the 1999-00 season against the Ottawa Senators. The team will face each of their division rivals six times throughout the year and will play two special matinee games in Montreal during Super Bowl Sunday weekend on February 2 and 3 against the New York Islanders and Senators.
2011 Montreal Canadiens Season Preview
Despite being one of the two teams (other than the LA Kings) to make it to the 2011 NHL playoffs while being at the bottom of the NHL scoring board, the Montreal Canadiens are looking to make another playoff appearance in 2012. If they are to do so, they’re going to need better production from Tomas Plekanec, Brian Gionta and Andrei Kostitsyn, the only players who scored more than 20 goals last season. Prior to the 2010-11 season, the Canadiens named American Brian Gionta as captain, who led the team to second place in the Northeast Division and sixth in the Eastern Conference, losing in the quarterfinals to 2011 Stanley Cup Champions, the Boston Bruins. Following their playoff upset, the Canadiens' management signed two new players in hope of adding some stability to the team's lineup: Erik Cole, formerly of the Carolina Hurricanes, as a backup goalie for starter Carey Price, and aggressive Russian defenseman Alexei Yemelin. Whether or not that’s enough to get to get the team back to their championship ways will be one of the exciting plots of the NHL season!
2010 Montreal Canadiens Season Preview
Although they squeaked into the playoffs last year as an eight seed, the Montreal Canadiens came achingly close to the Stanley Cup Finals last season, losing in five games to the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference Finals. Montreal will be looking to take the next step and appear in their first finals since the 1993 season, when they came home with the cup. The offense will be led by center Tomas Plekanec, whose 70 points (on 25 goals and 45 assists) was the most on the team last season. Plekanec will be joined by Brian Gionta on offense, who had a standout season last year with 28 goals at right wing, and brings eight years of experience to anchor the front line. Scott Gomez led the team in assists last year and will return looking to be an effective distributor yet again. Montreal had a shake up on defense during the offseason, as they traded goalie Jaroslav Halák to the St. Louis Blues. Third-year goaltender Carey Price will get the bulk of the time between the pipes, but Alex Auld may challenge for the starting job. The defense in front of Price and Auld should be solid, led by Mathieu Carle and Paul Mara.
2009 Montreal Canadiens Season Preview
The Montreal Canadiens are excited about the 2009-2010 NHL season because their team looks ready for the new step. Montreal came into the 2009 playoffs as the 8th seed and promptly got bounced by the Boston Bruins. This season Canadiens Head Coach Jacques Martin looks to take Montreal to the 2nd round of the NHL playoffs and beyond.