2023 Montreal Canadiens Predictions with Futures Odds and Expert NHL Picks
Summary of last season
Not a lot went right for Montreal last season as the bottom feeders in the Atlantic finished with just 68 points and holding a -75-point differential last season. They scored the 7th lowest goals in the league, finishing with just 232 while they allowed 307 goals to their opponents, which is the fourth highest count.
C Nick Suzuki led the team in points with 66 and was the only Canadiens player to appear in all 82 games last season. Young star Cole Caulfield tallied 36 points, including 26 goals, but appeared in only 46 games. His goal total tied Suzuki’s for the team lead despite playing in almost half as many games. Jake Allen and Sam Montembeault formed an abysmal goalie tandem as the two combined to allow nearly 3.5 GA/G last season.
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Seasons come and go, so now it’s time to take a look at what we can expect from the Montreal Canadiens in 2023-24:
Montreal has not done much this offseason, and I do not expect this team to try and take too many fliers. This team is in rebuild mode. They lost a lot of depth, most notably Denis Gurianov (NSH) and Anthony Richard (BOS).
They did re-sign Rafaeal Harvey-Pinard to a two-year deal after he played his way into the future plans as the young F finished with 20 points in 34 games last season. They also brought in 22-year-old F Alex Newhook, who finished with 30 points in 82 games for Colorado a year ago. They are hoping these two forwards can provide a spark or keep the flame going when the first line isn’t out there.
The Canadiens were also active in the trade market as they traded away Mike Hoffman as part of the Erik Karlsson trade.
The 2024 Draft Lottery- There is no one expecting Montreal to field a competitive team this season, and we could be in for a worse performance this year compared to last. That means they will likely head into the draft lottery with good odds to land the first pick in next year’s draft.
Montembeault and Allen are back as the expected netminders this upcoming season. That does not look great for a young team trying to turn things around. It is likely that there will be a different goalie in the net when this team is ready to make a run.
The expectation for this team is to compete… but not till 2025 or beyond. They did a good job adding some young and unproven pieces, but this team is far from competing. Their goalie situation is ugly, while, outside their top line, there isn’t anyone scaring you on this roster. Montreal will struggle all year and fans will be wishing they could fast forward. But hey, maybe the front office can start putting together some good season ticket deals for the 2025 season.
Team Win total- Under 70.5
Key Schedule Stretch
December 18th-January 2nd- This is a tough eight game road trip for the Canadiens and likely a collection of beatdowns. Destinations for this trip include Winnipeg, Minnesota, Chicago, Carolina, Florida, Tampa Bay, and Dallas. Not an easy stretch at all.
Stanley Cup Champions - +25000
Conference Winner - +1300
Division Winner - +20000
To Make the Playoffs – Yes +1700
Not much too it. This team will be at the bottom of the standings again this season. I love the under on the team point total. There is no valid hype around this team. Montreal will be competing with Columbus and San Jose to be the worst team in the NHL.
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