The Canadiens Can Get Through Tough Schedule Ahead
The last two games for the Montreal Canadiens have been frustrating. They’ve lost both of them, given up a total of six goals and only scored one. Granted, they played two of the toughest teams in the league, Tampa Bay and Nashville. They will not face Nashville in the playoffs, when it really matters, unless the Canadiens make the Stanley Cup final. Canadiens fans can only pray that they don’t meet Tampa Bay in the first round of the playoffs. Anyway, it’s not like the schedule takes pity on the Canadiens from here. After facing the Florida Panthers tonight, the Canadiens play 15 of their remaining 23 games on the road. They face formidable teams like the Columbus Blue Jackets, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs (twice), San Jose Sharks, New York Islanders, and Winnipeg Jets. Based on how this season has gone for the Canadiens, they can get through this tough schedule.
The Canadiens tend to elevate their game against tougher opponents. Sometimes this results in a victory for them, and sometimes not. Nevertheless, the Canadiens will always have a fighting chance. The Canadiens have beaten three teams on the list above: the Columbus Blue Jackets, the New York Islanders, and the Winnipeg Jets. They’ve been fun to watch against all the teams on the list, providing their most entertaining games of the season against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Having watched almost all of the Canadiens’ games this season, I realize that the Canadiens are more fun to watch when they are playing a tough team. They flat out destroyed the Jets 5-2, they beat the Blue Jackets 4-1, they edged the Islanders in a shootout 4-3, and they competed with other strong teams. The two games they played against Toronto were lost in overtime, and they were the most entertaining. The Canadiens played well in most of their games against the Lighting, but the Lightning are so good they deserve their own league. One game against the Lightning was very close; the Lightning edged the Canadiens 6-5. Carey Price wasn’t even in net. That’s pretty impressive. Against the Sharks, the Canadiens didn’t play well for the first period, but played exceptionally well in the second and third periods. The Sharks were bailed out by the heroics of their goaltender Martin Jones, and came away with a 3-1 win. As you can see, the Canadiens at least held their own against these strong teams, and should be fine with all the road games, as they are a pretty strong road team.
The final stretch of games will be a good test for the endurance and grit of the Canadiens. I believe that they will pass this test with honours. Go Habs go.
Signed, Le Bo