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The waters will be even rougher next year

Back in the day, when the Canadiens finished their season, there was an uproar in the air. And that, win or lose. This year, we didn’t feel any of that, or very little. Due to the lack of expectations, the season went by in relative relief for the coaches and players.

Kent Hughes would have us believe his team has the power to surprise us, apparently living on another planet. Bladders should not be confused with lanterns.

Remember that famous statement from Mark Bergevin when he brought in Karl Elzener, David Schlimko, Mark Street and Joe Morrow in the summer of 2017. He said his defensive team was superior to the previous season, including Andrei Markov and Alexei Emlin. .

Bergevin had emptied the Russian channel by letting Alexander Radulov, who had conquered the Montreal Horde during his one-year stay in Montreal, go.

The descent that followed was staggering. The Canadiens had 71 points on the season, down 32 from the previous season.

The city was upside down. Bergevin’s statement stuck with him for a long time. Telling it like it is, as Kent Hughes did this year, is a good thing. Amateurs become more accommodating.

Canadiens supporters let this season go by without climbing the curtains. But this does not mean that they will remain silent for a long time.

There is an expiration date for that. Even in the context of the reorganization of the workforce.

Fans will be less forgiving next season. Jeff Gorton, if he’s still around, can expect Kent Hughes and Martin St. Louis to navigate rougher waters.

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Injuries did not help

We won’t talk about Conor Bédard or Pierre-Luc Dubois because they are not part of the equation as we are talking.

Let’s say if they land in Montreal, the predictions will lose sports betting sites. Fans will start dreaming about the Stanley Cup.

To achieve better results next season, all players will have to do more.

It will also be essential for the team to be in better health. It can be said that injuries are no excuse, and no team can survive the absence of 11 players.

Three of those players were rookies who secured a position with the senior club, namely Kayden Guhle and Arber Chikaj on the blue line and Juraj Slavkowski up front.

Cole Cofield scored 26 goals in 46 games when he was injured. Nick Suzuki felt his absence until Raphael Harvey Bennard took the opportunity to play alongside him to have fun in attack.

Hatching Harvey Benard

Speaking of a convert player, Harvey-Pinard is in this category. He secured his place for the next year.

Samuel Montembolt, Jordan Harris, Mike Matheson and Alex Pelzel all got a lot of points. Pelzel, 31, has shown that time is not a factor for a player who gets high for a place.

On the veteran side, Brendan Gallagher and David Savard are the kind of veteran all teams are looking for. You know you can count on them at all times and that they are an inspiration to their teammates.

There is still a long way to go

However, this photo shouldn’t make us forget that there is still a long way to go.

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The Bruins, Leafs, Lightning, Hurricanes, Devils, and Rangers are set to remain in the playoff draw for some time.

The Sabers, Senators and Red Wings are ahead of the Canadiens in their recovery plan.

Participation in the series does not seem possible before 2026, at the earliest. All the better if it happened before. But when it does, the effect should last.

Fans no longer want a team that treads in water. Their desire is to see a Canadian who will be able to compete for several years.

The cup remains…

Statistics can tell you a lot. Take the Bruins’ record this season and think of the 1976-77 version of the Canadiens who totaled 132 points in an 80-game schedule. The Bruins beat the Habs in their 81st meeting, CH fans say.

Should an asterisk be placed next to the number of points the Bruins have? no.

Does that make them a team superior to the Canadian at the time? We don’t have to ask ourselves this question.

Great teams, they always have been and always will be. All teams that have standard seasons have advantages.

So, hats off to the Bruins!

Nothing is earned

Let’s not forget that they started the season without Brad Marchand, Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelecik. But they had the depth to survive this period.

The evidence: They’ve won 17 of their first 20 games under their new coach, Jim Montgomery. They’ve maintained that pace all season.

In today’s hockey game, it’s great!

But the Bruins season wouldn’t be a true success without the Stanley Cup.

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Yes, there is always a risk that the team will stumble along the way. We saw it with the Lightning, who swept the Blue Jackets, after a 128-point season in 2018-19, in four games in the first round.

In 1996, after amassing 131 points, the Detroit Red Wings lost their flag in six games to the Colorado Avalanche in the Conference Final.

Will we see Bergeron again?

Each of these examples should serve the Bruins. Boston Formation is on a mission.

This is particularly the case with their captain Patrice Bergeron, who could have played his last game in Montreal last night.

A second victory over the Stanley Cup would be a great way to end his career.