The Montreal Canadiens Are Still Very Much Alive This Season

An angry mob holding torches in a still from the film, 'Frankenstein,' directed by James Whale, 1931. (Photo by Getty Images)
An angry mob holding torches in a still from the film, 'Frankenstein,' directed by James Whale, 1931. (Photo by Getty Images) /

The Montreal Canadiens can still perform where expected. After all, no one expects Vegas or Colorado to continue their winning streaks.

There’s no way around it. The beginning of the 2017/18 season has not gone the way the Canadiens’ top brass thought it would. At first, it seemed like everything went right for the Montreal Canadiens this offseason.

GM Marc Bergevin acquired Québécois superstar Jonathan Drouin. All-world netminder Carey Price signed an incredible eight-year contract. The team opted not to sign Andrei Markov, an aging Russian defenseman, for a lot of money to bring in Mark Streit, an aging Swiss defenseman, for very little money.

The explosive Russian free agent they acquired last offseason in Alexander Radulov moved on to Dallas due to Quebec’s high tax rate on players. The club traded away their top defensive prospect (also Russian, I’m starting to notice a trend) with very little in the farm system to support such a move.

Okay, so maybe the offseason didn’t go so well after all.

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But that’s the offseason. We’re now two weeks into the regular season, and the Habs have posted an impressive 1-3-1 record to start the campaign. It’s remarkable because no one expected them to be sharing the bottom of the division with Buffalo this year.

As expected, fans and media alike have been hounding Bergevin and head coach Julien. People were calling Saturday’s game against the Leafs a “must win” (in case you missed it, they didn’t). There is no shortage of fans on Twitter suggesting struggling forward Galchenyuk be sent to Laval or Price should be traded before his mega contract kicks in. Fans are lighting torches, and the pitchforks are out. But what everyone seems to be forgetting is one simple fact:

None of this matters yet

TSN hockey insider Bob McKenzie has a “law.” The McKenzie law states that the first two weeks of any given season are worthless in predicting final season tallies. The third week can give you an idea of where a team will head to, but should still be taken with a grain of salt. The fourth week is where you can tell what teams will do. And there are numbers to prove this.

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Of the final four teams in the playoffs last season, two of them were below .500 points in October. Anaheim started their season 3-4-2, and the Stanley Cup Finalist Predators were 2-5-1. Doesn’t knowing that make you feel just a little bit better?

Now granted, the team has work to do, but overall they are heading in the right direction. Yes, Price’s save percentage is less than .900 so far this season. But Drouin finally found the back of the net. The 2-1-2 system that Julien is coaching is starting to get some real results and the “Man Mountain” Shea Weber is finding his groove again as a defensive defenseman.

Additionally, the Montreal Canadiens aren’t the only anomaly to the start the season. The expansion Vegas Golden Knights are currently second in their division with a 4-1-0 record and the Colorado Avalanche are second in theirs at 4-2-0. No one is expecting either team to stay in these positions.

There are still 77 games that the Canadiens will play this season. They will be a lot more enjoyable if we all take a collective breath and realize this can all go exactly the way we hope it will.

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What are your thoughts on the Habs’ struggles? Let us know in the comments.