Montreal Canadiens: Mike Hoffman And The Sharks Never-Ending Rebuild

Mar 7, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; A young fan tries to get the attention of Montreal Canadiens forward Mike Hoffman (68) during the warmup period before the game against the Carolina Hurricanes at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 7, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; A young fan tries to get the attention of Montreal Canadiens forward Mike Hoffman (68) during the warmup period before the game against the Carolina Hurricanes at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports /
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Nov 2, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 2, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports /

Canadiens Rebuild Doesn’t Seem So Bad

Again, this entire situation puts the Canadiens rebuild into perspective, and kind of demonstrates where teams like the Canadiens and Arizona Coyotes stand. That being, they actually have players who can contribute on both sides of the puck night in and night out.

Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki are a duo like no other and the Canadiens have a lot of young, promising talent. For all the uncertainty about the future, Montreal at least has a future. Hughes has drafted well (mostly *ahem*) and it shows, especially when compared to well… the Sharks.

They have genuinely no players to move out for picks (especially if they keep up this level of performance), and outside of getting the first overall pick this Summer, have no prospects to look forward to. They have nothing, absolutely nothing, whether it be defensively offensively, culturally, systematically, societally, okay listen you get my point.

Now, obviously, the NHL has had bad teams before, that’s no secret, as I mentioned the 2021-22 Canadiens started the season as one, but in that case factors outside of the on-ice play were mostly to blame. The Canadiens were stuck with a head coach in Dominique Ducharme who looked like he had picked up all of his strategies skills from NHL 94, being one of the few people who could shut Cole Caufield down while well, also being his head coach somehow.

In comparison, San Jose doesn’t have any of that. Their once-Stanley Cup contending core has been long-gone and there’s no head coaching carousel or baffling personnel decisions to blame, except for well, Karlsson. San Jose had one tangible piece left that could contribute to their future going forward. Erik Karlsson, and welp Mike Grier completely and totally wasted it, and now the Sharks literally have nothing.

Even with the Canadiens in 21-22, players like Suzuki and Rem Pitlick stepped up and gave fans something to be excited about if ever so briefly. By seasons end they had players who could well, win them hockey games. What do the Sharks have right now? Filip Zadina? Matt Benning? Luke Kunin? Givani Smith? (yes, all of these players are currently taking regular shifts).

Point being, San Jose is in a lot of trouble, and I mean, a LOT of trouble, and I genuinely don’t know when they will win their first game. I just don’t.

There’s no one on their roster outside of Hertl and Logan Couture who can contribute reliably offensively, their defense is non-existent outside of Mario Ferraro if that, and it doesn’t matter if Mackenzie Blackwood makes 50 saves if the game still ends in a 10-0 loss.

Their goalies are being swarmed and the team has no clue what to do, and there is nothing that can save them. There’s no Superman to swoop them up as they fall perilously to the ground, and there’s no Lollipop after their Doctor’s visit. It’s a root Canal with no Novocain, and boy are the Sharks feeling it right now.

As a team, they showcase just how far teams like Arizona and Montreal have come, as they can actually go out on the ice night after night knowing they have a chance to win, against any NHL team. There’s not a team in this league the Sharks can beat right now, and I’m not sure if that will change for the next few seasons if not the next freaking decade.

While the 2023-24 NHL season is here and accounted for, the same unfortunately can’t be said for every team’s performance, and with a bafflingly and I mean bafflingly dismal start to the campaign, Mike Hoffman and the San Jose Sharks have nowhere to go but well… nowhere.

Next. Ryan Reaves and Remembering Habs Rebuild Enforcers. dark

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