3 way too early reasons to be optimistic about the Canadiens in 2024-25

The Montreal Canadiens didn’t have much going for them over the past three years, but 2024-25 will bring a few reasons for optimism.
Apr 16, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Juraj Slafkovsky (20) celebrates
Apr 16, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Juraj Slafkovsky (20) celebrates / Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
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Goaltending could be stellar in 2024-25

If Sam Montembeault and Cayden Primeau were in Detroit and playing for the high-scoring Red Wings, that team would have been in the playoffs. No, Detroit isn’t that good defensively, but what I’m saying is that Montembeault and Primeau are a good, young, and underrated goaltending tandem that would have taken a team that was a little further along in their respective rebuild to the postseason. 

Next season, there will be no Jake Allen, and Primeau will get those reps behind Montembeault, providing a sound one-two punch for a team that will be better defensively. For a team that allowed 33.4 shots on goal per game - the third-worst in the NHL last year - Montembeault and later Primeau held up well, with both goaltenders finishing with a save percentage of at least 0.903 and a GAA no worse than 3.14. 

You couldn’t say the same, however, for Jake Allen, who logged a 3.65 GAA, a 0.429 quality starts percentage, and an 0.892 save percentage. Before his ultimate trade to the New Jersey Devils, Allen rarely looked great in the net, while Montembeault and Primeau played well despite the fact they collectively faced 31.8 shots on goal per game. 

The Canadiens only need to improve defensively, even if by a slim margin, and you can expect Montembeault and Primeau to reap the benefits. Expect them to each hit at least the 0.908 mark next season and a GAA of 2.85 or better, and they will be a sound, albeit still underrated, tandem. 


(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)