Canadiens: In Other News… Lack of Secondary Scoring, Kotkaniemi Struggles

New York Islanders v Montreal Canadiens
New York Islanders v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
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For pretty much the entirety of the 2023-24 season thus far, the Montreal Canadiens have found themselves stuck in the less than ideal .500 bubble. Finding themselves 21-21-8 as we conclude the NHL’s All-Star Break, the Habs are feeling good after an impressive 5-2 win over an offensively putrid Washington Capitals team on Tuesday.

Sitting two points ahead of the Buffalo Sabres for second-to-last place in the Atlantic Division, somehow still being 8 points ahead of the Ottawa Senators for last place (seriously, how can Ottawa win both of their past two games against Montreal and still be 8 points behind them), the Canadiens are in a less than ideal spot in terms of their odds in the upcoming 2025 NHL Draft.

While it’s expected the team’s performance will suffer following the recent departure of key pieces like Sean Monahan, head coach Martin St. Louis has shown that his teams will still find ways to win no matter the talent available.

The biggest bug bear for the Canadiens this season has been their offense, tied for an Eastern Conference worst -36 goal differential (the Sharks lead the league with a -92, yes, -92), lacking in any true consistent offensive support outside of the duo of franchise forwards Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki. Going into this upcoming off-season, Montreal will be searching for another high draft pick in this year’s Draft Lottery, hoping to find another promising top-end scorer after selecting two-way defenseman David Reinbacher 5th overall in last year’s draft, over presumed 2nd overall pick Matvei Michkov.

While the future looks bright with the combination of Caufield, Suzuki, and the continued improvements of former first overall pick Juraj Slafkovsky, things are still getting settled for the Habs. With a number of developments involving past and current Canadiens across the NHL and this professional hockey landscape, here’s a look at what’s been happening, in other news… for the Montreal Canadiens.