5 Canadiens players who must bring their A-Game to help secure an improbable wild card spot

The Montreal Canadiens are quite a few points out of a wild card spot following the All-Star Break, but if a few players step up, they may contend.

Jan 25, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Sean Monahan (91) celebrates with
Jan 25, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Sean Monahan (91) celebrates with / Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
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Nick Suzuki must match his power play production at even strength

When you think of the current incarnation of the Montreal Canadiens, Nick Suzuki is often the first name that pops into your mind. We’re seeing Suzuki lead the team in points with 42, and he also has 13 goals, putting him on pace for 70 points and 22 scores. But there is a problem here, as Suzuki’s production at even strength pales to what he’s done on the power play. 

The upside is simple, as Suzuki’s 22 points on the man advantage foreshadows a phenomenal power play for the Canadiens. And while you can win or lose games at 5-on-4, it doesn’t mean a player of Suzuki’s caliber should be lacking at even strength, where he has just 20 points. 

What we need to see from Suzuki is the power play production from this season, but his even strength production from 2022-23. If he can give the Canadiens that, he’s not only one of the league’s most prolific scorers, but Montreal will be tough to stop for the next nine weeks. 

One player won’t catapult an entire team, especially one still in a building phase like the Canadiens, into a playoff berth. But they will make things much tougher for opponents when they produce at an elite level in all situations.