Five "Must Lose" Games Remaining On Montreal Canadiens Schedule

Feb 22, 2024; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Montreal Canadiens head coach Martin St. Louis
Feb 22, 2024; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Montreal Canadiens head coach Martin St. Louis / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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The Montreal Canadiens were among the bottom teams in the standings for the past two seasons, and that resulted in a couple of very high draft picks.

The only consolation for a team that can not win many games is hope for the future in the form of an early draft pick. The Canadiens already added Juraj Slafkovsky first overall in 2022 and David Reinbacher with the fifth overall selection in 2023.

While they started this season better, and were plugging along around a 0.500 points percentage for much of the season, the team has hit a rought patch recently. They have lost five consecutive games and are now 17 points back of the playoff pack. It seemed they were always a handful of points back but there has been a separation between the haves and have nots in the Eastern Conference and the Canadiens have not.

So, it is time to start looking a little closer at the 2024 NHL Draft prospects. The Canadiens are going to have a pretty high pick once again, and sit sixth from the bottom of the NHL standings right now.

It isn't a ton of fun to talk about, but we have to be realistic. The Canadiens would benefit from many competitive losses where the first line combine for eight or nine points and Montembeault and Primeau look good but they lose 4-3.

Looking ahead to the NHL Draft and the draft lottery ahead of it, there are five games that stand out as "must lose" contests for the Canadiens to get themselves the best chance of winning the first overall draft pick.

April 13 at Ottawa Senators

The Ottawa Senators are doing that thing in the second half of the season where they look really good for a long stretch. The problem is they also did that thing they always do where they are absolutely awful for the first 30 games or so of the season.

This is usually followed by a sobering stretch to end the season as they realize they can not pull off the miracle and make the playoffs. When the Canadiens head to Ottawa in mid April, they will have just three games left on their schedule and will need to drop this one to ensure the Senators have a worse draft pick than them.