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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March 12 at Columbus

The Canadiens actually have a ridiculously difficult schedule over their final 24 games of the season. They face the Stanley Cup contending Florida Panthers twice, the Carolina Hurricanes twice, the Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings all twice as well.

There is another game against the Boston Bruins, Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, Colorado Avalanche, and New York Rangers. Somehow, of their final 24 opponents, 15 of them seem to be playoff locks with the Nashville Predators and Philadelphia Flyers could make it as well.

There are only two teams the Canadiens play the rest of the season that are behind them in the standings. One of them is the Columbus Blue Jackets and they will travel to Montreal in the middle of March. The Blue Jackets are four points back of the Canadiens and stand between the Canadiens and the fourth best odds at winning the draft lottery. That's a must lose.

February 27 vs Arizona

It all starts tonight! Well, it started five games ago when the Canadiens started losing every game. But they can't lose games like the Arizona Coyotes who have now lost 12 in a row.

The Coyotes had a strong first half, and could start winning game again if Connor Ingram finds his form now that he has returned from injury. The Coyotes have fallen one point back of the Canadiens but with the Habs difficult schedule, they could easily drop below the Coyotes by the end of the season for that slightly higher draft pick.

A loss tonight would drop the Canadiens into the bottom five for the first time this season. In a rebuilding year, that is where you want to end up and there best chance of doing that is by losing to the Coyotes. Hopefully Caufield scores a pair and sets up Suzuki for another one in a 4-3 regulation time loss.