Montreal Canadiens: Top 5 Biggest Disappointments Of The Season

Montreal Canadiens v Vegas Golden Knights - Game One
Montreal Canadiens v Vegas Golden Knights - Game One / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
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As we turn the corner on the 2023-24 season and head for the home stretch, the Montreal Canadiens as a whole have had a fairly successful year relative to expectations. However, as with any year, there are bound to be some players that are not up to snuff.

It should be noted that I felt it unfair to include any players on this list who are still in the developmental stage of their careers, so you won’t find Arber Xhekaj or Justin Barron here. Don’t worry, there’s still plenty of underachieving to go around.

Disappointment is defined as the sadness or displeasure caused by the non-fulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations. So let’s get to it, here are the top five biggest disappointments of the season to date:

#5 – Jake Allen

It’s been tough sledding for the 33-year-old netminder. With a 5-9-3 record, 3.43 GAA and .901 save percentage, Allen has looked very ordinary between the pipes. While Samuel Montembeault has clearly established himself as the 1A in this tandem, Allen and his 3.85 M cap hit continue to impede the development of young Cayden Primeau.

I don’t believe it was the intention of Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes when the club broke camp in October to still have three goaltenders on the roster at the 50-game mark. He would have preferred to have moved Allen by now but the veteran’s mediocre play, coupled with his salary cap implications have not made that possible.

There may have been some trade opportunities earlier in the season when teams like the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs were struggling with inconsistency in goal but that door has firmly closed. The fact that Allen has another year left on his deal makes it unlikely that Hughes will find a suitable trade partner before the deadline without retaining salary. In other words, for now, we are stuck with him.

It’s a tough pill to swallow but one that would go down easier if Allen was performing well. It’s an eerily similar scenario with the next player on our list.