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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Jake Evans
Montreal Canadiens v Washington Capitals / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

#2 – Jake Evans

As a seventh round pick that spent four years in college and two years in the AHL, Evans was certainly a late bloomer. However, for a player that showed so much promise when he first arrived in Montreal, the bloom is off the rose for Evans as he slogs through another punch-less season.

After Evans flashed with some inspired play in the 2021 playoff run and followed that up with 13 goals in 72 games in 2021-22. He looked at worst a very good third-line center with some top-six fill-in potential. Just two short years later, and Evans barely looks suited for the press box let alone the fourth line.

With just four goals in his last 104 games, Evans has shown to be little more than a decent penalty killer. This season has been especially frustrating to watch as Evans has been unable to seize the moment and take advantage of a slew of injuries and opportunities.

Long-term ailments to Kirby Dach, Alex Newhook and Christian Dvorak should have had Evans in line for a career season.  Yet even with Sean Monahan having recently been traded, Canadiens head coach Martin St. Louis has such little faith in Evans’ ability to drive offence that he’s got him playing behind career AHLer Brandon Gignac.

#1 – Rafael Harvey-Pinard

What a fall back to earth it’s been for Harvey-Pinard. It’s easy to forget that this is a guy who was in the conversation to play on the top line with Suzuki and Cole Caufield back in training camp.

Expectations could not have been higher for the 25-year-old Saguenay native and rightfully so after he exploded onto the scene last season with 14 goals in 34 games. RHP has struggled through a difficult year marred with injury setbacks and a scoring drought in which he has tallied just one goal in 23 games. The most troubling part of Harvey-Pinard’s game has been the lack of tenacity and grit that was his calling card and made him such a pleasure to watch.

For a player who was pencilled in for a top-six role by many fans and viewed as the next Gallagher, it’s been incredibly disappointing to watch RHP’s regression back to a fringe NHL player. However, just like all his fellow disappointers, Harvey-Pinard is also under contract and will get another kick at the can.

There is still time for these players to turn it around and get some positive vibes going but make no mistake they are entering last-chance territory and their contracts will only keep them around for so long.