Three positives for the 2024-25 Canadiens

It's been another losing season, but there is reason for hope next year and beyond.
2024 Beanpot Tournament - Boston College v Boston University
2024 Beanpot Tournament - Boston College v Boston University / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages
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Growth of the top line

Juraj Slafkovsky
Montreal Canadiens v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

It’s obvious, the Montreal Canadiens offensive attack has relied primarily on the top trio. Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield and Juraj Slafkovsky have been the club’s offensive catalysts and without them, the team would be in complete disarray. The funny thing is that the line has three players, whose prime years are just starting or are a few years away. 

Slafkovsky started the season looking like he should be sent down to Laval. But then he turned a corner and never looked back, there were things that he hadn’t shown in the NHL to that point, that were looking so routine. Comments about him being a bust went away with the bitter-cold Montreal wind. 

Caufield wasn’t scoring much of the season like we all have come to expect of him. But his game away from the puck improved in leaps and bounds, he has looked like an honest 200-foot player. He has grown a ton and his maturity has been on full display - he hasn’t pouted and that has allowed him to go on a bit of a goal-scoring tear to finish the season. 

Suzuki has been the Habs' most consistent player over the last three seasons, but it’s been much more than points. Every game he shows up against the opposition's best players and very seldom does he look out of place. At 24 years old, to do what he is doing; I don’t believe there is any question that he belongs in the conversation with the number one centres of the NHL. 

With Caufield’s shooting percentage likely to increase next year, that will help Suzuki’s assist totals and Slafkovsky’s also. Slafkovsky is also far from a finished product and with two seasons under his belt and the confidence he has found, he could hit 30 goals next year and his vision could mean 30 assists are a possibility. Meanwhile, Suzuki has continued to get better each season and this year it has been at a ridiculous rate, so there is good reason to believe he may have another level to go.