3 X-Factors that will make the rest of the Canadiens season exciting

It doesn’t look like the Canadiens are going anywhere this season unless they find a way to embark on a major winning streak or two, but it doesn’t mean they won’t be fun to watch.

Feb 13, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens center Nick Suzuki (14) celebrates his
Feb 13, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens center Nick Suzuki (14) celebrates his / David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
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If older players will or should stick around for the long haul

Every NHL team, even the youngest, needs a few experienced assets on their side to help guide them through the long haul. This doesn’t mean they need to be a team captain or even wear the ‘A’ patch to be a leader, but their experience regarding the overall demands of the NHL will be valuable to a young team like the Canadiens. 

Productive players like Mike Matheson (29), Brendan Gallagher (31) - both of whom are wearing the ‘A’s at the time of this writing, and Josh Anderson (29), are all prime candidates. They still have a few years left on their respective contacts, so there is a strong chance they stick around Montreal. 

Goaltender Sam Montembeault (27) will also kick off Year 1 of his three-year extension next season, which could make for a sound goaltending duo between himself and Primeau. Therefore, there are plenty of older players more than worthy of staying in Montreal (assuming nobody gets traded) who could show us more than enough to provide sound leadership along with team captain Nick Suzuki for what will ultimately be better seasons to come. 

While the record doesn’t show it, the Canadiens have done an outstanding job of bringing in some younger talent and letting them grow while hanging onto their more productive players who have been in the league for more than a few seasons. It’s this mixture of young and experienced that, if they continue to play close to 0.500 hockey, will make this team fun to watch from now until the regular season ends. 

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(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference as of February 16th)