NHL Season Preview: Montreal Canadiens Win Totals

Carey Price

Dana Lane

Wednesday, October 12, 2016 8:08 PM GMT

Even with a healthy Carey Price, Montreal will barely make the playoffs if they go 'under' their projected point total of 96.5 but I'll explain why it'll be close and why you may want to lay off.

 

Projected Point Total: 96.5 at Bookmaker
Last Season: 38-38-6 81pts (Failed to make the playoffs)
Standings: Atlantic Division: 6th / League: T-18th
Team Notes: All eyes are on how the P.K. Subban for Shea Webber trade works out
2016-17 Stanley Cup Odds: 20/1 at SportsInteraction


It's fair to say that the Montreal Canadiens were well on their way to a Stanley Cup playoff appearance after starting last season 7-0 until goaltender Carey Price went down, for good, November 25th with Montreal sitting at 10-2. After the injury, they were eight games under .500 and never sniffed the playoffs. If you watched Price in the World Cup it is hard to believe that, if healthy, Montreal wouldn't be destined for a return to the postseason and I agree but it won't be easy. True to form, the betting public is jumping on the 'over' lines across the board because when impactful stars return from injury it creates an immediate image that success will follow.


I've been hard on GM Marc Bergevin because last season should have never happened even with the Price injury. While most teams have at least adequate back-ups, Bergevin elected to go with Mike Condon and Ben Scrivens as his. To me, both are glorified AHL goaltenders, in fact, Scrivens is now playing in the KHL. So what happens if the unthinkable strikes and Price miss time this season. Bergevin signed Al Montoya who had a 2.12 GAA last season with Florida but I still need to see more from him as a number one starter but one thing is for sure they are better off than they were last season.

 

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With P.K. Subban being traded to Nashville, Bergevin has created another troublesome spot for himself.  If this trade doesn't work out it's not inconceivable that his days will be numbered in Montreal.  There was always a strange dynamic between Subban and the organization but they will lose one of the best transitional defensemen in the league.  Bergevin wants to get tougher but I'm not that's the direction the league is going in. This was more of a locker room move than a need to bring in Shea Weber.


Andrew Shaw was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks which is the best move of the offseason for the Habs. Shaw is a terrific two-way player who has a propensity for getting under the skin of opponents, exactly what Bergevin wants.

Montreal is one of the difficult to figure out because there are too many new moving parts which create a completely different dynamic from last season. When having to make a final O/U NHL pick is still 'under' 96.5 for me because if Price misses significant time again I'm not sure this roster has the ability to carry the team.

 

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