Montreal Canadiens Details
With 103 points last season, the Montreal Canadiens sat atop the Atlantic Division despite a coaching change that many thought to be unexpected. After spending the majority of the season struggling to win consistently, the Canadiens fired Michel Therrien who led the team to a 31-19-8 start. With just 24 games to go, Claude Julien – who had been recently fired from Boston – was brought in and gave a boost to the team. Montreal finished the year 16-7-1 over the last 24 games and that was good enough to catapult the team to the top of the division. The success was short-lived, however, as the Canadiens lost to the New York Rangers in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Under Claude Julien, the Canadiens look like a different team on both ends of the ice and he sets them up for more success in 2017-18. Captain Max Pacioretty returns after a wonderful 2016-17 campaign. In 81 regular season games, Pacioretty had 35 goals and 32 assists. As the leader of this team, he’ll be expected to have another great season. Young center Alex Galchenyuk returns as well after a 17 goal, 27 assist season a year ago and hard-shooting defenseman Shea Weber should continue to be a threat on both ends of the ice. The two-way D-man finished last year with 17 goals and 25 assists, good four fifth on the team in total points.
With a solid offense, an All-Star goaltender in Carey Price, and a defense that gave up the third least goals in the NHL last season, the fans of Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada should be in for some exciting hockey from the Canadiens this year.