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Many Reasons for Optimism

By Bob Trask – Everything that could go wrong for the Montreal Canadiens in the 2021-22 NHL season, did exactly that. It began with absences of Carey Price, Shea Weber and Paul Byron and continued with training camp injuries to Joel Edmundson and Mike Hoffman. The bungled contract negotiations with Jesperi Kotkaniemi added to the disruption which continued with injuries to Brendan Gallagher, Jonathan Drouin, Joel Armia and others. COVID resulted in an unhappy separation from families for players like Jeff Petry and Armia, too.

The Logan Mailloux situation was a disaster on many fronts. It created an unneeded distraction and dogged the team from the day his name was called at the draft. The hangover from the Stanley Cup run may have contributed to the horrible start to the season. And COVID again may have played a role as the Canadiens played many games without fan support in a relatively empty stadium. The end result was that a lot of people lost their jobs less than half way into the season.

What if everything that went wrong last least, went right this season? Every fan base needs a ray of hope that their team will enjoy some success in the upcoming season.  Montreal Canadiens fans are no different and there is the potential for a few things to work out well in 2022-23. Let’s look at that potential.

What If:


It is unlikely that all of these “what ifs” will happen but there is certainly the potential for many of them to be fulfilled. I purposely left out Mike Hoffman because of all the players on the team, he is the least likely to be on the roster by the time things turn around.

The probability remains that almost every returning player on the team has the potential to play at a higher level than last year. Special teams can’t be worse and some of the new talent seems ready to step in and contribute at a higher level than the players they replaced. While it’s true that Canadiens also gave up some talent, on balance this edition of the club seems younger, bigger, faster and more skilled than last year’s team.

There you have it. My glass is half full  and getting more full every day.

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