Standings, Picks, Odds – Today’s Picture

By JD Lagrange – It has been a second tough season in a row for the Montreal Canadiens. While most fans understand and are trying to see the positive into such seasons, it is sometimes difficult to keep our interest in a team that won’t be anywhere close to participating in what onces was a sure thing: competing in the NHL Playoffs for a Stanley Cup.

Right now, some fans are focussed on “tanking”, to get the best pick possible. Many other fans are keeping an eye on young Canadiens prospects trying to make a name for themselves with the opportunity that’s been awarded to them due to injuries. But the standings don’t lie. Here is what the “race to the bottom” looks like.


Florida Panthers

As we know, the Canadiens also own the Panthers’ first round pick this year and that pick is not protected. Florida is trailing Tampa Bay in the division by nine points so while not impossible, it will be very difficult for them to catch their Florida state rivals. Their best odds at making the playoffs is for a wildcard spot.

With 73 points, they currently sit three points back of the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins for the two wildcard position. Both teams have 76 points. The Panthers have played two more games than Pittsburgh, but have a game in hand on the Islanders.

Here’s where Florida is sitting at the moment in the overall standings.

* In the playoffs

Remaining schedule

According to, the Canadiens have the third most difficult schedule in the entire NHL, based on the quality of opposition. I ask you to take that with a grain of salt as Montreal has been in every game lately, while facing teams like Los Angeles, Vegas, Carolina, New York (Rangers) and New Jersey. All one goal losses except last night against the Devils, who scored in an empty net.

The Florida Panthers have a much easier schedule than Montreal, although their odds of making the playoffs aren’t looking so great. The Canadiens are facing them twice before the season ends.

Lastly, here are’s Draft lottery odds as of today.

There is still a lot of hockey remaining to be played and Habs’ fans are watching the standings closely. Personally, I am not in favour of “tanking” for a better pick. I’m in the mindset that if they win, it’s great for the team’s young players’ development. If they lose, oh well… particularly with the number of injuries they’ve been suffering.