Rabid Habs

The Forum: It’s Our Boldest Habs Predictions!

Last time in The Forum we asked our contributors for their worst opinions. This time we asked them to share their absolute boldest of bold predictions for the coming Habs season.

Ian Boisvert (@BoisvertIan) – I’ve been pretty clear about one of my bold Habs predictions since camp started, but it seems a little less bold as the preseason carries on. I’ve written about it for Rabid Habs to many angry comments telling me I have no idea what I’m talking about, and I’ve irresponsibly used the Rabid Habs Twitter account to continue to push my boldest take of the offseason:

Victor Mete will make this team, and he will play with Shea Weber.

I go into it a lot in the article, but I’ll give you the abridged version here. Victor Mete is the only player in the Habs pool of prospects and roster players that has the skillset to be a partner for Shea Weber. He’s fast, he loves to skate with the puck, and he’s got a very active stick in the defensive zone. Yes, he’s only 19 and he was a fourth round selection just a year ago, but his selection in the draft had nothing to do with his playing style and everything to do with his five-foot-nine frame. Mete’s quickness and exciting two-way game will allow Weber to play a more stay-at-home role; something he’s probably more comfortable with. Mete can carry the bacon and Weber can support him in the corners. Sounds good to me.

Smaller, more mobile defensemen are the future of the NHL and Montreal has a pretty capable one in Mete. He’s a great powerplay quarterback, and will allow Drouin to play centre on the powerplay instead of playing the point in Andrei Markov’s absence. Mark Streit hasn’t looked good, Zach Redmond just got put on waivers, and Karl Alzner can’t play top paring minutes (and he looked rally good next to Jeff Petry anyway). In fact, I don’t like any of the left-handed defensemen on Montreal’s roster playing with Weber. None are a good match.

Mete is worthy of at least nine games in the NHL. That’s the maximum number of games he can play before his contract is no longer slide eligible, and his entry level deal begins.

But that doesn’t matter. He’s here to stay. He’s earned it, and he’s the only player I see playing with Shea Weber.

Additional hot take/bold prediction: Charles Hudon scores 50 points and is a Calder finalist. Man, does he look good out there. Thanks for taking Alexei Emelin, Mr. McPhee!

Sean O’Neill (@TheONeillFactor) –

1. Brendan Gallagher will hit the 20-goal mark
2. Tomas Plekanec will be a healthy-scratch on at least 5 occasions
3. PK Subban will be a Norris Trophy finalist
4. Mikhail Sergachev will be a Calder Trophy finalist
5. Carey Price will be a Vezina Trophy finalist
6. Jonathan Drouin will set a career-high in points but also spend significant time in Julien’s doghouse
7. Charles Hudon will finish with fewer than 30 points (sorry Ian!)
8. Bergevin will use his now-legendary $8.5 million in cap space on depth (a 2nd line winger and two 3rd pairing defensemen) after failing to land a franchise-altering talent
9. Montreal will finish 2nd in the Atlantic, behind Tampa Bay…
10. …and will face the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round, their first playoff meeting since 1979

Will Harte (@willharte) – Too many questions surrounding the Habs roster as 2017-18 season beckons, so I predict Claude Julien will win the Jack Adams Award this year. He previously won in 2009 with the Bruins.

Zach Vanasse (@ZachDropsTweets) – Jonathan Drouin is going to be a massive bust in Montreal and Mikhail Sergachev is going to thrive in Tampa Bay. We’ll be in denial of the potential failings of the trade for much of the season, but as Drouin continues to flounder in the seasons ahead he will come to co-represent – along with an aging Shea Weber – The Bergevin Mistakes. A few years down the road we will tie the Sergachev and Subban trades together as colossal failings of the Marc Bergevin era, leaving a dark cloud over the franchise for years to come.

Worse, though trading away two franchise defencemen in the space of a year, the team will never crater enough over the course of the next decade, thanks to the solid goaltending of the $10.5-million per Carey Price, meaning despite a wrecked foundation, it will never lead to a rebuild process the likes of what we’ve seen from Toronto and Edmonton.

Oh, and Ales Hemsky will be a little better than some of us expected.

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