Rabid Habs

The Forum: The Habs in 2017

It’s our first edition of The Forum in 2017, so we had to ask our contributors, what they think will be the high point of 2017 for your Montreal Canadiens, and the low point.

Ian Boisvert(@BoisvertIan) – I think the ultimate high point of 2017 will begin whenever the Habs’ top prospects fill the lineup in favor of veteran players who are past their prime. Michael McCarron instead of David Desharnais or Tomas Plekanec. Nikita Scherbak instead of Brian Flynn. Mikhail Sergachev instead of Alexei Emelin (or more realistically, Andrei Markov). The rest of the league is embracing the youth movement, and in 2017, Montreal will jump on board as well. This could keep Montreal’s Cup window open a little longer as the young stars thrive next to strong veterans.

The low point for me is obvious: a first round exit in the 2017 playoffs. This isn’t entirely due to Montreal playing poorly. If Montreal finishes first in the division, as I anticipate they will, they will play the better of the two wildcard teams. Montreal could host Tampa Bay, New York, Washington, or potentially even Pittsburgh in the first round when you consider how crazy the Metropolitan division is. And if the injury bug follows the Habs into the playoffs, it could be a very short spring, and a very long summer for your Canadiens.

Sean O’Neill(@TheONeillFactor) – The high-point will be watching Carey Price stroll on-stage in Vegas to collect his second Vezina (though he`ll fall short of entering Hasek territory with a second Hart).

The low-point (though it will be awesome) will be watching PK Subban lift the Stanley Cup above his head on a steamy mid-June Nashville eve.

Kyle Roussel (@kyleroussel) – Happy new year to one and all!

I hate to be negative in a year during which the Habs deserve very little criticism, but if last night’s win in Nashville may not be 2017’s high point, with Radulov and Weber having great returns to their former home? That may seem nuts but it really does feel like Habs fans can’t have nice things. Other than that, I think winning the Atlantic is about as good as it will get for us. And since when do we care about division titles?

The downside, as Ian said is a disappointing first round exit, which I can totally see happening. And then we enter the offseason wondering about Price’s last season on a sweetheart deal…I dunno. I just don’t see a happy ending to this season, or long-term harmony but I totally admit to having no real reason for the negativity other than lingering bitterness from last year and a belief that this team is too often its own worst enemy.

Zach Vanasse (@ZachDropsTweets) – Good on you Sean for continuing to ride those Stanley Cup dreams for a team that’s been out of the playoff picture all season. I still believe in our Tampa Bay v. Nashville Cup Final prediction.

Look, I think the 2016-2017 Habs are Stanley Cup capable, so I’m not going to go out there and predict a first round exit, but I’m also not expecting a parade either. The high point that I am confident is going to happen will be when Alex Radulov signs a multi-year deal with the Canadiens. The low point will come when the Canadiens somehow protect David Desharnais over a more valuable player for the NHL expansion draft.