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2013-14 NHL Team Preview: Montreal Canadiens Season Predictions – Odds

Bet On NHL Hockey: Red Canadiens

Fall is upon us and that can only mean one thing in the great province of Quebec – the Montreal Canadiens are about to embark on yet another season of NHL action.

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Aspirations are high as per usual in Montreal – hopes are that last year’s Northeast division title was the rule – not the exception. Lack of size will once again dominate the talk of the naysayers but the facts that the Habs have a stud at every position may just drown out what the doubters have to say.

Odds to Win Stanley Cup: 25/1
Odds to Win Eastern Conference: 14/1
Odds to Win Atlantic Division: 11/2

The Montreal Canadiens had their eyes on Vincent Lecavalier this offseason but settled for Daniele Briere –a player that fits the all-too-familiar mold of the Habs forward – skilled but small and weak. He joins Max Pacioretty, Alex Galchenyuk, Rene Bourque, Brandon Prust.

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Travis Moen, Tomas Plekanec, David Desharnais, Rene Bourque, Lars Eller, Brian Gionta, Brendan Gallagher and George Parros up front – on paper not such a bad unit. Prust, Moen and Parros bring the toughness while the rest of the lineup provides a dangerous mix of speed and skill.

But the jewel of this group is Alex Galchenyuk – a budding superstar that will only benefit from the experience of Briere. He is the franchise at forward for the Canadiens. He had nine goals and 27 points in 48 games while being used sparingly by the Habs. His 26 even-strength points tied with the likes of Claude Giroux, Anze Kopitar and Thomas Vanek, all of whom played significantly more minutes. It should be interesting to see how he produces in his second season in the NHL as he is allotted more minutes to do his thing. [ad-4437448]

Montreal’s defensive corp. was really exposed in the playoffs last year. Andrei Markov looked old and the loss of Alexei Emelin really took its toll on this unit. Names like Josh Gorges, Francis Bouillon, P.K. Subban, Raphael Diaz, Jarred Tinordi and Douglas Murray still exist on what is an OK Blue Line.

PK Subban is the key. Off his Norris Trophy winning season, Subban emerged as one of the best D-men in the game. He is the Stud on defense that almost every team in the NHL craves – he alone gives the Montreal defensive corp. credibility.

Perhaps the biggest question mark ahead of the season for the Canadiens is – will Carey Price be able to rebound from a late season a playoff collapse? The best guess is that he will have learned from a little adversity. Price will have the extra motivation of a possible Olympic spot for Team Canada spurring him on as well. Price is as talented and as level-headed a goaltender as there is in the game – his slump last year has been put into perspective and he should re-emerge as one of the league’s finest again.

Betting Prediction: The Habs are certainly worthy of a playoff spot again but the same old questions exist for this team. Will their lack of size and physicality be a factor when the playoffs begin? Best guess is – yes! They are trending upward for sure but the makeup, on paper, doesn’t look like that of a Champion. Montreal takes a small step backward from last year’s performance but still leaves its fans with definite reason for optimism.

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About DaveB

Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.