The Atlantic Division teams took care of business on Monday, so it only makes sense that the division title was locked down. The Montreal Canadiens did just that tonight after beating the Florida Panthers 4-1.
The Canadiens are now at 46-24-9 with 101 points in 79 games after this, their fifth-consecutive win.
Artturi Lehkonen was the difference-maker in that win tonight, scoring consecutive goals as Montreal scored three unanswered tallies to finish off Florida.
Now Claude Julien has an interesting opportunity.
With the Metro title winner virtually assured of the East’s top spot, Montreal doesn’t have much to gain (beyond pride) in winning its final three games. That would, then, be a good opportunity to rest players; perhaps heavy workload-type like Carey Price and Max Pacioretty could use a breather?
Whatever the case may be, the Canadiens bounced back from last season’s letdown in a big way, even after changing coaches. Next step: topping all of these accomplishments in the playoffs.
The Chicago Blackhawks are battling for the Central Division crown while the Montreal Canadiens hope to get a stronger lead on the Atlantic’s top spot.
A Blackhawks – Canadiens game has lure just in the teams’ rich histories, but when both teams are contenders? Even better.
You can watch the game on NBCSN, online and via the NBC Sports App.
Click here for the livestream.
Two contenders from each conference face off on NBCSN tonight as the Minnesota Wild host the Montreal Canadiens.
For Montreal, this just about ends what could have been a treacherous, road-heavy stretch. The Canadiens mostly passed a serious test. On the Wild’s side, they’re one of the hottest teams in the NHL. They’ve only lost two games since Dec. 4, only once failing to earn at least a standings point during that span.
So, yeah, this is a great matchup, even before you get to Carey Price vs. Devan Dubnyk. More on that here:
You can watch on NBCSN, watch online and via the NBC Sports App.
Click here for the livestream.
An injury to Carey Price essentially meant the beginning of the end to the 2015-16 season for the Montreal Canadiens.
With their No. 1 goalie, their most valuable player, out of the lineup, the Canadiens tumbled down the standings and missed the playoffs. The fan base in Montreal would feel even more frustration in the summer as general manager Marc Bergevin suddenly sent fan-favorite and right-shooting defenseman P.K. Subban to the Nashville Predators for right-shooting defenseman Shea Weber in an absolute blockbuster deal.
Weber is four years older than Subban and under contract until 2026. Subban’s deal expires in 2022.
Subban feels closer to winning a Stanley Cup in Nashville than he did in Montreal. Weber isn’t going to try to be the next P.K. Subban in Montreal. And Bergevin, surely, has been feeling the heat for the controversial trade. Some in the media have called it the worst trade in franchise history. Subban is not only very talented on the ice, but he was popular away from it, too, in the city of Montreal.
Not only did the Habs lose Subban in the deal, but their analytics consultant, Matt Pfeffer, didn’t have his contract renewed because he reportedly disagreed with the trade. Pfeffer later confirmed he made a “passionate” case to keep Subban in Montreal.
The deal occurred on the same day the Edmonton Oilers traded star forward Taylor Hall to New Jersey for defenseman Adam Larsson. Yet, this Subban-Weber trade has provided material for the hockey world to debate and discuss just about every week for two months now. And you can bet that will happen when the season begins.
The Habs also signed forward Alexander Radulov to a one-year deal worth $5.75 million.
This is Radulov’s third stint in the NHL. He’s supremely talented and the Habs could use a player that can score goals. But he’s also been at the center of off-ice disciplinary issues, including a team-imposed suspension for reportedly violating curfew when he was in Nashville.
And getting back to Carey Price: He has been deemed to be 100 per cent healthy heading into the new season, after playing in only 12 games last season with a knee injury.
Call it “The Revenge of P.K.” or maybe “The Return of the Triple-Low Five.”
P.K. Subban is hosting an All-Star Comedy Gala to benefit the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation for Just Laughs. He’s also having a lot of fun at the expense of his former team, or at least the Canadiens’ management group.
Video will be added if a clip of his antics becomes available, yet onlookers have done a great job of capturing some of Subban’s best one-liners.
Hey, at least when someone gets roasted, he or she is sitting a big recliner, trying to laugh things off.
One can almost imagine Marc Bergevin and Michel Therrien cringing as Subban dropped bomb after bomb:
Ouch, he even took a shot at his former owner’s lager:
To be fair, Subban isn’t the only one slamming the Canadiens for the trade.
Again, he reminded the hockey world that this is a big win for creative celebrations:
Again, though … it IS for a good cause. Don’t forget that as you laugh at the Habs’ expense.
He wasn’t all negative, either:
Stand-up seems like a natural fit for Subban’s personality. Really, it makes you wonder if he might earn a certain hosting gig in the future: