2021-22 Team Preview – Montreal Canadiens


Record: 24-21-11, 59 pts; fourth in Scotia North Division

Playoffs: Lost to Tampa Bay in Stanley Cup Finals

Key Losses

F Jesperi Kotkaniemi
F Phillip Danault
F Corey Perry
F Eric Staal
F Tomas Tatar
D Erik Gustafsson
D Jon Merill
D Shea Weber (at least for the 2021-22 season due to injury)

Key Additions

F Christian Dvorak
F Mike Hoffman
D David Savard
F Mathieu Perreault
F Cedric Paquette
D Chris Wideman

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2021-22 Preview

It’s a bit of reset and not a rebuild for the Canadiens, who are coming off of a tremendous Cinderella run to the 2021 Stanley Cup Final before falling to the eventual two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

The offense is going to be better with the addition of Christian Dvorak from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for the 1st round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft and a 3rd rounder in the 2024 NHL Draft, which in part were acquired when Montreal did not match the offer sheet given to Jesperi Kotkaniemi, who departed for Carolina on a one year, $6.1 million deal. The addition of Mike Hoffman from the St. Louis Blues to the offense is going to be the second biggest piece for the scoring touch. Hoffman during the 2020-21 season had 36 points (17 goals, 19 assists) in 52 games and one goal in four games during the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs. Hoffman is looked to be the key asset for the Habs on the power-play, where he has amassed 35 PPG in the last three seasons. Another asset to the offense is the addition of Mathieu Perreault. Perreault had 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists) in 56 regular season contests and two points (one goal, one assist) in eight playoff games for the Winnipeg Jets last season. With Cole Caufield to be a full rookie this season, he is expected to be a key piece of the offense. In the Stanley Cup playoffs, Caufield led all rookies with 12 points (two goals, 10 assists) in 20 playoff games as well as becoming the first rookie in League history to have three OT points in a single playoff. Look for Caufield to join the top line of Tyler Toffoli, who has a fantastic season with 28 goals and 16 assists in 52 regular season games, and Nick Suzuki.

The defence is going to miss a key piece with the loss of Shea Weber to a potential career-ending injury. David Savard joins the blue line from the Tampa Bay Lightning on a four year deal. Savard in the abbreviated 2020-21 season has one goal and five assists and had five more assists in the postseason. Montreal also signed Chris Wideman, who last played in the NHL during the 2018-19 season, to a one year deal. Montreal is definitely going to feel the loss of Weber and the blue-liners of Savard, Jeff Petry, Ben Chiarot, and Joel Edmundson are all pointing to be the top four blue-liners with Alexander Romanov looking to take the next big step in what will be his second season in the NHL.

2021-22 Prediction: 4th in Atlantic Division

Projected lineup

Tyler Toffoli — Nick Suzuki — Cole Caufield

Jonathan Drouin — Jesperi Kotkaniemi — Brendan Gallagher

Mike Hoffman — Jake Evans — Josh Anderson

Artturi Lehkonen — Cedric Paquette — Joel Armia

Joel Edmundson — Jeff Petry

Alexander Romanov — David Savard

Ben Chiarot — Chris Wideman

Carey Price

Jake Allen

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