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Canadiens Win No Matter How 2024 Stanley Cup Final Goes – Hockey Writers – Montreal Canadiens

Lately the Eastern Conference champion Florida Panthers were in the same boat as the rebuilding Montreal Canadiens… they lost miserably, they got nothing in the end. However, this isn’t on their face over the past decade, considering the proposition here is that the Habs should see that as a success story. This just happened last season. They lost by mistake at the same time as the Habs.

Panthers Receive Chiarot During Presidential Medal Season

The Panthers are likely to win the 2022 Presidents’ Trophy (in stark contrast to the last-place Canadiens). However, after preparing for a long time for those play-offs (with help from the Habs and one Ben Chiarot) and failing, they got out of the starting gates hard the following season (where the Habs ended up finishing in fifth place).

It’s a bit of an exaggeration to suggest Canadiens fans truly dreamed of drafting both Connor Bedard and, say, Adam Fantilli with both their pick and the one they acquired from the Panthers in the Chiarot trade. Towards the end of Dec. 12, 2022, the Canadiens are actually ranked higher in the standings, even though they have the same score (14-12-2 vs. 13-12-4), good for fifth and sixth place in the Atlantic Division. .

Former Montreal Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot – (Jess Starr/Hockey Writers)

On Jan. 1, 2023, the Panthers had moved on from the Canadiens. Considering how much the Habs suffered, it was far from a Herculean feat, as evidenced by how the Panthers had fallen to fourth from last in the entire conference.

In fact, it was a minor miracle the Panthers rallied to make the playoffs as an eight seed. It only grew in size from there, though, forgetting that they were the best team in the league one season ago, that was the idea, as the Cats pulled off a record-breaking Boston Bruins in Round 1, Toronto Maple Leafs in Round. 2 and the Carolina Hurricanes in Round 3.

Canadiens Can Be Panthers

So, this is their second straight Stanley Cup Final and a testament to the talent they have on their roster (and maybe general manager Bill Zito despite how close he was to trading the lottery for the Bedard roster). The point is, if you look past the Presidents’ Trophy and really shine, they can be Canadian.

They each missed the playoffs in two seasons before the 2019-20 COVID-shortened campaign (three seasons in fact for the Panthers). The Canadiens even made it out of the playoffs that season, while the Panthers did not. Then everyone in Montreal remembers what happened in 2020-21, as the Habs collectively took Cinderella to reach their own Stanley Cup final (when the Panthers were beaten in Round 1).

Obviously, it would take a lot of luck for the Canadiens to be in the Panthers’ place instead. It was bad luck that prevented the Panthers from continuing as a force in the East to start 2022-23, and the Habs have had to fill many holes in their roster since their magic three years ago. One trip to the Stanley Cup Final is a remote possibility for the heavy underdog. Sustained success under those conditions is too much to ask, especially with their No. 1 defender and their star goalkeeper “putting it down” after that.

Regardless, the Canadiens should look to the Panthers as inspiration for what can be as their rebuild continues. Not that they have the same quality of the list, but many of the pieces are there: they work well if not the special bending in Samuel Montembeault (Sergei Bobrovsky), the number 1 center in Nick Suzuki (Aleksander Barkov), the creation of perhaps a better defense, considering that the Canadiens How is it built with talented prospects, while, across the former No. 1 overall pick Aaron Ekblad, the Panthers’ latest draft pick.


In that way, the fact that, despite several high picks in the draft, the Panthers have only one number 1, maybe consider them anti-Edmonton Oilers, who picked first several times in the past: Connor McDavid (2015), Nail Yakupov (2012), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011), Taylor Hall (2010). Granted, two of the above are no longer in the team. However, no one can deny that the road back to the Stanley Cup Final for the Oilers, who lost to the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006, has been long and rocky and is visible in the long run below the standings, proving that the goals of acquiring talent are working, regardless of the success of the strategy. it took a long time to bear fruit for the Oilers.

It’s not really “pulling a tank” in the purest sense. Oilers management probably didn’t see themselves finishing consistently at the bottom of the standings, let alone plan for it to happen, like the Canadiens, one has to think. However, the result is the same, as the Habs have received a high draft pick for several seasons in a row now. In some ways, they are built in the same way in both teams, it is admitted that they remove the same talent spread among the elite. Therefore, in the eyes of Habs fans, either team of the two can be seen as the rightful winner.

Related: What Canadiens Can Learn From 2024 Stanley Cup Semi-Finals

Canadiens fans arguably had more reason to cheer for the Panthers earlier in the tournament. However, it’s hard to imagine many feeling bad for the Oilers, who, like the Panthers last season, went 2-9-1, tied for last place this season to finally help get McDavid’s first win. heroism.

Canadians as a whole may feel that way theirs the team must be the one to end the 31-year World Cup drought. It’s an understandable feeling. However, it’s fair to suggest that the Canadiens are at least on track to establish themselves as contenders in the not-too-distant future, based on the current success of the Oilers and Panthers.

Whoever wins the 2024 Stanley Cup Final, the Canadiens and their fans will literally not lose. Don’t let the fact that they aren’t actually competing get in the way of a good narrative. Of course, there are no guarantees that they will get there in the end, but there is good reason to believe. If there is no winner, that’s all you can count on.

However, the Habs’ continued year-over-year progress in the standings is a good start to… well, progress by definition. No one has left the 2021 Stanley Cup Final to forget how quickly things can change, for the worse for the Canadiens. Some might say it should, so that there is at least a change in the luck front. Their fans are ready for at least one, and this particular series presents a good situation with them.

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