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10 Games Left In The Season, Can The Habs Make Playoffs? Should They?

March 18, 2019, 10:16 PM ET [171 Comments]
Brandon Smillie
Montreal Canadiens Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
This season has provided many of us die hard fans with great entertainment and a lot of hope. Hope for the future in play of Kotkaniemi, Mete, Domi, Danault, and Drouin (yes Drouin, he's on pace for a career season even with his current dry spell and is a heck of a playmaker).

We are also being teased with hopes of entering the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. The team looked certain to make the playoffs not too long ago but losing 5 of their last 7 games while other teams put together wins has taken them from challenging for a top 3 spot in the Atlantic Division to sitting in 9th place and needing a near run of the table to close out the season...

In 9th place with 10 games remaining is not ideal, especially when your competition is a surging 7th place Carolina who is 15-5-1 since the All Star break and have 4 point lead on the Habs (with a game in hand) and 8th place Columbus with 84 points who loaded up at the deadline for this very battle before the playoffs. The Blue Jackets are 4-4-1 in their last 9 games but the Habs have been worse so they found themselves able to climb up and over MTL with an equal number of games played.

For the Canadiens to have a shot they need wins, probably 7 or 8 of them in these last 10 games. This schedule might keep us all on the edge of our seats until the final four games. The Habs will start what may be the final battle of the season in Philadelphia tomorrow followed by two games at home against the New York Islanders and Buffalo Sabres. It's entirely possible that Montreal wins all 3 of these, and they desperately need to do so to take this race into the final stretch.

4+ points in those 3 games keeps hope alive as they then head into the next 3 games starting in Carolina in what could be the first playoff like game of the Habs season, back home to host Florida, and then back on the road to play their 2nd playoff like game against Columbus.

The Habs hopes are very much in their hands right now and with the right effort they have a chance to take a couple 4 point games against their direct competition. Of course the flip side of this is they lose both games against Carolina and Columbus and the season is laid to rest, but let's cross that bridge when we get to it.

Now the ideal scenario is the Habs win 5-6 of these 6 games and head into the final four on a high. I can't say I feel that will happen with how they've played lately but until they are mathematically eliminated I'll keep the dream alive.

What worries me is that should they run the table over the next 6 games, what is the likelihood they finish the job by going at least .500 against Winnipeg, Tampa Bay, Washington, and Toronto? A lot will depend on these next 3 games I suppose and if it goes downhill it could go downhill fast and we will be talking about draft picks instead of a best of 7 series... I like talking about both so I'll find my reasons to stay excited, but I would love a shot at the Stanley Cup when everyone thought the Canadiens would be a bottom 5 lotto team. It's always fun proving people wrong even if it would be vicariously.

Go Habs Go.... for reals...
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