USA Friendly Online NHL Betting – Canadiens Ahead Of Curve In Fight To Get Back In Postseason

After the eventual Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins needed three overtime wins to eliminate the Montreal Canadiens in the 2011 postseason, it seemed as though the latter team was destined to compete for a playoff spot once again the following USA Friendly on line sports betting year. However, injuries, inconsistent play, and a lack of communication between players and coaches led the Canadiens to one of the worst seasons in franchise history, as they finished at the bottom of the Eastern conference with just 78 points. However, despite all other 14 teams in the conference finishing ahead of Montreal in the standings, the curve for getting back to the postseason could be a short one for “Les Glorieux”. A new head coach, a couple of new players, and a return to health of several key members of the roster appear to be enough for the Canadiens to vastly improve their standing.

NHL Offseason

Perhaps the most important move of the USA Friendly online betting hockey offseason was finding a head coach that was capable of handling the role in the dedicated and unique hockey market that is Montreal. The Canadiens found their man in Michel Therrien, who coached the team to a playoff spot in the first and only full season of his initial stint with the club back in 2004-05. Therrien is a strategist that has grown a lot during his time behind the bench with both Montreal and the Pittsburgh Penguins, and his ability to speak French will be crucial with the local media.

As far as the roster is concerned, some of the biggest USA Friendly Online sportsbook additions will be players returning to the lineup after being sidelined with injuries a year ago, including captain Brian Gionta. Gionta will play on one of the Canadiens’ top two lines, while Travis Moen returns to his sandpaper role along with free agent signing Brandon Prust, who finished among the league leaders in penalty minutes last season. Young winger Max Pacioretty will likely be back on the team’s top line with Eric Cole and David Desharnais, and it will be interesting to see how the other forward lines shape up with players like Gionta, Tomas Plekanec, Rene Bourque, and Lars Eller all fighting for ice-time. The Canadiens also look forward to a full season from Andrei Markov, who is an elite defenseman when healthy. PK Subban has emerged as one of the top young d-men in the NHL, and his development will only be further enhanced by the presence of Markov. As for the net, goalie Carey Price just signed a long-term extension and will be the franchise tender for years to come.

Making the postseason on a consistent basis is hard to do in the NHL, especially with the added parity of the salary cap the last two seasons. However, the Canadiens are a team that has flown under the radar with some key changes over the offseason, and could be a sleeper team to make some noise. Montreal may not be any USA Friendly online sportsbook favorite to win the Stanley Cup this season, but with a little luck and sustained health could be in the mix to return to the playoffs sooner than many expect. For all of the latest NHL odds, make sure to check out the USA Friendly best Internet sports betting sites.

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