The Montreal Canadiens may very well not win the Stanley Cup this year, but believe it or not, they are a legitimate threat to do just that.
No one could say that as recently as last season, when they finished last in the Eastern Conference, and no one without ESP had the crystal balls to say that entering this year. And yet, with 18 games remaining and 45 points already secured in the standings, the Habs could theoretically surpass their entire 78-point total from last year in 34 fewer games.
Admittedly, that is not very likely. With an active seven-game points streak, it would essentially mean them going 25 total games without losing in regulation. And, really, what are the chances of that happening? Twenty-four, c’mon...child’s play. Anyone can do 24. But 25? The fact that it’s even mathematically possible, though, is just insane.
The math further dictates the Habs currently need just 24 more points to clinch a playoff spot, and that’s only if the ninth-place 15-13-2 New York Rangers run the table the rest of the way. To put it in the proper perspective, that would require “Made (of Glass)” Marian Gaborik to first stay healthy and then actually show up for 18 straight games.
To a certain degree, it’s ironic seeing as most fans would have considered it very likely that the Rangers would be in Montreal’s spot in the standings currently (or at least have a similar 20-5-5 record) and that the Habs would have to count their lucky stars to just be where New York is. If everyone considered New York a legitimate threat way back when, sheer logic tells you Montreal is right now.
If you need further convincing, here are five other reasons the Habs are a legitimate threat in the East: