The Montreal Canadiens were sent home in the second round of the postseason last Spring. I had predicted them to win the Stanley Cup before the start of last season because of their stellar defense and goaltending. The problem was they could not score. It’s very difficult to beat an offensive powerhouse such as the Lightning when a team is averaging 1.88 goals per game during the postseason.
The Canadiens made a couple moves this summer. One was re-signing Jeff Petry, who they acquired from Edmonton on March 2nd. The main objective, however, was to obtain some offense. Though they did not sign or trade for a solidified scorer, they decided to take a chance on Alex Semin, signing him to a friendly 1 year, $1.1 million contract after having been bought out of the remaining 3 years of the $5 year, $35 million deal by Carolina. While coming off the worst year of his career, scoring only 6 goals, he has shown in the past he can be lethal offensively. He has one of the best shots and is a great passer. As you may know, I’m a Semin apologist, believing he is hard-working, but has just lost his confidence of late. While I’m not sure Montreal is the best place for him to be because of the amount of pressure there is, it is a good chance for him to revive his game and provide the offense Montreal desperately needs.
I believe Montreal will again be at the top of the Atlantic Division, but they have to show that they can score before I can predict another Stanley Cup run.