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Robo helps us analyze whether the Canadian can aim for the playoffs this year

After two terrible years, can the Canadiens aspire to make the playoffs this year?

Beyond the great hopes and progress, the question that often comes up for this year is this.

The fans, who pay part of their wages to attend a game, want to know if it’s over, when the victory will be as important as a sprig of parsley in a bowl of spaghetti.

I’m not saying that the fans absolutely want the team to be positive for the spring dance, but rather they want to know it to gauge their expectations and plan if the team will have to meet them, in front of their televisions, 82. times this season.

We want to prepare to prepare our spouse about the attention we will give to the CH.

We want to know if it will be worth spending $500 on Christmas to tell the kids that we are going to see the Canadiens in February. With gasoline, hot dogs, popcorn and some beer, it will even cost double.

All the fans are very delighted to know that the team is going in the right direction and they can even aspire for big things in three years.

Photo by Martin Chevalier

But the limits of the fans’ patience were tested hard last year, with decisions that exposed the fact that the management was delighted to improve in … defeat.

Fortunately, Martin St-Louis did not always seem to agree.

In short, it was still wave last year, in front of a club at the bottom of the standings that lost in the third period.

But patience won’t last forever, as my colleague Jean-François Chaumont rightly reminded us in The Canadian’s end-of-season report back in April.

Less vague

Without expecting too much, fans may not accept another season like the last. It may be less popular this year if the team is already out of the race at Christmas.

“I don’t know if we’re going to make the playoffs, but we’re going to push,” general manager Kent Hughes said last April, regarding the 2023-2024 season.

nonetheless, with the help of experts from Sportlogiq, which specializes in advanced NHL statistics, The newspaper tried to analyze where the Canadian stands in relation to the clubs in his association this year.

But above all, I wanted to assess how far CH was really out in the race last year.

Photo by Martin Chevalier

It was clear at the beginning of the season that the team was not aiming for the playoffs. But he defended himself very well in the first few weeks. Then Sean Monahan was injured. Next, Kaiden Guhle.

And the chain lands.

According to the site NHL Injury Viz, which measures how teams are affected by injuries, the Canadiens were the second most affected team last year. The Blue Jackets come in first.

To give you an idea, the Canadiens had 10 times more injuries than the Rangers, six times more than the Lightning and three times more than the Bruins.

Not better

So, according to Sportlogiq, in a miraculous scenario where the Canadian was not injured, we could have expected the team to score 245 goals during the year. The club instead made 232.

So that’s 13 more goals. In other words, the team would not be so poor and they would be in the race longer. It would be just enough to forget about Connor Bedard earlier…but forget about the playoffs too.

For the next campaign, we did the same exercise, asking the Sportlogiq bots to predict how many goals each Eastern Conference team would score.

We use the training suggested by the site CapFriendly. Rookies were not included in these predictions since the bots obviously have no NHL data to rely on.

Therefore, the Canadian will progress rather well when we can expect 248 goals, which puts him 10e from 16 in the East in this sense, just behind the Sabers and the Lightning, but ahead of the Red Wings and the Capitals, in particular.

Little strange fact, we did the math before trading Petry to Detroit, and the projection without him was four more goals.

Obviously, the number of goals scored does not establish whether a team has a chance to participate in the playoffs, mainly because these are projections.

A positive example: The Sabers were second in the East last year, but finished 10thes. He was too tough defensively.

nonetheless, of the eight teams that scored the most goals last year in this conference, seven made the playoffs, except for the Hurricanes.

We agree, scoring goals is always a positive idea to win.

Some important points of these robot projections


Photo by Martin Chevalier

The Canadian jumps from 14th (2022-2023) to 10th this year with a projected 16 more goals. It would be one of the best progressions in the estimates, but with a still young defense, everything indicates that it will be far enough to expect a participation in the playoffs.


Photo by Martin Chevalier

The departure of Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci would be catastrophic for the Bruins, who, according to the robots, would go from the team that scored the most goals (305 last year) to the team that scored the fewest goals this year, with 234. nonetheless, I wouldn’t bet on that. Boston always finds a way to win, especially when the team is underrated.


Photo by Martin Chevalier

Pittsburgh should not finish ninth in the East in goals scored, according to the bots (with just 262 goals), as projections put Sidney Crosby’s squad in second place this year with 298 goals. The arrivals of Erik Karlsson and Reilly Smith also changed the game.


Projections put the Senators fourth with 281 goals. Ottawa finished 10th last year, in part due to multiple injuries.


Certainly, when you remember last year’s numbers and those that the robots project, everything indicates that the Devils are likely to aim for the top, as are the Panthers, the Hurricanes, the Maple Leafs and the Rangers.

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