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A Tale of Two Cities

2019-12-23

The Montreal Canadiens and Laval Rocket share more than a developmental affiliation.  Both call the Montreal metropolitan area home, as only 17 kilometers separate their respective arenas.  Players can move from one team to another with a simple 25 minute ride on the Metro’s orange line.  Hell they both even call Bell home, as the Canadiens play at the 21,000 seat Bell Centre and the Rockets play at the 10,000 seat Place Bell arena.  The one thing they don’t share, at least in the early parts of the season, is results, and that’s OK.

The Canadiens are in the early stages of a full rebuild, having sold off the vast majority of their veterans in the offseason, and the results so far have been predictable.  Predictably bad.

With a record of 1-4-1 in their first 6 games the Habs currently sit in last place in the Lemieux Conference and 29th overall in the league.  Beyond the record, the picture does not get any brighter, as they have a -14 goal differential and have given up over 4.5 goals per game.  The penalty kill has been abysmal, with a 69% rate (only killing 20 of 29 penalties), which is still marginally better than the power play, connecting at a rate of 7% (1 goal on 14 power plays).  The Habs’ only win this season came at the expense of the defending Cup champion Detroit Red Wings, in a tight 2-1 game.

The Rocket are playing just down the road, but they may as well be light years away in terms of on-ice results.  With many of the Canadiens’ future stars contributing in a significant way, the Rocket are one of only two undefeated teams in AHL, in a tie for first in the league with a 5-0-0 record. 

The Rocket’s starting goaltender, Max Legace, has been stellar, posting a 1.67 GAA and .926SPCT, while 10 of their skaters have recorded at least 4 points in their first 5 games and only two skaters have yet to record their first point.

With the Habs selling hope for the future with their prospects and the Rocket winning games in the present, the franchise’s fans can at least take solace in the fact that the coming hard times will be for the greater good and return to prominence for this once-proud franchise.




Thomas Gidlow

Nice write up sir. :)

A Tale of Two Cities
The Canadiens and Rockets are on opposite ends of their league standings, yet both are on track.

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