18 memorable moments of Montreal Canadiens from 2018


MONTREAL – Let's be honest: 2018 may be the most forgettable year of Montreal Canadiens' 109-year history.

Those early days were particularly tiring, as the Canadiens were in the process of spiraling to an embarrassing 28th place overall.

In March, the injuries made the team virtually unrecognizable, and all losses in the previous months had hurt the brand – and affected ticket sales – considerably.

From April to August there was also no picnic for the faithful of the team. They suffered first with a pulsing press counselor Geoff Molson and general manager Marc Bergevin held to close the 2017-18 debacle, in which players – who were blamed for 82 mostly losing games – were guilty of having a poor attitude, while no executive indicates why things happened.

And then there was the situation of Max Pacioretty, which was a seemingly endless standoff between the Canadiens and their captain bleeding during the summer months.

But today we will focus on the positive memories. Considering how bad it was, it was surprisingly easy to find 18 good things to get out of 2018 for the Canadiens. Moments in and out of the ice that caught our attention, some of which will have a lasting impact on the franchise in the coming years.

We made our list and checked twice.


18. Matthew Peca's hidden piano talent thrilled colleagues and fans

A professional hockey player finds a piano in a Chicago hotel lobby, sits down and proceeds to kill a perfect version, note by note, of the introduction to Outkast's "Roses"?

We are here for this.

17. Carey Price receives great applause for overtaking Jacques Plante most of the time by a goalkeeper of the Canadiens

It was Price's 557th match with the Canadiens, setting a franchise record at the end of the worst season of his career.

It was a season that saw him be booed on several occasions. A season that saw him mocking too many times too.

That's why it meant a lot to Price on April 3, when the Canadiens played a tribute to Patrick Roy and Ken Dryden, congratulating him on reaching the milestone and fans cheered for the legendary Plante.

We will not soon forget this scene, nor will we forget Price saying how much he really needed this support.

16. Brendan Gallagher hits 30 goals for the first time in his career

With five games remaining in the 2017-18 season, Gallagher scored twice to reach – and surpass – the 30-goal mark for the first time in his career.

It was a cool story. Especially since the previous two Gallagher campaigns have been hampered by horrible injuries to the hands that left him with less than 20 goals in both seasons.

"These 30 goals are well deserved," Canadiens coach Claude Julien said on March 26. "It's an example of work, perseverance, commitment and dedication, he never complains about anything, he goes and does his job, that's what you expect from your leaders."

15. Canadiens hire Dominique Ducharme as technical assistant

It was on April 27 that Bergevin announced that the man who had trained Team Canada for a gold medal at the 2018 Junior World Championship was joining the Canadiens bench.

A good move for a team that speaks French as a prerequisite to being the main coach. If Ducharme is Julien's heir, he could have him participate in the organization and prepare it properly.

In addition, Ducharme is a good offensive strategist, as evidenced by the Canadiens being among the best teams in the strengths scoring this season.

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14. Canadiens hire Joel Bouchard to train Laval Rocket

Bouchard's hiring announcement, which took place three weeks after Ducharme's hiring, coincided with the resignation of Sylvain Lefebvre who failed to bring the AHL team affiliate into the playoffs more than once over his six-year term .

Double victory for the Canadiens, who were adding a fierce competitor with a very successful record in Bouchard. Someone who, by all accounts, has a bright future in the organization.

13. Canadiens hire Luke Richardson to train defense

The July move anchored the Canadiens bench and involved significant changes in the team's hockey operations department in the summer.

Analyzes of Richardson's performance since the start of the preseason were all positive.

"When I make a mistake, he just keeps it positive and tells me to move on," said Noah Juulsen, a 20-year-old defender this season. "We'll watch later but during the game he really keeps everyone calm and focused."

This can not be a bad thing.

12. The world is presented to the "Tartar Face"

This would be a young Canadiens fan named Derek Toulouse, who stumbled in front of a Night of hockey in Canada camera earlier this season and gave us the gift we keep giving:

True story: Michel Lacroix, announcer of the Bell Center, changed the way he pronounces Tatar's last name in goal calls.

11. Paul Byron Signs $ 13.6 Million Extension for Four Years

How could you not be happy for a guy who was originally claimed by Canadian Canadians?

Byron scored 20 goals for the second consecutive season in 2017-18 and threw the rope on his shoulder. The off-season surgery to mend it should keep him out of the first month of the 2018-19 season, but he restocked so aggressively that he was able to begin training without restrictions.

Byron's reward? A great payday at age 29 and a well-deserved safety with the team that values ​​him so much later called him captain-assistant.

10. The price passes to Roy per second on the Canadiens' all-time winning list

Posting a 33-save shutout to pass on your childhood idol as you climb the ranks and be within reach of becoming the most victorious goalkeeper in the regular season in the history of the Canadiens? Priceless.

When Price did it on October 27, it was certainly one of the best times for the Canadiens in 2018. And it was undoubtedly the best time of the year for him.

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9. Shea Weber, 30th captain in the history of the Canadiens

It was on October 1 that the Canadiens recorded the legendary captain 'C' in Weber's shirt, placing him in an elite club with names like Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau, Bob Gainey and Saku Koivu, among others.

It was a special moment that left Weber somewhat speechless, when Bergevin sat down next to him and said that the decision was unanimous among Canadiens' Latinos.

8. Bergevin swaps Pacioretty for Tatar, Nick Suzuki and a second round of 2019

Considering it was untenable for the Canadiens to keep Pacioretty after trying to trade him and make it clear that they would not renew their contract after the expiration in 2019, Bergevin shocked the hockey world with the return he received from his former captain in September. 10.

It looked like a win for Montreal when a Suzuki high-level rider – who was 13th overall in 2017 – and a second round 2019 was recovered from Vegas Golden Knights by the 30-time perennial scorer who was a year away. unrestricted free agency. It now looks like a win with Tatar at the pace of breaking his previous career and overcoming Pacioretty in all categories while Vegas still pays some of his salaries.

7. The Canadiens make a thrilling 6-4 victory over the Washington Capitals at the Bell Center

After a year of terrible games at the Bell Center, the Canadiens exploded in the third quarter and returned from 4-3 and won the Stanley Cup Champions on November 1.

It was a difficult and forceful case that had four leadership changes, some miraculous defenses and some beautiful goals. It was undoubtedly one of the most exciting games ever played at the Bell Center.

6. Jesperi Kotkaniemi scores his first goal as a Montreal Canadien

It was in that wild win for the Canadiens over Washington that Kotkaniemi became the youngest NHL player to score a goal this season.

The first of his career put the Canadiens on the board. It was a growing cry of the left-face circle. One goal Kotkaniemi – and his fans – will probably remember forever.

5. Canadiens take a place in the 2018 lottery

Odds were that after finishing in 28th, the Canadiens would be fourth overall in the June draft.

But when the lottery balls matched on April 28, the Canadiens moved up to third place, which was essentially the best thing that happened between September and May last season.

4. Kotkaniemi officially makes the list

We never thought it would be possible after seeing him stumble on his first appearance in a Canadiens uniform when he looked completely lost in a rookie game against the Ottawa Senators.

But with each passing day, Kotkaniemi showed that he could handle playing in the NHL this season already. And on September 29, the Canadiens made it official that they were keeping him.

3. The Canadiens swap Alex Galchenyuk for the Arizona Coyotes by Max Domi

Fans were apoplectic about the deal on June 15 with their Canadiens transferring a 30-goal scorer to a player who had only 36 goals in his career.

Little did they know that this would be one of the best things that would happen to their team in 2018, with Domi moving downtown and shooting more than one point per game in the first 30 of the 2018-19 season.

We did not anticipate that Domi would be so good, but we had a feeling that this deal could be a lot better for the Canadiens than people expected.

The 23-year-old was the best player in Montreal in the last three months of 2018.

2. Weber returns after absence of 345 days

The out-of-season knee surgery, which followed a radical ankle procedure, was to keep Weber in the background until at least mid-December.

There was a chance the new captain, who was officially closed in December 2017, did not play a game in 2018. Instead, he returned on November 27 for ovations at the Bell Center, and he played more than 25 minutes on what ended up being a 2-1 loss to the Carolina hurricanes that night.

His presence made a considerable difference, however, with the Canadiens scoring 93 shots in the season.

1. The Canadiens take Kotkaniemi in third place in the NHL draft

They caught some people by surprise, catching Kotkaniemi as tall as they (check out the Canadiens fan reaction at 1:40 from the video below):

We're not sure why. Throughout Bergevin's six-year term as GM, he spoke ad nauseam about not being able to negotiate or sign an impact center. How could anyone think he was going to take the best consensus center available in the 2018 Draft is a mystery to us.

Considering how Kotkaniemi did well in his first season, we are finding it hard to find a fan of the Canadiens who would like Bergevin to go back in time and reverse the decision.


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