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Michael Ziegler
Education: Bialik High School Class of 2013, Dawson College Class of 2015, McGill Political Science Student. Born and raised in Montreal, the Canadiens have always been a big part of my life. What started out as a way to blow off some steam after a tough loss in the 2011 playoffs eventually became a popular hit with Facebook friends around the internet. On PGT, I like to dissect each and every Habs game and promote discussion about the team. Other interests: Aside from Hockey and sports in general, I love music. During the summer I work for Camp Wingate, a sleep-away sports camp just north of Montreal. Favourite places in Webspace: If you are looking for the latest news around the NHL, visit NHL.com For more Montreal Canadiens talk, visit Allaboutthehabs.com, or hockeyinsideout.com

Lose Now, Win Later

So there's a bit of a dilemma in Montreal these days. In the midst of a 4 game winning streak, it seems as if the team is suddenly back in the playoff picture. After spending most of the season in the cellar of the Eastern conference, this winning streak has pulled the Habs back into playoff contention. As of Sunday night, the team sits in 11th place in the conference and 7 points out of 8th, which is now held by Toronto. So now as Habs fans we must ask ourselves, are the playoffs a realistic goal? Obviously any loyal Habs fan's first thought would be that of course he/she wants the team to make the playoffs and yes the playoffs are a possibility.



Now, let's look at it from a different angle. If the Habs were to somehow make the playoffs, they would more than likely end up in 8th spot. Meaning they would face either the Rangers or Bruins in the first round. I know many of you may use the excuse that the Canadiens have had the edge over the Rangers this season, but common, let's be realistic, they aren't beating either of those teams in a 7 game series. So basically what I'm trying to point out is that, as fun as watching the playoffs are, is it worth having the team win games and make a playoff appearance only to be bounced in the first round?

Right now the Canadiens have a top 10 pick. If they were to make the playoffs, we would lose that pick and a potential top prospect. So now ask yourselves, is a playoff appearance still worth it? The problem with most Habs fans is that we can't and don't accept losing. Look at the Edmonton Oilers. Their fans have suffered through years of losing since their surprising Stanley Cup finals appearance a couple years back. But they have accepted that losing will only make them better in future. And now, because of the patience of the fans and Oilers management they have players like Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent- Hopkins. And with another top pick in this year's draft, look for the Oilers to draft a defenseman like Matt Dumba or Ryan Murray and before any of you know it, the Oilers will once again be a force to be reckoned with in the NHL.



The difference between the Habs and Oilers is that the Oilers needed a complete rebuild, the Canadiens don't. They just need a so-called "re-tooling". The team already has an incredibly talented pool of young prospects and a very solid core with a great mix of veterans and young guns. With the addition of a top 6 forward (through trade or free agency) and a top 5 prospect (through the draft), this team could be a serious contender in the near future.

The reason why the Canadiens haven't been able to do this is because of what I pointed out before, there is way to much pressure from the fans to win now. What they don't understand is that to you have to lose first to eventually win. Just like the great Vince Lombardi said "The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary". And when Habs nation accepts that, that is when we will once again bring home Lord Stanley back to Montreal.

CHeers

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NHL100 Classic

In one of the multiple outdoor NHL games this season, the Canadiens will face the Ottawa Senators at TD Stadium in Ottawa on December 16th.

Here are more details, as well as the newly released jerseys: https://www.nhl.com/news/nhl-100-classic-jerseys-revealed-for-canadiens-senators/c-292966856

For tickets: https://www1.ticketmaster.ca/2017-scotiabank-nhl100-classicmontreal-canadiens-v-ottawa-ontario-12-16-2017/event/100052AFD5488E57

Top 5 NHL Playoff Rituals

5. Orange Crush
This one isn't really a tradition but it's so cool to look at I couldn't leave it out. Watching the Philadelphia Flyers in the playoffs is a thing of beauty. With every Flyer fan in the building rocking their home team's orange jersey, it really is an amazing site.


4. The Whiteout
What originally started out as a tradition in Winnipeg has become one of the coolest things to see during the playoffs. The sea of white surrounding the ice in Phoenix looks awesome, especially when it's a sold out crowd. Props to the fans for keeping this amazing tradition alive.


3. Rat Trick
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Montreal Canadiens 7 Round Mock Draft

As I write this article, the Habs sit 28th in the NHL standings, good enough for the 3rd overall pick. Here is what I think the Canadiens will do come draft weekend in Pittsburgh.

1st Round, 3rd overall: Mikhail Grigorenko (Quebec Remparts, QMJHL) - Big, skilled Russian center being compared to Gino Malkin. That's good enough reason to draft him at #3.



2nd Round, 33rd overall: Tanner Pearson (Barrie Colts, OHL)- Player with first round skill and production, 81 points (33 goals, 48 assists) in 49 games. But his age pushes him out of the first round. ( Born in 1992).



2nd Round, 56th overall (From Nashville): Devin Shore (Whitby Fury, OJHL)- Another player with good size, Shore is also very talented offensively.



3rd Round, 63rd overall: Jaynen Rissling (Calgary Hitmen, WHL)- At 6'03, 211lbs, Rissling is a big man and a great hitter. Also has some solid offensive skill including a rocket of a shot.



4th Round, 93rd overall: Jake Montgomery (Shattuck St. Mary's High School)- The…