The Canadiens next 10 games are against opponents below them in the standings and in some cases teams that are close to catching them. These are the Canadiens 10 must win games.
The Canadiens play 7 out of these 10 at home. Can we expect the Canadiens to go 10-0? No. Although playing .500 hockey mathematically might keep them where they are, if the Canadiens hope to guarantee a spot or rise from their 8th place position they’ll have to win the majority of these games. Who wants to cling to a 1 point lead and leave their playoff chances up to other teams? Limping into the playoffs isn’t inspiring for a bottom team hoping to upset a top seed.
10 points out of a possible 20 is not good enough especially if those losses include Maple Leaf wins. The Leaf games in particular are both 4 pointers and chances to put the Leafs out of it for good. After the 10 game stretch the Canadiens finish their season with multiple games against the Senators, Devils and Sabres who are very tough teams in races of their own. These next 10 games are crucial indeed.
The Canadiens post season fate is firmly in their control. The formula couldn’t be any simpler. Defeat the weaker teams below them and they are in. Will they execute?