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Top Three Montreal Canadiens Bounce Back Candidates

Rafael Harvey-Pinard; sweater number 74

While the Montreal Canadiens season has had some bright spots such as the play of Nick Suzuki and Juraj Slafkovsky, many players haven’t performed so well. This leaves us with a slew of potential options for bounce-back candidates. So, which Canadiens players can bounce back in 2024-25?

Montreal Canadiens Bounce Back Candidates

Josh Anderson

This season has been one to forget for forward Josh Anderson. The Habs power forward has just eight goals and eighteen points in 64 games. For a bottom-six forward this may seem like reasonable production. However, Anderson has received top-six minutes all season. He has endured several lengthy goal slumps and it’s been almost comical the amount of chances Anderson hasn’t been able to finish.

Why does Anderson fit the bill as a bounce-back candidate? His 6.6 shooting percentage speaks for itself. That number is much lower than his career average. If Anderson can convert on more of his opportunities then we should see that percentage nearly double next season. Although he has received top-six minutes, being centred by Jake Evans isn’t a recipe for offensive success. He will likely have better linemates feeding him next season. The Canadiens better hope Anderson can find his scoring touch as he’s on the books for another three years at five and a half million dollars annually.

Rafael Harvey-Pinard

After last season’s breakout stint, many were expecting Rafael Harvey-Pinard to build upon his newfound success. The team echoed this confidence by inking Harvey-Pinard to a two-year deal at just over one million dollars per year. In contrast, injuries and opportunity have limited Harvey-Pinard. Therefore, he has been a shadow of the player that we saw last year. He has just one goal and eight points through 31 games this season. This is a far cry from the fourteen goals he potted in 34 games last season.

However, as aforementioned, Harvey-Pinard has been met with a mixture of a lack of opportunity as well as injuries. Two separate injuries have limited him to only 31 games this year. He also isn’t getting top minutes alongside Nick Suzuki like he was the year prior. Harvey-Pinard was given all the opportunity in the world to succeed last year due to the team’s injury troubles. But this year he isn’t receiving those top-six minutes and power play opportunities. Despite this, Harvey-Pinard will be able to produce more than the one goal he has this season. We may not see him return to the thirty-plus goal pace he was on in his rookie campaign, but expect Harvey-Pinard to find a middle ground next season.

Cole Caufield

It’s hard to call a twenty-five-goal and sixty-plus point pace a down year, but it feels that way for Cole Caufield. The forward just inked a new deal this past summer after coming off a shoulder injury last year. After a near fifty-goal pace before going down with an injury, expectations were sky-high for Caufield. However, he has struggled to finish his chances this season. This could be due to the shoulder injury, lack of confidence, or just plain bad luck. Either way, his shooting percentage is way down at only 7.5 percent, and that won’t continue.

Caufield has taken this opportunity to show that he is more than capable of facilitating plays as well though. Caufield has 35 assists on the year thus far and on top of that has also improved his defensive play. Expect to see a more polished Cole Caufield return to his scoring ways next year and likely hit the 40-goal mark for the first time in his career.

These Three and More Will Have Bounce Back 2024-25 Seasons for the Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens should be a stronger team next season and these three players will benefit from that. In the case of Anderson and RHP, they have to bounce back as this season is virtually rock bottom for the duo. In Caufield’s case, it’s simply about finishing more opportunities and regaining that scoring prowess he is known for. Expect the collective unit of the Montreal Canadiens to bounce back well next season.

Main photo: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports


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