The Fansided NHL Network, that SenShot is proud to be a member of, is embarking on its NHL preview..."/> The Fansided NHL Network, that SenShot is proud to be a member of, is embarking on its NHL preview..."/> The Fansided NHL Network, that SenShot is proud to be a member of, is embarking on its NHL preview..."/>

Around The NHL In 30 Days: Montreal Canadiens

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The Fansided NHL Network, that SenShot is proud to be a member of, is embarking on its NHL preview. Each day in September, one of its members will be posting a preview for their club.  SenShot will look at their preview, and let you have a look.  After that, we will provide our own perspective.  Jared will handle the Western Conference teams while Tony will look at the East.

Today, we’ll preview our Northeast rival, the Montreal Canadiens.

Here’s what Winning Habit‘s lead writer, Steven Ellis had to say:

"Is this team better then last year?Defensively, they are the same. They lost Mara, Hamrilik and Wisnewski. The good thing is, Montreal’s defense is already amazing. In terms of goaltending, Budaj is in a very similar situation as Auld was last year, with the plan that he will play around 10 games. So they did not improve in goal, but did not get worse. Offense wise, Montreal’s top 6 got better by adding Cole. I’m undecided whether or not Montreal is a better team now, but they have their strengths and weaknesses.Will they make the playoffs?Montreal is going to make the playoffs. It won’t be a high posiston, but it means we have a chance. Realistically, a 6th, 7th or 8th place finish is what they should be looking at. The Bruins are still the favorites to win the Cup, so if they finish high enough, they may face the Habs again in the first 2 rounds. But, as we found out this year, Montreal is always competitive against our hated rivals, and will put up a fight. With all the drama that happened last season, they should put up a big fight. If Montreal can beat the Bruins, they can beat almost anybody.Will they win their 25th Stanley Cup?No, but after their run in 2009-2010,  we know its possible.Click here to read the entire Winning Habit‘s Montreal preview of their upcoming season."

You can follow Steven on Twitter here for all your Hab’s news and info.

Here’s SenShot’s take on the upcoming Hab’s season:

I always find the Canadiens an interesting team. Every year, I think this is the year where they will fail to make the playoffs and realize they don’t have the right pieces to build a contender. But every year, they seem to be competitive and be a serious threat in the playoffs.

This past summer, the signing of Eric Cole fills a need of a big, physical scoring winger. However, was the 32 year old the right player to throw $18 million dollars at for the next four years? With Cole in the mix, the Habs will ice a decent top nine forward group that should be able to put up the points and improve on last years 23rd ranked offense.

On the back-end, there was no major additions, but the Habs took care of their own. They resigned key D-men Andrei Markov and Josh Georges to new deals to keep their core intact. Much of the success for Montreal will depend on the health of their best D-man, Andrei Markov. Only playing 52 games in the last two years, Markov will need to stay healthy all season if the Habs hope to be contenders. With reports that he may not be ready for training camp, the Habs faithful may be sweating a little bit.

Between the pipes, the Habs are one of the strongest teams in the league. With Carey Price expected to start 70 plus games again, look for Price to solidify himself as one of the elite tenders in the league.

With Montreal’s aging core, they only have a few years together before father time catches up with them. I think the Habs will make the playoffs this season in one of the bottom four playoff spots, but they will be in tough to proceed to the Finals. But with coach Jaques Martin and his defensive philosophy, the Habs know how to shut down teams in the playoffs.

Check back here tomorrow when we preview the New Jersey Devils and their upcoming season.

**Don’t forget to buy your Tickets for SenShot’s Alfie Night in Ottawa on November 11th, 2011. Click here for more details**

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