The Hockey News’s annual Yearbook is on newstands now and the magazine is predicting that the Canadiens will finish in 13th place in the Eastern Conference and miss the playoffs again.
THN predicts that Pittsburgh will finish first in the Eastern Conference, followed by Boston, Washington, the New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Buffalo and Ottawa as the eight playoff teams.
In the Western Conference it’s St. Louis, followed by Vancouver, Los Angeles, Chicago, Minnesota, San Jose, Detroit and Nashville.
In the Stanley Cup final, THN predicts Vancouver will beat Pittsburgh
THN also has its annual list of the Top 50 Players in the NHL in its Yearbook, and Max Pacioretty was the only Canadien to make it, coming in at No. 44.
Pacioretty is coming off a season in which he led the Canadiens in scoring with 33-32-65 totals and won the Masterton Trophy for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
“He responded to a devastating injury by being more robust and scoring 33 goals,” THN writes.
Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin was No. 1 on the THN list. Others making the top 10, in order, were: Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos, Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux, Los Angeles’s Jonathan Quick and Drew Doughty, Minnesota’s Zach Parise, L.A.’s Anze Kopitar, Boston’s Zdeno Chara and the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist.