Every year the Montreal Canadiens embark on the dreaded trip across western Canada. While playing the Winnipeg Jets has been a recent addition to the trip, it traditionally consists of playing Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton over the space of four to five days with one back-to-back game generally included. Fans dread the trip because it is seen as a trip of struggle for the Habs. Is it?
Recent history says no. Over the past six years and five complete seasons (2009-2010/2014-2015) the Canadiens have seven wins and eight losses over 15 games.
While not a sparkling record by any means, it is not nearly as bad as many people will lead you to believe. There have been some duds of games on the annual trip, there has also been some memorable moments that have helped the Canadiens become the team they are today.
The Habs' worst trip into western Canada occurred in 2009-2010, when they lost all three games and were outscored 13-7 overall. The next season the Habs won one game, but were still outscored 10-4.
The 2011-2012 season brought renewed luck to the team as they won two of the three games and outscored their opponents 13-7.
In 2012-2013 the Canadiens were not able to go west because of the lockout stopping crossover games. Instead they resumed their western shenanigans in 2013-2014, when they once again won two games, but managed to outscore their opponents 10-4.
Finally, last season was another two win trip for the Habs, although their western counterparts managed to outscore them 6-5.
While away in the west, the Habs have also had some major moments. Max Pacioretty hit 30 goals for the first time in his career against the Edmonton Oilers; one year to the day that his C-4 vertebrae was fractured by Zdeno Chara.
That same trip also featured the return of Andrei Markov after nearly two years out of hockey with two torn ACLs, and other various knee issues. His first night back was a magical game on Hockey Night in Canada, when he showed his love of PK Subban by leaping into his arms after the latter scored.
The Canadiens have not had any other moments quite as big as those two, but in the 2013-2014 season Lars Eller did score the weirdest goal possible on Roberto Luongo as he was not even on the ice when the puck went in the net.
While the western Canadian road trip has not necessarily been great for the Montreal Canadiens over the past five full seasons, it has also not been as bad for them as some would have you believe, and there's really no reason to fear the trip anymore, at least not according to recent history.