The Montreal Canadiens put on a show in their final game of the 2021-22 season, scoring 10 goals in a rout of the Florida Panthers. It was definitely not the same configuration of those Panthers that bested every team in the Eastern Conference this season, but still an impressive result for the team that finished dead last.
And as the Bell Centre faithful honoured the past with a Guy chant following the 10th goal, the future was on full display through Cole Caufield’s first career hat trick.
If any doubt remained that he is the future of the Montreal Canadiens, he erased it with those three goals on Friday night. The second of those three was perhaps the most impressive, coming via an absurd display of skill.
There must be an alternate universe where he wins the Calder. The pace he has been on since Martin St-Louis took over the bench would have put him in that conversation, and many fans are feeling somewhat robbed of that pleasure after seeing his 180 following the coaching change.
I made a point this year of choosing a silver lining from every loss, of which there were many. After the change behind the bench, I can’t even recall how many times I chose him for that feature. His turnaround is maybe the best possible silver lining to the entire season, as he has proven that his position as the future of this team is as secure as it was believed to be before the season began.
Now with the best odds in the draft lottery, the task is to build around what he brings.
Click the play button below to listen to your full Bottom Six Minutes, also available on your podcast platform of choice. I hope you’ve all enjoyed the ride in this nightmare of a season, and we will return with the BSM in 2022-23 with hope that better things are to come from the Habs.
Cole Caufield doing what Cole Caufield does
12 seconds later and Cole Caufield makes it three goals on three shots for the Habs! pic.twitter.com/z2KiezX8oF— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) April 29, 2022
Carey Price looking more than fit