Joe and Arthur

Joe and Artturi


Questions like this in passing: Who will win the Stanley Cup and why? Easy, right?

No, not really and, this year, some team leaders came, subtly or crudely, to mix the cards by carrying out late one or more transactions that could change the deal.

The dice are almost cast with five and a half weeks to go in the playoffs. The efforts of the teams who believe they are capable of winning the cup have been numerous and even astonishing.


Years Ago where these last-minute exchanges had little influence and were even wasteful. This was not the case last year and Joe Sakic's Avalanche made some good moves, including one in complicity with the Canadiens. Yes, a portion of the 2022 championship is part of Montreal.

The acquisition of Artturi Lehkonen against Justin Barron, a young prospect in addition to a second-round pick in 2024, was a good one. The Finn was a key element in winning the Stanley Cup and he is still a more important player than he has ever been before in his career. A very happy surprise for Colorado and a good investment for Canadians in reconstruction. A win-win.

Was Lehkonen misused in Montreal? Did he feel more comfortable in the Denver team? Regardless, this is the kind of transaction that may have made other general managers think this year, also encouraging them to move, not to skimp on sacrificing a young talent for an established player when you believe you are close to the goal. Lehkonen proved that it can be worth it.


Timo Meier (New Jersey), Patrick Kane and Vladimir Tarasenko (Rangers), Bo Horvat (Islanders), Dimitry Orlov and Tyler Bertuzzi (Boston) will not only be passengers.

In addition to the contribution on the ice of these good players, there is also the crucial message that their new general manager sends to his entourage, to his players, but also to the instructors and, above all, to the supporters. We're going for the real thing.

Last year in two weeks, Sakic had reshaped the image of his team and it was not just makeup. Josh Manson (Dave's son formerly of the Canadiens) and Andrew Cogliano acquired just before the deadline also improved the Avalanche instantly.

I still wonder if there is a link between the number of transactions that have taken place over the past three weeks and the initiatives of Sakic who, last year, already had aces like MacKinnon, Rantanen and Makar.

On the other hand, I would be very surprised if Evgenii Dadonov, even if he scored in his first game with the Stars, have the same impact in Dallas.

Come on, which teams have the best special teams? What is the best club at five against five? What formation has a goalkeeper capable of stealing matches? Where are the real money players? Where will playoff experience be most useful? Who will have gas in the tank until June? Which club is the most balanced?

We have a month and a half left before the big tournament. 

From the enclave  

    < li dir="auto">The next game for the Anciens Canadiens will take place on Saturday, May 6 at 7 p.m. at the Rousseau Center of Excellence in Boisbriand, where the Armada usually plays. Proceeds will go to the Montreal– Children's Hospital.
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Scott Mellanby

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Patrice Bergeron

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Joe and Artturi