(Dallas) The Canadian will start his year with the intention of ending his trip well.

Except for a brief return home for Christmas, the members of the CH have been gone since December 17. Since that date, they have played six games on enemy ice and have collected 5 points out of a possible 12, including three defeats in a row, the last of which, on December 31 against the Lightning in Tampa, by a score of 4 -3.

It is often at this point in the calendar that NHL clubs get down to business, and according to Josh Anderson, the Canadian is still in the game in this regard.

“All the games get huge from now on,” the 29-year-old forward said in Tampa on Sunday night. We just lost three in a row, so the next game is important. But we know that we still have a lot of matches to play. We are almost halfway through the calendar and we know how important what is coming is to us. »

For now, what’s coming up is a meeting Tuesday evening with the Stars in Dallas, after which the members of the Montreal club will be able to return home to play five of their next six games in the comfort of the Bell Center.

Despite this 15-16-5 record, the Canadiens players are still clinging to hope, according to Samuel Montembeault.

Even if the Canadian begins this end of the trip and this start of 2024 with a 13th place in the Eastern Conference standings, with a delay of six points on the last place available for the playoffs, Martin St-Louis continues to believe that there is not much missing to allow his team to win these important matches, which can make the difference towards the end of the season.

Thus, following the last games in Florida, he often repeated that his gang “was there”, in reference to a team which, in his eyes, remains competitive night after night, or almost.

A bit like their coach.

“It’s been three games in a row that we’ve been playing against good teams, and each time, we’re there,” insisted Martin St-Louis before the late evening flight Sunday towards Texas. “We have to continue like this. »

It remains to be seen if the Canadian will be able to cling to hope a little longer. The last three games were lost to Carolina, Sunrise and Tampa by a combined score of 13-7, and as of January 1, this team’s leading scorer was 53rd in the National Hockey League.

It turns out that Nick Suzuki, the player in question, is one of those who continues to believe in it.

“Because I think we played well during this trip,” explained the captain. We haven’t been able to pick up any wins recently, but we played well. So I hope there will be a good response from us in Dallas. »