Ultimate Standings: Montreal Canadiens hold steady in rankings

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Montreal Canadiens

Overall: 54
Title track: 42
Ownership: 20
Coaching: 86
Players: 61
Fan relations: 45
Affordability: 108
Stadium experience: 42
Bang for the buck: 51
Change from last year: +1

Since finishing 111th in 2011, the Canadiens have steadily ascended our standings, sitting in the top half of all franchises for the past four years. It doesn't hurt that on the ice the team has made the playoffs for three consecutive seasons, finishing with 100 points or more in each of the past two campaigns -- the first time the Habs have repeated triple-digit totals since 1989. Now if the team can take one more step in the playoffs, its star will continue to rise.

What's good

Hockey's most storied franchise continues to climb under owner Geoff Molson, the bilingual beer heir who (along with his two brothers) bought a majority stake in 2009. Molson rebuilt the organization as CEO, and the Montreal native clearly has his finger on the pulse of the rabid Habs fan base as evidenced by his involvement in the long-term signing of P.K. Subban after the superstar defenseman and GM Marc Bergevin hit an impasse last summer. So even if a second-round playoff loss in 2015 helped drop the Canadiens' title track ranking by three spots from last season, Molson's shrewd stewardship and the club's steady rise in the standings easily explain the deserved ownership jump of 22.

What's bad

Although the Habs won the last of their record 24 Stanley Cups way back in 1993, they remain the undisputed kings of the Montreal sports scene. The city hasn't had a second rep in the big four leagues since the Expos skipped town over a decade ago, and anyway, hockey is always the hottest ticket in this town. So bonne chance finding a seat at the $73.67 face value. Parking and concessions aren't getting cheaper either, with affordability slipping eight spots to 108th.

What's new

The most scrutinized man in Montreal is the one working behind the Canadiens bench. Michel Therrien, entering his fourth year at the Habs helm, will be under the microscope more than ever this season. Despite making the playoffs in each of his first three years in charge, Therrien was roundly blamed by fans for last season's early playoff exit. That's reflected in the standings with a 19-spot free fall in coaching -- the Canadiens' biggest drop. (Of course, after going down 0-3 and being outscored 10-4 to start the series, the Habs' comeback to take the second-round matchup to six games was no small feat.)

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