The Montreal Canadiens won their division last season but by the slimmest of margins. Unfortunately for the Habs, their stellar season was in a tailspin going into the playoffs and they got a 1st round team in the Ottawa Senators which were fairly hot going into the playoffs. Not much was expected from the Habs last year after tanking the season before. Now the team seems to have a culture of winning with general manager Marc Bergevin putting together a winning team and adding Michel Therien as the coach.
Well the team previously had a horrible general manager that was arrogant and was replaced with Bergevin who has earned a reputation of being a hard worker and winning. They got rid of cry baby Erik Cole who complained the whole time during the lockout and seemed to lose the respect of his teammates. He was traded for former Habs player Michael Ryder who had a decent season. The Habs enjoyed a healthy Andrei Markov which was a rare site.
Habs signed PK Subban to a 2 year deal and he proved he was worth the money he was asking for and after winning the Norris trophy, he will probably get it and now the ball is back in his court.
Rookies Gallagher and Galchenyuk
Last season they had 2 impressive rookies Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk. Both were young and cracked the linedup and produced throughout the season. Both were Calder candidates and with confidence under their belt, more is expected from both of them.
Brendan Prust was a key acquisition last season as well and proved to be well worth his salary. Prust left a strong New York Rangers team and without him, they seemed to plummet down the conference standings while the Habs rocketed to the top.
This season more is expected from the Habs. With the Olympics on the horizon, some players might have extra focus this season especially Carey Price who wants to suit up for team Canada and show that the pressure of playing in Montreal has hardened him to be the go to guy for Canada.
It seems the team has what it takes to go to the next level and the benchmark for this new season will be to get past the first round of playoffs.