Montreal Finally Finding Consistency

The Montreal Canadiens blew away the Carolina Hurricanes with a huge 7-2 victory at The Bell Centre. Despite giving up a two-goal lead, the Habs showed commitment and passion as they rallied to a huge win.

Tomas Plekanec picked up four points, while Maxim Lapierre and Mathieu Darche joined regular scorers Brian Gionta and Mike Cammalleri to seal the impressive win.

This isn’t the first time the Canadiens have impressed this season. The Habs are finally starting to find something they haven’t enjoyed since the 2007-08 season – consistency.

Last season, Montreal managed to grind out wins, but they couldn’t keep it up all season. Consistency is much more than simply stringing together a few wins. It requires solid hockey all over the ice, and reason to believe it can continue.

On paper, the Canadiens should be languishing near the foot of the standings, but instead lead the Northeast Division. Although the season is still relatively young, Habs coach Jacques Martin will have reason to believe his team can continue to succeed.

Solid Goaltender

It’s difficult to talk about the Canadiens without mentioning Carey Price. After struggling in the spotlight in previous seasons, he has picked up his game dramatically following the trade of Jaroslav Halak to St. Louis, and has emerged as one of the league’s most consistent netminders.

Inspiring Captain

Although the Habs enjoyed a successful playoff campaign last year, they certainly missed a leader. Gionta was named captain over the summer, and he has certainly impacted the Canadiens’ good start to the season.

During tonight’s win against Carolina, the Habs conceded two quick goals, and looked on the backfoot. However, it was Gionta who picked his teammates up and dragged them back into the game with the game-winning goal.

Consistent Playmaker

Last season was clearly not a fluke for Plekanec. The Czech star racked up 25 goals and 45 assists last time out, and is already showing he can do it again. Already this year, Plekanec has 18 points, and opened the scoring against Carolina.

Promising Prospect

Young and inexperienced players certainly have an important role in the NHL. Not only do they ooze raw talent, but they excite the fans and rally the rest of their team. Montreal’s biggest prospect is defenceman P.K. Subban. The youngster scored his first NHL regular season goal against Boston on Thursday, not to mention picking up eight points during last season’s playoffs.

Montreal have something special in Subban. He is clearly a very talented player, but he stands apart from other prospects due to his attitude and confidence. Subban isn’t afraid of the NHL, and appears to be really enjoying every second he is on the ice.

Strength In Depth

Gone are the days when Montreal relied on Georges Laraque to stir up his teammates. In fact, Laraque was seen as so disruptive that his contract was axed mid-season last year. The Habs now have a group of players who rotate between the third and forth lines, and they have all shown their worth this season.

Lapierre is not the most popular of players outside of Montreal. He is often accused of diving and being lazy, but he has found an extra gear this season as his work-rate is incredibly high and he even has two goals to show for his hard work. Lapierre’s second strike came against Carolina, as he put the Canadiens up 4-2, with a delightful spinorama.

Hope

Last season proved Montreal can compete with the top teams in the NHL. Not since the days of Alex Kovalev and Mark Streit have the Canadiens believed they can be successful in the regular season.

It is still extremely early in the season to assume the Canadiens will still be in a strong position in a few months or even a few weeks. However, everything is in working order in Montreal, and the potential is there to surprise a lot of people this season.
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