A miserable 2011-12 season left the Montreal Canadiens with nowhere to go but up. And up they went – way up.
Some expected the Habs to finish out of the playoffs while others had them fighting for the bottom playoff seeds. But a Northeast Division title? Battling with the Pittsburgh Penguins for tops in the Eastern Conference? Not a chance.
Rookie general manager Marc Bergevin has looked more like an astute veteran at the team’s helm and, along with head coach Michel Therrien, seems to be pushing all the right buttons.
Therrien, a questionable move in many eyes at the time, has coached his way to a likely Jack Adams Trophy nomination. Keeping Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher has given the Canadiens depth unseen in many years.
Room for the rookies was made possible by keeping Scott Gomez at home at the start of training camp before using the accelerated buyout. Then, Bergevin cleared more cap space by dealing Erik Cole to Dallas in return for Michael Ryder and a third round pick in this year’s draft.
Add to that his standing firm on a bridge contract for P.K. Subban.
It’s been a pretty memorable regular season for the Canadiens, a few in particular.