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newsletter - Canadiens Nation
February 28, 2013
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What would your reaction have been if on April 7th of last year, someone had told you the Canadiens would be sitting atop the Eastern Conference at some point in 2012-13?
Following a massive overhaul of the team’s front office and coaching staff, as well as a few key additions on the ice, what a few months ago might have seemed like a far-fetched fantasy has quickly become a happy reality for Habs fans as the team nears the midway point of their campaign.
After closing out 2011-12 in the NHL’s basement, ranked 27th overall, the Habs have stormed back, jumping up a remarkable 24 spots from last year’s finish to establish themselves in third place in the league after 20 games so far this season. The move represents the biggest comeback of any team in the NHL this year, with the Anaheim Ducks ranking a close second after jumping 22 spots in the standings.
To get a glimpse of the last time the team was ranked this high for an extended period, Habs fans would have to look back to 2007-08 when the Canadiens picked up a total of 104 points in 82 games to finish first in the Eastern Conference.
The current success players and fans have been enjoying can be seen in a few important stats that tell the tale of the team’s performance to date. Firstly, Carey Price has been dominant between the pipes and his goals-against average of 1.90 is fourth-best in the league among goalies that have played 10 or more games. He also checks in as the first NHL netminder this year to have registered 11 victories.
Offensively, the additions of rookies Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk has played a big part in the team’s success with both players making a splash early in their NHL careers. The talented, upstart forwards find themselves among the most productive rookies in the league this season and rank first and second with a plus-9 and plus-7 differential, respectively.
In addition to the strong performances turned in by Canadiens’ goaltenders, Michel Therrien’s defensive corps has also been quick to answer the call in 2012-13. The Habs currently rank third in the NHL for goals allowed, with an average of 2.05 per game. The team has also blocked a total of 287 shots, 171 of which have come on home ice to place them first in the league in that category.
While all of these points have clearly been major keys in the Canadiens’ success this season, the biggest of all is undoubtedly the “team first” mantra that the newest incarnation of the Habs has adopted, heart-and-soul, since the start of the 2012-13 campaign. With a positive outlook firmly in place, good results have followed.
The newest edition of CANADIENS magazine featuring Carey Price hits newsstands this Friday. In addition to Pricey, fans will also be able to get a look at the many faces of Colby Armstrong, Josh Gorges doing what he does best, and Brandon Prust’s pugilistic mastery. Click here for info on how to subscribe to CANADIENS magazine. Ever wonder who’s hiding in the Youppi! costume? Nobody, of course! As we all know, Youppi! is as real as they come. On the other hand, for kids who want to try their hand at stepping into the famous mascot’s shoes, the chance to wear the Mini Youppi! costume is now available through a new contest that can be entered via the Canadiens Fan Club. In addition to spending an hour in the Mini Youppi! suit, your child (and you!) can also attend a Habs game. Click here for details. News, videos, stats and a whole lot more are all available for your handheld enjoyment on the Canadiens mobile app. Ready for download on iPhone, Android and Blackberry, the Canadiens app keeps you plugged into everything involving your favorite team, no matter where your day takes you. For more details, click here. On March 13, when the Montreal Canadiens will be hosting the Ottawa Senators at the Bell Centre, the Foundation will be seeking the generous support of all fans to help carry on its mission. The event will be broadcast simultaneously on 98.5 fm, RDS and TSN Radio 690. Members of the Canadiens Alumni, player spouses and other celebrities will be on hand to take your pledges over the phone. Details here.
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