Remember all of that talk about the Montreal Canadiens being fragile?
It was there, just over a week ago, even after a blockbuster bye week coaching change that brought Claude Julien back behind the bench. And it’s understandable, too, especially after what occurred last season in Montreal.
In less than 10 days, the once-reeling Habs have suddenly sparked a five-game winning streak that culminated with a 4-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Saturday. Previously during this run, the Canadiens had managed to get by on one-goal games, needing overtime and the shootout.
But not at Madison Square Garden.
They beat Henrik Lundqvist for four goals, taking a three-goal lead after 40 minutes — a 40 minutes in which the Canadiens controlled most of the play. And they continued that into the third period, even when the Rangers seemed to gain a little bit of life with the Chris Kreider goal.
Montreal is now 6-2 under Julien.
It’s also worth noting that Carey Price seems to have returned to his brick-wall kind of ways in net. Remember, he endured a prolonged personal slump, with a save percentage at one point from Dec. 1 sitting at .898. That’s a staggering number for a goalie of Price’s caliber.
In his last seven games, he hasn’t allowed more than two goals in a single start. That includes a tidy 26-save performance versus the Rangers. (Habs fans certainly had to be on edge when Price and Rick Nash collided earlier in the game.)
The Habs maintain their six-point lead on the Senators for first place in the Atlantic Division. Ottawa still has three games in hand.