Can you imagine the smile Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin must have had on his face when he woke up Wednesday morning and looked at the NHL standings?
How about coach Michel Therrien?
After finishing last in the Eastern Conference last season, the new-look Canadiens – in a rebuilding phase led by Bergevin – were sitting in first place after Tuesday night’s 3-1 win over the Rangers in New York with an 11-4-1 record. It was the fifth straight win for the Habs.
After 16 games last season, the Canadiens had a 7-7-2 record.
One person who didn’t like Tuesday’s game was Rangers coach John Tortorella.
“Two bad teams playing and we were worse than they were,” Tortorella said during his brief postgame press conference. “Pretty much sums it up, huh?”
Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist told the New York Post: “They play it extremely boring. They’re a smart team. They didn’t give up much and they were just waiting for mistakes.”
It might not have been pretty, but it worked.
Therrien gave his team the day off Wednesday. The Canadiens will have their morning skate Thursday at 10:30 a.m. in Brossard before taking on the New York Islanders Thursday night at the Bell Centre (7:30 p.m., RDS, TSN-HABS, TSN 690 Radio). The Rangers will visit the Bell Centre Saturday night.
In other NHL news, the Buffalo Sabres fired head coach Lindy Ruff Wednesday after the team got off to a 6-10-1 start.
(Photo by Dave Sidaway/The Gazette)