After 13 games, the Montreal Canadiens aren’t showing any signs of slowing down which fits how the team has responded from poor seasons over the years.
“We want to respond well and bounce back from the poor season we had last year.” How many times have fans of NHL teams heard a player or member of the coaching staff use that line ahead of or during training camp. It’s a go-to saying and one to instil hope that whatever poor things happened in the past weren’t going to repeat itself and the Montreal Canadiens weren’t afraid to use it this past September.
But sometimes a line is exactly what it is. The team needs to go on the ice and prove there have been changes in the roster that can show any signs of hope for a more positive ending. Otherwise, you end up like the Buffalo Sabres or Arizona Coyotes who have had consecutive years of failure.
That may be a little uncalled for considering what Habs fans just went through. However, over the last 20 years, the Montreal Canadiens have generally stood by that quote.
It starts back in 1998 when Alain Vigneault was the head coach. The Habs only made the playoffs once in his tenure leading him to get the pink slip 20 games into the 2000/01 season triggering the beginning of the Michel Therrien era in Montreal. The team, however, couldn’t turn things around and failed to make the post-season again after finishing with a 28-40-8-6 record.