They were the worst team in the Eastern Conference last year, or at least that's what the NHL standings said.
The Montreal Canadiens, the team with the most glorious history in the NHL, could not get out of their own way.
They struggled to put the puck in the net. They went through multiple coaches. The front office did not have a workable plan.
But the start of the 2013 season has shown that the Canadiens are a much-improved team. They are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference and they have a team that opponents must prepare for fully if they are going to survive.
This was a team that made the playoffs in 2010-11 and pushed the eventual Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins to overtime of the seventh game.
The 2013 Canadiens are much closer to that team than the 2011-12 team that regularly fell apart.
The Canadiens will make the playoffs this year and here's why: