Top 5 Reasons the Montreal Canadiens Will Be Better in 2013-14

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Top 5 Reasons the Montreal Canadiens Will Be Better in 2013-14
Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images
Montreal Canadiens Jarred Tinordi (left) and Peter Budaj and Ottawa Senator Zack Smith watch as a puck gets directed at the Habs' net.

There’s no denying that things will be tougher for the 2013-14 Montreal Canadiens than they were this past season.

For starters, after an incredibly successful 2013 regular season, during which they won the Northeast Division and exceeded all expectations after finishing last in the conference the previous year, they will be unable to take anyone by surprise anymore.

Secondly, 2013 comprised just 48 games because of the lockout, with the Habs beginning to tailspin at the end. In 2013-14, they’ll be playing a full 82 games, meaning they’ll have to hold it together for much longer.

Finally, they’re welcoming new teams into their division in the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Detroit Red Wings. While the general consensus is the former two are pushovers, the Habs really haven’t had that much success against either (34-34-6 against Florida, 39-35-6 against Tampa). Detroit is, meanwhile, a perennial contender against whom the Habs will no doubt have their hands full.

All that being said, there is good news. Here are the top five reasons the Habs will be up to the challenge:

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