5 Reasons the Montreal Canadiens Are Suddenly Eastern Conference Contenders

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5 Reasons the Montreal Canadiens Are Suddenly Eastern Conference Contenders
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

You wouldn’t know it to look at them, decisive losers of two straight since the 2014 trade deadline came and went, but the Montreal Canadiens are now legitimate Eastern Conference contenders.

Of course, with those two losses coming against the Phoenix Coyotes and the San Jose Sharks, the key to the above statement is the “Eastern Conference” part.

Even in the wake of those two losses (5-2 against Phoenix and 4-0 against San Jose), it’s hard to dismiss the Habs’ acquisition of Thomas Vanek as anything but a major coup as they try to solidify one of the Atlantic Division’s top three playoff berths.

With the addition, Montreal may even end up with one of the top three records in the East overall, prompting the question, “Just what defines a contender?”

Here are the top five reasons the Habs are just that in the East.

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