However, the team that took to the ice Tuesday night is a much better team than the one that skated off the ice of the Bell Center last April.
The difference so far with this year's team compared to last year's team can be summed up in one word: hustle.
This just might be the most dangerous offense that the Habs have had in the past few years. Another word could also be used: consistency. No obviously we're only three games into the season, but the best players in the first three games have consistently been the top players.
Could the same have been said about last year's team?
Not a chance. Kovalev being the presumed "top" player, can anyone remember when he was outstanding for at least three games in a row? All of the Canadiens top guns in past years have been maddeningly inconsistent.
Mike Cammalleri, Scott Gomez, and Brian Gionta have brought a consistent effort through the first three games of the season. While the new players are looking great, one of the most notable players that has shown promise is Tomas Plekanec.
Many people were ready to give up on the Czech forward last season, but his strong play throughout training camp and the beginning of the season bodes well for this year.
Carey Price has also been outstanding, shutting the door in two games that the Habs really didn't deserve to win. Jaroslav Halak was shaky in his start against Calgary. Price will start against Vancouver tonight.
Team toughness is notably improved, as there have already been five fights.
While the defense is still a work in progress, all points to a successful season in Montreal this year.