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09-10 Playoffs: Eighth seed, Eastern Conference. Eliminated by Philadelphia in five games (Conference Final)
This season: 13-6-1 (27 points), First place, Northeast Division
When you trade away the best goaltender in last season's playoffs—and the only reason the team upset Washington and Pittsburgh—a trip down the standings and into mediocrity may be in order.
Tell that to Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens.
Price has been remarkable this season and, for now, has made Les Habitants faithful forget about Jaroslav Halak. Montreal has allowed a second-fewest 39 goals against in their first 20 games.
Goaltending won't be the reason the Habs lose games this year. Lack of scoring will be. The team needs stronger outputs from Mike Cammalleri, Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta, who are off to slow starts with 14, six and 11 points respectively.
What is most impressive about the Canadiens accomplishments so far is the fact they have been without Andrei Markov for most of the season, and for the most part going forward. A small descent back to earth by Carey Price should be expected, but for now, it looks like the division belongs to Montreal or Boston.