Really. Who the heck are these guys? You tell me. It’s almost the same team as last year’s cellar-dwellers and here they are 6-and-2 after their first eight games.

Really. Who predicted that? I don’t remember seeing any of the sports scribes calling that one prior to the first puck-drop of the season.

So clearly a wee management change makes a difference. Clearly Randy ‘Parley-vous’ Cunneyworth wasn’t quite the modern incarnation of Toe Blake we imagined he was.

So yeah the new coach, Michel Therrien, is a plus. Having a sane man – that would be the dapper fellow Marc Bergevin – running the Habs shop is another plus.

But that’s not enough of an explanation. Well fact is it isn’t the same team. There is a whole new line for one thing. That would be the Brendan/Brandon line of Gallagher/Prust/Galchenyuk. Alex Galchenyuk, who’s just 18 and isn’t even really supposed to be in the NHL, has a goal and six assists after eight games, and he looks quite simply astonishing at least two or three times a night. Brendan Gallagher – with three goals and two assists – is a relative oldster at 20 and you gotta just love this little guy – five-foot-nine/163-pounds – crashiing the net in fearless fashion. And then there’s Brandon Prust who’s ready to rough up anyone who touches his speedy, talented line-mates. But he can actually play hockey too, something we haven’t seen in a Habs tough guy in some time (yes that is a shot at Georges Laraque).

But just as important is the stellar play of Carey Price between the pipes. Longtime readers of this blog know I have had my Price issues – #Halak (that joke is for Marc-Andre Grondin) – but I am man enough to concede that Pricey has been pretty darn good this season. He’s 6-1, has a save percentage of .938 and GAA of 1.70. Hard to argue with those numbers.

You also have a healthy Andrei Markov looking like a superstar – or a dandy, if you’re to believe Bob ‘What Century Is This?’ Cole – and P.K. Subban back in the line-up looking just fine after only two games.

I was maybe most impressed by Sunday’s 2-1 victory over the Senators. That was a hard-fought game against a good team. Martin McGuire on 98.5 called it “Un match pour hommes” and he was right. And the Habs held on to take the two points (and the four points from Super Bowl weekend).

But now comes the toughest test of this young season – their first bout with the dreaded Bruins, a must-see game coming Wednesday night at the Bell Centre. As Bob (not Eric) Cole might say – Oh baby!


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