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‘Things have started to come around,’ says Julien, with Habs suddenly surging

Canadiens Coyotes Hockey

Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24), left wing Max Pacioretty (67), and defenseman Andrei Markov (79) celebrate a goal by Alexander Radulov against the Arizona Coyotes during the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. The Canadiens defeated the Coyotes 5-4 in overtime. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)


Are the Montreal Canadiens turning the page here?

It wasn’t that long ago the Habs were badly slumping with seven straight losses and issues scoring goals. General manager Marc Bergevin was on the hot seat. That was last week.

Since then, the Habs have won three of their last four games, as they look to move up the Eastern Conference standings. In addition to getting some positive results and points, they’ve scored a pile of goals in the last seven days.

Montreal has scored a combined 18 goals over those three wins, with the latest offensive outburst occurring Monday when they put up an eight-spot on the Ottawa Senators. Certainly not Erik Karlsson’s finest night, as the Senators star defenseman was a minus-six in that contest.

“I think it’s about confidence in execution. When things are going well, confidence takes over and everything we’ve been working on falls into place and the guys gain confidence. We’re hoping to build on that success,” said Canadiens head coach Claude Julien. “Things have started to come around now. Confidence comes with seeing things go the right way. That makes a big difference for us.”

Further to the Habs shedding their earlier struggles -- well, at least for now -- is the fact that previously slumping skilled forwards Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk, who was banished to the fourth line only a short time ago, have come around, finding their scoring touch of late, with three goals each over this recent four-game stretch.

Yes, good times right now for the Habs. They’re not out of the woods just yet, as they sit 15th in the East, ahead of only the Buffalo Sabres. And they’ll be in tough to sustain the lofty 4.5 goals-for per game average they’re currently posting through this stretch.

In the midst of a four-game road trip, the Habs face the Minnesota Wild tonight, before playing the Jets on Saturday and the Blackhawks on Sunday.


Cam Tucker is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @CamTucker_Sport.