The Montreal Canadiens have been one of the biggest surprise stories in the past two seasons. After picking third overall in the 2012 draft, the Canadiens hired GM Marc Bergevin, who turned the team around so quickly that they won their division last season before bowing out in the first round of the NHL playoffs. This season, the team went even deeper, falling just two wins short of the Stanley Cup Finals after their starting goaltender fell to injury in the Eastern Conference Finals.
With so much success in just two years on the job, you’d think Montreal Bergevin would be ready to do a little tap dance. Instead, he is already looking to find what this team needs to get over the hump. According to a report on TSN.com, he’s already identified one area of needed improvement.
“I thought our young players learned a lot,” he said. “What they learned over the last 17 playoff games is something you can’t buy. We’re a good team with a young core, but we’re not a mature team yet. I’m happy with our season, but there’s still work to do.”
It’s interesting that he uses the word mature above all others to describe this team. Or rather, he points out its lack of maturity. While the team is young, they were anchored by veterans like Brian Gionta, Josh Gorges and even goaltender Carey Price. They were certainly mature enough to handle the Boston Bruins in a seven game series as well.
All that said, the Canadiens were simply not prepared for the New York Rangers in the final round out East, and that’s where Bergevin’s words ring true. The Rangers were loaded with hardened, experienced players who simply would not take no for an answer. That’s the attitude the Habs will need in future years if they’re going to return to their place from this year and perhaps even improve on their finish. Maturity may be an issue, but it won’t be a long standing one. If this team can take similar leaps in the next two years as they have the last two, there could be a few long seasons ahead for the division mates of the Montreal Canadiens.