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01-07-2004, 06:57 PM
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That setback - as demoralizing as they come considering the winning goal was scored after Jeff Hackett was bowled over in the crease - ended a seven-game road trip without a win for the Habs, giving them an unspectacular yet respectable 41 points in 41 games.

Last Sunday, a re-hauled and re-energized Canadiens team took to the ice for their 41st game of this season, a 4-1 win over the Capitals that gave the Habs 45 points, but also affirmed that they have made a complete u-turn from last season.

....Julien, meanwhile, has made a lot of difficult lineup decisions in the glare of the Montreal spotlight, and every one of them has worked out.

After much tinkering through the first quarter of the season, Julien seems to have settled on his top two lines, and they both feature new blood. Koivu is playing alongside Jan Bulis, who’s been held back for too long in a checking role, and Ryder, who hit the halfway mark of the season leading the league in rookie scoring. Ribeiro centers the second line with Dagenais, his old junior linemate, and Richard Zednik.

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