I'd say last years' team, based on me seeing them producing further away from what I would expect. I guess this team is still over performing in my opinion at the moment (not that I'm complaining) but they're not playing THAT much better than they should be. This is a solid team, guys.
If not for last year, this year's team would have been expected to be in the 5th to 8th range "on paper". The fact that they finished 15th had all the "experts" predicting only a slight improvement, not considering they were 8th or 9th halfway through last year...lost key guys and depth guys like Gionta Markov Moen White for extended periods. Bourque arrived at less than 100%. Diaz and Emelin were rookies. Cunneyworth had no real system.
I didn't answer the poll because there wasn't a neither option. Last year we ran a bad system with a bad coach and a bad team. This year we are having success because of a strong system with a new coach and a significantly better roster.
Every analyst, including ones usually harsh and negative on the Canadiens said last year the team played underneath their level and expected their record to improve, though only a few would say they were a playoff team.
A little bit of both. I don't think the habs were as bad on paper as they were on the ice last year (thank you Conneyworth for Galchenyuk !) and I believe they are overachieving by a lot right now, I mean first in the East... maybe a playoffs team, but first... I hope, but don't think it will last.
Last year the Habs were Martin's team and Martin's system did not work. It was idiocy to expect a smallish team to play a system that requires big bodies. Plus, Martin is not known as a motivator, especially with younger players.
This year, Therrien brings an entirely new aggressive system that is suited for the players on the roster. Therrien also has shown that he trusts younger players and is doing a very good job with their on the ice development.
Personally I feel as if last year was the biggest fluke. Over the last Seven years we have made it to the playoffs SIX times! No we where never on top like this and no we where not usually in the top Three. Going from playoff team to bottom feeder that quickly was born from consistent injuries, poor coaching and terrible 3rds and OT's. We are not a total fluke but not total genius.
No I was reading something on awinninghabit.com about how well Montreal shuts down the middle of the ice defensively. Combine that with probably the second best goalie in the league and you should win a lot. Also that PP isn't shabby either