Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/19/14

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 18: Brandon Prust of the New York Rangers skates against the Colorado Avalanche at Madison Square Garden on October 18, 2010 in New York City. The Avalanche defeated the Rangers 3-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
BOSTON — The Montreal Canadiens haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1993, which is basically the equivalent of two lifetimes when you’re talking about hockey’s most successful franchises. While they may not be quite ready to end that drought this year, it’s clear that they’re certainly going in the right direction. It would appear that there is a bit of a change in philosophy in Montreal, however, and it’s paying off so far. The Canadiens, by and large, still play the same style of hockey. They continue to value fast forwards, and as they showed Sunday night in a resilient win over the Bruins, they still have a knack for scoring greasy, grimy goals. But there’s a little bit of an added edge to this Habs team. They’re never going to be able to go toe-to-toe with a team like the Bruins from the top of the roster to the bottom, but there’s some sandpaper in the bleu, blanc et rouge right now. We saw that Sunday night in a couple of ways. Montreal’s roster overhaul has been gradual, but a couple of recent additions seem to stand out. Take a guy like Brandon Prust for example. Prust came to Montreal this past offseason after spending three seasons with the Rangers playing a physical, defensive brand of hockey. He’s already turning into a leader of sorts for the Habs, and he didn’t waste any time proving that he would do whatever it would take to earn the backing of his teammates, like when he fought during his first shift with the club. He was at it again on Sunday night as well. Prust was able to get Milan Lucic to drop the gloves with him, and while he did take a pretty good beating from the Boston big guy, Prust took Lucic off the ice for five minutes in the process. He also blocked a couple of shots, registered three hits and played a very workman-like 14:39 for the Habs. His effort was not lost on his coach or his teammates, either. “What Brandon Prust did for this hockey team, I’ll call that great leadership,” head coach Michel Therrien said after the game. “I was going to make sure that players knew between the second period and third that we have to respond as team, and I thought we responded the right way.” “We were smart when it came time, but you look at Prusty, he did a great job stepping up for the team when things got out of hand there,” Montreal captain Brian Gionta said. Another important addition has been that of Brendan Gallagher. The rookie forward introduced himself to the rivalry in a big way on Sunday night. He picked up a pair of assists and was a plus-3. His contributions go beyond the stat sheet. In Gallagher, the Canadiens appear to have themselves a fearless player that isn’t afraid to go to the dirty areas of the ice. He’s not afraid to work for the puck and win puck battles. Those are usually the types of players who rise to the occasion when the lights shine brightest, and he did that Sunday night at the Garden. “It’s a type of game I enjoy playing in,” Gallagher said. “As a team I think we enjoy that style of game, we knew the way Boston plays and in this building where we are hated, it’s fun. That’s kind of what hockey is all about. For us to come in here and get two points to kick off our road trip like that, it’s going to be good for us.” The Canadiens have appeared to find a pretty dynamic line combination that works, too. Gallagher skated alongside Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais, and that trio wreaked havoc on the Bruins all night long. Make no mistake that Sunday’s win could very well end up meaning more than two points for the Canadiens. They have shown so far this season that they can hang with the Eastern Conference’s elite teams, and they show no signs of going away any time soon. With a little added grit and toughness, the Habs may be gearing up for a deep postseason run. And you know what? Toughness isn’t always dropping the gloves and sticking up for your teammates like Zdeno Chara did. Sometimes, you can measure toughness in other ways, like coming back in the third period on the road like the Habs did Sunday night. “We came in confident this year,” Prust said. “We have been jelling together and playing hard. We have confidence and we have a swagger, and I think that’s what you need. You need to have that confidence that you are going to come in here and win every night. We have been doing that for most of this season.”
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Bears to bench Jay Cutler, start Jimmy Clausen

Wes Welker once pulled funny UGG prank on Tom Brady

Wil Myers heads to Padres in 11-player, 3-team trade

Bo Pelini calls Nebraska AD a ‘c–t’ and ‘p-ssy’

49ers release Ray McDonald

Take your pick: Colin Kaepernick or Derek Carr

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Reports: Michigan makes huge offer to Harbaugh

Heat lose a key player with McRoberts out for rest of season

Belichick: Ryan is 'buttering me up' with Hall of Fame praise

Marshall: Bears need to gel and do some kumbaya

Red Sox appear content with rotation despite lack of true ace

Iguodala gets technical for mocking Conley travel

Report: Celtics in serious trade talks involving Rondo

WATCH: Brandon Jennings makes mind-boggling play

WATCH: Drake intros Raptors on 'Drake Night'

Brian Billick owns Browns fan over Johnny Manziel criticism

WATCH: Did Flyers' Giroux wipe boogers on linesman’s back?

Royals sign Edinson Volquez to 2-year deal

12 candidates to replace Paul Chryst at Pitt

Brad Halsey claimed he was on cocaine for Bonds record HR

Wade Miley confident in health, diet after trade from D-Backs

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson lead in 2014 athlete Google searches

Max Scherzer next domino to fall in free agent market

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Brian Billick owns Browns fan

C's in serious trade talks about Rondo

Pelini has profane words for Nebraska AD

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Four can't-miss match-ups in NFL's Week 16

RG3 quits social media for season

Each NFL division’s MVP

Five NFLers who must step up in Week 16

Most impressive college hoops teams

Five reasons why FSU is going to win the CFB Playoff

Boxer admits to dive in Rourke bout

FCC heard about Brady's swearing?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.