Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 3/4/13

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.”
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Auburn legend Bo Jackson using Heisman vote for Alabama star

Gronk: Tom Brady doesn't age, seems like he's in his 20s

Cam Newton says Greg Hardy was a 'great teammate'

Ohio State plans to end Mirror Lake jump tradition after death

WATCH: Jason Kidd ejected for swiping ball out of ref's hands

Brad Stevens: Celtics had 'real conversations' after loss to Hawks


Les Miles unsure about his future at LSU

Saban will not rule out Kenyan Drake for Iron Bowl

Andre Drummond responds to Khris Middleton saying he doesn’t like contact

Lacking Jazz: Why Utah’s offense has struggled this season

Magic to bench Victor Oladipo, start Channing Frye

10 unheralded NFL players set to make a major impact in Week 12

Brady: Few have more respect for Peyton Manning than me

WATCH: Marcus Foligno flips Carter Hutton

Blaine Gabbert was only person at his press conference

Report: Alabama DC Kirby Smart a front-runner for South Carolina job

Kristaps Porzingis really wants to meet Turtle from ‘Entourage’

Top storyline for each Week 12 NFL game

WATCH: Ref injures Yakupov's leg by pulling him down

Ryan Fitzpatrick shaves beard to ‘switch up the mojo’

Bedlam is bigger than ever, but which team will be better than ever?

5 outrageous predictions for Week 12 of the NFL season

How the Detroit Lions became the face of football on Thanksgiving Day

The 10 most disappointed fan bases of the 2015 college football season

Jimmy Butler wants Mason Plumlee to pay his $2,500 fine

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top storyline for each Week 12 NFL game

Top 10 matchups for Week 12 of the NFL season

The 10 most disappointed fan bases of the 2015 CFB season

Gronk: Takes mental toughness not to overeat on Thanksgiving

Blue Jays fans create website in effort to keep David Price

The five most overrated teams in the Week 13 coaches' poll

10 storylines for Week 13 of the college football season

Ranking the 10 best games of 2015 college football rivalry week

Examining the Mavericks' hot start

Johnny Bench(ed): Manziel demoted to third string

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker