MONTREAL (AP) As Montreal embarks on a season laced with expectations, most around the NHL are confused by just what this bunch is.
Are the Canadiens the team that won 13 of their first 20 games on their way to the franchise's 22nd division title last season, and first since 2007-08? Or are they the team that lost six of their last 10 regular-season games and were eliminated from the playoffs in five games by the Ottawa Senators?
The talent is certainly still in place, but the trek will be tough. Montreal, in the reconfigured NHL, is in the difficult Atlantic Division with the likes of Boston, Ottawa, Toronto and Detroit. All of those teams made the playoffs last season, and the Bruins advanced to the Stanley Cup finals.
Montreal opens vs. Toronto on Oct. 1.