The Canadiens went from worst to second in the East last season, only to underachieve against the Senators in the first round of the playoffs ... In general manager Marc Bergevin's second year, can they continue to improve in an 82-game schedule as opposed to the 48-game spring last winter? ... The two big off-season additions were Daniel Briere and tough guy George Parros ... Briere will provide leadership and could help out the offence with a return to form of a few years ago. He mostly has played with centre David Desharnais and left wing Max Pacioretty in training camp and the trio has looked good on the power play ... Parros will make it easier on gritty Brandon Prust, who engaged in too much fisticuffs last season ... Hard-hitting defenceman Alexei Emelin is back skating, but he's not expected to return to action until early December after he underwent knee surgery last May ... Captain Brian Gionta was cleared to play last week after a torn biceps tendon ended his season two games into the playoffs ... This team has a nice mix of veteran and young talent. It will be interesting to see how P.K. Subban will follow up his Norris Trophy season and if Lars Eller, Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher can combine to be productive third line.
Player on the hot seat
Goalie Carey Price. A big reason the Habs emerged out of the gate so brilliantly last season was because of Price's play. But then he struggled late in the second half and in the playoffs. The 26-year-old Price has something to prove to the Canadiens faithful and the watchful eyes of the Canadian Olympic management team. He also has a new goalie coach in Stephan Waite to work with.
Training camp development
With Emelin on the shelf, Canadiens coach Michel Therrien decided to keep 21-year-old defenceman Jarred Tinordi. The 6-foot-6, 227-pound rookie played eight NHL games last season and appears ready to take the next step.
29 - Times the Habs scored first in 48 games last season. Only the Pittsburgh Penguins, Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs scored first more times at 31 apiece.
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