"We're halfway there."
Those were the words of one Michael Cammalleri in the aftermath of a second-straight Game 7 victory on the road, the first coming over the Presidents' Trophy winners and the second at the expense of the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Cammalleri surely didn't see the lunacy in that statement because the Canadiens are two times further than anyone would have predicted they would be at this point.
It would be perfectly natural for the Habs to feel they were playing with house money at this point, that a trip to the conference final is good enough and that being one of the four teams remaining would be an honourable end to the season.
But that is not at all what was emanating from the Canadiens dressing room while the Pittsburgh Penguins were mourning the end of their season and the final game in Mellon Arena.
"The city of Montreal, they deserve it. We're going to try to keep making them proud," said centre Scott Gomez. "The fun begins now."
So overcoming a 3-1 series deficit to beat Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals in the first round, that was boring? Holding Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to a paltry two goals in seven games was akin to watching paint dry?
No, Scott, this became fun for Canadiens fans and the hockey world a long time ago because no one, not even the most diehard of fans, could have predicted this would happen, that the team with the worst record in the playoffs would reach the final four.
And let's not forget that the Canadiens have done this in the absence of perhaps their best player, defenceman Andrei Markov, lost to a knee injury in Game 1 against Pittsburgh.
They did it because they have all, to a man, bought into a system crafted by Jacques Martin that has now frustrated two of the best teams in the NHL.
Many people will be tempted to pin these two victories on Jaroslav Halak, the miracle worker in goal who has been simply exquisite since being pulled in Game 3 of the first round, sitting on the bench in Game 4 and then stealing Game 5.
No, this is about far more than just Halak, it's about a system and a belief.
And the scary part is the Canadiens are still learning - and improving.
"We're trying to get better here as a team and I think we're getting better," Cammalleri said. "We improved in this series, we didn't play hang-on as much as we did in the first series. I don't claim we're this great team and I don't claim we're perfect and I'm not claiming that everything we do is on purpose. We're just trying to find ways to win and we're improving as we go. If you saw us on our toes a little more, maybe we're improving a little bit."
The star of this show for the Canadiens is undoubtedly Halak, who allows his teammates to play a patient game defensively, waiting for their offensive opportunities to arise.
But not far behind is Cammalleri, the NHL leader in playoff goals with 12 through two rounds.
That's 12 times the number he scored in his first six NHL playoff games last season with the Calgary Flames and puts him in pretty elite company in Canadiens playoff history.
Cammalleri's 12 goals tie him with Guy Lafleur, Maurice (Rocket) Richard and Jean Béliveau for fourth in franchise history for goals in a single post-season.
"It's tough to think about being on any list with those names," Cammalleri said. "But it's obviously with the utmost respect."
And that is exactly what these Canadiens deserve - the utmost respect - because they've earned everything they've got thus far.