Habs prepare for playoffs

from The Globe and Mail, April 6, 2008

oach Guy Carbonneau's smile of satisfaction spoke volumes about what his Montreal Canadiens accomplished this season.

A 3-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday gave the Canadiens a final regular-season record of 47-25-10, good for 104 points, their highest total since Carbonneau was a player in 1988-89.

They led the NHL in goal-scoring with 262, the first time they've done that since the last of their dynasty years in 1978-79.

And they will start the playoffs at home for the first time since 1992 against the old rival they have dominated recently and over the decades — the Boston Bruins.

All that from a club that few picked even to make the playoffs last fall.

"It's been a dream year," said Carbonneau. "In our room, we believed we could make the playoffs.

"We felt we had a good team. Was it better than I expected? Definitely. It was fun, and the fun part about it was that while individuals had good seasons, we had team chemistry. We really pulled together. I really believe in that."