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s24- Quelle Surprise! [WB3]

After 12 games into the season, the Canadiens are well on their way to  improving on last season’s
disappointment. The Canadiens currently sit in third place in the Eastern Conference. One of the biggest
surprises for the team this year is from their current head coach Tom Renney. Renney was heavily
criticized at the end of the season for his poor management of the lineup. Due to league rules Braden
Holtby was required to sit out the last few games of the year and this resulted in the team finishing out
of the playoffs. “I had a good discussion with management about the lineup choices during the off
season and we agreed to a more balanced approach to our lineup management,” Renney told the media
following game against the Rangers. Renney also mentioned that he had positive conversations with
management about the approach this season. “We took the steps in the off season to address the
various needs and I think we will be able to get over the hump and get back in the playoffs.”
Another pleasant surprise this season is the play of rookies Peter Holland, Taylor Beck and Max
McCormick. All three players have shown that they belong in the big leagues. While only playing fourth line
minutes, they have amassed a combined 7 points and have contributed individually in different ways.
McCormick for instance, is playing on the first line penalty kill and the Canadiens PK is currently ranked
7 th in the league at 90%. At the same time, Holland has a 50% faceoff rating and Beck is contributing
through his physical play. He scored his first goal of his career last night versus the Rangers. “I was so
happy to get the first one out of the way. I am disappointed we lost though,” Beck told the media
following the game.
For the Canadiens to succeed this season, it will take a group effort including those that play the fourth
line minutes. “As long they are positively contributing to our team, they will continue to see playing
time,” coach Renney when asked about the play of his fourth line.
WC: 354