There is no better example than the progress of the Montreal Canadiens than their games against the New Jersey Devils.
Everyone is aware the New Jersey Devils have traditionally owned the Canadiens in every sense of the word. The Canadiens very seldom beat New Jersey, and coming into this season had a road record in New Jersey among the worst in hockey history.
After their first trip to the Prudential Center it looked as if nothing would change. The Devils and Martin Brodeur handed them a painfully ugly 4-0 shutout loss.
The next trip to NJ seemed would have a similar end with the Canadiens down 3-1 heading into the third against a stingy NJ defence.
Then something happened that never happens. The Canadiens unleashed 3 third period goals against Martin Brodeur in New Jersey, and completed a historic come back.
The turning point of the Canadiens year, and perhaps the turning point of their 15 years of mediocrity.
The Canadiens didn’t look back from there. Climbing their way up to the top of the Conference with other inconceivable moments like the largest come from behind win in Canadiens history. A shocking 5 goal comeback win against the Rangers.
The next meeting with New Jersey with 1st place in the Conference on the line. Another Canadiens win and the Montreal Canadiens at the peak of the Conference. Another defining moment.
That brings tonight’s final regular season meeting with the Devils. First place in the Conference on the line yet again.
A win tonight would give the Canadiens the season series against the Devils for the first time since the ’92-93 season. The year of their last Stanley Cup.
Whatever happens tonight, these games against the Devils will be looked back on as the changing of the guard. The mediocre Habs of old, to the next generation of Montreal Canadiens hockey.