General manager Marc Bergevin met the media on Saturday afternoon ahead of Game 1 of the Eastern Conferece Finals between the Canadiens and Rangers at the Bell Centre.
Bergevin touched on a number of subjects during the media session, including several key player acquisitions over the course of the 2013-14 regular season campaign.
“There are players that get you in the playoffs, and players that get you through the playoffs,” offered Bergevin, noting the immediate impact that both Dale Weise and Mike Weaver had in the first two rounds of postseason play. “Dale and Mike are a big part of our success.”
As is head coach Michel Therrien, who Bergevin praised time and again for helping the Canadiens through several difficult stretches at different times during the year.
"Michel Therrien was a good coach six months ago, and he was good even when we lost five games in a row,” explained Bergevin, stressing that he has the utmost respect for the veteran bench boss’ body of work over the last two seasons in Montreal.
After praising his team for their unwavering work ethic and relentlessness in the face of adversity, Bergevin went on to express his admiration for the Canadiens fan base.
“I see a special team here, a team that when times are tough rolls up their sleeves and goes straight to work. I’m proud of this group,” indicated Bergevin, noting that he believes the turning point in the Canadiens’ season came on Mar. 15 when they staged a comeback for the ages over the Senators in Montreal. “The passion in this city and in the province of Quebec is off the charts. It’s incredible. The people live and breathe hockey.”
With a tough playoff series set to get underway against New York, the Habs GM also shared his thoughts on the Canadiens’ next opponent.
“We have a lot of respect for the Rangers. They want the same thing we do,” offered Bergevin. “I believe our guys are ready for this series because we’re aware of the challenge ahead of us.”