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State of the union

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

PHILADELPHIA – The Canadiens’ General Manager Marc Bergevin addressed the media at the Wells Fargo Center to give his input on the progress of his team through 44 games.

Back from Sweden, where he had an up-close look at the play of six Habs prospects at the World Junior Championships, Bergevin was happy with what he saw.

“On the whole, our prospects performed well. All six players got a lot of ice time. I was especially impressed with Jacob De la Rose, who is a big guy who did very well for Sweden. Also, Martin Reway, who’s a lot smaller physically, had a great deal of success as well,” mentioned Bergevin, who also saw Artturi Lehkonen help the Finns to a gold medal ahead of Sweden’s De la Rose and Sebastian Collberg. “They had key roles on their teams on such an important stage. The future looks promising for our kids.”

With the WJC wrapped up, the Canadiens’ GM is looking forward the Sochi Winter Olympics, which will kick off on February 7 2014 with eight current Habs participating.

“We are really proud of them for representing their countries at the Olympics. Other than St. Louis, Detroit and Chicago, we have the most players going to Sochi out of all the NHL teams, and that’s something to be proud of,” related Bergevin, who will see his team be represented by P.K. Subban, Carey Price, Max Pacioretty, Peter Budaj, Alexei Emelin, Andrei Markov, Tomas Plekanec and Raphael Diaz in Russia. “Trevos Timmins did a great job; seven of these players were drafted by the Canadiens. I’ve always believed in the importance of the draft, and this says a lot about the future of this team.”

With a bit more than half of the season already gone, the Canadiens’ GM gave his overall impression on the team which currently ranked ninth league-wide on the powerplay, and fourth on the PK.

“Overall, we’re in a similar position where we thought we would be. We wanted to be in a playoff position and it is the case currently,” underlined Bergevin, who took over the job in May 2012. “Fortunately for us, we have been relatively lucky in regards to injuries. We are well positioned right now, but there is a ton of work to do still. The second half of the season will be a challenge, though we are happy with where we are in general.”

Bergevin emphasized the contribution of special teams and goaltending to the Canadiens’ success.

“Our special teams have been excellent, and Carey has been fantastic for us, making big saves to give us a chance to win. He is playing great hockey and is one of the reasons why we are in our current position.”

Vincent Cauchy is a writer for Translated by Jack Han.

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