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Healthy Habs

Canadiens center Scott Gomez has been better than a point-a-gamer in his past 10 outings. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Canadiens center Scott Gomez has been better than a point-a-gamer in his past 10 outings. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

It has taken a while, but things are finally looking happier in Habland.

The Montreal Canadiens have been an inconsistent bunch this season, both in terms of results and who is in the lineup thanks to a fairly significant string of injuries.

Right now the Habs are a healed Mike Cammalleri away from icing the best team they’ve had since opening night. Cammalleri is expected back from a knee-injury in mid-March, a month in which Montreal will play seven of its 10 remaining games at home after taking six of eight points on a recent four-game road trip.

The top line of Scott Gomez between Brian Gionta and Benoit Pouliot is firing right now, with Gomez getting his totals closer to respectability thanks to 12 points in his past 10 contests.

Put out a second line of Cammalleri with Tomas Plekanec and Andrei Kostitsyn and you’ve got something cooking.

The guy who put this team together, former GM Bob Gainey, stepped down before the Olympic break because he felt his heart wasn’t in the job the way it needed to be.

Ironically, he may have moved out just before his plan for the Habs started to come into fruition.

THE HOCKEY NEWS POWER RANKINGS
RK.
TEAM
OVERALL
L10
THE SCOOP
1
Washington Capitals
44-13-8
7-1-2
Two goals for Scott Walker since joining the Caps, but none for Ovie since the Olympic break
2
San Jose Sharks
42-14-9
6-4-0
Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dany Heatley got the gold, but can they get the silver?
3
Vancouver Canucks
40-23-2
6-4-0
Canucks fans – who haven't seen their team at home since Jan. 27 – can finally give Roberto Luongo a golden ovation when he returns to General Motors Place Saturday
4
Pittsburgh Penguins
40-22-4
6-1-3
Will the acquisition of Alexei Ponikarovsky work out the way getting Bill Guerin at last year's deadline did?
5
Chicago Blackhawks
43-17-5
6-3-1
Things like giving up five second-period goals in a loss to Detroit make this team seem fallible
6
Phoenix Coyotes
39-22-5
6-4-0
Wojtek Wolski takes to desert life with goals in his first two games as a Coyote
7
Los Angeles Kings
38-22-4
6-3-1
Fredrik Modin picked up a goal in his second game as a King
8
Colorado Avalanche
37-22-6
6-4-0
Chris Stewart – who notched a hat trick Saturday – is becoming a real force for the Avs
9
Detroit Red Wings
31-22-12
5-3-2
Top line of Pavel Datsyuk between Johan Franzen and Tomas Holmstrom has got it going right now
10
Ottawa Senators
36-25-5
5-4-1
We get the sense the goaltending reins are very much up for grabs
11
Buffalo Sabres
35-20-9
3-5-2
March is Buffalo's busiest month with 16 games on the slate
12
Nashville Predators
35-25-5
5-4-1
After missing Sunday's game against Vancouver, it sounds like Shea Weber could miss Tuesday's game – but not many more – with an upper-body injury
13
New Jersey Devils
38-23-3
3-6-1
We know Martin Brodeur is Martin Brodeur, but things just don't look quite right there these days
14
Calgary Flames
32-24-9
5-4-1
One start, one win for Vesa Toskala in his Flames career
15
Philadelphia Flyers
34-26-4
6-3-1
We're all going to find out if Michael Leighton is for real very soon
16
Montreal Canadiens
32-29-6
6-4-0
Dominic Moore proving he can be a useful player, notching two goals and four points in six outings as a Hab
17
St. Louis Blues
30-26-9
6-4-0
Just 12 wins at home all year; only Toronto has less with 11
18
Carolina Hurricanes
27-31-7
8-2-0
Wonder how many other teams have had a 14-game losing streak and seven-game winning stretch in the same season
19
Anaheim Ducks
30-27-8
5-4-1
Winless in three contests since Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Scott Niedermayer returned to Cali with gold medals
20
Boston Bruins
29-24-11
6-2-2
Get ready for the great head shot debate to return in lieu of Matt Cooke nailing Marc Savard
21
Atlanta Thrashers
28-26-10
4-4-2
Niclas Bergfors has six goals as a Thrasher, double the three Ilya Kovalchuk has as a Devil
22
Dallas Stars
28-24-12
4-5-1
Kari Lehtonen has allowed eight goals in a 97-minute career with Dallas
23
Minnesota Wild
31-28-5
4-5-1
Minny has three more sets of back-to-back road games this month after going 1-0-1 in Alberta
24
New York Rangers
29-28-9
4-4-2
Coach John Tortorella called out his top players after Rangers score one goal in two games
25
Columbus Blue Jackets
25-29-11
4-4-2
Columbus is losing, but at least it's not by much and to good teams; how's that for a positive spin?
26
Tampa Bay Lightning
27-26-11
5-5-0
Need to get better on the road to make a real post-season push
27
Florida Panthers
26-28-10
3-6-1
After going 16 games without a goal, Michael Frolik snaps the sophomore slump with three in two contests
28
New York Islanders
26-31-8
3-7-0
Looking more and more like the Isles will draft within the top three this June
29
Toronto Maple Leafs
20-33-12
3-6-1
After a complete overhaul of the team, the Leaf kids are getting a chance to prove they are capable of playing in the big leagues
30
Edmonton Oilers
21-38-6
3-7-0
Jeff Deslauriers provides a rare reason to smile by blanking Brodeur and the Devils

The Hockey News ranks the teams 1-30 each Monday based on a combination of last week’s play and a squad’s overall outlook.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

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