The Montreal Canadiens were one of the league’s great surprises during the 2013 season, going from the bottom of the Eastern Conference to the no. 2 seed overall, which included a Northeast Division championship. Within that one large surprise, there was no shortage of smaller surprise performances from individual players.
One player who flew under the radar with a pretty successful 2013 campaign, when he was able to find his way on the ice, was Rene Bourque. After a disastrous stretch with the Habs in 2011-2012, Bourque may have experienced a complete turnaround had it not been for a concussion that limited him.
Bourque appeared in 27 games for the Habs, finishing the year with 13 points, including seven goals. Ten of those points came in his first 17 games, including five goals. He didn’t appear in a game after February 21st until April 9th, missing 21 games. He went on to finish with just three points in those final 10 games.
Had he been healthy, it’s very likely that we could have seen Bourque return to his consistent ways. It would have been a tremendous relief for him after an absolutely miserable 2011-2012 campaign. He wasn’t able to put it together, especially after he was dealt to Montreal midway through the year.
In 38 games with the Habs last season, Bourque had only eight points, giving him just 24 for the year in 76 games. For a guy coming off of three consecutive 20-goal seasons, two of which included at least 50 points, it was a massive disappointment.
But this year was a sigh of relief, at least when he was healthy. He proved that he could be a valuable piece of this Montreal club. Next season should see him move into a role as a key source of secondary scoring for this club, and he could very well get back to those 20-goal scoring ways.