The 6-0 thrashing at the hands of the Toronto Maple Leafs nine days ago was supposed to be the ultimate humiliation, a case of the 98-pound weakling having sand kicked in his face with barely a murmur in return.

The Montreal Canadiens, conventional wisdom confidently proclaimed, have been exposed for what they are: a small, soft team that richly deserved its last-place finish last year.

Funny, then, how the Habs responded by ripping off three straight wins.

“I think maybe we came together a little after that (Toronto) game,” said forward Max Pacioretty.

In a 48-game season it doesn’t pay to read too much into single game performances, and it appears the Canadiens have rediscovered their defensive game.

The glass half-empty crowd will point to the fact the Habs’ latest string has come against two woeful teams from Florida and a lost-at-sea Flyers squad, and that’s a fair point.

But the fact is the Canadiens have allowed only three even-strength goals since losing to the Leafs, while scoring seven.

They have dominated possession statistics, outshooting their opponents by an average margin of 32-23.