If you blinked you might have missed it, but just three weeks into the NHL season it’s already a quarter of the way to the finish line.

And with the Leafs’ decisive 6-0 beat down of a frightfully poor Canadiens squad Saturday night at the Bell Centre, Toronto is somewhere between a pleasant surprise and on the right track.

Yes, it’s only been 12 games, but a dozen is comparable to 20.5 in a full campaign and to that end, climbing into a tie for fifth place in the Eastern Conference with the blowout win over their Original Six rival certainly has some meaning.

Leafs coach Randy Carlyle has a bucket of water ready for any hint of over reaction, however.

“We’re not here claiming we’re anything,” Carlyle said as his team moved to 7-5 and jumped ahead of the Habs in the standings. “We continue to be a work in progress.”

Based on the growing sample size, much of that work is based on the team’s willingness to take on the challenges presented by their head coach.