It's often said there are no secrets in the NHL, given the wonders of modern scouting, stats and video analysis.
There's a difference, however, between knowing what's coming and being able to stop it.
The Montreal Canadiens rely disproportionately on three main weapons – their names: Carey Price, P.K. Subban, Max Pacioretty – and if the former has been the key reason for the Habs' success to this point, the latter pair have stepped to the fore over the past month.
Pacioretty has 16 points in the Habs' 15 games since Jan.1, Subban has chipped in 13.
This despite the fact every defender in the league knows Pacioretty will shoot from anywhere and Subban lives for blasting one-timers from the point.
It's helped that the supporting cast has followed along after a pair of surprising losses last week to teams the Habs should pound – Phoenix and Buffalo.
This weekend Danish centre Lars Eller score his first goal since December on Saturday night, winger Dale Weise – nominally a role player – potted three goals alongside Pacioretty and centre David Desharnais.
Since Pacioretty and Desharnais were reunited against Buffalo, the duo having been broken up after an ineffective spell earlier in the season, the line has contributed 12 points.
"I think we ran into trouble and got too predictable," Pacioretty said about playing with his good friend.
Well, no more.
Some players think pass first, Desharnais was best described as pass always, although his move away from Pacioretty seems to have prompted him to shoot the puck more – the reunion has jump-started his production to the tune of six points in his last three starts (he has 11 in 15 games since Jan. 1).
The Habs power-play has also awoken since the turn of the year, clicking along at a 23.6 per cent clip going into Sunday's meeting with the Boston Bruins.
Everyone knows about Subban – he of the accurate-and-deadly point shot – and thus he is the option opposing penalty killers vie to eliminate at all costs.
It has showed in the Habs' power-play stats; despite having metronomic passing machine Andrei Markov and 39-goal sniper Pacioretty on the first wave, Montreal is converting 17.6 per cent of its man-advantage opportunities, 20th-best in the league.
Why does any of it matter?
How about this: the Habs are unbeaten in 2015 (6-0) in games where they score with an opponent in the box.
They can win without the power-play contributing, but when it does they almost never lose (14-3 overall this season in games with at least one power-play goal scored).
Part of the recent improvement has to do with Subban, whose game has kicked into high gear at both ends of the ice, and was on display this past weekend.
Out of necessity, the Habs have started deploying their players in different positions of late, on Saturday Subban found himself on the side-boards on a couple of occasions in a 6-2 win against the New Jersey Devils (he also drew a key double-minor for high-sticking on former Hab Dainius Zubrus).
The first resulted in a Tomas Plekanec goal, the second led to a Lars Eller one-timer – the Dane's first goal since December, a span of 14 games.
"I don't know if our plan was to have me on the half-wall putting backhand passes through the box, we don't really practice that," Subban would say with smile after the game. "You've got to take what they give you."
In fairness, the 25-year-old defenceman reached something approaching a state of grace against New Jersey – it was the second time in five weeks he has hung a hat trick of helpers on the Devils.
It's a testament to the state of Subban's game that he didn't earn an assist on his most audacious play of the evening, a blueline dangle that ultimately resulted in Plekanec's second goal of the night.
On Sunday, which was – is this really possible? – the last regular season meeting between the Habs and Bruins, the power-play couldn't convert on an early opportunity.
So Pacioretty went to work at even-strength, setting up Weise in the second (Weise returned the favour early in the third).
Since becoming a full-time NHL player in 2011, the Connecticut native has ended the season with more assists than goals only once; this year he has 21 assists and 24 goals.
Both Pacioretty and Subban were given the added responsibility this year of having an "A" stitched to their jersey, and if the winger – and Montreal's leading scorer – is broadly considered to have the inside track on the captaincy given his poise and production.
Both players' recent form suggests they would like the argument to continue.