Heading into Wednesday night's game against the Blue Jackets in Columbus, the Canadiens had 12-12-4 record since Martin St. Louis took over from Dominique Ducharme as head coach on Feb. 9.

When the interim head coach was asked about moving forward with the team, he said: “With the guys, if I’m here next year, I don’t feel I’m starting from scratch.”

It’s only a two-letter word, but St. Louis’s “if” was a big one when it comes to the future of the Canadiens.

Asked afterwards about saying if instead of when, St. Louis said with a chuckle: “Take whatever you want. If-slash-when.”

After Wednesday’s morning skate in Columbus, St. Louis was asked if he sees any scenario in which he wouldn’t be back behind the Canadiens’ bench next season.

“I don’t think so,” he said. “I was brought in here to finish the season, so I’m going to focus on that. Is my goal to be back next year? Yeah, absolutely. I don’t see many things why I wouldn’t be back, but you never know. But if I’m visualizing myself six, seven months from now, I see myself behind the bench. Until everything is concrete and stuff I’m going to stay the course of what I’m doing.”

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