BOSTON -- In his first comments to the media since Michael Cammalleri made some critical comments about his ice time and the Montreal Canadiens' attitude, Habs coach Randy Cunneyworth said he expects the forward to earn more time on the ice.
"It's his opinion, and I think our bottom line is we need a lot of action from a lot of guys. I think we have to play at both ends," Cunneyworth said two hours before puck drop between the Canadiens and Boston Bruins at TD Garden. "Our top guys have to be our top guys, and that's the bottom line. I think they know who they are. And we have a lot of work ahead of us against a very good team tonight."
While Cammalleri alluded to a possible "loser's attitude" among the Habs, Cunneyworth sounded more concerned about how his team's playing rather than its attitude.
"You know what? If you don't battle, if you don't play hard, if you don't play desperate, it doesn't matter what you do out there," he said. "I think you have to go out there and play that way in order to play the way we want to. Our team game is based around that, and you can't take a shift off. And I think if we can perform to our expectations, then certainly we're a good team and we can compete with anyone in the league."
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I downplayed the first one because I thought it's just a hockey game. We just want to win the game; it's against our rival and we want the two points. I downplayed it, but now having gone through the first one I look back and say, 'Geez, that was really cool.' I think as I've grown a bit older I've got a lot more appreciation for what we're allowed to do every day.