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A tough start

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

TORONTO – Despite a rocky start in their season opener, the Habs recognize the loss was just one game, and they're already looking forward to Game 2.

While the Canadiens dominated the play in Thursday night’s first period of action, outshooting their opponents by a 14-4 margin, all it took was a single error early in the second to swing the momentum in the Leafs' favor.
Highlights Canadiens - Leafs

“We had a great first period, we did exactly what we wanted to do, we just didn’t capitalize and unfortunately we came out a bit flat in the second,” commented Brian Gionta of the game’s ultimate turning point. “They got a short-handed goal, it gave them some good momentum and from that point on we were just one step behind.”

The Canadiens’ captain was quick to admit that his team's lack of production on the powerplay was a contributing factor in the loss.

“Our problem on the powerplay was the way we were coming up the ice. We had a tough time coming into the neutral zone, we never really got set up and when that happens you’re chasing the puck the whole time,” he explained.

Head coach Jacques Martin had similar comments regarding his team’s performance on the night.

“In the first, we stuck to simple hockey with a lot of puck support. We were attacking the net well and taking lots of shots,” analyzed Martin, referring to his team’s 14 opening-frame shots on goal. “In the second, we started playing a more individualistic style of hockey and the Leafs capitalized on it.”

While the outcome of the game was obviously not the one they had hoped for, sniper Michael Cammalleri remained positive, recognizing the best thing to do was build on the positives, reflect on what could have been done differently and set their sights to Sunday night in Winnipeg.

“We were somewhat complacent in the second period and that’s obviously not alright, but overall I thought we did a lot of really good things and I have a good feeling about out team,” expressed Cammalleri who had a team-high four shots on the night. “The result wasn’t what we wanted and I’m in no way undervaluing two points at any point of the season, but I feel good about our group.”

Justin Fragapane is a writer for

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