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Back to Basics

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
MONTREAL – The Canadiens will spend the next few days taking a long, hard look at the work that needs to be done.

Despite having his team’s goal-scorers come up dry against the likes of the Sabres’ Ryan Miller, the Bruin’s Tim Thomas and the Capitals’ Braden Holtby, Habs’ head-coach Jacques Martin refuses to be discouraged.

“Scoring goals comes as the result of doing a lot of little things right. It’s obvious that there are things that need fixing right now,” expressed Martin. “We have to raise our level of intensity, and provide better support on the ice. There’s a lot of grinding it out in games this time of year and not a lot of space to work with. This isn’t the time for fancy plays. We need to be ready to throw pucks behind the other team’s defense and chase them down.”

Carey Price's reaction after the game
The Canadiens’ coach can count on having a responsive group to work with, as his team along with the rest of the Habs’ coaching staff all know what elements need to be revisited and the reasons they found success earlier in the season.

“To be effective, it’s important to concentrate on the process and not the result. Right now, we’re not supporting each other with the puck in any of the zones. We need to work as complete unit. We play our best hockey when all five guys are in on the play, close to the puck. Lately, we’ve gotten away from that,” finished Martin.

“Our execution wasn’t there, even with the most basic of things. Our passing game was off and we weren’t putting pucks where we needed to,” explained sniper Michael Cammalleri. “It’s the kind of thing that you teach to 10-year-olds learning the game, but if you start with a solid first pass, it lets you get out of the zone. Our passes were into each others skate and behind guys.”

Even if the offensive production is lacking at the moment, the Habs’ star goaltender still believes his team will be where it needs to come playoff time.

“We’re still in a position where we hold our destiny in our own hands. I think we have enough experience as a group that we won’t let ourselves slide too long,” said Price, after turning aside 31 shots from the Capitals. “I’m not changing anything. I’m going to keep doing my best to give my team a chance to win every night. Sixty percent of the time, it works and we win games.”

Justin Fragapane is a writer for

Postgame comments: Martin | Cammalleri | Gill | Gomez | Price
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