TORONTO – The Canadiens finished Game 82 of the 2010-11 campaign the way they want to start Game 1 of the real season next week.
Heading into Toronto with nothing more than pride on the line, the Habs closed out the season with a convincing 4-1 win over the Leafs. Getting two goals on the power play, one at even strength and another on the penalty kill, special teams don’t seem to be an issue for the Canadiens heading into the postseason.
“You want to get your game gearing up for the playoffs and I think we’ve been doing a good job of creating chances,” explained Brian Gionta
, who notched his 28th and 29th goals of the year with the man advantage against the Leafs. “If you’re creating those chances, it’s only a matter of time before they start going in. Tonight they did.”
Despite the win, the Habs captain realizes his team still has some work to do before the playoffs kick off at the end of the week.
“It was a little better than the Senators game but there are a few things we need to clean up, like our neutral zone turnovers,” admitted Gionta. “We still have time. We need to regroup but everybody is excited for next week. This is what we’ve been pushing for all season.”
Last year’s playoff goal-scoring leader, Michael Cammalleri may not have found the back of the net against the Leafs but with four shots and plenty of scoring chances on Saturday night, the Habs sniper is ready to pick up where he left off last spring.
“‘Ready or not, here we come’ is how it works right now. I like where we’re at right now,” offered Cammalleri, who potted an NHL-high 13 goals in the 2010 postseason. “I think especially in the last couple of games we’ve found a little more consistency in our game and that will lend itself to some confidence.”
“I don’t know if it was the sharpest of games by either team but it was nice to get the win,” he added. “We had some big goals tonight and Carey was great so here we go.”
Picking up his 38th win of the season to close out a year that saw him post career-highs across the board, Price was able to pinpoint the exact day he knew his team was playoff-ready.
“I think that [Vancouver win] was a big game for us,” described Price of the 3-2 win against the President’s Trophy winners this February. “It gave us a lot of confidence going into the rest of the year. After that win, it definitely felt like we were on a roll and we knew we could play with the best teams in the league.”Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com.
Postgame comments: Martin | Cammalleri | Gionta | Price | Spacek
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