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Exit interview day in Brossard

The Canadiens were at the Bell Sports Complex one final time on Tuesday to officially close out the 2018-19 season

by Dan Braverman @CanadiensMTL / canadiens.com

BROSSARD - Follow this page for player reactions on Tuesday, as the team addresses the media following the end of the 2018-19 regular season.

TOMAS TATAR

Video: Tomas Tatar on his first season in Montreal

On his impressions of playing in Montreal from the perspective of an unrestricted free agent:

"Honestly, if somebody would ask me I could only say positive things. I think media were nice to us, fans were great. Nothing comes to mind why unrestricted free agents shouldn't come here. They would really enjoy the hockey Club and everybody's interest in hockey here. The players who played against us this year can say we're a fast team and a really young team too, so there's a future here for sure."

On changes he made in the offseason leading to a career season, and on the many Habs who set career highs this year:

"I changed something, but I want to keep it a secret. I think it helped me a lot. I can share that with my teammates so we will all be ready. We were all battling for each other and we were helping each other and I think that's why we had so many guys who had a career year or career highs. It just shows the character in the locker room."


VICTOR METE

Video: Mete on the Habs beating expectations this season

On the future of the team:

"We have a pretty deep prospect pool, especially getting a little glimpse of what [Ryan] Poehling can do. It'll be a pretty special year."

On the turnaround from last year:

"We came a long way from last year, we did better than a lot of people expected us to do and obviously we're not so happy with being out of the playoffs. But overall we're happy with our performance this season."


PAUL BYRON

Video: Paul Byron on the positive strides taken this season

On his hand injury:

"It happened in Edmonton. I jammed it there and I missed a couple of weeks. Due to the situation I probably came back a bit early, but it wasn't something that hindered my game. It's just something you had to push through. The last game here didn't really mean anything so it wasn't worth risking making it potentially worse. [Poehling] got to play and I think that worked out pretty well."

On the Habs' depth this season:

"If you weren't doing your job, someone else was. This was all about winning. It's all about doing whatever we could as a team, didn't matter who you are, how many years you played. We wanted to put out the lineup that gave us the best chance of winning every night. That's the reason why we gave ourselves a chance all the way to the second-last game there. Everybody was pulling, everybody was doing what they could and it worked for us."


CAREY PRICE

Video: Carey Price on the team's character

On his heavy workload down the stretch:

"I enjoyed it. I thought we were managing my practices well in that sense. It's fatiguing, sure, but at the end of the day, I had a lot of fun during that stretch."

On the atmosphere at the Bell Centre during the final game of the season:

"I thought it was a great atmosphere. I think everybody is sharing that same enthusiasm that our team has towards next season."

On what Max Domi brings to the team:

"I didn't really know Max much before the season. But even when he wasn't putting points on the board, he brought a great attitude and a great work ethic. And I think that's important for any player, even when they're not feeling it. He didn't go through very many of those stretches this season, he brought a consistent work ethic to us."


SHEA WEBER

Video: Shea Weber on the team's attitude

On having an injury-free offseason to prepare for the 2019-20 campaign:

"It's going to be huge. It'll be more comfortable in my training schedule and my preparation for the season, the way I normally prepare. It was a quick turnaround, especially I'm used to having a lot more time and was forced to do it. I still think the training staff and the medical staff did a great job in helping me to get ready and get back as quick as possible. There's nothing like having the full offseason to get yourself prepared."

On the cohesiveness in the locker room:

"I think it was a great group. I think everyone knows how tight we were and how much fun we were having this year. I think when you're doing things right and you're playing the right way and you're being successful, it brings joy to everyone and guys enjoy coming into the rink and playing hockey. I think we had a lot of fun this year."

On playing with Victor Mete on the backend:

"I thought it was great, especially near the end there things kept getting better and easier. I think we're starting to get used to each other in a way that we kind of know what he's doing before. And he's obviously a great kid and a great player, and he's just going to keep getting better. He wants to learn and he wants to become a better player and I think he's just going to keep improving."


JESPERI KOTKANIEMI

Video: Jesperi Kotkaniemi on his rookie season in the NHL

On the pace of the NHL season:

"It definitely was a little bit hard at the start. But I got it at some point and I think, like I said, I was doing pretty well.

"It definitely was a lot harder and other team teams were doing a pretty good job there. and I think all the teams tried to be like careful with pucks and very sharp. It was disappointing that we didn't make the playoffs but hopefully, next year we'll be there there."

On his first taste of the NHL:

"I couldn't get a better group of guys for my first year. It was a hell of a year for us and I think we only will get better."

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: KK, is @vmete98 coming with you to Finland this summer? pic.twitter.com/Eb0RofWASB


JONATHAN DROUIN

Video: Jonathan Drouin on his season

On what to look forward to next season:

"I'm encouraged by lots of things. I think our young players are coming along really well. For sure, Poehling has put a bit of pressure on them. But just to see him, he seems like he's ready for the NHL. Putting aside his three goals, he seems very ready and mature physically. You look at the defenseman [Romanov] who's coming up and had a very good World Junior Championship. I watch hockey so I know a bit, but I think the future of the Canadiens is going to be something positive."


ANDREW SHAW

Video: Andrew Shaw on overcoming adversity this season

On overcoming adversity and what he's most proud of:

"Playing hockey again. I had knee surgery, concussions. It was a tough summer, but I don't see my life without hockey. I made sure I did everything I could to get back and just tried to enjoy hockey as much as I could. And I had some success with it as well."

On the team's finish:

"I think we've got more to give. You look at how we played the last couple of weeks of the season too: that's a playoff team. If we got into the playoffs, the team that would have been playing us would have been scared of us."


MAX DOMI

Video: Max Domi on his first season in Montreal

On his experience playing for the Canadiens:

"I'm extremely proud to be a part of this organization. This is the best franchise in all of sports. To wear that jersey and represent this city and this fan base on a daily basis is something that I definitely don't take for granted. It's something I enjoyed very much. And the teammates I got to share it with this year were pretty special too, so it was fun. I really, really enjoyed it, coming to work every day and having fun. And playing in front of those fans at the Bell Centre is something that you really can't put into words until you experience it. It was awesome. I really enjoyed being a Hab and I hope I can be a Hab for life."

On the support the Habs get from the fans:

"It helps our team as a whole. Anytime you have a fan base like that behind you... when there's a shift and you watch Gally protect the puck down low, or Shea take a huge slap shot or hit someone, or Carey making an unbelievable save, that place is electric. They really do have a huge part in this team because once that happens, then all of a sudden the momentum is 100% on your side no matter what's going on in the game. We have the best fans in the League and I know they're they're excited about what we have going here. Next year is only gonna get better."


BRENDAN GALLAGHER

Video: Brendan Gallagher on the Habs' work ethic in 2018-19

On the Habs' turnaround this season:

"We definitely were able to change the culture, our attitude, and our work ethic. Those were the positives. The negative is that we weren't good enough to get in. So I think you take what we did well. We definitely got off to a good start, we came to training camp from day one and we were ready to compete. To a man, everyone in this locker room worked hard this year. When you start with that, that's usually when you start to have success. Obviously, there are little things you're going to point to throughout the year that we could have done differently. And if we [did them] we'd probably playing still be playing hockey right now, which is the disappointing part. But that's just like we said last year: if you have a season where you're not the ultimate champion, you take what you can from it, you learn, and you try to come back the next year and do better."

On missing the playoffs:

"It doesn't matter how far you go or how early your season ends. You have the same feeling talking to [the media] until ultimately you can say you succeeded. The reason we play this game is to be winners. It's a very competitive League. I've got a lot of belief in the people running this organization and the players that we have in this locker room that that is the goal. That's always the goal when you play for the Montreal Canadiens. And that's something that we're all working towards."


JEFF PETRY

Video: Jeff Petry on the sting from missing the playoffs

On the power play:

"Not much changed from two years ago. Our power play two years ago did well and this year, for some reason it wasn't good enough. I think that's on everyone. The guys who are on it weren't able to get it done. So I don't know what changes have to be made. But I think it's a matter of when things are going well, it carries, and when things aren't going well, you start doubting, and put extra or added pressure on yourselves to make something happen. I think that was a part of it this year.

"Throughout the year, you're wanting to score goals or gain momentum. And you try to make plays instead of simplifying things, and I think that's something that hurt us. We had our issues with [zone] entries, and then we figured that out, and then we weren't generating enough shots. It's just a matter of putting both those things together and getting the result."

On missing the playoffs:

"To be honest with you, this one hurts more than last year, knowing that you aren't going to make the playoffs pretty early on. This one, we were fighting there to the end and just missing by a couple of points. For everyone in here, we know this feeling. We're going to take some time off and when it's time to get back to work, you're going to remember this feeling and just use that to prepare for next year."


PHILLIP DANAULT

Video: Phillip Danault on the team culture this season

On his progression this season:

"My game progressed very well. I was more proud of myself after games, my teammates too. I really liked helping the team at both ends of the ice - defensively, a bit like a third defenseman and offensively, with important faceoffs. I also took a lot of pride in the penalty kill. I'm proud of what I did this year personally, and the whole team too."

On becoming even better:

"The more mature I become, the better I'll be. That's what I want to do and that's what I will do."


RYAN POEHLING

Video: Ryan Poehling on his first NHL game

On following up his special debut performance:

"I'm just going put it out there right now: I'm not going to do that every night. But I'm up for the challenge; I like having pressure on myself, and I like that people care. Some nights, [people] are not going to like you, but there are other nights where you have to own up to it. When you get the praise, you're also going to have people say bad things about you when you're not doing well. That's something I look forward to getting a handle of."

On transitioning from college to pro, and how his stint in the NHL will help:

"I think the biggest thing is off the ice. In college you see the same type of things on the ice, but you have to carry yourself as a professional off the ice when you get to this level. So for me to do that and learn from these guys for the last week or so, it's going to help me a lot more so off the ice and it did on the ice too."

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