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Clearing the air

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

BOSTON – After a day where a lot was said, the Habs speak up about their star sniper speaking out.

Following the Habs’ Wednesday morning practice in Brossard, Michael Cammalleri expressed his frustration to a few members of the Montreal media regarding the team’s performance in 2011-12. By the time Wednesday evening rolled around, Cammalleri’s words had become the focus of a city equally frustrated by a hockey season plagued with injuries, coaching controversies and a lack of production. The Canadiens took the opportunity Thursday in Boston to clear the air and set the record straight.

“Yesterday was a little bit crazy,” began Cammalleri, addressing the throng of media surrounding his stall in the visitor’s dressing room in Boston. “I’m obviously not happy. It’s an emotional game and we’re sitting in 12th spot. It’s not fun to lose, you always want to win and you always want to do more.

Michael Cammalleri leads the post-practice strech

“I made some comments after my interview yesterday,” continued Cammalleri, who for his part has registered an uncharacteristically low total of nine goals after 37 games this season. “I thought they were pretty PC comments regarding the competitive advantage a winning team has in their mentality, and the lack thereof of a losing team. I didn’t think it was ground-breaking news.”

A leader for the Canadiens both on and off the ice – especially in the absence of Brian Gionta – Habs assistant captain, Josh Gorges, was quick to offer up his views on the situation and the player at its center.

“These things tend to really come out in Montreal because of the media market, and then a lot more tends to get taken out of it than needs to be,” dropped Gorges, who’s had the “A” stitched to his jersey since the beginning of season.

“I don’t know exactly what was said, how it was said, the context and who it was said to. That said, I can’t comment on those things because I wasn’t there. Obviously whatever was said was said, but it gets escalated because of where we are and the circumstances that we’re in,” continued the Habs’ defensive pillar, suggesting his teammate's comments may have been blown out of proportion while also promising the situation had been openly discussed by the team as a whole. “We addressed it – we had to address it because it’s important to clear the air and make sure that it’s not a focal point for today. We don’t want to focus on what you guys are talking about; what you’re telling the public. We discussed it, we resolved it and now our focus is on doing our job and playing Boston.”

Despite his evident frustration at sitting 12th in Eastern Conference standings, Cammalleri made a point of quelling any rumors of him looking to be traded away from the city he’s called home for the last three years.

“I love Montreal. I just built a house in Montreal. I love playing in Montreal. I think I’ve had somewhat of a love affair with this city. I know things can change pretty quick – but not for me. I really enjoy it here, my family loves it. I really enjoy what it means to play for the Montreal Canadiens.”

The Habs Thursday morning skate at TD Garden would end with Cammalleri at center ice, surrounded by his teammates, leading the end-of-practice stretch.

Justin Fragapane is a writer for

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