BROSSARD - Defenseman Ben Chiarot, forward Jake Evans and interim head coach Dominique Ducharme spoke with reporters via Zoom on Sunday morning before the Canadiens flew to Toronto for Game 7 of their first-round series against the Maple Leafs.
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Here are a few highlights from their respective chats:
Chiarot on the approach to Game 7 at Scotiabank Arena:
The most fun you're ever going to have playing hockey is a Game 7. The key is you go in and play loose. It's a high-pressure situation. Guys tend to get tight. It's about staying loose, playing the game and enjoying it.
Video: Chiarot on managing energy in a long game
Chiarot on the physicality in the series to date:
That's a big tool that we have in our bag. We're a big and physical team. That's been a storyline in the playoffs forever, wearing down the opponent and playing physical. They're a skilled team, so that's something we have to use to our advantage, playing them hard and playing them physical. Especially our defense, that's the way we're built. We need to play physical and that's what we've been trying to do.
Evans on using his best assets to his advantage:
I know I'm not the most skilled guy and I don't have a great one-timer. I know I probably can't pull a toe-drag off very often, so for me it's just about knowing what I can do to have success and how I can help the team. It's using my speed and just playing hard and playing that gritty way that can frustrate teams and cause them to make poor plays and then try to capitalize. It's just knowing what brings you success. That's helped me out a lot lately.
Video: Evans on his first playoff game at the Bell Centre
Evans on his return to the lineup in Game 6 and rising to the occasion:
The whole injury thing was very frustrating. Watching all those games, I just wanted to be back out there and have that chance to play another game. When I found out I was playing, I was just so excited and so ready to get back in there. The fans helped me out a lot too. I'm not going to lie, I was pretty tired at some points. After the game, I couldn't move for a little bit. I was pretty gassed. But, the fans and just that excitement of playing a Game 6 against one of your rivals is a really cool experience. It helped me out a lot.
Ducharme on his confidence level heading into Monday night's tilt:
We're approaching the game like we did the last two. We want to control what we can control. We're confident. We're going to Toronto to head to Winnipeg.
Video: Ducharme on coaching a Game 7 for the Habs
Ducharme on his players handling things well when facing elimination:
We've faced a lot of adversity this year. I've already mentioned that it made our group stronger. I think that's a part of it. The presence of guys like Shea, Corey, Eric Staal and company, along with having Carey in goal, is huge. It's a combination of things. As a group, we're engaged and we're confident in what we're doing. We believe that by doing the right things, the results will come our way.