BROSSARD - Defenseman Jeff Petry, forward Brendan Gallagher and assistant coach Luke Richardson spoke with reporters via Zoom on Monday ahead of the Canadiens' departure for Las Vegas.
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Here are a few highlights from their respective chats:
Petry on playing with the same pace and energy for a full 60 minutes:
When we have the lead, we have to believe in ourselves and continue to make plays. We don't want to be reckless, but we want to make sure that we're not sitting back and just trying to let the clock run out. I think we need to continue to push the pace when we're in the lead and make it difficult for them. We saw it a little bit in Game 2. We kind of got a little bit passive. When we have the lead, we need to push for that next goal, but we can't be reckless.
Video: Petry on travelling between Montreal and Vegas
Petry on playing at T-Mobile Arena:
It's fun to play in a building that's full, especially after the year we've all gone through where we've been playing pretty much all the games with no fans. It's nice to have an atmosphere. They're a team that gets energy from that building. It's going to be important to take them out of it on Tuesday night. We need a strong start, take the fans out of it, and not let them gain momentum from their fans.
Gallagher on creating doubt in the Golden Knights with every passing game:
Coming into this series, obviously there's a certain rhetoric about how this series is supposed to go. I'm not saying they bought into it or believed it. We definitely didn't. But, there are certain expectations on their side. The longer this series goes, the more the pressure just falls to them. Since that Game 5 against Toronto, we've just kind of been playing the same way - nothing to lose, leave it all on the line, and game after game, come with the same effort and energy. Hopefully, you put some doubt in the opponent's mind and see how they handle it. As the series goes on, that's when it gets fun. We get more and more comfortable in these situations. We're looking forward to it. We shortened it to a best-of-three. We've gone into Vegas. We know what it's going to be like. It's an electric atmosphere. They definitely feed off their fans, but now that we've experienced it, we're going to be more and more comfortable. This Game 5 is as important a game as it gets, but you just try and come with the same mentality that we've had, and hopefully that kind of creeps in there.
Video: Gallagher on the importance of performing on the road
Gallagher on the team's success on road ice:
We've been the lower seed, so we've started every series on the road and we've had to put an emphasis on it, especially early in the series. I've always been told since I was a young kid that good teams win at home and great teams find a way to win on the road in tough environments. It's not always easy, but that's where the character of a team is able to show. We just kind of enjoy the challenge. We're able to settle into our game and we seem to understand the style of hockey that we need to play. There are going to be ebbs and flows. The other team is going to create some momentum and you manage that. We have a pretty experienced, veteran group, and our young guys are key players for us, so we just handle those situations well. We enjoy the opportunity to go into road rinks and play in front of a crowd like Vegas.
Richardson on the way the group has handled some questionable calls and non-calls by the referees over the last two games:
Very good. As the playoffs have gone along, it's high intensity and the emotions are high. The pressure builds out there and there's emotion, so we've done a good job at addressing it with our players. They've been reacting the right way. We have guys like Webby and our captains, and especially Corey Perry and his communication with the referees at the right times, he's been great. Last night, I think our bench was really cool. I didn't see any eruptions or reactions to anything other than what we can control. That's our message to them. We want them to put all their energy and effort into their play, not any other distractions that we can't control.
Video: Richardson on the experience he's gained over time
Richardson on the Canadiens using the atmosphere at T-Mobile Arena to their advantage:
It's good for us to go into an environment like that. You'd rather go into an environment like that, which is very exciting, loud, a great, entertaining building. It's fun to play in, kind of like going into Madison Square Garden or when people come to play here at the Bell Centre. It's just the best atmosphere. You'd rather play in that, especially at this time of the year. I think the success that Las Vegas has had right from day one has really helped their core fanbase learn the game quickly and enjoy their success and really build a lot of energy in that building. It's something that this time of year we can feed off as well.