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Gearing up

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
BROSSARD – With only three days left until the puck drops to reignite one of the greatest rivalries in professional sports, the Habs took a moment to discuss their impending series with the Bruins.

While much of the talk in the dressing room following the Habs Monday morning skate centered around honing certain elements of their game, every member of the team was quick to point out that when it comes  to the playoffs, the team with the most drive will win every time.

Brian Gionta comments
“We’re tightening things up right now and the coaches have already stared to get us focused on specific points that we need to tweak and work on. But at the end of the day you can write as many Xs and Os as you want on the board but the reality is that it’s all about compete level and winning battles. Last year was last year – it’s what we do now that matters,” said Cammalleri, a major catalyst in the Habs' memorable 2009-10 playoff run.

“I doubt that this series will be lacking any emotion or intensity from the part of the players or either of the cities’ fans. The regular season is the regular season, but this is where rivalries are really made – in the playoffs.”

While the Bruins may have wrapped up their season three spots up the Eastern Conference rankings from the Canadiens, head-coach Jacques Martin knows that when it comes to second season experience, it’s his team that holds the upper-hand.

“Judgment, concentration, and determination will be the keys for us in the playoffs. The regular season is really just a rehearsal, a preparation for this next level of competition. We’re lucky enough to have a lot of players that understand the level of passion, but controlled passion, that it takes to win at this stage,” pointed out Martin.

“We know that right now they’re the favorites, but we’ve dealt with adversity all throughout the year and we’ve come through it. This series should be full of ferocious competition, but we know what we have to do to win and we like our chances.”

With the Canadiens’ power-play having already enjoyed a great deal of success against the Bruins in 2010-11, the Canadiens’ captain knows what a major component special teams will be in getting past Boston and through the first round.

“Special teams will be the biggest factor for us to have success in this series. We need to be disciplined and make sure we stay out of the box while at the same time making them pay for being undisciplined. It will be the kind of series where if you take a penalty you can bet that it’ll come back and haunt you,” said Gionta, who also wasted no putting to rest questions about his team being intimidated by the Boston squad.

“Suggesting that we’re going to be intimidated by size is something I’ve heard throughout my career and something this team has heard all season long, but good teams are ones that find a way to win no matter what and that’s why I like being a part of this group.”

Justin Fragapane is a writer for

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