NASHVILLE -- Despite nearly doubling the Predators in shots, the Canadiens weren’t able to skate away with a win in Nashville.
GROWING PAINS: The Canadiens exploded out of the gates at the beginning of the season, setting a franchise record with nine-straight wins to kick off the campaign. December has been a very different story, as the team has gone 2-8-0 over the last 10 games, allowing 32 goals against and lighting the lamp just 16 times in that span. The Habs will be looking to snap a four-game losing streak in Minnesota on Tuesday after Monday’s 5-1 loss to the Predators, but P.K. Subban sees his team’s current battle with adversity as an opportunity for growth in the long run.
“You always look forward to the wins and the good times, but this is where we need accountability and we need character and we need guys to just push forward. It’s not an easy time for anybody, but I think it’s a good thing for our team to go through something like this,” shared Subban, who had four shots and dished out four hits in addition to chipping in with an assist on Alex Galchenyuk’s third period goal. “We have to find a way to get out of it.
“Right now I don’t think we’re getting the results we deserve,” added the 26-year-old assistant captain. “I think we’re playing some good hockey, but we have to find a way to keep pushing through it. It’s just about being positive. I know there’s going to be a lot of negativity, but we have to keep that on the outside of our dressing room. It starts tomorrow. The good thing is we have a chance to get out there and try to get out of this thing tomorrow night.”
LAMP LIGHTING: Despite outshooting their hosts by a 36-19 margin on Monday night, the Canadiens weren’t able to find the back of the net. That issue has plagued the Habs through the current downswing, as the team has averaged 1.6 goals-per-night over the last 10 games. While the Canadiens have been forced to soldier on without the services of the 2015 Vezina, Jennings, Ted Lindsay, and Hart Trophy winner between the pipes, Michel Therrien is more focused on what he’s not seeing at the other end of the ice in Carey Price’s absence.
“The only place we didn’t dominate was on the scoreboard. In every other area of the game – scoring chances, shots, puck possession – we dominated them,” stressed the Habs bench boss, whose team was led in the shot column by Galchenyuk’s seven on the night. “Usually when you do all those things, you put yourself in a position to win games. I can’t fault this group for their work ethic or their focus. Again tonight, the guys worked hard, we just had a tough time scoring.”
BACK IN THE SADDLE: With Jeff Petry sidelined on Monday with an upper body injury, Jarred Tinordi slid into the lineup to suit up for his first game of the season. Despite having just a six-game conditioning stint in St. John’s to help stay sharp in late November, Tinordi showed no signs of rust when he made his return to action in Nashville.
“It’s tough when you’re not playing. Mentally, you have to stay positive as much as you can. You have to show up to the rink every day. You never know in this league – things change quickly. Really I just wanted to let my work ethic shine through every day that I wasn’t playing,” said Tinordi, who threw three hits in his 2015-16 debut. “I thought I was physical and I thought I played steady. As the game went on, they had a few fortunate bounces that they capitalized on but overall I thought I played a steady game.”
Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com
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