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MTL@TOR: 'Everyone must elevate their game a notch'

Corey Perry, Jake Evans and interim head coach Dominique Ducharme met the media following Saturday's morning skate

by Matt Cudzinowski @CanadiensMTL / canadiens.com

TORONTO - The Canadiens skated at Scotiabank Arena on Saturday morning ahead of their game against the Maple Leafs.

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Following the on-ice session, forwards Corey Perry and Jake Evans, and interim head coach Dominique Ducharme spoke with reporters via Zoom.

Here are a few highlights from their respective chats:

Perry on raising the level of his game at key times:

We're fighting for a playoff spot. To make the playoffs is a tough thing in this League. Half the teams go home and half the teams continue to battle it out until there's one left. That's kind of been my career, just ramping it up at the right time and being ready for the playoff run.

Video: Corey Perry on missing key players in the lineup

Perry on some of Cole Caufield's best assets:

He's a good kid. He soaks everything up. He's always talking, he's always asking questions. But on the ice, he can skate, he can shoot it, he's smart and I think you're starting to see something really special.

Video: Coffee with Canadiens: Caufield and Shutt

Evans on playing without Phillip Danault, who is sidelined with a concussion:

We're definitely going to miss him. He's a really good player, a really strong player for us. I think it's just going to be a collective effort with the centremen, penalty killers and all the other roles that Phil plays. It's going to be a collective effort.

Video: Evans on Alex Belzile making his regular season debut

Evans on Alex Belzile playing his first regular season game in the NHL:

It's awesome. I'm really happy for him. We played two years in Laval together and spent a lot of time together. He's got such a love for the game, such great energy and such positivity. I don't think he would have made it to the NHL if he didn't have those characteristics because he's had a long road here. I'm just really happy for him and really excited to see him out there.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: Alex Belzile is skating on a regular line this morning.Today's lines and D pairings ������ #GoHabsGo https://t.co/bChJEwkK6u

Ducharme on being minus Danault's services:

We have to replace him collectively, especially since we're on the road. He's an important player in many different situations, especially on faceoffs. We have to perform well in that area. Everyone must elevate their game a notch.

Video: Ducharme on filling the void left by Danault

Ducharme on Belzile suiting up:

He played playoff games with us last year. He knows what to expect. He's a guy who plays the right way and brings a lot of energy. He's a real hockey player. He already has some experience in the NHL and he already has some chemistry with Evans. We're confident that they'll be a good line with Artturi Lehkonen.

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