BROSSARD - As the Canadiens get set to take part in their fourth game of the preseason, the pressure is inching up a notch to chalk one up in the win column.
"I think for our whole team there's a sense of emergency. We want to win. I know it's preseason, but everybody has that drive to win and want to win," Michael McCarron confided after Saturday morning's practice at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard. "You look better as a team when you win. We want to have a good one tonight."
The 6-foot-6, 231-pound forward skated on a line with a pair of Daniels - Audette and Carr - ahead of the Canadiens' exhibition tilt against the Ottawa Senators, and is hoping to increase his contributions on the scoresheet.
"I've been just trying to build on each game. I want to create a little bit more offense to my game," he added. "The first two games I haven't been able to do that. Tonight I'll be playing with more offensive guys. Hopefully we can find the net and get around that net."
Video: McCarron on the sense of urgency
Joining McCarron in his quest for offense is Chris Terry, who will dressing for his first preseason game after being day-to-day with a torso injury earlier in the week. The Brampton, ON native has a knack for scoring goals at the AHL level - having netted 30 in 58 games for the Saint John's IceCaps last season - and is raring to go.
"I would've liked to [play] earlier, but things happen," explained Terry, who also added a pair of goals in 14 games with the Canadiens in 2016-17. "I'm excited for tonight, [we've got] a good line. I'm just looking to build on what I've done so far in camp."
Video: Terry on his first preseason game
If you ask Matt Taormina, Terry's new teammate and former opponent in the AHL, the 28-year-old forward should be able to do some damage offensively once the puck drops at the Canadian Tire Centre.
"He was always a threat when we played against him. I think we played 12 times, including the playoffs. We know each other pretty well. He has a tremendous shot, and he always somehow finds the back of the net," described Taormina, who suited up for 70 games with the Syracuse Crunch last year. "He's a huge threat on the power play and a huge threat regardless, just coming down the wing. You have to watch him. A lot of guys are in the same predicament, but he's a good player out there. Whatever he can do, he'll do."
The predicament Taormina is referring to is the fact the 45 players remaining at camp will not all be starting the year with the big club. And with Laval Rocket training camp set to start on Monday, the game against Ottawa might be one last opportunity for some players to prove their worth.
Video: Taormina on the game against Ottawa
"It's a big challenge. But it is what it is; I know the situation I'm in and I'm just going to go out there and play the way I can to the best of my ability," elaborated Taormina. "Whatever happens after the game or tomorrow happens, it's not like it's unexpected. I'm just going to play free knowing that; it helps to not stress out about it, so that will maybe make me a little more relaxed out there."
For his part, Terry is also cognizant of the reality of the situation and plans on making the most of his opportunity.
"There are spots to be had, but there's a lot of good competition. There are a lot of very good players here, a lot who I played with in Saint John's last year. The best thing I can do is put my best foot forward, play to my strengths and be a complete player out there," revealed Terry, the Carolina Hurricanes' fifth-round pick (132nd overall) in 2007. "That's all you can do as a player, do the best you can. The decisions are made by people higher up."
Video: Lernout on his training camp
Defenseman Brett Lernout, who was paired up with Taormina at practice, has been satisfied with his camp to date but is planning on upping his physical game a notch against the Senators as he attempts to stick around.
"We're getting an opportunity to go play again and show them what we've got. They'll probably make more cuts later and send some guys in the minors," he concluded. "It's a big game. I'm just going to go out there, play my game and give it my all."