MONTREAL – The latest “biggest” game of the Canadiens season is almost here.
Tied at 2-2 or down 3-1. What a difference one game can make. Following Game 4 on Thursday, the Canadiens will either be right back into their series with the Penguins or have one foot in the grave. Judging from the vibe in the Habs dressing room only hours from the Canadiens’ latest biggest game of the year, Sidney Crosby and the Penguins shouldn’t be reaching for a shovel quite yet.
“The odds are the odds. You’ll still show up and do the job, but you don’t want to be sitting here down 3-1 two series in a row. We’ll need a big effort tonight and we need a win here tonight, for sure,” understated Michael Cammalleri. “We came back from 3-1 in the last series and won so if it were to happen, we could do it again, but we don’t want to be playing the defending Cup champs that way. We’d like to even this thing up and I like our chances.”
Another guy who wouldn’t mind strolling back to Pittsburgh with this series knotted 2-2 is Cammalleri’s head coach.
“There’s always pressure in these types of situations and we know how crucial this game is to both teams,” said Jacques Martin. “They haven’t lost on the road yet in these playoffs. Beating them here and winning this game at home is the challenge we’re facing tonight.”
With all the Habs have been through already this spring, there’s no need to remind anyone who will be uniform for the Canadiens of how mammoth Thursday’s game really is.
“We know what’s at stake. We know what type of game we’re in for – it’s going to be a hard-fought battle,” said Josh Gorges
. “We need to be ready from the puck drop all the way through. We can’t have any kind of mental lapses against this team and we just need to be ready to work tonight.
“We’re not taking a back seat and accepting the fact that they’re the Stanley Cup Champions and they’re supposed to beat us so we’re going to roll over and die,” vowed Gorges. “We know it’s not going to be easy but we respect that challenge and the guys in here are excited to get out and play and meet that challenge head on.”
Clearly, both teams will pull out all the stops tonight. As for what the Canadiens will have up their sleeves, that will only be revealed once the puck drops for Game 4 according to Cammalleri.
“I’m not going to give away all of our secrets, but they’ll change certain things, we’ll change certain things and we adapt every game,” hinted Cammalleri. “That’s what makes this so fun.”Shauna Denis and Manny Almela are writers for canadiens.com.See alsoGame preview #4 : Canadiens-Penguins Five Keys to the Game: Habs-Pens #4 On the offensive 2010 Playoff Central