MONTREAL – A loss in the preseason may not count in the standings, but that doesn’t make it any easier for the Habs to swallow.
After losing 4-0 to the Lightning on Thursday night, the Canadiens saw their preseason record dip to 1-6-0. With a chance to wipe the slate clean and start fresh when the season kicks off next Thursday night in Toronto, Brian Gionta
is looking at Saturday’s final preseason tilt as a dress rehearsal for the real thing.
“We basically have to be ready for the season come Saturday. It’s our last tune-up and we have to make sure everything is clicking and everything is in order before the first game,” confirmed the Habs captain. “The main thing is the support. A lot of times, we’re finding a wide guy and he’s all alone with three guys to beat. We have to make sure we have two or three guys on the puck at all times. It looks like our timing is off but it’s more about the support.”
The veteran winger isn’t ready to hit the panic button just yet, but he still knows the importance of finishing the preseason on a high note.
“It doesn’t matter what you do; you’re competitive and you want to win,” admitted Gionta. “It’s definitely frustrating. I don’t think the previous ones were as much but these last two were because we’ve had the majority of our regulars in the lineup and we’re trying to get ready for the regular season. Unfortunately tonight we just weren’t on top of our game.”Josh Gorges
was equally disappointed with Thursday’s performance, but the final score was the furthest thing from his mind.
“It’s a frustrating loss because I think we made too many mistakes tonight and we didn’t compete when we needed to,” underlined the 27-year-old blue-liner, who blocked four shots in his night’s work. “We competed at times and we had spurts where we were playing good hockey but we weren’t consistent throughout the whole game and that’s the disappointing part to me.”
Before even hitting the showers after the loss, Gorges was already looking ahead to the rematch.
“We’re not going to let it get to us too much because it’s still the preseason and that’s the whole point of the preseason -- to get the kinks out and get it out of our system now,” he explained. “We would have liked to have a better effort tonight but I know we’re going to come back for practice tomorrow, iron out a few details and we have these guys again on Saturday. It’ll be a fun game and hopefully we’ll get a little redemption.”Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com
. SEE ALSOBoxscoreThe Numbers Game - Sept. 29, 2011 Notebook - Sept. 29, 2011
Three players assigned to Hamilton
Gabriel Dumont assigned to Hamilton
Campoli checks in