WINNIPEG – The Canadiens will have four days and 2408 km to put between themselves and Winnipeg, and rediscover their game.
Thursday night’s tilt in Winnipeg marked the end of the Canadiens’ three-game road trip leading up to the Christmas holiday. Unfortunately, it didn’t come complete with the answers the team was looking for. While the Habs fly out of Manitoba on the heels of a fifth consecutive loss, they know the time to reclaim control of their season is far from gone. Sometimes all it takes is a little distance from the problem at hand to put things into perspective.
“This is going to be a time to step away from the game for a few days and reevaluate exactly what’s going on,” said Carey Price, who along with the rest of the Canadiens sits in 12th place in the Eastern Conference, only four points away from a berth in the playoffs.
|Canadiens vs. Jets, Dec. 22, 2011. |
“We have to remember that it’s our goal to make the playoffs. We’re never going to get there doing things individually. We’ll have no chance,” added Price who faced 34 shots from the Jets Thursday at the MTS Center. “We have to be able to count on each and every guy in this room. We have to make this push together – it’s just that simple.”
One aspect of their game the Habs will be sure reevaluate when they come together again after the Christmas break is a power play that has proven enigmatic since the start of the season. Failing to capitalize on 10 minutes of time with the man-advantage in the second period, the Canadiens also passed up the opportunity to get themselves back into the match.
“Our power play has been struggling for while now. I think we need to get a little more creative and change things up,” expressed Cammalleri who logged 5:31 of power play ice-time for the Habs, registering three shots on the night. “It’s a bit of a cop out for us to keep saying that we need to get more shots and more bodies to the net. In my opinion, getting more shots is a result of good play, not a goal in itself.
“My plan is just to take this time that we have away and enjoy it with my family,” added No. 13, who will also be celebrating his first holiday as a father. “We need to get some rest, reset the batteries and come back as hard as we can.”
One teammate that couldn’t agree more was Josh Gorges, who in the absence of P.K. Subban from Thursday’s tilt, logged a team-high 21:18 of ice-time against the Jets.
“I think when you’re in the position that we’re in and you get down by a goal, a little bit of panic sets in and I think that’s exactly what happened tonight. Everyone’s scared to be the guy that’s going to make the next mistake and cost the team the game,” said Gorges, also of the mind that a breather from the rink may be just what the doctor ordered.
“We’re going to have to take this break and get away from hockey, get away from the frustration and come back when the break is over with a new sense of life; a new sense of rejuvenation and play like it’s a brand new season.”
Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.
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