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Return to Winnipeg

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

WINNIPEG – The Habs know something even bigger than points is up for grabs Thursday against the Jets.

Bigger than two points: Getting the points that come with a win is usually the most important thing for any hockey team. When the Canadiens face the Jets Thursday night in their second visit to Winnipeg, they’re well aware that something even more important than points is up for grabs.

“Obviously getting the two points is going to be very important for us tonight, but getting the win and getting the ball rolling in the right direction again is almost even more important,” said veteran forward Travis Moen of his team’s need for confidence.

Michael Cammalleri scores the first goal against the Jets on Oct. 9.

“A win tonight would be huge. We’re struggling right now and need to find ways to get pucks into the back of the net,” continued Moen, who along with the rest of the Habs will try to deal the Jets their seventh loss at home in 2011-12. “We’re all a little down after a tough loss like that in Chicago, but it’s our job as professionals to throw that one aside and get ready for tonight because this is a really big game for us. All of our guys want to come out with a big performance.

Within reach: Despite dealing with adversity for the majority of their current campaign, the Canadiens know that the seemingly elusive win they’ve been searching for over the past four games isn’t far out of reach.

“The story for us so far is that there’s always on element of our game that’s not working. Sometimes it’s that we’re only getting production from one line, other times we’ll play well 5-on-5 but struggle for production on the power play,” said David Desharnais, who has been one of the most consistent players for the Habs in 2011-12, posting a plus-3 differential and recording five points in his last five games.

“If we just put it all together, we’ll get the results we’re looking for,” he added. “We’re a proud team and we know we can be winners. No one likes to go through a stretch like we are right now, and that’s why we need a win tonight more than ever.”

Catalyst: After disappointing results in their season opener in Toronto, the Canadiens made use of their visit to Winnipeg a few days later to help them get things back on track. Scoring the first regular-season NHL goal in the Jets’ MTS Center, sparking the Habs’ 5-1 win, Michael Cammalleri knows his team could use the same boost of confidence now more than ever.

“Mentally more than anything right now, we really need a win – especially going into this break. We’re looking for a catalyst here that will let us start turning this season around,” expressed Cammalleri, before going on to address teammate P.K. Subban’s statement from a night earlier in which he called out his own play as lacking.

“I think a lot of players probably feel that way about their own game at this point, and I think that P.K. was just echoing some of the sentiments that are coming out the room on the whole,” continued No. 13 who for his part has logged only six goals in 30 games this season. “It’s fair to say we’re not at our most confident and that we’re searching a bit right now. We’re aware of that and not trying to pretend like that’s not the case. In the end, the only way that we can get out of this is by working together.”

Justin Fragapane is a writer for

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