BROSSARD - The Habs landed back home from Boston late on Sunday night, and were met with the news that goaltender Keith Kinkaid had been placed on waivers when they arrived at the Bell Sports Complex on Monday.
According to head coach Claude Julien - and assuming he clears waivers - the veteran netminder will be sent to the AHL's Laval Rocket to get in some game action and find his footing.
"From what we've seen of him, he's been good, but maybe not good enough right now. We need a goalie, especially when we don't call on him very often, to make sure he's on point. We weren't in that situation now to say, 'Yes, he's playing some good hockey for us,'" admitted Julien of Kinkaid, who's posted a 1-1-3 record, 4.24 goals-against average, and .875 save percentage in six games this season. "We're going to give him the chance to play more often and to see if he can find that part of his game again. If it happens, we'll see. We have 24 hours to see if he'll clear waivers. We'll take it from there."
Video: Claude Julien's post-practice press conference
The man ahead of Kinkaid in the goaltending pecking chart, Carey Price, said he had seen some improvement in the Farmingville, NY native's game, but at the end of the day, it's the outcomes that matter the most.
"I thought he played pretty well the last couple of starts, but we didn't get the result," expressed Price. "Right now, we need results."
Sunday night's 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins was the team's eighth in a row, and while Price acknowledged that things aren't looking rosy for the moment, he remains confident that with the right amount of effort and determination, the Habs will be able to turn things around in short order.
"It's definitely trying times for everybody. But at the same time, I've gone through situations like this before and what it takes to get out of it and what not to do while you're in it," outlined the seven-time All Star. "I think you just kind of trust the process of working hard and trying to work smart and figure out solutions to right the room."
Video: Carey Price on the internal pressure to win
The current skid is bringing back memories of the team's difficult 2017-18 campaign, but alternate captain Brendan Gallagher pointed out that this edition of the Canadiens has built itself a bit of a better cushion to withstand some dips in performance.
"This time, if we're able to right the ship, if we can get it going back the other way, we're not too far off," shared Gallagher, the first Hab to hit double digits in goals this season. "I think we put ourselves in a good enough position before this little skid where you can deal with stuff like this."
Video: Brendan Gallagher on needing results
In Julien's estimation, the Canadiens have already traveled a certain distance along the road to recovery, and with a sustained effort and some bounces going their way, they should be able to start banking wins and points in the standings.
"When we look at these last eight games and we look at whether it's scoring chances, how the game was played... Looking at it in a realistic view, we could easily be 4-4 right now. But we haven't won a single game out of those," described Julien, who thought his troops were the better side in at least some of the games they'd lost during the eight-game skid, notably the Philadelphia game on Saturday. "The right way to fix it is by having the right approach and the right attitude."
Having the right mindset is a start for Gallagher, but the eight-year veteran wants to take things one step further.
"At a certain point, saying the right things and doing the right things is all fine and dandy, but you've got to get results. It's a results-oriented business," said the two-time 30-goal scorer. "You don't get results from trying hard. For us right now, you're kind of sick and tired of taking moral victories.
"It's important for us to have this attitude that enough's enough and we're going to be difference-makers and go out there and make a difference in the game."
Center Phillip Danault was given a therapy day on Monday and didn't skate, but Julien said he'd be good to go for Tuesday's game against the Islanders.
The Canadiens did announce, however, that defenseman Victor Mete - who left Saturday's game against Philadelphia and didn't travel to Boston - had suffered an ankle injury and would be out a minimum of two weeks.
The Canadiens are scheduled for a 10:30 a.m. morning skate ahead of Tuesday night's game against the New York Islanders. Prior to the game, the team will celebrate its 110th anniversary with a Captains' Reunion. Fans are invited to get to their seats for 6:45 p.m. for the pregame ceremony. For tickets, click here.