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Something’s gotta give

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
BROSSARD - One day after out-shooting, out-hitting, out-chancing and out-playing the Capitals and still coming out on the losing end of a 6-3 decision, no one could fault the Habs for looking at the glass as half-full on Thursday morning. But that’s never really been the Canadiens’ style.

“I think it’s good for us to stay really present at a time like this. We can’t be thinking about what could’ve been or where we could be or anything like that,” stated Michael Cammalleri, who has posted a team-high five points in the first four games of the series. “We have to be aware of where we are and where we are is still alive and playing in Washington tomorrow night. It’s not easy for us, it’s a challenge to get up but that’s the fun of the playoffs.”

With four game-winners to his credit so far this year, no one has been more clutch for the Canadiens than Cammalleri. About to embark on the biggest game of the season, he’s not about to start squeezing his custom made Easton sticks any tighter now.

“I would say at this point, maybe you try to play with a little more of a loose, pressure-off feel, which we’ve tried to create all series. Now we really have nothing to lose,” explained Cammalleri. “Now it’s going and playing with a sense of looseness in our game. I don’t think we’ve felt stymied but I don’t think you avoid frustration; you accept it. You don’t fight it; you acknowledge it and you do your best to move forward in a productive manner. That’s when it’s about realizing we’re frustrated, but we’ve got a little fire in our belly so let’s go play a game where we don’t have to be frustrated.”

After limiting some of the NHL’s top snipers to just 18 shots in the first 40 minutes, Josh Gorges isn’t ready to throw in the towel and concede defeat just yet. He knows it may take a near-perfect few games to rally back from a 3-1 series deficit against the President’s Trophy winners, and that’s exactly what he’s expecting to see on Friday night. 

“It’s not easy, but winning never is,” described the stalwart Habs blue-liner. “We’ve said it before, but you give them half a second, especially with the way Ovechkin can shoot the puck, and it’s in the net. There’s no other explanation: you can’t make a mistake and you can’t give them space when they’re out there. If the one guy does make a mistake, there needs to be four others there right away backing him up and covering for him.”

Now heading to Washington and facing elimination for the first time in the series, Gorges and Co. will be ready to throw everything, including the kitchen sink, at the Caps when the puck drops for Game 5.

“We’ve put ourselves in a position where we’re backed into a corner and we don’t have anywhere else to go but to come out swinging and fighting and giving everything we have,” declared Gorges. “From here on out for the rest of the series, it’s Game 7 for us.”

Shauna Denis is a writer for

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All or nothing 
Habs overcome by Caps, fall back 3-1 in series 
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