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Support system breakdown

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

PITTSBURGH – Despite their efforts, the Canadiens recipe for winning was again lost in the details.

On the heels of their fourth consecutive loss, the Canadiens are done looking for answers. They know they have them already – it’s the execution that continues to keep them from winning games.

“It’s got nothing to do with the bounces, it’s the way we’re playing,” expressed a clearly frustrated Brian Gionta who scored the Habs’ lone goal in the game. “We’re just not supporting each other and we’re getting away from what we want to do as a team. Tonight you could see it – we can’t sustain a forecheck, we’re too spread out and we’re not coming out with speed. It’s tough to win games that way.” 

Mathieu Darche, who along with Gionta and Andreas Engqvist were the only Canadiens to finish the match with a plus-1 rating, had similar feelings about the team’s most recent performance.

“Without Carey tonight, things would have been even more disastrous. We have to wake up because it’s becoming embarrassing,” dropped Darche. “It keeps happening that we’re two or three guys on the ice that are on the same page, but we need to be five. They were missing two of the best players in the league tonight and still won because they played as a team.”

Making his first appearance since sustaining a laceration to his leg on October 9 in Winnipeg, Michael Cammalleri was quick to point out that while the effort may be in place, the team’s synchronism continues to struggle.

“Everyone wants to win, everybody’s trying, but it just always ends up coming down to execution,” mentioned Cammalleri who logged 19:32 of ice time against the Pens. “When it comes to one-on-one battles, if you make a couple of good passes and get skating with the puck it becomes easy to win that battle. When you put yourself in position to win battles and support each other, everyone looks great. When you don’t, guys are left high and dry out there and everyone looks bad.”

In a night that saw him deal with some tough bounces while also making some spectacular saves, Carey Price opted for a “glass-half-full” approach to the team’s loss.

“We can only get better from here. Dwelling on it is just going to make things worse, so the only thing we can do is put it behind us and get focused for Saturday night’s game,” said Price who finished the night with 29 saves, including a highlight reel diving stop in the first period. “We’ve had a couple of good games but it just seems like if one thing’s going well, the other isn’t. We just need to finally all throw it all together and once we do that I think we’ll get on a roll, but until then we have to bare down on our details and everything should work out.”

Justin Fragapane is a writer for

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