BROSSARD - The Canadiens practiced at the Bell Sports Complex on Tuesday morning before departing for Ottawa.
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Following the on-ice session, goaltender Jake Allen and forward Tyler Toffoli spoke with reporters via Zoom, along with interim head coach Dominique Ducharme.
Here are a few highlights from their respective chats:
Allen on playing solid hockey at a critical time of the season:
I think that's huge heading into the postseason. We've still got to finish off these five games in the right fashion and the right way here. That's the first step. It's always about building your game and building your game at the right time. It's about momentum in the playoffs. It's about containing the other team's momentum and building yours and not letting it slip. The guys are putting together some good efforts right now, especially without a lot of the leaders on our team, and it's good to see.
Video: Jake Allen on the importance of building momentum
Allen on veteran Joel Edmundson stepping up with key leaders on the sidelines:
Eddy has just been a rock for us back there. Without the steady presence of Webby and what he brings to the table, and when Benny was out, Eddy's just been there all year. He's really been a silent leader for this team. He's played a lot of minutes in a lot of different situations over his career. I've been with him for a long time, and it's some of the most consistent hockey I've seen him play. He's really put it upon himself to step up and be an internal leader with this group. Whether you've got a letter or you don't, it doesn't really matter. He's played through some hard minutes, some hard pain, and he's been a rock for us.
Toffoli on Allen's play this year:
I think he's been incredible. He's just one of those guys that doesn't say a whole lot, but he comes to work every day prepared. Everyone sees how he's playing. It's been huge, and he's played a huge role this season.
Video: Tyler Toffoli on the improvements to the power play
Toffoli on why the power play is clicking:
I think we're just making confident plays. Nick's been taking his game to the next level and the power play is kind of running through him. He's been doing a great job scoring big goals. We've just got to keep it going and keep pushing during these last few games.
Ducharme on Allen's contribution this year:
I've known him for a long time. He played with the Montreal Junior when I was there. He just continued to mature. He's a real professional. He works hard and he does everything he can to have success. He's been playing well since the start of the season. He even took his game up a notch recently.
Video: Ducharme on putting Caufield on the Danault line
Ducharme on featuring Cole Caufield on a line with Phillip Danault and Josh Anderson at practice:
First of all, there's a difference between playing at home and playing on the road. We're preparing for a game against Ottawa. We think it's the best scenario for the game in Ottawa. We want him to continue to progress alongside Phil and Andy. It's good to have him with two veterans when we don't have the last change on the road. I liked what he did with Phil and Tatar in Calgary. It's another experience for him and he'll continue to learn.