Fly on the Wall - Jan. 4, 2009
DeBoer on Montreal’s je ne sais quoi
Panthers head coach Peter DeBoer, along with any Montreal fans who were a little late returning to their seats after the first intermission, couldn’t believe how much a game can change in just a few short seconds. After watching the Canadiens tie the game in an instant to start the second frame, his squad now realizes why no one says you need to play a full “59 minutes, 32 seconds”.
“It wasn’t as much what we did as much as that Montreal cranked their level up right from the first shift in the second period. They jumped on us, we took some penalties, didn’t handle the pressure real well and that’s what a good team like that will do to you.
“After the two goals, it was a tough go when you call a time out to settle things down and you can’t even hear yourself speak let alone get any message to the players. It’s a great building and they have a real home ice advantage here with that.”
Dvorak’s wild ride
Posting a two-goal effort in Sunday’s matinee affair, Panthers right-winger Radek Dvorak wasn’t sure what to make of the roller coaster of a game his team played against the Habs.
“It was a wild game. Against a team like Montreal we have to keep it simple and play in their zone. We didn’t play like we did in the first and they took advantage of that and scored four goals. It was up and down and just kind of wild.”
Ballard on his team’s turtle impression
Ringing one off the post in the dying minutes, defenseman Keith Ballard came within inches of winning it for the Panthers in overtime. He knows the result might have been different if not for his team’s shell-shocked second period.
“We kind of shot ourselves in the foot a few times. They were a lot better and came at us really hard to start the second. Their guys were coming and finishing checks and trying to be more physical and they got more energy from it. We kind of went into a little bit of a shell, trying to hang on to our lead. They’re skilled and talented and we got ourselves in trouble.”
Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com