Their roster may not include Vince Vaughn or Owen Wilson, but that hasn’t stopped Alexander Ovechkin and Co. from getting a little too up close and personal with the Canadiens’ goalies. Like a concerned parent carefully fastening a helmet to their child's head before allowing them to ride a bike, Jacques Martin continues to pay very close attention to what kind of traffic his goalies are facing in this series.
“The referees without a doubt did a better job in the last game,” said Martin, who was quite animated behind the bench following some of Washington’s goals in the first two games of the series. “They had one interference call made on them and so did we.”
So that’s what the coach thought, but what about the guys in the line of fire?
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for banging in the trash. I mean that’s playoff hockey,” admitted Carey Price who experienced the busy freeway that’s been the Habs crease for the first time in Game 3. “But you still have to protect the goalies. We’re pretty vulnerable back there.”
With two-plus games of Capital punishment under his belt, Jaroslav Halak remained diplomatic about the pressure he’s faced from Washington’s forwards.
“I think they did a better job in Game 3, but we need to play through that,” said Halak who was surprisingly three dimensional considering how he’s been flattened in the paint by the steamrolling Capitals through the first three games of the series.
With already five points in this series, Michael Cammalleri has managed to produce without getting close enough to either Jose Theodore or Semyon Varlamov to know what cologne they’re wearing.
“We’ve got to do a better job at that too. But there are rules about that – you’re not supposed to be able to hit the goalie so it goes both ways,” said Cammalleri. ““I don’t think it’s been a physical series so it hasn’t really been a factor either way. They’ve got some size but I don’t think either team plays an overly physical style.”
As for who will be in net for Game 4 either Price or Halak, Martin was as cryptic as always and he also had other things on his mind.
“Our goalie situation isn’t what our problem is right now. With either of them in there we have a chance to win every night,” said Martin. “If you look at how this series has unfolded so far, goaltending isn’t the reason we find ourselves behind today. For tomorrow’s game, I’ll figure out who is the best one to get the start.”
Manny Almela and Shauna Denis are writers for canadiens.com.
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