One at a time
Only few hours removed from staving off elimination in Game 5, the Canadiens couldn’t be happier to see the media and to not be talking about the season that was.
“C’mon, I’m always happy to see you guys, but we’re all even happier to have another big challenge ahead still to come, “ said Hal Gill with a smile. “It sure was a big win for us and we worked really hard to get it. He had our work cut out for us and we got it done, but that was only the first step.”
Just like Gill, other veterans really led the way for the Canadiens in their near-elimination experience in Washington and that leadership did not go unnoticed by head coach Jacques Martin.
"I liked the determination and leadership from our key guys. They elevated their game a level at the right time. I also liked our execution,” said Martin. “In this business, you can't look at the past for too long. All that matters is what we do on Monday. But today the players have the day off to relax and enjoy the moment. We'll get back at it on Sunday to get ourselves prepared for Monday's game."
With each of their wins in this series coming at the Verizon Center and not the Bell Centre, Martin is counting on the home crowd to help will his team to victory in Game 6.
"The players are anxious to play in front of our crowd. Our fans are absolutely incredible,” said Martin. “It's a good omen for us to be playing Game 6 at home. We're going to have to focus on having our concentration for the full 60 minutes."
Trailing 3-2 in this best-of-seven series, the Canadiens are all very aware they aren't out of the woods quite yet.
“The pressure is still on us,” said Travis Moen, who scored the game-winner on Friday in Washington.. “The Caps may have finished first overall and have all the pressure that comes with that, but they only one game left to win and we have two. We’ve also played a lot better in their building than we have here at home. We owe it to our fans to have a big game on Monday.”
Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com
See you Monday!
Welcome back, Halak
The Numbers Game - April 23, 2010