BROSSARD – The Canadiens regrouped for a last-minute Sunday morning meeting in Brossard.
Behind closed doors: Josh Gorges spoke with the media following the Habs’ Sunday morning meeting to discuss the team’s direction and outlook. While making sure to keep the details private, Gorges spoke of putting the group’s mistakes under the microscope in the hopes of making the necessary adjustments a reality.
“It’s not easy, especially at a time like this when you tend to grip the stick a little bit tighter because you don’t want to be the guy to make a mistake. But we’re professionals and we need to work though this collectively, as a group, and if we do, we’ll get out of this thing,” expressed No. 26 who was just as quick to point out his own errors as he was to admit a better group effort in certain areas was needed.
“The goals against is really a team stat. When you look at the goals that they scored, you know, I coughed one up to the leading goal scorer in the NHL right in front of the net and gave him a clear cut shot,” said Gorges of a broken play that led to a Phil Kessel goal for the Leafs. “That’s not the goalie’s fault, that’s my fault. We allowed them to crash the net and disrupt what Carey's able to do, and again – that’s not his fault, it’s ours. You ask him and he’ll say he has to be better, but we really need to be better in front of him.”
The kids are alright: Even if the Canadiens' defensive core checks in at an average age of 26.3-years-old and brings limited NHL experience to the table, Yannick Weber is far from ready to blame the team’s record on it.
“I know we’re a young team, but I don’t think this comes down to being inexperienced. Everyone right now isn’t playing their best, but when you take a closer look at the footage, you see other things, like how well Emelin is playing. He’s been solid, and bringing a physical game. He’s great to play with and it looks like he’s always been a part of this league. Same thing with Raphael – he’s playing with a guy like Gill that has a lot of experience and he doesn’t look out of place,” pointed out Weber, maintaining that with a few less injuries, things might be turning out differently for the team.
“Obviously with guys like Campoli, Markov and Spacek in the lineup we would have a different looking team, but at the same time, I don’t thing you can put the blame on the team’s rookies. We played solidly until the end, and any defensive problems are the responsibility of the group,” finished Weber.
Setting the tone: According to Jacques Martin’s philosophy, a solid leadership core is key when dealing with challenges the team is currently facing. Luckily, for the Canadiens, they have one in place.
“The leadership group in this team is extremely important. It’s crucial to have their feedback in this situation, and with guys like Gionta, Gill, Moen and Gorges, you really couldn’t ask for a more invested group of individuals,” said the Canadiens head-coach. “They’re really taking things to heart, and they’re really disappointed after a tough loss like last night’s. Now, we have a day to rebuild ourselves, refocus, and make sure that we come back Monday night with an even stronger performance and better execution.”
Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.