A game of inches
MONTREAL – On the heels of another tough loss, the Habs continue to believe that with the right effort in place, it's only a matter of time before the bounces start going their way.
On a night that saw the Canadiens do a lot of things right, the elusive win that’s hung out of their reach for the last five games continued to evade them. Despite solid performances from Peter Budaj and the team’s power play unit, the Habs still walked away from their Monday night tilt without a point to show for their efforts.
“We’re getting the shots, but it just seems that it’s never enough. When you look at the chances we had, I can’t believe the puck didn’t go in. One of these games it will have to fall for us. But until it happens, we have to find a way and do some things differently,” said a frustrated Josh Gorges who fired four shots of his own on Jacob Markstrom Monday night.
“When a team gets up by a goal late in the game, you know they’ll play it safe,” added No. 26. “It’s not a time for us to start thinking that we should go coast to coast or try to make cute plays at the blue line.”
Turning aside 29 of the 31 shots he faced from the Panthers, Peter Budaj had to content himself with a loss despite being named the game’s second star thanks to an impressive debut between the pipes.
“I felt really good tonight. The crowd was great; the fans were chanting. It was an exciting game, we had a lot of chances, the crowd was into it, so I felt good out there. At the end of the day though, I’d much rather feel bad and get the W,” admitted Budaj whose night included a highlight reel save on Florida breakaway.
“In the second period when the score was 1-1, I kind of thought that the next goal was going to make the difference – I was hoping it was going to be our goal, but unfortunately, it was theirs.”
Scoring his first goal as Hab – and a much needed power play marker to boot – Erik Cole had no intention of celebrating the moment, tainted instead by the group’s continued struggles.
“We did some good things, had some opportunities, and some great kills in the second period but the result still ended up the same. Nobody likes losing,” said No. 72, who registered a game-high six shots on goal. “We’re tired of this. It’s tough that this wasn’t the night for us to get over the hump, because I really feel like we could have.”
“Every team is going to face adversity over the course of the season,” finished Cole. “This is ours.”
Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.
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