BOSTON – The Habs are looking to turn Thursday night’s win into a new streak.
After dropping six-straight games heading into Wednesday night’s tilt against the Flyers, the Canadiens knew they were going to need to start piling up wins to make up ground in the Eastern Conference. Posting back-to-back wins against Philly and Boston seemed like the perfect way to do exactly that.
“Obviously after the start we had to the season, this is great for our confidence,” admitted Tomas Plekanec, who scored his second game-winning goal of the season on Thursday night. “We have another big game on Saturday and then we have a little break.
“To win three in a row we have to be ready; we have a lot of work ahead of us but our effort is much better and our team game is much better,” he added. “We’re on the same page and supporting each other and that’s what we were talking about when we were struggling. We’re doing that now and it shows in our game.”
Now just two points out of eighth place in the conference, the Habs have an opportunity to put even more distance between themselves and their divisional rivals when the Bruins come to Montreal for a rematch on Saturday night.
“Maybe it was a good thing that we won last night had to get right back on it and play and not have a few days to pat ourselves on the back and think that things are just going to happen for us,” offered Erik Cole, who opened the scoring for the Habs with a great deflection in the second period. “We got off to a slow start tonight but we worked our way back into the game. It’s another big two points but at the same time wins don’t matter unless you continue winning. We’re just going to have to enjoy it tonight, get some rest tomorrow and get ready for a big game on Saturday.”
Coming off a 4-2 loss to the Sharks on Saturday night, the Bruins came out firing in their first game against Montreal since their seven-game playoff series last spring. Despite falling behind 1-0 after an unlucky power play goal that saw Plekanec win a defensive faceoff into his own net, the Canadiens managed to claw their way back to a textbook 2-1 road win.
“I actually won the draw – I guess sometimes it is better to lose it,” laughed Plekanec of the unusual play. “It was an unlucky goal. You don’t see it that often, but we got through it. We were down 1-0 so the guys weren’t really thinking of teasing me about that, but now that we won I might hear about it.”
Carey Price might be first in line to offer up some good-natured ribbing to his Czech teammate, who was the only player on the ice that managed to put one past the All-Star netminder.
“I didn’t want that to be the winning goal, but the guys went out to get it back and they bailed me out,” praised Price. “We have a lot of character in this room. We all said it before, but we weren’t panicking. We know we’ve got talent in this room to win hockey games. Right now it’s just about getting back to the basics. It might sound cliché but it’s true.”
Kicking off a win streak was the best way to alleviate any tension that may have been building inside the Habs room. Now, the only pressure the Canadiens want to feel is the kind they’ll be applying on their opponents night after night.
“We’ve had some good games where we didn’t have the results. It just wasn’t enough; we needed just a bit more desperation,” stressed Cole, who had six shots against the Bruins. “I think the last two games we’ve seen it.
“You see when a guy makes a mistake or makes a turnover how hard he’s working to get it back and how hard the four other guys on the ice are working for him, too,” he added. “And Carey has been, well, Carey.”
Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com.