The waiting game
SUNRISE – With the trade deadline less than 24 hours away, all that’s left for the Canadiens to do is wait and wonder.
With the trade deadline finally only a few short hours away, the Canadiens’ Sunday night tilt against the Panthers likely represented the Habs’ last game before seeing the team undergo some changes. After stepping between the pipes for his ninth start of the season, stopping 28 of 32 shots on the night, Peter Budaj offered a few words on the events scheduled to unfold the following day.
| Peter Budaj addresses the media
“At the end of the day, we’re players. We’re not management, coaching staff or GMs. Our job is to play and obviously we haven’t done that to the best of our abilities,” dropped the Canadiens’ goaltender, pointing out that for the team, keeping the idea of trades off their minds is often easier said than done.
“There's a lot of talent and a lot of potential on this team, but we’re not having a good season. All that other stuff is out of our hands now, and you try not to think about it even though it’s a stressful time,” added Budaj, playing his first season with the Habs after having spent the first part of his career in as part of the Colorado Avalanche. “We can only control the work we do on the ice, everything else is in the hands of the management and I’m sure they’re going to do what’s best for the team.”
According to Canadiens head coach, Randy Cunneyworth, the reality of the trade deadline is something that obviously can’t be avoided – but it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s where a player’s focus should be directed.
“In my mind we should be well focused with or without the deadline. Everybody’s playing for something, so you can’t not be ready,” expressed Cunneyworth, who himself underwent a mid-season change of allegiances twice in his NHL career.
“On one hand, it should excite you,” continued Cunneyworth. “If your name is on someone’s list, then go out there and play like you’re deserving of it. You should be happy that some teams are interested and asking about you. I’m not sure of what the rumors are right now, but it shouldn’t matter. You should just go out there and play.”
While the Canadiens have been trying to do just that, defensive pillar Josh Gorges also pointed out that despite it being part of the business, it doesn’t make it any easier to see your team change.
“You never know what to expect. The deadline’s only a few hours away so… maybe nothing happens, maybe there are a few guys in here that we won’t see anymore. Either way, we have no one to blame but ourselves,” said Gorges in the wake of the Canadiens 4-2 loss to the Panthers. “When you’re not winning something needs to change – and that’s not to say we’re going to make changes, that’s out of my hands – but we’ll just have to wait and see how tomorrow goes.”
Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.