MONTREAL – The Canadiens were outshot 42-22 by the Maple Leafs on Saturday night. In what would be Randy Carlyle’s first game as the Leafs' coach, the day's distractions didn’t seem to bother the Toronto team, who only allowed the Habs a few key chances.
Emotions running high: Earlier on Saturday morning, the Canadiens all admitted they knew that the matchup between both teams would be at an intense once, as it always is.
“It was a pretty emotional game; there was a lot of intensity,” said Carey Price who stopped a season-high 39 shots Saturday night. “I thought both sides were playing hard. I thought it was a pretty good game to watch.”
The Molson Cup recipient for the month of February is starting to see each loss differently.
“I’m over being frustrated now. I’ll just try to do my job and try to do it at the best of my ability,” admitted Price. “I’m more disappointed; it’s probably the biggest thing. I thought we played pretty hard and I’m satisfied with that. It’s just the end result that I’m disappointed with.”
Deep end: With only 22 shots on Maple Leafs netminder Jonas Gustavsson, the Canadiens seemed to be missing depth in the offensive zone.
“We got away from the game a little bit, we started turning over a few pucks and they started going the other way,” shared Ryan White who got only one shot on net Saturday night. “When that happens it’s tough to get the offense going. I thought we battled hard but we didn’t get the result we wanted.”
“They did a good job blocking shots and protecting the front of their net,” added Josh Gorges who played 20:27 minutes on Saturday. “We didn’t do a good enough job of getting enough pucks to their net and getting enough guys in front of their goalie. That’s the way we have to score and that’s what we have to be better at.”
A change is going to come: With an injury reserve list boasting key veterans, the Habs have had to deal with several line changes amongst other things.
“It’s getting more comfortable out there every game. We’re finding ourselves out there a bit more,” said White who’s been playing alongside of Tomas Plekanec. “It’s tough getting new guys. I haven’t played much this year. Pleks has done a good job of dictating where we’re going to go and how we’re going to play with each other.”
For Montreal coach Randy Cunneyworth, changes to the game must be made to make sure the Habs a few more wins before the end of the season.
“I think we can take a little page of their game plan which was part of our game plan but I don’t know if we were able to accomplish it like they did,” confessed Cunneyworth after Saturday’s game against the Leafs. “We gave up turnovers, icings; I think we need to manage the puck a little better. We’re under a lot of pressure in those situations. We just have to use the glass a little but more.”
The Canadiens will hop on a three-game tour in Western Canada starting Tuesday when they face off against the Calgary Flames.
Lee Anne Vincent O'Connor is a writer for canadiens.com.