Going through elimination, Canadiens trace at adjustments: ‘We’re not completed but’

MONTREAL – The chirping is the very best half.

The NHL’s mini docuseries Quest for the Stanley Cup reveals behind-the-scenes footage and mic’d-up moments from these intense playoff battles, and the chirping virtually all the time is the very best half. A refreshing sprint of color to distinction the buttoned-down formality of the each day Zoom convention.

In a single significantly fulfilling second from Friday’s episode, which gathers footage from Sport 1 and a pair of of the Stanley Cup remaining, Tampa Bay Lightning fourth-liner Patrick Maroon is laying into Montreal Canadiens winger Josh Anderson, sarcastically calling him “robust man” a pair occasions earlier than hitting the well-compensated Anderson with the zinger:

“You might have the identical quantity of factors as me, buddy. It’s embarrassing,” Maroon says, with glee. “The identical quantity of factors as me! Ha-ha!”

Even when Maroon’s declare isn’t precisely correct (Maroon has three playoff factors to Anderson’s 4), each joke comprises a nugget of fact.

The Canadiens are getting thwacked 14-5 by way of three video games on this slanted Ultimate, and Anderson is only one of many Montreal weapons with doughnuts on the scoresheet.

So troublesome to return by are high quality 5-on-5 possibilities that Montreal coach Dominique Ducharme opted as a substitute to drill down on power-play work Sunday in what threatens to be the membership’s remaining apply of the season.

“We would have liked to take that point to work on our energy play. Generally throughout a spherical or towards the top of the 12 months, it was exhausting to do as a result of we didn’t have time. And if now we have two energy performs tomorrow, we wish to take advantage of out of them,” Ducharme defined.

“We are able to’t say we’ve had a whole lot of manufacturing there.”

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Whistles have largely gone quiet within the sequence up to now, with Tampa’s elite 5-on-4 group cashing in on two of seven energy performs. Montreal has one power-play strike in six makes an attempt and has been working at 20.4 per cent within the post-season.

Ducharme swapped out defenceman Erik Gustafasson on the purpose of the highest unit in favour of Jeff Petry. Petry is gaining power and confidence in his shot, firing 9 pucks on web up to now two video games.

“Have a constructive angle, nonetheless have enjoyable coming into this rink day by day and never cling our heads,” Petry mentioned. “We now have a giant problem forward of us. We’ve had a difficult 12 months all 12 months. Simply to return in and luxuriate in it day by day has been the message. I feel everybody was in good spirits in the present day.”

As followers clamour for the return of Alexander Romanov, and Brett Kulak and Tomas Tatar stay choices, Ducharme hinted that extra lineup tweaks might be to ensure that Monday’s Sport 4.

“I’m not nervous about placing any of our gamers within the lineup. They’ll be able to play,” Ducharme mentioned. “For Gustafsson, we’ll see tomorrow. You noticed the facility play items in the present day, and that’s what it will likely be tomorrow, however we’ll see for the remainder of our lineup.”

Anderson maintains that the temper is “unfastened and assured” within the Habs dressing room, whilst they face the Herculean activity of profitable 4 straight video games towards a group that hasn’t misplaced 4 in a row since February of 2020.

“We’re going to do every part we are able to to remain on this factor and fly out to Tampa on Tuesday,” Anderson asserted.

“We received nothing to lose at this level, so everybody’s gonna be prepared for tomorrow night time, I can inform you that. We’re not completed but.”

Groups with a 3-0 lead within the #StanleyCup Ultimate maintain an all-time file of 26-1 (.963), with the 1942 Maple Leafs accounting for the one come-from-behind sequence victory. #NHLStats

: Sport 4, Monday: MTL vs. TBL at 8 p.m. ET on CBC, TVAS, SN, NBC pic.twitter.com/wyfsgPq37A

— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) July 4, 2021

Whereas the Canadiens insist they’re unfastened and assured, the Lightning definitely seemed that means throughout Sunday’s well-attended 30-minute optionally available.

The apply session was punctuated with glad whoops and yodels, playful chirps and aim celebrations. Loads of them got here from Maroon, who might threepeat Monday like some type of blue-collar Michael Jordan.

“Playoff time is the very best a part of the 12 months, and we’re loving each second of it,” mentioned Yanni Gourde.

In the direction of the top of apply, the nets had been pulled to the blue strains for a miniature 3-on-3 scrimmage event.

When Maroon’s line scored the profitable aim, the Massive Rig’s arms outstretched excessive within the air, the place Stanley Cups get held.

“I do know our mindset is totally different going into these closeout video games because it has [been] up to now,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper mentioned.

“It’s about profitable. It’s not about the place you win. And that’s all we care about.”

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