(Brosard) Only two games a season, but Montreal Canadians have admitted that the team that allowed them to reach the Stanley Cup final in the latest summer has not regained its identity.
The hubs started their campaign with two consecutive losses for the first time since the 2000-01 season. Buffalo lost 5-1 to the Sabers on Thursday night – one of the worst teams on paper in the NHL – in the face.
“Every time you lose 5-1 it’s like a blow to the stomach, a signal to wake up,” defender Ben Chiarot admitted. There is so much room to improve. ”
Head coach Dominic Ducharme said last weekend that his players knew what to do on the ice, but it was time to get back into the right mood.
“We need a team of 20 players who are committed to our style, our structure, our approach to work,” Ducharme reiterated Friday. We need to go back to the basics. When the recipe is good, do not change it. ”
As he said after the loss on Thursday night, Ducharme reiterated that his team had fallen into the trap after winning the playoffs. He may have warned players repeatedly about this trap, but sometimes you have to experience it to fully understand the situation.
Chiarot said it will take some time at the start of the season for everyone to be on the same page.
“We have to be committed to playing the right way defensively. This has allowed us to win the playoffs.” ”
For his part, Ducharme refuted the theory that players were having trouble integrating his game system, emphasizing that all of this was in mental preparation.
“Look against Toronto, we were given four chances on change,” he said. If you do not know when to change in the NHL … it is psychological. I can think of 15 streaks that we are sure of in our front failure in the neutral zone. Why aren’t we perfect on 15? It takes a long time to be constantly alert. But in this league, the line between winning and losing is very thin. Our concentration should be better, our mood should be better, our commitment should be better so that our structure is better and our game in battles is better.
“In Toronto, there are three very good guys. Some of the defensemen are good and Jake (Allen, keeper) are good. But we don’t have 20 players. We’m not asking players to be superheroes. We want them to be strong and good. Yesterday (Thursday) against Sabers. ), It’s 0-out-20 .You can not win this way, and it starts with the mentality. ”
The good news is that there are 80 games left in the season. Also, Dacharme did not say he was concerned about the state of the situation despite commenting harshly about the first two games.
“If we’re already starting to feel stressed, the season will be too long,” Chiarot said. We need to be positive and keep ourselves cool. ”
The Canadian will reunite with his fans when they host the New York Rangers on Saturday. There is no limit on the number of eligible spectators at the Bell Center for the game, which means there will be more than 7,500 people in the stands for the first time since March 10, 2020.
“For most players, this is their first opening game with an arena packed in Canadians uniform,” said goaltender Jake Allen. Guys can’t wait! ”
Meanwhile, forward Mike Hoffman could launch his hobs next week, Dacharme said. Hoffman signed a three-season, US $ 13.5 million deal with Canadians as a free agent this summer. He missed the entire camp due to a minor bodily injury.
Defenseman Matthias Norlinder could also join the Canadians in training next week.