The Canadiens were given Sunday off by coach Michel Therrien after splitting the first two games of their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Bruins in Boston.
Game 3 is Tuesday night at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).
Therrien and defenceman Josh Gorges took part in a conference call with reporters at noon Sunday.
Gorges was asked on the conference call about his thoughts on the high number of third-period comebacks during this year’s playoffs.
“I think it just shows that all teams are competitive and wanting to win and no team is going to give up,” Gorges said. “I think everyone knows the importance of winning these games and no lead is ever safe because the other team just doesn’t quit and that was evident last night. Boston didn’t give up, they kept coming. And I think moving forward the biggest thing for us is to not stop playing our game. We can’t sit back and try to protect the lead. We have to keep pushing forward and be aggressive and keep playing our game.”
After blowing a 3-1 lead in the third period of Game 2 Saturday in Boston, losing 5-3, Therrien said it would have been a great accomplishment to go home with a 2-0 lead in the series but “we have to look at the big picture, winning the first game here. We are going home and we kmow that if we play our game, we will get chances.”
During the conference call Sunday, Therrien was asked about the Bruins gaining momentum in the series.
“Momentum, yes it’s a part of hockey, but there’s nothing you can do about the past,” the coach said. “What is important is the moment, it’s the present. So our preparation for the next game already started from the coaching standpoint. There’s going to be things that we’re going to apply tomorrow during our practice and make sure we’re going to be ready to apply those things in the next game. But you know what? Momentum will start when we’re going to drop the puck. There’s nothing we can change about the past.”
Therrien added that his team gained confidence from the two games in Boston.
“It’s a boost of confidence for our players that we’re capable to compete with that team,” the coach said. “We’re capable to play with that team. And one thing for sure, playing at the Bell Centre with the fans that we got and the support that we got it’s a tough place for the other teams to play in our building.”
Following Game 2, Thomas Vanek told reporters in Boston: “We won a game we didn’t deserve (in Game 1) and this one we probably deserved but we didn’t play a full 60 minutes. They got a goal and they kept coming and coming. They got a goal closer and we all know what happened after that. We got a game out of here and that’s a positive. Now, we’ll look at this one and be ready for the next one.”
(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
(Videos by The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell)