The Canadiens kept their hold on first place in the Northeast Division Saturday night and won praise for their efforts from head coach Michel Therrien after their 2-1 victory over the Boston Bruins.
It was the Canadiens’ fifth game in eight nights. And with the loss of Alexei Emelin in the first period, the five remaining defencemen played a solid game, Therrien said.
“It was a demanding week and to get to a big game like tonight and perform like that, I’m really proud of those guys.”
The team followed the game plan to the letter, Therrien said.
“Both teams knew it was an important game tonight. And both teams played well. It was a tight checking game. And you have to be patient and not force plays when the play was not there,” he said. “It was important for us to manage the puck really well and this is what we did.”
Emelin appeared to hurt his left knee when he checked Bruins forward Milan Lucic in the first period. He had to be supported as he left the ice. Therrien didn’t provide an update on Emelin’s lower-body injury after the game, saying “we’ll find out tomorrow.”
The five defenceman played really solidly defensively, giving the Bruins few scoring chances, Therrien said.
Josh Gorges led Canadiens’ defencemen in ice time with 26:18 minutes, followed by P.K. Subban with 25:03.
“It’s tough when you see a guy go down and leave the game and knowing he’s not coming back,” Gorges said. “He’s a pretty important piece of our back end. Especially early in the game when you go down to 5 (defencemen) you know you’ve got a lot of work ahead for the night.”
“But like I said, I think we did a great job of keeping things real simple in the back end. We didn’t over-extend ourselves.”
You can hear what Gorges had to say below:
You can hear what Lars Eller had to say after the game below: