Photo: Graham Hughes The canadian Press
Craig Smith beat Carey Price during the first period of Saturday’s game at the Bell Centre, in Montreal.
Head coach Claude Julien had spent the last few days of repeating that the second half of the season would be even more difficult and the opponent was going to tighten the game.
Julien has finally been a prophet of doom while the Predators of Nashville have offered a performance without fault to pay the costs of the Canadian in a win of 4-1, Saturday.
The Predators have somehow applied the perfect recipe to choke off the Canadian. “They dictated the game and we played into their strengths, said the attacker Brendan Gallagher after the meeting. They have doubled our speed with their scheme 1-3-1 and we never found our wanders to go. We have never been able to adjust along the way and to counter their failure-before. “
The Canadian has spent the majority of the meeting to be bottled in its territory, unable to go on outings to area-efficient. It has committed a total of 18 turnovers in the course of the evening and generated very few scoring opportunities.
“One of the strengths of their team is the creation of turnovers in the neutral zone to use their speed on the counter-attack, noted the defender of the Canadian Shea Weber. They want to force you to throw the puck in the back of their zone since they have a player at the back ready to retrieve it. They also rely on two good goalies to handle the puck. We have given up a little too often to their goalkeeper, who could then initiate the recovery. “
Julien has criticized the lack of commitment of his players after the game. Phillip Danault has also recognized that the team had been less hungry than the Predators, who wanted to bounce back after a poor performance the day before.
“I think he would have had to take more speed to two-against-one, has mentioned Danault in trying to find solutions that the Canadian would have had to explore. We were losing our battles, we were not quite involved in the game, we were not quite physical. They have therefore won the match. “
While the Canadian may need to expect more close games in the second half of the campaign, there is no doubt that the team will have to learn to adjust and find a solution when the opponent closes the game.
“When a team manages to slow you down, you have to adjust. You need to talk about it on the bench with your fellow trio to think about changing some things, ” said Gallagher. This time, we have nothing changed during the three time periods. There was no support to counter the failure-before, we didn’t use our speed and we came up with the result that we deserved. “
“We have learned some things throughout the season. There are situations that we have well-managed, this was not the case this time. We must remember something. If we learn nothing, is wasteful. We must understand what has not worked to better manage the situation if it presents itself again. “
A busy week
The Canadian will have the opportunity to resume as soon as Monday, when the Wild of Minnesota will be visiting the Bell Centre. The Habs will then travel to Detroit on Tuesday, then to St. Louis on Thursday, prior to the completion of a busy week by hosting the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.