Tuesday, January 22, 2008


MONTREAL - After Saturday's terrible loss to the Crosby-less Pittsburgh Penguins, Montreal Canadiens bench-boss, Guy Carbonneau vowed to reporters that his players wouldn't fall back on old clichés and would instead skate harder and win battles against the boards.

When interviewed, captain Saku Koivu agreed with his coach, "He's right. Every time we lose, we seem to shrug it off with all these clichés. Well not this time," he said. "For our game on Tuesday, we're just going to go out there and keep it simple. We really just want to focus on our game and take it one shift at a time."

Resurgent forward Alex Kovalev added, "Our goalies have really bailed us out this year. Our young guys really have to step up and contribute defensively."

In an effort to kick-start struggling forward Michael Ryder's season, Carbonneau promoted him to the first line with Christopher Higgins and Koivu. Ryder was happy with the promotion and commented to reporters, "I know I'm struggling right now. So if I can just focus on working hard and avoiding these clichés, hopefully things will start going my way."

Assistant coach Kirk Muller said he was proud of the effort guys were giving on a nightly basis but warned that some of the players needed to "be more consistent" and "play a full 60 minutes."

Carbonneau was optimistic about the Tuesday night's home-game against Boston (a team the Canadiens have gone 5-0 against so far this season). "All it takes is a couple of bounces to go our way. Tonight could be our night. We just need to go out there and give 110% and we'll get that much needed 'W'.

"If we can avoid all these clichés, we should be okay. So long as we win puck battles and get some more shots on goal and traffic in front of the net, we there's no reason we shouldn't be able to skate to a victory."

NOTES: Steve Bégin will return from an upper body injury in time to play in Tuesday night's game.

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