Monday, April 25, 2011
Habs confident in comeback ability
By James Murphy
BROSSARD, Quebec -- Facing elimination for the first time this playoff season, the Canadiens held what they’re hoping won’t be their last practice of the 2010-11 season at the Complexe Sportif Bell on Monday as they prepared for Game 6 Tuesday at the Bell Centre.
Defenseman James Wisniewski -- who suffered a leg injury in the first period of Game 5, missed the third period and came back for overtime -- and forward David Desharnais, who hurt his knee in the first overtime of Game 5, were given therapy days and are game-time decisions for Game 6, according to head coach Jacques Martin.
But with or without Wisniewski and Desharnais, the Habs are ready to take on an elimination game just as they did six times in the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs, when they were 5-1 in that situation.
“Last year we had our backs against the wall many times and we responded well,” defenseman PK Subban said. “We’re confident in the group we have here and we’re still confident we can get the job done. Now it’s just about winning and it’s whatever you can do so your team can win. Guys gotta be disciplined and nobody wants to be the one to cost their team so I think at this point of the season, especially now where we’re on the brink of elimination, we gotta make sure we’re focused and ready to play.”
After back-to-back overtime games, the last one going to double overtime, Subban said he isn’t worried his team will feel fatigued or have trouble finding their legs.
“I feel great, and just speaking to a couple guys on the team, they feel good,” said Subban, who logged a game-high 40:38 on ice in game 5. “After the game you get a protein shake and you’re good. I got more than enough rest and I’m 21 so I’m not going to complain.
At this point in the season you have to take care of your body, and I mean we’re all professionals here. I think at this point in the season it’s not really going to matter about the double overtime. When you’re facing elimination you find the energy.”
Subban said he believes the opportunity is there for the Habs to once again pull off a comeback and win a series after being on the brink of elimination.
“All you need is an opportunity and we have more than an opportunity [Tuesday] so we just gotta get ready to play,” Subban said. “We’ve been here before and we have faith in this room.”
Here’s what the forward lines and defense pairings looked like at the Habs' practice Monday.
Mike Cammalleri-Tomas Plekanec-Andrei Kostitsyn
Travis Moen-Scott Gomez-Brian Gionta
Mathieu Darche-Lars Eller-Jeff Halpern
Benoit Pouliot-Tom Pyatt-Ryan White
Hal Gill-PK Subban
Roman Hamrlik-Jaroslav Spacek
Brent Sopel-Paul Mara