Scenarios have been simplified for the Canadiens following the games on Tuesday night as the Montreal squad may need just one more win than the Columbus Blue Jackets in the home stretch to advance to the playoffs.
The March 28 meeting between the two teams could also play a crucial role in the result of the series race. The Canadian is one point behind the Blue Jackets and the second extra pass giving access to the end-of-season tournament. Both teams still have nine games to play.
“We only have games number seven and we’re going to get on with that,” said center Phillip Danault. We worked all season for that. We have our destiny in our hands and there is nothing better than that. “
An appointment not to be missed
By this duel against the Blue Jackets, the Canadiens will not want to look too far. He first has an appointment with the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Islanders had also downgraded the Habs last week at Uniondale.
“I think we put that game behind us,” said striker Tomas Tatar on Wednesday. We know we have not been good enough. We had not had a good start in New York.
“We played very well [Tuesday], and we want to build on that win. “
For a rare time in recent weeks, the Canadian was rewarded for his efforts by defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1 on Tuesday.
Claude Julien’s troupe is now 4-5-0 since the beginning of March. After some concerns, especially during the recent trip to California, the defense has tightened its game ahead of Carey Price in recent games.
“It has to be like that every game,” said Julien. Your defensive game gives you chances to win. It helps you to not have to play catch-up hockey.
“I found that we did the right thing against the Flyers by protecting dangerous areas. Our defensive withdrawal was really good. At the entrance of the zone, we managed to cover our players well. They did not get much, and it was an easier evening for Carey [Price] than at the last meetings. “
Against the Islanders last week, it was precisely the brilliance of Price that had allowed the Habs to leave the old Nassau Coliseum after conceding a setback of only 2-1. The trios of Mathew Barzal and Casey Cizikas had particularly annoyed the Canadian.
“We did not play a big game against them, admitted Julien. When you do not play a big game, guys like that are going to have the chance to be successful. If we play better, we will certainly take away their chances. “
“At this time of the season, you want to be certain of being responsible in your area,” Tatar added, “on the importance of working well defensively. If we can do our work in this area, we will create an offensive. It goes from one end to the other. You have to make sacrifices – block a shot, go for extra effort. The offensive will then come. “
The Islanders lost 5-0 to the Boston Bruins on Tuesday and will want to redeem themselves. They occupy the second rank of the Metropolitan section and still hope to catch up with the Washington Capitals, in the lead.
While the Canadiens face the Islanders on Thursday night, the Blue Jackets will visit the Edmonton Oilers.