Canadiens Pocket book: Claude Julien opts for video as an alternative of apply


“I feel it’s what you’re going to see increasingly more with this condensed schedule,” coach says as Habs put together to face Leafs in Toronto.

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Coming off a Three-Zero loss to the Edmonton Oilers Thursday night time on the Bell Centre, Canadiens coach Claude Julien determined to cancel a scheduled apply Friday morning on the Bell Sports activities Complicated in Brossard.

As an alternative, there was a group assembly and video session. The one gamers who went on the ice have been goalies Carey Value and Charlie Lindgren, together with Corey Perry, Victor Mete and Michael Frolik.

The Canadiens are 1-Three-Zero of their final 4 video games whereas scoring solely six objectives. They’ve an Eight-Four-2 report and are tied for second place within the North Division with the Oilers (9-7-Zero), who’ve performed two extra video games. The Canadiens and Oilers path the first-place Toronto Maple Leafs (11-2-1) by 5 factors.

The Canadiens and Leafs will meet Saturday night time in Toronto (7 p.m., CBC, SN, CITY, TVA Sports activities, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM).

“It’s fairly arduous … I don’t assume there’s too many groups which might be going to play three video games in 4 nights and ensure they practise between the second and third recreation,” coach Claude Julien stated about not having a apply. “I feel it’s what you’re going to see increasingly more with this condensed schedule right here is giving the fellows an opportunity to recuperate.

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“We simply felt that in the present day a video session was going to profit us extra with displaying the gamers what we have been doing properly when issues are going properly and the distinction between then and now in what we’re doing in order that we will recapture our recreation,” the coach added. “I feel for them to have a look at that and to see it after which to recuperate for tomorrow’s recreation in order that we will have the power was much more vital than having guys on the ice in the present day to practise.”

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Leafs on a roll

The Leafs have the most effective report within the NHL, the most effective offence (averaging Three.71 objectives per recreation), rank seventh in defence (permitting 2.57 objectives per recreation) and have the fourth-best energy play (34.9 per cent).

The Leafs’ Auston Matthews leads the NHL in objectives with 11, whereas teammate Mitch Marner ranks third within the league in scoring with 6-15-21 totals, trailing the Oilers’ dynamic duo of Connor McDavid(9-19-28) and Leon Draisaitl (Eight-18-26).

The Leafs are Eight-Zero-1 of their final 9 video games whereas outscoring the opposition 37-21. They’ve additionally received their first two video games in opposition to the Canadiens — 5-Four in time beyond regulation within the season opener on Jan. 13 in Toronto and Four-2 on the Bell Centre final Wednesday night time. The 2 groups will face one another 10 instances this season

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“What I noticed (Wednesday night time) is a group proper now that basically is enjoying extraordinarily properly,” Julien stated. “We discuss ups and downs and proper now they’re on an up. They’re a talented group they usually all the time have been a talented group, however what they’ve performed properly whenever you take a look at the sport is their numbers coming again. They’re doing job of reloading and never giving groups outnumbered conditions. Defensively, they’ve been a lot better.

“So proper now, they’re enjoying two-way recreation and that’s what you’re seeing from them,” Julien added. “We’ve hung out trying on the clips of final recreation and, once more, you are taking away these two fast objectives (Toronto scored early within the third interval), it’s a reasonably even recreation. However we’re going to must be somewhat bit higher than we have been final night time after which most likely in the previous couple of video games. Convey that subsequent degree. I feel the little particulars of our recreation needs to be somewhat bit higher to ensure that us to bounce again and that’s what we’re making an attempt to get our gamers to do right here in beginning in the present day with taking a look at some video.”

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Captain Shea Weber stated the Canadiens are trying ahead to dealing with the Leafs.

“We wish to get again to the best way we have been enjoying early on and there’s no higher manner than to play the most effective,” he stated. “They’re sort of the measuring stick for our division at this level. It’s good for us to have that chance earlier than somewhat day off right here.”

After Saturday’s recreation, the Canadiens don’t play once more till subsequent Saturday when the Leafs will go to the Bell Centre.

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On the quarter pole

Imagine it or not, the Canadiens have already reached the one-quarter mark of this condensed 56-game NHL season.

With their Eight-Four-2 report, the Canadiens are solely two factors forward of their tempo from final season, after they have been 7-5-2 after 14 video games. The Canadiens completed final season in 24th place within the total NHL standings with a 31-31-9 report, together with two eight-game winless streaks.

What has Julien discovered about this yr’s group by way of the primary 14 video games?

“I don’t know reply that query as a result of, clearly, you’ve seen us play actually good hockey,” the coach stated. “I feel now we have the power to be hockey membership. The previous few video games we’ve struggled, which is I feel quite a lot of groups have gone by way of it and the groups that haven’t are going to undergo it. It’s unavoidable with this type of schedule and what’s happening right here.

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“Proper now, I feel what now we have after 14 video games, what we will present proper now to our followers, is that we’re a resilient group and that we’re going to bounce again,” Julien added. “What I might say is I feel from what I see in that dressing room now we have the power to do this. So I’ve quite a lot of confidence in our group.”

Weber was requested the identical query.

“I feel we’ve discovered rather a lot, particularly early,” the captain stated. “You exit on the highway and play in some buildings which might be usually robust to play in. I feel that we got here out with quite a lot of soar and performed very well. Going by way of a little bit of a troublesome time proper now. Each group goes by way of somewhat little bit of one thing all through a season. Hopefully not too typically. Now we’re going to be taught rather a lot about how we will react and step out of this little mini-slump right here and get going once more.”

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House-ice drawback

One of many huge issues with the Canadiens final season was that that they had a dropping report at house, going 14-17-6. The one different group that had a dropping house report was the Detroit Crimson Wings — the worst group within the NHL final season — who went 12-23-2.

After the season, Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin stated the group’s house report was his largest disappointment.

This season, the Canadiens have a dropping report once more on the Bell Centre, falling to Three-Four-Zero after Thursday night time’s loss to the Oilers.

When requested if he can pinpoint the issue at house, Weber stated: “I can’t. I don’t know … hopefully it’s simply a kind of issues that you simply undergo in a season … one thing that’s not going to hold round and we’ve acquired to determine that our ourselves, clearly, with our recreation and getting it again on monitor. That’s what conferences and video are good for to see what was responsible for us profitable in the beginning of the yr in comparison with sort of what we’re doing now. Simply right a number of issues systematically.”

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Transition recreation stalls

The Canadiens’ speedy transition recreation has stalled they usually’ll must get it again on monitor to be able to begin profitable video games.

“I wouldn’t say it’s particularly simply on us,” Weber stated. “I feel that quite a lot of groups are realizing how harmful we’re in transition as properly they usually’re taking good care of pucks rather a lot higher they usually’re ensuring they’re getting pucks in and made it harder to make use of our transition.

“I feel defending-wise we have to be somewhat bit higher,” he added. “We’re giving up somewhat bit an excessive amount of on that facet. Offensively, it has perhaps dropped off a bit, however I don’t assume it’s particularly one thing we’re doing. Clearly, you don’t wish to flip over as many pucks at our blue line, their blue line, the usual issues that you simply say. However I feel that quite a lot of groups are realizing how harmful we will be they usually’re making an attempt to be somewhat bit smarter about it.”

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When requested what the important thing might be to generate offence in opposition to the Leafs, Weber stated: “I feel we acquired to get inside in opposition to them. It’s the identical sort of factor that we’ve talked about over the previous few video games. That’s the place all of the objectives are scored — in the midst of the ice, within the crease, in entrance of the online there. You bought to get in entrance of goalies. Groups have good goalies and defence do job of clearing out rebounds. So we’ve acquired to combat to get place and use our dimension in entrance to make a distinction.”

Julien stated it’s all the time as much as coaches to make changes when issues aren’t going properly with their group, however that doesn’t imply altering the entire system.

“There’s not a group within the NHL that decides after 14 video games to alter their system as a result of they’re having a little bit of issue over the last three or 4 video games,” he stated.

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Julien added that always it’s only a case of gamers bringing extra willpower and self-discipline to the system and that one good recreation can flip issues round with gamers regaining their confidence.

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Likelihood to regroup

The six days off between video games subsequent week will give the Canadiens an opportunity to carry a mini coaching camp.

After a break day Sunday, the Canadiens have practices scheduled for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in Brossard, adopted by one other break day Thursday after which a apply Friday earlier than dealing with the Leafs once more on the Bell Centre subsequent Saturday night time.

“I feel it’s a chance for us to sort of work on each a part of our recreation that I feel we wish to work on,” Julien stated “Having that many days we’ll must work it correctly that complete week. Whether or not it’s some good apply days, a restoration day right here or there, even off-ice and do some video. We’re going to handle that week actually, very well in order that we will hopefully prepare right here for a very intense schedule after that.”

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After the six-day break within the schedule, the Canadiens will play 5 video games in eight days. They then have 16 video games in 31 days in March.

“We’ve acquired somewhat day off in our schedule this week and subsequent week, however after that it’s going to be a full set of video games there each second day combined in with back-to-backs,” Weber stated. “It’s going to be a troublesome schedule and guys have to be sure that they’re sustaining their well being and conserving themselves in fine condition.”

What’s subsequent?

The Canadiens flew to Toronto Friday afternoon and can fly again to Montreal after Saturday night time’s recreation in opposition to the Leafs (7 p.m., CBC, SN, CITY, TVA Sports activities, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM).

They received’t play once more till subsequent Saturday when the Leafs go to the Bell Centre (7 p.m., CBC, SN, CITY, TVA Sports activities, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM).

scowan@postmedia.com

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