Stu Cowan: Struggling Canadiens in want of an angle adjustment


“Your angle and your strategy is one thing that may make an enormous distinction,” coach Claude Julien tells his gamers.

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Perspective and strategy.

These are the 2 issues Canadiens coach Claude Julien says his gamers must give attention to to get out of the droop they’re in now. Scoring extra targets would additionally assist. So, it appears, would taking part in extra video games in opposition to the Vancouver Canucks.

The Canadiens are Four-Zero-1 in opposition to Vancouver this season, outscoring the Canucks 28-16. The Canadiens are 5-5-2 in opposition to the opposite groups they’ve performed within the North Division whereas being outscored 31-29.

After a 7-1-2 begin to the season, the Canadiens are 2-Four-1 of their final seven video games and have fallen to fourth place within the North Division standings following a 3-2 overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators — the worst workforce within the NHL — Sunday evening. The highest 4 groups make the playoffs.

The Canadiens practised Monday afternoon in Ottawa as they put together to face the Senators once more Tuesday evening (7 p.m., TSN2, TSN5, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM). After observe, Julien gathered his gamers on the ice for a little bit chat.

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What did the coach say?

“Simply that we started working our approach out of it,” Julien stated throughout a video convention after observe. “Easy as that. No more sophisticated than that. It’s our angle and our strategy to the sport that’s going to make the distinction. So we’d like that tomorrow.

“That’s the one factor you management proper now’s your angle,” Julien added. “So that you both are available in down and discouraged otherwise you are available in decided and wanting to show issues round and able to do these sorts of issues. In order that’s one factor we will management. Typically there’s bounces, there’s all type of issues that occur in a recreation which you can’t at all times management. However your angle and your strategy is one thing that may make an enormous distinction, in order that’s what we obtained to do.”

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After Sunday’s recreation in Ottawa — which adopted a 5-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night at the Bell Centre — the Canadiens’ Nick Suzuki stated the dropping is beginning to take a psychological toll.

“I believe we’re just about all up in our personal heads proper now,” the 21-year-old centre stated. “I believe simply overthinking it. Enjoying to not lose and that’s by no means factor to do. I believe firstly of the season we had been actual energized and everybody was having enjoyable. Simply that’s obtained away from us.”

Expectations had been excessive coming into this season after GM Marc Bergevin’s off-season moves that added forwards Josh Anderson, Tyler Toffoli, Corey Perry and Michael Frolik (who stays on the taxi squad), together with defenceman Joel Edmundson and backup goalie Jake Allen. Earlier than the beginning of the season, Bergevin spoke about how his strikes despatched a message to the NHL and his gamers “that we imply enterprise.”

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“We’re right here to win and we will play any approach you need to play,” the GM added. “So guys are excited … I can inform you that proper now.”

Julien went a step additional earlier than the season, saying there was no motive to consider the Canadiens couldn’t go “all the best way” and win the Stanley Cup.

The Canadiens’ fast begin might need had folks beginning to consider that.

Each workforce goes to undergo slumps throughout a season, however there are causes for concern now with this Canadiens workforce, and if Julien can’t flip issues round you must assume his days as coach are numbered on this condensed 56-game season.

“As a complete, we’re simply not taking part in nice hockey proper now,” Julien stated. “That’s what’s fairly apparent to all people. We obtained to search out our rhythm once more, we obtained to search out our recreation once more and that’s the primary factor. It doesn’t matter whether or not you could have loads of new faces or not. We confirmed firstly that we had been in a position to work nicely collectively. We simply obtained to get again to that.”

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Captain Shea Weber was requested what the one greatest drawback is correct now.

“It’s type of modified over video games, to be trustworthy with you,” he stated. “Clearly, our transition recreation was actually good early on. Perhaps we’re giving up a little bit too many odd-man rushes now. Particular groups have hit a lull. It’s simply type of been quite a few issues. There’s not one particular factor you may put a finger on proper now.”

Weber added that the gamers must get the joy again that that they had early within the season and remove the unfavourable power that’s now across the workforce, which Suzuki talked about.

“The best way that we had been taking part in firstly of the yr, I believe that we realized how good we might be and whenever you’re not at that degree you’re pissed off and the strain does come,” Weber stated. “It may be factor as a result of it brings out the very best in guys. However proper now, clearly, it’s probably not working for us.”

It wants to begin working — and shortly.

scowan@postmedia.com

twitter.com/StuCowan1

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