Watch above: After being eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Habs have decided not to look back on the season that was. Billy Shields has more.
BROSSARD – Every year, the Montreal Canadiens make some players available to the press for post-season commentary in one last media event before the summer.
This year’s event had a bittersweet twinge to it.
“At the end of the day, when you feel you have a good team and you feel you have a good chance, you’re disappointed when it falls short,” said Brian Gionta, the Habs’ captain.
Like Thomas Vanek and Andrei Markov, Gionta is now an unrestricted free agent, meaning that his continued tenure with the club is uncertain.
Both he and Markov are in their mid-30s.
While Gionta said the team is heading in the right direction, he admitted that he will find out whether he’ll stay with it in the coming months.
Galactically talented defenceman P.K. Subban is also a free agent, but because he’s restricted the concessions another team would have to make to sign him, his departure is unlikely.
“I haven’t put much thought into it as of right now,” he said.
“Obviously as of this summer, it’s something that’ll get taken care of.”
As the only Canadian team in the NHL playoffs this year, the Canadiens took the entire city on an emotional roller-coaster.
They dismantled the Tampa Bay Lightning, edged out the locally-disliked Boston Bruins in seven games, and went into the series with the New York Rangers brimming with confidence.
Everything went downhill when star netminder Carey Price left Game 1 with a leg injury sustained in the first period when Rangers forward Chris Kreider barrelled into him skates first.
“Given how everything really unfolded, it was really unfortunate,” Price said Saturday.
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Most players expressed confidence that this team would be even better next year, especially with playoff experience under its belt.
But players did express a little bitterness after being eliminated.
“That opportunity doesn’t come around often,” said forward Max Pacioretty.
“When you get it you’ve got to take advantage of it and we weren’t able to do that.”
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