Habs searching for answers after rough start to season

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WATCH: After a magical playoff run, the Montreal Canadiens are having a rough start to the new season with four straight losses. Can they turn it around? Global's Dan Spector reports – Oct 21, 2021

If you follow hockey at all, you probably know the Montreal Canadiens have had a disastrous start to their season.

The city was riding high during the Habs’ Cinderella run to the Stanley Cup final, but the clock has struck midnight, the glass slippers have shattered and so far Prince Charming is nowhere to be seen.

Of the four games they’ve played so far, they’ve not won a single game. They haven’t even tied.

The team took to the ice at their Brossard practice facility Thursday morning eager to turn things around.

“We’re off to a rocky start,” said forward Mathieu Perreault.

“We’re definitely a little frustrated, but we can’t get too down ourselves,” said centreman Christian Dvorak.

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Though it was just a few months ago, the Canadiens’ summertime run to the Stanley Cup final feels like a distant memory.

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2021-22 NHL Season Preview: Montreal Canadiens – Oct 13, 2021

Coach Dominique Ducharme thinks that playoff success may be partially to blame for the rough start.

It made for a short offseason and brought lots of praise.

“You receive flowers and flowers and good words for a couple of months, you feel pretty good about yourself and you think that things are going to be all right. So, that sense of urgency, we didn’t feel it. We didn’t have it right away,” he explained.

That urgency, however, is certainly being felt now.

“We’ve got to improve everywhere,” said Dvorak,” so that’s what our focus is on,” he said.

Hockey analyst Jared Book has noticed fans turning very negative as the team stumbled out of the gate, and believes their frustration began with the team’s difficult offseason.

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“There’s been a lot of negativity, from Shea Weber’s injury to Carey Price stepping away, even the NHL draft,” said Book, deputy managing editor of Habs Eyes on the Prize.

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The coach says the team has had some good stretches but needs to be more consistent, noting that consistency was a key to their deep playoff run.

“We know we’re a good team and we’re going to show that,” said Ducharme.

He says while the team is not as bad as fans might say, it’s never as good as the most optimistic projections either.

“We’re right there in the middle,” he said.

Ducharme hopes some new line combinations will give the team a boost.

Brendan Gallagher will now play with Nick Suzuki and sniper Mike Hoffman. Mathieu Perrault will be with Tyler Toffoli and Cole Caufield.

“I think that they just need a spark, you know … this is a team that has three goals in four games – obviously what has been tried is not been working,” said Book.

If the goals don’t start coming, it’ll be a long dark season in Habs land.


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