Monday, April 9, 2012

Recap of Final Habs Media Scrums

Today, the 2011-12 Montreal Canadiens met with the media for the final time.  Here is a recap of some of their comments:

Carey Price: Starting to feel better the past week or so.  Run into on the 20th (of March) by a teammate (David Desharnais), hit in the head, and spine compressed.  Was having headaches for a week before mentioning anything, since he had played with headaches before.  But it was getting worse, so told the trainers about it.  Diagnosed with a slight concussion, never had one before as far as he knows.  Nothing serious but enough to err on the side of safety; still having a few neck and head issues.  Hanging around Montreal until he's symptom-free and will take it easy.  Things are looking good; there should be no problems going into next season.  Has a couple of small issues that may require some minor surgeries this summer, and will talk to doctors about it.  Wants to stay in Montreal for as long as he can; looking for a long-term deal.  Will not play for Team Canada in the World Championships.

Erik Cole: Each season that he doesn't make the playoffs is the same frustration and disappointment.  It will be tough to watch games in the first round.  Carey Price is very important to this team; doesn't see a reason for there to be many hang-ups in getting a contract done.  Price and Cam Ward are a fair comparison in terms of their demeanor; both calm and holds both in a very high regard.  Feels he won't be able to appreciate his own personal accomplishments this season in light of the way the team finished.  Everything in Montreal was as expected except for a lack of winning.  Declined invitation to join Team USA for the World Championships.

Scott Gomez: Disappointing season for everyone.  Doesn't know what's going to happen in the summer.  It's part of the business and will cross the bridge when he comes to it.  As a team, there wasn't really a point this season where all played together (due to injuries).  Personally, injuries were non-stop right from training camp.

Yannick Weber: Had an MCL tear, which went from first degree to second. No surgery, nothing else damaged, will fully recover in a few weeks.Will not represent Switzerland at the World Championships due to his injury.

Max Pacioretty: Team had a lot to overcome, and it's unfortunate it had to end so soon, but it will be nice to have a bit of a break. Satisfied to have a comfortable role on the team, but needs to not get too comfortable and continue improving every day.  Knows he has a lot of room for improvement.  Best way to get ready for next year is to turn the page and worry about what he can control.  Will represent Team USA at the World Championships.

Andrei Markov: Feeling pretty good, especially the last few games.  Hasn't received a call from Russian national team yet, so probably won't play in the World Championships, but if they call, he would discuss it.  Confident he'll be 100% to start next season; will continue to rehab his knee all summer and hopes to feel much better and play much better next year.  Needs to get back his quickness on the ice and to feel more comfortable with turns and pivots since he still has a little stiffness or tightness in his knee, which is normal.

P.K. Subban: Likes Pittsburgh in the East and Chicago in the West (because he's a Patrick Kane fan) for the playoffs.  Disappointed to not be in the post-season.  Had a great meeting with coaching staff and feels he made a lot of improvements in his overall game.  Everyone needs to train hard this summer and come in next September ready to start winning hockey games.  Will represent Team Canada at the World Championships.

Tomas Plekanec: Worst season here in his memory.  Injuries and a few other issues hurt the team this year; other issues are some things that the new coach and new GM would need to work on.  Hard to find chemistry without a consistent line, but it's an advantage for a player when he can play with anybody.  Will represent the Czech Republic at the World Championships.

Tomas Kaberle: Needs to work hard on his conditioning this summer.  It was a tough start in Carolina.  Doesn't like to talk about his own individual performance, but felt better and better as the season went on.  Disappointing to not make the playoffs in a market like Montreal.  Declined an invitation from the Czech Republic for the World Championships.

Josh Gorges: It's been a long year, but team will move forward this summer.  There are a lot of personnel changes to be made.  Not concerned by lowered expectations prognosticators will have for the Canadiens next year; what matters is the guys in the room.  Sees Scott Gomez as a great guy, great teammate, who all the others will support and go to war with.  Team's priority this summer is signing Carey Price.  Has not yet received an invitation to join Team Canada for the World Championships.

Rene Bourque: Disappointing for himself personally; it was a struggle and didn't go his way when he got here.  Very happy to be here and wants to help the team moving forward with a good group of guys.  He's a better player than what he showed and is looking forward to regrouping and coming back as the player he's capable of being.  Needs to be better in all areas.  Team had trouble producing outside of the first line.  What he's shown isn't what it should be; has four years left on his contract and hopes to be here for it.  It was a tough year, but no excuses, just needs to be better.  Hopes to find better chemistry with Tomas Plekanec next year if they remain together.

Ryan White: Has a concussion (suffered in a fight vs. Florida), but is feeling better now.  Has never had a concussion before.  Wants to bring his same approach next year; it's the only way he knows how to play.

David Desharnais: Happy about what he accomplished, but knows that when a team struggles, changes have to come.  Need to make sure this type of season for the team doesn't happen again.  Feels that if there weren't injuries, he may not have received as good a chance as he got.  No matter what you do in a given year, you always have to work on improving.  Has not received an invitation from Team Canada for the World Championships, but would attend if he gets a call.

Raphael Diaz: Had groin injury since beginning of December; wanted to keep playing but at one point had to stop.  Next season is a new season, and in training camp it doesn't matter how he played this year.  Will have to train hard and come back strong to be ready to make the team.  Will stay here for a few weeks to rehab, then go back to Switzerland, before returning to Montreal to prepare for next season.  Will not represent Team Switzerland at the World Championships due to his injury.

Mathieu Darche: Has been cleared by doctors though it took a while to recoup.  Hopes to be back next year, but it'll be up to the guys in charge.  Team needs to not be satisfied to win 2 out of every 4 games.  There is nothing worse than being at home while the real season starts for 16 other teams; this mentality needs to return to the Montreal Canadiens.  No disrespect to other organizations, but 15th place is unacceptable for the Montreal Canadiens.  Will be an analyst with RDS during the playoffs.

Peter Budaj: At the beginning, thought he could play a little more, but it's not in his control.  Disappointing season for the team, even if he was able to play the last few games and the team fared better.  Declined an invitation to play in the World Championships.  Feels the talent and character on the team is a reason to be optimistic for next year.  Team beat some good clubs this year, just needs to do it on a more consistent basis.

Lars Eller: The season was difficult, facing a lot of adversity in the room and outside, but it's been a valuable learning experience.  When a team is winning, things are easy - you learn more during the tough teams of losing.  Hopes to stay in Montreal and wants to be part of the future going forward.  Waiting for new GM to sort things out with his agent, but is optimistic.  Looks at Tomas Plekanec as a role model, able to play a strong two-way game, on the powerplay, on the PK, when the game is on the line, etc.  Will play for Team Denmark in the World Championships.

Brian Gionta: The season was frustrating; nobody was happy with how things were this year.  Expectations in camp were to make the playoffs and compete for a Stanley Cup.  Current state of mind is a holding pattern, waiting to see what's going to be with the GM and coach.  Coaching staff that was thrown in there did a good job in a tough situation.  Feels team is not that far off even though points in standings don't show that.  Everybody in the organization tried things to turn it around and make it right, but team couldn't get it going.

Travis Moen: Disappointing to not reach goal, but have to focus on next year.  Once everything is sorted out with the new GM, will talk.  Wants to come back, has enjoyed his time in Montreal.  With a few additions, the Habs can be a great team.  Doesn't feel his role would change even if both he and Brad Staubitz both return.  A key to success would be to stay healthy.

Chris Campoli: It was a difficult season.  Experiences you go through make you better as a person and professional.  Playing in Montreal was special for him; hockey is a religion here.  That's something he'll take with him as a positive.  Hopes to build off the good whether it's in Montreal or elsewhere next year.  Has learned a lot on the business side of thing and is optimistic about the future, but doesn't know what could happen.  Playing 7 defensemen, with 3 of the 7 playing 12 or 13 minutes a night, made things difficult on the guys.  Things got better towards the end of the year.

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