The Canadiens backs are up against the wall tonight in Philadelphia, a place where many have suggested the Habs are at their best.
The wall, that is, not Philly per se.
It has been a strange series so far, in that both teams best efforts have yet to come in the same game. The Flyers had dominated defensively (and to some extent offensively) in the first, second and third games, while Montreal owned Game Three.
The difference in games has been the Flyers ability to adjust from period to period and the Canadiens inability to find a counter strategy for getting key chances on Michael Leighton.
This suffocating brand of hockey has the Canadiens asking more question that they are willing to admit. While the players say they remain confident that if they can return to their game they can win, finding it is a whole other matter.
Tomas Plekanec has made his bid to rouse the troops, conjuring up a Messier-like quote between games. Says Pleks:
"We know that we've done it before. The Flyers aren't going anywhere until they beat us a fourth time. We are going to regroup and we are going to win this game." - Tomas Plekanec
Here are some other between game comments from Simon Gagne, Daniel Briere, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Josh Gorges, and coach Jacques Martin.
"We know that the fourth, the last win, is the hardest one to go get. We're our own example. You can ask the Bruins, they'll tell you. We learned a lot of things following that seventh game in Boston. We're going to try to take advantage of that now that we're on the opposite side of the fence. We're going to try to play our best game of the series and put an end to it as soon as we can." - Simon Gagne
"The win on saturday was very important. It was crucial to we left Montreal with that third win. But we all know that the last one is the hardest to win. We realize that Montreal have come back against Washington and Pittsburgh, so we can't take them lightly. We spoke among ourselves and we know it's not going to be easy. Montreal is a team that hasn't quit in the past and they aren't going to now. It will take our best game of the series to win." - Daniel Briere
"They are very strong at their blueline and we had a lot of trouble penetrating their zone. They block a lot of shots. In my case, each time I thought I had a line at the net, all of a sudden a stick was in the way. They find ways to block shots in all sorts of manners, with their legs, lifting sticks, and little things like that are enough to throw you off. First the rhythm goes, then there more faceoffs, icings. If the shots reached the net, then that alone would open possibilities." - Marc - Andre Bergeron
"We have to look at why we were successful in Game Three. We moved up ice together, didn't try anything fancy, if we had to we just shot the puck behind them and got to work. We can't have players trying all sorts of individual moves because those kinds of things don't work at this stage of the season. We're facing a really good team." - Josh Gorges
"We were better in the second game than we were in the first, and even better in the third than the second. We took steps back in the fourth game and now we must get our reflexes back. Once again, we have to find that level of execution we had in the third game." - coach Jacques Martin