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Montreal Canadiens: Quick Interview

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1 Montreal Canadiens: Quick Interview on Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:04 am

[Scene cuts to a shot of Montreal Canadiens Head Coach Mike Tokunaga, standing against a wall after the Canadiens morning practice.  He is being interviewed by a reporter.]

Reporter: So far, you are up on the Senators two games to none with the series heading to Ottawa.  However, in addition to Nugent-Hopkins and Coyle, who are not available for this series, you are now down the league scoring champion John Tavares, as well as Jarret Stoll, who had filled in for Nugent-Hopkins and then Tavares.  With your three top centers out for probably the rest of the series, how do you attack a team full of talented players like Ottawa has?

Tokunaga: Well, we don’t really have a choice.  It isn’t like the league is going to stop the playoffs until we get our players back.  This team knows that we need to win two more games to keep going.  John is a great player, one of the best in the league, but he is also a fantastic leader.  The players are determined to keep the playoffs going so that John has hockey to return to this season.  We just need a team effort, which we caught a glimpse of during the last game.  Doughty stepped up on the blueline and gave us two big goals, and Savard was forced to fill in on the first line when Stoll and Scheifele went out and picked up that game winner with only seconds left in the game.  We are relying on pure emotion and playing a team game, and it will take the commitment of every guy in the locker room to pull this series out.

Reporter: Both games of the series so far have been frantic with goals being traded back and forth, with the last team to score being the one who has won the game.  Can your team keep up in this style of game, when Ottawa is led by players like Crosby and Landeskog?

Tokunaga: Certainly that is not the way we want games to go.  I would be perfectly happy with a 5-0 win.  But, that isn’t going to be the reality.  We have done a good job of adjusting our style of play to focus on being a little more responsible defensively, but we can still do better in this area.  Offensively, we just have to keep putting shots on net.  Price has made some great saves, but we have proved that he is not infallible, so we just need to keep up the pressure.

Reporter: What is your lineup going to look like for Game three?

Tokunaga: We are still working that out, but we will have to pull a bunch of the guys out of the positions they played throughout the season to cover the gaps.  We have been lucky that a few of our players had already been playing out of the positions they were accustomed to, so they will move back into more natural positions.  Hopefully that helps us out.

Reporter: Thanks for your time.

Tokunaga: Thanks.

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