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Julien and the Habs talk about a loss that should have been a win

Tim Tucker   ·   19 février 2020
With Tuesday night's loss the the Detroit Red Wings, the Montreal Canadiens are aware that their playoff hopes are over. While not officially eliminated, it would take a miracle to make it to the post season at this point. To make matters worse, the Habs gave up a 3-1 lead in the third period to the worst team in the NHL and lost 4-3 in regulation, a stunning defeat and a season sweep for the Wings.

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“It was pretty simple,” Julien said of the third-period collapse. “They put us on our heels and, for whatever reason, our inability to play 60 minutes has cost us a lot of games. Whether it’s a lack of confidence or lack of being able to play 60 minutes, at the end of the night, you end up with a lost game."

“This one stings because we should have won this game the way we played the first two periods, we were going in the right direction,” Julien said. “We kill a penalty to start the third and then it’s important to get some momentum back but (we make) some real sloppy decisions or mistakes and it ends up in the back of our net.”

Nick Suzuki, who's been having an excellent rookie season and has been one of the few bright spots for the Canadiens in 2019-20, made a major mistake in the third that ended up costing his team. Tyler Bertuzzi pressured him into making a mistake and then set up Andreas Athanasiou for the game-winning goal.



"We’ve blown a few leads and the last goal was directly from me,” Suzuki said. “I can’t let that happen. I didn’t see (Bertuzzi). The bench was yelling there’s a guy on me and I should have tried to get rid of it. I should have just chipped it into the zone.”

"Sometimes, it’s sloppy mistakes or lazy backchecking,” Julien added. “Guys don’t learn from that. (If) they don’t put more effort into it, that’s the result they’re going to get. We need to be better.”



Julien isn't wrong about the team needing to be better, but it's too late for this season. The Habs will need a strong trade deadline and offseason from GM Marc Bergevin, if he is indeed keeping his job, in order to ensure the Canadiens look better next season.

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Hockey - LNH - Canadiens de Montreal
Which Habs player deserves the most useful player title this season?
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   Shea Weber
   Tomas Tatar
   Brendan Gallagher
   Phillip Danault
   Nick Suzuki
   Jeff Petry