In the Habs Chamber: “Tonight, we weren’t in our game,” Ducharme says

Return of advertised rookie Cole Caufield to the lineup fails to spark the Canadiens against the Penguins, who dominated Montreal in a 6-0 win.

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The Canadiens left the ice to a chorus of mouths Thursday night after being crushed by the Pittsburgh Penguins and you had the feeling that coach Dominique Ducharme wants to join.

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“Tonight, we weren’t in our game,” Ducharme said in his candid post-game comments. “We were bad.”

“Playing together,” Ducharme replied when asked what the Canadiens did in their final, which they don’t do now.

“Obviously, we didn’t do that tonight,” Ducharme added. “The last game we played here against Calgary was the same kind of game we played in the playoffs. When you look at the games along the way, except for a few games where mistakes cost us, we were right there against some good ones. teams, especially those games in Boston and New York. Tonight, we didn’t play like that. “

Cayden Primeau played well enough to win the third star in Tuesday’s 3-2 loss against the Flames. He lasted just two periods on Thursday, but he didn’t get much help on a night when veteran Ben Chiarot deserved to be minus-4.

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That was the night Cole Caufield returned to the lineup after missing eight games trying to regain his confidence in the AHL. He showed his confidence when he stickhandled through several Penguins and had a shot at target. That was his only shot on goal and he finished the game at minus-3.

“I tried to stay flat,” Caufield said of time in the minors. “Come back to myself and get back to my game. I feel pretty confident. Obviously, it’s not the way you want the game to go tonight, but we have to look at the positives and that’s what I’m trying to do. “

Ducharme was restrained in his assessment of Caufield, who flew to Montreal Thursday morning after helping Laval defeat the Toronto Marlies in a shootout Wednesday.

“I thought with the hockey puck he has a few flashes, he jumped well against the offense,” Ducharme said. “It was good to see that part of his game.”

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Chiarot said he was proud of Caufield.

“It’s not easy to go through that first strain with people saying he’s going to win the Calder Trophy, rookie of the year, and then he’s sent down to the minors and comes back with a lot of confidence, so I’m proud. of him. ”

Mattias Norlinder, who was injured in training, made his NHL debut and the best thing that can be said about his 17:54 out of ice is that he wasn’t on the ice for any of the Pittsburgh goals.

“I felt good, actually,” Norlinder said. “It was my first game and I wanted a win.”

Norlinder seemed to play it safe early in the game, but said he became more comfortable as the game went on.

“I think I can do more plays, take more responsibility with the hockey puck, carry the puck puck a little more on the ice,” Norlinder said.

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The Canadiens are in an interesting position with Norlinder. They have to decide whether to keep him on the roster or return him to Frolunda in the Swedish League.

Nick Suzuki, the team’s leading scorer, was a non-factor. He missed a shot on goal and won just three of his 11 confrontations and was minus-2. Christian Dvorak won eight of nine confrontations, but managed just one shot on goal.

The Canadiens scored 38 goals in 19 games for even two goals in a game. This was the second time this season they have been eliminated.

phickey@postmedia.com

twitter.com/zababes1

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