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retty, pesky winger Brendan Gallagher,

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    12 января 2018 г. 19:41:08 PST

    MONTREAL - Head coach Michel Therrien believes it might be time for his club to have a break. Justin Verlander Tigers Jersey . After a tough 2-1 loss to the Florida Panthers at the Bell Centre, Therrien came to the defence of a Montreal team that couldnt generate much offence during the game. "Weve played a lot of hockey in less than three weeks," said Therrien. "This team is drained. Theyre empty." The Canadiens have played 11 games in the last 19 days, including a 1-0 overtime victory against the Islanders in New York on Saturday night. The team touched down at Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport in Montreal in the wee hours Sunday, delayed by a snowstorm, and even scratched their morning practice. Therrien didnt blame the loss on a lack of effort or passion, but simply on fatigue. "The lemon is squeezed of all its juice," said Therrien. "When physically, youre tired, the execution is not quite there, and you make bad decisions. They go hand in hand. "Im not blaming (the players). I see what were asking of them. Very demanding. Theyre athletes, theyre human beings. They gave what they could in the circumstances. I know what they could give, and they gave it." The Canadiens started slowly, recording their first shot on net seven minutes into the first period, and were sluggish for most of the game. After two periods, the Panthers led 2-0 and were outshooting the home side 20-12. Montreal came into the third with a burst of energy. With the Habs pressing on the power play, its first of three in the final 20 minutes, Alex Galchenyuk reduced the deficit at 2:28 after banging home captain Brian Giontas rebound from inside the goaltenders crease. But with Floridas Mike Weaver and Scottie Upshall in the penalty box later in the period, the Canadiens couldnt gain control of the game despite playing 35 seconds of 5-on-3 hockey. Galchenyuk had a golden chance in front of the net to tie the game, but fanned on the bouncing puck. "We had an opportunity to win the game, and we wanted to win the game," said P.K. Subban, who registered the only shot on the Habs back-to-back power plays. "We have to capitalize on our opportunities." Panthers goaltender Scott Clemmensen made 17 saves, six of which came in the third period, to earn his second victory of the year. He got the nod in net in place of Tim Thomas, whos sidelined with a groin injury. "Our penalty killing came up big for us," said Clemmensen, looking back on the 5-on-3. "Our guys were diving in front, getting sticks up there, deflecting passes, being in a good position. It was great. Thats how we win games." Peter Budaj got the start in net for the Canadiens, his first of the season at home. He stopped 23-of-25 shots. The Panthers outshot the Canadiens 14-8 in the first period, but neither team came close to breaking the deadlock. Jesse Winchester got the Panthers on the board at 4:44 of the second, beating Budaj to his right with a one-timer off the post and in. Tomas Kopecky started the play, drawing both Montreal defencemen behind the net before feeding the puck to a wide open Winchester, who made no mistake from close range for his fifth goal of the year. Nick Bjugstad doubled the Panthers lead at 7:11, finishing off Floridas 3-on-2 rush by firing a wrist shot under Budajs glove. Florida (12-17-5) extended its win streak to three games. The Canadiens (20-12-3), meanwhile, have now lost three of their last four games, and have only scored three times in those outings. Notes: The game was Montreals third in four nights. … The Panthers have now won five of their last six games. … Montreal sits second in the Atlantic Division, three points behind the Boston Bruins. … The Panthers and Canadiens face off three more times this season. Their next encounter is on Dec. 29 in Sunrise, Florida. Francisco Rodriguez Tigers Jersey . They started shooting the puck. Joe Pavelski had a hat trick to move into a tie for second in the NHL in goals and the Sharks beat Philadelphia 7-3 Thursday night in the first game for both teams following the Olympic break. Custom Detroit Tigers Jersey . -- Manager Bob Melvin shuffled the Athletics batting order and got the type of production he was looking for from the top of the lineup.BROSSARD, Que. -- P.K. Subban was still wearing his playoff beard as he answered questions about what may be a summer-long story about his contract negotiations. Since signing a two-year "bridge" deal that paid him US$3.75 million this season, the 25-year-old, who has become one of the NHLs best and most entertaining defencemen, is a potential restricted free agent in position to ink a multi-year contract for a kings ransom with the Montreal Canadiens. Or he could take a shorter contract and then become an unrestricted free agent. Subban said he hopes to sign a long-term deal and to stay in Montreal his entire career. "Im sure everybody in hockey wants a long-term contract, but for me, its not just about that," he said. "Its about being part of a team that can win a championship, and I believe we have that in this dressing room. "When it comes to contract stuff, thats why I hire my agent (Don Meehan). Thats why we pay him. Thats his job and Ill let him do his job. Ive done mine, and hell do his." The Canadiens, coming off their second trip to the Eastern Conference final in four years, gathered at their suburban training centre to clear out lockers and begin exit interviews before splitting up for the off-season. Their better-than-expected run to the third round of playoffs ended on Thursday with a 1-0 loss to the Rangers in New York. "Right now, the season just ended 48 hours ago," said Subban. "It feels weird cleaning out my stall. "Im just still trying to enjoy the last couple of days with my teammates before going home. Enjoy the summer with my family. So, I havent put much thought into (a new contract) as of right now, but obviously during the summer its something that will get taken care of." General manager Marc Bergevin, who will talk to the media only on Monday, has a heap of contracts to settle, but none will be watched with quite the rapt attention of Subbans. During his bridge deal, the Toronto native won the Norris Trophy as the leagues top defenceman in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season and followed with a career-best 53-point campaign in which he had 24:36 of ice time per game, second on the team to rearguard Andrei Markov. He also helped Canada win gold at the Sochi Olympics in February, although he was cast as the extra defenceman on a talent-packed team due to managements doubts about defensive lapses. Where Subban sits on the scale of NHL stars, or of top defencemen, is much debated. Among his Olympic teammates, Shea Weber is signed through 2020-21 by Nashville for an average of $7.8 million per season, Drew Doughty is with Los Angeles until 2018-19 at $7.0 million, while Chicagos Duncan Keith will make only $5.5 million until 2020-21. The one he is often compared with is Ottawas Erik Karlsson, who is earning $6.5 million per year through 2018-19. But with the salary cap expected to rise steadily in coming years, the scale may now he higher for a player of Subbans skill and star power. And theres always the possibility that another team (Toronto perhaps?) makes him a spectacular offer that the Canadiens would have the right to match. Asked if he feels he has reached elite status among NHL defenders, Subban said it is for others to decide. "I dont control what people say and what category people put me in," he sad. "All I can control is trying to help my team win hockey games and a championship. "Thats my goal. But in terms of what people say about me. There are always critics. There are always people that are going to characterize yourself, your game. Thats not for me to do." Two other restricted free agents who are likely to be much easier to sign aare Lars Eller, who had an excellent playoffs and who is developing into a shut-down centre, and right-winger Dale Weise, a late-season pickup who sparkled in the post-season until suffering a suspected concussion in Game 5 of the conference final. Cameron Maybin Jersey. Weise was not available to the media. And RFA Ryan White, who wasnt used in the playoffs, has an uncertain future with the club, although he would likely be of interest to a team needing a fourth liner with grit to his game. Markov, Thomas Vanek and captain Brian Gionta top the list of seven potential unrestricted free agents. The tough decisions involve Markov and Gionta, who are both 35 and slowing but who are leaders on the team. Both may have to take short-term deals for perhaps less money. Gionta, ending a five-year deal that pays $5 million per season, wants to stay. "My familys been here for a while," he said. "We love the city. "We love the team and believe in the team and the direction of the team, so well leave it up to (Bergevin) and my agent to take care of it." Vanek has said all season he intends to test the free agent market. The big, gifted winger showed he can be a game-changer when at his best, but he struggled in the playoffs and ended up going from the first to the fourth lines. "A year ago I made a decision that it will likely be my only time to pick my own team, and hopefully pick a team where I have a chance to win," said Vanek, who started the season in Buffalo and moved to the New York Islanders before being picked up at the trade deadline by Montreal. "Once you make the decision, you cant look back. "I loved it. Its a market that I wasnt used to. Overall, I have nothing but good things to say. Marc Bergevin really made me feel at home. When I had ups and downs he was always there for me. Hes a great guy. Ill always appreciate what he did for me." Vanek insists he wasnt injured in the playoffs, but said he struggled once he was taken off the top unit with David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty. "I thought we were one of the best lines," he said. "Once I got taken off, I just struggled to find myself on a new line. "I played with (Tomas Plekanec) most of the playoffs and it just didnt work. Were both, I believe, very good players, were just not on the same page. Its just a different game." The Canadiens may also want to keep another deadline pickup, defenceman Mike Weaver, although he is also over 35. But it may be the end in Montreal for potential UFAs Francis Bouillon, Douglas Murray and enforcer George Parros. "Id like to keep playing, but well see what happens," said 38-year-old Bouillon. While much of the talk was of who would and would not be back, the mood was upbeat. The Canadiens were expected to battle just to make the playoffs, but ended up with a 100-point regular season and a trip to the conference finals. They have a young core of Subban, Pacioretty, pesky winger Brendan Gallagher, skilled 20-year-old Alex Galchenyuk, goalie Carey Price and a few promising young defencemen that suggest they can become a Cup contender. "I think we have an excellent opportunity," said Price, who injured a knee in the opening game of the conference final. "We came just a little bit short, so well need to find ways to improve somehow. "We didnt win, so we have to get better. How that is well have to evaluate over the summer. Each player individually is going to have to figure out a way to get 10 per cent better. It might not even be that much, it might be one per cent better. 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