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And although the Canadians beat the Leafs 30-23, they couldn’t finish.
“We’re probably all guilty of it,” said Brendan Gallagher. “Tonight the pace of the game was fast, it was a bit faster and the brain wasn’t keeping up with the pace of the game. We knew what we had to do to be successful but there was a lot of neglect, trying to do games that didn’t exist.
“Coming into this series, we know how powerful (the Penguins’) offense is, so we have to play smart,” added Gallagher. “We definitely need to improve this.”
The Toronto game was considered a good warm-up because the Leafs have a quick and skilled team that looks like the Penguins.
“I think when we were aggressive we made things happen, but we played a little too much on the passive side and gave a good team a little bit of speed and a lot of time to make plays,” said Julien. “That’s where we got into trouble and that’s what we’re up against in Pittsburgh, another team with attacking ability and good speed. They create a good attack on the bottom line and tonight when we got in trouble, it was because of that.
Julien was able to use his four lines and the so called fourth line of Max Domi, Dale Weise and Jordan Weal was able to create chances as they played an aggressive game. And, for what it’s worth, the Canadiens played Toronto at a standstill playing 5v5.
“I was happy to have these four 5v5 lines,” said Julien. “We’ve always been a good 5v5 team and we’ll need four lines. I thought our discipline was good because it was also going to be a key element against Pittsburgh. But again, our power play tonight – your top payers have to be your top players. We need to have more confidence and more confidence to make the right plays. Fortunately, we have three days to work on it, whether it’s on ice or by video. Hope this will be sorted out by Saturday. “