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Failure not an option as Canadiens stare down elimination

Sportsnet logo Sportsnet 5 days ago Eric Engels

MONTREAL—It’s time to see what this Montreal Canadiens team is really made of.

General manager Marc Bergevin made every bold move in the book this year. His biggest one was trading a P.K. Subban entering the heart of his prime for a Shea Weber much closer to the tail end of his.

He also pushed a talented-but-never-won-anything Lars Eller out for a gritty two-time-Stanley-Cup-winning Andrew Shaw, signed the most talented player not playing the NHL in Alexander Radulov, traded for cagey veterans Steve Ott and Dwight King to up the sandpaper quotient on the team, and he even fired the coach he called a "foxhole friend" in Michel Therrien to hire a consensus upgrade in Claude Julien. He did it all to give the Canadiens one of two opportunities they have to chase the Cup while superstar goaltender Carey Price is only taking up $6.5 million in salary cap space.

Failure at this stage of the game isn’t an option, but the Canadiens are going to be staring it—and elimination from these playoffs—in the face at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

"We’re going to learn what type of character we have," said Brendan Gallagher after Thursday’s 3-2 overtime loss in Game 5 put the Canadiens down 3-2 in their series versus the New York Rangers. "If you don’t have character, this is the time you’re going to doubt yourself. If you do have character, this is the time where the belief is going to come out."

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