“You just have to find a way to win a game, get out of this race and hopefully move on,” says Jonathan Drouin.

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Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme juggled his lines, again, at Monday’s practice in Pittsburgh.

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Ducharme had Nick Suzuki on the front line between Mike Hoffman and Cédric Perreault, while Jake Evans was between Jonathan Drouin and Joel Armia on the second line. The third line had Ryan Poehling between Artturi Lehkonen and Cole Caufield, and the fourth line had Cédric Paquette with Michael Pezzetta and Laurent Dauphin and Jesse Ylönen spinning on the right wing.

Ducharme is looking for something, anything, to ignite his injury-plagued team that have been winless in the last six games (0-5-1) and have scored two goals or fewer in 21 of 29 games this season while compiling a 6. -twenty. -3 record.

The Canadiens rank 31st overall in the NHL, just ahead of the Arizona Coyotes (5-20-2), who have two games in hand in Montreal. Canadians will play the Penguins on Tuesday (7 pm, TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM).

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“This situation doesn’t help … for some guys it’s their first step in the NHL or their first step with the Montreal Canadiens,” Jonathan Drouin said after practice Monday about the team that has so many young players in the lineup because of injuries. “It is a bummer to live that a little. But as veterans and other guys we have to keep the energy, the positivity. Tomorrow we have a chance to win a game … we play a very good team in Pittsburgh. They skate well and they’re physical… it’s a good game for us, I think.

“It is part of what we are dealing with now with injuries and COVID,” Drouin added. “I think the guys have done their best and have done a good job. You just have to find a way to win a game, get out of this race, and hopefully move on. “

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Coach message

Ducharme said he has a simple message when he talks to his players, especially the younger ones.

“We talk every day,” the coach said after Monday’s practice. “Again, it’s about making sure we control what we can control. In that sense, that’s what we did today, prepare for the game and that’s where it starts again tomorrow. There are many things that we do not control, but there are things that we do and we have to be aware of that. “

One of the young players who has a chance because of injuries is Ryan Poehling, who is 4-1-5 in 15 games.

“He can look at himself individually and think he’s playing great and this and that,” Poehling said. “But the team always comes first. When there are problems, nobody is happy, even if you think you are playing well and the team is losing, nobody is happy. You want to come to the track and have a good attitude, everyone has that, but going through this is quite difficult for us. The only thing we can do is fix it.

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“You have to find it within yourself,” Poehling added. “Not just playing 82 games, you know you just have to work for yourself and realize that every day you have a great opportunity and you are blessed. There are guys who struggle to be where you are, so you have to remember how blessed you are and work like that. Even when you’re losing, I think that’s the most important thing. When you wake up in the morning you don’t worry about the score and you don’t worry about this or that. You just get up and compete and try to work harder than the other team. If you do that and the results happen, you can at least live with it. I think that’s the most important thing “.

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Romanov a bright spot

One of the few bright spots for the Canadiens this season has been the improved play of defender Alexander Romanov.

The 21-year-old scored the Canadiens’ only goal in Saturday’s 4-1 loss to the Blues in St. Louis, giving him a 2-3-5 total in 28 games.

Ducharme said it is too early to predict what kind of offensive player Romanov will become in the future.

“Offensively, he’s a pretty good guy,” Ducharme said of Romanov. “But producing offense sometimes is not moving all over the place, it’s making the right decisions, putting pucks on the net like he did with his goal the other night. Avoid blocks (from shots) and just make sure he goes to the net. Little things like that.

“I think he just needs to keep maturing his game and then from there, I think we’ll see where he can fit in and maybe have some time to play with the power,” added the coach. “For him, it’s not about jumping in and creating an offense when he has the puck on the stick, carrying the puck longer. It’s just about picking the right moments to come in and support the attack and I think that’s where a good defense producing offense can figure out when the time is right and commit at the right time. Sometimes you want to support the attack so much that you go in too fast and then you run out of options, you are no longer an option. So for him, it’s measuring that and making sure he’s reading those kinds of opportunities in the right way. It is part of growing up in your game. But we are not holding anyone. He’s just doing it the right way. “

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Guhle is part of Team Canada

For the second year in a row, Canadiens prospect Kaiden Guhle will play for Team Canada in the youth world championship.

Guhle, the Canadiens’ first-round pick (16th overall) in last year’s NHL draft, was among the last 25 players named to the Team Canada roster on Sunday. He was part of the Canadian team that won a silver medal at last year’s world youth tournament.

In 20 games this season in the WHL, Guhle has totals of 3-15-18. The 19-year-old defender was traded this month from the Prince Albert Raiders to the Edmonton Oil Kings.

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Joshua Roy, another Canadiens prospect, was among Team Canada’s final cuts on Sunday. The Canadiens selected Roy, a left winger, in the fifth round (150 total) of this year’s NHL Draft. In 25 games this season with QMJHL’s Sherbrooke Phoenix, Roy has totals of 16-29-45.

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Canada will play its first match in the youth world tournament on December 26 in Edmonton against the Czech Republic.

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The lines

Here’s how the attack lines and defense pairs looked at Monday’s practice:

Hoffman – Suzuki – Perreault
Drouin – Evans – Armia
Lehkonen – Poehling – Caufield
Pezzetta – Paquette – Dauphin / Ylönen

Chiarot – Savard
Kulak – Clague
Romanov – Wideman
Schueneman – Petry

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Whats Next?

The Canadiens will fly home after Tuesday’s game and play the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday at the Bell Center (7 pm, TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM). The Boston Bruins will be at the Bell Center on Saturday (7 pm, SNE, CITY, TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM).

Next week the Canadiens will play three away games, facing the New York Islanders on Monday (7pm, SN, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM), the New York Rangers on Wednesday (7pm, SN, RDS). , TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM) and the New Jersey Devils on Thursday (7 pm, TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM). After that, the Canadiens will have a four-day Christmas break on the schedule.

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Reference-montrealgazette.com

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