P.K. Subban talked a great deal about respect during his team’s second-round series win over the Bruins.
The star defenseman believed his Canadiens had earned it, deserved it, but weren’t getting it.
“We worked hard,’’ said Subban, who declined to specify where the disrespect was coming from. “Nothing has come easy to us all year. Just as a player, hearing some of things people have said and the way people have disrespected us, both on and off our ice, I’m just happy for our group. I think we earned a lot of respect today. I’m not going to go into details about it. I just think generally we’re a team that earned respect today around the league. I think it’s about time people give us the recognition we deserve.’’
The Bruins were favored, but Subban said there was plenty of belief in the Canadiens locker room.
“I thought we competed very hard, very hard against a bigger team, a stronger team, and a more experienced team,’’ he said. “I think at some point a lot of people were saying, ‘Don’t poke the bear.’ Well, I thought they gave us many reasons to keep competing throughout the series and at the end, I’m just proud of the bunch of the guys in this room. That’s a character win for us. That’s a character series for us.’
“More importantly, especially for the guys who have been here and were there for that run in 2010 [when the Habs made it to the conference championship and lost to the Flyers in five games, and who were there when we lost Game 7 [in double overtime to the Bruins in the first round in 2011], they’re just sick and tired of it. They’re sick and tired of people disrespecting us and not giving us the credit we deserve.’’
Gallagher relishes role
At 5 feet 9 inches, Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher is a full foot shorter than Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara. But during this second-round playoff series, Gallagher said he has enjoyed tangling with the mammoth Boston captain.
“It’s fun, I enjoy the challenge obviously,’’ said Gallagher. “He’s the biggest guy that we’re going to see in this league. He’s a presence out there, for sure. He takes up a lot of space. It’s tough to battle, but it’s a challenge, but you enjoy that opportunity.’’
Wednesday was Gallagher’s first Game 7 in the NHL, and he was excited about it.
“These are the games you remember growing up watching,’’ he said.
His other experience with a Game 7 was when he was playing junior hockey with the Vancouver Giants.
“It was 0-0 in double overtime,’’ said Gallagher, 22, whose team went on to win. “That was a series against Spokane. There were a lot of overtime games, so we were pretty worn down.
“But you just remember the intensity and the importance of every shift. Even though it was junior hockey, it was still an experience you can draw on.’’
The Canadiens played a nearly perfect Game 6, beating the Bruins, 4-0. Then they finished off the Bruins in Game 7.
No doubt that backstopping Team Canada to a gold medal in Sochi helped make Carey Price even more battle-tested than he already was. “Definitely Carey Price is a true leader for us,’’ said Therrien, who watched his goalie make 29 saves in the Game 7 win. “He makes our team play with confidence. That goes with maturity. He’s a young veteran, but this year his experience at the Olympics, I thought he was phenomenal.’’ . . . Price had his shutout streak snapped at 103 minutes, 46 seconds when Jarome Iginla scored at 17:58 of the second period . . . The Canadiens are 5-1 in their last six Game 7s . . . They move on to the conference final for the first time since 2010 when they lost to the Flyers in five games . . . The Canadiens are 10 for 38 on the power play in the postseason (26.3 percent) . . . The Habs are 20 for 25 on the penalty kill (80 percent).