Phillip Danault perfectly symbolized this match. Yes, he blundered on the Maple Leafs’ first goal when he lost the puck to Auston Matthews. But he found a way to forget about this bad game and come back even stronger.
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It was the same story for the Canadian. In the first period, the CH hardly touched the puck. Quietly, this team regained its confidence to finally overthrow the best formation in the North Division with two goals in the third period. A victory of character. A victory also of determination.
“I work mentally, hockey is just mental,” said Danault a few minutes after this 2-1 victory over the Leafs. I had to forget my mistake, we wanted to push to get the big win. We finally received our reward for our work. “
Danault then drew an interesting comparison between this year’s squad and last season’s squad.
“The positive is that I see the difference with last year. We kept losing, but we couldn’t find a way to get up. We have a mental strength that we didn’t have last year. ”
“There is confidence, but also determination,” added Claude Julien. Determination is what got us out of a difficult start to the game. We did a lot of preparation for this match, especially after a difficult week. The more the match progressed, the more we saw the things we were doing well at the start of the season. We will want to build with this game. “
Tatar in the stands
Tomas Tatar dominated CH last year with 61 points (22 goals, 39 assists) in 68 games. In 2018-19, he finished second in team scoring with 58 points. For two years, he had played 95% of the time on the left wing of the first line with Danault and Brendan Gallagher.
For this match in Toronto, the Slovak received a clear warning from Claude Julien who showed him the way to the press bridge.
“Our standards are high this year, explained Julien to justify his choice. Tomas is not a bad player, but more is expected of him. Not just on the score sheet, but elsewhere as well. He loses the puck, he does not take it out of his zone. Small details. We put Perry in, we wanted to have him on the power play against the Leafs. We have no injuries, we have guys waiting to play. We want to keep everyone honest. We expect good games from everyone. “
In 14 games this season, Tatar has obtained 8 points (4 goals, 4 assists). Since the third period of Wednesday’s game against the Maple Leafs, he found himself on the left wing of the third line.
He slipped even more coming out of training for the first time.
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