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Canadiens refuse to give up hope of making the playoffs

Canadiens associate coach Kirk Muller (left) and head coach Claude Julien watch action from behind bench.
Canadiens associate coach Kirk Muller (left) and head coach Claude Julien watch action from behind bench.

Last Wednesday, the Canadiens reported that captain Shea Weber would be sidelined 4-6 weeks because of a sprained ankle. But there he was Monday morning, taking part in the team’s practice at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard.

Afterward, Weber was asked if he believed in magic.

“No,” said the captain, who is a man of very few words.

While Weber doesn’t believe in magic, he does believe the Canadiens can still make the playoffs. They will need some magic to do that.

After Sunday’s games, the website had the Canadiens’ chances of making the playoffs listed at 1.3 per cent with their 27-26-8 record, which includes four straight losses (0-3-1). The Canadiens are in danger of missing the playoffs for the third straight season and the fourth time in five years.

“I think we always have to have belief,” Weber said about his team’s chances. “If you don’t believe, then it can’t happen. I mean, crazier things have been done before and this, why not?”

Coach Claude Julien was reading from the same script after practice when asked why he believes his team can still make the playoffs.

“Because if we don’t, what are we doing here?” he said. “Honestly, that’s the way I see it. If you don’t believe, why waste your time? Stranger things have happened. We got to put a bunch of wins together. Listen, when I say we’re not stupid, we see where we are, we see how many points we’re behind and we know we have to put an unbelievable streak together and somebody has to falter along the way. We know all that. But if we don’t hold any hope, what are we doing here?

“We’re paid to do a job, we’re paid to try and do the best we can and that’s what we need to do from hereon in,” the coach added. “It’s as simple as that.”

The Canadiens will be back in action Tuesday when they visit the Detroit Red Wings (7:30 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM).

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