As White still searches for ‘fine line,’ did he cost the Habs a loss?
Published Friday, February 8, 2013 11:26PM EST
MONTREAL—The Canadiens may have let one slip away on Thursday night in Buffalo. The game was in their hands until a double minor to Ryan White changed the momentum. The head coach wasn't happy about it the next day.
“It’s unacceptable. The game was under control before he took the penalties. I’m disappointed,” said Coach Michel Therrien.
“I had a little talk with him this morning, obviously he wasn’t too happy about it,” said Ryan White, the 24-year-old Habs centre.
To ensure a 5-4 victory, Sabres’ player Steve Ott did what he is paid to do: take what looks like a loss and turn it around by goading a player into a game changing moment.
“He was playing his game as he always does. He's pretty smart. He dragged me into a four minute minor. He’s a smart player. I thought he went low in on me. I thought he was trying to take out my knees. I guess I put myself in front of the team and that is what hurts the most,” said a subdued White.
He stood up and took his punishment, which is admirable, but the most important question is: Has he learned from his mistake?
“I don't know. I would have put money on that it wasn't going to happen last night. Like I said before, I got to play my game and it's a fine line. But my body of work should show that I am a disciplined player most of the time.”
While some of White’s teammates came forward in his defence, they stressed his responsibility.
“He's a team player guy and he would put his heart before the team, but this time it is too much, but he's got to stay positive as much as he can,” said centre Tomas Plekanec.
“Whitey works his bag off for us. Every night, he’s an emotional player. He plays like that. There is a fine line. But when a guy plays like that, everything you want to keep him helping. But you win as a team and lose as a team so that’s all I will say about that,” said Habs winger Brendan Gallagher.
White's fate was sealed when the Sabres tied it up with two seconds left and ended up winning. He'll be out of the lineup Saturday as Travis Moen draws back in.
Montreal Canadiens Jeff Halpern, left to right, Mathieu Darche, Benoit Pouliot, Ryan White and Hal Gill look on from their bench during third period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals in Montreal, Saturday, March 26, 2011.The CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes