Mike Cammalleri did some off-ice stickhandling Thursday as he attempted to clarify what he meant when he called his Montreal Canadiens "losers" a day earlier.
The Canadiens forward was in full damage-control mode following the team's game-day skate in Boston, telling reporters he was confused why his comments about the team's losing ways and his displeasure with having his role reduced by interim coach Randy Cunneyworth caused such a fuss.
"I made some comments after my interview yesterday that I thought were pretty PC comments with regards to the competitive advantage a winning team has and their mentality, and the lack thereof of a losing team," Cammalleri said. "I didn't think it was ground-breaking news. We're in 12th spot, we're not in a winning position right now. So it was some pretty impressive journalism to make all that out of that. But that's what it was for me. This group in here knows that we've got to be better."
Cammalleri said he talked to his teammates to give them his side of the story. Apparently they bought it.
"I don't know exactly his statements. But until we win, we're losers," Habs defenceman Hal Gill said. "I think that's a tough message, maybe, but we've got to win games. You have to have that killer mentality to find a way to go out and get wins. Until you do that, you're a loser."
Cammalleri has struggled this season, recording just nine goals and 13 assists for the under-achieving Canadiens, and was the target of Bell Centre boo-birds earlier this week. But he denied Thursday that he wanted out of Montreal.
"I think that I've had somewhat of a love affair with the city and things can change pretty quick," he said. "But not for me. I really enjoy it; my family loves it. I really enjoy what it means to play for the Montreal Canadiens."