The Montreal Canadiens continue to struggle this season, most recently being the victims of a 3-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night.
At one end of the ice, the Canadiens fans cheered their former beloved goaltender Jaroslav Halak, who earned a shutout against his old club. At the other end of the ice, current Canadiens forward Mike Cammalleri was the target of boos by those frustrated by the team losing and the forward's season-long scoring slump.
Cammalleri has seen his ice-time drop and it appears his frustration is now on the rise, something that became evident after practice on Wednesday when he continued the conversation with NHL.com and Francois Gagnon from RDS and La Presse.
"I can't accept that we will display a losing attitude as we're doing this year. We prepare for our games like losers. We play like losers. So it's no wonder why we lose," Cammalleri said in response to questions about the repeated failures of the Canadiens.
"You've got to be sensitive to the fact that Canadiens fans live and die by their team," Cammalleri told reporters. "So if anything, you can identify with how they feel. They're unhappy, and they let you know it. So I wasn't disappointed; I think moreso I probably expected it."
Cammalleri went on to say that his team is playing with fear, scared to make mistakes. He referenced the Canadiens' playoff run where they reached the Eastern Conference finals two seasons ago, stating that during that time, the team played as if they could beat anyone. He went on to say that the team's approach to games is completely opposite this season.
"When you display a losing attitude like we do now, you lose more often than you win and you stay in the same place. When you show a winning attitude, you are not stifled by mistakes and you respond to a mistake with 15 good plays at the other end, you win and you get out of misery. This is not what we are doing here now, " remarked Cammalleri.
After his playoff heroics the last two seasons, Cammalleri has nine goals and 22 points in 37 games putting him on pace for the lowest totals of his career.
Head coach Randy Cunneyworth sees no issue with Cammalleri's ice-time.
"If there's something there I don't like, then obviously they're going to see limited ice-time," said Cunneyworth.
"I think their ice-time was pretty fair (Tuesday) night and we have to get some production from our top guys, as usual. But they're also out there trying to take care of a solid line that they're opposing so they have to make sure they're good in their own end. If you're not scoring, then you have to be preventing goals the other way."
The Canadiens will try to right the ship on Thursday when they visit the defending Stanley Cup champion Bruins, a game that can be seen live on TSN and TSN Mobile TV at 7pm et/4pm pt.