Habs' Cammalleri reflects on end of magical run

PHILADELPHIA -- If you're looking for reasons as to why the Montreal Canadiens were able to reach the Eastern Conference Finals this season, Michael Cammalleri is certainly at or near the top of the list.

Cammalleri, who signed with the Habs as a free agent last summer, scored 13 goals for the Canadiens this postseason, which ended with a 4-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 5 at the Wachovia Center Monday night.

Cammalleri spoke with the media after the game.

Q: How tough is this to swallow right now?

Cammalleri:  It's a little disappointing. You've got to credit your opponents and credit them for doing a good job and for playing the way they wanted to. You can't help but feeling you wish you had done a little bit more on the ice. It is what it is. That's why one team wins and one team loses.

Q: How confident were you as it was going on that you could pull this one out?

Cammalleri:  I thought it could have went either way. It was a pretty even hockey game. They scored one more goal than we did. [Jeff Carter added an empty-net goal.]

Q: It's obviously tough to digest right now, but do you still view this as a disappointment considering you reached the conference finals? Nobody gave you guys a chance when the playoffs started, right?

Cammalleri: You still do, because you start believing in what you can be and what you're capable of and the two opponents (Washington, Pittsburgh) that we were able to beat earlier. You feel like you can really make a special year out of it. It's still an empty feeling because you only get so many years to do this. You're not in the Eastern Conference Finals every year. It feels like a little bit of an opportunity missed.

Q: In a week or so, will you view this as a special year since many thought this team overachieved?

Cammalleri:  I think it was a special year for a bunch of guys to come together and maybe play better than people thought we were capable of … I guess maybe a little bit of a building block for some of us who hope to be here for a while. Some special bonds might have formed this year. You can look at it that way.

Q: Do you think if you hadn't had some of those injuries that you could have built some chemistry earlier? How much of a difference could that have made?

Cammalleri: I don't know if that hurt or helped us. Tough to look back and say that. Having said that, now's the time where you get to sit down and relax and reflect a little bit on the year and go through it and start deciding what's going to help you move forward here in the future.

Q: Did you have a pretty good feeling when you guys scored that goal a minute into the game?

Cammalleri:  A great feeling, yeah. A big goal early and a big second goal for us to give us a chance to come back. It felt like we were in it all night. Just a little short.

Follow Brian Compton on Twitter: @BComptonNHL