“It was thanks to [Guy Carbonneau] that I got to play tonight. It was like Carbo was doing me a favor,” admitted Laraque, grinning from ear-to-ear. “I mean, I haven’t even been practicing with the team and I still got to play. This isn’t a beer league I’m playing in either, I’m going to have to really get my legs back at practice. I definitely felt sluggish out there, but it was electrifying to be a part of it all, that’s for sure.”
Sidelined for the entire preseason with a nagging groin injury, Laraque was a surprise addition to the Habs’ lineup. That was bad news for the Bruins and terrible news for Shawn Thornton, whose attack on Steve Begin back on Sept. 22 in Halifax didn’t not go unnoticed by Laraque.
“After what he pulled on Begin, I think he knew he was going to have to cross me tonight. I guess he just wanted to get it over with. I can’t say I blame him,” said Laraque, who was just grabbed and held by Thornton in what proved to be more of a wrestling match. “You could tell he was just trying not to get hurt. He’s a smaller guy but at least he had the guts to face me.”
The 6-foot-2, 217-pound Thornton proved to be no match for the 6-foot-3, 253-pound Laraque. According to the Canadiens’ new enforcer, the fact that Laraque dropped the gloves only seven seconds into his first shift as a Hab may prove to only be a sign of things to come.
“You shouldn’t be surprised by that seven seconds,” warned Laraque. “Believe me, you’ll be seeing a lot more of that, and I’ll probably even beat that time this season.”
The numbers game: Oct. 15, 2008
Fly on the wall - Oct. 15, 2008
Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com