Habs Notebook: Feb. 26, 2009
To serve and protect
While the Wachovia Center may lack some of the je ne sais quoi of the good old days of the Spectrum and the Broad Street Bullies, Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau isn’t about to take any chances in the city of brotherly love. When the Habs hit the ice on Friday against the Flyers, they’ll be doing so with a 250-pound insurance policy in the form of Georges Laraque skating alongside rookies Gregory Stewart and Kyle Chipchura.
“Greg and Kyle are getting more and more confident and Georges will be able to bring a different element to that line than what we saw from Mathieu Dandenault in his last couple of games,” indicated Carbonneau. “He’ll probably play somewhere between four and 10 minutes. Since we won’t get to have last change advantage over there, it will be really important for him to be responsible on D-zone faceoffs.”
No postseason preview
If the playoffs were starting tomorrow, the Canadiens would start the first round by facing off against a familiar foe in Philly. While the Habs will have an opportunity to make up some ground in the standings tonight against the currently-fourth place Flyers – and help them claim home ice advantage over their Philadelphian counterparts – according to captain Saku Koivu, a win tonight means only slightly more than an extra two points.
“To me, there are two seasons: the regular season and the playoffs,” explained Koivu. “Last year, we dominated the Bruins and the Flyers in the regular season and then come playoff time, we needed seven games to down Boston and then Philadelphia beat us in five. Tonight’s game is key for us in the standings, but it’s also important to get ourselves on a roll and help build a psychological advantage going into the playoffs.”
All good things come in threes
After seeing Jaroslav Halak pick up his fourth career shutout on Tuesday against the Cancks, Guy Carbonneau surprised no one when he revealed who would get the start between the pipes on Friday night.
“Jaroslav gave us what we were looking for: stability in the net. He’s in the zone right now. That’s something every goalie wants and it’s something that every team wants from its goalie.”
Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com
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A zero for Jaro
My playlist: Georges Laraque