Habs Notebook - March 20, 2009
After getting the tap to replace Carey Price in the Habs’ net in Ottawa on Thursday night, Jaroslav Halak took the Canadiens to the wire against the Senators. Halak is now set to make his 31st start of the season on Saturday against the Leafs. Confirmation on the rest of the team’s lineup, however, will have to wait until Saturday morning. Sporting red jerseys for Friday’s practice, Andrei Kostitsyn and Matt D’Agostini may be left out of the mix, while Bob Gainey has decided to shake up the defensive pairings, matching Mike Komisarek with Mathieu Dandenault and Roman Hamrlik with Ryan O’Byrne.
“The only thing that is certain right now is that Jaroslav will be in nets,” explained Gainey. “With the exception of Francis Bouillon, I have all of our players available to me right now. Three or four players played below their potential on Thursday in Ottawa and that influenced the three or four other players they were out there with. I haven’t decided 100% what my lineup will be yet, but I will be able to confirm that after tomorrow’s morning skate, when I know whether or not certain players have gotten the message.”
Laraque set to attack
The Leafs-Habs rivalry has definitely lived up to its billing during the 2008-09 campaign, with no love lost between the two clubs throughout their four heated match-ups so far this season. On the shelf for the past seven outings, tough guy Georges Laraque could make his return to the lineup on Saturday night, slated to skate alongside Glen Metropolit and Gregory Stewart.
“The game against the Leafs is like a playoff game. No matter how much pain I’m in, I need to play. Hopefully, my back holds out. It’s the team’s 100th season and there is no question where we need to finish in April.”
Josh doesn’t play nice
Around the Habs’ dressing room, blue-liner Josh Gorges is known for being a great team player. When it comes to his opponents, though, Gorges’ sharing skills could use a little work.
“At this point in the season, battles aren’t as much about technique as they are about your attitude. You need to go in with the attitude that “It’s my puck”. You need to have that killer instinct.”
Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com