Habs Notebook - March 23, 2009
Roger that: After spending the last month and a half in Hamilton with the Bulldogs, Sergei Kostitsyn was pleased to be back in his familiar stall next to his brother in the Habs’ dressing room. The Kostitsyn boys will also be reunited on the ice, flanking Tomas Plekanec against Atlanta.
“I’m happy to be back,” admitted the younger Kostitsyn. “I got the change to get a lot of ice time while I was down there on both the power play and the penalty kill. I know what I need to do: work harder and more intelligently. I just hope I can help the team win.”
Playoff time comes early: Having missed the playoffs by only two points as a rookie with the Habs in 2006-07, Guillaume Latendresse isn’t looking for another heartbreak this time around. The postseason may not kick off until April 15, but the big winger is already in playoff mode.
“Tomorrow we’re starting a 10-game playoff series,” explained Latendresse of his team’s remaining regular season games. “We can’t play only half a game like we did on Saturday against the Leafs. We have to get our confidence back up and we all have to do our part to get ourselves out of this.”
Ilya interrupted: Not wearing his customary red or light blue practice jersey, Christopher Higgins was sporting burgundy as part of the Habs’ checking line. The move was far from a demotion from his coach who has given him a huge assignment: shut down Ilya Kovalchuk.
“We are going to have a line focused on defense,” said Gainey, who is no stranger to checking lines. “Chris did some of this for us along with Maxim Lapierre in a few games last week. Now playing with Glen Metropolit and Mathieu Dandenault, he will be there to face the opposition's players.”
Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com
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