Habs Notebook - March 27, 2009
If it ain’t broke: With his team riding a two-game winning streak, Bob Gainey isn’t about to change a winning formula. The only possible shuffle could involve the return of ailing Andrei Kostitsyn, who continues to recover from a bout with the flu.
“Andrei is going to be back with us tomorrow and is scheduled to meet with the doctors then,” revealed Gainey. “I think it would tough to see him returning back to the lineup tomorrow, but we will see how he’s coming along on Saturday.”
Metropolit’s mission: It’s been two games since Glen Metropolit and his linemates were assigned to shut down the opposition’s top line. So far so good for the scrappy centerman who has a goal and a plus-1 rating over that span.
“Bob made the decision to show that confidence in us and it’s quite an honor,” said Metropolit, who has found instant chemistry flanked by Christopher Higgins and Mathieu Dandenault. “Covering the top lines in the league is quite the challenge. There are a lot of talented players out there who can capitalize on any chance they get. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be ready because every shift is crucial.”
The quiet leader: It takes one to know one. As a player for the Habs in his heyday, Gainey built his Hall-of-Fame reputation on leading by example. Despite his star defenseman’s quiet demeanor, Gainey likes Andrei Markov just the way he is.
“Andrei seems more comfortable when things get rough and physical now. He’s matured and become an elite defenseman with great vision. The leadership he shows our group is more by example. Not all players are cut out to speak openly in the room. Given the choice, I would prefer having a team made up of players who do their talking with their play on the ice.”
Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com