Notebook - Nov. 10, 2010
Gill Goes Home: The Habs’ Thursday-night game in Boston is going to be a big one to say the least. With both teams displaying impressive records and stellar goaltending since the start of the year, the clubs’ first matchup of the 2010-11 season appears ready to rekindle one of the oldest rivalries in the NHL. No one knows this better than Boston native and Montreal assistant-captain Hal Gill.
“Thursday night is going to be a big game. They’re a great team and they’ve been playing well. We had a little hiccup over the last few games but I think we got back on track nicely last night. I think the rivalry between the two teams is still very present so we’re looking forward to a good battle for sure,” said Gill who will also be using the game to continue the getting-to-know-you process with his new defensive partner, P.K. Subban. “Of course it takes a while to get used to a new defensive partner, but when it gets to the crunch time, you want to know that you can play with anyone on the team. P.K.’s a great kid, dying to learn more and more about the game. My advice to him has been to keep his game at an even keel but not lose any of his intensity.”
In the Same Boat: Jacques Martin met with the media early Wednesday afternoon as his team prepared to depart for Boston. When prodded about Dustin Boyd not having been claimed off waivers, the Habs’ head-coach pointed out some similarities between the sports industry and the media.
“I had a good talk with Dustin. He doesn’t feel unwanted by the team having put him on waivers. He has never complained about his situation and he’s continuing to work hard. We’re working with 23 healthy players at the moment, meaning we have no choice but to sit three guys,” explained Martin. “It’s just like with the media, some of you travel to cover our road-games, others don’t.”
Battle Scars: The day after the Canadiens 2-0 victory over the Canucks, Mathieu Darche didn’t just have a wide grin to show for his efforts, but a few cuts and scrapes to go along with it thanks to Canucks’ blue-liner Andrew Alberts. The Vancouver defenseman was handed a double-minor after a delivering a high-stick that brought Darche to the ice for a few very painful moments.
“I was discussing it afterwards with Chris Lee and Marc Joannette and they both thought it was a high-stick, but I don’t know how I would have gotten cut in two different places from one high-stick. It’s up to the league to decide,” said Darche, sporting a new set of sutures on his nose and chin. “My kids were having a good time tugging on the stitches this morning. In the end I’m obviously happier to be able to walk away from it and him not get a suspension than to have been seriously injured and him get suspended.”
All-Star Pond Hockey: All the speculation surrounding the new face of this year’s NHL All-Star Game has caught the attention of at least one Montreal Canadien. After the morning skate, P.K. Subban weighed in on being a fan of the event and the notion of the All-Star Game being nothing more than glorified pond-hockey.
“I think it’s great. I love pond hockey, I mean, that’s where I learned the game. The event’s a great time and if people watch it just wanting to have fun, they will. I really like that the players are going to get to choose their teams now, it adds another element to the game,” explained the young defenseman. “In the end, all I really want to see is all these super-talented guys pull off some amazing moves and entertain people. You kind of don’t even really want to watch people play D in a game like that.”
Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com
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