Notebook - Dec. 6, 2010
The 200 foot shot: Few events are rarer in hockey than a goalie scoring a goal. So far this season, Habs’ netminder Carey Price has tried twice, neither time with much success. On his latest effort, Price’s lob had enough pep to make it down the ice, but not enough accuracy to find the net. After the team’s morning skate, Price reemerged clad in a track-suit and without his goalie skates to have some fun and take a few shots.
“Like I’ve already said, everyone has to chip in offensively,” explained Price. “I’m trying too. I’ll get one eventually. It’s been a dream of mine ever since I was a little kid, to score a goal in the NHL.”
Czech marks: With Andrei Markov shelved for the rest of the season, the defensive pairing of Roman Hamrlik and Jaroslav Spacek has been working hard to fill the void. Eating up a hefty helping of minutes each game and squaring off against the opposition’s top lines, the Czech duo is showing that attitude, not age, is the key to success.
“If I had to pinpoint the main difference, it’s that this year it just looks like they’re both having a lot more fun out there and really enjoying themselves. They’re always laughing and joking on the bench and talking Czech with each other – I mean, I have no idea what they’re saying, but they seem to be having a good time,” revealed fellow rearguard Josh Gorges of his teammates’ solid play and endless energy.
“They’ve both been playing amazing lately. Hammer is incredible; he never runs out of steam. He’s in amazing shape and no matter how many minutes he plays in a game, or how long his shifts last, he just seems to be able to keep going.”
A question of language: Making up one of the most experienced defensive pairings in the league with their 2,059 combined games, the Hamrlik-Spacek tandem also have an ace up their sleeve every time they hit the ice together – one that has nothing to do with experience.
“We speak in both languages. For the little, simpler things we’ll generally speak Czech. If it’s for something more complicated that involves other players, we’ll switch over to English, but when it’s just us we stick to Czech,” said Spacek. “Sometimes we try to hide certain things from the other team by speaking Czech, but usually if the other players are well prepared they’ll still have a little understanding of our system and what we’re going to do.”
Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.
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