Notebook - Jan. 12, 2011
Winning 101: For a team pegged as having a hard time coming from behind to get the win, the Canadiens have been busy silencing their critics by proving they’re capable of doing just that. As Habs’ coach Jacques Martin pointed out after Wednesday morning’s skate, victories of that brand are rarely achieved by skill alone.
“You obviously need to have skill at this level, but skill alone is never going to be enough. You have to play with a lot of intensity, a lot of determination and more often than not, that’s what’s going to win you hockey games,” pointed out Martin as his squad prepared to face the Penguins for the second time in a week. “Pittsburgh is a team with a lot of pride. They’re Stanley Cup winners and they’ve got some great goaltending. After losing their last three, they’re going to be very dangerous tonight.”
Siamese twins: Over the course of Tuesday night’s game, Mathieu Darche and Benoit Pouliot welcomed Tomas Plekanec onto their line. All three made their way onto the score-sheet while putting together some impressive offence for the Habs.
“I guess I’m not going to be able to get rid of Mathieu after this,” joked Pouliot on the subject of his linemate. “Every time I find myself on a new line it’s usually not long before he follows anyways. He’s an easy guy to play with. You always know what he’s going to do and it makes it easy for anyone to adapt to playing with him.”
Meet you new partner: With regular blue-line partner Josh Gorges sidelined for the rest of the season, Hal Gill has recently found himself paired with Canadiens’ rookie P.K. Subban. As the duo continues to develop their chemistry, one thing that’s apparent is that communication is the key to this relationship.
“P.K.’s a very vocal person and so am I so we’re trying to talk as much as possible on the bench as well as on the ice. That’s really how you get used to someone and get to know where they’re going to be on the ice, it’s how you work out all the little kinks,” explained Gill on breaking in his new partner. “We talk a lot of things out and it’s helping us improve as a unit every game.”
Styles of celebration: While Carey Price and P.K. Subban have developed their own little post-game ritual to celebrate a Canadiens win, Alex Auld has developed a ritual of his own.
“My ritual is to avoid all that. He’s tried a few times now, but I think at this point he’s basically given up,” explained the Habs’ 30-year-old netminder of P.K. Subban and the triple low-five. “It’s just not really my style, it’s more for the younger guys.”
Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.
The Triple Low-Five
Big win in the Big City
Carey Price is seeing stars
Habs this week - Jan. 10, 2011
The Last Word: Owen Wilson