Notebook - Feb. 2, 2011
Winter games: Habs’ defenseman Jaroslav Spacek used the All-Star break as an opportunity to hit the great outdoors and get a little preparation for when the Canadiens faceoff against the Flames in the Heritage Classic on Feb.20.
“I took a trip up to Mont-Tremblant. It was my first time going there and I was surprised at just how nice it was. I took my kids skating out on the pond and felt like I was 20-years-old again. We had a few little races, but it’s ok, I was still able to beat him,” joked Spacek. “It was good to get some time with the family, but now it’s back to business. It’s going to be a tough stretch, but I think we got off to a good start with yesterday’s game.”
Finding his place: After displaying some solid consistency in recent games, it would seem that Canadiens’ defenseman Yannick Weber is playing with more confidence than ever as he continues to display his versatility on the ice.
“I’ve been successful on the PK so far this year and have a lot of experience playing that role from when I was younger,” said Weber of his increased responsibilities. “Now that I’ve been able to find more of my niche with the team, I think I’m being rewarded with time on the PK for some good defensive play. I’m just trying to play my best every game and never allow myself to get too comfortable with my position.”
Atmosphere: It’s no secret that the Bell Centre’s electrifying atmosphere makes it one of the most exiting arenas in the NHL to play in. While Montreal should be proud that 40% of NHLers polled, listed it as their favorite venue in the league, it also means that those teams usually play all the harder when they come to town.
“The Panthers represent another team that’s very strong defensively and that plays the game very hard,” pointed out Habs’ head-coach Jacques Martin of his former team. “They’re a team that has a good record against our club, and I think that like a lot of other teams in the league, they get very energized by the atmosphere here and play well because of it.”
Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com
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