Weekend warriors

Thursday, 19.01.2012 / 2:33 PM / News
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Weekend warriors


BROSSARD – The Habs will have their work cut out for them in back-to-back games against two teams battling for a berth in the playoffs.

March to the Penguins: With the Habs playing back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday, chances are that the team’s two goalies could find themselves splitting duties over the weekend. While Friday night’s starter has yet to be announced, Carey Price who posted a 1.96 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage against the Pens in 2010 is a likely candidate for the job. After the team’s practice, Price mused on the reason he’s played some of his best games against the Penguins.

“Probably because they scare the daylights out of me,” joked the Canadiens’ all-star netminder. “They’ve got a lot of high level talent and they always have, so whenever you roll into Pittsburgh you’re aware that you’re probably going to face over 30 shots and a few quality chances so you know you have to be ready.”

The Habs play the Penguins and Toronto in back-to-back games.

“Myself and the team needs to get on a bit of a streak here,” added Price as Habs get set two square off against two teams battling with them for a berth in the playoffs. “We need to string some wins together and build some confidence and that starts tomorrow.”

A goal in mind: After missing a large part of the season due to injury, Scott Gomez has been working on getting his rhythm back since his return to action three games ago. He might still be in search of his first goal of the year, but the Habs’ center isn’t getting discouraged, continuing to get back on track and putting nine shots on goal over his last two games alone.

“In the end, it’s the two points that are important. I’m not going to sit here and worry about myself – I’m going to worry on trying to help get us into the playoffs,” promised Gomez of a goal drought that’s lasted since February 5, 2011. “I’m not sitting around and thinking about scoring that goal all day… maybe I should be, but when you look at that board you realize the situation we’re in and it’s a bit scary. We want to get into the playoffs. We all know that if we can accomplish that, we have a chance to win – no matter what anyone else might be saying.”

A fresh look: After not having found the back of the net with the man advantage over the course of their last three games, Randy Cunneyworth’s team went back to work Thursday morning in hopes of sparking a special teams unit that’s fallen on hard times. According to the Habs’ head coach, when it comes to scoring on the power play, it’s not the tools that are lacking – just the execution.

“We have to be able to get more pucks to the net. We have to be able to outnumber them temporarily and grab rebounds to get those second and third chances. We want to create movement. We’re constantly working on it and players all know what they have to do,” assured Cunneyworth, while also pointing out that nobody’s role on the power play is set in stone. “We had a long meeting this morning and I talked with everyone on our power play units. They know their roles and we know where they’re at their best. We have two units and if their not performing, we’ll move around a few of the guys.”

Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.

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