Notebook - March 9

Friday, 09.03.2012 / 3:00 PM / News
canadiens.com

VANCOUVER – In today’s notebook, Price has a local fan club, Plekanec fills in for Desharnais and Gorges scouts his hometown team.

No.31 in your program, No.1 in your hearts: Carey Price may be used to playing in front of a friendly crowd at the Bell Centre back in Montreal, but when it comes to unconditional support, there’s no place like home for the 23-year-old goalie. The last time Price faced off against the Canucks in Vancouver, the All-Star netminder had a stronger cheering section than usual when a chartered bus filled with well-wishers from his hometown made their way to Rogers Arena.

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“There will probably be lots of Habs fans here, no doubt, but Canucks fans are pretty loud, too. It might be close to a split. I don’t know what’s going on this time. Gino Odjick actually set that [bus] up the last time,” shared Price, whose personal fan club this time around will include the likes of his father, Jerry, and mother, Lynda. “I think just some family and friends are coming down from Williams Lake but that’s about it. It’s a different feeling over here on the west coast. I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s different.”

Changing on the fly: Randy Cunneyworth confirmed that David Desharnais will miss Saturday’s game with a lower body injury, breaking up the team’s top line, who have played over 680 minutes together this season. Having already played with nine different wingers at times throughout 2011-12, Tomas Plekanec is ready to step in and help Max Pacioretty and Erik Cole continue their scoring streaks even without their usual centerman.

“Those guys are playing well and they’re having good seasons. I’ll just try to do my job as usual and playing with those guys is good and hopefully that will get me going, too,” offered Plekanec, who is fourth in team scoring with 44 points in 67 games. “I don’t mind whoever I play with, but you just want to make sure there’s some consistency. If you mix it up every other shift that’s not good for anybody. Hopefully we’ll get some consistency going through the game.”

Advance scouting: There are few people in the Habs dressing room as familiar with what the Canucks bring to the table as Josh Gorges, who grew up rooting for his hometown team as a kid in Kelowna, BC. Times have changed since the days of Pavel Bure and Trevor Linden, but Gorges still knows exactly what to expect from Vancouver on Saturday night.

“This is one of the best teams in the NHL and they have been for the last couple of years. I think you know what you’re up against when you play Vancouver,” described Gorges, who has a plus-3 differential in 10 career games against the Canucks. “You can’t afford to have a shift off and you can’t afford to be soft or make those mental mistakes. They have too much firepower and they play too good of a game so we have to be ready and prepared to compete. We have to make life miserable on them and keep them in their own end as much as we can. If we do that, we’ll give ourselves a chance to win.”

Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com.

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