Notebook – January 29, 2013

Tuesday, 29.01.2013 / 1:08 PM / News
canadiens.com

BROSSARD – In today’s notebook: Gorges' take on P.K., Cole on Pacioretty’s situation, and the man from Manitoba is ready for the Jets.

Team mentality: When a deal was reached between P.K. Subban and the Canadiens, the Habs knew they’d be getting a top-tier defenseman back in their lineup. The focus of the day may have been answering questions on Subban, but a few of his teammates were quick to mention that the group’s recent success was due to their team mentality, and the arrival of single player shouldn’t change that.

“To be honest, I think we need to stop asking questions about only one guy. The good thing about this group right now, and the reason that we’ve been winning games is because we’re playing together and working together as a team,” underlined Josh Gorges, after fielding a myriad of questions concerning the young defenseman. “We all bought in to the concept of a team mentality and that’s why we’ve been enjoying some early-season success. That’s what we expect from him, and that’s what we expect from everybody. Whether it’s, Gio [Brian Gionta], Carey [Price], P.K. or myself, we all have to adopt this system and understand what we need to accomplish, and then we can move forward.”

Cole’s notes: When it was originally reported that Max Pacioretty was missing a day of practice with flu-like symptoms, few could have predicted that he’d be going into emergency surgery within 24 hours to have his appendix removed. Now, sidelined for up to a month, the Canadiens will undoubtedly miss the offensive production of the emerging star – probably none more so than his regular linemates David Desharnais and Erik Cole. With few details available on the situation as it unfolded, Cole offered up some insight after Tuesday’s morning skate.

“We knew that it was possibly an issue and that he wasn’t feeling very well. It was something that had kind of been dragging on for a little while, so it didn’t completely come out of nowhere,” explained Cole, who will have to wait a while before being able to reestablish the success his line enjoyed in 2011-12 when they accounted for nearly half of the Habs’ scoring. “He was hurting a little bit in the Washington game and had it looked at afterwards, and when he still wasn’t feeling very good, they ran some more tests. He sat on it for a day and then went back the next day and surgery was the end result.”

Despite not being 100% Pacioretty still managed to pick up two points against the Capitals. Known for his ability to heal quickly and bounce back better than ever, there’s little doubt that the 24-year-old could have an immediate impact upon his return.

“It’s just unfortunate for a guy that’s trained really hard like that,” added Cole. “When you see him and see his physique and how much muscle he had added and how strong he looked on the ice – it’s a tough loss for us for sure.”

The man from Manitioba: Growing up only a two-and-a-half hour drive from Winnipeg in the town of Brandon, MB, Ryan White will be looking forward to hitting the ice against the latest incarnation of the Jets when they pay a visit the Bell Centre Tuesday night.

“This will be the first time that I get to play the Jets. I was just telling the guys during the stretch how excited I am for this game. It’s definitely going to be a big game for me tonight,” shared White, who’s more than happy to see the Jets back in the NHL after an absence of nearly 15 years. “I went to see one of their games when I was much younger. They were playing my favorite team, the Red Wings, who ended up dominating the game. We were sitting pretty high up in the nose-bleeds, so we actually didn’t see all that much.”

Winnipeg and Brandon will be well represented in Montreal on Tuesday with both White and the Jets in action for Manitoba to cheer on.

“It’s pretty special for me to get to play against them. Hockey is really alive in Manitoba and the people there love their team. Everyone where I’m from is probably going to be watching this game,” added the 24-year-old forward.

Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.

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