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2010-11 season preview - Josh Gorges

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
MONTREAL – 850.That’s how many consecutive games Josh Gorges would need to play before breaking Doug Jarvis’ record of 964.

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Adopting a step-at-a-time mentality en route to that goal, the Habs’ resident “Iron Man” will first need to set his sights on the upcoming season and adding its 82 games to his current streak. Gorges hasn’t missed a single regular-season match-up since Feb. 3, 2009, and he’ll be looking to suit up for his 115th consecutive game when he steps out onto the Air Canada Centre ice on Oct. 7.

In addition to taking part in all of those games, the 26-year-old defenseman played a pivotal role in each of them as well. In 2009-10, the PK proved to be Gorges’ bread and butter, establishing himself as one of the Canadiens’ most reliable assets on the penalty kill – a fact that contributed to him winning the Jacques Beauchamp Trophy as the team’s unsung hero.

Always ready to sacrifice his body for the good of the team, it didn’t take long for Gorges to earn the confidence of head coach Jacques Martin whenever the team found itself on the kill. Quickly emerging as a PK specialist, Gorges led all Habs in minutes-played when the team was down a man.

It’s now become a regular sight to see Gorges and his partner Hal Gill immediately jumping onto the ice when referee’s arm darts into the air to call a penalty. Last season, the defensive pillars led the Canadiens with an impressive 180 minutes of penalty killing ice-time, trailed by Andrei Markov and Roman Hamrlik with just 53:40.

Come playoff time not much changed, with the duo eating up 27% of time played by defensemen, compared to the 14% logged by the Hamrlik-Subban pairing.

Expect to see Gorges likely teamed up once more with his towering blue-line partner for the Habs’ 2010-11 campaign, blocking shots, clearing the zone and extending his streak as Montreal’s Iron Man.

Vincent Cauchy is a writer for Translated by Justin Fragapane.

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