UNIONDALE – Travis Moen has a little extra motivation heading into Thursday’s game.
When the Canadiens boarded their flight to Long Island on Wednesday afternoon, they were short one winger. Travis Moen didn’t join his teammates in Uniondale until later that night, but not without tending to some important personal matters first.
“I’m pretty excited. We had a baby girl yesterday morning and I couldn’t be happier,” beamed the proud father of three-year-old son Carter and newborn daughter, Blayke. “I’m just happy everybody is healthy.
“You know what,” he added with a laugh. “She’s the first Quebecer in the Moen family.”
Just 24 hours after his wife Amy gave birth, Moen was already trying to turn his attention back to the task at hand. Ready to get back to work to help the Habs close a 10-point gap between themselves and a playoff berth, the 29-year-old forward isn’t expecting any difference in his game against the Islanders – except maybe the person he’ll be dedicating every goal and hit to in Uniondale.
“Yesterday was focused on the family but I’m away from them right now so my focus right now is geared towards hockey. I’ll try to get her the win,” offered Moen, who returned from a lower body injury just in time for Tuesday’s 3-2 win over the Penguins. “The last couple of games we’ve been playing really well and the way we need to be for us to be successful. It’s a huge game and we have to walk away with two points.”
Happy to see his gritty winger back on the ice, Randy Cunneyworth is hoping all of his players come to the Nassau Coliseum equally inspired.
“Everybody’s got something to play for each and every night,” stressed the first-year head coach. “We have to be on our game. We’ve done some good work of late, but that’s not good enough.
“We want a great effort out of everybody; we need a great contribution from everybody,” added Cunneyworth. “We can’t have a passenger in any regard. We know the games are desperate for each and every team we face.”
No doubt when Moen hits the ice on Thursday night, he’ll be playing for a lot more than just those big two points.
Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com. SEE ALSO:Rapid fireTop 5 - Most memorable moments vs NYIGame previewMy First Goal: Travis MoenPalushaj recalled from Hamilton A questionable move