BUFFALO – Spending one game in the press box was one game too many for David Desharnais.
After watching Saturday’s 4-1 win over the Canucks in a suit instead of his usual Habs jersey, Desharnais is ready to slide back into his spot between Max Pacioretty and Erik Cole on the Canadiens’ top line.
“I’m almost as good as new. Not far off, anyway – I went into the garage for a little tune up and I should be good to go,” joked the speedy center, who was previously one of the team’s only three players to have suited up for every game this season along with Cole and Josh Gorges. “It’s never fun to be out of the lineup and you always want to get back as soon as possible. Throughout the year everyone plays through a little pain and it’s no different for me.”
While Desharnais wasn’t interested in making himself too comfortable in the Rogers Arena press box, he made sure to take advantage of his night off to see the game from a different perspective.
“It’s the first time I had to watch from upstairs this year and sometimes it’s helpful to sit back and watch the team from a bird’s eye view,” explained the 25-year-old forward, who has enjoyed a career-year with 14 goals and a team-leading 38 assists so far this season. “I saw a few little things from up top that hopefully I can bring to the game tonight.
“I think we looked more like a team against the Canucks,” added Desharnais. “We played a good team game and everyone was doing their job and playing hard. Everyone seemed to be on the same page. Any time there was a scrum, the guys were all getting in there. We’ve played really well against some of the top teams in the league this year, but we have to do that every night.”
Tomas Plekanec did an excellent job keeping Desharnais’ spot warm on Saturday, finishing with an assist and a plus-1 differential. But the architect behind the majority of his bruising wingers’ biggest goals this season is ready to pick up where he left off on Thursday night.
“It’s always fun to see those two score,” shared Desharnais, who helped Pacioretty reach the 30-goal benchmark for the first time in his career and has set the table for many of Cole’s 25 goals this season. “I’m a guy who likes to make plays and it’s always rewarding to see your wingers score goals. We have to keep doing what we’ve been doing and continue playing the way we have all year.
“If there’s no change between now and game time, I’ll be in,” he confirmed, before being questioned about what could possibly change between the morning skate and the 7:00 p.m. puck drop. “Hey, you never know…maybe you get hit by a car outside or something.”
Based on the amount of traffic we’ve seen circulating throughout the streets of Buffalo since the team arrived on Sunday afternoon, it’s safe to assume Desharnais won’t be acquainting himself with the press box at First Niagara Center any time soon.
Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com. SEE ALSO Rapid fire - Mar. 12On the Road Blog: BuffaloVote for the Play of the WeekProspect watch: Jarred Tinordi In fine form