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Desharnais and Shaw: BFFs?

David Desharnais and Andrew Shaw have quickly formed a bond in Montreal

by Joanie Godin @canadiensmtl /

MONTREAL -- Enduring friendships are a byproduct of playing pro hockey -- sometimes by necessity.

After all, it makes sense for a group of guys who are around each other every day to get along.

But some friendships -- think 'The Gallys' -- transcend the usual dressing room pleasantries. Just ask Andrew Shaw and David Desharnais.

"Yeah, maybe," admitted Shaw with a laugh, when asked about a possible budding "bromance" with his new teammate.

"Ah, there's my bro!" he added, as Desharnais entered the room.

The question is, with his own deep-rooted bond with longtime playmaker Desharnais well documented, should Habs captain Max Pacioretty be wary of a blooming linemate triangle?

"Maybe!" joked the Quebec-born centerman.

Indeed, Desharnais and Shaw have spent plenty of time together as linemates this year after first meeting during the offseason at Michel Therrien's annual golf tournament.

Although, for the record, it was over a third sport -- Fantasy Football -- that the pair's friendship really began to blossom. 

Having neighboring stalls in the team dressing room didn't hurt, either.

"When you play with someone, you want to make yourself look good by making him look good. You want to have good chemistry and you want that to carry over onto the ice," underlined Desharnais. "We get to chat everyday because we prep for games right beside each other."

The bleu-blanc-rouge buds have a lot in common, including, apparently, being put to shame on the online gridiron by Phillip Danault -- who "doesn't even follow football," according to Shaw.

"Davey's funny and he thinks I'm funny, which is perfect," cracked Shaw, who was a fan favorite in Chicago before earning similar status in Montreal this fall. "He's easy to get along with."

"[Shaw] may talk a lot, but he's fun to be around," added Desharnais.

The Duel

More proof of the duo's unique rapport is the challenge they've created for themselves on the ice.

With Desharnais and Shaw both sharing experience at center, during games, the two will let the other keep taking faceoffs until one of them loses.

"It pushes us even harder," described Desharnais, his line's "official" centerman. "You always want to win every draw, and you especially don't want to lose your spot. At one point, it was like he was winning them all!"

The jury's still out on whether the strategy the two have concocted is to credit, but Shaw currently leads the team with a 55.5% faceoff efficiency among Habs who have taken at least 100 draws.

At practice, it's not rare to see the two encouraging one another, or celebrating with gusto.

"There was a time when we both knew we weren't playing well, so we tried to build confidence off each other," acknowledged Shaw, who leads the Habs in penalty minutes with 95 through 44 games.

So should fans be on the lookout for other games within the game to come?

"Not at the moment, but maybe we can find one for goals or assists," joked Desharnais.

Look good, feel good, play good

One of the more stylish Habs off the ice, Desharnais likes to dress well -- but that doesn't mean the fashionable forward's style should be taken for granted.

"A lot of the guys from Ontario like to walk around in jogging pants," quipped the 5-foot-7, 171-pounder. "They don't really seem to care about their style."

That's why the budding stylist is on a mission to bring a little chic back to the dressing room, one teammate at a team.

His first project? Of course it's No. 65.

"He was looking for a coat, so I helped him pick a nice one," recalled Desharnais of his pre-Christmas 'Shaw-pping' trip in New York. "Baby steps."

To be sure, there is still work to be done.

"An oversized shirt and a jacket are just fine for me!" argued Shaw.

But while the 25-year-old is willing to tailor his pregame look, he does have his limits.

"I'm not a jewelry guy, and I don't think I ever will be. I hate the feeling of it on me," insisted the former Blackhawk.

Even when it comes to a pair of very special rings he won with his former club?

"He's actually never brought his Stanley Cup rings in," pointed out Desharnais. "We often tease him about cutting the cord with Chicago, but he enjoyed a lot of success there, so it would be fine for him to wear those."

Maybe a third one will be the charm...

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