BROSSARD – Look for a new defensive pairing against the Islanders as the Habs focus on posting back-to-back wins.
They have each logged just one game with the Habs in 2011-12, but Chris Campoli and Tomas Kaberle will make up the team’s newest defensive pairing on Tuesday night against the Islanders. While Kaberle will look to build off his two-point start as a Hab from Saturday afternoon, Campoli will be making his return after being sidelined in the Canadiens’ first game of the year. Alexi Emelin will bfor the team's match-up with the New York squad.
“When I was talking with Jacques he mentioned Kaberle, so I think that’s who I’m going to be playing with. I’m excited about it – he’s a great player; very smart and I think we’ll be able to feed off each other,” mentioned Campoli, who along with Kaberle will spilt duties on the Habs’ first and second power play units. “Getting back in the game has been a while coming for me now and I’m looking forward to going out there and getting the job done.
|Campoli and Kaberle will make their Bell Centre debuts vs. NYI. |
“There will be adjustments for sure and my own expectations of course, but my first game at the Bell Centre is going to be a great feeling,” added Campoli. “I played in an exhibition game here and even that was a great feeling, so tonight should be exciting.”
One thing that’s been keeping the Habs on the wrong side of the playoff bubble in their latest campaign has been a lack of consistency. Having not won back-to-back games since beating the Coyotes and Predators in early November, the Canadiens know that in the tight Eastern Conference race, winning a few games in a row is all it could take to put them back in contention.
“I’m not really sure why we’re having a hard time stringing wins together, but we’re working on finding solutions. A team has to be able to string some wins together if they want to make the playoffs. That’s our focus right now,” explained Travis Moen, who so far this season has scored five of his eight goals on home ice. “We lost the last time in Long Island because we came out and played a pretty flat game. We’ll need to play with much more heart tonight.
“It’s all about the start,” added No.32. “We have to come out strong, establish our our game, use our speed and stay out of the penalty box.”
The Canadiens will be looking to use their Tuesday night tilt against the struggling Islanders to establish some momentum where they’ve needed it most all season – at home.
“We want to make sure we leave a good impression on our fans, but at the same time, we need to do this for ourselves. It’s not normal for us to have a better record on the road,” dropped Desharnais, who for his part has been the Even-Steven of the team, registering two goals and six assists both at home and away. “We have a few home games this week and it’s going to be important for everyone’s confidence that we play well.
“I think we maybe try to get a little too fancy at home. If you look at our road games, they might not be the most exciting to watch, but they get the job done,” concluded Desharnais. “We have to make it much harder for other teams to come into the Bell Centre and win games – and that starts tonight.”
Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.
Shutting it down
The Numbers Game - Dec. 10, 2011
Happy trails, Jaro