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Habs Notebook - Jan. 6, 2009

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
Jaro the philosopher: After a few starts that fell below his own expectations, Jaroslav Halak will have his chance to shine right on Broadway.

“Yeah, I’m starting against the Rangers. I’m going to do my best to help the guys get a win. Last game, I let in more goals than I would have liked.  Tomorrow is another day and another game.”

Steve the specialist: While the Habs’ penalty killers have been at the top of their game lately, it’s no secret that the power play is enduring its fair share of struggles.  A defensive specialist, Steve Begin offered his perspective on the drought.

“Some teams are more aggressive on the penalty kill but that opens up some holes in the slot and along the boards. That’s when you have to take advantage and shoot. Just shoot from everywhere, that’s the recipe.”

Chips, a former champ: After watching Canada beat Sweden in the gold medal game in Ottawa on Monday, Kyle Chipchura couldn’t help but remember his own championship run in Vancouver in 2006.

“It's already been a few years for me, but there's nothing like playing in front of your home fans at the World Juniors. Sure, there's more pressure but that crowd was so amazing.

“It's a great way for younger guys to learn what it's like to play in important games with a lot on the line. It was huge for me and it was great to see Canada come out on top again this year.”

The latest from the clinic:
While the Canadiens’ clinic was quieter than a library last season, these days it looks more like a hospital ER, with an overflow of patients.  Guy Carbonneau had an update on his injured players after Tuesday’s practice.

“Carey does not have mono; it’s a legitimate lower body injury.  He won’t be available Wednesday or Thursday.  Saturday is too far away to know. Saku is likely the closest to a return.  He’ll skate with the team Thursday morning and we could have him back on Saturday.  For the others, they’re getting better with each passing day but they definitely won’t be back tomorrow.”

Heather Engel is a writer for
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