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Habs Notebook - March 10, 2009

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
MONTREAL- In today’s Habs Notebook, find what Day 1 of the Bob Gainey era was like at practice at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard.

The Gainey Effect: The shots were a little harder and the drills were a little more brisk on Tuesday morning at Bob Gainey’s first practice since taking over as head coach. Captain Saku Koivu knew full well that it wouldn’t be your average game-day skate.

“All that happened yesterday is a wakeup call for all of us. It’s too bad that Carbo ended up paying the price in the end. We all feel responsible and we know that we need to be more consistent with our performances. Hopefully we well get to that point before the playoffs.”

Bob’s gift: After talking to his assistants in the morning, Gainey decided to make only a single change to his lineup. While Carey Price will make his third straight start and Patrice Brisebois will have to wait a little while longer to play his 1000th game, Mathieu Dandenault will make his return and take Max Pacioretty’s spot.

“Bob has a gift of making any player feel like they’re the best player in the world,” explained Dandenault. “He’s always direct and you always know what to expect from him. Even down to the role players, it’s important to Bob to let them know they are an important part of the team.”

Reunited and it feels so good: Split up for the past few games, defensemen Mike Komisarek and Andrei Markov will find themselves reunited on the blue line tonight against the Oilers.  Mathieu Schneider is slated to line up alongside Josh Gorges and Roman Hamrlik will pair off with Ryan O'Byrne. 

“I think Andrei and Mike are a great combination: one brings finesse and the other brings grit and toughness,” explained Gainey.  “Mike realizes that he has struggled a little bit recently, but he’s ready to get his game back.  I’m hopeful that Mathieu and Josh are going to make a great pair back there, too.”

Manny Almela is a writer for
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