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Habs Notebook - Nov. 25, 2008

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
No time to "wing" it: Letdowns against weaker teams on paper are one thing, but a stiff test on the road against a team like the Red Wings may be just what the Habs need to break out of their recent funk.

"There's no way you can't get up for a game against them," said Francis Bouillon as he packed his equipment in preparation for the Habs’ trip to Motown. "Anytime you face the defending Stanley Cup champions, it's an exciting challenge. There's something about facing elite teams that brings the best out in us and we will need it against a strong team like Detroit. They have quite an offense, but we've been doing the job defensively lately and we will be ready."

My diary: Considering how often he and the Habs have found themselves in shootoout situations this season, you would think that Carey Price is compiling quite the scouting report on opposing shooters. Apparently, that isn’t the case.

“I’m not a big note keeper when it comes to the guys I’ve faced,” admitted Price. “If I did track that and opponents started figuring that out, they would just change their approach. It’s more important to me to just be focused and ready.”

Best supporting actor: Secondary scoring has always been invaluable to the Canadiens, especially with some of the top snipers struggling to find the back of the net  of late. With big goals coming from some unlikely suspects recently, Steve Begin realizes the kind of spark role players can provide.

“Just because a guy’s role is to bring energy doesn’t mean he’s not supposed to score goals,” explained the gritty left winger, who scored against the Islanders on Monday night. “When we go out there and get big goals, it’s always a huge boost for the team and it’s fun to have help from everyone.”

Not so tender after all: After sitting out the last two games with a sore shoulder suffered against the Senators on November 20, Guillaume Latendresse was pleased to be back on the ice with the boys on Tuesday morning.

“We decided to be extra careful considering how I had dislocated my shoulder back in 2004,” said Latendresse. “The last tests I had were reassuring and all I need to do now is build my strength back up.”

Laraque back on the shelf: Plagued by a nagging groin injury throughout training camp, Georges Laraque left practice early on Tuesday for the same pesky problem.

“Georges had a setback this morning,” revealed head coach Guy Carbonneau. “He won’t be making the trip with us so that he can undergo more treatments. We will be heading to Washington with 21 players and we have no intention of calling anyone up from Hamilton.”
Manny Almela and Shauna Denis are writers for
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