If memory serves: The Canadiens and Blue Jackets may not face each other all that often, but no one in the Montreal dressing room has forgotten their last encounter. Having history repeat itself is not an option.
“They came into our building last year and gave us a lesson,” recalled Mike Komisarek of the 3-0 loss to Columbus on Feb. 23, the night the team retired Bob Gainey’s number, no less. “We’ll make sure not to be embarrassed again. We’ll have a nice dinner tonight and get a good night’s sleep. This is like a business trip and we’re going into Columbus to get two points.”
Remember me?: After being reunited late in the third period against the Islanders on Saturday night, the trio of Alex Tanguay, Saku Koivu and Christopher Higgins is anxious put their chemistry to the test once again.
“Practices are one thing, but playing in a game situation is the best way to find your rhythm as a line,” explained Tanguay, the Habs’ player of the month for October. “We have to live with the schedule we have, but it would have been nice to have this type of break in our calendar later in the season. At least soon we’ll be playing a couple of games in as many nights so we can get into the flow of things a bit more.”
Back to work: Days off are nice, but games are even better. The Habs are chomping at the bit to get back on the ice and make up the ground lost to their rivals this past week.
“We did get the chance to heal any bumps and bruises we had, but it feels good to be getting back down to business on Friday,” said Francis Bouillon. “There won’t be any excuse for us not to be ready. We came out flat against the Ducks after our last long layoff and it really cost us. That can’t happen this time around.”