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High Stakes

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
BROSSARD – For two teams that don’t often meet, Tuesday night’s game between the Habs and Blackhawks promises to pack a punch.

With the eighth-seeded Blackhawks doing all they can to avoid being bumped from a playoff spot, Canadiens’ rookie Ryan White knows the defending Stanley Cup champs will be hitting the Bell Centre ice at full tilt.

Gameday Comments: Ryan White
“It’s going to be a fun game just because these are teams that never see each other. They haven’t played at the Bell Centre and it’s a big game for them so you know they’re going to come out with high-energy,” pointed out White, who along with the rest of the Habs turned in a convincing win against the New Jersey Devils, putting the team in a position to clinch a berth in the second season with a victory against Chicago.

“They’re in a really similar situation with us right now in that they’re fighting for a spot and their destiny is in their hands just like ours. I think you’re going to see a really hard fought game tonight from two teams that are scratching and clawing to get into the playoffs.”

For several of the Canadiens’ players squaring off against the Blackhawks represents unfamiliar territory, with the clubs’ last encounter stretching all the way back to Oct. 30, 2009.

“We’re very aware of the opposition’s strength and or which players we’ll have to pay special attention to, but like we always say, we hold our destiny in our own hands and it’s up to us to control the game,” explained rookie Lars Eller who after Tuesday’s matchup will have played 29 out of the 30 teams in the NHL over the span of his short career.

“I really like playing in these kinds of situations where there’s a lot at stake and things aren’t yet decided. It makes for great games where everyone on the ice is motivated to play hard. When we have to play well, we tend to answer the call and that’s what I think will happen tonight.”

The only member of the Habs’ roster that can offer some insight into the team’s latest adversary is defenseman Brent Sopel, who will get his second opportunity to shut down the likes of Toews, Kane and Hossa since hoisting the Stanley Cup alongside them as members of last year’s championship Blackhawks squad.

“It’ll be nice to see some guys from the old team especially after everything we went through together last year,” mentioned Sopel who got the chance to go up against his former teammates earlier this season as a member of the Atlanta Thrashers. 

“I’m sure they’ll be a little jabbing coming my way from their side, but at the end of the day we want this win in the worst way, so it’s game time tonight.”

Justin Fragapane is a writer for

Gameday Comments: Sopel | Gill | Subban | White | Martin
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