MONTREAL – There isn’t anything quite like haunting your former teammates and for a goal-starved defenseman like Josh Gorges
, a little help never hurts.
Acquired from the Sharks almost two years ago to the day in exchange for Craig Rivet, Gorges was eager to face his former team for only the second time since joining the Habs and the first time at the Bell Centre. The 24-year-old defenseman had February 28 circled on his calendar for some time now.
“Josh had been talking about this game for a while, he was pretty pumped about facing the Sharks,” said teammate and good buddy Christopher Higgins, who cooked up a scheme to help make Josh’s date with the Sharks all the more memorable.
“I took a chance and put up 500 bucks for whoever would help him score a goal against the Sharks,” admitted Higgins, whose bounty didn’t go unnoticed in the Habs’ dressing room.
With the money on the line, Matt D’Agostini came through for Gorges and his own pocket book by making a spectacular play to set up the defenseman’s third goal of the season. After swooping around the net, D’Agostini made a diving wraparound play to Gorges who had pinched in from the point before flipping the puck over the Sharks’ Brian Boucher.
“Higgy put up that money for anybody who could help Josh score a goal tonight and I’m glad I was able to help out,” said D’Agostini. “That assist wasn’t the way I planned it, but it looked good anyways in the end. I’m just happy I was able to be part of it for Josh. Defensemen don’t score goals everyday and scoring one against the Sharks means a lot to him.”
Despite being out $500, Higgins was pleased with the results for more reasons than just helping his friend score a big goal.
“We’re all really happy for him, but I’m also happy that I didn’t end up deciding to make it 1,000, because I almost did. I’m lucky I stuck with just the 500,” said Higgins with a smile.
As for the architect of that costly goal, D’Agostini can rest easily about the odds of him seeing his reward actually end up in his bank account.
“[D’Agostini] will get his money, he doesn’t have to worry about that. I’m good for it,” said Higgins. “I put it up on the board in the room and all the guys knew about it, so I don’t really have a choice anyways. Besides, if I didn’t pay up, I would never hear the end of it.” Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com
Canadiens hold off Sharks
Fly on the Wall: Feb. 28, 2009 The Numbers Game: Feb. 28, 2009