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Learning curve

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
MONTREAL – Life is all about being ready when opportunity knocks.

After waiting patiently in the wings for his chance to prove himself since being called up from the Bulldogs on November 18, Yannick Weber has made the most of his latest shot with the Habs. Following up a six-shot, one assist effort in New Jersey, the Swiss blue-liner chipped in three blocked shots, two hits and another helper against the Sharks.
Highlights from the Canadiens-Sharks game
“I didn’t really know what was going to happen but I thought I played pretty well in New Jersey, the coaches were happy with me and we got the win, so I prepared myself to play but you never know,” admitted the 22-year-old defenseman, who finished his 13th career NHL game with a team-high plus-3 differential. “At the end of the day it’s the coaches’ decision and I had one giveaway there, but mistakes happen sometimes and overall I was pretty happy with how I played.”
So was his coach, who was happy to see his rookie blue-liner make an impact especially since his team didn’t have any power play opportunities in the contest.
“I like the way Yannick performed. He’s kept the game simple, he’s done a god job moving the puck quickly and he’s got a quick release at the blue line,” offered Jacques Martin. “I think it shows the depth of our blue line. Our defensive corps played really well today. All six of them worked hard and played well without the puck.”
Veteran rearguard Jaroslav Spacek may have logged some of the toughest minutes of the afternoon, playing against one of the best lines in the league in Dany Heatley, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, but even he was impressed with how Weber handled himself against the dangerous Sharks.
“He played well today. He had a plus-3 and that pair played really solid defensively,” confirmed Spacek, who played 22:52 against San Jose. “He and [defense partner Alexandre] Picard didn’t turn the puck over and they didn’t panic with the puck or rush things out there. That’s the kind of game where you have to go out there and win the individual battles and grind it out, which is what we did.”
Despite picking up points in back-to-back outings, Weber’s focus was more on the standings than it was on the scoresheet after the game.
“Well it’s a little early to call it a streak after two games, but the point I got last game was what I’m here to do – just get a good shot from the point. My assist today was just an easy quick-up,” he explained. “Sure, it’s good to get points and get your confidence up, but that’s not what it’s all about. The important thing is we’re winning.”

Shauna Denis is a writer for

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