MONTREAL - The Canadiens may have missed Glen Metropolit while he was out, but the opposition sure didn’t.
Out since the second game of the season with an injury, Metropolit showed no signs of rust in his return to the lineup against the Islanders.
“It was a great win and a big two points for us,” said Metropolit after picking up a pair of assists and a well-earned No. 1 star. “Hopefully this just gets the confidence rolling along even more in the room.”
When Metropolit hit the ice on Thursday night, he brought some much needed offence along with him. After dropping five of six games during his absence, the Canadiens dominated the Islanders 5-1 and added to their perfect 3-0-0 record with Metropolit in the lineup this season.
“Even though I wasn’t playing, I made sure to keep that game-level intensity and mindset while I was out,” explained the 34-year-old who exploded out of the gate in his return to the ice after missing 19 days with bruised ribs. “I wanted to come back better than before and my goal was to just try to bring as much energy as possible on the ice.”
The gritty pivot made an immediate impact inside the faceoff circle, winning five of seven draws on the night. While he was making life miserable for the Islanders’ centers, he still managed to make things even worse for netminder Martin Biron. For the second time in his three games so far this year – and also the second time in 76 games since last season – Metropolit enjoyed a two-point night.
The obvious spark he brought to the Habs hardly went unnoticed by his teammates.
"What can I say, I guess Metro is the secret for us," shrugged a smiling Michael Cammalleri. "Glen is just so good with his stick. He's like that kid you grew up playing street hockey against who you couldn't ever get the ball off of. He's got those little moves in tight spaces and can make those short passes that can make all the difference on the power play."
True to his humble roots, Metropolit wasn’t exactly buying Cammalleri’s X-factor theory.
“I don’t know if I’m the secret weapon,” said a blushing Metropolit. “I just give it all I’ve got every game. I try to bring energy and a good work ethic to each shift. It feels good to know the coach is behind you. It’s a definite confidence booster to get time on the power play.”
There’s definitely more where that came from for Metropolit. Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com
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