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Notebook - April 3, 2012

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

BROSSARD – In today’s notebook: Montreal’s unsung hero is finally brought to light, Peter Budaj steps up and Randy Cunneyworth updates the media on the state of his players.

Shine a light: Montreal’s unsung hero was finally celebrated when he was selected this year's Jacques Beauchamp-Molson Trophy, awarded to the player who played a dominant role during the regular season without earning any particular honor.

Josh Gorges, who also won the award in 2009-10, was once again honored by the media who cover the Canadiens, responsible for voting for the worthy recipient.

“It’s always nice when you get any type of recognition. It’s an honor to win an award like that,” shared the defenseman after Tuesday’s practice. “I think I’m lucky this year; there are a couple of guys I think are really deserving – especially a guy like Davey [Desharnais]. He has had an outstanding year and he was a big part of the team; he deserves this as much as I do.”

Desharnais, who was the runner-up for the award, only had good things to say about the fearless defenseman.

“He’s a warrior. He’s got over 200 blocked shots. He really is an unsung hero. He does all the small things that we’re appreciative of, but that maybe the fans don’t notice,” praised the Laurier-Station, QC native, who has registered a career-high 58 points this year. “Block shots, penalty kills, those are things that not many guys can do. When you’ve got someone like that on your team, it’s important to reward them.”

Filling in: With Carey Price scheduled to miss Wednesday’s game against the Lightning due to headaches, the Canadiens called goalie Robert Mayer up from the Hamilton Bulldogs to back up Peter Budaj.

“Even though it’s the first time this season, it’s not the first time I’d be playing two games in a row," explained Budaj, who will make his 15th start of the season. "I’m excited. I just need to be as ready as I need to be physically and mentally.

“When you ask guys in the room who have kids that want to become a goalie, their reaction is always ‘Um, I’m not too sure’,” added the 29 year-old netminder of his chosen occupation. “Everything goes so quickly in this game. The guys are big and strong. It’s a risky business. But it’s something we love doing.”

Check-up: With three games to go, Randy Cunneyworth took to the stage to give the media an assessment on the team’s health. With Carey Price out, the list of unavailable players rounds up to 10. The coach broke some good, and not so good, news concerning eventual returns.

“We’re evaluating players as we speak. It’s a process that takes a certain amount of time. We’re not only talking about Carey Price; other players are in the same situation. With those types of symptoms, you always need to be cautious. You can’t jump to conclusions too quickly,” explained Cunneyworth who also mentioned that Yannick Weber would be out for the remainder of the season, but added that it would be possible to see a few players back in uniform soon.

“It all depends on their game preparation. Tomas Kaberle would be the closest to a comeback. I would say that the guys that are not playing in Wednesday’s game might not participate in Thursday’s tilt. I love having fresh legs for back-to-back games. We will see what staff we have when the time comes."

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