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Notebook - Dec. 16, 2010

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
MONTREAL – In today’s Notebook: Gill calls it like it is, Halpern and Darche on a big home game, and the coach on Boyd’s departure.

Action, Reaction: Sometimes it doesn’t take much to lose a hockey game. This is a fact the Canadiens were reminded of during their 5-3 loss to the visiting Philadelphia Flyers Wednesday night. After mounting a comeback to tie the game at three, it came down to only a few simple mistakes that tipped the scales back in the Flyers’ favor. The thing to focus on now is how to react.

“It’s the kind of game that you just have to look at, pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get back at it. That applies to the whole team,” stated Hal Gill simply, as he and the rest of the Canadiens concentrated on filing and forgetting the loss and shifting their focus toward the Bruins.  “I really don’t think that we played that bad of a game. There were a few mistakes that we made that cost us the game, and that’s it. When you play against really good teams like that, they’ll take those mistakes and make you pay for them almost every time.”

“Sometimes you might not be making all the right moves but you still find a way to win games. That’s what good teams do and that’s what we need to be focusing on right now.”

Deep breath before the plunge:
Considering that after they face the Bruins, the Habs won’t be back on home-ice until next year, Thursday night marks the team’s last chance to give the Bell Centre faithful some early holiday cheer before hitting the road.

“You always want to play well at home no matter what – especially when you’re going to be going on a road trip as long as this one,” admitted Jeff Halpern after the morning’s optional skate. “Boston has a great team, they’re very well-balanced and Thomas is having a great year for them while Carey’s obviously having a great one for us. It should be a great battle in nets tonight.”

No place like home:
As the Habs get set to play their second home game in as many nights before departing on a seven game road trip, Thursday’s game would appear to be the perfect opportunity to put a stop to their three game skid.

“We just lost our third in a row and that’s something that hasn’t happened to us yet this year. Obviously this is a trend we want to stop before it gets any worse. When you look at last night’s game on the whole, we didn’t play that terribly,” explained Mathieu Darche. “We’re getting to play a second game at home tonight and that’s something we want to make sure we take advantage of.”

Change of scenery:
After practice, Jacques Martin said a few words on the team’s decision to assign Dustin Boyd to the Hamilton Bulldogs. After only playing ten games with the club so far this season, a move seemed the best decision for both parties.

“Dustin kept an exemplary attitude the entire time he was with us. The important thing for him now is getting the opportunity to play some games,” expressed the Canadiens’ head-coach. “Hamilton needs help right now and this will give him the chance to play again and build up his confidence.”

Justin Fragapane is a writer for

Dustin Boyd sent to Hamilton
File and forget 
Numbers Game - Dec. 15, 2010 
Bulldogs report - Dec. 15, 2010 
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