BROSSARD – In today’s notebook, a few injured players get close to returning, Budaj learns from the master and Cole gives some love right back to the fans.
Not there yet: If Travis Moen had the choice, he would have spent Thursday night’s game on the ice instead of in the pressbox. Luckily for his injured “lower body”, the rugged winger wasn’t given the option to suit up but that doesn’t mean he won’t be pushing to make his return to action sooner than later.
“It’s always tough. I’ve sat out one game and I’m already sick of sitting out,” admitted the 29-year-old forward, who along with Raphael Diaz will be the only injured players joining the team on the upcoming three-game road trip. “I’m going to try to get back as fast as I can and hopefully help the team out. I’ll skate and see how it feels, but it’s up to the training staff and it depends how I feel tomorrow. I’d like to play tomorrow but I’ll just take it one day at a time.”
Learning from legends: Peter Budaj will be making his fifth start of the campaign before the end of 2011, but it won’t be Saturday night against the Devils. While he’ll be keeping an eye on Habs starter Carey Price to see if he can offer up any insight to his padded partner during the game, there’s another All-Star netminder Budaj plans on watching when New Jersey comes to town.
“Marty Brodeur and Patrick Roy were the two goalies that not just me but every other kid idolized growing up. Marty’s a great goalie; he’s got the most wins, the most shutouts – you just have to say ‘Marty Brodeur’ and everyone knows what you’re talking about,” described Budaj of the Montreal native who enters Saturday’s game with a 40-18-5 record against the Habs. “I think it’s special for him to come back home and play here, no matter how many times he’s done it in the past 20 years. It’s a good challenge for us but we were able to beat New Jersey in New Jersey so hopefully we’ll get back on a winning streak starting with tomorrow’s game.
The seventh man: Erik Cole has never been shy about his feelings on playing for the Bell Centre faithful throughout his career. The 32-year-old power forward has heard the decibel level fans can reach during the playoffs in Montreal, but even he was impressed with the crowd’s reaction to homegrown Hab Louis Leblanc’s first career NHL goal on Thursday night.
“At times the atmosphere around the team and what the fans create is unparalleled. It’s unbelievable to be a part of,” shared Cole, who has quickly become a fan favorite since signing in Montreal this July. “Last night, with Louis’ goal I thought that was something awesome. It was exciting for everyone involved – everyone on the ice was excited for that moment. Just seeing how the fans can really drive the momentum and drive up the atmosphere has been fantastic.”
Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com.
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