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Notebook - Oct. 25, 2010

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
BROSSARD -- In today's Notebook: Pyatt on Brother vs. Brother, Darche stays in shape, Halpern on making the most, and Cammy talks group mentality.

One Step Back, Two Steps Forward: After getting shutout 3-0 against New Jersey, the Canadiens bounced back nicely Saturday night with a 3-0 win of their own in a great gut-check game against the Senators. As veteran center Jeff Halpern noted, it’s never really a positive thing to lose the way they did against New Jersey, but it’s a lot easier to take if you can at least say it helped open your eyes.

“You always want to turn in a 60 minute performance in any game and for some reason we didn’t do that against New Jersey,” said the Habs’ faceoff specialist of the contrast between games. “Sometimes you’re winning games, but you’re not winning them the right way. So when we have a game like the we did against Jersey, it forced us to address some issues that ultimately led to us having a much better game against Ottawa and, I think, made us a better team on the whole.”

The Honeymoon’s Over:
If the Canadiens did two things during their 2009-10 playoff run, it was surprise a lot people and raise expectations for the current season, not only in the eyes of the fans, but also for the players themselves. When it comes to turning in another team performance reflective of their Saturday night success, Michael Cammalleri is convinced the key factor is communication.

“We’re all beginning to demand a lot out of one another as individuals and also out of ourselves as a group. There was some stuff that we could get away with last season when we were getting to know each other that we can’t accept anymore,” pointed out the Canadiens sniper. “It’s all about communication. We talk a lot about the things we can get better at – like taking the puck in – but also about the things we’re doing right so we can try and duplicate that energy and attention to detail against Phoenix tonight.”

Family History: Monday’s game promises to have two very unbiased cheerleaders in the Bell Centre stands, as the parents of Tom and Taylor Pyatt will be watching their sons square off. Either way, they should be guaranteed a healthy dose of ice-time for their youngest son, Tom, as he’s once again slated to play on a line with Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez.

“It’s a little weird. I hope we at least get a little time on the ice together so we can give each other a hard time,” said Tom Pyatt who played the roll of good son and brother by treating his whole family to dinner during their visit. “I actually picked up the bill Sunday night. Taylor paid when I was in Phoenix last year, but to be fair, it was just me then – I’m paying for our parents too.”

Fresh Legs: Finding himself back in the lineup Saturday night against Ottawa after watching the last game from the press box, Mathieu Darche heaped some praise onto Habs’ conditioning coach, Pierre Allard for keeping him in shape for the next time he was needed.

“When I played on Saturday night, it felt physically like I hadn’t missed a beat. Pierre gave me a great workout to keep me where I needed to be. He used to play himself, so he knows the best things to focus on. Right now, I’m feeling great,” said Darche who will also be in the lineup to face the Coyotes tonight. “When you get upset about not getting played, it’s negative for you and it’s negative for the team. It’s your responsibility to always be ready, and hopefully, I’ll get to continue playing.”

Justin Fragapane is a writer for

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