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Notebook - October 25

Weber and Emelin paired again at practice, Montoya to get the start in Brooklyn

by Steven Nechay @CanadiensMTL /

BROSSARD -- The Canadiens practiced at the Bell Sports Complex on Tuesday morning before flying to New York ahead of Wednesday's game against the Islanders.


Shea Weber and Alexei Emelin were paired together again at practice on Tuesday after sharing the blue line against the Flyers the night before.

Following a night that saw the pair combine for three points, eight hits, and five blocked shots in the 3-1 win, Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien confirmed that he liked what he saw from the new defensive duo.

"First of all, Shea is playing extremely well. Not only defensively, but offensively as well," underlined Therrien of the 31-year-old defenseman, who leads the team in points, with seven. "Emelin has been really solid since the beginning of the year, too, and he's been keeping his game simple. He's a physical guy and he's not easy to play against. Because of the way he's playing, we wanted to give him a shot with Shea. It's still early in the season, so we're trying some new experiences, but it was really positive yesterday."Video: Michel Therrien on the Weber-Emelin pairing

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that the hardest shot in the NHL is complemented so well by one of the hardest hitters in the league. So while the two may be fun to watch, the same can't be said about facing them.

"Guys definitely know when he's on the ice," shared Weber of his partner on the backend, whose 27 hits so far this season lead the entire NHL through six games. "He's able to step up and make big hits. He's a great hitter and it's tough to hit like him."


Having been between the pipes during the home opener on October 18 while Carey Price was recovering from the flu, former Islanders netminder Al Montoya is preparing for another memorable start on Wednesday in Brooklyn.

"It'll be a special game. I spent the start of my career in Long Island. It's a fantastic organization, team, and staff," said the 31-year-old, whose 31 games with New York in 2011-12 remain a career high. "It's a special place to me, but now that they're in Brooklyn I look forward to going there and getting a win."Video: Al Montoya on getting the start against the Islanders

In three starts with the Habs this season, Montoya has put up an incredible .962 save percentage to go with a 1.30 goals-against average, including one shutout.


Aside from the change in goal, the rest of the lineup in Brooklyn is expected to remain the same from Tuesday's win over the Flyers.

That means Mikhail Sergachev will notably not dress for a third-consecutive game, as the Canadiens continue to call on Greg Pateryn to fill the final spot on the blue line. Counting the stingiest defense in the NHL out of the gates, averaging a paltry 1.50 goals-against per game, the Canadiens see no reason to mess with a winning formula.

"We want [Sergachev] to grow as a player," explained Therrien of the 18-year-old defenseman, who was selected ninth overall at this summer's NHL Draft. "I can't say when he'll be back in the lineup because we're pleased the six defensemen we have right now."

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