| Patrice Brisebois will be donning the Canadiens jersey for the first time in three years on Saturday.
MONTREAL – Nearly three and a half years after he last pulled a Habs jersey over his head, Patrice Brisebois is set to begin the second chapter in his Canadiens career Saturday night against the Senators.
A groin injury suffered before the start of training camp kept Brisebois off the ice until earlier this week. After some solo on-ice sessions and practices with his teammates, he’s ready for his first game in nine months.
“I’ve had some good practices this week and there hasn’t been any pain,” said a relieved Brisebois. “Tomorrow’s an important game for me. I can’t try to do too much.”
Brisebois will form a duo with fellow free agent signee Roman Hamrlik for Saturday’s outing, providing some solid experience on the Canadiens’ blueline. The pair has practiced a few times together and the 36-year-old is pleased with the results.
“We communicated well on the ice and we have a good relationship off it also,” explained Brisebois. “Our experience helps us be a little more in sync and that’s good for the team.”
Having spent four seasons as Guy Carbonneau’s teammate back in the early 1990s, the veteran defenseman is on the same page as his current head coach.
“We try and find good pairings that will click, simple as that,” said Carbonneau. “They both have the experience and are both good passers, so I think they’ll do well together.”
Forced to sit out most of training camp due to his injury, Brisebois is thankful he’ll be seeing game action at least once before the start of the regular season. The Canadiens also have two practices before heading to Carolina for the season opener, which will allow Brisebois extra time to get ready.
While Brisebois’ body might need the few days to be where it needs to for opening night, his coach knows that mentally, he’s good to go.
“He seems to have the intensity and his head is in the right place,” said Carbonneau. “We know the experience he has in this league. The feeling around him and around the team is good and I see only positive things.”Heather Engel is a writer for canadiens.com