BOSTON – The Habs will get one player back Monday against the Bruins, but may have to make do without another.
Cole unpunished: When Erik Cole was handed a two-minute minor for “illegal contact to the head” on New Jersey’s Adam Larsson in Saturday night’s game, the next logical question was: would any further discipline follow? After no hearing was scheduled with Brendan Shanahan the following day, it would seem that the only penalty Cole will face is the one he was assessed during the game – unless you also count having to field endless questions from the media on the subject.
“I really didn’t give it too much thought. I feel like you can’t really be concerned with things like that that are outside of your control,” said Cole, who will thankfully be able to bring his team-leading tally of 12 goals into Monday night’s game at the TD Garden.
“Things are obviously a little different this year and you have to be much more aware of the other guy’s position than you did in past years,” added Cole, who registered a goal in the Habs' only other game in Boston this season. “The situation was that we weren’t quite sure what was going to happen, but fortunately the league didn’t feel it necessary to take any further action, and I’m going to keep going out and trying to finish my hits.”
It’s go time!: After being shelved for the past two games with a lower-body injury, Travis Moen is set to suit up on Monday night – and considering who the Canadiens are squaring off against, he couldn’t have picked a better time. Moen will be looking to counter the Bruins' gritty style of play with a little physicality of his own when the puck drops at 7:30 p.m., flanking Tomas Plekanec and Michael Cammalleri.
“Bringing a physical element to our game and being there to help out my teammates is a big part of my role in this club,” explained Moen, who’s also been showcasing another side to his game in 2011-12 with eight goals already under his belt. “There’s no doubt that Boston is a tough team to play against. They’re one of the best teams in the league when it comes playing a physical style of hockey – and that’s not going to change tonight. It’s going to be our job to match that intensity and come out with the two points.”
Practice, practice, practice: After a flurry of activity on Saturday followed by a day with no practice on Sunday as the team headed to Boston, Randy Cunneyworth finally got in his first “normal” day as head coach of the Habs: a morning skate followed by a few moments talking to the media.
“We just went through our first regular game-day routine together,” pointed out Cunneyworth. “We wanted to be able to get ready for this game on the road. We kept the same routine as per usual so that nothing would feel out of synch. The focus is to make sure we’re doing our jobs as individuals while also playing as a unit. That’s what we need to able to do to win.”
The Habs new head coach also took the time to offer a breakdown of the status of a few of his players.
“P.K. [Subban] is currently ailing from the flu. We’ve given him today to rest up and we’ll evaluate him again before tonight’s game. Raphael Diaz is ready to rejoin the lineup.”
Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.
Winds of change
Wake up call
Randy Cunneyworth named interim head coach of the Montreal Canadiens