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What's Hab-ening in Montreal

by Staff Writer / Vancouver Canucks



The Canucks opened their four-game road trip on a positive note with a 6-1 win over the Leafs Saturday but it didn't come without a price.

Taylor Pyatt is still questionable for tonight's game against the Habs after suffering a broken thumb he received after a first-period slash from Jeff O'Neill in Toronto.

"I saw the specialist [yesterday] and he said if I can put on a splint and get on my glove and grip my stick I'll be able to play," said Pyatt. "We'll see how it feels [in the] morning."

Alain Vigneault originally thought Pyatt would be out two to four weeks.

If Pyatt sits tonight, Marc Chouinard will be his replacement in the lineup.

Willie Mitchell skated today but it is still unclear whether he will play tonight.


The Canucks got a scare in practice Sunday when Luongo took a puck in the throat.

"It's a little sore and swollen right now but I should be alright to play," said Luongo yesterday after practice. "Those [shots in the throat] are the worst ones because you kind of lose your breath for a second and the swelling begins right away. It kind of feels like your throat's closing up."

It'll be a game-time decision whether Luongo will play tonight.

"I've just had trouble swallowing all day. I didn't eat much yesterday and didn't get much sleep at all last night. I was feeling a little weak this morning and we'll see how I feel after lunch and a nap after for tonight."

If Luongo sits tonight, Dany Sabourin is ready to play.

"I got the call by Ian Clark - the goalie coach - he told me just be ready," said Sabourin. "Prepare yourself just like you're playing."

Sabourin, who's just had two starts this season is looking for his first NHL career win.


Now that Jeff Cowan's epic shiner has subsided and the vote's have been tallied, this year's award for 'best black eye' goes to the man from Scarborough.

"He kind of reminded me of myself when I woke up the next day," said a gracious Josh Green, Cowan's closest competition. "I think his might have been more swollen than mine, so I probably have to give it to him. I've still got the scars, but for the pure shiner part of it - I think his is better."

Green took a puck in the eye just prior to Halloween and for a few days resembled the practice pumpkin from local daycare's jack-o-lantern competition.

But even the gore of 12 stitches wasn't enough to sway the judges in the dressing room.

Cowan dropped the gloves with the Oilers' Jean-Francois Jacques less than three minutes into his first game as a Canuck. By the time the second period rolled around his right eye had completely swollen closed.

"He just got me in the right spot and I think it popped a blood vessel or whatever and [the eye] blew up," said Cowan. "It didn't really hurt that much, it just swelled up and got black."

The newest Canuck had no qualms about accepting the 'top shiner 2006' mantle.

"I mean yeah, I'll accept it because I wasn't around and didn't get to see [Green's]. If I had pictures or something to go by, you know then maybe I could kind of compare it, but mine was pretty bad."

Both Green and Cowan are fully recovered, though the pair still sport small marks under their respective eyes. Niether's keen on making another run at the award for 2007.

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