‘It’s not a normal game,’ Brière says of facing Flyers; Pacioretty won’t play

Playing against former teammates is nothing new for the Canadiens’ Daniel Brière. He did it after he left the Phoenix Coyotes and again after he left the Buffalo Sabres. And he’ll do it for a third time Saturday when he faces his old teammates from the Philadelphia Flyers at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

“(The scheduling) makes it a little bit easier on the preparation, because for me — because personally — it’s not a normal game,”  Brière, who is happy to get it over with early in the season, told reporters after practice Friday in Brossard. “You’re facing your ex-teammates. I have a lot of friends there. It’ll be a little tougher, but I really believe that playing it in Montreal makes it a little easier.”

Brière added that the friendships he cultivated during his years in Philadelphia will be on hold for at least a few hours.

“I don’t expect any breaks from any of them,” he said. “You try to approach the game like it’s any other one but, obviously, there’s a little bit more on the line with your friends and trying to prove something among them. I’m sure little battles here and there are going to happen. On Saturday night, I face my friends, but once the puck drops they have a job to do and so do we. You have to leave the friendships behind until after the game.”

On the other side of the ice, Hal Gill is looking forward to being back in Montreal and seeing his old Canadiens teammates.

“You never know and that’s what makes Montreal so great,” Gill, who made the Flyers after signing a tryout contract, told The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs about the reception he will get from Canadiens fans. “The fans are awesome, but I’m on the bad guys now.

“I loved my time in Montreal and my family loved it,” Gill added, “so I would expect nothing but huge cheers like P.K. (Subban) gets.”

The Canadiens held an optional practice Saturday morning in Brossard and the only player who didn’t skate was Josh Gorges. Defenceman Nathan Beaulieu, who was called up from the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs on Friday night, took part in the practice.

Max Pacioretty won’t play against the Flyers due to an upper-body injury and will join George Parros, who has a concussion, on the sidelines. Ryan White and Michael Bournival will both play against the Flyers.

(Photo by Allen McInnis/The Gazette)

Brière ready to face old teammates, by Pat Hickey

Gill returns to town in a Flyers uniform, by Dave Stubbs

Habs vs. Flyers Preview, NHL.com

Flyers thoughts on playing Briere, philadelphiaflyers.com

Emphasis on toughness might hurt Habs, by Pat Hickey

Roy proves again he is far from a saint, by Pat Hickey

Hickey on Hockey Notebook, by Pat Hickey

Former Junior Canadiens enforcer Globensky condemns fighting, by Stu Cowan

24CH documentary returns for second season, Canadiens.com

388 Comments

  1. Bill says:

    Since someone brought up Berkshire and EOTP, I gotta say that I understand neither the supposed divide between traditionalists and “advanced stat” guys in general, nor his conceit and condescension in particular.

    Fenwick and Corsi are basically just fancy versions of +/- near as I can tell. Not what I would call “advanced” stats, unless you’re in third grade.

  2. Eddie says:

    here’s my fearless prediction:

    if Claude Giroux is out there against Markov and Diaz he will put up at least 3 points and we will need 4 or 5 goals to win.

    if Therrien gets Subban out there against Giroux, Giroux will be lucky to get on the scoreboard, and we will win.

    Philly power plays don’t count because Subban is benched for the penalty kill.

  3. ProHabs says:

    People wondering about less activity on this site, is it possible that it is because we can’t read any of the Gazette articles that are linked on the top of the site. Why bother linking these articles if we can’t read them. Alll that pops up on any of Hickey’s articles is a subscription site. Fugg.

    • The Dude says:

      The reason this site has less activity is because it has become the english ‘Old boy’s club’ for one dimension view points as concerning Les Canadiens and if you aren’t invited or have a different view or angle you have a good chance of being rudely chastised and insulted….and that’s what Old-ladies are for, so why post ?

    • Ron says:

      I have seen others say the same but I have never had that problem. Maybe your browser.

    • synthpro says:

      The reason why there is less activity is because fans are starting to finally understand that our team isn’t very good, and have not been very good for over twenty years now since trading our super star.

      I am so disappointed year after year to see our top line players rarely hitting 30 goals a year.

      When we won the cup in 93′ we had four players with over thirty goals and one hell of a goaltender. That right there is the difference between winning and being sub par.

      Bergevin trades fourth line guys for other fourth line guys, and that playing it safe mentality is just not gonna get it done.

      We should have made a big trade for Tyler sequin. Paseretty and plekaniks surely would have been better than what Dallas
      gave up.

  4. montreal ace says:

    I think we will see a great effort tonight and a win by the Habs tonight. I don’t know how a team can be judged after 1 game, it just does not make sense. I like this team a lot, from the owner to every player that dresses for a game. I love the comments on here, good or bad about the team, as fans have the right to express their views, but wow what a turn around last season, from a great team effort. I can’t wait to see a full lineup when the injured return, as then we will see what they are capable of. Tonight 4 to 1 for the Habs and they own the Flyers, from the 2nd period on.

  5. ProHabs says:

    I’ve got a funny feeling there is going to be a tussle or 2 in the Leafs-Sens game tonight.

  6. otisfxu says:

    warning!!,,,,we are getting sh!T kicked tonite and on western swing so could start season 0-5,,,,,,,,,but our front office is full of ex french Canadian NHL’ers,,,,,,,remember that all that exctasy from last year over front office signings,,,,,,,,,,,,still a small, average team,,,,,,hey Mr. Molson,,,,,still not impressed

  7. Adidess says:

    @neumann

    Your description of why Therrien relies so much on DD offensively is spot on. If hockey was played like football, where the passer gets protection and time to survey the situation and make a play, nobody on this team would be close to DD in terms of his ability to distribute. Therrien is still banking on that offensive vision he saw on display too seasons ago watching from afar, but the problem is with the pressure and tight checking DD is subjected to playing against top pairing defences, he’s not being effective right now.

    There are many reasons why people are impatient with MT. Fans watched his coaching strategy (defensive coverage, PP and PK scheme/personnel) go ‘poof’ at the end of last season and expected him to change something, he has not. It’s looking like he didn’t see what we thought was so obvious or he didn’t come to the same conclusions about it that we have, that’s why the worry.

    When most people agree Subban would make our PK a lot better and MT doesn’t use him, he better have the best PK in the league.

    Same thing with DD, people will keep thinking MT is doing DD favours, until DD works and produces enough points to vindicate his coach. Performances like in game 1 where Eller is stellar and DD is MIA is not going to buy the coach a lot of time or ‘marge de manoeuvre’.

  8. Fransaskois says:

    Nick Schultz
    Dan Girardi*
    Rotislav Klesla
    Joni Pitkanen
    Jonathan Ericsson*
    Nikita Nikitin*
    Matt Niskanen
    (*Denoting players capable of #2 defenceman responsibilities)

    Maybe we can fill our top-4 defenceman needs with a signing this year, hadn’t realized how many under-the-radar guys there were. I’d be much more inclined to offer a $5mil+ contract to Ericsson, Girardi or Nikitin than to Markov. We have options!

    Girardi/Ericsson/ Nikitin-Subban
    Emelin-Gorges
    Tinordi-Nygren /Beaulieu/Diaz

  9. naweed235 says:

    Who’s taking Patche’s spot on that line?

  10. The Jackal says:

    Is it just me, or is HIO less active now than it was at this same time last season?

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  11. ProHabs says:

    My prediction for tonight is Lecavalier gets 2 goals and Danny Boy get 1 tripping penalty.

  12. JO says:

    Should put Bournival Desharnais Briere on a line. The flying Frenchmen.

  13. doug19 says:

    After habs off season pickups, injuries and comments here this fall I am not optimistic. I look forward to young player development this year. I hope bulldogs improve and move up from the bottom of their league.

    • JF says:

      My expectations are not high either. The pick-ups were good as far as they went (although it sucks that two of them are injured), but it’s clear we still don’t have the right balance – not enough size up front, not enough overall toughness. Also, I’m not sold on the system Therrien and Daigneault are using for the defence, and I’m afraid Price will struggle mightily for a few weeks, maybe even a few months, until he becomes comfortable with the changes Waite is encouraging him to make in his game. However, I think he’ll get there in the end. Like you, I’m focusing on how the young players develop.

  14. The Jackal says:

    Really hope the Habs win tonight cus I pulled a disappearing act in the LSAT post-season after owning it in my practice.
    GRRRR

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  15. JO says:

    Bernier is my Goalie. Should be wearing the CH.

  16. pmaraw says:

    game 1 of an 81 game season tonight!

  17. PeterD says:

    Just noticed that Hamilton Bulldogs have posted their season starting roster and Christian Thomas is not on the team.
    Anyone have any news on his status?
    Haven’t heard that he had been assigned to the ECHL…and as a late camp cut by Habs, I expected him to stick with the Dogs.

  18. wjc says:

    Whipping boys (partial list)
    Brisboise……..Gomez…….presently D.D.

    Why the hate for Therien?

    Just wondering?

    wjc

  19. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Steve Downie at it again…what a d-bag.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VseIWeFlY5U

    “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

    • Mark C says:

      I assume Patty cakes flipped out on Downie after that hit.

      • D Mex says:

        I don’t. Roy encouraged his own son to behave like a goof in the Q – this is old hat to him.
        As for Downie, he’s a bit behind schedule as, in the past, he has pulled the same stunt in the pre-season. D-bag ? Yup …

        ALWAYS Habs -
        D Mex

    • wjc says:

      Eliminate all hitting. If you line a guy up duck away.

      People on here are forbidden to watch Cherry and then complain about ‘coaches corner’, find something else to do between periods.

      Just in case you are unaware…games start about 7:15…intermissions are 15 minutes long. You could almost read a whole comic book in that time….almost.

      Please do not become outraged at other opinions, it is better to ignore them and go along with your peer group. If they say D.D. is useless then for popularity sake agree and join in, that is even better.

      Do not think independently, you risk being an outsider.

      wjc

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        I believe posters on this site think independently. Just because camps form when an issue arises, does not mean people are not making up their own minds. For example, the same posters that are in the “against fighting” camp are in opposite camps about DD. I have agreed with and argued with every poster on this site.

        BTW I don’t read comic books anymore (too lazy). I wait for the graphic novels to come out.

        “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

        • JohnBellyful says:

          I hire independent contractors to do my thinking. Frees up time to do more posting.
          I’m going to send them an email to see what ‘we’ think about DD.
          (I also have synopses done on comic books. I still look at the pics but I don’t get bogged down by the dialogue.)

        • JO says:

          DDO – Anyone whom thinks Desharnais is not a good player has rocks in their head. Mt shouldn’t be putting him where he doesn’t belong on the first line.

          Let Eller and Desharnais fight it out for the center spot on the 3rd line. Put Plekanec on the 1st line and Galchenyuk on the 2nd line.

  20. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    @Bill Therrien is on the second year of a three year deal. He will be looking for an extension in the off-season or he is a sitting duck next year. If anyone thinks he has time to play favorites, they’re kidding themselves. All he is doing is giving his veterans a chance. I have a feeling the leash will be short this year.

    “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

    • Habfan10912 says:

      DDO, I hope you’re right.

    • wjc says:

      This season has barely started and you are yapping about contract extensions. If he last 3 years that is about right for coaches, it will be 3 years longer then you lasted coaching anywhere.

      The leash will be short this year, why? What did he do to incur your wrath? You cannot have Toe Blake for obvious reasons, Bowman is over as a coach, Demers has moved on, Burns is not available either. Who would make you happy….Bouchard, who? who? who?

      I get it nobody.

      wjc

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        I meant the leash on the players who are not performing. I was defending Therrien against the criticism that he plays favorites. He is paid to win, regardless who is on the ice.

        BTW…”Burns is not available either”…not funny.

        “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

        • Trisomy 21 says:

          Don’t bother with him DDO, maybe he’ll disappear if nobody responds to his posts. WJC is a kid who vents his frustrations by trying to belittle posters who don’t share his views.

          Good thing to note: He loved Gomez, and we know that Gomez never got better. He seems to like DD, so we know now is a great time to trade him.

          • The Jackal says:

            ^ What he said.

            I’m not sure if this guy is a troll or just a huge party pooper but he always seems to be crapping on someone.

            ______________________
            Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  21. Danno says:

    Flyers have no reported injuries with the exception of Marc-Andre Bourdon

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  22. JohninTruro says:

    Frank it sucks to see Patches out tonight but a good opportunity for Bournival and he deserves a game or two. Hopefully Prust moves up to play with Eller and Galchy. Might not even be bad if Prust just takes Patches spot.

  23. habs001 says:

    Right now Price looks to me as a little above average NHL goalie..not elite..does he make some top quality saves in games? ..yes he does but if you watch other teams games there are great saves in most games at both ends of the rink…..for the beginning of the season the Habs also have 3 slow d that looked like their tank was half empty after one game…another d(Diaz) that is super soft in his zone but has some nifty offensive moves…an elite d(PK) and another d who i believe will become a top d(Tinordi) but is inexperienced…Based on this i believe the Habs will be giving up 3 to 4 goals most nights…

    • showey47 says:

      Price played a very good game against the leafs, some blunders by the defence (markov,diaz,bouillon) and the leafs capitalizing on the 5 on 3 was the difference. Being shorthanded 7 times didn’t help either since almost half their shots on goal came on the PP. Don’t even know how bouillon gets on the PP, it would be a good debate if he should even be on the team.


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