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Bartlett: Games can be won and lost on special teams

John Bartlett
10/14/2011 4:58:23 PM
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MONTREAL - Well, that wasn't exactly the start the Canadiens were looking for on home ice at the Bell Centre. It started off well with a quick goal from Andrei Kostitsyn just 1:47 into the game, but things didn't pan out as well from that point on. It's no secret that early penalties got the Habs in trouble.

As Jacques Martin pointed out at practice today, games can be won and lost on special teams, and they were the difference in the game against Calgary.

The line juggling that took place during the game, continued into practice today, as Martin continues to try and find the right mix of chemistry on the lines to find some scoring success. Even the D pairings have seen a change.

There has been a lot of talk about the ice time awarded to Erik Cole in the early going this season. Cole talked about trying to find a rhythm in the game, but after a few good shifts, it was tough to sit for a while during the penalty kills and jump back out on the ice. Cole and Martin both downplayed any discontent between each other today, and basically have chalked up the early going to a feeling out period and see where the best fit is while learning a new team's system.

Cole added later that he's really starting to feel comfortable on a personal level in his new home in Montreal. Thanks to some help from Mathieu Darche, he's got a babysitter lined up, and has had plenty of family and friends in town to visit. Even his old coach from Mite and Bantam is paying a visit this week, where he just recently revealed to Cole that he is a huge Habs fan and always has been. It appears only a matter of time when the success for Cole will translate on the ice.

Martin also tried some different options on the power play today, including pairing up P.K. Subban with Yannick Weber. They both had success together on the power play in Hamilton before. Martin also added that Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais found some offence together in their Bulldogs' days as well, and is hoping a line featuring the pair along with Kostitsyn will work some magic for all three.

The Habs will have a tough task ahead in search of their first win of the year including pre-season on Bell Centre ice Saturday night when they host the first place Western Conference Colorado Avalanche. Listen to the game on TSN Radio 990 at 7:30pm.

You can follow me on Twitter @BartsBytes

Canadiens Lines Today:

Moen - Gomez - Gionta
Eller - Plekanec - Cole
Pacioretty - Desharnais - Kostitsyn
Darche - Engqvist - Palushaj

Gill - Subban
Gorges - Diaz
Emelin - Weber

Power Play Units:

Plekanec - Desharnais - Pacioretty
Weber - Subban

Cole - Gomez - Gionta
Emelin - Diaz

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