News for Tuesday, February 5th

Roman Hamrlik won't play tonight against the Sens. He's got the flu, allowing Patrice Brisebois to step in and take his place. Carey Price has rejoined the Habs, and may start against the Leafs on Thursday, according to Coach Carbonneau, who says "if we called him up, obviously it's so he can play." Price is 3-0 against the Leafs this year, but then again, who isn't?

Alexei Kovalev says his elbow to the face of Ryan Hollweg wasn't dirty: the problem, according to the sniper, is that Hollweg is just too short. Kovalev tried to hit him with his shoulder, you see, but to his surprise, the shrimpy Hollweg only comes up to Kovy's elbow. When reporters expressed some doubt at Kovalev's blaming the incident on Hollweg's height-impairment, the winger shrugged, broke into a chorus of Randy Newman;s "Short People Got No Reason to Live", and tap-danced down the hall.

The Habs can pull within one point of the formerly invincible Senators with a win tonight. The Sens are missing key players Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson, but are 3-0 against the Habs this year.

The Habs will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing loss to the Rangers, which saw them blow a three goal lead. Some have blamed Koivu's momentum-changing penalty, others have cited a lack of team toughness (an old refrain), but the real culprit would appear to have been fatigue: it was the Habs third game in four nights, and like most teams they have fared poorly in such situations all season long. They have only lost back-to-back in regulation once this year, so look for a strong outing.

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