Important update available

Posted on 11 November 2016 | Comments Off

A new version of this mobile app is now available. An update is required on your part to continue receiving the latest team news. This latest update takes advantage of a new feed which allows for a richer multimedia experience, including integrated videos and tweets. The version you are currently using is no longer supported. The updated app also displays your Club 1909 points balance right on the home screen. You will automatically receive 100 points Club 1909 the first time you access your Club 1909 account via version 18.0. The new home screen is also now contextualized into four different modes: pre-game, in-game, post-game, and non-gameday. The way content is displayed will be optimized based on which of the four modes the app is in. With the debut of the ‘Contests’ and ‘Games’ sections, your Club 1909 account can be used to earn points by participating in Five Pick Pool, by making game predictions, or by playing Bingo during games.

Ensemble cast

Posted on 11 November 2016 | Comments Off

MONTREAL -- The Habs’ game plan against their visitors from Hollywood went as according to script. Entering Thursday’s contest having won two in a row despite being outshot 81-40, this time the Canadiens executed their plays from the moment the cameras started rolling. “It hasn’t been perfect, but we’re trending upwards after tonight,” acknowledged Max Pacioretty postgame. “We have gotten bounces recently and we have relied on Carey too much at times, but all things considered we have the right mindset in this room.” “It’s nice to get out to a lead early. We didn’t want to sit back on our heels and kill penalties at the end, but that’s how the game went,” continued Pacioretty. “I liked the resiliency -- some great saves by Carey [Price] and the rest of the guys stepping up when we had to kill those penalties at the end. I think we played a much better executed game tonight than we have in the last couple.” Case in point, the Habs held the NHL’s fifth-most trigger-happy team to just 24 shots on goal on Thursday, after allowing 43 and 38 on Saturday and Tuesday, respectively. Part of that success can be credited to a new supporting actor on the captain’s line. “It’s great to see the centerman come down low and support the wingers like that. It really made it easy on Shawzy [Andrew Shaw] and I,” dished Pacioretty on his first-time center Phillip Danault. “It allowed us to come out together as a group of five, and the result was a lot more puck possession. It’s a lot easier to work hard when you’re holding the puck like that, and that poise with the puck is what we needed. It started with Phil, but I think everyone took note of it and jumped on board.” And while the Habs were out-hit 58-21, it turns out that was just a matter of getting bang for their puck. “We’re not really aware of the hits until we go see the stat sheet after,” admitted the American sniper. “All it means is that we had the puck a lot.” Montreal made the most of their possession, beating goaltender Peter Budaj -- who entered the game riding a pair of back-to-back shutouts -- three times before adding the empty netter to end the game 4-1. “We knew he was a hot goalie heading into the game, and had a couple of wins recently. It was important to have a good start on him and be ready for this game,” explained Danault, who scored his fourth goal of the season against the Kings, tying a personal best. “It feels good. It was a big team effort, and Carey Price made some huge saves at key times. It was a good win for the boys.” Indeed, Price continues to be outstanding for the Canadiens, setting a new team record on Thursday with his ninth-straight win to start the season, besting Charlie Hodge’s eight in 1960-61. But even the star of the show was impressed by the effort put forth in front of him. “It was our best game collectively in a while, for sure. I thought we utilised our speed well,” underlined Price, who made 23 saves against the Kings. “They’re a big heavy team and they were leaning on us a lot. We just kept our feet moving and maintained a bit of puck possession down low.” And keeping with the Hollywood theme on a night Ben Stiller was in the building, there was even a cliffhanger ending. Having gone 9-0-0 at home to start the season, the Canadiens have now tied a team record set in 1953. That year, the Canadiens went 9-0-0 at the Forum before the Detroit Red Wings prevented the streak from hitting double digits. Stay tuned to find out if more history is waiting to be made when the Red Wings are in town once again for home game No. 10 on Saturday.

Numbers Game – Kings @ Canadiens

Posted on 11 November 2016 | Comments Off

Here's a numerical look at the best facts, figures, and celebrity sightings from Thursday's game between the Canadiens and Kings at the Bell Centre. 57 -- Number of Habs hall-of-famers who have now been immortalized in the Bell Centre’s ring of honor, following the addition of Rogatien Vachon on Thursday. 2 -- Number of Habs who made their 2016-17 debuts against the Kings, as Joel Hanley and Sven Andrighetto were both in the lineup opposite L.A. after being called up from the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps last Wednesday and Monday, respectively. 140:50 -- Number of minutes Kings netminder Peter Budaj had gone without allowing a goal until Paul Byron got the Habs on the board at 7:48 in the first. The former Canadiens goaltender arrived in Montreal coming off back-to-back shutouts against Calgary and Toronto. 1 -- Number of career points Daniel Carr has registered at the Bell Centre. After racking up 10 points on the road through his first 26 NHL games, the 25-year-old lit the lamp at home for the first time on Thursday. 14 -- Number of games it took Phillip Danault to match his personal best for single-season goals scored. Danault notched his fourth of the campaign on Thursday, 37 games sooner than the four he scored through 51 games with Chicago and Montreal a season ago. 74 -- Number of film credits actor Ben Stiller has racked up over the course of his career. Stiller, who is currently in Montreal shooting the upcoming indie film Brad’s Status, was in attendance for Thursday’s game against the Kings. 1,000 -- Number of NHL games officiated by linesman Steve Barton, who hit the milestone on Thursday.

Game Day: Kings @ Canadiens

Posted on 10 November 2016 | Comments Off

BROSSARD - The Canadiens held an optional skate at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Thursday morning in preparation for their game against the Los Angeles Kings at the Bell Centre. - Following the on-ice session, head coach Michel Therrien confirmed a pair of lineup changes for Thursday night's tilt. Up front, Sven Andrighetto draws into the lineup in place of David Desharnais, while Joel Hanley will patrol the blue line in place of Greg Pateryn. "We have two young guys who've been waiting for their chance to play. I thought this was an opportunity to do that," offered Therrien. "With respect to Andrighetto, he was playing well [in St. John's]. It's never easy to take a player out of the lineup, as was the case with David. In Hanley's case, what we like from him is that he starts rushes well and passes the puck well, too. I've found that our transition game has been a bit off lately. That's why I wanted to put him in the lineup." - Desharnais will be a healthy scratch after being held without a point since October 20 against Arizona. That's a span of nine straight games. Right now, Therrien believes giving the veteran centerman a chance to watch from afar might just be the best thing for him. "David is aware of his lack of production, but he has to focus on the process necessary to be productive," explained Therrien, who is confident Desharnais will benefit from the experience of sitting Thursday night's game out, tough as it may be. "He shouldn't focus only on picking up points. He has to ask himself what will allow him to pick up points and what will allow him to be creative offensively. That's what I want him to focus on. He's always reacted well after taking a step back." - With Desharnais out, Phillip Danault will be playing center. At practice on Wednesday, Danault took turns rotating on a line with captain Max Pacioretty and Andrew Shaw, so that combination could very well repeat itself against Los Angeles. "I just have to keep using my speed. I can't change my game. If I do, it definitely won't go well. I have to move my feet and stick to the details defensively, which will help us on offense," said Danault, on the subject of staying true to his style of game as he makes the move from left wing to center. "We've done well over the course of the first 13 games of the year, so we have to stay on that track. We have to keep sticking to the details and pick up as many wins as we can." - Andrighetto, meanwhile, is eager to make his regular season debut with the Canadiens after being recalled from the AHL's St. John's IceCaps on Monday where he amassed five goals and 11 points in 10 games. With 56 games of NHL experience under his belt - 44 of which came last season - the 23-year-old Swiss forward is more focused on playing a good overall game than just factoring in on the scoresheet. "I'm not looking at the points. If I play my game every single night, the points will come by itself," mentioned Andrighetto, who put up seven goals and 17 points for the Canadiens during the 2015-16 campaign, and will likely play on a line with Tomas Plekanec and Brendan Gallagher on Thursday night. "I'm focusing on the little things and doing them right every single night, every single shift. That produces consistency. The points will come with that as well." - Hanley is also relying on the NHL experience he was privy to last season in Montreal to help him produce a solid regular season debut in the big leagues on Thursday night. "I think I can lean on that a little bit. It's just confidence that I can play here," shared Hanley, who collected six assists in 10 outings with the Canadiens in 2015-16, before starting this season with Andrighetto in Newfoundland. "It's not too big of a jump [to play in the NHL]. I'm just excited to go out and compete with the guys." - Prior to Thursday night's game, the Canadiens will honour goaltender Rogie Vachon, who will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday. - Carey Price will get the start in goal for the Canadiens. He could go up against former teammate Peter Budaj in goal for the Kings, who has compiled a 7-3-0 record, 1.86 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage in 11 appearances so far this season. The Kings' No. 31 has helped Los Angeles pick up three straight wins, including back-to-back shutouts over Calgary and Toronto. - Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast on RDS and Sportsnet 360, as well as on TSN 690 and 98.5 fm. Probable lineup against Los Angeles: Byron - Galchenyuk- Radulov Andrighetto - Plekanec - Gallagher Pacioretty - Danault - Shaw Carr - Mitchell - Flynn Emelin - Weber Markov - Petry Beaulieu - Hanley Price Montoya

Game Preview: Kings @ Canadiens

Posted on 10 November 2016 | Comments Off

LAK (7-6-0) @ MTL (11-1-1) The Canadiens will be looking to make it three in a row when the Los Angeles Kings visit the Bell Centre on Thursday night. On Tuesday, Paul Byron scored the game-winner against Boston with a minute to go in the third, breaking a 2-2 deadlock to help the Habs improve to 11-1-1. Alexander Radulov picked up a pair of assists in the effort while Carey Price made 41 saves to earn his eighth win of the season Price will be back between the pipes on Thursday, and could face his former teammates Peter Budaj at the other end of the ice. Budaj has won seven of the 10 games he’s started this season since being called up from the AHL, and has posted an excellent 1.86 goals against average. He hasn’t allowed a goal in his last two games, coming off 5-0 and 7-0 wins against Calgary and Toronto, respectively. Former Hab Tom Gilbert could also be in the lineup for the Kings, having now served the entirety of his three-game suspension. Sven Andrighetto meanwhile could make his 2016-17 Canadiens debut opposite L.A. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., and will be broadcast on SN360 and RDS.

Montoya stays true to his roots

Posted on 9 November 2016 | Comments Off

MONTREAL – When Manuel Silva left everything behind in Cuba and boarded a boat bound for the United States, he never could have imagined that one day his grandson would be suiting up for the Montreal Canadiens. Al Montoya – whose full first name is Alvaro – has a family history that isn’t typical in an NHL dressing room. Two years after the Bay of Pigs Invasion – a 1961 US-sponsored operation attempting to overthrow Fidel Castro’s government – Manuel Silva had two choices: stay in Cuba and take part in the revolution, or leave his homeland, his life as a lawyer, and his ranch in search of a better life. “He was a man of many talents. But he sacrificed everything for his family. That’s how he found himself selling strawberries on the side of the road in Miami,” explained the Canadiens’ netminder. Montoya’s mother, Irene, was just 10 years old at the time. For her, Montoya explained, the adventure by boat was something she still recalls as “the coolest day of her life.” “She wasn’t really aware of what was going on politically. My grandfather made life a lot easier for them,” stressed Montoya, who shares his cardiac surgeon father’s last name despite the latter having not been a big part of his son’s life. Manuel Silva, who dropped one of his given names after arriving on American soil, saw his gamble pay off. His wife, Berta, and he found work in Chicago, where they set up a life and raised their children. “All my mother, her brother, and her sister had to worry about was focusing on school. My grandparents took care of the rest. They all worked incredibly hard and my mother became a doctor, her sister became a dentist, and their brother became an architect,” boasted Montoya. The importance of education is a value Irene Silva passed on to her four boys. “Hockey can bring you places, but school is what can bring you the farthest. That’s why for me, a big part of the reason I was playing hockey and focusing on hockey was to help me get an education,” explained the 31-year-old goaltender, who attended the University of Michigan. Montoya’s brother, David, four years his elder, played university football at the United States Naval Academy and now runs his own business in Chicago. Their twin brothers, Carlos, who owns a gym, and Marcos, a dentist, have also had success in their lives. Many of their cousins have followed in Irene’s footsteps and become doctors. Montoya still considers his mother to be a real-life “Superwoman” and he and his brothers make sure to give back whenever they get a chance. “She had help, of course, but she basically raised us by herself. We watched her wake up at 6:00 a.m. every day to go work for 12 hours and then she still somehow managed to make it out to our practices. We said to ourselves, ‘She’s offering us this life so we can just focus on school.’ We saw the sacrifices she made for us every single day. I don’t know what we did to deserve that,” said Montoya. Latin roots Despite growing up in Chicago, Montoya never forgot his roots. His first language is Spanish and he has a soft spot for Cuban food and Latin music. “Cuban food is amazing. My favorite dishes are bistec empanizado, which is like a breaded steak, and ropa vieja. I love beans, plantains, bananas – all the things you’d eat around the holidays,” he shared. Holiday gatherings and family reunions were a constant in the Silva-Montoya household – and they weren’t exactly quiet affairs… “In our culture, we have huge parties. We’re loud, there are always a lot of us, and there’s a lot of love. Actually, I think there were about 20 people in the room the last time I called home to FaceTime!,” he added with a laugh. Montoya has an incredible amount of respect for his mother and his grandparents. As a father now himself to his three-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Camila, and his almost-two-year-old son Henry – or Enrique, as he’s affectionately known – Montoya tries to instill those same values he learned from his own role models growing up. “If I could teach them just one thing, it would be ‘respect yourself and respect others.’ Love is the most important thing. Our family is built on a foundation of love and kindness,” explained Montoya. Montoya speaks Spanish with his kids, but he admits he and his mother tend to revert to “Spanglish” when they chat these days. “My daughter has become fluent, so we’re adding French. But now she’ll use Spanish words and try to tell us she’s speaking French, which is really cute,” he added with a laugh. Proud of his heritage and his roots, Montoya has made an effort in his previous NHL homes to become as involved as possible in the Hispanic communities in both New York and Florida. He’d like to do the same in Montreal. “I’m probably the only player in the league who speaks Spanish. I know the kind of role I can play and if I can open some doors to hockey for that community, I’m going to do it. I see it as a real privilege to be here as a minority,” he concluded. Joanie Godin is a writer for canadiens.com.

Rapid Fire – November 9

Posted on 9 November 2016 | Comments Off

BROSSARD - Following Tuesday night's 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins, the Canadiens were back at practice at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Wednesday. - All players were present and accounted for at practice, except for Artturi Lehkonen and Zach Redmond, both of whom are sidelined due to injury. The Canadiens will be back in action on Thursday night against the Los Angeles Kings at the Bell Centre. - Head coach Michel Therrien made a few adjustments up front on Tuesday, as Phillip Danault rotated with David Desharnais at center on the Canadiens' third line alongside Max Pacioretty and Andrew Shaw. For his part, Daniel Carr took Danault's spot on the fourth line with Torrey Mitchell and Brian Flynn. - Therrien featured Sven Andrighetto on the second line with Tomas Plekanec and Brendan Gallagher, while the Canadiens' top line of Paul Byron, Alex Galchenyuk and Alexander Radulov remained intact. - During his post-practice press conference, Therrien indicated that he hasn't yet decided if any of the aforementioned line changes will stick for Thursday night's tilt. He did confirm, however, that Carey Price would get the start in goal in the Canadiens' 14th game of the season. - The Canadiens' bench boss upped the intensity level during the latter part of Tuesday's on-ice session by having his troops take part in an assortment of battle drills along the boards and in front of the net. "It was fun. I think we enjoy those as players. I don't think we were smiling because we were a little tired," cracked Gallagher. "Coach let them go for a little while. We got a lot of battles in, and I think we were just catching our breath." Mitchell believes it was a good exercise given the Canadiens' recent string of performances in which they've been outplayed at certain points in games. "We've been leaning on our goalie too much. I don't think we've been playing really good hockey in front of him," admitted Mitchell. "Today was an intense practice day, so it was good for us." - Following practice, Desharnais talked about his recent struggles on offense. The eight-year NHL veteran has been held without a point over the last nine games. Needless to say, he knows he has to start producing points again in order to remain in the lineup on a consistent basis. "I have to be better. I'm responsible for my own actions. The stats have always spoken for themselves, so if I don't have any points, it will definitely be tough to stay in the lineup," said Desharnais, who has two goals and four points in 13 games so far this season. "I need to roll up my sleeves, work harder and force them to put me out there. If I want to play, I need to do more." - Al Montoya addressed the media on Tuesday morning for the first time since his start in Columbus last Friday night. Over the last few days, the 31-year-old netminder has had an opportunity to refocus and put the 10-0 defeat at Nationwide Arena behind him. "When you sign up for this position, you kind of know. Even as a goaltender, you're the last line of defense. Forward makes a mistake, D-man makes a mistake, once the goalie makes a mistake, everyone sees it. I'm here for that. I'm here for the good. I'm here for the bad. I think it only makes me stronger," shared Montoya, who is eagerly anticipating the opportunity to get back between the pipes soon. "I'm excited. I'm looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to getting another shot at it. It was a tough game. I've moved on from that." - Earlier in the day, it was announced that Les Canadiennes de Montreal would play a regular season game at the Bell Centre, on December 10, against the Calgary Inferno. The matinee game will mark the first time the two teams will meet since facing off against each other in the 2016 Clarkson Cup championship at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa last March. "I think it's quite exciting to be playing at the Bell Centre where the Habs are playing. We've had a partnership with the Canadiens, so being able to be there, play there, I think it's going to be really exciting. It's a dream come true for all of us," said Les Canadiennes captain and two-time Olympic gold-medalist Marie-Philip Poulin. "I think it's a big step towards the growth of women's hockey. We're hoping the fans are going to come out and watch. We're hoping little kids come and watch, too. Maybe they'll dream of playing for Les Canadiennes at the Bell Centre. Why not?" Lines and D pairings at practice: Byron - Galchenyuk - Radulov Andrighetto - Plekanec - Gallagher Pacioretty - Danault/Desharnais -Shaw Carr - Mitchell - Flynn Emelin - Weber Markov - Petry Beaulieu - Pateryn

Les Canadiennes to play at the Bell Centre on December 10

Posted on 9 November 2016 | Comments Off

PRESS RELEASE MONTREAL – For the first time in the organization’s history, Les Canadiennes de Montreal will play a regular season game at the Bell Centre, on December 10, against the Calgary Inferno. The matinee game will mark the first time the two teams will meet since facing off against each other in the 2016 Clarkson Cup championship at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa last March. Les Canadiennes boast five Olympians in their ranks, including captain Marie-Philip Poulin, Caroline Ouellette, Charline Labonté, Lauriane Rougeau, and Julie Chu. Eight Olympians, including two-time Olympic gold medalist, Meaghan Mikkelson, will suit up for the Inferno. “We’re very excited to be able to host Les Canadiennes for the first time in the home of the Montreal Canadiens,” said Canadiens owner, president and CEO, Geoff Molson. “We look forward to giving fans a chance to see some of the best female hockey players in the world live in our building. This is another example of our organizations working together towards our common goal of growing the game at both the professional and grassroots levels in Quebec.” The Canadiens announced a partnership agreement with Les Canadiennes in September 2015 that includes providing both promotional and financial support to the Montreal-based CWHL franchise. In addition to hosting regular skills clinics throughout the year, the Canadiens also launched the team’s inaugural all-girls hockey camp at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard in August. “The season is a landmark for the CWHL as we celebrate our 10th anniversary,” said CWHL commissioner, Brenda Andress. “We are thrilled to partner with the Montreal Canadiens to bring Les Canadiennes and their heritage celebrations to one of the world’s biggest hockey stages as there is no better place in Quebec to celebrate both the women’s game and the incredible legacy of the Montreal team and its players over the past decade." Puck drop is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on December 10. Tickets will be sold for $15 each and will be available for purchase as of Friday, November 11, at 1 p.m. on canadiens.com. About the CWHL The CWHL is the premier, professionally-run women's hockey league in the world. It enables elite female hockey players to pursue their dreams of competing at the highest level possible while enhancing the lives of others through exceptional athleticism, entertainment and motivation. The league is centrally funded, with all participating teams in the CWHL receiving equal access to financial support and given the same opportunities to succeed. The CWHL is a not-for-profit organization, with every dollar going towards building a league that is dedicated to raising the profile of women's hockey, providing a place for the best female players in the world to compete and inspiring the next generation of female hockey heroines.

Coming up huge

Posted on 9 November 2016 | Comments Off

MONTREAL - Paul Byron made his promotion to the Canadiens' top line count in a very, very big way on Tuesday night. The 27-year-old Ottawa native - who was paired with Alex Galchenyuk and Alexander Radulov - notched his second game-winning tally against the Boston Bruins early on this season, putting home a loose puck with just 62 seconds remaining in regulation time to lift the Canadiens to a 3-2 win at the Bell Centre. With the victory, Michel Therrien's troops became just the second team in franchise history to win their first eight home games of the year, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. "It's a lot of fun [playing with them]. They make the game fun. They're so smart. They get creative. They want to make plays. It's not just chip-and-chase hockey," explained Byron, who now boasts three goals and eight points in 13 games during the 2016-17 campaign. "When you're with them, you've just got to make the most of those opportunities and create some offensive chances." And, that's exactly what Byron did. After picking up the secondary assist on Galchenyuk's fifth goal of the year that put the Canadiens up 2-1 just over five minutes into the middle frame, his relentless work all night long was rewarded with the sixth game-deciding tally of his career - four of which have come since he was claimed off waivers by Montreal in October 2015 from the Calgary Flames. Coming up big in these Original Six matchups is particularly special for the former QMJHL standout given his upbringing in close proximity to his current hockey home. "I grew up with the Habs-Bruins rivalry. My dad was a Bruins fan. My older brother was a Leafs fan. I watched a lot of Saturday night Hockey Night in Canada games. Coming to Montreal, I knew how big this rivalry was," shared Byron, who also boasts the game-winning marker in last season's Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts on his resume. "Playing the Bruins, it's a special game. You've got to relish these opportunities. When you play a team like that, it kind of feels like a playoff game." Galchenyuk, meanwhile, had plenty of good things to say about the way Byron went about his business in helping the Canadiens improve to 11-1-1 to sit atop the NHL standings with 23 points in the bank already. "I think he played a great game. He used his speed well on the forecheck and backcheck. He also created a lot of plays, and I've got to give a lot of credit to him. Obviously, that's a big goal. It was huge," praised Galchenyuk, before expanding upon Byron's blazing speed further. "We all know that even if a guy has a step on him, the second he touches the puck, we all call it on the bench: "That's a breakaway, easy." It's nice. He's been using his speed to his advantage." And, Byron is succeeding because of it, so much so that the Canadiens' No. 41 has steadily become a constant threat to the opposition if left unchecked. Even if his opponents think they might have him contained, though, they might be sorely mistaken and end up paying a serious price for it on the scoreboard as a result. "[My speed is] definitely what I think got me to the NHL. Playing for Bob [Hartley] in Calgary, he always used me in all situations, too. And, coming to Montreal, Michel has given me a lot of opportunities to play up and down the lineup. Any chance I get to play with those guys, I try to make the most of it. I know I'm a complete player, so I can play anywhere in the lineup," concluded Byron, clearly confident in his abilities. "I'm a player who works hard, who skates, who tries to pick up pucks for them. I try to seize opportunities. It worked [against Boston]." Matt Cudzinowski is a writer for canadiens.com.

Coming up huge

Posted on 9 November 2016 | Comments Off

MONTREAL - Paul Byron made his promotion to the Canadiens' top line count in a very, very big way on Tuesday night. The 27-year-old Ottawa native - who was paired with Alex Galchenyuk and Alexander Radulov - notched his second game-winning tally against the Boston Bruins early on this season, putting home a loose puck with just 62 seconds remaining in regulation time to lift the Canadiens to a 3-2 win at the Bell Centre. With the victory, Michel Therrien's troops became just the second team in franchise history to win their first eight home games of the year, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. "It's a lot of fun [playing with them]. They make the game fun. They're so smart. They get creative. They want to make plays. It's not just chip-and-chase hockey," explained Byron, who now boasts three goals and eight points in 13 games during the 2016-17 campaign. "When you're with them, you've just got to make the most of those opportunities and create some offensive chances." And, that's exactly what Byron did. After picking up the secondary assist on Galchenyuk's fifth goal of the year that put the Canadiens up 2-1 just over five minutes into the middle frame, his relentless work all night long was rewarded with the sixth game-deciding tally of his career - four of which have come since he was claimed off waivers by Montreal in October 2015 from the Calgary Flames. Coming up big in these Original Six matchups is particularly special for the former QMJHL standout given his upbringing in close proximity to his current hockey home. "I grew up with the Habs-Bruins rivalry. My dad was a Bruins fan. My older brother was a Leafs fan. I watched a lot of Saturday night Hockey Night in Canada games. Coming to Montreal, I knew how big this rivalry was," shared Byron, who also boasts the game-winning marker in last season's Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts on his resume. "Playing the Bruins, it's a special game. You've got to relish these opportunities. When you play a team like that, it kind of feels like a playoff game." Galchenyuk, meanwhile, had plenty of good things to say about the way Byron went about his business in helping the Canadiens improve to 11-1-1 to sit atop the NHL standings with 23 points in the bank already. "I think he played a great game. He used his speed well on the forecheck and backcheck. He also created a lot of plays, and I've got to give a lot of credit to him. Obviously, that's a big goal. It was huge," praised Galchenyuk, before expanding upon Byron's blazing speed further. "We all know that even if a guy has a step on him, the second he touches the puck, we all call it on the bench: "That's a breakaway, easy." It's nice. He's been using his speed to his advantage." And, Byron is succeeding because of it, so much so that the Canadiens' No. 41 has steadily become a constant threat to the opposition if left unchecked. Even if his opponents think they might have him contained, though, they might be sorely mistaken and end up paying a serious price for it on the scoreboard as a result. "[My speed is] definitely what I think got me to the NHL. Playing for Bob [Hartley] in Calgary, he always used me in all situations, too. And, coming to Montreal, Michel has given me a lot of opportunities to play up and down the lineup. Any chance I get to play with those guys, I try to make the most of it. I know I'm a complete player, so I can play anywhere in the lineup," concluded Byron, clearly confident in his abilities. "I'm a player who works hard, who skates, who tries to pick up pucks for them. I try to seize opportunities. It worked [against Boston]." Matt Cudzinowski is a writer for canadiens.com.

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