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Monday, April 19, 2010

Familiar Faces

Here are some interesting notes on the Montreal Canadiens:

Familiar Faces
Canadiens center Glen Metropolit is expected to make his series debut tonight.  Metro began his career as an undrafted free agent with the Washington Capitals in 1999-00 before leaving for Europe after the 2002-03 season.  He played 101 regular season games for the Caps, scoring 10 goals and 47 points, a +10 rating, and only 26 PIM.  He also appeared in 3 playoff games.  While he was not teammates with any of the current Capitals, he did play with Capitals right winger Mike Knuble with the Philadelphia Flyers last season.  In his minor league wanderings prior to coming to Washington, he had played with former Capitals Lou Franceschetti, Gaetan Duchesne, Reggie Savage, and Jeff Toms

Metropolit led the Canadiens with 10 powerplay goals this season.  He was supposed to be out 6-8 weeks with a separated shoulder suffered March 27. 

#15 Glen Metropolit

Unfamiliar Faces
-Of the 20 Montreal Canadiens to suit up against the Washington Capitals in this playoff series, 11 are in their first season with the Canadiens and 7 were drafted by the franchise.  By comparison, of the 21 Capitals to dress in this series, 6 are in their first season with the team and 9 were drafted by the franchise. 

Family Ties
-The Montreal Canadiens feature a pair of brothers, Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn of Novopolotsk, Belarus.  Andrei is just over two years older than Sergei, they are listed at the same height and weight (6', 210), and both are left-shooting left wingers.

#46 Andrei Kostitsyn   #74 Sergei Kostitsyn

-Speaking of brothers, Canadiens' rookie center Tom Pyatt's brother Taylor plays for the Phoenix Coyotes.  Their father, Frederick "Nelson" Pyatt was the Capitals leading scorer in 1975-76. 

#94 Tom Pyatt                   Taylor Pyatt

Old Enemies
-Last season, Canadiens center Scott Gomez played against the Capitals in the playoffs with the New York Rangers, scoring 2 goals and 5 points in 7 games.  He also went -4 with 4 PIM.

#91  Scott Gomez

-Canadiens defenseman Hal Gill has played 13 playoff games against the Capitals before this season.  He played all 7 games of the Pittsburgh series last year and was -2 before going on to win the Stanley Cup.  He also faced the Capitals in the first round in 1998 as a rookie with Boston.  He played all 6 games and was a -1 with 4 PIM. 

#75 Hal Gill

Old Friends
-Speaking of Scott Gomez, he and Canadiens right winger Brian Gionta were teammates with the New Jersey Devils between 2001-02 and 2006-07, winning the Stanley Cup in 2003.  They were even linemates in 2005-06 when both players had their best seasons, especially Gionta, who set the Devils record with 48 goals.  They had been playing hockey together for the United States since they were 15.  

 #21 Brian Gionta

-Scott Gomez also won the Stanley Cup in 1999-00 as a rookie.  Traded away from that Devils team at the deadline was Capitals center Brendan Morrison.

-Brendan Morrison also spent part of  last season with the Anaheim Ducks.  One of his teammates there was Canadiens left winger Travis Moen, who won the Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007.  Moen played junior hockey for the WHL Kelowna Rockets and was teammates with Capitals left winger Quintin Laing in 1998-99 and 1999-00 and with Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges in 2000-01 . 

#32 Travis Moen

-Canadiens left winger Mike Cammalleri played for coach Bruce Boudreau with the AHL Manchester Monarchs between 2002-03 and 2004-05.  Cammalleri scored 72 goals and 175 points in 140 regular season and playoff games under Boudreau, including a league leading 46 goals in 2004-05 that earned him 2nd Team All-AHL honors.  He also played on the Monarchs with Capitals' defenseman Joe Corvo in 2002-03 and center David Steckel in 2004-05.  Cammalleri also played with Corvo and Capitals center Eric Belanger in Los Angeles between 2002-03 and 2005-06.

#13 Mike Cammalleri

-Before Eric Belanger was acquired by the Capitals at the trade deadline, he signed with the Minnesota Wild before the 2007-08 season.  His teammates there included Canadiens center Dominic Moore (07-08), left winger Benoit Pouliot (07-08 to 09-10), and defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron (08-09). 

#57 Benoit Pouliot

-Speaking of Bergeron, he started his career with the Edmonton Oilers in 2002-03, where he was teammates with Capitals left winger Jason Chimera through 2003-04.

 #47 Marc-Andre Bergeron

-Dominic Moore started his career with the New York Rangers and called Madison Square Garden home in 2003-04 and 2005-06.  While there, he was teammates with Capitals defenseman Tom Poti

#42 Dominic Moore

-Speaking of Tom Poti, he began his career with the Edmonton Oilers in 1998-99 and patrolled the blueline for two seasons with Canadiens defenseman Roman Hamrlik through the end of the 1999-00 season. He also played part of 2006-07 with Marc-Andre Bergeron on the New York Islanders.   

#44 Roman Hamrlik

-As mentioned earlier, Hal Gill began his career with the Boston Bruins.  While there he was teammates with Capitals right winger Mike Knuble from 1999-00 to 2003-04 and defenseman Shaone Morrisonn from 2002-03 to 2003-04.

-During the 2004-05 season, many NHL players scattered to play in Europe or in North American minor leagues.  Scott Gomez starred for his hometown Alaska Aces of the ECHL and won league MVP. Old Michigan University teammates Brendan Morrison and Mike Knuble dominated the Swedish Elite League with Linkopings while Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom played with defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron on Brynas IF Gavle.  And left winger Alex Ovechkin played on Dynamo Moscow of the Russian SuperLeague with Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov.   

#79 Andrei Markov
-Last but certainly not least, Capitals goaltender Jose Theodore played for the Montreal Canadiens from 1995-96 to 2005-06.  While in Montreal, he played with current Canadiens left winger Andrei Kostitsyn, defenseman Andrei Markov, and centers Tomas Plekanec and Maxim Lapierre.  Markov and Theodore also played together in the AHL for the 1998-99 Fredericton Canadiens and the 2000-01 Quebec Citadelles. 

#14 Tomas Plekanec  #40 Maxim Lapierre

International Play:
The Washington Capitals and Montreal Canadiens also have some familiarity with each other from the international stage.

-Tomas Plekanec and Tomas Fleischmann played for the Czech Republic during the 2008 World Championships and the 2010 Olympics. 

-The aforementioned Andrei Markov and Alex Ovechkin played together for Russia in the World Championships in 2005, 2007, and 2008 (winning gold) and the 2006 and 2010 Olympics.  Alexander Semin was part of those 2005 and 2008 World Championship teams and Semin and Semyon Varlamov also played for Russia during the 2010 Olympics. 

-Mike Knuble played for the United States with Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez in the 2006 Olympics.  Knuble and Gionta also played for the US in the 2001 and 2005 World Championships. 

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