SUN Hockey Pool

Bourque has crushing Hab-it

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:21 AM ET

MONTREAL - Rene Bourque didn’t grow up a Montreal Canadiens fan or anything like that.

He doesn’t have some special reason for being extra motivated against the Bleu Blanc Rouge.

Yet, the Calgary Flames winger had another big game against them.

Bourque scored twice in Thursday’s 4-1 win at Bell Centre, making it the second straight meeting he’s had a two-goal game vs. Montreal.

The time before was a dominating two-goal outing at the Heritage Classic at McMahon Stadium.

“For whatever reason, guys are good against some teams and for me it’s here. I just wish we played them more often,” Bourque said.

But that’s just the latest success Bourque has had.

In nine career games against the Canadiens, he’s collected six goals and nine points.

For the Flames, it’s a much-needed win after sub-par efforts in losing to both the Pittsburgh Penguins and St. Louis Blues to start the season.

By no means was the win a work of art — Montreal controlled play the first five minutes and Calgary managed just one third-period shot — but it was a solid first step for the Flames before they finish this road-trip Saturday night in Toronto.

“It was certainly a big improvement, but we’ve got to continue to get better,” Flames head coach Brent Sutter said. “We need to still push through. We were better tonight in a lot of areas, but we need to work on our game.”

IN THE CORNERS

Flames defenceman Brett Carson, who has been battling a bad back since the summer, took part in the morning skate and wasn’t wearing a caution jersey. It’s a big first step for him, and, over the next while, he will partake in more strenuous practices. “We’ll take it from there and see how he responds,” head coach Brent Sutter said. “He was good enough to get to this stage today. Now, we’ll see how he responds and how he can handle a full practice.” ... Sutter was quite disappointed his Red Deer Rebels weren’t successful bidding for the 2013 Memorial Cup, which the WHL awarded to the Saskatoon Blades. The Blades bid guaranteed nearly $1 million more than the Rebels, and Sutter — who flew to Calgary for the presentation and made his way to Montreal Wednesday night — believes the league simply looked at that. “It was a disappointing day for our organization and our fans, people who have worked so hard for the last eight months to present a bid that was second-to-none. When it comes down to economics, you feel if that’s what it was, you could have found out right off the bat.” ... Just before gametime, the Canadiens announced forward — and former Calgary Hitmen star Ryan White had surgery on Wednesday to repair a sports hernia and will be out indefinitely ... Hard to tell who the loudest cheer was for during the Canadiens’ opening ceremonies. It’s between Max Pacioretty and P.K. Subban. Seemed like Carey Price received the third-loudest cheer ... Neat touch having members of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra do the national anthem, but the youngster in me who watched Hockey Night in Canada religiously sure would love to have heard Roger Doucet live.

OFF THE GLASS

Man, when it rains, it pours. Cory Sarich’s stick broke when he attempted a point shot, which led to a two-on-one the other way and then Andrei Kostitsyn scored because Max Pacioretty’s shot went wide but came to him at the other side of the net ... Someone has to explain why a team which took control of the first period to grab a 3-1 lead can be so overwhelmed to start the second period yet again ... The pre-game ceremonies involved with the Canadiens’ home-opener meant a longer-than-usual wait between warmup and puck drop. Alex Tanguay used some of the time to check out the baseball game. “It was on TV when I was stretching. You think about the game, but you can’t be focused for four hours straight,” he said.

SWEET TWEET

So #Habs have lost to the #Leafs, beat the #Jets and getting killed by the #Flames. What happens when they play good teams?

—johnmbennett


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