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Fireworks defused

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff  October 15, 2008 12:54 PM

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When asked whether he expected Georges Laraque to seek retaliation against Shawn Thornton for the Bruin's preseason-opening beatdown of Steve Begin, Claude Julien shrugged off the query.

georgeslaraque101508.jpg
Shawn Thornton might have to answer to Georges Laraque. (AP Photo)

"That's not going to be a question mark for us," said Julien. "We're here to win a hockey game. Georges is Georges. We've played Georges before in Edmonton and Pittsburgh. There's never been an issue. Good for him if he's back. We're just going to go out there and play our game."

Milan Lucic gave a stick salute to Laraque, acknowledging that he's earned the reputation of being one of the NHL's toughest heavyweights and has the respect of other players.

* Because of the pre-game ceremony to honor the Canadiens' centennial, puck drop is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. "This is pretty unique," Julien said. "It's great for this organization. We'll be part of the presentation tonight, watching some of it. When they asked us if we wanted to participate in it, I wanted our team to be part of it. It's a great occasion, not just for the Montreal Canadiens but for hockey. One hundred years is unbelievable. It's a big night for them and we respect that. We'll be part of it as well. I'll be glad to be part of it and be here for the occasion."

* Julien was asked about Patrice Bergeron (0-3--3 in two games) and whether he's back to his old self. "There's no question in my mind that he's back to where he was last year," Julien said. "No hesitation about going in the corners to hit. No hesitation for him being involved in any part of the play. That's one question mark that's been answered by a very positive result."

* Because of tonight's presidential debate, the game can be heard on 103.3 WODS-FM, with Dave Goucher and Bob Beers bringing you the action.

Tonight's expected lineup:

P.J. Axelsson
Marc Savard
Michael Ryder
Marco Sturm
Patrice Bergeron
Phil Kessel
Milan Lucic
David Krejci
Blake Wheeler
Vladimir Sobotka
Stephane Yelle
Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara
Aaron Ward
Andrew Ference
Dennis Wideman
Mark Stuart
Shane Hnidy
Tim Thomas
Manny Fernandez
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