MONTREAL – Guy Carbonneau’s psychedelic tie is a hit.
The Montreal Canadiens coach is 2-0 while wearing the multi-coloured tie his wife gave him for his 48th birthday on March 18, including their 4-1 win over Boston in the opening game of the NHL Eastern Conference quarter-finals.
He first wore it on the night the Canadiens clinched a playoff spot.
Now, fans are reportedly trying to buy the same Hermes tie, which Carbonneau’s wife picked up in Dallas.
“She’s still laughing about it,” Carbonneau said Friday. “We laughed about it this morning listening to the radio.
“They were still talking about it. It’s unbelievable. I’m going to wear it a couple more times and this summer I’m going to put it on auction, on Ebay or some golf charity. Hopefully we make a lot of money with it. But I’ll buy more. I’ll find some.”
Higgins centred: With Saku Koivu out with a fractured foot, Christopher Higgins has been moved from left wing to centre and he’s starting to like it.
Higgins hasn’t played centre regularly since his two seasons at Yale before he joined the Canadiens in 2003-04, where his speed prompted coaches to put him on the wing.
“I’ve felt more comfortable the last three games,” Higgins said. “The first couple of games I was overthinking a bit.
“I wasn’t as sure of where to go as instinctively as on the wing. Now it’s come back to me.”
The Smithtown, N.Y., native is playing between Michael Ryder and Sergei Kostitsyn, who scored 34 seconds into Montreal’s series-opening win over Boston.
He said playing centre carries more defensive responsibilities, but also allows him to carry the puck more and go to the net for goals.
But he’s still getting used to taking faceoffs. He won three and lost six against Boston.
“I’ve been working on it,” he said. “My percentage is not where I want it to be, but I know it can get better. I haven’t taken faceoffs in four years.”
Koivu is Montreal’s best faceoff man and will likely bump Higgins back to the wing when he returns later in the series. In the meantime, the Canadiens captain has been teasing Higgins about his faceoff record.
“He’s making fun of me for not winning as many as he did,” Higgins said with a laugh.