Most Canadiens players empathize with former teammate Theodore

But not Sheldon Souray.

“Why would I?” Souray asked. “I don’t feel for anybody. The media makes it a bigger deal than it is. I’m sure for (Theodore) coming in here was special for him, but for us it’s just another game and he’s just another goalie. We have a good thing going here. We have a great feeling in this room, a great feeling of togetherness, and that’s what we’re worried about, not anybody else.”

That’s not how most of Souray’s teammates felt about the return of the one-time hometown hero who was traded at the deadline last year to the Colorado Avalanche for David Aebischer.

“He was here for such a long time and we all know all the things he did for our team, so it wasn’t easy,” Koivu said. “It’s different when he’s a goalie and you don’t have to face him on the ice that much, but I’m sure this one was a tough one for him. And I’m sure he was nervous.

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“I don’t think anybody really knew what to expect from this game.”

The game also marked the return of defenceman Patrice Brisebois. A favourite whipping boy of the Montreal faithful over his 14-year Canadiens career, he received much the same treatment as Theodore on Saturday night.

“It was definitely an emotional game with a couple of guys who were real big parts of this team,” said defenceman Craig Rivet. “But we wanted to make sure we played well in front of our goalie.”

For Aebischer, it was also his shot at beating his former team and it didn’t start out too well for him as the Avs jumped out to a 3-0 lead.

“In warm up, it kind of sinks in who you’re playing against,” Aebsicher said. “They got up 3-0, so it wasn’t the start I expected. But I thought we battled back pretty good.”