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Back at the Bell Centre: Jonathan Drouin expects to be booed

Over the past few weeks, Jonathan Drouin has been in the news for all the right reasons. The former Habs player, who left for Colorado last summer, has finally found his rhythm with the Avalanche, becoming one of coach Jared Bednar’s most trusted men and starting to rack up the points.

After collecting eight points in his first 26 games, Drouin now has 14 points in his last 14 games. Things are going really well for him these days.

And Drouin’s good run of form comes at a good time for him, as the Québécois makes his return to the Bell Centre next Monday. He’ll be in confident mood for the occasion, and he’ll have the chance to put on a good show in front of his loved ones who are still in Quebec.

The question, though, is what the reaction of the fans in attendance will be. And in an interview with JiC earlier this evening, Drouin admitted that he expects some applause… but more importantly, he expects to be booed on Monday night.

It’s part of the game, and Drouin knows it.

During his interview, we really felt that Drouin was doing well and that he had finally found his comfort zone in the NHL. Obviously, he gives a lot of credit to the guys around him in Colorado, but he’s no mere passenger: if he were, Jared Bednar wouldn’t have him playing more than 23 minutes a game since the beginning of July.

The Avalanche are doing well these days, and Drouin deserves credit for the club’s success.

Even so, Drouin admits he’s been following the Habs’ season so far, and is impressed that the club is defying expectations and still in the playoff hunt. He likes the direction the Habs are heading in, and is quick to praise his former team’s fine campaign.

In fact, he says he’ll be taking advantage of his time in town over the next few days to have dinner with former teammates and reconnect with some of the faces he knew in Montreal. Presumably, this involves Josh Anderson, who was a good friend of his when the two played together in Montreal.

We’ll see how the crowd reacts on Monday, but we can at least expect the Habs to have prepared a little video to honor him during the game. Whether or not he gets booed during the action, we can at least expect him to get a standing ovation during a stoppage in play.

In brief

– Chris Peters praises Lane Hutson’s good WJC.

– 600 career points for Vladimir Tarasenko.

– Cutter Gauthier confirms: there’s more than one reason for his trade request. [theScore]

– Brendan Leipsic obtains Russian citizenship.

– Jonathan Roy, Patrick’s son, has already brought dancers home to his father. [HF]

– A record contract for Juan Soto in the Bronx.

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