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A New Kid Line For The Canadiens

Translated from Pierre Durocher's column in today's Le Journal de Montreal

Sergei Kostitsyn showed he could stick up for himself Tuesday night when Chuck Kobasew obliged him into dropping the gloves. Along with Maxim Lapierre and Guillaume Latendresse, he is forming the Canadiens new kid line.

"We're going to call him Serge, and make it a francophone Kid Line", Latendresse joked.

Like the popular beer ad, Kostitsyn could be "Un bon Serge."

The younger of the two Kostitsyn brothers isn't quite ready to change his given name.

"Serge is a francophone name. No, I don't think so", he replied, a liitle embarrassed.

Kostitsyn was involved his first scrap since being called up when he went at it with Kobasew.

"I fought once with London last year. I was pretty surprised to find myself in that position.

When reporters mentioned to him that his brother Andrei was laughing on the bench, he said, "I didn't see that, but he told me after that I hung in there pretty good."

Sergei had an ice pack on his hand, having slightly injured a finger in the bout.

Guy Carbonneau has nothing but raves for the younger Kostitsyn since the callup.

"He's gaining experience and he's more and more confident with each game. He's very conscious without the puck, which is extremely rare for a 20 year old. He's solid defensively."

The coach understands that he is running a certain risk by uniting three youngsters on a line.

"Of course, they will make some mistakes, but against the Bruins, I was able to to play them against lines where they looked good. I see no reason why they cannot become a good line."

Sergei finished the game with two assists - one on his brother's second of the night, and the first on a big goal by Lapierre at the end of the first period.

"Lapierre and Latendresse are good players, even if i found it easier playing alongside Saku", he says. "I played on Lapierre's line in Hamilton and qwe knew each other well. We can make the adjustments."

Sergei has 3 goals and 7 assists since being called up from Hamilton.