The notebook - Oct. 20, 2010
It starts with one: He may have been held pointless through the first five games of the season, but rookie winger Lars Eller isn’t about to panic about his production. The floodgates haven’t swung open for the 21-year-old just yet, but the Danish export knows it’s only a matter of time.
“I’m trying to do the small things right and even though sometimes I’m not that visible out there, I think I’m doing those important little things. Of course I want to get that first goal badly and hopefully it’s going to come next game but there are a lot of things that come before your own success,” described Eller. “We’ve been winning games and we’re off to a decent start and that’s the number one thing. If you have good individuals, you usually have a good team so of course you want everybody going and I want to get going and score some goals and chip in but as long as we’re winning, it doesn’t matter who is scoring the goals.”
Powering through: Willing to chip in any way he can, while he may not be lighting the lamp as frequently as he’d like, Benoit Pouliot has had no problem throwing his weight around for the greater good.
“I’m trying to hit more. On the forecheck, if I hit a guy, it creates a turnover and we can get the puck,” explained Pouliot, who has dished out a team-high 18 hits in five games. “That gets me in the game. I’m working hard so I’m not too worried about it. I just have to keep working hard and the rest will take care of itself.”
Jumping the queue: After taking in Saturday’s game against the Sens from the pressbox, Tom Pyatt will be shooting up the depth chart against the Devils. The Thunder Bay native is hoping he’s exactly the spark Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta need to fire a few pucks past Martin Brodeur on Thursday night.
“I just have to be the guy who gets to those loose pucks first, play with energy and use my speed to create space for them. I had a few games with them last year and every time we got some good chances and played pretty well together,” offered Pyatt, who lined up alongside the two All-Stars during the playoffs last spring. “I’m not nervous about it; I’m really excited about it. I think it’s a challenge and a great opportunity and hopefully we’ll go out and get some goals.”
Winning formula: Winning a Calder Trophy and two Stanley Cups with a team isn’t something a player is likely to forget. That’s exactly what former Devil Scott Gomez is looking to recreate for his young teammates in Montreal.
“Those couple of years there, we just had a team that it didn’t matter who it was, we had a feeling we were going to win,” described the veteran center of his NHL debut in New Jersey alongside stars like Scott Stevens and Martin Brodeur. “Look at the lineup and at the D we had and Marty back there and it was neat growing up with that kind of experience. Even going into the third period down a couple of goals, we just knew we were going to win. That’s that kind of attitude we want to have here.”
Master motivator: Asked by the media how he plans to light a fire under Gomez and Gionta, who have combined for just four points in five games, head coach Jacques Martin wasn’t exactly in need of sports psychologist to find the answer.
“You hope tomorrow it’s the right team in town,” explained Martin, who made the most of his opportunity to beat his former team when Ottawa was in town on Saturday. “That’s the team that gave them their first opportunity, they spent a lot of time there and they had success. That will be a good start.”
Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com.
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