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Youth Movement

Tuesday, 15.02.2011 / 12:18 PM / News
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Youth Movement
BROSSARD – The recent wave of young players that have made their way up from Hamilton are creating a big impact with the Canadiens.

With Tuesday morning’s call-up of defenseman Brendon Nash, Habs head-coach Jacques Martin can now count five Bulldogs in his lineup and none of them are there to play the spectator’s role.

David Desharnais boasts a tally of six points in his last three games while Max Pacioretty has racked up 10 in his last 11 games. Yannick Weber continues to appear more and more at ease manning the Canadiens’ blue-line and Ryan White brings a physical presence to the ice with every shift he plays. Not to mention of course the numerous contributions of P.K. Subban who’s had a place on the Habs roster since the beginning of the season.

“The Bulldogs are a great team with a great coaching staff,” explained Weber. “It’s great for us as young players, but it’s also a great thing for the organization on the whole. Pacioretty’s been on fire since being called up and David’s been showing people what he can do since he got the chance. There are still a lot of really talented young players like Ben Maxwell in Hamilton that still haven’t been called up his season.”

Another Hamilton transplant that stands the chance to make a splash of his own is Brendon Nash who could find himself in the Canadiens lineup as early as tonight’s game against Buffalo should Jaroslav Spacek be unable to play. Max Pacioretty, one of Nash’s former teammates, doesn’t doubt for a second that the young defenseman will answer the call if given the opportunity.

“Brendon’s got great hands and really good stick work. He’s a really useful guy to have on the power-play and he’s good at starting the rush. I’m sure he’s going to be able to do all the things here that brought him success in Hamilton,” promised Pacioretty. “Playing at this level, at this time of the year is something that makes us all better players.”

With the race for playoff spots already in full-swing, Nash may not play his first NHL game under the easiest of circumstances, but every player has to start somewhere.

“It’s not an easy time to get called up right now, but it also wasn’t when I got called up for the first time in November. You always want to find a way to make an impact,” pointed out Desharnais. “The hard part isn’t making it up here, but staying up here once you’ve arrived. Scoring points is obviously important, but it’s not the only thing. You want to be winning faceoffs, making sure you’re not on the ice when your team gets scored on and playing well defensively too. Everyone’s playing hard and for me, it’s really a matter of maintaining that consistency and proving to people that I can continue to play the same way every game.”

Justin Fragapane is a writer for Canadiens.com.



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