Notebook - Sept. 29, 2011

Thursday, 29.09.2011 / 12:38 PM / News
canadiens.com
BROSSARD – The Canadiens were on the ice at the Bell Sports Complex Thursday morning to get their legs going ahead of their game against the Lightning at the Bell Center. As training camp winds down, some players have been reassigned and a new veteran defenseman has signed in.

New kid on the block: 48 hours after setting foot on Montreal soil, Chris Campoli will be sporting his new Canadiens jersey complete with his No.17 for Thursday’s game against Tampa Bay. He’s played the Bell Centre before and he knows he’ll have try to keep his emotions in check on his big night.

“You need to be a professional and not let the emotional stuff get to you,” confessed the 27-year-old defenseman. “You just need to grasp it and focus on the right things. I’m excited to play with Josh.”

Wise guys:  Last season's dynamic defense duo P.K. Subban and Hal Gill will be in the lineup for the Habs on Thursday night. Both blue-liners have a pretty sensible view on preseason games and realize that in order to win, you need to come together as a team.

“Winning or losing doesn’t really matter,” started off Subban after morning practice. “I play to win and so does everybody else but the most important thing is that we do the right things on the ice and we come together as a team as quickly as possible before our game in Toronto.”

Always one with words, Gill had a different twist to his teammate's message.

“I think we’re comfortable together but comfort doesn’t always mean success. Sometimes you need to be uncomfortable,” professed the sage defenseman. “We have to find out what it’s going to take and that goes with living through it. It takes the whole team to come together.”

The captain is staying put: After the incident on March 8, 2011, the Scott Gomez-Max Pacioretty-Brian Gionta line had to be rearranged. The Habs captain will be playing alongside Andrei Kotitsyn and David Desharnais on Thursday night while young preseason sensation Brendan Gallagher will be flanking Pacioretty and Gomez against the Bolts.

“I don’t think I’m stealing his spot,” said the young Gallagher who’s gearing up for his fifth game of preseason. “This particular spot on the line is really his. Brian is the leader of this team. I truly appreciate playing with all these talented players and trying to get the most out of it.

“We’re at this stage now where we are evaluating a lot of players,” explained Canadiens coach Jacques Martin. “Five or six young players will be playing tonight and will face a near-complete NHL team. Also, we’re looking for a third line that can bring us strong support offensively.”

Making the cut: After a wave of cuts in training camp this past week, 35 players are still standing. Only two more games are left on the preseaon schedule before the team heads out to its annual retreat and Michael Blunden knows how important these games are.

“Tonight I’m going to go out there and give it my all,” said the right winger who will see action in his fifth game of the preseason Thursday night. “It might be my last chance so I want to leave everything out on the ice.

“I think I had a good camp; I played well. I wished I would have put up a couple more points,” confessed the 6 foot-4 prospect. “Hopefully tonight I can have a big game and go out there and play well.”

Lee Anne Vincent O'Connor is a writer for canadiens.com



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Campoli checks in