Milestones and comebacks
BROSSARD – In today’s notebook, Cammalleri heals up, Pacioretty looks to keep things rolling and Gill gets set for a milestone moment.
Get well soon: The Canadiens are in need of a little finish around the net and a healed-up Michael Cammalleri could be just what the doctor ordered. Making the road trip with the team for the first time since suffering a deep laceration in Winnipeg on October 9, the Habs sniper appears to be inching closer to a return.
“There’s no definite answer on when but I feel really good,” confirmed Cammalleri, who scored his first goal of the season against the Jets. “It’s just a matter of seeing what’s under this equipment and we’ll see if it holds up or not. We’re going to have to look at it now and see how it held up through practice and we’ll probably do the same thing tomorrow. I’d obviously love to play as soon as possible.”
Let the good times roll: No one on the Habs roster has had a better start to 2011-12 than Max Pacioretty. With five points in as many games so far this year, the 22-year-old winger knows the secret to maintaining his point-per-game pace is consistency.
“It’s felt like in the last three games I’ve really had my legs under me,” offered Pacioretty, who fired a game-high nine shots on Ryan Miller on Tuesday night. “My intensity level is there. When I’m playing a fast, intense game, that’s when I’m the most successful so I have to just try and keep it up for the whole year.”
Older and wiser: Just one game shy of the 1,000th in his NHL career, veteran blue-liner Hal Gill is looking forward to hitting the milestone against his former team on Thursday night.
“I have a lot good memories from Pittsburgh. I anticipate that it will be a nice experience. To be honest, I’m more excited to get a win than to play my 1000th game,” admitted Gill, who won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2009. “I remember that I used to look at the calendar at each 10 game segment to see who we’d play if I’d reach 100 games, 200 games. As you get older, you pay more attention to this. It’s fun and I’m proud of what I’ve done. It’s something that I’d never thought I’d get to, but a win would be a lot nicer right now.”
Wax on, wax off: After spending his rookie season alongside Gill in 2010-11, P.K. Subban has benefitted from Gill’s 999 games of NHL experience more than anyone in the Habs dressing room. He may not be a rookie anymore, but the 23-year-old blue-liner isn’t expecting the lessons from the seasoned veteran to stop coming any time soon.
“It just goes to show how young I am. I just played my 84th game or something like that and he’s got 1,000 – that’s a lot more than I’ve got,” mentioned Subban with a laugh. “It’s pretty cool. I know he just had his baby boy so it’s been an emotional week for him. I’m sure he’d love to get the win in his old team’s barn so it’s going to be an emotional one for him, for sure.
“He’s helped me a lot. Hal’s a guy who can help with a lot of the little things and every day I come to the rink willing to learn and he’s willing to offer his knowledge and his experience,” described Subban, who couldn’t help but get at least one playful jab in on his blue line mentor. “Sometimes it’s like a broken record where he’s saying things over and over, but hopefully by my 1,000th game I’ll get it.”Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com.
Milestone game for Hal Gill