MONTREAL- There’s no way anyone could accuse the Canadiens of age discrimination. Meet Ben Maxwell, the latest young gun to break the ice with the Habs.
In only his first season with Bulldogs, Maxwell found himself with his own stall in the Habs’ dressing room far ahead of schedule. Selected in the second round, 49th overall, at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, the youngster was happy to have his first game under his belt.
“I was anxious and a little nervous. I’m just glad to get that first one out of the way. The two points would have been great though,” said the 20-year-old. “I caught myself running around a little out there and it felt like I was on a slip‘n'slide for a while.”
His new head coach was encouraged by Maxwell’s first strides with the Canadiens.
“He’s an offensive player with good vision and I think he handled himself well for his first NHL game,” said Guy Carbonneau. “He was nervous at the start but he seemed to settle down and looked more comfortable as the game went on. He created some good things.”
Case in point was Maxwell’s breakaway chance in the second period, which saw the young centerman come within a hair of beating Capitals rookie goalie, Simeon Varlamov.
“I was glad to show a bit of what I can bring to the table. Both of the chances I had tonight were thanks to nice set-ups by Dags,” said Maxwell of fellow Bulldog call-up Matt D’Agostini. “We only got to play together in maybe three games in Hamilton, but we found each other pretty well out there tonight.”
Joining a room that includes more players with spotty facial growth on a good day than full-fledged beards didn’t go unnoticed by Maxwell.
“For sure, not being the only young guy in this dressing room is a big plus,” he admitted. “They’ve all been where I am and getting the chance to be shown the ropes by guys like Matt really helps. And having a few familiar faces around never hurts.”