MONTREAL -- If you’re an AHLer looking to break into the National Hockey League, there may be no better team to play for than the Hamilton Bulldogs. With a string of injuries plaguing the Canadiens since the start of the season one Bulldog after the next has been making his way up to Montreal to fill the gaps.
The Habs’ latest call-ups, Aaron Palushaj
and Nigel Dawes were on hand following Thursday mornings’ team skate to give their thoughts on the chance to skate for the Canadiens.
“I’m very excited for the opportunity to play here. I’ve been working towards this for a few years now. My goal tonight is to keep it simple and to not to go too far outside of what I’m used to doing,” said Palushaj who comes to Montreal having posted 17 goals and 27 assists for 44 points and a +15 differential this season with the Bulldogs.
“I’m just going to play as hard as I do every night and try to allow myself to be able to make the most of this opportunity. Dawes and I have been on the same line for a while now. We played about six or seven games together and it went really well, so hopefully we’ll be able to continue that here.”
Palushaj’s linemate and fellow call-up, Dawes has also been drawing attention in Hamilton since being traded from the Thrashers. Scoring in his first game with the Dogs, Dawes is looking forward to bringing that same offensive touch to Montreal.
“Tonight’s going to be very special. With an organization like this, you don’t have to explain it. I was really excited when I got traded and I’m going to have a big opportunity tonight to play my first game here at home,” expressed Dawes. “It should be a lot of fun and I just want to make sure I bring my game, provide some offense, play strong defensively and help give the team a chance to win.
Teammate Ryan White
was quick to welcome his fellow Bulldogs to the Canadiens’ dressing room, pointing out what he feels they can bring to the table.
“Sometimes it’s injuries that let you get your start in this league and Palushaj and Dawes are great players and they’re going to bring a lot of energy to the team tonight,” noted White who along with several Habs in Thursday’s lineup will be facing off against former Bulldogs coach Guy Boucher when the puck drops at 7:30pm.
“The Lighning have a great team and they’re playing well, but it’s a big game, we need to catch these guys more than anyone else and we need these two points more than ever tonight. It’s up to us to make sure we outwork them. But maybe we’ll have the advantage of knowing what Guy’s going to do,” added White. “A lot of us have already played for him.” Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.SEE ALSO: Jacques Martin's update on Max PaciorettyBolts, Habs ready to finish season series Habs call up Nigel Dawes, Aaron Palushaj Mr. 1300